Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

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Division in Our Nation

When faced with the division so apparent in our nation between the left and the right, it is important to define the conflict in order to seek a remedy.  
Is the conflict between Democrats and Republicans, between liberals and conservatives, between left and right a result of a difference of opinion that can be sorted out or solved by debate and by compromise?
Or is the conflict so fundamental and central that we have reached the point of war, for which very different tactics must be used?  And, if so, who initiated the war, and is peace even possible?

Conservatives Trying to Understand

When faced with someone’s actions that mystify you, the best policy is to assume the best about them (practice forbearance), to try to put yourself into the other’s shoes (show empathy), and to search for rational explanations and good motivations that might possibly lead a person to do what you find so perplexing.
These are the fundamentals of decent Judeo-Christian behavior which I was taught by my parents and by the Sisters of Saint Joseph (who educated me in New York City at St. Benny’s Catholic School in Richmond Hill) during my elementary years.

This is generally the best way to approach life, and it’s what those of us who try not to be curmudgeons strive for most of the time. 

Even when people do that which for us conservatives is unthinkable, like killing their own babies in the womb, we try to drum up explanations explaining their choices and softening their intent.  They could not afford a baby.  They felt social stigma.  They assumed the child would have a miserable life. They wanted to avoid inconvenience and had no idea how serious their choice actually was. They fell for secular propaganda without thinking.

  

This works for explaining the motivations of many nice people who are liberals, particularly those who have not devoted much thought to the issues at hand, and who themselves innocently try to fit in with the new and sometimes shocking “social values” that are presented to them (and most recently demanded of them) by our “culture.”
 
That “culture” is now predominantly defined and then controlled by the left. 
With the help of the now primarily leftist media,  the left projects the “everybody thinks this way” image very successfully, whether that is accurate or not.  Their message actually goes beyond “everybody thinks this way,”  and is rather more like “you are scum (racist, …etc.ist) if you don’t think our way.” So, wanting to fit in and not make waves, nice liberal people buckle easily under pressure from the extreme left, and become increasingly more liberal, not realizing the trouble for which they are headed.   

No Longer Liberal

In this way, the previously nice liberals in our midst have slowly been replaced by a very forceful element of the radical far left, to whom the word “liberal” no longer applies. 
They are no longer “liberal” or “easy” or “permissive” about anything. They are now quite angry, dictatorial, and inflexible, and, despite their free use of the word “tolerance,” are not very tolerant about anything with which they themselves disagree.  In fact, they even no longer refer to themselves as “liberals,” but now prefer the word “progressives.”  They try to dictate to all of us where our culture and our values must “progress,” they intolerantly label us with hateful names when we don’t comply, and they use increasingly violent and even illegal tactics on anyone who dares to disobey their agenda or to resist. Examples of the weapons used are:

This consummation by hatred that we see in the modern left comes at a very heavy price.  It damages not only the progressive haters and their victims (the Trump supporters), but the entire nation.   
The term Trump derangement syndrome has even been coined —
Trump derangement syndrome (TDS) is a term for irrational criticism and negative reactions to President Donald Trump that have little regard towards Trump’s actual positions or actions taken, or even whether these positions or actions are clearly in the best interests of the country, and were positions held by Democrats recently.

 

Enough is Enough

When it comes to the leaders who are steering the new very radical and apparently very hateful left, our Christian attempts at understanding and overcoming disagreement, by practicing good will and forbearance, now fall short.

When faced with Antifa-like attacks, no amount of good will or forbearance will help.
You don’t approach Antifa-(oops, Attila)-the-Hun with good will and forbearance.
Efforts at logic, reason and debate simply enrage the radicals further.   

Their radical demands keep shifting to the extreme, demanding more and more”rights” which now routinely trample the real rights of the majority.  For instance:

  • Democrats now demand the “right” to kill an unwanted baby after “accidental” birth.
  • Democrats demand that America’s borders be simply removed, and that anyone from anywhere who walks into our country must be openly accepted and given all “rights” that previously had to be earned through comprehensive citizenship scrutiny and eligibility.
  • Regarding support for declining moral standards, Democrats demand the “right” of AIDS patients to engage in promiscuous behavior without warning the other party, thus infecting others. (Half a million young men died unnecessarily during the AIDs crisis because facts about the transmission of AIDs were concealed.)
  • And Democrats demand the “right” to change modesty standards in restrooms for the entire nation. 
  • In attempts to garner control of the country, Democrats even advocate eradication of the Constitution’s Electoral College in favor of a popular vote, thus disenfranchising rural America.  Rural America is then expected to feed and support left-wing urban America, while the urban left gets to control government and law and free-load off rural areas. 
  • And the list goes on…..

When a squeaky wheel begins to demand too much, and tramples the rights of others with their excessive demands, the time comes for reasonable people to declare that “enough is enough.”
The left now demands such a fundamental compromise of core values that no reasonable Christian could or should agree to compromise any longer.  

Even the Left Jumps Ship

The left has become too radical even for the left.
 
David Horowitz is one example of a devoted left wing activist of the 1960’s, who realized by the 1980’s that the left had migrated too far in its “ends justify the means” philosophy– in his case, going too far meant the murder of Horowitz’s friend by left wing activists.   
David Horowitz then abandoned the left, and for the next 30 years applied his intellect and talent  to opposing the left. 
David Horowitz has now been a leading conservative thinker and writer for several decades, until his death in early 2019.   

According to David Horowitz, progressive leaders of the left have declared war on America and its constitutional system, and are even willing to collaborate with America’s enemies abroad, and with criminals at home, to bring America down. He does not portray them as people who can be reasoned with, or people who are capable of compromise.  He does not even believe that they want the best for our nation — something that I had assumed all along.  In my naïveté, I have always assumed that the left wants the best for our country, but disagrees with me on the best route by which to achieve it.
 
Horowitz’s contention that the radical left hates America and the principles upon which it was built, and wants to destroy all that our nation stands for, is a game changing concept.  We can no longer hope to reason with and “convert” the left; instead we must expect escalating attacks and learn how to protect ourselves from them.       

Surely, This is Paranoia?

I would never have believed until very recently that leaders of the left (Pelosi, Biden, Hillary, Barack…) had direct intentions to damage America, as Horowitz suggests.

 
But extreme events have come to light during the past three years.  It has been reported that certain members of the leadership in the previously trusted and respected FBI, DOJ, CIA, FISA court and DNC, have colluded with Fusion GPS, Yahoo news and other main stream media, to produce false accusations against President Trump, in an effort to depose him, effectively initiating a coup.  The extent and lawlessness of this apparent subversive “deep state,” coordinating secret lies and violating laws to reverse an American election, have convinced me that there is, indeed, a conspiracy on the part of the left in our country. 

That conspiracy sought to unseat President Trump unjustly.  It is now widely known that:

  • Numerous leftist government officials prioritized unseating a sitting President over the welfare of the nation. 
  • In setting up their open “resistance movement,” numerous Democrat leaders refuse to support projects under President Trump which they previously supported under President Obama (such as building of a wall, or restrictions on immigration).  
  • Democrats oppose work needed for the safety of the American people by our law enforcement officers just to “resist” President Trump.
  • Many left-leaning politicians, also supported by the hostile press, place priority on damaging the President over protecting our citizenry and over maintaining our nation’s credibility abroad.  

For 3 years now, the Democrats have behaved like a child who rips the head off the favorite doll of a sibling rather than see that sibling enjoy (and possibly share) the precious doll.
  
The spitefulness of the left has now risen to the level that they side with Iran and with sadistic mastermind Qassem Soleimani, rather than acknowledge the accomplishments of President Trump in stemming terror directed at the US.
 
And their spitefulness has most recently risen to the level that they tried to convict the President of false manufactured accusations and “Impeachment” without allowing him due process or defense.  

Vast Left Wing Conspiracy?

So yes, now it seems we have to to acknowledge the existence of a vast left wing conspiracy aimed at bringing down America and the (Christian-based) constitutional government that supports our success.
David Horowitz, who suggests this, is probably right, and his view and his warnings should not be dismissed.  
He knows our opponents, he used to be one of them. 

When Hillary Clinton was accusing us of a “vast right wing conspiracy” over 20 years ago in 1998, we thought she was crazy.  But knowing what we know now, her accusations were probably based on a projection of her own plans, an assumption that we on the right are doing what the she and the left were already engaged in back then — their own “vast left wing conspiracy.”  

Accusations Backfire

Now, after the left has repeatedly attacked President Trump with falsehoods which actually turn out to be reflections of their own behavior, we are beginning to learn:

  • President Trump was accused in the Mueller investigation of colluding with Russia, but in actual fact it was found that it was the FBI and Hillary Clinton who were colluding with Russia, trying to obtain false dossiers with which to undermine President Trump’s election.
  •  President Trump was accused of bribing the Ukraine in a phone call with “quid pro quo” demands, when actually it was Vice President Biden who was bribing the Ukraine with a  billion dollar “quid pro quo.”
  •  President Trump was subjected to over 3 years of investigation trying to unearth election manipulation by President Trump, followed by a failed impeachment effort to prevent his reelection in 2020.  In actual fact, the impeachment plan, which started on the day of the President’s inauguration, and involved a fruitless 3 year search for a crime, was the ultimate election manipulation effort by the left, attempting to overturn the 2016 election and to damage the President’s chances in the 2020 election.  100% of the election manipulation was on the Democrat side, not on President Trump’s.

The Mueller investigation backfired,  accusations of “quid pro quo” backfired, and the impeachment attempt backfired. 

How Much Damage Has Been Done?

Now, following impeachment, a Rasmussen poll finds that 55% of voters say impeachment made President Trump stronger politically, while only 16% say that it weakened him.   

So, the efforts of the left to unseat our President have not only backfired, but have actually strengthened President Trump.
Americans seem to be well aware of the war that is being waged against them and their values.   
What does not kill you makes you stronger.  

What Have We Learned?

So now we have learned:  if the Left accuses the Right of some shocking behavior, that behavior will actually be found on the Left, and not on the Right. 
 
Why should that be surprising?
The left has been using Alinsky tactics now for decades— tactics described in a book by Saul Alinsky, a book dedicated to Lucifer, the Father of Lies. 

So we have learned that the Left lies, attacks, and distracts.  But most importantly, the Left HATES, and the Left is out to destroy – destroy conservatives, destroy the constitution, and destroy religion, on which all of this is based.
 
The Left does not plan to play by the rules, to use the legal tools our Constitution has made available to us.
Yet Conservatives are expected to stick to the rules to preserve all we believe in. 
For millenia, such battles against evil have been faced by good men who rolled up their sleeves, risked their necks, prayed to God, and took great courageous risks to protect all they believe in.  They even left their homelands, and founded new lands, including America, to escape injustice.
These men were tough, they were courageous, and they were unafraid to call out and face the enemy. 
Enter Donald Trump. 

Enter Donald Trump

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Donald Trump has identified our problems, called out our enemies foreign and domestic, does not shrink from confrontation, and can play global poker brutally and successfully.  
He manages to remain devoted to America, the constitution, our history, our flag, our Christian roots, and our babies.  
He has taken on the Alinsky left, the European Union, China, ISIS, false attacks and counterfeit impeachments without flinching, all the while fixing our economy, returning jobs to America, repairing our government through the appointment of just judges, defending our unborn future citizens, and inspiring everyday Americans to join him in the hard work of restoring the America most of us believe in — a united America where all groups are included, and no group is played politically or excluded from the prosperity.  

Toxic Masculinity

What is the Trump Haters’ biggest complaint against President Trump?

The gripes vary around various aspects of the President’s behavior– his twitter lashings in response to attacks, his outside-the-box responses to attacks on his policy, his humor which takes the form of theatrical grandstanding, and some decade old locker room talk he was caught using.  Oh, yes, and he does not hold back when his attacker is a minority, like a woman.  This President can be very equal opportunity with dishing back to those who attack him.  

In short, the aggressiveness and unpredictability of President Trump’s (primarily Twitter) behavior offends the left, and even offends some in his own party.  The New  York Times calls this “toxic masculinity,” which they define as including bullying, catcalling, suppressing emotions and masking distress, maintaining an appearance of hardness, and “tough-guy” behavior.
 
According to the New York Times, “Toxic masculinity is what can come of teaching boys that they can’t express emotion openly; that they have to be “tough all the time”; that anything other than that makes them “feminine” or weak.”
The left actually has psychologists working with boys and men who “have been socialized to conform to traditional masculinity ideology.”

 When a President faces serious global and domestic opponents, then aggressiveness, cunning strategy, brutal honesty, willingness to take intelligently calculated risks, and in general, many qualities defined by the New York Times and by the left as “toxic masculinity,” not only become useful, but become essential. 

Aside: There is actually nothing toxic about masculinity. Masculinity offends only the radical left, who wants everyone to become weak, malleable, and subservient to them.  Thus they define masculine virtues such as strength, courage, honor, honesty and any form of resistance to the leftist agenda, as toxic.

 

Is This a Debate or Are We at War?
And What Are the Stakes? 

Once we realize that we are engaging in a war with the left, not a debate, it becomes clear that all the qualities President Trump is displaying are most useful and essential.

In war, you cannot broadcast your plans openly to everyone, you must be aware of potential spies, you must use red herrings and diversionary tactics,  smoke screening, infiltration, information warfare, and covert operations. 
These are masculine military tactics, and President Trump attended a military academy, where he excelled. 
Incidentally, the left has been using these tactics clandestinely for years, way before President Trump’s election and the left’s official declaration of “Resistance.”

It’s time we face reality and stand behind this President.
 
And the stakes?
Unborn children and our nations’ future. 

What President Trump Does

President Trump identifies threats, prioritizes wisely, tackles problems simultaneously on many fronts, rallies the troops, creates diversions and never foolishly shows his cards to the enemy. 
President Trump is a warrior and Commander in Chief on a par with any of our greatest Presidents and generals of the past. 
We should make no mistake about the seriousness of the threats our nation is facing today, whether they are internal or global. 

And do not be distracted by his Twitter rants.  Through them he broadcasts the truth, which the media will not do, and he throws many red herrings to the enemy.  He always has a plan!

President Trump has the courage to face enemies like China, Russia, North Vietnam, ISIS, and our domestic radical left, while still having the heart to defend unborn babies, worry about prisoners who were unjustly sentenced, and work hard for the welfare of everyday Americans.

And President Trump has the moral fortitude and intelligence to negotiate all this within the confines of the law, unlike his enemies, who do not limit themselves to lawful combat, but who flagrantly trample the laws of decency.
 
Following more than three years of investigation by his unprincipled opponents in the “swamp,” President Trump still remains guiltless and righteous.      

    

Back to David Horowitz

David Horowitz was a prolific author, and has much to teach us about the left. 
His latest book, published just after his death, Dark Agenda- The War to Destroy Christian America, outlines many of the tactics and goals adopted by the left. 

Horowitz claims that Radical infiltrators have been quietly transforming America’s societal, cultural, and political institutions for more than a generation. Now, backed by Billionaire George Soros, they are ready to make their move. These “progressive” extremists have gained control over a once-respectable but now desperate and dangerous political party. From their perches in the Democratic hierarchy, they seek to undermine the war on terror, destabilize the nation, and effect radical “regime change” in America, all in an attempt to usurp power for themselves.

Horowitz claims that progressives are “self-appointed social redeemers,” whose every tactic, particularly their “community organizing,” is designed to gain power.  Their weapons include provoking the public to anger, which generates publicity, and makes people more prone to tolerate the adoption of totalitarian tactics by government under the guise of protecting the public. Progressives claim to be dissatisfied with the status quo, but offer no concrete suggestions on how to effect change and improvement in our society.   

Horowitz claims that numerous groups and programs have been hijacked by the left as ways of recruiting bodies for their revolution.  If you can claim to offer any discontented group promises or sympathy, you will have their votes.  If citizens are not discontent, progressives invent ways to convince them to be discontented. Once they have their votes, progressives forget about these poor slobs, they only needed them to acquire power, so now they don’t have to deliver.  

The Progressive Umbrella of Discontent

.A partial list of activities and issues that now fall under the progressive umbrella of discontent, and are used and controlled by progressives to get votes, but are never solved or overcome, include: 
(Organizations taken from David Horowitz’s very comprehensive Freedom Center Discover the (Leftist) Networks Website): 

 

According to one Students for Democratic Society (SDS) radical, for progressives, “the issue is never the issue.  The issue is always the revolution.”  No solutions are ever offered.
Many of the issues, like Global Warming aka Climate Change, are manufactured (another blog article coming soon), and probably do not even exist.

Many of these issues are items all decent people are concerned with, like environmentalism, immigration and social justice.  Progressives do not acknowledge that conservatives, including President Trump, have always worked on and care about justice and decency, have accomplished more in these areas than has the left, and should not be villainized by the progressives.   
 

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Now that we have had 3 years of a President who pushes back on the progressive agenda of the left, and who has actually made some progress on some of these issues without divisive tactics, we can appreciate better how groups of Americans had been splintered and pitted against each other in the past, paralyzing our nation and impeding accomplishment, progress, and prosperity.  

If David Horowitz is correct, and we are indeed in a war with the Left, we must realize this now.  We urgently need to abandon our “Marquis of Queensbury” rules, join in the battle, and become great supporters of President Trump’s fight against the warriors on the Left.  No room for criticism, even for the President’s tweets, which represent his brilliant circumvention of the media that has been corrupted by the left, and which show his transparency and accountability to the people who elected him. 

The Left is Particularly Vulnerable Right Now

One of the unintended consequences of the progressive strategy of collecting the votes of numerous malcontent groups and sowing division, is that one of those malcontent groups just might gain enough momentum to hijack the Democrat Party which pretended to care about them. 

At this very moment, Democrats are panicking about just such a crisis takeover by the angry old socialist Bernie Sanders.  Bernie’s grumbling agenda is gaining momentum with its promises of handouts which only someone who is mathematics-impaired could possibly believe, and the Democrat Party is in danger of being taken over by this socialist.   His supporters include many of our young people who have recently graduated from the politically altered, arithmetic-sparse and history-sparse curriculum imposed by the left in our schools.

Desperate Democrat attempts to regain control of their own party include not only misappropriating their limited energies into continuous yet unproductive attacks on President Trump, which leave their own list of accomplishments anemic, but now also include an attempt to purchase leadership of the party by Michael Bloomberg, the very type of aging white billionaire male, and previous Republican to boot, that Democrats have publicly consumed themselves with hatred for in the past. 

Needless to say, the left is in very poor condition at the moment to pose any threat to the focused, organized, and accomplished administration that President Trump heads.    

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What Are Our Options?

This is not the first time our nation has suffered internal conflict and division, and it will not be the last.  
We are not limited to the unattractive option of digging in and  “fighting it out to the death” with our brother and sister progressives;  we can use our brains and our brotherly love to find alternate solutions. 

As with any human dispute, sometimes a good “deal” or compromise can be found. 

First of all, we need to ascertain just how many of our citizens are on board with the radical agenda– is it truly half, as the press would have us think, or has the left conned us all into thinking that more Americans are behind them than actually are?
  
The coming 2020 election should help us to find out.  We need every single vote, so let’s make sure we don’t slack!
  
As we come to realize (and defuse) some of the radical left tactics used in the past, such as voter fraud and media manipulation, a better assessment can be made of where Americans actually stand with reduced Alinsky rigging of elections. 

The Best Solution

Then, one general solution to issues on which we Americans have sharp division, is deregulation and decentralization of control over issues on which Americans disagree.  The concept of Federalism, on which our nation was founded, allows the combining of a central “federal” government with regional state and city governments in a single political system.  Most major areas of disagreement can be delegated to the States for more local resolution.  This can ease many of the national tensions that arise when the people of one region disagree strongly with those of another.

Just as family disputes can be eased by allowing family members more freedom and space in their own rooms, so also national disputes can be eased by getting rid of those regulations that Americans disagree on (see the list above, in the areas of Affirmative Action, Animal Rights, Anti-Americanism, Climate Change, Communism, Globalization…….) and allowing States to pass whatever regulations their majorities wish to pass on these contentious issues.  Fundamentally, we all back off of imposing our will on the fellow citizens who disagree with us. Then those who are discontent can find a State to live in that suits their desired lifestyle better.  

Guess What?

The previous section on What Are Our Options?, which concluded that deregulation and decentralization can provide some solutions, is precisely what President Trump has already been doing. 
President Trump is WAY ahead of the game.
And as he lifts regulations that have been crippling our economy, lifts health care requirements for the Little Sisters of the Poor so they do not have to pay for contraception, and reclaims our ability to say “Merry Christmas,” our nation is beginning to prosper.  

Why We Need President Trump

President Trump is a far sighted leader who has been able to identify many of our enemies and problems, and has energetically pursued finding solutions against great odds. He has a wonderful ability to discern what Americans want and need, as opposed to what career politicians want and need.  
Almost miraculously (assisted by the prayer of millions of Americans), President Trump has managed to rise above the assaults he has suffered, and continues to look for win-win solutions for all Americans.
President Trump is the “deal-maker” of the century, and he will be able to continue finding us win-win deals that solve our nation’s problems with fairness and justice. 
As a previously reluctant Trumper, I am now completely on board with our President, and so should you be.

 

 

 

A photo history from my brother “Vyt’s” childhood photo album.

Albert Vytas Strazdis, 1950-2010

Vyt’s (and my) parents, Albin and Rūta Strazdis 1949, New York
Fr. Pakalniškis’ bio below; Stasė Kerpytė studied to become a pathologist, and Jurgis Savaitis became a Chase Manhattan Bank Vice President in New York City

Father John Pakalniškis  (in photo, priest baptizing Vyt)

On Wednesday, February 25, 1987, Fr. John Pakalniškis offered the prayer at the United States House of Representatives commemoration of the 69th anniversary of the Independence of Lithuania.

Father Pakalniškis was (in 1987) the supreme chaplain to the Lithuanian Scouts Organization, as well as the vice president of the Lithuanian Priests’ League of the United States.

He was born in New York City, and when he was 6 years old in 1921, Father Pakalniskis moved with his parents to Lithuania, where he completed his education. Ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1939, Father Pakalniškis also graduated from the University of Vytautas the Great in Kaunas, Lithuania, that same year.

His first assignment was the assistant at the Cathedral Church in Kaunas,where he also taught religious courses.

On June 7, 194 7, Father Pakalniškis came to the United States, and served as assistant pastor to three parishes in Brooklyn, until July 16, 1978, when he was appointed the pastor of the Annunciation Church.

Father Pakalniškis taught generations of children religion at our Maironis Lithuanian Saturday school in Brooklyn, celebrated Masses for the school, and was chaplain for numerous groups, including the Lithuanian Scouts.

Father Pakalniškis officiated at the wedding of Ruta & Albinas Strazdis, the baptism of their children, Albert Vytas, Joan Ruta (Syte), and Lucius Algis.

He also baptized Syte’s children Christopher Vytas and Tomas Jan, and officiated at Syte and Rolf’s wedding at Anunciation Parish. 
He was a spiritual father to numerous Milukas families and other New York Lithuanian families at the Church of the Annunciation in New York, and was truly a priest after Christ’s own heart.

Firstborn son & Mom (Rūta Strazdis)
Matas Milukas
Vyt’s Grandpa (“Papė”)
Born in Lithuania 1885

In 1906, at the age of 21, Matas emigrated to the US, served as organist in Maspeth and Brooklyn, New York, and did volunteer work several days per week for his brother Fr. Antanas Milukas in Philadelphia, publishing Lithuanian books and newspapers, and teaching religion at his brother’s parish.
After marrying Emilija Dauknys, and having one son, Antanas, they returned to Lithuania in 1920, where the rest of their family was born and raised.
Matas worked in the Bank of Lithuania in Kaunas, and was fluent in over 5 languages.
After fleeing Lithuania on foot during World War II at the age of 59 with most of his adult children, Matas arrived in New York in 1946. He assisted in the writing of his famous brother’s biography, wrote stories of his childhood for his 25 grandchildren, and lived in New York, until his death in 1997. He is buried in St. Charles CMT cemetery.
Albinas Antanas Strazdis was born in 1921 in Brooklyn, New York.
He moved to Lithuania with his parents around age 11, then back to New York alone during World War II.
In New York he met Rūta, married in 1948, and had 3 children– Vyt, Syte and Luke.
He obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees in Civil Engineering at night school, worked for the New York State Department of Transportation as a bridge supervisor, had an office in the World Trade Center towards the end of his career, and was invited to supervise the reconstruction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York after his retirement.
He retired to Sunny Hills, Florida, with his wife around 1987.
Cousin
This photo was taken soon after Antanas (back row, far right) was reunited with his family in New York ~1963. Antanas had spent years in a Siberian concentration camp, deported there by Soviets during World War II, despite being an American born citizen, who thought he would be safe staying in Lithuania during the war after the rest of his family had fled.
Tėti’s (Albin’s) parents, Marija & Kazimieras Strazdas, were deported to Siberia by the Soviets during World War II, for being “capitalists,” after their one acre farm, one cow and one sewing machine were confiscated. They struggled to survive in Siberia for almost 2 decades, before the Soviets released them to Tėti after they became pensioners. They were reunited with their children in New York around 1964.
An historical link from Radio Free Europe regarding that deportation, thanks to my cousin Phil Skabeikis, who posted the link on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/rferl/videos/371839610075791/?t=5

One More (Sad) Treasure

One more treasure from my basement is the Sunday bulletin from Madison’s St. Raphael Cathedral, March 13th, 2005, shown below.

This was the last day Masses were celebrated at the Cathedral, before the Cathedral burned down in the early morning hours of March 14th, 2005, due to break-in and arson.

This Thursday, March 14th, 2019, is the fourteenth anniversary of the Madison St. Raphael Cathedral fire.

Download or View Below

Download the Cathedral Bulletin 3-13-05 PDF here, or view by scrolling below.

Note that in his bulletin pastoral letter, Msgr. (now Bishop) Swain provides us with a great examination of conscience for Lent.

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!

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A Very Different Christmas

Christmas will be very different this year in Madison, with the loss of our very beloved Bishop Morlino on November 24, 2018 , and the emptiness left in our hearts by the departure of our courageous Shepherd and Father.

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Bishop is Enjoying Christmas!

But we rise above the sorrow and the sense of loss with the knowledge that our beloved Bishop, where he now is, is enjoying the love and beauty he taught us about, and is actually in a position to help us all more, both collectively as a Diocese, and individually as members of his flock.

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“Apostle of Purgatory”

And yes,  Bishop Morlino, who has been called by some the “Apostle of Purgatory,” might be the first to correct me and to check his “canonization” on which I have just embarked.  But please allow this member of the Bishop’s  flock to point out that he is sure to be treated with the same love, gentleness and mercy by God that he exhibited himself to all of us while he was here.
Just in case, to cover our bases, we will keep our beloved Bishop in our prayers, but I, for one, believe that our very good and courageous Bishop is already in a very good position to watch over us and intercede for us, close to Christ and His Blessed Mother, whom our Bishop so loved.
May Bishop Morlino be enjoying right now that vision that does not disappoint.

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“Ave Maria” in Honor of Bishop Morlino

In honor of Bishop Morlino, because we miss him this Christmas, and in honor of the Bishop’s birthday (December 31st) on the eve of the feast of Mary, Mother of God, here is a free gift for all to download — Ave Maria played on the guitar by my husband Rolf:

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AVE MARIA mp3,  played by Rolf Reitz:

(right click to “save as”)

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We love you, Bishop, Morlino!

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Rolf, Syte, Tracey and Tom Reitz with Bishop Morlino

Happy Birthday, Bishop Morlino!

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Remembering  Bishop Morlino:

Bishop Morlino Was Truly a Churchman of His Time 

Madison Catholic Herald on Bishop Morlino

Madison’s Bishop Celebrates 15 Years!

Rest in Peace, Bishop Morlino

Madison’s Brilliant Bishop

What on Earth is Going on with the Catholic Church? or The Flip Side of Mercy

Madison’s Bishop Morlino Celebrates 15 Years!

Congratulations, Love and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! to Bishop Morlino–

–who was installed as Bishop of Madison 15 years ago today, on August 1, 2003.

Madison Catholics are overwhelmed with the blessings this Bishop has brought to our Diocese, and we return with gratitude the love this Bishop so obviously has shown for all of us.

The Madison Catholic Herald has done a wonderful job of summarizing Bishop Morlino’s contributions to our Diocese at:

Bishop Morlino has continued to                                     “badger them lovingly with the truth.”

Bishop Morlino has loved us, taught us, and led us now for 15 years.
He probably has no idea how much he has done for all of us, both as a Diocese, and as individual Catholics, parents, and children!
He has the perfect touch, balancing truth with love while he teaches and shepherds.

May God bless Bishop Morlino very richly both now and forever!
Pray for Bishop daily, as he continues shepherding our Diocese – Rosary for the Bishop.org

 

Some articles this blogger has written in gratitude and support of Bishop Morlino over the years:

Liberal Madison has gone WAY too far…….. – August 1, 2010

Freeedom From Religion… – January 12, 2011

Madison’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – March 23, 2011

Holy Wisdom Monastery – February 28, 2012

“President” Cyrus; No Leader In the World is Powerful Enough to Thwart God’s Purposes or Bishop Morlino: Difficult Week? Rejoice! – March 19, 2012

Bishop Morlino’s Homily- Laetare Sunday 2012 – March 19, 2012

Madison’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – March 24, 2012

Wisconsin State Journal Inflames Parish Conflict with Imbalanced Reporting – April 30, 2012

Gay Marriage and Homosexuality – May 11, 2012

What Happens When You Take Character Out of Politics or The National Disease or Understanding the Role of Religion in Government – June 19, 2012

Americans Pray for Freedom Across the Nation or Fortnight For Freedom or Come and Join Us! – June 20, 2012

Madison, Wisconsin’s Fortnight for Freedom Begins – June 22, 2012

What’s in a Mandate? – June 23, 2012

Auspicious! Awesome. Amazing. ObamaCare Has Been Approved By the Supreme Court. or What, Are You Crazy, Syte? – June 28, 2012

What Do a Madison LGBT Leader and a Madison Cathlolic Blogger Have in Common? or My Conversatiion With the Blue Bird – July 1, 2012

Music and the Mass or Good to Be Back from Vacation! – August 2, 2012

Heckling the Rosary or Renaming the Wisconsin State Journal – September 20, 2012

Catholic Belief Now Defined by Media and Sociologists? – October 28, 2012

Bishops Who Deserve the Purple Heart – November 2, 2012

Madison’s Citizen Dave: Failed Mayor, Now Fails Catholicism – December 13, 2012

Madison’s Media Continues to Diss the Catholic Church- Just in Time for Christmas – December 15, 2012

Instilling Virtue in Future World Leaders… – March 16, 2013

Today’s Catholic Nuns: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – March 27, 3013

Global Adoration- Say What? – June 7, 2013

Enjoying the Progress? Join the Prayer – June 18, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal Reports on Bishop Morlino’s Ten Year Anniversary in Madison – July 25, 2013

Grading Wisconsin State Journal Report on Bishop Morlino’s 10 Year Anniversary in Madison – July 30, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal Flunks Journalism Again! or What’s Wrong With Gay Marriage? – August 8, 2013

Pope Francis Takes On Obama – September 6, 2013

Diocese of Madison Prohibits Field Trips to Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery – or – Progressive Guide to Attacking Catholics – September 7, 2013

Abortion and Homosexuality- So What Did the Pope Actually Say? or When Two Jesuits Talk – October 4, 2013

Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal Are Up to Their Old Tricks or Catholic Bashing in Wisconsin – February 6, 2014

The Holy Season of Lent: Time for Bashing Catholics in Madison, Wisconsin or The Wisconsin State Journal Defiles Itself Again – March 22, 2014

Should a Young Man Go for the Priesthood? – April 11, 2014

Praying the Rosary- As Pertinent Today As Ever – May 13, 2014

Gay Marriage: Activist Judge Logic Versus Monsignor Logic – July 17, 2014

Setting The Record Straight – August 27, 2014

rogresive Media Pontificates on Right to Free Speech While Trampling It – November 26, 2014

Platteville Journal Editor Dismayed at Being Lumped with Liberal Media – December 2, 2014

Madison’s Brilliant Bishop – June 6, 2018

 

Madison’s Brilliant Bishop

 

So why am I bragging about Madison’s Brilliant Bishop?

To curry favor with the head of the Diocese?
To become popular in Madison, Wisconsin?
To encourage DoS attacks on my website?

No.

I do love our Bishop Robert C. Morlino (a sentiment widespread among Madison’s Catholics).
And he has done many things during the last 2 decades that so many of us admire.
I have been listening to his homilies now for years.

But he has now encapsulated Catholic teaching in one very spectacular address to young people which brilliantly summarizes the challenges we face in our modern culture, and suggests how we should face them.

In his address to the graduating students of Thomas Aquinas College,  he identifies what is so wrong with our culture, explains why Truth is so important, and demonstrates how Catholic teaching equips us with all the answers we need in confronting today’s cultural challenges.

Anyone who treasures Judeo-Christian values, anyone who is puzzled by them, and anyone who struggles to explain these values to their young people will love what the Bishop has to say.

You are in for a treat if you read his Commencement address:

Link to Bishop Morlino’s address at the Madison Catholic Herald

Full text of Bishop Morlino’s Commencement Address:

Commencement Address

Thomas Aquinas College 2018
Bishop Robert C. Morlino

May 12, 2018

A pre-note: My first trip here, I had the opportunity to audit three classes. They were all wonderful. I’ve had 17 years of formal education but in a very brief time, the space of one class, one of the tutors here made the strongest first impression on me than any other teacher that I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some great ones. And of course, I’m talking about dear Molly Gustin. In college I majored in philosophy and English and minored in math. If I had known her, I would have majored in math. I have never seen anything like it. And we hit it off immediately. I even asked her if I could call her “granny.” And she acceded but she had a look on her face as though, “You want to run around the block? I think I know who will win.” But the depth of integrity of dear Mrs. Gustin and the breadth of knowledge, especially about music and mathematics, able to be shared in the space of one class that I audited…I’ll never forget it and clearly I’ve never forgotten her. And I mention her especially because I gather in these days we remember the seventh anniversary of her passing to the Lord. And I did offer Mass for her yesterday. And so I hope as we gather today that she feels all of our love and prayers.

Dear Dr. McLean, Mrs. McLean, dear tutors, staff, students, families, and friends. It is truly an honor to be here with you today. And to you, my dear graduates, congratulations! What a beautiful occasion this is, as we think about how the beauty of God is reflected in the apostolate of TAC and as we think of how the beauty of God is reflected in each one of your lives. And on top of all of that, we find ourselves in a beautiful setting today, where, in this moment, it does not rain.

  1. On Truth

Most college campuses these days are places of chaos and political correctness and those two feed each other. But look at us here! Instead of chaos, there is order. And instead of political correctness, there is truth and charity.

The prologue of St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa contra gentiles is a commentary on Proverbs 8:7, as you know well: “My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness.” This text speaks of truth and charity, for hatred of wickedness belongs to charity. Now we live in the world of “nice” and sometimes in the Church of “nice.” And yet, we all have within ourselves a certain aggressive energy that spells itself out sometimes in hatred. St. Thomas has the key to channeling that hatred: Hate wickedness and make no bones about it. Because that aggressive energy that we all have is best employed hating wickedness. And I know you know I mean hating wickedness, not the wicked person. There’s too little show of hatred for wickedness in our world. As a matter of fact, as I’ve said previously, your peers in this generation and so many others, are running toward hell with much more enthusiasm and strength than so many mediocre people are running toward heaven. And that’s the problem.

And Aquinas begins his commentary, in the very first lines of the Summa contra gentiles, by quoting the sayings of the Philosopher (Aristotle), “It belongs to the wise man to order things.” And Wisdom orders all things in truth and charity. A college campus disordered by political correctness is a place of chaos. A college campus rightly ordered by truth and charity is a place where wisdom can be sought and cultivated.

I really hope you will always look back on your time here with the deepest gratitude. It is a rare gift to live as you have done in such a rich spiritual and intellectual culture – a truly Catholic culture. Of course, the wider culture in which we live is not a Catholic culture. (And I suspect that you’ve noticed that.)

In your studies here, you have learned how to think; how to reason; how to express your thoughts clearly. You’ve striven for that Eloquentia Perfecta, which St. Ignatius Loyola considered such a high ideal, with zeal for the truth and charity for your opponent. You have prayed with St. Thomas, that God would grant you “a keen understanding, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, insight in interpretation, and eloquence in speech” (from the Oratio ante studium). Especially as I listen to the various talks given and the enjoyable informal conversations, I trust that God has granted that prayer for each one of you.

These are rare gifts in our time. We live in the age of the eclipse of reason. Quid est veritas? “What is Truth?” (Jn 18:38). That was Pontius Pilate’s question. Ego sum veritas. “I am the truth” (Jn 14:6). That is the answer. Jesus Christ is the Word, the Logos, made flesh, full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14). He is wisdom incarnate (1 Cor 1:24). He is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6). “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who belongs to the truth hears my voice” (Jn 18:37).

What is truth? To quote Thomas Aquinas again, truth lies in the conformity between the mind and reality. If I say to you, “It’s raining outside,” (how great that it isn’t!) how do you know whether what I said is true? You look out the window and you see whether what I said agrees with what is in fact the case. Aristotle defined truth in a marvelously clear way, using words of only one syllable each: “Truth is to say of what is, that it is, and to say of what is not, that it is not” (Metaphysics, ch. 7). That’s what truth is. And believe it or not that offends people. How does our culture describe truth? Truth is the opposite of whatever President Trump says or does. It’s the politicization of the truth. And goodness and beauty have also been politicized. Just about the most offensive thing you can say now is that men are men and women are women. Who would ever think that that’s controversial? If you’re a man, then be a man. Be a great man. If you’re a woman, then be a woman. Be a great woman. That’s speaking truth. And that’s what our world does not want to hear. And so now we don’t know what marriage is and we’re not even sure what it means to be a male or a female. People are even trying to come up with proper names to give gender-neutral children. The one I read was SIGH. Not C-Y, but S-I-G-H. So I guess we’re supposed to say, “Come on over here little [*sigh*].

So a part of your mission is to make the voice of reason heard in our culture. You have been equipped with an outstanding education. And that is a gift you have received and that you must also share with others. You must shine the light of reason on the darkness of our world, and that often means you have to be politically incorrect.

  1. On Humanae vitae

And so now let’s be politically incorrect, like St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of political incorrectness: let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of Humanae vitae; something we should do at such a wonderful institution.

  1. a) What does Humanae vitae tell us? Of course we know that it absolutely condemns artificial methods of birth control: abortion, sterilization, and contraception. But why? Because there is an inseparable link between the procreative and unitive dimensions of human sexuality. That sacred space of sexual union between husband and wife was created by God for His own purpose. And the main purpose of that sexual union is the generation of new life. That’s at the heart of God’s plan for human sexuality: The generation of new life. It’s hardly surprising that almighty God should be interested in those activities through which He brings new life into the world. How would He not be interested in that? People say that the Church should stay out of the bedroom. No. Our culture shouldn’t be focused on the lowest instinctual aspect of the bedroom. God’s plan is to bring to life the highest possibility of sexual union.

And this is not just about biological re-production. It’s about pro-creation, which is a cooperation with God’s own act of creation, where He creates a new human being, a unique and unrepeatable human person with an immortal soul and an eternal destiny. Contraception excludes this procreative dimension of sexual union and by doing that, it exiles God from the very space which He designed for Himself to be the place where He would create new human life, new human beings called to loving union with Him. That’s why contraception is a sin. It debases something beautiful, like graffiti on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

When God drew up His original plan for marriage, He painted himself into the picture (like Raphael painted himself into his painting of the School of Athens). The sexual union between husband and wife is the sacred space where God Himself dwells, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There doesn’t exist a more beautiful picture of marriage than that. It was painted by God Himself.

But what has our culture done with that picture of marriage? Well, as Leon Kass tells us in his work, Leading a Worthy Life: Finding Meaning in Modern Times, our culture sees sexual union as having two side effects. One side effect is children. And the other side effect is disease. And those can both be avoided. Well, if those are side effects, what does our culture say that sexual union is all about? Of course it’s about pleasure. And of course if sexual union is about pleasure, then there can be no lasting marriage. Because what is there, in that goal of pleasure, that’s worth pledging one’s life for? As a matter of fact, most people find out that if one pledges one’s life for pleasure with a single other person, then one is denying oneself all sorts of other options. Our culture has made it all about pleasure, and so there is no marriage. And so it doesn’t matter what it means to be a male or what it means to be a female.

That is a debased picture of the beauty of God’s plan, where the Holy Trinity inhabits the sacred space of sexual union and there sometimes chooses to bring forth new life.

  1. b) Now what else can we say about God’s plan for marriage, God’s plan for sexual union? We can say that in God’s plan sexual union is all about the next generation: providing and caring for the next generation in light of death. It’s not just about pleasure. It’s about providing and caring for the next generation in light of the fact that we will die. Parents know they can’t live forever, but they can hand on a living legacy in this world. We have an innate longing for immortality. And that longing is ultimately satisfied only through eternal life with God in heaven. But there is also a natural desire to leave something of ourselves in this world in which we can’t remain forever. And that kind of love which the Greeks called eros contains in it something of this striving for immortality, this striving to transcend our limitations.

So sexual union is about future generations, according to God’s plan, and it’s also about the reality of death. Those are godly concerns. But our culture is more concerned with pleasure.

In God’s plan for marriage, where the Trinity is there in that sacred space between husband and wife, where future generations are cared about and provided for in light of death, sexual union is about the good of children. And what is for the good of children? To be born from the loving union of a father and mother who are committed to remaining together for life in service of their family. That’s beautiful. And that beauty attracts as it is proclaimed clearly, faithfully, and forcefully. And you have to do that. You have to proclaim the truth about marriage clearly, faithfully, and forcefully.

Many of you will probably get married. It will be part of your mission to proclaim the truth and the beauty of marriage through your living witness as husbands and wives. That’s a beautiful thing. It will be your mission to lay down your lives for each other and for your children. That’s what marriage is about. It’s about sacrifice.

I might suggest to you young men thinking about getting married, that, when you propose, don’t say: “Will you marry me?” Say this instead: “Will you allow me to be the one who lays down his life for you?” That’s what you should ask her, because that’s what marriage is all about. It’s about children and it’s about sacrifice.

Now some of you will probably not get married. Some of you will answer God’s call to give up marriage – and that is also a sacrifice. Some of you will give up marriage in order to devote yourselves to God as consecrated religious or as priests. As Jesus said to the rich young man in the Gospel: “If you would be perfect, go, give away everything, and come, follow me” (Matt 19:21). And that includes giving up marriage. That is probably the greatest sacrifice that a human being can make upfront. And it wouldn’t be a sacrifice if marriage were not something truly good and truly beautiful.

  1. c) What else can we say about Humanae vitae? Marriage is rooted in human nature. And the moral law is rooted in human nature. So we need to recover an understanding of human nature, of what it means to be human and of what it means to be male and female. And this begins with the rediscovery of final causes, of purpose, in nature. The moderns have forgotten that things have purposes and that meaning lies in the fulfillment of purposes. And so moderns are unable to see the objective grounds of natural law morality.

But it should be obvious that the primary purpose of eating, for example, is to nourish and sustain one’s health; that’s what eating is for. That’s an objective fact. And that’s why it is good for us to eat healthy food – because it fulfills the purpose of eating. And that’s why gluttony is wrong – because it frustrates the purpose of eating. (When I speak in this vein my credibility is not at its peak. Live with it. I believe St. Thomas Aquinas had a similar problem.) Or you can think about speech: the primary purpose of speech is communication; that’s what speech is for; and that’s why speaking truth is good and why lying is wrong – because it frustrates the purpose of speaking. This is the basis of natural law reasoning about sexual morality. The primary purpose of sexual union is the procreation of children; that’s what it’s for; and that’s why contraception is wrong – because it frustrates the purpose of sexual union.

But all of this sounds like a foreign language if you are talking to people who have lost sight of the basic fact that there is such a thing as human nature and that natures are ordered toward the fulfillment of certain ends or goals. If you want to have a fruitful conversation, if you want to get somewhere and not just argue endlessly, you have to find some common ground to start with. But the sphere of the common moral ground we share in our culture keeps getting smaller. So we have to be able to go all the way down to first principles. We have to be able to build arguments, step by step, from very basic self-evident truths all the way to their remote and often complex conclusions. And that requires patience.

III. On Natural Law, Democracy, and Civilization

We have to recover an understanding of human nature – of what it means to be human and of what it means to be male and female – if we do not want to see our culture become more and more dehumanized. And that has already been going on for a long time. The end of natural law means the end of democracy and ultimately the end of civilization. You can’t have a civilized society, and you certainly can’t have a just democracy, without a basic respect for human beings and for their intrinsic value and dignity. Respect for the dignity of the individual human being is grounded in natural law.

Everyone today loves to speak about “human rights”. They think they have the right to whatever they feel they need, but we can only speak intelligibly about ‘human rights’ as human rights if we have a common understanding of human nature. Without human nature, there can be no human rights, and without human rights – that is, rights objectively grounded in human nature, in natural law – the only “rights” that remain are those dictated by power. As our culture rejects reason and truth, especially truth about the natural law, it moves toward a dictatorship. That’s where we’re heading, because if right can’t be determined by reason, and the truth of human nature and natural law, then it will be determined by power. And so the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled in our time: “Truth has fallen in the public squares, and righteousness cannot enter” (Isa 59:14).

 

  1. Courage

Which brings me to my last point, which is this: To preach the truth requires courage. To preach the saving truth of Jesus Christ has always required courage. But even to speak basic truths of human reason, or human nature, or human sanity – even that requires courage. People today have been taught to be offended. People live to be offended. That’s why they need a “safe space” and a “cry closet”. And what they mean by that seems to be a space where they can be safe from hearing the voice of reason and truth. If you speak the truth, you might not be safe. Those who speak truth to a culture where everyone is looking to be offended will be persecuted. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for my sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10). The world has hated Christ, because he gave testimony that its works are evil (Jn 7:7). The world will also hate you if you speak out against its evil works, if you hate wickedness. But “if the world hates you, know that it hated me before you” (Jn 15:18). “In the world you will have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).

So if you’re going to shine the light of reason in a dark world you are going to need courage. To quote St. Thomas again, “Courage denotes a certain firmness of mind in bearing and withstanding those things wherein it is most difficult to be firm.” In other words, courage makes you discouragement-proof. One of the devil’s principal weapons, especially against young women and men is discouragement. You can be discouragement-proof. This is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which has already been given to you in Baptism and Confirmation to make you courageous in witnessing to the truth – the truth of Jesus Christ, which is known by faith; and the truth of the human person and of human nature, which can also be known by reason.

Now, many Catholics forget that they were confirmed and then they’re hit by a barrage of human problems and they feel that they’re about to be overwhelmed. When you were confirmed God the Holy Spirit promised you that you would have every grace you need to survive and overcome any problem. If you forget your Confirmation, you forget that. Problems come, “Oh what am I to do?” Demand that the Holy Spirit fulfill the promise that He made to you at Confirmation! That’s what you do.

Courage is a gift infused by God. And it is also acquired and perfected through practice. If you want to be courageous in speaking the truth, you have to practice doing it precisely in those situations when it is difficult. Don’t be like Peter during the passion, sitting quietly with your head down hoping that no one will notice you. You are called to be like Peter on the day of Pentecost, speaking the truth boldly without waiting to be asked.

You have been sacramentally equipped by your baptism and confirmation and intellectually equipped by your education to be witnesses to the truth of Jesus Christ. That means you must witness to the truth as Christ taught it. And that means at times you offend lots of people. So it’s very hard to be a witness to Jesus Christ. It’s easier to just go with the flow. “Go along to get along.” Lukewarmness must be cast out! There is no place left in the Church for wimps. All those places are filled. It takes courage to speak the truth of Christ. Do not be afraid!

Let me close with the words of the Saint-Ignatius-Loyola-inspired “Fundador Hymn”, which so well describes our present situation and gives me so much inspiration:

Hell’s black legions are teeming, their harsh cry is heard, over the heath see them marching, their swords flashing bared. Soldiers of Christ forward to the fray!

Sure your heart is no stranger to fear ‘neath the gloom. Calvary’s light thru the night brightens your brow like the noon. Now sounds the war trumpet and fearless the holy host fights without respite, though swords clash on swords yet their banner waves high! Faithful omen of the laurel crown and of peace.

Christ has overcome the world. And he alone is the only hope who never disappoints!

God bless you all. Praised be Jesus Christ!

 

To Win Election 2016: Ride the Black Swan!

 

REAL Hope and BIG Change

As numerous October surprises unfold on the eve of Election Day 2016, we conservatives can set asidslide1e the feelings of futility and helplessness we sometimes felt as we watched the progressive takeover of our nation that has been grinding slowly since the 1960’s.

There IS now great hope and opportunity for the restoration of the Judeo-Christian values on which our nation was founded, and which have brought us to the prosperity that we have worked for and enjoyed until recently, for over 200 years.

We now have the opportunity for a very rapid reversal of the moral slide in this election, provided we ride the Black Swan.

And what IS the Black Swan, and how do we ride it?

We actually hold power WAY beyond the sum of our cumulative votes, if only we would realize it and use it.

So let’s get to the background and clarify what this means.

slide1CNBC, Trump and the Black Swan

CNBC recently referred to the recent FBI/Comey/Weiner/Hillary e-mail developments a a “black swan development.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “black swans” refer to a serious political theory which holds that some most significant events in human history are not the result of careful human planning by professional politicians or by democratic elections, but are steered instead by completely unpredictable, seemingly almost random events which can alter the course of history very dramatically.

So CNBC appears to view the most recent Hillary email scandal as potentially game-changing, and certainly not proceeding according to plan.

Are Black Swans Good or Bad?
Are They Truly Uncontrollable? 

This is where I like to interject the observation that Black Swans, both in nature and in political theory, are NOT necessarily considered negative, evil or dark.  Black Swan analogy was introduced simply because the Black Swan is so rare that at one point in history it was thought not to exist.  The Black Swan represents a very rare and very unpredictable event, which can be either good or bad, but which defies all odds and probabilities.Slide2

In my world view, which is based on a strong Faith in a very good, very brilliant, very invested and very accessible God, Black Swan events represent the influence of the ever-present war between Good and Evil, between God and Satan, on human events.

And what only those with very strong faith realize, is that the tides if this war are seriously affected by the moral standards we humans adopt and the prayers that we pray as the people of God.

Yes, WE can control the Black Swans, albeit indirectly and only God willing.  But we fight back evil with courage, hard work, and most importantly, PRAYER.

Media and God and Probability

The media has recently begun acknowledging the existence of God, although intermittently, and recently The Daily Mirror even acknowledged that Britain’s Brexit appeared to be affected by an “Act of God.”  Now, CNBC seems ready to acknowledge at least the role of rare and unpredictable Black Swan events in elections, and to suggest the possibility that Hillary Clinton’s election may be threatened by such Black Swan events.

So let us summarize briefly why the recent Hillary email developments seem to defy all odds, then move on to the question of how we can contribute to the course of American history in ways that make us feel less powerless.

nypostemailsThe Scenario

  • * Numerous Black Swans have been arriving during this election season, including Donald Trump himself, who was a big surprise to everyone.
  • * But most recently, Hillary’s clandestine private email server was hacked, and her traitorous global pay-for-play game was exposed on Wikileaks.
  • * Hillary was sufficiently powerful to get President Obama to influence the head of the FBI Comey, and the Attorney General of the United States Lynch, to gloss over Hillary’s negligence and the multiple felonies she had committed.
  • * The only way the head of the FBI could squirm out of the bind he was in, torn between serving Justice and answering to Congress, yet obeying directions from President Obama and Attorney General Lynch, was by promising Congress that he will reopen the case and inform them if any additional information surfaces regarding the case.
  • Note that the only alternative to this promise of Comey’s would have been to refuse to promise to reopen the investigation if additional evidence surfaced.
  • Next, what are the chances that a sexually disordered man happens to be married to Hillary’s closest aide, and that aide uses her home computer for backups?
  • Also the chance that that man sells out his wife and barters his computer for clemency when he is caught sexting with 15 year old girls?humacomposite
  • Back to the backups- what is the chance that an accidental backup occurs, if you believe yesterday’s news, as Huma Abedin apparently claimed.  She accidentally backed up 650,000 emails while trying to back up her contact list. (?!)
  • Alternatively, they may have been purposeful backups.  When you’re dealing with Mr. & Mrs. 54 body-count Clinton, even if you are a close associate, it might be wise to keep some insurance backed up at home.
After all, the Clinton empire resembles very closely the TV series House of Cards.
  • And so, the FBI becomes aware of hundreds of thousands of emails, in all probability including the 30,000 or so that Hillary scrubbed from her server before turning information over to the FBI in March.
 The FBI must reopen the investigation.
  • And now the FBI director MUST inform Congress, or face future prosecution himself for participation in what now called by some the Clinton Cartel and it’s traitorous global agenda.
How fortuitous is it that Congress demanded a promise from Comey that locked Comey in?
  • Most recently, Hillary demands that the details be disclosed.  Of course.  So that the case against her could be compromised and important evidence would have to be excluded from future trials. Hillary is always looking for fools. It’s worked for her well in the past.

The Probability

slide1If we took the trouble to calculate the odds of each of the above events happening, and to determine the probability of all of them happening in a series, you would probably find that the probability is so low that it’s comparable to the probability of a meteor hitting the earth this afternoon.

And that is the definition of Black Swan events.
Events that were not planned by politicians or other groups of people, events that defy all odds, and events that have transformative power over human history.

An example of such an event is the Christianization of Europe by the Emperor Constantine, who, it may comfort us conservatives to know today, as we conservatives chew our fingernails over Mr. Trump, it may comfort us to know that the Emperor Constantine was not particularly saintly at the time. Yet he ended the era in which Christians were fed to lions, an option that Hillary Clinton might even find attractive today, if the recently found emails of her staff ridiculing Catholics  and attempts to infiltrate and change the Catholic religion from the inside are any indication of Hillary’s views.slide1

It is not surprising to people of Faith that God often uses human individuals who are not close to or “inside” the Church for His purposes. This is where I start chuckling, and admire immensely the sense of humor God so obviously has.

…AND SO…

So…

We have to recognize a good black swan when we see one.
We have to welcome and ride the numerous Black Swans that are arriving.
We do NOT say no to the lifelines God is sending.
And we have to keep praying for more Black Swans, or they will stop arriving.

We all have to VOTE
* We MUST go to the polls.
* WE HAVE TO VOTE FOR TRUMP, who officially supports the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it was based.  Who has defended Christianity and the unborn publicly more than once.  
* We have to vote Republican down the line– THIS election is not about parties, but about choosing a system of ethics. Judeo-Christian ethics, or the Dictator-of-the-Day ethics that progressives represent?
If you don’t want Hillary and Abortion set up as our new Gods,  you have to vote for Trump.

slide1

We all have to PRAY
* Pray for the Election
* Pray for the re-Christianization of the United States
* PRAY FOR TRUMP, that his “conversion” to conservative principles and his pledge to protect Christianity and unborn children in the United States is sustained and supported by action on his part.

Reminder

I got an important reminder from a friend, Nancy Bartlett, President of Republican Women of Dane County:  prayers of thanksgiving and praise are always due to our very awesome God, before, during and after all our crises.

Even if Donald Trump and the ethical Republican Platform don’t win this election, this 2016 election has already brought the most important issues to the forefront of discussion- the dismemberment of unborn babies and protection of the religious freedom of Christians.  Being able to talk about these things publicly and in political circles is an important first step.  And Donald Trump is responsible for this change.  Praise be to God!  How mysterious are His ways.

See How to Pray the Rosary PDF

 See Also: A Woman Speaks Up –on Trump

 

A Big, Big Deal

Slide1We have no guarantee that the Donald has undergone conversion, but it is comforting to learn that Donald Trump has OK’d the Republican Party Platform, which was just reviewed by the Platform committee, a Republican Platform which remains as conservative as ever on all the most important moral issues- abortion, traditional marriage, and religious freedom.

This is a BIG development, a BIG Black Swan, and something worth watching as the election progresses.
Donald seems to have acknowledged that the Republican Party is not his to hijack, and that the conservative values represented by Republicans in recent decades DO matter to the American people.  If the Donald wants the backing of the America, he needs to listen to the people.

Concomitantly, polls are showing a surge of support for Trump, in comparison with Hillary.Slide1

Not a slam-dunk for morality and the future of America yet, but definitely a hopeful and positive development.

And who seemed to be the primary news source noticing?
MSNBC!
Their article is entitled:

Trump Campaign Supports GOP Platform That Moved Further Right

Presumably MSNBC took note because they were distressed by the notion that Donald Trump just might support the conservative social moral values that built this nation, rather than furthering the progressive agenda advocated by the Obama administration.

Me?
For me, this is cause for celebration.
Black Swans continue to arrive this election season, and I continue to pray, and watch in wonderment.

 

 

Oremus Catholic Rock Music

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oremus CD babySome friends have been asking for the music from our sons’ Catholic Rock Music group, Oremus, which was a wonderful product of their high school and college years.

Oremus composed some original music, performed at many Catholic events, recorded some praise and worship songs, put out two CDs available from CD Baby, maintained a popular website, and  have a You Tube that has had over 13,000 visitors.  Now their website has been retired.  Both are adults, married, with families of their own, and too busy to continue Oremus Catholic Rock.

Here is their music for our friends who have been asking- enjoy!:
Incidentally, Oremus is Latin for “Let us pray.

(Photos below)

 

Above All:

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Holy Mary:

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Song of Benedict

(Original Composition, reduced length):

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Come Back (Original Composition):

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Let All Mortal Flesh:

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Your Face (Original Composition):

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Blessed Be Your Name:

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The Hero (Original Composition,

reduced length):

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Solid State Symphony Overture (Original Composition):

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Solid State Symphony Movement 1 (Original Composition):

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Solid State Symphony Movement 2 (Original Composition):

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Solid State Symphony Movement 3 (Original Composition):

 

Oremus performing at a CareNet benefit sponsored by Madison Mallards and Relevant Radio Madison- with Brian Kelly of Relevant Radio, and the Mallards Duck

Oremus performing at a CareNet benefit sponsored by Madison Mallards and Relevant Radio Madison- Tom, Chris, the Mallards Duck and good friend Brian Kelly of Relevant Radio Madison- July 31, 2009

The Song of Benedict Album Cover

The Song of Benedict Album Cover

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Battle of Wisconsin Results:

Slide1

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(See Wisconsin Supreme Court Election background at Get Off Your Couch…)

Slide1

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Slide1

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Thanks be to God,

and God Bless America!

As Wisconsin goes, so let America go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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