Jean Edward Smith, Eisenhower, And Stimulus

David Frum likes Jean Edward Smith’s biography of Eisenhower. I mostly enjoyed it myself, but Frum agrees with Smith’s claim the Interstate Highway Act was a Keynesian stimulus program to deal with the end of the Korean War. That seems mostly wrong when I look at the dates. Smith wrote . . . . Continue Reading »

Those Christmas Letters

Though the sending of round-robin Christmas letters seems to have gone out of fashion, or maybe the kind of people who used to send them have just taken us off their lists, which has deprived us of some innocent amusement, this is still hysterical: Lynne Truss’ Christmas round-robin letters: . . . . Continue Reading »

Singing Hymns at Mass

David mentions the awkwardness, one might say inappropriateness, of the singing of hymns at Mass. The best case for the practice I’ve read is the one offered last summer by Nathaniel Peters in these pages: ” The Catholic Case for Protestant Hymns .” Nathaniel makes several . . . . Continue Reading »

Please, Sir, I Want Some More

Verses, that is. In Far As the Curse is Found , Abp Augustine DiNoia’s Christmas Eve homily we’re privileged to be able to post “On the Square,” he says that the verse of which this is the last phrase is “rarely sung.” It’s rarely sung in Catholic churches, . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

George Weigel on a lost pastoral opportunity : At their annual November meeting, the U.S. bishops failed to approve a pastoral message on the economy. “The Hope of the Gospel in Difficult Economic Times” was approved by a clear majority of the bishops voting, but objections raised in . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Celebrate Christmas When We Do?

It is generally believed that the birth of Christ is celebrated on December 25 because our savvy Christian forebears with a flare for marketing took over a winter solstice holiday from the surrounding pagans. Not so, apparently. Here is William J. Tighe on Calculating Christmas and Andrew McGowan . . . . Continue Reading »

The Word of the Day: slack

Have you ever noticed that there aren’t any words in French or Spanish that begin with  sl-?  There weren’t any in Latin, either. Every language rules out certain combinations of consonants, as being too hard to pronounce. Hawaiian rules them all out! You never . . . . Continue Reading »

Jesus, Death, and Zombies

Maybe we’re both just morbid, or feeling the pains of middle age, or for some other reason thinking gloomy thoughts about life on earth, but the “Catholic Sense” column I write for the Pittsburgh Catholic  and the editor’s OTS column The Christmas Conspiracy . . . . Continue Reading »