Living a Good Life in a Real City Requires Thinking

Recently a nice fellow on social media suggested my advice on some practical question proved I should move to the Shire and write books for children and on Plato. I would if I could. The Shire would be an excellent place to live, Thorin and Company always welcome, while the chance to write books for [Read More…]

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A Glutton for Argument: Feast But Do Not Gorge on Words

Argument can help save your soul (by God’s grace) or be a way to damn it. Bad arguments happen when a husband and wife who disagree disagreeably. He cannot see why she cannot see what is obvious while she cannot understand why he does not understand the truth. Each pound away to win. Sometimes one will [Read More…]

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Do Not Expectorate: Confusing Social Norms and Moral Law

My Mother likes to tell us about the noble effort of the town of Clendenin, West Virginia, to stop spitting outside the Smoke Shop.  They put up a sign that said: “Do Not Expectorate,” since a sign that said: “Do Not Spit” would have been vulgar. Needless to say, those old boys at the Smoke Shop [Read More…]

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Books for Baby with Substance? Help is on the Way!

I love the story of David and Goliath. I promise I do, but there is only so many times you can tell the story before wishing for something (anything!) different. My family is full of story tellers and there are few things more illuminating than a good tale, but to tell a story well requires [Read More…]

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A Green and Pleasant Land (An Idea from Homer’s Odyssey)

Our school is building a fence, though we are paying for it. The fence is defining where the school is and where it is not. The Bible has hero wall builders like Nehemiah and Homer writes a lot about walls and what they mean to civilization. Civilized people are wall builders, while barbarians drift. Being [Read More…]

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Speak Real!

Long ago I had a student in Spanish who asked me: “Why can’t they just speak Real?” I wondered what she meant and then I realized that she meant . . .English. At her age this was harmless enough. She had known few people who did not speak English as a first language in her [Read More…]

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Saying the Man into Being: A Spiritual Reflection on the Odyssey

We need to see the man, say what incantation is necessary to be the man. Homer’s Odyssey begins: ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, Of the man to me speak, Muse, “many ways” Notice that the Muse comes between the man and his chief characteristic in the order of the words of the line. The man is a [Read More…]

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Lessons from Mom: Asking the Right Questions

When I was a little boy, Mom would read books to me. Even when I learned to read, the sound of her voice was better and so she kept reading to the family until I left home. After she read, she would talk with us about what we had heard and ask us questions and so [Read More…]

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God, Patriotism, and Books in School

Be of good cheer! If you are discouraged about the Presidential choices we have today, imagine picking from these candidates: a former Secretary of State who became the worst President in American history, a rogue Republican who knew little or nothing about the government and had an unfit temperament for the office, while a Know [Read More…]

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Names Will Never Hurt Us (Cratylus)

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. How did such an obviously false rhyme get passed down to me on the playground?* Words are much more hurtful than getting punched. I don’t remember a single fight that still matters to me, but several slurs from elementary school still sting. [Read More…]

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