Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Random thoughts for the open thread.

    1. I tend to think that the Ludovic Bource win of the oscar for Best Original Score over two of John Williams’s scores is more evidence of the downfall of western civilization.

    2. I went to Mass with the family at the Basilica at University of Notre Dame this Sunday past. A wonderful combination of beauty in sight and sound. It struck me that beauty is the thing missing from most Masses – not the beauty of the Eucharist itself, but the adornment that is given. Beauty is in many forms – simple, elegant, ornate. But, it is not in poor architecture and “down to earth” music.

    3. I feel sorry for my students. They have hit a rare week of grouchiness and exam composition for me. It will be a more difficult road for them.

    4. I am reading the first of “A Game of Thrones” and finding it enjoyable.

  2. Desire a spirit of mortification. I think of the cruel scourging Our Lord suffered (for my sins) at the pillar and the heavy blows which tore his sacred flesh.

    “Take up your cross and follow Me.”

  3. (Guest comment from Don’s wife:)
    “I am reading the first of “A Game of Thrones” and finding it enjoyable.”
    I recently finished that book myself, and have been viewing the Season 1 episodes from the HBO series (thanks to the free HBO promo when we switched to satellite TV). The HBO version is gorgeous, and reasonably faithful to the book; however, there’s way too much full-frontal nudity, on-screen fornication and gore for us to have it on when the kids are downstairs (and I keep a book handy to block my own view of the explicit scenes!). If this were edited down to a “TV-14” rating (as it may well be if it ever gets to broadcast TV), it would be much more enjoyable. As it is, I’ll stick to reading my way through the books, which are quite “meaty,” with lots of intrigue and multiple plot threads to keep track of.

  4. The videos surely put Creation, space and time into perspective. The time lapse of the Milky Way from the Plains – amazing to this pretty well untravelled slice of sky viewer. When seeing Van Gogh’s paintings, I was struck by the limits of man, the art imitating life idea, and how much God has given us. Dismissed thinking about how far to ruin we are. Also, worried about a news clip last night about the trend of cloud cover over Northeast becoming lower than normal. The clouds over the Plains looked low enough to me. I don’t know – just a thought. Then the internet explorer quit and I think I travelled the world on the phone to reset it this morning. Cyberspace has become an important place to be with fellow man. Sorry to say – contemplating Eternity turned into my little worldly window – but I’ll click post. Just look out when you click ‘reset’. Little part of the world goes blank, and waits for you to do something about it.

  5. Great peices Don.
    Halverson’s video is great filming and great music – seems I detected a lilt of celtic in there. Actually got it via e-mail ( you know, one of those e-mails you get from friends, some of them with jokes or amazing pictures) a month or two back, Its something you could watch a listen to over and over.
    Have always loved Don McLean. Recorded a live concert of his in Sydney Aus. when I was living there in 1984. He has what makes a true artist. He came on stage with his acoustic guitar, sad on a stool, and held everyone in rapt attention for an hour and a half – an entertainer par excellence.

  6. Here is a thread with which to sew our nation back together. Correct me if I am wrong, I am wrong a lot. In the prayer ban case, Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court told the atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair,: “She can go her own way” The newsmedia bannered “Prayer Ban”, leaving our country with a whole herd of prayer nazis, the likes of which even Vatican II woud be ashamed. and Yes she can go her own way. You and I can go our own way. Every man is free.

  7. On the Fire and Ice Series:

    Ms. McClarey (et. al.),

    After reading the first two of the Song of Fire and Ice Series, Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, I have to say that I begin to find the books a bit tiring. It’s not so much the constant new names, scenes, etc. – as a Tolkien devotee, I am used to that – rather, it’s the constant sex and violence which the author feels the need to describe in graphic detail. I have found myself unsettled enough by the works to take a break from the for awhile. I am curious about endings, but not so curious as to continue without a breather.


  8. Thanks for the content advisory on the Song of Ice and Fire series, Jonathan! I’ll probably still try reading at least Clash of Kings and see how it goes. I figure that with print descriptions only, it should be a bit easier for my “mind’s eye” to filter the sex & violence down to a “TV-14/R” rating (or just skip sections, as I did with the lengthy sex scenes in Jean Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series). If I still find that the amount of sex & violence overwhelm what could have been an epic fantasy series, the books will get sold on eBay (as do other books in our collection which don’t turn out to be “keepers”).

  9. Less than an advisory, I think, and more of a restatement and adjustment of my initial praise for the books. There is, as well, a certain darkness (of which the sex and violence are symptoms) which pervades the series – a sense of hopelessness and doom which I think the author intends (“Winter is coming”). It will be interesting, I am sure, to see if he moves towards a Ragnarok with endless winter following, or whether there is some sort of Tolkienian mitigation of evil in some sense.

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