Friday, March 12, 2010

An Observation

There is, with these torture defenders, a deep intellectual dishonesty, the use of reason to deny the obvious, and all the symptoms of enslavement to a secret sin.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chesterton in the Public Schools?

Yes, in Chicago!

James McPherrin, a history teacher at Glenbrook North Public High School in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, Illinois reports to Kevin O'Brien, "Last year, in the wake of the AP European History exam, I read with the students Chesterton's What's Wrong With the World. It took two weeks to cover and was an unqualified fruitful experience. No backlash. No offended students or parents. The sections on womanhood were especially compelling for the students and generated some of the more lively discussion."

But that's not all! McPherrin continues, "This year, we look forward to covering The Well and the Shallows. I'm re-reading it now and anticipate that it will 'rock their world,' as the kids are so apt to say."

Indeed. McPherrin concludes by observing, "Chesterton belongs in the public schools. He addresses topics of immediate importance to young people and offers a sterling example of what constitutes superior prose."

McPherrin and his wife are planning on joining a group from Chicago who will be coming to the Chesterton Conference this August in Emmitsburg, Maryland. So look for Jim and say hi. You'll be there, too right?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Torture in 1903

A reader of Mark Shea's blog tells of a priest who was tortured to death via "the water cure".

He links to an article in the New York Times from 1903, in which some great things stand out in a quote attributed to Judge Advocate General George B. Davis, who said, (107 years ago) ...

"No modern State, which is a party to international law, can sanction either expressly or by a silence, which imports consent, a resort to torture with a view of obtaining confessions as an incident to its military operations. If it does, where is the line to be drawn? If the 'water cure' is ineffective, what shall be the next step? Shall the victim be suspended, head down, over the smoke of a smoldering fire; shall he be tightly bound and dropped from a distance of several feet? Shall he be beaten with rods? Shall his shins be rubbed with a broomstick until they bleed? For all these, and more, have been done during the Spanish domination in the Philippine Islands, and the temptation to revive them, under circumstances of sufficient provocation, may prove too strong to be resisted.

"Again, suppose a native to die under an unusually vigorous administration of the 'water cure' how is the incident to be explained to the satisfaction of the American people? But it seems hardly necessary to pursue the subject further. The United States cannot afford to sanction the addition of torture to the several forms of force which may be legitimately employed in war."