Friday, March 31, 2023

Has has the USCCB responded to the Nashville shooting?

That's United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for you Protestants out there.  I'm just wondering.  I looked and didn't find anything.  I saw some individual bishops say a few things.  But nothing from the USCCB that I could find.  I say that because:

You get the point.  The George Floyd response was the Johnny-come-lately of the bunch, a whopping six days after his death.  For others like the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting the official response was the same day. 

But unless I'm missing it, we're four days out and nothing.  Heck, they can join the transgender movement and insist the real victim was the shooter.  At least it would be something.  But right now I'm hearing a great big silence.  

At least Pope Francis reached out and offered his condolences.   If there has been a response from the USCCB I would happily concede the point.  Walking back on this post is a far better thing than there not being a response, and the implications of such a difference in reactions. 

UPDATE:  5:30 and all is not well.  It's now five days since the horrific Nashville church school shooting. And I've found nothing from our brave bishops.  Some individual bishops have spoken out.  But nothing like the above and other similar responses.  

UPDATE 2: It's Palm Sunday, that means six days since the shooting.  The press has all but dropped it.  The official transgender response is now '7 Victims' or, in some cases, only 1 real victim.  And those are the nice transgender activist responses.  I'm not giving up, but I'm beginning to doubt the bishops will respond at all.  Few national religious leaders have.  Those who have responded have avoided the obvious, or refused to call out the worst of the transgender rhetoric.   So we'll see.  

The seductive evil of the modern Left

Is best seen here:

That is, as far as I have found, Deacon Greydanus's first response to the massacre of six Christians in a Christian school by a transgender individual.  

But look closer.  If you read the Twitter post, you might miss the point.  I did.  I thought at first he said he doesn't want assault rifles to be banned.  It's hard, but that's not him.  He doesn't want to do it, no matter how much it looks as if we should.  That's what I thought he said.

Then I read it again.  That's when I realized he was not saying the difficulty is not wanting to ban assault rifles or the second amendment.  The difficulty, per the good deacon, is not wanting loved ones of the person who posted that statement a week before the shooting to be butchered in a shooting. 

Yeah.  The good deacon struggles with not wanting the loved ones of those who disagree with his politics to be murdered.  That's as big a leap into the Pit as you get.  The reason I keep on about Deacon Greydanus is that I consider him one of the good guys.  Or at least I did.  I never cared for his postmodern approach to film reviews, though when he analyzed movies from a Catholic POV I sometimes enjoyed his insights.  But as a Catholic I always appreciated his broader opinions, even if I disagreed.  He debated in good faith and was generally a good guy when so many were going off the rails.

But now it's this.  Nothing like his Johnny-on-the-spot calling down America as a racist nation after the Buffalo Supermarket shooting. No mention about the transgender community.  No addressing the transgender supporters and activists who have made no secret of their hatred of the victims of the Nashville shooting and their veneration of the shooter.  

None of this appears to be addressed by the good deacon, whose only response I have found to the shooting thus far is admitting he struggles with not wanting the loved ones of a gun rights advocate to be murdered.  Even if he has plastered social media with endless prayers and condemnation of the LGBTQetc. movement's responses to the shooting, it wouldn't balance what he posted above.  

Have I mentioned my oldest son says that, with each passing day, it becomes easier to sympathize with Germans in the 1930s?  


The first major post on his Twitter page following the shooting.  If you beat a donkey it will bray.  Thus making sure to mention the anniversary of this thing that happened because Racism! Let's condemn those old dead sinners and avoid the dumpster fire of our modern world.  What camps in the woods? Lemmings 101.  Or court prophets.  The choice is yours. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Father of lies smiles

And Jesus weeps


Police chief says no evidence Nashville shooter had specific problems or issues with school

Uh huh.  Thus the warnings about a 'hate crime' mentality turn out to be true.  

Imagine if a shooter went into a transgender event with no manifesto and opened fire.  Imagine saying the shooter had no known issues with transgenders at this time. 

Imagine a white shooter going into a black church with no manifesto and opening fire.  Imagine saying the shooter had no known issues with blacks at this time.

Imagine a shooter going into a gay bar with no manifesto and opening fire.  Imagine saying the shooter had no known issues with the LGBTQ community at this time.

Imagine a shooter going into a synagogue with no manifesto and opening fire.  Imagine saying the shoot had no known issues with the Jewish community at this time. 

Imagine a shooter going into a mosque with no manifesto and opening fire.  Imagine saying the shooter had no known issues with the Muslim community at this time. 

Imagine a shooter going into a massage parlor owned by Asians with no manifesto and opening fire.  Imagine saying the shooter had no known issues with the Asian community at this time.

Imagine a Muslim going into a gay bar and opening fire because he is retaliating against the US due to our policies in the Middle East.  Imagine saying that goes to show you the problem with Christian homophobia. 

Well, that last one you don't have to imagine.  It happened.  But imagine the others.  We are a nation of lies. We love lies.  We cherish lies.  We worship lies.  We rejoice in our lies.  We live our lies.  We are our lies.  And we don't care who lives or dies because we know those lies are the capstone of our entire modern age.  

The mendacity is enough to choke a person of good will.  Bonus points for them emphasizing that no motive can be known since it doesn't appear any of the victims were specifically targeted.  As if in other cases of 'hate' crimes, it is only hate if particular individuals were known and targeted.  Again, lies.  Pure, unadulterated, sing it from the rooftops lies.  That is our most cherished value in the 21st Century. 

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  John 8.44


In case you're wondering about this just being a typical procedural approach or if it is part of a larger attempt to throw pixie dust on a story that can't go away fast enough, I give you my latest News search results:

In fairness, when I expand the results the story is there - though dropping on the listing fast.  Tell me, did the Buffalo market shooting, or the New Zealand mosque shooting, or the Charleston church shooting fall of the top of the list within a few days?  I didn't think so.  

It does no good to deny the obvious.  If we continue to do so, nothing at all will keep this from moving fast in the direction it is obviously going. 

The time to choose is fast arriving

To side with the Lamb of God or the Beast of the Pit

Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.

And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Revelation 13.1-18

Don't worry, I'm not going all premillennial dispensationalism on you.  I took classes and seminars on the textual development of the Greek New Testament.  It's one of those little majors I spend little time harping on here at the blog.  But it is an interest of mine.

Now I'm not looking for helicopters and The Beatles by reading between the lines of Revelation.  But it was written and included in Sacred Scripture for a reason.  Long reason and short, the church was by its writing routinely being targeted by the Roman Empire.  Many believed a faith that hadn't delivered in the 'eternal life' promise wasn't worth dying for, and jumping ship wasn't unheard of.  

Using the imagery of apocryphal literature, John weaves a wild phantasmagoric ride through a very symbolic end of times, but with the same consistent messaging:  keep hope.  It will get worse before it gets better.  But stay close to God.  Many won't.   Many will curse God rather than repent, while others will abandon God.  But don't let that be you.  No matter how many join Baal, Moloch or Ashtoreth, including apostacy, stay with the new covenant.  

As we watch our society and our world lurch down the next step of the ladder, it's worth brushing the dust off this last book of the Scriptures and pondering that message. It's not going to be easy, but it is as simple as that. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Prayers for the victims in Nashville

Your heart just breaks at stories like this.  Sure, tragedy happens every day.  Yes, it's a hard world for little things.   But we just don't always hear about it.  When we do, it tears at the heart, especially where the youngest of these are involved. 

According to reports, not only were three adults, but three children, were among the victims.  And from the reports this morning, one of the victims was the pastor's child.  That hits hard, let me tell you.  

I get that in our Orwellian age, almost immediately we rush in to stake our political claims on this.   It's easy to be sucked in and be part of the problem here.  Better to do what people of good will would do in the past.  We pray for the victims, the families, and all impacted by this horrible crime.  We celebrate the police officers who rushed in, risking their lives to stop the shooting.  If possible, we find ways to help the people involved. 

In all things we stay planted in reality, remembering the priorities, and the human beings swept up in this moment. 

A major difference between Deacon Steven Greydanus and me

He sees the Pew Research study that finds Evangelicals have the highest disapproval rating among Americans today and appears to think Evangelicals are doing something wrong.  I look at America today, look at the same Pew Research study, and think Evangelicals are doing something right. 

I'm especially bothered that Catholics are held in the same high esteem as are mainline Protestant denominations.  Especially since I know what so many of those denominations no longer believe and what they now believe.  Which may account for their high esteem in our modern secularized pagan society.   

BTW, I understand that the approval rating is also due to the media culture's villainizing of Evangelicals.  In addition to that, you have the emerging Evangelical court prophets sucking up to the media by continually throwing their fellow Evangelicals under the bus.  

As a former Evangelical pastor, I used to joke that I was thankful for the Catholic Church.  After all, it was the one Christian tradition our pop culture hated more than Christians in general.  Since Pope Francis, however, that has changed.  If anyone has noticed.  Even the latest priest abuse story gets no more than a sideline mention.  It's largely look the other way or sing the praises of Pope Francis as far as the media establishment is concerned.  Again, given the core values and beliefs of our modern era, I'm not sure I would wear that fact as a badge of honor. 

"And Democrats have wasted no time getting their top priorities to the governor's desk. Within the first two months of the many-months long legislative session, Democrats passed their centerpiece tax plan, a bill to repeal the state's defunct 1931 abortion ban and legislation to create civil rights protections for LGBTQ people."

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Of what does the modern Left remind me?

 This scene from the late 1990s miniseries Hornblower:

Yep.  Well done fellow.  You cheat, and then when you miss hitting Horatio, you try to end the duel. Then when you're told Horatio can fire in his turn, you drop to your knees and beg like a baby to be spared.  I thought of Midshipmen Simpson acting this way when I heard a snippet about how horrible it is that people keep dragging President Biden through the mud because of his age.  Since apparently it's always bad to be snide about someone who is older: 

Yep.  That was the 80s, when liberals and critics of then President Reagan pulled out all the stops to drag him through the mud because of his age.   And that video was among some of the nicer appraisals of Reagan I heard and saw back in the day. 

Not that such naked double standards and hypocrisy are unique to the Left.  But again, they are almost universal among the Left.  Because those who should call out such mendacity - like our educational, media, and journalistic institutions - have vested interests in looking the other way, it only gets worse, never better.

The badge of membership for belonging to the modern Left. 

Remember, when your go-to tactic is acting like a spoiled child, it might be time to rethink your alliances. 

FWIW, I do not go after Biden because of his age or his cognitive abilities.  Despite being a liberal and agnostic in my college days, I came to despise the ugly and hateful things said about Reagan regarding things he couldn't help.  Having two parents who ended up with Alzheimer's and Dementia has not softened me on that resolution.  

Like so many other things, I'm simply ahead of the liberal curve.  I was pledging not to make fun of elderly people because of their age back when it was the hip liberal thing to do.  A bit like how I didn't like Donald Trump back when liberals and democrats loved the guy and couldn't wait to party with him.  I suppose that's just me.  I don't wait for liberals to catch up to their next principle. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

And going and going and going

So I posted about the the kid's bookstore the other day.  Never think they alone possess my attentions or admiration.  I'm no fool and don't put my kids on some angelic pedestal.  Still, the world being what it is today, I'm mighty proud of all four of them.  One climbing the corporate ladder from the ground up, one on the verge of graduating college, and our youngest who just improves by leaps and bounds his ability to fix and build electronics.  He recently purchased and old Nintendo game system (he loves retro tech).  It was sold 'as is', which basically ended up meaning it didn't work.  Not to be defeated, he spent the next several hours opening it up and tinkering with it until he got it to work.  As one who feels proud when I change a light bulb, I have to say I'm impressed.  And that's just their industry.  As people they impress me even more.  And that goes for our soon-to-be daughter-in-law. 

I admit, however, the bookstore has dominated the family scene, and that's with everything else happening and the upcoming marriage (which happens to be the same weekend that my oldest graduates, our third passes his required year long position to get promoted, and our youngest is confirmed - did I say busy time?).

Part of what has generated the store's success has been endless book donations.  I never had a clue there are so many people out there trying to get rid of books.  I have no raw numbers, but the vast majority of their stock is from donations. Which is nice.  Especially when it's this:

Some fellow willed that his collection of genuine leatherbound books not be sold, but be donated.  So they were donated to the store (where they'll be sold?).  In any event, those are some nice books. I'm planning on getting there ASAP.  Within only the first few hours they've sold several, so I best not wait (I'm eyeing that copy of Beowulf near the left of the picture). 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Meant to stoke race hate

And nothing more.  

I'm sure you've heard the story that San Francisco is moving forward with a plan to award every black resident $5 million dollars because slavery and systemic racism.  Anyone who thinks that will lead to some racial harmony or reconciliation has sawdust for brains.  

But let's face it, this has nothing to do with any such thing.  It has nothing to do with reconciliation, harmony, justice, reparations, or anything.  It's about pitting Americans against each other and, if we're lucky, getting Americans to act as they're accused of being.   Royally tick off white Americans as best you can, and if any react negatively against the black community, viola!  Racism proven. 

The two pronged attack by our emerging top down revolution against the Christian Western Democratic tradition is 1) divide and conquer, and 2) guilt by association.  Convince the world that European and American Caucasians are a malignant blight upon the world.  Anything associated with their civilization is therefore open to suspicion.  Ideas of liberty, democracy and equality came from that civilization, so let's reconsider.   Thus religious liberty has been a tool exploited by white nationalists and white supremacists, so let's rethink this whole religious liberty thing.  Same goes foe equality, presumption of innocence and free speech. 

The other is endless divisions of Group A v. Group B (fill in your favorite groups accordingly).  That way when  they say the government needs power to punish, to oppress, to strip away rights, to ban, or enact other moves against freedoms, it can assure us it will only be used against those haters over there.  Blacks might get millions while whites are marginalized, but they can trust that nothing bad will ever happen to black Americans.  Or any group containing me.  Just give society the power to take away their rights and reduce them to second class, and they promise it will never happen to you.

It takes a special level of stupid to fall for this, but stupid has been the goal for decades now.  And it has worked.  I've said before that our educational system has either failed miserably or succeeded beyond its wildest dreams.  Because on the whole, we are a stupid age, with things said by our best and brightest that would have drawn scorn from your average middle schooler when I was a lad.  Drugged up, sexed up narcissistic fools: the only formula needed to seize and throw down a prosperous nation built on freedom, democracy and equality.  It appears to have worked like a charm. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

JK Rowling discovers 21st Century liberal "Tolerance"

I've often said that modern leftwing tolerance is a lot like Kosher ham.  I've seldom seen anything as self-righteously intolerant, close minded and judgmental as the modern Left.  And it covers this by projecting itself onto anyone who dissents.  If they say children should be surgically altered without parents' consent and you disagree, it's because you're the hater, you're the intolerant one, the judgmental one, the close minded one.  The threat. 

Today,  that is based on whatever the Left wakes up and decides is truth for the day.  If it says sex with teddy bears tomorrow, or that C-A-T spells 'Dog', then you had best fully support the new truth.  Oh, and you can't just invoke dead liberalism's 'live and let live' principle either.  You must 100% speak full support for the Left's latest dogmas or, well, see JK Rowling

Once a darling of the media and the Left, she's fallen on hard times.  So much so that this woman, comfy behind her billion dollar bank account, is beginning to crack.  Recently she was interviewed by the NYT and tried to patch things up by saying it's been a big misunderstanding.  For a woman known for her pit bull tenacity and willingness to give as good as she gets, that's quite a change. That's because the latest Harry Potter foray, a video game, is under brutal attack. Attempts to ban it are running rampant, and enough bad press is being generated against the Potter brand that some are wondering if it could impact sales.

Funny thing about being a billionaire.  You have to keep being one.  And with the realization that her once groupie press/state/academy is eerily silent while those who Mark Shea once correctly called 'Gay Brownshirts' make strides in destroying her product, her brand, her name, and her life, you can see her starting to sweat.

And this is JK Rowling.  Once a hero of the Global Left, owing to her feminism, LGTBQ advocacy, liberal values and clear post-Christian leftwing views.  The most successful author of all time.  A billionaire power player.  But she has fallen from the purer faith.  She has forgotten that to remain in the Left's good graces, you must be 100%, not 99.99%,obeient.  Anything else and, well, see JK Rowling.  That's JK Rowling, billionaire power player celebrity.  Imagine what they can do to you

Saturday, March 18, 2023

How can you not see the racism?

That was my question for Deacon Greydanus over at Catholic World Report.  He wrote a review of the latest Rocky based movie.  I've lost track of how many Rocky movies there are.  Anyway, I read through the review out of curiosity since I didn't realize the series was still going.  Suddenly, I came to a paragraph that really jumped out at me.  This was the part that got me:

Rocky was a small-time, working-class palooka whose rags-to-riches story is part grit and part dumb luck. His antagonists include the polished showman Apollo, the Soviet golden boy Drago, and Mr. T’s “Clubber” Lang, who is mainly different from Rocky, alas, in being Black. “Clubber” is also the franchise’s nastiest villain, a fact highlighting an uncomfortable, much-noted racial dynamic running through all six films named for Rocky, every one of which depicts a Black champion humbled, beaten, or killed in the ring by a White challenger

How in the world was Rocky racist just because Rocky is white and wins against two black opponents (because that's what 'uncomfortable, much-noted racial dynamic' means)?  How is Drago - a one dimensional cardboard cutout figure if there ever was one - not important win it comes to Rocky's victories?  And how is skin color the 'main' difference between Clubber Lang and Rocky?  I told him I wondered if he actually watched the third movie. 

Now, he did respond to me and was overall fine in terms of behavior.  He responded and tried to point out why I was wrong.  Why white privilege and systemic racism and racist narratives and sociological frameworks and social sin and cabbages and kings and whatnot.  He responded that nobody is saying Stallone was racist or motivated by racism.  Which, to me, wouldn't be as bad as what he was suggesting.  If he's not saying Stallone was being racist, he's saying the problem is simply that Stallone was white.  The part Stallone wrote for himself was filled by a white man, and that's the issue.  Which, by my lights, is far worse.  After all, it's one thing to falsely say a black man is guilty of something he's not guilty of.  It's another to say he's guilty simply because he's black.  Or Jewish.  Or Muslim.  Or Indian.  Or any group. 

I tried to wrap my head around Deacon Greydanus's responses, and I can't figure out what he's trying to say if not that.  It especially gets tough when he leaves that nebulous world of academic abstract thinking and says one possible solution for mitigating the racist narrative of the first Rocky movie would be making Mickey, Rocky's coach and mentor, black by scrubbing Burgess Meredith.  That seems pretty concrete, rather than abstract sociological, to me.  He's saying the problem with Mickey was the actor's skin color, and the  skin colors involved, and a different skin color would solve the problem.

Which, per my upbringing in liberal post-WW2 America, is racist.  I don't care how sociological you insist you're being.  Saying the problem with someone or something is the skin color - no other accusations intended - is a big 'Where's the swastika?' warning sign.  Again, that's from decades of having it pounded into my skull that it is ever and always evil to judge someone by their skin color. 

Perhaps I'm missing what he said, but that's the best I could come up with.  Whatever  it was, he obviously embraces the very racist White Privilege narrative, as well as the assumption of America as foundationally racist, thus anything produced can be fit into the 'America as racist' narrative; that "uncomfortable, much-noted racial dynamic".  If I'm wrong about that, I wish someone would explain what he was actually trying to say.  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

There was nothing else yesterday?

Hey Google, certainly there was something or someone worth featuring yesterday, March 15, for your little Google doodle:

I'll be honest, I've never had Filipino Adobo.  I'm sure it's a fine dish.  But are we certain that was the best we could come up with to represent the date, given all of the humans, events and accomplishments of the last few thousand years?  

The latest might not always be the greatest after all

Sorry Marty, we still need roads
I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s.  It was a bizarre combo of grounding ourselves and yet imagining the sky was the limit.  For instance, by the time I was in later elementary school I think most people realized we were not going to be flying back and forth to moon colonies before the end of the century.  Yet the tech revolution was in full swing, and it seemed every year saw some new tech or electronic devise that promised to change our lives forever.  I think by now we're learning our lesson, but I'm not sure. 

Anyhoo, one of those brave new inventions was the Compact Disk.  That's CD for short.  I recall the first time I heard one in college.  I wondered if that was an improvement or not.  The fellow playing the CD assured me that I would be foolish not to see the obvious superiority in this latest new tech compared to dusty, rusty old tapes and records.

Well, we must be getting foolish.  I saw on the news that for the first time since 1987, vinyl records outsold CDs.  I have no doubt part of this is less the rise in vinyl as much as the decline in CDs owing to modern digital music and downloading.  Nonetheless, I find it interesting that vinyl records continue to increase in popularity in our digital age. 

Our family has been amassing a collection of vinyl over the last few years.  Two of my sons are seriously into them - both of them being among the musical ones in the family.  They insist vinyl is far richer and deeper sounding than CDs, which often come off as rather sterile.  I think they're right. I can certainly tell the difference.  It reminds me of digital versus film.  I'm sorry, but the best digital lacks something that traditional film has.  The same is true for vinyl records.  

Of course CDs weren't perfect to begin with.  The original selling point was that CDs, like cockroaches, could survive anything.  Once you have a CD it will last forever, so said the sales pitches.  We know that is far from true.   CDs wear out long before the inevitable scratch makes them useless.  And while only the worst damage can permanently disable a record, one minor scratch is all it takes to make a CD worthless.  Plus as a fellow in a local store put it, he sees records from the 1940s that sound fine, while CDs from the 80s are faded and muffled sounding - and those are the CDs that actually work. 

There were other issues.  For instance, an early  and well known example of CD limitations was the Abby Road album by The Beatles.  The song 'I Want You' famously repeats itself over and over as white noise - usually avoided in recording - builds and builds in the background.  Problem?  CDs eliminated white noise.  Therefore the CD versions of Abby Road have an improvised sound effect to duplicate the white noise.  If you listen to the CD and the album, you can't miss the difference.

But there you have it.  CDs, once part of the great leaps forward in tech and invention, are on their way out.  And the old dinosaurs, those old vinyl records, are making a comeback.  I wonder if there will be other examples of the old latest tech fading away and being replaced by pre-tech preferences.  I'm thinking the rise in boardgames over the years.  Who knows, maybe sitting around the living room and telling stories will become the rage in another few years. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

One last hurrah

Funny thing about being a parent.  It's unlikely you will ever love any person in the world more than your children.  Yet you spend all your time preparing them to leave you.  

With our sons, they received a couple dispensations from moving out.  First, owing to the catastrophic levels of college tuitions, we let them stay home and commute to school if that would help mitigate expenses. Then when Covid hit, just as they were preparing to move out, we told them they could wait until they needed to move out, whether they were in school or not.  Given the floundering economy, skyrocketing inflation and cost of living, we said they could work and accumulate what money they could. 

Nonetheless it's inevitable that the itch to step out on their own would begin to override financial worries.  For our second son, his meeting of a wonderful young woman and becoming engaged made it official.  By the end of May this year, he will have moved on.  As it should be. 

Now our sons, and family, have a reputation for being close.  That comes from my wife and me.  From the start, we broke from a lot of our peers and didn't take off on trips and vacations while the kids stayed with family.  This was partly the result of seldom having family nearby.  But when we did have loved ones nearby, we still did things around the kids.  We worked hard to have family meals, and made sure at least once a week we had a family night (called 'pizza night', but menus varied).  When one of the kids did something in school, we would make sure as many as possible were there to support him. In later years they would break off and have what they called their 'bro-nights' (and give my wife and me a chance for some time to ourselves).  

It was something people who knew us identified with us.  'Here come the Griffeys' was a common response to our arrival.  Someone once said we're like this flock that is always together.  As soon as one walks through the door, you can bet the other five are following.  

Yet it is the way it should be that they will be moving out, and sooner than later, save for our youngest.  With this May coming around the corner and the wedding, the brothers asked our second son what type of bachelor party he would like.  The sky was the limit, boasted our third oldest who makes the best money right now. Whatever he wanted and whoever he wanted to invite, it would be done.  

In the end, he said he would just like to spend time with the bros.  That's all.  Get a hotel room, and do some city searching for what each of the sons likes.  Record stores and video game stores, electronics stores and Catholic book stores, and board game stores were among the destinations.  My oldest wrote up an itinerary, and we followed it pretty well.  Most were hits, a couple misses.  

I ended up coming along due to request, plus I provided the driving in a suddenly snowy Ohio.  We went to the famous Book Loft in German Village, a store known far and wide around the country.  A bit crowded for my taste.  We attended Mass at our cathedral.  Then it was driving all over from one point to another and just hanging together.  After day one we went to our hotel suite, ordered pizza, watched movies and played games.  Before bed (and a freakishly annoying regional power outage) we toasted our son's upcoming marriage, along with an addition from me: No matter who they are with and what friends they have, they will always have each other. 

Of course the four may get together again in the future when the others make plans to walk down the aisle, or similar events.  And with the newlyweds living in town, I'm sure we'll be seeing them.  But as we all know, it will be different once he steps out the door for his new chapter in life.  You can't help feel a little melancholy.  Still, they have made us proud each one, and if God gave us nothing else but them, I'd consider myself more than blessed. 

A shout out to our beautiful Cathedral

Walking around Columbus, we liked that this was next to a dumpster

A first stop at a gaming store - expensive games!

And there was the claustrophobic Book Loft

The boys

They seemed quick to get away from the confines of the Loft

One of the games for a round at the hotel

A toast: They may bicker, but they are very close and protective of each other

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Bwa ha ha ha!

That anyone would take corporate moralizing seriously these days is a testimony to the gullibility of fallen man:

Saturday, March 11, 2023

The little store that could

Market day in the expanded storefront
As I accept the inevitable end to Ohio State's basketball season today, there are many things I can nonetheless be happy about.  One is seeing the bookstore my son and our future daughter-in-law opened continue to impress us.  

Ages ago, about three different lives before this one, I went into business with my late brother in law.  Among the many things I learned was never go into business with a brother in law.  But I picked up a few other things along the way.  Back then, they used to say that when you open a business, the milestones are the first six months, the first year, the second year, the third year and the fifth year.  After that it's pretty much a year by year thing owing to larger forces than 'can you make it or not?'. 

Well, last month they passed their six month mark.  Part of that came from a phenomenal opening, and an equally impressive Black Friday.  Though the pre-Christmas Level 3 snow emergencies that mandated everyone shut down was a bit of a hit.  Their store is the perfect type of local business for those last minute Christmas Eve shoppers, and they missed it. 

Nonetheless. they've pulled through. Strangely January was their toughest month.  Otherwise they have outperformed expectations.  One of the things they have done is open up to local indie authors, as well as working with different community events like a monthly market day.  That's where small, local venders who sell anything under the sun can set up in their rather cavernous bookstore and sell their wares.

Today we feared Ohio State's inexplicable survival in the Big 10 Championship might cut into the crowds.  Not to mention that they are next to one of our area's big sports bars (good luck finding parking).  Yet they've done well, and the crowds were bigger than they hoped.  

This was no doubt helped because they have expanded their bookstore to include the entire store.  Initially they had opened a "minimum viable bookstore".  That was largely because they had so few bookshelves and books.  But we've learned one thing:  Apparently there is an army of people who are itching to give away books.  So with that, and a few good deals they cut with local businesses, they had the materials and shelving necessary to open up the entire store.

This has been helped by his fiancĂ©e learning how to repair books as an additional service.  That's actually a thing.  I've already had her fix one of my old college textbooks, and she did quite a good job.  The next big thing is going online, though I have learned that's easier said than done.

In any event, it's been quite a ride.  One of our local FB pages had a piece about their store.  They said above all of the things people like - the laid back attitude, the atmosphere, the basic ambiance - it is simply an inspiring thing to see in our rather downbeat, doldrum days.  The idea of two young kids, bucking the blah of the state of things today, and taking a big leap out together.  You just have to smile with that one.  

A dose of clarity

The whole Walgreens and Gavin Newsom story brought to mind this little verse from the Scriptures:

[N]o one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  Revelation 13.17

Remember what I wrote the other day.  The lines should be increasingly clear. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Take that Michigan!

After a pretty dismal season against that rival up north, we finally did something this year!  We outlasted both Michigan and Michigan State in the tournament!

I have to get this out today because OSU plays Purdue tomorrow, and that will be an ugly thing to watch.  In our best years Purdue basketball is a spoiler more often than not.  And this year, with such a miserably underperformed season, it doesn't look promising.

Still, at least we beat Michigan in something this year.  And as any Buckeye knows, a season with all losses except one against Michigan is a winning season every time.  Even if someone else has to help with the victories. 

Scriptural food for thought

And Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”  Luke 12.15

I sometimes think we forgot that.  Not that prosperity is automatically some evil thing.  But I fear we fooled ourselves into thinking it was the main thing.  Especially back when we were at the height of our prosperity as a nation.  Men especially failed in keeping our priorities straight, and not just after The Beatles arrived in New York:

Easter Morning, 1959 - the trend was already too apparent


Thursday, March 9, 2023

I do not know Naomi Wolf

The new Fab Four
I've heard the name.  I looked her up, and the first thing I saw was that she is a popular conspiracy theorist.  Like 80% of the things in our day, that's an overused term I've grown tired of hearing.  Like misinformation, as often as not it is used as an alternative to 'disagreeing with me.'  Or at least disagreeing with the official ruling class narrative. 

Nonetheless, I don't know anything about her, and can't speak to her credibility on any particular front.  I can say, however, that this piece she wrote caught my attention.  Rod Dreher linked to it.  She - who apparently is Jewish - writes about the return of the Near Eastern gods of sacrifice, slaughter, slavery and seduction.  Spirits of evil that had been pushed to the sidelines of history by the ascension of the Jewish and Christian Faiths.  I encourage you to read it through. 

This isn't far from where I have been for some time.  You all know I've written about our nation's descent into a secular paganism.  That is, secular by default, but enough man made god to make sure we see our loved ones and puppies and favorite rock stars again when we die.  As I've said, paganism is the at-rest position of the world when divorced from divine revelation.  Even if it is mainly an atheistic world with the thin veneer of an affirming deity for fuzzy feelings.  After all, remove the One God and mankind will happily invent his own. 

As we're seeing, such alternate religions are typically nasty things too, not the peace loving hippies of Stonehenge Woodstock.  Think on it.  As we shuffle off the old time religion, we celebrate the abortion of sixty five million pregnancies in barely three generations as one of the biggest triumphs for feminism in America.  Kids are killing each other and themselves at record breaking levels.  The deaths from AIDS, drugs and suicide take out more than 100k a year in our country alone.  Every year almost 2 million people continue to die of drugs and AIDS around the world.  All this while more and more people are wanting to sex up our kids and euthanize our undesirables in ways that would make Himmler drool.  Yet we go on, hearing that the people concerned about these developments are the haters, the villains, the ones who need 'cancelled.'

Ms. Wolf speaking to these developments is not advocating some illusionary spiritual observation in my opinion.  Rather it sounds a lot like the very thing that would make those old Near Eastern gods happy.  Also the thing that the Old Testament prophets would have railed against.   And, to be honest, most practicing Christians until recently would have called out for what they are.  

There will come a time when we have to admit we either believe in the Christian story or we don't.  We believe in a God ordered Creation or we don't.  We can only dilute and water down the historical faith so much before it ceases to be anything but hot air.  If there was truth to it at all, then we shouldn't have to wonder what is happening today and what is behind it all. 

I'm not saying I think Ms. Wolf is spot on about everything.  Clearly I see some things differently.  But coming out and admitting to the real spiritual implications of a God centered Creation that includes the Invisible, and seeing what is happening in our world in light of this, isn't a bad step in the obvious direction. 

"First, Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears;
Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud,
Their children's cries unheard that passed through fire
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipped in Rabba and her watery plain
In Argob and in Basan to the stream
of utmost Arnon."

John Milton, Paradise Lost

They have turned to me their back and not their face; and though I have taught them persistently they have not listened to receive instruction. They set up their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Ba'al in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Mo'lech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Jeremiah 32.33-35

Monday, March 6, 2023

Deacon Greydanus misses the obvious

In a set of Twitter posts, Deacon Greydanus does his best to convince readers that Fox News is somehow worse in its biases and faulty reporting than other news outlets.  Here is the pertinent observation:

First thing I notice is that he deftly leaves MSNBC off the list.  That's because if news outlets now wear their biases on their sleaves, MSNBC has its partisanship tattooed on its forehead.  Of all television news outlets, it verges on tabloid parody.  

Second, he misses the donkey in the living room.  I'm not sure what the allusion to MSM is (typically mainstream media, not a specific outlet), but the problem isn't that they are all biased. As he correctly states, journalism has been biased since the dawn of journalism.  It's that they all have the same bias.  And that's the problem.

In fact, in a bit of irony that the good deacon seems to have missed, the reason we have Fox is precisely because by the mid 90s, a growing number of Americans - including Democrats I knew - were becoming uneasy with the glaring advocacy that the 'MSM' displayed.  It was obvious that these news outlets were all defending the Clinton White House, advocating issues like gay marriage, and beginning to focus on post-American negativity regarding our history.  Furthermore, they were doing so by making mountains out of the same molehills and making molehills out of the same mountains (or sometimes simply ignoring the mountains altogether).  Again, all of them doing so to promote the same agendas.  

Americans being more clever then than now realized that's a problem.  If all but a few outlets (WSJ, National Review) were firmly in the same camp alongside only one political entity, it could spell trouble.  Even if my friends and fellow students were democrats who reaped the rewards then, they understood down the road it could be a big issue. 

Hence Fox News was born.  And because it is one of the few openly biased outlets in opposition to the MSM's biases, it can come off as a bit rough.  Same reason Rush Limbaugh seemed worse because he was surrounded by entire swaths of a media and pop culture that did the exact same things to conservatives and Republicans as he did to liberals and Democrats.  If you lay down on one nail, it hurts worse than if you lay down on a bed of nails.  If you only have one outlet being all the bias and advocacy for one whole side, while the other side enjoys a broad representation in bias and advocacy across multiple media spectrums, it can appear more crass than it really is.

That, Deacon Greydanus, is the only real difference. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

Being a parent nowadays requires creative thinking


I loved that.  One point for the parents!

BTW, isn't it odd that the whole 'youth rebellion' - promoted by society and even given back handed support by church leaders - was basically a repudiation of the Fourth Commandment?  You know, the first commandment with a promise.  Well we didn't follow it.  And how did that promise turn out? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

47% of whites surveyed disagree or are not sure that it's OK to be black

Imagine that.  If that were an actual poll with those results, we'd be hearing screams of racism from coast to coast.  The outrage would be beyond the coasts actually.  From the UN to the Vatican, outrage would be the song of the day.  And rightly so.  Imagine saying you don't know if it's OK to be of a particular skin color.  

Yet that's exactly the results of a poll that asked if it's OK to be white.  Just the question itself shows the deep delve of racism in our country.  That the Anti-Defamation league has denounced the statement 'it's OK to be white' as hate speech shows there's never forgetting the lessons of history, and then there's forgetting the lessons of history we're not supposed to forget.  

But in the poll - take polls for what they're worth - 47% of blacks questioned said it is not OK to be white, or they weren't sure if it is OK to be white.  For my money, if you're not sure if it's OK to have a certain color then, yes Virginia, you're a racist. 

Yet when once celebrated Dilbert creator Scott Adams reacted to this by labeling those blacks who have issue with the existence of white people as a hate group, and furthermore stating that moving away from blacks who don't think it's OK to have your skin color is the logical thing to do, papers across the nation dropped his comic strip like a hot potato.  No mention that almost half of blacks surveyed weren't sure if it's OK to be white.  Apparently the Anti-Defamation league thinks there's a problem with being white, so it must be fine*.  

The only problem mentioned is that Scott Adams pointed out the logical response of logical people who find out their existence is not approved of.  I'm not saying Adams was smart for what he said or how he said it.  After all, we live in the 21st Century, a cool generation or so after we ceased being a free country according to liberal definitions (in case you missed the memo).  And it might not have been the best way to react to this racist finding.  After all, his was simply a 'then it's us vs. you buster' response.  That is, of course, the goal here.  Divide and conquer.  That's how you get a free country to give it up: Make it about us vs. them, with the assurance it will only be them who loses all the nifty freedoms, prosperity and blessings. 

Nonetheless, the fact that almost all outlets glossed over and ignored the donkey in the living room about blacks increasingly disliking the existence of whites is more than telling. Like so many things liberalism once condemned, race hate and discrimination against the wrong ethnicity are now all the rage.  Add that to free speech, judgementalism, religious tolerance, respecting other opinions, equality and group identity, in case you're keeping track.  

Bonus observation:  One of my sons has said that with each passing day, it becomes easier to sympathize with the German people in the 1930s.  After all, look at what people are willing to accept, and how few are prepared to speak out. 

*Note the trend.  Remember when the Left declared the statement 'All Lives Matter' to be racist motivated?  See how that works?  Now we're told that saying 'It's OK to be White' is a racist chant.  You do know there will be more such declarations over the next few years, don't you?  Examples of just which people groups are not to be called OK.  Again, great job Anti-Defamation league for becoming everything you say you're against.