The Thinking 


The Pizza Industrial Complex in Japan

May 28, 2015



This is a sign outside an Italian restaurant in the toney Akasaka section of Tokyo. I had pizza twice during a recent stay – fair but not good. Other than native cuisine, Italian fare seems to be the most popular by far amongst those residents of the land of the rising sun.

I always knew they were smart; that choice only confirms my belief.

Here is another example of pizza in Japan.


Russian Pride

May 28, 2015

MARK JAWS writes:

I spent my first seven years in the Army as a Russian linguist. Later on, I earned a Master’s Degree in Russian Area Studies from the Defense Intelligence College. Compared to the average American, I know Russia and its people pretty well, and while Russia is facing challenging problems today, I think it will prevail, while we will fail. Why? Because even throughout the 75 years or so of Communist tyranny, the Russian people endured, as they endured through 300 years of Mongol rule and countless other invasions and tragedies which have struck throughout the centuries. Read More »


From Rap to Bach

May 28, 2015


WILLIAM H. writes from the Netherlands:

Recently I came across this blog post by Peter Hitchens, the brother of atheist Christopher Hitchens, and it made me think of my own story.

Classical composers did not really get any time in my high school (I was at the Athenaeum in the Netherlands then.) And much work was made there of praising the teachers’ personal heroes of the sixties, such as Bob Dylan and the Stones. After my time there I went on a long “career” into rap, house and other “hip music” which ended in 2004. I learned many things then and after, by reflecting on the “scenes,” the people and the very essence of the technology and mindset that produces these genres.

Read More »


The Crazy-Never-Ends Transgender News

May 27, 2015

JEANETTE V. writes:

Scholastic, the children’s book publisher that distributes to public and private schools, is releasing a novel about a “transgender” eight-year-old.


The Most Spiteful Snobbery

May 27, 2015

THIS is from a Peter Hitchens column from 2013:

When I was a Revolutionary Marxist, we were all in favour of as much immigration as possible.

It wasn’t because we liked immigrants, but because we didn’t like Britain. We saw immigrants – from anywhere – as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties.

Also, we liked to feel oh, so superior to the bewildered people – usually in the poorest parts of Britain – who found their neighbourhoods suddenly transformed into supposedly ‘vibrant communities’.

If they dared to express the mildest objections, we called them bigots. Read More »


The Model Minority: Espionage in Academe Edition

May 27, 2015


Xiaoxing Xi


The chairman of Temple University’s physics department was charged Thursday in an alleged scheme to provide sensitive U.S. defense technology to entities in China, including its government.

Federal prosecutors allege Xiaoxing Xi, a world-renowned expert in the field of superconductivity, sought prestigious appointments in China in exchange for sharing information on a device invented by a private company in the United States.


The Baltimore Riots at the Smithsonian

May 26, 2015

FROM The Baltimore Sun:

As Aaron Bryant walked along North Avenue on the night of Freddie Gray’s funeral, his photographer’s eye noted how the rising flames framed the “waves of police in riot gear” and the wall of ministers calling for calm.

Instinctively, the Baltimore man says, he began mentally cataloging the most evocative “visual cues” around him. He knew they would help inform his work chronicling the moment as a photography curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture, now under construction on the National Mall in Washington. Read More »


An Ongoing Discussion

May 26, 2015

THE discussion of the 1945 nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki continues.


In Memoriam

May 25, 2015

AMERICAN composer Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Opus 11, performed here by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein, expresses the sadness we feel today for all those Americans killed in war.

Read More »


If Only She Had Been a Soldier Too

May 25, 2015


The Manufactured Military Crisis

May 25, 2015

THE push to place women in combat and increase their presence in the military in general creates endless material for news stories. That is arguably why women are being placed in combat: It is an exciting drama. First there are stories about inequality and the smashing of barriers. Then there are stories, such as this Memorial Day feature in The New York Times, about the negative consequences of having women in the military and the need to smash more barriers. The Times wonders why so many female soldiers are depressed and suicidal.

“Every bad thing that happens, they interpret it as a sign that they don’t belong,” said Gregory M. Walton, an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University.

That seems like mental health. Not mental illness.


The Pentecost

May 24, 2015


Lorenzo Monaco; 1396

Lorenzo Monaco; 1396

And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Read More »


Irish Sheep Jump Over the Cliff

May 24, 2015



The only thing you need to be “Catholic” in Ireland is a big, goofy, “joyful” smile. Here is the “Tickle-Me-Til-I-Pop” “Bishop” of Derry, Donal McKeown

FORMERLY Catholic Ireland voted overwhelmingly yesterday to recognize same-sex “marriage.” Though marriage can’t be changed by polls, referenda or courts, though ultimately we have no more control over the terms of marriage than we have over the revolutions of the planets, people can pretend to change it, and that’s what the Irish have done.

Jorge Bergoglio, the phony pope, encouraged the “Yes” vote in Ireland by his brilliant statements on the issue. The “Archbishop” of Dublin and the “bishop” of Derry both publicly encouraged the “yes” vote.

“I don’t doubt that there are many people who are practicing churchgoers of whatever church background who will in conscience vote Yes, and that’s entirely up them. I’m not going to say they’re wrong,” said “Bishop” Ding Dong of Derry, Donal McKeown.

With shepherds like these, who needs wolves? Read More »


The Gift of Fortitude

May 23, 2015


FROM Dom Prosper Gueranger’s reflections on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which, he explains, are seven energies infused into the soul with sanctifying grace:

When difficulties and trials of life come upon him, man is tempted, sometimes to cowardice and discouragement, sometimes to an impetuosity, which arises either from his natural temperament or from pride. These are poor aids to the soul in her spiritual combat. Read More »


Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost

May 23, 2015

On my knees
before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses
I offer myself, soul and body
to Thee O Eternal Spirit of God.
I adore the brightness of Thy purity,
the unerring keenness of Thy justice,
and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength
and Light of my soul. Read More »