Craig R. Kelso

Friday, April 07, 2017

Stoned

The Gospel reading of the Catholic Church for today was from John 10:31-42.  Bishop Robert Barron's daily reflection for today stated the following:

Friends, in today's Gospel, Jewish leaders attempt to stone Jesus because he claimed to be the Son of God. He defended his identity, saying "If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."


It reminded me of I'm Bob Dylan song: Everybody Must Get Stoned.
Dillon needs to add another line to the song:

They'll stone you when you claim to be the Son of God.





Saturday, March 18, 2017

Forms of Government

I have been thinking a lot lately about forms of government and why the founding of the United States was so important in the history of the world.  My wife and I have been watching television shows about the history of England, the Medici of Florence, Italy, etc.  Also, I have recently read a book entitled The Last Crusader, which is about the life of Don Juan of Austia, that contained much history about Spain during the reign of Phillip II.  It always shocks me that societies had to live for so many centuries under monarchies.  What a foolish thing it is to pass leadership from one family member to the next.

Then, there are dictatorships like the Soviet Union and NAZI Germany in which people gained control of their governments and used power to maintain control much like a monarchy.  Both the Soviet Union and NAZI Germany attempted to eliminate religion so that the government would be in complete control of its citizens; much like the Roman Empire that demanded of its citizens to worship the emperor as a god.

The founders of the United States of America attempted to create a new kind of government based on much of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom from human history so that the people of the nation would have a voice in the running of the nation.  However, it seems at present that many of the people in the United States want two things:

      1.  A bigger government, and

      2.  Less religion, especially Christianity.

For some reason people believe that it is the government's responsibility to take care of their every need.  Also, they want the government to replace God.  Both of these things taken together would seem to me to be a step backwards in history.

Even though I have not addressed forms of government at length in this blog post, an interesting YouTube video that I refer back to frequently does discuss different forms of government and how they relate to one another.  I have included a link to the video below:

Forms of Government


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What's going on?


I read a New York Times article by a guy named Charles Blow (an appropriate name for a blow-hard, liberal journalist) entitled: No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along. He goes on and on about what a bad person Donald Trump is, but accuses Trump of doing some of the same things that Barak Obama did to be elected President and continues to do as President.

Does this mean that Trump's behavior is acceptable? No. So why did Trump get elected? It was a reaction to 8 years of an Obama administration that was so partisan that Republicans came off looking bad because they didn't do enough to counteract progressive policies. Democrats got what they wanted, despite the backlash that they are mostly responsible for creating.

Also, the Democratic party agenda (Socialism/permanent majority) got caught up with Obama's anti-America agenda (weaken the U.S. via unsustainable debt plus a pro-Muslim/anti-Christian bent).

Democrats had a chance to elect the Hillary Clinton as the first female president in 2008, but decided to elect the first half-black President, Barak Obama, instead. As was stated above, his administration was so extreme that people ended up distrusting the government, and the backlash was Trump being elected instead of one of 16 other Republican candidates or Hillary Clinton.

As one Facebook post states: I lived through Obama. You'll live through Trump.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Family Stuff



My sister, Sherry, celebrated her 64th birthday last week. Two of my daughters and nine of my eleven grandchildren are in the picture. It was a good time!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Social Justice


I have been reading the book shown above in an attempt to gain a better understanding of social justice. I am a Roman Catholic/Christian, so I am a bit confused by the secular version of social justice; redistribution of wealth, as opposed to the Church's teaching about social justice: Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority (CCC 1928).

Social justice is one of those ideas that is difficult to pin down and has a long history. What I have gleaned from the book so far is that Social Justice is not Socialism. Neither is it unfettered capitalism.

Here is a link to an article by Michael Novak that summarizes the ideas in the book:http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/social-justice-not-what-you-think-it-is

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

What Some Mexicans Want

These two images showed up on Facebook recently in response to Donald Trump's campaign comments and his rally in California prior to the California primary election.

The first picture suggests a possible contradiction. A person of Mexican descent who lives in the U.S., but still prefers Mexico to the U.S. Why doesn't the person move back to Mexico?


This second picture answers the apparent contradiction suggested by the first photo. Many people from Mexico want to change the U.S., or portions of the U.S. into Mexico (again).


I believe that much of the southwestern portion of the U.S. (Aztlan) is considered by people of Mexican descent to have been stolen from Mexico, and they want it back.

Now we are back to the original problem: If people of Mexican descent like Mexico so much, why don't they return to Mexico? If the southwestern portion of the U.S. was returned to Mexico, then that region would have the same kind of government corruption and poverty as exists currently in Mexico.

Mexico has all of the resources that the U.S. enjoys, but chooses, by it's choice of government and culture, to not have the same kind of prosperity as North Americans. If folks from Mexico want to live in the U.S. and enjoy the freedoms and prosperity of North America, then they need to do what North Americans do/did to make the U.S. what it is, instead of trying to turn the U.S. into Mexico.





Friday, March 18, 2016

Trump/Sanders

I was having a discussion with my daughter and son-in-law after dinner a few nights ago. The subject of Socialism came up and that led to a discussion about what forces are operating in American politics that explain why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have so much popularity in their respective parties. I proposed that capitalism and socialism are the driving forces that are motivating voters toward Trump and Sanders. I know it's not that simple, but I believe those two ideas can be used as organizing principles that connect Trump and Sanders to their constituencies.

The one thing people who support both Trump and Sanders have in common is that they are pissed off at the government for not doing its job. Trump folks are mad at the Republican establishment for not doing more to stop President Obama and the Democrats from advancing their liberal agenda, even with majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The people who support Sanders are mad because President Obama didn't move far enough to the left, which is kind of stupid, because Pres. Obama and the Democrats have done quite a lot in the way of getting what they want during Obama's two terms in office. This is where the similarity between the two groups of voters ends

Socialism can be used to explain the popularity of Bernie Sanders. He promises lots of free stuff, This is Democratic party standard operating procedure. It worked with Obama's election. Bernie is going beyond free stuff though, he is promising a utopia. The idea of a utopian society is one that has been around for a long time. A utopian society would require a socialist government, and for some reason, socialist governments usually demand an atheist populous. Or, maybe it works the other way around. First people lose their faith in God. If their is no God, then there is no afterlife. This life is all there is, so a person needs to make the most of it. If there is no Heaven after this life, then we better create some kind of heaven on earth; a socialist/utopian society.

Capitalism is, at least, part of the reason for Donald Trump's popularity. I will attempt to use Christianity, Capitalism, and the "Gospel of Prosperity" to explain Trump's popularity. Christianity and Capitalism are connected by the Protestant Work Ethic/Gospel of Prosperity. Many Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christians believe that if they live good lives here on earth, God will allow them to prosper here on earth through a Capitalistic economic system. This is one large group of people who are supporting Donald Trump. The other group that likes Trump are the people that believe he will do something to fix the immigration problem. Ann Coulter wrote a book called Adios America in which she stated that any Republican could win the 2016 election simply by running on an anti-immigration platform. That is exactly how Trump began his campaign.

So, maybe it's more of an Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christian vs. Atheist thing than a Capitalism vs. Socialism thing. Trump has the support from Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christians, anti-GOP establishment (pissed off), and anti-immigration voters. Sanders has anti-Democrat establishment, and youngsters, and Utopian/Socialist/Communist voters in his camp. Trump just might become the GOP nominee, but Sanders doesn't have a chance to become the Democratic nominee. He is too far behind Hillary Clinton at this point in time. But, it is just amazing to me that Trump and Sanders have so much popularity.