January 31, 2021

Too Much Information?

Interesting to reflect on what that futurist fellow said:

“We invented representative democracy when information was scarce. You didn’t know what was happening in California if you were in D.C. so you had a representative from California.  The speed of a horse was as fast as you could find out. When you have an abundance it can be misinterpreted, misused, faked. Democracy does not work in an abundance of information.  How do you update that? System was designed for a scarcity of information.”

He labels information abundance as a negative - “misinterpreted, misused, faked” -  but any populist would know it also makes elites uncomfortable given it’s harder to hide, misuse, or fake information. The hedge funds would prefer they get to work in concert but not the day traders. The plentitude was exploited by the redditers who gamed GameStop stock. So would Gov. Andrew Cuomo prefer to hide his sordid covid statistics.  Would that nursing homes scandal have been swept under the rug circa 1850 or even 1950? 

“Too much information” is certainly driving some of the distrust of institutions and individuals which is why the elites are hellbent on locking it down, suppressing news and shutting down free speech. 

Data in the 2020 election came in like a fire hose; I’m not sure trust in elections were made to withstand the transparency of fraud (all elections have fraud but before the ‘net and vote spikes in real time - including vote decrements as well - it seemed like it was a bit harder to see then).  Similarly the exposes of folks like Matt Baynard and his Voter Integrity Project would’ve been infinitely harder to conduct and publicize before we peons got access to data. 

January 29, 2021

Columbus Art Museum.

Spent a divine 70 minutes at the Columbus Art Museum gazing at the impressively large exhibit devoted to Aminah Robinson, an eclectic Columbus artist who died five years ago.  It was cool to be inside her home so to speak - they had a life size mural of her family room that made it feel like you were there.  Her surroundings and much of her art were pleasingly baroque. There was a re-creation of her little “writing room”, a closet really, with old fashioned photos (including her great-grandfather) and old fashioned music playing (Italian cantos and Beethoven symphonies).  She seemed a calm and meditative soul as well she might being an artist. (Although lack of money can make an artist pretty anxious.) There were indications of an interest in faith (she visited Jerusalem and the Bible appeared in her works). 















Entrance to art museum:




January 27, 2021

Prayer as a Political Problem

I can feel the paradigm shift beneath me. It started with Trump’s ’16 victory and was accelerated by the appearance of a muscular Christianity in politics as made famous by Sohrab Ahmari. Last December he wrote this eye-opener in First Things: 

“The work of rebuilding must include evangelization and conversion of political power, without fretting so much about mass culture. This is the lesson of French Jesuit Cardinal Danielou and his pathbreaking 1967 book, “Prayer as a Political Problem”, namely that Christianity remained an elite phenomenon, inaccessible to the great multitudes, until the Constantinian conversion, after which the Christian share of the Roman Empire skyrocketed. 


In other words, only after Christianity was enshrined as a legal religion, and then the official religion, in the Empire was the Church able to attract the great masses of ordinary men and women. By converting power and enmeshing it with a great civilization, the Christian religion became “more fully itself,” as Danielou put it: a religion of the masses, a Church of the poor (the material poor as well as the spiritual). I don’t see why a similar dynamic shouldn’t bear fruit for the Church today. 


That makes much sense. The pre-Constantine Christians were often enough elite spiritual athletes who were willing to put their lives on the line. After Constantine, the rest of us cowardly schmucks could join the party. 


The same issues the tend to plague the suburban Republican Party these days - “I’ve got mine, so who cares about the MAGA riffraff?” - likewise plagues those of us pleased to have found Jesus in the Church but now are like “I’ve got mine, so who cares about the masses in this pagan culture?” 


The paradigm shift continues with Christian author Lance Wallnau who quotes the Old Testament book of Haggai - a book which feels like it could be written today. The backstory is the Jews were kicked out of Jerusalem, their temple destroyed, all they worked for gone....finally, after 70 years they are allowed to return and all they find is rubble. Out of pure discouragement they begin living outside Jerusalem and try to make a living instead of rebuilding the Temple!


Basically it’s exactly our story from 1950 to 2020, during which our beautiful Church has been pretty much destroyed and we have to begin anew. 


The prophet Haggai writes of the Temple and of our Catholic Church now: 


“Is there anyone left among you who beheld this house in its former glory? How does it appear to you now? Does it not seem to you as though it were not even there? But now take courage...take courage all you people of the land, says the Lord. Begin the work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts.”


And an even greater temple would be built, the one that Jesus would enter when he was a child, after which came an even greater Temple (Jesus himself). 


January 25, 2021

Covid Life Changes By the Numbers


Number of missed Sunday masses over past 40 weeks: 13

Number of missed daily masses over 40 weeks: 80

Number of Latin Masses or Eastern Rite services in past 10 months: 5

Number of Latin Masses or Eastern I would’ve attended if not for covid : 20

Number of missed family holidays: 100% (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas)

Number of missed MLB games: 63%

Number of missed festivals: 4 (Oktoberfest, Irishfest, Artsfest, Jazz & Ribs fest) 

Number of missed parades: 2 (Fourth of July and St Patrick’s Day)

Number of missed concerts: 5

Number of missed art museum visits: 2

Number of extra miles walked with dogs than otherwise would’ve walked: 300. 

Number of miles not driven due to no commute to work: 4,400

Increased amount spent on food due to DoorDash: don’t want to think about it.

January 19, 2021

Checking in with the Futurist

Back in the summer of 2017, now 3.5 years ago, my company hired a futurist (i.e. fortune teller) named Salim Ismail to come and tell us the future.  Let’s see how he’s doing: 

1. “Singapore wants to have all of its taxis be self-driving cars by the end of this year.  Normally I’d say that’s crazy but with Singapore you never know.”

Answer: No. In fact recently the Singapore government was intent on giving “more financial aid to taxi and private-hire car drivers as the Covid-19 pandemic takes a bigger toll on business”. 

2. Five years - no internal combustion cars because battery technology is improving exponentially. 

Answer: Not even close yet. 

3. 8 years - no one will buy cars. It will make no sense. “I predict my five year old son will never learn to drive a car or own a car.” Transportation will become a service, not a product.

Answer: He’s still got 4.5 years but this doesn’t look good. 

4. 10 years - hyperloop and drones for commercial delivery. Six million truck drivers and associated jobs will be out of luck.

Answer: He’s got 6.5 years. We’ll see. 

5. He says that suburbs will spike in real estate value because no one will have to live close to work. Location won’t matter when you have self-driving cars. Uber and drones will make deliveries, again meaning location of restaurants or what have you less meaningful. For one thing, you get 10-15x increase in capacity of roads due to cars being able to ride the next car’s bumper.

Answer: This seems legit because of covid rather than Uber and drones. 

6. Artificial Intelligence doctor in a handheld device recently performed better than most doctors at a diagnosis.  A.I. was also able to beat poker champions.

Answer: Still going to doc. 

7. Solar energy is going to have the biggest impact.  Solar cells for 40 years have doubled every 22 months.   Doubling in price/performance every 22 months.  At this pace we will hit 100% of world’s energy supply in 14 years. Middle East will completely collapse. Russia will have no option but to invade Europe since cost of energy will be zero.  Cost of solar modules plummeting. No economic basis for Keystone pipeline. Country of Chile already generating so much solar it’s giving energy to its neighbors for free.

Answer: So far plenty of economic basis for Keystone. Even Chile is mostly getting lower energy prices to large mining companies that pay lower energy prices. “The benefits haven’t reached ordinary people.” 

The current levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for unsubsidized Solar PV has moved from $46 in ’18 to $44 in ’19 to $42 in ’20. Not exactly exponential. 

6. We invented representative democracy when information was scarce. You didn’t know what was happening in California if you were in D.C. so you had a representative from California.  The speed of a horse was as fast as you could find out. When you have an abundance it can be misinterpreted, misused, faked. Democracy does not work in an abundance of information.  How do you update that? System was designed for a scarcity of information.

Answer:  Well, bingo on this one. 

 7. And we’re also really worried about climate change. Miami will disappear in 20 years.

Answer: We’ll see.  

8. Bitcoin is disruptive and may become reserve currency.   I give retail banking about 10 years. 

Answer: Interesting but too early to tell. 

January 18, 2021

The Long Awakening

What a long strange trip it’s been with President Trump.

The first stirrings of my self-questioning (i.e. that maybe my allergic reaction against Trump in ‘15 was misguided) were not long after he announced for president. A Columbus clergyman in the Eastern church was a proud supporter of Trump and was welcomed backstage for a photo and handshake. 

I was mesmerized. What was the appeal that I wasn’t seeing? 

Then I recall a fellow at my parish who has a child with Downs Syndrome and how appalled I was when I saw him wearing a MAGA gear.  But it stayed with me.  Trump had support from unusual sources...was I in the famed bubble of affluence?  There was such Trump hatred by the moneyed class and elite media and these days that is usually a signifier of someone being on the right side. Or was I romanticizing the blue collar'd and less educated? 

Then there was how Justice Scalia was not appalled by Trump but thought he might be a refreshing bulldozer of political correctness. 

Then there was another local priest I admire who mentioned on FB he was voting for Trump in the general election since the choice is binary and out of concern for religious liberty.  (There’s also a vacuum of authority given the Pope and American bishop conference aren’t the most credible.) 

So Trump was elected and I thought, “wow, what a cry for help.” And cries for help shouldn’t be accompanied by threats of violence and suppression and hatred but by empathy and trying to understand where the people are coming from. And the media tried that.... for about two hours.  

Later there was Fr. Frank Pavone donning the Make America Great Again cap. He has said, “Trump has started a movement and it’s not something that is inconsistent with our Christian faith. It’s something in fact that’s very much in accord with it. Because he wants us to live our lives openly and boldly as professing Christians.”

And once Trump’s presidency began there was the refusal of anyone but his base to look at Trump in any way other than at his manifest sins. The fundamental unfairness of the Left and parts of the Right became immediately apparent.  The corruption of the Lincoln Project is now well known but even in the beginning the folks were against Trump were often - but not always - those who were already totally discredited, folks like Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, George W. Bush and other neocon hawks eager to boss the world.  

The Left has long been the thought and speech police so one might think that stretching the boundary of acceptable discourse would give a greater freedom of thought, like the way exercising a muscle might make it stronger and more resilient.  But the opposite seems to have happened -- even before the abuses of freedom of speech that lead to the capitol riot. We have less freedom thanks to the social media titans and corporate media shills who sat on the Bobulinsky story. 

The Right tried to show what the Left was like by holding up a mirror. By teaching, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so shape up!”  We now know that far from chastening the Left these things only emboldened them. The riots on the Right that mirrored the Left’s has resulted in little repentance from the Left for the summer riots that led directly to the “hey, then we can do that too!” from the Right. 

And yes conspiracy theories are Trumpian specialities that drag down the movement but the funny thing happened on the way to the Forum - Jeffrey Epstein was allowed to skate on during the mid 2000s for reasons unclear.  In 2015 ABC’s head honchos squashed a Jeffrey Epstein expose by reporter Amy Robach despite it being a blockbuster story. Finally Epstein was arrested, jailed and tried to commit "suicide”.  It didn’t work then but, despite this helpful advance notice, he did die in prison shortly thereafter anyway.  

If you want people to not believe in conspiracy theories you best explain Epstein. How he got off scot-free in 2006, was protected by the press thereafter, later put everyone from AG Barr on down that he was a suicide risk, and then died anyway because of some combination of failed cameras, failed guards, stopped suicide watch, etc... It’s still apparently being “investigated”.  Yeah, right. The best you can say that if you are among the rich and elite you can game the system. Which isn’t exactly a whole lot more comforting than saying there’s a conspiracy theory involved. 

So I’ve been woke by how evil the Left really is.  It’s a spiritual battle.

January 13, 2021

A Special Conspiracy Theory Edition!

So they say the penchant for conspiracy theories is in the American blood, indigenous, which makes it all the more important to resist the sway where you can. (Sometimes you can’t: i.e. Jeffery Epstein). So it would’ve been prudent to take this natural fact of human nature and avoid needlessly opaque measures around, say, our voting system. We fully deserve the conspiracy theories around the Dominion machines since it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that centralized voting would result in assertions of widespread fraud. 

Way back in 2004 this Guardian article called out how electronic voting is dangerous because it erodes the natural limits of fraud. 

State boundaries and competing political bosses often stood as firewalls against wholesale, national election fraud. The new standardised systems with poor security arrangements allow theft to be automated and instantaneous from coast to coast.


The electronic voting story may be nothing more than a case of engineering incompetence blended with corporate greed living alongside political expediency. On the other hand, it may be more sinister. 

Some conspiracists say that conspiracy theories are planted by nefarious bigwigs in order to hide or distract from tamer but still illegal activity.  Who knows? Turtles all the way down.  The true conspiracy theorists are those who say all the conspiracy theories are false. 


Which brings us to a figure of interest. Catherine Austin Fitts seems a perfectly impressive citizen but with some really, really wild theories about what’s happening of late, from covid vaccines to GMOs.  


An investment banker, she became “the first woman promoted to managing director of Dillon, Read & Co. and became what Businessweek described as ‘Wall Street's foremost champion’ of public utilities bonds.” She was later appointed as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing in the Bush 43 administration where she was "billed as the 'cleaning lady of HUD', charged with repairing its reputation in the aftermath of the savings and loan crisis.” 


She wrote the forward to a 9/11 truther named Michael Ruppert who “moved on” to worries about peak oil:


According to The Wall Street Journal, his book Crossing the Rubicon was a "favorite among conspiracy theorists." After writing it, and subsequently moving on to peak oil, he said "I walked away from 9/11 five years ago," he says. "I have nothing to do with the 9/11 truth movement."


Critic David Corn argued that Ruppert on occasion veered off into making unsubstantiated conspiracy theory claims and has criticized Ruppert's methodology, dismissing the idea that conspiracy theorizing is useful: "In fact, out-there conspiracy theorizing serves the interests of the powers-that-be by making their real transgressions seem tame in comparison."


His book was made into a documentary and shows the seductive nature of conspiracies: 


"The power of 'Col­lapse' is that Rup­pert ... never sounds like a crack­pot," En­ter­tainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiber­man wrote af­ter the movie's Toronto International Film Fes­ti­val pre­miere in Sep­tember. "You may want to dis­pute him, but more than that you'll want to hear him, be­cause what he says—right or wrong, prophecy or para­noia—takes up res­i­dence in your mind."


Still, his 2009-era comment certainly resonates today given how covid killed off a zillion small businesses: 


“Un­til you change the way money works, you change noth­ing. The cur­rent eco­nomic par­adigm calls for in­fi­nite growth, from frac­tional re­serve bank­ing to com­pact in­ter­est. So Wall Street needs to some­how help us find an econ­omy that works with­out re­quir­ing more and more con­sump­tion.”


____


So let’s look at Jimmy Akin’s podcast on the “Great Reset” and Davos and covid being released to accomplish globalist control:


--Let’s start with the most extreme theory—that the World Economic Forum released the Corona virus in order to create the opportunity for the Great Reset. 


I don’t see any evidence for that. And, given the alarmist nature of the claim and the absence of evidence, I would classify it as irresponsible speculation.


The implausibility of the claim also can be used to discredit legitimate concerns about the Great Reset. 


If you want your criticisms of the proposal to be taken seriously, you should stay away from this particular claim unless you have hard evidence to back it up.


___


Catherine Austin Fitts wild theories:

Her theory is a “transhumanism” is coming where people are injected with tracking software and mentions an IMF presentation on cross border payments where the Fed reserve chairman blanched. The head of IMF mentioned a digital global ID system and the Fed Reserve chairman moved way way from that, acting as if the IMF guy was giving away a secret. 


Goal is to manage people. Slavery is most profitable system and has been forever. More profitable than any industry and has been around forever. This allows for slavery. Universal basic income (UBI) is a way to entrap the masses, buy them off.


There are 37 branches of Federal Reserve in U.S. 34 of the bank locations had riots. Opportunity zones in 2018 were created to avoid capital gains. Minneapolis. and Ohio too. These zones are very valuable to folks like Jeff Bezos because they can buy the property and thus have their capital gains from sale of stock free. 


She says it makes economics of building the smart grid out in the Fed cities easier, around the banks. Which is what you’d want to do if you’re going to come out with a crypto system.


Disaster capitalism it’s called. 


Satellite system being put up in the orbital platform.


Traditionally, the control behind reserve currency came through sea lanes, but as we’ve moved into space it’s been controlled by satellites and sea lanes. Trump talks about “magical weapons” in space and is hushed up. The player who has the most dominant position in space will have the power to control the whole planet.


January 12, 2021

Peace With the Election Result

So now we’re seeing how it gamed out, this four year experiment where Republicans tried to fight like Democrats, of thinking that the standards set by one party could apply to the other. The experiment of seeing if the GOP could breathe the same free air that Democrats enjoy, the ability to make mistakes without serious cost. To stop being the “manage decline”/ “go along to get along” party. 

It didn’t end well. Riots for me, not for thee. And just three years ago Nancy Pelosi tweeted: "Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts." 

The room to maneuver on social media was shrinking rapidly pre-election; social media had been blamed for the rise of Trump, his platform on Twitter and the Facebook “bots” or nots. So the SM titans were going to “make things right” and facilitate a Biden election. Zuckerberg did his penance by putting up ballot boxes on key urban districts and Twitter banned articles about the Hunter Biden laptop. 

But as far as the election fraud issue goes, the power player wasn’t with the media. It was the state legislatures. The courts weren’t interested, which is their prerogative. The media certainly wasn’t interested, which merely showed they sucked at their job. You may get fired but usually there’s no statute against not doing your job.  

In the end if you can’t convince a state legislature then what is there but to accept the outcome? It’s akin to someone being found not guilty by a jury of your peers. It doesn’t mean they didn’t do the crime but it certainly means the outcome for the suspect (in this case the election) is as if he were innocent. 

Sure, state legislatures are political bodies and thus respond to their constituents who in turn respond to media.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it all came down to state legislatures and they could not be convinced. They were the bg players. No one was going to come in and do their job for them, not the courts or Trump or the Congress. 

So if there is peace to be found in the election result it’s not that fraud didn’t take place or that it wasn’t stolen, it’s that people elected by the people in state legislatures made their call. Got to dance with the one that brung ya. 

January 10, 2021

Turning the Hymn Around

Graced by a moment during Communion: it dawned on me the prayer I’ve said daily for well nigh a year now (based on one of the few sappy ‘70s hymns that I actually like!) was reflected back to me. 

The original lyrics go:

“Take our bread, we ask you take our hearts, we love you take our lives.” 

And I pray, “take my bread [thinking ‘help me to give of my wealth'], take my heart ['let me have pure motives'], take my life [‘direct me towards you'].” 

But the lyrics apply to Him as well as if he were speaking to us: “Take My bread, take My Heart, take My Life”.  “Take” as in “this is for you”. I’m always tempted to think I am making an effort to give first to him without realizing he’d already done the same towards me. 

___

Also thought about how Mary, the new Eve without original Sin, before the visit from Gabriel presumably prayed for a messiah to save Israel and we see her prayer was answered in a way so amplified.  The effectiveness of a prayer coming from a human without sin or even Original Sin must’ve been profound, and indeed it was effectuated to an extent far exceeding Mary’s wish.  

"The prayer of a righteous man avails much” goes the psalm, so imagine the prayer of the only truly righteous human other than Jesus.  And we don’t have to imagine since we see the result, having experienced the fruit of her prayer on Christmas. 

January 08, 2021

The Fascinating Colorado Sec of State

One of the more interesting things about the election was not that the media labeled Sidney Powell’s fraud assertions half-baked and crazy, but of the remarkably defensive reaction to the story. Google search engine results altered, Dominion staff removed from LinkedIn, Colorado Sec of State pulling files off state’s website, Eric Coomer disappears, Dominion lawyers up and then immediately hire GOP insider Michael Steele, etc...   

Plausible explanations include a concern over appearances of election integrity as well as for the safety of Dominion employees. 

But something always felt off about it: the warp speed/haste and the lack of a comparable situation for potential negative stories concerning just about anything else. It smelled bad. 

So one small thing was the Colorado Sec of State removing an innocuous paragraph biography of Eric Coomer (screen captured before it was removed): 

Which lead me to curiosity about this youngest Sec of State in the U.S.  Her name is Jena Griswold and in 2014, aged 27, she married a fellow named Enab from Cairo.  First name Mohamed. But she’s not advertising it. There are no photos of them together other than a wedding photo from a WaPo story:


Her Sec of State campaign the “About Jena” page sports this picture. The guy in the first photo doesn’t look like the guy in the second one.  Maybe her father or ?
 



Her twitter background also image lacks hubby:


Maybe he’s camera-shy. 

Coincidently, or not, there’s a fellow with the same name into cybersecurity also from Cairo. He's listed in his Twitter bio as now living in Spain. 

Here is a picture from his Enab's LinkedIn.  Same as the fellow in the wedding photo?  




He asked a coding question of StackOverflow expert Darren Ruane in 2019 (below). 










Update: 

The latest is that she managed to become chair of the Democrat Secretaries of State, a stepping board perhaps to a run for Senate. She was featured on WSJ podcast as expert in election law during 2020 election despite her transparent bias. I fear she's an up and comer and a dangerous one at that. 

Her odd political success despite being by all appearances a horrible executive (see this, this, and this) might be due to Barack Obama's influence, who she worked starting in 2012.  

Her marriage seems kaput as she wrote recently, "[thanks] to my supportive partner Mario".  With Enab living in Spain it seems there's a new beau in town.  

A little biographical background: she was born in Ohio (and most of her family is still near Toledo) and was born of Michael and Reva, estranged from the former. In high school she was already globe-trotting hippie and SJW:

As a high school exchange student living in Argentina, Jena Marie Griswold discovered her love of dance and grew to appreciate its capacity to facilitate cross-cultural understanding.

Later, as a junior at Whitman College, Griswold spent a study abroad semester in Botswana, once again turning to dance as a way to connect with the local Tswana culture.

Now, a few months shy of graduating from Whitman, Griswold is poised to incorporate dance as an imaginative prelude to her plans for a legal career in the realm of social justice.

It seems like she's Trump-like in trying to make people fear her, but her lack of people skills may limit her rise. She ain't no Obama. 

January 05, 2021

The Latin Mass Balm

Sunday was the feast of the Epiphany and I always feel a bit shamed by the stories of the three wise men as well as by the presentation when Simeon came and held the baby Jesus.  While I can wonder if I would’ve been a follower of Christ in his day, I can’t imagine having had the eyes to see the baby Jesus in those terms. These are the limits of purely human knowledge: while we can see and appreciate Christ’s miracles and perhaps believe, we can’t begin to see a mere baby as Lord of Heaven and earth without supernatural help - which Simeon, Anna, and the wise men all had. 


My least favorite Bible stories as a kid were the ones that seemed the least credible, like how Jesus simply told some of his apostles to follow him and they dropped their professions and followed Him even before He did any miracles. And like the ones where prophets like Simeon and Anna enthused greatly over the baby (to the point of Simeon saying, “ok, you can let me die now Lord”). Somehow I could appreciate the multiplication of the loaves and fishes more than human beings enthusing over what looked like a normal baby (Jesus) and what looked like a normal man (Jesus, at the very beginning of his ministry). 

And yet in these cases God has the power to open eyes in ways mysterious. Simeon no doubt had many “coincidences” and dreams and visions that led him to go to the Temple that morning. Similarly the apostles no doubt felt a power in Jesus that was literally otherworldly but one that was not given to others. Alternatively, they were simply open to it.

___

I headed to St. Leo’s for a high mass on Sunday.  I’d been starved for one as it’d been pre-Covid since my last time but apparently everybody in Columbus was starved for it too because this joint was hopping. A covid hotbed of some two hundred people under one roof, most without masks because for reasons unclear the politically conservative position is not to wear masks. The state of Ohio mandates masks and people don’t like to be told what to do so maybe that’s the reason. 

The electrically charged atmosphere was touched off by a simple gesture: the young alter servers in their late teens or early 20s processing up the aisle with the bearing of military soldiers: very, very slow with impeccable posture, like the Marines at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And it caught me off guard, how moving it was. Such a simple thing and I realized how affected we are by ritual, reverence and the silent attitudes of the body. It gave me an immediate reminder, by their physical demeanor, that God is holy and worthy of adoration. 

Part of it was simply that they were young. It doesn’t have the same effect as a priest (professionally pious) or someone beyond their 30s (slower metabolism). It’s always the push-against-the-goad that really reaches us, the sacrificial aspect. We are slaves to sacrifice because we were born for Jesus and Jesus is sacrifice writ large. 

Listened to the great choir do the Latin chants, “Kyrie” being as affecting as always. It was almost like travel and I felt the sore hunger to experience art, church, music, and the tangibility of God.

___

Speaking of Latin masses, funny to see my mother-in-law, as "low church” as it gets, in her assisted living hearing Latin being chanted. This was certainly not expected. Turns out she was watching EWTN with a mass said in Latin. I guess even non-Catholics get desperate enough to watch Catholic TV sometimes, especially when they’re in assisted living under lockdown orders due to a nurse testing positive for covid. 

January 02, 2021

Andy McCarthy’s National Review Column

Andy McCarthy has a column complaining about Trump’s election fraud charges and meanders along a long path with seeming contradictions like Trump is dangerous but at the same time is a paper tiger because he didn’t really do any of the things he threatened to do during his presidency. 

He also makes the point that Trump’s mouth is the reason Biden got twelve million more votes than Obama. Surprising to me, because Trump's actions in office have been positive and there’s a simple way (if requiring discipline) for Americans to avoid his mouth: don’t watch cable TV news and don’t follow him on social media. 

Trump’s assertion of fraud in the election results is pure Trump in that it places a mirror before his opponent's faces. In this case, a pattern set by Democrats from Al Gore to Stacey Abrams. Trump's whole modus operandi has been “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. 

He differentiates himself most by using the power of the corporate media and turning it against them like some sort of jujitsu. Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barak Obama didn’t need to use jujitsu since the media loved their charismatic selves.  And Republicans like the Bushes tried to placate the tiger by smiling a lot and trying to appear unthreatening. But Trump allowed everyone to so overplay their hand as to make him a sympathetic figure. Amazingly. 

Contesting close elections is the new normal so people best get in tune with reality. Just as Scalia would never get a Democrat vote in his confirmation hearing today, close elections going forward are going to be examined by a proctologist. 

Times change, which is why our crap voting system needs to become more transparent and trustworthy. Be nice if National Review focused on that instead of titling at the windmills of poor politician character (pardon the redundancy). 

January 01, 2021

Sasse Won’t Let Air Out of Fraud Balloon

Alleged 2020 election fraud came in three broad types: garden variety (dead people voting), unethically legal (Twitter/FB/media suppressing news and states involved in non-secure voting), and electronic. 

The latter is the most interesting because it’s by far the most offensive. I can live with the rounding error of typical fraud and even of a tilted playing field but the idea that the security expert of Dominion is sympathetic to Antifa is capable of acting on that is ... painful. 

Sen. Ben Sasse wrote an impassioned FB post recently in which he laid out his case against election fraud.  He did not speak the name which cannot be said in polite company (“Dominion”) or reference electronic voting whatsoever.  I can think of a few reasons:

1. He thinks that the idea is absurd and considers it a conspiracy theory on the same level as LBJ killed JFK therefore not worthy of mention. This may work in that it’s a pseudo-suppression of a possibility he doesn’t want to give wider circulation - like how Twitter banned Hunter Biden laptop news. But making it the “forbidden fruit” has problems of its own. It’s remarkable how resistant the refusal of anyone on the “responsible Right” to attempt to take the air out of this type of potential fraud by making vague promises to “look into” voting software. It seems electronic voting vendors have become as crucial a component of our democracy as electricity is to our welfare.

2. He believes fraud could not happen in electronic voting based on insider knowledge on the forensics and the cyber security agency. Note: he did not say this though and it seems like it would’ve been noteworthy. This absence  speaketh volumes. 

3. He believes fraud could happen but unless you have suspicion of it you cannot mention it due to the destabilizing impact on the country. 

Which is more or less what he said in his post, that you cannot allege fraud without some suspicion and used the example of calling the college football selection committee rigged because his Cornhuskers didn’t get in. 

But there is more transparency with a committee than in the machines. The committee has names and faces and is not controlled by computer code nor algorithms. The previous computerized selection process was found wanting by the scions of college football after only a handful of years.  So they went the old-fashioned route: people gathering in a room with paper and pencil. 

Let’s say computerized rankings are used again to determine college football rankings and the code was in the hands of an OSU grad. Wouldn’t there be intellectual curiosity?  I know we’re supposed to "trust the code” because the CISA told us so but their credibility after Solarwinds seems strained.