Thursday, February 28, 2019

Reading Online Product Reviews

... I always read the 1-star reviews and stop there. I don't trust anything else.

CBS News has a not-so-shocking story about fake online reviews at all of our major online shopping sites like Amazon, Walmart and others. I figured that was going on all along, particularly when you're buying something with only a few reviews. How hard would it be to get a couple of friends and family members to post 5-star reviews of your product?

Instead, I read the 1-star reviews and assume they are telling the truth. Then I ask myself if I could live with those faults in the product. If dozens of people are saying the thing falls apart or stops working after a week or so, I usually move on to another product. However, I neglect individual bad reviews about quality. Sometimes a bad widget slips through. If it's a restaurant review and they complain about the service, I typically neglect that as well. Slow service just means more time to chat.

In general, I'm looking for reviews that tell me the food is bad or the thing doesn't work as advertised. If I've gotten to the review-the-reviews stage, I'm already sold on the product, I just want to make sure it's not a mistaken purchase.

How about you? How do you weigh online reviews?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Michael Cohen's Suit

... spoke with other suits today. It was something to behold. Or not.

I was at a Denny's in Chula Vista this morning, talking Jesus stuff with other Catholics. Apparently catering to people who can't live even 10 minutes of their days without the TV on, the place has big screen TVs everywhere. On weekday mornings, they're tuned to news shows because ... well, because the staff can't think of anything better for us to watch.

Today, ABC was running Michael Cohen's testimony from start to finish. The sound was off, but there were helpful subtitles so I could read what he was saying. Where I was sitting, it was impossible not to see it.

As I understand it, Cohen's testimony told us that Donald Trump was a crude, volatile blowhard. The Democrats on the committee, also in suits and no doubt with degrees from schools even better than Cohen's Western Michigan University, wanted to know if he was as crude a blowhard as they'd heard. Mike helpfully illustrated the crudity and blowhardiness. I didn't stay long enough to see what the suited and credentialed Republicans had to say, but it's safe to assume it was a robust defense of blowhardism.

Meanwhile, the president is negotiating a ground-breaking nuclear disarmament deal with the previously psychotic North Korean regime.

Oh, and India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, are trading live fire on their border.

Meanwhile, our news thinks I want to see a bunch of Ivy League weasels in suits testify at each other. I felt like I was watching a particularly nasty, verbal catfight in the cheerleader's locker room of an upscale, private high school.

It's worth noting that this set of blowhardish accusations against Trump are piled ontop of a mountain of previous accusations, a mountain so high that the top is no longer visible to us Normals what are walking around it as we go about our meaningless daily lives.

Not as important as Michael Cohen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Rotherham, Evolution And The Secular Left

Atheist and spokesman for the Secular Left*, Bill Maher, recently enraged conservatives with sneers that included these.
The HBO host continued to pile on the insult for red state residents, saying that there are “no red carpets in Wyoming” and no one asks them what they’re wearing because “the answer is always Target.”

“We have chef Wolfgang Puck, they have Chef Boyardee,” he said. “Our roofs have solar panels, theirs have last year’s Christmas lights.”
Everyone returned fire using the same weapons. Chef Boyardee was an immigrant who made it big blah blah blah. Maher offered up a machine gun nest and our infantry charged it with fixed bayonets. Yay.

Me, I would have pulled up with some self-propelled artillery and blasted him out of existence with 155mm shells at long range.

Bill and the Secular Left are losing and they will lose. They aren't losing because they're stupid, as stupid as Catholic leadership, they're losing because of who they are.

The contest is not only one of ideas, it's also one of populations. The world has seen plenty of good ideas that were overwhelmed by numbers, numbers from civilizations with bad ideas. The Romans, for example, were stomped by German and French barbarians. In that case, Chef Boyardee ran Wolfgang Puck through with a pike and then the Target employees ransacked Puck's villa and slaughtered his family. Hooray for high culture!

In Rotherham, England, Muslim rape gangs preyed on white, British girls for over a decade, gang-raping more than a thousand of them. The units which provide the Secular Left's primary strengths in their order of battle, the press and the politicians, knew about it and let it happen. They let it happen because they applied the Secular Left's number one strategic concept: racism. It was racist to acknowledge that their girls were being raped in massive numbers, so they let it happen.

What can you expect from girls who have been gang raped? Do they go on to become mothers? Will they produce the children that will determine who wins the evolutionary contest with Islam? No. Most certainly no. Their lives have been ruined.

It was strength vs strength and the Secular Left was routed.

Now look at the birth rates of the Secular Left and those of Muslims. That's the big scoreboard and Bill Maher's side is losing badly there as well.

So go ahead and cheer on the sidewalk cafes with their sophisticated cuisine. Hooray for the deep blue cultural strongholds of New York, Boston and San Francisco!

Well, maybe not San Francisco.

* - I posit that we are in the middle of a global competition between the Secular Left, Islam and Catholicism, the latter being a stand-in for Christianity in general.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Becky Sue And Mama

Let's see if I can do this one without crying. I'm usually pretty good at keeping my emotions in check, but this weekend it couldn't be done.

A dear friend of ours, we'll call her Emily, was pregnant. She and her husband were so excited, looking forward to being parents for the second time. Emily is one of the sweetest and most beautiful women you'll ever meet. All of us couldn't wait to share in her joy when the child came.

Emily gave birth this weekend with the child at 22 weeks. Her father, a Texan, gave her one of those classic double names. We'll call her Becky Sue. The doctors knew Becky was in trouble a few weeks earlier, so mama had done everything possible to keep the baby. She had laid flat on her back for weeks, doing her best to keep the baby until it was old enough to make it in ICU.

She missed it by about 10 days.

Becky Sue was one pound and lived for 10 minutes. My wife went to see Emily and her family in the hospital and told me Becky Sue was this perfect, little doll. 10 beautiful fingers, 10 beautiful toes. My wife held her for a while when a friend said, "You're rocking her." My wife, sobbing, said, "I can't help it." When Emily asked to hold her daughter one more time, my wife said she had to leave. When she told me the story after she got home, I started sobbing, too.

I haven't shared this next part with anyone, it's seems too tragically beautiful to do it.

When Emily and Becky Sue meet in Heaven, I think Becky Sue will run towards her, arms outstretched, crying out, "Mama! I've missed you so much! I know you did everything you could to save me. I love you more than you can ever know."

OK, I need to stop. I'm losing it. I think you get the idea.

Love you guys. Have a great day.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Getting To The North Pole

... is tough sledding.

Ha ha ha! Ha ha! Ha.

Sorry about that.

I've had a metaphorical model of our attempts to live a holy life in my head for years, so I thought I'd share it today. Imagine that sainthood is the North Pole. You are somewhere a good deal south of it. Life is a struggle to slowly head north as best you can. Everyone around you in real life should be trying to do the same thing, but they are at distinctly different spots on the metaphorical globe. Your location is all based on your particular weaknesses and how well you're fighting them.

For example, my recurring issues involve brewskis, sloth and anger. Let's say I'm in Mobile, Alabama. Yours might be infidelity, greed and selfishness. You're in Riyadh. When I meet you and note your sins, should I mentally sneer at you? After all, I may have one too many beers once in a while, but you're involved in an affair! You swine! I am so superior!

Err, no. It's just that you're in Riyadh and I'm in Mobile. We're both a long, long way from the North Pole. Our job is to help each other muddle north. Given how far each of us has to go, neither of us can very well look down on the other. We've got a big job ahead of us and it's a waste of time squinting our eyes at each other to determine which of us is closer to the pole.

Anyway, there's my analogy. Not sure if it made sense in prose, but it makes sense to me. Which is why I'm better than you. (Editor's note: STOP THAT!)

My path. I'm not going to get to the North Pole, of course, all I can do is try to get close.

Your path. On the plus side, when you get there, you can have a plateful of delicious herring!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Farewell To Peter Tork

I'm a huge Monkees fan. When I heard that Peter died yesterday, I was hit pretty hard by the news. I've seen him in concert five times, three times with the Monkees and twice with his own band, Shoe Suede Blues. Below is a video from a performance at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts. It rained like crazy that day, so the fair was pretty deserted and they brought the show inside, into the place where they had an exhibit of local quilts. It was hilarious and he turned it into something fun.

After the concert, we had a chance to chat with him. He was friendly and at the end, we took a photo with him. I'll treasure that memory.

As for the video, this was 2011, so I shot it with a cheap video camera. I couldn't get a spot for it far enough from the "stage" to get the whole band, so the lead guitarist, Lauren, was out of shot the whole time. In any case, enjoy.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Catholicism And LGBT

... is not as complicated as we make it out to be and should never, ever be hostile.

Catholic Twitter's endless howling about gays is driving me crazy because it's so insanely self-destructive. Were it not for the Secular Left constantly baiting us, we wouldn't talk about it much at all. We're such stupid, reactive people that when confronted, we keep rushing that machine gun nest and getting shot to pieces. This post is an attempt to formulate a response that maintains the Catechism while helping people not charge the machine guns.

The Catholic position on homosexuality is rooted in two simple premises.
  1. You were made in the image of God.
    Implications:
    • You are unique among living things in that you have a soul.
    • Each one of us is precious to God since he sent his only Son to die for our sins. You can't show more love than that.

  2. Biology, including evolutionary biology, is a science.
    Implications:
    • As the world was created by God as an ordered place whose laws can be reasoned out from experimental evidence, biology itself is a manifestation of the divine.
    • Since God does not make contradictions, science in general and evolutionary biology in particular must be taken into account when creating the Catholic Catechism.
Note that only the first of these premises is theological. It is also completely innocuous. Even if you don't believe, who can criticize someone who thinks everyone else was made in the image of God?

Evolutionary biology is based on the idea that all living organisms strive to propagate their genes through time by way of reproduction. Evolution happens as a result of competition for mates and survival advantages. Whether you're algae or Algernon, the science of evolutionary biology says you exist to make more of yourself as best you can.

Biology has proven that all babies come from the union of one man and one woman. Our faith teaches us that babies are unique among creatures as they have the divine in them. That means that the act of creating a baby, a new soul, is different in kind from all other acts. It is the only way to get a new being that was made in the image of God.

That's it. That's all there is. It's not that anything else is so hateful that we must crucify anyone who deviates from marital, procreational sex, it only means that act is unique and sacramental. Catholics believe that things should be used for the purposes God intended. It doesn't mean that we should obsess over such violations, only that we strive to do things the right way.

The serious trouble comes not from individual gays, but from the pro-LGBT leadership in the Church. If they change Church teaching to endorse the equals sign, then we cease to be Catholic because we've thrown out one of the two premises above. Those "leaders" are pure poison. If we discard objective reality, logic and science, we are no longer the Catholic Church. We may as well be snake-handling Pentecostals.

Having said that, for the average person, be they gay, straight, bisexual or identify as a transgendered wallaby, when confronted by the question, "Do you believe that LGBT people are going to Hell?" or some such nonsense, the proper response is, "I believe you were made in the image of God."

Try that and see where the conversation goes.

Both are designed to propagate their genes through time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I Am Not An Addict

I can quit any time I want.

Dig this photo from the other night.


It looks like I'm some kind of crazed cooking addict who pulled over on the side of the road to make rice in our Instapot.

Instead, what happened was that I brought red beans and rice to our men's retreat preparation meeting. I brought the rice uncooked because rice that sits for an hour turns into a gluey mess. I had thought we were going to be in a larger meeting room at the church and I'd be able to plug it in on a table in the back of the room. Instead, we were in a small classroom with no place to stick the Instapot. A friend found a light pole outside with an outlet and we had things going in no time. The cone was there to mark a small flood zone as we've had quite a bit of rain lately.

Nah. Who am I kidding? I was driving down the road when I had an uncontrollable urge to cook!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Walking Into A Trap

... over and over and over again isn't the fault of the person setting the trap. It's your fault.

I keep feeling that the whole gays vs. Catholics thing is a total waste of time and nothing but a hideous trap for us. It's not like we would be talking about it if left to our own devices. I put these nominal pie charts together to share on a tweet and, from my experience, they qualitatively represent how things are.



If homosexuality wasn't politically weaponized, would we even care all that much? For example, if I knew a 36-year-old man who, for whatever reason, was never going to be in a relationship with a woman, would I care what he did in his house? Not really. In fact, not at all. It also doesn't make any difference to me if he did it with someone else of a similar bent.

If what he was doing resulted in children outside of marriage, I would care very much indeed as it is manifestly unfair to the children and the mother. But alone or with another guy? Meh.

Exit question: Why do we keep taking the bait? Why do we allow the secular press and the progressives, but I repeat myself, two (one) groups who clearly dislike us and have no intention of understanding us, choose the topics we discuss?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Bishop McElroy Takes Hostages

Yesterday, we got out Annual Catholic Appeal* sermon at Mass. It was a doozy. We normally give $500-$1,000. Before this year's sermon, ticked off at McElroy's behavior, I had planned on giving nothing. After the sermon, my new donation amount is zero.

There are plenty of reasons to be disgusted with Catholic leadership. Outside of a few superstars, I don't trust anyone from Bishop McElroy up to and including the Pope. I trust my parish and that's it.

To name only one of McElroy's failures, he was named in the Vigano letter as part of the Cardinal McCarrick Cabal, albeit possibly only on the periphery. The dude has never come clean about it. He's a Catholic bishop who runs an organization that tells me how much I suck every Sunday, but he's clammed up about his role in one of the biggest scandals in Church history. By the way, the scandal isn't what you're told by the media. From my blog post linked above:
Those penalties (created to stop pederasty by priests) did not apply to the bishops or any of the prelates. The rules were deliberately written that way. If the feedback we got from the priests at this meeting was any indication, they're disgusted by it. Further, Bishop McElroy, our idiot leader, came out and attacked the Vigano letter which named names in the Lavender Mafia. Lots of other bishops came out in support of it, but the nincompoop in San Diego decided to rail against Vigano. Maybe because he was named as a member of that cabal.
Getting back to the sermon, we were told that this year, all of the donations were specifically targeted at programs we love: Catholic schools, homeless programs, prison ministries and so forth. "None of it will go to that weasel, McElroy!" was part of the message.

The other part of the message was, "If you don't give, children will be kicked out of school and homeless people will go hungry!"

"Targeting" donations is another way of saying the McElroy will take his discretionary cash straight out of the general fund and stiff the schools and other programs unless we donate. "Hey, man, if they go broke and turn people away, it's your fault. We warned you."

Sorry, the issues at hand are bigger than one year of funding for popular stuff. Bishop, if you want to hold the kids hostage and tell me they're going to get it if I don't donate, be prepared for my response.

Go ahead the strip them of funding, you fraud. I'm totally willing to let those programs wither in exchange for not supporting your fat, lying butt. I'm just a digit, no one knows my name, but everyone knows you. When the donations fall short, people won't blame me, they'll blame you.

When you're ready to come clean and name names in the Lavender Mafia, let us know.

In the meantime, enjoy poverty.


* - The Annual Catholic Appeal is where we donate to the diocese instead of the parish. All the money comes under the control of the bishop.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Jussie Smollett Isn't The Problem

... it is the fact that the media, the entertainment industry and academia all live in a fantasy world. Dig this tweet from a CNN dude.
I didn't keep up with Jussie's story at the time, but I couldn't help seeing every news outlet cover it wall-to-wall for days when I was at the gym. With my headphones on, I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I saw the visuals and could easily guess the gist of it.

Aside: Why are they showing news programs at the gym? Why not just sports and travel shows? I'm going there, in part, to lower my blood pressure, not raise it.

I've now become familiar with some of the details from his tall tale. Only a complete lunatic would have believed it. They threw a noose around his neck? They poured bleach on him when it was 20 degrees below its freezing temperature? "This is MAGA country!" was shouted? My God, it's like someone from the Orange Mad Bad Mental Ward wrote the thing.

Which is what happened.

But Jussie isn't the problem. It's the fact that owners of our culture from the Ivy League to Hollywood to the news media are also living in the Orange Man Bad Mental Ward. It was never believable to anyone living in reality.

That's a problem for the country. The culture is being controlled by lunatics.

As an aside, I was wrong in my prediction yesterday. Specifically, this:
(I)t's a good bet that most of the book-burning lefties still don't know it was a hoax and are continuing to march around their houses singing whatever passes for the Horst Wessell Song these days in honor of Jussie Smollett, almost-martyr for the Reich Social Justice.
The fallback position for the Nazis is pretty clever. "It's terrible that this singular hoax will take attention away from the daily horrors the Jews white men are inflicting on Germans minorities and women!" They didn't ignore it, they just flipped it to tell der Volk to ignore this clear sign that the Party is made up of maniacs.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Was The Jussie Smollet "Attack" A Crime?

I don't see how it's anything other than a misdemeanor of filing a false report. Dig this.
It looks to me like two of Jussie's friends play-acted an attack that wasn't actually an attack. How do you charge grown men for horsing around?

Other than the police* whose time was wasted, who was harmed? No names were attached to the homophobic MAGA-whiteys in Smollett's fantasy so you can't get him for libel or slander or defamation.

I don't see the cops in Chicago doing anything more than dropping this case. At worst, Smollett will have to pay a desultory fine. When the cops can only solve 17% of the murders in the abattoir that is Chicago, I doubt they'll devote time and energy to the fantasies of a self-absorbed, C-list actor. My bet is that he will go on telling his story to everyone and there will be enough race-crazed lefties believing him that he'll become a minor celebrity on the order of Anita Hill.

* - The media was harmed as well, I suppose, although I'm not sure if you could tell. They got to tell their slavering, Nazis-without-ambition audience another fable that caused everyone to have racegasms, so that was good. When it all turned out to be another progressive hoax, I doubt Der Stürmer CNN and NPR ran with that headline near as much as they covered the Smollett let's-pretend session, so their credibility may not have been dented at all. Heck, it's a good bet that most of the book-burning lefties still don't know it was a hoax and are continuing to march around their houses singing whatever passes for the Horst Wessell Song these days in honor of Jussie Smollett, almost-martyr for the Reich Social Justice.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Gratitude And Valentine's Day

In the past week, I've tried to spend a lot more time thinking of thanks instead of noodling on nincompoopery. Since I'm a firm believer that you can train your brain into specific default behaviors, I'm trying to see gratitudinous things all around me and stop yelling at the windshield while I drive.

It's made me a calmer and happier person and today it paid off in a concrete way. Coming home from the gym this morning, I thought about the sentiment I would write in my wife's Valentine's Day card and it came to me almost immediately. I just thought of the things for which I'm deeply grateful.

For example, if it weren't for her, I'd be this weird, hermit dude with wild hair and nervous tics, writing manifestos in a cabin in the backwoods of northeastern Alabama, surrounded by cats.

After getting over my deep resentment that she has taken away that lifelong dream from me, I considered how grateful I was that I could be seen in public without people around me being overcome by foul odors.

Sigh. It could have been so, so good.

Where was I? Oh yes. In all seriousness, being in the (new) habit of expressing gratitude made writing this year's Valentine's Day card much, much easier.

Me without wife kitteh.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Gratitude And Milton Friedman

In my effort to be happier and spend less time yelling and waving my arms, I went onto Audible and searched for books on gratitude. There are a zillion of them. I ended up choosing Thanks a Thousand by A. J. Jacobs almost at random and gave it a try.

The idea is genius. AJ decides he's spent enough time being constantly annoyed at everything in life, so he commits himself to finding and thanking everyone who makes his morning cup of coffee possible. He starts with the barista and then moves onto the dude who samples and selects the coffee his little, hipster joint serves. Along the way, he interviews them to learn how they work. As I understand it, he ends up talking to the coffee farmer and everyone in between. I've had quite enough of the book, so I'm stopping here.

It's a great idea, but I found the writing and the reading, well, annoying. AJ is sort of a metrosexual, postmodern guy and the book reads like one of those insufferable NPR pieces or maybe a particularly vapid TED talk. The company what puts on TED published the thing, so it's no wonder. AJ is an agnostic/atheist and he seems utterly lacking in any kind of historical or philosophical grounding, so the book lives in the moment as if the Universe was created the day AJ was born.

Going back into prehistory, like around 1975, we find the ancient scrolls of Milton Friedman. Dig this short video.


These days, of course, we're much more enlightened and would never allow someone to post something as racist and patriarchal as "The Power of the Market" without trigger warnings.

Ahem. Gratitude. Yes.

Snarking aside, AJ is right on the money. His gratitude journey is well-considered, even if the execution is airy. I'm going to look for another book on the topic, but I'm grateful AJ got me to go back and watch that Milton Friedman classic. My favorite line is that the people who combined to make that pencil might hate each other if they met, but they cooperate out of their own self-interests.

And if you think that self-interest is selfish, I recommend picking up a pamphlet on evolutionary biology.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Working Out

... isn't doing what I had expected.

I'm about 6 weeks into a weightlifting program. It's patterned after my youthful days as a dilettante bodybuilder. And I'm not being modest there. I really was a dilettante.

In any case, I'm combining it with drinking less, eating less and eating more healthy. It's got me feeling better and I have gotten to the stage where I notice some changes in my appearance, but I'm sure everyone else would say, "Oh, have you started yet?"

The weird part is that I haven't lost an ounce. Nothing. I've been weighing myself after I get out of the shower and for a while, it looked like I had lost about 5#, but this week, I'm right back where I started.

Oh well.

I know weight fluctuates and it's better to do a moving average plot, but I don't feel like it, so I'm just weighing every day and pretty much shrugging at the result.

Still, I do feel better and that's worth the effort right there.

How I see myself these days. Or something like that.
:-)

Monday, February 11, 2019

13 Years Of Blogging

... is a cry for help, right?

It are my blogiversary today, so I'll self-indulge a bit more than usual.

This has been a tough year for blogging. Some days are easy and I can sit down and blast out a long essay. Other days, I just don't feel like doing it, but I can't fight the OCD. I'm not carrying my cameras around like I used to, so the photoblogging thing is only available as a backstop from time to time.

I've thought a great deal about quitting this last year. I wonder what life would be like without the need to write every day. Since polemics are so easy for me, does the blog actually make me a worse person as I look for things to rant about?

On that note, I read someone say that taking a break from Twitter was like taking a break from anthrax. I then looked at my raw timeline, which is made up mostly of Catholics, and found that it was still an intensely negative feed. You didn't feel uplifted when you read it, you just wanted to wave your arms and yell.

Working on my most recent set of written goals, I've decided that I want to have more positive thoughts. Thinking about things for which I'm grateful would really help. I'm pondering starting or ending every blog post with a random thing for which I'm grateful. Like this.

I'm grateful for: Being born in AD instead of BC. What a drag it would be to live in a world untouched by Christ. Even were I Jewish, God would be infinite and distant. If I were pagan, it wouldn't take much thought to realize it was all hooey. And then there's the implicit, Christian ethics that shape our laws and behavior. I'm not thinking that the Romans cared all that much for loving the least among them.

Plus, I wouldn't want to walk around with a vegetable-cleaning brush on my head.
Not sure if I'll do it, but it might improve the general mood of the writing. It's hard to get angry when you think of how lucky you are.

As always, thanks for visiting and commenting. Love you guys!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A Modern Day Knute Rockne

... if he were a priest or a bishop, probably wouldn't look down into the pews, shake his head and say, "You know what's wrong with you? Here's what's wrong with you ..."

I want to work this out a little more, but I don't have the time today. Instead, I'll just make the point that if you're losing customers, you might want to show some appreciation for them once in a while instead of every homily being a list of things we need to improve.

Looking out on his players who face the coming week as definite underdogs, Knute delivers a rousing speech.
"You guys are the worst. The. Worst."

Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Green Slave Deal

Looking at this summary of the Green New Deal, here are some "benefits" of the thing.
  • A government-guaranteed job,
  • Free education for life,
  • A salubrious diet,
  • A house, and
  • Free money.
The difference between that list and the list Antebellum, Southern politicians gave for the benefits of slavery is one of degree, not kind. Sadly, I'd suggest that the Southerners offered a better deal as only some of the population would live as slaves whereas under the Green New Deal, we all would.

Yay.

Update: After I found the quote from Senator Calhoun (D-SC, 1850), the whole thing fell into place for me. Socialism is slavery. Master/government will give you a job. If you do not do the job you will be punished in some way. If you do the job, master/government will give you all the necessities of life and you might be allowed to keep some small portion of what you created.

The Green New Deal is just another way to getting to the desired end state: socialist slavery.

It's even harder being a slave.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Tiny, Purple Flowers

... run laughing through your fingers
And you want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winter

Her name is Aphrodite
And she rides a crimson shell
You know you cannot leave her
For you touched the distant sands
With apologies to Cream.

I shot these yesterday while at my mom's house and I think they're exquisite. I left the image quite large, so I think it's worth a click. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Gulp

Or is it too much gulping?

I'm at my mom's house, occupied with odds and ends. There's a wedding photo here of wife kitteh and me. That was several years and, apparently, a whole lot of fried chicken ago.

😉

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Buying In At The Peak

... is what the Catholic leadership is doing with the Secular Left.

Dig this article from the San Francisco Chronicle.
San Francisco has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude.

There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco — that’s about 8,500 more people than the nearly 16,000 students enrolled in San Francisco Unified School District’s 15 high schools and illustrates the scope of the problem on the city’s streets.
San Francisco is one of the flagship cities of the Secular Left and it's rotten to the core. If you've got 50% more addicts than high school students, you're on the highway to Hell. Check out this snippet of the photo from the article.


The caption reads "Officer Brian Donohue checks on Jeffrey Choate after he sees him lying on the sidewalk along Larkin Street and asks him to dispose of used needles next to him in a proper container." You just throw up your hands at that, don't you? San Fran has a needle distribution program where they handed out something like 4,500,000 clean ones to the addicts last year.

What's the long-term plan here? Just where do you think Jeff is going to be in, say, 5 years? Pushing up the daisies is where Jeff is going to be. If that's what your poster-child city is doing, then you're holding jack-high nothing and bluffing all the way in the poker game of cultural competition.

Meanwhile, the pope, our cardinals and our bishops are all rushing this way and that, groveling in front of the Secular Left, going so far as to kick their own kids in the groin to prove their bona fides to them.

Way back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I was sorely tempted to buy into the stock market right before the dot-com bubble popped. That was around the "delusion" point in the chart below, which is where I think the Secular Left is as well.


Instead of buying in, I kept my money on the sidelines and ended up quite happy with the results.

Catholics would be wise to do the same today.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Kamala Harris Makes The Case For Slavery

Dig this speech made by a senator from the distant past. I made a few changes to the text, marked in italics.
I may say with truth, that in few countries so much is left to the share of the laborer, and so little exacted from him, or where there is more kind attention paid to him in sickness or infirmities of age as it is under socialism. Compare his condition with the tenants of the poor houses in the capitalist portions of the world–look at the sick, and the old and infirm laborer, on one hand, in the midst of his family and friends, under the kind superintending care of the government, and compare it with the forlorn and wretched condition of the pauper in the poorhouse.
Does that sound like Kamala or Bernie or Hillary or any of the rest of the socialists or what? The original speaker was John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and he was talking about slavery, which isn't much different from socialism. Slaves/workers get health care, housing, guaranteed work, heck, they get dignity. In exchange for that, the master/government gets some of the fruits of his labor.

Don't look too carefully at how big that "some" might be.

If you want to read the original, you can find it here.

I'm always struck by how similar the pitch for socialism is to the pitch for slavery as a moral good. When I saw this Calhoun speech excerpt this morning, it leaped off the screen at me.

Is there something about being a pro-slavery Democrat that makes your eyes bug out like you're completely bonkers?

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Worrying About Pointless Things

... is what happens when we all get in a lather about whether some medical student went to a party in blackface.

It's also how we show that we really care, if the unimportant thing is currently hip, like people in blackface. We're standing up against hatred and bigotry while not actually accomplishing anything.

Meanwhile, about half of all black pregnancies end in abortion and of the remaining babies who are born, about 3/4 of them don't have a married father in the house. That means that in about 7/8 of all black pregnancies, the woman is effectively abandoned.

It's all good, though. We tell everyone that all families are equal and we stand up against drunk med students wearing blackface costumes. Don't worry about the fatherless children in the black community or the rest of the country which isn't far behind. They'll be fine.

As Crosby, Stills and Nash would say, love the one you're with, man. It's all groovy.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Speak The Truth With Love

I've blogged a few times in the past months about my close friend who decided she was a man. I haven't agreed with that and it's led me to being excommunicated in the literal sense. We used to see a lot of each other and in the last year or so, she hasn't seen fit to see me, call me or even text. She wants to get together tomorrow for reasons that are unclear to me.

What do you say under such circumstances? Do you argue, do you stand your ground, do you agree with whatever she demands?

Listening to the Clerically Speaking podcast, which I can't recommend highly enough, I heard Father Anthony say, "Speak the truth with love." I now have an opportunity to put this wisdom into action.

My approach going in will be to say that I love what God made. She is a beautiful person and I love her. I'll be very careful not to use names or pronouns and do that out of love for her. I don't know what else I can do. I won't join in with the Social Justice mob and tell her she should hack off body parts and jam herself full of testosterone. By the same token, I won't assume that strident, biology-based arguments by me are going to change her mind. As Zig Ziglar would say, a prospect never buys your product because you won an argument with them. They buy based on emotional responses to what you're saying.

The truth is I love her the way she was born. Mutilating her body and drugging herself aren't an improvement on what God created.

I'm under no illusions that some golden oration by me is going to make huge difference in her life. I certainly have enough examples from my own life where people made wonderfully logical arguments against me taking one stupid action or another and I went right ahead and nuked myself anyway.

All I can do is speak the truth with as much love as possible.

Friday, February 01, 2019

It's Not The Met Gala, It's The After Party

... where they all talk about how the Deplorables are, well, deplorable.

The inestimable Sid Pound, who inestimable because he follows me on Twitter, posted this clever tidbit.

If you're not keeping up with Catholic Twitter, we Catholics are enraged that the pusillanimous Cardinal Dolan of NY won't excommunicate Heinrich Himmler Governor Cuomo after he cut the ribbon for the opening of a new death camp signed into law a bill for slaughtering babies. A lot of Catholics are wondering just what it would take to get excommunicated. I'm not.

Sid's right, the Cardinal would miss out on all the parties thrown by the Secular Left. He probably gets invites to many of them as he's a (mostly) reliable member of the cult. You could see his extreme discomfort in his whiny statements on the bill. "Come on, guys, we're all good progressives together. Why did you do this? Golly, now I'm going to have to figure out what to say to those mouth-breathing cretins that go to our churches every Sunday. It's just not fair."

Losing out on the parties would be bad enough, but the underlying, err, excommunication from the Team on the Right Side of History would be far worse. All of those Smart People in the Secular Left would get the wrong idea and yell at him. It would take forever to restore his reputation as a prog and who wants to waste time doing that when there's Global Warming Climate Change to fight?

So the good cardinal consulted his canon lawyer, who should be shot out of a cannon along with the cardinal, and got the all-clear sign. "Nope, can't do it. I'd love to show my spine, but he says I can't. Since my staff keeps my spine in a jar in the back office, I can't very well show it without their permission. Let's all just issue some Strongly Worded Statements and then get back to being disappointed with the nastiness in our society."

The real, unspoken reason he didn't pull the trigger on Cuomo is pretty simple.

He didn't want to because for the most part, he agrees with the guy. The cardinal is a member of the Secular Left himself. He believes in almost all of their tenets. Their politics are more important than any particular law and certainly more important than the Catholic faith. If a few babies need to die of exposure in the cause of Social Justice, well, you can't make a Resist Omelette without breaking a few fertilized eggs.

It's a few eggs. I mean, in the grand scheme of all births in the world, it's really just a few.