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… there is no god more jealous than single-payer health care.

William McGurn, in The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2017

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This is Mr. McGurn talking about the infant Charlie Gard and how the courts deprived his parents of their rights to make lawful decisions as to his medical care.

Mr. McGurn understands precisely the totalitarian power of centralized government and how that power takes liberty and freedom from innocents – in this case a sick infant and his devoted and loving parents.

I have represented parents, innocents, and impaired medical patients in such cases.  I won each of my cases in this area and I know from real world experience that Mr. McGurn is exactly correct in what he says.

A few points in Charlie’s case to amplify the danger that a single-payer regime presents for all of us.

One, hospitals can go to court to override the lawful wishes of parents who diligently, wisely and faithfully care of their sick child.

Two, the hospital’s interest can be as simple as this: a child may occupy a bed that does not earn them sufficient pay-out and they resent the child’s occupancy of that space.  Yes, I have seen this.

Three, a hospital may have the view that the child’s “quality of life” is not sufficient to warrant his treatment and by this reasoning they can deprive the child of life-support care, i.e., the hospital can end the child’s life over the lawful objection of his parents.

Four, as in Charlie’s case the court may appoint a Guardian over the affairs of the child who will opt to side with the court and the hospital, thereby validating the death of a child.  Imagine a Guardian as someone claiming to represent a child with whom he has no conversation, of whom he has no knowledge and with whom he has no relationship! Imagine that Guardian being paid by the state – yes, this does happen.

One wonders if that Guardian would like Charlie’s parents to determine that her or his children deserve the same result: that is, death over their objection.

Case in point, the Guardian in Charlie’s case runs a “charity” that supports “assisted suicide.”  (As reported by Mr. McGurn of The Wall Street Journal.)

Yes, a single-payer system is a stacked deck.  A deck that is aimed at the weakest among us, and at those the state deems “disposable.” Honestly do you ever hear of a prominent actor and his wife or politician and his wife having their medical decision-making as to their child taken from them? No you don’t.

This is the single-payer system.  Or shall we say this: in Satan’s single-payer system the costs to innocents greatly exceeds money.

Mr. McGurn’s concern ought well be noted.

Shalom.

God, we pray for little Charlie Gard, for his parents, and for us as we learn the reach of godlessness and suffer its consequences.  Help us correct the wrongs we see.  Help us to value once again parents, children, family and faith.

The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical.  (Emphasis added.)

Albert Einstein, in Out of My Later Years

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Do you remember the story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary?  (Lk 10:38-42)

In that story Martha is busy preparing a meal for Jesus and others while her sister Mary is seated at Jesus feet listening to him.  Martha asks Jesus if he does not care that Mary has left her to do all the preparations alone.

Jesus answered Martha – “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

This is precisely the wisdom Albert Einstein expresses. We all have the capacity to experience the mystical.

A life lived within mortal limits is a life not lived.  It is a life without fullness.  It is “the mystical” that makes a life, that alone completes a life.

Feodor Dostoevsky writes in The Brothers Karamazov this: “Much on earth is hidden from us, but to make up for that we have been given a precious mystical sense of our living bond with the other world, with the higher heavenly world.”

We have many like Martha.  And few like Mary.  Which are you?

Those like Mary possess calm, certainty.  They see and they are not lured into all that is earthly.  They are not worrisome.  Addicted.  They are not egotists.  They are not trapped in the nonsense that prevails among the masses.  They are not captured in the present day and all its false gods and endless foolishness.

Our culture is full of Martha in many forms.  Ignore them.  They have chosen the lesser things.

Are you Mary or are you Martha?

Shalom.

Russia and Us.  It is interesting that for all the hubbub about Russia over the years, we have not been smart in dealing with them.  We have been, because we have “leaders” who do not live life on a mystical plateau, unable to see the undeniable truth about Russians which is this: Dostoevsky reveals their core, their heart – their orientation to life (even as they try to supplant him with Marxist nonsense).

The truth of who they actually are is their soft underbelly and, not being well and fully formed, our “leadership” cannot see it.

When the blind confront the blind – it is always an “eye for an eye.”  Endless folly. “Clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right.”

The shadow of the Enlightenment’s failure to replace God with reason has engulfed the West and plunged us into a new Dark Age.

Rod Dreher, in The Benedict Option

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It is abundantly clear to many who have studied America and the West from varied areas of expertise: historical, psychological, political, philosophical, theological, sociological, literary, psychiatric and such that we have attempted to anchor ourselves to the importance of self over God and that this is an unmitigated catastrophe.

Stated another way, we have foolishly trusted that reason alone (the individual – singularly and in the aggregate) can form a coherent, thoughtful, just, compassionate, kind and moral community.

Looking around each day, it seems impossible to believe that such a misguided and arrogant orientation has done anything but make us far worse off, weaker, more chaotic – yes, dramatically sicker, more fragmented, untruthful, corrupt, addicted, suicidal, crippled, angry, ugly, disoriented and violently anti-social.

Yet astonishingly few in the public eye recognize this – discuss it –largely because they are part of the whole sick mess and frequently doing quite well … that they are captives of this mess sitting at the top of its rubbish heap.

Look at the accurate snapshot of Washington today: the closed circle that is the Washington elite who cannot yield to the popular election of a President who is NOT one of them and who would DARE to pursue a course of action that disturbs the benefits of their cozy corrupt culture.

What you see today in Washington is the clear identity of the privileged political class that seeks not to do the will of the voter but rather preserve its own “status” in a very lucrative and easy gig.  Hey, it beats working!

Some of us who have lived broadly in our six or seven decades can tell you that the population at-large is quite different, far less civil or sane than it once was. Indeed, it is far sicker.

A lawyer I know recently recounted how a member of the Bar lost his license to practice because he drugged his underage client in order to sexually assault her.

From work, to family, to community, politics, primary and university education, etc. – in all quarters (particularly in major cities – Washington included) we regularly see evidence of the Dark Ages … yet do not stand against it.

Hell of a situation to behold.  Pitchfork, anyone?

Shalom.

The Russian Fixation – Interesting to watch the Democrat Left “Russian Fixation.”  They go way back in colluding with the Russians – Stalin, no less.

Remember Yalta and how FDR sold out Poland and Eastern Europe at Yalta – gave the Communists control over post-war Eastern Europe.  Shameful.

During the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupiers, the U.S. did nothing to help the brave Polish people, and the Red Army sat still East of Warsaw until the Nazis could put down the uprising.  Talk about collusion!

Let’s not forget the New Deal was full of Lefties.

… the ‘natural’ hierarchy of species no longer applies.

Andrzej Franaszek, in Milosz

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Franaszek is describing the world seen by the narrator in Czeslaw Milosz’s poem A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto.  In the poem Milosz is writing about the liquidation of the inhabitants in the Warsaw Ghetto by the Nazis in May 1943.

Yes, we have known a condition in which “the ‘natural’ hierarchy of the species no longer applies.”  You could say we are in such a time, or on its cusp.

I think of the Middle East and Syria, of ISIS, the destruction caused by the ill-conceived “Arab Spring,” terrorism exported to the West, the dismemberment of Venezuela, the eradication of national boundaries and nationhood itself, North Korea, and the exile of faith, religion and God in secular culture.  But I also think of the hyper-political hostility here on our shores: among the Left, the media, the press, and various leftist groups and special pleaders none of whom seem versed in history and its wise lessons.

Natural hierarchies collapse when metaphysical inquiry is lost for when it is lost so too is morality, and meaning, and virtue, and value, wisdom and compassion, community – indeed, humanity itself.

Sadly we face this on other shores and within this country.  It is most present in what now presents as the Democrat Party, the media, academia and popular mass culture.

You can see in today, the world that Milosz saw and experienced along with Koestler, Orwell, T.S. Eliot, Beckett, Solzhenitsyn and others.

A world without metaphysics is a world with but one leafless tree.

Shalom.

 

All that we call human history – money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, slavery – is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity

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All these citadels of learning.  All this touting “education.”  What good has it done in and of itself?  We have ideology – the equivalent of crip-notes for life – nothing like the real experience.  Ideology gives “direction” in the way an infant has a blankie.  Yes, it makes us infants.

Imagine if Marx was a saint.  How different today might have been.  And yesterday – well even more different … so many lives would have been spared. And, no gulags.  No Che. No Fidel.  No Stalin.  No Mao.  Just disciples and peace of heart and mind.

” … something other than God … ”  Some price.  Some folly.  This is man and reason neglecting heart and soul.   Good bye, CNN … MSNBC, NPR, Washington PostNew York Times.  Good bye, for good. 

Shalom.

 

… in every society where the distinction of ranks has once been completely established, there have been always two different … systems of morality current at the same time; … one may be called the strict … the other the liberal, or … the loose system.  The former admired and revered by the common people, the latter … by … people of fashion.  (Emphasis added.)

Adam Smith, in The Wealth of Nations

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This is Smith writing in 1776.  His book had a huge impact.  Its date coincided with the founding of the United States.

What Smith said then is as useful now as it has been over the last 241 years. Smith knew people.  He knew power, and he knew politics.

What he said then is visible to us today.

We have groomed a collection of elites.  These are the privileged people – the super-rich and the very affluent.  We see them in national politics, among ex-Presidents, on the bench, in the media, in entertainment, among those newly wealthy in the computer and internet industry, within the highly-educated class and in the tenured positions at once prestigious colleges.

These are people who live well above the income level of the common person – their morals are not the morals of common people.  Regrettably their privileged lives convince them that they know better than the commoners and that this licenses them to enforce their morals (such as they are) on the rest of us … along with their public policies.

Ah, but their interests are not our interests.  They do not suffer when factory jobs disappear and when small towns no longer present a place to work and raise a family free of addictions, dependency and hopelessness.

This privileged class manifests less need for faith than the commoner.  Hence, their morals are unlike the commoner.  Surely not better, but rather uniquely destructive, divisive and unhealthy.

As Adams says so well, the morals of the privileged are ruinous …  and because they are wealthy, the elites can sustain years of disorder far longer than the commoner.

That said, when a nation loses its identity to illegal invaders, when abortion is a form of “birth control,” and the spread of terrorism takes the life of innocents, of children and unarmed men and women – the time for the loose morals and destructive policies and preferences of elites comes to an end.  THIS IS BRIXET AND THE HILLARY CLINTON AND DEMOCRATIC DEFEAT AT THE POLLS.  This is how one explains that the Democrats captured only 64 of the over 3000 counties in the U.S. in the last presidential election.

The heinous photo of a minor female “entertainer” holding the severed head of President Trump tells you three important things: one, the morals of the privileged are not the morals of the common person; two, the curve is bending back on the Liberals (the privileged class in both political parties) and their attitudes and disposition; and three, the relentless attacks on the President are the elites clutching at control, attempting to retain power at all costs … power over the common person.

Ah, but the times may well be changing.

Shalom.

Dedicated to my Grandchildren, my Nation and to you.

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Zion will be redeemed with justice and her repentant ones with righteousness.  But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, and those who forsake the Lord will come to an end.

Is 1:27-28

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It is Lent.  We are closing in on Easter and the Resurrection.  Is it not a good opportunity to take this time between now and Easter to reflect on the above and ask: What do I see around me?  What do I hear daily?  In the news?  On television?  What is the state of our culture? Our nation?  Our leaders?  Our public conversation?

Have we forsaken God?  Have we listened as if there is no God?  Have we deserted our faith?  Been led astray?  Become pagans and thought and acted as such?

What is the tone of public discourse?  Do those among us divide for the lust of power? Have some among us elevated ideology and politics above all else?

Who among us speaks with faith?  Shows the courage to offer an honest picture of who we have become and how that is so unflattering, so godless?  So destructive of person and nation?  

We live in urgent times.  In talking about the Jews and Jerusalem and Judah, the Prophet Isaiah is speaking to us, today at this hour, in this time.  You best take heed.

Nothing good, absolutely nothing good, comes to those who forsake God.

If you do not live first in faith, then who but yourself can you blame for the troubles we have and the decline we court?

Shalom.

Discouraging – It is truly discouraging to see so many House and Senate Democrats carrying Mr. Putin’s water in their efforts to delegitimize President Trump and anyone who dares to challenge the settled and corrupt ethos of political Washington.

It leaves one to conclude: (a) they are the unwitting handmaids of Mr. Putin, (b) they are showing their Leftist allegiance, (c) they love the sweet Washington honeypot that gives them privileges the voting public does not enjoy and keeps them from real work, (d) all of the above.  Whose team are these guys and gals on?  Putin’s?  Their own?  Both?

People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages.  They come … to define themselves inherently worthy of what they possess; they come to believe themselves ‘naturally elite’ … imagine their possessions and their privileges as natural extensions of their own elite status.  (Emphasis added.)

C. Wright Mills, in The Power Elite

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You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that we face today “a Pharisee problem.” Indeed you have to be either dumb as a doorknob, terminally dishonest or transfigured to the state of being Mills describes to miss our present trouble.

The trouble?  There are the self-acclaiming “elites” and the rest of us – the Hillarian “deployable.”  On the one side: the Washington establishment, the politicians who take permanent root in D.C., the federal bureaucrats, the lobbyists, liberal think-tankers, the press, the media, the entertainment celebrities, and perpetually confused university eggheads (master of small things and the obvious), Democrats devoted exclusively to politics and retaining power, and dictating to others, and – of course – the “royal” judiciary.  Pharisees, all!!!

This, Friends, is the essence of Trump and the commoners vs. the self-designated “elites.”

Yes, without Trump we live with the elite mantra: “all pigs are equal, some pigs are more equal than others.”  This is why the entrenched “Pelosies,” and Schumers, and media- types raise bloody hell when they find their privileged status is exposed, that they all comprise one entangled privileged class that shares debate questions, and reports only what “their team” desires – and the devil with the common person and national interest.

No, it is only the privilege of the “special people” that matters to the “special people.” This is how the VA fails to care for it patients, jobs are exported willy-nilly, the middle class is forgotten, and offense is taken when citizens dare to repudiate the arrogrance of the elites.

For the common man and woman – being an American matters, having a faith matters. Being “special” does not.

The Curse of the Pharisees – conjures up: housecleaning, term limits, and rejection of those so used to the advantages of power.

The “anointed” know no commonsense lest they become common.  Humility is beyond their reach.  Godlessness, you see, places humility out-of-reach.  They see themselves as so much more.  Balderdash!!!

Shalom.

A society is a group of persons bound together … by a principle of unity … an assembly that is … spiritual … each man … rightly owes loyalty to the communities of which he is a part and respect to those in authority who have charge of the common good. (Emphasis added.)

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 1880

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The godlessness of the American Left and its fellow travelers is disgusting. Simply stated, the Left has been devoted to dividing and deconstructing America for too many decades. Their handiwork has weakened us and made us very vulnerable.

Their current on-going efforts to “delegitimize” President Trump, his new administration and forestall the effective functioning of the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch is shameful.  Indeed, these “Obstructionists” are nothing if not ill-tempered, spoiled little children.

In particular, I think of the Democratic Party of the Left, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Hollywood and many of its celebrities and tycoons, college professors, self-proclaimed political and policy experts, an a-sundry collection of radical feminists, racial organizations, abortionists, anarchists, street demonstrators (paid and unpaid), political candidates and their operatives, elected officials and those who fund them.

Simply stated, they ought to think about the above and put themselves to the measure of what it says.  Better yet, the rest of us ought to make the above the requirement we impose on anyone who seeks our political support or desires that we might listen to them.

If they do not meet the standard above – they are persona non grata.

Shalom.

Nothing like starting the day in the darkness with Gregorian chants setting the tone of the soul for the day that is to come.

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“You have to envy a writer like Flannery O’Connor, who saw the enemy clearly, namely a certain sort of triumphant humanism …”

Walker Percy

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Triumphant humanism.  We are immersed in it and yet do not notice, and surely do not examine it.  Walker Percy did in his novel The Thanatos Syndrome and in the first annual Eudora Welty Lecture from which the above words are selected.

We had a look at the sound and appearance of triumphant humanism with the words and person of wimpy Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe “awards” show.  No candidate for the Marine Corps is she.  And oh, so predictively she seized her opportunity to deliver a “morally” conceived political lecture rather than simply accept an award and humbly issue a “thank you” and recede in good taste from the dais.

In her words we see triumphant humanism is a loose and mushy “tenderness” that has supplanted actual moral thought.

Soft and fuzzy is the way of actors and actresses whose job it is, not to think, but rather to memorize other people’s words and recite them.  Having accomplished that, they eagerly warp themselves in self-righteousness and skip right to sharing their ill-formed notions of morality.

That is triumphant humanism: opinion without restraint or study, faith, familiarity with religious narrative, God, or any knowledge about the life of the average person but that which can be gleamed from the roof-top garden of a 6 million dollar, five-story Manhattan townhouse you own and occupy.

In triumphant humanism, the self is far less the self than it has ever been, sincerity is faked, and it can be said of those in its ambit that “deep down inside, they are really shallow.”

Yes, they have the substance of ghosts, the vanished person.  Among the acting-class, they are soon enough “the well forgotten celebrity.”  Sort of like Oakland – there’s no “there” there.  But whimper they will – and endlessly about: climate, nuclear free zones, overpopulation, “the poor,” etc., while happily shunning the middle class and supporting and defending the killing of 60 million children in the womb.  Strange disposition.

Walker Percy nailed triumphant humanism in The Thanatos Syndrome when his character Fr. Rinaldo Smith complains that in contemporary life in America morality has become “tenderness” – and abandoned any reference to justice, or the dignity of life and the human person.

And, in this predicate, Percy has Fr. Smith ask Dr. Tom More: “Do you know where tenderness always leads?” To which, More relies, “No where?” Only to have the Priest respond, “To the gas chamber.”

Triumphant humanism, sans God has but one direction.  We see it in abortion now don’t we.  And in euthanasia.  And hear and see it in wimpy, preachy actresses and others of the Left persuasion who prepare the way for “rationed medical care.”

In the end what we are talking about is this: culture and identity.  Who are we? What have we become without God?

Yes, we have awakened to see it is precisley this struggle – of culture and identity – that is today. 

Shalom.

Question – There are many countries in the world where you can be killed if you are a Christian.  Might it happen here?  What are you apt to do about this?  This is the world we live in.  Do you elect faithful people?  Are you governed by them?  I a time of prosperity it ode snot matter quite so much.  When the pie contracts, the truth become quite important.

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