30 June 2017

In the Summertime

I was in your presence for an hour or so 
Or was it a day? I truly don’t know 
Where the sun never set, where the trees hung low 
By that soft and shining sea

Did you respect me for what I did 
Or for what I didn’t do, or for keeping it hid? 
Did I lose my mind when I tried to get rid 
Of everything you see?
  
In the summertime, ah in the summertime 
In the summertime, when you were with me
  
I got the heart and you got the blood 
We cut through iron and we cut through mud 
Then came the warnin’ that was before the flood 
That set everybody free 

Fools they made a mock of sin 
Our loyalty they tried to win 
But you were closer to me than my next of kin 
When they didn’t want to know or see

In the summertime, ah in the summertime 
In the summertime when you were with me
  
Strangers, they meddled in our affairs 
Poverty and shame was theirs 
But all that sufferin’ was not to be compared 
With the glory that is to be

And I’m still carrying the gift you gave 
It’s a part of me now, it’s been cherished and saved 
It’ll be with me unto the grave 
And then unto eternity

In the summertime, ah in the summertime 

In the summertime when you were with me

--Bob Dylan, 1981

29 June 2017

The Discreet Charm of the UHB

After reading this synopsis from the Harvard Film Archive, I know you will run, not walk, to your local Blockbuster Video to rent the incredible Whit Stillman masterpiece, Metropolitan:


In a time “not so long ago,” the discreet charms of the self-described “Urban Haute Bourgeoisie” imbue the debutante after-party scene of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Beguiled by the clique of collegiate preppies known as the Sally Fowler Rat Pack, Socialist-turned-socialite Tom Townsend finds their unpredictable banter and adherence to an old-fashioned sense of civility curiously admirable. With adult role models ineffectual or absent, this “doomed” class looks instead to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jane Austen. They replace large emotions with an over-intellectualization of every social misstep and amuse themselves with cruel manipulations, yet their insular microcosm also possesses its own variety of camaraderie, profundity and eventually, love. In his directorial debut, Stillman brings a witty and wistful edge to his sympathetic portrayal of neurotic teenage aristocrats facing obsolescence.

Seriously, though, this movie is an all-time classic, one I've evangelized for more than Bob Dylan, and that is saying something. It stands for the timelessness of tradition, the failures of modernism, and the simultaneous hope and hopelessness of fronting for tradition in a modernist world. And it is funny. And you'll learn more about formal and semi-formal wear than you thought possible, just by paying attention.


A Warning to Some, A Promise to Others, Courtesy of Pope Benedict XVI

When creating greeting the new Franciscardinals made at the recent consistory, Pope Benedict XVI closed the meeting with these words, "The Lord wins in the end."

Yes He Does, Your Holiness, yes He does.

28 June 2017

Walter Williams Asks: "Were Confederate Generals Traitors?"

Economist and historian Walter Williams answers the question, which you might find useful in case someone tries to "Lyda" you. Excerpts:

_____________

My “Rewriting American History” column of a fortnight ago, about the dismantling of Confederate monuments, generated considerable mail. Some argued there should not be statues honoring traitors such as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis, who fought against the Union. Victors of wars get to write the history, and the history they write often does not reflect the facts. Let’s look at some of the facts and ask: Did the South have a right to secede from the Union? If it did, we can’t label Confederate generals as traitors.

Article 1 of the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the war between the Colonies and Great Britain, held “New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States.” Representatives of these states came together in Philadelphia in 1787 to write a constitution and form a union.

During the ratification debates, Virginia’s delegates said, “The powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.” The ratification documents of New York and Rhode Island expressed similar sentiments.

At the Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made to allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” rejected it. ...

America’s first secessionist movement started in New England after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Many were infuriated by what they saw as an unconstitutional act by President Thomas Jefferson. The movement was led by Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts, George Washington’s secretary of war and secretary of state. He later became a congressman and senator... Pickering wrote to George Cabot in 1803, for “the people of the East cannot reconcile their habits, views, and interests with those of the South and West.” His Senate colleague James Hillhouse of Connecticut agreed, saying, “The Eastern states must and will dissolve the union and form a separate government.” This call for secession was shared by other prominent Americans, such as John Quincy Adams, Elbridge Gerry, Fisher Ames, Josiah Quincy III and Joseph Story. The call failed to garner support at the 1814-15 Hartford Convention.

The U.S. Constitution would have never been ratified — and a union never created — if the people of those 13 “free sovereign and Independent States” did not believe that they had the right to secede. Even on the eve of the War of 1861, unionist politicians saw secession as a right that states had. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, “Any attempt to preserve the union between the states of this Confederacy by force would be impractical and destructive of republican liberty.” The Northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace.

[...]


Confederate generals were fighting for independence from the Union just as George Washington and other generals fought for independence from Great Britain. Those who’d label Gen. Robert E. Lee as a traitor might also label George Washington as a traitor. I’m sure Great Britain’s King George III would have agreed.

Action Alert: Urge Missouri Senators to Pass HCS SB5 to Undo the Saint Louis City 'Abortion Sanctuary City' Ordinance

The Missouri Senate was expected to vote on this bill this week, which in addition to undoing the odious City ordinance contains other important pro-life measures.  However, Senate leadership now says a vote is not likely until after July 4th. This is the time to keep the heat on-- you know the baby killers have the money and self-interest to work their end.

The Missouri Catholic Conference has information on how to help here.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Saint Louis, pray for us!

Happy Birthday to the Cadet Branch


27 June 2017

Current Events

Uttering idle words from a reprobate mind
Clinging to strange promises, dying on the vine
Never bein’ able to separate the good from the bad
Ooh, I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it
It’s makin’ me feel so sad

Dead man, dead man
When will you arise?
Cobwebs in your mind
Dust upon your eyes

Satan got you by the heel, there’s a bird’s nest in your hair
Do you have any faith at all? Do you have any love to share?
The way that you hold your head, cursin’ God with every move
Ooh, I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it
What are you tryin’ to prove?

Dead man, dead man
When will you arise?
Cobwebs in your mind
Dust upon your eyes

The glamour and the bright lights and the politics of sin
The ghetto that you build for me is the one you end up in
The race of the engine that overrules your heart
Ooh, I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it
Pretending that you’re so smart

Dead man, dead man
When will you arise?
Cobwebs in your mind
Dust upon your eyes

What are you tryin’ to overpower me with, the doctrine or the gun?
My back is already to the wall, where can I run?
The tuxedo that you’re wearin’, the flower in your lapel
Ooh, I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it
You wanna take me down to hell

Dead man, dead man
When will you arise?
Cobwebs in your mind

Dust upon your eyes

--Dead Man, Dead Man, from Shot of Love, by Bob Dylan

26 June 2017

Caeli Enarrant Gloriam Dei et Opera Manuum Eius Adnuntiat Firmamentum

If you have ever spent time in St. Louis in the Summer, you will know just how glorious the weather was this past weekend. Temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s without a trace of humidity. Sunny skies and a fair breeze. It's enough to make the hardest-hearted atheist write the Summa Theologiae.

If you have ever spent time with me, you will know my idea of yard work is to take the cover off of the grill. But Saturday morning found our whole family outside trimming trees, weeding the garden, and clearing out some unpleasant growth around the fence line. And I'm sure you will have felt this feeling before, everyone working together, making shorter work of things, seeing the immediate result of your efforts. A team effort. After that, we cleaned up and had a great time outdoors with friends, with great conversation and conviviality.

Then came Sunday, with the weather still glorious. High Mass at the Oratory with the temperature inside just fine. Beautiful Mass. Confession. Conversation in the hall. Then home, and back outdoors. I'm sure the local birds and squirrels were on red alert to see me outside so much. They'll talk about it for decades. Made some BBQ ribs and the whole family played outside. We even ate outside-- again, if you know me, this is perhaps a sign of the apocalypse. 

Then family Rosary and children to bed. A great, great weekend.

Why am I writing this?

The whole weekend just begged for thanksgiving. And so I give thanks to God. If one weekend in this vale of tears can be so good, I really hope I make it to Heaven.

Back to work.

23 June 2017

Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Act of Consecration

Blessed feast day to all of you. 

Today is a first class feast of Our Lord, and so the abstinence obligation is not in force today.  If you have not yet assisted at Mass, note that there is a Solemn High Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory tonight at 6:30pm.  Members of the Society of the Sacred Heart may obtain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, if they assist at Mass today.

May we all find rest and mercy in the pierced Heart of Christ, which He suffered to be opened as a wellspring of love for us.

Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.

You are King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

You are King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

You are King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Your eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Your chosen people. Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honor forever. Amen.


-- Pius XI

20 June 2017

In Canada, "You Have the Right to Free Speech, as Long as You're not Dumb Enough to Actually Try It"

with a nod to The Clash...

I present the following write-up and link from Taki Mag's regular The Week That Perished post:

__________________


SAY “TRANNY” IN CANADA, GO TO JAIL

The nation of Canada huddles jealously north of the USA and has all the personality of a frozen dinner. Because its residents are deeply ashamed that America gets all the attention while the world needs constant reminders that Canada even exists, Canadians work their tangled guilt complexes out through nonstop America-bashing and highly public displays of cultural suicide.

In Canada, “Human Rights” mean you have no right to disagree with even one iota of what the government defines as “Human Rights.” If you say that some Muslims like to blow up people—which is true—this is obviously because you hate Muslims and want to blow them up, so the best thing to do is to toss you in a jail cell and let you stew about the fact that “hate speech” is not free speech, and you’re an idiot for ever thinking it was.

Last week, by a rollicking margin of 67-11, Canada’s Senate passed Bill C-16, which amends the nation’s absolutely unnecessary Human Rights Code to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as things which you are officially no longer permitted to hate. Perhaps most depressingly, the transparently insane expression “the sex they were assigned at birth” is now enshrined in Canada’s legal canon:

People may identify with a concept of gender that is aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth, or they may identify with a gender that is different from their sex assigned at birth….The bill is intended to protect individuals from discrimination within the sphere of federal jurisdiction and from being the targets of hate propaganda, as a consequence of their gender identity or their gender expression. The bill adds “gender identity or expression” to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the list of characteristics of identifiable groups protected from hate propaganda in the Criminal Code. It also adds that evidence that an offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on a person’s gender identity or expression constitutes an aggravating circumstance for a court to consider when imposing a criminal sentence.

In other words, if you refuse to submit to some mental case’s demand that you refer to them in their preferred pronoun of “xe,” “xir,” or “zip-zop-boobity-bop,” you are committing a hate crime against them and deserve to be treated like a mangy pit bull in a rusty animal shelter.

“Hatred…is a most extreme emotion that belies reason,” the bill states. We disagree. In several ways, hatred can be the most reasonable response to something. What belies reason is the idea that men who think they’re women are anything more than delusional men.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau... tweeted his glee over the bill’s passage:

Great news: Bill C-16 has passed the Senate – making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression. #LoveisLove

“Love is Love.” Can’t argue with much there. Then again, genitals are genitals. And boys are boys. And girls are girls. And the whole world has gone crazy.

A Rare Moment of Sanity in the City of Saint Louis

We briefly interrupt our city's descent into barbarism with some cautiously optimistic news. A city judge has issued an injunction against the City of Saint Louis, halting Lyda Krewson's number one priority-- the removal of the Confederate monument in Forest Park. Evita's Lyda's krews were halted mid-operation yesterday, even as steel plates were bored into the granite top to facilitate a crane to hoist it into oblivion.

Whenever a judge, even a lowly circuit court judge, shows respect for the rule of law these days, I admit to being pleasantly surprised. As a lawyer, I guess I shouldn't be. But there it is.

No further destruction can be done to this work of art until a hearing on July 6 to consider the question of ownership. The Daughters of the Confederacy gave deed of ownership to the Missouri Civil War Museum, which--get this-- wants the monument, will pay to move the monument to its location, and will pay to clean it up.  It would cost the city nothing

Remember when Lyda said that the delay in her Great Leap Forward was  caused by lack of funds, and how she eventually said some public money would be required to remove it? So one might expect a grateful city to thank the museum for taking such a thorny problem off its hands?  

No. That is what a decent and sane person would do. We're talking about Lyda Krewson and the Board of Aldermen. They don't want anyone to actually ever see this monument again. So, they will spend my tax dollars, maybe yours, too, to fight this in court. The Post-Dispatch covers the story here

The inmates are running the asylum, and they just happen to be the Soviet Politburo--without the charm.

15 June 2017

"The wonder in all this question, is not our loving and longing for God, but that He should have first loved us."

Every living being thirsts after happiness; and yet, and because of that, it aspires only after the good of which it is capable; for it is the necessary condition of happiness that, in order to its existence, there must be the full contentment of the creature's desire. Hence, in that great act of creation which the Scripture so sublimely calls His playing in the world, when, with His almighty power He prepared the heavens, and enclosed the depths, and balanced the foundations of the earth, we are told that divine Wisdom secured the harmony of the universe by giving to each creature, according to its degree in the scale of being, an end adequate to its powers. He thus measured the wants, the instinct, the appetite (that is, the desire) of each creature, according to its respective nature; so that it would never have cravings which its faculties were insufficient to satisfy. 

In obedience, then, to this law, was not man, too, obliged to confine, within the limits of his finite nature, his desires for the good and the beautiful, that is, his searching after God, which is a necessity with every intelligent and free being? Otherwise, would not certain beings have to place their happiness in objects which must ever be out of the reach of their natural faculties?

Great as the anomaly would appear, yet does it exist: true psychology, that is, the true science of the human mind, bears testimony to this desire for the infinite. Like every living creature around him, man thirsts for happiness; and yet, he is the only creature on earth that feels within itself longings for what is immensely beyond its capacity. 

Whilst docile to the lord placed over them by the Creator, irrational creatures are quite satisfied with what they find in this world; they render to man their several services, and their own desires are all fully gratified by what is within their reach. It is not so with man; he can find nothing in this his earthly dwelling, which can satiate his irresistible longings for something which this earth cannot give, and which time cannot produce; for that something is the infinite. 

God Himself, when revealing Himself to man through the works He has created, that is, when showing Himself to man in a way which his natural powers can take in; when giving man to know Him as the First Cause, as the Last End of all creatures, as unlimited perfection, as infinite beauty, as sovereign goodness, as the object which can content both our understanding and our will-- no, not even God Himself, thus known and thus enjoyed, could satisfy man. This being, made out of nothing, wishes to possess the Infinite in his own substance; he longs after the sight of the face, he ambitions to enjoy the life, of his Lord and God. The earth seems to him but a trackless desert, where he can find no water to quench his thirst. 

From early dawn of each wearisome day, his soul is at once on the watch, pining for that God who alone can quell his desires; yea, his very flesh too, has its thrilling expectations for that beautiful Infinite One. Let us listen to the psalmist, who speaks for us all: 

'As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after Thee, O God! My soul hath thirsted after the strong, living God: when shall I come and appear before the face of God? My tears have been my bread, day and night, whilst it is said to me daily: Where is thy God? These things I remembered, and poured out my soul in me: for I shall go over into the place of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God. With the voice of joy and praise, the noise of one that is feasting. Why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou trouble me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise unto Him: the salvation of my countenance and my God.'

--from the entry for Corpus Christi, The Liturgical Year

For the Fatima File: A Reluctant but Necessary Snapshot of the Church's Destruction

I'm sure you picked up on the recent period of light posting, which I think I'm past at long last. But independently of that, I have tried-- and I mean reeeeallllly tried-- to limit my posts on the usual, daily disaster coming out of the current occupant of the See of Peter. Some reasonsfor this I've given before.

Thus, posting daily or weekly in order to beat the same dead horse isn't productive and serves to cause despair at the risk of pride. However, I still think it is important to point out the egregious things being done by Francis for several reasons: 1) The Church is the Bride of Christ and deserves to be defended; 2) There could be, I suppose, some Catholics who still haven't figured out the total disaster this is; and, 3) I don't want anyone to think that prolonged silence on my part means I no longer oppose and am no longer dismayed by the horrible and ongoing destruction.

So, to sum up, it is with some reluctance yet some compulsion that I post this link to a true, and truly devastating piece by thegreat Christopher Ferrara at Fatima Perspectives. 


You should read it, and pray. The destruction is ongoing and gaining all worldly momentum. Only Our Lady can save us, as she so pointedly said at Fatima.

St. Louis City's Politicians Want to Shove. Abortion. Down. Your. Throat.

What are we going to do about this?

A longtime reader sent me this email about more city baby-killing shenanigans. Just as the State legislature is trying to save the City from itself by overturning the "abortion sanctuary city ordinance", the city is trying to pass more unjust ordinances to make it harder to protest against the murder of babies in St. Louis by trying to create more ways to arrest, prosecute and otherwise persecute pro-lifers. 

In addition, he calls attention to another proposed ordinance that seeks to tax non-profits. 

He says it well, and I present the entire email here:


Sir,

    I hope this note finds you well.  A couple of issues have cropped up lately that you may already be well-familiar with, but if not, you might want to bring them to your readership's attention:

1) The St. Louis Board of Aldermen held a hearing on BB34, the bill creating "buffer zones" for "health care facilities", on Tuesday, June 13.  The progressives of the Board, citing an epidemic of "sidewalk harassment" and "traffic hazards" (strangely, Planned Parenthood never offers video evidence despite its nearly omni-present cameras) are actually hoping this bill will protect Planned Parenthood's revenues from the efforts of pro-life sidewalk counselors.  You might want to urge your readers to contact their alderwoman/alderman - aldermanic members have cited mail volume previously as an influence on their votes.  Finally, if BB34 does eventually pass, your readers might want to consider boycotting the City to the extent they can.

2) Alderman Steve Conway is floating the idea of a 0.5% payroll tax on non-profits with more than 20 employees to fund police retention and hiring.  The City has money to move obscure monuments, maintain under-used bike lanes, and upgrade stadiums.  It taxes my charitable donations already by not offering a charitable deduction on the earnings tax, thus deciding the City warrants 1% of that money because it briefly touched my account on the trip from my employer to my chosen cause.  It taxes City residents who work in the County at the full 1%, even though we do not use City services for 1/3 of the day (and our increasing property taxes presumably cover the cost of watching over our homes).  It taxes County residents who work in the City at the full 1%, even though they do not use City services 2/3 of the day.  Despite all of this, when it comes to that most basic governmental function of providing security, the City needs to extract money from charities to make that happen.  And nor should small charities take comfort, even if they never cross the threshold from "valuable community asset" to "freeloader" by hiring that 20th employee; once the law is changed, it becomes much easier for it to eventually be amended down to non-profits with a handful of employees.

    Please urge your readers to contact their alderwomen/aldermen and attend the listening sessions.  If this tax passes, they might wish to consider doing some shopping outside of the City, so that the sales tax lost offsets the payroll revenue gained.

Thanks much for your consideration.

God bless,


Bryan

___________________

As an aside, I wanted to report that the results of our latest poll are in, and an overwhelming 100% of those responding agree that Lyda Krewson should be impeached.  100%! Take that, Lyda.

Corpus Christi


A blessed feast day to you all.  One of the greatest days on the Church's calendar, proof of the love and humility of God.

Yes, it is today, as it is every year on the Church's ancient calendar. Yet we all have an opportunity to show our love and devotion to our Eucharistic Lord in processions on Sunday-- the novus ordo feast is deferred to Sunday, and the traditional Mass centers in the Archdiocese both will celebrate an External Solemnity of Corpus Christi, with procession, on Sunday.

St. Francis de Sales Oratory will process with the Eucharist after 10am Solemn High Mass. The procession will traverse Ohio, Sydney, Iowa and Lynch streets, with Benediction.

All Saints in University City will conduct a procession after the 11:30am Mass, and part of this procession will occur down Delmar Avenue in the Loop.  That is an interesting juxtaposition, indeed.

Go to the Oratory, process, then head to U City and process again. And blessings to all who process with Our Lord this weekend.

14 June 2017

Auxilium Christianorum

Thou, Most Holy Virgin, who dost evermore stand before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to the most beloved Son, pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, give thanks for me, and obtain for me pardon of all my sins; help me especially at my last hour, and, when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, sprinkle me with holy water, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favour me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overcome the wicked enemy; and when I can no longer say, "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands, say it for me; and when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, then do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, O pray for me instantly, earnestly, and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and conduct my soul into Heaven with thee, that, united with all the Elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thyself for all eternity.

Amen.

Hail Mary (thrice)

Progress in the Legislative Special Session on Three Pro-Life Bills

Three bills passed out of Senate committee yesterday, one of which would overturn the city's abortion sanctuary city ordinance.  Keep up the pressure by contacting your legislators.

The baby-killing lobby's main strategy seems to be to complain about the exorbitant cost of having a special session.  Last month's special session cost $67,000.  This one might cost a bit more. Of course, they don't mind millions of dollars of state money being used to fund Planned Parenthood. Just as long as it kills as many babies as possible, I guess. I mean we have to have our priorities straight.

12 June 2017

"Sing in Me, Oh Muse, and through Me Tell the Story."-- The Nobel Lecture of Bob Dylan

The full lecture can be found here. Better yet, listen to it here.  As you should expect, it is filled with wisdom and a deep insight into human nature, the hallmark of Dylan's poetry. Viewed from the proper perspective, Dylan's Catholicity permeates the remarks. 

Grace builds upon nature, and Dylan's God-given talent as poet and lyricist channels grace a-plenty to build upon nature.  Enjoy the speech, but I submit for your brief consideration the following three excerpts, tracking his own structure.  Dylan reflects on three books that deeply affected him at a young age as a way to give an insight into his music: Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Odyssey.  

In order, first, Moby Dick:


Everything is mixed in. All the myths: the Judeo Christian bible, Hindu myths, British legends, Saint George, Perseus, Hercules – they’re all whalers. Greek mythology, the gory business of cutting up a whale. Lots of facts in this book, geographical knowledge, whale oil – good for coronation of royalty – noble families in the whaling industry. Whale oil is used to anoint the kings. History of the whale, phrenology, classical philosophy, pseudo-scientific theories, justification for discrimination – everything thrown in and none of it hardly rational. Highbrow, lowbrow, chasing illusion, chasing death, the great white whale, white as polar bear, white as a white man, the emperor, the nemesis, the embodiment of evil. The demented captain who actually lost his leg years ago trying to attack Moby with a knife.


We see only the surface of things. We can interpret what lies below any way we see fit. Crewmen walk around on deck listening for mermaids, and sharks and vultures follow the ship. Reading skulls and faces like you read a book. Here’s a face. I’ll put it in front of you. Read it if you can.

[...] When Starbuck tells Ahab that he should let bygones be bygones, the angry captain snaps back, “Speak not to me of blasphemy, man, I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.” Ahab, too, is a poet of eloquence. He says, “The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails whereon my soul is grooved to run.”  Or these lines, “All visible objects are but pasteboard masks.” Quotable poetic phrases that can’t be beat.

Finally, Ahab spots Moby, and the harpoons come out. Boats are lowered. Ahab’s harpoon has been baptised in blood. Moby attacks Ahab’s boat and destroys it. Next day, he sights Moby again. Boats are lowered again. Moby attacks Ahab’s boat again. On the third day, another boat goes in. More religious allegory. He has risen. Moby attacks one more time, ramming the Pequod and sinking it. Ahab gets tangled up in the harpoon lines and is thrown out of his boat into a watery grave.

Ishmael survives. He’s in the sea floating on a coffin. And that’s about it. That’s the whole story. That theme and all that it implies would work its way into more than a few of my songs.

Reflecting on All Quiet on the Western Front:

All Quiet on the Western Front was another book that did. All Quiet on the Western Front is a horror story. This is a book where you lose your childhood, your faith in a meaningful world, and your concern for individuals. You’re stuck in a nightmare. Sucked up into a mysterious whirlpool of death and pain. You’re defending yourself from elimination. You’re being wiped off the face of the map. Once upon a time you were an innocent youth with big dreams about being a concert pianist. Once you loved life and the world, and now you’re shooting it to pieces.

[...]You’ve come to despise that older generation that sent you out into this madness, into this torture chamber. All around you, your comrades are dying. Dying from abdominal wounds, double amputations, shattered hipbones, and you think, “I’m only twenty years old, but I’m capable of killing anybody. Even my father if he came at me.”

Yesterday, you tried to save a wounded messenger dog, and somebody shouted, “Don’t be a fool.” One Froggy is laying gurgling at your feet. You stuck him with a dagger in his stomach, but the man still lives. You know you should finish the job, but you can’t. You’re on the real iron cross, and a Roman soldier’s putting a sponge of vinegar to your lips.

[...]All that culture from a thousand years ago, that philosophy, that wisdom – Plato, Aristotle, Socrates – what happened to it?  It should have prevented this. Your thoughts turn homeward. And once again you’re a schoolboy walking through the tall poplar trees. It’s a pleasant memory. More bombs dropping on you from blimps. You got to get it together now. You can’t even look at anybody for fear of some miscalculable thing that might happen. The common grave. There are no other possibilities.


 Finally, The Odyssey:

He’s always being warned of things to come. Touching things he’s told not to. There’s two roads to take, and they’re both bad. Both hazardous. On one you could drown and on the other you could starve. He goes into the narrow straits with foaming whirlpools that swallow him. Meets six-headed monsters with sharp fangs. Thunderbolts strike at him. Overhanging branches that he makes a leap to reach for to save himself from a raging river. Goddesses and gods protect him, but some others want to kill him. He changes identities. He’s exhausted. He falls asleep, and he’s woken up by the sound of laughter. He tells his story to strangers. He’s been gone twenty years. He was carried off somewhere and left there. Drugs have been dropped into his wine. It’s been a hard road to travel.

In a lot of ways, some of these same things have happened to you. You too have had drugs dropped into your wine. You too have shared a bed with the wrong woman. You too have been spellbound by magical voices, sweet voices with strange melodies. You too have come so far and have been so far blown back. And you’ve had close calls as well. You have angered people you should not have. And you too have rambled this country all around. And you’ve also felt that ill wind, the one that blows you no good. And that’s still not all of it.

08 June 2017

A Thorough Refutation of the Ongoing Stalinist Purge of Historical Markers

Instead of excerpting from it, I would direct your attention to this long but well-reasoned, reasonable article by Joe Bob Briggs at Taki's site that Lyda Krewson ought to read.  New Orleans is not New Orleans anymore?  Neither is this country this country anymore.

This is What a Vibrant Catholicism Looks Like

From Michael Matt's article on this year's Chartres pilgrimage:



Good Political News on the Pro-Life Front

The political marriage of the pro-life movement and the GOP has been a rough one, and at times simply a marriage of convenience. I have long been tired of the lap dog, "we just need one more Justice on the Court so vote for Romney" thing. But when politicians come through, we should acknowledge it.  Good news today on both the national and the state fronts.

First, as this article in Brietbart relates, the Trump administration is set to finally undo the ridiculous, unconstitutional mandate that religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor pay for contraceptive coverage. Some weeks back, when the government asked for a continuance to file a responsive pleading in that case, lots of Facebook angst ensued-- particularly from the hoping-to-be-vindicated NeverTrumpers. I wrote at the time that this was a development capable of many interpretations, and most of them benign. And so it was. This chapter of the anti-Christian Obama regime appears to be over.

Secondly, I have to credit Governor Greitens for calling a second special session for the legislature to pass a bill overturning and preempting the St. Louis abortion sanctuary city ordinance.  When the legislature failed to address this (despite having the votes) in the regular session and the first special session, I was a bit miffed.  I am grateful this is now being corrected. It is only a secondary benefit that it will overturn the vote of the pro-abortion, tax-wasting, spineless mayor of Saint Louis.  But of course we know she has better things to do anyway, like re-writing history to placate special interest groups.

Great developments, but we must always press for the complete prohibition of abortion; how can we have the temerity to ask God to bless this land until we do?

07 June 2017

Impeach Lyda Krewson

Her brilliant plan to use taxpayers' money to remove an historical monument and work of art can only be execrated. Her mentor, Francis Slay, had an even more brilliant plan to drop the monument down a literal memory hole.

Look at the monument above. There is no battle flag on that carving. There are no hate symbols-- unless, that is, you see a white family as a hate symbol. The Civil War was one that found persons of good will on both sides. Many on both sides fought with honor. Their causes you may agree with or disagree with, but using a twentieth century lens to do so seems a trifle unfair.  At least we should can the righteous indignation and virture signalling in favor of a government that now stands for the legal slaughter of millions of little babies.

Money for abortionists. Laws to allow abortionists to sue pro-lifers for thoughtcrimes. Dropping history down the memory hole.  

Lyda Krewson-- the perfect Mayor for 1984.

Homeschool, If You Can, While You Can

Hi, I write a blog called Saint Louis Catholic. And I intend to post original content at least once a year. OK, all kidding aside, sorry again for the pathetic posting rate. 

Onward and upward:

I'm of course late to the game on the Jefferson City "let's pretend that boys who wear girls clothes are girls and pretend that girls who wear boys clothes are boys and that this is all perfectly normal" debacle.  It is disgusting beyond relation OF COURSE that a Catholic diocese would have a policy of admitting students who deny natural law without insisting that such denial not be foisted as reality upon the other students under their charge.  

Let's be clear: the Diocese of Jefferson City has declared that it values money (in the form of tuition payments) over Catholic doctrine, the good of souls, the innocence of little children, and common sense.  If that is the case, then what weapons do parents have to protect their children's innocence, stand up for the natural law and the teaching of Christ, and promote common sense?  You guessed it: hit them in the wallet. Don't pay tuition. Don't send your kids-- at significant expense, mind you-- to an anti-Catholic school system posing as Catholic.  

Common sense. 2 + 2 = 4.

This is the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Jefferson City Diocese. This is the person in charge of a system that employs nuns (nuns!) to role play sexual perversion with grade school students:

You can't judge a book by its cover, but any serious Catholic who sees a nun dressed like this and yet is surprised by the policy or its implementation is beyond waking up to reality. And I'm not letting the Bishop off the hook. It is 100% on Bishop Gaydos.

This policy needs to change. Will it? Not if the sheep keep allowing the shearing to go on.

And what of public schools?  

In the post-Vatican II world (I'm not pining for "good old days" here-- I mean in the recent past), parents used to have the following choice: 1) pay dearly for a Catholic-lite education that wasn't really worth it but protected children from the worst of secularization; or, 2) send children into the public school system armed best as one can but at least also receive the benefit of not paying for the privilege of mangling their faith.

As bad as that was, that choice may no longer exist. The Jeff City example is one of many that prove the Catholic schools aren't Catholic-lite. They are every bit as dangerous as their government counterparts.  And public schools are no longer simply "cost-free" secular indoctrination centers.  They are dangerous interfaces with the anti-Catholic state, as evidenced in the recent news out of Ontario, Canada. 

You don't like sexual perversion propaganda in Jeff City? Don't send them.  You don't like sexual perversion propaganda in Ontario? We'll take your children away.

The purpose of an educational system in a well-ordered society is to assist parents in their right and duty to form their children. The system is subordinate to the parents. The purpose of an educational system in the wreckage of the West in which we find ourselves is to produce compliant, ignorant, spiritually dead voters.

Homeschooling, for however long it is tolerated, is all parents have left. Yes, to do it well is not easy. It requires great sacrifice. And yes, not every parent can or should homeschool, but those who cannot have a greater responsibility to guard their children as they walk that minefield.  Like Bob Dylan says, "There's only one road, and it leads to Calvary."

As homeschooling becomes ever more popular, and ever more children escape the Matrix, the pressure to outlaw it will grow. In this article, one of the dangers identified is precisely that it is harder for the government to intervene in parental educational decisions! Look for trouble if Trump is a one-termer, or who knows, maybe sooner.  

And yet, what can we do but make the best of it while we can, for as long as we can, and pray with confidence.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!