The 136th Kentucky Derby: Karma, Race Breakdowns, and Girl Power

Calvin Borel comes flying home in the 2009 Derby with 50 to 1 shot Mine That Bird for his 2nd victory in 3 years (with a 3rd place in between).

Hear Tom Durkin understandably bungle the stretch call: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlXCC7otxQo

Those of you who have graciously followed my rantings for the past several years may be familar with the “Peach Derby Curse”, which kicked into high gear the past two years.  My top pick in 2008 was Eight Belles, the filly who ran a gutsy second to Big Brown but then broke both front legs galloping out after the wire, and was euthanized on the track.  It was horrible, and a friend of mine punctuated the dread by pleading with me “…never to pick him to win anything, ever.”  Last year, my top selection, pre-race-favorite I Want Revenge, was scratched the morning of the Derby, and hasn’t been in the starting gate since.

Read the rest of this entry »

Good Friday in the Poetry Corner

Last year, we went to the Poetry Corner for Palm Sunday.  This year, our visit falls on Good Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Arts and Letters, Love, Poetry, Religion. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Good Friday in the Poetry Corner

Justice, with Humility, Gentleness, and Civility

[Editor’s Note:  Washington’s Red Mass, which journalists usually report from a political perspective because that’s easier, took place earlier today.  I haven’t seen any reports on it yet, but I’m willing to bet that for the vast majority of people trying to do human justice, Fr. Greg Kalscheur’s homily at Detroit’s Red Mass last weekend will provide more food for thought.  I post it here with Greg’s permission. — MAG]

Red Mass Homily
Gregory A. Kalscheur, S.J.
*

Each fall I begin my Civil Procedure course by encouraging my first-year students to keep a couple of questions alive in their hearts as they engage in their study of Civil Procedure.  I encourage them to imagine what sort of people they might become as they use the different procedural tools that we are studying, and I urge them to imagine how their use of those legal tools might shape the world in which we are living.  My hope really is to get all of us to remember one fundamental question; a question that I think is more important than any of the cases we read, or any of the doctrine we learn, or any of the particular legal issues any of us study in law school: who am I becoming as a person as I enter more deeply into the study of the law?[1]

We are all here today to ask the Holy Spirit to set our hearts on fire with a passion for the justice of God’s reign.  The readings we’ve just heard proclaimed[2] remind us to keep our hearts open to one crucial question: Who are we becoming as people as we live out our vocations as lawyers and judges and public servants?  As we live our lives in the law, are we being faithful to our more fundamental vocation to live out our identity as God’s beloved children, called to give flesh to God’s love in our world? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civility, Gospel Reflections, Imagination, Law, Religion. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Justice, with Humility, Gentleness, and Civility

On Not Speaking Ill of the Dead

When famous people die, it seems to me increasingly common to read commentary in the blogosphere that begins something like this:

I know we’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but in Smith’s case, I can’t believe everyone is making him out to be such a great guy when he was obviously a lousy bastard! Let me set the record straight . . .

This pattern of acknowledging a social taboo and then violating it is often the first sign that the social taboo is on the way out. So it may be with this one. But before we wave it goodbye, I thought it might be useful to see what we might say to restore some appreciation for, or at least observance of, this longstanding rule of civility.

Read the rest of this entry »

Darwin, Sanger, and Obamacare: A Trumpet Blast from the Backwoods

Our little corner of the Adirondacks has no daily newspaper but two weekly advertisers that carry a small amount of local news.  Most of the content is written by perhaps a dozen regular columnists, who write mostly about nature, or life in or near the woods, or local history; rarely are they polemical.

But this week’s column by a local mental health counselor struck me as unusually hard-hitting, and worth passing along. The title is “Thoughts on Eugenics,” and it’s by Elizabeth Szlek of Utica (which is about 55 miles from here).  She draws a fairly straight line from Charles Darwin to Margaret Sanger to Adolf Hitler, Read the rest of this entry »

Palm Sunday in the Poetry Corner

The Donkey

by G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked,
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood,
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry,
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
Of all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient, crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

The Official Death of a Catholic Institution

Not that it stands alone in betrayal, but Notre Dame has decided, officially, to renounce its Catholic standing.

One of her own writes the school’s obituary with perfect clarity:

http://www.thecatholicthing.org/content/view/1346/

No comments are necessary.  It’s a duck.

Thanks to the gent who forwarded this to me.