CALLING ALL DISGRUNTLED CATHOLICS: Father Jim Tucker wants YOU! Here's his post, in its entirety.In October, our parish will launch a new program designed to reach out to non-practicing, English-speaking Catholics in our area. I'll be the clerical point-man and am working with our youth director (himself a convert from Anglicanism), who is the mastermind behind it all.The structure of the program is fairly well set: it will feel very un-churchy to Catholics and is centered around what … [Read more...]

HERNANDO DE SOTO IN ACTION!: Here is a story illustrating the points De Soto has been making throughout his (so far truly excellent) book, The Mystery of Capital: "Kenyans buy into slum plan." (De Soto has been emphasizing the need for property rights; this story makes that point and also notes physical improvements in the buildings and a sense of personal and communal ownership.) Excerpts:Last year, a group of Nairobi slum dwellers banded together and asked the city council to give them the … [Read more...]

"Extralegality is often perceived as a 'marginal' issue similar to black markets in advanced nations, or poverty, or unemployment. The extralegal world is typically viewed as a place where gangsters roam, sinister characters of interest only to the police, anthropologists, and missionaries."In fact it is legality that is marginal; extralegality has become the norm. The poor have already taken control of vast quantities of real estate and production. Those international agencies that jet their … [Read more...]

TORTURE MEMO: Here's a New York Times piece on the March 2003 "president can legally order torture" memo, in which weirdness abounds:"...The memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, also said that any executive branch officials, including those in the military, could be immune from domestic and international prohibitions against torture for a variety of reasons."One reason, the lawyers said, would be if military personnel believed that they were acting on orders from … [Read more...]

Blogwatch, blogwatch, blogwatch, Where did our love go?Church of the Masses on how to provoke a new Renaissance: "...There is nothing egalitarian about artistic talent, a fact that is an ongoing source of outrage to the melancholic Marxists who hold sway in pretty much every Humanities department at the top universities. I remember one of my grad school professors becoming enraged at me when I asked if she thought any of my class' final projects were ultimately any good. 'How dare you hinder … [Read more...]

"To get an idea of just how difficult the [rural-to-city] migrant's life was, my research team and I opened a small garment workshop on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Our goal was to create a new and perfectly legal business. The team then began filling out the forms, standing in the lines, and making the bus trips into central Lima to get all the certifications required to operate, according to the letter of the law, a small business in Peru. They spent six hours a day at it and finally … [Read more...]

"THROUGH THE YEARS WE ALL WILL BE TOGETHER": IN THE BLEAK MID-WINTER. So I promised you guys Ray Bradbury pastiche. Then I promised you excellent aliens. Instead, you get a horrible depressing Christmas story.Sorry.Luckily for all of us, this one will be short--there should only be about four sections. The first installment is posted. The first problem I have noticed is that the dialogue-to-description ratio shifts randomly at different points in the narrative, because I am lame. Feel free … [Read more...]