Random thoughts on random things

    1. Just too darned big.
    2. Stewardship and delusion.
    3. Place of safety?
    4. “Unwated Pregnancies.”
    5. Localism and Gigantism.
    6. Godself.
    7. Matrix PRC.


I’ve remained quite smitten with the idea that the USA is just too big.  That idea coheres with Front Porch Republic, Strong TownsDistributist Review, and all the other sites that make Tipsy tipsy.

It evokes ideas about how we might regain freedom and self-governance.

There’s one big problem. That was tried once before under the name “Federalism” and “limited powers,” and Leviathan gobbled it up, and the people said “Amen! We love Big Brother! What’s on TV?”

Some people are just too dumb and lazy to be free.


I knew a young man who “went off to the big city” because he had, he said, “a stewardship responsibility to make as much money as possible.”

I’ve watched his life through the intervening years. Do not under-estimate, gentle reader, the human capacity for self-delusion. Sometimes “stewardship responsibility to make as much money as possible” is just pious-colored lipstick on the old pig, greed.

Do not underestimate, either, God’s grace. I’ve seen at least one telling sign that the young man is catching onto himself. On the other hand, don’t underestimate the ravenous lion who’s still prowling for souls to devour. It ain’t over until Last Judgment has been pronounced (though it’s too late to repent once you’ve died).


[S]chools, which are supposed to be places of safety, are one of a shrinking number of places in America where homicidal nuts can be sure of not encountering an armed civilian.

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.


A common trope these days is that “pro-life” and “pro-choice” have common ground: both want to prevent “unwanted pregnancies.” Well, not exactly.

The terminology “unwanted pregnancy” skews the question from the start. Some of us would like the whole concept of “unwanted pregnancy” to disappear as children become universally welcomed in life. And many of us would like to see people who aren’t ready to welcome babies cease doing the act that tends to make babies, whereas the typical “common ground” approach is contraception. The reductio ad absurdum of that kind of thinking is contendness with a regime of universal fornication so long as there’s also universal contraception.

(H/T for the evocation to Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, preaching on the slave girl who brought her owners much profit. He talked about child slavery and child abuse today, suggesting that the primal child abuse is not wanting them because they’re not profitable.)


This morning’s news and web-surfing jarringly juxtaposed contrary sensibilities.

The people I like and follow on the web were talking about thing of human scale, I clipped lots of Evernotes.

Then the newspaper had some trivial local stories but lots of “will our masters in Washington save the economy or not?” type stuff.

I’m reminded:

  1. Newspapers exist to sell their advertisers’ shit and thus make money.
  2. Newspapers are most profitable when they find cheap-to-produce stories that attract reasonably affluent readers to see the ads.
  3. A corps of reporters in Washington, DC produce relatively cheap-to-produce stories that attract readers.
  4. We therefore are fed, and are encouraged to overestimate the importance of, stories from Washington DC .

In contrast, thank God, people are starting to figure our that we has structural and infrastructural problems and are starting to build strong towns and neighborhoods again.

[N.B. I wrote this in May 2012. It continues to be true just about every morning. See item 1.]


An old friend, now a card-carrying academic, wrote within memory “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Godself.” What in God’s name is that kind of speech?


They say that Ireland is full of “thin places.” It was presumably to such places that Pastor Mike Salemink (of St. James Lutheran in Lafayette) was alluding when he said Matrix Pregnancy Resource Center is a place where the veil between heaven and earth is so thin you can almost see through it.

For instance, a father with PTSD says he’s not comfortable being outside his comfort zone — but Matrix now is part of his comfort zone.

December 31, I’ll be leaving after almost 30 years on Matrix’s Board and 10 years or so as Chairman. Correlation is not causation. If I could take credit for what Matrix has become, and thought I could continue to help it grow, I’d gladly stay, but “new blood” is what’s making Matrix great.

God bless ’em!

* * * * *

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

One thought on “Random thoughts on random things

  1. On pt. 5, you have a very accurate view of newspaper. But let’s take it a little further: TV is worse, only more costly, and the internet is far, far worse, in large part because it is free.

    On pt. 7, three things: Thank you for your extended tour to have save babies and their mothers; “Matrix” is an interesting name for a crisis pregnancy center; and I’m impressed and amazed that such a large, publicly traded company as Kohl’s would contribute to your cause.

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