"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."

- √Čtienne de la Bo√©tie

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Your Country Can Be Beautiful Again

As I think about the social chaos being reinforced by the recent decision by a few people in the United States in robes to twist Western language and culture, my mind wanders for a place where I can begin to make a change. Somewhere I can start-over from a fundamental base. No matter what Satan throws in our path, we can choose what it means to us. Is the beginning of the end? Or is a last desperate gasp of a rotting culture?

Nowhere perhaps is this more true right now than in Ukraine. What is that fundamental base? It's all that's left when you have lost everything else. Many Ukrainians may be feeling that they have lost everything, their government, their economy, their peace, their livelihood, their security. These things may be true. But you have yourself. And you have your determination of what to make of the future. This is true of those even on the verge of death? What will you die for? What have you lived for? For yourself? Your country? Or something you can never lose, your God?

Is Russia invading? Pray that she will be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart. Is NATO invading? Pray for the rebirth of Catholicism in the West.

May your faith strengthen you. And as you think of the future, think of the conversion that war can bring. This is a chance for every Ukrainian to ask himself what do I want to live for? You realize how precious life can be, the less you have of it. May you choose God, may there be a rebirth of faith, and may you go on to build the most peaceful and prosperous country in Europe and the world. It is time to turn to the eternal source of all that is good. Rebuild Ukraine. But rebuild yourself, your family, your church first. And you will notice in no time that your peace and prosperity have returned.


Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked man his thoughts;

Let him turn to the Lord for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways,
says the Lord.

As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.
For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down
And do not return there till they have watered the earth making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats,

So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it,
says the Lord Almighty.

Amen.

Between Jobs? No Health Insurance?

Apparently the authors of the bill actually through at least one item ahead of time...

Please see http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Individuals-and-Families/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision for confirmation of the following quote:
  • The exemptions for individuals who lacked access to affordable coverage, had a short coverage gap, experienced certain hardships, had income below their filing threshold, or who were not lawfully present in the United States may be claimed only as part of filing a federal income tax return.
You will claim or report coverage exemptions on Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, and file it with your Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ. These forms can all be prepared and filed electronically.
See question 25 for more information on Form 8965.
22. What qualifies as a short coverage gap?
In general, a gap in coverage that lasts less than three months qualifies as a short coverage gap. If an individual has more than one short coverage gap during a year, the short coverage gap exemption only applies to the first gap.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Third Coast L.A.




                It still astonishes me that I could have grown up so near to the Rio Grande Valley, but that I would have to move further away, spending four years in Austin, three months in D.C., and one month in LA to actually fully appreciate what was so near for so long and yet under-appreciated.
I am always told, both by people in a position to actually know and those who parrot the supposedly better informed, that LA, Austin and DC are the places to be, and the Valley is next to nothing.  Yet, given the choice of where to locate for the long term, I’d pick the valley.  If you know me, you already know why I think DC is next to nothing.  LA is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there:  Too many “liberals,” not enough guns.  Like so WAY totally superficial.  Pretty buildings, pretty faces, empty minds and hearts.  (Nowhere is perfect; there are still reasons to like it: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,903069,00.html?iid=chix-del )

Austin, despite being the California-liberal enclave of Texas, is the best of the three in terms of actual substance, but it lacks some of the other things LA has: the palm trees, the citrus groves, the beach, the fertile soil, frost-free temperatures, and it’s somewhat further from Mexico.  And it doesn’t really have that relish for life that you see in places where you can stick virtually anything in the ground and it’ll grow.  Because we’re on the wrong side of the US (western sides of continents tend to possess milder climates), there’s really only one place in Texas that falls in this category, the Rio Grande Valley.

Besides, LA and DC make great terrorist targets.  The world will end before anyone decides to avenge Abu Ghraib in McAllen.  (Where?)

Despite its relative lack of notoriety, the Valley’s combined current population actually surpasses that of Austin.  It doesn’t have Sixth Street, but it does have South Padre.  And it, along with our great state (http://www.themonitor.com/articles/percent_22378___article.html/unemployment_state.html ), continues to grow at an astounding rate (http://www.valleymorningstar.com/articles/economy_25866___article.html/ ).

Unlike LA, it seems the Valley’s culminating era lies in the future, which means it is a place yet to be made.  This can be inspiring to those who do not like to take what they are given but prefer to forge their own way.  LA has in the past been called, “100 communities in search of a city.”  That’s not as true for LA today as it is for the Valley, with no defining major center of population.  There’s McAllen and Brownsville, roughly of equal size, and a number of 50,000ish and 25,000ish (in terms of pop.) cities, but they are so regularly dispersed as to make one wonder whether they should each be taken as their own city or considered as a whole.   I have a feeling, though, that one day this valley too will find its city.

Spanish is far more commonly spoken in the Valley than in the other cities of comparison.  This I prefer, as I am attempted to teach myself the language.  This proximity to Mexico, in terms of culture, language, and geography, is ideal from my point of view, because I think that America’s is not the future to be betting on.  Demographics are often destiny, and on this count Mexico defeats the stale-liberal-interventionist cultural tendencies of the United States hands down.  If things get bad here and Texas doesn’t wise up, I want an out, even if it’s just a chance to run straight to a Mexican airport and take the next flight to Chile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Chile ).

The RGV can certainly speak for itself, as the following pictures making comparisons to Cali can attest, so I won’t let my comments run on.  But when I recall the little and negative (poverty, drugs, “Mexico” - like those are all inherently bad things) attention the Valley usually gets, I am often reminded of a phenomenon familiar to all those younger people told that “if they want to get anywhere in life, they have to stay in school.”  Sometimes I feel like this is repeated more often to children who attend school than any real knowledge.  If school really is so great, it would be self-evident, children would want to be there, and you wouldn’t have to be constantly threatening them with utter-ruin to keep them there.  The fact that kids must constantly be told how great school is and how terrible the alternatives are points to the school system’s utter and apparent bankruptcy.  So it is to a certain extent with America’s great cities, that came to prominence in a long-past era of laissez-faire.  DC, LA, et al, to a great extent live off their reputations; they are mere shells of their former selves, weighed down by the stagnation of excessive unliberal and unprogressive policies.  If you’re looking for the future in the U.S., I’d look elsewhere.  To ignore one of the fastest growing, economically dynamic areas in our country because it doesn’t fit the typical modern American mold is utter fallacy.  And like the world’s future considered at large, it will look a lot less American than you suspect.

LA on the left; RVG on the right.





Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why does God permit Evil?



This is, of course, a difficult question, but I do think there are a few answers to which we can avail ourselves.  We are told in Genesis that God has made man in his own image and likeness, that in a very real sense we are, though certainly not fully, equal to God in certain respects (that may sound a little blasphemous, but it certainly is not meant as such), or we are, at least, proto-divine beings.  If this is true and if this is what God desired to bring into existence, it would make little sense for him to have created us as little robots, perfectly fixed to always do as God intends.  Indeed, if we are to approach or to approximate a divine nature in away, it seems humanity would have to be given some leeway regarding what it can and cannot do.  If we consider this aspect of humanity from God's perspective, we can see that it would be of very little ultimate value (speaking loosely) to a God that enjoys morality, not only for morality's sake, but because it is indeed superior to immorality, to create beings fixed perfectly as moral, as they, due to their limited nature, would have no concept of the bad.  Such beings so fixed would live in a world of perfect goodness, but would never be able to conceive of it as such, only seeing that world as what is and must be.  Thus, these beings would be seriously deficient to a God intending to create beings in his own image and likeness; for they would never understand the concept of morality in the same way as their own God.  The key to morality, then, is choice; for without choice, there is only what is and never what ought to be; and choice necessarily entails the ability to choose wrongly.




Thus, if we have justified the existence of evil in our world, as I believe we have, we now have to consider our relationship as individuals to that evil.  




My question…asks about those instances in which we do succumb to sin. In those instances, did God know you would falter?”




Because of what I see as the unconquerable continuity in existence, briefly, that all actions have an equal and opposite reaction and that the entire universe, from the moment that God set it in motion, is merely the culmination of all of the various and sundry reactions to that original action, and seeing that there exists a scientific regularity dictating how such reactions take place, it seems impossible, if we accept that God is truly omniscient, to say that he would not have known you would falter.




“If so, why would he put these obstacles in front of you?”




I think the answer to this question is found chiefly in the first paragraph above.  It is important to consider, I think, that God did not desire to put obstacles in front of you as much as he wanted to give you a free will and choice, which necessarily entailed such obstacles.




Thus, if He controls everything, and knows the future.. how can he send a person to hell, when all the sins he committed were a result of God placing before him "tests" which (in all-knowing fashion) He knew that person would fail?”




This is the most difficult question asked so far.  I think part of the answer to this question lies in the unsatisfactory notion of someone being “sent” to Hell, and the commonly used imagery that depicts an angry God actively pursuing the evildoers in this way.  While I will not claim that there is no basis in reality that justifies the use of this imagery, I will say that it ought to be tempered with the theological discussions of Hell, that depict Hell less as an active, desired punishment from God and more as the necessary result of our own choices.  How can God justify any kind of punishment for a creature whose actions were determined long before that creature came into existence?  I’m not sure if ‘punishment’ is an accurate term for our discussion, as it relates to a situation in which an outside force intervenes to attempt, by providing a negative feedback, to modify our behavior.  Again, I don’t think God, if we conceive of him as recognizing the dignity of humanity, created in his image and likeness, would be much into behavior modification.  He is, if we allow that his goal is to give us the ability to choose good and that this better than merely being good and entails necessarily bad choices, forced to take a more hands-off approach.  And thus, the warnings from God about being “sent” to Hell are more an attempt to fully inform us about the necessary consequences of our actions than to actively punish us in order to demand a change in our behavior.




I think, then, if we think of God in this way, not as attempting to punish those whom he knew could do no better, but merely attempting to fully inform us as to the consequences of our actions, we can see that there remains a dignity for even the person that chooses wrong, as his choice is respected in this manner.



I concede I have not really answered your question, but only tried to reframe it.  It remains to be explained how God can justify consequences for actions it seems one had no ultimate control over.



Briefly, while I think that our actions are indeed determined, this does not negate for us the reality of choice.  And thus, our choices remaining valid, the justice of the consequences of our actions is not undone.  If you find the discussion in this note in any way unfulfilling, if any questions remain, do voice them, as I think this issue is of the utmost importance and would like to be made aware of the deficiencies in my own understanding of it.











But, again, as you say, God knew what you would choose and yet created you; so I have not really addressed the idea that it may, in this sense, be said that God is responsible for your actions more than yourself. Or, at least, 



I think this notion that because God has created you, and knew exactly what you would do, we are somehow deprived of all responsibility for our actions is a little fallacious.  As you indicated, you did not desire to do away with a notion of personal responsibility, but







We could say,  then that in a way Hell exists not so much for those who are "punished" but to save those who are not. ("Punishments remain, even in the case of determinism, an effective determent to crimes.")

Though, it is important to recall that Hell is not so much a punishment, as something that naturally follows from our actions.

It is thus the same in any situation: I must balance the value of doing something [bad] now, with the disvalue of the lack of something later (i.e.suffering separtion from God ever after, after death). Since we are not objective (which is to say, I think necessarily, omniscient beings), our subjective evaluations of this proposition will differ from the objective (God's) view. If we were objective beings like God, and knew exactly the pain that Hell entails, we would choose good all the time, because we would know definitively that this is the optimal choice. But, alas, we are not God, and the nature of our condition allows us choice...



exactly because we are not perfectly aware of the full effects of our choice and God ultimately respects that choice and the dignity and sovereignty it entails, even though he endeavors greatly to make it clear (most notably through the sacrifice of his own son) that we remain free to change our minds at any time and accept him fully and that this is, our human notions aside, indeed the optimal choice.



The question may arise as to why God did not create us as omniscient beings; but omniscience, it seems to me, requires omnipresence, and thus omnipotence. In other words, God would have had to create us exactly as He is Himself. I do not think this is something God could've done. That's not so say God is not all powerful, but that there is no power that can undo the nature of existence, i.e., what is. When God was asked for his name by Moses, God said that his name is "I am that I am." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_am_that_I_am ). I do not think that we, as we are (i.e., created beings), could ever be what is, without having been along with God from the beginning and thus we would've been God himself, and thus have no need of a "creation," for we ourselves would be the creator.

So, there are certain restrictions, I think, that not even God can overcome as they are an inherent aspect of what it means to be God in the first place.



Thus, seeing that we are not God, and thus necessarily not omniscient, but we are at the same time not like, e.g., rocks, totally without consciousness, we find ourselves in a grey area of partial knowledge and self-awareness, which entails the ability to choose, as outlined above.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dear Leader


I will start by saying that I took no part in trying to get you elected. In fact, I did everything within my power to see that you didn’t succeed. Throughout this election I chose to stand with a principled man, a man who truly wants freedom for the individual, not for the government. I chose to write-in Dr. Ron Paul as my choice for president. Before you claim that I have wasted my vote because the man will not win, let me say that I agree with part of that statement. As much as I wish it weren’t the case, he will not win, but my moral compass will not allow me to vote for the lesser of two evils, and that is what I believe you to be. To understand why I feel this way, it doesn’t take much effort on your part. I’d like to introduce you to two men I’ve gotten to know quite well over the last five years, pre-election Obama and post-election Obama. Pre-election Obama promised me hope and change and post-election Obama left me hoping  he’d stop changing  his mind. Pre-election Obama promised me transparency; he promised that the public would have five days to review a bill online before it was passed. Indeed, it was Nancy Pelosi herself who said we had to pass Obamacare so we could know what was in it. Pre-election Obama promised me that all of our troops would be out of Iraq within 16 months. Post-election Obama changed his mind and sided with former president Bush by keeping the same timeline for withdrawal that Bush had put in place. Now it was not just pre-election Obama and post-election Obama who had their differences. Post-election Obama promised to veto the atrocious piece of legislation known as the NDAA, only to sign it in to law and continue the destruction of our civil liberties. While I could continue on infinitely, it would seem as you are probably fabricating some lie to someone somewhere as I type this, I will not. I am tired of having my freedoms destroyed by liars. You promised you’d be different than former president Bush, I hope this time around you will fulfill that promise. I hope you work to repeal the NDAA and the patriot act. I hope you bring more of our troops home. I hope you focus on cutting our debt instead of adding trillions more to it. I have zero faith that any of these things will get done, but I really do HOPE this time around you do CHANGE.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Next Stage in Human Devolution is Here

President Obama vows to continue his policies in a second term.
In the spirit of a bygone era, Obama announced to a crowd of early voters, "We choose to go to Hell! We choose to go to Hell... [interrupted by applause] we choose to go to Hell in this decade and ignore the other things, not because they are difficult, but because Dancing With Stars will be on in a few minutes..."

Upon hearing a recording of the President's speech on her government provided smart phone, the Obama-phone creature did not react.

The president vowed to continue and build upon the policies of his first term which will promote a culture of infertility and sleaze, greater budget deficits, higher taxes, more attacks on the rights of the people to defend themselves, greater dependency on federal welfare programs and the dismantling of the rule of law.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Conspiracy Theories Handed Down From Our Pontiffs

Before Alex Jones, before the masonic takeover of Mexico, before the devolution of the Catholic Church during and after Vatican II, there was a pope that predicted it all:


By Blessed Pope Pius IX in Etsi Multa, November, 1873:

Venerable Brothers, it is surprising that in our time such a great war is being waged against the Catholic Church. But anyone who knows the nature, desires and intentions of the sects, whether they be called masonic or bear another name, and compares them with the nature the systems and the vastness of the obstacles by which the Church has been assailed almost everywhere, cannot doubt that the present misfortune must mainly be imputed to the frauds and machinations of these sects. It is from them that the synagogue of Satan, which gathers its troops against the Church of Christ, takes its strength. In the past Our predecessors, vigilant even from the beginning in Israel, had already denounced them to the kings and the nations, and had condemned them time and time again, and even We have not failed in this duty. If those who would have been able to avert such a deadly scourge had only had more faith in the supreme Pastors of the Church! But this scourge, winding through sinuous caverns, . . . deceiving many with astute frauds, finally has arrived at the point where it comes forth impetuously from its hiding places and triumphs as a powerful master. Since the throng of its propagandists has grown enormously, these wicked groups think that they have already become masters of the world and that they have almost reached their pre-established goal. Having sometimes obtained what they desired, and that is power, in several countries, they boldly turn the help of powers and authorities which they have secured to trying to submit the Church of God to the most cruel servitude, to undermine the foundations on which it rests, to contaminate its splendid qualities; and, moreover, to strike it with frequent blows, to shake it, to overthrow it, and, if possible, to make it disappear completely from the earth. Things being thus, Venerable Brothers, make every effort to defend the faithful which are entrusted to you against the insidious contagion of these sects and to save from perdition those who unfortunately have inscribed themselves in such sects. Make known and attack those who, whether suffering from, or planning, deception, are not afraid to affirm that these shady congregations aim only at the profit of society, at progress and mutual benefit. Explain to them often and impress deeply on their souls the Papal constitutions on this subject and teach, them that the masonic associations are anathematized by them not only in Europe but also in America and wherever they may be in the whole world.

"Our predecessors, vigilant even from the beginning in Israel, had already denounced them to the kings and the nations, and had condemned them time and time again."

Does the Holy Father seem to indicate, as Alex Jones et al does, that these conspiring actors trace their foundations even back to times before Christ? Does "our predecessors" here refer to the chosen race of God, the Jews, of whom the Catholic Church is merely the fullest culmination and most recent iteration in God's plan?

If you do not believe the Pontiff could be correct in his assertions, please watch.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It Has Been Some Time

It has been some time since I have felt compelled to write. I can feel the skill slowly slipping from my fingers, and so I should write if for nothing else than to preserve my ability to express myself diligently into the future.

I have given up two years of my life pursuing a woman so tepid that one measured rebuke of her careless manner of speaking can send her into a fit of doubt, confusion, and insult. In nearly two years of a relationship a period longer than a week has never passed without an argument. As Christ calls me, I am in this world, but not of it. I am not above the desire for a family, nor should I be. But truly are things as bad as pagan times. So difficult is it to find a woman committed to her family above all else that one must settle for gently guiding the only slightly confused woman off the path on which the culture of death has placed her. Habits and thoughts formed through public school and even through as insidious a thing as a Novus Ordo parish - which teaches a lighter version of the same cultural tendencies as public school but with the facade of theological and moral legitimacy - are apparently tremendously difficult to break, such that two years of extreme effort has yet to dig away enough of the crud so as to find a stable foundation on which to build and rear a family.

I must turn again to the search for someone else. This is her choice not mine, as she has demonstrated time again that while she has the ability to speak as though her thoughts are upright, consistent action directed towards the same end (i.e., uprightness), again for a period longer than a week, is too much for one such as I to ask.

I need now the faith of Saint Anne, whose earthly desires were fulfilled in a way incomparable to all except the mother of God herself. In long-suffering was a child delivered to her. The spiritual and physical fulfillment which the delivery of the this child gave Saint Anne must have exceeded anything she could have wished for in her many years of childlessness.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope, to thee do we cry, O poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up sighs morning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us O Holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

An Open Letter to Whole Foods




Dear Mr. Walter Robb,

Year to date, I have spent $5021.91 at your store per my records kept by the Microsoft Money software program. That is more than 10% of my annual income. While I realize you are a business man and must make your decisions accordingly, I am writing to make you keenly aware that the same applies to me. I have happily spent this money in firm belief that I am supporting one of the last bastions of legitimate, sustainable and safe agriculture practices in our nation, if not our world. This belief is now dreadfully challenged through the GMO scandal the poor management of your company has brought to fruition (see http://www.infowars.com/nothing-artificial-ever-whole-foods-caught-in-gmo-marketing-deception-proof/ , amongst others).

As a consumer entirely opposed morally, philosophically, scientifically and economically to the monetary support and consumption of many GMO products, I am forced to reduce my spending at your store to send a message that those watching only your bottom line can understand: I will not shop at a store that presents itself as a safe place to eat but does not back up that promise with actions. I will shop at other organic stores and other local produce outlets that are cheaper, because you have failed to differentiate yourself from them. While I may in some circumstances continue to support your store, I will not do so with the pride I once had in being a “Whole” Foods customer, realizing now that the corn I may be consuming is not whole at all but violated with the genetic code of other living organisms.

If either your conscience or your bottom line are sufficiently bruised by the actions of me and other like-minded former customers, then these are the steps I would take to re-imbue your brand with the trust it deserves:

1)      Make a large donation to Proposition 37 in California.
2)      Announce a timeline requirement for all foods sold through Whole Foods to be labeled with their GMO content.
3)      Proactively educate Whole Foods employees and customers about the reality of genetically modified foods being sold throughout the stores.

Sincerely,

The author of Actual Anarchy.