Saturday, November 26, 2016

Franco is still dead ... and now so is Castro

A Clerihew that's no longer true -

Fidel Castro
speaks Spanish like Franco.
They have lots more in common, it’s said,
except that Castro’s not yet dead.

Pax et bonum

Friday, November 25, 2016

Deer haiku

deer crosses the road,
leaps a fence, and disappears -
pre-Mass homily

Pax et bonum

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thoughts inspired by the memory of Blessed Miguel Pro

Today we honor Blessed Miguel Pro, executed by the anti-Church Mexican government basically for being a Catholic priest.

I think of him today not only because it is his feast day, but also because of the recent election.

Although I certainly did not think there would have been executions of Catholics and other Christians had Hillary Clinton been elected and the Democrats had taken control of at least the Senate, I did believe there would have been continued, perhaps increased persecution of people of faith. I don't think she is "anti-Catholic" in the full sense of the phrase, but I do believe her attitude and those of key staff would be hostile to people of faith. Remember, she did say we'd have to change our teachings when it came to abortion, and her campaign staff talked about subverting and coopting the Church.

I think people would have been forced to pay for or take part in things which they find morally objectionable - or face loss of jobs and businesses, fines, perhaps even jail. That had already begun under the Obama administration, and I think she would have at least continued his policies. And given her ties to the abortion industry, I could imagine it getting even worse.

I'm under no illusions that Trump will be perfect. I don't see him actively fighting the subversion of morality and faith rampant in our culture - he's very much a product of that culture. I also don't know if he's informed or self-aware enough to fully understand what is going on. But I do have hopes he will cut back on government involvement in this, and on the official policies that attack people of faith.

It's up to us to challenge the culture. But at least we will not have the government attacking us as well.

Pax et bonum

Trump is not a Nazi

As anyone who has followed my posts here - or on social media - knows, I did not vote for Donald Trump, and I've had concerns about him for a long time. I disagreed with him on a number of positions and proposals (at least with what he said about them), I criticized some of his tactics and language, and I had reservations about his grasp of the issues.

But, I never called him a Nazi or a fascist or a xenophobe or a homophobe or a bigot or an anti-Semite or any number of such extreme terms.

I pointed out that much of what he was saying during the campaign was rhetoric, and that if he got elected he would likely chose a much more pragmatic course. As his actions and comments since the election have shown, that does indeed appear to be the case. (So far, anyway)

Yet folks continue to condemn him for "hate speech" - by using hate speech of their own.

Seems kind of hypocritical.

I think what we need to do is focus on his actual proposals and actions once he takes office and, where appropriate, to oppose specific things, or to push for what we want.

I will be watching how he treats pro-life issues and immigrants and health care and any number of other issues. I will speak up when I disagree with him. I will urge him to choose courses with which I agree,

But I will not criticize his policies until he actually does something.

And I will not engage in hate speech.

Pax et bonum

Friday, November 18, 2016

Santa Season Begins

Santa season starts tomorrow. Plenty of shifts coming up - I'll be a busy boy.

Time to get out my mall Santa poem:

A Mall Santa's Prayer

As I hold each precious child
let me treat each one
with the love and care I'd show
Your most holy Son.

Pax et bonum

Sunday, November 13, 2016

"Robert Frost: A Life" - good read

I read Robert Frost: A Life by Jay Parini.

Frost is my favorite poet, and I enjoyed the book. It filled in some gaps, and countered the largely negative old curmudgeon image some of his critics have painted of Frost. Yes, Frost had his moments, but this book gives a more well-rounded picture.

A few small quibbles: Some repetition  that editing might have taken out, and I don't agree with all the interpretations of the poems (Parini seems to have his own spin on Frost that he tries to reinforce). Then again, poetry is often open to varied interpretations, so that's no real knock against Parini.

But my minor quibbles are more than made up for by the overall quality. Good job.

Glad I read it.

Pax et bonum

Friday, November 11, 2016

Some political poetry from the last year

During the recent political campaign I scribbled a few clerihews about some of the candidates. Here's a look back, starting with the winner:

"John Miller"

provided Trump filler.
Asked if it was really he, Trump said, "I don't sound like me,
that is, he isn't he, I mean, me."

Donald Trump
on the stump
will almost always spout a platitude
or something rude.

Donald Trump
is hitting a South Carolina slump.
His reliance on invective
is proving ineffective.

Donald Trump
is no chump.
Even if he loses he know his bottom line
will do just fine.

His VP gets a nod too:

Mike Pence
just makes sense.
Even his disciplined hair
contrasts with the Donald's hirsute flair.

And his Democratic foe provided some fodder: 

In her youth Hillary Clinton
helped investigate Richard Nixon.
As her missing e-mails seem to tell
she didn't learn from his fall that well.

is probably guilty of perjury,
but I wouldn’t bet a dime
that she’ll do any time.


His last Republican rival inspired a few verses:

Ted Cruz
is feeling the blues.
It seems whether he endorses Trump or not
his own ambitions are shot.

Ted Cruz
seems destined to lose.
His Senate colleagues lament, "Alas and Alack,
that means he'll soon be back."

Ted Cruz
dreads reading the news.
There are too many reports of his campaign's tactics being out of step
with his evangelical rep.

Ted Cruz
has always hated to lose.
But he denies rumors he'd even peek
when as a child he played hide-and-seek.

And then there were a few other Republican primary rivals:

Carly Fiorina
wouldn't say whom she thought mean-ah.
Still, when Trump and "The View" gals got in her face
she put them in their place.

Chris Christie
found the campaign trail twisty.
Maybe he'll view his likely loss
as just another bridge to cross.

Mike Huckabee
was the presidential candidate for me.
But apparently his down-home ways
appeal to few others these days.

Ben Carson
never claimed he committed arson.
That didn't stop Politico
from saying, "He may have, you know."

Pax et bonum

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah

Now that the election is over, back to other fare, like music.

Thanks for all the songs Mr. Cohen.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Vote American Solidarity Party Tuesday

The American Solidarity Party (ASP) is a Christian democratic political party with Catholic social justice roots.

The party’s candidates this year are Michael Maturen for President and Juan Munoz for Vice President. They are officially registered as write-in candidates in New York - and in a number of other states, as well as being on the ballot in Colorado.
The Party motto is "Common Good, Common Ground, Common Sense." The ASP mascot is the pelican, a traditional Christian symbol of charity.

The core principle of the American Solidarity Party is the Consistent Life Ethic, understood as “respect for life and the dignity of all persons on all issues.” The ASP opposes abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and capital punishment, and holds to Just War principles in foreign policy. It regards economic justice as an essential aspect of respect for human life.

The ASP also:

Opposes same-sex marriage and pornography; 
Favors equal access to the polls, the courts, housing, education, and credit;
Supports amnesty and a path to citizenship for immigrants currently residing in the United States;
Supports stewardship for creation, advocating for funding for research in safe and renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind-power.
Promotes free practice of religion and opposes reckless secularism and that seeks to remove religion from the public square.                   

David McPherson of First Things says that the American Solidarity Party "affirm[s] ... the full spectrum of Catholic social teaching (namely, the teachings regarding the sanctity of human life, the common good, subsidiarity, religious freedom, solidarity, etc.)", contrasting the ASP to the Republican and Democratic parties, each of which recognize only some of these items.

One objection often raised is that if one votes third party it will throw the election one way or the other. That is not the case in New York, for example, and in a number of other states. Hillary Clinton will win NY and its Electoral College votes so overwhelmingly 100,000 people could vote for Maturen/Munoz and it would not affect the outcome.  

For more information, search online for American Solidarity party - 

Other references:

Pax et bonum