Among the Merciless and Perpetually Outraged, Mind Your Soul – UPDATED

With Meanwhile, Back in America Peggy Noonan wrote a truly excellent column this week, one so full of grieving truth that only the hackiest of partisan hacks could deny it. Those for whom Noonan has beautifully articulated the here-and-now of their concerns could not help but make note of it, but they couldn't acknowledge it with an equal measure of beauty. It was more important to them to thank her while mashing a grapefruit in her face, as Sarah Palin -- who used to have leadership skills that … [Read more...]

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Worst. Undercover Op. Ever.

It certainly must be frightening to be followed and stalked, particularly if you are an investigative reporter focused on security issues. I should think it would produce paralyzing anxiety for one's safety and certainly the safety of one's family. Nothing funny about it.Still, as sympathetic as I am to this writer's story, it's hard not to be a little amused at the idea of a private investigator who thinks that driving a black BMW while wearing a furry Fonzie jacket and pompadourish … [Read more...]

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US News Responds re Anti-Catholic Op-Ed; They’re OK with Screeds – UPDATE

The long-awaited statement from U.S. News was released yesterday evening. Editor Brian Kelly has this to say, regarding Jamie Stiehm's column dated January 7:Perceived bias on the court is a legitimate issue that U.S. News & World Report has covered for many years, from many perspectives. Our Opinion section has published pieces on the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage from all sides of the debate and, just this week, included pieces from the U.S. Conference of Catholic B … [Read more...]

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The Dark Joy of Hating Rebecca Black

While I am not remotely interested in Rebecca Black or her new song, "Saturday", I find it fascinating that merely two days after her video was published on YouTube, it boasts over 9 million hits.Think about that for a second, because it says almost nothing about Rebecca Black and a great deal about our society. Throughout social media Black is talked about and roundly mocked, and all of these people who supposedly don't like her product made haste to view her video, why?So they could … [Read more...]

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“Jesu! Jesu!” Thrilling a Crowd at Air and Space Museum

Around here, Deacon Greg Kandra is usually a sucker for flash mob videos -- I've been over them for a while, because I have a very short attention span; this one, however, got to me.It happened two days ago, at the National Air and Space Museum, where 120 members of the US Air Force Band, under the baton of Col. Larry H. Lang, flash-mobbed a mesmerized crowd:I love this because amid moonrocks and spaceships and the Spirit of St. Louis, 21st Century people of various ages, interests, … [Read more...]

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“I’ll take a bot’l o’ erl…” Brooklyn in Biloxi

Both of my parents were born in Brooklyn, but my father never betrayed it much; he'd somehow managed to lose his "deese, dems and does" in young adulthood. My mother, however -- while extremely precise in her speech for the most part -- managed to hang on to a few ear-shuddering noises specific to Cropsey Aveneue (using "bot'l" for "bottle", for example) and speak them to her dying day. I think she did it consciously, and stubbornly as a means of honoring her scrappy Scots-Irish roots.She … [Read more...]

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Crouched Behind our Ideologies; Blocked from Salvation – UPDATED

Almost a year ago, I announced that I was going to make a full-hearted effort to pull back from the temptation to ideological excess, and I completely meant it. I was tired of being angry, more than a little convinced that my anger suited the purposes of others, beyond my ken, and fed up with consenting to being bitter -- which was not only exhausting but took me nowhere I wanted to go.Here's what I've learned, so far: It's not always easy. Absent a grace-filled miracle, one can't can't … [Read more...]

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Will Leaving a Cash Tip Open Us Up to This Kind of Fraud? -UPDATED

Because my mother was a waitress who worked for mainly for tips, when my husband and I dine out we will very often strike a line through the "tips" portion of the bill, and leave our gratuity in cash. We do this for a couple of reasons -- because often food-servers need the cash to pay the babysitter when they get home; because keeping track of what tips should show up on a paycheck is difficult; because why not let people access their tips immediately?Well, we may decide to stop leaving … [Read more...]

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Patheos Hits the Public Square

I am strangely remiss and should have announced this last week, but I will plead family issues and a kid with pneumonia as reasonable distractions that made me forget to tell you about Patheos' latest feature: The Public Square.The Patheos Public Square is meant to be a gathering place, where people of various faiths can come together -- apart from blogs and echo chambers -- to dialogue on pressing issues of the day and how faith perspectives can or should influence them, and to explore … [Read more...]

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Where Government Drops Ball, People Must Take Up

This is one of those stories that makes you feel good about one human being seeing and hearing and helping another human being, but it also frustrates, because long-term answers are not forthcoming.When she asked if she had paid for all the food she was carrying, Robles confessed that she hadn't."I asked her, 'Why would you do that? What would make you do that?'" [Officer] Thomas told WSVN. "And she said, 'My children are hungry.'"Thomas pulled her aside and checked her criminal … [Read more...]

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