Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ya Think????

Reuters this morning features this story:

Soros sees no bottom for world financial "collapse"

The essence of which (the "money quote") being: "We witnessed the collapse of the financial system. It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."

Soros knows that what we had been living through for the past several decades was not real prosperity. It was a synthetic prosperity built on synthetic wealth, and all based upon everything was more valuable than it really was. A sort of "mark to market" mentality permeated the world economic vision. All leading to the equally false idea that, if you paid $100,000 for a house three years ago, and it was appraised for $200,000 now, you had just "made" $100,000. Which meant, of course that you "take out" that equity and pee it away on vacations and new TV's. I was personally chided by friends and business associates over the "folly" of letting all that equity "go to waste".

To me, the truly amazing - TRULY AMAZING - thing is hearing the various talking heads on TV (or the internet) going on about "the bottom" and so many stocks being such "bargains". I have never seen a group of people living so deeply in denial. What we are living through is a fundamental change in our economy, or rather our economic system. The essence of this is of course the (FALSE) idea that, for example, the value of General Motors was many multiples of the "book" value, because it was a known fact that GM would grow so far in the future. Well, guess what, it isn't. Just like the value of a horse is equal to what it can do for you (pull a plow, for example), the value - TRUE VALUE - of any company is what it does NOW. Sure, you can anticipate growth, but remember that it is ANTICIPATED value, not real, present value.

Only now the world's conciousness has woken up to the fact that this was all ANTICIPATED value. And unless and until the PAPER assets of the world fall back in line with the REAL assets of the world, the bottom will never be reached. The problem though, is being prolonged by the fact that Wall Street, the Business Media, and all their minions have yet to accept these facts, and keep buying (or supporting) the paper assets as best they can. Because they have yet to come to grips with the fact that they were all wrong, and were all willing sycophants in the construction and maintenance of a financial house of cards. So, for all of you in the "Business Media" that are among the multiple millions of the followers of this blog, please hear me...


Now, accept the fact that you are also pretty smart, and have the ability, once you have "handled the truth" to be a part of the recovery - a good recovery built on sound numbers. Have at it, and help where you can, and get wealthy if you can. But don't try to bulls**t us anymore. We won't buy it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I know mine will be. My wife one amazing creature. I am well and truly blesssed by her presence in my life. Not to mention the presence of the three little girls sitting in the other room right now, watching TV!

It will be 18 years ago in May since I first laid eyes on her. And my thought then was "that is the sweetest girl I have ever seen".
It will be 18 years in December when I laid eyes on her for the second time, and I thought then "that is the sweetest girl I have ever seen" (I didn't recognize her at first as the same girl). Now, after 17.33 years of marriage - she still is.

Doomed to Fail


Many things (admittedly not all) that we experience in our personal lives can be extrapolated to the world at large and government in particular. This goes especially for economic things. Personally, or macroeconomically, one can NEVER borrow their way to prosperity. Any apparent prosperity is just that apparent, with no more connection to reality than a computer generated visual effect in a movie or television show.

Case in Point: A person (mea maxima culpa) is given credit cards which he then uses to "enhance" his living standards. He (or she) eats at better restaurants more often, goes on nicer vacations to nicer places, has nicer appliances and computers and televisions, etc. Now all of this happens s-l-o-w-l-y, over many years. Then suddenly, the credit cards are maxed-out, and he can't "afford to live". Worse yet, the bills are due! But just in time, an exciting offer comes through the mail, giving him an opportunity to move his balances to a NEW card, and have more available credit to live off of. The cycle repeats several times and eventually you have a person who cannot POSSIBLY afford to pay the money back. What follows is bankruptcy, and years of living much much lower "on the hog" and hopefully a long, slow recovery from the addiction.

WELL.... what we have seen in the past 30-odd years is that whole situation writ-large. Our government, through sdeficit spending, has been pumping BILLIONS of borrowed money every year into our economy, making us all appear more prosperous. Whether it was easy money for constuction loans, or mortgages, or money for the military, or for social programs - whatever they spent money on. It all served to "pump up" the economy, like a sugar rush pumps up a child - or speed pumps up a user. But now - RIGHT NOW - is the point where we are used up. Tapped out.

The bottom line is, this "stimulus" is doomed to fail, or at least doomed to ultimately fail, one that bit of fake money is used up. So my economic advice to anyone reading this is... GET READY! Because as soon as this plays out (however long it lasts) it's gonna be really really ugly.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Liturgical Changes?? It makes me wonder.....

This Sunday ( 6 February ) the bulletin for (one of) my Parishes had this entry....



Still to come this month: February 21st
Lessons in Discipleship
"Preparing for Changes in the Liturgy" They ARE coming.....

I find it interesting that the post appeared just as I show it, with the "ARE" capitalized. It seems to indicate an obvious certainty - get ready folks. Now it is time for me to hope and pray even more fervently that this will be the start of something good. I KNOW we have two amazing priests, but they have seemed to be "held back" in their efforts at tradition by some invisible force. Or maybe they were just waiting to assess the situation before they made any major changes. Either way, it may be that they have decided that the time was right. Now lets see where the ride takes us. Now I can't WAIT to find out!

Maybe somewhere like THIS.

UPDATE: The aforementioned class about Liturgical Changes realtes to the coming new translations of the mass. What it is and why it is happening. Isn't it good to see the catechesis on this important change starting already! I hope that it starts soon in a lot of parishes. Better catechesis = better understanding = better reception = better impementation.

Liturgical Update - Perspective

Any reader of this blog will know my preferences for a traditional, reverent Catholic Mass. But any Catholic who doesn't live in a bubble of and FSSP parish, or SSPX Chapel (and a few others) knows that such a thing is as rare as hens' teeth. Most Catholic masses are a mish mash of prayers recited blandly and bland music played even more blandly. I LIVED through the '70's and I know form personal memory that the "pseudo folk-rock" music of that era - liturgical AND secular - was with few exceptions lame drivel even back then. Usually preformed by lame wannabe troubadours with soft beards and hair. People who really would like to be hippies, but weren't up to the commitment and earthiness that would require.

I have tried and tried to get one of my regular parishes to introduce the Extraordinary Form of the Mass - but to no avail.
And I will continue to do so - albeit quietly. I feel that the survival of Catholicism and Christianity is dependent WHOLLY on the development of a strong identity. One more strong than the "soft rock" mentality and attitude can EVER provide.

Well, sometimes life gives you surprises. ESPECIALLY life with three small children. Last Sunday, I was served up one such surprise. Due to "logistical issues" I wound up attending a Sunday evening Mass at the newest, allegedly most "liberal" church in town. It was Mass in the Round, with music provided by and electric bass, three or four guitars, a few other instruments and a group of young and old men and women. I was deeeeeply suspicious of the whole affair. But was I wrong!!! Because what I leraned was that 1) the group was HIGHLY talented. 2) they sang and prayed like they BELIEVED. 3) The congregation prayed and sang like they BELEIVED as well. Now the forms of the music were a bit wrong, they were at least performed like they were MEANT.

Of course, the priest "winged" the prayers for the most part - which disturbed me deeply. But it was SO refreshing to be in a church where people seemed to mean what they were praying - rather than "going through the motions". And the music was while definitely NOT from the Parish Book of Chant, it was not the usual Haugen-Haas-Schutte drivel either. And I'd rather have that than the same old junk that I have been forced to endure for the past 75% of my life.

One of my favorite bible verses is Ecclesiastes 9:10, which says (KJV): "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." And those folks at that mass last Sunday did just that. I may disagree with their choices or tastes, but at least they cared. And how many parishes can say that???

2 months later....

Well, two months (roughly) have gone by since I last posted...

Personally, it has been an interesting ride. In the sense that is of the ancient Chinese curse of "may you live in interesting times". But in the end, thanks to God in heaven, and working through some dear friends here, I am now gainfully employed. And not JUST gainfully employed, but in a job which suits me perfectly. It was just the process of getting here which was "interesting".

Psychological stress is a fascinating thing. Sometimes when you are not really even consciously aware of it, it can get inside you and wear you down and manifest itself outwardly and physically in ways you don't ever expect. Once again in my life, I have re-learned that, while working is sometimes stressful - NOT working is worse. Or at least when you have a family who depends on you. Now each day I even more strongly thank God for the blessing of my job, and pray that he help all those fathers (and others) who are out there still searching - and worrying.

To all those friends who were praying for and trying to help me in my employment search - Thanks.