30 May 2009

To be Catholic in America

This month has certainly taught us what it takes to be Catholic in America. Starting with the Notre Shame scandal, the Supreme Court nomination, and the nomination to the ambassadorship to the4 Holy See- one who was not a practising Catholic would think that the True Faith was simply a do as you want proposition. The damage of Vatican II and its dissenting adherents certainly bore fruit this month, the month of Our Lady. The premier Catholic institution prostituted itself and sold its soul, Church teaching is publicly downgraded by Doug Kmiec and his new allies at the NCR and the MSM, and abortion continues to undermine our identity.

Our bishops, and not all of them, to their shame and our embarrassment, are slowly awakening to what they have wrought through sins of commission and omission, as we the laity have by ours. Theirs is the greater scandal, as they are princes of the Church, and allowed this to happen. They abdicated so much of their authority, and defied the Holy Father on matters both large and small, and we now are re3aping what this has sown for us.

His Holiness was correct when he was elevated to the throne of Peter, when he mused that he saw a smaller church. Hopefully this does not mean aschism in America, but we appear to be heading in that direction. May God have mercy on us all.

29 May 2009

Night at the Museum (Smithsonian )

Geoff, aka HOH (Head of the House) and I sat through this horrid movie on Memorial Day. The first one was cute, filled with historical licences and inaccuracies, but his one was much worse. The father, who was a deadbeat failed inventor in the first movie, is now a successful entrepreneur on the verge of a major contract with
Walmart. His friends at the Natural History Museum are being shipped off to the "Federal Archives" for permanent storage, and both the exhibits, his old boss and his son berate him for not having the time for the exhibits in his life. In one scene, he is having Chinese takeout with his son, who notices that there is more food than needed for two, and is upset that his dad has to work through dinner with an associate- basically telling him that his job as nightwatchman was the cool one. Then once the action moves to the Smithsonian, which was NOT used to advantage, the introduction of the Amelia Earhart character made my skin crawl. She was unlikeable enough in real life, and was not as good a pilot as the press, in collusion with Miss Earhart and her father, portrayed her. The actress who played this part overacted to such a' degree that I wanted to walk out. What a horrid rewriting of history. The depicting of the Tuskegee Airmen was simply disgraceful- it had them saluting Amelia, for making it possible for them to be pilots. What a crock of PC nonsense, and insulting to some of our greatest and bravest men in uniform. Then there is the depiction of George Custer- he is more focused on his hair and then claims he is a coward. Sacajawea gets to put him in his place. A brave man is now merely a girly man. The list goes on. In the end, the lead sells his company so that he can be a nightwatchman again, and make his son happy.

Personal responsibility is a total wash, as is honor and courage. What a horrid movie to take the rug rats, especially boys, to see.

Geoff's take:

Radical Feminism at its worst!

General Custer portrayed as a girlie man, who even said he didn't deserve his stars, because he was a coward? Sacajawea jumping in to save the day? The Wright Brothers saying that the idea of a woman flying a plane was preposterous?

"Butchering History" might be a more appropriate subtitle.

The real General Custer was wreckless, often foolhardy, but he was also a West Point Graduate, he was respected by his troops and fellow officers, and in his own day he was certainly not regarded as a coward. No man who rises to the rank of Major General could ever be a coward.

The Wright family practically invented Women's Liberation. Susan Wright was a mathematical genius, and she was the one who inspired her sons to become inventors in the first place. It's likely that niether Susan Wright, nor her daughter Catherine would have suffered Miss Earhart lightly.

As for the Tuskegee Airmen, who were more properly known in their own time as the Lone Eagles, these men were among the best pilots of their day, and it was their own skills as pilots that earned them their place in history, not the pioneering exploits of Amelia Earhart.

27 May 2009

Le Fleur de Lys too: Marie-Anotionette's Journey of Faith

Le Fleur de Lys too: Marie-Anotionette's Journey of Faith

New Blog Alert!!!!

As many of you know, I have a soft spot for Marie Antoinette, martyred Queen of France and her husband, Louis XVI. I always have had this, and it was only reinforced whne I read a book on the Carmelites of Compiegne,. whose martyrdom has always brought me to tears, so much so that I actually felt that I was being called to become a Carmelite, and had contacted several Carmels to pursue this. Obviously God had other plans for me. While bloggin, I have made the wonderful acquantaince of a fantastic author, who also is a Third Order Discalced Carmelite. Elena Maria Vidal, of the blog This wonderful woman, author of "Trianon" and "Madame Royale", both of which I have recently read and have promised to review here soon, once we are FINALLY settled, has a new blog that is also a must read- Drop by, follow her on her journey, and read her books!!!!

24 May 2009

Don't do it, Mr. President!

Geoff's take:

On February 13, 1945, during the waning days of the second World War, the German city of Dresden was carpet-bombed to the ground by Allied Air Forces. In the sixty-four years that have followed, this single event has been cloaked in controversy. Many people, including some Catholic writers and clergy, have argued that this event was tragically unneccesary, because by that late date, the defeat of Germany was all but inevitable.

Playing on these sentiments, President Obama has expressed interest in formally appologizing to Germany for this action. I say, "Don't do it, Mr. President".

The bombing of Dresden was not an American undertaking. It was a British mission, in which the American Air Forces participated. It was concieved by the RAF, and approved by Sir Winstron Churchill. Thus, presuming an appology is owed (which I do not), that appology should come from the Right Honourable Gordon Brown, not the President of the United States.

Much of the controversy over the bombing centers on the idea that Dresden contained no vital military targets. This is a fallacy. The Zeiss optical factory was there, and this factory produced bomb sights for the Luftwaffe. The Zeiss factory was one of the buildings that was destroyed. According to Joseph Angell of the USAF historical commission, there were 110 factories, and 50,000 workers suipporting the Nazi war effort. These included aircraft parts, a poison gas plant, a gear factory, and an electric gauge factory. The German High Command weapons office also said that Dresden contrained 127 defense plants.

Dresden was also the hub of Nazi Germany's railway operations. Most major German rail lines converged at Dresden. Disrupting this rail system was crucial in enabling the Russian Advance, and in keeping Geman troops from blocking it.

Many people in Britain were dismayed by the bombing, mainly because Dresden had been a cultural center before the war, and they refused to see that Hitler had transformed it into a gear in the Nazi war machine.

Controversy really began to develop when the Associated Press was interviewing Air Commodore Colin Grierson two days after the raid. He said that the primary role in bombing Dresden was to disrupt supply and communications lines, but he then added an off-the-cuff remark that thje raid would help destroy "what's left of German morale".

AP reported this remark as an indication that the Allies had resorted to terror bombing. This story reached the House of Commons, and MP Richard Stokes raised his concerns on the House floor.

Under pressure from Stokes and other members of Parliament, Churchill began second guessing his decision, and eventually ordered an end to carpet bombing.

However, American General George Marshall, U. S. Army Chief of Staff, conducted an investigation into the bombings, and he concluded that they were, in fact, legitimate raids. His findings were classified, and since they weren't made public for another thirty-three years, many historians still might not be aware this investigation even took place.

Further, it was discovered that in spite of the claims of the German Ministry of Propaganda, the loss of life, while high, was not disprportionately higher than in the raids on other German cities.

The bombing itself was in proportion to the raids on Hamburg and Berlin. No evidence existed to indicate that Dresden had been singled-out for heavier bombing.

It's also a fallacy to assume the war was already won. The Allied victory was as much a product of Hitler's refusal to listen to his Generals as it was a product of superior Allied strategy. As late as November of 1944, Hitler was convinced that if he made a last-ditch offensive, he could still win the war. By this time, Normandy had already fallen to the Allies, and Hitler was effectively blocked in the west by the British and American forces. In the east, the Russian Army was steadily making its way to the German border.

Despite these odds, in December of 1944, Hitler launched an offensive in the Ardennes Forest, (known to the Allies as the Battle of the Bulge), in which he unleashed the Tiger Tank. This tank was larger, had heavier armor, and more powerful guns than the American Sherman tank, and if Hitler had used these tanks more effectively, he could have won the war, or at least prolonged it.

Nearly a month after Dresden, while allied forces were storming the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, the Luftwaffe conducted a fly-by with one of its experimental jet fighters. Again, too little too late for the Nazis, but they were still fighting the Allies tooth and nail.

The bombings did create a firestorm that killed many civilians, but the exact number was greatly exaggerated by German newspapers, which were controlled by the Ministry of Propaganda. Josef Goebbels took the initial estimates of 10,000 dead, and inflated them to 100,000. Goebbels was a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi, so this is hardly surprising.

It's been argued that the raid didn't accomplish anything strategically, because Hitler didn't surrender as a result of the bombing of Dresden. But bear in mind that Germany didn't surrender until Hitler took his own life in the Berlin Bunker.

By that time, the Allies were already on German soil, and even that didn't make Hitler surrender. He finally commited suicide because the Russian forces were closing in on Berlin.

In a war, individual raids are like the gears in a watch. What they do individually is not as important as how they work together to accomplish the task.

Terminator Salvation

LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!! Geoff and I just returned from the local theater in Macedonia, Ohio and I firmly encourage those of you who like/love action flicks to see this one. I loved the Terminator movies (well, the first two, anyway- the third was just passe), and I love the TV show, so when I learned of this upcoming potential trilogy, I was intrigued to say the least. I think Christian Bale was awesome, but Sam Worthington stole the show. I have another favorite actor (Sean Bean, Timothy Dalton, Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and now Sam- anyone see a pattern here?)!!!!!

The commercials seen on TV are misleading, in that Mr. Bale is NOT the prime mover in the story line, Mr. Worthington is. Both men are well cast in this movie, and both have the screen magic that is not camouflaged by reliance on special effects, as tends to be the case with action movies.

Mr. Bale is John Connor, the nemesis of Skynet and its machine minions. He is as one would expect him to be- tough and resilient, having been introduced to him first, in utero in T1, then as a bratty teenager in T2, and a far mellower and girlie man figure in T3 (The least of the movies in the original franchise, one that probably should not have been made) The Fox tv show, which has probably been cancelled, gives us a believable teenage John Connor facing his fears for his future, and his ability to live up to what his life will be, while trying to outrun the machines in modern day America, while in high school. I found the series to be well done and a good use of the original storyline for a tv show. The actor is certainly an improvement on the one who played him in the seond movie.

In this current outing, in the first of a new Terminator franchise, Mr. Bale does credit to what has preceded this particluar story, and if what he has done in reviving the Batman franchise is any indication, then this new Terminator is in very good hands indeed.

Mr. Worthington's character is a man, once on death row, who finds himself 15 years in the future, after his execution, which precipitated his donating his body to science (Cyberdine, a partner of Skynet) While on death row, he shows remorse for what he has done, and accepts his execution as the appropriate penalty for the deaths of his brother and two police officers. He does not play the victim. When he reappears, he has no idea what has trnaspired, and is unaware that he is now a cybernetic organism, half human and half machine. When his new "reality" is made known to him. he does not accept the "dark/machine side of his new self, and never rejects the sanctity of human life. He chooses, freely, human over machine, good over evil, and is key to the destruction of Skynet's labs in SF, and the saving of John Connor's life.

Good vs evil, man vs machine are the key elements in this movie, and everyone recognizes that the machines must be destroyed so that mankind may live. NO half measures are proposed or considered. It is a true depiction of good vs evil, amd the sacrifices that are made to ensure that evil does not triumph.

What a great movie for Memorial Day!!!!

Geoff's take is pretty much the same. The normally elegant Helena Bonham Carter gives a very different performance, as a character that simply personifies evil. Her American accent was well done, but probaly not needed, as it adds very little to the character.

14 May 2009

The Cleveland Clinic

Best cardiac care in the US!!!!

Tomorrow I have the first of three epidural shots for extensive lower back pain. Twelve years ago I was assaulted, with my right arm being hyperextended and the nerves in my lower right back being permanently damaged. Love living with permanent nerve damage on the right side of my body- makes being a righty even more fun than usual!!! Three weeks ago, while getting out of bed (for me a 10 to 20 minute task on a good day)I threw out my lower spine!!!! Geoff took me to Twinsburg, to the Urgent Care facility which is affiliated with the Cleveland Clininc, and I had my follow up Tuesday with Dr. Allen, whom I absolutely adore. (While we were in NJ, I went to Dr. Samuel Schenker in Toms River when my right shoulder decided that my lower back pain, for which I am on disability, had been getting too much attention. I underwent a series of shots and an epidural, in my neck, but it only worked for a short while, as I had been fully advised would most probably be the best result with the nerve damage that I have. I would have taken him with me to NY and then Ohio, he is that good a neuroligist and pain management specialist. Dr. Allen is just like him!!!) Can hardly wait to FINALLY move here. Best healthcare system in the state, according to Pater.

Nows, to keep TOTUS from screwing up our healthcare system..........

03 May 2009


Ever since the Notre Shame scandal first broke, I have been of the opinion that we as Catholics, have been there before, and today, while in the hotel's indoor pool, trying to exorcise the spasms in my back (still there, by the way), it hit me. The Land o Lake charter, so proudly promulgated and shamelessly promoted by Notre Shame and other like minded fellow travellers in the hierarchy of Catholic higher education- These so called Catholic clerics and academicians were so proud of themselves for their open defiance of the Holy Father and the teachings of Holy Mother Church- their exploits and the subsequent disasters facing the Church in America for the last forty years, so easily fit the crisis template being exploited by the current administration today- "Let no crisis be wasted" is their battle cry in 2009, as they attempt to finish off the remnants of Western Civilization that the so called "Enlightenment" did not, and replace it with a totally unwanted and secular financial system and society. Both used the press- did you hear how the administration is threatening to unleash its lapdog media onto the Chrysler bond and share holders for having the audacity to stand up for their rights under the rule of law? Both are applauded by the press as saviors of "the people". Holy Mother Chruch survived the onslaught and is slowly but surely growing again, man made scandals aside. But will America survive? Where are her Cardinal O'Connor's? Where are her battle weary regiments of citizens? The tea parties are a great start, so there is still time to stop the madness. But do we, as individuals and as a society as a whole, have the moral certitude with which to do so? France has never recovered from the Enlightenment.

Sunday reflections

Ever since we have been in Ohio, Sundays are the one day when everything goes wrong when we are getting ready for Mass. We don't know why but it the "events" keep us from arriving at church in time for Confession- Geoff is convinced that something satanic is atr work.

01 May 2009

The Crescat Awards

This week of TOTUS

Apparently, TOTUS simply cannot catch a break- His press conference wednesday was cringingly self delusional- when is the vaunted Washington press corps going to do its job? How about that awful touch feely question posed by the NYT journalist poseur? (enchanted?) Then his VIP with hoof and mouth disease scares the bejesus out of Americans with his comments on the current flu pandemic- Remember the hysteria in the press about how ready Sarah Palin would be to step up as a VP? Now TOTUS wants to take back our "tax break" of 7.50 a week. And the piece de resistance- the nationalization of Chrysler through the US Bankruptcy Courts!!! Can anyone now saw soialism?