Friday, June 20, 2008


The Chesterteens have a new name - "The Flying-Ins." Clever.

I enjoy reading what they have to say. Check them out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What, Me Worry?

One of my favorite Cold War jokes was: A Russian and an American diplomat were discussing the recent student protests in California and the Russian said “In my country ve have vay of treating student rebels, called firing squad.”

Obama has the same mentality toward the ‘culture wars’. His solution is to tell the other side to ‘just lie down, shut-up, its over, we win. Cause I said so’.

"I am absolutely convinced that culture wars are so nineties; their days are growing dark, it is time to turn the page," Obama said in July. "We want a new day here in America. We're tired about arguing about the same ole' stuff."

Who says Obama is naïve?

“In the end it will not matter to us whether we fought with flails or reeds. It will matter to us greatly on what side we fought.” G.K.C.

“When the real revolution happens,” says Captain Pierce, “it won’t be mentioned in the newspapers.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In Dale Ahlquist's essay, G.K. Chesterton and The Perils of Being a Complete Thinker, he states

There is a created order, and in keeping that order, we are happy, and we are free. In upsetting that order, we inflict a disorder which makes us miserable. Chesterton says, "When you break the big laws, you don't get freedom. You do not even get anarchy. You get small laws."

It is the the little laws that enslave us. It is the big laws that keep us free.

Which brings me to , Same-Sex 'Marriage' and the Persecution of Civil Society, by Jennifer Roback Morse.

"Legalizing same-sex 'marriage' is not a stand-alone policy, independant of all the other activities of the state. Once governments assert that same-sex unions are the equivalent of marriage, those governments must defend and enforce a whole host of other social chages. ...The fact that opposite and same-sex couples are different in significant ways means that there will always be scope for the state to expand its reach into more and more private areas of more and more people's lives."

Read her whole article here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lauren Best

The most recent "Poet of the Month" in the Owen Sound Sun Times is Lauren Best. In the interview she was asked "What's your favourite quote about poetry?" Her response was from G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy:
We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

and the livin is easy

They lay together,
she on her back
he on his side.
The open space
hardly big enough to hold a whisper.

They closed the gap.

The sheet,
on their ankles
and calves,
carelessly caressed them
as a cat would relive an itch.

Years of child bearing,
were not available for viewing.
They did not see the ravages
of time
on each other.

Here they did not age.

The moon
walked through their window
to be rearranged
by her lace curtains.
Its speckled beams
upon them
looking like the first touches
of gold leafing
on the statues of Hindu gods.

The summer wind tickled the pines
and their needles began to sing.
He touched a point of light on her skin
and a dog barked in their hearts.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sex in the City

Yea yea we all know the story but here is a movie review that quotes both G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis to make it's point.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A "Chesterton" novel

As the school year was winding down - and exams and papers from students piled up - I looked for some light reading to relax with in between bouts of grading and averaging.

At the local Catholic bookstore, I stumbled across The Tripods Attack (Book 1 of "The Young Chesterton Chronicles") by John McNichol.

The book is of the alternative history genre. Chesterton is an American orphan stranded in England who links up with H.G. Wells and Father Brown (!) to fight invaders from Mars.

We also learn that America is five separate countries, and that elements of the British MI 5 assassinated Lincoln. And that Edison flew to Mars! There's also mention of Lewis's Ransom.

Silly? Perhaps. And certainly not Dickens (or even Chesterton), but quite enjoyable.

Physics Can Be Phun

"The obvious truth is that the moment any matter has passed through the human mind it is finally and for ever spoilt for all purposes of science. It has become a thing incurably mysterious and infinite; this mortal has put on immortality. Even what we call our material desires are spiritual, because they are human. Science can analyse a pork-chop, and say how much of it is phosphorus and how much is protein; but science cannot analyse any man's wish for a pork-chop, and say how much of it is hunger, how much custom, how much nervous fancy, how much a haunting love of the beautiful. The man's desire for the pork-chop remains literally as mystical and ethereal as his desire for heaven. All attempts, therefore, at a science of any human things, at a science of history, a science of folk-lore, a science of sociology, are by their nature not merely hopeless, but crazy. You can no more be certain in economic history that a man's desire for money was merely a desire for money than you can be certain in hagiology that a saint's desire for God was merely a desire for God. And this kind of vagueness in the primary phenomena of the study is an absolutely final blow to anything in the nature of a science. Men can construct a science with very few instruments, or with very plain instruments; but no one on earth could construct a science with unreliable instruments. A man might work out the whole of mathematics with a handful of pebbles, but not with a handful of clay which was always falling apart into new fragments, and falling together into new combinations. A man might measure heaven and earth with a reed, but not with a growing reed. " GKC

I do not know for sure if the The Institute for Advanced Physics intended to follow Chesterton’s thoughts on the nature of science, that is basically, one can not separate the physical from the metaphysical and remain sane but they understand it.

Too many scientists believe we live in a Godless accidently made universe where everything is knowable and they always get twisted up in their shorts and many people along with them.

Now along comes a breath of fresh air and sanity - this is the mission statement of the IAP:

The Institute for Advanced Physics is established to advance modern science in a balanced fashion that does not leave behind the correct philosophical foundations, nor the proper moral and spiritual components.

They go on with this:

Anywhere physical science is done, one finds a ready defense of certain basic truths. Scientists hold that the world is rational and understandable by us. Science is one of the few arenas in modern culture where objectivity is respected. As Nietzsche, albeit from a hostile perspective, pointed out, those who study the world and hold to the reality of objective understanding witness to the God of Truth.

Still, scientists have inadvertently allowed the poison of subjectivism to enter through various port holes. Leading scientists hold, for example, using facts of quantum mechanics, that the world is not there when you're not looking at it. Of course, this entails a kind of split thinking, for while they're actually doing their science, they obviously think that they are learning something about a real world whose existence is not merely an aspect of themselves. The root causes of such a schizophrenic state must be addressed or science itself will be undermined by its unintended subjectivist fruit.
See the complete mission statement here
For you home schoolers you can get their text books here
In case you have forgotten: get your daily fix of wonder here

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Conference clerihews

Wow, based on what I'm reading, I'm almost glad that I can't go to the conference. (I can't because as a teacher/principal, I can never get away this time of the year, and they won't move the date of the conference, so I won't be able to go until I retire!).

Anyway, although I can't be there, I did submit 6 clerihews for the clerihew contest.

So maybe I'll be there in spirit.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

Depending on where you live your Bishop will fall into one of those categories.

Contact Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt about the Chesterton Conference and see what category he is in.

Then go here to see a Bishop not afraid to go against it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Poisoning the Annual Chesterton Society Conference

First, the letter from Dale Ahlquist at the American Chesterton Society that just came out:

St. Thomas Security has taken over our conference. This is what we have to deal with this year:

1. Alcohol can only be served and consumed in the lobby of OShaugnessy Education Center. Glasses cannot be taken into the auditorium or outside.

2. The wine and beer has to be served by St. Thomas food service staff, for which we will be charged a fee.

3. The alcohol has to be served with food. Not just cheese and crackers. The food has to be ordered through Food Service. We can’t bring our own. They may make an exception for the wheel of Stilton cheese.

4. We have to serve other drinks as well. The other drinks have to be ordered through Food Service.

5. We can serve wine and beer only during the following hours during the conference: 7-10 Thursday, 1-4, Friday, and 1-4, Saturday

6. We can have an outdoor “afterglow” in Foley Plaza on Thurs, Fri., and Sat nights from 10:30 to Midnight. Again we have to have a food service staff member act as bartender with the last drink served not later than 11:45 pm. The plaza will be fenced off with one entrance and exit and everyone there has to wear a conference badge. We have to pay for the fence, too.

7. There will be a security officer present at all our events.

8. We had to get a special license to serve wine with the banquet on Saturday night.

The costs of these extra requirements will do a good job of eating up the costs saved by having Catholic Studies co-sponsor the event. So we’re back to the conference being a money-loser.

I think we’re done with St. Thomas, and I think the conference is changed forever.

This is frustrating. First, you know the person that has imposed these restrictions is a self-righteous little jackass that is probably chanting “liability." Second, the self-righteous little ass probably has very little, if any, exposure to the Annual Chesterton Conference and doesn’t know how this will kill the Conference. Third, you couldn’t explain it to the self-righteous little ass because all these changes affect the “intangibles”–the spirit, the little things, the unnoticed things, the “air”–and if you can’t show such a person in black-and-white how changes will screw things up, he won’t believe you. Most frustrating.

Some Chestertonians are fighting back. An enjoyable email from one of them:

Dearly Beloved Mailing List 1, and Bcc’s:

Please find below a forwarded copy of a sad and distressing email I received tonight from Dale, the reigning Czar of the American Chesterton Society. For those of you who are unaware, the American Chesterton Society has held its annual Conference at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota, since June of 1997 (previously it had been hosted for nearly two decades in Milwaukee). Until last year, our Conference was a joyful, personalist, self-directed meeting of minds and hearts regarding all things Chesterton (and, therefore, Catholic and godly), but it appears that those pathetic, treasonous, squash-every-life-like-a-bug, Left-wing, sour, ruthless, joyless, little nimrod-minded, Obama-voting imps of the Fifth Pillar (hereafter referred to only as they) cannot stand the sounds of resounding laughter, singing and conversant chatter that are the ordinary hallmarks of a good, traditional Catholic party; they cannot tolerate the warm, sweet scent of cigar smoke wafting though the trees and, by GOD, they must not let us alone to, as responsible adults are sometimes wont to do on festal days, be allowed to imbibe anything stronger than Coca-Cola without wage-sucking chaperones and security. After all, they must tell themselves in the wee hours of the cold dark nights in the Caves [faculty housing], we evil Chestertonians might get a little loose in the head and begin planning the sacking and overthrow of all that is good and Marxist in a modern-day liberal “Catholic” house of education; we might even gang up as an unruly mob in the first night, storm the Caves, and run all the sad little tenured heretics off the premises with our pen-knives and holy-water-guns and (gasp!!!) raise the standard of the Papal household in the Quad before the dawn breaks! Eek-gads!

Here’s the deal: I didn’t spend all freaking year babying thirty gallons of prize merlot along just so I can turn around and have it measured out by the thimbleful, like so much poison, by some snot-nosed little Liberal-hack-without-a-clue because ol’ Archbishop Flynn has refused to grow a spine and let one of the most historic hallowed halls in American Catholic academics be turned into a den of Green Peace-worshiping, law-mongering, joy-sqwashing Commies. Sounds harsh? Too bad. It’s the bare truth.

We need help. Please!!! Send this communique to everyone you know–especially the media. St Thomas will invite every anti-Catholic, anti-Life, anti-Reason moron and hack to our campus to spread Modernist filth and lying propaganda, but we orthodox, faithful Chestertonians (with 10 solid years of peaceful, non-confrontational, trouble-free, self-directed, responsible assemblies under our proverbial belt–and not one single DUI) can’t be trusted to meet without Big Brother monitoring our every move??? O, puleeze…..

We need you to protest.

We need donations to find a new Conference home.

We need dynamite in the Church, as Peter Maurin put it–and you all are the fuse!

Please email Fr. Dennis Dease ( and tell him that this is a sophmoric, vengeful move on the part of the University of St Thomas. And if you are giving money to these idiots, please stop!

That’s all. Up until now, this has been the best three day party on the planet. Now, like everything else, the Libs are trying to destroy it. We alone can stop them.

In His Grace, miki

Monday, June 02, 2008

Between a Rock and a Rock

With current gas prices I work one day a week just to fill my tank and because of the fuel prices I have to work a day and half to buy groceries for my family. Many complain that the money we spend for gas goes back to governments that fund terrorism and scream for energy independence. One of the things that is keeping us for this independence is the enemy within, in this case the environmental terrorists who won’t let us drill within our boarders.

Mark Steyn has a good piece on this here and manages to quote C. S. Lewis at the same time.

If you still believe that the people have a voice in government go here.