Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cable Salad

Okay, so it's  Language warning.  But I love reading about cliches, proverbs and vocabulary from other languages . . . just skip the first and last.

31 phrases English needs to steal

Saturday, June 27, 2015

musings prompted by bearing

Here, Bearing makes connections between Pope Benedict's encyclical  and a Japanese book on decluttering.  It's much less far fetched than you might think.  But I was particularly struck by these two paragraphs.

Some of what St. Francis was getting at, when he preached to birds and addressed "brother sun, sister moon,"  is gratitude.  Because that is what a Catholic vision of "respect for the natural world" must, in the end, be reduced to.  Respect is actually something owed to persons, and all "respect" for objects, natural or man-made, is really a respect for persons; the object is merely a means of transmission.  Example:  we show respect for, say, an American flag, not for its own sake, but because it's a way to visibly respect people who also share that flag, sometimes (as at a military funeral) very specific people.  
And we "respect" the natural world, not for its own sake, but (practically speaking) to steward it and share it for the sake of other people's livelihood, and (more fundamentally speaking) out of gratitude to God for making a gift of it to all of us.  Wastefulness and an attitude of total control risk us taking for granted this world of objects for which we should give thanks every day.

This in turn doubles back to much of what Ann Voskamp has written on gratitude.

Given my fractious feelings with regards to patriotism and the American flag the last number of years, I like the handle that this gives.

I also think that it's interesting that *what* we respect is an indicator of what we are *grateful* for . . . somehow this all doubles back and relates to idolatry and desire . . . we are grateful for that which we deem to hold worth.  What we *worship* . . .

Is the divide between the right and the left in large part a choice of different idols?  That what we value as worthy of opposed?

Bearing's original post

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Or, as I thought of it when I was seven . . . Uker.

I love getting a probable etymology of both "Euchre" and "Bower."

5 second rule

Yeah . . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Yorker article on euthanasia

A disturbing, fascinating look at the euthanasian movement in Belgium and Flanders.  Andy's comment: "  I was struck by the nihilism on display - death as the solution to problems, ranging from terminal illness to depression to mere unhappiness. People often complain that human suffering somehow implicates God in evil. I would reply that without God, suffering is meaningless and hopeless."   Cross this with increasingly socialized health care and the inevitability of bureacrats deciding who it financially viable to treat or not and you have a horrible soup.  And dad's assertion that delaying death is not actually the same thing as prolonging life . . . when our medical technology has advanced to the point when we can extend existence and suffering a very long time without actually curing anything, what is the righteous way forward?  I don't know . . .

HT:  Andy Scott, via FB