|You have been cleared. | central command | make contact|
Blogging under the patronage of
Subscribe to Dossier Updates!
Let me tell you something about humans, nephew. They're a wonderful, friendly people . . . as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers . . . put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time . . . and those same intelligent, friendly, wonderful people will become as nasty, and as violent, as the most bloodthirsty Klingon.
-- Quark, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, "Siege of AR-558"
Previous DispatchesMatters Catholic A Papist's Potpourri
"The Porterhouse Steak of the Blogosphere. . . [O]ne of the great undiscovered essayists of our times . . . has my vote as a prose stylist of genius."
-- Mark Shea
"Why do you write at such length? Who can read such long screeds?"
-- Pavel C in ?
"You are a treasure, Secret Agent Man."
-- Fr. Brian Stanley
"I wish I had time to read all that, but I don't
-- Fr. Bill Vath
"Your blogging is simply unreadable."
-- BF in Texas.
"[O]ne of my favorite Catholic writers today."
-- Dave Armstrong
"I couldn't even read the whole thing, SAM."
-- Geoff Horton
"Gloriously funny and on the mark. You are a credit to the medium."
-- Otto Hiss
"I enjoy your blog (except for the strange, long, rambling, weird entries)."
-- John K.
"You elegantly mix sarcasm with real political/moral clear thinking."
-- Dr. Peter Frey
Catholic and Enjoying It
Online SourcesDave Armstrong's
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism
Corunum Apologetics Website
The Ever-Helpful New Advent
The Adoremus Website
The Fathers of Mercy
The Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska
749 Catholic Prayers
Farrell's Companion to the Summa
Papal Encyclicals Net
Documents of the Council of Trent
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of St. Pius X
The Holy Bible (Douai-Rhiems Version)
The Holy Bible (KJV & RSV) Ron Rychlak's Hitler, the War & the Pope
A Virtual Museum of Art
Notices & Policies
Any and all correspondence with the Dossier or its proprietor is presumed to be eligible for blogging and will be so used, in whole or in edited form as the proprietor may see fit, unless a request to the contrary is made in the correspondence which would otherwise be eligible for blogging. (Tell me at the time, not after you've blown up over what I did with your email). Matter eligible for blogging may be later used, altered, and re-used by the Dossier' proprietor as he may see fit.
Commentary about, or linking to, any website, weblog, or essay by the Dossier is to be understood (in the absence of other context) only as the proprietor's limited approval of the material as and to the extent identified. Neither the Dossier nor its proprietor wholly, entirely, and slavishly endorse any views or persons, except the following:
People Who Are Canonized:
The Great Mother of God Mary Most Holy, Joseph her most chaste spouse, Dismas, Peter, Paul, Simon de Montfort, John of God, Thomas the Apostle, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, Thomas Beckett, Veronica, Boniface, Maria Goretti, Luigi Quatrocchi, Alphonsus Ligouri, Theresa of Avila, Therese of the Child Jesus, Pius X, Pius V, and all the rest of them;
People Who Definitely Ought to be Canonized:
His Holiness John Paul II, Vicar of Christ, Pius IX, Pius XII, Leo XIII, Innocent III, Nicholas I, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, John Henry Cardinal Newman, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Frank Duff, Christopher Dawson, Richard M. Weaver, Heinrich Rommen, Jaques Maritain, Deitrich von Hildebrand, Hillaire Belloc, John C. Calhoun, James Longstreet, and Robert E. Lee;
People Who Will Probably Be Canonized Someday:
Mark Shea, I. Shawn McElhinney, Gary Hoge, and E.L. Core (of course, the blanket and slavish endorsement as to these persons is valid only to the extent they're not disagreeing with me);
People Who, If Not Yet Saints, Are Definitely Being Persecuted for His Sake:
Any Christian whose orthodox theological or disciplinary views are impugned by a television network, National Public Radio, the New York Times, America or the National Catholic Reporter;
and, lastly, things which are . . .
Ontologically Incapable of Sainthood, but Still Endorsed
The P-47 Thunderbolt, the F8 Crusader, the A-10 Warthog and its 30mm gatling gun, Hecker & Koch rifles, NCAA Division III football, Countess Mara ties (with logo), MacBarren's Pipe Tobacco (especially Virginian No. 1), Samuel Gawith Pipe Tobaccos (especially Best Brown Flake), Peterson pipes, Hoyo de Monterrey cigars, Krohn Vintage Port, and my dog Auggie.
SecretAgentMan's Dossier is copyrighted, except with regard to linked or quoted material as may be necessary for the owners thereof to retain all rights, because property is sacred. Permission is given to link to any part of this weblog until I get upset over your doing it. Original content may be reproduced and distributed with my permission, so just email me because I'm very easygoing. SecretAgentMan's Dossier Copyright 2003 Ian A.T. McLean.
1. Tiepolo, Giovanni / Visipix.com
2. Photograph subject to GNU Free Documentation License A copy of the License may be found at the link and is incorported here by reference. The License applies to the photograph without changes or added conditions whatsoever.
Blog Design by Christopher Blosser
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Still Looking for the Wargame
I'm still looking for good wargame rules. Here are some notes I've taken:
"Fast-playing, realistic rules," means "Stephen Hawking can calculate all the variables required for each turn's two-hundred and nineteen steps."
"Ease of play" means "the level of attention required runs the gamut from "air traffic controller" to "plotting mission trajectories for NASA."
"Beer and pretzels" means that "you're going to home-brew each beer served, hand-make each beer stein in your own kiln, and farm, harvest, and mill the wheat you'll use to individually bake each freaking pretzel."
"Can be played in an afternoon" means that the game originated on a planet with a ninety-six hour rotation.
Signs of a ridiculous wargame:
-- There are rules for wind effects on bullet trajectories.
Transmitted by SecretAgentMan 11:28 Hours [+]
Friday, July 01, 2005
Dominicans Playing Brilliant Ping-Pong Love
I found this link on the ever-enlightening Disputations blog which points to a great quote from Fr. Walter Farrell, O.P. on the wonderful Moniales blog -- then, in the same quote, Moniales refers right back to Disputations for the post which began it all. It's like Dueling Banjos - dizzying and fun at the same time.
Anyhow, before I started getting dizzy, I read the quote from Fr. Farrell's writings. Fr. Farrell is a brilliant interpreter of the Summa, by which I mean to say he makes it fun, fascinating, and capable of being grasped pretty easily. I kid you not. I'd binked and bonked around the Summa for years, and then by reading Fr. Farrell's Companion realized . . . that God actually wants me to be happy.
Now why, exactly, God allows people like me, who go about living as though He doesn't want them to be happy, to exist is (somewhat) another subject. The point is that if you're one of us, if you admire the Summa -- either in an abstract "will-have-to-go-there-someday" maner as one might admire the Taj Mahal or Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, or in a confused "gee-I-know-the-Summa-but-don't-think-God-wants-me-to-be-happy" way -- you ought to read Fr. Farrell's Commentary. You can find it online here. Or, if you want an even shorter version, pick up My Way of Life, which is a kind of prose-poem Fr. Farrell helped write about the Thomist view of the universe. You can buy it from EWTN for eight bucks here. The Thomist view of the universe is stirring, awesome, and above all, truly passionate.
Anyhow -- that's my second anyhow, so I'm still dizzy from the ping-pong -- here's the quote from Fr. Farrell:
"Let God tend to the hopeless-looking things. You are a Dominican, a foreigner to worry and quite a close friend of gaiety...It seems to me quite entrancing to be able to pile into bed realizing there is someone as big as God to do all the worrying that has to be done. Worry, you know, is a kind of reverence given to a situation because of its magnitude; how small it must be through God's eyes...You can't get everything done in a day, nor can you get any part of it done as well as it could be, or even as well as you'd like it; so, like the rest of us, you putter at your job with a normal amount of energy, for a reasonable length of time, and go to bed with the humilating yet exhilarating knowlege that you are only a child of God and not God Himself."What an astonishing depiction of God's mercy!
"Worry . . . is a kind of reverence given to a situation because of its magnitude." By commanding that we follow Jesus Christ and free ourselves from all idolatry God has set us free from worshiping our worries. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Worries are a kind of creature, inasmuch as creatures generate them about created things (even our relationship with God is a created thing, it seems to me, since God made us and thus made our relationship to Him). It's therefore possible to exalt a "worry creature" over the Creator, and give it the reverence due to God alone. I'm thinking about all the worries that plague us and how much disaster they have caused. They run the gamut, from smelly worries ("Is my car expensive enough to impress my friends" to nobler-sounding (but equally smelly) worries on much larger matters ("We'd better conquer them before they conquer us"). There comes a point when people stop trusting God, making their worries into new gods. Why do people do this?
Probably because they don't really believe, deep down, that God wants them to be happy and will make them happy.
Thanks, Fr. Farrell.
Thanks, all you holy Dominicans. Pray for us.
Transmitted by SecretAgentMan 11:03 Hours [+]