Time for Another Confession

I’ve . . . well, I was going to write another post, but then realized that I had to write this one first.I’ve a confession to make, something I need to be published, along with my reasoning, for the sake of honesty and transparency.

I voted for Donald Trump. I wasn’t going to, I didn’t want to, and living where I do, it really didn’t matter anyway, but I did. And I’d like to explain why I did so that there is no question later, for good or ill.

Originally, I was a Cruz supporter, because I actually believe in the ideals and ideas behind the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, I believe they should be upheld, and I though Cruz was the best bet. I liked most of the Repubs running in the primary, to be honest, through was distinctly disliked a few, among them Trump and Jeb who were, to me, the Twinned Pinnacles of Establishment. My initial dislike of Trump was further inflamed by the behavior of many of his supporters among my friends. Their feverish, unquestioning supports was too reminiscent of the 2007-Present support of the Obama-Otaku, and disturbed me greatly. That and I was starting to see and hear things about some of the people that support him that disturbed me. (More on that with a post to follow, regarding my personal look into the “alt-Right”.)

Still, he won the nomination, so after one single day of expressing my dismay after the Convention, I kept my mouth shut. By then, it was looking like Hillary would get the Dem nomination and, despite my misgivings about Trump, I had sorta sworn Eternal Vengeance on Her for Reasons Not Limited to Benghazi. So while I wouldn’t support him, I dang sure well wasn’t going to do anything to help her. He may be a con-man and a swindler, but she’s a conniving, murdering b*tch.

But now a new dynamic started up, and (almost) all my lefty friends started working to Do Their Part for Her! The sheer amount of casual bigotry, hatred, lying and blithe-passing-along-of-lies that I saw every single damn day so disgusted and sickened me, that I started considering voting for Trump just because they didn’t want me to. But I didn’t want my vote to be decided by spite (I may have sorted Slytherin, but acting on emotion is not really considered Best Practices among our House). So, being the (somewhat) decent Catholic girl that I am, I prayed about it. And I mean, on my knees, with actual tears, begging God to let me know how to exercise my civic duty without completely offending Him. I begged, “Lord, please, just, hit me with a rock or something, You know how flipping clueless I am. . .

For months, I assumed that when I got into the booth, I would go third party. Despite that Johnson and Weld were sh*t Libertarians, and awful candidates, I was reasonably sure they’d get my vote. Otherwise, the choice seemed between Civil War (Trump), or Wold Wide Nuclear War (Hillary). Both seemed really quite awful. But still, I prayed.

And on Thursday, 03 November 2016, that prayer was answered, via the work of Wikileaks. Mind you, I don’t entirely trust Wikileaks, don’t entirely trust Mr. Assange, not as far as motives are concerned. Perhaps I’m too cynical to believe that their motives are as stated. But I also acknowledge their pretty-damn-sterling record in terms of accuracy of their releases. So, what was it in the releases that caught my eye? Well, if you’re familiar with any of my older writings, you would likely guess the whole Spirit Cooking thing. And you’d be right.

Spirit Cooking is the term used for the Occultic Work of Marina Abramovich. This is the sort of thing that Alex Jones has been raving about, and even I (who should have known better!) dismissed. But now we had actual evidence. No longer hearsay, we now have video, emails, actual evidence to back up all the worst emails . . . These following video is disturbing, but it is still just an intro to the subject:

And I can’t believe I’m actually adding an InfoWars vid, but this is also useful:

Myself, I didn’t really need the explanations, or the quotes. I just needed one email and two pictures, before I recognized the sick-sweet, metallic smell of hardcore, black occultism. Likewise the fetid morass that results from prolonged exposure to such ritual.  I always skirted the edges in terms of organized occultism, was never directly involved with any group save for some like-minded over the internet and, of course, K-Sensei. But the groups I knew of in New Orleans had no interest for me, nor I for them. But. . . I was aware of them. And I know their scent.

While I was never personally involved with such groups, I am not a stranger to the use of pain and blood, my own at least. Only ever in very small quantities, used as amplifier and seal. But this. . .

This was Whole ‘Nother Level of Evil. This was the Rock that I’d asked the Lord to toss at my cranium, and it hit with a resounding Gongggggg! It was no longer a matter of not supporting Her, it was now imperative that She, and those around Her, be kept out of the White House. Is Trump of the same “elite” set? Maybe. The difference was that now we had proof that one side definitely was into some Very Bad Things, but only speculation-by-association for the other. She had to be kept out, no matter how much I was not a fan of Trump.

So, I voted for him, even though I felt my stomach turn as a I did so. And when, against all my expectation, he won, I determined to withhold further judgement until after his inauguration– just as I did in 2008 when Obama won despite my meaningless opposition. I don’t trust politicians, or much of anyone in a position of “power”. So of course I’ll keep an eye on him.

But having Her at least temporarily out of the picture is a Good Thing, no matter how his time turns out.

Advertisements

RE: The Inanity of “Gun Control”

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

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

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

Ok then, let’s go!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving on. . .

A Brief Mention of Statistics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Truth About “Assault Weapons”

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

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

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

 

The Purpose of the 2nd Amendment

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

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

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

GIRLSundPANZERproject

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Saucy Chick After My Own Heart!

So, a friend sent me this story about a tattooed mummy from Egypt. The whole areticle is worth reading, but my friend sent it to me because of this:

One of the mummies, whose remains were found just seven years ago, was so well preserved that archaeologists could almost make out the tattoo on her skin on the inner thigh of her right leg with the naked eye. Infra-red technology helped define it more clearly.

The woman, aged between 20 and 35, had been buried wrapped in a linen and woollen cloth and her remains had mummified in the dry heat. The tattoo has been deciphered by curators and spells out in ancient Greek – M-I-X-A-H-A, or Michael.

The owner of the tattoo was a woman who died in about AD 700 and lived in a Christian community on the banks of the Nile.

The tattoo represents the symbol of the Archangel Michael, who features in both the Old and New Testaments. The symbol has previously been found in ancient churches and on stone tablets, but never before in the form of a tattoo.

“You can see her tattoo really clearly using infra red reflectography,” said Dr Antoine, “The tattoo on her right inner thigh represents a monogram that spells Michael in ancient Greek.

“She is the first evidence of a tattoo from this period. This is a very rare find.”

The woman was about 5ft 2in tall and was found in 2005 on an archaeological dig in a cemetery in Sudan. Other ancient Egyptians who were mummified had their organs removed before being preserved.

“The scan of the Sudanese mummy showed her internal organs are remarkably well preserved,” said Dr Antoine. “We can only speculate why she had a tattoo. Perhaps for protection.”

A valid reason. Bit still kinda saucy.

I approve!

Read the whole thing: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/museums/10717154/1300-year-old-mummy-and-her-intimate-tattoo.html

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)

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!

The Effects of Emasculation (And Slutty Wimmyn)

The following video has some harsh language. Bu~uut, it’s also 100% True and made me LOL several times. Ladies take note: The behavior exhibited by the female-types in this video is a fine lesson in How To Never Behave, compled with: How to Never Treat Other Humans.

 Off to find Part 2 . ..

Ah, part 2

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!

16 Feb 2012 Feast of St Paul, Shipwrecked

1)St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,

O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God,

thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,

who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

2) Today the spirits of frustration and despair are making themselves known. Apparently, not just to myself. I don’t know when St. Paul went and wrecked his ship, but it’s appropriate to how one feels today– shipwrecked. We look to the “leaders” of our Church, and think to ourselves about too many of them, “Damn, we been had. Bamboozled. Run amok!” Christ himself promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church, but they sure have been having a good go at it.

3) In that spirit, some music is needed. We’re not yet at the stage when Angela’s “Beautiful Fighter” is the theme, not quite yet. But, I do think my two favorite pieces from the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Soundtrack fit well.