Reality Always Wins

Thursday, December 17, AD 2015



One of the recurring themes of this blog is that reality always prevails in the end. Professor Anthony Esolen, who has commented here, has a brilliant post at Crisis on this theme:


It may be that all of the mad errors of the last hundred years have risen from one first and terrible error: that of refusing to honor reality, including human reality, as it is. In generations past, if you did not honor reality, you paid for it swiftly and severely. Try to plant strawberries in a desert, or fig trees in a swamp, and your belly will tell you that you have been a fool, even if your mind is stubborn and slow to admit it. Send your women out with the oxen and the plow, the cross-cut saw and the mattock, while your boys do the laundry and the mending, and the very stones will testify to your stupidity. But our wealth and sophisticated technology are a great buffer between us and those stones. We can seem to ourselves, for a while, to get away with ignoring the real.

Not that we actually do get away with it. Ideologies treat man as if he could be pressed into any shape, like molten plastic poured into a form. Stalin tried his hand at the human extruding machine, ignoring the ordinary farmer’s love for the land to which he and his forebears had given their sweat and their souls. The result was to turn one of the great breadbaskets of the world, the Ukraine, into barrens, while six million people died—not before some of them had sunk below the beast and eaten their own dead. Mao tried his hand at the human extruding machine, ignoring the ordinary man’s piety towards his ancestors and their ways, and the result was a mass destruction of culture, and sixty million people dead.

These are flagrant sinners against God and the reality he made. But the murderer of only one man is a murderer all the same, and more pleasant or vacuous sinners against reality are still sinners and still work harm. In the aggregate they can destroy every bit as much as Stalin and Mao did. Abortion of course is one obvious example of a refusal to look at reality. The child-making act has as its natural and foreseeable end the making of a child. We do know this, just as we know that men should revere their parents and grandparents, and that people who have lived on a tract of land for a hundred years love it and will tend it more carefully than a cadre of bureaucrats could ever imagine. We simply pretend that we do not know it. We pretend that when a man and a woman do the child-making thing, and they make a child, it can strike them as an utter surprise, a bolt from the blue. If you are walking beside a row of high-rise row houses, and you are struck by a piano falling from a great height, that is a surprise, that is an unnerving accident. Not the other.


But, having stiffed the real and embraced a fantasy, here the ideology of sexual liberation, having played at being husband and wife without being husband and wife, we claim all at once to be Surprised by Baby, Dismayed by Baby, Utterly Undone by Baby, and, hence, we want Baby out of the way. To have it out of the way, we have to plunge ourselves even deeper into the unreal. We have to pretend that the baby is not human, when we know, of course, that it is, and that it is not alive, when we know that if it were dead, it would be called a miscarriage, and no moral problem would arise. We have to cleave our minds in half to have our lives of license whole.

So it is that Planned Parenthood, which has never helped any woman to become a parent, sells as human body parts the members of the human beings they have killed under the fiction that they were not human at all, calling it “medical care” when nothing is remediated. So also the Pill, destructive of the common good and (like all synthetic growth hormones) deleterious to the health of the women who use it, is called “medical care,” when no disease is cured, and no limb or organ is restored to its normal and natural function; rather, its purpose is to thwart the natural function of the reproductive system, even at the cost of the woman’s health. It is thus not like an inoculation to protect you against a communicable disease. It is like deliberately putting a joint out of socket.

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5 Responses to Reality Always Wins

  • Seen at Instapundit blog.

    “Magical thinking – Islam and the left (both cases omitted “evil” because it would be redundant), lack self-awareness; are incapable of introspection; make excuses for their excesses; and always attempt to exercise control/power.”

  • Professor Esolen’s piece in Crisis is excellent. Thanks for pointing
    it out, Mr. McClarey.

  • Let freedom ring. When the truth is written, the essay regardless of length, is succulent to behold. Anthony Esolen served up a winner.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Another great essay by Anthony Esolen.

    Reality: “The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.”

    Many people believe reality is what is perceived, not what is. They live in an imaginary reality, one of day dreams, of what might be. This could be due to ego centrism or selfishness. It a belief that we are in control and can make things happen the way we want.

    To face reality requires courage and commitment which, among many folks today, is simply lacking. Facing reality is much easier when we believe in God and have faith in Him and that He will help us.

    Perhaps the reason so many folks will not accept reality is because they do not have faith in God.

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Wendy Davis is Pro-life and War is Peace

Thursday, November 7, AD 2013


Laura Ingraham



Hattip to Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air.  Wendy Davis, Texas State Senator, who won her Senate seat running as a pro-abort with the help of the man who was and is the head of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and who is campaigning for governor of the Lone Star State on the strength of her ultimately futile filibuster against restrictions on abortion passed by the Texas legislature, has proclaimed herself pro-life.

Emily at Naked DC gives us the gruesome details:

She’s lagging because of a few key features of her campaign. First, it makes gun control a key issue in a state where not only are the people heavily armed, but the livestock as well. Second, she’s allied her communications with Organizing for Action’s Texas arm, which promptly ran an ad making a joke about Greg Abbott walking into the legislature, when it is abundantly clear to everyone who has ever seen Greg Abbott that he cannot walk. She had yet to talk about the cornerstone of her political career, her filibuster of a Texas law that prevents abortions after 20 weeks, which rolled the Texas abortion deadline back from 24 weeks.

She’s since corrected that oversight. Today, Wendy Davis, says she’s “pro-life.

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), best known for her 11-hour filibusteragainst a controversial bill aimed at severely cutting access to abortion services across the Lone Star State, said her views on abortion make her “pro-life.”

“I am pro-life,” Davis said during a campaign stop at the University of Texas at Brownsville, according to the Valley Morning Star.

“I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future,” Davis said. “I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”

B—h, please.

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10 Responses to Wendy Davis is Pro-life and War is Peace

  • A number of years ago, a pro-abortion colleague of mine tried convincing me that he was pro-life because he was anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-gun, and anti-death-row. I was shocked then that he was trying to twist the meaning of the word; I am not shocked now when I see politicians stating it.

  • “Wordsmiths.”
    Another description….”liars.”
    Many mill stones being gathered for the bottom of the lake. Maybe as they tie the stones neatly around their neck they’ll reassure themselves by saying it’s fashionable ballast for the “enlightened.”

  • Isaiah 5:20

    Ah, you who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!

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  • Much of the problem consists in the denial of the human being composed of body and soul; the denial of the human soul. Acknowledgement of the human soul is the basis for freedom, for it is in the human soul that all endowed unalienable human rights are vested.The devil’s strategy is divide and conquer. Having darkened the mind of man to the reality of the human soul, the devil proceeds to gain control, ownership of the human soul, to the detriment of man knowing God as our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

    Wendy Davis is a good example of an individual already sold into slavery by the devil. ““I care about the life of every child: every child that (WHO, not that, as WHO denotes sovereign personhood as the beneficiary of all unalienable human rights by virtue of the human being’s existence as a child of God, made in the image of God with free will from God and freedom from the state.) goes to bed hungry, every child that -(WHO)- goes to bed without a proper education, every child that -(WHO)- goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who (finally; -WHO- as acknowledging the rational, immortal soul of the adult member of society, the voter, while downgrading the child to a thing, a chattel, owned by the state. Yet the innocence and virginity, the sovereign personhood of the newly begotten child constitutes the state, our government, even before the unborn are certified as citizens, for the innocent soul establishes JUSTICE for the state and is the standard of JUSTICE.) worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future,”

    Acknowledgment of the innocent, virginal soul of the newly begotten person in the womb will assure that our constitutional posterity will have a decent future, steeped in unalienable human rights, the freedom to reason and acknowledge almighty God as the Endower of human rights.

    Davis said. “I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”

    Speaking to God is a human right of the First Amendment. The will to live is an act of the free will of the sovereign person. If the unborn is alive, he is thinking about God.

  • The right to life is the most fundamental right. On this right all others rest. Without it, all others are threatened and ultimately meaningless. Being “pro-life” is respecting and promoting human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

    In various periods of Church history,, the Church has had to grapple with doctrinal crises and arrive at a formula that would best express the saving truth under threat. Thus we brought. Forth such dogmas as: ” begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, “One God in three Persons”, “Jesus Christ, true God and true Man”, and many others.

    In today’s Church, the crisis is ultimately the “anthropological crisis”. While the actual phrase did not arise within a Council (Vatican II was not faced with the full anthropological crisis) the new phrase is based on its teaching and further developed bt Blessed John Paul II ‘s Evangelium Vitae ( theGospel of Life). That ‘doctrinal’ statement is: ” from the moment of conception until natural death”.

    With it, we confess and further the Gospel of Life; without it we are lost.

  • Check this out “Texas Democrat Wendy Davis claimed mental health issues in court” and see why it all makes sense to her.

  • “from the moment of conception until natural death”. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, God creates an immortal soul for that individual. “Ensoulment of the soul in the newly begotten, single celled (as the soul is begotten) human being enjoying his existence is aptly named “conception” as in Immaculate Conception.

  • “from the moment of conception until natural death”. I might mention here that life begins when the soul enters the single celled individual human being and life ends when the soul can no longer abide in the human body (when decomposition sets in )several days after cessation of all symptoms of life

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Potty Discrimination

Thursday, June 13, AD 2013



Adam Winkler in The New Republic, warns us against the evils of potty discrimination:


Restrooms are one of the last explicit vestiges of segregation on the basis of sex. In a nation evolved enough to allow women to serve in combat and have women on the presidential ticket, we still maintain strict and outdated rules that discriminate in who can use which restroom. Even at liberal law schools like UCLA, where I teach, the bathrooms are all clearly marked for gender uses in a way that no one would accept for race: there are rooms labeled specifically for men and others specifically for women.

Most people don’t question this form of separate-but-equal, perhaps because there don’t appear to be inequalities engendered by gendered bathrooms. (This, despite the fact that there often seem to be much longer lines to use women’s rooms.) The controversy over transgender students, however, may force us to reconsider our sex-specific bathrooms. As our society becomes more tolerant of gender differences, especially in the context of transgender people, the issue will continue to arise. More and more people, even children, are comfortable admitting their gender identity, even if it isn’t the one that matches their biological gender at birth, and parents are increasingly willing to fight school policies that prevent their children from using appropriate facilities.

We don’t necessarily need to eliminate gender-specific bathrooms to solve the problem—or even create a third (and fourth) category of bathroom. We can simply allow transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. In the school setting, this can be easily accomplished by having parents with transgender children choose which bathroom their kids will use. Especially for underage schoolchildren, this shouldn’t pose a threat to anyone. (And if the idea of a transgender person using your bathroom makes you uncomfortable, consider that that you share a bathroom with gays or lesbians all the time—and probably don’t even notice it.)

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15 Responses to Potty Discrimination

  • I think this is another example of the thesis that the philanthropic sector absorbs people too silly for commercial or public employment.

  • This is a gross example of liberal idiots’ (repetitive, sorry!) misallocated sentimentality and willful ignorance. Accomodation to stupidity leads to more stupidity; tolerance of evil leads to more evil; etc.

  • I thought this was a joke. Then I realized it was just stupid.

  • Ugh . . . and he teaches future lawyers. How sad to spend all that money and be subject to his classes or at least poor legal reasoning. Glad, I did not go to such a law school but then again my law school, even though Catholic, hired former Sen. Feingold . . . so who am I to criticize such stupidity.

  • Not just an exercise in make believe, but a credo of “if it ain’t broke, let’s fix it.”

  • Sorry, this isn’t just ‘pretend’ or ‘make believe’ or ‘stupid’.
    This is a LIE and it is only a matter of time before we are compelled to speak and live this LIE under penalty of the law.

  • Well we better all just cut our throats right Mike? The defeatism in conservative quarters truly nauseates me. Here is an idea. Instead of doom and gloom lets all get off our dead hind ends and defeat the idiots arrayed against us at the polls.

  • This yo-yo is a full professor at the UCLA Law School and conned the John M. Olin Foundation into granting him a fellowship (unless the borg has gotten to the Olin Foundation as well). Before that he was an attorney at Katten, Muchen, one of those “entrepreneurial” megafirms that have done so much for the common life.

    Well, Donald, those of us following this debate over immigration law are discovering that the idiots arrayed against us appear to include somewhere between six and twenty-five Republican senators and perhaps the Republican floor leaders in both caucuses.

  • Oh, and Kelly Ayotte and Marco Rubio lied through their teeth on this issue during the penultimate election cycle. Sweet.

  • I would suggest Art contacting every Republican member of Congress and insisting they vote no on the immigration bill. Make enough noise and this bill is going nowhere in the House.

  • And to think, once The New Republic was a serious journal of progressive opinion.

    But then Progressives used to be serious.

  • This fella is a sitzpinkler.

  • In France, public toilets are often unisex, with a single row of cubicles and a urinal separated by a pair of bat-wing doors. Most have an attendant, usually female and resembling, in manner, dress and disposition, a tricoteuse during the Terror.

  • In France, public toilets are often unisex,

    And stopped up.

    Most have an attendant, usually female and resembling, in manner, dress and disposition, a tricoteuse during the Terror.

    Who hasn’t showered in a week or two.

Vacations and Reality

Sunday, August 7, AD 2011


I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy. You will see the first among friends and lovers reunited on the eve of a holiday. Among adults some pretext in the way of Jokes is usually provided, but the facility with which the smallest witticisms produce laughter at such a time shows that they are not the real cause. What that real cause is we do not know. Something like it is expressed in much of that detestable art which the humans call Music, and something like it occurs in Heaven—a meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience, quite opaque to us. Laughter of this kind does us no good and should always be discouraged. Besides, the phenomenon is of itself disgusting and a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of Hell.

Fun is closely related to Joy—a sort of emotional froth arising from the play instinct. It is very little use to us. It can sometimes be used, of course, to divert humans from something else which the Enemy would like them to be feeling or doing: but in itself it has wholly undesirable tendencies; it promotes charity, courage, contentment, and many other evils.

                                                                 CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

My family and I had a great time on our vacation.  Gen Con was grand as it always is, and, as the picture at the top of the post indicates, I made a new friend!  (I am the one who is not green.)

During vacations I attempt to studiously ignore the news, forget about the Law, and focus in on my family and fun.  I find that a bit difficult to do, as I always take a great deal of interest in the noteworthy events of the day, and my legal practice tends to be fairly consuming of my time during non-vacation periods.  Fortunately my family I also find fascinating, and after a day or two I am in full vacation mode and everything but my family fades into the distance for a time.

Alas, vacations always end.  When I go back to my office on Monday, I know that I will have many messages to return, and a full schedule of appointments and court appearances to deal with.  Back home with the internet, I will spend at least an hour each day getting up to speed with current events, and writing my blog posts, and my life proceeds in its familiar non-vacation manner.

It would be easy for me to think that the vacation was a temporary illusion and the way I normally spend my life the reality, but this is incorrect.  God gives us this life as an entirety and it is not for us to divide it.  Our different activities each year and each day are merely facets of the time on this planet we have as a free-will gift from our Creator.  What we do with the time, good and bad, is up to us, but no portion is less our reality than any other portion.  It is our task to enfuse everything we do with love of God and love of our neighbor.

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15 Responses to Vacations and Reality

  • Oooh, lucky bum! Hope you saw some awesome costumes.

  • Indeed we did Foxfier. A ten foot Abraham Lincoln, the obligatory hordes of Star Wars Storm Troopers, a group of drow, endless Medieval knights and ladies, a hillbilly orc, etc. One could have a fine time at Gen Con just observing the passing parade of humanity in ingenious disguises!

  • Great pic, Don! Nice to finally put a face with the name.

    “It would be easy for me to think that the vacation was a temporary illusion and the way I normally spend my life the reality, but this is incorrect. God gives us this life as an entirety and it is not for us to divide it. Our different activities each year and each day are merely facets of the time on this planet we have as a free-will gift from our Creator. What we do with the time, good and bad, is up to us, but no portion is less our reality than any other portion. It is our task to enfuse everything we do with love of God and love of our neighbor.”

    Well said, Don.

  • Thank you Jay. I was concerned whether posting a picture of myself might violate the cruel and unusual section of the Constitution, but I decided to risk it!

  • Oooh, Gen Con, I’m jealous!! My husband and I went twice when it was still in Milwaukee (pre-kids) and had an absolute blast. He’s gone once to Indy (as a judge) but I’ve never been since it moved, and we’re hoping to go again someday when the kids are older.

  • Joanna, my wife and I began attending Gen Con in 1986 in Milwaukee and have attended each year since. (Actually my wife missed 1991, as she was heavily pregnant with our twin boys at the time and did not feel up to it.) It really is a great event for kids.

  • Wait, that can’t be you! Where’s the beard and the uniform coat?

  • I loaned them to General Rosecrans! 🙂

  • My husband thought about taking my son this year until he found out how much it was to go for just a day.. is it worth the expense for someone who has never been? Or is it worth the expense because it is a tradition for your family?

  • My family and I have always been intensively interested in games: boardgames, role playing games, computer games, so Gen Con is a natural fit for us. If someone is not so interested in games, it might not be worth the expense. My advice would be to read up about it on the internet and to look at some of the many videos about Gen Con on youtube. Our trip to Gen Con is our main vacation each year, so we allot the money for it in our annual budget.

    Here is a link to the badge costs this year for attendance at the convention:

    There was a special family of four admission for Sunday, today, of $40.00, and I would recommend that first time attendees take advantage of this to see if it is something they would be interested in.

  • When I think of vacations, I’m reminded of the Sabbath rest. In resting, we recognize our creaturehood with all of the limitations that implies. We look to God in reliance and thank him for his goodness. We renew ourselves as we seek to go forward operating on the Creator’s resources.

  • I find that short weekend getaways that involve traveling about 50-100 miles from home work best for us, and I find them most refreshing. This weekend, at the insistence of my daughter, we spent 1 1/2 days and 1 night in the Peoria area, where we used to live, revisiting some haunts we hadn’t seen in a while. It doesn’t bust the budget, and the amount of travel involved is just far enough to be a break from home without being so long as to be exhausting.

  • Thanks for the explanation on who is who in the photo, Don. 😉
    I’m sure you deserved (and needed) your time away from the office with family.

    I agree with your article WRT reality, with this proviso. Even though this world is a reality, it is not the ultimate reality. This world is to pass away – so it is partial reality. Our true reality is that for which we were created – this reality is a passage and a test for the true reality.
    Enough (too much maybe) philosophising for today 🙂 God bless.

  • True Don, our ultimate home is in the next world. However, as you point out, what we do in this world establishes where our destination ultimately lies in the next world.

  • Vacations are definitely needed for any working man (or woman). Welcome back Don!