Weekend Reads

"Law Review" from The Ryskind Sketchbook

Why This Election Is About The Freedom of Religion. Fr. Neuhaus agreeing with me about things getting ugly for the Church. Although he expresses it rationally and not in Yours Truly's state of panic. For those who like that sort of thing.

In re that same topic, check out Bishop Vasa's letter to his flock, by way of WDTPRS. "Cowards like me..." he writes. Relevant to ninme's comment in this post, too. Times are never so bad that men cannot be saints in them....

Anthony Esolen on what it means to be someone's keeper.
what does that mean, to be a keeper? When Cain shot back at the Lord God that first teenage question, "Am I my brother's keeper?", he had of course just murdered him. He desired the alienation that his question implies. In his snideness Cain reduces the relationship of brother to brother to that of brother to keeper. Sheep are kept; children are minded; men are not. That at least seems to be Cain's unspoken assumption. Now the Lord does not reply that Cain is his brother's "keeper." He ignores the reply entirely. He tells Cain that his brother's blood cries out to him from the ground. He never wanted Cain to be his brother's keeper. He wanted him to be his brother's brother. A brother is a great deal more than a keeper -- and also a much different thing, too. The keeper and the kept have, in that one regard, no mutual relationship. Indeed, the keeper can only keep by reducing the kept to a ward (which means, literally, someone who is kept care of, guarded), or to a sheep. If I am to be my brother's brother, I mind what may harm him, yet I also expect from him the acts of a brother: I am my brother's brother.
Esolen has an excellent series on Joe the Plumber, too, er... plumbing the depths of his interview with some infobabe. See One, Two, Three. Read 'em all.

Why do I sometimes forget about Esolen and let his essays mount up on me? Don't miss Babies & Bottle Caps, either.
At every opportunity, Mr. Obama has voted against laws requiring that doctors and nurses do what is reasonable to save such a baby's life, or even, as our eminent Robert George has put it in his recent article for the Witherspoon Institute, to wrap it in a towel, so that it will be warm as it dies. He has said that he voted against such a law in Illinois because the law was unnecessary; that was a flat lie, as Professor George shows. What Hillary Clinton found in her heart to do -- or could not find in her conscience not to do -- Mr. Obama rejected.
Is that "one issue"? He believes that unwanted babies, in these cases, should be left alone to die, and that has no bearing, none, on what the man is within, and what he believes about human life generally?
[snip] What, then, does he believe is not subject to political manipulation? What is to be valued in its own right, not for utility?

The Irony Is Heartbreaking. Just read it.

Silver Linings, two of 'em. Declining economy means declining enrollment at Ivy League schools (fewer Marxists!) And fewer Little Princess bedrooms with Belgian linen.

Still a Center-Right nation. Peter Wehner expands on his WaPo theme.

I'm sure there's a schadenfreude-y word for when you are happy to find it's not all your fault. London & Frankfurt more at fault for the credit crunch than we are. Yay! Everyone's stupid and corrupt! D'Oh!

Heard about this when I was too busy to read up. Sarkozy: Obama's views on Iran "utterly immature," "formulations empty of all content." I thought The One would make things right with Europe?

Calabresi: Redistributing the Constitution.

Bill Roggio on that strike into Syria. Very interesting story.

When Does Human Life Begin? A Scientific Perspective. Just in case anyone actually wants to know! (Shall we keep this on hand for the next election cycle?) I'm emailing it to all the Catholic members of Congress.

The World We Think In & The Drama Of Existence. Fr. Schall, not content with writing his own books at the pace of one a month, reviews other people's as well. Why do I have such affection for a man who torments me by writing faster than I can read? David Walsh was a professor of mine, but I never knew what After Ideology was about until just now. Even though we read it in seminar.

Krauthammer: The reckoning comes in the morning.

Charlotte Allen: From Little ACORNS Big Scandals Grow
ACORN has a contract with Project Vote to conduct voter-registration drives using ACORN employees, who initially claimed to have signed up 1.3 million new voters at a cost of $16 million, then lowered that figure to around 450,000 (according to an October 23 New York Times story) after eliminating fraudulent registrations, duplicates, and incomplete forms. The internal report, by Washington lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley, pointed out that until very recently, Project Vote's executive director, Zach Pollett, was also ACORN's political director.
So the voters were 70% fraudulent? Sheesh.

Hey! The Presidency & The Congress aren't the only important battlegrounds Tuesday. There are the social issues in the various states. E.g.: