Saturday, July 20, 2019

The big news today

In our house is that we have a birthday boy who has turned ten!  Likewise, for the first time in 24 years, we don't have a child whose age is in the single digits.  More on that later once festivities have passed.

The rest of the non-Bolshevik Americans, however, are celebrating that other great achievement on this day fifty years ago, and that's the Apollo 11 moon landings.  Donald McClarey, as can be expected, has some great posts around this, including this one on the event itself

I won't pollute the day with the Bolsheviks who have tried to downplay and dismiss this great achievement that should unite us.  Instead, we try with hope to bring Americans back from the brink, see the charlatans and frauds for what they are, and remember a time when America literally reached for the stars as one. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

God talk around the Apollo landings

As a matter of fact, no, I hadn't heard of this.  Ever.  It has never been played in any history lesson or news cast that I've seen.  It has never been mentioned.  In fact, so new is this, I'm prepared to think it's a hoax.

Except I realize that even if America on the street level held to a form of Christian religion by the time of the moon landings, most of our elite society had long abandoned the Faith.  Knowing also that media bias and educational indoctrination is not something that just happened following the debut of Game of Thrones, I'm inclined to believe the inconvenient part of hyped up stories might have found their way onto the cutting room floor - over and over and over again.

Nonetheless, assuming it isn't a vast Christian right wing conspiracy to make this up, it's interesting that even as late as 1969, God and religious faith still played a prominent part in our cultural soup, even in the hallowed halls of NASA.  It's also sad to see how quickly it has been utterly jettisoned and sent to the closet and the catacombs.
But then, how many years ago would we have scoffed at the idea of people going to jail for opposing gay marriage, or being condemned because of scribbling in a high school yearbook, or being called racist merely because of their skin color, or being told their Christian faith should preclude them from public office?  Beware of fast societal changes.  They seldom turn out well.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

When my thoughts turn to autumn

Photo: Craig Robison/Can Geo Photo Club
I'll admit I'm the type who often anticipates things for months to come.  I think it's from my youth.  For reasons I'll never know, when I was in sixth grade, my parents moved to a house that was a thousand miles from nowhere.  They had moved every couple years for no reason since I was born.  I suppose Dad just got restless and kept wanting that dream house.  But this time they settled in and would remain there until well into my college years.

Two things hit at that time.  First, my Dad concluded that going into middle school, it was time for me to pack up my toys.  I was becoming a man, and didn't need to be playing around like a kid.  That next Christmas he bought me a shotgun and had me get my hunting license. Ironically it was something I seemed naturally good at, despite the fact that I never really warmed up to shooting animals.

The other development came as a result of the house's location.  Just as I was being told to pack up my toys, I couldn't help notice there was nothing around me.  No kids.  There was a large factory and some machine shops, a gas station, and a couple houses lived in by older couples with grown kids.  But there were no kids anywhere nearby.  Since it was on a highway, there was no safe way to ride a bicycle.  So I was pretty much landlocked.

Several things came out of that time.  First, I learned to like the music my Dad listened to, which included jazz, big band era, classical and Frank Sinatra.  Second, I learned to love reading.  One of the owners of the house we bought had been a teacher.  She left her piano, and her book collection.  She had a wide variety, and I always wondered what grade(s) she taught.  From a collection of early release Peanuts (Charlie Brown) books and adolescent material, to high brow philosophy, history, biography and literature, I could have spent the next twenty years doing nothing but read and I doubt I would have gotten through everything. It formed the groundwork for my library today.

The house my Dad built - almost 50 years later
There was something else that happened then as well.  Beyond teaching myself the piano, being exposed to Stevenson, Tennyson, Dostoevsky and Charles Schultz, and appreciating Glenn Miller, Satchmo, Mozart and ol'Blue Eyes, I also developed a strange sense of nostalgia, despite only being in middle school.  I already had it to a degree, because when I was five we moved from the only house I could remember at that time.  It was one out in the country that my Dad had more or less built up from scratch.  When we moved, it had quite an impact, since we were in a new place, a neighborhood filled with kids whose reputation as troublemakers was known for blocks in every direction, and all I had come to know was gone.

But this time, it was the practical sense of being removed from kids I had made friends with and was getting to be close to.  The fun we had, the different things we did at different times of the year:  Going to the recreation park in summer for baseball, or playing football in open lots during the fall, or building snow forts in the winter (it was the blizzards of 77 and 78 after all), were things that were now long gone.  I became involved in school activities just to have kids to hang around.  But during the breaks - especially summer - I had little to do.  Friends would be dropped off of course, as I would be as well.  But that only happened once in a while.  Most of the time I was on my own.

So I began looking back somewhat nostalgically, as well as looking forward, especially in the summer, toward the next school year.  With that school year came autumn, and fall festivities and football and band and bonfires, then Thanksgiving and family get-togethers and friends visiting, and the Christmas season with all its splendor.  By the passing of July 4th, my mind began going there since, on the whole, it had little else to do.

I think I brought that with me over the years. Oddly enough, the older I get, the less nostalgic I am.  I still think about olden days, but usually when engaged in a pleasant conversation with family or friends. I  don't dwell.  Instead, I look forward.  I think it has something to do with having kids, seeing them grow, cherishing the times you have and looking forward to what they will become.  I don't know.

I just know that, as we wrapped up our annual Independence Day festivities this year, setting aside the clear schism within our nation and those who would minimized the blessings of our country, I can't help but feel the first twangs of pining for the change in seasons, cider, the crisp cool days, the foliage, the harvests and all that remind me of the times when I knew my purgatory was about to end, and I'd be back with friends and classmates on a regular basis.  Only this time, it's my sons and family with whom I look forward to making the memories.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

David Frume does Trump's 4th of July Speech

So I've seen this making the rounds.  Frum is, of course, what's known as a Never Trumper.  That is largely those Republicans, conservatives, or others who are not to the left or Democrats who nonetheless fully oppose Donald Trump.

It's possible that more than Democrats, Never Trumpers invest almost everything they have in criticizing and attacking Trump no matter what.  Some have become more or less liberal Democrats, leading you to think that's where they wanted to go all along, and Trump is merely their excuse.  John Kasich, for example, was swinging to the left long before Trump jumped into the 2016 campaign.

Frum is in that group who isn't a Democrat yet, but finds nothing good in Trump.  It's been said that if Trump cured cancer, Never Trumpers would complain he's threatened the job prospects of cancer researchers. 

Nonetheless, I didn't watch or read the speech, and Frum did.  So I wonder if it's a fair take.  That it would be a disjointed speech, or not particularly well written, I can believe.  Trump does not give great speech.  Neither did GW Bush.  For that matter, neither did Obama.  In fact, Obama was far worse at extemporaneous speech than either Bush or Trump.  His endless 'ums' and 'uhs' (which his supporters insisted was the result of his superior intellect being slowed down by an obligation to consider the weak minded masses), was grating to the point of distraction.  Obama also became dull and dour by the end.  It's one of the 'Emperor's New Clothes' moments that everyone praised Obama as the Great Orator no matter how bad he was.  Compared to Bush?  Trump?   Yeah he was better.  But only by comparing him to the worst, not the best.

Still, the content of his Trump's speech as some Napoleon as Hitler imperialist conqueror is something I wonder about.  Is that a fair critique?  Was it too much power not enough virtue?  I can see that as a possibility in just the snippets I did read. Or is it fair to say it balances the Lefts 'America as Nazi genocidal racist nation of evil and failure and ineptness'?  Is it fair to consider apart from eight years of Obama's 'no matter how bad the world is, America is always as bad if not worse'?  For that matter, Clinton also peddled that notion.  On a Christian level, Pope Francis seems content to assure the word that we have seen evil, and it's usually in the pews of Christian churches - especially in the Western democracies.

So just curious.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

What is wrong with Mitch McConnell's Statement?

So there's this uproar about Mitch McConnell.  Senator Cory Booker has jumped in on it, saying something to the effect of 'that's horrible!' without any real details that I've found. 

Apparently Senator McConnell, who is about as interesting as dry air, pointed out that it's a special form of blood guilt to suggest that white people today owe anything to do with slavery just because they are white.  He even seems to suggest that paying ages old reparations based on sins long ago committed isn't right either.

He then went on to point out that both he and former president Barrack Obama are descended from slave owners.  The last part being based on a report that found slave owners in the ancestry of then President Obama. 

From there, all hell has broken loose, but I don't know why.  It's just reports of outrage, but no clear details about why he is wrong.  If the story about Obama's ancestors is false, then that needs pointed out.  If he isn't descended from slave owners, then McConnell would need to retract his initial statement.  But nobody is saying it is wrong. 

They're just outraged.  Why?   Are they saying slavery is no big deal if you have certain skin colors?  Are they saying only some skin colors are guilty for all sins by others of those skin colors, while others are not?  Do they say Obama is guilty in the same way as whites, and nobody ever denied it, so McConnell is merely making a big issue out of nothing?  What are they saying?  Every story I've seen so far just says everyone is outraged, and quotes people who are upset.  Absolutely nothing about why they are upset. 

So if I could be educated about this, I would appreciate it.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

If you remember that the Left is now the enemy America

It's all ... part of the plan. 
All of this makes more sense.  The Left has been able to dispense with old Christian notions of humility, reconciliation and forgiveness along with all those pesky sexual norms.  The goal, of course, is a Marxist based Bolshevik revolution that will establish a psuedo-Communist police state, with a touch of Nazi-styled elimination of unwanted humans.  And how is the Left getting a nation founded on such lofty ideals as equality, life and liberty to abandon all three?

It's doing this by a brilliant sleight of hand where it delivers a nation of law and standards based on socially constructed demographic identities, in the name of diversity.  There is a pyramid of demographic groups being built, and you don't want to be anywhere but the top.  Exactly who will be at the top remains to be seen - which is what keeps us off balance.  Right now those identifying as transgender/LGBTQ are certainly close, since it's the LGBTQ movement that has effectively gotten Americans to reconsider such notions as freedom of speech, thought or religious liberty.

It's like that scene in The Dark Knight.  A rather chilling scene if you think about it.  The Joker has dispensed with one of the crime bosses who was most antagonistic to the Joker's designs.  While the crime boss is being 'dealt with', his body guards are held at gunpoint by the Joker's own thugs.    After killing the boss, the Joker then grabs a cue stick and tells the body guards that he is offering tryouts for an opening in his organization.  There is, however, only one opening, and there are three bodyguards.  At that point, the Joker snaps the cue stick in two, looks at it a minute, and then throws one of the roughly broken pieces in front of the body guards.  He walks away, and coldly says to make it fast.

It's rather cruel if you think on it.  These bodyguards who, only moments before, were relishing in their positions, living among luxury, yucking it up with each other and their boss, must now fight to grab the broken cue stick and use it to kill their former friends and colleagues in order to stay alive.

Well kids, that's what the Left is essentially doing to Americans.  That's what totalitarian regimes often do, they just usually have to wait to get complete control to make it work.  It's not done for the cowards, the Quislings, the 'New Prolife Christians' willing to look away from the screams of a million slaughtered innocents because the Left says so.  It's for those who do feel something is amiss, and might actually do something about it if pushed too far.

In our case, the Left has made it clear it wants a McCarthy-like Orwellian state that rolls out new 'truths' on a daily basis, demands instant fealty to these malleable standards, and reserves the right to retroactively punish anyone who listened to the Left's truths of yesterday.  In addition, with the full blessings of our press, educators and cultural elites, it reserves the right to use any means necessary to eradicate opposition: Digging into our pasts, finding old letters, emails, yearbooks, conversations or pictures with which to ruin us.  If you fail to conform, you might be banned from the marketplace, or fined, fired, or physically assaulted.  Someday it may even be jail, you just never know.

But the biggie is that, in addition to this, we're finding out that how we are treated may well depend on what demographic group we're in.  Can you say this or that word? Depends.  Does it depend on a common standard applied to all Americans?  No. It depends on what your demographic identity is.  Should you be believed, or should we accept your accusations at face value?  Again, it doesn't depend on a universal standard, or even evidence, but on what demographic you belong to.  Can we assume guilt, or assume the worst of your ulterior motives without evidence?  Why, that also depends on what demographic group you're part of and where you are on this ever shirting pyramid.  'All _______ are obliviously __________' has become the officially sanctioned mantra of the Left.

That's how the Left is getting a nation founded on the goal of freedom, equality and establishing a more perfect union to throw them all away.  By dispensing with the Christian roots of our culture, it is free to foster arrogance and narcissism, resentment and vindictiveness, inquisitor like judgmentalism and hatred of those who fail to affirm the rightful place that our demographic identity has assured us.  No need to even feign mercy or letting bygones be bygones.  Forgiveness if for the weak, and the non-leftist.

Beyond this, your place might shift on any given day.  A woman accusing a man can be believed by virtue of her gender, unless her protests run afoul of transgender sensitivities.  Or a black man can be assumed to be honest as the day is long when accusing a white man of racism, until accused by a woman.  Then see gender trumping gender above.  Or maybe tomorrow it's different.  Who knows?  With the Left, it's here today, gone later today where principles and morals are concerned.

The end goal is to take over the country and eliminate its morals, its freedoms, its possibilities by keeping everyone off balance.  So far, it's done a bang-up job.  Already minorities have been told to resent and hate, and young people have learned that our nation is among the most evil of in history, and it's foundations must be eliminated.

Just in case anyone wonders if this is the prudent way, however, or feels inclined to object, that ever shifting demographic pyramid keeps us guessing.  As fewer and fewer of us have access to that coveted cue stick, you can bet more and more will just turn a blind eye, or even support whatever forces can assure us that, in the end, we're the last ones holding that stick at the top of the pyramid.  No matter what the cost.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Trump said airports!

There are two ways to approach this.  One way is as Americans would, laughing at the obvious flub, and smiling, knowing that Trump fully realizes there were no airports in the 1700s. 

Then there are partisan hacks (who apparently have never made a mistake).  The same thing happened with Dan Quayle's great Potato Misspelling Disaster back when I was in college.  I remember it well, because even though it was before cable news and the Internet, the press/entertainment industry kept pounding and pounding and pounding Quayle over it.  My roommates and I - non-religious, Democrat and liberal all - finally said enough.  The guy goofed, big deal.  We don't need to call the United Nations because of it.

Contrast that with how the press covered Biden, who only now, as the press considered going full blown socialist/Marxist in a candidate, has ceased leaving him alone, despite years of having a shoe dangling out of his mouth as if it was grafted there.

Of course to circle the tribal wagons, the really lame partisans will suggest that pointing out Obama's 57 states is some sort of 'oh yeah!' trick.  Fact is, I hardly ever hear anyone bring that up, unless it's to counter something like this that tries to suggest Trump is a moron and idiot and dolt and stupid because he - made a mistake!  It points out Obama and others make mistakes, too, and we don't call them morons.

As one who used to speak publicly for a living, I can tell you that you eventually make a gaffe.  It happens.  Sometimes you have to back and correct yourself, sometimes you do try to explain what happened, sometimes you just smile and move on.  But if a person tried to suggest the mistake proves something about your person - which they almost never did, being sane people - you obviously would try to set the record straight.

On our Independence Day celebration I wondered how much longer will America be free

I wondered, as I looked in vain to find media reports condemning the Antifa assault on a conservative journalist.   So far, the press has done everything from ignore Antifa to endorse it.  And right now, it seems to be taking it's famous 'let's not judge, let's just report' approach to things when the news doesn't aid the Left's agenda, such as a left wing group resorting to physical violence against non-leftists.

But the bigger question is, how long oh Lord?  How much longer will this capstone of the 2500 year march toward concepts like equality, freedom and democracy last?  Clearly the Left has every intention of tearing it down.  It hates Christianity and the gospel of Christ; it hates America and its heritage; it is making it clear that Stalin, McCarthy, and Orwell are the architects of the type of society it craves; it is fully endorsing hatred and condemnation of people based on skin color and ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation and religious doctrine; and it's doing so to broaden the state sponsored elimination of unwanted human beings on genocidal levels in the promise of drugs and debauchery even as people continue to die by the hundreds of thousands from our sex and drugs obsessed era.  In addition, it's making it clear that it will destroy, or advocate the destruction of, anyone who stands in the way of the designs of this rising leftist state and progressive religious revolution.

It's already teetering on too late, as increasingly those who try to resist end up like this journalist, or an employee terminated, or a public figure doxxed (new word I learned - it means digging into someone's past all the way to their childhood to find something to destroy them with, ala McCarthyism and the Red Scare).  Apparently this is all the rage, and is fully endorsed by the same institutions that once condemned the same approach all those years ago.

What it will be like in another half dozen years remains to be seen, but it likely won't be good.  Much of this has occurred in just the last decade or so.  The last half dozen years have seen an almost 180 turn by so much of our nation willing to let America and the Christian West, if not the historical Christian Faith in general, die.

Can it be stopped?  Should it be stopped?  Has God taken His hand off of this ages old march toward where we were because we've been bad stewards of the freedoms and bountiful blessings we received?  I don't know. I just know it is foolish to think this won't go down bad when it does go down.  To think it's no big deal is to forget that in 1933, most Germans probably thought the latest chancellor election was no big deal; or those in Russia or Ukraine imagined that all the unrest in Red Square was no big deal.  The problem with history is that you have to wait for it to happen to study it.  And then, of course, it's too late.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Why we celebrate Independence Day

Donald McClarey has it in a nutshell.  There is much to mourn and lament in our nation today, and many who would profess Christ are selling their birthrights for a bowl of stew, whether for expediency's sake or cowardliness, I don't know. 

But today is a day when we remember the hope and optimism and joy that came with a new human experiment; the best that's ever been tried in the long, sad history of human social development.  I'd like to think we're not the generation that will see it die, but we might be.  Nonetheless, education does wonders, and perhaps despite us being in the age of the information highway, people might start being educated once again.

They've always said there is more that unites us than divides us.  I fear that is no longer true.  Nonetheless, there is always hope.  Not that the United States is the Kingdom of God, but neither is the planet.  If we can care about global warming, we can care about the best shot humanity has ever had at making a nation come anywhere close to what might be best for as many souls as possible.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Nike to the American consumer

Screw you and screw your American flag.  Mr. Kaepernick says so, and that's the law.   Corporate America, becoming as bad as Communism in three, two... .

A word about Patheos

Those who endure the slings and arrows of following my ramblings will remember that I was at the website Patheos for about a year.  It was - an experience.  It mostly consisted of those to the Left descending on a non-leftist thinker with scorn and ridicule, some trolling, and a few wanting mature discourse and debate.   I'll admit I dropped the ball in not regulating the comments better, something not a few pointed out during my time there, and it ended up costing me readers.  Strangely enough, people got tired of seeing the same old trolls chewing up the comments section, and I suppose that was one of the goals of the trolls in question.

Nonetheless, on the topic of readers, I want to correct something.  I just saw another Catholic who blogs on Patheos mock the idea that they're making any money by doing so.  I've seen that a hundred times from different individuals on Patheos if I've seen it once.  It's an often repeated claim, that it's stupid to think they're in it for the money.

This is true, to a point.  Yes, you get paid on Patheos based on how many hits each post receives.  Likewise, Patheos benefits by how many hits all of its contributors receive.  My guess is that's why I was allowed to blog there, since they figured someone who wasn't a progressive conformist might generate quite a reaction.  And I did.  Even though much of it was trolling, it wasn't anything for my throw away posts to generate dozens of comments, not to mention the endless visits to each that came from such attention.  Sometimes the comments soared into the hundreds. 

Whether trolls or not, it was the goal to get more visits to the page nonetheless.  While the main contributors could have made a pretty penny if they had visitors and readers by the millions, most were nowhere close to getting that much money.  The money I got would have brought me an extra order of nuggets with that happy meal.  Once a month.

So those contributors - Catholics included - who mock the idea that they're in the money are right then?  Well, not so much.  You see, the main reason to be on Patheos isn't the money, it's the exposure.  And there are some there who are nowhere near the biggest contributors who, nonetheless, have expanded their horizons and aided their own vocations and careers by being on Patheos.  The main way to do that, of course, is generating viewership on your blog. You do that by getting people to read your posts.

I just wanted to throw that out there.  I've seen it posted so many times, those mocking the idea that Patheos gets you anything.  True, it might not give you cash, but if you play your cards right, it can get you into a position where you'll not just get greater exposure, but exposure in such a way that the cash will follow.  And the way you do that?  Getting visits to your posts.   I doubt that is a fact missed by so many who say such things.

Next time you see someone downplay making money at Patheos, remember that.  Remind them that they no doubt don't make much money on Patheos, but it's also likely that money isn't the goal in the first place. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Pop star Madonna exemplifies the modern Left

Madonna, who famously said she wouldn't expose her kids to the cultural bilge she has so conspicuously contributed to, has thrown her hat in the Gun Control ring.  The irony?  Madonna was one of the key 'sex it up kids!' icons of the MTV era, even as HIV/AIDS began raising its ugly head.  Now, decades and tens of millions dead later, she and her ilk show no sign of giving up on their libido focused art and entertainment.

I can't speak for her attitude about recreational drugs.  In 2017, over 70,000 Americans died of drugs, the vast majority being due to illegal use and manufacturing.  In addition to drugs, however, almost as many Americans die every year as a direct result of HIV/AIDS as are murdered by guns.  In fact, since AIDS inexplicably exploded on the worldwide stage in the 1970s, almost as many Americans have died of the virus than have been killed in all America's wars combined (and that's if you throw in the French and Indian War).

Truth be told, if you add up the deaths from illegal drugs and the deaths known to be uniquely attributed to AIDS each year, you're more than twice as likely to die as you are from all gun deaths combined.  If you didn't know this, it's likely because you get your information from the American press, which isn't in a hurry to point out the death toll of the Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll era.  We won't even get into the fact that the global sex industry is one of the prime contributors to our modern slave trade (euphemistically known as Human Trafficking).

But don't expect Madonna, who has made her millions telling kids to whip it out or ride it like a Harley, to focus on these things.  Like the Left in general, which dangles sex and debauchery like a carrot in order to sell a world of post-freedom tyranny, she prefers to focus her indignation on things that might stand in the way of such tyranny, rather than focus on what has laid waist to so many lives so senselessly.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Party of New Prolife Catholics held its first debate last night

New Prolife Catholic is, of course, a euphemism for 'Leftist Catholic'.  Unlike liberal Christians - in both Catholic and Protestant traditions - NPLCs tend to have a more traditional spin on the Christian Faith model itself.  There are still demons and angels and miracles and real resurrections.  The only way to properly live this out, however, is complete and utter devotion to the narratives, policies (and even bigotries and tyrannies) of the political Left.

I learned a couple things during the time I watched the debate.  First, much of the modern Left is predicated on 'as long others pay the price, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.'  Whatever proposed - free sex, socialism, globalization, government control - everything seems to depend on my willingness to let others suffer and lose their freedoms that I may have stuff.

The other thing I learned is that, in a pinch, if I'm wanting to get my name out in a room full of leftist politicians, yell 'abortion rights!'  and I'll get more cheers than an Ohio State touchdown in the Horseshoe.

And this is the party of so many leftist Catholics.  Somehow the Catholic Left has managed to turn debatable political policies into sacred dogma, while at the same time making intrinsic evils and sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance a matter of opinion over which we can respectfully agree to disagree.

In fairness, however, this echoes Pope Francis, who also seems to take an 'Eh, who am I to judge?' approach to such things as sexual debauchery in the AIDS era, heresy, and rejection of the Gospel.  But bucking economic narratives associated with Marxism?  There be the wrath of the Almighty and a yawning Hell awaiting your folly.  At least that's the impression I get.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

How MLK beat #MeToo

Easy.  The press ignored the story.  Let's face it, if someone - celebrated biographer or not - had published an article finding that Ronald Reagan, or Nixon, or Eisenhower, or Washington, or Teddy Roosevelt, or anyone may have been involved in sexual assault, you can bet your bottom dollar it would be 24/7 coverage.  Heck, it would be 25/8.  We'd see outrage, protests, calls to pull down portraits or statues, demolish Mount Rushmore, pull books, take down art, you name it.  The press would be all over it, with series, special reports, round tables, documentaries.  That would be it.

But MLK?  Aside from a smattering of stories, mostly print, and generally of the 'greedy guy gunning for money' or 'FBI were racists making it up', there was scant little mentioned, if anything at all.  This one was a rare exception.  I've seen nothing on the network news shows.  I don't know if it's been covered on cable news, but I've not heard anything.

This is not, remember, bringing up the almost universally accepted notion that MLK was doing more than just planning marches in those hotel rooms.  This revelation is from a man who wrote one of the celebrated hagiographies of MLK at a time when he was fast becoming the new Jesus for a post-Christian America.  This is a revelation from a man who lamented what he revealed, wished it wasn't true.  Nonetheless he concluded that not only was MLK quite the fraternizer, but he was also involved in what any era would have considered sexual assault, much less our modern #MeToo era.

But no biggie.  The story is more or less fading already.  The press sat on it, as it does anything deemed non-beneficial to The Narrative.  Even Fox and other outlets didn't go there much that I'm aware of.  Perhaps they were afraid that accusations of racism would have abounded.  The rest of the MSM simply swept it under the rug.

Does that hurt the cause of women?  Does it hurt women who have been legitimately assaulted?  Does it matter?  Do we care?  We should know by now that the Left doesn't seem to care about victimized minorities as much as it cares to exploit them.  If their suffering hurts the cause?  Screw'em.

As for me, the story should be discussed, but it isn't a deal breaker. I think a person is measured by the sum total of all they are, not a single issue or even a single sin deemed unforgivable by the modern State.  As a Christian, I gladly proclaim that sins are forgivable, and thus we should never elevate one or another to the 'sin that should never be forgiven'.  Whatever MLK did would need to be balanced by the sum total of all he did and all he was.

But that's not even the argument the press made (how could they, since modern Identity Politics is predicated on a growing list of unforgivable sins based on skin color, gender, and other demographic qualifiers?).  The press simply ignored, suppressed, swept under and moved on.  A reminder that we have no clue what is really going on in the world.  Madagascar could sink into the ocean, and we'd only know it if the press decided to say something.  And that means the press would only mention it if it served the purposes of the press to begin with.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Full rich weekend, Part III

So the last part of this extended weekend (it began with celebrating my son's police training/Fathers Day the weekend before, hence part II last time), involved a visit to the underrated Ohio Historical Center.  I remember going there for field trips in elementary school.  Third grade, IIRC, was my first time.  Apart from a much smaller COSI (that's Center of Science and Industry to you), and the Columbus Zoo, the pickings were pretty slim in central Ohio.  I should mention that the Columbus Zoo in those days was one step above the kind you see in mall parking lots.  That was before the wizard of zooing, Jungle Jack Hannah, began his strategy of enduring the slings and arrows of David Letterman while using his celebrity to turn the CZ into the premier research zoo in America, if not the world.

Anyway, we went to the Historical Center because it was having a special Civil War reenactment.  I've said before that, unlike most history buffs in America, my interest in history didn't come from the Blue and the Grey.  Rather it began with a keen interest in WWII and evolved from there, never quite coming around to the war between the states. My interest in recent years is due to the Left's iconoclasm and destruction of the country via first taking out the Confederacy.  I've learned that if the Left says 'it was only about X (in this case slavery)', there's a 99.99% chance that it's far more complicated than that.

So on the advice of Donald McClarey at The American Catholic, I picked up a copy of Bruce Catton's, This Hallowed Ground. It's a nice primer for the Civil War for us CW novices.    Smoothly written in a narrative manner, it helps give a launching point for learning more about this misunderstood and grossly misrepresented time in our nation's past.

We had intended to split the day between the Columbus Museum of Art (which has free admission on Sundays), but my sister needed to bring my Mom home early, and so we adjusted and decided to make a day of it at the Historical Center.  I must say, the reenactment was beyond what we expected. Not to mention that Ohio Village (a replica village representing Ohio, c. mid-1800s), was much more interesting than I remember.  In some ways, it was far superior to our last disappointing visit to Colonial Williamsburg, where reenactors stood by with cell phones discussing the latest game, tour guides arrived in jeans and sweaters, and the emphasis was ever and only on the evils of slavery and Indian persecution (prompting my second oldest to quip how they could have had time for a revolution, what with beating slaves and murdering Indians around the clock).  If some of the museum displays had a certain 'shame on you' feel, the reenactment was far more balanced.  The climax battle was one of the best I've ever seen.

Without further ado, here are some pics from that last day of fun and, if we weren't too careful, learning:

Ohio's contribution to the field of paleontology.  That skeleton has stood there since I was my youngest's age.  Here he is, looking at it as I no doubt did all those years ago. 

Here are the older three, gazing at some other Ohio wildlife.  I had no idea there are scorpions in Ohio.  It's enough we have bears and coyotes.  

For no other reason than the flags.  I am of two minds about the flags.  I get why not having them as government displays could be appropriate, but I don't see it as a Swastika banner either.  It has it's place in our nation's past, and being Christian, that past and our assessment of it should include a sense of forgiveness and reconciliation that youngsters are being taught to ignore, if not downright hate.  Something a growing number of Christian leaders seem more than happy to ignore. 

Early in the morning, they had drills and parades.  Here are the Union boys coming to formation.  We came to something like this when our oldest was only about seven.  It has grown much since then. 

Another shot of some Union troops who have come forward away from the rest.  A familiar face stands to the side, overseeing the events. 

And yes, there were Confederates.  I just turned around as they marched by, so this was a quick, if not a bit closeup, shot of their much outnumbered forces. 

Our youngest loves mazes and puzzles.  This was a 'puzzle vase' that he put together.  The pride of accomplishment. 

Another puzzle, this time being used to compare to the large map behind him.  A chance for some geography and history at the same time.  Always a good combination. 

A scale miniature of prehistoric Indians.  I'm fine with the term Indian since the term Native American has come to represent much that I oppose, not the least of which is the idea that I have no claim to the term, despite being a native to America myself (I also don't like the intellectual dishonesty behind the term as currently used).  Nonetheless, I love the culture and studying the history of those tribes who lived here long before the first Europeans arrived.  I also love these miniature displays. 

This is also a scale model, not a life sized replica.  It shows frontier living in the Ohio Valley.  Simplistic, but I'm increasingly convinced that for all industrialization has brought, we've lost much in the payoff.  I'm no romantic, and I'm happy to live on the leeward side of history where things like toilet paper are concerned, but it's almost impossible not to see that we're in danger of losing some significant aspects of being human in the process of gobbling up the latest, greatest tech product. 

My oldest contemplates artifacts from a simpler time.  Again, no romantic here, but there is something to be said about homemade and hand crafted, as opposed to going all gaga over the latest smart phone that's a whole millimeter smaller than the last version. 

Our second oldest boy, looking a bit determined.  It was he who set aside a date with his girl to be with us this weekend.  Even as they move on, they make sure to spend time with us, and in the overall scheme of things, that's not bad. 

At 1:00 PM, the battle commenced.  Here the Union right moves up toward the village.  Apart from hand-to-hand, the battle did a good job reproducing massed volleys, skirmishes, ambush and town fighting.  There was even artillery, much to the shock and horror of all the little kids who let out a collective cry at the noise. 

After the Union fell back, some Confederates moved forward, albeit cautiously, prepared to set up an ambush should the Union return - which it did. 

After recollecting themselves following the initial setback, the Union returned, chasing the South from their positions and back into the village, where they made a last stand across the village green.  The Union, FWIW, won the day. 

A casualty of war.  When he got up after it was older, my sons noted that it would be a happier world if all wars were fought this way, and those casualties could just stand up and laugh together when it was over.  But that is not the world we have. 

The rebuilt church at the end of the village.  A presentation was on tap, but we couldn't stay.  Inside, I told my wife that I confess I sometimes miss the simplicity and somberness of the old American Protestant tradition. Sometimes. 

One of the encampments.  It was quite impressive, and again kudos to the reenactors for staying in character.  Nothing left us more crestfallen at Colonial Williamsburg than the large number (though not all, in fairness) of reenactors who acted like they couldn't wait to get back to the Ipad, or just went for broke and whipped out their smartphones just because.  But then, if the emphasis is on how horrible and evil was our country, you can't expect people to care how they represent it.  

In any historical site, the craftsmen are always a draw.  The blacksmith is no different.  Unlike Williamsburg's, this fellow is part time.  Hence he doesn't have the 'blacksmith arms' we've seen before.  He did have some great cast products at some nice prices, but we just don't have anywhere to display such things. 

A final treat.  On our way back, one of the tents was selling things, from costumes and paraphernalia to books.  The woman selling the books wanted them gone, and was selling them for a song.  We had to leave to get home in time, so didn't have time to work things out beyond what we could carry.  Had I had the time, or had a wagon, I would have bought the whole collection.  These are a few we bought - and the whole haul set us back $7.00 dollars total.  Prices were 2.00 for hardbound, 1.00 for paper backs.  For 50.00, I could have had it all - five shelves worth.   

So that was that.  Two weekends woven loosely together, and much time with the boys.  Even as they live at home for cutting expenses and, to be honest, a variation on our own version of The Benedict Option (more on that later), their schedules and obligations and socializing takes them more and more away, as it should be.  

Nonetheless, they still make time for the family, and for their youngest brother.  If I had nothing else to be thankful for, I would have them and what they bring to the family.  Someday they will be on their own, and that's where the character hits the fan.  But if they continue on as they are, hopefully they'll bring such devotion to their own families and maybe, just maybe, a world around them that so desperately needs such character and grounded values. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

A full rich weekend, Part II

Here is how it works.  My Mom lives with us, and has for some time.  Over the years, her situation has deteriorated.  With moderate onset dementia, as well as health issues brought by a bad fall she had a few years back, plus a crippling issue in her side that she coincidentally developed the day she had a flu shot, means she needs watched pretty much around the clock.   She's capable, and can tend to herself, but can't be left along for any appreciable time.  Her dementia seems a bit stalled through medications, and apart from short term memory (when are we leaving again?), she knows us, the family, my sister, and whatnot.  She can tend to her own care for the most part, though we monitor her medications and such. 

All of this is to say that the situation more or less keeps us landlocked.  Unable to walk distances - and my Mom being too aware to condescend to a wheelchair - our family outings are limited unless my sister comes and takes her for a weekend or so.  This is fine, since with our oldest boys moving on in college and vocational training aiming towards law enforcement, they aren't around that much anyway. 

But when my sister can get her, my boys do their level best to set aside time - including shuffling dates with girlfriends - in order to be here and hang with the family.  Not bad.  Plus they make sure to give time on such weekends to their youngest brother, who is slowly adjusting to 'his best playmates' moving on in life.

This weekend, my sister took my mom for an extra day, giving us a little more time to plan.  Our original plan to go to southern Ohio had to be changed, due to the relentless rains that have hit Ohio since we decided to strip and stain our deck.  Nonetheless, given the improvisational nature of our plans, we ended up with some good times and good memories.

This is Father's Day dining part II.  Because of celebrating my son's first week of Police Training Boot Camp, we didn't want to pile on the special meals, we held off for me.  We ordered a Father's Day special from Donatos (the Mercedes Benz of chain pizza).  They wanted more, however, so my former chef-to-be put together one juicy, tender steak and fixins.  It was delicious. 

Homeschool never ends (see Part II), but we wrap up the regular scheduling so they have at least the feeling of 'summer break'.  Here is our youngest, symbolically letting his projects press down on him as he wraps up the 'school year' ASAP in order to get to serious summer fun.

With the oldest boys back, we dusted off this old dinosaur.  We have, if nothing else in our house, a massive basement with literally a half dozen tables for an assortment of games, hobbies and legos (that's for the young'uns).  We leave this set up for just such an emergency.  For the record, Austria just provoked Russia into another war in this, the year 1808 of the Napoleonic era. 

Many of the parks in the area have at least some flooding.  We went back to a park that opened only a few years ago.  We were among the first to find it.  It's now a park with a 'living farm from the olden days' across the road.  The last time we were there, our youngest was barely walking.  I'm not sure what he's laughing at, but it looks like the others don't either. 

The boys together again.  The beam of light was coincidence, or the Almighty approving of their time together. 

The future police officer.  We do wish he would do something else, especially in light of the Left's crusade to whip up hatred and violence against the police. But he wants to help, and this is how he's decided to do so. 

Sometimes when the world seems crazy, the best thing to do is get out in it.  A walk through the woods after the rains.  You can feel the dampness. 

Our oldest and youngest, along with my wife.

There are only two choices, and yet they look as if they are pondering at least four possible directions to travel.  That would be about right.  Our third oldest had a serious whistling fetish that quickly drew requests for silence. 

Another look at the forest path.  There are several at that park.  It's amazing how such a small area on a map can seem so vast when you're within it.  It's unlikely more than a few hundred yards from side to side, and yet if it was darker, it wouldn't be easy to navigate.  Suddenly The Blair Witch Project seems more plausible. 

That night we retired to the house, with windows open (no rain!), and played the boardgame Fief.  As 'flavor' games go, it's one of the better.  I could nitpick of course.  But with the intention of bringing in some of the crazy of  late 15th century feudal France, it does a decent job.  The jostling between being fief lords and bishops and kings and jockeying for land and wealth and power, for a rather condensed game, captures the 'feel' as well as you can at that level.  Our third oldest and oldest boys won (in an alliance).  

More to come next time with part II of our weekend adventures.  Until then.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Joe Biden finds out this is no country for old (white) men

So Biden just can't get out of the starting gate without putting his foot in his mouth.  He is not flubbing up as he always has in the past, saying stupid things and bumbling along with ignorance and foolishness close behind.  No.  He is failing to reckon with the fact that, Trump notwithstanding, America is about 30% Soviet already, and every day we're learning more and more of just what and who belongs in that vile category of the West's bourgeoisie in need of total elimination from the world.

Racism is, of course, the unforgivable sin, and the Left's favorite wedge issue to divide and conquer.  If there is a Jesus, He sure never came to forgive that sin (I'm stunned at the speed with which so many Christian leaders in America appear to accept this, if at least implicitly).  It is the all-defining sin, along with sex crimes and sex abuse.  Even the slightest molecule of it, or simply guilt by association, and you are branded irremediably deplorable, and your life in every practical sense is forfeit.

Biden, of course, doesn't get this.  He's out trying to be Mr. Nice Compromise (he was, of course, part of the Kennedy era Leftist attack dogs who led many a charge against the GOP on the grounds that the GOP and a Jim Crow world were one and the same).  He's trying to show his 'I can work with anyone' credentials to set him in contrast to Trump.

The problem?  The New Democrats American Bolsheviks have no desire to work with anyone who is guilty of their growing list of irremediable, all defining sins.  Most Democrats are falling over themselves to endorse the idea that I should pay for slavery despite having no other connection to past slave owners than my skin color (a form of blood guilt if you think of it).  Does Biden really think they want to hear he respectfully disagreed with senators who were segregationists?  To the Left, those politicians might as well have been death camp guards.  And hearing Biden's attempts at Mr. Nice Guy, he might as well have said he politely agrees to disagree over the Holocaust.

It's going to be tough for Biden, establishment liberalism's main hope against Trump.  The press isn't sure.  It's already in full campaign mode against Trump.  If we thought the media in 2016 threw away all pretense of objectivity, I have a feeling we ain't seen nothing yet.  To that end, it wants to win, and will take Biden if that's the safest route. It would be willing, however, to throw itself behind the Marxists and radicals if it thinks they can win.  Likewise, the emergent radical Left would be happy to throw Biden on the trash heap of history, wipe their hands, and say good riddance to a man who committed the worst sins of all in being white, male, Christian and unwilling to call for the eradication and marginalization of all three.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Google priorities

Much has been made over the years about Google's little doodles.  Missing D-Day anniversaries or never mentioning anything about America's history.  Christmas or Easter distilled to little Easter eggs or a small elf in the corner, if that.  Other key days of significance to the West or America downplayed in kind, or ignored altogether.

When individuals are celebrated, nine times out of ten they are someone who is not European or Anglo-American, celebrating even the most obscure accomplishments you can imagine.  Or, in this case, celebrating nothing particular at all, just celebrating because:

Wow.  I like falafel as much as the next person.  But given what Google routinely ignores or downplays, are we sure this is something that deserves preeminent focus?  Certainly on this day in history, something else was worth posting more than a celebration of falafel.

It's a reminder that Google is firmly entrenched in the modern Left.  And the modern Left is decidedly anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-West and anti-American.  To that end, those things associated with such subjects are at best diminished, at worst outright ignored.  Likewise, anything not associated with those, no matter how trivial, are open for recognition and celebration. 

Of course I could be wrong, and Google will have hot dog or hamburger doodles, next to a celebration of various Founding Fathers and Christian saints.  Given Google's track record, however, I'm not holding my breath.

It's also worth noting that this not only impacts what doodles Google feels inclined to post, but likely impacts other aspects of Google's business decision making process.  Think on that for a few. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

A happy Fathers Day present

My wife and I went to a local winery that has become a sort of hangout for us.  Friday night, we went there for an Alzheimer's fundraiser.  Since my Dad had that, and my Mom has moderate onset dementia, this is an issue we more or less support. I'll be honest, I'm not always happy with blank checks for research, since you never know how they are doing it.  But that doesn't seem to be a big thing with most religious leaders anymore, so who am I to buck the system?

In any event, the fundraiser and the fun and just hanging at a place where more are learning your name, was a worthy cause.  So we planned it ahead of time.  Our boys made sure they were all able to step in and watch our youngest and take care of my Mom.  One is taking summer classes, the other is trying to find new employment (having had to quit his restaurant job due to his food allergy, which is not related to the vaccines he got right before his allergy developed).  Our other son just finished the better part of his first week of Police boot camp (or so we call it).  Nonetheless, they blocked their Friday to be together and tend to things.

When we got home, our budding police officer went to bed, since he had early rise the next day for scenario and weapons training.  Our youngest wanted to wait until we got home before he went to bed, and it being summer, that was fine.  Our oldest reported that they made some tailgate vittles for everyone, and made sure my Mom got her fill.  They also made sure she got her medications before going to bed.

They watched Guardians of the Galaxy with the young one (not my preference for a nine year old, but I'll let it slide).  They then played a game of Monopoly.  They do have to learn the art of playing on a curve when playing with one so young.  You don't want to let them win, but you don't want to take advantage either.  You play at 'basic levels'.  But the thought was there.

Finally - and this was the big part - they let us know that they still did Bible study and prayer time before breaking up and sending our third boy off to bed.  We try to do that every night.  Often the time spirals into an hour long discussion about everything from the latest Marvel movie, to the history of slavery or politics or the historicity of Scripture or moral theology or the ethical vacuum in today's discourse.  Even when all the boys aren't there, we do it with those who are.  So it was nice to hear, on their own, they made sure Bible study and prayer were done in due course.

For Father's Day, the boys didn't try to outdo last year, since that would necessitate buying another dog.   So they settled for a cool retro-game for the PS4 (my youngest's idea), as well as some books, goodies, and an ordered copy of Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old (I'm anxious to see that).  A steak dinner is planned, but we didn't try to push that into an already event-filled weekend.  As soon as the weather breaks, my former (but still awesome) gourmet will grill me some nice medium-wells and accompanying yummies.

I've often told the boys that the test of their character will come when they are out on their own.  Any kid with brains demonstrates good character when their parents are in the room.  It's what they do when the cats are away that's the proof.  If this weekend is even a minor indicator, I'd say we at least have a little bit of room to breath easily.  My kids are far from perfect.   They're not completely out on their own yet either.  All things considered, however, and times being what they are, I'd say they're not bad at all.  And that makes for a pretty nifty Father's Day present.

Ready to hear the live music as the fundraiser begins to pack in the people

My adorable wife enjoying a drink with me after the fundraiser

The boys pick up the game the next day (our future police officer (bottom right) won)

The boys get together for our son's 'end of first week of boot camp' celebration

His choice: Cajun crawfish boil and fixens

For no other reason than I love our deck: It's our own little tree-house 

2 of the gifts the boys bought for me for Father's Day; the steak dinner is forthcoming

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Memphis mayhem and Black Lives Madness

Riots and destruction and assaults continue apace in Memphis.

Note now that we're not dealing with cases where an unarmed and non-belligerent citizen has been killed as a result of violations of police procedure.  We're dealing with cases where the ones shot have openly assaulted the police, have resisted arrest, have tried to harm the police, have even brandished weapons and attempted to attack the police.  In some cases those same individuals have committed violent crimes and assaulted innocent citizens or establishments.

Yet what happens?  If the one shot is black, no matter what the police ethnicity, mobs descend on the scene, sometimes bringing violence and destruction to police and innocent bystanders as they do so.

This is not - repeat, Not! - lawful, decent, moral, or Christian.  The idea that 'those people types are default scum, attack!' is as antithetical to anything close to the common good as I can imagine.  In fact, it's merely going back to a Jim Crow mentality, where laws and justice and fairness apply merely based on ethnic identity or some other demographic label, and seeking truth and evidence is no longer needed before executing the accused.

It's as if America is in full reverse, going backward at breakneck speed, with those pushing the peddle to the floor making sure it's new group identities that get it in the neck.  And in response, Christian leaders are at best silent, at worst complicit in another round of human tragedy in the making.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

An age of myth and legends in Catholic history

No, I'm not talking about the historicity of the Scriptures, or the miraculous witness of the Saints, or even the age of martyrs and heroes of the Faith.  I'm talking about that imaginary time when supporters of Pope Francis insist they and those with concerns about Pope Francis sat down and discussed these critiques with great love and open respect.  Truth be told, I'll be damned if I can think of when there was such a time.

Almost out of the gate, Pope Francis shocked the non-progressive Faithful and delighted liberals around the world with his ill-timed 'who am I to judge' regarding homosexuality. At a time when the sexual revolution, of which acceptance of non-heterosexuality is merely one part, has led to the deaths of more victims than those of Stalin and Hitler combined, as well as at least as many lives ruined and shattered, not to mention abortion in America alone on a genocidal scale that has terminated the population equal to some 80% of the world's countries,  there were valid reasons to criticize such a flippant response.  That would be like saying, "Oh, that.  Well, other than that I don't think German Jews in the 1940s had much to complain about!'

As soon as the first critics of his response stepped forward, however, they were blasted by supporters of the Latest Pope as homophobes and bigots, gay haters, pope haters, reactionaries and idiots.  I remember that well, because I was shocked at Pope Francis's response and stunned at his defenders' immediate attack against anyone expressing concern.  It's not gotten any better.  In fact, the more his supporters have stepped up to defend Pope Francis no matter what, the worst the rhetoric has become.  I mentioned the reaming of the once respected Taylor Marshall here.

Now, Scott Eric Alt has waded into the latest attempt to get Pope Francis to meet those with concerns halfway.  Just read it.  Nothing I could comment on would do justice to his post.  I'm not a talented enough writer to find words that can compare to the scorn and contempt he employs.

You can tell a tree by the fruit it bears, or so Jesus said (assuming we don't need to change what the Bible says He said about that, too).  If people must resort to such 'Screw you, I'll Raca and Fool the hell out of anyone who dares question the pope' as a first resort, then there's likely a problem.  Fact is, we know that Pope Francis tacks to the Left, is a child of Marxist inspired Latin American Liberation Theology, and has no problem asking who he is to judge, followed by lobbing endless judgement at others, usually 'those Catholics over there' and having values opposed to the modern Left.

I feel that has given rise to a clique made up of those who support Pope Francis, believing in their minds that they must not be 'those Catholics over there' who are the problem.  And when something challenges this, such as the idea that Pope Francis could be wrong about something*, they come out with all barrels blazing.  Or that's just a guess on my part.  Whatever the reason, it stinks, and tends to make me far more sympathetic to the critics of Pope Francis, essentially given Pope Francis's own reaction to his critics, than I might otherwise be.

*It is worth noting that some of his supporters have called him out once or twice, usually over the issue of the Abuse Scandal.  Likewise, I remember Mark Shea breaking ranks with him when Mark supported the decision of two hospitals in England letting infants die against their parents' wishes.  But on the whole, dissension is very rare, and most often attacked ruthlessly, as the link above demonstrates.