Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • March 16th, 2012Faith in a Very Small Placeby Tom Kallene

    Most critics consider Bernard Fall’s book on the decisive French defeat at the battle of Dien Bien Phu the best that we have. It describes in detail the bloody event that ended France’s imperial adventure in Indochina and set the scene for American involvement in Vietnam. What made me notice it in a bookshop all those years ago was its title, "Hell in a Very Small Place."

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  • March 15th, 2012The New Coolby Jef Murray

    "Do you think that being Catholic is bad, boring, for losers? Well, think again..."

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  • March 15th, 2012When is a Scientist not a Scientist?by Joseph Pearce

    My po-faced post, "The Joke's On You" (March 7th, 2012), has elecited several po-faced responses from those who presumed that I was somehow belittling science. I was, in fact, doing nothing of the sort. I was merely clarifying the limitations of the scientific method.

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  • March 15th, 2012The Lord or the World?by Joseph Pearce

    Daniel McInerny has written powerfully and evocatively on the connection between R. H. Benson's dystopian novel, The Lord of the World, and the timely lessons that it teaches about secular fundamentalism in general and Obama's HHS Mandate in particular. Here are McInerny's incisive insights:

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  • March 14th, 2012“Verily, I Say Unto You . . .”by Dena Hunt

    Campus Notes, the blog of the Cardinal Newman Society, reports that philosophy professor Gary Gutting of Notre Dame told a reporter from the New York Times that contraception is no longer immoral in the authoritative teaching of the Catholic Church because Catholics don’t believe it is immoral.

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  • March 14th, 2012The Death of Bookstoresby Abigail C. Reimel

    Nook. Kindle. E-reader. These electronic devices go by many names, but they all serve the same purpose: to take yet another piece of this beautiful world and turn it into an electronic. Do not get me wrong, this article does not intend to condemn all electronics—or even to say that these e-readers do not have any positive aspects—for all things can be used for good or evil, depending on how they are handled. Nevertheless, the increasing popularity of these gadgets signifies the modern world’s readiness to turn charming pastimes into electronic applications.

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  • March 14th, 2012The European Union’s Global Grasp of Deathby Joseph Pearce

    The European Union's pernicious influence includes the promotion of infanticide on a global scale. This horrific fact was outlined in a recent release by European Dignity Watch. Here are the details:

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  • March 13th, 2012Secular Fundamentalist Intolerance in Englandby Joseph Pearce

    In the same week in which Britain's so-called "conservative" government defied Catholic objections to oxymoronic "gay marriage", the same government is seeking to persecture Christians who wear crosses or crucifixes at work. As my homeland sinks into the quagmire of barbarism and the quicksand of the culture of death, I thank God that I am living in exile. Here's the link to this latest example of conservative betrayal.

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  • March 13th, 2012Belloc Bloggingby Joseph Pearce

    Visitors to this site will probably be pleased to know of a new blog dedicated to all things Bellocian. Check it out.

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  • March 12th, 2012A Call for Cafeteria Catholics to Leave the Churchby Joseph Pearce

    An open letter to "nominal" and "liberal" Catholics on the Freedom from Religion website calls for Cafeteria Catholics to quit the Church. Leaving aside the author's radically liberal agenda and her misconceptions and distortions about the Catholic Church, I hope that this call for Cafeteria Catholics to leave the Church proves successful. I agree with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, who understands that the Church needs to be purified in order to fight secular fundamentalism more successfully. If so-called Catholics cherish their heresy more than their desire to be in communion and obedience with the Mystical Body of Christ, they should have the courage of their convictions and leave the Church.

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  • March 12th, 2012Bypassing Globalism: Subsidiarity in Practiceby Joseph Pearce

    The Catholic Church's teaching on subsidiarity is inextricably connected to the bypassing of globalism through the employment of appropriate technology. Whereas big government globalists, such as the World Bank and the IMF, wield their financial muscle to force developing countries into the globalist camp as a condition for the receipt of financial aid, subsidiarity calls for investment in technology that does not force developing countries onto the globalist treadmill. Whereas international financial institutions deal with corrupt governments in the developing world, handing them mega-bucks for mega-sized development projects, making the governments more corrupt and destabilizing the traditional cultures of the indigenous populations of the world, appropriate technology calls for small scale investment on the local level, helping people on the ground, in the villages in which they live. Instead of investing $100 million on a huge power plant on the edge of a big city, forcing men to leave their families and their villages to live in shanty towns on the edge of the city, appropriate technology calls for the same funding to be employed to build generators in the villages where people already live. At a cost of $10,000 per generator, the same funding would provide electricity for 10,000 villages. For more details on the importance and applicability of appropriate technology, please see the two chapters on the subject in my book, Small is Still Beautiful.

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  • March 12th, 2012Marriage: A Powerful Heart Drug in Short Supplyby Paul Adams

    Despite a determined will to disbelieve the evidence before our eyes—especially on the part of people such as academics and social workers like me, and other champions of the sexual revolution—we know from a host of empirical research that married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially.

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  • March 9th, 2012Women v. the HHSby Sophia Mason

    Ten or twelve days ago I attended an absolutely amazing talk on the HHS mandate—a talk in which five Catholic women got together to discuss why exactly the Obama Administration's defense of the mandate as a "Women's Issue" made no sense.  Parts of that talk are now up on Youtube.

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  • March 9th, 2012Duc in Altumby Sophia Mason

    All my life I have been afraid of the dark.  I felt sheepish about this for a long time, until the year before college when I found out that St. Francis de Sales was also afraid of the dark.  Nothing like having a wise old patron saint who shares one of your weaknesses!  Of course, St. Francis reportedly "conquered his fear by spiritual wisdom," whatever that means—which I suppose just goes to show who's still a long way from being canonized.

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  • March 8th, 2012Epithalamiumby Dena Hunt

    Well, a definition first, for those (a good many people, likely) unfamiliar with the rather obscure literary term: It’s the wedding song, Greek in origin, but universal in literature. In English, its primary origin is Spenser. More broadly, it refers to the wedding, generally, or to the wedding feast. It’s the quintessential “happy ending.”

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  • March 8th, 2012Simply Beautifulby Joseph Pearce

    Stan Mattson, the indefatigible president of the C. S. Lewis Foundation, forwarded me this short two-minute video, which is worth anyone's time. It shows the power of words to transform people's undertanding and perception.

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  • March 7th, 2012The Joke’s on Youby Joseph Pearce

    Someone just sent me the following joke:

    The graduate with a science degree asks, "Why does it work?"

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  • March 6th, 2012Father Brown on the BBCby Joseph Pearce

    I'm delighted to see that the BBC is broadcasting new radio dramatizations of Chesterton's Father Brown stories, starring Andrew Sachs, best known for his portrayal of the Spanish waiter Manuel in the 1970s BBC sitcom, Fawlty Towers. Here's a link to the seventh and final episode of the current series.

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  • March 5th, 2012From St. James to St. Paulby Joseph Pearce

    Last week I was basking in the spiritual splendour of Santiago de Compastela, praying at the tomb of St. James, one of the oldest and most important shrines of Christendom. This week I go on a different sort of pilgrimage, moving from the the great St. James to the icy north of St. Paul, Minnesota. From St. James to St. Paul; from aureoled warmth to the aurora borealis! The reason for my trip to the Twin Cities is to give two talks on two consecutive nights.

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  • March 5th, 2012Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation —Mea Maxima Culpa?by Joseph Pearce

    I'm continuing to trudge my way thorugh Sir Kenneth Clark's Civilisation, the groundbreaking British television series, first broadcast in 1969. In my first post, I was somewhat scathing, describing Clark's view of western civilisation as "mindless" but added that my judgement might be somewhat prejudiced as I'd only watched the first half dozen of the thirteen episodes. Several days later, having watched the episode on the Catholic Counter-Reformation, I conceded that perhaps I'd been a little harsh, though maintaining that my central criticisms were still valid.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?