"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Avoid arrogance ...

Where there is arrogance, there is always war and the desire to defeat the other and believing one is superior.
“The evil spirit always sows wars. Jealousy, envy, conflicts, gossip…. are things that destroy peace and therefore there cannot be unity. And how should a Christian behave to promote unity, to find this unity? Paul tells us clearly: ‘live in a manner worthy of your call, with all humility, gentleness and magnanimity.’ These three attitudes: humility - we cannot sow peace without humility. Where there is arrogance, there is always war and the desire to defeat the other and believing one is superior. Without humility there is no peace and without peace there is no unity.” - Pope Francis

Dear Jesus, I adore your disfigured outraged Face.  Would that, by an act of pure love, I could remove the congealed blood from your mouth, wipe the tears and spittle from  your eyes and soothe your wounded brow and cheek.

That was interesting.

I love the two guys in front looking down at the floor.

A Hillary Clinton White House will be sooooooooo boring ...

She will single-handedly destroy the fashion industry.

I already miss the Obama family.  She cannot even hope to follow the White House Performances which were the hallmark of the Obama White House.  

What a grey, drab administration it will be.  

Rose, magenta, shocking pink - it doesn't matter.

It's the end of style and taste - and fun.

Phonies.  You really need alcohol to get through it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Outsider art and a difficult life ...

Blessed Rolando Rivi
(This is one painting I actually like.)

I love to write about how I never fit in - never have - never wanted to.

So I say.  Some of the torment in my life has been a secret desire to fit in - to even be normal.  Yet when I tried, or found a 'space' to do that in - I couldn't stand it.  I couldn't carry it off for very long.  I think my 'inability' to do so, has been a sort of disability.  It's been a difficult life.  I think I'm finally comfortable with not fitting in - but I can't be sure.

When I was a little kid I wanted to be poor like the saints - and we were poor - but I didn't know it.

Later I wanted to suffer like the artists and poets - and I did - but I didn't know it.

Kinda sorta.

Weird, huh?

So anyway - I've been investigating some of the post impressionists and their lives - their weirdness.  I'm not on their level of course - but I felt better about my own work - it's weirdness.  It's been a way for me to sort through many things in my life and thought.  It's been a way to document what happened.  I used to be ashamed of many paintings because they were so representative of things normal people do not talk about.  In many instances, they contradict their expectations of what life should be, what religious experience should be, and so on.

Anyway - I think I've finally finished 3 works.  I just need to photograph them - but I don't have a very good camera and lighting may not be very good now that it is autumn.

All three works were shown before - so the finished works will be familiar.  The one I like best is my version of The Secret of Fatima.  The next one is like it - The Dream - about the corruption in the Church - which may or may not be related to Fatima.  Finally, Ven. Matt Talbot.  Last night I noticed it needed a bit more glazing, so I hope to finish it in a day or two.  I might still do another version of Talbot - not sure.  I've never spent so much time on a painting as I've done on these three.

It's not great art, to be sure - just the best I can do.

I think I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What I thought of the final debate ...

Not much.

Although I think she won.

To save time, Pope Francis is posting his photos to his wall ...

I like that one!

The “Decorum Squad of the City of Rome” quickly unfriended him today.  Story here.

The North American Martyrs and bad sacristans ...

Today is their feast day.


The Iroquois and Mohawks were extremely …. unhelpful to the Jesuits.  Talk about inhospitable and just plain mean sacristans.  They were among the most liturgically (etc.) ignorant of all carbon-based life forms ... also the most likely to share their witless and ill-informed opinions ...


The Iroquois met Isaac Jogues near Lake George, 
stripped him naked, slashed him with their knives, 
beat him and then led him to the village. 
On 18 October, 1646, when entering a cabin he was 
struck with a tomahawk and afterwards decapitated.
 The head was fixed on the Palisades 
and the body thrown into the Mohawk.

Tonight is the final debate between Clinton and Trump! Don't miss it!

It's going to be good.

Call security.

Does this sound disingeuous to you?

"As we pray for a good outcome to the election, let's make sure we include that outcome which most assures the candidates' personal salvation." - Michael Voris

The Venetian Sacristan ... tragic story ...

Death in Venice ...
Allow (Father) to say here that the sacristan at S. Zaccaria sets a new standard for being a total jerk. Italian sacristans can be extremely …. unhelpful. Not are they often among the most liturgically (etc.) ignorant of all carbon-based life forms, but they are also the most likely to share their witless and ill-informed opinions. In any event, the guy at S. Zaccaria is a first class ass. This is not the first time I’ve tried to deal with him. Also, some of the group I am with went by the church as the evening Mass was concluding, the minute the priest finished he started turning out lights and shooing with no regard to the people who were still praying etc. A couple even had to use the lights on their phones to get out without falling. In any event, the sacristan is world-class oaf. - Postcards from the edge.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Breaking NEWS! The real Hillary revealed.

News you can use.
I have always trusted the Enquirer - it's how I found out about Mark Shea.

And Tim Kaine is a Commie!

I'm tongue tied.

San Joselito

Saint José Sánchez del Río 
(28 March 1913 – 10 February 1928)

His Way of the Cross
The guards made José walk ten blocks, barefoot and bleeding, along a rocky path to the cemetery were he would be buried. Along the way, the soldiers screamed blasphemies with satanic hatred, praising the godless government, trying to pressure the boy to deny his faith: “You better learn your lesson!” “We will kill you!” “What a proud and arrogant boy!” they said. 
José’s only response was: “Viva Cristo Rey!” and “Viva La Virgen de Guadalupe!” 
Already at the cemetery, José asked: “Where is my plot?” as he did not want any of the troops to touch him. One of the soldiers suddenly swung his rifle around, breaking José’s jaw with the butt. Without hesitation, the soldiers furiously stabbed him in the neck, chest and the back with knives. At every stab, José proclaimed the name of Christ the King at the top of his lungs, “Viva Cristo Rey!”
José was dying slowly. But he still mustered enough energy to defy the soldiers, saying: “You have done a lot to me, but God still allows me [to continue]! But when I can no longer speak, if I wiggle my feet, that means, ‘Viva Cristo Rey and the Virgin of Guadalupe!’” 
A federal officer approached the dying and bleeding boy on the ground and asked in a sarcastic tone: “What should we tell your father?” José answered: “That we will see each other in Heaven! Viva Cristo Rey! and the Virgin of Guadalupe.”
Overtaken by anger, the officer grabbed his gun and shot José behind the ear. José Sánchez del Río won the crown of martyrdom. - Read more here.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Street scene

Are you hurt, disoriented, frustrated about what’s going on in the Church?

A trip to nowhere ...

This weekend I signed up for Facebook - again - but just to contact an old friend. To say, Hello, old friend. It was fun - I was silly again - making fun and saying dumb things. Then the 'let's get together, let's do dinner' thing came up. I went silent. It's not that I don't love them any more ... I ... have no excuse.

Late last night, I searched for other old friends.  Family and friends and friends who had been my family.  I found several and looked in on them without saying anything.  I looked at their photos and their parties and saw them on their trips.  I saw their families; parents, kids, friends, weddings, Las Vegas trips, on and on.  Many people - most of them - I haven't seen in 10, 20, even 30 years.  I still recognized them.  They all looked good, happy, fit - just like I remember them.

Some of these people I walked away from - some I ran from - some just disappeared.  Again, it's not that I didn't love them.  I was working on a project - that's still not finished.  Like the poem.  If we got together, it wouldn't make sense at this point.  I really do not have anything new to tell them.  It would be useless to explain to them that they were mistaken as to why I left or what went wrong or why I couldn't stay.  They wouldn't believe how much I miss them - but we live so far apart - although they remain deeply in my heart.  

The Art of Disappearing 

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like 
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.  -Naomi Shihab Nye

Maybe I can write more about it someday.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A wonderful new saint for our times ... St. José Sánchez del Río

San Joselito

“José Sánchez del Río was born on 28 March 1913 in Sahuayo, in the State of Michoacán, Mexico. At the outbreak of the so-called “Cristero War” in 1926, his brothers joined the rebel forces fighting the violent anti-Christian regime which had been established in the country. José too was enlisted. Catholicism flourished in Sahuayo and for this reason the “Cristeros” were deeply rooted in the area. Priests secretly remained in Sahuayo throughout the persecution and never abandoned the faithful, clandestinely celebrating the Eucharist and administrating the sacraments, at which young José assiduously participated.

“In those years, the first Christian martyrs were often spoken of and many young people wanted to follow in their footsteps. During a violent battle on 25 January 1928, José was captured and brought to his city of birth, where he was imprisoned in the parish church which had already been desecrated and laid waste by federalists. It was suggested that he flee in order to avoid being sentenced to death, but he refused. - Finish reading here.

If anyone knows the name of the painter who did this image of San Jose, please let me know.  Thanks. 

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Laudem Gloriae

Elizabeth with her statue of 
Janua Coeli - she carried it with her
everywhere.  It depicts The Immaculate Conception
as she identified herself at Lourdes.
The Immaculate Conception - Gate of Heaven.

"A praise of glory is a soul that lives in God, that loves him with a pure and disinterested love, without seeking itself in the sweetness of this love, that loves him beyond all his gifts." - St. Elizabeth

Elizabeth Catez 

Dr. Anthony Lilles is an 'apostle' of St. Elizabeth.  He writes well of her.  Below are a couple of insightful excerpts from Dr. Lilles' latest article on the occasion of her canonization:
The Church celebrates St. Elizabeth of the Trinity — canonized Oct. 16 — on her feast day of Nov. 8. Her spiritual mission is to help us pass through the difficulties of our time with a certain greatness of soul, a fitting reminder for Election Day 2016.
On Nov. 9, 1906, at the age of 26, she succumbed to the final stages of Addison’s disease, an adrenal disorder which, at the time, was incurable. Her death came amid great social uncertainty for the Church and her Carmelite community in Dijon, France. Earlier that spring, the French government turned against the Church, by advancing a more aggressive secularism. The local Church was already racked with scandal, the local bishop having been removed from office by the Holy See. The state was taking legal action to confiscate Church property and put the Carmelites in exile. Anxiety over social concerns affected daily life for many — except for, perhaps, St. Elizabeth, her Carmel and those to whom she wrote.
In the midst of their own questions and concerns, Elizabeth helped her friends discover the mysterious and transforming ways God discloses himself even surrounded by distress. As she explained, “Everything is a sacrament that gives us God.” - Read more here.
The Praise of Glory - Laudem Gloriae

I believe that is Elizabeth's name for herself, perhaps her name in heaven.  She is Laudem Gloriae.  The spiritual meaning is not lost on me - but I don't know enough to discuss it.  Yet it is Elizabeth's 'doctrine' received through her understanding of the mysticism of St. Paul which resonates in my heart.  Just this past week, the readings from Ephesians at Mass recall the spirituality of St. Elizabeth, as if in preparation for her canonization:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. - Ephesians 1 - 1st Reading Thursday
The next day we read:
In Christ we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory. - Ephesians
The 'mission' of Laudem Gloria.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory. - Ephesians
I think her mission in heaven is to teach souls, to lead souls to God by the path of prayer - the prayer of recollection - the practice of the presence of God. Dr. Lilles would know more about her 'mission' and her teaching than I - but because I'm more or less 'unlearned' I think I can assure anyone reading this that the way of prayer St. Elizabeth teaches is open to anyone - it is a simple way of prayer, accessible to all. It is, or should be considered, ordinary mystic prayer. It is very simple to accustom ourselves to the prayer of recollection - a habit which prepares us for the habitual prayer of recollection.
As St. Teresa taught: “For this is not a supernatural state, but depends upon our own action and by God’s favor, we can enter it of our own accord” -Way of Perfection
Sometimes it is difficult to read the writings of female mystics, because they sometimes read like extravagant love letters to the beloved - yet buried within is the secret to sanctity, the mystical theology of the saints. It is important to go beyond the sentiment and understand the pure stream of scripture which refreshes the thoughts expressed. That is why Dr. Lilles' writings are so important to understanding the genius of St. Elizabeth.

Since my monastery days - I've been accustomed to understanding this Gospel as an invitation to recollection, the prayer of recollection. I like to imagine Christ, in the deepest center of our heart, of our soul, calling us to leave behind our preoccupation with externals, the distractions we seek and those which assail us. I like to think Jesus calls us to come down, to get out of our brains as it were, to put aside all the intellectual, theological speculation and commune with him in silent, loving prayer. Even when we find ourselves so imperfect. Despite our failures, I think Christ sees us already cleansed of our sins, and calls out:
"O soul, most beautiful of all creatures, that so greatly desires to know the place where your Beloved is, in order to seek Him and be united with Him.... It is a matter of great contentment and joy for you to see that He is so near you as to be within you. Rejoice and be glad in your inward recollection with Him, since you have Him so near. There desire Him, there adore Him, and do not go to seek Him outside yourself." - Spiritual Canticle

This prayer of recollection can become habitual, and like the sheep pastured by the Good Shepherd, the soul "will come in and go out and find pasture" - all the while remaining in his presence, before his watchful gaze. The prayer of recollection becomes the pasture, as it were. As Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection said, "That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times."

That's enough out of me - just remember - Stay awhile after every Communion and Our Lord will teach you how to pray, how to enter into this prayer of recollection - and each day you will remain in the presence of God, plunging deeper into the Blessed Trinity with every subsequent Communion.

"O my God, You are in me and I am in You. I have found my heaven on earth, since heaven is You, O Lord, and You are in my soul. I can find You there always; even when I do not feel Your presence, You are there nevertheless, and I like to seek You there. Oh! if only I could never leave You alone!" (cf. Sr Elizabeth of the Trinity, Letters) - Divine Intimacy

Saturday, October 15, 2016

It's time to come to grips with reality ...

It's OK To Vote For Trump Now ...

Trump leaving Cardinal's residence at St. Patrick's NYC.

[I bet he went to confession and maybe even had his third marriage blessed.]


Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila on an easy way to acquire the prayer of recollection ...
Delight to remain with Him; do not lose such an excellent time for talking with Him as the hour after Communion. Remember that this is a very profitable hour for the soul; if you spend it in the company of the good Jesus, you are doing Him a great service. Be very careful, then, daughters, not to lose it. If you are compelled by obedience to do something else, try to leave your soul with the Lord. For He is your Master, and, though it be in a way you may not understand, He will not fail to teach you. But if you take your thoughts elsewhere, and pay no more attention to Him than if you had not received Him, and care nothing for His being within you, how can He make Himself known to you?
When you have received the Lord, and are in His very presence, try to shut the bodily eyes and to open the eyes of the soul and to look into your own hearts. I tell you, and tell you again, for I should like to repeat it often, that if you practise this habit of staying with Him, not just once or twice, but whenever you communicate, and strive to keep your conscience clear so that you can often rejoice in this your Good, He will not, as I have said, come so much disguised as to be unable to make His presence known to you in many ways, according to the desire which you have of seeing Him. So great, indeed, may be your longing for Him that He will reveal Himself to you wholly.

But if we pay no heed to Him when we have received Him, and go away from Him in search of other and baser things, what can He do? Will He have to drag us by force to look at Him and be with Him because He desires to reveal Himself to us? No; for when He revealed Himself to all men plainly, and told them clearly who He was, they did not treat Him at all well—very few of them, indeed, even believed Him. So He grants us an exceeding great favour when He is pleased to show us that it is He Who is in the Most Holy Sacrament. - Way of Perfection, Chapter 34

Stay a long time after Communion  ... and make frequent Spiritual Communions throughout the day to practice the presence of God. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

This just in ... Developing ... Trump defeated!

Breaking News!

I just returned from getting my hair cut - 'bend and snap!' - and Trump was the talk of the shop.  No one is voting for Trump!  No one!  Not one!  Nope!

Hillary wins by a landslide!

Grinding teeth.

Best Actor In An Ad - Kevin Linehan

This guy deserves more roles.

He reminds me of Gig Young.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Archbishop Chaput quotes a friend of his.

The choice facing voters.

In the meantime, a friend describes the choice facing voters in November this way: A vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem; or a scheming, robotic liar with a lifelong appetite for power and an entourage riddled with anti-Catholic bigots. - Chaput, Weekly Column

That pretty much sums it up alright.

I couldn't have said it better.

Congratulations Bob Dylan ... And you say, "What does this mean?"

"Who is that man?"

Singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, 
one of the world’s most influential musicians, 
for “having created new poetic expressions 
within the great American song tradition,” 
in the words of the Swedish Academy. - NYT


Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones? - Ballad of a Thin Man

Highway 61 Revisited - here.

All my dreams have come true.  Who would ever thought this could happen back then?

You have many contacts
Among the lumberjacks
To get you facts
When someone attacks your imagination
But nobody has any respect
Anyway they already expect you
To all give a check
To tax-deductible charity organizations
You've been with the professors
And they've all liked your looks
With great lawyers you have
Discussed lepers and crooks
You've been through all of
F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
You're very well read
It's well known
But something is happening here
And you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

In my own weird way ... random thoughts after Yom Kippur

Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, 
to consecrate the people by his own blood.
Let us then go to him outside the camp, 
bearing the reproach that he bore. - Hebrews 13:13

I stayed offline yesterday for Yom Kippur.

I observe Yom Kippur in my own weird way.  It's is a great feast day - or Day of Atonement ... I liken it to Holy Thursday night and Good Friday.  Christ is at once the sacrificial lamb and the scapegoat, sent outside the camp, carrying our shame - our sin.  I like to fast as we do for Good Friday, to pray, and so on.  In union with the Jewish people.

Speaking of scapegoats ...

The Wikileaks reveal.

The Podesta emails reveal a 'plot' against faithful Catholics to foment revolution in the Church - faithful Catholics singled out for repression and destruction ... more or less.  If true, the only thing Wikileaks did is to confirm the worst fears of Catholic against Hillary.  If true, faithful Catholics might have figured out this anti-Catholic bigotry without Wikileaks, a long, long time ago.  Hillary Clinton was never shy about revealing what she thought about changing religious beliefs to recognize there can be 'no progress without abortion':

“There is one lesson from the past, in particular, that we cannot afford to ignore: You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights,” Clinton said near the end of a speech marking International Women's Day. “That is a bedrock truth.” - Hilary Clinton, CNN
“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton said.
“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.” - Hilary Clinton, The DC

“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.” - Wikileaks 

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good 
to organize for a moment like this. 
But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. 
Likewise Catholics United. 
Like most Spring movements, 
I think this one will have to be bottom up,” Podesta

The conspiracy is no longer just a theory.

As if the Obama administration was any more friendly to Catholics, causing the Little Sisters of the Poor to go to court to defend their religious freedom.  Go back through American politics - anti-Catholicism has been a thread running through it.  The Wikileaks news pretty much reveals what every trad-Catholic always claimed anyway.  Don't forget the Communist infiltration as exposed by Bella Dodd - true or false - the Communist infiltration has endured as the number one conspiracy theory.  Then we have the Masonic-Illuminati influence - and control ... depending on who you read.

What is it - 40 - 50 years since abortion on demand has been legal?  And no one has been successful in keeping their campaign promises to make it stop or to stack the Supreme Court with pro-life judges?  Not even 'the vast right wing conspiracy' out to get Mrs. Clinton have been successful?  Now, while Wikileaks stories are breaking, it looks as if the rumors may indeed be real conspiracies, and not just crack-pot theories.

Nevertheless, all of the conspiracy theories pretty much work for all the enemies of religion - specifically the anti-Catholics, who hate the Church - be they liberal-dissenting Catholic or ultra-conservative traditionalist Catholic.  The political rancor on both sides has poisoned Catholic culture, split Catholicism in the U.S. between conservative and liberal, traditional and novus ordo, secular and religious ... it isn't new - it's simply festering right now.

I suspect that the anti-Francis Catholics are in full manipulation mode right now by MSM, social media, politicians like Podesta, and even the Wikileaks propaganda, just as much as doubt and second guessing is sown among faithful Catholics - even priests - over what is going on, who is telling the truth, and so on.  When I say 'faithful Catholics', I'm talking about Catholics faithful to the Pope and the bishops in communion with him.

Why all this intrigue and rumor-mongering?  It's a great means to destabilize, to create division, to conquer.  Silly liberal-dissenting Catholics ... they should know, if the purpose is to destroy the Church, first 'they' will come for the religious right, then, if there is any faith left, they'll come for the religious left.

Social media, email, the Internet is probably the real Trojan Horse in the city of God and the city of man ...

Just guessing.

Final thoughts ...

Miracle at Fatima, October 13, 1917
People must amend their lives 
and ask pardon for their sins. 
They must not offend our Lord any more, 
for He is already too much offended!
- Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady didn't get into politics, except to warn that if people did not amend their lives:
"Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated."
Russian hacking and Wikileaks.  causing wars, persecutions, martyrs, the Holy Father suffering much ... various nations ... annihilated.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Yom Kippur

St. John XXIII

Pray for us.

On Trump's performance at the debate ...

I knew I had either seen it before, or read about it someplace.

He seemed so rigid.  At times like an automaton speaking a recorded script - repeating the same thing over and over.  At times hovering over his opponent, pretending to assert 'his' party platform while repeatedly throwing out barbs to 'vilify critics and shut down debate' - by intimidation.  Yet Trump simply repeated what had been scripted for him, feigning sorrow for vulgar speech and immorality, yet blaming others and interjecting lampoons, such as, 'you'd be in jail' - in a craven effort to convince his supporters that he is THE man to save the country and make America great again.  I didn't really consider his 'style' until reading a comment on another post.  It's Orwellian "manipulative phraseology, full of euphemisms and doublespeak" - at it's worst, I might say.

Tax-avoiding billionaires become “job-creators.”
“When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases — bestial, atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder — one often has the curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance towards turning himself into a machine.” - George Orwell, Salon

That's from an old Salon article.  It fits.

I was also reading what Andrew Sullivan had to say on the Trump ascension/power-grab.  I may be wrong, ill informed, even off-base in my assessment of Trump - but only to the extent of identifying which ideological compartment he fits into.  Sullivan sees a tyrant in the making - I do too.  He also connects it to neo-Fascism - I do too.
Trump launched his campaign by calling undocumented Mexican immigrants a population largely of rapists and murderers. He moved on to Muslims, both at home and abroad. He has now added to these enemies — with sly brilliance — the Republican Establishment itself. And what makes Trump uniquely dangerous in the history of American politics — with far broader national appeal than, say, Huey Long or George Wallace — is his response to all three enemies. It’s the threat of blunt coercion and dominance.
And so after demonizing most undocumented Mexican immigrants, he then vowed to round up and deport all 11 million of them by force. “They have to go” was the typically blunt phrase he used — and somehow people didn’t immediately recognize the monstrous historical echoes. The sheer scale of the police and military operation that this policy would entail boggles the mind.
To call this fascism doesn’t do justice to fascism. Fascism had, in some measure, an ideology and occasional coherence that Trump utterly lacks. But his movement is clearly fascistic in its demonization of foreigners, its hyping of a threat by a domestic minority (Muslims and Mexicans are the new Jews), its focus on a single supreme leader of what can only be called a cult, and its deep belief in violence and coercion in a democracy that has heretofore relied on debate and persuasion. This is the Weimar aspect of our current moment. Just as the English Civil War ended with a dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell, and the French Revolution gave us Napoleon Bonaparte, and the unstable chaos of Russian democracy yielded to Vladimir Putin, and the most recent burst of Egyptian democracy set the conditions for General el-Sisi’s coup, so our paralyzed, emotional hyperdemocracy leads the stumbling, frustrated, angry voter toward the chimerical panacea of Trump. - Read it all here.

These are things to consider - to really examine.  I make no claims here - but it makes sense to me.

I was surprised to learn that older Americans are among the biggest supporters of Trump.  I suppose I should have known that.

Some people have already cast their vote by absentee ballot - and may be regretting it.  Those who haven't voted yet, before you go to the polls or submit your absentee ballot, please do as Pope Francis advised: "Study the proposals well, pray, and choose in conscience."