Social Justice=More Power to Caesar

 

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C.S. Lewis

 

 

A fascinating video from Prager University with Jonah Goldberg noting that liberals tend to use social justice as a catch phrase to pursue a new program by government.  In that context the phrase has little meaning with as little substance as saying “I support policy A and policy A is “good”.” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Theodore Roosevelt and the Christmas Tree

Santa Roosevelt 2

In the actual world a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid downgrade.

Theodore Roosevelt, 1917 interview Ladies Home Journal-Among his ten reasons to go to church every Sunday

 

 

 

Colonel Roosevelt, he hated being called Teddy and preferred being called Colonel, loved Christmas.  Whenever he was at home he would always appear at the local school in his home town as Santa, to dispense gifts he bought to the local kids, a fact highlighted in his local paper after he died:

He was a village institution as the master of ceremonies over the Christmas tree in Christ Episcopal Church, and in the role of Santa Claus at the Cove Neck School, near Sagamore Hill, where all of his children learned the A B C’s. Last Christmas was the first time that Colonel Roosevelt had failed to take charge of these functions since he left the White House, with the exception of the Christmas of 1913, when he was on his way to South America. His son, Captain Archie, took his place last Christmas as the Santa Claus of the Cove Neck School.

Roosevelt was a religious man with a deep love of the Bible and a strong faith in Christ.  It therefore comes as a surprise to learn that Roosevelt initially did not want a Christmas tree in the White House after he became President.

Matt Archbold at National Catholic Register brings us this story about President Roosevelt and the Christmas Tree:

President Theodore Roosevelt, an avowed environmentalist, banned Christmas trees from the White House during his presidency. The president was against real Christmas trees because he feared that Christmas trees would lead to deforestation. Mind you, at the time Christmas trees were very controversial with environmentalists. President William McKinley even reportedly received a letter in 1899 saying Christmas trees were “arboreal infanticide” and “un-American.”

Roosevelt’s action was intended to inspire Americans to just say no to Christmas trees. Clearly his bully pulpit didn’t have the effect he wanted, even on his own children.

In 1902, Roosevelt’s two youngest sons, Archie and Quentin, went outside and cut down a smallish tree right there on the White House grounds, snuck back into the White House, and hid it in a closet. The two boys decorated the tree in secret and even enlisted the help of an electrician on staff at the White House to help decorate it with lights. When Christmas morning came, Archie gathered his family outside the closet, turned on the switch, and opened the door to reveal the tree decorated with gifts for the entire family.

Roosevelt acknowledged the event in a letter in which he wrote:

Yesterday Archie got among his presents a small rifle from me and a pair of riding boots from his mother. He won’t be able to use the rifle until next summer, but he has gone off very happy in the riding boots for a ride on the calico pony Algonquin, the one you rode the other day. Yesterday morning at a quarter of seven all the children were up and dressed and began to hammer at the door of their mother’s and my room, in which their six stockings, all bulging out with queer angles and rotundities, were hanging from the fireplace. So their mother and I got up, shut the window, lit the fire (taking down the stockings of course), put on our wrappers and prepared to admit the children. But first there was a surprise for me, also for their good mother, for Archie had a little birthday tree of his own which he had rigged up with the help of one of the carpenters in a big closet; and we all had to look at the tree and each of us got a present off of it. There was also one present each for Jack the dog, Tom Quartz the kitten, and Algonquin the pony, whom Archie would no more think of neglecting that I would neglect his brothers and sisters. Then all the children came into our bed and there they opened their stockings.

According to the website White House Christmas Cards Teddy was “amused by his boys’ ingenuity” but took him to see his friend and environmental advisor, Gifford Pinchot, to explain to horrors of chopping down Christmas trees. But a funny thing happened.

To his surprise, Pinchot went into a lengthy explanation regarding how sometimes, cutting down some larger trees was in the best interests of forests, as it allowed a larger number of smaller young trees to receive the sunlight they need to flourish. While there is no public record of any other Christmas tree being displayed in the White House during Roosevelt’s presidency, a number of environmental acts and reforestation laws had been passed by the end of his term, and the public controversy over the use of live trees for decorative and traditional use had subsided for the time being.

→']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

PopeWatch: Daniel Anrig

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

 

If Pope Francis is ever assassinated, please recall this story:

He has dismissed and demoted cardinals, bishops and the Vatican secretary of state, and now Pope Francis’s reformist zeal has claimed a new scalp – the head of his own private army, the Swiss Guard.

→']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Messianic Prophesies: Jeremiah 23: 5-6

 

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102 and 2013, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here and here we come to Jeremiah 23: 5-6:

 

 [5] Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth.

[6] In those days shall Juda be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call him: the Lord our just one.

Pope Leo in Sermon 28, his great Christmas sermon, illuminates this passage for us: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Abortion and Christmas

Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report Comedian Steve Crowder gets serious in the above video, looking at the havoc that abortion wreaks on the population of kids with special needs. He is correct that such children and adults tend to be abstractions until you get to know them, and you then realize that each one of them is unique, just like the rest of us.  As my family approaches our second Christmas without our beloved Larry, that is a truth that rings home with me.  In my memories of him his autism hardly enters in as a drawback.  What I tend to recall are things like the artistic way he would arrange food on his plate when he made his snacks, his ability to always know what the date was without reference to a calendar, his habit of playing certain scenes in videos over and over again on his computer as he saw and heard things that obviously eluded me, his snickers when he realized one of his siblings was in trouble, his impromptu midnight strolls without telling anyone, the way he would always circle around the house to go in the backdoor, etc.  My life was immeasurably richer for his presence and is immeasurably poorer for his absence.  At Christmas time let us renew our commitment to end abortion, that robs us all of encountering so many people who, in the most unlikely ways, could light our own path through this Vale of Tears.  A babe born in a stable 2000 years ago irrevocably changed for the better the path of mankind, God’s majestic way of underlining for us that each life is a precious gift, and usually not just to the recipient of life.

PopeWatch: Wittenberg Candidate Pope?

 

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa has a fascinating look at the relationship of Pope Francis with the evangelicals who have made such devastating inroads among the Catholic populations in South America:

ROME, November 19, 2014 – With the mastery for which it is known all over the world, the Washington-based Pew Research Center has conducted a survey on a massive scale that gives substance to a fact that was already known in general terms, the startling decline of Catholic membership in the Latin American subcontinent:

> Religion in Latin America. Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region

In the geographical area that is used today to indicate the new center of mass of the worldwide Catholic Church, midway through the last century almost the entirety of the population, 94 percent, was made up of Catholics. And still in 1970 Catholics were in the overwhelming majority, at 92 percent.

But then came the collapse. Today the proportion of Catholics is 23 points lower, at 69 percent of the population. The negative record belongs to Honduras, where Catholics have dropped to under half, from 94 to 46 percent. To get an idea of how sharp the decline has been, it should be enough to think that it has taken place entirely within the time span of the episcopal ministry of Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa and coordinator of the eight cardinals called by Pope Francis to assist him in the governance of the universal Church.

The collapse in the number of Catholics has been accompanied everywhere by the exuberant growth of “evangelical” and Pentecostal Christians, of Protestant descent. This was known too, but the Pew Research Center has highlighted that those who are passing from one membership to another are not usually the most lukewarm in their faith, but the most fervent.

The converts to the “evangelical” communities turn out, in fact, to be much more dynamic in propagating the Christian faith. And there is also a difference in helping the poor. While the Catholics assist them and that’s it, the “evangelicals” are not only more active in works of charity, but also do not miss the opportunity to preach the Christian faith to the poor.

There is also a great discrepancy in religious practice. In Argentina, for example, the “evangelicals” who put great emphasis on religion in their lives, pray every day and go to church every week are 41 percent, while the Catholics are just 9 percent and take last place in the rankings together with Chile and secularized Uruguay.

The survey of the Pew Research Center also demonstrates that converts from Catholicism to the “evangelical” communities are not drawn by greater leniency on the matters of abortion or homosexuality.

The reality is the opposite. Those most resolute in opposing abortion and marriage between persons of the same-sex are found among the neo-Protestants, not among the Catholics.

In Argentina, for example, more than half of Catholics, 53 percent, say they are in favor of homosexual “marriage,” which is already legal in that country. While among the neo-Protestants those in favor are 32 percent.

The survey of the Pew Research Center is a must-read, rich as it is in data on this epochal phenomenon.

And it is therefore understandable that a pastor like Jorge Mario Bergoglio – who as an Argentine has experienced in person the collapse of Catholic membership in his country and on the continent – should wish to act accordingly.

Otherwise there is no explanation, in fact, for the incessant efforts that Pope Francis is undertaking with the world leaders of those “evangelical” and Pentecostal movements that in Latin America are the most fearful competitors of the Catholic Church. Not to fight them, but to make them his friends.

It is an effort that he began long before his election as pope, and that most recently had its most conspicuous moment in the visit that he made to Caserta last July 27 to meet the Pentecostal pastor Giovanni Traettino, who has been his friend since he was archbishop of Buenos Aires:

> Francis’s Secret Friend in Caserta

In the addressee gave on that occasion, Pope Francis presented his vision of ecumenical relations as”unity in diversity”: a sort of universal Church in the form of a prism of which the Catholic Church would be one facet, on a par with the other Churches and denominations.

It is not clear how Francis might harmonize this vision of his with what is stated by the previous magisterium of the Church in matters of ecumenism. The fact is that he takes it greatly to heart, as emerges from the frequent informal talks that he gives to one or another of the “evangelical” pastors he encounters.

Pope Bergoglio usually receives them at Santa Marta. Or he reaches them in various places of the world with live video messages. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

The Papacy of Resentment and Its Future

US Them

I find it striking how often Pope Francis engages in pejoratives against people who really tick him off.  The list of people who Pope Francis clearly does not like includes “fundamentalists”, the rich, conservatives, capitalists, self-absorbed promethean neopelagians, etc.  One could be forgiven for thinking that for decades Pope Francis has been carefully putting groups he does not like in a “them” category as opposed to the “us” category he belongs to, and that his papacy is payback time against the thems.  A striking example of this occurred recently:

The Argentine pope, who has been trying to foster cooperation with moderate Islam in order to work for peace and protect Christians in the Middle East, said it was wrong for anyone to react to terrorism by being “enraged” against Islam.

“You just can’t say that, just as you can’t say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them (fundamentalists). All religions have these little groups,” he said.

Now in this throwaway line Pope Francis manages to compare people who massacre people in job lots, Islamic jihadists, with Christians he labels “fundamentalists”.  I assume that the Pope is using the term in a non-technical sense, and isn’t referring to the Protestant groups that arose out of the Niagara Bible Conferences of 1876-1897.  In a Catholic context who he is referring to is clear enough as demonstrated by the ongoing persecution of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate.  The Pope seems to have the likes and dislikes of a fairly typical modern Jesuit, and looked at through that prism much of the apparent confusion surrounding the Pope’s statements melts away.  →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

December 2, 1864: Non-Siege of Nashville Begins

Nashville_campaign_svg

 

One of the oddest episodes in the history of the Civil War begins.  His army badly mangled at the battle of Franklin, Hood entrenches his army before the Union lines at Nashville.

Hood explained his rationale for doing so in his official report of the campaign which he submitted on February 15, 1865:

On the 2d of December the army took position in front of Nashville, about two miles from the city. Lieutenant-General Lee’s corps constituted our center, resting upon the Franklin pike, with Cheatham’s corps upon the right and Stewart’s on the left, and the cavalry on either flank, extending to the river. I was causing strong detached works to be built to cover our flanks, intending to make them inclosed works, so as to defeat any attempt of the enemy should he undertake offensive movements against our flank and rear. The enemy still held Murfrees-borough with about 6,000 men, strongly fortified; he also held small forces at Chattanooga and Knoxville. It was apparent that he would soon have to take the offensive to relieve his garrisons at those points or cause them to be evacuated, in which case I hoped to capture the forces at Murfreesborough, and should then be able to open communication with Georgia and Virginia. Should he attack me in position I felt that I could defeat him, and thus gain possession of Nashville with abundant supplies for the army. This would give me possession of Tennessee. Necessary steps were taken to furnish the army with supplies, which the people were ready and willing to furnish. Shoe-shops were in operation in each brigade. We had captured sufficient railroad stock to use the road to Pulaski, and it was already in successful operation. Having possession of the State, we should have gained largely in recruits, and could at an early day have moved forward to the Ohio, which would have frustrated the plans of the enemy, as developed in his campaign toward the Atlantic coast. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

PopeWatch: Francis Effect?

 

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Tom Kingston at Politico believes that the Francis papacy is good news for the Democrats:

As Barack Obama’s foes lined up against him during the mid-term elections, one warring party was conspicuously absent from the battlefield: America’s Catholic bishops, the “culture warriors” who have fought hard against Obama’s health care provisions on contraception and against same-sex marriages.

 

It could hardly have been a coincidence that, across the Atlantic, the bishops’ boss, Pope Francis, had expressed his disapproval for the politicization of the church, and urged a softer, more accommodating approach to traditionally incendiary issues like gay marriage, contraception and immigration. Or that within days of the midterms, the pope unceremoniously fired Cardinal Raymond Burke—who during the 2004 presidential election said he would deny communion to Democratic candidate John Kerry or any Catholic politician who supported legalized abortion — from his position as head of the Vatican’s highest court and removed him to a largely ceremonial post as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Assuming the pope’s tenure continues, it’s reasonable to think that America’s Catholic leadership will tone down their political activities in 2016 as well.

After replacing protestant preachers as America’s religious watchdogs in the last decade, the bishops’ apparent retreat from the 2014 fray was, for many, the first sign that American politics is feeling the effects of Pope Francis’s less confrontational brand of Catholicism.

“Pope Francis has discouraged conservatives and emboldened moderates – his message is that hurling political anathemas from the pulpit is not a good idea,” said John Allen, associate editor of Catholic news site Crux. “During the mid-terms this year we saw no threats to deny communion to candidates and no pastoral letters from bishops which made it impossible for Catholics to vote Democrat. My sense is the bishops will keep a robust pro-life agenda but with less of a rhetorical edge.”

The demotion of Burke – who had also issued a pastoral letter telling Catholics not to vote for pro-abortion candidates —was an especially jarring message for U.S. politicians because Burke, the former bishop of St. Louis, is an American. And clearly the kind of public stance taken in the past by clerics like Burke has had some impact: One of the striking results of the 2004 presidential election, when the born-again, anti-abortion George W. Bush was running against John Kerry, a Roman Catholic, was that the Catholic vote went against Kerry, 52 percent to 47 percent. In more recent elections the Catholic vote has tended more Democratic—President Obama carried Catholics 50 percent to 48 percent in 2012— and Francis’s influence could accelerate that trend.

Go here to read the rest.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air dashes some cold water on this Democrat fever dream: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Rebel Yell

I have been listening lately as I drive about to an audio book, Rebel Yell:  The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson  by SC Gwynne.    I purchased the audio book with a bit of diffidence since I have been studying Jackson for a half century now, and I thought I had little to learn about him, either as a man or as a general.  I was wrong.  In  brilliantly written prose Gwynne has given me a better understanding of the evolution of Jackson throughout his life as both a human being and a soldier.  Jackson in many ways was an odd duck.  Often harsh and unyielding in matters of either military discipline or violations of his strict beliefs of right and wrong, Jackson was unfailingly kind and sweet in his personal relations with almost all the people he encountered in this Vale of Tears.

Most of us can act very differently under different circumstances, but Jackson was almost a different person depending upon how a person encountered him.  As a general he could be a martinet who would refuse a subordinate during the Valley Campaign time to go to the bedside of his dying children, explaining that the needs of the service must always come first.  However, he could then surrender his bed to a subordinate officer he did not like when he learned that the man was unwell.  He shot men out of hand for desertion following swift military trials, and he could weep like a child upon learning of the death of a child he had known from Scarlet Fever.  Suggesting at the beginning of the War that the Confederacy should raise the Black Flag and take no prisoners of invaders from the North, during the War he allowed Union surgeons to continue treating captured Union wounded and then freed them to return to their own lines.  Ostensibly a man fighting to help the South preserve slavery, he founded a Sunday school for blacks in the teeth of resistance in his home town and taught blacks to read in violation of Virginia state law.  A grim religious warrior who would have been at home in the ranks of Cromwell’s Ironsides during the English Civil War, he became a good friend of General Jeb Stuart, the embodiment of the Cavalier legend of the South.  Complex has always been a word that pops into my mind when I think of Thomas Jonathan Jackson, and Gwynne holds up to the readers all of these contradictory facets of Jackson and manages the considerable feat of making his readers see the whole man behind them. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Perhaps the Riot Queen Can Explain Things to the Widow?

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The Ferguson riots that have spilled over to Saint Louis have claimed a life.

 

 

 

While heading home from a bar in St. Louis around 1:15 a.m., Begic, his newlywed wife and a friend had their vehicle surrounded by a group a teenagers who began banging on it. When Begic stepped out of his car to confront them, he was yelled at and struck with hammers in his head, abdomen and face, leaving him fatally injured. He died hours later at St. Louis University Hospital. After the assault, the teenagers ran away.

His wife of six months, after witnessing her husband’s death, said, “The last thing he did before he actually died was pull me out of the way and put himself in front of me, basically giving up his life for me.”

The friend in the vehicle, Suad Nuranjkovic, 49, said at least five teens started banging on the car. Nuranjkovic got out, ran and hid in a parking lot across the street during the attack. He said, “I was afraid that if one of them had a gun, they were going to shoot me, so I didn’t know what to do.”

Another Bosnian resident of St. Louis, Seldin Dzananovic, 24, said the teens had approached him about an hour before they attacked Begic, but he was able to fight them off with only minor injuries. He said, “I’m just lucky, God is on my side.”

Begic’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Time for Another Suppression?

Jesuits Everywhere

 

 

 

What is it with the modern day Jesuits?  With certain honorable exceptions, it is hard to view their antics without assuming that many of them are at heart atheists.  Father Z gives us a minor atrocity:

I don’t know about you, but I can’t see any value in having this hideous thing in a church.

This rubbish is now hanging in the Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church) of Vienna.

No.  Really.

Corriere della Sera has the sad story.

Need an explanation?  I’ll bet you do.   I’ll bet you all the money in your pocket that you can’t say what this thing represents without looking at an explanation.

“To be in limbo”.

Yes. I know.

This piece of… thing… is 8 meters high, weighs 700kg, and will stay there until 19 April 2015.  So, rush to Vienna to see it.

It is meant – I am not making this up – to symbolize “faith and its menacing aspects”.

Only Jesuits could allow into their church something that make the faith look like a piece of… thing.

If this isn’t the representation of self-absorbed promethean neopelagians, I don’t know what would be. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

The Chicago Way

Cupich

 

The new Archbishop of Chicago has a long history of hostility to the pro-life movement.  Brian Williams at One Peter Five notes that he seems much happier with pro-abort politicians:

 

In a homily this past June, Monsignor Henry Kriegel (pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania) referenced an evening spent dining with the well connected Catholic blogger Rocco Palma of Whispers in the Loggia. Regarding the impending episcopal appointment in Chicago, Msgr. Kriegel said at the time:

“…(Palma) told us who’s going to be the next archbishop of Chicago; a position which will be filled in September. And if he’s correct, it’s going to be the beginning of a whole new style of episcopal leadership in the American Catholic Church, away from these bombastic, confrontational, counter-cultural bishops to bishops who are much more conciliatory and overflowing, as Francis says, with mercy.

On Sunday’s edition of Face the Nation, recently installed Archbishop Blasé Cupich demonstrated that Chicago is indeed being introduced to a new style of episcopal leadership. This was nowhere more evident than the archbishop’s response to host Norah O’Donnell’s question regarding pro-abortion politicians and the reception of Communion:

O’DONNELL: So, when you say we cannot politicize the communion rail, you would give communion to politicians, for instance, who support abortion rights.

CUPICH: I would not use the Eucharist or as they call it the communion rail as the place to have those discussions or way in which people would be either excluded from the life of the church. The Eucharist is an opportunity of grace and conversion. It’s also a time of forgiveness of sins. So my hope would be that that grace would be instrumental in bringing people to the truth.

In other words, those who persist in mortal sin and public scandal through their continued political support of abortion should still receive the Eucharist. This very topic has been thoroughly addressed by canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters when discussing the specific case of U.S. Congresswoman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

“Canon 915, as I and others have explained many times, is not about impositions on individual conscience, it’s about public consequences for public behavior. It’s about taking people at their word and acknowledging the character of their actions. It’s about not pretending that people don’t really mean what they repeatedly say and what they repeatedly do.

(…)

“As a canon lawyer, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deserves to be deprived of holy Communion as the just consequence of her public actions; as her fellow Catholic, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deservesto be deprived of holy Communion to bring home to her and to the wider faith community the gravity of her conduct and the need to avoid such conduct altogether or, that failing, at least to repent of it. Quickly.”

Go here to read the rest.  Here is the comment of Cupich on his recent meeting with Obama: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

PopeWatch: Ecumenicalism Uber Alles

 

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Pope Francis continues the desperate attempts of his immediate predecessors to attain unity with an Orthodox Church that could clearly care less:

 

Francis kicked off his final day in Turkey with a liturgy alongside Bartholomew in the Orthodox Church of St. George, where incense mingled with hypnotic chants on an important feast day for the Orthodox Church.

The Catholic and Orthodox churches split in 1054 over differences on the primacy of the papacy, and there was a time when patriarchs had to kiss popes’ feet. At the end of a joint prayer service Saturday evening, Francis bowed to Bartholomew and asked for his blessing “for me and the Church of Rome,” a remarkable display of papal deference to an Orthodox patriarch that underscored Francis’ hope to end the schism.

In his remarks Sunday, Francis assured the Orthodox faithful gathered in St. George’s that unity wouldn’t mean sacrificing their rich liturgical or cultural patrimony or “signify the submission of one to the other, or assimilation.”

“I want to assure each one of you gathered here that, to reach the desired goal of full unity, the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith,” he said.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, acknowledged the novelty in Francis’ message. While experts from both churches continue to debate theological divisions between them, Francis and Bartholomew are “pushing with incredible strength toward union” through their frequent and warm personal contacts, Lombardi said. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Fury: A Review

And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me.  

Isaiah 6: 8   

If a man loves the world, the love of the
Father ain’t in him. For all in the
world, lust of the flesh, lust of the
eyes, the pride of life, is not of the
Father. But of the world.

Don “Wardaddy” Collier quoting John 2:15

 

 

I saw the movie Fury with my family on Saturday.  It is a superb, albeit grueling, look at an American tank crew in Germany in April 1945.  Go below for my review.  The usual caveat as to spoilers applies. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

After 31 Years, Finally

The sequel to Return of the Jedi will be released in December of 2015, titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

What makes this different from the previous three Star Wars prequels?  George Lucas had almost nothing to do with the making of the film.  Yes, no more Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks, or any other poor attempts at young children product placements that ultimately killed each prequel and Return of the Jedi.

Yes, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are in my opinion the best of the bunch.  Great special effects, storyline, and action.  Only to stumble with Return of the Jedi and the three prequels being prevented from being timeless classics.

The first trailer was produced for American audiences, the second trailer was made for the rest of the world.

What to look for?  Storm Troopers have a slightly redesigned appearance, the light saber now has two ‘light handle bars’, a Darth Sith “may” have survived from Return of the Jedi, and a few more minor tweaks to let you figure out.

Enjoy!

 

Riot Queen

Riot Queen

We last encountered Darlena Cunha when she wrote a column in the Washington Post in which she complained about feeling judged when she went to pick up government handouts in her Mercedes.  Go here to read about that unintentionally hilarious foray into obtuseness and entitlement.  Now she speaks up in Time Magazine in favor of the rioters and arsonists in Ferguson, Missouri:

When a police officer shoots a young, unarmed black man in the streets, then does not face indictment, anger in the community is inevitable. It’s what we do with that anger that counts. In such a case, is rioting so wrong?

Riots are a necessary part of the evolution of society. Unfortunately, we do not live in a universal utopia where people have the basic human rights they deserve simply for existing, and until we get there, the legitimate frustration, sorrow and pain of the marginalized voices will boil over, spilling out into our streets. As “normal” citizens watch the events of Ferguson unfurl on their television screens and Twitter feeds, there is a lot of head shaking, finger pointing, and privileged explanation going on. We wish to seclude the incident and the people involved. To separate it from our history as a nation, to dehumanize the change agents because of their bad and sometimes violent decisions—because if we can separate the underlying racial tensions that clearly exist in our country from the looting and rioting of select individuals, we can continue to ignore the problem. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

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