July 24th, 2009

Ambrosia Salad

the fact that I had reached my own peace with the Catholic Church. 'It's a good thing,' he once told me, 'that you're raising your kids in the Catholic faith. At least they'll have a map to follow or throw away. In either case, they'll know where they are.'"

That's what Mr. McCourt had. Even as he described suffering under its thumb, he developed an unbreakable affinity with the church's history, traditions and literature. He writes in "Angela's Ashes" about discovering Butler's "Lives of the Saints" in the library on a rainy afternoon—"I don't want to spend my life reading about saints but when I start I wish the rain would last forever." He told an Irish television host in 1999: "I read the 'Lives of the Saints' all the time. If you poke me in the middle of the night and say what are you reading, I'll say, the 'Lives of the Saints.'"

The Beautiful Side

the Irish ran Hudson County and Jersey City, the Italians had Hoboken and Newark,
and in later years Hispanics muscled into West New York and Union City. They did not share.
 Look at the names on yesterday's arrest list, and it's a beautiful rainbow of wretchedness.
Italians, Jews and Irish; Hispanics, blacks and whites. Democrats and (one) Republicans.
Men and women. People from age 33 to age 87.

"Speaking only and narrowly in political terms, this is so ignorant as to be astounding."

His news conference the other night was bad. He was filibustery and spinny and gave long and largely unfollowable answers that seemed aimed at limiting the number of questions asked and running out the clock. You don’t do that when you’re fully confident. Far more seriously, he didn’t seem to be telling the truth. We need to create a new national health-care program in order to cut down on government spending? Who would believe that? Would anybody? 

You don’t exercise, you smoke, you drink, you eat too much, and “the rest of us have to pay for it.”

When everyone pays for the same health-care system, the overseers will feel more and more a right to tell you how to live, which simple joys are allowed and which are not.