Saturday, April 28, 2007


I am nerdier than 78% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Warning: This is geared to computer/math nerds, not so much nerds of another brand. Stephen, you will rank high. Law friends, you may or may not, but rest assured, you will always be king nerds in my heart.

HT: Camille Lewis

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Catholic political theory in a nutshell

Here it is, from the (then future) Pope himself (p. 129 of Without Roots:
The Catholic will not and should not, thought the making of laws, impose a hierarchy of values that can only be recognized and enacted within the faith. He or she can only reclaim that which belongs to the human foundations accessible to reason and the therefore essential to the construction of a sound legal order.
Don't know yet if I fully agree with it (though I'm inclined to at least in result if not in foundational assumptions about epistemology), but it is pretty coherent, eh?

Answering Nietzsche

From Cardinal Ratzinger's response letter to Prof. Pera (found on pp. 125-26 of Without Roots:
Here what we are actually addressing, in my opinion, is the decisive reason for the abandonment of Christianity: its model for life is apparently unconvincing. It seems to place too many restraints on humankind that stifle its joie de vivre, that limit its precious freedom, and that do not lead it to open pastures--in the language of the Psalms--but rather into want, into deprivation. Something similar happened in antiquity, when the representatives of the powerful Roman state appealed to Christians by saying: Return to our religion, our religion is joyous, we have feasts, drunken revels, and entertainments, while you believe in One who was crucified.

The Christians were able to demonstrate persuasively how empty and base were the entertainments of paganism, and how sublime the gift of faith in the God who suffers with us and leads us to the road of true greatness. ... The Christian model of life must be manifested as a life in all its fullness and freedom, a life that does not experience the bonds of love as dependence and limitation but rather as an opening to the greatness of life.
Encouragement and indictment all in one passage. Isn't that always how it runs?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quotation to munch on

From a letter from Professor Marcello Pera to Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), printed in Without Roots, p. 100:
“Secularists must beware–and often they are not wary enough, because technological devices are so readily available–of rushing to transform their whims into desires, and their desires into rights. Believers must also beware–and they, too, are often not wary enough, since it is so easy to find a proper or ad hoc passage from the Scriptures–of transforming their interpretations of the Scriptures into dogma.
The first sentence is profound. I'm still thinking about the second one. At first reading it seems like a non sequitur. But the context helps: Pera is laying out what each side will need to do to participate in strengthening a common culture of values (roughly--I'm grossly oversimplifying for time and space purposes. Just read the book.).

Note: [sic] on the en-dashes throughout. I know they should be em-dashes, but (1) they were en-dashes in the text, and (2) I'm not sure if simple text on blogger does em-dashes anyway.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kennedy wobbles to the right this week.

Buzz around the law school is that the Supreme Court has upheld Bush's partial birth abortion ban in a 5-4 decision. Kennedy wrote the opinion. Excellent. More later after I actually read said opinion. Which may end up being after finals. Over and out.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thoughts on a breezy afternoon

On South Quad at Notre Dame an environmental awareness group has set up hundreds of little plastic pinwheels to promote awareness of the environmental advantages of windmills as a source of energy. The pinwheels are cute, but I have to wonder: Are they biodegradable?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hug your cat.

A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of
the wicked are cruel.
Proverbs 12:10

Animal cruelty has been linked statistically to child abuse. Says a lot about a person.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good music alert

Late-semester culture needed? Mark your calender now for the ND Symphony's Spring concert. It's Friday, April 27, at 8:00. The program features Holst's The Planets, and some other stuff (Really, do you need more than "Jupiter" to make it worth the $3 student ticket?).

An exercise in futility

My sweaters had cat hair on them so I decided to wash them. Unfortunately, they are "lay flat to dry."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is risen indeed!

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
I Corinthians 15:55

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Product Alert

I just got Half Past Forever's new album Take a Chance on Something Beautiful this week. I have to say, I like it a lot. Rarely do I warm up to something new so quickly, but I like the easy indyrock style, the obvious musicianship of the band members, Chris's voice, and his heart in the the lyrics. The band disclaims trying to fit into the "Christian music" niche, but all the members are live-out-loud followers of Christ, and the music that comes from their deeply Christian worldview makes no effort to hide that. It may not be your taste, but if it is, give Amazon a visit.

If you haven't heard their style or aren't sure if you might like it, check out their myspace page for samples from the CD.