Month: March 2018

The Brilliant Darkness of a Friday Afternoon

Not only did Jesus manifest Himself as the Logos so long desired in the pagan West on that Friday afternoon, but He also manifested Himself as the Christ, the true and eternal king. In some mysterious way, it was the death on Friday that revealed all of this, not the resurrection on Sunday…

As Jesus looked down from the cross, so close to three o’clock on a Friday afternoon, he saw his “mother, with her sister, Mary wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.” Next to the three Marys stood “the disciple whom he loved,” St. John. For nearly four decades, this scene has haunted me. As Catholics, we focus so much on Jesus’s physical suffering on the cross, the pain his mother must have felt, and the forthcoming death and resurrection that we often readily and understandably skip a person who is vital—actually, fundamentally and profoundly critical—to the entire story: St. John. Tradition tells us that John was the youngest, that he was the last to write his Gospel, and that he was the only apostle not to have been brutally martyred. At the moment that Jesus looked down from the Cross, He gave His mother to John, asking him and his house to shelter her. “’There is your mother’; and from that moment the disciple took her into his home.” While I have often wondered what St. John must have felt—the pain and the anguish—at seeing his savior crucified, I have wondered far more often what Jesus must have felt, especially given that He was fully man as well as fully God. No doubt, it meant a great deal to Him to have the four by his side in His greatest moment of agony. All to the good.

But, as a man, what must He have thought knowing that all eleven of His closest male friends had betrayed Him, deserted Him in His hour of greatest need? Judas the worst, to be sure, but even Peter had denied Him three times, and not a single one of them dared suffer with Him or even next to Him that Friday afternoon. Only John. Might this not have been a blow as great as any dealt to Him in his entire thirty-three years of Incarnate life on this world of sorrows? Though I have no idea, perhaps these betrayals were the greatest blow to Jesus. It’s possible I’m projecting too much of myself on the situation, but given that Jesus already knew what God the Father’s response would be, how the people would (pen)ultimately view him, and the fortitude of His mother He had come to cherish, the only real unknown in the entire Passion was the response of His closest friends. We expect nothing of Pilate, but of Peter and James? While their betrayal is, of course, forgivable, it’s deeply disturbing. We expect our leaders to lead, but we—even more—expect our friends to stand by us, no matter the cost. After all, is there a greater definition of friendship? Or, of love?

Could we imagine Beowulf without Wiglaf, or Frodo without Sam?

When Jesus died on the cross, He revealed Himself—at least as St. Paul tells us—as the King of the Universe, the touchstone of all creation.

Through Him God chose to reconcile the whole universe to himself, making peace through the blood upon the cross—to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, through him alone.

Not only did Jesus manifest Himself as the Logos so long desired in the pagan West on that Friday afternoon, but He also manifested Himself as the Christ, the true and eternal king. In some mysterious way, it was the death on Friday that revealed all of this, not the resurrection on Sunday. And, yet, we regard the resurrection as the ultimate joy in a Christian life, the conquering of death itself. If we take St. Paul at face value, however, Jesus conquered death not by His resurrection but by His surrender to death, some forty-odd hours earlier.

Though I am no theologian, I have often thought St. Paul’s understanding came from St. John, with Paul—having been deeply anti-Jesus at the time of Jesus’ death—in hindsight, wondering with some disgust what happened to Peter, to James, and to the others who betrayed their savior.

St. Paul’s meditations on suffering are nothing short of profound, perhaps some of the wisest in all of Western literature. They are worth quoting at length and meditating upon.

In his letter to the Colossians:

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body—for the sake of his body, the church—what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. (St. Paul, Letters to the Colossians 1:24)

In his letter to the Romans:

Let us exult in the hope of the divine splendor that is to be ours. More than this: let us even exult in our present sufferings, because we know that suffering trains us to endure, and endurance brings proof that we have stood the test, and this proof is the ground of hope. (St. Paul, Letters to the Romans 5:2-5)

In his letter to the Philippians (3: 12-14):

My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained this—that is, I have not already been perfected—but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Or, as the anonymous author of the Letter to the Hebrews wrote:

And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts. Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed. (Author unknown, Letter to the Hebrews, 12: 5-13)

Jump forward, nineteen centuries. Of all meditations on suffering in the twentieth-century, perhaps none have struck me as hard as did Whittaker Chambers in his own memoir, Witness (1952), as he admits to his children that he might very well fail in this world and take his own life, knowing how much pain one can or—simply—cannot tolerate.

My children, when you were little, we used sometimes to go for walks in our pine woods. In the open fields, you would run along by yourselves. But you used instinctively to give me your hands as we entered those woods, where it was darker, lonelier, and in the stillness our voices sounded loud and frightening. In this book I am again giving you my hands. I am leading you, not through cool pinewoods, but up and up a narrow defile between bare and steep rocks from which in shadow things uncoil and slither away. It will be dark. But, in the end, if I have let you aright, you will make out three crosses, from two of which hang thieves. I will have brought you to Golgotha—the place of skulls. This is the meaning of the journey. Before you understand, I may not be there; my hands may have slipped from yours. It will not matter. For when you understand what you see, you will no longer be children. You will know that life is pain, that each of us hangs always upon the cross of himself. And when you know that this is true of every man, woman, and child on earth, you will be wise.—Whittaker Chambers, 1952

I do not doubt that St. Peter and St. James grew in wisdom, but I also have no doubt that they never grew in wisdom as did St. John. Or, maybe St. John was wise even before that Friday afternoon.

This afternoon, as you contemplate the death of Our Lord, don’t forget that John remained. Fully man and fully God, Jesus saved all of Creation, but John, so unbelievably human, shows us what the true man does in the face of adversity.

 

For every action there is a reaction.

By Russell941

Well, the 2018 mid-term elections are on us. As we all know, today every aspect of our existence is affected by government, so naturally, I do understand why we want to keep an eye on the thing.  That’s just good citizenship.

Damn! Here we go again. The Senate this week passed a 2,200-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill that includes some wins for both parties, but avoids major issues that the voter think important. Yes, it will keep the government open through the end of September. Without a doubt, the passing of the 1.3 trillion dollar budget bill, one thing has become crystal clear, insane liberals and the corrupt Washington elite always win the day, no matter what the election results may say.  This is a fact of life.

One of the big points of the omnibus spending bill, passed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate, will allow more illegal aliens to be released into the United States after they are caught crossing the southern border through the “Catch and Release” program.   For every action there is a reaction.

For nearly six decades now, we’ve watched this charade time after time. This crap has got to stop. Despite Republican or Democratic promises for fiscal responsibility, they continue to spend like a bunch of drunken sailors on liberty.  Our elected leaders chose to blow this huge amount of money without even the pretense of having read the frickin’ bill is both shocking, disgusting and unbelievable. What is hard to handle is most of us remain complacent and continue about our daily routines like I don’t have time or I don’t give a shit. We barely blink as Congress binges on $1.3 trillion in unpaid- federal spending.  Thinking back not that long to ago, a bill hammered out in secret. caused the House to revolt against then-speaker dumb ass John Boehner. Yet today’s secretly negotiated package fails to crack even the front page of the news,  we are treated instead to the blow by blow details of Trump’s alleged affair with a Playboy model. This is our American version of the great America.

When I look back at all the election I voted in the one thing jumps out at me over and over and over is politicians are the only people in the world who work their ass off at creating problems and then have the gall to come to us blowing  smoke up our skirt then go all out to campaign against the problem. Just think for one minute—I think we have a problem here.

All right, for example, have you ever wondered, we hear all the time both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, then WHY in the cat hair do we have deficits? Deficits just didn’t jump out of thin air, do they. For every action there is a reaction.

OK! how about this one, have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY in the cat hair do we have inflation and high taxes? For every action there is a reaction.

Let’s look at this:

  • You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.
  • You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.
  • The House of Representatives does.
  • You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
  • You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
  • You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

Now let’s look at the players here:

We have 100 senators, 435 congressmen, 1  President, and 9 Supreme Court justices. Now that equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million plus voters. The way I see this is that the 545 politicians are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country, without any doubt.

To be fair here I have to exclude the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that frickin’ problem was created by the dumb ass Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated it’s Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

Oh hell, I have to exclude all the special interests and dirt bag lobbyists for this reason:  They have no legal authority and they have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one frickin’ thing.

Now, think about this! I do not give a damn if they offer a politician $50 million dollars in cash, they just don’t have any authority.

Now, at this point the politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the dirt bag lobbyist promises, it is the politician’s responsibility to determine how he or she votes.  For every action there is a reaction.

Those 545 politicians that we sent to Washington to do our business will spend much of their time and energy convincing you and me that what they did or how they voted is never their fault. Now that’s BULL SHIT!!

They all cooperate in some form of this misinformation BS regardless of party.  For every action there is a reaction.

I think one of the biggest things that separate a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of arrogance, self-importance and gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a House Speaker, who stands up and criticizes the President for creating deficits. (The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? That would be Paul Ryan. He is the leader of the majority party. (Right) He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. (Right) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it or override his veto if they agree to and have the votes to do it.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million plus voters cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly back to those 545 people. When you fully look at the full picture there can be no doubt in your mind that the plain truth is when these 545 people exercise the full power of the federal government, the outcome that follows every time they vote is that they own 100% of that outcome, it’s all there.

We need to clean our house, this crap has got to stop, we need to hold our federal government accountable  for their votes, action, or anything we don’t like.

 

 

 

News You Can Use for March 18, 2018

Trump’s Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

By

There are a couple of important economic lessons that the American people should learn. I’m going to title one “the seen and unseen” and the other “narrow well-defined large benefits versus widely dispersed small costs.” These lessons are applicable to a wide range of government behavior, but let’s look at just two examples.

Last week, President Donald Trump enacted high tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Why in the world would the U.S. steel and aluminum industries press the president to levy heavy tariffs? The answer is simple. Reducing the amounts of steel and aluminum that hit our shores enables American producers to charge higher prices. Thus, U.S. steel and aluminum producers will earn higher profits, hire more workers and pay them higher wages. They are the visible beneficiaries of Trump’s tariffs.

Read The Full Story Here:

Obama Admin Actively Sabotaged Gun Background Check System.

By Cillian Zeal

Testimony by acting FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday revealed that the Obama administration removed the names of over 500,000 individuals with active arrest warrants from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, according to The Daily Wire.

The deletion of the names was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who had originally pinned the change on the Trump administration.

“A little-noticed mandate from the Trump administration has cleared the way for some people with outstanding arrest warrants to purchase guns, a change that worries law enforcement officials who say it could be allowing dangerous criminals to arm themselves,” The Journal-Constitution reported last October.

Read The Full Story Here:

 

 

 

 

290 Million Deaths and Counting

Here is :Bill Muckler commentary

Author Bill Muckler

The religion of peace, which is not a religion at all, got its start in 630 CE by slaughtering Arabs who didn’t think the way they do. (See my many revealing articles on IJETOF on this webpage): http://2020americabook.com/blog/

Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 CE coming from a noble family and was well-known for his honesty and upright character. According to Muslim belief, at the age of 40, Muhammad was visited by the angel Gabriel while on retreat in a cave near Mecca. The angel recited the first revelations of the Quran and informed him that he is God’s prophet. He is told to call his people to the worship of the one God, but they reacted with hostility and began to persecute him and his followers. This definition tells us all we need to know: Allahu Akbar meaning “God is Greater” or Allah is the one God who is greater than all other Gods.”

Muhammad and his followers endured persecution in Mecca and then in 622 CE they then migrated to the nearby town of Yathrib, later known as Medina, where the people accepted Islam. This marks the “hijrah” or “emigration” and the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Muhammad established an Islamic state in Medina based on the laws revealed in the Quran and the inspired guidance coming to him from God. Eventually he invited other tribes and nations to Islam.

Muhammad and many his followers returned to Mecca in 630 CE. He entered the city peacefully, and eventually all accepted Islam. The prophet then cleared all idols and images out of the Kaaba.

Muhammad Died in 633 C.E.

The Muslim community, upon Muhammad’s death, elected his father-in-law and close associate, Abu Bakr, as caliph, or successor. Abu Bakr’s daughter Aisha was married to Muhammad when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine. She remained with him for nine years until his death.

The Killing Spree Gains a Foothold

The spread of Islam was accomplished by invading areas which did not have a religion and those that were Christian as well. Countries were not established as we know them today. Most of the Middle East was comprised of tribal areas that were self-ruled. These lands were easy pickings for roving bands of crazed barbarians who spread their ideology by forcing men to either “join up” or be “beheaded.” Capturing men and forcing them to watch their wives and children raped and murdered was a common tactic to spread the “religion of peace.”

Muslims entered the area north of Arabia, known as “Sham,” including Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and in Iraq 638 CE. They invaded Egypt in 641 CE, enriched by their conquests and routed the Byzantine army. Thus, began the destruction of Christianity in Egypt then one of the centers of Christianity. Muslims considered their conquest as the liberation of subjugated people, since in most instances they were under oppressive rule.

There was no stopping this vicious wave of Islam as they murdered, raped and plundered across North Africa in 655 CE and into Europe, all in the name of peace.
Imam Ali was killed in 661 CE bringing an end the rule of the four “righteous caliphs”: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali. This also marked the beginning of the Umayyad rule.

Much Has Been Said About Islam Being a Religion of Peace

There is so much to say about this perverse entity masquerading as a religion that is essentially a political, cultural, economic theocracy of domination and rule. We have been duped by this perversity and have become weak and willing to accept this as the “New Muslim Normal.”

California Has Become A Disgraceful State

By —— Bio and ArchivesMarch 10, 2018

At one time, California was the envy of America, attracting people from around the nation to move to a state offering opportunity and the chance to pursue ambitious dreams. With scenic beauty, the Pacific Ocean coastline, the major cities of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California recruited entrepreneurs looking for economic growth. As the home of Hollywood and multitudes of celebrities, California presented an enticing potential to enjoy “lifestyles of the rich and famous.”

California has become an economic and cultural disaster

Today, California has become an economic and cultural disaster. The state is home to over 114,000 homeless people, one quarter of the total in the nation. In San Francisco, a health crisis has developed as the homeless have created a mess in the downtown area, littering it with fecal matter, spent needles and piles of trash.

The droughts have led to misguided water regulations imposed by environmentalists and liberal government bureaucrats. These officials also love to burden state residents and corporations with higher taxes. As a result, people and businesses are fleeing a state beset with too many regulations, tax rates that are not competitive with neighboring states and an array of other insufferable liberal policies. Even a sizable portion of the film industry has moved from Hollywood to other states offering tax incentives and a better business climate.

California officials have implemented high tax rates to fund an array of expensive services for an ever-growing population of illegal aliens. Their statewide elected politicians, such as Governor Jerry Brown, support open borders and sanctuary status for illegal aliens. In fact, the entire state has become a sanctuary for those who break our immigration laws.

Americans should never forget Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal alien who had been deported five times to Mexico, who shot 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier and ran away from the scene as she died in the arms of her father. Several months before the July 1, 2015 incident, Lopez-Sanchez was in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after serving a federal prison sentence. However, San Francisco Police wanted him on a drug related warrant, so he was transferred to their control. Unfortunately, the San Francisco Police subsequently released him and did not bother to notify federal authorities. This is due to their refusal to honor “immigration detainers” that San Francisco officials believe is a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

800 illegal aliens evaded capture

As a result of their desire to protect the rights of non-citizens, San Francisco officials allowed an illegal alien back onto the streets. Sadly, that decision ultimately cost one young woman her life. The tragic death produced a national outcry, but it did not lead to any changes in California policies. The Steinle killing was not an isolated incident as throughout California, local and state officials refuse to work with federal authorities to combat the out-of-control problem of illegal immigration. These misguided policies prevent the Trump administration from taking effective action.

Over the last week, California was in the news again for the wrong reasons. The liberal Democrat Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, issued a warning to illegal aliens that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were conducting raids in the city. She asked residents to “protect” these illegal aliens, who she called the “most vulnerable” residents of Oakland.

As a result, 800 illegal aliens evaded capture and the ICE agents were only able to apprehend 232 lawbreakers. These individuals were not Boy Scouts, in fact, 180 of them had criminal records and 115 of them had convictions for serious offenses such as child sex crimes, weapons charges or assault.

ICE was doing the community a favor by removing criminal threats and protecting innocent citizens. Regrettably, the Oakland Mayor decided to give support to illegal aliens and violent criminals instead of law abiding taxpayers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the California laws “unjust, unfair and unconstitutional.”

At a press opportunity on Thursday, President Trump denounced her actions and called it “a disgrace” that she undercut the ability of ICE agents to conduct raids.  The acting Director of ICE, Tom Homan, labeled her comments “a whole new low, to intentionally warn criminals that law enforcement is coming.”

Fortunately, the Trump administration acted in federal court against the rogue state of California. On Tuesday night, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit which claimed that three state laws are illegal and are pre-empted by federal law. The laws prevent employers and state officials from cooperating with federal officials on cases involving illegal immigrants.

In his speech announcing the lawsuit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the California laws “unjust, unfair and unconstitutional.” He also condemned the actions of the Mayor of Oakland by asking “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda?”

These are good first steps by the Department of Justice, but they are not enough. The Attorney General should also file charges against the Mayor of Oakland personally. It is time that these California elected officials face legal consequences for their despicable behavior and their arrogant flouting of federal law.