In a conversation with one of the Athenian bully boys, Socrates suggested that what makes statesmen great is not whether they are good or bad at doing things and at giving the people what they want -- but whether, by their conduct and rhetoric, they leave the people better or worse than they found them.

 

Commenting on CBS This Morning on the end of her husband’s term of office and the election of a rival, the outgoing First Lady said “We feel the difference now.  See, now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.”

 

 

These rubies are from a Christmas Vigil sermon by Bernard of Clairvaux.

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Two small errors turned up in the hardcover edition of my Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law.  Although they were corrected in the paperback, a reader suggests that I post the corrections here too.  Good idea.

Query:

What would you say is the single most compelling, prima facie argument for God?

Reply:

The argument I find most compelling is sometimes called the Argument from Desire.

Men think they may do as they please.

In order to limit them, among other things the law of Moses prohibits disproportionate revenge:  One may take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but not a life for an eye or a limb for a tooth.

I am glad to say that after receiving my response, this fellow made a gracious reply.

Query:

 

This is the text of my acceptance talk for the Pope Pius XI Award for Contributions to the Building Up of a True Catholic Social Science, at October’s annual meeting of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.  I had hesitated to post it, but my advisors think it would be interesting to many of my readers.

I stoutly hope that I am wrong about how the president-elect will govern.  He has made several appropriate gestures, and he did not use his victory speech to boast and bluster, as he might have.

However, he seems to be laboring under a misconception.  He thinks he won.

No, the other candidate lost.