So embarrassing!!!

Sometimes, we know people who do stupid things. It happens. Sometimes, we’re associated with a place that the makes the news for stupid reasons. My Alma Mater, Loyola University New Orleans, has prompted a few eye-rolling moments from me over the past couple of years, but this really takes the taco.

Professor Call Cops on Cop-Student, for being a Cop.

No, for real! A current student, Sgt. Josh Collins of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, didn’t have time to change out of his uniform and safely secure his sidearm one day, so went to class wearing both. Another student, presumably named Speshall Snoflayk, whined to a professor, who then called the cops– that’s right, more dudes with uniforms and sidearms– about the student in a uniform with a sidearm.

St. Ignatius and All Companions, pray for my patience! I’m not able to donate much money to many causes at the moment, but if I ever sell a story for a lucrative movie deal, Loyola New Orleans is currently OFF the “To Donate” list. I hope that this is a smack in the face to the administration that has allowed this stupidity to grow and fester. It was bad enough when I was there back at the turn of the century, but what I’ve seen over the past 12-24 months is a campus culture going off the rails. Because this line, while damning, is pretty reflective of what I’ve been seeing:

At the end of the day, Loyola University is little more than a daycare for young “adults.” $52,000 a year is a bit much to spend for daycare, even if you’re living on campus.

This is embarrassing as an alum! Hey, Society of Jesus: For years I’ve been trying to defend my beloved “Jebbies” from blanket accusations of Marxism and Heresy, but if you guys don’t get your shit straightened out, get some Catholic back into your Catholic University, some Academics into your School, and some Actual, Biblical Jesus back into your Society, I’m gonna give up! I know there are some younger members of the order with a firmer grasp on Orthodoxy and Doctrine, and I pray you don’t run them out and or ruin them before their formation is complete. But in the meantime, it’s like you’re trying your damnedest to prove all the worst accusations and conspiracy theories correct!

Get your shit together, Jebbies, and straighten out your institutions before it’s too late, if it isn’t already!

RE: The Inanity of “Gun Control”

After the Orlando Massacre, I posted a series of posts on my Facebook feed regarding this issue. This post serves to consolidate them in one place, clean up, edit, and add a bit more thought and information to them.

I’m limiting this post strictly to the issues regarding guns and the Orlando Massacre. I will not be posting on any other aspects, and I would ask commenters to likewise refrain from bringing those issues up. My Friends List is varied and diverse, and I actually like most of the people on it. In fact, the 2 or 3 people I like least are among those most likely to agree with what I’m saying here, so. . . chew on that a bit.

Subjects addressed will be: The Weapon Used in the Orlando Massacre, A Brief Mention of Gun Crime Stats in the US, the Truth About “Assault Weapons” (If you skip all the others, pay attention to this one), the Purpose of the 2nd Amendment, and Why I have had an AR-15 on my personal wishlist for a few years (self-styled feminists should take note of this one, too).

Ok then, let’s go!

The Weapon Used in the Orlando Massacre
media-guide-firearms

The firearm used in the Orlando Massacre was NOT an AR-15. Let’s first be clear about this. The firearm used was a Sig Sauer MCX Carbine. “AR-15” is a specific system design (AR from ArmaLite Rifle, before they sold the design to Colt), not a overall classification. The media and other ignorant people like to call all semi-automatic rifles “AR-15s”, because they’re scary-looking and AR-15 sounds scary. Calling this an AR-15 is like calling an American Girl a Barbie, just because they’re both dolls with changeable clothes. “AR-15” is a registered trademark to Colt but, due to common usage, the term is sometimes used for variants of the same basic design which can use the same parts. But this shiney-ass Sig? It’s a rifle system that sometimes utilizes the STANAG magazines that are common to more than 60 different firearms (because interchangeable magazines are just basic sense, see link), but otherwise has no major parts that interface with AR-15s in any way, shape or form. Therefore, not an AR-15.

I bring this up because I’ve seen a petition passed around for banning AR-15s. So, knee-jerk ignorance has yet again struck upon an utterly useless solution that will solve nothing, prevent nothing, and probably make the situation worse, as usual.

Why should the average, non-gun-nut person care? Because if you actually give half a damn about trying to prevent future massacres, future unnecessary, innocent deaths, then you need to actually care about 1) What has worked historically to accomplish that end,  2) What might possibly have prevented the events that horrify you, and thus, 3) What ideas might possibly help in the future, as opposed to those ideas that will accomplish nothing good, and might actually make things worse.

sanctimoniousEvery time you promote a solution that clearly and obviously would have done nothing to prevent the event you claim horrifies you so much, what you’re really promoting is your own arrogance and self-righteousness. It shows that you don’t actually care the slightest bit for the victims or their loved ones, or the future victims and their loved ones. It shows that what you really care about is your unearned sense Moral Superiority, your belief that you are So Much Better than everyone that disagrees with your knee-jerk, brainless emoting. All you care about is making yourself feel good in public. It is Public Masturbation of the Ego, and it’s disgusting to the rest of us. Which is why we keep telling you to stop already, put that mess away.

Some sources for you (and that I’ve pulled some info form): http://bearingarms.com/…/narrative-fail-orlando-islamic-te…/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15
http://bearingarms.com/…/fact-check-ar-15-wasnt-used-orlan…/

Moving on. . .

A Brief Mention of Statistics.

I’ll note right out that I hate statistics. Of all my textbooks from all my college and university courses, the only one that prompted suicidal thoughts every time I opened it was my “statistics” book. I’m of a mind to agree with Mr. Mark Twain: “There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

That said, if we keep away from some of the more egregious number manipulation, they can show some good, useful information. So:

http://www.theacru.org/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counte…/

http://www.pewresearch.org/…/gun-homicides-steady-after-de…/

http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/…/gun-homicide-rate-down-49…/

http://www.bjs.gov/content/guns.cfm

I’ve tried to keep these sources as non-political as possible, which is hard when it comes to this matter. The only one that I’d say isn’t 100% objective is the first one, but I included it sums up what follows.

But it also comes down to basic sense: Murder is already illegal and generally socially unacceptable. Pretty much No One supports Murder. And yet, it happens. Because people who choose to murder don’t give a damn about the fact that it’s outlawed.

Once a Bad Person has decided to Murder (thus flouting the law against such an action), they tend to not give much of a damn about any other laws, like “This thing is Banned”, or “Register this thing”, or “Don’t do this other thing, cuz we say so!”. Like, seriously, they don’t care. They’ll find a way. And if there are laws that others obey, thus cramping their Murder-Style, why then they’ll go buy fertilizer and rent a truck, get creative with kitchen gadgets like pressure cookers, get stabby with a kitchen knife, or go onto the black market and buy some illegal firearms. Or get a security position with the government thus giving them a position with carefully crafted exemptions to the laws. Like just happened.

The only people, in fact, that abide by gun control laws are the law abiding people who don’t Murder others. They care about the law. They don’t want to be criminals, because they’re Decent, Civilized Beings. Such laws only effect non-murderers. Only Non-Murderers are disarmed, thus leaving them as happy(?) sitting ducks for any Murderer to come and pick off at will.

Which is why every massacre happens in a Gun-Free Zone, filled with defenseless innocents who can offer no effective resistance. Which is why they Never happen at Gun Shows or NRA Conventions.

The Truth About “Assault Weapons”

If you do nothing else, if you skip every other post in your quest to remain sanctimoniously ignorant, go to this link and go through the Whole Damn Thing. http://www.assaultweapon.info/

Summary: Assault Rifles are already banned. “Assault Weapons” is a term that, I Shit You Not, means “Scary Looking.” Seriously, go through the whole thing. None of this is new to me, but it might be new for you. Please, even if only to make your own arguments more intelligible. I will know if you haven’t done your homework. It will be patently obvious to everyone who already knew all this, or who just learned it all themselves.

Related Extra Credit Reading: http://www.gunsandammo.com/gun-culture/9-misused-gun-terms/

 

The Purpose of the 2nd Amendment

govtgunsThe 2nd Amendment has Jack Sh*t to do with hunting. There purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to protect civilians from the government when it inevitably turns against them.

Like it did at say, Wounded Knee (The Lakota women weren’t even allowed to possess the tools needed to to sew beads onto their dresses, okay? And they and their children were mercilessly slaughtered, and their murderers given Medals of Honor. Don’t tell me it won’t or can’t happen in America– it already has). Or, as has happened in countless other countries in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

The core purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to act as an Auto-Destruct in Case of Constitutional Failure. The only reason we haven’t yet gone to the terrible extremes of other totalitarian states is because enough legislators know that enough citizens remember that it is the government that should be scared of the citizens, not the other way around.

GIRLSundPANZERproject

Why is this not reality?! (Promo pic for the delightfully silly yet accurate Girls Und Panzer)

Which means, yes, the 2nd Amendment protects theGod-given Right of the Citizens toeffectively defend themselves against their own military. In this context, then, the fact that I can’t own a working Tank is an abomination (I even know where I’d park it!)– but one I understand due to the mess that would result if everybody took tanks to work. Likewise my lack of F-16 (don’t know where I’d park this).

 

Y’all know I love the US Military, and not just because the US Army pays my bills. I love and Respect The Crap out of our War-fighters, okay? I don’t want there to ever be a day when the 2nd amendment is triggered for it’s purpose. But you know what? I have no respect for our politicians, and little hope that they’ll suddenly learn even a sliver of the honor of our war-fighters. The 2nd Amendment *must* be preserved against that horrible day.

Ida WellsThe secondary purpose of 2nd Amendment is that it is the only thing that allows minorities to effectively protect themselves against a hostile majority. It is the Right that allows the Great Equalizer to take effect– it allows women to stand a chance against stronger male attackers, it allows racial and religious minorities to protect themselves from the likes of the KKK. The Pink Pistols say that “Armed Gays Don’t Get Bashed.”– and you know what, they’re right! (Also, the Pink Pistol’s ain’t the only Gay Guns! Group in town anymore: Check out the delightful https://www.facebook.com/LGBTforGunRights page!)

If any of you want to learn the safe and proper handling of firearms, I highly recommend the NRA courses. I’ve taken a couple, and they’re very informative, and include range time and tests.

Why I Want An AR-15 (Since the State of Maryland Won’t Allow Me to Own an AK-47)

So, truth be told, I’ve been wanting an AR-15 of my own for a couple of years. I have to straighten out some other finances first (I still owe my Dad $300 from Balticon), and there are some House-things that need doing, but an AR-15 is on the wishlist. Let me tell you why (“feminists” might find this of interest):

Coupla years ago, I think it was my friend Kory, he let me borrow his AR-15 during a shooting day at a mutual friend’s range. And I fell instantly in love. Know why? The Adjustable Stock.

Here’s the thing: the proportions of my upper-arms to my lower-arms (length-wise) are a bit out of whack. For reasons therefore of strange geometry, the standard-size stocks of most rifles I’ve tried are very hard for me to handle. It’s like my arms simply aren’t long enough, or jointed right, to hold properly and securely.

In addition, I’m left-eye dominant, even though was born ambidextrous and generally write right-handed. I need a left-handed or ambidextrous rifle.

Also, maybe you didn’t know, but I’m female. Although I do my pushups and haul heavy boxes with the best of folk (often surprising the fellas when it comes to such things), I’m still relatively weak when it comes to upper-body strength. Rifles are both long and heavy, therefore requiring greater arm strength to properly control for more than a minute or two at a time.

The AR-15 is a modular system, which means that you can assemble a custom built rifle for a much more affordable price than if you had to order a non-modular rifle with the needed specs. So I can get the adjustable stock for my weird arms, and I can make sure it’s set up for left-handed use (or more easily get a gunsmith to make a few adjustments to make it ambidextrous). It’s relatively lightweight, which means that I and other women can use it with greater ease and accuracy.

It’s also generally quite affordable (depending on what parts you choose), which means that lower-income women have economic access to it.

Please keep in mind that accuracy is a safely matter above anything else. So too, flash suppressors, sound suppressors, and heat cages. They might look scary because Hollywood has taught you that they looks scary, but these are all safety measures.

I’ve been invited to take part in several informal shooting competitions, but I can’t really take part at this time because my rifles either don’t have change-able magazines, or because their cartridge capacity is too low. An Ar-15 would allow me to compete with my friends (who, themselves, mostly use Ar-15s in these competitions), but would also allow me a self-defense weapon that is reliable, is easy to use in an emergency, and is easy to control when adrenaline might otherwise make it very difficult.Mal1

So why do I want an AR-15? Because it would allow me to play with my friends, *and* effectively defend myself should my living-on-my-onesies situation become a little too tempting for the local criminal element. And because I can customize with all the obnoxious Hello!Kitty crap I want. Just like my ammo cans!

I may post further updates. Eventually. Who really knows.

23 April 2014 News and Sundry

St. George’s Day! The patron of England is renowned for his dragon-slaying skills — but only mean dragons. So, Toothless is safe. . .

happy_night_fury_by_galletax-d3biefzThe Navy is naming a new ship after Gabby Giffords. Ugh. If she has any class, she’ll ask that they name it after someone who’s 1) Dead and 2) Did something actively heroic. Getting shot and surviving does not a hero make. Walking open-eyed into danger to save others does. Every firefighter in this country is more worthy of this honor than Mrs. Giffords.

It has started. Apes building fire and toasting marshmallows. It is now only a matter of time. Tick Tock. [Warning for auto-play on arrival]

S.E. Cupp on why Bloomberg is nothing but fail.

There was a time when I thought that “Chem Trails” was one of the wackiest Conspiracy Theories out there. I’ve been changing my mind on that for a couple of years. But not for the reasons others have. To quote Ben Davidson:

“Do we spray the sun, mars, venus, jupiter, and saturn? They are ALL changing more than earth… better rethink both the human causation and the idea that we are making it worse in the short term. The long term affects could be bad but there is no doubt that earth is managing to do better than its neighbors despite everything you hear. This is a solar event, and they are playing god trying to stop it. They can’t hide it, so they make you think its an attempt to do something crazy so you scream about it online and nobody in the mainstream takes any of us seriously. THAT is how you hide something in plain sight… you make the opposition (us) act like crazy people.”

Traditional “Saxon” Math vs. “Common Core”

Also

And. . . who the hell is John Titor?

09 April 2014 News

Here’s a good way to take advantage of our overload of lawyers. Sue the schools that abuse our children.

If there is only one thing you read today, read about these amazing, heart wrenching efforts to save children from sex slavery rings.

[While we’re on the subject, let me just note that I hate the term “Human trafficking”. Even if it’s technically correct, it seems to me to be a politically correct softening  of the term “Slavery”. That’s what this is, plain as day. We should name it with the ugliest terms we have. We should be absolutely clear what we’re talking about. This is slavery. The people who do it are slavers. Those who support it in any way are supporting the slave trade.]

LuciMy favorite actor of Lucifer calls out Obamacare over its attack on freedom of conscience. Turns out, he’s a bit of a libertarian. Who knew?

Also inappropriate: Strippers at nursing homes. Really? Ugh. Like Mrs. Scalia, I’m not comfortable with strippers in general as it is, for pretty much the reasons  she notes. How crass and insensitive do you have to be to call them into a nursing home?

This is gonna make my job even more tedious. Let’s just add more red tape. That’ll help women. . .

 

The American Covenant

The Warning

It started 31 January 2012. According to my journal, Gold was $1,747.04/ oz that morning, and silver was $33.66/oz. The rest of the entry for that morning reads as follows:

Jay Carney says WH has no rush re: Iran. Since the man is a liar, we may assume the opposite.

FL primary today.

Rumor Mill News

Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn The Harbinger

Debka is reporting that Syrian Prez Bashar Assad may start regional war if UN tells him to step down.

One of these things is not quite like the others. . . that day, in the morning, I’d come across an interview with Rabbi Cahn on YouTube, and it “pinged” in my brain. Something made me take notice. I run across odd, cool and crazy things on YouTube all the time. Sometimes I post them on my blog. But this was different enough to have me scribbling a note in my journal with ink on paper– a more real “noting of” than simply copy/pasting electrons via computer. So I scribbled it down and put it out of my mind.

On 12 March 2012, in addition to my usual market entries, I wrote the following

On Saturday, bought a new pair of work shoes (1st time in 3 years). Then on a whim, went to the neighboring bookstore. There, in front, on display, was that book I’d noticed a couple of weeks ago –> The Harbinger. So, I bought it, and just finished reading it. And it’s very troubling. Ref. Isaiah 9:10-12, in relation to events of 9/11 and all that follows. Crap–> this means responsibility of some nature that I must uphold.

[Oddly enough, that was the last entry until near the end of June, even though the journal is always in my bag.] Due to my experiences in life, when something presents itself before me and sticks in my brain, I make note of it. When it keeps presenting itself, I take that as a message from above, that He wants me to take notice. It would be a long, long tale to describe that training, but He trained me thusly, and so this is how I respond.

It’s odd, for me, as a Catholic. Prophesy and things related are generally avoided, save those referring to Jesus. End-times prophesy is so very. . . protestant, you know. Best to not meddle around with trying to interpret anything. Que sera, sera, and all that. But then, I’ve always been the nutter in the choir loft, and I’ve had a passion for all the “Strange but True” stories featured on Unsolved Mysteries and The X Files. So I never really followed the traditional Catholic manner of dealing with the Book of Revelation or various Old Testament Texts. To my mind, too many theologians have been involved in the Catholic view of such things. There’s a strain of Catholicism (to which I have long exposure) that holds that Biblical Prophesy has been fulfilled, or else is not to be interpreted, because we’d just get it wrong anyway. This same strain looks askance at the events of Fatima and buys the Vatican line about the 3rd Secret.

So you can imagine that when contemplating ideas bridging ancient Israel to modern America, the voices of 500 theologians (and the dubious eyebrows of my father) cry out all at once in my head. But luckily, my inner musician rises up in reply and says “If the melody and chord progression are the same, the rhythm similar, it means it’s the same Opus, by the same Composer!”

For instance, when I first saw The Fellowship of the Ring in the movie theater, I realized before I saw the credits that the composer of the soundtrack was the same guy who composed the soundtrack for The Matrix. How did I realize this? Because Howard Shore, the composer, used a chord, broken into an descending arpeggio descending for The Matrix, and used the same chord, broken but ascending, for Lord of the Rings. It was a signature. It was possible that the music was written by two separate people– but unlikely. My ear heard that one pattern was simply the inversion of the other, and identified it as the work of the same person.

Because of this musical training, I’m pretty good at spotting patterns. If someone else spots the pattern and points it out, I can validate it pretty quickly. This is what happened with the book mentioned above. Rabbi Cahn noted a pattern between the events starting around Isaiah 9:10, and their super-eerie correspondence to the exact same things happening with 9/11 and the events that followed. There is a clear pattern shown, a pattern even more detailed thanks to Rabbi Cahn’s Jewish background and understanding of the Jewish Calendar and traditions.

I’ll not spell out the pattern int his post– if you are interested, that can be another post. Or you can get the book yourself. However, the main point, at least as far as this particular essay goes, is this: That God is very much active in the events around us, That God is very much involved in the continuing history of the American people, and that God is very much trying to get our stupid, wandering attention, and we really ought to start paying Him some mind. . .


The Covenant

Having read that book in the spring, it’s implications knocking around in my skull for a few months, I was well primed when about a month ago, I heard of another book, this one called The Covenant: America’s Sacred and Immutable Connection to Ancient Israel, by Timothy Ballard. [Allow me to give a few disclaimers: First, I have not yet finished the book, so what I write today is based upon what I have read so far. Second, this book was a re-write of two other books that had been written for an LDS readership– Ballard removed all the LDS material for this book so that it would be accessible to a broader audience. Third– the author references the writings and research of other authors. I’ve not had the chance to check out these writings, though I’m interested, so I cannot say, for myself, how trustworthy these sources are. That said, the ideas presented are intriguing and worth considering, so I cannot dismiss them outright.]

Basically, The Covenant takes the microcosmic idea of The Harbinger and enlarges it– not only is 9/11 an echo of past events– the entire history of America is tied with that of Ancient Israel (which is why the Harbingers show themselves now as they did then). Ballard (this is where he references works and authors I’m unfamiliar with) starts with the Old Testament prophesies concerning the descendants of Joseph– the famed lost tribes of Israel, who disappear from canon before the prophesies are fulfilled. Through hints found in linguistics and archaeology, Ballard theorizes some of the movements of these lost tribes northwest through Europe. Then using the writings of Columbus and others, he shows how the discovery, settlement, and Founding of America were always seen as something ordained by God in the Bible, and that God was active in the discovery, settling and founding of the nation.

This then explains American Exceptionalism, the instinctive feeling of kinship with modern day Israel and the near obsessive need many American’s feel to protect Israel, the need to reawaken our common religious sensibilities, whatever our religion may be, and why we absolutely, positively, cannot allow the secularists to have their way in removing God from the American Consciousness. This is why it is so very important for all Americans to know and understand the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution/ Bill of Rights– these are the documents that write out the American Covenant. These set up the human half of the equation– they state who we are as a people, what we desire, and the rules which shall bind the powerful among us. In return, just as with Ancient Israel, God will bless us with protection (life), liberty, and prosperity (the pursuit of happiness). However, should our part of the Covenant be broken, should we forget our part, God will withdraw His blessings not so much to punish us, but to get our attention, to remind us of the covenant, and to call us back to Himself.

Zophiel’s Ponderings

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being very intrigued with the idea. I can’t say I entirely buy it (those 500 theologians would make my head explode if I tried) . . . honestly, I have more research to do before I can properly weigh various arguments and make my decision on what I believe in this regard.  However, it is worth considering as we look at the tragedies befalling our dear nation everyday. When we see all three branches of our government betray us, our economy stumbling and crawling, our news peppered with reports of flesh-eating zombie-people and the reports aren’t jokes. When we consider the old-guard “conservatives” who focused more on policy with a mention of religious texts much like one would reference any other work or literature, when we consider just what is being taught in our schools– and not taught.

But here’s what it comes down to. I’ve read the fist book, am about halfway through the second. I’ve been considering these ideas for months now. And these things keep shoving themselves in front of my attention. I’ve gone and read. And I’ve considered the ideas. And still they present themselves. Which, according to my past experience, means this: It is not enough to read and ponder, I have to share.

I hate that part the most. I can ponder whatever crazy idea I want in the privacy of my own brain. But sharing the nuttiness? Oh my. That’s entirely different.

So, here I am, sharing, hoping that this is sufficient for His purposes. Hoping that I can finish the one book and then move on to something else, and not have these things vying for my ever wandering attention. I have presented to you the idea that America, like Ancient Israel, is a Nation Under Covenant with God, and that means that we have responsibilities and duties to uphold, or else the pattern of Isaiah 9:10 will continue out to the finish.

Let’s hope we get things back on track before that happens.

(Update: Forgot to add the link for Intercessors for America)

An Excellent Summation

H/T Wraith: Learned Helplessness and Operant Conditioning

Sometimes, in my writings, I mention that my writings are a vehicle by which I am trying to overcome the brainwashing of my youth. Melody Byrne describes what I’m talking about pretty exactly in the article linked above. I think I’m about the exact same age as her, given we entered high school and graduated from it at about the same time.

 I was lucky, in that my father never gave up trying to wake me up to Truth, and that I wasn’t always in the public school system. Note, though, that private schools must be accredited, and accreditation standards are often written to ensure that the brainwashing and conditioning of public schools is at least somewhat reflected in the private institutions. For this reason, my high school which was very rigorous intellectually, while not furthering the conditioning or brainwashing all that much, also didn’t do much to counter it. What conditioning I’d received remained to be re-inforced again once I went to college (of which very, very few are not awash in the conditioning programs).

RadioFree Slytherin: A Dedication for Euterpe

[This was originally posted at TCT. Reposting today]

Well, my proposal for a new weekly feature here met with some measure of approval, so here we go with the First Entry. Before I do so, I wanna give some credit for the inspiration for this series to ZurichMike (the other ZM of the Treehouse)– on Thursday’s language post, he and I had a brief conversation around the pronunciation of the word “forte”, which had me quoting some lines from the aria “Nessun Dorma” (From Puccini’s Turandot). This made we want to post the aria for all to enjoy, but then the wheels started turning, and what would have been one post will be a recurring series.

But I’m going to hold off on the Puccini. If we’re to do this properly, and considering that we are the Conservative Treehouse. . . we must start much as we started the Advent Calendar, and kick it old school. Only today, we’re leaving Chant in the dust, going back another thousand years, for the oldest recorded complete song on the planet.

There are actually fragments of songs with musical notation going back to the Babylonians of 2000 BC, written in cuneiform. And there are other songs from China that are very plausibly dating from 1,000 BC. But those songs were not written down until the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). [Oddly enough, it seems that the idea of recording music was something Western Civilization has been doing for at least 4,000 years, while no one else had the idea until Tang Dynasty China. . . and even then, it’s still a mostly Western phenomenon, which is why music history and theory courses focus on Western Music– because that’s what got recorded for posterity.]

Thus is it that the oldest complete record of a song is the “Epitaph of Seikilos.” This song was carved into a tombstone, found in 1883 AD near Aiden, Turkey (which is not far from Ephesus). The words written upon the tombstone translate as follows:

“I am a tombstone, an image. Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance.”

Then follow the text of the song:

“While you live, shine.

Do not let yourself become overburdened by grief

For life exists only for a short time

And time demands its toll.”

Followed by the dedication:

“(from) Seikilos to Euterpe”

This dedication has led many scholars to conclude that Euterpe is the name of Seikilos’ (presumably dead) wife. Funnily enough, she shared her name with the Muse of Music and Lyric Poetry.

Of all songs written so long ago, I find it oddly appropriate that this should be the oldest complete song in the West. It is so familiar in sound and sentiment–it’s a song of a man, grieving a love taken from him by time, but still treasuring his memories of her. It’s not some song praising one’s duty to a god or country, nor an epic of battles, nor a philisophical aria. It’s a heartbroken love song: simple, sad, and poignant in it’s elegance. The melody is evocative of his sorrow, the words filled with both inspiration and grief. This version progressively takes some liberties, but I like it anyway . . .

I was surprised when I went looking for this, that the makers of the videogame Civilization have included it in their soundtrack for Civilization V. I admit to being a bit skeptical at first, but I actually enjoyed this orchestration– it’s a respectful and stirring tribute to the musical roots of Western Civilization.

I do hope you enjoyed today’s selection!

Righting the World: Thoughts on Breitbart, Ministry and Courage!

This started some time ago. I tend to dwell and ponder matters. One thing I dwell on is my role in the world: What am I doing, what purpose am I serving in doing what I do? I also expand that out to various groups of friends, notably my dear friends at The Conservative Treehouse. What is our role? How does what we do serve the greater community?

In the midst of these ponderings, that great towering giant of a man, Andrew Brietbart, shocked the lot of us by skipping off for heaven waaaay before we expected. And my ponderings upon the role and place of The Treehouse got tangled up with ponderings on the lessons Breitbart left us. I’m going to try to sort that out now.

As I am a Christian, when I ponder and consider the roles of my self or those near me, I often flash on the following words from Jesus (Matt 25):

33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

    34Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

    35For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

    36Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.

    37Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee?

    39Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee?

    40And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

    41Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.

    42For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.

    43I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.

    44Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?

    45Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

    46And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

 You’ll not that He says nothing about blogging. He says nothing about writing at all. But that does not mean that writing, and blogging, are <I>not</I> ways of ministry. (Mind: I am not  saying that if one blogs, that excuses one from following the literal interpretation of His words. Also, I’m writing primarily about the commentors before the posters– the entire community.)

When I read the posts and comments at the Treehouse, I consider that our role, what we do, is as follows: We see those who naked of language– they know the Truth, but cannot express it, or defend it. We, in our open ponderings and occasional bickering, provide them with words to use. We see a world hungry for Truth- and we give it, as best we can. We see that people have been brainwashed through our public education system and media, and we try to show them the way out of their mental prisons. Believe me, the thought-patterns of the Left are a prison even without concrete walls.

In terms of posts, we are a varied, Rag-tag (if you will) lot. We are not a news service like Hot Air or Insty. Nor are any of us Bill Whittle (though we do try, and Sundance comes closest!). We’re somewhere in between, headlines and essays, activism and kitteh pics. A little bit of Ace, a little bit of Anchoress. But that’s just our style. What we do, our purpose, started as a little refuge for our band of misfits. Many (most?) of us never really fit in anywhere else. We started out fleeing from one site, chased from our first hide-out, and here decided to make our stand.

From those campfire days, we’ve developed into quite the little village, with each writer and each commenter valued, and an active Troll-Patrol. Here we gather, we Rag Tag bunch of Misfits, from varied backgrounds, and bring share our insights. In doing so, we encourage each other to go out and proclaim Truth to the world– whether on facebook, other blogs, caucuses, the street, family, friends, random strangers. . . We learn to deconstruct lies, to dive into the hearts of issues, to expose the lies around us for what they are, and to succor those who seek Truth, who are confused and need an environment where they can work out their confusion.

[I count myself among the latter. Most of my blathering is me trying to Sort Things Out, and you lot have been remarkably patient with me.]

The size of our ministry is, at this time, rather small. But we emphasise quality over quantity. If we grow, we grow. If we stay the same size, we stay the same. We may not always agree on things. Our thoughts and insights may not always be original to us– but one thing we count on, is that each of us is sincere and honest in our writing. And that is what makes this place a Refuge, a small shining village of Trust and Truth in the grim forest of Fear and Madness.

In the midst of these thoughts, that great warrior Breitbart went and bought the farm. He was, is, our model of Fearlessness, of brazen courage, raging against the falling night, uncowed by any attack. So much has already be written on what we are to do now, how we all need to follow in his footsteps. I couldn’t agree more.

Last Thursday, I had taken the day off. I was cleaning my living room when the word first came onto Fox News that he had died. It was like a punch to the gut– I was so shocked, I thought that surely I’d misheard, or it was someone with a similar sounding name. . .  I heard Jonah Goldberg reminice a few minutes later, himself clearly in shock and grieving. Soon, I could bear no more, so I switched to the Funimation Channel. And there, they were showing the final eposides of the anime Soul Eater. A very strangely appropriate thing to see at the time. I was very moved the first time I saw the final episode, and seeing it again in this context gave it even more meaning for me.

There’s so much that I think is appropriate for reflection that I want to share it with you. The guy wrapped in bandages is the Kishin (Demon God) Ashura– he is the embodiment of Fear and Madness. His weapon is fear, and he radiates madness. Maka, the little girl with the pig-tails, in our heroine. She attends the DWMA (Death Weapon Meister’s Academy) in Nevada, where she, along with her fellow students, learn to weild their living weapon companions– her companion, Soul, is a scythe. They hunt down evil souls and harvest them to protect the innocents of the world, under the direction of Lord Death. She and her team are trapped insode a barrier with the Kishin, while her father, teachers, and other friends are locked outside, unable to help. At the beginning, all of her teammates have fallen, and only she and Soul remain. Watch her progress as she faces the Kishin, and note the moment when the tide changes, and what it was that changed things.

Watch the whole thing. It’s 23 minutes long, so bookmark it if you need to come back later.

And, yes, I chose the subtitled version for this. Usually, I’m not such a snob about such things, but the Dubbed translation was just off enough that for my purposes, the original was what was needed.

UPDATE: Related (h/t Gracie over at TCT). Remember, the word is: Courage!

Speaking of Contraception . . .

The Anchoress points out a surprising source for support of the Church’s teaching re: Birth Control– Business Insider, of all places!

Here’s a tasty bit:

Today’s injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae VitaeHe warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:

  1. General lowering of moral standards
  2. A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy
  3. The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men. 
  4. Government coercion in reproductive matters. 

Does that sound familiar? 

Because it sure sounds like what’s been happening for the past 40 years.

As is said, read the whole thing!

To be honest, I used to be a lot more laissez-faire about the issue myself. After all, if God wanted you to have a kid, it would happen– both myself and my little brother were conceived while our mother was using birth control.

Continue reading

A Hunt is afoot . . .

So, I’m on the trail of something. It started with noticing some similarieties between the Koran (as understood through the Doctrine of Abrogation), the commonly accepted Hadith, and Crowley’s The Book of the Law and it’s commentary. When reading the commentaries (not at all a pleasant thing), I found some similarities also to what passes for certain strands of progressive thought.

I’ve found one connection, but it’s tenuous and. . . late, chronologically speaking. I may well be asking for some help with finding the connections. I’m almost certain there’s something here that needs finding. The connections would have happened in the beginning of the 20th Century, through the ’60’s.

arg.