Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ralph McInerny, you are off the chain

Santa Claus brought me the book "I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You" by Notre Dame Philosophy Professor and Thomist extraordinaire Ralph McInerny. This was the best present I received for Christmas, and is the most engaging book I've read in a while. The work recounts with great detail and a phenomenal spirit of humor Prof. McInerny's life and work, which has included over 50 years of philosophizing at the University of Notre Dame.

To put it simply, Ralph McInerny is the man. In a nation that bemoans alcohol consumption or glorifies its excesses, Ralph sneaks out of seminary at night to drink a couple litres with his buds. In an academy that rejects the wisdom of philosophy carried across time and space by the Catholic Church, Ralph intelligently discusses the Thomistic Revival and its abilities above, beyond, and against the modern analytic system. And in a culture that champions the Culture of Death and advocates for increased birth control, Ralph puts 7 children on God's green Earth and recalls a biology-priest-teacher in preseminary who described giving birth with the interrogative: "Have you ever shit a football?"

This book is amazing. I have spent little time without it since beginning it, and I can't wait to finish it so I can tell everyone else to do the same. Prof. McInerny comes across as humble, kind, self-aware, duly critical of the contemporary culture, and incredibly merciful and loving, especially in the descriptions of his relationship with his beloved wife Connie and children.

Prof. McInerny is incredibly wise and intelligent, and the lessons an undergraduate can and should gain from this book are immense. There's even a chapter on Notre Dame. To all interested in a good read, I heartily recommend this book. And, hey, if you're lucky, you may even get him to sign it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Primaries! Read all about it!

Tonight begin, at least by all practical standards, the Presidential Primaries. Months--perhaps even years--of hype are now coming down to the line. Will the promise of change win out over experience? Will fame, fortune, and good looks conquer honesty, virtue, and determination? For the first time in over 50 years, there is no front-runner for the Presidency, and the amount of money campaigns have spent on advertising are through the roof. One word sums up this year's primary: craziness.

We are at a turning point in our country with no truly desirable option: either we continue to pursue our interests abroad, expanding and deepening our hold in the Middle East, or we retreat altogether, leaving a bloody mess in our wake. Continue to foster unfounded environmentalism and our economy will slowly cripple; continue to be ignorant of the problems of pollution and energy consumption and we may be oppressed by many forces--both human and natural, tangible and intangible--from outside our borders.

The next President will guide the country in a direction with real consequences which, probably coinciding with my own increased interest in politics, have never been so apparent to me in any other election. Here and now is the opportunity for one man to change the course of global events forever and to restore to this country some of its more laudable qualities such as patriotism, a true sense of liberty as opposed to license, and the ever escapable American Dream which is family, community, and a sense of peace and security.

Who will guide our country? Who will live up to the task?

I encourage all readers of the blog, as I come to realize I'm probably preaching to the choir, to follow this Presidential Primary with the utmost vigor and attention. Before candidates wind up the rhetoric and turn a yes into a no, or question the definition of the word, "is," it is important to see a man (or woman) as he truly is, standing in front of his friends and colleagues explaining to THEM, "This is why I should be President."

As for us at Notre Dame--students, staff, and faculty--there is a special need to not let the Notre Dame bubble form an impenetrable barrier to our involvement in this year's elections. Students need to get involved in the voting process, forums for political discussion must be held, and no one should be afraid to voice their opinions. I would be very excited to see pranks played on members of the "enemy" on campus, as long as its done in good taste, of course.

As for me, expect me to be supporting McCain in the coming election. He is the only one with the character and virtue to guide the country in the right direction and answer all those hard questions which for reasons of security and morale are kept hidden from the general public.

Now, as I wait for the Hilary Bricks to be thrown through my dorm window, let's all be thankful for the Democratic Republic called America which produces such free and safe elections. As recent events in Pakistan have demonstrated, there is much that we must not take for granted.

God bless all the readers of the Rover Blog and God bless America.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Holidays from the Rover Staff

When prompted to give their favorite part of the Holiday Season and resolutions for the new year, here are the responses of some of the Rover staff. Have a safe and happy New Year!

  • From Matt (Editor in Chief):
    Favorite part of the holidays: spending time at my family's ranch on the Texas-Mexico border for the week between Christmas and New Year's. New Year's Resolution: To put the horrific year that was 2007 behind me. And to catch up on correspondence.
  • From Kathleen (Rover Writer):
    My favorite part of the holiday season is going skating around a giant Christmas tree downtown in Pittsburgh outside. I feel like my life is a movie, and it might be I'm not sure.
  • From Greer (Dublin Bureau Chief):
    New Years Resolution: To stop strongly disliking Trinity College Dublin and to try to make Irish friends.

  • From Darragh (Webmaster/Blogmeister):
    Favorite part of the holidays: I really, really like wrapping presents because I do a really, really good job.

    New Year's Resolution: I desperately need to learn how to manage my time better so I can do everything that I'm doing without staying up past 4 am every day. I don't think I could do another semester like that.
  • From Brian (Executive Editor):
    Fave part of holidays: Going home to ATX where 50-degree weather means everyone breaks out the hot chocolate and mittens.

    New Year's Resolution: Stop writing long research-based articles for the Rover and instead train our talented youngsters, so they'll be ready to take over when these gray hairs move on.
  • From Mike (Sports Editor):
    My favorite part of the holiday season is visiting with all of my cousins, and my new years resolution is to stop procrastinating.
  • From Brad (Politics Editor):
    My thoughts on the semester is that it was the fastest semester ever! I can't believe it, but it's over. And thank God! Anyway, my favorite part of the holiday season is my mom's homecooking and family time. My New Year's resolution is to make the most of my final semester experience at Notre Dame. This includes but is not limited to more trips to the Backer.
  • From Kevin (Production Chief):
    My favorite part of the holiday season is either palm trees used as Christmas trees or Christmas beach trips. (I am from Florida).

    New Years Resolutions:
    1. Play Snow Football
    2. Not Curse the weather everyday
    3. Cheer Notre Dame onto a National Championship.