I will be posting this afternoon, September 30, 2016.

Please Note: Talk about corruption.  After posting today I opened an “evite” and acquired a computer virus.  These things used to be less common than they now are.  It raises question about discourse in “free” society.  And it raises questions about continuing to bother with communications that impose a cost on each of us.

expect to post again on next week.

Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.

Henry Kissinger

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The work of good and decent people can be swamped by the concerted corruption of a few bad people in positions of power.

Seeing this sort of thing is usually a local phenomenon – usually observed among the small time antics of city mayors and alderman the likes of which seem recurrent in places like Chicago.

Rarely do we see the full face of corruption on a national scene.  That said, the present disposition of the Madame Clinton email/server/national security/prospective “pay for play” mess presents an ugly outline of what public corruption might actually look like at the federal level.

Without going into the tsunami of facts surrounding destruction of evidence, lying, co-mingling of public business with private financial gain, the most irregular investigative conduct of the nation’s lead investigative agency, etc., reports, testimony, evidence, and facts seems to suggest that an understanding of corruption in this shameful and very troubling story might well conjure up the immortal refrain of “Tinker, to Evans, to Chance.”  Yes, I refer to the double play combination of the Chicago Cubs who played together from 1902 to 1912.

So what am I saying with this poetic baseball reference?  I am saying this: to comprehend the scope of the corruption one would be wise to consider the relationship between the White House, the Justice Department and the FBI.

Why?  The irregular handling of the FBI’s investigation of Ms. Clinton suggests that their efforts were never intended to yield a criminal indictment.

If that is so, others to whom the FBI must answer were at some point engaged in the process and as the FBI’s superiors may well have tilted the scales.  If one were left to conclude that did not happen, one cannot reasonably explain the irregular behavior of the FBI.  There are just too many inexplicable things in their investigative conduct.

Best to see with both eyes open, no matter the unpleasant image that might appear.  This is more so when serious problems present, for to do otherwise is to foster the bad becoming worse and doing so rather quickly and creating permanent damage.

Need we be reminded that no public trust can sustain when the hint of corruption is left to fester?  Inaction in these matters is tacit approval of errant conduct.

Having applied bleach to emails, it is now time to apply the same to public institutions and those involved in the handling of Ms. Clinton’s affairs.

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God?

George Deacon

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Folks, the stakes are high and you are in the game.  What will you do in this election cycle? Continue the present situation?  Or make a statement about honesty and truth?

Shalom.

I suppose you could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self … But millions of Germans did .. millions had not the courage to be good.

John Fowles, in The Magus

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I watched 13 Hours last night.  It is about the attack on America’s outpost in Benghazi, Libya and the killing of the our Ambassador and the exceptionally brave men who, while badly out-numbered, fought courageously to protect him and others at our facility.

And poignantly 13 Hours is about Our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who did nothing to protect the people there, or respond to pleas from them while they were enduring an attack that lasted hours upon hours.

Our people in Benghazi were betrayed, their families, too – just as we were by the cowardly failure of those in Washington who did nothing while brave men died.

Fowles was right.  Hitler was simply playing out his hateful, murderous pathology. In this he did not betray himself – yet, those who supported him and the silent millions did.

Ms. Clinton does the same.  We know she is disordered, a lair.  This truth goes back decades.  Yet, unashamed – she stands for election and people, presumably much like her, join her and support her.  What does that say about the Democrat Party?  The Left?  The press and media?  Others?  Us? 

Many American women will vote for her simply because they have a vagina and it is rumored that she does too.

Elections are snapshots of who we are at any given time.  If this is who we are, we are a sad and lost lot.

Anyone who intends to vote ought to have to see 13 Hours.  Maybe that will stir their conscience, enliven their soul.

To those who will vote for her all the same, I suppose it would be fitting for them to offer themselves, their children, loved ones so that the next time we are attacked they, or those who they love, can experience what it is like when they call for help and no one answers.  

Shalom.

The changes which God causes … are … from worse to better, … the changes which God allows in man … are … often quite the other way.

John Ruskin, in Lectures in Architecture and Painting

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The Left always thinks it must “change” things.  This is their prideful anthem – an ode to themselves.  When will be tire of it?  Better yet, will we tired of it before it destroys us?  As it is they are a constant annoyance and source of endless waste and destruction.

Any clear thinking person could make a lengthy list of the follies these people bring, the mindless idiocy they author, the costly mistakes they perpetuate.

Ironically their cadre of narrow-minded academics and power-hungry politicos push for change when most often they have accomplished little or, more often, nothing themselves. In them, you see, that they deem themselves “exceptional” and others “disposables.”

The quickest way to superiority is to claim “you know better” and “change” must be had. It is demonstratively b.s.

The wise and strong among us are different – they adjust to what is and take on, all the same, excellence – achievement, success, good nature, fellowship.  Those who accept “what is” are undaunted in overcoming obstacles. They see their task as working with the “what is.”  They are fearless, courageous, innovative, inspiring – leaders.  They befriend and inspire because they accept and excel at the same time.

The great people do not whine and spend a life time badgering others to bend to their will as if they are God and the Creator is unnecessary – passe, dead.  No sound people have humility. They are happy and wise who live what life brings and achieve nonetheless.

In this context it is wise to turn a deft ear to those who wish to change all to their image. Yes, they deserve your contempt and opposition.

Have the faith to accept with what is and excel all the same.

Shalom.

Debate – For those who wonder: Trump won the debate last night for one simple reason: he had to show that he was not bombastic and she had to show she was something other than what we have come to know of her (secretive, a untrustworthy, distant, arrogant, one of the self-entitled).  She failed to do what she had to do; Trump did what he had to do. Watch the pools in swing states that tilt toward her.  If the gap closes – you’ll see the debate results.  Ditto the states where she was up and is now down – if she fades there – that too will be an indication.

“No matter what the writer may say, the work is always written to someone, for someone, against someone.”

Walker Percy

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I sit alone to write.  I sit in quiet to write.  I write each day.  Normally before dawn.  Maybe at 2 a.m.  Maybe at daybreak.  Yes, I write to others.  To someone else.  To those met or those not yet met.  To the living and the dead.  To those before and those to come.  And to myself.

I write for, and I write against.  I write to all, to the family we are.

Writing: a message in a bottle.  My crucifixion.

I write alone … hanging on a tree.

Shalom.

Please note I will be leading a small private retreat and will not post until Monday, September 26.

… the foolishness of God is wiser than men … God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise … the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that areso that no man may boast before God.

1 Cor 25, 27, 28, 29

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Some are dismayed because Donald Trump is not the candidate they expected to see running for President.  They despair.  Or sulk or fret because he is not them, not like them.

How godless and unwise these people are.  So self-centered.  Accustomed to being selected as “special.” So unwise, so lacking in faith and wisdom are the wealthy “entitled” and the career political aspirants.  These are exactly the kind of people that cannot lead and are most unfit for difficult times.  Let them sulk – but keep them on the sideline.

You see God selects the unexpected when things have gone dreadfully wrong as they have in America.  The Democrat Left has made a mess of things. The courts have added immeasurably to the mess.  Critical institutions like the FBI, the IRS have lost the Public’s trust. The last eight years have been a disaster, have weakened and divided us, turned allies into strangers and made our adversaries more powerful and bolder, more anxious to destroy us.  

The hand puppets in the media have made matters worse.  The fools in academia have done their usual mindless part to deconstruct and destroy.

Think about it people, is it not God’s way to select one to shame the “wise,” and powerful so He might nullify the things that are?

The things that are.  Yes, the immortality of our time.  Abortion. Destruction of marriage and the family.  The neglect of our defense and the denial of our critical role in the world. The attacks on God, faith and the faithful.  The arrogance of centralized power.  The government control of all human choices.  The loss of liberty.  The loss of industry and unwillingness to address pressing problems.

I, too, felt the distress of today’s politics – until I remembered God’s ways.

In the most trying times, when we have strayed far from Him, God creates the most extreme contrast. He takes an unknown and presents that unlikely one to wake us up – to show us in his opposite how we are mistaken, unfaithful, immoral … how we lie, seek personal gain, betray public service, seek only personal gain, sell out national interests, pit groups against one another, stoke the fires of racial, ethnic, gender, income distinctions, perpetuate injustice and discontent, grow in corruption and deceit, multiple chaos, confuse even language, deny truth, sow despair and vanquish hope.

Yes, God presents the most unexpected in times of greatest difficulty created by man himself and his and her wayward ways and rejection of Him.  Think of Mary, a young peasant girl.  Of Joseph – a village carpenter.  Of a baby as the Messiah.  Of aged Abraham.  Moses who could not speak well.  Of David who was too young.  Gideon who was unimportant.  Of the reluctant Prophet Jonah.  Paul the sinner who persecuted Christians.

This election is a referendum on us and on God.  On belief.  On our sight. Our faith.  Our heart and our soul.  Our life.  The choice could NOT be made clearer.  That is how God works, as He has shown many times over the centuries.

Shalom.     

Reverence is … as indigenous to human consciousness as fear …

Abraham Joshua Herschel, in Man is not Alone

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When we encounter “lone wolf” terrorists in the United States, we hear after their capture or killing that they that had lived here for a while, had gone to elementary and secondary school here (perhaps even a junior college) and that they once lived lives like others in their age group but that at a point they turned against American secular culture – that they came to loathe it.

I have yet to hear anyone who comments on these events offer any critique on the role our culture plays in radicalizing those who rebel against it and then use a radical religious disposition to aim guns or knifes or bombs at American citizens. 

It seems to me that if we are to understand what we face in these attackers, we had best understand our culture and what others find so repulsive in it.

If I were to be asked what that others find wanton in our highly secularized culture, I might say that there is little reverence in this culture – little we hold sacred.

Our culture is radically secular.  It seeks to privatize religion – chase it from the public square.  It banishes morals in favor of “political correctness” and attitudes, rules, regulations, and laws that flow from one government body or another to advance it.  In this we seem particularly flawed and actually contemptable.

The fact of the matter is this: there is little we hold sacred.  Marriage has been adulterated. It has for many no sacramental value.  Unborn children are the subject of secular sacrifice at the behest of their mothers.  The political Left seeks to make people dependent on them, much the course that the Communists have employed wherever they ascend to power. Just about “anything goes” in film and on television.  Public life is often crass and over-sexualized. Too many of our clergy fall in line with popular culture and seek silence when their voices are needed.

When reverence disappears from culture, each human being is reduced, relationships fray, communities decline, America is fundamentally changed for the worse, lone wolves flourish, and death comes to suburban malls and city streets.

Think about it.

Shalom.

Postscript – I am oddly amused that when I write honestly of the problems I see some people shy away, while others step forward to discuss these problems.

People prefer good news to bad. I understand this.  But, where would we be without Paul Revere, a Colonial silversmith, riding from Boston to warn the countryside that “the British were coming” and that meant trouble?    

Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. (Emphasis added.)

U.S. Constitution, Art. III, Sect. 3

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Terrorist bombings in New York City and in New Jersey this weekend.

Part of a chain of anti-American attacks inspired by Muslim jihadists?  That has yet to be determined.

Yet, there is no denying that over the last twenty to twenty-five years we suffered attacks, at home and abroad, carried out by those sympathizing with jihadists, or those who have allied themselves with them.

Muslim jihadists (and those who fund and support them) are at war with the West, the United States, Christians, and Jews.

One wonders, as a result, if the voices of our citizen-malcontents of varied stripes who harbor an open, vocal and demonstrative hostility to their own country are now at the very least out of step with reality and the danger we face.

Or is their action more serious?

Do the malcontents not embolden our adversaries?  Show division and weakness? Do their words not give aid and comfort to those who chose to be our enemy?

And what of politicians who deal with states that sponsor terrorism?  And of those who talk of closing all military bases?  Others who disclose sensitive security material?  Or carelessly expose it to our adversaries?  Or those who tailor intelligence to satisfy a preferred political narrative?

What of those in leadership positions who have allowed our military to be reduced in size and readiness?  Those who have spent us carelessly into debt?  Those who have aimed their hate at police?  The flag?  Or those who purporting to serve us but saw, in the end, only race or ideology as the final determinant of policy, choice and action?

Or those “special pleaders” who bombard us with their own resentments based on gender, sexual behavior, atheism, ethnicity or other Leftist ideals and orientations?  And the pampered athletes who dishonor the flag, country and those who serve them and all of us in this time of conflict?

Who can give honor or approval to those who give such comfort or assistance to those who desire our destruction?

And who among us can provide support to a political party that hosts these malcontents, or give heed to media outlets and operations that voice perpetual national discontent with our uniquely free nation?

Think about it.

Shalom.

Irony – I, as one who grew up in Boston among some of the most inventive, rebellious, street smart, cunning and courageous people, offer this wonderful irony: Donald Trump has shown that he is simply leagues ahead of the dullards in the news media, the stodgy and stale Republican elites, and the (God-help-us) ideological and megalomaniacal Left, including the once shrew Democrat Party. How so?

He manages to throw the press (and his adversaries) sufficient concern that, while they deplore his utterances and him, proceed to chase him for comment and (they think) further calamity.

In this we see a brilliant seduction that shows who is far the smarter. This is charming and shows the talent of more than your average pup.

Folks, you got a real gem when you got a dog that is smarter than the hunter. (Insert smile here.)

We are seeing some real political genius in motion, Sports Fans.  Enjoy it.

Leadership is best when it is smarter than those who chase them with intent to maim or destroy.  Are you bright enough to see what is in plain view?  

Evil is that which kills the spirit.

M. Scott Peck, M.D., in People of the Lie

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How alert are you to things that kill the spirit, and in doing so inflict mortal wounds on you – an unsuspecting innocent?

In a way this question asks: Who do you listen to?  What do you believe?  How easily are you influenced?

Further, in secularized mass communication culture it asks: What do you read? Are you converted to an ideology?  And ideology which is bleached of faith? Which is hostile and utterly dismissive of faith?

It follows one must ask: Are you converted to The Lie?  To lies.  To lies so prominent in secular culture?  To secular culture that is, frankly, built on lies?

You might want to ask this question: Why do I see so much disorder in this culture?  So much pathology?  So much sociopathic behavior among neighbors, people in the news and the “celebrity” class?

In short, take an assessment on your spiritual welfare and the spiritual welfare of the culture you occupy.

Mind you, if evil kills the person by killing the spirit, you might ask: Am I cognizant of my vulnerability to this death of the spirit?  Am I engaged in an effort to sustain my spiritual wellbeing and guard against my death?

As a suggestion I offer this: (1) take time for your faith, (2) integrate it into your everyday life and thinking, (3) be very select about what you read or watch or listen to in secular culture, (4) distance yourself from those things that, and people who, seem to you to be instinctively suspect and likely unhealthy and damaging to you, to your soul.

Shalom.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

Rumi

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I have a friend.  He has some limitations.  His learning is slowed and he is autistic. He is very devoted to his faith. He is humble and truthful and when he is feeling well he laughs a healthy laugh.

He is a kind man who attends daily Mass and reads scripture each day.

God is central to his life. He is a good person.  He is without guile.  Loves baseball. Is a good son and sibling.  Yet, at certain points his illness appears in him in a manner that he worries that he is not good enough, that he has not “measured-up.”

It is painful to see him suffer in these concerns.

In thinking about him, I realize that God sends us very special people whose presence teaches us. My friend is a martyr – one who suffers a wound so we might see the Light.

Yes, his wound most assuredly shows the Light.

How obvious this truth is – if we but see.  Here is a man who is captivated by God and his faith – a man, at the same time, who is captured by his affliction.

Captivated by faith, and captured by affliction.  Is this not one who is Chosen?  

In contrast, look around you.  We have “public” figures who keep their secrets like they are precious religious artifacts, who lie, hide their wrong-doing, lust for money, power and sexual pleasure … and do so for years upon years.  Yes, they gain money – often ill-gotten cash, and yes, they have things – but do they tell you of their afflictions?  Do they worry about their relationship with God?  Or do they, with the privileged educations and life opportunities, lead others to a retinue of immoral objectives, and foolish and divisive demands?

My friend is in the express lane to heaven.  The famous figures I mention need not expect the same destination.  Their time will be spent rotting away, in a cold, never-ending darkness – – – quite as they have lived.  For them, a well-earned final destination.

Light or darkness, you decide.

Shalom.

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