Thursday, July 18, 2013

We Are Called to be Saints

Boy, do I ever feel unworthy of that ambition!

From Catholic Stand:
We are called to be saints. Granted, it is a rather lofty directive. Few people ever really feel up to the challenge. We struggle with our earthly duties and challenges while viewing sainthood as a celestial attainment reserved for “the chosen.” However, Scripture clearly tells us that we must“strive for that holiness, without which you will not see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14) Yet how often do we view people who seek holiness with skepticism and criticism? Perhaps the doubts are not about the person’s sincerity in achieving conversion, but more about the uncertainty of achieving our own sainthood.

From that perspective, I REALLY am spinning my wheels - not only am I hopeless in accomplishing anything on this Earth, but I'm failing miserably in Heavenly accomplishments, as well.

Have I sinned greatly - well, too much for comfort, but, compared to others, not that badly.

But I can't measure myself against the rest of the world - what counts is that I act according to the best that I am able.

We need to begin organizing ourselves into something like this Mastermind Group - but, not with secular purpose - instead, with spiritual growth as our goal.  As was suggested in my study group's reading this spring, we need to have regular meetings with a study group, dedicated to providing support for our achieving our spiritual best.

Click on the link for a free copy of the book that got me so excited - it only costs shipping and handling for a single copy.  6 copies are only $3/each.

4 signs

Monday, July 15, 2013

WHY the Comprehensive Immigration Bill is a BAD Idea

It's going to hurt the poorer Americans - those that are CITIZENS, who live here LEGALLY.


Some of them are White Americans.  MANY of them are Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Who-Knows Americans.


So, why are you against Black People?  Who, BTW, currently have an unemployment rate of more than 40%.


Here's a brief look at the numbers behind the bill, and how those numbers are being manipulated by special interests and advocates to make it LOOK as though this bill will be good for poor people.


Take note of those numbers, and get clear the difference between an overall rise in the wealth of the nation, and a PER CAPITA rise.  Use this as part of your Conservative Self-Education.  Focus on the impact that this bill has on minorities, and, remember, ONE factoid at a time.


That's how we will wear down resistance to reality - one slowly dripping fact at a time.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Waiting for a Verdict

The mood on Facebook and the blogs is grim.  Nobody likes to think about the possible outcomes:

  • Zimmerman is acquitted - riots destroy not only Sanford, but possibly other cities

  • Zimmerman is convicted of SOMETHING - probably NOT 2nd degree murder, but manslaughter - a man loses a good portion of his life and money, although not objectively guilty of the crime

  • Hung jury - contrary to the idea that this would be GOOD for Zimmerman, it just puts off the inevitable.  The next jury thinks, he got lucky the first time, and convicts him (particularly since Zimmerman is unlikely to have the cash for another set of lawyers).  If not prosecuted, see first bullet point (no pun intended).

Sultan Knish has a rather thoughtful piece about these cases, and why they so often involve the lower-middle classes.

The fact is, Zimmerman's neighborhood was being victimized by thugs.  The residents did not have the money to escape the problems.  Society thought that the rights of the perps were more important than the right of Zimmerman and his neighbors to be safe in their own homes.

Was Martin one of those thugs?  Who really knows?  There was no direct evidence at the scene to prove that he was - on the other hand, he apparently had time enough to go back to his father's fiancee's house and stash anything incriminating.  He may well have been just what his family and friends said - a kid in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That having been said, he had NO right to attack Zimmerman, let alone to smash his head in concrete.  That Zimmerman felt threatened was a natural extension of Martin's actions.  So, in that sense, the killing was justified.

It is, in all ways, a Shakespearean tragedy.  Hubris, youthful aggression, family dynamics, death.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Preaching to the Choir

Here's an example of a post that should ONLY be forwarded to someone who is already on-board with the Conservative agenda:

It contains good arguments, links, and multiple examples of WHY elected Republicans should be like sharks circling a downed animal, nipping at the perimeters.

Great, right? PERFECT for sending to a Liberal-leaning friend/relative!

Ah, NO!

It's TOO much at once - remember the Cardinal Rule - NEVER overwhelm an on-the-fence potential recruit with facts.

Instead, use a SINGLE fact, and get agreement:

  • Gee, it seems like using the IRS to attack your political opponents might not be a good precedent, don't you agree? (use of a psuedo-question, single issue, mildly stated - all good)

  • I don't know, this Dr. in Philadelphia- Kermit, wasn't that his name - didn't seem to properly protect his patients against infection. Imagine, letting cats wander around a sterile area, not sterilizing instruments, letting untrained people administer drugs! (Offer to send a link to a SHORT FACTUAL article from a mainstream source).

  • (Neutral subject - not directly related to Liberal/Conservative) This is something you should think about - ask FIRST how they feel about a subject, and LISTEN - for example: "I've been hearing about this Edward Snowden character who released information about the NSA surveillance of Americans. Some are saying he's a hero, others a traitor. I don't really know what to think - what do you think?" This is great for getting a sense of what concerns that person.

  • Send this link to someone - ask - simply - do you agree?

  • Ask: Do you agree with this link?

In every case, note the neutral tone - NOT designed to persuade, but to gather information about their leanings. You really shouldn't waste your knowledge on a rabid opponent; still more important, don't push someone too far beyond their comfort zone at a single meeting. Instead, think of your efforts as the steady drip, drip of a leaky faucet. Slow, persistent, eventually wearing away granite.

I'm reminded of the Revolutionary Fathers - all were dedicated to the work of years - which is what it took to finally ignite the Revolution. They were friendly, helpful, and a good source of news. They led by letting others make the decision for themselves.

You can't persuade people - you can only lead them to discover the facts, and support their gradual change of mind.

Third Parties in America

Once again, talk of a 3rd party has surfaced. Often, this is seen as a futile effort, and arguments opposing it are standard established wisdom.

After reading this, I'm not so sure. Check out the link, and post a comment.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vegetative States Revisited

There's a link to a story about a man who was presumed to be comatose for 23 years.  When a state-of-the-art PET scanner was used, doctors found that the man's brain was functioning normally.

But, he was paralyzed and unable to speak.

He lived in a nightmare of inability to communicate with the rest of the world.  Thankfully, he has been hooked up to a device by which he can "talk" to others.

My big objection to the euthanasia of Terry Shiavo was the fierce determination of her husband NOT to determine whether or not she had any consciousness left.  In other words, he WANTED to think of her as "non-human", so he could put her down like a dog.

Scratch that.  Dogs are better treated than Terry was.  She was slowly starved and dehydrated over a period of weeks.

A Picture That Sums Up America

I found this on Ace of Spades.  LOVED the sentiment!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First Lesson - Conservative Self-Education

I found this post on American Thinker, and thought it emphasized an important point:

Control the language

Don't let the pro-abortion people (or any other Leftist group) define the issues in THEIR words. Replace 20 weeks with 6 months - it's the same time period, but put in words that most people have a general sense of, in terms of fetal development.

My advice to folks talking about this is to use "six months" instead of "20 weeks." Emphasize the familiar: we all know what six months of pregnancy looks like. Banning abortions after 20 weeks means banning abortions inside the sixth month. 20 weeks is almost clinical and nobody really thinks in those terms, anyway.
We all have an instinctive feel for two weeks' time, four weeks' time, maybe even six weeks' time. But after that, most people think in terms of months. And, as I said, everybody knows what six months of pregnancy looks like. There's no way to make the usual intellectual dodge -- "it's just a clump of cells" work at that point. Not even close.

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As always, the best


Bullies on the Left

One sad facet of our divided political structure is that a small group can use it to push an agenda that almost all of the rest of us DON'T want. So many come to mind, but let's just take ONE:

The agitation to drive Christian adoption agencies out of business, on the grounds that they won't violate their religious principles to allow gay couples to adopt.

A recent book by Kathryn Joyce is drawing attention for its demonization of the Christian orphan care movement. This attention highlights the unseen reality that faith-based child welfare agencies regularly come under attack by state action designed to force them to either abandon their constitutionally protected religious beliefs, or lose their ability to serve orphaned and vulnerable children. With an estimated global orphan population of 153 million, children, not politics, should come first.

People of principle should not have to abandon them to suit the changing political atmosphere. Or in the words of the Communist Saint, Lillian Hellman:

I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashion.

Read the article at the link for further examples.