Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ripples Of Love In A Pond

About a week ago, I blogged this bit about my elderly mother breaking her neck.
I've heard people question the existence of God because there is evil and suffering in the world, but this makes no sense to me. If our lives were nothing but painless joy, how would we love? It's in moments like this that we can show tenderness and compassion. Without suffering, there is no chance to love.
Last night, we went to Cursillo* team school where we prepare for the next retreat weekend. 40 people must have come up to me and asked how my mom was doing and let me know they were praying for her. They had mentioned her in their prayer groups and all of them showed a lot of love for her through me. It was wonderful.

Thinking about it this morning, I saw an analogy of a stone thrown into a still pond where the ripples go out to the edge. My love for my mom may have been the biggest and first, but theirs were present as well. The accident gave them the opportunity to show us just how deep their love for us was.

Opportunities to love one another through suffering are all around us.
* - Cursillo is a life-changing movement within the Catholic Church designed to make us better Christians.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Guns Are The Problem

For the most part, I stayed off of social media yesterday as the conversations were all choreographed long ago. Like an old waltz, after the school shooting in Florida, the pundits and activists took their places and danced. No one was honest, no one was sincere. Everyone just yelled the same, boring cliches.

We're not having a serious conversation and we're not trying to understand each other. It's simply yelling. Guns are the problem and the 2A folks need to be able to admit it. If we didn't have several hundred million guns, if private citizens were forced to go to extreme measures to own even a single gun, these mass murders of children would become very rare. You can't drive a van into a school to run over the kids. Vans don't fit through the hallways.

I'm not in favor of reducing the number of guns.

I don't trust the government, not for a second. The most recent revelation from the farcical Russian collusion story is that the FBI honcho whose wife worked for GPS Fusion, the creeps who created the rubbish intel on which the illegitimate FBI spying on Trump was based, did not declare his wife's income source to the department. If he had, he should have been instantly removed from the case.

It's called an OGE 450. By law, he has to file one. Look it up.

The FBI lied to everyone in order to spy on a political enemy. President Obama ran the most corrupt administration in history. He used government enforcement agencies as his own, private Gestapo. If there was a way to oppress his political foes, of which I was one, he did it. Imagine what he would have done against an unarmed populace.

So I want guns in the hands of private citizens. Lots of them. I don't want the government having any more control over them than it has right now. In exchange for that, I know that this will lead to school shootings by lunatics who somehow manage to get their hands on guns. That's the honest tradeoff. Take away the guns and people like Barack Obama will have practically no limits on their behavior. Allow us to keep guns and we'll sometimes have school shootings. It's a shame we can't be honest with each other.

I'm with Chuck on this one, but I acknowledge there's a serious downside.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

When You Think You've Got It Rough

... you find someone who really has it rough.

My mother, 88 years old, recently broke her neck in a fall, was moved from the hospital to a nursing home to recover. We felt pretty bad about her pain and how she has been hit with so many problems lately, especially losing my dad 5 weeks earlier.

She was put into a room in the nursing home with an elderly woman who was clearly deranged, writhing and crying out in her bed. The woman's husband was there, patiently sitting with her, giving what love he could. It was a sure bet that this had been his lot for a long time.

We got my mom moved to a quieter room, but it was pretty sobering to see how that old man was coping with a horrific situation. It put our problems in perspective.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This Is Kind Of Creepy

Today is both Valentine's Day and National Organ Donor Day.

It gives the phrase, "I gave you my heart" a whole, new meaning.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Love Is Fun

... but getting to it isn't.

I've been spending a lot of time with my mom in the hospital. To recap, she's 88 and fell and broke her neck a week ago. My dad died on January 1, so she was already hurting before this catastrophe. She's healing and should leave the hospital for a rehab nursing home tomorrow.

As I was saying, love is fun. When I get there to sit and hold her hand, it feels wonderful. It's what I'm supposed to be doing and it makes her feel good. Driving there is another story. That's when I'm grousing about having to do it, what a hassle it is and how I have so many things I'm not getting done. When I leave, I have such a sense of happiness. I've made someone's day brighter. It's lovely.

What's the deal with the dread of going? Some of my Cursillo friends would argue that it's Sparky trying to get me to not go. I dunno, I think it's more like some kind of separation pain from my normal, daily routine.

It's weird.

Monday, February 12, 2018

My Favorite Clip Of The North Korean Cheer Squad

... would be this one.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but the progs in the media have been drooling all over the North Koreans at the Olympics. CNN, Reuters, the New York Times, NBC, they're all in love with the Nork "Charm Offensive."

They're slaves. The North Koreans are slaves. The media is cheering slaves singing and dancing for the entertainment and profit of their masters. It's beyond surreal, it's utter madness, driven by their deranged hatred of Trump. If you haven't seen it, dig this tiny selection of the progs' sick gloating.

Shorter version of the lefty infatuation with the Norks: "Why, just listen to the music and look at the dancing as they pick the cotton cheer for their team. How can you see that and say they are oppressed or unhappy?"

Sunday, February 11, 2018

It Are My Blogiversary!

This makes 12 years of daily blogging. It's gone from an attempt to generate income to an outlet for expressing my thoughts to a tool for learning to an act of OCD appeasement. When I think of quitting, I curl up in a fetal position and start rocking back and forth, muttering, "Can't stop. Can't stop. Can't stop. Can't stop. Can't stop."

In all seriousness, this thing has been my primary avocation for years. It's brought me lots of good things, primarily interactions with you and things I've learned researching blog posts. It also brings stress, like today when I'm wiped out from caring for my mom* and just want to kick back and watch the Newcastle United game.

Speaking of which, the game is on now, so I'll just wish y'all a happy blogiversary from me because without you, this really is madness.

Note: I experienced a miracle while caring for my father as he lay dying. I thought about sharing it today, but I don't have it in me right now. I promise to post it soon.

* - Mom is 88 and fell and broke her neck on Tuesday. My father died on January 1 of this year, so she's had a really rough couple of months. Her name is LaVerne, in case you want to offer up a prayer or two for her.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

We Are Not A Racist Nation

... otherwise, in a country of about 350,000,000 people, the pride of the White Nationalist movement would be able to find a lawyer.

If we were truly a racist nation, you'd expect him to find hundreds willing to stand up for der volk.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Stupid But Not Insane

... is the best thing you can say about the Republicans these days.

So we now have a new budget deal. Yay! The government will stay open!

It also blasts the deficit into orbit.

In a time of plenty and peace, we're spending like drunken sailors. Looking at the chart and reading as much as I can through my fingers held up in front of my face in horror, I wonder how they came up with the budget at all. I mean, if you're going to ignore deficits, why stop at a gazillion dollars to study what happens when you feed rats too much tofu, why not two gazillion? Seriously, if no one cares about the debt at all any more, what restrained them from adding zeroes on the end of every number?

Maybe they just didn't think of it.

There is no party of fiscal responsibility any more, no more adults in the room at all. At least, in the past, you could count on the Republicans to mouth platitudes about the debt even if they ignored it as soon as they got elected. Now we're not even going to get that. It's candy and cake all the time for everyone! Yay!

Meanwhile, the Democrats have gone completely crazy with their Russia hysteria and full-on Nazi racial paranoia.

What a country.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

There Is No Love Without Suffering

My 88-year-old mom fell and broke the C2 vertebra in her neck on Tuesday night. There's no paralysis, but due to other health issues, recovery, if she manages it, will be long and complicated.

I sat by her bedside in the hospital yesterday and held her hand. She's a tough little dame, one of the toughest. She handled the tremendous pain well. In her hospital room, I felt what I had a few weeks ago as I did the same for my dying father - a tremendous sense of gratitude for the opportunity to love.

I've heard people question the existence of God because there is evil and suffering in the world, but this makes no sense to me. If our lives were nothing but painless joy, how would we love? It's in moments like this that we can show tenderness and compassion. Without suffering, there is no chance to love.

It's time to go. I've got to run to the hospital this morning in the hopes of catching the doctor as he makes his rounds. They're like leprechauns, you know. Everyone talks of these magical creatures called "doctors," but almost no one has ever seen one.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Serf's Up On Twitter!

I scored a serious Twitter snark on that horrible sociopath Stephen King last weekend. I won't quote it here, but it got over 150 likes and then a couple of replies which led to to arguments. Yay!

Watching it evolve, I realized that I (1100 followers) was the peasant and Stephen King (4,550,000 followers) was the knight. I was taking part in a medieval battle and I was part of the expendable, unarmored rabble. No one would remember who I was, it was all about Stephen King. Likewise, it's all about Trump, Hillary, Sean Hannity, the CNN morons and so on. When we go out there and engage in arguments, we're just bashing each other over the head for the honor and glory of our noble masters.

Here, Stephen King shows his valor and puissance by jousting with Donald Trump. How noble the steeds, how fine the armor, how gay the livery and plumes!
This is you and me. We've got wooden clubs, we're wearing women's housecoats and we're so stupid, we're not even facing each other as we flail away blindly. No fair lady will mark our fall with a tear, no priest will shrive us as we die. Only our swine shall mourn us.
We argue over what our leaders say, not over what we truly believe. For most of us, our beliefs have not been derived from first principles or logic. Instead, we have been indoctrinated into one of two catechisms by our "betters."


Monday, February 05, 2018

Want To Be A Better Husband?

My wife and I have a great relationship. I can't recall the last time we had a fight. I love travelling with her because I love being with her. It took me a while to learn that she's not the talk-all-the-time sort, so now when we walk the Catican Guards together and don't say much for about 40 minutes, I don't wonder if she's mad, I know she's enjoying being together like I am.

So why is this "Want to be a better husband?"

Yesterday, at Mass, I saw an elderly couple in the Communion line. They were absolutely ancient. She had some kind degenerative spinal problem and was so bent over that her face was directed towards the ground. She was short to begin with and now she was even shorter. He shuffled along, in decent shape for someone in his 90s. They walked, arm-in-arm.

I thought of their lives together, the road getting to February 4, 2018 in San Diego. How they were so infatuated when they were younger, how they used to make love, how they raised their children. I thought of the times when money was tight with them and when they took vacations. All of that was in the past and now all they had were each other. Watching them shuffle along, arm in arm, it felt like they had achieved what God asks of us - the two shall become as one.

It was so beautiful that I teared up. Writing this, I'm getting a bit of that now.

I wondered what I would feel when I was that age as I walked in the Communion line with my wife. I wondered if I would feel regret and wish I had the years back so I could be a more loving husband. I thought of things I could improve now.

The choices I make now will lead me to a future where I will be walking with her in sadness for not having seized opportunities to be more loving or one of happiness for having found that deep, soulful joy that God tries to give us. I'm sure the image of that elderly couple will fade with time, but for now, at least, it will help me be a better husband.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Why The Nunes Memo Is A Big Deal (And It's Not About Trump)

... because it shows that the FBI and DOJ were completely out of control.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC or FISA in the media these days) is the court to which our law enforcement agencies must plead to be permitted to surveil people. It is supposed to be independent of said law enforcement agencies and is there to protect us from overzealous govvies.

FISC presumes that the FBI is acting in good faith and is presenting them with all relevant information. When the FBI and DOJ lie to FISC, as they did in the Trump surveillance case by omitting the crucial information that they were being fed unsubstantiated rumors by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaigns, FISC is effectively taken out of the loop.

Without FISC, the FBI can do whatever it pleases, including spying on you and me, simply because someone in the FBI feels like it.
(FBI agents break down my door in a surprise raid, grab, handcuff and drag me away as they ranscack my house.)

Me: What did I do? Why are you doing this to me?

FBI agent: Some dude somewhere said you were selling cocaine to underage prostitutes.

Me: I've never done anything like that in my life! What made you think it was true?

FBI agent: Hey, we don't have time to corroborate every tip we get. It sounded good enough to us. Besides, we don't like you.
And that's that. This did, in fact, happen in the past which is why FISC was set up in the first place. Law enforcement agencies figured they could surveil "undesirable" American citizens by claiming they were agents of foreign governments. FISC was established to force the FBI to have to prove it.

For us Normals, living outside of the ever-crazier Beltway madhouse, this isn't about Trump or Comey or Hillary, it's about making sure the leash on the FBI and DOJ is on good and tight.

After getting a tip from ligneus and reading my blog, they figured a bazooka would be a good idea.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Why The Nunes Memo Must Not Be Released

Two reasons.

Russians hate money

We need to get to the bottom of the whole Russia-Trump collusion scandal by doing years and years of investigation to find out why Russia skewed the American election in favor to Trump who was guaranteed to lower the price of oil which is where Russian oligarchs get almost all of their money.

Political extremists are perfectly fine with their side losing power

We need to ditch the Nunes memo because it's obvious there is nothing there. After all, there's no way a hard-left authoritarian like Barack Obama would have used the FBI to spy on Donald Trump like he used the IRS to crush the Tea Party.

Stop the madness!