Miracles (again)

“‘And I dare say the first time you saw a man raised from the dead you might think so too.’ He giggled unconvincingly behind the smiling mask. ‘Oh, it’s funny, isn’t it? It isn’t a case of miracles not happening—it’s just a case of people calling them something else. Can’t you see the doctors round the dead man? He isn’t breathing any more, his pulse has stopped, his heart’s not beating: he’s dead. The somebody gives him back his life, and they all—what’s the expression?—reserve their opinion. They won’t say it’s a miracle, because that’s a word they don’t like. Then it happens again and again perhaps—because God’s about on earth—and they say: these aren’t miracles, it is simply that we have enlarged our conception of what life is. Now we know you can be alive without pulse, breath, heart-beats. And they invent a new word to describe that state of life, and they say science has disproved a miracle.’ He giggled again. ‘You can’t get round them.’” — Graham Greene The Power and the Glory

Courtesy of William M. Briggs – Statistician to the Stars

The Revolution

“It was a war between Davos, Conde Nast, GQ, Soros, MSNBC, Hollywood, Facebook and America. And America won.

“The ‘resistance’ is a collection of elites, from actors at award shows to fashion magazines to tech billionaires, decrying a popular revolt against their rule. They are not the resistance. They are dictators in exile. They had their chance to impose their vision on the people. And they lost.” — Daniel Greenfield

Polluted Vehicles

“Nothing can be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.” — Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 14 June 1807

Quoted today by the President at a rally in Melbourne, Florida.

The Enlightenment contra Grace

“The Enlightenment is always wrong, because its ultimate goal is to expose. Grace, by contrast, is founded on truth, because it covers a multitude of sins. What God once and for all does not wish to know should never become the object of human knowledge and investigation.” — Hans Urs von Balthasar

Once again, courtesy of David Warren

Illegitimi non carborundum

I’ve been gradually working my way through all of the Heinlein corpus, and a year or so back I ran across his list of “things every adult should know” and one that I wasn’t close on was a foreign language. I’m confident that my two years of High School Spanish wouldn’t cut the mustard. So, I chose Latin.

It’s been slow slogging, mainly due to distractions and inertia, but I’m making a little progress, so I thought that I should have been able to make more sense of “illegitimi non carborundum” than I did. “Illegitimi” and “non” were easy, but “carborundum” while familiar as a brand name didn’t appear in any form in any of the Latin dictionaries or word lists that I could find. Continue reading

Regard for Power

“Somewhere in The Power Broker I write that regard for power means disregard of those without power. I mean, we’re really talking about justice and injustice.” — Robert Caro

I found a wonderful interview with author Robert Caro on the Paris Review site about “The Art of Biography” – linked to, from all places, Hacker News! That’s the WWW, good stuff is where you find it. I love surprises.


“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own, a God who is all mercy, but not just—a God who is all love, but not holy—a God who has a Heaven for everybody, but Hell for none—a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a god is an idol of your own, as true an idol as was ever moulded out of brass or clay. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and besides the God of the Bible there is no god at all.” — The Right Reverand John C. Ryles, Bishop of Liverpool (1880-1900)


“There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable and smokeable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.” — Mark Twain

“When they used to tell me I would shorten my life ten years by smoking, they little knew the devotee they were wasting their puerile word upon—they little knew how trivial and valueless I would regard a decade that had no smoking in it!” — Mark Twain

He is also known to have used Bad Words in his published works, which have been widely banned and declared Badthink. Memory hole material.

Unintended Irony Department

Wikipedia has barred citations of The Daily Mail after editors of the online encyclopedia concluded Wednesday that the British tabloid is “generally unreliable.”

Of course, it’s doubly ironic that some won’t understand the irony…