Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Still need to drum up those aforementioned "position statements" regarding my views on faith, academic culture, sports, etc.  Patience humbly requested...

This blog will, on occasion, pursue topics further afield than "merely" religious ones.

That being said, OCTOBER 3, people!  What a day.  Nineteen years ago this was the "Battle of Mogadishu"--the basis for the book and movie Black Hawk Down.  The effects of this one day battle still reverberate in the American military and American culture's interpretations thereof.  It was the single largest loss of lives in combat between the Vietnam War  and the post-9/11 Global War on Terror.  The day featured puzzling tactical decisions and singularly heroic actions.

And I, like many Americans, dozed right through it.

It took a while for me to understand and appreciate fully what happened that day.  References to avoiding "another Black Hawk Down" cropped up continually in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. An entire culture of "COINistas" (counterinsurgency strategists) have emerged here with wide-ranging discussions of warfare tactics, military ethics, and service branch cultural differences.  Whenever any of my Catholic theological colleagues get either misty-eyed or indignant over America's military hegemony, I keep thinking they might change their tune if they swam in SWJ waters for a while or read Rob Schultheis' great book about early post-invasion Iraq.

At some point, consequently, there will be an extended blogofied discussion of just war theory.  Just sayin'

Meanwhile, it's the last day of the baseball season.  Baseball--and its differences with the other great American sport, football--will appear frequently on this blog, hopefully with enough of a unique take to make it worth everybody's while.  The baseball faithful remember this day for one great at-bat by Bobby Thomson.  The Giants win the pennant, indeed, and yes, reality did indeed strangle invention.

Of course, we learned in 2001 that Leo Durocher, the Giants manager, had rigged the Polo Grounds with a simple cheating system to steal pitching signs.  So maybe invention still had something to do with it.

Two events on the same day, each exerting its own influence on American life.

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