Thursday, May 5, 2022

Sound Familiar?

Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various "party lines." - George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

It's Moving Day

Well, it's finally happened.  We're moving to a whole new host, address, and service.  Once Blogger dumped my side links to the bottom of the page without warning or explanation, I realized that, for the third time, they're trying to encourge me to update my template.

You know, you could just ask me, boys and girls.  I'm really rather easy to work with.

Anyway, click here for the new site.  Please update your bookmarks and we'll see you in the promised land.

Coincidentally, Those are the States Where I'm Looking for My Next Job

Every day you’re hearing an updated tally of the number of Americans who’ve “died” of COVID-19. 
And, it’s time everyone wised up about those daily COVID-19 fatality reports. They don’t represent the number of people it's killed. They represent the number of death certificates listing it as a cause. And those two things are most definitely NOT the same. 
We know with absolute certainty that CDC guidelines for filling them out mean people with mild cases who die of some unrelated disease get added to the virus’s death toll. And 80% of COVID-19 infections have symptoms way too mild to kill anyone. In fact, a lot of people get no symptoms at all. 
We even know that people who aren’t infected with the virus are getting counted as fatalities.
In short, the numbers are as accurate as are the COVID-19 tests for which people are clamoring. [The vaunted Wuhan strain tests have a false positive ratio rivaling the tests for Lyme Disease; I'll let the reader look those stats up themselves].

Also, when a 98-year-old woman with a history of heart disease, including two cardiac events in the last year, dies and is listed as a "potential coronavirus victim", you know it's because the state is getting so much federal $ per victim that it pays to fudge the figures.

The New Lost Generation

The impact of the shutdown varies from generation to generation. There are high schoolers here, for example, who won’t have a senior prom, or walk at graduation. One such person is my 18-year-old nephew Zach Miller, who is supposed to graduate from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, a metropolitan suburb south of Denver. His classes have been canceled. He turns in one assignment a week per class using Google Classrooms and once in a lifetime events are either terminated or have yet to be determined. ‘All proms were canceled last week,’ he tells me. ‘At first it was like “who really cares?” It didn’t really matter. Now I’m bummed we didn’t get to have that. I know girls who already bought their dresses.’

College campus tours have also been canceled, though the universities are still in touch with graduating seniors through Zoom calls and virtual tours. Choosing a four-year university might mean picking a school from photographs or taking a full year off before being able to visit colleges.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Descolada #6

Kentucky cops to record churchgoers’ license plates to enforce coronavirus quarantines

Hey, Leave My Amish Bros Alone

Authorities Investigate Illicit Amish Wedding in Sleepy Ohio Hamlet, Population 3,220

Meanwhile, Muslim congregations are allowed to worship on their Sabbath without hassle.

Now, Some Lighter Fare

10 Underappreciated Classic Mysteries

The People Shouting "Healthcare is a Right!" Seem Kind of Quiet on This One

Elderly coronavirus patients could be denied critical care under NHS 'score' system designed to free up ICU beds for those most likely to recover


These are the folk who have the power in our present social dispensation to tell us what we must do and even what we must think, and they have concluded that the risk presented by the virus is so great that we should close down significant parts of our economy and that fundamental state services such as Courts should forthwith cease to function and that we should isolate ourselves from our friends and neighbours. We must stop playing sport. We must be prohibited from attending church. We must immediately alter our habits of living in a hundred other ways.

Decolada #5: More Law Enforcement

In Liverpool, England, about 20 police officers descended on the Hot Water Comedy Club to close down a show being held in violation of ban on large gatherings. They were surprised to find the club already closed. Paul Blair, one of the club's owners, says someone saw a Facebook video of a show taped two weeks earlier and, despite it being made clear a number of times in the broadcast that the show was taped, that person assumed it was live and reported the club to police.

and [they are actually bragging about this]

Our Country is Toilet Paper Weird

It's even a news story.  Granted, it's cable news with some very serious soy product guy, but still....

Descolada #4: Law Enforcement Version

Colorado Police 'Deeply Sorry' for Arresting Father Caught Playing Ball With His Daughter In an Empty Park

"Deeply authoritarian", perhaps?  Maybe, "deeply stupid"?

A Pungent Question

How is it that all of these politicians and media TV darlings are sporting their usual haircuts and I look like someone just rescued from a desert island?  Is this a case of "do as I say and not as I do"?

A Pungent Observation

Computer models aren't reality.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

That Does It, I’m Opening a Speakeasy

Daily coronavirus updates: Schools in Connecticut will stay closed through May 20, and bars and restaurants too, but new COVID-19 hospitalizations are dropping

Not Too Much Time, Actually

Time will tell if the shutdown orders have been an overreaction, and if church leaders have been too easily convinced to cancel services. There is something missing in the response of local politicians and journalists, however. They emphasize bodily health, but the spiritual costs of ending religious gatherings are left unsaid. It isn't clear that they even recognize that there are such costs.

Just in Case the NYT Decides to Paint Itself as the True Hero in All of This

To be fair, they have a lot of Chinese advertisers.  To quote Confucius, "You must always listen to the voice that feeds you."

Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Genius

Pennsylvania Has Made It Both Difficult and Dangerous to Buy Liquor: 
The state has shut down all liquor stores, leading customers to crowd into retailers across the border.

Authoritarian Descolada in the Comics

Hymn: Crucifixus pro Nobis by Patrick Cary [17th century English]


Look , how he shakes for cold!
How pale his lips are grown!
Wherein his limbs to fold
Yet mantle has he none.
His pretty feet and hands
(Of late more pure and white
Than is the snow
That pains them so)
Have lost their candour quite.
His lips are blue
(Where roses grew),
He's frozen everywhere:
All th' heat he has
Joseph, alas,
Gives in a groan; or Mary in a tear.


Look, how he glows for heat!
What flames come from his eyes!
'Tis blood that he does sweat,
Blood his bright forehead dyes:
See, see! It trickles down:
Look, how it showers amain!
Through every pore
His blood runs o'er,
And empty leaves each vein.
His very heart
Burns in each part;
A fire his breast doth sear:
For all this flame,
To cool the same
He only breathes a sigh, and weeps a tear.


What bruises do I see!
What hideous stripes are those!
Could any cruel be
Enough, to give such blows?
Look, how they bind his arms
And vex his soul with scorns,
Upon his hair
They make him wear
A crown of piercing thorns.
Through hands and feet
Sharp nails they beat:
And now the cross they rear:
Many look on;
But only John
Stands by to sigh, Mary to shed a tear.

Why did he shake for cold?
Why did he glow for heat?
Dissolve that frost he could,
He could call back that sweat.
Those bruises, stripes, bonds, taunts,
Those thorns, which thou didst see,
Those nails, that cross,
His own life's loss,
Why, oh, why suffered he?
'Twas for thy sake.
Thou, thou didst make
Him all those torments bear:
If then his love
Do thy soul move,
Sigh out a groan, weep down a melting tear.

Continuing Descolada

I can’t decide which is the more dispiriting element of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic; the fact that so many local authorities in America and Britain are letting their inner authoritarian out for an untrammeled romp while sanctimoniously insisting that it’s all for our own good whether we like it or not (or agree or not), that a large number of ordinary citizens are falling all over themselves in volunteering to inform on neighbors who are doing nothing more than going for more than one walk a day, visiting a park or beach, or exercising in their front garden, and that representatives of our National Media Establishment are as malicious a set of scurvy, biased, panic-sowing incompetents as ever crawled out of a journalism school armed with delusions of adequacy along with the degree. Age 27 and know absolutely nothing, as Ben Rhodes remarked. 


Federal Court Prohibits Louisville Mayor from Banning Easter Sunday Drive-in Church Service

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Great Triduum Lockdown Now Begins

Sorry, regular readers, but as you know, once the sun sets on Holy Wednesday, my attentions are diverted.  Even in this singular year, I'm doing what I can to keep things as normal as possible, which means a lot of time in front of a computer in video meetings and learning how to serve as both "cast and crew" for the live streamed and recorded broadcasts of our liturgies.  New fun can always be found on my parish's Facebook page.

After this week, I'm taking a break.  We'll be back after Easter Week with a return of the Friday biographies [new ones!] and even some more Thursday Places. 

Quarantine Seems to Be Capricious

Disaster in motion: Where flights from coronavirus-ravaged countries landed in US

Interesting note: This story originally appeared on the ABC website.  It disappeared later in the day for reasons that seem obtuse.  However, ABC neglected to "disappear" the URL, so it's still recoverable.