Roosevelt on Boyhood

Theodore Roosevelt on Boyhood:

There is more to that piece from Theodore Roosevelt quoted below, in the post on sportsmanship. It makes for good reading, especially as he considers the usefulness, and limitations, of college and sports on making the whole man.

Another piece he wrote considers boyhood. At a time when we hare having debates about what kind of boys, and men, we want in our society, it is worth taking in what the Old Lion had to say.

Here's the start:

OF COURSE what we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man. Now, the chances are strong that he won't be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a boy. He must not be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk, or a prig. He must work hard and play hard. He must be clean-minded and clean-lived, and able to hold his own under all circumstances and against all comers. It is only on these conditions that he will grow into the kind of American man of whom America can be really proud.
There's so much that is right with that, beginning with the fist phrase: "Of course what we have a right to expect of the American boy...."

"Is it possible for the Democrats to nominate a bigger assclown?"

-Tom Maguire, of Just One Minute, having a Lo-Pan moment.

Now to Tom's question, the answer is probably yes--C'mon, its the Democrats, but Maguire notes something I've seen myself elsewhere--referring to McCain as a son of privilege. Look for more of that as the campaign continues.

A Sandwich

A Sandwich:

Janne88 writes to refer us to a recipe that ought to make you hungry, just looking at it.

I don't think I have any Tabasco around the house, but I suspect you can substitute your favorite. This is mine, if you're curious.

UPDATE: Behold.

I didn't wait to go to the store, so there were some revisions to the recipe. I didn't have the ground steak she advised, so I used buffalo meat. I didn't have any Worcestershire sauce, so I used my wife's A-1 steak sauce cut with Coors beer (a very good cooking beer). I substituted El Yucateco habanero sauce for Tabasco sauce. I also didn't have the right kind of rolls; but these whole wheat rolls worked just fine.

It's majestic.

The Community of Saints

The Community of Saints:

The Belmont Club joins our old friend Baldilocks in exploring the concept of the communio sanctorum:

The Communion of Saints (in Latin, communio sanctorum) is the spiritual union of all Christians living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven and, in Catholic belief, in purgatory. ...

The earliest known use of this term to refer to the belief in a mystical bond uniting both the living and the dead in a confirmed hope and love is by Saint Nicetas of Remesiana (ca. 335–414); the term has since then played a central role in formulations of the Christian creed.

The term is included in the Apostles' Creed, a major profession of the Christian faith whose current form was settled in the eighth century, but which originated from not long after the year 100, the basic statement of the Church's faith.
Baldilocks had said, referring to the Reverend Mr. Wright controversy:
Yes, our ancestors in this country and our kinsmen across the water fought to be just as Christian as other Christians—as Christian as our brothers who are white. And many of the latter stood for us and side-by-side with us—not because of us primarily but because of the One Who is Primary. Has that particular battle been won? I say yes, though the war continues. But Wright not only continues to fight the battle, he willfully misunderstands the nature of the War and identity of the Enemy. And by doing that, he becomes the tool of the Enemy. That’s his choice, but not mine and not that of those who focus on the Redemption offered by Christ instead of getting upon the Cross themselves.

To quote myself, there is no “black church.” There is only the Church.
The Belmont Club's response, finally, is to simply to repeat the Creed's on words: "I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, forever and ever. Amen."

Now we add in our friend Dad29, commenting on a different topic: how the Pope's embrace of the American separation of church and state means.
At the very deepest level, his apparently pro-U.N. speech turned out to be a stunning endorsement of the United States’ understanding of religion in the public sphere, and the need to apply that understanding to international dialogue.
In the past, Rome has looked askance at the American formulation, and had never come close to endorsing it. But B-16 noticed something: it works, and works very well. The formulation has served to keep 'religion' in the square, not to suppress it.
It's interesting to see the effect of that fact. A political campaign allegedly premised on reconciliation has proved bitterly divisive, even within its own party. Yet outside of politics, even reacting against those politics, people of good heart are reaffirming that they believe in that community.

That has not always been the case, and it is not only religion that makes it work now. It is also America. These two separate systems, political and spiritual, come together to make real what neither has been able to do alone.



From Sly, this beautiful tale of the joyous spirit of the game:

And then the senior did something she had never done before -- even in batting practice. The career .153 hitter smashed the next pitch over the center field fence for an apparent three-run home run.

The exuberant former high school point guard sprinted to first. As she reached the bag, she looked up to watch the ball clear the fence and missed first base. Six feet past the bag, she stopped abruptly to return and touch it. But something gave in her right knee; she collapsed on the base path.

"I was in a lot of pain," she told The Oregonian on Tuesday. "Our first-base coach was telling me I had to crawl back to first base. 'I can't touch you,' she said, 'or you'll be out. I can't help you.' "

Tucholsky, to the horror of teammates and spectators, crawled through the dirt and the pain back to first.

Western coach Pam Knox rushed onto the field and talked to the umpires near the pitcher's mound. The umpires said Knox could place a substitute runner at first. Tucholsky would be credited with a single and two RBIs, but her home run would be erased.
This, however, was not to be.
Mallory Holtman is the greatest softball player in Central Washington history. Normally when the conference's all-time home run leader steps up to the plate, Pam Knox and other conference coaches grimace.

But on senior day, the first baseman volunteered a simple, selfless solution to her opponents' dilemma: What if the Central Washington players carried Tucholsky around the bases?

The umpires said nothing in the rule book precluded help from the opposition. Holtman asked her teammate junior shortstop and honors program student Liz Wallace of Florence, Mont., to lend a hand. The teammates walked over and picked up Tucholsky and resumed the home-run walk, pausing at each base to allow Tucholsky to touch the bag with her uninjured leg.

"We started laughing when we touched second base," Holtman said. "I said, 'I wonder what this must look like to other people.' "

Holtman got her answer when they arrived at home plate. She looked up and saw the entire Western Oregon team in tears.

"My whole team was crying," Tucholsky said. "Everybody in the stands was crying. My coach was crying. It touched a lot of people."
Thereby they granted their opponents an advantage in the contest, and won a greater victory.
Bodily vigor is good, and vigor of intellect is even better, but far above both is character. It is true, of course, that a genius may, on certain lines, do more than a brave and manly fellow who is not a genius; and so, in sports, vast physical strength may overcome weakness, even though the puny body may have in it the heart of a lion.

But, in the long run, in the great battle of life, no brilliancy of intellect, no perfection of bodily development, will count when weighed in the balance against that assemblage of virtues, active and passive, of moral qualities, which we group together under the name of character.... If rowing or foot-ball or base-ball is treated as the end of life by any considerable section of a community, then that community shows itself to be in an unhealthy condition. If treated as it should be — that is, as good, healthy play — it is of great benefit, not only to the body, but in its effect upon character.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Here are some young ladies who understood that, and got it right.

Two historical pieces

Two Men of History:

First, via Kim du Toit, a genuine British adventurer.

A tall man, handsome and weather-beaten, wipes the blood of a giant scorpion from his hands and squints into the middle distance as he ponders his latest quest for sacred artefacts.

He could be the ultimate Hollywood hero — living a life packed full of excitement and peril, usually with a beautiful young woman on his arm.

He uncovers lost civilisations, is hailed as a god by grateful villagers, snatches priceless Christian treasures from under Nazi noses and begins revolutions. And his name will now be linked for ever with a mysterious crystal skull...
Second, via Greyhawk, the world's oldest milblogger.
Born in August 1887 in Awsworth Notts, to Henry and Sarah Lamin. Elder Sisters Catherine (Kate) and Agnes (Annie) and Elder brother John (Jack). Educated at Awsworth Board School, just outside Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England.

This blog is made up of transcripts of Harry Lamin's letters from the first World War. The letters will be posted exactly 90 years after they were written.

Another whiner

Another Whiner On the South:

Sweet Mercy. Is this what it has come to?

This thought, which has been recurring to me regularly over the years as I've watched the Southernization of our national politics at the hands of the GOP and its evangelical base, surfaced again when I read a New York Times story today. The article was about an "American Idol" contestant--apparently quite talented--who was eliminated after she sang the title song from "Jesus Christ Superstar." When it debuted 38 years ago, the rock opera was considered controversial for its rather arch portrayal of a doubt-wracked, very human Jesus, but the music was so good and the lyrics so clever that it quickly became a huge hit. In the delicate balance of forces that have always defined American tastes--nativism and yahooism versus eagerness for the new and openness to innovation--art, or at least high craft, it seemed, had triumphed. But our national common denominator of taste is so altered today that the blasphemous dimension of "Jesus Christ Superstar" now trumps the artistic part. And somehow, no one is surprised.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. "Jesus Christ, Superstar?"

My father, a good lad from Tennessee, asked me for a copy for his birthday. It's always been a favorite of his. I sent it to him. So there.

If this is the ne plus ultra of your complaints against the South, is it too much to ask that you shut the @#$#@ up?

I mean, I'll be glad when we never hear another song written in the 1960s or 1970s that wasn't sung by Johnny Cash. "Classic" is a term not properly given to rock music, which was never meant to last longer than milk, and which retains about the same odor past its expiration date.

But that's not a regional complaint. And I'm as Southern as it gets.

UPDATE: And ya'll just tell me what's wrong with this bit of wisdom:

And if you don't like that one, how about this one, from the former Lieutenant Governor of the Great State of Georgia, Zell Miller?