Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Give Mark Shea some money before he starts publishing poetry

As for my poetry, I happen to have the distinction of having prompted the only letter of complaint ever sent to First Things about the poetry they publish. Fear me, or I will publish my poetry here! Nobody wants that. So contribute to the Tin Cup Rattle and nobody has to read my poetry.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Miscontraceptions is on YouTube

Exciting times indeed.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winnie's

It's biting the dust. I am actually running out of places to go that don't suck, I think.
Reader Jack wrote in, "Two bartenders at Winnie’s Bar and Grill in Chinatown have told me that they are closing sometime in March as the landlord is renting the space to someone else (they have gone for 3 years without a lease)."

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Artificial blight

Prime Burger gets kicked out due to jacked up rent, the space remains empty for three years. Why does the landlord get a tax deduction?

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What it means to love your neighbor

It is right here that we touch the very heart of Christianity. It is right here that we come up against the Cross. It is right here that we prove or disprove the reality of our love for God. It is easy to love our family and friends. It is not hard to love "everybody" in a vague and general sort of way, but to wish well to (and pray for, and be ready to help) that fellow at the next desk who stole your girl, or that woman across the street who told lies about you, or that double-crossing relative who got all of Aunt Minnie's money, or that criminal in the newspaper who raped and killed the six-year-old child - well, it's hard enough to forgive them, let alone love them. But with the divine virtue of charity we can do it; in fact we must do it, or our love for God is a fake and a sham.

The Faith Explained, Leo J. Trese, 2001, p. 134
Happy Lent.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A response to Stephen Fry

To those who feel that Stephen Fry has delivered a devastating blow to religious belief, let me say simply this: this objection is nothing new to Christians. St. Paul, Origen, Augustine, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton and many, many other Christian theologians up and down the centuries have dealt with it. In fact, one of the pithiest expressions of the problem was formulated by St. Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century.
And so on.

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Just get the vaccinations, k?

Chris Christie also senses this change in the wind, which is why he is in the news as well, irresponsibly giving aid and comfort to anti-vax woo woo in the middle of a growing measles epidemic. And this only a few months after he issued draconian quarantine orders to people with no evidence of ebola in order to placate the panic-stricken “execute ebola victims” right that, with Ann Coulter, saw no point in white people treating diseases suffered by Africans and urged instead that we treat rich Jews and convert them to get their money

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Gay and Orthodox

Summary, like most articles on how to be a good religious person - Don't be a dick.
I love all members of the Church as best I can, seeing them as co-strugglers. I love them as brothers and sisters in the faith. However, I find it disconcerting when any group takes it upon themselves to proclaim moral superiority above the whole body of believers- as have certain politically ultra-conservative Orthodox Christians. We are all free to have opinions about any number of things, but we are commanded to firmly proclaim the truth in love and abide by the rules and traditions of our faith. We are all to encourage each other to fight the good fight, but to do so in love. I see very little of this happening when some take it upon themselves to be the absolute moral authority of the Church, disparaging those whom they see as lesser, and proclaiming they are not fully Orthodox. I have seen this first hand- when it comes to the issue of homosexuality and gay members in the Church. When these issues are discussed, some ultra-conservative Christians feel the need to reinforce the law to the T– sans grace, speaking only about what the canons say regarding these topics, and using the Church fathers as a backbone of their arguments.

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Jefferson on government

If there's a wall of separation between church and state, the Supreme Court also doesn't have the final authority to interpret the Constitution.
"You seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy," Jefferson wrote in an 1820 letter to a friend who was thinking too much of the early court's authority.

"Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control," Jefferson continued. "The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots."
As seen here.

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Best Secular Prolife graphics of 2014

My fave - "Memo to people who think that because I'm anti-abortion, I must also have something against sex: Nope! I think sex is great! I just don't love sex literally more than life itself.

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Snowpocalypse Roundup

Peter Woit - we're all wusses. Second Avenue Sagas - WTF Mate, why are politics driving transit decisions? And a look at the worst snowstorm in NYC history, when the trains kept running just fine for the most part.

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Tunnels under the Pelham train station

Not the Metro-North one, but the NYNHH one. I know this isn't a train blog, but what the hey, it's right by where I used to live. Looks like that line's been there since 1873.
The Branch Line now serves freight and Amtrak trains. The commuter tunnel long since has been filled and closed. There seems to be no visible remnants of the tunnel, with one possible exception. Approximately where the tunnel stairs would have been entered, the curb along Manor Circle is cut away as if to allow easy access. This cutaway remains today.

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