November 21, 2017

A friend pointed out that a common theme in date rape, molestation, and sexual assault cases is the role of alcohol.  Abuse of alcohol is a problem in itself. Because it compounds a wide variety of sexual sins, it is easy to fall into the mire of muddy thinking.  This is where we get arguments like “If only college girls wouldn’t drink so much, there wouldn’t be a campus rape problem,”  and the counter-argument, “A girl should be able to… Read more

November 16, 2017

Up that Register: 11 Ways to Prepare Your Boy to be a Great Priest.*  I’ve never had a son of mine be ordained (the kid’s only 17, it’s a little early for that), so it’s not an article about Things I Did That Caused My Little Angel To Show Everyone What A Wonderful Mother I Am.  My kids are normal kids with the regular amount of free will; their  parents are worse than that still.  We don’t do the Catholic Family… Read more

November 9, 2017

Go visit the Darwins for an excellent discussion of what is, and is not, the role of NFP in marital chastity.  A few excerpts, beginning with a recap of what NFP is: By now the term “NFP” is almost too fraught, carrying connotations of some big oppressive system. Say it with me, though: all it is is 1) observing the signs of female fertility — a morally neutral act — and 2) using those observations as part of a prudential… Read more

October 24, 2017

During the time I’ve been offline attending to other obligations the #MeToo campaign hit full force. Of course I have a story to share.  Nearly everyone I know, male or female, has gotten their turn on the receiving end of some level of vulgarity or criminality.  My #MeToo credentials came up in conversation during the recent presidential campaign: I don’t tell a lot of personal stories, but here’s one: I was staying with another family as a teenager, and the teenage… Read more

October 6, 2017

Shortly after a I posted yesterday, a friend shared this article from The New Yorker about the abuse of the elderly via guardianship rights. It’s long, so let me give you a snippet of the story:  Out in Las Vegas, full-time professional “guardians” prey on the wealthy elderly.  The article profiles the case of a self-supporting married couple, living independently with a limited amount of home health assistance, and checked on daily by their adult daughter.  A “guardian” got hold of… Read more

October 5, 2017

My parents live in Las Vegas, I have good friends from Las Vegas, and it is a city that I love.  I watched the news of the massacre with dread, and as the names of the deceased are released, several friends of friends are among the bereaved. I was irritated to see the political vultures start swooping before the guns had even cooled, and I’m sorry to say I’m as weak as the next person — having been spared the… Read more

October 3, 2017

Last night I hosted the Tom Petty Tribute Kitchen Cleaning at my house, which made my husband hopeful (about the kitchen) and my children puzzled (about Tom Petty).  I looked my son in the eyes and shook my head and said, “You’re not from the 8o’s, are you?” He affirmed that he was not. Tom Hoopes at Aleteia sums up the reason parents of a certain age have such a profound love of Tom Petty, despite the man’s flaws: “Tom Petty provided… Read more

September 28, 2017

New in JAMA: Research showing that children who view movies with gun usage in them are more likely to pick up and play with a real gun.  The experiment was pretty simple: Children viewed a PG movie that either showed guns being used or had the gun-containing scenes edited out. The children were then left to play in a room full of toys, with a real but disarmed gun planted in the playroom.*  After controlling for other variables, the researchers… Read more

September 25, 2017

Up at the Register this morning, I’m talking about ways to not become a person you hate being, in the aftermath of other Catholics being truly horrid: Bitterness isn’t born ex nihilo. Bitterness is the festering of a spiritual wound, and many Catholics are infected by bitterness because they have suffered real, penetrating, stinging wounds at the hands of their fellows. When you see someone being rabidly ugly, that didn’t come from nowhere. When it’s you being rabidly ugly, it often feels like “righteous… Read more

September 24, 2017

Over at the Conspiracy, I tell the story of my most spectacular teaching failure ever. I would like to be able to say that this was something that happened long, long ago when I was just starting out. No. It happened two weeks ago. I made plans for a class, and those plans turned out to be not what my students needed: About half the children were enthusiastic about games and eager to do interesting activities oriented towards developing an awareness… Read more

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