Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Really Google?

Celebrating the Dachshund Bobblehead?  That's the only thing you could come up with to celebrate today?  Such is the 21st Century.  I don't think we realize how close we are to the End of the West and the way we've understood living out the Christian Faith for the last many centuries.  We'll have to dig back to a period in the early generations of the Faith to come to a similar experience.  

A lot to hang on a stupid Google doodle about a bobblehead I know.  But let's face it, ten years ago there is no end to the possibilities Google could have celebrated.  Today, there's no end to the possibilities that Google dare not celebrate. And that makes all the difference. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Michaelmas and the rise of Satanism in America

For some months, my boys have talked of two things they've noticed in college.  One, it's not an exaggeration to say that half of their fellow students believe America to be the great Evil of the world; a 400 year old genocidal racist Nazi slave state that needs burned to the ground.  Since my oldest is in Constitutional Law, the idea that half of his fellows see this makes you wonder what things will look like fifty years from now. 

The second, and they've mentioned this several times, is the strange attraction that no small number of their peers seem to have for Satanism.   My second son calls it 'edgy atheism', since most don't seem to actually believe it, but it's cool and, since atheism offers nothing in terms of anything, a chance to 'belong.'  

In any event, it's indicative of our secular age, that people embrace what should scare the bejesus out of them, and do so flippantly.  That's because they don't really believe.  And I fear that is true for more in the modern age than we may care to admit.  In fact, I fear it may apply even to those who wake up on Sunday mornings, get dressed, and drive to the nearest church service.

Somehow the faithful conceded the prism of reality to the atheists, secularists and godless, and have tried to spin it with God spin ever since.  It hasn't worked.  Mostly people today seem as concerned about such things as eternity, heaven, hell, demons, angels and spirits as much as they are leprechauns, unicorns and Eskimos.  That is an indictment on the churches and their leaders as much as anything. But it's also an indictment on those of us who have decided our modern era puts at the center of reality a material lens through which to see things, resorting to religious explanations only after all else fails.

Today is the Feast of St. Michael the archangel.  That's the one traditionally pictured putting Satan down in his place where he belongs. He is no longer mentioned in the penitential act of the Mass, whereas he used to be petitioned along with the others who continue to be.   Perhaps that was a later addition that was then dismissed.  I don't know.  I just find it interesting that calling upon St. Michael was part of the Mass, now it isn't.  Then again, before we left the parish several years back, they also removed the Fatima prayer when they prayed the Rosary ( us from the fires of Hell), so there you go. 

Sometimes you wonder how people could just willy-nilly flirt with the powers of hell, and then you wonder why they wouldn't.  After all, the Church at times seems almost apologetic about such matters nowadays.  Hell.  Salvation.  Sin.  Demons.  If mentioned, we seem to quake in our boots while doing so, as if a universe of atoms and cells and DNA has no room for such antiquated and disproven notions and fancies. 

On the positive side, and in a timely manner, a contributor to Huffington Post has penned a piece stating she is now a proud Satanist, in the 'edgy atheist' manner.   To this, John C. Wright steps to the plate and show the flaws, the evils, and the blindness of such a view.  Other believers must step up to the plate and proclaim the spiritual reality that overshadows the mere material universe in which our physical bodies live, or more will imagine we are no more serious about a netherworld than we are the depredations of the latest chimera or minotaur monster.  And if we the believers aren't, we can't expect the proud godless to so for us.   

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Ember days

Some years ago I posted on this little bit of the old Catholic calendar, here.   It's one of many times in the yearly cycle when Christians in the old countries would have marked the changes of seasons with a decidedly God centered perspective.  

That stands in stark contrast to today, where I fear to many of us - and yes, I include myself - have succumbed to a secularist vision of reality, with only a sprinkling of pixie God dust on the whole to give it religious flavor.  I can't help but think that's a big reason people are leaving the Faith.  Sometimes I think they look and imagine what the youngster at the youth group said a year or so ago.  That is, they don't believe it because they don't think that many people who pack the pews believe it anymore either.

Ouch.  I'm sure modernity and secularism have taken their toll.  After all, we're all guilty of more or less buying into progress and STEM and often taking a secular template for understanding reality and smacking a God stamp on it and figuring that will do. 

Sometimes I think it's because we forget the primary Latin basis for the word 'Supernatural' - meaning of or given by God, and accept a more modernist, techno-definition that means 'something beyond nature' or more to the point, 'something that science using science can't explain - yet.'  Somehow that allowed this 'over here is the real universe and science and tech and all, and over there is your religion' dichotomy to emerge. 

Harkening back to those old farmers I wrote about a few weeks ago.  We often think of old timers as superstitious folk seeing demons and spirits in the spoiled milk and blighted harvests.  They imagined, or so we assume, that the horse went lame or the cow dried up because of witchcraft or those pesky evil spirits again. 

But here's the thing.  In doing so, assuming they saw things that way - and there's a strong case to be made that, to a degree, they did see things that way - I notice something.  They still lived life.  They still went about finding the best ways to plant, to tend, to harvest.  They tried to devise new ways to rotate or irrigate crops, or better methods of fertilizing the crops.  They tried to find better ways to build, or to reap, or to do anything they did.  They may have seen Creation as inherently and irrevocably spiritual in nature, but that didn't force them into an 'either/or' choice when it came to understanding things.  If they had a 'eureka!' moment regarding crop rotation, they didn't suddenly imagine it was all them and therefore God, while prayers are certainly in order, will have little to do beyond some vague 'He makes it all happen' notion.  The imminent presence of the divine and the spiritual did not take a step back because they invented a better plow. 

Atheists are fond of the 'either/or' approach when it comes to religion.  If we believe in God, then why not just sit and pray?  In fact, following a shooting or in light of an epidemic, they'll often give us the choice to either pray and turn to God, or to seek real solutions or better policies.  Not a few believers have also adopted that approach.   Many other believers scoff at such a lame choice.  

But I wonder.  Is it just a ploy by atheists, or do they see something in us and the way we go about things?  Does something about the way we live our faith today suggest that such a choice between only two options is the only choice we should be given? 

Anyway, here are a couple nifty places at the always informative Fish Eaters.  This looks at the whole idea of "Ember Days" in the old Catholic calendar, and this is focused on the autumnal Ember Days, coming shortly before Michaelmas, the historical nod to the archangel Michael, who seemed to have more emphasis in years gone by than he enjoys nowadays. 

I'm still thinking on the post suggesting we turn away from being hung up on all the corruption and stupidity and evil that go with the usual in this crazy world.  Jesus said to enter through the narrow gate, because few are those who will find it, while many will enter the broad gate that leads to destruction.  

As we watch the sun set on the West, and see even now believers fall over themselves to justify death, killing, racism, hate, corruption, oppression, hypocrisy and all manner of evils, often in fealty to social or political movements and allegiances, it might be worth pondering that Jesus was onto something.  Not just in some eschatological sense, but in the basic day to day of human history.  For most of the world's problems will as often as not involve most in the world.  Few will be those who truly find solace in God, and are able to weather those storms in peace and fealty to the Almighty by keeping their eyes on the prize.  

Perhaps getting back to the basics, and seeing the world through God and His Creation before we see it through the secular lenses that have brought us to this point could do some good. It's worth trying, that's for sure. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sound ursine advice

From St. Corbinian's Bear.   

Long and short: Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  Or, seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness.  

In other words, this is the vale of tears, the long defeat, that overarching path of Judeo-Christianity that has brought the world its notions of the sanctity and dignity of life, equality, universal ethics and liberty and freedom.  It is not a straight line upwards.  It is not ten billion years of nothing until three days ago when everything became awesome because me living today.

History is a long, sad, brutal and disappointing series of ups and many downs.  A burst of revelation followed by veiled truths and dark ages.  We're watching the death throes of Western Civilization right now.  The reasons are no doubt many, but the author of the design to destroy it is well known to believers. 

We're also watching the great apostasy, where more than anytime since the revelation of Christ, believers  are abandoning the Faith, its doctrines, and its revealed moral teachings.  That, perhaps, is the more shocking development, especially as we see leaders in the Faith we imagined were moored to the Rock suddenly jettison anything and everything they once stood for to keep up with the godless Jonses. Meanwhile the Church seems unable to answer this except by doing more of the same, following the old 'definition of insanity' rule.  

It is what it is.  In the end, we don't call this life the 'vale of tears' or 'the long defeat' for nothing.  Golden ages happen, but so do dark ages.  Perhaps, given what we did with the golden age we inherited, the coming dark age might be better for the soul.  

In any event, on this first day of Autumn, I'm going to try to focus more on what I can do - pray, receive the Sacraments, pray some more, see Creation through God colored lenses, and do the work of loving God and my neighbor, and less time bemoaning what I can't really prevent anyway.  Besides, I think some of my more wild predictions over the last ten years have been vindicated, more's the pity.  

It's not as if I'll use Faith as a cover for cowardice or apathy.  But I believe a first course of action ought to be groundedness in the Faith, as the good bear says. So while I won't ignore grievous developments, especially if they could sway people from the straight and narrow or threaten the world my sons will inherit, I see no reason to keep repeating the same old same old that should be painfully obvious by this point in history. 

I know I've said this before, and then all of a sudden something develops that I couldn't imagine happening in my country, and there I was again posting on the latest.  By now, however, the direction we're heading is pretty clear, so it will take a little more to jar me the way some things have in the past few years.   If I comment, it will be more about bigger things I've noticed, trends and lessons to be learned, like the folly of Christian conservatives' blind support for corporate interests in the name of capitalism or the free market.  How did that work out? 

But I won't be beholden to the latest headline that merely reinforces what any sane, honest person can see happening.  Instead, I will be trying - trying real hard - to do my own little part for my own faith walk, that of my family, that of those around me, and only use this to reflect on past blunders or mistakes or lessons learned as we enter a new historical era which, unless things suddenly go in a different direction, will promise to be yet another in a long line of dark ages following a golden age.

It's that time of year for the Fab Four

 No, not this Fab Four:

This Fab Four: 

Among others not shown.  Yes, that favoritest time of year for us, no matter what the 2020 version holds.  More on that later.  But for now, it may have almost nothing to do with the source material - my sons point out the film is more homage than based upon - I nonetheless never tire of this, one of the best monster vanquishing scenes in movie history:

Friday, September 18, 2020

I had no idea

And yet, for another Frivolous Friday, what you do find on the Internet:

To youngsters, that's a fellow who had one of the more surreal kiddie shows of the day called Captain Kangaroo.  Bob Keeshan, the fellow in the picture, was the titular captain, surrounded by a host of zanies and strange support players.  I often had the feeling that the writing team for the show consisted of a half dozen writers from Romper Room and Sesame Street, with one wayward writer from Monty Python.  

I honestly didn't watch it much.  It always aired in our neck of the woods around time for me to go to school.  And in the day, when we were off school, that's when the doors flew open and we wouldn't be back until lunch, dinner and then when the street lights came on. 

Nonetheless, for one year, when my Dad moved out on Rt. 42 until the following year when we moved back in town again, Captain Kangaroo heralded the time to begin looking for that dreaded school bus, and Mr. Riley who drove it and kept everyone on a tight leash.  Truth be told, in hindsight, he was actually a kindly fellow, being somewhat elderly and of the old WWII 'bark meaner than his bite' mentality.  

So that's Captain Kangaroo.  That's Bob Keeshan.  That's the song that told me another day at the grind was just around the corner.  And that's just a few memories that come to mind, none of which had anything to do with Captain Kangaroo playing an electric guitar. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Good for President Trump

I didn't vote for Trump in 2016.  For the first time since I was able to vote, I willingly left the office of president blank.  I may do the same again.  

And  yet I give credit where it is due.   President Trump is threatening to withhold funding from schools that teach the Soviet sounding anti-American propaganda piece The 1619 Project.  The purpose of the propaganda piece is to reframe America as founded in 1619, not 1776, and founded purely on evil: racism, slavery, and genocide.  The whole of the US is nothing but a historical precurser to Naziism, and nothing more.  The Soviets couldn't have produced a better hit piece.  Who knows, the Soviets may be doing it now. 

In any event, Trump has rightly said that our public schools will not be used as indoctrination camps teaching children to hate America, the American heritage, our founding principles and the Western Tradition.   Which is good.  We know from when Obama threatened to withhold funding from schools that failed to glorify the abstract genitals and the post-boy/girl world of transgender dogmas, that threatening schools with funding is a beautiful thing.  After all, when Obama announced this, utilizing pen and phone to do so, there was much rejoicing and praise of his wonderful name. 

So President Trump merely continues what Obama was so willing to do to the cheers of journalists and pundits everywhere.  Only this time, I think the cause is better.  That's just me, an old conservative partisan. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Left is the fascism that liberals once warned us about

With all due respect to my former classmate Russ Moore and his oft quoted jab 'The religious right turns out to be the people the religious right warned us about.'  Technically, Russ's observation is not true.  Evangelicals today are what those who stood outside of the Religious Right once warned would happen to Evangelicalism if things didn't change.  That was before Russ and some of his compatriots became the type of accommodating and compromising Christians that Russ and other Conservative Evangelicals once warned us about.

But enough of this parlor game.  The point is that the revolution we call The Left is not liberal at all.  It is hell and gone from liberal.  In almost every way, the Left now embodies everything that liberalism once told us was wrong, evil, dangerous and a threat do life and freedom.  It is now the embodiment of all the McCarthyism and fascism and Orwellian oppression liberals once warned us would spiral into 'a new Naziism' if The Right took over.  We see this happening more and more. 

We see it in the Left's self righteous purging of movies, books, art, religious art and music due to those products' unacceptable messages, or even unacceptable ethnic origins. We see it in the Left's insistence that we must judge and evaluate and even segregate based on a host of demographic labels including, but not limited to, skin color.  We see it as the Left calls for punishment of speech, religious practice and non-conforming activities and exercises that run afoul of leftist dogma.  And we see it in the Left's growing support for, if not championing of, violence, assault and even killing in the name of eliminating those who oppose the Left

This last one is the most recent in a long line of stunning reversals on the part of the Left as it becomes more and more what liberalism once stood against.  Assuming that most liberals identify with the Left by virtue of it being the Left and not the Right, it's amazing to see.  When I was growing up, violence was verboten.  From Hawkeye Pierce to Phil Donahue, from Ghandi to Atticus Finch, you show me a man who would stand by and not lift a violent finger for any reason at all, and I'd show you a man lifted up to near Jesus levels of adoration and praise by liberal culture of the day.

That's because violence was always, always, I mean always, and I'll say one more time always, wrong.  It was never justified.  It was never excusable. From spanking to war to the death penalty to even violent self-defense, violence was never the answer. Those prepared to go like sheep to the slaughter rather than resort to violence, even in self-defense, were the greatest.  Even non-Christians and atheist liberals I knew were willing to tip their hat to the Jesus story, even if they didn't believe it, due to its peaceful, non-violent messaging.  From teachers and professors, to news stories and movies and television and books and even rock songs, peaceful nonviolence was the only acceptable option. 

But that was then.  That was before the dark times.  That was before the revolution we're witnessing before us that is dedicated to dismantling the Christian Faith, Christian civilization, the Christian West and the American experiment and their high ideals of equality, liberty and the pursuit of happiness these traditions brought to the world.  

Of course the linked story is just one professor, known apparently for some pretty wacked out radicalism and intolerance. But it's not new, it's not just him, and it's picking up steam.  We're seeing it in the justification of the violence, death, arson and destruction perpetrated by Antifa and Black Lives Matter.  We have seen it since 2016 as professors, scholars and journalists excused violent protests and physical threats by those outraged by the 2016 election. Almost overnight, violence has joined a growing stack of actions once cherished by liberalism, now being tossed out the window by the Left.  And we're seeing things liberals once warned against as the the most evil and unforgivable sins imaginable being sanctioned and celebrated; in some cases by those same old liberals. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The deacon versus the priest

Apparently a priest has dared suggest that our problems are not due to a failure to conform to socio-political policy solutions and narratives.  

Instead, he's suggested it's our nation's rejection of Christ and the Gospel and abandoning God that's the problem.  Worse, he dared suggest that things like murder and lynching are bad because, well, it's bad to murder and lynch people irrespective of the skin colors involved.  This he says as opposed to our current sanctioned opinion that murder, while bad, can be made worse based on the skin color of those involved.  He even went on to say that the Civil War was fought by brave men in order to end the common practice of human slavery.  I mean, we all know people can only have one motivation at a time, and since it appears many in the North were worried about preserving the Union and - worse - didn't see slavery and racism the way our perfect generation does today, it couldn't have been about slavery (except the Nazi Southerners who only fought to preserve slavery and for no other reason).  He then dared to suggest we need some stats and data before we run about yelling Systemic Racism and White Privilege, and muses that there could be a different way to see the problems we're all witnessing.  Whew.  

Well, this just won't do, and deacon and film critic Steven Greydanus swooped in to correct the misguided priest who dared suggest such things:

So there you go.  The Civil War couldn't have been about anything but the worst things, you can't think our problems are connected to some universal rejection of Christ as opposed to failing to see the political and social solutions that stand before us, and what the hell is wrong with people who don't first consider ethnicity and skin color when thinking of the horrors of lynchings and other forms of death and violence?  Oh, and apparently White Americans don't think there's racism today.  Not sure how, but apparently it's true. 

Two different perspectives for Catholics in 21st Century America. 

As for the whole voting and being a Democrat, I'd guess you can be a faithful Catholic and vote for either Democrats or Republicans.  Exactly how that is possible is for others to say.  As long as you're consistent, however, that's fair.  

Monday, September 14, 2020

A fine foggy Midwest morning

Some years ago, a Catholic frequenter of blogs who commented under the name Dan C. quipped that he didn't know how Christians in my neck of the woods in the US could possibly be, well, something of a good nature in terms of Christian living.  To be honest I forget the exact wording.  But the point was taken.

In answer to that suggestion, I would submit this:

And this:

And this:

When I was in high school and college in the 1980s, it was what I called the Great California Revival.  For reasons I'm not sure about, while New York City was still that 'center of humanity' in the cultural mindset, it was California, especially Los Angeles, that was the real center of dreamy living.  LA, Hollywood, the Sunset Strip - these places were for teens what Jerusalem is to holy pilgrims.  Multiple movies aimed at the day's youth portrayed Los Angeles as the place to be.  Music and artists championed the California feel, led in the infancy MTV days by that band from Pasadena that dominated the early Rock scene: Van Halen.  Gone were Heavy Metal's ties to leather and chains and greasy hair and dour notation.  In was all about being 'a bum in the sun but having fun' near the beach.   

And so it was.  More than a few of my classmates, and one best friend, was entirely enamored with the dream of driving along State Route 1 in a convertible, leaving the Beverly Hills mansion, and looking West to yet another gorgeous Pacific sunset.  I'd say with the exception of Magnum PI's buttressing of Hawaii as the true paradise on earth, most my age saw the next best, and likely most obtainable, option to be Los Angeles, California.

This had the effect of sowing much discontent in the minds of several peers I knew who caught the Walk of Fame bug.  Suddenly the Midwest became like Kansas in The Wizard of Oz:  Dreary, bland, sepia, boring.  A land of endless clotheslines, decaying farm equipment, antiquated storefronts, and worn out veterans parades.  The only thing worse than Hell would be life in the Midwest.  With the exception of the Windy City, there was almost nothing to commend itself in staying in flyover country, especially that part east of the Mississippi.  

For my part, I personally didn't think much of moving to California, or anywhere for that matter.  I never really dreamed of living somewhere.  My Dad was a Rocky Mountains man and, had he his druthers, would liked to have spent as much of his life as possible out west.  Why he didn't I'll never quite know.  But we associated Dad and the Grand Canyon and the Rockies as much as we associated the pope with Catholicism. 

Nonetheless, that wasn't me.  I think I approached where I lived the way I approach cars.  If a car has wheels and a working engine, I'm fine.  If where I live has a house, the basics, and access to the necessities, I'm content.  Even when I visited Florida for the first time in college, and saw the palm trees, the beaches, the pleasantly proportioned ladies in the barest of clothing, I had a gut feeling that this was what tourists and visitors saw.  To actually live and work in Florida would be to wake up, drive to work, be in an office or factory, pay bills, mow the yard, and do about the same thing that working types in Los Angeles, or Miami, or the city soon to be the former city of Columbus, or Rochester, or Phoenix, or any place in the world, had to do for most of their lives. 

When I moved to Florida owing to a job opportunity fresh from college, this assumption was confirmed.  I noticed that Florida was Florida for everyone except those who lived and worked in Florida.  Apart from obvious difference (someone in Colorado would have the mountains, Florida the beaches), most of their lives were the same as the lives of those in central Ohio.  For me, it was less, because I missed the seasons, the cool evenings and the colors of Fall, and I could never bring myself to play in the sand next to the beach on Christmas Day.  My Father-in-Law once described Florida as a U-shaped strip mall surrounding a swamp.  It was endless strip malls and small businesses until you left the city limits, when you were walled in on both sides of the highways by mangrove swamps and endless cypress trees with no horizon to be seen. 

Despite the confirmation of my assumptions about being obsessed with where I lived, however, the constant drumbeat of 'Los Angeles as God's country' did sometimes make me take for granted that backyard of my life's experiences.  For a few years, even if I didn't pine to be anywhere else, I began to ignore just how blessed it can be to live in a region that has horizons and sunsets and amber waves of grain (or at least corn), and enough heritage to remember the fleeting American experiment and those who helped bring its blessings, at least for a season, into the world. 

So while I'm sure being a Christian in old New York City, or even Los Angeles, can be quite a blessing, you'll forgive me for thinking you can't do much better than seeing what I saw early last Friday morning when I had to take my son to work.  Nothing planned, I didn't have to go out of my way, I didn't have to make a camping trip and plan a vacation.  I just looked out my window as I drove home and saw a touch of God on the horizon.  Not bad for a place our best and most beautiful would prefer to fly over. 


Roodmass, or more properly the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, is today.  The always helpful and informative Catholic educational site Fish Eaters has some information for your perusing.  

Saturday, September 12, 2020


 OK, this was weird, from New York Times columnist Elizabeth Bruening:

Kudos for not dropping Auschwitz, instead going to its lesser known evil sibling.  But Verdun?  Where did that come from?  Why not say the Somme?  Borodino maybe?  Antietam?  I get avoiding that last one.  After all, that's the Civil War and everyone was a racist slave advocate so you never know who would be the villain there. 

But that struck me.  Why Verdun?  Was that right wing?  Is Trump plunging us into war more than the last president?  I know 2020's WWIII left us shaken, but why drop Verdun or any major battle in modern discourse about our current presidential candidates? 

We live in an age that has taught people not to care.  My son pointed that out some time ago.  For decades we've championed being narcissists who don't care.  "I don't care unless it impacts me," became almost sacred mantra, and something I heard individuals proudly state many different ways over the years.  Without that, we'd not continue the sex and drugs culture in the AIDS pandemic.  We wouldn't talk of banning hate speech.  We wouldn't care about how others are hurt by my ideas for fighting global warming or abolishing national borders.  Not caring unless it impacts me is crucial for many moder ethical movements and agendas. 

So it was cool to not care.  The last thing we wanted to do was be right wing and care passionately.  An unintended result of this, however, is that anyone trying to get people to rise up and take action - no matter what particular vantage point you're speaking from - is at a disadvantage.  

It's not just here in the US either.  I've read multiple pieces over the years from European outlets, as well as talked with friends who live in Europe, that say apathy and a general malaise has been the biggest pandemic in Europe for some time.  Unless you take away their government benefits, or challenge open drugs and sex, they really don't care.  Let Europe die, let civilization collapse, who cares?

Therefore because of this, we have to rely more and more on verbal dog whistles, hyper rhetoric, or anything to grab people who have been taught that the only thing worse than Verdun or Dachau would be to care about Verdun or Dachau at all.  The saddest part is the fruitlessness of this tactic due to the years of cultural indoctrination that has taught, most young people to not care enough to know what Verdun or Dachau were in the first place. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

9/11: When all lives mattered

 Yep.  How far we've come.  But today we remember that day, and what could have happened as a result.  And what happened as a result. 

Like the communists of the USSR, the terrorist ultimately were victorious.  They just had to play the long game. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

When 'Whites Only' became a thing again


Someday the spirits of Germans from the 1930s and Southerners from the 19th Century will rise up and condemn our generation.   Had they known what we know, they never would have done what we're doing.  

Us?  We will have no excuse.  We're too educated for it to be idiocy.  It's likely cowardice and apathy and narcissism and a general lack of faith wrapped, as it often is, in the cloak of righteousness and moral superiority. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

School Days

Things are a little less crazy with the older boys going their way - even if they live at home for the time being in doing so.  Being beneficiaries of white privilege, they work full time jobs and take classes around their schedules accordingly.  But being home for that is still not the same as being home as a high school or younger student.  There they were still 'kids' in our charge.  Today they're adults going their own way, doing their own thing, and navigating through the crazy that is 21st Century America.

That leaves our youngest home now, more or less on his own. The only other person, beyond my wife and I, who is at home is my Mom who we are blessed to care for in this September of her years.  Since things are still shut down, and outside of public schools there isn't much available, it's going to be rough.  As a homeschooler, he typically got his socializing through various extracurricular activities, church school and the like.  Those are all either canceled or online.  With his brothers going their ways, he's going to be one solitary kid, at least until things get back to some semblance of normal. 

So we'll try to find ways to make it more interesting in the meantime.  Not that school can't be interesting.  We're doing our own kitbashed curriculum, gleaned from a couple published programs while preparing for him moving to Kolbe Academy once he hits 7th Grade.  We follow a quasi-classical approach, and he will be diving into the classics of antiquity this year more than he has in the past.  He's currently learning Chinese, but we'll add Latin toward the second half of the year.  We've also added a tech/coding (in the works) subject line since he is very, very and I mean very interested in tech and programing.  Being somewhat deficient in those areas ourselves, it will be learn as we go. 

So that's it.  As I said, this week will be a bit sparse, which is fair since I was supposed to have ended most blogging several times already!  Given that he already missed 

Words fail me

From former Steubenville professor Rebecca Weiss: 

There is nothing I can add to make it worse than it is.  Except perhaps:

So there you go.  Fatima could just be a big hoax; a giant, great big Nazi inspired fascist hoax.  And those who believe in it might just be fascists.   This could be arrived at by pondering the possibilities and then declaring anyone who challenges the possibilities to be fascists.  An air tight argument.

My two cents?  Notice how one of the tweets retweeted suggests "Mary" (note the scare quotes), being Jewish, should have put a special focus on the 6 million Jews killed in the  Holocaust over and beyond the tens of millions of others not Jewish killed in the other horrors of the last century.  

Perhaps it's me, but I find comfort in God and those immediately acquainted with the Almighty not being obsessed with our obsession with post-human worthiness based on demographic labels.  Unlike Fr. James Martin, I can see Jesus not really caring about the skin color of those in churches.  And apparently it's odd t hat I can see the Blessed Mother equally concerned about all of those who would suffer and die in our last century's nod to the latest ideologies and agendas, rather than being most concerned about those closest in demographic identity to her.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Our Labor Day

Yep, this gathered steam as it passed over our neighborhood on its way toward the city soon to be formerly known as Columbus:

I've been in four tornadoes in my life.  The first one I was a newborn.  The second came when we moved into the house my Dad built out in the country.  The third was when I lived in Florida.  The last one was in Indiana where I was serving as full time pastor at my first church.  In none of these cases were we directly hit, being only nearby or - in the case of our house in the country - seeing the tornado bounce over our property.  

Fortunately, despite the rather CGI appearance of it, yesterday's funnel cloud never touched down.  It hung about for a while, but decided to move back into its proper place.  Nonetheless, the rains and winds were fierce, and while no major damage, lots of significant clean up. 

Since today was supposed to be the first day of homeschool for our youngest, plus cleaning up outside, expect sparse posting for the next day or so.  

There are times when something is so stupid

You wonder if it's really a joke that you're missing.  So I was shown this on Facebook.  Apparently the whole ownership of dogs is racist, at least when white people do it. 

I know.  That is so stupid it must be a put-on. It has to be someone writing to lampoon the modern racist idiocy sweeping the nation - and the world: The idea that the Nazis were right, they just had the wrong ethnic group.  It turns out the Caucasian race (euphemistically called white in an alway pejorative manner), rather than Jews, is alone evil and wicked and a pox upon humanity in serious need for exterminating.  This article, perhaps, is trying to mock this racist and ludicrously evil notion by taking it to the most absurd extremes.  By suggesting somehow that it was evil of whites to steal the idea of domesticating dogs by virtue of their inherently evil whiteness, he might cause us to laugh at what we're seeing our elites and leaders advocate.  By saying that dogs and humanity continue to suffer because of the blight of the white race almost destroys the possibility of parody, so it must be a joke. 

Or he means it.  He, a man who looks whiter than a KKK sheet sale, is actually buying into the idea that once you label an entire ethnic group inherently reprobate, you can then say anything and everything to do with that ethnic group is therefore inherently reprobate.  Your only hope as part of that ethnic group, then, is calling for the eradication of everything linked to that ethnic group in the hopes that you will be spared the inevitable trip to the showers.  

Or it's a joke.  I just can't tell nowadays. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

How to be a radical Christian

Example A:

Has anyone noticed that the Left incraesingly talks about White people the way Nazis talked about Jews?

I thought of that as this story appeared about Biden claiming a black man, not some white guy, invented the light bulb.  I'm sure we all know that those who get the final prize aren't always the only ones who had an idea, or even ran the race to nab credit for the idea.  And anyone at least my age or younger knows that many of the inventions we now enjoy had a long list of people who took part in bringing to us those inventions.   Heck, it was actually supposed to be a good thing.

But the Democrats, beholden to the Left, must only see fostering race hate and racism as the goal.  So Biden swings out and suggests history books be changed to tell that it was a black man, not a white man (Edison) who invented the light bulb.   Could it be true?  Who knows.  Edison has become quite the villain in recent decades, often put in juxtaposition to the more saintly Nikola Tesla.  

But accuracy isn't the point here.  The point is continuing to borrow more and more pages from the Nazi playbook.  The point is to get more and more people to hate, and I mean with a knee jerk, visceral hate, white people.  As soon as 'white' is mentioned, it should invoke the same pavlovian response as yelling 'Jew' at the Reichstag in the 1930s.  It's meant to incite hatred, even violent hatred, and a desire to destroy anything and everything to do with white or Caucasian or Western or whatever.  In other words, pure genocide.  Or the foundations for it thereof.

Again, historians can unpack the accuracy of Biden's remarks.  Could there be some document proving that Edison maliciously stole Latimer's ideas, locked Latimer in the closet, and took credit for himself?  Sure.  Nonetheless, that is not the point here.  It's about rewriting the historical record to incite a growing number of people - including whites - to demand nothing less than the eradication of the Christian heritage of the Christian West and the whole experiment of the United States. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Dear The Atlantic: This is not news

The news story sweeping the propaganda ministry news media is that Trump despises all veterans, thinks they're morons, and has nothing but contempt for them all.  We know this because The Atlantic has reported it.  We know The Atlantic is correct because it has this story from multiple anonymous sources.

Wait.  What?  I'm sorry, but I barely trust a news story today when they provide video taped evidence with names and credentials.  Do you think I'm going to believe a story based on 'I can't tell you who said it, but trust me, he's reliable'?  Next thing you know The Atlantic will be insisting Professional Wrestling is real. 

It sometime stuns me to see the various side effects of our dying civilization.  As my boys once said, we're the generation that finally proves an education isn't enough.  Despite our education, people will take The Atlantic at face value.  Despite enough examples to fill Jupiter of news stories being wrong, and being wrong always in ways that make only one side of the political divide look back, you'll have people add this to their 'why I hate Trump' list.  Again, propaganda is for both the weak and the willing minded.  And sometimes those two camps are the same.

Is this saying I don't believe it?  Nothing would surprise me since it's people in a fallen world.  People can be quite nasty as well as good.  Given Trump's previous statements about POWs and certain veterans that cross him, it's not off of the table.  I'm just saying that in 2020, there are only two kinds of people in the world.  There are fools, and there are those who know better than to take any news story today at face value, especially if its proof is a bunch of sources it can't reveal. 

RIP Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver has died.   He was a pitcher who, for a time, pitched for the Cincinnati Reds.  I realize that for many people, and most youngsters, the name will mean little.  Baseball fans and gurus will know the name.  But it's one of those names that, for some people like me, strikes a certain chord.

Technically, though he was with the Reds during their legendary Big Red Machine days, he actually came in after the apex of that time.  With new management, the Reds wisely began letting go the squad that had led them to one of the most dominating periods in any sport in history.  Beginning with 1977, the Reds began dismantling the Machine, and that's when Seaver came on board. 

Nonetheless, the Machine was still active and, for us Buckeyes, being part of that team, even in the waning days of its glory, enshrined you in our collective memories.  As a youngster back then, Seaver's name was elevated to the same level as Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose and the rest of the famous Great Eight.  

Perhaps it was regional, and even baseball fans in other parts of the country knew him less, the Mets notwithstanding (heh).  But for me, his name and that part of my childhood is forever linked.  To hear his name conjures up memories of all the posters and all the autographed baseballs and all the paraphernalia my fellow students would parade around during that time.  So big were the Reds that a young tomboy named Cindy was able to pass off Pete Rose as her favorite historical figure in a school report we were assigned. 

So my prayers for him and his loved ones.  May the grace of God cover their hearts and minds and embrace him as he slips the surly bonds of earth.  He was a intrical part of my life's vat of memories, and for that I will always be grateful.  Pax. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Good for him

Jack Denton, who was a member of Florida State University's student senate, was thrown out because of his Catholic Faith.   He was caught expressing his Faith's beliefs as they relate to BLM and other issues, such as sexuality.   Because he expressed those in a private chat, it was discovered and he was ousted. 

I have no idea about the details or the legalities.  I don't know if the student senate can secret police its members and dismiss them because of their religious beliefs or not.  I just know this is helpful in exposing the death of American liberalism.   

Remember, "the Left" is still associated with liberalism, and the two are often mentioned in the same breath.  I know I've done it.  Most I know who are on the Left prefer 'liberal' to describe their positions.  And yet, this sort of inquisition Mccarthyism is hell and gone from what liberalism has insisted it was all about since the early 20th century.  In fact, liberalism was the antithesis of this. 

Everything we're seeing that is being promoted by 'the Left' in the 21st Century is what liberalism once condemned and fought against.  Consider how my whole life I heard 'it's wrong to judge, It's Wrong to Judge, IT'S WRONG TO JUDGE!'   Now look at what we're doing to anyone who doesn't conform to the Left's dogmas.   Look at the judgmentalism needed to destroy them memorials, statues and tributes to Americans from generations gone by.  The same thing with the all important concepts of tolerance, diversity and respecting diverse opinions and beliefs we heard liberals talks so much about for all those years. 

Warning flags should go up when a movement that spent nigh on a hundreds years insisting it only wants a nation where all animals are equal suddenly insists we must begin acknowledging that some animals are more equal than others.  Whatever happens with this lawsuit is beyond me.  But it should be one more in a growing pile of warning signs about the country we're becoming; a country this 'Left' wants to be. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Who cares about sexual assault?

Apparently nobody of importance, that's who.  So our glorious Left has once again launched a virus spreading series of riots and destruction across our country because a black man was shot in the back by a police officer.

Stop.  Am I saying the officer was right?  Am I saying the black man, one Jacob Blake, deserved it?  Am I saying we have all the evidence we need when we see an edited video played on the national media?  Heaven forbid.  I'm of the old 'wait for the evidence and the facts before heading to the guillotine' school.

Nonetheless, like most of what we've seen in the Left's assault on America by way of hyped and edited videos, the more we learn, the less clear it is. In some cases, like Nick Sandmann, the truth eventually shows the original charges to be 100% false.  In other cases, it at least suggests the initial accusations as inspired by the "news media" aren't quite the whole story. 

That appears to be the case here.  Again, the officer might have been out of line for shooting the suspect so many times in the back.  I don't know all the facts.  And I'm not saying modern law enforcement isn't in need of some reimagining of itself.  But again, still not all the facts. 

But it does look like Mr. Blake was hardly the leading candidate for 4th Member of the Holy Trinity either.  He has had multiple run ins with the law.  The reason the police came after him was, apparently, he had absconded with someone's car keys against their wishes.  And he had at least one warrant out on a third degree sexual assault charge (that's having sex with someone without their consent).

Look at that last one.  Let's get into our Wayback Machine and travel back to those ancient days of 2017, after President Trump entered the White House, and the #MeToo movement exploded onto the world stage.  Almost overnight, around the globe, demonstrations and protests erupted as women wove nightmare tales of endless sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and all out rape.  Day after day was met with one man  after another being accused of everything from suggesting women smile to throwing coworkers down on a desk and sexually attacking them.

No matter what the evidence of lack thereof, no matter what degree of crime being suggested, it was all taken with the same gravity and seriousness as s discussion about the Holocaust.  Each man so accused was put on the hot seat and had best damn well have some alibi to get them off the hook, or they were toast. Even joking about sexual harassment became passe, and entire swaths of the last 50 years of entertainment were put under the microscope and dissected for such sexist and misogynistic attitudes toward women that fueled such an unforgivable society in need of #MeToo to save the day.

By the time of The Handmaid's Tale, and the Kavanaugh hearings, it was clear: perhaps apart from racism, there was no more heinous or irredeemable sin than sexual assault, or any such sex based crime, particularly when perpetrated by men against women.  That was it.  The entire history of the world was labeled patriarchal, and by definition it was now able to be reexamined and dismantled in kind. 

Or at least until a week or two ago when it was revealed that Mr. Jacob was, in fact, accused of sexual assault.  And then - puff!  Suddenly Sexual Assault was no big deal.  Really, read this "Fact Check" article at USA Today.  Sure the sexual assault charges appear to be real, but let's not go overboard.  He technically was never convicted of gun violence, and other charges of assaulting police were dropped, so can we really care about what this guy might be?  Isn't the important thing that he's now a millionaire and has been sainted and deified like George Floyd because, well, none of it matters?  What matters is he is a black man who was shot by the police.  If he gang raped babies, I don't think we'd care any more than we do about the possibility of sexual assault.

My family was talking about this, and an interesting point was made.  Here in the central Buckeye State, mayors and our governor have been scratching their heads over why violence - including, but not limited to, gun violence  - has skyrocketed since last year at this time.  Could it be gun laws?  Probably not, since the gun laws haven't changed.  Could it be Covid?  Perhaps.  It seems to be the latest 'cause of everything.' 

Or perhaps it's copycats.  My boys pointed out that whenever there is some horrible crime, like a mass shooting, we often hear about the possibility of copycats.  Even if the shooters are portrayed as monsters and villains and demons, there will still  be a chance others will copy what they did. 

Given that these black men shot or killed by cops are being made into messiahs (really, remember when some Jesuit compared the killing of George Floyd to the Crucifiction of Jesus Christ), is it possible that we're seeing copycats on acid?  After all, these fellows are being declared gods, saints and heroes.  If a mass shooter decried as human excrement still gets people to copy what he did, how much more likely will people want to copy these men who have criminal records, may have been involved in crimes, resisted arrest and even threatened police - and then became the darlings of corporate America, the US government, religions and athletes and celebrities the world over?  

This might be your chance.  Commit crimes, assault the police, and if you survive, you could be on easy street for the rest of your life.  Even if you don't, you'll be elevated to a toasty place been Lenin and Che Guevara in terms of hero worship and veneration.

Even if those crimes you committed are sexual assault.  Which, we find out on this good September morn, is now just one more of those minor issues we can simply dismiss as incidental to the important things in the world.  And, it's worth saying, can be perpetrated while still being called a hero for your efforts.  Perhaps my boys are wrong, but I don't see the deterrent in this. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Why I'm waiting on the whole 6% news about Covid

What's that?  The news reported that only 6% of those who have died of Covid died only with Covid.  The other 94% had various other conditions, ailments, or comorbidities (a new addition to the breakfast table lexicon this year).  

In other words, 94% of those who die have something else.  That's all that means.  In fact, it probably means not much more to the medical pros from Dover.  It just means 6% certainly died of Covid since they had nothing else.  The other 94% had something else as well.  Whether they developed the other conditions because of Covid, had it before hand and Covid exacerbated their other conditions, or they just died of the other conditions and only coincidently had Covid is not mentioned.

Now this isn't actually news.  Truth be told, and I hate to break it to people, but "Science(TM)" doesn't always know everything.  It doesn't even know what our pop culture narrative assumes it knows (which is usually close to everything).  Nor is there some magical science room where all the stats and all the proof of all the facts in the universe are kept and we can just go in, open a file, and there's the answer!  Nope.  

Fact is, one thing we've learned during all this is just how limited and often ignorant of things scientists can be.  So far, most of what they've come up with - aside from the technological equipment that can help keep people alive - is what pioneers in the 19th century probably would have figured out: if you get sick, take care of yourself, avoid others, try not to spread it, and if it gets bad get to the doctor. Everything else is still up in the air, or the science has proven to be wrong, or they just don't know yet. The same goes for most academic and scholarly disciplines, but right now we're just doing science as it relates to C19. 

So it's nothing to see that there isn't an exact count of how many actually died of the Flu in a given year.  Or AIDS. That's another common one.  You'll get how many died, but then you'll often have a little asterisk that says the numbers are likely much higher, but it's tough to tell if it's AIDS or something else the individuals died from. 

Now, if I had something to ask, it would be why it hasn't been until now that this has become a thing.  I wouldn't be like the good deacon above and flippantly dismiss it.  I would like to know why in other cases, when there could be many causes behind a person's death, we often only get the most restrained reporting of numbers regarding those who clearly died of the ailment in question.  Why, for instance, do we hear that 7K to 9K Americans die of AIDS, and only see in the footnotes that the numbers could be much higher, but we don't know?  Why isn't that how Covid-19 is reported: "There have been over 10,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the US, but when considering co-morbidities and other compromising conditions the numbers are likely much higher."? 

Why we wonders?  That's what I would like to know.  Perhaps it would be nice knowing if that discrepancy is common (6% vs. 94%).  I mean, is it usually that big of a difference?  But if I had one question at a microphone in a town hall, that would be my question.  Why the difference in how Covid versus other infectious diseases is being reported where deaths are concerned?