If there is no more “good faith”. . .

...then how do we proceed as a nation?That's essentially the question I am posing in my column at First Things:Perhaps projecting their passions on to me, both sides assumed that whatever I was writing about Palin was meant as a political manipulation against them. If I tried to offer balanced criticism, Palin fans accused me of “hating her from the first.” When I—because I detest bullies—defended her from an unconscionable assault by supposedly “liberal” people and the press after the G … [Read more...]

“But you’re even nice to the dishwasher…”

switchblade

A Bronx mugger steps out of an idea, into wonder:Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife."He wants my money, so I just gave him … [Read more...]

The Towers in Korea: What Humanity? – UPDATED

Korea Towers Preview

I saw this yesterday and wondered if it was a hoax:The designers of the towers, Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, have responded to the controversy by quickly publishing an apology in English. “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks,” the designers insist, “nor did we see the resemblance during the design process.”They did not see the resemblance during the design process? The problem with this assertion – apart from its inherent implausibility – is that they hav … [Read more...]

Baldwin, NPR and Important People – UPDATED

baldwin

I was running an errand today and heard a reporter on NPR breathlessly relate that a new "petition" had appeared on the WH.gov site demanding that airlines stop ordering fliers to turn off their cell phones and electronic equipment. "Since yesterday there are already over 300 signatures!" she said.And I thought, why is this news, and why is NPR reporting on it as though it is a major issue with an enormous groundswell of grassroot support?Then, I read this and discovered a wonderful … [Read more...]

Hating on Black Friday and “The Season”

Black Friday

I confess, I despise "Black Friday." I hate the way consumers are urged to haul their Thanksgiving-exhausted selves out to stores -- away from family members who have often traveled some distance to come together -- so they can surrender their human dignity or assault the dignity of others in order to snag a ten-dollar sweater and a waffle-maker for $9.99.And I hate the way consumers go along with it.I hate the way the mad buying and bad behavior is attached to Christmas -- the coming … [Read more...]

Laughter in my Prayer – UPDATED

Two hours into the day someone sent this my way and I needed it, badly.Laughter is not just good medicine. Sometimes having the opportunity to laugh segues into a prayer of thanksgiving:Thank you, God, for the interruption to a hectic day, and the cleansing effect of a laugh. Thank you God that I can hear and see this, in order to so fully enjoy it. Thank you that my lungs work, so I can bark out "HA! That's funny!" and it heals me more effectively than a thousand sighs. Thank you for … [Read more...]

Calling and Revolution and Calling UPDATED

OWS APF GETTY

(Photo: APF/Getty)My piece today at First Things is a little odd, I think. In some spots it is deliberately to the fore, and in others, deliberately ambiguous, and it is talking about two seemingly very different things -- the Occupy Wall Street folks who know that they want something, but are not quite able to articulate what that something might be, and impossibility of nurturing a sense of "calling" in our children when we over-manage their lives, from an early age, teach that … [Read more...]

Faraway, So Close

I really like Joseph Susanka's column for today:Try as I might, my "Social Networking" escapades are rarely social and even less regularly network-y; more "dialed in" now than I've been at any other point in my life, I actually find myself less connected than ever. Rather than an easy opportunity to engage with friends and family throughout the country, new media has become for me an information-induced malaise—a passivity that finds me watching status updates and tweets fly by without raising … [Read more...]

Steve Jobs, RIP –UPDATED

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in Reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? -- Hamlet, Act II, Scene IIWell, we are stardust, finally. And what a force has passed, like a comet, through our era!I confess, my geek husband and Elder Son appreciated his multi-layered genius much better … [Read more...]

Horizontal Schisms meet Vertical Hope

Every once in a while, something comes across the desk or email and and it makes you aware of how quickly time goes by.For instance, it seems like just yesterday, I was talking about debuting a new column in The Catholic Answer Magazine, and "holy smokes...a month has gone by!" and here is my second column, entitled "And They Will Set You Free"Imagine a people, and the church in which they grow up — a church in which the people worshipped with fervor during adolescence and to which, perhaps … [Read more...]


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