…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 Belated Clarification

Circumstances compel me to issue a clarification to a notion rendered in my last entry, from late December, lamenting the re-election of Barack Obama. My expressing a similar idea in a conversation prompted a sharp rebuttal that I was (wrongly and uncharitably) entertaining a conceit that everyone who voted to re-elect Obama did so either for trivial reasons, or out of naked self-interest. It is not true that I believe that, but I can understand how someone could come to that conclusion, given the cynical tone of my harangue. I made two offending comment...

Some Concluding, Year-End Musings on 2012

Logos: Logos Bible Research scored huge in my estimation this year. I had struggled to be productive with earlier versions of their software, but version 4, released just about 3 years ago, represented a dramatic improvement in usability and performance, and I started drifting toward it then – especially since they were also beginning to release quality Catholic resources (e.g. works by Aquinas). Then, this Spring, they put together a series of terrific Catholic base packages, all of which included an outstanding edition of the Catechism of the Catholic ...

The MSM has embarrassed itself to a near-fatal degree

Quote of the Day for Friday, August 31st, 2012: Who better than J. E. Dyer to inspire me to rekindle my moribund blog, in a blog post entitled Are the American voters idiots?, which ultimately tackles several of my favorite hobby horses: There were so many reasons to know in advance that Obama would be a poor president.  Yet many of the voters were taken in by the media hype surrounding Obama.  The president’s associations and recorded statements were played down.  The record was there for a number of investigative authors to find, from M...

Forced Abortions & Sterilizations in Massachusetts?

Occasionally, I read or hear about something so stunning that I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, watching from a detached vantage point as the world unfurls strangely in front of me. Yesterday afternoon, I had one of those experiences. I was at work, pausing to check the headlines, weather and traffic, when I saw the surreal headline: “Massachusetts Appeals Court rules that judge was wrong to order mentally ill woman to have an abortion and to then be sterilized”. Forced abortions and sterilizations in Massachusetts? Granted, the court-ord...

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 ...

The western world is an end state: the comfy couch at the end of history

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 19th, 2011: Walter Russell Mead, writing at The American Interest on the on-going decline – and largely unconsidered future – of the structures underpinning modern life in the West: The word ‘developed’ contains an important assumption: that a historical process known as development (closely related to modernization — another problematic word) not only exists throughout the world, it culminates in a known end which has already been reached.  This word implies that countries like France, Canada and our o...

Sarah Palin as Cultural Metaphor

Quote of the day for Tuesday, December 7th, 2010: Timothy Dalrymple, posting at Patheos yesterday on the meaning and underlying cause of what he calls “Palin Enragement Syndrome”: [M]uch of the opposition to Palin is not political. It is deeply and thoroughly cultural. Sarah Palin is Miss Jesusland, the living emblem and foremost representative of an America that progressive elites had hoped had been swept into the dustbin of history. One definition of culture is “the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group.” Palin represents...

The Edge of Politics

Richard Fernandez over at Pajamas Media posted a disturbing commentary yesterday on a couple of articles he had recently read concerning the apocalyptic economic problems facing both California and Great Britain. The root of the problem, in both cases, is easy enough to identify: the entitlement mentality that believes that something can be had for nothing (or little). The title of his article (I Want My MTV) sums it up neatly (money for nothing, chicks for free…). But it’s easy to hammer on the unsustainability of free lunch programs for massive numbers...

Idealism Unencumbered by Reality: Obamacare, pt.2 (Universality & Reality)

In the on-going debate over how to improve the American healthcare and healthcare delivery systems, the professed intent of most of the players has been to increase “access” or “coverage,” by extending benefits to people who currently do not have such access. Ostensibly, this is because “access” and/or “coverage” is priced out of reach for these folks, on account of some combination of raw poverty, and unavailability of employer-provided/subsidized health insurance, which is the vehicle through which most non-elderly Americans access the healthcare syste...

Idealism Unencumbered by Reality: Obamacare, pt.1

George Orwell, in his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” said: “Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” There is no more apt description of the political discourse that has defined the “healthcare” issue in this country over the past year. Now that we’ve seen what the Democratic leadership has proposed for legislation, would it be out of line to suggest that someone might owe Joe Wilson an apology? Of course, it was almost impossible to know...