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On hiatus for a bit. Catholic, Husband, Father, Lawyer, Professional Quibbler. #DefundPP
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22 Oct 18
The weird little moral panics of the Trump Era are amazingly more disturbing for what they say about the state of our society than the election of the Dorito Lord itself.
We're late into "Trump Conspired With Saudi Arabia to Kill a Journalist/Trump Yelling at CNN Made Saudi Arabia Think They Could Kill a Journalist" and midway toward the peak of "Trump Will Send the Air Force to Strafe Unarmed Women and Children."
Who among us can remember the halcyon days of "Trump Will Start A Nuclear War With Pyongyang Before 2018 is Over"?
Read 11 tweets
19 Oct 18
"We have a moral duty to aid the weak and the oppressed." Compelling.

"We have no right to control our own borders if the right age-and-sex mix appears there." Self-evidently stupid and counterproductive.
Arguments are not won purely on merit, but on the manner in which they're proposed and argued.
This is especially true with matters in which the moving party seeks to have our laws, if not suspended, then at least highly-charitably enforced and interpreted: If you want to make a case that our immigration law as it exists is immoral, you can't simply hand-wave at it.
Read 9 tweets
19 Oct 18
Being enamored of the way things were when you were young does not make you conservative; it makes you nostalgic.
Protesting one's conservatism has very little meaning if the substance of your protest is nostalgia and self-appellation.
Similarly, if the entirety of one's conservatism is a single policy stance, coupled with a congenital resistance to change, this merely makes one idiosyncratically intransigent.
Read 6 tweets
18 Oct 18
I'm going to say something in defense of Michael Avenatti.
A lot of people, left and right, blame him for undermining the attacks on now Justice Kavanaugh. This is completely in error.
Let us stipulate that the porn lawyer is a clown of the first order. Let us further stipulate that the attack he brought to bear is facially nuts.
Read 10 tweets
18 Oct 18
Reminder that it's a lot easier to have kids do what you say and what you do if the two things are congruent and also if you gently relay imprecise recollections of relevant past events occurring chronologically prior to their postnatal period.
"Daddy, what's this scar on your arm?"
"I accidentally sliced my arm open while helping an old lady across the street."
"What happened?"
"She tripped with her knife-edged umbrella and I caught her and the umbrella at once."
"Daddy, did you date anyone before Mommy?"
"From a quotidian perspective, speaking literally, absolutely not."
Read 4 tweets
17 Oct 18
It is fashionable to describe political Twitter as a vision of Hell. This may or may not be true, but it does not hold a candle to Catholic Twitter.
One of the many, many reasons I limit my exposure because it often devolves into groups of people with no to a little knowledge of the subject matter brutally attempting to vindicate abstract hypotheticals against each other.
All of the no true Scotsman arguments about political and economic systems ever can be found there.
Read 6 tweets
16 Oct 18
Until the Kavanaugh hearings, I had planned on sitting out the midterm elections to punish my congressman and senator for not voting to end Obamacare.
I have long thought that the midterms as a referendum on the sitting president is a dangerously stupid way to view our electoral system. It suggests congressman are lesser officials, subordinate to the president, and their value is as a medium to the presidency.
This is arguably reflective of current reality, though not of structural intent, and is it any rate not something we should want as a free people.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct 18
6: So when?
Me: Huh.
6: When?
3: Yeah, Dad. When?
Me: Oh this is that dream where the dragon crashes into the house and the homeowner's insurance slipped a fantasy beast exclusion into the ISO form while I wasn't looking. Carry on.
7: Huh? Also, when?
Me: No, no, you guys are supposed to be eating powdered sugar ice cream. Also I'm not supposed to be dizzy and realizing I still have a brief due.
4: Dad, there's a question pending.
Me: So help me God if you become a lawyer I'll kill you.
1: [entering room with homework] When?
Me: No, you have no more idea what they're talking about than I do. You're just--
Penultimate: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN [fades into distance as he bops down the stairs]
Me: --saying it because you can see my forehead vein pulse.
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct 18
I actually love election season, because I get to see all the stupid, wasteful crap for which consultants charge untold thousands if not millions of dollars and that will have absolutely no effect at all whatsoever.
For example, I just passed an intersection at which some sturdy young fellow was pounding campaign signs for various Democrats into the ground.

The roads are little used, and there may be as many as to registered Democrats within 30 square miles.
The roads are not feeder roads, but rather roads that feed into roads that feed into feeder roads.
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct 18
I'm not in favor of killing people, but this whole "American residents" thing itches my craw. It adds nothing to the level of emotional outrage we should feel -- the only superlatives that would are "women and children" or "Americans" -- and just seems like someone's mad at Trump
An innocent man is killed: Be angry! It happens a lot, but there's no reason to dull your (correct) moral outrage merely because an injustice is one of many. However, "American resident" does not evoke any particular extra sympathy without trying.
I mean, foreign heads of state on long stays, foreign diplomats, visa holders, illegal aliens, legal residents, green card holders, all of these and more are "American residents." There's no emotional chord there unless you desperately want to see it.
Read 4 tweets
15 Oct 18
I do want to congratulate Senator Warren for undermining the story she told about her family for years just to one-up an orange blowhard and the insults he made about which no one of any significant numbers cared.
The effect of Donald Trump on people's minds is absolutely astounding given that he's still the overblown a**hole who crashed the real estate empire his daddy gave him.
• Elizabeth Warren has proven that she may have Native American DNA, just not nearly as close as she said and it's not with a high P value
• Long-time Republicans have explained that one can be conservative without being conservative, hence they're now Democrats
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct 18
My maternal great-grandfather, about 20 generations ago, was a Portuguese converso. I am therefore in my rights to call myself the Apostle Thomas.
Other details:

According to one of the genealogies on which my paternal grandfather blew a whole social security check, I am a direct-male-line-descendant of one of the men who stood with Martel at Tours; or more accurately, the horse-poop-scooper who stood behind him.
You may thank me for the survival of Christendom.
Read 5 tweets
14 Oct 18
By the way, and I say this as a huge fan of the elder neoconservatives, the reasons they were called conservative were not limited to a hawkish view of the Soviet Union. Read some history before you opine on it.
To briefly expand: First, the term "neoconservative" was originally an insult from the Left they'd abandoned, a title unevenly taken as a point of pride; and the moniker came because of a rightward shift on domestic and foreign policy.
Irving Kristol's famous line about a conservative being a liberal who was mugged by reality was a brilliant play on words: A significant part of the rightward swing was driven by their shift on views of policing, law, and regulation.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct 18
Of all the Mass settings, I can't seem to escape the Mass of Creation and the Mass of St. Ann; and yet we have things like this:

I'm 42. I've only ever known the Ordinary Form; the Latin Masses near me growing up were all by the Schismatics of St. Pius X, and the only licit Latin Mass in my diocese is over an hour and a half away. But some time around 1989, it went from respectful vernacular to garbage.
You don't need Latin to make a Mass a respectful and joyful prayer; but if you're doing the vernacular, spare us unusually-stupid-modern-Protestant and ex-Jesuit, atonal, badly composed, theologically-suspect-at-best Mass settings.
Read 5 tweets
13 Oct 18
I'm up this late because the kids got to bed at a decent time and I chose to catch up on my pop culture from the last seventeen years, so: A Belated Review of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
There are great movies. This was not one. There are good movies. This was not one. There are ok movies. This was not one. There are bad movies. This was not one. There are awful movies. This was not one.
This was a movie so bad, it made every, single actor and actress in it, except for Ray Park, awful. Good actors, great actors, well-known regarded actors, one of the Wayans brothers: So, so bad.
Read 10 tweets
12 Oct 18
I do not want to see Pope Francis humiliated because, first, it is uncharitable; second, because the title "Pope" comes from a specific word, and I do not wish to see one of my fathers made to look foolish; and, finally, because doing so harms the Church.
But this is not to say one cannot say where and when the Pope has been wrong or errs. We are Catholic Christians, and no matter the pap to the contrary, we are not priests, but we are concerned for souls and the faith no less than priests.
There is a line between respectful correction and unseemly mockery. These days, that line sometimes seems invisible; but, it's there, if you just look for it.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct 18
So a client sent a check overnight to an expert via the United States Postal Service. I will now walk through the route of that check, which was sent Monday and still has not arrived.
10.8.18 2:12 p.m. Deposited in a post office box in Tampa at a post office with a pickup time of 4:45 p.m.
10.9.18 12:03 a.m. Registered for the first time at a Tampa distribution facility.
10.9.18 4:21 p.m. Registered again, same facility.
10.10.18 1:09 a.m. Registered at the Louisville, Kentucky distribution facility.
10.10.18 11:00 a.m. Registered at the same facility.
10.11.18 4:03 a.m. Registered at the Atlanta distribution facility.
Read 6 tweets
10 Oct 18
At my parish, we have 30 minutes on Saturday for Confession (which I believe has now gone through the names Penance, Reconciliation, and Jesus Loves You Time) or by appointment, and it's disproportionately taken with the same old people week after week.
I am not in favor of denying anyone access to the Sacraments, but, first, guys, I'm pretty sure your mortal sinning days are behind most of us at age 85; and, second, this wouldn't be a problem except they're there 2 hours early and the 30 minute window is pretty firm.
So if, speaking hypothetically, one's goal is to get <counts> 7 people through Confession/Jesus Loves You Time in the 30 minutes allotted, I must have one heck of a lot of children sit in the Nave for over two hours before the main event.
Read 8 tweets
9 Oct 18
"NeverTrump" never meant "NeverConservative" unless you really meant that all along.
For myself, it meant I would not vote for him, and I did not. I am under no compulsion because of a voting stance to reject things I'd accept from any other Republican President.
You will note that the supermajority of mainstream/movement conservative NeverTrumpers and no I won't use the bleeping hashtag haven't said "goodbye to everything for which I worked for decades." It's not because they're compromised; it's because their principles are intact.
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct 18
This weird Kabuki play I see so many performing, in which things that have been true for decades are suddenly apparent and disqualifying, does not reflect badly on the object, but on the subject.
Next, they will discover the Ronald Reagan refer to the Soviet Union as an evil empire, and decried abortion as a terrible stain on our nation's soul.
That Ronald Reagan referred to

Thanks, speech to text.
Read 5 tweets
7 Oct 18
I didn't vote at the top of the ticket in 2016 for the first time since I turned 18. I didn't vote in the primary this year, also an adulthood first. Still not wildly inclined to vote for a serial adulterer who is almost certainly still pro-choice. But man I gotta vote this year.
Honesty compels me to note that I am fully aware that I'm disinclined to skip voting as it is, so only a marginal push was needed to get me off my "to Hell with all of them, I'm following the wife's lead" vow. But I just got a more-than-marginal push.
Historically, there is a single reason I vote Republican above all others, and it was just crammed in my face along with a note explaining that all the locks have been busted off.
Read 5 tweets