28 June 2012, St. Irenaeus of Lyons

Big News Day. See below for some SCOTUS and Colorado Fire coverage.

Let’s get to the rest:

The House votes 255-67 to hold Eric Holder in contempt. Ace writes that since 17 Dems voted for contempt, that means it’s a bipartisan move. And:“The Democrats staged a walk out. From WI and IN to the House of Representatives, when Democrats don’t get their way they walk away like spoiled little brats.”

UPDATE: Missed this earlier– Fulton Sheen declared “Venerable”. Heck to the yeah, man! Next step, Beatification!

The Honor of Our Ancestors, Part I (Repost)

(Repost- pictures will be added back in later)

[I know I’ve another series of posts to wrap up– but this subject is part of that, so I think I need to sort this out before I can wrap up the other series.] 

Two weeks ago, I took some time to go with my parents to visit my Grandmother up in Cape Cod. It had been over ten years since I’d last seen her—I was unable to attend the funeral of my Grandfather, so much had changed since I’d last seen her. But she’s around 90 years old, and I’ve been haunted by the feeling that as spry and stubborn as she is, I don’t have much time left to interact with her. So, I had to go, before things fall apart so completely that even the Cape is beyond my reach.

 

After Dad and I cleaned out her gutters in preparation for winter, we all drove to the mainland to visit Grandpa’s grave at the National Memorial Cemetery out in East MA. It’s funny—I don’t think I’ve ever been to a national cemetery before, even though I live so (relatively) close to Arlington. There he was, his plaque set in line with all his brothers in arms—they are buried as they die, so service branch and war are mixed—his WWII Army was next to a Korean War Marine on one side, and a Gulf War Airman on the other. I cannot recall names or ranks, as I felt it really none of my business.

 

As I stood back, eyes tracing over the graceful hills, the trees with their leaves murmuring softly in the sun-warmed breeze, I listened to Grandma tell my Mom and Dad about the bodies of three Union soldiers that had been found months before during excavations for a building project, who had been reburied “Just up there, at the top of that hill.” It was a strange feeling that came upon me, as though all the men and women buried here were simply sleeping, but still on duty, just . . . waiting, faithfully, for the Trumpet to rouse them from their naps. A fragment of something that I’d once read echoes ghost-like in my ears: “Rank upon rank of the honored dead. . . “ (No, I cannot recall what that’s from. Perhaps someone can remind me.)

It was a bit of at theme last week, since my reading material included (along with Charles Stross’ The Atrocity Archive and The Jennifer Morgue) Inazo Nitobe’s Bushido—the Soul of Japan, and Miyamoto Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings. (I am currently about halfway through Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s Hagakure—The Way of the Samurai.) It was really the first of these that had the most impact—no doubt, in part because it was written in English for a western audience. Nitobe was a convert to Christianity, and had a great command of the English language. This book was written in 1899 as an introduction to the concept of Bushido to the west, and Nitobe does an excellent job of presenting and explaining the ideas and sentiments that birthed and nurtured the ideal. I’ll come back to this in a moment (ed. No, wait, well get back to him in a later post. Dang, you’re long-winded, girl).

One thing that I have thought for some time is that our society needs to recover honor. To be clear—I think most people, especially those who make their way to this part of the forest, already have a sense of honor, and live by it. The most respected institution in America is still the Military, because most American’s treasure that our Service branches are the one place that still teach and uphold honor– something that pretty much every other institution including, sadly, most churches, has abandoned. Society as a whole, outside the ranks, has clearly lost a lot where honor is concerned, as we would not be in the situation we are in at the moment if we had not. So, we must be able to articulate and promote the virtues, and why they are important. I do believe this is possible—and that it will be extremely difficult. But before we can recover honor, I think we need to have some concept of what exactly we’re trying to recover.

In my Confessio of several months ago, I mentioned that I came to an understanding of a point of Catholic teaching in part by a study of Shinobi-philosophy. Popular understanding of the Shinobi would believe that the Shinobi and Honor have no business being in the same essay, save as a point of contrast. This is due to a limited understanding of both– let me start with some Shinobi learnin’ for y’all, so I can introduce my theories regarding the subject.

In my humble estimation, the best resource alive today for information about the shinobi would be Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi-sensei– [While I acknowledge that some would dispute this, I have considered their arguments and found them unconvincing. This article is not the place for such discussion, but I did want to acknowledge that reasonable people might disagree]– and his students.  Due to a lifelong love of all things Ninja (looong before some guy named Kishimoto ever picked up his brush to write the Naruto manga, mind,

Yes. This is my desktop wallpaper, why? [ANBU Kakashi from the Manga/ anime Naruto.

though I am fond of it!), I ran across the writings of Hatsumi-sensei and his students on Amazon, and purchased some used copies (because I’m not cheap, I’m frugal) and started reading as something to fill the time. I wasn’t expecting secondhand books about ninja from totally unfamiliar sources to become key in my spiritual questing. God has a somewhat twisty sense of humor, one I appreciate more and more the longer I live.

One of the first of Hatsumi-sensei’s American students was Stephen K. Hayes. After studying for some time under Hatsumi-sensei, Mr. Hayes came back to America and started writing his Ninja series of books, introducing some of the historical reality of Ninja to Americans in a language they found easy to understand. In his first of this series, Ninja: Spirit of the Shadow Warrior (1980), I found the concept that, fitted together with some others I’d found, became that key that I’d been looking for. Allow me to quote from the final chapter of the book:

A working familiarity with the concept of in and yo balancing, referred to in Chapter One, is one direction from which we can approach the elimination of our limiting blinders. More commonly referred to as yin and yang in the popular media, this system of perception has encountered a widespread acceptance in recent decades. Unfortunately, like so many other abstract concepts that have been imported from the East and subsequently Westernized, the in-yo understanding has undergone substantial adjustments to allow it to fit with conventional Western beliefs. The system somehow seems to have been simplified and abridged to the point where it is a convenient analogy for explaining the supposed absolute opposites in the universe, the progression of all things and situations into something different, and the inevitability of good and bad reversing themselves. As handed down by generations of ninja, however, the concept has far more significance that a mere exotic label for the phenomenon of relativity.

It is taught that in the beginning, or actually before the beginning, there existed only a vast potential as a single thought or germinating cause. This concept is accepted by wide ranging belief systems, from Hinduism to “the way” of sage Lao Tzu’s Taoism, to “The Word” of God in Christianity and Judaism. Though we can attempt to imagine what this original, total, all-inclusive existence was like, it is virtually impossible in reality for humans in our present state of evolution to conceive of such limitless vastness. We cannot overcome the fact that we are observers outside of, and looking at , the concept of the all-inclusive totality.

From this first stage of single totality, or tai kyoku, emerged the existence of fundamental polarities. Lao Tzu writes of the oneness of the tao becoming the duality of yin and yang (in and yo in the Japanese language), and the Bible states that God created the heavens and the earth, or the first polarity. Regardless of the symbols used to describe this phenomena, this polarity is nothing solid or concrete, but rather the potential individualization of all things in the universe. In essence, this fundamental polarity is the sexual concept of male and female on a cosmic scale.

In is the darkness, femaleness, the quality of “going to” or negative polarity. In this sense, the word negative does not have a disparaging or condemning meaning; it is used to indicate that which draws, attracts, and stores, as in a negative electrical charge or (-) magnetic pole.

Yo is the light, maleness, the quality of “going from”, or positive polarity. These two qualities are said to have existed originally as potentialities alone. They became the fundamental separation of the oneness of the universe, which then permitted the further progression of pure energy into matter. The one became two, and the two then became the essence of electrical energy charges, which eventually permitted the formation of electrons and subsequent atomic structure.

Each contains the other in its heart

As described, this In-Yo concept is a common idea found throughout the world’s mystical traditions– it resonated with me, because I spent some time in college studying The Kaballah, which contains this idea as well. The In-Yo relationship is a duality that does not include the good-evil scale as such, but neither does it necessarily exclude such concepts. Certainly, one cannot say that either In or Yo is Good or Evil, but those of us who believe in the reality of Good and Evil might say that Good is a working, mutually respectful relationship between In and Yo, while Evil is the complete domination of either by the other– all In, or all Yo. For instance, Anarchy might be considered the In to Totalitarianism’s Yo. Both exclusive of the other are a hellish horror, but a fine balance of the two, of Rule of Law and Protection of Freedom, is pretty sweet.

This works too

In the Bible, God uses both In and Yo approaches to the Battle between Good and Evil. A large portion of the Old Testament portrays God as a very Yo personality– very outward, there’s a lot of plagues, and conquests, God doing this or that very clearly and powerfully. Sodom and Gomorrah pissed off God, He warns them, they ignore Him, and BAM! its over for both. This is because God’s relationship with Israel (and humanity as a whole) is very much Yo, with humans being the In in the relationship.

However, God’s way of dealing with Evil is more balanced, and He certainly doesn’t avoid In tactics. For instance, as a Christian, I would say that the most blatant use of In tactics in the Biblical battles between Good and Evil was: The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Strategically speaking, this was a huge trap– something C.S. Lewis recognizes in

Aslan, laying down The Law

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when Aslan defeats the White Witch by allowing her to kill him. When Susan and Lucy see The Lion after his resurrection, he details how his willing sacrifice to save others called upon the laws of the Deep Magic, that the witch had forgotten, thus effecting her defeat.

Jesus, Son of God, was born in a cave that housed animals. Not exactly sanitary or exalted conditions. His first bed was a feed trough padded with musty hay. His parents were as outwardly ordinary as could be found. Within a few weeks or months of birth, He was a refugee in a pagan land, one of maybe a few survivors of a massacre of those born in the same time period. The Magi certainly recognized who He was, but few others could. For the first three decades of His life, He was hidden in plain sight.

Clearly, Satan knew, however, that Jesus was a ticking time bomb, a depth charge waiting for ignition. Just before Jesus started His ministry, Satan tried to defuse Him by tempting Him away, only to fail. Satan later tried to influence apostles via their human weaknesses, and, growing desperate as Jesus’ influence keeps growing, was finally able to make inroads through Judas’ practical and world-bound concerns. Jesus knew this was coming, and in the Garden of Gethsemane, begged His Father to change The Plan– but, after all His pleading, still conceded “Thy will be done”, echoing the words of His mother to the angel Gabriel, and thus sealing what she [Mary] allowed to start. Certainly, there must be more temptation through the torture and humiliations that follow, but Jesus endures (interesting to note that both shino-bi and nin-ja both mean “one who endures”) to the end. The moment of His death, the Veil is torn, and the trap shuts. It is finished. The rest is just the ripples riding out the rest of time.

I tell you this in order to illustrate that there is nothing inherently evil or even dishonorable with the In approach. Would we say of God that He dishonored Himself by allowing His Son to be a sacrifice in a great, cosmic trap? Of course not– His actions are seen instead as the measure of His unfailing, unfathomable Love. Death and Sin are conquered not by strength of arms, but by willing Self-Sacrifice of the Divine. But it’s still a clever, sneaky Plan. So sneaky that many of God’s chosen people don’t recognise it– they were expecting (not unreasonably) a more Yo Messiah, riding in on a great steed, sword flashing, laying waste to their enemies. Indeed, many Christians still predict that the Second Coming of Christ will be exactly the Yo oriented manifestation the Jews have been awaiting for thousands of years.

While Bushido and Chivalry are the clear markers of the Yo in our societal understandings, the In is used by shinobi, spies, and Americans in the Revolutionary War. Yep, consider the time of the Revolutionary War: Wars up to that point had been mostly things where opposing forces lines up opposite each other in open fields. Words may have been exchanged, and then signals given, and then the projectiles started flying while the poor sods relegated to infantry marched forward, the cavalry coming behind.

However, during the Revolutionary War, the Americans were at such a disadvantage to the British that their tactics differed. While there were some of the traditional open-field battles, the Americans had a habit of hiding in the forest and ambushing the British. The Americans used Guerilla warfare tactics, seen by the British forces as horribly dishonorable. [I’ll confess a personal connection to those who used these tactics, as it seems that many times great-grandfathers Jacob and his father Felix Motsinger were known respectively as the Swift Legs and the Eyes of the Swamp Fox. Yeah, that Swamp Fox. I suppose the Slytherin truly is in my blood, lol.]

Heck, one of the most famed victories of that war was something that anyone would be hard pressed to call honorable: George Washington, crossing the Delaware on Christmas– ring a bell? Come on, that was sneaky and cynical and completely underhanded, and worked like a charm. But even so, George Washington is (rightly, IMO) considered a paragon of virtue and honor. Why?

Let us a take a small moment to consider Ecclesiasties 3:1-8

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Now, before you get ahead of me, let me stomp a potential train of thought before it gets started– I am not, in any way, endorsing any sort of moral relativism here. Moral relativism, as I see it, says that the “moral choice” differs depending on who is doing the choosing, the circumstances, whatever, you can’t judge nobody nohow blah blah blah. Moral relativism denies principles, says that it all depends on all the circumstances, and what’s right for you may not be right for me, and there are no absolutes. I’m writing here about trying to get down the the baseline, absolute principles– as I’ll show in posts to follow, Nitobe-san noted that the same sentiment in East and West can lead to almost opposing customs, as the sentiment is approached in two very different directions. These posts will be an attempt to get down to those baseline, absolute principles by examining the opposite approaches. This is not, to my mind relativism, as we’re finding those bed-rock principles that do not change, even though the way of following them may shift. Back to what I was saying . . .

So, George Washington is a paragon of virtue, even though one of his most memorable victories was, by the standards of the day, thoroughly dishonorable. How do we square that?

Laws of War, of course. Look, we say, if those d@mned Hessians are dumb enough to get all liquored up in one night, serves them right to get slaughtered in their sleep on Christmas. George had a War to salvage and an Infant-Country to save!

Think about that for a minute. Because we’re approaching the crux of the In-Yo relationship. Are we saying that, in George’s case, the ends (winning the war, or at least at that point, salvaging the war) justified the means (attacking at night, during what many in the West consider to be a Holy Day)?

To put it plainly, the In-Yo relationship (as regards honor, at least), spins around these two truths:

1) There are some things one should never do, some lines that should never be crossed

and

2) Everyone must have something that they will do anything for.

Think about it. These are both true, and often in conflict. You are a good, moral person. You believe in the rule of law. But say someone kidnaps your daughter to sell to some rich arab prince. The police are helpless but you know that if you break a few laws, you can track her down and rescue her. Do you abide by the law and wait for some hoped and prayed for break in the trafficking ring? Or do you lie, cheat, steal, break every law that stands in your way to rescue your little girl?

Of course, I can’t answer that for you. Which is more honorable, to abide by the law and allow your daughter to be taken into horror, or to do everything in your power, legal or not, to try to save her?

This is the same conundrum that drives the debates about torture. Some, like Glenn Beck, say that “We [America] don’t torture. We don’t stoop to that.” Fair enough, but how does that sense of propriety balance against hundreds, possibly thousands of innocent lives? Is honor served more by refraining from torture and possibly allowing innocents to die, or by getting one’s hands dirty to get that one tidbit of information that unlocks the plot and saves those lives? Again, each person must sort this out for themselves.

Of course, prayer is always part of the solution. But it is also said that God helps those who help themselves– that one must do one’s part in bringing about miracles.

To me, part of the way of resolving the dissonance is to recall the feminine-masculine aspects of this duality, and connect it to defensive-offensive postures. Just as flesh and bone are essential for a working human body, so too both In and Yo perspectives are essential for a working body of people. In and Yo both strengthen and constrain each other and, when in proper balance, give us George Washington. Or Jesus.

The Yo posture, all Bushido and Chivalry and very masculine, is appropriate to  expansive, offensive, and any outward action. US Troops on the ground in a foreign land rightly take the Yo approach because, no matter the reasons or provocations, they are in an offensive position.

However, the rearmost guard, the civilians, are not in an offensive posture. Should the American on the street of New York, or the aisle of an airplane, encounter Al Qaeda, the American will be in a defensive posture– an In posture– defending the plane, street, city, etc. In this posture, one would hope that the American do anything in his or her power to Stop the Fricking Bad Guy Stat! No tactic is considered out of bounds for the civilian confronted with the enemy at home. Hits below the belt are very much encouraged.

Hey, I know that rifle!

Should Ann Barnhardt ever be on a plane with some poor Jihadi scum, she will be lauded when she 1) splashes her cocktail in his eyes, 2)kicks him repeatedly in the groin, before 3)slamming his skull against an armrest until he passes out, to be then 4) bound hand and foot with her nylons, and she will be considered courageous and honorable, even though her tactics (attacking the eyes, kicking a dude in the groin, and “dressing” a guy is what might be considered a type of undergarment) might be considered dishonorable.

This is not about relativism as generally understood– this is about offence and defence, the laws of strength and weakness. Chivalry and Bushido, the Yo in this equation, serve to constrain the strong, to prevent the strong from abusing the weak. However, the laws of defense, of weakness, In, are the safety hatch when chivalry fails, when someone’s strength has forsaken honor.

When combatants fight, Yo is the rule of the day. However, when some combatants break the constraints of Yo, and attack non-combatants, such constraints no longer apply, and the non-combatants are free to use whatever means necessary to defend themselves.

Our military, being made of trained warriors, appropriately takes a Yo stance, and is grounded and constrained by the Yo concepts of Honor. However, for civilians, the In concepts of honor are most likely to activate, because if we confront an enemy, it means that the constraints of Yo have already been broken.

We Americans consider terrorist tactics, when used by Muslims, to be dishonorable and cowardly, because we see and understand their position to be one of aggression, of offence, not defense. However, should aggressive space aliens come and wipe out our most or all of our military, leaving us civilians ripe for the picking, would it not be appropriate for us to engage in similar tactics to defend our planet in any way possible? Independence Day, anyone?

This is getting long. I’ve a lot more to say on this subject. But I think I’ve sufficiently covered the difference between the Yo and In concepts of honor. This was an important first step, because when discussing honor, too many people only see and understand the Yo-side, but I wanted to make it clear that there is another side to honor, as illustrated in the examples above. Next, I’ll write on the 1960s, and how it seems to me these concepts of honor were lost. And then we’ll get back to Inazo Nitobe-san.

Please use the comments to help me clarify and refine my thoughts. Your commentary is very important to me. Thanks!

Hell if I care! Grabbing your courage in your fist!

There’s a cliché running around the world these days: “Do one thing every day that frightens you.” Taken in its tritest form, this little saying could mean something like “Zophiel should pick up and kiss one spider every day.” Which is ridiculous, as everyone knows that spiders are the handmaidens of Satan, and thus should be exterminated with extreme prejudice. That aside, the sentiment is a good one, with the understood caveat of “But don’t be a stupid-head”: I am afraid of accidentally driving my car off a steep mountain pass, this does not mean that I should seek to do so.

However, the true sentiment of the phrase is to confront your fear on a daily basis. Not necessarily your phobias, whatever they may be, though if your phobias impair your ability to function in your daily life, they need to be addressed. Still, phobias and reasonable wariness aside, we all have fears that hold us back. Fears that sap our will and our ability to be who we want to be. These are the fears that must be confronted on a daily basis.

This has never been more necessary than in these chaotic days, when it often feels like reality is unraveling all around us. We need to be courageous. We need to stand up without fear, to raise our voices and plant our spears and push back against those who would destroy all that is Beautiful, Good and True.

But how? So many of us are so well groomed in “Civility” and being “Nice”, which is really just training in “STFU” and “Censor Yourself!” Sadly, there have been but a few, shining examples of courage, and so many of us stand by saying “I wish I was like that!”, but no idea of how to get there from here.

Continue reading

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!

Something Ain’t Quite Right

Ok, ok . . . let me first say that I believe that Osama binLadin is Dead, for realsies. He is an ex-terrorist, he is no more, he has gone to meet his maker, to wonder why his virgins are so ugly, and why it’s so goddamn hot in Paradise.

And, I admit, I’m quite pleased and happy at the notion. To every servince man and woman who was part of bringing this rabid dog down, THANK YOU! May God Bless and Smile upon you and your way.

Now to the part where I prove, once and for all, that I am a total KillJoy.

Something here ain’t right. I can’t put my finger on it. I know it’s rooted in the fact that I don’t trust this administration any more than I can throw them. Not only is there no trust, there is a lot of distrust. So yes, much bias to begin with.

My first thought, when I heard they buried him at sea was “Really? Well, I hope they got some good pics, or kept some essential parts behind for DNA purposes . . .”

Timing is questionable as always.

And my intuition is pinging me like sub on crack.

Let me explain a few things, first. Back in college, I went to school in New Orleans. I and a bunch of other out of state kids got to be good friends. We used to sit around in common areas and talk about the coming storm that would drown the city, and we all swore to each other that we’d be out of the area before it came. This was 1998-2002. The last of us left New Orleans for good three months before Katrina hit.

A little after Katrina, I started getting those feelings again, that lingering, approaching doom, ticking on me like the 24 clock. tick-thunck, tick-thunk, tick-thunk. My eyes were drawn to economic matters, and the feelings just mounted and mounted. It felt like the world was spinning out of control. I discussed this with my old college friends, many of whom felt the same thing. In Dec 2008, one called me, and I remember telling her I felt like we’d tipped off the edge, just didn’t know it yet. “It’s going to get bad out there,” I said. “It’s gonna get so much worse before it gets better. . .”

Witness the last several years economy, and various political issues, and the strain our society is experiencing.

Understand, I only recently studied economics, finance, all that. I didn’t know any of these things at the time. I was a Music major, with a love for theory and a talent for Tarot.

Interesting, that it’s these latter talents that, I believe, inform my intuition to such a degree. I have training in recognizing patterns, in stringing together signs to form larger pictures, in analyzing rhythm and harmony.

The news of Saddam’s Capture was a major chord, played by shining brass and snappy drums.

The news of Osama’s Death is a minor chord, a cadence signaling a shift of key, played by low strings and piccolo. That piccolo is trying to draw our attention, but what the hell are the cellos and basses up to? Where are the brass? The percussion?

My intuition, that warned me years in advance of Katrina and the economic collapse, is telling me that something here ain’t right.

Moreover, the other manifestation of intuition is that I get suddenly ill before major Badness happens– with no explanation. I was suddenly very sick the night of 9/10/2001. Likewise before Mumbai and Ft. Hood. Last night, at 9:30 pm EDT, I was suddenly very nauseated. I was able to forestall illness by dosing myself liberally with ginger, but there was no cause for me to be feeling this way. Nothing has been “going around”, dinner was perfectly cooked. No cause for illness.

Then I awoke to the news this morning, and my first reaction was not the jubilation I expected, but wariness.

Look, right now, I admit, this is all baseless. I just want it written, for the record. Something ain’t right.

UPDATE: Ann Barnhardt hits on my concerns re: timing: Continue reading

Oh for! *sigh* Really? I mean, REALLY? *UPDATED*

So, it’s one thing when paranoid nutsos like me smell something fishy. It’s another thing when the Adobe professional at Market Ticker notes some smellyness.

You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me

Oh, C’mon!

Because what, we weren’t supposed to remember any of that stuff we learned when dealing with the likes of Dan Rather? Puh-leeze! Nowadays, when an official, important document is released, the first thing that’s done is the same thing MUFON does with UFO pics– run ’em through some basic analysis to see if anything odd shows up. Fer cryin’ out loud, there’s pics of dead aliens with more cred than this crap!

UPDATE: Via Instapundit: National Review ain’t buying the layers thing. They say it’s more plausible that between the scanner and the PDF creating software– both of which can perform Optical Character Recognition– that these layers were sort of automatically created and saved.  In the comments, someone says that they aren’t layers, that Illustrator will sometimes recognize PDF info as layers and present them as such.

Look, I dunno. I don’t have Illustrator, so I’m not familiar with it at all. However, usually, when scanning an object, it’s an object. One picture. You can turn that into a PDF– but I would think it would remain a single image. Can someone else verify that Illustrator with interpret a single layer PDF as containing multiple layers? Does this happen? How likely is it to happen?

The Scum He Is

Ok, pure and simple, strait up truth for a moment: The Current Prez, the man known to the world as Barak Hussein Obama, is a Traitor to his country. At best. Either that, or the BC just (finally!) released is a forgery, and the man’s an enemy combatant.

These are our choices. We know that he is destroying the Unites States of America. Only the blinkered 20% that actually believed that OJ didn’t do it still believe this guy is doing anything positive for the country. I think, though, that we also know that he is doing this destruction quite deliberately. This is so very clear, and the only reason the Big Conservative Names aren’t saying this is denial—Normalcy Bias taken to an extreme situation.

Look, it’s not about the BC. That was only the first thing that got a few inquisitive minds searching. It’s his whole life, the lack of documentation for things the official story written by Mr. Ayers in Dreams From My Father. Starting with oddities surrounding the BC, through the massive amounts of fraud during the 2008 Democratic Primaries. There are reams of questions, conflicts and things that just don’t quite work out. Since his inauguration, the one pattern that has been made clear in the decisions of himself and his administration are: If it helps America, don’t allow it. If it harms America, make it law.

Gates was the last man standing, but he’s gone now, replaced by Leon Panetta. I’d had some hopes for Hillary being the adult in the White House, but she seems to have caved in to the administration. Or, she was with the plan all along and fooled a lot of people.

Let’s assume that O is a citizen of the US. Benefit of the doubt and all that. That makes him a traitor. One does not impeach traitors, one arrests them, tries them, and sentences them. One does not allow him to sit at the Resolute Desk for another hour while Congress proceeds with the impeachment hearings—one goes in with a team and hand cuffs the guy and perp. walks him out the South Lawn to a holding cell, while having the VP take the Oath of Office—if he is not led away in chains as well.

Who can do this? Who can decide this, and take appropriate action? Usually, I’d say Department of Justice would be the best bet. But since Eric Holder is also a Traitor (by way of deliberate dereliction of duty and efforts to destroy the US Constitution), DoJ is hamstrung. If DoJ cannot help, cannot enforce the law. . . there is no one. The Military has the ability—but there’s reason to believe that many (Many, certainly not all) officers ranked above Lt. Col. are compromised. Even if they weren’t, their actions would result in—if only for a few days—a military dictatorship. This is not something any member of our Military wants. It would be a betrayal of their very nature to do institute such a thing, no matter how brief it was. So the Military is between a rock and a hard place and, short of a miracle, unable to come to our aid.

What can the rest of us do? Yes, yes, keep the pressure up on the politicians currently in office, and certainly do everything we can toward the vote in 2012. And yes, I absolutely believe that those who are investigating the Traitor-in-Chief’s past should continue to do so—every bit of information is needed. But beyond this? What can we do?

In the first draft of this post, the next line was: “I don’t know.”

But, Providence Provides, Ask and ye shall find. My friend Ytz4me posted a comment in the OT over at The Last Refuge, when talking about leaving post-its on gas pumps with messages for the public. Here it is for you:

This idea is gathering legs….. so much so, that the Obots are now showing up to “advise” people that they shouldn’t do this because it would be “vandalism”.

Lol. Really? A non-permanent sticky note is now “vandalism” ??

Part of the charade is to continue to make people believe that they are alone in their dissent and/or dissatisfaction with the ruling class. They need to isolate you and make you feel YOU are the outlier.

This has been written about extensively in various professional military training manuals. It has also been the subject of many papers, where to outsiders, the “sudden collapse” of an oppressive regime catches them by surprise.

The reason for the “sudden collapse” is that the group knowledge finally reached a tipping point, where the “dissenters” realize that they are the MAJORITY, not the minority as the Regime would have them believe.

Sticky notes, as advocated at gas pumps, represent what is known as

“Counter propaganda”.

They are important for several reasons, distilling snippets from a few professional publications on Resistance Movements, Guerilla Warfare Manuals (both building a guerilla movement AGAINST an existing regime, or strategies for COUNTERING a growing guerilla movement) etc.

Several themes seem to flow through all of these “manuals” :

1. It is important (for the counter-Regime forces) to maintain belief in final victory.

2. Large numbers of [counter propaganda] appearing night after night, will make the enemy nervous and raise the self-confidence of the population since such activities demonstrate the inefficiency of the existing regime and the power and strength of the resistance movement.

3. Whenever practical, guerilla forces use non-electronic means to communicate.

4. It is a principle of political science that it is easier to persuade people to vote against something or someone than to persuade them to vote in favor of something or someone.

The momentum is in our favor. Do not be deterred!

Here’s how some other commenters say one can do it:

JRD says: I have HP paper that has an adhesive on one side. I designed the post it using Microsoft Office Publisher and then printed it out and cut them with a paper cutter. Yes, it took a lot of time but I’ve got “fire in my belly.” What can I say, I’m a passionate Italian!

Here’s a handy image from C4P for the Palin Fans: http://img600.imageshack.us/i/stickyd.jpg/

Here are some Grocery store examples:http://yourdaddy.net/2011/04/25/the-sticky-note-campaign-hits-georgia-supermarkets/

Finally. a few more words from Ytz4me:

I continue to speed-read and try to simpify and distill what is applicable to our current situation.

I’ll tell ya tho, I’m getting STEAMED b/c so much of what is advocated to suppress and demoralize a population is EXACTLY WHAT WAS USED IN THE 2008 campaign, and CONTINUES to be used against us — and the corporate media are their handmaidens! Grrrrr……

The “sticky-note” strategy is just an updated version of counter-propaganda campaigns that have been used by resistance movements pre-WWII. Typically, it was small leaflets or “coupons” mimeographed and slipped into books in libraries, on store shelves (where they could be mistaken for coupons, not information).

In the modern age, people can list various blogs/websites where people can get more info. I continue to be shocked and amazed at the number of young people who aren’t aware of sites like shadow stats, etc.

So, this is what we do. We keep pushing, keeping getting the word out, keep the awareness up. We let people know about good sites and blogs– Shadowstats, the Bigs, PJM, Daily Caller, all those places that have real news and information for people. We point out the obvious: These price hikes brought to you by the Letter O.

We cannot arrest this man. But we can make damn sure that everyone sees him for the scum he is.

UPDATE: Wraith pointed out a post he wrote like, months ago. I’m so far behind on this!

There are Stars in the Night

[This was first posted at The Last Refuge. I’ve been meaning to repost here, but the time never seemed right. Good Friday is a good day for Confessions, so here goes. . .]

I must start by admitting that I don’t know exactly why I’m writing this. All I know it that since reading Dagny’s Women’s Voting piece, I’ve felt the need. Nagging, pressing, annoying. That usually means there’s some manner of Divine impetus behind it. Maybe somewhere in this story is something one of you needs to read. Maybe I just need to tell the tale to some people who haven’t actually met me personally. Maybe between the telling and the reading, some measure of clarity or understanding is offered. I really, really don’t know.

What follows is a partial autobiography at least to this point in my life, an attempt to explain why I approach certain topics from some rather strange angles. Many details will not be shared. Sometimes I may seem to go off onto a tangent—if so, it is only because I am trying to prevent at least some of the seemingly inevitable misunderstandings. Many of you will find some of these experiences strange—I will be as clear as I can and, if you ask questions, I will answer to the best of my ability. But that’s no guarantee to understanding—much I don’t even understand myself.

Please, bear with me. And yes, when I figure out what the point to all this is, I’ll let you know.

The fact of the existence of God was never a problem for me. From my earliest memories, the fact of God was as apparent as the clouds in the sky, or the fact that water was wet. “Du~uh, of course God’s real, dummy!” This has never changed, though to my great joy, my relationship to that Truth has changed a great deal over the years. No, my problem in my earliest years was that fact meant nothing to me. One might say: the brain knowledge was not connecting to the heart. Continue reading

Let’s Connect a Few Things

The Left is fond of proclaiming “We’re all connected!”, and then proceeding to behave as though every person and action were entirely independant and unrelated. I’ve noticed over the past few days a fair number of stories that do connect. some of which only from certain perspectives. Just look at them in context with each other, that’s all I ask.

Many of the links that follow are stories that were covered by The Conservative Treehouse, or by the commentors at that site in various threads. Most of the credit for finding these things goes to them.

Set 1, Of Political import

iPhone is watching you: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383876,00.asp
Police scanning phones at traffic stops: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3458.asp
Encrypt your iphone data: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-encrypt-iphone-location-data-2011-4

Set 1b (related from a certain perspective to Set 1):
More Military being shipped overseas: http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/19/hey-whos-up-for-an-even-bigger-us-military-presence-in-europe/

The Soros-Muslim-Brotherhood Takeover: http://grendelreport.posterous.com/very-important-analysis-on-the-sorosmuslim-br

Obama and Holder Playing polititcs with DoJ: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/did-obama-and-holder-scuttle-terror-finance-prosecutions/2/

From Ann Barnhardt (go to her blog, scroll down. There’s no handy direct link. And while you’re there, read the rest of everything she’s written. It’s good for you):

GEORGE SOROS/GAVILON AGGRESSIVELY BUYING ELEVATORS
POSTED BY ANN BARNHARDT – MARCH 29, AD 2011 9:23 PM MST
SOROS ALERT. My cash grain broker source sent me notification while I was in Oklahoma that the evil man who is actually controlling the White House (with and through the twin witches Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama) has purchased another HUGE grain elevator company and SOROS is now the THIRD LARGEST grain company behind only Cargill and ADM. Here is the text of the Reuters story:
————————
Gavilon to buy Union Elevator PNW grain elevators

* Gavilon acquisition allows it to support PNW export mkt
* Elevator purchase equates to 8.4 million bushel capacity
CHICAGO , March 24 (Reuters) – U.S. grain firm Gavilon Grain said on Thursday it will buy Union Elevator and Warehouse’s 16 grain elevators in the Pacific Northwest , the company’s second big purchase of U.S. grain facilities in the last six months. Privately held Union Elevator, where employees own a significant share of the company, approved the transaction on Wednesday, with sale expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2011.
The purchase of 16 elevators at 12 locations in eastern Washington will expand Gavilon’s grain capacity by 8.4 mbu.
“The addition of Union Elevator’s grain facilities and origination capabilities position us well to support the growing Pacific Northwest export wheat market and serve the Columbian Basin feed grain market,” Greg Konsor, VP and GM of Gavilon Grain, said in a statement. The PNW is the No. 1 wheat export terminal in the United States .
Omaha, Nebraska-based Gavilon — a commodity trading firm formed in 2008 when ConAgra Foods sold it to investors — purchased grain handler DeBruce Companies last year, making it the third-largest U.S. grain storage network behind ADM and Cargill Inc.
(Reporting by Christine Stebbins; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
————————
This is BAD, BAD NEWS, kids. George Soros is Gavilon. As I say over and over again at my schools, he who controls the FOOD controls EVERYTHING. And George Soros is rapidly maneuvering to control the food in this country. Everyone remember the name GAVILON. I promise that it is just a matter of time before he makes a move for cattle feeding capacity. ANY CATTLEMAN OR FEEDLOT WHO SELLS OUT TO GAVILON/SOROS WILL BE A TRAITOR TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ITS CONSTITUTION AND ITS PEOPLE. Let’s see who the first one is. I have some educated guesses . . .

Set 2, Of Social Import

University Prof. Bullies Students: http://theiowarepublican.com/home/2011/04/20/university-of-iowa-professor-tells-college-republicans-to-%E2%80%9Cf%E2%80%9D-off

Stay Classy, Wonkette: http://theconservativetreehouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/uber-classy-liberal-website-relentlessly-mocks-palin%e2%80%99s-son-with-downs-syndrome-%e2%80%94-update-papa-johns-huggies-pull-their-ads-from-wonkette%e2%80%a6/#more-6442

Two Teens Suicide: http://www.patheos.com/community/theanchoress/2011/04/20/teen-suicide-media-excess-palin-and-bullies-again/

Wrapping kids in bubble wrap: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Freeze-Tag-Red-Rover-Deemed-Dangerous-in-New-Summer-Camp-Regs-120195644.html

Toddler Terrorist Prevention: http://theconservativetreehouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/follow-up-napolitano-backs-6-year-old%e2%80%99s-pat-down-%e2%80%98done-professionally-according-to-the-protocols%e2%80%99/

Have sex, kill babies! Fun times!!
http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2011_0420site_no_stigma_in_abortion_critics_blast_state-funded_sex-ed_web_site/srvc=home&position=0

Each set has stories that relate to each other, even if not obviously. Put these things together, please. What you see is not the architectural blueprints for the Kingdom of Heaven. Think about that for a little while.