Definitions Are Not Neutral

Quote of the Day for Friday, November 26, 2010: Rita L. Marker and Wesley J. Smith on euthanasia & euphemism, from a paper first appearing in the Duquesne Law Review Vol. 35, No. 1 (Fall 1996) pp. 81-107 under the title “The Art of Verbal Engineering, ” published on-line by the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force: Today when mercy killing is discussed, it is couched in euphemisms — words of gentleness or the language of rights. Titles of euthanasia advocacy groups contain words like “compassion,” “choice,R...

Inaugural Symbolism & Real Power

All the fawning that’s fit to publish… It’s been a rather surreal two days, focused around the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of these United States. The people around me all seemed to be grounded rather normally, but every time I’ve braved the elements and exposed myself to the mainstream media, it’s as if somebody (me? them?) has entered another world. I’ve stayed far away from TV for the most part, but I was walking through the living room last night while Joyce had MSNBC playing, and I heard popular historian Ken Burns tell Keith...

Why MaybeToday?

I was listening to a lecture by Peter Kreeft a while back, and he observed that time is the stuff of which life is made – time is life. People often say that time is money, but that’s an understatement. Kreeft is right: time is life. This isn’t meant to suggest that time is a metaphysical necessity, or that there can be no such thing as eternal life. Rather, it means that the life we each possess – our life – is ultimately a very precise allotment of time, and that each sunrise brings us one day closer to death. Time is really all we have, and the ...

On the Cultural Relativism of Statutory Rape: Score One for Reality

From the Department of Degenerate Disgrace: An article showed up in the Boston Globe a while back about a former U.S. Vice Consul to Brazil (no pun intended) who was asking a Virginia U.S. District Court judge for leniency after having been found guilty of taping himself having sex with various 14-17 year-old girls. Gons G. Nachman argued that it should be considered OK for him to have done this, because he did it in countries (the Congo and Brazil) where, he claimed, girls mature more quickly, and the cultural emphasis is on finding financially stable m...

Fraudulent? Does That Matter?

Few things make me feel like I was born on the wrong planet as much as the blatant denial of the meaning and authority of reality – that is to say, the reality of objective truth. This is truly a malady of modern human reason, and it seems to be rampant – maybe even epidemic. There are days I’m sure I’ve seen everything, then there are days, and I think this is one of those days, when I’m almost afraid to look out the window at the world for fear of the lunacy I might encounter. I came across a startling statement in a Bost...