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Harbingers

Forerunners of things to come...

Finding infinity in all the wrong places

In writing about the coming exhaustion of IPv4 addresses and their inevitable replacement by IPv6, the Wall Street Journal declared (see "Web Running Out of Addresses"),

That addressing system is called IP version four, or IPv4, which allows for about 4.3 billion possible addresses. In the 1970s, that number of IP addresses was more than enough as the Internet only connected a small number of government and university researchers.

Non-Ecclesial Christianity and Secular Catholics

Let's prescind, for the moment, from the recognition that the phrase "non-ecclesial Christianity" is an oxymoron, and consider the demographics and beliefs of those who describe themselves as Christian, but without belonging to any given ecclesial community (much less belong to an actual church). To consider this, I will appeal to a study by a Protestant polling organization known as the Barna Group. See "Christianity Is No Longer Americans’ Default Faith."

Can a leopard change its spots?

The short answer, of course, is no. If God gets in the act, all bets are off. If God doesn't get into the act, there is nothing to prevent a leopard from claiming that his spots have changed, and apparently nothing to dissuade the mass media from accepting his claim.

Bill O'Reilly: "Do you deny that you are a man who wants to re-distribute wealth?"

President Obama: "Absolutely."

Just one more question...

TV's Columbo used to get the goat of the murderer by asking unexpected questions, often after he turned to ask just before going out the door and the perp let down his or her guard. Most often he would preface his question with something like, "Just one more question..." The perp would provide what sounded like his final alibi, a sure way to get him or her out of a tight fix. The next time Columbo returned, of course, he had the goods and the perp was going down. Usually, the only way I could tell it was the final scene was by checking the clock.

Abortion and Contraception - the Unacknowledged Link?

Actually, it's not entirely unacknowledged. Curiously, Pope Paul VI does not mention the link explicitly in Humanae Vitae, that enormously prescient encyclical of 1968, yet in ¶ 17 he already calls attention to what we can recognize today as the roots of the widespread resort to abortion:

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