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Fred Bass, Who Made Strand Bookstore a Mecca, Dies at 89 - The New York Times

'Following his father's playbook, he pursued a policy of aggressive acquisition.

'"At first I used to think he was crazy," Mr. Bass told the cable news channel NY1 in 2015. "Why are we buying extra books? We haven't sold all these. But we just kept buying and buying. It was a fact -- you can't sell a book you don't have."

'The 70,000 books in the Fourth Avenue store swelled, at the Broadway site, to half a million by the mid-1960s and 2.5 million by the 1990s, requiring the purchase of a storage warehouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. By the time Mr. Bass bought the building for $8.2 million in 1997, the Strand had become the largest used-book store in the world.'"

Why young Christians can't grasp our arguments against gay 'marriage' | Opinion | LifeSite

John Stonestreet writes: 'The only argument for conjugal marriage they've ever encountered has been the wooden proof-texting from the Bible. And besides, wrote Rine, "What the article names as a 'revisionist' idea of marriage--marriage as an emotional, romantic, sexual bond between two people--does not seem 'new' to my students at all, because this is the view of marriage they were raised with, albeit with a scriptural, heterosexual gloss."

'As Rine points out "the redefinition of marriage began decades ago" when "the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination."

'And if marriage "has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction," then it seems mean-spirited to Rine's students to argue that marriage by its very nature excludes same-sex couples.

'And where do students get the idea that marriage "has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction"? Well, everywhere--television, church, school, their homes, in youth groups....

'What can we do to win back our children, our churches, and the culture? In our recent book "Same Sex Marriage," Sean McDowell and I lay out a game plan. We offer strategies for the short-term and the long-term, with the ultimate goal: re-shaping the cultural imagination towards what God intended marriage to be, starting with the church. Come to BreakPoint.org to pick up your copy.'

The Vatican's Latinist | The New Criterion

A profile of the Father Reginald Foster, who, for forty years, rendered documents of the Roman Catholic Church in its official language:

'A humanist par excellence, Latin for Foster was not something to be dissected by linguistic analysis or serve as the raw data for a theory of gender or poetics: it was a language, a medium of human connection. I first met Foster in 1995, at his summer school, and couldn't get enough: I returned seven times. No one on Earth was reading as much Latin as he and his students were, but he was more like an old-school newspaper editor than an academic: he wanted the story. But for that you actually had to know Latin, and know it well. Foster was ruthless about ignorance, and equally ruthless about anything that to him looked like mere academic posturing. "I don't care about your garbage literary theory!" he barked at his students one day. "I can tell in about ten seconds if you know the Latin or if you are making it all up." "Latin is the best thing that ever happened to humanity. It leaves you zero room for nonsense. You don't have to be a genius. But it requires laser-sharp concentration and total maturity. If you don't know what time of day it is, or what your name is, or where you are, don't try Latin because it will smear you on the wall like an oil spot." The number of Foster's students runs into the thousands, and many of them are now themselves some of the most dedicated teachers in the field. "When I was in college I asked people, 'Hey, we all know Latin is a language. Does anybody actually speak it anymore?' And they told me there was one guy, some guy at the Vatican, who still spoke the language, and that was Fr. Foster," says Dr. Michael Fontaine, a professor of Classics at Cornell University. "I said to myself, 'I have to study with this guy.' And that changed everything for me." Dr. Paul Gwynne, professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the American University of Rome, said of Foster, "He is not just the best Latin teacher I've ever seen, he's simply the best teacher I've ever seen. Studying Latin with the Pope's apostolic secretary, for whom the language is alive, using the city of Rome as a classroom . . . it changed my whole outlook on life, really.'

Scott in Oklahoma: Cinema » 27 Oct 1973 » The Spectator Archive

The Spectator (UK) reviews Oklahoma Crude, starring George C. Scott and Faye Dunaway. The movie premiered in Tulsa at the Southroads Cinema.

WALSH: The Most Effective Way To Destroy Your Husband, Ruin Your Marriage, And Encourage Infidelity | Daily Wire

"A wife who belittles her husband, cuts him down, nitpicks him relentlessly, holds her affection -- both physical and emotional -- as a ransom, nags him endlessly, criticizes him constantly, humiliates him in public and to her friends and in front of the children, and will not allow him to take a leadership position in the home, cannot be terribly surprised when he begins to withdraw. And if he cheats -- which would be a great and indefensible evil, no matter how cold and domineering his wife may be -- it cannot be said that he was the first. She cheated him; she lied to him, by promising to respect him and treat him like a man, only to turn around and treat him like a child....

"Sadly, the average man in America is not always given this advantage. He enters marriage and finds himself immediately in a hole. He must prove his worth if he wants to be treated like he has any. His wife paints a line on the floor and expects him to walk it perfectly. But he will inevitably stumble, as all men (and women) do, and his wife will chastise him and use his mistake as blackmail against him.

"A man in this situation is called nonetheless to endure, to fight for his family, and never to be unfaithful to his wife or leave her. But if he does wander, it should be noted that he is not the only traitor in the marriage. She betrayed him. She promised him a wife and instead gave him a stepmother. The two have now betrayed each other, each in their own way."

The Warlock Hunt - The American Interest

Claire Berlinski writes:

'If you are reading this, it means I have found an outlet that has not just fired an editor for sexual harassment. This article circulated from publication to publication, like old-fashioned samizdat, and was rejected repeatedly with a sotto voce, "Don't tell anyone. I agree with you. But no." Friends have urged me not to publish it under my own name, vividly describing the mob that will tear me from limb to limb and leave the dingoes to pick over my flesh. It says something, doesn't it, that I've been more hesitant to speak about this than I've been of getting on the wrong side of the mafia, al-Qaeda, or the Kremlin?

'But speak I must. It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man's life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime--like any other serious crime--requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort....

'In recent weeks, I've acquired new powers. I have cast my mind over the ways I could use them. I could now, on a whim, destroy the career of an Oxford don who at a drunken Christmas party danced with me, grabbed a handful of my bum, and slurred, "I've been dying to do this to Berlinski all term!" That is precisely what happened. I am telling the truth. I will be believed--as I should be.

'But here is the thing. I did not freeze, nor was I terrified. I was amused and flattered and thought little of it. I knew full well he'd been dying to do that. Our tutorials--which took place one-on-one, with no chaperones--were livelier intellectually for that sublimated undercurrent. He was an Oxford don and so had power over me, sensu stricto. I was a 20-year-old undergraduate. But I also had power over him--power sufficient to cause a venerable don to make a perfect fool of himself at a Christmas party. Unsurprisingly, I loved having that power. But now I have too much power. I have the power to destroy someone whose tutorials were invaluable to me and shaped my entire intellectual life much for the better. This is a power I do not want and should not have.'

How My Parents' Divorce Ruined Our Holidays And Family Life Forever

From an anonymous author:

"Navigating a divorced family was and is like walking through a field of landmines. I was supposed to call my stepdad Dad but by his first name when I was with my real dad. I also certainly was not to ever refer to my biological dad as my real dad in front of my stepdad -- I mean Dad.

"My dad (real, not step) also remarried a woman I was not supposed to talk about in front of my mom. My stepdad wanted me to call his parents Grandma and Grandpa, but they told me not to 'because they were never really going to be my grandparents.'...

"When I was a child, anxiety loomed over visits with my dad. Both of my parents always loved me, but to have excitement to visit my dad was a judgment against my life with my mom, and to be happy to return home after a visit with dad was an indictment against him. Either way, I caused a parent grief. I was torn in two and couldn't tell anyone how I felt. I coped by pretending whichever parent wasn't present at the time didn't exist."

Bermuda abolishes same-sex marriage | CatholicHerald.co.uk

'The British Overseas Territory of Bermuda is to become the world's first territory to restore the traditional definition of marriage just six months after the island's Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex unions.

'MPs in the House of Assembly passed the Domestic Partnership Act on Friday, which states that marriage is only between a man and a woman. However, it also creates raft of legal rights for same-sex couples under the title of "domestic partnerships", and does not invalidate same-sex marriages that have already taken place since the court ruling....

'Voters overwhelmingly rejected same-sex marriage in a referendum last year. However, a judge later ruled that the island's Registrar General could not reject a same-sex couple's application to marry. He said that the traditional definition of marriage was "inconsistent with the provisions of the Human Rights Act as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation".

'Opposition MPs denounced the bill as "regressive", but Lawrence Scott, a member of the ruling Progressive Labour Party, said the new legislation gave "the LGBTQ community the benefits it has been asking for", while keeping the "traditional definition of marriage".

'"As it stands now, they can have the name marriage but without the benefits. But after this bill passes, they have the benefits and just not the name marriage. The benefits are what they really want."'

Note however that Australia provided the benefits almost a decade ago, but activists there continued to push until they succeeded in redefining the term marriage. The goal is not personal liberty but state-enforced approval. Still, congratulations to Bermudans for overriding an overreaching judiciary.

Sean Parker unloads on Facebook "exploiting" human weakness

Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook, told Axios that he's become "something of a conscientious objector" on social media:

"When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, 'I'm not on social media.' And I would say, 'OK. You know, you will be.' And then they would say, 'No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.' And I would say, ... 'We'll get you eventually.'...

"I don't know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and ... it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other ... It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains....

"The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, ... was all about: 'How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'

"And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that's going to get you to contribute more content, and that's going to get you ... more likes and comments....

"It's a social-validation feedback loop ... exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology....

"The inventors, creators -- it's me, it's Mark [Zuckerberg], it's Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it's all of these people -- understood this consciously. And we did it anyway."

Roy Moore's Core Supporters In Alabama Don't Care What You Think - The Federalist

"Politics, especially the increasingly pervasive politics of all-out culture war, is for these voters a straightforward extension of their religious convictions. The mainstream media paints these people as without principles--or worse, as hypocrites, given their support of Moore in the face of his alleged sexual misdeeds. But the opposite is true. They take their principles so seriously that they're willing to make hard choices with their eyes wide open. In this case, they will not vote for Doug Jones because Jones supports abortion--no matter what Moore did....

"The professional class that's supposed to understand American voters never bothered to ask why Trump's message might resonate with tens of millions of people, in part because they never bothered to ask those people what they cared about or treat their concerns as legitimate. For the most part, the mainstream media and Washington elites would rather pretend these people don't exist, or dismiss them as backwater rubes and racists.

"There is of course a kind of sanctimony in this indifference and condescension. Jim Lester was right: Moore is indeed an embarrassment to people like McConnell and certain prominent conservative columnists who think the people of Alabama should be less concerned with abortion and gay marriage. Just like they should've been less concerned last year with immigration and free trade. Don't these people know what's good for them?"