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Delight in smooth sounding platitudes, refusal to face unpleasant facts … the utter devotion of the Liberals to sentiment apart from reality … played a definite part in unleashing upon the world … horrors and miseries (World War II).

Winston S. Churchill, in The Gathering Storm

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Wars have their prelude, their component miscues and misadventures, their self-delusions and grand deceits.

One thinks of this now as many troubling signs emerge.

Russia is in Syria propping up a brutal regime, Iran pursues both nuclear weapons and expansion while supporting insurgents in foreign lands, North Korea strives for a nuclear arsenal and European countries seed authority to stateless Brussels bureaucrats while terrorists roam their homeland largely unabated.

In the United States, we enlarge the national debt, fatten the dependent population and the expand the expectations of citizens for more and more national benefits.

Some European nations are beginning to resume required national military service, yet attention turns to “global warming” as if nothing is more important. Fantasies absorb us.

In our once mature and sane representative democracy, college students require pampering and “protection” from free speech while some assault civility and those with whom they disagree.  On campus, hate is protected by cowardly administrators.

In the public square God is unwelcome while obesity looms and one wonders where the next “Greatest Generation” has gone.

As Churchill rightly notices, the antics of the Liberals pave a nasty road to a tragic destination.

Hard to dispute this today.  Indeed, we have lost touch with truth, and consequently, with reality.  But neither truth nor reality have lost touch with us.

At the foundation of moral thinking lie beliefs in statements the truth of which no further reason can be given.

Alasdair MacIntyre, in After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory

When immorality prevails, we have stopped believing … without belief, truth and reality are lost and the storm gathers.

Shalom.

Postscript – An “unfunny”* female “comic” thought it amusing to be photographed holding the “head” of President Donald Trump.  Darling …

It is, thank God, always the case that people “self-report” – tell you who they are. So with this woman we see the Left is quite comfortable with those who behead their enemies. Charming …

(* “unfunny” is a state of being whereby a person does not have a humorous impulse in their body … if you see these people coming, run quickly in the opposite direction … if you encountered them in a social setting, make yourself disappear as soon as possible)

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about those things.  (Emphasis added.)

Phil 4:8

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This is from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians.  It speaks of virtue.

We are not a healthy society, not a virtuous society.  Yes, there are virtuous people.  You can see them in the military men who occupy positions in the present administration of President Trump.  One thinks of General Mattis, General Kelly, General McMaster.

Sadly one does not see it in critical places like universities, in the Church leadership, in the Congress, in the Judiciary.  Without virtue we will  perish.  If there is one thing that we need and must insist upon it is: virtue.

Truth.  Honor.  Justice.  Love.  Grace.  Excellence.  Purity.  These are the things we lack within the culture and in critical institutions.

When it is lacking, those who fail in this regard need our scorn, and surely not our silence nor our support.

We must stand for these virtues.  Accept nothing less of leaders and one another. Those who lack virtue must be called out, held accountable, dismissed from public life and possession of any position of authority.

When those such as Hillary Clinton go unpunished for breaches of national security and laws governing national security, we lose self-respect.  Likewise when others are unpunished for unlawful use of the IRS to thwart the legitimate political interests of American citizens, we lose self-respect.  And when the former President’s national security advisor lies and appears to escape punishment for using classified surveillance material for political purposes, we lose self-respect.  In these unpunished things – virtue is denied and the esteem and authority due America is lost.

A critical part of our present ills, a part that can spell our doom, is the lost of virtue.

There is no greater problem we face than this.  We had better place this at the top of our tasks – the restoration of virtue must be our national priority lest we destroy ourselves.

Shalom.

Fraud of the First Order – Barack Hussein Obama, “the self-righteous one,” with yet another “speech” for $400,000.00.  Two incredible things about this: (1) it shows what a fraud he and the Democrat Party is, and (2) it is unimaginable that anyone would think that this guy has anything to say that is worth their attention, let alone their money.

Wonder if Chris Matthews and the MSNBC crew still get chills when they think of Mr. O?

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not by yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Eph 2:8-9

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St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, short as it is, describes the plight of a human living in mortal existence in concert with a loving God.  It is a humbling portrait to behold.

In it, St. Paul reminds us that God has bestowed on us every spiritual blessing and that “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we may be holy and blameless before Him.” (Emphasis added.)  Humbling, to say the least.

St. Paul notes that God made known the mystery of His will, “summing up all things in Christ.”  Yes, we have been given a great inheritance “with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession.”

Yet, as St. Paul reminds us before Christ we were “dead in … trespasses and sins;” that prior to Christ we “walked according to the course of this world” … as “sons of disobedience,” that we “lived in the lust of the flesh, indulging in the desires of the flesh and the mind … by nature children of the wrath …”

Yes, St Paul reminds us of our earthly shortcomings and that with Christ we are raised up … that our perfection is by the grace of God not by ourselves.

It humbles me to think, to know that without Christ I am lost and that so often in this mortal life I can lose contact with Christ, that my heart can be troubled and my desire of good can produce objection, frustration poorly expressed.  This I must pray might change.

As a mortal, even our desire for good can be expressed in the ways of mortals, imperfect humans … then, one becomes humbled and must seek both God’s mercy and forgiveness and a restoration of Christ as our foundation.  Man, it seems, cannot avoid missteps – Christ alone is our guide, our anchor, our health and perfection.  Humbling, indeed.

Forgive us our tresspasses even those that are the product of a desire for good.

Living in a manner that reflects our faith, shows Christ in us is our call, our task.

Shalom.

 

Published this post so late on the 13th of April that I will let it stand for today as well to give maximum opportunity for the readers.

Tomorrow: A Story about a Man Finding God in a Most Challenging Time.

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God bless you on this Good Friday.

Of every one hundred men … nine are real fighters … Ah, but the One … One of them is a warrior, and He will bring the others back.

Hericletus, 500 B.C.

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A handful of students at Notre Dame have said they felt “unsafe” because Vice President Mike Pence will be on campus to deliver the 2017 Commencement Address.

None of these students are among the nine who are real fighters.  That said such snowflakes are childish and they weaken this nation and make us vulnerable while living off the valor of the nine, and the One.

The Left, in their pathetic sensitivities, weaken us, make of us an easy target.

‘Tis about time that we said: stop it, you are making a fool of yourself and endanger the rest of us.  Perhaps the 21,000 lb. bomb dropped on ISIS tunnel fighters in Afghanistan changes the calculus.  If so, we hope that it changes the present prissy and whiney campus culture.

Imagining this sort of pussy-willow at Notre Dame (Home of the Fighting Irish) is hard to understand.  First, Notre Dame is a faith-place, a Catholic-faith place with 164 Masses said each week and a Chapel in just about every building including each of the student residences.  It follows that the faithful need not live in fear. Second, Notre Dame produces more Navy and Marine officers each year than any American college or university, the U.S. Naval Academy excepted.

The life of mankind has not changed from what Hericletus proclaimed in 500 B.C. A safe nation requires real fighters, and One exceptional warrior, to survive and flourish.

I note Hericletus made no mention of snowflakes and safe spaces.

Lesson learned, boys and girls?

Shalom.

No man can purify another man.

Buddha

 

Truth is the beginning of every good thing, both in Heaven and on earth …

Plato, in Laws

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Among the victims that the Left and feminism have claimed is Truth.  As to women, feminism has made those once strong and beautiful, inspiring, reliable and superior in their divine endowment, now shabby and cheap.

Case in point: Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice.

Here we have pampered people who have enjoyed what once were privileged educations: Wellesley, Yale, Stanford, Oxford; but who now are known for their public lies and behaviors that put their educations and vaunted “intellect” to question.

Their public lives have not distinguished them, their educational institutions, their Leftist politics nor created a reputation for honesty and character.  Quite the contrary. They are, sadly, a dismal image.  They have, however, poked large holes in feminism and its “mystique.”

In feminism there are great claims, and hence great risks.

When one claims an exalted status, long unfairly withheld – one had best show far better than Hillary and Ms. Rice.

Yes, with such claims one needs more Thacher, not lying and constant dissembling, confusion and ineptitude.  You see when a gender claims great things of its biology, it had best show great things.  Alas, this is definitively not so with Ms. Clinton and Ms. Rice.

With Captains Clinton and Rice, the ship of feminism is shown to be not seaworthy.

Eventually all that is not true takes on water and dies in the ocean deep.

Shalom.

Irony – One of the things that Ms. Clinton and Ms. Rice show is this: “education” notwithstanding, they are not smart enough to lie successfully.  Their deficit?  It is not a lack of dishonesty, but rather a lack of real world experience and understanding as to how to operate as a dishonest person.

A “teachable” take-away: getting an “education” does not make you particularly smart in the ways of the world – it means you went to school longer than other people.

In those first years the roads were peopled with refugees shrouded up in their clothing … Creedless shells … tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverland.  (Emphasis added.)

Cormac McCarthy, in The Road

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We live in a time of cultural crisis.  We are creedless.  Without a guiding story and the lessons such stories have provided over the ages.  The overarching narrative for centuries past imparted meaning, gave purpose and direction and identity, situated one on the map and within human history – a place in the sacred story of being.

Now we creedless shells.  And we are not just lost, but rather spinning in disorder and an immaturity that extends to people in their heretofore mature years.  Gray haired snowflakes, fear-filled idiots.  They populate, and seem even more present in mass media and within the celebrity status so cheaply bestowed on all measure of ill-informed moron whose face is projected on a screen or television.

The stories of various cultures over recorded human history have often included a hero who dies only to return from the netherworld to lead others to a good and ordered life of human meaning and fullness.  From this, the mortals become Creedal People – believers, those with an ordered existence, people who live in confidence, with purpose, in joy, with courage, intimately, in community, without fear, with understanding, and insight, and wisdom.  Think of the Christ story.  Ah, but now we reject Christ and the Christian story.  Indeed public mention is unwelcome.  Bigots shout Believers down and wimpish, little officials defer to the ignorant ones.

Rejecting the Christian story what takes its place, and what are the consequences?  Just look at contemporary American culture and see the small-scale, self-serving nitwit narratives that divide and destroy.  What are they?

I am woman, hear me roar.  Yes, the story of woman always short-changed and their need for status and superiority.  The “war on women” – its flipside: men are the problem – and more particularly White men.  Goodbye, amore – hello women obesity … and the war on men.   Division grows.

Religion is exiled – no prayer in public places, no trace of Judeo-Christian narrative in the civic square – unbelief the way for today.

The primacy of politics.  Nothing matters but politics and all things are political. Public toilet use becomes a “civil rights” issue, the nation has a “criminal past’ – so its borders do not matter, the country must be dissolved from within.

Family is destroyed.  Gender does not matter.  It is “redefined” to fit one’s fetish. In its place John and Bill, Jane and Betty – transgendered little Billy.  Child sacrifice is resurrected after centuries of sanity … and its efforts protected and publically funded. And no one sees anything unusual about this.  The fabrication of homophobia becomes an “illness.”

Race relations go sour – a fine by-product of the Civil Rights era, and Black racism has its public figures.  Tables turn and fellowship is dampened.

Christ is dispatched.  Children become snowflakes – unable to live life as it presents itself.

The liberal and others mimic Marxism and think they are “just grand.”  Dependent citizens grow as does taxpayer-supported-welfare for the “do-good” organizations.

The environment matters more than the human person and far more than the unborn child.  We have become less a nation, and more comprised of angry and discontented fools – migrants in a feverland.

Shalom.

… imagery can be interpreted as … psychological; for it is possible to observe, in the earliest stages of the development of the infant, symptoms of a dawning “mythology” of a state beyond the vicissitudes of time.

Joseph Campbell, in The Hero of a Thousand Faces

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I remember one of my first lectures when I entered a year of monastic life in the mountains of Colorado.  The speaker, an experienced Catholic priest, told us this: never lose touch with imagination.

Imagery.  Campbell tells us infants show signs of having a natural state of mind that exceeds the “vicissitudes of time” – that is, that accesses the mystery of life that has been recorded by varied humans, in varied cultures over the entire stretch of human history.

Oh, if that natural state were present in America and Western Culture today!  But alas, we are secularized and our ignorance is displayed in ideologies that bring us to ruin – personal and collective.

I get emails today from friends I have known over the years and with whom I have retained kind relationship.  The ones I refer to are in a twitter, a panic – turned to fear and frantic language; to wit:” Trump is a liar and those who support him are fascists, crazy, demonic, etc.”

Mind you, these are emails from people with college degrees who have cash in hand and have done well financially.  I note that they lack the state of being that brings them beyond the vicissitudes of time.  They have been sufficiently secularized, their imagination crushed and their range of experience boiled down to less than that of an infant.

These are brittle and sadly limited people.  Fear grips them.  Panic is near, and hatred within reach.  Resentment and anger has replaced calm and optimism.

When the Catholic Mass is said and the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated the priest says “Et Verbum caro factum est.”  (And the Word was made flesh.)  This is the experience of apotheosis – an exaltation to divine rank … making what seems but one thing, yet another more glorious than our mere human perception thought it to be.  Imagination.  

We have lost the capacity to imagine, to access and experience what is Divine, Eternal, Real, beyond the vicissitudes of time.  We have been dumbed-down and where hope was once known hatred, panic, anger, antagonism has taken its place.

By the way, I sadly count those who offer attacks in emails as casualties of secularism and dismiss their “views” accordingly. Education notwithstanding they are lost … lost to the mystery, converted to all that is material, now – lost to Truth and the long yesterday of the human story.

We live very poorly today in the West… and one wonders if those who wish our death and destruction live closer to imagination than we do?   At the same time it seems the case that some among us, without imagination, pose a danger all their own.

Shalom.

Thinking about America and a New Presidency

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Putin … views the current American political leadership class as utterly decadent and unworthy of traditional diplomatic norms and boundaries … (Emphasis added.)

The Democrats … hate conservatives or non-leftists.  They don’t like half the people of the country they seek to control!  They look at that half with disdain and disrespect.

Peggy Noonan, in The Wall Street Journal, October 15-16, 2016

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Barack Obama is releasing terrorist combatants and commuted the 35 year sentence of American soldier Bradley Manning who exposed military secrets to the grave detriment of America’s safety and national security.

This, of course, follows Mr. Obama’s display of weakness in Syria when he threatened retaliation if Syria used chemical weapons on its own people – and, despite his words – did nothing.

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens in his August 23, 2016, article “The New Dictators’ Club” describes how Mr. Obama succeeded in creating the circumstances for Russia, Iran and China to expand their power while he did nothing.

His Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, of course did her part by equipping a Russian “company” to acquire significant holdings of American uranium needed for nuclear weapons while collecting donations to her family Foundation from those involved in the transaction.

The Obama-Clinton’s idiocy of the “Arab Spring” disaster, added to Syria and the uranium deal, the release of terrorists, and the freeing of Mr. Manning makes the point that Barack Obama has given ample reason for others to treat us with contempt and invited their collusion and aggression.

Too many of the Ivy educated “leaders” never learned the basic lessons of life and one is the simple school yard lesson that “bullies take what you let them take and to prevent this you must knock them on their backside and beat some sense into them.”  The sense?  Yes, this:” don’t screw with me or you will get far worse than you’ve been given already.”

But alas, we are “governed” by those who have never been in a fight in their life.  They have badly wounded this nation.

At the beginning of the movie American Sniper, Chris Kyle’s father tells his two young boys that God made three kinds of people: sheep, sheep dogs and wolves and that it is the sheep dogs who protect the sheep from the wolves.

We haven’t been electing sheep dogs, and the wolves are having their way.  That’s got to end.

Shalom.

Footnote – You want to know how decadent this culture has become under the “elites,” Left and the Democrats?  We now report on the news that Mr. Bradley Manning (confused, self-mutilating young man) is now Chelsea Manning. Language matters.  A twist here and there and we lose our way; lying has its very expensive costs.  Tower of Babel, anyone? Yes, the Left has succeeded in making us contemptible.  Why do you put up with this?  Sheep or sheep dog?

   

 

Thinking About America and a New Presidency

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We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living.

Stephen King, in Duma Key

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Democrat Congressman John Lewis from Georgia and a leader in the early days of the cause of Civil Rights for Black Americans identifies President-elect Donald Trump as an “illegitimate” President but gives no reason for this claim.

Things such as this make you wonder if Stephen King isn’t right in what he says in the above quote.

Congressman Lewis has been in the U.S. Congress for a long time.  He has been a Democrat for a long time.  The Democrats have held power in the Federal Government for a long time and hold virtually exclusive power in major American cities – yet, the problems in the inner city remain.

One wishes Congressman Lewis would not speak so loosely.  We do ill is to divide, to do well is to unite.

Partisan politics (which sadly is the only politics the Democrats practice and pursue) makes us weaker as a nation, divide unnecessarily and forestall the welfare of many, many people.

We all make regrettable comments.  The public ones like this can be very destructive. When unity and cooperation are needed, division is very costly, a tragic wound.

Americans need to work together.  We live in troubled times and others wish us ill, desire our destruction.  We need not help them in their cause.  

In times such as these, partisan politics destroys.

Unity NOT division.

Shalom.

“You know, feelings will develop, that happen among humans and it’s good it happens, and I have always said, and I said it again last week, that you are a good friend, I care for you, and it’s fair to say in terms of emotional responses that mine has escalated or increased somewhat, and ‘love’ would not be a wholly inappropriate word to use to describe where  I’m coming from.”

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Well, what do you think?  Who might have said these convoluted words?  Well, not Jesus for sure.  But who?

And what do you think of one who might have “expounded” on love in these words.

The interesting thing to me is this: according to a Wall Street Journal article of November 24, 2014these are the words of our out-going President who I have always seen as a man without friends, a loner with little evidence of having encountered and mastered the kinds of experiences that grow wisdom and teach as only life’s hardships faced fully can teach.

When I read this quote, knowing the figure of the person who said this, it makes me ask: Can you lead if you do not know love in its fullest?  Can you have much to say of value if you have not lived a full life, the struggles and joys which teach you humility, the depths of love and the irreplaceable nature of religious narrative?

In a larger sense when I write this, I ask myself: in a world where aggression fills the voids of weakness and retreat can we be safe?  And this too: have we given too much deference to the “educated” class who, other than read books, have done little in life?  If so, are we prepared to see, name and address those who wish us harm and overly demonstrate that they intend to destroy our way of life?

Contrary to the Hollywood crowd, the world is not an Andy Hardy yarn.  It is rather much closer to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or No Country for Old Men.

The truth of the matter seems to me this: Don’t expect leadership from those who have not been tested, knocked down and gotten up for in this one learns to live and to love.

My concern?  We have an oversupply of those who accede to positions of political power and public commentary who have not been tested and grown fully in wisdom.  Life is tough.  It demands our strength and resolve.

Shalom.

 

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