Monday, September 29, 2014

Mark Shea is not a liberal

So he points out here.  I respond thus:
Here's an observation. We go to a parish that is moderate to left as a general rule. My 16 year old made an interesting observation. There are Catholics who are liberal in the most modern sense. But after a discussion with his youth group last year, he noted that some Catholics say they're liberal, but compared to the liberal he sees in the world, he thinks they're mainly just anti-Conservative. 
I went back and found, in one month, at least 26 posts on CAEI attacking those on the Right in ways that would make MSNBC blush, taking the assumption that the radical Left's worst appraisal of conservatives and American conservatism is true. I found no more than a dozen or so on the things you're passionately against. And none taking the worst characterization of liberals or liberalism that one might hear on FOX or from talk radio. In fact, you've gone on record lamenting liberalism's embrace of things like abortion since, as you have said, liberalism has so many commendable things to offer. And you openly admire and respect some of our most visible advocates of liberalism, including advocates of some of the things you are passionately against. You have a small handful of exceptions to the rule of conservatives being what MSNBC and Huffpost say they are, but that's all. Your worst rage and rhetoric is aimed at those holding to various ideals associated with conservative viewpoints. 
So not a liberal in the modern, secular sense, though new readers could be forgiven for thinking so. Maybe not even anti-Conservative. But certainly some strange form of bleeding maize and blue while continually declaring your eternal devotion for the scarlet and grey.That is declaring yourself conservative with an overwhelming focus on the worst interpretations of those things to the right of center, with little comparable focus on those things to the left. Maybe a touch of the Nicholson? It should be noted that when something associated with the Left is hammered on CAEI, it is topic focused. That is, abortion, using gay marriage to smash liberty, things like that. The 'pelvic left' is as bad as it gets as sweeping condemnation, and usually only linked to particular issues, not echoing the worst assumptions about liberals in general. 
Oh, and it can't be because of 'readership.' One need only see the high fives and praises given by a wide range of readers for the 'conservatives are what the left say they are' posts to see the readership is nowhere near dominated by people from traditional and conservative perspectives as perhaps it once was. Just something I've noticed. Not falling into party loyalty is one thing, and not a bad one. Not doing so with an overwhelming focus on only one of the parties is another. Bound to cause some confusion.

A reader, who for defending a more conservative viewpoint was banned from CAEI quite some time ago, responds like this:

This whole post is as silly as claiming that you can't be a southerner because of [long list of catholic features] even as you speak with a southern accent, use country slang, and all while eating a plate of grits and washing it down with a glass of sweet tea. 
Signs you, Shea are a liberal: 
1) Conservative commentators on this blog get rebuked and banned more frequently and over smaller offenses than liberal commentators, the examples are pretty numerous. (this comment will probably be deleted and/or myself banned in fact)
2) You're adamant about being centrist, often using as proof that there are people more liberal. Conservatives not only openly admit that they are, but the movement as a whole has instituted a wide taxonomy for it's members. (paleo, neo, reactionary, libertarian, anarchist, many more) If you can't find the proper label to fit you on the right, well then guess what! (you're centrist -> left) Liberals are far more self-delusional about their positions on the ideological scale.
3) Your very use of "thing that used to be conservative" is in the grand liberal tradition of "only good conservative is a dead conservative". And no, that's not a threat or any statement of war, just - as Jonah Goldberg has pointed out ( - liberals love to talk about how conservatives which are dead and gone were "alright" and "good folk" even as they bashed them with as much vitriol as they do current living conservatives.
4) You accepts uncritically the liberal narratives of race (i.e. Republicans are always racist), economics (i.e. the New Deal helped end the great depression!) and parts of history.
5) You speak of "leaders and intellectuals of the right" without... well dealing with ACTUAL leaders and intellectuals of the right.
6) You simply use liberal slang and assumptions smoothly and without pause while never grasping conservative slang and assumptions, in fact you often criticize them not as an insider speaking from firsthand knowledge but as an outsider repeating what you've heard.
7) And the most obvious, as Thomas Sowell pointed out once, you argue and debate as if there are solutions to problems, not trade-offs and often the solutions are the same: government (the few times you've tried NOT having that be the solution, your idea is so silly one wishes you had just went full on leftist).
In summary, while in the great leftist land of Seattle you might practically be Ronald Reagan, in "flyover country" and the halls of actual conservatives, you're a liberal. Not too liberal, there are worst leftists out there, but you're still on the left.
I don't know.  Again, if a guy is dressed up in maize and blue, season tickets to the Big House, and cheering on the Wolverines insists he's a Buckeye at heart, I have to accept it.  The Church says I should take his statements with the best interpretation possible.  And that means accepting that, for whatever reason, Mark still sees himself as a conservative.  I don't know.  Perhaps it's because conservatism has always been a mixed bag of various people 'conserving' different things. Don't know.  Anyhoo, that's what's happening on the always conservative CAEI.

A dialogue with atheists

Is going on here, on a former post.  It's not been terrible.  But a clash of world views, as the atheist in question can't seem to get why I can't provide evidence of God that presupposes a materialistic only universe.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pray for the victim

The name Colleen Hufford should be on the lips of every person in America, as should her family.  Her horrifying death is being covered, as opposed to any one of dozens of murders, because of its obvious link to current events.  Political Correctness being what it is, the media is focusing on this and then denying any clear and obvious connection at the same time.  The man who shot and stopped the murderous and despicable villain should also be a hero.  The killer?  Forget the name.  Wipe it out of our memories.  Let the judgment of God deal with that.

But call down the prayers and mercies of God on poor Colleen Hufford, her family who will live with this the rest of their lives, the other victims, the hero, and all who are in the cross hairs of such hellish hatred.

"A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more."

Should we hate Ted Cruz?

The discussion is underway at the always conservative CAEI.  One of the increasingly quoted contributors weighs in to remind us when the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church apply, and when they don't.  This is important since this site boasts many condemnations of those who hate on terrorists and others who attack the US and Christians.  Fun stuff.  

The state of things

Yep.  This is pretty much it.  But why?  Here's my thinking. My boys are homeschooled.  We use a classical curriculum.  That is, low on textbooks, high on original sources. They don't read a compilation of Greek mythology.  They read The Iliad, The Odyssey, Oedipus, and so on.  For Roman history, they read Livy, Marcus Aurelius, and so forth.

In terms of papers and assignments, they have to do research as best they can before they consult Google.  And here's why.  Those of us old enough remember that research was part of the learning process.  You learned as you researched.  The goal was to learn about Subject X.  But as you researched, you learned a host of things, sometimes about Subject X, sometimes about subjects A,B, and C.  Part of learning was the research.

But today, with social media, blogs, Facebook and worse, Wikipedia, research is a button.  You Google, click, and have the information.  Whether it is accurate or not isn't the point.  The point is, you didn't' even have to work for it.  There it was. There was no learning in the process.  Hence it could be absolute B.S. and there's a chance you won't even notice. And there sits our position on an issue.  We won.t even discuss people who reference places like Comedy Central as their primary sources!

Watch this.  The key part isn't 'the rape of the natural world.'  The key phrase is 'it didn't require any discipline to attain it.'  Which might be why we can no longer recognize the evidence for the positions we take as the bilge it is. The doom of the Social Media generation.

Losing the war for the hearts and minds

Catholics like to fuss about the HHS mandate.  Of course at this point, I've found no evidence that the US Bishops weren't one of Obama's prime allies in his push to mandate his healthcare policy.  Yes, they cautioned not to step on their toes over issues near and dear to Catholics.  But they weren't too concerned about other parts of his policy and how it could impact Americans, or other Americans' rights for that matter.

Which isn't surprising since, apart from a few genital centered topics, the Bishops and the Democrats pretty much line up side by side in most issues.  Most Catholics are Democrat, most are moderate to liberal.  It's not shocking that the Bishops would be.  It could be argued the whole Church is going that direction.  I don't know for sure.

But I do know the Bishops had to have had their heads in the clouds when they thought they could stand behind Obama and yet somehow make sure they and their priorities would be protected.  They weren't.  And Obama unleashed a brilliant assault on those who still pine for the right to not be liberal.

Sure, it's in the courts now.  And people smarter about such things than I am say that the Church will eventually win.  That despite the fact that on the state level Church institutions have been compromising over providing such coverage for years, they will be victorious regarding the HHS mandate.  I guess there's an argument there, being on the federal level and all.

But that's not the battle.  The battle in any free society never starts at the federal level, or the presidency. It starts on the streets.  In the trenches.  In the hearts and minds of the population. You have to get people to support you there.  Then eventually, you win.

Fact is, most people are fine with the birth control coverage.  And even at the beginning a sizable portion of Americans were content with forcing religion to compromise.  That's because a growing number of Americans are accepting the Left's premise that traditional freedoms like speech and religion are not absolute anyway, but things like gender equality, sexual orientation equality, reproductive health and affordable healthcare are inalienable rights (that is, liberal values).  And when the traditional rights run afoul of the new rights, then those traditional rights just have to go.

That's the battle. That's the point.  Convince people that there is no Truth but liberalism, and eventually get to mandate the Truth accordingly.  Assuming the Bishops don't agree with that assertion, then they were played the fools.  Of course perhaps they do.  I don't know.  But if not, and if in some court case they cheer victory, I've got news for them.  They may have won a battle, but the war was lost almost before it began.

Save us from Global Warming!

So the marchers said.  And Catholics proudly joined forces, calling for an end to this imminent threat to humankind.  All of this, of course, while evidence is mounting that not only were all the doom and gloom predictions wrong, but that scientists are aware that they were wrong.

That's right.  Wrong.  Of course the predictions were wrong.  One of the predictions - if you remember - was that the Ice Caps would be melted away by - wait for it: 2013.  That's last year.  Not only are they not melted away, ice on the other side of the world could be doing the opposite.

All of this is to say that yes, climate change happens.  Always has, always will.  And I'm sure our reliance on artificially manufactured synthetics and pollutants is altogether good for us or the environment.  But like all things in our politics-as-the-new-religion age, this was seized by activists and ideologues with ulterior motives and is now a jumbled mess.  And an embarrassing one at that.

Again, I'm not saying we couldn't make changes.  I'm saying that there comes a time when the manufacturers of hysteria have to be seen as the buffoons they are.  Or at least we have to see how they see us as the buffoons we are. How many times does a person have to cry wolf before smart people say 'wait a minute'?

After all, if the whole point is that warming is going to kill us so we must end the Industrial West as we know it, actually realizing that we have yet to see the predictions come true might be the first step toward calming ourselves and demanding a more reasoned, rational discussion.

The last story about Catholics and gays, part deux

And just as I look down the list, I see this story.  A pregnant gay teacher is fired from a Catholic school.  Well duh.  First, by virtue of being openly gay.  Second, we have to assume by getting her child the old fashioned way by manufacturing it with the latest hip science. The story doesn't say, but is there any other way?  Unless they just brought in a man for the job, which cuts across another Church teaching.  And third, as the teacher herself points out because she's pregnant and not married.  Basically everything the Church teaches about sexuality thrown out the window.

Not a few paragraphs down the story.  Pope Francis is the great liberal hope.  There's much in the Catholic Apologetics sub-culture focusing on those deplorable traditionalists and their Francis hate.  And yes, some of the things said about Francis are over the line.  For that matter, some things said about people who criticize Francis are over the line, too.

But if Francis doesn't turn out to be the Great Liberal Hope, then it looks as though there will be more than just Traditionalists with egg on their faces.  In fact, it looks like a goodly amount of the planet will be mighty disappointing.  On that, I suppose, we're just going to have to wait and see.

Try working in a pro gay denomination some time

I love stories like this. You can just feel the unspoken references to Orwell, Big Brother, Fascism, and all those other tropes from the old days of liberalism, when we were promised an open society of free thought and respecting diverse opinions.

Of course this is the same culture that feels no compunction about trying to punish and ostracize anyone who fails to conform to liberal values regarding the same subject.  And it's not just the secular Left.

During our journey into the Catholic Church, I knew many ministers from more liberal denominations.  Many of their congregations declared themselves 'welcoming and affirming.'  That is, pro-gay.  Fair enough.  As crazy as those hazy days were, I actually considered some of those as possible avenues. After all, I wasn't sold on Catholicism just yet, and wanted to keep my ministry alive, and certainly had grown tired of some of the extremes of conservative evangelicalism I experienced.

But here's the thing.  By welcoming and affirming they meant pro-gay.  Just like so many euphemisms used on the Left, it didn't mean what it suggested.  They weren't welcoming and affirming at all.  And if I wasn't going to celebrate marriage equality and other euphemistic doctrines, then there was the door.

So while stories like this are meant to get people to think 'gee, that's like intolerant, isn't it?'  Just try watching the news sometime, and see the same treatment go the other way from those who want to suggest intolerance is a one way street.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

At times I'm ashamed

To visit certain blogs.  By certain I mean CAEI.  I usually stop visiting blogs that bother me that much.  I still go to CAEI for reasons I've already outlined. After several days of posting the usual screeds against conservatives, conservatism, the US government, the US, police, and most other things associated with your typical hard left blogger, the usual 'stop voting and call down a pox on both houses' post has popped up.  There will be more of course.

The reason is because the Bishops (those are the ones we are supposed to listen to) have made it clear on the subject of voting.  Be informed by the Church.  You can't vote to support intrinsic evil.  If a candidate supports intrinsic, grave evil, you shouldn't vote for him or her.  If there is no choice, and the candidates each have their own evils they support, you can take the extraordinary measure of just not voting (and that includes voting for a hopeless or pointless candidate), or vote for the one least like to do the most harm or most likely to impact the greater good.

Pretty simple stuff, huh?  But you see, that's the trick in some areas of Catholicism.  Many Catholics are content doing their best.  Living as they see in light of their faith.  Trying to make sense of things.  Sometimes the Church doesn't help in that.  As Mark himself said years ago, the Catholic Church does have an incorrigible knack for obscuring beautiful - or even useful - truths with confusing terminology.  Or sometimes what I call Catholic unspeak, the never quite getting around to saying it plain and simple.

But there are those, and many seem to dwell in the world of Catholic apologetics and the blogosphere, who aren't content with doing their best.  They seem to want to hedge their approaches by destroying any other view or interpretation.  Sometimes, as in the move to abolish the death penalty, the ball is in your court if that's what you want to see happen.  Sometimes it's a battle over the way something is interpreted.  But in cases like this, where the Church is clear about the acceptability of possible approaches, then what does that proud-to-be-obedient Catholic do who really doesn't agree with the Bishops' teaching?

Well, attack, that's what.  Declare that you have to read between the lines, or guessed what the ninth inner secret circle of what the Bishops really intend to mean actually is.  Or simply say you'll probably burn in Hell, but I'm not saying so (assuming Hell actually exists).

Nonetheless, these posts aren't bad for that.  They're bad because like drawing puss from a wound, they seem to draw out those proud individuals, many Catholic, who proclaim their contempt for America (or Murka as it's known), Democracy, Voting, or anything else that those schmucks called veterans fought and died for over the years.

I try to refrain from commenting, but when the verbal urinating on the country my kids are stuck inheriting gets too bad, and when I realize it's just this sort of asinine attitude that is actually helping us to the very direction everyone complains about, I have to say something.  So I did.  Consider it said.

BTW, kudos to TMLutas, who approaches these posts with a grace and dignity that once defined the blog, but now is a rare exception.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It is not marriage equality

Again, from the top, it's simply redefining marriage discrimination.  Assuming that it is automatically discrimination to tell human beings they can't marry who they want, then everyone is for some form of marriage discrimination, and most really aren't for real equality. Like so many things on the Left, it's dishonest and a lie and false and all those wonderful things which should warn our society like blaring whistles and bells.  But it doesn't.  So like the other utterly worthless term 'homophobe', 'equality' has been completely remade into a pointless and hollow term for an equally pointless and hollow generation.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Speaking of Ross Douthat

The man is a joy to read.  One of the most careful, thoughtful, and intelligent commentators from an authentic Catholic perspective that hasn't sold itself to the Leftist devil, or the worst elements of the secular Right.  He's not always easy, especially if you want to ignore wrong doing in favor of one side or another winning.  But he's almost always close to right.  If not spot on.  Here he gives a much better take on Ted Cruz's now infamous encounter at an ecumenical event a couple weeks ago.  Sadly, Mr. Douthat is a piccolo in a chorus of blaring trumpets.  As wisdom and rational thought often are.

The greatest threat since Arianism

Is modern secular liberalism.  It turns the biblical model of reality on its head, calls good evil and evil good, and challenges the faith at its most fundamental levels.  Ross Douthat rightly pointed out that no Western theistic religion has attempted to compromise with this and come out ahead.  That's because you can't bake kosher ham.  You just can't.  A viewpoint that assumes humans are but mere animals who invented religion as a way to cope, and who will either all go to some other dimension or rot in the ground, can't really be compromised with.  

Neither, it should be clear, can many of the assumptions that arise from this.  The main assumption is that I am pretty much a superstar of my own story, and nothing has a right to supersede that, nor do I owe anything to anyone but for my choosing.  Therefore nothing I want or want to do should be hindered by anything, since nothing is greater than me.  Or at least nothing that matters. 

Square peg. Round hole. Despite the rather dismal track record of this view - the civilization that gave birth to it is dying, and in only a century of being driven by its ideals we've had more death and destruction than  at any time in history - despite all of this, compromise will be attempted.  And right now, this is no more apparent than in the Church's attempts to walk that fine line between 2000 years of pretty clear traditional teachings, and the latest, hippest by this new phenomenon that will only be content once challengers to its assumptions have been eradicated from the human story.  

So all is buzzing about how the Church seeks to compromise with the divorce culture, one of the more recent benefits of this new ideal.  Of course the whole Annulment process and the Church's dance with tradition vs. modernity has been one of the more convoluted dramas in Western religion over the last few decades.  And yet, as many see that compromising with the Culture of Me and its love for no fault divorce is a fool's hope, many in the Church apparently feel taking a step toward compromise will accomplish something good. 

Granted, this is a complex issue, and I won't pretend to be an expert who should be listened to about the details.  I can, however, notice the trends.  And right now, the trend is a Church trying desperately to keep one foot, however precariously, in the side of Tradition, while hoping that by somehow accepting at least some presumptions of the secular Left, it will appeal to a new generation without being changed beyond recognition by that generation.  If it can do this, it will be a miracle.  It will also be a first.

Catholics who hate America

Could do worse than visiting this post.  Not to say that our actions and strategies post-9/11 aren't above criticism.  Far from it.  Just like those who were more worried about hamstringing Bush than preventing further terror strikes aren't above criticism.  There's much blame to go around.  But that's not what you see here.  You see here that particular brand of America hate that combines hating on America with the belief that being Catholic validates any negative feelings.  The funny part is when someone entirely hating on America is chastised by those who want to hate on America, but don't want to be included in the blame.  They just want to laugh all the way to the bank and ensure themselves it's all those others who are to blame.  I'll give Hezekiah this, at least he shoulders the blame for being in history's most vile nation.  

BTW, my take on the Christians in Iraq is that they were already a dying breed.  After all, the only reason they lasted this long is because sadistic, murderous tyrants crushed and slaughtered the population to a point where none dared lash out at others such as Christians.  That's like relying on the fact that at least the trains were running while Mussolini  was in charge, without considering the cost of making them run.  Christians were still there, but only because those around them were suffering.  If the only thing that kept them alive was the suffering and oppression of others, then I dare say the Church was on borrowed time, and perhaps we are guilty of allowing the unthinkable to happen until the unthinkable was finally revealed. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I hate being right

Especially when I get the feeling the problem is more widespread than we admit.  After our society jettisoned its religious moorings and mocked the idea of common values, we are replacing these with the religion of the day, which is basically centered around us and our hand picked demographics being awesome and everyone else being stupid and evil because they don't admit how awesomely right we are.

The result of this being a media that manipulates these tendencies to help end the Christian West and rebuild a tyranny of, not relativity, but Leftist dogma.  But as the media is so flagrantly a propaganda ministry, I fear we - with our access to the internet and our college degrees - are becoming the same.  We see the world, people, events only insofar as they advance the agenda, and not because they should appeal to some basic sense of decency or values we all share.

Hence the number of people who say terrorism is no big deal, since fewer people die in car crashes and so forth.  That is nothing other than saying nothing matters but that I can be awesome on the internet for being always right.   Or more recently, the sudden burst of concern over that horrible massacre in Florida in which 8 were killed, including six children.  It is horrible.  And it should be something we think about and pray for.  And yet as I said, where were the blogs and editorials a week ago when five were killed, not with guns?

One does not touch pitch without becoming defiled.  An old saying.  And true.  We seek to transform culture, but unless we're careful, culture eventually transforms us.  So here prayers for those so tragically killed, those eight in Florida, and those Five a week ago, and all who may or may not serve a much less important purpose.  For despite what the media thinks, the agenda was made for man, not man for the agenda.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

And it begins again

It's been nine years since we sat out on a chilly September Saturday morning and watched one of our five year olds chase a soccer ball around a field.  Under low hanging, autumn skies, our youngest showed improvement from his first game a week ago.  It's a strange mix of enjoyment and nostalgia at the same time.  I'm betting a lot of his events will yield that bizarre brew.  Anyway, they lost.  But did so with heads held high.  

That's him, almost in the center, 3rd from the left including coach, striking a real action pose

Embarrassing media moments

Like now.  So CNN is all aflutter over the fact that ISIS.... no.  That Putin has... no.  That there is reason to believe our nation is stripping away rights and freedoms... no.  Uh uh.  CNN is all all aflutter over the fact that there was a party in Alaska at which a fight broke out and - get this - the Palins might have been there!  Woohoo! Scandal!  The actual segment said we didn't know for sure if any of the Palin family was in attendance.  At no point did they suggest Sarah Palin was there.  And for that matter, no real details about what happened were available.  And yet an entire segment is dedicated to this crisis.

In addition to the media's growing contempt for humanity and seeing human suffering as only important insofar as it advances the Liberal Agenda, we have this.  I'm not saying I would vote for Palin for president.  But the media rape that she and her family endured was a new low of lows, and it continues.  When the world is blowing itself half to hell and our clueless president only invests himself in the end to non-liberal values, we have the press sending its best and brightest to investigate and comment on this.  I don't care who would have run in 2008, nobody could have survived the reaming that Palin has received and come out looking good. 

All of this is worse, of course, when set in juxtaposition to the press's keen and penetrating examination of Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign (from an interview on the eve of the 2008 election): 

Are we ashamed of our media yet?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Liberalism may not be the answer

I said to myself I was going to leave CAEI alone.  I still go there, because there's always hope.  Plus, in recent weeks, there have been some old posts from years gone by when this Protestant minister convert found a balanced, witty, truthful and insightful voice to unpack Catholicism and all its splendor and glory and foibles.

Nonetheless, today I can't figure it.  Still promoted as a Conservative Catholic, the venom and disgust is uniquely aimed at Conservatives and Conservatism, America and its intuitions, Protestants and especially Evangelicals, and even pro-lifers vaguely defined as liars and hypocrites most of the time.

On the other hand, liberalism, liberal culture, liberal attitudes and liberal pundits are everything from tolerated to praised.  Liberalism itself is lamented, for apart from some sins crying out to heaven for vengeance, it has so much to offer.  In keeping with Pope Francis, more calls for government charity and government solutions to our myriad problems.  And even someone like Jon Stewart, one of pop culture's most celebrated advocates of those sins that cry out for vengeance, reaps unending adoration and respect from the Conservative Catholic.

So I don't know.  But after three days of post after post after post slamming, blasting, trashing, and obliterating conservatives and conservative views, I just had to say stop it.  I don't know if it's a pro-life liberal who won't admit it, or a Colonel Nicholson approach to attacking his own team, but whatever it is, it's giving endless ammunition to those who are tired of the Church not getting with the program and embracing the post-Western Left.  Assuming, of course, that is not the goal.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering September 10, 2011.

The New York skyline as I grew up seeing it in countless movies and TV shows.  The way it looked on that sunny September morning all those years ago.  No more.  Nor will it ever be.  Like the country that was attacked, it is forever gone.  Today is a day to mourn those who died that day, to grieve with their families, and to mourn the loss of a once great nation, and grieve for the world that will one day find out all too well what a world without America will look like.  

Dearest Jesus, who wept at the death of your friend and taught that they who mourn shall be comforted, grant us the comfort of your presence in our loss.  Send Your Holy Spirit to direct us 
lest we make hasty or foolish decisions. Send Your Spirit to give us courage lest through fear we recoil from living. Send Your Spirit to bring us your peace lest bitterness, false guilt, or regret take root in our hearts.The Lord has given.  The Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

To the forgotten five

Apologies for the dark and frightening side of the Blogosphere. So five children were found dead, likely killed.  Likely killed by their father.  Details are emerging.  They may have been shot.  We really don't know.  The story wasn't even in the first segments of the news this morning.  On cable I didn't see it mentioned at all in the time I had.  By now I'm sure more are discussing it.  I searched the blogs, and nothing.

Was a time, a time I am old enough to remember, that a story like this would have been the topic of conversation for a week at least.  But today?  Silence.  No blogs at all.  Google the story, and you won't find a blog covering it on the first page.  Pick a cop brutality story or mass shooting, and half of the first page of Google is dominated by blogs and comments. Yet today?  Silence.  Not even a prayer on Catholic sites I visit.

This is all leading me to the very disturbing thought that we've turned a corner somewhere.  Turned a corner where such stories now only grab out attention insofar as they help advance an agenda, or score points, or demonize a group or individual.  It's as if we've taken Stalin's famous quip and added a heartless third part: a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic, but unknown numbers of murdered and tortured are irrelevant unless they advance the agenda and help me win an argument on the Internet.

Hence the selective outrage over one death here and the complete apathy regarding a dozen deaths there.  The cry for action when the horrors in question can be blamed on US policy, while daily suffering around the world is ignored if it doesn't fit an agenda, a narrative, or a point.

Those who suffer, even when they aren't smart enough to suffer for a blogger's pet cause, deserve better.  So to those poor children, killed and dumped like garbage in a case that will only matter if it can be blamed on race, religion, guns, or some other modern gospel message, apologies.  Through God's grace may you have peace for eternity that in your short lives was taken from you in this world.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Harvest Moon

What a concept.  Last night was the Harvest Moon.  And what a bright one it was.  The Harvest Moon is, of course, the name given to the full moon in September.  Back in the olden days, like when MTV still played videos, people were more in tune to the natural ebbs and flows of the seasons.  So much so, they even went so far as giving awesome names to different full moons depending on the month. Because of the timing and the farming and the harvests, this is naturally the Harvest Moon.  This is a good reminder that the season of seasons is just around the corner.  We went out, watched some eerie cloud cover pass over the moon, creating the effect of actual moonbursts.  That's like sunbursts through the clouds, but with moonlight instead.  Cool stuff.

Then we went in and watched a classic Hammer Horror film, Dracula: Prince of Darkness.  Too early for the round of Universal Monster movies.  And we might even have a few new movies come around the corner.  We had cider, but it wasn't the best.  Sort of stale tasting.  And for reasons we can't figure, the grocery store didn't have anything fall-like except tacky Halloween decorations.  Big Lots had Christmas out (a little late this year).  Nonetheless, a good season planned.  And it started well with a nighttime look at the man on the moon in all his glory.

Not sunlight, but moonlight, Harvest Moon style.

He's that happy to be out looking at the moon.

Actually they all appear to be having a good time with a relatively simple activity.

Down but not out; sickness knocked him out of football, but he's ready to push on.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Even the press is getting a feeling about Obama

On CNN, Candy Crowley, no enemy of the Democrats, is looking at Obama's announcement that he is going to wait until after the elections to take action on immigration.  Of course supporters are trying to blame congress, but it reinforces the point I'm coming to believe.  Fanaticism and zealotry can be bad, but those who are only conveniently behind something are worse.  Being against Hispanic immigrants because you hate Hispanics would be bad.  Exploiting and toying with Hispanics only for political gain, however is much worse,  After all, the racist can be reached. But the person who claims disgust at racism, only to exploit an ethnic group for personal gain?  How do you reason with them?

Representative Tony Cardenas, being interviewed by Ms. Crowley, is good enough to blame Obama's advisers, almost as if it's a forgone conclusion hat Obama has absolutely no leadership qualities and is a slave to his advisers.  Later, on the round table, LZ Granderson* invokes one of modern liberalism's most common defenses: everyone else has always done it (played with people's lives and toyed with national well being for political gain).  When you have to assume an unacceptable premise to defend someone, that person has, somewhere in the past, jumped a serious shark.

*As a pundit, it's Mr. Granderson's job to defend at all costs.  But I am a little tired of hearing another modern liberal defense of Obama that he invoked when the issue of ISIS came up: American's just don't understand nuance.  That is, we're still the ignorant masses unable to fathom the breadth and depth of the first person in history who God prays to every morning.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The creepy and the kooky

So the other day we were informed that the refugees fleeing ISIS are the responsibility of the US since everything happening in Iraq is the US's fault.  Fair enough.  The US certainly has dropped the ball in recent years.  Which validates that idea of the Evil West.  That's a popular liberal mantra.  The Christian West and its bastard child America is the sole cause of all suffering and evil in the world.  Inferior in every regard, it still manages to be wrong about everything while contributing virtually nothing but the high ideals of post-Christian progressive ideologies.

Still, there are variants, and denominations and levels of devotion to this popular mantra.  So one fellow comes in to affirm the complete guilt and burden of responsibility that America has in all this, which is fine.  But then he dares to suggest that not all Muslims seem quite as passionately against ISIS as we might want.  Eerily quiet perhaps in their protests against ISIS.  Just like in the years after 9/11, when more than one observer noticed that while Muslims, when pressed, would condemn the attacks, many seemed to wiggle a little bit from complete condemnation, while also wanting to somehow blame everything from America to the Crusades.

Well, that won't do.  If liberalism has taught us one thing, it's that you can't have tolerance and diversity unless you achieve total obedience to the dogma.  So one of my favorite posters swings in to chastise this wayward commenter. It's not enough that he has declared the US the cause of all evil in the Middle East, and the prime contributor to ISIS and its reign of terror.  He has erred by suggesting that the non-Western/non-American world is anything but pure and wonderful, except those who understandably hate us because we made them hate us.

Fortunately, this is but one corner of the Catholic blogosphere.  Unfortunately, it reflects a suicidal attitude and belief system held by a growing number of Westerners, Catholics, and enemies of the Christian Western tradition.  Still, you have to admit, it's fun to watch.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Day Japan Surrendered

Ignored in most liberal, and not a few Catholic and similar sources, September is when the guns fell silent for the second time, and an average of over 100,000 people slain a month was finally stopped.  A month ago, we had the usual racist genocidal Americans nuking thousands of innocent children.  A month later, and you'd not know that anything major happened.  Heck, even I forgot.  In fact, the only reason I remembered was because I came across an article reminding us something interesting.  

The article is here.  It's China giving Japan a finger wagging about its relative lack of zeal in fessing up to its history.  Though in fairness, many in Japan have begun to hold its feet to the fire more than ever in the last half century.  One of the things that has helped overturn Japan's official account of WWII that is embraced by liberals and critics of America, is the emergent Asian world.  Funny thing that. In most history books, WWII began on September 1, 1939 and centered around the defeat of Nazi Germany.  Japan is often an afterthought.  Usually Pearl Harbor, brought about by racist American policies against Japan, and of course the aforementioned Atomic Bombs. 

But in Asia, where the casualty rate turns out to have been around a hundred thousand a month, we begin to see that the case against the bombs is not as clear cut as many have tried to make it.  We begin to see that to many in Asia, Japan and its reign of terror was the central hub of the conflict, with the defeat of Germany being a necessary, yet distant, priority.  Not that the bombings were justified.  But the popular notion that America (evil and racist always) ignored the peace love of Japan in order to nuke babies and terrify the Russians so that the US Military Complex could conquer the world, is beginning to crack.  Anyway, thanks to all who paid the ultimate price all those years ago.  An empire that may have been worse than America was finally defeated.  I apologize for how our generation has so failed to be worthy of their sacrifices.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

The boys

This is actually from our youngest's birthday.  Though I have yet to throw a kudos out to our sixteen year old for his big celebration this week, I saw this and thought it captured the essence of the boys.  They're what keeps me going.  If we have nothing else, we have four pretty awesomely awesome boys who, even if I wasn't related, I'd still want to get to know.

For living in a suburban setting

We do get bugs.  And I mean bugs.  For instance:

Don't know why.  Perhaps because we let our trees remain when most others had their trees cut down.  We have squirrels, at least one deer a few years ago, raccoon, chipmunks, one flying squirrel that has obtained periodic access to our basement, a pandemic of frogs in the garden, and now these.  My boys think God is sending plagues on us.  Only time will tell.