Life in a small town

Palm Sunday, and Holy Week … (without churches)

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

Glenstal Abbey House

Yesterday I traveled around to various small shops in our local area. Found, to my surprise, that there is a common silver lining to this pandemic panic, that being that, courtesy of all the “nonessential services” being closed in all the larger centers.

Folks are returning to the shops which they used to frequent decades ago before everyone decided to go to the nearest city to visit McDonalds, and Timmy’s, and Wendy’s, and Superstore, and Walmart, and so on and so forth.

Social distancing and restricted access have left folks without a “activity” destination.

Of course, I still have a problem with Church and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being classed as a “non-essential” service along with night clubs and sports events, while liquor stores and marijuana shops are staying open as “essential”.

Seems deeply perverted from where I sit, but that is the Canadian way, eh? Maybe it’s because the Liquor stores and Marijuana shops are government sponsored avenues of moral dissolution but church worship is the enemy … that’s very Canadian as well, isn’t it?

Just listen to Justin and the rest, and do whatever you are told and everything will be OK, right? So between his Chinese contacts and his Soros instructions he should have all the answers about controlling his population during this Red Bat Flu epidemic.

His marriage is a failure … but we trust him to run the country, and handle the pandemic? hmmmm

And if you have the slightest doubts about anything, just ask my sister, whose current big city opinion is that “This whole thing is really serious and it is caused by people (that would be us rurals) not taking isolation seriously.

She watched a televised 3 hour Ontario government press conference on the weekend and now knows everything that anyone needs to know. She has stopped talking about how she got stranded in Roatan for a while because it turned out that her opinion at that time about the seriousness of the pandemic was wrong.

I guess that is what it takes to get through the BS. All the restaurants closed and no one at the resort, and multiple teams of Honduran military men in surgical masks and armed with automatic weapons, ordering everyone out of the water and off the beaches and off the streets.

Oh well, that was then and it doesn’t matter now. Now it is all the fault of all those little people out there who never left the country for their vacation, who are not taking it seriously, because it can’t be travelers going on their vacations in spite of all the warnings. Oh, and also … The Chinese have stopped it cold and everyone is recovering over there because they are able to force their population to comply with the isolation restrictions. Good Job  and kudos to the Chinese Communist Party for keeping all the little prolls in line.

Meanwhile, back here in The Shire, for local meat shops, and small country stores, and rural CO-OPs, and family farm businesses, the pandemic has provided a welcome shot in the economic arm as the customers return in droves and are surprised that we have what they are looking for (mostly) or a close equivalent, and they don’t have to spend hours driving and $50 bucks or so on gas to go shopping in a city somewhere.

And things are pretty much unchanged in the rurals, with no line-ups, no serious shortages, and personal attention from people you actually know, and no problems. The smaller the town the safer it is, if your biggest fear is catching the latest plague from some coughing plague carrier. Yes, “The Shire” really is the best place to live. Just ask Baggins.

We Happy Few …

So life in the country goes on pretty much as normal except for the proliferation of plastic counter barriers and a lot of people wearing nitrile gloves because their hands are drying out from using hand sanitizer so often. As my dad would remark, if a meteor struck Toronto nothing would change in the slightest in the rurals. I guess he was right.

On the other hand, as noted earlier, my family relatives in the big cities across the country have started blaming the pandemic on “people not taking isolation seriously” courtesy of the important wisdom and “factual” information from televised government press conferences and the latest terror being passed on by various Health “Authorities” on their local TV channels. So now the Red Bat Flu (RBF) is our fault for not taking their fear seriously, in between blaming everything on Trump.

As I posted previously, we now have a golden God given opportunity to LOVE. Love like never before as humans. This brief opportunity we have before us right now is to pray for the conversion of those who have rejected God’s Love in pursuit of their worship of self, of the “goods and gods” of this world, now showing to be frighteningly thread-bare in the face of the Red Bat Flu.

So how to deal with the scorn and approbation of our relatives and contacts and the rest of our “Betters”? Well, accept the cross. We are being given an opportunity not to act like the elder brother in that parable who is bitter toward his prodigal brother and would prefer justice. No, let us fast and pray that the lost will be found and the blind may see again!

I feel compassion right now for my big city sisters and the rest of the big city relates who know best what everyone else “should be doing”, and all the Social Media opinion makers, the Facebook Monkey Tribes, and all the artists, and writers, and actors, and entertainers, and yes, even all the talking heads and experts so in love with themselves and their own opinions, even if their “original” thoughts come out of a script written by someone much further up the food chain. They seem to be, well, just scared out of their nickers.

I want them to know, if any are reading this, that they are loved with an eternal love. God loves you all. God knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb, and even though your medical system kills a hundred thousand of you every day, He knew that you would be one of the survivors. I want you to know that God the Father wants to wrap you in His enormous tender arms. Soon, the masks and facades will all fall away and God is going to ask not who you were, but WHO ARE YOU?

Cheers

Joe

its all so crazy making …

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Life in a small town

Civil Rights, and Liberty …

Justin makover?

In a blog which has become predominantly about Religion and Spirit I am straying over into the Politics pasture in this post. Has anyone noticed the elephant flying under the radar these days?  COVID THIS AND COVID THAT AND COVID BLAH BLAH BLAH endlessly.

The invisible elephant is the rapidly disappearing civil liberties and freedoms which we have taken for granted all our lives and are just being chucked out the window in a blizzard of fear. Even without the physical threat of force folks everywhere are moving right along and doing whatever they are told. Maybe this is just in Canada, because we are so afraid of what is reported to be happening elsewhere on the planet.

Pretty soon we might not be allowed to just run down to the post office without getting clearance from the isolation police.

Canada’s Clown Prince Justin just failed narrowly in a bid to suspend parliament for the next couple of years on the pretext that the government needed this power to deal with the COVID-19 emergency.

The governments of the world are supposed to get on board to control the new and deadly virus? Maybe we need a One World government to deal with a One World virus threat? But this is all just overreaction and hysteria, right. On the other hand …

The Menace of The Herd

History has not been kind to any nation that voted to suspend their elected representative governments. Most often the elected government never returns and we observe an ever extending state of emergency where elections, if they are even held, involve 1 approved “candidate” and the government “gets it’s majority” no matter what the voter turnout.

The herd turned everything over to the “experts”, and millions died …

Just about every totalitarian regime in recent history has had elections of a sort and called themselves the “Democratic Republic of Blah Blah Blah” but the entire planet understands that they are “democratic” in name only.

What makes people think that we here are somehow immune to natural human desires for power and control and will act in a “Christian” manner naturally. 1000,000 years of human history give that the big lie.

Cheers

Joe

George Soros, Justin Trudeau, and Chrystia Freeland,  Davos, Sw. 2016

Does anyone out there really believe that Prince Justin is actually in charge and running things?

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Life in a small town

Nexus of Evil? Connections …

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

So, when I started this post outside it was snowing heavily, I thought it would pass quickly and the forecast was for above zero temperatures soon. Just another spring snowstorm, here today and gone tomorrow. In the end I spent Sunday shoveling out and Monday and Tuesday with a sore back. The immediate effect was that I chose “Snow” for my cover song when I started.

This post is less about spiritual thoughts and more about political conflict, and Globalism, and Open Borders, and the real world results of the sin of self love as witnessed in Canada over the last few years. These days it looks like Justin might have had a makeover and gone back to politician school for remedial work after the last term of juvenile shenanigans. His handlers must have gotten a scare or two, I wonder if Uncle George took him in hand and kicked his butt.

Justin makeover? Does this man have my best interest at heart?

I am thinking today about a “nexus”, about connections, and the consequences of “self interest” to the exclusion of “loving our neighbour”, when carried to the logical and inevitable conclusions. A “nexus” is a connection or series of connections linking two or more things, as in: “the nexus between industry and political power”, or a “connected group or series”, or a “nexus of ideas or theories”, or “the nexus of all this activity was the marketplace “. “Self-interest” is defined as being focused on yourself or putting yourself at an advantage. An example of self-interest is thinking about your needs above the needs of others around you.

Socialism and its extremes of Communism and Fascism are also fundamentally based on self-interest, that is, Self-Love,  both in the sense that many or most who support such systems believe it is in their self-interest to do so, and in the sense that individuals living in and under those regimes continue to act mainly out of self-interest. It really is a wonderful system to live under … really, it is. You don’t believe me … I am sad.

As long as the Leaders of Socialist and Fascist political systems can use other people’s money and resources and assets to pay for the programs which cater to the “Self Worshipers”, called “voters” in some jurisdictions, and the “workers” or “proletariat” in others, things seem to go along well on the surface and at the photo-ops.

Dare I say “evil”?

Behind the scenes, however, it is a different, grimmer story. Some old friends of mine, having escaped from old Eastern European regimes in the 70’s and 80’s, have remarked that “They pretended to pay us and we pretended to work”, all the while the totalitarian screws turn tighter and tighter to wring the remainder of the ever declining pool of “other people’s money” out of the commoners, and to permanently silence any voice of dissent.

We are seeing a lot of that in Canada these days, the oxymoron of “Government Worker” is even more popular nowadays than when those same “workers” shouted their feelings about “Military Intelligence”, during their 70’s and 80’s “student protests”. But seriously, there is a lot of bad stuff happening behind the scenes in Canada … dare I say “evil”?

I recently found an interesting blog by a Canadian Veteran by the name of William Ray, who served 10 years with the PPCLI, in the early 90’s including the “Medac pocket“. Here is a link to his blog.  On another page of his site there is a long, frightening, and detailed listing of the atrocities we in Canada have been afflicted with over the last few years.

His Master’s Voice? George Soros, Justin Trudeau, and Chrystia Freeland, Davos, Sw. 2016.

The image on the right is of Schwartz György aka George Soros, lecturing Boy Justin and Foreign Minister Freeland (who was then slated to write the Soros auto-biography just before deciding to run for office) in Davos, Switzerland, January 2016. Notice the relative postures of the participants in terms of authority, the attentive students at the feet of the master?.

This whole series of reports rings very true for me as a refugee from the Quiet Revolution of Jean Lesage in Quebec in the 60’s. I have not followed up on his sources yet but I do not expect to be surprised by anything I read, and I have a long experience of the evils which Canadian Governments get up to, all the while pretending they are only doing things for our own good. Yes, with popular support averaging around 35% over the years they really still believe that they speak for Canadians? Sounds like the CBC with 1% of viewers.

So where am I going with this narrative? Well, not too far from today’s news, namely the spread of our latest flu outbreak. Here is a link to an interesting Johns Hopkins CSSE web page about the current flu outbreak in China and it’s subsequent spread. It does seem remarkably coincidental that the worst centers of disease are also the worst centers of Socialist Secular Progressive government systems on the planet. These disease centers cover the full political/economic range from European Socialist, through Totalitarian (Islamofacist) Middle Eastern Dictatorships, and all the way across to Chinese and North Korean Communist. And Canada is already a long way down the same disastrous path.

Are ya gonna call Greta?

Even in North America we see the outbreaks seem to correlate with the centers of Socialist Progressivism, you might say, the “Bernie Sanders Fan Base”. Can’t really see it in Canada because most of Canada is empty but even here we see it popping up in Vancouver and Toronto. Of course Canada is a rather icy, cold, and snowy place and no self respecting Chinese virus would willingly take up residence here unless forced to.

So we are witness to the sin of self love playing out through history and across time, are we not? This is just the latest episode. And self love has always failed through all of history to the endless misery of all the little players and their subjects and will fail to the last syllable of recorded time.  The only constants over the centuries seems to be 4 words … sin, disease, death and taxes.

Or according to God’s plan it’s ten words … this plan is telegraphed in the first few pages of the Bible and can be summed up in just 10 words: light, dust, breath, garden, river, eat, alone, naked, afraid, sweat. Or you can go with the Facebook post which was circulating a few years ago … image on right

No one seems to be immune no matter what their political or social beliefs or their affiliations and clubs, no matter how big their bank account is … death comes to every last mother son of us no matter how we rail against it and pretend otherwise. And then what? Well, there are a lot of folks in China, and the Middle East, and Europe and even on the West and East Coast here and now who seem to be discovering that they can’t rely on their Socialist gods to protect them even from the flu.  Bernie and Greta and Justin just seem to be all out of answers, so who ya gonna call?

I have been trying to follow the Manufacturers instructions regarding this creature called Joe. I look in the mirror and acknowledge that it has been a long and bitter battle that continues daily.

These days, following the rules has become really unfashionable, and most folks seem to feel that the rules really don’t apply to them anyway, especially if there is no one watching or their peers scoff at the rules. Back in the prewar (WW1) days folks mostly followed the rules and had some respect for authority (Piety). Guilt was the driver and anyone who was self aware understood guilt. Now it seems that we have adopted the Asian or Middle Eastern model of a shame based society – when it is all about face, then we can do anything as long as no one knows or sees what we do and we can keep it a nasty little secret, and if it stays secret then it is not even nasty, is it?

Nowadays, the scoffing of our peers carries more weight than anyone or anything – God help you if you get noticed on Facebook – or worse yet get “Unfriended”.  Unless you take the path most traveled and  decide that you, very conveniently, really don’t believe in God anymore, even though He is still the ultimate source of the rules and always will be …  so about those rules … they have been around for a few thousand years. Moses got a copy around 3300 years ago … then his dog ate his homework and God had to give it to Mo again.

So, according to the Manufacturer’s Instructions we have Various Rules of Conduct, (Leviticus 19). Here it is from USCCB site, maybe too many footnotes, but if you are not a believer you are probably not reading this anyway, or you can just skip to the end from here.

1 The LORD said to Moses: 2 Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.a * [19:2] Be holy, for I…am holy: in the writings commonly attributed to the Priestly collection, Israel is called to be holy through obeying God’s precepts (11:44–45; 20:7–8, 24–26; Nm 15:40–41). Cf. Dt 14:2, 21; 26:19; and Ex 19:6.

Pharaoh didn’t think The Rules applied to him … God through Moses showed him the error of his ways

3* Each of you revere your mother and father,b and keep my sabbaths.c I, the LORD, am your God. * [19:3–4] Cf. the Decalogue laws on revering parents (Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16), keeping sabbaths (Ex 20:8–11; Dt 5:12–15), and not making or worshiping idols (Ex 20:2–6; Dt 5:7–10).

4 Do not turn aside to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves.d I, the LORD, am your God.

5 When you sacrifice your communion sacrifice to the LORD, you shall sacrifice it so that it is acceptable on your behalf. 6 It must be eaten on the day of your sacrifice or on the following day. Whatever is left over until the third day shall be burned in fire. 7 If any of it is eaten on the third day, it will be a desecrated offering and not be accepted;e 8 whoever eats of it then shall bear the penalty for having profaned what is sacred to the LORD. Such a one shall be cut off from the people.f

9* When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not be so thorough that you reap the field to its very edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.g 10 Likewise, you shall not pick your vineyard bare, nor gather up the grapes that have fallen. These things you shall leave for the poor and the alien. I, the LORD, am your God. * [19:9–10] The Israelites maintain the poor in part by letting them gather unharvested portions of fields and vineyards. Cf. 23:22; Ru 2:1–10.

11* You shall not steal. You shall not deceive or speak falsely to one another.h 12 You shall not swear falsely by my name, thus profaning the name of your God.i I am the LORD. 13 You shall not exploit your neighbor. You shall not commit robbery. You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your laborer.j * [19:11–13] Cf. the Decalogue commandments against stealing (Ex 20:15; Dt 5:19), wrongly using God’s name (Ex 20:7; Dt 5:11), and swearing falsely against another (Ex 20:16; Dt 5:20).

14* You shall not insult the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am the LORD. * [19:14] In Dt 27:18 a curse falls on the head of the one who misleads the blind.

15 You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your neighbor justly.k 16 You shall not go about spreading slander among your people; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the LORD.

17* You shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart. Reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person.l

18 Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.m * [19:17–18] These verses form a unit and describe different attitudes and actions towards one’s fellow Israelites. A separate passage is necessary to advise a similar attitude toward aliens (vv. 33–34). Cf. 25:39–46. The admonition at the end of v.18 came to be viewed in Judaism and Christianity as one of the central commandments. (See Mt 22:34–40; Mk 12:28–34; Lk 10:25–28; cf. Mt 19:19; Rom 13:8–10; Gal 5:14). The New Testament urges love for enemies as well as neighbors (Mt 5:43–48; Lk 6:27–36; cf. Prv 25:21–22).

19* Keep my statutes: do not breed any of your domestic animals with others of a different species; do not sow a field of yours with two different kinds of seed; and do not put on a garment woven with two different kinds of thread.n * [19:19] One reason why mixtures are prohibited seems to be that they are holy (see Dt 22:9, 10–11). Israelites are allowed mixtures in the wearing of fringes on the edges or corners of their clothing (Nm 15:37–41; Dt 22:12). Some mixtures are considered abominations (cf. Lv 18:23; Dt 22:5).

20* o If a man has sexual relations with a female slave who has been acquired by another man but has not yet been redeemed or given her freedom, an investigation shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she has not been freed. 21 The man shall bring to the entrance of the tent of meeting as his reparation to the LORD a ram as a reparation offering.p 22 With the ram of the reparation offering the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the wrong the man has committed, so that he will be forgiven for the wrong he has committed. * [19:20–22] On adultery, see note on 18:20. Here it is not adultery in the technical sense since the woman is not free. A reparation offering is required as a penalty (see 5:14–26).

23 When you come into the land and plant any fruit tree there,q first look upon its fruit as if it were uncircumcised. For three years, it shall be uncircumcised for you; it may not be eaten. 24In the fourth year, however, all of its fruit shall be dedicated to the LORD in joyous celebration. 25Not until the fifth year may you eat its fruit, to increase the yield for you. I, the LORD, am your God.
26 Do not eat anything with the blood still in it.r Do not recite charms or practice soothsaying.* s * [19:26] Recite charms…soothsaying: methods of divination (cf. Gn 44:5, 15; Is 2:6; Ez 21:26–28). Legitimate means of learning the future or God’s will were through the Urim and Thummim stones (see Lv 8:8), lots (see Lv 16:8) and prophets (cf. Dt 18:9–22; 1 Sm 28:6–7).

27 Do not clip your hair at the temples, nor spoil the edges of your beard.

28 Do not lacerate your bodies for the dead, and do not tattoo yourselves.* t I am the LORD. * [19:28] Do not tattoo yourselves: see note on Gn 4:15. This prohibition probably refers only to the common ancient Near Eastern practice of branding a slave with its owner’s name as well as branding the devotees of a god with its name.

29 You shall not degrade your daughter by making a prostitute of her;u otherwise the land will prostitute itself and become full of lewdness. 30 Keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary.v I am the LORD.

31 Do not turn to ghosts or consult spirits, by which you will be defiled.w I, the LORD, am your God.

32 Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the old, and fear your God. I am the LORD.

33 When an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one.x 34 You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt.y I, the LORD, am your God.

35 Do not act dishonestly in using measures of length or weight or capacity.

36 You shall have a true scale and true weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin.* z I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. * [19:36] Ephah: see note on Is 5:10; hin: see note on Ez 45:24.

37 Be careful, then, to observe all my statutes and decrees. I am the LORD.

and here are the references by letter :
a. [19:2] Lv 11:44. b. [19:3] Lv 20:9; Ex 20:12. c. [19:3] Lv 23:3. d. [19:4] Lv 26:1; Ex 20:3–5; 34:17; Dt 5:8; 27:15. e. [19:7] Lv 7:15–18. f. [19:8] Lv 7:20. g. [19:9] Lv 23:22; Dt 24:19–22. h. [19:11] Ex 20:15–16. i. [19:12] Ex 20:7; Mt 5:33–37. j. [19:13] Dt 24:14–15. k. [19:15] Ex 23:2–3; Dt 1:17; 16:19; Ps 82:2; Prv 24:23. l. [19:17] Mt 18:15; Lk 17:3; Gal 6:1. m. [19:18] Mt 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mk 12:31; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; Jas 2:8; 1 Jn 3:14. n. [19:19] Dt 22:9–12. o. [19:20] Dt 22:22–29. p. [19:21] Lv 5:14–26. q. [19:23] Dt 20:19–20. r. [19:26] Lv 17:10. s. [19:26] Dt 18:10; 2 Kgs 17:17; 21:6; 2 Chr 33:6. t. [19:28] Lv 21:5. u. [19:29] Lv 21:7, 14. v. [19:30] Lv 19:3. w. [19:31] Lv 20:6, 27; Dt 18:11; Is 8:19. x. [19:33] Ex 22:20; 23:9; Jer 22:3; Mal 3:5. y. [19:34] Dt 10:19. z. [19:36] Dt 25:13–16; Prv 16:11; Am 8:5; Mi 6:10–11.

Cheers

Joe

Sunrise on The Last Day

Who Ya Gonna Call?

 

 

 

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Life in a small town

Gnosticism, Atheism and Modernism = Liberal Socialist Dictatorship – Part 1

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following the release of an ethics report in Ottawa on Wednesday December 20, 2017.

Another long post, sigh, just trying to make sense of what is going on. I guess I’ll just split it into two parts. I don’t actually believe that folks are really stupid, or at least they are no stupider than I am and I have had highs and lows, sometimes epic lows of the “Hold my beer … ” variety over the last 7 decades.

How does one “Love folks” with sincere charity when they often appear so eminently unlovable.  Jesus loves them … how come I have so much trouble imitating Him.

So 33% of our electorate put an Atheistic Socialist dictatorship back in power in Canada.  I am trying to restructure how I think about my country in a way that doesn’t leave me feeling sick to my stomach.

Its a bit of a stretch just now, since what I see is definitely not Christian by any stretch of the word. The “Nones” have carried the day and all that’s left is the cleanup after the “Celebration of Life” when they put our old “Western” civilization in the ground. I’m trying to come up with a “New Model” that accounts for everything I see actually happening day by day in my country and also in the world at large.

The bottom line seems to be that about a third of Canadians are happy with the status quo and have far more faith in their Liberal politicians than they have ever had in any god, and that without any material evidence, but that is enough for Canadians to keep the government as it is. Less than a third, so much for democracy, and majority rule. So much for values that build a strong economy, and a moral compass that protects life and the innocent and helpless.

The recent Alberta election saw a 70% voter turnout, the highest in Alberta history. The UCP gained about 55% of the popular vote, also the highest in Alberta history and 63 seats, reducing Premier Rachel Notley’s governing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP) to Official Opposition with 24 seats in the university heartland of Calgary and Edmonton. 

Jason Kenny, Premier of Alberta, strongest mandate in Alberta history.

Jason Kenny, our new UPC Premier has a strong mandate from his people, Albertans, to take us in the directions he presented during the election and he has started having hour-long “question and answer” podcasts … his version of Roosevelt’s fireside chats I guess, to keep us in the loop and present us with the UCP side of things since most of the media are drooling zombies with their loyalty to Rachel and her merry band of plunderers.

Of course, Trump uses Tweets for this sort of thing but they are more provocative and less satisfying except when I am quite amused by what I see watching all the Canadian victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome frothing at the mouth with denunciations for what is pushed by the Liberal MSM in Canada as “news” and played by the Liberals as useful cover to keep the light off them and their corruption.

And this distraction is way better for the Liberal Party of Canada, and their backers at Tides Foundation Canada, if all the left voting Canadians are foaming at the mouth about a politician in another country about whom they can do nothing and have absolutely no influence over.

Victim-hood, in a mush of envy at other’s success, and resentment about imaginary wrongs inflicted by faceless “right-wingers”, is such a satisfying state of mind for the Left everywhere, and it is especially satisfying if you can blame a politician in another country for all the bad fallout from the current policy directions you voted for.

Canadians seem to have lost something important and they haven’t missed it because they have given up all the beliefs which used to remind my parents generation about what was important, important here and now and important for eternity, in fact, important enough to die for as evidenced by the Greatest Generation.

I borrow a short quote from “Is There a Santa Claus?” reprinted from the September 21, 1897 editorial of the New York Sun:   

*****

“… Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.

All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. …”

*****

So, this mindset, that of blaming others for the bad outcomes of your own choices, coupled with an overweening self adoration are the foundational planks of the Canadian National Church, and is all pervasive in our population both in the east where they have placed their trust in a shiny little band of Atheistic killers.

Domine, quo vadis?

But it is also found in the west where folks are quick to anger and judgemental of the “enemy in the east”.  What Canada and Canadians have lost, or maybe only misplaced (I pray) is that spirit of love, generosity, and devotion. They have misplaced faith, and have lost their concern for anything outside of their narrow self interest.

So, where are we now, and more importantly “Quo Vadis” wither goest thou, where are we going? To Calvary? Or to Hell?

What kind of “representative government” do we find ourselves experiencing? Let’s compare the outcome of the recent Alberta election and the strong voice of Albertans with the questionable outcome of the just finished Federal election. Do we get what we deserve?

In our recent Federal election where the the turnout was only 66% and the re-elected Liberal Party’s election victory was a curious event because its candidates took nearly half the seats with less than a third of the popular vote.

It marks only the second time in Canada’s history that a governing party will take power with such a low share of the vote. Mandate is Not US!  David Moscrop, a political theorist at the University of Ottawa, tweeted that “the last and only time a party has formed government with less than 35 percent of the national popular vote was John A. Macdonald in 1867 — with 34.8 percent.”  This vote beats the 1867 record, with the Liberal popular vote settling around 33 per cent.

Something to sing about …

Canada’s electoral system is referred to as a “first past the post” system. The candidate with the most votes in a riding wins a seat in the House of Commons and represents that riding as its Member of Parliament (MP).

The party whose candidates win the second largest number of seats becomes the Official Opposition. So much for democracy?  Or maybe this is a more realistic democracy than an iron clad two party system as our brothers across the 48th experience every election.

However you take the numbers it is crystal clear that Jason Kenny has a huge and strong mandate to speak for Albertans and to work for Alberta’s interests … Justin on the other hand has no mandate but rather secures his seat with an accidental result due to the electoral process. This is why we find Canada governed by the Dictatorship of the PMO, the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Canada is a diverse country and governing it requires a complex balancing of competing interests. There are some hard decisions that are best taken in private and away from public scrutiny.”

So we find ourselves governed by an unelected, unaccountable, secret cabal of close friends and cronies of the accidental prime minister. To paraphrase some of our discontented southern brethren “Not My Prime Minister!”

Many Canadians believe that they live in a “Parliamentary Democracy”. Nothing could be further from the truth, or perhaps a “Parliamentary Democracy” actually always is a dictatorship of the PMO. These Canadians will scratch their heads in confusion when presented with the idea that Canadians live in a dictatorship. But let’s take a moment to look at what is undeniably the de-facto manner of government in this country.

The Prime Minister’s Office, the PMO, and as it’s head, the Principal Secretary, have the power of yea and nay on literally everything which the parliament of Canada does or says. The government does not publish a mandate letter for the Principal Secretary of the PMO, as it does for all cabinet ministers. In fact, there is no publicly available job description for the principal secretary or any other staffers in the Prime Minster’s Office (PMO).

The Principal Secretary is the ultimate backroom operator, un-elected, and unaccountable to anyone except the Prime Minister. The PMO, is a secretive palace guard. It operates outside public view and scrutiny. PMO staffers are not public servants. They are political appointees, and their role is as much to foster the partisan political interests of their party as it is to coordinate government policy in the public interest.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (front, R), Chinese President Xi Jinping (front, L), his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd row, L), and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd row, R), arrive for a gala show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A number of experts have noted that, since the 1960s, Canadian democracy has degenerated into a kind of executive dictatorship of the PMO. Both Liberal and Conservative elected members of Parliament have frequently complained, in private, about being relegated to the role of trained seals. Their job is to clap when ordered to do so by the PMO, as it is in most dictatorships world wide where they like to make a pretense of “representing the people“.

Many Ottawa insiders will tell you there’s nothing to see here, that this style of government is all par for the course. Federal governments have operated this way for decades, they say, at least since Justin Trudeau’s father’s time.

Again, as one insider put it “Canada is a diverse country and governing it requires a complex balancing of competing interests. There are some hard decisions that are best taken in private and away from public scrutiny.”

A dictatorship in all but name … and it is true that they are arguably doing a better job than dictatorships elsewhere, like Venezuela, or Syria, or even Russia, or China depending on whether you are part of the “IN” crowd or not … how things look all depend on perspective and nuance, right?

So what does that leave us for a society … a culture of … what? Quality of life is pretty damned good compared to most of the world … our lives and our comforts are top drawer but what about the spiritual, the fabric of our relations with our families and our neighbours, and just what exactly is the point of our comfortable existence? Where is the love and generosity and devotion, where is life’s highest beauty and joy?

Cheers

Joe

 

So lets get out thinking caps on and fired up …

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Life in a small town

Another Coat-tails post …

Found, with amusement, at https://www.davidwarrenonline.com/2018/07/07/justin-the-groper/

David Warren remarks on the stellar performance of our current prime minister and his lip smacking kissers at the CBC. Really folks, its not just my imagination … we truly do live in this wonderful Winter Wonderland where fantasy is always more important than reality and truth is whatever the sparkly vampires over at the Holy CBC say it is, right?

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean, know what I mean, eh?

Cheers

Joe ..

True, Patriot Love …. quick grab a cheek, … or something …

Je me souviens …

 

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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, The Inner Struggle

All Souls, All Men and Women Everywhere …

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

November is the month of all souls …  a month dedicated to prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. There is a longstanding tradition in the Catholic Church, dating back more than a 1000 years and rooted in Jewish tradition going back even further to pray for the souls of the deceased.

How did this tradition come about and why is it still important today?  This is a good time to remember some words of wisdom about souls … about the Pope and the Catholic Church … and the rest of us … and loving one’s enemies …

Joseph Ratzinger - Pope Benedict XVI

Joseph Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI

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

After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West.

In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word.

The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. … The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.”
Joseph Ratzinger in The Spirit of the Liturgy

so the Pope is not the “Top Dog” he is simply another man and what makes him human would be a soul …

Hilaire Belloc - by Emil Otto ('E.O.') HoppÈ, vintage bromide print, 1915

Hilaire Belloc – by Emil Otto (‘E.O.’) HoppÈ, vintage bromide print, 1915

The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine—but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.”
-Hilaire Belloc

… and the knavish imbeciles would be souls …

*****

A commentary on “Government” and “the Masses” … (I suppose that would be us? All souls, every one of us.)

Albert Jay Nock wrote in Our Enemy The State”  – Everyone knows that the State claims and exercises [a] monopoly of crime … and that it makes this monopoly as strict as it can. It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants, whether the property of citizen or of alien.

Alfred Jay Nock

Alfred Jay Nock

There is, for example, no human right, natural or Constitutional, that we have not seen nullified by the United States Government. Of all the crimes that are committed for gain or revenge, there is not one that we have not seen it commit – murder, mayhem, arson, robbery, fraud, criminal collusion and connivance.”   Albert Jay Nock, from Our Enemy, the State

But “Government” is not a monolithic entity, it is rather composed of a multitude of little individuals all more or less “doing their duty” and they are All Souls

And in another quote from an article published in Atlantic Monthly in 1936, Albert Jay Nock opines on the qualities of the common man, the masses as he calls them  …  about “the masses“:

… In the year of King Uzziah’s death, about 740 B.C., the Lord commissioned the prophet Isaiah to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them.

Antonio Balestra - The Prophet Isaiah

Antonio Balestra (1666-1740) – The Prophet Isaiah

I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.” 

Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point.

All Saints ...

All Saints …

There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

Apparently, then, if the Lord’s word is good for anything – I do not offer any opinion about that, – the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it.

A woman lights a candle on the grave of her relative before praying at a cemetery during the observance of All Souls Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

This is a very striking and suggestive idea; but before going on to explore it, we need to be quite clear about our terms. What do we mean by the masses, and what by the Remnant? As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, labouring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority.

The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses.

The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either. …”

and the Masses and the Remnant both are All Souls …

Now, I have always both enjoyed Albert Jay Nock’s piece and at the same time have been troubled by it, because we are ALL souls, and I just don’t believe that the Lord writes folks off because they don’t meet some transient human standard of character, ability, and discernment.

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

Rex Murphy

Rex Murphy

Here in Canada we are used to being routinely insulted and dismissed by our “betters” in high office and we are routinely expected to obsequiously kowtow and bow and scrape  and generally just be nice when treated in this way, after all,  we are just “the masses” and Canadian masses at that, eh?

Lately we were all ridiculed in public by  our new Governor General,  Julie Payette, (appointed by the drama coach and in office for about a month now), and all courtesy of her  bright big brain persona and her personal religious beliefs namely Atheism and Scientism.

Rex Murphy reports in the National Post  as follows: “Delight in one’s own intellectual capacity is a delusion both frequent and foolish (ouch!), and the desire to have others share in that rapture is almost always a disappointment.

That we are all partisans for our own opinions is of course a truism, as is the consideration that opinions, particularly political ones, many times follow just as much from temperament as from reason.

Governor General Julie Payette, by Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

Governor General Julie Payette, by Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

There is no Ideal Reasoner, and the truth of some questions is always a quarry and never a capture. That is why our finest sages, present and past, have always counseled against certitude, and cautioned that when we are most certain of something is precisely the time we should go over our sums.

Our recently minted Governor General, in one of her inaugural appearances, has been very quick off the mark to make her declarative presence known.

She gave a talk at a science conference this week, a speech notable for its confident strength of assertion and readiness to pronounce determinatively on matters large and trivial, and which was unfortunately inflected with a tone of condescension that will do little to buttress the appeal of the mainly ceremonial office she now inhabits.”

*****

Just in passing, I note that in spite of all the fondly held opinions and beliefs regarding the efficacy of science and the silly superstitions surrounding the concept of “God”, I have not heard any reports that NASA and the Brights have yet created life, or anything else, for that matter, in fact they have not even found any signs of life anywhere that their limited talents can take them. Oh yea, we are definitely “the masses” … including all our elected and appointed progressives currently running the asylum.

*****

As Chris Selley writesand “the chorus of defenders who took to social media on Thursday, including many who are generally very conservative about what a GG should and shouldn’t say. What she said was empirically true, they argued, and what’s more she’s a scientist! Why shouldn’t a scientist, appointed as the Queen’s representative in Ottawa, take the odd jab at the two-thirds of benighted Canadians who believe in God (per Angus Reid in 2015), and the 53 per cent who believe God is “active in this world.” Someone’s gotta tell ‘em, right?”

and we are all souls, no matter what some of us would like to believe …

Plato bust ...

Plato bust …

Now, as Mr. Nock writes, Isaiah’s testimony to the character of the masses has strong collateral support from respectable Gentile authority. Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah’s fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts.

Curiously, too, Plato applies Isaiah’s own word remnant to the worthier portion of Athenian society; “there is but a very small remnant,” he says, of those who possess a saving force of intellect and force of character – too small, preciously as to Judea, to be of any avail against the ignorant and vicious preponderance of the masses.

But we are all souls … regardless of our personal beliefs, mere thoughts in the mind of God in the eternal now.

*****

I wonder what Mr. Plato would think of Julie Payette, or even Drama Coach Justin Trudeau, for that matter? “Ravenous wild beasts”?

*****

Still more of the quote from Mr. Nock:  “The picture which Isaiah presents of the Judean masses is most unfavorable. In his view, the mass-man – be he high or be he lowly, rich or poor, prince or pauper – gets off very badly. He appears as not only weak-minded and weak-willed, but as by consequence knavish, arrogant, grasping, dissipated, unprincipled, unscrupulous.

The mass-woman also gets off badly, as sharing all the mass-man’s untoward qualities, and contributing a few of her own in the way of vanity and laziness, extravagance and foible. The list of luxury-products that she patronized is interesting;  … in another place, Isaiah even recalls the affectations that we used to know by the name “flapper gait” and the “debutante slouch.”

Alphonse Karr

Alphonse Karr

It may be fair to discount Isaiah’s vivacity a little for prophetic fervour; after all, since his real job was not to convert the masses but to brace and reassure the Remnant, he probably felt that he might lay it on indiscriminately and as thick as he liked – in fact, that he was expected to do so. But even so, the Judean mass-man must have been a most objectionable individual, and the mass-woman utterly odious.”

*****

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Not a pleasant picture at all … hmmmm. and still … all souls

On the other hand we have:

“Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.

Marcus Aurelius - was Roman emperor from 161 to 180,

Marcus Aurelius – was Roman emperor from 161 to 180,

But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth.

To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Two.

all souls

and:

No man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine in what I think, say, do , achieve.

And conversely my life spills over into that of others: for better or for worse.So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death.  In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other – my prayer for him – can play a certain part in his purification”

Pope Benedict XVI “Spe Salvi” 

all souls …

I wonder (figuratively speaking of course) which attitude, Justin’s and Julie’s, or Benedicts’s and Marcus Aurelius’s, has a better outcome? Which evolves into a better, more positive, more loving society, a culture of positive rather than negative lenses. 

Cheers

Joe

Tell one person that you love him or her. Forgive the person who insults and ridicules you. All of them.

They are all souls.

 

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

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

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

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

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

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

The Aga Khan's Father

The Aga Khan’s Father March 16th, 1902

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

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

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

Semper Fidelis

 

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Politics and Economics

A New Elephant … Get Over It

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited” (August, 1961)

001-a-trump-photoNicely expressive post by David Warren about our new president — YES!  Our New President!

Any Canadian who believes that the Canadian Prime Minister and the Federal apparatchiks running Canada actually set the course of the nation needs to refresh their Kool-Aide.

Canada is a Reactive Oligarchy masquerading as a Parliamentary Democracy, and there is a LOT of lipstick on this particular pig. President Trump WILL set the course for Canada for the next 8 years. Get over it!

So in David’s Words here:

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” … So yes, the people in the inaugural crowd who shouted that Hillary should go to gaol, had a point. And Donald should surely go there, too. So should everybody. Indeed, it is conventionally Christian to observe, that we all deserve to hang.

I listened carefully to the inaugural speech. You had to be a foreigner to appreciate it. To such an one, it sounded as if the new Chief Executive conceives of Natted States Merica as one yuge protection racket. As I said: better to be in than out.

And on reasons hinted, I think this is for the best. The previous Chief was a fusspot, a nickel-and-dime man, lacking the strategic vision. He was never sure whose side he was on. He set some sort of record for new laws. High time to simplify things.”

*****

Cheers

Joe

 Oh Canada …001-the-long-defeat

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

The Other Settled Science …

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Justin and progeny Selfie getting ready for Halloween

David Warren has a rather amusing post here.  Aside from confirming a proposition which I have believed (tongue in cheek) for decades. Just google the key assertions (phrases) in his post and watch the reports pop up.

Up close and personal evidence of the truth of the assertions David makes are never more obvious than in this adorable selfie tweeted out by our adorable Prime Minister, the one, the only, Justin The First, or perhaps Trudeau II depending on how you like the lineage and who you feel makes a better image of a founding father.

And, depending on the political views of the media reporting the results get spun to suit their slant. But the important bit is that the studies all seem to present the same observations.

As David reports:

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The findings also agree with my own observations, over the years, and square nicely with some studies I recall from the 1970s, which showed that right wing types in every European country had more active and fulfilling sex lives. In England, for instance, the Young Conservatives were an agreeable social club, in which politics were discussed only during the election campaigns. Whereas, among the Labour youth, everything was policy, policy, policy, and the kids were all tediously discontented. As for the Communists, hooo! They offered a freakshow of creatures who would never get a date, and in the end would have to settle for each other.

*****

It is alarming to a degree to understand that the science behind the articles which David alludes to in his post is indeed broader and more precise (as in “good” science) than the other “Settled Science”  informing government policies regarding Carbon Taxes and billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on a willow-the-wisp. (ed. opinion only)

Cheers

Joe

Idiots Happen

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Meanwhile, On Other Fronts …

Meanwhile, on other fronts …

001-a-bellcay-bahamas-national-parkI hear that  Justin Trudeau and family had a wonderful Christmas/NewYears vacation in company with the Aga Khan at his private island in the Bahamas.

Time to have a coffee and ponder why a posh vacation at the Aga Kahn’s private island, Bellcay,  following Justin’s  “granting” of millions to the Aga Khan Foundation qualifies Justin as an appropriate representative for the “middle class” and “small business” in Canada.

Prince Karim Aga Khan IV is the hereditary spiritual leader and absolute ruler of the world’s 15 (some estimates place the number at 25) million Shia Ismaili Muslims and also happens to be a multimillionaire philanthropist. and his foundation seems to do a lot of good stuff  in hard hit parts of the world. For a lot more information please visit the blog site Ismailimail

These folks are some of the good guys by any measure, regardless of their faith, or perhaps its really because of their faith.  Nizari teachings emphasize human reasoning (Ijtihad, the individual use of one’s reason when using both the Quran and Hadith as resources), pluralism (the acceptance of racial, ethnic, cultural and intra-religious differences) and social justice. Ismailis are often referred to as the Muslim diplomatic and business elite. They started out as traders but now work in banking and real estate and are steadily permeating the law, engineering and medical professions. [2]

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Justin and his wife having a photo op at Mr. Kahn’s summer cottage in 2015

The federal government under Justin Trudeau has contributed millions of taxpayer dollars to the Aga Khan Foundation to help fund its international development projects. Were they better spent in east Asia and Africa than here in Canada? Who knows.

Maybe Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV is trying to teach Justin how be a better leader, how to build up a loyal base of millions of followers so Justin can also become a multimillionaire philanthropist, doing real good in the world?

The Aga Khan’s family have been fully engaged in the real world since at least 1818. They appear to be a hugely successful family in business, as philanthropists  and also in the spiritual dimension, putting into practice the concept of “giving back”.

Justin, on the other hand, as a party leader in the House of Commons, earned a salary of $224,000 in 2015  (an MP’s base salary is $167,400, while a party leader makes an additional $56,800), according to a 2015 list of Parliamentary indemnities, salaries and allowances,  and his net worth is reported to be between 1 and 2 million dollars.

As prime minister, Justin is entitled to $334,800 for this year, not including a $2,000 car allowance. and his speaking fees garnered him more than $450,000 in his highest-earning year. While this is certainly NOT chump change, it also doesn’t begin to compare to the wealth influence  and accomplishments of the Aga Khan and the millions of Shia Ismaili Muslims around the world.  Justin just doesn’t seem to shine as brightly. In the world of the big fish Justin is a minnow and where does that analogy leave the rest of us.

I also wonder if Justin’s values are also acceptable Muslim values? I would bet not.  Justin Trudeau said in a statement issued Dec. 13 on the occasion of the Aga Khan’s 80th birthday. “I am proud to call His Highness both a mentor and friend. He has shown time and time again that no matter our faith, where we were born, what colour is our skin, or what language we speak, we are equal members of this world.

001-a-justin-trudeau-in-a-kiffeya1478026125322That may be true, under certain circumstances (like “if you paid your Jizya”) and maybe if you are a multimillionaire, perhaps.

But, if one is the Imam and Supreme Ruler of 25 million Muslims, and one is no doubt aware of the concept of  al-Taqiyya,  is there any way WE can be sure that Justin understands the possibilities or even that we have any reason to trust that he knows what he is saying and doing.

Do we believe that Justin understands that all the residents of Dar al-Harb, the  “Realm of the Heathens” are most definitely NOT “equal members of this world” as Justin so naively puts it … he seems in this statement to be out of touch with reality.

Even his language in this statement smacks of school yard charm, ignorance and an utter lack of any real understanding of Islam’s 1400 year old war against Dar al-Harb.

Castro and the trudeaus

Fidel, Margaret, and Pierre in better days…

Notwithstanding all of the above, His Highness and recently deceased Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro are and were long time close friends of the Trudeau family. In fact, His Highness and Mr. Castro were pall bearers at Justin’s daddy’s (Mr. Pierre Trudeau’s) funeral.

Let’s also remember that it was under Pierre Trudeau and Paul Martin and Jean Chretien, that the Canadian Government came out of the closet and fully endorsed homosexuality and abortion programs as rights and health care programs. “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation” right, Pierre?

Are these the sort of “values” that any righteous Muslim or Imam (or any righteous Christian) would embrace?

001-a-the-state-has-no-placeIt’s a pretty safe bet that Liberals in general and Justin in particular would definitely fall under the heading of “Unbeliever” in the eyes of any Muslim, but especially a Muslim Imam. So the “Unbeliever” makes a “Christmas” vacation visit to the private island of the absolute ruler of one of the larger divisions of Islam. Cognitive Dissonance Anyone?

Anyway, Justin’s most recent visit from the Aga Khan was in May 2016. The most recent grant from the Federal Government to the Foundation was a five-year, $55-million project to improve health services in Afghanistan that was announced in December 2015 under the Trudeau government.

In fact, The Prince Karim Aga Khan IV’s  Foundation has been a significant recipient of Canadian foreign aid (taxpayer’s dollars, eh?), receiving $310 million for 16 projects since 2004.  that’s about 26 million a year on average. Let’s see … $310 million as Jizya … Hmmm …. are Canadians “Dhimmi”?  Not yet, obviously, and is it even possible for a government to pay the taxes for their population? And would this be even close to a reasonable tax rate, being way less than the federal income tax rate. Silly idea, right?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with the Aga Khan on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with the Aga Khan on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

In May 2015 Justin had a visit from the Aga.Kahn.   Hmmm … May 2015 visit – December 2015 –  55 million dollars of taxpayer money for the Aga Kahn.  May 2016 visit – still looking and digging but I am optimistic that some sort of monetary transaction to some “independent” organization will pop up.  And this is all part of Canada’s foreign aide and development budget, right? Meanwhile, the Federal Government is cutting health care spending to the provinces, perhaps to put pressure on them about joining the Liberal Global Warming program?

The Ottawa-based Aga Khan Foundation, which supports development projects in Africa and Asia, has received tens of millions of dollars from the federal government.  The foundation is a registered government lobbyist and the Canadian Government also provided $30 million of taxpayer’s money for the group’s headquarters in Ottawa. There is nothing out of the ordinary in this, just business as usual in Ottawa.

justin-trudeau11So, now we have a wonderful scene to envision.  Justin was accused in the media of running a Pay-To-Play scheme for folks with a little spare change to buy some face time and present their needs and ideas.  So how much did the Aga Khan pay for his visit, or is he just an old family friend who can drop in anytime and ask for a grant?

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Boy Justin and some of his chums. From left to right; Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Mark Brantley. (St Kitts and Nevis Observer)

The PMO was initially extremely secretive about the whereabouts of Justin, until the National Post broke the story and then and only then did  the the PMO confirm that Trudeau, his family and a few friends and employees were invited to join the Aga Khan on Bell Island for the holidays. “As you are aware, his Highness and the Prime Minister have been close family friends for many years,” a statement sent to media said, while noting Trudeau would repay the cost of flights to and from Nassau for himself and his family.

However, The flight manifest for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “Christmas”  vacation to the Caribbean, released to the Conservatives through an access to information request, was redacted to leave off the names of family members and a nanny who traveled on the government-owned Challenger jet.  What’s to hide if everything is on the up-n-up?

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Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV, is the grandson and was the heir of Mowlana Imam Sultan Mohammed Shah. As the direct descendant and inheritor of the Aga Khan III can we assume that Aga Khan IV believes as his grandfather did?

But let’s get back to Justin’s friend and mentor, the Aga Khan. Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV, KBE, CC (Persian: شاه کریم حسینی، آقاخان چهارم‎‎; Aga Khan is also transliterated as Aqa Khan and Agha Khan;[1] born 13 December 1936) is the 49th and current Imam of Nizari Ismailism, a denomination of Isma’ilism within Shia Islam consisting of an estimated 25 million adherents (about 20% of the world’s Shia Muslim population).[2][3][4][5]

The Aga Khan is a British[6] business magnate,[2][7][8][9] racehorse owner and breeder.[7][10] He has held this position of Imam, under the title of Aga Khan IV, since 11 July 1957,[11] when, at the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III

Now, the very private and secretive Prince Karim Aga Khan IV is on record as saying:

*****

it is my deep conviction that a singular step should be taken, a magnificent relationship developed on which so much could be built if the West will cease to look at the Islamic architectural heritage simply as a matter of scholastic interest and admiration. On the contrary, give to it recognition of a different dimension, a dimension of the future. Enhance it, enrich it and enliven it, put at its disposal your talents, your knowledge and your creativity.

I do not wish to imply that the West is solely responsible for what is happening to Islamic environments. I am saying that you could do much more, as you are already doing for your own architectural heritage, to help revive the culture of Islam. Creativity knows no frontiers: it is not of the East nor the West, of the North nor the South, but it sometimes needs awakening, to be set alight, to be shown a purpose. I believe such a time is now.”

*****

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A Koran manuscript is displayed at the University of Birmingham on July 24, 2015 in Birmingham, England. The two leaves of parchment have recently been carbon dated at a laboratory at the University of Oxford and are thought to date back to the early seventh century, close to the time of the Prophet Muhammed.

So Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV, as well as being the Imam of 20 million Muslims (? some sources say as many as 25 million which is almost as many as there are Canadians, eh?) , is also “a close family friend” of Boy Justin. I suppose that friendship would include more than a little back-scratching in “reviving the culture of Islam“.

The Aga Khan IV is that person who believes “… there is no one greater than MYSELF. If you think of God, then it is MYSELF. If you think of Pir, Then too it is ME. If you think about Imam, then too it is ME. And your beloved Master is also ME. There is no one except MYSELF“. I can’t see how a faithful Muslim of any status including an Imam could see themselves as God. I just don’t buy it.

But I  (who am not Muslim but rather a Christian) look around the world at all the trouble spots and wars, and violence, and in almost every single instance these “hot spots” and “conflicts” involve Islam. Curious thing that.

Again, I wonder if Pierre, or Justin ever encountered the concept of  al-Taqiyya: deception; the Islamic word for concealing or disguising one’s beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies. 

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New Islamic State

True, the Sunnis (ISIS or ISIL) are in a bitter war of extermination against the Shia Muslims.  It was in another time — more than 1,300 years ago — in a land known as the Islamic State that, after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, a succession crisis divided Muslims; and the widening schism continues to play out today as ISIS or ISIL carves its bloody notion of a new Islamic State on the same soil these feuds were first fought, lashing out at targets both within the Muslim world and in the West. Again, we see clearly that these folks are serious about their beliefs. The seem quite willing to die for them or because of them.

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Iraqi Shiite fighters from a Popular Mobilization militia fire their weapons as they advance near the town of Tall Abtah, south of Tall Afar, on Nov. 30, 2016. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP/Getty Images)

Succession can be a tough adjustment for any group, but is especially emotional when a departing leader of a nascent religion is particularly strong, effective or loved.

A dispute over how to replace Muhammad as the leader of the Muslim world after his death in 632 — and increasingly after the deaths of subsequent leaders — led to competing iterations of the Islamic faith, diverting followers into two major branches — the Sunni and the Shia. and they have been fighting this bitter war of succession for 1300 years.

While doctrinal distinctions created the schism, evolving geopolitical notions make it an important matter for world attention.  The split began in the early history of Islam, but is now continued in the bitter war in the Middle East.

Does Justin want to bring that war here? Rhetorical question to be sure but that is the reality which Justin and his father before him have been playing with for two generations.  Here’s just a little bit of “History” for folks who might think the world was created by dad … (Justin?).

The most significant return to history for the Ismailis was in the mid-nineteenth century. The Khojas, a Muslim sect of mainly traders around Bombay, had refused in 1827 to make their customary payments to the head of their sect, Hasan Ali Shah, the son of the Persian Shah, Fath-Ali Shah Qajar.

The Shah had appointed Hasan Ali as governor of Mahallat and Qom in 1818, giving him the title of Aga Khan. The Aga Khan dispatched emissaries to Bombay and most secessionists relented. This post is worth a read – yes it is long – but it presents very necessary background to the current “friend and mentor” of our prime minister.

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Having led an unsuccessful revolt against the Shah and then offered some help to the British in the closing stages of the First Anglo-Afghan War (1841-2), the Aga Khan went to Bombay and set himself up as the effective head of the Khoja community.

In April 1866, a group of secessionists filed suit in the High Court of Bombay asking that the Aga Khan have an injunction levied against him to stop him “interfering in the management of the trust property and affairs of the Khoja community.”

Judgment was rendered in November 1866: the Khojas were Ismailis, who had been converted four-hundred years previously by a Persian missionary, and were “still bound by ties of spiritual allegiance to the hereditary Imams of the Ismailis,” descended from the Lords of Alamut, the Fatimid Caliphs, and ultimately the Prophet Muhammad.

This led to the discovery of other Ismaili populations in southern Arabia, Russia, and Afghanistan.”

*****

So, what significance is there for Canadians that their Prime Minister is using Canadian Taxpayer’s dollars to fund and support the works of the leader of the 25 million strong Nizari Ismailis branch of the Islamic Caliphate, the Dar al-Islam, who have been at war for 1400 non-stop years with Dar al-Harb the  “Realm of the Heathens”  (that would be us I would guess)?

What is right or wrong with being a Muslim believer? What is right or wrong with being a Christian believer? What is right or wrong with being a Secular Humanist Progressive?  I suppose one might posit that: Only a believer can truly understand or appreciate another believer, and that my experience of Muslims is that they take their faith much more seriously than much of the nominally “Christian” West. I find much to admire about Nizari Ismailism,  less so regarding Justin and the Liberals, and also things I question about both.  But God is God and he wants only the good for us, so I will pray on it.

Cheers

Joe

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