Friday, June 28, 2019

Pop star Madonna exemplifies the modern Left

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

How MLK beat #MeToo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Full rich weekend, Part III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 24, 2019

A full rich weekend, Part II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our oldest and youngest, along with my wife.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Google priorities

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 17, 2019

A happy Fathers Day present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My adorable wife enjoying a drink with me after the fundraiser

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

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

His choice: Cajun crawfish boil and fixens

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

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Memphis mayhem and Black Lives Madness

Riots and destruction and assaults continue apace in Memphis.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

An age of myth and legends in Catholic history

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Leftist racism suffers a setback

As a jury awards 11 million dollars in damages to a victim of the Left's racist witch hunts, in this case courtesy of Ohio's own Oberlin College. The story is here.  I remember it well.

We've seen this many times over the last dozen years or so.  Two black men come into a Starbucks and violate company policy by using the facilities without purchasing anything.  A manager does what she is supposed to do.  But she has the wrong skin color.  She is white.  Outrage ensues, the press swoops in, makes it a 24/7 puff headline, digs into the manager's past through any means possible, exposes all flaws or failings, destroys the life, Starbucks bows before the Leftist State, apologizes for the wrong skin colored manager treating the wrong skin colors the wrong way.

And months later we find out that it was Starbucks policy at the time after all, and the manager was in the right.

It's happened dozens of times.  Even to the point that ethnic minorities (that is, not white) increasingly become more belligerent, knowing they can do almost anything short of murder (at least for now), and the Social Media lynch mobs, aided and abetted by the Press, will certainly make them into the victims if who they are against is the wrong skin color (that is, white).

I saw this in the jobs I worked before having to come home and tend to my Mom.  The last job I was a manger on a team with about 120 employees (all who made the same salary regardless of gender, BTW, except for a half dozen who made more due to experience - all of whom save one were women,  but that's for another story).

When it came to discipline, the company was clear - don't.  If you must discipline an employee, then you have to jump through a thousand hoops, file a million papers, and had best have several witnesses.  And without saying it, but making it nonetheless clear, we were sure that this applied double if the employee was a minority and we, the managers, were white.

One day, a fellow manager (himself African American), was standing by the windows looking down on the parking lot.  I went up to him and asked what he was looking at.  He pointed to one of the employees on his team, a young African American man probably in his mid 20s.  The young man was walking toward his car.  I asked what was wrong.  The manager said that the young fellow was going home.  I asked why.  He said he didn't know.  The young man just sent him an email saying, "Three O'Clock, time to go!', and left.  And the manager said he knew it would do no good to call him out.  The company made it clear that anything short of murder, and it doesn't want to risk the inevitable lawsuit.

But in the case of Oberlin, justice prevailed, and racism took a step backwards.  A group of young black men entered a bakery, and one attempted to shoplift.  When the owner's white son intervened, the black men who were actually committing the crime screamed 'RACIST!'   How did we know it was racism?  Easy, the racist notion that you can always tell a racist by the color of his skin.  Students and others involved with Oberlin College immediately responded, like a jackass responding to a whip.  Demonstrations were staged, protests occurred, the college fully supported the protests as various individuals from the college lobbed endless accusations of Nazi/Racist against the bakery.  Business was hurt, the usual trauma one can imagine occurred.  Except, in this case, goodness and truth and justice and equality prevailed.

This is as racist as Dred Scott America.  The idea that you can always tell racists by their white skin, that all whites are ipso facto racist and bear the blood guilt of all past whites who were nothing but racists, unless they were also homophobes, transphobes, misogynists, and all around bigots, is straight out of the Mein Kampf playbook.  They might as well declare Joseph Goebbels their patron saint, for there is little between them and him but the ethnic targets in question.

As I've said, the good news is that most sane human beings are not part of this madness, evil, bigotry and discrimination (see the manager I referenced above for an example).  The bad news is that our institutions of education and higher learning are hotbeds of it, and are training new generations overnight to embrace a new form of bigotry that mirrors old forms that took centuries to develop.  So up and coming youngsters in these oppressed groups are learning to hate, to judge, to condemn, even to attack when need be, since they're sure their miseries and sorrows are all the result of the grand White Privilege conspiracy to keep the minority down.  This is what the forces of goodness and rightness must combat.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Off to Police boot camp

Our third boy is off this week to what we call his first Police boot camp.  He is enrolled in a pre-academy training program for young people discerning law enforcement as a vocation.  Rumor has it that this is a pretty tough and demanding week.  My heart goes out of course.  Thanks to the press, Hollywood and the Left, many see the police as half-baked gestapo killers just itching to murder them some helpless innocents, especially if they are minorities.

No matter what my son does - and we're still happy with him going into accounting or sales or anything else - I'm thankful for what I've learned through this time about law enforcement from law enforcement's point of view.  I know growing up the son of a railroad engineer, it was interesting to find out so much about a career that almost everyone knew but few understood. 

Just in this short time, I've had my eyes opened about a career I knew was misrepresented, but I had no idea how much.  It's my prayer that this week goes well, that he learns and does well and all are kept safe, and whether he loves it or it's living hell, he uses it to discern just how he can bring his gifts of confidence, strength and a big heart (three sizes too big) to a world that needs all three. 

I also pray for all of those in law enforcement.  Resisting arrest is becoming more common - something we also have learned.  That would be because of demagoguery like the link above.  Pray for all who protect us and who are there when we need them, that they don't do the wrong thing, even in the face of so much that is wrong.  And I pray that God keep them safe and protected them even as they protect us and work to keep us safe.

Send off cook out with the boys; the guest of honor is to the right, examining his knee

Friday, June 7, 2019

San Mateo County goes Soviet on Chick fil A

Chick fil A is fast becoming ground zero for the fight against tyranny in our time.  In the name of post-heterosexual sex, another local government has set its sights on banning and segregating the popular chicken sandwich chain.  True, there is only one individual behind it, but he's a biggie in that particular office, and I'm not seeing anything suggesting that any of his coworkers are fighting back.

This will continue.  The Left wants it gone, all of it: Christianity, Christ, the Christian God, the Christian Faith, the Christian West, the American Experiment, the Bill of Rights - all of it, gone.  As long as those who would resist bicker among themselves, or cower in the corners and hope it goes away, the Left will win victory after victory.

Don't get me wrong, I believe there is always hope, but there is also always shadow; that long defeat Tolkien wrote of.  In our time, the great Evil is that heresy wrapped in blasphemy promising debauchery and delivering tyranny and slaughter that we somewhat limply call 'The Left.'  If a better name could be found, I'd use it.  But for now, recognizing the threat is enough.  If, that is, we do something about it.

Oh, and lest you think compromise and acquiescence is the key, since not everyone on the Left says they want such tyranny, just remember one important thing.  When the first politicians spoke of banning Chick fil A several years ago, there was almost universal backlash, including from the LGBTQ community.  Now it's that same LGBTQ community calling for the banning and censoring to happen.  Remember, history is just studying carnage and missed signs sitting in that sad valley below all those slippery slopes.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A fitting end to the anniversary of that day of days

I fear they belong to a different age, a different nation, and a different world.  Nonetheless, for all they gave, words are not able to express our thanks.


Real heroes from a bygone age fighting actual threats to freedom and mankind.  There is plenty to think about, but now we remember those who sacrificed all, not just 75 years ago, but in wars and battlefields through the centuries.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The skinning of Taylor Marshall

Let me be on record that I have no opinion about Dr. Marshall one way or the other.  I believe he came into the Catholic Church the same year I did.  Having a PhD and being from the Episcopal tradition, he found a sort of fast track into that dying vocation of 'former Protestant Clergy making a living as former Protestant Clergy.'  Things were already changing by then, and I always saw his career like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones grabs his whip from under the closing door just in the nick of time.

I read some of his articles over the years.  As a general rule, he seemed to be a likable fellow, good family, and sensible.  Most other Catholic bloggers and apologists typically gave him kudos and thumbs up, even setting him against other more traditional Catholics as the type of person traditional Catholics should aspire to be like.

But that was then.  One thing about the era of Pope Francis, we've had the emergence of an almost Protestant level of animosity and divisions within the people of the Catholic Church.  Oddly, I don't remember this when I became Catholic.  Despite the fact that most Catholics were decidedly left of center, most disregarded the Church's teachings on a host of social and even theological issues, and the harshest critics of the previous popes that I knew were those left leaning Catholics, it didn't seem to be a big deal with the more conservative Catholics I read.  A few more traditional Catholics raised Cain, but most said those critics were merely wrong, called them out if the rhetoric became too vulgar or hateful, and then moved along.  Which was good for this Evangelical coming into the Catholic Church.  After all, I wouldn't have wanted to see too much zealous defense against a pope's critics.

Since Catholics questioned the wisdom of Pope Francis's famous 'who am I to judge' reaction to homosexuality in the era of AIDS and abortion, it's been all out war.  Oddly, some of those who had no problem (and still have no problem) trashing former popes like Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI, are among the loudest accusers, calling those who dare question Pope Francis the worst type of Catholics. If there was ever some mythical time where those with questions or concerns about Pope Francis were treated with respect and open ears, I never noticed it. From the start, they were attacked and demeaned and ripped to pieces for their doubts.

That alone is enough to make me wonder what's so different.  Why was the basic reaction to progressive Catholics ripping into Pope John Paul II one of 'You're wrong, but let's just love each other and move along because Catholic' while many of the same Catholics wade into Pope Francis's critics like soldiers landing at Normandy?  It's not the tenor or tone of his critics. I heard plenty of crazy, mean, even hateful attacks by Catholics aimed at the former popes in their day.

Since the beginning with 'who am I to judge', any and all criticisms, from the crazy and extreme to the measured and thoughtful, have been blasted out of the water.  They have been called reactionaries, Francis haters, alt-right Catholics, traitors, heretics, bigots, sexists, homophobes, and even conservatives!  No matter how humble and meek those with questions about Pope Francis have been, they've continually been lumped into the same pile with the worst of Francis's critics and blasted away.

Why the difference?  What makes the era of Pope Francis one where, with few exceptions (and those usually around his handling of the abuse crisis), no deviation or dissension is allowed or tolerated.  Despite what Francis's defenders say, there has not been a case where critics of Francis, no matter how balanced they have been, have not been put into the cross-hairs and figuratively shot to pieces.

And that's just the case with Dr. Marshall.  For all I know, his book is trash.  Many books are.  It boggles the mind how many trees have had to die for some of the books that are out there.   But it's not just his book that's being blasted and impugned.  It's him.  A man who once was considered quite the swell guy is now thrown onto the trash heap of 'deplorables' onto which all who question or criticize Pope Francis seem to be thrown.

Since I doubt Dr. Marshall has suddenly become some horrible, foaming at the mouth, alt-right reactionary pope hating heretic Nazi wannabe, I have to assume something else has changed.  And since I find it hard to believe that every Catholic, every priest, and every bishop who has questioned Pope Francis deserves the same sneering contempt and hatred, I have to look outside of the accused and wonder what is different.  What about the era of Pope Francis has caused this?  Is it Pope Francis himself?  He does have a tendency or two that could explain it.  Or is it something that Pope Francis represents?   I don't know.  I just know something is different.

Monday, June 3, 2019

The only strange thing about slavery in Western Civilization

Is that it was Western Civilization that decided to end slavery because it was intrinsically evil.  Around the world, from the dawn of civilization, virtually every culture and every civilization had slavery in some form or another.  In some cases, various forms of slavery were practiced.  That would continue well into the 20th century, where the last nation to outlaw slavery did so in the 1950s.

Today, slavery in a new form abounds, under the euphemism 'human trafficking.'  That it is mostly the groundwork for much of our modern commercial and tech industries (making all those goodies we crave that much cheaper), as well as the global sex industry (both prostitution and pornography), we tend not to sound the alarm bells too loudly.

Walter Williams breaks down why the modern Left's obsession with slavery doesn't seem to match the historical record of slavery, much less our reactions in face of the latest incarnation of the practice.  In fact, you might say that the modern Left's obsession with slavery makes you wonder just how much the Left actually dislikes slavery unless it can be used as a weapon with which to bludgeon the very civilization that alone in the world decided slavery was a grave evil.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

I dare you to forget this

If you listen to it through to the end:

I'm the last person in the world to know anything about contemporary music.  The most recent popular release I own is Santana's Supernatural.  But this strange tune crossed my plate last night, and I've not been able to get it out of my head since.  The odd video and eclectic appearance of the group, called The Dead South, doesn't help in pushing it out of my memory.  I'm no bluegrass fan, but I can tell its obvious influence, and there's a little bit of Dylan in those lyrics, albeit with modern explicitness, if I'm not mistaken.

Good luck.