Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

The Ride of The Poltroons … revisited because what happens in Vegas truly does not stay in Vegas

Ride of the Valkyries”, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, from the soundtrack of the movie Watchman, (2009)

Really feeling much less understanding and contemplative today … so lets look at things in the news: 

Poltroon: An ignoble or total coward; a dastard; a mean-spirited wretch.  Word Origin & History: poltroon “spiritless coward,” 1529, from M.Fr. poultron “rascal, coward,” from It. poltrone “lazy fellow, coward,” apparently from *poltro “couch, bed” (cf. Milanese polter, Venetian poltrona “couch”), perhaps from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. polstar “pillow,” see bolster).

Read a post by David Warren yesterday about “closure” that wonderfully evocative emotional “thing” which Progressives confuse for  compassion and charity.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 01: People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Withstanding the media and political tsunami of tears and wailing from all the usual sectors is exhausting and breeds depression and before I drown in my misery while seeking closure about the tragedy in Vegas I decided to reprise a post I made back in mid 2016 after the Orlando shootings. Make no mistake about it, the Vegas event WAS A TRAGEDY, but all the subsequent noise and posturing and virtue signalling completely missed the point and the essence that is tragedy.

The big tragedy is the private hell of all the undeserving folks who were victims of the shooter in Vegas. The little daily tragedy is that the survivors are being exploited and abused by all the usual suspects for all the usual agendas without the slightest concern for the real needs of the survivors and families of the victims and those very victims who were lucky enough to survive the event.

And the real perpetrators of tragedy give themselves a pass, they give themselves cover on all their virtue signaling by being sure to mention just how great the first responders, firefighters and police behaved! Gee what a tragedy! Time to ban guns! Blah! Blah! Blah! Knees just jerking all over the place and drooling gibbering emoticons in suits babbling about how they have to control people for their own good.

Hillary slammed for ignorant gun remarks after Vegas tragedy

Hillary slammed for ignorant gun remarks after Vegas tragedy

What about the much talked about fact that the bad actor had absolutely NO religious affiliations – NONE!  Can anyone remember what this sort of behaviour used to be called? “Possessed by Demons”, really, not just some Hollywood horror script. Yes Virginia, demons exist and are happy to insert themselves into human affairs at every opportunity. Especially easy targets are amoral drifting humans with no religious affiliation.

The modern predilection for denying the existence of God and the supernatural really doesn’t mean that God and the supernatural stopped existing suddenly when “all that stuff” went out of style. I happen to believe in the existence of demons and the demonic. It does offer the only way that I am aware of to explain or account for acts which all the talking heads and politicians brand “senseless”.

Visiting a great blog site called (appropriately) Internet Monk we  find:

C.S. Lewis writing at his desk

C.S. Lewis writing at his desk

Whenever we consider the subject of demonology, it is hard to ignore the contributions of C.S. Lewis. In the modern era, few have stimulated the imagination with regard to the spiritual realm as much as the author of The Screwtape Letters. The book, dedicated to his friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien, begins with two quotes:

“The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.” (Luther)

“The devill . . . the prowde spirite . . . cannot endure to be mocked.” (Thomas More)

This Lewis proceeds to do in masterful literary fashion. Through witty epistles, he captures the cleverness and wiles of Satan’s agents as well as their ultimate shortsightedness and folly.

This series of letters and memos comes from a senior demon (Screwtape) to a younger protege, his nephew Wormwood — a “Junior Tempter” — regarding Wormwood’s assignment to damn the soul of a human being known only as “the Patient.” A portion of one of the letters pertinent to our discussions this week deals with modern humanity’s view of the existence of spirits and the Devil.

Here is Screwtape’s counsel about how to best exploit that.” … :

from the C.S. Lewis book “Screwtape Letters” chapter VII :

*****

My Dear Wormwood,

I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient (that would be humans) in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command (that would be Satan). Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves.

Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics. At least, not yet.

I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, belief in us, (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy (that would be God).

The “Life Force”, the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work – the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits” – then the end of the war will be in sight.

But in the meantime we must obey our orders. I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that “devils” are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.”

Chapter VII

*****

So, yeah, demons and demonology do in fact provide a “sensible explanation of “senseless” events and actions, although, at present, such beliefs are seriously out of fashion amongst the “intelligentsia” and the “proles” of our Secular Progressive Modern “Enlightened” society. Why, of course we no longer believe in demons and demonology. We are so much more sophisticated than those primitive superstitious peasants of the European Middle Ages or Medieval Period.

The Medieval age, “The Dark Ages”, began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century – like, man, that’s about a thousand years, eh? Gee, we moderns have only been believing what we believe for about a hundred years or so, right?

Our Lady of Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Our Lady of Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I sometimes wonder if the occasional mass murder spree by some lone wolf perp with no discernible religious affiliation is the Demonic equivalent of the Divine apparitions like Our Lady of Fatima and other such Divine apparitions.

It’s not much of a stretch, once you think of it, to imagine Demonic apparitions demonstrating the power of the Devil to counter the Divine apparitions such as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico, Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, Our Lady of Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland, and so on, many such Divine apparitions are reliably recorded but mainly ignored by our sophisticated mainstream society. A pretty complete list of Marian Apparitions is located here.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

So think about it for a moment, a Demonic apparition to counter all the many Divine apparitions? It’s not really so far fetched as one might first think. Is there any slightest possibility that a thousand years of experience might have given the Medievals a more realistic, in depth, understanding of the supernatural?

I mean, really, the so-called “Dark Ages” weren’t really very dark. Some of the brightest minds in history flourished in the “Dark Ages” and did a much better job, under much worse conditions, of keeping Western Civ alive and well than our current crop of brilliant “Brights”.

Like, man … what’s the difference in believing in the supernatural and believing in “science”. Except for the various flavours of magicians it’s all just magic anyway for the mythical man in the street, right? Can any of you explain how an integrated circuit or a radio telescope works – nope?  There ya go, just magic again, on to the next 30 second sound bite, the next Tweet, the next Facebook post. David Warren has an interesting little post concerning how the Devil makes use of humans, so go and read the whole thing here.

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

Meanwhile, back to my previous post from June 18th 2016

*****

We are blessed to live in an age where for the first time in history the poltroons are running ALL government and media channels and the progressive narrative is poured over us 24/7, world without end, amen.

When faced with evil we are confronting a binary choice – do something about it, or don’t do something about it. Doing something about it requires guts, brains, courage, grit, self sacrifice, willingness to speak truth to power, willingness to die for what we believe in, the list is endless. All of the above qualities and talents are utterly lacking in the denizens of the government universe and the media universe.

Therefore we get the second option – don’t do anything about it. But that creates a quandary for management because; by every definition “leaders” have to be seen to be “doing something”. So the question becomes “How do we do nothing while appearing to be doing something?”

The answer is “Hell!  Let’s focus on the implements of destruction!” Because we all know the proles are just scared know-nothings who will believe that all crimes of violence are actually committed by “Autonomous Self Propelled Seeker Drones” called “Assault Rifles“.

WHOOOO!  The modern bogyman we can use to push our agenda on all the innocent because we are too weak to actually do something about the guilty evil actors. Because if we ever once acknowledged evil we would logically have to include ourselves in that category and we sure don’t want to do anything to hurt ourselves, right?”

Except where noted, the rest of this I lifted wholesale from here. Please go to the site and read the whole piece. The author makes perfect sense, not that that has ever had any impact whatsoever on the Progressive Brights who have the knee jerk  “Ban Guns” response every time the media start frothing about the latest (and rare) murder committed with guns.

Favorite-Tactical-Rimfies-Review-11

****Tactical Style .22 rimfire “Assault Rifles”. A .22 cal Àssault Rifle for assaulting gophers … OY!

” ... If the cosmetic features used to define an “assault weapon” in the 1994 law strike you as really stupid ways to define an “assault weapon,” it’s because the 1994 law was a stupid law with stupid definitions written by stupid people.

(Blog Note: and while we are on the topic, I have never heard anyone who knew anything at all about guns ever suggest that a .22 cal rimfire was a reasonable facsimile of an “Assault Weapon”, as in something one could use in an actual assault on a defended stronghold.  We use .22 for varmint popping, it`s for children’s toys.

In the real world the term assault rifle implies a caliber of at least 5.56 x 45 in a Bullpup Assault rifle or, even, preferably 7.62 x 51 in an FN C2A2 or even, possibly, a civilian 308. But a .22 rimfire assault rifle – don`t make me laugh)

And not only was it a stupid law, it was a stupid law that didn’t even accomplish its stated goal. How do we know? Because today, more than a decade after the law’s expiration, the number of people murdered by rifles is 36 percent lower than it was during the last full year the assault weapons ban was in effect.
redneck_assault_rifle

ISIS Islamic Warrior or member of NRA – GEE they all look the same to me. Quick! Better ban guns!

The law expired in September of 2004, making 2003 the last full calendar year in which the law was in effect.According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics, 390 people were murdered with rifles in 2003, making rifles the weapon of choice in 2.7 percent of murders that year.

 But in 2014, more than a decade after these vile weapons of war flooded American streets, the number of rifle murders surely skyrocketed, right? Not so much. Quite the opposite. In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders.
 
And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent.
 
That’s the exact opposite of what gun banners said should happen. After the assault weapons ban, guns were supposed to flood the streets and just start killing people. Crime was supposed to skyrocket. But that’s not what happened. Yes, Americans bought a ton of rifles after the law expired, but rather than going up, the number of homicides in which rifles were used drastically fell. There were way more guns, but way less crime.
 
She cut off their tails with a carving knife ...

She cut off their tails with a carving knife …

Are you ready for a mind-blowing statistic? In 2014, you were six times more likely to be murdered with a knife than you were with a rifle. Knives were the weapon of choice in 1,567 murders in 2014, according to the FBI. It gets crazier. You were also nearly three times more likely to be killed by someone’s fists or feet than you were to be murdered with a rifle. In 2014, 660 people were murdered with what the FBI calls “personal weapons”–hands, fists, feet–compared to 248 with rifles.

 In the United States, knives are more deadly than rifles. So are fists. And feet. This is not my opinion. It is an incontrovertible fact. And it’s a fact that highlights a point that far too many people refuse to acknowledge: the human desire to kill is far more deadly than any weapon. Weapons do not of their own volition and agency decide to kill people. That requires human intervention. Humans hell-bent on death and destruction will get their hands on whatever tools they need to wreak their desired havoc. Restricting the use of those tools by innocent people who only want to protect themselves and their families is delusional madness.
 
Yet here we are. Rather than blaming individuals and ideologies, the leading lights of American society have decided to demonize inanimate objects. Despite the fact that the terrorist in Orlando was a radical jihadi who pledged allegiance to ISIS, (and the shooter in Vegas was not affiliated with any religion) our Progressives have decided to blame the NRA for what happened. Even though the terrorist was registered to vote as a Democrat, (and the Vegas shooter had no known political affiliation) …  Democrats have decided that Republicans are the true culprits.
 
This is apparently how 2016 is going to go. If a boy tells you he’s a girl, then he’s a girl. If an Islamic terrorist who pledges allegiance to ISIS tells you he’s killing for Allah, then he’s probably a Republican with a lifetime NRA membership. After all, Islamic terrorists don’t kill people; peaceful, law-abiding citizens who believe the Second Amendment means what it says kill people. And lone wolf, demon possessed murderers who kill themselves when they suddenly understand the horror of their own actions are obviously right wing nut jobs – BAN GUUUUNSSSSSS!!!!!
 
Collective leftist denial about the existential, radical Islamic threat facing America is not going to prevent Islamic terrorism. Gun bans that ban guns based on nothing more than scary-looking cosmetic features are not going to prevent radical Jihadis from murdering innocent people. Pretending that Republicans and the NRA are the real villains is not going to prevent ISIS from killing more Americans. Ignoring the fact that these attacks seem to only happen in gun-free zones won’t prevent violent psychopaths from waltzing into those gun-free zones and gunning down the unarmed civilians who congregate there.
 
But all those things will make progressives feel better about themselves, and who are you to deny them that right?
*****
quote-we-don-t-let-them-have-ideas-why-would-we-let-them-have-guns-joseph-stalin-28-6-0671

We don`t let them have ideas, why would we let them have guns

But not one item of fact will have any affect on the decisions made and directions pursued by the Progressive Poltroons making political hay or the media talking heads babbling on and on calling for gun bans.

Because they are most afraid of guns – in the hands 0f their own citizens! The Poltroons are most afraid of we the people … that would be … US!  Their own law-abiding citizens are their worst nightmare. What’s next?  Banning Assault Boots?

Quoting from the above article: “Are you ready for a mind-blowing statistic? In 2014, you were six times more likely to be murdered with a knife than you were with a rifle. Knives were the weapon of choice in 1,567 murders in 2014, according to the FBI. AAAAAGH!!! BAN KNIVES! (AND WHILE WE ARE AT IT LETS INCLUDE FORKS AS WELL, THEY LOOK KIND OF DANGEROUS WITH ALL THOSE POINTY PARTS!)

Assault Boots (aka Black Combat Boots)

Assault Boots (aka Black Combat Boots)

It gets crazier. You were also nearly three times more likely to be killed by someone’s fists or feet than you were to be murdered with a rifle. In 2014, 660 people were murdered with what the FBI calls “personal weapons”–hands, fists, feet–compared to 248 with rifles.” Gee Wiz! Assault Boots are black, with heavy cleats, and laces, and are provably three times more dangerous than Assault Rifles! Who KNEW! AAAAAAGH!!! BAN ASSAULT BOOOOOTS!!!!!!

Cheers
Joe
Lichtenstein-CastleFrom where I sit, logic and facts have no place in the progressive narrative. I sometimes wonder if this cognitive dissonance I am experiencing, this pervasive unease, is how the regular folks in the Roman Empire felt around 475 A.D. just before Romulus, the last of the Roman emperors in the west, was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer, the first Barbarian to rule in Rome, and who ushered in those mythical Dark Ages our modern sophisticates so enjoy mocking.
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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Catholic Condemnation of Socialism … on a somewhat less light note …

Catholic condemnation of socialism in 5 quotes.  Excellent article for those who may occasionally wonder what is fundamentally wrong with Socialism and Progressivism. I am not the first (or only) person to make observations about the evil inevitably arising out of Socialist dogma and politics.

Here is a superlative article on the topic at Taylor Marshal.com

Cheers

Joe

 

The Progressives have forgotten that we actually invented Freedom of Speech, and it is a two way street.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Gratitude … for what?

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

So many gifts ...

So many gifts …

Even the poorest beggar, having nothing to give in return for the alms he has received, can always acknowledge a kindness by showing gratitude to his benefactor. … Yet this, a natural need of a humble soul, is a duty so often neglected even by good people, even by those who have received the most favors.” Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

So much freedom ...

So much freedom …

We have received a plenitude of natural gifts, talents, circumstances, opportunities, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from war, freedom from fear, freedom from gratuitous persecution.

Most of us have a reasonable expectation of good health, and a long life barring natural disaster or mischance. Or at least we did have these freedoms in the past before we and our fathers ceded away those freedoms in return for the empty promises of Napoleon the pig.

Freedom from fear ...

Freedom from fear …

In this culture we still have an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity in fact, that it is more a case of choosing which opportunity to pursue, rather than desperately seeking just ANY old opportunity, and as Mark Manson says:

there existed (in the Anglo West) an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity that it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it was false, than to actually be that way. Trust lost its value. Appearances and salesmanship became more advantageous forms of expression”... trust lost it’s value, honesty lost it’s value, sincerity lost it’s value, gratitude lost it’s value …

Even under the current regime in Edmonton, and with the current economic climate we still have the luxury of looking for “appropriate” work rather than any work, and we don’t trust or appreciate anyone whilst getting ours first …. Why is Calgary a squalor of failing business (28 thousand a year at last count), while Edmonton is a thriving metropolis of growth and burgeoning government payrolls? Is there more fear in Calgary than in Edmonton? What do you see when you look around? What are we grateful for?

Freedom from want ...

Freedom from want …

Yet, even here, in this global centre of resource riches, we have the poor. Jesus remarked “the poor will always be with you.” and so it is to this day. The programed poor, the working poor, the abject poor the handicapped poor, the psychologically poor, the spiritually poor, all are with us everywhere around us.

Often, in our busyness, our selfcenteredness, we don’t even notice those in need, those less well off, those who are losers in the lottery of life. When we look upon those all around us who have been gifted with less, even, in some cases, a lot less, then for all that we have been gifted we would think we should feel some need to express gratitude, shouldn’t we?

But we are also supposed to be, identified as,  citizens of a womb to tomb nanny state which has promised everyone that all our “needs” will be met if we just acquiesce and faithfully follow our leader’s instructions. Following Napoleon’s instructions blindly, blindly, blindly …

Freedom of Speech ...

Freedom of Speech …

Are all these things which we receive as gifts, the talents and circumstances mentioned above, are they received as gifts from the all powerful state? At some guaranteed minimum level we are promised free health care, free education, free housing, a guaranteed income sufficient to our basic needs, and so on.

So what about those talents and circumstances which provably don’t derive from our political and societal masters, which seem to spring from the human person in spite of the desires of our masters? Where do all those gifts come from? And if our masters truly are capable of meeting all our needs then  how can there be poor people?

Freedom of worship ...

Freedom of worship …

In a society where even the least of it’s citizens are promised everything they need by their government what is there to be grateful for?

Unless there is something greater than the state, there really isn’t any reason to be grateful since everything we have is our due, and deserved, right?

What is there to be grateful for then, unless we look at the state’s relation to our talents and abilities.

The government line notwithstanding we are manifestly not created equal and there are great disparities of ability and talent and motivation within the bell curve of our population.

Even the notional IQ of 100 being considered “normal” for the purposes of program eligibility implies a tacit acknowledgement on the part of the state that some people are “more equal” than others. so what is one to make of this provable and acknowledged inequality of talent and ability.

Is there some higher source of those personal talents which we are born with, something beyond merely accident of birth, the lottery of genetics, and so on?

More on “Gratitude” in a future post …

Cheers

Joe

So much to be grateful for … why do we throw it all away for a handful of glass beads and promises? Let the scouring begin.

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Justice … part 2 … do we actually want Justice?

Hamabe No Uta” (Narita), Jean-Pierre Rampal, from the album “Rampal: Japanese Folk Melodies”, (1978)

We sometimes speak of the “old order” in a disparaging way, the old order of “Dead White Males” comes to mind, or “Victorian” is another variation on the same sentiment. What we are really talking about when we refer to the “old order” is the philosophical root and foundation of our Western Christian Civilization from which ALL our notions of right and wrong and morality derive.

Did the abandonment of the old order really set us free to realize the full potential of humanity, the Ubermensch, the Overman, Overhuman, Above-Human, Superman, Super-human, Ultra-human, Higher-Person, Higher-Being. The previous are just a few of the myriad variations of the new Narcissism of the 20th and 21st century. What can sincerity and justice mean in a society where I am all and where all truth is relative to and related to my desires and appetites, my self image, my ego?

The lipstick of “moral relativism” doesn’t turn the pig into a beautiful person … a pig, is a pig, is a pig, no matter how much makeup we slather onto it. Moral relativism is simply “license to behave anyway I want” dressed up in a tux and ready to party. License is related to licentiousness – graphically – hmmmm.

Generally, in our current culture, people end up believing nothing—or holding that nothing is certain, even in matters relating to Natural Law, which all people know through the use of their reason alone. Everything that happens now gets attributed to some sort of “Karma” with no responsibility, express or implied, on any side by any party. No respect, rights, obligations, duty, responsibility means … what exactly?

These days we even have the mythology of the Buddha allegedly saying: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” This is a very bad translation of the Kalama Sutta — so bad, in fact, that it contradicts the actual message of the Sutta, which says that reason and common sense are not sufficient for ascertaining the truth.

Mohandas Gandhi

Cool quote!  From a cool guy! That’s what I read …  Is it true? Did Gandhi actually say this? How do I know?  Waddya Talkin About?  I saw it on Pinterest!  It MUST be true … Huh?

So this culture, this society of Secular Humanist Progressivism, this new normal of moral relativism, is a direct result and morbid offspring of private interpretation of “Truth”,  just one more of many “I will not serve!” moments in both angelic and human history.  And with totally predictable consequences … for if a person has a right to decide for himself what the Truth is, this says, in effect, that he is his own personal doctor of truth, (“Doctor of the Church”) whatever one’s theological and moral training, and of course we have Pontius Pilot’s question: “What is Truth?”.

We find ourselves replying that “Truth” is whatever we say it is … because we are the sole arbiter of truth, right?

If a person has a right to decide for himself what the Truth is, this says that every person has a personal right to choose whether he will believe or not believe certain teachings. Given this starting point the individual easily slides into the position that he has a right to believe anything, or even nothing at all. This might well have been the start, the wellspring of the slippery slope of “rights” without “responsibilities”.

On the one hand, our modern society MUST concede every person a civil right to reject religious or moral truth, as far as he individually is concerned, only because both religion and society must allow a person to exercise his free will and to choose for himself whether he will accept or reject God’s Revelation and/or Natural Law, and/or criminal law and provincial law and municipal law for that matter, because as we all acknowledge, every human being is endowed with free will from the very moment of conception.

Canadian Figurehead

On the other hand, he, (or “she” or even “it”) – mustn’t get too politically incorrect here lest we offend some entitled rainbow singularity –  the ONE who rejects the truth must unfortunately, unavoidably and  personally bear whatever evil consequences result from his, hers, or it’s own personal choice of the magical fantasy which is their personal reality. Thinking things like “Drinking and driving” won’t have bad outcomes for me ’cause I’m special, “doing drugs” won’t affect my job and my family because I’m special, “building my home on a flood plane” won’t have bad outcomes ’cause I’m special … and so on and so forth.

Worshiping at the pool …

For those accustomed to indulging in “Magical Thinking” it is sometime a shock to discover that actions and beliefs have consequences in the real world. We believe that it can’t possibly be our fault, that the outcome in question can’t be the result of our own bad choices, NO WAY EH! Hence the almost universal predilection for playing the blame game, we blame circumstances, or other people, or the economy or the politics of the day, FOR MAKING US “FEEL” BAD about the inevitable consequences of our own bad, ill-considered choices and actions.  All in order to permit perpetuation of our well loved, familiar, comfortable, personal fantasies which are crippling us and preventing the existence of Justice .

For some, this view may be difficult or offensive because they are unaccustomed to hearing other views which differ from the generally accepted mainstream view. The “I’m OK, Your OK” generation and their children and grand-children are especially sensitive to being reminded of past failures and disasters and having current failings remarked upon. They don’t want to hear anyone commenting on the likely outcomes obvious with even a cursory examination of the reality on the ground.

We have “become as gods” and will brook no objections or interruptions to our worship of the image in the pool. But …

C.S. Lewis Quote

In spite of that, or perhaps because of that, if there is to be any hope of long term survival, it is critically important at this point in history, to reflect on what has gone wrong. Can anyone seriously believe that we live in the best of all worlds, the promised land of the Enlightenment?

American Figurehead

Without Truth and Sincerity how can there be Justice? Who do we believe?  Do we turn to our figureheads for guidance? It always seems that our Great Canadian Societal Figureheads prattling on to the media and all the talking heads doing interviews with our Canadian versions of Rock Stars … always seem to be selling some version of “What is Truth?”

This dystopian emotional wasteland, this distilled “Canadianess”, produced by our daily confrontations with reality in our polite society is the meat of the “Cognitive Dissonance” part of “Cognitive Dissonance in a Progressive Tyranny”.

For want of sincerity and a concomitant want of justice we have adopted “politically correct” niceness as our defining national characteristic.

Canadian Figurehead …

As David Warren writes:Compliant, complaisant, acquiescent. Docile, submissive, ingratiating. Servile, tractable, obsequious. Ever deferential, glad to be of use. This is what my fellow Canadians have become, though we were not in the past, according to my elders (now mostly dead). When unreasonable demands were made upon them, their inclination was to stiffly resist. Ours is to be chumps, patsies, dupes, treacle saps. In our vanity we think that we are “nice” people, and celebrate our own gormlessness.” “What is Truth?”

American Figurehead …

Lest we forget, or maybe we never knew it, but the generation that fought and died at Vimy Ridge was in no way “nice” and “gormless”. The generation that sang: “D-day Dodgers knew everything there was to know about push-back against gormlessness (great series of YouTube videos at this link – none of this shows up in Social Studies, does it?).

Lest we forget, Canadians were not always a mob of gormless poltroons. Where are they now? My elders (now mostly dead). Realization dawned one day in the midst of World War III, that the real enemy was not, most undoubtedly not, the young kid clinging on to the Soviet frigate 100 yards away. He was me.

Canadian Figurehead

The real enemy was back home in the comfortable office towers and media redoubts taking pot shots at the ones doing the bleeding.  The real enemy was back home in the Kremlin, and in Washington, and in Ottawa, and in London. The real enemy was the figureheads and their agenda of “What is Truth?”

Just in case we missed something and mistakenly understand “gormless” as synonymous with “nice” we can look at a definition of sorts: “Gormless began life as the English dialect word “gaumless”, which was altered to the modern spelling when it expanded into wider use in the late 19th century.

The origins of “gaumless” are easy to understand; the word derives from a combination of the dialect noun gaum, meaning “attention” or “understanding,” and the suffix -less. “Gaum” also functions as a verb in some dialects, where it means “to pay attention to” and “to understand.” An unrelated verb gaum means “to behave in a stupid or awkward manner.”

There’s also a noun gaum, meaning “a stupid doltish person.” But none of these are as commonly used nowadays as “gormless”, which itself is most frequently seen in British English.

Canadian Figureheads

True synonyms would be: airheaded, birdbrained, bonehead, boneheaded, brain-dead, brainless, bubbleheaded, chuckleheaded, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey (also dopy), dorky [slang], dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, fatuous, stupid [chiefly British], half-witted, knuckleheaded, lamebrain (or lamebrained), lunkheaded, mindless, oafish, obtuse, opaque, pinheaded, senseless, simple, slow, slow-witted, soft, softheaded, thick, thickheaded, thick-witted, unintelligent, unsmart, vacuous, weak-minded, witless.

Now don’t I just feel SO much better in my nice Canadian gormlessness … sigh. “What is Truth?”

And what about Gratitude? Is there really anything to be grateful for in a polite society lacking in sincerity and justice?  (more to follow on gratitude – we need more of it)

Cheers

Joe

After Darkness comes the Dawn …

 

and Breakfast …

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Justice … part 1

“Think Of Me”, Andrew Lloyd Webber, from the “Phantom Of The Opera” soundtrack album, (2004)

I was focused on “Sincerity” yesterday, and the reality that, to be sincere, our words and actions must correspond to our thoughts. To be convinced of one thing, but to affirm something else, for the sake of expediency or to avoid hurting the “feelings” of another person is contrary to truth. Bluntly, it is a lie.

And bluntly, the foundation of our modern culture is a lie. We are totally preoccupied with our status in our FaceBooked, Love Me Wall, our Chat Group. Totally focused on the deadly competition to be the most liked, or the most admired, or the most beautiful, most successful, most well traveled, or at least the friend of the most beautiful or the most successful, or the most (fill in your most envied character trait or material desire here).

So what about Justice? The problem with this foundational lie of our society, the lack of sincerity, is that the lie precludes and prevents the existence of Justice. Justice for all or justice for anyone necessitates honesty and sincerity. Without honesty and sincerity there is NO justice.

We moderns have rejected any external standard that overtly or implicitly criticizes our self proclaimed goodness and questions our vices or appetites, our sins of choice, in pursuit of our envied idols, the goals assigned to us by the society in which we exist and which we willingly accept. We find all our self justification within our self worship, our “I’m OK, Your OK” philosophy of gratification.

… unless of course,  you have the arrogance to disagree with me, THEN you really are not very OK at all and we will vilify you and shun you because you are shining a light on our much beloved darkness. This rejection of rejection is the very essence of “Injustice”. There is no justice possible in a universe where no one is wrong and no one dare identify bad behaviour.

It seems an accurate assessment, then,  to name our modern society “Secular Humanist Progressivism”.  It’s secular because it rejects all religion and religious values as well as the very existence of God.

It’s humanist because it holds man to be the apex of existence, the sole arbiter of “right”.

And it’s especially progressive because it implies some natural righteousness to “progress” as the discarding all the values of previous generations of mankind, to the extent that we no longer even teach values to our offspring.

But where is Justice if there is no right and no wrong?

A “Progressive” (individual) is a self referential existence of appetites and vanities pursuing an ever tightening spiral of gratification, self aggrandizement and the once frowned upon character trait of narcissism. This egocentric view of reality, this solipsistic approach to what is and what is not, leads to an eventual and inevitable denial of any truth whatsoever.

How can there be justice if there is no truth?

This ends in endemic moral relativism. Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others, that there is no absolute evil and no absolute wrong.

If moral judgments are invalid then how can there be Justice? How can there be Justice when moral relativism holds that there is no injustice?

Calvin & Hobbes

Calvin & Hobbes

So, what is Justice? Jesus famously said: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God, the things that are God’s”.  This clearly and precisely gives us the essence of Justice, to give to everyone what is his due. Justice is the will to give to everyone that which is due to him.

And what is our due? Respect, rights, obligations, duty, responsibility and the fulfilling with great exactness all the duties and responsibilities towards our neighbor even at the cost of sacrifice. In reality, respect for the rights of others not infrequently requires sacrifice on our part. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness necessitates respect, rights, obligations, duty, responsibility … towards others.

We cannot close our eyes to the rights of others whenever they interfere with our own personal interests. This is really a matter of life and death. Justice is absolutely essential to a life of virtue and its duties are so compelling that no motive can exempt us from fulfilling them.

For example, this view underlies all military virtues, those virtues extolled in our military, our police, and our first responders everywhere. In these “service” occupations, one might be called upon to go in harms way or even to die in carrying out ones duties for the service or protection of others who we might perhaps not even know personally.  As we used to say back in the 70’s “Doing the impossible for the ungrateful”.

But, if moral judgments are invalid then how can there be rights and obligations and duty? As G.K. Chesterton famously wrote: “A man who won’t believe in God will believe in anything” or “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything”.

More to follow …

Cheers

Joe

What a drag … swimming upstream always sucks …

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Sincerity …

Hamachidori“, by Ryutaro Hirota, played by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra & Kazumasa Watanabe, from the album “Konomichi―Favorite Japanese Melodies (Japanese Melody Series)” (2004)

Lately I’ve been thinking about Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity. We are observably running a serious deficit in these important virtues in our polite, politically correct, Canadian society.

I recently finished a decent little book by an author named Mark Manson. His book is all about the delusions we suffer under through caring too much about too many things and having values which are disconnected from our reality, which disconnect Steven Covey used to call our “circle of concern” versus our circle of influence.

In his book, Mark Manson makes a reference to the differences between Russian culture and Western Anglo culture. I think it is on or about page 166 and 170 or thereabouts. Anyway, here is an (longish) excerpt which perfectly encapsulates my observation about our progressive, politically correct, Canadian society:

*****

Mark Manson, 2016

Mark Manson, 2016

In 2011, I traveled to Saint Petersburg, Russia. The food sucked. The weather sucked. (Snow in May? Are you f**king kidding me?) My apartment sucked. Nothing worked. Everything was overpriced. The people were rude and smelled funny. Nobody smiled and everyone drank too much. Yet, I loved it. It was one of my favorite trips. There’s a bluntness to Russian culture that generally rubs Westerners the wrong way. Gone are the fake niceties and verbal webs of politeness. You don’t smile at strangers or pretend to like anything you don’t.

In Russia, if something is stupid, you say it’s stupid. If someone is being an asshole, you tell him he’s being an asshole. If you really like someone and are having a great time, you tell her that you like her and are having a great time. It doesn’t matter if this person is your friend, a stranger, or someone you met five minutes ago on the street.

The first week I found all of this really uncomfortable. I went on a coffee date with a Russian girl, and within three minutes of sitting down she looked at me funny and told me that what I’d just said was stupid. I nearly choked on my drink. There was nothing combative about the way she said it; it was spoken as if it were some mundane fact—like the quality of the weather that day, or her shoe size—but I was still shocked. After all, in the West such outspokenness is seen as highly offensive, especially from someone you just met. But it went on like this with everyone. Everyone came across as rude all the time, and as a result, my Western-coddled mind felt attacked on all sides.

Nagging insecurities began to surface in situations where they hadn’t existed in years. But as the weeks wore on, I got used to the Russian frankness, much as I did the midnight sunsets and the vodka that went down like ice water. And then I started appreciating it for what it really was: unadulterated expression. Honesty in the truest sense of the word. Communication with no conditions, no strings attached, no ulterior motive, no sales job, no desperate attempt to be liked.

Somehow, after years of travel, it was in perhaps the most un-American of places where I first experienced a particular flavor of freedom: the ability to say whatever I thought or felt, without fear of repercussion. It was a strange form of liberation through accepting rejection. And as someone who had been starved of this kind of blunt expression most of his life—first by an emotionally repressed family life, then later by a meticulously constructed false display of confidence—I got drunk on it like, well, like it was the finest damn vodka I’d ever had.

Canals of Saint Petersburg

Canals of Saint Petersburg

The month I spent in Saint Petersburg went by in a blur, and by the end I didn’t want to leave. Travel is a fantastic self-development tool, because it extricates you from the values of your culture and shows you that another society can live with entirely different values and still function and not hate themselves.

This exposure to different cultural values and metrics then forces you to reexamine what seems obvious in your own life and to consider that perhaps it’s not necessarily the best way to live. In this case, Russia had me reexamining the bullshitty, fake-nice communication that is so common in Anglo culture, and asking myself if this wasn’t somehow making us more insecure around each other and worse at intimacy.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg

I remember discussing this dynamic with my Russian teacher one day, and he had an interesting theory. Having lived under communism for so many generations, with little to no economic opportunity and caged by a culture of fear, Russian society found the most valuable currency to be trust. And to build trust you have to be honest. That means when things suck, you say so openly and without apology. People’s displays of unpleasant honesty were rewarded for the simple fact that they were necessary for survival—you had to know whom you could rely on and whom you couldn’t, and you needed to know quickly.

But, in the “free” West, my Russian teacher continued, there existed an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity that it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it was false, than to actually be that way. Trust lost its value. Appearances and salesmanship became more advantageous forms of expression. Knowing a lot of people superficially was more beneficial than knowing a few people closely.

Shopping in the West ...

Shopping in the West …

This is why it became the norm in Western cultures to smile and say polite things even when you don’t feel like it, to tell little white lies and agree with someone whom you don’t actually agree with. This is why people learn to pretend to be friends with people they don’t actually like, to buy things they don’t actually want. The economic system promotes such deception.

The downside of this is that you never know, in the West, if you can completely trust the person you’re talking to. Sometimes this is the case even among good friends or family members. There is such pressure in the West to be likable that people often reconfigure their entire personality depending on the person they’re dealing with.

Manson, Mark. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (pp. 166-170). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

*****

Hamabe No Uta (Narita), Jean-Pierre Rampal, from the album “Rampal: Japanese Folk Melodies”, (1978)

So, if you got this far then we can get to daily life here in the Anglo west. How do we deal with Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity? Well, it seems that mostly we don’t. Oh, we talk a lot about it, especially Justice, but when it comes right down to it we shy away from the reality of these virtues, preferring to dodge in favor of some direction that either makes us look better, or feel better about ourselves, or influences the other in a direction beneficial to ourselves. Distinctly the opposite of Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity.

It seems, on consideration, that we, as a nation, are just more comfortable lieing about reality – or as I have written before: “Joe, I don’t care about your damned facts, and your damned truth, I just want to have a pleasant conversation with my friends”. I think the foundation of these three virtues is really Sincerity. And it seems that the only thing which invokes sincerity these days is the destruction and discrediting of anyone who disagrees with us.  C.S. Lewis said it well in his little essay about Bulverism a (shortish) excerpt of which appears below from one of my previous posts here:

*****

Until Bulverism is crushed, reason can play no effective part in human affairs. Each side snatches it early as a weapon against the other; but between the two reason itself is discredited. And why should reason not be discredited? It would be easy, in answer, to point to the present state of the world, but the real answer is even more immediate.

The forces discrediting reason, themselves depend of reasoning. You must reason even to Bulverize. You are trying to prove that all proofs are invalid. If you fail, you fail. If you succeed, then you fail even more – for the proof that all proofs are invalid must be invalid itself.

The alternative then is either sheer self-contradicting idiocy or else some tenacious belief in our power of reasoning, held in the teeth of all the evidence that Bulverists can bring for a “taint” in this or that human reasoner.

I am ready to admit, if you like, that this tenacious belief has something transcendental or mystical about it. What then? Would you rather be a lunatic than a mystic?

*****

And so we now see that virtually every “debate” extent today in all venues and all media is simply some variant of “Bulverism” which we are now calling “Social Media” and “Fake News”. For the powers of reason have been abrogated by the legions of  the thoughtless – Truly Truly I say to you – a Zombie Apocalypse. So what about Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity, especially Sincerity?

Why is Sincerity the foundation of the other two, the foundation of Justice, and Gratitude? Well, lets take a stab and see if I can get it out. What I say here is informed by a fervent belief in God and the absolute Goodness, that is, the absolute Truth of God. To grow to adulthood we must continually search to possess truth in our hearts, in the core of our being.

We have to know ourselves as we really are, we have to know the absolute truth about ourselves, without any trace of disguise and artificiality. This means that we have to know and accept not only the truths about ourselves which please us, but also all those truths which are painful and wound our pride and self worship by exposing our faults and evil tendencies.

A Sincere adult never avoids or dodges these painful truths, but rather treasures them because the humiliation of these painful truths is worth more than illusion, which flatters our pride and builds up our self worship and keeps us steadfastly on the broad road to perdition.  Even our society’s denial of the broad road is just another illusion to which we cling because we would rather take the easy path regardless of the long term cost. People would literally rather die than change their behaviour. People seem to spend all their precious time searching for the quick fix which will permit them to keep on indulging their fantasies and gratifying their appetites and egos.

Daily we encounter contradiction in the course of going about whatever makes up our lives, and as often as not that contradiction gives rise to anger, rebellion, selfishness, and continuous pressure to indulge our fantasies, palliate our flaws and faults and to continue to cling to our illusions about ourselves and the world we live in.

Any growth requires the courage to acknowledge our faults, accept our faults and the effort of will to change our behaviors and beliefs to conform with empirical reality. If instead we blame circumstances, or other people, or the economy or the politics of the day then we perpetuate the fantasies which are crippling us and preventing the existence of Justice, Gratitude and Sincerity. But it all starts with a sincere appraisal of the truths of our inner self, the inner self to which we are so attached and which we worship.

To be sincere our words and actions must correspond to our thoughts. To be convinced of one thing but to affirm something else for the sake of expediency or to avoid hurting the “feelings” of another person is contrary to truth. Shorn of all make-up it is “living a lie”,  for the sake of gaining an advantage over another. That said, sincerity does not require that we reveal all that we think and know to everyone, this is contrary to prudence (another virtue). Sincerity does, however, demand that everything we do reveal by word or action or even by silence, corresponds to truth.

Cheers

Joe

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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Servile, tractable, obsequious … Canadian, eh?

Dysopia is the Greek word, from Aristotle via Plutarch: a term held to be untranslatable into our modern tongues. By the dictionaries it is defined as “the embarrassment that compels us to grant an unjustified request.” The closest we come in English is “compliancy.”

read The rest here.

Cheers

Joe

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All the news that the MSM will never report … (especially in Canada)

Kojo No Tsuki” (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album “Japanese Melodies” (1990)

Iraq Qaraqosh 11. August 2017
Christian families return to Qaraqosh. Father George with the rebuilt map.

Interesting article here.  Western Progressive media (this covers just about all western media in fact) have been thunderously silent on the treatment of Christians in the Middle East outside of Israel. In the image on the right the yellow homes are the Christian homes destroyed by the Muslims. This information gap is ESPECIALLY insidious in Canada where our Progressive Socialist governments donate hundreds of millions of foreign aid money annually to the oldest Muslim terrorist organization in the world. Justin and his family recently spent his last winter Holidays with his “long time family friend and mentor” at his private Caribbean island. This person, this friend and “mentor” is the Aga Khan.

Given that friend and mentor’s position as the absolute ruler of the Nazari sect of the Ismaili Muslims, a branch of  Shia Islam,  it leads to some natural questions for any thinking Christian. One question: Is Justin Trudeau a deep cover Muslim affiliated with the Nazari sect (also known historically as “The Assassins“)? The Assassins have a very solid hold on the title of “Oldest Islamic Terrorist Organization” in history, operating since at least the late 11th century, or to give a bench mark, that was shortly after the Norman lord William the Conqueror took over in England.

The Aga Khan's Father

The Aga Khan’s Father March 16th, 1902

So, provocative conspiracy theory question: Is Justin a closet Muslim and an undercover Nazari assassin? Do we have our very own made in Canada version of Barry Obama as the closet Muslim president? Or is he just a useful idiot in keeping with Uncle Joe Stalin’s comment on “useful idiots” of the western left with his usefulness attached to his control of the Canadian Foreign Aid purse strings. Who else but Justin can annually and routinely approve hundreds of millions of dollars of Canadian taxpayer’s money in “donations” to the Aga Khan Foundation .

With reference to Taqiyya, it is reasonable to assume that everything one reads and finds at the foundation website is both true and good in an absolute and specific sense and is also a complete lie in the sense that the impression conveyed by the site is misleading in inviting ignorant unbelievers to assume that Nazari Islam is not a mortal enemy of Western “civilization”. History would seem to indicate otherwise but what do modern western progressives steeped in their cult of self worship and perversion know about history. Now they study “Social Studies”.

More seriously … given my feelings and observations about what passes for society and civilization in the western world today (based on observations of Social Media, Entertainment sources and the MSM) I think a totally solid case could easily be made that Islam is absolutely, even empirically, provably correct in their classification of “western civilization” as “evil” and requiring extermination to “cleanse” the world. One can rest on one’s laurels for only a limited time before degeneration sets in and the structure of western civ is now rotten to the core, even as the Roman empire was in Christ’s time.

I am tempted to consider the dictum “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Were I not already a committed Christian I suspect I would be tempted by Nazari Islam.  The question of trust remains a stumbling block. Then again, there is the Prophecy of Fatima and our Lady Maryam, a prophecy that through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima the world of Islam will be united with the world of Catholicism and become the one religion of the one God. Imagine that … just for a moment … what a world that would be, no? What would the unbelieving secular progressive leadership of the west be able to do about 4 billion believers? Could the believers influence a change for the better? Interesting future I see – over 50% of the world’s population united against the godless bureaucracies of Mordor and the Antichrist. hmmm … We can always pray.

Ave Maryam, Gratia plena
Maryam Gratia plena Ave, ave dominus,
Dominus tecum Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus.
Ave Maryam mater Dei
Ora pro nobis pecatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis
In hora mortis, mortis nostrae Ave Maryam
Amén…

Cheers

Joe

A daily Catholic prayer recited every morning: “In all things may the most holy, the most just, and the most lovable will of God be done, praised, and exalted above all forever. Thy will be done, Oh Lord, Thy will be done. The Lord has given, The Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of The Lord.”

As just another weary foot soldier in the battle of eternity, we are not promised victory in this life. This is the Long Defeat. This life is Boot Camp. We are simply called to remain faithful. Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Semper Fidelis

 

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chiroptostercornuceophobia …

Ninety Miles an Hour”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Down In The Groove”, (1988)

Every now and then some blogger coins a term worthy of note. Such a one is :  chiroptostercornuceophobia, “fear of the shrieking batshit insane” … This should prove refreshingly useful amidst the world-wide plague of “shrieking batshit insane zombies” we currently are dieing under.

Bubonic plague victims in a mass grave in Martigues, France

Bubonic plague victims in a mass grave in Martigues, France

Like the historic Black Death which killed  an estimated 200 million worldwide during the 14th century, our modern plague of “shrieking batshit insane zombies” has tangentially killed an estimated 2 billion people worldwide in the last 50 years.

That is certainly a remarkable improvement in efficiency wouldn’t you agree. It is such a pleasure to see our much vaunted “efficiency experts” happily industrializing state sanctioned murder.

The 20th and the 21st century so far mark the high water mark for man’s inhumanity to man – the global slaughterhouse is running triple shifts 24-7-365 since at least the 60’s and this tsunami of blood has become just so banal and normal that it is not even really remarked upon any more.

In fact it has become so banal that the only thing remarked upon is the impolite raising of the issue and the embarrassing pariah is the person has the temerity to comment on the problem(s) associated with such currently fashionable trends.

*****

Since the abortion business really took off around 1960 or so, we have probably eliminated … two billion unborn human beings.

Think about it. Over the past half-century, quietly and without fanfare, in ordinary towns and cities, in dozens of countries around the world, perhaps two billion children have been killed. They have died unknown, often unmourned, and acknowledged only from time to time.

The 20th century was violent by any measure. Thirty-seven million people were killed in World War I. Over 60 million perished in World War II. Six million Jews and another six million Catholics died in Hitler’s death camps. Twenty million died at the hands of the Soviet authorities. Sixty-five million Chinese were killed by the Communist Party, while forty-two million more starved to death during Mao’s Great Leap Forward. And so on.

But these numbers are dwarfed by the sheer volume of children who have been killed this past half-century. At the very least, this number of abortions is a demographic event of gigantic proportions. As the human race celebrates its 7 billionth member this fall, we should take a moment to remember the billion or two who fell—and are still falling—victim to the abortionists’ knives.

*****

And the “shrieking batshit insane zombies” don’t care, not even a little bit just as long as nothing is “allowed to interfere with our “right” to pursue pleasure, as we use the child-making thing as a sweating-off spa on our way to money, prestige, a five-bathroom mansion for two, a tenured chair in Women’s Studies, the mayoralty of Camden, another year of nights out on the town, whatever.”

What is to be done?

Not many cheers to be had today …

Joe

The future is definitely not friendly … no matter what Tellus tells us

 

 

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Amoris Laetitia and the spread of a moral heresy …

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

So, it is Sunday morning again, and as usual on Sunday mornings my thoughts turn to our one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Like all organizations or institutions involving human beings, our church has not been without it’s share of serious controversies and problems over the last two thousand years.

It is noteworthy, however, that it is the ONLY institution in existence today which has actually survived ALL of these controversies and problems over the course of the last two millennia and continues to this day – and so do the problems and controversies. It’s as if this unique institution enjoys Divine protection because it is not actually a human institution.

Anyway …

This is a “Catholic” post. This article references or is lifted mostly from Fr. Z’s blog. It is something of interest to Catholics especially but also to non-Catholics who may be interested in the shenanigans  currently eventuating in the Roman Catholic curia and the senior reaches of the Catholic Church administration. I post the whole thing here in its entirety because of the importance of the information and one can visit the original at Fr. Z’s Blog.

For those with a taste for history it should be noted that this modern “Liberal Progressive” vs “Conservative Traditionalist” civil war within the Roman Catholic Church has been ongoing at least since Vatican II in the 60’s and was most evidenced in Canada by the notorious “Winnipeg Declaration” or the “Winnipeg Statement of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops.

The Winnipeg Statement was the Canadian Bishops statement on the encyclical Humanae vitae from a Plenary Assembly held at Saint Boniface in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Published on September 27, 1968, it is the Canadian Bishop’s controversial document about Pope Paul VI‘s July 1968 encyclical on human life and the regulation of birth.[1]

A case might be made that subsequently the Canadian Catholic Church was in de-facto schism from Rome to the extent that even things as basically Catholic as the Canadian Liturgy and the Canadian Missal was not approved by Rome, that is, they had no imprimatur and that the Canadian Bishops basically thumbed their noses at Rome at that time and for several decades thereafter.

A very interesting take on this period can be found at Mark Mallett’s blog site “https://www.markmallett.com/blog/2016/01/29/a-tale-of-five-popes-and-a-great-ship/

Anyway, on with Fr. Aidan Nichols …

Aidan Nichols

Picture taken in Cambridge at Palmsunday 2014, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40226603

Fr Aidan Nichols, OP, (OP – Order of Preachers – Dominicans – Their identification as Dominicans gave rise to the pun that they were the “Domini canes”, or “Hounds of the Lord”) is without doubt the most considerable living theologian of the English-speaking Catholic World.

And he is as prolific a theological writer as Joseph Ratzinger (on whose theology he wrote a still normative guide, long before the election of Benedict XVI).

Now Fr Aidan has delivered a characteristic lecture on the crisis which has been precipitated by Amoris laetitia.

I can’t find the full text on the internet (yet), but the Catholic Herald gives a report. And Fr Zed reproduces the Catholic Herald report. I urge everybody (Catholics at least) to read it; and to take it very seriously.

*****

When Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP, has an opinion, it’s a good idea to pay attention.

Fr. Nichols is concerned about what is happening because of Amoris laetitia.

From the Catholic Herald:

Leading theologian: change canon law to correct papal errors

Fr Aidan Nichols, a prolific author who has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge as well as the Angelicum in Rome, said that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia had led to an “extremely grave” situation.

Fr Nichols proposed that, given the Pope’s statements on issues including marriage and the moral law, the Church may need “a procedure for calling to order a pope who teaches error”.

The Dominican theologian said that this procedure might be less “conflictual” if it took place during a future pontificate, rather as Pope Honorius was only condemned for error after he had ceased to occupy the chair of Peter.

[Honoris (+638), desiring to avoid the notion that Christ had two wills in conflict with each other, strayed towards the heresy of Monothelitism, the error that Christ has but one will. Constantinople III condemned him in 680. That said, later it has been concluded that the Pope didn’t formally teach error.]

Fr Nichols was speaking at the annual conference in Cuddesdon of an ecumenical society, the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, to a largely non-Catholic audience.  [Oh dear.]

He said the judicial process would “dissuade popes from any tendency to doctrinal waywardness or simple negligence”, and would answer some “ecumenical anxieties” of Anglicans, Orthodox and others who fear that the pope has carte blanche to impose any teaching.

“Indeed, it may be that the present crisis of the Roman magisterium is providentially intended to call attention to the limits of primacy in this regard.”[…]He has not publicly commented on Amoris Laetitia until now, but was a signatory to a leaked letter from 45 priests and theologians to the College of Cardinals. The letter asked the cardinals to request a clarification from the Pope to rule out heretical and erroneous interpretations of the exhortation.

In his paper Fr Nichols mentioned some of the same concerns as the letter: he noted, for instance, that Amoris Laetitia could seem to imply that the monastic life was not a higher state than marriage – a view condemned as heretical by the Council of Trent.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

The exhortation has also been interpreted as arguing that the divorced and remarried can receive Communion without endeavouring to live “as brother and sister”.

This contradicts the perennial teaching of the Church, reaffirmed by Popes St John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  [Yes, it does.  AL is objectively ambiguous on this point, open to bad interpretation.]

Fr Nichols said that this interpretation, which Pope Francis has reportedly approved, would introduce into the Church “a previously unheard-of state of life. Put bluntly, this state of life is one of tolerated concubinage.” [Did you get that?  “TOLERATED CONCUBINAGE”.   Card. Kasper referred to “tolerated, but not accepted”.]

Cardinal Kasper

Cardinal Kasper

But Fr Nichols said the way in which Amoris Laetitia argued for “tolerated concubinage” (without using the phrase) was potentially even more harmful.

He quoted the exhortation’s description of a conscience which “recognizes that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the demands of the Gospel” but sees “with a certain moral security…what for now is the most generous response.”

Fr Nichols said this seemed to say “that actions condemned by the law of Christ can sometimes be morally right or even, indeed, requested by God.”  [Which undermines everything we believe about Christ.]

This would contradict the Church’s teaching that some acts are always morally wrong, Fr Nichols said. He also drew attention to the statement – presumably referring to attempts to live continently – that someone “may know full well the rule yet…be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin”.

Fr Nichols noted that the Council of Trent had solemnly condemned the idea that “the commandments of God are impossible to observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace.” Amoris Laetitia seemed to say that it is not always possible or even advisable to follow the moral law. [AL is open to bad interpretations.  And those who wanted their heterodoxy and heteropraxis confirmed have indeed chosen the bad interpretation.]

If such general statements about moral acts were correct, Fr Nichols said, “then no area of Christian morality can remain unscathed.” He said that it would be preferable to think that the Pope had been merely “negligent” in his language, rather than actively teaching error. But this seemed doubtful, given the reports that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had suggested corrections to Amoris Laetitia, and was ignored.  [Nichols seems to have built a case.]

4 Cardinals

His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna (Italy), and His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has publicly discussed making a formal correction of the Pope. However, Fr Nichols said that neither the Western nor Eastern Codes of Canon Law contain a procedure “for enquiry into the case of a pope believed to have taught doctrinal error, much less is there provision for a trial.”

Fr Nichols observed that the tradition of canon law is that “the first see is judged by no-one.” But he said that the First Vatican Council had restricted the doctrine of papal infallibility, so that “it is not the position of the Roman Catholic Church that a pope is incapable of leading people astray by false teaching as a public doctor.  [Yes, Pope’s can teach error.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t guarantee the veracity of everything they teach.]

“He may be the supreme appeal judge of Christendom… but that does not make him immune to perpetrating doctrinal howlers. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly given the piety that has surrounded the figures of the popes since the pontificate of Pius IX, this fact appears to be unknown to many who ought to know better.” [Like certain gnostic papalatrous writers at CRUX, whom I shall not name]

Given the limits on papal infallibility, canon law might be able to accommodate a formal procedure for inquiring into whether a pope had taught error. Fr Nichols said that bishops’ conferences had been slow to support Pope Francis, probably because they were divided among themselves; but he said that the Pope’s “programme would not have got as far as it has were it not the case that theological liberals, generally of the closet variety, have in the fairly recent past been appointed to high positions both in the world episcopate and in the ranks of the Roman Curia.[To our horror.]

Fr Nichols said that there was “a danger of possible schism”, but that it was unlikely and not as immediate a danger as “the spread of a moral heresy”.  The view which Amoris Laetitia apparently contains would, if it passed without correction, “increasingly be regarded as at the very least an acceptable theological opinion, and that will do more damage than can easily be repaired.

He concluded that the law of the Church will live on, because of those who “give the law life by faithfulness in love”. Yes, friends, there is now a danger of the spread of moral heresy.  You hear it and read it more and more often now. We need saints to rise up in our day.

We also need lay people, the rank and file, to put their noses collectively into books like the Catechism of the Catholic Church and get informed. Friends, get together with your friends and form “Base Communities of Resistance” against the “danger of moral heresy”.

*****

The more vigorously the primacy was displayed, the more the question came up about the extent and and limits of [papal] authority, which of course, as such, had never been considered.

After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council.

Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West.

In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. … The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.”

Joseph Ratzinger
in The Spirit of the Liturgy

AND …

Raymond Card. Burke

Raymond Card. Burke

We as Catholics have not properly combated (the culture) because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time. This is a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years. It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention…

What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues. In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity…

Charity means speaking the truth. I have encountered it (not speaking the truth) many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not ‘politically correct.’ But we cannot be silent any longer.” 

Raymond Card. Burke

 

As always Catholics, Pray, Pray, Pray …

Cheers

Joe

As just another weary foot soldier in the battle of eternity, we are not promised victory in this life. This is the Long Defeat. This life is Boot Camp. We are simply called to remain faithful. Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Semper Fidelis

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Cake Made Of Flour And Rat Poison …

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

The first Sunday of the month we celebrate our Mass on the Saturday evening – last night. This leaves my Sunday morning free for thinking and reading and catching up on blogs and drinking good coffee. Every now and again I come across an outstanding post on someone else’s blog or an article in an online publication or some beautifully articulated observation.

A beautifully articulated observation about the reality which we like to pretend is a good society and within the shelter of which we pretend that we are good persons. But no amount of virtue signalling can change the underlying evil evident in our modern society, can disguise the fact that this is the worldly kingdom of the Father of Lies. Just such a beautifully articulated observation is an article by Anthony Esolen which I came across at LifeSiteNews:

*****

What is remarkable in our age is not that half of our citizens believe it is wrong to kill the child in the womb, the child whose existence, except in the rare case of rape, is owing to our own voluntary actions.  That would be like congratulating ourselves for believing that it’s wrong to steal someone’s car, to lie under oath to hurt an enemy, to throw our aged parents into the street, or to desecrate churches.

Where is the great moral insight?  What’s remarkable instead is that half of us believe it is all right to snuff out the life of that child – because nothing must be allowed to interfere with our “right” to pursue pleasure, as we use the child-making thing as a sweating-off spa on our way to money, prestige, a five-bathroom mansion for two, a tenured chair in Women’s Studies, the mayoralty of Camden, another year of nights out on the town, whatever.

How have we come to this pass?  Our imaginations are stunted or diseased, that’s how.
 Let churchgoers beware.  You cannot spread pro-life icing on a cake made of flour and rat poison.  Our children meet with rat poison everywhere.

Do they watch Friends on television, that un-funny amoral “comedy” about nihilist young urbanites trading depressions in the mattress with one another?  Rat poison. 

Do they watch movies like – well, the moronic Titanic, wherein a shrewish girl and a pouty boy fornicate before they are swallowed by the deep blue sea?  Rat poison. 

Do their school teachers feed them such exalted lyric poetry as that of Sylvia Plath, imagining what it would be like to smash her sleeping husband’s head like a rotten pumpkin? 

Or the bogus Laramie Project, making a hero out of a deeply disturbed young man, killed in a meth deal? 

Or Toni Morrison’s maudlin obsessions with race and adultery?

Is it an endless cafeteria of ghouls, vampires, girl-murderers – Lord of the Flies, without the severe moral imagination and the talent of William Golding?  Lord of the Flies, Lady of the Flies, Cheerleaders of the Flies, Lifeguard of the Flies, Mr. Goodbar of the Flies, Fight Club of the Flies, Hunger of the Flies? 

Rat poison, with that peculiar character of rat poison, that the more the critter consumes, the thirstier it grows….”( READ THE REST HERE)

*****

And what has Jesus to say about the Father of Lies? Extra! Extra! Read All About It! In the New International Version of John 8: 34-47:

*****

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever”. 36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

*****

I tend to avoid LifeSiteNews  because, while what they report on is true and accurate, what they offer is an unrelenting reportage of failure, destruction, and the ever accelerating death throes of our culture and society.

I have difficulty finding any hope on the site and there are absolutely no viable solutions in a class with the dragons we face. If I had to report something good about the site I would have to mention an important insight first realized while reading this site, namely, to say that first, there is no hope, and second, that none of it matters.

None of it matters … this world is not important … the sweaty, reality challenged, daily dramas of our society Simply – Aren’t – Important! It’s all just so much Rat Poison.

What IS important is that ONLY Eternity is important. There is absolutely NOTHING in this world which is important in Eternity EXCEPT how we conduct ourselves in relation to this World, and in relation to Eternity. There truly is NO hope in this world, and this world, and the things of this world, are doomed to pass away returning into the cesspool from which they arose like the monster from the slab of our self worship. And make no mistake about it. If we ARE of this world (and who isn’t, to a greater or lesser degree?) we WILL pass away with this world and return to the cesspool as rats do after eating Rat Poison.

So what are we to do? How can we cope with the necrotic dissolution of everything we hold dear in this material world? Now, sitting here at 65 years old watching my friends and customers suffering and dieing and experiencing the utter powerlessness of the best of human efforts to find happiness and ease. It is a lot easier to imagine a universe where we are manifestly NOT the pinnacle of everything and most definitely not worthy of worship as we once found it so easy to do in our twenties and thirties.

In our twenties and thirties – anyone’s twenties and thirties – it is easy to love … ourselves … until the body knows discomfort, pain, death …

Once upon a time…young bodies…beauty woven around a knot of need…preening like the flowers of carnivorous plants. Each of us the most important thing in the world, such was the seduction of that knot of need. and now, only the moment, each tumbling into the next. The body knows discomfort, a slowly growing pain…over and over again…as firm and true as steps, the firm earth reverberating up through my boots, the tactile affirming reality over and over again and nothing else matters… paraphrase from “The Malazan Book of the Fallen

So why do I start to feel joy like a faint but growing light further down this sewage filled tunnel which we call “life” for want of something deeper, more accurate, less flattering to our self image? The answer to this is in a word — “prayer”. Not just a few minutes spent on my knees struggling to find something meaningful to say, or in my attendance at church for an hour, chanting the responses by rote while dreaming about what I will have for lunch, but prayer that turns every waking minute into a prayer.

Now, it has been my observation, that those of this world repudiate every mention of prayer as trite, ineffectual, quaint, superstitious, lacking in intellectual validity – in short, prayer is mocked and belittled as the refuge of idiots. And yet this is not so “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did.”

No, prayer, in reality, becomes a more or less continual awareness of Jesus living and growing within us. True, at first we are very much enmeshed in the less side of “more or less”. But as we persevere we become aware of Jesus working in us, molding us to his desire, which is our cooperation, our submission, our surrender, our companionship, as we begin to give up our own way and surrender ourselves to His way.

Mortification of self begins as a painful exercise but, practiced sincerely, one starts to get glimpses of mortification as invitation to Jesus to take the place of our self in our life. I am thinking that it is a habitual and determined opposition to the will of the Lord that is the greatest barrier to development of an intimate relationship with Him.

We continue to assert our self. We resist accepting that we cannot welcome Him into some parts of our life but steadfastly slam the door on other parts of that life. He is present everywhere and at all times and waits patiently for our surrender of those parts which we willfully try to “keep private”.

We start to realize that we want god in our lives but we insist on doing it on our terms, in our way, and not surrendering to God, to His will and His direction. That is why we only get glimpses of that light and joy at the end of the sewer.

It’s a stone cold merciless bitch, this forcing oneself to move away from the pool of narcissism and self worship and our attachments to the rat poison of our worldly lives. And it is the only path through the tunnel to Eternity.

Cheers

Joe

empty oneself of every trace of belief in one’s “goodness”

 

 

 

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