Last weekend was the 2nd weekend in August so once again it was time for the Madonna Della Cava Festival at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fitchburg Mass.

As always the festival began with a procession

The 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus were on hand as an escort as the Roma band of Boston played

The Banner processed into the Church to its spot as hymns were sung

Fitchburg Mayor Steve DiNatale gave a short talk on the history of the festival and his memories of it over the years

Fitchburg Mayor Steve DiNatale

After the mass the Banner again with the Roma Band and Knights Processed to the Church all where all were fed

A gallery of the processions follow.

Ever since the nomination of President Trump the media began to recycle those tired old clichés.  I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about.  The most often recited claims are that all those on the political right are Fascists and those same people are all bigots.   Neither of those claims is remotely true but that does not stop the media from spreading them.

A thorough analysis of the first claim will prove it to be factually and historically flawed.  At the historical root of this claim is a tiny bit of truth.  Dating back to before the French Revolution, members of the Fascist party did sit on the right side of parliaments in Europe while the Socialists sat on the left side.  This artificial model, based on seating arrangements alone, is the historical basis for this claim. There is no commonality between the political philosophies of the European Fascists and the political philosophies of the right-wing political movements that exist in the United States.  The framers of the Constitution created their own model to describe the political spectrum, one that is based entirely on fundamental truths about the nature of government.  Using this model, which has been called the founders model, you can accurately place any form of government or political philosophy on the political spectrum based on its actual characteristics.  W. Cleon Skousen discussed the founders’ model in great detail in his masterpiece “The 5000 Year Leap.”

The founders’ model measures the size and scope of government for any given philosophy.  On the absolute right of this model is no government.  What results with no government is anarchy because people are not perfect; some injure others and interfere with the fights of others.  A certain level of government is needed to prevent this from happening.  On the left is an all powerful totalitarian government where no freedom exists.

The first constitution of the United States, the Articles of Confederation, created a government that was too far to the right.  This government was too limited and anarchy resulted.  The framers of the Constitution sought to correct this by creating a government a bit more to the left.  The government created by the US Constitution was powerful enough to prevent anarchy but limited enough to prevent it from interfering with the rights of individual citizens.  The fundamental characteristics of this government were: all government power rested with the people, a small and limited government of enumerated powers, a clearly spelled out written constitution, government power distributed between many levels, a free market economy, maximum freedom, and a focus placed entirely on individual rights.    The philosophy fully embraced by the framers of the Constitution when they wrote the Constitution is Classic Liberalism, which is the opposite of Modern Liberalism.  Classic Liberalism and the Constitution are to the right of center on the founders’ modem.

Right leaning Libertarians are the closest modern equivalent to classic liberals.  Conservativism is more to the left on the founders’ model because that philosophy wants the federal government to intrude more when it comes to social issues.  This move to the left results in a government large enough to move the needle just to the right of center.  Conservatives believe in individual rights, a constitutionally limited government, and free markets.  They however try to use the federal government to ban those practices that they find morally unacceptable.

Here is how Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines Fascism.  As you can see Fascism is primarily characterized by a strong totalitarian central government, collective rather than individual rights, and a market that is not free at all.  Fascism in near the absolute left of the founders’ model.  Unlike Fascists, Conservatives believe in free speech so they do not silence those they disagree with.  Also conservatives do not focus on race.  Conservative favorites include Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Allen West, and so many other African Americans,

Socialism and Communism are both farther towards the absolute left of the founders’ model.  They feature more totalitarian government, more collectivism, and less freedom.  Modern Liberalism and Progressivism have a lot in common with Fascism, Socialism, and Communism.  Liberalism and Progressivism both feature much larger and oppressive government, less freedom, collective rights rather than individual rights, and a much less free market economy.  Also these philosophies focus extensively on race with identity politics.

Intolerance and bigotry are not the exclusive domain of the political right unfortunately the media continuously makes that claim.  Intolerance and bigotry are tragic human failings that encompass the entire political spectrum.  Because the political left believes in much larger governments intolerant and bigoted people on left can do more harm.  Hitler was a fascist therefore he was a left winger.  The Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers Party, sounds very left wing to me.

All hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and neo Nazis are labeled right wing but are they?  Democrats formed the Klan during reconstruction.  Most Klan members are Democrats.  The Southern, slave holding States were controlled by Democrats along with the Southern states during Segregation.  As I stated earlier Nazis were on the political left.  The Neo-Nazis advocate for the same National Socialism therefore they are also on the left. This article shares my assessment.

The Tea Party, which is the most right wing of all political movements based on its political philosophy, was vilified right from the start as a mob of racists and bigots.  There was never any proof of these accusations.  There were racist signs seen at Tea Party rallies but these racist signs made up roughly 3 percent of all Tea party signs, that is according to the a New York Times survey.

We must correct these incorrect statements whenever possible.

If you are looking for a distraction from the news of the day and a lot of people are these days, you’re in luck.  Major League Baseball is giving us a some division and wild card races this season that (unless you are a fan of the NL East) really fits the bill.

Let’s start in the American League East The first Boston Red Sox Team without David Ortiz in 15 years has managed to keep first place in the East despite injuries to Price and Pedroia and the Bust that was Pablo Sandoval who they finally released eating tens of millions in salary. However their arch rivals the New York Yankees are under five games out and with more than a 3rd of their remaining games against either the Yanks or teams currently in First place they will be hard pressed to keep themselves 16 games over .500 when the season comes to a close.

In the Central Cleveland continues to prove that last year’s Pennant wasn’t a fluke sitting five games up, but both Minnesota under 2nd Year manager Paul Molitor and the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals have no intention of going quietly. The next three weeks will be the key as the Tribe will be playing a 17 game where their opponents are Boston, the Yankees, Twins and Kansas City. If they get through that three week stretch still on top then Terry Francona has to feel really good about their chances for another shot at breaking their 69 year championship drought

In the west The Houston Astros are likely the only team breathing easy. With an 11.5 game lead in their division and only three games against a 1st place team before the last week of the season (and those against the Washington Nationals also sitting pretty and safe) it will take a massive collapse for Houston to fail to win their first division title since 2001 not to mention their first since joining the American League

AL Wild card: Wild is the way to describe this race. The Yankees currently hold the first wild card spot and two games behind them sits the Angels but seven count the SEVEN teams Minnesota, Kansas City, Baltimore, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Texas and Toronto, sit within 3.5 games of that final spot. but are as close to the Yankees as they are to the Red Sox. More teams will be playing more meaningful games this later in the season then we’ve seen in a long time.

In the National League East Washington sits in a similar position as Houston in the AL west. With a comfortable 13.5 game lead and schedule lacking in division leaders their have an entire two months to try to figure out how to get by the LA Dodgers in October

The NL Central is where the action is.  The World Champion Cubs (It’s still odd to write that) hold a slim 1.5 game lead over StL with Milwaukee and Pittsburgh both under five games out. While August isn’t so bad 18 of their games in Sept will be against teams chasing them. If they win that division they’ll have earned it.

In the West the only question left to answer is will the LA Dodgers break the record for most wins in a season.? They are already at 83 wins and if they only play .500 ball for the rest of the season would finish with 105.  With 26 games remaining against sub .500 teams a record breaking 117 wins is very possible and an earth shattering 120 while unlikely is not outside the realm of possibility. One caveat, the two teams that hold the 116 win record for a single season, one failed to get to the World Series and the other failed to win it.

NL Wild Card. Thanks to the Dodgers both the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondback have no prayer to win their division but with 66 wins each, enough to lead the central division in either league they share the wild card lead with only St. Louis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh anywhere near close enough for a real challenge. The one fly in the ointment? Both teams have two series left with the record chasing Dodgers.

Put simply half way into August two thirds of major league clubs are still playing meaningful games so if you are a baseball fan watching a game this week you can expect some excellent baseball.

Fifty years ago I was an avid young reader who would eagerly devour any book in front of me.

Back then I attended an all-girl’s Catholic school, and when I was twelve years old or so, I found out that the Catholic Church had a list of banned books: Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

The Index became a syllabus of sorts. Thanks to the Index I discovered and developed a taste for the works of George Sand, Balzac, both Dumas and several other great authors. As a result, I now think of great literature as guerrilla reading: a form of guerrilla warfare not only against Marxists, deconstructionists and their destructive pals, but against any form of censorship.

Fast-forward fifty years and what do I find at Instapundit?

Fanny Hill is now too triggering for college students in London.

Fanny Hill??

The full title lets you know from the get-go what the book is about, Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. Amazon, (which sells a Kindle edition for 99 cents) describes it,

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (popularly known as Fanny Hill) is an erotic novel by English novelist John Cleland first published in London in 1748. Written while the author was in debtors’ prison in London, it is considered “the first original English prose pornography, and the first pornography to use the form of the novel”. One of the most prosecuted and banned books in history, it has become a synonym for obscenity.

So 269 years ago Cleland was broke and in the pokey, and thought, “Ya know, maybe if  I wrote some smut I’d make enough  money to get out of this mess,” which he did.

You would think this description would interest Game of Thrones-watching college students, especially when you realize that Fanny Hill was listed as one of the 15 of the Most Controversial Books in the Western Canon, but noooo . . .

Cleland did such a good job that, unlike thousands of smutty books over the ages, Fanny Hill stood the test of time.

Never mind that; the little SJWs are scandalized,

“The book incensed the British clergy and censors upon its publication. However, heteronormative descriptions in Fanny Hill of ‘maypole[s] of so enormous a standard’ appear to be proving too much for university students.”

The professor named in the article says she doesn’t teach Fanny Hill anymore, (emphasis added)

The problem with teaching Fanny Hill is not to do with sex, but power. When senior academics make a work of pornography a set text, they should attend to the power relations implicit in the pedagogic relationship and be aware that students can feel coerced.

Coerced? Because a professor lists a book in a syllabus? Isn’t that what professors are for?

Critical thinking is one thing one may gain from the study of literature, but that’s gone out the window – not that the safe space SJWs inhabit has windows.

Now more than ever, reading literature is a form of guerrilla warfare.

Attention: See Da Tech Guy’s pinned post!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

Let’s face it; everyone makes mistakes when they are younger. Whether it was a night of underage debauchery with your parent’s pilfered booze or a dare to rob the cash register at the local 7-Eleven, you might still be reeling in the wake of that bad decision today. People who were arrested as a youth have unique struggles in life, as they are often treated differently than those who haven’t had a run-in with the law. Here are a few challenges that the 70 million Americans who have been arrested might face.

Getting a Job

Image via Flicker by reynermedia

Getting a job is the number one issue with having an arrest record. Many job applications ask you to disclose any arrest information, and if you have anything listed, many companies simply choose not to interview you. Even if you do make it to the interview stage, 69 percent of employers perform background checks. In a background check, your employer will be able to see all of your arrest records, court reports, criminal convictions, and police reports.

If the report does come back negative, only 58 percent of employers allow candidates to explain the arrest or conviction. The rest will automatically decline the candidate for the position.

Renting an Apartment

Employers aren’t the only ones who can run a criminal background check on you. Landlords also choose to do this, and many are swayed by negative results. While this is technically against the law, many landlords are choosing to deny prospective tenants regardless. The Fair Housing Act is intended to prevent against this sort of discrimination, but landlords will come up with other reasons to justify their bias.

If you’re thinking of just skipping rentals and jumping into homeownership, think again. In a survey of 25-year-olds, 21 percent of them who had never been arrested owned a home. However, only 15 percent of people who were arrested owned a home. The rates were even worse for those who had been convicted, with only 10 percent being homeowners.

Earning a Professional License

If you’ve ever wanted to become a professional of any kind, you might be banned from doing so thanks to your criminal record. For example, many states won’t allow you to become a plumber, cosmetologist, or funeral director if you’ve been arrested before. Oklahoma, in particular, is extremely strict, limiting anyone with two convictions of marijuana possession from becoming a physical therapist, interior designer, or land surveyor.

Filling Up Your Bank Account

Whether it’s because they can’t find a good job or because of salary discrimination, those with an arrest record make far less than their peers. At age 25, the median income for someone who was never arrested was $25,000. For those with an arrest, it fell to $23,000, and for those with a conviction, $20,000.

If your arrest record is affecting your life, there are steps you can take to have it expunged after a certain period of time. Doing so might make life a little easier, so be sure to look up the rules in your specific state.

For the last two weeks the media’s meme on the North Korean issue was a story of spectacle.

We had the spectacle of North Korea making belligerent threats against the United States and specifically targeting the US territory of Guam and the spectacle of the media going after the Trump administration on North Korea and convincing their followers that war was just around the corner.

Now none of this is new, As I’ve written over and over again North Korea makes it’s living off of threatening the west and the payoff it produces when the west gets spooked.  It’s all smoke from a very old game.

And then came President Donald Trump who changed the rules.

He directly answered the North Korean threats promising to release “Fire and Fury and Frankly Power the likes the world has never seen before” and as you might guess the media and the “experts” they employ who have been going after him 24/7 since election day went absolutely nuts:

CNN:

That stance was pilloried by many experts in the foreign policy world as deeply naive. Since then, however, he had significantly ramped up his rhetoric against Kim. He also has hardened his stance against China and that country’s need to exert its influence over North Korea 

Politico:

The seemingly off-the-cuff broadside also reignited concerns raised during the presidential campaign that Trump’s tough rhetoric, including his previous calls to build up the American nuclear arsenal, could be dangerously destabilizing.

 “The greatest North Korean threat we face is not from a nuclear-tipped missile hitting the U.S. mainland but from Washington stumbling into an inadvertent nuclear war on the Korean peninsula,” Siegfried Hecker, a former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and a nuclear expert who has visited North Korea seven times since 2004, said in an email.

“The president’s statements exacerbate” such concerns, Hecker said.

The Huffington Post

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, criticized Trump’s rhetoric in an interview with KTAR radio on Tuesday.

“I take exception to the president’s comments because you’ve got to be able to do what you say you’re going to do,” McCain said. “In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick, Teddy Roosevelt’s saying, which I think is something that should’ve applied because all it’s going to do is bring us closer to a serious confrontation.”

NBC:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., criticized Trump’s comments as further isolating North Korea — a strategy she says has not worked to advance American goals in the region.

“The United States must quickly engage North Korea in a high-level dialogue without any preconditions,” Feinstein said in a statement, stating “in my view, diplomacy is the only sound path forward.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement: “We need to be firm and deliberate with North Korea, but reckless rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe.”

Bloomberg:

Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs committee, said Trump’s latest comments “undermined American credibility by drawing an absurd red line.”

The Washington Post:

With ‘fire and fury,’ Trump revives fears about his possession of nuclear codes

and of course the NY Times:

President Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea sent a shudder through Asia on Wednesday, raising alarm among allies and adversaries and, to some observers, making the possibility of military conflict over the North’s nuclear program seem more real.

No less that the deputy head of the Democrat National Committee declared the dictator of North Korea more stable than the President of the United States at the Netroots gathering before backtracking after the panel was done.

In other words the media, the left, the anti-trump pols in short the “experts” were all united.  Donald Trump’s rhetoric was going to get us all killed.

But a funny thing happened, while the media was busy distracted by their latest anti-trump meme the Chinese who have been using North Korea as a way to keep the US off balance and in check for years said this:

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

China made the announcement amid not only Pyongyang’s escalating war of words with the United States regarding the North Korea nuclear missile program, but also as President Trump was reportedly set to order an investigation into China’s trade practice — a probe which could lead the U.S. to levy its own sanctions on Beijing.

and this:

China agreed to ban imports of North Korean iron, lead, and coal as part of new U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang. That’s hitting Kim Jon Un’s regime where it hurts.

But there was also the statement in the Chinese-run state newspaper Global Times on Friday that said that if North Korea attacks the U.S., China should remain neutral. In other words, they’d be on their own.

Less than 24 hours later the same North Koreans, who had been launching missile after missile into the ocean scaring and who we were told would only be inflamed by the rhetoric of Donald Trump suddenly  said this:

SEOUL—North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Tuesday, but warned that he could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.”

(For a deeper analysis of the issues in this story, please see “North Korea Backs Off Threat to Hit Guam”)

The report, published early Tuesday, could help dial back tensions that had spiraled last week following an exchange of threats between North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump.

There is a lot of surprise in the media (at least there would be if their latest “Trump/Nazi” meme wasn’t sucking up all the air) but we at DaTechGuy blog saw this coming the day President Trump hit Syria with the Russians right there:

if Trump wants to make a deal to stop the war on Syria, to stop North Korea or to take the pressure off the Baltic states afraid of a future Russian invasion he needed to demonstrate a willingness to actually strike, not only did he do so, but he did so While the head of China was his guest, meaning he was willing to demonstrate that diplomatic niceties and timing mean nothing to him when he wants to act.

As did Scott Adams who has seen called almost the entire Trump Saga from day 1:

President Trump just set the table for his conversations with China about North Korea. Does China doubt Trump will take care of the problem in China’s own backyard if they don’t take care of it themselves? That negotiation just got easier.

Donald Trump demonstrated that the US is no longer the weak horse of the Obama Years and that his foreign policy is not going to be driven by a panicked media, scolding from professional experts, or lawmakers anxious for a sound bite, it’s going to be driven with one goal in mind, getting results.

Don Surber put it best

Chairman Xi saw The Donald during their dinner at Mar-a-Lago deliver fire and fury to Syria.

And then two days later, Afghanistan

On Monday, China backed down.

Nine politically experienced presidents — Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama — acted presidential and got nothing done, while the Kim Jong clan nuked up and developed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The amateur – the mad man — the unpresidential one — got China to rein in North Korea.

The US is the strong horse again and our enemies are acting accordingly, the media, American left and #nevertrump are hardest hit.

#unexpectedly

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