MORE FUN WITH SIN!: Lots of interesting emails in re my post on original sin. Here are a bunch of responses, mostly cashings-out of the concept of "total depravity."Aaron Armitage of Calvinist Libertarians replies here. I approve of the language of "common grace." Not as sure about the rest of the post. I am not sure that he means what I would mean if I said that stuff. However, I am way too tired right now to think these things through--sorry--operating on only four and a half hours of sleep. … [Read more...]

"KISSABLE PICTURES": I DON'T WANNA CHITTER-CHAT. In which Jen and John drink mint juleps, our music journalist has Sunday dinner with his family, and actual kissable pictures appear. This segment is...what... PG-13 rated, I guess? But the section that precedes it is very much not, so click at your own risk.The prose in this episode is workaday at best. There's one bit that spent the past four days beating me up and stealing my lunch money--I wonder if you can guess which bit it is!Read the … [Read more...]

VIOLENCE IN AMERICAN PRISONS: Actually, I want to give you all excerpts from the article I linked in the previous post. Here they are:Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates.In Pennsylvania and some other states, inmates are routinely stripped in front of other inmates before being moved to a new prison … [Read more...]

Home is a blogwatch You've got to escape Want to go and wander in the tickertape...Dappled Things: Suggestions for celebrating Mary's month.Healing Iraq: "Not much has been going on in Basrah lately. Traffic and movement has returned to 'normal', a few streets where IP stations are located are still blocked. Explosives were found near a primary school which caused some panic among concerned Basrawis, another small bomb was dismantled close to a primary health care clinic which caused me to … [Read more...]

"When I devised this story I foresaw the likelihood that a class of readers and commentators would suppose that I was at great pains to conceal exactly what I was at great pains to suggest..." --Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend … [Read more...]

TITLE TK: Yep, another post about good titles--and this time I don't even have a good title for it!First off, I've been reading many author-bloggers' theories about titling, and I haven't yet found anything especially illuminating. Maybe there's nothing to be said about titling, and the only way to learn what works is to ruminate on a list of beloved titles? But I'd be interested to see if you all have more articulated thoughts.Second, God of the Machine has a good post here, although I … [Read more...]

A TIME FOR HONESTY: Great letter from Archbishop Myers of Newark; stuff in bold is my emphasis:Our times demand honesty. It is possible to value sincerely one's Catholic heritage and to revere one's Catholic forebears and yet not to have Catholic faith. ......Clearly each human person has a conscience and should follow it because by definition conscience is the intellectual act of judgment of what is right and wrong to do or not to do. It is the last best judgment of what one ought to … [Read more...]