Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Five …

Continued from Part Four …

graphic : “The Big Bang”

I am indulging myself in an appeal to authority, some stage setting, some discussion of my metaphysical framework which supports my world view and by implication, my “caustic non PC musings”.  Last night, on the way to peaceful slumber, I watched several episodes of a new series on Netflix … “The Umbrella Academy”.

So far it seems to be an OK story proposing a collection of protagonists (children in the first episode) with exceptional abilities and talents (ever was it so), one of whom shows the ability to manipulate his position in the timeline.

He, the child with this remarkable talent, is apparently able to somehow take a grip on the “fabric” of the “space-time continuum” and leverage himself to another position on or in that fabric much as we would grab onto a material object and pull ourselves over to a new physical location in our 3 dimensional material existence.

Nine Year Microwave Sky, The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from nine years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. The signal from our galaxy was subtracted using the multi-frequency data. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin. Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team WMAP # 121238 Image Caption 9 year WMAP image of background cosmic radiation (2012) Date 21 December 2012, 22:30:50

This is my description of what is shown by special effects (of course) in the show, there being no attempt to explain this “interesting” talent other than manifesting it as part of the story line accompanied by many wall covering equations, for which the protagonist is searching for “more accurate” values to plug into these equations.

Mathematical equations are always a good prop to impress a non technical audience, in fact much of what now passes for science in our modern society, our pseudo-science industry, is supported by arcane jargon and equations to baffle the audience and the budgetary gatekeepers who rarely have sufficient education to keep up with the argument, and who slip into nodding donkey mode to save face.

Anyway, in the midst of coming to an “understanding” of a plausible “why & how” for manipulating one’s position in space-time I started thinking about how our thought processes, intimately wrapped up as they are in a “time-centered” existence, can articulate the idea of “outside of time”.

I currently conceive of this “reality” as a “bubble” of time-centered reality totally submerged in and surrounded by an immense abyss of timelessness, rather like a tiny bubble of fresh water submerged in the depths of a great salt sea, which seems to make this idea easier to imagine and articulate.

graphic: “The Big Bang” projected from the the 9 year microwave image out to the present and into the future …

And this timeless, limitless, dimensionless, immensity is the domain of GOD, in fact there is nothing but GOD at this point in this model. The GOD of “I AM” exists, “is being” always and everywhere. In a timeless abyss everything exists in its totality at that instant (time creeping in to our thought articulation) always and forever.

The GOD of “I AM” had to withdraw a little of HIMSELF in order to even create the “nothing” within which HE then “created” everything we know and are able to perceive and think about.

“The Big Bang” theory is at least as good as or most likely much better as a hypothetical explanation of that creative spark than anything else currently on offer. It is an interesting point that “The Big Bang” theory was proposed by a Catholic priest and scientist, Fr. Georges Lemaître.

In 1927, the Belgian Catholic priest Georges Lemaître proposed an expanding model for the universe to explain the observed redshifts of spiral nebulae, and calculated the Hubble law. He based his theory on the work of Einstein and De Sitter, and independently derived Friedmann’s equations for an expanding universe.

“The first Friedmann equation describes how, based on what is in the universe, its expansion rate will change over time. If you want to know where the Universe came from and where it’s headed, all you need to measure is how it is expanding today and what is in it. This equation allows you to predict the rest!”

graphic: “Weak field limit around a single mass” (in this case, the sun)

In 1915, Einstein put forth his theory of General Relativity, which related the curvature of spacetime on one hand to the presence of matter and energy in the Universe on the other.

Another possibly interesting note is that in the upper left corner of the Ethan Siegel graphic, above, he has some names of relevant scientists in Astrophysics, and the one I noticed is “Spitzer”. I link here to Father Robert J. Spitzer’s site and work.   And here is another link to a Google search about Fr. Spitzer.

So the appeal to authority here involves the claim that the Christian world view and the Christian concept of GOD is Truth. Part of this necessarily includes the belief that, while some other world views may over lap in some way some of the claims of Christianity, it is Truth that only the domain of the Christian world view embraces all Truth while excluding all the errors in the domains of the other world views.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or back in the Shire, I leap from the metaphysically cosmic to the mundane day to day of thoughts, sometimes angry and sometimes sorrowful, about those who I see as “bad actors” in the stage play of my existence, and my ongoing development of “growing up” on my part in relation to “loving my neighbor”.

Now I am about to head off into a social commentary about what is wrong about the folks screaming the loudest about what is wrong.  Spoiler: This might not be a popular post with some gentle-folk because I point a finger and shine a light, very non-PC, and indulge my pride that “I am not like some of those other men”, that I am one of the “good guys”.

But it is also about how making the others on the other side of the great divide into the bad guys, the enemy, is wrong and is against the will of GOD. I am also trying to come to terms with a recent understanding about my  thoughts and behaviour, namely that “being calm” is not an equivalent, or does not equal “not being angry”.

I now have no problem imagining being quite angry as I calmly press the button that launches the missiles that turn a large part of the planet’s surface into it’s atomic constituents. I am thinking of Col. Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. Col. Tibbets (23 February 1915 – 1 November 2007) was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force.

He is best known as the pilot who flew the B-29 Superfortress known as the Enola Gay (named after his mother) when it dropped Little Boy, the first of two atomic bombs used in warfare, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.

I imagine Col. Tibbets was pretty calm when he gave the command to drop the bomb which would soon wipe out tens of thousands of civilian non-combatants in aid of delivering Allied surrender demands to the Japanese government. Its hard to imagine him not being a little angry, so “calmly angry” has moved from “oxymoron” to “plausible state of mind” in my world view.

So I am trying to move away from the “angry” lens through which I have viewed the great divide, the “We” and “all the rest” who make up the “masses” who don’t see things the way I do. Who the heck are “We” and why has that been so important to me over the years, so much a part of my personal world view, in spite of what I know to be the Christian world view mentioned above? Who are the “We”?

Well, “We” are fat and happy (relatively speaking). We are influential, we are powerful, we are wealthy. Why do all immigrants everywhere want to immigrate to North America with the U.S.A. as the first choice and Canada as the ugly sister second choice, sort of the Lobby of the desired address?

Why is that? With a whole planet to choose from, everyone wants to come here. Why? That’s what used to be called a “no brainer”, everyone wants to be on the winning team, and unfortunately, not everyone makes the cut … see the seven characteristics in my previous post.

“We” are the successful servicemen and women, workers, professionals, and business operators in western democracies, but in particular, whether the others like it or not,  that “we” group are mostly Americans, in America, which is arguably the most successful of the western democracies by a long margin. America is the most successful nation in the history of the world, economically and technologically and militarily and even culturally.

While currently experiencing some difficulties in the political, manufacturing, and religious domains, America is also the most generous and the most patient people and nation on the planet. Remember, all you America haters, actions speak louder than words … look at what they do, not at what they say.

Look at yourselves in the mirror all you haters, and what do ya see? It ain’t beautiful I’ll tell ya. I have many relatives in the American Mid-west, I have known and worked with many Americans, served with American service men and served under American Naval Officers. They are solid. They are what defines “The Good Guys”, even if some of them can be loud mouthy dicks at times. But I don’t know of any country some of whose servicemen are not like that at times. It seems to go along with the kind of personality that joins militaries. That is reality, like it or not.

To launch from the personal to the general demographic, this is the truth Canada, look into your mirror and despair. Socialism always drags a culture down to the “equality of squalor” lowest common denominator.

Anything resembling success in Canada is mostly due to our forced co-residency and trade with the most successful nation on the planet, and yelling anti-American slogans on your University  campus or in your Starbucks doesn’t change reality. Look at Venezuela, there but for the grace of America go we.

While there used to be a solid case to be made for Alberta being the most successful polity on the continent (TD Bank Economic study from 10 or so years ago), that situation is now long gone thanks to the benevolent rule of the National Democratic Party in all their Socialist totalitarian blindness.

We are so materially screwed we are thinking of moving our provincial capital to Caracas. I am pretty sure that Red Rachel and her cronies would fit right in there. Isn’t it strange that virtually every totalitarian regime on the planet always wants to have the words “Republic” or “Democratic” in their name. The “Newspeak” is everywhere.

I love my country, but I am not proud of its conduct over the last ten or twenty years or so and in some domains for the last 50 years or so.  I despise it’s leadership at all levels. A greater collection of Keystone Cops amateur hour bad guys exists nowhere else on the planet, but in spite of everything it is still a pretty good place to live compared to anywhere else.

Witness my recent surgery which I was able to get within a couple of days of the medical event with only the presentation of a health care number. On the other hand, it is just as easy to kill my baby, or my granny, or my mentally retarded little sister, or to have a sex change operation, all dressed up as a “free” taxpayer funded, medical health care procedure, as it is to get a broken ankle fixed.

So IMHO the jury is still out on whether this is  net “good” health care system, and its bloody expensive, consuming the lion’s share of all tax dollars. And the government doesn’t provide much else except embarrassing public performances, taxes, and an ever increasing library of  restrictions, rules and regulations designed to control the population and protect government asses from liability for anything.

I think one of the better vignettes about Canada and Canadians was recently posted by David Warren here.  I include the first paragraph by way of a teaser:

“I will tell you a secret about Canada, but you must promise never to tell another living soul. We are secretly quite sane. We do a good job of hiding it, lest anyone notice and start asking us to assume adult responsibilities; for instance, we elected Justin Trudeau. But when no one seems to be looking, we do the right, or at least the practical thing. Then pretend it isn’t happening. Publicly, we may do something quite visibly insane, but just for a distraction. The Justin lad was good for that purpose. But then we act just as if we hadn’t done that, either. We have mastered the art of ignoring cause and effect. But privately, we can still tell most hawks from most handsaws.”

So what about America, that great western democracy right next door across the longest undefended border in the world. Well, keeping in mind that Alberta is still the “Texas” of Canada in spite of being run by the commies, there really isn’t much noticeable difference between us and our northern state cousins in Montana and Idaho and North Dakota and so on. Outside the cities we are the same kind of people, with the same kind of values, in the same kind of communities.

A 2nd Term for The Donald?

A large part of American success for the last 200 yeas or so has been their system’s ability to protect a large part of the population from the interference of their leadership. That is now in decline and we are starting to see the Canadian disease played out in American elections these days. It remains to be seen how long they will continue on their winning streak.

I am reminded of the Basketball hoop parable … Life is a basketball game, not a box of chocolates. Each time you sink a basket the hoop gets a little bit bigger, each time you miss the hoop gets a little bit smaller.

The real world rewards hard work, responsibility, self discipline, precision and accuracy. But if enough of the people drink the KoolAide and start electing Socialists to give them something for free, then it’s all over but the crying and blaming. Then you end up with Venezuela.

And all of this is measurably true but so what? So fricken what? Why does it matter so much to me to be right about these sorts of things? Pride, Pride, Pride. All is vanity.

As Father Gabriel writes:Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return”. These words, first spoken by GOD to Adam after he had committed sin, are repeated by the  Church to every Christian, in order to remind him of two fundamental truths … his nothingness, and the reality of death. His nothingness and the reality that all the things of this world are immaterial chimeras. The things we find so important today have no value whatsoever for eternity, they will all pass away.

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. (1893-1953)

Our pride, our arrogance, needs to grasp this truth, to realize that everything in us is nothing. “Drawn from nothing by the creative power of GOD, by His infinite love which willed to communicate His being and His life to us, we cannot, because of sin, be reunited with Him for eternity without passing through the dark reality of death.”

The things we find so important today have no value whatsoever for eternity, they will all pass away. But the sins we commit in pursuit of and defence of these worldly things will not pass away and will have to be acknowledged, confessed, forgiven and atoned for.

So thinking and writing unkind or hurtful things about others who disagree with me even if they are provably incorrect in their views have to be examined, confessed, forgiven and atoned for.

Jesus submitted to death in order to give all Christians the strength to accept it out of love. Nevertheless, death still exists, and we should reflect on it, not to distress ourselves, but to arouse ourselves to do good. The book of Sirach is wonderful … ‘In all thy works, remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin” (Sir 7,40)

So I resolve to reflect on my mortality every time I entertain angry or hurtful thoughts about another. I give myself all kinds of breaks, I am Oh so understanding of all my myriad faults, but I do not extend the same courtesy to those I see as attacking me or my well-being for spurious reasons. I am having a difficult time hating the sin but loving the sinner as the Church instructs.

Wow, finally done with this topic for now. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off now.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Four …

Continued from Part Three …

Now I am about to head off into a social commentary about what is wrong about the folks screaming the loudest about what is wrong.  Spoiler: This might not be a popular post with some folks because I point fingers and shine  lights and indulge my pride that “I am not like those others”, that I am one of the “good guys”. But it is also about how making the others on the other side of the great divide into the bad guys, the enemy, is wrong and is against the will of GOD.

St. Matthew and The Angel,

I am very aware of Matthew’s Gospel, specifically Mathew 5, while thinking and writing all of this stuff, and to refresh it in my mind I will put a bit of it here:

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mat 5:43-48)

For my part, I am trying to preach the gospel of responsibility and self control. That is my intent but in some senses this might be rather Pharisaical – all that PRIDE again, it’s insidious, and I drift back and forth between the poles of prideful self righteousness over how good I am, and trying to get my head sincerely around actually “loving” those who don’t see what I see, what seems so important and obvious to me.

That dichotomy places me in a mental conflict, sort of like trying to love and be tolerant and forgiving of others, while standing my moral ground and trying to explain and defend reality, all the while experiencing the effects of having the “loved” ones trying to metaphorically cut off my arm without anesthetic.

I firmly believe that GOD desires of me to love my neighbour as myself, and even more, to love one another as He has loved us. That’s a BIG love. What this means to me is wishing for anyone else the things which I believe to be good, for his or her sake but not for my own. And, even more, sincerely wishing for anyone else, the things which GOD has told us are good for their own sake.

I don’t mean this as the “permissive” will of GOD, as PF so recently alluded to but rather the “specific” will of GOD as presented to us in Scripture and the Teachings of the Magisterium, and as we encounter it in the myriad daily duties and responsibilities of our lives. I believe that we have to make every effort to ensure that we are following the “Manufacturer’s Instructions” the popularity of which seem to move in and out of fashion amongst many men of all walks of life as their convenience is impacted.

This translates into believing with certainty that all things, all creatures, were made by GOD and that GOD made all things GOOD, and so love of the other is best expressed by “It is good that you exist, that you have being” and that right direction and thinking flows from that starting point … it is good.

Ralph Peters

I also wonder if calumny and detraction enter into the effort but currently think “not” because I am not gossiping about or targeting particular individuals, cultures or nations, but rather commenting in a general way, being specific about generalities (if that makes any sense) on what I see and read and hear whenever I break my rules and visit any media for some “news”.

It seems clear to to me that the traits or characteristics in the defining constellation of traits including responsibility and self control relating to success or failure, are found across all nations, cultures, and individuals and the difference in degree to which they are manifest is entirely due to self discipline and self control.

Self Discipline and Self Control are, among others, two of the foundational virtues of Christianity and are to be striven for at all costs. These seem to be MIA to a greater or lesser degree in all other religious frameworks, along with “It is good that you exist, that you have being” .

So,  what are those characteristics or traits? I used to enjoy reading Ralph Peters’ work long before he came and then went as a commentator and consultant at Fox News. He seemed to be very clear on what he observed and the results of same, and was excoriated in some some circles for that trait.

Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson reminds me of Ralph in some ways and he also is a currently favored hate figure of the left. Both of them are all about personal responsibility and honesty in discourse which is a bitter pill in the Howler Jungle these days.

Anyway, there are seven characteristics Ralph Peters identifies as condemning nations and cultures (and, I think,  individuals) to failure in the modern world. Peters was speaking about the international situation, but I think his logic and observations apply equally well at the individual level as well.

Peters makes a very convincing case that there is a correlation approaching unity between the extent to which a nation, or culture, (or individual) embrace some or all of these characteristics and their inability to succeed in the 21st century. That “inability to succeed” produces serious fallout. Here is the list”

  • Any restrictions on the free flow of information, censorship, bias in reporting, intimidation, exclusion of opposing views, media bias, National Firewalls, Political Correctness, lieing, to name just a few.
  • Any subjugation, objectification, or any other moral or intellectual abuse of women as an objectified resource to be exploited, Radical Feminism, discriminatory rules for a woman’s inheritance, “free love”, free “choice”, pornography, prostitution, polygamy, discriminatory divorce laws, the glorification of “strong, independent” women as desirable sex objects or accessories (Cosmopolitan magazine), buying and selling women as sex slaves/concubines, covering women’s bodies and faces, honour killings, FGM, child marriage, punishing women for the “crime” of being raped, treating females as objects or slaves useful only for breeding and pleasure.
  • Inability to accept personal responsibility for individual or collective failure and the results of those failures.
  • Seeing as one’s basic unit of social organization, one’s immediate social class, extended family or clan, clique, party, social group, sexual orientation, or academic silo,  like your faculty, church, PAC, club, activist group, or Facebook group, leading to victimology, or refusal to integrate with society at large.
  • Domination by a restrictive religion, like any kind of or combination of “Fundamentalism”, Material Realism, Islam, Marxism, Fascism, Secular Humanism, Socialism, etc.
  • A low valuation of education, that is refusing education, or studying exclusively the dogma of one’s chosen religion, one’s political world view, sexual orientation,  social studies, soft “sciences” and all the rest instead of math, medicine, engineering, physics, chemistry, skilled trades, etc. pointing to aberrations like believing that qualifications in one narrow specialty domain automatically confer qualification in all domains, or another common situation of burger flippers with BA’s in political “science” or any field ending in “Studies“, or ghettos of unskilled “radicalized” xenophobic parasites, and so on.
  • Low prestige assigned to productive work … eg. remaining unemployed while living on student “loans” or grants, or social welfare, or EI, or Foreign Aid while engaging full time in “Occupy Wall Street” or political protests or anti social activities within one’s social class or ghetto, directed at  outsiders like, in the extreme, assault, kidnapping, vandalization of property, mass shootings, fire bombings, suicide bombing, and random sniping, vehicular homicide, etc.

What he is saying is that “the more of these seven characteristics the culture or individual exhibit the more likely that culture or individual will be a measurable failure in the 21st century by any rational evaluation“.  And he also goes on to make the case that those cultures and individuals are essentially shame based and shame motivated, avoiding shame is more important than doing good.

These nations and cultures and individuals know with absolute certainty that they are in fact failures, they feel acute shame at that failure, and they hate everyone else for shining a light on the hater’s shame by their success. There is no fixing this unless and until those cultures and individuals start to take responsibility for their failure, to take responsibility for their actions and the results, to stop taking the “easy way out”.

They don’t want to or can’t change because change requires responsibility and hard work, and they don’t want to live in isolation because they enjoy the toys of the successful, so they are left with only the destruction of the object of their hate by force or, when possible, by legal coercion to ameliorate their shame.

To paraphrase Bill Whittle, they must “level the playing field” so that there is nothing to make them stand out as failures. Many turn to the political field to address this desire. For example, all socialistic societies suffer from the “equality of squalor” philosophy. This is the Howler Tribe in all their glory. And in the West, they exploit the rules and structures and institutions established by the successful to destabilize and harm the very society that makes their existence possible. In literally any other culture on the planet, these failures would be ended by a bullet or worse.

They hate us. They hate us, the “successful”, because we are everything they are not. We are vibrant and fecund; we are are successful. Our achievements are magnificent. Our engineering and sciences advance at breathtaking speed and our standard of living continues to increase wherever these social failures are not able to interfere, or are prevented from interfering, politically or otherwise. Robert Heinlein had a bit to say about this:

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck’. ” – Robert A. Heinlein

Of course, when “they” do manage to grab political power they immediately set about sinking the ship as fast as possible, knowing full well that the folks will wake up soon and kick them out. That’s just the way our system works and its better than purges and pogroms.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Three …

Continued from Part Two …

So on with part three of this article … Where were we going now?

The “rational” proponents of a “fact based logical reality” just end up with anger, hurt feelings or worse, and the Howlers just keep on howling because there is not and never was and never will be anything resembling common ground. The choice we are faced with, again and again, is between being “part of this world” with all that this implies for righteous self-love or being part of GOD’s Kingdom. The choice is between loving the chimera’s of this world or loving GOD’s will. The temptations to engage in worldly strife and more, become more obvious when we try to break away from the world’s disorders.

Two years ago I read Cardinal Sarah’s book “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” .  I have cited Robert Cardinal Sarah in numerous previous posts on this blog.  As we are tempted to dive into the next controversy or outrage it would be well for us to remember one of his insights: “If we give ourselves to ephemeral and insignificant things, we will understand ourselves as ephemeral and insignificant. If we give ourselves to beautiful and eternal things, we will understand ourselves as beautiful and eternal.”

This image below is a hierarchical pyramid  of prevalence of certain types of discourse in the public sphere, and is typical of the blogosphere.

The pyramid is self explanatory. This situation is rooted in the fact that both sides (all sides?) have forgotten GOD’s part in all this. GOD loves all of us, He created all of us on both sides of the divide, just like he created good angels and bad angels. GOD is way above the pyramid, outside of and surrounding and maintaining our reality with His infinite love and power. He wants us all to succeed and join Him in heaven.

Unlike the angels we have the great good fortune to have the gift of time within which we can exercise our intellect and examine our views and make a decision to worship GOD and do GOD’s will in our lives, to live “virtuous lives”, or we can choose not to. We are blessed to be able to change our minds and our selves, change our souls.  And it can go either way. Today’s First Reading from Ezekiel directly addresses this situation:

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“19And you say: Why hath not the son borne the iniquity of his father? Verily, because the son hath wrought judgment and justice, hath kept all my commandments, and done them, living, he shall live. 20The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die. 22I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live. 23Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?

24But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? All his justices which he hath done, shall not be remembered: in the prevarication, by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, in them he shall die.

25And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it my way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse? 26For when the just turneth himself away from his justice, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therein: in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die.

27And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment, and justice: he shall save his soul alive. 28Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live, and not die.

29And the children of Israel say: The way of the Lord is not right. Are not my ways right, O house of Israel, and are not rather your ways perverse? 30Therefore will I judge every man according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God. Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart, and a new spirit: and why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God, return ye and live.”   (Ezekiel 18:17-32 Douay-Rheims Bible)

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And one of GOD’s laws is “Love your neighbour as yourself”. I interpret this to mean “give your neighbour the same considerations and breaks which you would give yourself” not to love everybody in a group hug kind of way.

We have to be more or less tolerant of world views which differ from our own unless those world views put the innocent in danger. So what defines a world view failure in my humble opinion? Well, one of the big symptoms is a lot of loud wailing and gnashing about others, those others who are responsible for all the pain. That’s gold plated PRIDE screaming out its tantrum at not getting it’s way.

The first and essential step in recovery, conversion and repentance is to recognize the beam in our own eye and to accept it and start working towards removing it before we even start to remove the splinter in our brother’s eye. This is all about taking responsibility for our problems and not blaming others.

Wow, one more part to go …. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off now.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Two …

Continued from part One

Someone once nicknamed us all “The Pajamadeen” because we sit at our keyboards late at night in our pajamas writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment. We are not alone, and that feeling of being part of something bigger feeds our passion. And the cognitive dissonance grows and grows and we believe we are seeing something which the “others” don’t acknowledge. And we don’t realize that the clock is winding down and we are lost in our anger and it all seems so “reasonable”..

As Roy Batty says: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. … All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”  Indeed … time to die … soon … we are all replicants, running out the clock, done in the blink of an eye.

Steven DenBeste 1952-2016

For those of you who may have never heard of the Pajamadeeen, here is one reference “FrauBudgie, a “proud member of the 101st Keyboarding Division of the Pajamadeen,” chalks it up to Kim Jong-il playing hardball because of a Clinton-era promise of a reactor.” This was pulled from a Slate post from 2005, referencing numerous members of the “Pajamadeen”. What we write “Never Dies”. Da Da Da Dumm!

I was introduced to blogging around 2000, by Steven DenBeste’s blog “U.S.S. Clueless”, one of the first Pajamadeen and still one of the best, may he rest in peace. The next bright light in that constellation of stars was Bill Whittle and his blog “Eject!, Eject!, Eject!” around 2003. That domain has unfortunately been taken over by robots and no longer resembles the original at all. But the Way-Back-Machine can almost always be trusted to find what once was, even if we delete it.

Prophecy” Adrian von Ziegler, from the album “Feather and Skull”, (2013)

Fortunately, an archive of the original Eject!, Eject!, Eject! can be found here.  I link to just one of the archived posts here … WARNING! as Bill himself says “(Folks, there’s R-rated language throughout this thing. Normally I can edit it out; this time, not so much. I may do so later, but now I want to leave it as I wrote it.).

Whittle in 2014.

He wrote the post, angry, on September 5 2005, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It is called “Tribes”, and at the time for me, was the best articulation I had ever read of my own opinion of humanity, based on my 30 years or so of real-world exposure.

I eventually started blogging myself in 2014 here at notmyfirstrodeo.   Now it seems in retrospect that what we all had and have, in common, we Pajamadeen, is a very high opinion of our own opinion and ideas, and a desire to share with the universe what we see as wrong with the socially reported status quo as seen through the eyes of social media.

Many of us “disagree” with the currently popular attribution of blame and demands for “compensation” by all the usual suspects, rather than their acceptance of personal responsibility and making an effort to improve through hard work and self discipline

It was and is a battle of “cold hard facts against the tyranny of emotion and feelings”, against what I now call “The Howler Jungle”, and by God, we could prove that we were right  and all those others were sniveling emoticons.  Well, it turns out that regardless of whether we were and are right or wrong about anything this is really “Pride” talking. There is just no “winning” this battle. It started with the Angels and has been going on here on earth since Lucifer was cast down.

In the meantime … what of “We” the discontented, those who are noticeably unhappy with the moral and economic status quo? Yes, what about us? Well, it seems that in reality there is no “us”. Some of “us” choose to dither, complain, wail and gnash their teeth, but never reach any conclusion. Some have been labeled “Merchants of Outrage” or some such “Straw-man” inanity. Others slip under the radar because we have no large and influential following … not a big enough target I guess.

“We” remain chronically dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever is fashionably top of the pond, the latest PC curdled and agglomerating deviance and corruption, and spend our leisure time articulating our discontent and pointing out what is wrong with the current status quo, a kind of negative virtue signalling to re-enforce our imagined moral superiority.

Others mourn the loss of a humanity in the general, that probably never existed in the particular, and along with that Unicorn they mourn the loss of “everything” that made up “human civilization”, holding a perpetual wake for a “Prince on The White Horse” who never really existed. They have forgotten that funeral services are not for the benefit of the dead, That person(s) and their immortal soul are forever beyond our praise or condemnation.

Rather, a funeral service is for the living, who should know that before long they will follow the honored dead into a cold dark grave, and from that fact take motivation towards preparing for eternity. Railing against those who deny an afterlife, deny eternity, is an utter waste of the most precious gift we have been given by GOD, namely “Time”.

And in the end, it is all just Pride, Pride, Pride, an overweening sense of personal outrage and a serious attachment to the things of this world and the worship of self. I didn’t think this way even as recently as back in 2014 but the evolution of my thoughts over the intervening years has produced a heightened awareness of Pride as it applies to what I do, think, and say, every day. I still have outbursts, fairly regularly even, but I also regularly now reconsider what I think and say and reevaluate it in the light of pride as a sin.

Back in 2001, when this particular journey started for me, I didn’t spend much time and energy thinking about death. Oh, I was certainly fully aware of death daily, having buried numerous friends and acquaintances since 71, and I had no doubt of, or fear of my own mortality, but it wasn’t an immediate sort of presence, a minute by minute worry in my thoughts. I couldn’t hear the clock ticking then like I can now.

Almost 20 years on I am much more aware, on a daily basis, of my own impending death. and that awareness has refocused my thoughts on what happens afterwards, on eternity, and am I ready for eternity and if not why not? This is not a “Why, Poor Me” sort of why. It’s a “why am I not ready” why? Why do I still sin without even giving it a moment’s thought? Why? It is that insidious loss of the sense of sin which renders us less aware of what is wrong with what we are engaged in.

I will insert a short quote from  Daniel O’Connor’s “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta”  touching on the subject of “Why?” This is a massive book on the writings of the mystic Luisa Piccarreta, an Italian nun in the late 19th to early 20th century.

*****

Jesus Himself takes this teaching further, telling Luisa (Piccarreta):  “My daughter, in almost all of the events that occur, creatures keep repeating, over and over again: ‘And why? And why? And why? Why this illness? Why this interior state? Why this scourge?’ And many other why’s.

The explanation of ‘why’ is not written on earth, but in Heaven, and there everyone will read it. Do you know what ‘why’ is? It is egoism, which gives continuous food to love of self. Do you know where ‘why’ was created? In hell. Who was the first one that pronounced it? A demon.

The effects produced by the first ‘why’ were the loss of innocence in Eden Itself, the war of untamable passions, the ruin of many souls, the evils of life. The story of ‘why’ is long; it is enough to tell you that there is no evil in the world which does not carry the mark of ‘why’. ‘Why’ is destruction of divine wisdom in souls.

And do you know where ‘why’ will be buried? In hell, to make them restless for eternity, without ever giving them peace. The art of ‘why’ is to wage war against souls, without ever giving them respite.”

Obviously, by repudiating the “why,” Jesus is not condemning innocent inquiry into matters; He is, rather, insisting that we not ask the accusatory “why” every time something goes the way our self-wills did not want it to go.

We must, instead, understand that, as St. Alphonsus Liguori said, “it is certain and of faith that, whatever happens, happens by the Will of God.” It is that simple. If it happened, it was God’s Will. By lamenting what has happened, we lament God’s Will.

How are we supposed to submit to—much less live in—God’s Will if we lament that very thing? Instead, any complaining of any sort has no place in the life of any Christian, and must be repudiated by one who wishes to live in the Divine Will. But we must go farther than merely refuse to complain of crosses; we must love them.

O’Connor, Daniel. The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta (p. 274).

*****

So about my problem of “Why”, it seems to me that often the “Why” is really in the context of “Why Me”! I believe that “Why” is because I have been too busy trying to grab the splinter out of my brother’s eye and not busy enough dealing with the plank in my own eye. That has got to change.

I know now, I UNDERSTAND that it is not my role to “save the world”, and even though I remain convinced of the correctness of my argument, my pride will not let me “let it go” and  acknowledge that the person or persons with which I have a difference is not really the enemy!

They may or may not be a tool of the enemy but fixing that is not my responsibility, my responsibility is to spend all my effort on accepting and doing the will of GOD to the absolute best of my ability and if GOD wants me to fix something He will clearly let me know.

It may be true that “they” don’t really understand empirical reality or care about the others who occupy that reality and it may be true that “they” are willing to commit literally any atrocity from simple verbal abuse up to and including physical harm, even murder, if “they” are not granted their way. BUT IT IS NOT MY JOB AND NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY TO FIX THAT. The Lone Ranger has hung up his gun and mask and Tonto has gone back to the reserve. “Thy will be done Oh Lord, Thy will be done”.

The sin of pride creeps in when I am coming to conclusions about whole classes of people, conclusions that are way above my pay grade. Only GOD knows what lurks in the heart of man, but He knows it ALL, and he is a just and merciful GOD, and that judgement stuff is HIS job, not mine.

The sin of pride creeps in when I find it very hard to back down in the face of injustice (as I see it). My pride most desires to be esteemed, and approved of and understood. My pride most fears being despised, calumniated and ridiculed.

Words are indeed much more hurtful than sticks and stones, no matter what the old rhyme says, and psychologically I have always been a “Best defense is a good offense” kind of guy, it’s kind of my default.

In 2000, I was a background follower, a lurker, back in the beginning when Steven DenBeste was being routinely excoriated by all the usual outraged liberal progressive bloggers who did their level best to destroy him by mockery, innuendo, malice, lies, exaggeration, misdirection and misrepresentation but never once did they ever try to match facts and logic with facts and logic.

They just howled and threw shite. There were many times when the overwhelming emotion I felt was that it was impossible to deal with these “unprintable” individuals and it was time to “Bring The Rain”.

That critical judgement of his detractors involved my pride acting out on his behalf. DenBeste himself accepted all the vitriol as just part of the job of shining the light on hard facts. I eventually lent my support by email and we became distant acquaintances although we differed mightily on many things, number one being he was a confirmed Atheist and I was and am a confirmed Catholic.

Unlike exchanges with other Atheists, our discussions were always civilized, polite, respectful and thought provoking, even when we disagreed and he taught me a lot about Power Grids among other things, and he was a joy to exchange views with. We shared the belief that Bulverism was anathema and unfortunately most public discourse had degraded into just that sort of exchange.

As DenBeste himself has written, “By the way, I don’t think that “Listen to yourself!! Do you realize what you just said???” is a useful response. I know full well what I wrote; it took me four hours to write it.

And I knew it was “politically incorrect” when I wrote it; I said so. If you think there’s a problem with this, tell me what it is. Respond on the merits. Deal with the issues I discuss.

If you don’t like my solution, propose another and explain why it’s better, in execution or result. If you think my identification of the problem is wrong, explain why.

But don’t bother trying to shame me into retracting it. Don’t bother delivering that here; addressee unknown. I don’t subscribe to postmodernist or transnational progressivist standards about what is right and wrong.”

Mike_Godwin_photographed_by_Voice_of_America_(Cambodia),_September_2017

Godwin’s Law states: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

I have referred to this as Bulverism in previous posts and it is not limited to the use of the term “Nazi” and any of it’s cognates.

BUT … None of this “He said – She said” emotional Howler behaviour leads to any kind of resolution.

Wow, I am really long winded. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off now.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.

Continued in Part Three …

Cheers

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part One …

The Beatitudes”, from the album “Biscantorat – The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey” – The Monks of Glenstal Abbey – (2009)

I just finished reviewing the draft of this post and realized that “It is really fricken long!” just under 6000 words, so I am splitting it up into 2 or 3 or 5 posts. So what follows here is part One …

Today, I am trying to focus on Pride, but also on Personal Responsibility and the results of failing to take responsibility for our choices, our motives, and for the results of that failure. So, I just read over my last post which was a rant about the Global Warming Environmentalism religion of Gaia.

And now I am thinking about Death and Pride … guilty as charged of the very crimes about which I bitch so much when I see others commit them. These are the items (in bold below) from my last post which flag the desires and fears which prompt my rants. The prayers are short snippets from the Litany of Humility attributed by many writers to: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930), anyway, here are the short quotes :

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

I trust that I got the posts right.(The Web of Trust posts)”… O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Make my heart like yours … From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire to be understood, deliver me, O Lord.

I don’t believe that my point of view is very popular with the social media crowd“,  From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being honored, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Lord.

but I think that I am on the side of truth and the right side of history on these issues” … From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Lord.

As I have said before, your mileage may vary.

So much for Pride … ultimately I am the only one who cares about my views and who am I to judge others right or wrong, especially since there is absolutely nothing my little voice can do or say against the tidal wave of modern society. My response is all about my own pride, desires, and fear. I wrote about this problem in this post.

It appears to me that any conflict at any level has it’s root cause in the absence of humility on the part of the players in whichever drama is being considered in any venue.

I have remarked before that: “It seems a hallmark of Truth that it always believes and expects the best of others and acts accordingly. It also seems a hallmark of untruth that it always believes and expects the worst of others and acts accordingly.” My guess is that it all depends on what your starting assumptions are, one’s own motivations and default responses to events, as to how you believe others will act.

This morning I prayed a litany of humility, a pius Catholic custom. And afterwards I thought about how the petitions of the litany encompass the entire gamut of all the underlying provocations of human conflict, in families and outside the family circle in the wider world. I keep meaning to include this litany daily in my routine prayers but somehow the little demons encouraging my baser nature always help me to forget how important humility is to salvation.

All human conflict and rancor seem rooted in either fear of something or desire for something, the conflict arising from disappointed desires or realized fears.

“An Taiseirl (The Resurrection)”, Noirin Ni Riain and The Monks Of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, (1996)

So what about death, or should I say “Death“?  What about that final destination to which every single living human being is committed, whether by natural causes, or by some apocalyptic Global Warming holocaust, regardless of their beliefs or lack of same about anything?

Last post I laughed to myself and offered that “I will put off death to another post” … Ha, I wish it was that easy …

I have been aware of and thinking about the gate for over fifty years now, more or less daily as I go about my routines, the gate beyond which I can not see or understand. All around me life goes on, banal and dramatic, indifferent and caring, hateful and loving as circumstances and moods take us.

It, daily life that is, appears to be self centered for the most part, although that perception might just be the lens through which I see the society around me, my self centeredness projected onto the screen of existence.

And all life around me seems to work hard at ignoring the gate, acting and reacting as though the gate in fact does not exist at all, that the here and now is all there is, that pleasure, gratification, license and indulgence are the only objectives, the only goals, absent anything but the material “here & now”.

But it seems (to me) the gate is THE most obvious artifact in the entire universe, the single most obvious event which no one escapes no matter what their beliefs, no matter their state in life, it all winds down to dust. More grist for the penitential mill, my ongoing failure to “Love one another” as God has loved me. Sigh, to paraphrase Dore, “Just keep Trying…”.

We take off our Baptismal “Wedding Garment” when we sin, sin in all its flavors, Mortal, Venial willed and Venial unwilled, and all the little imperfections we carry around all the time because we are forever giving ourselves a pass. So what does matter?

Unless one is living in close proximity to the latest atrocity, the majority, the masses, seem more or less content with their modern comforts, pleasures, social media, “I’m all right Jack”,  the “What, me worry?” clique of “low-information” consumers, and in general quite happy with their daily existence. We are really doing so well that we have come to believe that not only do we not need GOD, but there is actually no GOD to need.

Because we see ourselves as “nice” we believe we are living in a “sin free zone” and have become used to giving ourselves a pass,  a perpetually active “get out of jail free card” such that no-one is even aware of sin any more. Am I the only living human being currently reflecting upon what actually matters, and the end of human life? (that’s pride again, thinking that one might be the only one who gets it).

Still, despite our “happy, doing great, contentment” there seems to be an awful lot of “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” on social media and the MSM about so many things that are wrong, and none of these “things” seem to be the fault of the weepers and gnashers. When I think of how, in the process of getting to where we are now, we have thrown out our baptismal wedding garment, I am reminded of Mathew’s Gospel …

11And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. 12And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent. 13Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mather 22:11-14)

And I know its not true, its just a rhetorical device, to pretend that I am the only one. I have confidence that I am not the only one. Some of those who are reflecting even write about it in their personal version of my personal blog. Someone once nicknamed us all “The Pajamadeen” because we sit at our keyboards late at night in our pajamas writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment. We are not alone, and the cognitive dissonance grows and grows.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.

Wow, I am really long winded. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off now. Continued in Part Two …

Cheers

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town

Broken ankles make people cranky … Global Warming and Death …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

Just a nice pleasant coffee break rant …

I will bet this is way more than you feel like reading but I am going to rant on anyway because I just feel like yelling about things today. It has been 11 days since my ankle surgery.

I rate my constant pain level at about 4 out of 10 where 0 is no pain at all and 10 is all consuming pain such that you can’t think about anything else. I won’t be offended even in the slightest if you choose not to read this so don’t give it a thought.

“Your mileage may vary” as they used to say.  “Danger Will Robinson!”.

What’s on my mind this morning is a mixture of irritation about the irrationality of the Global Warming crowd, and a Lenten awareness of personal mortality and our ultimate destination namely death, which destination rarely surfaces as a relevant topic amongst the chattering classes with their overwhelming concern with “fixing” the behaviour of everyone who disagrees with them by any means possible.

Yes!  In great irritation, I confess to the literal impossibility of my doctor’s clinic instructions, namely “elevating” my injured ankle while trying to relax and let it all hang out on the john. I don’t think the instructions are realistic and they are made up by people who never have had to actually put them into practice.

In the real world with us real people we are often faced with trying to work around instructions, rules and regulations which serve no function except to protect the asses of the people making the rules and regulations.

Fulfilling these abstract ass covering missives in the real world is the “Magical Mile” left up to us Grey Tribe worker bees who have the responsibility of turning ivory tower fantasy into something approaching workable in the real world.

So today … I will visit the can while NOT elevating the injured member, (mea culpa) and I will then get dressed in the one set of pants which have the left leg split to fit the cast/boot device, and I will crawl down 18 stairs on my ass without elevating the damned ankle, (mea culpa) because I have a shit ton of bills to pay, which I can’t pay online, and the “real” world doesn’t give a crap if you have a broken ankle, they just want their bills paid, and rightly so. And I will pay those bills while sitting in my office chair with my broken ankle firmly on the floor, as in NOT elevated (mea maxima culpa).

If you are reading this, it is likely that you and I live in the real world and always have. So do the rest of those who I call friends. Unfortunately that classification excludes most of my family on both sides, both blood and in-laws who have “drunk the KoolAide” and signed their names in blood to agree with what passes for “common sense” on Social Media these days.

Unfortunately I have to just hold my nose and play the nodding donkey whenever they try to tell me insane “truths” like the “Polar Vortex” is caused by Global Warming caused by Alberta’s coal fired electrical generation stations … of which we have 5 out of the over 7000 worldwide, and we have to shut them all down to “save the planet”. Sigh.

Carl Sagan, … Cosmos … Trust me, I’m smarter than you …

Idiocy in all it’s flavors seems to be thriving in the nice tolerant Canada we now live in. I got a short note about coal fired power the other day from a friend who is concerned about the thousands of layoffs we have had here in Alberta, in the last couple of years.

It is even now starting to reach deep down to the service companies, who are always the last to go tits up. I am going to include it here as food for thought but not as food for anger, because we have been through this all before.

I remember when all the usual suspects were assuring us that we were entering a new ice age and we were all going to die from starvation  within 20 years … that was back in the 70’s.

Remember Carl Sagan, and the Nuclear Winter and Paul R. Ehrlich et al. and millions dying of starvation in the U.S.? The Wikipedia Brights mostly agree with and worship Sagan and Ehrlich but they have fairly comprehensive articles about their beliefs and their work so I cited them anyway. You can look at all that stuff and decide for yourselves whether population control lights your fires or not.

China imposed strict population control which has worked out rather problematically – again, the law of unintended consequences in action. When that whole death by massive apocalyptic starvation didn’t pan out as a a good scare tactic they all switched over to Ehrlich’s other “big scary problem” beating the drum about global warming and pollution and the man made causes of that.

Don’t believe me?  I remember this, ’cause I was there! If you weren’t then here are some “Historic Notes“:

The Population Bomb is/was a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor of Biology and teacher, Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich (who was uncredited), in 1968.

It warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth (why do they always decide that they have to kill off someone else to solve the problem?).

Fears of a “population explosion” were widespread in the 1950s and 60s, but the book and its author brought the idea to an even wider audience. The book has been criticized since its publishing for its alarmist tone, and in recent decades for its inaccurate predictions.

The Ehrlichs stand by the basic ideas in the book, stating in 2009 that “perhaps the most serious flaw in The Bomb was that it was much too optimistic about the future” and believe that it achieved their goals because “it alerted people to the importance of environmental issues and brought human numbers into the debate on the human future.”

“Àki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, entomologist, 1974

Fact: Erlich trained as an Entomologist (specializing in butterflies). He had no background or training in agronomy or population growth.

“The Population Bomb” was written at the suggestion of David Brower the executive director of the environmentalist Sierra Club, and Ian Ballantine of Ballantine Books following various public appearances Ehrlich had made regarding population issues and their relation to the environment.

The Population Bomb began with the statement:  “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…   ”

Nothing weaselly about that prediction. Pretty much lays it on the line. And was dead wrong.  … the book was a huge marketing success and made a LOT of money for the players involved.  Any questions?

or another:

Global cooling will kill us all!!!  But they didn’t just have a proposed physical mechanism for this catastrophe. They had the evidence of the temperature record, which showed global temperatures generally declining from about 1940 to 1970.

Which led to fevered predictions like this one, from UC Davis ecology professor Kenneth Watt: “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

Carl Sagan & Viking Lander Model

As late as 1980, Carl Sagan was still presenting global cooling as one of two possible doomsday scenarios we could choose from. The series “Cosmos marks the precise moment of change, when the goal posts were moved.

This is a bit of a cultural time capsule, preserving the precise moment at which scientific alarmists were switching from warning about a new ice age, in the 1970s, to warning about runaway warming. So, “soft science”, moving goal posts, changing stories, relativism, denial, plausible deniability

It still all boils down to “The sky is falling!!!! Therefore we have to be compelled to give up all control to the “enlightened ones” and do what we are told like good little sheeple because they know best“. They are just so much smarter than us. And as we know, that “solution” always involves some flavor of “there are too many of them and not enough of us” therefore we are compelled to “kill the inconvenient ones”.

Do you think that eugenics, abortion and euthanasia are something new we just cooked up? They have all been around for thousands of years … and history shows that every culture which starts killing its children as a part of social policy ultimately fails … always have and always will. World without end, Amen.

Of course Papa Pierre was also a big fanboy of Alfred Charles Kinsey, and we all know where that led us to … NAMBLA et al are founded on the gospel according to Kinsey. In Canada, any opposition to that philosophy is now labeled as a “Hate Crime”.

So, in Canada, they destroyed the economy in the 80’s in the great 20th century hydrocarbon panic. How, you might ask?

Because Papa Pierre, who took a few courses at the London School of Economics in the 60’s knew best.

He “Nationalized” the oil industry by buying Gulf Oil and turning it into Petrocan and setting up the NEP to drive away all the other oil companies.

The big crash of 82 was when we went north because there was absolutely no work to be had in the south.

It makes me want to puke and run around smashing their faces. But that is what “Knuckle Dragging Rednecks do, right?

And that is exactly what my ever-lovin sister in law calls me – that “Knuckle Draggin Neanderthal from fly-over country”, so acting like she expects is not really a helpful emotion or desire or activity when dealing with family.

Anyway, here’s a bit of the power plant rant and that post has the rest of the dirt for coffee break conversation, and please please all of you take care of yourselves and be careful on the ice.

Here’s just a small sample of how many coal plants there are out there:

EU has 468 plants building 27 more for a total of 495
TURKEY has 56 plants building 93 more total 149
SOUTH AFRICA has 79 building 24 more total 103
INDIA has 589 building 446 more total 1036
PHILIPPINES has 19 building 60 more total 79
SOUTH KOREA has 58 building 26 more total 84
JAPAN has 90 building 45 more total 135
USA has 589 building 5 more total 594
CHINA has 2363, building 1171 total 3534
CANADA has 24 total and none planned.
But here comes the NDP to save the planet shutting down our Alberta’s 5 plants and the entire energy sector while they are at it.

5 out of a total of 7208 world coal generation plants is 0.0007 %.

But  there is hope, there could be an alternate future, if only we believe …

As I mentioned above, I posted about this on my blog here

That is just a shameless plug for what I write when I am between real work duties. Probably they are too long and wordy for many folks and I don’t blame them. I do have about 100 hits a day though (tiny, I know but I don’t write for the thousands, I write to get it off my mind, for therapy) from all over the world and many “followers” so there must be a few out there in electronic lala land who agree with me, or at least are not too offended by most of my stuff.

I realize that I place a lot of emphasis on the web of trust. That is, who do you trust and who do you rely on to get the truth and understanding from which all thought, and decision making and choices ultimately derive from.

The truth, that is what actually happened as opposed to what all the Environmental Nazis said was going to happen, is that they were actually massively wrong about almost everything they were screaming about.

There is a good read here about the Environazis’ epic fail which non of the MSM ever report on. I have written several posts on the Web of Trust back in 2015, Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.

I trust that I got these posts right. I don’t believe that my point of view is very popular with the social media crowd, but I think that I am on the side of truth and the right side of history on these issues, as I have said before, your mileage may vary.

So what about death, or should I say “Death”?  What about that final destination to which every single living human being is committed, whether by natural causes, or by some apocalyptic Global Warming holocaust, regardless of their beliefs or lack of same about anything?

I decided that I have rambled on long enough this time and I will put off death to another post … Ha, I wish it was that easy …

Cheers

Joe

 

 

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Life in a small town

Lent …

David Warren has a good post here on Lent … it ends with this poem from a Confucius quote:

Confucius in his “Book of Songs” quotes an ancient Chinese lamentation (Waley’s translation):

Don’t escort the big chariot;
You will only make yourself dusty.
Don’t think about the sorrows of the world;
You will only make yourself wretched.

Don’t escort the big chariot;
You won’t be able to see for dust.
Don’t think about the sorrows of the world;
Or you will never escape from your despair.

Don’t escort the big chariot;
You’ll be stifled with dust.
Don’t think about the sorrows of the world;
You will only load yourself with care.

My broken ankle continues to be troubling. Along with giving up “control” for lent, I am also working on giving up moaning and complaining.

Cheers

Joe

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Wisdom and advice for our day …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

Job, Naked Came I ….

Prayer and self indulgence, self love, do not go together. If we are to be generous, in both prayer and temporal works, we must put away all inordinate love for our body and ourself. We must put away all excessive preoccupation about our health, and we must put away all anxiety about food, clothing, rest and comfort.

Our body, and our self love have a common fault, that is the more we indulge it, the more it discovers to be essential to it, and if one discovers any reasonable object for indulgence, however unnecessary it might be, we are easily deceived and move the object of interest to the “needs” column of our personal life ledger.

These “objects of interest” might be something physical outside our self, like food or material possessions, or they might be something inside ourself connected to desires or fears. For example, a new pair of shoes, or a new shirt, or going out for a nice meal of sushi when I have lots of left over turkey and gravy in the fridge, ready and waiting to be eaten … I just want the sushi because I “feel like a change”. Or the other “needs”, like the “need” to share my low opinion of some sequence of actions playing out in the media and my equally low opinion of the perps.

The Ghost of Christmas Present — Want and Ignorance

In the moment of self love, of self indulgence it is very easy to slide any number of things from the wants column to the needs column, thereby justifying all sorts of bad behaviors. Our desires and fears play a large role in embracing behaviors and activities which may be less about God and others and all about ourselves.

Some examples of these are our desire of being esteemed, being loved, being extolled, being honored, being praised, being preferred to others, being consulted, being approved. Our fears include fear of being humiliated, being despised, of suffering rebukes, of being calumniated, being forgotten, being ridiculed, being wronged, being suspected.

I believe at this time that all of those fears and desires arise in our lack of trust in God and Jesus Christ. We don’t trust that God has our best interests at heart, that He loves us absolutely, and we turn to the world to make up for the imagined shortfall rooted in our self love.

I find myself doubtful at times. In spite of having made a commitment to follow Christ and having drunk from his redemptive hand I still have trouble trusting and thereby receiving all the goodness God offers me,  because I am always acutely aware of who I really am.

Because of that awareness of my sinfulness, and my failing to forgive myself (in my pride) I hesitate to commit fully, to abandon myself to Jesus. I continue to lose sight of the truth that the more we know our failings the more Jesus wants to give us.

Christianity, unlike any other worldview, accepts the fact of human sinfulness while providing a solution whereby God and man work together to recover, reclaim, restart and advance towards Divine Intimacy.

To move forward we have to accept God’s forgiveness in Reconciliation, and we HAVE TO FORGIVE ourselves sincerely and trust Jesus. The grace of forgiveness drives us not to more sin but to desire to be more like him and nearer to him. But the secular world’s  loudest mantra is “We Are Not Worthy” … and to become worthy the world tells us to accept the values of the world, to “join the team”.

To follow Christ in a world as secular as Western Society takes a special diligence and commitment to stay in the Scriptures and to find like-minded and deeply committed people in a community who can help one another stay focused and growing. We constantly have to overcome the more shallow lures of the world, that intentionally play on our fears and desires.

Nothing is static. WE cannot indulge in “coasting” or “drifting”. We are always moving toward or away from an intimate relationship with God; there is no standing still.

St. Thomas Aquinas

And I discover that there is a spiritual dimension to my thoughts which has no credibility in the secular world where the preoccupation is with justifying everything by the numbers and the guidelines relating to the non-existent “standard” human. 

“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Trust in the Truth … no matter how things appear to us in this world … trust in the Truth.

Fortunately, as we grow older, the spiritual aspect of our lives becomes stronger, as Paul wrote, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).

The readings from yesterday’s and today’s Mass are particularly applicable to our life in modern secular society. They are taken from the book of Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus) and have been a part of Torah and the Bible since they were written in about 175 BC.

Sirach was written by the Jewish scribe Ben Sira of Jerusalem, on the inspiration of his father Joshua son of Sirach, sometimes called Jesus son of Sirach or Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira.

The Book of Sirach has been especially important to me in trying to understand our modern secular worldview, our culture and society as it has developed since the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

I am not going to get into the what, when, and why of the leadership of the Reformation removing the  Books of the Bible which the leaders and Reformers had problems with, disagreed with, or were unhappy with for some personal or public reason. The Roman Canon has been the trusted source as far as I am concerned since about 175BC (includes Old Testament).

The Rt Revd N T (Tom) Wright delivering the James Gregory Lecture, “Can a scientist believe in the resurrection”, St Andrews, Thursday 20 December 2007

All that “He said, She said” is well above my pay-grade and the quality of the scholarship which resulted in those decisions from 1721 is questionable at best … my gold standard for scholarship is N.T. Wright and his “Christian Origins and the Question of God series.

If a scholar can’t measure up to that level then he is no better than a Facebook guru and his work deserves the credit one would give to just such a post. What was good enough for the church fathers. is good enough for me.

Mathew, Mark, and Luke all recount: Christ Himself saying “AND he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. 2It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.

Aleppo Codex

The Wisdom of Solomon or Book of Wisdom is a Jewish work, written in Greek, composed in Alexandria (Egypt). Generally dated to the late first century BC,[1] the central theme of the work is “Wisdom” itself, appearing under two principal aspects.

In its relation to man, Wisdom is the perfection of knowledge of the righteous as a gift from God showing itself in action. In direct relation to God, Wisdom is with God from all eternity.[2]

The Book of Wisdom is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books included within the Septuagint, along with Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon), Job, and Sirach, and is included in the canon of Deuterocanonical books by the Roman Catholic Church and the anagignoskomena (Gr. ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα, meaning “those which are to be read”) of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Maimesbury Bible

The Book of Wisdom, including Sirach, has formed part of the official Roman Canon since 382AD. It was listed as canonical by the Council of Rome (382 AD),[14] the Synod of Hippo (393),[15] the Council of Carthage (397) and the Council of Carthage (419),[16][17] the Council of Florence (in 1442)[18] and the Council of Trent (in 1546).[19]

So Sirach is in the Jewish Canon, the Roman Canon, and my Canon.  That a bunch of Northern European rebels rejected it in 1721 because it shone a light on the direction of their desires is of no account with me.  Sirach 1 is all about Wisdom and the importance of same as regards the views of the world. Sirach 2 is all about serving the Lord in justice and in fear:

*****

[1] Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation. [2] Humble thy heart, and endure: incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding: and make not haste in the time of clouds. [3] Wait on God with patience: join thyself to God, and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end. [4] Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience. [5] For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.

[6] Believe God, and he will recover thee: and direct thy way, and trust in him. Keep his fear, and grow old therein. [7] Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy: and go not aside from him, lest ye fall. [8] Ye that fear the Lord, believe him: and your reward shall not be made void. [9] Ye that fear the Lord, hope in him: and mercy shall come to you for your delight. [10] Ye that fear the Lord, love him, and your hearts shall be enlightened.

[11] My children behold the generations of men: and know ye that no one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded. [12] For who hath continued in his commandment, and hath been forsaken? or who hath called upon him, and he despised him? [13] For God is compassionate and merciful, and will forgive sins in the day of tribulation: and he is a protector to all that seek him in truth.

*****

After this it goes on to the “Woe to’s” … but I will leave that up to you to visit if it interests you. My particular take on Sirach is that it perfectly explains the world which has has utterly rejected anything which might call into question the “truth of the world” and so utterly rejects even the existence of critical reviews embodied in works like Sirach. Satan always tries to shoot the messenger. Jesus I trust in You.

Cheers

Joe

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

The Light Of The World …

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

*****

The Light of the World ...

The Light of the World …

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing”; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich; and white garments, that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eyesalve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churchesRevelations 3:15-22

*****

I have indulged in a couple of rants, in the last few posts. These rants are the result of giving into temptation, indulging in old passions, backsliding into old habits of thought and judgement and are not evidence of progress but rather sure evidence of regress, back into old sins, the temptations to which we struggle with every day.

We Catholics have the great good fortune of repenting and going to Confession (Reconciliation), and doing penance, and of knowing with certainty that we are forgiven, and we get to rise up and start the trek again, the trek to Divine Union. We are humbled by recollecting and saying our current sins; seeking forgiveness; and receiving, celebrating and confirming our liberation from sin. This spiritual transaction of confession prompts God’s forgiveness as well as his cleansing from the very source of the desire to sin.

Every person who believes in Christ can experience this freedom (confession and forgiveness). But it is our choice; God will not force a relationship on us. There is a beautiful depiction of Jesus as the light of the world in a painting titled The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt, a pre-Raphaelite artist, at Keble College, Oxford, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Christ is knocking at a door just before dawn with light emanating from his head and from a lantern he is carrying. He appears to have been there for some time; the door to this soul’s house is overgrown with ivy and thorns and is encircled by a bat. There is no handle on the door from the outside; the door has to be opened from within. He waits …

At our door there is a knocking, we hear it, and we have difficulty making ourselves get up to answer the door. The knocking continues for what seems like a long time and it never stops. it gets louder or quieter as we turn to and fro from this world to eternity and back again. It gets quieter when we indulge our love of self and sin in our judgements and anger.

Jesus Christ, AD 0-33

Eventually we have to get up and answer the door or die in our sin for all eternity. We, perhaps, finally get up and go to the door and looking out we see Jesus sitting on the steps outside the door. He had been there a long time and is surrounded with a number of unopened gifts he had brought us.

Many of us who have made a commitment to follow Christ and have drunk deeply from his redemptive hand have trouble receiving all the goodness of God because we always know who we still really are.

Who ya gonna serve?

(material in the previous five paragraphs is excerpted and paraphrased to my own situation and perceptions, from “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews“, by Mary Poplin (Veritas Books) (pp. 241). InterVarsity Press.)

So, that’s where my head is right now, and I am going to restate some truths, some cultural truths, or precepts that are at least 4 millennia old in the Judeo-Christian tradition, namely my Worldview, which seems to make sense of all the events in our world. These are the basic Judeo-Christian precepts related to reality and the existence and operations of evil in the world that Jesus and the early Hebrews, prophets and so on, taught:

  • We are all living in a fallen world (nature and humanity are in a fallen state).
  • Evil began when Satan, originally an angel who was created by God for good, wanted to take God’s place (the very thing with which he tempted Eve—“you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5).
  • Satan is God’s enemy but not equal to God.
  • Satan took one-third of the angels with him in his rebellion. There are not two equal forces in the universe, but rather a King, and a rebel … this is a civil war, not a battle between equals. Where we find ourselves is living in that part of the universe controlled by the rebels and their followers.
  • We are involved in a spiritual war between good and evil—a war not for or against people but against the spiritual powers that humans choose to serve.
  • We are always serving one or the other—good or evil;  nothing is static and there is no neutral demilitarized zone.
  • Unable to affect God, Satan seeks to recruit and infect human beings, whom God loves, by using humankind for his rebellion.
  • Humans are made in God’s image and are special to God. The demons, the rebels, prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
  • Though designed to be good, humans are given free will, which allows the possibility that human beings will choose to do evil.
  • The laws by which all creation was made prevail, both physical laws and human ones, and breaking them incurs consequences: “your sins have kept good from you” (Jeremiah 5:25).
  • Nature also groans and is affected by evil in part due to the sins of man.
  • There is far more good than evil in the world and far more chance that we will live today rather than die.
  • God works so that evil tends to destroy itself—falling into the pit it digs for others.
  • Evil is irrational. Evil “rationalizes” evil conduct in the interest of self love. In reality, it makes no more sense to be offended by Scriptural and Moral Truth than to be offended by gravity or the nuclear processes at work in the sun.
  • There are authorities (in heaven and on earth), and the moral condition of those authorities influences those under their authority.
  • There is an ultimate divine justice in eternity.

All of these precepts are covered in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but are drawn from history and the Judeo-Christian Tradition. there is a Divine Plan and we are a part of it, wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.

Cheers

Joe

Fight against the Fire and do not give up hope …

 

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

I Am Sorry … for that outburst … so I changed some of it …

“Billy – title theme”, Bob Dylan, from the soundtrack album of “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid”, (July 1973)

Over the Parapet

It seems that, without fail, every time I raise my head above the parapet to take note of the goings on in the mundane, I quickly  observe something that sparks anger and outrage, that provokes me and leads me to sinful behaviour instead of charity and compassion.

My last post here  turned into a polemic about how the behaviour of our leadership reflects poorly on us as a nation.  I apologize for that post, which turned out to be an ill considered rant by an old fart with a twisted sense of humour and a nasty temper. I am stuck with it forever courtesy of “The Wayback Machine“. Sigh … so I changed some of it.

That reflexive outrage at the venal buffoonery and duplicitous utterances, the “Press Releases”, of the poltroons currently prancing about as our secular, and in some cases religious, betters is a serious occasion of sin for me. So I firmly resolve, for the most part, that I will continue to try to ignore whatever topic du jour has torqued my customers today.

I will avoid following up on stories which seem to make no sense at first, because the real story is often even more anger provoking than the curiosity provoked by the customer’s account of the story. I will strive to continue in, and increase my blissful ignorance of the daily  media performance, thus avoiding all provocation and anger in my life.

St. Paul corrects St. Peter …

The next 10 or so paragraphs is just me bragging about why I am qualified to express this opinion – your mileage may vary and you can just skip them if so inclined …

For better or for worse I am blessed/cursed with a combination of personality traits including intelligence, perception, and outspokenness, a willingness to be confrontational when confronted, a desire to direct players away from predictably bad outcomes by pointing out the likelyhood of those outcomes, and offering a measurably better way to accomplish the targeted ends.

I sailed righteously and serenely  through my first career in the NAVY, followed by a 10 year stint in the Department of Justice (Corrections) without a blip … I thrived, was promoted to staff officer, and “was mentioned in dispatches“. HA! Life was good.

Then I became a civilian and discovered the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Evil seems to proliferate when there are no immediate consequences for the perpetrators. I was told, by a senior VP no less, soon after gaining employment as a IT professional with a major health region, that the objective of every effort was to place the organization in the bottom 25% of peer organizations.

That was the sweet spot for budgets and effort … never in last place because that attracts lots of negative attention and we are made an example of, … but rather we should strive to always be second or third worst,  thereby always getting the lion’s share of budgets to “improve” our performance and incidentally building the Departmental Silos ever taller. I tried my best to accommodate and adapt to the culture of the organization, but perhaps didn’t try hard enough.

Sensei …

Sensei, Sinsang, Sonsaeng, Seonsaeng or Xiansheng is an honorific term shared in Chinese honorifics and Japanese honorifics that is translated as “person born before another” or “one who comes before”, one’s senior or one’s superior perhaps. Another, perhaps better, take is that of Senpai …  I guess that would make me the Kohai.

Senpai (先輩, “earlier colleague”) and kōhai (後輩, “later colleague”) are a pair of Japanese words which describe an informal hierarchical interpersonal relationship found in organizations, associations, clubs, businesses, and schools in Japan.

Anyway, I never made a complete change to the civilian way of “doing business”. I was later chastised severely by some senior bosses in my civilian career, for having “an over developed sense of justice“, of right and wrong, which brooked no denial and demanded that the guilty be outed in their bad behavior, even if the guilty happen to be those very bosses.

I can assure you that taking that stance is a career altering decision. On the other hand it keeps one out of prison, and perhaps even out of Hell, so I guess it’s a wash. Senpai? How do you spell whistle-blower?  I guess I have an acknowledged talent for being an “annoying a—at” at certain times and with certain people, and that’s all my own fault and my sin. I choose pride and self-righteousness instead of humility and compassion.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

My sister, having spent her corporate career as a director of personnel for a multinational communications company, states that I am a classic ENTJ. I think she majored in Myers Briggs in university (joking), and sees all people through that particular filter but the agreement of my daughter with that analysis based on her own Myers Briggs studies seems to lend it some credibility.

That may be a reason for my behaviour but it does not excuse that behaviour. There is good reason that I spend an ever declining amount of time and resources worrying about and observing the daily goings on of our society outside of my immediate daily existence viewed from my library window.

“Confessions” of St. Augustine

Perhaps all of the above is merely an expression of my own pride, my hunger for approval, and the desire to be “acknowledged as right” and “on the side of the angels”. If I was truly humble and contrite maybe I would not write anything like that, but there really appears to be nothing of lasting value to see or hear in the wider world.

We have only the the current rogues gallery of media idols misbehaving and lying about it, twisting the who, what, when, where, why, to fit their narrative of the day and the public reaction to their latest tweet.

But I have on good authority that even the most egregious scandal monger caught in the very act of wrongdoing, especially in an act of sexual misconduct of some sort, as in “he had been caught in flagrante with the wife of the Association’s Treasurer“, can, in spite of the unlikelihood, experience conversion and repentance and go on to a life of great holiness.

A case in point might be St. Augustine, bishop and doctor of the church … just read Augustine’s “Confessions for the whole sordid but eventually uplifting story.

So Lord, from the desire of being right, and being seen to  be right, deliver me.

But, what are the irritating highlights of the view over the parapet today? What is my observed truth, my reality?

First, we have the political arena, with Justin and Rachel, and Donald, and a host of other players whose names just don’t stick in my mind because they don’t live in my back yard.

Canadian Political Elite …

We seem lately to have arrived at a place where we, or rather Justin, our favorite proxy, are pissing off everyone, in a minor sort of way, by trying to be polite to everyone, in a minor sort of way.

And all the usual suspects are jingoisticly trying to drum up outrage on all the social media networks about being insulted by China when in fact the Chinese have merely shone a light on the truth. If we look rather slaternly in that light perhaps the solution is to amend our behaviour as a country? But what do I know, here in the boondocks of flyover country, after all I am just another bitter clinger.

The current brass trophy seems to be deciding whether or not to have Chinese spyware in our electronics or American spyware in our electronics, all the while trying to save face and not piss off the bogymen our leaders are most afraid of, which is actually we their own citizens. Sigh … who gives a rip who is spying on us, as long as the electronics work reliably and the related satellites don’t fall out of the sky.

George Soros 2012

George Soros, 2012, Tides Foundation, et al

Second, we have the religious arena, momentarily being the religion of Material Realism with its whole “everything is just a reactive process” idea, and we can say anything we want about anything at all because all that is real is our narrative of relativity.

That canard gives us all the great evils of the last hundred years or so and lately, global warming or global freezing as the propaganda ministry sees fit to expound on. It also gives plausible cover for whatever tax and power grab the Brights are intent on this month.

For an example of the inverted thinking and writing that this mindset can  produce, read this article. And of course in the 70’s (remember the 70’s? They came after the 60″s which no one who was actually there remembers today), anyway, in the 70’s we were all going to die from starvation brought on by over population and global cooling.

“Somewhere In Neverland”, All Time Low, from the album “Don’t Panic”, (2012)

Trust me, I’m smarter than you …

We are doomed unless … sound familiar?  Check out the articles here , and here for some entertaining reading about environmentalist’s predictions in the recent past. The malleability of these forecasts boggles the mind but the underlying agenda never changes. FUD conquers all.

The bottom line for the man in the street, in winter Alberta, is that the destruction of the Alberta economy resulting from the FUD being spread about by our leadership at the behest of various anti-western anti-economy, pro socialist environmental groups such as George Soros‘ “Tides Foundation“, and Tides Canada, is far more harmful than any flavor of spyware or foreign information gathering activities through our new fridge or GPS. With any kind of spine we could just ban all American and Chinese products and import everything from South Korea.

What Canada does instead is import our political morals from North Korea and then pretend with much virtue signaling that we are not being screwed over by either the Chinese or the Americans, or anyone else for that matter, depending on the day and the latest tweets on Social Media.

These dubious sources seem to be where most Canadians get most of their “information”. Just for the record, my readers understand that I include the CBC and the BBC in the domain of “Social Media”, with all that that implies with respect to their honesty, accuracy and reliability.

Third, we have spiritual arena, and the current return of ancient syncretism amongst even some nominally catholic authorities. Where to go on that front? Nothing but grief and pitfalls down this path, right? Unless of course one believes that none of it matters anyway, don’t ask, don’t tell, no harm, no foul.

Where do we go when some church leaders seem to be saying  that although technically a breach of some code or law or tradition may have occurred there is no need for punishment, apology or retribution if no actual damage occurred.

A rose by any other name … what is Truth? So what to do?  What is acceptable to think and talk about then?

Well, following the lead of social media and the progressive materialist members of my family we could “think” about “Global Warming”, right? That’s gonna work out just fine for coffee klatch, also kaf·fee·klatsch (kŏf′ē-klăch′, -kläch′, kô′fē-), also known as a casual social gathering for coffee and conversation.

[Partial translation of German Kaffeeklatsch : Kaffee, coffee + Klatsch, gossip; see klatch.]  Elsewhere referred to as “I don’t care about your damned facts Joe, I just want to have a pleasant conversation over coffee with my friends“.

But details and facts actually matter very much. Get your details and facts wrong and you get your decisions and choices wrong. Get your choices wrong and you get your politics and economics wrong. Get your politics and economics wrong and you get Venezuela … and every other failed nation state in the history of the world. Hey! Who cares about details and facts … who cares.

It is the sort of “thinking” that gives us the “Polar Vortex” as a result of “Global Warming’. But “Global Warming” was what the progressives gave us when the “New Ice Age” didn’t pan out in the 70’s and 80’s … just more of the same old story.

Yep. The world is going to come to an end and humans will be extinct in 20 years . . . UNLESS government empowered, billionaire funded, NGO’s strictly control every human being’s existence, activities, and wealth.

It is the same old con game to fleece consumers and screw taxpayers to benefit the political class, their cronies, the big multinationals and the Ubber Wealthy international billionaires that fund the lobbyists. All that glisters is not gold, in fact it is often shyte in a bucket, the staple diet of the chattering classes everywhere.

But  I don’t think that what is top of mind in every media venue is particularly newsworthy, or even that we are actually entering into some end-times paroxysm of concentrated misbehavior. We have just become numb to the daily deviance of our society so that we no longer even find it remarkable. It’s just the same old, same old, day to day distillation of venal self love by every actor continuing to mount, and at current levels the concentration, the miasma of perfidity, obscures any sense of sin or decorum that might have remained.

Our societal idols, the players and talking heads reporting on the antics of the royal court, sin, sin mightily, and all the while have absolutely no apparent awareness that we/they are doing anything wrong, that there are undesirable consequences necessarily flowing from every deception, every misdirection, every misrepresentation, every narrative, every attempt to hide and pretend that we are not really doing what we are so obviously doing.

And in my attachment to my own almighty “rightness”, my enlightened understanding of what is going on and the “obvious” outcomes flowing from these daily churnings of the soup in the MSM soup kitchen, I jump to judgement and rail against the “obvious”, with rude aspersions against the characters and actions of all the players, and I sin mightily. I cannot know what goes on in the hearts of men … really, but I “assume” and we all know what that does, right?

So … rant in haste and anger, repent at leisure, or something like that. And again I make my habitual mistake … Who or what am I to make judgements about others … any others? This is probably a real good time for an examination of conscience.

“Hotaru” by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”, (2013)

If …

Wondering these days why I think the way I do and about how to encapsulate my point of view, or even if that matters at all. Our society is addicted to tags and classifications by which folks can avoid actually getting to know others and just easily slip them into a convenient box.

I find it far easier to identify what I am NOT than to articulate what I am. Not a right wingnut nor a left wingnut, not a Progressive, not a Socialist, not a Communist, not a Republican, not a Liberal or a Democrat, not a Conservative and still less a New Democrat or National Socialist, not really a “Party Animal” at all.

I find some things to agree with in many of the platforms and much to disagree with in ALL the platforms. I am Catholic but not a hypersuperueberpapalist (to use one of Fr. Hunwicke’s very useful coinages). So what gives me the right to even have an opinion? What am I?

Not a knuckle-dragger regardless of the opinions of sundry relatives, not a fly-over country Luddite clinging to my guns and religion, not really a fan of any fashionable linear classification on some arbitrary plane such as the  usual extreme right/extreme left continuum.  Not slotted or boxed, as in someone’s poor straw-man.

I see folks rather as a spherical complex of radii of various strengths and lengths embracing the entire gamut of human feelings, positions and thoughts. No linear continuum in that model.

These days, I am more and more thinking that I feel like a “Reactionary“.

Wikipedia defines:   “A reactionary is a person who holds political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous political state of society, which they believe possessed characteristics (discipline, respect for authority, etc.) that are negatively absent from the contemporary status quo of a society. As an adjective, the word reactionary describes points of view and policies meant to restore the status quo ante.

Political reactionaries are at the right-wing of a political spectrum; yet, reactionary ideologies can be radical, in the sense of political extremism, in service to re-establishing the status quo ante. In political discourse, being considered a reactionary is generally regarded as negative (ed. at least it is amongst the Left-wingnuts); yet the descriptor “political reactionary” has been adopted by the likes of the Austrian monarchist Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, the Scottish journalist Gerald Warner of Craigenmaddie, the Colombian political theologist Nicolás Gómez Dávila, and the American historian John Lukacs.

Seems like a good start. Where do I go from here?  Well, looking at the world outside my corner office, my electronic library of antiestablishmentarianism … always remembering, of course, that what words mean can change, sometimes quite rapidly depending on who is spouting the words in question.

My usage of that nice long word means this to me: antiestablishmentarianism is a political philosophy that views a nation’s or society’s power structure as corrupt, repressive, exploitative, or unjust.

And of course whoever is out of power at any particular moment of time tend to believe that the philosophy in power is “corrupt, repressive, exploitative, or unjust”, right? Whoever is not you is wrong, right?

So that’s my plan for the next few posts … to think about the political arena for a bit, then to think about the religious arena for a bit, and finally to dip into the spiritual arena from a current Catholic perspective.

So to refocus on the all important spiritual domain rather than the vacuous banality of the mundane I will conclude with a link to a tremendously important homily by Fr. Chad Ripperger at Sensus Traditionis.  This homily is slightly over an hour long and is perhaps the best single encapsulation of our global reality that I have ever listened to. It is truly well worth the hour of your time.

Cheers

Joe

The only certainty for humanity is grim death. It is how you lived your life and the principles you stood for, that will tip the scale one way or the other on judgement day.

Denying that there will be a judgement day is just ad-hominem claptrap offered by people with no discernible factual base to their belief system.

ad aeternitatem …

 

post scriptum …

I am often amazed at the ignorance giving rise to the unfounded belief that somehow mankind is “good” and “deserving” in and of itself … kind of a mish-mash of good intentions and naturally nice giving rise to the notion that Christianity gave us nothing and we are all going somewhere nice when the show is over … hmmm. Many folks, ignorant of history and the reality of the pre-Christian world, believe, like little children, that every one is nice and good and if we would all agree and go along with the progressives everything would be just peachy keen.

I am reminded of a scene from “Life of Brian” namely “”What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?”

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Imagine …

Weather dominates discussions in these parts, enduring one of the coldest stretches (-32 C this morning when I got up) on record provokes a rumble of righteous indignation amongst those who have to step outdoors.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and his little BFF Alberta Premier Rachel Notley share an intimate moment before telling the rest of us to “bend over”. Remember Pierre? BOHICA.

With this forecast stretching out for another ten days anyway we find much grumbling amongst those who are the daily victims of policy decisions ostensibly aimed at “reversing global warming”.

Now the KoolAide drinkers in the towers of government and their non thinking acolytes and bureaucrats drawing from the vast pool of wisdom at the CBC are pontificating about how Global Warming is responsible for the dreaded  “Polar Vortex” which we ignorant proles are currently complaining about.

Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger and Eeyore are in a tizzy. Their world has turned topsy-turvy. Their homes and hunny are in jeopardy. And Christopher Robin is nowhere to be found.

That means these fainthearted, fuzzy friends must protect themselves from the biggest threat the Hundred Acre Wood has ever faced: humongous, horrendous, horrifying … huggable heffalumps of Global Warming.

Doesn’t anyone out there notice the delusional character of the current global warming narrative? Nope!  The whole shit storm just continues to proliferate into ever more rarefied heights of fantasy and delusion, funded by our extorted taxes of course. One could not reasonably expect any progressive to pay for their own fantasy..

Just a short note snipped from a recent email I received here in the Shire regarding electric power generation in Alberta:

Subject: Coal – Fired Generation

Here’s just a small sample of how many coal plants are out there:

EU has 468 plants building 27 more for a total of 495
TURKEY has 56 plants building 93 more total 149
SOUTH AFRICA has 79 building 24 more total 103
INDIA has 589 building 446 more total 1036
PHILIPPEANS has 19 building 60 more total 79
SOUTH KOREA has 58 building 26 more total 84
JAPAN has 90 building 45 more total 135
USA has 589 building 5 more total 594
CHINA has 2363, building 1171 total 3534
CANADA has 24 total and none planned.
But here comes the NDP to save the planet shutting down our Alberta’s 5 plants and the entire energy sector while they are at it.

5 out of a total of 7208 world coal generation plants is 0.0007 %.

But  there is hope, there could be an alternate future, if only we believe …

We really, really, really, have to shut down all the evil dirty energy industry in Alberta – it’s a global catastrophe, right?  We need to save the world right? So what about the thousands of Alberta energy layoffs in one of the coldest winters in history. Right! What about the little people?

The meeting rooms where these decision are made are perfectly warm and comfortable and the people in the meetings are employed for life in their government sinecures so what the hell do they care about the fallout from their decisions amongst the little people, we ignorant peons of the plains.

How about a new fantasy for us grey tribe folks who keep everything going in spite the predations of the deviant progressives now in charge. Perhaps it is time to throw off the shackles of our nauseating polite compliance and start burning alive the vampires  at the root of all our misery. Arise ordinary little people, you have nothing to loose but your chains.

It is time for our own “Long March” to push the evil off the comatose prostituted body of Canada, and unmercifully purge all deviant perverted thinking in a new robust Canadian Cultural Revolution, an all encompassing re-education program, sparing no one of any race creed color, age or gender, destroying all deviant necrophiliac naysayers in a wave of fire and storm throughout continental Canada.

Involve all members of the polity from the smallest to the most far flung in driving out all the perverted and deviant necrophiliac regime currently raping the dead body of what was once a decent nation.

Rise up oh people of Canada! Drive out the necrophiliac regime with extreme prejudice, and all their legions of zombie hangers on and running dogs.

Drive them all out by whatever means necessary and confine them to the Eastern prison of Prince Edward Island, or the Western prison of Vancouver Island.

Hee Haw

Cut off all ties and blockade the islands to confine the contagion, the plague of evil. Destroy all links, bridges, communications, gas and oil lines, and all ferry services, mine all the waters surrounding the plague sites, and  restrict the airspace enforcing a strict no-fly zone with Iron Dome.

Confine all our concerns to airdrops of humanitarian supplies as required by circumstances. Those same airdrops can also serve to deliver any newly discovered candidates for quarantine through a one way para drop.

We’ll fix the energy crisis, vote for us

Quarantine all deviant thinking to the sanitarium of those tiny islands until the Great Holy Canadian nation can recover under its own robust immune system embodied in the common sense of the grey tribe ordinary folks who always kept everything going anyway despite the depredations of the zombie deviants.

Honestly, I am such a fanboy …

We have a long and robust history of admiring “non-democratic regimes and methods”. Call on our old friends for help. Welcome their cultural attaches and advisors. Make room for their “peacekeepers”.

PICK a SIDE and stop being everyone’s favorite whore! There is an old saying regarding why marry the cow when you can get the milk for free.

It is high time for Canada to stop being every-one’s cow and to stop whining about it and pick a side.

When the global community spends its time milking one cow, that cow very soon ends up worthless. It is high time for the global whore to stop pretending to be everyone’s nice virgin and recognize which side they are on, which ever side that ultimately turns out to be.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (front, R), Chinese President Xi Jinping (front, L), his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd row, L), and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd row, R),  Canada? You can have her after I am done with her.

If Uncle Sam is too evil to accept then it is time to embrace our Chinese lover for real and welcome him into our home.

Either that or kick him out finally and move in with Uncle. Right now Canada is acting like a fornicating airhead who will screw anyone who asks for 5 cents and a cigarette. And none of the current johns are doing us any favors.

President Trump …Justine who? Oh Yea! Justin Jellybean and Lunchtime Little Theater

Trying and failing at playing all these  folks off against each other has resulted in Canada becoming everyone’s favorite locker room comfort girl.

The people who brought us here and all their supporters have to go if we are to have even a shred of hope of recovery to where we were in the 40’s and 50’s

Maybe we should go back home to Momma, and cease our prodigal wanderings, our complete wasting of our heritage, our resources and everything that we might once have been. We should have had enough by now of eating the pods we are supposed to feed the swine. We were made to eat real meat, not the poison our political masters feed us.

A new power is rising, its victory is at hand. This night the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan. March to Helm’s deep, leave none alive. TO WAR! There will be no dawn for Men.
Saruman’s speech to the Uruk-hai before their march

Canada … Come home, we love you …

Things are not looking good these days for the sons of man. Playing around with the tough gangs in the neighbourhood has not worked well for us children, but now Mom is in the midst of kicking out her latest common law shack-up, and she is trying to re-establish something resembling a traditional family like we once knew and loved.

It is high time for the outriders, the patrollers, to come home … mother would greatly benefit from an influx of aid from productive upstanding conservative Christian citizens of the empire, like the old story, with Gandalf arriving with Erkenbrand and a thousand swordsmen.

They charged into the evil Orcs, trapping them between Erkenbrand’s army, Theoden’s army, and the Huorns from Fangorn – and Saruman’s army of Progressives was defeated, liberating the Hornburg on the dawn of the third day. Such is the help needed by Old Mother to clean out the deviant progressive Europhiles and parasitic Orcish terrorists currently bogging up the loo.

So re-establishing good ties with mama, and purging with extreme prejudice the pimps that brought us to our current state, we have a chance of re-establishing a normal healthy loving family culture in this once great country. Once we are firmly back on the road to mental, physical, and economic health and are producing healthy surpluses and exports then we can dispatch a task force to Mordor to reconnoiter the state of affairs on the coastal islands and perhaps deal with any breathing problems in the island sanitariums.

Of course, any survivors found on the coastal island sanitariums would have to be finely screened to certify them cured and then and only then might we look at a program of re-settlement for some qualified refugees from La-La land.

How’s that for an alternate fantasy that at least give some hope to the besieged. In the meantime, for all my anti-religion global warming brothers and sisters and all my enlightened relatives in the east, all you New Age Global Warming fangirls and fanboys, I offer a reality grounded version of

“Imagine”:

[Verse 1]
Imagine there’s no summer
It’s easy if you try
No winter here upon us
Above us, only sky
Imagine all the people living in the now
Ah

Imagine there’s no planning
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to work or build for
No right or wrong for you
Imagine 7.7 billion people living without heat
You

[Chorus]
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

[Verse 2]
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for food or factories
No need for garbage cans
No plumbing and no sewers anywhere on earth
Ah

Imagine there’s no cell phones
No internet Boo Hoo
No cars nor boats nor airplanes
No big box stores for you
Imagine billions of people wanting what you got
You

[Chorus]
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

[Verse 3]
Imagine no toilet paper
I wonder if you can
No need for cloths or birth control
No need for Facebook fans
No Netflix and no iTunes anywhere on earth
Ah

Imagine there’s no machines
Everything hand made
No oil, no coal, no electric
No roofs or walls for you
Imagine billions of people wanting what you got
You

[Chorus]
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the MVP will be as one

Cheers

Joe

We’ll get by with a little help from our friends …

 

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