November 25, 2010


From Chesterton's Generally Speaking, about how moderns confuse means and ends:
A little while ago an intellectual weekly started an argument among the intellectuals about whether man has improved the earth he lives on; whether nature as a whole was better for the presence of man. Nobody seemed to notice that this is assuming that the end of man is to grow more grass or improve the breed of rattlesnakes, apart from any theory about the origin or object of these things. A man may serve God and be good to mankind for that reason; or a man may serve mankind and be good to other things to preserve the standard of mankind; but it is very hard to prove exactly how far he is bound to make the jungle thicker or encourage very tall giraffes. Here again the common sense of mankind, even working unconsciously, has always stated the matter the other way round....Man is not bound to regard a man as something created for the good of a palm-tree. Nor is he bound to ansewr the question, with any burden on his conscience: "If there were no men, would there be more palm-trees?"

November 23, 2010

November 22, 2010

(Mostly) One Liners

It's lame there's no eBook version of the Pope's Light of the World. [Update: Jeff Miller reports that a version will be available Wednesday.]
* * *
Looks like Deal Hudson and Inside Catholic received the mother of all linkages: the Drudge Report. Surprised it could handle the traffic.
* * *
Whenever I get emails from BAC (Belmont Abbey College), I think of the other BAC ("blood alcohol concentration").
* * *
You heard about TSA ridiculousness here first. This story interests me in part because of TSA's fealty to political correctness and lack of common sense. It's also fascinating to see a pure power play in action, as shown by the fact politicians will be able to opt out. Those who make the law get special rules. Charles Krauthammer writes:
We pretend that we go through this nonsense as a small price paid to assure the safety of air travel. Rubbish. This has nothing to do with safety – 95 percent of these inspections, searches, shoe removals and pat-downs are ridiculously unnecessary. The only reason we continue to do this is that people are too cowed to even question the absurd taboo against profiling – when the profile of the airline attacker is narrow, concrete, uniquely definable and universally known. So instead of seeking out terrorists, we seek out tubes of gel in stroller pouches.
* * *
Recent news story said that chocolate may turn out to be a luxury as expensive as caviar within 20 years due to supply/demand challenges. Buy your chocolate now, although I believe the storage is only about 2 years so...
* * *

Trying to determine which of the following books to go for:
The Edge of Sadness - Edwin O'Connor - Betty Duffy recommended, but not lyrical and not exactly escapism material.

The Imperfectionists - Tom Rachmen - decently lyrical with comic undertones, which usually is my fiction forte.

Proud to be Right: Voices of the Next Conservative Generation - Jonah Goldberg - started reading first chapter via Kindle and looks pretty interesting. But it is non-fiction, of which I already have a heap.

Russian Debutante's Handbook - Gary Shteyngart - has much potential, looks generally engaging and accessible.

Everything Matters! - Ron Currie Jr. - comic, but a bit too cutesy. Not noticeably lyrical.

Parched - have the book, and read the first couple chapters yesterday.

November 19, 2010


....exemplifies the sort of can-do spirit of America!

November 17, 2010

Democrats Gone Wild!

Why Obama Can't Win Now Discounted

No wonder this book is a bargain.

Tweet Nonsense

Bwaa haaa haaa! My twitter ranking is #357,536. Soon I will begin world domination!

From the Sunday Bulletin of a Church Downtown...

Click to enlarge:

November 16, 2010

From Pauline Books...

I feel so broad-minded for reading a publication with an article by Sr. Joan Chittister! :-) I jest. From the self-same publication - the newsletter Life & Soul - by Sr. Mary Le Hill, FSP:
Just How Good is the Good News?

How often do we consider these powerful little words: good and news? Both are among the most overused words in the English language.

Classic introduction: "How are you?"

Classic advice: "I only want you hanging around with good kids."

Classic quote (from G. K. Chesterton):
"The word good has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yars, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man."
And what about news? If I were a news editor, my idea of good news would be
1. short: the essential:

2. simple: the human interest;

3. strong: the unique angle.
Do the Gospels meet my criteria? Well, they are short - to the point of irritation. We always wish the evangelists had said more. As for human interest: their 2,000 plus years on the best-seller list attests to our fascination with their simple message. The strength of the Gospels is definitely in the unique angle from which they present thier breaking story.


As a baby Jesus came to us in weakness and helplessness... Jesus' life is of profound importance to our own. He is both God's Word spoken to us and our word of response to God. We now speak to God only in him, with him, and through him. He is always the most contemporary means of communication with God.

Paulines by definition are evanglizers. Well, what does that mean? I'm going to spreak the Gospel. Yes, but more! I am going to do the gospel, to evangelize. It is the most effective means, as illustrated by God himself, in the incarnation, he is the Good News.

Karma, Karma, Carmelite

There are no second acts, it's been said, but Steven Riddle seems to have found his. Momentary Taste is so different from Flos Carmeli that it's as if he reinvented himself before our very eyes. His old blog was linkless and discursive, his new blog link-full and pithy. It's a startling achievement to see someone speak in a new blog voice.To give but one example: "Okay, just cool yer jets--dun fore he wuz prez." (Sometimes the new voice is pretty literal.) He has undergone the discipline that blog-readers seem to require: a consistent branding. For Momentary Taste, it's all things literary. For "recollected in tranquility", it's his poetry.

I often think of Steven when I'm faced, yet again, with the issue of detachment. I can't help but think how he was right about it, that Carmelites "get it". 99% of obstacles to the spiritual life seem related to detachment issues.

But I'm Already Married, How Can I Get Engaged?

On the work front, am semi-fascinated by the new-found emphasis on camaraderie and engagement. You know something's up when they spring for free beer and pizza at a nearby watering hole/restaurant. It's as though Uncle Employer has read some psychology and group dynamics and has determined to make sure that being well-loved counts. Indeed, the whole new customercentric focus makes those things understandable. I survived all the cuts made for job effectiveness; will I survive cuts made on personality, outgoingness? Of course if you hang around long enough there's bound to be something that will go to your weak point.

It feels a farce, but it's a farce they intend to put some muscle behind. Even were we to get all the questions 100% "correct" that would result in too much explaining. Perfect scores for engagement are not the endgame. I took some joy in pointing out, albeit a foolish risk to do so, that it's odd that those groups who didn't actually work on their engagement ended up having higher engagement than we did. But our manager is a strict constructionist when it comes to things of this nature. A very much by-the-book, follower-of-rules guy. I can't tell if he really believes in it, or is just crossing his t's and dotting his i's. It is interesting that none of the other managers took it seriously enough to actually complete the requirements. I think it may be related to how secure they feel in their job.

(This post, by the way, swimming in commas as it is, is dedicated to Amy Welborn Dubruiel who apparently has a laptop without a working comma.)

November 15, 2010

November 14, 2010

Letter from today's Columbus Dispatch...

There's nothing more romantic than lost causes, such as the aim of the group "Democrats for Life". God bless them, may their tribe increase:
From a pro-life perspective, President Barack Obama made three strategic errors that cost Democrats the 2010 election:

First was the reversal of the Mexico City policy in his second week in office, which supported organizations that promote and perform abortions in other countries. It came across like a hidden agenda and betrayal for pro-life Obama voters.

Second was the reversal of President George W. Bush's embryonic stem-cell research through executive order.

Third, the straw that broke the camel's back was the strong-arming of Congress to eliminate the Stupak amendment on the health-care-reform bill. The amendment would have prohibited abortion coverage in the public health-care option and barred any federal subsidies for plans that included abortion purchased on the new insurance exchanges.

That ill-considered move essentially handed the GOP what it needed to label it as a pro-abortion bill and call the entire bill into question with voters.

On Nov. 2, our Democratic leadership got yet another lesson, like in 2004, that ignoring, alienating and taking pro-life voters for granted is a recipe for Democratic defeat. Those pro-life Democrats who abandoned Stupak were a large group among the election losers.

Better still, the Democratic Party should lose the albatross of abortion advocacy with Roe vs. Wade, foisted on us in the first place by five Republican-appointed justices (out of seven concurring opinions) and retained for us by four Republican justices (out of four concurring opinions). The GOP was smart enough to get rid of this hot potato, and we Democrats have been dumb enough to pick it up, thereby bringing about continuing close elections and election losses.



Democrats for Life of Ohio

November 12, 2010

Beautiful Meditation from this Week's Office

How infrequently do I consider myself and others as temples of God!
A sermon of St Caesarius of Arles

Baptism makes every one of us into a temple of God.

My fellow Christians, today is the birthday of this church, an occasion for celebration and rejoicing. We, however, ought to be the true and living temple of God. Nevertheless, Christians rightly commemorate this feast of the church, their mother, for they know that through her they were reborn in the spirit. At our first birth, we were vessels of God’s wrath; reborn, we became vessels of his mercy. Our first birth brought death to us, but our second restored us to life.

Indeed, before our baptism we were sanctuaries of the devil; but after our baptism we merited the privilege of being temples of Christ. And if we think more carefully about the meaning of our salvation, we shall realise that we are indeed living and true temples of God. God does not dwell only in things made by human hands, nor in homes of wood and stone, but rather he dwells principally in the soul made according to his own image and fashioned by his own hand. Therefore, the apostle Paul says: The temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.

When Christ came, he banished the devil from our hearts, in order to build in them a temple for himself. Let us therefore do what we can with his help, so that our evil deeds will not deface that temple. For whoever does evil, does injury to Christ. As I said earlier, before Christ redeemed us, we were the house of the devil, but afterward, we merited the privilege of being the house of God. God himself in his loving mercy saw fit to make of us his own home. My fellow Christians, do we wish to celebrate joyfully the birth of this temple? Then let us not destroy the living temples of God in ourselves by works of evil. I shall speak clearly, so that all can understand. Whenever we come to church, we must prepare our hearts to be as beautiful as we expect this church to be. Do you wish to find this basilica immaculately clean? Then do not soil your soul with the filth of sins. Do you wish this basilica to be full of light? God too wishes that your soul be not in darkness, but that the light of good works shine in us, so that he who dwells in the heavens will be glorified. Just as you enter this church building, so God wishes to enter into your soul, for he promised: I shall live in them, I shall walk through their hearts.

Poetry Friday

Oh for the golden ten minutes in the a.m. spent cradling a cup of newborn coffee while reclining and reading the glittery prose-poems of Kenneth "Don't Call Me Ken!" Rexroth...
Autumn has returned and we return
To the same beach in the last hours...

The green spring that comes in November.
With the first rains has restored the hills.
Seals are playing in the kelp beds.
As the surf sweeps in they can be seen
Weaving over one another in
The standing water. In the granite
Cliffs are swarms of dark fish shaped patches
Of rock oriented to the flow lines
Of the hot magma.


...Eventually the will
Exhausts itself and turns, seeking grace,
To the love that suffers ignorance
And time's irresponsibility.
The Cross cannot be climbed upon.
It cannot be seized like a weapon
Against the injustice of the world.
"No one has ever seized injustice
in his bare hands and bent it back.
No one has ever tried to smash evil,
Without smashing himself and sinking
Into greater evil or despair."
The Satanic cunning represents
Itself as very strong, but just
A trifle weaker than its victim.
This is the meaning of temptation.
The Devil does not fool with fools.

You won't raise yourself by your bootstraps,
However pious and profound.
Christ was not born of Socrates,
But to a disorderly people,
In an evil time, in the flesh
Of innocence and humility.


Autumn comes
And the death of flowers, but
The flowered colored waves of
The sea will last forever
Like the pattern on the dress
Of a beautiful woman.

This Post Dedicated to Steven Riddle...

...who noted in an email the paucity of posts (say five times fast) on this blog lately. It does feel like it's been awhile since I last virtually-ink'd the white magic of a Word document or blog post equivalent. I've looked lately askance at my little word processor, preferring instead the narcotic of OPW (other people's words), of the amazon Kindle and the fascinating Robert Reich book called Supercapitalism. It's eye-opening and a fine background to what I've seen in my own workplace; half the time I think all the corporate fads that we're exposed to would be more bearable if only we knew of them in advance. And in Supercapitalism there is described less fads than long-time processes that are shaping the workplace.

Fell in read-love with the novel "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy. He's got that Steinbech romantic streak, with a willingness to risk his prose being called sentimental or over-the-top. I appreciate the desire to be lyrical, given how rare it is these days in modern novelists. Tried my best to go at the other Arthur Philips' novels but they are a whole different animal than "The Song is You". Conroy's novel is a pretty darn appealing yarn about a man who waits eleven years for his true love, a nun, to become his wife. Fortunately she is discharged of her sisterly obligation with the full blessing of the church.

* * *

Posting dreams is the last refuge of a shark-jumper, but last night had a repeat dream from what seems like years ago, that I discovered a huge old, finely-bound volume with the title Justice and Mercy, which I eagerly leafed through looking for the "answer", for whether mercy or judgement triumphs, only to come to the end and learn the book was printed/written by an evangelical church and was thus dogmatically suspect, even should I find the answer.

* * *

Is there a song in the universe deeper than Rio by Duran Duran? It's the Proust of four-minute fifty-second rock songs, chock-full of the nostalgia of longing and the longing of nostalgia.

How evocative the refrain!: "Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand / Just like that river twistin' thru a dusty land / and when she shines, she really shows you all she can / Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande!"

In the foggy haze of my 20s I thought the lyric had Rio dancing "on the Sands", the casino in Vegas, but how much better is the singular sand with its pure vision of a beach full of the elemental things: heat, wind, water the saltiness of blood, and all things estrogenic. Dancing on sand is a perfect image in part because of the degree of difficulty. Anyone can dance on a slick dance floor under the cover of strobed disco lights; only the pure can dance under the transparency-providing sun on step-deadening sand. It's like dancing on water.

The next line, "just like that river twistin' through a dusty land" evokes a man thirstily in search of God and brings to mind the Brooks & Dunn lyric about a "cool glass of water." The verb "twistin'" is meant to remind us of Rio's dance and "dusty" of the great thirst of both the land for this river and the singer for Rio.

"And when she shines, she really shows you all she can" tells us that when Rio is at her best, she is telling us as much as she can safely tell about herself without losing our respect. It's important to note that she's not showing all she has, but all she can, meaning that there are unexplored depths. This is a veiled euphemism to God, to how he shows us all we are capable of grasping.

"Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande!": here we have the confirmation of what we earlier suspected, that is that Rio can dance on water. Also note the thrice repetition of "Rio" in this line. The singer achieves an ecstatic state merely by repeated the beloved's name.

Later we have "And I might find her, if I'm looking like I can."

This sings directly to the male's heart, a hunter's heart that humbly realizes that finding his prey is dependent on intangibles. "If I'm looking like I can" is as accurate a statement as was ever made because it consists not of a list of the hunter's assets but if he's looking like he can. Purists may call this tautological it is what it is.

* * *

Sigh. It's come to this: I received a work email requesting I go to a meeting concerning how to "establish my personal brand". Branding, like sola scriptura, has come to the individual. I'm thinking my "brand" of being a beer-drinking, lame Christian perpetually longing for a vacation may not be the best thing to advertise.

* * *

"Your comment is awaiting moderation." goes the Wordpress commentary. With God our comments are moderated in real time.

November 09, 2010

List o'Tuesday

Favorite Beers

Harvest Moon
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Tumblr
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Lion Stout

Favorite Liberals

Robert Reich
Eugene Robinson
Peter Beinart
Christopher Hitchens
Alicia Menendez

November 08, 2010

Link o'rama

Ode to Daylight Savings Time:

The decks we built, the lawns we nursed,
We’ll next see on March the 1st,
And soon we and our time-zone fellows
Will feel like human portobellos...

DST, you clock magician,
You moved the sun to good position.
You did your job and never pandered
To devotees of Eastern
Standard —
* * *

I find the subject of national catechisms interesting, vis-a-vis the universal catechism. One might be tempted to think the latter is sufficient, but there are regional differences. I wonder if any Catlick blogger has examined differences in tone/emphasis between USCCB catechism and the universal one?

* * *

Interesting post from the Chesterton Society of Ireland on why Chesterton doesn't matter.
* * *

<--- Wow, the poll results on the left side of the blog on Republican prez candidates couldn't be more split. I kind of like Haley Barbour.
* * *

I'm not at all surprised Nancy Pelosi wants to maintain her leadership status. She who wrote the book titled "Power", seeks it avidly.
* * *

I find it shocking that Keith Olbermann was suspended for concretizing in money what he says every day in words. Jonah Goldberg writes:
"the larger problem with these kinds of rules is that they do little to prevent media bias and a great deal to hide an important form of evidence of it. Banning liberal journalists from giving money doesn’t prevent them from being liberal, it just gives them a bit more plausibility when they deny it...It doesn’t fool anyone, but gives the accused a lawyerly rebuttal to accurate accusations."
* * *

Pat Conroy has a new non-fiction book out about his reading life that would seem irresistible to me. It's less a question of if I buy it but when.
* * *

So here we have Jack Donvan, the all-seeing, all-knowing voiceover for ABC's This Week, insisting the midterm election wasn't all that historic. Fine, but is there any chance in Hades that if the Dems had won by that landslide that This Week would be the voice of moderation? Double standards reveal poor sportmanship.

Notes from a Retreat

Heard retreat master Fr. W say that about half of Catholics shouldn't be presenting themselves to Communion. Said that he doesn't want to have to install "metal detectors at the communion rail". Said that this came up during the pro-abort politicians receiving Communion, and how it opened up a can of worms. Said that we need to catechize; many don't know, thankfully, that they shouldn't be presenting themselves for Communion. The greatest sin is sacrilege, is receiving Christ unworthily. That's why the priest prays, "May this communion not bring me condemnation."

* * *

He said that two kinds of love, eros and agape, were brought together in Christ on the Cross. Eros <> sex. Because Jesus was simultaneously offering Himself to God (eros) and laying down his life for us (agape). Beautiful imagery about the Vine and the branches: what do vines do? They split themselves open to let the branch come out. .

Said Jesus didn't use his divine powers to defeat the devil (in the garden and in the desert) but purely human power. His divine power was limited until after the crucifixion and resurrection. It was the faith of the people that worked the miracles, such that he couldn't do miracles in his home town because there was too little faith. It was only after the Resurrection that his powers came to such fulfillment, as a message to us that our greatest powers lay only after the cross. Remember, Jesus was still in Heaven, in his divine nature, while his earthly soul was on earth.

The wounds on Christ's resurrected body were not to show us what we did to Him, but to show the devil that death, wounds have no power. It's to use the devil's greatest advantage, death, and to use it to save us. It sort of a taunt to the devil.

* * *

Fr. Wehner said that seminarians may want to be priests for reasons A, B and C, but remain priests because of D, E & F. Similarly we may marry because of beauty, attraction or what not but stay married for completely new reasons.

Faith alone leads to superstition. Reason alone leads, ironically, to madness.

It is unthinkable that Jesus lust after a woman because He created her and that would be incest.

* * *

I was delighted to see donuts after breakfast and and I thought about the coolness of us having the same reaction to the goodness of donuts. Our shared humanity - that which I find delightful, others do too. A simple thing.

"One holy, catholic, apostolic church" is an event, not a thing. It's the entire span of time from the conception of God the womb through the Resurrection. Sacraments are "outside of time" and can thus bring us to those events again. "Sacrament" comes from the word for "mystery" which means "things we can't see but can experience." (Like love, patriotism, etc...).

Christ made the Trinity visible, the Church makes Christ visible, and we make the Church visible. Faith becomes flesh.

* * *

Visited the chapel to pray the afternoon liturgy of the hours and prayers of petition. Then read some of the book "Exercising Your Soul" and I'm surprised by how often the author mirrors something I just learned from the padre here: "Humans were created to be greater than angels!" and "Perfect union with God happens in death." The good padre says that the definition of "saved" is to be face-to-face with God, which happens only when we die. None of us are "saved" yet by that definition, contrary our Protestant brothers and sisters.

One difference is the approach of sin. Fr. W preaches against it strongly, while the author of "Exercising" argues we focus too much on it, saying "we become what we focus on. If we think we're a loser, we'll become a loser. Two thousand years of focussing on sin has got us...what?" Fr. W says that we must not negotiate with evil, not compromise by thinking "a little sin is okay" or "I can follow this or that church teaching but not that one."

November 05, 2010

Diaristic Wanderings

The big news in Central Ohio this week was that the breath of Old Man Winter came early. It got people's attention, to the point of sartorial change. Coats and hats are now the de rigueur, and d├ęcolletage a bit more rare.

October was a fine little sally, a stepping out gingerly into the colder realms of the year. Gently she led us out of the land of milk and honey, so I can't complain. In some ways I forget what a sublime creature she is on her own, notwithstanding her precursor status.
. . .

I feel so pluperfectly professional what with the Friday Wall Street Journal peeking out from a pocket of my European shoulder-bag. But looks can be deceiving: the bag carries my netbook and not a laptop and the Journal, in this case, was found abandoned in a bathroom stall.
. . .

Slogged 2.3 miles around a track and then 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer as payment for my dietary sins. Took Wednesday off and boy did that light sing, finely distilled light, there in the kitchen and out on the back patio. Tucked the garden in for the year since all the tomato plants were weeping from the first hard frost a couple days ago. It was like old times not forgotten, sitting out reading about ancient Cincinnati ("and then the dinosaurs came...") in Vas You Ever in Zinzinnati?. My only regret is not imbibing more poetry and fiction and spiritual stuff, preferably all three by reading Chesterton. Keep meaning to read "Parched", the first memoir of Heather King. I got it for like $4 on the 'net but keep forgetting it.
. . .

More big news: devoured my favorite breakfast in all of life, McDonald's, despite it being subpar in quality: the cinnamon melt flavor was a bit off, and the scrambled eggs were hard. But the sausage was pluperfect, and the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit was the usual. Splurged on a Wild Berry and it hit the spot. Will miss McDs breakfast this weekend but not the calories.
. . .

Reading the OED came in the mail today. Looks like a delicious little read. Trying to get hooked up with a new Philips novel but so far quality of the other two seems a bit questionable so far. Thinking also of getting a new biography of Mickey Mantle called "The Last Boy", something suffused with the sort of nostalgia I like.
. . .

Surprised to learn that Jody Bottum stepped down from editing First Things in order to complete a book.

Who Am I?

Mine is not glamorous work though I do get my share of ladies' undies, if slightly used. My hours are early as those of morning television hosts. Travel is intrinsic to my job and I feel an instinctive sympathy with the cowboys of the old West given my "daily roundup". It's a job of brawn more than brains and is a Luddite's dream.

Answer: (in white "ink"; highlight for best results): garbage man

Oh If Only We Had Gridlock in '09...

I amused by the MSM's hyper-fear of gridlock. From Darwin Catholic:
What both rightists and leftists should keep in mind after elections like this one and 2008 as well is that elections in the US are decided by a swing bloc which might charitably be described as pragmatic/a-political (or uncharitably as generally ignorant of political ideology and policy.) In 2008, that bloc looked at the landscape and said to itself, "Things aren't going so well, and Obama seems like he has exciting new ideas." This year, those same people looked around and said, "I keep hearing about 'stimulus' and debt and the health care bill, but all I can see right now is that a lot of people are out of work and insurance costs are going up. Let's throw the bums out."

Obama bet big that either he would have the magical ability to fix the economy, or it would fix itself, within two years. He lost that one. Now Republicans are betting that things will either look better in two years, or it will be possible to pin remaining problems on Obama. Only time will tell.

As someone who does have a formed political and economic philosophy, it's frustrating to me that elections are decided the way they are, though probably less so than for progressives since gridlock is not all that bad a thing according to my philosophy, while theirs require that the helping hand of statism shepherd us firmly and rapidly into the brave new world that is ahead.

How Millennial Are You?

Me, not so much:

George "Sparky" Anderson, R.I.P.

November 04, 2010

Takes All Kinds

From Reading the OED, quoting Thomas Nashe from The Anatomie of Absurditie concerning the "eight kinds of drunks":
1. Ape-drunke - "he leapes, and sings, and hollowes, and daunceth for the heavens."

2. Lion-drunke - "he flings the pots abut the house, calls his Hostesse whore, breaks the glasse windows with his dagger, and is apt to quarrell with any man that speaks to him."

3. Swine-drunke - "heavy lumpish, and sleepie, and crises for a little more drinke."

4. Sheepe-drunke - "wise in his owne conceipt, when he cannot bring forth a right word."

5. Mawdlen-drunke - "when a fellowe will weepe for kindnes in the midst of his Ale, and kisse you, saying; By God Captaine I loue thee, goe thy waies thou dost not thinke so often of me as I do of thee, I would (if it pleased God) I could not loue thee so well as I doo, and then he puts his finger in his eie, and cries."

6. Martin-drunke - "when a man drunke and drinkes himselfe sober ere he stirre."

7. Goat-drunke - "made lascivious by alcohol"

8. Foxe-drunke - "when he is craftie drunke, as many of the Dutch may bee, and neuer bargain but when they are drunke."

Elective Politics

Too much political stimulation Tuesday night. Was compulsively checking Twitter feeds and Dispatch election results to the point of parody. John Kasich won a surprisingly close race for governor; you get the feeling he'd have never have one except in this Republican tsunami, which takes away some of the gilt tint of the victory. But whether he won by 1 or 20 points, he's now governor, or will be shortly, and we're going to see up close and personal just what a real governor looks like. Now we get our own Christie and it's going to be interesting to see what happens. I do wonder, now, at the wisdom of some of my colleagues feeing for the greener pastures of the state guvmint teat. Looks like risky time to be sucklin'.

The election is a reaction to the tremendous overreach in the Obama administration, a choice they made willingly even knowing the potential result because they reckoned, quite rightly, that 2008-2009 was THE period to ram health care through since the presidential party always loses seats in the midterms. They gamed the system about as well as can be done, realizing they were given a gift in terms of the anti-Bush backlash (due to a desire to punish him for Iraq) and pro-Obama sentiment (given the love for the underdog and for the potential for absolving white guilt). Walking voters through a recession is small potatoes as a legacy; Obama coldly calculated that the long term favored historic legislation aimed at making the middle class more dependent on government and creating more debt for future generations to pay.

November 02, 2010

"Election Day" & "Day of the Dead"

...and sometimes, especially in Chicago, the dead vote.

November 01, 2010


AP story tells us we're going to get "free, expensive" contraception:
... another birth control revolution may be on the horizon: free contraception for women in the U.S., thanks to the new health care law.

That could start a shift toward more reliable – and expensive – forms of birth control...
Silly liberal media strikes again.

McMurtry Book

Read with great interest the chapter in the Larry McMurtry autobiographical work about his bypass heart surgery and subsequent inability to read (he never uses the word 'depression', but that's surely what it was). His inability to find pleasure in reading, that "most stable of pleasures", was due, he thinks, to the violence perpetrated on him in the form of his chest being sawed open, his heart & lung function replaced with a machine for some minutes. He takes an almost mystical view of it, that he was a different person after the surgery, that he died in some sense. You can tell he has regrets, that he let doctors have a control that he wouldn't think of allowing in any other facet of his life. Yes they are the experts, but you can tell McMurtry would've preferred to take his chances of having a heart attack over the alternative. He hangs on wistfully to the last books he read before the operation, Woolf & Proust, seeing them as last links to his old self. The great advances we've made are not without their costs, and McMurtry's distrust of the unnatural finds a sympathetic audience here.