A Letter to My Teen Daughters, Concerning Racism

It can be difficult for me to get a handle on what I want to say about something, especially on-the-spot. But I wanted to follow up on tonight’s brief post-dinner discussion of something I consider profoundly important in the world today, which is the role the idea of racism plays in the on-going cultural drama of the propagation of modern society’s religious dogmas. I hope you will all find the time to do me the courtesy of reading this through. I have tried to be brief, but that’s a challenge, too… Some information gleaned from reputable-looking sites ...

…it was the halting and reversing of a socio-cultural revolution

The lights have been out at this blog for about a year and a half, but I’ve been targeting to get back to it, and even made a few tweaks and updates over the past week in preparation. And I could hardly find a finer way of turning the lights back on than by sharing this illuminating article at TheWeek.com by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, who punctures the absurd conceits of the Progressive movement concerning the “inevitability” of social change, by revisiting the origins of the concept of racialism (race & racism) in early modern and – especially – Enlight...

A world so lost that people no longer believe it ever really existed

Jonathan Last at the Weekly Standard has an insightful article coming out in the September 30th edition of the magazine (available now online), entitled “Two Miserable Decades” in which he compares and contrasts the periods from 9/11 until today, and the 70’s – or more precisely, the period from 1967 through 1979. Having been born in 1960, I endured that earlier period at a highly impressionable yet largely oblivious stage of life. Of course, it is common lately to hear the Obama presidency compared to Carter’s, but this article looks much deeper into th...

Do the right thing, and they will follow you in zealous allegiance

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, September 5th, 2012: Martin Cothran, in a post from Catholic Lane on the reading habits (or lack thereof) of modern boys: Boys, though they cannot articulate it, can usually see right through the modern psychobabble. In fact, say what you will about the Harry Potter books (and plenty has been said), they at least betray a consciousness of the old adventure ideal, and are light on the psychological reflexiveness—at least in the early books in the series, although I am told (I have not read them) that the later books portra...

Dante Meets the Moralists

Somehow summoning the wherewithal to ping my poor, neglected blog, and recalling in particular (if vaguely) my next-to-last entry, I implore anyone out there regretting not taking the time to study Dante to get on the stick before the moralists of the Order of Perpetual Outrage crush your obviously sadistic fantasies in the name of tolerance. Why? The Guardian is reporting that the UN-related Italian “human rights” advisory group Gerush92 is calling for Italy’s school system to eliminate Dante’s Divine Comedy from its curricula, claiming that it is “offe...

The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology

Quote of the Day for Friday, September 30th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, from an On The Square article today over at First Things, on the inherently epistemologically-limiting nature of intellectual methodology, and the dangers of ignoring that fact: The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology, and so to mistake a partial perspective on particular truths for a comprehensive vision of truth as such. In the modern world, this is an especially pronounced danger in the sciences...

It is hard to imagine zero-tolerance bullying prevention without schools becoming mini-bureaucratic-police states

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, September 14th, 2011: Mary Rose Somarriba, writing yesterday at Public Discourse, on the recent anti-bullying legislation recently enacted in New Jersey (hewing closely to Obama administration policies), in an article called “A Bully-Free World?”: Why, one might ask, would the president lead a conference on preventing something like bullying, which is ultimately impossible to prevent? It could be, perhaps, because bullying is something that everyone agrees is wrong, and it is something that everyone can relate to, because...

College as a way to babysit 18-year-olds is not very efficient for anyone involved

Quote of the Day for Sunday, June 5th, 2011: Naomi Schaefer Riley, writing in the June 3rd Washington Post, on the value of a modern college education, and the disconnect exposed by PayPal’s Peter Thiel when he recently thumbed his nose at the university system: Executives at U.S. companies routinely complain about the lack of reading, writing and math skills in the recent graduates they hire. Maybe they too will get tired of using higher education as a credentialing system. Maybe it will be easier to recruit if they don’t have to be concerned about the ...

Scientists who didn’t predict quake are indicted

When I saw this headline, I thought it was a joke – perhaps something from the Onion. Apparently, the story is a few days old, but I just saw it a few minutes ago: Seven scientists and other experts were indicted on manslaughter charges yesterday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009. …. Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella ordered the members of the national government’s Great Risks commission, which evaluates potential for natural disasters, to go...

The way things are done now makes us importunate, dependent, and increasingly unfit to govern ourselves

Quote of the Day for Thursday, May 26th, 2011. The always-readable J. E. Dyer, published in the Green Room over at HotAir, on the burgeoning bloat of judicial control over the character and content of America’s social order: When the law is in proper relationship to the people, the scope of the judiciary is very limited, but actually more meaningful to the enterprise of “good government.”  Today, we have a body of law so huge and burdensome that it has started going 15 rounds with itself on a regular basis, and the judiciary acts as a referee on in...

It is by their gods that human beings are shaped and known

Quote of the Day for Monday, May 9th, 2011: A second helping from the wonderful essay by David Bentley Hart: John Paul II Against the Nihilists: For the late pope, divine humanity is not something that in a simple sense lies beyond the human; it does not reside in some future, post-human race to which the good of the present must be offered up; it is instead a glory hidden in the depths of every person, even the least of us – even "defectives" and "morons" and "genetic inferiors," if you will – waiting to be rev...

There are no negotiable or even very perplexing issues regarding our moral obligations before the mystery of life

Quote of the Day for Sunday, May 8th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, in an excellent essay posted on a remarkably robust “Religion & Ethics” section of the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which highlights the irremediably divergent visions of God inherent in the worldviews of modern, materialist “transhumanists,” and orthodox Christianity – particularly as expressed in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body: To one who holds to John Paul’s Christian understanding of the body, and so believes that each human being, from the ver...