Will history remember this generation as the one which inherited freedom only to bequeath tyranny to succeeding generations? It increasingly appears that this may be the case. Our unfortunate legacy to the future seems to be an administrative “deep state” that reduces the free human spirit to servile conformity, not by brute force but through carefully planted threats and fears. A postulated health peril, grossly exaggerated and widely publicized, has now effectively paralyzed societies worldwide. The invisible menace induces countless people to passively tolerate the blanket suspension of their natural rights and liberties. The supposed enemy, a slightly altered yet otherwise ordinary virus, has been inflated, through tireless and repetitious propaganda by various agencies, into an existential threat to humanity itself. But what really seems to be in question is the survival of the human spirit, not the human race. Fear has become our true enemy, not some shadowy microbe, as I watch irrational fears reduce once freedom loving men and women into panicky animals sequestered in their holding pens. Continue reading
The recent disgraceful treatment of St. Junipero Serra’s memory reminds me of the main character in George Orwell’s prescient classic 1984 who worked in the Ministry of Truth. His particular job in that ministry was the constant revision of history to fit the official party line at any particular moment. The past was to be constantly readjusted so that it would always jive with the present political narrative. Welcome to our current Orwellian sequel, 2020. Today’s version of the Ministry of Truth goes by various names: Black Studies, Women’s Studies, or Native American Studies. These “truth ministries” are now a part of every major university. There, history is constantly being rewritten to fit a narrow, “victim – oppressor” narrative. Classroom study is further supplemented by disruptive activism (or virtual lab sessions) which includes pulling down or defacing monuments to any supposed “oppressor” from the past.
Fr. Serra, the great Franciscan missionary who founded nine missions up and down coastal California during the late 18th century, has been vilified and had statues vandalized and toppled amidst accusations of genocide and racism leveled against him. But the facts do not bear such charges out. Nearly 5,000 Christian Indian converts lived in relative security on mission lands because Fr. Serra fought diligently to protect them, not only from tribal enemies but also from Spanish civil authorities and colonists who, too often, cheated and brutalized the natives. Serra’s first sin, according to the identity politics view of history, was being a white European male who brought his Catholic faith to the indigenous peoples of California. He is charged with Christianizing pagan Indians, and for that grevious misdeed he will not be forgiven by modern day academics harboring deep hostility towards Christianity. Continue reading
This being my 101st official post (hooray!), I feel entitled to offer a humorous riposte to those people who glare and ask me why I’m not wearing a mask. Answer: “Because I’m better looking than you are.” But the real fact is that many of us simply refuse to drink the Kool Aid being poured down the public’s throat by Big Media that masks are critical to protecting everybody’s health. Lately even Dr. Tony Fauci has admitted that the masks are “largely symbolic,” a remark that the same media outlets don’t seem overly interested in reporting.
Face masks have by now taken on the role of “virtue signalling” as those of us who shun them have quickly learned. On more than one occasion now some perfect stranger has glanced my way with obvious scorn to elicit the peevish inquiry, “why aren’t you wearing your mask?” I suppose it’s because I have nothing to hide ~ after all, isn’t that the more common purpose of a mask, to hide one’s identity? As for any hard scientific evidence that, outside of hospital settings, masks reduce the risk of infection ~ there simply isn’t any. Continue reading
We have now entered into Phase II of the great Covid-19 social experiment on how social isolating, er… “distancing” combined with government mandated unemployment for 30 plus million workers can drive the more unstable members of society to unleash their brute animal instincts (also known as rioting). Pavlov would have loved to witness this party. It only takes a few months of non-stop fear mongering and media induced hysteria to turn people into frustrated, pent up animals.
As we have now entered into the riot phase of the grand Faucian experiment you are no longer required to social distance so long as you are hurling rocks and insults at the police or setting cars and buildings on fire. Arson is such a great release from two months on non-stop daytime TV! But do wear your mask because masks will keep you safe ~ not from the virus stupid ~ safe from being recognized or photographed by CATV and police cameras. One other positive benefit of the mask is that it hides at least parts of some very ugly mugs from full public view. Those people carrying looted big screen TVs out of Target are not exactly super-model types. Continue reading
What constitutes a true National Emergency? Lately it seems that faulty computer models emanating out of the NIH are sufficient justification for turning our daily lives into paroxysms of reactionary fear worthy of Chicken Little. All this induced anxiety seems to be the new normal as Big Data imposes its iron will upon every aspect of our formerly peaceful lives. We’ve become so comfortable with “virtual realities” that we are now apparently well primed for “virtual catastrophes” such as the corona virus pandemic. But have the American people by and large made a “Faucian” deal with the devil, willingly trading away their most valued freedoms for some illusory “safe place” to hide out in the current crisis? I fear that for today’s Americans the distinction between risk management and crisis management has become hopelessly blurred so that the faintest amount of risk is now posed as a definitive crisis. I would call such a trade-off not a crisis of public health but of public sanity.
The media has played no small part in this unfolding hoax. What they initially presented to us as a serious public health threat has turned out to be an entirely different thing: a crisis of public sanity. I say that because after eight long weeks of endless data pouring in it should be obvious by now to any unbiased observer that this novel corona virus, engineered in a Chinese bio-weapons lab, is hardly any more virulent than any other common flu strain. And yet people are wandering about looking like zombies with half their faces missing (behind a mask). They are forbidden to go to work, stand close enough to chat, or eat their lunch in a public outdoor space. They cannot attend Church services or visit their local pub or flower boutique, though they can still purchase “essential items such as liquor and marijuana! Continue reading
A follow-up to my prior post regarding the Courage Deficit we are now facing.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn. 15:13) Since posting my last column on today’s Deficit of Courage (April 20), events have confirmed many of the arguments made in that post. Exactly one week later, to the day, a shooting erupted at the Chabod House of Poway synagogue in San Diego followed three days later by another savage attack on a college campus in Charlotte, North Carolina. Then on May 7 a third brutal attack unfolded at a STEM high school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, practically my own back yard. But in each instance, what might have unfolded as another major tragedy was foiled by the courageous intervention of ordinary citizens whose quick and selfless actions prevented major bloodbaths. Of those five courageous individuals who confronted various gunmen, two survived their assailant’s attacks, still, three of their company perished while preserving the lives of others. Continue reading
Americans have a long and cherished tradition of independent self-reliance and initiative which is, I fear, being eroded into something the consistency of wet sand. Witness the recent fiasco in Denver area schools where a panic attack, fomented by public officials, spread like a virus to affect some 400,000 students. In the end the only casualty was a tragically disturbed 18 year old girl who, on little more than a hunch and having broken no apparent laws, became the object of a massive FBI manhunt which ended only after her suicide was discovered in a secluded mountain forest. Meanwhile thousands of Denver area students and indeed the entire nation were, once again, manipulated and traumatized by our trembling officialdom, ably abetted by a vulture media establishment. Yet mental images of frightened students and teachers cowering in a locked classroom make me wonder whatever happened to the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?
I remember quite a different America growing up where kids routinely rode their bikes to school and played outdoors unsupervised till dusk. We Boomers inherited a legacy of valor, self-sacrifice, and courage from our parent’s generation, who had recently fought a terrible war to secure freedom for all. Freedom is not free; it sometimes exacts a very high price after all. Continue reading
Mary Beth Bonacci wrote a marvelous piece recently in the Denver Catholic titled, “On Toxic Masculinity.” It seems that in the current #MeToo climate, normal masculinity is routinely equated with being a racist, misogynist, or even rapist. But Bonacci bravely stands up for manhood. She notes, “I don’t believe masculinity is ‘toxic’. Masculinity is raw material, just as femininity is. Men can use their gifts for good or evil, just as women can. (But try using the term ‘toxic femininity’ in polite company and see what happens.) For millennia, the goal of society has been to channel those instincts, not to suppress them… But there seems to be a movement to neutralize masculinity entirely.” Rather than subscribe to some prescribed gender ideology, namely that men are basically rotten and women are always good, Bonacci rightly places the responsibility for actions on the individual, not on one’s gender. She reminds us that stereotypes are overly broad generalizations containing some small grains of truth that tend to be conflated to absurd proportions. But one thing is undeniable: men and women are cut from very different cloth, and with good reason.
Watching Peter Jackson’s poignant documentary on World War I, “They Will Not Grow Old,” I was reminded that male attitudes and behavior are little changed over the past 100 years, indeed the past 1,000 years. Men are generally the physically stronger sex but weaker morally. It is women who have historically provided the real moral strength in any society. But after 1918 the moral attitudes of women began to change in the West. Legal emancipation and the vote opened up a whole new sense of self sufficiency which, ever so gradually, morphed into today’s radical feminism. Continue reading
Consider this proverbial chicken and egg problem. Are bad leaders the cause of social and moral decline in a society, or are they merely another symptom of such decline ~ a Cause or an Effect? Perhaps in a representative democracy such as ours the answer must include both of the above. As many pundits have pointed out, people often get the leaders they deserve, but are leaders, by their own actions, entirely blameless in the corruption of a society? After all, those who exert power, either for good or for ill, owe some accountability to the people for whatever consequences their actions may bring about. Our great nation is a case in point.
This land of E Pluribus Unum ~ Out of Many, One ~ is gradually being transformed into the very opposite, Out of One, Many. This is apparent in the extreme levels of social polarization that has not been seen here since those fateful years preceding the American Civil War. Today’s Americans face a similar dilemma, though the issue is no longer the extension of freedom to all persons but the extension of something far more basic and compelling, which is life itself. Should unborn persons have a legally protected right to exist? This simple question has raised violent passions on either side to such elevated levels that our very political system is now imperiled. Abortion has become the new lightening-rod issue which weighs heavily upon the entire political dialogue, while poisoning civil discourse from both sides. Continue reading