The Life of the Party

 

The office of the Director of Behavioral Management Services (BMS), Social Sciences Division, Administration Building No. 1 of 20, Government Dept. of Social Services, Godwin Ave., Washington D.C.:

A knock on the door.

A voice from inside, “Come in.”

“Life Coach Tidd reporting sir.”

“How did it go today, Tidd? Have a seat.”

“Thank you, sir.” Tidd takes a seat.

“It went well I believe. This morning I coached client Xym to continue his lifestyle. He was questioning whether his former church would accept him. I told him, ‘No matter, this government accepts you as you are. You are free to be yourself. If you are not yourself you will be unhappy. And our mission at Behavioral Management Life Coach Services is to pursue happiness with you, the client. Happy clients are the best advertisement tax dollars can buy.’ Xym seemed relieved.

My ten o’clock client, a youth pastor, I once again had to remind him of our Uniform Behavior Code which must be presented weekly to the youth. He was more than a little hesitant…”

“Remind him, Tidd, about our Universal Morals Seminars. Sounds like he needs a refresher course. We must teach our youth to be nice, pleasant, respectful. We teach them self-improvement and doing one’s best, and feeling good about oneself…and all that. We must form our youth while we can, before any thoughts of You Know Who enters the picture.

Let me remind you, Tidd, that our core mission is to generate self-happiness. We want our clients to feel good about themselves. You Know Who is not particularly interested in our daily problems. That is why we are here, Tidd. We are here for them. We are inclusive and You Know Who is not. We listen, we coach, we improve the life process for each and every one of our clients. And we do it for free!”

“Sir, this youth pastor asked me if I knew about grace. I said of course I did. I watch Will and Grace.”

“Excellent response, Tidd. Keep redirecting his thinking. We must deconstruct any inherited meaning so that we can construct what the people want constructed today, here and now. And besides, it makes no sense for this youth pastor to get all mucked up with some ancient spiritual mumbo jumbo when our Moral Code is so…so relevant and compassionate. Religion is values. But we are a values organization based on settled social science. Keep in mind that we Life Coaches are precursors to our clients in the discovery of truth. No savior from on high delivers like we do. ”

“So true, Sir. Sir, I also talked to Anna, you know the one, the feminist. I encouraged her to go ahead and write her article laying out the case for women in the work place to be promoted every two years. I told her that she is a wondrously talented person who has been sinfully suppressed by males running a patriarchal system and that the feminine had been imposed upon her by superior forces and reinforced by a culture of romance in art and literature. You should have seen her swoon.”

“Good work, Tidd. You remind me of myself when I life coached in the field.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“Tidd, I am going to promote you. But before I do I want you to attend the “Cultivate the Imperial Self” training course. It is mandatory for all level three Life Coaches. The training will give you a chance to brush up on yourself. You will also learn how to do consciousness raising and how to cultivate indignation and righteous resentment and to have both directed at metanarratives. In other words, there will no longer be one voice. Also, as part of the training you will learn how to make your clients suspicious of any written word and how to liberate language from the shackles of dictated meaning. And, critical to our mission, you will learn how to build consensus among our clients. Consensus building insures our client’s happiness. The more “Likes” the better, and all that.

Before the end of the week, Tidd, let me know if any of your clients want individual rights. As you know they must fill out an application first and then I will talk to the Department of Rights. They usually issue guaranteed SCOTUS honored rights in a matter of five business days. It sounds like your client Anna needs a right to be promoted every two years. Let me know about that one. Janet, the head of our Rights on Demand Department -Rodd – will ram it through for you. Get my gist, Tidd?”

“Yes, sir, and quite funny at that, if I may say so. Thank you, sir.”

‘In any case, individual rights are the wellspring of our organization. Without them where would we be? Hand them out freely. But remember to tell them what equality says, “No rights without their duties.”

“Yes, sir. And, before I go, here is my list of follow-up appointments.”

“You are coming to the dinner tonight, Tidd, aren’t you?”

“Oh, yes, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Good. See you there.”

 

Later that night:

“Life Coach F.E. Tidd we are awarding you the 2017 Pat ‘Em on the Head Kick ‘Em in the Ass Achievement Medal for Life Coaching Excellence.

 

 

 

 

© Jennifer A. Johnson, 2017, All Rights Reserved

Michael Novak – Catholic Scholar and “celestial philosopher”

 

“Capitalism forms morally better people than socialism does,” Mr. Novak said in a 2007 interview with Crisis, a magazine he and the scholar Ralph McInerny founded in 1982. “Capitalism teaches people to show initiative and imagination, to work cooperatively in teams, to love and to cherish the law; what is more, it forces persons not only to rely on themselves and their own moral qualities, but also to recognize those moral qualities in others and to cooperate with others freely.”- Michael Novak, Catholic Scholar Who Championed Capitalism, Dies at 83

“At the heart of the Novakian vision is freedom—free people, free markets, free institutions. But Novak’s vision of freedom, like [Irving] Kristol’s, is not the doctrinaire libertarianism that the word evokes for many today. Much less is it the “me generation” liberal counterfeit of freedom that licenses people to do whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, with whomever they want, so long as there is no immediate palpable harm to others.

Rather, it is the idea of unleashing the human spirit for the creative pursuit of excellence.”

” –Michael Novak, 1933–2017, by Robert P. George, On the life and influence of the prolific Catholic philosopher

 

~~~

On February 17, 2017, we lost a great Catholic intellectual and “celestial philosopher.”

This Acton Institute video introduces Ambassador Novak and offers a conversational look at his life and work. Novak’s valuable experience and his wealth of wisdom makes this video well worth viewing.

Novak’s masterpiece:  The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Pope John Paul II was one of many admirers of Michael Novak. It would be worth your while to read this entire encyclical written in 1991. It addresses social issues, Marxism, socialism and capitalism.

CENTESIMUS ANNUS, JOHN PAUL II

42. Returning now to the initial question: can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system, and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?

The answer is obviously complex. If by “capitalism” is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a “business economy”, “market economy” or simply “free economy”. But if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.

 

“New Things”:

43.…Man fulfils himself by using his intelligence and freedom. In so doing he utilizes the things of this world as objects and instruments and makes them his own. The foundation of the right to private initiative and ownership is to be found in this activity. By means of his work man commits himself, not only for his own sake but also for others and with others. Each person collaborates in the work of others and for their good. Man works in order to provide for the needs of his family, his community, his nation, and ultimately all humanity.

 

Centesimus annus

The ‘Out of Sync’ Debate, Log 5-4-2017

“My job is to make clear to everyone just what the secret plan is, the purpose that’s been hidden from the very beginning of the world in God who created all things. This is it: that God’s wisdom, in all its rich variety, was to be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places – through the church.” The Apostle Paul, Ephesian 3: 9 & 10

~~~

Often, I will engage atheists, the LGBT, SJWs and others on Twitter. I seek to debate them from a Kingdom perspective. I will inject myself into a conversation where I see a bashing of God and Christians with throwaway statements and a misuse of Scripture to promote, say, socialized health care.

It is easy for atheists, the LGBT, SJWs – anyone – to make such statements on Twitter. There is the cover of anonymity and a copy and paste groupthink mentality. Invariably, the ‘conversation’ ends with the atheist or LGBT-er or other being dismissive, derogatory and using ad hominin.  In the socialized health care debate, misappropriated Jesus quotes are used for shaming by SJWs.

As I debate, I find that atheists believe that “science” is all-you-need truth, trumping anything one might have to offer.  They readily assume that science is superior over ‘subjective’ Christianity, which holds dogmatic beliefs. In practice, though, the atheist asserts his belief system, his values, as being dogmatic and backed by a nebulous theory of scientific evidence.

The other day, I engaged Heisenberg @Atheist_in_nc. He made a reply to someone denigrating Christians. He asserted that mind and body can be “out of sync” per evolving scientific evidence, evidence which he doesn’t provide. Science had nothing to do with his original antagonistic reply. Here are our two Twitter profiles:

Our Twitter Profiles:

Heisenberg @Atheist_in_nc

“Spent 27 years as an adult pentecostal. Soul winner. Prayer warrior. Bible college graduate. Was born again through the gospel of reality.”

 

Cindy wity @WityCindy

“A follower of The Way and a Milton Friedman Libertarian in the midst of the demolition derby called Illinois. Always pithy, never picayune. Pro-human & Debate”

 

Here is the (complete>) Twitter feed and more evidence of the fact-value split in our world. I “cut” to the pre-op chase:

~~~

Debating helps me define what I think about issues. I often find that I need to research more. And, I learn from each encounter, especially about how other’s think and how they view the world. Post-modernists eschew the overarching domain of right and wrong – Christianity, for the domain of particularity – personal values couched in scientism.

It is not easy to debate in 140 characters. So, such encounters help me tweak my words to have more meaning in less space. Another reason to take a stance on issues: to stand out for the Kingdom of God in the rubble created by the post-modernist destruction of institutions. Sadly, I don’t get much collegial help from other Christians in these debates. I don’t know if the intellectual Christians have opted-off Twitter to write books and blog posts but Twitter appears to be a battle front in need of push back. Kingdom Christians must engage the culture where the people are and not from their Bible towers and fortresses. How else will Epicurean and Deist people know that Jesus is alive and actively engaged with mankind and that his Kingdom has been inaugurated on earth?

 

Here is another (complete>) Twitter feed, about socialized health care as pushed by James Martin SJ. James has been characterized as the Bill Nye of Catholicism by other Catholics:

Here’s James Martin, SJ, being ‘inclusive’:

To be researched:

The Dreamer

 

Charles pulled open the door to the Gravity Pub and went in. The near campus bar was dark and full of conversation coming from TVs and crowded tables. Charles found Dimitri and sat down next to him at the bar. The bartender placed two beers and two shot glasses in front of Dmitri and Charles. The bartender returned to fill the shot glasses with vodka. Dimitri placed a twenty on the bar and the bartender made change. “To respect!” Charles toasted. The two drank down the shots.

“Congratulations Charles.” Dimitri gave Charles a slap on the back. “Now that you have a master’s degree in social justice, the world is your oyster, as they say.

“So far the world is my headache.  I have received no job offers since graduating.”

“Give it time.  Here, let’s have another shot”, Dimitri offered and threw a twenty-dollar bill on the bar.

After two beers and several shots of vodka, Charles stood up next to Dimitri and pointed a finger in the air above him.

“My friend, for too long the one perthent have exploited tax loopholes making them richer. The rich are taking their wealth and all of the income and moving their profits overseas making the poor pay the bills. Their gain is our sthruggle!”

Conversations in the room stopped.

“Sit down tiger”, Dimitri pulled on Charles jacket, “These jokers already heard all this stuff.”

“I’ll not sleep until income inequality is error…radicated.”

“Give it time.  Here, let’s have another shot”, Dimitri placed two twenty-dollar bills on the bar. He told the bartender that he was ready to settle their bill.

Charles sat down again. He looked despondent. After an hour he said goodnight to Dimitri.

Charles pushed open the door to the Gravity Pub and went out. The brisk night air in his lungs made him yawn. Looking up at a sodium streetlight he proclaimed, ” A mather’s dugree…now maybe I’ll get some re…thpect …Joe …he rethpects me… I gave him a two dollar thip!” Charles stood colorless under the yellow light proclaiming to passing cars his grand achievement.

After some time, Charles made his way home. He plunked down on the futon in the basement. He tried to remember how he got home. His thoughts were not working in any order. He lay down. His eyes, heavy with sleep, closed. The room settled down, became dark and then a large room opened before him. A room with chandeliers. A room with a large audience. The audience was looking at him. There were cries of “Speech! Speech!”

“Friends, today is a good day for the world. You have recognized my worth. I want to eradicate inequality…for too long the rich have stuffed their mattresses with wealth. The rich have the entire world’s money and their trickle down has never worked. When the rich get richer, the middle-class doesn’t benefit. No, the rich stash their cash. They buy trinkets. Their money was made on the backs of underpaid workers. Automation technology destroys the working class…Save the …”

In the next moment, a man in a tux looped a medal around Charles neck. It was the Nobel Prize. The audience stood to their feet applauding. And then a white figure with a halo came toward him. Inga was bringing him roses. As he reached for them he found himself in a ballroom dancing with Inga. She asked him, “What are you going to do with all that money?”

“I will buy a drum set. Yes, I will buy a drum set!”

“Charles, wake up.” Mick, Charles’ younger brother, thumped Charles on the head with his forefinger.

“Ow! Wh…what do you want?”

“You were talking in sleep. Hey, can I borrow a dollar?  I will pay you back with my allowance.

“Aw, go away. My head hurts. Bring me aspirin and some water.”

“Aw, go away.

 

A week later Charles met Dimitri at Gravity.

“We’ll have another beer, Joe.”

Joe the bartender set the beer in front of Charles and Dimitri. Charles looked at him and asked, “Joe, how much do you make?’

“I make enough to take care of my wife and two daughters.”

“I mean how much do you make?

“I make minimum wage plus tips. This is a second job.”

“See what I am saying Dmitri? The greedy one percent has drained this man of his humanity.”

Joe gave Charles a puzzled look and walked away.

“Those rich greedy bastards. Those fat cats hoard money in Swiss banks.  Wait till the world sees what I can do to make things right! I have no patience for the rich. Who are they to have so much when Joe has so little?

“See that framed dollar on the wall”. Leon pointed to a 4 x 6” frame above the liquor bottles, “I will frame the first dollar I take from a rich man.”

At that moment Charles phone rattled on the bar. He picked up the phone and saw that this mother had called. He pushed 1 and his mom’s number was dialed.

“Mom, what is it?”

“Several boxes arrived today for you. What are they?”

“It’s a drum set. I’m gonna play drums in a band.”

“You are also going to start paying rent to stay here.”

“Mom, not this again. I need to pay off my student loan. I have no job. The rich have made it almost impossible for people like me.  And why should I work for minimum wage when I have a Master’s Degree? Look how much I have invested in myself.”

“You have to start somewhere. Your dear departed father worked for fifty years so that you and I had a roof over our head. He wouldn’t want you to be a leech. Now, either you pay rent or you are out. Get home now and get these boxes out of the living room.”

“Mom, I’ll talk to you later.”  Charles ended the call.

“Dmitri, can you buy me one more beer and shot?’

“Sure. Trouble at home?”

“Ah, my mother wants me to pay rent. As if I was made of money.”

The bartender placed two beers and two shot glasses in front of Dmitri and Charles. He returned to fill the shot glasses with vodka. Dimitri placed a twenty on the bar and the bartender made change.

The two raised their shot glasses. Charles toasted to the end of the oppression and they drank. When the beer was gone Charles stood up.

“I better get going before my mother has a conniption fit. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Charles walked out. Pushing open the door to the Gravity Pub he went into the night air yawing.

At home Charles moved the boxes down to the basement. He opened them and checked the contents. When he couldn’t stop yawning he lay down on the futon and closed his eyes.

In the descending blackness he came upon daylight. He saw himself outside his mother’s car in front of a store.  The car was running and the car keys were locked inside. His Nobel medal hung around the rear view mirror. Frantic, he looked around for help. His professor came by and said, “You shouldn’t have done that”. A politician walked by and said “Someone will come along to help, trust me”. A man in a Mercedes pulled up and said. ”Hey I’ve got just the thing you need.” The man opened his trunk and pulled out a Slim Jim. The man proceeded to unlock the door through the car window’s weather stripping. When the door opened the radio blurted out, ”Mama may have, papa may have, But God bless the child that’s got his own, That’s got his own.”

Charles opened his eyes, winced and held his head. “Damn”, he moaned, his mother was playing her music again.

As years went by, Charles went on to become a respected professor of Social Justice at his alma mater. After tenure Charles received a six-figure salary. He summers in Costa Rica where he gives lectures about the one percent and income inequality. He went on to write “Structural Marginalization, Social Justice and Solidarity Action for the Education Challenged”. The book was well-received by his peers but did not sell in the open market. Soon after the book release Charles became the owner of Gravity Pub. Dimitri went on to start a hedge fund that gave away fifty percent of its profits. Charles’ mother died in her home with an unused drum set.

 

 

 

 

© Jennifer A. Johnson, 2017, All Rights Reserved

The Clash of the Tribalists

 

Do you find it ironic that the two major political candidates and their parties each rail against and denounce a “rigged system” but went ahead and rigged their own respective conventions for a certain outcome?

~~~

When someone cuts in front of you in the grocery store line (as happened to me this past weekend) and then looks the other way pretending that no such thing ever happened, well, that is pretty much what happened at the Republican National Convention. Conservatives were approaching their turn to speak during regular order and in come Trump supporters and the RNC Rules Committee between them and order.

Dissenting Conservative voices were kept from speaking while those who got their “way“ looked the other way as if nothing happened. This type of strong arm bullying tactic, often used by supporters of banana republic dictators, is being employed to “Make America Great Again!”

The Rep party has become diluted with a Victim Tribe so large that it will never be the same. This tribe includes the likes of the KKK’s former leader David Duke because Duke agrees with Trump or, better, Trump thinking matches Duke’s thinking.

The GOP, in forcing the nomination of a reality TV persona, could have just as well nominated Kim Kardashian. Kardashian has been successful at what she does and she knows how to market her herself just like Trump Towers. And Kim Kardashian also knows how to negotiate a deal to get what she wants.   And Trump is only a hair to the right of her politically, if one were ever able to put a fork in Trump’s waffling values.

Trump’s The Art of the Deal is effectively about getting what you want at any cost to others. And that is exactly what America’s victim tribes are all about. So enter Trump, the “negotiator” who gets what he wants. This time he is saying, in effect, that American values are negotiable in order to “win.”

“I would renegotiate so much of everything.” — Donald Trump

With the convention of the New Progressive Right (fka, the Republican Party) mercifully behind us now and the Democratic National Convention upon us we can clearly see that both 2016 Presidential Campaigns offerings are bestial bones thrown out to the Victim Tribes who stand barking before the altar of government.

Who are the Victim Tribes? Those who have a certain grievance, who are hashtag myopic; those who demand attention and some form of protection provided by government. The Victim Tribes gather around the Twitter trough and feed off of each other’s misery. Daily we are inundated with their melodrama.

Briefly, The Victim Tribes:

The middle-class-blue-collar-folks-who-hate-change-and-the “rigged system”-and-demand-a-rigged-system-of-their-own tribe.

The OWS-anti-Capitalism-$-pro-Socialism-$-college-is-my-right-so-pay-$ tribe.

The Black Lives Matter-except-when-aborted-or-murdered-by-another-black tribe.

The LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ1234-narcissism-is-an equal-right-and-is-to-be-normalized tribe.

The Feminist-we want-whatever-men-must-have-to-succeed tribe.

The environment-and-climate-change- “settled science”-Inquisition-and-apocalypse-now tribe.

The “I am an Illegal Immigrant and America is all about me” tribe.

Added 7-28-2016: Here is a recent example of the Tribalist’s Litany of Demands. It is delivered using the Rhetoric of the Perennially Aggrieved and Ungrateful and of the SJW Flag-wavers in the Long March of Cultural Marxism. These are the ones who are held “hostage” to “all forms” of injustice within the world’s freest nation:

Presumptive Green party presidential nominee Jill Stein appeared at the Occupy DNC rally across from CIty Hall in Philadelphia today (or at the “Bernie Sanders rally” as one cop put it) to speak before a cheering crowd full of Bernie Sanders supporters and other activists.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand,” Stein said, quoting Frederick Douglass, “and we are that demand.”

Stein told the crowd that they stood for “economic justice, for racial justice, for workers justice, for climate justice, for indigenous justice, for women’s justice, for LGBTQ justice.”

“We will be a unified movement, an unstoppable movement,” she said, “because we are for all the forms of justice.” She criticized the mainstream for trying to divide and conquer the crowd. “They would like us to be a movement to stop fracking over there, and a movement to stop police violence over there, a movement to stop deportation over there,” Stein told the crowd. “We need to be all of those movements, all together, that’s how we’ll stop the unstoppable.”

Stein also called for an “emergency jobs program to end the crisis of climate change,” healthcare as a human right, a “welcoming path to citizenship,” and an end to police violence and student debt. (emphasis added)

-Jill Stein Addresses Disenchanted Sanders Supporters at Occupy DNC Rally

~~~

Long before the petty over-leveraged and unhinged jejune shtick of a life Trump received a majority popular vote during the primaries for saying nothing of import I left the Republican Party. I could see that the RNC was no longer a party for conservatives and certainly not for Christians. As a Christian who is politically a self-governing classical liberal, I cannot align myself with the Moral Relativism Platforms of either the DNC or the RNC.

This November I will vote down ticket. I will not vote for Trump or Hillary. I will vote down ticket for the Conservatives who are still left out there, any who are like Ted Cruz.   By all accounts Ted Cruz is a Conservative and one who will keep his word while seeking to honor God and our country’s Constitution. It was Cruz who stood before the RNC barbarians and told those who had ears to hear, “Vote your conscience.”

Sadly, the conscience of the many has become calcified due to persistent media inflammation and a lack of Living Water.

~~~

Christian Libertarianism

Good to the Last Drop?

 

That Terry thought he was a vampire didn’t seem to faze Teresa.  It did faze his parents and friends.

A mother tugged a small boy through the outside door.  A teenage girl came out the inner door, crossed the room and left behind the mother and son.  A therapist stuck his head out of the inner door and looked around the room and saw his next client, a thirteen year-old boy.  “Hi, come on in.”  The boy dutifully followed the therapist.  A fiftyish woman came in the outside door and proceeded over to the glass window to check in with the clinic’s receptionist. Terry no longer paid attention to the ebb and flow of people in the clinic’s lobby.  Waiting for psychologist Teresa to claim him, Terry sat in the lobby as he had ninety-nine times before and always dressed in black.

“Hi, Terry, come on in.”

Carrying his dog-eared Virtual Gamer magazine Terry shuffled through the held door.

At the beginning Teresa was made aware of his parent’s concerns, their disbelief. When Terry had started to cut his arms and stomach to collect and consume his own fluids, they called N.B. Clinic.  They hoped for some reparative therapy that would bring back their child from the “grave.”  So, Terry’s parents sat down with Teresa.

They wanted to know what triggered Terry’s transformation:  “Was it us?  And what makes Terry sleep walk every night?  And why did he only want play outside at night?”

Terry’s parents related how they would wake in the middle of the night, every night now, to find that Terry had left the house.  He would roam the neighborhood in his black pajamas hissing.  It had to be more than simple parasomnia.

When they did find Terry his face would be covered in blood and the remains of dead cats and dogs were scattered about. The sight and smell of blood gagged them. Terrified by Terry’s manifestation, Terry’ parents wanted to do anything to bring their son back to from this state. He used to play so gently with his stuffed animals.

But after ninety-nine sessions, Terry’s parents were now told to accept their son’s “vampirism”.  As Teresa had explained it on the phone, vampirism was becoming an accepted behavior and that Terry’s self-image and his dignity depended on his being a vampire.  “It is something that he cannot control and it makes him feel human.  Besides,” she said, “it’s likely genetic – Terry’s need for plasma.  He believes that has the ability to extract some kind of energy from living things to strengthen him. I see this kind of thing all the time at N.B. Clinic.”

 

“I wish my parents would accept me the way I am.”

“They are trying, Terry. I met with them recently.  Give them time.”

“I wish everyone would accept me the way I am.  I was born this way, you know, and it’s not what they think.  I know who I am now.  You can see that.   Why can’t others?”

“Well, Terry, the world is not always friendly to minorities.  But there are social justice warriors who are advocating for you right now.  They are making a difference.  Still, there are so many fundamentalists who reject the notion of nocturnal plasma-sucking activities that it is an uphill fight.  Give it time.”

Teresa continued, “But you need to be secure in yourself, Terry.  Last week I gave you information about a local Vampire Community support meeting.  Did you go?”

“Yeah, it was alright.  I got to be myself without having to hide my feelings.  A lot of the kids said they came out of their coffins to their parents.  I just wish my parents and friends… I just wish the whole world was a safe place for me and my friends.”

“You and I both wish that Terry.”

 

 

 

© Sally Paradise, 2016, All Rights Reserved

“And what we must not do, what we must never do, is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans for something that they cannot control and deny what makes them human,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch

“This is about the dignity and the respect that we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we as a people and as a country have enacted to protect them, indeed, to protect all of us,” Lynch said

The Human Condition: A Root of Bitterness is Fuel to Burn

 

Two campaigns. Two distinct political parties. And two very similar underlying class warfare tropes being megaphoned in order to incite discontent, anger and anarchy in the heart of the voter.

Both campaigns are stoking the political fire of self-interest with the dried roots of bitterness.

~~~

“A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little…We need a tax system which asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America” –Bernie Sanders

~~~

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?

Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.” –Donald Trump, encouraging violence at his rallies, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Feb. 1, 2016

~~~

Bernie Sanders wants the vote of the young and old dependents because life isn’t fair. There is a disparity of wealth in the world and Bernie’s wants to be your Fixer. Each generation’s Bernie knows better than anyone in history how to make envy work for you. Now, it’s OK to be envious when everyone gets on board. So, let’s call it “Democratic Socialism”.

And why Democratic Socialism: “You are human.” Well, yeah, I exist. But more than that, my better nature knows that envy is part of my baser nature.

2016:  The subhuman demands for all kinds of “more” by the soon-to-be jack booting vox populi is a paean to the “wonders” of collectivism. This populist tripe runs parallel with Trump’s hogwash.

 

The codependent “settled science” supporters of Trump, also young and old dependents of another’s largesse are hearing that a vote for Trump will leverage their dignity, influence and economic standing.  Apparently his supporters had allowed all three to be debased before Trump came along. Excuses are in vogue.

Listening to Trump, one would hear Trump boast that he is a “Fixer”, a negotiator, a wheeler-dealer bar none.  Free Trade, influence, Mexico…life in America hasn’t been fair and Trump is your man to make “America Great Again”, to level the playing field.

Trump’s teaser:  “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” –Donald Trump

 

 

Whether it is Bernie’s entreaty to a collective of common purpose with his take on “A Future to Believe in” or Trump’s Nationalistic common purpose appeal to “Make America Great Again” both slogans share a common theme:  “Vote for me and together we will make great gains against unfairness. The monopoly of our common purpose – “Fairness” – can be ours.”

Both camps ply the same Marxian argument: “You are not to blame. You have worked hard, you played by the rules and yet others are gaining more than you. Someone or something is to blame – “The Establishment”; “The Rigged System”; “Capitalism”; “Wall St.”, “China.” “Trade”; “The little people.”

 

For our benefit, ancient history recorded such fair-share covetousness, now called “fairness” by Bernie fans and “leveling the playing field” by Trump.

 

Scenario one:  Joseph and the gift of a coat.  This story is common knowledge so I won’t repeat the whole story here.

Joseph had many older brothers who tended their father’s flock.  They played by the rules.

Joseph was gifted a beautiful garment by his father, out of the father’s love for Joseph. Now, pop psychology would decry such a gift as being unfair to the older brothers.  But, in a Christian worldview, the older brothers should have rejoiced with Joseph.

Instead, out of growing envy, bitterness and anger, the brothers sent Joseph away into slavery, unbeknownst to a grief-stricken father.  They wanted things to be fair by leveling the playing field – Joseph out of the picture, more for them. They wanted to assuage their anger by removing the reason for their anger.

 

Scenario two:  the prodigal son parable. Told by Jesus.  Again, a well know parable.

The prodigal son demanded all of his inheritance up front. Perhaps he had home schooling tuition bills to pay and some wild oats to sow.  Later, coming to his senses after feeling his empty pockets he returned home to his father.

His father was ecstatic about his son’s return. His brother, not so much.  His brother saw what transpired – a willfully impoverished son is gifted a second chance by his father.  No fair!

The play-by-the-rules brother becomes disconsolate, pouty and sorely envious of such treatment.  The brother had tended to his father’s business and didn’t fall out of line. No fair! Expectations had been high all along.  But now a root of bitterness also began to grow deep inside.

The brother wanted the playing field leveled.  The daggers in his eyes told the story.  He wanted to stick it to his prodigal bother and be rewarded by his father for playing by the rules.

“I want somebody to make things fair!!! Use force. Use whatever to make things fair!!!”

~~~

Democratic Tyranny is something that you can vote for this election season. But not the next one. Your choices will be taken away.

~~~

“Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.” — Theodore Roosevelt

~~~

~~~

Humanity Thrives on Moral-Guided Free Market Economics and Acts of Creation

In response to the collectivist ideologies of Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren and their proposed free market epitaph “You didn’t build that…” I offer two videos that provide insights about our humanity, creation, transcendence and economics. Epicurus, by the way (see previous posts regarding Epicurus), knew about humanity at a base level. Epicurus withdrew from transcendent.
The first video includes an interview with Rev. Robert A. Sirico of the Acton Institute. I first heard this interview while watching Fox Business’ Varney & Company. It contains a surprise ending.

In the second video Rev. Robert A. Sirico speaks at Creighton University about his conversion from Marxism and socialism and his reckoning of justice with a God-given humanity and transcendence. He speaks of going on to embrace a morals-directed free market economics which in the act of creation produces a bigger pie for all to share in.
Transcendence takes acknowledgement and submission to the Sublime. It takes one to be faithful in small things. .And, what you create-“build”-transcends all the output of man-made ideologies and political jingoisms. Grab some coffee first before you sit back and enjoy truth.

Fairness is God’s Prerogative and Man’s Tug of War

I do not have to tell you that life isn’t fair… but I will say it anyway: “Life isn’t fair!”

“It’s not fair!”

In one way or another each of hear this plaint on a daily basis: “Why did they get the promotion?” “Why did they raise the price?” Why was my son taken from me? ”Why, after all I have done for her, is my daughter rebelling?” “Why can’t I find suitable work?” “Why now?” “Why him?” “Why me?”

The fairness ‘question’ typically begins with “Why” and often ends with “This sucks!”

The Scriptures talk a lot about fairness. In fact, fairness is front and center in many accounts, both in the Old and the New Testament. The book of Leviticus delineates what God considers to be appropriate boundaries for his priests and for the common Israelite. These instructions included just and fair weights for measuring grain and for all commercial activity. Boundaries and fairness, man’s negotiating with another man, are bound together within the scrolls of all Scripture. What is also revealed in Scripture is God’s ‘fairness’-better defined as God’s sovereignty, his prerogatives, his grace.

Consider the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job. Humans will ask “Did Job get a fair shake from God?” At the end of the narrative you may think Job did. A seven-fold return on Job’s weaker-by-the-moment faithfulness investment yielded Job great benefits-a new family and many material gains. More importantly, though, Job received an understanding of the Almighty via great depths of sorrow from the many losses he incurred beforehand. Job’s bowl of humanity had been scooped out by great sorrow only to be refilled with God’s greater joy. Maybe fairness needs God’s wristwatch and his 20/20 perfect vision to be understood.

Job’s wife wanted Job to “curse God and die” because (implying)…“You know, God-isn’t fair. Job abstained and basically said to her, “Get behind me Satan.”

Now, let’s consider the account of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Joseph, the 11th of Jacob’s 12 sons and Rachel’s firstborn, received a beautiful garment from his father-a token of a father’s love, of multi-colored grace. Perhaps the gift was a thanksgiving offering given towards the Abrahamic covenant’s fulfillment-our sacrificial Lamb of God yet to be conceived.

Though the older brothers all anticipated some fraction of a vast inheritance once their father Jacob passed they became envious of Joseph and the immediate: “Why did Joseph, that little punk, get that gift from dad? “I never got anything like that from dad. Everyday we take care of father’s land and flocks (one day theirs) and Joseph is lying about at home or sitting on dad’s knee. “We have to eat sheep jerky and stale bread. Joseph gets fresh bread, kabobs and dates…yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

Let’s go another layer deeper into the envy of Joseph.

Jacob had every right to give Joseph whatever he so desired. Pop psychology will tell you that a father should be across the board fair with his kids. This is where we now talk about fairness and boundaries. Fairness is to be equal in its application of justice.  Boundaries are to be agreed upon by all parties involved.

A father should set even-handed rules for his kids-Leviticus fashion. Each of the kids should know the father’s rules.  The punishment for rule infractions should be known-the boundaries set. Kids need to bump up against a strong barrier. This is fairness and good psychology.

Beyond the fair ground ‘rules’ a father can do whatever he wants to love his children. Again, popular psychology gets paid to listen to people chirping during a fifty minute session about unfair parents.

A father can give his child whatever his heart desires. It’s his prerogative. And, Joseph’s brothers should have rejoiced for their brother.  Instead, they let envy take its course.

Envy is bound by “It’s not fair!”, and then some. Love is not bound by fairness, except in God given universality-“God So Loved the World…”

Fast forward: today’s liturgical reading from Matthew 20:1-16

“So you see,” Jesus continued, “the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed with the workers to give them a dinar a day, and sent them off to his vineyard.

He went out again in the middle of the morning, and saw some others standing in the marketplace with nothing to do.

“You too can go to the vineyard, “ he said, “ and I’ll give what’s right. So off they went.

He went out again about midday, and in the middle of the afternoon, and did the same. Then, with only an hour of the day left, he went out and found people standing there.

“Why are you standing here all day with nothing to do? He asked them.

“Because no one has hired us, they replied.

“Well”, he said, “you too can go into the vineyard.”

When evening came, the vineyard-owner said to his servant, “Call the workers and give them their pay. Start with last, and go on to the first.”

“So the ones who had worked for one hour came, and each of them received a dinar. When the first ones came, they thought they would get something more; but they, too, each received a dinar.

“When they had been given it, they grumbled against the land owner. “This lot who came in last, “ they said, “have only worked for one hour-and they’ve been put on a level with us! And we did all the hard work, all day, and in the heat as well!”

“My friend,” he said to one of them, I’m not doing you wrong. You agreed with me on one dinar, didn’t you? Take it! It’s yours! And be on your way. I want to give this fellow who came at the end the same as you. Or, are you suggesting that I’m not allowed to do what I like with my own money? Or are you giving me the evil eye because I’m good?”

“So those at the back will be front, and the front ones at the back.”

Jesus has given us his father’s perspective about what is fair, the parable not unlike Joseph’s gift or God’s eternal covenants with Abraham and David-with you and me. Fairness in this life requires God’s eternal perspective. Right now we see through dark glass.

If everything in life is to be fair from man’s temporal perspective ala equal outcomes and social justice’s “egalitarianism” (a fancy sounding word for Communism), then how do you know when you are loved?. And, the gift of grace, will you know it when it comes knocking at your front door or when it prepares a lavish feast just for you (see the movie Babette’s Feast)?

What about the pull and tug of romance? Equal outcomes like vampires suck the life blood out romance. Everyone should get a ‘fair’ chance at ‘life’. Right?  Romance is far and away more about the struggle of life itself than about the dynamics between a man and a woman. You get that.

Fair enough. Let this sink in. Take the dinar for a half-hour of listening and we’ll talk later

The Vision of the Anointed is Our Nightmare; Ivy League Progressives and Creeping Racism

Ferguson, Missouri; Michael Brown; the race industry’s huckster’s ‘Reverends’ Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson; “No Justice, No Peace”.

 Should we listen to and embrace the inflammatory NeveReverending racial rhetoric that bellows out from under a sheep skin, rhetoric that leads to societal schism? OR, should we listen to and follow the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s niece Dr. Alveda King as she says: “Know peace and you’ll know justice”? You tell me.

 And, should Obama be just as arrogant as President Lyndon Johnson?

 Since the earliest days of my youth I have been seeking wisdom, knowledge and a good understanding. This pervasive endeavor was birthed in me as my mother read from the book of Proverbs at the dinner table each night after dinner.

 Please, please, please sit down with your coffee and listen to the wisdom, clarity and common sense that Thomas Sowell brings to the issues of race, affirmative action, minimum wage, the negative effects of today’s intellectualism, multiculteralism, social justice, environmentalism, political correctness, diversity and a host of other hot-button cultural and economic topics. You will be doing yourself a favor – wisdom is like that. 

 

Wisdom’s, Rebuke (Proverbs Chapter One)

 

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud
she raises her voice in the public square;
on top of the wall she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:

 

“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
will make known to you my teachings.
But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

 

“Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”