Saturday, May 19, 2018

Harry and Meghan - Pomp and Circumstance





I know a lot of people, even Brits themselves, loathe the whole idea of royalty. If I had to live with it every day, I might, too. But I must confess, I watched and adored every second of the royal wedding.

And there are several good reasons for every conservative to indulge themselves in a bit of royal fun thanks to Prince Harry. Or Duke Harry or whatever.

First of all, I don't really follow the royals. This morning, I thought the bad boy of the British royal family was marrying some Brit socialite. He's dated them all, hasn't he? Some game lass had finally landed the spare heir to the throne.

But no, I found out, as I begin to read the tweets. He's marrying an American girl. Whoa!!!! This is big news. I didn't think royals were allowed to marry Americans. Then, it turned out she was a bona fide actress, not just some extra who'd gotten a SAG card. She was a real working actress, who'd started from nowhere. Impressive. In my book, that's very impressive, because I know how hard real actors work. Then, as I read a bit more, there was something even more unusual about her. She was of African heritage. OMG!!!! Okay, now I knew we were dealing with the wedding of the century. This was a history making event in every way.

And to top it all off, as I watched the glorious wedding, crying, of course, (Gender fact: women always cry at weddings.) it was obvious that Meghan Markle was very certainly the prettiest princess I had ever seen, even in history books. I mean, this child is drop dead gorgeous.

After discovering what a stunning couple the young royals were, my second favorite thing about the wedding was watching all the rich and famous of the world, who usually think they are above EVERYTHING, pull themselves together and act like nice ladies and gentlemen, as befits the house of God, and to see them show some respect for King and Country, or Queen and Country, in this case.

I could see tattoos above the high collars, but the flaunting of the thonged bare butt cheeks, or the awful clothes that no normal human being would ever chose to wear, and the usual sloppy, screw-you attitude was buttoned up neatly for a change. They actually behaved. Didn't see anybody snorting coke, or falling asleep. All those rich, spoiled elitists sat up straight and minded their P's and Q's. Astonishing. Gratifying to know something can make them mind their manners.

Wow! That alone was worth the price of admission. And I am sure had it not been that Harry married a wonderful, worthy young woman like Meghan, the elite would have skipped the whole shindig in favor of sunning their six pack abs on a beach somewhere, instead of honoring the sacrament of Christian marriage in a proper church.

But the most fun was the long drive home to the castle in an open, horse-drawn carriage, led and followed by a phalanx of horsemen, all decked out in red uniforms and shiny gold helmets, atop their splendid mounts, bobbing alongside the newlyweds. There was even one spritely horse who was a bit too spirited, perhaps spooked by the thunderous cheers of the crowd.

How joyous to cheer for the happiness of such a winning couple! And make no mistake, William will be king, but that Harry owns the heart of the nation was palpably demonstrated by the roaring cheers of the seemingly endless crowds. Oh, yes, Meghan had better be good to him or she will disappoint them sorely. And Harry had better be triply the perfectly devoted husband or he's going to become the public whipping boy.

Witnessing all the ceremony, the pomp and circumstance, the tradition, devoid of political or mercenary motives, impressed the hell out me. Perhaps, one can accuse the royal family of being mercenary, except when the going got tough in WWII, they stood with their country and took it. They played their role, strange and vague as it has become to be a royal in the modern age.

Now, I suspect my ancestors, who escaped from European aristocratic abuse, are rolling in their grave as I write this, but we in this country have lost so much respect for ceremony and tradition, I must say I  miss it. And I think, somehow, we might do with a bit more of it.




Sunday, April 29, 2018

Boiling Mad

American Can Do Spirit held captive by Lawyers


Here’s the link to the article in American Conservative that has me so mad. Sorry to bring them up, but I’m very tired of conservatives disparaging therapy, psychology and culture. As my Latin teacher once said to me, “You’re resting on your laurels and they’re starting to stink.”

No, conservatives, good old-time religion is not going to save this country. Time to stop playing your broken record and look around you. This article in American Conservative is either an insult to all conservatives or conservatives deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth.

The central premise is that some rich fella has a rich uncle who can’t find Americans of ANY COLOR, their emphasis, not mine, to fill their lowly factory jobs. In the old days, the good old days, in the imaginary conservative paradise where poor folk were content with the scraps off the table of their God-fearing betters, his parents and many others were grateful to punch a time clock in a factory for minimum wage.

The author laments if only people said yes, sir and yes ma’am, wore dress up clothes to church on Sunday, respected their elders and the sacred moral order, everything would be fine and Unc could go on getting rich with his factory.

The author deplores the therapeutic approach to life, you know, where people ask why am I unhappy? That is what he fingers as the cause of all our troubles. If you’d just hold the door for grandma, everything would be hunky dory. PLEEEEZE!!!!!!!! We will now return to the Twenty-First-Century, or you can find a copy of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, bury you nose in it for about a year and maybe learn something about humanity.

Here’s some insight into why those factory jobs go begging: hopeless, dead end jobs are not enticing. In the good old days, there was hope. Maybe not at your factory job, but men and women you knew started businesses with the money they’d saved. Uncle Art had a shop that sold drive belts. He’d started as a mechanic at one of the car companies and saved up, built his own house, and opened a very successful retail store. My thirty-year-old son has no friends like that. No one in his generation can hope to improve their lot. The problem is that lawyers have set up the rules so that all small businesses are fair game for total ruin. If you don’t have powerful connections, your little pizza parlor will get sued and you will lose your life savings, just like that. And it will be for no good reason. Some birthday party will include a handicapped kid. You may have had all the required ramps, but his mother found out how rich a handicapped kid can make her. She sues, you lose. Bingo, you’re F*****. All your savings go into Mama and the lawyer’s pockets. There are too many stories like this to belabor the point.

If you’re not a conservative wallowing in sentiment for the good old days when some lackey made your day by smartly replying “yes sir”, you get it.

This problem is much more pervasive and deadly than killing all hope for the ordinary man and driving him to opioids. This is a crisis that touches everyone who watched those helpless bodies writhing in terror as they plummeted to their grisly and certain death on 9/11, a crueler way to die for three thousand people is hard to imagine.

A Defense Department Intelligence Agency called Able Danger knew about the terrorist leaders over a year prior to 9/11. They tried to tell the FBI. The FBI lawyers would not take the information, thus irrevocably condemning three thousand people to a horrific and untimely death.

But it gets worse. When Congressman Weldon in 2005-6 publicly called the FBI to account for this egregious lapse, Weldon's daughter’s house was subject to an early morning Mueller terror raid just prior to the election, smearing her father’s reputation causing him to lose. There was never any follow up to the raid, no charges, no action, most likely because it was a spite raid by the American KGB. Yes, it’s that bad. Even our great, selfless and dedicated president’s hopes for our country are being destroyed by our legal eagles, or are they legal jackals? Mueller is the poster boy for the demise of our justice system. 

But, as long as the FBI agent says ‘Yes sir’ to nostalgic conservatives, they’ll sit in their rockers sipping lemonade and let their country go to hell in handbag.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

CANTERBURY TALES




     

 Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote             
When April with its sweet-smelling showers
      The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
           
   Has pierced the drought of March to the root,
       And bathed every veyne in swich licour
           
   And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquid
       Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
           
   By the power of which the flower is created;   



Who can wake up on a sunny morning in April and not feel just as Chaucer's pilgrims felt seven hundred years ago: that April is just the season to set out on a pilgrimage to seek foreign shores and distant shrines and especially to visit Canterbury?

In Washington state our sun shifts are quite extreme. Already in April the grey light of dawn is visible at five am. By six thirty, it has been light for hours and the sun is far up in the sky. At night, I can still walk my dog at eight thirty pm in daylight. Since the British Isles are on roughly the same latitude, it would have been much the same in England almost a thousand years ago. And having no street lights or artificial light except lanterns, April would have provided long hours of lighted travel and pleasant weather for all adventurous travelers.

How delightful a journey Chaucer's pilgrims make, each telling a story to pass the time. I haven't read the full Canterbury tales, just one or two of the stories. But I had to learn the prologue in high school and have never forgotten the first lines, which evoke the spirit of April so aptly.

I have always promised myself to give Chaucer a more thorough reading, someday. I'm sure it would be delightful and full of fascinating and enlightening insights into human character. 

We must rescue April from the tax man and restore it to a season for celebrating the long days. I suppose for farmers, April is a busy time of much hard work. But we all welcome spring's return and a new season of growth and plenty.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

THE WOMEN AT THE TOMB

Women at the tomb of Jesus

This post is not some feminist griping about Christianity, rather this is one of the pieces of historical evidence that I have always found very convincing and am now going to share. But I think it is an interesting point about the resurrection and very compelling evidence that is hard to dismiss or forget.

The author is addressing one of the objections to the veracity of the bible, attributing the story of the resurrection to the desire of the Jesus community to create (i.e. make up) a legend about their leader.

The quote is from the the book Who Is Jesus? Linking the Historical Jesus With The Christ of Faith, by Darrell L. Bock. It's a daunting and scholarly book that was difficult to read, but definitely worth the effort. 


"Embarrassment

Another key element in the empty tomb tradition involves the criterion of embarrassment. In fact, this criterion is the one that most contradicts the idea that what we have is a fabricated account, a created story that is mere myth or legend. The key factor here is the unanimous testimony in the gospels that women were the first to discover the empty tomb.

What is important in this detail is the ancient culture's lack of appreciation of women. In this culture, a woman's testimony often counted for nothing. Josephus testifies to this view in Antiquities 4.219  when he says, "From women let no evidence be accepted, because of the levity and temerity of their sex." The Mishnah, Yebamot 16:7 shows some permitted women's testimony to attest a death but others do not. So their role was debated. In the Mishnah, Ketubot 2:5 and the Edduyot 3:6, a woman's testimony about her marital status is to be rejected if another witness speaks to the contrary. These texts show that women were not highly regarded as witnesses in the first century.

So if the Jesus community is trying to sell the unpopular idea of a resurrection to a skeptical audience, why would it do this by opening such a difficult story with witnesses who do not count as witnesses culturally? If you are creating the story, why would you create it this way? A created story would have had male witnesses at the start. The idea that this story was created lacks cultural credibility, as evidenced in the starting point for this account. The women's being in the story and remaining there in all the gospel versions speak to the authenticity of this detail and of the empty tomb. No one would have put them there had they not already been there.

Interestingly, some of the accounts reflect this nervousness about female testimony. Mark 16 ends before reporting any message to the disciples. Luke 24:11 says those who initially heard the women thought they spoke "nonsense." In fact, the second century skeptic Celsus mocks the report's credibility, speaking of Mary Magdalene as a "half-frantic woman" (Origen, Celsus 2.59). All of this reinforces that the criterion of embarrassment is applicable to this account. The combination of multiple attestation and embarrassment appears to attest to concrete events, not legend."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Crisis Horizon

Rocky Mountain storm
Albert Bierstadt


How strange life is today when you look into the eyes of the people who surround you and see that vague sense of unease. Change has begun; the truth is seeping out. By electing Trump, Americans defied all the propaganda, the lies, the half-truths, and the influencers in every media, and acknowledged and made public our shared truth: things must change. The election of Trump was our shared perception of something terrible on the horizon that we had to face or perish.

We know the Crisis is coming at us fast. We all know it because it is coming from every direction, and because no American is unscathed. No matter what anyone does, there is no redress for our woes and grievances. It’s the gigantic federal debt and future obligations that mount into unimaginable trillions. We all know that it can never be repaid. That’s an indisputable fact.
It’s the millions of young people mired in hopeless college debt they can never pay off, trying to live life with heads forever bowed in submission to the state. It’s the millions who didn’t go to college who languish in menial jobs.
It’s our healthcare system which seems designed to enrich pharmaceutical companies, not help patients.
It’s our once glorious landscape dotted with cookie cutter malls that are empty, malls no one wanted in the first place, but which are coveted by the corporations who write our tax laws. It’s embedded in our tax laws, which are so onerous and complex that they foil every spark of initiative and honest effort at self-improvement and entrepreneurship.
It’s our public schools, which educate few and whose primary function is to provide union jobs to fund the Democrat party.
It’s our state governments, who have promised many services to get elected and created many state jobs in response, but the salaries, healthcare and pensions for those jobs are so lavish they weren’t affordable to begin with, and most of the promised services amount to little more than fantastically expensive piles of paperwork.
It’s a tsunami of misery from our fatally flawed justice system, which has become a means of plunder to support the unsustainable state budgets. It all stinks to high heaven.

Oh yes, no one who can see lighting and hear thunder is unaware of the titanic crisis moving quickly toward us on the horizon. I hear they are building survival bunkers around DC, as well they should, because they are the worst and grossest offenders. Our government is being held hostage by globalist leeches who are sucking the bones of our rich country dry, before they move on. Our population has become the prey of the jackals of greed and power. They write the laws, they call the shots, and there is nothing any of us can do about it. We are trapped, our only choice is Frick or Frack, the Democrats or the Republicans.

I’ve got a feeling that no one was more surprised than Trump at the staggering, almost unbelievable crowds he drew wherever he went, no matter the place or the time. A tidal wave of dissatisfaction swelled in response to the one man speaking the truth. Who knew the truth had such power? No one in DC, that’s for sure. The jackals were caught off guard. But the fight is on, now. The only question is will there be bloodshed? Will there be war? Or will things shake out with less violence?

Everyone knows, and everyone is holding their breath, hanging on. We’ve faced the fact that we have huge problems. What will happen next? Will the country survive? Or will it self-destruct? We are a hopeful people and confident. That is what Trump represents. We believe that no matter how bad it is, America and the dream it represents will prevail, one way or another. That is what’s best about Trump, that and jobs. People who are working are people you can trust to get you through a crisis.

Trump’s policies may be wrong or right. I don’t know and economists, like global warmists, predict many contradictory things. There are too many unknowns in both cases and too many variables.

This is the quiet before the storm, and we all know it. Enjoy what you can. Whatever the storm may be, if God still loves us, something better will be reborn. Of that, you can be sure.

Friday, March 16, 2018

SPRING AND CHRISTIAN WOMAN MYSTIC HADEWIJCH






A QUOTE FROM THE WONDERFUL BOOK "A Little Daily Wisdom, Christian Women Mystics"


Translated by Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I read parts of this wonderful book almost daily. I cannot recommend it highly enough for spiritual guidance of the simple kind that we need every day. Ms. Butcher has created a book that is nothing short of a classic and should be on everyone's desk or bedside table.

A Little Daily Wisdom: Christian Women Mystics

This is an excerpt from Hadewijch, Poems in Stanzas. She was a 13th Century Flemish mystic writer.

"The beautiful season of flowers is finally here again!
Those with beautiful hearts 
who are chosen to bear Love's chains
also know this season of growing
spiritually as their steady trust-in-God
Blossoms in their hands
into flowers and fruits of kindness.

They experience the Word of God
through their blooming spiritual trust.
They're always friends with Love, and
that's why they're intimate with Tenderness."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Red State Slave Revolt



 


What crystalized my understanding of the enslavement of the Red States by the Blue States, was a speech by Hillary in India where she cited that the people in the Blue states who had voted for her created two thirds of the GDP and were the most productive Americans, while the Red states were useless money sucking bumpkins. Think about that. What she said is the bare faced truth, which she is too stupid to realize is a confession of the overwhelming extent of thievery that has become the norm in our country. The people in the Blue States she is referring to actually produce nothing. They get cheap goods from slave labor abroad to sell it to Americans, whose entire wealth they have stolen, leaving them only a pittance of their earnings, after they pay the ridiculous taxes that support the Blue States blood sucking government overseers.

How did they do this? The Blue state people don’t work, they govern. This means they sit in offices or go to places where people are trying to work and tell them what they can and can’t do. They are the overseers we all are now familiar with from the recent slave movies. They can take anything you have, ruin your business, ruin your financial life, tell you how to live, destroy your family, and impoverish you. They do this under the pretense of regulatory authority to protect some hypothetical person or cause. In fact, these are make work jobs at fantastic salaries with scandalous benefits that require nothing but specialized training in obscure and voluminous rules and regulations. They manipulate these rules in order to make it look like they are performing a useful service, but in fact the rules are just an excuse to create a hurricane of paperwork to justify their gigantic salaries. Our government has become a huge blood sucking leach on the ordinary citizen.

Politicians, Lawyers, court battles, government inspectors, regulators, teachers, college professors, administrators, state and local prosecutors, judges, social workers, teachers, school administrators, school bus drivers, all of these and many, many more are considered to be ‘producing’ wealth and are added up as part of the GDP, gross domestic product. Yeah, right. What do they produce but paperwork? The game is that the more regulations they write, the more the government workers they can hire, the more they can featherbed into their budget, then the more of the GDP they can suck out of the hard work, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship of the ordinary citizen/slave.

The election of Trump was the Red State Slave rebellion. That Twitter, Facebook and all social media shadowban and censor free speech is irrefutable proof that this theft from the populace is coordinated and deliberate. Why would they fear the populace’s opinions if they weren’t trying to hide their criminal enterprise? They are guilty, they know it and are trying to hide it so they don’t get caught.

This is far more pervasive and evil than anything Alinsky ever thought of. Our government at every level is larded with those who are greedy, slothful, deceitful, cruel and corrupt. The election of Trump is the Red state slaves revolting against their cruel and greedy masters.

Finally, Hillary told us half the truth. The other half of the truth is that the Blue States have stolen two thirds of GDP simply by writing paperwork to enslave us and using our government to steal from us.