Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Poor Liam Neeson was disappointed that he could not discuss gun control on “The View.” The Irish actor, who became an American citizen, is a serious gun control advocate, telling a British newspaper in 2014, “I am totally for gun control in the US. The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying.”
I guess Neeson didn’t bother to read the Constitution before he became a citizen. It not says the right to bear arms shall nit be infringed. It also explains why. Look it up.
cri de coeur and
Monday, February 27, 2023
The U.S. media has the lowest credibility — 26 percent — among 46 nations, according to a 2022 report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. And with good reason.
New research suggests a crucial step for the emergence of life can occur even in the very inhospitable conditions of space.
Sunday, February 26, 2023
In order to get the cell cultures to multiply at the rates necessary to keep these doctored meat companies afloat, “several companies, including the Big Three, are quietly using what are called immortalized cells. … Immortalized cells are a staple of medical research, but they are, technically speaking, precancerous and can be, in some cases, fully cancerous.”
St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s wisdom as a Doctor of the Church radiates in a poignant remark:
Perfection seems simple to me: Perfection consists in doing God’s will, in being what he wills us to be. I see it is sufficient to recognize one’s nothingness and to abandon oneself as a child into God’s arms.
Saturday, February 25, 2023
It is arguable, though not provable, that one cannot live maximally well in this world without also hoping beyond it. This, for some, will be psychologically impossible. If it is psychologically possible for you, then go for it. You will be in the company of great minds. The belief that death does not spell the annihilation of the person is not unreasonable. But then your life-task will be all the harder: live in such a way as to deserve a life beyond the grave.
For some reason — probably my mother’s unconditional love of me — I have always rather liked myself and been content to deal with whatever comes along.
Friday, February 24, 2023
Paradoxically, I find that reading about the abandonment of Christ can be profoundly reassuring. Why? Because here, as Calvin highlights, is a precedent. Clearly, there is an utterly unique phenomenon at play in the Passion narrative: the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world, who carries the curse, and therefore upon whom the Father cannot look. Nevertheless, at the level of experience, it is profoundly comforting to learn that Christ has been to a place “pitched past pitch of grief.” He too has suffered the darkest possible night.
… to return to the expunging of words with Christian connotations or meanings from the calendar of the London School of Economics. said that it was insulting to Christians, but actually it was far more insulting to non-Christians, such as I, for it assumed that they are so sensitive and intolerant that they are offended by the slightest reference to the Christian religion or to any vestiges of the Christian past of the country in which they live, either permanently or temporarily. In other words, non-Christians are made of psychological eggshells and are so delicate constitutionally that they need the protection of the LSE apparatchik and nomenklatura class—which after all has to occupy itself with (it held meetings to make this decision, no doubt under the mistaken impression that it was working, even working very hard).
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Here we are faced with the ultimate alternative that is at stake in the dispute between faith and unbelief: are irrationality, lack of freedom and pure chance the origin of everything, or are reason, freedom and love at the origin of being? Does the primacy belong to unreason or to reason? This is what everything hinges on in the final analysis.
See also: Giving Up Darwin by David Gerlernter.
Something Werner Heisenberg said is also pertinent:
“I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
This book does not deny that there are differences in material culture, literacy, and technological attainments between Europe and Black Africa; rather, it firmly rejects the sleight of hand according to which these external differences indicate a difference in the basic building blocks of the European and of the African (understood to mean black-skinned Africans), and that this supposed inherent difference causes cultural differences and warrants “Europeans are superior to Africans” propaganda. These matters I shall discuss in Part Two of this book.
Let it not then distress Christians, even if they find themselves exposed to thoughts from which they turn with abhorrence and terror. Rather let such a trial bring before their thoughts, with something of vividness and distinctness, the condescension of the Son of God. For if it be a trial to us creatures and sinners to have thoughts alien from our hearts presented to us, what must have been the suffering to the Eternal Word, God of God, and Light of Light, Holy and True, to have been so subjected to Satan, that he could inflict every misery on Him short of sinning?
The bullshitter is one who 'doesn't give a shit' about the truth value of what he is saying. He doesn't care how things stand with reality. The liar, by contrast, must care: he must know (or at least attempt to know) how things are if he is to have any chance of deceiving his audience. Think of it this way: the bullshitter doesn't care whether he gets things right or gets them wrong; the liar cares to get them right so he can deceive you about them.
Celebrated by UNESCO as a “figure of peace” in 2023, the Carmelite nun, who was declared a Doctor of the Church, has aroused fervent devotion throughout the world. Her popularity remains unparalleled and her masterpiece of spirituality ranks in the top 10 best-selling books in the world: 500 million copies have been published. Translated into more than 50 languages, constantly studied and commented on, it remains a permanent source of inspiration.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
It is true: we Catholics are a threat to those who want a world rebellious to God and a “synodal church” subservient to the spirit of this world. The Martyrs bear witness to the heroism of the presence of the Christian name in society, a heroism that faces the torments and death inflicted on those whom a perverted authority considers enemies because it knows and fears their example and above all the explosive power of the Gospel.
Monday, February 20, 2023
Contrary to the Washington Post, democracy does not "die in darkness." It dies in chaos, brought on by fear, engendered by uncertainty and birthed of instability —an instability that, in the case of the United States of America, has been deliberately cultivated and fanned by the nation's political leadership and other "elite" big chiefs by a decades-long policy of institutional and moral destabilization. And on this Presidents Day, chaos is exactly where we're heading.
As their faculties and administrations grow more intellectually homogeneous, today’s campuses risk turning fundamentalist: allowing no more dissent on political questions—in the classroom or out of it—than Bob Jones or Liberty University permits questioning the inerrancy of scripture or the creation of the world in six literal days. When you limit the range of debate and forbid certain questions, you stifle the creation of knowledge and, over time, erode both the purpose of the university and the character of its constituents.
Bill Tonelli, a writer who grew up in South Philly, debunked Sheeran’s claims in a piece at Slate. He called Sheeran “the Forrest Gump of organized crime.”
The bar that figures in The Irishman is just a few blocks from where I live.
The assumption that school-based knowledge generally trumps practical experience seems increasingly questionable as the sphere of activity for which this assertion is made has expanded, and is indeed increasingly viewed with suspicion or with outright disdain.
Sunday, February 19, 2023
No Christian sect has ever even engaged in ritual sacrifice of animals, and no religion has ever been so unambiguous in its condemnation of violence or in its opposition to human sacrifice. Indeed, Christians believe that Jesus was God come down to earth to sacrifice Himself for man. That’s the opposite of any pagan practice.
Saturday, February 18, 2023
… Vermeer painted the peace he could never have. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Vermeer is the ultimate master of light. He doesn’t use chiaroscuro for dramatic effect like the Dutch Caravaggists; he uses it like a lighting technician to situate the actors within the scene and control the mood. He is, coincidentally, a consummate colorist who grasped the principle of optical mixing two centuries before the pointillistes, applying pure color in tiny dots to strike the eye with a vibrancy not achievable by blending. He painted what the eye sees, not what the brain assumes, but he was not a camera: he chose what to put in and what to leave out. The crusty hunks of bread on the table in “The Milkmaid” (c. 1660) look crisp enough to eat, but he cheated with the milk jug: as she tilts it to pour, the milk should be visible inside but he chose to contrast the white stream with the dark interior
Friday, February 17, 2023
Thursday, February 16, 2023
What then should we say about the de Maistre quotation above? I believe I have laid bare the kernel of insight it contains: human reason is weak and needs guidance from without whether or not any such guidance is available. Reason is a very poor guide to life. Appeals to 'reason' are useless when not absurd. Whose 'reason'? How applied? And what exactly is this vaunted faculty anyway? And what is its reach? How reasonable was Kant's mapping of its limits in his Critique of Pure Reason? The "Come now, and let us reason together . . ." of Isaiah 1:18 has little application among men, whatever application it has between a man and God.
Something Werner Heisenberg, the father of quantum physics, said seems pertinent: “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
“Most criminals are stupid, and they are surprised when they learn the hard way that some folks will defend themselves and refuse to be a willing victim.”
The Not-Planet includes all human beings. In environmentalist ideology, we humans are not part of “nature” or “the environment” or “the planet.” We are something outside of nature: an alien, destructive force, modifying “the planet” from without. By this standard, all buildings and cities and other human settlements that billions of people depend on for their survival are rendered alien excrescences harming “the planet.” The sand on a beach is “the planet” but the moment you build a sand castle, the sand in the castle becomes Not-Planet. You have taken sand which might have been used by a beach crab for its burrow. How dare you!
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
… God, Literature, and Anton Chekhov. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
In Chekhov Becomes Chekhov, Bob Blaisdell offers a defense for what he calls “the open-endedness” of Chekhov’s stories. “Chekhov won’t comfort us with an answer that isn’t there,” he writes. He then quotes Chekhov, in a letter to Suvorin, noting that “the time has come for writers, especially those who are artists, to admit that in this world one cannot make anything out, just as Socrates once admitted it, just as Voltaire admitted it…. And if an artist in whom the crowd has faith decides to declare that he understands nothing of what he sees—this in itself constitutes a considerable clarity in the realm of thought, and a great leap forward.”
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Aquino is saying giving a person the option of turning a disability into an ability of sight is the essence of evil.
Nigerian journalist and novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani writes that one of her ancestors sold slaves, but argues that he should not be judged by today's standards or values.
… ‘A Mystery of Mysteries’ Review: Edgar Allan Poe, Through the Pale Door. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Monday, February 13, 2023
Woke up this morning to discover that I had lost my internet connection. Took me awhile to get in touch with my tech guy (since I had to take my iPad someplace where there was an internet connection).And a neighbor proved able to do as he suggested. So I’m back online. Not that I olan to do much tonight.
Sunday, February 12, 2023
Here at CC we use Openverse daily to explore the public commons and find works to reuse in our communications and projects. Powerful tools like Openverse demonstrate how open technologies and communities like WordPress can build on the rich public commons we all help create to support what we call better sharing: sharing that is inclusive, just and equitable — where everyone has wide opportunity to access content, to contribute their own creativity, and to receive recognition and rewards for their contributions.
… I recently read an essay by the theologian David Bentley Hart complaining that in the interest of simplicity modern English prose has been so denuded of character that you can hardly tell one writer from another by the sentences they write. Not so with O’Rourke and not because of any grossly indulgent flourishes. His sentences, like his point of view, were the product of a true appetite for understanding paired with a comedian’s gift for parody.
And many a time, towards the end of life, does the genius repent of his choice. "It would be better not to startle the world, but to live at one with it," says Ibsen in his last drama. Genius is a wretched, blind maniac, whose eccentricities are condoned because of what is got from him.
— Lev Shestov, born on this date in 1866
Saturday, February 11, 2023
“In so many ways, the story of this game talks about not just the story of this league, but the story of this country. When people are given opportunities, any one of us can rise up based on our merit and our ability.”
The study was published on January 30 by the Cochrane Library, a world-renowned medical database that is famous for its high-quality evidence reviews. It comes as a battering ram to the recommendations of the U.S. public health establishment, which urged children as young as two to wear masks throughout the pandemic.
Friday, February 10, 2023
Solar physicist Scott McIntosh of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research, who has been observing the Sun for decades, told Space.com that he had never seen a "vortex" like the one that occurred when a piece of the prominence broke away and was whipped into the solar atmosphere.
Thursday, February 09, 2023
Ride the High Country is a picture at once good enough to launch a visionary career and also form a fitting conclusion to a genre in its twilight years. It’s not a postmodern film, but it gains immense gravitas from the history and biography of its primary players, as well as its own place in cinematic history. Importantly, it doesn’t substitute nostalgia for emotion. Rather, its own deep emotion is intensified by its circumstances, its mixture of styles, and the stature of its cast. This is a story with a revisionist sensibility that believes the virtues of a noble past are real – and inheritable.
It really is a great film.
Wednesday, February 08, 2023
George Hill, a former supervisory intelligence analyst for the bureau, told the
What do they make of what the Constitution says about making “no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise.”?
These findings go to the heart of the case for mask mandates, a policy that generated much resentment and acrimony during the pandemic. They also show that the CDC, which has repeatedly exaggerated the evidence in favor of masks, cannot be trusted as a source of public health information.
A Conversation with Jennifer Croft and Boris Dralyuk About Raising Twins and Winning Awards.