Random Observations

Over the last couple of weeks, as I give a quick scan of the offerings on YouTube, I’ve noticed several new channels by young (and not so young) people of color about President Trump not being racist. Refreshing news; and heartening.

I was watching a live taping of the last Hurricane Laura update given by the powers that be in Louisiana the night of expected landfall. There was an open live chat that ran along the right side of what would become a video. There were more pro-Trump comments than about anything having to do with the hurricane! As a matter of fact, several people in the chat complained that it was a chat for sharing info on the hurricane and not a political site. It really was amazing.

But, oh – the faces. Just a short thought on the non-famous speakers especially but also applies to the political speakers as well. Did you notice their faces? There seemed, to me, at least, that there was a happy conviction in their faces, a look of shining hope that was difficult for me to miss. I hope you noticed it, too, because I believe it’s that look, and that conviction, that will get us Four More Years.

Rand Paul, his wife, and guests had an unpleasant surprise waiting for them when they left the last night of the Republican Convention. Antifa, BLM, and paid thugs simply won’t be happy until the Guard goes in and settles them down at the point of a fast-repeating weapon of some kind

The holier than thou press did not miss a beat in reporting that four people at the Convention tested positive for the you-know-what. I find myself yawning because it has become so hopelessly obvious what mainstream media is trying to accomplish. I’m not the brightest bulb in the shop, if I see it, everyone sees it. It has ceased to serve its purpose. We jumped when they shouted ‘boo!’ the first time. The scare doesn’t work anymore.

The Convention

Well, the conventions are over. By all reports, the Democratic one was dark and foreboding. I don’t know, I couldn’t convince myself to watch any part of it. The Democrats at this point sicken me thoroughly. I don’t like that they do, historically my family is Democratic, dad was, in fact, a New Dealer, but he was also a conservative, which was very common although seems inconceivable now. Well, the past is prologue, they say.

The Republicans, I did watch, and I was impressed. It was completely different from anything in my lifetime, and yet, I think it may have been by far the best convention of my lifetime. What made it so different?

First, it dispensed with many of the politicians, sure we saw some important ones, and some of the administration’s leadership and the President’s staff, often, in this case, his family. But other than that, we mostly had four days of pretty average Americans, pretty much all of whom we could easily relate to. probably the closest I can come, it felt like a family reunion, where we catch up on each other, and of course, in a sense, it was, because Ameria has always been kind of an overgrown family.

Other things, Opening prayers, from Timothy Cardinal Dolan to the Rev Franklin Graham, heartfelt, on point, and meaningful.

I was surprised how hard the convention pushed our pro-life message. Yes, it’s there as it has been for years, but President Trump has emphasized it far more than anyone before, and it resonates with many of us. Abby Johnson did a wonderful job of making us see how planned Parenthood operates, “Did you know abortion has a smell?” will long linger in my thoughts. So did Colonel Sister Deidre Byrne, MD of the little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

And to watch disabled;ed veterans come to attention along with the President and Vice-President, at Fort McHenry, where the gallantry of American Arms stood off the most powerful empire in the word, while Trace Adkins sang the National Anthem,  based on that action, so long ago, moved me

You could call this the best reality TV ever, and in a sense, it was. But it was so much more. You could feel so much of America, yesterday Audre told us we can go home again, and that was indeed what it felt like. When I was young, God and Country were givens, for many of us they still are, and the genius of the convention was to give us back a national and perhaps international voice.

And there are many of us out here, the Normies, the Deplorables, whatever sobriquet the Elect choose to try to denigrate us with this week, we shrug them off and go on clinging to our guns that made us free on earth, our Bibles that will make us free in Heaven, and our determination that America shall not perish, but continue to keep the beacon fire roaring in the City on the Hill.

And you know, I think we will, at least for another four years.

MAGA

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock,…

When President Trump left for Ohio on Thursday something interesting happened. The White House staff was photographed outside seeing him off. That’s rare almost to the vanishing point. Maybe you saw it, I didn’t. But I pay little attention to raw news, It’s nearly always wrong, so why clutter your mind. Then today I read in Clarice Feldman’s article in American Thinker that the President said this in Cleveland.

I have a lot of enemies. This may be the last time you see me for a while. I have a lot of very rich enemies. They’re not happy with what I’m doing. But I figure we have one chance to do it. No other president is gonna do what I do.

Then on Friday afternoon, the DOJ filed civil forfeiture paperwork on two properties, one in Kentucky and one in Cleveland that were financed by PrivatBank, a Ukrainian private bank widely believed to be involved in money laundering. It’s more complex than that oversimplification, of course.

Then the president flew to the resort he owns in the Hamptons, where many fewer people will have access to him than at the White House.

Interesting isn’t it? I find it so. Clarice says that:

It was through the Latvian branch of PrivatBank that the money from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden for a substantial amount of money, seemingly as a bribe to his father, was paid.

[From Brian Cates] The FBI has raided the offices of Optima Management Group in Cleveland and Miami. The company has ties to Privatize Bank that was founded by Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky also owned Burisma Holdings that hired Devon Archer and Hunter Biden onto the board of directors.

Privat Bank received billions of dollars from the IMF. It is believed that much of the money was laundered and later was embezzled by Kolomoisky. The money was allegedly laundered through shell companies in Cyprus, Belize and the British Virgin Islands. Then much of the money was run through Optima Management Group.

The FBI is very interested in how much money the fund received and where did it go. It has been rumored that Hunter Biden was paid a little over $83,000 a month with laundered funds.

If you are a Democrat, a Deep Stater, or a Conservative, Inc. Republican for that matter this may be the sound of a very big boot coming down with great force. Like the first step in unraveling what many of us have for months been calling a coup. Most of you know the Russian old joke about what you do when you get hold of a loose strand of a pretty woman’s sweater, this is analogous. You’ll have noticed the name of Biden is already deeply involved, there will likely be many more.

Clarice thinks, and I tend to agree, that this is the first step in all the DOJ investigations that have been going on under Barr. It would appear they are ready to move, and have gotten Trump to move to a safer place to safeguard him. These people are (and have been) a serious threat to the United States and are unlikely to look at Supermax with any sort of detachment.

Well, we’ll see but this could be quite the week. The one where we quit saying #two weeks.

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard

I just wrote a global email to my fellow parishioners. I mean, someone’s got to do it and hey, why not me?

We welcomed our priest in September of last year. There’s an adjustment period – no honeymoon period for priests; they are either hated or loved instantly, it appears. He is the most evangelical priest I have ever had and sometimes, I’m ashamed to say, that’s a little grating but gosh, he’s on fire for the Lord, he’s wonderful with people, and he’s a learned man. What’s not to like.

In January, he and I seemed to ‘click’ – I saw great humility in him and a sincere heart and without even realizing it, I was behind him 100 percent. I have done varied things to help him and he is kind enough to refer to me as his ministry partner.

Ok, so then the ‘you-know-what’ happened and things got closed right quick, very suddenly, closed faster than a door in a hurricane – including our churches, all across America. What’s a priest to do? He has even less electronic savvy than I do but I’m retired and have time so I did some research and his first stepping out into technology was doing live stream broadcasts of Morning Prayer on FaceBook. He did very well, considering he’s sitting in his home office talking to himself. There was no self-consciousness and any minor household distractions didn’t phase him. He did a great job.

When it became glaringly apparent that it was going to be some time before we could go back to church, he stepped up his game and started presenting what would have been his Sunday sermon in church to giving the sermon on Facebook. Again, he did a very good job and I was proud of him.

I went back into research mode at his request. He wanted to be able to do Bible study but wanted it interactive (or why bother? study needs give and take). I wasn’t wild about Zoom because it had only recently (at that time) been hacked and people with more time than brains were crashing meetings with porn and other types of offensive stuff. Someone other than me had suggested he use Zoom and he decided to go with that. Not a problem – it’s his message and his room, he can do as he sees fit.

Every week I send a global email to the parishioners reminding them about Zoom Bible study (including the meeting id# and the password, as well as the time we meet). Never, at any time during the Bible study have we had more than four people. One of our parishioners is a Ph.D in marine biology and a devout Anglican and he’s our official unofficial resident Koine Greek expert. I ask a lot of questions because no one else does. Fr. Ellis gives it his all and it’s really quite a good Bible study.

Today, there were only three of us at Bible study and one of the three was the priest! Give me a break! And take a wild guess how many showed up to watch the FaceBook sermon? C’mon – you can do it … Right! Three people not including the priest.

Why is it so hard to get folks to do Bible study? Surely they don’t all think they know everything they need to know about the Bible, about Jesus, about our relationship with God?

There’s only one thing I know for sure – it shouldn’t be this hard.

 

The Republican Party’s Reptile

Brian Micklethwait after his piece at Samizdata had some thoughts he shared on his blog. Both articles are excellent but I found the latter more illuminating. Here’s some of it.

I just did some Thoughts on Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech for Samizdata. Here is the complete speech of Trump’s that I was on about, and to which I linked, twice, because I think the fact that we all now can link directly to it is so very good.

Something else I didn’t complicate my Samizdata piece with did occur to me, while I was reading that same speech, and in particular when I read things like this in it:

We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglass. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody. (Applause.) We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen – (applause) – Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton – General George Patton – the great Louie Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Mohammad Ali. (Applause.) And only America could have produced them all. (Applause.) No other place.

We are the culture that put up the Hoover Dam, laid down the highways, and sculpted the skyline of Manhattan. We are the people who dreamed a spectacular dream – it was called: Las Vegas, in the Nevada desert; who built up Miami from the Florida marsh; and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore. (Applause.)

Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the Internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the Moon – and one day very soon, we will plant our flag on Mars.

We gave the world the poetry of Walt Whitman, the stories of Mark Twain, the songs of Irving Berlin, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, the style of Frank Sinatra – (applause) – the comedy of Bob Hope, the power of the Saturn V rocket, the toughness of the Ford F-150 – (applause) – and the awesome might of the American aircraft carriers.

I’ve read this before, I thought, or something a hell of a lot like it. Yes, a piece in P. J. O.Rourke’s Republican Party Reptile, which was published in 1987, about an epic car journey O’Rourke made across America, in a Ferrari. I read this book in the late eighties. The Ferrari piece in this book would appear to be a slimmed down version of this piece, which was published in Car and Driver, in 1980.

Hah! I too thought it a bit familiar but I couldn’t place it. Kudos to him for remembering.

… To be in control of our destinies – and there is no more profound feeling of control of one’s destiny that I have ever experienced than to drive a Ferrari down a public road at 130 miles an hour. Only God can make a tree, but only man can drive by one that fast. And if the lowly Italians, the lamest, silliest, least stable of our NATO allies, can build a machine like this, just think what it is that we can do. We can smash the atom. We can cure polio. We can fly to the moon if we like. There is nothing we can’t do. Maybe we don’t happen to build Ferraris, but that’s not because there’s anything wrong with America. We just haven’t turned the full light of our intelligence and ability in that direction. We were, you know, busy elsewhere. We may not have Ferraris but just think what our Polaris-submarines are like. And if it feels like this in a Ferrari at 130, my God, what can it possibly feel like at Mach 2.5 in an F-15? Ferrari 308s and F-15s – these are the conveyances of free men. What do the Bolshevik automatons know of destiny and its control? What have we to fear from the barbarous Red hordes?

And like this:

… And rolling through the desert thus, I worked myself into a great patriotic frenzy, which culminated on the parapets of the Hoover Dam (even if that was kind of a socialistic project and built by the Roosevelt in the wheelchair and not by the good one who killed bears). With the Ferrari parked up atop that orgasmic arc of cement, doors flung open and Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” blasting into the night above the rush of a man-crafted Niagara and the crackle and the hum of mighty dynamos, I was uplifted, transported, ecstatic. A black man in a big, solid Eldorado pulled up next to us and got out to shake our hands. “You passed me this morning down in New Mexico,” he said. “And that sure is a beautiful car. …”.

Note that Mount Rushmore includes, along with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln: the Roosevelt who killed bears, Teddy Roosevelt, but not the Roosevelt in the wheelchair who presided over the Great Depression. No wonder Democrats are now saying they hate it.

I don’t know what P.J. O’Rourke is up to these days, so whether he had any direct input into Trump’s speech I have no idea. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But I’ll bet you anything that whatever combination of Trump and Trumpsters wrote Trump’s speech at the very least knew all about that O’Rourke piece. I’ll go further. I’ll bet Trump read that O’Rourke piece at some point in the 1980s, and remembered it, and said to his guys: “That’s what I want! Write me something like that!” And they did. Right up to the stuff about cars, and warships, and the Hoover Dam, and about how “there is nothing we can’t do”.

Yeah, he left out the part about teenage girls and drugs that showed up in the Car and Driver article, which 40 years later is probably a good thing for all concerned. But his penultimate paragraph pretty much, I think, says it all:

If I’m right, then this is a story which confirms something else I am fond of telling anyone who will listen, which is that all the people alive now will, in thirty or forty years time, either be thirty or forty years older, or dead. You can tell a lot about the world now, by asking what people in their teens and twenties were getting excited about, thirty or forty years ago. There will be more of that.

And we ain’t dead yet even if its no fault of our own. We did our damnedest.

A Time for Heroes

MC da Silva at American Thinker had some thoughts to share about Mike Gundy the Head Football coach at Oklahoma State University.

To be honest, I actually lost some sleep over the Mike Gundy video earlier last week. Maybe you’ve seen it — the video where the Oklahoma State University football coach is seen apologizing for the offense of wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the conservative news company OANN.

It was a disturbing scene with the coach robotically parroting the talking points of the delicate running back who originally took issue with the offending piece of apparel.

It’s reminiscent of a hostage video of a captured US soldier. Either that or something out of a cartoon villain’s mind control experiment. You can practically see the spirals in his eyes.

Beyond the bizarre visuals, the most disturbing thing about this was the fact that an ostensible adult and leader could be brought to heel by his subordinate — an early adult many years his junior — by something as meaningless and inconsequential as the running back’s tender feelings.

It represented yet another example of the plague of institutional failures spreading over our country. It is no longer limited to just classrooms, the media, government, and their globalist corporate overlords.

Today, we are faced with the crumbling of institutions such as the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, the Pentagon, professional sports, and, now apparently, even college sports.

The athletic field is where we instill in our young men the most important lessons of masculine behavior. Play fair, respect your opponent, be gracious in victory and proud in defeat.

If the scene at Oklahoma is anything to go by, the institution of sports has also fallen.

Yet there undoubtedly a silver lining to this terrifying turn of events:

The stakes are now real.

Take it from someone who has volunteered to serve our country: the path of courage is a source of enormous personal satisfaction.

Read it all, and mind, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with his using of himself as an example, for our soldiers have always epitomized this. But for once, I didn’t think of a soldier, my mind went back to my youth in Indiana and basketball. [Yes, I was a jock, and always a fan.] Dr. James Naismith, who said. “While the game was invented in Massachusetts, basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport.” It still does.

I immediately thought of “The Coach”, John Wooden of UCLA, born in Hall, Indiana, first three-time consensus All-American player, the first inductee into the College Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. and so many more honors that you can (and should) read about at Wikipedia. Truly legendary.

I grew up in the era of Branch McCracken’s Hurrying Hoosiers at IU, and Rick Mount at Purdue, who was the leading scorer that memorable day when Purdue defeated Indiana 120-76. So it wasn’t that we didn’t have teams close at hand to watch. But we saw the Boilermakers lose two straight NCAA championships to the Lew Alcindor led Bruins. We noticed.

The Coach’s overall record of 664–162 (80.4%), including his two years at Indiana State and at UCLA, tells you much. Wasn’t much shame in losing to the team that had ten consecutive NCAA championships. Or to the man who refused to participate in the 1947 National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB) tournament because they wouldn’t allow black players.

But what I really thought of is his legacy, of a man in control of himself, in fact, that is the legacy he himself would have chosen I think. On the official Coach Wooden website, you can read of his pyramid of success (you should, in fact). But I’ll highlight a few:

Loyalty is part of our higher nature and it is also part of the nature of leaders who achieve higher goals. The power of Loyalty is the reason I placed it in the center of the Pyramid’s foundation.

A leader who has Loyalty is the leader whose team I wish to be a part of. This is true almost everywhere. Most people, the overwhelming majority of us, wish to be in an organization or part of a team whose leadership cares about them, provides fairness and respect, dignity and consideration.

Loyalty from the top inspires Loyalty from below. It is a most precious and powerful commodity and it starts with the leader.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

Getting to the top and staying there (somewhat different tasks) present unique and formidable challenges. To do either requires great Self-Control. This characteristic within the Pyramid of Success addresses the importance of controlling yourself in all areas – avoiding temptations, avoiding emotionalism, avoiding peaks and valleys of effort.

I viewed Self-Control, both personal and by our team, as a sixth Bruin on the court during my years at UCLA. That invisible sixth player was as important as any of the visible players.

I like to remind those under my supervision: “Control yourself so others won’t have to do it for you.”

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

There is no stronger steel than well-founded belief in yourself; the knowledge that your preparation is fully complete and that you are ready for the competition.

Confidence cannot be grafted on artificially. True abiding confidence is earned through tenaciously pursuing and attaining those assets that allow you to reach your own level of competency; that is, excellence.

You must monitor Confidence because it can easily turn into arrogance which then can lead to the mistaken and destructive belief that previous achievement will be repeated without the same hard effort that brought it about in the first place.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

All from the website. Do check it out. No man was ever more successful and respected in his field than The Coach, he has been since the sixties, one of my heroes, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And remember this too:

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” ― John Wooden

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