Charlie's Blog: April 2016

4.30.2016

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 11


The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
GROUCHO MARX

1. COMBOXES

Rod Dreher asks a question. Are comments sections worth it? Now, I could answer that question in the comments section of his article, but that would be a waste of time. So, I answer it here. No, comments sections are not worth it.

When I was a libertarian and an atheist, I had no problem having a Wild West combox policy here on my blog. I had a thick skin, so I could take it. In fact, I think people enjoyed when I would mix it up with the trolls. Trolls are to bloggers what hecklers are to comedians. They can be gifts if you know how to handle them. I knew how to handle them. Then, things got bad.

I wrote a post about another blogger who had deleted his blog under a firestorm of controversy. So, the people from that blog migrated to my blog to turn that blog post into a public forum on the guy. This was fine with me including the personal attacks on the guy. Then, people started attacking the guy's family and started publishing their home addresses and personal phone numbers. This was too much for me. Basically, these fools were trying to egg others on in behavior that I find immoral and  criminal. I deleted the comments, followed by the post, and finally, the combox feature on the C-blog. I was done. It was my first lesson in the limits of freedom.

You can't have freedom without morals and ethics. Most of the commenters in a combox don't have high morals and ethics. These people might be respectable in life, but they lose it when cloaked in anonymity and armed with F-bombs which represent their level of thought.

Dreher claims that his policing of comboxes has made them better. The reality is that the guy doesn't have a dayjob like other bloggers, so he has the time to police his blog and mix it up with people. I'm not one of those bloggers. I have to work for a living.

2. DEBT

Noah Millman writes about the indebted way we live now and makes some salient points that I find agreeable. Other points are not so agreeable stemming from a Friedmanite/Keynesian understanding of economics. Here is a great point he makes:
That’s very true – but it’s worth recognizing that it’s nothing new. Read Trollope, or Balzac, or, Tolstoy, or, well, any novelist of the 19th century, and you’ll find the books peopled with members of the gentry struggling with debt problems. Sometimes they go into debt because of bad habits – gambling, frequently – but plenty of times it’s about keeping up position. You only have so much income from your lands, but you need to keep up a place in society so that your children will marry well, and, well, soon the cost of keeping up that position has bankrupted you.
This position has indeed been democratized, thanks to credit cards, and it’s possible that Gabler and people like him just don’t recognize that they are the functional equivalent of impoverished gentry in the 19th century. But credit cards themselves are merely the latest manifestation of a long history of financial innovation to extend credit – innovation that tends to get more innovative in response to opportunity. Because those with credit to extend will always find ways to extend it as far as is profitable – and then use force, if necessary, to make sure they are repaid. Read Livy. His description of the Roman republic is an instructively repetitive tale of plebeians going deeper and deeper into debt, rioting against their patrician creditors, getting some relief, and then starting the cycle over again – a cycle that only “ended” by turning to plunder and conquest, first of Italy, then of the rest of the Mediterranean world.
Without a doubt, people who borrow money bear a great deal of blame for their indebtedness. But what about the person stuck with a hospital bill they could not pay because they were in a traffic accident on the way to the job interview for the position that didn't offer health insurance? What about the college student that pursued the hot field of petroleum engineering until the oil market collapsed leaving them with a pile of student loan debt they can't repay with their job at Starbucks?

With debt, we can blame the victim but not entirely. College tuition is off the charts mainly because of usury. The same was true of the housing bubble and now, the used car market. The fact is that "finance" is inherently destructive. For some reason, we can blame the reckless borrower for bad behavior, but we can't blame the reckless lender for their own lack of wisdom in lending to such people. So, we have laws that protect those lenders which creates the sort of moral hazards we see with finance capitalism today.

Usury is the problem. Fractional reserve banking, paper money, derivatives, and "too big to fail" exacerbate a problem the ancients already knew about. The best advice I can give to people is to never borrow money. Cut up those credit cards. Live like a pauper.

3. TARGET BOYCOTT

One million people have pledged to boycott Target over its transgender bathroom policy. Now, there is a reason that corporations and businesses are so bland when it comes to politics and cultural issues. It loses you customers. The best business rule is to not let business and politics mix. Yet, recently, many business leaders are coming out in support of LGBT issues either because they are gay themselves like Tim Cook from Apple or merely want to look courageous when it will cost them nothing. Of course, you end up looking like a hypocrite for boycotting Indiana for defending religious liberty while still continuing to do business with Saudi Arabia who executes homosexuals. It is best to keep your business and your issues at some distance.

The problem with a boycott is that it also puts you in the same hypocritical stance. If you boycott Target for its bathroom policy, why not boycott Starbucks for supporting Planned Parenthood? And if you are boycotting Starbucks, why not also boycott Microsoft, Verizon, and AT&T for the same thing? And if you boycott Target, why not boycott Walmart for its labor practices? Where does it end? Finally, what do you about your income taxes which also fund Planned Parenthood?

When it comes to material cooperation with evil, you can boycott those things which support evil directly like a company that produces pornography. But then, you get into mixed areas. For instance, should you boycott a pharmacy because they offer Plan B? At some point, you would just have to stop buying and selling completely because you are going be supporting evil somewhere. And you might as well go to prison for not paying your taxes. It just gets too stupid at some point.

I think the transgender bathroom policy of Target is stupid and evil. But I still have to live, so I'm not boycotting anything. In this world, consumer and political choices are not between the perfect and the imperfect. It is between the evil and the lesser evil.

This issue came up during St. Paul's time, and he writes about it in his epistles. In his day, the question was whether it was moral or not moral to buy meat that had been offered to pagan idols. Paul counseled people to obey their consciences in the matter. For instance, I love to drink a cold beer, but I would not bring a six pack of PBR to the Baptist picnic. Intention is the deciding factor. We should never intentionally offend people nor intentionally support evil. If you don't shop at Target anymore, I understand.

4. Q & A

Q: If you could choose, how do you want to die?

A: This question was put to George Noory on Coast to Coast AM. Noory's response was typical about dying peacefully in his sleep. My response will be atypical. I want to die a martyr's death for Jesus Christ. He died for me, and I can think of nothing greater to give to Him than my own life. But God chooses how we die, so I leave my fate in His hands.

5. ODDS AND ENDS

--The Ted Cruz campaign is done. Picking Carly as a running mate is a Hail Mary pass.

--It is becoming apparent that Prince died from a drug overdose. There should probably be a conversation on celebrity prescription drug use, but I don't think it will happen.

--Raising the minimum wage only makes it cheaper to employ robots.

--Distributists need to learn economics. Economists need to learn morality.

--Apple is done. With China shutting it out and Steve Jobs in his grave, the company has reached the end. Without innovation or emerging markets, Apple will begin to burn its cash horde until it implodes. Carl Ichan must agree.

--Trump causes riots. Is this because lazy people see the welfare gravy train ending? They need not fear because Trump is really a Democrat.

--That nuclear deal with Iran will go down as one of the stupidest treaties ever negotiated by the USA.

6. QUOTABLE QUOTES

A habit of prayer - the practice of turning to God and the unseen world in every season - will make a soul no longer what it was before.--Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.--Alexander Tyler on the fall of the Athenian Republic

Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.--C.S. Lewis

There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for.--J.R.R. Tolkien

7. LINKS OF INTEREST

Secret Shame of the Middle Class

8 Things You Should Know About the Armenian Genocide

Voris vs. Shea

Distributism Is the Future (That Few People Want)

In the Name of the Profit


4.25.2016

O/O


Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
JAMES 1:27 NASB

The conflict with modernists and traditionalists within the Roman Catholic Church is a fierce one. Modernists undermine orthodoxy with their calls both overt and covert for things like embracing LGBT issues, allowing remarried adulterers to take communion, and the clown Mass. The Mods are wrong in this, but they do get one thing right. They care about the poor and the marginalized and are passionate about social justice. Traditionalists want orthodoxy restored and for the Church to be faithful to the Magisterium and the deposit of faith given to us by the Lord and His apostles. Yet, I don't see many Traddies out there feeding homeless people or sorting clothes at St. Vinnie's. The Traddies believe everything will be fine if we could rescind Vatican II and restore the traditional Latin Mass. Which side is right? The fact is that they are both right and both wrong.

A true Catholic is one who combines both orthodoxy and orthopraxy. This does not mean that you simply take the middle road between extremes. This means embracing both extremes at the same time. Orthodoxy is right belief. Orthopraxy is right practice. James in his epistle tells us that we need both of these elements to have pure and undefiled religion. This is vitally important.

Two amazing women who I expect to be canonized were Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa. Despite the inflitration by modernists in Catholic Worker houses today, Dorothy Day was a true Catholic. She was radical in her orthopraxy but devout in her orthodoxy. She held to all that the Church teaches, but she also fed the poor and campaigned against evils in society. Mother Teresa was the same way being orthodox but also compassionate to the poor in Kolkata. Both were faithful daughters of the Roman Catholic Church in both word and deed.

Today, many Catholics do not have pure and undefiled religion. They either champion orthopraxy over orthodoxy or orthodoxy over orthopraxy. Their religion becomes subordinate to their politics. This needs to stop. Then, you have lay people who have neither orthodoxy nor orthopraxy. They are Catholics in Name Only and represent the lukewarm St. John warned us about in Revelation.

Faith without works is dead. We hear that all the time, but I don't think we grasp its meaning. Works are not a substitute for faith. This is the error of the modernists. Conversely, traditionalists seem like mere complainers because they care more about straining the gnats of the liturgy than doing the corporal works of mercy. The result is that you have Catholic apostolates that look like fronts for communism while you have hardcore parishes with Latin Masses that are good at catering to the faithful who don't live a finger in works of mercy for fear of being seen as communists.

Today, these two women are being co-opted by the two groups. Modernists love Dorothy Day because of her checkered past and commitment to non-violence and social justice. But she loved the Latin Mass and was a pro-lifer. Similarly, traditionalists love Mother Teresa because she angered the lefties who wanted to co-opt her with a Nobel Peace Prize by preaching about the evils of abortion. But Mother Teresa was more radical than even Dorothy Day in her simplicity and compassion for the poor. The fact is that orthodox Catholics today use Mother Teresa as a symbol instead of an example.

Orthodoxy without orthopraxy is worthless. Similarly, orthopraxy without orthodoxy just turns the Church into an NGO. Faith and works are a package deal. You have to do both. If you're not doing both, you are not becoming a saint but merely pretending. If we really believe, we will really do things. And we can only do things and give hope to others when we really believe in Heaven and not some socialist utopia that can never be. We live in a fallen world. Those who do not combine faith and works deny this elemental doctrine.

4.23.2016

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 10


I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
STEVEN WRIGHT


Ben Bernanke is without a doubt one of the biggest fools to ever chair the Federal Reserve. If you follow the link above, you will find a wonkish blog entry that obscures the basic idea that the Fed can stimulate an economy by injecting money into the economy in various ways. Basically, it is the idea that you can increase the water in an almost empty swimming pool by taking water from the deep end and pouring it into the shallow end. The problem with the Federal Reserve, and its line of chairmen is that they believe they actually control the economy when they actually control just the money supply. By destroying the stable value of the currency, they create economic uncertainty and increase malinvestment by those parties receiving the debased currency. But the prosperity of an economy is not based on its supply of dollars but on the supply of goods and services. The Federal Reserve is simply a gigantic wealth destruction machine. The disturbing thing is that these fools actually think they are making things better. It's like the old practice of bloodletting where doctors bled patients who got better right up to the point that they died usually from severe loss of blood.

Buy gold. Seriously. These fools have the plane headed for the mountainside, and they believe they need more throttle because turning the plane to a different course might cause turbulence. FOOLS!

2. PRINCE

I was stunned when I got the text on my phone that Prince had died. He is the only guy I know who could manage to die young at 57. I feel old at 45, yet that guy was still a creative wonder to behold. Unlike Michael Jackson, Prince's death left a musical hole because the guy still had juice in the tank. Prince was a combination of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly and the Family Stone. I think he was an absolute musical genius.

As I write this, they are sorting out the details concerning his death. An autopsy and toxicology report will have to be done, so I've learned to hold my fire until the evidence is in. Never come to conclusions until you have the facts. When that happens, I will have more to say then.

The thing I admire most about Prince was his prolific creativity. That guy turned out a massive amount of music for himself and for other artists. It is rumored that he has a vault of unreleased recordings that is so vast that we may be getting posthumous album releases from Prince for the next century. It makes me want to get to work on my writing.

May God grant him peace.

3. VORIS

Michael Voris recently came out with a heartfelt and moving confession prompted by threats of nefarious types in the Archdiocese of New York to expose his past and cause scandal. That effort on their part seems to be backfiring as I have read many comments of support for Mr. Voris. I must admit that his confession puts my opinion of him in an entirely new light, and I see that the work of his entire apostolate at Church Militant comes from a sincere place. Whatever his flaws, Voris honestly loves God and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese of New York and the evildoers there would do well to listen to Michael Voris and repent of their sins. If God can forgive Voris, He can forgive them, too. I think this is all Voris wants is for evil priests and prelates to repent in sackcloth and ashes for the sake of their souls and the souls of the flock in their charge. I support what Church Militant is doing. I will keep praying for them and their work.

4. PUBLIC RESTROOMS

This country has reached a new low of idiocy when so many on the Left will go to the mattresses over where trannies go to pee. Let me inject common sense into this debate. Men are men. Women are women. Transgender freaks are psychologically disturbed individuals who mutilate themselves in a vain attempt to deny what is in their DNA. If it was up to me, sexual reassignment would be outlawed in this country. Any doctor practicing this butchery would lose his or her license at a minimum and face prison time if that is what it takes.

The real issue here is that Charlotte, NC, passed a law letting people choose whichever restroom or dressing room suited their "identity" instead of their actual biology. Naturally, some pervert would take advantage of such nonsense to expose his uncircumcised member in the presence of ladies in these private spaces and hide under the cover that he identified as female. The State of NC simply reasserted common sense in the matter prompting leftist fools like Bruce Springsteen to reassert idiocy in response to this common sense.

The Left has always been stupid, but this is a new level of imbecility even for them. Public urination can get you on the sex offenders registry for life even if you were caught peeing in the bushes. Yet, the Left wants to fight for perverts to expose themselves and for women to be ogled by these perverts in private spaces. It just blows the mind. And just when you think Donald Trump would come to the rescue with some politically incorrect common sense, the guy absolutely blows it. Trump is a choke artist. I think many Trump voters and supporters already regret casting a ballot for the guy.

5. ODDS AND ENDS

--I support the Brexit. Sovereignty matters.

--I don't have an issue with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. She was an awesome American. But I know it will end with Harvey Milk on the $20 bill and maybe Caitlyn Jenner after that. This is what the Left does.

--Barack Obama is the worst president in my living memory. He is so bad that even Bill Clinton talks smack about him. When O leaves office, I think there will begin a trickle of criticism followed by a tsunami. He is an abomination to this country.

--I believe Hillary will be the next POTUS. That is a grim prospect especially with that SCOTUS vacancy.

--Christian parents need to homeschool their children. Good private schools are also wise. Public schools are a disaster and represent a form of child abuse and neglect.

--The sportcoat and blue jeans thing is ridiculous. Either wear slacks or ditch the coat.



4.19.2016

Bonzo's Montreux


Not everybody likes or understands a drum solo, so I like to bring in effects and sounds to keep their interest.
JOHN BONHAM

This song comes from the last Zep album, Coda, which was a collection of various tracks from Led Zeppelin's span. Basically, it is a drum solo, but it has a musical quality to it that makes it distinct from other drum solos. Without a doubt, John Bonham was one of the greatest drummers in rock music. My favorite drum work of his is on "When the Levee Breaks." Without the drums, it wouldn't be a rock song. It would be a blues song, but those thundering drums make the song totally rock.

I have been tremendously busy lately with an epic reading binge. This is why I haven't written much for the past week or so despite having a backlog of posts on my list. I feel like my brain wants to explode with all the things I want to get on the electronic page. But I have been reading this book that has captured my fascination. It is a disturbing book and a sad book. Yet, I suspect that many of the things in this work of fiction are actually fact. I will definitely cover this in the review I do on the book, but it is something I'm not able to put down. I've neglected the blog and other things in the meatspace of my life to finish this almost 700 page novel. I am at the halfway point as I write this.

I hate binges. My last epic binge came when I would have epic marathons of DVD watching with The Wire, the greatest television show ever made. I would get the discs from Netflix three at a time, and I basically spent virtually every waking non-working hour of my life for the next month watching every single episode. It was highly addictive. This novel I am reading is not as addictive. For something that I found really good, I recommend The Count of Monte Cristo. That was one of the best reads ever. I was homeless at the time in the late nineties, and that book carried me through many lonely hours.

I don't think the novel I am reading is great literature, but it is compelling because of those factual elements. I would probably be done with the book except I keep taking breaks to go to the internet to see if it is true. The things I have discovered in those searches cause me a great deal of grief. Evil is real, and its best trick is to disguise itself as an angel of light.

There are never enough hours in a day for me, so I have to just deal with doing things in their time. I will write again when I finish reading that book.

4.10.2016

The Song Remains the Same


The Song Remains The Same is not a great film, but there's no point in making excuses. It's just a reasonably honest statement of where we were at that particular time. It's very difficult for me to watch it now, but I'd like to see it in a year's time just to see how it stands up.
JIMMY PAGE

When you create things, they do not always turn out well. Obviously, Zep's concert film was one of those creative failures. I watched it once, and I didn't think it was so awesome. Of course, I have the same opinion of U2's Rattle and Hum. I can't recall a single rock band film that was any good unless you count the satirical Spinal Tap movie. The reason these movies are not so good is because rock stars are not movie stars. I remember when MTV had music videos, and the prediction was that only good looking people would be able to make music in the future. Metallica finally made a video when they said they never would, and we knew they had sold it. Then, Pearl Jam stopped making videos, and that heralded a return to rock and roll integrity.

Rock stars aren't movie stars. The best group when it came to the visual was Pink Floyd. They basically disappeared behind their visual presence which I see as pure genius. The Wall has become a cult classic even if most of the people who watch it are stoned. The lesson in all of these various anecdotes is that musicians should stick with music. I think this lesson applies to other areas beyond music.

I enjoy art and music, but I choose to do neither. Except for playing guitar to the annoyance of others and chopping up pictures with MS Paint, I stick to writing. I thought about writing children's literature, but I feel kid's books need pictures. I can't draw. I am not artistically inclined. Likewise, I am not an actor. I think I am a decent as a public speaker but only because I am basically reading stuff I wrote. I'm not a speaker so much as a reader. I couldn't do podcasting or talk radio.

I see talents and skills as occupying a spectrum. There are things we do really well. There are things we do with average results. Then, there are things we are utterly incompetent on. I don't think you should waste any time or life on things you are really bad at doing. Things you do on average tend to be those things we need to do for survival such as cooking a meal or mowing the lawn. I would include most jobs in this category as well. I have never been the MVP on any job I have ever had. I just show up and do things, and they pay me for it. I believe in having a good work ethic and doing good work. But work ethic is one thing, and talent is another. I don't have any talents beyond writing. even the writing talent might be questionable.

When your talent doesn't pay the bills, you have to question the value in it. I've made my peace with the writing thing. It is a hobby that I will do for the rest of my life, and it won't amount to anything. What has changed for me is the urgency to do it. When you know it doesn't matter, you do it with less enthusiasm. So, I can go a week without blogging, and it doesn't bother me. I have an entire list of story ideas, and I may get to them. But I probably won't. This is because it is a hobby.

I don't know why God made me a writer. So far, it has been one colossal waste. I probably could have become a dentist or something that paid well. But that would have required that I be way duller as a human being. The virtue of blue collar work is that it leaves your brain idle to spend on other things. There are things you do for money and things you do for love. For most people, their jobs are more serious while their leisure is meaningless. For me, life is the opposite. My job is something I do to pay bills, but I take my leisure with greater seriousness. When I tell people what I do in my free time, their eyes glaze over with boredom. Basically, I write, and I read. I don't watch sports. I don't play video games.

It is appropriate that the title for this one is The Song Remains the Same. I feel like I have written this same essay over and over again with my laments at not being Cormac McCarthy. But I think of a life spent merely working to pay bills so I can keep working, the writing thing becomes more appealling again. People who DJ at clubs over the weekend strike me as having more fun than people who simply sit in clubs drinking and waiting for the weekly grind to begin again.

I wrote this stuff las night. It is morning now. The coffee is making in the Chemex which takes forever but is worth the effort. People debate the best method for making coffee. One person told me the French press method was best. I got one, and I thought some grounds would make their way into my cup. I was right. But I find the press useful for travel because the dinky coffee makers in motels can't make decent coffee. But they can make hot water which I use in the press. I have also been known to use a microwave to get the hot water. I will always find a way to get coffee.

I started keeping a journal a couple of days ago. This has something I have done numerous times in the past but failed at doing. It really boils down to handwriting. I can tap at a keyboard all day, but writing in longhand takes an effort for me now. Yet, I feel it is important to write. Handwriting is becoming a lost skill, and I don't want to lose it. So, I am writing with my hand and a pen in a notebook. You wouldn't believe how hard it is. It blows my mind how much atrophy has happened. I am also forcing myself to write in cursive instead of that uppercase printing my old man used to do, and I do now for the sake of legibility. Cursive is how grown ups write. I feel like I am back in kindergarten.

I hear they want to nix the teaching of handwriting in public schools, and I am against this. Their reasoning is that everything is done on computer now. Why learn a needless skill? That's like nixing home ec because they invented the microwave. It is another reason for parents to homeschool their children.

I have a lot of topics on my mind lately. I want to write about the Benedict Option. I also want to write about being an autodidact. I also want to get some reviews on things I have read and watched lately. Then, there are all those great stories I never write. I am past my writing angst of late, and I feel the need to get back to a more workmanlike approach to the writing. This is Charlie's Blue Collar Gospel which is the belief that hard work will save you. I believe God helps people, but He refuses to do it alone. God wants your work. He may or may not crown it with success, but He never crowns laziness. So, I put my shoulder to the load, and I work now. Writing is my unofficial second job. I need to get serious about it.

4.09.2016

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 9


I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.
MITCH HEDBERG

1. AMORIS LAETITIA

Pope Francis finally releases his post-synod document, and the apostolic exhortation is exactly what I expected it to be--a turd wrapped in vagueness. I find it utterly despicable. I am not alone in this as other Catholics have issued their opinions on it as well that say virtually the same thing. The only positive thing I can say about it is that modernists and traditionalists both agree that the document gives a green light for priests to allow those Catholics living in adulterous second marriages to receive communion. For those in the middle, there is effort to spin this into orthodoxy. Personally, I don't care to delude myself with such nonsense.

I have not read the document in its entirety but skipped to the relevant bits. The thing is too long to read in one sitting, and it would take less time to read the four gospels. There is a reason for the length. When you want a dog to swallow a bitter pill, you wrap it in something he likes such as a steak. Basically, Francis is pulling some Jesuit trickery where he pays lip service to orthodoxy while undermining it. We see this at every Jesuit college, seminary, parish, and apostolate, so it should not be surprising that a Jesuit pope would follow the same playbook.

The big winners in this thing will be the German bishops and heterodox dioceses here in the USA that think this type of greenlight will bring people flooding back into the Catholic Church. This greenlight will also be used for the sake of homosexuals and cohabiting couples and on and on.  How do I know this? Because they already do this. The pontiff has simply given his official wink at these priests. The apostasy continues.

2. BILL CLINTON

Bill Clinton while swinging the campaign bat for Hillary accidentally spoke the truth to some Black Lives Matter protestors. The ensuing aftermath should be a wake up call to progressives and the world that the monster these fools have created will now eat its parents. Bill had to walk back his comments claiming that he is a doddering old man that runs his mouth too much. Amazing.

It is my belief that a liberal becomes conservative the moment they are hit with reality. I suspect that Bill Clinton in his mind became a conservative at that moment with the Black Lives Matter protestors. He has spent a lifetime being a stupid liberal, so he can't publicly change now. But in his heart, he has gone over to the Right. He knows what all conservatives know. Yet, he is trapped in being the husband of Hillary Clinton. Here was his most telling line:
You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns. . .
If a progressive lives long enough, they will wake up to find themselves to be conservatives. It reminds me of Charlie Bronson in Death Wish who begins the movie as a pantywaist liberal and ends the movie as a gun toting conservative. I will now say what Bill Clinton wanted to say but can't.

Black America is a disaster, and we can blame lingering racism, rogue cops, and a disproportionate rate of incarceration. But the biggest problem blacks have today is an inability to take responsibility for their own actions. This comes from that flawed narrative that blames everything on racism. Nevermind that this racist country and all those racist white people managed to elect a black president TWICE. Black people can't go anywhere because of racism. You have to wonder how Obama made it.

If your days are spent smoking dope. shooting rival gangbangers, and impregnating various females with bastard offspring you will have no role in raising, it will not be a service to your community. These things are not caused by racism but a decline in Christian morality. Basically. Bill Clinton is filling the hole vacated by Bill Cosby. Morality matters. Unfortunately, the two champions of this morality in the world of blacks and liberals have turned out to be complete moral degenerates. When you make a mockery of virtue, do not be surprised to find vice in your midst.

3. PANAMA PAPERS

The only surprise in the Panama Papers to me was that they were almost certainly leaked by someone high up in American government. The bombshell is the officials in governments around the world are corrupt using a shell company to hide dirty money from the tax collectors back home. So far, no big name Americans were named in the leak, but this is only because the USA is now so corrupt that the crooks can leave their cash parked here.

I am fond of saying that evil is never satisfied. That statement now comes with a corollary. Evil will eat itself. This realization dawned on me when it was revealed that Deep Throat from Watergate was FBI dirty man Mark Felt. Some fools try to paint this guy as some kind of principled hero who did the right thing, but this is a guy who was indicted and convicted for the same kind of abuse of power that brought down Nixon. Felt's motivation was simple revenge. Likewise, I suspect revenge was the reason behind the Panama Papers leak. This is evil eating itself.

The scandal here is not that these people weren't paying their taxes but how they got the money in the first place. Everyone knows that politicians are bought and sold, and the governments all over the world are virtual open markets in bribery and corruption. Here in the USA, we have a candidate in Donald Trump who admits to making political donations to Democrats in order to buy them off. In the USA, you have to pay to play.

4. ODDS AND ENDS

--It takes a special kind of madness to admit that an unborn baby is a person but doesn't have a constitutional right to live. Hillary condemns herself.

--Jon Stewart was a comedian who gave in to the cynicism of a journalist. He was hit with the realization that the joke of politics never ends. It depressed him, and he got out.

--I used to like Bruce Springsteen. Then, the guy decided to go to the mattresses over restrooms. The world has gone nuts when the common sense that a person with a penis shouldn't be in the ladies' room is now politically incorrect. Is this really something you want to make a sacrifice over? Bruce is an idiot.

--I have grown weary of waiting for the economic apocalypse. Central banking cannot fix the misery, but it can prolong it indefinitely. Lesson learned. You got me, Ms. Yellen.

--Colorado legalizes rain barrels. Now, you can water those pot plants on the cheap.

--40% of borrowers are in default on their student loans. The remaining 60% are in grad school or other tricks of deferment or have rich parents paying their bills.


5. QUOTABLE QUOTES

All liberal priests wanted was some sort of ambiguous text subtly (not openly) allowing them to give Communion to adulterers. They got that.--@RorateCaeli

The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too.He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marvelling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers.... In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true. We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.--Hilaire Belloc

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.--G.K. Chesterton

I was in misery, and misery is the state of every soul overcome by friendship with mortal things and lacerated when they are lost. Then the soul becomes aware of the misery which is its actual condition even before it loses them.--St. Augustine

I've appointed the Devil to tempt and to trouble My creatures in this life [St. Catherine of Siena reports that Our Lord said to her]. I've done this, not so that My creatures will be overcome, but so that they may overcome, proving their virtue and receiving from Me the glory of victory. And no one should fear any battle or temptation of the Devil that may come to him, because I've made My creatures strong, and I've given them strength of will, fortified in the Blood of My Son. Neither the Devil nor any other creature can control this free will, because it's yours, given to you by Me. By your own choice, then, you hold it or let it go if you please. It's a weapon, and if you place it in the hands of the Devil, it right away becomes a knife that he'll use to stab and kill you. On the other hand, if you don't place this knife that is your will into the hands of the Devil—that is, if you don't consent to his temptations and harassments—you will never be injured by the guilt of sin in any temptation. Instead, you'll actually be strengthened by the temptation, as long as you open the eyes of your mind to see My love, and to understand why I allowed you to be tempted: so you could develop virtue by having it proved. My love permits these temptations, for the Devil is weak. He can do nothing by himself unless I allow him. So I let him tempt you because I love you, not because I hate you. I want you to conquer, not to be conquered, and to come to a perfect knowledge of yourself and of Me.--St. Catherine of Siena


6. LINKS OF INTEREST










4.04.2016

How to Beat Porn Addiction


You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
MATTHEW 5:27-30 NASB

Once upon a time, concerned citizens like the Moral Majority and feminist groups went after the likes of Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler with little success except to put a needed stigma on pornography. Locally, groups would use zoning laws to go after strip clubs and adult bookstores to combat the filth in their community. Then, the internet happened, and all of those battles became a moot point. Thanks to technology, filth is piped directly into every home in America. The smartphone now makes that porn mobile. Any effort to combat pornography on the supply side of things is unwinnable. On the demand side, people are now acknowledging the problem. It affects marriages. It has degraded minds. It has led to darker forms of pornography that have gone beyond being merely immoral to being criminal.

Men have become ashamed of their addiction to this filth. They just can't stop looking at it. This is understandable because humans are sinners. They are weak. Temptation comes, and they yield to it. When I was a kid, we would joke that people looked at porn because they couldn't have the real thing. Now, men prefer porn to the real thing. This is because they do not understand the nature of porn. Porn is not about sex. Porn is about evil.

I sincerely doubt that any man can conquer porn addiction without divine assistance. This is not like quitting smoking or going on a diet. Porn cuts to the soul. As such, you will need God's help to beat this thing. I want to preface this at the outset, so I don't waste the time of atheists and other unbelievers. If you don't want God's help, you can stop reading here. Otherwise, let's begin.


1. Pray.

Before you begin with this problem, you need to get on your knees and ask God to help you. God can and will help you. God has helped and continues to help many people battling alcoholism, depression, anger, and many other besetting sins. When you pray, acknowledge that you cannot do this without God's help. By praying, you face the fact that you have a problem. Praying allows you to ask for God's forgiveness and gives you the resolve to move beyond this problem.


2. Develop your conscience.

This step we can accomplish right here. Masturbation is a sin. There is a reason you feel shame over this when you do this. If you don't feel shame, your conscience has become blunted. Unfortunately, many in the Protestant world seem OK with masturbation because they see no direct prohibition against it. Yet, I would argue that Jesus speaks about it in Matthew 5:27-30 quoted above. First, our Lord reminds us that adultery is a sin as found in the Ten Commandments. But then, He goes beyond that to talk about committing adultery in your heart. Most Christians are aware of this strengthening of the commandment from the Old Testament to the New Testament. But then Jesus gets all weird talking about plucking out eyes and cutting off hands. The people who heard this would know exactly what Jesus was talking about, but we seem to have lost the meaning today. Let me bring it back for you.

There were no dirty magazines or internet porn back in the days of Jesus. So, when perverts wanted to pleasure themselves, they would become peeping toms. They would peek in at women bathing or couples having sex or prostitutes doing their business. This would be the offending eye needing to be plucked out. Then, they would masturbate as they indulged their lust. This would be the offending hand needing to be cut off.

Does Jesus really want us to gouge out eyes and cut off hands? Of course not. But this was certainly His delicate way of condemning masturbation and what we know as pornography today. Lust is lust. Masturbation and pornography are sins. You shouldn't be doing this stuff.


3. See pornography as evil.

The Marquis de Sade was a vile and evil fellow. Yet, in his vileness, he gave us certain truths about evil. One of them is this. "If it is the dirty element that gives pleasure to the act of lust, then the dirtier it is, the more pleasurable it is bound to be." In that short statement, the Marquis de Sade cuts to why pornography and fornication and depraved sex are pleasurable. The pleasure is derived from the evil of the depravity. This is why people quickly grow bored with vanilla porn and go for ever increasing extremes of depravity involving homosexuality, bestiality, coprophagy, sado-masochism, and ultimately, child pornography. The Playboy crowd may balk about being lumped in with the likes of Jared Fogle, but they are merely at different points in their slide into moral oblivion. If you read de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom, you see a man who has catalogued this descent into evil such that sex vanishes into an orgy of torture, violence, and murder.

The pleasure of pornography comes from doing violence to the image of God in human beings. This is why people desire more degrading forms of pornography. This is also why a guy like de Sade went beyond mere lust in his fantasies to rape to human butchery. All evil is perpetrated as an offense to God. Even masochists wish to destroy the image of God within themselves. If God did not exist, pornography would have no power. But people hate God, and they wish to take pleasure in desecrating His image. This is undeniable when de Sade writes about the desecration of consecrated hosts in depraved sex acts. Why would an atheist take pleasure in desecrating something he doesn't believe to exist?

Pornography is against God. This makes it evil. Every person is worthy of the dignity given to them at their creation because God has made each and every one of us in His image. Seeing pornography should make us feel terrible inside and make us weep. You cannot love God and watch His image desecrated.


4. Turn to our Lady.

For centuries, men have been awful to women. In ancient history, women were little more than property to their men. This was the best treatment they could expect. The most likely scenario was a life under constant threat of rape. Men in the ancient world were little better than animals. They were pigs. Then, something strange happened. Men discovered chivalry. Where did this idea come from? The answer is obvious. It came from the Blessed Virgin Mary and devotion to her in Catholic Europe. This is how men in swords and armor went from being rapists to fighting for the honor of ladies. This is because honor paid to any woman is an honor paid to her. Whatever damage Eve wrought in her disobedience, Mary undid in her obedience to our Lord. She is the Mother of God. Without her, we would all be lost.

Chivalry is the honor men pay to our Lady. As such, men who mistreat women mistreat the Mother of God. Pornography is not just an affront against God but also against that pure woman who loves us more than our own mothers. Men across the ages have always taken special pleasure in deflowering virgins and in rape because they are trying to commit offense against the Blessed Mother. As Protestants have abandoned devotion to our Lady, you see a similar erosion in the regard they have for their own women. Protestantism killed chivalry

Pray and ask for the intercession of our Lady in fighting porn addiction. I recommend having her image on your computer, tablet, and smartphone as the wallpaper as a constant reminder to remain pure. Begin each day with three Hail Marys as a request for sexual purity. As you increase devotion to our Lady, you will find chivalry growing within you. You will treat women better. You will become sick of pornography. Seeing porn will have the same effect as seeing your mother, your sister, or your daughter in those despicable acts and situations. Porn will make you want to vomit.


5. Erect physical barriers.

You don't have to gouge out your eyes or cut off your hands, but you can do the next best thing. Have your computer in a public space. Downgrade to a dumb phone. Never take devices to private spaces. This was advice Pope Francis gave to families that children should not have computers in their bedrooms. Use the filters on the devices.


6. Beat boredom.

Boredom is the partner in crime to temptation. Boredom leads people back to their bad habits because it relieves the dullness. The best way to beat boredom is to conquer idleness. Read books. Go to the gym. Begin a hobby. It is said that idle hands are the Devil's workshop, and this is absolutely true when it comes to porn and masturbation. Life has many good things to offer, and you should enjoy them.


7. Develop a healthy sexuality.

Sex is not evil. Within the confines of marriage and properly ordered, sex is blissful. The Bible has an entire book about this called The Song of Solomon. There is a word for healthy sexuality, and this word is "romance." Sex should be wedded to love. When it is divorced from love, it becomes nothing more than scratching an itch. This is merely pain relief. It's like eating garbage because you can't bother fixing a proper meal. Pleasure should be more than just the satisfaction of a biological urge.


8. Go to confession.

Protestants are denied this wonderful sacrament, and many Catholics ignore it. But confession really is good for the soul. It feels awful to have to tell your sins to another person especially when those sins involve masturbation and pornography. But hearing the words of absolution is liberating. God really does forgive sins. When you stumble, this sacrament will help put you back on the right track. Knowing you will have to confess it makes you stop doing it. Feeling absolution gives you the courage to try again. You may fall seven times but resolve to get back up eight times.


9. Remain humble.

If you follow the advice in this article, you will experience success in conquering this sin. But you must also remember that it was God who delivered you from this sin. You may be tempted to look down on others still struggling with porn addiction. Don't do this. Satan can use your pride just as easily as your lust to bring you down. Thank God for His goodness and keep praying for strength.


10. Visit these websites.

You are not alone in this battle. Many men recognize and fight the same battle you fight. I recommend these websites and encourage you to join the fight against porn.





I hope this advice helps you, and I pray that you will be helped in this matter. The ultimate antidote to sin is love. Love God. Love our Lady. Love people. Love yourself. In the end, conscience is what wins this battle. We can't eradicate porn, but we can close our eyes to it. May God aid you in this fight.

4.03.2016

Physical Graffiti


I'm at my best when I am exhausted and under pressure.
JIMMY PAGE

Lately, I have been contemplating the benefits of sheer and utter exhaustion. It has been one week since my vacation, and I have to admit that I didn't get much done except rest and reflection. This is why the Jimmy Page quotation above keeps coming back to me. It lingers in my mind because it is the first time I have seen someone praising exhaustion. But there it is. Obviously, those words refer to that point in a concert or the end of a tour when he was tired. At that moment, his guitar playing became magical. I don't know what that is like because I don't play guitar. I write. But Page may be on to something.

I tend to write in the morning. The idea of writing after a day of work seems absurd to me. I have always tried to write from a point of freshness and clarity of mind. But I merely assume that this is when the best writing occurs. I can't remember ever trying it the other way. Naturally, I will have to give it a go. But it really would be a gamechanger for me if Page was right. I see exhaustion as hindrance, but it may be an asset.

I don't intend to stop sleeping or taking breaks. But I do think I can do more work. I suspect Page stumbled upon a benefit of corporal mortification. You don't want to be too easy on your body. You need to hurt and suffer on a regular basis. I swear by it.

In other stuff, I have given some thought to the trainwreck that is Donald Trump's hair. The conventional wisdom is that Trump is covering up baldness with a comb over technique, but my internet research indicates to me that the man is not bald underneath that bird nest of hair. One doctor speculated that he thinks Trump had a "flap" procedure where the scalp is cut and stretched to cover a bald spot. It sounds hideous to me, and I feel sorry for the man if he subjected himself to this butchery. My personal belief is that Bruce Willis had the perfect answer to male pattern baldness:


There is a dignity in a man who accepts that his hair is falling out. So, instead of fighting it, he embraces it. St. Paul writes in 1 Corintians 11:14, "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?" I won't place greater theological meaning on this verse except to say that St. Paul is pointing out the unmanliness of men who spend a great deal of time on their hair. Nature even takes the lead in this by making men bald.

The bald head is more manly. Do you doubt this? Here are some exhibits of what I am talking about. Here is KC from KC and the Sunshine Band with a full head of hair:


On this album cover, KC looks girly. This guy is a lover not a fighter. But then KC was blessed with male pattern baldness and found his manliness again as evidenced in this picture:


KC does not look like a girl here. He looks like a dude you don't want to mess with. In short, he looks like a man. When I think of men with a full head of hair, it reminds me of Travolta in Saturday Night Fever telling his family to watch out for his hair. He spends a lot of time on his hair. Pathetic.

Do real men shave their heads? Yes. Shaving your head is the extermination of vanity and the reclamation of manliness. People may argue this point with me, but this is how I win the argument:


The man bun is the abomination of our times. This is a disgrace to men everywhere. Now, I know in certain times and places men did not have access to scissors and razors. I get that. Jesus had some long hair in his times. Put me in the Antarctic for six months where water freezes before you can rinze your razor, and I will let my hair and beard grow like weeds. But it would all disappear the moment I got back to the States. To me, hair is something to be removed like dust from furniture.

Beards are another matter. Beards are manly. The reason men removed their beards was a military thing dating back to Alexander the Great who thought beards were a disadvantage in close combat. I've never thought to grab a man's beard in a fight, but I will keep it in mind if I ever duke it out with a member of ISIS. I think the primary reason the military likes the shaved face and head is because it eliminates the head lice problem that was almost certainly an issue with men living in close quarters. Personally, I never worry about lice or picking up ticks in the woods.

Trump's hair is a disaster, and I think he would be better to have shaved it. Unfortunately, such a step would be drastic at this stage. Sudden changes like that make people think you lack self-confidence. Trump is committed to looking ridiculous, and he pulls it off.


Recently, I read an article from John Allen over at Crux, and this bit jumped out at me:
On that landscape, here’s another category I’ve long felt would be useful: Documents that cause a huge fuss in the media, but change little on the ground.
As a classic for-instance, take Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 decree liberalizing permission for celebration of the older Latin Mass. It sparked widespread debate, with many liberals seeing it as an attempt to roll back the clock on the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), and traditionalists predicting it would transform Catholic worship in the direction of sobriety and reverence.
Almost a decade later, however, its practical effect has been fairly limited. Most Catholics who wanted access to the older Mass already had it, and neither the apocalypse nor the renaissance suggested by overheated commentary ever occurred.
The article was not about the Latin Mass, so this passage was relatively disposable. Yet, it makes a damning indictment that Traddies would probably prefer not to hear. When Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, it opened up everything Traddies needed to restore the Latin Mass. Ever since Vatican II, we've heard how the old mass would restore the Catholic Church to its former glory days. The TLM would match and surpass the Novus Ordo as the preferred Mass. It would be the first step in a long restoration of Catholicity in the Church and the wider world. These expectations have yet to be met. In fact, the Latin Mass in a parish or diocese is likely to be the one least attended. Monsignor Charles Pope wrote an incisive article this year about this problem. Basically, the TLM had great attendance at the beginning when it was reintroduced and then faded out. Like it or not, the Traddies have lost the argument on this.

Truth is not defined by what is popular, so I don't want to make arguments about the validity of the TLM from numbers. I appreciate the Latin Mass. I like that it is celebrated. But the effect of Summorum Pontificum has been to render mute all those arguments the Trads make. The simple fact is that most Catholics prefer the Novus Ordo. This includes the faithful Catholics who attend Mass weekly and even daily. Traddies may deride the Novus Ordo for being "Protestant," yet they never bother asking what Protestants get right about worship. They had this wacky idea that people wanted to understand what was being said when they worshipped. They wanted to be included.

The Trad answer is not that they needed the freedom to do it the right way. They need the prohibition on others to keep them from doing it the wrong way. This attitude has what has sidelined these people into irrelevance. The most potent example of this irrelevance is the SSPX. Perhaps if these people would return to the fold and attend the Latin Masses offered, it would be a different story. As it stands, these people aren't budging. They like being on the outside. Being against something is what has defined them. It's like Republican pundits who secretly wish Hillary was president because it makes their jobs easier when they have an enemy to bash. I read an article where someone made the argument many pro-life groups would rather keep abortion legal because outlawing it would mean they would have to get new jobs. This is the same argument I hear people make about drug companies that seek to relieve symptoms of disease as opposed to finding cures. The simple fact is that the enemies of change are often the people who clamor for it the most.

I'm out of time now. I have to go shave my head for church.

4.02.2016

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 8


A soul that trusts God is invincible.
MOTHER ANGELICA

1. MOTHER ANGELICA

Many things happened in the world this week, but the biggest story to me was the death of Mother Angelica on Easter. The rest of the world went on oblivious to the fact that a holy person has passed on to her reward. But among the faithful who knew her, she was celebrated for a remarkable life and an uncommon faith.

I cannot properly estimate the impact Mother Angelica has had on my life and my faith. Part of it is direct because of the many hours of programming I have watched with her. The rest is indirect as EWTN is the most watched channel in my home. Second place is my wife switching between CNN, Fox, and MSNBC as she gathers in the various perspectives on news events. As a new Catholic, EWTN served as a valuable source of catechesis.

My personal belief is that Mother Mary Angelica was and is a saint. The reason this is so valuable is that her life and all those hours of programming give us an insight in what a saint is like. Most saints we only know through writing, but we can get a feel for Mother Angelica's personality because of her TV show. Those who knew her will tell you she was the same on-air as she was off-air. With Mother, what you see is what you get.

I have deep admiration and love for this woman. She was frail in body but invincible in spirit. Her spine was damaged in an accident with a floor scrubber, but I think it was God's way of showing the world that the woman had a backbone made from a rod of iron. She was tough, sincere, honest, kind, humble, and wise. She represents what should all aspire to be. When she passed, I prayed to God Almighty that He would give me her boldness. She was a saint but also a hero.

Not everyone loved Mother Angelica. She was a thorn in the side of prelates who are against tradition and orthodoxy. She was a throwback to the old school Catholicism when being Catholic meant something. This blossomed into much fruit that we see lacking amongst the modernists. When you lack fruit, the next best thing is to steal someone else's fruit. EWTN was a prize these Judases wanted to take. What they don't understand is what makes EWTN what it is which is the orthodox Catholic faith. And when EWTN loses this, it will wither and die. Some argue that this is already happening.

What Mother Angelica had is free for everyone. Anyone can be a saint like her. Being a sincere and devoted Catholic will make you a better person. And any work done for the Lord in the right spirit will yield fruit. God used a busted up old nun to create EWTN from a garage. If He can use her for great things, He can certainly use you and me.

I thank God for Mother Angelica. May she rest in His eternal love and comfort. We miss you, Mother, and hope to see you again.

2. JESUITS

Father Z had an article recently about the Jesuits and love for all things LGBTQ. I would deep link to the content except deep linking seems to be disabled on the site. This forces me to digress to say that any website that doesn't allow deep linking is stupid. This would include Father Z. Nevertheless, the man has great content and things to say even if his website is a piece of crap. Take the hint, Father. Anyway. . .

The gist of the article was about how the Jesuits and Jesuit universities like Georgetown have done all they can to be welcoming and inviting to the LGBTQ community even going so far as to have transgender restroom policies. Now, anyone who knows me for more than five minutes will tell you that I have no great love for the Society of Jesus. Once upon a time, Ignatius and his disciples set the world on fire and saved Catholicism from Protestants and from itself. It is now with considerable irony that Catholicism's greatest threat comes from that order. And, yes, I know Pope Francis is a Jesuit which makes no sense considering the Ignatian admonition to not seek or accept high office in the Church.

Why did the Jesuits go bad? This is the question asked in the combox of the article, and I ask it myself. Don't get me wrong. You will find heretics and sodomites among the Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, Salesians, and on and on. Corruption happens. The Jesuits seem especially cursed because they have been corrupted as virtually an entire order. This leads people to go back to Ignatius to find the seed of this corruption. I don't think they will find it. As George Neumayr put it, "Were Ignatius of Loyola alive today, the Jesuit order he founded wouldn't ordain him."

The Jesuits are simply the Society of Sodomites today. As an order, they should be busted up. The Jesuit sodomites should be laicized and perhaps excommunicated. They are deep in sin and heresy and actively lead others astray. If you want your son or daughter to abandon the Catholic faith, the surest path to this is to send them to a Jesuit school.

Why does God allow this? I don't know God's ways or reasons, but I do know this. It should serve as a lesson to everyone that even an order of supersaints can be corrupted into the cancer that it is today. My prayer is that God will remove this cancer from the Body of Christ.

3. TRUMP

Donald Trump has finally hit a rough patch. People are warming up to Cruz. Polls show Trump losing to Hillary in the general election. What happened to the guy? The answer is obvious. Donald Trump hates on women. He finally stepped in it good and deep. He is shown to be a man without virtue or chivalry. The only hope for the GOP is that Cruz pulls out an upset.

The issue with women is a potent one especially considering that we face the prospect of the first woman president being elected. The problem is that we have Hillary's feminism vs Trump's chauvinism. Neither side is appelling nor correct. The correct one is the one Cruz seems to be taking which is that women should be loved and cherished. This was on display when the man defended his wife. Cruz's fortunes have turned on that simple act. The man loves his wife. Trump is just a guy with a piece of arm candy.

I like Cruz, and I hope that he wins. He is not perfect, but no candidate is perfect. But he is better than Trump or Hillary. It is not enough to merely parrot conservative ideology. You must also live it. Cruz lives it as far as I can tell. If he sticks with this, he will do great. Conservatives play the long game. My only worry is that Cruz may not be what he appears to be, but I believe he is a decent man who has been faithful to his wife. If he hasn't been faithful, his campaign will implode, and he will be a disgrace.

4. ECONOMY

We are in a recession. I think we have been in a recession since 2008, but this will be a recession as defined by the fudged numbers of government economists. The word we use for this is "official." Basically, anything that soaks up credit is in a bubble. This would be housing, cars, student loans, and the government itself. And how did this come about? THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

Central banking is an evil that the world has yet to recognize. This recognition will not come until paper money reverts to its intrinsic value of zero. The entire world must come to a currency crisis before things will ever get better again. As it stands, monetary policy hoovers money from the lower classes into the coffers of  the 1%. These people consume little, so the economy withers and dies creating a deflationary spiral as goods and services find declining demand. So, they produce even more which drives down prices further. Consumers are drowning in debt. Their savings are at zero. My hope is that this deflation will eat its way up into the real estate market. My guess was a coming hyperinflation, but I see it being much different now. We have an oversupply of everything, and its price must go down. I honestly can't say what will happen anymore. I just want something to happen.

5. ODDS AND ENDS

--Thomas Jefferson is everyone's favorite hero/punching bag among the Founding Fathers. At the very least, people still talk about him.

--Raising the minimum wage just puts people out of work. Remember this when you are serving yourself at the touchscreen only McDonald's.

--Apple hates that the FBI was able to hack that iPhone. The most secure communication today is snail mail and the burner phone. Typewriters will make a comeback.

--People are tired of hearing about Hillary's email scandal. The real scandal is that they can't indict the woman.

--Stagflation? Yikes!

--Trump could not care less about abortion. He hits that button just enough to get evangelicals on board.

6. QUOTABLE QUOTES--MOTHER ANGELICA EDITION

Simply believing in the existence of God is not exactly what I would call a commitment. After all, even the devil believes that God exists. Believing has to change the way we live.

Faith is what gets you started. Hope is what keeps you going. Love is what brings you to the end.

If you’re not a thorn in somebody’s side, you’re not doing Christianity right.

The sisters say I have the eighth gift of the Holy Spirit: guts!

If you’re breathing and you’ve got two legs, you’re called to holiness.

If you want to be holy, if you seek meaning in your life, start looking into your own life and attacking your pride in all of its many forms. God will give you extraordinary light and the ultimate reward of holiness. For your holiness relies not on what you do, but on what you allow God to do through you. Have courage. God will perfect you.

Where most men work for degrees after their names, we work for one before our names: 'St.' It's a much more difficult degree to attain. It takes a lifetime, and you don't get your diploma until you're dead.

Holiness is not for wimps and the cross is not negotiable, sweetheart, it's a requirement.

Those who tell the Truth love you. Those who tell you what you want to hear love themselves.

God wants you to be in the world, but so different from the world that you will change it. Get cracking.

7. LINKS OF INTEREST

The Questions of Creation

Distributism vs. Free Markets

Overcoming Sinful Anger (left me wanting, too.)

Kasper Dies

Bosco on Mohammed