The Inner Struggle

Christ … Antichrist … Cold & Winter Storms (part 1)

Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)

Writing this on Friday morning … thinking about my life … of sin … and self indulgence, the places and times when self sacrifice was not in the ascendance. Lots of food for thought there, lots of decades of self. Lots of reasons for contrition and amendment. When and why did I start to diverge from the spirit of our times?

Outside my head, WOW! What a morning, quite in keeping with my state of mind! It’s cold here and snowing heavily, blowing also, about 6 inches down now and more coming, first snow since November 2017 and the first heavy snow of this winter.

Lots of shoveling now and probably all day, and making sure everything is cleared before folks start coming in, in an hour or so depending on how long it takes them to dig out and get their trucks running.

Finding crosses, suffering and sacrifice in the daily duties of our station in life, where God put us. Finding the will of God in the myriad minutia of the duties of my state in life.

Enough navel gazing for now, I have to start digging out, so I will stop writing for a while.

Wow, that day went fast, 12 hours later and it is still snowing, it’s about -10 degrees Celsius, that’s about 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is blowing harder and drifting now. I’m real glad there is no reason to be on the roads tonight or tomorrow. I bet there will be a lot of shoveling tomorrow. It’s a good thing we don’t open our doors until 10:00 AM on Saturdays.

Anyway, … the inner struggle … that’s what I was getting on about in this post. I have noticed that from time to time discussion arises and articles appear and the topic of the “Antichrist” comes up more or less frequently. “Antichrist” seems to be a favorite pejorative amongst certain groups, and it is at least as meaningful and helpful as “knuckledragger” and “Neanderthal” are amongst other groups.

I suppose the clique’s “group think” defines the pejorative favored, with one group seeing things in terms of good and evil and another group seeing things in terms of smart or stupid, the implication always being that “the other” is the bad one or the stupid one. At first blush, my reflexive reaction is “A pox on both your houses!” Upon further reflection I then find myself asking “What would Jesus do?” and then a bit further on “Does this bring me closer to God?”

Whenever the mudslinging starts, whichever gang starts slinging, it seems always to be in the context of some particularly egregious insanity or inanity, proposed or committed, by some other group or some powerful individual who is disagreed with, or some collection of individuals moving the narrative in a direction disruptive of the sacred views espoused by the narrator of the moment.

Alternatively, one specific public figure or another, George Soros, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau,  Rachel Notley, Pope Francis, Cardinal Kaspar, Vlad Putin, Kim Jong-un, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,  even Barry Obama, … I mean … seriously … pick your favorite target to hate, you get my drift.

There are literally thousands, maybe even millions, of high profile people pontificating about their views, and what is wrong with the world, and what they are going to do about it.

Obama as Satan

Seriously folks … Obama as Satan … what Kool-Aid are you drinking?

When humanity starts to believe that there is no-one in charge, no one responsible for the “strategic” big picture things in life humans are very quick to turn to golden idols and self proclaimed messiahs.

And any self proclaimed messiah who is not our favorite choice receives a rising tide of speculative negative attention depending upon the day, or the tides, or the level of confusion, frequently along the lines of he/she/it must be the Antichrist.

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer, 1489 – 1556

This is especially true if that individual is the target of vilification from many directions at once by many disenchanted narrators. These unhappy narrators, narrowly focused on preaching their own gospel, and defending their own position.

These vocal, “important”, narrators who have picked their chosen hill to die on, and are now understandably hungry, highly motivated to convince their followers, their power base, their meal ticket,  of the truth of their gospel.

They need someone to contribute, to “drop the offering in the collection plate”.  And the target demographic is comprised of some group or other or perhaps many groups, perhaps the equivalent of our modern notion of the “low information voter”.

These narrators do a dog pile on the chosen target, perhaps under the assumption that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. For example, along these lines for several centuries now, many Protestant writers and leaders have identified the Roman Catholic Pope as “The Antichrist”.

However that may be, over the centuries many folks have assigned the status of “Antichrist” to any number of other folks who were on their personal dirt list for any reason but mainly for political reasons. Claiming this seems to be nothing more than a desperate “Ad Hominum” attack when they have nothing factual or truthful, that is “substantive truth”, upon which to base their argument.

"What would Jesus do?"

“What would Jesus do?”

It’s all pride and personal ambition. My razor when reading these diatribes is to ask the questions: “What would Jesus do?” and “Does this bring me closer to God?”

I don’t see the Antichrist as an individual, it just doesn’t line up with my current personal  understanding of reality. Yes, there are outliers of evil and standout perpetrators throughout history, and these persons, these figures in history, seem to be fairly evenly distributed amongst all cultures and religions all over the world.

It appears to me that this sort of behaviour, this sort of personal “character” is more attributable to their sheer humanness than to any particular system of beliefs.  But from my point of view, I just don’t see the idea of “Antichrist” as a specific, living, substantial being, that is to say, one individual encompassing all evil and directing the whole thing as an articulated individual with a master plan.

Yes, we believe in Jesus Christ as the Head, in the Christian understanding. Given the obvious vagaries of human free will apparent in the world over time, it seems reasonable that there must then be, necessarily, the “not Christ” … the absence of Christ … the Antichrist.  I think so anyway, the “Antichrist” is the “Not Christ”, the absence of Christ. I think that the “Antichrist” is in effect “the mystical body of Satan”, in a kind of analog of “the Mystical Body of Christ” in the Christian Tradition.

I guess that some explanation might be necessary in understanding of the concept of “The Mystical Body of Christ”, within the context of Roman Catholicism. As most of my readers probably are aware, I am a Roman Catholic. That is the filter through which I understand reality.

My understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ is one of the real existence of a mystical union of all Christians into a spiritual body with Jesus Christ as their head. This belief grows, in our Tradition, from the New Testament and Christianity’s roots in Judaism.

In Christian Scripture, St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and the Romans both use the image of a body, with a head that is Christ and many bodily members, with many abilities and talents, namely we Christian believers. The belief in the Mystical Body describes the relationship between Christ and Christians, namely the Head and the body of believers. Wow, it’s getting late … gotta go eat to keep body and soul together.

blizzard? by WizKids ...

When does a snow storm become a blizzard?

Well, now it’s tomorrow morning, Saturday, even colder now, still snowing, -21 degrees Celsius, that’s -5.8 Fahrenheit, and it’s blowing hard, driving the new snow into hard packed drifts.

When does a “Snowstorm” become a “Blizzard”? Maybe it’s when it is widespread, maybe the amount of snow, or the temperature, or the wind-speed, or perhaps even the dramatic license of the weather reporters? Who knows really what makes a snow storm into a blizzard.

Talking to customers yesterday and reports that an hour away in some directions they had no snow but three hours to the west everyone there and in between got lots of snow. Whatever … lots more shoveling today I guess, off and on, as circumstances permit and the demands of customers allow.

Well, another day just blew by in a twinkling of my eye. It’s Saturday night, time for bed, it’s -14 degrees Celsius, it’s still blowing and it’s still snowing lightly. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

More to follow on Christ and Antichrist and the spirit of the times …

Cheers

Joe

Putting away the roaring worship of the “Self” in all it’s manifestations … is the first step back towards a sense of sin, remorse, contrition and repentance …

 

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Life in a small town, Politics and Economics

The Revenge of the Bitter Clingers

“Highway 61 Revisited”, Bob Dylan, from the album of the same name, (1965)

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Durer; Revelation, Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

Thinking about the Eschatological nature of my last post and the utter incomprehension in the mind of modern man of all things spiritual it is highly unlikely that any of the usual suspects, you know them, the MSM and the vast panoply of secular humanist progressives populating most corners of our establishment, have any clue what they are witnessing.

Do you suppose that any of them have any suspicions regarding the Divine nature of Trump’s unexplained and unexplainable victory yesterday. Just listen to the words of the opening song and start running folks. Anyone who is listening to the MSM explain how Trump won, after they spent a year telling us why Trump can’t win, is fundamentally unsaveable.

For, lo, a generation who venerated Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in the 60’s have been seduced by the very sins against which they protested and marched and because of which they reviled the “establishment” with the help of such bright lights as Bill Ayers, and Malcolm X, and  the Weather Underground.

They have overcome and become the very thing against which they rebelled, and like Eve in the Garden, they have eaten of the apple and become as gods.

I am sure Mr. Jobs is very proud of that marketing triumph wherever his shade now resides, a laughing lie all the way to the bank – that temporal bank, that bank of this world, which eventually and inevitably proves unable to sustain us into the next world.

In the venerable words of Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan “You don’t Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows“.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1GZCO

Republican President Donald Trump gestures and declares “You’re fired!” at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015.

*****

We should have known that something was up. The Cavaliers captured the NBA championship, the Cubs won the World Series, the U.K. voted to leave the E.U., and Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature. This is not an ordinary year.

highway-61-revisited-1965After the networks declared on Wednesday morning that Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States, the words of Nobel’s latest laureate came to mind, “Something’s happening here, and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”

*****

Read the rest of this interesting article here.  So as the caption in the Trump pic shouts out:  memo from the Bitter Clingers to The Establishment Politicos and the Main Stream Media: 

YOU’RE FIRED!!!!

Let’s all listen to a special farewell tune for Billary , the Liberal Establishment, and the MSM:

Like a Rolling Stone”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965) 

Now, having been clearly shown how it is done, and being of sound mind and body, it is time for we, the voters, in Alberta, Ontario, and even the rest of Canada (anyone there with a pulse?) to step up and deliver us from evil.  Otherwise, just BOHICA until the Mercy Vans come for us all.

Most of the chattering classes were caught completely off guard by the Trump victory. Almost all of my acquaintances were not supporting Trump, although, to be fair, there was a preponderance of support for the the “None Of The Above” choice.

They thought that given Trump’s indiscretions, impulsiveness, and unpredictability, his indelicate comments about immigrants, and the common knowledge that his election would doom the Republican Party, as well as the country, and even the world. Fact is, virtually none of them thought anyone would have to worry about the country, since they thought that he was un-electable.

WRONG!

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

Like Dylan’s “Mr. Jones,” they had no idea what was happening here. They exist in the cultural equivalent of a guarded and gated community: suburban, professional, educated, middle-class, mobile, and cosmopolitan, people of means, insulated from the everyday lives of most white, religious, non-college educated, working class folks, the very ones whose votes put Trump over the top in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

They are the very ones about whom Barack Obama spoke so condescendingly in 2008 while he was privately addressing a group of donors in San Francisco: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, … it’s not surprising then (that) they get bitter, they cling to (their) guns (and) religion …”

“Desolation Row”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965)

justin-trudeau3

Justin Trudeau

So, Justin,  “May You Live In Interesting Times”.  Anything that is Good for Alberta is good for me. Trump supports the Keystone Pipeline, – Good for Alberta.

Quebec and Ontario are against the Energy East Pipeline – Bad for Alberta.  Ontario and Quebec burn less energy because of their collapsed economy and we get to sell more energy to the U.S. instead of selling it east and getting shit on by the folks in Central Canada who we are keeping alive with energy and transfer payments – Good for Alberta.

Trump is against NAFTA – Bad for Ontario and Quebec (see remark about economy above). Bad for Quebec and Ontario is definitely Good for Alberta.

Ontario and Quebec are driving the Global Warming agenda in Canada, just like the Greens did in Germany a few election cycles ago. Anyone ever checked electricity rates in Germany as a result of their anti Carbon renewable energy agenda? Did anyone involved in our Global Warming game study anything in university except Poli-Sci? How about the physics of electrical grids for starters?

Trump is against the idea of Global Warming – says it is just a hoax to funnel money to the left. Anything that rocks Central Canadian certainties is good for Alberta. They can’t prove that Anthropogenic Global Warming exists, the left just scream louder when you ask those kind of questions, but it is easy to prove where all the research money is going. Bad for Global Warming – bad for Ontario and Quebec – Good for Alberta.

steven-denbeste

Steven DenBeste

While on the topic of global warming and alternative energy it is with great sadness and a strong sense of loss that I note in October of this year died a superb blogger,  Steven DenBeste, who, at his great blog U.S.S. Clueless routinely posted on things political, alternate energy, international security, and other items of note before illness, mindless vicious trolls, and Eco-bigots drove him down. I will pray for your soul, Steven, even though you did not believe in the God I believe in.

Steven was brilliant, a former engineer with a superb mind. His old blog, U.S.S. Clueless, was extremely important in the early days of blogging and through it I found many other like minded and articulate bloggers. I had several discussions with him about God and humanity. Steven was an atheist, but a reasonable one, adult, intelligent, and always willing to have friendly discussions, unlike many others I can name but won’t.

About God we agreed to disagree. I remember, after one of my complaining rants about management not understanding what they were ordering us to do, he humorously introduced me to the very apt notion of the “Magical Mile” and, like that, about most other things in life and the world we were of the same mind.

U.S.S. Clueless was hugely influential to many of us, and I am certainly not the only person he inspired to blog or helped along. It is hard to overstate the importance of his blog “U.S.S. Clueless” and the brilliance of his analysis. Sadly, that site went down in late October, when Steven’s server failed. I’d guess that Steven, along with Carl Sagan, and quite a few other heroes now know the Truth face to face.

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Rachel Notley

His memory lives on every time we are faced by another left wing religious rant about global warming and alternative energy. ( Pay attention Rachel Notley  and Kathleen Wynne!  This is about the reality of Physics and how the universe works, not about some the NDP anti-oil agenda. )

Here’s a fairly concise summary of thousands of words of fact, logic and physics taken from one of Steven’s posts:

*****

… For too many people “alternate energy” is more about religion than about physics. They believe that if we are just creative enough, we can overcome fundamental physical limitations — and it’s not that easy. In order for “alternate energy” to become feasible, it has to satisfy all of the following criteria:

1. It has to be huge (in terms of both energy and power)
2. It has to be reliable (not intermittent or unschedulable)
3. It has to be concentrated (not diffuse)
4. It has to be possible to utilize it efficiently
5. The capital investment and operating cost to utilize it has to be comparable to existing energy sources (per gigawatt, and per terajoule).

If it fails to satisfy any of those, then it can’t scale enough to make any difference. Solar power fails #3, and currently it also fails #5. (It also partially fails #2, but there are ways to work around that.)

wynne-jpg-size-custom-crop-1086x719

Kathleen Wynne

The only sources of energy available to us now that satisfy all five are petroleum, coal, hydro, and nuclear. My rule of thumb is that I’m not interested in any “alternate energy” until some one shows me how to scale it to produce at least 1% of our current energy usage. America right now uses about 3.6 terawatts average, so 1% of that is about 36 gigawatts average.

Show me a plan to produce 36 gigawatts (average, not peak) using solar power, at a price no more than 30% greater than coal generation of comparable capacity, which can be implemented at that scale in 10-15 years. Then I’ll pay attention.  Since solar power installations can only produce power for about 10 hours per day on average, that means that peak power production would need to be in the range of about 85 gigawatts to reach that 1%.

Without that, it’s just religion, like all the people fascinated with wind and with biomass. And even if it did reach 1%, that still leaves the other 99% of our energy production to petroleum, coal, hydro, and nuclear. The problems facing “alternate energy” are fundamental, deep, and are show-stoppers. They are not things that will be surmounted by one lone incremental improvement in one small area, announced breathlessly by a startup which is trying to drum up funding.

The way you can tell that a fan of “alternate energy” is a religious cultist is to ask them this question: If your preferred alternate source of energy is practical, why isn’t it already in use? Why not? Because of The Conspiracy™. The big oil companies don’t want it to happen, and have been suppressing all this live-saving green people’s energy all this time for their own nefarious purposes.

As soon as you hear any reference to The Conspiracy™, you know you’re talking to someone who is living in a morality play. That isn’t engineering any more, that’s religion. And while religion is an important part of many people’s lives, it has no place in engineering discussions.

UPDATE: There’s actually another common answer to the “Why not” question. It’s because you engineers are just too hidebound and conservative and unimaginative. If you’d just get on board and recognize how utterly cool and romantic these other ways of producing energy would be, then you could wave your magic engineering wand and make it happen.

That’s another kind of religion. It’s not a religious struggle against evil (as personified by Big Oil) so much as a religious image of paradise. If the adherents of this kind of religion can just convert enough doubters, then paradise can happen. If you just believe, we can all be saved! Hallelujah, baby! Praise Gaia and pass the biodiesel!

Thanks, but no thanks. My “conservatism” on this subject is due to my understanding of the laws of physics and the principles of engineering, not to me being hidebound and unimaginative.

*****

Steven DenBeste had an overwhelmingly positive influence on the world despite his physical frailty, one out of all proportion to his resources. The world today is undeniably a better place for his having lived, but it is a bit dimmer today with his loss.

Periodically I have a recurring dream of a mist  and smoke covered battlefield, eerily quiet, just the sound of bullets zipping by or occasionally striking down another victim. My comrades and I keep moving forward under steady fire. One minute you are in company of friends and the next the man beside you is struck away, one after another the steady attrition continues. And still we move forward, probably until none are left – I don’t know – the dream never changes, but Steven just went down.

Now we just have to mobilize the “silent majority” in Alberta cities to oust Running Rachel and her thugs and repeal any and all anti-oil, global warming carbon legislation. We should perhaps pursue the angle of seeking damages from the parties responsible for the current debacle. Accountability … what a quaint notion, eh? Once they are put down we are back in the business of being “Open for Business” here in Alberta.

Cheers

Joe

clinging to our guns and religionThe only certainty for humanity is grim death. It is how you lived your life and the principles you stood for, that will tip the scale one way or the other on judgement day. Denying that there will be a judgement day is just more ad-hominem claptrap for people with no discernible factual base to their belief system..

 

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Politics and Economics

There’s Been Quite a Hiatus …

Now this was  a rather abortive start to a post – just accidentally deleted three paragraphs before saving them … sigh. Things are finally getting back to normal – sort of – I expect it will be a couple of more months before things are totally normal again.  Renovation project is 99% complete. Electricians finishing up the outside fixtures today and still a bit if tiling to be done  in the bathroom and we can call it done. Still have to pay for it though. Fortunately this is a busy time of the year and we have reasonable expectation of reaching that goal. Year End is complete for last year and I am already working on Year End for this year. Listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t47XH2kKfIY.

Winter is finally here for real with temps in the -10 to -15 range (Celsius) and nice wind chills. Haven’t been paying attention to any media for almost 2 months. No radio, satellite, TV, News or print media. Funny thing is I haven’t missed any of it. And now, when I check in, I discover the world is still there, the same talking heads are palavering away about the same crisis and grievances and things are essentially unchanged. I would just about bet that nothing has changed in the essentials since at least back as far as Marcus Aurelius. Of course the Romans didn’t worry about the price of oil unless maybe they were talking about olive oil.

Ted Cruz is looking to be the preferred Republican candidate but if the Canadian elections are any indicator the neo-socialist liberal progressives will turn out in lemming-like droves and we will be living in a brave new world of  Billary as pres down south, Boy Justin in Ottawa, and Running Rachel in Edmonton. The three horse-people (horses’ patuties?) of the progressive apocalypse can be counted on to destroy anything resembling a North American economy just like their daddies did in the 80’s only now, instead of “Energy Independence”, they are all fired up in the name of saving the planet from evil carbon. To cap it off we will probably see a crackdown on anything resembling moral life in the name of preventing “hate” conduct.

Of course they can be expected to completely ignore the worst current threat on the planet because dealing with ISIS and the Islamic world in general would require serious balls and chests, all notably lacking in all the current protagonists and their herd of lapdog bureaucrats. Maybe things will change after a few more events like Paris and London, but this time they would have to occur in Toronto and Ottawa and Edmonton and Washington in order to get the local attention fixated for a couple of news cycles. Of course Boy Justin probably wouldn’t even notice unless it happened right at 24 Sussex Drive.

So Merry Christmas everyone – still waiting for the whole Justice Kissing Peace thing. I have faith and the ongoing conviction that the current state of the world really doesn’t matter in the long run, in fact anything that destroys it could be seriously defended as a good thing in the long run, the eternal long run that is. In the short term it is probably a good time to start locking in floating rate loans and financing for at least 10 years – I seem to remember it took about that long to recover between 1978 and on through the 80’s. This is in no way a prognostication but I would not be surprised to see double digit inflation and interest rates again in the not too far distant future. Of course if I was a brilliant economist I would be rich,  unpopular and probably wrong at the same time. I am of a contrarian mindset at the best of times and when literally everyone is talking about no inflation and negative interest rates I am convinced we are actually soon to be heading in the other direction.

Cheers

Joe

knight_templar_battle_weary

Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

 

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