Off Again

I will be gone for a few days, escorting some friends from foreign lands around the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge. They wanted to see some of America's beauty, and I'm only too happy to show them a part of what I know of it. We'll be riding, hiking and camping until Monday.

The Feast of St. Monica

St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustine. It is impossible to think seriously of Christianity as we know it today without dealing with Augustine's influence. But once he was no Christian at all, just a man, and a man particularly given to the pleasures of the flesh. His father was a difficult husband, at times violent.

But his mother was Monica, a woman of virtue who prayed readily for her husband and child.

Off on a Tangent

XKCD illustrates a point we talked about recently.

A Pity They Can't Both Lose

Today I witnessed a confrontation between two characters so despicable that I was sorry to have to take sides, mentally though in no way practically, with one of them.

I was crossing the street in a small Southern city when it happened.  Perpendicular to my own crossing -- which is to say, against the light -- a large and muscular man in shorts, apparently drunk at two in the afternoon, was also crossing the street.  A little black car apparently decided that trespass justified nearly running him over, perhaps in an attempt to scare him straight.  He was carrying a beverage of some sort in a styrofoam cup, which he dashed against the window of the black car as it passed.

The car slammed to a stop -- now out in the intersection -- and a very large woman got out and started yelling.  "Oh, H#LL no!" she began, pink cell phone in her hand, proclaiming that she was going to call the cops because he was crossing against the light, and he had better not leave before they got there to arrest him.

I hope she did call them, because she was guilty of several crimes.  Her interlocutor wasn't actually doing anything worse than the misdemeanor offense of jaywalking -- impossible to prove, though I know he was guilty of it -- which doesn't rise to the level of offense at which citizens may exercise their arrest powers. Nor are you generally entitled to put someone's life at risk to demonstrate your annoyance at their violation of a minor point of legal protocol.  

Good thing we have equality under the law!  We can all be held to the same standard these jokers require to keep them from killing each other.  That's the way to guarantee human liberty.