Tuesday, December 25, 2007


E.J. Dionne tries really hard to transcend the current ideological polarization, and to resurrect the link between the "left" (whatever that means) and Christianity. The crucial question probably should be: is Mr. Dionne's hope based on anything present? Because if it is not it quickly degenerates into some utopian ideology, as the experience of the last two centuries has abundantly shown.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Kenneth Woodward from Bethlehem.

Give me the 5 billion

The truth about the current situation in higher education is revealed at the very last sentence in this article: namely, the desirable goal is having prestigious, cutting-edge scientific reseach, but not education (even in the sciences).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Abysmal confusion

Michael Gerson has a good column, which incidentally shows how the best evangelical minds more and more have to fall back on the Catholic intellectual tradition in order to face the current cultural meltdown:
"Because science has not found something which obviously it could not find, therefore something entirely different . . . is untrue. . . . To me it is all wild and whirling; as if a man said -- 'The plumber can find nothing wrong with our piano; so I suppose that my wife does love me.' " (G.K. Chesterton)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Populist conservatism

Rod Dreher explains in what sense Huckabee marks a turning point for the Republican party.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Robert Kaplan is an attentive observer of how the military reflects social trends. In this case, he is correct in detecting that the major weakness of Western societies is the inability to achieve certainty.

Baby tax

Mark Steyn is somewhat repetitious but he is quite a good writer.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Right to be mother

Sweden is to the early XXI century what the Soviet Union was to the mid-XX century: the guiding light of ideological purity. Except, the new ideology is destructive in a much different and subtler way...

(Another example, from Stanley Kurtz).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The very fact that Philip Pullman does not find the "great questions" in Tolkien sheds some light on the nature of contemporary atheism. The central themes of the "The Lord of the Rings" are the necessity of death, the passing of beauty so that it can be saved, the renounciation of power for the sake of love. That these are RELIGIOUS questions is simply inconceivable from Pullman's standpoint, since religion is not associated with the experience of beauty and love but with moralistic power. People like him can only think of salvation in juridical, not onthological terms. In other words, they are Protestant atheists. They rebel against the God of late European Christianity, but it is still the only one they can imagine.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Interesting tidbit

A different explanation for the destroyed CIA tapes.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tough situation

This story from England asks T.S. Eliot's famous question: “Has mankind abandoned the Church, or has the Church abandoned mankind?”

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Callused hand

Sci-fi writer John C. Wright had a striking conversion.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Gentry liberals

An interesting socio-political shift in the US is that the Democrats are now the party of the rich just as much as the Republicans used to be (maybe more?)

Working theories

How dumb do you need to be in order to get a job at the University of Amsterdam?
Half of the crimes were committed by men of Moroccan origin and researchers believe they felt stigmatized by society and responded by attacking people they felt were lower on the social ladder. Another working theory is that the attackers may be struggling with their own sexual identity.

Of course, there is no reason to think that many Moroccans may despise and dislike homosexuals.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007


The Blair controversy is kind of interesting. On one hand, of course, only God knows anybody's faith. On the other hand, one is left with the feeling that there is something missing here. Not moral consistency (who can claim that?), but rather a clear link to an authority, to an "other" that makes Christianity an objective reality.
Otherwise...everything will remain at the level of "opinion" and the decisive criterion will always be of their choosing, whereas the drama of conversion is to feel oneself called back to an objective Truth...and to acknowledge the concrete presence of a reality that is Christ's mystery in history, in the Church. (The Journey to truth is an experience, p. 89)


A good rant about anti-Christian prejudice in movies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No theology

An update on the Pope's attitude in dealing with Islam.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Then, kill yourself!

Sometimes crazy people reveal the logical conclusion of very widespread fallacies, in this case the environmentalist ideology. In truth, nature has value because there are people who can appreciate its beauty. Without people, the earth could turn into a desert tomorrow and it would not make any difference.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007


A typical "liberal" predicament: how do you maintain that people are "equal" if you don't believe that they are "created equal?" Perhaps you should not let "science" dictate silly notions of what is important in a human person (in this case, IQ test scores).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Your Eminence?

John Allen reports an interesting discussion among the US bishops that culminates in the following question by Cardinal George:
Is religion an independent variable? Or is it simply reduced to a cultural reality that can be explained in terms of something other than religion itself?

The most striking part is that Cardinal George says that he "does not know the answer." Not even regarding Christianity? Clearly, he was just being very diplomatic, but he should be careful lest people think that this kind of question can really be settled by the sociologists...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Looking for mercy

This essay makes some valid points. First, that some of the responses to the abuse scandal in the Church have been driven precisely by the same (non-Catholic) mentality that made the scandal possible in the first place. Second, that the first responsibility of the Church is to be the Church.
The Church failed to protect children from sexual abuse. Bad as that was, there is worse, since protecting children is not an end in itself for the Church. From a Catholic point of view, when people are abused in the Church, they may be torn from the life of the Church, whose teaching and sacraments they need. Disillusioned and alienated, they may take scandal according to Guardini’s definition, and reject for secondary reasons what should be affirmed for primary reasons.

For internet junkies, Ms. Snow is the mother of The Atlantic Magazine's blogger Ross Douthat.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Peter Berkowitz is correct that there is something strange about the extreme hatred many people feel for President Bush, which cannot be fully explained just by a politician's shortcomings. It probably points to a situation in which many people are not certain and confident about their own ideals and find strength, purpose and psycological reassurance in having some mithically bad person to hate and despise. This dynamics produces the most violent possible people, much more violent than those who are peaceful and secure in their cultural/religious identity.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Still the Church of Jesus Christ

The Pope is coming. The press is busy missing as many points as they can.


A terrible place. It makes global western culture look like a humanizing force.

The anti-utopian

Rosmini was a great Christian thinker, even if he is unknown in the English-speaking world. He is also a reminder of how the word "liberalism" used to have a completely different meaning in Continental Europe.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Difficult choices

This article by Ramesh Ponnuru on health care policy is interesting.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Missing the point

The Economist has a long series of articles on "religion" in the contemporary world. They are not terrible, but they lack a unifying criterion in order to judge what's going on. What is universal and explanatory are the religious questions (the "religious sense"), whereas there is not really much to be learnt in general by describing religious answers. But the fact that human beings ARE a need for meaning seems to escape this fine specimen of British empiricism.

The law of existence

Roger Scruton on altruism.


It is true that living only in the present leads to slavery.

“Popular culture” is more accurately a “present-tense culture”: You’re celebrating the millennium but you can barely conceive of anything before the mid-1960s. We’re at school longer than any society in human history, entering kindergarten at four or five and leaving college the best part of a quarter-century later—or thirty years later in Germany. Yet in all those decades we exist in the din of the present.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A thirst for meaning

We keep enjoying Dalrymple's columns.

For the literature?

The people who 130 years ago would become anarchists today become jihadists

He said he decided to go to a predominantly Muslim country last fall to study Islam and learn about “the morals, the customs, the ethics and the literature.”
He should have read Dostoevskii instead.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Think and grow rich

Ryan Lizza is a brilliant writer with a knack for grasping what really motivates a politician. In this case, Romney is indeed a good example of the core appeal of Mormonism, which does not lie in its quite peculiar doctrines, but in the attraction of a wholesome and successful life

I want you to understand, the Lord does not care whether you become rich or not, but he does want you to learn how to succeed, and to be successful.

Perhaps. But the Lord's idea of success (also known as sanctity) is certainly greater than excelling as a business consultant, having a nice family and becoming president of the US of A.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Écrasez l'Infâme

Michael Gerson makes a decent point (modern liberalism places great faith in "science," but "science" per se can be twisted into very illiberal philosophical positions). It starts a bizarre flood of hatred (literally) in the comments section (Gerson was a speechwriter for Bush).

Nohing else?

Nothing more sad than having to choose between two extreme ideologies (islamism vs. Kemalist nationalism).


An example of ideology leading to violence.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Fr. Samir on the letter by the 138 Muslims to the Pope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


There is something refreshing about Japanese openess to weird ideas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Also Dick Morris predicts a Huckabee surge on the Republican side.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Forget global warming

A truly global phenomenon. You could call it "the final dissolution of traditional pre-industrial societies."

Sunday, October 14, 2007


One characteristic of the dominant liberal post-marxist ideology is that it is unable to recognize that other ideologies matter. At most, those who have not yet joined our wonderful bourgeois life-style are just subjects for "cultural studies" departments.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not serious

Slavoj Zizek makes (implicitly) a good point. Why should we care about "culture" if we don't value what's cultivated (the human person as relationship to the infinite).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Corpses are not biodegradable?

Sometimes one wonders if some aspects of the environmental ideology express a quiet return to Paganism.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Education's end

A review of the Kronman book on "meaningless" education.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Actually, Huckabee does sound like an "authentic" politician, in the sense of expressing a genuine strand of American popular (Evangelical) culture (even including the weight loss part). In an increasingly ideological age, one can certainly do worse.

Monday, October 01, 2007


We have to be thankful when somebody rediscovers what should be obvious.


What is most striking about horrific stories like this one is not how bad the criminals are, but how they are enabled by the absolute human and moral vacuum of the surrounding society (England).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The greatest disorder

Christianity in North Korea exemplifies the fact that the root of freedom lies in the relationship with God.

Friday, September 21, 2007


In spite of some interesting insights, the idea of moral psycology is somewhat comical. The bottom line is that you cannot understand anything about human beings if you leave out (or reduce) their two most obvious (an mysterious) features: reason and freedom. The last sentence is downright funny, because the guy is clearly being very bold:

“It is at least possible,” he said, “that conservatives and traditional societies have some moral or sociological insights that secular liberals do not understand.”

For that matter, it is also at least possible that secular liberals do not understand much about anything. After all, what they think they understand is just what is written in their genes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The meaning of life

This essay raises a valid question (why our educational system systematically censors the great questions about life?) but offers inadequate answers (the great books? the university as an alternative to religion?). The problem is NOT one of religious indoctrination, but one of method. How can one face these questions reasonably? The absence of "meaning" from education is just a reflection of the reduction of reason that the Pope denounced in his Regensburg address. Reason coincides with the methods of empirical science, and empirical science knows no meaning, so what's there to teach? In particular, the humanities must by logical necessity become the domain of pure relativism and unbridled instinctivity.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Failure of desire

A genuinely American ideology. In this case, the starting prejudice is an inadequate definition of "success." What if one achieves all his goals and then is still unhappy?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Public stupidity

Der Spiegel should ask the question: where are today's people taught how to judge? By whom?

A story of two newspapers

There is a striking difference between a newspaper offering balanced political judgements and a bunch of politicians using a newspaper. Of course, the first course is smarter because it gives you authority (which the Post has been steadily gaining) while the second course is self-destructive (who cares to read the New York Times editorial page any more?)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Unexplicable hatred

T. Dalrymple proves once again to be an unusually intellectually honest writer.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Read Dostoevski

Slate has noticed the obvious: that Islamism is a self-standing totalitarian ideology (in the mold of the European ideologies that started after the time of the French revolution) and not something related to specific political issues in the Middle East.

Radical Islamism seems to have become the magnet for some of the world's angriest people who feel the universe is out of joint and must be changed. For these converts, it is an ideology of revolt that is more attractive because of its crystalline hatred of the status quo than its theology.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


It is true that the Duke University rape case says something about the current cultural elites. In particular, about their costant desire and fantasy of being part of the civil right battles of the previous generation. This is probably for many people a way to escape from the grim reality of being philosophical nihilists, by creating an imaginary moral high-ground for themselves. Clearly, such a position is so detached from reality that it can easily become extremely violent.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Return to Paradise

Dante's Paradiso, the last book of the Divine Comedy, expresses the sublime heights of human desire like no other poem. What a shame so few read it. A new translation may help change that.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Road to Antioch

This must be a real trend, of which many of us have met examples. And it is indeed significant of the unresolved contradictions of US Protestantism.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Meeting people

John Allen has been filing stories from the Rimini Meeting, here and here. Read more about the Hegazy case.

Friday, August 24, 2007


One could argue that, historically, the major factor that motivated the existence of Belgium as a bi-national state was shared Catholicism. Apparently, the ideology of the multicultural welfare state will not do it...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Time for change

Victor Davis Hanson on school reform. On the same topic, here is another proposal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Well said

Another classic Spengler column:

(he) does not love Reason; he merely hates Christianity.

Open heaven

Sandro Magister tells the story of the 800 martyrs of Otranto.


This piece by Prof. Kenneth Miller at the time of the Intelligent Design controversy two years ago was very much on target.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Kerouac at 50

The poignant chronicle of human restlessness, On the Road, reaches the half century mark.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Wounds of the Twentieth Century

Alexander Solzhenitsyn on the crimes of history in an interview with Der Spiegel: "We should clearly understand that only the voluntary and conscientious acceptance by a people of its guilt can ensure the healing of a nation. Unremitting reproaches from outside, on the other hand, are counterproductive." On Russia and the West: "...one can see a time in the 21st century when both Europe and the USA will be in dire need of Russia as an ally."

Friday, July 27, 2007

What the Celebrities are not Talking About

It is not as fashionable as global warming, but more urgent: Christians in Iraq have become an endangered species. "I realized that 36 of my congregation in that past week had been kidnapped. None of them have been returned."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Presenting the Past

Can a person be at once fully modern and fully faithful to his tradition? Noah Feldman asks this question in this piece about his Orthodox Jewish background. Pope Benedict answers in his letter to bishops about the older form of the Mass: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Seed of the Church

Christians in Iraq have no militias, no political parties. George Weigel brings up the life and death of Fr. Raheed Ganni, murdered on June 3. For more about Fr. Raheed and the precarious situation of Christians in Iraq see the coverage by AsiaNews.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More theory without observation

The poor suffer because of the theories of the rich.

Ideological prejudice

The real question is: why on earth would anyone think that the writer of the book of Jeremiah would have made-up Nebo-Sarsekim? In other words, there is more ground to doubt the reasonableness of some followers of the historical-critical method than to doubt the veracity of most biblical accounts.

Monday, July 09, 2007


In case you missed it, a progressive dis-education is taking place.

Friday, July 06, 2007

No reality

Michael Gerson on Second Life. It sounds like hell in C.S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce."

Thursday, July 05, 2007


An interesting website dedicated to anti-Christian persecutions around the world.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Pope Speaks to China

"Only the head of the Catholic Church could have written this kind of letter..." writes Fr. Bernardo Cervellera of Asianews.


Freeman Dyson is a great scientist with some religious leanings. His view of the future shows two typical features of our time: a) the idea that civilization boils down to material development (no need to address the question "What is a human being?"); b) a naive lack of awareness about the reality of sin .

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Ross Douthat appropriately trashes the Hitchens book.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Out of his depth

Why does Tom Cruise sound hilariously miscast as a Swabian Catholic Count who lived in one of the most tragic times in world history?

The Greatest Generation?

“Most kids coming into the Army today have never worn leather shoes in their life unless it said Nike, Adidas, or Timberland. They’ve never run two miles consecutively in their life, and for the most part they hadn’t had an adult tell them ‘no’ and mean it. That’s bizarre,” says an officer in charge of training today's generation of new recruits.

"Miracles are hard to come by in Britain"

During outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to the Vatican Pope Benedict gave him some things to think about, including the lack of miracles in the U.K. ...

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Jeff Jacoby highlights the hypocrisy of those who accuse the president's position on embryonic stem cells of being ideological, whereas they themselves turn "science" into an ideology. The quotes by the Democratic leaders are astounding. The identification of reason with "science" is the current Western way to philosophical nihilism, and its embrace by the Democratic party is more important than how many "Catholic issues" they are willing to support.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Living there

Time on a recent conference in Venice.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A different age

A column on how JFK handled the issue of Catholicism in the 1960 elections.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A private matter?

Apparently, Tony Blair is becoming a Catholic. It would be interesting to understand why, given the apparently absolute separation between his public figure and his private religious convictions.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chess game

Amir Taheri thinks there is a bigger picture surrounding the Gaza events.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Reality wins

The history of Antioch College reads like a prophecy of the outcomes of the whole post-1960 liberal ideology.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Richard Rorty died.
Rorty advocated a form of liberalism that is pure negation--the vacuum that is left over once people stop believing that any "truth" (always in scare quotes) is worth killing or dying for. In Rorty's view, we are all (or should be) liberals in this sense--not out of conviction or principle, but by default, because of the absence or unavailability of any competing conviction or principle.
. We are curious to see how long a society can last on such solid cultural foundations.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fron non-I to I

Last week's essay by Paul Berman in the New Republic is worth reading. Spengler makes an interesting comment on the relationship between modern totalitarianism and paganism, understood as a creed in which the individual only exists for the sake of the state (or the tribe or the race):

Rosenzweig...described Islam as pagan, and Allah as an apotheosized despot. He began, that is, with a general characterization of pagan society, that is, society in the absence of God's self-revelation through love, and then considered Islam as a specific case of a paganism that parodies the outward form of revealed religion. God's self-revelation as an act of love first makes possible human individuality: the individual human is an individual precisely because he is loved.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Philip K. Dick sensed that the question of the age is what it means to be human.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


An important stem cell development may weaken the push to use human-embryos.

No atheists in the delivery room

This essay by Mary Eberstadt contains a valid intuition: that engagement with life (in this case, having children) leads to religiosity, whereas a bourgeois lifestyle of leisure atrophizes it.

“An Unforgivable Offense to Progress”

Panned initially for being too pessimistic about the future, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World now appears remarkably prescient in its portrayal of a world of universal promiscuity, mass consumerism, and birth separated from procreation. Though the work celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, it seems few critics have succeeded in discerning Huxley's real message: an attack on “the new spirit which tries to induce man… to abandon the practice of speculating about his existence and his destiny.”

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Revolutionary suicide

The New Republic has been publishing some excerpts from Paul Berman's new book on the generation of 1968. The most striking fact is how ideology led this people to a complete neglect of their humanity. The logical outcome was nihilism, either serious (suicide) or unserious (Cohn-Bendit).

Monday, June 04, 2007


If you have been reading the Pope's book, you have learnt about Jacob Neusner.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

L oss of faith

Daniel Callahan is an interesting figure. You may not know that this prominent agnostic bioethicist used to be the editor of Commonweal.


Occasionally one is reminded of the naivete of the liberal post-enlightment delusion that certain values are universal across cultures just because WE have been taught to recognize them as universal in principle.

Ray Bradbury, the Monsters and the Critics

His classic Fahrenheit 451 tells of a dystopian future of mass book burnings and groups of people who retreat from the cities to memorize whole texts so as to carry human culture through a new dark age. For over 40 years critics have called it a novel about government censorship. Now the author wants us to know that the intellectuals were wrong. The problem was never censorship-- it was television.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007


A major story of the last few years: China's economic conquest of Africa.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tom Cruise Wants Your Child to Find his Inner Thetan

This rather chilling article from the St. Petersburg Times gives an idea of the dangerous state of flux that characterizes public education. In devastated areas of Louisiana Scientology advocates like Tom Cruise and John Travolta have introduced their methods into public schools. The moral of the story: when education is divorced from tradition and simply becomes a matter of "skills" and "techniques" students are vulnerable to manipulation by the rich and powerful.
In case you were wondering, Scientology's "study technology" program is headquartered in the former retirement home of a Catholic religious order near St. Luis. Read more...

Funny guy

If you can wade through all the weirdness, you have to recognize this fellow has a more realistic outlook on life than most of his peers.

So many good things have happened to me because of how unhealthy I’ve been mentally

Familar thinking

Just as yet another example of a familiar phenomenon, a story from the Maldives.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tumultuous change

An interesting discussion of world-wide trends in (mostly non-Catholic) Christianity.

A matter of education

The Economist shows an unusual interest in the state of marriage in America.

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Who do you say that I am?"

Thanks to the Pope's new book, Time Magazine makes a startling discovery: Christians and Jews may disagree about who Jesus is, but they can agree on who he claimed to be.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Ideological follies in Western Europe. Here is another article by the same author.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Universities in Africa are not doing well. The whole country of Zimbabwe is collapsing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


A contrarian view of foreign policy by Edward Luttwack.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nice crowd

Family Day in Italy was a big success.


It is always entertaining when somebody like Vargas Lllosa says what he honestly thinks about recent political trends in Latin America.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Dalrymple on Qutb.


One could argue that the obsession to protect children from any kind of discomfort is inversely proportional to our ability to offer them any meaningful reason to live.

"Life is planned out for us, but we don't know what to want"

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007


Lots of theories keep being produced about the VT mass murderer. Some of the comments by Camille Paglia are somewhat interesting, inasmuch she understands that people's most vulnerable spot is their affectivity (which she confuses with sex).

Unredeemed I

Spengler reviews the lates posthumous book by Tolkien

Unredeemed II

A trip to Saudi Arabia.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"Where are the grown-ups?"

A good question by Peggy Noonan.

Screaming louder and louder

It is true that our culture is swamped with moralism. But the reason is not just an historical quirk, it is what the Pope in Regensburg called "reduction of reason." If morality is separated from knowledge and reason (the human quest for meaning), all that is left is arbitrary power...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


President Bush promises to support school choice.

Rapt in awe

More on Einstein's religiosity.
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness.

Bottom feeders

There is a symbiotic relationship between madmen and journalists.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Out of their depth

For some reason, this week both the NYTimes and the New Yorker have long pieces on Benedict XVI.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

No conflict

Francis Collins on CNN.


We have often wondered about the naive faith in the benefits of technology which has swept the education words over the last ten years. The truth is that spending billions in computing equipment is relatively easy, while forming good teachers is very hard. It is even harder when there is not much philosophical clarity about what it means to educate.

Picking up the pieces

An update on the situation in Lebanon.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Si vis pacem para bellum

One may not like V.D. Hanson's militaristic rethoric, but it is in fact true that utopian pacifism has never prevented any wars.

A good Catholic...

who never had a Catholic thought in his whole life. Joshka Fisher is so representative of the 1968 generation in Europe:
a) A Catholic.
b) Who was taught a completely moralistic understanding of his faith (still today he identifies Catholicism with a Manichean good vs. evil world view).
c) Who thus embraced a utopian ideology completely removed from the realistic Catholic view of the human condition (Glucksmann is right!).

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Party men

Amir Taheri notices that foreign policy experts in the US are affected by domestic political allegiances to a very significant degree. This probably reflects the fact that the key foreign policy jobs are assigned by political appointment, rather than just seniority in the diplomatic corps. Of course, this can have harmful effects.

Stone witness

A beautiful Armenian church is restored in Turkey (but they did not put the cross back on top of it).

The cold light of science

It is a sign of how reason has been reduced in our culture that we take seriously psycologists when they "discover" the most obvious things about human nature. Hey, they are SCIENTISTS! They are "studying meaning" from a SCIENTIFIC standpoint! They PROVED that humans want "to feel we're significant beings in a meaningful world." The Chicago Tribune never suspected that before.

A remnant

During the last few years, several interesting people have walked away from the ruins of Anglicanism.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Something hidden behind things

A new biography of Einstein.
The scientist('s)...religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Playing with fire.

Many wars started from this kind of (mis)calculation.

To be in love or not?

You have to simpathize with the Afghans: it is tragic when your choices are between socially enforced moralism and Western nihilism.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


A speech by Bernard Lewis on Islam and the West.

Friday, March 16, 2007

My guy

Peggy Noonan points out that an age short on ideas is necessarily big on loyalty.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Running for a cliff

The contemporary version of Dostoevski's Demons. One could argue that throwing bombs was less destructive.

On the European situation, see also Spengler.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Once again, the universe turns out not to be exhausted by our theories.

Default identity

Some people are having a hard time to be recognized as non-Muslim.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Apparently Charles Darwin was a (social) Darwinist.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Freedom flame

A brief report from Cuba.

A dilemma

There is a built-in contradiction in the idea of public education in a deeply divided society.

Foundling wheel

A very traditional and Catholic idea.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Children of the state

Apparently there is no freedom of education whatsoever in Germany.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Familiar pattern

It is remarkable how certain phenomena start popping up in similar forms more or less at the same time in the most disparate corners of the world.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

They are back

A few months after the gospel of Judas, here comes the tumb of Jesua. The only interesting question is: why would anybody think that this is interesting?


The British government is divided about whether it is better to have two parents in a family.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Big problem

Giuliani's Catholic problem. The real problem is that his whole persona embodies the cultural meltdown of east-coast "ethnic" cultural Catholicism. Does faith have any relevance to real life?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Cultural poverty

It seems reasonable that if a society fails to educate the young, the result will be a new kind of
underclass. But the origin of the problem is not globalization; it is a neglect of humanity.

Work of mercy

On Catholic education in Jordan.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


England is experiencing massive Catholic immigration.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Survival of the fittest

Many people are not aware that the US had its own age of eugenics.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Another depressing but brilliant Dalrymple column.

Friday, February 09, 2007


An interesting discussion regarding the growing intolerance of religion among certain "liberal" figures in the US.

"A left-liberal commitment to religious freedom is not something that can be counted
on any more"

That has been one of the most impressive and under-reported cultural shifts in this country over the last decade.


Given that the Atlantic Monthly is a serious magazine not given to right-wing conspiracy theories, it is remarkable they published this.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The road to slavery

It is undeniable that the New York Times stands out today as the media outlet where news are most thoroughly shaped by radical ideology.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Totalitarianism III

From Canada

traditional religious groups essentially must either abandon any religious beliefs that conflict with the ideologies of the state, notably that of radical feminism, or cease to make any claims to special financial considerations for their charitable, non-profit works for the community.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Totalitarianism II

Rowan Williams gets the point:

I think what’s at stake ultimately is whether the church is answerable finally to the State as the only court of appeal or whether the church can rightly appeal to other sources for its moral compass and whatever one’s views on this particular issue.

Monday, January 29, 2007


The Church as "the representative of liberty as such."

Sunday, January 28, 2007


The article by David Cameron, the British Conservative leader, is very symbolic of the time we are living. It means to be a philosophical statement, yet there is not one discernible idea (teaching English to everybody? That's it?). It is obsessed with identity, yet it shows a complete lack of it. In fact, it does not distinguish itself in any way from the opposite political side. When both sides have coalesced into complete cultural vacuum, what's left in democracy?

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Rather than about spanking, our leaders should worry about Darfur.

Theory and moralism

The spanking controversy is another example of disappearing common sense (in the literal sense: a set of shared judgements based on real-life experience and passed on, often implicitly, from a generation to the next.)

Cold war

An interesting (if accurate) account of some KGB activities re.the Vatican.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An event

Hrant Drink's funeral has been quite remarkable.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Second Life

The Tablet has a story on the booming phenomenon of avatars (having an alternative self living in an imaginary digital universe). The problem, however, is not how Christianity can be a better "imaginative option." The question is whether Christianity can help us live reality so that don't feel the need to escape from it.

Friday, January 19, 2007


A very typical result of contemporary Catholic education.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


John Allen on the presentation of Oasis yesterday in New York.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Book of the year

Sandro Magister has posted the preface to the Pope's important new book on Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Exodus II

Spiegel has a good piece on Christians in the middle east.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


A Saudi journalist realizes that there is a problem.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Nation vs. revolution

A helpful update on Iran.


An unusual column for the Guardian.

In flux

For those interested, the National Journal has a long and informative story on federal funding of the so-called faith-based initiatives (social works started by religiously-motivated groups).

Friday, January 05, 2007

Incurious people

It is true: the recent wave of atheists seem to be at the same time more ignorant and presumptuous than their predecessors. This partly due to the shallowness of what passes for "scientific" education.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Santa attack

Santa Claus boldly shows up in Kabylie. We hope nobody shoots him down.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Angry ghosts

The pervasive, moralistic anger in our public life is an obvious sign of a weak human fabric and of progressive detachment from reality, in which the person becomes

a ghostlike figure, perpetually in search of “something solid against which it can prove its own existence.” New Anger, Wood concludes, “is the desperately intense effort of these ghosts to feel real.”

For good examples of dogmatic, unquestioning, utterly moralistic and irrational anger, you can always rely on the editorial page of the Boston Globe. The possibility that people who disagree with them may have motives other than bigotry and ignorance never, ever arises. No fundamental questions (What are "rights?" Where do they come from? What is marriage?) are ever asked.