May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Monday, January 28, 2013

Apostle Paul's Suffering and Our Christian Lives Now

Paul's Jail Cell in Philippi

Tonight we're reading in 2nd Corinthians, where the Apostle Paul is taking some pretenders to task. Some preachers and self described apostles have moved in on the church he had founded, and were teaching lies for personal  profit and gain. Paul is reduced to exposing them by defending himself, the founder of the church. During the nearly three thousand miles of travel, mostly walking, and a lot of time on dangerous boats in dangerous waters, he suffered much.

While he was pushing back against these 'false apostles' he sums up his suffering. All what he went through to bring God's truth into pagan society, into Jewish culture and belief, is spread through much of the New Testament, so it's a bit diluted.  It's shocking to imagine the sacrifice, agony and pain of this magnitude when condensed like he does here.  

Take a listen:

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.  Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.  From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.  Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—  besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

 Beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead. The forty minus one lashings was was to avoid breaking the law's limitation of forty lashes. Five times he received this. What scaring his body had to have been covered with. I think of Christ's suffering, to absolve us of our sins, followed by Paul's sacrifice and suffering to lay the foundation of our Church.

We in turn live in luxury, and scarcely speak of what we believe, and know to be true. We personally are diminished by our lack, our church is diminished, those we could reach out and touch are diminished, our neighborhoods are diminished, our loved ones diminished, and it keeps going until our nation is diminished, and our world is diminished.

To have just a portion of Paul's passion for the Good News, for love of God, to so dedicate all my heart and all my soul, all my mind to Him. I'm so stressed and tired from work at the end of the day I just want to withdraw and be done; but so was Paul making tents and running his business. Yet he made the time, had the passion to speak, teach and pray. If we all could do a just a little more, just 2% a day more, loving God 2% more, loving others 2% more, praying just 2% more than the day before.

I pray for myself the discipline to do this, and pray for other Christians to speak their faith in public a little more, reach out a little more, love God a little more, be Christlike a little more, pray a little more. When we do it we don't get 39 lashes, stoned, beaten with rods, shipwrecked or imprisoned. It's got to be a heck of a lot easier than what Paul went through.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

IL Divo "Nella Fantasia"

In my fantasy I see a just world
Where everyone lives in peace and honesty
I dream of souls that are always free
Like clouds that float
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul

In my fantasy I see a bright world
Where each night there is less darkness
I dream of souls that are always free
Like clouds that float
Full of humanity

In my fantasy exists a warm wind
That breathes into the city, like a friend
I dream of souls that are always free
Like clouds that float
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul

Nella fantasia io vedo un mondo giusto,
Lì tutti vivono in pace e in onestà.
Io sogno d'anime che sono sempre libere,
Come le nuvole che volano,
Pien' d'umanità in fondo all'anima

Nella fantasia io vedo un mondo chiaro
Lì anche la notte è meno oscura.
Io sogno d'anime che sono sempre libere,
Come le nuvole che volano.
Pien' d'umanità.

Nella fantasia esiste un vento caldo,
Che soffia sulle città, come amico.
Io sogno d'anime che sono sempre libere,
Come le nuvole che volano,
Pien' d'umanità in fondo all'anima

March for Life 2013, and Thoughts on the Sanctity of Life on the 40th Anniversery of Roe vs Wade

March for Life 2013
This past Friday, Jan 25, over 500,000 people participated in the March for Life, the 40th annual pro-life march in DC. Every year the Jurassic Press doesn't report, or lies about what's taking place. Usually we hear them report under 100,000, and then spend air time interviewing counter protesters that number a couple hundred at best.

That's a minor part of the problem. Our government and about half the population think abortions are okay up to the ninth month, on demand for any reason, including gender selection, and paid for by others (taxpayers). We've devolved into a secular materialist society that doesn't recognized the sanctity of life. Since Roe vs. Wade 40 years ago, there have been an estimated 54,559,615 abortions, babies murdered. Not recognizing the sanctity of life, starting in the womb, leads to what every totalitarian State indulges in; Holocaust, slavery and forced labor, gulags, pogroms. Millions upon millions of dead people outside the womb.

Don't know who wrote this, would love to give attribution, about the miracle of life:

"Consider the miracle of the human body. Its chemistry is just as extraordinarily well tuned as is the physics of the cosmos. Our world on both sides of the divide that separates life from lifelessness is filled with wonder. Each human cell has a double helix library of three billion base pairs providing fifty thousand genes. These three billion base pairs and fifty thousand genes somehow engineer 100 trillion neural connections in the brain—-enough points of information to store all the data and information contained in a fifty-million-volume encyclopedia. And then after that, these fifty thousand genes set forth a million fibers in the optic nerves, retinae having ten million pixels per centimeter, some ten billion in all, ten thousand taste buds, ten million nerve endings for smell, cells that exude a chemical come-on to lure an embryo’s lengthening neurons from spinal cord to target cell, each one of the millions of target cells attracting the proper nerve from the particular needed function. And all this three-dimensional structure arises somehow from the linear, one-dimensional information contained along the DNA helix. Did all this happen by chance or do you see the hand of God?"

I see the hand of God:
For it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being…Already you knew my soul my body held no secret from you when I was being fashioned in secret….every one of my days was decreed before one of them came into being. To me, how mysterious your thoughts, the sum of them not to be numbered!' Psalm 139

Here's the pro abortion secularist view as express by Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon online magazine:

Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word “life.” Life! Who wants to argue with that? Who wants be on the side of … not-life? That’s why the language of those who support abortion has for so long been carefully couched in other terms. While opponents of abortion eagerly describe themselves as “pro-life,” the rest of us have had to scramble around with not nearly as big-ticket words like “choice” and “reproductive freedom.”

    ... we give far too much semantic power to those who’d try to control it. And we play into the sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby when we on the pro-choice side squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they’ve repeatedly appropriated the concept of “life.”

    Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

    ... If by some random fluke I learned today I was pregnant, you bet your ass I’d have an abortion. I’d have the World’s Greatest Abortion.

    ... I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Here's the pro life response to Williams by The Anchoress:
In the less enlightened, less compassionate days ... a “non-autonomous entity” would be called a helpless and innocent person, one who deserved protection from efficient sorts who would, by negating their humanity, do them harm. Here, Williams is making precisely the utilitarian argument made by every totalitarian ideology that ever slaughtered people by the millions, because they were the wrong sorts of people, or were useless eaters, or they could not contribute to the advancement of society, or their quality of life just seemed too dubious to those who did not know and love them. Immediately after expressing concern that “liberals” might look like monsters, she utters the monster’s line: you have no rights except those I give you.

    ...A point of order, please: One may certainly sacrifice one’s own life for another. That is what makes it a sacrifice. Sacrificing “another’s” life is not a sacrifice, ...

    ... It’s just an expedient, and wasteful killing.

    In fact, the notion that someone else’s life is “worth sacrificing” for the furtherance of one’s own situation — the mindset that can advance that thinking — is precisely one that deserves the name “diabolical".    Full article here

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Silly Wizard: "The Valley of Strathmore"

By the clear and the winding stream
In the valley of Strathmore
Where my love and I have been
Where we'll wander never more

But if time was a thing man could buy
All the money that I have in store
I would give for one day by her side
In the valley of Strathmore

From the glen of the golden and the green
I left for a land far away
Where sadness has never been seen
And joy only costs a day's pay

But if time was a thing man could buy
All the money that I have in store
I would give for one day by her side
In the valley of Strathmore

But if time was a thing man could buy
All the money that I have in store
I would give for one day by her side
In the valley of Strathmore

In Strathmore there's a long working day
For a man with his hands on the plow
But it's work I'd be happy to do
If at night I were lying with you

But if time was a thing man could buy
All the money that I have in store
I would give for one day by her side
In the valley of Strathmore

As I take a long draught from my glass
Oh, I'm drinking alone here again
And I try not to think of my lass
For the old days will ne'er come again

But if time was a thing man could buy
All the money that I have in store
I would give for one day by her side
In the valley of Strathmore

But if time was a thing man could buy
All the money that I have in store
I would give for one day by her side
In the valley of Strathmore

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn's 2013 Inauguration Day Message at National Prayer Breakfast- Must See

This most powerful message given at the National Prayer Breakfast on Inauguration Day by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn is something everyone must be aware of, and if a Christian take action on through testimony and prayer. It's long, half an hour, but you will not think the same after listening to Rabbi Cahn's message. I've seen him speak and read his book The Harbinger and wrote about it here. This may be the most important message we've heard in years.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weak Uncaring Obama & Sec of State Clinton Willing to Let Iran Murder a US Citizen

Saeed Abedini & Family
It seems to be not enough that Obama and his oligarchy are pro Islam, but anti Semite and anti Christian. They also have a way of ignoring distressed people that run against their ideology. To support Islamofascist terrorists in Benghazi they sent no military assistance and got Americans killed, then lied and covered up about it.

Now Obama, Sec of State Clinton and her anti Semite anti Christian State Department, is ignoring the plight of an imprisoned American citizen. His crime? Being a Christian. Thousands of Christians all over the world are being murdered, imprisoned and their property being confiscated or destroyed. Not a word from Obama or Clinton. It even looks like they support the Muslim Brotherhood's power grab and the killing of Christians as part of that process. The Citizen being ignored by using legalese, is Pastor Saeed Abedini. The cowardly ineffective State Department is saying they can't do anything because Iran doesn't recognize his US Citizenship. Huh?

Victoria Nuland, State Dept spokesperson:  “He was arrested by Iranian officials more than three months ago on charges related to his religious beliefs.” ... “We understand that a hearing will be held soon, and we call on Iranian officials to respect Iran’s own laws and provide Mr. Abedini access to an attorney.” Seriously? This guy could be murdered by a bunch of terrorist mullahs without this government raising holy hell about it?

Eleven senators have sent a letter to the State Department, and a second letter by several congressmen asking for some action. Not a peep except for the weak insipid avoidance they've been practicing since Pastor Abedini was arrested. For being a Christian.

Obama's Anti Christian Statist Campaign Pushes Into the Military

The campaign by Obama against Christianity continues. His healthcare program, passed along Party lines in the dead of night on a holiday that nobody read, forces religious institutions to violate beliefs and centuries old doctrine to comply with his enforcement of secular anti Christian law. The State must become the new religion to complete the rule of tyranny.

Pre Obama, military Chaplains were being forced to perform religious ceremonies for a lot of New Age hokum, including witches, or as they fancy themselves now, Wickens.  Witches in the Bible are bad people, representative of evil, doing what's harmful to God's children. I think the kibosh was put on that. Now Leftists\Secularists\Statists are on the move to have Christian ministers perform same sex marriages. Scripture and tradition are against that so a clause was put in  National Defense Authorization Act to prevent it. Obama signed the legislation, but bridled at it.

The clause states “No member of the Armed Forces may — require a chaplain to perform any rite, ritual, or ceremony that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain; or discriminate or take any adverse personnel action against a chaplain."

Sad commentary that legislation has to be drawn to protect those that practice Christianity. Obama's response: “Section 533 is an unnecessary and ill-advised provision, as the military already appropriately protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains and services members” ... “My administration remains fully committed to continuing the successful implementation of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and to protecting the rights of gay and lesbian service members; Section 533 will not alter that.”

What he isn't fully committed to, or committed to at all, is the traditional family and freedom of religion. Homosexuals can get married in states that have those laws that advocate for it. Forcing Christian ministers to is wrong.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Summation of Obama's Record to Now

Just summing up Obama's record so far. Now that he doesn't have the fetters of re-election expect more of this but worse. 

-Record four straight years of trillion dollar deficits

-Only president to preside over the downgrade of the US economy.

-Spent a trillion dollars on a failed ‘stimulus’ plan. Most of that money went to unions that put it back in his campaign coffers, and his Wall Street buddies.

-One-third of the national debt is his.

-Added $5.8 trillion to the national debt.

-Record number of people on food stamps.

-Record number of people on disability (people have found out they can do this when their 99 weeks unemployment runs out). Pelosi and many Dems say unemployment stimulates the economy. Yes, it's on vid. I see stupid people.

-Average income has fallen $5,000 per household. Plus, Jan 1 everybody's taxes went up, not just those make over a quarter $Million a year like he promised over and over.

-Al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood on the rise. He's funding the Muslim Brotherhood.
-Last week he handed Afghanistan back to the Taliban. In a year Karzi will take $Millions out of the county and retire, Taliban will be back in control, with the deal just brokered.

Fast and Furious several hundred dead Mexican's and a dead American.

Four dead American's in Benghazi with a cover-up.  

-He quashed getting oil from Canada, quashed getting oil from federal lands and offshore, paid foreign countries to drill, and forced US to be mostly dependent on enemies of America.

Republicans campaigned on this; Debt, economy, energy, jobs, foreign policy, health care. Dems ran on abortion, contraception, Marxism\class warfare. Dems won, it's no longer "the economy stupid". It's about how people "feel". Used to be and economy was trashed by a president, he was voted out. Now the president is voted in because he say's he "cares" and the other guy doesn't because he earned a lot of money.

Republicans are indeed "the Party of Stupid", though I'm somewhat heartened by what Rubio and Jindal are saying. Our problems are, at the source religious. My prescription here. It's in Biblical principals that work 100% of the time they are applied. The Left's vision and principles fail 100% of the time they are tried. Time to smarten up.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Piers Morgan Gets Schooled by Ben Shapiro on Gun Rights & Second Amendment

Ben Shapiro
Anti American anti Second Amendment foreigner Piers Morgan gets schooled by Ben Shapiro. What a horrible interviewer Morgan is. He asks a question, and when Shapiro starts to answer, Morgan interrupts. Then if Shapiro gets an answer in, Morgan keeps asking it. Alex Jones name was brought up, who's a conspiracy kook and Truther, is being presented as a conservative by the Left; he isn't, just for the record. I was never a fan of Larry King, but he knew how to interview and let his guests present their beliefs and ideas without being aggressive, intolerant, and forever interrupting. Morgan is an anti American socialist hack and mouthpiece for the Democrat Party. In any case this vid shows what a hack and stupid man Morgan is.

By the way, notice how he referred to the Constitution as this "little book?" 

Mark Levin: "I Can Barely Contain My Fury At What Is Going On"

Mark Levin unleashes. Audio here

"You know folks, I'll be honest with you. I just told a friend of mine -- even though I sit behind this microphone and I try to be civil and so forth -- I can barely contain my fury about what's going on in this country. I'm just being honest with you. I can barely contain it. I'm so frustrated by this tyranny, you have no idea. Now we can analyze it, we can intellectualize it, we can parse it and so forth and try to unravel it. But I'm just telling you, from an emotional point of view, it is just so damned infuriating to see the greatest country on the face of the earth run by a bunch of lilliputians, who are constantly attacking it from within.

No discussion on the news programs about an imperial president exercising an authority he does not have under our constitution. Nothing. No discussion about all the lives saved and all the people protected as a result of the Second Amendment. Nothing. They continue to perpetuate the lie, the big lie that somehow, some new regulation, some new government fiat would have prevented what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. And then they pretend that they're for law enforcement. They pretend that they're hard on crime when they're not.

We have evidence over one decade after another of how the very same people pushing for gun control against law-abiding American citizens support radical left-wing judges who are soft on criminals, support weakened sentencing rules, decriminalizing this and that. Since when was Obama strong on fighting crime? Since when has Obama supported law enforcement? But here he is, you know, 'we have to stop gun violence.' No, we have to stop violent criminals.

Now, there's a fury in me -- I'm just being honest with you -- that I'm trying to contain. Biden, the moron Senator from Delaware, taking his train back and forth and back and forth on Amtrak. Oh wow, what a guy. Anyway, so they may do by executive fiat -- I'm trying to read between the lines -- a national gun database. Now, why would we need a national gun database? Well, listen, we need to know who has the weapons, at all times, and how many weapons they have and what weapons they have. How come? Why? The guy that killed all those people in Newtown, Connecticut, we know who he was and we know who had the weapons, his mother. So what does this national database have to do with anything? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oh, okay, but we need one anyway, right? To prevent what exactly? To prevent what?" (Mark Levin Show, January 10, 2013)

If you haven't read his Liberty and Tyranny go get it. Really. Seriously. A must read. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

"The Hobbit": A Commentary by Fr. Barron

Biblical, Christian themes in "The Hobbit". Insightful; yet another reason to appreciate this work. I wonder if director Jackson or the actors are aware their work is bringing forth such a powerful Christian message, or how many of the audience get it.

Dennis Prager's Top 10 Ways Liberalism Makes America Worse

Long but so well worth it. We have, as a nation, embraced those very things that are destroying us. From Leftists view of Conservatives to any sense of propriety, here's a list of ten things that have brought us down. At one time the opposite of theses were seen as good. No more.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How Republicans Can Win Back the Culture and Political Seats

Giving a leg up, not a hand out.

The last presidential election was won by the Democrats by their campaigning on the ideas of envy and empathy. It was Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" writ large. It was the tipping point where feeling trumped information, knowledge, and from that, who was most likely able to address those issues effectively, was tossed out.

This nation rejected a man with a proven track record of personal and business financial success, of organizational success, to a man-child with a knack of getting others covering for him even with a record of failure. This nation decided to go with the guy who says he cares about people when he's never done anything to show that. We rejected the guy who through his actions, personally and professionally, has helped thousands, if not millions of people.

In my job, mostly customer service, the idea of "empathy" for the customer is emphasized; not sympathy. This is a huge misuse of the word, and irritates me to no end. It's become a double down term for sympathy. Empathy is the complete substitution of one's emotions\feelings into another. The idea comes from the German "einfuhlund", where one projects one's own feelings onto inanimate objects, i.e., how a painting or sculpture makes you feel. That grew into the usage of entering into another's experience to understand them, which is okay, but now it has become a political tool.

By using it, the Democrats portray themselves as the party of compassion, even though their policies create more poor, more dependence on the State, and diminishes liberty. George Bush II created the term "compassionate conservatism" to counter that notion, and it became something to be mocked by the Left, and refuted by Conservatives.

Making people dependant is not compassionate. It's the old saw about teaching a person to fish rather than giving him fish. What Obama is doing reflects what Libertarian Harry Browne has said, "Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, 'See, if it weren't for government you wouldn't be able to walk'."

Conservatives must continue to guide the RINO controlled Republican Party to the original ideas of sympathy and compassion.  Earl of Shaftesbury [18th century] on compassion:  “To compassionate, i.e., to join with in passion,” ...  “ .  .  . to commiserate, i.e., to join with in misery. .  .  . This in one order of life is right and good; nothing more harmonious; and to be without this, or not to feel this, is unnatural, horrid, immane [inhuman].” Adam Smith pointed out what we all have in common, rich and poor alike, is “the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange”; and through that better themselves.

The earliest charities, a Christian, not government or pagan idea, were based on the idea both the provider and the recipient of help benefitted. There were a lot of "societies"  and "associations" to help the poor, most notably in England. The poor, abandoned children, the sick and dispossessed, the invalids. There were corruption and exploitation to be sure, but overall many were helped, and both the givers and receivers benefited.

Then governments decided to offer insurances against hardship, usurping the helping hand and replacing it with the giving hand. Welcome to Marxism, where the State, not caring people help each other; the Christian ideal where both bodies and souls benefit. It all becomes about things, the material. Obama and the Democrats can claim they "empathize" so they give people in trouble stuff.  Republicans must re-present themselves as the Party that can show people how to get stuff for themselves, and from that help others to do the same, and their spirits are better for it too.

From Augustine's (The City of God, Book XIV, Chapter 28):
Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory; the other says to its God, You are my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. In the one, the princes and the nations it subdues are ruled by the love of ruling; in the other, the princes and the subjects serve one another in love, the latter obeying, while the former take thought for all. The one delights in its own strength, represented in the persons of its rulers; the other says to its God, I will love You, O Lord, my strength. And therefore the wise men of the one city, living according to man, have sought for profit to their own bodies or souls, or both, and those who have known God glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise,— that is, glorying in their own wisdom, and being possessed by pride—they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. For they were either leaders or followers of the people in adoring images, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. [Romans 1:21-25] But in the other city there is no human wisdom, but only godliness, which offers due worship to the true God, and looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels as well as holy men, that God may be all in all. [1 Corinthians 15:28]

I'm convinced this country is degrading and becoming increasingly uncivil and barbaric because, like ancient Israel, we've turned our back on God.

And in the Literal Commentary on Genesis (XI, 15,20) Augustine writes:
These are the two loves: the first is holy, the second foul; the first is social, the second selfish; the first consults the common welfare for the sake of a celestial society, the second grasps at a selfish control of social affairs for the sake of arrogant domination; the first is submissive to God, the second tries to rival God; the first is quiet, the second restless; the first is peaceful, the second trouble-making; the first prefers truth to the praises of those who are in error, the second is greedy for praise, however it may be obtained; the first is friendly, the second envious; the first desires for its neighbor what it wishes for itself, the second desires to subjugate its neighbor; the first rules its neighbor for the good of its neighbor, the second for its own advantage; and these two loves produce a distinction among the angels: the first love belongs to the good angels, the second to the bad angels; and they also separate the two cities founded among the race of men, under the wonderful and ineffable Providence of God, administering and ordering all things that have been created: the first city is that of the just, the second is that of the wicked. Although they are now, during the course of time, intermingled, they shall be divided at the last judgment; the first, being joined by the good angels under its King, shall attain eternal life; the second, in union with the bad angels under its king, shall be sent into eternal fire. Perhaps, we shall treat, God willing, of these two cities more fully in another place.
 Obviously the second city are the Leftist\Democrats of the second love. Conservatives and Christians must talk about and show they are for the common welfare, to provide peacefulness and truthfulness, to offer those things that are important to them, to others. This is politics too, and there must be some hard hitting at the same time. 

Conservatives and Republicans must talk about what caring and charity are, what empathy and sympathy are, invoke those Christian values, while at the same time avoid directly mentioning them. Look at what Leftists/Democrats have done by changing the language and using that as the foundation for creating a mindset for a majority of citizens that being dependant on the State is not only a good thing, but something desirable. Under the guise of Empathy they demean the human spirit and create dependency and a majority are okay with that. That, without once mentioning their totalitarian intent.

If those that put self above others, exploit them, diminish them, enslave them and convince citizens this is a good thing for them, why can't those that put the common good first, convince citizens that helping themselves and others is to their benefit?  Christians and Conservatives, by putting God first, will have the winning hand again.

A Review of Blessed Are the Contrarians: Diary of a Journey Through Interesting Times

Originally written for and posted on The Windrose Hotel

Yesterday finished reading Rob's Blessed Are the Contrarians: Diary of a Journey Through Interesting Times. It's a worthwhile read, and a great reminder of ideas we often neglect in our busy lives. It's good to take some time to review events and ideas, especially with Rob's perspective of a Conservative and Christian. Fewer thinkers like him, especially in secularist Europe, are offering any alternative view of politics, religion, Christianity, literature, and philosophy. What he offers here, all in one place, is something different from the zeitgeist, the meme of the times. His title is apt.  

Being American, we don't get any news from Europe, let alone detailed history and analysis of what's happening there; especially Italy. That section of this book helps get a handle, as much as possible anyway, of how Italy manages to offer so many fine things, even be productive, with such a dysfunctional government. It also helps get a handle on European politics and how the political class there is consolidating power and the conflicts that arise from that.

I've been reading "The Windrose Hotel" for a few years (and am honored beyond words that I can contribute). What drew me to it initially was Rob's sense and sensibility, understanding of, explanation and explication of Augustine. Augustine has always been a tough slog for me, but Rob had, and has, a way of explaining Augustine's ideas that settles well. By the end of reading "Contrarians" I was on Amazon looking at Kindle downloads of Augustine's works. It's a good thing to have those writings all combined in this book; provides a clearer understanding.

There's a lot of coverage of art, something that is totally neglected in this country. Rob provides discussions of great artists, and why they're great, from both art history and personal perspectives. Art here in the US, and art writing, is dreadful.  It's great to have Rob's observations without the snobbishness prevalent here, just the critical eye and heartfelt appreciation.

The last of the book is about our Faith, Christianity. I was both moved and stimulated, and was making notes to myself of things to pursue, teach and write about. 

It's all here, ideas and reality, news and views, art and history, philosophy and perception, politics and religion. Sad that correct thinking is now contrary, but good that Rob's blog and this book makes the contrary accessible and understandable.