September 28, 2014
"If Christ stands for anything, he stands for the radical, revolutionary idea that we are no longer going to be energized by, order our lives to, or take pleasure in hating our enemies. We are going to try to live instead by rigorous honesty, vulnerability, and the childlike heart that persists in feeling the full force of our yearning to have everyone around the table—without using violence to achieve it. The kind of almost insane courage required to even say such things out loud, never mind try to live them out, itself tends to engender the worst kind of violence—as Christ well knew."

Are We Catholics First or Americans First? - Aleteia

September 28, 2014
"But the emotional element in nationalism isn’t just atavistic; it points to something more practically and prosaically desirable, which is the possibility of true self-government. Of course larger entities as well as smaller ones can be self-governing; again, nobody is arguing that Scotland is being tyrannized or seeing its rights and interests trampled. But as anyone involved in American politics can attest, scale and diversity and complexity and centralization are all impediments to feeling like your government is actually your government — something in which you have a stake, a sense of ownership, a genuinely meaningful say. And while of course the U.S. is far vaster than the U.K., we also don’t possess regions or states (yes, Texas and Greater Deseret and the Deep South and New York City notwithstanding) with the kind of distinctive sense of political identity that more than a thousand years of history supplies to Scotland; none of our constituent parts would have nearly so easy a time swiftly reconstituting themselves as nations as an independent Scotland would if “yes” prevails today. That has to count for something, it seems to me"

Scotland, Self-Interest and Self-Government -

September 28, 2014
"It’s a steamy Saturday morning, and Jeter is standing in the first-floor dining room of the brick 1830s West Village townhouse he’s renting. “Come on in,” he says. He’s wearing a gray, maize, and blue University of Michigan T-shirt in anticipation of his beloved Wolverines’ football game tonight against Notre Dame. At 40, he is ancient for a major leaguer, but up close he is leaner than he appears in uniform. With his shaved head, light-green eyes, and coiled serenity, Jeter could pass for a charismatic yoga instructor.Instead, he is, of course, New York’s reigning sports star on its most glamorous team. And yet, despite being on our television sets seven months a year for the past 20 years, despite the regular appearances at charity events and a social life that seems to have included dating three-quarters of the Maxim Hot 100, he’s always felt just out of reach, available for all to adore but somehow still protected by an impenetrable, cannily constructed bubble of privacy. Opening the door to his home is a hint of a looming shift in Jeter’s life, and in Jeter, Inc.
Tomorrow is Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium. It’s his latest stop on a cross-country farewell tour celebrating not just Jeter’s Hall of Fame–caliber playing career but his humility and rectitude off the field."

Derek Jeter Opens the Door. — NYMag

September 28, 2014
"The Big Cities and Urban Suburbs score highest for Starbucks and below average for Chick-fil-A. Among Republican-leaning communities only the Exurbs score average on Starbucks, and still below the Big Cities and Urban Burbs, the Starbucks champs. And all the GOP-leaning communities score above average for Chick-fil-A.
Why does that matter? Because it helps show how deeply the red/blue divide cuts through the country. Increasingly Americans not only have different political beliefs, we really do live in different worlds. Niche marketing and self-sorting have created Republican and Democratic brands and stores and that makes it harder for us to relate to one another.
The American Communities Project believes the splits in the country are more complicated than simple red and blue. Socio-economics, education and local culture all play a role in how different places see and experience politics.
But increasingly our communities are also defined by consumer options and choices that define us and push us in with a like-minded crowd — waiting for our lattes or our waffle fries."

Starbucks Versus Chick-fil-A | American Communities Project

September 28, 2014
"He is not a Marxist. Politically, he is a Justicialista. Westerners might call it populist. Justicialismo in Argentina has been a tremendous movement, giving for the first time to the people the idea that they have dignity. They are anti-capitalist and anti-Marxist. There is an Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism, which is the “self-made man.” That’s American. But that’s not capitalism in Argentina. Capitalism there is where a few people use the contracts given by the state without taking the risk of the market make an enormous amount of money and oppress other people. It is a capitalism created by the State."

Rocco Buttiglione: The RealClearReligion Interview | RealClearReligion

September 8, 2014
Catholics in England are mourning the leading pro-life MP Jim Dobbin, who has died aged 73.
The Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton in Greater Manchester died during a visit to Poland organised by the Council of Europe.
Mr Dobbin was co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group and was awarded a papal knighthood by Benedict XVI in 2008. He had served as an MP since 1997.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband described Mr Dobbin as a “dedicated public servant” and said his death was a “sad day for Parliament”.
He said: “A life-long, committed Catholic, Jim always took a lead in fostering links between the Church and the Labour Party, and his strong faith informed every aspect of his political and public life
September 8, 2014
"Hence, with Louis Van Gaal trying to mould the team into playing the Ajax school system which required not just technical abilities but more importantly, the players understanding of the game and their intelligence which are crucial in the implementation of his tactical system. The decision making, positioning, movement and awareness in relation to teammates, opponents and the ball, these are the important elements in the play. Thus, Van Gaal always stressing about the “brain” of the players"

Why United Unable to Impose Van Gaal’s Tactical System - Live Life United

September 8, 2014
"The same factors apply to Jeter’s high average when facing a pitcher the third time through the line-up; He’s an intelligent, quick learner whose swing is just that adaptable, so it doesn’t take him long to figure a pitcher out.
In 1999, Jeter faced Tigers pitcher Dave Mlicki 10 times, and came away with a .667 average, leaving an indelible mark on the crafty right-hander’s memory.
“The Bonds and McGuires, you knew they could hit a home run and really hurt you, but Derek would always do the little things,” Mlicki says. “He’d move the runner over and make you work really hard on the mound. He had that inside out swing and he’d hit a little flare over the second baseman and frustrate the crap out of you. He wouldn’t necessarily hit it hard, but he had a knack for getting the bat on the ball"

Revisiting Derek Jeter’s forgotten MVP season. | : Lindsay Berra Article

September 8, 2014
"Because your assumptions and pieties are evil’s best opportunity, & your conventional wisdom is whats most likely to condemn victims to their fate."

Rape and Rotherham by ROSS DOUTHAT | Matt Crowe ‘s Blog

September 8, 2014
"but ensured cataclysmic losses in formerly Democratic stretches of West Texas and West Virginia, where restrictions on gun ownership and mining, and support for gay marriage and immigration reform, are deeply unpopular.Most of those once reliably Democratic areas voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, but the outcome was close enough for Democratic congressional candidates to overcome the party’s modest disadvantage. These Democrats, often referred to as the Blue Dogs, allowed the party to avoid its wasted-vote problem in the 2006 congressional elections, when it retook control of the House.The Blue Dog Democrats were roundly defeated in the 2010 midterm elections, however, and the Republican incumbents who replaced them will be difficult to beat. Their once competitive areas now vote overwhelmingly Republican in presidential elections; there are places that voted for Mr. Gore in 2000 but supported Mr. Romney in 2012 by a margin of more than 40 points."

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House -

September 8, 2014
"That, in essence, is how Father James spends what may be his last week: trying to discern in each encounter, in each situation, what is needed, what would be most helpful, or at least what would do the least damage. It is not an easy task, for while many people may need him, almost nobody wants him. He is a bit of a therapist, constable, assistant, marriage counselor and sounding board. At times, he is even a priest; he is also a literal father, with a troubled adult daughter (Kelly Reilly), for he is a late vocation and a widower. Making things worse rather than better, Father James shares pastoral duties with a younger priest who is alarmingly negligent with the seal of confession and queasily ingratiating toward a local tycoon who may make a sizable donation to salve his own conscience. Eventually, Father James matter-of-factly slaps his assistant priest with an indictment as blunt and dismissive (though not so dramatic) as Thomas More’s damning line to Richard Rich midway through A Man for All Seasons (“Richard, you couldn’t answer for yourself even so far as tonight"

SDG Reviews ‘Calvary’ | Daily News |

August 16, 2014
"The story can’t be “I’m a victim,” and it also can’t be “I’m a hero,” though in some sense you’re telling of the hero’s journey. But what makes for an authentic personal story is that the hero is not you; the heroes are the people who put up with or helped you or accompanied you along the way. The star of the story is not you; the star is something greater than you. The astonishment of the story is never that the world finally recognized your genius and showered you with the love and attention you so richly deserve. Nor is the story that the world finally admitted its terrible betrayal of your innocence and apologized. The story is that a God exists who is so kind, so loving, so merciful, that he sees fit to forgive all your transgressions, wrong turns, and mistakes; a God who ministers, with infinite tenderness, to all the hurt that’s been done to you and all the hurt you’ve done to others, and welcomes you back to the banquet table."

An Alcoholic’s Tale of Death and Resurrection - Aleteia

August 16, 2014
"Thus began the Abbey’s long years of secrecy and terror. For centuries, even through the Penal Years – when Catholicism was outlawed and priests were hunted – Mass continued to be celebrated at the devastated Abbey and attended by the loyal townsfolk.This was often a very perilous thing to do. Paid informers were a constant danger.For 236 years, the local people were forced to hear Mass in the roofless Abbey church, completely open to the elements. A photograph from 1865 is witness to this, showing people kneeling on the grassy ground. Though the Mass has ended, they continue kneeling as the priest gives instruction to the children."

The Irish Abbey that Refused to Die - Aleteia

August 2, 2014
"True popular piety is born from that sensus fidei of which this conciliar document speaks and it guides in the devotion of the saints, of Our Lady, even with folk expressions in the good sense of the word. For this, popular piety is fundamentally enculturated. It cannot be a popular piety created in a laboratory, ascetic, but born always from our lives. Small mistakes can be made—therefore we must be vigilant—however, popular religiosity is a tool of evangelization."

Pope has casual Q&A with priests of Caserta Vatican Radio

August 2, 2014
"The Church acknowledges the legitimate role of profit as an indication that a business is functioning well. When a firm makes a profit, this means that productive factors have been properly employed and corresponding human needs have been duly satisfied. But profitability is not the only indicator of a firm’s condition. It is possible for the financial accounts to be in order, and yet for the people — who make up the firm’s most valuable asset — to be humiliated and their dignity offended. Besides being morally inadmissible, this will eventually have negative repercussions on the firm’s economic efficiency. In fact, the purpose of a business firm is not simply to make a profit, but is to be found in its very existence as a community of persons who in various ways are endeavouring to satisfy their basic needs, and who form a particular group at the service of the whole of society. Profit is a regulator of the life of a business, but it is not the only one; other human and moral factors must also be considered which, in the long term, are at least equally important for the life of a business"

No More Throne and Altar: St. JP2 on Inequality is the Root of Social Evil

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