Monday, July 24, 2023

Vacation time

Heading out to a much awaited vacation.  There aren't any little trick posts prewritten and ready to publish.  It's been too busy for that.   So things will be quite around here this week.   This journey is a gift from the boys, who gave my better half and I a nice little trip owing to our 30th Anniversary.  We couldn't take it on our anniversary proper because of a million things going on then.   So while my sister helps out and the boys hold down the fort with Mom, we'll be out and about for some rest and relaxation.  I'll be back later in the week.  Until then, thanks for the visits and the insights.  God bless, and TTFN.

The appropriate movie theme intro for such an occasion, courtesy of Lindsey Buckingham and the gang:

Saturday, July 22, 2023

You never know if what you see on the Internet is true

 But I think the world would be a happier place if this was, in its day, a true story:


Alice Cooper is an odd one of the old 1970s glam rock/kabuki stage show style that was all the rage in the music world back then.  But he seems to have enjoyed being with - people.  Of all stripes.  And that's not a bad trait.  

The most shocking thing I have read in many months

 A new Gallup Poll (take it for what it's worth) has found that: 

"Seventy-four percent of Americans said they believe in God, while 69 percent said they believe in angels and 67 percent said they believe in heaven, the poll found. Slightly smaller shares — 59 percent and 58 percent — said they believe in hell and the devil."

That stunned me.  Today, 2023, and 58% of Americans believe in the Devil?  They don't say what they believe about the Devil, but at least they believe something about the Devil. 

By now we should look back and realize that we've been a secularized country for generations.  And that secular movement has relentlessly, and at times ruthlessly, proselytized religious believers for decades.  Armed with convenient interpretations of the Bill of Rights and a sympathetic education industry, pop culture and media, their browbeating of historical religious faith has been unrelenting.  And that includes openly mocking people of traditional beliefs with impunity, often through those same media and cultural outlets.  More than one professor I had in college in the 1980s was happy to openly ridicule religion, especially traditional religious beliefs, especially Christianity.

But through it all, 58% still believe in the Devil?  I'm reminded of this:

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.  1 Kings 19.18

Of course believing in the Devil and acting like you believe in the Devil are two different things.  Other polls have found a lack of traditional Christian beliefs among the faithful, including the majority of Catholics not believing in the Real Presence.  This doesn't count the growing number of Christians (Devil believers apparently) who openly embrace what the Faith has historically believed is 'of the Devil.'  

So it's not all peaches and cream.  The point of the article is that these beliefs, such as belief in the Devil and Hell, are declining.  I'm just shocked they haven't declined far more than they have.  So there is hope.  

Out secular society has been hitting us with everything it can for decades, all while telling us to step aside and let it do so.  On the whole, much of our leadership has been willing to let the World have its way in this regard.  Yet 58% still believe in the Devil.  Someone within the halls of the Faith is doing something right.  Insert 'chef's kiss' here:

Friday, July 21, 2023

That might explain things

Deacon Steven Greydanus, who is also a film critic of some note, is now a contributor at  Obviously it is a site born of the late, and often cantankerous, film critic. It has several film critics now who throw in their two cents where movies are concerned.  Here is Deacon Greydanus's debut article.  

When I see things like that, I think of things like this:

Remember him?  He was a young fellow who rose to prominence following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.  He was one of the few such youth activists who didn't have to be swept under the carpet for embarrassing gun control advocates by going crazy extremist.  

If you recall, it was discovered his college exam scores were a bit sub-par, at least where Ivy League standards are concerned.  But in a surprising turn of events, it was off Harvard he went.  Now he's a Harvard graduate.  

Sometimes it's difficult to fathom how rational human beings could accept the madness being peddled by the modern Left.  But then sometimes it isn't. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Rolling Stone goes after Sound of Freedom

Again.   It's not an unusual discussion where movies are concerned.  In every case in history, a movie is not going to reflect 100% the reality.  At best, a movie will contain some accurate information about one part of something, and not be too far off where dramatic liberties are concerned.  Generally, that's a discussion you have whenever a movie 'based on something' is released.  

But the fury, the wrath against this movie is quite stunning.  Most I saw on the Left initially adopted a 'they might be crazy right winger types, but we're glad the message is getting out' approach.  But left of Lenin rags like Rolling Stone have been calling out the fatwas on this, making sure those trouble making liberals who think tackling the issue of child slavery is the important thing learn their lesson. 

Again, the 'how accurate is this movie?' is something I've heard my whole life.  That's no problem.  Have the debate.  But this time, you can tell it's different.  There is a rage here directed at this movie that goes beyond simply 'there are problems with this film.'  This is meant to attack the movie in ways similar to that other big Jim Caviezel movie back in the day.  

Remember kids, there is nothing more self-righteously judgmental, intolerant or close minded than the modern Left.  That is demonstrated here, as almost immediately major leftwing outlets decided the discussion about child slavery might be one thing, but attacking a movie made by non-leftists is the main thing. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Says middle aged white dude

Ever since John Lennon sat in his multi-million dollar English estate with a custom decorated Rolls-Royce in the driveway and asked the world to imagine no possessions, proxy martyrdom has been all the rage.  What is proxy martyrdom?  That's my term for people willing to latch on to a righteous cause that demands sacrifice from anyone other than the people latching on to that righteous cause.  Consider wealthy celebrities flying in their private jets to the latest Climate Change conference. Or a rich and famous musician calling for a world with no possessions from the midst of his mansion.  Or anything to do with population control. Has anyone ever sacrificed for the cause of thinning the human herds? 

In fact, much of our modern activism is rather light on self-sacrifice while being heavy on self-righteousness.  Like the bold hero above.  And no, going out and looting, stealing televisions and laptops does not count as sacrifice.  

It is worth noting that the cause he is advocating is becoming common.  There is a growing number of activists calling for things like 'hire fewer white people', or 'don't hire white men' or 'don't this or that with this or that group.'  Often it is called for by people in those very groups.  For example, notice when white liberals beseech organizations to hire fewer people who look like them.  In many cases, those same white liberals have noticeably white hair.  Meaning their careers are comfortably in the rear view mirrors.  Whatever hiring changes come as a result of their pleas might impact millions of white people, especially young white people, but it won't impact them.  Proxy martyrs. 

The best way to approach this is to ask yourself just what they sacrificed when you see someone bravely facing the applause over something like antiracism, or gender, or causes dealing with sex, or climate change, or anything for that matter.  Ask yourself if anyone will have to sacrifice.  Then ask if the individual banging the drum for the cause is one who has, or will, have to sacrifice for the cause.  If there are people who might have to pay a price for the cause, but it's not the one boasting about supporting the cause, then it's best to walk away and ignore.  Find a real hero, because it ain't them. 

Monday, July 17, 2023

Stories like this make me smile

Johnny Depp dons his Jack Sparrow alter ego to honor the memory of a 11 year old child who was a fan.  I recall ages ago, in the early years of St. Blogs, over at the old Catholic and Enjoying It, there was a bit of a row when some commenters mocked and ridiculed the Make a Wish Foundation.  I'm not sure why.  I mused then that of all the things in the world to belittle, are we sure we want to target an organization that tries to give a little happiness to terminally ill children and their loved ones?   Ah, such is the world of the Internet, even back then.

Yes, the cynic in me says this is Depp pulling a publicity stunt.  Or Depp trying to rebuild his reputation after what appeared to be a pretty nasty court case with his ex.  Perhaps.  But I still like it.  And the better side of my nature, which often resides in deep recesses in my darker moments, likes to think it's because Depp is simply a human being who, when given the chance, wanted to do something nice for a young child in an otherwise naughty world.  

Saturday, July 15, 2023

It has been over a year

Since my son and his then fiancĂ©e took the plunge and opened their own business.  It was last week that marked the anniversary of them taking ownership of the empty space that would be their bookstore.  A used book store and fixings.  I don't believe anyone in her immediate family is an entrepreneur.  I know on our side there aren't.  The closest is when I went into a brief business venture with my late brother-in-law back in my previous life.  What I learned there mostly was what not to do when opening a business.  

So exactly where they imagined they'd get their sage advice, I don't know.  In any event, they took a big leap out and opened it.  With no real capital - since they can't get any type of loan to save their lives - they've managed to scrape, scratch, claw and crawl and make it work.  The anniversary of their opening day will be this Labor Day.  Already they are planning much fanfare and promotional ideas for the event. 

I'll be honest, we're all pleasantly surprised.  Granted, they're still just nearing the beach and haven't really established a foothold.  I don't know about now, but back in the day, conventional wisdom was that you had to make it past about five years to be settled in a new business venture.  Naturally even that doesn't guarantee anything (think Covid Lockdowns).

Nonetheless, one year under the belt isn't bad for a couple young kids just taking the great leap forward.  I've told them no matter what happens, they have already learned more and experienced more than many a college graduate with a four year business degree.  Just the experiences they've had, the people they've had a chance to meet, and lessons they have learned, are price beyond measure.  So here's to another year ahead.  

Everything is a potential help, and this visit appears to have been no exception

Always what you want to see.  That comes with not having a local bookstore for endless years.

UPDATE:  I stand accused.  So quick was I to post my admiration for the two I forgot to provide a link to the store itself!  Heh.  Well, here it is:  Griffeys' Book Emporium.  And yes, you can order books through them, if you were wondering.  :) 

Friday, July 14, 2023

If you wondered what kind of a human being would put politics ahead of supporting people who are trying to stop child slavery

I give you Mark Shea:

Now I believe this is an authentic review by a bona fide fan the way I believe Elvis Presley is really alive and working on a road crew in Moose Lake, Minnesota.  Though it is today, when three Jeopardy contestants couldn't fill in the missing word 'Hallowed' in the Lord's Prayer, and CBS reported on a poll that found 40% of Americans couldn't pinpoint the historical event upon which our Independence Day celebrations are based.  So general standards appear to be lowering across the board.   

Nonetheless, it's more than telling.  Mark is hardly alone among those left of center.  But he is the first Catholic I've seen who has made sure attacking those trying to do something about child slavery is the main priority.  

Again, I reserve the right to ignore Mark, and I typically do at this point.  Even when someone sends me something I will usually set it aside.  Nonetheless, when he manages somehow to sink even lower than usual, especially when it comes to attacking those trying to do a good work by fighting the modern enslavement of children, it's worth noting where some Catholics will stand.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Amy Welbourn does the Synod on Synodality

Go here to read her thoughts.  Amy Welbourn was one of the early stars of St. Blogs.  Virtually every Catholic blog sang her praises.  It isn't difficult to see why. Her take is worth the read.  

I typically don't comment on inside baseball stuff where the Church is concerned.  Though I'm not blind to what the entire 'synod' is all about.   Basically, the Church is trying to become what mainline Protestant denominations became.  Why it is doing this is anyone's guess.  Though if we ask too many questions, we might not like the answers.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Why is the movie Sound of Freedom so controversial?

 Asks this youngster in the following video:

For me, the answer is easy.  There is quite simply no movement in recent memory more self-righteously judgmental, close-minded or intolerant than the modern Left.  I used to say hypocritical as well, but I recently was corrected there.  More on that some other time.  This movie was made by someone who doesn't conform to liberalism. There's your controversy.  

Of course like most things, there can be more than one reason.  Another issue with this is that human trafficking is a part of modern slavery euphemistically called human trafficking, and is irrevocably tied up with the global sex industry.  Which, by the way, if taken as a whole has annual revenues that would make Jeff Bezos drool.  

In the last decade or so, we've started talking about this human tragedy, though in small doses.  Usually as narrow, isolated or local interest stories.  We don't focus on it as a branch of the modern, borderless slave trade that it is.   That's because we don't like to think that the thing we have declared unpardonable and all defining - slavery - is still alive and well in our modern age.  Heaven forbid some of us might benefit from it, or other variations of it (such as sweat shops or child labor camps).  

Beyond that, the sex trafficking part is linked to the overall sex industry, which exists in its vast form  today due to our modern sex culture.  The media, and the Left in general, are loath to draw thick lines between sex and anything negative.  Let people die of AIDS by the millions, let old and new STDs run rampant, let plane loads of children be whisked away as sex slaves, and we might mention something.  We might even do something.  But we will never, ever connect the dots.  If doing something means we might end up with those dots connected?  Better we do nothing at all. 

Nonetheless, the biggest problem with this film is that this subject is being brought out by a non-progressive.  Someone they say is linked to something called QAnon.  I have no clue what QAnon is beyond it being brought up in modern discourse.  I'm told it's some radical rightwing pack of lies and conspiracy theories.  

But the ones saying that about QAnon insist it's sexist to say men and women are intrinsically different, that clearly a man hitting a woman is worse because men and women are intrinsically different, and of course men and women don't biologically exist because they are subjective identities whereby a man can give birth and a woman develop testicular cancer.  So pardon me if my faith in such sources about who the big conspiracy theorists are is on shaky ground. 

Monday, July 10, 2023

Our current American divisions in one Twitter Post


There are two basic approaches to America.  Either America has always been a great country despite its sins.  Or America has yet to be a good country because of its sins.  

The Left has convinced a growing number of Americans, especially younger ones, that next to America, there have been few truly evil societies in history.  Ours  is a racist, genocidal, imperialist nation where the evils of racism, oppression, bigotry and genocide are as much in our national DNA as they were in the DNA of the Nazi Party.  

Part of this has been monlithing such sins a racism.  Was a time when we understood racial bigotry was bad.  More than one American had fought against racism since before America.  By the time I came along, racism was clearly a societal no-no.  You drop the N-Word in school and it would be off to the principle's office in no time.  Though you probably wouldn't have been expelled, had the cops called, or saw the media descend on your school like an armored division.  Probably just given a warning and a talking to.  

But racial bigotry was merely one of many such foibles.  And it was certainly varied.  It was understood that to tell a racially insensitive joke, while certainly evidence of the lingering effects of socially accepted racist thinking, was not the same as seizing control of a central European country and mass murdering ethnic minorities in gas chambers.  Perhaps you could argue it might lead there, but it wasn't the same. 

That is no longer the case.  Racism is simply the worst, all defining, unforgivable sin that even Jesus could never forgive. And there are no levels to it.  Seize that central European country or drop an N-Word in a 20 year old email, and you're now a racist.  Period. End of statement.  You could have cured cancer or rescued twenty kids from a burning building.  Now you're merely a racist, and that's all you'll ever be.  Not a human, an American, a father, or a sister.  Racist.  

To that end, and based heavily on the Left's push for a world of endless group identity, America is nothing but racist and, therefore, nothing but irredeemable.  It's history is one of racism, where every black American lived in the equivalent of an America shaped death camp, and every white American had privilege enjoyed from being racists 24/7.  End of template. 

Hence, there is no good in America's past.  There was only racism, or sexism, homophobia, or whatever you wish to focus on, depending on the group in question.   While Haley's is clearly a politically spun recollection, it isn't false.  Those were things more than one American would have valued across the demographic board, hence America worked to end such injustices on its own.  Nobody had to invade and conquer America to get the US to give women the right to vote, or pass the Civil Rights Act.  Yet Ms. King acknowledges none of that.  She could have said 'Yes, those things are missing and we could use them again, however there were also problems back then ...'.  Or something to that effect.

But nope. It's straight to the bad. Only the bad.  Not faith, not country, not family, only racism in our racist nation filled with American racists. 

Note also that nothing Nikki Haley said prevents one from acknowledging the sins and failings of the past.  Which is a good thing.  Goodness knows we are the generation that defines itself by eternal finger pointing at those who came before.  But Ms. King's response all but wipes those virtues aside, as if to say yearning for those cannot happen but that we focus exclusively on the sins of our nation.  It's either acknowledging sins, or ignoring them by embracing the best.  Almost as if the purpose of continually focusing on the sins of the past is specifically for the purpose of getting us to forget the best of the past.  

Thursday, July 6, 2023

I've been reading The Latin Right recently

Here is a link.  The blog is at Patheos, and I say more power to him.  I see some of the usuals who tend to wander about Patheos.  Not many of the old trolls, but quite a few who are obviously to the left of center.  As can be expected, some of their positions and rhetoric match the increase in madness we're seeing in the world around us.

Nonetheless, the blog author - one Dennis Knapp - does a pretty good job writing in a fair manner and being willing to engage maturely with those who disagree.  Not an easy trick at a place like Patheos.  

Just thought you might like to know about his site if you haven't stumbled across it yet, and perhaps step in and give a few pennies worth of thoughts here and there.  I resist the temptation to comment, but if others would like to jump in and join the fray, I doubt he'd mind.  

Monday, July 3, 2023

Celebrating our nation

Isn't easy nowadays, but it's still worth the effort.  To that end, I'll be scarce this week due to chewing up the time with a combination of paperwork for homeschool and prepping for next year ahead of enrollment, plus family gatherings, fireworks, concerts and all the fun that comes with the holiday.  

It's also worth noting that Ohio finally legalized private fireworks.  My sons, who sometimes appear to dream of giving up their life plans to become pyromaniacs, have dipped into their accounts to give their dad some extra gray hairs this year.  So with everything happening, it will be later in the week or so before I'm back.  

In the meantime, The American Catholic dropped some videos worth watching during this Independence Day.  One of them included the old Schoolhouse Rock American history clip about July 4th.  I decided to add that and a few others that, in their day, still represented the template for understanding our nation and its history.  

I added that last one because it includes, as much as anything, that part of American history most often thrown out in the attempt to compare the United States to Nazi Germany.  As has been said many times among the Left, and in not a few books my sons had in school, Manifest Destiny was nothing other than America's Lebensraum.  That's because today the Left admits to nothing positive brought to the wider world by the West.  Oddly, Christians increasingly appear to accept that perspective, seeing nothing of value brought to the world by the West - not its principles, advancements, values, or religion.  Which, to me, speaks volumes. 

Saturday, July 1, 2023

How great was the Arnold

Thanks suckers folks!
I recall back in 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the darlings of conservative Republicans.  They couldn't get enough of the guy.  I took my kids to see President GW Bush when he came to Columbus that year.  I've long tried to see presidents if they are in the area.  I think it's a good experience, and I wanted my sons to see the current president in person.  Bush got applause to be sure.  FWIW, former governor Taft, a Republican in an arena filled with Republicans, got overwhelmingly booed.  But nothing compared to the rave screams of adoration that came when Arnold took the stage to introduce Bush.

Arnold has a long connection to Columbus.  His Arnold Sportsfest is one of the big events of the year in Central Ohio.  Part of the cheers could be due to that.  But overall, the praise and adulation he received here in the Buckeye State was repeated across conservative media, conservative talk shows, conservative punditry and even conservative churches.  Heck, I remember some conservatives wanting to change the Constitution so Arnold could run for president!

Why?  The guy has virtually nothing in common with any conservatives I know, religious or otherwise.  His rather explicit interview here, in which he dumps on religion and the afterlife, certainly explains his lack of moral connection to religious conservatives.  Schwarzenegger has long stood as an example for those coming from the far corners of the world to indulge in all the porn-orgy culture America has to offer.

Many of his policies are nothing close to what Conservatives endorse.  As often as not he would get along just fine with the good folks on The View.  Heck, even libertarians should shrink from him.  I recall him joining people like Chris Christie and stomping on the idea that gays are anything but forced to be gay by birth.  Therefore, all attempts to help them be anything other than flaming homosexuals must be crushed.  That's not libertarian.  It's hell and gone from conservative views.  

So what was it about him?  That he put an 'R' in front of his name?  I've often said I was ahead of the curve where Trump is concerned.  I didn't like the guy back when liberals, Democrats and Hollywood power players loved the guy.  What changed?  For me, nothing.  But for them?  He put the dreaded 'R' in front of his name.  Once you do that, to those inclusive left of center activists you become discount Hitler.  Perhaps conservatives view that from the opposite perspective?   

I don't know.  It can't be just because of the 'R'.  After all, Mitt Romney has an 'R' in front of his name and I think there are more ostrich racing fans in the world than there are conservatives who care about him.  Perhaps Romney's is a case of conservatives learning lessons about blindly following people because they have an 'R' in front of their name?  

I just can't say.  I simply know as I watch so many still rally around Donald Trump, it's a question I keep asking.  A man who spent most of his life embodying so much of what conservatives oppose.  Not to mention supporting him despite his actions in recent years: Throwing conservatives under the bus where the Covid vaccines were concerned, declaring anyone who fails to conform an enemy of the Don (and having perhaps the least loyalty among his subordinates that I have ever seen), his open support for issues we conservatives are supposed to find unacceptable, his attacks against fellow Republicans over issues we are supposed to agree upon, and his continued behavior as if he is one of the highest paid employees on the 'Keep Democrats in the White House' committee, I wonder.  It's a mystery I can't figure.