God bless the business leader who ends up wealthy, while benefiting our economy. God bless the village smithy who does his job joyfully. Both can be happy, both are people of accomplishment. There is a question on my social media account that points out that a famous teen from a famous family is (almost) a billionaire. “What have you done?” runs the question in the posts. I haven’t made much money and am not famous, but then those were never… Read more

Some skills are easy and if nature is allowed to take her course, most people learn them. We can tell one object from another with little education and simple counting is not hard to grasp. Those skills are not why we go to schools. Even reading, key to so much understanding, can be learned before school or without formal schooling by many children. There are some skills that are much harder. Few can do calculus without a teacher, physics as… Read more

Being a loud person means being, much of the time, an absurd (or hopefully a fun) person. I have always been the kind of guy who does not need a drink to wear a lamp shade on his head, because . . . “Look! A lampshade! Let’s put that my head!” My Aunt Karen once said: “If it is fun, you ought to be able to do it without liquor.” This is true, though putting a lampshade on your head… Read more

My pastors have worked hard for little pay. You could (and can!) call them at any time and they will come and help if they can. My pastor came to the hospital when my son died and did the funeral for this baby born into Paradise. If someone gave him a jet, Father would have sold it to give to the poor of the parish or to pay down the mortgage. My image of a pastor is a man like… Read more

Some things change. Abraham Lincoln never sent a text to the Tsar of all the Russias. Some things do not change: tyrants losing an argument have some “go to” insults. These can vary, but a core of insults exist and they do not change for a reason. The tyrant believes he deserves to rule.  As a result, he is rarely crude in his put-downs. Instead, he will write or talk as if he obviously is right, ethical, or on the… Read more

“Justice is whatever benefits the strong!” In years of leading Republic discussions, some students have agreed with this wretched idea of Thrasymachus’ that justice is whatever the strong do. The fit survive and that is not just what is, but what should be. The Christian says that all God’s children, the weak and the strong, have a right to life and that is a part of justice. Whichever idea is right, Plato is on the same side as the Christian, siding… Read more

Winning is not a winning move if we are wrong. That’s obvious, because most of us do not mean to be wrong. We are wrong accidentally. After all, we love the truth, believe in reason . . . And stuff. Maybe. Or perhaps we are being too easy on our motives. If we are fitting in with our team, supporting opinions of the people we admire, then perhaps we are deceiving ourselves. This, I am told, is easy to do…. Read more

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is the nicest film of the year. When I said this, a friend said she thought I would love the film and was surprised by my tepid response. “Nice” has been devalued to the point that if we do not love or adore a motion picture then we must not like it. Fred Rogers uses words such as “like,” “nice” and “friend” throughout the film and all his life. Part of the much needed understated… Read more

“It’s just words.” “Beware the quibbles.” When you hear someone impatient with careful thought, defining terms, or understanding what the experts say (even if  they turn out to be wrong) beware. An evil of our time is impatience: an evil that has grown every decade from World War II to now. You can be overly “careful.” There are a few, a blessed few, foolish souls dedicated to over precision and unable to come to conclusions out of an impulse to… Read more

My dear mom liked to collect very old books that were splendidly, terribly bad. She has a wonderful reading voice with great books, but she came into glory when she read bad literature. Mom once read a Christian novel from the Edwardian era that had gangsters saying gangster-things like “Fork over your cabbage.” People had eyes that were “twin pools.” We laughed . . . Hard. Perhaps the most endless entertainment came from books of “science” from by-gone days. Mothers… Read more

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