Ten great guides--and I can think of many, many more--for young men venturing out into the world. These also make great graduation gifts! Click and paste.
Below is a link to Intellectual Takeout and my article on slavery.
When we think of slavery, we may think of the slaves of the Roman Empire or of the United States before passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. We may also think of those countries that have yet to banish slavery or that tolerate it.
But one might make the case that slavery is a much more widespread than we might anticipate.
Read the article and see what you think.
I hope this April morning--it's chilly and gray here in Virginia--finds you all well.
For any Mid-Western readers, especially my friends at Intellectual Takeout, prayers and a shout-out for you as you face Winter Storm Wesley.
For my brother Chris, happy birthday! Keep bring the world your tunes, good brother.
Below you will find some comments on the importance of writing and teaching composition, including a review of a book that offers many good tips on composition.
Best wishes to you all, Jeff
No picture this time. No photo. Just a story that doesn't belong to me.
It's Sunday morning, patchy blue sky, and the yard and woods around the house have that scruffy look that spring sometimes wears, when the trees are still mostly bare, patches of green grass alternate with brown, and you have to step close to the bushes to see the buds and tiny leaves. A typical morning in early April.
Around seven, I'd finished reading a novel for review, Nicholas Sparks's Every Breath. I've only read one, maybe two, of his books, and picked this one up because he writes, as he often does, about the North Carolina coast, and I wanted to go to the beach. It's been a while since I stood and watched the ocean or walked the sand, and likely it will be a while longer, so I let the book take me there. It did, and I was happy about that. The story was good and had an impact, so I was happy about that too.
After putting the book down, I came online to my usual sites, where the news is often grim. Politics, war, the economy, the usual chatter about the awful state of our culture and country.
And then I found this.
If you're looking for a boost, if you're looking for something to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, take a look. I'd highly recommend watching the short news video too. You'll find it below.
Here's hoping you're all well this Sunday, April 7th.
The article below appeared this past week at Intellectual Takeout. https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/white-privilege-thing-past.
The article addresses a term much in use in certain quarters, a label that seems both derogatory and, in regard to my life and the lives of so many I know, ludicrous. It has to do with:
For years now, we’ve heard some folks sling that term around along with that verbal slap, “Check your privilege.” But here’s a question: Does white privilege exist in 2019? Or is it just a way of smearing whites?
First, a definition of white privilege. The online Cambridge Dictionary defines white privilege as “the fact of people with white skin having advantages in society that other people do not have.”
Interesting, that use of that word fact. So let’s look at a few facts.
The article below appeared in intellectualtakeout.com on March 27, 2019.
When an old person dies, a library burns to the ground.
- Variation on an African proverb
In the mid-1990s, Mrs. Irene Harrison (1890-1999) from Akron, Ohio stayed in my bed-and-breakfast in Western North Carolina. On her last visit, Mrs. Harrison, daughter of famed tire entrepreneur Frank Seiberling, was 105 years old. She was a petite, gracious lady of the old school who proved highly entertaining on some occasions. Once when I was passing through the living room, she was discussing politics with her son. I paused to ask her to name her favorite president.
“Roosevelt!” she exclaimed.
I was stunned. Franklin Roosevelt was this stanch conservative’s favorite president?
“Theodore Roosevelt,” she said after a pause. “He was the best of the last hundred years.”
Later I calculated that she was eighteen years old when Roosevelt—Theodore, that is—became president. Given her father’s many accomplishments, Mrs. Harrison probably met President Roosevelt in person.
This summer America will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of our flight to the moon. Most people living then can surely recall that occasion. What is most amazing about that flight is its occurrence only 66 years after the Wright Brothers historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. What is also incredible is that the astronauts, engineers, and other personnel who worked at NASA did so in an age of primitive computers.
Below the line is a review of a splendid book about the Apollo missions.
The article below appeared on intellectualtakeout.com last week.
A woman I knew in college who later became an important figure in Planned Parenthood often stated her aversion to bearing children. “Who would bring a child into today’s world?” she’d say. “Look at the mess we’re in.”
That was 47 years ago.
Today when I tell some people I am a father and grandfather, some people echo the same sentiments. “It’s an awful time to raise children,” these folks say, filled with sympathy. “I sure wouldn’t want to do that responsibility.”
No matter how many times I’ve heard it, this response leaves me stunned for several reasons.
The ways we have hurt other people, sometimes deeply, sometimes irreparably. The sins we have committed in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done and what we have failed to do.
Deep regrets are like a cancer. They can spread and eat us up on the inside.
In the scene below from 28 Days--an excellent movie--Lily has come to visit her sister Gwen, who is in rehab for alcohol abuse. (While drunk, Gwen nearly wrecked Lily's wedding and did wreck a car, hence the treatment center.)
Here is a powerful scene of reconciliation between two sisters.
Some more thoughts on G.K. Chesterton below the read more page break. Here was a voice of sanity, of clear thinking mixed with great wit, a man loved not only by his family and friends, but by his ideological adversaries as well.