Charlie's Blog: September 2017

9.30.2017

A Vitriolic Rant Against the Hideous Game of Golf


Golf is a good walk spoiled.
MARK TWAIN

I hate golf. I want to get that out of the way at the outset in case I fail to make it obviously clear by the end of this rant. Golf is not a sport. It is a game which would be fine except that it is a game with a great deal of baggage. I mean this literally. They pay people to lug this baggage around the golf courses. But I am getting ahead of myself. I hate golf. I will tell you why.

I once heard a story about John F. Kennedy out playing golf one day. The reporters wanted to get some pictures of him on the course, but Jack wouldn't let them take the pictures. He knew the pictures would hit the magazines identifying him as a golfer. Since golf was the game of the rich and the elite, the picture would show that Kennedy was out of touch with the blue collar working class folks who were the backbone of the Democrat Party once upon a time. I know this story is hard to believe when the most recent Democrat to occupy the Oval Office gave the world this awesome snapshot:


Obama was definitely out of touch, but I don't want to bash on Democrats exclusively since virtually every Republican president in my living memory has been a golfer. And every time these presidents have hit the links, it has been bad press and bad optics. They could have gone bowling, gone fishing, or even gone drinking in a night of unbridled debauchery and garnered less negative press than playing that stupid game of golf. So, why do they still do it? It beats me.

Golf is a game for rich guys. Nothing says that you've made it like being able to afford a pricey membership at some country club. In short, it is a vanity which makes it the game of men with huge egos. Unfortunately, those egos are as large as their golf scores because virtually every one of these egomaniacs absolutely stink at playing golf. But being good at the game isn't the point. What is the point of the game? Well, I really don't know. It is a pointless game especially when you stink at it, and you could skip the 18 holes and just get to the drinking at the clubhouse.

The privilege is just being able to play the game. There are real sports these men could play like basketball or softball. There are pleasant games like bowling which is fun or chess which is intellectually stimulating and challenging. There is even exercise like running, cycling, or lifting weights that get you in shape. I can think of 100 better things to do with your time than hitting a little white ball on the course and then chasing it in an electric scooter while wearing ridiculous clothes. So, why do they do it?


Status. That's it. You play golf to show that you made it. Granted, there are lots of blue collar guys who throw their clubs in the backs of their pickup trucks and head out to the driving range or the public golf course if the county workers and/or prison chain gang mowed the grass that week. But these blue collar golfers are pretenders hacking away with their Walmart golf clubs at substandard courses aspiring to make the PGA tour and achieve escape velocity out of the working class. The only good thing I can say about this pathetic waste of drinking time is that these blue collar guys are actually pretty good at playing golf unlike those rich guys. But I digress. . .

Golf is a rich man's game because it is expensive. And the reason it is expensive is because it is the only game in the world that requires a large amount of real estate. And that, Gentle Reader, is why you common working folk have to settle for bowling and horseshoes. Real estate is pricey, and it has to be maintained. This requires clubs that charge dues, and those dues have to be large enough to keep out the riff raff who are prone to riding across the manicured greens in the golf carts and tossing their empty beer cans and cigarette butts willy nilly. And this is reinforced with Byzantine dress code requirements that forbid things like cutoff jeans and flip flops but will permit virtually every other fashion disaster that people with bad taste can imagine.


Golf is the rich man's indulgence. Those rolling manicured meadows of green are the barrier between those who have made it in life and those doomed to a life of perpetual grind in the salt mines of daily labor. It is not enough to be wealthy and successful. One must also flaunt it. Used to be, this could be done with an expensive car and a Rolex watch. But any hoodrat drug dealer can buy those baubles. No. golf is the great signifier that you have arrived, and you did it without getting caught for illegal activities. I don't know if Richard Nixon lost any of his club memberships after Watergate. That would have to be a subject for another post and probably some other blog. But you get the point. Golf is the trophy wife of games.

Whenever I see or meet a man who is a golfer, my opinion of him is greatly diminished. This is before I have seen him in his loud golf pants. That spectacle takes him to an even lower place of disgust in my book merely a few rungs above serial killer, pedophile, and IRS agent. A man who golfs is a boor, a jerk, and a few other things with obscene names attached to them. Unfortunately, some men I like such as the late Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump played golf. When I meet a man I like who golfs, I regard him as a nice guy with a really bad habit like smoking or fingernail chewing. You try to look past the disgusting nature of the habit.


My hatred of golf is mostly rooted in socioeconomics. This is just a fancy way of me saying that I was born into a working class family, and I have remained in the working class. Some people will say that I am envious, but the truth is that I would never play golf even if I won the lottery or was filthy rich. By the same token, when I encounter a rich guy who hates golf and refuses to play, he notches up considerably in my estimation of him.

I don't think I am alone in my thoughts about golf. People who play golf on the regular express a great deal of frustration at their inability to make that little white ball do what they want. Perhaps golf is a way for powerful men to feel powerless again. I don't know. It mystifies me how anyone can find enjoyment in doing something so poorly which just reinforces my point that golf is more about status than performance.

Certain activities belong to certain types of people. I can't imagine a surfer who wasn't also a pothead. Similarly, video games will always be for kids and basement dwelling losers too sorry to get off their butts and get a job. Likewise, golf will always be to me a game for rich jerks to show off to the world that they are so rich that they can afford to blow good time, money, and real estate on a game they will never be good at. There are better things to do in life. Golf is not one of them.

9.24.2017

Charlie's Thoughts on the Filial Correction


Scandal concerning faith and morals has been given to the Church and to the world by the publication of Amoris laetitia and by other acts through which Your Holiness has sufficiently made clear the scope and purpose of this document.
THE FILIAL CORRECTION

Four cardinals and sixty two clergy and laymen have called out Pope Francis on his errors and scandal both in private and public. The papal response has been silence. Debate now rages in various forums about what it all means. It also begs the most obvious question. Where do things go from here?

The only person who can end this scandal and confusion is Pope Francis. This is what it means when you sit in the Chair of Peter. You are the final judge and referee in the Roman Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals. If Pope Francis does not clean up the mess he made, it will be the job of his successor. And if that successor fails in that, this mess can live on indefinitely. Only the pope can clean it up. No one else can do this for him.

Is the pope in error? Absolutely. Does he know it? Without a doubt. Pope Francis knew this when he went down this road as it is unlikely that you can be a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, a cardinal, and the pontiff without knowing what the Magisterium teaches. The man can claim no ignorance on these matters. Now, with the scandal, the dubia, and the filial correction before him, he definitely knows. The fact that he refuses to respond also indicates that this man knows. And since he is the supreme pastor of the Roman Catholic Church, the responsibility on him is enormous. If teachers and clergy will be judged more severely than laity, the severity of judgment on a pontiff is the worst that can be.

I do not want to be in Pope Francis's shoes on Judgment Day. I feel sorry for him, and I pray that he repents of his errors before he dies. But I know that he won't. This is why I refer to him as Pope Judas. I mean this as no insult to the Vicar of Christ, but I have no way to communicate the seriousness of what he is doing and the consequences of what that will be. And I believe that Jesus allowed Judas Iscariot to be one of the Twelve as a warning to all their successors--the bishops and popes of the Roman Catholic Church--to flee from error and sin for the sake of their own souls.

If being called the Society of Judas or Pope Judas will upset and discomfort them, I will be happy. This is because it will make them pause and reflect on the state of their own souls in much the same way that Jesus referred to the Pharisees as "vipers." I would rather offend in my words than let poor souls slide into damnation by my silence. Both the Society of Jesus and Pope Francis operate as modern day Iscariots betraying our Lord with their words and deeds while pretending fidelity with their kisses.

Both the Dubia Cardinals and the 62 signatories of the Filial Correction do a good thing for our Holy Father. He may not recognize it as a good thing, but there is genuine charity in their efforts. Ultimately, they do not want souls to go to Hell. This includes the soul of Pope Francis. My prayer is that the eyes of Pope Francis will be opened. And, if they will not be opened, that they will be closed forever for the sake of the souls that may be led astray by his errors. 

In the meantime, we are at war with the world, the flesh, and the Devil but now a civil war has emerged within the Roman Catholic Church. On one side, we have the conservatives and traditionalists. On the other side, we have the modernists who Pope St. Pius X condemned so vociferously. Catholics need to decide what side they are on. There is no middle ground in this affair. This middle ground is where we have been when this conflict began, and it is what has allowed this modernist wound to fester into the stinking infection we witness today. The modernists wanted their pope, and they got him in Pope Francis. They have operated in secrecy all these years, but now they operate in the open for all to see. This may be disheartening to the faithful, but it shouldn't be. As the ancients said, pride goes before destruction. God is allowing these wolves to shed their sheepsuits, so that their sins may be glaring before all. A pope like Francis was necessary for this to happen.

Things will get worse for the faithful. Before it is done, the faithful will not recognize their Church anymore. It will be an abomination of desolation. But we have been here before, so we should rejoice that we have been considered worthy to bear these trials for our Lord. God wins in the end, and He will be glorified in His ultimate victory. And it will be our great privilege to share in that victory. Do not be discouraged. God cannot fail. Pray for the Pope. Pray for the Church. Mother Mary, pray for us all.

9.23.2017

Randy's Tire and Lube


A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.
PROVERBS 20:7 NASB

I have a friend who I think is a righteous man. He is not Catholic like me, but he lives his faith. I think God smiles on all righteous men no matter who they are. When I see a righteous evangelical Christian living his faith, I praise God, and I ask for His blessings on that man and his family. There are few good people in this fallen world, and they are refreshing to find. They shine like a light in this dark world.

My friend is the salt of the earth. I am forever indebted and grateful to my friend for all he has done for me and my wife. If I have a quibble with him, it would be with his discouragement in life. I was an atheist at the time when I had this conversation with him and possessed a much darker view of the world than he did. I told him that with his talents and integrity that he should start his own business. There were various ideas I tossed at him with an oil change place being one of the ideas because he had worked in that field before. His refusal of the idea was to the point.

"You can't make an honest living in that type of work," he said.

I disagreed with him despite the fact that I was an atheist and had encountered a great deal in my life by that point to make me agree with him. It seems that the righteous are at a competitive disadvantage to the unrighteous in this world when it comes to trying to make an honest living. The unrighteous cut corners, do bad by their workers, flout the law, and cheat their customers. My friend knew this because he had seen it so many times at the places where he worked. I've seen similar shadiness over the years. But he was wrong. A good man can do the right thing and operate with righteousness and integrity in this dark world and make a living and even prosper. I had too many empirical examples of these businesses such as Chick-fil-A which does the dumbest thing you can do in the fast food business--remain closed on Sundays. My argument was not so much a vindication of religion so much as a belief in the free market and the knowledge that there is always a demand for honest business. People want honest work done for them even if it may cost more than the crap work they could get from a shady undercutter. I don't know anyone who likes getting screwed over and getting ripped off, and this includes those who make their livings screwing over people and ripping them off.


I continued to argue with my friend that you can indeed make an honest living in the field of automotive service, and he continued to tell me about how dishonest people made it impossible to succeed. Then, I told him about Randy's Tire and Lube in Lugoff, SC. I've literally watched this business go from nothing to become a thriving local business. It is a family business, and they believe in the Lord. You can tell they are Christian because they are closed on Sundays and close early on Wednesdays to go to midweek prayer service. In these parts, the Wednesday prayer meeting is a big deal.

This business was recommend to me by word of mouth which is the best advertising money can't buy, and Randy and his crew have always delivered. I have always received honest and dependable service from them, and they have always done right by me. Yes, I could have gotten it cheaper from Jiffy Lube which I call "Iffy Lube." But you get what you pay for, and if you pay cheap, you pay twice. Getting ripped off by the shady people is never a moneysaver. Randy is the salt of the earth.


I've never heard anything bad about Randy, and if I did, I know the person making the claim is the dung of the earth. This is because Randy and his family are the salt of the earth. I don't know Randy personally, and he certainly hasn't cut me any deals or thrown me any money for this endorsement. I am simply grateful that such an honest business exists that I can recommend to my friends and family. And I do recommend them as often as I can.

My wife is from Florida, and she tells me all of her horror stories of getting ripped off by shady businesses down there when it comes to car repair and service. It angers me to hear these stories. Yet, she was very impressed and grateful for the honesty and service she got from Randy's when I took her car there. Like my friend, she didn't believe such businesses exist. But they do. And we all know that women are a favorite target of shady shops wanting to exploit their ignorance of all things automotive. Randy's is not like that. You can send your wife, your mother, your sister, or your daughter there, and they are not going to do unauthorized or unnecessary work or charge for work they never did. Like I said, SALT OF THE EARTH.

I highly recommend taking your car to Randy's Tire and Lube. They are worth every penny and more. And I am grateful to God that an honest and righteous man can indeed succeed doing the right thing instead of the wrong thing. It gives me hope in a world that can seem very hopeless at times. May God continue to bless this man, his family, and his wonderful business.

9.19.2017

C-Notes for TUE 19 SEP 2017


1. When I write a typical blog post, it takes a lot of work. I have to find an idea, some graphics, and a quotation to head the thing. I like writing those kinds of posts, but all that work makes it hard to dash something off on a regular basis especially as things are happening in the world. So, I've decided to do something new. This is it. C-Notes. I hope you like it.

2. Trump was simply awesome at the UN today. That speech was like he was channeling Ronald Reagan from beyond the grave in some kind of seance or something. That speech is up there with his Poland speech. On foreign policy, Trump gets an A+ from the C-man.

3. Some thug gangsters shot up the Vista in Columbia. The reason this is a big deal is because the Vista is supposed to be a place where good and decent people can go to dine and have a good time. Instead, they can now expect to catch stray bullets as they walk down Gervais Street.

4. It is obvious that Mueller intends to squeeze Manafort to get him to throw Trump under the bus to save his own hide. It is a gross injustice but one carried out on a daily basis on common folk without the means to fight back. It is hell even for people with means to fight back. Just ask Martha Stewart. The Feds are evil, and Mueller dripped straight from the Devil's loins.

5. The left wing fake news mainstream media knew Trump was tapped. They didn't care. Obama was utterly Nixonian in his abuse of power except he makes Nixon look good in comparison. But Democrats get the pass while Republicans get crucified.

6. US Catholic bishops promote illegal immigration because they want government money for their charities, and they want bodies to fill their empty parishes and coffers. Steve Bannon nailed it.

7. I'm waiting for Elton John to try and sue Trump for using the term "Rocket Man."

8. Faithful Catholics are now a "cancer" on the Catholic Church. Gee, this whole time I thought it was those child molesting sodomite priests and the bishops that covered for their crimes.

9. James Comey perjured himself numerous times. But he's another Democrat that gets a pass.

10. Trump needs to fire Jeff Sessions. You can't recuse yourself every time a criminal claims to be a Democrat causing you to have a conflict of interest. The fact is that virtually all criminals are Democrats, and all Democrats are criminals. Put Christie or Giuliani in the job.

9.03.2017

SOC 20


A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today.
ROBERT E. LEE

I miss beer. I never miss meat or cheese. I also never miss Jim Beam. But I do miss Pabst Blue Ribbon. And why is this? Because there was relaxation and comfort in that 12 oz. can. Every top popped was like a mini-vacation. I never cared for getting hammered, but I did like sitting back in Rusty's Chair and taking a chill pill. FYI, Rusty is the father of a friend who brought this discarded chair to my wife before she ever met me. That chair is mine now, and I love it. Here is a picture of it from my crappy flip phone:


Rusty's chair has seen some action. It has been in my wife's possession for at least ten years, and it was blown out when she got it. Somewhere along the way, it became my chair mainly because I sit in it on a daily basis. I like it so much that I might get it reupholstered when the time comes. When I sit in the chair, I can feel the old man crust on me. It grows a bit more as each year goes by.

The PBR was supposed to be the companion on my descent into crustiness. The beer was going to mellow me and maybe tamp down the bitterness that comes from watching the world go to hell. This guy has the right idea:


But I gave up PBR, and I have had no gout flare ups since. But old men like to find comfort in simple things--a cold beer, a cigar, a glass of scotch, a favorite pipe. Those things are denied to me. At least I have the chair. Man, do I love that chair!

I think God wants me to be a teetotaller. I don't know God's reasons for this, and I don't have to know. I've learned to not question the Almighty's business. I just want to obey. So, I am out of the beer game for the sake of a disease that I am not supposed to have. I will have to witness the world's destruction fully sober.

I don't have a comfortable life, and that is by choice and design. I am averse to comfort in a lifestyle my wife calls the "Arsenal of Pain." Somewhere in my journey, I made peace with pain and adversity and even seek it out. I find comfort in suffering which is counterintuitive. This is because suffering makes me turn to God. Ultimately, our comfort and solace must come from God Almighty. For some people, beer becomes the substitute for God.

I endure each day with heavy reliance on the rosary, the Holy Bible, the grace given through the sacraments of the eucharist and confession, and the examples of the saints who lived holy lives in much harsher conditions than I encounter in my life. God is my strength and refuge. God is always there for me.

The practice of daily prayer has made me appreciate things about prayer that I never really knew before. We are to be importunate in prayer which seems to be a strange requirement for me. I am reminded of the story in the Bible where Moses had to keep his hands up in order for the Israelites to keep winning in battle. They would help Moses by holding up and supporting his arms. That is the best image of the nature of prayer that I know. God wants us to share in what He does, and prayer is our way of sharing. Everyone prays for the ones they know and love, but do we pray daily? Would we pray 100 times or even 1000 times if it would save a loved one from Hell?

Prayer works. God is not a genie in the bottle, but I've seen answers to prayer that I did not expect. My own conversion to the Catholic faith was an answer to prayer. But most of the time, our prayers seem to go unanswered either because we ask for the wrong things or because we grow impatient with waiting for the answers. It is in those times of discouragement that we really need to keep praying. On the other side of the discouragement is the answer.

What does all this suffering and praying do? It produces grit. This is just another name for fortitude, but I like grit better. Endurance through trials makes strong people, and I have encountered strong people of faith. When life gets hard, these people fight back on their knees. They are holy warriors who don't give up. And that, Gentle Reader, is the secret of winning in this life. Never give up.

I often wonder if Donald Trump will give up. The Left would like for him to give up. I have little faith in him on this count. Yet, he is still there. I truly believe that he will make America great again as long as he stays in that Oval Office. Life would be so much easier for him if he threw in the towel. But this country needs that man. I believe that. A Jeb Bush presidency would be a disaster right now as nothing would be changing at this point. When I look at Theresa May in England, I shake my head in disgust. May is no Thatcher. I keep hoping the UK will get a true conservative prime minister.

When you are a Christian and a conservative, you have to make a mental commitment to never giving up. Surrender is not an option. This is a very important thing. It's like the story of the conquistadors who burned their boats upon arrival in the New World. They removed the option of turning back.

Trials reveal to us our escape hatches. I admit that I still have a couple in my brain. I didn't think I had them, but I see them clearly now. I am going to eliminate those escape hatches. I will always be a conservative, a Christian, and a Catholic. Even if I am blind in the deepest darkest pit I may find myself in the future, I will put my trust in the Lord. It is one thing to say that God is all you have. It is another thing to know it. God is all I have. And God is all I need.