Tuesday, February 27, 2018

For my wife

Will be gone the rest of the week.  Serious 25th anniversary stuff.  Turns out the boys pulled their college funds together and bought us a splendid getaway at a local castle in the woods for a couple days.  Plus we'll have plenty of time this week to spend with family.  It comes in handy have a son studying to be a gourmet chef.  I'll be back next week.  TTFN and God bless everyone! 

Because she isn't the wife of a liberal Democrat

Melania Trump, who has received little to no regard from the press which spent eight years venerating and worshiping at the altar of Michelle Obama, opens the gates to being mocked for a sound message.  Why?  Because of Trump's tendency of being as bad as the Left has been for 30 years.  Which is why the Left feels it's in the right place to talk of respectable speech but she is not.

You can't fight a movement with no core values, beliefs, morals or truth claims.  You just can't.

If the NRA is to blame for gun violence is Hollywood to blame for AIDS?

Just asking.  Seems consistent.  I mean, I'm rejecting the whole 'what does sex and drugs have to do with AIDS?' rubbish.  We all know darn well what it has to do with it.  And in America alone, close to half, if not more than half, the same number of those murdered by guns every year die of HIV/AIDS every year.

Now, in fairness, the NRA tells people to do nothing but own guns and practice gun safety.  It doesn't tell people to go out and shoot other people.  Hollywood, on the other hand, spends most of its time telling people to take tons of drugs, have tons of sex, wear a condom, and all will be well.

You might say that Hollywood is more responsible for AIDS than the NRA is for gun violence.  But I'm a reasonable man.  I'm willing to say they are both equally responsible.  Or not.  You can't have one and not the other.  Though, in all honesty, you could argue Hollywood and the entertainment industries' emphasis on sex/drugs, especially aimed at young people, is uniquely responsible for the pandemic of the age.

Monday, February 26, 2018

When Christians join non-Christians in mocking thoughts and prayers

You get this.  If the non-believer looks at Christians who make it clear that prayers to God don't matter unless set behind fealty to a political policy, don't blame them for assuming that prayer ultimately doesn't matter.

When a Hollywood star of CGI comic book movies shows more devotion to faith above the world's chariots than those paid to represent the Christian faith to the world, it's time to rethink where we've gone in the world of apologetics. 

Catholic bishops in Texas sever ties with Pro-Life organization

Working with people where they are: A Visual Aid for Catholics
Here is the actual document in question.

Sorry, I'm not buying it. Not that Texas Right for Life doesn't do those things, or say the Bishops are wrong for supporting this or that legislation, or disagree on what this or that legislation will be, or that it doesn't run afoul of the Church's current baby steps approach to handling the issue that used to be the great crisis of our age.  I'm just not buying it.

Why?  Because every time I see some pro-immigration, pro-gun control, anti-death penalty or pro-government healthcare rally come by, I notice Catholics and Catholic leaders fall over themselves to be right in the mix, joining hands, singing songs, walking in solidarity.  Even if there are forces behind such things that openly and proudly advocate for the wholesale elimination of entire generations for the sole promise of unlimited orgasmic delights in the age of 35 million AIDS deaths. Even if they pander to and promote forces that push blasphemy, heresy, and the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance.  Even if they openly flip the bird to the Church and anyone who dares fail to conform, promising a land in which their liberal values are mandated and anyone who doesn't fall into line will be fired, fined or tossed in jail.

It matters not. Be it a murderous, brutal Communist dictator or proud advocate for exterminating people with Down Syndrome by abortion, we're continually told that the Church meets people where they are when they are right, even if they be wrong a thousand times over in other ways.  But Dave, they might advocate for the seven deadly sins, but they are right about socialized medicine, and that's what matters!

Except, apparently, when people are wrong in such a way as to challenge the Left.  Then it's off to the cornfield you go.  We can't be hanging with people who aren't straight on the up and up!  As the Church becomes more and more the willing thrall of the emergent Left, it's almost embarrassing to watch the excuses and insults to our intelligence that suggest we can't see what is really going on.

Now I could be wrong here, and unfair.  This might be the beginning of a Church getting its act together and this is the first of many steps in cutting ties with those movements, agencies, advocacy groups, organizations and individuals that fall short of the best.  Perhaps there will be a movement to suggest Catholics avoid marching with various outlets that promote a laundry list of sins and evils in the name of hedonism and narcissism, even if they are right about immigration or government healthcare.  If so, I'll gladly and joyfully concede the point and admit my hasty judgement.

If not, my judgement stands and shame on the Church for once again staring straight at the obvious lessons from history and turning away to go in the opposite direction.

I stand beside the NRA

I'm not a member.  Nor am I sentimental enough to believe that the NRA today looks like the NRA my Dad belonged to all those years ago.  Likewise I'm not stupid enough to think that matters.  I've been hearing NRA IS HITLER talk from gun control and gun ban activists for decades, back when the NRA was supposedly 'not the NRA it is today.'

None of this is to say I agree with the NRA, or think it hasn't gone off on the wrong tracks, or shouldn't back off and consider certain regulations or upgrade some approaches to gun ownership.

I can see that the NRA is simply one in a growing list of 'villains marked for extermination' by the emergent Left.  And there but by the grace of liberals go I and all that.  This could just as easily be me next time.

Even as Gun Control activists insist it's not all about guns, I have yet to hear a serious debate about anything but guns in between mass shootings.  Just like when a cop who might be White shoots a Black man who might not have been armed.  The Left descends on it as if it was the next Holocaust while insisting it will get around to the thousands of Blacks killed by other Blacks soon.  Real soon. And yet the Left never seems to get around to it.

Sorry.  This tactic is becoming all too familiar.  Pick an issue - Blacks killed by cops, mass shootings, transgender bathrooms, gender relativity, gay marriage, abortion and contraception free of charge, whatever.  Declare one acceptable viewpoint (in the name of tolerance and diversity of course).  Then single out whatever it is that is most visibly challenging that viewpoint: it could be an individual or group of individuals, a certain religious group, leader, state or city, or industry.  Then aim all weapons at the offending party and fire.

With complete coordination across academic, entertainment, media and political lines, the point isn't to defend whatever issue is being used.  Given how women, Blacks, minorities, Jews, and others have been treated when they run afoul of the Left, it's easy to imagine that they aren't that important to the overall agenda.  Likewise, given the general lack of concern for 99% of the violence, or the fact that Blacks are dying by the thousands not by cops, or that there are disproportionate problems inherent to the homosexual community, or that thousands continue to die of AIDS in our drugs and sex culture, it's almost possible to believe they don't matter either.

The point is to advance the Left.  All of these other issues are beside the point.  They don't matter any more than heroic youth who risked their lives to save others, but don't believe gun control is the answer, matter.  The jig is up, and the Left is revealing its hand.  Think it through.  Think real hard.

I might not own a gun.  I might have given up hunting ages ago.  But I can see a scapegoat being dragged to the burning stake plain enough.  I've studied history for too many decades to miss the signs.  I want the shooting to come to an end enough to suggest it's not really the guns, but other problems, that should be focused on.  But I can't stand idle while another pet issue is used to destroy another corner of resistance.  If that continues to happen, it won't matter how many guns or not, or shootings or not, or scapegoats are around.  We'll have bigger problems than that.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

John C. Wright blasts the media's naked exploitation of convenient shooting victims

Yep.  By now anyone with a brain should see that Gun Control activists and 2nd Amendment opponents, including those in the media, have conveniently lifted up only those youth from Parkland who are about supporting The Cause.  Those who aren't?  Why, they don't exist. 

Another example of Unpeople in the post-modern age.  Like the former homosexual or conservative Black man, or the pro-life, conservative woman, they simply cease to be.  Mr. Wright calls it for what it is.  That so many conveniently accept the obviously vile practice of not just pushing aside inconvenient information, but inconvenient people, shows that whatever good might - might mind you - come from this or that gun law could very well be at the awful expense of the heart and soul of our nation.

Mr. Wright can sometimes, IMHO, be pretty harsh and the rhetoric a bit shocking.  But in this case, I feel the rhetoric falls far short of the crime.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Modern discourse got you down?

I give you the Bob Ross channel.  I defy you to watch two episodes and still be mad  - at anything.  The world was a happier place with Bob.  He is sorely missed.  

More hysterics and insanity in the post-modern age

Not the type once fought against and ridiculed by the press and entertainment industries, and brought up to derision and contempt in our institutions of higher learning. Nope.  Those same wardens of freedom and the little person are now the ones taking the lead, whipping up the peons into frenzies of paranoia, foaming at the mouth hatred and bat crazy idiocy.

So two employees of Aramark have been fired because they served a racially insensitive meal.  WTH?  A racially insensitive meal?  I had no idea there was such a thing.  But then I didn't realize the word radical was secret racist messaging, that a green cartoon frog could be a hidden Nazi symbol, that suggesting women smile was an all out war on women, and that suggesting a Muslim who killed people in the name of Islam might be connected to Islamic terrorism was bigoted Islamophobia.

So there you go.  Was a time, c. 1970s/1980s, when the aforementioned institutions mocked and condemned such lunacy.  There was an age when people who spun records backwards for hidden messages and scoured rock lyrics for Satanic allusions were laughed out of the room as the dolts and zealots they were.

But as I've said a million times, it's not the presence of evil or stupidity or both that is a problem.  All societies, all groups, will have the bad and the dumb.  It's when the main pillars of a given society take up the stupid or the dumb that we get into problems.  The problem wasn't that Germans in the 1930s were antisemitic.  The problem was that being antisemitic was the official position of all the institutions of Germany that should have protected its Jewish citizens from such evil.

Do we care about why the Parkland shooting happened or not?

There simply is no logic behind where we are focusing right now.  We don't even know if the gun control policies proposed would have done anything.  We do know there were multiple failures within the systems we have. Again.  In a world that cared about children, that would be our focus.

Sadly, in a world that sees children, like other human beings, as convenient only insofar as they help the agendas, you have things like this meme that should be ludicrous but are, in fact, accurate.

School Shootings and random thoughts

These are just musings.  They are not based on science or studies.  Just me observing the nation in which I am raising my sons, and the current topic of guns and shootings and the desire to narrowly define the problem based on a single solution.

Did Roe v. Wade have an impact?  The essence of RvW: 'that is your definition of human life, not mine.'   Could generations raised in a nation coming to that conclusion be impacted by it?  Especially after WWII?  The entire point of legal abortion is that America has officially allowed us to define a human when we feel like it.  I can't help but think somehow it could be connected.

Divisions.  We are in what many are now calling a Cold Civil War.  Even the Cold War had hot casualties.  My son said that the kids at Parkland will be asked to surrender their freedoms for safety.  I said no, that's wrong.  We are a divided country.  They will be asked to surrender someone else's freedoms for their safety.  Increasingly we don't love our neighbors, but we fear and hate them, just as we feared or even hated the Soviets back in the day.  We're taught that they are the problem, and whatever happens to them?  Eh.  Being taught that our neighbors are our enemies must make an impact.

Rhetoric.  In following up on the divisions, I'm hearing and seeing chilling things from the Gun Control advocates.  Kill the NRA, exterminate the NRA, Wayne LaPierre is a seriel killer,  Ban guns, Gun owners are next.  And this is from the side ostensibly all bent out of shape by the violence and death at Parkland.  And what's worse, it's par for the course. That level of rhetoric exists on the highest levels down about any one of a million topics today.  It's not just gun control activists of course, nor is such rhetoric new.  Just note the irony of where some of it is coming from and how that must say something bigger about where we are versus where we might think we are.

Mental health.  After Sandy Hook, I heard a fellow on the news (can't remember the station) say something I've not forgotten. He said  that mental health went through a massive overhaul between the 1950s and the 1970s, and in the 1980s, the mass shootings began.  A connection?  I think that's a bigger elephant in the room than we're admitting.

Isolate events as universals.  Fact is, if you manipulate any data, you can arrive at different realities. Take the most dangerous cities in America off the burners, and America sounds much safer.  Likewise, many of these school, or mass, shootings were based on specific sets of circumstances that might unpack the stats.  Broward County looks to have dropped a dozen balls.  That would be the same county where educated adults were perplexed by the unsolvable mysteries of the paper ballot.  It could be connected.

American Craftsmanship a thing of the past. Speaking of dropping balls.  Parkland is the latest case where warning signs were missed and the official safeguards that should have been triggered weren't.  There is a decline in quality in America overall, with everything from the latest household products to the Secret Service being plagued by incompetence and a general lack of care for quality.  Could these have long range connections to any efficacy where new laws or even existing laws are concerned?  If we're becoming bumblers in making cabinets, will we do any better with laws?

Isolation through technology.  When news came that Amazon was going to have a people-less store, one of those interviewed in the story said he was glad.  A young fellow of likely college age, he was happy not to have to deal with people when he shops.  Several of the students at Parkland guessed who the shooter was before it was announced.  Could it be that we are becoming so isolated that all notions of human interaction are collapsing, and that is a problem?

Violence for fun.  Popular culture of mass violence everywhere. I mean, look at what kids are playing at the age of 5.  I know people who let 9 year olds play first person shooters, or watch rated R blood and guts movies.  I remember seeing old black and white movies when I was little where someone died a particularity gruesome death, and it impacted me.  What do kids today experience?  Also the not so subtle Hollywood meme that people who are really bad (like people who disagree with me) have it coming.

Post-Christian.  We were told America has no right to have a particular culture and moral basis, and so jettisoned it for whatever was nearby.  Could it be that when we say people can make up their own realities those realities aren't always going to be good?

Fortress Educationa.  If we are talking about having to turn our schools into fortresses with armed teachers and guards, what is next?  Barbed wire fences?  Could it be we've turned a corner if this is what we have to do?  And do we think it will really work?

Brats and narcissists.  Kids are raised today to think that if someone disagrees with them, or doesn't talk the way they want them to talk, or give them what they want, then that person is evil, hates them, and wants them dead, since the world exists to affirm them as gods of their own creation.  Might that make an impact?  Could kids raised in that manner develop unhealthy ways to react to a world that doesn't treat them way the way they want?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  What would Aretha Franklin say?  Respect, like manners, common sense and common values, went out the window decades ago.  Yes ma'am and no sir are as rare as Cuneiform word processors.  We love it when all the cool people flip the middle one to all those not-cool types who aren't like me.  Could it be a nation almost proud to not respect anything or anyone and yet told to respect everyone (sometimes) is facing an identity crisis where dealing with people is concerned?

I don't want to grow up!  Rush Limbaugh once pointed out that the Baby Boomers were the first generation that never had to grow up.  Hearkening back to the point about television and Boomers, could it be a generation of adult children raising more adult children who then raise another batch of children bent on staying children is not a healthy way for a society to function?  Could kids surrounded by and raised by kids have unintended consequences?

It's the Spirit stupid.  Assuming for a minute that the Christian Faith is actually true, can we expect much from a nation that goes out of its way to purposefully and officially expel it from all corners of our public domains?  That's what the Soviets did, and look what happened there.

Radical individualism.  In piggybacking on the narcissism above, could it be we're seeing in individual form what the nationalism of the 20th century saw on the battlefield?  As we allow people to think they are a nation unto themselves, that there is no 'Our country', and sure as hell not 'their country' (I call it the Kaepernick syndrome), could this be a logical extension of such a view - bad countries (people) warring with their neighbors?

As long as it doesn't impact me.  Following decades of misusing the notion of being judgmental (mainly, you can't judge me, or obviously you're wrong), and convincing people not to care unless it impacts them, could it be that we've let this go because it doesn't impact most of us?  After all, what is our approach to Islamic terrorism (only Islamic, not domestic) but 'as long as terrorists kill other Americans, it's the sacrifice I'm willing to make'?  That must say something about us, and perhaps why we're not really shaken to our foundations and willing to look at the hard realities when these tragedies strike.

The world.  Let's face it, the world is a violent place.  It always has been.  See the last century for an example.  In the end, gun violence might simply be the logical extension of everything we've been doing as the world continues to change.  Change it might, but many of the old characteristics - like sin - will remain and will find a way.  Like my son says, to paraphrase Ian Malcolm, destruction will find a way.

What of legalized drugs? If, in fact, liberals insist that laws against illegal drugs haven't helped the drug problems of our country, can we believe that more gun laws will do anything about the illegal use of guns in our country?

Car laws. Keeping with that thinking, we hear some gun owners point out that cars kill more people than guns.  But we have laws regulating cars!, is the answer.  Yes we do, and yet cars still kill more people than guns.

A little learning.  A dangerous thing, according to Pope.  We wage ideological warfare and I'm not always convinced we're as smart about all the topics we spew about as we think we are.  Armed with undergrad degrees and a semester of history 101, we suddenly become experts in every nook and cranny of human history - whenever convenient. I don't think this causes a society of mass shootings, but could it be what hamstrings our ability to solve the problems?  Or  worse, makes us schmucks easily manipulated by those who see shootings as a step toward some political end?

All those careless gun owners.  Guns are dangerous, look at the accidental shootings! I hear that if there is a story of an accidental shooting.  Gun accidents are, given the tens of millions of gun owners, relatively few.  Accidents happen, and you get the careless ones.  But on the whole, those isolated YouTube videos that show someone doing something stupid with a gun don't seem to fit the stats.

Wo ist Education?  Speaking of a little learning.  My wife was a teacher, and my undergrad was in secondary education.  I had three boys go through public schools. Let me tell you, it's a hot mess.  And not just because of STEM scores.  Half of what they teach is rubbish, the rest is based on teaching hatred and contempt for the Christian West, America, the latest designated ethnic groups, traditional values, and common sense notions like sex and babies are related or one's genitals have something to do with gender - but we can all make up our happy worlds where everyone affirms our self-affirming affirmation of our self affirming selves!  I wouldn't let those working within the current train wreck of educational philosophy teach a dog, much less kids.  Has to mean something.

Can we stop using the 33,000 killed by guns.  There are so many parts to that stat, there are so many dimensions that don't account for the numbers that are never mentioned.  Like saying 'Four years and 40 million dollars', it's a meme, not a fact, and if we care about the problem of violence, we'll never misuse it again.

The Gun Cult!  Please define.  From what I can tell, this radical bunch of gun nuts is typically not involved in most of the mass shootings.  Same with the dreaded militia (which is the cause of terrorism done in its name).  In fact, the worst killing attributed to the dread American militia movement used a bomb, not guns.

Gun Violence versus Violence.  Do we actually care?  As horrific as they are, mass shootings account for a barely measurable number of overall murders in our country. While murder rates have gone down, they are still far too high.  And yet not only do we hardly ever dwell on it, during the 2016 campaign, I heard the press insist things were getting hunky-dory.  Well, not to those murdered and killed.  Or do they not matter?

Stop comparing the US - to anyone.  We are a unique nation.  It does no good to pick out a dozen countries that help your case while ignoring other countries that don't.  And why don't gun control activists ever cite nations like Mexico, but only reference decidedly white European nations to compare America to?

Raising kids.  At the end of the day, it's not just kids raising kids, but broken homes, fatherless boys, wacked out psychological theories and science that looks common sense parenting straight in the eyes then turns around wand walks the other way.  I have no time to list the connections between broken homes and crime.  Much less screwball theories of raising kids and crime.

Exploiting vs. Memorializing.  If we are using a tragedy to advance certain solutions, then we should at least be able to demonstrate how those solutions would have prevented the tragedy in question.  To me, that's common sense.  If not common decency.

Sucks to your thoughts and prayers.  I just can't help but think that when we've come to a point where a sizable chunk of our nation now insists prayer and God are only worth a dime if put second to a singular political policy, we've officially shuffled off this Christian coil.  That so many Christians appear to agree only makes it that much clearer.  See my point about the truth of the Spirit above.

Those are just thoughts I've had over the last couple days in no particular order and with no particular weight or purpose.  Musings only.  Just the idea that maybe the problem of school shooting, that didn't happen when I was growing up, is beyond limiting a single type of gun.  We can do that, of course.  But I think it's foolishness to think anything will ultimately change.  The carnage might end up different, but it won't change until other things change.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Happy birthday Dad

And God bless you for being the great Dad you were.  Today would have been your 88th birthday.  You are missed.

In an age of liberal hysterics and paranoia

Where a college campus can be thrown into panic over the terror of a Catholic priest being confused with a member of the KKK by our generation of proud Nones, we have this. Residents of Seattle - America's own little corner of Communism - apparently were thrown into a panic over the presence of a Confederate Flag.  Like playing the Queen of Diamonds, calls commenced voicing concerns over what could only be ,.. I don't know, signs of the Apocalypse, the end of all things, the dawning of the Fourth Reich? 

Well, whatever, it turned out to be a Norwegian Flag, not the Flag that Cannot be Mentioned.  This is, of course, how lynch mobs, witch burnings, and the general fall of civilizations to tyranny and terror happen.  When such raging and stupid paranoia and hysterics begin to move from Maple Street to Main Street, and is generally encouraged by the institutions supposed to protect us from the same, it doesn't bode well for the future.

Happy Birthday George Washington!

Yesterday was Washington's birthday.  One of the truly great men of human history, Washington is, in many ways, why we have a such a great nation.  Donald McClarey gives nice insights, as he always does, about this great and fascinating man.

Most kids today get more emphasis on the failings of the Founding Father, just like we tend to focus on the bad of everything in the heritage of the Christian West.  The unique contributions, their triumphs and successes, their gift to history are generally downplayed, if not ignored. 

Nonetheless, wisdom suggests we Americans have a unique gift in our Founding Fathers.  And none exemplify just how wonderfully blessed we are from their contributions than the life, wisdom, humility and morality of George Washington.

Why the New Pro-Life Movement is wrong

Here.  Some good points.  Chief among the problems with the whole 'social justice', or 'New Pro Life' or 'Seamless Garments' faithful is their willingness to accept the narratives, paradigms, arguments and premises of the pro-choice, culture of death culture they supposedly oppose.

Increasingly, as I noticed here, the New Pro-Lifers are becoming stunningly silent when it comes to addressing things like the breakdown of the family, the sex, drugs and porn culture, and the growing abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia movements.

Another problem is their use of the same attacks leveled at the Pro-Life movement that have long been used by pro-abortion, pro-LGBT, pro-culture of death forces in the world for decades.  This often involves slandering and insulting the pro-life movement, impugning their motives, dismissing their millions of hours of service through charity and deed, and making the worst possible assessment of what it is to be pro-life.

Quite frankly, if you advocate for a post-Christian sex, porn, drugs, extermination for our libidos and narcissism culture, you could have worse allies than the New Pro-Life Christian movement.  Whether intentional or not I don't know.

Steven Graydanus on Billy Graham

Deacon Graydanus, ever willing to find overt Protestant influences in American life, or ferret out anti-Catholic sentiments where they are, nonetheless pens a nice piece about Graham.  And I won't sweat any anti-Catholic sentiments that might have plagued some of Graham's Protestant supporters, because (in response to a post praying for and celebrating Graham):

By now, most media outlets are following the 'This was Graham, however he had scandals, but nice point at the end' model of reporting.  The scandal involving the Nixon tapes that heard him say what everyone has said, and that most Jewish friends I have admit, that Jewish influence is high in the media, has been the most common.

That's an odd one, and one of the strange models of communication in our PC world.  That is, Group A can say X about itself, but if Group B agrees with X, Group B is evil.  So not just my Jewish friends, but a special on TCM, and a series on PBS, also spoke of the high influence of Jewish Americans in media, Hollywood and television.  In fact, the PBS special even pointed out that Jewish television contributors like Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Larry Gelbart enjoyed using their craft to poke holes in America's Christian based society.  That was PBS!  Not to mention even media outlets themselves, such as famously the Boston Globe, noticed the disproportionate influence that Jewish individuals had in a published piece of Hollywood big shots back during the Screen Writers strike.   But, Graham was Group B, so scandal.

Likewise, that Graham supported a marriage amendment that would effectively ban gay marriage was touted as the other scandal.  Despite the fact that around, if not more than, half of Americans at the time also supported the idea, it is labeled scandal.  That's another media trick.  If the media supports an issue, to oppose it is to be 'the controversy.'  If 65% of Americans opposed gay marriage, it was still controversial to oppose gay marriage.  Now that the majority of Americans support gay marriage, it is reported as controversial to oppose gay marriage.  Remember, propaganda, not press.

Oh, and one more thing.  I heard at least two media outlets say that Graham preached to 'sold out stadiums'.  That suggests Graham charged admissions for his crusades.  Obviously he didn't.  They were free.  Young people not knowing the difference could conclude the wrong thing by such sloppy reporting.  These, among other things, is why the press is often a bad place to go for learning about real people.

Nonetheless, Graydanus mentions Graham's flaws, though not specifically, which is fair.  Graham himself would be the last one to declare perfection.  It was never in his own notion of perfection, but in his unwavering faith in God's grace through Christ, that Graham found his courage.  Graydanus also mentions the fact that Graham, in addition to reaching out to those outside of his own circle, was an early advocate for desegregation and Civil Rights.   That, so far, has not been mentioned in any of the television stories, though some print stories have mentioned it.  Some Civil Rights leaders, apparently, downplay that because Graham didn't advocate as much as they would have liked.  Nonetheless, Graham did his part, and perhaps the world would be a better place if we focused on the good rather than dismiss people because they didn't do good enough.

Fact is, Graham was a pastor for an America long past.  It was a time where Christianity was still the default, go-to religious foundation.  It was a time where the Protestant work ethic, though diminishing, was still present in the work place.  It was when we still learned the Golden Rule in school, and more than that, who gave it to us.  Like anything that was as much cultural as religious, Graham was a product of his time.

But he was the right product.  He was a man of conviction in a nation increasingly throwing conviction, along with values, truth, manners, respect, and unity out the window.  He was a man who learned his lessons, and admitted the unthinkable today - that he was a sinner.  He was a man who managed to be all things to all men that by all means he might save some.

And for this youngster in college, awash in MTV, cable comedy, post-Christianity, and a growing rampant modernity calling us away from our biblical foundations, he was the right thing at the right time.

Apparently, the American Bishops agree.

"Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead.  Don't believe a word of it.  I shall be more alive than I am now.  I will just have changed my address.  I will have gone into the presence of God."  Billy Graham.   Amen.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Because only conservatives hate

Or not, at least in the real world.  I've heard worse.  But it's a nice reminder that if your politics is based on 'because this side is the swell people, not like the nasty people on that side', you're likely building your house on sand. 

Kudos to Billy Graham for reminding us that we're all sinners, which is bad, not we're all sinners, but not like them.  The good news is that it is through God's forgiveness in Christ that we have hope, not in our political affiliation.  And that is good news, which is what the word Gospel means in the first place.

Exploiting shooting victims for a political cause

By now, anyone with half a brain should know that the 'student marches' in response to Parkland are being aided, if not coordinated, and supported by interests well beyond the halls of a local high school.  The media, of course, is on board, getting 99.9% of our attention to be on solutions that would likely do little, if any, good in curtailing this ghastly phenomenon of handling our problems at gun point aimed at soft targets.  

Now, it's bad enough that the press is obviously doing this for its political purposes.  It's bad enough that people are behind this, pushing the kids ahead as shields against criticism of the press's position.  But as Donald McClarey discovered, it's a well orchestrated shield, in which those whose experiences or ideas don't match the Marxist Left are sent to the media cornfield.  Or at least told they can't have a microphone at a 'open town hall meeting.' 

Shameful.  His experience is every bit that of any of the students who suffered that horrible day.  Yet he was silenced by CNN.  Call this reason #984,579,844,795,794 why lovers of freedom and those worried about the society we are bequeathing to our children are skeptical about things like the Gun Control Movement. If the American Propaganda Ministry wasn't behind the GCM, there might be less suspicion.  Though the growing 'Ban Guns, Kill the NRA, Gun owners next time' memes I'm seeing aren't helping ether.

Meanwhile, another instance of a police officer shot and killed reminds us that the problems are greater than any one gun law.  

Attention Gun Control Activists

Don't use victims of school shootings to cover the hate spewed today by Gun Control activists.   And let's not pretend that it's gun owners who are the violent, murderous ones spouting the hateful, pro-death rhetoric at anyone they disagree with.  I'm not saying no gun owners do such things.  That would be laughable.  But as Victor Hanson points out, lobbing 'wish they were dead' speak at those other types is something that the biggest critics of the gun lobby have become rather good at.

Thus here:

Or as seen on this site, as well as the comments:

Note the first comment: we have met the enemy, and it is them.  Followed by 'don't forget they have white skin, so that means racist!'  Gun owners apparently being white by nature. 

Perhaps - and this is just me being crazy - but perhaps the reason we've had shootings over the last few decades has been the growing divisions in our nation that says there is one group, the good guys, and the other group, the evil stupid types who need taken out.  I wonder what it would be like to be a kid growing up, listening to adults frame everything that way.  Sometimes I think we're seeing what it is like.

The cynical conspiracy theorist in me thinks that it might be deliberate.  It might be that we train our society to hate and kill, and then swing in and move to end freedom and liberty in the wake of a nation taught to be filled with hatred and narcissism.  But I'll stay calm and assume it's really just a glaring blind spot.  A blind spot that is so large because we just can't bear the thought that this society we've spent decades building might not be good for your health.

By the way, as a side note, is there not one of the student activists who think the solution is other than gun control?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Billy Graham and Woody Allen

From another time on another world

God bless you Billy Graham

The news broke on my way this morning.  I could have more to say, but I doubt I'll be able to add much to what will be said.   It's enough to point out that even in my deepest, darkest days as a proud liberal agnostic, I admired the man, as did most fellow students and peers I knew. 

It was a different age, and the world has moved on from a time where Graham would be able to have such a ministry today.  But he was there when the world needed him.  I once was asked why I admired him in those crazy, hazy days of televangelist scandals.  Because I felt he believed what he said.  Even then, I found that to be a good quality.  Even if I didn't believe it, he did, and that made an impression on me.  In some ways, he was that rope that kept me tied to God in a popular culture casting itself adrift from all Gospel moorings.   And for that, I'll always be grateful.

He will be missed, as he already has been.

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

My question to everyone calling for more gun control

Is very simple.  Exactly what are you proposing that would have prevented the shooting at Parkland?  No dodges.  You can't say 'well Dave, you can never be sure ...'.  Nope.  You have to say this is what we propose that, if it had been in place, would have prevented the shooting.  It's easy.

For me, looking at guns as separate from the society we've built is like looking at air pollution as the world's main problem in 1944.

Also, my boys asked an interesting question.  Has anyone older than a Baby Boomer ever been involved in a mass shooting in the modern era of mass shootings?  I'm sure there have been, but I'd be interested to see the numbers.  Mass shootings as we think didn't begin until the late 70s/early 80s.  What happened then to change things?  I think that's what they were aiming at with their question.  Why did this all begin?  It's not just guns.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why the Democrats should not be trusted

By Mark Shea, c. 2008.  Tell me what has changed for Mark to have become one of the Democratic Party's loudest cheerleaders within Catholicism today. Interesting what a difference 10 years make.

Update.  Case in point: (Mark, today):

Monday, February 19, 2018

Young gun control advocates must concede the ugly truth

The fact is, most gun owners, and not a few non gun owners, don't trust the modern Left.  We just don't.  We've spent the last few decades drinking beer, watching the game, hanging with the family, going to our tractor pulls and NASCAR races, and we've observed.  Some of us went to school.  A few even made it past undergrad.  And we've noticed a few trends.

1.  The Left has no moral compass.  The Left thinks nothing of mocking a truth, declaring it inviolable later, and then dismissing it next week when convenient.  At any given time it reserves the right to attack anyone not on board, even if the same is only following what the Left said was true yesterday.  The only common denominator is that whatever is proclaimed true at the moment serves the designs and machinations of the political Left.

2. The modern Left is almost choke-inducing hypocritical.  Most of how the Left acts is the very way it condemned years ago.  If you want to know what the Left once called evil when I was growing up, watch what it does today.  Judging, condemning, seeking to legislate morality, imposing values on others, criticizing religion, calling for boycotts, demanding conversion to its superior morals, and seeking to ban offensive expressions - these were all what the Left once associated with Fascism and the 20th century dictatorships.  Today, they define almost every aspect of the Left's behavior.

3. The Left has absolutely no accountability.  The Left can be forgiven for doing what most human endeavors have through the years, and that's seek to control others and acquire power and wealth and worship of the little people.  Nonetheless, historically the good news was that when such movements arose, there have always been the poets and dreamers, the artists and authors, the journalists and intellectuals to stop them.  Today, no matter how appallingly stupid, arrogant, intolerant, judgmental, or downright evil the Left becomes, there are, at best, crickets from those same bastions of freedom of thought.  Sometimes, those bastions of protection have become the willing mouthpiece for the same things they once fought so hard to prevent.

4. We can't help but notice that Obama's eight years were among the worst in American history, especially where freedom and liberty are concerned.  If there were times when different Americans weren't free, we've seldom seen a time when freedoms were walked backwards at such a pace.  Not since the Red Scare has a sitting national leader worked so hard to curtail freedom, whether freedom of speech, conscience, religion, or the First Amendment as a whole.  And instead of being appalled, too many to Left of center cheered.  In fact, the same Left calling to end the 2nd Amendment happens to be the same Left that has encouraged a generation to rise up and call free speech 'Hate Speech.'  Smart people notice things like this.

In short, the Left hasn't given thinking people a damn reason in the universe to believe that the intentions of the Left are anything other than dubious at best.  From teaching young people to hate America's heritage and traditions, to attacking the Christian faith upon which so many Western values were founded, to subtly weaning them into a generation calling to end freedom of speech, the rule of law, due process, presumption of innocence, or anything that stands in the way of their promised narcissism, too many see gun control as simply another notch in the gun aimed squarely at the heart of the one civilization that brought democracy, liberty and the idea of life's sanctity to the world to begin with.

And that's simply not something we're willing to jeopardize.  Nobody wants mass killings.  Nobody wants to send their kids out the door wondering what crazy is out there ready to kill just to kill.  We all know that the reasons we have such a problem are due to many factors.   Guns might - might, mind you - be one of a hundred factors, not even counting the obvious spiritual and religious truths Christians long ago stopped believing to be uniquely beneficial for the world.

Unfortunately the Left, and its accomplices across the nation's institutions that are supposed to protect us from tyranny, aren't the least bit interested in any of the other reasons.  So overwhelming is their dismissal of any other factor that one is hard pressed to believe that the Left gives a rip at all about stopping the next mass shooting.  In fact, each day it becomes easier to believe that the Left cares for curbing gun violence as much as it does women, minorities, the poor or others when those others no longer serve the greater Leftist agenda.

I'm sure most liberals, young and old, are of good faith and wish with all their hearts to do something.  I sometimes think that is the hook with which the Left snags so many.  It's in human nature to want to solve problems, and the Left, in following that deeply embedded debt to Karl Marx, promises a simplistic solution.  In this case, letting government add one more layer of laws that might or might not make a difference, but anyone opposing the plan is clearly the bad guy (aka, the bourgeoisie).

It would be good for those youngsters and liberals to take a nice, long look at the Left with which they have aligned.  The fact that the press made a big deal out of kids calling for gun control falls hard on the ears of those who have listened to the same generation call free speech 'hate speech', and the same press give limp rebuttals at best.  We have listened to a growing number of youngsters elevating their politics above all things, bringing their hatred of their political opponents to their sporting events, activities and campuses.  We have watched those same youngsters demand an end to anything they find offensive, through any means possible.

If those same kids would rally, not for gun control, but for the truth needed to help the problem no matter where it leads, then we would be inclined to listen.  Otherwise, we're simply not going to listen because too many who support freedom and liberty see this as a freedom issue, not a gun issue.  They see the rise of mass killings and mass shootings as the logical extension of the culture we've built.  They believe that looking across the landscape of the America we have spent half a century making, and saying guns are the problem, is like looking at the world in 1944 and concluding air pollution is the crisis of the day.

They understand that even if a gun law could do something to minimize the risk in the short term, if it comes at the expense of our liberties and the Christian and Enlightenment based society upon which we are built, that the long term casualties will be far greater than a hundred mass shootings. And they realize that the forces behind the kids, or the adults, screaming 'Gun Control Only!" are the same ones most threatening the very society that gave us care about the individual in the first place.   Not just for ourselves at the moment, but for our posterity, do we take such a position.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Remember when liberalism was all about not judging people?

Or criticizing their religions?  Yeah, so do I.  Seems like another age in another world.  Today there are few things in the world less judgmental, less close minded, less arrogant or less intolerant than what liberalism has become.

Nonetheless, I don't begrudge Joy Behar.  There's an ugly and altogether false narrative, born of lazy credulity on the part of those who believe it, that liberals are smart and conservatives are dumb (except for William F. Buckley, Jr.  He was always smart).  Ms. Behar, co-hosting the one show capable of raising doubt about the 19th Amendment, does all the heavy lifting needed to dispel that little myth.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Too many tears for blogging

Here in our own area, there is a memorial for two of America's finest who were gunned down in the line of duty.  I'm also aware that police have been attacked and killed in other parts of the country since then.

Meanwhile, here is a slideshow of the victims of Parkland.  God bless them and the futures they lost. 

I think that is where my thoughts and prayers are today.  There will be times for debate.   I used to say that if you are going to jump over bodies to advance an agenda, you better be able to demonstrate that your agenda would be able to stop what led to the bodies.

No.  As humans not animals, we grieve.  We mourn.  Politics is not our God.  God is.  At times like this we lift this up to the Lord.  We remember the brave officers and helpless victims.  We mourn with those left behind.  And we show the world that such horrible violence is not a logical extension of our rhetoric, partisanship, and hubris, but rather a glaring exception to a nation still linked to a time when we believed people were made with the divine spark in the image of the Almighty. 
Loving God, you are the author and sustainer of our lives. You know the anguish of the sorrowful, you are attentive to the prayers of the brokenhearted. Hear your people who cry out to you in their need; strengthen their hope in your lasting goodness.  
We pray today for those who have died because of violence, of terrorism. Draw them to yourself; let your face shine upon them. May they be greeted with choirs of angels and experience your eternal peace and joy.  
Be near to all those who have been touched by violence: those who have been hurt, lost their loved ones or lost their sense of security. Be for them a steady comfort and safe resting place.  
Soften the hearts and steady of the minds of those who would do violence to others. May hate be replaced with love, violence with peace and darkness with your light.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Celebrating the heroes of Parkland

The teachers and students who risked, and in some cases gave, their lives for others have ascended into hero status.  Likewise the police and first responders who charged into potential harms way, knowing nothing except innocent lives were on the line.

This makes up the best of humanity.  It still doesn't take away the hurt from those who died.  Yet it reminds us that whatever caused this gunman to go down the path of evil and murder, most people do not follow.  Most see in times like this a chance to come together, to mourn and pray, and to celebrate the best that humanity is capable of mustering.

God bless those who risked their lives, who thought only of others, and in some cases gave their lives that others might live.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

When Christians mock prayer

A Case Study.

Note to Mark Shea: Thoughts and prayers are not garbage because one disagrees with your politics.  God is bigger than that.  And your politics and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not one and the same.  Jesus Christ is bigger than that.  And the policies of the Democratic Party are not the way, the truth, and the life and the only potential path to salvation through Jesus. The working of the Holy Spirit is bigger than one party.

In short, one can be a good Christian, can love Jesus, can be obedient to God, can sincerely pray and conclude that perhaps the policies of the Democrats would not help in stopping this or similar tragedies.  It's what liberal Christians used to say to the Religious Right.  It's now what New Prolife Christians need to hear.

From Mark's post on the shooting: his appraisal of prayer's efficacy if not linked to Mark's political opinions

It's bad enough that our political leaders and others in our nation have decided to blaspheme God by subverting prayer for the sake of politics.  But that Christian leaders or apologists do the same in fealty to a political agenda makes me sick. I will not address this blasphemy again.  I only did it to warn those who seek to petition God through prayers and charity not to be misled into such heresy. What should be done with a professional representative of the Faith who advocates such things I'll leave to others to work out.

Now it's back to what Christians and all people of goodwill should be doing, and that's weeping with the dead and those who are suffering, and lifting up our hearts and minds to God, through Jesus Christ if believers we are.  There will be time to look for solutions, and possibly even look at the heart and soul of a nation that has come this far.  But not now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Pray for the victims at Parkland High School

Killings happen far too often in this world.  But there's something about a school shooting; an attack aimed at the most precious members of our civilization, our families, and cherished by our parents, that cuts to the heart. 

So far, 17 are confirmed dead.  God bless them and their loved ones who are left to grapple with the unimaginable.   May God bring peace and comfort and strength to those who are left to mourn and endure.  God also forgive the shooter, and bring a spirit of repentance for this inexcusable act of murder.

May we come together and lift up our common voices in laments and prayers for those lost, and seek to be a national family that extends our hearts and tears in support for all who were impacted by this senseless act of violence. 

Should Catholics give a nod to movies about man/boy sex?

UPDATE: I know, this is weird, a post starting out with an update?

I hadn't posted this yet, having had it floating around in my draft box for a while.  Deacon Greydanus has now come out here to address this review, saying that his review was a failure.

Nonetheless, there is something about the whole episode that is off putting.  He says he failed to convey his views, and yet didn't seem to address why this was a problem when set in juxtaposition to other films he has had no trouble trashing outright.  He insists he was only being a good film critic by addressing the film the way he did.  Nonetheless, if nothing else, he is good at making his point and often makes his criticism of films and what they do wrong more than crystal clear, in both video and written form.  Whether The Ten Commandments or Snow White, he is typically very clear about what he considers their weak points, be it making the Biblical narrative too Americanized, or wallowing in old sexist biases.

In this defense, however, he leans on needing to be nuanced so as not to give the wrong message to people about how Catholics approach such things, but he has had no problem blasting movies in other cases.  So again, the fact that his views of Call Me by Your Name were in no way able to be discerned by his viewers suggests a problem somewhere.  Why he so dropped the ball on this particular movie is anyone's guess.

So because his explanation left me still a bit puzzled, I'll post what I was going to post.  I didn't see this review because anyone pointed me to it, FWIW.  I caught it while looking up some info on the movie.  I didn't have anyone saying 'this is what he said.'  I watched the review and was taken by the vagueness myself.  Here is my post as I was prepared to publish.  Though he has given an explanation, I'm still curious enough to post my own thoughts as I experienced them:


"Just wondering [in answer to my headline's question]. Deacon Steven Greydanus seemed to give a somewhat favorable review to the new movie called Call Me by Your Name that celebrates a burgeoning love affair between an adult male and a seventeen year old boy.  He was just seventeen, and you know what I mean.

I guess all that stuff we heard about during  the Roy Moore campaign regarding sex perverts going after seventeen year olds is now old hat, and it's back to sex any way you can get it, as long as two or more individuals of varying ages consent.

Now, Deacon Greydanus does point out that the movie is basic post-modern hedonism 101, where sex, sex, and more sex is the only Logos worth speaking.  But he then turns around and gives it what can only be called a glowing review, at least as a film.  He speaks of its beauty, its quality as a movie, the overall positive impact it conveys as a work of art.   Or at least he appears to neutrally appraise its message.

It's worth noting that in film class (yes I took film classes to fill out some of my extra classes in college), Triumph of the Will was said to have been a fine film, too. That was the point.  It was a well produced, excellent piece of movie making.  Of course it was a major propaganda piece for  Nazi Germany and the cult of Hitler.  Otherwise, a good movie all around.

The point made was that just because a movie is good doesn't mean it isn't evil.  From there, of course, we began examining other films, mostly in America, to see the underlying evil and propaganda behind their productions.

Yet I didn't see a clear line in Deacon Greydanus's review.  There was no 'But in terms of Catholic teaching, there is no way in hell we can give it a thumbs up since, well, we aren't into man/boy sex no matter how beautifully filmed.'  You're left with an acknowledgment of the obvious, that the film is a sales pitch for modern sexual hedonism plain and simple, but a fine and quality film at that.

I kept waiting for him to say 'And this is why the movie is a clear and flagrant propaganda piece for the modern hedonism and sexual licence, making it clear that where two men are sexual, there is simply no morality, which is why it's thumbs down all the way.'  I came from it not at all sure that Greydanus didn't love the movie.  Maybe he didn't, and he was simply being vague, or non-committal.  I don't know.  What think you?  Was he making it clear that this movie is an affront to almost anything that the Catholic Faith affords as decent?

It's worth noting, and I should say as a disclaimer, that I don't read Deacon's film page that often.  Sometimes he makes good points, but he is, from what I can tell, simply part of the post-modern way, whereby he reviews what he reviews, and ignores what he ignores.  There is no concept of 'movies that are important whether I like them or not since we're all part of one big, happy civilization'.  There is no review of Gone With the Wind, The Godfather, Cool Hank Luke, or scores of others known as essential films.  I don't know why or how any film critic could not mention those.  It would be like a page devoted to European composers not having references to Beethoven, Mozart or Bach.  His propensity for lifting up CGI superhero and fantasy/sci fi movies (giving The Phantom Menace a B+ rating, while giving the celebrated epic Lawrence of Arabia an A-), suggests he's more post-modern in his film reviews than he might think, or I care for.

Nonetheless, it's certainly the case that if he can look at a movie about an adult man seducing a seventeen year old in the age of Roy Moore and give it a positive spin, if not to the same level that Vox did, it screams something is wrong.  Bad wrong."

UPDATE II: If fairness to Deacon Greydanus, here is his written review, which is far more blunt.  Why his video review was so accepting and positive without a clear line drawn against what it promoted, I don't know.  Again, be it video or written, he has never had a problem drawing that sort of a 'here was the good, here was the bad' with films before.  I can't help but wonder if the power and the terror of the LGBTQ movement has pushed Christians into such a retreat that we actually thing ongoing surrendering and acquiescing is our only hope.  I dunno.  Nonetheless, the post remains because I can't help but think his video review says something.

Salon contributor does the dumb thing

And reveals one of the creeping evils of the emergent Left.  Of course we all know that Salon is akin to a supermarket tabloid, but without the charm.  It's a Left wing rag used to promote whatever Leftist trends happen to be all the rage while spewing hatred based on whatever religion, ethnicity or nationality is in vogue.  Like most leftist rags.

Anyway, so one of its little elves tweeted this piece of fine scholarship and deep learning:

The whole was justified by this bit of stellar academic insight:

Yep.  That Bible doesn't make sense, it's so not like the fine literary output of the 21st century.  The best comeback comes from our own Nate Winchester:

That made me laugh.  I mean, it's so obviously true.  Another language(s), on the other side of the world more than 2000 years ago.  I won't waste my time on that screed of incomprehensible ignorance about, well, almost anything to do with the subject at hand.  The fact that the individual equates Evangelicals to Fundamentalists is all I need to know that we're dealing with a person who is, purposefully or otherwise, as dumb as a hay rake about the topic they're addressing. The rest of the post confirms that assessment.

The same thing the Salon contributor said, of course, could be applied to almost any literature not of the last few generations and not written in the English language.  Pick a work from someone who lived thousands of years ago: Herodotus, Sophocles, Plutarch, why the list is endless.  Pick the Quran.  Pick the Bhagavad Gita.  There is no end to literature, old and ancient, secular or religious, that doesn't conform to the standards of today (which is a point in their favor in most cases).

Of course comedy ensues in the comments because almost anyone with an IQ higher than a fruit fly's can see the obvious problem with such a stupid, vacant, brain dead analysis.  Remember when liberalism promised a world of enlightenment and tolerance and curiosity about all the peoples from all of the world throughout all of the ages?  Liberal broken promise #401,793,824,708,931,824,709.

But seriously, it speaks to a creeping, disturbing trend of unremitting evil emerging in our millennial age, especially among those to the Left of center.

That trend is the growing tendency for up and coming millennial-agers to have nothing but contempt and disdain for anything not produced since 1992.  It involves a hatred of anyone and everything to do with anything not Now. This, mixed with the hatred of the Christian West and its bastard child America that is taught in our schools and popular culture, is producing a growing desire to see eradicated almost anything and anyone to do with that cultural heritage.

I'd like to think we will stop it in time.  If not, then I at least hope that the enablers of this movement of death and destruction, of nihilism and ignorance, will realize what part they played in allowing it to happen.

Consider that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Elsa, the female antagonist, is at a Nazi rally in Berlin.  Bad girl that she is, she still has a legitimate love for history, archaeology and the gift of learning.  So it kills her to see the madness, to see the Nazis in the torchlight processional throwing precious books onto a blazing bonfire.  A tear streams down her cheek as she realizes just who and what she has aligned with.  I hope the enablers of this modern Leftist movement will have the same tears on their cheeks as one author, one artist, one composer, one thinker and one hero after another is burned to ashes from the Left's increasing hatred of anything not Now.

The Political Left is the way, the truth and the life

And nobody can communicate with Jesus but that the Left says so.  Yeah.  The View.  I know, that's sort of cheating.  The one modern production that calls into question the 19th Amendment is hardly fair representation for any movement, the Left or otherwise. Nonetheless this banter reminds us of the brand of tolerance that is peddled left of center. 

It also reminds us that the BS we hear about how it's all because of Trump that everyone has gone bat nuts is just that, BS.  Each time we find some new revelation that Trump could be impeached, we're reminded that it's Pence the Left truly hates.  Just like during the primaries, when it looked as if Rubio did well, or Cruz might be gaining momentum.  Suddenly we were hit with a flurry of pieces reminding us that Rubio, Cruz or anyone else were every bit as wretched and evil and wicked as Trump.

If you believe all of the vitriol, hatred, intolerance, and recent leaps to put an end to the right to not be liberal are solely the result of someone like Trump in the White House, I have a bridge to sell you. Perhaps it looks worse than ever because of Social Media and the more naked biases the press exhibits, but that level of hatred for those who don't conform to the Left goes back to the Reagan years, and possibly before.  It all reminds us that the Left simply hates those who don't conform, period.  Red or Yellow, Black and White, they are loathsome in the Left's sight - unless they conform.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Immigration and the American Elite

When immigrants were the bad guys
Is kicked around over at The American Catholic

Yep.  It's a tangled mess right now.  Was a time when Republicans seemed more willing to let illegals in and turn a blind eye.  That's where the jobs were that Republicans didn't want.  Liberals were all about restricting illegal immigration because illegals tended to tap the system America's poor most needed.  Plus it didn't compel the countries they were coming from to change their ways.  When Reagan let millions leap the fence, it wasn't just white Republicans who fussed.

All that changed over the last decade and a half.  I couldn't begin to tell you why.  Like the historical origin of most things, it's likely difficult to pinpoint.  I just know that by later in the Bush II administration, open doors and blank checks were increasingly a Democratic platform, with fighting to restrict and curb illegal immigration belonging to the Republicans.

This, of course, turned into a convenient meme whereby any restrictions on immigration at all suddenly became the result of racist Republicans in Red States hating on immigration all because immigrants are ethnic minorities, and the beautiful people in Blue States just loving on them some poor and needy.

It is much more complex than that, but once an issue becomes entrenched in bumper-sticker sloganeering, it becomes difficult to find a middle ground.  Terms such as immigrant and refugee become conflated, and people end up getting lost in shuffle.

It is true that some Conservatives are willing to turn off the spigots when it comes to immigration altogether, especially from some countries they perceive as threats.  They see that immigration, and the expectations for immigrants, has radically changed since the wave of immigration at the dawn of the 20th century. 

They are right about the changes that have occurred.  Somewhere along the line, it appears we stopped insisting that immigrants become Americans, and more or less figured they can come here for whatever reasons please them, and do no more than they care to do.  They can even keep their own cultures and languages as a priority over any identification with America.  It matters not.  Or at least that is how it appears.

Meanwhile, though they don't admit it, there is little to suggest that the Democrats, and many Christian leaders, want anything other than open borders.  Sure, they deny such charges.  But bring up almost any type of restriction or legislation to regulate the flow of immigration, and you're smacked down in a heartbeat.  Bring up concern for America's own 'least of these', and you're assured that nobody wants Americans to suffer ... and yet there is scant follow up with actually concerning ourselves with America's own 'least of these' where problems with immigration are concerned. 

And, as I pointed out here, this doesn't count those dreamers who have made a substantial living as illegal immigrants, going to Ivy League universities, getting six figure incomes in Silicon Valley, and living high end Wall Street life styles.  All while an increasing number of Americans can neither afford college nor even a new car for their families.  All of this is then mixed with the ugly fact that many who scream the loudest about immigration have scant personal contact with actual immigrants.

On the whole, immigration mainly means that flow of immigrants from south of the border, because that is where the lion's share of immigrants are coming from.  America is unique in that it shares a large, common border with another nation that is a constant source of unending immigrants wanting to come into our country.  And not all want to come in order to become good Americans. 

Some want to come to get jobs and send funds back to their families who have no other intention of coming here.  Others, of course, are those unmentionables who come on the back of the drug trade or some other nefarious design.  Because of the size of the border and the cultures sending this constant, never ending stream of immigrants, the states along the Southern border are most impacted. 

For instance, it's a fact that when compared to Americans as a whole, immigration seems to have no disproportionate impact on crime.  When the states along the Mexican border are examined, however, the impact of immigration and immigrants on crime in those localized regions changes dramatically. And that means something for the people living there; the people who everyone insists are important but nobody ever seems to focus on.

Which is a problem, and brings us back to Donald McClarey's post.  In the end, whether it's Christian leaders, Hollywood celebrities, or federal Politicians, much of the debate about immigration is being waged by people who seldom come within a hundred miles of actual immigrants.  If they do, it is from a comfortable distance.  They might talk to or shake hands with the immigrants, heck they might even let immigrants clean their toilets.  But they are safe and snug away from the worst problems associated with modern immigration. 

Most pro-immigrant warriors are comfortable income wise, and whatever jobs - high end or poverty level - immigrants take doesn't impact them.  If immigrants murder an American or wreck an American's car or take a poor American's job - what is it to these warriors for immigrants?  There are more than 300 million people in America.  Like terrorist attacks, the odds of immigrants causing something bad to happen to anyone I know and love is right up there at Powerball level odds.   Like so many things in our postmodern age, there's a tendency toward martyrdom by proxy.  These leaders proudly proclaim carte blanche for immigrants, no questions asked.  And if some other poor schmuck American suffers as a result?  Well, that's the sacrifice these bold leaders are prepared to make. 

It's like the old image of military and government leaders sitting in their palatial estates while the foot soldiers hit the beaches. Only it has transferred now to domestic warfare between our competing ideologies.  Our elites sit back, shaking hands at Harvard and dining with celebrities while bemoaning the plight of people they're seldom near, and insisting the problems for citizens are important, but never feeling compelled to allow those problems to be part of the equation.

On the whole, I don't comment on immigration because it doesn't directly impact me, and I haven't opened my home to any immigrants (they don't need more problems than they already have).   As George Bush works on the 'How I helped elect Trump' tour, however, it just exemplifies the rank elitism that has come to dominate this debate that is ostensibly all about the least of these.  It might say it's about the least of these, but it's waged between those with the most of everything, picking and choosing which of the least of these matters, and which don't.

For me, it seems the best - and perhaps only correct - way to approach the issue is to make sure our policies and deeds speak to the 'least of these', wherever they are born and whatever they look like.  We make sure people here and coming from there know we have their backs.  We don't pit one group against the other, or tacitly ignore the concerns of a group simply because of nationality and skin color.   Modifying our immigration policy, especially if it makes it easier for people to become citizens (in our nation that is already pretty good compared to most countries), wouldn't hurt.  And if we want to go crazy, actually inviting immigrants into our homes before we point fingers at others might be a token of good faith.

Monday, February 12, 2018

That's all I have to say

The Press hearts Communists

The Olympics Symbol through media colored glasses
Yep.  This Olympics has been marred, as have most things recently, by the focus on politics above all gods.  What matters is not skill, sacrifice, or accomplishment.  What matters is demographic identity and political affiliation.  Those alone are what the Olympics are all about, c. 2018.

So in this, the press continues in a long line of loving the Political Left as the supreme good.  Whether fawning over Mikhail Gorbachev, or Hugo Chavez, or now Kim Yo Jung, the press will love you if you tack to the left of center.  You can govern our avowed enemies, you can oppress the media and political opponents, you can rule over the closest thing to Nazi Germany in the world today.  It matters not.

What matters is that you have even one small toe to the left of center. The Left is very forgiving when it comes to conformity.  As long as you are part of the Leftist current, you can be forgiven a multitude of sins.  Those sins can include, but are not limited to, dictatorships, labor camps, slavery, torture, mass executions, suppressing the press, reigns of terror;  why, there is no sin that the Left won't forgive as long as you conform in some way to the political Left.

This is a reminder that, like identity politics, the Left appears to have no core morality except devotion and fealty to the political Left, just like most totalitarian states of the last century.  It will condemn things like torture or brutality or the naked destruction of basic freedoms and human rights - to a point.  If it benefits the political Left to ignore these same atrocities?  Eh.  They're ready to celebrate the dictator and the terror regime, just like they're ready to throw women and minorities under the bus when convenient.

Almost makes you wonder just what kind of a society the Left really wants, when the media is so prepared to celebrate someone who epitomizes what the the Left ostensibly is trying to protect us from in the first place.

Why the Left should be feared

Here.  An opinion piece from last year by a distinguished Berkeley professor about why hate speech is not protected speech.  Of course you could see the glaring problem with that as far away as Neptune. 

Hate speech is like hate crimes.  In fact, opposition to the concept of hate crimes was largely predicated on the fear that such abstract things as 'hate speech' could arise and seek the same legal backing.  Problem is, what constitutes 'hate' in general has become stunningly subjective.

I remember back in the late 90s, when the whole 'hate crimes legislation' movement was gaining steam, there was a shooting in a Texas church.  The witnesses agreed that the shooter walked in and yelled expletives at them for their religion, and then opened fire.  His motive?  What little coverage it got after a week left it at 'authorities are still unsure as to a motive.'  Make it a Black church or a synagogue or mosque and bet me how long it would be for at least the press, if not the authorities, to kick around a motive.

That's the problem with hate crimes.  It is largely based on whatever latest demographic is in the news as a victim demographic.  When it comes to that wacky world of linguistics, it's even tougher.  After all, words change in the best of times.  Sometimes things that are acceptable now are deemed wrong tomorrow, or at least different (think of the word 'gay').  Nowadays words can be wrong, right and wrong again in the same day.  In fact, the list of 'trigger' words seems to be growing day by day with no end in sight.

Do we really want to say 'hate speech' is not protected in such a climate?  What if I told the good professor I consider some things said about white people or Christians or Americans to be hate speech?  Would he support grouping those in the category of 'not protected'? 

Saying 'hate speech' isn't protected is one small step toward an Orwellian nightmare.  The only thing worse would be to pass laws making us speak a certain way. 

Besides that, there is only one of two ways to go with this.  Because anything can potentially be seen as offensive or hateful by anyone, we will end up with no speech at all being allowed.  Or, more likely, we will begin to determine just who matters and who doesn't matter when it comes to offending them. And once we go down that path, we're heading backwards toward ghettos, cotton fields and gulags. 

Either way, the dangers, threats and problems with this new 'ban more speech' movement should be plain to any and all. 

Oh, one more thing.  The reason I harp on the radical left as opposed to the radical right?  For one, because the media, entertainment industry, record industry, colleges and schools, courts, delivery truck drivers, and most of our political establishment are quick to condemn the radical elements of the right, as opposed to the cricket sounds that usually accompany any news about the radical left.

But second, while you have a few big name righties, most are confined to hovels behind barbed wire fences in the back hills of Montana.  The radical left?  See this article for what that entails.  Saying it's time to end free speech as we know it, largely centered around speech the good professor and others don't like, is being advocated in our schools, our colleges, politely debated in our news casts and among journalists, and even increasingly advocated by such ironic outlets as the entertainment industry and politicians

The very venues that work so hard to protect us from one extreme are increasingly becoming complicit in aiding the other.  Hence my focus on that other threat that is finding favor among the powerful and influential who should be the ones guarding our freedoms.