Charlie's Blog: August 2023



Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

It is important to know what you want out of life. You need to know what you want, so you can stop pursuing it once you have it. Too many people don't know what they want in life and keep going past the thing they should want. They are dissatisfied because they have no clue that they have arrived. This is because they do not know their destination in life.

I used to think that people's desires for their lives were relative. I do not believe this anymore. I think we are hardwired with an innate desire for the same fundamental thing. People want a quiet life in a simple home with a loving family. When people want something other than this, someone has convinced them, or they have convinced themselves to settle for some sick substitute. No substitute will satisfy.

Once someone accepts the quiet life as their destination, they do not always get there. Things happen in life that serve as detours from the path towards this destination. This is tragic, but it does not change the destination. This is not the worst thing that can happen to someone.

The worst thing that can happen to someone is to arrive at that destination and not realize it or recognize it for what it is. Happiness eludes people in this life because they did not have the presence of mind to realize that they had arrived. This realization usually comes after they have squandered their blessing. That is really dumb.

There is nothing better in this world than a quiet and simple life. All other desires in the heart will have to be satisfied in the life after this one. But when it comes to life under the sun, the quiet life cannot be beaten. Anything else is a counterfeit of this precious thing. Don't let anyone deprive you of it or talk you out of it. Be grateful to God that He brought you to this destination in life.


Unpopular Opinions 4 (Catholic Edition)

You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can't control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.

This edition of Unpopular Opinions can be subtitled "Catholic Edition" as it pertains to Catholic subjects. It would probably be better to not have an opinion on these things since your opinions count for nothing in the Church of Rome. Yet, I think writing them and publishing them will find people that agree with me on these things.

1. I do not believe in the limbo of the infants.

This puts me in conflict with Augustine and Aquinas but not the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church which says nothing definitive either way on the matter. I am free to believe or not believe in the limbo of the infants. Here's why I do not believe in limbo.

Virtually no Catholic theologian believes that unbaptized infants who die in infancy go to Hell. Why? The reason is obvious. It strikes us as cruel that God would let this happen. Now, if we can dismiss Hell as their final destination on these grounds, why can't we dismiss Limbo as well? There is no logic that necessitates Limbo except the belief in the requirement of baptism for salvation. Yet, we have plenty of Old Testament saints who received no baptism. You can see where I am going here.

For me, it isn't a question of logic. It is a question of math. Heaven is expected to be populated by a vast number of souls according to the Bible. Yet, where are these souls going to come from since we must also admit that only the few are saved? Most people including most Catholics are going to Hell. This leaves us with the population of Limbo if it exists.

If Limbo exists, the number of souls there outnumber the population of souls in both Heaven and Hell combined. Think about it. Consider all the children who die by miscarriage, abortion, abortifacients like the pill and IUD, and post-birth complications and diseases. We are talking about billions since Adam and Eve. Yet, if they are in Heaven, then the souls there truly are uncountable.

I suspect that God leaves the fate of dead infants a mystery because of the moral hazard it would create if we knew their final destiny. Abortion would become an act of love instead of murder to a lot of desperate women. It is better that it remain a mystery for the end of time. What God has hidden, He has hidden for good reasons.

On a sidenote, I remember watching an episode of Mother Angelica where she said that she did not believe in Limbo. She believed that all infants went to Heaven. I do not know if this was always her opinion. I could also be misremembering that episode. You can leave a correction for me in the combox except I do not have a combox.

2. I do not believe that the canonization of saints is infallible.

This is another one of those things that puts me in conflict with Aquinas. Yet, one only has to look at recent canonizations to conclude that there is error in the process. Josemaria Escriva was a cult leader who bragged about his canonization before he died. And his devoted cult made it happen for him. This would be made easier by the reduced requirements for miracles and the elimination of the Devil's Advocate.

Pope Francis canonized John Paul II only to throw him under the bus later for sex abuse scandals. JP2 allowed sacrilege when he permitted a Buddhist idol to be placed above the tabernacle. This is the same man who could not tolerate Archbishop Lefebvre for his orthodoxy. But he could tolerate Marcial Maciel, the perverted founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Money and obedience to Vatican II have a strange way of buying papal favor.

When it comes to Paul VI, John XXIII, and Oscar Romero, their heroic virtues are nothing more than being loved by the modernist Marxist sodomite scumbags running things in the Vatican. Francis canonized these guys because it was on the wish list. The canonization of JP2 was just a way to appease the semi-modernist critics who would object to the canonization of these other modernists.

Canonization of saints today is more political than spiritual. This is why the canonization of more conservative candidates like Fulton Sheen have been stymied. The process is utterly corrupt now and hasn't been helped one bit by the lowered standards of canonization.

This will probably trouble some of the faithful, but it shouldn't. It says nowhere in the Magisterium that the canonization of saints is infallible. Infallibility only applies to those things taught since the apostles. The canonization of a particular saint is not one of those things. As for Aquinas, this man did not believe in the Immaculate Conception. He is not infallible.

Finally, any candidate who wouldn't survive a thorough examination by a Devil's Advocate is suspect in my book. This inability to survive that examination is why they eliminated the Devil's Advocate from the process.

3. I believe the Douay-Rheims is the superior English translation of the Holy Bible.

There are other good translations and other dreadful translations. The original is still the best. There is no translation without interpretation, so it makes no sense for Catholics to use Protestant translations. Use the Catholic translation. Use the Douay-Rheims.

4. I only subscribe to officially approved Marian apparitions.

I think Medjugorje is a fraud. I can't comment on things like Garabandal except to say it lacks official approval. I don't waste my time with it. Is it possible that some Marian apparitions are legitimate but unapproved? I think so. But I'm not going to go there. At some point, the Church has to provide for us. This is one of those times.

5. I think the charismatic renewal in the Roman Catholic Church is fake.

A lot of Protestant garbage backwashes into the Catholic Church, and I think this charismatic renewal stuff is one of those things. I think all of it is fake. In the early days of the Church, these manifestations of the Holy Spirit gave evidence to this new thing in the world that we know now as the Roman Catholic Church. By the end of the first century and Saint John's Apocalypse, these charismatic gifts vanished. Some people today do tongue tricks that are in no discernible language. I am calling bravo sierra on this.

6. Archbishop Lefebvre should have submitted to Rome and not consecrated those bishops of the SSPX.

Lefebvre was a good man and probably a saint. JP2 and the rest of the semi-modernists were not good men, and they were trying to run out the clock on Lefebvre. Lefebvre lost his patience with these games and went forward with the illicit consecrations. That was a mistake. That's all I can say on that.

The right response IMHO was to exercise patience and leave it up to God. I don't think this is hard because this is what I have to do every day as a Roman Catholic living with the Vatican II dumpster fire. The consequence of Lefebvre's actions was not to preserve his movement but to splinter it. The one good thing that came out of it was the FSSP. As for the SSPX, they have been doing things their way for so long that I doubt they will ever return to submission even if they got everything they demand. Organizations have a tendency to move from advocacy to self-preservation, and I don't think the SSPX is immune to this tendency. Lefebvre was the first one to succumb to this tendency.

7. The TLM will not save the Church.

It is my desire to see the Traditional Latin Mass return to Roman Catholic parishes. I do not think it will save the Church from its present crisis. This is because this crisis began when we still had the TLM. The Novus Ordo is the symptom and not the cause of the disease which is modernism. Bringing back the TLM without addressing this disease amounts to putting a band-aid on cancer.

8. You shouldn't have children you can't afford.

Catholics in general and Trad Catholics in particular are known for having large families. This begs the obvious question. How do they afford all of those children?

I know some families are agrarian where children are a resource on the farm. I am totally in favor of this. But how do they afford the birth and subsequent healthcare bills? I know others who serve in the military or have government jobs with Cadillac health benefits. But for the vast majority of people, one child is a financial hardship. Two is devastation. Even millionaire Catholics struggle with these expenses. As for a problem pregnancy or birth, that will bankrupt you.

Once upon a time, healthcare was cheap. Then, the government got involved and ruined it. Once upon a time, the Catholic Church owned and ran hospitals as a charity. They helped Catholic families with the birth of their children. That is over with now. The Church is a joke on these things. They tell you to have children, but don't lift a finger to help you with the burden. Just make sure to keep paying for the cost of the recreational sex of all those dirty sodomite priests and bishops.

So, what about the rest of faithful Catholics? Here is John Zmirak on the issue:

There were working-class people who accepted the discipline of remaining open to life, or the ascetical practice of Natural Family Planning – and there were “white trash” Catholics who used the Church’s teaching as a pretext for going on public assistance. (A shocking number of self-consciously orthodox Catholics whom I have encountered, most of them graduates of small, fervently Catholic colleges, take advantage of food stamps and Medicaid, while patting themselves on the back for being “counter-cultural” at their neighbors’ expense.) 

The Shame of the Catholic Subculture

If you are supporting your large family on public assistance, you are one of those white trash Catholics that John Zmirak is talking about here. I think this is shameful and disgraceful. That leaves Natural Family Planning.

Catholics are forbidden to use artificial contraception or get an abortion. Instead, the Church advocates Natural Family Planning which is open to life. NFP is to be used when there is sufficient reason for it. Not being able to afford to have children is one of those reasons. This is everyone who isn't on the dole or isn't a lottery winner.

Trads condemn NFP as contraception. These people are idiots. Would they condemn it if they were cut off from receiving welfare? And that, Gentle Reader, is the dirty secret of traditional Catholicism. They have children they can't afford and make you pay for them with your tax dollars while condemning you for not having children. Sickening, isn't it?

9. Catholic schools are no better than public schools.

It is no secret that the public schools are in bad shape. They don't educate anymore. They indoctrinate in Marxism and perversion. And you pay for these schools whether you like them or not.

A Catholic school seems like a better choice than the public school, but it isn't. Nuns don't teach school anymore. Most nuns are lesbians with butch haircuts now. Do you want them teaching your kids? This leaves laypeople including many who are not even Catholic. They expect to be paid for teaching which drives up the cost of that Catholic school. Did I mention some of them are gay and openly flout Catholic teaching? The fact is that Catholic education is as woke as the public school system.

The only option for Catholic parents is homeschooling. Protestants are ahead of the curve on this. Aside from materials, homeschooling is free and superior. Catholic schools are dead now.

10. I will always choose my Novus Ordo parish over an SSPX chapel.

I have no antipathy towards the SSPX. As for their status in the Church, it is irregular. That's all I can say on it, and that is all that I need to say. My Novus Ordo parish is legitimate. I think the liturgy is terrible, but it is the Roman Catholic Church. I don't have to think about it or debate it, so I won't.

I see it like a man with a bad wife. She may be terrible, but he is in it until death parts them. That's my attitude with the Church. I am in it forever. The Church has problems with the SSPX. Why complicate my life with it?

If my parish offered the TLM, I would attend it. If the FSSP was in my town, I would attend there. I can't say the same for the SSPX. Maybe I will someday when things change. Until then, I attend the Novus Ordo and cringe. I pray that God will end it.

That's it for Catholic Unpopular Opinions. These things are like lit matches dropped in gasoline. I have more unpopular opinions like these, but I will move on to more mundane fair in the fifth edition. And, if you disagree with anything I have written here, that's your problem. I already have my problems to live with.


Make Your Own Sandwich

A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today about half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants, mainly at fast food restaurants.

People eat fast food because they think it is cheap, convenient, and tasty. Fast food is none of these things. They sold this lie to the American people, and they continue to sell it. I am urging you, Gentle Reader, to stop buying this lie. I am telling you to make your own sandwich.

Before we had fast food, we had this invention credited to the Earl of Sandwich where he put some meat between two slices of bread, so he wouldn't have to leave the card table. The Earl probably didn't invent it originally, but he ended up giving the invention its name. Regardless, this man changed the world more than Edison or the Wright Brothers.

The sandwich is the original fast food. As long as you have bread and a choice of ingredients, you can make a sandwich in just minutes. In fact, you can probably make a sandwich and eat it in the time it takes for you to wait in line at some fast food place, place your order, pay for your order, and wait to receive your order. Nine times out of ten, the food you order will be some version of a sandwich except they made it instead of you. This whole ritual is incredibly wasteful and stupid.

The first thing we are going to dispense with is the idea that paying someone else to make your sandwich is cheaper than making it yourself. It isn't. You can buy a loaf of bread and all of the ingredients for a fraction of the price of the fast food meal. It is always cheaper to buy your food from your local grocery store and make it yourself.

The second thing is the convenience argument. Fast food is not convenient. It takes my wife and me less than an hour to buy a week's worth of groceries. If you add in the drive there and back, it takes less than two hours. Now, if you factor the time to get fast food, one meal can cost up to an hour of your life. As for the preparation, the time is the same. I can make the same sandwich in the same time as the guy at the sub shop. The bottom line is that fast food is not fast. It is slow and eats time.

The third thing is the taste factor. Eating a fatty greasy burger with a side of fries and a gallon of soft drink tastes better than eating a tomato sandwich with some pretzels and washing it down with a bottle of water. This is because fast food is comprised of the three magic ingredients of sugar, salt, and fat. A healthy sandwich will never be able to compete with an unhealthy fast food meal. Now, if you choose healthier options from these places, you find they taste worse than what you would make at home. I discovered this when I began eating a plant based diet.

People eat fast food because they are addicted to eating unhealthy crap. This addiction is what drives them to spend all that time and money to get their daily fix. I know because I was addicted to that crap. I regret the waste of money, time, and damage to my health.

Here are some tips for making your own sandwich:

1. Get a lunchbox.

It can be a brown paper sack or some other container. I use a $20 personal igloo cooler I bought from Big Lots. I put blue ice packets in there to keep food cold. Then, I make my sandwiches and toss them in there along with a ziploc bag of pretzels, a banana, and a water bottle. That lunchbox allowed me to fire McDonald's a decade ago.

2. Get up early and make your lunch.

It takes about ten minutes to pack a lunchbox. This is less than the time you will spend waiting for someone else to make your lunch.

3. Get a Kleen Kanteen water bottle.

There are other brands of water bottle, but I am still using my Kleen Kanteens from a decade ago. They have paid for themselves. Kick that soda habit. Your kidneys will thank you. As for coffee, I recommend an old school Stanley thermos. Those things are indestructible. Make your own coffee instead of buying Starbucks.


If you follow the advice I have given here, you will have more money in your pocket and improved health. But I already know that you are not going to do this. The fast food industry knows this, too. You will never go broke feeding people's addictions and vices.


Why They Do It

Not everybody is going to run a marathon or do a triathlon. It's not necessary to do that to be in good health.

I never thought the day would come when I would be using a quotation from Michelle Obama in this space. But when you are right, you are right. You don't have to run a marathon or an ultramarathon or a triathlon or any other sufferfest to be healthy. In fact, you will probably be healthier if you don't. This leaves a question. Why do they do it?

When asked why he wanted to climb Everest, mountaineer George Mallory famously quipped, "Because it's there." The line was probably uttered in exasperation at the question, but it has since taken on this mythic quality of philosophy and Zen mentality. People who compete in extreme endurance events like the Ironman Triathlon probably have the same exasperation and the same answer. They do it because it is there. Unfortunately, this answer is garbage. It is a deflection from the real answer.

The real answer for why these people do these things is because they are typically white collar people with a sneaking suspicion that what they do for a living is a con job on themselves and the public. As this article in Outside puts it, “By flooding the consciousness with gnawing unpleasantness, pain provides a temporary relief from the burdens of self-awareness.” These people seek out pain to the point of kidney failure. What would provoke such masochism?

The article offers the argument that white collar participation in endurance sports is prevalent because of the costs involved and the time. You need free time and money to do these sports which blue collar people don't seem to have. This simply isn't true. Blue collar people manage to pay for boats, hunting rifles, and golf clubs. They also have as much or more leisure time than white collar professionals. This is a nonsensical argument.

The real question is this. Why do blue collar people tend to not do extreme endurance events? That answer should be obvious. Their lives are endurance events. Go work on a landscaping crew or become a lineman for the electric utility. Most blue collar jobs require a level of physicality, endurance, and tolerance for pain that is completely missing from white collar jobs. When a blue collar worker gets off work, he isn't looking to do a century ride on his bicycle. He is looking for a cold beer.

White collar jobs are easy. Sitting in an office all day makes you flabby and unhealthy. The farmer doesn't have this problem. This is why the office worker has to hit the gym to stay healthy. A large health insurer in my state has an impressive health and wellness center in their complex. You will also see many of the employees walking laps in the parking lot after work. This exercise makes up for what these jobs lack in comparison to blue collar jobs. This is also all you need to stay healthy as Michelle Obama pointed out.

The endurance sports are not filling a physical need but a psychological need for these people. You could say they want to feel a sense of achievement except this argument is nonsense. The vast majority of non-professional athletes have no chance at winning these races. They compete mostly to just finish these things. Additionally, you should feel some sense of achievement in your profession unless your profession is nothing more than being an economic parasite.

What these white collar people want is the feeling that blue collar workers feel every day of their lives. The obvious answer would be to quit the white collar job and become a welder or something else gritty. But this would mean the loss of income and status. It's just easier to pay out some dough, train minimally after work, and do an Ironman one Saturday. The problem is there is nothing socially redeeming in this path. These things are done out of penance for their professional sins. They probably have no idea that they are doing this for this reason because that would require self-awareness which these people typically lack.

I think this masochism is stupid especially if you participate to the point of organ failure. There is no virtue in that insanity whatsoever. A better strategy would be to fire the lawn service and cut your own grass each weekend. Fire the maid and clean your own house. Wash your own car and change your own oil. Go pick up trash on the highway for the litter campaign. Make your life a bit harder than it is now.

The sickest part of this madness is that these people actually believe they are better than the rest of us because of their endurance sports. There is a quiet dignity in being a blue collar worker. You feel each day that you did something hard and tangible that contributed to the world. These endurance clowns prance around in Speedos and put their numbers in their training logs online. It takes a high level of effeminacy to do that sort of thing.

Endurance sports and events for the hoi polloi are a vanity for people lacking self-awareness and a gnawing suspicion that what they contribute to the world is ultimately worthless. That is the bottom line. I doubt these white collar types will ever find that self-awareness.