The Inner Struggle

Deceivers and Divine Mercy …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Warren

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

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

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

Adam and Eve

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

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

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

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

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

HMCS St. Laurent

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

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

HMCS Saguenay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Mark Manson

There’s a bluntness to Russian culture that generally rubs Westerners the wrong way. Gone are the fake niceties and verbal webs of politeness. You don’t smile at strangers or pretend to like anything you don’t. In Russia, if something is stupid, you say it’s stupid. …

But as the weeks wore on, I got used to the Russian frankness, much as I did the midnight sunsets and the vodka that went down like ice water. And then I started appreciating it for what it really was: unadulterated expression. Honesty in the truest sense of the word. Communication with no conditions, no strings attached, no ulterior motive, no sales job, no desperate attempt to be liked.

I remember discussing this dynamic with my Russian teacher one day, and he had an interesting theory. Having lived under communism for so many generations, with little to no economic opportunity and caged by a culture of fear (and dishonesty and distrust), Russian society found the most valuable currency to be trust. And to build trust you have to be honest. That means when things suck, you say so openly and without apology.

People’s displays of unpleasant honesty were rewarded for the simple fact that they were necessary for survival—you had to know whom you could rely on and whom you couldn’t, and you needed to know quickly. But, in the “free” West, my Russian teacher continued, there existed an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity that it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it was false, than to actually be that way.

Trust lost its value. Appearances and salesmanship (spin) became more advantageous forms of expression. Knowing a lot of people superficially was more beneficial than knowing a few people closely. This is why it became the norm in Western cultures to smile and say polite things even when you don’t feel like it, to tell little white lies and agree with someone whom you don’t actually agree with.

This is why people learn to pretend to be friends with people they don’t actually like, to buy things they don’t actually want. The economic system promotes such deception. The downside of this is that you never know, in the West, if you can completely trust the person you’re talking to.

Sometimes this is the case even among good friends or family members. There is such pressure in the West to be likable that people often reconfigure their entire personality depending on the person they’re dealing with.

Manson, Mark. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (pp. 167-170). HarperCollins.

*****

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

Cheers

Joe

All the ruined castles of our lies…

 

Standard
Politics and Economics

It’s a Mess … and silver linings

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dillon, from the album “Bringing It All Back Home”, 1965

Whenever I start to get depressed about the state of our local economy and the morality of our Socialist Progressive governments (see last post here) I tend to take a step back and consider all the good things globally, that’s right, I see many good things globally — good for Canada and Alberta at least.

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

On the right is a wonderful chart from one of the many newsletters I read …  as a proud resident of the only province in Canada with a future (in spite of looking grim right now) I see reason for hope on the horizon. Alberta’s future is intimately tied to energy and the production and export of energy resources.

To say that the Middle East is a powder keg just waiting for a spark is actually an understatement of the reality on the ground, at least as far as I can determine reading all the international news feeds, newsletters and blogs.

Now God forbid that we should pray for a major melt down in the Arabian peninsula but any way you paint a situation where our mortal enemies and OUR major competitor in global oil markets destroy themselves without our intervention is just plain good news for western Christian oil producing nations (there’s just got to be a sin in there somewhere). And Canada is at the head of the pack when it comes to production and proven reserves amongst nominally Christian oil producing nations.

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

One can safely assume that literally anyone trying to pretend that things there will be OK and we don’t need energy independence is taking the same drugs as the Main Stream Media and the “Trump Hate” crowd.

A determined terrorist campaign in Saudi Arabia would (hopefully) completely revise the global economy. Do you think that world oil production just might be impacted by a full scale war in a more chaotic Arabian peninsula?

Do you suppose that such an event wouldn’t be great news for North American oil and coal producers? Do you think passing laws against coal and oil consumption makes the resource mysteriously disappear? Seriously folks, “Stupid is as stupid does”, and a firm belief in a fantasy  no more alters reality than writing “Darkness!” on the wall of your padded cell extinguishes the Sun.

“Alberta”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Self Portrait”, (June 1970)

While the Progressives crow about our coreligionist’s lack of proof of God and the foundations for our religious beliefs, they never think to question the complete absence of any evidence for their own beliefs or, for that matter, for any intelligent consideration of the impacts of their own religious beliefs on the populations over which they claim to rule. C.S. Lewis’s mandarins of N.I.C.E. in his book “That Hideous Strength”  haven’t got a patch on the modern crop of mandarins in the halls of power in our fair land.

Current reality places Canada (Alberta) as the 7th largest oil producer in the world, but three of the highest producers ahead of us on the list are Muslim nations who are prominently center stage in the chaos of the Arabian peninsula. In fact it is not unreasonable to attribute all the chaos in the geopolitical environment found today in the Arabian peninsula to the internecine rivalry between these three Muslim nations.

Countries by Oil Production

Countries by Oil Production – CIA factbook 2013

Any significant change in the geopolitics of the Middle East could catapult Canada (Alberta) to 4th place in the production charts at 3.6 million barrels a day after Russia, U.S.A. and China.

This in spite of the willful stupidity of her government(s). Even the NDP are essentially powerless to screw up the global economy, and I am optimistic that they will not be able to permanently damage the most productive Province in Canada.

An even more important part of the picture is the proven reserves picture. Another slice of reality is that Canada (Alberta) is currently in 3rd place  after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in proven reserves. In a world economy suddenly deprived of access to half of global energy resources “Who Ya gonna Call?”. If you are looking for stable sources for your energy supplies do you pick a nation where violence and corruption are the rule of the day, or do you pick the nation where peaceful rule of law prevails?

Now a little corruption goes a long way to grease the wheels of governance and Canada has fallen a long way from the 50’s when we had the international reputation as the most honest bureaucracy on the planet. I suspect only the slightest nudges would be necessary to move our political masters in the appropriate direction. After all, our current governments are full fledged players in the “Pay to Play” schemes historically developed in other world capitals.

Oil Producing Countries

By Ekrub-ntyh at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1914119

It may come as a shock to some but we have enough energy reserves right here in Alberta alone, including all sources, to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 hundred years. You read that right, enough energy to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 centuries.

Back in the late 70’s early 80’s I worked as a contract administrator for a company called JOY Manufacturing. Among other things we produced electrostatic precipitators and bag filter systems for heavy industries like steel mills, foundries, paper mills and especially for coal fired electrical generation plants.

For at least 40 years now we have had the technology to clean emissions from coal to at least approximately the levels produced by natural gas. These systems are currently in use all over the world. The only thing preventing their adoption here is religion and politics.  Canada also developed and produces the safest nuclear reactors on the planet and a large chunk of the fuel for those reactors

But using that clean energy technology flies in the face of the religious position of the Socialist Progressive ninnies in our governments. It’s just A-OK with them to impose their version of the “final solution” to eliminate inconvenient babies and seniors but Gaia forbid we should use clean coal technology to give every one cheap electricity.

The only thing standing in the way of Canadian global dominance in oil production is weak prices and government policy. The Venezuelan government did a pretty good job of destroying the rosy future for it’s people and Alberta’s government is looking to try the same path right now.

Given the current state of “Rule of Law” in Canada I think we are a long way from following the Venezuela model. Notwithstanding the rule of law there are still legions of zombie voters in Redmonton who could conceivably keep the NDP in power for more than 1 election. We will no doubt see that play out since we are not considering moving away just yet.

So the point of this polemic is that there are actually lots of reasons for optimism despite current conditions in the neighbourhood.

Cheers

Joe

cooling stacks steam plantSo we can pay $100.00 per month for electricity using steam , or $1200.00 per month for electricity using wind and solar.  Seems like a no-brainer to me. So come on voters, we’ve had our Friday night stupidity binge, let’s change the landscape of Canadian politics and turf the Progressive parasites out.

 

 

Standard