The Inner Struggle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obama as Satan

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

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

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

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer, 1489 – 1556

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

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

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

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

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

"What would Jesus do?"

“What would Jesus do?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

blizzard? by WizKids ...

When does a snow storm become a blizzard?

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

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

 

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Life in a small town, Politics and Economics, The Inner Struggle

Guidelines, Vested Interests, and Politics …

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

Can anything good come out of a post about Guidelines, Vested Interests, and Politics? Possibly, some minor “good” in the immediate today, but less likely “Good” in the eternal, when all comes down to the Vanity/Humility ratio.

In the arena of politics, sitting in Wendy’s burger restaurant in a nearby city (nearby meaning only 2 hours of driving involved) and witnessing some political barbarian setting up a “Registration Station” on the next table to ours, to “register” voters in the upcoming provincial United Conservative Party leadership race.

Brian Jean ...

Brian Jean …

The leadership contest is between Brian Jean, leader of the Wild Rose Party, and Jason Kenny, leader of the Progressive Conservative party. This “Political Operative’s” target demographic: retired seniors taking a coffee break with friends , no cost folks, just a little of your time and your personal information, you don’t even have to actually turn up to vote, just “register”.

No credentials displayed … is this guy really a political party representative or is this a blatant fishing expedition?  Nobody lining up to offer up their personal info seemed to have a clue or to doubt the truth of his sales pitch. No permission to be there either just walking in off the street and setting up in a private business.

Jason Kenny ...

Jason Kenny …

Trespassing on private property and perhaps misrepresenting his “cause” as having the endorsement of The Wendy’s franchisee … hmmm …. aren’t there laws against this sort of thing, the act of trespass, the act of misrepresentation and fraud?

I suppose in some deliciously Canadian way he belongs to that large class of Canadians to whom the rules just don’t apply, the laws just don’t apply, right, they are special. When the manager phoned it in she was told that he couldn’t use the site for political activity.

She tried to get him to leave.  The “Political Operative” refused both to leave and to stop his recruiting activities and embarrassed her into not making a scene.

I borrowed the next bit from David Warren’s post a few days ago, on this very topic, this very Hallmark Characteristic of modern progressive Canadians everywhere:

Dysopia (no relation to “dystopia”) will be our Greek word for the day. It is from Aristotle via Plutarch; a term held to be untranslatable into our modern tongues. By the dictionaries it is defined as “the embarrassment that compels us to grant an unjustified request.” The closest we come in English is “compliancy.” They get no closer in German or French. … So mark it down in your commonplace books, my dears: dysopia. Pour a shot of rum, and swear off it entirely.

Compliant, complaisant, acquiescent. Docile, submissive, ingratiating. Servile, tractable, obsequious. Ever deferential, glad to be of use. This is what my fellow Canadians have become, though we were not in the past, according to my elders (now mostly dead). When unreasonable demands were made upon them, their inclination was to stiffly resist.

Ours is to be chumps, patsies, dupes, treacle saps. In our vanity we think that we are “nice” people, and celebrate our own gormlessness.

And that is why what we too mildly call “political correctness” has advanced so far, through barrier after barrier, erected by our ancestors against perversion. It begins with a small minority of fanatics, bent upon turning our world upside down. It continues not by conversion but by dysopia. We look upon those making the demands, and can no longer see what they are, owing to the pain in our heads. We think we can buy peace with concessions. But the devils are encouraged by our every retreat.”

And from one of my own previous posts of not too long ago :

Canadian figureheads ...

Canadian figureheads …

Lest we forget, or maybe we never knew it, but the generation that fought and died at Vimy Ridge was in no way “nice” and “gormless”.

The generation that sang: “D-day Dodgers knew everything there was to know about push-back against gormlessness (great series of YouTube videos at this link – none of this shows up in Social Studies, does it?).

Lest we forget, Canadians were not always a mob of gormless poltroons. Where are they now? Realization dawned one day in the midst of World War III, that the real enemy was not, most undoubtedly not, that young kid clinging on to the Soviet frigate 100 yards away. He was me.

The real enemy was back home in the comfortable office towers and media redoubts taking pot shots at the ones doing the bleeding.  The real enemy was back home in the Kremlin, and in Washington, and in Ottawa, and in London (and in REDmonton). The real enemy was the figureheads and their agenda of “What is Truth?” 

Just in case we missed something and mistakenly understand “gormless” as synonymous with “nice” we can look at a definition of sorts: “Gormless began life as the English dialect word “gaumless”, which was altered to the modern spelling when it expanded into wider use in the late 19th century.

Running Rachel ...

Running Rachel …

The origins of “gaumless” are easy to understand; the word derives from a combination of the dialect noun gaum, meaning “attention” or “understanding,” and the suffix -less. “Gaum” also functions as a verb in some dialects, where it means “to pay attention to” and “to understand.” An unrelated verb gaum means “to behave in a stupid or awkward manner.” There’s also a noun gaum, meaning “a stupid doltish person.” But none of these are as commonly used nowadays as “gormless”, which itself is most frequently seen in British English.

True synonyms, for the Canadian context, would be: airheaded, birdbrained, bonehead, boneheaded, brain-dead, brainless, bubbleheaded, chuckleheaded, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey (also dopy), dorky [slang], dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, fatuous, stupid [chiefly British], half-witted, knuckleheaded, lamebrain (or lamebrained), lunkheaded, mindless, oafish, obtuse, opaque, pinheaded, senseless, simple, slow, slow-witted, soft, softheaded, thick, thickheaded, thick-witted, unintelligent, unsmart, vacuous, weak-minded, witless.”

Kenny ...

Kenny …

Now don’t I just feel SO much better in my nice Canadian gormlessness … sigh. “What is Truth?” And what about Gratitude? Is there really anything to be grateful for in a polite society lacking in sincerity and justice?

And the Political Barbarians, the corrupt exploiters of the gormless masses, the 30 second sound bite voters, the predictably Liberal Progressive categorization of this target demographic as the “low information voters” this just SO Lame-Stream straw-man.

Was the barbarian ever ejected from his lawless squatting or was he allowed to stay like the “Occupiers” south of the 49th. Who knows, we moved on before the final inning and never did find out if the manager was able to muster the fortitude to face down a brass balled social bully preventing her from exercising her responsibility by causing embarrassment that compels us to grant an unjustified (illegal) request.

So we look forward to a Provincial election, somewhere down the road, in which we are faced with a choice between the Cancer of the “New Democratic Party” commanded by Running Rachel, or the Leprosy of the United Conservative Party  most likely commanded by Jason Kenny. Quelle Dommage!

Cheers

Joe

We The People ... In Our Hot-tubs ... Low Information Voters, eh?

We The People … In Our Hot-tubs … Low Information Voters, eh?

 

We The People … In Our Hot-tubs … Low Information Voters, eh?

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Politics and Economics

It’s the Economy Stupid …

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

Reviewing our Year End financials prior to discussing it all with our accountants. It appears that we lost money this year, the first year we have made a loss since year one of this pilgrimage.

Fortunately it is all still in the “paper loss” part of the ledger where the amortization of assets exceeded the net profits for the year. So far we can still pay the bills and put food on the table.

Alberta Premiere Rachel Notley

Alberta Premiere Rachel Notley

Two years into an classic NDP economic massacree and looking down the road I wonder how many more years of losses we will have to face while Rachel and her merry band of communists do their level best to destroy any semblance of an economy in Alberta, which Province once supported the healthiest economy in Canada.

One wonders what the “have not” Provinces will do (under Canada’s generous re-distribution scam) now that the Province which they were sucking the blood from has become a have not Province as well.

There is no Province left in Canada with a positive economy (that is, an economy in surplus) so is this the place where the Socialists discover that taking other peoples production only works as long as there is someone producing. Anybody? Anybody?

Move over E.U. and Venezuela, we need some room on the Group W bench for Canada. It should be an interesting time watching the biggest spending government in the history of Alberta implode as it tries to come to grips with running out of other peoples money. Interesting, that is, as in May you live in interesting times.

Carbon Tax, Electrical Generation Companies closing half their generation stations, Oil industry departing for more favorable venues, “Might as well move to B.C. now,” I heard one oil exec say. “If we’re going to get screwed, at least we’ll have an ocean view.”, royalty reviews, higher taxes on business. Hello, Saskatchewan and North Dakota, said the oil companies to Alberta — don’t let the door hit you in the face on our way out.

Now, let’s look at expenditures. There’s already $103 million to education, plus a reversal of all cuts announced by the Tories (much of this goes to pay teacher salaries, the highest in the country for the lowest quality of education). Then there’s keeping open the costly young offenders’ centre in Calgary, which, will now leave two half-used, expensive facilities staffed with government employees.

4 horsemen of the ApocalypseAnd then there’s the restoration of 1,600 were-soon-to-be-laid-off employees of Alberta’s health-care system (the most expensive, and among the worst performing in the country). And 2 years of new NDP hiring all taken together is heading past the 3000 new government jobs level. That’s why Edmonton booms while the rest of Alberta is in it’s death throes. But that is where the votes are, right Rachel?

That’s just the start of the many campaign promises now being fulfilled on the backs of producers. These include tuition freezes, lunch programs, smaller classes, more health-care coverage, a cut in school fees, more beds, more home care in case you don’t want those beds, job creation for unemployed youth, support for wind power (German Companies are singing) and small breweries (AUPE loves their beer, right?) — just basically more of everything.

What’s noticeable about this equation? The ones who generate the wealth, who take the risks, and make the investment — those on the black part of the balance sheet — are in the dumper, while the gains are all to the mainly unionized, revenue-draining red side of the balance sheet.

AUPE is running Alberta. Does this all sound like the kind of expenditures you would make when all the economic indicators the rest of the universe uses to make smart decisions about budgetary issues are all pointing in the other direction? Obviously, it is easy to spend other people’s money and of course, maybe, maybe, even the Socialist NDP sincerely believe they are helping people …  they take their collective actions all “with the best of intentions” … but as C.S. Lewis opines:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
– C.S. Lewis

Not exactly the 4 horsemen but for a modern western economy, totally dependent on energy and exports it is about as close as one gets.

Cheers

Joe

Blind leading the blind over the cliff edgeStupid is as stupid does

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

So What Now?

“Somewhere In Neverland”, All Time Low, from the album “Don’t Panic”, (2012)

Well, I suppose the last two posts about Alberta’s energy future might be a little depressing, even frightening if one falls into the trap of feeling that it is all going to happen tomorrow. Seriously?

The NDP are proposing a path forward so vast and far reaching that there is no conceivable way it could be executed in any time frame less than a generation.

Just take a breath and remember that the same crowd who are now wailing that the global warming sky is falling were wailing about millions dieing in the new ice age back in the 70’s.

To have even a chance of success in implementing their master plan we are positing an NDP government, who previously never ran anything more complex than a protest movement, will suddenly start operating an economy – completely divorced from global reality –  more efficiently, and with more integrity of motives, and with better planning than any other government in the history of the world.

001-alberta-exports-2012

Alberta’s 82 billion annually of exports to the US – the rest don’t really count

The 30th general election of Alberta, Canada, will take place on or before May 31, 2019, following a request by Premier Rachel Notley to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta to dissolve the legislature.

So, the bald truth is Rachel and her gang have no more than 900 days to change the world.

And the entire period she and her boys and girls will be facing President Trump and the U.S.A. who will be busily rewriting all the rules about what they can actually implement because virtually all of Alberta’s production of resources and manufacturing goes to the U.S. at around 82 billion in 2012, (the last available year of data).

Does anyone except a progressive dreamer really think that the NDP will convert Trump and the US from an anti-global warming position to a global warming warrior? Seriously?

Words walk, dollars talk and all Rachel and her hugger mugger babies have are words. It is a difficult stretch to believe that the NDP seriously think that they are going to dictate to private corporations and foreign governments how they shall conduct business and where they will work and invest.

Who do you think will make the real economic decisions and control what the economic map looks like? The NDP?  Uhn Uhn

Cheers

Joe

1060-notley_20150706Alfred E Notley: “What? Me worry?”

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