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).

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!

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!

Solar-Seismic Update 2/22/12

A forecast for the current days:

Sakurajuma Volcano over the past few days:

EQ in New Madrid Fault Zone:

Some Solar updates (and other bits) from S0 (in reverse order):

Also, tangentially related–

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Solar-Seismic Update

There was a 6.0 off the Coast of Oregon last night:

The Suspicious 0bservers, at the end of their daily vid, address the current solar weather:

Other interesting bits of science: Capturing images of photons:

Finally, you may wonder why I’ve been starting to have running updates on Solar and Seismic activity. To be honest, a year ago I didn’t really care, but then the Japan quake happened, and there were some really interesting things about it, especially that some people, working of varying theories, had predicted it. One girl called the exact date, and begged for people living on the Pacific Coast– and she called out Japan specifically– to get to high ground. Her video was dated several weeks before the Quake/Tsunami hit, but she got it right. Now, since then, I’ve learned quite a bit, and I honestly think she’s a bit of a kook. But, no amount of kookiness can deny the fact that she called the exact date of the quake, and also got the location. She was definitely on to something.

Since that time, I’ve been running into a few interesting theories, most of which have a great deal of overlap with each other, but each with essential, core differences. These theories run from the edge of reason–Sitchin’s Nibiru theory– to the much more plausible Magnetic Universe theories. In particular, I am very interested in the Harmonic Resonance theories, which work in nicely with the Solar Magnetic Influence Theories. I take to these theories because, honestly, I am a musician by training, and they make a lot of sense to a music-theory nut like myself.

As best I can describe it, imagine this– the gravitational/magnetic influence between any two given bodies in the solar system is a certain “pitch” which is determined by the relative mass of each pair and the distance between them. So, Sun-Earth has a pitch that increases or decreases throughout the year. Same with Earth-Moon, Earth-Mars, Earth-Pluto, Earth-Vesta, Venus-Uranus, etc. . . Most of the time, these various “pitches” are a muddled mess, frequencies and harmonic overtones mostly cancelling each other out save for the great Bass notes and overtones coming from the Sun to each main body (planet), and from each planet to their relative satellites. However, at certain points, these pitches and harmonics fall into “chords”– moments when pitches are no longer cancelling, but amplifying each other, fitting into each other like pieces of a puzzle. In those moments, the Gravitational/ Magnetic forces resonating between the bodies invovled in the “chord” are such that noticable effects happen, such as increased (or sudden) seismic activity. In the worlds of older times, this is the Music of the Spheres.

Due to my interest in the overall subject matter, the videos I’ll be posting in the future will include the Solar Forecasts (as the sun is just as effected by these chords and progressions as eery other body ni the system), as well as the upcoming Planetary Alignments of note. Here us one recent video (mind, it’s an hour and a half, so if you’re interested, set some time aside) that evaluates the Nibiru and Harmonic theories in light of some of the most ancient records still surviving.

Syria Being Deliberately Wound up?

OK, first off: I’m really not sure about this. But, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, if it is true, I wouldn’t at all be surprised. I’m just not sure that this has actually caught it. But many have fingered western agitators– disciples of Ayers and et al.– for sparking the “Arab Spring” that has worked so well (/sarc) in Egypt and other places. Same with Libya– there were a ton of foreigners sparking things off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nveyyyBeIFc

From the poster:

Doesn’t look like any regular guerilla to me, nor your typical freedom fighter. Some have said he was ‘western looking’ but ALL Syrian nationals have been complaining about mysterious snipers randomly shooting people of all sects and religions. It is the masses themselves who’ve been demanding protection from these foreign ‘agitators’, via the Syrian Army.

I believe this video is proof of that scenario, as the original was pulled from the net entirely within hours, and then a new one was uploaded to an arabic youtube channel, with an overdub of the terms ‘Allah Uh Akbar’ over it, as if to give it Jihadist credibility, and throw us off the track of thinking we’d just seen a western intelligence agent fire a rocket launched grenade at civilians in a foreign, sovereign country.. – I believe this video depicts exactly that. Perfect destabilization.

then, in response to a commenter:

Yeah, I should have linked into the original re-upload where they have someone repeating ‘Allah uh Akbar’ in the background, which of course was NOT in the original that got pulled. I muted in this case, as Webster Tarpley always gives a good rundown of detailed geopolitics, and so I may upload the original file. They’d made it ‘private’ and half-corrupted the file too, took me all day to do this 1 min video, seriously. Someone, somewhere, hates me even more now.. Uh Oh.

. . . And yes. I also saw it coming the moment I looked at the PNAC document, and then started seeing the BBC mentioning just how ‘out of control’ the Syrian Army was. I hate the BBC so much, you can’t even begin to understand it..

Again, while I find it plausible, I’m not as sure that’s what’s seen in the vid. The man is silouetted, so his features are unclear. I’m not sure how one could peg him as specifically “Western”– Plenty of Syrians (like the Lebanese, for instance), have “Western looking” bone structures, and the “Working class men” will be found in western “working class gear” of jeans, tee-shirt, jacket, ball-cap.

What is clear, is that the man was doing a piss-poor job of sweeping the street, doing nothing but moving dirt around, if that. And he hit dirt, not even proper pavement. Not sure what he was aiming for, but aside from making a crater in dirt, I’m not sure what sort of damage he caused. Except for adding to the general ambience of chaos . . .

 

Seismic Watch Feb 9-13

One thing I’ve been tracking are some interesting theories regarding seismic activity. There are some clever people out there making some excellent videos, showing what data they’re using, and publically making predictions and then noting results compared to the predictions. I’m going to start posting these vids as they’re interesting, and I’m starting to think that these people are on to something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V11_PUsdj0

In his commentary on YouTube, he writes:

Continue reading

“It was the PAX . . .”

*Sigh* Part of the reasons we have cautionary tales like Jurassic Park, or Terminator, is a s a cultural warning to 1) Not make dinosaurs from preserved DNA and 2) Not allow networks of thinking machines. SKYNET= bad, Velociraptors=bad.

Likewise, Serenity also had a warning. Trying to scientifically treat Evil will backfire bigtime. Like, Reavers bigtime.

But, as always, there’s some know-it-all scientist who thinks he can figure it out. That Evil is not a sufficient word, that it’s a malfunction in the brain that causes lack of empathy that accounts for Evil. Because empathy is simply a function of the brain. The ability to Love Your Neighbor, or even enemy, is a matter of Biology.

This guy may be a genius, but he’s also an utter fool. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty– these things are beyond the physical boundaries of science. Likewise are their opposites. If you think you find the cause of evil in a biological system, you will then try to cure it. I cannot but help suspect that any “cure” would simply enable the evil to do greater harm. Perhaps those brain malfuctions that coincide with evil what holds the evil back. Heal it, and you may unleash Hell.

This is not to say that people with malfuctioning brains should not seek to have them healed. Rather, that if the healing is simply on the physical nature, the incompleteness of it may infact lead to greater damage. It is the Soul that needs healing, then the mind, and at the last, the brain. Inside out, not outside in.

Clearly, I believe the understanding of evil as a physical-plane only issues is a big mistake. Treating it as such will only make things much worse. At best you will mask the symptoms, at worst. . . SKYNET. Velociraptors. Reavers.

Insty Agrees.