May 19, 2009

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

A man who came to interview me for a publication the other day pointed out that I was never bored. I hadn’t thought of that before, but it’s true: I’m never bored. I’m appalled, horrified, angered, but never bored. The world appears to me so infinite in its variety that many lifetimes could not exhaust its interest. So long as you can still be surprised, you have something to be thankful for (that is one of the reasons why the false knowingness of street credibility is so destructive of true happiness).- Theodore Dalrymple quoted on "Anecdotal Evidence"

Liebling, like any writer worth his prose, was an inveterate prickly individualist. He lived up to one of his own sentences, now taped to the Cartier-Bresson photograph of Liebling hanging above my desk: `The way you write is well, and how is your own business.’ - Patrick of Anecdotal Evidence

If you think you have nothing at your disposal to do the good works which God is demanding of you, then you might have forgotten your health. It is His Blood in your body--and that is everything you really need. - E. of Sancta Sanctis

I was as distressed as anyone by the rock-star reception by Obama, just as I would if Bush or any other politician were greeted in such a way at a Catholic institution. We've had enough problems with sucking up to civic authority over the last few dozen centuries, haven't we? It was creepy in a "Justice Sunday" kind of way. - Amy Welborn

Of course, the protests are going to embarrass elite university professors, even when those professors are strongly pro-life and disapprove of Notre Dame’s awarding of an honorary degree to a man who, by rescinding the Mexico City Policy, now has American tax dollars funding abortions in foreign countries. The protests began among the ordinary people and they are couched in the vulgate language of ordinary people: Shocking! Loud! Graphic!—how could the sophisticated not find them vulgar? - Joseph Bottum at First Things

Like many pro-choice politicians, Barack Obama says he wants abortion to be safe, legal, and rare, while doing everything in his power to advance it...It would be like Ronald Reagan at Notre Dame saying that he wanted to take down Soviet communism while simultaneously subsidizing it with taxpayer dollars throughout Eastern Europe and the USSR. It would be like Reagan calling on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall while sending in cement trucks and rolls of barbed wire. - Paul Kengor quoted on Ignatius Insight

The few bishops who have stated that their understanding of canon law moves them to declare that abortion-rights supporting Catholic politicians have cut themselves off from the Eucharist are accused of "politicizing the Eucharist." Which never made any sense to me. If a bishop said, "You're a Democrat. You can't receive Communion." That's politicizing the Eucharist. But focusing on a position and support for organizations that provide and promote abortion is not about politics. It's about moral issues that do happen to have a political dimension. It's the same with Obama and Notre Dame. Is the criticism being leveled because Obama is a Democrat? No...does anyone really think that if Rudolph Giulani or Arnold Schwarzenneger were invited to serve in the same role, that those protesting Obama's role would be either silent or cheering? - Amy Welborn

The other day I was watching "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, and Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, came on from Washington to talk about health care. A reporter on the set, Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times, asked a few clear and direct questions: What is President Obama's health-care plan, how would it work, what would it look like? I leaned forward. Finally I will understand. Ms. Sebelius began to answer in that dead and deadening governmental language that does not reveal or clarify but instead wraps legitimate queries in clouds of words and sends them on their way. I think I heard "accessing affordable quality health care," "single payer plan vis-à-vis private multiparty insurers" and "key component of quality improvement." In any case, she didn't answer the question, which was a disappointment but not a surprise. No one answers the question anymore. - Peggy Noonan

The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any. - Katharine Whitehorn


Anonymous said...

I really believe this last one. We had money when my oldest before my oldest left home; and she still doesn't understand it-even resents we don't have money now.

My others, who have seen us struggle financially these five years understand it much better.

Name withheld :)

TS said...

On the other hand, my stepson went through money like it was water until...until he had to earn it. Now he's acquired a frugality heretofore not to be believed. :-)

Anonymous said...

That does it too.

mrsdarwin said...

When Darwin and I were young our families both struggled financially, or at least had to practice "making do" on a daily basis. We are much better off than either of our families, and passing on frugality and responsibility to our children is a real concern for us. Not, of course, that they live as children of privilege, but there's a real difference between my telling my girls, "No, we aren't stopping to get a soda, because it's too expensive," and my parents trying to rearrange the budget to afford food, or to make sure the bills were paid in a timely fashion.

Enbrethiliel said...


I'm trying to get my mother to give my brothers a regular allowance instead of buying them "prizes" for good behaviour. They'd be better off learning to manage their own money than thinking of ways to get her to spend hers.

TS said...

Snow has attendent responsibilities attached to it - primarily shoveling but also sometimes shopping - such that reading-while-raining is more contentedly blissful.