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Now that I have school-aged children, I spend more time every time we move analyzing school districts. A friend of mine that lives where we are moving to next sends both their kids to Catholic elementary school, to the tune of about 9,000 dollars. Although I choked when I heard the cost, it didn’t surprise me too much. In Georgia, we ended up sending our oldest kid to kindergarten at the local Baptist school, which cost 150/month, instead of the Catholic school, which would have cost 650/month.
Hate to say it, but the Baptists got it right.
Catholic schools are too expensive for most people in a one-earner family. So we face the choice of either having both parents work, living paycheck to paycheck, or sending our kids to public school. Public schools don’t have the best track record of being friendly to Catholics, which means the parent staying at home has to spend a considerable amount of time educating the kids in the faith.
Given that too many parents don’t have a good understanding of the faith as it is, we’ve just setup a system that allows our kids to be plucked away from the Church.
I think we’re missing the mark on Catholic education. If we want a future generation, we should be educating our young parents in the faith. Poor understanding of the faith creates kids with a weak understanding of what they believe in, which sets them up to be lead astray in high school and college.
School choice is going to help as well. I think a large part of the negative reaction to Betsy DeVos is because she threatens to break the stranglehold of public elementary and middle schools, a stranglehold that has been contributing to an increasingly non-religious world.
Our future generation is caught in an education setup that is pushing them to leave the church. We would be wise to recognize that.
This is the 3rd and last of three guest posts I did for Ladd Ehlinger’s site back in late 2011. I’m reprinting them here (With Ladd’s permission) because I think the election of Donald Trump is a significant event in the culture wars and these posts (and the follow ups that I intend to write) serve to explain what happened to our friends on the left who are still pulling out their hair over the events of November. While Ladd’s old blog isn’t there you can find the original piece via the wayback machine.
“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”-
William F. Buckley Jr. Up from Liberalism.
One of the most important aspects of the culture wars as fought via cinema is the concept of challenging the status quo with subtlety. One might make a statement with The Crying Game and be assured of critical acclaim, but in order to effect change to society in general, one has to be able to influence those who would not be caught dead watching that kind of movie. To win your case, you need to play on the other person’s field.
Oh, God is an interesting example of this. It is the last movie you would think of as part of a culture war fight and if you did, you would consider it a conservative movie.
Jerry Landers (John Denver) is an assistant Manager at a supermarket who gets a typewritten note announcing he has an interview with God. He laughs it off until the note he threw away keeps turning up. When he finds it during a visit by his district manager (David Ogden Stiers) under a leaf of romaine lettuce, he visits the interview location on the note. There he finds an empty room on the 27th floor of a building with only 17 floors and a voice on an intercom saying it is God. He tries to dismiss it, but finds the message repeated on his broken radio. After his wife (Teri Garr) notes he has not actually seen God, God (George Burns) visits in person while he is in the shower telling him he’s been chosen to deliver the message that he exists and everything in the world can work out, it’s all up to us.
When rejected by the LA Times religious reporter, (George Furth) God reappears and at Jerry’s request performs a small miracle by making it rain inside his car. Still wet, he returns at once to the Times, and they run a small story on the subject. He wife tries to deflect attention, but eventually it’s picked up by a local paper, then an ABC affiliate. When warned by a company executive, Mr. Summers, (William Daniels) to keep his mouth shut. he continues on, finally appearing on the Dinah Shore show. That draws all kind of cranks and fanatics to his house and creates a lot of trouble for him.
A telegram from the local university asking him to appear before a board of religious experts to hear about his claim seems like a chance to save his job. The panel, which represents Jewish, Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Protestant clergy, including a loud televangelist, Reverend Williams, (Paul Sorvino) finds insufficient evidence but as a control measure give him 50 questions (written in Aramaic) that they ask God to answer.
Landers agrees and is locked in his hotel room with no outside communication. God shows up as a busboy bringing Ketchup and remarking that $11 is a lot for a steak. He answers the questions and when finished tells Jerry to give them to Reverend Williams saying: “You take these answers and give them to Reverend big mouth and you say that tell him God says he’s a phony and also tell him if he wants to get rich, fine, tell him to sell earth shoes, but personally tell him I’d like him to shut up.”
The Reverend is delighted at the prospect that God sent Jerry to him, until he repeats what God said on a microphone. The scene immediately shifts to a courtroom where Williams’ attorney (Ralph Bellamy) demands damages. Jerry refuses both the Judge’s (Barnard Hughes) suggestion for council and his wife’s entreaties to apologize.
When he presents his case, Jerry calls God to the stand. When he doesn’t immediately appear, Jerry argues that there was a hesitation in the room. A possibility that God would appear exists, and he claims it is the benefit of the doubt he deserves. As the judge considers contempt charges, God appears, taking the stand.
He rebukes the Reverend’s Lawyer, noting that nobody had a problem believing in the devil after “that movie” (The Exorcist). He confirms all Jerry has said and offers a miracle to prove who he is by making a deck of cards appear and disappear, and finally making himself vanish during an exchange with the judge and those in the courtroom.
The tape recording, however, didn’t record God’s voice nor does the stenotype machine show any of his words. The judge rules given their common experience it’s understandable that he would consider his actions divinely commanded and drops the slander charge, but rules due to the lack of evidence that God did not appear in the courtroom.
Jerry loses his job, and on the drive home God tells him he did a good job saying “There are other cities and other supermarkets”. When Jerry asks if sometimes they can just talk God replies: “You talk I’ll listen,” and walks away into the sunset, disappearing.
It’s a feel good movie all around. The performances are excellent, John Denver is totally believable as Jerry Landers, helped by a good performance by Teri Garr as his wife and a cast chock full of some of the best character actors out there from William Daniels, to Jeff Corey and Ralph Bellamy. Add two actors who were yet to have their greatest impact–Paul Sorvino and David Ogden Stiers, punctuated of course by George Burns, who carries off the role with perfect timing and style. What’s there not to like about this movie? You have a nice conservative message about an unbeliever who hears the word of God and follows it, an affirmation of the importance of following God’s word no matter what, and the message that following God is not without cost.
If you look deeper, however, you will find some interesting messages hidden delivered with such skill that you might miss it, if you didn’t look.
First let’s contrast the “believers” and the “unbelievers”. At the very start, we have Landers established as a good man who gently corrects his staff and is too honest to “oil his cukes,” as the district rep. suggests to make the cucumber display more appealing to the eye. He opposition is a myriad of believers, from his wife “I believe in God, I just don’t think he exists” skeptical religious editors, a CEO who resents him speaking to God, a set of religious nuts, and finally a classic stereotype televangelist with sheep-like followers who doesn’t even believe in God when he sees him. Jerry has “the strength that comes from knowing” but none of them that have not seen are willing to believe. The message: “believers” are either nuts or phonies and so are you unless you’ve seen it for yourself.
The other believers are the religious panel and they are passed over. Other than Rev. Williams, we don’t see the rest of the panel’s reaction to the questions answered in Aramaic. It’s as if they don’t exist, because of course their reaction would not produce the cynicism required for the movie’s climax and would more likely be: “My Lord and my God.”
Let’s look at “God” in this film. In the very first encounter we establish a God “makes mistakes”, in his first physical appearance he proclaims that “shame” is wrong. He is not all knowing “I haven’t a clue” and his reaction to prayer is “I can’t help hearing.” It could as easily be: “Why are you bothering me?”
Now that we’ve abolished the concept of God as understood for centuries, what does he think about right and wrong? He objects to “killing”, pollution and making money in his name, but that’s about it. Take a look at the answer to the big question of the movie:
“Is Jesus Christ the son of God? Jesus was my son, Buddha was my son, Mohammad, Moses You the man who said there was no room at the inn was my son and so is the one who charges $11 dollars for a steak in this one.”
Now, I wouldn’t expect Carl Reiner to give an endorsement to Christianity, but note what he does. All religions are equal, all are valid, there is no “truth”, none of that “Thou shalt have no other Gods but me” stuff. The generic answers given by the “God” in this movie could be, and is given by new age gurus of today who makes the same kind of money that the Reverend Williams does.
No truth, no worship, you don’t need prayer, just know I’m here but I really don’t matter and have nothing to do about it, so unless you are the ’69 Mets, the last miracle God in the movie says he did, don’t bother asking. It’s so simple, the message of Oh, God becomes: “People don’t really don’t need a God”, but that message is delivered in a way so subtle and so discreet that unless someone points it out you can’t see yourself absorbing it.
I was shocked and revolted as I watched the rioting unfold on the UC Berkeley campus back on February 1st. Here is a link which consists of a collection of videos and tweets: Twitchy craziest protest. The sole purpose of this senseless violence was to prevent one individual, Milo Yiannopoulos, from speaking. This should not happen anywhere in this country, let alone at Berkeley, which was the birthplace of the free speech movement. It is true that only about 150 individuals, most likely outsiders, committed the violence and destruction, however a very large number of student protesters cheered on and gave the anarchists cover. What did Milo do to deserve such an unfriendly welcome? He is an outspoken, charismatic, and popular libertarian-conservative. Yes, he is outrageous and provocative, but that is no reason to silence him. There is no legitimate reason to silence anyone. Most disturbing of all is the reaction of the university. They did nothing to stop the rioting, they did nothing to protect Milo’s right to speak freely, and they did nothing to protect the rights of those who wanted to listen to him.
Freedom of speech is one of our most important God given natural rights. This right must include speech that others might find offensive. We are all unique individuals. What offends one person, others might enjoy. Some of the most fundamental truths may offend a very large portion of the population. Being offended is a purely emotional response. We are all supposed to be rational and intelligent beings, ruled by intellect rather than emotion. Only the most emotionally fragile of us need to shelter ourselves from everything that might possibly be offensive. Free exercise of speech and free expression are far more important than the emotional well being of fragile individuals. Unfortunately, political correctness has completely reversed this. Far too many people believe that their right to never be offended far outweighs everyone else’s right to freely express themselves as they wish. The right to not be offended does not exist. It interferes far too much with everyone else’s right of free speech, therefore it is not a valid right. If we have to refrain from possibly offending anyone we would never be able to speak.
Political correctness has always been a weapon used by the political left to try and silence those on the political right. Far too often, conservative principles and ideas are labeled offensive or hate speech, and then these labels are used as a justification, by colleges, to ban individuals from speaking . The latest buzzwords used as justification are white nationalist and alt-right. Before this last election, I never heard of the alt-right yet, according to the left. it is everywhere. I believe the white nationalist alt-right exists but it a very small fringe group. Mainstream conservative publications, such as the Breitbart family of websites, have been unjustly labeled white nationalist alt-right, along with Steve Bannon and Milo. These accusations, which have been loudly trumpeted by the media, were used as justification by the rioters at UC Berkeley. Milo discussed the complicity of the media in this interview: Media Legitimizes Violence on Conservatives. One of the organizers of the Berkeley riots spoke to Tucker Carlson. Here is a link to the interview. She used these accusations as justification for the riots.
Thanks to political correctness , conservative speech has become unwelcome on college campuses. Immediately when a conservative or a libertarian speaker is announced, the cries to ban them begin at once, and then the protests start. There absolutely nothing wrong with individuals peacefully protesting because they do not approve of the speaker. People have a right to peacefully protest for any reason. Blocking entrances, rushing stages, shouting down, and drowning out a speaker with your voice are not valid forms of protest. These tactics interfere with the rights of the speaker and those in the audience who want to listen to the speaker. Far too often speakers on the right are uninvited by the college the moment the protests start. This is a gross violation of free speech. Liberal speakers far outnumber conservative speakers. College campuses have become “safe spaces” where conservative ideals are not welcome and often labeled bias incidents. According to this article, seventy colleges now call authorities for bias incidents.
Thanks to decades of political correctness, more than half of all high school students believe the First Amendment goes too far when protecting free speech. This is not just a disgrace, it is a national tragedy. Here is a link to a survey on this subject.
Political correctness is predominantly a phenomenon on the political left, however those of us on the right have, at times, demonstrated our own bad habits when it comes to free speech. At times we try to force others to be “patriotically correct.” Everyone has a right to do and say things that are unpatriotic. No one should ever be punished for being unpatriotic in speech or behavior. We can criticize individuals for what they say if we do not agree with them because free speech is a two way street. No one has a right to silence anyone.
serve to explain what happened to our friends on the left who are still pulling out their hair over the events of November
If you look at that movie it’s the image of the Kindergarden of Eden I described yesterday.
At first the Captain (Lionel Barrymore) is willing to let Harvey’s attitude go and offers to make him part of the crew beside his son Dan (Mickey Rooney). He refuses to work, he starts ranting about sending the entire crew to jail unless they take him to New York, disrupting the ship.
Remind you of any group of people protesting in the streets lately? Remind you of an entire generation of children who will have what they want when they want it from their $600 iPhones to the latest video games? Our film instructor is torn seeing a mirror and not liking the reflection, and that’s where one of the pivotal moments in the film takes place.
Captain Troop, with the good of the ship and the livelihood of the entire crew to worry about, notes he can’t risk months of fishing on a boy’s yarn. When Harvey still rants Troop finally concludes: “I guess there’s nothing left for it.” He rears back and gives Harvey a slap that knocks him flat.
Now I want to remind you I wrote those words in >December of 2011 at the time when Obama’s power was still at its height and the idea of Donald Trump being president was about as remote as the odds of a kid falling in the ocean being picked up by a fisherman before he drowns.
Yet here we are six years later and not only is the left still screaming but Donald Trump is smacking them by simply enforcing the law:
There’s evidence raids and/or detentions are occurring, as reports pop up throughout the country in at least eight states (California, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, New York, Virginia, South and North Carolina.) ICE insists the raids are targeted and nothing new and denies social media reports that checkpoints were set up in communities. In California, ICE now says it rounded up 160 people, targeting those with felony records or who are fugitives and called reports of widespread raids “irresponsible” and false, The Orange County Register reported. The newspaper labeled the ICE actions in California a “surge.” In George and the Carolinas, ICE picked up 200 people, reported NBC News.
Some of the scenes are growing intense, with protests in California, New York, Texas, and Arizona. In at least one case, the Mesa deportation, the person detained had a deportation order that dated to the President Obama administration.
immigrant rights activists and Democrats are raising concerns this weekend about recent immigration enforcement actions — though immigration officials maintain that only routine actions targeting criminals were underway.
Fear is running high among immigrant communities since President Donald Trump’s inauguration — and after the recent publicized deportation of an undocumented Arizona mother of two after a routine visit with immigration officials, reports have been spreading of Immigration and Customs Enforcement stepping up its actions nationwide.
He said the operations targeted convicted criminals, gang members, individuals who re-entered the country after being deported and individuals who had final removal orders from immigration judges.
Those arrested included a citizen of El Salvador with a criminal conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and self-admitted MS-13 gang member; a citizen of Jamaica with a criminal conviction for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11; a citizen of Mexico with a criminal convicted for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11.
More than 680 people were arrested in the raids across the country, officials say. Of those arrested, 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges.
Because nothing is going to win the American people over to the left’s point of view like freaking out over the deportation of people convicted of serious crimes.
Of course in Captains Courageous when Harvey gets knocked down by the Captain it begins the moment where he finally figures out what’s important in life and begins to grow, I really question if the left is capable of this.
But I’m a catholic and know that with God all things are possible
and the response from pro-life folks, particularly those who unlike Nancy Pelosi actually take that whole: Intrinsic Evil, Mortal Sin business in their religion seriously was not pleasant from their perspective:
Mark A Byers I regularly patronize Chilis in and around Pasco County, New Port Richey, Trinity, and Palm Harbor. NO MORE! I will not support anyone that contributes to abortions in any state, or country. ADIOS!
So I decided that it was time to get a statement from Chili’s and wrote them the following email:
I am working on a piece to be published this week on the reports that Chili’s restaurants in two states were holding promotions to support planned parenthood and have several questions.
1. Does the Chili’s chain support these fundraisers for Planned Parenthood at their restaurant, if so why, if not why not?
2. Given that Abortion is a very divisive issue why did Chili’s decide to jump in the middle of it and are any sanctions planned for the restaurants In question for putting Chili’s in a position where they are likely going to be forced to choose one part of their customer base over another?
3. Are there any plans to make a general statement on any such fundraisers in the future? Will there be guidance to locally owned franchises to avoid cultural war issues in the future?
4. The annual March for life is tomorrow, given the likely reaction of the participants to this news what message do you have to those marchers concerning this promotion?
5. Given that the Catholic Church (and other Christian denominations) consider abortion an intrinsic evil and cooperation[misspelled in original] with abortion a mortal sin what message do you have to believing Catholic / Christian customers who may be ethically required to avoid Chili’s over this promotion?
6. As funding Planned Parenthood is an issue on which the left has attacked President Trump what assurances can you give voters who supported the President that this promotion was not a slap in the face to him and his supporters?
7. Finally if Chili’s argues that it has no position on this issue and values customers who hold pro-life and pro-abortion opinions equally can you give an example of a fundraiser for a pro-life group held at a Chili’s in the past or will you do such a fundraiser to counter balance this one?
I will happily include any statement by Chili’s in my piece if it arrives before it is published, and/or will update or produce a follow up with said statement if it arrives after publication. Be aware that the piece will include the content of this email.
Thank you for your time
Peter “DaTechGuy” Ingemi
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Chili’s responded at 1:28 PM, with the following:
Please find below a statement that can be attributed to Chili’s® Grill & Bar.
“At Chili’s, we have a longstanding history and take pride in giving back to unite our local communities together. We recognize every community is unique, and encourage our restaurant managers and franchise partners to support causes that help bring communities together and leave a positive impact on our valued Guests, neighbors, friends and families we serve.
Yesterday, we learned that an independent franchise partner of Chili’s in Indiana and Kentucky made the decision to host a Chili’s Give Back Event on behalf of Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky. While our franchise partner had the best intentions; we have received growing feedback and concern from community members regarding the Give Back Event. This feedback does not reflect Chili’s focus on bringing communities together and the event was never intended to be viewed as a partisan event or political statement, therefore we, along with our franchise partner, have decided to cancel the event.
We will more clearly communicate the focus of Chili’s charitable giving efforts, so that our restaurant managers and franchise partners can feel empowered to support local organizations that bring communities together.”
No answers to my questions and a statement which reeks of moral equivalency. Not a big surprise by a company that doesn’t want to get involved. Their statement that “every community is unique” and the “best of intentions” suggests that they don’t have a problem with abortion itself, only that we who oppose it might object. It’s the type of statement I’d expect in 1817 if a Kentucky franchise owner held a fundraiser to help a local plantation owner whose slaves had escaped and they wanted to placate outraged abolitionists.
Clearly the only reason consider this a big deal is because of the backlash from Pro-Life potential customers, and I strongly suspect that the local franchises, fooled by the MSM coverage of the so called “March for Woman” thought that of COURSE this would not make any trouble nationwide given how everybody in the MSM was so behind it. So we get a statement attempting to placate pro-life diners without risking offending pro-abortion diners. It’s a statement that is neither hot nor cold, and as I recall there was a good commentary already written concerning those who are lukewarm which I’ll repeat here
I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. ” ‘”Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me…
Did Chili’s have a 1st century franchise in Laodicea?
Alas for Chili’s, as much as they would put the genie back in the bottle it’s doesn’t work that way anymore the time has come to choose sides and their attempt to choose neither will likely satisfy nobody.
They have a franchise in Leominster just a few miles from my house which, given the proximity and quality of Happy Jacks I’ve not visited in a couple of years. Given their lukewarm statement I think I’ll follow the example of Mother Angelica who when a supplier tried to extort a kickback from her peanut company that her monastery used to support themselves in the 60’s closed it instead saying
“If I’m going to hell, it’s not going to be over peanuts”
There are plenty of other places where I can eat and I’ve only got one soul.
These ladies are all well known and their celebrity is such that people who might normally know better have embraced this silliness as a reason to cheer.
I contrast this to something that happened at work yesterday. I was working with three young women between the ages of 21 and 30 all single, one married, another with an 8 year old daughter. The younger two were discussing their future and the older of the three was giving advice and perspectives, that, in my opinion, was excellent and insightful and to her credit far beyond her years and the other were, to their credit, were giving that excellent advice the attention it deserved.
There was no studio audience simply me but I was likely just as impressed as the viewers of the view were of their pussy hats although I was too busy to work to bother to applaud.
Now I should point out that politically I’m aware that at least one and maybe all three of these women of these women disagree with me, another was impressed by Meryl Streep’s speech and the third isn’t very big on Catholicism and I’m a VERY public catholic.
However despite these facts none of these ladies seem to have embraced the pussy hats of the View or any of the insanity that Robert Stacy McCain can demonstrated can be yours for $50,000+ a year tuition nor seem to believe that working a 3rd shift at a warehouse is either beneath them or a sign of oppression. Simply as a means to whatever end they have, either catching up on bills, supporting family or maybe earning the funds for a degree.
You won’t find any of these women on daytime TV talk shows, nor will you find any of them taking a day off to travel to Washington and appearing before reporters blaming any problems they may have on either Trump or heteronormative patriarchy. It is very likely none of you will ever know who they are and I’m certainly not going to repeat anything they said yesterday morning as we worked.
However I will say that from my conversations with them I suspect that they will in the long run turn out much better than those who are paying a fifth of a Million dollars on a woman’s studies degree who wouldn’t be caught dead working with us. Furthermore if I had my choice of any of these three women or any of the young ladies described by Stacy McCain or marching with pussy hats on Washington to be introduced to me by my sons as a potential future spouse there is no question which I would prefer to see standing there in that situation.
Nor do I have any doubt which set of ladies has a better future ahead of them.
Update: Turns out the youngest is in fact married, wasn’t wearing her rings yesterday
A few weeks ago we reprinted the first of what will be three pieces on movies and the culture wars on the picture Gunga Din. When getting permission to reprint these pieces I stated that with the election of Trump the cultural significance of these pieces and these movies had increased. Why? Consider this passage from my Gunga Din piece:
Through the entire picture manly virtue is celebrated: It’s celebrated when the survivors of the first battle, after an arduous trek bearing their wounded, form to march into the camp parade in good order. It’s celebrated as Din, with Cutter’s support, dreams of being a soldier instead of a water bearer. It’s celebrated when Cutter allows himself to be taken so Din can give warning. Ballantine refuses to leave his friend in the lurch even for the woman he loves. Cutter and MacChesney endure torture, Din gives his life to warn the regiment, and even the villain of the piece sacrifices himself in the hope of victory for his cause.
These manly values are not only conservative values, but are instinctive human values that since 9/11 the left has been unable to suppress.
The idea of work is a manly virtue, a virtue of labor, sometimes hard and oftimes monotonous but allowing you to support yourself and your family. And while such labor can seem oppressive, particularly to one who has never done it, it confers dignity and independence. It says that come hell or high water my wife and my children will be fed and sheltered and it will be done by my own hand.
But it’s even more than that, it’s also conveys an optimism that given time and effort one’s hard work will be rewarded, either by one’s own success or the success that the work allows one’s family to achieve.
This is the rust belt virtue that the industries so despised by the left has rejected.
And that brings us to Donald Trump.
Trump is a person embraces the manly art of doing, not just as a person who works hard, in the value of labor, but the OPTIMISM of doing the idea that working hard brings rewards!
And part of that hard work is to stand up for yourself, and when Trump bluntly defends American labor, American products, American jobs, even when these things carry a risk, he is illustrating the manly virtue of courage, the willingness to accept risk to achieve a right end.
That virtue is one that our friends on the left are horrified of, and one that comes hard to the cultural elites such as André Leon Talley:
It sounds as though he wanted to play a part in the fashion and design side of the new presidency, but he couldn’t bear the risk.
As we sit in the hotel lobby, he muses: “I’m not a big person in the world. I’m maybe a big figure in the fashion world. I mean, sort of iconic. But I don’t want to get phone calls in the middle of the night, telling me I’ve gone over to Trumpland and I’m going to Darth Vader because I said nice things about Melania…..”
He’s afraid of bullies.
Those bullies of the left can’t intimidate the rust belt worker who has the courage to defy convention and to say to those who would shun him over said virtue and support for Trump. “Who cares?”
He’s not afraid of the bullies of the left, and that’s why the bullies of the left hate them and Trump so.
Closing thought. It’s fitting that this piece leads on December 26th because it is the feast of St. Stephen, the very first Christian Martyr who even as the mob screamed for his death had both the manly virtue to stand for the truth as he knew it, and derivative of that virtue the willingness to forgive.
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“..For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace and goodwill towards men.’
“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
– Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” 1965
The secular answer is that it’s a federal holiday, having been established as such (along with New Year’s Day and Independence Day) by an act of Congress in 1870 “to correspond with similar laws of … every State of the Union.” Ironically, the holiday that seems every year to cause such politically-correct angst amongst our friends on the left was originally enacted in part as an act of post-Civil-War unification. While it wasn’t always so, by the mid 1800’s celebrating Christmas was pretty much universal throughout the country. And since the First Amendment is exactly the same now as it was then, how can anyone seriously think that celebrating Christmas, even on public property, could be a problem?
Let’s be clear. As much as the secular, commercial view of Christmas as a Santa Claus-fueled gift-giving frenzy has become the norm, there is still an underlying reason for the season, even if not everyone remembers or is willing to admit it. As Linus so beautifully pointed out, on Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yes, the celebration of this Holy day has taken on additional secular attributes over the years and as a national holiday it can, and should be, celebrated by believers and nonbelievers alike. There is nothing wrong with that. But Jesus’ birth is still the central point of the day.
When my children were little, like most of you we went along with the whole Santa Claus story, leaving cookies and milk out for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. We even left “Santa’s hat” in the fireplace one year and had a friend call to ask our children to hold onto it so he could pick it up the following year. But our children always understood what we were really celebrating, right down to the baby Jesus appearing in the Nativity scene on Christmas morning. When they got older and we finally told them the truth about Santa Claus, they took it really well. In fact, my daughter said that she felt sorry for people who don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas because, once they find out about Santa Claus, they have nothing left. As a Catholic, I pray that everyone will eventually come to learn the Truth.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I’d like to remind everyone of the message at the end of that passage that Linus quotes: “on Earth, peace and goodwill towards men.” Wouldn’t it be great if we could all, regardless of religious, political, or any other affiliation, embrace those words?
He rightly pointed out how awful it was, the implication being that we should (or should have) done something about it.
Forgetting for a moment that the name of the president is still a fellow named Obama and that it wasn’t all that many years ago in the days of the Soviet Union when the media repeatedly expressed the idea that the best way to deal with Russia was diplomacy without military confrontations, there is one overriding fact that matters more than anything else.
No Amount of sanctions of any type is going to stop the offensive in Aleppo. If Aleppo is to be saved it is going to involve Air Combat with the Syrian and Russian Air Forces to slow them up long enough for American Ground Troops to get there.
Furthermore the only way things are going to change in Syria is if we go in a-la Iraq, Take it over and stay two decades at least rather than cutting and running as we did under Obama.
Now one might debate if the ratio of the cost in cash and lives plus the risk of a military escalation with either Russia and/or Iran vs the benefit of a Syria pried from the Russians and Iranians, the Syrians not slaughtering their own people, putting an army on the flank of both Iraqi and Lebanese militants and the reviving of the flypaper strategy where instead of attacking vulnerable western targets ISIS sympathizers flock to Syria to confront and be destroyed by the best trained, best equipped and most deadly military in the entire history of history.
But none of that matters because of one simple fact.
Even if the conclusion was made that the cost benefit ratio to war justified it The American people do not have the will to fight.
This of course is due to the efforts of the left in the culture wars of the last 30 to 50 years (ironically supported by the soviets). Iraq was only possible because of the 9/11 attacks.
And it’s not like the left and the papers who are hitting Trump for trying make friends with the Russians were going to fight such a war themselves or even support such a war if proposed
Until such a time this changes, and such a change is at least a generation away, the best we can do is make noise to save face however both the Russians and the Syrians will recognize such noise for what it is.