Jane Austen and Park Honan

I don’t have the computer skills, let alone the patience, to set up my own blogsite. So I am especially grateful to the editors of First Things for their ecumenical hospitality in opening their cyber-pages to voices other than their own during this month of August. In my first foray into this . . . . Continue Reading »

Gene McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy

In about March or April of 1968 (is it really so many years ago?), I received a call in my Stanford office asking me whether I could meet with Robert F. Kennedy in San Francisco on his first trip to the Commonwealth as a presidential candidate. I said yes, for Bobby was already my favorite among . . . . Continue Reading »

Response to Robert George on “Bodies”

I differ with Robert George (and perhaps Patrick Lee) on some foundational issues in meta-ethics, and that is why, I think, they and I disagree in some respects about the dignity of, and respect due to, human bodies, whether dead or alive. Since my view is for some people the less familiar, I ought . . . . Continue Reading »

P.D.Q. Bach, Peter Schickele

And now for something completely different . . . If good music is a passion, then you probably already steer clear of this guy . However, if the deflating of stuffed shirts, aka top quality nonsense, is a penchant, then you no doubt are a fan of P.D.Q. Bach, also known as Peter Schickele. Here in . . . . Continue Reading »

Statue of Saint Therese

I was very glad to see this little page on the Notre Dame website . My friend Charley and I put up this statue of Saint Therese in the spring of 1948, and I am thrilled to see devotion before it still picking up. Charley Cingolani was a high school sophomore, and I a freshman, at the time. The . . . . Continue Reading »

Physics and “Bodies: The Exhibition”

I am not competent to get involved in the theological and philosophical discussions among Robert P. George, Patrick Lee , Robert T. Miller , and Claire V. McCusker on the relation between bodies and souls. However, as a physicist I am interested in one statement made here yesterday by Robert George . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance

Wasn’t it Tip O’Neal who said that all politics are local? Well, we recently had our elections here in Rutherford County , and it’s humbling and sad all at the same time¯humbling to see the number of folks who give themselves selfishly to causes they believe in, humbling to . . . . Continue Reading »

Muslim terrorists in Europe

The British have arrested Muslim terrorists, and once again, soul-searching is very much in evidence. "Why," I hear asked, "are those born among us turning against us?" High unemployment, social isolation, anti-Muslim prejudice¯the standard explanations are canvassed. They . . . . Continue Reading »

Response to Prof. Miller on “Bodies”

I don’t mean to go on about death. After all, this is supposed to be First Things, not Last Things. But I wanted to add something to Prof. Miller’s post , with which, as far as the Catholic moral philosophy goes, I am in complete agreement. Unlike Miller, I am less worried that the . . . . Continue Reading »