This past weekend, the mysterious yet not mythical Mrs. Dude and I took some much needed time away from our respective workplaces to visit the mice, ducks, dogs, chipmunks, and other critters. In other words, Disneyland.

Given how we had an extra day, rather than take the quicker, fiercely duller I-5 freeway we opted for the more coastal I-101. The 101 mostly follows the trail left by Spanish Franciscans during the late 1700s and early 1800s as they established twenty-one missions stretching from San Diego to Solano, all of which still stand in some fashion.

As the 101 enters the lower reaches of central California, it goes through a lengthy stretch of mostly gentle hills, dotted or covered in evergreen oak trees with grasses and occasionally flowers underneath. In a few places man has unobtrusively made his present felt with the occasional vineyard or orchard, but for the most part everything is how nature has presently left things arranged. It is beautiful, peaceful, and pastoral.

It is also utterly deceiving.

The gently rolling hills, their surface worn to smooth roundness by millennia of rain and growth, thoroughly hide how whenever one travels through them one does so atop a ticking bomb. The San Andreas and ancillary earthquake faults lie beneath, their convulsive thrusting over countless years having formed the scarps and protrusions that we now see in gently sloped, innocent form. It is not a question of if the next great earthquake will strike this land, or north or south of here, but rather when, a question science answers with a supremely confident shrug. Save building upon and anchoring to a solid foundation, one that remains in place even as the structure it supports has sufficient flexibility to enable the passing through of energy expended whenever tectonic plates throw a temper tantrum, there is no possible preparation for when the earth forcibly reminds us we are not in charge.

That said, once proper preparations for the inevitable are made there is no excuse for not finding healing in the hills’ beauty. The moment one conforms his or her thinking to what the hills are, this as compared to what one wishes the hills to be, clarity ensues.

Clarity; seeing what is and responding accordingly in lieu of acting based on preferred reality, is a sadly rare commodity these days. Humanity has done an excellent job of convincing itself its perception is indeed reality. Self-identification has become sacrosanct. Few dare tell others they are not who they think they are. You are an expert witness, a political earthshaker because you say you are? Of course you are. Meanwhile, the real earthshaker lays beneath its benign disguise, waiting for a time of its own choosing to reveal its fearsome power.

The time has come to stop pretending and start living. Let the impotent rage and peacock posing go. Being a social media warrior is no more noble than being a social justice warrior. We are not shifting the dialogue; we are not changing policy. We’re just not.

What we can do is change culture from the inside out. Loving family and friends, tending to one another in heart, mind, and soul; this is achievable. We can preach, in word and far more importantly deed, Christ crucified and risen. Let us embrace truth as we live among the lovely and violent hills, practicing our love and faith while preparing for the inevitable upheaval we can neither prevent nor predict.

There are many things that we can do in response to the Press/Democrat/Liberal Jihad on the Trump administration.

We can treat Democrats in the same way they do Trump and hold them to the same legal standards (special prosecutors at the drop of a hat , massive protests whenever they try to speak,  lawsuits whenever possible ) in the hopes that being on the receiving end of Democrat treatment might cause them to temper their behavior in the same way that directly confronting Antifa in Berkeley suddenly caused the university and the city to decide enforcing the law was a good idea.

But if you claim Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular there is one avenue that we need to be active on in terms of defending this administration.

Prayer.

We need to be praying for this president and his administration on a daily basis, asking God to protect and inspire it toward his will, because as St. Paul noted we are fighting against more than earthly powers and if we are to prevail we need to make this fight on all fronts.

For myself as part of my daily 2 hour prayer routine I offer the 3rd Sorrowful mystery the Crowning with Thorns for President Trump and this administration.  It is an appropriate choice not only because of the treatment of said administration by the press which takes joy in their attempts to inflict pain and humiliation on it but because “contempt of the world” that is, contempt for what the desires and pressures of the world when serving God is the traditional intention in St. Louis De Montfort famous volume on praying the Rosary.

There are some who might discount such an action as many people think of their Christian faith as a social club that meets on Sundays.

But if you actually believe in the truth of Christianity and in what Christ actually said this is not only logical and rational but necessary if we want things to improve.

So if you are a Catholic (or even if you are not) I invite you to join me in this daily devotion for the sake of this administration and by extension for our common country.

May God bless our efforts

I’ve never been a huge fan of Ann Coulter. While politically I am aligned with many of her perspectives, she struck me as more sensational for the sake of being a sensation than as a person truly interested in helping to solve America’s problems. When she did a 180 on many GOP Presidential candidates she once supported to be an early adopter of Donald Trump’s campaign, I realized my suspicions were correct. She embraces perceived boldness over solid policy.

This is why I was pleasantly surprised when she started calling out Trump recently. When a public figure puts so much political capital into someone, they are inclined to continue even when things turn south. The budget deal hit her hard and she lashed out against Trump. With all the hoopla surrounding the way the President may or may not have handled James Comey, Michael Flynn, Israeli intelligence with the Russians, and even potential tapes made of conversations, we’re seeing many people both public and private doing backflips to spin it as conspiracy theory or standard MSM manipulation.

Here’s the thing: there are conspiracy theories out there that are crazy and the mainstream media is going to manipulate things against the GOP. That doesn’t justify taking attention away from clear missteps and poor decisions by the administration. Nobody should be a willful puppet for anyone else, particularly a politician.

For full disclosure, I’m a founding member of the Federalist Party. I’m no longer the GOP-apologist that I may have been earlier in life. On the other hand, I’m not one who will attack from every angle just because it behooves me to do so for my party. I’ll call it like I see it. When the administration does well, I’ll cheer. When they do poorly, I’ll dissent. That’s just how I work.

I would strongly encourage other conservatives to operate in the same fashion. The left is going to exploit every situation to their advantage. It may be considered prudent for us to follow the same gameplan, but we’re supposed to be better than that. We have a higher road we can take. We defend the Constitution and we stand by our principles. Those are two things that should be strongly embedded in everyone who believes in a small-government, conservative, federalist philosophy.

President Trump is an icon to millions of Americans. Every president is and Trump adds a certain flair that encourages loyalty. Let’s not allow that loyalty to cloud our judgment. If we give the Constitution and conservative principles the primacy they deserve in our political perspectives, no politicians should be above reproach when they go off course. Call it like it is. Leave the spin to the left. It’s really their only tool.

The Child: [Invading the Doctor’s Mind] What is this ?  What Trick is this. All these places? You call them Seas, Oceans, Planets, Stars, Galaxies.  Am I God of all this? How can I be the God of all this?
6th Doctor: It’s the Universe
The Child: Nonsense this Castle is the Universe there is no other and I am God of it all!

Big Finish Doctor Who: The Holy Terror 2000

One of my favorite Big finish Doctor Who episodes is titled The Holy Terror (my post on back when I had time to review Big Finish Audios regularly is here) where the TARDIS lands in a closed universe run by a rather odd theocracy where the ruler is God to be worshiped and everyone follows the established order without question.

As I watch what is happening in Washington these days I can’t help but think I’m seeing the same thing.

For years upon end the left elites, both elected and media ruled the roost in support of their deep state.  The media while feigning to be apart from the elites acted as the support structure for the deep state in general and the Democrat left in particular.

One of the rules of these arrangement is that it didn’t matter to what office you were elected to, by how big a margin or even what the laws actually said or what people actually did.  If the media/left elite said something wasn’t a scandal (Fast and furious and the IRS) then it was something unworthy to be ignored and if something didn’t fit the narrative it didn’t matter.

Two of the masters of this system are (and were) Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  The fact that Nancy Pelosi as minority leader in the house has very little power, if any to stop acts by the majority doesn’t matter, the media treats her as if she had power and expected the GOP majority to bend to it.

The media acted in a similar but opposite tack during Harry Reid’s time as Senate Majority leader.  It didn’t matter if  the House GOP house passed bill after bill Reid ignored them, never bringing them up and even ignoring the laws concerning budgets when it didn’t suit him.  The protestations of the GOP to this meant nothing, the reality was Reid knew what the rules are and the Media supported him in his power, ignoring or attacking any attempt of the GOP to challenge it, and then, when Reid was in the Minority, tacking again to amply and support the powers of the minority inherent in the Senate that he wielded.

And because they worked in the bubble the GOP always went along, only occasionally standing up when the cry of the people who elected them (despite all efforts of the media to divert or twist it) threatened their positions by exercising the power of the ballot.

But now the MSM is in a situation that they haven’t seen during the time of their power.  Not only are their enemies of the GOP in control of all the levers of government but the president is a person outside of the deep state who is not dependent on the media for his power or reputation.

This has been a source of absolute panic for the left and media who have reacted by continually proclaiming crisis and scandal and insisting that the GOP majority bow to their demands, acknowledge said scandals and operate and do their bidding, to wit:

and stories like this:

Exhausted Republicans Are Getting Fed Up With The Chaos Coming From The White House

And if this was 30 years ago when there were limited sources of both news and amusement it might be understandable if the GOP, despite having the power to do otherwise, gave into these demands.

But all of this is happening at a time when media power is more diluted than ever with many news organizations bleeding cash and employees. It’s happening at a time when the average american has literally hundreds of sources of news online and on air to choose from and furthermore has tens of thousands of TV channels and web sites for them to pay attention to rather than listening to the jibber jabber of either press or media.

Or put simply the GOP doesn’t have to rely on a media that hates them to advance themselves, there is a world outside of the bubble that doesn’t give a damn what the media says and it is that world that elected them.

The Democrats can scream all the like and the media can run one breathless story after the other about the Trump administration and how the GOP MUST oppose him for the sake of the country. If the republicans keep their nerve and look outside of the media bubble and the astroturf of the left will put before them, they will not only survive but thrive.

To be sure the Media and the left will not like it, the will react much like the child in the Doctor Who story when his absolute power is questioned screams:

No! It’s a lie, a dirty lie! You’re a dirty liar, the castle is the universe!

But if the GOP can keep it’s nerve and just press forward the press and the left will end up eating themselves while the majority that continues to live and work and function will carry on with the knowledge that all the rants and raves the left can produce can’t neither make up for the power they don’t have or will restore said power back to them.

Of course if the GOP chooses to ignore this advice, then they will neither retain the power they have nor will they deserve to and will be shocked to discover himself discarded by the left and media like in the true spirit of totalitarian discard useful idiots as soon as their use is done.