PARTS OF A HOLE: Dappled Things' sermon for Christmas. Describing that feeling of insufficiency, of thirst in a salt sea, that is one of the greatest motive forces in history....The problem seen by the Jews and pagans is not a long-gone problem of the distant past. As long as humanity exists, there will also exist the problem of the emptiness of the human heart. What can possibly fill it? It is a problem that confronts us all....From the poorest peasant to the Queen upon her throne, … [Read more...]

SING HO! FOR THE BIBLICAL GENEALOGIES!: Mark Shea has an excellent post on, as he puts it, "Why the Biblical genealogies aren't boring." … [Read more...]

"I now know that if you describe things as better than they are, you are considered to be romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you will be called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you will be thought of as a satirist." --The Naked Civil Servant … [Read more...]

HEY, MY REGISTER COLUMN ON THE MASSACHUSETTS SSM DECISION IS ONLINE! I didn't know that. (I note they declined to use my draft headline, "From the State That Brought You Harvard.")It's not every day a court gets to stand against all of recorded history.That's what the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did Nov. 18 when, in Goodridge v. Department of Health, it ruled that marriage in Massachusetts is no longer the union of a man and a woman but the union of "two persons." The court argued … [Read more...]

HITS AND MISSES 2003: Stuff I wrote on this blog in the old year. Some of my archives are Bloggered, so this is incomplete; shrug.January: Tradition vs. the past: "...The first and most basic point is that tradition is not about restoring some real or imagined past era. Tradition gives an institution (a nation, a debating society, a university) a persona; it makes the institution more like a person. And this is necessary in order to make the institution a possible object of human loyalties, … [Read more...]

"In the sixties, if you tell someone that you are a practitioner of advertising, you will still be treated as though you had said you were in burglary, but morality has changed. The increased scale of your operations will lend you respectability. Who, except possibly the Postmaster General, would refuse to shake hands with one of the Great Train Robbers?" --The Naked Civil Servant … [Read more...]

DEATH ON THE JOB: Via Amptoons I find Confined Space, a blog devoted to workplace safety and health. You should go there now for the NYTimes pieces at the top of the page: "A Trench Caves In, A Young Worker Is Dead. Is It a Crime?" and "US Rarely Seeks Charges for Deaths in Workplace." Sad, angering, and gripping stories.A while back, I did a chunk of research and several interviews on various OSHA reform proposals, for a "news analysis" story that never quite jelled. I generally prefer … [Read more...]