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A lover of the liberal arts, especially antiquity in its diverse forms, I am nonetheless wholly devoted to, utterly transformed by divine revelation. I seek to know the thought of the past, articulate my deepest longings aroused by the wise, and understand the uneasy relationship between reason and revelation; all for the sake of proper action and contemplation, both now and in the future.


Don Rag!

No, there was nothing to worry about. It was fine. In fact, it was more than fine. It was great and it was a real encouragement and a motivation.

I went to the PSC Senior Common Room at 1120 on Tuesday morning and therein saw Mr. Zeitlin, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Pagano, Mr. Carey, and Ms. Ames. They all went around and said how I have been doing:

I won't repeat it all because I did it already in my journal (which is more fun than a weblog anyway) but I wanted to try and figure out how I am going to apply it.

Maybe not. Let's just say I've got it mostly figured out and now I can enjoy this Thanksgiving Weekend with lots of sleep (10 hours last night!) and lots of Greek (must must must catch up!)

I must say, I really enjoy fragmented posts. Let's abandon this one with the full hope of a weekend filled with potential! We'll see how much I actually get done....


End Of The Beginning Or The Beginning Of The End?,13319,156111,00.html?

The drawdown is beginning and it is fairly clear that very soon, America's role in Iraq will be negligible. It has been a very long haul indeed, and one fraught with doubt and worry, but it will soon be all over.

I have always thought that this war represented a new gamble regarding the Middle East. It's one thing to pound Hussein to the dust - it's quite another to create an entirely new regime from the ground up. Socrates might call it folly. Heh, most Americans (not to mention Europe) call it folly. But the war in Iraq is complicated and there are many facets to it - layers that the media and the armchair warriors usually ignore. Michael Totten's journalism efforts are remarkable and everyone should check them out. You do not get the whole picture from TIME, CNN, Fox, or the New York Times. The media focuses on Iraq burning. Totten and other independant journalists show us a bigger picture, one that is not necessarily dominated by a corporate agenda. (to claim that TIME, NY Times, FOX, or BBC do not have an agenda is to claim ignorance) But to return to the gamble.

Can a people who have known nothing but tribal factions and totalitarian oppression knowingly and willingly embrace a sort of liberty? (to call the Iraqi constitution republican democracy is foolhardy) I am not sure. I do believe it was the right thing to do. Hussein was a loose cannon, rolling around the MidEast and it was time for him to go. Iraq was being violently oppressed. Whatever violent assertions we may make about government lies, misleading, and war crimes (torture now has a new definition; apparently anything causing a prisoner discomfort is torture), it can safely be said that the President did not orchestrate the war for oil and that he does in fact believe very much in this endeavor, however mistaken it may be.

I am rambling. My position on this war is very confusing. If I were placed in the position as Commander in Chief in 2003, would I have gone into Iraq? There are good reasons to do so and good reasons to refrain. I am honestly not sure what I would have done.

To tie this into the beginning though, I do believe that the war needs to end. I don't think anyone expected it to last this long (how many times we have said that!) I certainly did not expect it to last this long. It is coming to an end. President Bush leaves office next year in January (January of 2009). He has to make some sort of drawdown to save face and give the impression that he is doing all he can to bring the conflict to an end. Whoever next takes office (please, God, let it be Ron Paul) will have a big challenge on their hands, because this stage of the war is every bit as important as Day I. As we have seen in Vietnam, if we abandon our ally, the war will be for naught. I don't want that to happen. 3,000 American deaths were the indirect cause of this war, and 3900 deaths of professional soldiers have been the result, not to mention the trillions of dollars spent and respent.

Can the war in Iraq succeed? At the moment, I think it can. But due to the Republic, I think it will not last long before it turns into tyranny again. And that is the most frightening and saddening thing about this whole 5 year war.


I Love The Weekend

As to why, you may probably guess with relative accuracy. My work for the week is done and I have just gotten off B&G and won't see them again until Tuesday.

Classes are improving slightly. I no longer will make a fool of myself in math class because I will actually do the propositions assigned for next week. Similarly, I will do my lab and seminar readings, and study Greek until my eyeballs drop out.

It is tough, getting back into the grind after lazing off - but I have to do it. Last year at this time I got hopelessly behind in my work (especially Latin) and it sucked. I dreaded school. I don't want to dread class and it is worth studying really hard. I just need to motivate myself better than I have been.

It all starts tonight: Dinner is in 20 minutes so right after dinner I will either go read some more of the Republic or study Greek. Since my seminar paper is not due on Monday I will not have to revise it and let it eat up my weekend. It will be a challenge definitely; but a challenge that I have to be up to.

Maybe I will get lucky and will find Steve this evening and be able to borrow some awesome anime - Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle come to mind. Maybe it will be a sign that I am on the right track. Or maybe it will not work out and be a sign that I need to prove myself first. Either way, I win.

Pascal's Wager.


I Love This Place

St. John's College is the perfect place for me. Everything we do here is awesome. Let me demonstrate: we have the Ark Party. We have the Faust Party. We have impromptu seminars. We celebrate Guy Fawkes Day with wine and a thorough watching of V for Vendetta. We don't burn effigies of him, of course. We recognize he fought in the name of freedom and liberty! We know that liberty and justice are not just words, they are perspectives. And we also sense the rhetoric V uses upon us and know it is easily refuted, but we enjoy it anyway. I was sitting by the fishpond a little while ago and all of a sudden a couple tutors and students got together and played acoustic dance music on a banjo, guitar, violin, and harp. I was studying Euclid and sat against my rock and listened. Pogoni Dios I love this place. How awesome is it to be in a school where the liberal arts are so highly esteemed? Tonight there is a piano and violin concert in the Great Hall, Mr. Pesic is performing the complete piano works of Brahms with the complete piano works of Schoenberg, and the Barbershop Mafia is giving a performance later this month. All of this is volunteer; we just love the arts. I do not see how life could be any better. I have my theology, the Great Books, music, and people just as passionate about these ideas as I am. What more could I want? Thank God I am here.