Saturday, September 30, 2017

Good to be back

We're off for a little break.  Nothing major, just a couple days off to get going with the season.  Here are some links from back in the day.  They discuss our viewing habits during this witching season of the year.  Speaking of which (or witch), I saw a movie I've not seen before, and hopefully I'll get around to discussing it.  One of the more interesting films I've seen in recent years.

It's been nice being back to the old blog.  I already have had far more visits than I was getting at Patheos by the end.  Not that I'm keeping track or anything.  :)

Part of the problem at Patheos was me.  Towards the end, several asked that I stop feeding the trolls, but I had committed myself to always responding to people who comment. I still do. But at that point, I let it get away from me and, despite several telling me it was dragging down the blog, I kept going.  Towards the end, the trolls were eating the blog.  Whereas at the beginning a post with endless trolling saw a leap in page views, by the end, certain commenters began to poison the well, and once they got going, the page views for that post all but dried up.  People, it turns out, can recognize a waste of time when they see it.

So lesson learned.  I'll still respond to anyone who takes the time to comment on my blog.  I figure it's the least I can do.  But no troll feasts.  Trolls will be ignored.  Otherwise, comments are always welcome.  And genuine, honest debate is always a treat. 

I'll be back at the first of the week.  Again, nothing big going on.  No major trip.  Just a chance to relax before the next round of crazy.  It's been good having some of the old readership back.  I appreciate those who pick up my humble and bumble posts.  Hopefully they at least get people to think. 

See you next week.  God bless and TTFN.

Friday, September 29, 2017


Or the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel.  Here is an old post I did for this day.  My reference point was Fish Eaters, a fine site for people coming into the Church.  It's traditionalist, but it has a nice break down on the who, what, why, when and how of being Catholic.

My only problem was visiting the site as a Protestant, and imagining it represented par for the course within the hallowed halls of the Catholic parish.  I was shocked, therefore, to find out how few of these customs and traditions were that big of a deal, at least in our neck of the woods.  Disappointed might be a good way of saying it. 

Perhaps it's a sign of the times that the day elicits this post over at The American Catholic.  A reminder of where things have gone and how they have evolved over the years. 

BTW, Michaelmas is pronounced "MICKel-mus".  Just in case it comes up in conversation.

When Baptists defend the Catholic Faith against Catholic leaders

My old seminary president, Dr. Albert Mohler, has weighed in on the Fr. James Martin debate.  Dr. Mohler will forget more today than I'll ever know about theology and philosophy.  Marcus Grodi once told me that Baptists think they're intellectuals, but they're not.  I didn't say it, but an academic match between him and Mohler wouldn't last two seconds. 

Though I rejected Mohler's Calvinism, and some of the tactics used to overtake the leadership of the seminary, I could never dismiss Mohler's brilliance as a scholar, intellectual and theologian.  Plus he's a good guy. I had the pleasure of having dinner with him years ago, and he was genuinely fun to be with.  He was also a humble fellow, the kind of person who would open the door for, and converse with, a janitor despite being a college president, while the others he was with just walked on through.

So let it be established that Mohler is not a villain, a beast, a person who throws banana peels in front of nursing homes or college campuses.  And he is quite brilliant. 

Therefore, his rebuke of Fr. Martin and defense of Catholic doctrine is one that is based on careful analysis and thoughtful consideration.  It's also worth noting that he is correct.  Right now, it's impossible to miss that the Church is working overtime to find ways of compromising with the modern secular left.  Why is up for grabs.  But that it is happening is difficult to deny. 

Fr. Martin assumes the narrative of the LGBT movement, that telling the truth is offensive and hateful, therefore we must not tell the truth.  We must change our definitions to conform to those embracing sin.  Those who are embracing sin who matter at least.  That's a very common, modern viewpoint.   Yet one that will ultimately lead to changing other definitions, and others, and others, until like many liberal expressions of Christianity, it will barely be recognizable to those who knew it only decades ago.

Attention National Catholic Reporter: Nobody says America can do no wrong

As I posted ages ago when I first started my blog, that is one of many myths promoted by the Left.  Just because the NCR is a liberal Catholic publication doesn't mean it needs to accept all of the premises, narratives and BS of the Left.

America, if nothing else, has never been afraid of complaining about itself.  Fights go all the way back to the Constitutional Convention, and have never let up.  I collect old history textbooks.  The oldest ones I have date to the 1930s.  They speak of slavery in the negative and our treatment of American Indians.  Do they do it as harshly as we do today, devoid of any forgiveness or understanding of previous generations?  No.  Do they still demonstrate strains of bigotry based on our standards today?  Yes.  But they hardly denied the problems or the sins.

It's one of the great myths - dare I say, lies - that Americans 'need to admit to our sins', or that Americans think 'America can do no wrong.'   We've always known the wrong.  We simply chalked it up to being a great but flawed country.  What we didn't do is use the failings to burn America's heritage to the ground; to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.  That's what Americans didn't do.

So the fact that the entire editorial is predicated on a demonstrably false narrative, a politically driven lie, whatever else is said becomes problematic at best.  At least it demonstrates a false understanding of what the people in question believe and, therefore, what it is they might think about that old flag in the sanctuary.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The wonders of modern technology

Or when 'butt dials' meet auto-correct:

Yep, that was me sending a completely unintentional text, and my confused wife's response.  Not a single word came from anything but my coat pocket.  I still don't get it.  I can't remember using the word 'fume' in a text.  Ever.

35 million AIDS deaths later

Hugh Hefner has died.  In addition, of course, have been tens upon tens of millions of lives harmed by other sex related problems, broken homes, emotional and psychological distress and the burdens that broken homes and single parent families place on society.

That's not to say "Hugh did it!"  No.  But he was a flag bearer for the ideals that had already been percolating for generations.  Following WWII, a decided rejection of whatever traditional values existed was well on its way, and Hefner found a way to take this rejection a quantum leap forward.

I don't have a crystal ball.  But I will bet anything the media will not focus on the negatives of the sex and drugs era.  It never does.  Tens of millions can die.  The bodies can float down beside us like a scene from War of the Worlds.  It matters not.  The modern Left has long convinced us that human suffering only matters insofar as it benefits the agendas of the modern Left.  And the Ministry of Truth only covers that which benefits the modern Left.  The heaping pile of carcasses sacrificed on the altar of our libidos does not help the modern Left.  Therefore, it will not be mentioned.

I pray for Hef.  I really do.  I pray that the disasters and death that flowed in the wake of what he advocated and promoted will not be held against him, as I pray our sins are not held against us.  May God have mercy on him, and lift him up into his loving arms.

Chuck Todd worries about Christian Fundamentalists in our government

He's right of course.  Here's another example of when Christian fundamentalists believed our rights come from God instead of the government

Since there has been some squabbling over Roy Moore's fundamentalist assertion that our rights come from our Creator, rather than enlightened government officials, as Mr. Todd seems to prefer: 

The immediate context of Kennedy's statement, lest someone think that context will make it say something other than it does:

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom--symbolizing an end as well as a beginning--signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe--the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. 
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans--born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. 
I know that Mr. Moore has said some off the wall things.  I get that he could end up being a wrecking ball to the GOP as he lives up to every negative stereotype about conservatives that liberals possess.  But I'm far more concerned about a media figure who is among the top tiers of our political society who thinks it's from governments (read: leftist, secular governments) that we get our rights or, because it's up to the governments, we lose them.

Why late night comedy has become a joke rather than an outlet for telling jokes

What I've said for years (careful, a little language here):

Yep.  Almost spot on.  The Late Night comedians, lackeys of the political Left, are examples of what brought us Donald Trump.  Whether it's arrogance, ignorance, or the result of living in a culture of like thinking yes-men, they just don't realize how crucial they were for November 8, 2016.

Without the Late Night Comedians, we wouldn't have Trump.  Of that I'm convinced.  There's something about spewing unending hatred on an entire group of people that makes those people upset.  And since the rest of the media circus treated these comedians as valid sources of information, it only made more and more people distrust the media.

So it should come as no surprise that the candidate that they and the press dutifully served ended up losing to the candidate of the people they so proudly and openly hate.

The Church of Ought

Versus the Church of Is.  Over at the strangely enjoyable St. Corbinian's Bear, the observation I picked up on a while back is confirmed.

For the first serious time in its history, the world is converting the Church.  We no longer seek to baptize the nations, because who are we to baptize anyone?  And having given up on baptizing the nations, they are beginning to baptize us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The West will die

From suicide no doubt, but die nonetheless.  Rod Dreher has a clip from that unsung Catholic stalwart, Cardinal Sarah:

A love letter to Chairman Mao from the Gray Lady

Yep.  The Left is Communism. I hope we're straight on that now.  The Left, in its modern incarnation, has always been about Communism. From those blacklisted Hollywood advocates, like Dalton Trumbo, who were proud Communists, to the Communist driven anti-Americanism of the 50s and after, to the emerging pro-Marxist, neo-Communists of the post-liberal West, Communism is the goal.  The dream.  The end game.

Compare this, for instance, to racism.  There's no end game to racism. Has anyone ever bothered to ask just when our country will officially be 'over' its racist past?  Just what is it America can do to stop being called a 'racist nation'?  What is the end game?  Racist thinking outlawed?  White Americans exterminated?  All racist thinking punishable by death?  The complete eradication of America's entire history?  What is the end game?  What will it look like when we finally say, "Truly, America is no longer a racist nation"?  When only 8% identify as racist?  2%?  3.82384%?  When we elect a Black president?  Find me an answer, and I'll recant this entire post.

Let's be honest, there is no end game where racism is concerned.  By now it should be obvious the point of stirring up racist divisions is merely a ploy to tear away at the fabric of America; to burn its foundations to the ground so out of the ashes it can be built upon by yet another Communist inspired, leftist state.  That's why it's gold.  That's not to say there never was, or isn't, racism.  But that's not why it's important to keep the racist embers burning.  It will always be there, and until the Communist end game is established, it will always be useful for sowing divisions and spreading discord between Americans.  Discord is crucial for revolutions, as I'm sure we're all aware.

The New York Times does a little preemptive housecleaning in preparation.  One of the problems with Communism is, of course, it's track record.  Oh, it's not that there aren't Leftists, including Catholics, more than happy to crunch the numbers and prove that America is the most evil, murderous country in history. 

Nonetheless, that still leaves us with the fact that, even if we concede the Satanic spawn that is America, Communist societies have done no better.  The body count is in the tens of millions.  An entire century of terror and tyranny, failed economies, nationwide cesspools of poverty and misery, aren't easy to overcome.

Enter the NYT.  Oh, they still acknowledge there were a few rough spots in China's Communist revolution.  But does that mean the good be overlooked?  For assistance:
For all its flaws, the Communist revolution taught Chinese women to dream big. When it came to advice for my mother, my grandmother applauded her daughter’s decision to go to graduate school and urged her to find a husband who would be supportive of her career. She still seems to think that the new market economy — with its meritocracy and freedom of choice — will finally allow women to be masters of their minds and actions.
Note that.  Sure there were some bad points.  Its "flaws."  But let's not overlook the good!  Try doing that with the Nazis (sure they had their 'flaws', but they did build a splendid highway system!).  Or heck, most recently, the Confederates.  Forget it.  They were evil, wretched, irredeemable.  Their existence needs eradicated from all public displays.

But Communist China?  Where people are still rounded up and executed, tortured and imprisoned for bucking the goverment?  Where people still live in squalor and oppression?  Where people still try to escape to other lands (like America)?  Let's not be hasty.  There's some good to be seen there.

I know, it sounds a little crazy Archie Bunker commie pinko conspiracy theory.  But let's face it, knowing that those who want this won't admit it, how else can you refute what I've written?  Step back and look at the big picture.  You might be surprised to see how far we've come.

The National Anthem protest is not about race

It's about fairness and consistency.  What set the whole thing off a year ago was anger that someone who did something that bothers many Americans was being praised, when only a few years earlier, Tim Tebow was chased off the stage for bringing 'politics' into the pure and hallowed hall of sports.

That's what upset people.  Of course, as soon as there were complaints, the Race Card (TM) was played, along with charges that those complaining were opposing the right to protest.  Now, as can be expected, the Left is digging in and making it about nothing but racist, whites who have always hated blacks, and it's becoming a faux history of racism everywhere and in everything.

The same could be said that when whites protests or complain, even about valid problems, that the left dismisses and downplays and mocks their concerns simply because they are white.  But that's not what this is about.  It's not about race.

It's about the fact that the Left likes playing with a stacked deck.  Perhaps because it knows its arguments are weak, and its track record one of failure.  Maybe it understands that much of its support is based on the worst interpretations of history and erroneous understandings of the present.  But it doesn't play fair.  It's willing to do the very things it accuses its opponents of doing.

Nobody said you can't protest the Anthem. They don't like it, but it's your right.  Just don't do it in the hallowed halls of sports where everyone - including the media - should be kept free of politics.  That Bob Costas later went on a rant about gun violence, and that the press praised Kaepernick for taking this bold stand, just set people off.  The fact that the complaints were, as could be predicted, met with charges of racism only made them dig in their heals.  And when President Obama made it about the right to free speech, when nobody was saying otherwise, that only stirred the embers. 

No, the problem with this boils down to the fact that the Left is utterly incapable of playing by the rules.  It can't exist without calumny and hysterics and false arguments.  It needs that stacked deck.  And this time people called them on it.

Has anyone noticed the the arguments supporting the National Anthem protests are generally lame?

I mean it.   From someone pointing out that people are hypocrites when they wear flag designed clothing (something that came from the counter culture and was later assimilated), to basic insults against Trump and his supporters, to typical charges of racism and hysterics about taking away the right to protest, to memes based on tremendous amounts of ignorance and lack of awareness (willful or otherwise) about the subject at hand.  And notice, that last one is mostly aimed at those who are upset, not the issue at hand.  I've also noticed that tendency to 'insult the ones upset, rather than discuss the topic.'

That last one especially got me to thinking.  Liberalism thrives where common sense, nuance and common values exists.  Is there a law that says everyone must stand in the bathroom if they hear the anthem played?  That person in a restaurant who hears the anthem on a game overhead must push back the seat and stand?  That a person watching the game at home must stand at the couch?  No.  Is it therefore hypocritical that people stand when together at an event like a football game?  Of course not.  At least for the person with common sense.

When you're at events - like sporting events - you stand during the anthem to show solidarity.  To show that this is a place where are differences are set aside and we're all Americans.  There is no rule.  To show we're all one, and we are Americans bound by unity, even when we don't always agree.  There is no law.  No written standard.  It's called a custom.  A tradition.  And it's in such vague areas where the Left thrives.  Prove them wrong.  Go ahead.  I dare you.

Not that anyone with more than two brain cells is taken in by such a ludicrous argument.  But it's raw, bloody meat for the base.  It whips them up with a 'yeah, the scum, morons, hypocrites.'  Of course they're not.  And the biggest issue of all - why is it suddenly OK to drag politics into sports when we were told definitively during the Tebow era that politics and social commentary have no place in sports - is not addressed at all.

No, if the responses from both sides of the debate are anything, the ones against the protests have scored on consistency, reality and common sense.  Those trying to fight it have had to resort to un-arguments based on willful ignorance and stupidity about the subject at hand.  Especially when they, like Mark, so proudly declare their total ignorance of sports and sports culture.  A bit like me commenting on the literary qualities of fantasy authors Jack Vance vs. Fritz Leiber.  I know my limits and where my knowledge ends.  This issue has demonstrated that there are quite a few critics of the critics who apparently don't have that little trait. 

Speaking of common sense, Mike Rowe, fast becoming one of the prophets of horse sense in our modern era devoid of the same, speaks sense to the madness.  We sometimes forget who this country is for, and who has the power.  Perhaps the ultimate purpose of all the divisions we see is to get us to forget that little fact.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Alejandro Villanueva recants

A shame.  He insists he only asked to be at the front of a line of athletes who were about 20 yards behind him.  Then the anthem began playing and he stayed put.  The Steelers, feeling that coming out and standing for the anthem would be divisive (see how that works, now standing for the anthem is the divisive thing), were really not protesting at all.  And Mr. Villanueva states he's sorry that his actions have caused such backlash against his team.

First, his actions did no such thing.  By the Steelers staying in the tunnel, they caused the backlash.  And every jack media outlet reported it as being part of the protests Sunday.  That's what people were pissed about.  If it wasn't a protest then the Steelers should have schooled the press.  Those who were upset were upset at the protest, and they simply celebrated Mr. Villanueva.

But he clearly has been 'schooled.'  It makes no sense that he wasn't going out and making it clear he would stand for the anthem.  His team was a mile behind him.  And he knew it.  But again, the long arm of the Left has grown longer, and if you want to be in the upper echelons of our society, you'll toe the line.

I don't begrudge him.  He still made a great statement, while his team at best stood cowering in the tunnel, giving testimony to the slick and subtle machinations of the Left, that to come out and stand for the National Anthem would now be seen as a divisive act.  That one should be 'embarrassed' that he stood alone for the Anthem even demonstrates more the power of reeducation going on in our nation.  My seventeen year old, who just finished reading 1984, quipped upon hearing the news story, "I just read about that!"

Nonetheless, Mr. Villanueva served his time, he earned his spurs, and I understand how hard it is to kick against the liberal goads.

In other news, the Dallas Cowboys also learned the truth, and followed accordingly.  The liberal goads.  Tough to kick against and get invited to the best parties. Just like your prospects were limited in the 50s if you were a staunch supporter of Communism.

CORRECTION:  Apparently the Cowboys took a knee before the anthem, then stood for the anthem.  Take it for what it's worth. For me, it shows the power of the Left that now one must approach the issue of standing for the National Anthem consciously, as opposed to it being a natural reaction.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Making wimps to promote Global Warming

So our city schools have decided to let out early today.  Why?  Because the weather forecast was for 90 degrees, that's why.

What?  90 degrees?  Well, it is supposed to be by 4:00 (after most schools are over).  It was to be in the mid to high 80s in the afternoon.  So far it's around 81 degrees.  Nonetheless, schools have begun to let out.

The local media is covering this today. At one of the schools, they checked and it was in the high 70s indoors.  There was no air conditioning of course.  Many of the older schools, like the schools I attended (without being let out for high temperatures) are without air conditioning.  I can't imagine letting kids go home because their classrooms are in the high 70s.

Nonetheless, true to form, two of the parents interviewed said this is what we'll get, more extremes, global warming and all.  Except it's not even close.  Assuming it gets to 90, it will still be 3 degrees from the record set for today in 1900.

But kids have been taught to buckle to sizzling 90 degree days when they're stuck in rooms at a sweltering 79 degrees.  Don't overcome.  Don't endure.  Just quit.  No classes.  No after school activities.  And the parents know it's because of global warming, since we've had all this before, but then it wasn't a big deal.  Since it's a big deal now, it's obviously global warming.

NOTE: This was written today at lunch time.  It peaked a 91 degrees.  A whopping 2 degrees short of the record.  And they'er going to do it again.  And the local media speaks of 'heat waves' and 'global warming.'  And no doubt, more parents will concede the point.

It's that time of year again

When you get to see this gem.  Still one of the best takes on horror movies.  Ever.

Only the Anglicans

While other denominations are more hard-left than the Anglicans, it remains true that the Anglican Church continues to occupy a special level of dumb within the Christian fold.  So we have an Anglican Church in England apologizing for hosting a fashion show featuring outfits and paraphernalia of a uniquely Satanic and anti-Christian flavor.

Now, for my money, the big scandal here is that it used its church to host a fashion show in the first place.  The fact that it was Satanic or not is incidental. Once again, it shows the relative spinelessness that happens to churches and denominations once they throw their lot in with any worldly movement, right or left. Eventually, they're wanting to host gun shows, fashion shows, porn festivals, or anything under the sun. 

If you've committed yourself to being liked and affirmed by your new ideological buddies, then chances are you've come to the point of acquiescing when the buddy asks for a new favor, no matter how ludicrous or dangerous that favor happens to be.  Again, it can be any movement, right or left.  But just as merging the Church with Americana was a particularly subtle temptation decades ago, so compromising with the dominant progressive movement today holds particular dangers for the churches going in that direction.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Alejandro Villanueva rocks it

So the NFL, amidst struggling ratings and a growing discontentment among fans, decided to throw a nationwide fit by flipping the bird to the National Anthem.

It was, apparently, a protest against President Trump for saying that the NFL should fire players who flip the bird to the national anthem.  Personally, I've never been impressed when presidents wade into such things.  Let pop culture be itself, there are more important things to do.

But by responding the way the NFL did, it wasn't poking a finger in Trump's eye as much as it was the millions of fans who have begged players for a year to stop shoving politics onto the gridiron. From whole teams kneeling during the anthem to not even showing up on the field until it was over, the NFL made it clear that its allegiance is not with the bulk of its fans, who only exist to feed their coffers, but with the progressives who now love politics in sports and everything else.

All did, except a few, most notably Mr. Villanueva, a three time Afghanistan veteran. He chose to walk out of the tunnel alone and stand while the rest of his team stayed bravely in the tunnel and made their point by staying bravely in the tunnel.

Well done Mr. Villanueva. And well done NFL millionaires.  You demonstrated even more contempt for your fanbase than Hollywood.  The good news?  A growing number of people are starting to ponder the possibility that there are other ways to spend a Sunday than watching millionaire athletes who have made their contempt for their fans and the country their fans love clear.

Dear Cleveland Browns: Protesters are not unifiers

Please.  Let's get this straight.  When you protest, you are not unifying.  You're dividing.

That might be fine and good.  I'm not saying it's always wrong to divide.  As a general rule, we celebrate those who bucked the systems when the systems were wrong or evil or whatnot.  How they did it can be brought into discussion.  Was Bonhoeffer right or not is a frequent debate.  But nobody faults Bonhoeffer for going against the majority.

So this notion that President Trump, and not the players who have taken a knee to protest the National Anthem, is the divider is ludicrous.  Stop it.  Stop thinking that as long as you go along with the progressive narrative you can call squares round and it's just fine.  It ins't.

The players taking a knee and protesting are, by definition, sowing divisions.  And if you agree with their cause, then so be it.  Some may agree with the cause but feel it is neither the time nor place.  Sort of like when ESPN and many in the press hounded Tebow for bringing politics into the NFL, or when there were protests for having Rush Limbaugh be a commentator because he was too political (there might be a trend here, but I'll have to get back to it).

But the idea that Trump is causing divisions and those who are basically flipping the bird to the fans who have asked that they stop are the unifiers?  Just stop it.  That wont' help.  Especially a limping along, broken, and failed franchise like the Cleveland Browns.  If that were the case, that you can change reality just by saying it, then I'd start insisting that the team with the fewest points is the winner.

Oh, and that also includes using the word 'unity' enough to make a drinking game out of it.  Saying something over and over and over again won't make it anymore true than if you say it once.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Another sign of the season

As I come to grips with the fact that our country is in the grips of a Cold Civil War, I still find pleasure in the finer things.  Despite the fact that I must reconcile with the reality that a growing swath of Americans hate our country, our heritage, our faith, and quite frankly, me and my family, I can still find moments of joy and happiness. 

Chief among these is watching my boys grow and enjoy the life we try to provide. And as a bonus, that is almost invariably in line with the seasons, just like the olden days. 

So today was our youngest's first soccer game.  He's the second youngest, a very young eight year old with kids almost ten.  That's a big spread for that age group.  Nonetheless, he held his own.  I don't think he will be a top player like he was last year.  But he will be on a team that wins more, if today's game is any indicator. 

There is something about the start of their sports in the Fall, even on a blistering 80 degrees in the sun.  You know it's Autumn, and the fun is getting ready to begin.

That was a bright, glaring sun

Our youngest fighting to stop the ball from going out  (he didn't)

Subtle propaganda and Global Warming?

Me or them?  Only the Shadow knows!
I know, I know.  This is a poor way to build a case since it relies on you taking my word about things.  But, take my word or not, it's up to you.

I noticed something on our local news station that we watch before getting on with the day.  Back in August, when temperatures dropped and we were wearing jackets in the dog days of summer, the weather forecasters (and not just one) kept saying something.  They kept saying it was 'seasonably cool'.  What did that mean?  It wasn't seasonably anything.  It was unseasonably cool.  The first time they said it, I thought it was a mistake, a verbal slip.  But they kept saying it, despite the fact that we were getting close to the high 30s at night, when most of the time the temperatures at night should be close to double that (the average temps, BTW, for that time of year are 84 high and 63 low, over 20 degrees higher than it was).  How is that seasonable anything?  It was fall temperatures when it's usually the peak of summer heat. 

Now, today, it's getting close to the 90s.  That's hot for a first day of Autumn, but not unprecedented.  Septembers are often all over the place here in Ohio.  That's one of the ways we earn a reputation for having crazy weather.  Often September will have terrible heat waves mixed with plunges in temperature.  So a hot day on the first of Autumn, while not common, is also not unheard of.

And yet, for two days, we've heard them say 'it's not like fall weather', or 'hot for the first day of autumn', or this morning 'temperatures more like summer than fall.'  OK, that's true.  But notice the difference. Notice how, when August really was unusually cool, it was mentioned as 'seasonally cool', when it was nothing of the kind.  Almost as if it was no big deal.  But when it is hot today, which isn't uncommon, they spend two days or so emphasizing just how hot it is, how it's really summer and not fall and all that.

Why?  I don't know.  I just noticed the trend.  I've seen it before.  I've mentioned the tendency of them to say things like 'historic flooding' when, while linguistically accurate, presents the notion that something that has never happened before just happened.  Sure, anything like that could be historic.  But it's hardly the first, which some could see as being implied.  Likewise, speaking of weather events as 'near record', even if it isn't, can also paint a different mental picture for viewers. 

That last one happened back in July.  This summer, like two of the previous three, was rather mild.  After some years of extreme heat, things have become more bearable.  Which is nice, I'll admit.  But this year it was especially cool.  We had only a few days over 90, and the days above 80 were fewer than normal.  Nonetheless, one of the forecasters in July said that the day in question  was going to be 86, near record for the day.  Problem?  According to him on the same forecast, the record for that day was 92.  A day that is 6 degrees away from the record when it's usually around the 80s anyway is not near a record.  It's not even close.  Why would he say that?

No clue.  You can think I'm just lying, and that's certainly a recourse for MMGW fans.  But assuming I'm not making it up because I'm just a lying type, think on that.  Why the differences?  Why when it's hotter than the season suggests is it emphasized?  Why do they say almost a record when it's not even close?  And when it's noticeably colder than normal, why do they downplay it with a near false declaration that it's 'seasonably cool' when it's no such thing?

For me, the reason is obvious.  But I'm willing to listen to explanations. 

Why Donald Trump won

Because Trump and Russia stole the election!  That's actually still on hold, waiting for evidence.  Not saying it didn't happen,  but I am one of those crazy 'innocent until' types.  So we'll see.  I don't equate the slowness of the investigation as proof of no wrongdoing by the way.  I expect the actual investigation to be slow and methodical.  This is the presidency we're talking about. 

Nonetheless, the lack of evidence is only a problem because of the thrice daily breaking news reports speaking of smoking guns and exposed evidence that should all but prove...until it doesn't.  Best bet: Wait until we know, then report.

Anyway, assuming innocent at this point, the question remains how the candidate with every power-player and power institution in the country and a great many nations around the world at her back, lost to a caricature of the worst candidate in history.  Many reasons of course.  Legion as they say.

But sometimes, it's the subtle things.  Why did so many choose not to vote for her, or to support the ticket, or to vote for anyone to keep Trump from being elected? 

Try this.  A little piece that popped up on my dashboard from years ago.  It's a list of quotes from folks on the left, in which people throw worship of God out the window and replace it with worship of Obama, God-man, Man-God, Lord of Lord, God of Gods.  Really.  George Washington enjoyed a certain cult of personality for many years, and it could be argued that Martin Luther King, Jr. has also entered into that level.  But apart from those two, I know of nobody who engendered this much worship and cultic language of praise, love, adoration, and worship in our country's history.

It was, well, sickening; mind-numbingly sickening. And the only thing that made it worse was that the press was right up there singing the choruses, instead of calling them out as the idol worshipers that they were.  Coupled with the fact that anyone who didn't attend the Church of Obama was smacked down as the racist Nazis they were (no doubt stoking the fires of racial tension in our country), I can't help but get the feeling Americans with even a modicum of common sense became tired of the cultural Obama-incense brigade, and might have been worried that a Hillary Clinton president would all but solidify America's official religion as Obama Worship, with Hillary being his prophet. 

Just a hunch on my part. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Prayers for the victims of these natural disasters

From hurricanes to earthquakes and even the day to day disasters that fly under the press's radar, we pray that God's peace and strength will be on those lost, suffering and left behind.  We thank God for the goodness in people that spurs them to action, to help others who mean nothing to them.  We ask that God fill us with such a spirit the year through, in good times and bad.  

In praise of Time Life Books

Remember Time Life Books?  Back in the days before the Internet, we had these things called books, as the late Peter Falk would say.  Really.  Apart from watching television, we were confined to the written word.  And access depended on where you lived.

In our case, we lived in a small town with fewer than 3,000 souls.  And that was the largest town in our county.  Sitting in the center of our rural county, and a half hour away highway driving from anything close to a small city, we had little in the way of literary resources.

That smaller city, a dying Midwest population with around 30,000 people, had a Waldenbooks in the small shopping mall on the opposite side of town.  That, and our own small, local library, was it.  That's where we got books.  And the depth and breadth of available subjects were limited accordingly.

So something like Time Life books was golden.  My Dad bought a couple series, mostly about America's landscapes and nature books (Dad was a conservationist before environmentalism became the religion it is).  I also was given a year's worth of books from the WWII series.  Despite the adult level approach of the series, I ate up those books because, well, that's what I had.  Of course there were other series, including the Old West, which featured a commercial with a memorable quip about "John Wesley Hardin, a man so mean, he shot a man just for snoring!"

Since I was never into 'fantasy' for most of my younger life, I only paid scant attention when, in 1984, Time Life released a series called Enchanted World.  As the name suggests, the focus was on folklore, mythology, Arthurian legends, Greek myths, Beowulf, and a host of subjects and tales that comprise that loosely defined genre of 'fantasy.'  I saw some commercials featuring the late, great Vincent Price, but otherwise didn't really follow its release.

By then it was difficult not to be exposed to the genre.   It was toward the end of what I call the 'Great Fantasy Renaissance'.  That was a pop culture movement that exploded on the scene in 1977 with Star Wars.  Following Star Wars, science fiction and fantasy, which had previously been relegated to the fifth tier of entertainment, suddenly found itself pushed to the top of everything.  From Star Wars and Alien, to a million Swords and Sorcery movies in the 80s, space and fantasy video games, supernatural literature and television and even news stories, and of course the mack-daddy of all deepest, darkest fantasy - Dungeons and Dragons - fantasy was everywhere.

In the early days, it didn't have any negative connotations. As I've said, I first heard about D&D from three boys, two of whom were athletes, one captain of the football team and class president.  It was as common as break dancing, and probably more broad in its appeal.  Though by the mid-80s, for a host of reasons, D&D's popularity was beginning to wane.  And with it, the whole fantasy genre.

Being a day late and a dollar short, I only began to think about fantasy because of its omnipresence in society in those days.  Also because of the role it played in the new video game technology.  And I give a HT to our 11th grade English teacher who piqued my imagination in the fall of 1983 when we covered a unit on Beowulf.

It was toward the end of that time that my best friend received a subscription to the Enchanted World series for Christmas.  He read the first volume, 'Wizards and Witches', and enjoyed it.  But being a socially sensitive fellow, and seeing the decreased respect for people who indulged in activities associated with witches and dungeons by the mid-80s, he was none too happy to have the books in his house.  So one day, after he received his third book (he had received two, but apparently a third volume on 'Christmas' came as an extra gift since his parents ordered it at Christmastime), he offered them to me.

I didn't have much interest in such things, but I was beginning to be curious.  And so I took the books and read them.  Because I wasn't familiar with too many things fantasy, myth or folklore, many of the stories were new to me.  Since the first volume (Wizards) dealt with a historical Medieval feel, I was all the happier.  I read that, and the others.  Over the years I found several other volumes to add to the collection.  I think there are only a few I don't have. And I enjoyed them all - though later ones began to run dry as they were just the same stories they already covered in different contexts.

The series, though, was still a boon for me.  It exposed me to a genre I had never cared for, and increased my interest.  I didn't dive headfirst into fantasy, but through this series, I at least learned to appreciate the genre and that side of literature and what can be gleaned from it.  I also came to realize that those who did indulge in that genre often - not always, but often - were more informed, better read, and I must admit, more educated than others about a wider range of topics.  Which has challenged me to make sure I at least know a little about as many subjects as I can, including the genre of fantasy.  For that, and the general information it provided in a world before Google, I must thank Time Life for the introductions to so many interesting topics.

Just thinking as I was downstairs and saw the old series on a bookshelf.  And in time for the autumn festivities to begin.

Another, possibly more evocative, commercial that caught the spirit of the series:

It is Fall!

Today is the first day of Autumn!  It's a holiday, like other holidays, that the Church must have stolen from pagans for something.  Not sure what.  But it sounds good, so because Christmas and Easter are just holidays the Church stole from pagans, this must be too.  Mark Shea, doing what he does best, has some fun with that brand of scholarship.

For me, it's the beginning of the finest time.  The best time.  My favorite season that starts now and ends sometime after Easter.  I just hibernate through the Summer months.

Truth be told, it's not quite what it used to be.  Yes, it's true.  As you get older, things do change.  For instance, our three oldest boys did a bang up job making sure our youngest was part of the party.  For years, even though they had outgrown their childhood interests, they would still put on the costumes or run through the parks, chasing ghosts with our youngest.

Of course as life goes on, they move on toward school, jobs, vocations, and their own pilgrimages in life, it's more and more difficult to get them together.  They still try, but they just don't have the availability, as it should be.  So as they move on, naturally it is different. Life was never meant to be stagnant.  Sometimes I think people with a proclivity toward traditional views can slip into that trap.  The world has always changed.  And it will again.

Nonetheless, the boys still do their best, and I'm sure we'll have plenty of fun.  We've had a series of issues, health and otherwise, finances and plans, but as always we'll trudge forward.  There will be cider and pumpkin pie and pumpkin doughnuts, ghost runs and Halloween specials and spook movies galore.  Not sure how many boys will be available as our youngest goes Tricks or Treating, but we'll make it work (right now, we're trying to get him to be Baby Groot).

Over the years, I've posted my thoughts on the awesomeness of this season.  Here are some links to years gone by and what was on my mind about the coming festivities.  Among other things, Autumn seems to be the season that brings about the most nostalgia, so looking back at previous posts seems to make sense.

Donald Trump exploits child labor

The scandalous story can be found here.   Heh.  Not really.  Nonetheless, I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that there will be some in the derangement crowd who will find something to complain about.

For me? There are plenty of reasons I didn't vote for Trump, and some of them appear to be working themselves out.  Nonetheless, credit where it is due.  Those who insist Trump must be hated and despised to the exclusion of all moral positions are, in my thinking, a big reason we have Trump in the first place.

In this case?  A good lesson for the kids about hard work.  Given the type of lessons they get from our post-modern era, I'd take a lesson about the value of hard work and determination any day of the week.

Well done President Trump.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Global Warming and our Faith in Science

I agree with Jonah Goldberg.  I've never quite known what people mean when they speak of 'believing in science.'  And like Goldberg, I notice that many who question the dominant Global Warming narrative are hardly haters of science.  Some have likely forgotten more science than I'll ever know.

They just think that the dominant narrative isn't accurate.  To one degree or another.  Some believe most of it is wrong, others think that some of it is correct, but there's a ton of hot gas swirling around that core of truth.  Count me in that last group.  Though my own view is less to do with my grasp of science as it is just watching the behavior that swirls around the debate.

Nonetheless, the reactionaries are quick to regurgitate a rehearsed boilerplate, often trying to find some chink in a question, rather than answer it, and frequently employing such empty comebacks as 'you don't believe in science.'  Which is funny, given how often issues on the Left rely on looking away at what the science does and doesn't say.  Or, as often as not, picking the scientists or the research that says what they want to hear.  A common trend hardly confined to any group.

Anyway, Goldberg has fun with the latest example of being between a rock and a hard place when your goto retort is 'anyone who even thinks of questioning the 'science' must hate science. 

Remember when ignorance was not a virtue?

Our pop culture and Ministry of Truth have worked for decades to convince us that people who hold traditional values, classic morality and common sense are the morons.  People who see a piece of home decor and have a fit because it features cotton, on the other hand, are the true geniuses.

It's a mark of the power of propaganda that educated people would even think this, much less find support for their observation.  One of the problems with the whole 'coded language' or 'trigger words' concept is that they can be anything.  Big Brother never dreamed of a world where any word could suddenly and randomly be a secret code for unacceptable thinking.  Buy yourself a cotton shirt?  Why, tomorrow that could be code for the fact that you love Hitler!

That is the state of ignorance in America today.  And since it is exactly what the Left wants, it will not be how the Ministry of Truth covers the story.  If it covers it at all - which would not be the wise move - it will make sure it's given some credibility by deflecting the conversation to the history of racism, Jim Crow, slavery, the Confederacy, Nazis, or anything else that can prop up the idiocy with some manner of credibility.

Catholics cannot downplay the sex and drugs culture and be authentically pro-life

They can't.  At the end of 2016, over 35 million souls have died of HIV.  Over twice that many have been infected.  In the United States, well over a half million have died of AIDS, with over 1,200,000 living with HIV in the US.  In 2012, almost 14,000 people died of HIV/AIDS.  That's as many as are murdered by guns in the US every year.  Compare the coverage and focus by our media and church leaders.

And that is just HIV/AIDS (which, it should be added, has been on the rise over the last decade here in the US).  This doesn't count the plethora of STDs, some of which can be serious and incurable.  STDs, it should be added, are also on the rise.

This doesn't get into the emotional and psychological impact of our sex culture, the impact on children that results from cohabitation and divorce, and the burden that is placed on society by broken families and single motherhood.  Sorry, but stats - which admittedly can be manipulated - are in universal agreement, even when it's clear they don't want to be.  Our divorce culture, which is necessary to sustain our sex culture, is a wrecking ball on society and individuals.  And it exists largely to accommodate a population weaned on the pleasures of sex and narcissism without accountability.

We haven't even gotten into the drugs part.  There is no way I've found to count the millions of lives that have been lost and ruined from illegal drug use.  And that's not counting today.  By all accounts, the drug pandemic that has exploded over the last several years is claiming more lives than guns, auto accidents, or Donald Trump.

It's that bad.  So even with a sympathetic, pro-drugs and sex culture spin, we can say that the 20th Century's emphasis on all things hedonism has claimed far more in America than all the wars ever fought in US history.  And that's just America.  Add to that the global body count and we're in the tens of millions.

This doesn't include abortion.  Despite the New Pro-Life Movement's insistence that abortion is largely the result of women given no choice but to abort babies because of male chauvinism and capitalism, there is reason to believe that legalized abortion is there largely as a giant safety net to sustain our obsession with libidos above all things,

In light of all this, we're told: mercy, which is then used to sweep the entire issue under the carpet by Church leadership.  I seldom hear this spoken of at all.  I can't remember the last time I heard a homily (that's sermon to you Evangelicals out there) mentioning it.  And across the once vaunted St. Blogs, most NPLM advocates spend nary a day once a year bemoaning it.  And that's when they're not blowing beer out their noses and celebrating the latest pop culture contribution to sustaining all things debauch.

Sorry.  To downplay, dismiss, or - worse - indulge in this culture of death, suffering, misery, oppression and slavery to our basest passions in order to excuse a noticeable swing to the Left cancels out all pro-life bona fides.  It's time for some repentance, and stepping away from those who have buried the tens of millions of carcasses sacrificed on our society's collective libidos.  Wanting to be accepted is just not enough reason to ally with such a human travesty that will no doubt be judged brutally in generations to come.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Another victory for liberty

In East Lansing, a family farm can once again come to the local farmer's market, despite the fact that it doesn't accept the modern opinions about human sexuality as advocated by the post-Christian Left.

As per usual, the Left swooped in and sought to punish the young family for wrong-think.  In its usual display of tolerance and diversity, it sought to deny their farm the right to come and sell its wares along with others from the region.

As a denizen of rural Ohio, I can tell you that Farmers Markets are not some quaint, humble little hobby.  For some it is.  For others it is their life.  And once again, in the name of diversity and tolerance, we have the Left coming in and using a blacklist mentality that would make the HUAC turn its head.  It almost shamelessly attempts to use threats of censorship and legal retribution against those who reject the beliefs and opinions and values it embraces.

Thankfully, the Alliance Defending Freedom stepped in and filled the void once occupied by the ACLU.  The result was a win for freedom, including those of the LGBT community.  Because if we insist that only people who think the way liberals demand they think can have rights, it takes no effort to imagine a time when suddenly being liberal just won't be enough to sustain those rights.

Bonus:  Most unintentionally ironic statement of the article:
“We’re just gathering to say there are a lot of LGBTQ people in the city,” Marlow said. “We should support each other and support businesses that are tolerant.”
Yes, because nothing says tolerant more than hoping the government will come in and banish someone who doesn't think the way I demand he thinks.  The toughest part of dealing with the modern Left is dealing with someone who actually believes they are being tolerant by demanding conformity to their opinions and values. 

Dave Armstrong and the Life Site issue

Dave Armstrong is an apologist I respect.  I don't always agree with him, but I respect his candor and charity.  Dave is fair and tries to be up front about issues, and is willing to listen.  Therefore, when Mr. Armstrong says Life Site news is a problematic site, it gives me reason to take a second look. 

He also takes on the current kerfuffle between Life Site and Rebecca Weiss.  Even though he obviously has a slant against Life Site, he looks at the details and is willing to see where each player is, where each could be right or wrong, and what each is actually saying.  I know.  A radical approach. 

Since Dave doesn't post things like this, I'm inclined to believe him when he concludes Life Site jumped the gun, acted uncharitably, and whatever legit points there might be, handled itself in an improper manner.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What should Catholics believe about immigration?

A fair question posed by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry over at America The Jesuit Review.

It boils down to how supporters of Open Borders can square with the Church's historic teachings about the rights of a sovereign nation.  On the other hand, how can opponents of Open Borders say their desire to restrict immigration is Christian?

I would say that problem is the premise.  First, nobody says they are advocating for Open Borders.  Technically, as Deacon Steven Greydanus insisted, the Church supports a nation's rights to protect its citizens, up to and including regulating its border.

That's technically.  That's on some dusty old Canon law book in the third section of the Vatican library basement.  And that's the problem.  Each time someone advocates restricting immigration, or somehow dealing with those here illegally, even without deporting them, but not wanting them to get off the hook, they are met with charges of being unChristian, uncharitable, even racist.  Mr. Greydanus certainly implied, however subtly, the same about me.

Of course in the same breath, we'll be schooled on the fact that the Church in no way denies a nation's right to enforce its borders.  Advocates of not-open-open-borders will insist they simply want the system reformed, and all the innocent children protected.  And yet, anything that doesn't end up more or less saying 'Open Borders and Amnesty for all immediately' is met with the above reactions.

It reminds me of a Calvinist who once explained how God can ordain damnation and yet be off the hook in terms of forcing someone to reject Christ.  You see, God doesn't make them reject Christ.  God simply removes every other conceivable option.  The person is denied any choices to the Gospel but rejecting it.  So the person still deserves the blame, since technically he is still rejecting it.  So you see, God is in control of everything, but we still deserve blame because we chose the one choice God allowed us to make.

Sound crazy?  Well, that's sort of what happens in the actual 'doing of the issue' rather than just the words spoken about the topic.  Technically, the Church, its leaders, immigration advocates who are Catholic, all insist they're not advocating open borders.  Real, fair, and comprehensive immigration reform that doesn't hurt innocent people is all that is demanded.  And yet, once the conversations are finished, it's clear that the only options that fit within these demands are options that look to all the world like Open Borders and unqualified amnesty.  They simply reject any alternative that doesn't end up looking that way.

I'd say that's the biggest problem.  Those questions in the piece are fair.  My answer would be that the Church must come to the table and say how it will not condone the sin of lying and deception, will make sure citizens aren't hurt, and will actually support specific restrictions on immigration.  And it must do so in a way to make sure it cares every bit as much for the struggling citizen as the struggling immigrant.

As for the idea that limiting immigration is not Christian?  Hardly.  It's a ploy of the modern world that to be Christian is to have no limitations.  Christianity is all about limitations.  About choices.  About choosing life, not death.  About being responsible.  We welcome all who come to us when fleeing persecution or trials.  But we expect them to begin their journey by obeying the law and being honest.  And we expect the system to make sure that as people come to the US, it is not to the detriment of those already here.  Limits are fine, and hardly unchristian.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Happy Constitution Day!

A Gathering of Racists: A Modern interpretation
A day late.  It was yesterday, in case you missed it.  And I'd wager many did.  Odd that we don't have fireworks and cookouts and fairs and family gatherings for Constitution Day, don't you think?  I wonder why that is. 

We're told it's all the Constitution.  When we talk of rights or privileges (or restrictions thereof), it's always the Constitution.  And yet, no celebrations there.  What do we celebrate?  The Declaration of Independence.  Why the difference?

I imagine it's hard to say, but I'll have a go.  I think it's because the Declaration marked a shift - a seismic shift to use the phrase - in human history.  For the first time, humans were going to start a nation from scratch dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and that government exists to protect that truth. 

Take a survey of the world in 1776, and you can see how revolutionary that was.  Unfortunately, the same thinking that has led to our modern Iconoclasm against all things Confederate has also diluted the impact of the Declaration.  Judging the Founding Fathers based on the latest developments in our present day thinking, it's not hard to find them wanting. And from that, we can logically undervalue their contributions.  Which is likely the goal of the Left, which encourages a dismal assessment of our heritage.

Nonetheless, if a person bothers to think about it, the Declaration was bold, it was stunning, it was something so unique in history that the world has never been the same.  That's why the celebration.

But the Constitution is what guarantees these rights, some will argue.  And don't say our lack of parties yesterday is because some on the Left want to rewrite the Constitution.  We've not been having pot luck dinners for Constitution Day for generations.

Why?  Because, at the end of the day, the Declaration represents our heart and soul as a nation.  It's 'Why we're here.'  It's the thing that is our statement of Faith.  The Constitution is merely the instruction manual for seeing it through.

For instance, Secularists and SCOTUS justices seem to lean on the fact that the Constitution doesn't mention God by name.  True.  But you know what?  I was a pastor for many years.  I served in a variety of churches.  Each church had a church constitution.  Guess what.

Each constitution had two parts.  A statement of Faith, and the actual constitution.  The statement of Faith was repeating the faith doctrines that the congregation upheld.  It was basically a brief summary of the denomination's doctrinal distinctives. 

The rest of the constitution?  That was just business: Who pays what bills, who gets to teach Sunday School, who is in what committee and which committee does what.  In fact, God was seldom if ever mentioned in that part of the constitution. 

And that's sort of our country, if you think about it.  God isn't in the US Constitution because of the same reason that most church constitutions I saw weren't overly religious.  In the end, they're the instruction manual, and that's it.  The point of celebration, of faith, of worship and praise, is in that statement of faith.

And in the United States, the statement of faith is not the Constitution.  It is the Declaration of Independence. And no matter how much the Left wants to rewrite and Stalanize the document to fit its own dogmas, most Americans know the Declaration is the canvas upon which a proper understand oft he Constitution is painted.  Which is why, as important as the Constitution is - and I'm not trying to diminish its unique contribution to our  nation - it will always play second fiddle to the Declaration of Independence.  At least IMHO.

Nothing makes me doubt Global Warming more than Bill Nye embracing it

Bill Nye, who has become the Jerry Falwell of the STEM generation, is a walking meme for people who don't think being smart is confined to the ability to scream "Science!!" at the top of their lungs.

His crowning achievement was his oft shared tirade against the usefulness of philosophy.  Which, to anyone with more than two brain cells and a high school diploma, should have been recognized as a philosophical argument.

Now, in reality, I don't fully deny Climate Change.  And I'm not stupid enough to doubt something just because someone with a track record of sounding stupid for the sake of conformity accepts it.

But that someone like Nye, who is celebrated by the media as a genius, and who appears so intolerant of anything but one conclusion about a subject, endorses the notion is enough to give me pause.  It also makes me laugh at the media for lifting someone like Nye up on a pedestal.  But that's for another post.

This might come as a shock

But the Emmy awards were used as a platform to advance Leftist political views.  Hollywood has become Ground Zero for leftist group think.  It actually believes that handing awards to shows that advocate radical feminism, LGBT rights or abortion rights is a bold stroke of courage.  That's like thinking you're brave for standing up at a Nuremberg rally and saying you have a problem with Jewish people.

Hollywood was, along with certain strains of American intelligentsia, a primary source for the Communist sympathies of America's Left in the 20th Century.  Many of those Blacklisted celebrities were, in the end, Communists.  By the 70s, it wasn't hard to tell that many in the Entertainment industry had hated America, but loved Communism.  Or at least they were far more sympathetic towards Communism.  One need only watch any random episode of the TV series MASH to see that at play.

Of course the awards are as predictable as the awards show content. Calculating the correct proportion of designated demographics or surviving which shows advocate a Leftist dogma is the best way to predict the winners.  In a way that would make Ozzie and Harriet wonder, most shows today are thinly veiled propaganda vignettes.  From shows like Glee to Modern Family to the laughably misplaced, anti-Christian The Handmaid's Tale, most productions make Pravda seem diverse by comparison.   Their job is not to enlighten.  It is not to entertain.  It is not to provoke thought.  It is to indoctrinate, plain and simple.

Life Site versus Rebecca Bratten Weiss

I don't know much about Life Site News.  I've heard it slammed by Catholics who have banned me, slandered me, falsely accused me, and insulted me.  So that alone makes me give it a few benefits of a couple doubts.

Nonetheless, if Hitler said Stalin was a bad guy, I won't say Stalin was a good guy just because.  Life Site might peddle in fake news (why be left out?), slander, false accusation and the lot.  I don't know.  I just know I've seen much across Catholic sites taking sides in a brouhaha that arose between Life Site and a Catholic blogger named Rebecca Bratten Weiss, and most of it has been against Life Site.

Ms. Weiss is in that part of the Church that more or less accepts the lion's share of post modern, liberal developments in thinking and values.  She appears pro-life, including abortion.  I believe I commented on her post once, or at least interacted with her at Patheos.  She seemed pleasant and charitable enough.

That's all I know.  The complaint appears to be from Life Site saying Ms. Weiss is, well, what Ms. Weiss appears to be, and proud of it.   Life Site, which appears to be far more traditional, would logically take issue with that fact.

Here is the Life Site piece in questionHere is a link to Ms. Weiss's blog.  I'll let you decide.  Unlike Mark Shea, the captain of the Calumny for Christ brigade, I won't condemn either one.  My guess is, it's a clash of outlets that represent radically different ways of understanding how the Church should deal with the world today.  A clash far too prevalent in the modern Church.

I would add, BTW, that the larger LS piece, taking issue with the much referenced Seamless Garment, is on track.  The idea of a Seamless Garment, in terms of all Catholic teaching, is fine.  There's nothing wrong with saying we should follow all of the Church's teachings about more than just abortion.  Unfortunately, just like the loaded term 'Social Justice', it's frequently used as a way of attacking anyone who doesn't vote liberal Democrat.  Let's be honest.  That's as often as not what it's used for.  Reject the Democrats' position on something, and you're opposing 'The Seamless Garment.'  So at least in terms of how it's applied in real discourse, Life Site has a point.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

If there was no other reason to be an Ohio State football fan

This would be enough:

It's not just the Script Ohio.  Oh no.  It's the Incomparable Script Ohio.  Complete with "I" dotting sousaphone.  NASA isn't as precise as each and every little detail of this legendary performance.   One of the most famous traditions in college football, it's not just a staple of college sports, but of the sports world in general.

People who scoff at ceremony and tradition in religion have never been to an Ohio State football game.

Ironically the first marching band to make 'Ohio' in script was Michigan in 1932.  BTW, the song that is played during the formation of the script is Le Règiment de Sambre et Meusem, a 19th century French military march.  Just in case you're wondering.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Frank Fitts and the Catholic Left

I must admit, one reason I left Patheos was so that I could keep better track of Mark Shea.  When I came on board Patheos, our editor asked me to leave Mark alone and cease and desist arguments with him.  I more or less behaved myself, usually confining any references to Mark to the praise and 'well done' category.

That didn't stop Mark, however, from visiting my blog a few times and throwing out his usual preemptive accusations, and then leaving.  Since Mark banned me from his own sites, I couldn't respond, and he never returned to dialogue with me.

That became frustrating to be sure.  I tried to behave on my part, and yet felt I was coming out on the short end.  Therefore one of many reasons to leave Patheos was so I could speak more openly about Mark's descent into the deepest levels of the modern Left.

This post is a grand example.  First of all, there is nothing wrong with the substance of what Mark says about Church teaching.  The Church condemns racism.  If you only oppose immigration because you are a racist, then that is bad.  Likewise, our salvation does not rest in blood or soil or nation.  The Church is not America, nor is it Western Civilization.

But that's not the problem. First, Mark used a rather poor example to illustrate the opposing side of the debate.  Assuming this all came to Mark as he indicates - and knowing how Mark falsely accused me of saying things about him, I must wonder - it is obviously a poorly written, poorly thought out piece.  There are other, better pieces explaining the problems with open borders and post-national Christianity.  The biggest problem is that whatever negative results occur, it won't be us who pay the price.  It will be future generations.  A sort of martyrdom by proxy: By the degree to which future generations pay for our opinions have we declared our righteousness.

Mark doesn't address those.  He takes something written by what could pass as a high school Facebook rant.  And he uses it to subtly suggest this is par for the course for those who don't agree with the Church's current approach to the subject.

He then does the really, super duper bad thing.  He ascribes only the most vile and evil motives to those who oppose open border immigration.  And then, to add salt to the wound, he takes it to the next level:

"…is (like all these Alt Right guys) obsessed with his sperm.  That’s why he bizarrely speaks of “cuckolds” as he insults celibate “Catholic leaders”.  It’s all about the weird fear these guys have that darkskins will inseminate “their” white women.  The sexual insecurity of these wretched bully boys just leaps off the page every time they write."
It's a classic tactic of fanatical devotion to a cause.  You are either 100% for us, or you are more than 100% wicked and evil in ways you probably can't guess.  This is the type of stuff that peps the rally and can actually silence opposition.  After all, if it becomes commonly understood that anyone who opposes our open borders positions on immigration is just obsessed with darkies putting their sperm into our women, how gross and creepy is that?  Who wants to be associated with that type of thinking?  That's like pedophilia meets racism.

It reminds me of the 80s, when that effective weapon was used against opponents of homosexual normality.  Member that?  What did they say?  They said if a guy had issues with homosexuality, it's likely because he was really a closet homosexual.  Secretly he sexually fantasized about having hot, steamy, sweating sex with this buff neighbor next door.  He was really Frank Fitts, the Left's mental picture of everyone who has blasphemed the true, saving gospel of liberalism. Complete with Nazi memorabilia and gun obsessions.

That's what Mark has done.  He has turned any and all opposition to the Church's thinly veiled support for open borders into Frank Fitts.  It is a devastatingly effective ploy.  It takes it to the deepest levels of shutting down debate because, if you resist, you're a Nazi.  And not just Nazi, but a creepy, sperm obsessed sex type Nazi whose mind is ever in the dirtiest levels of social thinking when it's not being racist.   Using that tactic is the last stage of conformity to the Left, where debate is over, and failure to conform brands you guilty of all sins, since you have dared to question even one part of the progressive platform.

Friday, September 15, 2017

RIP Harry Dean Stanton

Roger Ebert is supposed to have said that any movie with Mr. Stanton is a good movie.  He was right.  One of the most reliable character actors of the last 60 years has died.   Kelly's Heroes, Cool Hand Luke, Red Dawn, Pretty In Pink, Alien (in a very memorable role), why the list goes on and on.

Stanton was one of those character actors who the camera loved, directors loved, and super stars feared.  When he was on the screen, your eyes couldn't help but go to him.

I grew up watching him in movies, seeing him as that 'next door neighbor working in the garage' guy who was always in situations that didn't seem to line up.  Whether working in a chain gang, service in war (which he did in real life), or being a space trucker going up against alien life forms, he always seemed out of place.  And yet in place at the same time.

He'll be missed.  That solid, always can count on character actor seems to be going the way of other conventions in modern movies.  We'll see.  Hopefully he will realize he was something after all, and find peace and light in the hands of a loving God.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.

Remember the Alt Left hates America

So following the Iconoclastic revolution, where destroying any and all statues that people who matter are offended by is the hip thing to do, we find out that Francis Scott Key - racist extraordinaire - has been vandalized.  Or at least his statue.

Was he a racist extraordinaire?  Of course.  By our standards, anyone with white skin who isn't a modern liberal, today, this instant, is a racist.  Was a racist. And can't be redeemed from their racism.  That's simple enough.  Of course hipster Catholics approve this message.

Remember, the desire is to destroy the United States and rebuild it in the image of a Bolshevik inspired, radical secular, Leftist totalitarian state.  With sex and drugs of course.  For now at least.

And yes, this is largely only that radical, alt-left branch of the Left.  Because the left never calls out its own extremes, however, count on the radical Left now to become the standard mainstream Left in a generation.

The problem with Antifa for the Left

Is that it exists.  It's a group of radicals doing things that are only supposed to happen on the right.  At least some of its members happily subscribe to violence and destruction.  Many cheer for anarchy.  Not a few throw their hats in the ring of radical left wing and Communist sympathies.  And in addition to hating fascism (assuming, for a minute, they're not actually a branch themselves), some have made it clear they hate other things as well, like America, Christianity, religion, you name it. 

In other words, they're a pain in the Left's butt.  And they're a problem for the press.  Just as the press tends to avoid talking about the bitter suffering and human misery brought about by decades of the sex and drugs culture which is so crucial to helping modern liberalism appeal to youngsters at an early age, so focusing on something like Antifa is also a problem.

If Antifa were all things, but flipped over, and opposing ideals near and dear to the Left while advocating radially right wing viewpoints, betcha the Left would have round the clock coverage - and condemnation - of the group?  Oh yeah.

As it is, the press is forced to cover it, thanks to Trump's doubling down and refusing to play the game.  It does so as it always does when forced to cover something that could make the Left look bad.  It appeals to the tactic of endless confusion: What is Antifa?  Can we know what Antifa is?  Is there really such a thing as Antifa?  Isn't it too complex to define?  Can we ever really be sure of anything?  Couldn't C-A-T really spell dog?  And on and on.

ABC does a nice job demonstrating the approach.  Part of the result of this is leaving the reader with the notion that Antifa is something or other, hard to define, if anything bad happens it's just a few malcontents who don't speak for the vaguely defined group, Racism!(TM), and so on. 

It's somewhat funny to watch. It's also frighting.  Because we now know that the press is no longer about informing us, it's about indoctrinating us.  It has become the Ministry of Truth.  And Antifa has jumped the gun, forcing the Left to double down when forced to (perhaps violence and hate are acceptable for the right reasons), or trust in the 'here today, gone later today' attention span of the post modern who really only cares about the latest Smartphone release.

A far cry, BTW, from the days of my youth, when Gandhi and Atticus Finch were the god-heroes of liberalism, showing that violence and hate are always wrong, and promising a world of endless diversity, tolerance, love, and non-violence.  Trust not the movement that promises a land where all animals are equal, but then begins to backtrack by insisting it really means some animals are more equal than others.

The saddest part, of course, isn't the Left's desire to turn America into a Bolshevik styled Orwellian dreamscape.  It's how many Christians, including Catholics, have taken to ignoring such a hate group at best, and even excusing it at worst.