Sunday, January 31, 2021

Bwa ha ha ha!

 For all you Michigan fans out there, from us Buckeyes:

Heh.  And now I can officially say I'm sick and tired of the whole 'Bernie Meme.'  It's time for it to go the way of the California Raisins.  

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Sacred art in the Age of Sex

Fr. James Martin demonstrates:  

We call it the Sexual Revolution, but now it's just the Age of Sex.  That modern womenfolk have aborted pregnancies by the hundreds of millions, in addition to tens of millions dead from AIDS or ruined from a host of sex-related consequences has become a small price we're more than willing to pay for our libidos. 

The jaded, nihilistic sense of self-worthlessness that has arisen from this sex ethic has left our generation beyond the point of faithlessness.  That is why we so easily accepted the sudden notion that our worth in the eyes of the Thrice-Holy is largely dependent upon which demographic label has been affixed to us by the Leftist state. 

These things are not problems that arose overnight.  They are the product of a Church that veered left when it should have veered right in its dealings with the movements and developments in our modern age.  And not just recently, but for decades; perhaps generations. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Left's latest racial hygiene trick

He's seen Leftists who will turn you white
So it turns out that the latest fad among the emergent Left is 'whiteness.'  Think 'Jewishness' as it would have sounded in Germany during the 1930s.  It is a trigger word that basically means evil, wretched, racist, deplorable, stupid, oppressive, bigot, and a whole slew of unsavory labels.  

It follows the Left's primary thesis that the human race, being born with a moral blank slate, was generally pretty awesome - except for the Christian West and its bastard child America.  That's where all the nasty, unforgivable sins came from.  Sins like  sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, cis-bigotry, Islamaphobia, dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria. 

Of course in recent years, especially following Obama's reelection in 2016, it's become fashionable to attach skin color to that appraisal.  It's not enough to say Christians or Americans, but white Christians, white Americans, white conservatives, white Evangelicals and so on.  The 'white' is the trigger word and is meant to conjure up the same sentiments Amon Goth had when he hear the word 'Jew.'  

Since Christians know the little secret about original sin in a fallen world, we know that Nazi Germany, not America at its finest, is the default, at-rest position for most of history, and not just European history. Therefore, since people will choose sin over righteousness as often as not, it's not surprising as our entire cultural framework shifts toward a new Jim Crow attitude aimed at the right skin color, that the majority of Americans, including politicians, filmmakers, poets and dreamers and, yes, Christian leaders, will jump on board.  Just as their forebears did waving Nazi flags and goose-stepping around Nuremberg all those years ago.

But there's a problem.  Basically this is just racism meant to drive wedges in society and marginalize those who buck the new Leftist State.  But fact is, not all who are resisting the Left are, well, white.  There are actually black Americans who have rejected the Left.  Some have said they no longer believe Democrats have their best interests in mind.  Some - and this is rough - actually supported Trump.  What to do about the narrative that Trump is White Supremacist, his supporters are White Nazis, and we must stop them at all cost?  

One way apparently is to continue the narrative that whiteness is a pox upon humanity in serious need of extermination.  That view is already sanctioned and promoted in and out of our halls of power.  Now just make the term more than about skin color, which it sort of already is.  After all, the main voices calling for the eradication of whiteness are usually good white liberals.  So clearly it's not just a 'skin color' thing.  Therefore it should take no effort at all to do this, to say whiteness now means failure to bow before the Leftist State whatever your skin color. 

You're a black American who has dared challenge the moral superiority and infallible efficacy of the Left?  Well, now you're an interracial whiteness type.  I'm not sure how they apply the label directly to individuals yet.  Basically it's using 'whiteness' the way 'communist' would have been used in the 1950s.  It doesn't have to be true.  It doesn't even have to make sense.  Just the threat of 'commie' might be enough to beat people down and eradicate dissent.   

Since, unlike McCarthy, the Left has the press, Hollywood, public and higher education, and not a few religious leaders on its side, it can do this now with impunity.  It doesn't have to make sense.  Nor should we sweat the fact that it sounds a lot like racism, and a racism that when applied to ethnic minorities, should be seen as demeaning and insulting.  That's because those who should call it out won't.  

Is it evil? Yes.  Is it racism? Yes.  Is it entirely contemptuous and does it display a deplorable lack of respect for ethnic minorities and their ability to think for themselves? Yes.  But this is the Left.  A heresy wrapped in a blasphemy promoting mass slaughter in order to sustain a porn culture through the AIDS pandemic, and delivering tyranny as the result.  What would we expect?  Except shock, perhaps, at just how many are fully behind this latest manifestation of humanity's woes, including many we imagined would never fall for such dribble.  

We only have a little time before future generations ask of conservatives today 
what we asked of Germans after WWII. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

It's time to say goodbye to the Lamb and Flag

So the news broke yesterday that the Lamb and Flag pub, made famous by Tolkien and Lewis and the gang, is closing for good.  Why?  Need we ask. Covid restrictions that have happily avoided doing anything but buttress corporate fortunes while obliterating endless millions of middle and lower class livelihoods, have struck again.  This is the first time in history that I'm aware of where the measures used to fight a pandemic will do harm to so many millions that will far outlive the pandemic itself. 

I can't even name from our area the number of small business owners and middle class entrepreneurs who have seen their dreams and fortunes dashed.  All while millionaires and billionaires videochat from their mansions about how important it is to sacrifice millions of shmucks heroes so that they can remain healthy millionaires and billionaires safe in their mansions. 

My boys also pointed out something I hadn't thought of.  They said that in recent years, things like pub crawls, pub Dungeons and Dragons, pub gatherings, and American versions of the same had become quite popular.  People turning away from the Big and Small Screens and actually finding ways to have fun with friends and acquaintances around a pint was helping the already struggling pub (and similar) industries mount a comeback.

Well, no more.  Those pastimes have almost died.  My sons, who are connoisseurs of modern pop culture with a finger on the pulse of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi world, have informed me that the latest D&D renaissance is floundering, in large part due to closing the stores and other venues where people were meeting to play.

And what is left?  Well, since you aren't supposed to mix and mingle, you stay home with the family and either have a stack of board games, or turn on the Big Screen and veg, staring at the entertainment industry's paltry offerings, laden with sponsors and propaganda, making them richer in the process.  In addition, you have no easy way to communicate except via digital social media, controlled by corporate tyrants almost proud to monitor, and even censor, wrong think and offensive discourse.  

Covid will go down as the human catastrophe that helped solidify the global oligarchy of modern corporatism.  At this point, I don't even think they bother pretending not to be doing what they're doing.  And what are they doing?  They're setting up a global market where millionaires can become billionaires, billionaires can become trillionaires, and most of the human race can get back to the hides and the cotton fields where they belong.  

A question for you political junkies out there

When did Executive Orders become the Fourth Branch of our government?  I know it's not Biden.  Nor Trump.  Nor was it Obama.  But somewhere, somehow, executive order anymore seems to be the way presidents get to impose their agendas by circumventing that pesky legislative process.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but it's a feeling I have.  And I don't think it's a good trend. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Unity: A reflection

So we've heard all about unity over the last couple weeks.  Unity, unity, unity.  Well, by my lights, if you really want unity then you don't get to pick and choose when it's time for unity.  

Just my two cents worth. 

Meanwhile, from the chronicles of America's demise

A former football coach is still trying to get his job back.  

Why?  Because he committed the unpardonable sin of wanting to pray openly, rather than in a duly designated closet where the school told him to go.  Had he worn a dress or advocated gay sex or celebrated the extermination of tens of millions of pregnancies to sustain our porn culture through the AIDS pandemic, no doubt he would be athletic director by now.  Had he embraced the new Jim Crow and told his white students to grovel for mercy and beg forgiveness for their skin color, as my wife has had to do in her workplace, perhaps even principal.  If he had championed the a post-American global oligarchy driven by socialism and dreams of a communist paradise, I'm thinking superintendent, though that might be a bit much. 

Alas for him, he thought to freely exercise his religion by praying openly, and that was his big mistake.  Surely 1947 will go down in the history books as one of the most important years on the journey to America's death.  Given so many other failures and losses, that's quite an achievement.  Well done SCOTUS. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

A New Prolife Catholic passionately defends President Biden's pro-abortion crusade

Yep.  Not much to say really.  Those who believe we will stop abortion by giving people more money, well, there is that.  As Catholics, the solution can't be supporting contraception as a way of curbing abortion rates. I suppose there could be something biblical about thinking that the more money people have, the less they sin.  I'm betting it isn't that easy, however, and I personally believe it's our relationship to the Almighty and Jesus Christ that is the ultimate answer.  But that's me.  And the priest who spoke at our parish yesterday. 

I won't bother with unpacking the opinion piece itself.  I think most of the linked to blogpost speaks for itself.  Except to say that is Exhibit A for why I no longer get anywhere near his blog or anything he writes. I'm trying to keep my heart and mind on Jesus as best I can, and I'm sure that wouldn't help a bit. 

Saturday Morning Cartoons are coming back?

That would be nice, now that all but my youngest are beyond that age.  Though in fairness, how many of us watch those old cartoons when we can?  We bought the boys some DVD collections of Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny back in the day, but they must endure endless disclaimers of our moral superiority over those old timers who weren't enlightened enough to discuss arming teachers due to regular school shootings.  That's not how they frame the disclaimers of course, but think about it.

Nonetheless, they have to go through hoops like that and it does spoil the fun.  The DVDs even have the disclaimers - or mini-clips featuring Whoopi Goldberg - so you can't bypass them.  You must watch the righteous condemnation segment to get to the fun stuff. 

We have found a  streaming service - the only one we've purchased - that has some of the T&J and BB cartoons without any moral handwringing.  But those are only a set group of cartoons that haven't changed much in the year since we bought the service.  Fun though they are, you can only watch the same cartoons so many times before it wears thin.

So here's hoping.  My boys will probably all sit down with their youngest sibling and watch a few rounds with him when they're available to do so.  If they do, we'll be sure to bake up some Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and serve them with a glass of milk, just like I used do get back in the day.  All things considered, it wasn't a bad way to spend a Saturday morning. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Biden is the Catholic President the modern Catholic Church deserves

Yep.  As the most prominent Catholic in the world aside from the Pope, his first days have been spent undoing most anything Trump did, including broadening the ability to abort pregnancies by the tens of millions in order to sustain our sex culture with a giant 'Catholics can do this and it's awesome' stamp.  

No, Catholics upset about this haven't been paying attention to our own Church.  This isn't Medieval or Renaissance problems with power hungry bishops and popes with concubines.  It's not where the basics are assumed by the masses, even if we have to watch out for the corrupt summoners.  

This is a point where a sizeable number of Church leaders, and a majority of Catholics in many parts of the world, simply no longer believe what the Church has taught for 2000 years. They don't believe in Christianity anymore.  Poll after poll finds that they don't believe the Eucharist is more than bread and wine.  They don't think the Trinity is anything but a Christian opinion about God (hence the easy ability to say things like 'Muslims worship the same God, no questions').  They don't believe in actual miracles, the Virgin Birth, or even the Resurrection. This doesn't count their complete support for the moral and social sins promoted by the secular world. 

In these things, when they speak of them at all, they sound more like agonistic and atheist skeptics than traditional Christians. Many just come out and say they don't believe it at all.  A friend of mine gave me a book on the Bible.  He wanted me to use it to do a lecture series at his parish.  Priest though he was, and rather conservative at that, I was stunned when I read through the text.  It was as 'critical scholarship' as any atheist ever proposed, rejecting almost everything except the Resurrection and the Virgin Birth.  The whole Old Testament was reduced to Peter Pan and Harry Potter.  He even accepted the rather recent development in skeptical scholarship that most of the New Testament was written centuries after the fact, the Church merely lied about their dates to buttress the idea of apostolic authorship.  And from what I could tell, the author himself wasn't some flaming leftist liberal type!

That's the Church today.  Everything it does - like most Mainline Protestants and a growing number of mainstream evangelicals - screams WE DON'T REALLY BELIEVE IT EITHER!  And the world is watching and the young are hearing loud and clear.  Oh they may appreciate the constant acquiescing to the modern nihilism and narcissism satiated only by meaningless sex and jaded hedonism.  But they also see that Christians running about with all those prayers on their lips don't believe it any more than they believe there was some big war in a galaxy far, far away.  

After all, if the distinction of the modern Church is how freely it will change its teachings to keep up with the latest Jonses, people begin to assume any other teachings not yet changed are nonetheless up for grabs.  And that might even include rethinking the very existence of a God.  Hence the gushing numbers of people abandoning the faith and and leaving it once and for all. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Speaking of Ohio Winters

 There are always those wonderful winter nights:

That was actually from last year, on one of the full moon nights after ice accumulation preceding the snow.  I think around Christmas, but before Covid.  It just looks cold, but the good kind of cold you see before going in, sitting down next to the fireplace with a nice cup of English breakfast tea, and staring out at the snow.  

Now this made me laugh

 I'm sure we've all seen the millions of Bernie memes since Wednesday, but this one got me: 

Friday Frivolity: Winter in the Buckeye State

Some scenes from this year's snows

These pictures are what I think of when I think of winter in Ohio.  We in Ohio are blessed with many things, but consistent weather is not one of them.  Unless you like randomness, there are better places in the country to live weather-wise.  It's nothing to have rain, snow, sunshine, fog and clear skies in a 24 hour period.  On the flip side, however, that means if you like one particular season more than the other, you might just get your wish many times throughout the year at the most random moments. 

For us cold weather types, we might have to make it through the odd Indian Summer or warming trends even as we were building snowmen the day before.  As a general rule, we don't typically get your big Northeast (or even northern Midwest) winters.  Except for the areas north of Akron/Canton and along the lake, our winters are typically of a milder sort.  Only rarely will we see the foot or more of snow sustained for months on end.  Even when I was young and - yes, it's true - winters were generally colder and longer than today, the snow was usually measured in inches most of the time.  

So when I think of winter, I think of light snows.  An inch or two perhaps.  I don't expect trees weighed down by tons of thick snow like a Currier and Ives greeting card.  Instead there will be a slight dusting of the branches.  Just enough to say 'winter.'  

Because I'm in central Ohio, we have farms and fields aplenty.  Therefore it isn't snowcapped mountains, or even rolling hills, but endless acres of fields colored white.  But it isn't Kansas or Nebraska either.  The fields, especially compared to our more western brethren, tend to be smaller and more compact, usually broken by lines of trees or small woods scattered here and there.  As you look out on fields, you'll always see behind them some tree line, mostly coniferous, but the odd pinewoods can sometimes be visible. 

Streams and brooks also make their way through and around the fields.  Outside of deserts, you expect to see a fair share of rivers and waterways anywhere you go.  But Ohio seems to have them in large numbers, and no walk through the fields or woods will last long before you have to navigate some small brook or rivulet.  Even then, while small, these little watercourses make for splendid scenery, especially when the snow dusted branches bend down over the picture.  

So that's winter for us Buckeyes.  There are other parts of Ohio, in the rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio near the mining regions, or in the northwest, closer to the lake effects of Erie and Michigan.  But for most of my life, it's been around the agricultural central regions that colors the images of my winter thinking. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

St. Agnes' Eve

Just a nice read on this feast of St. Agnes, for times such as these: 

Deep on the convent-roof the snows
Are sparkling to the moon:
My breath to heaven like vapour goes:
May my soul follow soon!
The shadows of the convent-towers
Slant down the snowy sward,
Still creeping with the creeping hours
That lead me to my Lord:
Make Thou my spirit pure and clear
As are the frosty skies,
Or this first snowdrop of the year
That in my bosom lies.

As these white robes are soil'd and dark,
To yonder shining ground;
As this pale taper's earthly spark,
To yonder argent round;
So shows my soul before the Lamb,
My spirit before Thee;
So in mine earthly house I am,
To that I hope to be.
Break up the heavens, O Lord! and far,
Thro' all yon starlight keen,
Draw me, thy bride, a glittering star,
In raiment white and clean.

He lifts me to the golden doors;
The flashes come and go;
All heaven bursts her starry floors,
And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates
Roll back, and far within
For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,
To make me pure of sin.
The sabbaths of Eternity,
One sabbath deep and wide--
A light upon the shining sea--
The bridegroom with his bride!

Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

The National Press reacts to President Biden's Inauguration:


I wonder how Jesus will fill his days

Now that President Biden has been sworn in.   Why, even Pope Francis, in stark contrast to his ripping into Trump, has been all grins, smiles, giggles and laughs with his helping hand extended to the new administration.  Thank goodness the Vatican and right thinking Catholic leaders stepped in to mitigate any damage caused by USCCB president Gomez's all too harsh statement on Biden's pro-abortion/sex culture priorities.  Whew.  That was close. 

Remember all those old books and movies about how Catholic bishops and popes ever and only cared about sucking up to the powerful lords, princes and kings back in the day?  Remember all the stories about how the Catholic leaders preferred a world where God made kings and bishops and oppressed peasants to grovel before them?   Remember all those tales about how Catholic leaders were willing to turn a blind eye to, or heck, embrace, the evil as long as they got invited to the next big feast? Yeah, so do I.  

I think I'll go and watch The Mission.  It's a reminder that only fools trust Catholic leadership when it comes to meddling in the rock'em, sock'em world of earthly politics.  Especially during tumultuous times such as these. 

The dumbest headline of the year

And that's saying something.  Headlines, we all know, are usually written by someone other than the journalist who wrote the article.  Therefore, it may not be the journalist's fault if the headline is misleading, false or dumb.  But whoever is responsible for this has some explaining to do:

Katie Couric's 'condescending, elitist' remarks calling to 'deprogram' GOP retires journo (journalist) label, crisis say.

Who in the world ever thought she was an objective journalist?  That's like  believing in the Loch Ness Monster.  Who watched her over any amount of time and concluded she was being fair and objective?  For that matter, who watches or reads anything today and concludes they're dealing with a media that reports, rather than makes, the news?  I mean, does anyone ever believe the media any more?  I mused on that here.  

Local news still isn't so bad and, depending on the outlet, there appears some attempt among some of our regional newscasts to at least maintain the illusion of objective journalism.  Most mainstream, national outlets have long put that down.  

Papers, such as they are, act mostly as published marketing material for secularism, socialism and the political Left.  We won't even discuss the morning news shows.  The old daytime talk shows were  more objective.  The evening news casts seem to be about where cable news was a decade ago.  

So a headline that acts like there is even such a thing as objective journalism would itself be a knee slapper.  But even twenty years ago, when there was still some notion that journalism and objectivity were not like kosher ham, Ms. Couric was a glaring exception.  Everyone knew her biases because she wore them on her sleeve and reported and interviewed accordingly - much to the cheers of the critics and 'objective' journalists of the day. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Biden is now President Biden

And Never Trumpers everywhere rejoice:

As for me, I follow the old John Wayne rule: I didn't vote for him, but he's my president.  And I mean that, not like those who said it about Trump the morning after the 2016 election and by that night were calling for the entire electoral process to be burned to the ground. 

Likewise, I won't do to him what the Left, press, Democrats, Hollywood and most of Corporate America did to Trump and, in some ways, Trump's supporters.  Not only on principled grounds, but because I'm not stupid. As Trump learned all too well, if you're a leftist calling our election rigged, expect the might of the mass media to be on your side.  If you're not, and you're a right winger calling our election rigged, expect the might of the mass media to be against you.  Same with anything at this point.

I intend to oppose the Biden administration on the key issues, which probably means most things.  But I won't play the Left's game since the Left can make or break the rules as it sees fit.  I will, as I'm commanded to do, pray for the Biden administration.  But I plan on being wise as serpents on this one, not stupid like stupid people.  I'm not blind to what is happening.  The world teeters on the brink of a new epoch in its history, and it won't include  many things we've long taken for granted.  In some Lovecraftian sense, it will be a complete flip upside down of everything we assume to be real, true and good.  Furthermore, it will take on a global mandate since that is where we're heading, with the support of most power-players, including the Pope. 

So there you go.  That's where things stand as I see them, FWIW.  He's my president, I'll pray he do right by his office, I won't be stupid and play the Left's games, or be a coward and play the Never Trumper games.  I'll try to keep one foot on the ground and one ready kick the dust off as need be.  

Democrats blaming Trump for our divided nation

Is like Ernest T. Bass blaming Sheriff Taylor for all the broken windows in Mayberry.  

Just a thought as I watched one newscast after another this morning reporting on today's inauguration, and parroting 100% the Left's perspective that our divisions are because of Trump.  

I've watched that little trick for more than 30 years.  The Left's whole 'Now that we've won, we want unity ... so stop being divisive and admit you're a Nazi' shtick has more than worn thin.  The only thing worse is that it's now accepted dogma by not only the press, but almost everyone, including our religious and even conservative leadership. 

It's either cowardliness or stupidity, I'm not sure which.  But either way, it doesn't bode well for the coming era. 

Are they only Christians?

I had to dig deep to find this, a story reporting the massacre of over 700 Christians at an Ethiopian Church.  I did a general such for Ethiopia, Ethiopian Christians, and even attack in Ethiopia, and found nothing.  I had to type 'Ethiopian Church Massacre' to find anything.  And then the sources I have found are basically Christian, and a few general religious, publications. 

We all know after the horrible mosque shooting in New Zealand that such things are covered by the international press.  Heck, the entire world came to a halt with that one.  Likewise, following the attack against Christians in Sri Lanka that no doubt had nothing to do with New Zealand, the international media covered it and warned us of the inevitable Islamphobic backlash that never happened.  So it isn't as if there is some standard about not covering such assaults on religious communities.

But this is all I've found.  Maybe it's wrong and there was no such massacre.  We can only pray.  If there was, we may never know.  Remember, there is no more journalism.  Propaganda tells us what it wants us to know, not what we need to know. 

In the meantime lift up our hearts and prayers to the Lord, that whatever happened is revealed, and God cover the hearts and minds of those impacted with his love through Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Three Amigos, Internet Trolls and the death of freedom

Huh?  What?  That's the sort of headline I write that can only make sense to me.  So let me 'splain.  

I'm sure we've all been watching with jaws on the floor as a growing number of our nation's leaders make it clear they wish to eliminate the right to oppose them.  Furthermore, we've watched as billionaires in the tech world took it upon themselves to control speech and thought crimes by banning people who disagree with them.  And if that wasn't enough - and by golly it ought to be  -  I'm sure I'm not the only one who stared in disbelief at so many who seem perfectly fine with this and are sure such measures would only be applied to those type of people over there.  As one who has spent my life reading, teaching, studying and lecturing on history, that's the equivalent of an astronomer stumbling across a flat earth conspiracy theorist.  How could we be this stupid?  How could we be this historically illiterate? 

Well, let's start with my blogpost title. Back during my purgatory at the Patheos site, I learned all about internet trolls.  I'm sure I had seen a few in my time before that, but since at Patheos we were expected to keep watch on each others' blogs, I had plenty identity the trolls on my site and what I should do about it.  One incident leapt to mind the other day when I saw an advertisement for the old 1980s comedy The Three Amigos, and it got me thinking of a couple others and the subject at hand.

One frequent troll at Patheos commented under the name Andre B.  He wasn't your typical troll.  He was obviously smart, and when he wasn't trolling he had interesting things to say. But when he trolled, he trolled. I had several readers tell me over the year that he had really nailed them.  They thought he was an insightful, good faith commenter, and he ended up being a troll!  One once wrote in capital letters he was so frustrated.   And Andre could frustrate.   It was nothing to see him gobble up hundreds of comments as people took a long time to figure out they were being trolled by him.

Like all trolls, the point is to hijack debate, derail conversations, and argue ad nauseum to no ultimate point.  So once I posted on something I remembered back when I was in college.  It was an early example I witnessed of 'water cooler talk' on a news cast after a previous night's television program.  Not that I had never experienced talking about television programs.  But this was different because not only did people talk about it the next day, but I actually saw it discussed on the news.  This was in the 80s before news broadcasts were as much about promoting pop culture agendas and corporate interestse as talking about news.

The topic involved an episode of Johnny Carson.  Carson had Chevy Chase on as he was touring about, promoting his latest movie The Three Amigos.  Carson also had film critics Siskel and Ebert on.  At one point Carson asked them what were the best and worst movies they had seen recently.  Roger Ebert, in keeping with his somewhat abrasive personality, said the worst movie he had seen recently was The Three Amigos.  The audience gasped.  And then Carson did something very un-Carson.  He rebuked Ebert.  He said if he had known that would be the answer, he wouldn't have asked the question.

Anyone who grew up with Carson or had spent any time watching him knew that was the equivalent of Carson standing up and smacking Ebert with a medieval mace.  I can't remember the context, but I posted about that at Patheos.  Andre, ever the troll, stepped up to inform me how wrong I was.  He found the clip on Youtube and, to him, it was a love fest.  Nothing to see at all.  Respect and love and admiration from Carson.  Ebert and Carson a love story.  I was obviously wrong.  

I said he was nuts, that Carson was not only upset, but it was talked about the next day.  They even mentioned it on the morning news!  And then Andre said something he had said before.  He said he couldn't trust my memory.  I was possibly lying.  Or maybe mistaken.  But my recollection was entirely irrelevant.  I became frustrated because I remembered the talk that occurred the next day.  It's just one of those things in a person's life that makes an impression.  I had watched Carson for years.  Everyone could tell he was unhappy.  Carson was the king of lifting people up, but on the rarest of occasions, he would put people in their place, and this was such an occasion.

By his own admission, Andre is a millennial.  At best he would have been an infant or young child around this time, if he had been born at all.  How could he tell me what went on when there is no way he could have experienced any of it? 

And then I got to thinking of other trolls I bumped into at my time on Patheos.  Another was a fellow named Rob Lot (IIRC).  Rob's shtick was very simple.  The past is irrelevant.  Bring up what Democrats said in the past or that the Left had once dismissed Bill Clinton's behavior as the irrelevant part of his personal morals, and I was constantly told it was of no value.  Bring up what LGBTQ activists promised would never happen about punishing people over gay marriage, and again it's the past.  It doesn't matter.  That was almost always his response to the references about the past or history in general.

Another individual commented under the name 'Neko.'  She was a regular on M. Shea's blog.  I believe she stopped by mine a couple times.  Once she made a claim about religious people being religious because that's what they've been told by mommy and daddy.  I responded that not only was I quite liberal in my youth, I was also an agnostic.  I became a Christian as an adult, having been seeking the Truth for quite a few years.

Not to be dismayed, she fired back that I was a boldfaced liar.  I was never an agnostic, nor was I a liberal.  What?  I told her I had no reason to doubt she was a mother or an atheist.  Why so difficult accepting my testimony?  Who would call someone a liar on the internet when they're merely posting about themselves?  That would be like calling me a liar for saying I like pepperoni on my pizzas.  But she stuck to it, and what's more, when I pushed back at her, other readers got - on me, rather than her for calling me a liar.

All of this came to my mind when I saw that advertisement.  And it got me to thinking, as I am wont to do.  In each of these cases, we have things that I've discovered are quite common in modern (postmodern) discourse.  Especially on the internet, but I wonder how exclusively on the internet.  In each case an appeal is made to the past, and in each case in different ways, the appeal is smacked down.

In one case, I'm told by someone who wasn't there that just because I was there is irrelevant.   I am told by another that the past itself is entirely irrelevant.  And when all else fails, a third just called me a liar when my own personal experience didn't conform to her broad stereotypes. 

Now we might think this is all just internet trolling. Again, the point of a troll isn't to defend the helpless or aid the starving or seek justice in the world.  The point is to wreck online debate.  To that end they'll write anything.  For quite some time I assumed that such arguments, as annoying as they were, just happened to be tools of the trolling trade.  They didn't believe these things.  They merely wrote them online because they could.  

But what if I'm wrong?  What if they weren't writing these things just to troll?  What if they really believed them?   What if in their real lives in the real world this is how they approach reality?  They will look at someone from the 1940s and say that person knows nothing about growing up in the 1940s, or they will call someone a liar for experiencing or seeing things that stand against their social media informed opinions.  Or, in the end, they just say the past doesn't matter anyway, no history, no anything - anything before yesterday isn't worth worrying about.  What if they really believe these things?  What if we've raised an entire generation - and I believe they were all millennials or younger - who think this about history and the people and events of the past? 

When you see the growing number of 'communists rock', or 'censorship might work', or 'what's wrong with digging into people's teen years to destroy them', or 'America invented racism in 1619', or 'the only way to defeat racism is with new racism', or most recently 'I'm sure they'll just ban them, but never me' comments, editorials and articles, you wonder how the most educated generation in history could actually believe these things.  But then, if the above examples are the rule today, and a general disdain for anything before yesterday is now dogma in terms of buttressing our own righteous superiority over those who came before, it shouldn't be surprising.  Terrifying perhaps, but not surprising. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

New Prolife Catholics and Biden's priorities

So the news is all aflutter about all the great things Biden will do first thing when he gets in office.  Among the most important - and always near and dear to the heart and soul of the secular Left - is undoing all of those restrictions on abortion access that occurred during Trump's presidency.   

Now we'll see New Prolife Catholics step up and make some serious noise, call Biden and the Democrats out, and really hold their feet to the fire. Bishops will be outraged, and  those who insist they are in no way supportive of the 'slaughter for sex' era in which we live will make calling Catholic president Biden out on the carpet a priority.  Meanwhile, seeing how often Pope Francis injected his opinions into American's last few years, we can expect him to bemoan such developments and even speak to the injustices of such an approach to human life, especially from a prominent Catholic politician. 

Or not.  I hope they do, and I'll gladly tip my hat to them if it happens.  I'm not holding my breath, but I hope they do at least the consistent thing, if not the right thing. 

The quote I am not seeing

As we mourn the carnage and destruction from this last weekend's riots and right wing insurrections, I was listening to an inordinate level of attention given MLK day on the morning news.  I noticed something.  I saw many references to his famous quotes.  Likewise, on Bookface and other outlets, I've seen multiple MLK memes, again with the usual quotes - all except one.  I haven't seen this one:

No reason probably.  Cosmic coincidence. I'm sure some have referenced it.  But I found it odd that in just a quick glance, this rather famous quote - one I grew up hearing repeated a million times a week if I hear it once - wasn't nearly as represented in the collection as I remember only a few years ago. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Whenever I see Catholic clergy parrot leftwing narratives

I think of nothing so much as Salieri in this scene from the 1984 Oscar favorite Amadeus:

No matter how absurd the premise, no matter how hypocritical or beyond belief false the narrative, they seem able to squeeze out a good old Catholic based affirmation for whatever the Left says

Meanwhile those of us trying desperately to cling to some semblance of the historical faith sympathize with Mozart's exasperation.  I wonder if Fr. Martin has the same opinion of Catholic leaders who supported last summer's BLM protests, or have railed against the Trump administration despite all the violence that has been leveled against non-leftists.  I can only guess.  

Ah memories

Like back in the day when riots and destruction in our nation's capital rated a news story - and not much more.  Unless, perhaps, it was to sympathize with the agendas of the rioters.  What a difference four years make.  But then, I also remember when a presidential candidate was universally mocked for saying Russia is our biggest threat, only to see Russia declared our greatest threat four years later when Russia single handedly corrupted and rigged our illegal and fraudulent electoral process.  

Four years - the magic timeline that always changes everything. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Understanding the news media in one easy picture

Yep.  Every day I'm more and more convinced that I have no more clue about what's going on in the world than a villager living 2000 years ago would have known.  The ease with which the media makes mountains out of molehills, makes molehills out of mountains, or simply refuses to mention molehills or mountains when convenient, has convinced me that Madagascar could sink into the ocean and I'd never know it but that it benefited the various news outlets of the world to tell me. 

Therefore, everything they say, and the way the say it, must be filtered through the question 'why do they want me to know this, know it this way, and not know what they're not telling me?'.  I'd say when a relationship comes to this level of distrust, it's time to end the relationship. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

For all you Cleveland Browns fans out there

If anyone ever defined bulldog tenacity, it is Cleveland Browns fans.  One of the most storied and celebrated sports franchises ever, sporting some of the greatest athletes to ever play the game of football, the Browns ran into, shall we say, rough times.  Well, rough years.  OK, rough decades.  Over more than a half century of rough.  In fact, my wife wasn't born the last time they looked this good.

That's been tough for some of the craziest fans this side of Liverpool.  True, there have been times when the Browns almost looked like they might recaptures some of their ancient glories.  Nonetheless, the Browns had an almost divine ability to make sow's ears out of silk purses.  From unimaginable fumbles to blown leads, losing became as much a tradition for Cleveland as tailgating. 

This culminated in the great sell out in 1995, in which Art Modell became the most hated man in Cleveland by selling the franchise to Baltimore.  Normally, that's that.  If the city gets another franchise to replace a lost one, it usually gets another franchise.  But the fans would have none of it.  Against all odds, they pushed, pulled, prodded, bit, scratched and kicked to not only get another football franchise in the city, but to make sure it was the Cleveland Browns, part deux

I won't kid and pretend it has been wonderful.  In fact, Cleveland Browns and hopeless losers had almost become synonymous in the sports world.  If you wanted an analogy for someone destined to lose because they wouldn't do what it took to win, you used Cleveland.  Season after season the owners, staff and coaches almost seemed hell-bent on losing.  Fans began to wonder if there wasn't money under the table or some desire to pack up and leave.  Nobody could be this bad.  

And then they pulled the Baker Mayfield card.  Mayfield was a hotshot, and I won't say he's the most personable figure in sports.  He is, after all, the one who arrogantly planted a flag in the middle of OSU's famed Horseshoe Stadium after a stunning victory over the Buckeyes.  But he's good.  He's clever, quick and commands a certain level of leadership that has been missing in Cleveland for many years.  

Then Cleveland fired its coach, Hue Jackson - a regular occurrence.  Despite charges of racism, it likely had more to do with his 3 and 36 record.  That Mayfield was rumored to be behind the push to get a more capable coach might have caused enough controversy to derail his career.  But that hasn't happened.  Stacking the team with even more offensive talent, particularly running back phenom Nick Chubb, the Browns have done what nobody imagined possible only a few years ago.  

Remember, just a couple years back before Mayfield, many were saying it was time to put the franchise out of tis misery.  Talk was circulating of the Browns leaving Cleveland for good.  One more failed season, and locals felt it was inevitable that their beloved team would finally be a thing of the past.  So that we now sit in the playoffs, heading into the  second round, is as unlikely as, well, 2020.  We know Cleveland, and we know our ability to squander the greatest chances, but we're still hoping. 

So in tribute to the many times Cleveland looked like it might be on the move, only to pull a Browns and lose it all, here's one of the all time best novelty songs from back in the day.  It was written by a songwriter who did little novelty songs, often parodies of songs before Weird Al did it better.  But in the Christmas season of 1980, when the Brown's earned the moniker 'the Kardiac Kids' due to a string of last second, impossible wins, it was the song everyone was requesting.  

May these things bring us a little happiness and togetherness in these troubled times.  After all, pundits were assuring us in December of 1980 that America's great blunder in electing a half-baked, monkey movie, war mongering cowboy was going to plunge us into nuclear annihilation as sure as Norman Lear was liberal, so it was a breath of fresh air back then, too: 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A Buckeye loss and a lesson about fair play

So last night was the inevitable close to a crazy season for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team.  We knew we were going to lose.  Alabama's coach Nick Saban, already one of the most successful coaches in sporting history, had fielded one of his best teams ever.  Unlike so many other programs, his team made it through 2020 largely unscathed.

While other teams had games cancelled, practices cancelled, and a constant upheaval on their starting lineups, Alabama played together and stayed together and grew through the complete season.  Many teams had practices cut short, resulting in a lack of toning, conditioning and growing as a team.  Injuries were off the scale as the players weren't prepared for the rigors of football.  Teams had trouble hitting their stride since, on any given week, the same players might not be present to jell as a cohesive unit.  But Alabama made it through almost entirely intact.

This helped them even more since most teams Alabama played were already weakened due to faltering and floundering.  Typically with college football, there is a sort of bell curve in efficiency.  You start each season with a new lineup.  At first things are rocky as players learn to depend on each other and find the best way to be a well oiled machine.  By mid-season, they're hitting their peak and doing their best.  By the end, however, injuries, hits and players gone for the season begin to take a toll and it becomes almost a matter or attrition.  For Alabama this year, since so many opponents were struggling on one leg at best, its already crack team had all the benefits of a full season together, while not getting hit nearly as hard by opponents and therefore not suffering the same losses one might otherwise expect by end of season playoffs.  

OSU, on the other hand, was a dumpster fire from the beginning.  Since the Big 10 initially decided to cancel fall sports, OSU missed the crucial pre-season practices and conditioning that lays the groundwork for the season.  When the seasons was brought back, all Big 10 teams were already at a deficit.  Then because of strict Covid regulations, OSU (like so many others) had several games cancelled, including one it had to cancel.  This made it so a special dispensation had to be given by the NCAA just for OSU to get into the playoffs - something that was controversial.  After all, we were undefeated but didn't have enough victories to qualify for playoffs!  In the meantime, the lack of training and conditioning took its toll as OSU, again like most teams, suffered unusually high levels of injuries with each game.  Therefore, at no point was the same OSU team on the field more than once, with each game seeing different lineups forced to fumble about to find a stride. 

Add to this a relatively new (though surprising clever and effective) coach, and the controversies surrounding us just being in the playoffs, and it didn't look good.  Especially when we found out we first would be put against our old nemeses Clemson.  Clemson was that Achilles' Heel for us.  We had never beaten Clemson before. Clemson cost us our legendary coach Woody Hayes.  Clemson served us one of our most - one of the most - humiliating defeats in college football only a few years ago.   Clemson was definitely in our heads.  Though Clemson had also struggling due to 2020 issues, we were sure we were the underdogs going against them in the first round. 

But something happened last year that changed things.  Last year, we played Clemson in the same playoff round.  Fielding a powerhouse team along with a rookie coach that shocked all of football, we had mopped the floor with every team sent our way.  Despite that, we were still the underdogs against Clemson when we met them in early 2020.  

What happened next has become the stuff of infamy in Ohio.  We played Clemson that night as well as any game we had played.  We held them off, kept them from pulling ahead, and heading into late fourth quarter, it looked like we might just pull off a stunning upset victory.  And then - one of the worst calls in the history of any sport ever.  Even detractors of OSU later admitted it was horrible.

If you don't know football, I won't go into the history of replays and overturned calls.  Suffice it to say it stunned everyone.  Clemson fumbled the ball and OSU recovered the fumble and ran it down for what could have been a game winning touchdown.  But the play was challenged by the officials. Slow motion replay confirmed the Clemson player had complete control of the ball, had fumbled, and the OSU player had recovered.  And then, for reasons nobody understands, the officials reversed the play, removing OSU's touchdown with only moments left in the game.  It would be like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and saying, "Sure, but I don't see a hole in the ground."

Granted, the old rule is that if you lose because of one bad call, you deserve to lose.  That's typically the case.  But there have been some calls so awful that even skeptics have had to admit the game was lost because of that single call.  This was one of those cases.  Months later and few denied that had it not been for that clearly wrong call, OSU would have won.  

That went down hard, and was a motivating factor for us taking the field this year against Clemson, once again as the underdogs.  But we were driven this time. Why?  Because we felt cheated.  The whole program felt cheated.  That Clemson's coach decided to dig at us and mock us, rather than being contrite, only made it easier to want a pound of flesh.  And a pound is what we got.  In a shocking upset, we beat Clemson and beat them badly.   If nothing else happened this year, we got what we wanted and that was giving Clemson its comeuppance for having won through such dubious means the year earlier.  That, to most, made it a winning season if nothing else did. 

Of course that meant we were then up against the beast that is Alabama in the championship game.  Sporting one of the best defenses in college football, the best offense, one of the best receiving squads in college football, and a Heisman trophy winning wide receiver considered one of the best to have played in many a year, Alabama was a juggernaut.  We knew we had little hope.

Alabama arrived last night almost refreshed.  It had barely been touched all season.  Its team had been together from the beginning.  They were tight, efficient, like that proverbial well oiled machine.  Compared to them, OSU was a mess.  Half of our few remaining defensive starters were out from injury or Covid.  We had lost some of our best offensive players.  Our quarterback had received a massive hit to his ribs last week and was clearly not up to par.  And on the first play, we lost the running back who had emerged in the last weeks of the season and who had been the major reason for our previous two victories.  It went down from there.

Despite it all, we put up a decent fight.  In fact, our score - three touchdowns and a field goal - from such a broken and shattered team shows how pro-offense the game of football has become (hence the staggering stats attributed to players like Tom Brady).  That's the result of so many safeguards and limitations placed on defenders over the years.  But our attempts simply couldn't match Alabama's talent and near flawless execution.  It looked every bit the team with everything going for it, and we looked every bit the team with all cards stacked against us.

But you know what?  That's OK.  We lost.  Most fans this morning tipped a hat to Saban, who pulled his foot off the gas by the fourth quarter, not wanting to humiliate us or our coach.  People do that when they respect each other.  Alabama had at least three more touchdowns in its arsenal, but that wouldn't do.  Saban was as good as pulling his punches, and we all knew it.  And we admire Saban and Alabama all the more for it.

So you see, it's not that people can't lose, or are always pissed when they lose, or get outraged at losing or not getting what they want.  I'm sure there are a few crazies out there this morning in Buckeye land with the conspiracy theories.  But everyone I've seen, from news to online to friends and acquaintances, are content.  Sad of course.  Nobody likes to lose.  But it isn't the rage and blood boiling of last year when we felt we had been cheated.  People being cheated will eventually find a way to retaliate because nobody likes to be cheated.  We prefer to win of course, but if we lose fair and square, we'll take that, too.  

I just thought I'd throw that out there.  People don't always get mad just because they're not getting their way.  They may resolve to work harder, play harder and practice harder next time.  But people often can accept defeat and even admire those who defeat them for a job well done - when it's fair and square.  It's when they feel cheated, when they feel they were playing a rigged system, that sets them off.  Especially if they feel cheated all the time, and feel those who could do something to change the system and make it fairer are refusing to do so.   

Sunday, January 10, 2021

So to recap

On Wednesday, thousands gathered to protest an election they believe to be fraudulent.  At some point, hundreds decided to break into the Capital Building, with dozens vandalizing, breaking windows and trespassing, and about four people died, though the connection between their deaths and the actual events is still pending.   This was called a coup, an insurrection, a civil war, a threat to our very democracy, and the worst evil Washington has ever seen.  They were universally condemned by politicians on both sides, religious leaders and media outlets.  Police and National Guard were called, tear gas was used, and at least one protester shot and killed.  Medical experts are saying it could lead to a super-spreader for Covid.

Last summer, tens upon tens of thousands of people gathered for weeks across multiple cities to protest the killing of George Floyd. During that time thousands of rioters destroyed property, burned buildings, looted and robbed, ruined livelihoods, assaulted media outlets, Federal buildings and burned churches, killed and assaulted dozens of innocent people, and it was called ‘mostly peaceful protesters’ time and again, as politicians on both sides, religious leaders, and media outlets lent their full support to the protests.  Police and National Guard were called in, tear gas was used, and protesters were shot, with some fatalities.  Oh, and medical experts assured us none of these protests could lead to a super-spreader for Covid.

As an aside, a growing list of pundits, celebrities, religious leaders, politicians and journalists insist the stark difference in how law enforcement handled these two events proves systemic racism.  In addition, various tech corporations and media giants, at times with the support of Democrats, began banning Republican politicians, pundits, activists and others in any way linked to the Wednesday protests from modern media and communication platforms.  

If people want to know why there is a seething rage among half the US population, this is it.

Friday, January 8, 2021

The day America died

January 6, 2021.  

Why?  Because it's the greatest threat to humanity since Satan?  Because it's the worst demonstration of evil since the Holocaust?  No.  That's how the press/Left/mainstream conservative leaders are framing it. No, it's the day America died because mainstream conservative leaders, Republicans, religious figures, and those we imagined would stand firm have buckled and accepted carte blanche the left's narratives and demands.   

None of this is to say I support the worst of what happened.  It is to say I can recognize propaganda, lies, falsehoods and appeals to idiocy when I see it.  When I see on the morning news that "health experts" are concerned the Wednesday "riots" could be a super-spreader for Covid, and yet remember the same deny BLM "protests" could be a super-spreader for Covid, I know we are sinking into Pravda levels of brainwashing.

The problem is, those who know what's happening, and sometimes even bemoan what's happening, nonetheless continue to cave, surrender, compromise, grovel, or join the very things they lament when the manure hits the fan. 

Right now a growing number of right leaning figures are toying with supporting the forcible removal of Trump from office with only days left in his presidency.  That whole maneuver is merely a ploy to incite more radical Trump supporters to do what they did on Wednesday.  The Left needs Trump/MAGA to fame as Hitler incarnate, therefore tearing down all standards, principles, values, morals, rights and freedoms in order that they should be defeated. 

The worst thing on Wednesday wasn't what happened.  For the Left, the worst thing was that it was over in a few hours.   They need that sort of thing, but they need it to be more than it was.  They need those film clips and photos.  They need death and destruction.  They know that the same ones who dismissed the carnage and destruction last summer can call this the worst evil since the Holocaust and will be supported by a growing number of - everyone.  

But they need it to happen, and they're betting they'll get just enough of those in the opposition to sign on.  Meanwhile, fewer and fewer of the Left's opposition will stand firm.  That is the most important takeaway.  It isn't burning cities or breached capitals.  It isn't riots and racism.  It isn't storming senate hearings or anything.  It's creating photo ops to use to crush the opposition, and rejoicing that with each passing day, fewer and fewer of the Left's opposition are willing to fight. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Blame Mitch McConnell

I'm sure, like anything in history except the American Civil War, there were many factors and causes behind what happened yesterday.  But let's face it, the GOP has forever been the party of 'snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.'  

The odds were already stacked in the Democrats' favor.  You had two sub-par GOP candidates to  begin with, plus one with a fair share of ethical 'indiscretion' charges buzzing about.  You also had a Democrat juggernaut and leftists superstar in Stacy Abrams (who the Left/Press would obviously love to see in the Oval Office someday), pulling the strings.  Then you had 2020, Covid, and the idea that all rules and standards are now out the window, and out of dumb, blind luck, the changes all go to the advantage of Democrats.

Even with political acumen that would shame Metternich, the GOP would have had an uphill climb.  So it should come as no surprise that, with this high of deck stacked against it, the GOP was all but torpedoed when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stepped in and did one of the lamest, stupidest, and most disastrous political maneuvers I've ever witnessed.

Now I've watched conservatives and Republicans (not always the same) do this sort of thing for most of my life.  Once Reagan left, conservatives lost their last political party.  No small number of Republicans would gladly see those Jesus freaks and other social traditionalist wackos head for the hills.  Since then it's been a battle for who gets the Republican compass, often seeing the worst extremes of various sides having the loudest say - and often aided by the media always trying to play up the bad press for the GOP.

So I get that those of more libertarian leanings wouldn't support a massive government bailout with no clear way of paying for itself.  I understand that it's key in conservative circles to pine for a smaller, less intrusive government.  I know conservatives fancy themselves as the ones advocating personal responsibility and accountability in life; to roll up the sleeves, grab the boot straps, and overcome whatever comes our way.

And there is nothing wrong with these things.  I support them too, at least to a point.  But here's the thing.  When fighting on philosophical or principled grounds, do the fighting up front.  Especially where the government is concerned.  If you don't want the government interfering, then take the slings and arrows of a hostile news media and stand your ground months ago and prevent the government from swooping in and wrecking the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans.  That's when you fight, at whatever cost to your reputation, your political career, or your ability to attend the best parties with the Washington elite.

You do not - repeat, not, that is not, ever not - decide that the time to take the stand is after you've been defeated, after you acquiesced, after you went ahead and pushed through legislation that stands against your values, after you've conceded one loss after another, and then demonstrate your resolve by torpedoing the one part of a bloated government overreach that could actually help individual Americans hurt by your inability to keep the government from hurting them.  Bad optics doesn't begin to describe it. 

This is when you stand up and say something along the following: 

"We labor continuously to prevent America from slipping into yet another failed socialist state of the kind we've witnessed all too often.  To that end, we did attempt to find more constructive, targeted and beneficial ways to fight the onslaught of the Coronavirus while minimizing the harm done to millions of Americans in the process.  Nonetheless, we were unable to stop some of the worst examples of government intrusion and oppression we've witnessed in our lifetime.  While we continue to stand firm on the principles of small government and the freedom of Americans to pursue their own ends, we realize our failure resulted in a massive government driven overreach that has devastated the lives of millions who have done nothing wrong other than live in our country during such a time as this.  Despite such a measure cutting against our core values as this legislation, we understand our failure should not be resolved on the backs of those who were harmed by our government's lack of control or vision.  Therefore, we will stop any unnecessary spending, exploitation or agendas in the form of massive bailouts for international or corporate interests, but will ensure that the spending we do endorse at this point goes directly to those businesses, institutions and families who have been harmed by our inability to stand firm when we should have done so."

Or something along those lines.  Not 'We'll go ahead and push through whatever spending there is, but by golly, now we will take a stand that will only devastate the lives of millions of schmucks who didn't have the good sense of becoming millionaires, since that's the type of bold sacrifice we crave!'   As long as Republicans act as if there is no limit to the lives of other dolts they're willing to sacrifice so they don't have to take the big stands that might compromise their popularity inside the Beltway, expect more of what we saw in Georgia yesterday. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

An unusual pic including yours truly.  I've never cared to get my picture taken, much less have it put out there in the world for all to see.  But I couldn't resist having myself with my boys and my Mom at the dawn of her 90th birthday.  My wonderful wife is the photographer.  From what I can tell, and all things considered, it was a nice 90th birthday yesterday.  May God bless her and grant her many years.  

Oh, and I might be biased, but given how well the four young fellows surrounding her turned out, she must have done something right.  

The storming of EWTN continues

Here's another case of what I wrote about here, though I have no clue who the individual tweeting is.  I doubt it matters to most.  The point is, those going after EWTN are echoing the modern leftist notion that there are no rights to exist or be free but by fealty to leftist dogmas.

As I said, if Ms. Pervis was removed because she merely tried to open up dialogue regarding Black Lives Matter or other issues of racism, then that would be a problem.  Especially if she was willing to do  things like looking at the Left's insistence that we must forever lower standards and expectations where African Americans are concerned and that such an approach might well be behind the staggering crime and homicide, drug and abortion rates in the black community.  

If, however, she sanctified BLM in all its glory, and accepted carte blanche all of its manifold doctrines, including doctrines at odds with basic common decency, much less Catholic doctrine, or furthermore accepted the racist ethnic hate behind the BLM and the Left's exploitation of it for political gain, then yeah.  Maybe it wasn't a brilliant move, but I'd stand behind removing someone advocating white supremacy, therefore I would stand behind removing someone doing the same for other ethnic supremacy ideologies.  And no, I don't define such things as merely disagree with me.  I mean actually endorsing the notion that people should be judged, exonerated or condemned based on skin color or other ethnic characteristics. 

So we'll see.  I'm not seeing much in terms of defending EWTN.  Most seem rather silent about this.  Perhaps it's a tempest in a teapot.  Maybe ETWN was wrong.  But with the media+twitter age, we've learned that a single person with a tweet can cause the entire course of human civilization to turn on a dime, and suddenly moms and dads don't exist, and truth is a bygone notion under threat of retaliation.  And with this has emerged a new era of digital witch hunts and lunch mobs that would have mad McCarthy drool.  The kind that this backlash against EWTN is beginning to sound like.

Monday, January 4, 2021

I admit I laughed


A 2020 perspective

OK, 2020 is over and in the history books.  In most ways, 2020 sucked.  It just did.  But here's the dirty little secret, at least from our house.  Compared to previous years, 2020 wasn't so bad.  In fact, in some ways we actually came out ahead for the first time in many years. 

How?  It's too involved and convoluted to explain everything.  Let's just say that it isn't so much that we did better than previous years as much as the laundry list of hits we took over the last half dozen years sort of dried up.  Not that we were without problems.  We had them.  We had the usual life events, a flooded basement here, a busted appliance there, dealing with Sears over here.  We had some ailments.  We had the ups and downs of life.  And we had 2020. 

But I noticed something.  We suffered from Covid era issues like anyone else.  We had plans that were dashed.  This was supposed to be our youngest son's 'big year.'  Traditionally, it was when the boys were eleven that they were able to do all the fun stuff, like go with Dad to an OSU football game.  He had looked forward to this year since more than a year ago.  And poof!  Nothing.  It's the same across the board.  Just like it is for everyone. 

We had things we wanted that were taken.  We had goals completely derailed. The boys had to scramble to figure out college in this new environment.  We worried about the health of loved ones, especially my Mom who lives with us.  And we hoped and prayed that the virus would go away without harming any more than possible.

But we were in it with everyone.  Everyone was on the same page.  Not just in America, but the world.  There were billions waking up to the same thing as we were.  As bad as it was, it was a shared experience.  And there is a difference between that, and struggling and floundering when everyone else is on a different trajectory. 

You see, for the previous years it wasn't shared.  Like him or not, Trump presided over quite a robust recovery, one that was easy to see in sold houses and new cars on the road.  Easy to hear in the uptick in teachers talking about going to Disney World again, or which cruise their families will take.  Easy to see in just the fact that the 'new normal' of monthly Islamic terror attacks suddenly dried up. 

But while so many were reaping the benefits of this, our family was dodging one thing after another.  It was like that scene at the end of The Empire Strike Back when Vader uses some telekinesis ability to hurtle one piece of machinery after another at Luke until Luke, battered and beaten, is knocked out of a window and into a vast pit.  That was us. 

For year after year we were hit, and hit, and hit.  While we watched so many others begin to recoup and climb out of the post-08 pit and get going again in life, we seemed forever stuck back, clinging to the edges and barely able to hold on.  

Through blessings from Church, fellow Christians, friends and wonderful folks on the Internet I've met, we were given just the plank needed to keep dry for another month.  But it was always a temp affair, until the next punch came.  And sometimes they were big punches.  Sometimes death was tugging at someone's shoulders in our home, or auto accidents, or life changing health crises, or year ending injuries, or major damage to our home, or, well, you get the point.

In fact, in a very bad theological manner, that was one thing that began pushing us away from the Orthodox Church and back into Catholic arms.  The whole string of 'bad' began the year we met the local Orthodox priest.  It kicked into full steam by the time we all moved over and became part of the Orthodox church down the road.  And it kept going.  Week after week it seemed something happened to keep some, most or even all of us from attending the Divine Liturgy.  

Soon we began having a hard time connecting with the church at all.  There were problems with Orthodoxy to be sure, and I felt had we been able to get rooted in the tradition, we might have been able to overcome them.  But it just seemed as though it wasn't meant to be.  Month after month, sometimes week after week, we were hit with something that hamstrung us and sent us back to square one - if we were lucky.

As I've written before, we lost much of what we had when we became Catholic.  We entered in the early 00s, and by then it was no longer Scott Hahn's conversion story.  For reasons nobody knows, our former bishop acted as if he would rather see the Church sink into the 8th Circle of Hell than see a former Protestant clergy even clean toilets in the diocese.  Because of that, when the big crash of 2008 hit, we were pretty much swinging in the breeze.  It was by God's grace acting through those around us that we avoided homelessness and starvation.

But it's forever been running on one near-tripping foot ever since.  You know, how you step forward and get off balance and just can't get yourself going without stumbling.  Or you start a video game and you know from the beginning that you're shafted and you might as well reload and start from scratch.  Same here.  We were one step from going over the cliff for the next decade, setting us up for the five year journey into hell that we went through until - guess when - 2020!

Again, we didn't have any massive boon, but we received many blessings from family, Christians on the Internet and our local churches - including our old stomping grounds at the local Catholic church (complete with new gift from God priest from Nigeria).  And yes, from the State.  We were actually able to take a breath and take a step forward.  Money from my son's accident (which wasn't his fault) actually gave us a boost, though much of it went to pay off massive medical bills from him and others the previous couple years.  See, we have medical insurance and that means massive out of pocket expenses.  My Mom seemed to be improving, or at least stabilizing.  And by February, we were starting to whisper about taking an actual vacation this year.

Then Covid hit.  Much of it, however, hit us like everyone else.  But here's the thing.  Many of the things people have been hit with, many things they've struggled with, many things they've had to sacrifice due to Covid are where we have been for years.  As my boys said, it's not that we are better off, but we were ahead of the curve.  We've already been stripped down to bare bones living and facing the loss of many things on a yearly or even monthly basis.  We already homeschooled and my sons have been living at home while going to college to avoid debt. 

So when the Covid hit, and the measures to fight it threw everyone upside down, we were already there, so to speak.  We were already where others had been thrown into.  As others struggled to get their heads around not eating out or having to watch the kids every day or watching important goals wrecked, we had been there for years.  As we heard people lament their lost plans or upside down existence, we sympathized because that's where we've been for at least a half dozen years. 

Our prayer, therefore, is that people catch up with us.  We certainly did our best Thoreau and simplified over the years, by necessity.  But in so doing, when 2020 hit, we were actually prepared.  Financially we have been on the limb, but that's nothing new.  Many of the other things, however, were simply par for the course in our lives, and therefore we've gone through 2020 more or less unscathed.  I hesitate to say it's the best year we've had for some time.  But I'll say it's not been bad, and in many ways, the previous years are what we have to thank for having prepared us for what caught so many others by surprise.  

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Another reason to like him

I wrote a few weeks ago about a birthday present in the form of the 1980's Magnum P.I. DVD series.  That was good timing, since I found on the news that Tom Selleck, star of the series, is currently starring in some other new police/detective show.  Apparently he caused a stir by saying he wasn't going to approach the BLM issue from the 'Cops as mass murdering psycho Nazi killers' perspective.  If it was approached it would be balanced, and not anti-cop/anti-American propaganda.  

That alone was enough to make Mr. Selleck go up one notch on my respect meter.  Beyond that, it turns out he's also a professed Christian.  Granted, I know little about him.  In the 80s, during the majority of Magnum's run, Selleck was the global sex symbol against which all sex symbols were measured.  He had replaced Burt Reynolds, who had dominated the late 1970s as America's big heartthrob.  If anything, Selleck appeared even bigger, and during the mid-80s, it seemed like he was everywhere. 

Naturally, being a sex symbol, one assumed his lifestyle and moral groundings were not exactly Bible camp informed.  I don't know if he converted later in life, fell away as an adult, or anything really.  I just saw this article in which he openly credits Jesus Christ for the blessings of his life.  In this day and age, that would be like openly crediting Stalin back in the 1950s.  

Of course this doesn't mean he's my hero now, or I assume he's perfect, or I take him as the fourth member of the Holy Trinity.  It's just nice to see someone who has already taken a moral stance against the prevailing winds of evil in our modern age come out and drop the J-Word.  

Friday, January 1, 2021

EWTN is under attack

FWIW, I don't get EWTN in our viewing area. We've never had access to it. That always bothered Marcus when I worked at CHNI.  Though I don't know why.  It isn't as if I had anything to do about it.  But nonetheless, I have never had access to ETWN on a regular basis.

So there might be things about it I don't like or agree with.  There might be people I don't care for.  I'm sure it's probably changed over the years as most things change.  But I know one thing.  In an age where I find out that war games - of which I'm fond - are starting to be attacked and banned when they simulate anything to do with Europe or America in the last 400 years because Racism!(TM), I'm going to be mighty sensitive about a sudden uprising of Catholics saying EWTN must be attacked and brought low because Racism!(TM).

I have no clue about the details.  It seems focus on an EWTN contributor named Gloria Pervis, who threw her lot in with the BLM and subsequent backlash.  Given that BLM's approach to justice reminds me of Mussolini's approach to making railroads run on time, I have no problem with a backlash.  Given how she's responded, on the other hand, she appears a reasonable person, and if she was pulled only for opening up a debate that sounds wrong on EWTN.  

If, however, she fully endorsed BLM and all its glorious manifold evils, I can also sympathize with the network.  After all, BLM has been a major player in the post-human agenda whereby we return to a world of discrimination, privilege and condemnation based on, among other things, skin color.  Consider that black Americans can, apparently, say All Lives Matter while non-blacks or non-leftists say All Lives Matter and reveal their racism as a result.  Just like the N-Word for rappers vs. white college girls

I'm still looking for more information on this.  It's really not something I'm altogether invested in, other than opposing the growing McCarthy-like Orwellian '30s Germany dream world of the modern Left and its joys in destroying, banning, oppressing, attacking, or any other assault on those who dare challenge the dogmas of the leftist state and its own brand of ethnic cleansing, race hate and totalitarianism. 

That Catholics, including those who once came out against such tactics, are behind this just goes to show you.  If I find out more, I may adjust my initial thoughts accordingly.  Meanwhile, only one of a group of Catholics going after EWTN at this point: