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The Irish Rover



Serving God, Country & Notre Dame since A.D. 2003



Updated: 2015-09-17T02:20:28.729-04:00

 



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2012-02-06T11:11:46.493-05:00

As Petrik promised, here's the Society of Grandmothers' manifesto. Read up.Irene Engel noticed a troubling theme in her conversations with other grandmothers. “We were hearing too many reports that CATHOLIC girls did not understand the need for chastity, [for] protecting their bodies, and we made the statement, ‘Somebody should say something.’” A beloved member of the Notre Dame community, Irene shares her full story here: http://wwww.irishrover.net/archives/1418. The Society of Grandmothers Address Sex and the 21st Century WomanDedicated to St. Ann, grandparent of JesusMission:To make young women aware that they are being exploited, used, and abused, an insult to womankind. To enlighten young women at an early age (eleven or twelve) that society in general and the media in particular have made human beings slaves to their own passions, emotions, desires, and cravings to such an extent that they are not in control of or even aware of what they could be and should be. Common sense comes with knowledge and awareness. When young people understand chastity, it eliminates a lot of other frustrations.Introduction: Why Grandmothers? In the series of books published by Sorin Books entitled God Knows, which provide resources to assist readers to enhance their quality of life, we find the Grandparents Make a Difference book. In it the authors Priscilla J. Herbison and Cynthia Herbison Tambornino state that “next to unconditional love, wisdom is the gift most cherished by grandchildren. What is wisdom but the life and breath of the sacred Spirit within us? Even more than that, when we thought about the cherished legacy of grandparents, it struck us that the qualities of wisdom are listed in one of our favorite readings from Paul’s letter to the Galations (5:22-23) in the Bible: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility, and self-control.”[1]“The stories that we’ve collected illustrate this wisdom in action. In The Shape of Living, David Ford writes,Because wisdom is so much a matter of making the deep connections in the midst of the complexities of life, there is no substitute for seeing how someone does it. But, more than just seeing, it is a matter of being seen. The wise see in us our potential. They listen to us with the ‘inner ear.’ They open us up, inspire us, energize us, and allow us to blossom, and give us the sense that there is always more. Excellence is the aim, yet they are patient with us. It is a gentle, utterly respectful overwhelming, at the heart of which is delight in truth and goodness. The classic sign of this is immense gratitude, increasing as wisdom is tested and developed, together with the desire to pass it on.”[2]As grandparents, we have the wisdom of our experience and stories to share. Herbison and Tamborino continue to tell us that grandparents also offer the following fruits of wisdom:“Spiritual lessons. Grandparents, because of experience, can be excellent spiritual guides and counselors. Grandparents are models of the fine art and practice of contemplation and listening. By sharing their past experiences or just by their behavior, grandparents model for their grandchildren ways to face fear, resolve difficulties, and love others. Included in the top five list among all cultures were generosity, kindness, respect for all living things, gratitude, and calmness.”[3] “Change.” Grandparents have seen much change, and know how to accept change. They have the courage and wisdom to accept change.[4] “Happy memories. Time with grandparents can become happy memories for grandchildren.” In other words, warm moments and kind words will embed the values and wisdom grandparents have to share and can provide needed strength in difficult times.[5] “Calmness and peace. Grandchildren report that they feel secure and content in a grandparent’s presence because their grandparents approach life with a sense of calm confidence. For grandchildren wounded by stress or trauma, being with a grandparent can be a healing experience.”[...]



Grandmother speaks out about chastity

2011-12-12T20:28:49.059-05:00

COMING SOON: Irene Engel's Society of Grandmothers manifesto



A Philosophy on Education

2010-11-19T20:54:34.092-05:00

At a recent panel for Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture's annual fall conference, I had the opportunity to receive some valuable insights on an approach to education strategies.
Apparently, there is an issue when it comes to how "student-centered" a course should be. In engineering the design and goal of a course, faculty members are confronted with the problem of content versus process that complicates this issue. Professors, as such, have a responsibility to offer content for coursework, since they alone possess the robust scholarship necessary to make such decisions. There is a duty, however, to engage the interests of the students attending the university who are pursuing studies in various disciplines. The question is, how much dialogue should there be between students and faculty to ensure that courses are constructed with the balance that provide challenging, yet stimulating content for students. The process of a course pertains to how the method by which the content should be explored. The same happy medium is required here to ensure similar success. The problem that happens most frequently, from my perspective, is that it is either the professor's course or the student's course. Basically, either the professor has designed a course with strict and rigid parameters without allowing for pedagogical adaptations or the professor has compromised on too many issues, allowing students the course settings they desire while simultaneously relinquishing content of any real substance.
The solution? Humilty.
According to one of the panelists, humility in curriculum is essential to foster an optimal setting for learning. Ultimately, what this means is that the professor has to assume the virtue of humility to acquire a perspective of both his students and himself that will elevate that student-teacher relationship to its highest good. A professor with humility will become, in a sense, a student once again. He will realize that, despite years of experience in scholarship and research in his chosen field, he is not above the force of education. He, too, can engage his students and the course content in a way that will ensure that he will never stop learning. Professors often speak of the enriching experience of being an educator which usually implies that there is still much to gain.
Socrates supposedly said that "The only real wisdom is knowing that you know nothing." According to the panelist, it is this humble perspective that may inspire a sense of awe and wonder in a classroom setting that may inspire students to engage readings and material purely for the sake of education, the perpetual quest for truth. The responsibility of casting this aura over the classroom center rests mainly on the professor, whose agency is vital in setting the proper tone for a learning atmosphere.
Some of the greatest courses I have taken during my time at Notre Dame have been ones that have created this same atmosphere. The professor engaged the text as if he too were a student. Feeling that this was the case, the professor joined us in discussions, the hierarchy was disbanded, and grades became objects of little or no importance. The thirst for knowledge was instilled by an overarching sense of humility which loudly admitted that "we know nothing." The virtue of humility involves another balance. It takes humility to say "I know nothing" but this can turn into despair and dejection if it is not accompanied with a healthy sense of pride that completes the phrase: "I know nothing, but I possess the capacity to learn." It is with this complete, humble realization that we find ourselves looking at the world from an awesome perspective that spurs us towards the wonder of truth.



Stimulating what?

2010-10-27T23:53:44.253-04:00

Thought I'd take the opportunity to post a link to the new DOL report on jobs lost since the stimulus was passed. Apparently jobs were gained in a whopping TWO states (and DC - shocker with all that government spending).

But, wait, wasn't the stimulus suppose to save and create new jobs?

Just waiting for someone to figure out how to count "saved" jobs and I'm sure we'll find out that this bill saved millions from breadlines.

link to Big Government .



Surprise! Conservatives make for the more generous donators

2010-10-04T19:08:04.037-04:00

"On the surface, the notion that liberals are the world’s most charitable individuals could easily be accepted. After all, many on the left talk quite a bit about helping the poor and providing social safety nets."


The findings:

-Conservatives donate about 30 percent more than do liberals (though, on average, conservatives earn less than liberals.)

-Conservatives are 17 percent more likely than their liberal counterparts to donate blood.

-In 2004, George W. Bush carried 24 out of 25 of the states in which charitable giving exceeded the national average.


"[I]t’s no secret that liberals are more prone to accept the notion that it’s the government’s responsibility to provide direct services to the people. While conservatives are by no means opposed to essential state-sponsored programs, they place a higher value on personal responsibility and the building of self-driven social capital."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/23/surprise-conservatives-are-more-generous-than-liberals/#ixzz11QyKYr00




Nobel Prizes, Pretty worthless now-a-days

2010-10-04T11:19:24.732-04:00

For those of you who still think the Noble Prize holds any worth, this year's Noble Prize in medicine ought to disabuse you of that notion.

This year's winner was Robert Edwards of Britain who developed in-vitro fertilization. He was selected over the favored Shinya Yamanaka (story here).

Yamanaka has done some amazing research with great potential. He figured out a way to take fibroblast cells (most abundant cells in your body, a sort of generic connective tissue) and to make them pluripotent (with the ability to become any cell in your body). These cells are referred to as Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS Cells). Not only do they allow for stem cell research without the destruction of an embryo, they also allow for new tissue to be developed which is not seen as foreign by your body (because the tissue can be grown from your own cells). In fact, Yamanaka has grown all sorts of tissue from these cells; even that of beating cardiac tissue. This is a major medical breakthrough and that is why most experts thought Yamanaka was a favorite to win the Nobel prize in medicine.

However, the researcher who developed in vitro fertilization won instead. This is much less medically interesting, and, given the political bend of the Nobel awards, it only makes sense to me if I assume it was purely political. How disappointing.



"A dark and delightful sunday afternoon read"

2010-09-14T19:45:54.972-04:00

Hot off the press, medical thriller The Ensouling is poised to move hearts. One customer reviewed:

"In this action-packed medical thriller, Petrik delivers a dark and delightful Sunday afternoon read.

Petrik's protagonist, the eminent neurosurgeon Dr. Killeen, is a man without a conscience whose egomaniacal wickedness is as perversely fun to watch as Dorian Gray's. Helped by his substantial medical and scientific talents, he lies, manipulates, and murders his way into a prominent position on the faculty of a fictional Louisville University, a financially favorable marriage, and the skirts of innumerable subordinates. His research lab--whose denizens' personal lives make for some of the book's most humorous and tenderest moments--is on the brink of a monumental discovery when a tragic accident threatens Killeen's future and his life. True to form, Killeen risks everything on a final series of daring and horrific crimes that will leave him forever scarred and leave us realizing, like Dorian, that we are witnessing a portrait of our own corruption.

As well as a knack for the swift pace and spare, descriptive language of a good thriller, Petrik posesses a facility with medical and metaphysical arcana to delight the heart of a nerd. The plausible scientific detail brings home the chilling fact that this book is set in the present, and the questions it raises are ones that doctors are grappling with even now, in this time of high hopes for clinical trials of fetal stem cell transplants: [...]. In the tradition of fathers of science fiction like H. G. Wells and Arthur C. Clarke, Petrik delivers his moral bluntly, and readers put down The Ensouling both satisfied and perturbed."

Available to download on Amazon.



I'm sorry Congressman, the correct answer is "What is the Bill of Rights?"

2010-09-04T14:50:19.342-04:00

The absurd claim: "I think that there are very few constitutional limits that would prevent the federal government from rules that could affect your private life."

-Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif.

The rebuttal: “Congress is subject to checks and balances by other branches of government, as well as to specific constitutional limits. The First Amendment, for example, says ‘Congress shall make no law’ on freedom of religion, speech, assembly and petition. The Second Amendment protects ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms.’ The 10th Amendment says all powers not specifically enumerated for the federal government ‘are reserved to the states, or to the people.’ Washington politicians like Stark should get familiar with the founding documents, particularly this radical Constitution whose present advocates among his constituents make him so uncomfortable. After all, every two years for the past nearly four decades, he has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, vowing to bear ‘true faith and allegiance to the same.’”

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/No_-congressman_-government-does-have-limits-1006729-99796219.html#ixzz0yOd85S00




The Map

2010-08-26T15:56:01.949-04:00

Here's a cute story to think about as we venture through all this political turmoil:

A little girl wanted to know what the United States looked like. Her father tore a map of the United States out of his magazine and cut it into small pieces. He gave them to her and said, 'Go into the other room and see if you can put this together. This will show you our whole country today...'

After some minutes, she returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly.
'Oh,' she said, 'on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together.'

Sooo... when we get Jesus back where He belongs --- our country will come together!



Behold, the Triumph of the Canine Spirit!!

2010-08-20T17:42:48.009-04:00

I found this awe-inspiring jewel of a story on Fox News and I felt compelled to post a blog on some of the thoughts that crossed my mind thereafter. The pictorial story featured in the Fox News story is merely a single example of a growing trend that appears to be more harmless than it really may be. This trend is a movement to personify animals as if they possess the same emotional, psychological, and spiritual capacities of human beings. For instance, the Fox story features Lucy, a paralyzed dog, who scales to the summit of Mt. Washington (2,290 feet) with the help of a dog wheelchair to become the first paralyzed fog to ascend such a distance. The heart-wrenching story concludes with Lucy’s owner commenting on how her dog is such a “go-getter.” In my humble opinion, this may be giving the dog a little too much credit. After all, it’s only a dog. Although it is an impressive feat to witness your handicapped pet succeed at such a challenging feat, it’s important to realize that it’s nothing like the drive and the passion that fuels our very own human spirits. Just the other day, I heard a broadcast on the radio that praised the nimble efforts of local firefighters extinguishing a blaze that endangered the residents of an entire apartment complex. The report concluded with the reassurance that all pets had been safely rescued. My immediate reaction to this story was, “Pets? Really?” This response came from the realization that there was no mention of any children that were safely evacuated. It seemed like the pressing matter was whether or not the domestic animals were saved. For some, household pets can be valuable companions. Dogs can be loyal, cats can be cuddly, and fish can be awesome too. The problem arises when an undue amount of care or attention is paid towards these animals, which can potentially place values within these pets that elevate them to the same status as humans. The distinction between man and beast lies in personhood. Animals don’t have that trait. They are beings, but they are not commensurate to human beings. They lack the ability to think, to reason, to hope, and to love because they lack interior life, a soul. That is a statement that is subject to protest since it is difficult to claim that an animal’s existence is devoid of an interior life when you cannot simply sit down with a squirrel, a wombat, or Lucy the dog over tea and crumpets to discuss the matter. Regardless of that unfortunate circumstance, I cannot leave this point to a matter of opinion: animals do not have souls, therefore they are unequal to humans. Now, I am the first to tell you that I am no animal lover (except for the occasional non-slobbery dog or an irresistibly cute kitten), but I am also no enemy to PETA. That is, I don't run about seeking to indiscriminately abuse or exterminate animals. When I make the point that animals are not akin to human beings, it is because I believe it is an important distinction to make in a world where individuals and small circles of society hail treat these creatures with the same sort of dignity. As patrons of the earth it is the duty of humanity to respect these animals as such without forgetting that they were fundamentally placed on earth for human purposes. I enjoy cutting into a good steak, bacon is delectable, and there’s nothing quite like barbecue chicken for a summer cookout with family and friends. My palate for processed, cooked, and seasoned animal flesh (sounds delicious if you put it that way, hm?) is in no way inspired by an insatiable hatred towards particular members of the animal kingdom. At the same time, I never find myself lamenting the death of another cow, pig, or chicken. With no strong aversions or affinities towards animals, I simply co-exist with them. It’s not because I am a rav[...]



You know you're in Egypt when...

2010-07-31T14:52:32.819-04:00

...you see "Inception" at 12:30 AM and a third of the people in the theater are under 15 years of age.



Obama Gets Racy

2010-07-27T15:58:31.358-04:00

http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/race_played_role_in_obama_car.html

Highlights:
-"[D]ealerships were retained because they were ... minority- or woman-owned dealerships";

-Thousands of jobs were lost, unnecessarily, due specifically to Obama's "mandate for shared sacrifice";

-A disproportionate number of Obama-forced closings were of rural dealerships, in areas unfriendly to Obama, even though such closures could "jeopardize the return to profitability" for GM and Chrysler.

The media, of course, remain mute about these serious allegations in the Barofsky report. They have limited their coverage to the job loss numbers and tried to place the blame on Treasury Secretary Turbo-Tax Tim Geithner.



Stupak = Fail

2010-07-15T16:09:29.610-04:00

Via RedState/Lifenews :

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) – The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill.

The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March.]


Stupak = Fail

(image)

It's just too bad that people have to die as a result.



From the Fox News Intern Desk...

2010-07-08T12:15:28.348-04:00

A darkly-clouded New York City looked like Gotham City earlier this morning. Sadly, I didn't see Batman swooping down to shake-up the the blank faces of hardened city-slickers sliding through a hazy bog of paper wrappers, horn-happy drivers, and coffee cups, half-empty (Kevin where were you?!).

But apparently no one would think of criticizing Batman today- "Who would go out in this steamy weather by choice?", they ask. Between you and me, I think he stayed in to avoid hearing every conversation begin with, "Ohhh it's so hot and disgusting outside," as if it were happening for the first time.

Or maybe he's out trying to find the AWOL Afghans, or intercepting spy-exchanges in Vienna, or avoiding all that conflict as he admires ancient Egyptian tombs.

I'd go with the last considering that solutions to the other problems are moving along molasses-style.

Note: It's no coincidence that all those links take you to the Fox News website. As my title implies, I'm happily working as an intern at Fox this summer, an opportunity that has enabled me to make all these insider observations about NYC, and to spend some time pondering concrete sidewalks and superfluities.



Spill Coverage

2010-07-07T12:43:33.091-04:00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOC8ROQwOJM&feature=player_embedded

Touche, Zakaria.





The Problem of Polling

2010-07-06T14:01:31.444-04:00

A recent poll cited by Salon shows one of the largest problems with polling. In an article entitled, "The American people want more government spending," Salon seeks to promote the claim that the people of this country aren't concerned with the deficit. However, this headline is misleading because the poll questions are misleading.

Directly from the results at Gallup :

"Would you favor or oppose Congress passing new legislation this year that would do the following?

Approve additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Favor: 60%
Oppose: 38%
No opinion: 2%

[USA Today/Gallup, June 11-3, 2010 in random sampling of phone interviews]"


Who wouldn't want jobs and a stimulated economy? Of course, there are concerns over how well such a thing does it. In addition, I have major concerns over the lack of background concerning how our ballooning deficit spells danger for future economic growth and stability.



Happy 4th of July!

2010-07-04T12:17:30.194-04:00

(image)
AMMEERRRIIICCCAAAAAA.



You know you're in Egypt when...

2010-06-24T06:29:29.930-04:00

...the most reliable place to watch the World Cup is McDonald's.



Let us not mock God with Metaphor

2010-06-23T12:39:54.471-04:00

My uncle, a man unsentimental to the point of cynicism, pulled a worn copy of this Updike poem out of his wallet last Christmas for me to read. It is a timely challenge of the current trend of religious relativism and the “I’m spiritual, not religious” mentality. Either Christ rose, and Christianity is true, or he did not. SEVEN STANZAS AT EASTERMake no mistake: if He rose at all it was as His body; if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fall. It was not as the flowers, each soft Spring recurrent; it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the eleven apostles; it was as His flesh: ours. The same hinged thumbs and toes, the same valved heart that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then regathered out of enduring Might new strength to enclose. Let us not mock God with metaphor, analogy, sidestepping transcendence; making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages: let us walk through the door. The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché, not a stone in a story, but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of time will eclipse for each of us the wide light of day. And if we will have an angel at the tomb, make it a real angel, weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen spun on a definite loom. Let us not seek to make it less monstrous, for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty, lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed by the miracle, and crushed by remonstrance. [...]



Read Claire's Book Review

2010-06-22T15:28:20.344-04:00

Claire is too modest to post this herself, but she wrote an excellent book review for The Washington Times during her summer internship there. Way to go Claire! That's how Rovers do it.



Happy Father's Day...to a Donor Dad?

2010-06-21T23:19:10.986-04:00

All right, I know I'm one day late, but a family friend forwarded this WSJ article to me. Someone conducted research disproving Cornell psychologist Peggy Drexler's claim that single, middle-class, educated moms whose children have sperm donors for fathers can raise their children as well as two middle-class, educated biological parents. A new study was conducted on a random sample of 485 young adults conceived by donor insemination and 563 young adults conceived by a biological mother and father in "the old-fashioned way." Some of the responses from the first group sound disheartening, to say the least:

"That was when the emptiness came over me. I realized that I am, in a sense, a freak. I really, truly would never have a dad. I finally understood what it meant to be donor-conceived, and I hated it." -Katrina Clark, in a contribution to the Washington Post

And half of the 485 young adults conceived by a single mother and a sperm donor "report[ed] that they 'feel sad' when they see 'friends with their biological fathers and mothers.'"



You know you're in Egypt when...

2010-06-20T09:58:15.221-04:00

...it's 108° F and no one is wearing shorts.



You know you're in Egypt when...

2010-06-17T15:12:42.388-04:00

... the washing machine makes clothes dirtier.



Excellent writing...

2010-06-14T20:48:54.780-04:00

that will engage you much more than any post of mine could do. The message doesn't bode well for today's school systems, but O'Rourke adeptly draws a laugh while addressing a lamentable folly that's quite serious- like a modern-day Erasmus. And, although this most convincing proposal might not be practicable, I think it ought to awaken people to establish and/ or pursue alternatives to our public education system.

http://weeklystandard.com/articles/end-them-don%E2%80%99t-mend-them



Good Readin'

2010-06-14T13:15:29.039-04:00

Anyone looking for some quick but edifying summer reading should check out Bonaventure’s The Journey of the Mind to God. In this work of medieval philosophy and mysticism, Bonaventure lays out six steps to contemplative unity with God. The Journey is a mere 40 pages, but it’s littered with spiritual gems straight from the heart of this devout Franciscan. Some excerpts:

According to Augustine and Bonaventure, the first thing we know is God, even though we are not aware of this at first. Just as we would not see the colors and shapes of a stained-glass window unless the invisible sun was illuminating them, so we would not see visible things if the invisible God was not illuminating them from within. (Introduction)

Since happiness is nothing else than the enjoyment of the Supreme Good, and the Supreme Good is above us, no one can enjoy happiness unless he rise above himself, not indeed, by a bodily ascent, but by an ascent of the heart. (5)

For we are so created that the material universe itself is a ladder by which we may ascend to God. (5)