Monday, February 4

Hmmm. A few months ago, the American Spectator changed format and direction, and along with it, dropped its website. Apparently, some associated with the old Spectator have started a new website that's designed to provide much of the same content as was found at the old website. There. Here it is if you'd like to take a look.
Interesting. Judge Scalia comes out of the closet on the whole Catholic/Death penalty thing:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday criticized his church's position against the death penalty, saying that Catholic judges who believe capital punishment is wrong should resign.

The devout Roman Catholic said after giving it "serious thought" he could not agree with the church's stand on the issue.

The Vatican under Pope John Paul II has been strongly anti-death penalty, and the pope has personally appealed to leaders to commute death sentences. In 1999, he said capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are part of a "culture of death."

Scalia told Georgetown students that the church has a much longer history of endorsing capital punishment.

"No authority that I know of denies the 2,000-year-old tradition of the church approving capital punishment," he said. "I don't see why there's been a change."

Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) has signed on to play Martin Luther in a film.. What, is he going to do a Robert "Raging Bull" DeNiro and gain like a million pounds?

By the way, Joseph is, of course, the brother of Ralph. Both are the children of the late Jennifer Lash, a writer who penned a very nice little book called On Pilgrimage about her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in the wake of cancer treatments.

Nice idea An Anglican parish in Canada has produced saints cards featuring the portraits of local townspeople. (via Relapsed Catholic.)
A good introduction, if you're not already familiar with him, to Michael Behe, a professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University whose questioning of Darwinian theory is quite suggestive, even to a non-scientist:

According to Behe, he does not infer design from what we do not know, but rather, from what we do know. “To Darwin, the cell — and every microbiological function — was an unknowable black box; that is, it did neat and interesting functions, but nobody knew how it actually worked. Now that it is possible to look into this box, it is necessary to try and apply Darwin’s theory to it.”

And the results? Surprising.

Who says they don't make Catholic movies? Did you see the ad during the Super Bowl for 40 Days and 40 Nights? The plot: After being dumped, a young man decides to give up sex for Lent. Spirituality lives in the cinema.
Apparently New York's attorney general is backing off a bit from his threat to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers. Michelle Malkin writes that after some protests, the AG has let some conciliatory comments emit from his office. But, as she points, out, the backtracking comes with no thanks to New York Republicans or even the Archbishop of New York. (Bishop of Buffalo chimed in loud and clear though. Good for him.)
You know we're in the midst of some kind of cultural shift when even The New York Times is willing to report, at great length, that the whole self-esteem movement is absolutely bogus and ill-founded:

Last year alone there were three withering studies of self-esteem released in the United States, all of which had the same central message: people with high self-esteem pose a greater threat to those around them than people with low self-esteem and feeling bad about yourself is not the cause of our country's biggest, most expensive social problems.

What's next? A front page story in the NYTimes about the connections between abortion and breast cancer?


Anyway, read this article. If you're a teacher or someone who has to deal with administrators, counselors and others telling you to always put "self-esteem" at the center of your concern for children or youth, copy this and force them to read it.

Did I mention that we sat in the front row at the circus? I mean - the front row. On the floor. Ten feet from the elephants. Also ten feet from the tiger act, featuring Bruno, a paunchy, shirtless Teutonic-looking trainer with a mess of wild blond hair, a fellow who obviously had seen better days. One of the tigers was particularly unimpressed - kept disembarking from his stool, messing with one of the other tigers, messing on his platform, snarling at Herr Bruno. Joseph did a lot of wide-eyed staring during the first part of the circus. Then he fell asleep.


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