One of the hardest things about being a liberal is that pesky thing called reality keeps intruding on one’s set of beliefs and nothing illustrates it better than seeing the news after a few days of blessed pinball escape via pintasticNE 2017 and checking the news again to wit:

Item: Katie’s Law unwhipped by Democrats

We keep hearing from the MSM that to oppose illegal immigration will be the death of the GOP who had better line up pretty quick yet when Katie’s Law, named after the Murdered Katie Steinle who was slain by an illegal immigrant in broad daylight in the sanctuary city of San Francisco this happened:

House Democratic leaders did not whip their members against Kate’s Law, essentially allowing members who might be facing tough races next year to vote for it.

and faced with no pressure from the Democrat leadership a big chunk of house Democrats voted AYE

Of the 24 House Democrats who voted for Kate’s Law last month, six — Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Charlie Crist (Fla.), Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.), Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.) and Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) — had received campaign contributions from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).

Which leads to the obvious question, if opposing such a law means doom for the GOP why were these Democrats so willing to vote for it to secure re-election and remember the Democrats are in the minority so those Democrats remaining in the house are by definition most likely to be in safe seats? Henry Cueller (D-TX) has the answer:

“I’m for immigration reform. I think people like the Dreamers or people who come in without criminal record, they should stay here,” he added. “If we’re advocating for criminals to stay, then I think we’ve got a problem as a political party.”

Maybe it’s just me but I think that legal Hispanic immigrants who might find themselves in the neighborhoods where said criminals hunt their prey are unlikely to be the biggest cheerleaders to keep said criminals there.

Item:   Trump Travel Ban polling through the room

When the Supreme Court depressed the left by not only restating the Trump temporary Travel bans stopped by liberal, but suggesting that they would likely prevail in court liberals consoled themselves with the thought that said bans would be a political albatross for the right.

And then the polls came in:

Last week, a Politico/Morning Consult poll on President Trump’s proposed travel ban on visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries revealed a somewhat surprising discovery: 60 percent of voters agreed with Trump’s proposed ban. That includes 56 percent of independents and even 41 percent of Democrats.

And remember that is a pol from Politico, not known as a bastion of right wing thought.  How can this be?  Well I think Karol Markowicz’s (the author of the piece above) explanation makes the most sense

Every time there’s a deadly attack, liberals rush to downplay the dead bodies as just a regular part of life and not take any action lest we radicalize more terrorists. After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, then-President Barack Obama said that we “refuse to be terrorized.” After the November 2015 terrorist attacks in France, the deadliest day of violence in France since World War II, Mayor Bill de Blasio said “terrorists can’t succeed if we refuse to be terrorized.”

But that just isn’t true. We can all refuse to be terrorized and get murdered anyway. Trump’s ban is the only idea that isn’t “Go on with our lives as if nothing happened.”

Pretend nothing has happened is not a viable defense a potential attacker as the evidenced by events in Sweden, demonstrates and unlike Europe “stand still and take it” is not in keeping with America’s school of thought.

Item:  Dude(s) looks like a Lady (not really)

Finally as our friends on the left continue to come up with new pronouns to accommodate the remarkable amount of new gender combinations they pretend exist this unintentionally hilarious piece from Vice demonstrates how biological reality always trumps internet and liberal memes:

Alok and Jacob are two of the most publicly visible gender nonconforming femmes I know. As a performance poet, Alok has just gone solo after touring in dozens of cities in the US and abroad as one half of the poetry duo Darkmatter. Jacob was named to 2016’s OUT 100, has made a web series for NBC, and been the subject of a GLAAD-nominated episode of MTV’s True Life. Both are trans-identified, but belong somewhere in between genders, and they’ve amassed huge social media followings as gender nonbinary, femme, and fabulous human beings. They’ve become celebrities in their own right, with Jacob regularly walking down the red carpet at LGBTQ galas and Alok featuring in the Janet Mock–narrated HBO documentary The Trans List.

But if you think all that would land them a date, you’d be wrong. And nobody is more puzzled than me as to why such obvious catches are having dating problems when so many clamor for their attention.

That’s because the reality is no matter how much the media and the left push the idea of Transgenderism and indeterminate sexual identity the actual number of people who subscribe to this nonsense is a tiny subset of the 3% or 4% who are in fact gay.   Karol Markowitz who is on a roll explains:

Talusan goes on and on about how amazing her friends are yet how no one will sleep with them. It leads to the obvious question: Why doesn’t Talusan do it? Talusan is herself gender-nonconforming, in a non-exclusive relationship and obviously thinks Tobia and Vaid-Menon are great, so why not? The answer: Talusan “presents” as female and, well, Tobia and Vaid-Menon are attracted to men.

Therein lies the rub. Gay men like men, which Tobia and Vaid-Menon say they are not. Straight men like women, which Tobia and Vaid-Menon also say they are not. They can’t alter their preferences to be attracted to women and neither can the men they desire.

So while one can perhaps make a living on a such a niche market or get oneself on TV where the percentages of such folk are considerably higher the number of people who actually want to date and have sex with men dressed as woman isn’t all that high and the number of such people looking for such a person to spend their entire life with is even smaller.

Or to put it more bluntly the pool of people willing to buy tickets to see a freak show than it is a lot smaller than the number of men looking to date bearded lady, and she at least can give you children.  Biological reality will trump social memes every single time.

It’s really sad to see the left constantly at war with economic, physical, social or even biological reality and it’s corrosive to a society for this to be the case.  On the plus side it make it a lot easier to win elections against them.

Many years ago, a giant in the field of literature by the name of Clive Staples Lewis – commonly known as C.S. Lewis – wrote a marvelous essay (I believed published posthumously) entitled,  “On The Reading Of Old Books” [Lewis, C.S., GOD in the Dock, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970.].

In this beautifully written article, C.S. Lewis puts forth the argument that modern men and women too often forsake the wisdom and sage counsel of the “classic writings” of the past.

Why is this so?

Mr. Lewis offers some fascinating insights.

First, and foremost, Lewis observed that many of the students that he taught were often intimidated by the great works of the past.  His students felt that these works would be difficult to read and understand.

Secondly, many of Lewis’ students prefered to read books and articles that dealt with contemporary issues, policy matters, and new jargons /discussions.

Mr. Lewis ‘counsel to his students and to those who would be intimidated by the classics of the past was simply this:  “Dive in!”

Lewis told his students that in all reality that there is nothing for them to be intimidated by for if they would take the time to pick up one of the translations of Plato’s work, they would be surprised by how much of what Plato wrote would be easily accessible.

C.S. Lewis felt that many of the  modern commentaries that attempted to explain Plato’s thought were actually much harder to read than the original works authored by Plato.

Mr. Lewis put forth the thesis that one of the main reasons that the classics MUST BE READ is that they act as a positive antidote against contemporary error and hubris (Greek for overweening pride).

Let us attempt to decipher Lewis’ exhortation.

Lewis put forth the warning that every generation and the people who live in their peculiar time period are subject to the “blind spots” and to “the erroneous thinking of their time.”

Unfortunately, they are (or, we are) so caught up in “the moment that they /we live in” that they /we do not take the time to engage in exercises that would stretch our “self-awareness” by forcing us to take “personal and /or corporate inventory.”

Perhaps an illustration or series of illustrations would help.

In the year 1860, many Americans were indifferent to two things:

(1.) The denial of Women of the right to vote, and (2.) the plight of more than 4 Million descendants of Africa who were enslaved in the “land of freedom and liberty.

Looking back more than 157 years later, we as a people recoil in horror on how the ancestors of Washington, Adams (John and Abigail and Quincy), Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson could have been so indifferent to the terrible plight of both Women and Negroes (Blacks or African-Americans in today’s parlance).

Yet, if one were to transport oneself back into the 18th and 19th centuries, one would observe that the common disposition of the time period is that submission by women to their husbands – and to men – virtually extended into all areas of economic, political, and social endeavor.

It would not have occurred to most of the men in power (men who were White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant – WASP) that they were in some way living in a way that was inherently immoral, unethical, or cruel.

Lewis suggested that if Men and Women,  Adolescents and Children would take more time to read the GREAT CLASSICS OF THE PAST – BOOKS SUCH AS:  The Holy Bible, Saint Augustine’s Confessions and The City of GOD, Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy, The Credo of the Council of Nicaea (which produced the The Nicaean Creed” which is often affirmed, prayed and recited during Christian Worship services), Saint Francis of Assisi’s The Prayer of Saint Francis, Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Mother Julian’s Revelations of Divine Love et cetera then they /we would possess the tools and means of detecting many of the errors, falsehoods, and deceptions of our own time period.

We would do better at discerning the errors and falsehoods of our own time that continually war against our souls.

Lewis believed that if we had access to future books that they too would work as a positive antidote to our modern afflictions.

But,  because the future has yet to occur then we cannot rely upon future books that have yet to be written to help us “discover the faulty and erroneous thinking of the spirit of our age.

Why should we engage in the reading of old books?

Let me give a couple of essential reasons:

A Matter of Pursuing the Highest Ideals

Christians and Jews are men and women of “Faith.”

Jews look to the Law (The Torah or Old Testament) as their authoritative guide for life and living.

Christians agree with their Jewish friends on the authenticity of the Old Testament, but Christians hold that the 27 books of the New Testament are equally binding (our Jewish friends respectfully disagree).

Nevertheless, both Christians and Jews believe that GOD took the initiative to reveal Himself by The Law – and in the case of the Christian community by providing us with the ultimate Self-disclosure of Himself in the Incarnation of JESUS CHRIST.

What we know about GOD is primarily learned by His Self-Disclosure; we receive His lifeflow by Prayer, The Holy Sacraments and by the Study of His Holy Word.

We must use our minds; we must read, study, and interpret the propositional statements that GOD has given us in order to properly appropriate the Wisdom of the Past in order to live successfully today and in the Future.

A Matter of Growth and Maturity

Years ago, I was taught a quote by the great British writer Matthew Arnold that stated that, No man who knows nothing else knows even his Bible.”

On the surface, this sounds like a scandalously blasphemous statement.

However, upon closer inspection, it seems that Arnold recognized that one could not faithfully embrace the first and great commandment of faith found in The Old Testament Shema (Deuteronomy 6.4-5) unless one was given to a life of serious mental contemplation and study.

The Shema in Deuteronomy 6.4-5 instructs us that:

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

How Are We To Apply This?

We start where we are.

There is an old Chinese adage that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

We need to put aside a little bit of time each week to turn off T.V., Smart phones, I-Phones, and electronic devices so that we can take time to reflect, meditate, study, and pray.

GOD walked with Adam and Even “in the cool of the day” (this was a quiet time of intimacy and contemplation).

Our cool of the day would be a time of refreshing, renewal, and reflection.

Secondly, Lewis suggests in his essay that for every current book that we read that we should read at least two old books – dare we say classics – for every new book that we indulge.

If we cannot read 2:1 (two old books for every new book) then we should read at least one old book for every new book that we imbibe.

Finally

Life is too short to only rely upon the current wisdom and moral capital of our age; this leaves us in a great deficiency.

Let us live our lives Coram DEO (in the Presence of GOD) and make a concerted effort to seek His Face in His Holy Word and in the Spiritual Classics.

There will be plenty of time to indulge in the worldly wisdom of FOX and MSNBC after we apply ourselves to the true “goldmine” of Eternal Wisdom and Light.

Deplorable Baskets are the coolest things that I have seen in a long time, and they are attached to neon green (my favorite color) rental bicycles! Via The American Mirror:

Just when you think Los Angeles street artist Sabo can’t top himself, he ups his game.

The artist recently posted several photos on Facebook showing his latest work: “Basket of Deplorables” branding on the front of rental bikes.

The ingenious art shows a skull smoking a cigarette with Donald Trump’s signature hair and “Trump 2020”:

“Basket of Deplorables” refers to the derogatory term Hillary Clinton used to describe “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters late in the campaign.

The term, which many saw as an unforced error, became a badge of honor for Trump supporters.

MORE

H/T: iOTWReport.com

Now, I am too old and crippled up for much bike riding, and I live in a rural area where bikes are salvaged from other people’s trash rather than rented from a city bike renting outlet (or whatever they call them), but, those bikes sure are pretty! I hope Sabo will put similar baskets up for sale somewhere and I can attach ’em to some of the wheeled things that we have hanging around ye olde woodland shack.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

This past weekend, the mysterious albeit not mythical Mrs. Dude and I did a quick trip down Southern California way for the primary purpose of attending a beloved friend’s daughter’s baby shower. And, as long as we were in the neighborhood, swinging by to visit the mice and the ducks and the dogs and the chipmunks. In other words, Disneyland. The two events made for an interesting comparison, to say the least.

While at the House of Mouse, it was difficult to look in any given direction without immediately being assaulted by the sordid phenomenon known as matching T-shirts. For those of you who’ve managed to avoid this scenario up until now, this does not refer to everybody in a group wearing the exact same park or character shirt. Rather, it refers to a gaggle of people wearing cheap homemade shirts, said purpose being informing one and all that they, and/or someone in their party, is so special, and so meriting attention, special clothing must be worn so that they may be properly hailed.

Doubtless it is a special occasion to those involved that little Timmy is having his fifth birthday, or the whole family is taking a vacation, or the bridal party has decided to stop by here before running off to Vegas and getting wasted together. Why the rest of the world should know, or care, above and beyond maybe someone saying something so someone else can congratulate them, remains a mystery.

Somehow, in a amusement park dedicated to the realm of fantasy, with tens of thousands of people in attendance seeking escape from their daily reality in said fantasy, the notion that your everyday events (and you) are so incredibly special, and unique, that everyone should take note both amuses and saddens. Frankly, folks, no one else cares, nor should they be expected to care, nor can they be made to care. You and/or your child and/or your grandchild and/or your family event is neither so cute, nor so smart, nor so unique, that the rest of humanity should take special note. The most egregious example of this witnessed to date was a family wearing matching shirts memorializing grandma, for nothing speaks of sincerity like trolling for sympathy at the happiest place on earth.

Now, you are special and unique to God. However, careful Scriptural research has yet to reveal any indication that drawing attention to yourself is a worthwhile, noble, and altogether pleasant procedure. You’re in Disneyland, okay? No one is there to see, or pay attention to, you. They are there to see Mickey and Minnie and Donald and assorted princesses and superheroes. Besides, if you really wanted to be honest, you’d wear a T-shirt saying something like TEAM 37th IN LINE FOR A DOLE WHIP.

Fast forward to the next day and the baby shower. I freely admit baby showers aren’t my thing, but given the family involved attending this one was a pleasure. Besides, someone had to get the baby the right professional sports team apparel to wear. #LetsGoSharks

What most marked the event wasn’t, thankfully, a gaggle of women trading labor pains stories. Rather, it was the outpouring of sheer, unadulterated, unfiltered, pure love. The radiant glow of the mom to be. The floating on air joy of the soon to be first time grandmother. The equally floating on air joy of the soon to be first time great-grandparents. The love for the Lord; the love for each other flowed from and to all who were there. It was a truly special, blessed occasion. Moments like these provide much needed refreshment in a self-obsessed world.

True love never calls artificial attention to itself. It instead flows naturally, any notice of same coming as a normal byproduct of its presence. The expression “true love waits” is often bandied about in relation to abstaining from sex before marriage. This is true, but it has another meaning. True love also waits until the world has exhausted itself with its endless horn blowing and tub thumping. Then, and only then, does it reveal itself to be the genuine.

Seek the genuine. And lose the stupid T-shirts.

I’m inspired by the Independence Day posts from Juliette & Christopher of DTG’s Magnificent crew. Each celebrated a beauty not to be found in the political world I often choose to inhabit.

In the same vein, I offer an unapologetic plug for a friend’s project, inviting all New Hampshire-area DTG readers to attend something special.

Come to hear Massenet’s oratorio “Marie-Magdaleine” on July 22. One performance will be at 2 p.m. at Northeast Catholic College in Warner, and the other will be at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge at 7 p.m. The performance at the College is donations-accepted, while the one at Cathedral of the Pines has (I think) a $10 admission fee. Call 603-781-5695 for more information.

I’ll be going out of my way to hear one of these performances. Why?

Sheer beauty. With the first note, I know workaday concerns will fall away for awhile. The next deadline, the next gosh-forsaken tweet, the next bill to pay: all will be in abeyance for an hour or two as I undergo the attitude adjustment that’s one of music’s little gifts.

Hope. For my husband and me, Northeast Catholic College is a favorite place, dedicated to education in faith and reason. It’s a place of encouragement and challenge and laughter. The world’s a better place because it exists. Likewise with Cathedral of the Pines, which was established by grieving parents in memory of their son, who died in the service of our country during World War II. It was a true act of hope for those parents to experience such terrible loss and then go on to create a place of peace and tranquillity.

Encouragement. I think you’ll find encouragement simply by being in the same room with the producer of these performances. I’m acquainted with her. She’s a pro-life warrior, a conservative woman, an opera singer, and a patron and leader of nonprofit agencies that enrich the community. Oh, and she was formerly a volunteer legislator (which is how we roll in the Granite State). When things look discouraging – and as a legislator and a volunteer activist, she has some experience with bad days – she responds dynamically and positively. No whining.

You go, girl.

If you’re inclined to attend the performance in Warner, be aware that the College is offering Mass (11:30) and a light lunch (12:30) before the 2 p.m. show, with RSVPs requested. (More about that here.)

Let it be known that this is not a paid promotion. I just want to share good news.

The State House and the White House and my work as a writer will all still be there after the show. When I turn back to them, I’ll be refreshed and ready for whatever comes along. Beautiful music, whatever the source, has that effect on me. Maybe on you, too.

I’ll tag this one “culture victories,” not “culture wars.”

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

If you are tired of and disgusted by the persistent attacks against the American way of life, an advertisement and an event in Chicago should make you feel better on this Fourth of July.

Budweiser has released a new ad in which actor Adam Driver, a veteran himself, surprises a fellow veteran and his family by delivering in person a scholarship to his daughter.

U.S. Army veteran John Williams sustained a serious injury while training for Operation Desert Storm. Driver was also injured shortly before he was deployed to Iraq, putting an end to his military career.

That’s apparently why Driver was chosen to give Hayley Grace Williams a scholarship to nursing school.

The scholarship is part of a joint effort between Budweiser and Folds of Honor, which has awarded numerous scholarships to veterans and their family members since 2011.

In a letter, Hayley explained that her father’s military injury was so severe that he needed steel rods and six screws to stabilize his spine.

“They sent me your letter; I was in the military too,” Driver said as he met the family. “[Folds of Honor] reached out to me, and they told me to let you know that you got the scholarship. But also, Budweiser and I thought that you shouldn’t have to worry about school, so Budweiser is gonna be covering all your remaining school expenses for the rest of next year.”

Here is the video:

In Chicago, more than 250 wounded, ill, or injured athletes representing the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Special Operations Command, the Australian Defence Force, and the U.K. Armed Forces are taking part in the Warrior Games.

“Sport has played a part in all of our guys’ lives at some part of their career,” said U.K. Armed Forces Sports and Recovery Coordinator Emily Griffith. “But we are finding out that quite a lot of our guys are getting involved for camaraderie because they feel they can open up more while in the sport rather than in a group environment, so it is a part of their recovery whether it’s physically or psychologically.”

Scheduled to take place June 30 through July 8, the Warrior Games feature Paralympic-style competition in eight sports, including archery, cycling, field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, and wheelchair basketball.

The games are open to the public and will be held at a variety of prominent locations throughout the downtown area of Chicago, including the McCormick Place, the United Center, and Soldier Field.

For more information, see http://www.dodwarriorgames.com/

Have a Happy and Memorable Fourth of July!

By John Ruberry

Deep in southwestern Germany in the Rhineland-Palatinate state lies the small village of Kallstadt, which has about 1,200 residents.

It is well-known for two reasons. It’s a stop on the German Wine Route and it’s the ancestral home of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company, and President Donald J. Trump. In fact, Heinz and Trump’s grandfather, Kallstadt-born Friedrich Trump, were second cousins.

I was digging deep–very deep–on Netflix for something interesting to watch when I stumbled across Trump’s face on a movie poster for Kings of Kallstadt, a documentary by Simone Wendel, a Kallstadter. It was filmed in 2012 and released in 2014; her movie probably would have been forgotten outside of Rhineland-Palatinate had the Trump Train not steamrolled into Washington last year.

Much of the dialogue is in German–with subtitles of course.

There is a Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon feel within Kallstadt, because Wendel tells us that “the sun always shines and the wine never runs out.” And while Kallstadt has only 1,200 inhabitants it counts 1,600 members in its 27 clubs. “That amounts to 135 percent of love,” Wendel beams. Does Kallstadt have a Miss Kallstadt? No, it has a Wine Princess. No, make that two of them, which is a situation you might expect to find in the Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry. Kallstadt’s culinary delicacy is saumagen, that is, stuffed sow’s stomach.

Yummy!

Trump is interviewed here, along with the family historian, Trump’s cousin John Walter. If you ever imagined what our president would be like if he was a modest accountant–that’s Walter. Because he’s a modest, albeit retired, accountant.

Fascinatingly, even before he officially entered the political world, the man who was then simply known as the King of New York felt compelled to bring up his troubled relationship with the media.

“Okay, I think (there are) a lot of misconceptions about me,” Trump explains to Wendel in a Trump Tower conference room. “I’m a lot nicer person than the press would have you think. I don’t want to ruin my image by telling you that, but I believe that.”

Not discussed in the film is what Donald and his father, Frederick, said about their heritage–the Trumps were Swedish–which the legions Trump-haters jumped on during the presidential campaign. But the Swedish fib is an understandable distortion of the truth. During World War I it was quite common for German-Americans to hide their ethnicity. I regularly run into people who tell me stories of a grandfather or great-grandfather who changed his name from say Muller, to Miller, after being hounded out of a town as Americans fought the Kaiser’s army. After World War II Trump’s grandmother, Elizabeth, and Frederick rented many apartments and sold many houses to Jewish New Yorkers, who understandably had extremely uncomfortable feelings about Germans.

“He had thought, ‘Gee whiz, I’m not going to be able to sell these homes if there are all these Jewish people,'” Walter told the now-failing New York Times last year about the dilemma of Trump’s dad.

More on Grandma Elizabeth in a bit.

“After the war, he’s still Swedish,” Walter continued. “It was just going, going, going.”

As for the Swedish tale, Donald repeated it for his best-seller, The Art Of The Deal. Frederick was still alive then. But by 1990 the Swedish stuff was dead lutefisk.

Outside Chicago’s Trump Tower in 2017

Friedrich Trump left Kallstadt at age 16 for America where he enjoyed great success in Seattle, Yukon, Alaska, and then New York. Walter tells Wendel that Grandfather Trump married Elizabeth Christ, a Kallstadter. She demanded that he sell his American properties and return to Kallstadt, which, in a story Trump confides to Walter that he never heard, Prince Leopold of Bavaria deported Friedrich. Yes, a Trump was deported! Friedrich died in 1918 in Queens, likely an early victim of that year’s flu pandemic. Elizabeth and Frederick then founded Elizabeth Trump and Son Company, now known as the Trump Organization.

Back to the almost present: a group of Kallstadters are invited as guests of New York’s German-American Steuben Parade. Trump was the parade’s grand marshal in 1999. They also visit Pittsburgh and the Heinz History Center, where amazingly, no members of the Heinz family meet them. Say what you will about Donald J. Trump, but he earnestly tries to make himself accessible except to those who are openly hostile to him. Trump could have easily dismissed Wendel’s request for an interview for her quaint little film. But Trump has alway been a salesman.

The Kallstadters attend a Pittsburgh Pirates game–big league baseball–but one cranky woman constantly complains that there is “no action” in the game.

But is there is a lot of action in a 0-0 soccer match, frau? Other than the brawls in the bleachers?

Then comes the Steuben Parade. As the Kallstadters–two of whom are carrying a giant model of a saumagen–and Walter gather on the route, an “Obama 2012” sign is seen from a window behind them.

Blogger in Washington State last year

Late in the film Wendel asks Trump if would like to visit Kallstadt. “When I’m over there I will certainly visit,” he replies. “Absolutely.”

The president will be in Germany next week for the G20 summit. No word of a Trump homecoming yet, along the lines of his visit to the birthplace of his mother in Scotland in 2008. Although Trump isn’t very popular in Kallstadt, at least according to media reports, since his political rise.

“Believe me,” Trump just might respond to such stories, “that’s just fake news, believe me.”

In addition to Netflix, Kings of Kallstadt is also available on Amazon. It’s an enjoyable, wunderbar, and yes, big league movie. Even if you hate Trump. Believe me.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There is a whole lot of hullabaloo over the way in which My President chooses to defend himself against the lying media/#NeverTrump coalition of nasties who unceasingly try to dog pile on The Donald. President Trump uses Twitter as his main tool to bypass the hostile press so he can speak directly to America, and he is not necessarily polite when he hits back at people who spew horrible and vicious lies about him constantly. I don’t see the problem with it, personally. Nothing Donald Trump has said about anyone is worse than what whoever he is punching back at has said about him, and since when did the rules of engagement include being gentlemanly in combat against people who are relentlessly trying to do you harm anyway?

People who hate President Trump are never going to approve of anything he says or does – ever, so their taking offense is pretty much a given, but there are people who don’t hate him who have put forth reasonable arguments as to why My Donald’s strategy may not be the smartest of moves he could be making, and then there are people like me who believe otherwise – Donald Trump should keep Tweeting and keep hitting back as hard and as often as he feels the need to against whoever he deems fit, whenever he chooses.

I’m old enough to remember how the press treated former President George W. Bush and what happened when he did not fight back, and so is BigFurHat at iOTW:

Why is George W. Bush Thought of as a Simpleton?

Dubya is thought of as a simpleton for one of two reasons:

  1. He never fought back when the leftist media relentlessly painted him as a sluggish thinker.
  2. He’s a sluggish thinker.

The leftist media have been on a furious campaign to paint Trump as a bigot, a sexist, an Islamophobe, an idiot, a madman, a fascist, a Nazi, and a father with questionable parenting skills who also has an autistic child.

These attacks are also coming from the right.

[…]

With Twitter, and his millions of followers, just inches away from the president, how can one sit idly by and by “Dubya-ed” without punching back?

You can’t. Especially when you’re not sluggish.    MORE

President Donald J. Trump is a heckuva slugger, but he is certainly NOT sluggish!

Image gleefully stolen from iOTWReport.com

Remember how Mittens Romney handled the leftist/media attacks against him in 2012? Dianny does:

How long have we been demanding that somebody finally stand up to these bullies disguised as “journalists?” How long?

When Candy Crowley acted as Barack Obama’s human shield at that debate with Mitt Romney, who wasn’t wishing Romney had the stones to tell Candy to shove it?

During his entire second term, George W. Bush was eviscerated by the Enslaved Press.

And how many of us wished just once Bush would give them back some of the crap they were tossing at him?

Mika and Joe are not innocent bystanders who were simply minding their own business when suddenly Big Bully Trump came at them.

For months now, they’ve been calling the President names, attacking his family, attacking him, mocking him, insulting him.

And in two tweets, President Trump sent them scampering like third-grade bullies who finally met their match.

The Enslaved Press lives under the false notion that attacks are a one-way street. They can say anything, make any claim, and attack the President with impunity. But the President must never respond in kind.

George W. Bush was willing to play by their one-sided rules. So was Mitt Romney.

But Donald Trump won’t play their game.   RTWT

No, President Donald J. Trump won’t play their game by their rules; he will hit them over the head with the board, make them choke on the tokens and throw the table across the room after them as they run screaming for a safe space – and I love him for it. The time of the”roll over and expose your belly to the enemy” in American leadership has passed, thank God. MAGA!

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

The other day, the Washington Post postulated (pardon the redundancy) a lengthy missive dramatically titled Why My Guitar Gently Weeps: The slow, secret death of the six-string electric. And why you should care. Sales are down! Workers laid off! Stores in trouble! Only baby boomers still buy guitars! Chicken Little running around yelling “the Stratocaster is falling!” Etc etc etc ad tedium.

Despite its obligatory embarrassing factual gaffs (no, Mr. Democracy Dies In Darkness dunderhead, the Gibson automatic tuner isn’t an available add-on; it’s standard on their high end models), the article is occasionally almost correct. It’s hardly a trade secret that right now popular music is in the doldrums. Somehow, it manages to be both omnipresent and irrelevant. Joe Walsh says it best:

At the present time, this generation’s edition of pop is machine music minus humanity. It is programmed, precise, perfect, and utterly void of heart or soul. Hip-hop’s endless drone of endlessly repeated beats and loops is as boring as rappers forever proclaiming their greatness is banal. Music today is Gertrude Stein’s Oakland. There’s no there there.

These things are accepted because, sadly, their target audience doesn’t know any better. The current generation, and to a degree its predecessor, has limited if any exposure to true artistic, songwriting, and instrumental proficiency. Like every generation before, the current crop wants its own entertainment icons. They have no idea they’re being fed Cheez Whiz while being told it’s caviar. The concept of a concert being the forum for actual live music is foreign to them. It is perfectly acceptable to exchange big bucks for two or so hours of dance moves, costume changes, and popping out of trap doors, all set to a prerecorded soundtrack. Every note lip synced? Who cares! She’s my idol! SQUEEE!

Nevertheless, all is not lost. Music trends come and go; it is not beyond reason to expect the next genuine, rather than media made, music hero will be a lot more Beatles and a lot less Beyoncé. Country, even in its current popified form, remains guitar-driven, the hotter the solo the better. Gibson has rectified recent production year gaffes; the 2017 models are truly drool-worthy for guitar aficionados of all ages. (Speaking of Gibson, doubtless there is no connection whatsoever between it and its head Henry Juszkiewicz being the article’s chief target for slagging and how the Justice Department, during the Obama administration, targeted Gibson for illegally importing wood, this harassment including a dramatic raid with guns drawn on Gibson’s Nashville factory … only to have the confiscated alleged wood later sheepishly returned once it was proved the lumber was acquired lawfully, right? Er … right? Wait, what, Juszkiewicz is an outspoken conservative? Sheer coincidence!) And, unlike the article’s assertion, buying and playing guitar remains a pursuit for all ages. Evidence? Ladies and gentlemen, I present for your consideration Guitar Showcase in San José, California.

Guitar Showcase has been privately owned and run since the 1960s, boasting a veteran staff that knows their stuff regarding guitars and related items be they vintage and new. It’s long been my store of choice, the mysterious albeit not mythical Mrs. Dude having endured many a lengthy session of me trying various guitars and talking shop with the staff. (She levels the playing field by dragging me to and through the local scrapbook store, but that’s a story for another time.) Unlike a Guitar Center, home of the kids kranking it and not much else, Guitar Showcase is where the serious players shop.

Guitar Showcase’s clientele comes in an equal mix of two flavors: the, uh, seasoned people like me who always stop and look at something new Steve Miller has recently dropped off for consignment before getting on with things, or 18-25 year olds who are usually ridiculously good players. The store doesn’t have nearly a Guitar Center’s foot traffic, but enjoys a far higher percentage of buyers per customers. Introductory models, high flyers (Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters, Gibson Les Pauls and SGs, Martin or Taylor acoustics), and not the occasional high end vintage or new instrument all steadily march out the door. The bottom line is the store’s bottom line is not hurting. At. All. And there are a whole lot more boutique guitar shops across the land doing equally well.

So no, Washington Post, the electric guitar is not dying a slow death. Newspapers, on the other hand …

“It’s important to build community in a culture that wants to silence pro-life women and their beliefs.” — Melissa Ohden.

Challenge accepted.

In a time of handmaids who don’t want to see Planned Parenthood privatized and states that want to gag pro-life documentarians, there’s more pro-life work going on than will ever be documented by trending hashtags. Good to know, when encouragement can seem hard to come by.

I just returned from Orlando and the second annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference. The conference is the brainchild of Abby Johnson, a woman who puts the “active” in activist: former Planned Parenthood manager, now pro-life, and founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry to abortion workers who want to leave the industry.

She and her team gathered a unique array of speakers, sponsors and exhibitors to inform and challenge the women who came from all over the country to attend the conference. People whose work doesn’t get much coverage in conventional media told their stories. Women whose choices aren’t celebrated by today’s “progressives” (sic) were there to encourage other women who may yet face something like an adverse prenatal diagnosis.

This wasn’t a political event, yet it was unmistakably a boost to anyone like me who’s an advocate for pro-life public policy. The atmosphere was dynamic, not defensive. The women I met there were positive without being saccharine. The things they’re doing, quietly and under the radar, are making people’s lives better. St. John Paul II would call it building a culture of life.

And there was some attitude in the room. Call it joyful and defiant determination. Heady stuff.

Here are a few observations and links from the conference, when you’re ready to turn away from everyday headlines for awhile. There’s good news out there.

  • The women who took the stage first had all heard the same thing from doctors during their pregnancies: something’s wrong with your pregnancy; it’s OK to abort. Some of the diagnoses proved to be accurate, others not. These mothers talked about where they found support, and where they didn’t. Some brought their children with them, so we could see what an “adverse diagnosis” looks like: a person, not a concept or a sentence. Lacey Buchanan: “I get the privilege of raising an exception.”
  • And speaking of exceptions and the right to life, I love Rebecca Kiessling. I’d heard her speak before, but she’s absolutely worth hearing again. Hear her, and you’ll never look at rape-and-incest exceptions the same way again. She’s one of those exceptions.
  • Exhibitors included Democrats for Life (yes!), Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, and Secular Pro-Life. You never know when someone will share your commitment to defending human dignity. Secular Pro-Life can take credit for one of the best stickers in sight: Call Me an Extremist, But I Think Dismemberment is Wrong.
  • Are there pro-life doctors, who won’t do abortions, or refer for them? Yes, and I saw three of them in one place at the conference. Asked if she worked in a hostile environment, one of the physicians answered, “Not since moving to a pro-life practice.” May their number increase. Check out the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs site, just because it’s good to know they’re out there.

I could go on, and I probably will, on other sites. You get the idea, though: dynamic and committed women, without a handmaid in sight. That’s life beyond the hashtags.