16 December 2017

The Implications of the Incarnation - Listen, and I Will Tell You a Mystery

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16

“We are slow to master the great truth that even now Christ is, as it were, walking among us, and by His hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us to follow Him. We do not understand that His call is a thing that takes place now. We think it took place in the Apostles' days, but we do not believe in it; we do not look for it in our own case.

God beholds you. He calls you by your name. He sees you and understands you as He made you. He knows what is in you, all your peculiar feelings and thoughts, your dispositions and likings, your strengths and your weaknesses. He views you in your day of rejoicing and in your day of sorrow. He sympathizes in your hopes and your temptations. He interests Himself in all your anxieties and remembrances, all the risings and fallings of your spirit.

He encompasses you round and bears you in His arms. He notes your very countenance, whether smiling or in tears. He looks tenderly upon you. He hears your voice, the beating of your heart, and your very breathing.

You do not love yourself better than He loves you. You cannot shrink from pain more than He dislikes your bearing it; and if He puts it on you, it is as you would put it on yourself, if you would be wise, for a greater good afterwards.

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission -- I may never know it in this life but I shall be told it in the next.

I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught.

I shall do good, I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Murillo, Return of the Prodigal Son
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.

He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about.

He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me -- still He knows what He is about.

Let us feel what we really are--sinners attempting great things. Let us simply obey God's will, whatever may come. He can turn all things to our eternal good. Easter day is preceded by the forty days of Lent, to show us that they only who sow in tears shall reap in joy.

The more we do, the more shall we trust in Christ; and that surely is no morose doctrine, that leads us to soothe our selfish restlessness, and forget our fears, in the vision of the Incarnate Son of God.

May the Lord support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.

Then in His mercy may He give us safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last.”

John Henry Newman

"In the Incarnation the whole human race recovers the dignity of the image of God. Thereafter, any attack even on the least of men is an attack on Christ, who took on the form of man, and in his own Person restored the image of God in all.

Through our relationship with the Incarnation, we recover our true humanity, and at the same time are delivered from that perverse individualism which is the consequence of sin, and recover our solidarity with all mankind."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Truly I tell you, whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me."

Matthew 25:40

"Love does not make you weak, because it is the source of all strength, but it makes you see the nothingness of the illusory strength on which you depended before you knew it."

Léon Bloy

O Lord, pierce our hardened hearts, and break our chains of pride and self-deception.

15 December 2017

Nader Explains the Ongoing Collapse of the Democratic Party

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.  Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason.  But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right."

John Kenneth Galbraith

The last presidential election was obviously, and by choice of the parties, a contest between the lesser of two evils.  The Democratic candidate was the choice of the party insiders, and the Republican of  people who had just had enough, and were willing to believe the unabashed nonsense of a conman in their desperation.

I think both choices were very unpalatable for slightly different reasons and on different timelines. It was almost a tossup of ugliness, and it was most cynically played by the Democrats. And thereby lost.

Probably my biggest concern is that with a few wins over candidates from the other side who are utterly hopeless and largely unelectable, the Democratic establishment is gong to try and bank on their timeworn losing strategy of going negative and fear-mongering again, without putting forward any solid policy proposals.

Why is this?  Because they are caught in a credibility trap—  if they wish to continue their top down strategy of tight, imperious, DNC insider control of nearly everything that the party does.  And so they can keep their focus, to the exclusion of winning elections, on big donor money and the power which it brings. 

They would therefore continue to neglect the grass roots, leaving it to boot-strapping progressives, and going out of their way not to alienate any of their corporate and uber-wealthy donors by taking any economically populist stands.   And so it may very well be identity politics and Russia, all over again.

But given their obvious inability to govern above the level of a self-obsessed and habitually intoxicated college fraternity, I am  therefore not optimistic for the Republicans either.

And so where does that leave us?

It tends to imply the increasing alienation of the electorate.  And that scenario possesses several less likely but potentially very ugly outcomes.  You can't fool everyone all the time.  And when they finally have had enough, well, there you have it.

Change can come.  But there are a lot of powerful people who are set upon the status quo who will do everything in their power to stop it by any means and for as long as they can.

And this is what leads societies to historically significant moments.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Quad Witching Stock Option Expiry - Everybody Hurts

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

Hunter S. Thompson

"And Jesus, having heard this, said, 'This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son may be be shown in glory through it."

John 11:4

Things in Washington are becoming so odd on both sides of the aisle that normal ways of doing the business of the people are out the window. It is like Disneyland on the Potomac—  and Trump is goofy.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s and have seen some seriously weird stuff in my day.   And this is weirdness turned pro.

Stocks were on a tear for the quad witching December stock option expiration.

The underlying reason seems to be market enthusiasm for the news that it appears that the Senate has the votes to pass their 'tax reform' bill.

I think it is just wonderful that those humanitarians on Wall Street and saints among the one percent will celebrate such a tax reform windfall for the middle class. Isn't that what Dandy Don said it is?

Gold and silver managed to get a little back, closing just about where one might have expected. I would imagine that this price capping will continue until the year end unless *something happens.* 

This is not the government doing this, contrary to what some of the perennial anti-government folks seem to believe.

But there is no doubt that government regulators are turning a blind eye, in general, to the market antics of a bunch of crooks and conmen across a broad array of markets.   We see the truth of this in the occasional wristslap, no prosecution settlement for fraud.

And why should the government do anything about blatant market manipulation— all regulation is bad, right?

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Next week is the last trading week before Christmas.

Please remember to feed the birds, and to love the poor in spirit.  Poverty of the soul is a terrible thing. Especially in the very proud, frantically trying to fill the great holes in their being with things, not understanding that they are slowly but surely wasting away, with the sickness unto death.

Have a pleasant weekend.

14 December 2017

Nomiki Konst: Signs of a Revolution Within the Democratic Party

"Now that the queen [Hillary] is gone, ding dong, people are actually starting to say what they believe, and feel."

Nomiki Konst

Here is some additional insights from her about what is going on in the attempts to reform the Democratic National Committee after the recent scandals regarding favoritism and internal irregularities by 'the Hillary people.'

Although she is cited as an investigative reporter, which she is, Nomiki Konst is also a political insider in the Democratic Party organization. And she is quite knowledgeable.

It seems that one of the major obstacles to change is the very powerful group of consultants, who as you may know have dominated the Democratic National Budget, and taken by far most of it for themselves.

And before you ask, no, I have not yet been able to find out exactly who these 'five consultants' are. Or how they have been able to exert such a powerful control over things. But it does seem that now that Hillary Clinton has fallen from her most powerful position in the party, the consultants are much less in a position of power.