The taste of your sweet breath
The salt of morning tears
Again I say good-bye to you
Hold on tight
So good to hurt so bad
So sad to ride away renewed
Go on laugh
Go on cry
It’s alright

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something lost about me with you
There’s something blind about the chosen few
There’s something wonderful about love

It’s been an odd week in social media, one in which the conservative side of the aisle poured out its love and money to The Popular Girl™ as compensation for the horror of being widowed at a young age. Next to losing a child, as brutal as it gets. This duly noted, giving a very well-paid political talking head over $400,000 for the college education of a two year old and child not due to be born for another two months gives pause for thought as to whether people engage their brain before thinking with their wallet.

Was I meant to be yours
The will of Christ above
Do you believe true love is blind
‘Cause I don’t know
When I get home come spring
Won’t you be glad to be mine
Just don’t laugh
Please don’t cry
Just say so

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something dark about destiny
There’s something blue about you with me
There’s something wonderful about love

Strange sights abounded this past week. A full-blown liberal in every sense of the world, a staff member of the despised on all fronts both collectively and individually Obama administration, was hailed as walking atop the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool each day on his way to work. Said individual, regardless of his personal strengths, would have at best received an “unfortunate” cluck over upon his death were he not married to the aforementioned Popular Girl™. No GoFundMe page, no tribute torrent, no maudlin memorials. None. Meanwhile, conservatives continue to tear each other to shreds over Donald Trump and Pope Francis, who according to some will shortly have an armwrestling contest to see which is indeed the Antichrist.

Sorry to call so late
The planet turned four times
You’re on my mind but you’re nowhere
In my world
Please kiss the little bird
God bless the cozy cage we share
You kill me
You thrill me
You threaten my dreams, girl

Life is unpredictable, simultaneously cool and cruel. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, the quality of sympathy is not strained when it comes to Mary Katharine Ham. But neither should it be misplaced, defined as cash donations for one who like so many in conservative new media has become what they profess to oppose, namely a cyberspace recluse living behind corporate media’s castle walls albeit ones with conservative runes carved above the impenetrable self-satiated door.

Do not let the present sorrow obscure reality. The conservative blogosphere was founded on the principal of citizen journalists directly addressing not only fellow citizens with the truth, but also a corrupt mainstream media ensconced in its ivory tower, never so much as acknowledging let alone addressing the public.

That changed when the first third-party paycheck arrived.

It used to be that monetizing blogging consisted of placing a Google Ads link on your site. Now, we have Salem Media owning HotAir and RedState and Townhall and Twitchy, the leading example of a third-party entity taking over what once were blogs and transforming them into corporate media mouthpieces albeit ones with a usually conservative bent.

There are very, very few blogs and bloggers left; genuinely independent voices offering news and analysis. (As a side note, I am honored to write for one on this site.) Instead, we have countless casual format columnists drawing their material from the same mainstream media sources they insist are cesspools of liberal bias, adding nothing except “me too” or “f u.” They excel at making themselves the focus of attention, especially when some real or imaginary slight comes their way. Their call to battle is cry outrage! and let slip the tweets of butthurt. Promoting the conservative agenda is a side issue. The primary focus is self-promotion, moving ever further up the ladder in pursuit of exposure on the selfsame mainstream media they insist they exist as its opposition.

Everyone enjoys an attaboy from others; a retweet or a blog post link. But how many conservative new media high rollers return the favor save for other at or above their exposure level? They excel at asking us to laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. But return the favor? Not so much. Say something about this, and you are immediately set upon by a wolfpack of sycophants and wannabes hoping that by doing so they will curry favor with the elite. Excuses made for the select abound: they’re too busy, blah blah blah, how dare you speak to them in that manner. Let them be and quit making a fuss knocking on their ivory tower’s door!

Again, conservative new media has become what it once professed to oppose.

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something liberating death alone brings
There’s something funny about a lot of sad things
There’s something wonderful about love

Love remains; mercy triumphs in the seeming failure of the cross. The bloodstained wood is followed by the empty tomb. Throughout our temporal sorrows and joys, forgiveness and understanding through our shared humanity, led by the Man of Sorrows, should guide our way. But do not be fooled; do not substitute a pity party for sympathy. The poor and the orphan need our help. Others need love, not fulfillment for love of money.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=6aJqf1_kAa4?rel=0&w=450&h=253
Riga's Old City
Riga’s Old City

By John Ruberry

Although there is no love lost between the two groups, contemporary Latvia is result of ethnic Latvians and ethnic Russians living together in the middle Baltic State.

When independence was achieved from the Soviet Union in 1991, only a slight majority of the nation was comprised of ethnic Latvians. Now they make up over a little more than sixty percent of the nation. Russians make up slightly more than one-quarter of the population.

Ethnic Latvians listen consume their media, Russian consume their media. Many young Russians attend Russian language schools. Older Russians for the most part aren’t citizens of Latvia–after independence, most of them did not qualify for citizenship and now they are unable or unwilling to learn Latvian–a requirement to become a citizen of the Republic of Latvia.

Politico reported last week that the two ethnic groups have found something they agree on–they don’t want any Middle Eastern refugees among their birch trees. Last week a rally was held in Riga, the capital, in which protesters who were largely ethnic Latvians proclaimed their opposition to accepting any Middle Eastern refugees.

Russians go home
Graffiti in Riga

Latvia is a member of the European Union and has agreed to accept 531 refugees. Right, that’s not very many. The mayor of Riga, an ethnic Russian who is a member of a party that is widely seen as the voice of other Russians, opposes accepting any asylum seekers from the Middle East. Yes, his party agrees with him.

Opinion polls show that two-thirds of Latvians oppose participating in the EU refugee resettlement plan.

But Latvia’s two largest ethnic blocs finally agree on something.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. He has visited Latvia twice. John’s wife was born in Latvia. 

This morning a drove a friend to meet a bus to Atlantic City and she was all about how Pope Francis isn’t addressing things like abortion:

Planned Parenthood begs to differ:

Abortion giant Planned Parenthood is lashing out at the Pope, after he’s repeatedly spoken up for the right to life of the unborn during his visit to the United States.

“Despite Pope Francis’ progressive stance on climate change and economic equity, he has taken a back seat when it comes to reproductive health and women’s rights,” said Alexander Sanger, the grandson of eugenicist Margaret Sanger, and board member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. He’s accusing the Pope of limiting women’s rights and hampering “women’s health.”

Mark Shea is shocked SHOCKED:

I have no explanation for this since I have been repeatedly assured by the Greatest Catholics of All Time in comboxes across St. Blog’s that our weak-kneed Che Guevara pope (the worst since Alexander VI!) utterly failed to speak against abortion and had given aid and comfort to Planned Parenthood.

Research continues in the struggle to explain the stark difference in perception between NPR and Planned Parenthood on the one hand and the League of Perfect Catholics on the other.

Part of this problem can be explained here:

FALSE STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO POPE FRANCIS
Dear friends, we have been notified by many readers that there are stories currently circulating all over the Internet spreading statements by Pope Francis with regard to a number of issues, concerning the Bible’s content, the relations between religions, the renewal of the Church’s doctrine, and even the calling of an alleged “Third Vatican Council”, which are FALSE. These statements were spread by unknown sources. Therefore, we would like to alert all readers to be careful and not to trust too soon news about the Pope that are not from the Vatican.

That’s been one of the advantages of the live coverage, while many are trying to spin what he says, the actual video is seen by all who wish to. For others, here is a warning from the Vatican:

IF THE STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO THE POPE BY ANY MEDIA AGENCY DO NOT APPEAR IN THE OFFICIAL MEDIA SOURCES OF THE VATICAN, IT MEANS THAT THE INFORMATION THEY REPORT IS NOT TRUE.

No matter how much the MSM wants to use & spin the Pope to serve their purposes, and no matter how many might find it to their advantage to hit the Pope, he isn’t here as a political actor, as Father Dwight Longenecker put it:

The Pope is an Evangelist – Pope Francis, like Benedict and John Paul before him, is not only the leader of the world’s Catholics–he is the successor of the Apostles Peter and Paul and they were traveling evangelists. St Paul went to Athens and adapted the gospel message to his philosophical hearers. Likewise, with his emphasis on climate change Pope Francis is making a connection with secular people. He gets them to agree with him on climate change and then goes on to talk about the dignity of the human person, our obligation to the Creator and the need to have an encounter with Christ. This is a good, tried and true evangelistic method.

If you want to reject this Pope because he didn’t sound like Rush or Ted Cruz before congress, then you have no idea what he’s doing here, and if you do only accept this Pope because you think his positions on Climate Change can give cover for yourself as a Catholic who rejects the doctrines of the church then you’re simply deluding yourself.

As the Pope said in his homily in Madison Square Garden:

The Mighty God. In Jesus, God himself became Emmanuel, God-with-us, the God who walks alongside us, who gets involved in our lives, in our homes, in the midst of our “pots and pans”, as Saint Teresa of Jesus liked to say.

The Everlasting Father. No one or anything can separate us from his Love. Go out and proclaim, go out and show that God is in your midst as a merciful Father who himself goes out, morning and evening, to see if his son has returned home and, as soon as he sees him coming, runs out to embrace him. An embrace which wants to take up, purify and elevate the dignity of his children. A Father who, in his embrace, is “glad tidings to the poor, healing to the afflicted, liberty to captives, comfort to those who mourn” (Is 61:1-2).

Prince of Peace. Go out to others and share the good news that God, our Father, walks at our side. He frees us from anonymity, from a life of emptiness and selfishness, and brings us to the school of encounter. He removes us from the fray of competition and self-absorption, and he opens before us the path of peace. That peace which is born of accepting others, that peace which fills our hearts whenever we look upon those in need as our brothers and sisters.

If you don’t get this, if you haven’t heard this then you have no idea what the job of a Pope is or what he’s doing here.