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Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

January 1970 Archives

Three words: Tumor. Got. Smaller.

posted by Rod Dreher

My sister Ruthie went to see her oncologist today for results from last Friday’s CT scan. As you may remember, she was diagnosed in February with advanced lung cancer, despite never having smoked a day in her life. Many of […]

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The case of the ‘refreshing pervy priest’

posted by Rod Dreher

Steve Blow is a columnist at the Dallas Morning News who typically writes homespun, slice-of-life reflections on life in Big D and its suburbs. But he finds his professional ox in a massive ditch today because of a tossed-off blog […]

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When austerity is the lesser evil

posted by Rod Dreher

Megan McArdle, referencing the NYT piece on how hard fiscal austerity has been on Ireland, makes an important point: Austerity is an expensive form of insurance against a true fiscal crisis. And though it doesn’t necessarily seem like it when […]

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Save America, make $100K

posted by Rod Dreher

Andrew Breitbart is offering a very healthy bounty for one of the 400 or so members of the now-defunct Journolist: We want the list of journalists that comprised the 400 members of the “JournoList” and we want the contents of […]

Boris & Natasha at Costco

posted by Rod Dreher

This Russian Spies in the Suburbs story is highly amusing, and makes the Russians look not evil, but stupid. What were these undercover agents supposed to be doing? Divining the secrets of Starbucks, IKEA and Trader Joe’s? Tracking down Moose […]

Apple Nazi: ‘No bumpers for you!’

posted by Rod Dreher

It’s not Godwin’s Law, it’s a lame “Seinfeld” reference! Anyway, Apple sells an apparent defective product to its customers, then allegedly tells its AppleCare reps to tell disappointed iPhone 4 users, “Tough ti**y said the kitty.” Excerpt: A purported internal […]

Civility as a fruit of maturity

posted by Rod Dreher

Michael Gerson: My political friendships and sympathies are increasingly determined not by ideology but by methodology. One of the most significant divisions in American public life is not between the Democrats and the Republicans; it is between the Ugly Party […]

Early Alzheimer’s and a husband’s choice

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Deacon Greg Kandra, here’s a story about a husband, a wife, and early onset Alzheimer’s Disease (it turned up at age 40 in the wife). The piece aired on CBS Sunday Morning. It’s about 10 minutes long, but well […]

Holland + U.S. humility might have saved the Gulf

posted by Rod Dreher

A reader sends me this disturbing essay from the Financial Post about how the Netherlands reached out with offers of assistance and technical expertise after the BP blowout, but Washington rebuffed them. Excerpt: Three days after the BP oil spill […]

FDA moves against antibiotics in animals

posted by Rod Dreher

Finally, the government does something right in regulating the food system: The Food and Drug Administration urged farmers on Monday to stop giving antibiotics to cattle, poultry, hogs and other animals to spur their growth, citing concern that drug overuse […]

Robert Byrd, who grew up poor

posted by Rod Dreher

I haven’t thought much about the passing of Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The only things I knew about him were a) that he was the undisputed master of pork-barrel legislating, b) that he was once a Klansman (though a repentant […]

How porn destroys sexuality

posted by Rod Dreher

From an interview with sociologist Gail Dines: In the preface of your book, you share a personal story about a conversation you had with your son over pornography. You write, “I said [to him] that should he decide to use […]

The neuroscientist’s shocking dark secret

posted by Rod Dreher

You’ve got to read or listen to this NPR story. It’s about neuroscientist Jim Fallon, who has made a career of studying the brains of psychopaths. A few years ago, his aged mother told him he should research his father’s […]

Bear Grylls for avid indoorsmen like me

posted by Rod Dreher

Behold, a gallant Frenchman shows you how to freaking open a bottle of wine with your shoe! Are they a great people, or what? Say, we need a show for avid indoorsmen, like Your Working Boy, that features some rake […]

Why Belgian police raided the Church

posted by Rod Dreher

Now we’re getting more information about why Belgian police launched that unprecedented raid on Belgian Catholic church properties: Four days after a series of police raids of Catholic institutions in Belgium that drew sharp criticism from the pope, the reason […]

Krugman: Here’s the next Great Depression

posted by Rod Dreher

What I know about economics is next to nothing; no economics Cult of the Amateur here! But I cannot wrap my mind around the argument Paul Krugman has been making, namely that we are dead wrong to cut spending in […]

Against the cult of the amateur

posted by Rod Dreher

David Rieff says that yes, we have grown too trusting in the opinions of experts, who have proven themselves to be unreliable, but that we now face the opposite threat from the Cult of the Amateur. Excerpt: On both the […]

Cardinal Schoenborn’s McChrystal moment

posted by Rod Dreher

This is a story both heartbreaking and infuriating: VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican issued an unprecedented public rebuke Monday of a leading cardinal who had questioned the church’s policy of celibacy and openly criticized the retired Vatican No. 2 […]

McChrystal a sign of long war’s corruption

posted by Rod Dreher

Pretty sobering piece about the military hierarchy from Andrew Bacevich, the retired Army colonel and religious conservative whose son was killed fighting in Iraq. Bacevich warns that the McChrystal mouthing-off was a sign of a deeper rot. Excerpt: Throughout history, […]

Danneels approved pedophilic catechism?

posted by Rod Dreher

That is the shocking allegation by Alexandra Colen, an orthodox Belgian Catholic, who details her long fight with Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic hierarchy (including the pedophile recently retired bishop Vangheluwe) over a pedophilic sex-ed book approved for Belgium’s […]

The incredible story of Quanah Parker

posted by Rod Dreher

I listened over the weekend to a Fresh Air podcast interview with S.C. “Sam” Gwynne, a talented Texas writer who has just published a book that I’ve got to find time to read: “Empire of the Summer Moon.” (The New […]

When power is more important than people

posted by Rod Dreher

Writing in The American Conservative, Brian Doherty argues that libertarians are more open to insights gleaned from literature than conservatives are. That’s an interesting topic, but not one I’m interested to discuss here. This insight, at the end of Doherty’s […]

Maybe parental happiness is overrated

posted by Rod Dreher

Tony Woodlief is a wise man. Excerpt: People are inherently self-centered, and especially in a peaceful, prosperous society, this easily leads to self-indulgence that in turn can make us weak and ignoble. There’s something to be said for ordeals — […]

Pope wrong to denounce Belgium raid

posted by Rod Dreher

Pope Benedict today issued a strong denunciation of the extraordinary police raid in Belgium on church properties — including police prying into tombs of deceased Belgian archbishops. Excerpt: In an exceedingly rare personal message and rebuke of a sovereign country, […]

Wendell Berry: The Country of Marriage

posted by Rod Dreher

The Country of Marriage I. I dream of you walking at night along the streams of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs of birds opening around you as you walk. You are holding in your body […]

O sex, where is thy sting?

posted by Rod Dreher

Camille Paglia thinks it’s ridiculous that middle-class white people have to rely on pills to rev up their sex lives — and that that fact indicates a deeper cultural malaise: In the discreet white-collar realm, men and women are interchangeable, […]

Weigel and the cruelty of violating privacy

posted by Rod Dreher

We’ve been arguing in a thread below about the morality of a Minnesota gay reporter infilitrating a support group for gay Catholics and other gay Christians seeking help living chastely, and outing a closeted Lutheran pastor who attended the group. […]

World’s most geektastic wedding cake!

posted by Rod Dreher

Just got back from the wedding of Sarah “Daughter of TMatt” Mattingly and Jeremy Wagner, at Sarah’s home parish, Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church, in suburban Baltimore. If you had any doubt that these great kids were meant for each […]

He’s begging: stay together for the kids

posted by Rod Dreher

Joe Carter of First Things makes an astonishingly moving plea to fathers to move heaven and earth to stay with their children. How’s this for a head-snapper?: I first read that passage in 1995, the year I myself became a […]

Divorce is a virus

posted by Rod Dreher

So concludes a new study, summed up this way by Ross Douthat: There’s no escaping peer effects: If your friends or neighbors or relatives get divorced, you’re more likely to get divorced — even if it’s only on the margins […]

The killer inside middle-class intellectuals

posted by Rod Dreher

NPR did a story the other day on “The Killer Inside Me,” a drama in which Casey Affleck plays a sadistic killer sheriff. The violence in the movie is so graphic some people have walked out of early screenings, NPR […]

A world of debt

posted by Rod Dreher

Here’s a pretty sobering interactive map of the overall debt (public + private) of many industrialized countries, coming out of the financial crash. As bad off as you think America is, we’re in much better shape than Britain and Japan. […]

Stuart Buck’s ‘utterly necessary’ race book

posted by Rod Dreher

African-American scholar John McWhorter raves in The New Republic about Stuart Buck’s “Acting White.” Excerpts: Stuart Buck at last brings together all of the relevant evidence and puts paid to two myths. The first is that the “acting white” charge […]

Outing pastor a disgusting act

posted by Rod Dreher

A gay publication in Minnesota outed a conservative Lutheran pastor after its reporter infiltrated a confidential support group for Christians struggling with same-sex attractions, who wish to be chaste. In his piece, the gay journalist quotes things the pastor said […]

A saint from … Brooklyn?

posted by Rod Dreher

Saith The New York Times: Brooklyn, the borough of churches and trees, Walt Whitman and Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Mike Tyson, has never lacked for people of distinction — except perhaps in one category. Nobody from Brooklyn has ever […]

McChrystal and our confessional culture

posted by Rod Dreher

David Brooks has an almost wistful column today gently bemoaning the kind of media culture we’ve built in which a man like Gen. McChrystal can be destroyed by a reporter for being foolishly human. Excerpt: But McChrystal, like everyone else, […]

A beautiful dairy tale from Mississippi

posted by Rod Dreher

A father’s dream for his son comes true, though he’s no longer here to see it. Read this gorgeous piece through to the final paragraph.

Going broke as an op-ed writer

posted by Rod Dreher

The great libertarian thinker Charles Murray was paid $75 for an NYT op-ed piece. He writes: Not that anyone has ever paid the mortgage by writing op-eds, but $75 for 800 words written for The Greatest Newspaper In the World […]

Skepticism in religion reporting

posted by Rod Dreher

More from Conor’s Mark Oppenheimer interview. Here’s Oppenheimer on his approach to religion reporting: The most common flaws in religion reporting are the same as common flaws in all reporting: lack of skepticism, taking the speakers’ words for it. We […]

Cops raid cardinal’s house in sex probe

posted by Rod Dreher

This is big: BRUSSELS — Police raided the home and office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium on Thursday, carrying off documents and a personal computer as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Roman […]

Education and individualism

posted by Rod Dreher

Journalist Mark Oppenheimer, from a good Conor Friedersdorf interview: I have a deep skepticism of a lot of what passes for “progressive” education. For grades 2-4, I attended a progressive school that was pretty disastrous for me. They had lots […]

Why is European pop music so awful?

posted by Rod Dreher

Anthony Lane has a witty and terrific essay about the Eurovision Song Contest in the current issue of The New Yorker. Sadly, it’s not available online, except to subscribers. The poor man actually traveled to Oslo to cover this year’s […]

Marx rising in China?

posted by Rod Dreher

Walter Russell Mead takes note of tectonic, and potentially terrifying, changes in China as that nation rushes from an agricultural society to an industrial one. Excerpts: Bewildered by urban life, desperate to win some kind of a foothold, living from […]

Wendell Berry kicks UK’s butt

posted by Rod Dreher

Wendell Berry has withdrawn all his papers from the University of Kentucky in protest of what he considers the university’s sellout to coal interests. Excerpt: Berry, 75, said UK’s push to become a “Top 20″ research university has caused it […]

Raining oil in Louisiana

posted by Rod Dreher

Sure looks like it:Meanwhile, a robot knocked the containment cap loose. The thing is gushing once again as bad as it ever was. Query: What happens if a hurricane blows through the Gulf with all this oil still on and […]

John Robb doesn’t like your future

posted by Rod Dreher

It’s been days since a gloomy, doomy post from me, so I’ve got to make up for it by going a little nutsy referencing stuff from warfare theorist John Robb’s blog, Global Guerrillas. For starters, here’s an interview Robb did […]

Breaking: Obama kicks McChrystal’s butt

posted by Rod Dreher

Just reported — I’ll put a link up as soon as one is available. Share your opinion. Me, I think it was the right thing to have done. No Commander-in-Chief, either Democratic or Republican, can afford to be disrespected publicly […]

What Snafu hid all these years

posted by Rod Dreher

HBO’s series “The Pacific” caused lots of folks to become interested in the life of Merriell “Snafu” Shelton, the character based on a real Marine of the same name. As I’ve written before, the real Snafu lived just down the […]

Michelangelo, Kinkade, Carpathian walls

posted by Rod Dreher

1. Did Michelangelo conceal a drawing of the human brain within God’s beard? 2. Writer Susan Orlean briefly feared she was going to have to pay alleged Pooh-piddler Thomas Kinkade a million dollars. She’s not scared of that anymore. 3. […]

SCOTUS backs GM seeds — or not?

posted by Rod Dreher

I don’t closely follow the controversies over genetically modified seeds, but the Supreme Court ruling this week saying it was legal for Monsanto to go ahead with production of genetically modified seeds without an environmental impact study strikes me as […]

All in the family

posted by Rod Dreher

Last night, on our final night in Louisiana, I came into our bedroom to find Nora lying in her little mattress on the floor, staring at the ceiling, scowling — this, a half-hour after we’d put her to bed. “What’s […]

The big mouth of Stanley McChrystal

posted by Rod Dreher

I have no idea whether any criticisms Gen. McChrystal and his team made of the administration, the U.S. ambassador or anybody else have any substance (and I would strongly urge you not to make the criticism itself the subject of […]

Entertaining angels in West Texas

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve been sitting here at my mom and dad’s all afternoon working on a project for Ruthie. While I was busy, my folks got a visit from a neighbor, who came by to check on Ruthie. He must have stayed […]

Louisiana summer notebook

posted by Rod Dreher

Well, this is our last full day here in Starhill. We’ve had a marvelous time. Ruthie has been strong enough to spend time with my kids, and they’ve all had a great time playing with their cousins. It’s hot as […]

Remembering the great Tom Kelly

posted by Rod Dreher

I have just learned that my friend the Washington journalist Tom Kelly has died at age 86. What a wonderful man he was. He lived around the corner from me on Capitol Hill when I was there in the early […]

Oil spill: government, industry EPIC FAIL

posted by Rod Dreher

I wonder when people are going to realize that the catastrophe in the Gulf was caused by BP’s reckless decisions, but also by reckless U.S. government regulators. I keep calling this a moral catastrophe above all, at least in its […]

Thomas Kinkade defaces Billy Graham wall

posted by Rod Dreher

And the Grahams — no Renaissance popes when it comes to taste in sacred art — are mighty proud of it, showcasing the Kinkade mural “The Cross” as a highlight of your visit to the Billy Graham Library. Take a […]

Tony Hayward: A villain worthy of Tom Wolfe

posted by Rod Dreher

This guy and his company are unbelievable. Excerpt: BP officials on Saturday scrambled yet again to respond to another public relations challenge when their embattled chief executive, Tony Hayward, spent the day off the coast of England watching his yacht […]

Father’s Day stories to love

posted by Rod Dreher

That’s a photo of my father and me taken late last year in his backyard. It’s one of my favorites. How fortunate we are to be here in Starhill to celebrate Father’s Day with him. It gives me the opportunity […]

BP oil spill: Which side are you on?

posted by Rod Dreher

A clarifying quote from Wendell Berry: “What I stand for is what I stand on.” Corporation, politician, government bureaucrat, Internet pundit or talk show loudmouth, anybody who is against the land, against this land of south Louisiana, where I’m from […]

Pssst … drill, baby, drill

posted by Rod Dreher

Business as usual, apparently: Despite President Barack Obama’s promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis. The Department of […]

The death of a little Cajun no-place

posted by Rod Dreher

I gotta say, this is heartbreaking. Leeville is a hardscrabble nothing town on the marshes, but for the people who live there, it’s everything. And it’s being taken away from them by the BP oil spill. Excerpts: “This is tearing […]

Crackpot educators call best friends social evil

posted by Rod Dreher

Is there no natural social phenomenon that levelers and militant egalitarians won’t seek to destroy to create their Utopia? From the NYT: But increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise […]

Anthony Bourdain on cool

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m addicted to Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” travel food show, which I watch via streaming Netflix. Bourdain is a self-conscious cool guy, and at times, something of a jerk. But he’s compulsively watchable. Though I wish he would trash the […]

Joe Barton & Roger Kimball vacation in BP hell

posted by Rod Dreher

I, for one, wish it were possible to force Roger Kimball and Rep. Joe Barton to spend their summer vacation living on Grand Isle, in one of the empty camps that cannot be used because the beaches and the waters […]

The loneliness of genius

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m doing a lot of editing work today down here in Louisiana on a report the Templeton Foundation will soon release, having to do with its general funding priorities. I was reading last night about all the things JTF funds […]

Purse thief gets his just deserts

posted by Rod Dreher

Now this is one mob I can get behind:H/T: Jonah Goldberg

TMatt & Neroulias on Godbeat as therapy

posted by Rod Dreher

Terry Mattingly at Get Religion has his say about yesterday’s hot thread in these parts. Excerpt: In this new essay, Rosen connects some of the same dots. One of his central points is that most journalists hold in contempt people […]

Stephen King’s terrific book on writing

posted by Rod Dreher

This year marks the 10th anniversary of “On Writing,” the terrific book about prosecraft by Stephen King. I hadn’t read the book since it came out, but for some reason pulled it off my shelf before I set off for […]

Life among the small people

posted by Rod Dreher

“I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies who don’t care. But that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people.” — Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP chairman, who later apologized for his poor grasp […]

L’chaim, y’all

posted by Rod Dreher

Did you know that some Southern towns are paying cash premiums to entice Jewish families to relocate there? Why the heck not? The magificent Boss Hogg was a Jew. Sort of. True fact: The things you learn on this here […]

Hey Sun, what’s your problem?

posted by Rod Dreher

A kind reader, knowing how I jones for Apocalyptica, sent along this link to a New Scientist story about how the sun is acting all freaky, and scientists don’t know why. Excerpt: But for the past two years, the sunspots […]

Sorry, but you will not retire

posted by Rod Dreher

Me neither. We’ll all be working at least till age 70. Michael Schrage at the Harvard Business Review has something he’d like us all to do to assess our future prospects: Everyone reading this should take 15 hard minutes to […]

Stephen Colbert: ‘Jesus always wins!’

posted by Rod Dreher

Stephen Prothero appeared on Colbert last night to talk about his new book “God Is Not One” (which I’ve blogged about here and here). It was an enjoyable five-minute segment, with serious points being made amid Colbert’s hilarious mugging. Take […]

Oil spill: Do we need another hero?

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve decided not to comment on Obama’s oil spill speech, because I haven’t been able to figure out how to appraise it without slip-sliding into a political analysis, and I don’t want to do that on this blog. But I […]

Oil spill: This will ruin your day

posted by Rod Dreher

I don’t know if you’re reading the website The Oil Drum, and its commentary on the BP oil spill, but it’s a site that attracts a lot of knowledgeable industry workers and experts. You can learn a lot from it. […]

Greetings from Louisiana, tomato paradise

posted by Rod Dreher

Good Community Coffee morning from the Great State. We’re down here for the next week, en famille visiting the famille. We were here for 10 minutes yesterday before Matthew and Nora got stung by wasps. Whee! Happily, that crisis passed, […]

Media bias, media blandness

posted by Rod Dreher

Journalism prof Jay Rosen has a long, great, difficult to sum up post about how the deepest bias among the press is toward a false moderation, and against so-called “extremists.” I think this sentiment expressed by my Beliefnet blog colleague […]

Life according to Seventeen magazine

posted by Rod Dreher

From The Seventeen Magazine Project, by small-town Pennsylvania high school senior Jamie Keiles, who is living for one month according to the teen mag’s prescription of how girls her age should live. It’s a kind of brilliant analysis of how […]

Technology in the classroom goes bust

posted by Rod Dreher

A friend told me once that she and her husband were considering putting their son in a particular private school, but were turned off by the principal’s focus on how much technology the school has invested in putting into the […]

A trillion here, a trillion there…

posted by Rod Dreher

Now it might cost up to $1 trillion to rescue Fannie and Freddie, in what one insider calls “the mother of all bailouts.” James Poulos says: It’s one thing for a government to spend more money than we have. It’s […]

Freaky reverse perspective video (must-see)

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Boing Boing, this video illustrates the principle of reverse perspective, in which objects farther away become bigger, while those closer grow smaller. Very cool, though I couldn’t get through it without getting dizzy: True Reverse Perspective from JMS on […]

Dear Britons, kindly shut up about BP

posted by Rod Dreher

Clive Crook is a Washington-based British journalist who is none too fond of the way President Obama has handled the oil disaster. But he is advising his countrymen to shut up their whining whinging about how mean angry Americans are […]

Orthodoxy contra Darwinism?

posted by Rod Dreher

A troubling development from Moscow: The Russian Orthodox Church called Wednesday for an end to the “monopoly of Darwinism” in Russian schools, saying religious explanations of creation should be taught alongside evolution. Liberals said they would fight efforts to include […]

The Tao of Wendell Berry

posted by Rod Dreher

THE LAW THAT MARRIES ALL THINGS 1. The cloud is free only to go with the wind. The rain is free only in falling. The water is free only in its gathering together, in its downward courses, in its rising […]

Unobtanium discovered in Afghanistan!

posted by Rod Dreher

I told a friend the news that the U.S. has discovered vast mineral wealth in Afghanistan. She said sarcastically, “Oh great, now we get to ‘Avatar’ those people” — by which she meant that the U.S. stands to economically colonize […]

The Cloud, the Clock & the limits of reductionism

posted by Rod Dreher

Andrew Sullivan, quoting the great science blogger Jonah Lehrer, who argues that “breaking things down into particles blinds scientists to the big picture.” Excerpt: Time and time again, an experimental gadget gets introduced — it doesn’t matter if it’s a […]

Paternalism and Australia’s Aborigines

posted by Rod Dreher

Via The Browser, here’s a morally complicated story about how the Australian government, in an attempt to restore moral order to out-of-control Aboriginal communities, stepped in and took substantial control of their lives. Excerpt: Four years ago Nanette Rogers, a […]

The magical allergy-curing hamburger

posted by Rod Dreher

OK, this is weird. Julie woke up this morning and had a massive allergy attack, which is different for her than it is for me. With me, I can feel some histamine-related swelling, but mostly it makes me feel really […]

Gold as safe haven: do you believe?

posted by Rod Dreher

The New York Times reports that scary times are turning people into goldbugs. Excerpt: And gold bugs, often dismissed as crackpots who hoard gold bars in the basement, are finally having their day. “I just think you’re in a world […]

Britons, has BP oil occluded your minds?

posted by Rod Dreher

I am truly amazed that so many Brits actually think American anger at BP is rooted in anti-British prejudice. But here’s the otherwise intelligent Geoffrey Wheatcroft going off like a tabloid loony in a loony tabloid: Has the worm turned […]

Sexualizing little girls: a Boomer legacy

posted by Rod Dreher

I read this Peggy Orenstein column from the Sunday NYT Magazine and got angry in a familiar way. She’s deploring the cultural trend of the early sexualization of girls. Here’s how her piece begins: Last month, over the course of […]

Portrait of the Geek as a Young Artist

posted by Rod Dreher

While my two little kids danced around the living room to the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” earlier this afternoon, Matthew retreated to his room, then came out with this pie chart:

What’s for dinner, summer folks?

posted by Rod Dreher

As you know, summer is my least favorite season. Hate me the heat. But the fresh vegetables do make it tolerable, and sometimes more than tolerable. Julie went to her garden today to work all afternoon while I slept off […]

Attack of the grass!

posted by Rod Dreher

Feeling constantly run down from seasonal allergies is apparently the new normal with me. I have been trying hard to avoid going to see a doctor, but I am running out of options. Today, though, I got a sharp clue […]

Maybe you shouldn’t own a house

posted by Rod Dreher

Joe Nocera says the American dream of home ownership is one from which we ought to wake up. Excerpt: [FDIC chair Sheila Bair] also pointed out that during the bubble, when anyone with a pulse could get a mortgage, the […]

Get Religion bait

posted by Rod Dreher

For the second Saturday in a row, The New York Times surprises me with unpredictable (for the Times) and engaging religion journalism. Last week Mark Oppenheimer profiled Eve Tushnet, a Catholic lesbian writer in Washington who is happily and openly […]

Yes mosque, no MAS

posted by Rod Dreher

Today’s NYT features a story about Staten Island residents who are hot about a plan to turn an abandoned convent there into a mosque. You may remember that I oppose plans to build a grand new mosque near Ground Zero, […]

Science, religion and Templeton: A defense

posted by Rod Dreher

The prominent science journalist Chris Mooney, author of (among other titles) “The Republican War on Science,” is one of the 2010 Templeton-Cambridge journalism fellows. This is the program I was on last summer. The first session is wrapping up in […]

A lost little boy gets his throat cut

posted by Rod Dreher

I spoke with my mother by phone this morning, as I always do, and she was shaken over the latest news: the murder of an eight-year-old boy, allegedly by a 16-year-old boy, just up the road from where they live. […]

Brits angry over anti-BP rage? Give me a break!

posted by Rod Dreher

So the British, including leading politicians, are steamed at American anger at BP, seeing in it anti-British prejudice. Huh? I don’t see this. They’re cheesed off that Obama has referred to “British Petroleum,” pointing out that the company changed its […]

Against the eternal mob

posted by Rod Dreher

I would like to offer a postscript to the post earlier this week about why Jews cannot return to Poland, as Helen Thomas suggested they ought to do. As a practical matter, obviously Israel is now the home of the […]

Taleb: ‘World, prepare for austerity’

posted by Rod Dreher

‘Black Swan’ author Nassim Nicholas Taleb tells CNBC that the big hangover from debt binging is upon us. Excerpt: The economic situation today is drastically worse than a couple years ago, and the euro is doomed as a concept, Nassim […]

Autism genes discovered. Cure, closer?

posted by Rod Dreher

From the BBC: The largest ever genetic study into autism has identified many more new genes involved in the disorder. Oxford researchers writing in the journal Nature hope now to establish whether genetic tests can help in making early diagnosis. […]

When BP spills coffee

posted by Rod Dreher

Great comedy sent to me by a Louisiana friend. N.B.: F-bomb dropped at the 2:34 mark:

Name my new blog

posted by Rod Dreher

OK, I know I’m asking for trouble, but here goes. As you may know, this blog is moving to the new Big Questions Online site that I’m editing once we launch later this summer. I need to come up with […]

The moral failure of BP & the feds

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m beating a dead horse here, but just look at the AP’s stunning analysis of BP’s alleged oil spill clean-up plan. Excerpt: BP PLC’s 582-page regional spill plan for the Gulf, and its 52-page, site-specific plan for the Deepwater Horizon […]

Birkenstocks, finally hip

posted by Rod Dreher

I guess if you wait long enough, everything will become fashionable. Twelve years after I started wearing them, Birkenstocks have become hip, or so says the NYTimes. This anecdote from their story will sound familiar to people who read my […]

Tim the Tesco Tory

posted by Rod Dreher

My British friend Tim Montgomerie sticks up for the UK supermarket chain Tesco. Excerpts: If I was to draw up a list of ten people who had most helped the poor in the past few decades, near the top of […]

Peak oil, Klingons and Cylons

posted by Rod Dreher

Great post by Sharon Astyk about how the constructed media narrative around peak-oilers and others who are preparing for what they believe will be coming hard times is slanted toward a techno-optimism that is ahistorical and, in its way, stupid […]

Wendell Berry, American Confucius

posted by Rod Dreher

Gotta say I’m really enjoying BU religious studies prof Stephen Prothero’s “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World — and Why Their Differences Matter,” which I initially blogged on yesterday (read that entry, which leads […]

The power of time perspective

posted by Rod Dreher

Watching this animated clip is the coolest 10 minutes most of us will spend today. It’s a lively illustrated lecture about Time, how people perceive it, and how it affects behavior. At about the three-minute mark, the professor introduces research […]

Viva the Turtleman of Kentucky!

posted by Rod Dreher

You don’t see too many people like this on my street:I’m probably related to him, though. Hope so.H/T: The Turtleman of Munger Place.

Why Jews couldn’t ‘go home’ to Poland, Helen

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve hesitated blogging on the Helen Thomas affair, mostly because I’ve been away at meetings in New York, and I didn’t have time to monitor the comboxes for anti-Semitism. My view is that her opinions are obnoxious and wrong, but […]

Should the president cuss?

posted by Rod Dreher

Barack Obama did, saying he’s trying to figure out “whose ass to kick” in the oil spill. Frankly, that’s fine by me. I know he’s engaging in theater, but I like this theater. And while I generally disapprove of anything […]

Against politically correct science legislation

posted by Rod Dreher

The NYT’s John Tierney says that Congress is trying to do a politically correct thing on science education rather than act on solid science. Here’s what he means: This proposed law, if passed by the Senate, would require the White […]

Really helpful advice

posted by Rod Dreher

Nicholas Kristof, who just had a close call with a tumor that turned out to be benign, on how to protect yourself from cancer: Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Slather on sunscreen and avoid tanning salons. Avoid charred meats. […]

Life on Titan? There are positive signs

posted by Rod Dreher

Now this is interesting: scientists report data coming from the Cassini space probe indicating that there might be some form of life on Titan, a moon of Saturn. Maggie Koerth-Baker is cautiously optimistic. Excerpt: This is the kind of research […]

Ending the Too Big To Fail threat

posted by Rod Dreher

Richard Fisher, a former commercial banker who is now head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, has delivered a powerful speech denouncing the financial reform bill soon to be sent to the president’s desk as toothless. He also attacks […]

All religions are NOT the same

posted by Rod Dreher

I am in New York at the moment, and am going to walk across the street to a bookstore in a minute to buy Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero’s new book, “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions […]

Why I’m angrier at the government than at BP

posted by Rod Dreher

Take a look at this long report from the NYTimes, summed up in this graf: New government and BP documents, interviews with experts and testimony by witnesses provide the clearest indication to date that a hodgepodge of oversight agencies granted […]

Cameron: UK faces ‘decades’ of austerity

posted by Rod Dreher

The Prime Minister today gave a deeply gloomy speech laying out what Britons now face. Excerpt: Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that Britain’s financial situation was “even worse than we thought” and that the country would have to make […]

Tradition, liberty and the open road

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Andrew Sullivan, I learned of Jesse Walker’s remembrance of Dennis Hopper, which contains these fascinating sentences: A central theme of the western is the tension between the sometimes lonely freedom of the road and the sometimes suffocating security of […]

Collapsitarians get ready for the Big One

posted by Rod Dreher

In today’s NYT, John Leland reports on people who believe Very Bad Times are coming soon, and who are preparing. Excerpt: Mrs. Wilkerson has now read two dozen books about peak oil and related topics. For a while, she became […]

A call to sacrifice and self-denial? A fool’s errand

posted by Rod Dreher

Mike Sirota notes that if the president gave a speech asking Americans to cut back on our use of oil as a response to the Gulf oil environmental, cultural and economic catastrophe, he would be derided just like Jimmy Carter […]

For Louisiana, BP oil spill is rolling apocalypse

posted by Rod Dreher

Right now, the oil spill focus is on the junk moving through Louisiana’s marshes and estuaries, and on the gut-wrenching images of oil-soaked pelicans struggling to survive. But it’s worth thinking about how the BP oil spill is going to […]

Sad over pelicans? You ‘high-class prissy-a*s’ aesthete!

posted by Rod Dreher

I am so incensed by a comment left on an oil-spill thread here this morning that I wanted to highlight it in a special post. A reader who blogs under the name “polistra” has no sympathy for people who express […]

Goodbye little house in Dallas

posted by Rod Dreher

I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t unfathomably relieved when the word came late today that our house in Dallas had finally and irrevocably been sold to its new owners. We’ve been paying that mortgage for […]

Why are book reviews dead or dying?

posted by Rod Dreher

According to John Palattella, writing in The Nation, anti-intellectualism at American newspapers has a lot to do with it. Excerpt: It’s necessary to explain these broad economic trends to understand a crucial and overlooked point–namely, that it is disingenuous for […]

Oil spill: This is Louisiana

posted by Rod Dreher

I, for one, would like to thank BP and U.S. government regulators for making possible the following image from coastal Louisiana: See all the photos in AP photographer Charlie Riedel’s heart-rending series. And think of Louisiana. UPDATE: You really should […]

Science & religion incompatiblists shut out?

posted by Rod Dreher

Science + Religion Today draws attention to a controversy at the World Science Festival, on now in NYC. There’s a panel discussion about the relationship between science and faith. On the panel: astrophysicist Paul Davies, biologist Francisco J. Ayala — […]

crunchy con your car

posted by Rod Dreher

Go here to buy a “crunchy con” bumper sticker. Cheap! Special deal for you!

US Gov’t: Surprise! Peak oil is here

posted by Rod Dreher

From Econbrowser, these remarks by Steven Kopits, a New York energy consultant: The EIA, the statistics arm of the US Department of Energy, recently released its International Energy Outlook (IEO) for 2010. This is an important document for forecasters, as […]

World’s best Gary Coleman remembrance!

posted by Rod Dreher

I kid you not. Watch and see for yourself. “He’s gonna be God’s right-hand man now. There’s no reason to be upset. He’s gonna be up there doin’ God’s work. … I’m telling you right now, it’s gonna be OK. […]

I done TOLD you it would come to this!

posted by Rod Dreher

Didn’t I? Didn’t I? Well, I almost called it here. Read all about it in Lives of the Saints. This below, though, now that’s art I can live with, podna!

Oil spill: Headed to the Atlantic?

posted by Rod Dreher

A computer simulation of where BP’s oil is likely to go if it gets into the loop current:From the Wired.com story: It is impossible to accurately predict precisely what will happen to the oil because it will depend on the […]

The limits of prediction and action

posted by Rod Dreher

I sometimes wonder why people live in either Los Angeles or San Francisco. Not that they aren’t lovely places (San Francisco much more so than L.A., but I like both), but surely the knowledge that a massive earthquake could strike […]

Tradition, faux and true

posted by Rod Dreher

Andrew Sullivan remarks on my two recent posts about tradition and postmodernity (first one here, second one here). Excerpt: Welcome to the modern world, Rod. The kind of unthinking cohesion of the past, sustained by elite control of the media […]

Should you stay? Should you go?

posted by Rod Dreher

Long, engaging post from Sharon Astyk laying out conditions under which people should abandon the idea of adapting to coming hard times in place, and should move. If you believe that oil will always be plentiful and cheap, and that […]

Global warming and the dim fate of wine

posted by Rod Dreher

Yes, there are far more serious things to be concerned about re: global warming than the fate of the wine industry, says Steven Kolpan — but it’s not nothing. Kolpan writes that we’re already seeing big and deleterious changes in […]

When more information makes you stupider

posted by Rod Dreher

Alain de Botton says we all need to take in less information, because learning more paradoxically reduces our capacity to know more. Excerpt: The obsession with current events is relentless. We are made to feel that at any point, somewhere […]

Marriage and divorce: Clintons or Gores?

posted by Rod Dreher

Gail Collins, snarking on the Gore dee-vorce: I think the nation as a whole is thinking that if Al and Tipper split after 40 years, no marriage is ever safe. And the fact that Hillary and Bill outlasted them means […]

Postcard from oil spill Ground Zero

posted by Rod Dreher

From a connected friend in New Orleans: 1. Over a week ago a petroleum-engineer-friend told me that “top kill” was doomed to failure because the engineering didn’t even work on paper – no way to deliver enough pressure through the […]

Icarus and the Black Hole

posted by Rod Dreher

Astrophysicist Brian Greene talks with an Atlantic correspondent about his work with composer Philip Glass on “Icarus At the Edge of Time,” a re-imagining of the Icarus myth. The work debuts this week at the World Science Festival in NYC. […]

Louisiana, oil spill is your fault too

posted by Rod Dreher

So says columnist James Gill in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, citing the way the state has been governed for years not with the public’s interest in mind, but with the interests of the oil companies. Excerpt: We have so much […]

Oil spill & the uneasy Evangelical conscience

posted by Rod Dreher

Whatever you do today, you have to read this stunning blog entry from the Southern Baptist theologian Russell D. Moore, who just returned from a visit to Biloxi, Miss., his hometown. He calls the Gulf spill the ecological Roe v. […]

Ted Haggard event pre-criticized for your convenience

posted by Rod Dreher

Here’s what’s going to happen today, says the AP: COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard has called a news conference to announce the next step in his career. OK, stop right there. You want a sign that […]

Culture falls apart: a Ken Myers dissent

posted by Rod Dreher

Last week I posted something lamenting the fragmentation of our culture in postmodernity, but trying also to identify some good things about it. Excerpt: When I think about how relatively monotonous the culture of pop music was in the 1970s, […]

Hot threads you might have missed

posted by Rod Dreher

We had an unusual number of well-trafficked threads here over the long holiday weekend. In case you missed the more popular ones: How seminary ruins one’s faith Pastors who don’t believe in God Lady Gaga & the ‘spiritual, not religious’ […]

Black Swans and BP

posted by Rod Dreher

David Leonhardt says that yes, BP had a reputation for cutting safety corners, but we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that the rest of us are immune to falling into the same cognitive trap that the oil giant’s executives […]

Sharon Astyk’s American life at 9

posted by Rod Dreher

Today marks nine years since Sharon Astyk and her family moved out to their farm. Mazel tov! Here are her deeply moving thoughts on the anniversary. Excerpt: Both Eric and I, the children of divorce and mobile childhoods, have now […]

Fame kills Al & Tipper Gore marriage

posted by Rod Dreher

Sad news from the Gore family. Reportedly there was no infidelity involved. After 40 years of marriage, the two had begun to live separate lives. Forty years together, and now this. I remember thinking around the Monica Lewinsky scandal, that […]

Spiritual lives of children

posted by Rod Dreher

In our house, the usual nighttime routine involves me lying down with each of our two younger kids — Lucas is six, Nora is three — praying with them, then talking with them about what’s on their minds. In the […]

Oil spill: Summer of the Sinkhole

posted by Rod Dreher

So says David Brooks, in a smart observation: The plume taps into a series of deep anxieties. First, it taps into the anxiety that the people running our major institutions are just not that competent. Second, it feeds into the […]

Ah, the City of Brotherly Love

posted by Rod Dreher

Photographed by my wife while motoring through the streets of Philadelphia. I can only imagine what the owner of the small business fronting this sign must have gone through before he lost his cool:

Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Rod Dreher. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Most Recent Scientology Story on Beliefnet! Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 3:25:02pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mommy explains her plastic surgery
In Dallas (naturally), a parenting magazine discusses how easy it is for mommies who don't like their post-child bodies to get surgery -- and to have it financed! -- to reverse the effects of time and childbirth. Don't like what nursing has done ...

posted 10:00:56pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Why I became Orthodox
Wrapping up my four Beliefnet years, I was thinking about the posts that attracted the most attention and comment in that time. Without a doubt the most popular (in terms of attracting attention, not all of it admiring, to be sure) was the ...

posted 9:46:58pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Modern Calvinists
Wow, they don't make Presbyterians like they used to! ...

posted 8:47:01pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

'Rape by deception'? Huh?
The BBC this morning reported on a bizarre case in Israel of an Arab man convicted of "rape by deception," because he'd led the Jewish woman with whom he'd had consensual sex to believe he was Jewish. Ha'aretz has the story here. Plainly it's a ...

posted 7:51:28pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

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