Archive for February, 2014

Oddly, the time and location have been changed for Tom’s talk:


And here is a map of the campus, though it would probably be just as easy to come to the campus and ask the nearest person where Egan Hall is:


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Some Winter

My sister posted this photo on Facebook the other day:


The caption said that it was an ice wave on Lake Michigan. No one questioned this, but when my brother tried to find the location so he could hike out and see it, he found that the photo in fact was taken in Antarctica.

But it is that kind of winter, the kind where any tall tale seems credible.

“Minnesota Man Freezes Balls Off”? Completely believable.

“Ohio Dog Frozen to Fire Hydrant While Peeing”? Well, sure.

“Mobile Bay Freezes Over”? Makes sense to me.

It is that kind of winter. I mean, this photo was NOT taken in Antarctica, but on Lake Michigan:




I am nearing the end of four consecutive days off work, and boy did I need them. I was tired of Winter before the actual solstice; it started early and hard and has not let up, in neither snowfall nor frigid tempertures. I don’t remember ever being this exhausted from carrying mail. I return to work on Tuesday, when it’s supposed to thaw, and then am off for two days so I can go to Steubenville to see Tom Storck speak at Republican, er, Franciscan University, and hopefully by Friday the spell will be broken and life easier…


male-cardinalAnd I believe that the cardinal that sings outside my window every morning is proof that God loves me.

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Some St Valentine’s Cards

I drew cards for the fambly (my five year old’s term), which they found with chocolate bars at the breakfast table this morning:

val 1val 2001val 77val 88val 2002val 2

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Jesus Rifles


Philip Giraldi is a former intelligence officer and all around scary guy. He writes for The American Conservative and is among the writers that I generally skim over. I came across this, however, and thought it worth sharing:

The connection between America’s wars in the Middle East—and its wars more generally—with the more fundamentalist forms of Christianity in the United States is striking. Opinion polls suggest that the more religiously conservative one is, the more one will support overseas wars or even what many might describe as war crimes. Fully 60 percent of self-described evangelicals supported torturing suspected terrorists in 2009, for example. That is somewhat puzzling, as Christianity is, if anything, a religion of peace that only reluctantly embraced a “just war” concept that was deliberately and cautiously evolved to permit Christians—under very limited circumstances of imminent threat—to fight to defend themselves.

To be sure, some Christian conservatives who might be described as Armageddonists regard America’s Asian wars as part and parcel of the precursor events that will lead to the Second Coming of Christ, which they eagerly look forward to. Also, a non-interventionist friend of mine who comes from a religiously conservative background explained to me how the contradiction partly derives from the fact that many evangelical Christians hardly relate to the New Testament at all. While they can recite scripture and verse coming from the Old Testament, they are frequently only marginally conversant with the numerous episodes in the New Testament that attest to Jesus’s extolling the virtues of peacemaking and loving one’s neighbor. If true, that means that many evangelicals are much more imbued with the values of an eye-for-an-eye or smiting Philistines than they are with the Sermon on the Mount.

There has undeniably been pushback coming from some evangelical leaders as well as from many younger religious conservatives against America’s constant diet of God-anointed warfare, but given that those who describe themselves as evangelical Christians tend to disproportionately support America’s wars, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that fundamentalist viewpoints prevail in certain quarters in the military. There has indeed been considerable media reporting on the impact of evangelical Christians on the armed services, to include a bizarre account of US military sniper sights being inscribed with citations from the Bible, leading one critic to suggest that the soldiers were being issued “Jesus rifles.”

You can read the rest, about the predominance of fundamentalist Christianity in the military, here: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/old-testament-army/

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When Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Guadium was released I read it online, not hurriedly but excitedly. I wanted to reread it slowly and meditatively , but as I do not like reading anything that is not brief on a screen unless I have to, I ordered it in book form, and eagerly awaited its appearance in my mailbox.

And waited.

And waited.

Apparently I ordered it long before it was in fact in print, but yesterday I finally received my copy.

I am looking forward to reading this the way things are meant to be read: curled up, highlighter in hand, with coffee in the morning and beer at night.

Further reflections, quotes, and musings may follow…

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My old friend Tom Storck, a leading thinker on matters of Catholic Social Teaching, is speaking at the Franciscan University of Steubenville on February 19 at 9pm. The topic is “Capitalism, the god that failed.”  The lecture will be held in the St. Joseph’s Seminar Room and will be followed by a question and answer period.

I realize that 9pm on a Wednesday night is not a very good time for most people, but if you live in eastern Ohio or the upper Ohio Valley you may want to come and hear Tom. I probably don’t have to tell you how important that he is speaking at such an Americanist and GOP outpost…

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Earthquakes recorded in Youngstown, Ohio, from 1776 to 2010:  0

Earthquakes recorded in 2011 after a nearby well pumping wastewater produced by fracking came online: 109

Earthquakes in Youngstown since the wastewater well was shut down December 31, 2011:  0

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