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Your blogger finally revealed December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, foolishness, history, huh?, silliness, Uncategorized.
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I’ve never been one to post a lot of personal items.  I have long tried to remain semi-anonymous for a number of reasons, even though scores of readers know my name, where I live, etc.  And that’s fine. I don’t try really hard to be anonymous, but I also think it imprudent, given the subject matter I cover and the opinions I express (which, I pray, are always in line with the solemnly defined Doctrine of the Faith) to just lay it all out there and make my identity really easy to find.  I have found through experience that people who get torqued off over a blog post can do some really nasty things, so I try to keep my personal info at least a little bit obscure.  The fact that seems to exercise some people, or even undermine their opinion of me, doesn’t bother me in the slightest.  It is what it is, and it will remain that way.

But I stumbled on this ancient photo at a friend’s Facebook site and thought I’d share it.  It’s quite a scene.  This was from 1986. I was fifteen years old.  I think I cut quite a stunning figure in that blue satin dress, don’t you?  Err……..I mean, I look pretty pathetic trying to come off as “punk” for a costume party. Eh……whatever.  I put on about another 2-3 inches over the course of the year after this photo was taken, and then another 60 lbs in the intervening years since (all muscle, of course).  My date was the blonde on the left (if I recall, she was going as Marilyn Monroe).  We had an on again off again kind of thing going for a couple of years in high school. She was actually a pretty nice girl, but had a bit of a rough patch in her life after college that I think has now smoothed out.  The other girl was actually my next door neighbor, but I can’t say we got along very well.

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So I actually got to ride home in the backseat of a police care that night.  It wasn’t anything dramatic, another friend, not pictured, decided to drive his brand new car to the party even though he was a few weeks shy of getting his license. He took me and another guy out for a quick drive and, wouldn’t you know, he got pulled over.  The cops decided to take me home, for some reason.

That was the only time (in high school) one of only two times I ever had to ride in a police car, which was pretty ridiculous, since I had a dozen odd involvements with the local constabulary where I was frankly guilty of much more substantial infractions than the one that night.  My best friends bailed me out of a certain MIP just a few weeks after this party. Wild times, I thought I was having fun (and….I was, in a natural/sinful sense) but was also laying the ground work for a whoooole lot of misery later.  Even then, I never wanted to drink, unless I could get quite buzzed or outright drunk.  It wasn’t too long after my sophomore year that I could start to tell, in the internal forum, that I had a big potential for a problem with drugs and alcohol.

Potential realized.  But that’s ground we’ve already covered, at least a bit.

Great sermon on not knowing/rejecting the Grace of God December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I believe this is the sermon I so much desired to record some weeks ago, when a priest visited from Mexico, but was unable to due to a failure with my phone.  I really enjoyed this sermon. Very brief encapsulation: if we love ourselves more than we love God, if we do not live habitually in a state of Grace, we are the enemies of Christ.

I very much like this bit, as well: we live in an age when men try to be like God without God.  That is, so many desire to be gods unto themselves, echoing satan’s constant non serviam.  All God asks of us is to sacrifice our human life that we may receive an infinitely better, eternal life with Him.

Very powerful stuff!

The book Father recommends, The Glories of Divine Grace, is linked here.  I have obtained a copy but have not started reading it, yet.

“Are we going to defile this temple (our soul, a temple of the Holy Spirit when in the state of Grace) with impure acts, while God Himself and our guardian angel look at us?  What a disgrace?  Keep in mind that our body is more sacred than this tabernacle here in this church.  Though it houses God substantially present in Holy Communion, the tabernacle is not the friend of God. Christ did not die to save the tabernacle, but He did your soul and your body.”

“We must pray throughout the day, like the Angelus, like the Breviary, to sanctify the day and to dedicate all parts of our day to God.  Ejaculatory prayers are like text messages to God.  If we have a spare moment, let us lift up our mind and our souls to God in prayer.  Let us read a prayer”

Let us begin every day on our knees asking for God to make us holy.

This guy is a hoss. He’s up there with my favorite priests.  God bless him. Please pray for him, Padre Romo.  And please pray for our Pope, because no matter how disturbing he becomes, it remains our duty as Catholics to pray for him.  Note I don’t advise quite what to pray for…..I leave that up to you.

Have much more concern for your own death than the end of the world December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Grace, Liturgical Year, reading, religious, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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A helpful reminder from Dom Prosper Gueranger, along with a quote from St. Teresa of Jesus on her lament for her own unworthiness and coldness of faith (which, coming from a Doctor of the Church, ought to cause us some serious reflection!). There is a tendency among pious souls to sometimes have great concern over indicators of a perceived approach of the end of the world.  Far more likely is our own decease and personal judgment before that happens!  So worry far more about that, than signs and portents.

From the Second Monday after Advent, The Liturgical Year Vol. 1:

Say not that the end of the world is not yet come, and that the destinies of the human race are not filled up; it is not the world that is here in question, it is you individually.  True the day of the Lord will be terrible, when this world shall be broken up as a vessel of clay, and the remnants of creation shall be a prey to devouring flames; but, long before that day of universal terror, your own day of judgment will come.  The inexorable Judge will come to you, you will stand before His face, you will have none to defend you, and the sentence He will pass will be eternal; and though the nature of that sentence, whether for our against you, will not be known to the rest of the world until the last and general judgment, still is this His coming to you, at your own judgment, terrible above measure. Remember, therefore, that what will make the terror of the last day so great is, that then will be solemnly and publicly confirmed what was judged irrevocably, though secretly, between your own soul and her Judge; just as the favorable sentence, which the good receive at the happy moment of their death, will be repeated before the immense assembly of men and angels on the last day.  Is it wise, then, Christians, to put off your conversion, on the plea of the day of the Lord not having to come for ages, when it might be this night that your soul were required of you?  The Lord is coming; lose no time; prepare to meet Him; a humble and contrite and converted heart is sure to find acceptance.

Now, a quote from St. Teresa of Avila:

It grieves me, my God, that I should be so wicked and that I am able to do so little in Your service. I well know that it is my own fault that You have not granted me the favors which You gave to those who went before me………I grieve over my life, Lord, when I compare it with theirs; and I cannot say this without weeping.  When I meditate, my God, upon the glory which You have prepared for those persevere in doing Your will, and when I think how many trials and pains it cost Your Son to gain it all for us, and how little we have deserved it, and how bound we are not to be ungrateful for this wondrous love which has taught us love at such a cost to itself, my soul becomes greatly afflicted.  How is it possible, Lord, that all this should be forgotten, and that, when they offend You, mortal me should be so forgetful of You?  O my Redeemer, how forgetful are men!  They are forgetful even of themselves.  And how great is Your goodness, that You should remember us when we have fallen and have tried to strike You a mortal blow, and that You forget what we have done and give us Your hand again and awaken us from our incurable madness so that we seek and beg You for salvation.  Blessed be such a Lord, blessed be such great mercy and praised be He forever for His merciful pity!  O my soul, bless forever so great a God!  how can a soul turn against Him?

———-End Quotes———-

I just found those little bits helpful, personally, so I thought I would inflict them on share them with you.

I find the imagery of trying to strike a mortal blow at God quite moving.  Is that not what is behind some of my sins?

It is a bit amazing seeing this Doctor of the Church lament her own lack of sanctity and paucity of service to the Lord!  Goodness!  What does that make me, who haven’t done even a fraction of what this great Saint did?

Something to ponder on.

French mathematical society obliterates global warming cult hysteria December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, paganism, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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This is a tad dated, but given the looming Paris climate conference, still quite timely.  A society of French mathematicians has issued a scathing critique of global warming hysteria, which it alludes to in various places as functioning like a religious cult.  Of course, it is, it’s one of the more extreme manifestations of the religion of sexular paganism.  What the mathematicians and the leftists all miss, however, is that God created man with a foundational predisposition towards religion.  He did that to give us every advantage to accept and practice the true Faith, His Church, but when that Church is rejected or ignored, that religious hunger in-built in humanity still has to be satisfied.  Many thus turn to false pagan religions, as they have throughout history, including made up ones that pretend not to be religious at all, even while behaving with the most lockstep dogmatism imaginable.

Thus, the global warming cult:

As the United Nations gears up for its next international conference on climate change in Paris next month (COP 21), a scathing white paper released by a society of French mathematicians calls its fight against global warming “absurd” and “a costly and pointless crusade”.

“You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human…history to find [such a] mad obsession,” according to a translated summary of the document released in September by the Paris-based Société de Calcul Mathématique SA[And, with the constant manipulation of data on a truly unprecedented basis, in addition to the blocking of other data, refusal to publish articles skeptical of global warming in journals, blackballing of skeptics, advancement and extolling of warmists, massive political involvement distorting the entire process……..this is probably the single greatest scandal in the history of science, one that has the potential to shake cultural deference towards “science” – one of the bedrocks of the post-enlightenment paradigm – to its core.]

The mathematicians harshly criticized a “crusade [that] has invaded every area of activity and everyone’s thinking,” noting that “the battle [against] CO2 has become a national priority.

…..

“There is not a single fact, figure…[or] observation that leads us to conclude the world’s climate is in any way ‘disturbed,” the paper states. “It is variable, as it has always been. … Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet’s overall temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.” [and predictions of the future based on deeply flawed models even more so]

Noting that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have “always” varied, the French mathematicians also said that after processing the raw data on hurricanes themselves, they verified that “they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past.”

“We are being told that a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees C[elsius] by comparison with the beginning of the industrial age would have dramatic consequences and absolutely has to be prevented.

“When they hear this, people worry. Has there not already been an increase of 1.9 degrees C?

“Actually, no. The figures for the period 1995-2015 show an upward trend of about 1 degree C every hundred years! Of course, these figures, [which] contradict public policies, are never brought to public attention,” the white paper stated.

Obviously, many things can cause climate change. Human activity and cow farts are not at the top of the list… if they even make the list:

The French mathematicians also said that the UN’s climate models have failed to take into account natural phenomena that affects climate far more than human activity.

Human impact on the climate is “tiny, quite negligible in comparison with natural causes,” they point out. “Human beings can do nothing about solar activity, the state of the oceans, the temperature of the Earth’s magna, or the composition of the atmosphere.”

Furthermore, the work done by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does not meet the basic standards set by reputable scientific journals because its “conclusions go [contrary] to observed facts; the figures used are deliberately chosen to support its conclusions (with no regard for the most basic scientific honesty); and the variability of natural phenomena is passed over without comment.”

“Shut up,” they replied.  That’s about all they’ve got at this point.

How’s this for self-defeating idiocy: the onerous environmental standards already imposed, and to be strengthened dramatically if the warmists have their way, are unevenly applied to already developed countries, countries whose emissions per unit of output are far, far lower than those of developing nations like China and India.  Further tightened standards simply drive economic activity from developed nations to the less developed ones, which don’t have such stringent standards, resulting in MORE net global emissions (pollution) than less!  Such is the inanity of the religion of global warming, but it’s functioning as designed: it’s not about the environment, it never has been, it’s about leftism, government control of the means of production and driving “icky” manufacturing overseas.

And so much of this warmist pagan religion is about virtue display and tribal signalling by people too attached to sin to countenance changing themselves. That’s what powers their moral zeal to crush opponents, which is rapidly destroying science as an honest intellectual pursuit.

Leftism is a religion, one implacably hostile to Catholicism.  I pray our Church leadership comes to recognize that fact at some point, because we’re already past too late.

An ender for Ted Cruz? Mocks banning contraception, large families December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, contraception, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Ted Cruz is, by his rhetoric and voting record, probably one of the more pro-life candidates running for office in the 2016 election.  But even he seems to fail to comprehend the moral environment that leads to massive demand for abortion, and more specifically, the inextricable link between mass contraceptive use and a million-plus abortions a year.

In a recent stump speech in Iowa, Cruz – who had heretofore been my preferred candidate in a very weak field – mocked both the idea of “banning” contraceptives and, to some, the idea of having a large family.  I have some in-laws who might take a bit of exception to the tittering Cruz elicited with his comment on being glad not to have 17 kids:

This underscores one of the conundrums of trying to vote as a Catholic.  There are virtually no national level politicians who do not hold morally unacceptable positions.  Cruz is about as conservative a candidate as there is the Repubnik field but we see here even he holds some seriously problematic positions.  This is a gaping hole in his pro-life credentials, since contraception creates the moral and intellectual environment in which abortion thrives.  Failed contraception is the primary reason for seeking out abortion (aside from the innate selfishness of the act).  To claim to be against abortion while ridiculing the idea of limiting contraception is a fool’s errand and a completely untenable position.

As a political strategy I understand where Cruz is coming from.  The “war on women” has always been made up, just like the current “rape epidemic” on college campuses is utterly made up, too.  Both have been deliberate demonrat strategies to achieve electoral success.  But I find Cruz’s logic and response flawed.  He probably knows all too well, even were he inclined to work towards some kinds of limits on contraceptive availability, that to advocate for such would mean electoral death worse than threatening to do away with Social Security.  Which is a dang sad commentary on our nation, Sandra Day O’Connor was not incorrect when she stated that the entire post-60’s revolution American lifestyle is built around contraception.  So I get there is a strong political angle to this.

But at some point we’re going to have to have some pols who will be willing to recognize that this nation will never extricate itself from its current rapid slide into destruction unless some of these sacred shibboleths of the left and leftist inspired “conventional wisdom” are challenged.  There are some fringe parties that are a bit more moral choice, but in the near term they are unlikely to have much success.  There are radical options like secession but Texans are as addicted to contraception and any number of other moral evils as anyone else.  I don’t see a lot of hope on the horizon for the conversion of this nation – because that’s absolutely what’s needed – short of some calamity that finally shakes people from their comfortably amoral lethargy and gets them to recognize the cancers eating away at this nations’ fabric.

Until then, I’ll remain politically active but excuse my cynicism if it all seems like window dressing and bread and circuses for the more intelligent.

 

Pope Francis: “Wars are the leading cause of death.” December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, different religion, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, horror, Papa, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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Pope Francis made an absolutely ludicrous statement.  Wars are so far from being the leading cause of death virtually EVERYWHERE in the world his statement below beggars belief.  Is he really this ill-informed, or unhinged, or given to ridiculously flawed on the spot statements?

On his recent flight back from Africa, Pope Francis was asked a “gotcha” question from the press regarding condom use in avoiding the spread of HIV on that continent where it is so rife.  After undermining 2000 year old doctrine yet again, Pope Francis went on a rant that exposed his incredibly simplistic (I would really like to say, stupid) view of the causes of poverty and suffering in the world while once again harping against “arms manufacture” and wars.  But when he claims that wars are the number 1 cause of death (he said this generally, as if it is a universal truth around the world), he really demonstrated his grave inability to either proclaim the Faith or even think clearly, missing the obvious fact (which rarely, if ever, appears to occur to him) that ABORTION has been the leading cause of death around the world over the past 40 years, with probably close to two BILLION lives snuffed out in that time from this satanic sacrifice of perfectly innocent (of actual sin) children:

Pope: The question seems biased to me. Yes, it is one of the methods, the morality of the Church faces a bit of a predicament here. [No, it doesn’t!  The Doctrine of the Faith, properly understood and explained, never faces a “predicament” it cannot viably address.  How about, stop fornicating, stop raping virgins, stop engaging in anal sex with men?  No, that’s too “hard,” it’s an unsolvable “predicament!”] The fifth or the sixth commandment: defend life or a sexual relationship that is open to life. [So is he uncertain which one it is?  Nevertheless, there is much more to both Commandments that simply being open to life]  But this is not the problem. There is a greater problem than this: this question makes me think of the question they once asked Jesus: tell me Master, is it acceptable to heal on a Saturday? Healing is obligatory!  Malnutrition, exploitation, slave labour, the lack of drinking water, these are the problems. [Modernists always are trying to achieve an earthly paradise. They insist that all temporal suffering be wiped out.  I’m not saying these things should not be overcome, but the mentality is most distressing, because Pope Francis and those like him appear to throw out the Church’s constant understanding that joyfully accepted suffering of our lot in life is THE prime means of living in accord with Grace and achieving salvation. “Take up your cross and follow me.”] We’re not talking about which plaster we should use for which wound. The great injustice is social injustice, the great injustice is malnutrition. I don’t like making such casuistic reflections [“casuistic” is Jesuit-speak for doctrinal distinctions/clarity – saying “No you cannot do that” when it comes to the groinal issues] when there are people dying because of a lack of water and hunger. Think about arms trafficking. When these problems cease to exist, then I think we can ask ourselves the question: is it acceptable to heal on a Saturday? Why are arms still being manufactured? Wars are the leading cause of death. Forget about whether it is acceptable or not to heal on a Saturday. Make justice and when everyone is healed, when there is no injustice in this world, then we can talk about Saturday.

Wow.  Just wow.  Does he really believe this?  I mean, could he really be that unimaginative and that much of a lockstep ideologue?

Even at the height of WWII, there were more people dying from natural causes around the world than were dying from warfare.

And throughout it all, not a single mention of abortion

Peace out man, groovy, like, you know, war is bad n’ stuff.  Flower power, make love not war, smoke a J, give peace a chance.

But if you thought that’s bad, Pope Francis also pronounces that faithful Catholics are idolaters:

[Pope:] In the Catholic Church we have some – many – who believe they possess the absolute truth and they go on sullying others through slander and defamation and this is wrong. I say this because it is my Church. [His Church?  Or Jesus Christ’s?]Religious fundamentalism must be combatted. It is not religious, God is lacking, it is idolatrous. What religious leaders need to do is convince people who have these tendencies. [You’re failing, massively] Fundamentalism that ends in tragedy or commits crimes is a bad thing but it exists in all religions. [But only ONE religion for the past 100 years has made its very mission to be the murder of thousands of innocent non-combatant individuals in the name of God through hundreds if not thousands of separate attacks and ongoing wars of conquest and oppression. But that religion does not get names, no, it’s those damned fundie Catholics who have to be combated]

The similarity in diatribes from Pope Francis and President Obama are amazing.  Both turn a deliberately blind eye towards the grave threat (and constant atrocities) of militant islam, while both castigate Christians for their perceived failings (mostly of the distant past). Both also seem to view their internal ideological opponents as their true objects of ire, while barely being able to even feign much concern over islam.

And yes, Pope Francis, I do believe the Catholic Church has absolute Truth, that’s why I became Catholic. It is very much apparent you are equally convinced that the Church does NOT possess that Truth.  What you are doing leading the Church, the very Body of Christ on earth, I really cannot possibly imagine, other than that God is very, very displeased with us.  And I feel Pope Francis has, since the beginning of his pontificate, made very clear who he views as those “fundamentalist Catholics” – that is, his prime ideological opponents – those who hold the Truth revealed by Jesus Christ through His Church to be inviolable, and in particular those attached to the pre-conciliar practice of the Faith.

In other words, you and me.

In one sense, I am very glad for Francis’ pontificate. He manages to put the struggle for the Church in starkest, grimmest terms possible.  We see with him exactly what the Church is faced with in combating this great modernist revolution. At least, it is apparent to those with eyes to see………

Cool idea, or going a bit far? Diocese of Lafayette rolls out mobile confessional December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, priests, Sacraments, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Reader D sent this to me.  The Diocese of Lafayette, under the leadership of Bishop Charles Jarrell, who has taken one of the strongest stands against the enormous evil of Supreme Court imposition of pseudo-sodo-marriage of any US prelate, has rolled out a converted ambulance as a mobile confessional (annoying auto video play at link).  I’m all for making the great and underused Sacrament of Confession much more available.  I think this idea has some merit in theory, but I have to wonder if this will not come off as a bit gimmicky?  What do you think?

The Lafayette Diocese has created a new and easier way for outreach with the Catholic Church.

They’ve converted an old ambulance into a mobile confessional called a spiritual care unit. With a  picture of Jesus and Bible verses on the side, the new unit is for spiritual emergencies, specifically remodeled for prayer and confessions.

“It’s a way that we can give some pride and public expression of our Catholic faith that is not just meant for the walls of the church, but on the streets,” Father Michael Champagne, a priest at Lafayette Diocese, said. [OK.  I can see that. There may be some merit.  BTW, Fr. Champagne wears a cassock.]

The unit is  part of Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy that begins on December 8. Thanks to an anonymous donation, it took two weeks to complete the unit that Champagne calls a church on wheels. 

“We need to go to where people are. People come to the church as a center of worship and pray, but we also have to do outreach,” Champagne said.  [I’m warming to the concept.]

Not only is the vehicle a way to bring more people to the Catholic church, but it makes going to confession easier for people with busy schedules.

“Pope Francis is asking us to go out of to the peripheries of the church and now we have the means to do that,” Bishop Michael Jarrell said. [Almost a bit cheeky, but this is a response to the Year of Mercy I could get behind, so long as the Sacrament is not cheapened in any way.  Making Confession more available is to me such a huge necessity.  I think it should normally be accomplished by vastly increasing the hours priests are available for Confession (like, 2 or so every day, minimum!) and by priests and bishops stressing the great importance of this Sacrament in sermons and other efforts throughout the year.  But a mobile confessional is far from the worse expression of mercy we’ll see in the coming year, I imagine]

Inside the unit there are Bibles, rosaries and even holy water. It’s fully equipped to spiritually care for others.

“There’s no sin in the world that’s too big for God’s mercy,” Champagne said. “We want to extend and preach the gospel of mercy to our people.”

The spiritual care unit will make stops around Acadiana beginning on December 8, for the beginning for the holy year of mercy. 

And as a relatively large diocese with a widely dispersed rural population, and surely a paucity of priests as everywhere, this is not a bad way to get folks into the confessional.  Overall, I think this is a good idea, and a way of implementing the upcoming Year of Mercy that stresses the traditional, sacramental practice of the Faith while also going out to those peripheries.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of those roll in the Diocese of Dallas!  Just about anything that gets souls into the confessional, that great locus of conversion and true application of mercy (and not the false mercy of the world and the worldlings in collar), is something I can get behind.

Good job Bishop Jarrell. Pretty neat idea.  I’m interested to see if it really gets used a lot and does get more souls into the confessional.

So I binged out on “The Man in the High Castle” over the break December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, foolishness, fun, history, silliness, Society, Uncategorized.
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Did anyone else watch “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon?  What did you think?

I was very impressed.  The first two pilot episodes had production values that were up and down, but the fully funded episodes (3-10) were vast improvements.  It was, to me, a most convincing alternate reality.  If you’re not up on the series, it is an internet TV-like production of Phillip Dick’s 1962 novel of the same time, which hypothesizes a world where the Japanese and Nazis somehow emerged not just victorious in WWII, but in possession of the entire land mass of the United States, save for a lawless but Nazi-dominated “neutral zone.” Japanese and Nazi relations have deteriorated since they completed their joint victory in the late 40s, and they now exist in a tense state of Cold War, with the Nazi’s having a tremendous technological advantage on nearly all fronts (including sole possession of nuclear weapons, which is frankly stupid, but whatever).

The real drama in the series is not so much the tensions between Nazi and the Imperial Japanese but the horrible life Americans lead under these conditions. The point of departure for the series was Roosevelt’s assassination in early 1933, which allowed the isolationist elements in the US to keep the US from preparing for war until much later than in our time line. When war finally was forced on the US, we were unprepared and lost in the Pacific after a protracted struggle and during a Nazi invasion of Virginia in the 1947 time frame. The US finally surrendered after Washington, DC was nuked by the Nazis (a fitting end, I might add).  Life under Nazi rule is unbelievably awful, with all but the fittest and healthiest (and whitest, and non-Jews) being consigned to endlessly operating death camps.  There are hints of horrible slaughters and a greatly reduced US population.  The US is also greatly impoverished, having never really emerged from the Depression.

Incredibly, the Japanese, even the incredibly fanatical and ruthless Kempetai, come off as comparatively reasonable and “humane” in their rule, in comparison to the nightmarish evil efficiency of the Nazis (who have also conquered most of Africa, killing hundreds of millions, all of Europe, etc.  South America exists as kind of free but under Nazi domination.  Japan holds most of Asia.  Russia has been fully conquered).  While there are no black or even brown people in Nazi-occupied America, there remain many in a much more polyglot “Japanese Pacific States.”

The main background is that Hitler is old and very sick.  He is expected to die shortly.  Hitler prefers peace with Japan, while all his underlings want to fry San Francisco (the Japanese administrative capital in the US) in nuclear fire and take over the entire US for themselves.  Everyone is waiting for the shoe to drop once Hitler dies.  But the series finale hints that Hitler may not be as sick as he pretends (for some reason, neither Fascist Italy nor Franco’s Spain is ever mentioned, probably due to lack of creativity on the part of the writers).

With this background, the plot centers around films that somehow show history as it unfolded in the world we know, with the Allies victorious and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan crushed.  These films exist among resistance forces in the US and are attributed to the eponymous “Man in the High Castle.”  The Nazis and Japanese are terrified of these alt-reality (our reality) films and want them confiscated at all costs, fearing they may inspire more resistance or even for that correct history to somehow play out. Again, there is a hint at the end of the series (ep. 10) that the films are not what they appear to be, and the man in the high castle may have a most surprising identity.

I really enjoyed the series. I thought many of the performances top-notch.  I still cannot get over the idea of Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith, the head of the US Nazi police state.  It is such a shock to hear Obergruppenfuhrer…….Smith?!?  I thought the performances of the main American leads -the heroes, to date – to be so understated as to be almost bland. Now, they could be trying to emulate the reality of life under a brutal occupation – the same kind of very closed down, unemotional, hyper-guarded behavior one can still witness today among older people in former communist-bloc countries.  However, in a dramatic series, they often came off as a bit cold and distant.

There are a thousand small details that make this series work, dramatically.  I haven’t the time to even begin to go into them, but I’ll say even though the history proposed is asinine* beyond belief, if you can suspend your disbelief just a bit at the get-go, the series sucks you in and keeps you hooked with cliffhangers at the end of every episode.  It is made for binge watching.

Some video trailers and excerpts below.  The last one in particularly chilling:

Must watch this one:

*- Regarding this alternate reality, I have long believed -and I believe it can be quite proved – that Germany lost WWII on July 22, 1941.  Nothing the United States or Britain did was necessary to change that fact.  Our material aid certainly helped hasten the ultimate victory, and we played a huge part in terms of military arms, of course, but the very, very best Nazi Germany could have done once they invaded the Soviet Union was to maybe, if absolutely everything wen their way, was to fight to a draw, a draw that would have bled all of Europe white achieving.  Materially, the Soviet Union had greater economic resources than those of Germany.  Not much greater, but enough to keep them in the war, and almost certainly win it (after a brutal 8-9 year slog) even without Western aid.  This alt-history is very sketchy on the details, it is a very long walk from Roosevelt killed in 1933 to the US occupied by Germany and Japan.  They don’t tell us how Britain (with her own massive resources, nearly equal to those of Germany) fell, or how Germany could possibly have the manpower (and Navy!) to implement an invasion of the US, or conquer Russia in 1941.  As it was, Barbarossa as fought – even with the mistakes like the diversion to Kiev in September 1941 – generally went about as well as it possibly could have for the Germans.  Even had they conquered Moscow, the Soviets would have still rolled them up once General Winter set in (unless you start hypothesizing really unlikely things like the Japanese invading Siberia in 1941 in support of the Germans, something, given their experience in 1939, they were most hesitant to do) due to the Nazis’ greatly extended lines of communication and extreme thinness of their forces relative to the front they were defending.  From there, the Nazis could probably continue to make advances on a partial front in ’42 and ’43 as per our history, but even if they advanced to the magical Arkhangelsk/Astrakhan line, they’d have been damned hard put defending that 2000 mile long front for as long into the future as Stalin cared to fight – which was pretty danged long.  Even if Stalin negotiated a peace treaty, the drain on Nazi manpower to subjugate conquered portions of the Soviet Union and maintain large forces for the inevitable Soviet counterstroke would have been enormous.  No way they would have enough manpower for an invasion of the US, let alone the fact that they had virtually no navy to speak of.  I could go on, but you get the point.

This series hypothesizes that the Germans/Japanese succeeded because a huge number of Americans became very willing collaborators and soldiers in the Axis forces.  Yes, some of this would happen, it always does, but I strongly doubt there would really be an “Obergruppenfuhrer Smith” in any kind of realistic reality.  The Nazi’s never trusted their conquered subjects enough to give them that kind of authority, and they looked on Americans as a largely sub-Aryan mongrel race, anyway.  I find the idea that most Americans would become quite willing Nazis, to the extent of having no compunction at all regarding the mass-slaughter of those judged to be less than imperfect, difficult to take, but, then again, this nation has very happily seen the murder of 60 million odd unborn children over the past 44 years and most people are, at most, only slightly put off by that. Only a relative minority find it as horrifying as it indeed is.

So maybe there are a lot more would-be Nazis among us than we realize.  The vast majority of them call themselves progressives, just as the Nazis presented their ideology as a new order and a very progressive, “scientific” way of life.