Monthly Archive: March 2016


Wednesday’s Child: More Flesh by the Pound

I signed off last week’s post with the observation that rehabilitation – especially the posthumous kind – is a bribe that legality slips to justice, and since then I’ve read a little of the story of St. Joan of Arc, illustrating my point rather neatly.  It may be remembered that, a quarter of a century after they had burned her at the stake in the marketplace at Rouen, the woman in question was exonerated on appeal by the Inquisitor General.  A quarter of a century, it seems – in other words, a generation – is how long it usually takes,...


Don’t Think: Just Feel the Bern

Political candidates who prey on anxieties have succeeded in exploiting the ignorance of all too many Americans. It is frightening that such candidates could rise to prominence in this country. We need better education to prevent the appeal of such demagogues. This is the sort of stuff we hear every day from leftist pundits who are convinced that their side has a monopoly on intelligence and education. Anyone who has been to even a halfway respectable college will become a leftist Democrat. The connection between education and leftism is something like the law of gravity. Just as we know that an...


Properties of Blood I.4: Friends and Neighbors, Part E

Who Is My Neighbor? For more than 100 years, some Christians have argued that Marxist socialism is the secular fulfillment of Our Lord’s repeated warnings against the temptations of great wealth and His injunctions to practice charity.  Inevitably, the preachers of the “Social Gospel” or “Liberation Theology” will trot out the parable of the Good Samaritan as proof of their equation of Marxist principle with Christian (particularly Catholic) teaching.  Non-Marxist Catholics, perhaps uncomfortable with the apparently revolutionary tendencies in the Gospels, tend to dwell on the practical drawbacks of socialist experiments, and, while these critiques are certainly correct, they fail to...


Paul Ryan Gets Jack Kemp Wrong–and Donald Trump, Too

I try to find the amusing in politics, and there was a lot of unintentional humor in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s March 23 speech before interns on Capitol Hill on the state of American politics. As commentators have noted, although not mentioning Donald Trump by name, the blathering was directly aimed at the real estate baron. Salon asked, “Can he really endorse Trump after a speech like this?” Of course he can, assuming the rt. hon. gentleman doesn’t join other Establishment pols in swiping the Republican nomination for himself or another hack. This is politics; there’s no honor. Ryan well...


From Under the Rubble, Episode 2: 2016 Presidential Campaigns


The 2016 Presidential campaigns have proved to be unusually entertaining, but the emergence of Donald Trump as front-runner represents the first serious challenge in decades to the hegemony of the Democrat-Republican party state. Original Air Date: March 28, 2016 Show Run Time: 1 hour 5 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): James Easton   From Under the Rubble℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2016. All Rights are Reserved.


Christ Is Risen

Anything I might have to say on this most blessed day of the year would be at best superfluous.  I do, however,  want to draw attention to the beautiful collect in the Old Mass.  Many of these prayers are capable of inspiring a good deal of reflection, if we pause a moment to consider them: Deus qui hodierna die per Unigenitum tuum, aeternitatis nobis aditum, devincta morte reserasti,  vota nostra, quae praeveniendo aspiras, etiam adjuvando prosequere.  Per eundem Dominum etc.  This is  Englished in various ways, but this version, drawn from the Father Lasance Missal, puts the gist of it...


The Autodidact on Aristotle, Part II

Aristotle and Plato Although it is fair to describe Aristotle as the most important Platonist of all time, he parted company with his teacher on many important points.  This is a difficult topic, complicated both by Plato’s dialectical methods that sometimes make it hard to know what his position was and by his changing positions.  Plato’s first attempt to find a divine and enduring basis for our ever-changing realities is his theory of ideas or forms, which he either later or alternatively reconceived more in terms of number.  Aristotle fully acknowledges the truth of Plato’s insight into the problem—that for...


The Tower of Skulls On the House

The day before the Easter we celebrate in the West, my thoughts go out to Christians in the East who once endured the horror of Islamic rule.  I wrote this piece in September 2001, and it was published  n December.   “You’ve never been to Nish?!”  My friend was incredulous.  How can someone who has traveled, it sometimes seems, every inch of Montenegro, Bosnia, and Kosovo, not have found the time to go to Nish?  The lady is far from being a local chauvinist, but when I first met her and asked (as I had been taught by a Belgrader) if...


Wednesday’s Child: Flesh by the Pound

Last week Alfredo, my closest friend here in Sicily, was arrested on charges of mafia association.  Manlio, a friend Alfredo and I have in common, had suffered exactly the same fate some twenty years ago; after a year in jail awaiting trial, and many another of a ruined life, he was in the end acquitted of all charges imputed to him; by then, however, this former mayor of Palermo was a broken man.  Now it’s Alfredo’s turn to serve as a film extra in a political production known as the war against the mafia. When Mussolini wanted to wipe out...


Muslims Must Go

Here is Hillary Clinton’s response to the terrorist attacks on Brussels: “Calling for 12 million immigrants to be rounded up and deported.  Demanding we turn away refugees because of their religion, and proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the United States…America should be better than this, and I believe it’s our responsibility as citizens to say so…If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. If you see a bully, stand up to him.” Ms Clinton actually made her remarks at an AIPAC meeting where she spent most of her time attacking the Republican front-runner, but...