Sorry for the switchover…

I’ve been cleaning up the site a bit. The blog had some hatched code I had been meaning to fix for a while. Apple’s Safari browser was not rendering the blog page correctly (the navbar would always float to the center of the page) and readers wrote me asking to fix it. I tried but couldn’t get it to work, so I just switched things around. It conforms more the original code so the whole enterprise should work a bit better. Now I can get back to posting.

Election day is great.

I’ve always looked forward to it starting when I was young, sixth grade in fact. Almost every election I am glued to the television (although in the last decade I rely on the internet more), watching the returns come in. There is something special about election day, almost sacred but in the same sense that, say, Gettysburg or Appomattox are sacred, or the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I need to think about this more (I’ve been meaning to write about the sense of sanctity that surrounds Appomattox for years) but it has something to do with the reference of historical symbols to higher narrative that, if seen and undertood, evokes a sense of reverence towards things that really matter and exhort us to nurture and preserve them. Democracy matters. The orderly transfer of power matters. The virtues that define America, even if poorly or improperly applied at times, matter.

I am a patriot, I really am. I love this country. I wrote a tribute to this great country several years ago (probably more like 15 years ago) as a way of thanking the good people of this great nation for the life and freedom it has offered to so many.

It’s called “Liberty: A six year old boy begins his education about freedom in New York harbor.”

Jim Jatras speaks on Kosovo

Jim Jatras will be on the Don Kroah Show on Monday evening, 17 July at 6:00 p.m. EDT

Jim is an attorney at the Venable law firm in Washington, DC. For many years Jim was a policy analyst for the Republican Leadership in the US Senate, and before that served as a diplomat with the State Department. On Monday, he will be on the Don Kroah Show to talk about Kosovo. It seems that a lot of people here may have forgotten about Kosovo but that doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. In fact, it’s getting a lot worse. As Jim will tell us, Kosovo’s Orthodox Christian Serbian community — of which Jim is the authorized representative — is facing extinction at the hands of a violent jihad movement if Kosovo is detached from Serbia and made an independent country.

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“Salvo” sneak peak

SalvoSalvo is a new magazine that is “dedicated to debunking the cultural myths that have undercut human dignity, all but destroyed the notions of virtue and morality, and slowly eroded our appetite for transcendence. It also seeks to recover the one worldview that actually works.”


Take a look at their site. It looks very promising. I signed up for a subscription yesterday.

March for Life

I will be attending the March for Life next week in Washington, DC. It’s a busy two days (leave after church tomorrow) so you probably won’t hear from me for a few days. Some events I will be attending include the “Blogs for Life” meeting (hence the postings). I’ll take some pictures and post them when I return.

Oh yes…

I met some interesting people on the trip including one of Minneapolis’ top defense attorneys and recently retired judge and a Lutheran seminarian working in San Francisco who lives in Michigan. I met the attorney in a coffee shop and we ended up talking for about two hours about a whole host of issues. I deal with a lot of retired people in Naples of course, and a noteable point is that when a person retires, his life returns to the basic issues: family, hobbies, etc. It is easy to forget this when a person is at the top of their career, especially a high powered one like the retired attorney. The basics are still the basics even when they are forgotten for a season.

The seminarian was 24 years old but by a fortunate choice of a good school (Hillsdale), was exposed to top quality thinking and thus was more in tune to pressing issues than many of his peers. He struck up the converstation when he saw me pull “First Things” out of my bag while we had the 7 hour wait in the airport. He pulled out his issue of “Touchstone” and we were off to the races. We ended up talking for about two hours or so as well. It’s always encouraging to run into people like him.

C.S. Lewis wrote somewhere that interruptions can be part of God’s providence. I think the same is true of chance encounters. I’m not sure of what I gave these two men, but from my side the encounters were rewarding.

Back from Wilma’s wrath — sort of

Wilma unleashed its fury Monday night cutting a swath through southern Florida leaving a considerable amount of damage in its wake. Naples got hit hard, particularly downtown as well as points south. The forecasts were relatively accurate and most people were prepared before it arrived. The winds blew all night long and well into the next day. They started abating around noon. Then the temperature dropped (a gift given that all the power was out; after Charlie we sweltered for days), and the sky cleared. No rains.

I sustained little damage on my house, mostly because it was built after Andrew hit Florida causing a massive revamp in building codes. Trees are uprooted all over the place but by today all roads are clear except in the hardest hit areas. Stop lights were ripped from their posts but everyone is a bit more civilized in the hardship and traffic moved smoothly overall. Some of the major intersections still have police officers but other areas are already fixed. Power is being restored except in the hardest hit areas (mine came back this morning), but phone service except for cell phones is still down in many areas. (I’m writing this at a coffee and sandwich place with free wi-fi.)
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