Francis W. Porretto

Mount Sinai, NY USA

Author's posts

Survey!

     Everybody’s taking surveys and polls lately. Seems that way, anyway. So I figured it’s time to survey the Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch on a few subjects of current importance.      For each of the statements below, please indicate, on a scale of 1 to 5, whether you: Disagree strongly; Disagree somewhat; Are indifferent; …

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Concerning The Judicial Lynching Of Derek Chauvin

     This only just sprang to mind:      “We are not fighting against single individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. Do not look in materials you have gathered for evidence that a suspect acted or spoke against the Soviet authorities. The first question you should ask him is what class he belongs …

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Capturing The Moment

     Were you under the impression that the United States is not currently in a state of civil war? Minneapolis City Council Candidate and Former City Employee Encourages Rioters to Burn Down Wealthy Neighborhoods Right On Cue: Portland Rioters Go On Destructive Rampage After Chauvin Verdict, Police Actually Intervene BLM Minneapolis: ‘I Don’t Want to …

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Extinction And Rebirth

     We called them “the media.” Some of us knew why: they were the middlemen between us and the information we sought. They formed a conduit between events of significance and those of us who wanted to know about them. We trusted them to pass the information about those events to us, undistorted and untainted …

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Good Ideas Always Resurface

     A long, long time ago, back when there was music on AM radio and I was a wee proto-engineer who spent his days correcting other people’s errors in Fortran (Fortran-66, mind you), a colleague commenting on a promotion we in the Computing Center were attempting urged us all to “Think visual.” He exhorted us …

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There Is No Time

     Today will be a very busy day for me, for reasons beyond the scope of this rant. And so, as befits the Grand Ironic Tradition we faithfully maintain here at Liberty’s Torch, I have far too much to write about. Worse, I must begin by reposting an old piece: one which first appeared fifteen …

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Pushing The Outside Of The Credibility Envelope

     Courtesy of Weasel Zippers, we have this literally incredible story about Joe Biden’s “popularity:”      Joe Biden approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency with a relatively strong job approval rating and the public continuing to express positive views of the coronavirus aid package passed by Congress last month. Moreover, nearly three-quarters of Americans …

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FLASH! Breaking News!

     The super-secret investigators of Liberty’s Torch have made a shocking discovery. Anthony Fauci, for more than a year the federal government’s most recognizable face as regards all things COVID-19, has been revealed as a high executive of the Umbrella Corporation:      RACCOON CITY: Earlier today, Anthony Fauci was overheard deep in conversation with Albert …

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Transitions In Thought

     The history of human thought has not been one of monotonic advance. There have been times and places where material rationality — i.e., the use of the methods of the physical sciences to investigate the properties of the physical world – has attempted to supplant aspects of thought that those methods cannot address. One …

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Gazing Into The Abyss

     If you’re not aware of Catholic moral theory – and even many Catholics aren’t fully aware of it – you might not have become acquainted with the “five non-negotiables” of the Catholic Church: i.e., the five subjects on which no alteration in doctrine will ever be contemplated: Abortion; Same-sex marriage; Embryonic stem-cell research; Euthanasia; …

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At The Entrance To Hell

     America is in a bad way, largely because we’ve neither acknowledged previous public-policy mistakes nor responded firmly to lawlessness and public disorder. The bill mounts with each passing day. Whether we or any successor generation will pay it is uncertain.      But there are some horrors we have not yet embraced…at least, not all …

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A New Kind Of “Mistake”

     I think we’ll be seeing this more often:      Sunday’s fatal shooting in a Minneapolis suburb was the 18th time in the past 20 years that police officers used a gun when they said they intended to use a Taser, according to a use-of-force researcher.      By comparison, police kill about 1,000 people each …

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The Political Strategy Of The Usurper Regime…

     …is to lie. Continuously. About everything.      Two examples follow – and believe me, I could have produced more without any exertion.      First comes a scathing article from John Lott and Thomas Massie:      There were so many lies in Vice President Kamala Harris’ and President Joe Biden’s presentations on guns Thursday that …

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A Couple Of Catholic Conundrums

     An old tickler from many years ago is about the day a gaggle of theologians were confronted by a layman with a simple question: “Did Adam and Eve have navels?” The initial consensus answer was no. But, the layman objected, that doesn’t square with the notion that the first man and woman were the …

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Damn It All, I Was Just Getting Down To Work…

     …when this came along.      (Thank you, Adrienne.)      The whole article is worth your attention – your careful attention. Don’t accept it uncritically. Think about it, ask yourself (and others) why governments would want to depopulate their own jurisdictions, and whether the means proposed by Dr. Yeadon is a plausible method. Ask also …

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Asymmetries

     Some things, it seems, must be said so bluntly that no one can mistake or “reinterpret” them. However, when the subjects fall within a certain realm, most persons, including many who are outspoken on other matters will dance around the subject hoping to avert a tide of defamation. The deficit of courage this suggests …

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Authority Versus Evidence Part 2: When Authorities Collide

     Those without expertise who nevertheless posture as authorities do so for a range of reasons, but most common among them is the desire to promulgate a falsehood. The causal logic behind this is unfortunately quite compelling. If you want people to believe a thesis that is untrue, when there are sources of information that …

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Authority Versus Evidence

     It’s risky to reflexively attribute actual knowledge to persons who represent themselves as “authorities.” More Americans have been led badly astray by such “authorities” than have contracted the Wuhan Virus. Speaking of which, courtesy of Ragin’ Dave at Peace or Freedom, here’s a contemporary example:      Last month, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott axed …

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Distinctions That Fail To Matter

     Anyone familiar with the fusillades over race and racial differences these past few decades will be aware that there are some subjects generally regarded as “too hot to touch.” The confrontation-averse are well advised to avoid such subjects, as those on one side are prone to hurling insults rather than reasoned arguments with evidentiary …

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When Smart People Write Dumb Things

     “We’re all fools, most of our lives. It’s unavoidable.” –Jean Valjean in Les Miserables      Everyone, at some point in his life, says or does something he later regrets. It’s part and parcel of human fallibility. It’s also a solid foundation for one of the Redeemer’s least-appreciated sayings:      Judge not, that ye be …

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