Monday, October 24, 2005

Bush Doesn't Nominate IHOP Cashier for Fed Chief

In startling news today, President Bush nominated a serious candidate to replace Alan Greenspan as Fed Chief. Observers were amazed because the IHOP cashier could always add numbers in his head pretty fast back in Midland, TX when the future president paid for breakfast.

Question: How are Bush's first 2004 debate with Kerry and and his, umm, stealth selection of Harriet Miers alike?

Answer: George was in the catbird seat and then blew it by not doing his @#$%& homework. Like father like son. Bleah.

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Comments on "Mother Angelica"

I recently wrote some comments on on the new book Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo. They are as follows.

"This is an exciting, well written book, something that I was not expecting at all. I began watching and contributing to EWTN during a difficult period of my life and Mother Angelica's network is a blessing to all, but especially those who are going through hard times. This book is a terrific read about how it all came about and it spends a lot of time on her battles with certain members of the American Church hierarchy - many of whom were exposed in the 2002 sex scandals for their less-than-Catholic actions and unconscionable lack of leadership. Mother Angelica is the primary figure in the ongoing renaissance of orthodox Catholicism among the laity and, equally important, in the seminaries. Mother Angelica and EWTN are providing wonderful tools for taking back our Church from what Raymond Arroyo (charitably) calls the "progressives" in the USCCB and their bureaucracies. What a wonderful book! It makes me ready to join the fight!"

Friday, October 14, 2005

EWTN Is Now Podcasting!

Whether you've been wondering what podcasts are, whether you're an occasional sampler of podcasts, or whether you're addicted (like me), EWTN is now podcasting! Check out the EWTN Podcasting page!

Wondering how to get started? After starting out with iPodder, I've moved to Apple's iTunes to subscribe to podcasts. The Apple software seems hard to beat at the moment...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Latest Book I'm Willing to Admit I've Read

I just finished How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Regular readers of this blog might guess that I'm sympathetic to the aim of the book, and I am, but this was a pretty average read. In spite of the embarassing pains the author takes to establish his bona fides ("four Ivy League degrees, including an A.B. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Columbia"), it's not a terribly good book. Mostly a cut-and-paste job, there were nevertheless some interesting sections that I marked in my own copy: pp. 195-196: St. Anselm's argument for what, exactly, was the need for the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ, given that God could just as easily decided to "forgive" the human race for "original sin" and obtained the same result. (I use the quotation marks in that last sentence judiciously, I think, and respectfully because I am not sure what original sin really is, given that the story of Adam and Eve is, I currently believe, an allegory for how the world was really created.) St. Anselm's reasoning is, to my way of thinking, pretty good and I certainly had not heard of it before. In the same vein, Soren Kierkegaard's likening (pp. 218-219) of the love of God for mankind to a king who wished to pursuade a commoner woman to genuinely fall in love with him. Both references to our necessarily limited attempts to understand the incarnation of Christ are touching. The book as a whole is interesting, it just could have been a whole lot more. Even so, I recommend it.

The "To Be Read" Pile

This is a list of some of the most anticipated (by me) books I own and mean to read some day. They will probably stay on the "to be read" pile for some years because each requires a large investment in time and care to read and, with the job and family, I just don't have as much of those as I want. When and if I retire some day, I'm going to seriously and methodically read them. In the meantime, I love skimming through them, reading short passages at random. They may or may not be the most profound books ever written, but they appeal to me, giving me a sense of "that's the coolest thing I've ever seen"...

  • Rudy Rucker, The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul
  • Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality
  • Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality
  • Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science
  • Carl B. Boyer, A History of Mathematics
  • Douglas R. Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
  • Alexander Star (ed), Quick Studies: The Best of Lingua Franca

I would very much like to be made aware of other books that readers of this blog (cough, if there ARE any readers of this blog :-) think would similarly interest me.

Later, I will post the titles of some books that I've read in the past and have had the greatest effect on me. A quick example: Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.