Posted tagged ‘Lessons Learned’

IMAGINE – PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES OF NO 4TH COMMANDMENT

August 7, 2015

I sit here often.

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There I read, think, enjoy, contemplate, pray, assess, plan, experience, live . . .  and  you may have one of those places too.

Lately the Fourth Commandment has come up in my mind.  There are things I need to deal with.

I would usually write “Imagine – a World Without the Fourth Commandment,” a world devastated by lack of respect for those who are far older than we are,  a world that acts on arrogant pride which tells us “we can break with the past and do it our way”    — but you can imagine that yourselves.

It’s a  world without respect, dignity, honor, rejecting the wisdom of one’s parents   (and their generation – and all the generations past).      Reinventing the wheel never works.    The wheel works.

4th wheelThere are many consequences that flow from understanding God’s Commandments  (the “wheel”) and following them,  but I want to get down to particulars – a small and disturbing detailed example,  one that is common to us all.

We know our grandparents will die some day.   Our parents will die some day.   And there is nothing like a dead family member to remind us of how much we loved them — and how much we failed to love them and to show them honor.

“Honor thy father and thy mother . . . ”  says the Fourth Commandment.      Acknowledge that they are worthy to be honored.  Worthy of our love.  Worthy of our respect.

I’ve been sitting in my Reading Chair looking at the small sofa across from me:

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On that small sofa I had recently placed a beautiful afghan that my mother made for me.   It’s full size.   She used the “afghan stitch” which is an easy if somewhat monotonous activity.    And then once the afghan squares were made and stitched together,   my mother embroidered the designs on it.  The pattern came with flowers,  but my mother, on her own,  added the cross, because she personalized it for me.

quilt tissues

Excuse the tissues.   She died last year.

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Here’s a closeup of the stitches,  the white yarn and the colored yarn, all requiring  individual and deliberate  movements of her hands to create each  white “square” and each colored X.

How many thousands or tens of thousands of individual movements did this afghan require?    She intended this afghan for me and she presented it to me one day.   I was suitably impressed.  I thanked her profusely.    Often I kept it stored away from a busy household with two little potentially damaging children growing up near the afghan.

And then I took it out, and now I’m using it.

Wondering:

I wonder at all the work that went into its making.  All the effort.  The love.  My mother’s hopes that I would like it.      And I also wonder how many times did I thank her for it?    Ever again?

More importantly when she got old and had lots of time to think back on her life,  did she ever wonder  if I still  appreciated it?   Did I ever think of it?     How would she know?     Sometime during her last eight or so years I took a photo of it and intended to show it to her, thank her for it again,  tell her it was not forgotten — but by that time she had already begun to suffer from the  brain damage that always occurs after chemotherapy.     She would not .  .  .

Yes, we can still honor our parents and grandparents who have died, and the goodness and wisdom of past generations.  that’s important.

But here, from my Reading Chair,   I wish I had  been more acutely aware of the Fourth Commandment when my parents were alive.  There are consequences when we disregard it, not only for the management of “world affairs”  — No,  just consequences for us, personally.

” . . .   that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God has given thee.”

“Imagine” a world without the Fourth Commandment, you  Pop Culture Victims.    A world full of personal confusion and regrets.   All willing orphans.

God’s Laws and rules and principles are meant to keep us happy and safe, with the least amount of “regrets” tugging at us.

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LIGHTING MASTER – It’s Personal

April 9, 2015

And the winner is:
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I wrote last time how important it is to  take advantage of each day in Easter Week.   So today was not “just another Thursday,”  it was Easter Thursday, and there was an unexpected mingling of my everyday life with the Easter Thursday Reading.

Today we read of Mary Magdalene who was first of the close circle of disciples to see their Resurrected Lord.

From further away:

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light bulb 50x53Jesus seemed distant from her,  just another man,  until He spoke her name:  “Mary.”      That was personal –  and the light dawned upon her, as we say.

I’m struck, this year,  by her first word upon recognizing Jesus:  “Master!”

Master!

mary m at the tomb
Her Master – her maestro – her teacher  –  her exalted Lord and Master.

She had  searched for the dead body of Jesus – (as so many do today:   “who was the historical-jesus?”)    in order to do a routine duty;   but she found the actual Living Lord when she accepted His personal touch.

Last time I wrote that everyday “historical” life sometimes intrudes on our attempt to keep Easter Week, and I’ve had another busy day now, accomplished a lot of errands, a lot of study,  searched for a lighting fixture to replace a broken one,   I’m fending off a fever, I got creative in the kitchen and developed a way to make a good  pepperjack and creamy clam soup.   Whew!

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Now this evening I have time to realize that one of my endeavors helps me understand Mary’s quest.    How funny,  I was literally searching for light.   Lighting, to be exact:

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Or  how about this simple design in a golden . . .

SAMSUNG(This is NOT easy!)

How about a square?

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It looked just like a black hanging room decoration until I remembered the lady said if I come to a light that isn’t turned on,  just pull the price tag.   So I did.   Lovely effect.

But not for my space.

Maybe.
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Maybe not.

It was hard to walk around in that store.   In the first place,  everything you wanted to see was up high, over your head.  That doesn’t help your feet.  I kept reaching out for a railing somewhere, because I couldn’t take my eyes off all the beautiful lighting fixtures.

Oh, yeah.   Price tags.     Really?!!  —

SAMSUNGFunny thing,  that price tag was attached to the one that looked most like the one I already have.   (It had come with the house.)

The one I like will have to appeal to me personally.   Classic?  Beautiful?   Unique?   I still like that circular one in the first photo —  looks like a three-dimensional model of an atom  —   scientific.

Sorry.  You can’t help.    It needs to be a personal appeal,  which Jesus knew right well when He called out to Mary Magdalene.    And as He calls to each of us, by name.    We’ll know.   We’ll respond according to our Free Will and according to our love.

Love is very personal.

HOW I SPENT MY MONEY WITHOUT EVEN TRYING

March 17, 2015

Well,   technically, my money was spent for me.

I just paid about $350,000 to run buses in Israel!!  The buses will be filled with people who promise to vote socialist in today’s election.

Chitiz

Of course, the burden is not entirely on me;  all Americans will share in this duty.    (One socialist leader helps another socialist leader-to-be, no matter what the people want.   How fun that they have our tax money to do it with.)

We’ve sent some professional political agitators to Israel too, to help with their own agitators.     (Their cost is not completely figured into the 350 grand.)   What do “the people” want?  I don’t know,  but here is a photo of a very large demonstration against the socialists because they know their taxes will become unaffordably high with socialists in office:

higher taxesA few of my friends are either socialist or some other name that denotes extreme Left.    They are good-hearted people and want the State to be kind to others.   And they spur me on towards greater charity  towards those in need.    But a Leftist political party doesn’t achieve charity;  it doesn’t fix problems, and by its very nature must prolong the problem in order to have a reason for its own existence.    And it must make other people pay for its own ideas of “charity.”   Which means we have less of our own money to be charitable with.  Which is partly why they are demonstrating against ruinous taxes.

This whole thing reminds me of my very, very young parents when they first moved to Chicago.  My father wanted to do the “adult” thing and vote for his first big presidential election.    He called up to find out where he and my mother should go to vote — and there came a van,  a mini-bus,  collecting people in the neighborhood,  telling them where — and how — to vote.   (This is Chicago, after all.)    Whatever was said on that van convinced my father to never, ever vote again.  Even at such a young age my father was a man of honor and of principle and of honesty.

My father never said the word “politics”  without using the preface “dirty.”    He pointed out to me that Chicago Pond Scum always rises to the top of the political machine —   and now it seems the Pond Scum has overflowed . . . all the way into Israel.

I’m sorry for that.  We have no business trying to influence other people’s elections.  I have no “dog in the fight” over there in Israel.  Likud vs. Labor?  Either outcome will affect Middle East politics, and consequently world affairs.

My father taught me to recognize “dirty politics”  when I see it,  but he would have been outraged to find out I had paid for it.

talmud page

Perhaps the very young rabbi in the photo above has the best solution.    He is Rabbi Chitiz,  not yet 30 years old,  older than my father’s first attempt to vote.     He said we should  (that is Israeli citizens should)  consult the Talmud.    There,  with many citations from the Talmud and form the Bible,  he found out that the best ballot is one that’s had all the names and descriptions of the people removed!     “We should vote for the empty ballot itself!”     What a commentary!!

(You can read about him in today’s  Haaretz  and in  Jerusalem Post.)

Who says scholars don’t have a sense of humor!

 

“STARBOARD HELM 140 DEGREES TRUE” (grin)

February 21, 2015

clipper ship
Heh, heh –  just a little ship talk there.

No,   The Spruce Tunnel is not going to make a full 180 degree turn here on subject matter.   Not an about face, exactly.    But  I’m a teacher,  not a watchman;   “raising the alarm”  is not my natural mandate.

It used to be hard to find articles on the Internet about the things I was  becoming concerned about.   Now it’s not.    Not hard at all.  For as long as we still have the Internet,  we can all read The Writing On The Wall for ourselves.

cliper wheel

Now when I get steamed up about something, I know there are plenty of other people out there who are explaining the issue very well.   And each of us have a unique point of view, a one-of-a-kind take on things that needs to be added to the public discussion.   I hope you will talk;  write;  blog;  text; inform;   question and demand answers from your (informed) point of view,  because:

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

“When Good ceases to confront Evil,  it ceases to be “Good.”

So, my “unique”  take on things in the last post was to bring up the idea of The Trojan Horse:    The same method  used by the Modernists to take down the Church and substitute a radically different purpose was also used in this country  by the extreme Leftists, the Progressives, and by association,  the Radicalized Muslims who are on the move again this century,  to take down America.

“Just put your people in positions of power (into The Trojan Horse), and you eliminate your opposition.”    Again, I’m not doing a complete 180 here with that helm,  there are others who can expound on the dangers we’re in,  but I can do a little humorous commentary.

Humorous Question:     Why do the Extreme Leftists looks so smug when they feel they have the power, now, to “Transform”   their institutions?

Grin on Pope

And:

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One from the continent of South America,  one from the continent of Africa.

Now, the Church has survived miseducated, misguided popes before,   it takes prayer,   personal piety, and the help of God;  but the average life of a republic has been, historically speaking,  only about 200 years.    It’s going to take a lot of work to keep our own Republic going true.

Clipper true

Stay true to our  Founding.    Hold on to the Origins.

And those smug grins will turn on you if you hold on to what the Church – or our nation –  really stands for.

“…a lot of work…”

 

HE CAN’T SAY THE WORD – 4

February 20, 2015

(pardon the repetitive language)
He (they) can say the word “Christian” now, if it’s associated with extremism.    But he (they)  still can’t say the other word when it comes to a movement that is expanding with beheadings,  slashings,  explosives, and vicious military, legal, and monetary warfare.    He (they) can’t say that word.

We**   are beginning to discover why.

Torjan Horse in city
A long time ago a battle was fought successfully with a Trojan Horse.    This technique successfully brought down a long-standing enemy.

The Trojan Horse is a SUCCESSFUL  technique of war.

Our children were commonly educated with the story of the Trojan Horse;  it’s how young men in the Western world learned their Greek and learned their history and learned deeds of heroism for the good of their own people.

The Trojan Horse used to be part of our Common Cultural Literacy.

Knowledge of the Trojan Horse has been removed from at least two generations of American children – perhaps given to them only in a paragraph or two, summarized to the point of irrelevance.   “What could some old Trojan Horse story have to do with me?”  

“Oh, nothing much;  it just helped some ancient Greeks win a battle.”

As long as we think it’s irrelevant to us today,  we dummies (dhimmis) won’t recognize it when it’s used against us:

Anywhere from one to two dozen top ranking powerful officials in government in this country  are Sunni Muslims and/or associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.   That’s easy to look up.  Just start with the FBI director, for instance.

(All religions are equal, right?  Moral equivalence, and all that?)

Well, one of the most powerful,   constant ear,   aide,  and adviser to the one who was given the office of our presidency  might not be Sunni.   She’s born and raised in Iran;  so does that make her a Shi’ite?       (The enemy of my enemy is my……)

That’s all right.   Stuffed into the Trojan Horse, she is almost invisible to the American people who are beginning to look more and more like dummies (dhimmis)  for not knowing or caring.

The half-brother of the person they put into our  wh/ it /e  h/ous/e is the leading financier and financial-fundraiser of the Muslim Brotherhood.***

Recently there was a meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood*** – behind closed doors.    And officially denied for as long as possible.    Then it was admitted.    No more questions, thank you.

All stuffed into the Trojan Horse.

Trojan HOrse window

Know what happened recently at a Texas rodeo?   Know what’s happening soon in Oklahoma?   Know what happened at the so-called National (Christian) Shrine,  the largest cathedral in America?     Know what happened to girls in a school in Sacramento recently?

Know how powerful a Trojan Horse is?

Know why it’s not an old boring dusty literature assignment?

Because it is still a successful war tactic!

The Trojan Horse is a SUCCESSFUL  technique of war.

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**    “We”  are the military commanders who see close, up front;  “we”  are the political leaders on both sides of the aisle who are becoming alarmed;  “we” are the political analysts;  “we”  are the foreign leaders who are speaking out, finally, against the policies of American destruction coming from WITHIN American government.

And “we” are the people who are hearing the warnings of the military commanders, politicians, policy analysts, and foreign leaders.

***  (A reminder:     This group  was once declared   a terrorist organization.  Oh, the horror when we realized Americans had put these people in power in country after country during the “Arab Spring.”   Nice phrase, huh?   But it wasn’t nice and we did it and the Muslim Brotherhood gained immense power in the world.)

LEARNED ON THE FIELD

February 2, 2015

Hard to go to bed after that game.

What a Super Bowl!    Those last two minutes —

football happy

Never mind the  “bad call”  (a pass instead of a run on the one-yard line?) . . .   Never mind the resulting interception by the surprised rookie  (who was rendered speechless for the next twenty minutes) . . .   Never mind the “false start”  giving the Patriots the much needed five more yards of room . . .   Or the punches thrown in a team-vs-team brawl,  giving the Patriots another fifteen yards of room to maneuver.

No.    The best lesson of the game was given to us by Jermaine Kearse who was catching that important  long pass but collided into a defender and fell to the ground but still needed to catch that pass —  and as he fell,  he grabbed at it!

And missed it.

And grabbed at it again!

And missed it again.

Still on the ground,  he grabbed at it again!

And got it!

When the play seems over and you’ve been knocked to the ground,  don’t write yourself off.

Go down trying.  Go down still reaching out.

St Francis Borgia and skull  St. Francis de Borgia,  that stern, ascetic saint who sits heavily on my shoulder,  leading me forward,    enjoyed a Spanish version of football, several centuries ago when he was a young man.   Though he gave up ball games as he matured,   he knew full well that lessons can be learned on the field:

 You’d better know what’s so important in life,  and you’d better know what’s worth all your effort.    And then when you do,  go down reaching out for it.

 

 

FRANCE: GRASPING AT STRAWS?

January 13, 2015

 

The vast Great Smoky Mountains of the United States:

P Great Smokies
When my road trips take me southward,  I always stop somewhere in the Great Smokies to visit the people and see their history in the many fine museums.  I enjoy their music:  “hillbilly music,”  maybe;   bluegrass music;   bluegrass-gospel music.   Renfro Valley,  you know?    I visit their pioneer villages.

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I enjoy seeing them do their crafts, and I enjoy talking with some of the ladies about handcraft skills that we share.     They freely share their knowledge and experience with me as we talk tatting, crocheting,  candle-making,   quilting . .  .

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I enjoyed speaking with a young teenage waiter in some restaurant in the Valley about his Christian faith, and mine.  Though different “religions,”  we have one and the same Lord.

You can find the soul of America there in the Smokies.   (for you politically correct:   of course you can find the soul of America in a few other places too)
What is soul?   It’s that which makes you alive and uniquely you.  Those qualities that make up the very core and essence of who you are.   It’s also the qualities that are typical of something and that make it special.   Soul or “anima”  can be the mind or intellect of the living person or of the collective mind and intellect of a nation.

It’s who you are!   It’s “who” and what a nation is!

Paris,  France:

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I’ve heard several people speak, now,  after the recent Rally in Paris.  Many were French, some were friends  and observers of the French.    They spoke about what went wrong in their country that resulted in the killing of 17 people by enemies acting from within.      What were the failure of their social decisions?  the failure of their intelligence system?     of their economy?    of their  prisons . . . ?

Each point was a good one, perhaps true,  but I thought how small each point was, like no one point seemed to be the crucial one that would solve the main problem of containing and controlling the people in their midst who want to kill them.

“They’re just grasping at straws,”  I thought, as the common American expression goes.

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Then I remembered my trip to a pioneer village in the Great Smokies, and how delighted I was to understand some of their craftsmanship.  I now understood how even a broom is made. With straws!     “You grasp the straws like this,  and then. . .”

Grasping at the individual straws is exactly how you build a broom!

I thought again of what I was hearing from France –  One at a time the Europeans were giving us their points of analysis,  focusing on “a straw,”  just one issue which they understood well,  and I realized what was more important was the spirit in which these comments were given —  they were trying to save France.  They were trying to save Europe!   They were reaching down into the core and essence of who they are and finding out what was “different.”

Other  speakers were thinking about their own nations who are in similar trouble.   An Englishman who wanted England to be English spoke.   A Dutchman who is known for wanting to preserve the Dutch national identity spoke.   Even the leader of the Germans, who got her position by indicating that she could look “beyond Germany,”  made some helpful and stirring remarks that hinted at self-preservation.

Last night Son was with me, watching the big game, of course –

ohio state

Hurray for the Big Ten!!

Afterwards,   watching the local entertainment-news program,  we saw more Europeans speak,  and Son remarked that, at last,  it sounds like more and more people over there are rising up to protect themselves.

marseillaise
I am not with “the Revolution,” — it killed many people like me —  and I’m not with the continuing Progressive revolution — it still seeks to repress people like me;  but I heard that the Marseillaise was sung officially  in government for the first time since World War I !    Perhaps they can pick up all their “straws”   and rise again!   Arise!   Avant tout … !    …non?

That is significant and hopeful.   According to much prophecy,  the restoration of Europe hinges on the restoration of  Christian France,  of France-Before-Progressive-Socialism.   It’s our only hope against the tyranny of the global governance of “the Revolution.”

Seemed impossible.

GUM CONTROL

January 9, 2015

Nope.   Not a typo.   The topic of this post is Gum Control!   To wit:

SAMSUNG(I’m still putting my house back together after the total re-carpeting of a few months ago,  and among the boxes of stuff I’m going through was this very old cartoon.     It was published in 1983, I think,  but is still so very topical because although  Americans know what they want,  our Rulers just can’t seem to accept it.)

“What’s all this talk about gum control?”   the little boy asks.

It’s a bit amusing.   Two young innocents, presumably not yet educated,  not deep or sophisticated in their knowledge of the issue — but content to see the world from their  own small, young perspective.   Their own small, immature, young perspective.

Apparently there is still some “soul-searching”  type of analysis being broadcast to the public after the Islamic terrorist violence in France.   We all know now that the French policemen who first arrived on the scene were UNARMED.     They were not issued guns, by policy of the French socialist government.

Should we re-learn  that old adage:  “Never bring a knife to a gunfight”  ?   Was it not reported that the terrorists had quite a few (big) guns?    The French policemen brought their …  bicycles.

Nope.    And, apparently,  the lesson that we “should learn” is that there needs to be tighter, stronger gun control laws.    (That ought to show the terrorists how much we oppose them!)

And what should we fear?  According to the national and international  entertainment-news media,  we should be on the lookout for the rise of the conservatives!    The socialists who brought us gun control and unlimited migration of radical jihadists into European countries  (and into North America)    fear  anyone who is not a socialist/progressive/leftist/ — anyone who does not think like them.

Which is odd.   Because the twelve men at  Charlie Hebdo that were killed were killed because they didn’t think like . . . the terrorists.

It makes a certain sort of sense, though.   If you have strong gun control,  then you can have stronger social control.

Let us not think too hard about it though.   If they take our guns,  maybe we can keep our gum.    And the little boys can go on with their happy gum-chewing lives.

 

CAPTURING TIME in 2015

January 6, 2015

(A few more thoughts on Time . . .)

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I had forgotten how much Cooper liked my marzipan.   I think he’s the only person in the world that I know personally who also likes the taste of marzipan!!    Imagine that.    His Mommy and Daddy couldn’t believe it.  He walked around saying “I just love Grandma’s marzipan.”   (I just  think he liked saying the word!)

Well, thanks to some journal pages of late December (a week or so ago), I saw that I had written about Cooper and marzipan — and I delighted in his reaction once again.

Journaling like this –

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Journaling  (hope you can’t read the actual words) is a natural and easy thing to do, and the rewards are far greater than the little amount of effort it takes.     I finally created a “form”  on paper that would make it easy to briefly record what went on each day.   Journaling is just a way of dropping things into your memory so they can be of use later.

For example:

Daddy asks,   “Remember when we went to the mall?  ….. (Cooper answers)

” Remember we saw that silly man in the ice cream shop?”        …..

“What did the man do?”       …..

” And then what happened?”   …..

Daddy was “journaling”  for Cooper, and together they were drawing lessons from what happened before.

That’s all keeping a “journal”  or a “diary” does for us.   They keep the days for us so that the day’s lessons do not disappear.   Especially if we’re not ready to think about the day,  that day will remain on paper for us to contemplate later, if it’s helpful,  or just to enjoy all over again.

Psychologists tell us that keeping a short an easy-to-do diary relieves stress, promotes well-being,  and resolves psychological problems.   Well, I won’t admit to any psychological problems  (is that a problem?)  —  I just enjoy my life and like to keep all of it present, before me.

I would strongly encourage all whom I love and care about to keep a little journal of yourself.      Use words or sketches or interesting little prayers or insights,  record what happened around you that day,   or just save your To-Do lists.    Capture the Time of your life!      It’s interesting  –   Like Grandma’s marzipan.

 

 

 

 

MAKING AMERICA GREAT – 3 (“WHO ARE YOU?”)

December 14, 2014

writing lady

I’m not sure if my writing skills are equal to the thoughts in my head,  so since I really care about the topic  — restoring, if possible, the strength (greatness)  of a nation (specifically America since I’m an American) —  I thought I’d clarify my first two points before I add a third.

1.  Duty.  

 SAMSUNG     The posting about the Thank You Note written by a four-year-old was meant to illustrate that the citizens of a great nation must first know their public and private duties and also feel responsible for carrying out those duties, no matter how tedious or difficult,  how trivial or momentous.   (Since the four-year-old is part of my family,  I’ve since found out that his Mommy and Daddy didn’t ” make” him write the note.  Rather,  he saw his Mommy and Daddy writing thank you notes,  and he really, really wanted one of his own to write on.      He didn’t want to be left out of what he understood to be an important task.   He’s not a baby!)

2.  Compassion.

chimney boy with bag    The posting about the little chimney sweeps, and the poem by Blake, was meant to locate empathy and compassion and pity inside the reader — if any.     Read the poem;  do you feel compassion?
We consider men great if they have contributed to the welfare and advancement of society, and the same is true for nations.   Generous nations are admired and looked to for aid.  Strong-peaceful nations are admired and looked to for help.    The laws of good nations are looked to for example.   But –  first! –  the majority of the citizens of that nation must  be compassionate and generous — and then act on their compassion.

As Jesus said,  “What good does it do if you come across someone who is hungry,and you say to him, oh, that’s too bad;  go get something to eat!  but you give him no food?   Or if you see someone cold, and you say to him Be warm!  but you dont’ give him a coat?”

Know the good inside of you,  and then be ready to act on it.    On your own.   A great nation is made up of good people.

Honesty.

3.  I think this naturally leads to a  third essential quality for citizens of a great nation:  being honest with oneself — and, of course, with others.

All over Christendom,  we heard Readings today in which John the Baptist was confronted with that one important question:  “Who are you?”    (You’ve got a public image.  You’ve got a lot of rumors running around you.   But who are you,  really?)

John the Baptist
Each of us is made with individual, unique characteristics, so you are you and I am I.    However, in this age we experience the constant bombardment of information,   entertainment,  music all the time,  words all the time.  While constant background noise has deleterious physiological and psychological effects, the real danger is that we succumb to the resultant “mass identity.”   A right way and wrong way to think and feel.  Check what the polls are saying.    Check what the majority thinks.    And don’t make an idiot of yourself by disagreeing.

Group-think will destroy honesty, as well as integrity and clear thinking.

The Majority Opinion  — or what people can be convinced is the Majority Opinion — has led to the demise of many good societies.   Be honest with yourself,  and you’ll be able to recognize propaganda.   Be honest with yourself, and you’ll be able to recognize the agenda behind certain Political Correctness. . .
. . . And then oppose the damaging, foreign agendas.

. . . And then honestly  see what’s making this nation weak and restore the goodness.

Alexis de Tocqueville:   “America is great because America is good.”      (1831)

 

A TUESDAY’S TRIBUTE FROM RUSSIA

December 9, 2014

(For new my new readers,   on Tuesdays I often write a cynical little “hats off!”  to our Rulers who once again pulled a fast one on us on 11-06-12.      So for  that Tuesday and all those other Tuesdays:  a dark, sardonic, and sarcastic Tribute.   It’s not really funny.)

“From Russia With Love”  –

Shoe

I saw this on television when I was a little girl.   He was surrounded by lots of dignified, important looking men  (at the U.N.),  and I was awestruck seeing a grown man hold his shoe  in his hand – in public – and banging it on the podium!    He must really mean what he’s saying.

And what he was saying was an angry, scathing, threatening rebuke against us Americans.   Me too.  I’m a little girl and this man has more power than anyone I knew.    This man is Russia’s prime minister: Nikita Khrushchev.

He promised some things for us in his day:

We will defeat America without firing a shot!!!!

Your American children will be Communists!!!!

And, quoting someone else:  We will give America enough rope to hang herself!!!!

“Perestroika”  completed the “enough rope”  because some of our liberal/progressive/left-leaning leaders assured us that this means “communism is dead”  in Russia.        Whew!    Communism is over!

We just have to get back to the business of making the FEDERAL government more powerful than any other force in our country.  Expand the bureaucracy!  Expand the power of the State!   Expand the enforcement powers of the I.R.S.!  Expand the number of regulations waiting to snare the Americans!   Expand the amount of taxes!   Expand control over free and open  land – by the hundreds of millions of acres!        Expand Federal control over the schools, the teachers, and the curriculum imposed upon each local school authority!!   Expand!   Control!

American Government Schools:    Your American children will be Communists!!!!        (Remember,   I was a public schoolteacher when all this began to be implemented;  I saw it.)

How odd that the one thing the entertainment/news media is reporting about student rebellion is the poor and limited quality of their free lunches.     Not the poor and limited quality of their “education.”

Now we are told we are bad people.  We deserve to be a second-rate nation.    We have oppressed people all over the world.  And, oh, by the way,  we’ve destroyed the planet too.

We don’t deserve to even be  !!!!   We will defeat America without firing a shot!!!!

Darn.    Khrushchev  scared me then.    He scares me now.

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Where is our John Paul Jones today?      “I have not yet begun to fight!”     

Hats off to our Rulers —  they have trained our John Paul Joneses  to be “good citizens.”   (and believe what they’re told.)  (and play video games)   (Sit!   Speak!  Demonstrate!   Be quiet! . . . )

Bar wavy

I’m feeling optimistic today.   Or at least not totally pessimistic.     In the next few posts,  I’ll point out the one thing lying dormant in Americans that can prevent us from collapsing into a confused heap of puzzled defeat.

 

TWO HOLIDAYS – IN TRANSITION

November 30, 2014

(First Holiday)   –

Well, the “transition” is partly the drive home from my parents’ home in Florida, where my parents are “no more”  to my home in the Far North, where I am “more.”      That is, God has decided that there would be some more of me here on earth, and I sit, now  in the foggy wonderment of gratitude.

Meanwhile,  two holidays have occurred.     I’m honored to have been within 20 miles of the very first site of designated thanksgiving on these shores,  near this river, here, in Florida:

 

thanks river site

This was one of the sites in North America where it was reported that there are precious living souls that have never heard the name of Jesus,  and good young men rushed off to bring material help and spiritual aid to the native peoples.    After a propitious start,  a Thanksgiving to  the Most High God was decreed, and that was near St. Augustine, Florida, in the mid 16th century.

thanksg priest

On my way out of Florida I decided to stop at a history museum to see what I could learn about this era.   It was the Brevard Museum of Science and History.    The building didn’t look like much from the outside,  but inside I was entranced and captivated by the informative displays — i.e.  “I learned a lot” !

thanks river site

Near that river in the  photo above is a large area of bogs:

windover bog

Desolate, dark, swampy areas with compacted biological and mineral matter  —   Perfect for preserving the details of life as it existed long ago.   If you were a scientist digging into those bogs,  you would see exciting, promising walls of bog like this:

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Really!   If that doesn’t excite you,  you ought not to be an archeologist or a paleontologist!

Slowly, with toothpick and toothbrush, and other such fine tools,  the scientists uncovered the details of life among the native American people here in Florida.    I was looking at the Windover Tribe.    I’m afraid I moved slowly from area to area with open mouth and slack hands at my side – not conducive for much picture-taking –  but I managed to take  a couple photos, out of great respect for these people:

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Actual cloth  woven by the tribe (preserved in bog color, of course).  The weaving was exquisite and of great variety, more variety than we have in our clothes today.

And then there was this child, lovingly and carefully buried:

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She is about five years old and she is buried with some toys.   They cared about her.    She is buried  in a water grave;  literally laid to rest under a few feet of water,  covered,  the body tied down with those triangles of sticks,  covered again, and weighted down by rock so tide and predators won’t take her away.

These water graves were not used anymore by the time the missionaries came to the Florida shores,  depicted in this mural:

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Here is the truth about what those first missionaries found:     Archeologists found that the people were about the same height as the Europeans, averaging 5 feet 6 inches to about 5 feet 8.    They were subject to many nutritional deficiencies and  degenerative diseases, often including degenerative arthritis and tooth infections leading into the jaw.  Ouch.

The Windovers were one of several small tribes up and down the coast of Florida, and there is evidence of deep wounds,  bones scarred and shattered by arrows, spears, and clubs;  and so in spite of the standard obligatory museum statements that the natives were “peaceful” and lived in harmony with their world,  evidence supports the conclusion that they were no different from people who live anywhere in this Fallen World.    They waged war, and as Columbus had found a few decades before,   they  kept slaves, they murdered and tortured each other to quite an alarming degree.

There is evidence of fear, superstition,  and magic.   Here is just one glass-enclosed case of their personal-size,  hand-held idols:

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It is to these people that the missionaries came.

thanks mass among

Yes, of course,  other kinds of Spaniards came,  but the Church decreed in several papal bulls that the indigenous people were not to be harmed, and that their culture was to be respected and kept intact.   On pain of excommunication.    (The Vatican had about as much power over the Conquistadors as the Vatican today has over the likes of a Ted Kennedy,  Nancy Pelosi,  or a Tony Blair…. or other names we know who publicly claim to be Catholic.)    But even villains have souls;  and is there anyone beyond hope?

I’m becoming rambly now.    Rambly:  my mind is beginning to ramble, because I’m a historian by nature, and I know of myriads of cultures and societies that have come and gone on this planet;  like these Windover people.    Like the Rus Vikings in my own heritage,  no longer Christian,   degenerated now into a bunch of bewildered Swedes who are being beaten down  (literally, physically)  and overwhelmed and overcome by the African Muslims who are busy overtaking Sweden .

If I can ramble one little step further:  I love my Swedish heritage,  but  without the knowledge of God,  they are subject to all the ordinary evils of this world, including confusion,  weakness, , and displacement.

So I arrived home with the knowledge of another small society which some great young men had attempted to impart the knowledge of  the One and Only True God.       Then it was my opportunity to give thanks, with my very small family,  with turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes, happy that though we may be just  one temporary culture along the stream of Time,   there is preserved in us the knowledge of God.

…and happy to learn and obey this:  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. . . .”   (I Thessalonians 5:18)

So thanks to all those missionaries who settled both coasts of Florida;    and northwards up the Mississippi;  and southwards down the Mississippi;     across Mexico;  upwards along the coast of California;  downwards along the Pacific Northwest coast;   all along the Great Lakes;  down the St. Lawrence River;  Upper New York state;  Vermont;  New Hampshire.

East; West;  North;  South;  and right in the middle of our nation,   the missionaries brought the news of Jesus Christ. . . .

. . . .   the missionaries soaked the ground with their blood.

Perhaps we do have a mission in this world.

Deo gratias.

 

NOVEMBER 11 – ORDINARY MEN?

November 11, 2014

Honor and  thanksgiving to all those who served our country in the military.

Dad in Dress Blues

Here is my Dad,  in his Dress Blues.  Marine Corps.   1945

Looks like an ordinary 19 year old, like so many others.    Ordinary people make up our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.   My Dad.  Many dads.  Many sons and  brothers,  cousins and uncles.   To us they are our family and our friends, from our ordinary lives.

All our soldiers  look like ordinary people, I suppose, but given an extraordinary task to do.    And that’s why they get to wear the uniform.

At the beginning of the 20th century we signed the armistice, ending the Great War To End All Wars.     This Great War was so shockingly  horrendous that it shook up the whole world, and so this armistice  was the world’s “last chance”  to end all warfare.  It was our “Eleventh Hour.”   The armistice was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month, at the 11th hour.

That war began in 1914, one hundred years ago.      We’ve called on a lot more ordinary men since then.      It is apparent that we need to learn our history and learn the lessons from history. . .  and then live the lessons our fathers and grandfathers would teach us.

It seems we would best honor our men in  uniform by asking them to guard our freedom,  but not making it necessary for them to fight for our freedom.

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?

 

(A 2-letter word); A 3-LETTER WORD; (and a 4-letter word)

October 9, 2014

A 3-letter word now.  After the last post, you’d think it would  be Woe! Woe!  Woe!    — but, no.   The word I had in mind is:

wow

I learned this word from my grandson, actually, when he was about a year and a half.    He had been taught Sign Language to help him over the toddler-type frustration of not being able to talk as fast as he could think,  but the words soon came quickly and easily, and Wow!   was one of his favorite.

He was in my car one time, we were stopped at a traffic light  . . .

fire engine

. . . and   whoosh!    —  a fire truck screamed by, red flashing lights and sirens blaring.    Cooper’s comment was a heartfelt:  “Wow!”

Me too.   That taught me a lot about really experiencing the moment — and enjoying the experience.   Even at my age!

So just a couple weeks ago,  I was watching my Bears play on television.  I was alone, but I knew Son had probably turned on the game at his house after he came home from work.   The Bears played well,  and in the fourth quarter  spectacularly well.  They won with an amazing series of really good moves, and after the game, I sent a heartfelt text to my Son that said:   “Wow!  Wow!  Wow!”

I didn’t know that Son had gone to bed before the game ended, during the not-so-exciting first half, so when he got my text the  next morning, out of context,  he had no idea what I was referring to.

That reminded me of two things about Wow.  .   “Wow!”  is an individual feeling.   It’s great if two people are equally wowed by something  and in the same way,  but that rarely happens.  The most your friend will give you is an indulgent smile.   But even though it’s a personal, individual feeling,  it’s still real and we can still fully experience that Wow!

And Wow!  is a deep, deep feeling, deep down into your real self,  deep beyond words.    We’re “on guard” a lot, watching ourselves in  public,  tamping down our emotions, fitting in, “other-directed” rather than “self-directed.”         But allowing ourselves to experience a Wow!  moment breaks through, down to who we know ourselves to be, down to where we’re all right, we’re valued and deserving of a share in God’s beautiful, surprising, wonderful world.

“The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declares the work of his hands. . . “      Mountain lakes and ocean surfs, autumn leaves,   baby faces,  the fuzz of a caterpillar,;  sunsets, the Milky Way, and Blood moons!

It can be natural “wows” or man-made “wows”    (like football games or firetrucks)   but they all take eyes to see and willingness to be vulnerable to things around us that might touch us deeply in some way.     Openness and willingness.   Pick a little thing and let the Wow come in.

 

I know we can use Wow!  for some very bad things too —      “Wow, that was a really bad car accident.”   “Wow, that earthquake (hurricane/volcano/sinkhole)  did a lot of damage!”   “Wow, we’re really at war now.”   “Wow,  they really dropped the ball on that one.”     — but that’s a different kind of “wow.”  I think we need a different word for those superlatively bad times.    

“Oy, vey!”     comes to mind — but then that’s just a Yiddish  translation of      “Oh, woe!”

 

 

 

 

ATTENTION: (to) PENNSYLVANIA

October 7, 2014

It’s still Tuesday here at the Spruce Tunnel,  the day we’ve been paying a cynical “tribute”  to our Rulers who placed their man in our wh  it eh ou se.   You know.    I keep wanting to stop these Tuesday Tributes,  but then I keep bursting with things to say – most of which I won’t . . . .

So, I’m looking to Penn’s Sylvania this time, “Penn’s Woods,”   with  a quote from the man,  William Penn, and a few questions for us.   The state of Pennsylvania has a lovely history, so hopeful at the time of its origin.    The principles which set this state “in motion” are as rich and beautiful and bounteous as the wooded land that was given to William Penn to own and to develop.

Indeed, principles can be rich in meaning;  they can be beautiful as they bring out the best in human nature when the principles are honored and followed; and principles can be bountiful, seminal in their insights, carrying seeds of healthy, future development.

Here’s the quote from William Penn:

God or Tyrants rule

So, do we know what principles inspired the colonists of Pennsylvania?   What aspirations?  What high ideals?

Because a venal, uninspired,  self-serving, corrupt,  and immoral people cannot sustain for very long a viable colony — or nation.

William Penn and others like him worked to found our nation, back in the 18th century.     They founded our nation on universal and everlasting principles,  described and formulated by what we call Natural Law,  and giving to Americans both freedom to pursue the best lives we can for ourselves and the responsibility to preserve that freedom for future generations.

Those “high ideals”  were not a Magic Wand to instantly right every wrong,  and those high ideals and principles were not meant to be a Stick to beat ourselves with when we find places where we need to change.

The principles derived from Natural Law were meant to give us guidance . . . .

Oh.   Such guidance was overturned, wasn’t it, in the middle of the 20th century?  The Sixty-Eighters.   The ones who adopted  progressivism and Marxism and taking things away from those who work and giving it to people who don’t, and sex-drugs-and rock-and-roll and if-it-feels-good-do-it and NO-ONE can stop you and GIMME my fair share!

And their children’s generation seemed to be confused.  In general.    For forty years there didn’t seem to be any guidance, any principles, any purpose.    But the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these “Sixty-Eighters” —    they seem to want a better country than they’ve been handed.    We could help them find it.    We could stop living as though Woodstock (and all  it represents)  were a great cultural event to be proud of.

But we’ve got to sort out our true and complete American history from what the progressives-etc. are telling us is our history.    There are some pretty good books being published now,  but you won’t find them in our schools or colleges or universities.     We’ve got to be curious enough on our own.

If we don’t re-discover who we really are as a nation,  then we will have more repetitions of 11-06-12   — and I’ll never be able to stop  these Tributes to Tuesdays!

 

 

EQUALITY vs. OPPORTUNITY

September 26, 2014

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

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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.)

TUESDAY’S TRIBUTE – TO OUR PAST

September 16, 2014

It’s Tuesday,   time for a tribute to the hithertofore unimaginable,  but I think I’ll take a different tack today.

Rays from Cloud

I took this photo sometime this summer when I was on the road out West.   I took it because it was “pretty,”  but when I  saw it on my computer screen,  I really didn’t know what it meant.

The cloud was between two storms,  heavy rainstorms as only the Great Plains can give them to us.    It’s a heavy cloud at sunset, so is this a portend of the sun setting on us?  The ending of important things?

Or is that bright sunbeam a portent of things looking up?   God is “up there”  and in control,  and if we keep our minds on Him,  then all will be well through the coming night.

But for God  the human race is doomed.   Left to our own ways,  the default position of the human race is a self-seeking state of rebellion against all that is good.    We seek to have Power Over others for our own benefit.  We see to rule, but most of us are ruled.   We tyrannize but most succumb to tyranny.

This brings us to politics.

Historically speaking,  Christianity gave to us the possibility to break that pattern of relating to other people:   to dominate or be dominated.  Good Christian kings — and there were many — knew  they were subject to the same laws of God that everyone else is,  and we all must account for how we carried out our duties..

Both king and peasant stand before the same stern judge.

The Founding Fathers of America seemed to understand this,  that Christ is King over All.
Free S  nation's duty

The Founding Fathers had some concept of the dignity that Christianity offers to all men, and they knew that a government governs best under the laws of God, equally applied to both ruler and ruled, governor and governed.

The American colonists perceived that they were not being treated with dignity, and they were not safe under the tyranny of the court of King George III.

Geo III DC Occupier
The wisdom of the Founding Fathers together with the courage of the colonists created a new nation which, at the outset,  intended to throw off a foreign dictator and be guided by the principles of Christianity which keep a nation safe and strong.

Bar wavy

 

Historically speaking,  when  kings were bad (Christian in name only),  then the people were not safe, and the laws of the land were subverted for the needs of the king.   Heavier and heavier taxes are levied because a corrupt king is inefficient and wasteful.   Revenue is diverted away from the needs of the kingdom.  The people suffer, and often live in fear.

Kingly arrogance is costly.  Dishonesty is costly.    Corruption, bribery, and cronyism is costly.   Immorality is costly.  Ignorance is costly.  Etc.

To reject God is to pay a heavy price, both personally and publicly.

A PARABLE: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

September 11, 2014

I got fooled.    I will admit it:

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I “won’t mention any names,”  but . . . I got fooled by the “organic”  word on the label.

It was hot up here in the Far North, about 77 degrees,  and so humid!    Son and I – still working on the trees and the branches that lay scattered all over our yard —   were hot and tired and thirsty and we needed food and drink.    I don’t usually shop “in the center aisles”  but this time I was too tired to hand-squeeze juice or even use the juicer,  so I decided to buy some ready-made juice.

It didn’t cost very much — that should have been a clue —  but the words seemed right.   It says “juice,”  and it says “organic.”       “Honest” !

I even read the label, but I think my eyes just blurred over the words.  I was too thirsty!     The label said:  organic white grape juice from concentrate.   I should have remembered what’s in “concentrate.”     Sounds like they just take the water out, right?     Then do you know what they do with that “concentrated” juice?    They store it.   They combine it with other juices,  store it, and they have to add chemicals so it doesn’t get moldy or full of bacteria.   They have to “stabilize” the juice.  It can’t ferment.

Same with the concord grape juice from concentrate.

And “natural flavors.”    As long as they start with one molecule from the natural plant, no matter what other chemical substances they add to enhance the flavor,  they can call it natural.   This is where they add the three and four syllable substances – including monosodium glutamate and aspartame, if they want to.

Later in the label there was organic natural flavors .  . . .  uh-huh    After a couple of nasty-tasting swallows, I wasn’t buying that either.

And then:  filtered water.  Sounds nice that they filter it, but this is where you get your fluoride poison … they usually use fluoridated city tap water to reconstitute the juices,  filtered or not.

I thought it was just me,   just my mouth —  but no,  this really didn’t taste right.   The modern world strikes again — using all the right words to create an illusion.

So that is the parable.    It was a prologue to several news stories this week, all reminding me that “they” are playing mind games with us, and they’re so very, very good at it.

The Health Control Bill that we will all suffer under is labeled  “Affordable.”     But a study reported on today estimates that this year small business employees, as a whole,  will give $26.2 billion to the national-federal government  bureaucracy.    Not that they can “afford”  it.  That’s about $827 per employee.     But next year that amount increases.    And the next year it will increase again.    (the American Action Forum)    And that’s only one small example of the many ways we are paying so much money to be able to “afford”  this law.

And then it’s not “medical care”  or “health care”  that you’re getting;  it’s medical insurance redistribution.   With way fewer doctors.

I understand there was a “speech” given to the nation last night in which it was stated that the Islamic State is not of Islam,  and just because they have declared war on us doesn’t mean we are “at war.”   Well,  I guess we don’t have to worry about “winning”  then.

It’s like a game:  see how many words used in the media have the opposite meaning from how the word is implied.    Read the title of any bill our legislators are trying to pass.   The title will indicate just what effect the bill will have, which is the opposite of the words used in that title.

Net “neutrality” ?    The people in positions of government, of whatever party,  will tell you what they think is “neutral.”    The Fairness Act:     When governments control the content and quality of the Internet,   who will they be “fair” to?   How about the U.N.  in charge of our Internet?    They’ll tell us what “fair” is.

“Hope and Change”  and the “Transformation” of America?    These good words may just put us in a “trance”  so that we don’t see what someone else’s idea for “Change” really means.

Watch those words!   Watch those labels!    If you’re really thirsty,  and if you’re told you really, really want this something to drink,   you may not be understanding what the label is really offering you.

 

 

GOOD THING I SAID WHAT I MEANT

August 21, 2014

If you’ve been visiting here for a week or so, you’ll know I’m in the throes of a big home improvement project.     Carpeting is coming and everything in my house has to be moved.  Everything.

Some things will not be replaced,  such as old, old, embarrassingly awful useless furniture pieces that are too heavy and ugly for continued existence.      Did I say that clearly enough?   I had a big clunky end table type thing that did not even have value as a  garage sale item.   I mentioned to Son, who was here today,  that this old table is good for nothing;  it ought to be chopped to pieces.

And then Son disappeared.

SAMSUNGA couple minutes later, it seemed,  I found him on my driveway  — with  what was left of that big old ugly heavy end table.

Good thing  I said what I meant.

You see,  I wasn’t quite aware that I meant what I had said.  I’ve had to make too many decisions this week:  what to save, what to throw away,  where to put this or that, how to make more room to put the contents of five rooms that will be carpeted…. too many decisions!   And that old table?

“Yeah,  probably…. should be…. you know … we should … probably … just …. chop it up.”

SAMSUNGAnd before my tired decision-making brain knew it had made a decision —  there were the pieces filling the back of Son’s GTO,  ready to go to a waiting fire pit.

Because –  “Words mean things.”      “Words have consequences.”

Oh, these were good consequences,  and I really did say what I meant — “chop up that table!” —

I’ve been writing this week about the Bears and the Bees.   The Bears really do exist,  whether they are just lurking, developing problems, whether they are dangers,   whether they are just little issues.   Such things really do objectively exist, and we’d better be careful how we are talking about objective reality,  because clever talk,  loud talk,  ideological talk,  agenda driven talk,  sophistry, and deceitful conversation will not take care of the “bear.”

And at the end of my post on the Bees,  the ground bees I’m dealing with,  I said that we have to admit that not everything is going to work out okay for us.  We have to “push back and keep the world safe for us —   ”

SAMSUNG

There goes the table top.

I had been thinking about that table, fondly;  it was a great place to put house plants on and not worry about spilling water;  it was a great place to store oversized books;  it was a great place to spread out stacks of music by my piano.

But the truth is,  what I really meant,  is that:  it was an  “old, old, embarrassingly awful useless  piece of  furniture.”

Everyday things of life should help us think about the bigger things of life.    If we live with integrity and truth,  then our local situation will aid our thinking about national and global issues.    

 

Shootings?   Beheadings?   Women and children buried alive or cut in half?  Ebola spreading out of control in Africa?  Celebrity race baiters agitating the mobs?   Government policy  creating ruinous economic conditions?   Medical care now increasingly unaffordable or unavailable?   Global persecution of Christians?   Slavery flourishing around the world?     High school (and college)  graduates who cannot read, understand, or analyze the written word?   102,000,000 adults in this country not working,  producing, or contributing anything yet receiving a living “wage” anyway?    Direct, deliberate, blatant threats from the Islamic world to the Western world?   (Sorry, Nero.  They are not “junior varsity.”)  An entire civilization disintegrating into gross immorality, at great financial and social cost,  enfeebling us all?      A growing spirit of Lawlesssness?   Indifference,  defiance, or contempt directed at our own Creator?

Let’s identify the bears around us.   Let’s face the ground bees.     Pick your issue.    If you see an” old, old, embarrassingly awful useless piece of furniture,”    lay aside sentimentality and fond familiarity — and say what you mean!

I think I must have today.