Archive for August 2018

UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM #4 – STEALING

August 31, 2018

vote ag socialism

If the throttling is done slowly enough,  over a generation or two,  it doesn’t feel too bad.

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In fact,  Socialism feels nice at first.   In state-sponsored Socialism,  leaders tell you everything will be more “fair”  for everyone.    But the fairness has to be achieved by breaking the Seventh Commandment:  Thou shalt not steal.

Socialism is an invitation for you to steal from others.

Wisdom from   Christianity, as recorded in the Bible:  “If anyone is not willing to work,  let him not eat.”    (II Thes.  3:10)

This has nothing to do with Christian charity which has been massive and unprecedented in world history.    That continues.     This has to do with that brilliant  disrupter of human society:   “From each according to his ability’  to each according to his need.”

The first phrase gives authority to politicians  – (who achieve power by democratic means)  – to steal from those who work – and work hard to make a good living. The second phrase gives confused and gullible people the reason to allow their government to steal from them and distribute the money to whomever will vote for them and keep this system going.

Unless we remove this system of unfair theft from productive people,  the problems that come with Socialism will prove to be Unsolvable.

Harsh word, that word “steal.”

And there are people in need.

But too many of our own citizens are living off the work of others.   And now too many citizens of foreign countries are receiving our wages too.    In a recent poll, the admittedly ill-informed,  miseducated Millennials are increasingly in favor of Socialism  — who wants to give up free stuff?!       And they don’t want to hear any other political theory:

Socialism Millennials

Once Socialism is in place it must be kept there by increasingly totalitarian force;  more and more laws and regulations,  draconian punishments,   and physical force.   Frequently, the  Socialist states eventually come down to:

THIS IS SOCIALISM 40

 

American voters who are sliding into Socialism truly believe that “it was never correctly implemented before.”   But they can do it right!      The opposition provided too many obstacles.    But they can successfully suppress the opposition.

The Program is to  Progress Forward towards World Socialism.

vote forward

“Forward Together”  !!

If people aren’t trained well enough to learn a skill to make a living,   then we must fix our system of schools.     If the economy isn’t working in favor of laborers,  then the economy must be fixed.    If crime and other moral issues cost society billions and billions of wasted dollars that never get to the people,  then moral training must be reinstated.   And so on. 

The answer to to unskilled workers, a failed economy,   to grown men who are unmotivated to provide for themselves and their families,  the answer to the high cost of crime — is not to steal from those who are doing the right thing.

For Pete’s sake!

Two things still stand in the way of Socialism’s final victory:    The Constitution of the United States (as originally intended);  and the principles of a Christian society.

These stand in the way of the Progressives,  but the Progressives don’t think they have to give up:

vote and keep calm

 

Saint Paul of the Bible spread the Gospel to us Gentiles.   Among his teachings is this:    But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.        (I Timothy 5:8)

Let us be motivated to help those in our society to achieve the dignity of productive work that can help a man support his own household!

Unless the desire for dignity of every human being and morality be restored, again, the problem remains Unsolvable.

 

 

 

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BRIEFLY – A LITTLE WICKED HUMOR

August 31, 2018

Speaking in hyperbole,  to repeat a picture posted here recently —

sodom

(Sodom)

Although, by rights,  that is what we expect to happen to the Vatican,   all we’ve gotten so far is this —

Lightning no fire

That’s St.  Peter’s dome, in the Vatican.   Lightning.  It didn’t even start a fire.

(I think that photo was taken on the day that Pope Benedict was forced to announce his resignation.   Another lightning bolt was recorded on the day the present man was installed into the See.)

With all the crime,  scandals,  sexual aberrations,  misrepresentations of Christ’s teachings, and contradictions to Church practice coming out of the hierarchy of the Church,  either promoted or permitted,  more and more voices are beginning to admit that there is a schism forming in the Church.

And more and more are beginning to understand that it could take a generation or more to wrest control away from those in power and make necessary corrections with a necessary and canonical Council.

It can be done,  but it is unsolvable by merely human means.

Unsolvable Problem #3.

 

And that’s not a hyperbole.

Bar Cross in middle

 

BRIEFLY – COVER-UPS

August 29, 2018

 

Just one more word on (humanly) Unsolvable Problem #3 —     *

sodom

I guess it’s fashionable now in Europe and America to blame the sexual scandal in the Church on “an abuse of power.”    However,  90 to 98 % of the victims of the crimes are  teenage  boys;    so that is homosexual men “bothering'”teenage boys.

There is a bishop in St. Gallen diocese in Switzerland who declared publicly  to his parish that to blame “abuse of power”  or “clericalism”  for these crimes is to cover up the fact that the grown men are sodomites doing homosexual acts on teenage  boys;   and therefore homosexual activity is at the root of the cause.

Common sense?

He is receiving heaps of criticism for his statements.    Nope, they say,  it’s just an abuse of power.   “Don’t you dare criticize anyone’s sexual practices!”

Interestingly,  today is the day that the Church remembers the beheading of John the Baptist and honors his life.

johns eyes of fatih

John, gazing upon Jesus with eyes of faith

The mission that he was called to, in his mother’s womb,  was to prepare his world for the soon-coming of the long-awaited Messiah.    And although he perplexed and disturbed the religious leaders of his day,  the “crime”  for which he was   beheaded  was the public criticism of King Herod’s  sexual lust —  fornication and adultery.

“You shouldn’t say that any type of sexual activity is wrong.”

john rebuked for sex

Well,  God hasn’t changed.  Nature hasn’t changed.

Humans were created in two different sexes for the purpose of   participating in the  further Creation of new human beings.    Therefore,  God the almighty Creator is present during every sexual act.  

This is a dignity given to human  beings alone.    To deny this is to believe in a different kind of cover-up.

God hasn’t changed.   Creation hasn’t changed.

But the mighty domain of Herod Antipas has changed:

johns location

These flattened ruins are all that is left of the palace where John the Baptist was beheaded.

John himself is more glorious in Heaven than that palace ever was.

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.*   Picture of Sodom

BRIEFLY – FOLLOWING THE CODE

August 29, 2018

 

When you see this sight this week,  whether in a photo or in person —

FLAG half-mast

—  know that the entertainment-news media,  those actors and actors who read news scripts written for them by the Far Left,  have WON OVER  American law and tradition,  specifically the U.S. Flag Code.

The media have asserted  pressure and usurped authority,  and they believe the American people are influenced by them.

Remember that important book of warning called Animal Farm?   One of their “codes”  is that  “All (pigs)  are equal.  But some are more equal than others.”

(Important book.  You should read it.  Or read it again.)

In the U.S. flag code there is a regulation stating how long the flag over the White House should fly at half mast to honor a fallen Senator as well as a fallen Veteran.  It is a great honor to have the flag fly at half-mast for you –  for the amount of time designated for your station.

Senator McCain,   who has voted against the president’s causes,  breaking his own campaign promises to the people who elected him,  and who read and transmitted the false and scurrilous “dossier”  against the president, who has said some nasty things about the president  — this senator is . . .

               MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

He gets a whole week of half-mast flag-flying.

A visual cue for the media to continue to glorify this senator* above all others.

 

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Flag don't tread

.*      I do feel sorry for Senator McCain and for the torture he and countless others suffered at the hands of the Viet Cong, as well as the Japanese,  the Chinese,  and many countries, and today in the Middle East.

Compassion for all these men who had their lives, their bodies, and their mentalities injured and changed by horrible tortures.

 

UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM #3 – UNIQUE FISH

August 29, 2018

 

In the last post,  Unsolvable Problem #3 was the current scandals in the  Church,  but you are a unique fish:

Bar Cross in middle

The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is like a fisherman’s net.

Net flining

 

It’s cast into the sea, and many fish come into the net;  fish of all kinds.

And all the men in the boat are happy to see such a great catch.   But there are more fish, more and still more fish.

net school

The fishermen call to their friends and the friends move their boats closer and help take in the net, and all are rejoicing at such bounty!

Net and many

God is good.   The fishermen are happy and enthusiastic.     God is so good, and so many fish are entering into the net.

The  Kingdom of God (on earth) is like that net.   For much of its history it has gladly gathered in many souls, and rejoiced because it knew its purpose was to gather in many souls.

net pilgrm rus

And many answer the call.

net woman at prayer
This is how the Church was at the beginning of its history as it spread throughout the known world,  bringing knowledge of God and His goodness to everyone.     Even the poorest and the  most obscure can be sanctified and given Hope of Heaven.   Even the bad ones,  rich or poor.

 

Because the Church contains human beings who are fallible (all kinds of fish),  sometimes the Church’s mission is not fulfilled and in places it seems like an undesirable net to climb into.

And then the Creator of the net moves and heals and restores and the great missionary commission is again fulfilled, reaching out to the New Continents, all around the world now.

Net chmany

And then it falters.

And then comes another refreshment, and the Church fulfills her mission, bringing God to many  people and helping those souls become holy and strong!

Net strength and holiness

Strong and good and holy.

 

net niqueYou are a unique “fish.” God made you and wants you and needs you.

God wants you even at times when that “net” has some bad fish in it.   There are many good fish in that net, fish that will be brought out and prepared for their purpose, made fit to be used by the Master Fisherman.

 

And now – in the 20th century, on into now, the Church has faltered again. Not for the first time , of course, but it seems worse because everyone is connected to omnipresent artesian wells of information, bubbling up into our minds.  It seems that all the Church is is disappointment and scandal and and hypocrisy.     Empty and dirty —

net bad church
Don’t despair. Don’t be indifferent. don’t be discouraged or ashamed. But do be faithful to the mission of the Church, be faithful to Jesus Christ, the world’s only Messiah, who has brought True Reconciliation between God and Man.

Net Master

The Master Fisherman is still there,  still at work.

The Church is much more than scandal.   Look at that part that can bring you reconciliation with God, and peace.

Again,  the current scandals of the people in the Church,  the sexual crimes, the financial crimes,  the failure to transmit the full teachings of Christ,  the failure to assist souls to become holy . . .   all these seem to be Unsolvable  failings.

Unsolvable #3 — but if you noticed,  throughout history, it’s human failure.   It’s only Unsolvable to us alone.

God acts, and God will act again.

If we ask.

CORRUPTIO OPTIMI PESSIMA

August 27, 2018

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

Unsolvable Problem  – 3    Pederasty in the Church

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(Pardon the absence.    After that traumatic month of July, the death of my younger sister, and the discovery of four deadly physical conditions in my body,  two of which have been known to cause  sudden death –   most likely not in me – after all this,  sometimes I withdraw and retreat, just to process everything.   Then I come back all okay.)

(One thing a period of time like that produces is a desire to speak truth plainly.  Just put it out there.)

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CORRUPTIO OPTIMI PESSIMA

Once a well-known saying for anyone who was educated,  it means, roughly, “the corruption of the very best is the very worst” (that can be done).

I will get back to my series of “Unsolvable Problems”  in a minute,  but all weekend,  I wanted you to know that there is a purpose to such “gloomy”  writings.  There is a solution.   If your feet are on  Solid Ground,  you will discover the wisdom and receive the power to effect changes for the better.

So we’re not stuck.

It’s gloomy only if you don’t know what’s going on.

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

To all nations that have been formed (in their past)  by Christianity,  it is common knowledge  (not accepted by all,  but known by all)   that “The Church is the pillar and ground of our Truth.”     (That’s in the Bible, for you Bible-only type Christians.)

That firm foundation for action in our lives,  that Solid Ground for us, is the Church.

Corruption of the best is the worst.

Today the Church stands in the mists.

Church in the Mist 390

After the Great Infiltration of the Church by the World in the mid-Twentieth century,  Church leaders took a GIANT step to the Left, taking with them the majority of Catholic laymen — who did not so deeply understand their faith anyway.

As one Church theologian said:  “We have accomplished the French Revolution  in the Church.”    (That’s not a good thing.)  (quote from Cardinal Suenens)

We have to look back to the fourth century to find a similar march into heresies by the bishops, cardinals, priests, laymen, and perhaps even the aging,  somewhat confused pope.    At that time,  St. Athanasius consoled his people by saying “They have the buildings and the institutions;  we have the Faith.”

Among the things that entered the Church in the last century is the sexual deviances of the World.    Let’s call it  “sexual practices that stand in opposition to the firm, unchanging teachings of the Church.

Step away from those teachings and you no longer stand on Solid (safe)  Ground.

So today, we read the headlines:   POPE REFUSES TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE SODOMITES IN THE CHURCH WHO PREY ON TEENAGE BOYS.”    Something like that.

A shock?   Nope.   Given  the Extreme Left politics of the man  who is in the office of the pope,  this is no surprise at all.    Do not the Left in our own country praise and promote those who are openly homosexual in our entertainment media?   then why should he take a heavy hand remove the sexual corruption in the Church?

Pope John Paul II is reported to have pounded his fist on the table, shouting “WHAT is going  on with those Americans?”    after receiving a report of rampant homosexuality in the  seminaries. Pope Benedict XVI demanded to know how bad the sexual activity was in the Catholic world.     Is there really a Lavender Mafia?  Is there really a St. Gallen Mafia club?      He received a 200-page summary of the study that was done . . .  200 pages never made public . . .  after which he suddenly and perhaps  contrary to canon law “resigned.”   St. Gallen wins?

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

Fish in greek

Every field of knowledge seems to be saying that the world cannot go on much longer the way it’s going.   The financial world.  The military world, with super weapons that can destroy human life.  The natural world with earth changes and perturbations.     The social world, with increasing chaos, totalitarianism,  and impending civil wars.   And Christianity in general,  co-opted by the World it was meant to bring the message of salvation to.  .  .  .

Things will end.  Quite badly.    The Age of Pisces is ending.

Jesus told His Church,   “When I come back,  will I find any faith left in the world?”

If anyone can, He can –  and He expresses doubt that He’ll find any!   Or at least not much.  The corruption inside the Church is very severe.   The lack of knowledge inside the Church is very severe.   The lack of faith inside all Churches is very severe.

What about  “. . .the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church . . .”?    Well, first of all, think about what that means.  A gate.  Gates don’t rise up and march against its enemy.   Gates provide a kind of barrier.   Perhaps it’s the Church itself which is supposed to knock down the Gates of Hell.

Whichever way you take it,   those Gates can rise to predominance pretty far, and by the end of the World,  it will seem that they have prevailed.   The Church seems not to be able to tell the World anything!

In case you don’t know The Age of Pisces,  the Age of the Fish,  that ancient sign of Christianity,  here is an explanation:

Fiah

Pisces seems to be ending.   It was predicted.

When I say we have “unsolvable” problems,  I mean they are unsolvable without supernatural aid.   We cannot do it by our own physical power,  our own brain power,  our own good will.

They are unsolvable to us alone.

“There is only one name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”

So don’t despair. . .

We won’t know where to start if we don’t know what’s going on!

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

 

 

UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM WEEK – 2

August 21, 2018

While I’m thinking about it,  while I’m writing about unsolvable problems that Western Civilization has,  it’s common sense to admit that we have a long-standing, violent,  and dangerous enemy that has been more strong and less strong at times throughout history.

Perhaps the words of Hillaire Belloc,   that great and prescient literary figure of the early Twentieth Century,  will illustrate the danger.  He was asked once what he thought of the threat that Hitler posed to Europe.   His answer surprised everyone.    There, near the beginning of that century,  he said that,  instead,  it is the threat of the  future rise of Islam that Europe must face.

I will put a few quotes from his writings below.*

Europe and America,  Australia,  China, Russia, and Africa are the main areas of the world which are contending with the current expansion of I **  s  l a m.

attack on school

According to a persecution watch website,  6,000 Christians have been killed recently –  just in Nigeria.    That is a school under attack in the picture.

Hindus in India are notable and frequent victims of murderous Is  la *mic violence.

China is taking drastic measures to control its Is lam **ic insurgence.

NO GO MUSLIMS

Many countries in Europe have No-Go zones, populated by M  o    s     l e m “migrants.”   Cars are still being burned daily in some regions of Paris.       For many years,  Germany,  Sweden, the UK, and others dealt with the problem by saying there is no such thing as a No-Go zone, and if you say so you are a racist and you’ll get into legal trouble.   Strict control of news reporting supported the official statements.

In Sweden,  they build bigger police compounds, which are then attacked and burned down by the  “M o s  l e m  guests”  of Sweden.   Police cars are burned.

I remember reading somewhere that several imams throughout the world have been calling for an “Incendiary War” against the West.    We’ve all seen photos of California burning –  hundreds of fires going on right now.   Authorities have no explanation for why so many fires broke out at once.   (Well, we were told that a “flat tire” on a car started the big Carr fire . . . .)

Portugal is burning.  Spain is burning.   Greece is burning.  The fire in Greece was so fierce that it roared across mountains, villages, and highways,  trapping many people in their cars as they tried to flee:

safe in our cars

The death toll is over a hundred so far.   Greek authorities have arrested several “migrants”  from M. o   s  l e. m   Africa  responsible for starting the fires.

Sweden again.  I guess cars are the target up there right now.   Here are some video stills of a recent rampage by several young  M  o sl e  m  s  running through a parking lot, setting fires to cars:

Sw Cars 1

 

The young men were dressed all in black with black hoods over their heads.

Sw Cars 2

I think six or eight were counted by bystanders.

Sw seen around the world.jpg

This photo was shown around the world.  I think about 60 Swedish cars were torched in that incident.

Why is this an Unsolvable Problem?

Well, who can stop them?

Who will stop them?

With news censorship,  who knows about the extent of the problem?

Who can see the big picture, the greater movement of the rise of Is **l * am.?

Where does it end?

young geehawds

New warriors for     Is  l. am     are being trained every day.     The Spruce Tunnel has already posted photos of  “schools” that teach toddlers how to behead teddy bears.   These little children are not “playing” with knives.

These people have named their enemy.   They call their enemy  “Crusaders.”     Once Christians did rise up and repulse the invasions,  time after time.   But not now.

Will Christians be able to repel the militant efforts of expansionist  Is  la.  m?

Will there be another crusade to stop the spread of  this violent political  invasion?

The children of Western Civilization are being taught to learn, by heart, the Five Pillars of Islam.    They are taught to visualize themselves being M  os l e m,  dressing like one,  acting like one, eating like one,  praying like one.     They are taught “positive”  values of Is  l. am.       Christian parents do nothing, or are ignorant or are ineffective.   Our children,  and childlike adults,   are pressured to believe that the Christian God and the Is. la m ic  god are the same.

They are taught to  believe that the war cry  “Allahu Akhbar”    simply means   that   they are saying their god is great.     (Do we not say our God is great also?)      Of course, that is not what that phrase means.  It’s real meaning is   “Allah is  greater (than your God).”

Bar Cross in middle

 

Is all this an unsolvable problem?

A weak and naive victim  cannot defend itself from a focused and determined aggressor.

Here is the expected and “mandatory”  disclaimer:  Am I writing that all  Moslems are aggressively opposed to Christianity and the Western Civilization that Christianity built?    No  and NO!    Of course not.      Indifferent Moslems,  bad Moslems,  disobedient Moslems  pose little threat, as such.    If they don’t exactly follow the Koran, they aren’t exactly a threat, when they don’t follow the Koran, exactly.     Secular Moslems are not dangerous as long as they are being secular.

That’s my disclaimer.

Poster Sharia Dominates

Censorship works against those who speak plainly about the rise of Is. la m ic  expansion.  I hope the Spruce Tunnel remains.

With acknowledgement to the Geller Report,  here is a link to an article which describes the jeopardy you put yourself in if you speak out plainly:   (remove spaces)

https://  gellerreport.com/2018/08/criticize-islam-government.html/

Censorship.  Shut up.   Be silent.   Or else.

Here is a story from a website called CreepingSharia, showing that the headlines of an article in a local Minnesota newspaper had to be changed – to make the numbers seem less threatening.    (remove spaces)

https://  creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/us-bank-stadium-islamic-slaughter-fest/

They reported that 50,000  M os l  em  Somalians, etc.,  are meeting in the Vikings football stadium to celebrate the sacrificial slaughter of animals for an annual  festival.    Then they had to downgrade the number to 20,000.   In the article one wonders who is paying for all this.       Tax payers.    American citizens.   Minnesota residents.

“Sharia will dominate”  the poster says.   And again:   “A weak and naive victim  cannot defend itself from a focused and determined aggressor.”

The problem seems to be unsolvable, at the present time.

Solution.   Silence.

 

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.*   (From various writings of Hillaire Belloc):

  • “We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps if we lose our Faith it will rise.”
  • “The future always comes as surprise. . . .but I for my part cannot but believe that a main unexpected thing of the future is the return of Islam.”
  • “And in the contrast between our religious chaos and the religious certitude still strong throughout the Mohammedan world. . .lies our peril.”
  • “There is nothing inherent to Mohammedanism to make it incapable of modern science and modern war.”
  • “[Islam] still converts pagan savages wholesale. . . .No fragment of Islam ever abandons its sacred book, its code of morality, its organized system of prayer, its code of morals, its simple doctrine. In view of this, anyone with a knowledge of history is bound to ask himself whether we shall not see in the future a rival of Mohammedan political power, and the renewal of the old pressure of Islam on Christendom.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM WEEK – 1

August 21, 2018

I made a comment in the last post that the problems of our culture are actually  to the point of being unsolvable now.

See if you think these “problems”   I’ve been observing have an easy solution.    I can start with the problem of  the  deliberately managed migration of Third World peoples into nations which have vastly different cultures and societal expectations.

In other words,  this “migration,”  whether in the name of  “refugee” or not,  is actually an invasion and colonization.     I’ve studied history long enough to recognize an invasion when I see one.    And I recognize attempted colonization of another geographical region by a culture which feels superior to the one they’re invading.

One day’s, one small example:

Here is victim Spain, once a mighty empire with a rich heritage,  a viable, distinct and valuable contributor to European culture.      Recently overtaken by Socialist governance,   Spain has now been severely weakened:

Africans Climbing.jpg

This is a fence on the border between Africa and Spanish sovereign territory.  When several hundred made it over the fence,  they sat down, were given refreshments,  and were video’d doing victory dances:

African triumph.jpg

.

Africans triumph dance

Some even included fists in their triumphal dances:

African triumph fists

Spain, France, Italy, and Greece all share border invasions.

Sub-saharan migrants are seen aboard an overcrowded raft during a rescue operation by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms in the central Mediterranean Sea, 21 miles north of the coastal Libyan city of Sabratha

They come across the ocean, and they march across the land into European territory.  Any idea how common this is?

And do you see any mommies and little girls?

Any mommies little girls

In our own southern border there are men from Central America,  from Pakistan,  from Afghanistan,  from Syria,from other Middle Eastern countries, as well as a few Chinese citizens.    Each has a different agenda, none plan to “assimilate” into American culture,  and all can claim “refugee” status, until our authorities make a show of figuring it out.   There are also a few children, girls and boys,  kidnapped,  stolen,  sold,  whatever,  who are used as props for the True Believers,  those who believe that these are “refugees.”

And then the new arrivals are released into our lands.   And just as in Europe,  crime rates go up in “refugee” areas;  education levels go down;  hospitals and other resources are strained financially, even to the point of having to close down services; No-Go zones are devleloped;   and political-minded people use their presence to divide the population of the victim country.

So, how do we devise a solution?    The powers in control of things have no interest in a permanent solution.  We can see that by observing what they don’t do, and we can easily believe our governments are taking orders from some international Global “Influence” dedicated to the destruction of Western Civilization which stands in their way.  The operations of this migration is  well-funded by such men as this one,  true enemies of Western Civilization:

PROFILE of Evil

With such governing influences coupled with tight media censorship of what is truly going on and the effects of this mixing of unmixable cultures,  where is the solution?

These invading migrants are indeed citizens of other countries.       What nation is able to afford the influx of citizens from other countries?

Who would be willing to send them back to their homes and help them improve conditions – in their own homelands?

How is a consensus formed even if there were a good solution?

What army is willing to oppose the mass movement of Third World people?

What leader of what nation is willing or able to protect his own nation?

Right now I answer such questions with  Silence.

 

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SUNDAY THANKS

August 19, 2018

 

Here is a good “Sunday School” lesson which everyone should know.

The Ten

This lesson has been read in the Church on this Sunday of the year for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.       The yearly repetition is wise.    I heard it and read it as a child and learned the basic story.

Each of the following sentences or phrases has layers of meaning that a child can discover as he matures:

Jesus is walking with his friends on a pathway that takes him into some rough areas between towns.     From afar stood ten lepers who dared not get close to Him, but called out to Jesus for mercy.   “Jesus,  Master,  have pity on us!” 

Jesus came to the lepers,  and before He did anything else, He told them to go into the town, find to the priest,  and present yourselves to him.  

They weren’t healed yet,  but they went.  They weren’t supposed to go into a town near people,  but they did.    

On their way, they discovered they were healed from their leprosy!

One of the men came back to Jesus,  got down on his knees,  and thanked Jesus . . . .

Only one.

jesus and the one

There’s a bit more to the story,   Jesus remarked that this grateful man was a foreigner,  he asked where the other nine were,  and he told the one grateful man that it was his faith that had made him whole.

In our sermon we were reminded that “leprosy”  is a metaphor for the action of sin on  our soul.    As Hansen’s disease (leprosy) eats away at the skin, the victim loses fingers, toes, ears,  parts of the face,  and the sores are ugly,  repulsive and smelly.

 

In the same way,  doing something “wrong,”  or  sinning,  defying or ignoring God turns one’s soul into an ugly mess of stinking sores — if you could see it with spiritual eyes.     Committing a sin,  a big one or a little one,  is a big deal to your soul.

When Jesus heals,  it’s for the purpose of making that person “whole,”  again and holy.   Healthy,  whole, and sweet-smelling,  spiritually speaking.

What deep healing went on inside of that  one grateful  man who came back to be in the presence of Jesus and to thank Him profusely!!

I understood this story as a child,  but each time I hear it  I see so much more in the story.     How easy it is to be “thankful”  like the other nine.    Healed,  happy,  superficially pretty thankful,  but unchanged interiorly as they continued on their way, without the presence of Jesus.

How deep was their gratitude?    How long do you think their gratitude will last?

That  one grateful man was deeply changed inside.   We can tell,  because he came back to be with  Jesus.

 

 

SUNDAY NUTS

August 19, 2018

Nuts #1 –     The English language is not only funny, but it’s versatile . . .  uh,  “flexible.”  The meanings are  elastic,  and they change a lot over short amounts of time.

Patton

Remember   General Patton’s one-word answer (by telegram) to a demand from his German counterpart during WWII?     The one word was “Nuts!”     The Germans were not quite sure what he meant by that,  but they were pretty sure it was both negative and insulting.

Given General Patton’s salty language,    there was probably a whole lot of negative, obscene, and scatological words wrapped up in that one-word reply.

Just one word with a literal meaning can mean so many other things.

Nuts #2

Nuts

That would be my kitchen floor a little while ago.    And, yes, those are literally nuts all over the floor.     It’s what happens when you pick up an open bag of shelled pistachios upside down . . .  And, yep,  I said it:  “Oh, nuts!!!!”

(Of course I ate them,  if you’re wondering.   Shelled pistachios are too expensive to waste!   You can eat off my kitchen floor.    Anytime you want.     Just don’t put the word “clean”  in that thought.)

Last week, as I had written here,  was  a bad week.  This week is starting off  . . .  better.  At least the problems like this seem more manageable.

Nuts #3

But most of the world’s problems are not – not manageable, that is.   I think I’ll go back to posting “world problems” this week, take a break from telling you about my own troubles.     You will begin to see that there not only is no easy solution, it looks like there is NO solution to a majority of these problems, because the will to solve the problems correctly and permanently is just not there.

The will to “rock the boat”  and solve serious problems is not there in our leaders, and it’s not there in the vast majority of the population who could have motivated our leaders.  Many of these serious problems are the result of the success of the culture war against  Western civilization waged by those “Sixty-Eighters,”   the ones who think 1968 was their defining moment.

culture war

Certain values, principles, and practices built up Western Civilization and it was these very values, principles, and practices  that were systematically torn down in the last five decades, ever since the Sixty-Eighters got old enough to attain positions of power and decision-making and dominance over all forms of communication.

Since it’s Sunday today,  here is one example of the final results of this cultural revolution that affected Christian churches and eventually eliminated any use of reason and any appeal to common sense or to history.

So this is the example — know what these are?

Costumes

These are the  sacred vestments  costumes  designed for the “priests” who will be attending the so-called World Meeting of Families this month in Ireland.   Probably officiating at liturgical celebrations too.

The Meeting is sponsored by the catholic church that began in the 1960s.   They were moved along by the cultural revolution.   Dignity,    solemnity,  the sense of the sacred,  moral authority,   maturity,   steadiness,  reliability,  reality,  truth,   history,  tradition,   common sense —  all overthrown in that cultural revolution, and instead of dignified priests in traditionally meaningful vestments, we have these pastel beauties for the men to wear.

That’s okay, though;  the featured and most talked-about speaker is James Martin, a priest ordained by this new church who preaches and promotes the practice of homosexuality.    He’ll be speaking to “families.”    According to their Website,  the main book  (booklet)  will be a “catechesis”  called “The Joy of Love.”

Uh-huh.

As I said, one word can mean a lot of things.       Love . . . .

And to all this new thinking promulgated in the modernized church and especially to those pastel costumes above,  I say  “Nuts!”

That’s the #3 use of Nuts!  — and it covers a whole lot of thoughts of mine!

BEAR TALK

August 17, 2018

(An unsettling post.)      It’s been a heck of a week.

______________________________________________________

If you’ve been visiting The Spruce Tunnel for a while,  you may know there are bears here.     And you may remember what they mean.

bear paw bracelet

I wear this bracelet a lot. Even more often than a watch.  It’s a bear paw, in case you can’t tell.   One day Hubbie and I were walking on some paths overlooking Lake Tahoe.

 

tahoe and trees

Very isolated, but not too far from our parked car.      The path was enclosed by beautiful mountain woods; pine trees and only a little scrub, and soft sandy ground.
tahoe hike

We came to a bit of a clearing and there on the ground were the unmistakable prints of bear paws.    Huge ones!    I honestly couldn’t picture in my mind the size this creature must have been.   And so ended our pleasant little time outdoors, as we had a quick, focused walk back to the car.     We are not Western adventurers!

Of  course Hubbie said the usual:   “Well, the bear is probably far away by now.”     “Bears are more afraid of humans than humans are of bears.”    But  Hubbie was uneasy too.   He knew well my story of having been chased by a bear as a child in the (open) woods of the Far Far North.    The chase lasted a long time and it was not at all certain that my Mom, Dad, and I would win.

bear seeing you

Both times taught me that all of life is like that. You’re walking along, thinking you’re safe, thinking things are as they seem to be, not even realizing that you are being stalked; and then — whoosh! — out of the trees a bear comes rushing at you.

Bear snarl

So I wear the bracelet to remind me that normal life is not only uncertain, but that it’s full of sudden unexpected, unwanted challenges, and some of them will be life-threatening. And I wear that bracelet to remind me that sometimes people I know will be facing similar frightful times in their lives — and to have compassion and companionship with them.

People who  don’t want to think about their own hard times will tell others:   “Don’t worry about ‘bear’ jumping out at you. ”     “Worry won’t help.”

Well, it might.     It might move you to someplace new in your thinking.

See, worry is thinking, ruminating, mulling things over, imagining what might happen. All these can be preliminary to taking action or making a decision or changing your course in life, because that’s how the human intellect works.

As that first analytical process is going on,  emotions are involved too.   Remember the old saying —  Happiness shared is happiness doubled;  sorrow shared is sorrow halved.  That goes for worries and fears too.    That’s where companionship comes in.

Companionship is not just “being there”  for your friend,  but being there with compassion and patience.   The Bible says:  “Bear ye one another’s burdens.”      It’s not fair to tell them just don’t worry, it will all work out.    You can tell that to yourself,  but don’t tell it to the people who cross your path.

Because we’ll all have bears to fight.

As I said,  it’s been a heck of a week.     It’s complicated.

______________________________________________

 

I need to watch a football game tonight.   Thank goodness for pre-season.

THE “BIG” DEMONSTRATORS VERSUS PROTESTERS WAR

August 13, 2018

 

  Just a brief account of the latest  Fake Fail.

pravda and stalin

I first learned about Pravda, the Soviet newspaper, when we were studying Socialism in high school.     I remember our class being amazed, then amused to find out that the word Pravda meant “Truth”!    Anything but, in that tightly controlled socialist world!!

So, how about America’s news reporting today?

I was watching the reporting yesterday about Sunday’s Leftist-sponsored, so-called “Alt-Right” demonstration by white supremacists in Charlottesville.  In this whole country of over 300,000,000 people, all this group could muster was 21 — that is, Twenty-One people who self-identified as white supremacists.   That’s how many one on-the-spot reporter counted.   This  little group was a Leftist-sponsored “Unite the Right” demonstration, but they couldn’t  “unite” many Americans.
(I think one of my Girl Scout groups was larger than the amount of demonstrators who showed up! I do hope my Girl Scouts are now being a force for good in their families, in their communities, and by extension, then, a force for good in our country.)

Protesters versus the Demonstrators

On the other side of the demonstrators were several hundred of the Leftist-sponsored “Antifa” movement “protestors,”   pretending by their Fascists tactics that they are against Fascism.

(I think it was Churchill who said that the Fascists will rise again some day  but they will call themselves “anti”-Fascists.)

Several hundred radical Leftists showed up to protest just about everything.   They shouted, agitated, they were violent, rude, insulting, disrespectful.

They had taken lessons on how to inflict pain on their fellow-Americans:

antifa teaching

Antifa training

 

The Leftist news reporters went nuts over  those “United the Right” people, small though the group was, because they thought they could prove their point here: that Americans are racist!    But what the Leftist news reporting actually  did prove is that they are blind.  Or maybe biased is the better word.    Untruthful.   the entertainment-news media is untruthful about Americans.

The entertainment-news media tried so hard to make a big deal of this little gathering that didn’t really mean anything to Americans, in general. Perhaps the media are licking their wounds today, justifying their attention  and  verifying their efforts to “expose” this “controversy” that exists in a few small-minded people.

There are some good journalists out there. There are some good news reportings, and there is some actual “pravda”  out there.    Not all of it is Fake News.

Just the kind which own our newspapers and television channels.

CATTLE

August 12, 2018

I’ve been writing about Bryce Andrews, the young man who left his home in cool, wet Seattle to head east to find the West as a  cowboy in Montana, where it is dry,   windy,  stormy,   very hot and very cold.  Also breathtakingly beautiful;  open, boundless, and free.

mon scale

You can take the deepest breath you want to in land like that.

And there is work to do.

Mon angus hills

That about looks like Montana (and Wyoming),  and that’s the reason for all the work:  Cattle.    Beef cattle.

mon bull

You may not see much in the eyes of an Angus bull,  but you have to be able to know them well in order to move them where they should be going and to care for them.

mon walking cattle

How do you get them to walk straight down the road like that?

There are mothers,  newborn calves,  yearlings,  cows, bulls . . .  each with its own particular needs pertaining to where it is in its life cycle.   Tagging, counting, vaccinating, inspecting, doctoring, feeding, moving to fresh pasture, and protecting —

mon black

This is not as peaceful a picture as you would first think.   See that row of trees behind them?  The edge of a little forest.   In that forest are wolves, coyotes, bear,  and whatever other predator stalks and feeds on cattle.      These cattle are not at ease.    They are all facing the same way.     Something has alerted them.    (Probably the photographer in this case.)

And when cattle are “alerted,”  they sometimes bolt;   that is they take off running.  They either run in all directions, and then you have a big job finding them and putting them into a herd again.  Or else they take off in the same direction and you’ve got a stampede on your hands.   A mass of hundreds of thousands of pounds of mindless, frightened animals.

So it takes skill to watch over cattle.  But I’ll let the wonderful words of Mr. Andrews describe his job with the cattle.

Flight Zone:

In July  we moved cattle almost every day.   More than any other chore on a ranch, herding is an art.   when approached correctly, and if the animals are willing, a cattle drive becomes a complex, intriguing dance.   I’ve always believed that cattle understand the steps  a lot better than all but the most practiced and attentive humans . . . The movements are ruled by two interrelated principles:  flight zone and herd instinct.

To understand the flight zone,  imagine of rough circle around each cow in the herd.  Certain animals,  mostly other familiar ruminants, are allowed inside the circle.  The rest of the world’s creatures, including cowboys, are personae non gratae!

Walk toward a bunch of contented, grazing cattle.  At first they’ll watch your progress with dull interest . . .  Draw near to the edge of the flight zone, however,  and you’ll quickly have their full attention.  Worried glances fly back and forth within the herd.

Press the issue by taking another step or two forward, and the animal nearest you will react, generally by moving away. . .  I learned to picture the circle as an elastic sphere;   when the sphere is pressed from behind,  the animal springs away, forward.   Direction matters.  Pressure from the left rear would cause cattle to bend their course obliquely to the right, and pressure from the right would send them yawing to the left.

The principle is not as simple as it sounds.   The circle can vary infinitely in size, based on the mood of the animal and the condition in which it finds itself.    Yearlings often skip all the steps between curiosity and full-on panic.  Older, more dominant cows will force you to prove that you’re serious.  They’ll sometimes stand their ground until you’re close, then toss their heads and paw the dirt to test your nerve.  Make one wrong move with a cow like that, or hesitate one little nervous beat,  and she’ll charge right over the top of you.

Terrain matters too.   The past experiences of the herd matters.   The temperature and the barometer can make or break a day’s work. 

Herd behavior:

Mon dusty herd

Nobody wants a stampede,  neither humans nor cattle.  Controlled, sustained motion was our goal and we tried to be judicious where we applied pressure . . .   A cattle drive has to stay calm.   It also has to be comprehensive — every member of the herd must arrive at the intended destination.  Failing at this task even once or twice leaves stock scattered across the ranch, created unnecessary work down the line, and gives the neighbors something to talk about.     Leaving a heifer behind amounted to offering her up as a sacrifice  (to predators).

When we wanted to turn our herds, we simply exerted pressure to one side or the other.  If we did it right, the effect was striking:  without anyone out in front to guide them, the cattle found a new trajectory.   There always seemed to be something magical about the way they swung around like a compass needle finding north.

In cattle, the desire to stay close to each other exerts a subtle but undeniable magnetism.   Move one animal, and the cow alongside her will almost always follow. 
When everything was working well, it was possible to gently steer a herd across the land,  ford creeks, pass in an orderly fashion through gates, and settle the cattle on new pasture with a minimum of stress.    An outcome like that depended on a lot of things going right, some beyond our control, and some within it.

It’s July/August right now.   This is what our cowboys are doing every day this summer in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming,  Idaho, Montana,  and everywhere else in our Western states where ranches are often measured in the millions of acres.

It works.     We eat meat.     Something is going right.    So far.

 

 

_______________________________________

 

. *   Excerpts these past three days from Badluck Way:  A Year in the Rugged Edge of the West  

by Bryce Andrews,  2014

HANDS

August 11, 2018

Okay,  this posting may be a little gross, so be ye warned.

barbed line

Yesterday I wrote about the country that young Bryce Andrews* drove into  (taking my heart along with him!),   but he went there to work,  not to be a tourist.    He went there to be a cowboy, to work the cattle that feed us  (and  give us other useful products too).

I’ll do Cattle in the next post,  take you right among the herds with Mr. Andrews, but here I want to tell you what I found out about being a cowboy.   Most of a cowboy’s time is  not spent with the cattle,  rounding up cows, keeping them moving,

After you have the cattle put where you want them,  they pretty much take care of themselves for long hours, long days at a time.    You don’t ignore them,  but  your time is taken up with a lot of other tasks.

mon fencing

Keeping pumps repaired, for example,  that bring water to the herd.    You’ve got to be a small-motor man and be able to trouble shoot the little motors that are exposed to the elements and in almost constant use.     You’ve got to be toting salt for the widely scattered salt licks that are so important to keep our cattle (and elk)  alive.     You’ve got to patrol for predators.

Most of all,  your time is taken up with an endless round of fence inspection and repair.  Some fencing is electrical,  but  fences are still mostly barbed wire:

barbed spikes

What takes down fences is age,  storms,  cattle plunging through when they’re panicked, and frequently the elk herds and the moose.

And then you have to know whether to repair broken lines or cut them apart and restring the fences or build them up from scratch,  starting with  the fence posts.

How do you put up a fence post?    With great strength and persistence, a little knack for it, and good luck.

mon postbhole

(That’s not a cowboy in the photo!     You can’t have bare legs in the Western scrub and you can’t go without good, strong boots!)      But you don’t carry a motorized auger  on the saddle of your horse either, so you have to use other tools:  a strong steel pointed mallet,  a heavy hammer,  and once you’ve worked your muscles sore,  then you use a shovel to take out the small broken pieces of stone-hard earth.   And then you pound again. . .

Ever drive in Wyoming or Montana in the summertime?    It’s often  90 degrees or more with a strong, dry enervating wind blowing against you.    And that’s when much of the routine  fence repair occurs, occupying you with long solitary hours,  sunrise to sunset.

Fence building is hard on your body, and it’s hard on your hands.

THE FENCE

(If this gets too long, just skip down to the last quote-box.)

After a hurried lunch, I loaded all sorts of fencing tools into my work truck and headed out to fix a handful of broken H-braces on a fence . . .   An H-brace consist of two upright posts, usually eight feet apart, with a stout rail, spanning the distance between them . . .   An H-brace is pinned together by a pair of heavy spikes which are driven through the posts at each end of the rail . . .

An H-brace is a masterpiece of applied physics.  Properly built, it stands strong as a rock for many decades.  The secret is the wire.   Picture the low H of the brace’s wooden frame.  Upon it superimpose an equally wide X formed of two loops of wire.  One loop connects the lower left and upper right corners, the other angles from lower right to upper left.  At either end,  the loops are secured to the posts with fencing staples.

What he isn’t telling right now is the strength it takes for a man to work these “heavy” tools, post staple guns, the stout and  heavy parts of the wooden frame, and the strength it takes to position and move these fence parts around.

And then he sees the fence line that needs to be redone:

For the most part, I could tell very quickly how long digging posts would take and how difficult it would be.    If the shovel,   when stabbed down, slid into the ground a few inches with a satisfying crunch,  the dirt was cooperative,.   If on the other hand, it clanged like an off-pitch bell and bounced back through my hands, hard hours were in the offing.

. . .  I stomped on the shovel, giving it all I had to little avail.   A spasm of all-out work yielded just a six-inch crater around the old post.   I looked down  the fence line at the rotten, shattered braces that needed to be dismantled,  dug out, and replaced.  I was in for a long afternoon.

Setting aside my shovel,   I pulled a rock bar from the back of my truck.   A simple, brutish tool, made for unforgiving soil . . .  it was a heavy steel rod, six feet long and tipped at one end with a flat, tempered blade that looked like an oversized screwdriver.   The blade was used for shattering rock and dry compacted earth into pieces that could be shoveled out.

The rock bar was never fun to use.   It weighed twenty pounds and tended to peel the skin from my palms with shocking efficiency.  I beat steel against embedded stone until they broke or loosened, mining downwards.

The first hole took an  hour . . .

He inserted the post, part of the H-brace,  then stapled the barbed wire to the posts,  then strung loops of wire by sticking a piece of wood about two feet long,  twisting it in circles until the wires began to twist around each other, pulling the barbed wire lines taut  . . .

That’s working in close contact with the barbed wire!  When he was learning the job,  his hands and arms were all cut and bloody,   but he  noted that the more experienced man next  to him had no bleeding cuts from the barbs, only old scars.

 

The HANDS:

But then, after this day’s work, he walks back to his truck, and as he goes in, he first gazes at the beautiful open land stretching out to the horizon before him .

After drinking in deeply from it, I noticed my hands were stained an unnatural yellow.   Sweat had mobilized whatever noxious chemical was used to tan my gloves and it had stained my skin a dead, unsettling hue.  It worried me, so I flipped my hands over to take a look at my palms.     They looked even worse.      In addition to being yellow, my palms were torn to pieces.  A number of callouses, softened by sweat or the tanning agent,  had torn loose.    The raw, new skin beneath them oozed a clear liquid with a slight reddish tint.   I peeled off the biggest sloughed pieces and threw them in the grass at my feet.

As  I looked down at the jaundiced wreckage of my palms, I felt a strange surge of pride.  These weren’t city boy hands.  They weren’t delicate by a long shot.   From the elbows down, the skin of my arms was covered with a chiaroscuro of barbwire scratches.  The older ones had healed, peeled, and turned a dark, bluish color from the sun.    More recent marks were zippered shut with lines of cracking seals.   A few spots, either sliced open today or bumped hard enough to reopen, were smeared with small patches of freshly dried blood. . . .

 

This is the life of a cowboy.   Strong,  hardy,  solitary,  hard-working, rightly proud.     He has earned his self-respect.

So, see what I mean?    I love to drive through Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.   I drive through easily, as a tourist,  inspired and spiritually elevated by the scenery,   making a few stops here and there,   but quite aware that I don’t belong to this land.     These young men do.

mon steak

And think on these young cowboys when you have your next hamburger or that big, juicy steak,  tender, full of flavor,  marbled miraculously with good tasty fat.

And next time I’ll tell you about how the cattle got that way.

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVELING FROM HOME

August 11, 2018

Mon vista

I got away to Montana this week.        So to speak.

_______________________________________________________

After I voted, as described in the last post,  it seems I heard a lot of “voting” stories –  too many;  too much confusion;  too much arguing.   Not from the people I know;  not anywhere around me.  But on the public airwaves, as we used to say.  All the media gleefully created as much noisy controversy as possible from this year’s Primary elections.

I needed quiet.    Turning off the radio and Internet news helped.  And so did a certain book.

I didn’t realize it,  but after being told I couldn’t travel very far  this summer (to avoid the development of more pulmonary embolisms)   there developed an “ache” in me, deep down where I hardly think about it, but it’s there.    I ache for the traveling I’m missing.

Mon hwys

I love the Open Road.  Two hands on the wheel and wide open horizons stretching out in front of me and no reason to stop the car for a very long time.   Openness.  Freedom.   Beauty.

There is scenery so vast that it takes your breath away as you round a  curve or come over a rise and the land drops away further than you can see.

 

mon rock

 

After I turned away from all the entertainment-news media this week,  just by luck I picked up a book from my shelves that took me out to the Open Roads that I’m missing so much.     It takes place in Montana.  A young man becomes a cowboy.

Mon ranch

Fortunately he has a talent for describing his first year out there in Montana.   He describes the world I only see through my windshield as I drive past — but he belongs there and can tell what it’s like from the “inside” of all that scenery.

The young man left his home in Seattle,  packed his truck with a few things,  scuffed his new cowboy boots so they wouldn’t look so new,  and headed east on I-90 to go out into the West where his new  job was waiting.

Ahead,  the horizon was wide and empty and the sky a clear blue.   I sped through  wheat fields and orchards . . .   and crossed into Montana by way of the Idaho panhandle.  By four in the afternoon I was at the foot of Norris Hill.   If Norris Hill were someplace flatter  than southwest Montana,  it wouldn’t even be considered a mountain.  Out here, though, it’s unremarkable and probably wouldn’t even merit a name if it weren’t for the fact that Highway 287 climbs it to a saddle from which the whole Madison Valley is visible.

The view on the far side is distracting enough to cause a wreck.  I pulled to the edge of the road to take it in.  Two mountain ranges strike south from  the hill, keeping roughly parallel to each other.   In the foreground they are at least  ten miles apart, but father off the ranges bend inward, pinching off the valley like an hourglass waist.    Though the valley is symmetrical in shape, the mountains that flank it could not be more different.

On the east side the Madisons leap suddenly toward the blue sky.    Sharp, sheer, and rocky . . .  from the top of Norris Hill they look like a solid wall with broken shards of glass along the top. . .  forming a line of glinting canine teeth.

(On the other side of the valley are)  the Gravellies, a many shouldered swelling of the  earth.  The  fallen-down range humps up from the floodplain grass rising into a maze of timbered ridges, flecked from top to bottom with open meadows of various sizes.

Rangeland begins where the foothills end, and the valley is wide enough to hold an ocean of grass.      From atop the Norris Hill the landscape resolves into a series of descending benches, regular enough to look from a distance like a massive green-carpeted staircase connecting the mountain to the rivers.

The most striking part of it all was the Madison River, which reflected the afternoon sun and drew a golden line through the heart of the valley.  Curving smoothly  across the floodplain like a snake navigation stony ground,  the river issues from the south end flanked on either side by dark thickets of willow . . .

Mon WY

 

So,  this is the country the young man is driving into.    It makes for difficult reading — unless you’ve ever driven through it and  past it.    But it gets more interesting:

“Hands”  come next,  what happens to your hands when you do the work.

And then the cattle.  Working the cattle.

But I’m not going to do the wolves. . . .

 

And the name of the book is Badluck Way.  The author is Bryce Andrews.

VOTING FOR SUBSIDIARITY

August 7, 2018

Subsidiarity:    Getting things done on the smallest, most local units of government.

________________________________________________________

Kind of silly,  but I got my little sticker:

Vo sticker

I decided that since I have to rack up Steps anyway  on my pedometer,  that I’d walk to the voting place.   It was a hot,  muggy day,  with a rainstorm pending,  but  I wanted those Steps.

And I enjoyed the walk.  Gave me time to think and to look around.

Vo Blue Flowers

I love those blue flowers — or weeds.  Nobody grows them in their gardens,  so they must be weeds.   Some day I’ll stop and dig some up and plant them in my yard.   Maybe I’ll be sorry,  but if they’re really weeds, they’re awfully pretty.

It’s just short of a  mile-long walk along a country road.    I was really hoping they still had us vote in the same place as in the bigger elections, or else it would be a long walk for nothing.  I had plenty of time to think about that too.

Vo sign

Very glad to finally  see that sign up ahead!

For a very small population,  it looked like there was a good turnout.

VO parking

 

I entered, registered,  showed my photo ID and got my ballot:

Vo ballot

There it is.  Not too much.   Easy and uncomplicated.

As I left, I asked one of the precinct workers if there had indeed been a good turnout and she brightened up and said, “Oh, yes,  about twice as many as we expected!”

Apparently that was the case today in a small precinct in Georgia.  They had only 276 registered voters for today.  Must have had a good turnout.   They counted 670 ballots.    That reminds me of the various Pennsylvania precincts in 2012 where 102%  and 112%  and 106%  etc.  of the population voted.   (And strangely, on the record,  all voted for one person:  the Barack-Hussein person!)

Georgia is a place that doesn’t require voter ID and voting is all electronic, with no paper trail.

(In reading about voting machines today,  I came across this little item:  In Las Vega,  ALL  gambling machines are required to submit their software that runs the machines to state authorities,  the state gambling commission.     But nowhere in America is it required to submit voting machine software to any oversight authority.  You might want to check the owners of the three voting machine companies.)

After I voted,  I went to see a movie.   It was a good one to see on this day when Americans exercise their rights as free citizens.  The movie was  Death of a Nation.

vo death poster

 

How does a nation “die”?     Either (1)  by attack and defeat from outside forces, or (2)  implosion from within when the nation forgets its founding principles.

I’ve studied history for a long time;  history major in my university days and an abiding interest in history . . .  I did not find one inaccuracy or  false statement in the whole movie, but maybe I respect Abraham Lincoln a teeny tiny bit now.

I especially enjoyed the short segment about the White Rose in Germany in the 1940s:

vo the white rose

True story.  Lovely young lady who decided to lead a truth campaign against the National Socialists in her country.  She and her brother and friends printed leaflets with information about what they were really doing.  Hitler’s government had her killed, as we see in a rather harrowing guillotine scene.

And then, the movie showed us her gravestone.  Sophie Scholl.  1923 – 1945.     She is now an example of what “one person” can do in the face of socialism/fascism/progressivism which threatens free people everywhere it rises up.

These three Far Left threats propose a powerful Central State which governs all aspects of society.     Most notably,  the State controls and regulates all business and industry,  controls and “manages”  education and the dispensing of information, and is in charge of healthcare.     It is the State which gives (or withholds)  rights to a person, who is merely part of the “collective.”

All this is the very opposite of the principle of Subsidiarity where the God-given rights of the individual are recognized and individual citizens have the freedom to govern themselves.

I’m glad I could vote today.     Freely and without fear.

 

 

WHY I’M VOTING TODAY

August 7, 2018

vote sign

I’ll confess.   I haven ‘t voted in very many primary elections in  my life.   I’ve never missed a presidential election and I haven’t missed many “mid-term” elections,   but the primaries?

I don’t know,    maybe my attitude was   “Why study candidates and take the time to vote when the person I voted for may not even be on the next ballot?”      And:   “Let them decide for me who is going to be on the ballot, then I’ll look at those candidates.”

Well, that last sentence is exactly what got me motivated to vote today.   I want to participate in who’s going to be voted for in November.     I ought to.

As an American citizen,  I ought to.  That’s the first reason.

The second reason is that with the  news media  (the entertainment-news media)  working harder and harder to divide Americans into two or three political/social spectrums,  whipping up violent words and actions against  those who are not “progressive”  like they are,   and, plus,   the almost total saturation of media with political views,    it has become easy to know which side of the fence you’re sitting on.

Like me.    Now I know for sure:  

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v charter

Written by a convicted traitor to the United States

I will vote against any candidate who promises to make the United States conform to the “sustainability”  mandates of the United Nations, or other foreign, global entities.

v soldiers

UN soldiers enforcing  anti-United States, anti-Freedom ,  anti-Religious policies around the world

 

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v soc needs fistsSocialism needs fists and anger

I will vote against any candidate who promises to promote socialism in any form in our government;    that is,  any candidate who acts and believes that the State can solve all our problems,  without  creating policies that allow us, the people,  to pursue our own form of Happiness,   be it employment,  choice of career, what to believe,   where and how to live,  what to own,  how we raise our children, etc.         (State-mandated solutions will inevitably lead to socialist extremes of Fascism and Communism.)

vote forward

Democratic “Socialism”

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I will vote against any candidate who proudly states they will promote sex-identity confusion  (‘gender’ confusion, as it’s erroneously called) in our schools, our medical world,  our public face.

Then there is the problem of gross immorality promoted by those who have taken over our culture, according to the instructions and mandates of Marx, Engels,  Lenin,  Alinsky, etc.     These people knew that they must destroy morality and the family in order to weaken and confuse citizens,  who will then look to the State to fix the resulting problems.   Read their actual writings concerning this program.

v queens

Teaching our children in libraries and schools

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I will vote against any Hate candidate.   And that would be any candidate who aligns himself with hatred-sponsored actions, especially that Hate focused on our president and on anyone to the right of the political aisle.      It isn’t left-right;  it isn’t Republican-Democrat;  it  is exaggerating,  lying, propagandizing,  distorting  for the purpose of hating anyone who differs politically from these people.  Remember in the 1990s when the “Politics of Personal Destruction”  was perfected?

vote and keep calm

(The politics of Hate)

 

Oh.    Yes.      It looks like I have a lot to vote for    I want to do my small part in saving my country from hatred and extremism and global dominance and  censorship and socialism and immorality.

 

Is my one little vote going to make a difference?    Not in the great scheme of things.  Philosophically,  maybe esoterically,  yes:  “all votes count.”    But down to the everyday practical level,  the answer is no, not much.   But at least I can cancel out the vote cast by a hater or a globalist or a progressive or someone who is promoting immoral behavior –  that great menace which weakens any nation.

“I regret that I have but one life  (vote)  to give to my  country.”      (young man, Nathan Hale)

Let us not vote this year to continue the attempted “Transformation of  the America”  that Nathan hale and so many others fought for.

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Personal Updates

August 5, 2018

When you’re old, old, old, old like me — well,  this is the oldest I’ve ever been anyway —  you kind of want everything settled and everyone in their place.   You don’t mind a little kerfluffle now and then,  but these last three months . . .  my goodness!

So,  just to make a record in The Spruce Tunnel,   here are some updates for my family and friends before I can go on to other topics.   Let me see if I can give an accounting of everyone:

In no special order,  I’ll start with Cooper.     Not too many hours ago today,  Cooper was on the Staten Island Ferry,* and on his way to the Statue of Liberty.

Cooper on Ferry 300

Don’t mind the squint.   He’s got light blue-gray-hazel eyes and the sun is very bright.  He’s also just returned from a several day spelunking tour and hopefully enjoyed the deep dark caves of eastern America.    Can’t wait to get a letter from him describing the caves!

Cooper apparently made it out to the Statue.     His daddy asks the question:  “Where’s Waldo?

Cooper tiny 330

That’s my “tiny little’ grandson in front of the Statue of Liberty.   Or is that a camera trick?

Daughter is vacationing in New York City too, along with Cooper and Daddy,  so that side of my little family is all happy and accounted for.       That’s fine with me!

Now, Son . . .

se us

Son is somewhere on that map,   having left Florida yesterday and on his way home  here in the Far North.     But I don’t know his route.  His texts are  not too specific.    All I know is that it took  not 3 1/2 hours,  but about 7 hours for him to go one-half inch up the eastern coast of Florida yesterday.   Apparently there are some pretty nice beaches along the way.

I am glad for him.  He’s had a lot on his mind, a lot to worry about, a lot of decisions to make, a lot of new people to meet, a lot of tasks . . .  and now he is alone for three days  in a pretty nice car,   beautiful scenery,  only his own thoughts to guide him.    He’ll be fine.

Nancy and Dusty 90  Dusty:     This has been a 3 or 4 month long concern,  but Nancy’s horse has finally found a new home.    I’m a bit confused because it doesn’t sound today like he’s going to the same place people talked about yesterday;  but although the destination is different,  both locations are described as “wonderful”  places for a horse with caring people . . . .   I hope everyone is as happy as Dusty will be.   He will be just fine now.

 

Our young friend M.       —

5/24/11 Aerials of UM Campus and Hospital and Ann Arbor area.

This week I took her to a big university hospital where they are supposed to know everything and be able to do everything.    They don’t.    And they didn’t.

M preop 330

She was patient #1595201 on the board.  All for nothing.  They went in – and they went  back out.

My young friend M.  is back to square one and rather beyond disappointed.   We have to wait.  Wait and see.    Wait and see what the medical industry will do to her.   And I’m very scared for her too.   Son and I and all her friends stand by her.  We hope and pray she’ll be fine.

 

The bat and the bird.     Well, I took care of their possible entry point:

Fireplace Screen

A little duct tape and some metal screen.    Okay, a guy would probably smack his forehead and say,  Why on earth . . .?         But it works for me.    There was about a 3/4 inch gap between the fireplace insert and the fireplace opening.  Now there isn’t.   I have peace of mind and I don’t have any birds and bats tonight.    That’s just fine with me.

 

Me.    Update on me?      Well,  I still covet your “butterflies.”    Or else I won’t be here to give you any more updates.     I read today ** that when Jesus walked this earth,  He lived His holy life for our benefit;    He lives today for our benefit.     He did miracles of healing back then;  and His miracles of healing  still exist for our benefit.    Because Jesus is also the Son of God,   True God and True Man,   His goodness and love and power are not confined to any one generation,  but are here, now, present for us all.

If prayers surround a person like graceful little butterflies,   then I too am just fine.

 

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.*  If you’re from New York and  I got the name of that Ferry wrong, well,  sorry,  I’m just an Out Of Towner —   Pretty good movie!

Out of towners

 

.**      From  “Christ in His Mysteries  by Dom Columba Marmion   (A very valuable and highly recommended book.  I wish I could buy all of you a copy!)

BAT, BIRD, AND BUTTERFLIES

August 4, 2018

 

Spooky stuff  tonight. 

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Is there really such a thing as signs and “messages”  that portend the future?  Should I file this under Humor?   Or perhaps  “Horatio”?  *

Several weeks before Hubbie died  a few years ago I was awake in the middle of the night,  just thinking about things in the dark.     Suddenly a “formation” of three very  dark birds  appeared and flew very rapidly right past me.    Now,  that seemed impossible,  but it also seemed like an actual vision and a vision that portended something.

As I said,  several weeks later Hubbie died,  unexpectedly sooner than everyone thought.

 

Just a few weeks ago I arrived home from Florida.   A little tense and worried after taking care of my very sick sister during June and then a long, long drive home —  and not feeling too well.

And then, to make matters worse  —

bat

—  as I was lying in bed waiting for sleep to come,  out of the corner of my eye it seemed  that something moved.     And then it swooped by again,  making a perfect circle over my bed.  It was a bat!    Probably.    It didn’t flutter up and down like a bat and the sound of its wings was very loud,  but it was live and flying.  It was a bat in the house.

I ducked under the covers for a little while,  long enough to think about a bat we had once before,  thirty years ago!,    and thinking “It’s a BAT,  not a BIRD.”   No evil omen here.  No portent of death.

Soon I made a dash out of the  bedroom,  dragging a quilt with me, and stationed myself in the bathroom with the door closed and the light on all night.     By morning light there was no more sign of the bat,  but I was on high alert.

During the  next several days I had my hospital adventure and then spent time  at Son’s house and by the time I returned home I had almost forgotten  the bat.

My sister died two weeks after I first saw the  bat.

 

Last night, I was standing in my kitchen, next to my table,  looking over things before I went to bed.     As I stood there, seemingly out of nowhere  another “bat”  (I think)  flew towards me and then made a perfect circle over the table and disappeared into the next room (I think).

bird

I yelled, ‘No !  Not again!”    and ran around a little,  got a blanket to hide under, and turned off the lights and opened the sliding glass doors to the deck.    I sat (under the blanket)   and watched in the dim light to see if the bat would fly outside.   After ten minutes — and a bigger fear of raccoons or other critters walking in — I closed the door and went to bed behind closed doors.,

But —   I remembered that this bird didn’t fly quite like a bat either.  Or else it was a very big one.  And its wings fluttered loudly.    It seemed more like a solid gray color,  not black,.     It just came so close to me that I couldn’t think clearly.   It could have been a bird that had somehow come into the house . . . .   And maybe it flew out when I had the door open.

But I got the impression that the circular flight right in front of me was deliberate — like I was supposed to see that.

No sign of the bird today, and t doesn’t even feel like it could be in here anymore.  But . . .

Now what?

 

 

butterflies

Well, now a good word:       Tragedy has struck our family, bad health news for many of us,  family and close friends.      These things happen.  They’re difficult,  but they happen to all of us fellow-humans.    For those of you who have helped us with your prayers,  I give you a heartfelt thanks.

One abiding request for prayer has been my own health;  healing . .  .  sometimes when things get dark and uncertain,  there is a feeling of something “fluttering”  around me,  just out of my range of knowledge,  but it’s there, nevertheless.     It feels soft and benevolent and spiritual.   It could be your  prayers,  around me,  fluttering like the soft wings of sweet little butterflies.

Of course that’s fanciful.    But it’s good.  It’s a good way to  say that I believe in your prayers and I can almost feel the effects of your prayers.      God will hear.   He will hear because e are all connected.

An ongoing thank you  and Deo gratias.

 

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Where the natural world intersects with supernatural thoughts:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

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