The Inner Struggle

Does It Spark Joy?

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

Looking back at my last post and reconsidering the feelings and emotions expressed therein. In the post titled “Stupid is as Stupid does: When you have a lot of letters after your name …” I find myself slipping back into old modes of thought and attribution when considering aspects of what I read daily in the media.

Favorite sacred cows of outrage resurface with an alarming facility and I find myself revisiting old modes of thought, old narratives from which no good ever flowed. This is not good for my soul nor conducive to establishment or maintenance of “Peace” in my emotional world. Is it indicative of “trash not put out in the dumpster of my mind”?

Kondo Marie A razor I have used successfully when deciding what is important and what to consign to the big blue bin in my back yard is a mantra learned from a young Japanese author,  Marie Kondo , who wrote a book entitled: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”;  to paraphrase: as you contemplate the possession in question ask yourself “Does it spark joy?”. Most often the answer is no, or even in fact the complete opposite, it sparks distress for myriad reasons.

I have considered the possibility of one applying this razor to one’s thoughts about our life and times, our culture, our news, our entertainment, our justice system, our leaders, our contemporaries.  Do they spark joy? In Kondo’s method of tidying up once one settles on the lack of joy in a possession it is permanently consigned to the dump, thrown out for good, never to be retrieved.

I find myself discovering in the back of my mental closet a pile of old shoe boxes containing all the little trash and trinkets of past lives and past modes of thought, past judgements and past sins. I have failed to dispose of these failed thought patterns, rather like Bilbo heading out on his final quest all the while firmly resisting parting with the One Ring of Power.

https://findinghopecatholic.wordpress.com/Again, inspired by a recent post on another site I visit regularly, by a young lady with bipolar. This post too seems appropriate when my busy world is filled with daily crosses and my prayer life is beset by aridity and the temptation to just chuck it all.

As Kasani says: “So how does one achieve peace? It’s actually startlingly simple. The plain, uncomplicated truth is that you will never have peace if you make it a goal in and of itself. Why? Because true peace is simply a side effect. It’s the result of something else. And that something else is trust.”

and in the words of Pope Pius XI:

“The man who prays looks above to the goods of heaven whereon he meditates and which he desires; his whole being is plunged in the contemplation of the marvelous order established by God, which knows not the frenzy of earthly successes nor the futile competitions of ever increasing speed.” –Pope Pius XI

Ultimately it seems that “trust” is found only in “Trust in God”, trust in his love, his forgiveness of all our multitude of transgressions and betrayals, that “Trust” which is articulated in sincere prayer. I find some light to shine on my situation in a little book published in the 1940’s by Father Eugene Boylan, an Irish monk.

Difficulties in Mental PrayerDom Eugene Boylan, O.C.R., was an Irish-born Trappist monk and writer who was born in 1904 and died in 1964. Ordained a priest in 1937, he began writing on spiritual topics, and in the 1940s he published two books, “This Tremendous Lover” and “Difficulties in Mental Prayer”, which became international bestsellers and were translated into many languages.

In the late 1950s he undertook an extensive lecture tour of the United States (“This is the best retreat we ever had at Gethsemani,” commented Thomas Merton after Boylan’s visit there), and in 1962 he was elected the fourth abbot of Mount St. Joseph Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland. Two years later he died in an automobile accident. His book which I am currently reading is calledDifficulties in Mental Prayer“.

In a section entitled “Goodness of Life”, starting on page 66, paragraph 3,  Fr. Boylan writes: “But the greatest difficulties in prayer, and the greatest obstacles to its progress, have their roots outside prayer in the general condition of our spiritual life. On the sincerity of our purpose, the truth of our loyalty, the genuineness of our love—on such things does our prayer greatly depend. Everything that can make or mar friendship and its intimacy will make or mar prayer.” … 

Oboe Concerto in D Minor”, Adagio, from “The Ultimate baroque Album”, (2004)

Jesus in the wilderness… “Prayer will not develop unless the soul is advancing toward the fourfold purity of conscience, of heart, of mind, and of action.” …In its perfection, purity of conscience consists in a firm disposition of the will never to consent deliberately to any offense against God or to any departure from His holy will, and is such that as soon as any act is seen to be opposed to the will of God, it is immediately retracted.”  pp 67 …

… “Purity of heart consists in keeping all the heart for God alone. It is not enough to rule out all sinful attachments, for if our heart is divided by any inordinate attachment, even to lawful recreations, to our work, to persons, or to anything else, we cannot say that we love God with our whole heart. There always will be attachments in the human heart, but they must be subordinate to God and to His will so that they can never usurp His place as the mainspring of our actions.” pp 68  …

Chartres Cathedral Stained Glass Window… “Under purity of mind we include the careful and constant control of our thoughts and memories, by prudently excluding all that is unnecessary, frivolous and vain, and by gradually building up a continual recollection of God and His works. This is also one of the most important of all mortifications  for those who would progress in the spiritual life and far more effective than the most penitential macerations of the flesh.” pp 69  …

… “Purity of action, which is often called purity of intention, in a continual watch over the motives which animate our actions and in a constant effort to act only for the love of God and according to His will. It demands a relentless war on that self love that is always seeking to inspire all our deeds.” pp 69 …

… “This perhaps may seem too hard and may lead only to discouragement. But perfection of this fourfold purity is not required for progress in prayer, for such perfection is synonymous with sanctity; we must, however, continually strive toward these dispositions of purity. We must desire this purity, we must pray for it, we must make earnest efforts to acquire it. But without a special help from God, it is unlikely that we should achieve a sufficient measure of it. There is, however, no limit to God’s goodness. and it is at this stage that He is accustomed to intervene, taking compassion on our infirmities.” pp 70.

Cheers

Joe

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

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The Inner Struggle

We secretly seek ourselves in everything we do …

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

Schloss BernhartLooking out from my library windows over the windswept chilly world around me after a night of violent storm and a lot of rain. Trees down, roofs stripped of shingles, walls bare of siding, across a wide swath of our fair land.

Today I am ruminating about “suffering” and the source of same. It seems that suffering would be significantly reduced if only we focused more on improving ourselves instead of focusing on correcting the perceived faults of those around us.

Focusing on ourselves and our own faults we would not be so disturbed by the resistance of others to our opinions and desires. But, often something inside or something outside draws us along and we secretly seek ourselves in everything we do.  And yet we are mostly oblivious to that.

We continue peacefully along when everything unfolds and is done according to OUR will and as WE judge, but if things turn out against OUR will, we move quickly, almost reflexively, to dissension, strife and unhappiness.

Differences of opinion and thought are the most common source of all dissension, strife, unhappiness and, frankly, suffering, arising out of disputes between family and friends and groups of otherwise sincere and well meaning folks.

Old habits of thought are difficult to put aside and much suffering arises from our clinging to old narratives, and old modes of reacting to perceived wrongs. No one is willing to go further than they see or are happy with. Any dissenting voice gives rise to “suffering”.

But, If one relies only on one’s own reason, thought, and work one seems unlikely to achieve peace, falling rather into self-justification and recrimination. Enlightenment and happiness appear further away than ever.

firedragon found on Pinterest - no attribution

Dragon of Self

It seems, simply, that if one cannot put aside the “self”, then, inevitably, much suffering will be one’s lot in life. The fatal trap is “self”.

The death of “self” is freedom and the gate to peace, but Oh what a monster is “Self” and so difficult to slay, rather like performing surgery on oneself without benefit of anesthetic.

It proves insidiously difficult to tell the dragon of Self: “You Shall Not Pass!”

The commonest reaction to this suffering of dissent seems to be to get upset, excited and angry or annoyed and to fight against the suffering and the dissent, to assert the rightness of one’s own position and necessarily the wrongness of the positions of others. In other words, we focus on the suffering and struggle against it in any way we can.

The effect is that the dissent and the suffering dominates our every waking moment and that, added to self pity, increases our suffering hundreds of times. Fighting against the suffering makes it a LOT worse. What really makes suffering difficult to bear is our own exceeding impatience, our refusal to accept it. This irritation with dissent increases our suffering tremendously and robs us of our peace, and our energy, and of our ability to focus on and to get on with life.

Over a year ago I posted about embracing suffering as a way of overcoming suffering in the same way one can embrace fear as a way of overcoming the fear. I find, after a year of trying, that the techniques I learned for overcoming fear don’t work quite as well when applied to suffering.

It seems that it is relatively easy to identify the locus of fear, the germinating grain from which the fear arises within oneself and thus come to grips with fear as an aspect of self, and self control.

Suffering, however seems another beast entirely, less reflexively identifiable as originating within the self and more easily experienced as originating from without, the fault of something or someone outside our self, and therefore outside our self control.

I begin to believe that a more “granular” approach is required to “deal” with suffering, that in fact it is not the fact of suffering one has to deal with but rather how the self reacts to that suffering that is problematic.

This journey doesn’t get easier as one goes along. It is not that it gets harder exactly but rather that things always seem to be more complicated than one first assumed when first confronting the windmills.

Cheers

Joe

desert walkAlways remember, “be charitable in your judgements, and never take yourself too seriously”

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Life in a small town

A Good Day In The Life … (reprise from March 2015)

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

Heaven and HellI just re-read this piece which was originally posted on March 28th 2015, back before we, the citizens of Alberta voted out our Conservative government and replaced them with the Socialist NDP, thereby bringing our previously booming economy to a screeching halt like hitting a bridge abutment at 90MPH — just a sudden dead halt in smokin’ ruin.

Why I re-read this is because I got a comment today from a fella in the EU… Actually I guess he is not in the EU any more since he is actually a Brit and a football fan which means he is probably a fella I could really get along with … maybe … if we were fans of the same club. Anyway, the comment and the piece reminded me of what is so good about living here and just how damned good we all have it.

It reminded me that things are actually pretty good in spite of the frothing insanity of the current government and their legions of minions in academia and the MSM.  And my depression about our economy (or lack thereof) which has haunted me for months was dispelled at least for now, because I really realize that the fundamentals are all still in place and the economy will come roaring back just as soon as Albertans smell the coffee and wake up…

*****

(from March 2015) Started out today about 7AM, feeling kinda fuzzy … went out to the kitchen, made a couple of pressed Espresso (roast) for the wife and I to start on. Put on the 12 cup coffee drip for the pot for the rest of the morning – have I mentioned that we are heavy coffee drinkers around here?

Anyway, went back to the lounger in the bedroom to watch the (televised) morning rat race and accident reports from Redmonton which I do every morning to remind myself of what I haven’t had to do for over 7 years now. It’s great! Sunny with a high of +15, clear and no ice and they are still driving into each other all over the place (6 so far at that point)  in their mad rush to get wherever … people!

Whilst relaxing and sipping my Espresso I noticed in the background … behind the overlay of teachers and NDP’ers whining about how evil the gov’mint is and how they are all being shafted by the new budget, and they should confiscate more from the evil corporations and so on blah, blah, blah drone, drone, drone … a strange hissing, frying sound … I didn’t put anything in a frying pan, thought I? What’s up? Went back out to the kitchen and SHIT!

Forgot to put the coffee pot back under the drip filter on the hot plate.  In shock I promptly inhaled my Espresso and then sprayed it all over the kitchen in one mighty cough. Human lungs are definitely not designed to breath Espresso. And then got the pot back into the coffee maker and saved half a pot. The rest went all over the counter and dripped down to the floor, grounds and all since without the pot in the dripper everything overflows over the top going down the sides and back into the hot water reservoir and everywhere else as well. Sigh …

By the time I got it all cleaned up and made some fresh Espresso it was time to go down to the store and start my day. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not driving to work any more if I can miss putting the pot back into the coffee machine. Duh!

Now, you might think that would be enough to start one off on the wrong foot but no … everything went smooth as silk, all the till cash outs,  invoice downloads, and inventory database updates, and all the start-ups and sign-ons and everything ’til about 15 minutes into the busy morning when the wife announces that the multi-function laser fax printer copier has stopped working. and she is a little irritated because that’s MY job and it has been acting up for a couple of weeks and I have not been able to sort it out yet.

But now we have a mission critical issue – in our kind of business we send and receive over 200 faxes  a day so we need it now! And as any guy who has been married for almost 40 years to his first wife can attest to, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! So I start stripping it down only to discover that one of the main feed rollers in the printer assembly has gotten mushy and wrinkly on both ends – OhOh … not good. This must be the Brother printer made in China version of lead in the Chinese baby formula.

Too bad really, the first unit lasted 7 years and this one lasted 7 weeks. Heavy sigh.  Got it at Staples. Nuf said, they are as useless as the proverbial tits on a bull when it comes to returns and repairs so we aren’t going back there, and we are definitely never buying anything made by Brother again, sooo, it’s 4 hours driving to visit Costco in Redmonton for Joe to pick up a HP unit which the Costco web site said was available for $200 bucks cash and carry at the warehouses in Redmonton (there are 5 Costco warehouses in Redmonton – who says the teachers don’t have enough money).

Which traveling in the warm sun wasn’t too bad because once I stopped for coffee and a snack half way there I had calmed down and was feeling pretty good about a warm sunny  (+15) afternoon shopping by myself. I have never found entertaining myself to be particularly difficult especially if it involves spending money. And then, upon arriving at the first warehouse I was informed that Costco had not carried laser printers at their warehouses for over two years and the web site was, well, wrong.

And suddenly I had a feeling, as clear as a highway sign, that I was at an inflection point. As clear as the nose on my face, I could “choose” to get upset and go away mad, and things would just keep going downhill, or I could “choose” to just say “Whatever” and continue shopping since I was already there, and just see what developed. I chose whatever … and the day just kept getting better and better from there.

I found a trio of good appliances I had been looking for, off and on, for over a year, a rice cooker from Japan, a low fat fryer from France, and a Croc-pot from the good ole USA, and I also found all kinds of wonderful food products from all over the world and $1500 later I was feeling pretty good over all and the only thing left to find was syrup for my Israeli Soda-Stream machine and a multi-function printer.

Well, I know I can get syrup at London Drugs, so I head over there, and of course they have everything I am looking for in the amounts I want. Then a geek I know walks by, hey! he works there. Hey buddy, have you got any multi-function fax printers for sale?

Why yes, we have a very nice Japanese Canon unit on sale for $149 and since you are such a good customer here we can also give you 10% off on everything you buy today.  TaDa!  That works out perfect and he helps me load everything in my truck. See ya later buddy. Gotta luv Drug Stores – real folks serving real folks.

So here I am at the end of a perfect day, I started out with a succession of issues but in the end, attitude and $1800 led to everything working out very well. I thought to myself just how damned lucky I am to have been born and to live in the time and place I do. I can hop in my 1 ton at any moment and drive 1400km, over excellent roads, without fueling up or stopping, in any direction I choose, without having to ask permission, I can walk in anywhere and with a little effort find anything I want for a price I am willing to pay.

And before anyone starts whining about not having $1800 bucks I am declaring LOUDLY … ANYONE with heart and will and energy can get and hold a job here and now which will easily give them that kind of money and you will make it faster than the gov’mint can inflate it and tax it away, unless of course you’re an NDP’er or one of their brain dead gliberal progressive gang members.

I didn’t have to bribe anyone, or show my papers. No one shot at me or tried to blow up my truck, or even blew their horn at me in anger. I didn’t see any starving people, or fire bombs or burning tires or smokin’ ruins. I passed about 20 active oil wells and over 2000 head of fat cattle, and a brand new multi-million dollar Canola crushing plant, and several dozen tandem Axel B-train grain trucks and tanker trucks and cube vans everywhere all busily moving the products of our thriving economy to market. All private … hmmm … something in that, eh?

And horizon to horizon diesel pickup trucks in their hundreds, not so many prissy little high mileage cars around here (take that, you global warming wankers). And four huge unit trains (over a hundred cars each) hauling oil and grain and potash and containers of stuff from everywhere under the sun. I only saw 2 cop cars with one officer each all day.

And it all happens because of our Christian patrimony, market economy, work ethic, private property and rule of law. Never before, anywhere, in the history of the world, have so many had it so good. It is really heaven on earth if one looks through the right lenses. And the progressives want to throw it all away ’cause it ain’t “fair”? For God’s sake, why can’t the rest of the world get it?

What’s not to feel blessed about?

Cheers

Joe

CSR

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

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Good Sunday Morning from the Shire …

“早春賦”  by Akira Nakada, performed by William W. Spearman IV and Tomoko Okada,  from the album “Beautiful Japanese Songs”, (2006)

早春賦 Beautiful Japanese Songs

A beautiful sunny Sunday morning in the Shire. -15 Celsius and a gentle breeze, everything pristine and muted under a soft blanket of new fallen snow so white it seems almost blue in the brilliant sun.

Time change today, spring ahead, Mass was an hour earlier today and my voice even less warmed up than usual. We got through with only minor imperfections however, God be praised.

Father Chris built his homily around the rather trenchant observation that we are all great orators, teachers and preachers but rather poor students and showing singular lack of inclination and ability in the listening department.

Like Zechariah, we lack trust,  we want assurances, and are more concerned with expressing our own plans and opinions than worrying about listening to others, even when that other is God himself. In Luke 1:57-80 we find Zechariah finding his voice again after nine months of silence imposed by the Lord.

*****

Meanwhile the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.

Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up, ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’  They said to her, ‘But, no one in your family has that name,’  and made signs to his father to find  out what he wanted him called.  The father asked for a writing tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ and they were all astonished.

At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All the neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered.  And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel for He has visited His people, He has come to their rescue and He has raised up for us a power for salvation in the House of his servant David, even as He proclaimed, by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times, that He would save us from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us.

Thus He shows mercy to our ancestors, thus He remembers His holy covenant, the oath He swore to our father Abraham that He would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies, to serve him in holiness and virtue in His presence, all our days.

And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the Lord to prepare the way for Him. To give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins; this by the tender mercy of our God Who from on high will bring the rising Sun to visit us, to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the way of peace.’

*****

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

Yamanakabushi

So, where to go from here. How about trying to spend more time contemplating and less time opinionating (is that even a word?).

Examining one’s conscience, thinking and listening, and trying to find what is wrong with me and not confirming it by expounding at length on what is wrong with others.

Thinking about anger and humility, thinking about meekness, cultivating detachment from the perceived “rightness” of my own opinion and the turmoil generated by defending that “rightness”.

If I was not so attached to my superior position and the need for validation I would feel less anger and resentment (maybe none at all?) when not accorded the adulation I feel I deserve.

… to save us from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us …”  Israel mistook the enemies and those who hate us for our human enemies and those who hate us in this world. Understandable perhaps, given the centuries of a tradition which had come to expect a worldly king and the restoration of Israel to the worldly power and prestige it has once enjoyed.

But in the light of Christian teaching it is clear that the enemies of which scripture speaks are Satan and his demons and all the varieties and vagaries of sin which our concupiscence leads us into in all its deviant manifestations.

Those who hate us are the same as us, are the same as those who hated Christ. Hating because they have fully embraced worldly values and rejected the notion that the wages of sin are death. Anyone who disagrees is anathema. As are those who disagree with us? Being judgemental again, Joe?

The establishment and culture of the day, the de-sacrementalized progressive society worshiping at the pool of Narcissus are bound to hate and resist and persecute anyone, and any belief system, holding up an un-distorted mirror to their tightly embraced  and thoroughly rationalized perversions. After all, they are the “normal” people, right?

St. John called for repentance and the culture be-headed him. Christ offered salvation and eternal joy and the culture crucified Him. Why should we expect anything different.  The culture hates, and kills anyone who holds up a true mirror. Only the pool matters and woe to anyone who ripples the pool.

Those who hate us are not our enemies, but only, in the inimitable words of Uncle Joe Stalin, “useful idiots” chanting on the path to perdition.

The detour to repentance and forgiveness is always available to all regardless of how they have sinned and how they have lived.  Imagine the shock of meeting Uncle Joe in the reception area of heaven!  What a thought!

The detours from the broad highway of death are clearly marked in many places along the “Highway to Hell” by large green highway signs saying “Repentance” and, if one decides to make the detour,  a little further on “Purgatory – 10 Km,  All Are Welcome” available services, reconciliation,  forgiveness,  penance,  atonement,  mortification,  detachment,  peace.  Please make yourselves at home.

Am I not just playing the blame game to serve my own interests? Letting myself off the hook of responsibility by attributing causality to others, as if I have no control over my own actions and inclinations. Can’t fool God with all my sophistry. Can’t fool God.

Do I actually believe that “if only they hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have done this”. “If they didn’t act like that I wouldn’t think like this”. And while I am at it, since I have already sinned, lets do a good job of it and sin again, and again, while there is still time on the clock.

Pride clinging to self exculpation with the tenacity of a limpet at low tide.

Hmmmm … running out the clock … except when the final siren goes in this game there will be  no more chances to detour, no more chances to make up for lost time, no more chances to be sorry and make amends, no more chances …  when the tide of life finally goes out there is no return this side of hell.

I think Confession is perhaps the greatest Catholic Sacrament.

What a tragedy that Luther did away with most of the sacraments, discarding in the process, most of Christ’s invitations to the fountain of grace available to all, but rejected by most. The greatest tragedy of our civilization, perhaps, is the loss of of the sacrament of confession.

Cheers

Joe

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

psalm 23

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Life in a small town

Fasting, Year End, This and That …

Shakuhachi Flute Music”, from the album “Chinese and Japanese Koto Harp and Shakuhachi Flute” (2008)

001-a-tumblr_ofo3pky5rz1upvbufo1_540Peaceful mind, peaceful body, fasting, fasting is proving to be an interesting and surprisingly fulfilling experience. In my last post on fasting I mentioned completing a 7 day 24 hour intermittent fast session, supper only.

Then I did a 7 day total fast, water and broth only. Then a 14 day 24 hour intermittent fast eating only supper. I am now in day 4 of another total fast, water and broth only and am intending to see if I can go 14 days without problems.

I am now down 14 pounds, blood sugar is down to 8 MMol/L from 16 or 17, BP is 120 over 65, ketone bodies are at 16 MMol/L. Energy high, brain is sharp, and sleeping well.

I continue to take my vitamins and mineral supplements but I have stopped all diabetes medications (Metformin and Gliclazide).

DP130155, 2/7/06, 11:18 AM, 16C, 6856x8852 (180+693), 100%, Rona Copywork, 1/30 s, R93.8, G57.6, B56.4 Working Title/Artist: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji)Department: Asian ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 10Working Date: 1831-33 photography by mma, Digital File DP130155.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_17_11

Working Title/Artist: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji) Department: Asian ArtCulture /Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 10Working Date: 1831-33 photography by mma, Digital File DP130155.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_17_11

My blood sugars are much better fasting and not taking meds than they were when I was eating normally and taking meds.

I suspect that over time they will in fact reach “normal” levels in the 4 to 5 range as my body becomes less and less insulin resistant. 

This second fast event surprised me because I was expecting day 2 to be another death march to the refrigerator, like the first fast, as my body resisted the shift to fasting. Not so!

It seems it remembered that it would not die from lack of food (at least not immediately) and shifted smoothly into ketosis and using up fat stores of my own body.

I did not experience any of the difficulties I had with the first 7 day fast. I am looking forward to seeing how things go as I push this out to the 14 day mark.

As I mentioned in my first post on fasting I began fasting as part of a spiritual path much recommended in all the world faiths throughout history. In the Christian tradition, fasting and prayer are often methods of cleansing and renewing the soul.

000-st-john-of-the-crossSymbolically, believers empty their souls so that they may be ready to receive God. Fasting is about self-denial, mortification, sacrifice, atonement and also about reaching for a focused spiritual state where one can better  commune with God and hear his voice.

For millions of people, regular fasting is a commonplace part of life and has been a part of spiritual practice for thousands of years. In ancient times, before we discovered agriculture about 10,000 years ago, fasting was the natural way of life.

I am doing daily meditations on St. John of The Cross’ “The Way Of Nothing“. I am using a book “Divine Intimacy”, by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, O.C.D. pp. 674.  Copyright 1953 Monastero S. Guiseppe – Carmelitane Scalze, 2014 edition

It has been hard going because I am so attached to everything in this world. In fact the saint himself tells us that it is impossible to become completely detached from this world but we should be striving for detachment anyway.

“To reach satisfaction in everything, desire satisfaction in nothing.
To come to possession of everything, desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all, desire to be nothing.
To come to the knowledge of everything, desire the knowledge of nothing.”
Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book One, Chapter 13″

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

This fasting exercise has given me my first tangible breakthrough to understanding on this path. The intimate understanding that food is not nearly as important as I believed, and that all of my interest in food, all of my attachment to food is nothing but a pursuit of pleasure.

Taste, satiety, social and communal experiences, praise for a good meal cooked and presented, self esteem about the food and my efforts and the experiences surrounding the creation of a “‘special meal” are all about worship of self.

I have discovered that not only is food not as important as I believed but I don’t actually need very much to keep going, and I am much sharper and more at peace when I am fasting. Wow, who knew?  This is the first material evidence that perhaps detachment is a lot more reachable than I first believed.

Meanwhile, back in the world, I have been busy as hell working on year end and for the first time ever I am caught up and current and only have a few more days work finishing everything up. On target to get this out to the accountants by end of March. Then I can blame them instead of making excuses why I am not done yet.

Idiots HappenAlso spending time these days arguing and emailing with one vendor about a bill from 2015 for $14,000.00 which they insist I did not pay and I insist that I did. Sigh! Not only do I have to do my own accounting but in the case of this vendor I have to do theirs as well.

If this particular vendor was not in my life I would have no problems, but we are joined at the navel since they are my POS and Management software provider. Oh well, into each life and so on …

In passing I include part of something which a contact sent to me on email.

A VERY BIG NUMBER

 If I give you $1 billion and you stand on a street corner handing out $1 per
second, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, you would still not have
handed out $1 billion after 31 years!! 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

Now read on.
A VERY BIG NUMBER 

This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you want the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money. 

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases. 

  • A billion seconds ago it was 1959. 
  • A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive. 
  • A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. 
  • A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet. 
  • A billion Dollars ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, at the rate our present government is spending it. 

Stamp Duty
Tobacco Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Income Tax
Council & Municipal Tax
Unemployment Tax
Fishing License and Dog License Tax
Petrol/Diesel Tax
Inheritance Tax (tax on top of tax)
Alcohol Tax
G.S.T.  and  H.S.T.
Property Tax
Service Charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Vehicle Licence / Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
And now Carbon Dioxide Tax 

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? 

Not one of these taxes existed 60 years ago and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.  We had absolutely no national debt.
We had the largest middle class in the world. A criminal’s life was uncomfortable. Immigrants actually expected to work when they got here.
What  on earth Happened? 

I hope this goes around CANADA and beyond 1 billion times!

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desertAlways remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” and of course “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice.

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The Inner Struggle

God … Christmas … Peace

A Dhia Ghleigil, Oh Glorious God”, Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstall Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube (Voice From The Cloud)” (1996)

Dan Jurac Fine Art Photo of Hoar Frost_DSC2972_

Hoar Frost Sunrise – Dan Jurac

Now it’s snowing very lightly and bright sun – sun flurry? Pretty, were it not for having to clear it away regularly – 6 inches in the last 2 days, white Christmas and all,  -26 Celsius, light wind. All the world about me waiting breathless in frozen anticipation of rebirth. Maybe if we didn’t have winter and rebirth and summer we w0uld not have these thoughts, conceived on a cold winter morning in a comfortable chair over a good hot cup of coffee, beside a warm stove. Reading Frank Sheed’s “Theology for Beginners” which informs my thoughts on “Spirit” today.

Best Christmas Day in years – surprised – was very depressed for weeks coming into Christmas and now everything is looking good. Christmas miracle? My thoughts this Christmas are focused on “Spirit”. The “Spirit” of Christmas, the “spirit” of love, the “spirit of “Peace” and a “spirit” of “Goodwill”. The spirit which animates us, our immortal soul.

Our soul is spirit, designed from all eternity to be in and with God. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; ” Jeremiah 1:5.  Without this soul/spirit we are nothing but a small pile of rotting offal. All animation, all creativity, all beauty, all quality, all selflessness, all thought, all action, all peace, and all fear, all comes out of the animating presence of our soul/spirit, without which we are nothing but rotting dirt.

Spirit” is the key. “God is a Spirit” so Jesus told the Samaritan woman. Unless we understand what a spirit IS we do not understand what He told her, and we do not understand what God IS. Absent the concept, the idea, of “spirit”, we find ourselves struggling to explain most of what we experience in life. Without even considering what “spirit” is, we simply accept it.

Spirit just fades into the background noise of our lives, like breathing, and drinking, and all the autonomous functions of daily life. We accept it without thinking and do the “Nodding Donkey” performance whenever someone else tries to explain where we came from or where we are going or why we are here. The same is true of all doctrines, they all include “spirit”. We actually are studying “spirit” all the time and the “mind” with which we are studying is also (a) “spirit”. All ideas have their source in spirit.

“The Beatitudes”, Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstall Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube (Voice From The Cloud)” (1996)

What is quality? We know it when we find it and we certainly know it when we experience it’s absence. But defining it in isolation is very hard. It is an idea, like fear, absent the proximate cause of “fear” we have a lot of trouble coming to grips with what exactly “fear” is … an idea.  Peace, another idea, maybe easier to conceive of as “the absence of fear”, but still impossible to explain except in the context or presence or absence of something else, some other idea.

And where do the ideas originate? I have heard some folks say that ideas originate in the “mind”, and they seem to use “mind” and “brain” interchangeably. But what is the mind? It is not the brain because it is obviously separate from the brain, although it is also obvious that the mind animates the brain.

Perhaps we can settle upon “spirit” being that in us by which we know and love, by which we decide. And spirit has power, it is the mind, the spirit, of man that manipulates the universe in which we exist, that creates the conditions by which we survive, that splits the atom. Atoms are stuff, without spirit, without mind, and everything in existence is just more stuff made up of ever increasing agglomerations of this “atomic stuff”, without mind, without spirit.

“Stuff” cannot know it’s own constituents, it is inanimate and unknowing. the atom doesn’t split the mind, or itself, it doesn’t even “know” that it has electrons, any more than our hand – removed from our animate body – knows that it is a hand or what it could be used for. But “spirit” knows. It doesn’t necessarily know everything but it knows and it knows that it knows and it also knows that there is much that it doesn’t know and it can even conceive that there are “things” or “concepts” or “ideas” which it knows that it does not know, and it calls these “mysteries”.

Mind/spirit splits the atom and drills the oil and calculates the trajectories and plots the course to the stars and builds the ships to travel there and it does all these things through it’s will by “using” the body to control the material world. But there is never any question of the body using the spirit. There is no doubt in anyone’s “mind” that we, the mind/spirit will the using of the body, not the other way around, no matter what we may claim upon waking up after a hard partying night.

Our body knows nothing, wants nothing, loves nothing. Bodily pleasure is not enjoyed by the body. It is the mind/spirit that wants, and the body reacts to our wants, providing the mind with sensual experience. It is the knowing mind/spirit that enjoys or dislikes the experiences of the body. A body without an animating mind is either in a coma (the monster on the slab) or dead.

I seem to be belaboring this point but I am simply pointing out that we in fact DO accept totally the idea of spirit and that it exists, independently of material “stuff” like bodies.  I assume that with only a little thought everyone would agree with that. Spirit produces what matter cannot. Spirit exists and is separate from the material universe. Spirit acts through will upon the material universe.

“An Taiseirl – The Resurrection”, Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstall Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube (Voice From The Cloud)” (1996).

So the Spirit exists, and is separate from the material. In fact the spirit is so separate from the material that it has no parts. This is perhaps the greatest mental leap we can undertake. To have the idea of an entity, which we all agree exists, and which we all agree is separate from the material world, and, the leap … which has no parts. The spirit, or A spirit, is one integral homogeneous contiguous whole.

Now a part is any element of, or in, a being which is not the whole of it, as in my hand or my foot is a part of my body or a wheel is a part of my car or an electron is a part of an atom but a spirit has no parts. There is nothing in it that is not the whole of it. There is no division of parts as there is in matter. Our bodies have parts, our creations and manipulations have parts, but there is no element in the soul which is not the whole soul.

The soul does an amazing array of things, loving, animating, knowing, but they are all done by the whole soul. The soul has no parts amongst which its activities are divided up. So, first let us think of anything we can think of that that occupies space. Think about IT whatever IT you have settled on.

One sees that any thing that occupies space must have parts. There must be bits and pieces which make up the whole but which each are not the whole. If it occupies space at all then there must be some spread of space which it occupies, some width or height or depth, in which the inside is not the outside. Space is nothing but what matter spreads its parts in.

An entity with no parts is superior to the need for space. A being with no parts doesn’t occupy space. That being and space have nothing in common. The partless being does not occupy space. We cannot see it, taste it, or feel it. It has no material existence and yet we all acknowledge that it exists and acts upon the material in space. Space is just emptiness. So we agree and have accepted that we have a partless being who occupies no space and acts through it’s will upon the material, part filled, world.

What we are talking about, at least at this point, is really what we think of as our “Self”.  We “judge” that this must be true and this act of judging is another manifestation of the partless being, occupying no space, and yet acting upon material space, and all it holds, through it’s will. So emptiness is not essential to existence and dividedness is not essential to action.

And judgement is perhaps the commonest act of the will. Judgement is the most frequent of all the willed “actions” which this soul/spirit exerts upon material existence. Judgement can only take place given one single undivided partless principle, or entity, to take hold of, draw together, and compare and decide, to “make the judgement”, and from that judgement to will action through the spirit’s power over the material world.

Now we can see that a partless being, a being who occupies no space, and which no element of it is not the whole of it, cannot be changed into anything else, that it cannot be destroyed by any natural process of the universe of parts because it does not occupy that universe of parts. It is invulnerable to forces and actions originating in the universe of parts, the material universe.

“Adoro Te”, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, from the album “Mater Eucharistiae” (2013)

Spirit is A, or THE, sort of being which, having a permanent hold on the whole of what it is, can never be other than what it is. Material things can be destroyed by acting upon their parts in such a way that the remainder can no longer sustain existence. What has parts can be taken apart. But a being with no parts which doesn’t exist in the material universe cannot be taken apart. It cannot end, It is immortal. Our own soul is such a being.

Our soul is the spirit we know best, wholly itself, forever itself, doing each thing that it does with its whole being, its whole self. And our soul is the least powerful of spirits. WE cannot create matter. We cannot create galaxies, or stars or … anything. We are pretty good manipulators of “stuff” which we find lying around but we cannot create any of the “stuff” by ourselves. Even the weakest angel is unimaginably superior and more powerful than us. Remember earlier when I mentioned ideas and concepts which we know we don’t know? Here lie monsters … and angels. The philosophers tell us that angels could, if they willed, destroy our material universe.

This is the first part of the journey… to arrive at a place where we acknowledge and accept that we are spirit, that our spirit/soul exists outside of time and space and has the power to will “affects” in the material universe which our material parts occupy physically while being animated by our spirit, our soul. Seeing this spiritual reality, understanding our eternal spiritual soul and it’s needs is the first step to detachment from the material.

Seeing this spiritual reality and the importance of our spiritual needs is the most important first step to growing out of childhood and detaching from material pleasures and things which, after all, are frighteningly mortal, doomed to die, doomed to pass away. The spirit, the soul is THE most important self. All the rest is nothing.

15 Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever.”1 John 2 (First Epistle of John Chapter 2) In some Bibles it is found in the book  “Catholic Epistles”.

I would guess thinking about the real time actuality of a real spiritual eternal soul is a big bite to chew. We will look at more next post

Cheers

Joe

wheat-harvest-time

Harvest Sunset

Always remember, “Be charitable in your judgements, and never take yourself too seriously”

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics

Peace of Mind …

Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms, 1985

Much desired, seldom found, in this culture of frozen self centered anxiety. I am once again staggered by the monolithic moral bankruptcy of an entire people. Watched CTV this AM, now I remember why I haven’t watched it in years.

justintrudeau215-CCBR-003 No2Trudeau-Postcard-FBoy Trudeau has risen to something like 37% in the poles and all the talking heads and “Brights” are chattering about a new Liberal majority finally supplanting the Evil Conservative Empire of Stephan Harper (aka the Darth Vader of the Great White North).

ALL HAIL THE RISING SON!  A NIPPLE IN EVERY MOUTH! A HANDOUT FOR EVERY HAND!  KILL EVERYONE WHO DISAGREES!  WHOOHOO!!!

Just make sure the left over parts get put in the correct blue recycle bin and we can get back to the happy orgy of busily spending other people’s money.

Not enough money, no problem, just raise taxes. Still not enough money. No problem, just print more.  Recently exclaimed by a customer in my store “I DON’T CARE ABOUT FACTS!  EVERYONE KNOWS IT’S TRUE!”

It’s true all right. What I alluded to in an earlier post – the “Low Information Voter” wants anything just as long as they get “Money for Nothing, chicks for Free”, right Justin?

   Dire Straits, Money for Nothing, chicks for Free, 1985

Gustave_Dore_Inferno34 It’ll sure be interesting watching Canadian Liberal Progressives burning themselves alive trying to keep warm in the depths.  There was a group once made up of special folks just like them, who supported the regime no matter the compromises and deviance.

They were called the Einsatzgruppen (German for “task forces“, “deployment groups”; singular Einsatzgruppe; official full name Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD) were Schutzstaffel (SS) paramilitary death squads of Nazi Germany that were responsible for mass killings, primarily by shooting, during World War II.

The Einsatzgruppen had a leading role in the implementation of the Final Solution of the Jewish question (Die Endlösung der Judenfrage) in territories conquered by Nazi Germany. Almost all of the people they killed were civilians, beginning with the Polish intelligentsia and swiftly progressing to Soviet political commissars, Jews, and Gypsies throughout Eastern Europe.

Under the direction of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and the supervision of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the Einsatzgruppen operated in territories occupied by the German armed forces following the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union) in June 1941.

The Einsatzgruppen worked hand-in-hand with the Orpo Police Battalions on the Eastern Front to carry out operations ranging from the murder of a few people to operations which lasted over two or more days, such as the massacre at Babi Yar with 33,771 Jews killed in two days, and the Rumbula massacre (with about 25,000 killed in two days of shooting).

As ordered by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the Wehrmacht cooperated with the Einsatzgruppen and provided logistical support for their operations. Historian Raul Hilberg estimates that between 1941 and 1945 the Einsatzgruppen and related auxiliary troops killed more than two million people, including 1.3 million Jews. The total number of Jews murdered during the Holocaust is estimated at 5.5 to 6 million people.

In spite of the “legality” of their activities according to state law and regime policies, after the close of World War II, senior leaders of the Einsatzgruppen were prosecuted in the Einsatzgruppen Trial in 1947–48, charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Fourteen death sentences and two life sentences were handed out. Four additional Einsatzgruppe leaders were later tried and executed by other nations. That was just the leaders.

So similarly, right here in the Old Dominion, in a nation which once stood for good, the law of the land now authorizes about 100,000 murders of children a year, (approximately) and subsequent sanitary and economic disposal of recyclables and waste bio-products.  The sobriquet of “Women’s Health” is used in a pathetic attempt to “give cover” but shorn of all the Liberal bafflegab this is exactly what the Einsatzgruppen did for the State Regime in Germany during the 30’s and 40’s.

Estimates of about 6 million victims of these historic government programs are recognized by both deniers and holocaust historians. Canada’s very own holocaust is pushing into the 6 million territory and counting.  But still “… the policy going forward is that every single Liberal MP will be expected to stand up for women’s rights to choose”.  Oh, right … that’s all OK then. It’s all about “women’s rights to choose” … at my expense and in my homeland to murder her children with the aid and comfort of the state.

Just for the sake of discussion, some rhetorical questions, eh? While we sip our Timmy’s here in the neighborhood coffee shop in downtown Toronto, answer me this, Justin: How long before any inconvenient person can be legally “liquidated” for their own good and the good of all men.

Whatever happened to murder being a crime – whatever happened to “Thou shalt not Murder”, eh Justin?. Gee, what if people start deciding that politicians are “inconvenient”? Is baby-murder something that we can do retroactively? Can we help politician’s mothers to “choose “retroactively”? How about your Mum, Justin?  How does she feel about her grandchildren?

How can I even allude to such horrible acts? Why not?  Liberals think killing inconvenient children is just OK, so why worry about retro-activity? It’s just a silly detail, right? Come on people, seriously, this is the 21st century after all, get with the times.

Does ANYONE feel even a little cognitive dissonance in what Justin is telling us? ANYONE?

A recent news article in the National Post by a writer not controlled by the Liberal machine puts things in perspective.

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/kelly-mcparland-how-i-came-to-admire-justin-trudeau

In case it gets taken down by some helpful editor in the pay of the National Liberal organization I repost it here.

*****

“I’ve come to admire Justin Trudeau, who could be Canada’s prime minister-designate by this time next week.

fed_elxn_liberals_20151009How could I not? As a student of politics for more than 40 years, how could I avoid quiet admiration for anyone who could run a campaign as sneakily unprincipled as Trudeau’s, and get away with it?

Teamed with his very own master of the dark arts – a graduate of the Dalton McGuinty school of unprincipled power – Trudeau has pulled off one of the great campaigns of recent history: a flagrantly dishonest run for office, based on a pledge of honesty.

It’s brilliant. If I were Hillary Clinton, I’d be consulting Gerry Butts three times a day. Despite 23 years in the U.S. spotlight, Clinton still hasn’t learned to mesmerize innocents with the skills of the Liberal campaign.

I had to concede Justin’s skills after reading his remarks on  Tout le monde en parle, the Radio-Canada interview show renowned for its tough treatment of politicians.

Asked if he’d cancel the $15 billion deal to sell light-armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia – condemned by human rights advocates due to that country’s lengthy record of abuses – Trudeau justified his refusal by insisting “they’re not arms, they’re Jeeps,” and claiming the sale isn’t a deal between Canada and the Saudi governments, but is “an agreement between a manufacturing company here (in) Canada and Saudi Arabia.”

Edmonton, AB: April 24, 2008 - General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), Canada's support services Edmonton facility celebrated a milestone with the delivery of the 100th retrofit LAV III (Light Armoured Vehicle, on rightside) to the Canadian Forces at a news conference. GDLS-C performs repair, retrofit and modifications on the Canadian Forces fleet of LAV's. (Ed Kaiser/Edmonton Journal)

Edmonton, AB: April 24, 2008 – General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), Canada’s support services Edmonton facility celebrated a milestone with the delivery of the 100th retrofit LAV III (Light Armoured Vehicle, on rightside) to the Canadian Forces at a news conference. GDLS-C performs repair, retrofit and modifications on the Canadian Forces fleet of LAV’s. (Ed Kaiser/Edmonton Journal)

Here’s a photo of a light armoured vehicle like the ones believed to be on order by the Saudis (the deal has been so cloaked in secrecy it’s difficult to be precise).

Does it look like a Jeep to you? And while Trudeau’s claim that the vehicles aren’t being sold by Ottawa but by General Dynamics of London, Ontario, is marginally — technically — true, the deal was brokered by Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown corporation, as part of a determined push to expand military sales, and approved despite export control regulations that require a human rights assessment of the purchaser.

Trudeau’s third explanation for standing by the deal –“ I will not cancel a signed contract” – didn’t stop former prime minister Jean Chretien, who has campaigned with Trudeau, from cancelling a Mulroney agreement to buy new combat helicopters in 1993. Chretien paid $478 million in penalties to kill that deal. Evidently, it can be done. So why won’t Trudeau do it?

Trudeau’s ability to evade honesty has been in evidence throughout the weeks of this campaign, and well before. The Liberal leader says he’d end Canada’s activities in Syria because it’s not a justifiable use of Canada’s military. He insists he’d be willing to use troops in an appropriate instance, but won’t say what qualifies as “appropriate”.

Pressed on why the brutalities of Islamic State don’t justify intervention, he dismissed the question as “nonsensical.” He still hasn’t answered it. He advocates a return to Canada’s glory days as UN peacekeepers, insinuating Conservatives were to blame for its end, although it was a Liberal government that got Canada out of peacekeeping after the Somalia scandal and Rwandan genocide.

Trudeau continues to defend voting for Bill C-51, the government’s anti-terrorism bill, while simultaneously attacking it. He says he voted for it despite disagreeing with it, and would alter it if he forms a government.

He says the Liberals are a “pro-trade party” but won’t say if they’d support the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest trade agreement to date. He couldn’t possibly pay for all the spending promises he’s made, even with his pledge to run $30 billion in deficits, but won’t say how he’d make up the gap. He’s barely been pressed on it, in fact.

He denounces the Conservatives for letting the provinces take the lead on measures against global warming, though his policy is to leave the issue largely in provincial hands.

He maintains there’s no need to worry that his pledge to run deficits will become an extended plunge into new debt, insisting: “It is Conservatives who run deficits; Liberals balance budgets. That’s what history has shown.” But Liberals set off Canada’s 25-year run of deficit budgets in the 1970s under Pierre Trudeau, who managed precisely one balanced budget in 15 years of trying.

Justin Trudeau criticizes Harper’s seven deficits; his father had 14. Justin Trudeau insists his borrowings would be used to kick-start Canada’s economy through heavy spending on infrastructure, though only a small portion of the money would actually go to bridges and transit and other recognized infrastructure. The rest is a slush fund for favoured Liberal social and environmental schemes.

He pledges a Trudeau government would end the concentration of power in the leader’s office, though his campaign has focused almost exclusively on its leader. Despite a pledge to lift the muzzle on MPs that Liberals say has been imposed by Conservatives, several Liberal candidates have been forced to apologize or stand down for their remarks. Favoured candidates have been pressed on ridings, despite Trudeau’s pledge not to interfere in such choices. The Liberals ban candidacy to anyone who disagrees with Trudeau’s position on abortion, while heralding the right of Canadians to hold personal views.”

***

Casting Crowns, Waiting On The Night To Fall, 2013

Well, I’ve heard it all before. Thanks Justin, but no thanks. You and all your parliament of whores along with the murderin’ deviant perverts who elect them can just go “Fuddle Duddle” yourselves. Ha, I remember that too well, that and the NEP and a few other precious memories. Of course that won’t count for much with all the usual sycophants just wetting their panties in anticipation of a return to the Good Ole Party Days of the Northern Magus.

Spark's StreetSo we see on the right here a photo of a proposed redevelopment model for Sparks Street Mall in downtown Ottawa, right? I really, really, like the bright red neon lighting.  Maybe you can get Granny Margaret a new actor boyfriend and a deep discount on some good medicinal BC pot in between killing inconvenient young’uns, after all, it’s all just “Woman’s Health”, right?

Shit, for that matter, don’t be a piker, why don’t you just declare Ontario a legal drugs zone and while you’re at it you can bring over some high priced Dutch consultants and “pleasure assistants” or “comfort girls” from Amsterdam to help our good Canadian bureaucrats with setting up legalized prostitution and euthanasia, and maybe Timmy’s can start selling a New Dark Roast Crack. Coming soon to a street mall near you,

Boy oh Boy, I just can’t wait for the party to start.

Cheers

Joe

knight_templar_battle_weary

In the silence of the night, a still, small Voice came whispering:

in the tumult of the day, a thundering Cry, like the sound of many waters:

“You must not remain silent! You must write what I tell you!”

So I asked trembling, “What words do you give me?”

And the answer came swift and sure …

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

A Good Day In The Life …

Started out today about 7AM, feeling kinda fuzzy … went out to the kitchen, made a couple of pressed Espresso for the wife and I to start on. Put on the 12 cup coffee drip for the pot for the rest of the morning – have I mentioned that we are heavy coffee drinkers around here? Anyway, went back to the lounger in the bedroom to watch the morning rat race and accident reports from Redmonton which I do every morning to remind myself of what I haven’t had to do for over 7 years now. It’s great! Sunny with a high of +15, clear and no ice and they are still driving into each other all over the place (6 so far at that point)  in their mad rush to get wherever … people!

Whilst relaxing and sipping my Espresso I noticed in the background … behind the overlay of teachers and NDP’ers whining about how evil the gov’mint is and how they are all being shafted by the new budget, and they should confiscate more from the evil corporations and so on blah, blah, blah drone, drone, drone … a strange hissing, frying sound … I didn’t put anything in a frying pan, thought I? What’s up? Went back out to the kitchen and SHIT!

Forgot to put the coffee pot back under the drip filter on the hot plate.  In shock I promptly inhaled my Espresso and then sprayed it all over the kitchen in one mighty cough. Human lungs are definitely not designed to breath Espresso. And then got the pot back into the coffee maker and saved half a pot. The rest went all over the counter and dripped down to the floor, grounds and all since without the pot in the dripper everything overflows over the top going down the sides and back into the hot water reservoir and everywhere else as well. Sigh …

By the time I got it all cleaned up and made some fresh Espresso it was time to go down to the store and start my day. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not driving to work any more if I can miss putting the pot back into the coffee machine. Duh!

Now, you might think that would be enough to start one off on the wrong foot but no … everything went smooth as silk, all the till cash outs,  invoice downloads, and inventory database updates, and all the start-ups and sign-ons and everything ’til about 15 minutes into the busy morning when the wife announces that the multi-function laser fax printer copier has stopped working. and she is a little irritated because that’s MY job and it has been acting up for a couple of weeks and I have not been able to sort it out yet.

But now we have a mission critical issue – in our kind of business we send and receive over 200 faxes  a day so we need it now! And as any guy who has been married for almost 40 years to his first wife can attest to, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! So I start stripping it down only to discover that one of the main feed rollers in the printer assembly has gotten mushy and wrinkly on both ends – OhOh … not good. This must be the Brother printer made in China version of lead in the Chinese baby formula.

Too bad really, the first unit lasted 7 years and this one lasted 7 weeks. Heavy sigh.  Got it at Staples. Nuf said, they are as useless as the proverbial tits on a bull when it comes to returns and repairs so we aren’t going back there, and we are definitely never buying anything made by Brother again, sooo, it’s 4 hours driving to Costco in Redmonton for Joe to pick up a HP unit which the Costco web site said was available for $200 bucks cash and carry at the warehouses in Redmonton (there are 5 Costco warehouses in Redmonton – who says the teachers don’t have enough money).

Which traveling in the warm sun wasn’t too bad because once I stopped for coffee and a snack half way there I had calmed down and was feeling pretty good about a warm sunny  (+15) afternoon shopping by myself. I have never found entertaining myself to be particularly difficult especially if it involves spending money. And then, upon arriving at the first warehouse I was informed that Costco had not carried laser printers at their warehouses for over two years and the web site was, well, wrong.

And suddenly I had a feeling, as clear as a highway sign, that I was at an inflection point. As clear as the nose on my face, I could “choose” to get upset and go away mad, and things would just keep going downhill, or I could “choose” to just say “Whatever” and continue shopping since I was already there, and just see what developed. I chose whatever … and the day just kept getting better and better from there.

I found a trio of good appliances I had been looking for, off and on, for over a year, a rice cooker from Japan, a low fat fryer from France, and a Croc-pot from the good ole USA, and I also found all kinds of wonderful food products from all over the world and $1500 later I was feeling pretty good over all and the only thing left to find was syrup for my Israeli Soda-Stream machine and a multifunction printer.

Well, I know I can get syrup at London Drugs, so I head over there, and of course they have everything I am looking for in the amounts I want. Then a geek I know walks by, hey! he works there. Hey buddy, have you got any multifunction fax printers for sale?  Why yes, we have a very nice Japanese Canon unit on sale for $149 and since you are such a good customer here we can also give you 10% off on everything you buy today.  TaDa!  That works out perfect and he helps me load everything in my truck. See ya later buddy. Gotta luv Drug Stores – real folks serving real folks.

So here I am at the end of a perfect day, I started out with a succession of issues but in the end, attitude and $1800 led to everything working out very well. I thought to myself just how damned lucky I am to have been born and to live in the time and place I do. I can hop in my 1 ton at any moment and drive 1400km, over excellent roads, without fueling up or stopping, in any direction I choose, without having to ask permission, I can walk in anywhere and with a little effort find anything I want for a price I am willing to pay.

And before anyone starts whining and winging about not having $1800 bucks I am declaring LOUDLY … ANYONE with heart and will and energy can get and hold a job here and now which will easily give them that kind of money and you will make it faster than the gov’mint can inflate it and tax it away, unless of course you’re an NDP’er or one of their brain dead gliberal progressive gang members.

I didn’t have to bribe anyone, or show my papers. No one shot at me or tried to blow up my truck, or even blew their horn at me in anger. I didn’t see any starving people, or fire bombs or burning tires or smokin’ ruins. I passed about 20 active oil wells and over 2000 head of fat cattle, and a brand new multimillion dollar Canola crushing plant, and several dozen tandem Axel B-train grain trucks and tanker trucks and cube vans everywhere all busily moving the products of our thriving economy to market. All private … hmmm … something in that, eh?

And horizon to horizon diesel pickup trucks in their hundreds, not so many prissy little high mileage cars around here (take that, you global warming wankers). And four huge unit trains (over a hundred cars each) hauling oil and grain and potash and containers of stuff from everywhere under the sun. I only saw 2 cop cars with one officer each all day.

And it all happens because of our Christian patrimony, market economy, work ethic, private property and rule of law. Never before, anywhere, in the history of the world, have so many had it so good. It is really heaven on earth if one looks through the right lenses. And the progressives want to throw it all away ’cause it ain’t “fair”? For God’s sake, why can’t the rest of the world get it?

Cheers

Joe

CSR

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