The Saddest Pavolvian Sight

Yesterday was day one of no mask freedom in Massachusetts and so I decided to get to church to become free from sin as well.

As I was leaving church (I go to mass generally on Sunday) I was pleased to see a lady approaching without a mask and greeted her with the quip: “The only sad thing about not having to wear masks is now you can see if I forgot to shave.”

Instantly her face turned as she realized she didn’t have her mask on and she turned to her car to get it. Thinking she had forgotten that the ban was lifted, I called to her:

You don’t need the mask anymore!

but she replied

I still want it!

In the end she has the right to remain a sheep if she wants or perhaps there is a medical reason why she needs it, but it was a sad thing to see an American so trained.

Update: Went to mass today only about 5% were masked. When at the end of the Mass father announced the official end of the mask mandate there was a loud round of applause, however at the supermarket where masks were optional the clear majority was still masked.

Make this Memorial Day personal

Newspaper from the Battle for Crete in World War 2

History is best learned in person. While I was temporarily stationed on Crete in support of the ongoing conflict in Libya, I had a chance to visit a local museum that featured Cretan history from ancient times to the present. There was a large room devoted to the Battle of Crete, where the forces of Nazi Germany first fought a naval engagement, and then invaded Crete in one of the largest parachute drops in history. While Germany did successfully invade, it came at a great cost, and the Germans were hesitant to use parachute tactics in the future.

The newspaper above has a few interesting titles. First, its a good reminder that things weren’t all that certain in 1941 in Europe. Losing Crete, and followed by a massive German invasion of Russia soon after, left Europe’s position pretty uncertain. It’s easy to read history now and say “Well, its obvious the US would prevail,” but at the time it wasn’t so certain. I also had to smile at the “Capture of Fallujah” headline, since Fallujah continues to be as important back then as it is in modern times.

Walking in the nearby cemetery I found graves from both Allied and Axis powers. The graves are simple. I don’t recognize any of the names. I know the facts of the battles they fought in, but the actual people, outside of a few significant generals and admirals, are unknown to me.

I suspect that this is the same feeling many Americans get walking through Arlington National Cemetery. Sure, if you have a loved one buried there, its a different feeling. But most people don’t, and during Memorial Day, its hard to know what we’re supposed to feel about the graves we walk by. Sad? Respectful? Mournful?

I think the reason its difficult is because we’re taught history from an events perspective, especially for wars. These groups of people, using these weapons, fought over this place on a map, and this group won. But the truth is that each of those people that fought have a back story. A loved one at home. A family that misses them. They are fighting for many different reasons. Maybe they were drafted, or maybe they enlisted because they really believe in their country. Maybe they joined to climb further in the ranks, or maybe this is a one-and-done enlistment.

When we get the chance to hear these personal stories, they stick with us. You can’t read the book Unbroken (or watch the movie) and not be moved by it. Same goes for stories like Hacksaw Ridge or even Black Hawk Down. It’s easy to gloss over history in a cold, calculating way when its presented as figures, numbers, and geography, but its a lot harder when we hear about the individual people behind the battles. We identify with people.

So this Memorial Day, I encourage people that often struggle with “How am I supposed to react” to take the time to learn one story. Learn about the in-depth story of someone that gave their life for their country. Talk to a veteran about someone they knew that died fighting for their country. Make that individual connection. Don’t get too worried about the big picture stuff, instead, focus on one individual story. That will make it much more personal and meaningful.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Clarence Thomas TMZ and the Left’s Greatest Fear Realized

don’t try this too long, for fear you may awake his sense of humour and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go to bed.”

C. S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters

I had planned on writing about Javier Lopez’s part in the most unique play ever in the history of baseball (that will wait till next week) or perhaps a post that came into my head a few minutes ago concerning President Trump on the audits (That deserves something really long) but I threw both out when I saw the Matt Whitlock tweet of this video from TMZ via this Don Surber Post Via Stacy McCain

Its importance can’t be overstated.

Nothing so humanizes a person like being able to laugh at yourself and here you have Justice Thomas, the greatest villain that the left has next to Donald Trump laughing at and joking with another black man who is trying to film him for whatever reason.

Don’t think for one moment that it won’t go out to the black community that has for decades been falsely sold the idea that he’s a monster although I suspect that belief is a lot strong in the white liberal community than among black Americans.

Nothing is more dangerous to the left than a person like Thomas being seen as they actually are. That’s why the Trump rallies backfired on CNN etc. Too many people saw Trump as he was, saying what he says completely unspun. It’s the reason why the tech giants and media want to silence him.

This is Justice Thomas being himself. It’s just too bad that it didn’t get out 20 years earlier.

Interesting bit of Lawyering Up in GA

As you might have heard a Judge in Georgia has ordered an examination of absentee ballots in Georgia

Apparently this has resulted in some lawyering up both officially

Now it seems to me that the county would have it’s own lawyers but these folks have hired some serious legal muscle to fight this.

Why you might think that despite all those people in the media insisting otherwise that things might not be on the up and up.

Unexpectedly of course

The right to decide for ourselves is a greatly endangered right

There is nothing more American than the right of each and every individual to decide for themselves, no matter how big or small the decision.  That right is at the core of one of our most important God-given Natural Rights. That right is liberty, which is the freedom of every individual to do as they wish as long as they do not hurt others or interfere with the right of others

All levels of government in this country were originally created to protect the right of every individual to decide for themselves since all levels of government were created to protect the liberty of every individual

The freedom of an individual to decide includes the right to make decisions that are bad, or even harmful, to the individual doing deciding.  Smoking or drinking to excess are perfect examples of this.  No one has the right to drive drunk since it is potentially very dangerous to other individuals.  Abortion is most definitely harmful to the unborn child therefore no one has a right to an abortion. 

It has not been proved scientifically or medically that individuals not wearing masks in public, whether indoors or outdoors, are at all harmful to other individuals.  Check out this American Thinker article.  Individuals have every right to decide for themselves whether or not they will wear masks.  Mask mandates violate the liberty of every individual forced to wear them.

Going to church, going for a walk outdoors, going shopping, eating at a restaurant, going to work, exercising in a gym, or the vast majority of ordinary activities has never been proved to be harmful to other individuals during this Coronavirus pandemic.  State and local governments have robed the individuals living in those communities the right to decide for themselves whether or not they will engage in these activities.

Every individual has the exclusive right to make medical decisions for themselves.  Period. End of story.  It is absolutely wrong for any level of government, government agency, school system, private employer, public employer, or retail establishment to force individuals to get a vaccine through any form of mandate,

The federal government has gotten very good an prohibiting individuals from making the decision to purchase items such as incandescent light bulbs, cars with bad gas mileage, and so much more.  All levels of government have made it extremely difficult for individuals to smoke.  I have never smoked anything in my life.  I do respect the right of every individual to smoke if they choose to.

Facebook and other social media outlets have taken away your right to decide what you want to say because of outrageous censorhip.  Any form of censorship, no matter how small or who is doing it, is always wrong.  The same social media outlets have taken away your right to get news and information from whatever source you chose because of their censorship.

The vast army of adherents to political correctness have taken away the right to decide what individuals say, write, read, and listen to through their mob like behavior and blatant censorship.

The only way we get our right to decide for ourselves back is we stand up for that most precious right  Sadly far too few individuals are doing that.  Far too often I feel like I am the only one.

Every (#Catholic) Earn an #Indulgence for Rush Limbaugh Day Sunday May 30

Be generous to all the living, and withhold not your kindness from the dead.

Sirach 7:33

A couple of days ago at work I was listening to music on my very old iPod that I bought off my son’s friend about 15 years ago when I suddenly had the thought to put on Manheim Steamroller.

That might seem an odd choice as Christmas is half a year away but we are asked to keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year long so I put on the album while I was working. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and the concerts I had gone to with my wife and kids the latest being at the Colonial in Boston before this insanity took place

As I was doing my work it occurred to me that this pleasure along with the joy of those concerts was one more thing that I and millions of others owed to Rush Limbaugh who had introduced Chip Davis and his music to his audience and thus to the country and world. I found myself thinking about the impact he had on the nation culturally and politically from the initial victory of the GOP breaking the 40 year run of Democrat control of the house in 1994 to his role along with Sarah Palin in the 63 seat red wave in 2010.

One might consider this a debt we can’t repay as he’s been dead now for several months but by an odd coincidence as I was thinking of all I owed him I remembered a project that I’m working on The Indulgence Calendar.

I’ll be writing more about the indulgence Calendar (along with some downloads) on Memorial day but the bottom line is that if you are a Catholic there IS something you can do for Rush Limbaugh: You can earn an indulgence for him.

Now Rush wasn’t Catholic but that doesn’t matter. You can earn an indulgence for any deceased person and the merits of said indulgences do not depend on if the subject was Catholic thus I propose:

Every Catholic Earn An Indulgence for Rush Limbaugh Day

Sunday May 30th 2021

I propose this date because

  • I will be starting the indulgence Calendar June 1st and want to sneak this in before it.
  • Holy Communion is necessary for an indulgence (see #1 below) so a Sunday maxes out the number of Catholics.
  • Finally I think Rush would not want to make Memorial Day (May 31) about him rather than vets who gave their lives

Now to earn an indulgence there are certain norms that must be followed here are the ones that apply from my indulgence calendar

  1. Communion on the day of an indulgence. This can be applied to any amount of indulgences that day.
  2. Confession within two weeks of the day of an indulgence. Applies to all indulgences during that period
  3. Prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father (an Our Father, Hail Mary or any appropriate prayer) once per day of indulgence.
  4. To earn an indulgence you must be in a state of grace (no unconfessed mortal sin) at the time of the indulgenced act….

11. No unbaptized person nor any Christian who is currently under the penalty of excommunication may earn an indulgence.

12. You must ACTIVELY seek and or state your intention to obtain an indulgence for the act or prayer that carries it to be valid.

So if you are a Catholic going to mass and receiving communion on Sunday all you have to do, in addition to receiving communion to earn an indulgence for Rush Limbaugh Sunday May 30th is:

  1. Declare your intention to do so
  2. Make sure you go or have gone to Confession sometime between May 11th and June 19th
  3. Say an Our Father and a Hail Mary for the intentions of the Pope that day
  4. And do any act or prayer that carries an indulgence (outside of mass) from reading scripture to Praying the Angelus or even the sign of the cross.

Additionally Earning an indulgence for the dead in purgatory is a spiritual work of mercy so in doing this for Rush we are also helping ourselves along our path to Christ.

Oh and fyi, there is no limit to the number of partial indulgences that you can earn in a day as long as you declare your intention to earn it so feel free to obtain multiple indulgences for Rush and maybe one for yourself.

If you want to learn more about indulgences stop by on May 31st and I’ll introduce you to my Indulgence Calendar Project which launches June 1st.

The Portman Gambit

After news broke that Mitt Romney was going to be, well Mitt Romney, word is out that another GOP senator (I don’t count Murkowski) is willing to consider a Jan 6th commission under some conditions.

Mitt’s move was not a huge surprise given that it’s unlikely that opposing it will make those who want him out in Utah like him more and will earn brownie points with the deep state than can be spent on his children and grandchildren who wish to be a part of it, nor does Murkowski move surprise me as she might as well go all out to get Democrats to vote for her come re-election time as the GOP is ready to let her go.

But for those who might be surprised at Portman’s move is almost classic in terms of how politics works or at least used to work in DC.

Portman understands that the Democrats want this commission very badly and it would be useful for the Democrats to get a GOP senator not named Romney or Murkowski on board to try to give their witch hunt a veneer of legitimacy. He also knows that there are likely a few GOP members who are only with Trump and the GOP base publicly.

So this gives him a lot of leverage, by laying out conditions that he might be willing to consider a 1/6 commission he can achieve a lot:

  1. He can get leverage for spending that he wants for his state
  2. He will (doubtless) get good press from the media for doing so.
  3. He can put the Democrats in a position where they feel the need to give concessions on such a commission
  4. If the Democrats refuse his compromises he can go to the base & claim he exposed them.
  5. If the Democrats go along he can claim to the base that he forced them to give ground to make it more fair.
  6. He might be able to play the Sir Humphrey gambit per the video below:

It may or may not work for him but in the old days that’s how it was regularly played.

AP Hill is a safe target

Saw this story at The Gateway Pundit

In one of the most disturbing tales to come from Richmond, Virginia’s moves to erase history, they are now planning to dig up the grave of Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill, according to a new report.

To make the matter even more ghoulish, the city has not actually come up with a plan yet on what to do with his remains that have been in the location since 1892.

Now one might wonder why they would bother targeting AP Hill rather than tackling some of the actual problems facing the black community but I don’t wonder at all.

You see it’s a lot easier to fight a battle against a dead general then it is to handle low test scores

  • or unsafe neighborhoods
  • or drugs
  • or black unemployment
  • or shootings
  • or fatherlessness

All of these things are actual problems in the black community that are having a horrible impact in the cities. But each of those problems requires time, effort and the use of political capital against those who can fight back and have an interest in doing so.

When you see people fighting battles against dead generals rather than current problems you know that they’re not interested.

The true meaning of Memorial Day

By Christopher Harper

In many small towns throughout America, Memorial Day is special.

Almost everyone knows someone who served in the military; most know someone who died.

Here in Muncy, Pennsylvania, two memorials stand out.

A few years ago, the town and the state recognized two fallen soldiers by naming bridges after them.

Army Pvt. Walter L. Smith, who served in the Spanish-American War, and U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. William F. Merrill, a Vietnam War veteran, died in service to their country.

The war against Spain was declared in April 1898 after the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor. On May 12, 1898, Smith enlisted at Williamsport and was mustered into service as a private in Co. D, 12th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, According to historical documents found by his family, Smith met his fate while on a supply patrol with a small detachment in the Philippines on July 28, 1901. “[He] bravely and selflessly defended men in his company against an overwhelming attack by some 60 native insurgents. During the battle, Smith’s sergeant, the only other armed man, was shot and killed. Fighting alone, Smith saved the lives of two unarmed soldiers but was overpowered, captured, and taken prisoner,” according to the local newspaper.

While his remains never were recovered, in 2006, family members honored his service by placing a government-issued memorial headstone in the Smith family plot at Muncy Cemetery.

Merrill was with the 1st Marines during Operation Oklahoma Hills, an operation to clear out the enemy from their base camps and infiltration routes southwest of Da Nang, Vietnam.

On Nov. 26, 1969, Merrill and nine fellow Marines came to a ravine. The first to cross hit a wire attached to a booby trap, and he called out for Merrill, who guarded the device as the rest of the Marines went around it. As Merrill and his sergeant were standing at the device, the explosive detonated, killing Merrill and fatally wounding the other man. Merrill’s body was returned home to his family for interment at Boalsburg Cemetery.

“These were two sons of Muncy who went off to do their duties – like many sons of Muncy – but were unfortunately never able to come home.”State Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, a former U.S. Air Force member, said at the bridge dedication ceremony.

The service of Smith and Merrill in two distant wars underlines the true meaning of Memorial Day.