June 29, 2020

The kindle edition was available ahead of the official launch date, but I’m pleased to announce that The How-To Book of Evangelization: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You is now showing up “in-stock” at Our Sunday Visitor. Tomorrow (Tues. 6/30) at 1pm Eastern I’ll be doing a free webcast introducing the book.  Topics I’ll be covering: Why I Wrote this Book Top Four Most Important Topics in this Book My First Attempts at Evangelizing (Yikes!) When to… Read more

June 28, 2020

In prepping my first debate class for teenagers, I instituted a revolutionary rule: No participant would ever be permitted to argue a position he or she believed was false. I can’t be the only instructor who’s ever done such a thing.  Still, the pushback is proof of how strong our cultural prisons can be.  The most common objection is: “How will students learn to see the other side of an issue?” Well, that is where reasoning and research and good… Read more

June 23, 2020

As statues are being torn down or vandalized around the country, the Catholic Church is being asked to reckon with the legacy of St. Junipero Serra. So be it. The saint’s life is worth grappling with, and there’s plenty of room in his biography to make everyone squirm. Some of the charges against the saint have to do with his own actions — which even a cursory look at his life would assure the reader that, for good or for ill,… Read more

June 5, 2020

Today I saw an otherwise lovely, if a tad anodyne, church statement on recent events, that included The Appeal to The Youthful Savior.  I won’t quote it verbatim, but you know the type: “Young people are our future.” “Children will show us the way.” “We need to learn from the youth.” “The next generation will be the ones who solve this problem.” I’m sorry, are you dead yet? Quit trying to brush your personal failings off on your kids.  If… Read more

May 28, 2020

Last night during the protesting and looting in Minneapolis, I viewed a few of the videos and read a fair number of the live reports of what was happening.  If I were to summarize the situation as I perceived it, it would be this: Quite a few peaceful citizens were out assembling in protest, as is their constitutional right, and as they well should have been doing, in light of the recent egregious police brutality that needs to have ended… Read more

May 19, 2020

Quick update on my post from the other day: R.R. Reno issued a formal apology for his Twitter comments impugning the motives of mask-users: I regret my foolish and ill-considered remarks about masks and mask wearing on Twitter on Tuesday, May 12. Masks are clearly indicated in many situations. I used over-heated rhetoric and false analogies. It was wrong for me to impugn the intentions and motives of others, for which I apologize.   While it would be easy to… Read more

May 13, 2020

As I mentioned the other day, I & mine are doing fine this coronatide, other than a sturdy dose of ordinary life, though I suppose my suddenly becoming a conversational twitterist is right up there with sourdough (check) as a sign of just how precarious our sanity is around here.  As a result of this plunge into madness, I find myself  now having to do the previously unthinkable and point out that RR Reno has lost his logic. Quotes from… Read more

April 2, 2020

I’m not an epidemiologist, but I do sometimes teach logic.  So check out this bit of public health polemic from CIDRAP: There is some evidence that surgical masks can be effective at reducing overall particle emission from patients who have multidrug-resistant tuberculosis,36 cystic fibrosis,34 and influenza.33 The latter found surgical masks decreased emission of large particles (larger than 5 µm) by 25-fold and small particles by threefold from flu-infected patients.33 Sung37 found a 43% reduction in respiratory viral infections in stem-cell patients when everyone, including… Read more

March 23, 2020

In response to a popular piece on the economic devastation of “flattening the curve” my friend Scott Reeves issued a challenge to me: Jen, I think you’re wrong.  Check us off on the test of true friendship, and then read Scott’s thoughtful challenge to the Church, which is pertinent to anyone who opposes the flattening of the faith. Meanwhile, as an Armchair Junior Economist, with the weight such a position entails, here are some quick thoughts on what I think… Read more

March 19, 2020

Friends are circulating this article from Bloomberg, which for some reason is supposed to be reassuring, “99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says.” In the sampling of cases, Bloomberg reports that of those who died: More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease. So what does that mean for American readers? The CDC estimates that 13% of Americans have diabetes.  Concerning high blood pressure, from… Read more

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