Francis W. Porretto

Mount Sinai, NY USA

Author's posts

Damage

[This essay first appeared at the old Palace Of Reason, on August 13, 2004. I chose to reprint it today in light of the unusual degree of attention Mark Butterworth’s post A Distasteful Subject has been getting. As usual when sexual mores and conduct are the topics, I expect disagreement – but given the facts, …

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Dark Gods

[This essay originally appeared at Eternity Road on January 4, 2006. Given the chaos of the moment, and the overwhelming significance of the election almost upon us, I felt it appropriate to repost it here.] Fran here. In pondering the huge list of things I had in mind for this piece, which started life as …

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Shamans

[The following essay first appeared at Eternity Road on September 29, 2006. Inasmuch as the Left’s principal remaining weapon in the current campaign is their attempt to cause the Right to self-censor with charges of “racism” and such, it feels quite relevant to the moment. Decide for yourself, as always.] Fran here. Those who know …

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“The Good Ship NEWF”

[This essay first appeared at Eternity Road, on July 1, 2006. I claim that one cannot have a defensible position on either abortion or cloning until he has satisfactorily answered the questions here.] Who are you? I mean, really? And how do you know? That phrase “identity theft:” what does it mean? Is the thief …

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A Cabal Of Its Enemies

[The following essay was first posted at the Palace Of Reason on September 2, 2003. I consider it a useful adjunct to the ongoing series on the nature and behavior of systems of all kinds.] Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics: Everyone is conservative about what he knows best. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner …

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Disparates

[This essay first appeared at the old Palace Of Reason, on December 17, 2003. Inasmuch as the Democrats have recently been promulgating the notion that the Republicans are conducting a “war on women,” with specific reference to abortion and birth control, it strikes me as especially pertinent today.] In response to this Curmudgeonly tirade, reader …

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The Desiccated Remains

[This essay first appeared at Eternity Road, on January 23, 2009. It strikes me as extremely pertinent to the machinations of the Left today.] *** The list of well known writers on liberty includes some names that don’t belong there, such as John Stuart Mill, and omits some names that should appear at its head, …

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Giantism

(The following first appeared at the old Palace of Reason, in 1997.) Part One: The Comedians. Is Bigness to be distrusted? Well, yes, but not because of any difference of motives between the people who staff and run big organizations and the people who staff and run small ones. It’s more a combination of two …

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Egos The Size Of Cathedrals

Perhaps, given yesterday’s events, I should stay away from politics for awhile. At any rate, today’s topic is non-political. *** “These people, it’s no mystery where they come from. You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire. You build egos the size of cathedrals. Fiber-optically connect the …

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The Stupid-Or-Evil Trilogy

Once in a great while, someone who’s emitted as much political blather as I will find that something he wrote long ago has become pertinent once again. We confront exactly that phenomenon today. Under which flimsy rationale I hereby present, as they first appeared at the old Palace Of Reason: The Stupid-Or-Evil Trilogy 1. Stupid …

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The Helix

[Inasmuch as I just recently had a most striking reminder of the power of prayer, it seems appropriate that I reprise the following article, which first appeared at Eternity Road on April 2, 2006.] C. S. Lewis has proposed that the human tastes for constancy and novelty are best conjoined — that they are intended …

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The Food Chain

We who believe often speak of the need to “grow in faith.” I’ve never been certain exactly what that means. But as time has passed, my own faith has become ever more important to me: not as a comfort against the certainty of bodily death, and not as some sort of confirmation of my own …

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King Cash

There are mornings when every columnist must feel he faces an embarrassment of riches. For me, this is one such. Telling of his recent sailing vacation around the coasts of Italy, Michael Ledeen reports thus: The spring weather has been unusually unpleasant, which no doubt accounts for at least part of the problem, but this …

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The Naked Face Of The Enemy

I’ve considered long and hard. I’ve agonized. I’ve cast about for alternatives until all the skin has worn off my fingers. I’ve repeatedly refused to accept the implications of what my senses repeatedly told me. I simply can’t do it any longer. The evidence is overwhelming. America is currently in a state of civil war, …

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Pragmatics

Pragmatics Some time ago, when embroiled in a quarrelsome encounter, I challenged my adversary in a fashion he found troubling. “Define Milwaukee,” I said. “Huh? Why?” he replied. “To prove to me that you know both how to do it and why to do it.” At first he rejected it as absurd, but I persisted, …

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Heroes

Yesterday afternoon, Beth and I indulged our taste for action movies and went to see Lockout, Guy Pearce’s near-future star vehicle about a breakout on an orbital prison. Yes, we enjoyed it quite a bit, though perhaps for different reasons. Pearce’s character Snow is the archetype of the American hero of yesteryear: masculine, cool, fearless, …

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Sex!

     Being of a certain age — I’m certain of it even if you aren’t — I came to manhood amid the loudest and rowdiest years of the Sexual Revolution. Being of a certain height, build, and facial conformation — see the Personal page if you really need to know — mostly I didn’t participate. …

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