Monday, November 26, 2012

Trivial Pursuit...Pundit Commentary



Many conservatives, moderate Republicans and even Democrats are writing ad nauseum about what the GOP must do in order to win presidential elections.  I find most of it superficial; actually more harmful than helpful.  But then I confess, I am looking through a slightly different prism.  To the Ann Coulters, the Bill Kristols, the Charles Krauthammers, the Peggy Noonans, etc, I say STOP.  Think about what you are doing.  You are swimming with the Piranhas and don’t even realize it.  You risk becoming “beltway pundits;”  “full of pomp and fury, signifying nothing.”  Have you been successfully tempted by the enemy? Has he perhaps appealed to well known weaknesses of human nature….you want to be accepted, wooed, complimented, invited, respected, in a word, popular!  Accomplished!  But what is bartered away in such a process is the “pearl of great price;” the one true thing, discovered by Dante in his painfully introspective journey.  Commentary is only efficacious when its goal is pre-eminently, truth!

Our society has become quite proficient at latching on to one or another superficiality or distraction and wrestling the darn thing to the mat!  Did this strategy or that strategy work?  What was most effective (in avoiding the truth and winning votes?)  There are commentators on every cable network wholeheartedly engaged in this battle as though it meant something important!  The tragedy is that these trifles are completely meaningless;  they are nothing more than the tactics of evil;  successfully keeping us enthralled, at the restless surface, where nothing of import can be discovered, but where our self-congratulatory  escapades remain completely harmless to the deeper inexorable movement taking place;  the reality that threatens are very existence!  

For the most part, the public schools and our universities have completely surrendered to the zeitgeist of “trivial pursuit” at the surface.   And, like Hitler’s well trained youth, they have even become the gatekeepers.  Woe to the one who steps out of lockstep and asks Ann Coulter, or God forbid, a Clarence Thomas to speak on campus!  The “goon” squad will soon beat this “fool” down until the invitation is swiftly retracted and things have once again returned to “normal!”  Freedom is no longer the privilege of learning to love the true and beautiful and staking ones existence on it; no, freedom is now synonymous with license.  And, license requires no responsibility, only power.  And, “power” it shall have!
Currently, in our culture, one of two things is happening; either the individual chooses to be liked and accepted and therefore precludes himself the opportunity of challenging the irrationality of narcissistic license; gradually evolving his own thinking into its fantasy ,riding rather gleefully undisturbed along the surface.  These keep themselves deceived by busily dotting the (i)s or crossing the (t)s rather than ever risking a look at the earthquake quivering in the depths.

The other group has opted out of thinking at all….they are all in!  Now, having become the acolytes of the new “normal “they have successfully stifled all curiosity, questioning or rationality.  Usually, they have traded an obsession, an addiction, a “pleasure” for their very soul.  However, as Dante frequently alludes to in his epic poem, the irony is, these individuals are no longer free.  They have traded their freedom, their individual human dignity for society’s imprimatur!  In truth, they have become slaves.

 Furthermore, rather than making them cheerful and happy acolytes, they become more and more hostile and hateful toward their perceived enemies, the remnant who oppose them intellectually.  These are the “Occupy Wall Street” types, or the frenzied crowd outside the WH on election night, cheering “socialism and Karl Marx. “  Even “mainline Democrats,” with whom I came in contact while working at Douglas County Elections, were afflicted with this hostile, cheerless voice.  After their candidate had won re-election, several approached me wanting to engage in conversation.  They asked, “Why do you dislike Obama?”  I responded that his votes to allow infanticide in the Illinois State Legislature along with rabid endorsement of Planned Parenthood, in spite of proven corruption in their operations, would be the first among many, reasons I voted against him.  Rather than answer my response rationally, they suddenly became personally hateful and displayed such anger and hostility that I was shocked!  They told me to STOP, to shut up NOW!  I guess they had forgotten that it was they who asked the question!  I simply asked them to look up Obama’s voting record in the Illinois legislature…facts can be found independent of what they think about me.  One would think they had been the losers that night. 

 I would also include most of the pseudo journalists on MSNBC etc who rail against the” shadows on the cave wall.”  Far from being objective or even acknowledging well known facts, regarding Benghazi, for example, they simply charge ahead in what can only be described as emotionally unbalanced hatred and intolerance.  They make a mockery of what “journalism” is supposed to be in a free society.  They are nothing more than propagandists.

Unfortunately, this latter group will only become more hateful; in other places and times they have accelerated a totalitarian government.  Once one has come this far, he either throws all his chips in, or he is mercifully  shocked out of his downward spiral and literally hits the brick wall of reality….and it is at this time when he is once again offered an existential choice.

So, what is deep below the surface?  Truth!  How do we know it is the “truth?”

Absolute truth, what the founders meant when they spoke of human rights and sovereignty springing from the Natural Law; it does exist.  Its wisdom is like a key which opens the door to man’s intellect, his will, his heart.  Man was created to explore, understand and grow by this very seed implanted in his soul which is the very “image of God.”  Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation, he is self-conscious, he is imbued with free will, he is perfectly suited to intellectual discipline and he is a natural contemplative as his spirit is “compassed” to guide him back home to the Triune communion of love which is his home.

This is the reason man becomes more and more disintegrated and agitated when he willfully turns away from God and makes himself a god.  The “utopia of freedom” supposedly achieved is, in fact, nothing more than a hideous anarchy descending into totalitarianism, power.  This death spiral has occurred many times in history, yet man’s lower nature follows Dante down to the inferno time and time again!

It fails because it denies the very nature of man!  Man needs worship; he needs worship because he was made in the image of his Creator.  Man is a creation of body and soul, of physical and spiritual.   Let’s consider a train….we all love to watch trains rattle around the track, putting miles and miles of terrain behind them.  One could, in looking at that locomotive, say to himself, “that poor train is stuck on that track, it’s the only way it can go any place; if it could think, might it say, just once I would love to jump that track and go off on my own.  I don’t need the track….I want to be free.  But, if the train could think, it would be missing a very important point.  It IS after all, a train!  Its very nature requires a track in order to move through reality.  It only stops its forward momentum if it somehow jumps the track.  

If man is indeed God’s creation, made to find fulfillment within the Triune love of God, than anything short of that will fail to answer man’s existential need.  

This is the depth.  These are the questions man has been wrestling with from the beginning.  And man, through generations upon generations has come up with some answers.  We do a grave injustice to the wisdom that has come before us if we simply disregard what has been rationally and spiritually tested for centuries, only to placate our drive for selfish indulgences.

Here is an example of what has come before us, about 2000 years before us:

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovable, whatever is admirable…think about these things.”          Phil. 4:8

Unfortunately, the search for “truth” is not uppermost in the minds of modern day “talking heads.”
“Trivial Pursuit” is the game “du jour!”

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The "Scam"/Thanks Mark Levin

Mark Levin has it right....this supposed "deal" is nothing but a ponce scheme! Its supposed cuts come from such things as the Administration's 2011 budget, which never existed.

Boehner and Bush cohorts have done nothing but completely collapse again. This is their only expertise. If some intestinal fortitude doesn't show up at the party soon, we are in big trouble. There is no chance they will do any better at the upcoming two battles....they are afraid of their tails.

They lost the riders, the defunding of Obamacare and even the spending cuts are in the nature of a mirage! Taxpayer funded abortions continue unabated. It is a disgrace.

Levin has called it truthfully, thank God for his voice of truth.

Michelle Bachman has lost credibility as well. She basically stuck with the Bush Washington elitists stating her optimism that the deal would go through and avert a shut down (oh, heaven forbid!) albeit, without the Planned Parenthood rider and then later had the political cover to vote NO stating she was never for such small cuts. It's the typical Washington ploy played out from the inside.

The "votes" in the Senate will obviously lose so the Dems lost nothing on that. They demagogued the issue chasing the gutless entrenched Republicans right into the box they devise every single time.

Ryan's budget will go no where except to raise the issue in the election and the debt ceiling will be raised, period end of story.

There is only ONE unpredictable variable in this entire sickly mess...and that is the American people. They are the only ones with any guts because they have to "walk the walk" every single day of their lives. They don't continue to get paid when they completely shirk all responsibility, they don't get life time pensions like the teacher's unions just because they walk in the door like leeches on the wallets of taxpayers, and "the people" have not forgotten there is a God, to whom we have made a covenant bought in Blood, and that we will be held accountable for our acts. They still believe in the Natural Law, morality and the truth of a man's word. Though many forces are arrayed against them, if they stand up to Washington, our Nation may yet be saved from disaster.....this is our only hope.

God help us and forgive us for yet more innocent unborn lives snuffed out at taxpayer expense. Our society kills its own children and then jumps onto the band wagon that we need more illegals to help pay for Social Security etc in the future. What have we become?



Friday, July 3, 2009

Sarah Palin and Conventional Wisdom

Sarah Plain’s decision to leave office in Alaska has aptly highlighted the irony of "conventional wisdom."

I've got news for all the media pundits, Washingtonian elites and beltway political junkies, who walk in lock-step with each other, their mediocrity ricocheting like images on a mirror, with about as much reality as an amusement park fun house.

I pity this self-absorbed, arrogant class of bland uninteresting pundits for they have lost the ability to think and thereby intuit creatively.

Sarah Palin is not one of them, there is a profound difference in her; the public sees it plain as day but it totally eludes the elites. They are blind as bats here. In some respect, its laughable, however, with the state of our country, the critical stakes for the future in mind, on another level, it is extremely disconcerting.

To put it simply, one need only go back to another unconventional soul, Henry David Thoreau. Sarah Palin's personhood "beats to the beat of a different drummer," and this is exactly what makes her hated by the left and misunderstood and underestimated by elites on the Right.

However, to be a "real" leader, not a badly orchestrated facade, like Obama, the ability to "think outside the box," to incorporate a certain, spiritually guided risk into one's existence and bravely act on it, is more than an eccentricity, it is a necessity.

Risk, by definition requires a potential cost. As we celebrate July 4th this weekend, I am reminded of what many of the soldier's under George Washington's seemingly hopeless cause answered, when their peers, who thought it safer to stay within the folds of King George, asked them why they chose to stay and fight, with little food, no uniforms, few weapons and rampant diseaase? Their answers, revealed in extant letters, was simple; this man has risked everything, including his fortune, his honor and his life for the cause of freedom; "I cannot abandon a man who has so courageously put everything on the line." George Washington risked, his heart heard a distant drummer; this is the sign of a real leader!

From a theological perspective, one need only look at the story of the Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman. The conventional wisdom of the day was that Jews should have no contact whatsoever with Samaritans. The history went back centuries, but basically, Samaritan’s were considered apostates and “untouchables.” It went so far that Jews would not even take a road through Samaritan territory, instead traveling for miles out of their way for the sake of avoidance.

It was the hottest part of the day when this woman went to draw water. One did not endanger himself this way ordinarily. The cooler hours of morning or evening were far more typical, unless, of course, one was an outcast, even in Samaritan society.

She did not want to be seen by respectable people. What an irony! She comes upon God incarnate. Not only does Our Lord speak with her, in spite of her own sarcasm toward Him, but He lays bare His own divinity by telling her every detail about her life. Furthermore, he shares with this complete societal outcast the secret of true wisdom. True wisdom is not like this water which quenches thirst for the moment. On the contrary, true wisdom is like a fountain forever brimming over to eternal life. He explains to her that God seeks those who will worship “in spirit and in truth, for God is spirit.” In other words, worship has nothing to do with conventional wisdom, it has only to do with truth.

Conventional wisdom and truth have nothing to do with each other, one speaks to reality, the other to a mirage. It is deadly to a creative life, to leadership and to vision. And, it is not the stuff that motivated men like our founding fathers nor laid the cornerstone of freedom for this great nation.

I don't know what will become of Sarah Palin, but I have confidence that whatever, path her life takes she will be just fine. Why? Because she has already demonstrated in her life's choices that she is a free and independent thinker, she is not afraid of risk but feels more comfortable fighting against conventional wisdom than rushing headlong with it. She is creative, courageous and unafraid. In a word, she is a leader.

God's speed Sarah, whether you are one day President or not!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Courage/"Do you also want to leave Me?"

This has been a rough week for truth.  The signs of the times are looking dismal; just this week Katherine Sebelius was whizzed through the confirmation process, a nightmare for the lives of the innocent in their mother's wombs.

Janet Napolitano, another radical, who seemed not the least bit cognizant of her irrational responses to the possibility of closing down the border with Mexico until we could get a handle on this brand new virus creeping into our country, went on TV spouting the administration's line.

Justice Seuter announced his coming resignation...Spector changed parties...illustrating a completely transparent motive of ultimate self-interest, in maintaining the good life that power in Washington undeniably engenders.

Eric Holder went to Germany to announce that he has plans for releasing Gitmo terrorists into our country.  Never mind his own country's citizens concerns over such idiotsy!

And all the while, Obama continues his appalling fast track to the radical left, leaving the unborn and all other American values for which our bravest have fought and died, littered, like trash, all over the ground on which, he,  the "Messiah" walks.

Yes, we, as Christians are becoming marginalized, we are heading for a period in the wilderness, of relatively no political power...this will be a time for testing our love of, Truth Himself, Our Blessed all loving Lord, Jesus.  

We must not fail Him!

In the midst of all this chaos, which turning away from God engenders, there have been those who hold up the model of courage, a mantle we must take upon ourselves.

Today's Gospel in the Catholic Lectionary is John 6, starting about verse 22.  It is one of the few times when Jesus places a very concrete demand on his diciples.  It appears to most of them to be scandalous, and it tests their faith to the very core.  In order to stay with Jesus, they will need to abandon all conventional wisdom and give truth all the trust they can muster, however weak their souls. 

There is courage to be had in this incident but Jesus apears willing to lose every single one of His followers to uphold His Word.

Jesus, who usually teaches in parables, mades a very literal statement, with no excuses, no chance to rationalize, either accept it or reject it, no middle ground here.  He doesn't chase after those who walk away saying," wait, I didn't mean that literally, only figuratively.  Come back." 

No, He was willing to embrace the agony of their desertions.

He says, "I am the Bread of Life...in truth, in very truth I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of God, and drink His blood, you have no life in you....my flesh is real food, my blood is real drink,...whoever eats this bread will not die but live forever."  My quote is very truncated, Jesus devotes alot of time and words to this very concrete admonition.

As one might expect, this was "the straw to break the camels back" for most of His diciples.  Murmering and arguing erupted among them all, "how can this be?"  There must be some other meaning, it must be figurative.

Yet, Our Lord did not back down one bit.  As many of his followers began to separate themselves and walk away, Our Lord, looked to His twelve closest followers.  The pathos in his question to them breaks my heart.

To me, His transparent glory, His pure agape love, His will to be ultimately vulnerable toward His children shines through like a beacon.  He directs His attention to his most intimate friends and these words come from His mouth...

"Do you also want to leave Me?"

He is willing to be forsaken by every last one of those He loves opening Himself up to utter rejection, so important is this to Him.

Simon Peter is filled with courage, it hangs from every passionate word he utters in response.  He responds in kind to his Beloved, to his God.  "Lord, to whom should we go?  Your words hold eternal life.  Peter doesn't care a wit about anything in the world, he has surrendered his soul to Jesus.  

Courage.  There will come a defining moment for every Christian when he becomes aware of that fork in the road and he must take "the road less travelled."

So, who gave us examples of this kind of courage this week, in our own time? 

 Mary Ann Glendon, former Ambassador to the Vatican wrote a letter to Notre Dame University, articulating with courage and wisdom, why she will not accept the award for which she had been invited; the University, she states, has left Our Lord by its actions in rewarding Obama when he fights for infanticide around the world.  The University has walked away from Our Lord just as those many diciples separated themselves from Him 2000 years ago.  She will stand with Peter.  Her mantle will be courage born of love for Jesus.  (http://www.firstthings.com/blog/2009/04/27/declining-notre-dame-a-letter-from-mary-ann-glendon/)

And, please read Andrew McCarthy's letter to Eric Holder, rejecting the invitation he received to be a token member of a panel, which will be used to release Gitmo detainees. (http://www.lgstarr.blogspot.com/2009/05/mccarthy-beautiful-mind-just-says-no.html)  

He articulates the truth, defending the values for which every one of our soldiers has fought and sacrificed their lives for; honestly characterizing Holder's actions for the antithetical "sacrilege" that they are.  He will not be a part of that....instead he will bear the mantle of truth, however unpopular the repercussions.

Holiness can come out of the wilderness...just when the Roman Empire thought it had extinguished Christianity forever, a young Constantine, about to see a vision of the cross, upended the entire western world by making Christianity the crown of western civilization.

Again, the pagan, secular world is feeling their power, they can taste victory:  we must cling to our Beloved in humility and He will adorn us as "the lillies of the field," we will not lack for the courage needed.  

May St. Michael and all the Choirs of angels assist us in the wilderness as they assisted God Himself!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Demographics/No children, no wealth for America

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6564


Please go to this link and read this article; everybody in America needs to read it.  

What is the number one issue young conservatives should push in the coming years?  We have got to have more children!  And, we have to provide BIG tax advantages for people who are willing to take on the responsibility of raising the next generation. 

David Goldman explains, in economic terms, why our economy is dithering toward depression, and the only hope to turn this sinking ship around.  


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Party Day a Great Success/A Gathering Storm

As soon as I got home from work I turned on the TV and my laptop, in reverse order.

Of course, Fox News Channel was the only media outlet covering the cultural event of the day.  

I lived through the 60's protests, and, of course, the more recent leftest groups filled with paid rebels funded by the likes of Acorn and George Soros.  Never have I seen Americans rise up across this nation like happened today.

These were traditional, hard working, ordinary Americans; the umbrella under which they stood was the banner of freedom, personal responsibility, faith in God and love of everything this country has stood for since our founding.

Then I turned the channel to EWTN and watched some of the Installation Mass of the new Archbishop of New York, Timothy M. Dolan.  

A few minutes earlier, I had come across a piece on the web about Governor Paterson of New York, initiating the process to legalize gay marriage in the state.  The same article made the additional point that the new Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, had just made a comment today that he would actively oppose any attempt to legitimize gay marriage in New York.  

Governor Patterson happens to be one of the honored guests at tonights ecclesiastical installation.   The visual scene provided an interesting dichotomy.

While watching the Mass in the majesty of St. Patrick's Cathedral, framed by the ancient liturgical beauty of the ceremony, the camera spanned the congregation and there was Governor David Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg...politely clapping, revealing rather somber expressions.

An uneasy spiritual feeling crept over me;   two simultaneous pictures before my eyes; the masses of Americans preparing to democratically fight to bring back the America they have known and loved all their lives, the Catholic Church about to appoint a conservative pro-active Archbishop of New York, prepared to fight for the Church's stance on social issues on one side, and the Governor of New York, hoards of far left  Obama "kool aid" drinkers at his back, along with undeniably radical Administration appointees, on the other side; it was almost like waiting for the curtain to rise on some great Shakespearean tragedy.   

It had a medeival feel about it...there is a grave seriousness on both sides and the cultural differences could not be more antithetical.

The sides are gathering, everyone will eventually have to choose, I am lining up with the Tea Party folks.  May God Bless this country and give us wisdom.



  

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"The Hound of Heaven"// No wisdom in Newsweek

It is Good Friday.

At this moment, as I write this sentence, the Roman Church is celebrating the Stations of the Cross in Rome, Italy.  Where is this liturgy taking place?  In the ruins of the Roman Coliseum, where Christians by the thousands were torn apart by lions, wild beasts, victims of the most henious acts of violence. 

Yes, The Roman Coliseum is where Christianity died.

Fast forward through history and one finds Nietzsche declaring the death of God in his philosophy.  Ironically, his own sister was a nun.

Yes,  modern philosophy is where Christianity died.

Then, in 1966, Time magazine graced its cover with the headline:  "Is god dead?"  Then 3 years later the same magazine had to retract slightly with a different cover: "Is God coming back to life?"

And, now, again, this week during Holy Week, Newsweek's cover declares the decline of Christianity. It is too archaic for our times, we are too enlightened now, it is miserably, irrefutably politically incorrect.  It cannot compete with our new gods, the god of "tolerance," "relativism," and "secularism."  

Yes,  the 21st century is where God died.

On Good Friday, we enter into, the first time Christianity died, on a cross, outside the walls of Jerusalem.   Deicide.   The historical record since that dark day has nothing new to tell us.   

Three days later, the unquenchable fire that is Being Itself, reconstituted life...the resurrection, "trampling down death, by death."  Oh, no, creation, I live, and I will hound you to your last breath so that you may be lifted up with Me to life eternal.  

I remember watching the movie, Jesus of Nazareth, years ago.  I particularly liked one line a Roman soldier says at the end of the movie after entering the empty tomb..."now it begins..."

Jesus is the truth, the way and the life; He is life.  Truth will not die...because truth is not a trend, a philosophy, even a religion.  Truth is a Person.  There is no being, no creation, nothing, without the loving will of Being Itself.

Sometime "google" the poem by Francis Thompson, "The Hound of Heaven."  I find it captures the essence of a love so enamored with his creation that He tracks us down in every silent crevice of our existence...He lives.

G. K. Chesterton said of his poem:

"That is the primary point of the work of Francis Thompson; even before its many colored pageant of images and words.  The awakening of the Domini Canes, the Dogs of God, meant that the hunt was up once more; the hunt for the souls of men; and that religion of that realistic sort was anything but dead...In any case it was an event of history as much as an event of literiture, when personal religion returned with something of the passion of Dante, the Dies Irae, after a century when such religion had seemed to grow more weak and provincial, and more and more impersonal religions appeared to possess the future.  And those who best understand the world know that the world has changed,and that the hunt will continue until the world turns to bay."

"I fled Him down the nights and down the days,
I fled Him down the arches of the years,
I fled Him down the labyrinth of ways,
of my own mind, and in the midst of tears.....

All that which I took from Thee, I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But only that thou might seek it in my arms.
All which thy child's mistake,
Francis, as lost,
I have stored for thee at home.
"Rise, clasp my hand, and come.....
I am He whoc though seekest!

There is much more.  Find this poem and give yourself to it for a moment.  You will see God is not dead, He continues to hound our every moment with His love.

Alleluia, Christ is risen indeed.