Politics and Economics

It’s a Mess … and silver linings … reprise from 2017 …

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dillon, from the album “Bringing It All Back Home”, 1965

Welcome to October in Alberta … 0 degrees and snowing off and on all day and the ripped up street in front of our building is still not paved and business appears to be down about 50% or so as a result. Optimism is in hiding and I am wearing my winter fur hat when I go for walks.

My favorite Naruto character is Shikamaru Nara (奈良シカマル, Nara Shikamaru) is a shinobi of Konohagakure’s Nara clan. Though lazy by nature, Shikamaru has a rare intellect that consistently allows him to prevail in combat. The responsibilities that these successes leave him with cause him frequent annoyance.

When faced with something like our situation here in our little town he might remark or exclaim “めんどくさい” (mendokusai)troublesome or bothersome. This is a very common exclamation when faced with the sort of situation we have been dealing with all summer and can be used whenever you don’t want to do something or deal with something. But be careful! If you use this phrase too much, you might find yourself becoming a lazy person! Another colloquial translation might be “What a drag!”

So whenever I start to get depressed about the state of our local economy and the morality of our Socialist Progressive governments (see post here) and the current chaos in our church I tend to take a step back and consider all the good things globally, that’s right, I see many good things globally — good for Canada and Alberta at least. I wrote this post originally back in June 2017, 15 months ago … seems like we are about there now with drone attacks and a shooting conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia just a silly finger slip away, so lets get on with it, eh!.

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

On the right is a wonderful chart from one of the many newsletters I read …  as a proud resident of the only province in Canada with a future (in spite of looking grim right now) I see reason for hope on the horizon. Alberta’s future is intimately tied to energy and the production and export of energy resources.

To say that the Middle East is a powder keg just waiting for a spark is actually an understatement of the reality on the ground, at least as far as I can determine reading all the international news feeds, newsletters and blogs.

Now God forbid that we should pray for a major melt down in the Arabian peninsula but any way you paint a situation where our mortal enemies and OUR major competitor in global oil markets destroy themselves without our intervention is just plain good news for western Christian oil producing nations (there’s just got to be a sin in there somewhere). And Canada is close to the head of the pack when it comes to production and proven reserves amongst nominally Christian oil producing nations.

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

One can safely assume that literally anyone trying to pretend that things there will be OK and we don’t need energy independence is taking the same drugs as the Main Stream Media and the “Trump Hate” crowd.

A determined terrorist campaign in Saudi Arabia would (hopefully) completely revise the global economy. Do you think that world oil production just might be impacted by a full scale war in a more chaotic Arabian peninsula?

Do you suppose that such an event wouldn’t be great news for North American oil and coal producers? Do you think passing laws against coal and oil consumption makes the resource mysteriously disappear? Seriously folks, “Stupid is as stupid does”, and a firm belief in a fantasy  no more alters reality than writing “Darkness!” on the wall of your padded cell extinguishes the Sun.

“Alberta”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Self Portrait”, (June 1970)

While the Progressives crow about our coreligionists lack of proof of God and the foundations for our religious beliefs, they never think to question the complete absence of any evidence for their own beliefs or, for that matter, for any intelligent consideration of the impacts of their own religious beliefs on the populations over which they claim to rule. C.S. Lewis’s mandarins of N.I.C.E. in his book “That Hideous Strength”  haven’t got a patch on the modern crop of mandarins in the halls of power in our fair land.

Current reality places Canada (Alberta) as the 7th largest oil producer in the world, but three of the highest producers ahead of us on the list are Muslim nations who are prominently center stage in the chaos of the Arabian peninsula. In fact it is not unreasonable to attribute all the chaos in the geopolitical environment found today in the Arabian peninsula and much of the rest of the world to the internecine rivalry between these three Muslim nations.

Countries by Oil Production

Countries by Oil Production – CIA factbook 2013

Any significant change in the geopolitics of the Middle East could catapult Canada (Alberta) to 4th place in the production charts at 3.6 million barrels a day after Russia, U.S.A. and China.

This in spite of the willful stupidity of her government(s). Even the NDP are essentially powerless to screw up the global economy, and I am optimistic that they will not be able to permanently damage the most productive Province in Canada.

An even more important part of the picture is the proven reserves picture. Another slice of reality is that Canada (Alberta) is currently in 3rd place  after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in proven reserves. In a world economy suddenly deprived of access to half of global energy resources “Who Ya gonna Call?” If you are looking for stable sources for your energy supplies do you pick a nation where violence and corruption are the rule of the day, or do you pick the nation where peaceful rule of law prevails? And the added benefit would be de-funding the Middle East by not buying their oil would put a huge damper on terrorism everywhere

Why in the hell doesn’t the U.S.A. invoke some sort of “Strategic Priority” to drive out Boy Justin and his merry band of deviants and annex Alberta to “secure their strategic energy reserves” and prevent China from grabbing the prize by buying Canadian oil companies like Husky Oil. The bureaucrats certainly wouldn’t care who was paying their fat salaries and Justin may be the big man on Facebook but he is small potatoes on the international stage. The Canadian military would probably opt to “remain in garrison” until the whole evolution was over since they would likely find a lot more appreciation from Washington going forward than they have ever gotten from Ottawa in all of Canadian history.

Now a little corruption goes a long way to grease the wheels of governance and Canada has fallen a long way from the 50’s when we had the international reputation as the most honest bureaucracy on the planet. I suspect only the slightest nudges would be necessary to move our political masters in the appropriate direction. After all, our current governments are full fledged players in the “Pay to Play” schemes historically developed in other world capitals.

Oil Producing Countries

By Ekrub-ntyh at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1914119

It may come as a shock to some but we have enough energy reserves right here in Alberta alone, including all sources, to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 hundred years at least. You read that right, enough energy to fuel current and projected demand in all of North America for the next 4 to 5 centuries.

Back in the late 70’s early 80’s I worked as a contract administrator for a company called JOY Manufacturing. Among other things we produced electrostatic precipitators and bag filter systems for heavy industries like steel mills, foundries, paper mills and especially for coal fired electrical generation plants.

For at least 40 years now we have had the technology to clean emissions from coal to at least approximately the levels produced by natural gas. These systems are currently in use all over the world. The only thing preventing their adoption here is religion and politics.  Canada also developed and produces the safest nuclear reactors on the planet and a large chunk of the fuel for those reactors  and Alberta is prime stable real estate for a huge nuclear energy park … no floods, no earthquakes, large empty tracts of land far from population centers and  safe reactors … what’s not to love about that picture.

But using that clean energy technology flies in the face of the religious position of the Socialist Progressive ninnies and nannies in our governments. It’s just A-OK with them to impose their version of the “final solution” to eliminate inconvenient babies and seniors but Gaia forbid we should use clean coal technology to give every one cheap electricity.

The only thing standing in the way of Alberta having a global impact in oil production is weak prices and government policy, especially government policy. The Venezuelan government did a pretty good job of destroying the rosy future for it’s people and Alberta’s government under the NDP was trying hard to go down the the same path. Fortunately, Alberta voters returned to their historic senses and wiped out the NDP in a blue tsunami last election.

Given the current state of “Rule of Law” in Canada I think we are a long way from following the Venezuela model. Notwithstanding the rule of law there are still legions of zombie voters in Canada who could conceivably keep the Liberals in power for at least 1 more election if only through a coalition with the Greens or the NDP.

Our silly “first past the post” electoral system practically guarantees that the various self centered right of centre splinter parties without a hope in hell of winning any seats will still fracture the conservative vote and return the Liberals to power yet again with only 30% or so of the national vote. O right! … that was set up by the Liberals … right, maybe they ARE the smartest guys in the room. We will no doubt see that play out since we are not considering moving away just yet.

So the point of this polemic is that there are actually lots of reasons for optimism despite current conditions in the neighbourhood.

Cheers

Joe

cooling stacks steam plantSo we can pay $100.00 per month for electricity using steam , or $1200.00 per month for electricity using wind and solar.  Seems like a no-brainer to me. So come on voters, we’ve had our Friday night stupidity binge, let’s change the landscape of Canadian politics and turf the Progressive leftist parasites out.

 

 

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Life in a small town

Truth is stranger than fiction – and why the Pope is not Catholic even though bears still dump in the forest …

Today I have had the great good fortune to rediscover Peter Kwasniewski, at LifeSite News. I visited LifeSite today to read an article on how the late and unlamented NDP government’s jackboot LGBT agenda was being rolled back somewhat in Alberta.

Apparently Jason Kenny, our new Alberta Conservative Premier of the UCP Alberta party has “repealed” the previous NDP government’s draconian LGBTQ indoctrination policies in all Alberta schools (and here you thought California was bad?).

Balrog500ppxIn Canada, “Glorious and Free”, in a previous life (with the DOJ and a very large RHA), I learned by practice how the secular progressive authorities now hide behind “Framework Legislation” and “Guidelines” where all the teeth are hidden in the 1000’s of pages of bureaucratic “regulations” and “notwithstandings” and carefully crafted “loopholes”.

It requires energy and some modicum of intelligence to drill down to the foundational intent of modern legislation and regulations. Most folks (understandably) don’t have the resources to ride herd on our Mandarins and have to “trust” that government bureaucrats truly have the public’s best interests at heart.

But … anything that was voted into existence by elected representatives can be made to perform any function or even the exact opposite function of that envisioned by those who voted for it, and all without minutes or records to provide an evidentiary trail. Tragically it is an established truth today that most folks have more trust in government than they have in God.

What you are about to read, if you are at all interested in the clear evidence of Progressive totalitarianism in action in Canada, will be shocking … shocking, not that Bill 24 is being repealed, but rather that it was ever passed and implemented in the first place. I wrote about it first back on March 27th 2016 and the post is here.

At the time I wrote about it back in 2016 I incurred the vituperative wrath of liberal “friends” and family members, another incidence of being labelled a “knuckle dragging neanderthal red neck” and a “Nazi homophobe”. Sigh … by their works shall you know them. Anyway, here is a bit from that first “Jason Kenny, UCP” article found in full here:

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“Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Think back to the year 2000, or even 2010, and imagine someone telling you this: “The law requires every school to set up a Gay Straight Alliance for K–12 children. No exemption for religious belief or parental opposition.

NDP Alberta Education Minister David Eggen

The law makes it illegal for teachers and principals to inform parents about the contents (sexual, ideological or otherwise) of what will be presented to their children at GSA meetings and GSA activities, and about which person or organization will be presenting such materials.

Further, the law makes it illegal for teachers and principals to inform parents about their own child’s involvement in a GSA or GSA-related activity.”

“The government’s official GSA website, directed at K–12 children, has links to vile and graphic pornography. GSA activism in schools is carried out by individuals and organizations that promote a progressive perspective on sexuality that is hostile to what most religions teach about sexual morality, gender and marriage. If the school principal refuses to set up a GSA, the Education Minister can appoint an LGBTQ activist to set up and run the club.”

The law makes it illegal for teachers and principals to inform parents about the contents (sexual, ideological or otherwise) of what will be presented to their children at GSA meetings and GSA activities, and about which person or organization will be presenting such materials.”

When poisons become fashionable they do not cease to killHad you warned people about the above scenario in 2000 (or even 2010) you would have been accused of paranoia and fear-mongering. Yet this situation defines the reality of education in Alberta, thanks to laws passed by Progressive Conservatives (Bill 10, 2015) and the NDP (Bill 24, 2017).

Fortunately, after a successful court challenge by Lawyer John Carpay (president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF.ca), which represented parents and schools in their successful challenge to Alberta’s Bill 24. the new United Conservative Party (UCP) government has now repealed Bill 24, the 2017 law which kept parents in the dark about their own children.

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Sadly, the UCP government has not yet agreed to repeal or amend Bill 10, the 2015 law which requires schools to establish, host and facilitate ideological clubs whose message is hostile to what religious schools teach about gender, marriage and sexual morality.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” hovers in my mind when I am tempted to make common cause with my Islamic brothers in dealing with the deviance and perversion which we Canadians are expected to accept without demur in the name of politically correct “tolerance”. Yes, “Tolerance”, that one way street of liberal magnanimity, tolerance which is never extended to any view which strays off the reservation of modern progressive PC perversion. I guess that makes me “Intolerant”, as well as a knuckledragger and a homophobic Nazi. Sigh …

Jason Kenny, 2019

Apparently, Premier Jason Kenney believes (with his predecessors) that children who are too immature to vote, join the military, consume alcohol or even smoke a cigarette should have the legal authority to set up any school club of the child’s own choosing, even if parents, teachers and principals disagree with the club’s purpose. I expect the court challenge will continue until Bill 10 is repealed.

We are blessed to live in a country where we can still mount court challenges to overturn egregiously evil legislation instead of having to resort to IEDs and RPGs. However some folks are keeping their options open in hopes that Jason will make good on his pre-election promises to reverse the NDP’s environmental position and the currently still active anti-energy stance of the new Alberta Government. Money is always more important than Faith, right?

We will know whose side Jason and the UCPA are really on if and when the coal fired electrical plants and the mines feeding them are re-opened and we stop importing coal generated electricity from Montana at much higher prices than we were generating it ourselves with our 5 environmentally destructive coal fired generating stations.

But even more important than the educational outrage which I wrote about back in 2016 is the good fortune to rediscover Peter Kwasniewski. Peter Kwasniewski holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America.

Peter Kwasniewski

After teaching at the International Theological Institute in Austria and for the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austrian Program, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyoming, where he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history, and directed the choir and schola.

He is now a full-time author, speaker, editor, publisher, and composer.

Anyway, his two articles, his blog posts, are here and here. Both are well worth the read, especially in view of the upcoming (and much anticipated in some circles), atrocity called the “Amazon Synod”.

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From the Blog Post by Peter Kwasniewski: “God, being infinite, has so much to give that He must carve out the space for Himself in our souls through mighty trials and tribulations. It’s no game, but the very essence of a love that will not and cannot compromise, that refuses to share space with any unworthy love. I say this regarding the interior life of each Catholic, and each believer’s vocation to witness to the truth, which is the essence of martyrdom.

But there is also a benefit to the Church at large whenever God permits trials of this magnitude, namely, that the truth of her traditional teaching will shine all the more brightly when its enemies have been confounded. Our understanding of the papacy, its inseparable link with tradition, and the outer limits of its deviation will be deepened; our faith will be purified of the extremes of hyperpapalism and sedevacantism.

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Mayor Naheed Nenshi, of Calgary, Alberta.

And, last but not least, quoting from an article in the Calgary Herald by the Mayor of Calgary concerning the latest totalitarian outburst by the government of Quebec. But totalitarian legislation is nothing new in Canada.  Mayor Nenshi is quite right to be critical of this legislation but perhaps he is not old enough to remember when the same province of Quebec under Jean Lesage in his “Quiet Revolution” legislated that no young person could graduate high school or be hired to any government position unless they spoke French … English need not apply … and of course any of the French persuasion didn’t have a reciprocal obligation to speak English. Anyway …

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… Which brings us to Bill 21 in Quebec. We now have a law in this country (Canada), in 2019, that restricts what job you can have based on your faith. Exactly the opposite of what I believed growing up. There are those who say that this is about religious neutrality. Make no mistake. It is not. This is a law that targets three groups of people: Muslim women who cover their heads, baptized Sikhs and Jewish men who wear a yarmulke.

No other sizable religious groups in the province have to wear anything as part of their religious faith. Those who wear modest dress can simply claim it is their personal style, not a religious garment. Those who have long beards can claim they are simply hipsters. A small cross can be worn under the shirt; a turban cannot.

What this ban says is that people of certain faiths, and only these faiths, can’t be trusted to do their jobs. It tells schools and municipalities that they can’t hire the best people. It says that kids in public schools can’t be exposed to people different than them.

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Yes indeed, the Prince of this World is alive and very active in our glorious and free Canada.  I hope you enjoy these reads, leads and ideas as much as I did.

Cheers

Joe

reaching for heaven

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Michaelmas … The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels

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

Malcolm Guite,

Malcolm Guite,

Ice on the puddles in the mornings now. At least we are not experiencing the Montana and Southern Alberta foothills blast of winter we are seeing on various social media. This is an edited re-post of a previous post from last year September 29th 2018, and the Feast has arrived again, as all good things do. Today is Sunday, September 29th 2019, the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

As previously mentioned, I have come across some interesting books of poetry while browsing my Amazon account like I used to do as a young man in my favorite used book stores in Montreal and Ottawa, long before the days of personal computers, the internet, and online anything. Remember the 60’s?  HA!  gotcha.

In this enlightened age, following the suggestions of the algorithm of choice on Amazon, or Netflix, or any other marketing bot attempting to sell us stuff, can really end up in a deep ditch of habit unless considered and actively rejected. Amazon’s latest “recommended for you” is “Winter World, a new ice age changes everything”. A refreshing change from dystopian Sci-Fi monologues by global warming zombies  predicated upon an “apocalypse by CO2” who pretend that their “Science” fiction is based on fact.

It would seem, on consideration, that most media coverage of “climate change” is really just “Science” fiction with an agenda, like George Soros’ rise to global domination in the fortress of F.U.D. It is sometimes surprising when one discovers that a Hungarian Billionaire is one of the major funders of Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Liberal Party, the Natural Governing Party, as they style themselves.

Predicting a coalition of Greens, NDP, and Liberals to maintain control of Ottawa and the direction that Canada goes for at least another 4 years. Sigh … open guess if we will survive as a business to see the next federal election after this one. Of course Trump prevailed against all the media and pundit predictions so maybe we will get lucky up here as well, not that I am a great fan of Trump but I would hold my nose and vote for him given the abysmal quality and morality of virtually every other contender from every party. There are probably not even a half dozen Secular Progressives in any party in any Capital that shouldn’t be imprisoned or perhaps terminated for “Crimes Against Humanity”. That’s not a very charitable point of view, is it? What would Jesus say?

Anyway, the Feast of Michaelmas, and how sometimes it pays to actually go on a quest for something different than normal, thinking for oneself can be refreshing … found this poet … Malcolm Guite, interesting man … and very worthwhile considering on our cool fall days. As Ned Stark remarked: “Winter is coming”.

St. Michael, Archangel

St. Michael, Archangel

Popularly knows as Michaelmas; also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a minor Christian festival observed in some Western liturgical calendars on 29 September.

It is observed by Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, and Eastern Orthodox communions. From my Daily Roman Missal:

St. Gabriel

St. Gabriel, Archangel

“St. Michael (“Who is like God”) is the Archangel who fought Satan.  He is the protector of all people and reminds the faithful of the real existence of the Devil and demonic activity. He is invoked for protection from the snares of the Devil.

St. Gabriel (“Strength of God”) announced to St. Zechariah the birth of St. John the Baptist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary the birth of Christ. His greeting to Our Lady, “Hail, full of grace,” is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Church.

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael (“Medicine of God”) is the Archangel who, in the Book of Tobit, cared for Tobias on his journey. Every person on his or her pilgrimage through this life also has a guardian angel.”

In some denominations a reference to a fourth angel, usually Uriel, is also added. In Christian angelology, the Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honored for defeating Satan in the war in heaven.

He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence.

Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes, as well, particularly in Britain and Ireland as one of the quarter days.

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St. Michael and All Angels

Michaelmas gales assail the waning year,
And Michael’s scale is true, his blade is bright.

He strips dead leaves, and leaves the living clear
To flourish in the touch and reach of light.

Archangel bring your balance, help me turn
Upon this turning world with you and dance
In the Great Dance.

Draw near, help me discern,
And trace the hidden grace in change and chance.

Angel of fire, Love’s fierce radiance,
Drive through the deep until the steep waves part;

Undo the dragon’s sinuous influence
And pierce the clotted darkness in my heart.

Unchain the child you find there, break the spell
And overthrow the tyrannies of Hell.

Malcolm Guite, This poem from “Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year” (London: Canterbury Press, 2012). Found on Amazon.com,

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Cheers

Joe

… and miles to go before we sleep …

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Life in a small town

Patience … All Is Gratuitous Gift …

This has been a summer full of frustration, fear, uncertainty and doubt, a summer of discontent. Future prospects are obscured in a cloudy haze of local and international political and economic issues. Locally, business has been terrible because of local construction which has severely restricted access to my business premises. This summer we are down 50% in sales. Contrary to the phone company advertising, the future is decidedly not friendly.

And so I am trying hard to work on exercising patience, every day, with all the little trials, annoyances, inconveniences and disappointments which we all experience every day, and in keeping in mind that “All Is Gratuitous Gift” … I am just going to quote from Venerable Mary of Agreda’s “The Mystical City of Godfor the rest of this post.  Written by Venerable María de Jesus de Agreda, a 17th century Spanish nun, after years of private revelations from God the Father and Most Holy Mary, Mística Ciudad de Dios (The Mystical City of God) is a marvelous and life-changing narrative of most wonderful and hidden mysteries about the life of Most Holy Mary and her Son Jesus Our Lord that has been enthralling readers for centuries.

Composed of the Conception, Incarnation, Transfixion and Coronation, this magnificent narrative takes the reader through the various stages of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, plus it reveals all sorts of facts about our entire salvation history. Pope Innocent XI and Pope Alexander VIII in 1690 expressly declared that the City of God may be read by all the faithful. Pope Clement XI and Benedict XIV gave like decisions. Here then is the quote for my trials this summer and beyond:

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Mystical City Of God,

“In all the difficulties, … I never lost sight of one consideration, which I desire thee always to keep in mind. It is this: that thou ponder in thy heart and in thy soul the truths, which I saw, so that thou mayest form a correct judgment of all things, giving to each that esteem and value which is its due. In regard to this the children of Adam are ordinarily full of error and blindness, but I desire that thou, my daughter, share it not with them.

357. As soon as I was born into the world and made aware of the light, which shone upon me, I felt the effects of the elements, the influence of the planets and of the stars, of the earth which sustained me, of the nourishments which preserved me, and of all the other things of this life.

I gave thanks to the Author of all things, acknowledging his works as benefits freely bestowed upon me, and not as dues, which He owed to me. Therefore, when anything was wanting of the necessaries of life I remained in peace and contentedness and deemed it all perfectly reasonable and proper in my regard, since I had merited none of the gifts and could justly be deprived of all of them.

Hence, if I acknowledged this, thereby merely asserting a truth which the human reason cannot ignore nor deny, where have mortals their intellect, or what use do they make of their understanding when, at the refusal of things which they desire and of which perhaps they do not even profit, they begin to get sad and lash themselves into fury one against the other, and even against their God, as if they were suffering some injury at his hands?

Let them inquire what treasures and riches they did possess before they came into life? What services had they rendered unto God in order to merit them? And if out of nothing there cannot arise anything, and if they could not merit the being which they have received, what obligation is there on the part of God to preserve out of justice, what was given to them entirely gratuitously?

That God created man was of no benefit to Himself; but to man it was a benefit, and one as great as the being given to him, and as high as the object for which it was given. And if in his creation man becomes indebted so much that he never can pay his debt, tell me what right can he invoke at present for his preservation? Has he not received his being without merit and many times forfeited it? How can he claim the guarantee and pledge of unfailing plenty?

358. If the first transaction and operation was a mortgage and a debt by which man binds himself, how can he with such impatience demand favors? And if in spite of all this, the supreme goodness of the Creator furnishes him graciously with what is necessary, why should he be agitated by the want of superfluities. O my daughter, what an execrable disorder and what a despicable blindness of mortals is this?

For that, which the Lord gives them gratuitously, they do not thank Him, or even give Him acknowledgment, and for that which He denies them justly and sometimes most mercifully, they are restless and proudly desirous, and they try to procure it by unjust and forbidden means, throwing themselves into the very destruction which flies from them.

The first sin alone, committed by man, was sufficient to cancel man’s right to the friendly service of all the other creatures; and if the Lord himself would not restrain them, they would turn in vengeance upon man and refuse to render any service or help for sustaining his life. The heavens would deny them their light and benign influences, the fire would refuse its heat, the air would cease to serve for respiration, and all the other things would in their particular way refuse their services, since they would in justice be bound to refuse them.

Then when the earth would deny its fruits, and the elements their moderation and their assistance, and all the other creatures would arm themselves to avenge the wrongs of their Creator (Sap. S, 18), perhaps disgraced man would humiliate himself in his vileness and would not heap up the wrath of the Lord for the unerring day of accountance, when all his dreadful guilt will be exposed.

Recent picture of Venerable Mary of Agreda, (1602-1665) Incorruptible

359. But thou, my dear friend, fly from such base ingratitude, and humbly acknowledge that thou hast received thy being and life gratuitously, and that, gratuitously, its Author preserves it for thee. Freely dost thou receive all the other benefits, without any merit of thine; and thus, receiving much and repaying little, thou makest thyself daily less worthy of favors, while the liberality of the Most High grows continually with thy indebtedness.

Let this thought be uppermost in thee always, in order that it awaken and move thee to many acts of virtue. If any of the irrational creatures fail thee, I desire thee to rejoice in the Lord and give thanks to his Majesty, and bless them for their obedience to the Creator. If the rational creatures persecute thee, love them with all thy heart and regard them as the instruments of divine justice, which afford thee some opportunity of rendering satisfaction for thy deficiency.

Rather strengthen and console thyself in labors, adversities and tribulations, not only considering them as fully deserved by the faults committed, but deeming them ornaments of the soul and most rich jewels given thee by thy Spouse.”  (Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations . Veritatis Splendor Publications. [pp 356-359])

Cheers

Joe

Naked came I into the world and naked will I leave it. Thy Will be done, O Lord, Thy Will be done.

 

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Life in a small town

Real Christianity … True Teachings & Apostasy …

“2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties.

3 Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, 4 is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, 5 and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.

9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses”  (1 Tm 6:2-12)

Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of tenets of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, the beliefs of Christianity. For current examples of apostasy we need look no further than our local parish and ask the question about how folks “feel” about the Real Presence of Christ, Body Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist.

Another example would be the belief in the need for a regular approach (monthly?) to the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession for forgiveness of sins lest we eat and drink damnation upon ourselves by receiving the Eucharist while being not in a state of grace occasioned by not having attended confession and therefore having mortal sins on our soul.

So, first, to believe in the Real Presence, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and secondly, to eat and drink this Body and Blood worthily, that is without sin upon you and in a state of grace. 1 Corinthians 23-32 is in every bible of every Christian denomination:

23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it , in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body. 30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep. 31 But if we discerned ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians: 23-32)

Presumably this is an important tenet of of all Christian belief … and yet, Christ Himself instituted the sacrament of Confession, and taught us that we needed to go to confession to be in a state of grace, to worthy to receive His Body and Blood …

19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20: 19-23)

This scriptural fact exists in all Christian Bibles and the validity of the sacraments is at the root of the importance of the Apostolic succession. These days, there is no such thing as confession, or most other sacraments, in most “Christian” denominations and even very few “Catholics” avail themselves on the sacrament even when it is available … in many places it is difficult for Catholics to get the sacrament because it has fallen out of favour with some clergy and is only available by special appointment.

Back in the 1800’s it was still considered important, an essential requirement of Christian belief, that a Christian church could trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing hierarchy, the “High Church” of whichever denomination. The Apostolic succession is required in order to have “valid” sacraments. No Apostolic succession therefore meant no valid sacraments.  The Oxford Movement began in the 1830’s and was championed by John Henry Cardinal Newman.

The Movement was begun by Anglican theologians who attempted to trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing Anglican High Church. The more they studied, the more the theologians realized that they were unable to do this. Their examination of the Anglican faith found that it lacked the full deposit of faith found only in the Catholic Church. some of these theologians, including Newman went on to follow the Truth and converted to the Catholic Faith.

The remainder who chose not to follow the evidence where it led were rewarded with worldly positions and honors and advancement in the “new” belief’s of the new “Non-Apostolic” churches. In other words, they became officers and practitioners of the new “State” religion and took their marching orders not from God and Rome but rather from whoever the “Head of State” happened to be at the time, rather like the way modern day Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia and others do it.

Very few modern “Christian” churches (only about 23 out of approximately 900 “Christian” churches ) can legitimately claim Apostolic succession and without it there are no licit sacraments available to their believers.  Now in 2019 we can clearly see 23 distinct and authentic manifestations of the Catholic Church comprising the Latin Church and the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches all in communion with an unbroken history from Christ himself.

Looking out from that 2000 year old core of belief we see from the 16th century on a huge scattering as each man who rejected “Truth” started his own personal version of “truth” and pursued his own dream. The current landscape of culture and morality is now littered with the wreckage of virtually all the original mainstream Protestant sects and at present we can count  902 new sects including over 200 non-trinitarian sects, all of whom claim to have the one truth, and which arise and vanish like the leaves of summer.

Can they all be unique purveyors of truth and light?  It does seem a stretch when considered in the bright light of day through the lens of history with the wreckage mounting all around us. Please visit:  here  for the latest count. This is all apostasy … through and through.

Christian Truth is either all true, or none of it is for any sect, it is either all true, or is just another long running con game practiced by various gangs throughout history and if that is the actual truth then the World’s claim that Christianity is evil is true … it is all just “relative” … “I’m OK, your OK” and whatever you feel is good is good as long as it is what you want. And we are just as evil as the world.

For a more cosmopolitan international flavor of Apostasy we have the current episcopal Summit, the Amazon Summit, where we are being told that we must take moral and spiritual instruction from the animist Amazon jungle tribes. This current “Amazon Summit,” is seeing all kinds of ecclesiastical enormities, being committed by amateur Rousseauians and Neo-Marxists in the pope’s “progressive” entourage., his holiness’s “delegation”. But then, we have seen “liberation theology” in action before and I am confident it will burn out again eventually.

Just in passing, the punishment for apostasy in the Catholic Church was, and perhaps still is, excommunication which is basically a formal Canon Law acknowledgement that the apostate is no longer a Catholic and no longer can partake of the sacraments nor can they legally present themselves as Catholic.  In our modern day, excommunication is no longer much in use as in many cases the apostates are actually senior members of the Curia and even the ones who would organize the excommunication process. It has become “unfashionable” and as David Warren recently mentioned: “quaint”.

The current commonality is that many people, perhaps even most people, who claim the name of “Catholic” are in reality smorgasbord Catholics who do not adhere to all the beliefs of the Catholic Church … only the ones they like or are comfortable with, the “nice” beliefs that don’t involve any real sacrifice, that don’t involve taking a stand against the deviant beliefs of our politically correct polite society. In other words they are “Apostate” Christians or maybe even non-Christian. These days in the “Christian” world being “excommunicated” carries about the same weight as being “unfriended” on Facebook.

In Islam, things are still taken quite seriously. This is one of the more admirable characteristics of Islam … Real Belief … In Islam the Penalty for Apostasy seems to indicate a more serious view. Maliki – allows up to ten days for recantation, after which the apostate must be killed. Both men and women apostates deserve the death penalty according to the traditional view of Sunni Maliki fiqh. The verses 33-34 of Surah al-Ma’ida of the Qur’an[Quran 5:33] specify punishment for “those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land”:[2]

“The punishments of those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land are to execute them in an exemplary way or to crucify them or to amputate their hands and feet from opposite sides or to banish them from the land. Such is their disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom save those who repent before you overpower them; you should know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Ever Merciful.”

The verbal noun form (i.e. hirabah) is frequently used in classical and modern books of Islamic jurisprudence, but neither the word hirabah nor the root verb haraba occurs in the Quran.[3] (Yuhaaribun is the form used in Quran 5:33-4.)  Blasphemy (sabb-al-nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter, or his family is a crime in Iran, and a blasphemer would be found guilty of apostasy as well by default. Blasphemy is punishable by death or imprisonment. For all other hudud crimes, the fourth offense would be a capital offense (carrying the death penalty), unless the person repents. the Religion of Peace, indeed, for all will be peaceful when all believe.

If one looks closely at what might transpire in our society if “all believe” what Christ actually taught, then the “all will be peaceful when all believe” rings true as well. “Imagine” as world where there was no self love, no self interest, no “What’s in it for me”, where all people “Love one another as I have loved you”.

So what does “Real Christianity” look like? this is a question I have started to address here and here and am now going to continue on the same vein in future posts.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

 

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Assumptions … authority can be wrong …

I have remarked in previous posts on the prevalence of politically correct fantasy over truth, over empirical reality … in these days we find ourselves living in a culture and society where keeping control is more important than truth, than reality. Over decades I have come to believe that a truth can always be proven, a truth can be defended, even against a vigorous attack. But a lie will not hold up to scrutiny.

Today, in the mainstream media, social media, state information organs and even in our churches we are witness to radical attempts on the part of many established authorities to vilify, demean and silence anyone, literally by any means possible, who dares to disagree with them. Anyone who is not advocating the current social narrative in lockstep with the talking heads and all the suits at the photo-ops is publicly ridiculed as (pick your favorite belittling and denigrating anathema, ban, curse, execration, malediction, malison, ).

Should you have the slightest doubt of the truth of this just take a cursory look at what passes for political, municipal, or even social dialogue as reported in all media in Canada and the good old U.S.A. today, eh? It’s a no brainer … anyone with even 1 neuron firing and 1 ounce of integrity would have to acknowledge the scarcity of polite consideration for the views of others or honest “good will” efforts to understand anyone who doesn’t agree with us.

So, continuing with my illustration of the gulf between what TROTKU (the rest of the known universe) spouts and believes about Christianity and what the Truth is, here is some more about bearing one another’s burdens.  I continue to be a little surprised when I discover how many heterodox modernist practitioners and followers still claim to be “christian” and even “catholic” when their daily performance is light years away from what Christ’s Truth was all about.

There were still traces of orthodox tradition to be found amongst the general population in “Western Christendom” up into the early 20th century and those Truths and Traditions are still practiced today in a few isolated locations on the planet. But the modernist progressives have made huge strides in establishing the kingdom of The Prince of This World in our “enlightened” 21st century. The Mystical Body Of Christ has been pretty well subverted by the mystical body of Antichrist over most of the planet in our day.

But what have we discarded in our “rush to belong”, our drive to “get with the times”, to “get a life”, as my family members and acquaintances are fond of remarking when they are feeling polite. Here is a sample:

If charity and grace unite us to Christ in such intimate and vital relations, it is evident that we must live this union, first with Him who is our Head, and then with our brethren, who like us have also been engrafted into Christ. Hence there will be a supernatural affection which will bind us to one another and make us one heart and one soul, ready to labor and suffer  for one another, to help and sustain one another.

`Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep` (St. Paul, Rom 12,15), Thus the Apostle teaches us to share the joys and sorrows, the cares and anxieties of others as if they were our own. They are, in fact, our own, because they are the joys, cares, and anxieties of that one Mystical Body of Christ to which we belong and which, therefore, is ours.

… Bearing one another’s burdens also means enduring the faults of others calmly and kindly. Faults are the inevitable consequence of human limitations. “The Imitation of Christ” tells us, “what a man cannot amend in himself  or others, he must bear with patience till GOD ordains otherwise” (I, 16, 1). (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy” meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year pp 778-779)

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin, also known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D., was a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun who is widely venerated in modern times. She is popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus”, or simply “The Little Flower.”  In the last months of her life, she wrote “Now I know that true charity consists in bearing all my neighbor’s defects, in not being surprised at mistakes, but in being edified at the smallest virtues” (St, 10)

And yet another lesson which has fallen out of favor:

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by
John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne (1572 – 1631)

John Donne (1572 – 1631) was an English writer and poet.  As a Catholic in a time when that denomination was illegal in England, he endured constant prejudice and harassment and was ultimately forced into joining the Anglican church by King James I. Early in his life, John earned a reputation as a playboy and spendthrift, but at 25, he fell in love with Anne More. Despite her father’s scorn, the couple married, had a dozen children, and John became a devoted—if not financially successful—family man.

His career forays included law, diplomatic service, and church leadership, but he is best remembered as the founder of a group called the “metaphysical” poets. Popular during his lifetime, then dismissed for many years as inferior because it was so different from other poetry of that time, John’s work is today considered brilliant and his influence on literature legendary among some who don’t get their daily reality from social  media, but he continues in obscurity amongst most modernists including some allegedly highly intelligent intellectuals and high leaders of church and state.

Well, I suppose that is about enough for one day …  just now I am thinking of a fictional “man of honor”, Ned Stark.

Ned Stark by Sean Bean

In A Game of Thrones (1996), Ned Stark is introduced as the virtuous and honorable patriarch of House Stark and the father of six children. The moral compass of the story, he is content to remain far from courtly intrigues and is unwavering in his view of loyalty and honor.

His family name, Stark, serves as an indication of his resistance to moral compromise, but his boundaries are increasingly tested over the course of the novel. Finding himself a key player in the escalating political intrigue of King’s Landing, Ned struggles as his own sense of honor draws him into corrupt goings-on at court.

Sean Bean said of the character, “he’s a good man trying to do his best in the middle of this corruption, he’s a fish out of water, he’s used to being up north in Winterfell where people are pretty straight and pragmatic, and he comes down to a place where people are playing games and backstabbing … he’s a principled man who tries to hold things together. This is a journey that he makes where ultimately his loyalty causes his downfall” … and death.

I thought the book and the show were pretty good right up to the early point where Lord Stark is executed. Things got too real for me at that point as both the show and the book abandoned any semblance of morality in the interest of the corruption of viewers and readers. The despair which the series invoked and the plot direction which kept it popular with viewers is a symptom of our cultural and societal moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States and prior to 1976, in Canada, that refers to “an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community”. In 1976, the Canadian government and legal community decided that no behaviour gravely violates the accepted standards of our communities and opted for another path of subjective relativism in which “it all depends”.

The precise definition of a crime that involves moral turpitude isn’t always clear, but in the U.S.A., the following crimes are always considered crimes of moral turpitude:

  • murder;
  • voluntary manslaughter;
  • rape;
  • statutory rape;
  • domestic violence;
  • prostitution;
  • fraud and crimes where fraud is an element
  • all theft offenses;
  • blackmail;
  • malicious destruction of property;
  • arson;
  • alien smuggling;
  • harboring a fugitive;
  • bribery;
  • perjury

Of course, in Canada, “It all depends…” on geographical location, on age, on employment status, on political allegiance, on social status, on voting record, on gender or lack of same, on language, on religious beliefs, on victim-hood, on racial profile, … whatever …

Cheers

Joe

Winter Is Coming …

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Assumptions … onward from August 25th …

Lately I have been spending a lot more time thinking about my moral life in Christ and a lot less time writing. On August 25th I posted thus: “So, imagine a universe where authority can be wrong. Sometimes, a person in authority can be mistaken. A person who believes a lie, and who repeats the lie, does not do so out of malicious intent! And yet, he is repeating a lie! Sometimes people and authorities believe things that are later proven to be untrue and they act on those things with a clear conscience because it’s “for our own good”. If you forced these folks to take a lie detector test they would pass because they actually do not know it is a lie.

There are books, books written as recently as a few years years ago, books you can still find in the library, which include untruths. Did those writers lie to you? No, they’d told the truth, as they’d known it. But future generations discovered that their concept of the truth had been very limited, and knowledge is still advancing. And that is just the mild form of misinformation.”

And at the time I wrote this I was thinking in terms of various secular authorities and governing bodies and so on, but I realized, thinking about this, after finishing my routine morning meditation, and going about my daily duties, that the “wrong authority” meme applies equally well to the popular image of “religion” as delusional, superstitious, and as some Communist “thinkers” have expressed: “The Opiate of the Masses”.

And I also thought about some popular notions regarding “the Inquisition”, “Burn the Witch!”, and so on including categorizing “The Crusades” as militaristic aggression on the part of European culture against “innocent” Muslim nations, all of which are frequently cited as “reasonable proof” that religion, and more specifically Christian or even Catholic religion is a load of mind control malarkey.

Our accepted “authorities” have done a pretty good job of selling these mis-truths about religion to the general proletariat in the interest of maintaining control and rationalizing their social policy choices and directions and coincidentally, their power base. So, as previously posted “imagine a universe where authority can be wrong“. Imagine a situation where all those “assumptions” about Christianity are just … well … wrong. Imagine.

So I am just going to quote from my meditation book … a message shining a light on what Christianity is … in reality …:

“1. Everyone has some burden, more or less heavy, to bear: physical or moral weakness, the press of duties and responsibilities, fatigue or other troubles which weigh on his shoulders. Everyone feels the need of a friendly hand to help him carry this weight. This hand should be held out to him in fraternal charity, which for the love of GOD, knows how to be all things to all men. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ” (St. Paul, Gal 6,2)

A Christian knows that he  is not isolated, but is a member of a unique body, the Mystical Body of Christ. “So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (St. Paul, Rom 12,5). This knowledge of his solidarity with the brethren makes a Christian live, not enclosed in the tiny circle of his own interests, but with his heart open to the needs and interests of others. The mystery of our incorporation in Christ is more than an individual fact; by its very nature, it is a social fact. Incorporation in Christ by grace and charity connotes reciprocal incorporation among brethren, like branches of a vine, which, sprung from the same stock, are so closely united one to another that they live, grow, and develop together.

Love for Christ is the vital expression of our union with Him; the closer this union becomes, the more our love increases; so too, fraternal charity is the vital expression of our reciprocal union with the brethren in Christ, to such a point that if this charity were not living and operative, we would have to say that our union in Christ and with Christ is very weak or even absolutely null.” (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.  from the book “Divine Intimacy” meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year pp 778)

That’s definitely not the popular image of a “Catholic”. The world “KNOWS” that Catholics are the real bad guys… hmmm.

Enough for now … more in the next post and a parting jest:

 

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scientific Truth … and Assumptions

I am still thinking about how to write a couple of posts on the Reincarnation of our Lord and the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Obviously I would have to confine myself to what I believe and why I have come to believe it or the post would never end. There has been a lot of writing and debate on these items of faith over the centuries.

Pope Leo XIII

I may not actually get to writing anything if I keep on finding more and more interest in the extent Magisterium and various theological opinions from many faith streams. There are whole libraries worth of content out there worthy of consideration.

For example, I never thought of Pope Leo XIII as a Liberal but it seems, from reading old articles and opinion pieces that he might actually be said to be the “father or sponsor” of the heterodox Modernist heresy in the current  Catholic hierarchy. Who Knew … Leo XIII as a Liberal … hmmm.

On other fronts I subscribe to a Blog site written by a very interesting Doctor, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, who writes mostly on Cardiac topics but sometimes wanders off into other very interesting areas and I am inspired to link to his latest blog post and also to quote largely from his latest and from a couple of others.

I share his concern for the radical attempts on the part of many established authorities to vilify, demean and silence anyone, literally by any means possible, who dares to disagree with them.

Dr Malcolm Kendrick

I have mentioned Kim Jong-un in a few posts but it is apparent that there are literally thousands of little “Kim Jong-un” fan boys and fan girls out there on the loose and many of them are in control of many of our various “Authorities”, Societies, Governing Bodies, Associations, and so on. These are the Illuminati who control or try to control what is allowed to transpire in our polite society, and woe to all those who fail to toe the line and make the appropriate obeisances to those authorities.

These days we find ourselves living in a culture and society where keeping control is more important than truth, than reality. Over decades I have come to believe that a truth can always be proven, a truth can be defended, even against a vigorous attack. But a lie will not hold up to scrutiny.

And anyone who refuses to allow vigorous debate is not on the side of truth. It is better to fight and re-fight the battle over truth, rather than let a single lie – or mis-truth – go unchallenged. Reality is somewhat different from social media memes despite the aims and desires of authority figures everywhere.

Everything we “know” to be true may be untrue tomorrow, our “assumptions” may be proven wrong at any moment. And when that happens we need to maintain the flexibility to adapt to a whole new world. If our culture fails to adapt, it will fail fatally and join the legions of failed nations, states, and cultures that fill the mass graves of history.

Unfortunately, even when the data support a hypothesis which goes against the currently accepted “truth” all right thinking people “know” that the accepted truth is the real truth and any different opinion or hypothesis is obviously wrong and the people who espouse that train of conjecture are obviously idiots who need their breathing problem fixed.

‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’ Max Plank.

We assume that whatever we hear around the water cooler of at the coffee shop or amongst our “Friends” on Facebook is absolute truth, especially if it is a juicy tidbit about our neighbour or a competitor, unless it goes against what we already “Know”.

“Assume, as the saying goes, makes an ass out of you and me”. The assumptions you make, the assumptions you don’t think to question, will eventually get you into trouble. I think that just might be what is at the root of people expressing anger towards us because we are not angry about the same things they are angry about.

Here is a link to an interesting theory about oil as a “fossil” fuel, a non-renewable resource which we are using up too fast (“Peak Oil”?) and which is killing the planet (Global Warming?). Most of the proponents of the “anti-oil energy” religion don’t live anywhere with “winter” and also have disingenuously advocated “alternative” energy sources which invariably involve vast wealth transfers from taxpayers to their own interest groups.

However the unexamined premise has resulted in the proliferation of believers in regions where they would be dead in a week if their beliefs were ever put into practice. Such is the nature of humanity, we have a burning need to “belong” more than any need for our beliefs to show congruence with reality.

From the blog of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick:For many years it was taught that bacteria could not live in the human stomach. It was too hostile, too acidic. So, when it was proposed that a bacterium (H. Pylori), living in the stomach, could be an important cause of stomach ulcers, the idea was pretty much dismissed out of hand.

Warren and Marshall eventually proved that the scientific consensus on this matter was utter nonsense. This despite being attacked viciously from all sides. They eventually won the Nobel prize for their work where they were specifically praised for battling on in the face of implacable hostility. It is clear that had Warren not been a cussed swine, they could easily have given up, worn down by the opposition.

Had Max Plank not decided to publish some wild and whacky papers in his journal ‘Physics’, from a patent clerk, it is perfectly possible we may never have heard of a certain Albert Einstein.”

Why does “authority” have such a resistance to truth?

For years now, in the course of business, I have remarked many times that many people, perhaps even most people, would rather die than change their lifestyle, their diet, even their mind. I don’t think this is overstating the case.  And while it is a new understanding to me, this thought is not new:

 ‘No man can be forced to be healthful, whether he will or not. In a free society, individuals must judge for themselves what information they choose to heed and what they ignore.’ (John Locke. (1632 – 1704) ‘A letter concerning Toleration’)

So onward … I have found the next 2 links uplifting and vindicating in the same sense as the old joke about peeing in a dark suit. I have been personally vilified and ridiculed for my questioning the current use of vaccines even by a family member in my extended family, dismissed as a “crazy vaxer”, but here are the links.

You can decide for yourselves whether we suffer from “worship of authority” or have a genuine belief in the “scientific method”.

  1. https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2019/07/09/my-feelings-about-the-vaccine-debate/
  2. https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2019/07/29/a-second-look-at-vaccination-answers-that-cannot-be-questioned/

So, imagine a universe where authority can be wrong. Sometimes, a person in authority can be mistaken. A person who believes a lie, and who repeats the lie, does not do so out of malicious intent! And yet, he is repeating a lie! Sometimes people and authorities believe things that are later proven to be untrue and they act on those things with a clear conscience because it’s “for our own good”. If you forced these folks to take a lie detector test they would pass because they actually do not know it is a lie.

There are books, books written as recently as a few years years ago, books you can still find in the library, which include untruths. Did those writers lie to you? No, they’d told the truth, as they’d known it. But future generations discovered that their concept of the truth had been very limited, and knowledge is still advancing. And that is just the mild form of misinformation.

Jerry Pournelle,

Authority is also often more interested in maintaining itself than determining the truth. A person(s) who clings to his/her authority – which may or may not be based on a known lie – is unlikely to want to do anything to weaken it. This reminds me of Pournelle’s iron law of bureaucracy:

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

He eventually restated it as:

…in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representatives who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

George Santayana

Also reminded of Santayana’s  “those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.” in the sense that the vaults of history are crammed full of “authorities” who viciously resisted any form of change when their beliefs were questioned, and in the end they turned out to be wrong, even dead wrong, but that didn’t stop them from making millions of people miserable, or even dead.

I think we are up against the same sort of situation now when dealing with our health care system, our government, our social programs, the “religion” of climate change and so on and so forth.

Cheers

(Crazy) Joe

 

 

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The Resurrection Of Our Lord

This could have been a long and involved post but N.T. Wright wrote over 800 pages on this topic and I think I will simply refer those interested to his work and stick to what this means to me and why I have come to believe what I believe. First, it is absolutely clear to me at this stage that All of Christianity stands or falls on the reality of the Resurrection. Either Christ was/is GOD the Son and the Resurrection is a real event as we believe, and everything He taught is true and is as He says:

Jesus Christ, ca 30AD

1Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God: believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself: that where I am, you also may be. 4And whither I go you know: and the way you know.

5Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest. And how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

7If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him.

8Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father; and it is enough for us. 9Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Shew us the Father? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works. 11Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? 12Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake.

Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do: and greater than these shall he do. 13Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.” (John 14:1-14)

George Soros, 2012

Or, Christ was/is NOT GOD the Son and the Resurrection is not a real event as we believe, but rather some foundational myth of just another religion, and everything He taught is a lie.

There is no moral compass and all truth, good, evil, joy and suffering are simply some relativistic opinion of one or another charismatic person, more or less good according to their own judgement and the judgement of their particular followers.

In this regime, this philosophy, there is no moral difference no valid way to judge what are right actions and results between, for example, those who sought to save and protect the Jewish and Christian victims of the Nazi holocaust, and the bureaucrats and camp workers and soldiers who set those policies and put the “Final Solution” into action.

All that we have is a difference of opinion between the followers of different sociopolitical points of view.

Kim Jong-un

In the society which does not believe in the Resurrection there are only differences of opinion and any and all means of forwarding one’s point of view are acceptable. Christians are just stupid suckers who deserve death or worse because they are “just too stupid to live”.

Might makes right, and outside of the Resurrection, that is the foundation of every belief system in history and really, anywhere on the planet today.

Our choice today is between North Korea and by implication China, and all the other totalitarian regimes making headlines today on the one hand, and the nominally “christian” west which has a history of “working for the good” but is currently in the throes of rapidly jettisoning that “old fashioned baggage” and rapidly moving towards the Korean model by way of Franco-European style socialism.

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), arrive for a gala show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

We are proudly living in the derelict castle of our past and using up the stores of our patrimony without providing anything or creating anything new for the future generation. All the while we prance about like drama students pretending that we wrote the play.

This is one of those utterly simple binary choices between two clearly, radically even, different paths of existence and the choice hinges on belief that there is a Good that is desirable and attainable by all men, or on a belief that there is no Good, that all choices are relative and equally meritorious, what I have previously referred to as “the Mystical Body of Christ vs The Mystical Body of Anti-Christ”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media in the foyer of the House of Commons following the release of an ethics report in Ottawa on Wednesday December 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld ORG XMIT: ajw105

The latter path appears to be the predominant direction of our modern society, the clear choice, the politically correct mindset of the Luciferian Left, our progressive leadership and the vast government network of functionaries and minions who are engaged in  forwarding the agenda of the latest “Final Solution”, as well as those who they claim to “serve” as in “public service”.

We find ourselves living our lives in a perfect classroom experiment involving Christ’s instruction about “loving our enemies”. If the delineation between the sides of this choice is not immediately clear then ask yourself “Why is the Tides Foundation Canada one of the major supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada?”

Who is at the top of the food chain in the Tides foundation? What’s in it for them? And why is Pope Francis’s administration lining up in lock step all across the spectrum with the global agenda of George Soros?

Don’t take my word for it … do your own digging … it’s all out there in the public domain.

I have been reading “Resurrection of the Son of God V3: Christian Origins and the Question of God”, by N. T. Wright. Fortress Press.  I quote from a couple of reviewers: “‘A monumental achievement in its scope, depth, and execution … a landmark in scholarly studies of the resurrection.’ Gerald O ’ Collins, The Tablet.

and

‘The most monumental defence of the Easter heritage in decades … The Resurrection of the Son of God marches through a clearly organized case that confronts every major doubt about Easter, ancient and modern.’ Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press.

For me, this is indeed “monumental”, the best book about the Resurrection I have ever had the pleasure to read. To end this post I am going to quote from the Preface. I have edited and slightly re-arranged the paragraph order and structure into bite sized bits which I find easier to read online but the thoughts and words are all N.T. Wright.

… in order to determine what happened on one particular day nearly two thousand years ago we find ourselves obliged to call and cross-examine a wide variety of witnesses, some of whom are simultaneously being questioned by advocates of other answers to the question.

The debate has frequently been bedevilled by oversimplifications, and to avoid this we shall have to set things out reasonably fully. Even so, there is no space for a full-scale history of research on the subject. I have chosen certain conversation partners, and regret that there was no room for more. My impression from reading the literature is that the primary sources themselves are not well enough known, or carefully enough studied.

The pilgrim who visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem faces several puzzles. Is this after all the place where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and buried? Why is it inside the city walls, not outside as one had supposed? How does the present building relate to the original site? How did the place come to be so different from what the New Testament leads us to expect (a garden with a tomb in it, close to a hill called Golgotha)?

And, even supposing this is roughly the right place, is this the right spot? Is this rocky outcrop, now enclosed within an upstairs chapel, actually the top of Golgotha? Is this marble slab really where the dead Jesus was laid? Is this highly ornate shrine really the site of the tomb? And—a different sort of question, but a pressing one for many visitors—why are different groups of Christians still squabbling about who owns the place?

N.T. Wright, speaking at a conference in December 2007

These puzzles, though, do not noticeably affect the appeal of the place. Despite archaeological, historical and ecclesiastical squabbles, the church retains its evocative and spiritual power. Pilgrims still flock to it in their hundreds of thousands.

Some of them still question whether it all really happened. Did Jesus of Nazareth, they ask, really rise from the dead? Whether or not they realize it, they join a different throng on a different pilgrimage: the jostling, overheated crowd of historians investigating the strange reports of events at the tomb of Jesus on the third day following his execution.
Here they are confronted with a similar set of problems.

The story of Easter, like the church at its supposed location, has been demolished and reconstructed again and again over the years. The tantalizing narratives in the gospels are as puzzling to the reader as the building is to the visitor. How do they fit together, if at all?

What precisely happened? Which school of thought today, if any, is telling the story truly? Many have despaired of discovering what, if anything, happened on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, despite perplexity and scepticism, billions of Christians around the world regularly repeat the original confession of Easter faith: on the third day after his execution, Jesus rose again.

So what did happen on Easter morning? This historical question, which is the central theme of the present book, is closely related to the question of why Christianity began, and why it took the shape it did.

N. T..Wright, “The Resurrection of the Son of God V3: Christian Origins and the Question of God” (pp. 3-4). Fortress Press.

Cheers

Joe

15. But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

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Life in a small town

Momentary Aside … year end is finally done!

Anduril, Howard Shore, LOTR, 2003

I took a break from blogging being preoccupied with completing my Corporate Year End(s). and it is now complete and we have only to discover by dint of my Chartered Accountant’s efforts over the next month or so just how much “Protection Money” we will have to send to the gang leaders in Ottawa.

Now, therefore I must stir my “stumps”, and return to more normal daily tasks than punching numbers into an electronic black hole, namely my PC running Quickbooks. I am considering moving my “Office” back upstairs so I can work in more comfort but that is a project for another day. So again, I leave my comfortable library lounge and return to my Server Workstation in the “bunker”.

No windows or nice views down there, and kind of cold and damp … fortunately I have “electricity” and “electric heaters”  which are far easier to use than fireplaces and coal … thank you my daughter, child of a newer age for your insistence on some 21st century amenities.

While not as aesthetically gratifying as my library, I have access to vastly better equipment and connections in the bunker, where I can maintain and monitor all those process and events by which my family and I draw material sustenance from the dark world outside my castle walls.

So, while I am away dealing with the trivial details of material existence I give you old links to pleasant distractions over at David Warren’s site, starting with his April Fool’s day post, and then his Back to the Land post. Enjoy!

Cheers

Joe

Note to self: For Today …

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Life in a small town

The Power Of Faith …

The Return Of The King” Howard Shore, composer, from the soundtrack of “The Return Of The King”, part 3 of “The Lord Of The Rings”, released on December 17th, 2003.

I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief; increase my faith” (Mk 9, 23 – cf Lk 17,5)

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” Tolkien, “The Return of the King

I haven’t written anything since before last July 17th … I have been rather thinking and wondering if I have anything worth sharing and how can I tell … as Thomas a Kempis said “We think sometimes to please others by our company, and we rather offend them with those bad qualities they discover in us.” … and then, in our self regard we take offense that they have been offended by our bad qualities.

What is worthwhile?

I watched “Indivisible” last night. It helped me to re-focus my head on what matters.

Honor, Faith, Loyalty, Competence, Selflessness, Integrity, Courage, Discipline, Sacrifice,  Tradition,  virtues to live by. The virtues we strive to live by, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, onto death or the end of the world in spite of everything the world throws at us in it’s effort to deny life. The thing that all of these virtues or qualities have in common at their root is they are all about “Giving”  to others. Giving away what we have and are for the benefit of others, even unto death. To develop these “characteristics” one has to live them, repeat them, over, and over, and over, until the repetition ingrains them so deeply into every cell of our being that thought never enters into it. it just IS the way you live, as natural as breathing.

Aristotle makes this point about the virtues in general, with courage as one of the virtues he addresses. As he notes in his Nicomachean Ethics, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  For Aristotle, the key to virtuous behavior (to include courageous behavior) is habituation. We have to habituate ourselves to facing fear and reacting courageously. A great deal of military training focuses on exactly that — the formation of certain military virtues through repetitive training.

The corollary is, of course, that choosing self indulgence also becomes ingrained. We become what we do. “Giving” to others or “Taking” from others for ourselves are the two sides of the coin. We choose what we become. It is so simple that few acknowledge it, because to do so would mean having to take responsibility for our lives. Not being responsible has become, in our modern culture, literally a “get out of jail free” card. We can do and demand whatever we want and if anyone tries to stop us or hold us accountable THEY are the bad guy.

Honor and loyalty are kind of like a religion, a part of our religion. It is a religious experience.  It’s a belief in the standards, values, morals espoused by an organization and an adherence to them, [but] . . . it’s not a mindless adherence. . . . Duty, honor, sacrifice: You have a duty, and by properly executing your duty you cause an honor to be associated with yourself,  your profession and your beliefs. “Now do I swear fealty and service to the Lord, to speak and to be silent, to do and to let be, to come and to go, in need or plenty, in peace or war, in living or dying, from this hour henceforth, until my Lord release me, or calls me home, or the world’s end“.

Much of what follows here came out of “Divine Intimacy“, by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, O.C.D. , Copyright 1953 Monastero S. Guiseppe – Carmelitane Scalze, (Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Rome), 2014 edition”.  So my thoughts going forward are focused on the “end of all things” and how to make the best of the remaining time we have in  this world.

All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mk 9,22). Before Jesus performed a miracle, any miracle, He always asked for an act of faith. “Do you believe that I can do this unto you?” (Mt 9,28), and when faith was sincere, the miracle took place immediately. Jesus never said “My power and omnipotence has saved you, or cured you, but rather your faith, this to give us to understand that faith is the prerequisite to benefit from His power.

He, the all powerful Creator of the universe and everything in it, will only use His power for the benefit of those who firmly believe in Him, hence, there were no miracles for Nazareth.  4And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred. 5And he could not do any miracles there, only that he cured a few that were sick, laying his hands upon them. 6And he wondered because of their unbelief, and he went through the villages round about teaching. (Mk 6,4-6),

The more lively our faith the more powerful it is with the very power of God. Like everything in the Gospel, Jesus’s words are literally true, as mentioned in previous posts, it’s either all a lie, or it’s all true, it’s either all an evil con game, or it is all absolutely true. We choose to believe, or not to believe … we choose.  If the word of God is ineffectual in our lives  it is only because our faith is very weak.

In life we meet with many difficulties, and for us they are real  mountains. Difficulties in our spiritual life; faults we struggle to overcome; virtues we never seem to be able to acquire; difficulties in our everyday life; insufficient means of support, duties which surpass our abilities or our strength. And we stop , we are discouraged, at the foot of these mountains. “It is impossible, I cannot do it.”. It would require only a little faith, and provided our faith is living, certain, resolute, supernatural, and that it counts only on God and trusts in His Name alone, this faith will confront every difficulty with courage.. “Nothing is impossible to him that believeth.” and where belief stops, self love begins, and with self love begins every evil under the sun.

Although the difficulties we encounter are serious ones, discouragement is never justified. We get discouraged because we consider our powerlessness: on the one hand we remember our past failures and bitter life experience, and on the other hand we imagine situations coming up which are beyond our strength, making them appear like huge cliffs which crush, smother and paralyze us.

And, then there you are, sitting on your living-room floor, with no path forward visible in the darkness around. And the demons of our doubts are prattling on about the only “logical” choice is to stop wasting resources and end it.  That is often why God permits these very difficulties to teach us not to trust in ourselves … sometimes these difficulties cannot be solved by any human means.

And God permits all this to teach us, to force us, to practice the virtue of faith.

Cheers

Joe

Freedom and Faith

 

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