July 25, 2021

Sounds Almost Integralist

Irving Kristol article in NYT in 1971: 

Today a "managerial" conception of democracy prevails wherein democracy is seen as a set of rules and procedures, and nothing but a set of rules and procedures, by which majority rule and minority rights are reconciled into a state of equilibrium. Thus, the political system can be fully reduced to its mechanical arrangements. 

I cannot help but feel that there is something ridiculous about being this kind of a democrat, and I must further confess to having a sneaking sympathy for those of our young radicals who also find it ridiculous. The absurdity is the absurdity of idolatry—of taking the symbolic for the real, the means for the end. The purpose of democracy cannot possibly be the endless functioning of its own political machinery. The purpose of any political regime is to achieve some version of the good life and the good society. It is not at all difficult to imagine a perfectly functioning democracy which answers all questions except one namely, why should anyone of intelligence and spirit care a fig for it?

There is, however, an older idea of democracy - fairly common until about the beginning of this century - for which the conception of the quality of public life is absolutely crucial. This idea starts from the proposition that democracy is a form of self-government, and that you are entitled to it only if that "self" is worthy of governing. There is no inherent right to self government if it means that such government is vicious, mean, squalid and debased. Only a dogmatist and a fanatic, an idolater of democratic machinery, could approve of self‐government under such conditions.

Because the desirability of self-government depends on the character of the people who govern, the older idea of democracy... had no problem in principle with pornography and obscenity; it censored them; it was not about to permit people to corrupt themselves.

July 23, 2021

Ask Fr. Rutler

 An old "Ask Fr Rutler" column:  

Q: I’m a big fan of Bouguereau, but sometimes I wonder if that doesn’t owe more to just his exquisite technique. How much nudity in art is too much, Christianly speaking? -Andrew B, Florence, SC

A: As an amateur painter, I confine myself to landscapes and still lifes whose only déshabillé consists of bare branches and peeled fruit. The technique of Bouguereau is breathtaking, as is that of Alma-Tadema. In their generation, borderline eroticism was acceptable so long as the scenes were classical – so, for instance, a naked duchess would not have been acceptable unless she was posed as Cleopatra. Bouguereau’s religious paintings tend to the sentimentality for which the brilliant Norman Rockwell was later criticised.

But as with some famous preachers, one can learn a lot from their method while ignoring their content. Great Victorian art will long outlast our expressionism and nihilism. Queen Victoria was not a Victorian in the caricatured sense. In 1841 she commissioned Emil Wolff’s statue of Prince Albert, half naked in strategically arranged Greek armour. She thought it was “very beautiful” when it arrived in 1844, but “we know not yet where to place it”. Multiple nudes followed, beginning with William Dyce’s fresco for Osborne House, showing naked Neptune rising from the sea with nymphs lacking bathing suits.

Should we read into it that he's not been reinstated to his parish? 

July 22, 2021

Lino Rulli's Idea

Sirius XM talk show host Lino Rulli mentioned that he knew a “professional Catholic” who gives talks and seminars who was going through a very tough patch, struggling with sin, and he didn’t mention it at all in talks at the time but Rulli thought it would be so refreshing if these guys owned up to having problems and struggles instead of just keeping the “plaster saint” image on. 

I thought of that with regard to Msgr. Burrill.  How countercultural if he did an interview with a Catholic media personage and explained how tough it was, how sorry he is, etc... ? After all, the mark of a Christian is not sinlessness but forgiveness so he is theoretically in safe and sympathetic company where that’s concerned. But, of course, only a saint would do that - admit they were struggling - and by definition he’s quite a sinner.  If he even believes in sin. 

He’s probably a bright guy, witness his getting pulled from the crowd of priestly candidates and getting to study in Rome.  (Or maybe not "getting" as it's likely a curse since Rome is a corrupting influence.)  That was in the ‘90s.  Pastor for a decade then back in Rome for a big gig from 2009-2013, probably getting further “romanized”there, before becoming associate general secretary at the USCCB in '16. 

Meanwhile Amy Welborn has an arresting post on how everybody's favorite, Fr. Ronald Knox, denied Communion to a truth-teller.  Ouch. 

July 21, 2021

The Gen Sec of the USCCB

It always shocks and amazes me when someone is more sinful than me, especially one high in the Catholic Church. 

So today I was gobsmacked by the “typical” thing in our church, meaning scandal. The general secretary of the USCCB was outed by the little-Pillar-that-could website, a small team that brought down the Goliath, a powerful gay mafia member in good standing.

I’m always puzzled by the impressive lack of discernment that the bishops seem to have concerning character.  Most obviously shown by Cardinal McCarrick, of course, but some might also think it with respect to Pope Francis.  It’s in the water these days. Honestly I think 9.5 out of 10 Catholic laymen would've been a better choice than the general secretary.  Or McCarrick.  

I'm not saying I would do much better at picking those of good character. After all, I was not astute enough to recognize the value of Trump and how he would show the swamp was worse than himself. 

All in all, I think a better way to pick bishops is to draw straws among priests like the apostles did with St. Matthias.  Same with popes. 

In this particular scandal the fellow had the impressive resume including “apostolic formation” at the pontifical college in Rome. Yikes.

So what is cheery about this? Merely no less than a soul was potentially saved.  This general secretary of the USCCB has seen the discipline of the Father, who chastises us in love. “God, who sends his gifts, also disciplines by means of punishments.” (Navarre commentary).

July 19, 2021

High Summer Sigh

Pine sap shines on the west bark

In wilds planted by bird and wind

Cone flowers draw the kings of Phrygia 

Those equatorial yellows of goldfinch.


I study mosaic barks wizened

but straight as British columns 

What Indian bones lay beneath

Where the cavernous cicadas sleep?

July 18, 2021

AZ Audit versus Maricopa Not Binary Choice

It's a false dichotomy to feel the need to choose between trusting Maricopa County versus the AZ audit. The former is corrupt while the latter could be making faulty conclusions based on limited understanding of the data. 

The root cause of the issue for all election security is that the "professional" audits done were by regulatory capture'd firms who did no canvassing (and even had no administrative rights to machines!) while the "amateur" audit might've failed in some instances to understand what the data was saying.

A solid and honest rebuttal to the 74k votes from Patrick Byrne: 

True to form, the CNN choagies have issued a rebuttal on one slice of Doug Logan‘s claims on Thursday regarding Maricopa: the provenance of 74,000 ballots. They have provided CNN a detailed explanation to account for them. To which I reply:

1) Doug Logan‘s claim about 74,000 ballots came in the context of discussing canvassing so as to explore the truth further;

2) their explanation may or may not hold water (it seems to have some hand-waving in it). It would have been nice if the auditors could have picked their way through it, or had been provided the digital images of the envelopes as they requested and Maricopa refused;

3) which goes to a deeper point: this was a strange kind of “audit“ where the people being audited refused to cooperate or give any explanations of anything (though now they’re happy to explain themselves not to auditors but to CNN reporters);

4) I look forward to explanations for the other 33,000 problematic votes raised by the auditors  (in this contest Biden won by only 10,000 votes). 

How about the 11,000 votes of people who existed in the rolls on December 4 and showed that they had voted on November 3, but on November 6 we’re not in the rolls? 

Or the 4000 people who registered after October 15 (In violation of state law and state Supreme Court decision)?

Or the (20,000?) votes that are putatively duplicate votes of a vote that was marred.... But those underlying 20,000 votes who’s content was “duplicated” do not (in violation of law) seem to exist anywhere? 

Ok. And how about the The even deeper issues pointed to in their testimony: the 11% adjudication rate (or about 230,000 votes being adjudicated, which is approximately 200,000 more than would’ve been normal);  the egregious calibration errors in the printing revealed in the hearing; The bleedthrough on thin paper (which calls into question Maricopa is June 17, 2021 claim that all of these 2.1 million ballots were printed on “vote secure” paper)? 

Given that Maricopa County Election bureaucrats are finding their tongue after refusing to answer simple questions from the auditors, given that they are apparently now open to giving explanations, how about they continue by explaining some of these other issues which account for at least 33,000, and possibly hundreds of thousands more?

We’re all ears Maricopa.

July 17, 2021

Just Call it the Latinx Mass?

So the big news yesterday was that Pope Francis decided to crack down on the Latin Mass, aka Extraordinary Form. A pope’s gonna pope. I'm sure it's been a sore temptation for him for quite some time and he finally gave into it. Francis loves to shock us, unfortunately rarely for the good. Cardinal Sarah tweeted a quote from his book: “Let us pray for a moment beside the large fresco by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. There he represented the Last Judgment...”

The amazing thing about the "spirit of Vat II" is that it seems to translate in practice as "You can't have nice things". Like nice church architecture or Latin masses or good music or silence.  My guess is that the reason for this is the Church wants greater equality with the world so the answer is to strip beauty so we'll be more on par.  Sort of like stripping the rich of money so there will be greater equality. 

Funny lines from Jeff Miller: 

“The new Motu Proprio name is Traditionis custodes. Which means ‘Throw oil on fire’”.

Ken comments: “Not sure if that's accurate.”

Jeff: “It's a dynamic translation, but accurate...obviously translated in the spirit of Vatican II.” 

**

Another wag said “it’s the SSPX expansion plan”. 

**

And finally another said: "Thought just occurred to me: Do you think Francis might go easier on us if we call it 'the Latinx' Mass"?

July 14, 2021

Vote Auditing Verboten

Why do the Dems hate auditing votes? 

Possible explanations include: 

1. anything Trump or GOP is for, they are against. 

2. Fear (or knowledge) that if there is fraud it will all be in the Democrat’s favor, so they don’t want to give up the 2-5% fraud cushion in key counties. 

3. anything involving GOP voters is inherently illegitimate since the Left no longer believes in democracy. GOP voters have the same standing to the Left as Russian citizens do. 

4. Fear (or knowledge) that the whole thing is rigged and prison sentences and political disaster could result. 

July 12, 2021

Imagining the Broadway Cast

 “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” - Matt 11:25

There is something deeply satisfying and edifying in how God is working with this nation. We’re seeing a “play that rhymes” in how a ragtag bunch exposed the rot that hid beneath the attractive edifice.  An edifice composed of folks like the tall and well-spoken James Comey, the all-American boy scout out of central casting. And all of this led by the unlikeliest of heroes, Donald Trump. 

It’s certainly been educational.  It’s hilarious, in hindsight, that I was concerned about Trump’s ethical lapses, specifically his Trump University and his eminent domain suit that chased an old lady from her property. I was immune to the Flight 93 stuff and under the naive impression that we were in a “business as usual” environment with the usual threats of leftist policies. Trump seemed to stand out from an ethical perspective but that’s only because of my ignorance.  I’d thought we could live off the Judeo-Christian capital for longer but that ignores the reality that we all live on a knife’s edge as far as faith and morals. 

Imagine the cast! A drunk Giuliani past his sell date, a brilliant and enigmatic Patrick Byrne, an erratic and already red-pilled Sidney Powell, the spiritually-minded truth-seeker Eric Metaxas, and the calm and methodical Matthew DePerno and Matt Braynard.  And that leaves out true believer and ex-crack addict Mike Lindell!

Perhaps the cast is colorful because it had to be. Only the colorful, the outcasts, dare question conventional wisdom. All the old verities and virtues are young again when we see the rot and sin.  

There are signs of hope. Corruption, like forest fires, contains the seeds of rebirth. The editorial staff at National Review may be election fraud deniers but it’s said the young there are as red-pilled as the young at the NYT are woke.  It will take a younger generation in part because there are obstacles for establishment Republicans: 

1. They don’t wish to see what is hard to see. They have a vested interest in seeing the marginal tax rate as the most serious problem we have. NR’s Charlie Cooke went so far to say such knowledge of leadership rot would be too painful for him. As a proud American and immigrant from Britain he has too much invested in the rosy view.  

2. The other obstacle is having to accept Trump and his people, the deplorables, which is particularly difficult for an establishment party more Whig than democrat, more John Quincey Adams than Andrew Jackson.  

In some ways the beltway GOP is like the Catholic Church pre-2002. The leaders of the Church were aware of priestly pedophile problem if not the magnitude and under the impression that it was better to sweep it under the rug in an effort to protect against scandal. Business as usual. Until the earthquake. 

I can’t help but be inspired at the rising up of MAGA and how even after Jan 6th they didn’t back down one iota. Everything in our collective gut told us that Jan 6th would spell the doom of the movement. But everyone with hears to hear and eyes to see understood and had already got red-pilled. 

There’s also a deep satisfaction when somebody sees what we see - like Darryl Cooper - because the usual suspects are incurious (i.e. National Review editors). NR seems to have decided to maintain mainstream respectability over truth and I can understand it inasmuch as they were already under fire in ’17 thru ’19 for being perceived as too Trump-friendly and too nationalistic.  Head honcho Rich Lowry has deep roots in establishment Washington with Meet the Press and you could taste how much he wanted to move on from Trump and probably was inwardly glad to see Biden as potus. 

In a better world, National Review would've taken it upon themselves to put out a special issue on election fraud, with each article examining a different type of fraud and the likelihood of it happening. It could be done to do their small part in trying to unite the Right by examining the claims closely and without condescension. 

But truth wins out even if it takes a generation. Witness how scientist Max Planck offered proofs not accepted by the establishment scientists at the time because they did not want to see it; he was later vindicated by the younger generation without the blinders of previous attachments. 

July 11, 2021

Have You Forgotten? 11/3/20

This is the best thing I’ve read, from Darryl Cooper, about the *context* of GOP complaints about voting integrity.  Nails it, well expresses the "shock and awe" aspect. And explains why the 2020 election should never be forgotten.  

****

"I think I've had discussions w/enough Boomer-tier Trump supporters who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent to extract a general theory about their perspective. It is also the perspective of most of the people at the Capitol on 1/6, and probably even Trump himself.

Most believe some or all of the theories involving midnight ballots, voting machines, etc, but what you find when you talk to them is that, while they'll defend those positions with info they got from Hannity or Breitbart or whatever, they're not particularly attached to them. 

Here are the facts - actual, confirmed facts - that shape their perspective: 

The FBI/etc spied on the 2016 Trump campaign using evidence manufactured by the Clinton campaign. We now know that all involved knew it was fake from Day 1 (see: Brennan's July 2016 memo, etc). 

These are Tea Party people. The types who give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday and have Founding Fathers memes in their bios. The intel community spying on a presidential campaign using fake evidence (including forged documents) is a big deal to them. 

Everyone involved lied about their involvement as long as they could. We only learned the DNC paid for the manufactured evidence because of a court order. Comey denied on TV knowing the DNC paid for it, when we have emails from a year earlier proving that he knew. 

This was true with everyone, from CIA Dir Brennan & Adam Schiff - who were on TV saying they'd seen clear evidence of collusion w/Russia, while admitting under oath behind closed doors that they hadn't - all the way down the line. In the end we learned that it was ALL fake. 

At first, many Trump people were worried there must be some collusion, because every media & intel agency wouldn't make it up out of nothing. When it was clear that they had made it up, people expected a reckoning, and shed many illusions about their government when it didn't happen.

We know as fact: a) The Steele dossier was the sole evidence used to justify spying on the Trump campaign, b) The FBI knew the Steele dossier was a DNC op, c) Steele's source told the FBI the info was unserious, d) they did not inform the court of any of this and kept spying.

Trump supporters know the collusion case front and back. They went from worrying the collusion must be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to realizing it was a scam, then watched as every institution - agencies, the press, Congress, academia - gaslit them for another year. 

Worse, collusion was used to scare people away from working in the administration. They knew their entire lives would be investigated. Many quit because they were being bankrupted by legal fees. The DoJ, press, & gov't destroyed lives and actively subverted an elected administration. 

This is where people whose political identity was largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in Civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed all institutional boundaries. Because it had stepped out of the shadows to unite against an interloper. 

GOP propaganda still has many of them thinking in terms of partisan binaries, but A LOT of Trump supporters see that the Regime is not partisan. They all know that the same institutions would have taken opposite sides if it was a Tulsi Gabbard vs Jeb Bush election. 

It's hard to describe to people on the left (who are used to thinking of gov't as a conspiracy... Watergate, COINTELPRO, WMD, etc) how shocking and disillusioning this was for people who encourage their sons to enlist in the Army, and hate people who don't stand for the Anthem. 

They could have managed the shock if it only involved the government. But the behavior of the corporate press is really what radicalized them. They hate journalists more than they hate any politician or government official, because they feel most betrayed by them. 

The idea that the press is driven by ratings/sensationalism became untenable. If that were true, they'd be all over the Epstein story. The corporate press is the propaganda arm of the Regime they now see in outline. Nothing anyone says will ever make them unsee that, period. 

This is profoundly disorienting. Many of them don't know for certain whether ballots were faked in November 2020, but they know for absolute certain that the press, the FBI, etc would lie to them if there was. They have every reason to believe that, and it's probably true.

They watched the press behave like animals for four years. Tens of millions of people will always see Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, based on nothing, because of CNN. And CNN seems proud of that. They led a lynch mob against a high school kid. They cheered on a summer of riots.

They always claimed the media had liberal bias, fine, whatever. They still thought the press would admit truth if they were cornered. Now they don't. It's a different thing to watch them invent stories whole cloth in order to destroy regular lives and spark mass violence. 

Time Magazine told us that during the 2020 riots, there were weekly conference calls involving, among others, leaders of the protests, the local officials who refused to stop them, and media people who framed them for political effect. In Ukraine we call that a color revolution. 

Throughout the summer, Democrat governors took advantage of COVID to change voting procedures. It wasn't just the mail-ins (they lowered signature matching standards, etc). After the collusion scam, the fake impeachment, Trump people expected shenanigans by now. 

Regarding "fake impeachment”: we now know that Trump's request for Ukraine to cooperate w/the DOJ regarding Biden's financial activities in Ukraine was in support of an active investigation being pursued by the FBI and Ukraine AG at the time, and so Trump’s was a completely legitimate request. 

Then you get the Hunter laptop scandal. Big Tech ran a full-on censorship campaign against a major newspaper to protect a political candidate. Period. Everyone knows it, all of the Tech companies now admit it was a "mistake" - but, ya know, the election's over, so who cares?

Goes without saying, but: If the NY Times had Don Jr's laptop, full of pics of him smoking crack and engaging in group sex, lots of lurid family drama, emails describing direct corruption and backed up by the CEO of the company they were using, the NYT wouldn't have been banned. 

Think back: Stories about Trump being pissed on by Russian prostitutes and blackmailed by Putin were promoted as fact, and the only evidence was a document paid for by his opposition and disavowed by its source. The NY Post was banned for reporting on true information. 

The reaction of Trump people to all this was not, "no fair!" That's how they felt about Romney's "binders of women" in 2012. This is different. Now they see, correctly, that every institution is captured by people who will use any means to exclude them from the political process. 

And yet they showed up in record numbers to vote. He got 13m more votes than in 2016, 10m more than Clinton got! As election night dragged on, they allowed themselves some hope. But when the four critical swing states (and only those states) went dark at midnight, they knew. 

Over the ensuing weeks, they got shuffled around by grifters and media scam artists selling them conspiracy theories. They latched onto one, then another increasingly absurd theory as they tried to put a concrete name on something very real.

Media & Tech did everything to make things worse. Everything about the election was strange - the changes to procedure, unprecedented mail-in voting, the delays, etc - but rather than admit that and make everything transparent, they banned discussion of it (even in DMs!). 

Everyone knows that, just as Don Jr's laptop would've been the story of the century, if everything about the election dispute was the same, except the parties were reversed, suspicions about the outcome would've been Taken Very Seriously. See 2016 for proof. 

Even the courts' refusal of the case gets nowhere with them, because of how the opposition embraced mass political violence. They'll say, with good reason: What judge will stick his neck out for Trump knowing he'll be destroyed in the media as a violent mob burns down his house? 

It's a fact, according to Time Magazine, that mass riots were planned in cities across the country if Trump won. Sure, they were "protests", but they were planned by the same people as during the summer, and everyone knows what it would have meant. Judges have families, too. 

Forget the ballot conspiracies. It's a fact that governors used COVID to unconstitutionally alter election procedures (the Constitution states that only legislatures can do so) to help Biden to make up for a massive enthusiasm gap by gaming the mail-in ballot system. 

They knew it was unconstitutional, it's right there in plain English. But they knew the cases wouldn't see court until after the election. And what judge will toss millions of ballots because a governor broke the rules? The threat of mass riots wasn't implied, it was direct. 

a) The entrenched bureaucracy & security state subverted Trump from Day 1, b) The press is part of the operation, c) Election rules were changed, d) Big Tech censors opposition, e) Political violence is legitimized & encouraged, f) Trump is banned from social media. 

They were led down some rabbit holes, but they are absolutely right that their gov't is monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to keep them getting it. Trump fans should be happy he lost; it might've kept him alive."

*** 

Let's paraphrase the old country song after 9/11, "Have You Forgotten" by Darryl Worley: 

I hear people saying we don't need this war

I say there's some things worth fighting for

What about our freedom and this piece of ground

We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down

They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in

Before you start your preaching

Let me ask you this my friend

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?

...

Have you forgotten

They took all the talk off social media

Said it's too disturbing for you and me

It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say

If it was up to me I'd show it everyday

Some say MAGA's just out looking for a fight

After 11/3 man I'd have to say that's right

Have you forgotten how it felt that day...

July 10, 2021

The Dudes Who Knew Too Much

I have a soft spot for patriotic people who got blindsided by our corrupt state and end up in ugly situations.  File it under no good deed goes unpunished. A couple folks come immediately to mind who ended up in trouble for being in the right place at the wrong time: 

1) John Paul Issac was just a regular Joe working as a computer repair serviceman when Hunter Biden’s laptop lands in his hands and Biden ignores calls saying it was ready for pickup. He understands there is a sensitive info on it says he told the FBI and that began a world of trouble.  Now he’s deep in legal fees and physical threats.

2) Joe Oltmann is a CEO and evidently a serious Christian who became alarmed about the actions of Antifa during the summer of 2020 when riots were breaking out all over.  He had started a podcast and began doing journalist work, going so far as to get included in an Antifa zoom call.  On the call he heard a fellow refer to another as “that’s Eric from Dominion”.  Allegedly Eric said, “Don’t worry about [Trump] in the election, I’ve made f--ing sure of it.”  At this point Oltmann had no idea what Dominion meant but he used his snooping skills to find an Eric that seemed to fit the bill: Eric Coomer of Dominion Voting Systems with a long history of Trump-hating, cop-hating, and Antifa-backing statements on Twitter and Facebook. This obviously raised alarm bells as Coomer was security chief for Dominion and owner of the adjudication patent such that he provided the “rules” for ballots where the intention isn’t clear (er, I thought the whole point of electronic voting was that you didn’t have to look at hanging chads, but funny you still have cases apparently, often a large number, who get special attention as far as decided who the voter wanted to vote for). Since then Coomer has sued Oltmann for defamation, managed to get the case heard in blue-blue Denver where none of the people involved live, judge-shopped for an activist/Kamala Harris donator judge with all of two weeks experience in her role. Obviously Oltmann's legal fees are going to be large so there's a campaign to help him here.

July 09, 2021

Eric Coomer Lawsuit News

It’s kind of fascinating to see how the justice system works when a case comes up where a desired outcome is pre-determined. Eric Coomer of Dominion Voting sued Joe Oltmann, Sydney Powell, Eric Metaxas among others and a fair trial wasn't on the docket.  Not unexpected but still disappointing.

It was argued it shouldn’t be adjudicated in blue Denver because no one involved in the case lives there, but it's the right venue if you want a certain outcome. 

The judges involved in the case were originally Johnson and Rappaport, the latter a 20-year veteran as judge. And at least one of her decisions was apparently not to the liking of the Coomer team. 

So conveniently a new judge was appointed to the 2nd District by Gov. Pollis in May, a family law judge named Marie A. Moses who donated to Kamala Harris last year as well as a leftwing group Mi Casa involved in voter registration.  

The Coomer lawsuit predates her appointment so how did she wind up the judge of this particular case? Judge Rappaport was invovled but Coomer wanted to violate the “SLAPP” restrictions (i.e. SLAPP being legalese for fishing expeditions) and get discovery up front. 

So Moses takes over, assigned by the chief judge (a Michael Martinez, who received below average grades on the Colorado judicial review website with 30% not recommend he be retained compared to 20% for the average district judge. Gov Pollis, by the way, over the past decade donated an impressive $1.4 million to leftwing causes including maxing out to Biden and to other state elections as well, like Warnock in Georgia.) 

After taking over Moses immediately “volunteered”, saying that they can reconsider the motions for discovery that previously Judges Johnson and Rappaport had ordered. Why reopen the case for the plaintiff to get a second bite at the apple?  She ended up getting discovery, not surprisingly. If you're going to go to the trouble to get the right judge...

So the defendants, starting on June 18th through 2pm on June 21st filed a “Rule 21” in regard to the anti-SLAPP.  On June 21st, 4pm, the Colorado Supreme Court denied all Rule 21s. Oltmann comments:

 “The Court docket was checked and the justices were not hearing cases that day. So the judges weren’t hearing a case -- so who denied the Rule 21? They were not in the court room. They stated that they denied it by hearing a case but they did not.” 

Meanwhile the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court is under investigation for fraud.

July 07, 2021

Three Hours in Bexley

So I headed east to the place of the Jewish people, to the holy land of historic Bexley, just a few miles from downtown Columbus where a sign in a yard still declares itself a member of Dr. Acton’s (who happens to be Jewish) fan club.  

I rode my bike past the comely gingerbread mansions, vaguely Victorian (perhaps without the morals) structures, and others echoing Gone with the Wind plantations. I rode past immaculately tended flower gardens, resolutely English hedges, past turrets and Tudors, by spires and shires. 

The houses were larger than your average bear, of course, and I thought about a generous bigness as an illusion limited by scale: they impress only because they are c-cups in a b-cup world. The large oak trees tower over them. We humans are silly.  

I rode by the Jeffrey mansion, now a public park overlooking a creek that is appealing for kayaking purposes.  I stowed my bike, headed in an open door, and wandered through a couple of the very high-ceiling’d rooms before a woman saw me and declared the mansion currently only open to a special event going on, a children's group.  So I vamoosed and then hit the paths through the rolling park and it reminded me of a summer day decades ago at a rich (richer than us anyway) woman’s house in Hamilton, Ohio who shocked me by having copies of The New Yorker and Better Homes and Gardens on her sunroom tableIt seemed here in that room, overlooking a rolling ground of perennials and annuals, hedges and hedgehogs, that I had found a spot of sophistication unrivaled this side of Battery Park. (This being when I held sophistication as an idol.) I subsequently looked up houses on that street for sale now and they range between 300 and 400k; we lived in a home now Zillow’d at 200k.

I lunched at the locally famous Boston Market delicatessen that serves food unique to the Bexley experience though I feel sure I’d had this food at some point in the past.  Many times even. 

I headed into the august public library, thrilled by the quiet reading room that every learned literary should have if it’s to be taken seriously.  It was a clean, well-lit place with inviting leather chairs. 

Then over to Gramercy Books where even their paper bags are elegant. I surveyed the literary landscape, settling on a book I didn’t know I wanted but felt free to purchase to support brick and mortar bookstores even if they are CRT havens. 

And so endeth my mini-vacation in Bexley, Oh, USA! 

































Two Theories on Religious Decline

How did we get to the point where so many of the young don’t believe in God? 

There are two theories.  (Of course both oversimplify greatly but...). 

One is it all began with the Islamic fundamentalist attack on the World Trade Center.

I’ll never forget talking, after church, to a retired OSU professor in 2003 or 2004. He was a non-believer but there to accompany his wife. He was positive that Bush was going to start a theocracy. I was dumbfounded, blinded by the comment such that I could not even think of a response. 

E. Jones writes in his latest book that the “new atheism appeared out of the blue in the latter half of the first decade of the 21st century” and quotes David Hawkes saying  that the atheism:

 “arose from the widespread perception that the West is under physical and ideological attack by Islamic fundamentalism. Among the progressive liberals who espoused the new atheism there was a brief that, in the West, secularism was under assault by Christian fundamentalism. To many people, a newly aggressive atheism would be the appropriate response to such threatening forces.” 

It’s likely that George W. Bush as president, perceived as a serious fundamentalist Christian, added fuel to their fire, aided by the media. 

Thus by 2007 Jones reports “the new atheism became the stuff of best sellers, celebrity endorsements and suburban reading groups.”  

Others say it all began with English philosopher Anthony Flew’s 2004 conversion to a belief in God after a career built on denying God’s existence. This is said to have induced many of the famous atheists from England to write books on the subject, like Harris, Dawkins and English-phile Christopher Hitchens. 

Flew said that “he now believed in the existence of an Intelligent Creator of the universe, shocking colleagues and fellow atheists....He stated that in keeping his lifelong commitment to go where the evidence leads, he now believed in the existence of a God.” 

Flew stated that "the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries" and that "the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it". 

This would naturally prompt a response from atheists, cutting to the core of their belief system. 

Certainly it doesn’t have to be either/or.  No doubt Hitchens took advantage of the Islamic fundamentalists to tout his view of religion and refute Flew at the same time. And of course the media was, even pre-Trump, willing to give a boost to anyone believing Bush would be Hitler in theocratic clothes, and indeed Bush was referred to as Hitler many times by the unhinged. 

Those bestsellers on atheism are now a generation old and have sown the demonic seeds intended.

July 06, 2021

On JD Vance Going MAGA

J.D. Vance made an interesting observation on critical race theory. It’s the “thing” these days because the Democrats knew they needed something to unite the disparate parts of the Left now that Trump’s not around to unite them. They’ve turned to race on the theory the one thing that unites suburban women, blacks, Hispanics and the Woke is racial tension, in not wanting to be seen as a racist or uncle Tom (the ultimate death penalties in our society). 

I can relate to Vance since I was anti-Trump in '16 as well and then came around to see the wisdom of the GOP electorate. I haven't thought about it much, but it seems like when democracy doesn't produce the outcome elites like, they tag it "populism".

I think Vance might’ve gotten radicalized by the radical reaction to his book/movie and in the reaction the Trump administration received.  Or maybe it’s just that working people, from whom he comes, are now firmly in MAGA-land. 

**

Since Kennedy there have been eleven presidents, and in my opinion six of bad character. Over 50%. Take that for what it's worth (not much). Here’s my SWAG on percent of voters at the time of election who knew the candidate was of poor character:  Kennedy 10%, Johnson 10%, Nixon 25%, Clinton 90%, Obama 60%, Trump 90%. You can tell that character, after Reagan/Bush, has not been too important to voters. 

Of course the big newsflash over the last four years is that D.C. is a giant spittoon of characters with bad character, so you can throw character out of the voting equation since it’s no longer a distinguishing characteristic. And add to that you elect not just a president but a cabinet and Supreme Court justices as well, so it’s not even about the man or woman anymore.  (The "moderate" Biden is showing that in spades; anybody who thought they were voting for the man instead of the Democrat party and their values needed their heads examined.) 

I think Lincoln was admirable but he ditched parts of the Constitution due to the exigencies of war. He might be considered a man of bad character by the Paul Ryans of the world now had the South won the Civil War due to that.  Regardless, we are in a Cold war now. 

Henry Winkler, “the Fonze”, tweeted: "We are SO divided as a country .. only a cataclysmic event that makes us depend on one another again, can bring us back together.” 

That or a religious revival. People were responding to his tweet saying coronavirus was that event and it didn’t work, but I say the virus only divided us further since it wasn’t lethal enough to bring us together but deadly enough to create need for huge disruptions due to the demands on the health care industry.