Archive for the ‘Freedom’ category

March 28, 2017

winking
(I hope I didn’t melt any Snowflakes in that previous posting ) 

I really was just musing about how important that “warrior” spirit is to building up and maintaining a  ccivilization.      Included in that term “warrior spirit”  is a very high system of ethics and morality,  without which warriors would devolve into barbaric free-for-alls.   Might makes right, etc.

In a nice serendipitous point on our calendar,  we are directed today to look at St. Gontran.   I never heard of him.  (Or I probably read about him before as I cycle through the yearly saints – I simply don’t remember him.)

St Gontran de Bourgpgne
In that last post,   I had just referenced my study of Merovingian kings,  and here is one for today!    Gontran was the son of that first great Merovingian king,  Clovis, a pagan Frankish warrior  who converted to his wife’s Christianity to save his life in battle  and then went on, with God’s help,  to establish a stable Frankish kingdom which contributed to the development of Western Civilization as we  know knew it.

His son, Gontran, was raised Catholic from  birth and probably had an even  better understanding of Christianity than his father.    He was devoted to Christ,  and when grown was given the land of Bourgogne to rule,  that is,  the big area we call Burgundy,  which played such an important role in our  history.

St Gontran king of lotsA dignified and respected leader, King Gontran

Although King Gontran has an interesting biography,  I’ll just give you this partial  summary   from  Butler’s . . .  “The prosperity of his reign,  both in peace and in war,  condemns those who think that human policy cannot be modeled by the maxims of the Gospel,  whereas, in reality,  nothing can render a government more flourishing.  . . .  He was the protector of the oppressed and a tender parent of his subjects.     He gave the greatest attention to the sick.   He fasted, prayed, wept, and offered himself to God night and day  . . .    He was a severe punisher of crimes . . .   and by many wholesome regulations he restrained the barbarous licentiousness of his troops.”   He lived to 68 years of age, after reigning for 31 years –  a great long life span!

Note that this freedom from the godless barbarism of the day came with the application of the Christian notion of the warrior of high moral conscience.   Fighting for what is right.      Only a people who are willing to be free and who are willing to defend their freedom will be free.

Now, today,  as we saw,  that warrior spirit is on beer bottle labels.    Or we put our warriors in the land of make-believe and give them  imaginary, unrealistic and superhuman faculties, confining them to  movies or games.     If  warrior spirits dare to emerge in elementary schools,  we suspend those young boys.   Even if their “weapon” is a munched-on Pop-Tart!  College males go around apologizing for who they are.   We’re content to come home from work or school,  kick off our shoes,  and rest in an electronically induced somnolence, while our Rulers silently consolidate their power over us.

deep

Again,  freedom isn’t free.   Freedom didn’t come to us for free.    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”   Not just a sentimental phrase from history.  And though we don’t know for sure who first stated it,  the truth of the matter is that  we won’t keep our freedom without paying a price.     Perhaps we only need to pay attention – and do our duty appropriate to our station in life and to the circumstances around us.

Perhaps we’ll be called on to do more.

Not necessarily with battle-axe and sword.

So,  I’m not sure,   but it would seem that  if a  foreign “warrior spirit”  threatens our freedoms or even our very existence, . . .

Slay and Butcher

        . . .    then it ought to be matched by an equal or great warrior spirit coming from us.

Unless our culture is suicidal.

History will record . . . .

EITHER/OR

February 23, 2017

 

Well,   they do have that right  —

freedom-to-hell

It’s either Freedom  —  for all of us.

Or it’s an  inevitable development of Hell on earth.

Either/or.

______________________________________

Or maybe the Swedes would understand it this way:

a-reason-for-this-from-gates-of-vienna

abba-jpg-cr   in case you forgot their name.*   Happy,  young Swedish singers.

But it’s either/or  in Sweden now.

__________________________________

 

This photo is from Gates of Vienna,  a Website that keeps us informed about the dangers I was talking about in the last post.      I shall have to re-do my links at the right some day soon, get us up to date with today’s issues.

 

 

 

DEJA VU HISTORY – 15th CENTURY –

January 31, 2017

First,  a  little Rant –

“Deja vu all over again” ??   No!  I’m not going to state that culturally -imposed knee-jerk reaction which trivializes the actual (quite rare) phenomena.

“He who is ignorant of history is condemned to repeat it...” ??    No!    We hear that so often that we’re oblivious to its serious meaning.

But humans are always humans and similar events do come up again and we should learn from those who  lived before we do,  because they really lived in this world and gained experience.

It is arrogance, narcissism, and hubris to reject what they have learned;  and it is criminal negligence for government schools to keep a knowledge of history from us and to pass on a version of history that was rewritten by current political ideology.

bar-fancy-line

So.  Now.    I’ll just be matter-of-fact.      Factual.

It was my intention to re-study the 16th century because I know I’ll have to answer many questions about it  during this fateful year of multiple anniversaries, one of which is 1517, the reputed beginning of the “Reformation. ”

(Book recommendation:   “The Unintended Reformation”    by  Brad S. Gregory.)

But I needed to know some background and I got “stuck” in the 15th century –  an amazing and interesting century all over Europe  (anyone familiar with Game of Thrones?),  but unfortunately  a century with familiar circumstances to us in the 21st.

Let’s just do Spain.     After repeated attacks, robberies, knifings,  killings,  banditry,  political assassinations, courtroom disruptions committed by the Moors who were resident in Spain,    it became clear that Spanish citizens, the “indigenous” people of Spain,  were presented with life-and-death danger every day.

The Moors claimed Spain for their worldwide Caliphate and wanted to re-start their war of conquest.   The Moors were the “conquistadores,” so to speak against  the Spanish people.

If this was your home,  you were somewhat safe:

guadamur-castle

But if you had to travel somewhere,  or if your  home was a smaller “suburb” or remote village, or if you were a farmer,   then you faced death or capture and forced slavery and conversion to the Moorish religion.    (We call it Islam today.)

(By the way,  for those of you who have learned the re-written version of history,   the truth is that the Church forbade forced conversions to the Catholic faith.  In writing.   In documents.   All over the world.     And the penalty for those who tried it was excommunication from the Church.  And many were.   The real Church teaches that you don’t force anyone to become Catholic. )

But the Moors did force Christians to convert, according to what is written in their book.

So here is the likeness between that time and ours:     As more and more protective laws were developed in 15th century Spain,   restricting the movement of the Moors,  more and more Moors pretended conversion to the Catholic faith.    It’s in their  book that you can do that if it advances the cause.

images-rejected

I doubt if many 15th century Moors ever understood the images in this painting.   I’m sure many   Moors were repulsed by it,  including some converts.

Many more Christians were killed because of these new “Christians”  being given the same  advantages as the Christian Spanish citizens.

So now in today’s news, I read:   Because the Previous President issued some orders to detain certain people from certain countries and because the Current President has decided enforce those orders,   the entertainment-news media  (in America and in Europe)  are announcing that President Trump is “banning Muslims from entering the United States.”

A falsehood, of course,  but believed by people in those certain countries.    And so, according to some news today,  many Muslims are converting to the Christian faith in order to enter the United States.

Is there anyone in the world who will doubt the sincerity of all these conversions?     All of them?     All?      

Of course not.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know that this was a successful strategy used in the past by other “converts”  and dangerous to the citizens of the target nation?

. . . .

safe-home

My loved ones and I don’t live in a safe home, like this.

And we’re not protected by soldiers looking out for us, like this:

safe-soldiers

But those who have declared themselves to be enemies of the United States are coming . . .

invading-not-migrating

. . .    by the hundreds of thousands.

And some of these have declared their intentions.

islam-willl-dominate-cr

“. . .the WORLD.”

“Freedom can go to hell” ??        Freedom is a Western value.

Deja vu?   Once upon a time there was a mindset to protect Western values:

fight

The Catholic Church has said that every nation has a right to protect itself, its citizens,  its borders and culture.    Every nation has a right to exist.

I hope indeed that this part of history repeats itself.

 

IT IS OF THEE I SING

July 3, 2016

Time to get ready for the Fourth of July Celebration.  Our National holiday.

Our NATION:

Amber 380

So much beauty to celebrate!   So much bounty to celebrate.     So much hard work and reaping the fruit of our labors to celebrate!  so much freedom!

Until recently, Americans were free to speak out what people have known for much more than a thousand years:  Western Values truly are the best, most productive and freedom producing values worthy of the dignity of each individual human.   Well, somebody said something like that more succinctly than I just did –  but we mean the same thing.

The American “Experiment,”  as it used to be called,  is surely the sum total and crystallization of all those Western values,  and it has produced citizens who are free to determine their own destiny and a nation which has enriched the world with its productivity, and inventiveness.

It’s still all true,  but as I said,  we’re a bit fearful to speak that right out loud right now.   Enemies show us only our faults, and then exaggerate them as though we are characterized by our faults.

I was thinking about that today as I was experiencing a “strange”  alien-type of church today.   My body wouldn’t fall asleep last night, and this morning I was sick and tried to go to my usual place to adore the Living God — but I had to turn back and go home.   Phoooey.     And then I had to go to this substitute place  —  uh …  theologians in the future can work out whether or not I made an okay decision. . . .

But here was their Sunday bulletin cover:

July 3 front piece

They had it all!  

These are the concepts that built up a great nation!

This church even sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee . . .”     (Sweet Land of Liberty . . .)

Second stanza, towards the end – you know the tune:  (these were not naively dumb people who passed these words down to us;  they  knew reality) –

America, America,

God mend thy every flaw

Confirm they soul

In self-control

And liberty in law.

Whew!  Imagine!     Our grandparents and great-grandparents, and on back,  the ones who brought us into this world,  knew that America did have, does have, and would have flaws.     Flaws which could be mended only with reference to God,  because the flaws are that kind of defect, and if we don’t allow God to mend these flaws,  these flaws will become fatal.   Fatal flaws.    O  God,  mend them.

“Confirm thy soul.”     Those who came before us knew that there is more to America than material matters.   Material simplicity or material prosperity –  either way there is  an American soul above and beyond material matters.

In just three generations we went from getting across our fields with a horse to getting to our moon with a rocketship.    And I suspect the American farmer had the same values as our American inventors and scientists and astronauts.

Moon walk

May God confirm the goodness of our soul, the song says.      And how?

In the virtue of “self-control.”     Confirm our soul in the light of truth, sobriety, prudence, wisdom, and self-control.

And our “liberty”?   Liberty is a good idea –  an ideal – but an ideal goal only.   Liberty is not a given.  Our Founding Fathers told us we had to be vigilant, lest we lose it because we can lose it.

So,  O God,  confirm our Liberty too.   How?  With our laws.   We are a nation of laws . . .  not the laws of a king or a dictator who tells us he has “a pen and a cell phone”  and can sign into “law”  any un-American edict that he wants to impose on us.

Instead,   we have a Constitution to guide those laws.

A miracle may be the work of the power of God,  but God  nearly always seeks out human beings who are alert and actively  looking for that miracle.   If you take time to refresh your patriotic knowledge this weekend,  you will understand a little more of how much of a miracle America is  (was).

The book called The 5,000 Year Leap  is subtitled:   A  Miracle That Changed The World.

That’s us!   That is (was)  us.     Is, I hope.    It probably takes as much effort to get onto the moon as it does to hold on to the Western values which gave us liberty and prosperity.  The author begins his book with the remark that it’s been said that it’s difficult for an artist to distinguish in his paintings a sunrise from a sunset.

leap cover

That’s the book cover.     I don’t know.   Is that sun still rising on us – or setting on us?

 

happy 4th

 

At least I know the sun will rise tomorrow morning!

We’ve got time!

 

 

 

 

A VISUAL FOR PRESIDENT’S DAY

February 15, 2016

Well,   close to George Washington’s Birthday…  close to Lincoln’s Birthday…(But if they don’t want us to look too closely at these American heroes,  they combine the two into some sort of amorphous “every-president-is great- day.) 

Please, my “fellow Americans” –  don’t let them take your heroes away . . . .

Going along with my last posting,  here is a telling picture of George Washington — telling us, that is,  much about the man:

Washington's Prayer

President of the United States of America.

.

PUSH BACK AGAINST SPIN

May 5, 2015

I’m in denial now.   A little spinning of the head;  a  little unspecific sick feeling;  foggy mind;  a body  too tired and sleepy.

butterfly away   Okay, and now a little fever.   Health flees like a bright pretty butterfly that I can’t quite catch up with, because it’s not mine right now.   I can’t write for long,  but I want to say something about something else that is spinning and fleeing. . . .

I start with this statement.   It might be out of logical order, but this is where I’m heading:    If you don’t know the facts, someone else will give you some facts —  and mandate that you believe them.    

And never before have we had such invasive and powerful electronic means to change the beliefs and attitudes of the public.  An example coming up in a minute.

I had brought to you before the principle that Truth is the correlation of the human mind with objective reality.   It’s the cornerstone of greatness and achievement of Western civilization.     Humans were created with the ability  to know truth by means of all the faculties of the intellect. Such things as mathematics, science, technological inventions, the rules of language  are the product of observation and  discovery of a rational, intelligible order in objective reality by the human mind.

All of Creation displays an exquisite beauty of rhythm and order which is intelligible by created humans.

There is, therefore, Truth to discover, and facts are bits and pieces of this process.  We stand on the shoulders of great men who began this discovery long before us, and we are able to choose to expand on their knowledge.   We are able to do so,  and we possibly may do so as long as we value truth over propaganda,   truth over spin,  truth over the “facts” of someone’s agenda.

I gotta go.  I have to go find a flower for Mary…   before my head spins too much.   But here.  Here’s an example which is still spinning in my head right now — and it’s one example of so many —

I heard with astonishment today an audience laughing — on cue at the verbal antics of the Barack Hussein person in our country.   They were laughing with derision and mockery at the rest of us   They were cued to laugh by mean and emotionally-charged  words that mocked a good man, by name,  and good decent Americans in general.  

Laughter, mockery, derision, demonization — all are  tools of an agenda that bullies and intimidates.    The process is written, discussed, taught to young disciples.  It is so successful that it is  used by several groups who are undermining the American culture, because if there is no more of us,  then power goes to them.

We can push back by exposing this process:  recognizing it and then speaking out, gently, according to your own personality — but speaking out, nevertheless.

I wouldn’t want to submit this post to any of my comp. and rhet. professors — but I think I know what I was getting at:    If you don’t know the facts, someone else will give you some facts —  and mandate that you believe them.   

As  an American citizen whose Freedom is assured by our Constitution, who’s in control of what you believe?

Who’s messing with your mind?

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT — PUSH BACK

May 4, 2015

map zone

I hesitate to do this, but I’m so full of words about the assassination attempt last night in Texas, that I must get them written down, because this issue directly illustrates my Push Back theme.
First of all,  for the timid, the truth is:      Disagreement is not hate speech.    You have a right to disagree, and you have a right to turn away in disgust when those you disagree with call you haters or phobics of one thing or another.      Discourse ends with name calling.
Secondly,  we must bore down to the truth of the matter:     Calling something a “provocation”  does not mean it is provocation.     If you yell Fire!  in a crowded theater,  maybe it’s because the theater is on fire.
So.   Do you know why that freedom of speech rally was held in that town in Texas and in that auditorium?
It’s because that auditorium was used for an Islamic convention  a few months ago,  January 19, 2015, promoting Islamist  laws and culture.   In May, the AFDI  (American Freedom Defense Initiative) chose that location to specifically  draw attention to and  discuss  attacks on free speech — in that one place where  laws against free speech were recently supported.

Those who were watching the Islamist rally in January,  those who were there protesting the attack on our cultural values, saw a “theater” that is indeed catching fire.
So, yes,  free speech is under attack in this country by three specific groups.    The attacks take the form of death, loss of employment,  loss of personal property or funding, loss of reputation, and loss of a sense of personal freedom and safety — and loss of the right to pass on our values to our schoolchildren.   That’s just in America.
What are the three groups who have been most reported to attack people who publicly disagree with them?   One group is composed of the —  (politically correct to say radical or extreme)   — the extreme Islamists.
So,  yes:  the Islamist attempt to carry out punishments for their blasphemy laws here in the United States is a big provocation!   It should arouse all of us to some sort of Push Back,  wherever our talents lie,  even if it is just stating the truth to one another.
And, yes.   Certain leftists showcased by the media say the AFDI  meeting  was a provocation.  They just meant the victims were doing the provoking.     (You may look up the Latin word for “left.”  heh heh – just a coincidence. )     According to some on the Left,  the victims provoke.  The victims deserve it.
By the way,  the AFDI  last night also hosted an award ceremony for the “best”  cartoon featuring Mohammed in a drawing.   I kind of liked this one:

now that you've
But the one that won shows a cartoonist’s hand drawing Mohammed and Mohammad saying “YOU CAN’T DRAW ME!”
And the cartoonist is saying:  “THAT’S WHY I DO!”

No picture here.   But here:      (Cartoon)

A little Push back there,  eh?

Bar wavy

*  the term assassination is usually applied to the murder of leaders of groups, of nations, and of religions. And the two young men who attempted last night’s assassination tweeted out that they wanted to be mujahadeen for Jihad.    And more  (their words):  “The knives have been sharpened and soon we will begin the slaughter…”       Assassination for a cause.

PUSH-BACK: WHAT’S AT STAKE

April 18, 2015

Pardon my absence;  I’ve had a health setback…brief, I hope.    However, if it seems like this is rambling, it’s only because there’s too much information, and this issue has been on my mind for a couple of years — or, in reality,  it began in 1970;  but I’ll start in the present time.

Or maybe not the present….but the 20th century.    Ugh.     Here:

Einstein's warning
I find myself saying out loud once in a while that I despair for our civilization.  I don’t think we’ll get it back,  because the momentum is a downward trajectory that is gaining speed.  And though you may not use the word despair,  I think most of my readers will at least have “some fears” for the future too and maybe wonder what can be done.

In today’s highly politically-charged world,  when we are hoping our leaders will keep society safe and come up with solutions for our problems and complaints,  we can take  Einstein’s warning a step further:

“When the authorities are irresolute,  it is not the people who gain,  it is a small group of radicals who take over.”

As a last resort, it’s up to us.   if the authorities are irresolute,  perhaps  — maybe —  it would help if we are not.  I think that’s what our Founding Fathers meant when they said “The price of Freedom is constant Vigilance.”

What’s at stake is everything we Americans have taken for granted and we have lost, we are losing,  and we will lose.     So these next few posts will be about some things we haven’t been very “vigilant”  about, with maybe some everyday matters in between.

Meanwhile:  “Read Albert Einstein’s  quotation ten times before bed and come back here again to see what he meant.”

(Because it’s not just for Americans,  it’s for everyone who counts on civilization that was formed by and benefits from historical Christendom.)

NYET !!!

February 25, 2015

NYET!

(Ugh.  I hate news days like this.)

NYET!   NYET!   NYET!

Nyet cr

“NYET!”   says Thomas Wheeler,  head of the powerful Government Commission that is going to take over the Internet.    “NYET!  — I am NOT going to answer questions that any  congressman will put to me.  NYET!  I will not meet with them, even though that is their job to do so.  I work for the Dictator — I do not have to answer to anyone else!”

Khrushchev and shoe“We have our role model and our example.   He pounded his shoe on the podium and predicted that we all will BURY you Americans.”

Heh heh.

Yes!  to Top Down Global Socialist Dictatorship!

NYET!  to you Americans.

flag dont-tread1

Where are the  Congressmen with their walking canes ready to beat this guy over the head until he runs away in shame?   (Just a little fact-based historical joke, there.)

Maybe I’m going to miss the free Internet more than I thought I would.

 

MLK DAY: SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE?

January 19, 2015

I thought I should make a little comment about Saint Martin’s Day today.    (Now, you know the difference between the Left and the Right lies in the sense of humor to be found in one and not the other, right?)

So,  with that said and with a little help from Patriot Post,  here is my bewildered comment on today’s holiday.

mlk

 

In my opinion, he was a courageous man,  whatever history reveals about him.   May we have more Americans with courage.

 

GUM CONTROL FOR TODAY

January 9, 2015

From a letter written by George Washington: “But if we are to be told by a foreign power … what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.”    (a thank you to The Patriot Post)

Sarcastic humor like I used in the last post is an extreme form of humor, strong and aggressive.   It’s never good to use against a person;  but it sometimes helps when you make a point against an issue.
And this issue is a serious one, with our independent existence at stake.  And what is that “foreign power”  that Washington spoke about in the above quotation?  In our day it’s not hard to find:

From a recent article entitled: CANADA REFUSAL TO SIGN U.N. SMALL ARMS TREATY SPARKS DEBATE, and then an American commenter (not my words):

Canada refused to sign the UN small arms treaty.       We did.
Wait a minute.
Aren’t we the ones with the Second Amendment?
What did our Rulers do to American citizens that Canada refused to do to their citizens?

So read again those words by George Washington:

 “But if we are to be told by a foreign power
… what we shall do, and what we shall not do,
we have Independence yet to seek, 
and have contended hitherto for very little.”     

This is NOT “American History”!   Here is a news article from today’s pile of news:

 For people to be able to enjoy their “Second Amendment Rights”, Attorney General Eric Holder proposed to a House subcommittee that Americans should have to wear “gun-tracking bracelets” in order to “lawfully” discharge a firearm in the future.

“I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, the Vice President  and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe”, Holder stated to the subcommittee.

Holder went on to say, “By making them either through finger print identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.”

I don’t understand that last sentence;  perhaps the words got garbled by the recorder.  But the meaning is there.  The threat is there.    Want to wear an RFID bracelet if you are a gun owner?    And notice that the words “Second Amendment Rights”  is put in quotation marks –  by the newspaper reporter!

In all of Christendom,   individuals have had the right to protect themselves,   to protect their families,   and to protect their property.   And in Christendom, remember,  the laws of the Christian nations were harmonized with Christian principles, and  our God-given, unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

A nation throws off Christianity at its own peril.

(Yes,   just “Imagine,”  Mr.  John Lennon —   But, sadly,  we don’t even have to imagine anymore;  we have the example of the 20th century  world leaders without “religion.”)

Disclaimer, maybe:    I don’t own  gum to put in my hand.

CUBAN UPDATE

December 23, 2014

No photos.   You can imagine a picture of desperate faces yourself.

Just two posts ago I wrote about the tragic failure of some Cuban refugees in their attempt to find sanctuary in America with their relatives who were already here and willing to take them in.
Well, last week,  once again,  a boat load of Cuban refugees attempted to flee to America — and tragically failed.    There were 32 people on board.    They didn’t get too far when a big coast guard boat sent out by the socialist Cuban government began ramming them.  Some were lost at sea.   Some were “saved” and brought back to Cuba.

None had a pen (as in the last post)  but one woman had a telephone. . . .

People hope.  Pray for them.   It’s a problem bigger than us alone.

PURSUING HAPPINESS AND FAILING

December 18, 2014

In the last post I wrote that achieving happiness indirectly makes this a strong and great nation as you pursue your own goals with your own unique likes and dislikes, doing what you do best.    And we find our own unique identities in the context of our families, so building and maintaining strong families is good for us and good for the country.

Sometimes we can understand an idea better when we find out what happens when things don’t work out, and so since “Cuba”  is in the news this week,  I thought I’d remind us about what happened one year when a very young boy and his mother took a perilous journey to come to America to pursue their own happiness with relatives in Florida.

refugees on ocean

Their journey might be only  90 miles long,  but it was taken on a boat-raft sort of contraption like the one pictured above.  Along the way, something terrible happened to it,  and the young boy was found adrift, alone, near our shores,  clinging to the rubber tire portion of the raft.

Hurray!   He was united with his relatives here in Florida.  Right?
His relatives were glad to see him. They took him in,  bought him clothes,  gave him his own bedroom, and had him involved in church and school.   He probably would have grown up  like other American children,  learned to read and write, taken part in school activities,  obtained a car and some spending money when he was a teenager…maybe college and a profession in his future.

Right?

But it didn’t happen that way.   The enemies of the American dream in Cuba and in America,  the ones who think GOVERNMENT gives us our rights and makes us happy,   decided that this little boy should be sent BACK to the land he had fled from,  where the socialist government would take care of him and give him a better life.

Their news-entertainments-media told us that he “belongs” to his father,  he shouldn’t be separated from his father back in Cuba, even though the little boy hadn’t lived with him there.     They searched for the man who was his father, they told him the situation,  told him he wanted his son back, and had him agree to be filmed with his son.   We were told the family would be “re-united” and the little boy would have his whole life taken care of by Cuba’s government.

The reality?   We know now  that the little boy,  Evian Gonzales,  if I remember his name correctly,  was returned to Cuba,  had a couple photo ops with his father,  and then was sent on to the state run government school  where he lived with other children his age, in dormitories, going to their respective homes, if any, every few weeks, sometimes months.

All day long the little children had a few hours of schooling,  and then spent long afternoons working in the fields to take care of crops, including tobacco,  on state-owned land.  In this way the children “earned” their right to all the things the government gave them.

No, there wouldn’t be any American-style family life for the young boy.   He would be warehoused and treated like many other children in tight socialist-style societies.  He would not have great medical care.  He would not have much education.   He would not have much freedom to pursue “happiness”  for himself nor for his family, which he probably has by now.

And he would be given NO freedom to pursue a relationship with his own Creator.

So much better when the government decides what makes you happy.

Right?

PUSH-BACK: YAY OR NAY

October 14, 2014

bubbles

Sometimes the news about America is so bad,  so dismaying,  so awful,  that I want to say “That’s not us!    We aren’t doing this!  We are a captive nation!”   I wonder when things are going to Pop!      How much longer. . . ?

I  wrote in the last post, Tuesday’s Tribute,  that there needs to be push-back against what has been done to us.

We need to reach into our former founding characteristics, based upon Christian principles,    and “push back” against those rule us differently now.   Good people can rule themselves;  and only good people are capable of ruling themselves.

Normally, I read a lot of international news.    I’ve found examples of  two responses to the global dominance that seeks to change each sovereign nation;   neither story has ended yet, and we don’t know how far these trends will go.  The first one is the home of my family’s origins:

sweden

Sweden.

Not too large a population, but the population has been rising dramatically recently.   But not with baby Swedes.    The very well managed mass migration of African and Arab Muslims into Sweden is responsible for most of the increase.    Swedes are “nice” people,  by and large.   Undemonstrative.     That is,  they don’t “demonstrate”  their feelings very noticeably.

They don’t “push back”   readily.

Peace-loving people?   Harmless to others?      They are not even allowed, by their globally-influenced rulers,  to own guns.   However, statistics show that all kinds of violent crimes are rising rapidly.  If you are a Swedish woman,  you have a one in four chance of being raped.   If you ride a Swedish city bus,  you may expect the bus to be boarded by foreigners intent upon robbing you.   (When these African gangs were asked why they did this to the country that had taken them in and is giving them so much free money for living expenses, they answered:  “Because the Swedes are so easy to rob, they don’t fight back.”)

There are many shootings each week and a murder (by gunshot) on average every other day!   The occasion of this last news article was six people shot in one day.

One time I read that a whole little Swedish village had moved…several miles away.  Just relocated themselves because of the dangers of the new “immigrants” —   which the UN calls “refugees”   —  which the “immigrants”  themselves call part of their plan to extend their caliphate worldwide.

Despite devastating economic conditions and fears of personal safety,  there are few signs of effective  push-back yet from Swedes. (Where, oh, where are the descendants of the Rus Vikings?)

On the opposite end of the world,  there is perhaps a growing movement to push back against this forced migration:

No Way

“No way!  You will not make Australia home!”

“No way.”    Kind of has an American-sounding  ring  to it,  eh?

 

EQUALITY vs. OPPORTUNITY

September 26, 2014

What would you do if you were really poor?   Poor and getting older?

SAMSUNG

 

There’s been quite a bit of discussion this week about the words spoken by the poor benighted young teacher  who protested not being allowed to teach her middle school children about the evils of America and of capitalism.     “How can we  teach that America is all about guaranteeing our equality if we can’t explore the . . .”  evildoings of America, or whatever.

She was quite sure that America is “all about equality”  and that this country should assure the equality of all people.

Sounds like a nice slogan,  but it happens to be not true.

Equality before the law, yes.  The law applied to all equally,  yes.   But our immigrant forefathers did  not  come here so they could have what everyone else has;  those “huddled masses yearning to be free”  came here so that they could freely pursue their own idea of a fulfilled life (also known as “happiness”).

They didn’t want equality,  they wanted equal opportunity.  America is all about opportunity.  To succeed.  To fail.  To try again.

So that’s why I posted that photo up above.   I took the photo this morning when I was grocery shopping at  our local Meijer store.  I understand they’re spreading around the Midwest  now.  That’s good.  They’re a decent store with customer-friendly policies and pretty low prices for their giant selection of household goods and groceries.

Meijer store

The story of Mr. Meijer, a legal immigrant from Holland, is told on that sign.   His family circumstances faltered and failed during the great economic depression of the 1930s,  but he believed that America gave him the opportunity to “try something.”    And try he did, and he succeeded.    I am one of the beneficiaries of his success, and I wouldn’t dream of taking away his money to “make it fair” for me.   He is entitled to every penny that he has earned, and I hope he earns more so he can expand the number of his stores and employ thousands more people and make thousands more customers happy.

This is the land of opportunity, not the land of equal outcomes.   That poor young, uneducated teacher of our children was trained with the wrong ideas about her country and she is training our next generation with those wrong ideas.

Full disclosure soon came:    As it turns out,  she was told to say these words by her Union, which is very angry about the school district  (the school board, the parents)  instituting Merit Pay in the school district.   How dare they interfere!!!    How dare anyone critique a teacher’s value to the school district!!!    How dare they expose to the parents what they are actually teaching our children!!!  *

Mr.  Meijer rose to his position with courage,  honesty,  hard work, taking a profit and giving much of it back to the communities where he has his stores.   Thank goodness he was a man of solid Judeo-Christian values.

 

* (This post written by a former public school teacher.)

WHAT WE JUST CELEBRATED . . .

May 28, 2014

Here’s a riddle:    “When is a parking lot a park?”     (Okay, I’m not a professional riddle-maker.)   The answer is –  “When it’s a parking lot in one of America’s small towns.”

SAMSUNGMy little blue car is there, behind the big car.   I drove “to town” to pay my insurance bill, and as I returned to the car, it occurred to me what a lovely and pleasant experience I was having.    Even the parking lot looks more like a park than a “lot” for parking, although my little camera hardly captured the greenness, the  serenity, the fragrant air full of spring blossoms.

I pay for my insurance here twice a year.   Astonishingly,  the lady who takes my money remembered me from last May and that I was soon to be on my way on a road trip to California.   She asked me how the trip was and, as she got my receipt ready,  made small talk that was personal and genuinely interested.

SAMSUNGNothing special about our little town.      I’m just hoping it’s like tens of thousands of other little towns in our whole nation.      It’s where many hundreds of thousands of our soldiers and sailors came from, and it’s what they had in mind when they sung songs to “the girl I left back home.”    In their minds,  ordinary, normal, unknown, non-famous American people are who our Veterans were fighting for – and we are the ones who give them grateful honor and praise for their success  on Memorial Day – and especially the ones who didn’t make it back home to us.

Now of course,  “the girl back home”  or “hot dogs, apple pie, and mom”  lived in both small towns and cities.   My formative years were spent in Chicago, and it remains in my memory the loveliest, most beautiful and interesting city in the country!

Chicago even has a “river” running through it:

SAMSUNG

Not like this one behind my insurance office, though.

But no matter where you lived,  the American culture was in harmony with American people from both small towns and cities.     It was something you could define and something you could count on.    It was something immigrants dearly wanted to become part of.    (Oh, yes —  “we’re all immigrants here.” )   And it was something worth defending and perpetuating.

SAMSUNGI thought about this attitude —  “happy to be here in America” — and taking pride in living here,  and so I walked away from the car, leaving the door unlocked, and went down by the river which this little town had made a part of their “scene” so that people here could experience the natural beauty.

SAMSUNG

I got on the walkway.      This landscaping took effort and planning —  and civic pride.    It took an awareness of the goodness the town has all around them.

I’m quite sure that you have things like this around you too.    Good people.   Good values.   Good hard work.

The disruptive thoughts are within us,  they sometimes come from the noisy media,   but I think they can be overcome.     It wasn’t Memorial Day which was disruptive to the urgencies of our daily schedules.    I think it was Memorial Day which is normal.

SAMSUNGTo truly celebrate Memorial Day is to truly appreciate what we have here in our “home towns.”

I took a little more time to enjoy the walkways. that were built for us.    To experience it, to get to know this part of town,  to get to recognize a genuine good thing.    And that’s the key.   If we hold on to the genuine good, we will recognize when someone comes along to tell us their way is “better”  because it is “different,”     or their political creed is superior to the one our Founding Fathers gave us.

To truly celebrate Memorial Day, we need to know just what it was our soldiers and sailors fought to preserve.

 

A LITTLE “DIVERGENCE”

March 25, 2014

I took a little divergence for a few days.    I diverged off my main road. Took the exit ramp, so to speak.March fireplace

This is where I went. It’s Hubbie’s television room, the other side. That’s a photo of him in the oval frame – in his U.S. Calvary uniform, ca. 1870.   That’s our tribute to “The Custer Massacre,” as that framed newspaper page puts it, an interest he and I shared. There are photos of some of the main characters in that event, books, some Indian artifacts, little horse figures . . . .

And the fireplace is a “tribute” to our single digit temperatures. Again!! Our local weathermen on TV are beginning to act a little shame-faced and apologetic.   But it’s okay.

I needed to get away  and “sit before the fireplace,”  staying warm,   and then think awhile. Fruit of my thinking may come later, in a few days, but for now I want to write about “divergence.” It surprised me that I could take such a “divergence” from my everyday life, taking several days off to relax on a comfortable sofa, reading, dozing, observing, thinking, sleeping, reading lots more, just being generally “unoccupied.”

We all feel the need to be doing something, be something, according to our ideas of who we are and how we get on in life. But sometimes you need to draw back a bit and see what’s around you – send out scouts, like Custer’s army did and like the Indians did. What’s going on? Who’s there? What are they doing? What must I do? How must I act?

Which brings me to the new movie “Divergent.” I just might could recommend this movie. It’s no artistic achievement with beautiful cinematography, superb acting, remarkable screenplay, or whatever, but it’s a thoughtful movie (based on a series of books for teens, I know).

The world of the movie Divergent is an interesting dystopia, located in time after some devastating “war” and located in place in a devastated Chicago – the place I knew well as a child. Society is divided into Five Factions, each faction made up of people who have the same quality.  One quality per faction, which is what adds intensity and urgency to the act (the art ?) of self-identification.

Society expects you to test out as (or choose to be) in one of the following:     Abnegation, people who help others; Truth Tellers, those who see into the truth of the matter and are therefore trusted to adjudicate wisely among people; the Erudite, those who know and understand things; Amity, those who live in harmony with the natural world and can effectively produce the food and fabric needed by all; and the very necessary Dauntless, who are strong, courageous, bold, and are needed to protect this society from . . . those outside, I guess – the unnamed threat from outside.

And where would you fit in? What kind of things test you, to give you self-knowledge? What is your best main quality that characterizes you? What is your place in society? What is your usefulness in this world?

But.
What if.
What if you don’t fit in to any one category?

What if you “diverge” from an easily identifiable category? What if you don’t base your life on “conforming”? What if you have your own ideas of how you can be of use to others? What if, instead of the State defining you and using you, you felt you were a free and independent thinker?

What if you think the Majority should not trample on the rights of the individual?

What if you think children should be educated freely and liberally, but not indoctrinated?

What if you believe that people have a right to freely express their thoughts, their philosophical and religious beliefs, in public, on an equal footing with all other citizens?

If you don’t fit in to any expected and identifiable category,  then you are a Divergent, and you are a threat to the social order (set up by the State) because you don’t conform and you can’t be controlled.   You are unpredictable (to the State).

Yeah, I took a little ‘divergence” for these past few days, just to see what’s going on, just to get an idea where I am at variance with the trends in our society.

“At variance with” is one of the definitions of “divergence.”

I believe I discovered I am a Divergent.

CICERO PAYS TRIBUTE THIS TUESDAY

December 4, 2013

As you may know, I frequently pay tribute on Tuesdays to that one fatal Tuesday, 11-06-12 —  a fatal blow, perhaps, if there are not enough Americans willing to engage in recovery operations.     I so much don’t want to keep paying tribute to  those who want to “transform”  America.    Perhaps I can end this with a New Year’s Resolution. . . .

cic orating

So today  my reluctant self will let Cicero pay tribute to their success for me.   Cicero was that skilled orator (and much more) of the Roman Republic who used to be well-known to American students when America still had a worthy and top-rated educational system.  (New reports from this week show that American students are now ranked last – “dead last”  one report put it – in education in the industrial world. )    Routinely, students were taught a smattering of Latin and a good dose of history, ancient and American.    I know this from my own family, and I know this from having random, delightful conversations with a black man who was raised in the poorest of poor places on the coast of Maryland – who had gotten all his knowledge from the school he attended.   Barefoot!     In the 1940’s and ’50’s.

But I’ll squelch my passion for pedagogy now and let Cicero speak:       (May you enjoy and consider what American students used to know)

cic head  “There is an old saying, gentlemen, among the merchants in the Macellum, that a fish rots from the head down, and if there is something rotten in Rome today — and who can doubt that there is? — I tell you plainly that it has started in the head.  It has started at the top.  It has started in the Senate.” 

(Loud cheers and stamping of the feet, as his words struck a chord.)

cic fish rotting

“And there is only one thing to do with a stinking, rotten fish head:  throw it out! . .  . But it will require quite a knife to sever this head, for it is an aristocratic head, and we all know what they are like!”

(Much laughter.)

“It is a head swollen with the poison of corruption and bloated with pride and arrogance.  And it will need a strong hand to wield that knife, and it will need a steady nerve besides, because these aristocrats have necks of brass;  these aristocrats, I tell you, are brassnecks, all of them!

“But that man will come.  He is not far away.  Your powers will be restored, I promise you, however hard the struggle. . . To you now falls the greatest test of being worthy of this fight!   Take courage, gentlemen.   Make a start today! “

And you can read on in the history of the Roman Republic that courage was found and the corrupt heads of the Republic were taken down, and the Republic was restored to its original purpose….for a time.    For a time,  because freedom must be guarded and continually fought for.

The Republic of Rome eventually fell, to be replaced by a long string of Emperors.  Rome lived under the tyranny of imperial rule, until, at last, that great civilization collapsed.

cic city rot

The history of Ancient Rome has much to do with our country today.  And if enough of us know this history – and take courage and take action – then we will not be condemned to repeat Ancient Rome to its bitter and horrific end.

 

 

 

TRIBUTE TO TUESDAYS: DISHONESTY AND DECEIT

November 5, 2013

Another  Tuesday.   Sighhhhhh.      Another Tribute to that deadly Tuesday  of 11-06-12.

Deceit is in the air presently, in this country.   Deliberate deceit.   Not the kind where you tell lies to get out of trouble, to make yourself look better,  but the kind of lies you tell to get your agenda across to a people, a nation,  that doesn’t want it.

So you tell deliberate lies.

This is a teaching of those who are studied in warfare.   This is a teaching of Islam.   This is a teaching of socialism.    But this is not in the collective nature of the American people.

I read legal depositions, where you take an oath and swear to tell the truth  in your answers or statements.   I’ve read an estimated three to four thousand in the last ten years, and there are some common points that attorneys make as the deposition gets started.  One commonly asked question is: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty?”    That would be fraud,   embezzlement, passing false checks or counterfeiting, plagiarism, etc.     They ask this because if the person under oath says “Yes,”  then that answer colors the whole deposition and any evidence which may come forth out of the deposition.   The attorneys want to know that ahead of time,

The importance of this question arises from the better nature of the American character.   When our people accepted hardship and danger and hard work in order to build their lives and live their own lives in that precious state of freedom,  honesty was of primary value.   People had to trust you, you had to trust the people around you.    Your word was as good as your honor.  Many a handshake sealed the deal.

If an elected official was suspected of deceiving the people, Americans of old would rise up and yell:  “Throw the bum out!”

If an elected official was suspected of deceiving the people, Americans of old would rise up and yell:  “Throw the bum out!”

If elected officials were suspected of deceiving the people, Americans of old would rise up and yell: “Throw the bums out!”

When our people accepted hardship and danger and hard work in order to…live in that precious state of freedom,  they would yell:  “Throw the bums out!” – and then roll up their sleeves and get the work done.

(And we have Local Elections day, on this day, Tuesday.)

 

COURAGE IN THE FACE OF ONGOING ATTACKS

October 4, 2013

So…..last posting left things at “half-staff.”   Saying Good-Bye to your loved ones after a family vacation will do that to you.     Things are back to normal around here now.    (I’d keep the American flag at half staff, though.)

mass black preacherToday, our Friday morning class met, and it’s my duty to introduce them to the Bible Readings that they will hear on  Sunday morning, and to give them some context and understanding.   Our discussions are usually pretty lively, sometimes funny,  sometimes fearfully serious.   I always come away with some new insights and practical understanding from the group.   I hope they do too.

Just one of the verses we looked at, which some of you will hear this Sunday too,  is this:   (St. Paul says, Stir up the grace that God has given to you!)  . . .  for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love,  and of a sound mind (sobriety;  self-control).    (II Tim. 1:6)

People who have decided to follow Christ right to the end of their lives, to the very end,  will understand this verse.   And it’s because through the Cross of Christ,  God is able to adopt us as though we were His very own sons (and daughters).   But God is not content to just merely adopt us and be our Father,  He also wants us to be able to share in His own Divine nature, to share in His Life and His joy and His love.

So he gives grace to our souls in such a way as to change us – from within!   It’s His power and love and intellectual sobriety (common sense, if you will)  that we have at our disposal.

No need to be overcome with worry, nervousness, or “fear.

Which brings us to the current events of the day and the ongoing attacks of our Rulers against the Christians in this country.   I’m frequently coming across the sentence, the idea,  that the “administration”  wants to inflict as much personal pain as possible during this so-called very partial Shutdown of the “government.”

If they don’t get all the money they want,  they’re going to make us pay.   And now they’re making the military pay.

mass blessing

Catholic priests are  now NOT allowed to come onto military bases and give spiritual aid and counsel to the Catholic soldiers.

Now, even if you think a case can be made that it costs money to allow a priest to do his work,   these priests are willing to volunteer their time.   And they’re not even allowed on base to volunteer during this little Shutdown.    They can’t even work for free.   (Too many sources to link to;  you can use a Search engine if you want more info.)

Sunday might become a problem.

mass on field

I realize that’s a photo of Mass for our soldiers out on the field,   but a Catholic must attend Mass on Sunday – wherever he is.

Surely the ones who fight and maybe give their lives so we can have freedoms,  freedom to practice a religion if we want to,  freedom of conscience,  ought to be able to enjoy these freedoms too!

Today,  they do their duty to protect our freedoms and our Rulers take some of those very freedoms away from them.

Now we know that the Roman Empire did not give Christian soldiers any right of religious freedom.  And we know the Soviet Union did not.    Somehow,  God watched over His adopted sons in those places, and history marched on,  but my heart and prayers go out to the suffering endured in the meantime.

And I wish they could hear the Readings on Sunday.   Have courage.   It’s not your fault.   God has given you,, inside, a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.     If you cannot go to Mass,  if no one rises up to help,  God is still working in you to make you holy, like He is.

Priests – threatened with arrest if you step onto a military base –  take courage!      You know the other Reading from Habaccuc –   God hears!  and He will act in His own good time.