Monday, November 9, 2015


     I have an extremely busy day ahead of me – parish work, mostly – so please accept these few scribblings in place of my usual War and Peace length diatribe.

     1. A Suspicious Death In Idaho.

     Courtesy of WRSA, we have this disturbing story from Idaho:

     The family of an Adams County rancher involved in an encounter with two sheriff’s deputies says the deputies killed him in a “completely unjustified” shooting.

     Survivors of Jack Yantis, the 62-year-old who died a week ago in the darkness on U.S. 95 north of Council, say they will pursue claims against Adams County for Yantis’ death.

     Please read the whole thing. The family’s accounts have the ring of truth about them. Were the Adams County cops wearing body-cameras? The article doesn’t say. However, it does give us this statement from the Idaho State Police:

     “ISP reassures those involved in this incident, their families and the public at large, that they are committed to complete a thorough investigation into this incident to determine exactly what transpired,” spokeswoman Teresa Baker said in a news release last week.

     “ISP detectives are continuing to conduct interviews and are methodically examining each piece of evidence. Physical evidence will be sent to forensic labs for analysis in hopes of revealing further facts that will help piece together the events that unfolded that night.

     “The testing of forensic evidence and an investigation of this nature takes time, and ISP and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office request patience as the investigation process continues. There will not be any information or comments on the evidence involved in this incident until the investigation is complete.”

     My question: if there are large differences between the Yantis family members’ accounts and the “official” version purveyed after the ISP’s “thorough investigation,” how will we choose which one to believe? Is there any basis for that decision that could be defended as superior to all others?

     UPDATE: WRSA has more. Please read it all.

     2. What Is The Education System’s Purpose?

     This article sheds new light and asks extremely compelling questions. The passage I found most revealing:

     How did we get here? A deep dive into the history of education helped me appreciate that our school model was brilliantly designed. Over a century ago. In 1893, Charles Eliot of Harvard and the Committee of Ten anticipated a surge of manufacturing jobs as our country moved beyond agriculture. They re-imagined the U.S. education model, ushering in a factory school model to replace the one-room school house. This path-breaking system of universal public education trained students to perform rote tasks rapidly without errors or creative variation — perfect for assembly-line jobs. The system worked spectacularly, a robust middle class emerged, and America became the world’s most powerful country.

     Mind you, at the turn of the Twentieth Century, when the abovementioned “reforms” were taking final form, the U.S. was still largely a nation of small, family-owned businesses. The large corporations that did exist were a microscopic component of the American economy. So the Committee of Ten might justly be accused of trying to shape the future rather than prepare for one that was already upon us.

     The most dismal aspects of the thing, however, arose from the contemporaneous John Dewey-led insertion of collectivist ideals into government-controlled education. Once combined with the unionization of teachers, the consequences were foreordained.

     Once again, please, please read it all.

     3. Meanwhile, At Yale University...

     Stacy McCain makes some trenchant observations about the recent dustup at Yale:

The recent absurd racial controversy at Yale, which resulted in an incident with an enraged student shouting obscenities at a dorm headmaster, calls our attention to why we cannot disregard (or treat as a joke) what is being taught at our nation’s universities. The cultural and political climate on campus today will shape the beliefs and attitudes of America’s future leaders, and incidents like this should give us cause for great concern. Yale is run by cowards:
     In a closed-door meeting Thursday night, Yale University’s president apologized to a large group of minority students for the school’s failure to make them feel safe on campus.

     “We failed you,” Peter Salovey, a psychologist, told more than 40 students gathered in the ornate room where the Yale Corporation meets, on the top floor of the president’s office.

     “I think we have to be a better university. I think we have to do a better job,” he said, according to several students in the room who were taking notes.

     Yet another “please read it all” article. McCain, who follows the late William F. Buckley’s thinking from his classic God and Man at Yale, concludes thus:

     God has been banished from Yale, and the godless men who now exercise authority in academia — pusillanimous neurasthenic cowards like Yale President Peter Salovey — are evidently prepared to surrender to the puerile tantrums of young heathens whose “education” has rendered them incapable of even pretending to be civilized people.

     Secularists will take exception to McCain’s conclusion, arguing that neither public decency nor true academic freedom require Christianity for a basis. While this is technically correct, in practice Christian observance has also been the best guarantor of public courtesy and decency ever to emerge in the Western world. If the two sometimes don’t appear together, let’s not lose sight of the staggering number of times they travel arm in arm.

     4. A Question And An Answer.

     In a comment to yesterday’s piece, commenter Reg asks:

     Is the Church still called the Roman Catholic Church, or simply the Catholic Church now?

     ...nicely encapsulating a common misconception.

     Concerning the frequently heard phrase "Roman Catholic Church," this is a common misconception -- so common that I know ordained priests who had to be told about it. In point of fact the "Roman" part denotes a Rite within the Church. The Church itself is simply the Catholic Church. There are several Rites, with the Roman Rite being the largest thereof. The forms the sacraments take are somewhat different, but doctrinally all the Rites are the same. (Example: Robert Spencer, best known for his voluminous writings on Islam, is a Catholic of the Melkite Rite.)

     The Rites other than the Roman are relatively small, but they’re quite as Catholic, being doctrinally conformant in all ways. However, they should not be confused with the divisions of the Orthodox Christian denomination, at least one of which – the Byzantine – has a similar name and a similar “look and feel.”

     (Where are the intellectual property rights lawyers when you need them?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for link, Fran.

Latest from friends in the area:

If you wouldn't mind doing an update, it would be appreciated by the god folks out there.

Keep punching.