Friday, May 29, 2020

Not to toot my own horn

But for only having a smartphone, this isn't bad:

National Geographic, eat your heart out.

It's actually on a  bush out front that seems to be dying.  I was looking at it to figure out why when I saw the dew beads.  I didn't even get up close.  Eh.  Hopefully we can save the bush, but at least it made for a pretty picture.

Shouldn't the Minnesota protesters be social distancing?

Just asking.  I'm seeing lots of clips of the protests/riots, and it doesn't look like they're following proper social distance measures. I'm even seeing some not wearing masks.

I mean, not to nitpick.  A man has tragically died, and justice should be done.  If the police are found to have killed him wrongly, then following due process, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.  In the meantime, pray for that man and his grieving family.

With that said, we know what this is about and why the press is riding this like a surfboard in Hawaii.  This is covering for Biden's gaffe and the possibility of a tear developing in the Democratic party's traditional monopoly on the Black vote.  There was some kerfuffle involving the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black jogger earlier this month.  But that was pretty much condemned outright by people and, for some reason, that doesn't resonate like cops killing a Black man.

So now the press has what it's been searching for these last months or years.  And the riots and demonstrations have erupted almost as if on cue.  Nonetheless, we've also been told that Donald Trump has personally killed all 100K Covid-19 victims because he didn't react swift enough.  Likewise his concern for the poor and the poverty stricken due to the economic hardships resulting from the lockdowns has been compared to the killing of thousands of innocents.

In fact, when people have protested the lockdowns, they've been doubly called out for even showing up to protest.  Just like those who go to beaches or bowling alleys or - horror! - churches.  I mean, just gathering together with more than ten people is treated like going into a dance club and looking for Sarah Conner.  How many times did I hear news reports on lockdown protesters pointing out that they weren't social distancing?  And yet there are the protesters now in Minnesota and across the country.  No social distancing.  No abundance of caution.  If the pro-lockdown forces, especially those on the Left, are to be believed, that's nothing short of a death sentence being placed on a thousand innocents over the next few weeks.

I wonder if the press will approach the story from this angle of protesters failing to practice social distancing.  I wonder if those on the left and others who have beaten the drum for perpetual lockdowns and bans from public gatherings will call out the protesters.  It would at least be consistent.  Though I won't hold my breath.  It is America in the 21st Century after all.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Making the Inquisition look tolerant one hashtag at a time

So Jimmy Fallon has come under fire.  Now, Fallon is the one late night comedian who has gotten in trouble for daring to not always stay 100% on the Leftist plantation.  Fallon drew outrage by daring to suggest Donald Trump should be treated like any other celebrity name in the news, and was forced to take the post-modern American pose.  What's the post-modern American pose?  That would be groveling in the dirt and begging for mercy and forgiveness for daring to stray from the Leftist narrative.

Fallon is already on shaky ground.  I mean, post-moderns eschew things like forgiveness and mercy as a general rule. Much of modern multiculturalism and leftist narrative is based on the idea of never forgetting or forgiving, to hold grudges and to accuse, criticize, condemn and hold no patience for those clearly inferior to us.  In this age, Fallon can sin against the Left and even be given pardon, but don't for a minute think the Left forgets.

So now that an old SNL skit, in which he impersonated Chris Rock, has been dug up and exposed, he's been forced to assume the position and beg for mercy.  Reaction to this retroactive breach of modern sensitivities was swift, and the #Lynchmob swung into immediate action, demanding Fallon be canceled, his career ruined, his reputation destroyed. 

How many more times this one comedian, who has already disappointed the leftist sith lord empire, will be allowed to continue remains to be seen.  But it's stunning how we moderns make McCarthy's Red Scare seem tolerant and open minded by comparison.  Remember kids, when a revolution like liberalism attacks such intolerance as it once did and then dishes it out tenfold once it has power, you may want to reevaluate your support for such a revolution.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

How I know Trump is not the next Hitler

HT to my boys for pointing this out.  Of course the Left/Pop Culture/Press has all but canonized the idea that Trump is Hitler incarnate, he's a racist, fascist, sexist Nazi, White Supremacist, and molester of teddy bears.  Therefore, all bets are off and any evil thing can be done or endorsed for the greater good of saving the world from its impending doom at the hands of this new super Fuehrer.

But that's not how it will be.   My boys pointed out, when having one of our family prayer time jam sessions we have in which the conversation train weaves in and out of many streams of consciousness, that Hitler was an angry, troubled individual who had life crap on him more than once.  An abusive father, near fatal war injuries, disappointment with his life.  And all in an area of Europe soaked in radical nationalism and antisemitism.  Hence Hitler.  A man who seized upon the worst of the trends and fads of the day, and fell into the easiest mega-narratives around: the superiority of the German people and the inferiority of those who prevented the Germans from obtaining their rightful place as head of the class.

To that end, the next American Hitler will not be like Trump, however insincere or sincere you think his love of God or Country happens to be.  Those are not the mega-narratives and fads of today.  Those are swimming against the fads.  The fads our nation is steeped in are belief in the unparalleled evil of the Christian West and the American Experiment.  The innate racist evil of all white Europeans and Americans.  The inherent sexism of  history at the hands of oppressive misogynist men.  The terrors visited on the world by heterosexual bigotry and oppression of free sexual experience.  And the dogmatic belief that we are the pinnacle of human evolution, the top, the Tower of Pisa, and the only reason we're not single-handidly  saving the planet is those wretched evil types clinging to their guns, religion and apple pie.

So the next Hitler, if Hitler is to be repeated, will not be someone, however insincerely you may think, running about waving the flag and calling churches essential.  Any more than the last Hitler emerged with strong questions about German superiority or nationalist fervor, while reaching out to Jews and other minorities with friendship and tolerance.  The next Hitler will be an angry youth or adult who embraces the uber-fads and narratives of the day that are already deep in our societal bloodstream.  And those include a desire to end the 2500 year march of horrible Western Civilization and throw down the founding principles of this racist, genocidal slave owning nation built by reprehensible racist reprobates.  And, of course, eliminating those who embody these things and refuse to repent of their blood-guilt in all the sins of the Western past.

Or so my boys speculated.  I think they're on to something.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

To be a credible Christian blogger

Is to reject behaviors and attitudes taught by the modern Left.  Case in point:

This was brought to my attention over at Facebook.  Apparently Mark Shea has been banned or somehow limited from Facebook for a time, times and half a time.  Why?  I don't know, though I can imagine.  The level of vitriol, calumny and sometimes outright falsehoods wrapped in personal attacks and character assassination that define his social media presence are a possibility.  Or perhaps he posted something about historical Christianity.  In today's world, you never know what will invoke the glorious censorship.

Now it needs to be pointed out that Mark cheered when it was announced that Facebook, YouTube and other internet media giants would ban and censor alt-right, racist, white supremacist and other hate groups from their sites.  A few tried to explain to Mark that this is too vaguely defined today, and could be used to broaden just who belongs under such labels as 'hate group'.  Mark, naturally, mocked such appeals to logic and reality.  So you never know.  In this little dose of poetic justice perhaps he'll learn a lesson.

Nonetheless, I was struck by Ms. Fisher's appeal to people not to critique Mark or criticize him.  After all, he can't defend himself!  This is Mark.  A man who, snug and safe behind his 'ban' key, gladly lets fly with name calling, personal attacks, false accusations, and near slanderous assaults against anyone and everyone who doesn't snap to and align with Mark's partisan opinions.

Heck, this is Simcha Fischer who, in a heated debate about Harambe the gorilla, called upon her followers to descend on a young lawyer running for office and find ways to ruin the young woman's career path.  This after she wrongly accused the young woman of - you guessed it - being a racist.  It isn't as if the genteel Ms. Fisher is a stranger to inflamed rhetoric and her own brand of expletive laden broadsides.

And yet, please be nice to Mark.  Mark can't defend himself.  Like all those Mark would ban for not aligning themselves to his agendas, Mark is stuck being unable to respond to those who would call him out on this Facebook post. You know, the post-modern 'do unto others so they can't do unto me.'

This is one of many weapons in the modern Left's arsenal.  A naked hypocrisy that allows progressives to hurl nuclear missile level insults, accusations, attacks and other slanders aimed at non-conformists, only to collapse and melt in a pool of tears and urine when someone dares say they might be wrong.  Offense and outrage erupt at the person who defends himself against being called a rapist, racist, Nazi, baby killer or anything else.  In fact, in a hilarious twist of reality, you can be called those things by a progressive for daring to insist you aren't those things.

And yet, be nice.  Where liberalism is concerned, it's always about fair play and kindness.  When applied to those to the left of center of course. It's the mentality of a child who thinks he or she can do whatever without consequence, and everyone else must bend to the child's will.  It's the child, before good parenting has taught him what right and wrong are and aren't.  Yet this is what our society has labored for decades to get as many Americans as possible to embrace.

Oh, and for the record, and for Ms. Fisher's info, there is almost nowhere on the Internet where you can respond to Mark and expect to reach him.  He is free to ignore emails or other attempts to reach out to him.  Even those who have reached out by phone report hearing not a peep in response when they have tried to reason with him.  He seems to visit no other blogs anymore where he might have to confront those he attacks.  When he does - on the rarest of occasion - comment on another blog, it's often in the form of a troll, firing off a one-shot insult and then appearing to retreat and refusing to debate.  Instead he apparently stays on his blog, FB page and other outlets where he surrounds himself by like-thinkers on the Left who join the tribalist hate and calumny, and bans those who dare challenge him or them.  Always a dangerous tendency in anything, much less Christian ministry; having much more in common with Waco or Guyana than Jerusalem or Rome.

So no, there are scant few outlets for people who want to pull Mark back from the brink. And since Mark and his companions on the Catholic Left continue to be referenced and even given kudos by Catholics in high places and low, rather than than being the target of any needed interventions, I thought I would, per Simcha, make my thoughts known the only way I can.  Just saying.

UPDATE:  I've been informed that no sooner do I post this than Mark Shea is leaving Patheos and starting a new blog.  This is the link.  He says it will not be what his Patheos blog has been.  That is, it will not be centered around attacking and assailing conservatives, Republicans, traditionalists, white Christians and the like.  It will be about seeking Jesus.  If he gets back to his Christian roots, great.  Apologies and repentance would be nice, but if he simply stops the direction he's been going - one that has gotten far worse since he moved to Patheos all those years ago - that will be something.  I post a link to his new blog in good faith that he means what he writes, even if as he does so he takes parting shots at the same Trump/Conservative side he insists won't be his target henceforth.  So good faith link.  With God, they say, all things are possible.  We'll see.

UPDATE II: I should say I hope he changes, but how much of it is based merely on his politics - which many supporters insist - and how much based on deeper issues is something that will have to play out.  I won't support his new blog any more than I do his current one if he doesn't change.  But when he calls our economic crisis 'Trump's Depression' because of the problem created by the solution Mark demands under threat of being accused of wanting to kill people (all the deaths he blames on Trump), it suggests some serious issues on the surface, if not deep down.  Again, in good faith I will visit, and if he changes, repents and preaches the Gospel, I'll be happy to support his new endeavor.  If not, I will not visit there and, quite frankly, will stop dealing with it or him altogether. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

This is what Memorial Day is about Charlie Brown

No other words needed

If the New York Times loved America half as much as it loves communist states

Who knows what its readership would be up to. The New York Times is fast emerging as one of America's most prominent pro-Communist voices.  In addition to continually praising communist dictatorships and terror states over and against America, it takes this Memorial Day to call down hellfire on all those old white/racists we have wrongly celebrated by our military over the years.

You know, like Fort Benning, named after a well known white supremacist Nazi racist.  Perhaps we could name it after Lenin, or Mao, or Castro - men whose accomplishments and governments have won great praise from the Times over the last few years.

Remember kids, the Left is the fruits of those old communist bots from the last century.  The ones who were playing the long game.  To that end, it seeks to do to the heritage of the Christian West and the American Experiment what communist states always do to the cultures out of which they emerge - burn them; burn them to the ground.  The same is true for the American communism we see coming out of the closet today.

If you think for a minute that tolerance and embracing diversity and agreeing to disagree will result from this emergence, you're as ignorant or naive as they come.  Like all communist revolutions, there will be one standing when the dust settles.  If you don't want future generations here and in the world up against the most powerful communist state in history, then you had best do something now.  Before it's too late.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Joe Biden helps us understand Black people

Here.  Heh.  That's Biden.  He's been a walking gaffe machine for decades.  The difference in how the press reacted to his flubs versus Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle has always been among the most clear evidence of the press's bias for Democrats and against Republicans.   He's been able to say things that would have ended a Republican's career many times over the years.

Now he's in the spotlight, and it will be tough to dismiss or hide what he says.  Especially when what he says lives up to the accusations of his rivals.  We all know that the Left is about tearing down America and the Christian West.  To do this, it has built a coalition of anyone 'not White Christian or Male' who has been oppressed by the same.  Whatever they get from this coalition, what matters is that they stay in the coalition.

This has been seen by the frequency in which these various groups have been lifted up and lionized one moment, only to be tossed aside on the trash heap the next.  The important thing being that they snap to and get in line behind the Left. If they don't?  If they fail to vote Democrats or embraced Leftist narratives?  At best they become Orwellian style unpeople.  At worst, they become a target.

So Biden's Freudian slip is just proof of what sane people know.  Which is the problem.  Had he said something about Blacks not being eloquent like Barrack Obama, that could be dismissed as, well, something that would fry a Republican.  But this is the basic attitude of the Left and we all know it.  Hence the momentary spate of damage control we'll see, and then - whoosh - it will vanish in a day or so.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Where are the poor people?

Yeah, seems like years this has been going on.  Back in the day, when we were young an innocent, news broke that a killer virus was being reported out of China.  At that time, keen news watchers heard something about this and Trump and travel restrictions to China and racist immigration policies.  But at the time we were caught up in WWIII, which Trump had started back when he murdered an Iranian military official. So things were a bit muddled.

As news picked up, and WWIII turned into the biggest flop since Mars Needs Moms, the press began to turn its attention to this killer virus.  What was it?  What did it do?  It appeared it was something that was super contagious, that would spread as soon as you breathed, could infect an entire room of people, and everyone would die.  Almost overnight, predictions of Bubonic level carnage were flying around the headlines, with visions of hundreds upon hundreds of millions infected around the world, tens of millions dead, and in America alone the deaths were predicted to be in the millions.

That will grab your attention.  Almost from the beginning, there was a song and dance about Trump, doing too much, panicking, not enough, killing people, backing off and trying not to be political, hysteria, just go to the Chinese parade, we're all going to die, wear masks, don't wear masks, something, everything, nothing, who knows? 

And then somehow things settled in.  We realized millions were not going to die, thank God.  We realized it was more complex than 'killer virus kills everyone all the time.'  We began seeing trends, albeit  sparsely since the national press settled into the habit of repeating over and over two stats to the exclusion of almost any other details;  deaths and new cases.  The second stat being almost useless since it could have to do with the scope of testing, which itself has been all over the place in terms of effectiveness and scope.  

As government leaders, at the prompting of health officials, began to take drastic measures by shutting down businesses and various industries, many began to panic.  The market plunged, and almost overnight we were told to expect a new Great Depression.  As the death count climbed, many embraced whatever means possible to stop this, including a totalitarian police state equipped to arrest anyone and everyone breaking the quarantine.  Rod Dreher, champion of religious liberty, approved that message.  Many others did as well. 

We began seeing memes calling us the next Greatest Generation, our healthcare professionals the new heroes hitting the beaches of Covid-19 to save the world, and endless stories featuring people in their homes finding ways to cope with the horrors of being home, often in upper middle class and high end, three story homes and estates.  

As things unfolded, there was one noticeable vacancy in all of the news stories.  Somehow, we heard about the unemployment numbers and Great Depressions and all, but we weren't seeing the stories about the actual people being harmed by the numbers.  We heard in the vaguest of ways that the economy was being hurt, and sometimes how this might impact the November presidential elections.  But the particular stories weren't there.  That is, those special Eye on America stories that zero in and put a face on the suffering.

In terms of the actual Covid virus, we had those stories in plenty.  Doctors, nurses, patients, yoga instructors, CEOs, celebrities - those who contracted the virus were given entire news segments, their plight unpacked, their suffering chronicled.  Heartbreaking stories of healthy young people suffering with the infection were repeated often.  Those who died, especially if they were first responders  or medical pros, were also given the spotlight.  Day after day we saw and read touching accounts and tributes to those who fell to the virus, or at least were infected, with horror stories relating just how terrible this sickness can be (bonus points given for those who downplayed the virus and then came down with the sickness).

And yet, almost nothing about the poor.  Day after day we saw stories about police giving parades for kids who missed their birthday parties, people putting golf balls off their foyer balconies, celebrities and comedians enduring the loss of an audience to bring out their punditry, upper middle class teens canvasing their neighborhoods, stars singing songs for the graduating class.  Touching stuff.  But nothing about those poor.

Oh, we hear about the poor in other times, so I know it can be done.  I remember in the 80s, when Reaganomics was kicking off, the press never seemed to go a day that it didn't find someone who was falling through the cracks.  The economy might be booming, but here were all those who weren't feeling the love.  Same thing last year.  Many days went by without mentioning of the economy.  When it was mentioned, however, we were often treated to anecdotal stories about those who weren't keeping up with this mega-recovery we were seeing.  No matter how much better things seemed, the press always appeared capable of finding those who weren't beneficiaries of this robust recovery.

And yet, for all the time the press has to cover the latest virtual graduation party or pet stunts filmed for Youtube, it doesn't appear capable of finding stories about those who are suffering, losing their savings and finances, slipping into poverty, facing hunger and even losing their homes, as a direct result of the shut downs and social distancing measures.   In all this time, I've seen one segment - on CBS This Morning a couple weeks ago - focusing on the rural poor losing their government aid and unable to put food on their table.  Beyond that, I've seen almost nothing.  Only the most general references to unemployment numbers, but nothing connecting the suffering by direct line to the measures being taken to combat Covid-19.

In the meantime, we now know there will not be deaths by the tens of millions worldwide.  We know there won't be deaths in the millions here in the USA.  This is good.  We also know that the virus has certain patterns, though we don't know the extent of what it does and how it strikes.  There have been stories about getting it twice, or causing complications among children, but these are not clear yet.  The science, in all honesty, has been more wrong than right in its guesses about this since the story first broke. 

We do know that sweeping, blanket umbrella measures don't seem to match the results.  New York City implemented near draconian measures and yet it, along with New Jersey and Boston, accounts for almost 50% of the deaths in the US.  Meanwhile California, only days ahead of New York, has had proportionately small numbers.  In that State Up North, the numbers have been far worse than here in the Buckeye State.  Despite Michigan having far more harsh and intrusive restrictions.  A full 1/3 of all deaths are from nursing homes and similar care facilities.  A single prison in Ohio has contributed a massive number to the total cases.  So there appears to be trends we could focus on and perhaps find more targeted ways of reacting to the viral spread. That way we could balance fighting the virus with making sure extreme, and possibly ineffective, measures won't create serious crises down the road.

We have the stories about the virus to encourage people to do whatever to stop it. And yet, virtually no focus on those poor being hurt.  No news stories showing the inner city slums, with the single parent stuck in a one bedroom loft, no heat or air, no income, only the stimulus check that may or may not have come yet, no food, nothing.  Instead it's those happy people showing how they're learning to cook or to play the ukulele as ways to endure the untold terrors of being stuck in their upper class homes.  Just like we never hear about thousands of Blacks murdered in a given year, unless we can pin it on White racists.  Or the needs of a woman making a sexual assault accusation suddenly matters just when it can be used against opponents of the political Left, and not a minute before.  A devilish trend to be sure. 

So it's not surprising that many see those concerned about the lock-downs and closed economy as nothing other than heartless bastards who don't care if babies die, as long as they can get back to the beach and the hair salon.  After all, they're not being fed a daily diet of 'poor starving and the future deaths due to shutdown' emphasis the way they are 'if we don't stay shut down, we're all going to die from the coronavirus' narratives.  And that's the response from the ones who are in good faith trying to grope around and find the best way to handle this crisis and balance how to ensure as many are protected from all sides as possible.

Those who have jumped on this from the beginning to score political points, or hope that the suffering and death lasts until November, are given a godsend.  With virtually no attention paid to the detrimental side of our anti-Covid measures, they are free to exploit the media narratives and memes, repeating the same one or two stats over and over, and insisting that those who even mention the economy are just greedy killers willing to throw the least of these under the bus so they can go bowling again.  Oh, and they're probably racists, too. 

Sure, there has been ugly on the other side.  Extremism begets extremism, and as those jockeying for unchecked measures to fight this despite the changes in models and predictions dig in their heals, those on the other side have become more extreme.  To some, you'd think there was nothing big about 90K dead in a matter of a couple months.  In any time in history, it's been appropriate to meet such challenges with some level of sacrifice.  We won't even get into those who have begun embracing the culture of death attitudes about the sickly and elderly, essentially donning their best Ebeneezer and saying since they were going to die anyway, they had best do so quickly and decrease the surplus population. 

But all of this is being argued because a key problem with the measures used to combat this - the shutdowns - has set up an economic crisis that could easily bear bitter fruit in the months, if not years, to come.  If the liberal narrative is true, and economics is a pro-life issue since poverty breeds disease, hunger and death, then all we're doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul in terms of what we're doing.  If the press was to focus on those who are losing everything and slipping into poverty now, much less in the future, it might yank the discussion away from the extremes and allow people to have a mature debate based on facts.  If we were to see daily stories about this or that particular individual who has lost everything, is on the verge of poverty, and facing health problems and crises down the road, it might shift the debate. Unfortunately, we have almost nothing to go by since beyond the latest Zoom party and two stats repeated daily, the press appears quite silent. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Jane Roe kerfuffle

So news broke across the MSM that Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade fame, was really in it for the money.  That is, she was always pro-choice, but was paid on the sly by those rascally pro-life types to say she was pro-life.  And so she lied for money.  This revelation comes from a pro-choice activist documentary.  As far as I know, this is the first time anyone has made this claim about the late pro-abortion turned pro-life activist.  Donald McClarey, who had the chance to meet Ms. McCorvey, has a good unpacking of this here.

A couple things leap out at me.  First, it's my contention that there are two types of people in the world.  There are moronic jackass fools and lunatics who keep their collective heads up donkey butts, and then there are those who maintain a tremendous amount of skepticism when it comes to modern documentaries.  Modern scholarship is bad enough.  Documentaries today (think Michael Moore) are seldom anything but propaganda pieces meant to advance agendas, often by selectively focusing on molehills of exceptions to the exclusion of the mountain range of evidence behind the molehills.

That a pro-abortion advocate would be the one to break this massive bit of news is the first thing to give me pause.  Especially since a massive influx of people who met, worked with and knew Ms. McCorvey have come out to refute the documentary.  Given the lack of credibility that modern documentaries have in my mind, I'm willing to believe those who knew her personally over an activist documentary maker.

Second, I notice, as is pointed out a The American Catholic, that the press is all over this.  I had no idea that Ms. McCorvey had become a pro-life advocate until the Internet.  It was on largely conservative and pro-life Catholic sites that I was informed of her transformation.  When it happened, I don't know.  I can't recall the press making a big deal of it when her change of heart occurred.  I did hear stories involving her, and it was sometimes mentioned that she was now for the pro-life cause.  But usually that was reported as a dashed-off afterthought.

The fact that almost overnight the press has jumped on this and is hitting it with headline news reminds me of those times that press has coordinated with the Democrats or other left-wing causes to advance an agenda or a strategy.   I'm not saying this was part of some vast, coordinated strategy.  But it reminds me of just how selective the press is, and how that selectivity always swings in one direction.

For that reason, I follow my usual approach to things.  That is, assume the majority witness or the traditional interpretation until overwhelming evidence is presented to do otherwise.  Given the majority of those who knew her, and the press coverage that she had that took her at her word, plus the fact that I would have to believe she was a vile liar willing to screw all side for a buck all that time, I'll take the easier interpretation.  That is, she became pro-life, all who knew her knew she was because that what she was, and a single pro-abortion activist "documentary" producer might not be the most credible source for changing that cloud of witnesses.

UPDATE: I've been informed that Mark Shea has weighed in on this and has, as can be expected, taken the documentary's version at face value.  That should surprise nobody, as one of Mark's favorite targets is the orthodox pro-life movement based on historical Christian understandings of life and eternity, vs. the new pro-life movement which is based more on modern, secular and oft times Marxist worldviews.  As I said, the documentary means nothing to me since I know how easily such productions can manipulate and twist things.  See Triumph of the Will for an excellent example.  Nonetheless, it does show a difference between those who accept the premises of the modern secular paganism of our age and traditional Christians who don't. That is, the difference between the view that the person comes first and pro-life means anything that might hinder *MY* life, versus the historical approach that concede things in this world and the next to which I am beholden, and reminds me that I am not the alpha and omega of all that matters.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

RIP Ravi Zacharias

I heard that Ravi Zacharias, who had been struggling with late life cancer, has died.  RIP.  Ravi was a big name back in the day.  He was that 'post-Graham (Billy)' generation of big name Evangelists, when many assumed we were simply in the same world as Billy Graham, but with video games and the latest edition of Microsoft Windows.  A truce you might say, where Christian leaders ministered tot he faithful, and then could agree to disagree with the pagan, the heretic, and the blasphemer since everyone wanted a world of peace, tolerance and John Lennon songs.

We had already stopped being there, we just didn't realize it.  But in this, his was still that type, large crowds, huge arenas, special guests, vast conferences, that defined and era.  Essentially that 'Big Christianity' that would compete with Big Sports, Big Hollywood, Big whatever.  It didn't of course.

In response to my statement of admiration for Billy Graham, an Orthodox priest I was talking to quipped that for all his bravado, it didn't do anything for Christianity in America.  I held my tongue, but wanted to say for all the monopoly Orthodox Christianity had, it didn't do much to stem the abuses of Byzantine politics, Tsarist Russia, or the rise of Communism.  But I didn't.

Nonetheless, point taken.  Rev. Zacharias was a relic of bygone  age. The last gasp of the old world that Christianity helped build.  It was that last generation of leaders who up and coming seminarians imagined they could replace.  It was a world where many of my colleagues felt they were the pretenders, biding their time and planning on the day when they would lead Evangelicals to the promised land, while getting White House invites and seats on Meet the Press.  I remember so many classmates who you couldn't help seeing in their eyes visions of packed arenas and cover stories on TIME magazine.

But it was not to be.  Those who still think they can straddle that fence between the old time religion and the world of secular agnosticism and Marxist inspired dreams for a global, socialist state are all over the map.  Some barely sound Christian anymore, much less old Evangelical.  Others are trying to play the old 'one to the Faith, one to the World' game.  Still others simply say 'Faith always, unless the latest woke movement suggests otherwise.' 

For his part, despite this changing world, Rev. Zacharias continued the work of an evangelist.  He remained old school, believing that salvation and Jesus, or even salvation and religion, were somehow connected.  Heck, he was a radical in believing that the hereafter played any major role in our modern thinking to begin with.  To that end, he walked the walked and prayed the prayers.  He didn't get too immersed in the latest political wrangling, preferring to follow the old B. Graham approach of worrying more about the bird than either the left or right wing.  And for that, he and that old faith he represented, will be sorely missed.

May God embrace him in the hereafter, and shower peace and strength upon all those who loved him who remain in this mortal realm.

The rain, rain, rain

Came down, down, down

And then our basement flooded.  So there go the games!  Our whole part of Ohio has flooded.  A 40 mile long red blotch on the weather radar snaked its way around from the southeast to make sure, no matter how the system twisted or turned, it stayed over us the whole time.

Now, we live in a Maronda house, and that means crappy.  One of those corporations that has gone long toward making the phrase 'Good old American craftsmanship' one of sarcasm and irony rather than fact.  Nonetheless, we were built on some strange motte-like knoll, on high ground.  Despite being the smallest house in the neighborhood - and the only ranch style - our back deck is actually higher than that of our neighbors' decks.  So even though our basement was put together worse than first graders could have done, we almost never have water problems.  At least we don't unless a certain combination of events occurs.

Well, yesterday, for the second time in five years, those events occurred.  Within a half hour, the basement went from dry to six inches of water.  The problem is, our basement is where all the fun happens.  As a friend and former colleague once said, the room of interesting things.  That's our gaming tables.  That's our music area.  That's our boys' 'man-cave'.  That's our library.  It's not finished, but semi-finished.  The influx of water in near flash-flood levels overwhelmed our sump-pump and there was no help there.

So all through the night we formed a chain gang, getting games, movies, books and anything else up on tables (sorry Struggle of Nations, which had to be taken down and bagged pronto), or upstairs.  The bad thing is, we are in the first of what promises to be a week of rains and showers. 

Sadly, whole areas here in central Ohio are flooded, and several towns in the area are under water.  As good fortune would have it, I had spent some of our quarantine in our basement, reorganizing and putting some things in areas with an eye toward just such an eventuality.  Even though massively inconvenienced, and a few boxes getting waterlogged, and still having some major clean up, it could have been worse a month ago.

So that's us for the next few.  Gaming is done.  Most things are done right now.  We'll get ourselves up and running and if we can soon enough, see how we can help others.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday Frivolity: The game of games

When I was but a lad, I spent a few years investing in war games.  It first began in middle school, when I became enraptured with Napoleonic history.  A teacher we bought our house from had left a small library, and in the stack of books was an encyclopedia set for middle schoolers.  For some reason, the article on Napoleon jumped out at me.  Since there was scant little a middle schooler could do to immerse himself in the period other than read, I found the next best thing.  That thing was the first intro war game for war gamers the world over: RISK.

In college and shortly after, I began moving into the classic war games of various companies, most notably Avalon Hill.  The famous 'chit' games became an obsession with me.  Since most who ran in my circles couldn't care less about such a pastime, I made sure to invest in games with high solitaire capabilities.

One year, while browsing a hobby store that carried such games, I stumbled across what some have called one of the most complex (complicated) games of all time.  The box even had a warning printed on the outside: If you don't know war games, don't buy this game. It might as well have said 'if you've never played this game before, don't buy this game.'  I swear the instructions acted as if you had familiarity with not only war games in general, but this one in particular.

The game is call The Struggle of Nations.  Designed by Avalon Hill's Napoleonic guru Kevin Zucker, it is a 'historical simulation' that reproduces Napoleon's failed Saxony campaign of 1813.  Much of the criticism of the game revolved around its claim to be a historical simulation (in which you expect the history to more or less be repeated) and the game side, allowing flexibility enough for either player to win in a variety of ways.  Nonetheless, it was hailed as a great game overall, and today I still find the occasional nod to it being a fine labor of love for the creator.

So I took it home, opened the box, and read.  And 30 years later, I continued to do just that.  Every so often, a few years here or there, I would get the box, open it up, and read the instructions. They remind me of that type of manual that goes something like this: How to Fix an Automatic Transmission in Four Easy Steps; Step One: Remove the engine. Though I've cracked most other games (though not all), this one simply appeared beyond my reach.

Well, enter quarantine and Covid-19.  More or less sequestered in our home, owing to my elderly Mom's presence and our desire to be careful for her sake if nothing else, we found ourselves with a little extra time.  Not much, mind you.  I stay home and take care of my Mom and also homeschool our youngest son.  I'm also default goto to handle anything and everything that comes our family's way.  Personally I'm glad to do so.  It's not easy tending to the homestead, but at the end of every day I can't help but wonder: What the hell were women thinking?

Anyway, because we let our older sons stay home in order to mitigate expenses and dodge debt to get through college, and because we already homeschool and are caregivers for my Mom, the biggest change has been my wife working from home.  Apart from that, our lives haven't really changed.  That means, we haven't had the metric ton of extra time I hear others talk about.  But we have had a little more time.

And into that, we've poured a few extra pastimes we've not had time for in recent years.  One was this.  Utilizing my third son - who is our resident game guru - we sat down and, over the course of about three weeks, have almost made it through three turns.

A bit of the map, with chits representing commanders' corps
Game Scale: 1 hex = 2 miles
Like most games that try to reenact the Napoleonic era, it's big on logistics and communications.  That was a key issue in those days.  It was 1813, and they didn't even have smartphones yet.  So many things went wrong that wouldn't go wrong today, at least as we know going wrong.  Therefore, your average Napoleonic game will have random factors to account for being able to do things, again simulating the wide range of obstacles that could get in the way of an early 19th century commander.

For its part, The Struggle of Nations is what so many games from those days tried to be.  It's a game that lets the historical facts drive the action.  It covers a vast scale (the regions around Saxony, including Bohemia, Silesia and Brandenburg), and yet manages to account for divisional level forces.  True, the combat takes a back seat to logistics.  Much of the game revolves around supplying your forces and avoiding attrition.  That is, keeping your forces from dropping off or starving while trying to get them from point A to point B.  At times, combat seems almost an afterthought.

We're not all the way through.  There are still several points we're trying to hammer out.  It takes the two of us bending all of our thinking to crack this thing, but it's starting to appear possible.  Because it's long out of print, there aren't any forums you can run to in order to ask questions.  Perhaps we're doing it wrong.  In any event, it's proved to be enjoyable with just what we've accomplished so far.

A 'Fog of War' trick, the force sizes are on a separate sheet unable
to be seen by your opponent
And it's educational.  Like many such games from that period, much background information is provided, with quotes and sections lifted from various historians and scholarly sources trying to unpack the events and the culture of the game.  Comparing it to the wasteland that is historical studies today would be grossly unfair.  I would say that even compared to better eras of historical education, the factual information provided in these games would give a university scholar a run for his or her money.  Some contributors were actual scholars and historians in their own right (and this isn't counting those regular wonders of historical research for the gaming industry that came from Osprey books).

I doubt such historical research and backgrounds would cut it today.  It required too much honesty and appraisal of the actual events and those involved, rather than whatever agenda it would have to bow to today.  Beyond that, like many such games, it also contained an impressive bibliography and even a discography, recommending a - then - recent recording of Bach's Passions  - in 28 boxed sets!

Such was that time in gaming history.  The game, so far, has lived up to the hype.  The tension in all war games between realism and playability - especially so that the outcome would not be predetermined every time you play - has always been there. So far, it doesn't look like the French will win that often.  But the important thing is that by the time you're finished, you will have stretched your mind a bit, and perhaps even learned a little about the time period the game represents.

Oh, and kudos to the game for suggesting players read up on the actual historical events before playing.  Again, not the only such game in the genre to do so.  But nice to see just the same.  For my part, I consulted my goto text on the subject, the late David Chandler's definitive text The Campaigns of Napoleon.  If that doesn't help give a bit of background worthy of the game, nothing will.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Attention Conservatives: Remember Joycelyn Elders?

Yes, her.  She was the first black [check] woman [check] to be Surgeon General.  Appointed by Bill Clinton, she was a walking gaffe machine.  At least for back in the day, when we still believed in boys and girls and thought  handing condoms to children might not be a good thing.  Today she would no doubt receive prestigious awards for her keen insights.

But back then, she became a burden for the Clinton administration, even with a sympathetic media trying to help.  Things came to a head when, during a congressional hearing, she made a shocking claim about AIDS and Cancer research funding.  People were starting to ask why so much time and money was going to AIDS research when cancer and heart disease kill so many more in a year.  Her answer?  Easy.  Heart disease and cancer tend to kill the elderly who have already lived their lives.  AIDS hits the young people who have yet to live.

Wow.  I remember the storms of outrage.  Even Democrats and liberals I knew ran for cover.  Attempts were made to mitigate the impact of what she said, but to no avail.  You just couldn't gloss over the almost calculated, Orwellian sound to her 'Old Major has just got to go' statement.  Conservatives had her by the throat.  Her days were numbered.

You can see where this is going. More and more I'm hearing conservatives talk about Covid-19 and the fact that it mainly impacts the elderly and the medically compromised.  And who do they sound like when they bring this up?  Why, Ms. Joycelyn Elders, that's who.  I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about it in a way that was almost syllable to syllable what she said.  Others on the internet are picking up on this, even going so far as saying the elderly are going to die anyway, why hurt our businesses and incomes to stop the inevitable?

I know, there will be people rush in an explain why this is different.  It isn't.  And it's a glaring warning about the Faithful cleaving too closely to a secular movement, conservative, liberal or otherwise.  If conservatives were rightly outraged at the idea that stopping AIDS is more important than cancer or heart disease research because those impact the elderly, then don't turn on a dime and use the same argument when it comes to salvaging the economy and opening up businesses.  Just don't.

Monday, May 11, 2020

How to process the killing of Ahmaud Arbery

So it took two men killing a jogger to break the cycle of Headline Covid-19 News.  On CBS Friday morning, for the first time in endless weeks, a non-Covid-19 story headed the newscast.  That's because it appears that two white men in the South, bearing a strong resemblance to stereotypes of white racists in the racist South, shot and killed an unarmed black man who was out jogging.  That is the story as reported.

Now, we know darn well how this will be covered. We also know why it, above all of the thousands of murders committed, will be elevated to top story.  I don't even have to guess.  Aljazeera already has shown, by posting the story under the category 'Racism.'  Do we know it was about racism other than the ethnicity of the parties involved?  If you're a racist you do.  Otherwise, no.  But racism is hardly confined to one group of people in one time or space.  It's quite common.  And we'll see plenty of it in this story's coverage.

If you're offended by the idea of justice, then
per liberals of old, you're the problem
But as a Christian, we can follow the general Orthodox approach to the topic.  First of all, pray for the poor victim, his family, and the family of those accused.  In crimes or killings there are always more than one victim.  As for the racial component, I find the Orthodox approach is a good starting point.

The gist of Orthodox Christians is that race is a false construct, but ethnicity can be a gift from God.  Helpful as that is, it's also a bit simplistic.  The concept of race is not something new or unique to Europe or America.  Nonetheless, the scientific categorizing of humans in a laboratory sense is certainly unique, that's because the Scientific Revolution was unique to the West.  It's that application of thinking that gave a unique spin to the old human tendency of raising an eyebrow at best when confronted with different looking and acting people.

This isn't to deny the obvious, that this particular rational scientific approach to racism was unique and quite present in the West, including America.  Still is. Though most of the modern holdover of this old racism is almost parody in its stupidity.  That doesn't make it any less evil.  And yes, given the context, you're not exactly off for thinking this could have been in the back of the suspects' minds when they confronted Mr. Arbery and ended up killing him.  Likewise, don't be shocked that new forms of racism will bear a typically rational and scientific sounding spin.  It's one of the many legacies of the Scientific Revolution that we prefer to ignore.

With that said, we don't pursue justice based on knowing someone is likely guilty because of his skin color. Therefore, the sane, correct, proper and good approach to this, beyond waiting for evidence and due process, is to make it about the parties involved.  Not people groups.

That is, assuming it's the worst case scenario, that these fellows are racists to the core, that they hunted Mr. Arbery down like an animal and murdered him in cold blood for only the most racist of reasons, means that they are guilty of grave evil and need to be prosecuted up to the limit of the law.

It can, of course, engender a discussion about racism in America, but only a fair and open one, examining real racism as it actually exists.  Old forms of racism and new.  The impact they have and how they can be properly curtailed.  If it becomes only about one group, and this murder is used to tar and feather one group only, an entire ethnicity, or an entire nation or civilization, then ultimately we're not better than the racism we believe we are condemning.

In the meantime, prayers for the families involved, the victim who has been murdered, and all who are dragged into this human tragedy are more than enough.  Let the wheels of justice turn.  If that's not good enough for you, then we are already at the edge of some major problems.

A happy Mother's Day

To my long-suffering Mom.  A Mom in the classic sense who would rush into a burning building for her kids, I couldn't have asked for more.  Was she perfect?  Hardly.  I can't expect from others what I can't deliver myself.  But she, like my Dad, did what they did with us in mind, for what they believed was the best for us.

I know.  Roads and good intentions.  But we shouldn't downplay good intentions too much.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to do good for the right reasons.  In fact, I can't help but feel we'd be a better world if more people erred on the side of good intentions than what we have today. 

But Mom was there for us.  She came home and took care of my sister and me, being there for us, cooking us home cooked meals, always there when we needed her.  That comfort and security is beyond price.  And she loved us and did her best for us.  If nothing else makes her a saint in our eyes, I would say that's more than enough. So thanks Mom!  We couldn't have made it this far without you!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Congratulations Nick Sandmann

Nick Sandmann, if you remember, was in the center of the firestorm that ignited at a high school field trip.  He was seen standing, smiling as an American Indian activist got into his face.  Being white, he was immediately accused of being a racist Nazi who was terrorizing minorities.  Having a MAGA hat, this only solidified the stereotype.  The Indian activist initially stated that he was part of a group of Native Americans minding their own business when Sandmann and other racist students assailed them.  Being Native American, he was immediately believed. In our day and age, all concepts of guilt and innocence and privilege being judged purely by one's skin color, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or a host of other demographic labels.

With that heaping pile of racism and bigotry established, the press swung into action.  Sandmann was attacked by both the press and social media.   It reached fever pitches as attempts to destroy him and his white classmates hit full swing.  Various "pro-life" activists decried Sandmann and called him out as the racist white supremacist Trump supporter that he was.  From celebrities offering oral sex to anyone who would beat Sandmann within an inch of his life, to activists calling on colleges to deny Sandmann admittance, to the Catholic diocese that Sandmann's Catholic school belonged to threatening expulsion, things seemed pretty bleak.

But the thing about social media is social media.  And in an age of a million cell phones ready to fly at a moment's notice, it didn't take long to find other cell phone videos of the event.  These videos were more comprehensive and covered the whole event.  They showed a radially different story than the selectively edited video initially released or the initial accounts.

As facts came together, it turned out the Indian activist was just that.  He had just come from attempting to disrupt a Catholic gathering at a church.  Then he - not Sandmann or the students - approached the gathered teens and got in their face.  Meanwhile, a group of black activists (whose group would later be implicated in a string of antisemitic killings and attacks in NYC), were spewing racist and antisemetic and anti-gay rhetoric.  You don't get worse for the press's narrative than that.

All of this didn't turn things around.  When it looked like the initial story was bunk, the press did what it often does, and that's try to dig up any dirt at all on Sandmann and the white students at the school to validate their media lynch mob.  They found other white students in the area to see if they may have said racist things.  They dug up old school photos for any evidence of racist imagery or rhetoric.  Some Catholic leaders still said that having worn a MAGA hat, Sandmann and the students deserved what they get.

Some on social media sort of apologized, but usually in a very qualified way.  David Hogg mocked Sandmann for being upset about the confirmed death and bomb threats against him and his school.  Others mocked him for similar reasons as Hogg, or said guilty or not, his MAGA hat more than means he deserved what he got.

Well, after all this, and after seeing glimpses of the nation the modern Left wants - violence, racism, bigotry, oppression, discrimination in the name of fealty to the Left - Mr. Sandmann has graduated.  He has filed lawsuits, and if there is any justice, he will win.  A real canary in the coal mine, he has exposed just what type of nation the Left is delivering. 

Nonetheless, showing a mettle that many wouldn't possess, he's made it through school, no thanks to his own Catholic leaders who were more than happy to throw him under the bus.  It looks like he's off to college, the attempt to call for a nationwide college boycott of him having failed.  No, it won't be Harvard.  Harvard is reserved for subpar students like Hogg who sing the gospel of Marxist leftism.  But I'm sure young Mr. Sandmann do fine.

I don't lionize him or idolize him.  He's a kid.  Or at least, that's what liberals called teens over the years whenever teens murdered, killed, assaulted, or committed any other non-sex/race based crime.  Kid's can make mistakes.  And if he does, the press will be there like troops hitting the beaches ready to plaster his failing across the headlines.  But I wish him the best.  I thank him for exposing the storm clouds that are gathering on the borders of our nation.  The evils of our propaganda ministry.  The evils that those who cleave to the Left are prepared to endorse. It's sad that he went through what he did.  It will be sadder if sane people of good will don't do something about it.

Friday, May 8, 2020

It was 75 years ago today

As the years drone on, the memories of this era, when America shined supreme as a beacon of hope and freedom for the world, will fade.  This period in history is as far back to youngsters today as WWI was to my generation.  By the late 80s and 90s, little was said about that war to end all wars.  We knew of it mostly from Snoopy's fights with the Red Baron.  As a history buff, I knew more than than the social narrative would suggest.  But it was no thanks to popular culture or the press.  In the 1980s, when the 70th anniversary of WWI would be ticking by, most of the mass media was obsessed with all those events from 20 year ago today, when Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.

So it is now.  As a growing surge of younger Americans are convinced that America is and always has been a nation of racism, genocide and slavery, don't expect them to do the heavy lifting to see if anything is worth knowing from America's past.  The press today, on CBS, chose to do a segment on women in the Army Air Corps flying as test pilots.  No real mention of the overall war or sacrifice beyond the date.  Emphasis on the demographic group of the day.  Checklist finished.

In any event, Donald McClarey, as can be expected, has a fine post on some nuts and bolts of this historic event that is all too soon losing its significance. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Pulitzer Prize and America's Communist Revolt

So the buzz being dutifully downplayed by the MSM is that the Pulitzer Prize was given to the New York Times' deplorable The 1609 Project essay*.  One of the worst pieces of historical propaganda since Goebbels, the project reeks of anti-Americanism, bigotry, and general racism.  It was fraught with historical and factual errors and was forced to publish corrections in kind.  And yet the Pulitzer prize went to - it!

Just like the Nobel Peace Prize given to Barrack Obama for the sole purpose of not being George Bush, so this prize has gone to those advocating the downfall of America and the Western Tradition.  Yes, let's just say it.  This is the revolt long planned and hoped for by the old Soviet bots of the 20th Century.  Soviet bots I say?  What am I, some Archie Bunker wannabe?  Yes.  Soviet bots.

We all know of Russian interference.  Remember that from back in 2016?  The great threat of the ages?  The evil Russians trying to conquer America and destroy our democracy and all that jazz?  Do we really think it only started in 2016?  Do we think it started in 2000?  Do we imagine the beautiful Soviets would never do such a thing?  If you have been educated by America's public school system and higher education since the 80s, there's a good chance you might think that. After all, a glaring number of  students - my own sons for example - were not taught the bad of the Soviets or Communism in general.  The bad of America and the Christian West, yes.  That they were taught. But Communism, when mentioned at all, was mostly positive with a few minor disclaimers.

But old timers know better.  We remember Solzhenitsyn's warning. We remember the plethora of former Soviet ministers who came to America after the USSR fell and informed us what the Soviet Union had been doing.  Basically, it had been doing to us what we had been doing to them.  Trying to get a foothold in our culture and throw down our Western democratic, capitalist society, just as we were trying to throw down their atheistic, Communist society.

The problem is, we seemed to believe that by taking out the USSR, the war was over and we won.  The Communists knew better.  They knew this was a revolution for a new age of humanity.  No more armies on borders needed.  With mass communications and global media, it was a new war for the hearts and minds in living rooms, not the bodies and weapons on the battlefield.  America waved it's flags for a few days in 1991.  Then those who had been weaned to take up propaganda arms against America got to work.

Now we are seeing the fruits of that labor.  Massive swaths of Americans are now convinced that the United States, for all intents and purposes, has got to go.  They are convinced that the heritage of the Christian faith and that Judeo-Christian worldview must be eliminated. They are being taught that Communist leaders like Mao and even Lenin were enlightened and did great things for their people.  All the while, they are taught that the Christian West and America were pits of evil, racism, slavery, genocide, and bigotry.

The New York Times has been no stranger to singing the praises of Communist dictatorships in recent years. It is hardly alone.  Gathering a coalition of estranged and marginalized minority groups, the Left has eschewed calls for reconciliation and forgiveness and unity, and has set about the work of encouraging a global call for the elimination of not just the American nation state, but all nation states.

The 1609 Project was just one outgrowth of this propaganda movement meant to sow bitterness and hatred toward America, to foment new forms of racism and bigotry, and to assure people that the hope of their future lies in the eradication of the past.   We can start being honest at this point.  Call it what it is.  This is that Communist revolt that the Communists of old yearned for, and that we are now delivering on a silver platter. If we don't name the enemy, it cannot be defeated.

*Our local news outlet mentioned the prizes.  It named the other works by name and who the recipients were.  But when it came to this, it merely said a 'piece on the history of slavery.' Not the name of the piece itself, since even among amateurs, the name '1609 Project' is infamous for disastrously false and inaccurate statements meant to attack America.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

When you lose Sean Hannity

You've lost the battle.  So Sean Hannity came out - that's Sean Hannity - and criticized those who are showing up at protests armed to the teeth.  Supposedly they are there to protest the draconian measures implemented by various governors, most specifically Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.  Granted, that level of overreach she engaged in will provoke extreme reactions.  Extreme measures often do that.  Perhaps that was her goal.  I don't know.

But don't play her game if it was.  Don't come out as if you have a checklist of 'stereotypes of racist murderous gun worshiping Right Wing terrorists' and made sure you had it completed. 

I realize it isn't easy.  If a million conservatives showed up to a march and one person brought a confederate flag, the press would spend three days covering Nazis in Moose Lake.  A million women gathered to celebrate the glories of abortion in order to have gobs of sex and money, while working with racists and antisemitic leaders, will see the press focus on the most sane and balanced and restrained representatives imaginable.  You'll have to go to Social Media to see the ugly.

Such is propaganda.  But don't help it out for crying out loud.  I get that some things - like 'we need haircut' signs - were meant to be clever or witty, but have instead been used to mock those concerned about freedoms and low income earners hurt by the quarantines.  No matter what you do right, the press will happily find the worst spin imaginable if you're not part of the Revolution.  But that doesn't mean go the whole-hog and decide to help them out. 

You can leave the guns and body armor and mainline battle tanks at home.  Show up, even wear a mask to show you're not just flipping the bird randomly at any and all rules.  The press will still find the worst and spin the worst.  Those who are part of the Revolution will jump on whatever bad they can find.  But at least it will be despite what you've done, rather than because of it. Remember, at times it's not a case of right and wrong, but smart and dumb.

Monday, May 4, 2020

A fine critique of the #MeToo movement

By yours truly.  For someone who says I don't like tooting my own horn, I certainly link to my own
posts now and then.  That's because sometimes an old post will suddenly get hit by a slew of visits, and on rare occasion, I must admit I'm not as embarrassed by my writing as I usually am.

Anyway, as we watch the sacred cow of #MeToo radicalism be redefined and reworked in light of it's failure to be convenient to the political Left, it was worth reading my old post again.

The context of the post was Evangelical Bible study guru Beth Moore coming out and joining the racialism of #MeToo feminism, c. 2018, whereby we learned history is pretty much mysoginists on one side, and women are assumed to be victims on the other.  #Believesurvivors and all that.  She even couched it in the more extreme version that any sex at all, no matter how consensual, can be a form of assault. No matter if the woman yelled *yes* more than Meg Ryan in a diner, it might still be assault if years later the woman looks back and regrets the encounter.

Well, thank goodness we're past that!  Tara Reade has exposed the obvious that sane people who live today can easily see: the #MeToo movement could have addressed one of many glaring problems with our Sexual Revolution era.  But it didn't.  Instead it was used and exploited purely for political gain.  What Ms. Moore's motives were for jumping on this rather Godless spin on the movement were, I can't say.  But she, like many Christian leaders, embraced it back in the day when a woman's word was gospel, and men must cower and hope the storm passes soon.

Until we find out if Ms. Reade is telling the truth or not, we'll suddenly learn about all the rights and perspectives of men that must be considered, due process and presumption of innocence to the fore, and the clear and obvious limits that come with just believing a woman's point of view because she says so.  The Beth Moore approved #MeToo will be put in the cupboard, to be brought out again when such a radical feminist spin on reality once again becomes convenient.  Convenient, that is, for the political Left.

DISCLAIMER: I did search to see if Ms. Moore has come out to defend Ms. Reade or advocate for her.  At this time, I've been unable to find any articles or posts from Beth Moore about the issue one way or another.  That doesn't mean anything.  It merely means I did look to see if she has said anything, and if so, I would gladly adjust my observations to include her perspective.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Banned by Mark Shea - again!

Yes kids, it's that time of year again.  So Mark banned me for the third or fourth time.  I've lost track. I seldom visit his blog anymore, unless someone sends me a link or posts a pic of a comment or piece he's written.

The last post I visited was linked by a friend who noticed Mark returning to the old 'Trump is a racist who loves and praises Nazis' meme.  Apparently, the good Deacon Steven Greydanus had affirmed the old media story about Trump praising racist Nazis because everyone at the Charlottesville protests some years ago was a racist Nazi.  An old reader who goes by 'Pete the Greek' stepped in to poopoo it with an article that broke down those who were there.  Apparently there were actually people there who repudiated the racists and white supremacists while still believing the statues of Confederates should not be destroyed.  That, of course, would call into question the idea that Trump praised Nazis, since the charge rests on each and every person at the protest being a full blown racist Nazi.

So I read the linked to article, and then commented.  It pended for a day or so and then I saw on my Disqus feed that it, and all of my posts on that article, had been removed:

Beyond that, when I went to post on the page and ask why it was removed, I once more saw the old standby so common on Mark's media outlets:

Yep.  Once more Mark banned me.  'Pete's' posts were also removed.  I later found out he, too - a long time visitor - was banned.  Why?  Did I threaten or accuse or label or insult anyone there?  Not that I can see.  Nor did Pete.  Neither of us did what Mark says are the only reasons he'll ban someone.  So go figure.  At least he didn't fire off some false accusation against me when he did it. 

Anyway, as I said, I didn't go there much anymore and almost never comment.  I find his comments section to be among the most vile I've ever seen on the Internet.  It's almost like an icon into the fifth circle of Hell.  When I did comment I tried to remain neutral on some trivial point.  It didn't matter.  We were both banned just because. So I figure at this point there's not much left to do for Mark than pray for his soul, and the souls of those who are being led astray by his works.

And pray for those who keep calling Mark a 'great Catholic apologist.'  You can insist, if you believe so, that he was a great apologist.  There's certainly a case to be made.  But at some point you have to call a spade a spade.  As one wag said about Mark, King Henry VIII once penned a great work defending the Catholic Faith.  That doesn't mean he remained a heroic defender of the Catholic Faith for the rest of his life. 

If anything, the biggest threat to Mark is those Catholics who should know better who keep lifting him up, dismissing the problems as nothing other than Mark just 'getting a bit too political'.  Part of it is Mark's fault for banning so many who merely call him out, creating a tight little bubble of self-affirmation for those who visit to affirm him.  Why he does it or has spiraled down into what he's become I can't say.  But his could be a giant 'everything wrong with the Internet Age' case study.  And those who continue lifting him up, even while they see what he does and has become, are the real culprits.  They have no excuse. 

As I've said a thousand times, if you reward a child for bad behavior you'll get a child who behaves badly. As much as Mark engages in myriad sins and absurd arguments to fuse his own opinions with the Gospel while allowing those who advocate endless blasphemies, heresies, intrinsic evils and sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance to have a blank check on his social media outlets, it's hard to say much when he keeps being rewarded and even praised for doing the same. 

GRUMPY UPDATE: It came to my attention that I didn't include a link to the offending post.  No, I didn't.  I would no more include a link to that blog than any blog advocating falsehoods and calumny, hatred of those things and people I hold dear, blaspheme, heresy, or any grave and intrinsic evil.  That blog, and especially the horrendous comments section, does that almost as a matter of course.  When I visit, I only do so when someone provides the means to bypass Mark's blog link so I don't give it any visits.  When I bother, I access the comments through Disqus.  I do not go there if humanly possible, and I will never link to it on this blog again.  If the Devil had a street address, I wouldn't tell people how to visit him.  I'll do the same in this case.