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Celebrity and the Absence of Faith

In Christopher Beha’s excellent debut novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder?, writer Charlie Blakeman nearly laughs when Sophie, his ex-girlfriend and a Catholic convert, says she plans to save the soul of her dying father-in-law, an atheist: “I don’t think I knew a single person who would have spoken in that way about saving someone’s soul,” ­Charlie observes. “The religious people I knew talked about their faith apologetically. It was an embarrassment to their own reason and intelligence, but somehow a necessary one.” Continue Reading »

A Millennial Column

I’ve been writing op-ed columns for the Catholic press since 1979. In its present form, “The Catholic Difference,” I began this column in 1993 at the invitation of the late Kay Lagreid, then-editor of the now-deceased Catholic Northwest Progress in Seattle; the column went into national syndication shortly thereafter, with the Denver Catholic Register eventually succeeding the Progress as syndicator. This is the one-thousandth column in that series, which prompts some thoughts of a confessional nature. Continue Reading »

The Company Man As Liberal Demagogue

Charlie Cooke has a good article about the madhouse that is MSNBC. Hardball with Chris Matthews used to a be an interesting show. In earlier incarnations of the show, Matthews was a unapologetic but slightly idiosyncratic liberal host who was not entirely a cheerleader for the liberal side. He had . . . . Continue Reading »

What Isn’t The Story

Nancy Pelosi was just as bad as you’ve heard on Meet The Press . There was her determined denial of the obvious (that Obamacare had led to the cancellation of insurance policies for millions). There was her declaration of utter ruthlessness in pursuit of the passage of Obamacare (“If we . . . . Continue Reading »

Socialization As Much As Persuasion

The shutdown/debt ceiling fight is just too depressing a subject to keep up a running commentary. It was an unwise fight, but the Republican establishment that is saying “I told you so” to the defunders is, in its own way, just as delusional as the people who thought the threat of a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Challenge Of A Culturally Hostile Media

One of the really irritating narratives to come out of the shutdown/debt ceiling debate is the idea that the shutdown drowned out coverage of the incompetence of the Obamacare exchanges. Funny, but the excellent Fox News program Special Report with Bret Baier managed to cover both stories. The . . . . Continue Reading »

Random Thoughts On Our Political Situation

1. I have no idea how the continuing resolution/defund Obamacare/delay Obamacare maneuvering are going to play out. 2. President Obama just isn’t that popular. He is closer to unpopular. His RCP job approval average is down to 43.5% even though the economy continues to grow slowly and the . . . . Continue Reading »

Growing up Without Privacy

We give ourselves to BIG DATA with every trackable transaction and communication. ” Corporate competition to accumulate information about consumers is intensifying even as concerns about government surveillance grow, pushing down the market price for intimate personal details to fractions of . . . . Continue Reading »

Wonder Where the Spin will Take Us?

That’s my question for the day.  From the NYT, quoting Eric Holder, who cannot be the most credible source this week, “The F.B.I. is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken in connection with those matters related to the I.R.S.,” Mr. Holder told . . . . Continue Reading »

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