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… 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.

Where love reigns, there is no will to power; and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking.

Carl Jung, M.D., in On the Psychology of the Unconscious

… we are right to open the eyes and ears of our young people to the wide world, but it is the maddest of delusions to think that this really equips them for the task of living … no one gives a thought to the necessity of adapting to the self, to the powers of the psyche, which are far mightier than all the Great Powers of the earth.

Carl Jung, M.D. in The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man

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I have taken to reading the biographical details of public commentators so to become familiar with who these people are and what their journey has been. Likewise I do the same thing to those who occupy positions as major political donors and various “think-tanks.”  Doing so, I am often under-whelmed.

Jung, in his words above, would remind us that those fixated on power cannot and do not love.  Additionally, he would have us learn that education is a lesser achievement than is knowledge of self and psyche.  Indeed, knowledge of self and psyche is (in Jung view) central and indispensable to human health and wholeness.

I might add that knowledge of self and one’s psyche breeds patience, understanding, compassion, wisdom, and is essential to leadership.

We live in a culture that “educates” and values power, while it neglects love (especially in the dispatch of religion, religious narrative, faith, God and spiritual development), and knowledge of self and psyche.  Indeed, these deficits endanger each of us and our nation.*

Look carefully at those who claim to lead.  Listen carefully to those who speak. Assess what is more important “education” or knowledge of self or and one’s psyche.  They may not possess the requisites in human or spiritual development to warrant your attention.

In this we might find we are far from health, truth, safety, one another and flourishing.

At stake is something simple to state and vital to our well-being: the accumulated wisdom of the ages.

Shalom.

* By the way, we can do without “progressive” ideas and think-tanks; their drive is for power and this breeds constant conflict and division – the exact opposite of the fruits of self-knowledge and the best of one’s psyche.

No longer may a well-instructed Catholic lay the flattering unction to his soul that he has done all his religion demands when he takes a seat in the bark of Peter, paying his fare, and lets someone do all the rowing.

J. J. Cantwell, in Address

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Yes, Catholic life offers no “passes,” provides no excuse to remain silent when the truth is attacked, evil is spread and man, woman, child and family are diminished by the institutionalization of corruption and godlessness, or by the craven acts and lies of those governed by selfishness, and a lust for wealth, power and control.

Catholic writer Rosalind Murray wrote in The Good Pagan’s Failure this: “The essence of Catholic Christianity is the acceptance of a Supernatural Order, here and now, at every point and turn of daily life, impinging as it were on all we do, breaking through, always at hand, always real.” (Emphasis added.)

These words are no less true today in this political climate than they were in 1939.

Catholics do not “take a day off.”  They do not “have a time-out.”  Being a Catholic is an all-time, all-day, all-encompassing, forever reality.  There are no convenient vacations, no compromises as to what we believe and have been given as a gift.  This is our tradition. This is how we live.  This is who we are. This is our way of life.  This is how The Body of Christ prevails over the centuries. Yes, Christ lives in us and what we do.

Alas, we now see those among us who think that they are “above the fray,” that they can sit about when the Church, its believers, and Christ are attacked, belittled, condemned, exiled, dismissed, subverted.

Yes, we have among us “in the bark of Peter” those who ignore the fight that has been brought to them.  They do so (as they explain) to remain “pure.”  They might do well to remember the words of Jacques Maritain when he wrote of purity …

“Of this word itself an impure use has been made. It has become an equivocal word, dragged about everywhere.”

Friends, there is no free passage in the bark of Peter.

It is time to be counted.  Fear not.  Stand tall.  No excuses.

Shalom.

No permanent enemies, no permanent friends.

An Old Washington Saying

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This is an old Washington adage that sets the tone in our Capitol City and in its principal preoccupation: politics.  This gem leads to another Washington truism about political people: deep down inside, they’ll really shallow.

When you look at the Bill and Hillary-Weiner-Abedin mess you are likely to see each of these truism in play.

As to the first: when “the you know what, hits the you know what” – it’s every man or woman for himself or herself.  Yes, rats rat each other out lickety-split.  So much for friendship and loyalty.

Politics in Washington produces a “use” society: A uses B, B uses A and so on – until someone might go to jail.  Then its a sprint for the exits and often for the prosecutor’s office to make a deal for yourself to the detriment of others and, of course, at the cost of virtue, loyalty and honor.  We have seen this movie before – and its remake is periodic.

This town sorta’ proves of Aristotle’s observation: that good fortune is standing next to the guy who gets hit with the arrow.

Not a lot of love in this town.  Little intimacy.  This shows us that in politics God is often persona non grata and nary a soul has thoughts of self-sacrifice, or dying to self or for another. No monks here, near as I can tell.

In the mess that is the Server Saga now morphed into a Halloween Horror Show trifecta of questions of national security breaches, pay-for-play inquiries, and an alleged faux charitable foundation, sundry political staff members may find law enforcement in their future.

It is a sordid tale.  Its origins?  Well, incomplete people with a thirst for self-gratification with just enough education to think more of themselves than they should, a poverty of wisdom, character and real life experience, and no particular interest in God are, as we saw with Charles Colson and his pals, certain to end up with unplanned mug shots and public humiliation.

There are many lessons from this; sadly, lessons that good people know very well and marginal people know not at all.

Among these lessons is this: when you live in a culture where there are no permanent friendships – there are no intimate unions, little reverence for God or for the human person, and hence little or no loyalty or trust.

Yes, in such an environment – no matter the veneer of a group, the important “cause,” or Party, or ideology, or political movement it is always about self, and greed and power and pleasure and secrecy and “getting over” on other people.  

Ya, it’s an ugly, juvenile mess … That’s what we have here now.

Shalom.

Footnote – If there is something good about this it is that we have a golden opportunity to correct our course and return to living honorable, faithful lives as One Nation under God.

Caution – Be careful as to whom you listen to regarding this election.  For example, some Leftist ultra-partisans are now asserting that the Russian KBG has intervened in the election to favor Mr. Trump.  Why would a Communist want to interfere with the success of the American Left?

The eternal difference between right and wrong does not fluctuate, it is immutable.  (Emphasis added.)

Patrick Henry

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This presidential election is about right and wrong.  We are about to see if we are a nation that can see the difference.  Right or wrong, that is your choice.  That is the election in plain and simple terms.

Who are you?  Who are we?

Shalom.

Postscript – I lived in the D.C. area and worked in the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) and practiced law in that city.  I have NEVER seen the corruption we now witness on a daily basis.  Truth of the matter is that the college-educated and lawyers, nonetheless, are waist deep in this mess.  Ideology and hatefulness is their mark.  Astonishing.

Truth never damages a cause that is just.

Mahatma Gandhi

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It is really quite revealing that Hillary Clinton has not disclosed the nature and scope of her medical condition.  More so, because we know she must take off several days a week to rest in seclusion and even more so because we have seen her in public in a very feeble and weakened state, as needing help to walk up stairs, as in a complete collapse, and according to her husband to have lost consciousness now often over the years.  Likewise, her testimony in various investigations and legal challenges reminds as, along with her own reporting, that she has an habitual loss of memory.

These are very serious signs and it hardly seems reasonable to be a candidate for President when the survival and wellbeing of millions upon millions of people depend on you to be healthy and possess a sound mind and memory required for prudent judgment.

As Gandhi says so accurately – a just cause has room for the truth.  It follows that we should expect the truth from her.

If one wonders about the fitness of either major candidate to govern, is it not Ms. Clinton’s responsibility to be completely truthful about her health and her illness or illnesses?

Absent that, how can she be trusted?

Absent that, we are left with questions.  Is she but a shill of others who have expectations that they will govern with her but a prop?  Will our fate be determined by undisclosed wealthy individuals or interests who have been her and her husband’s financial benefactors?  Or by foreign oligarchs who have made generous gifts to her or her husband, their business interests or foundation? Under whose control will she be?  To whom might she be beholden?

The absence of these questions in the media and press only heightens the concern and poisons her electoral well.  Yes, sensible people reject those who are less than truthful on such vital matters.  Fools, on the contrary, rush in.

Those desiring increased power or enhanced wealth, count on fools and truths that are hidden from public view.

In sum, why do we wish to place our welfare and survival on the weakened shoulders of one who is not truthful about their infirmed state?  The limits of their capacity to function?

Are we a nation of fools or a nation of sensible people?

Shalom.

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