Intrinsic, Not Extrinsic

 

The waitress who brought me my order of eggs and bacon this morning at the Sweetened Sacks of Flour caught my attention as did another waitress last Saturday – their arms were covered in graphic cartoon-like black scrawl that seemed to slither up their arms toward some nether region of their bodies. My heart sank again this morning at the sight.

This young waitress – a twentyish woman with a beautiful smile and bright black eyes – had defaced herself and the Lord only knows why. Perhaps it’s the enticing effects of the reality TV culture, aka Pop culture, aka Cartoon Culture that we live in.  Donald Trump was elected president in such a culture – and that makes perfect sense. “Winning” the Presidency has become a cartoon choice award.

Found on many cable channels, reality TV programming reveals people participating in all manner of human folly including the ritual of “inking”.  To a great extent, The Media – the televised “news” programs, the newsfeed websites, the print and blog formatted- is also reality programming meant to arouse consumer’s attention and to provide a common denominator of baseness where one-upmanship is pulling one man’s pants down to use to pull your readers/viewers up out of the same swamp they are all in. Did we really need to be reminded of our broken humanness and subscribe to folly? But then again, watching the latest version of Sodom and Gomorrah in action may cause some to repent – but I doubt it. Just walk away and don’t look back.

Yes, my heart sank again this morning at the sight of this young woman who submitted herself to a pagan ritual. Tattooing is not adornment. That butterfly on the back of your neck is not adornment. You are telling the world that you belong to the ruler of this world and he – the Satan – has been kicked out. Anyone can be The Satan’s hands and feet, just as any Christian can be the hands and feet of the Lord.

At the health club, I see dozens of women who have “adorned” their bodies with graphic comic-like tattoos. Many have knowingly given themselves over to paganism with the “tat” being the sign that they are part of a death-Goth community which exists within a milieu of despair. They have thereby shown their allegiance to the former ruler of this world. As viewers of The Media, these who have dehumanized themselves with tattoos may have thought that God had given up on them and the world. Or, maybe they do not want anything to do with God and do not want to be a human who was created in God’s image. Paganism throughout human history has sought to destroy God’s image in our humanness. It has sought to make a god of man’s own image. Inking injects dye and idolatry into the skin.

Paganism is dehumanization. Paganism converts a person’s thinking so that they only live out their lives at a skin-deep level. Ultimately, paganism’s goal to make their supplicants into the image of The Satan. Before that point, one will look a lot like Gollum.

Paganism’s devotees find all sorts of religious ways to be rid of the indelible image of God. Some paganist’s devotion may be pantheistic in nature (diluting God in a solution of everything, thereby watering down any notion of a personal God) and some devotion may be populist in nature (watching TV), though the two are closely connected at the hip (pun intended).

Paganism’s alter ego is “enlightened Epicureanism. Both “religions” preach the same lie: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Both “religions” cultivate fools.

A fool will say in his heart “there is no god…and if there was I don’t want him anyway or to reflect his image. I will tattoo myself and shed any claim God may have on me”. In the end, when this fellow stands before God, he will say “I spent my entire life divesting myself of you. Get me out of here now!” And so, God will give him the desire of his heart.

 

Those of us who desire to be in the Kingdom of God, who desire the same true humanity as our Lord put on…we do not need to be in abeyance – the position of being without, or waiting for, an owner or claimant. God laid claim on us when we were sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever” (BCP, 380).

~~~

The DIY short list of how to become less human and deface the image of God (i.e., how to dehumanize yourself and others):

 

Murdering

Aborting

Euthanizing

Committing Adultery

Fornicating

Viewing pornography

Practicing homosexuality

Involving yourself with bestiality

Lying

Stealing

Being unjust

Gossiping

Being sentimental

Worshipping the creature and not the creator

Dishonoring your mother and father

Watching and paying for movies and cable shows which glorify the above

Watching cartoonish “animated” movies a la Disney

Taking drugs

Crucifying someone

~~~~

The Image of God on Man

 

~~~~

Do you want a POV from a well-read prison psychiatrist who’s also an atheist?

“The correspondent asked me: what was wrong with tattooing, if that was how people wanted to adorn themselves?

I asked him whether he would have himself tattooed—whether he would be happy if his teenaged children had themselves tattooed—and if not, why not? After all, if he would not like it, he must have some inner objection to tattooing.

True, he said, but tattooing was not illegal. And since even I, who deprecated it, did not think that it should be illegal, there was nothing further to say about it. If tattooing was legal, it was thus of no social, moral, or cultural significance.

I tried to point out some of the cultural meanings of the vogue for tattooing. First, it was aesthetically worse than worthless. Tattoos were always kitsch, implying not only the absence of taste but the presence of dishonest emotion.

Second, the vogue represented a desperate (and rather sad) attempt on a mass scale to achieve individuality and character by means of mere adornment, which implied both intellectual vacuity and unhealthy self-absorption.

And third, it represented mass downward cultural and social aspiration, since everyone understood that tattooing had a traditional association with low social class and, above all, with aggression and criminality. It was, in effect, a visible symbol of the greatest, though totally ersatz, virtue of our time: an inclusive unwillingness to make judgments of morality or value.”

-Theodore Dalrymple’s Law Isn’t Enough

“Now is the ruler of the world cast out” (Henchmen to follow)

 

Patria o muerte! [Homeland or death] Che Guevara, December 11, 1964, 19th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

“Executions?” Guevara told the UN General Assembly in 1964. “We execute! And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary.”

“Guevara was a man whose interest in justice is best summed up in his own words, as quoted by Fontova: “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution. And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.” –The bitter truth about Che Guevara

Che Guevara: “Judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail. We execute from revolutionary conviction.”

Fidel Castro: “Legal proof is impossible to obtain against war criminals so we sentence them based on moral conviction.”

“The terrible damage that Castro has done will long outlive him and his regime. Untold billions of capital will be needed to restore Havana; legal problems about ownership and rights of residence will be costly, bitter, and interminable; and the need to balance commercial, social, and aesthetic considerations in the reconstruction of Cuba will require the highest regulatory wisdom. In the meantime, Havana stands as a dreadful warning to the world—if one were any longer needed—against the dangers of monomaniacs who believe themselves to be in possession of a theory that explains everything, including the future.”

-From Theodore Dalrymple’s “Why Havana Had to Die,” 2002.

~~~~~

Remembering Castro’s Crimes by William Doino Jr.

~~~~~

You say you want a revolution…

“So don’t worry away with your ‘What’ll we eat?’ and “What’ll we drink?’ and ‘What’ll we wear?’ Those are all the things the Gentiles fuss about, and your heavenly father knows you need them all. Instead, make your top priority God’s kingdom and his way of life, and all these things will be given to you as well. So don’t worry about tomorrow…” – Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s gospel 6: 31-34

the-earth-is-the-lords-horicon-marsh-wi

The Earth is the Lord’s – Horicon Marsh, WI ©Ann Johnson Kingdom Venturers

“Yes, the gospels affirm Jesus’s divine identity. Yes, they affirm his death on the cross as the climax of God’s age-old plan of salvation. But the purpose of God coming incognito in and as Jesus and the purpose of this Jesus dying on the cross was – so the gospels are telling us – in order to establish God’s kingdom, his justice, on earth as in heaven.” – from N.T. Wright’s “How God Became King”

~~~~~

In case you forget…

Psalm 97

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;

    let the many coastlands (and Horicon Marsh) be glad!

Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;

    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

Fire goes before him,

    and consumes his adversaries on every side.

His lightnings light up the world;

    the earth sees and trembles.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

    before the Lord of all the earth.

 

 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;

    and all the peoples behold his glory.

 All worshippers of images are put to shame,

    those who make their boast in worthless idols;

    all gods bow down before him. Zion hears and is glad,

    and the towns of Judah rejoice,

    because of your judgements, O God.

For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;

    you are exalted far above all gods.

 

 The Lord loves those who hate evil;

    he guards the lives of his faithful;

    he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

 Light dawns for the righteous,

    and joy for the upright in heart.

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,

    and give thanks to his holy name!

 

~~~~~

The Day The Revolution began…

“The modern world has displaced the Christian narrative; it isn’t just that most of our contemporaries profess not to believe in God or Jesus, but that they have in their heads a world narrative in which world history arrived at its redemptive moment in the eighteenth century with the rise of science and technology and banishing of God to a distant realm, to be visited by the pious few like a kind family calling on an elderly relative every Sunday.  The western churches have regularly colluded with this absurd diminishment of the Bible and the gospel.  But the cross, told as the climax of all four gospels and particularly John’s on which I have focused this evening, leaves us no choice.  ‘Now is the judgement of this world; now is the ruler of the world cast out; and if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.’ This is what it means that the Messiah died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.”

-from Prof. N.T. Wright’s “Saving the world, Revealing the Glory:  Atonement Then and Now.” Oct. 2016

 

The early Christian creeds – the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene creed – do not speak of the most important elements of why Christ came to earth.  It’s as if the creeds were written for man’s purposes and not for God’s purposes.

The kingdom life of Jesus, between his birth and crucifixion, is missing from the creeds. And, as recorded in the gospels, Jesus came to inaugurate his kingdom on earth as in heaven and not to impart the four spiritual laws and get off earth as soon as possible.

So, then, this is the gospel

That now at the name of Jesus

  every knee within heaven shall bow-

On earth, too, and under the earth;

  And every tongue shall confess

That Jesus, Messiah, is Lord,

To the glory of God, the father.

The Lord is King, Let the Earth Rejoice This Thanksgiving!

Whole Lotta Searchin’ Goin’ On

 

2016 Proverbs (Observations, generally speaking.):

 

Astronomers search the universe for cosmic origins.

Physicists seek to understand the behavior of systems at atomic length scales and smaller using quantum mechanics.

Geneticists, in search of disease prevention and cures, scan the genetic code for the secret of life.

Archeologists search fossil and radiometric dating records for what has gone on before.

Anthropologists search for “missing links” and the ways and means of the past.

Nurses sonogram pregnant bellies for signs of life.

Philosophers search for why there is something rather than nothing.

Nihilists search for meaning in nothing and come up empty-handed and nauseous.

Wise men searched the night sky for kingdom beginnings.

Mathematicians seek solutions in our design-inherent universe.

Social scientists seek to nudge a human’s free will toward a “proper” response.

Capitalists seek value.

Socialists seek other people’s money.

Traders seek to buy low and sell high.

Long term stock and bond holders look for a return on their investment at some point in the future.

Investors seek the highest returns while shouldering prudent risk.

Psychologists, asking “how do you feel about that”, seek to redefine consequences away from morality.

Psychiatrists seek out the next tranquilizer to medicate “the problem.”.

Political scientists seek to define the perfect social order with or without property rights.

Attorneys seek favorable jurors and favorable verdicts.

Politicians seek power.

Progressives seek unicorns with your tax dollars.

The Ruling Class seeks to rule by fiat, making us serfs.

The ignorant seek to be reaffirmed in their ignorance.

Media conglomerates seek to capture our attention and our budget.

Homosexuals seek pride in their love of the creature rather than their Creator.

The transgendered seek to be ‘normalized’.

The lazy, self-absorbed and intolerant, but “diverse,” want something for nothing and call their demand “a right.”

Conservatives seek to preserve longstanding meaning, community and high culture.

Millennials, in this Age of Feelings, seek protectionism in safe spaces.

Blue-collar workers, who have not learned new skills, seek trade protectionism.

College students seek affirmation rather than the meaning of life.

Athletes seek trophies and endorsements.

The Good Shepherd searches for the Lost Sheep.

The son of man came to seek and to save the lost.

A woman searches for a lost coin, finds it, and rejoices.

Joseph and Mary searched for the boy Jesus and find him at the Temple, where God dwelt with men.

Christians seek and find faith as small as a mustard seed.

The House of Islam seeks to bring the whole world under submission to a supreme caliphate by any jihad necessary.

Buddhists seek enlightenment within themselves by numbing their consciousness with mantras.

TV preachers and faith-healers seek to wrench filthy lucre from wrenched bodies and souls.

The addicted seek a “fix” and so share a needle with others.

The contented seek to share life’s bounty with others.

High culture seeks to deepen our common religious/ethical community bonds.

Fiction writers seek to tweak our imaginations with universal questions posed by imaginary beings.

Architects seek to place function before form, denouncing the sublime in the process.

Art, high culture art, seeks to give the viewer laudable content in laudable form, evoking old and new sympathies.

Modern art seeks to give the viewer content in shock form, in order to deny meaning its value.

Climatologists seek anthropocentric fault in weather changes and “find” data to say it’s your fault.

“Enlightened” Epicureans seek godless pleasure and find a “way which seems right”.

Abortionists search the womb for “tissue” to suck out beginnings.

Euthanasians search for a vein to end beginnings.

Atheists, with a God-given consciousness, seek for nothing and find it and then credit themselves.

Astrologers search horoscopes and tarot cards for the almighty dollar.

Agnostics and Deists seek for a way around God.

And the search continues…

~~~

 

“At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily.” –Flannery O’Connor

He’s Been Faithful – That is Why I Give Thanks Today

 

God’s faithfulness to me and his past, present and future covenantal faithfulness to all of his creation…this song says it all…

 

Feet First

 

On January 17th, 2017, the world will witness a peaceful transition of power in the United States of America.  And though our country is deeply divided by partisan conflicts there will be not be a violent overthrow of the government or a military takeover such as a coup d’etat. There will not be a slaughter of the innocents by those who embody the Satan. At least, that has been my experience.

~~~

Just over 2000 years ago there was another peaceful transition of power and one not brought about by a popular vote of Jews, Greeks or Romans. Instead, the “electoral college” of Father, Son and Holy Spirit decided that a king would be born. The Creator Word would become a flesh tabernacle and dwell among his creation for some thirty years to inaugurate his Kingdom – a kingdom where heaven and earth would be forever co-joined.

Like the workings of dominions and powers throughout history, much of politics today is about gaining power and control over others and then maintaining power and control over others.

But how did the King of the Glory display his power and control?

In this day of the ubiquitous media’s hyperbolic promotion of self-promoting individuals and ego polishing and reality TV narcissism and take-it-to-the-streets identity politics there is One who has transitioned from power and glory… to washing the feet of others.

No one, especially the Jews in Jesus’ time expected a foot washer Messiah. They expected a takeover guy who would abolish Roman rule by force.  That was what Judas the revolutionary wanted and thought he “had” in Jesus. But instead, Jesus washed Judas’ feet along with the other disciples. That act was certainly not the macho response expected by angry unsettled Jews like Judas.

Jesus, as a witness of all that his father is and does, revealed to the world God’s “definition” of power and of love and of truth. In a peaceful transition of power, the holy and invisible Creator God became visible in Christ by emptying himself of his glory and power. Jesus submitted himself to the father and to his creation by taking on the form of a servant. This transition is not something anyone on earth expected to happen. Consider this:

Remember what God said to Moses: “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” -Pentateuch, Exodus 3:5

Fast Forward: “Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God. So, he got up from the supper-table, took off his clothes, and wrapped a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wrapped in.” -The Gospel of John 13

~~~

Followers of the Way:

“This is how you should think among yourselves – with the mind that you have because you belong to the Messiah, Jesus:

 

Who, though in God’s form, did not

Regard his equality with God

As something he ought to exploit.

 

Instead, he emptied himself,

And received the form of a slave,

Being born in the likeness of humans.

 

And then, having human appearance,

He humbled himself, and became

Obedient to death,

 

Yes, even the death of the cross.

And so God has greatly exalted him,

And to him in his favor has given

 

The name which is over all names:

That now at the name of Jesus

Ever knee within heaven shall bow –

 

On earth, too, and under heaven;

And every tongue confess

That Jesus, Messiah, is Lord,

To the glory of God, the father.”

 

Ancient church hymn as recorded in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, chapter 2

And May the Holy Temple Be Rebuilt:

My Party Was Gone

 

The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. -Proverbs 14:16

 

As a fiscal and social and small government conservative who was once a Republican and never a Democrat I consider myself, a voting citizen, to be a Christian Libertarian. As such, I desire freedom for myself and for others to make educated tradeoffs rather than to be coerced by top down government provisos telling me what I must do with my wealth, my health, etc. Self-government is my way of life within in the constraint of the rule of law and within my own Christian-Holy Spirit directed- convictions. The truth is, I am free in Christ no matter who is in power. And, my vote is a prayer:

“…May your kingdom come,

May your will be done

As in heaven, so on earth…”

As a Conservative, I consider our Constitution and the rule of law to be foundational to a well-functioning society. Agreed upon laws derived out of the desire for the common good – decency, justice, order, etc. -should be imposed upon our society.  Yet, I do not support laws (and proposed laws and regulations) which are onerous and that are used to subjugate me to the will, of say, Progressives who advocate for what they consider true and just within their relativist and irrational worldview. Case in point: I am being told by President Obama, his science advisor John Holdren and Attorney General Loretta Lynch that manmade climate change is true and it will destroy the planet and therefore I must believe it is true because they are in a position of power and I must submit to their demands on my intellect and wealth, etc. or be denounced as a “denier” by the state with punishment to be determined.

 

Now, when I hear about Millennials wanting “Democratic Socialism” I am shocked at their lack of knowledge about history and of socialism’s dehumanizing swath of destruction through the last century. I am also shocked that anyone would give up their freedom for hand-to-mouth dependence economics. It’s as if your participation in laziness deserves a trophy.

 

Currently there are two candidates who are morally and ethically unfit for the office of President.  One of the candidates could easily be impeached once in office for seditious acts and crimes against this country. The other candidate is so obnoxious and bigoted and jejune that he makes a mockery of American values. Both candidates are self-serving and power-seeking. Hillary Clinton is a member of the Ruling Class and Trump is a wannabe member of the Ruling Class. (Ruling Class defined >here.)

After eight years of the worst presidency in the history of the United States and its administration’s destructive “Fundamental Transformation” of America, feckless and divisive Obama has left the U.S. worse off racially, economically, politically, and on and on, then when he entered office.  Consider just one of the transmissible malignancies spread by Obama’s Frankenstein monster, “Fundamental Transformation”:  the national debt has doubled.  What did you get for that huge increase in your children’s and grandchildren’s debt burden? Someone got the money that half the nation worked so hard for. Little wonder that voters are angry – there has been no return on their “investment”, only look-down-their nose snark from Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren: “you didn’t build that.”

 

It must be said: we need someone in the office of president who will not demean, deface or destroy America with their pettiness, their lawlessness and their desire for power.

 

My party is gone. My candidate is gone. I voted for Ted Cruz in the primaries.  This Tuesday I will write in Evan McMullin for President and Mindy Finn for Vice President. There is much to commend both Evan and Mindy. Evan knows foreign policy inside out. He is unabashedly a conservative. Please read the link to see their qualifications. Evan and Mindy can be written in on the ballot in most states.

As mentioned above, I am free in Christ no matter what because…the gospel – “Jesus is Lord” – means that whatever happens will be subject to his lordship. I have my vocation to get on with…

“All authority in heaven and earth, “Jesus said, “has been given to me! So, you must go and make all nations into disciples. Baptize them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit. Teach them to observe everything I have commanded you. And look: I am with you, every single day, to the end of the age.” – Matthew’s gospel 28 v. 18-20

 

~~~

One “BIGLY” Reason I Am Voting for @EvanMcMullin

Democrats/Progressives are virtue signalers bar none. They will pull the lever for the Democratic ticket signaling their big-hearted desire to change the world for better. They, of course, have no problem making someone else pay the price -another’s money, liberty and even religious rights – for their self-righteous blush on election day.

Freedom’s Safest Place Remains a Choice

 

freedoms-safest-place

Horicon Marsh Montage – Monday Morning

 

Here is the first photographic montage of my recent visit to Horicon National Wildlife Refuge near Mayville, Wisconsin, on a Monday morning in September:

 

Entrance

Entrance

horicon-marsh-visitor-center-porch

Horicon Marsh Visitor Center

To Horicon Marsh Lookout

To Horicon Marsh Lookout

Woman Meets Marsh

Woman Meets Marsh

Horicon Marsh

Horicon Marsh

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center is located at W4279 Headquarters Rd. Mayville, WI 53933

Horicon Marsh Visitor Map

 

Previous Posts:

For the Beauty of…Horicon Marsh

Horicon Marsh and the Landowner

Tuesday Morning at the Audubon

County Road TW

Backstreet Café, Monday, 5:00 am

 

 

The Origin of the Habitable Zone

 

The Origin of the Habitable Zone

 

the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b. Credit: ESO, M. KORNMESSER

the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b. Credit: ESO, M. KORNMESSER

Behold and look attentively upon…

 

Ten years. That is what it takes. It takes ten years to travel to Alpha Centauri’s Proxima b at 45% light speed in a Bema Nano StarCraft. Of course, one goes to an exoplanet to get away. And that is what my father did twenty years ago after my mother passed. For the last ten years Proxima b’s Decider Colony – the settlement was named Decider Colony by my dad after he declared, “Once you have decided to come you don’t look back” – has provided research data and food and shelter for those who are completing their “bucket list”.

Dad joined the first eXoCrew to Alpha Centauri AB as a researcher. The crew, deployed with detectors specifically tuned to wavelengths corresponding to molecules found in earth’s atmosphere such as water, methane, oxygen and ozone, found these elements in comparable amounts on Proxima b, a planet slightly larger than earth and which orbits in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri. When the crew also found nothing that would disrupt the equilibrium of the habitable zone they set about terraforming.

When dad said his goodbyes I asked him if he would be lonely on Proxima. He answered, “I have my research and my smokes. Maybe, when I am happy again, I’ll be lonely. Finish your doctorate, Penny, and then join me.” Dad hugged me, kissed my forehead and then drove off.

After submitting my dissertation, “The 21st Century Religion of Climate Change:  Oracles, Inquisition, Denier Extirpation and Crusades,” I needed to get away, far away, as I was no longer welcome at home. A tenure-track faculty position would not be in the offing and I could not see myself teaching anyway. So, I applied to the Interplanetary Research and Terraforming Inaugurating Consortium (IRTIC) for the position of Lead Argo-Chemist on the Centauri Project Team. My application was processed overnight.

I received my commission to go to Proxima b the next day. I was told that I would go as a settler-researcher, just as my father had done ten years earlier with IRTIC. I was glad. Now I could go where I would feel welcome. In Chicago, I was all alone. My mom died when I was six. Dad was the only family I had left. Friends, you ask? There is Ruth of Ruth’s Restaurant and Refinery. She knew my mother. Ruth met mom when Ruth came to Chicago on a business trip. So, my journey to Proxima will be a sort of coming home.

When you travel for ten years you have plenty of time to study. I studied Proxima b and found out that the exoplanet is about seven million kilometers from its star, Proxima Centauri. Its orbit is twenty-one times smaller than earth’s orbit. This has Proxima sitting on its star’s doorstep. Any solar hiccups, flares, or coronal mass ejections are likely to hit Proxima b head on. Settler beware!

I also exercised every day for ten years. Living in a micro-g environment impacts the body in three ways: loss of position-movement sensation – you don’t know what your limbs are up to, changes in fluid distribution, and deterioration of the musculoskeletal system. Space traveler beware!

On Proxima b one has to get used to the fact there is no night and day. Light and dark are locational. So, you must to travel back and forth, light side, dark side, light side, dark side… to simulate earth’s 24-hour cycle. And, get ready for this:  The planet is so close to its red dwarf host star that it is tidally locked into an orbital eccentricity of 0. This means that one side of Proxima constantly faces the host star, a red dwarf sun, a blazing orb that looks huge in the sky and is exceedingly hot. The other side – the star side – is dark and cold to the other extreme. Along the terminator line, between light and dark, hot and cold, lies a moderate zone where Decider Colony is. One good thing: under the zone’s constant cloud cover, Proxima b retains water. One bad thing: I do too.

 

Once on Alpha Centauri’s Proxima b I headed to my dad’s cabin near the Tuomi Ocean. Tuomi is just three clicks off of Limbo Line Highway and only 1.295762111 parsecs from my home on the west side of Chicago, in case you wanted to know. Not far from my dad’s cabin is Charis City the home of Ruth’s flagship restaurant.

The colony and the cabin are just over on the dark side of Proxima b since no one could handle the extreme light or heat on the star side. For our light and power, wind turbines provide electrical energy. Fierce stellar winds blowing across the ubiquitous mountain ranges propel the turbines.

Proxima is a jagged, rocky place.  The kind of place you read about in science fiction or see in space movies. I brought my repelling gear for climbing when I’m not walking on star dust at the beach.  The cabin is within a narrow cove surrounded by the Nearing Cliffs. It is protected from the ferocious winds, which howl across the tops of the cliffs a mile above sounding like a thousand wolves in chorus.

Dad, a hobby fisherman, uses VR goggles to go fishing on Tuomi Ocean. When he wrote to me years ago he told me that he has a hologram of a fish he caught in his library. He also told me that he had plenty cans of reconstituted fish in the kitchen. I made it clear to dad that I would prefer to eat at Ruth’s Restaurant and Refinery where the food is superb and fresh.

How is it possible on Proxima b to offer fresh meals? Only Ruth knows and she will only say that she is thankful that she can. And, another thing I wonder about.  Some say that Ruth has been here forever. When asked about this she tells them, “I’ve been here as long as I can remember.” All I know is that if her restaurant here on Proxima b is like the one at home in Chicago, then there will be a sign above her cash register which offers, “Ask about our daily special.”

 

When I arrived at the cabin Dad was very happy to see me but above his smile was a look of sadness in his eyes. A couple of nights later I looked out the front door and saw dad sitting on the front porch step. He was staring at the burning point of his cigarette.

“Penny, come out on the porch and join me.”

I sat down next to dad.

“Wow, look at those stars, dad. They talk about light pollution on earth.  Chicago has so many lights you can’t see stars.”

“Yeah, I remember.”  This”, dad pointed to the sky, “is one of eleven panoramas. One year on Proxima is eleven days, so the night sky changes every day.”

“Whoa, age before beauty, here.”

I could see dad smile.

“What were you thinking about just now, dad?”

Dad flicked his cigarette and took a deep breath, “Well, when I was younger I would look at the night sky just like tonight. I would imagine myself as a meteor, blazing across the sky, every atom in me a magnificent glow and that would someday I burn out in a ball of fire. I did not want to be snuffed out by dry-rot existence. I wanted my end to ashes and not accumulated dust. That’s one reason why I came to Proxima. But, there is something I haven’t told you that I’m not proud of.

Back home I was asked to change some data – climate data. I was told that I was a rising star in the scientific community and that I would receive tenure if I papers concurred with my university peers. I saw no harm in doing it. I figured the change would just make people concerned about the environment. And, with tenure I could afford your education at the university.

Well, about a six months later, I was asked again to change another set of numbers. I did and then I received tenure just like they said I would. I was young. My attitude was “Either you are virtuous or you enjoy yourself but you can’t be both.”

But then the bribes started coming. I said no and kept saying no but the pressure was incredible. They showed up at the house. They threatened to hurt your mother if I didn’t agree.  Then…I don’t if I should call it fate or bad luck or…It was during that time your mother came down with cancer.  So I saw my chance to leave the university and the whole mess. I stayed home with her till the end.  After that I joined IRTIC hoping for a chance to leave all this behind.”

“Wow. I don’t know what to say. I could have used your experience in my dissertation.  Anyway, I’m glad we are together and all that is behind you.

“When you get piled on, you just shrug it off and move on,” Dad put out his cigarette, thought for a second and then turned to Penny

“When I die, Penny, I hope to go to a better place–whatever that is–and I want to be able to afford the price of admission.”

“What you need right now, dad, is a piece of cherry pie.  C’mon dad, let’s go to Ruth’s for lunch.”

“No thanks. Not interested.”

“Why?  The food is good.”

“Meh. My parents took me to one of Ruth’s restaurants a long time ago. I didn’t like the food and the place gave me the creeps.  Later, your mother took me there once. I found out I couldn’t smoke inside – the manager told me to go outside. After that everything I tasted there was bland. And, what’s with that sign she has hanging everywhere –“Spreading life and beauty throughout the universe? There is no beauty ‘cept these stars and I see tooth and claw in them too.”

“I’ve wondered about that sign myself.  Let’s go ask about it.”

“No thanks. I’d rather eat my own food then go and pay for something I don’t like.”

“I’ll buy dad.”

“No thanks kid. I’m old and set in my ways. You go and have fun. I have some fish to catch.”

 

I poked my head inside the restaurant door. “Hi Ruth, how’s things at Ruth’s Restaurant?”

“Come in and see, Penny. Would you like some Black Tea?”

“Yes. And, I’ll have the salad with Green Pastures Dressing.”

“Coming right up.”

Ruth returned and placed the tea cup in front of me. She poured the fragrant tea.

I looked up, “I am still getting used to the idea that plant life on Proxima is black and not green.”

“All my customers say that but they come back for more. The dressing helps them get it down.”

“I’m going to bring some home to my father.”

“Do you think he’ll like it? I haven’t seen him around here.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve tried to get him to come. Oh, and he wanted to know what that meant.”  Penny pointed to the sign over the kitchen.

Spreading life and beauty throughout the universe? Why that means exactly what it says. You see, I am not only a chef and a restaurateur. I am an artist, too. I create collages out of things which had former value. I reclaim broken and discarded things, rework them and make them into works of art. And, I have my refinery. I refine rare precious metals found on the seven exoplanets. Those seven planet ores are not found on earth. When refined they make the most excellent necklaces, rings, bracelets and even crowns. “

“Crowns?”

“Why yes. I have seven planets and I have appointed seven kings. I made a crown for each one.”

I looked around. “I don’t see any collages or crowns.”

“Wait one second.” Ruth left and returned with a bottle of red wine and a glass. “Here, this is my house red. Take a sip.” Ruth poured the wine.

I held the wine glass up to the light. The dark ruby-red wine had a mineral aroma that reminded me not of a flavor but of a time. What was that memory? I drank it down. It was warm in my throat.

“What do you see now?”

“I…I see collages, of people… made of collages and their eyes are like jeweled sunlight!”

I saw that all the faces in the restaurant were turned towards Ruth.

I looked up at Ruth. “I need to sit down.”

“Penny, you are sitting. Now, I’ve also been known to refine people’s taste buds.” Ruth smiled. “So, eat up.”

 

I came home not sure what I had just seen and desperately wanting to tell my father about it. But dad was not around. His bedroom was empty. I checked the kitchen. Empty fish tins lay in the sink.  The fish smell was so pungent that I threw the tins in the garbage, put the lid on and lit a candle. It was confirmed. Dad doesn’t smell things anymore.

Dad’s library door was always closed. I had never been in there. I knocked and there was no answer. So I entered.  What I saw could be described as a “Hemmingway hangout.” On a credenza was a hologram of dad’s favorite fish – the walleye. On the lamp table next to his reading chair was a worn copy of Jack London’s Call of the Wild and an open copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species. A half-gone bottle of thirty-year-old scotch was on a shelf behind the desk along with a framed picture of mom and a mug from Last Ounce Bar and Grill. On his desk were an ash tray, several photographs of Ana Nill, dad’ girlfriend on Proxima and his VR goggles. Dad wouldn’t have gone fishing without his VR goggles.

I turned around. On the wall above the shelf was a framed quote.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

I left the library not sure what I had just seen and desperately wanting to ask my father about it.

The front door banged open. In stumbled Ana with dad under her arm. Dad was shivering uncontrollably.

“What happened?

“The boat capsized. It shouldn’t have happened.” Dad’s teeth chattered as he spoke.

“You could have gotten hypothermia, dad.”

“I’m good at this. It shouldn’t have happened.” Dad fell to the floor.

 

After dad’s accident, the day finally came, two weeks later in fact, when dad relented and agreed to come to Ruth’s restaurant.  Dad, angrier over the accident than concerned for his own safety came to see that something had to change…. with a lot of my pleading.

 

Ruth’s Restaurant and Refinery on Proxima b is unlike anything else in the universe. When you arrive the first thing you notice is a large cornerstone made of Substantium, an element found in only one place in the universe – you can guess where. It sits at the right hand corner foundation of the restaurant. Emitted out of its four sides and at right angles are red lasers – coherent light beams. The four perpendicular lasers provide direction plots of the universe like four surveyor’s transit theodolites. And when those on a space quest comes across one of the four laser beams he or she will know how to find the Origin of the Habitable Zone, so I’m told.

And I am also told that at the opposite corner of the square building are several more laser lights. Three beams are directed toward the night sky. The color of the three beams change within a visible spectrum as if in rhythm to some ancient song. The beams, though infinite in their trajectory, also appear to hover in an ever-widening circle. The corner’s other stream of monochromatic coherent light is directed toward Ruth’s metal working refinery directly behind the restaurant. There, the refocused light is used to work precious metals.

 

“Welcome. I have a booth for you over here.” Ruth led us over to a sky booth.

There are no windows in the walls of Ruth’s Restaurant but there is a vast skywindow above the booths and tables. The candlelit room feels like it is slowly moving but that feeling is due to Proxima’s eleven-day-year rotation of constellations.  Three lights, those three lights, dance in front of the stellar panorama. We are eating in an observatory.

I asked, for my dad, “Ruth, did you know my mom?’

“Yes. She came to my Chicago restaurant often. She spoke of both of you.” Ruth sat down across from dad and poured him some wine.

I was soon surprised. I heard dad tell Ruth what he had told me on the porch one night.

“I was wrong to fudge those numbers. I didn’t have 4.6 billion years of data to review. And I wasn’t sure where the supplied temperature data came from, if it was reliable. I was told to use the data and that it would likely fit the profile of adverse climate change due to CO2.”

“Then I’d come home every night feeling like more and more of me was being negated. I couldn’t tell your mother, Penny, out of fear of government reprisals. But later I had to.” Dad dropped his head. “Your mom, waiting for me to come home every night, watched TV. I would come in the door and find her very agitated and concerned about what she was seeing. I soon found why when I was forced to attend the Interfaith Theosophist Climate Conference in Paris.”

“There I learned that the state controlled Climate Channel ran ITCC approved videos of weather catastrophes in order to frighten people into embracing environmental justice. The conference speakers, of course, never used the words “frighten or alarm.” They used “motivate and encourage.” The 24/7 programming ran Viral Weather –special effects video of ice melting and seas rising, floods destroying homes, displaced-looking polar bears, erosion and mud slides, on and on. And all the disasters would be connected to anthropological causation. Viral Weather never showed pastoral scenes or farmland with crops or any of the life-sustaining effects of CO2. And Global Cable never showed on any channel the hellish wars on earth that were started over global climate control.”

Ruth lifted dad’s head. “Following the Time of Enlightenment men began to put function before form, utilitarianism over being. The objective “what” was given preeminence over the subjective “why.” Later, many people rejected life expressed without significance. Some looked to nature and the protection of the environment for the “why” of their lives, to fulfill their need for meaning. Soon, though, their well-intentioned drive to reclaim what was lost converted into a religion with a “save the planet” mission and a Malthusian dogma when impassioned demands for certain outcomes were met with resistance. In turn, any dis-belief in climate change was met with hostility by the environmentalists.”

“A coordinated global crusade was begun by the environmentalists, who became collectively known as New Age Dominionists. The Dominionists campaigned to have the environment legally protected from mankind. Under their influence nation states passed laws and the UN passed resolutions that made humans – their methods, their mechanisms and their manufacturing – subject to nature. Of course this meant that humans would become subject to data and again to the “what” in order to stop Global Climate Change.”

“The situation on earth is now dire. In the last ten years meaningless climate data had been fed into quantum computers. The quantum computers fed AI into Malthus Qubots and Malthus Qubot AI became a singularity. After that the Malthus Qubots unleashed themselves to destroy mankind in order to save the planet.”

Ruth put her hand on dad’s. “Now, my Proximinian ears perk up when I hear the truth and I heard you tell the truth just now. Yes, you were wrong. The people of Earth need truth.  Worthless data will always be behind man’s desire to reduce everything to an interplay of power and resources. When the Qubots with their AI singularity took over earth they only saw matter to be mastered. Man had relinquished everything of value to obtain control of air or vanity, as we say here on Proxima b. Nothingness will destroy everything in its path if you let it. And now, not for nothing, I forgive you.”

At that moment two guys from the next booth came over to our booth. They wore dark suits with cardinal red SSICCA insignias. They were from the Secular See Interstellar Climate Control Authority.

The taller man with a patch over one eye started. “We heard what you said. You are coming with us. You will face trial on your way back to earth. A special Qubot tribunal has been appointed to punish deniers and flagrant violators of Environmental Justice.”

“I…I left earth and came to Proxima b so that I wouldn’t li…so that I wouldn’t say what I couldn’t.”

The sweaty and squat bald agent pulled on dad’s arm.  “Get up. You have some papers we need you to write.”

Ruth placed herself head-on between the agents and dad.

“This is my place. You have no jurisdiction in here. You’ve had your meal now go.”

“We’ll be waiting right outside.” The two men sneered at dad and then walked out the door.

“I guess this is goodbye Penny.”

“Hold on.” Ruth turned and walked over to another table.

Dad turned to me. “Sorry kid. My past has caught up with me. It looks like the meteor has become a wad of paper.”

Ruth returned to the table. Dad looked up.

“Penny says that your food is the best. I should have come here sooner.”

“Well, come back tomorrow then.”

“You know I can’t. Those two goons are going to cart me off forever.”

“No they won’t. I talked to the seven princes of the seven planets.” Ruth pointed to a table where seven men were sitting. “They are the Society Against Nihilistic Causation Terrestrial Authority (SANCTA). They will escort those two to the East-West Mining Company’s automated starship, the Tierra del Fuego, where they will be put to work feeding coal into a blast furnace. The mining barge goes back and forth throughout an alternate universe smelting ore deposits it finds. They will be busy for a long time.”

“Oh, thank you Ruth.” My dad fell to his knees. He clung to Ruth crying.

Ruth lifted him up, gave him a hug and then handed him a signet ring. “Here is your new identity. Safeguard it.”

Dad looked at the ring. Engraved on its face was a name in Proximanian, one he couldn’t pronounce.

“And, I want you to join SANCTA. Here, you will need these goggles.”

“What is this? I have VR goggles.”

“These are UR goggles – Ultimate Reality goggles. You’ll see better when you go fishing.”

Dad fell back into the booth limp.

“You look exhausted.” Ruth motioned to a waiter, “Bring them some warm bread. I will bring the wine. It’s time to celebrate. You two won’t need these menus.” Ruth picked them up. “ You’d like the special of the day.”

“Ruth, what is the special of the day?” dad asked.

“I’ve already paid for your meal.”

 

 

 

 

 

©Sally Paradise, 2016, All Rights Reserved

Don’t Lose Your Saltiness to Soros

 

If we believe that the Kingdom of God is here and now then we make choices which reflect that understanding. To help you make Kingdom choices here is something I found walking around on Resurrection ground: “An Open Letter to Christian pastors, leaders and believers who assist the anti-Christian Progressive political movement in America.”

 

~~~

 

A Call to Repentance & Renewal

An Open Letter to Christian pastors, leaders and believers 

who assist the anti-Christian Progressive political movement in America

 

Quotes from the “Letter”:

“As recent leaked documents confirm, and as Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners eventually admitted, wealthy, anti-Christian foundations, following the lead of billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, fund and “rent”* Christian ministers as “mascots” serving as surprising validators for their causes. The consequent realities include injury to countless people, the Church, the family, nation and the global Church including many martyrs.”

“We are not here endorsing or denouncing a political candidate but reminding you of basic Christian morality. How ironic, stale and shameless for the very leaders whose ‘progressive’ policies are hurting minority communities to falsely label those with political differences as ‘racists.’ Under liberal leadership, Hispanics and African-Americans suffer the loss of work and income, rising urban violence and family disintegration including children targeted by abortionists for death. It’s time to tell the truth and rebuild together.”

“For many years, Soros’s Open Society and other liberal foundations have funded not only most of the disturbing campaigns mentioned above (1-10) but also the Religious Left, using and creating ostensibly evangelical and Catholic organizations to “message and mobilize” Christians into Progressive causes. They use the Marxist-Alinsky tactic of funding “ministers” who cherry-pick faith language to confuse and divide the Church’s morality, mission and vote.

 

At a time when many Christian ministries are struggling, a few of the Soros network “faith” and “interfaith” grantees are Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Richard Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership, Telos, J Street to malign Israel, “ Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faithful America and Gamaliel. Faith in Public Life to “counter” Christians and the Tea Party in the media and, with PICO, advocate for amnesty, mass Islamic migration, and even to attempt to influence the visit and priorities of Pope Francis himself. Billions of additional dollars to “Christian VOLAGs” for large scale “refugee” and migrant resettlement come from the Obama administration.

 

Joining “faith” fronts, the Soros network also funds thousands of other collaborators and projects that suggest a pattern and goal to demoralize America (and Europe). The list includes: film studios and hundreds of media outlets; attempts to control the Internet; racial and gender agitation; euthanasia; drug legalization and “injection zones;” abortion and the “sex worker” industry; Al Gore’s Climate campaign; pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel projects; the rights of jihadists and Sharia advocates.

 

In the ironic rhetoric of compassion, Soros and friends also fund mass immigration followed by redistricting schemes and “voting “rights,” while financing the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. (Soros is a major donor to the Democratic Party and co-chairman of Ready for Hillary PAC.) One wonders if the end goal is the destruction of national identity through demoralization, open borders and debt, thus the “fundamental transformation” (weakening) of American civil society for their leveraged global power. (They have done this to other nations.)

 

We urge you to question the true intentions of persons or organizations that receive money from Soros and other billionaire globalists. We must not give their surrogates four more years.”

~~~

It would be of great value to read the entire letter and click on the links.