Archive for March, 2005


March 22nd, 2005 No comments

I caught a snippet on the radio this morning, chatter about Terri Schiavo, and heard this:

What about the right to die with dignity?

My response:

What’s so “dignified” about starvation?

God have mercy.

Categories: Culture of Death Tags:

Name That Radical!

March 19th, 2005 No comments

Quick! What wild-eyed, harebrained, impractical radical recently made this statement to the press?

The U.S. educational system, K through 12, has essentially failed.

If you guessed co-founder of Intel (and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner) Gordon Moore,you would be right. Here’s the context from the interview:

EET: Craig Barrett [who in May will become Intel’s next chairman, replacing Andrew Grove] has been talking a lot lately about the problems in our educational system. What do you think?

Moore: The U.S. educational system, K through 12, has essentially failed. Our universities seem to be the envy of the world, but even there we are not getting the number of foreign students we used to get. And they tend to go home [after getting a degree], whereas they used to stay.

Yet Another Reason to Homeschoolâ„¢, I think.

To be fair, Moore is not actually endorsing homeschooling here. He’s “just” diagnosing the existing K-12 system as fundamentally broken.

Categories: Homeschooling Tags:

Modern "Tolerance" Explained!

March 18th, 2005 No comments

Dale Price finds a passage from de Lubac which wonderfully explains a great modern paradox:

If heretics no longer horrify us today, as they once did our forefathers, is it certain that it is because there is more charity in our hearts? Or would it not too often be, perhaps, without our daring to say so, because of the bone of contention, that is to say, the very substance of our faith, no longer interests us?

Men of too familiar and too passive a faith, perhaps for us dogmas are no longer the Mystery on which we live, the Mystery which is to be accomplished in us. Consequently, then, heresy no longer shockjavascript:void(0)
Save as Drafts us; at least, it no longer convulses us like something trying to tear the soul of our souls away from us….And that is why we have no trouble in being kind to heretics, and no repugnance in rubbing shoulders with them.

In reality, bias against ‘heretics’ is felt today just as it used to be. Many give way to it as much as their forefathers used to do. Only, they have turned it against their political adversaries. Those are the only ones who horrify them. Those are the only ones with whom they refuse to mix. Sectarianism has only changed its object and taken other forms, because the vital interest has shifted. Should we dare to say that this shifting is progress?

It is not always charity, alas, which has grown greater, or which has become more enlightened: it is often faith, the taste for the things of eternity, which has grown less. Injustice and violence are still reigning; but they are now in the service of degraded passions.

–Henri de Lubac, S.J.
Further Paradoxes, pp. 118-119, Newman Press, 1958. (Ellipsis in original)

I have puzzled for a bit over the paradox of the Episcopalian (and more generally “liberal”) approach to “tolerance”, “acceptance”, “inclusiveness”, and other buzzwords for some time now.

Deny the Resurrection and Virgin Birth of Our Lord? No problem, have fun with your bishoprick! Good luck on those book deals! Clearly, no horror of heresy here, right? (Apparantly, the ECUSA has “no core doctrine” regarding the actual meaning of the words in the Nicene Creed which it recites every Sunday.)

Ah, but deny the real religion (sex good! George Bush bad!, or perhaps dialogue good! turf-crossing bad!), and the long knives come out.

There was a time, a long time ago, when it seemed logical to me that a church which tolerates Jack Spong ought to have room for me. de Lubac explains well why this is not necessarily so. I did not know then about Newhaus’ Law (“Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.”).

God have mercy upon us.

Categories: Episcopal Church Tags:

Alcohol Knowledge Quiz

March 16th, 2005 No comments

Gee, thanks Dale for those minutes of my life I won’t get back. 🙂

Bacardi 151
Congratulations! You’re 134 proof, with specific scores in beer (80) , wine (116), and liquor (113).
All right. No more messing around. Your knowledge of alcohol is so high
that you have drinking and getting plastered down to a science. Sure,
you could get wasted drinking beer, but who needs all those trips to
the bathroom? You head straight for the bar and pick up that which is
most efficient.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 64% on proof
You scored higher than 89% on beer index
You scored higher than 95% on wine index
You scored higher than 97% on liquor index

Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Sandra Miesel: Polymath

March 13th, 2005 No comments

Via Dale, I found this interview with Sandra Miesel about life, the Universe, and everything … or at least about SF&F and her (rather more extensive than I had any inkling) involvement in it.

It’s interesting, and lots of history bits I didn’t know (which is a common experience when dealing with Sandra!), and has some good reading recommendations. RTWT.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

David Warren: Canadian National Treasure

March 7th, 2005 No comments

David Warren is someone who I try to read regularly. Here are a few reasons why:

From Lebanon; Canada:

The French have, I think, looked fairly deeply into the new course of Middle Eastern events, and decided with their customary fortitude that they must choose the winning side.

The French ambassador will of course write in to correct me, explaining that France’s position is consistent with the ideals it has always upheld. God bless him.

Yes, I couldn’t resist the gratuitous French-bashing. More seriously, let us hope and pray that the current American and French pressure on Syria does lead to better days for poor, poor Lebanon.

From A bag of Smarties:

Generosity is not the only quality that distinguishes Americans. Many of the other qualities are less attractive. Sometimes I even think they are boobs, but usually not for long. An open heart is an open mind, in my experience, and I know no other people who are such quick learners.

And why do I like Bush? Because he is so damned American. The course he has led, over the last four years, and through the hell of Afghanistan and Iraq, and is now beginning to lead into Lebanon, is, I am now utterly convinced, one of the glorious passages in American history. The good that is being achieved, without entirely counting the cost, is real, and I will pray, enduring.

The sun is shining today. So many people ask me, sarcastically, how can I like Americans, and how can I like Bush? I thought I would just answer.

Indeed. As an American, I am happy, and a bit proud, that the Hussein family is out of business and that millions of Afghani and Iraqis are now getting the best taste of freedom they’ve yet had (at least in a generation — I am aware of my characteristic American historical amnesia; maybe there was some “golden age” in those countries previously that I don’t know about.).

I do fear for the cost, for I agree that we have not counted it; and the reckoning may be dear.

But, in a sense it is to our glory that we have not carefully counted it. For, if we do it right, it will be a good thing that we do here, and if one counts the cost-benefit ratio of a good deed too carefully, it stops being a good deed.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Cheetah Portraits

March 5th, 2005 No comments

Just in case you ever needed good pictures of a cheetah’s face (say, for they hypothetical example of trying to help your son paint on onto his Pinewood Derby car), here are a few: a cheetah face, cheetah wallpaper, and a very cute cheetah kitten yawning.

The car is turning out very nicely, by the way.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: