Month: August 2010

Brews You Can Use


Returnables: 1960s Style

A TDE reader sends this along: Straub Brewery still uses returnable bottles. I thought to myself, “Most breweries use returnable bottles because various states impose a bottle deposit. In Michigan, each bottle requires a ten-cent deposit.” But here’s what I learned: Many breweries used a voluntary returnable program years ago. In 1981, 12% of U.S. beer was sold in returnable bottles in such voluntary programs, but now the percentage is negligible. The reason the story was sent to me: Straub is one of the holdovers: “customers pay a $1.50 deposit per 24-bottle case and can get it back or just buy another case when they return the bottles to the store, distributor or brewery.” Straub, however, is getting ready to stop the program because customers aren’t returning the bottles.

I’d never even heard of Straub, but my correspondent tells me it’s a tasty beer with a fine German Catholic heritage. … Read the rest


Keith RothfussRothfus

So I’m working late last night. It’s 6:00 and my line starts ringing. I typically don’t pick up, since you never know who you might get (yes, I hide behind my secretary), but for some reason, I felt like gambling. The guy on the other line: Keith Rothfus, Class of 1990, ND law school. The name scarcely rang a bell, until I pulled up his website. It then all came back to me: the guy who patiently explained principles of the natural law to me, a Lutheran at the time, when I was a first-year student and ignorant (skeptical) of all such things (Professor Charles Rice later set me straight). We talked quite a bit back in those days, at random moments. Keith was staunchly pro-life and never shied from admitting it.

After the Class of 1990 graduated, I never heard from him again, until last night.

He called, looking for support. He’s on the cusp of moving to Washington: He won his congressional Republican primary in Pennsylvania and is now looking to knock-off the Democratic incumbent in November. We talked for a little while. He has six kids, is still pro-life, is Catholic, and expresses serious concerns about fiat currency and the Federal Reserve. In other words: Finally, one of our own. He’s positioned to win this thing, so I’m going to start plugging him, plus I’ll make a small donation (and … Read the rest



The Euro crisis wasn’t really a crisis? Just a problem blown into a crisis? “The Treasury was able to unload a lot of debt thanks to “the Greek crisis,” which the New York banksters and hedge funds multiplied into ‘the euro crisis.’ The financial press served as a financing arm for the US Treasury by creating panic about European debt and the euro. Central banks and individuals who had taken refuge from the dollar in euros were panicked out of their euros, and they rushed into dollars by purchasing US Treasury debt. * * * * * * * Those aren’t the words off a far-right nut. They’re from Paul Craig Roberts. * * * * * * * I keep reading more and more articles that say gold is good in deflation (sample). Marc Faber says that, if Prechter predictions of 90% declines come true, cash won’t hold value either, despite conventional thinking (Faber: “you have to think real hard about deflation”), and the folks at Zero Hedge say that, in deflation, gold will be the tallest pygmy. I suspect they’re right, but something always gnaws at me that says the precious metals industry is trying to create its own bubble so they profit enormously. I don’t know. * * * * * * * Remember FDR and the confiscation of gold in 1933? Me neither, but I’ve … Read the rest


Iced-tea1Bradbury and Tea

Happy nineteen years of marriage to my wife, Marie. The marriage seems to be going better than ever, but I haven’t gotten her input on that issue. * * * * * *
I gotta read Farenheit 451: “Ray Bradbury hates big government: ‘Our country is in need of a revolution.’” Of course, he apparently says some stupid things, too: “We should never have left [the moon]. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever.” Russell Kirk was a big fan of his. * * * * * * * Doing that new caveman diet? Check out this list of snacks. * * * * * * * Jimmy Fallon: “A new survey found that 48 percent of Americans are willing to try out a nude beach for vacation. And my guess is that it’s the wrong 48 percent.” * * * * * * * This article reminded me of a new hobby: brewing my own iced tea. I use the Mr. Coffee ice tea maker. I put citrus-flavored green tea and black tea bags in the filter. As the tea pours out, I add a small amount of sugar, a lot of honey, and a lot of cinnamon. The result is … Read the rest


zsa_zsa_gabor4Zsa Zsa and Otha

A sex symbol and married nine times . . . but apparently Catholic. I’m rooting for Zsa Zsa in this, her final trip. “Gabor, a fixture in Hollywood for six decades, asked that a priest read her the last rites on Sunday.” Hungary is 60% Catholic, so I guess it’s no surprise that she was raised in the faith. * * * * * * * Whenever I think of that final trip, I think of Wyndham Lewis’ The Human Age. I started The Childermass years ago but couldn’t get through it. Anybody here read it (or the entire 3-volume series)? Any suggestions? * * * * * * * You know, a guy reads and reads and reads. He even has a copy of The Spiritual Exercises that he has thumbed through. Yet he still has fundamental holes in his knowledge, like this useful distinction in Ignatian spirituality: consolation and desolation. A priest talked with me last week about it, and I think I’m going to find it very useful. I’m embarrassed that I’d never heard of it before. Despite this source of shame, I mention it here because, if you’re not applying this insight to your own life, you might want to start. * * * * * * * Food stamps might be cut to cover the cost of providing more free food through Read the rest

Something for Sunday Morning

“Nobody can strive after evil for its own sake.” St. Thomas Aquinas

(I’ve always liked this observation. It puts “the lie” to the moronic Satanists. Satan is the embodiment of evil. Satanists worship something that they see is good in Satan, with the result that they no longer worship the entity known as “Satan.” Put another way, if the Satanists really thought he were evil, they wouldn’t worship him, but because they see something good in him, they worship him. Of course, we don’t know what it is they worship, but it ain’t Satan if the term “Satan” is given its Biblical, literary, and traditional meaning.)… Read the rest

Brews You Can Use


On Tuesday evening, I felt like Zeus, aloft on Olympus, eyeballing the humans’ wives for my next encounter: Mead, courtesy of this place in Ferndale, Michigan, and my brother-in-law who came down for a visit.

It wasn’t bad, but it was closer to a liqueur than wine or beer. I took a sip. Paused. Thought, “Heck, that wasn’t bad,” then poured myself a big glass. That was a mistake. After six ounces or so, I didn’t want anymore. It’s a very filling drink, but I recommend it for sipping after dinner. … Read the rest