Ash Wednesday: Even Now

Me? You want me to Join You?

Jesus: Matthew, Matthew son of Alphaeus.

Matthew: Yes?

Jesus: Follow me.

Matthew: Me?

Jesus: [laughs] Yes, you.

Simon (Peter): Whoa whoa whoa whoa. What are you doing?

Matthew: You want me, to join you?

Gaius: Keep moving street preacher.

Simon (Peter): Do you have any idea what this guy has done? Do you even know him?

Jesus: Yes.

The Chosen, Season 1 Episode 7

Today is Ash Wednesday and it’s worth repeating the point I made last year about my favorite old testament passage from the Prophet Joel which is the 1st reading at every Catholic Mass today (and which I want to be the 1st reading at my funeral when the day comes).

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.
Joel 2 12-18

This is for my money the most hopeful passage in the entire old testament and the perfect prestaging for the coming of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, not only because of what it says but because what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say…

  • Even Now….unless you’ve had an abortion
  • Even now….unless you’ve cheated on your spouse
  • Even now…..unless you are a thief
  • Even now…..unless you are a drug dealier
  • Even now…..unless you are a murder
  • Even now…..unless you are a terrorist
  • Even now…..unless you are an atheist
  • Even now…..unless you promote sodomy
  • Even now…..unless you’ve sold your soul to the devil

and it’s worth noting that there is no political connection

  • Even now…..unless you voted Trump
  • Even now…..unless you voted Biden
  • Even now…..unless you stole an election
  • Even now…..unless you rioted
  • Even now…..unless you’ve been cancelled
  • Even now…..unless you’ve cancelled someone
  • Even now…..unless you’ve pushed transgerderism
  • Even now…..unless you’re transgender
  • Even now…..unless you’re a communist
  • Even now…..unless you’re a fascist
  • Even now…..unless you’re Antifa

Put simply if at whatever place you happen to be in the now you choose to Turn to God with your whole heart you will be shown forgiveness and mercy.

This is actually where we are every single day of our lives, but every Ash Wednesday the church explicitly reminds us of this remarkable fact.

Here’s the video of Matthew discovering it.

Biden’s foreign faux pas

By Christopher Harper

Joe Biden was wrong on “nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

That’s the appraisal of Robert Gates, the former defense secretary under Barack Obama. Gates made the assessment in a memoir and has confirmed his appraisal in later interviews.

“We disagreed significantly on Afghanistan and some other issues. I think that the vice president had some issues with the military,” Gates told CBS News in a 2019 interview.

So far as president, Biden’s policies have been almost startling wrongheaded.

For example, Biden has failed to contact Israeli officials since he assumed office, and his press secretary has sidestepped questions about whether the Jewish state was an important ally.

Sure, Israel can be challenging to deal with. But the country has been a solid counter to radical Islam and repressive regimes in the Middle East.

Moreover, Israel entered into various groundbreaking peace agreements under President Trump with a host of Arab nations.

But there’s more. Biden promised from the campaign trail to be hard on Saudi Arabia, particularly when it came to their involvement in Yemen’s six-year-long civil war.

“We were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are,” Biden said during a Democratic primary debate, adding that there is “very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia.”

Again, Saudi Arabia can be difficult. But the country remains a powerful force in the region, particularly in countering Iran’s negative influence.

In a neck-snapping reversal of policy, Biden has suddenly realized that China poses an economic and military threat to the United States.
During the campaign, Biden criticized Trump’s policies of higher tariffs and other tough stances against the Beijing government.
After a two-hour telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden made a 180-degree turn in his thinking.
“Last night, I was on the phone with for two straight hours with Xi Jinping,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office. “It was a good conversation. I know him well. We spent a lot of time together over the years I was vice president. But if we don’t get moving, they’re going to eat our lunch.”

That’s precisely what Trump said for nearly his entire presidency—a position Biden scoff at.

Maybe Biden has gotten one foreign policy initiative right: Staying on course with Trump’s approach to China.

Report from Louisiana: Snowpacolypse 2021

One of the most attractive reasons to live in the Deep South is the winter. Seldom do we suffer the frigid, biting cold that the more northern states endure. In Louisiana, if we have three or four days below freezing, that is considered winter. Those subzero days need not be consecutive.

This week our weather forecasters have been alternately giddy and panic-stricken at the prospect of an incoming “polar vortex” that is expected to bring single-digit temperatures for most of next week. Even better, we also anticipate snow and ice, they tell us.

This means almost certain power outages.

As you can imagine, this has caused a flurry of activity as people rush to the grocery store for bread, milk, bottled water, and batteries. Not many of us in northern Louisiana have a generator; those are more common in southern Louisiana where hurricanes cause power outages for extended periods of time. My neighbor does have a portable generator which he cranks up the moment the power goes out, however.

Some of us old-timers remember when the Red River froze back in 1983 after a week of subfreezing temperatures. It hasn’t been that cold for that long since but people still talk about the river freezing as a benchmark of record-setting cold weather.

People in different parts of the country tend to scoff at our inability to deal with cold weather. I have a niece in Iowa who howls with laughter when we close the schools for less than an inch of snow or ice, but as I said, we aren’t accustomed to this phenomenon and we don’t know how to drive in it. We don’t have salt trucks or snowplows.

So, instead, we go to the grocery store and buy bread.

The weather forecasters have been telling everyone for several days to wrap pipes and cover plants. I have a friend who has directed her husband to cover each of their sixteen peach trees in an attempt to protect the fragile blooms and the peach crop.

Soon the three local television stations will dispatch their intrepid reporters out to stand along the interstate to report on live local road conditions. They will breathlessly interview local officials about running sand trucks along overpasses and news websites will post a running list of Weather-Related Closures long before anything actually closes. Every school kid in town will religiously monitor this list. So will their teachers.

What does it say about us that we react this way to extreme weather? Is it the change that draws us in? Do we feed off misery and suffering? Whether it is a hurricane or a polar vortex, the weather forecasters give us days and days of this advanced information and ever-changing, uncertain news. Sometimes the storm materializes and sometimes it doesn’t, but we are always prepared, I suppose.

At least we always have bread and milk.

Never Trust a Leftist who isn’t Under Oath (again)

I’m not surprised to hear a politician say anything at all

Trump Lawyer Michael van der Veen to Lana Zak of CBS

Now that Donald Trump has been acquitted in yet another impeachment trial I expect to hear the media, the left and the Democrats continue to make broad declarations as to the horrible, HORRIBLE things he said and did on January sixth 2021. They’ll be stories with anonymous sources, various pols making loud statements and all kind of shocked SHOCKING claims to be made.

When you hear them remember this quote from yes minister about such statements.

PM James Hacker: (On Phone): No, no, leave me out of it. A routine visit. (Listening) All right – a routine surprise visit. (Listening) Well, say they were invited earlier, but the NATO exercise got in the way. Now they’re not needed, they’re going anyway. (Listening) All right. Nobody knows it’s not true. Press statements aren’t delivered under oath.

Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986

and then remember this quote from the movie Class Action:

Jedediah Tucker Ward: It’s not hypothetical to Dr. Pavel, he wrote it

Michael Grazier: So he says.

Jedediah Tucker Ward: So he says under oath

Class Action 1991

Of course none of this should surprise anyone since it was the same cost benefit analyses that happened during the Russia probe when wild things were claimed in public about evidence but the opposite was said in classified testimony under oath

So when someone in print or on TV or online or even in casual conversation talks about how horrible the GOP was for not convicting Trump remind them that the Democrats forced and won a vote to call witnesses at the 2nd Trump impeachment trial and then decided not to call a single one of those witness who had written these stories, made those statements or appeared on TV to make claims about Donald Trump to repeat them under oath.

John Lausch needs to stay as US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

Blogger with Durbin in Chicago in 2020

By John Ruberry

Last Monday the Justice Department asked 56 U.S. attorneys to resign. There were two exceptions, John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, will stay on as the special counsel for the investigation of the Russian collusion hoax, and David Weiss, the prosecutor for Delaware, who is pursuing the probe into Hunter Biden’s taxes, and presumably, more.

Among the others are John R. Lausch Jr., the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, which of course includes that cesspool of corruption, Chicago and suburban Cook County. Appointed in 2017, Lausch has been methodically hacking away at the blighted forest that is Illinois government ever since. Among those indicted under Lausch’s term are a Chicago alderman, two suburban mayors (one of them was also Cook County commissioner), and two members of the Illinois General Assembly. They have one thing in common–all are Democrats. Lausch has chipped away at the political machine of state Representative Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who until last month had been state House speaker for all but two years since 1983. Lausch uncovered an alleged scam involving Commonwealth Edison, Illinois’ largest electric utility, that has led to the indictment of four senior executives at that company, as well as a longtime lobbyist with decades-long ties to Boss Madigan. 

Madigan is the midwife of the Illinois pension debacle and he is the man who destroyed Illinois. Sadly, those aren’t crimes.

Lausch seems to be closing the ring on Madigan, who remains as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, a post he’s held since 1998. Madigan maintains his innocence and he has not been charged with any crimes. But he’s a tough one to investigate–Madigan doesn’t use email and he doesn’t own a cell phone. There’s a lot of smoke surrounding the 78-year-old legislator–but so far no fire has been discovered. 

It took a lot longer than it should have but Illinois’ insipid Republican Party, the Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters, finally pursued tying other Democratic candidates to Madigan, which led to a pretty good, but not great, general election for conservatives last autumn. The best result was the resounding defeat of the so-called Fair Tax Amendent, which would have replaced Illinois’ flat rate income tax with one with graduated rates. As I’ve quipped a few times before, Illinoisans finally figured out that if the Democrats were given an unlimited budget they would exceed it. 

After the general election Illinois’ two Democratic US Senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, called for Madigan’s resignation as party chairman. No, they didn’t suddenly realize that Madigan is toxic to Illinois; Durbin and Duckworth didn’t like the general election results here. 

The state House took care of the speakership problem, the Democrats ousted Madigan last month but replaced him with a longtime ally of the Boss. 

The day after the Justice Department announced those federal prosecutor resignations, in what the Chicago Tribune called “a lame news release,”  those two party-line hack senators called on Biden to keep Lausch on the job. I am very suspicious of their motives. Duckworth is up for reelection next year and if the federal investigation into Chicago area corruption stalls she might get the blunt of the blame for not convincing Biden to keep Lausch in place. 

Durbin is the new Senate Justice Committee chairman and prefers not to be accused of keeping corrupt Dems in power in his home state. Back to gerrymandering and Madigan: Aftet the 2010 census the state congressional map was redrawn to be much more favorable to Democrats. The 8th congressional district was transformed from a competitive one to a layout favoring Democrats. In 2012 Duckworth ousted the Republican incumbent, future never-Trumper Joe Walsh.

Remember, for many Democrats Madigan has been very good to them. His skills at gerrymandering have produced supermajorities in the General Assembly and have bolstered Democratic numbers among the Illinois US House delegation. There may have never been a Senator Duckworth had she not won that House race in 2012. Through government and compliant corporations like Commonwealth Edison, Madigan has been able to hand out contracts, favors, and jobs to those loyal to him–as well as their relatives.

Lausch needs to be kept on the job in Chicago. 

Biden’s nominee for Attorney General is Merrick Garland, a Chicago area native who was nominated by Barack Obama to the US Supreme Court seat that eventually went to Neil Gorsuch. But he hasn’t lived here in decades. Yet my guess is that Garland has kept his eyes on the fetid muck in Illinois. Perhaps he can put in a good word for Lausch to Biden or whoever is making the calls in the White House on federal prosecutors.

Sorry to be repetitive, but I have to keep mentioning this fact. Illinois has lost population every year since 2014. 

People have wised up. But not me. Not yet.

UPDATE February 23: Last night Michael Madigan resigned his post as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. Last week Madigan gave up his House seat after 50 years in the General Assembly. Term limits anyone?

This afternoon, according to multiple media reports, Lausch will keep his job as US attorney until a replacement is found and presumably confirmed.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

Democrat Pols Under Oath in the Senate? F-That lets get this trial over NOW!

Yesterday’s acquittal of the president making him, as the Babylon Bee puts it “The most acquitted president in history“, was amusing in several ways.

The complete meltdown of the left on twitter was satisfying. I haven’t seen them this angry since Tom Brady won the superbowl last week.

Mitch McConnell’s speech against Trump, while annoying and to some degree anger was also amusing in the sense that he laid a trap for Democrats to pursue the President in a court of law. A trap that would likely bring out a lot of evidence that the left and the democrats don’t want to see the light of day.

But the best part and most amusing of the day had to be the sudden of Democrat House impeachment managers, realizing that their case had fallen apart push for a vote on calling witnesses something that was thought to be previously settled.

Remember these are the same guys who rushed an impeachment vote through, without hearings, without evidence and without thought and then sat on it.

The Democrats got their vote and managed to when that had already been settled, Collins, Murkowski, Sasse, Romney all voted for witnesses and at that point Lindsey Graham decided to change is vote to support witnesses and made it clear there were several he wanted to call.

And that’s when the fun began.

The first problem was the rules that state that witnesses have to be deposed before they appear in the Senate which would mean a long delay, but since the senate had pretty much thrown the constitution out the window by having this proceeding it likely wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to have a vote to fudge that.

No the real kicker was this. It was made clear that if witnesses being called several Democrat lawmakers including Nancy Pelosi would be called by the Trump team and would have answer questions under oath.

Now if there is one thing that Democrats were more afraid of than the prospect of having election fraud cases being ruled on their merits rather than on procedural grounds it’s having Democrat office holders having to testify under oath and having that testimony being part of the public record.

Once it became clear that would be the case the shine which had so excited the left (take a look at some of the tweet at this Breitbart post) particularly from media who had just said how afraid the GOP was of witnesses. How could this be? How could they cave? What is going on?

This is the problem with living in a bubble, you actually start to believe your own press releases

The anger on the acquittal was one thing, we all expected this but for them to win on a witness vote and then once getting the win watching them run for their dear lives…

…that’s special.

Final thought:

Given that massive failures already taking place in the Biden Administration the media/left likely could use a prolonged impeachment to distract from what is going on with the economy, with jobs, with schools, with the border, with Iran, etc etc etc. Weeks of people speculating on witnesses, what they are saying who is going to be called, how much time for depositions and the ever present possibility of getting Donald Trump to say something anything out of turn so they could cover that rather than spinning or ignoring Biden crashing and burning would have been invaluable.

Think how damaging the potential testimony of Democrat officials oath must have been for they guys to throw this distraction away?

Democratic governance

While D.C. Democrats try to impeach now-former President Trump, a constitutionally-questionable but revealing move – seems they can’t believe Biden won, either – the Democratic governors of the nation’s two largest states, California and New York, are in crisis mode.

A senior aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo – son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo – has now confessed to covering up the numbers of nursing home deaths caused by the Wuhan virus, which should doom Cuomo’s political present, let alone future. The poor dears were worried big bad President Trump was going to use the data against them politically, so they decided to lie to the public.

Last March, as the Wuhan virus took hold, Cuomo notoriously ordered infected elderly patients to return to their nursing home residence, where the virus would spread like, well, a highly contagious virus. In the U.S., 34% of all Wuhan-related deaths have been in nursing homes.

Cuomo claimed there had been 8,500 Wuhan-caused deaths in New York nursing home. Turns out it was nearly 15,000 people who died.

A man of any trace of honor would have resigned his office, but the days of honor seem lost, a relic of another time. Only chumps resign office these days, it seems.

Meanwhile, in California, the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom is on. The recall campaign reports it has obtained the required 1.5 million petition signatures, a month ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day deadline. Once the signatures are confirmed, the state Secretary of State – Democrat Shirley Weber – will schedule a recall election, likely in the fall.

The only other California governor to be recalled successfully was Democrat Gray Davis in 2003, replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. So far, Republican John Cox, the Republican candidate who lost to Newsom in 2018, has announced his intention to run again, as has the former mayor of San Diego, Republican Kevin Faulconer.

Trump’s former ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, appears set to run as well.

The media will be disappointed to know that one-time Bruce-named Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner has declined to run. The media’s loss is sanity’s gain.

Some strategists claim Grenell’s candidacy will doom the effort at unseating Newsom, turning the election into a contest between Newsom and a Trumpist. But that ignores the dynamics of a California recall election.

On the recall ballot, voters will be asked two questions: shall Newsome be recalled, and, if so, who shall be governor? If more than 50% vote to recall Newsom, then whoever gains the majority of the remaining vote wins. Which means Grenell needs only a plurality of votes, not a majority, to be elected. With Trump still seeing strong support among Republican voters, dismissing Grenell’s chances would be unwise.

We want belief

As the impeachment trial winds down, what’s next?

My prediction: widespread non-compliance of future laws.

I watched the Bill Clinton impeachment trial, and it seemed pretty silly at the time. On one side, we wanted to remove a President for lying about a sexual relation he had with an intern. His defense seemed just as silly, as I watched people come up and talk about everything from race relations to economics. All around, it seemed kinda silly.

Trump’s impeachments were even sillier. Admitting news reports as evidence, without actually using eye witnesses or first-hand accounts? It basically broke down to “Trump said things we don’t like,” which in itself is a double standard considering the large number of Senators and Representatives that call for violence against Trump supporters on a regular basis.

Trump’s impeachment won’t change anything in Washington DC. But it will move a lot of people to no longer comply with the law. In front of everyone we’ve seen how the justice system no longer seeks justice. We’ve seen how easy it is to throw someone in jail over small items, or worse, over news reports that don’t have a shred of truth to them. The justice system is committed to getting convictions, period. The truth has become a afterthought.

People will react accordingly. When people don’t believe that the laws they live under are fair, they will find ways to circumvent them. They also will remove their participation from this part of society. We’re already seeing this as police forces are struggling to recruit new officers. The military faced this problem in the wake of the Vietnam Conflict, and will likely face it again given the new focus on “domestic terrorism.” Nobody wants to work where you could get punished capriciously, so they’ll vote with their feet.

The next thing we’re going to see is non-compliance with the worst of rules. If President Biden pushes for gun control, you’ll have gun owners melt into the background. The police can’t afford to go door to door and search every single house to find guns. Heck, they can’t find all of the illegal weapons, let alone legal ones. The same will go for LGBT training, zoning rules, traffic fines, etc. People will simply walk out of training, not follow zoning rules and simply not pay fines. The more it happens, the harder it’ll be to enforce compliance, and the more it will embolden these actions.

We live in a society that relies on most people voluntarily following the law. Police officers are there to punish law breakers, but we’ll never have enough cops to punish widespread disregard for the law. If a large swath of the population doesn’t believe the law is fair or being applied fairly, they’re going to disobey, and it’ll be difficult to stop them.

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.

The #Unexpectedly Chronicles: I Suspect That’s Why the Democrats have that 50-50 Majority today

You might recall that I argued that four years ago that the reason why Donald Trump won is because the left believed their own polling and was sure that Hillary had it in a landslide thus didn’t bother to fix the election in their key strongholds.

Meanwhile Democrat Bosses in Wisconsin Michigan and Minnesota had no inkling that the election was close, that being the case there was no reason why, in an age where proof of a federal offense is a cell phone video away, Dem bosses in Detroit or elsewhere felt the need to take any risk.  They figured those states were won (and they were right about Minnesota) and by election night it was too late to change it.

However that won’t be the case in 2020,  I’ll wager that in 2020 the bosses in Milwaukee, Detroit, Madison and elsewhere will be ready, we’ll see plenty of mail in ballots and absentee ballots that we didn’t see before in those states and plenty of voters looking to go for the GOP will be in the same spot that Steven Kruiser was on election night.

We have four years to prepare for this so we’d better get ready because as our friends on the left have demonstrated in the past, they play for keeps.

All of this while prophetic might not be relevant expect for one point.

You’ll note I didn’t have New Hampshire on that list. This is because in 2016 there was a key race for the Senate. On the GOP side Kelly Ayotte was running for re-election against Maggie Hassan.

It was very close and it seemed to take an awful long time to call such a small state, but Hassan ended up winning 354,649 to 353,632 a difference of only 1,017 votes and by an odd coincidence despite winning the primary there by a wide margin Donald Trump managed to lose NH as well.

While a few of us raised the question of fraud in NH with President Trump having the majority in both houses and the left all in on swinging electors nobody bothered to audit the machine at the time.

Flash forward to today and we have this story out of Granite Grok.

Hand Recount in Windham (Rock Dist. 7) Reveals “Machine” Shorted Every Republican by About 300 Votes

Ironically this hand count wasn’t called for by the GOP but by a Democrat looking to flip a local election

That is very strange. That is a large number, large enough that a Republican who lost by 100 to 300 votes would not ask for a recount. Of course, no Republican asked for a recount. It was a Democrat looking for lost votes (24 of them) to perhaps flip one seat in that local election.

And look at what they found. Something, unexpected. Something we were not supposed to see?

St Laurent (d) lost 100 votes, and their Republican opponents all gained 300, plus or minus three votes.

The Grok people being fair minded noted the following

It could be a machine error and unique to this town, but this is a troublesome event given speculation about fraud and Dominion machine counting hacks. And if it is an error what other errors occurred  (see, at the top of the ticket).

But now I ask you this question. If this “error” (have you noticed all such “errors” always seem to go in one direction had been repeated in just four of the 221 towns in NH in 2016 then Mitch McConnell would be the Senate Majority Leader and the dynamic for the Georgia Senate races would have been dramatically different.

Unexpectedly of course

Closing Note: Gateway pundit noted this story and interviewed on camera the Belknap County GOP committee member Dr. David Strang M.D. on the subject:

David told The Gateway Pundit that the Republican candidates in Windham had 6% of their total votes removed by the Dominion-owned voting machines.

According to Dr. Strang, these same Dominion-owned machines are used in 85% of the towns in New Hampshire.

Youtube took down the video locked their account and gave them a “strike” for upload it.

Yup nothing suspicious about that, nothing to see here, move along.

As I like to say I’ll believe there wasn’t a conspiracy to steal election 2020 when the people who insist there was no conspiracy to steal election 2020 stop acting like they were members of a conspiracy to steal election 2020.