The Year In Review. In Pictures.

Over at The Boston Globe’s website, the paper’s photography blog (The Big Picture) has a three-part Year In Review, featuring over 120 visually arresting photographs: The year 2009 is now coming to a close, and it’s time to take a look back over the past 12 months through photographs. Historic elections were held in Iran, India … Read more

Beware the beef

Here’s a piece from the New York Times about the problems we still have treating industrially processed ground beef… That would be the same beef purchased by fast food joints, many restaurants, school lunch programs, and the majority of American food shoppers. Michael Moss reports that eight years ago, federal officials were looking for ways … Read more

Answering heresy with pasta

Father Tim Jones, the Anglican priest who suggested recently in a homily that the poor ought to take up shoplifting to feed themselves, has received some memorable feedback on his idea. A Yorkshire priest who caused controversy this month by preaching that shoplifting could sometimes be justified has had a bucket of pasta thrown over … Read more

U.S. Catholic Editor Chides My ‘Clumsy Argument’

Bryan Cones, the managing editor at U.S. Catholic, is upset that I used the word “fake” to describe Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Two weeks ago, I criticized those organizations for supporting the Senate health-care bill containing abortion funding.  At the Huffington Post, Cones calls me out: Hudson appoints himself … Read more

Haydn’s Baryton Trios

When I was in DC this past September for InsideCatholic’s 14th Annual Partnership dinner, Deal introduced me to a truly extraordinary collection of music: Haydn’s Baryton Trios. (The baryton, a large viol-like bowed instrument, seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years — a fact attributed by some to the “immense difficult” required in playing it … Read more

Encountering Christmas Mass for the first time

Readers here may be interested in this personal account of a Jewish woman’s first encounter with the Catholic Mass on Christmas eve. American Thinker contributor “Robyn of Berkeley” became a political conservative, and her experience of religious people drew her to church. (Certainly the reverse of the stories we typically hear.)  Here’s an excerpt from … Read more

Mao Tse-Tung’s Greed for Mayhem

Not every villain in history can be confined to a single vice. In pointing out, for instance, the Gluttony of François Mitterand, I didn’t mean to clear this polygamous socialist of any suspicion of Lust or Envy. Quite the contrary: As St. Francis de Sales implied when he suggested that giving way to Lust made … Read more

Nancy ‘Freedom!’ Pelosi, a Christmas miracle, and not quite the ‘World’s Best Job’

Eleanor Clift’s interview with Nancy Pelosi in the latest issue of Newsweek has been making the rounds, predictably, because of the Speaker’s comments on abortion. From the Boston Examiner: “I have some concerns about the church’s position respecting a woman’s right to choose. I have some concerns about the church’s position on gay rights. I … Read more

Best Books of 2009 and My Best Book

Every year at this time, I enjoy reading through the various lists of “Best Books of 2009.”  I usually end of up with a stack of books, most of which I would never have read except for these lists.   The list below contains some of the best of the best of 2009.  My personal favorites … Read more

Whom Have I in Heaven but Thee?

Whom have I in heaven but thee? So cried Asaph the psalmist. It is an astonishing moment in the history of man, for Asaph had looked upon the wicked and seen how they prospered. His feet had well nigh slipped, he says. Yet he held fast to two truths that had been revealed to him. … Read more

In Honor of Today’s Feast

The church shall be open, even to our enemies.We are not here to triumph by fighting , by stratagem, or by resistance,Not to fight with beasts as men. We have fought the beastAnd have conquered. We have only to conquerNow, by suffering. This is the easier victory.Now is the triumph of the Cross, nowOpen the … Read more

Dave Barry’s ‘Year in Review’: 2009

Thank heavens for Dave Barry: Who else could cast the lowlights of the past year in a way that makes you laugh rather than reach for the bottle? (Ok, maybe both at once.) From the intro: To be sure, it was a year that saw plenty of bad news. But in almost every instance, there … Read more

Driving libertarians out of the Tea Party movement

It appears that some state and county Tea Party groups are trying to cleanse their ranks of libertarians. That’s a shame since the movement started with Ron Paul and his libertarian followers, and was then co-opted by mainstream GOP Sean Hannity types. Lawrence Samuels, editor of Facets of Liberty: A Libertarian Primer and participant in … Read more

Right-wing hippies are not that rare.

Are people like WholeFoods founder and CEO John Mackey really that rare? Many in the media seem to think so. Ever since Mackey published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this summer, the press have been treating him as an anomaly. Nick Paumgarten has a piece in The New Yorker about Mackey’s quirks, but … Read more

Catholic Health Association Backtracks On Senate Bill is reporting that the Catholic Health Association does not endorse the Senate health care bill and the abortion language crafted by Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA).  In an interview with Catholic News Service, CHA president, Sr. Carol Keehan, explained, ‘The Catholic Health Association has not endorsed the health legislation that was passed by the Senate . . . … Read more

The Inescapability of the Gospel

  Here’s a piece by a Lefty named Annalee Newitz about the insufficiently Lefty liberal power fantasy that energizes stories like Avatar:   These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color — their cultures, their habitats, and … Read more

The Narnia Code

Erin Manning has some interesting reflections over at Rod Dreher’s blog on Christmas and “the struggle to live as a serious Christian in modern America.” Terry Mattingly’s review of the book Tinsel reminded her that, annual stories about the “War on Christmas” aside, the real battle against Christmas is waged within each of us: What … Read more

The war on Christmas is in every human heart

Erin Manning has some interesting reflections over at Rod Dreher’s blog on Christmas and “the struggle to live as a serious Christian in modern America.” Terry Mattingly’s review of the book Tinsel reminded her that, annual stories about the “War on Christmas” aside, the real battle against Christmas is waged within each of us: What … Read more

2009: A Good Year for Music

As 2009 expires, music journalists and magazines rush to anoint their recordings of the year. I have no such list, but I did take note of the British Gramophone’s December selection of the Quatuor Ébène’s CD of the Ravel, Debussy, and Fauré String Quartets on Virgin Classics (519045-2) as the recording of the year. I … Read more

Saber rattling at Iran, the progressive heaven of Detroit, and Minas Tirith in cake.

Iran appears to be moving toward a full-scale revolution. If you want to follow the unfolding events, Andrew Sullivan remains the best media source for first-hand reports and video. And Stephen Walt makes an important point at Foreign Policy: [T]his is an especially foolish time to be rattling sabers and threatening military action. Threatening or … Read more

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