Life in a small town

I Find Myself Very Busy …

Oh Earth Oh Earth Return”, Bill Douglas, (1996)

David Warren

Well, as happens every year (this year earlier than previous … thankfully) the anxiety of finishing Year-End accounting has flooded me with a sense of urgency which wipes out all other interests. I will simply ride on some coat-tails of others who have nothing to do but blog and so I point to some posts which I found interesting and so may you … or not … your mileage may vary of course.

The first item of interest is the latest post from David Warren on “Getting dirty” here.

The next little item is a Homily by Fr. James Altman, at St. James the Less, La Crosse, WI.  Found on YouTube, and if you are deeply invested in the secular world view and not particularly religious, perhaps even one of the “Nones” then it might not be of interest, again, your mileage may vary. If you ARE of a religious bent, with a firm belief in God, of any believing denomination then it is a call which cannot be ignored.

Then there is another short but interesting post by David Warren titled “Fight them on the beaches, &c”

Mark Mallett with Pope Benedict XVI

And finally, last but not least, I have another recent post by Mark Mallett called “Our 1942”, which is well worth the time and emotional expenditure because it is rather grim. Again, if one is firmly committed to the secular world view, then there is nothing here but “stupid conspiracy theories” from Red Necks in fly-over country”.

But if you are starting to have doubts about the honesty and credibility of all our secular authorities then it is well worth the time to work through his post. It is well researched and well footnoted.

Anyway, that’s enough for now, gotta get back to accounting and “all the duties of my state in life”.

Cheers

Joe

A little rougher than usual …

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

The Return of the King … Sheepdogs and Donkeys … part 3 …

Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings

Remember … back before “Social Distancing”?

It should be very obvious to everyone who has even one eye and ear open, and with our most important continuous droning media event being the ongoing FUD drama of our “made-in-government” Red Bat Flu pandemic, that ‘Evil” exists. There are lots of places where good is absent.

There are places where government control includes killing regular folks on a regular basis out in the open, but in most places, in the West, that all happens in the shadows. Our government kills about a million of us a year but it is all covered up in euphemisms and double speak and buried in our health care stats.

You better believe it, and we don’t even have to look overseas to find them.  There are lots of evil men in this world and they are capable of horribly evil deeds. If you forget that or pretend, as so many do, it is not true, that evil doesn’t exist, you self select for the sheep team.

As David Warren writes:

“The daily count of deaths from the Red Chinese Batflu is among the prized, scare-mongering features of our mass media. I am among those who consider these numbers to be significantly overstated, for a reason that Nikolai Gogol would understand.

Each corpse is worth cash to some public authority, usually from a higher authority; and as always, finally from the taxpayers. Each also saves money for government programmes, that can be reallocated to the purchase of new votes. As the corpse providers from this virus are very old, and suffering from other life-threatening conditions, in almost every case, this statistical inflation is easy to perform.

Death certificates are issued for any who died with “Covid-19,” whether or not they died from it, and more are then added of those who were never tested. Anything respiratory will do. It’s all judgement calls — on which side of the bread is buttered.

Compare if you will the Hong Kong Flu of 1968 and 1969. I was just reading a memoir, from down that memory hole. The death toll was actually higher then, than ours is now, and from within a smaller population; the victims included children and the young. Yet there were no interruptions in economic life; no public emergency theatricals; and at the height of the second wave of that scourge, we had events like Woodstock. (Those were the days, my friend.)”

And for all of us, there is no safety in denial. No refuge in refusing to see, and no insult or belittling about this. It is simply choosing to live in reality, or denying reality.  Most of the people in our society are sheep. Most of the people live in denial. As I have said previously, they are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. There is no mortal malice in them.

The truth is, our society is like “… the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey, and someday it may grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell“. LTC (RET) Dave Grossman,  author of “On Killing.”   If you find you can handle that book then check out “On Combat”  and The Bulletproof Mind.  Soldiers, sailors, Police officers, Firemen, Para-medics and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful, a civilization that they protect from the enemy, the wolves.

So, for example, I have a little flash-back from over 40 years ago when I routinely spent over 300 days a year at sea because the Liberal guv’mint, the red jackals of the Cold War, saw us as the problem and ran us permanently at less than half strength, under paid, and under supplied, doing everything in their legal power to deplete us, the better to hinder the Americans, while still demanding that we give them cover by “doing everything, with nothing, forever”:

The Naval Prayer

O Eternal Lord God,
who alone rulest the raging of the sea;
who has compassed the waters with bounds
until day and night come to an end;
be pleased to receive into Thy almighty and most gracious protection
the persons of us Thy servants,
and the Fleet in which we serve.

Preserve us from the dangers of the sea,
and from the violence of the enemy;
that we may be a safeguard unto our most gracious Sovereign Lady,
Queen Elizabeth,
and her Dominions,
and a security for such as pass upon the seas upon their lawful occasions;
that the inhabitants of our Commonwealth may in peace and quietness
serve Thee our God;
and that we may return in safety
to enjoy the blessings of the land,
with the fruits of our labours,
and with a thankful remembrance of Thy mercies
to praise and glorify Thy Holy Name;
Amen.

First published in 1662 in the Book of Common Prayer,
The Naval Prayer has remained mostly unchanged since then,
with the exception of a change to the name of the monarch

That comes under the heading of “Tradition”. To stand between the pretty blue egg and the enemy. To be a safeguard and a security. To serve the Master, the True Good Shepherd.

Lobos Vestido de Oveja

And the enemies of that pretty blue egg are all around, in the form of the usual legion of killers and terrorists, and criminals, and so on.

But there are others in the shadows, even more dangerous, enemies, “stealth” enemies, the jackals in the deadly 5th column of gov’mint officials, and teachers, and administrators, and unionists, and economists, and central bankers, and politicians, and bureaucrats, and the state sponsored media,  who want to keep the sheep under control and stupid so that  they can turn them into lamb-chops – metaphorically of course – after all, where do taxes come from?

It was a sad day, and also a most important day in my military service when I realized, like a blast of lightning, one dark day of storm, in the Baltic Sea, that the most dangerous enemy we faced was back home in the Capital and the Administration. A shocking and saddening realization that the chestless ones, our leaders and intellectuals and academics and media wankers thought of us,  the security, the guys and gals in uniform,  as “the enemy”. Because they chose the “self interest” side of the coin (see previous post) and they had subverted the polity. That they had mutinied against the True King, our Master and now served only themselves.

Greta … a perfectly molded child, eh?

So how did teachers make the list above? Let me be clear, there are indeed many teachers who have done and continue do exemplary service to and for the people they teach. I am NOT talking about those teachers. I included teachers in the list above because the good teachers have been eclipsed by the “Teachers” the administrators and unionists who  collude in this process of subversion as the first line of indoctrination, because their “careers” depend on it and they are highly rewarded for “buying into the meme”.

They are the primary interface between young folks and the gov’mint. They “teach” young people to become sheep, scorn their family, revere their peers and the power teachers at the top of their social pyramid, or at least weed out the non-sheep as “trouble-makers”.  We give our children to these minions, most of whom have never done anything in their lives except go to school, first as students and then as teachers.

They know nothing of real life in the trenches, always part of the Kool crowd, no sacrifice, no self determination, but they have indeed drunk deeply of the chestless Kool-Aid and got their tickets punched by the right authorities  These very well paid know-nothings are now, for the last two or three generations, given our children by our masters to mold as the bad shepherds see fit.

Can anyone remember “1984”? Big Brother knows best …

Teachers in sheep’s clothing, to instruct the young, not in the higher things of life like values and ethics and morals, but rather to turn them into good little compliant, consuming, self centered, lamb-chops who won’t ask questions and will more or less do as they are told by their enlightened betters.  BAAAA!  Everybody Stay Home! BOHICA!

Then there are the legions of administrators who have the power to punish the sheep if they fail to “get in line”.

And then you have the central bankers and gov’mint ministers who have the power (for example) to create fiat money at will with printing presses and thereby deplete and dilute the savings and destroy the security of the sheep at will, and many other shady evils which it would take several posts to go into so I will leave that for another day.

On the bright side, there are the donkeys. … luv those donkeys …

To be continued …

Cheers

Joe

CSR

The Common Sense Revolution!

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

Standard
Life in a small town

Just a link to a surprising government blog …

“River Flows In You”, Yiruma, from the album “Yiruma Piano Collection” , (2001)

Went to this blog site from a link in this blog post by David Warren. David’s post is worth reading on its own but the link he provided to a blog post responding to a Sunday Times hatchet job is a pearl in it’s mature and measured response to the typical “journalism” of the vast majority of the MSM of all types.

The response is worth reading all the way to the end to get an idea of just how much mendacious garbage is routinely published by the MSM and just as routinely consumed by the “in my opinion” crowd. After all, who cares about truth and facts, I just want to have a pleasant conversation with my friends, right?

Having, once upon a time in a different life, been responsible for writing, editing, publishing and distributing a monthly newsletter (pre-blogosphere days) for a government department, I can attest that the response from the D.H.S.C Press Office is a minor work of art coming from a government blog. This blog is covered by Crown Copyright.

The writer is most likely an unsung minor Program Officer whose postings on this blog site probably will not outlast his usefulness to whichever deputy minister decided that a blog was the appropriate vehicle of response to the usual mendacious and incendiary attacks from the Zombie Media – which is really all there is these days.

Anyway, it’s all part of God’s plan, and this whole crisis is definitely not “A Hill To Die On”.  Good days to be far far away from all cities.

Cheers from the Shire.

Joe

Sunrise on The Last Day

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

FUD … Sound and Images … The lies of this world … Labels … and a couple or three links …

“Yamanakabushi” performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal & Yuzuko Horigome, from the album “Yamanakabushi: Japanese Melodies”, Vol. 3, (1982)

Sunday, the 29th of March 2020, the fifth Sunday of Lent, and a very important and detailed Gospel, John 11:1-45. This is one of the longest Gospel readings in the Liturgy. It is the story about the resurrection of Lazarus by our Lord Jesus Christ after he had been dead for four days.

This is the story of the miracle that finally tipped the Jews, the Leadership, over to realizing that they had to act to kill Jesus immediately to silence His message of Truth. Their hammerlock on popular power was seriously threatened by this miracle, so they did what social and military dictators have always done throughout history, and still do, they silenced those who disagreed with them by killing them and/or marginalizing them. That was then … and they murdered the Christ to keep control. What now?

Del Bigtree

Now, the world is facing a multi-hundred-billion-trillion dollar “The Sky-Is-Falling” crisis. Let’s follow the money. So, a couple or three questions, to help filter the torrent of  incoming sound and fury. First, “Does it spark joy?” I don’t feel joy in any of this. Second, “Who benefits?”, The MSM, Big Government, and Big Pharma.  Third, what can we do to get to “Truth” if ALL authorities are lying, and lying about who is lying? Realy, not a damned thing we little people can do except pay up and die.

It’s all just so hugely frustrating and crazy making. The money trail seems to point at hundreds of billions of dollars of annual profit for Big Pharma and the MSM and huge budgets and unlimited control for Big Government … IF … IF they can manage to keep the hysteria going for a few more months.

I have come across another tidbit (over 2 hours – big tidbit, maybe well beyond most folks attention span, eh?) of information which appears to give the lie to the current zombie apocalypse of COVID-19 … the “end-of-the-world” event giving the MSM and the Health Department bureaucrats, and Big Pharma the justification for the abrogation of all civil rights and liberties “for the duration” of the “virtual crisis”. But this “tidbit” is worth following to the end – think of it as one protracted “Big Reveal”.

This video might very well be very upsetting for people on both sides of the information divide, but is it any more upsetting than the current main-stream news on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bill Gates’ favorite media outlet MSNBC? Seriously, is anyone out there happy with the current zombie apocalypse as being shoved down out throats by the MSM and the WHO and the rest of the Social Media Terrorists?

And I don’t think for a moment that all the talking heads are involved in some sort of conspiracy to mislead. Most of them, I think, actually believe what they are reporting, and they are terrified, and selling their souls for any kind of Atta-Boy. The only alternative theory is that they are part of it and are guilty of crimes against humanity on a scale like we have seen in totalitarian regimes the world over throughout the 20th century.

The whole “sound and fury” of our current pandemic panic feels familiar to any player of MMORPG apocalypse games. But just now I have come across a report outside the mainstream (where else?) about mortality and epidemiology in Italian “Health Care” and in other world pandemic disease centres as well.

The virtually universal vitriol with which all the mainstream players, media and gaslighters throughout our social media empire, put down, ridicule, and vilify the few nay-sayers out there convinces me that Del Bigtree is a Truth speaker.

Whenever ALL the MSM and talking heads and “experts” agree on something, 50+ years of personal experience has convinced me that it is a virtual certainty that they are ALL wrong. They always seem to find themselves on the wrong side of history whenever they all agree on something.

The part of interest is here and the analysis of the statistics, the facts, starts at the 18 minute mark. … But this 2 hour and fifteen minute YouTube video is virtually impossible to find unless someone gives you a direct link. I bolded the time stamps along the video track at the bottom: Just check out minute 54:16 of this video … or minute 58:50 … or minute 1:00:09 … or minute 1:08:27 … or minute 1:08:42 (this expert is really good), or minute  1:12:00 and 1:16:12 and then minute 1:20:00 for the start of the charts and numbers. Please please hang in there for this wonderful antidote to hysteria. It is just so illuminating.

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny

All the usual misdirection is rampant on this one and it is easy to find over 200,000 search results assassinating Del Bigtree and about 250 thousand doing the same to Dr. Sherri Tenpenny denying what they are talking about, BUT, not one of them seems to have anything factual to throw up against the information that Tenpenny and Bigtree are presenting.

Nothing but loud screaming and character assassination by the same crowd pushing for Trump’s impeachment and the whole “Russia got Trump elected” meme. The same crowd that are rushing to completely shut down New York and and the whole state of Californication.

Of course every right minded person KNOWS that the MSM and Social Media are the only true gospel preachers out there, right?  There are no experts backing up what Trump is saying, Trump is lying!  Or we can take a look at what “The Experts” are actually saying … rather than accept the talking heads version of reality.

So lets listen to some experts rather than the nice hair pretty media types like our Clown Prince’s wife. Of course we all know that those who speak out, trying to bring some facts, and truth, and sanity into the debate are just stupid, and are particularly troubling for public health bureaucrats and drug companies and the controversial issues surrounding the current abrogation of all human rights in the west.

But, again, let’s jump ahead to the hot button points on the video. Just check out minute 54:16 of this video … or minute 58:50 … or minute 1:00:09 … or minute 1:08:27 … or minute 1:08:42 (this expert is really good), or minute  1:12:00 and 1:16:12 and then minute 1:20:00 for the start of the charts and numbers. Please please hang in there for the antidote to hysteria. It is just so illuminating.

So, that’s enough of that. One is either a Kool-Aid drinker, or not, you can watch the video and make up your own mind and do your own digging, or not, before the MSM take it down … and there is nothing to be done for those who believe the Social Media miracle workers. I have been up and down this path for years. And so, in the interest of a little peace, here is a reprise from the wayback machine of a post I did in January 2018:

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

*****

I tried writing in silence and posting plain text with no sound and no images, Just the facts, ma’am” … and I don’t enjoy writing in silence and I do enjoy trying to pass on the mood to my readers, or at least to offer the opportunity to taste the mood … so I have decided to go back to sound and images as part of this effort … my blog, my rules.

I found this item, like a delightful little breakfast treat left over from the surfeit of Christmas  … David and I seem to be in a similar  frame of mind regarding “The World” …

https://www.davidwarrenonline.com/2018/01/11/le-monde/

David Warren

David Warren

… I was, even in those days, a fan of this “Richard Nixton” (the misspelling of his name was a smug convention). I didn’t actually like him, but in the words of a Czech friend, “he gives those liberals heart attacks,” and that seemed a good enough reason to support him.

For those were the days when I was just discovering that a lad with my views is not called a “liberal,” but a “conservative” instead. (I’ve since moved on, to “reactionary.”) It was a question of mere labels, “truth in advertising” as it were. An old-fashioned “liberal” like my father to start, I was already in favour of liberty and small government, against totalitarianism and thus, gung-ho on Vietnam.

But I had also already noticed that most people who thought themselves “liberals,” were otherwise insufferable. …

Satan

Satan

I am reflecting on references in previous posts (here) regarding the “Chiaroscuro” of silence versus noise revealing the face of God.  And also reflecting on references in previous posts (here) and (here) about the appropriateness of “labels” or metaphorical “figures” standing for icons in respective cultures, icons of evil, and icons of good, and the error of believing that the “label” is the “thing” … the good or the evil “actualized” in the label.

I have often ruminated on the use of metaphorical and mathematical labels to stand for personal opinions, or assertions of theory which we desire to be true, but which remain “unproven” or  “not true” and the inherent error of confusing the label for the truth and the truth for the label, as if the truth becomes self evident (obviously) by virtue of the chosen label, and if one just “doesn’t get it” one must be self evidently lacking in some essential aspect.

Back in April 2015 I touched on “other religions” and “ad hominem” here. The social and media attack on “the other” aka “anyone who disagrees with me” is still going strong and is showing signs of reaching the level of physical coercion and intimidation even here in North America in the early 21st century … “Burn The Witch!”

Spirited Away, Dragon and Girl

Spirited Away, Dragon and Girl

Something about the frequency with which we delude ourselves, how the best plans and ideas of mice and men “gang aft a’glay“, our innate ability to discern truth (what 21st century man identifies as “our BS detector”) seems to have gone wildly astray in the minute by minute noise and distraction of our 21st century society.

It might be seen as odd that I write here about silence immediately after deciding to put sound back into my blog. But there ya go, I am not rigidly consistent I guess. We have lost our affinity for silence, that peace which man was originally born with, but I like my music.

Much of my thoughts here are drawn from the work of Robert Cardinal Sarah. But this is not a PhD dissertation and no one is grading me and I am not selling this sort of writing for a living so call it what you will. I have an omnivorous appetite for truth and am willing to adopt things or change my mind when I find something that makes perfect sense to me, even if it is a new path.

Man has lost the simplicity, the natural innocence, of childhood. That is why silence is so difficult for him. And man rejects silence even more because he wants to become God himself, and has done so for all time, since Adam first sought to “become god”. That is why Christ admonished us to “become as little children”. In silence man cannot be a false god, cannot pretend to “be” god, but can merely stand in a luminous face-to-face encounter with God.

Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine

In “The Confessions”, Saint Augustine exposes his own experience with these beautiful lines: “Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved Thee! For behold Thou wert within me, and I outside; and I sought Thee outside and in my unloveliness fell upon those lovely things that Thou hast made.

Thou wert with me and I was not with Thee. I was kept from Thee by those things, yet had they not been in Thee, they would not have been at all. Thou didst call and cry to me and break open my deafness: and Thou didst send forth Thy beams and shine upon me and chase away my blindness: Thou didst breathe fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and do now pant for Thee: I tasted Thee, and now hunger and thirst for Thee: Thou didst touch me, and I have burned for Thy peace.

Where are the dwelling places of solitude and silence? Where are those places where we escape the noise and distractions of modern life, the disruptions which continually prevent us from finding God? Only a fortunate few can find the solitude and silence of the sea, or of the desert, or the mountain hermitage. Where do we find this silence in our busy daily run?

For joy … I find myself not so alone in my observations of the irrational illogicality of life on this tiny planet of mostly blue water. I give you a couple of tidbits worth visiting just in time to save us from giving way to despair and desperation.

https://www.davidwarrenonline.com/2018/01/05/twelfth-night-no-surrender/

“… “A lie gets halfway round the world before the truth even gets its pants on,” or something like that, as Mark Twain is supposed to have said, though if he did, it was hardly original.” courtesy of David Warren.”

and

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/01/05/the-stupid-animal/

” … “Bombogenesis” is my favorite word this week. It is meteorologist’s jargon for what is happening off America’s Eastern Seaboard. It was last popularized, if I recall aright, four years ago, when we had about twenty of them in the North Atlantic, within a January and February.

These storms result from a form of collision between high and low-pressure cells. The air pressure suddenly drops, and sailors are in for quite a blow. A lot of snow is dumped along coasts. But it is not the end of the world; not yet.

The fish in the sea are probably exempt, but I’ve noticed that animals on land often react to these pressure drops: even cats and dogs. They know to seek shelter. Humans, not so much, till they have heard a weather report; but as the keeper of a municipal weather station when I was a high-school kid, I found that I could tell, too. This was because I was “open to the experience.”

Many things that humans can do are not apparent to most humans.” … Also courtesy of the same David Warren writing on a different blog site.”

C.S. Lewis, at his desk writing

C.S. Lewis, at his desk writing

It is well to remember the words of Aslan (the Lion icon) “… He answered, “Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. …  I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. … Dost thou understand, Child?”  

I said, “Lord, thou knowest how much I understand”. But I also said (for the truth constrained me), “Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days”.  “Beloved”, said the Glorious One, “unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek”. C.S. Lewis, “The Last Battle”

  早春賦, William W. Spearman IV, from the album “Beautiful Japanese Songs” (2006)

Cheers

Joe

its all so crazy making …

Perhaps the “Brights” do have the answers to everything of this world … do tiny minorities inherently have the truth by virtue of their minuscule numbers, their sample size?  Perhaps we the people are a legitimate target of predators.  But what about the rest of life? Well, we are also beloved of God, or so I am told …

Standard
Life in a small town

1 December 2019 – First Sunday of Advent …

Winter is upon us in our little town, a dead truck abandoned in front of our place and minus 17 degrees Celsius yesterday AM while getting ready for church.

I find myself thinking a lot about how dire is the state of the world and the state of our church, and the state of our country these days.

Looking out from my library window over the vast panorama of my domain I find myself surprised at agreeing with David Warren, not at the agreement, but rather at what we are agreeing about.

We are agreeing about one of the few bright lights in the darkness of the Dead Marshes of our 21st century Canadian wasteland looking eastward towards the pass of Cirith Ungol and 24 Sussex Drive, the lair of Prime Minister Shelob.

*****

As David recently wrote: A sign of the times, as it were. At any given moment, approximately half of the (American) population is baiting the other half, or vice versa. There are (legions of) Internet sites devoted to supplying verbose ammunition to the respective sides …

Scenic view from the living-room windows and homes of my idolatrous Atheistic extended  family along the Ottawa River somewhere in Eastern Ontario. Pray for them all …

In Canada of course, it is different. This is because our Thanksgiving falls earlier in the autumn.

Another (big) difference is that one side seems to have succeeded in cutting off the other’s ammunition supply, so that if you are a “conservative” — and nearly half the population is, up here, too — you tend to be very peaceful.

(Israelis know better) … “The Israelis are also, about half-and-half, “liberals” and “conservatives,” but behave differently from us, because both sides know that if Israel loses just one major skirmish, they must all either escape, or be annihilated.

Moreover, it wouldn’t be the first time in history this had happened to them.” … “An old Jew once told me, that when he was young, he would see graffitoes declaring, “Jews to Palestine!” Now he was old, the signs read, “Jews out of Palestine!”  … 

(and) What has Trump to do with this, you ask? Apart from the fact that there are a surprising number of Jews in his family, and his entourage?  (This is the surprising agreement) … Well, I feel affection for him, and anxiety. The hatred directed at him, and all he stands for, constantly from the Left, has taken on the murderous, bigoted quality.

(Like the Israelis) If he loses one election, or one significant legal decision, his whole Party is finished; the jackals will be all over the Republicans. That’s how he has come to command the loyalty, even of people like me, who disagree with many things he says, and regret some of his policies.

For Merican Thanksgiving this year, after considering the matter from numerous angles, I would like to thank God, for Trump. In a time of real darkness, and civilizational despair, he has become, paradoxically, a point of light. I think that’s why the devils hate him so.

He is among those who still understand that Norman Rockwell poster, as it was before the caption was added. Which was sentimental, corny, and good. For as I would paraphrase:

“Stand beside him, and guide him, through the night with a light from above.”

*****

Paul Corrects Peter

Yesterday’s 2nd reading was from Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and we find:

11And this, knowing the season, that already it is time for you to awake out of sleep: for now is salvation nearer to us than when we first believed. 12The night is far spent, and the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 

13Let us walk becomingly, as in the day; not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. 14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof . (Romans 13.11-14)

Truly, truly we live in times of almost universal revelling and drunkenness, debauchery and licentiousness, quarrelling and jealousy. Don’t believe me?  Just look about you at our movies, our news, our politics, our social lives, our families. Sad, sad, so sad.

And Popes have been making mistakes and errors more or less serious since the very first Pope, St. Peter.

*****

Fr Hunwicke

From another perceptive blogger who I follow regularly … Fr. Hunwicke writes:  Here is an extract from a very fine Advent homily given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008:

“The cry of hope of Advent expresses all the gravity of our condition, our extreme need for salvation. Which is to say that we await the Lord not as some beautiful decoration to a world already saved, but as the only way of liberation from mortal danger.”

What was so noteworthy about this is that it represented a turning away from the semi-Pelagianism which characterised the post-Conciliar selection of Advent Sunday collects; Benedict instead turned back to the authentic tones of the Sunday collects which they replaced.

Three of these … did a moderately unusual thing in the Roman Corpus of collects: they began with an imperative verb for their first word. This, in turn, was taken from psalm 79/80: ‘Excita potentiam tuam et veni ut salvos facias nos‘ … a cry from Israel to her God to come and save His vineyard; a psalm full of a sense of dereliction and of pressing supplication. …

Here is the translation which the good old English Missal gives for the collect of Advent I: Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy power and come: that by thy protection we may be found worthy to be set free from the dangers of our sins which beset us; and to be saved by thy deliverance.

Compare this with (my translation) the OF collect: Grant, we beseech thee, almighty God, this will unto thy faithful people, that, running with good works to meet thy Christ as he comes, they may be set at his right hand and be worthy to hold fast the kingdom of heaven. … 

Lorenzo Bianchi says this about the newer selection of Sunday Collects in the post-Conciliar Missal:  ‘A Pelagian turn of thought becomes apparent: which does not show itself in a failure to speak about grace, but in the way it is separated from a realistic consideration of the human condition; and the manner in which the grace of Jesus Christ is made into an optional extra: just an unnecessary ornament … [in the Advent Sundays and Christmas collects of] the new Missal … sin does not appear, or even expressions explicitly linked with this concept … [instead] we find phrases which, making no mention of the fragility of the human condition, tend to bring to the fore the aspect of man’s commitment’.

*****

Pope Francis

We, in our inordinate self love have forgotten sin, explicitly forgotten our own sins … and brushed aside our desperate need for Christ’s grace as unneeded ornamentation.

This vanity lies at the root of the evil settling over our land and our church like a noxious vapour from the bowels of Mount Doom.

Gone are the days of sin … we are no longer sinners … and perhaps our church is no longer Catholic … In this time of judgement by subjective conscience, and the Sincretism of all religions are equal, and the pagan rituals involving the idol “Pachamama”.  

Dark days indeed … we enter a prolonged era of a sort of UltramontanistPapolatry“, where none dare speak out against the current incumbent of the Chair of Peter.

BUT! No matter the evil, no matter what may come to pass, whatever lies before me going to keep on singing and never give up.

Here is another opinion: November 27, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Popular blogger Father John Zuhlsdorf bluntly told a reader considering leaving the Catholic Church because of Pope Francis that doing so could lead to his eternal damnation. “No. And NO! And HELL NO!” the priest wrote on his Fr. Z blog.  And Zuhlsdorf was equally blunt that leaving the Catholic Church would be a failure of courage: “Fast. Give alms. Pray. But don’t be a coward,” he wrote. … “Look, friend, popes come and popes go,” explained Zuhlsdorf, who is based in Madison, Wisconsin.“Only one thing is clear about popes, and the Romans get this right: Muore un papa se ne fa un altro … A pope dies, you make another. We make another until Christ returns. Somehow that’s the way Church will always be even if we don’t like the choice.”
Gonna sign off for now with a YouTube link of a worship song we have been recently leading in church … this is one a lot of folks sing loud and with enthusiasm … we are not alone …
“And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore
Forevermore”
Cheers
Joe

From generation to generation … take up the torch … 10,000 years and then forever more.

Never give up … never surrender … Ten thousand years and then forever more …
Standard
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 …

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Here We Stand … Hae nobis propriae sedes

“Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)

Yes indeed … waiting on the night to fall … and it is falling, isn’t it?  I have a small selection of Web blogs which I read regularly, at least weekly and I am going to share links here because I have found these writers helpful in my own quest … expressing other insights into the same questions and helping me avoid “scope creep” in my own quest.

Letter of Most Reverend Mark A. Hagemoen, April 17th, 2018

Letter of Most Reverend Mark A. Hagemoen, April 17th, 2018

The first one (on the list that is, not necessarily in importance) is the Canadian blogger Mark Mallett and his blog “The Now Word, Reflections on Our Times”.   Mark Mallett, a one time TV reporter, is a Roman Catholic singer/songwriter and missionary. He has performed and preached throughout North America and abroad.

The messages posted on Mark’s website are the fruit of prayer and ministry. Mark is very current and he doesn’t pull any punches, but his views are charitable and restrained with respect to the human players. He sets my bar when it comes to “Fraternal Charity” and I often write something in my own posts and then after reading what Mark has to say I edit or rewrite what I have written about the event in question.

Any postings on Mark’s site which contain elements of “private revelation” have been subjected to the discernment of Mark’s spiritual director. I included a letter from his Bishop (image on the right) which he posted on his blog-site on the “about Mark” page.  For a recent example of his work, Mark writes on Robert Cardinal Sarah’s interview with The Catholic Herald:

CARDINAL Sarah has given a stunning, perceptive and prescient interview in the Catholic Herald today. It not only repeats “the now word” in terms of the warning that I have been compelled to speak for over a decade, but most especially and importantly, the solutions. Here are some of the key thoughts from Cardinal Sarah’s interview along with links for new readers to some of my writings that parallel and expand his observations”.

*****

Father John HunwickThe second Blog-site which I follow regularly is that of the British blogger Fr. John Hunwicke, titled Fr. Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment”   Father Hunwicke was for nearly three decades at Lancing College; where he taught Latin and Greek language and literature, was Head of Theology, and Assistant Chaplain. He has served three curacies, been a Parish Priest, and Senior Research Fellow at Pusey House in Oxford. Since 2011, he has been in full communion with the See of S Peter.

Fr. Hunwicke asserts: The opinions expressed on this Blog are not asserted as being those of the Magisterium of the Church, but as the writer’s opinions as a private individual. Nevertheless, the writer strives, hopes, and prays that the views he expresses are conformable with and supportive of the Magisterium. In this blog, the letters PF stand for Pope Francis. On this blog, ‘Argumentum ad hominem’ refers solely to the Lockean definition, “Pressing a man with the consequences of his own concessions“.

Fr. John has a deep (and sometimes obscure) interest and expertise in “old” liturgical rites and prayers, pre-Vatican II Catholic and Anglican liturgical practices and also a very current and even humourous eye for the goings on in the “modern Roman Curia, The Church of England Hierarchy, and the Catholic and Anglican church at large”.  I appreciate greatly his restraint, and at the same time his dry humour, irony and even satirical observations. He helps me to stay focused, restrained, and to practice “fraternal charity”, when confronted with some of the more egregious “missteps” of our current batch of Curial managers in Rome and in the rest of the Catholic world.

*****

Third, there is the American blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, writing at “Fr. Z’s Blog“, formerly entitled: “What Does The Prayer Really Say?” – Clear, straight commentary on Catholic issues, liturgy and life by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬)    In Fr. Z’s own words: “This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z

I don’t really have any images for Fr. Z. so I guess I will just include an excerpt from a recent post “The Internet Prayer” which I enjoyed:  “… Meanwhile, here is the English (version).  A prayer before logging onto the internet:

Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

(and) Finally, I’m still waiting for an improved version in Klingon.”

And just for good measure another post on cooking and “traditional” recipes:  “Lately, Sundays have found me in the kitchen making something interesting… to me, at least. 

Yesterday I had a hankerin’ for Ragù alla bolognese.  When I say “ragù” I don’t mean something in a jar!  Ragù alla bolognese is a classic from one of the truly amazing foodie regions of Italy – and that’s saying a lot – Emilia-Romagna and, so they say, Bologna in particular. 

The denizens of Bologna, as a matter of fact, have codified the “official” recipe via their chamber of commerce.   You can use this ragù (French ragoût from ragoûter… “revive flavor”) directly on various shapes of pasta or as a layer with lasagne.   Broad, flat noodles, such as tagliatelle and pappardelle are great.  I used the latter, dried.  I was a too lazy to make fresh. This sauce is easy to make, but you need patience and time.”

*****

“Ladies in Lavender”, Joshua Bell, from the album “the Essential Joshua Bell”, (2005)

David Warren

Fourth and last, for today, but by no means least, is the Canadian blogger David Warren. He posts 4 or 5 times a week, a slightly less charitable view of the world than the above three, but no less elegant in his own way.

Because David is closer to my heart, I actually have his site as my default Home Page on my browser so the first thing I see each day when I log on is whatever new words of wisdom and repartee David has seen fit to share with the world.

Irony and Satire figure in many of his posts both on his own site at “Essays in Idleness, but also he aims for a broader audience with his occasional op ed pieces on “The Catholic Thing“. There are many other writers of worthy articles in the archives at “The Catholic Thing”.

Back in 2015, over at David Warren’s site Essays in Idleness we found “Hae nobis propriae sedes” Virgil, Aeneid 3 147-149,  in English I think it is something like “This Will Be Our Proper Place“, according to Google Translate, but I’m no scholar so I may have missed the mark on that. Anyway, David is a beautiful writer and I enjoy his insight. Here is an old post in full from October 2015, or better yet, just go and read his stuff at his own site, it would certainly be worth one’s time.

*****

Hae nobis propriae sedes

If the Viking priests from the age of the Orkneyinga Saga Orkneyinga Saga(composed eight centuries ago, about matters through centuries before it), returned suddenly to their old haunt on Papa Stronsay, they would have lively conversation with the current inhabitants. As they could not speak English, nor these new monks Old Norse, the chatter would be in Latin. The Mass they would celebrate together would also be in Latin, of course, and the Vikings would have no difficulty in following it. For it was their Mass, too.

The gentle reader who does not already know about the Transalpine Redemptorist presence in Orkney may inform himself (here, and perhaps also, here). For it is more than the “romantic story,” of a genuinely counter-cultural adventure. In some sense one might say that the living centre of the Catholic Church is now more on that bleak, and beautiful island of Papa Stronsay, than in the heart of today’s pagan Rome. This seems especially so in light of the recent Synod; as to me, after reading the current pope’s latest remarks at the conclusion of it — full of his characteristic slights and insults towards traditional practitioners of the Catholic faith.

I know that many faithful are hurting, or quite understandably angry; that they feel violated and betrayed. That is why I am writing like this, reminding that Christ will bind wounds; that He will not betray us. Christ goes where He is wanted, and under present circumstances that is far, far away, “to the peripheries” — or rather, let us cut the cheap sociological blather and say, “to the ends of the Earth.” He is in love with the bright-eyed peoples of Africa; and with those suffering under murderous tyrannies in Asia and the Middle East. By contrast in Europe, and here in the Americas, in our life of fat and consumption, we now have little use for Him; and so He leaves us to find our own way, progressively, downward.

Yet in many rural and remote places, and even sometimes in little neighbourhoods within the huge, fraught cities of these once-Christian realms, His Church is flourishing. The numbers may be tiny in proportion to the general population, but wherever that old Latin Mass is sung, there are vocations, and there is revival. Where it is not, the Church is dying out; and yet here, too, where the Mass of the Ages, and through it the teaching of the ages, is no longer made available, individual novus-ordo Christians still wait and humbly pray for relief.

Christ is there, forever in the Eucharist; and wherever it is taken by the shriven with real faith and the childlike understanding, the power of the Redemption is felt. (And where it is taken by appropriation, unworthily “by right,” the power of Judgement is visited instead.) He is present in the sincerity of all private prayer and petitions, extending from that Mass, and every good and virtuous deed, done in the communion of the Saints. Christ is crucified, dead, and risen; He is alive. Try as they will, His detractors will ever fail to kill Him.

This is simply how things are, and how they always were and will be. Within every cell of the true Church is the relation between that small Christian soul, and this Tremendous Lover. (See here.)

We have often before been abandoned by priests and bishops, with their own private agendas, or strutting their fake “humility” for the adulation of crowds. We have had bad popes; we have had every sin of which men are capable, done in sacred places. This is the world, and this is what men are: fallen. Let them seek forgiveness, and pick themselves up; do what they can to rectify the damage they have caused, the pain they have gratuitously inflicted. Let them open their eyes before Our Lord closes them forever. It makes no sense to choose the road to Hell.

There is nothing new under the Sun, and I see that Saint Peter Damian’s Liber Gommorrhianus, or “Book of Gomorrah,” from ten centuries ago, is once again circulating, in English translation. (Can be ordered here.) It is from another age, when clerical corruption, including rampant sodomy and pederasty, was threatening the integrity of holy orders. Damian was an ascetic, at home in the remote Italian hills, but as I recall from a previous translation of this book, he can be unpleasantly modern in his forensic descriptions of what priests and monks descend to, when they become depraved.

He turns, with a form of mercy that is excoriating, upon the most common crime: then as now, the satanic tampering with adolescent boys. He provides, too, the context for this corruption, through cross-allusion to simony and careerist self-advancement (his Liber Gommorrhianus ought ideally to be read alongside his Liber Gratissimus) — directing fearless, full-bore attacks on the princes of the Church who make themselves comfortable, and hide the crimes. The book made its author extremely unpopular, and the defence of him, by Pope Leo IX, though brave at first, became increasingly lukewarm. But the scandals it exposed were quietly acknowledged and gradually addressed. The shame that this saint had helped to reawaken slowly triumphed over the filth of this eleventh-century liberalism.

This is not the whole story of Petrus Damiani, some of whose miscellaneous writings on the spiritual and contemplative life are also known to me through the excellent translations of Patricia McNulty (1959, here). These are precious, very positive works, curiously contemporary with that saga of conversion in the northern wilds. This lonely Benedictine would likewise be at home with those monks on Papa Stronsay, so far away from him in space and time.

It was beloved Benedict XVI, incidentally, who through his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, brought the Transalpine Redemptorists back into full communion with Holy Church. They were a product of the SSPX reaction against the liberal innovations that followed from Vatican II, and the account of their relations with Rome is complex and often vexed. So it must be in a generation when the Vatican bureaucracy is more easily alarmed and scandalized by the persistently faithful, than by the faithless and glib. But that generation is already passing into ashes.

Our task is to keep our moorings in the true and unchanging Magisterium, clinging, as it were, “to our guns and our Bibles,” or to distant treeless islands as the case may be. For wherever Christ is — however cold, windy, and wet — we are at home in the breast of Our Saviour.”

*****

Cheers

Joe

I think it’s almost time to eat … fasting makes “EVERYTHING” taste so good.

Standard
Life in a small town

Momentary Aside …

Anduril, Howard Shore, LOTR, 2003

I  must take a break from blogging since I am preoccupied with recovering my momentum in completing my Corporate Year End(s) recently lost due to my broken ankle and my temporary invalid status.

Therefore I must stir my “stumps”, leave my comfortable library lounge and return to my Server Workstation in the “bunker”, another lower level space of my vast stone establishment, “Casa Bernhart”.

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 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 …

Standard
Life in a small town

Lent …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

Standard
The Inner Struggle

Deceivers and Divine Mercy …

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

Portrait of Crabbe by Henry William Pickersgill, circa 1818–19

“Deceivers are the most dangerous members of society. They trifle with the best affections of our nature, and violate the most sacred obligations.” George Crabbe 1754-1832

So, a spoiler to save the disinterested from wasting their time. This post is mostly a polemic against deception and the routine practice of it by those in positions of influence and power such that their deceptions influence the behaviour and beliefs of the innocent.

It is an appeal to authority to support my own opinion about the dangerous or even deadly influence of deception by secular and religious authorities in our polite progressive society.

Disceavers” (usage ca 1526, New Testament Translation) … the spelling and grammar are old but the message was (and is) unchanged from “The Pistle of Paul unto Titus  The First Chapter“.

Regarding “The epistle of Paul to Titus” we are, perhaps, more familiar with: ” 7For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,

8but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. 

10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.

12One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.

15To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” (Titus 1:7-16 New American Standard Bible)

David Warren

My favorite Idler has some interesting “treasures from the attic” in his latest post, namely: “The Chinese drawing masters were very strict (in the days before the destruction of their civilization). Any sign of an attempt to “fix” would be punished, audibly. Mistakes were punished, too; but trying to conceal them was understood to be the worse evil.

And also, aligning with one of my own treasures from the experience of blogging for over 4 years now … namely: (we bloggers) ” … must fight each temptation to replace, revise, amend. Leave margins for later comments. For the first thing is to think and write, without error, in the classical, linear way (staying “inside the box,” never straying). Later they may look back, and see all their stupidities clearly. This will make them less inclined to repeat them.

It would seem that our thoughts on “cover-ups” and “hiding or spinning the truth” are more or less congruent, perhaps because we have both experienced similar organizational “attempt(s) at erasure … and as we ought to know, dishonesty loves to hide … Should a mistake be made, it must be flagged, then corrected in the margin, in plain view. No tricks“.

Adam and Eve

Now, deception is another name for “lying”, and is Lucifer’s stock in trade, his primary tool.  His other name is “Father of Lies”. The first big lie was what he told Eve in the garden, thereby destroying our trust in God for all generations.

Notice a few things here. After the big lie, when the deception becomes clear in 20/20 hindsight for Adam and Eve, when they hear God walking in the garden in the cool of the evening, rather than run to him, they run away. “Kids???? Where are you?”

Rather than acknowledge their sin, confess it, and jump into the embrace of God’s merciful love, they hide. Rather than trust in our infinitely good and merciful GOD, they have become afraid of him.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains what’s going on here: “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command“. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness and mercy.

But Lucifer was the first and greatest deceiver. This first big lie sucked us out of paradise and lost us God’s loving presence. It appealed to our desire for more power and more wisdom and some unspecified “ascendancy”. Every deceiver since the beginning has been a child of Lucifer, a child of the Devil, an Antichrist”.

HMCS St. Laurent

And we, the gullible marks of this perpetual con game are easy targets for every huckster and spinner and politician and leader and writer and talking head “since Christ was a Killick in the Jewish Navy” as we used to say, back in the day, when referring to “forever”.

I was an “Able Seaman” during my service on HMCS St. Laurent, and a “Killick” on HMCS Saguenay,  always “Lower Decks” for this matelot.

HMCS Saguenay

Anyone from the Wardroom was suspect until they proved otherwise by demonstrated competence. Thankfully the Petty Officers and Chiefs really knew what they were doing and protected the Hands from the worst problems most of the time.

In that environment, there were always a significant number of “Subys” fresh out of Royal Roads some of whom indulged in “spin” or “cover-up” or even the blame game. They were my first introduction to “Deceivers”.

Those sorts could get you killed if allowed to run free. Most of them were weeded out but some were promoted up the line for whatever reason and eventually made their way to Ottawa, “the Hill”. So “deceiving” has been a real NoNo most of my adult life. Now, in old age, I find most, or perhaps all, of what comes out of the media and our leadership is some form of spin and deception. And just like in the days of my mis-spent youf, if it goes on long enough its gonna get someone killed.

So, this is for real, not a figment of someone’s imagination: “10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”

I have found from experience that “Deceivers are (indeed) the most dangerous members of society”. Not only do their lies lead to serious problems but they also often serve to protect and perpetuate the success of the liars.

This category of practitioners … practicing upon our credulity with the bald-faced intention to delude … includes what seem to be many of the brightest members of our “nice” “polite” population, and virtually all those at the level of Director and above, in most bureaucracies and organizations, those who have been most “rewarded by this world”. Deception rules, and it is destroying our world and our society.

To illustrate that the most important virtue is honesty I am going to quote from a wonderful little book by Mark Manson called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life”:

*****

Mark Manson

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. …

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.

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 (and dishonesty and distrust), 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 (spin) became more advantageous forms of expression. Knowing a lot of people superficially was more beneficial than knowing a few people closely. 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. 167-170). HarperCollins.

*****

So we have built a society of deceivers, liars, and frauds. We have built a society that rewards dishonesty and deception. and it is slowly killing us all. So, what’s the fix?  Sadly, I don’t see any fix this side of the grave. This world protects its own and if one is not “of this world” the focus has to be on the next. This world is just one night in a bad hotel.

Cheers

Joe

All the ruined castles of our lies…

 

Standard