Thursday, May 10, 2012

Miscellaneous Musings, Thursday, May 10, 2012

Attended daily Mass Monday and found a sign taped to the front door of the Cathedral; there has been vandalism there and they are locking the doors immediately after the daily Masses henceforth.  I know of one incident from last week, apparently one of the many homeless men that hang around the Catholic Charities place across the street urinated in the baptismal font.  There may have been others.

To his credit, Father said he hated to lock the doors like that but he couldn't sit by while "sacred things" were vandalized.  It's a shame that one quiet spot left in downtown Colorado Springs has now been lost due to the probably irresponsible act of one poor confused individual.
 
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Another good column in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, this one from Bret Stephens.  It does a pretty good job of describing the state of higher education, which appears to be getting worse all the time.  It takes the form of a commencement address and starts out as follows:
 

"Allow me to be the first one not to congratulate you. Through exertions that—let's be honest—were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtain a debased degree. Now you're entering a lousy economy, courtesy of the very president whom you, as freshmen, voted for with such enthusiasm. Please spare us the self-pity about how tough it is to look for a job while living with your parents. They're the ones who spent a fortune on your education only to get you back— return-to-sender, forwarding address unknown. 

No doubt some of you have overcome real hardships or taken real degrees. A couple of years ago I hired a summer intern from West Point. She came to the office directly from weeks of field exercises in which she kept a bulletproof vest on at all times, even while sleeping. She writes brilliantly and is as self-effacing as she is accomplished. Now she's in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban."

He describes an interview with an Ivy League graduate as follows:
 
"A few months ago, I interviewed a young man with an astonishingly high GPA from an Ivy League university and aspirations to write about Middle East politics. We got on the subject of the Suez Crisis of 1956. He was vaguely familiar with it. But he didn't know who was president of the United States in 1956. And he didn't know who succeeded that president."

 This is nearly unbelievable, yet it isn't, and it's sad.  One can't help but wonder what happens when these very highly educated illiterates begin to assume important positions in business and government.  How will the country survive? 

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On a brighter note, a major project at work has been completed and life is returning slowly to normal.  The hours are shorter and there's at least a bit of time to think. 

I just completed an excellent book by Etienne Gilson, Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages.  His is the first book I've read that offers some reasonable explanation of the relationship between faith and reason.  I hope to provide a full review in a future post.
 
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You may have noticed a bit of redesign of the blog.  I'm hoping to broaden my focus to the Catholic faith in general and the design changes are an attempt to put that broader focus into symbolic form.  Hope you enjoy it.
 


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