Category Archives: quotation

You are the easiest person to fool.

I’m a big fan of Richard Feynman’s quote: “The first thing is not to fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Russ Roberts

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

Richard Feynman

“I’m a sinner. I’m the worst sinner I know because I’m the sinner I know best.”

RHE & The Power Of Being Wronged

Small things

When uncertain about God’s will, it is very important that we tell ourselves: “Even if there are aspects of God’s will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends.” These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God’s will on an important question . . . we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God’s will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full.

Fr. Jacques Philippe

Hey NRA!

Hey NRA! Stop killing our kids! That's our job! Sincerely, Planned Parenthood.

Hey NRA! Stop killing our kids! That’s our job! Sincerely, Planned Parenthood.

Gun control means more government.

Interestingly, we do have a movement in the United States in which a far larger percentage of high school and college students engage each year: the March for Life.

The March for Life rally is an annual event that even the progressive Daily Beast acknowledges “has become something of a magnet for college and high school groups.” This is all-but-ignored by the media and certainly never held up by the left as a reason to overturn Roe v. Wade, let alone repeal a Constitutional amendment.

Crowd size estimates are difficult, and March for Life attendance varies each year. However, the March for Life has attracted larger crowds each year (excepting 2016 when a blizzard in DC affected attendance): estimates for 2012 show that 400,000 attended, in 2013, an estimated 650,000 attended.

Crowd size isn’t the narrative, though some media outlets attempted to make it a part of the narrative with outrageous claims about “March for Our Lives” attendance.

When was the last time you saw a CNN town hall that focused on the “schoolchildren” who oppose abortion and support life? When was the last time you saw a group of pro-life high school students hailed as the voice of their generation, a voice we should all listen to without question? When was the last time a pro-life student became so well-known that he or she appeared on morning, daytime, and evening talk shows and was the 24/7 topic of cable news outlets?

According to the leftist anti-Second Amendment crowd, we need to take seriously the demands of teenagers . . . unless the issue is abortion. As usual, the issue is not “the children,” the issue is forwarding an anti-American agenda and using “the children” as pawns.

abortion
March for Our Lives Narrative Continues to Unravel: Only 10% Teens

The Parkland Kids Have A Lot In Common With Pentecostal Child Preachers

History and “Presentism” and Other People’s Money

[Camille Paglia says,] “‘Presentism’ is a major affliction—an over-absorption in the present or near past, which produces a distortion of perspective and a sky-is-falling Chicken Little hysteria.’

This is a point that deserves repeated amplification. It explains, for instance, much of the indignation we see and hear on college campuses, wherein twenty-year-olds decry twenty-first-century American racism and sexism. The first response to their charges should not be to debate present conditions. It should be to ask them about actual conditions of the past—Jim Crow, the franchise for women and blacks, poverty rates and public health in former times . . . The answers will demonstrate that the only way to believe that America 2017 is a particularly vicious time for certain identities is to know nothing about the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. And we know, of course, how little history young Americans actually possess.

Paglia believes there is a causal connection between young Americans’ ignorance of history and their dim view of present conditions. At a conference in Oxford, Paglia stated again, in response to a student who criticized her and others for telling youths not to be so sensitive and snowflaky, “There is much too much focus on the present.” Thanks to the (presumed) sensitivity of modern youth, Paglia says, students have not had a “realistic introduction to the barbarities of human history . . . . Ancient history must be taught . . . . I believe in introducing young people to the disasters of history.” Without that background, she implies, our only standard of appraising current circumstances is current circumstances plus a few utopian dreams. We have so much material prosperity, they think, so why don’t we have more perfect people to enjoy it?

Not only does this outlook produce a dangerous parochialism and fervor among the young. It hampers their education. When people judge the present solely in present terms, not in relation to the past, diversity becomes not the pursuit of knowledge of other cultures, religions, and civilizations. It becomes, Paglia says, a “banner” under which we presume to “remedy” contemporary social sins. At that point, we should realize, education has turned into indoctrination.

Camille Paglia’s Teaching

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana (a rephrasing of what he said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”)


Innocents Betrayed

For example, what’s happening in Venezuela is just “bad luck”….
– “Castro, Chavez, and ‘bad luck’
– “Venezuela’s descent into anarchy is only beginning

Also seeAs the Left Surges Back, Marxism’s Bloody Legacy is Covered Up“, by Roger Scruton

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert A. Heinlein

When socialism runs out of money and has no more free stuff to give, it wreaks havoc on a country’s economy and its people. Just ask Venezuela.

If You Want Medicare For All, Get Used To Eating Rabbit Now


Roger Scruton on socialism

Trump is “an insecure bully and a boor”

I’ll be as honest as I can about why I dislike Trump. A big part of it is I think he’s a fraud. I think he’s part of the grand and glorious tradition of bunk artists in American history. I think he’s always lied about how rich he is and is lying to this day. And bear in mind, I don’t care how much money he has. The point is he cares. Specifically, he cares that other people think he’s really rich. In fact, that’s his business model. Most long cons require convincing marks that the con man doesn’t actually need the mark’s money. That’s his schtick to a T.

But I can actually get past that. That con-man aspect of him is also kind of charming. It’s not remotely presidential, but as an American character, I can see why some people are amused by Trump, and on occasion I am as well.

The thing I don’t find amusing is that he’s an insecure bully. He really does strike me as Biff from Back to the Future (Part II). His cheap macho posturing and boasting is simply tacky. I see him as a sad and insecure man. And what I truly find so depressing is that millions of Americans see the same blowhard overcompensation and mistake it for strength.

. . .

Regardless, the public Trump is an insecure bully and a boor, and I can’t help but believe that is the truer face of the man.

Does Anyone Actually Believe Trump Is Being Audited Because He’s a ‘Strong Christian’? By Jonah Goldberg

Since Trump has never held public office and seems to have few firm beliefs about anything aside from his own unparalleled competence, it’s hard to predict what he would do as president. Clinton, by contrast, has a long, almost uniformly awful record of public service. Whether Americans decide to be stabbed in the stomach or shot in the kneecaps, the consequences will be painful.

Clinton vs. Trump – The good news is one would lose.

The answer is that habitual liars lie habitually, and Trump is a habitual liar.

Donald Trump, Economic Ignoramus and Habitual Liar, by Kevin Williamson

“The recollection of an injury is itself wrong.”

Put aside your hatred and animosity. Take pains to refrain from sharp words. If they escape your lips, do not be ashamed to let your lips produce the remedy, since they have caused the wounds. Pardon one another so that later on you will not remember the injury. The recollection of an injury is itself wrong. It adds to our anger, nurtures our sin and hates what is good. It is a rusty arrow and poison for the soul. It puts all virtue to flight.

St. Francis of Paola (from Your Morning Offering)

Saints Quotes about Anger

Forgiveness

Love of the Church means living life as one continual “Thank-you” that only makes the heart larger and larger and does not rest until the Wounds of Christ, the Wounds of Love, are our own, and are equally open to all.

Five Thoughts on Loving the Church

Thinking and Overthinking and Faith

[W]e serve God by doing the work he’s given us and what he does with it after we’re gone is his business.
. . .
First, accept your limitations. “Everyone in life has his work; he must apply himself to it courageously and leave to others what Providence has reserved to others,” [A. G. Sertillanges, a Dominican theologian who died in 1948] explains.

It is a painful thing to say to oneself: by choosing one road I am turning my back on a thousand others. Everything is interesting; everything might be useful; everything attracts and charms a noble mind; but death is before us; mind and matter make their demands; willy-nilly we must submit and rest content as to the things that time and wisdom deny us, with a glance of sympathy which is another act of homage to the truth.

5 Unexpected Lessons About Thinking

Silence, and I Wonder as I Wander

An excellent method of preserving interior silence is to keep exterior silence. . . even in the world, each one of us can make his own solitude, a boundary beyond which nothing can force its way unperceived. It is not noise in itself that is the difficulty, but noise that is pointless; it is not every conversation, but useless conversations; not all kinds of occupation, but aimless occupations. In point of fact, everything that does not serve some good purpose is harmful. It is foolish, nay, more, it is a betrayal to devote to a useless objective powers that can be given to what is essential. There are two ways of separating ourselves from almighty God, quite different from one another but both disastrous, although for different reasons: mortal sin and voluntary distractions—mortal sin, which objectively breaks off our union with God, and voluntary distractions, which subjectively interrupt or hinder our union from being as close as it ought to be. We should speak only when it is preferable not to keep silence. The Gospel does not say merely that we shall have to give an account of every evil word, but of every idle thought.

St. Alphonsus Liguori

I Wonder as I Wander, by John Jacob Niles

1. I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on’ry people like you and like I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

2. When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

3. If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heav’n for to sing,
He surely could have it, ’cause he was the King.

In other words, Christ could have had anything, but what he chose was to be born as a man, and in choosing this, he chose to die. The “wonder” of the song is discerned in the startling revelation that the reason for the Lord’s decision to be “born for to die” was because of us. He did this all for us- not because he had to, but because we needed him to do it, an act of generosity that is made even more mysterious by the fact that there was nothing all that special about us that would have made us deserving of such generosity. Being high and mighty is really an illusion. We all are, as the song says, “poor ordinary people.”
. . .
The best of Christmas carols, which express not only the mystery of Christ’s holy birth, but also the total event of the Incarnation, are remarkably devoid of the sentimentality that has become synonymous with so many songs associated with the Christmas season. In respect to their theology, these carols are often extensions of the kinds of insights that one comes across in the Fathers of the Church who were able to correlate the events of Christ’s nativity to the Paschal Mystery; the wood of the stable foreshadows the wood of the cross and the swaddling clothes represent his burial shroud. We do not arrive at the scene of Christ’s birth and discover an event that can be abstracted from the rest of his revelation- what is presented to us in Bethlehem mysteriously contains within itself the events of Golgotha.

The Crib and the Cross

The Lord therefore commands a holy silence of us as a kind of reminder that words fail. Silence is a proper reverence for the mysteries of the incarnation and of God. Words are necessary; without them orthodoxy could not be set forth and truth could not be conveyed.

Words Fail – Another Meditation on Silence Before the Mysteries of this Christmas Week

Christmas 2015

Totalitarianism

Donald Trump may talk like a brownshirt, but the Democrats mean business. For those of you keeping track, the Democrats and their allies on the left have now: voted in the Senate to repeal the First Amendment, proposed imprisoning people for holding the wrong views on global warming, sought to prohibit the showing of a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton, proposed banning politically unpopular academic research, demanded that funding politically unpopular organizations and causes be made a crime and that the RICO organized-crime statute be used as a weapon against targeted political groups. They have filed felony charges against a Republican governor for vetoing a piece of legislation, engaged in naked political persecutions of members of Congress, and used the IRS and the ATF as weapons against political critics.
. . .
It is possible to have a robust, energetic political discourse within the parameters of American liberalism, which cherishes freedom of speech and of inquiry, which distinguishes between public and private spheres, which relies upon the rule of law and the Bill of Rights while placing limits on the reach of the state. But if you reject that, as our so-called liberals have, then you cannot have genuine political discourse, or genuine democracy.

Kevin Williamson

Respectability

Christ Himself was leery of large audiences, and did not seek any of the forms of respectability then available in Roman provincial society, including that of the Pharisee preacher. He ended not with laurels, but tacked to a Cross, wearing the crown of thorns that is the ultimate award for moral and spiritual perfection. And his final homily was from that Cross, and in those startling words echoed from a Psalm through His torment: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Make perfect thy will

The Jesus Prayer, and Some Tips

Every day, begin with a prayer for the Spirit to guide your actions, that they will set in motion the uncountable goods that He wills. And at the end of every day entrust all your past actions to His mercy, asking Him to forgive the failures and bless the successes; and untangle any knots you may have tied up.

The Butterfly Effect and Catholicism

From 3 Ways NOT to Lead Your Fallen-Away Child Back to the Church, do not:

1. Force him to Mass.

2. Criticize his lifestyle.

3. Nag him.

The Jesus Prayer

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Saying the Jesus Prayer