Pie in the Sky

Soviet grocery store
Socialist Grocery Store in the Old Soviet Union

By Charlie Johnston

After a century of murdering well over 100 million of its own citizens, socialism is making a comeback with young folks in the western world. Even as the denizens of recently prosperous Venezuela are eating their own pets and prostituting their children to try to survive, this is so. The country was prosperous when it was capitalist and quickly became a basket case when it turned to socialism. I don’t blame young people, most of whom have skulls full of mush and attitudes given to mindless outrage. I blame the education system.

At its most basic, market capitalism posits that a man is entitled to the bread he produces by the sweat of his own brow. Socialism posits that everything belongs to the state and there must be a parasite class established to decide who gets the bread any man produces. That’s it.

The reality of all this is muddled in America because, like an eccentric house that has been added on to for centuries with no reference to the original foundation or design, our economy has become a muddled blend, part capitalism and part socialism. Frankly, what it resembles most is (and I say this technically, not pejoratively) economic fascism, pioneered by fascist Italy and perfected by Nazi Germany. Economic fascism allows for private ownership, but forces private owners into becoming co-conspirators with the state through regulation that, if defied, results in loss of the property.

Things are further muddled by the intellectual muddiness of those who advocate for socialism. I only know of two genuine intellectuals from the socialist movement, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin – and both suffered from deep deficiencies. (I know most would include Friedrich Engels but, at bottom, I consider him a technician for Marx’ ideas rather than an actual intellectual, himself.) Marx had a genuine insight – that economics is a powerful driver of historical currents – that transformed historical scholarship. Yet he became a ludicrous crank in deciding it was the ONLY driver of historical currents. His “scientific” analysis of history was pure quackery that had nothing of science about it.

Lenin had a broad intellect but was severely deficient in logic and incapable of foreseeing completely obvious consequences of various policies and actions. In his last couple of years, Lenin often spoke bluntly of how baffled he was at the gulf between his theories and the reality of actual practice. With the looming rise of Stalin while Lenin grew sicker, the latter began to fear that, after him, all the brutality he had unleashed in service of his ideals would survive while the idealism perished. “I am, I believe, strongly guilty before the workers of Russia,” he wrote in a famous postscript on Jan. 4, 1923, just a year before his death. Near the end, Lenin did have the wit and the honesty to recognize that things were not working out as he intended – and that he may have unleashed a scourge on Russia.

The best-case scenario for anyone over 30 who is a socialist is that he is a glib dullard, lacking either the raw knowledge or the intellectual capacity to process raw knowledge with accuracy or insight. The worst case is that he is fanatically greedy for power and material things – and ruthlessly willing to lie to and then oppress the suckers that were stupid enough to be seduced by the con. I give some latitude to people under 30, for they usually lack serious life experience or deep historical study – and so are easily taken in by the shallow and specious claims of “fairness.” Any of these who have any real intellectual chops will look back at their early enthusiasm for socialism with the same embarrassment as they have for youthful bad haircuts and drinking binges.

The fact is, socialism is the lazy man’s way of pretending to intellectual superiority – without any rigorous study or accomplishment. The problem is that adult socialists think they are intellectual giants – and never stop telling you so. Again, this is not based on their rigorous and extensive study or accomplishment. They are convinced it is a characteristic akin to hair or eye color. This makes most of them actually invincibly ignorant.

Here are some of the common sophist tropes modern socialists try to use to justify their support for this deadly, destructive system:

  • True socialism has never been tried. This is what they always say before they tank their economy and the gulags are opened and the executions commence.
  • The Nordic countries are socialist and it works there. The Nordic countries are not socialist: they are high-tax capitalist welfare states. They flirted with actual socialism for a time, but all eliminated most business regulations over two decades ago in hopes of reviving their dying economies. It worked – and now business regulations are much less in most Nordic countries than in America. When some uninformed socialist goofball proposes the Nordic countries to me, I like to ask if they mean they want to privatize much of our social security system, as the Swedes did 20 years ago. I don’t expect them to have an answer – or even know this – but I do enjoy watching them splutter.
  • Socialism and communism are not the same thing. On this, they are actually right, but not for the reasons they think they are. Socialism is a purely economic system by which the state controls all the means of production and determines distribution. Communism ruthlessly rules the political and personal realms as well as the economic realm. Ultimately, in order to exercise the power to enforce their economic regime, the state must seize full political control as well. This is not an accident. Marx wrote that socialism is the necessary intermediate stage leading to full communism. Lenin wrote that the goal of socialism is communism. Socialism that does not lead to communism must revert to some form of capitalism even if like, in the Nordic countries, it becomes a lightly regulated free market economy supporting a welfare state. Like a shark, socialism must swim forward or perish.
  • Socialism is the most fair, compassionate system possible. To the contrary, socialism is the haven of the rawest greed among its ordinary advocates and the most vicious lust for coercive power among those who would be its leaders. Ask yourselves how many socialists you have ever known who were enthusiastic about how hard they were going to work. Next to none. Most advocates of socialism are enthused because they think they are going to be given bread earned by the sweat of someone else’s labor. It is pure, unadulterated laziness and greed.
  • Every form of collective activity is a manifestation of socialism. I have literally had idiots try to tell me that having a police department or building roads is a form of socialism. Every society in history has done some things collectively that cannot be done individually. This is not socialism. A healthy free society embraces the principle of subsidiarity, which simply posits that every task should be performed by the smallest, simplest organization by which it can. It forbids centralization for the reason that it is inefficient and tramples on human liberty. Socialism posits that all projects should done collectively as commanded by the state. Anyone who thinks that, if a little collectivism is good that coerced centralization of everything is even better is the sort who might think that if a little water is good for a man, then all men ought to be dumped in the middle of the ocean. It is a stupid argument that falls apart at first contact.

Socialists make several irreparable mistakes in their assessments – which is why it always fails and produces misery.

First they misunderstand the nature of man: they believe that man is fundamentally a consumer; that when his needs for sustenance, companionship and shelter are met, he is content – and they imagine themselves to be the noble god-like entities that will philanthropically provide these things. I think of it as dog kennel ideology. Man is fundamentally a creator, relishing the work of his own hands. Rewarding a man for this creative instinct is the beginning of a healthy economy. He creates more than he needs, because he loves the work and others purchase his excess labor from him (or more accurately, exchange the fruits of their excess labor with him for the fruits of his). This exchange provides the means of obtaining the raw materials necessary to continue and expand his work.

The only real wealth is in the production of goods and services. Currency is just a sort of encryption key that facilitates the exchange of what is produced. If nothing is produced, the encryption key is useless – like putting it up against a brick. Socialists know little about distribution (though they think that is their great gift) and next to nothing about production. Their dream is that they will distribute what is produced by others. Ultimately, they are giving away encryption keys that have nothing to encrypt.

The most powerful force in the universe is the creative capacity of each man. When each uses that creative force to develop ideas to produce and provide for his family, a sort of cornucopia of goods and services springs up, enriching the whole society. Socialism destroys the incentives that encourage production at all. This is patently obvious if you think about it for more than a minute. If you are an incipient little socialist, pause for a moment from your dreams of all the stuff you are going to get from someone else’s labor. Think, instead, about how hard you will work if you don’t get to choose what you are going to do and no matter how hard you work or how much you produce, you will earn no more than the guy who lays about doing nothing. This is the genesis of the Soviet era joke that, “As long as they pretend to pay us, we will pretend to work.”

Even so, it is not enough for socialist officials to destroy the incentives for creative production; they seek to crush the creative capacity of ordinary men altogether. They believe that only they should exercise a free creative capacity while commanding everyone else what to do. This is as foolish as believing that ten candles (provided one of them is mine) will produce more light, more efficiently, than a million candles held freely by everyone in the society.

When socialists actually take power and their policies inevitably tank their economy and force people to eat their pets and prostitute their children, socialist officials almost never have the honesty or humility to admit error and correct course. That they were wrong is, in their minds, both impossible and unbearable. After all, they are the smartest people they know. So, they resort to accusing others of sabotage and their own fellows of insufficient ideological purity. Then begin the purges, imprisonments and executions…and things still get uglier and uglier. In 1933, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin forcibly began the starvation of 7 million people in Ukraine, the breadbasket of the Soviet Union. This was partly to quash talk of independence. But it was also because food production kept going down – and Stalin literally thought the way to increase it was to forcibly starve much of the nation’s farmers and give their farms to those who Stalin deemed ideologically loyal. God save us from centralized five-year plans.

Let me illustrate how socialism actually works in practice:

Imagine the little country of Marxburg. It is prosperous and free. It is noted for a magnificent little bakery called The Gregorian Pie Company that makes all varieties of delicious pies and cakes. People come from all over to buy its carefully crafted pies that use only the finest ingredients. Of course, some people in Marxburg can’t afford pie every week – but many still get them as gifts and at social outings through their churches and social clubs.

Then one day, a spokesman for a group called the Resistance declares that pie is a fundamental human right – and if the people will elect them, all pies will be distributed freely. Lo and behold, the degenerate electorate, salivating over the idea of all that free pie, elects the Resistance to office. At first, Resistance officials are great heroes, jubilantly passing out all the remaining stock of pie to all who form a line to receive. Ah, but free distribution does not provide the means of replacing the ingredients needed to make the pies. So the Resistance starts subsidizing the bakery – and skimping on the quality of ingredients. People notice that the pies taste more like cardboard and that, on any given day, you can only choose between two or three varieties.

Enraged that the bakers are obviously sabotaging their brilliant program, the Resistance fires everyone and replaces them with ideologically pure workers. Alas, while these workers can expound at length on intersectional LGBT theory, they don’t know anything about pie-making. Pretty soon there are massive pie shortages. People can only come on one day a week to get one variety of pie and must stand in line for five hours to have a chance at getting a pie so badly made it is nearly inedible. The Resistance decides the new workers they hired are insufficiently committed to the revolution after all, so it executes half of them to motivate the survivors to do a better job. The whole thing collapses. Instead of trying to fix it, the Resistance jails and executes any who complain about it, while continuing to congratulate themselves on making access to pie a fundamental human right.

If socialism were ever to actually take hold in this country, make sure to get plenty of pets now. You’re going to need them in your kitchen later. And get all the pie you can early on, for it will not be long until the next pie you see will be in the sky when you die.

The fundamental Christian ethos is to act as a subordinate creator to our Creator God. Arrange public affairs so that everyone is free to create and to reproduce and grow what is created. It is the role of the Churches and private associations to help those who cannot help themselves. Do this and all will have a share in the pie – and the means will be easily available to expand the production of pie. Yes, the share of some will be smaller than others, but even one percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing – which is all socialism has to offer.

146 thoughts on “Pie in the Sky

  1. Too many are telling and believing economic porky pies these days. Deliver us O Lord. And thanks, Charlie, for reminding us of the history lessons connected to the perils and outright evils of socialism and communism. Sometimes, the best main dish is a humongous slice of humble pie.

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    1. The photo above brings back memories of the mid-seventies for me. After completing the Peace Corps commitment in West Africa, my husband and I hitched a ride on a Danish logging ship bound for Shoreham, England. For free passage, we agreed to work as temporary crew members. When we reached the Canary Islands, we ended up abandoning the ship – what I called a tugboat in the Atlantic – due to very rough waters. After catching a flight to Madrid then a train to Amsterdam where we purchased a tent and VW bug, we began the three month adventure of exploring Europe. (What a different Europe back then!) When in Berlin, the Wall was still in place and it was on a bus tour into East Berlin that we saw as eyewitnesses grocery stores as pictured above. Mind-boggling how we humans can be, at once, intelligent and idiotic

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      1. Beckita–I went in to East Berlin in the mid 70’s. I was so shocked at the desolation. I was a sheltered naïve kid and had no idea that kind of situation existed. I was horrified that people were imprisoned there–that they didn’t have the freedom to leave! That was the beginning of my education on Communism. Wonder why they allowed outsiders to see the deplorable way of life they had created.

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        1. Amen, Kim. I grew up in profound ways after living in Liberia, visiting many of the countries in West Africa and then seeing some of the places in Europe that have left a knot in my gut to this day.

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      2. I knew a kindred sister of yours when I was a just a lad. She had a small house across the way and I used to tend to her yard once a week for $3. Seemed kinda cheap (even for those days), but she made up for it by serving up the world’s best lemonade and regaling me with stories from her past. Some of those stories were so wild and farfetched they were tough to swallow –– even for a kid with his own adventurous streak and wild imagination. That is, until she started hauling out the scrapbooks and photo albums one day. To this day, she’s only one of a handful who ever got a jaw drop out me.

        Wasn’t it CJ that recently said, “every life is an adventure?” Believe it.

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        1. I think for most of us, we will experience the adventure of a life time when we go through what may be coming.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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        2. Well, fact is stranger than fiction I’ve heard said. My life has had a handful of those too and I’ve mentioned a few of them here over the years. Not exactly what I expected as the “abundant life” scriptures speaks of….but who knows? I’m an adventurous kind of guy so, knowing that, God gave me adventure! Thank goodness I’m not prone to PTSD. Probably because I’m too dense to realise when I’m in danger! Being hyper-active is nice in those circumstances because hyper people “move on” very quickly.
          The guys I work with doing tile say I’m still hyper when I work. Kills me nowadays-just not as young as I used to be but I only have two speeds when I work: fast or dead stop!
          Turtle time just hasn’t set in yet Doug.
          Lessons to be learned.

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          1. Now I see it.  You must have been engaged in turtle rodeos with your high paced life.  I can see you now leaving the gate swinging your rope, catching up to that turtle in the middle of the ring and catching it with your lasso.  Pull back on those horse reigns, jump off, drop to your knees, flip that critter over and then bind 3 turtle legs.  Yaa hoo!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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      3. What you saw in East Germany food stores is exactly what Chavez created in Venezuela about 15 years ago. I remember when he dismantled food distribution companies “because they were private” and soon after warehouse product was distributed and not replenished. But this also happened to their crude oil industry. They replaced knowledgeable persons with ideological hacks and destroyed it. I often wonder what happened to those persons who ran those corporations. Some stories reported arrests and some were able to flee. Many out of starvation walked out of Venezuela to Columbia and Brazil. If you were reading stories about Venezuela starting back in 2004/05 you could see the destruction unfold.
        Charlie has socialism/communism exactly right. Trump horrifies the Dems because his policies put a lie to their incremental socialist schemes. They think they are smarter and that alone justifies their law breaking and corruption. The Dems tossed Sanders exactly because they want to implement socialism gradually so we the people don’t notice it as they undermine the constitution. Biden on the other hand is the perfect example of the socialist elite and will be perfectly be able to be manipulated. Everything CJ has written is what the Democrat party has become.

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  2. Great piece, Charlie!!! God help us if we are heading in that direction… During this coronavirus thing and thoughts of things to come this side of the veil I’ve been pondering the evil of materialism as well … We are all so sidetracked with “things” makes one wonder if the two “isms” are related???

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    1. Yes Linda, they are related – in that covetousness lies at the heart of both. Jesus condemns theft outright. But he also decries squabbling over material goods for any reason — as is exemplified in Luke 12:`13-15:

      13“One of the multitude said to him, ‘Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.’
      14 But he [Jesus] said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?’
      15 And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of ALL covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

      Materialism, in all its forms, stands condemned as a path which leads away from God. It makes no difference whether it is the avarice of the Socialist or of the unfettered Capitalist who believes that profit is all that matters and that profit somehow justifies him grabbing everything he can – away from either the customer or the worker. Such is also the case with the individual who covets and is avaricious for everything he can get his hands on – with no thought of justification through a man made “ism’ of any kind.

      Example: a handful of cheap, fairly useless surgical masks are now selling for $50.00 in a number of venues. They were selling for ¼ of that just a week ago. Someone wishes to gouge someone else who is afraid of the Corona Virus. Jesus would condemn that kind of avarice/covetousness just as sure as he did with the two brothers in the Gospel of Luke.

      Jesus and His Church have condemned all three.

      All my love in Christ

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      1. Awesome explanation Dearest Desmond… it seems to me Our Lord is purifying us all from every ism🤗thank you for your heartfelt response! You always amaze me😇

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      2. Ah, a couple of interesting distinctions, Desmond. In a healthy, free society, the avariciousness of an exclusively materially minded man is an individual sin – and the weight of the society, itself urges him on a greater charity. In a socialist society, the initial avariciousness is a quality of the entire society – which gives way to despair as an elite class takes command and impoverishes all but the elite class. In that case, the society itself rebukes the generous man, seeking to keep him dependent and to leave the government’s business to the government.

        On your last point, the law of supply and demand creates an intersection at times of shortage that do, indeed, cause spot prices to rise. If a merchant tries to incite panic in order to profit from it, that is sinful. If he goes outside the supply-demand cues in raising his prices, that, too, can be sinful. But rising prices are a signal of shortage and rising demand – and creates pressure to increase production, just as falling prices create pressure for the opposite. These cues, properly calibrated, are critical to creating an equilibrium between supply and demand – and are precisely the sort of things that command economies seek to drown out – which is another reason why command economies are always so out of whack in matching the supply to the demand. So, at the extremes, I concur with your last paragraph…but if it is not extreme it is a useful cue. And finally, anyone who is that desperate for a surgical mask can just go buy a bra and a few straps and have TWO facemasks 😉

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          1. (edit: My Apology! I failed to acknowledge that I was posting this for Desmond.)

            From Desmond

            I understand the ‘law of supply and demand’. Over the years I’ve taught economics at various levels. Within the discipline of that study, I’ve generally favored the views of the Austrian School, particularly that of Von Mises. Supply and demand is a term utilized in economics. It isn’t useless. It discusses a reality of human reaction. However, what I was discussing in not just economics, but the individual to individual morality taught by Jesus Christ and His Church – another reality.

            The Church in her Moral Theology has historically described and decreed that morally acceptable behavior between owners and customers – which many of us have read and studied in the Church’s Moral teachings – It is this: When there is a shortage, e;g., a famine in the land – if one man or even a group of people own and control the supply of food, they as a result, may not MORALLY gouge the rest of their society. That is why the Church has always further taught that if a man’s family is starving through no fault of his – that he may take enough to feed them from a man with a huge abundance – and do so without sinning. The same things hold true for shortages of any apparently vital commodity, be it food, water, medicine, etc.

            In extension, the Church has solemnly condemned the avarice, the individual sin, often contained within both Socialism and untrammeled Capitalism. One of the Church’s teachings on this is that man made systems [in economic or otherwise – e.g., the law of supply and demand] may not MORALLY operate with a blind eye to God’s Moral Law. That is why, as St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, a society will not for all that long remain healthy – if it continues to violate basic tenets of that law.

            One of the things which is economically eating us alive right now, is that under the excuse of market conditions – manufacturers are manufacturing cheaper and cheaper shoddier goods – at higher and higher prices. Examples: Not many years ago, a vehicle which did not have a 100,000 mile warranty on the drive train was virtually unsellable. Now they virtually universally market automobiles with only 30,000 mile warranties on the drive train. Further, the dealerships try to push their customers into paying $140.00 dollars to change their break fluid, or even their power steering fluid [wherein their materials and labor cost run between $35-45]. You used to get shower heads which would virtually last you the life of your home – though you would have to periodically replace the washers and seats every 20 to or 30 years or so. Now they are mostly made of plastic – and must be completely replaced every 8 to 12 years. [I got those last numbers from plumbers of my acquaintance.]

            The manufacturers have for the most part adopted ‘PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE’ – so that they can turn their customers into a more or less revolving door – repeatedly coming back to buy new products, rather and owing a product where they would only occasionally need minor repairs. EXAMPLE: It is difficult to buy a quality, lasting shower head, at almost any price today. How do I know, I’ve tried. 

            That’s legal. The Church simply teaches it is generally immoral to deliberately make shoddier products in order to force or push us to become revolving customers – when they could easily make a lasting quality product for not that much more money. That is one of the evils which Pope St. John Paul II attributed to our ‘Consumerist Society’.

            The classic lectures on the Church’s teachings vis-à-vis the Christian moral exercise within economics last for many months. Jesus spoke of morality as the central overseer of our public acts.

            I’ve now been studying these two companion realities of economics and Christ’s moral teaching for over half a century. From what I have seen – it is NOT an ‘either or situation.’ It is possible for a Catholic Christian to do both; to practice within a free market and to follow Jesus’ teachings about the basics of avarice and covetousness at the same time. As St. Thomas teaches, anything which in fact long violates that pattern will sooner or later come apart at the seams.

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            1. Becks, in my industry, I don’t see the shoddyness you describe.  We strive for excellence in our products.  We have to due to the competitive nature of the business.  I think this holds true for cars too.  The reliability of modern cars is far superior than in the past.  I see this behind the scenes because we sell systems that are used to test parts in the auto industry.  Mainly,  I have been directly engaged in projects for air bag and anti lock brake integrated circuits.  The standards put forth by automotive companies are more challenging than average consumer.  This is one of the beauties of capitalism.  If one makes a shoddy product, eventually, it will reflect in loss of business until someone gets smart and makes a better product.  Monopolies kill this incentive which is why we have laws against them.  Socialism is the biggest monopoly of all and the quality of goods and services takes a nose dive when implemented.  —- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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              1. HI, I’ve been involved with the Auto industry at some of the highest development levels. Years ago I was involved in joint ventures with the drive train divisions of 3 major auto manufacturers. We got to speak to many of the top level engineers in that process. And they discreetly admitted to the planned obsolescence aspect of the Corporate objectives. Included in such plans – was engineering things such that someone could not do common repairs and servicing-maintenance on their own vehicles without the use of expensive ‘special’ tools and a hoist or pit to accomplish same.

                This was done as part of a corporate objective of ‘directing’ people who were doing such work themselves, or getting it done by small garages in their town or city neighborhood — to instead go to the dealerships who would in fact change almost double for the same work. I and my confrers watched as that discreetly admitted objective came to fruition over the course of time – between the mid-80’s and today.

                I drive a late model 4runner I’ve had for a couple of years now. The dealerships want $138.00 to change your antifreeze???? That of course is outrageously expensive. When I asked them about what could possibly justify that price, they told me, “Oh we don’t just change the antifreeze, we flush the system.” When I said, ‘that takes about 10 minutes’, there was some sputtering going on. When they found out what my background was and I could not be smoked with jargon, the conversation and attempts to convince me of the justification for the price dried up.
                [Before my back went bad in old age, I used to do all the common repairs on my own vehicles. I had the lifts and the presses, etc., in my own garage. So I know what is involved.]

                So I asked around – and I found a neighborhood garage which has all the tools necessary for this kind of work. I found there were a number of them. But the one I’ve going to wants $75.00 to change my antifreeze INCLUDING flushing the system. That’s a hair over ½ what the dealerships want for the same job. This local garage will also be changing my brake and power steering fluids – and redoing my brakes when they need it, etc.

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                1. Dez, I have no doubt about what you say about special tooling and directing repairs to dealers.  However, I still see cars as more reliable than they have ever been over all.  It is not unusual to get 100K to 200K miles and still be in good shape.  That was not nearly the case in the 70s and 80s (guess I am dating myself now).—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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                  1. Doug, the fact that today they will only guaranty their drive train for 30,000 miles tells the story. My dad’s 52 Hudson Hornet had a 100,000 mile warranty on it – and went over 250,000 miles before dad traded it in on another vehicle. My 1968 Pontiac [my first brand new car] did about the same. They weren’t afraid to warranty their vehicles for 100,000 miles. These newer vehicles have a number of computers – which fail all the time. But they don’t usually do it during the first 30,000 miles. But it is far from unheard of in the first 100,000 miles. What the auto companies have set up with their drop to a 30,000 mile warranty – is the ability to bleed the unfortunate customer where some system failure takes place at a ridiculously early mileage. Almost all the guys I speak with in my parish, the ushers, the knights, etc., they too all know it. They have no illusions about the moral qualities of the auto manufacturers. They don’t trust them.

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                    1. You’re right about this, Des, though I’d hazard a guess that Doug’s integrated circuits function like clockwork and without a hitch. However, I’m only willing to vouch for Doug’s integrated circuits.

                      Just got back from a dealer’s service department on round three of fixing the same problem on a “high performance” engine. Wouldn’t it be nice if “high performance” didn’t come with proportionate high maintenance costs? Frankly I prefer one horse power at this point… and it just might come to that.

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                    2. Well, I have had the opposite experience with my cars.  Never been more reliable that ever.  —- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack


                    3. Well Dez, I think it is because they want to sell warranties now.  It’s a big money maker for them.  I disagree that they are not made better meaning more reliable.  They don’t trust like they used to, better suspension, electronic ignition and plugs that can go 100K miles with not tune up (points were every 3k miles), burn cleaner, better gas mileage.  I don’t hear of drive trains failing like I did in the 80s.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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                    4. Dez, you and your Dad must have purchased extended warranties. No production car company in the 60’s exceeded a 50,000-mile standard warranty – and a one or two year 12 or 24,000 mile warranty was the most common. In the 70’s, most companies went back to a one-year warranty. Here’s a brief piece on the history of standard car warranties.history of standard car warranties.history of standard car warranties.

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                    5. I just went from memory on Dad’s Hudson, but my factory ordered 68 pontiac has a 100,000 mile warranty onthe drive train – there was nothing on the contract about charges for an extended waranty. My 88 Suburban [yes, the loaded model] also had an 100,000 mile warenty – with no mention of an additional charge. Charlie says since the dealer was my friend – he may have just chucked it in. But those were my experiences. And I never had to use those warranties – because those vehicles ran forever.

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            2. Bekita you are truly amazing!!!! Is there anything you do NOT know or have not done??? Thank you so much for all your input and knowledge!! You are truly a Blessing from God for all of us!!! Thank you!!!

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              1. Thank you for your kindness, Sweet Noreen. (edit: Now I’m laughing so hard that Father has come to the computer to share in the joy. Noreen, I thought you were replying to my comment about travel in East Berlin. Now I see it’s under the economics comment Desmond wrote. Oh mercy! I’d be an absolute imposter speaking about that field… although, when doing undergraduate work I did write a few papers for my husband when he was taking an economics course. Aced ’em too.)

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            3. (Smile) – I was going to message you when I was sure you were up and about. I was wondering how you would answer questions about Von Mises economics. But I’ve been constantly amazed at the breadth of your knowledge base. Ergo I wouldn’t have been surprised to discover you know a great deal about him.

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                  1. Ha! I just wanted all of you to know that Desmond and I had an economic reconciliation conference this morning at a marvelous German bakery in town. We told some stories, disagreed on a couple of things, agreed on most things, and enjoyed a delicate raspberry-coconut strudel with coffee for two hours. (I am pretty sure Desmond’s half was sugar-free and tasteless…in case his wife is reading this. My half was delicious!). It was grindingly hard work, but someone has to do it. 😉

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                    1. I love this model of friendship… agreeing aplenty and disagreeing some… allowing the other to speak his/her piece… never doubting the good will of the other with each one open to considering an opposing view without needing to be right or pushing an agenda driven by the need to nearly force agreement and, thus, digesting well without need for antacids. Does the bakery deliver?

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                    2. At a marriage conference Lambzie and I went to a long time ago, the speaker was addressing conflict.  He made a statement, “if both of you agreed on everything all the time, one of you is redundant.”—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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        1. I don’t think I want to walk around with a double D covering my face 😎  that said, I agree.  The capitalist scenario will ultimately be self correcting as opposed to the socialist model.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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          1. Hehehehe Doug sooooo funny’ I have so many I’ve saved thru the years of bathing tops which of course I gave up when I got to know God more…I told Michael good I didn’t give away…we have at least 20 potential face mask 😷 dd 😂 also spoke with my beautiful daughter in law tonight and she n my son are we nurses in fort Myers..2 people in their 70s died today, many more tested…she thinks many will die in that area as it is saturated with elderly with underlying condition. I told her I don’t expect to make it with bad lungs I have (started smoking at 12 quit at 52! Dumb) but she says my lungs are good. She said if I get it I probably won’t even know it and just feel crappy for a few days. This girl knows her stuff btw heroine 🦸‍♀️ in my eyes and globetrotting Tommy 🦸‍♂️

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            1. Globetrotting Tommy n Liz are right in the coronavirus trenches how about that…our kiddos..plz pray for them and all health care workers…aren’t our kids amazing and wonderfully made ♥️


                  1. Yikes… please remind us as it gets closer to their departure time, so that the whole TNRS-ASOH crew can flood the gates of heaven with extra prayers for them.

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                    1. Thanks Mick I’m hoping it will be canceled 🤫😉

                      Hey all… just listened to Dr Mark mirraville on first hour of relevant radio like last 20 minutes and he gave really great explanation of why so much panic over this coronavirus.., not sure its up yet on playback but I highly recommend


            2. My daughter is a med surge nurse at a small local hospital about an hour out of Sacramento.  Some of the first US cases in that area.  I pray for her and her family every day.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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              1. Sort of cool Doug Globetrotting Tommy & Liz just left Sacramento…they were also about an hour away and worked in small hospital that cared for inmates . Some pretty wild stories but Tommy said they were all very kind to them (the inmates & the fellow staff) but a bit traumatic…I’ll add them to my daily prayers too Doug…first name of your daughter?

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              2. Joining in prayer for the protection of your daughter, her family and for all of our families who are on the front lines of this serious situation, Doug.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Thanks Mick!  Her husband works full time for the church and their priest is God father to our grandson.  I could not be more satisfied than to see them live their faith with such ferver.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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      3. I think the lessons of the Great Depression might have to be relearned. I’m just the daughter and daughter in law of the young adults and kids who lived it and the grandchild of the parents who had to get their families through it. They didn’t waste anything. Their children left school, went to work and handed over their pay to their parents. The parish church was central to their existence. My in laws were most generous when they treated us to a restaurant dinner but on the other hand when they served dinner at home they would announce that “this dinner only cost $1.59 each”. My dad was the same. Once when visiting him with my kids in tow, he nearly had a heart attack (in this case, just an euphemism) when he saw a stamped lemon in the refrig indicating it was store bought. I had purchased food that day and forgot there was a whole huge lemon tree in the back yard! That lemon was just a complete waste of money.
        Consumerism gives such a faux feeling of security. It’s like a drug that gives you only a temporary rush. You’ve got to pick what fills you up and it really isn’t things.

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    2. ‘Skulls full of mush’. Hahahaha. That’s taken directly from the film, “The Paper Chase,” from many years ago. Yes, we’ve been propagandized for a very long time. Time to recognize it and fight back with classical educations. Praise God!

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  3. Thank you so very much Charlie…or should I say “Professor”? I plan to forward this to everyone I know under 30…it’s brilliant, educational, insightful and oh-so- needed!

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    1. That used to be my m.o. until I realized the fwd material wasn’t always read. So my millennial son humors me by returning to an old-time Victorian custom of reading aloud after dinner. Only the material is sections of Charlie’s, (B’s,Dez’) posts that we take turns reading over the phone (a couple X a month), as he lives out of state. He may tire of it soon, or when he’s married, and he doesn’t always agree with everything. I’m unable to counter every dispute, and so far have been unsuccessful in cajoling him to join the online banter…maybe someday, but at least he’s willing to hear an alternate mindset.

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  4. What a nice explanation of things. Thank you. It’s worth printing and giving out to young knuckleheads. It is disturbing how far Bernie Sanders got. He has never had a job, and owns four houses that are probably very nice, but he would have you and me unable to own one. He touts universal health care, but within 24 hours of his heart attack he used the benefit of American private health care to obtain his needed heart surgery, stents. Under socialized medicine he would wait for months, perhaps die, if he got it at all. But he won’t wait, because he puts himself at the top of the heap, not down here with all the suckers. He’s connected. He’ll get what he needs and he knows it. But he’s willing for you to make that sacrifice. It’s disheartening to see how many actual suckers there are, willing to sign up for it. There’s nothing else to call them but fools. I think you are wrong to give under 30’s any pass. They are young, but we have now a perpetual adolescence going on in the West. People over 20 should be mature men and women, having families, working and contributing. We enable them to be babies for too long. They have been brainwashed, and that is on us. If we learn anything from the 2020 election cycle, it is that our education system needs to be yanked out of it’s hidey hole and examined with a microscope to pick out the Communist bits and excise them from our children’s curriculum. The elites have been able to fill it with Marxism. The people need to get involved and change that, or we are going to lose 2024 to a Communist, if we make it that far.

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    I learned a number of things which led me first to question – and then to reject 20th century Liberalism – Marxism – Socialism – and Communism. Lest anyone presume to think I completely equate those items – I do not. And I understand them with an expertise based on 59 years of continuous, more or less, non-stop study and observation.

    Based on the above, I’ll share a couple of the most precious gems I learned over the years.

    1, Comrade Vladimir Lenin, the first completely Marxist leader of Soviet [Communist] Russia, said the following. ‘Truth is whatever promotes and advances the cause of Communism.’ Obvious Conclusion: Lenin anticipated modern 21st century American political leadership in that those have simply changed the name of the promoted or advanced entity to Liberal/Socialist causes, or those of the Democrat Party’s National Committee. [No I didn’t forget Bernie Sanders, or AOC. Why? Because they aren’t just avowed ‘Liberals’. They are openly self-identified full blown Socialists.]
    All of the above view truth as being completely relative to the purposes of some political end. That is why any and all of them can tell the most outrageous self-evident lies with a straight face. [Remember when Hillary Clinton claimed that when she got off the plane in Sarajevo, they ran off the runway ducking sniper rounds. Only problem, her military security escort pointed out there had not been a snipe round fired in the whole city for over 6 months prior to Hillary baby’s arrival.]

    2. Truly Socialist/Communist countries always end up in shortages – particularly with the former Middle Class scouring garbage dumps and dumpsters for something to feed their family.
    There is an old anecdotal story which vivifies this point beautifully, It begins thusly:

    ‘Socialism is like the bird hunter who went out with his best hunting dog for a weekend hunt.
    At the end of the first day, the hunter realized that he was hopelessly lost, and the dog didn’t seem to know the way back either. So the hunter led them around in circles for the next 3 days. They found creeks with water to drink – but found nothing to eat.
    Finally, the ravenous hunter began eyeing his dog. He didn’t want to kill it – because it was valuable to him as a worker. So instead, he pulled his big hunting knife out of its sheath. He grabbed the end of the dogs tail, cut off most of tail, built a fire, cooked the tail, ate the meat off the bones, and then threw the bones to the dog — who proceeded to lick his masters hand in gratitude for the bones from his tail.

    Trust me, that is a quite accurate analogy to what has been going on in Socialist Venezuela, the former most prosperous nation in Latin and South America. There is a difference in that they aren’t even throwing bones to the slaves in their Socialist paradise. They even militarily stop food AID from the USA and UK at their borders. They kill anyone who tries to bring such into their Socialist paradise.

    All my love in Christ

    I’m dying to tell you more, but it’s been a long day so far.

    Liked by 17 people

  6. Thank you Charlie! I needed this lesson!

    In your opinion are we getting close to societal chaos/outright civil war?

    Will Christians be in gulags here in the US before rescue?

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    1. Funny you should mention that, Littleone. About 20 years ago I had a strange nightmare: as we were leaving church, gestapo-type soldiers were waiting outside and systematically escorting everyone to military type vehicles used for mass roundup, and then I woke up. Back then it seemed bizarre b/c I wasn’t into that genre of movies/literature. These days, however, it seems anything could transpire.

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      1. I had a dream about 5 years ago where a British, Catholic friend of mine and I were thrown into a concentration type camp. She laughed when I told her of the dream. I just hope it doesn’t come to fulfilment!


        1. LittleOne and Maggie, I keep wondering about these things also. Charlie is probably saying not to speculate 🙂 I also have wondered if these things/this virus might be related to the Medjugorje secrets. I hope our dreams are not prophetic, but who knows! I had one, so real, about 25 or so years ago. We were loading a truck in the driveway and getting ready to flee. The truck had a sign that was meaningful to me about where to go. It is good SO FAR that Mama and Jesus are keeping me from being too fearful. 👍 Can’t find praying hands 🙂


          1. Maggie,

            Agreed. I think I recall Charlie saying that sometimes dreams aren’t literal. I honestly feel that I am very constrained. Perhaps not like a physical concentration camp but society today is just so overwhelming and intrusive.

            I have over 50 passwords just to interact socially and professionally. I have numerous clearances just to have a low paying job. Filmed everywhere we go. Just yesterday at urgent care there is a video camera trained on us as we checked in.

            I work in a public school and the kids in my class barely stand for the pledge of allegiance. One 7th grader doesn’t even know the pledge and he came from a private Christian School.

            Political correctness is like a chain weighing me down. I fear to say anything half the time. But perhaps that is something I need to overcome.

            Now I know a little about how it must have been like in Nazi Germany.

            I support Trump because he has done more for the pro-life movement in many years. I get chastised by family and friends if I speak positive about him.

            The one thing I can’t figure out is the economy and jobs. If our economy is doing so well, how come my husband isn’t able to get a job in his career? He is working as a delivery guy for Amazon. It will be a year in June since go from a career job in Marketing/advertising/mgmt. Perhaps because he’s middle age…

            Anyway, there is a range of what lack of freedom can look like. My Godfather has spoken about a roundup of Christians in our future. He follows some prophets of the day and Medjugorgie. He is one of the few people I truly trust.

            I guess that’s where the next right step comes in. Though I am struggling to be a sign of hope these days!

            God help us!


            1. Littleone, praying for your husband’s job situation. God bless your family and students! You may not know till the other side how often you’ve been a sign of hope!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I remember a fella on the bus ride over to recruit training who spent that long trip rattling off all the reasons why he shouldn’t be there and trying to talk himself out of it. When he wasn’t being serious, he was naturally funny… so I took a shining to him right away. Shortly thereafter we were all rubbing our nearly bald pates in agony (this was the long hair days), ‘cept that one fella who was thanking the barber. Clearly he loved a good buzz cut.

              That fella was surprisingly good in classroom exercises, kinda average to sloppy in bunk and military dress maintenance, and fairly awful at running. Dude couldn’t run, much less finish a run to save his life, so it wasn’t unusual for some of the guys to hoist him on backs and carry him to the finish. Also, he came darn close to passing out after the gas drill in the chamber, and barely made it through the fire drills but for a sheer act of will to overcome his terror. To his credit his good humor kicked in, so he had us all rolling after that.

              Then came the water drills. He was the first man in and swam like a fish in fact. When some of the other guys (who obviously never learned how to swim) started sinking to the bottom like rocks, he was the first man in after them. Eventually he made it to graduation day with the rest of the company where I remember him grinnin’ ear to ear, disappeared into the fleet afterwards, and I never saw him again.

              That is, until I was watching Fox News about 10 years ago and a commercial for some military insurance came on. Lo and behold, there’s that same fella –– a career man no less –– touting the benefits of that insurance with his lovely wife.

              If we all gave the lengthy lists of things we can’t do well, it would get down right depressing and derail some by losing focus.

              Focus on what you CAN do –– and probably better than the rest of us –– and the rest will take care of itself.

              Liked by 3 people

  7. Beautiful history lesson Charlie.

    I can’t help but make comparisons with our current generation’s Liberals, who seem to be socialists of a different name and emphasis, or maybe stealth/closet socialists. Liberals love their ideas more than the people, and seem to have the ultimate goal of ruling over the lives & thoughts of other people.

    The Liberals in the days of Beradette at Lourdes wanted to deny the people the healing water of Lourdes, as they rejected God & Christianity.

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    1. This is going to seem like crazy thoughts, but I can’t help but notice the “beast” role communism plays, as well as the “false prophet” role liberals play as described in the book of Revelations. I’m not saying, that’s the interpretation, but it’s hard to ignore the patterns these two polical groups play in comparison…

      Liked by 5 people

      1. And then there was the beast who’s head had a mortal blow, but its mortal would was healed and then the whole world followed in astonishment.  It hit me recently that this may be referring to communism which received a mortal blow back in 1989 and will come back in incredible fashion.   I think folks are intrigued by the Chinese model and it looks to take the world by storm.  Ironically,  the Chinese model has succeeded as much as it has because of Capitalism that was let lose.  I have been to Shanghai and Beijing and these cities are booming metropolises.  I am sure I am not the first person to make this correlation to scripture.As a side note, my older brother is an airline pilot and coincidentally, he had a trip to Beijing and flew me home on one of my trips.  There are four pilots on the long haul flights and they work in shifts.  He bumped me to first class and we had dinner together and talked for about 4 hours.  He flies on average 1-2 trips per month.  I have no sympathy when I hear him make any complaints about his job when considering he is working part time and makes more money than most of us.  I joke with him about it.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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        1. Yes, I see the same things in communism. Communism was wounded when the USSR fell, but recovered through China, and the world is in danger again.

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  8. ….and what will today, First Friday bring? My resolution : Acknowledge God, take the next step and be a sign of hope to all I meet today… one question??? What sign of hope do we give in a world that is falling apart??? I know where Our Hope lies, of course Christ…but how do we convey this hope in this time???

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your very next right step conveys the hope, Linda. As you’ve shared over time about your work, your family, the people you encounter and your heart of prayer, I have no doubt God is making of you a sign of hope ala your French sister’s style. St. Thérèse was declared a Doctor of the Church living her life intending to Love TNRS. And she is a patron of this site.

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      1. Thank you my “our” beautiful Beckita!!! Your answer helped me so much!!! I really want to be that game little fellow and help Our Lord in this poor suffering world! 🤗😘♥️♥️♥️Thank you again😇 and Happy First Friday♥️

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  9. The nitty gritty with socialism’s problem is it rejects God.
    We pray at mass “through Him all good things come”.
    So, without Him -no good things come.
    Reject God-reject goodness.
    We can assess the mental, social, political, and historical reasons why it doesn’t work, but THAT is the reason it doesn’t work.
    It can’t.
    God is the leven in the bread of life. All of it.
    That is why dispite them looking at other successful communities that work, they can’t get it “right”. The successful communities did not reject God and He made sufficient what they lacked. “For man, it’s impossible but with God all things are possible”.
    Humanity was created to be in communiin with God, if he breaks that order he becomes disordered and creates disorder.
    Charlie likes to use stories as an analogy. As a naturalist, I’ll give you a living example of this disorder.
    The Burmese python has been bred in captivity now for over 50 years. There are several different types or “morphs” of them through breeders experimenting with cross-breeding different color strains together in order to get certain color morphs. Along with these color changes they bred for tameness, adaptability and survivability by breeding only the most resistant animals to stress, fungal/viral infections, for size/strength and even intellegence. In essence, they creates a “super” form of Burmese that is able to survive in many environments unlike the natural form which was Taylor-made only for its home range in Burma.
    Now comes Hurricane Andrew.
    This storm released a large number of these animals into the surrounding Everglades when it destroyed houses, zoos and reptile dealer facilities.
    These super snakes had no problem adapting to their new environment, not only because man had manipulated their genetics but had cleared the path to their success in the Everglades by diking, draining and farming it which reduced or exterpated all/most of the apex predators (Panthers, large alligators, bobcats, grey wolf, etc). This allowed the over proliferation of other species. (wild hogs, raccoons, small alligators (the larger gators eat them) invasive fish, etc). The python, as an apex predator, simply took over the place left in this badly damaged ecosystem.
    All because we (man) disrupted the natural order of both an environment and just one snake.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. A great analysis, Charlie, particularly as regards the actual truth of the much-touted “Scandinavian socialism” – another unicorn & fairy dust illusion of the ill-educated. Add to that the fact that these countries, like much of Europe, have population decline due to fertility rates being below replacement level, so that the utopia just couldn’t be paid for anyway.

    Beckita, like you I saw the old East Berlin back in the mid-80s. My thought was: “If this is the best they can do, I’d hate to see the worst”. The GDR was in fact reckoned to be their showcase. The creepy thing, to me, was that while the people, especially the young, were dressed and looked pretty much like us, in practice there was an “atmosphere” about the place, not helped by an awful experience going through the Wall, and that air of, almost, menace hung about during the entirety of our stay. Needless to remark, there was little worth buying, with the exception of good classical music recordings but since it was all LPs we couldn’t, given we were travelling with backpacks and on trains. There were no cassettes!

    Anyone of that time, unless they were raving lefties or very badly educated, would have expected all that, and worse, about Eastern Europe – and boy, we weren’t disappointed! It really did confirm all the stereotypes. My sister went to Budapest around the same time and had the same experience. She was living in Italy then, and a lot of her Italian friends were typical young, and not-so-young, student “radicals” (Italians could be at Uni. forever in those days, all free). She gleefully informed them of the actual reality – she would have despised communism as much as I did – and many just refused to believe and, being Italians, argued passionately that she was mistaken, misled, blahdy-blah. Yet, strangely, they seemed reluctant to actually travel to any of these paradises, despite another “shop window”, Yugoslavia, being easily reachable just across the Adriatic. The Italian Communist Party was still big in those days, of course, and supported by just such idiots.

    How strange to hear all this same nonsense coming again from the current young generation – as we’ve seen with their large support for the bolshie-greenie-goonsquad in our recent election. Ok, they haven’t got a majority, thank God, but they are in a position of dangerous influence. God help us.

    And with that in mind, tomorrow’s the First Saturday.

    Blessings to all, J.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Interesting, J. You’ve expressed well the “atmosphere” of going into the old East Berlin. We took a bus tour in and, as you can imagine, were shown every communist monument possible. It really was the entry into a place surrounded by soldiers with rifles that creeped me out the most. Also drove in the VW bug throughout Yugoslavia. Even more horrific was the walk through Dachau’s concentration camp. The smell of evil lingers in that place. This discussion bring on the heart cry: Maranatha!

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      1. We were actually staying in W. Berlin so went in early, the main thing for me being the very good museums (having not long before qualified in archaeology). But we had a good amount of time to walk around and actually see. We were pretty clued-in anyway but the reality really struck one, not least a very long queue outside a shop (we didn’t ask, our German wouldn’t have been good enough and it would probably have been seen as “provocative”). They were of course very used to Westerners, and as I said the clothes etc were pretty much like us but nobody talked to us. The staff in the restaurant we went to were particularly unfriendly – and my God, we were far from well off but it was pretty high class and I think that was it – two young Westerners flaunting it, as they saw it. It had a mainly pork-based menu. Ok, pork is big in Germany, but the only alternative was chicken. Nothing else, that day at least. When we left a tip in (to us, worthless) GDR currency they practically snarled!! Deutschmarks were expected, but we’d had to change ours at the Wall at a ruinous rate. “Der kollektiv dankt ihnen”, as it said on the receipt (“the Collective thanks you”). Well yes… if you had DM.

        One day was enough, we didn’t go back. Oh yes, we went out via Checkpoint Charlie. There was a really interesting “museum of the Wall” on the Free side, detailing all the escape attempts. Imagine – people escaping from the Workers’ Paradise. The ingrates.

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    1. I do not doubt that there is a virus, and at least one of its mutations has been identified, with now a second reported. The feds need little excuse to expand–just look at how EPA went from a good idea to a carnivorous monster bureaucracy. Apart from those qualifiers, he is right about the self-interests of local governments and pharma motivated to cash in on another influenza virus, just estimated by the feds to actually have a typical mortality rate for grown ups.

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    2. Great article, III. Hope he’s correct, but the humor is wonderful. Yeah, over $8 billion?! Wow!

      We’ve gone off in some other directions, Charlie, but awesome post that you wrote. If only every school kid could read it – grade school through college!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Stevebc I had coconut oil last night on my food and my mind is not as dizzy today,,,I’ve noticed big difference and keep wondering…what the heck??! Didn’t even feel dizzy when I drove today?? Not as forgetful..can this be true and that quick???

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  12. The second I saw “Pie in the Sky,” I was wishing you had used some other idiom since I happen to be particularly fond of pie (out of all the essential foods groups). Even so, I’ve decided to lump a whole bunch of things into what I’m now calling “the pie index.”

    Bought a pecan pie last night along with a couple other odd sundries. Sadly, I couldn’t help but notice skimpy or fully depleted areas where once sat other essentials like canned chili, milk bones and TP. Seems the older gal in front of me in the checkout line was buying for a family of ten. That, and she was agitated. One checkout aisle over, another guy was apparently stocking bar for 100. He too was agitated. And on, and on across the aisles.

    Bad enough that trials must come, but it seems that many are determined to exacerbate the issue at least 10 fold. Crazy scene notwithstanding, I’ve been mildly surprised that I seem to have 10 fold the energy and gumption to put out there what I usually put out there. Wrinkled brows and startled faces are to be expected, but those smiles are priceless.

    Praying for all here for focus, strength and courage, and I dearly hope none of us are contributing to the nonsense. If necessary (and not to simply to make comparisons), look at those amongst you who can see and assess things without getting transfixed, and follow their lead. A mom, a granddad, a friend, a child, a co-worker, the gal behind the cash register…. whoever. Before you know it, others are following.

    Time to be reliable bellwethers, folks, whether you think you’re up to it or not.

    Liked by 7 people

  13. Some of these natural health sites do seem overly optomistic but anything which may help is worth a try especially since Vitamin C is one of the more non toxic ones around. As for me I usually take about a gram a day normally and when I am feeling I am coming down I take a gram every hour or so. My wife, who is more skeptical of these things and takes far less was sick much longer this year when we both caught stuff and I would usually get over things much faster until the last time when I was undergoing radiation treatment and was fearful of taking too much, due to possibly weakening the effects of the radiation. .

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  14. Charlie, It was hard to stop laughing (because of the underlying truth),
    ” If socialism were ever to actually take hold in this country, make sure to get plenty of pets now. You’re going to need them in your kitchen later. And get all the pie you can early on, for it will not be long until the next pie you see will be in the sky when you die. ”

    Let me add about the work mentality that I experienced in the federal civil service in comparison to private industry, too. I worked in Army R&D for approx a quarter century, from bench level scientist to super grade/Senior Executive Service, and afterward for a decade in private industry, at staff level and management. The Civil Service (CS)works as insulated positions, but with an eagerness to expand whatever the program is, and thereby to increase both job protection and promotion potential. Good work is truly valued, but the organizational priority is preserving the organization above all else. Routine CS staff have no zeal (granted some folks are highly motivated by personality), and put in time. By contrast in the private sector, hard work and superior performance are the rule, and lazy support staff are not continued the way they are in the CS. The motivation level in private industry compared to the CS — there is no comparison. Private industry works for an objectively measurable bottom line, whereas government work is punching a clock. It’s difficult for me to get excited in my old age, but Sanders and Warren are able to get me angry at their stupidity about sharing the wealth when the government is placed in charge of production and distribution. Your essay well explained the sheer stupidity of collectivism, including mention of how Lenin finally realized his mistake.

    And I have a general slow burn over how our educators, from El Sch thru university level for have ignored the awful history of Communism and Socialism –but they have a reason, which is union job protection and secure government funding. The universities also became rich from federal government subsidy of student loans.

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    1. I observed this behavior Jack when I used to work for a military contractor that was highly unionized.  It made me see how counter productive unions can be.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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  15. You’re right, Beckita, about the “evil” smell lingering in Dachau. I’ll never forget the sad and sick feeling I felt. I couldn’t finish my visit after seeing the photo of the pile of shoes and all the letters sons were sending to their mothers. So very sad….and nauseating.
    I lived in Munich in 1970 and visited Dachau back then. I suspect Germany has changed a lot since those days of very little crime…if any at all!!
    I LOVED the Adriatic Sea near Porec, Yugoslavia…the only area we visited. Probably one of my favourite places in Europe. Hoping to make it to Medjugorje one day.
    Maranatha is right. I look forward to the day when “EVERY knee will bow….”

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Oh yes, AgentJ9! That first drive along the Adriatic seacoast in ’77 was glorious! And it was just as lovely in ’91 when I made pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Amen to every knee bowing. It will be pure joy to do so in synchronized solidarity with so many… Along with praying Psalm 67:5: “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.”

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  16. Well First Saturday Mass was “eventful” this morning. The “acting” Pastor went on a tirade after the homily about receiving communion on the tongue.

    Yesterday, at First Friday Mass he refused to give me communion on the tongue, so I just went back to the pew and prayed the spiritual communion.

    I sent him an email with supporting evidence that:
    1. The faithful cannot be refused communion on the tongue
    2. That the Archbishop stated it was up to each pastor how best to “contain” the spreading of germs at Mass (no hand holding, no kiss of peace—inform parishioners not to receive if they are ill—just stay home, etc)
    3. That the Archbishop never said, “communion in the hand” only

    So after the pastor’s homily today and because he saw that (veiled woman–me) in the pews, he went into a tirade on the fact he had been given “the power” by the Archbishop to decide what’s best. He said that if anyone presented themselves for communion on the tongue—and he gets saliva on his fingers—he will wipe the saliva on his vestments (here he demonstrates the action)—then he will stop, go up and sanitize his hands before resuming communion. Also, he will instruct every EM to do the same (he missed the part where I said that only consecrated hands should touch Jesus 😉). And on and on he went.

    Needless to say, I did not present myself for communion—I had a feeling he would “act out” his threat to make an example of me.

    So I ask you, where is the “pastoral” concern for faithful souls? He could have just kept quiet on the matter and it wouldn’t have become such a big deal. No one else receives on the tongue at that parish anyway. Sheesh.

    The Masses in Latin (Extraordinary Form) seem to not have this problem. Everyone is on their knees, receiving Jesus on the tongue. We never hold hands, kiss or shake hands during Mass anyway.

    Stay home if your sick. Wash your hands. And pray for the sanity of our N.O. priests—overreacting to this virus is the “media’s” job. Join us at your nearest TLM Mass.

    I now see Covid 19 as the “crisis” that can move us closer to a one world order, one religion, etc. Who said, “never let a crisis go to waste”.

    What do you think?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. SanSan,

      I understand your concerns … but ….. remember that your Pastor, every other Pastor/Church Leader Catholic/otherwise, must be aware of the legal, insurance and ALL the Christian Haters Out-There ramifications of this sad World we now live in ;-(
      It’s the Bishop who, in my opinion is the “weak sister” here. The Bishop should be More Aware than anyone of the above ramifications & legal liabilities These Days! He Set-Up the Pastors “in the trenches” to be the Fall-Guys.
      I don’t believe that Jesus or any of the Apostles or early Disciples insisted that Holy Communion be received on the tongue or Blessed Wine be received from a communal cup. Please correct me if I’m mistaken!
      As some worthy once quipped: “Discretion is the better part of valor”. We, in my opinion, have more important “Hills to Die On”.


      Liked by 5 people

      1. I sympathize with SanSan, CrewDog. I’ve read that Our Lord should not be touched by any but the consecrated hands of the priest. Additionally, there is the possibility that fragments of the Host will be left on the hand of the one receiving Our Lord. Plus, it seems to me that from a hygenic point of view, receiving in the hand exposes the Host to all the creepy germs we’ve picked up on our hands, for example, just touching the pews. Receiving on the tongue eliminates that issue. I wonder if the custom of receiving on the tongue developed as a means of better protecting Our Lord?

        Liked by 7 people

        1. My sympathy is with San San as well, Kim, and I do receive on the tongue but I know each Bishop has the legitimate authority to allow receiving on the hand. I will add that before I began receiving on the tongue again – as was the dictum in my childhood days – I had a devotional practice of receiving Jesus while thinking of my hand as a cradle… and in that moment when He was in my hand, I thanked Him that the wood of the cradle became the wood of the Cross became the altar upon which He was consecrated and then I kissed the host – Him – before placing Him on my tongue.

          I share this to say, there are loving ways to obey what Church authorities are asking of us in these difficult days. It is too, too easy for us to sow seeds of bitterness into our own hearts and into the hearts of those around us by how we comport ourselves in these difficulties. May Our Lady protect each of our hearts as we think, speak and act in response to what we are called to manage in these events as they are.

          But now these three things abide: faith, hope, love; but THE greatest of these IS love.

          Liked by 5 people

    2. SanSan: You asked “What do you think?” as the final line in your comments so I will tell you what I think. Please understand that I appreciate your comments and the insights that you bring to us. I do however, disagree with some of the points you raise here.

      First, as to the Covid-19 virus. The medically trained people in my family are extremely concerned about this. Far from overreacting, they do not feel the media, or the government, are doing enough to properly warn the public about the seriousness of this disease. They never had such concerns about the list of things that Patrick Coffin spouted off about in his commentary. But they are very concerned now and they are taking prudent precautions to protect themselves and their families.

      To dismiss the virus as “fake news” or nothing more than media hype is extremely reckless. To do so in a public forum is to put your listeners and/or readers in danger. There is something serious going on here. I pray against it every day. I hope and pray to God to mitigate this scourge and to take this cup away from us. I do not pretend that we can ignore the situation. I do not believe that, in spite of ourselves, God will protect us from our own lack of concern and wisdom in approaching the virus.

      I pray, and I am taking prudent steps to protect myself and my loved ones. I believe the stance we need to take is one of “Praise God and pass the ammunition.” We need to cry out for God’s protection and at the same time use our minds and the tools He has placed in our possession to do our part in overcoming this enemy.

      Second, In the past eighteen months I have come to an awareness of traditional Catholicism which I must confess had not even been on my radar for the past forty years. Having returned to the Church through the Charismatic Renewal, I found a fulfilling faith and spiritual life in the Novus Ordo Mass and the Church as reformed by Vatican II. With the re-emergence of the sordid history of sexual abuse scandals I began to study more deeply about the Church. In this search I came into contact with the growing traditionalist movement. There is so much in the tradition that I appreciate. I love the beauty and solemnity of the Latin Mass. I think some of the practices and traditions (such as real fasting and penance during Lent and deeper Marian devotion) need to be looked at anew and be re-presented to the people as import to our spiritual life and growth. Certainly, the reality of Transubstantiation needs to be preached with vigor to a people who largely don’t know or understand it.

      At the same time, I am already completely wearied from the constant refrain about the “superiority” of all things traditional. I understand the desire to treat the presence of Christ in the Eucharist with worship, honor, dignity and respect. For you that means receiving on the tongue. For me, the awe and wonder of holding the Christ, the Lord and Savior of the universe, in my hand is an affirmation of His love and commitment to be with us always. I have no doubt that had I met Him in person in Galilee He would have embraced me and held my hands in His. Receiving in my hand, is the physical, present reality of that embrace. Please do not denigrate my faith in this regard, or strive to take such a powerful reality away from me.

      There is room for both of us, and our practices, in the Church if we agree to be loving and gentle with each other and to respect the differing ways we approach our Lord.

      You know this priest is uncomfortable with giving Communion on the tongue. Out of charity, why try to force him into an activity that he does not want to undertake, and which his bishop, apparently does not require him to take. I do not go to a Latin Mass with the attitude that I am going to get the priest to use more English in the Mass because Vatican II says I have a right to hear the Mass in the vernacular.

      The Church needs everyone of us to be united in praying for her renewal and conversion. We need to put on Love over all things especially when we are dealing with each other.


      Liked by 6 people

      1. Wisdom abounds in what you’ve written, JT. (I also appreciate the rich wisdom of your comment, Ed. Obedience is a precious gift and, sometimes, so tempting to ignore, yet, this very site continues while Charlie had been ready to shut it down if his Bishop had made such a request.)

        Back to your thoughts, JT. This, to me, is gold: “I pray, and I am taking prudent steps to protect myself and my loved ones. I believe the stance we need to take is one of ‘Praise God and pass the ammunition.’ We need to cry out for God’s protection and at the same time use our minds and the tools He has placed in our possession to do our part in overcoming this enemy.” In solidarity of prayer with you, JT. Praying that just as Joseph with the coat of many colors, who had been tossed in the cistern by his brothers, proclaimed to them when they reconciled: “As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this—to preserve the lives of many people.” I pray that GREAT spiritual good, as well as temporal good, comes from the people and events connected to the corona virus.

        This, too, struck a chord: “At the same time, I am already completely wearied from the constant refrain about the ‘superiority’ of all things traditional. I understand the desire to treat the presence of Christ in the Eucharist with worship, honor, dignity and respect.” And beyond any person’s opinion, let us remember, Mother Church herself has approved BOTH the Novus Ordo AND the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. It is our very hearts which the Lord intimately knows and records in each one’s Book of Life as we live, move and have our being in Him.

        God bless us, one and all.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. JT, I very much appreciated this post of yours.

        (A) I know enough about the situation NOT to underestimate the potential danger of the Corona Virus. I’m taking serious steps in preparation to help me, my family, and some others who might need such help. I say some, because I don’t have the financial capability to make it more than ‘some’ – if it erupts bigtime in the USA.

        (B) I have no problem with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. None. I love Latin and have taught and tutored that language to seminarians for years. While I regularly attend mass (almost daily) in our parish church just a few blocks from our house – I most often choose to receive on the tongue [without judging or thinking less of anyone who prefers in the hand].
        I know and teach history of the development of the Liturgies of the Sacraments [particularly of the Eucharist] – in both the East and West of the Church. Reception in the hand of the Eucharist in the Infant Church was virtually universal. During the early Roman persecutions of the Church, it is an historic fact that, with the approval of Rome, laity were allowed to take the Eucharist home with them to communicate themselves throughout the week. In particular, this was officially recognized and done so that if the Romans or their minions began to break into your house in the middle of the night – you could rush to the spot where the Eucharist resided and communicate yourself to strengthen yourself for the impending suffering of martyrdom.

        I also have no problem with the Church changing that discipline to communicate on the tongue. That was the standard in both the East and the West til the 20th Century. IT IS A DISCIPLINARY MATTER – AND NOT A MATTER OF DIVINE PRECEPT.

        I slept in rather late [for me] this morning. If that hadn’t happened, I was thinking about going down to the metro Denver FSSP Chapel – which is 30 miles away – to be with some friends who are parishioners there. But given my late rising – that became impossible.

        In other words, I don’t denigrate anyone for their personal preference in this matter. The Church doesn’t, and never has, so how dare I? There are those who believe that since the Eastern Rites of the Church have ALWAYS had lay vocal participation in the prayers of the Mass [not just by those serving at the altar] – that that means the Latin Rite is out of step by having Masses with less lay participation than that of the East. They are wrong also. THIS ALSO IS A MATTER OF LITURGICAL DISCIPLINE AND NOT A MATTER OF DIVINE PRECEPT.

        All my love in Christ


        Liked by 6 people

        1. Thanks for the history and the clarity, Desmond.

          This brings to mind another matter on which I’d appreciate your input for clarification. Isn’t it true that the Roman Catholic Church allows its faithful who are not able to attend a RCC Mass to receive the Eucharist from an Greek Orthodox priest at one of their their Divine Liturgies? I may not have stated the language appropriately so, please, help me with that if needed.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It is true. Even when I was a boy in the 1940’s, the nuns and priests taught us that if you were in danger of death, you could have an Eastern Orthodox priest hear your confession and give you ‘the last rites’.

            Liked by 4 people

          2. BECKIE, I meant to add – but forgot – that the central points in this particular discussion revolve around several key factors. 1) The Church has always held that the Sacraments of the Eastern Orthodox are VALID. 2) So, the point of being able to receive sacraments from them is a disciplinary matter for the Church [“Whatever you shall bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven]. All that has changed is that today the Magisterium’s Discipline in this matter is that, whereas in the past you could receive the last sacraments — when you were in immediate danger of death — if no Catholic priest was avaliable; Now you may receive communion if no Catholic priest/mass is available. [This is most common in the East, in areas where there are many more Eastern Orthodox priests/parishes than there are Roman Catholic.] It is all a matter of Liturgical Discipline.

            Liked by 2 people

    3. San San one of the themes I have been meditating on lately is the grace of Obedience.

      I recently finished reading St. Lucia dos Santos’ 6 memoirs. Her life is perhaps the most illuminating example of a life of Obedience to those placed in authority over her by God that I have ever read about.

      Why was she so clinging to her Obedience to authority, including her priests, bishops and religious superiors?

      Bottom line: St Lucia believed that God will never punish acts of obedience to those he places in authority over us. That would include our parish priests, our bishops and the Pope.

      St Lucia saw Obedience as a kind of Get Out of Jail Free card. I believe Obedience relieved a lot of stress and worry about her dealing with the secrets of Fatima which she carried on her shoulders for many years. Our Lady placed her under a veil of secrecy concerning the message when she was just 10 years old. As she grew older she finally revealed the entirety of what Our Lady related to her in obedience to the Bishop’s request to write down her memoirs not withholding any of the message of Fatima. This was the source of the material sent to the Vatican. If she had failed to be Obedient to those in authority over her who requested she release the whole story of Fatima we would never have known the Fatima message. She would have take it to the grave with her.

      Obedience can be a kind of Get Out of Jail Free card for us as well. Liberating to the conscience. Jesus said that he came to set the captives free. Obedience is one means to freedom. God will not punish us for being obedient to what we may consider to be outlandish or nutty direction from our priests, bishops and the Pope.

      If your priest directs you to take communion in your hand you won’t go to Hell for complying with the direction as a matter of Obedience to God through His representative on Earth. Obedience to such direction will relieve you and me from a lot of stress and worry. God loves you for Obedience and it is a great gift of grace in our lives.

      I recommend the memoirs of St Lucia to you especially her constant reflections on Obedience.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. please…..I know I won’t go to hell if I take by hand. I choose not to receive by hand, because I know that I don’t have to.

        Now, IF there was an directive from my Bishop that I have to—I would be obedient.

        I can attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and receive Jesus kneeling at the altar rail, on tongue.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I understand how we receive to be discipline and not doctrine.  Of course, we must receive with the most greatest of reverence.  I prefer on the tongue.  There had been some reticence from some churches to distribute in the hand due to people walking away with the host.  On the tongue protects against this.  However, it is not an absolute.  The best reverence we can give our Lord is but a good, pure and clean heart filled with God’s grace from living our calling.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Once in the 1960’s one of the best most knowledgable parish priests I ever knew told me that before communion in the hand, people used to steal hosts. The priest would put it on their tongue, they would get right up and turn around and palm it.

          Liked by 3 people

              1. Hmmm.  Maybe can ask another parishioner to go see to that person so as to not step out of position.  Probably EMs should have training on these types of situations.  I have not en countered an issue.  So I have not given it much h thought, but it causes me to pause and think now.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

                Liked by 1 person

            1. When I was very young and serving as an alter boy our church mixed the bread and wine together and served it to each communicate with a spoon while they kneeled around the communion rail. No chance to bring that home easily!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Was than an Eastern Rite Parish. Many of the Byzantines do this. I and my family were in a [Ukrainian] Byzantine Rite parish for a decade – between 1980 and 1990. That was their method of distributing Communion.


                1. No Des, it was the Roman Catholic church St Cecelia in Clearwater, FL. I was a wee lad so it was back in the 60’s.
                  I attended the Catholic School up the road a piece from there by the same name. We received the host on the tongue when a mass was said at the school so it may have been the presiding priests privilege to use this method. It was during the early morning mass when I remember them doing this, seems on Sunday we received the host.


                  1. Are you referring to intincture, where the priest dipped the host into the consecrated wine? Or are you saying he placed the hosts in the chalice and dipped them out with a spoon.


          1. I may have been wrong about my dad’s 52 Hudson. but I’m not wrong about my 68 Pontiac. Yes, it was factory ordered, but I didnt pay for any extended warranty – and it was 100,000 miles.

            Liked by 1 person

    4. “2. That the Archbishop stated it was up to each pastor how best to “contain” the spreading of germs at Mass (no hand holding, no kiss of peace—inform parishioners not to receive if they are ill—just stay home, etc)
      3. That the Archbishop never said, “communion in the hand” only”–SO OBEDIENCE IS NOT THE ISSUE

      I’ve read everyone’s comments. I agree with Kim. So many abominations have been inflicted on our dear Lord since the practice of receiving in the hand. Receiving on the tongue eliminates all the possible desecration.

      When in Rome, at Easter, I was on up at the main Altar area, with the POPE……EVERYONE received on the tongue. Just sayin

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I understand, San San… at least some it, since I’ve been known to go well out of my way to receive Holy Communion on the tongue rather than in the hand. “Intent,” though, is very important, as B has given us in a great example with her cradle. “Obedience” is essential, as Ed pointed out. I’m definitely with Crewdog on this: pick your battles. Mostly I’m just wondering how our relationship with God sometimes gets so complicated –– when He is simplicity Himself.

      The youngest of my siblings, and the last great comeback story in the Faith as far as my family is concerned, is getting married in the Church in May. When asked if I had made my flight arrangements yet, I let him know there’s no way I’m flying down. Naturally he was upset, until I reminded him that my middle name is “Roadtrip,” and that I’d be exploring the back routes –– with its countless hidden diners and pie counters –– all the way from here to Houston, enroute to said wedding.

      Heck, if I’m going to contract corona virus, I’m NOT going to be packed into a petri dish like a sardine, and at the hands of some uptight flight attendant. I’ll take it with my pie, thank you, and from some “Flo,” with her genuine smile and truly interesting story.

      I think we all need to avoid cynicism like the plague, especially in these time. My wife works full time placing traveling Cath Lab nurses in a massive territory. From Pennsylvania to Washington, down coast through California, through the desert here, over to Texas and back up. To a nurse, they happen to agree with JT.

      Finally, what good listening to the media? You know the left will try to spin it to their advantage and cause a panic. But don’t think for a second that this administration isn’t trying to spin too. Trump has pinned an awful lot on economic success, reckless as those fiscal policies are. It’s one of his weak spots, and he’s really backed himself into a corner.

      Liked by 5 people

    6. I’m sorry for what happened to you SanSan, and the way it was done. I fully empathize with you, but I do see both sides. I do know that Communion on the tongue can be done without ever touching any part of a person’s mouth. I used to be an EMHC until the Lord moved me away from that as part of my spiritual journey (raised very traditionally, powerful conversion experience through the Charismatic renewal, re-consecration to the Blessed Mother and a return to loving the traditions of our Church, above all reverence, that has been lost). Sorry for the length, just trying to put it in a nutshell 🙂

      BTW, are you by any chance in San Diego? It’s a huge area, but if you don’t want to say, I understand.

      Liked by 4 people

  17. This and the previous post have been very inspired. Thank you. There is a lot of wisdom to chew on. I appreciate the wisdom from Charlie, Beckita, Desmond. and others.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. I have finished sending angels for Bernie and while not having come up with the next person at mass right after communion and getting ready to start the new novena, I prayed for guidance on who and very shortly it popped into my mind, Elizabeth Warren for this week. God is so good to me.
    May God continue to protect, guide and bless all here. jas

    Liked by 7 people

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