That is, attempts to fiddle with the rules and create the possibility of picking someone else have been defeated, and Trump is definitely going to be the Republican nominee.
"Looking to those colleagues, [Iowa committeeman Steve ] Scheffler admonished them to acknowledge their errors and unite around Trump."
Ha. As someone or other said somewhere or other in the past few days, we now have a choice between a candidate who doesn't know anything about the Constitution and one who knows but doesn't care. All in all, I suppose I'd prefer that Trump win, since I think or at least hope that the forces opposed to him would keep him from doing anything too crazy, and perhaps he might not be as actively harmful as Hillary intends to be.
Also at National Review, Kevin Williamson writes that 1968 Was Worse, and we should all calm down about the state of the country.
Well, yes and no. 1968 was worse in terms of actual disastrous events and threats (many younger people don't realize how tense the Cold War really was, and a lot of older people seem to have forgotten). But the fabric of the nation has deteriorated further since then. It's true that the divisions between young white leftists and the moderate-to-conservative wider culture was just as intense, if not more so, in 1968. Race relations, as tense as they are now, are surely better overall. But after 50 years of cultural and political struggle the sides are much more evenly matched in numbers, and there is much more widespread sense on both sides of being in a struggle to the death. Neither side really feels that it can live with the other in the long run. The anger and frustration are worsened by the continual expansion of the national government's assertion of control in state and local affairs. The national safety valve of federalism--the idea that Nebraska and Connecticut can be allowed to run themselves in different ways--is treated by the left as a right-wing plot, and the left has control of most of the judiciary, which ought to stop the overreach.
Possibly worse: the political system itself is showing signs of severe damage. In 1968, whatever you thought of most politicians, you could suppose that most of them respected the constitutional system, and that the people themselves respected it and expected the politicians to do so. I don't think that's true anymore. Too many of the supporters of both Hillary and Trump simply want what they want and would be perfectly happy to support a monarch who promised to give it to them.
Vanilla does not equal plain! It's a delicious flavor.
--Jay Nordlinger of National Review, in a tweet posted on the magazine's web site. (No, I am not on Twitter and don't want to be.)
I love vanilla ice cream, and for that matter vanilla almost anything. A few months ago I saw these in the grocery store while I was looking for another favorite, ginger snaps, and have become very fond of them.
Mija lives in a modest apartment in South Korea. She supports herself and her sullen, uncooperative grandson, Jongwook, by caring for an old, physically incapacitated man. She is the sort of person who slips unobtrusively in and out of the lives of others without making much of an impression—except for one thing. She is always dressed very nicely, and it is this that others notice about her.
She has not been feeling well lately. She's worried about her heart. However, when she goes to see the doctor, he is less concerned with her physical condition than he is with the fact that she is losing words—not forgetting them, but momentarily unable to recall the names of common things. So, he arranges for further tests.
Leaving the hospital, Mija finds herself in the middle of a tragedy. The body of a teenage suicide, Heejin, is being taken out of an ambulance. Her mother, grief-stricken and hysterical, is staggering through the parking lot.
Soon Mija's own life is shaken by two devastating revelations. First, she finds that she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Second, she finds that Heejin killed herself because she had been repeatedly raped by six boys at her school, and Jongwook is one of the boys. Worse, the fathers of the other five boys have consulted an attorney about how they can save the reputations of their sons. The attorney believes that the poor farming family can be bought off for 30,000 Won, and they want her to pay a sixth, 5,000 Won. This far exceeds her ability to pay, and also, she is increasingly haunted by the death of this young girl, the devastation of her family, and the guilt of her grandson. However, it is hard for Mija to even consider going against the decisions of these men, and it doesn't occur to them that she would.
Mija is a woman without a voice. I don't think that I would have understood the full import of this had I not worked with Korean students and ministers at the seminary where I worked for eight years. Many older Korean men just do not seem to think that women are capable outside the home. (The younger students did not seem to be like this at all.) One older Korean student really did not want to work with me. He wanted to deal exclusively with my boss, but my boss kept sending him back to me, which was not entirely comfortable. And then, there was a woman who was about 40, and you could tell by the way that she dealt with people that she had come from a culture where women were very apologetic and meek in their relations with people in authority. And so I wonder how this plays out in South Korea itself. Mija says to someone on the phone that she has to put up with Jongwook's behavior because he is the head of the house—a boy of about 16 or 17.
Until now she has really only expressed herself in her clothing, but knowing that before very long she will not be able to be heard at all, Mija looks for a way to say what she has to say, and she finds it in a poetry class. She takes the class very seriously and works hard to find poetic inspiration, but it seems to elude her. Slowly, though, through Heejin's funeral (Catholic), her meeting with Heejin's mother, her attendance at a local poetry group, and the beauty of nature, she finds her voice and writes her poem, both on paper, and in her own life.
When I sent Maclin the post for Two Lives, he said that it sounded like a “good but painful-to-watch movie.” I'd say that that is a pretty good description of Poetry also. Jeong-hie Yun is excellent and we are always aware of the conflict and the desire that fill Mija. Some of the choices that she makes disturb us, but this isn't our story, it's Mija's, and by her lights, they are the right ones.
Among other awards, Poetry the award for Best Screenplay at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
—Janet Cupo has been commenting on this blog for about as long as it's existed, and has her own excellent blog at The Three Prayers.
Possibly most people who read this blog also read these other two, but just in case:
Craig Burrell describes his initial investigation of Heidegger.
As part of Janet Cupo's 52 Saints series, Grumpy writes about St. Bonaventure.
I have to face the fact that though I'm pretty interested in theology and philosophy, I'm never going to become very knowledgeable about them. It has a lot to do with being 67 years old. Supposing I live another ten years or more, I could possibly read a lot on these topics, but only at the cost of giving up some of my other interests, and I have to choose. So overviews like these are of great interest to me. I have some notion, for instance, of what Aquinas is all about, but Bonaventure was not much more than a name to me.
Oh, and while I'm at it: here's an interesting news story about a couple of cosmologists who seem to think that life is based on information...or something...I don't think I understand just what they're saying, but the story is interesting for what it reveals about the way cosmology seems (inevitably?) to walk up to and sometimes cross the boundary between physical science and philosophy-theology. I was amused by this:
Self-awareness, he said, is not an obvious product of the electrical activity inside your head.
Indeed. In fact I'd say the idea that it is so is a sheer act of materialistic faith. And:
For many in the physics and astrophysics games, however, even the simplest suggestion that hard science can't ultimately account for the entire universe and everything in it – alive or not – sets off warning bells.
I'd say that fact is itself a sort of warning bell--a warning that there's more going on there than disinterested inquiry.
Still another "Samson and Delilah" variant. I love Patty Griffin, but when I first heard this one I didn't like it that much. But it grew on me.
I still like Ashley Cleveland's better, though. Older folks may remember that Peter, Paul, and Mary also recorded the song under the "If I Had My Way" title. To my taste it sounds a little on the awful side now.
There are many things to appreciate about Pope Francis. "Go to the margins"--yes. "The shepherd should smell like the sheep"--yes. And much more. But he also creates a great deal of confusion, and the controversy that followed his remark a week or so ago that the Church should apologize to homosexuals has brought me to a point where for the sake of my own spiritual health I am going to have to stop paying attention to him. Yes, if you seek out the full text and read the remark in context, it doesn't mean that the Church should apologize for saying that homosexual acts are wrong, and doesn't really say anything that isn't already normal Catholic teaching. But the whole thing followed a disheartening and now established pattern.
First, the pope, often but not always when speaking off the cuff, says something that gets attention for its departure, whether real or apparent, from Church teaching. The press turns it into a sound bite. Theologically and politically liberal Catholics applaud and say "Take that, you bastards" to conservatives. Secular liberals say "It's a baby step but better than nothing." Theologically and politically conservative Catholics say "Oh no." Among the latter group, those who already detest Francis (sadly, the word is not too strong) charge him with heresy and demand that he resign. Those who are more sympathetic to him go to a lot of trouble to analyze his words and to put the best possible construction on them. Then the fuss dies down till next time.
I don't know whether all this is beneficial to anyone's spiritual life, but it certainly is not to mine. Of the parties I named, I'm most usually in the "sympathetic conservative" group. I don't like being critical of the pope. I don't think it's my place to pronounce on his orthodoxy. Yet I can't pretend that I think all is well when Francis says things that I believe are at best unsound and needlessly confusing. Three years into his papacy it's pretty well established that confusion and division are notable features of it and likely to remain so. You may say that's because he's a bad pope, and the people who resist him are good, or because he's a good one, and the people who resist him are bad. But the facts of confusion and division are undeniable.
As I know I've said here before, this development is deeply saddening to me. Just when I thought we had gotten past the divisions within the Church, they have been reopened and deepened. It's not only saddening but troubling: am I going to find myself before this is all over having to choose between what the current pope says and what the tradition of the Church says?
I'm not a theologian and am not in a position of authority or influence. I'm just a Catholic layman trying to live his faith in an increasingly anti-Christian culture. These controversies are making that more, not less, difficult. I have work to do. I don't have time to do the kind of careful reading and analysis required to separate the wheat from the chaff in remarks that are sometimes almost incoherent. And so, out of a sense of self-preservation, I'm going to start ignoring these periodic eruptions. In fact I think I'll just kind of withdraw from the whole Catholic controversy scene. I do not see any benefit to attending to it, and I see a certain amount of harm.
In early 1996, my husband and I had been married for a couple of months, and were visiting Canberra for his PhD study. He was working and I was more or less at leisure for a couple of weeks, though feeling unwell, since we were expecting our first child. One day, I went to the movies to see the US/Australian movie “Babe” about a little piglet and how he finds his place on the farm. He decides to try herding sheep. (Wikipedia entry--contains plot spoilers.)
I think it was just the hormones, but this movie had me in tears of joy. It really is a delightful story, and is right up there with “Molokai” as a favourite. The ending still moves me.
Here is the trailer.
The movie was filmed in the southern highlands of New South Wales, and the lead roles were Farmer Hoggett (US actor James Cromwell) and his wife Mrs. Esme Hoggett (Australian actress, Magda Szubanski). The leading actors for the voices of the animal characters were Hugo Weaving (Rex), Miriam Margolyes (Fly) and Christine Cavanaugh (Babe). The actors in this were all excellent, as was the direction (Chris Noonan). The animal characters are really good too.
I agree with the critic who said that the well-trained animals, good animation, and intelligent script make this such a good story. It is set in no particular time, although it has an old-fashioned, mid-20th century feel to it. It's also not set in any particular place, although filmed in NSW. None of the characters are Australian. Most speak with American or English accents. It is perhaps trying to appeal to all English-speakers and I think it succeeds at this.
It had been years since I last saw it, but I was happy to discover that watching it again confirmed that it really is as good as I remember. It is a joyful, beautiful thing and I feel confident in recommending it to you all as a great family movie. It deserves to be a family classic. That said, there are some themes which the youngest family members might feel worried about, for example, the threat of certain animals becoming dinner for the farmer and his wife, or the scene where a sheep, “Maa,” has blood at her neck after an attack from wild dogs, so it's perhaps best to view it first before showing it to the very little ones. Also, some youngsters may not realise that meat is from animals! This can be traumatic for some of them. There is nothing too disturbing though, as far as I can tell.
It can be rented for a couple of dollars on Amazon Prime, if you have that, but I'm convinced it's worth buying the DVD. It shouldn't be too hard to rent, at least, wherever you are.
It's a simple movie, so there isn't much more to say, except that the first time I saw it, I wanted to turn right around and go to the next showing, and that's not common for me. For some reason, I didn't do this. Maybe I had to be somewhere. When you're feeling low, grab a cup of tea, and watch this movie about the winsome little pig, “Babe.”
—Louise is an Australian homeschooling mother of six, currently living in Texas