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Have we really entered the Post-Christian Age . . . or do few Christians recognize Ash Wednesday that, for all practical purposes, it doesn't exist anymore, except as a weird-looking symbol on some people's foreheads?

I have five children that are old enough to participate in organized activities. Four of them had practices scheduled last night, a few had multiple events. My older children had only one Mass time available, and the oldest missed nearly half of it: indoor tennis practice. After an hour of running kids all over the place and adding to my fasting-induced irritable disposition (I know, I know; spare me the lecture), I crashed at 7:00 and decided I'd wake up when society had regained a semblance of Christian tradition . . . or 4:00 a.m., whichever came first.

I like that guy: Archbishop Chaput warned that U.S. Catholics "need to act on their faith and be on guard against 'a spirit of adulation bordering on servility' that exists towards the Obama administration."

Indeed, a spirit of willing thralldom. Does anybody really understand anymore how increased government necessarily decreases freedom, that every dollar spent by government is one less dollar we have the freedom to spend, that government power is generally a one-way ratchet? For a long time, these truths were, I think, sinking into the American people. I think they helped propel the 1994 conservative ascension and Contract with America. But now, just fourteen years after that ascension and ten years after Republicans broke the Contract with America, everyone seems to have forgotten it.

After 9/11, we looked to the federal government to protect us from terrorist attacks. Now we want it to protect us from everything else. It's almost as though it's part of our collective mental framework now.

Awfully kind of you, sir: [T]he chief executive of Philadelphia's largest two daily newspapers pledged Tuesday to roll back a $232,000 raise while his company tries to reorganize in bankruptcy court.

On Monday, I took my van into the shop for a simple alignment . . . and got whacked for nearly $1,500 of repair expenses. Then a rep from my local bank came into my office yesterday and said they inadvertently credited my account over $600 in early January, which I now needed to pay back. On Tuesday, my dentist took over $100 worth of teeth x-rays without me asking (though I stopped them in the middle and inquired why they were doing it, I didn't feel comfortable telling them to stop).

Please use the link in the upper right-hand corner when going to Amazon. The baby needs new shoes.