Saturday, May 12, 2018

Why Augustinian Apologetics and Logical Dialectic Are Not Enough to Defend the Reasonableness of the Christian Faith in an Increasingly-Fragmented World

At the International √Čtienne Gilson Society, the latest issue of Studia Gilsoniana includes this article by Peter A. Redpath.

"From close to its inception, St. Augustine’s misunderstanding of the nature of ancient Greek philosophy, 'Christian philosophy,' and the way the human soul essentially relates to human body caused formal Christian education to be (a) born in a somewhat unhealthy condition, (b) founded upon a devastating mistake of organizational selfmisunderstanding, which essentially prevented it from comprehending how human reason could function both abstractly as a contemplative (or speculative) scientific intellect and concretely as a command and control prudential reason. This flaw in Augustinian psychology of the human person and Augustine’s misunderstanding of the nature of ancient Greek philosophy continued to influence Christian education from the start of the Christian West until the Christian and secular universities of today. For contemporary Christian education to preserve its identity in an increasingly fragmented world, a psychology of the human person adequate to explain the essential connection between the human soul and body and the nature of philosophy must replace this flawed Augustinian psychology that continues to plague the contemporary world."

Monday, April 30, 2018

Reading Rat - April 2018

Articles, Essays, Reviews of interest

Cripes, a bumbershoot!, by Lionel Shriver, "on the love–hate relationship between American and British English"

Afflicting the comfortable by Martin Rowson, "on the function and future of political cartoons"

Author appearances, lectures, conferences

The Society for Law and Culture Gathering, May 19, 2018, The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, Mecosta, Michigan.

Academy of Philosophy and Letters Conference, "Populism and the Failure of Elites", June 1-3, 2018, at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, College Park, Maryland.

Seminar on Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition, "Principles, Cosmology, and First Philosophy in Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition", June 25-27, 2018, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Eight Day Institute: Florovsky Week, "The Reformation: An Ecumenical Retrospective", July 10-14, 2018, at Newman University and St George Orthodox Christian Cathedral, Wichita, Kansas.

Aquinas Leadership International World Congress, "Artificial Intelligence and the Futures of Philosophy,Global Leadership, and World Peace", July 20-22, 2018 at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, New York.

Catholic Answers Conference, "Faith and Science", September 27-30, 2018, San Diego, California.

Front Porch Republic Annual Conference, "1968 Fifty Years Later: A Re-Evaluation", September 22, 2018, at Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Michigan.

Wisconsin Library Association Conference, October 23-26, 2018 at the Radisson La Crosse and La Crosse Convention Center, 200 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse, WI 54601.

Society for U.S. Intellectual History Conference, "Intellectual Sensibilities", November 8-11, 2018, Warwick Allerton Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How to increase your chances of surviving a nuclear blast

The Economist reported last week that, if you are close in relative to the size of the explosion, nothing will help. But further away,

"An explosion would generate a fireball of light many times brighter than the sun. Do not look at it or you may go partially blind. Instead, do as the cold-war safety film featuring Bert the Turtle advised: duck and cover. Lie down, ideally underneath something. This is to prevent serious burns from a thermal pulse, or heatwave, lasting several seconds that will sear through the area, setting off fires. It is also to avoid shattered glass and flying debris as a blast wave, with hurricane-strength winds, follows.

"The energy from the fireball would draw a column of dust and debris three miles into the atmosphere for over ten minutes; its top will flatten into the cap of the mushroom cloud. During that time, blast survivors need to find shelter. Radioactive fallout—highly contaminated debris that settles on surfaces—follows. It is most lethal just after the blast. ..."

Monday, January 15, 2018

Build. Burn. Repeat?

'The historic devastation wrought by wildfires in 2017 offers a strong case for a new approach to creating wildfire-resistant communities. Experts say we could create those communities today. If that's true, then why is it so hard to get it done?'

Jesse Roman reports at NFPA Journal,

"'I believe, and I think most professionals in the field believe, that we could build ignition-resistant communities today where people wouldn’t even have to leave their homes during a wildfire—the wildfire could pass right through the neighborhood, and not affect any of the structures,' said Gary Marshall, the former longtime fire marshal in Bend, Oregon, who also teaches wildfire home ignition courses for NFPA [National Fire Prevention Association]. 'We hear all the time that this wildfire problem is just a forest health problem, but it’s not. It’s a structure problem.

"Jack Cohen, one of the nation’s preeminent experts in wildfire structure ignition, spent 40 years as a researcher with the U.S. Forest Service studying the various ways that wildfires can cause homes to catch fire. In the vast majority of cases, he says, houses are ignited not through direct contact with the wildfire itself, but by embers blown in from the fire front. Through housing design and construction material choices—metal roofs, screens over gutters, gravel instead of mulch landings, decks made of composite materials rather than wood—homes can be sufficiently hardened to prevent firebrands from setting them ablaze. Keeping the space 100 feet around the home clear of things like dry brush, tall grass, and wooden fences can cut off other paths the fire can take to reach the house. Combined, these methods have demonstrated, in dozens of experiments, the ability to dramatically reduce the likelihood of home ignition, Cohen said. And they are all steps that local governments can mandate through codes and ordinances during the building permitting process."

Monday, January 1, 2018

Tony Schwartz shocked

Maya Oppenheim reported at The Independent, August 18, 2017.

"The co-author of Donald Trump’s memoir The Art of the Deal has predicted the US President is going to resign by autumn if not sooner.

"Tony Schwartz, who claims to have ghostwritten the 1987 best-selling business book, argued Mr Trump is on the brink of stepping down and said he would be shocked if his presidency lasts until the end of the year. ..."

11 Predictions for 2017 Politics

Steven Walters, senior producer for the nonprofit public affairs channel WisconsinEye, at Urban Milwaukee.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Trump and the Future of American Democracy

Ross Douthat discusses with Mark Bauerlein and Sam Tanenhaus, at Hope College, video at Kirk on Campus.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The first troubled commute of Ted Stryker

On this date in 1957 the film Zero Hour! was released by Paramount Pictures. The film is most noteworthy for being the primary source for parody in the 1980 film Airplane!

Adam-Troy Castro explained in "The Two Troubled Commutes of Ted Stryker" at The Remake Chronicles.

See for yourself in D. M. Wood's "Side-by-side comparison" at YouTube.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Monday, October 9, 2017

Stricter Immigration Laws Dept.

Spy vs. Spy, National Lampoon's Mad Magazine parody p. 10, at Easily Mused.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Pristine 1988 Cadillac to help raise money for St. Alphonsus Parish, Greendale

Jane Ford-Stewart for Now News Group at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

A small point, Father Wally came to our parish when old enough to be retired, had he so chosen, and served as an associate pastor, not pastor.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Three stop shopping

There is an, a, and a Surprising they aren't combined so these could be marketed together to individuals and small businesses:,, and

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Diamond in our rough

"A report from De Beers’s new diamond mine" in The Economist included this bit of history.

"Speculation that diamonds might be found in Canada dates from the 19th century, when gems were found studded through the American Midwest. In 1888, the year Cecil Rhodes founded De Beers in South Africa, a 22-carat stone was unearthed near Milwaukee. Glaciers, it was posited in 1899, might have carried the diamonds south. It was decades before exploration took off. De Beers began quietly scouring Canada in the 1960s, but it was not until 1991 that BHP, one of its rivals, found kimberlite, an igneous rock, with enough diamonds to merit a mine."
That local find was news to me, and led me to a quick search as a result of which I learned of the Eagle Diamond.

There's a bit more on it at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tillman’s Poetry Corner: 'On Flanders Fields' by John McCrae

Seth Barrett Tillman at The New Reform Club.
"its meaning has been distorted by the most popular voice and instrumental accompaniment. This new reading of the poem has transformed Flanders Fields meaning. My guess is that this metamorphosis was unintentional, but one and all should work to recover the original public meaning."

Friday, January 20, 2017

'On art in the age of Trump'

Gallery chronicle column by James Panero at The New Criterion.
"It was [Pauline] Kael’s fate for her life’s work as a film critic to become overshadowed by a single political quip: that she couldn’t understand how Nixon won, because no one she knows voted for him. That aphorism, it should be noted, turns out to be somewhat off from what Kael actually said. At a 1972 talk before the Modern Language Association, Kael remarked that 'I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.'"

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Franklin made 'Ballpark Digest'

This was reported locally at the time but just learned of this late summer report from early September by Kevin Reichard that Franklin Approves New-Ballpark Development TIF.

(via Karla Evangelista)