Speaking of that terror attack on the French Catholic priest (notice how quickly it’s disappeared from the news), the leader of the world’s largest religion shared his thoughts:
Speaking on the papal plane en route to Krakow, Poland, for World Youth Day celebrations, Francis said the world had been in “a piecemeal war” for some time. He said Tuesday’s killing of the Rev. Jacques Hamel, 86, in St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, was one casualty in this conflict. “The world is at war because it has lost peace,” he said. “There is a war of interest, there is a war for money, a war for natural resources, a war to dominate people,” he continued. “Some might think it is war of religion. It is not. All religions want peace. Others want war.”
And thus does the martyrdom of Rev. Hamel get dissolved by his own Pope into the general array of conflicts that beset mankind – the ‘fog of war,’ so to speak – and the Reverend’s Catholic faith melted into the pre-biotic soup of religious relativism.
[update at the end]
Peter Thiel ( I think his name was), founder of PayPal, gave a speech last night during which he announced how “proud” he was of being gay. (That means ‘homosexual’ for you linguistic revanchists). I am heterosexual, but have never been proud of it. I was glad of it, once I figured out what it was good for, but never proud, since I was in no way responsible for possessing it. When I say “I am heterosexual,” I mean that it is intrinsic to my very being. When a man says he is homosexual, isn’t he saying the same thing? So why then is he proud of it, as though it were some sort of accomplishment, when in fact it can only be a gift from God? If it is a gift from God, why do I never hear homosexuals thanking Him for it?
Later, Donald Trump reached out enthusiastically to the “LGBTQ community.” He was very pleased with the crowd’s approval of Thiel’s speech. Now, I don’t think that Mr. Trump, prior to the speech, would have known to put the ‘Q’ into the community without proper instructions from a speechwriter. I don’t think he knew what it stands for. Just guessing, of course. It’s kind of funny, too, since during the campaign Mr. Trump found occasion to roundly denounce Mr. Romney as a loser, but in their attempts to suck up to that ‘community’, they sound a whole lot alike .
Zippy, on the nature of authority:
An authority which you are obligated to obey only when you agree with his decisions is no authority at all. And that is just the way modern people like it: consent of the governed and all that.
There you go. [ An edit: I moved the word "only" to where it belongs.]
As to the broader implication: embraced with sufficient passion by sufficient numbers, civilization will end. The kind you would like to live in, at any rate. We’re getting there.
[There's an update below the fold]
A few people show up here looking for something to read, something of at least minor substance. However, there won’t be much of that for the near future. Most of my time these days is occupied caring for elderly parents who need protecting from themselves and the outside world. So that’s that. The commandment to honor thy father and mother puts most of the pleasures of life – reading, writing, painting – the life of the mind, in other words, out of reach. And as I said to Paul Cella via email, the commandment comes from God, while God himself seems far away.
Because I live in Orlando, I’ve received inquiries about my reaction to the local massacre at the Pulse nightclub. But I don’t really have much to say. My reaction is pretty much what it was to San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, Boston, Brussels, Paris, et al: murder of the innocent is a terrible thing; I feel bad for the victims; and the West is under attack but doesn’t have the cajones to do what must be done. This latest attack differs somewhat in that most of the victims were homosexual. That most were also Hispanic doesn’t get as much play. There are rumors that the killer was a self-hating homosexual. Thus, this could have been prevented if we were a more accepting society. There’s a lot of sloganeering in the air. A voice on WDBO FM keeps telling us that we have discovered that our greatness is in our diversity. I don’t know what the hell this means. There’s a sign downtown by the interstate that reads: ONE LOVE: Orlando Strong. So they’ve ripped off the Boston slogan and, again, I don’t know what the hell ‘one love’ is supposed to mean. There’s also a lot of “healing” in the air. I don’t what that means either. There’s also a lot of narcissism in the air (Google ‘Anderson Cooper interview with Pam Bondi’).
[Update: I've added one more pic of a bird I believe is called a limpkin. Took some searching to hunt him down.]
The Easter lilies did not live up to their name this year. They bloomed in the middle of May. Then we have a Sandhill crane strolling through my dad’s driveway as if he owns it. (The whole series of Sandhill photos is on this page). If, btw, you kill one, you can be arrested, fined, and thrown in jail. Next is the giant oak tree (3 of them, actually) beside the Tap Room at Dubsdread golf course, and finally a great blue heron behind my dad’s house. It is the largest heron in North America, with a wingspan up to six feet. All shot with the Canon Rebel T5, except for the Sandhill photos (Canon Power Shot). Oh yes, click to enlarge.
Great Blue Heron
A friend sent me a link to this, by Charles Murray, one of many such articles I’ve seen explaining why Trump is unfit for office, and why no self-respecting conservative should vote for him. It’s entitled “Why ‘Hillary is Even Worse’ Doesn’t Cut it.”
Back when I refused to vote for McCain or Romney on moral principle, I was told that my failure to do so was a vote for Obama. This year, if I wanted to vote for Trump (because Hillary is even worse), I’d be told that I must not ever do that, but not that my failure to do so was a vote for Hillary. The rationale seems to have gone obsolete.
And yet, if you’re the sort of person who has developed the habit of voting for ‘the lesser of two evils,’ why the sudden aversion to it? Don’t you have a duty to carry on?
A number of columnists at NR have fallen into panic mode. David French is begging Mitt Romney to run again. He mentions all of Romney’s credits and none of his deficits.
I have seen a lot of #neverTrump tokens on the internet, but not a single #prayforDonaldTrump. Admittedly, I don’t get around all that much.
I promise to return to blogging about serious things real soon, if I can figure out what those things are. In the meantime, a few shots I took with my new camera. Inspired by my friend Zippy, who knows about cameras (apertures, f/stops, depth of field, ISO, etc.) I’ve been trying different things, much of it unsuccessful. You won’t see those here. The learning curve is pretty steep. Believe it or not, there is actually a Dummies book for my camera (or rather for people who use my camera), and probably for yours too.
Anyway, forthwith: the pics of the two houses were shot across a lake with a 300mm zoom lens. One house was about a half mile away and the other a few hundred yards. The ibis was taken with a 55mm lens, and I’ve linked to the full size version so’s you can see the detail from about 25 feet away. The water scenes are from the shore of Lake Conway. All can be enlarged by clicking.
From Dad’s backyard
house on water
storm clouds brewing
9th hole at Dubsdread
[Update: Addendum below the post]
Wife got me a new camera for my birthday, a Canon Rebel T5. Here’s what it looks like:
Yeah, big lenses. When I press the shutter button halfway, the lenses rotate back and forth accompanied by a robotic whirring noise. Sometimes they elongate without being instructed. I am neither deserving of it nor competent to use it. I don’t know how much it cost and she won’t tell me. (I know, I could google it, but would that please her? A woman’s mind is unknowable.) In addition to pictures like the one below, it shoots 1920×1080 high definition movies. It’s not the most expensive camera out there (I saw one for 28,000 dollars online somewhere), but I’ll never need another. I’ve gotten far enough to take the following picture (of a flower in my yard). Click to enlarge. And that’s still two sizes smaller than I could have linked to. But computer screens are only so big. Anyway, my old Canon Power Shot could not do this. Not even close.
Someone who can really do flowers is Don at Shuffly.net. Take a look at these. Todd McKimmey, facilitator of two web presences, The Christendom Review and What’s Wrong with the World, ain’t bad neither. I think these guys spent more money on their stuff than my wife did.