Friday, October 20, 2017

It takes a lot to make Donald Trump look like the respectable one in a debate

But congresswoman Fredrica Wilson has done a bang-up job doing just that

I've avoided the whole shameful, disgraceful controversy.   To me, it shows the rot of the heart and soul of our "nation".  I don't exonerate Trump, whose own statement about presidents who call and don't call the families of fallen soldiers was more than problematic. And I have no problem believing that Trump might say something in an awkward way, even though I've heard the phrase 'he knew what he signed up for' used a million times if I've heard it once, and always in a positive manner regarding our veterans. 

Nonetheless, the fact that Wilson exploited this in order to score anti-Trump points isn't the problem, in all due respect to John Kelly. It's the press that didn't skin her alive.  If this had been some GOP congressman, or Trump, exploiting the death of a solider for political points - THAT would be the story.  The press would be on that person like white on rice.  That is the real problem.

I'll say no more about this, because I feel dirty even mentioning it.  It isn't even about exploiting the fallen soldiers. It's about Politics as God that has become American life.  It's everywhere, and in everything.  It dictates when we care about sexual assault, and when we don't give a damn.  It dictates when we care about Blacks being murdered, and when we don't give a damn.  It dictates when religion is good for something, and when it's good for nothing.  It infects every aspect of our life, in every arena, in every sphere of public interaction. 

A congresswoman using the death of a soldier for political points, and then casually laughing about how the whole thing has made her a rock star, should be the end of her career.  Twenty years ago it would have been the end.  The problem is, a day ago it would have been, if it was a Republican doing it for points against a Democrat.  In that case, the press would be doing the right thing. The fact that the press isn't doing the right thing for the obvious reason is, more than any part of this sad story, the real problem.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tylenol in five

That should help the headache that came from trying to look at this too long:

A significant day in world history

General Cornwallis surrendered on this day in 1781.  We've all seen the Schoolhouse Rock clip, so I'm sure we all remember its importance.

Alas that in the modern Cold Civil War, there is a side that dismisses all but the most narrow contributions of that period.  On the other side, the Founding Fathers have become almost mythical.

The fact is, they were the right men at the right time.  They did what few have ever done in history.  They fought to overthrow an established government, succeeded, and then proceeded to keep their promise and put together a successful state that would strive for that more perfect union.

It doesn't happen often.  We sometimes forget that, and so fall into the trap of imagining that the bold rebel or instigator is necessarily the hero against the latest Galactic Empire.  Truth be told, no.  Not that governments haven't been bad, but history is awash with revolutionaries and upstarts who ended up being far worse than what was there to begin with.

The American Catholic, as it can be counted on to do, has a good write up with Washington's actual report of the surrender and a few fun additions to commemorate this day that changed the future of the world.

I hate being right

Thank goodness it doesn't happen that often!  Here:

From my own humble studies in history, the history of the 20th century, as well as the blessings I received from friends I met in Grad School, I came to a similar conclusion.

We in the Christian West, including the United States, are under assault from a largely Marxist driven, Bolshevik inspired revolution.  That revolution long ago stole the hearts and minds of our ruling classes, our educators, entertainers, poets and dreamers.  The reasons are too many to get into.

I never went full blown 'Commie-pinko' conspiracy until the Transgender issue.  That's when I realized it was just like my friend from the former Soviet Union described.  In the USSR, he said, they taught you, among other things, absolute rubbish.  Real stupidity.  Like squares are round.  Something so against all science, religion, common sense, and real life experience that even HBO talk show hosts wouldn't believe it.  The purpose was to get you to submit to something you knew to be false.  If you would fight for round squares, if you would ostracize those who refuse to confess the roundness of squares, and you would completely fall behind the state's insistence that squares are and always have been round, then you'll fall in line behind anything.

When Obama and the Left hoisted Transgender normality on us, when the usual 'scientific' venues changed reality in lockstep with the demands of the Left, and when they went straight to pen and phone to make sure this new round square was obeyed or else, I could no longer deny the obvious.

The joining of the old post-AIDS notion that who we desire to have sex with is a physiological matter, with the idea that our physical bodies are irrelevant to our gender reality, should be the final signal that sets off a giant "Warning, Warning, Danger, Danger!"

Of course Hollywood, the Media, Academia and much of our public institutions are all firmly on board, which makes it tough.  Even if Hollywood is in full damage control mode, and attempts are being made to sustain its vital role as crucial member of the propaganda ministry, there is still the lumbering forward.  This movement won't give up any time soon.

At some point, people have to get wise.  Whether they do before it's too late is the only question.

A fair appraisal of #Me Too

By a rather chipper and fair minded young woman:

Yep.  I get that sexual harassment and sexual assault are a problem.  The best we can say is that after decades of throwing out our old puritanical ways, things are as bad as they ever were.  And that's usually not a great thing to say.

Nonetheless, problem it is.  The video makes clear that all who are concerned have reasons to be concerned.  That includes men falsely accused, men who are victims, and a fair explanation as to why many women just won't come forward when this sort of thing happens.  She also admits to those who go too far with such a thing, and exploit it for personal purposes or because of an ax to grind or similar.

Altogether, the best take I've seen.  From my wife I know such things are all too real, and from a dear friend, I know false accusations can throw you off the rails to where you never quite get back on.

Though the the question still stands: If all of this is so 'Duh, obviously it's been an ongoing problem!', then why did so many respond to women's concerns about Transgenders in the bathroom with 'Why are you so paranoid?' or variations thereof?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Where was all of this concern about the plight of women back during the Transgender Bathroom issue?

Just asking.  I'm seeing social media and Facebook and other sources inundated by testimonies from women, and lamentations from men, about how women spend their entire lives - every waking moment it would seem - in fear of being sexually assaulted, raped, or harassed.  Thus:

If that is the case, and assuming it didn't just start 12 months ago, which the testimonies suggest is true, then could someone please tell me why the hell everyone wondered what women were whining and complaining about during the Transgender bathroom issue?  Why was it when women suggested they were concerned, not because they were afraid of Transgenders, but because they felt the rules were too loose or not well thought out, that they were met with variations on 'shut up you homophobic b----es!'?  Why was it that pundits and politicians, bloggers and journalists all scratched their heads and said, "Gee, why would women be that paranoid?".

Where were all the women saying this makes up their daily lives back then?  Where were they covering their sisters' concerns?  Where were the pundits and politicians?  Where were the sensitive men?  Indeed, where was Jackson Katz?  Why is it we're stunned that women would be apprehensive about men in their bathrooms, but fully expect that it's an exercise in courage to walk through the door of the workplace?

Or could it just be that we really don't give a rip about women being harassed and assaulted and raped, unless it helps the cause?  If it does advance the agenda, then by jiminy, that's the most important crisis of the age.  But if it doesn't?  Eh, take it like a man girls.

Same with blacks who kill blacks, or homosexuals who kill or rape homosexuals.  I mean, who cares right?  Do any of those ever make a national headline?  Do they ever provoke riots or mass demonstrations?  Do national media outlets ever move their anchor desks to the latest black on black killing?

Their suffering and death, while tragic, perhaps only matters when it helps the cause.  That's certainly the impression I'm getting from this sudden lament across the lands about how women must be forever worried and concerned about what they were called nuts for being concerned about only a couple dozen months ago.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Who were those Magi?

Fr. Longenecker goes through the details about this mysterious gang of travelers.  A great way to be secure in the Faith is to remember the overwhelming witness.

Remember when Mike Pence was the bad guy for not being alone with women?

Yeah, again the idiocy of modernity on display.  And again, not only because it was stupid to say he was wrong for having such a standard, but let's face it, some who are now saying men are raping and assaulting women everywhere and always have been, were saying how wrong Pence was for having that standard.

It's almost like the left doesn't really care about any of it.  They just jump on whatever bandwagon happens to benefit the cause at the moment.  I wonder what the standards will be next week.

Women do not have the right to be believed

They have the right to be heard, to be listened to, but not believed.  They still have to prove their case. 

I say this because I notice a floodgate opening up in the wake of the Weinstein sex allegations, and the subsequent calls to end this culture of sex crimes in Hollywood.  Of course the real story in all of this is Hollywood as Elmer Gantry.  An institution of endless hypocrisy, having no concern about the values it hoists on the viewing public.  Wagging its fingers at us, turning its craft into nothing more than an advocacy industry, only to find out that it never really cared about those things. It was more than happy to throw women under the bus when convenient, and that includes those women who knew, but stayed silent in order to build up their own multi-million dollar power bases.

Rather than focus on this, since Hollywood and the Entertainment industry have become indispensable for advancing the progressive cause, we are now seeing that chiefest of all tactics when things go sour for the cause: deflection.  Now it's not just Weinstein, or even Hollywood in general.  It's men.  Just men in general.  It's everywhere.  It's in all things. 

I watched a segment on the news last night where it was a string of women saying that this is just par for the course.  Everywhere they go, in every job, in every setting, this is what they endure.  All the time, from cat calls to actual rape, this is the cross women bear, being in a world where they must endure men.  It ends up being about all men, not just Weinstein, and most importantly, not Hollywood.

Sorry, but it reminds me of back in the late 90s, when we learned that not only had all presidents had affairs, but it turns out all men sleep around on their wives at least once or more.  I remember back when Geraldo Rivera was on CNBC.  He was talking about the Clinton scandal post-dress.  At one point, he waved his arm vaguely at the camera and pronounced that 'all guys have done this once in their lives.' 

Really?  Each and every man ever has had an affair?  Sorry, no. 

One of the staples of the modern left is the notion that all people are always scum.  The farther away you get from a protected demographic, the more scum they are.  Men are always itching to rape women.  Whites always want to lynch blacks.  Straights always want to torture gays.  Christians always want to persecute religious minorities.  And on and on.

Likewise, whatever it is that the left is promoting, like sex or drugs or abortion or anything, it prefers to suggest people have always done it anyway.  We're being decadent?  Well, everyone has always been that way.  We're living a life of no morals or principles, just hedonism and narcissism?  Heck, everyone has always done that. 

So whatever the issue, the Left can always rest on 'everyone has always done that.'  In this case, it takes attention away from the clear hustle that was Hollywood's righteous indignation about such things as women's rights.  Most thinking people should have recognized the glaring inconsistencies, but that didn't keep the Entertainment Industry from putting on a good show. It knew of this culture of sex crimes, all while getting up on stage and pointing its finger at your average American trying to get by, and saying how low they were, while Hollywood was the divinely appointed messenger of the good news.

No, Weinstein is about Hollywood's Elmer Gantry level shystering.  We're not talking about an industry that tried hard to live up to its standards but failed.  We're talking about one that flagrantly ignored, violated, or dismissed the same standards it used when convenient to beat down others, or advance political or ideological agendas.  It's not about all men being rapist thugs, or Donald Trump, or White Conservative Christians.  It's about Tinseltown.  Anything else is just deflection.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A society that loves vulgarity should expect vulgar behavior

Leah Lebresco Sargeant is on a roll.  Here she points out the bleeding obvious.  A nation that has celebrated blasphemy and vulgarity and disrespect shouldn't act stunned when people act in blasphemous and vulgar and disrespectful ways.  Duh.

This is so obvious that we shouldn't have to be told.  But unfortunately I fear too many of us love every minute of it.  I know giving up on a society of T&A, and endless locker room rants, and doing our best George Carlin while we're at the parish getting ready for the Lenin fish fries might not be as much fun.  But perhaps we owe it to our young ones to set an example that is little higher than Spicoli or Blutarsky.

Good to hear

Apparently over 1000 ISIS fighters surrendered.  No mention of Trump or the Unite States, so it can't have had anything to do with us or the president's strategy.

But whatever dumb, blind luck has turned things around, I'm thankful. Only a couple years ago, ISIS was running amok.  Almost every week seemed to bring some gruesome, hideous torture or death of endless innocents.  As soon as a defeat appeared imminent, ISIS would pop up somewhere nearby, only to destroy and obliterate entire regions.  Meanwhile its clarion call to all who would join the fight was heard, and from individual killings to mass attacks, hundred were dying around the world every year at their soldiers' hands.

And suddenly, it all appears to be crumbling. This time, there are no corresponding reports of ISIS making headway anywhere else.  Entire areas appear to be falling to allied forces.  Defeat has certainly become more common, and ISIS's attempts to claim the Las Vegas shooting, even though it had nothing to do with it, suggests desperation on their part.

Now, 1000 ISIS fighters, men who had pledged eternal loyalty to the cause or die trying, have surrendered.  What's more than that, they seem to have done so because it is clear the cause is lost.  That is good news.  I'm sure that attacks will continue.  It's not easy to eradicate something like this, and violence will unfortunately trickle along.  But hopefully it will be nothing like it was.

Again, whatever has made the difference I don't know.  But I'm glad it's happened, and thankful to whoever or whatever brought it about.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Decline and Fall of West Point

Donald McClarey has the bad news here.  The Left is like a plague of locusts.  It destroys everything it infests.  That's its purpose.  Think on the Communist revolutions of the 20th century.  Not one wasn't met with slaughter, destruction and the complete eradication of the society or culture they seized.

Compare that to the Founding Fathers.  Our Revolution broke from England and rejected a monarchical form of government.  Beyond that, however, look at how much of English law, custom, tradition and values our country kept.  They rejected what they believed din't work, and kept what did.

Communism, on the other hand, destroyed everything in its path.  And it brutally enforced its desire to destroy the culture.  In other places, where more moderate forms of progressive ideals have taken shape?  It's more of a slow suicide than anything else.  Consider modern Europe as an example.

In America, the Left wants to destroy.  It wants to destroy the Judeo-Christian values upon which our nation was founded.  But it wants to destroy the nation out of which it emerged just the same.  That is the value in racism.  A legitimate failing and sin in our past, it is used to bludgeon anything and everything and everyone ever associated with our nation or its past.  And it is done so in order to burn the entire American and Western tradition to the ground and build it in yet another Leftist, Bolshevik inspired and Marxist driven dreamland.

So it should come as no surprise that West Point, like any number of institutions that have been infiltrated by this ideology, should begin to crumble into dust.  No rules, but that you hate America; no values, but that you reject a Judeo-Christian world view; no standards, but that you receive the promise of narcissism and hedonism, and let the nation and its pillars burn.  What did we expect?

A long time ago

In a bookstore far, far away?  A restaurant perhaps?   Posted on Mark Hamill's FB page.

Note how small and informal it looks
I explain to my boys that Star Wars was a phenomenon largely by word of mouth. The old 'make most of your money in the first three weeks' approach to a blockbuster hadn't happened yet.

In fact, much of the country hadn't heard about Star Wars by this point.  It just picked up speed.  Truth be told, I remember hearing more about Jaws before it was released than Star Wars.  I only knew about Star Wars because my best friend's godfather worked in Hollywood and had given him the heads up.  He even had a couple posters on his bedroom closet door.

Unlike most movies, real 'Star Wars mania' didn't hit until well toward the end of 1977, and extended all the way through '78.  It was still quite the fad by the time The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980.

But in June of 1977, count me as one of the millions who hadn't seen the movie yet.  I had heard about it from my friend, but only went to see it because a fellow who knew my parents recommended it to them.  He said, "If he likes Star Trek, he'll really like a new movie coming out called Star Wars."  So my Mom took me to see it at the old Mansfield mall theaters later that summer, even though I really didn't like Star Trek.  I even got a full color Star Wars fan book.  I wish I still had that.  Would probably be worth a pretty penny.

Death Penalty arguments fact check

Mark Shea begins his call to end the Death Penalty with the usual manner: suggesting those who disagree are conservatives who yearn with unbridled lust for the increase in human slaughter.  Mark feels no compunction about judging those who disagree with him, as I found out when he informed me I only want to increase human slaughter.  FWIW, I really don't ask when I get to kill, nor do I wish to increase human slaughter.  For the record.

Anyway, Mark appeals to the Catechism for explaining the call to end the Death Penalty:
And by no small coincidence, that is what the Catechism (2267) says too: 
Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”
Problem is, this line:
Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime
Which we can then follow with this headline:
2 North Carolina Prison Workers Killed in Fiery Escape Attempt
That does not seem like the State has effectively prevented crime.

The fact that the Catechism under Pope John Paul II was published near the zenith of crime in America, but the low ebb of crime in Europe, suggested that it was far too reliant on a regional, and temporary, social development.  And not only that, but it ignored the part of the development (the State's ability to prevent crime while crime was exploding across the United States), that seemed to contradict the very statement.

Of course my problem isn't with Pope Francis saying we should put the kibosh on the Death Penalty.  My problem is this idea that the Church only taught that because, unlike us today, it was just all legalism and obsessed with power.  You know, not awesome like we are.  That smacks far more of modern progressivism than anything linked to a historic understanding of the Church and the development of doctrine.  In fact, it sounds awfully Protestant, if you get down to brass tacks, and I don't mean that as an insult.

So to clarify, most who are troubled by the Church's move to change its teaching likely do not want to slaughter  babies, throw grannies off of cliffs, or toss banana peels in front of nursing homes.  Most seem to be troubled by the fact that, in the end, the Church is changing because of external pressures from decidedly non-Christian perspectives, rather than expanding on, and developing, the doctrine within the context of its own Faith tradition.

As a final note, Mark's reader Thomas Tucker gets it.  If somehow this is just a development of doctrine, that happens.  But if Pope Francis is saying what he appears to be saying, that the Death Penalty was always wrong, then he is changing Church teaching.  And what is more, he's saying the Church was always wrong - at least until now.  And that is more than problematic.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Not that I'm a Paraskevidekatriaphobe

But when you wake up on Friday 13th in October, after the two weeks that we have had, and see this:

You have a little shiver go down your spine.

Don't worry, be joyful

To life!

This has been one tough year.  Sickness, at one point my Mom came close to dying (being resuscitated by my boys and then taken to the ER).  We've been hit with one financial expenditure after another.  In just the last week, over 2,000.00 in sudden expenses have come our way.  For us, it might as well have been 2 million in sudden expenses.

That comes from having cars more than a decade old that are held together with Duck Tape, a family of seven, and a house that was never well built in the first place getting older by the day.  All while helping our oldest navigate jobs and college, get through home school, and the usual tricks and traps that life can throw at you.

Yet through it all, sometimes it's nice to lean on that old notion that were are to be joyful, not happy.  That line: "God would have us to be joyful, even when our hearts lie panting on the floor."   There is something to that.  For joy, not necessarily happiness, is what we are called to embrace.

Happiness comes and goes.   Things are going well in life?  I'm happy.  Ohio State has finally convinced me it can win the big games?  I'm happy.  Bad things happen to people I don't like?  Yes, secretly I can be happy.

But joy is another thing.  It comes from God, not things.  Since its source is God, it puts things into a different perspective.  Broke poor?  Joyful, but not happy.  Teams are losing, things are going crazy in the country?  Joyful, not necessarily happy.   Bad things happen to those I don't like?  Joyful, not happy.  See how that works?

Joy is what we strive for, not happiness, which can be fleeting.  So as we wind up another skin of our teeth year, it's nice to hear an upbeat reminder that it's joy we seek, because therein lies the key to true happiness.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. 1 Peter 1:8

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dear President Trump


Just no.

Is the media a joke?  Sure.  Is it propaganda and agenda driven?  Sure. Is it about ratings, money and advancing the cause?  Yep.  Does it ignore Himalayan piles of stories in order to focus on a single molehill that is better for the narrative?  Sure.  When it makes mistakes, are those mistakes almost always inexplicably to the betterment of the narratives in question?  Duh.  In short, is it just Pravda for the respective party, ideology or agenda?  It most certainly is.

But it's free to be so.  By now, almost anything thinking person should know this.  And we should know that it applies to FOX and other conservative outlets every bit as much as it does the MSM.  Is FOX more comprehensive right now than, say, MSNBC and CNN?  Yeah.  But that doesn't mean it's any more unbiased.  So should it lose it's license as well?

Sorry, but absolutely wrong on this one.  The MSM is mostly half truths, denied truths, covered up truths, false stories, biased reporting and general propaganda.  But it has the right to be those things and, as long as it is not controlled by the government, we have a right to listen and read or ignore.  Don't mess with those rights.

Those who come after you might have a different set of opinnons about who and what should remain free to broadcast.  Just as those who cheered Obama's pen and phone governing are finding out now, paybacks can be hell.

More celebrations of Christopher Columbus

I don't know if it has anything to do with Trump, but I've seen much more push-back this year against the anti-Christian/anti-American eradication of the West's heritage and historical figures.  There seemed less desire on the part of the Left to expand the eradication of Columbus, or promote the mythical fairy tale 'Indigenous People's Day.'  At least on an official level.

Likewise, I've seen more articles looking at Columbus fairly.  In secular sources, it was either ignored or mentioned briefly.  In Catholic circles, the more progressive outlets were silent, allowing for those who would not so easily burn the first 2000 years of Christian cultural and ecclesiastical history to the ground to have a say.

Here is a fine article that goes through some of the reasons why Columbus day is a day that should be celebrated. Those Native Americans who exploit the Great White Guilt to hoist a fantasy version of their own heritage on the country should read this.  It might help.

The Boy Scouts continue to embarrass

I've always sympathized with the Boy Scouts.  For years, they were one of the main targets of the Left.  Full broadsides, boycotts, pulling sponsorship, public denouncements, all aimed at attacking them and beating them into submission to liberal dogma.

Initially it all hinged on the hammer of the Left: gay rights.  But now it's just a free fall.  So the latest is that the Scouts are now going to allow girls.  Exactly why if they remain the Boy Scouts is beyond me.  In an age where there are no longer boys or girls I can sort of understand.  After all, why have scouts named after a term that no longer has meaning?

Of course I wonder if the Girl Scouts will repay in kind.  The Girl Scouts have long been about fashioning their girls in the image of the modern liberal pro-choice feminist. 

Then again, for the few years our second oldest was in the Scouts, I already noticed a certain 'who are we to judge or proclaim absolutes where morality or God is concerned.'  We weren't exactly bothered by leaving.

So there you go.  The Left is a jealous god.  It will tolerate no dissent.  And once resistance gives in, the complete collapse of standards and principles can be expected.

Is Pope Francis the Catholic the Church has been waiting for?

That seems to be the gist of what he is saying.  I know, it can be those rascally translators.  But assuming it's not a conspiracy of bad linguistics, there is this little bit from a piece about the Death Penalty:
“Let us take responsibility for the past, and let us recognize that these means were dictated by a more legalistic mentality than Christian,” [Pope Francis] said.
See that?  A lot of Catholics are appealing to the Church's track record regarding slavery, or the abuse or sins of the past to explain this away.  Catholics did wrong, the Church wasn't clear enough, Christians sin, so we're here to apologize.

Here's the thing.  It's one thing to apologize for the sins of the past.  It's one thing to apologize for what Catholics did.  But it's another thing to apologize for what the Church officially taught.  And it's yet another thing to suggest that for the first 2000 years, things were pretty bad, but thank goodness we're here to set them right.  That statement about the Church's teaching, that back then it was just too legalistic, too concerned for maintaining power, but now we're more Christian, is troubling at best.  Especially since many of the notions feeding into this new notion of dignity sound much more external than the result of some internal revelation brought about by careful studying of the ancient Faith.

I understand that this is a rather ugly way to spin the Pope's words.  But it's also a common modern, progressive view, this idea that we are the generation God has been planning on.  Hence the ease with which we condemn to complete judgement, not those sitting next to us or down the street, but those who came before.  It's like saying God finally got it right by creating us.  We're not looking farther because we stand on the shoulders of giants. We are the giants, looking back with unbelievable contempt on all those dwarfs who came before.

I have no problem with arguments against the Death Penalty.  I've always felt Christians of good will could agree to disagree on that issue, and both sides brought fair points to the table.  Likewise, I understood that there wasn't really a compromise with this one.  If you think the Death Penalty should be banned or allowed, there is no real middle ground.

But the arguments used by the Church, from the Catechism's strange declaration of the State's infallible ability to protect people without Capital punishment, to this, where we find out that the Church was a legalistic mess, but it's much better now, just suggest something is amiss.  Not to mention that if we're changing one teaching based on that idea of how wrong the Church was, it stands to reason we can change other teachings based on the same logic.