Charlie's Blog: May 2017

5.28.2017

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 47


I had to stop drinkin, cuz I got tired of waking up in my car driving ninety.
RICHARD PRYOR

1. TRUMP

I have never seen the media insane with the taste of blood for one individual like they are for President Donald J. Trump. It is a feeding frenzy for this guy. The only problem is that there is nothing for these left wing sharks to sink their teeth into. They keep going for the jugular and get a mouthful of salad. Frustrated, these ravenous fools are going after subordinates and Trump supporters in the media and on Facebook and Twitter. Some people liken this climate to a sort of pre-civil war.

What do I think of the job Trump is doing? To be honest, I am not that happy with Trump. This is mainly to do with his ineffectiveness of pushing his agenda through Congress. Whatever excuse the GOP passes on healthcare, Trump is going to slap his name on it and declare victory. The sad thing is that they can't even pass a bill in any form. Of course, a rebranded Obamacare would be a disaster for the GOP, so I'm glad it is failing. What bothers me is that Trump is making no progress with a Congress that is Republican. Reagan never had such a luxury.

The bulk of what Trump has accomplished can be undone with a few pen strokes in the next Democrat administration. We need legislation. Beyond that, I think Trump is doing well on those things he has greater control over. The executive branch is in good hands. I just want to see conservative laws hit that desk in the Oval Office for his signature.

2. TAKEN FROM TWITTER
3. SETH RICH

I believe that Seth Rich was murdered for being the DNC hacker. I'm not one to go for conspiracy theories, but this one has a stink on it that no explanation can get out. I could be wrong, but if it proved to be true, it would be a bombshell. This is why I don't understand why the media don't go after it. They won't let the Russia story go, and there is nothing there. Yet, this story is ignored by the MSM. It boggles the mind.

I won't go into the details since they are widely available in conservative and alternative media. I just know that there is strong evidence that Rich was the Wikileaks source. Regardless of the nature of his death, this alone makes it worth pursuing because it ends that Russia crap. As for the murder, if Seth Rich was the leaker, it makes it very convenient for him to wind up dead like that.

I think the truth about Seth Rich will inevitably float up to the service. When it does, I think it will shock this country to its foundations. All I can say about Democrats is that they are criminal murdering trash.

4. Q & A

Q: What is that line on your ring finger?

A: This question refers to this:


This is not a tattoo. It is a simple line drawn on a daily basis with either a Sharpie or ball point pen that takes the place of the wedding ring I never wear. I don't wear my wedding ring is for a couple of reasons. The first is that my ring fits loose and is in constant danger of falling off my finger. The second is that I am always doing blue collar work type things that makes wearing rings very dangerous. If you are an auto mechanic dealing with batteries or an electrician, this is the sort of thing you can expect when wearing conductive wedding rings on the job:


They make rings now that are non-conductive, but that still leaves the possibility of these types of injuries:


This was the type of injury that happened to this guy:


Jimmy Fallon caught the edge of something with his ring when he tripped while rumored to be intoxicated resulting in serious damage to his digit. Even guys in non-blue collar professions have to watch out.

My work and activities put me in a higher than average risk range for incurring such an injury. On the other hand, I want people to know that I'm married especially flirty females. So, out comes the Sharpie, and I have my "ring."

Some people go with wedding ring tattoos like these:


The obvious problem with these sorts of things is that the tattoos will probably outlast the marriages. I am a Roman Catholic, so my marriage is truly until death. I wouldn't have a commitment issue on the tat. But there is the aesthetic issue because tattoos are trashy. You should never get a tat that is visible when wearing normal clothes.

My drawn on ring has the benefit of a ring tat without the drawback. Plus, the daily ritual of drawing it on my finger is a push for me to renew my commitment to my beloved on a daily basis. Marriage takes effort as much as commitment, and people forget this. The tat takes momentary pain and carries the possibility of regret. The simple ink is painless but demands constant daily effort. That is what I think a good marriage should be. It is painless, but you still work at it.

5. QUOTABLE QUOTES

Feminism is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands.
G. K. CHESTERTON

So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.
MALCOLM MUGGERIDGE

If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.
THOMAS SOWELL

Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.
BLESSED JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

We become like that which we love. If we love what is base, we become base; but if we love what is noble, we become noble.
VENERABLE ARCHBISHOP FULTON SHEEN

6. LINKS OF INTEREST

Reformation or Revolution?

What’s Wrong with the American Craft-Beer Boom?

Why Do We Need The Benedict Option?

Delete His Account!

This Is How the Elite Poisons Our Culture

5.21.2017

St. John Vianney on the Holy Spirit


But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
ACTS 2:38 DOUAY-RHEIMS

My CHILDREN, how beautiful it is! The Father is our Creator, the Son is our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit is our Guide. Man by himself is nothing, but with the Holy Spirit he is very great. Man is all earthly and all animal; nothing but the Holy Spirit can elevate his mind, and raise it on high. Why were the saints so detached from the earth? Because they let themselves be led by the Holy Spirit. Those who are led by the Holy Spirit have true ideas; that is the reason why so many ignorant people are wiser than the learned. When we are led by a God of strength and light, we cannot go astray.

The Holy Spirit is light and strength. He teaches us to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and between good and evil. Like glasses that magnify objects, the Holy Spirit shows us good and evil on a large scale. With the Holy Spirit we see everything in its true proportions; we see the greatness of the least actions done for God, and the greatness of the least faults. As a watchmaker with his glasses distinguishes the most minute wheels of a watch, so we, with the light of t£e Holy Spirit, distinguish all the details of our poor life. Then the smallest imperfections appear very great, the least sins inspire us with horror. That is the reason why the most Holy Virgin never sinned. The Holy Spirit made her understand the hideousness of sin; she shuddered with terror at the least fault.

Those who have the Holy Spirit cannot endure themselves, so well do they know their poor misery. The proud are those who have not the Holy Spirit. Worldly people have not the Holy Spirit, or if they have, it is only for a moment. He does not remain with them; the noise of the world drives Him away. A Christian who is led by the Holy Spirit has no difficulty in leaving the goods of this world, to run after those of Heaven; he knows the difference between them. The eyes of the world see no further than this life, as mine see no further than this wall when the church door is shut. The eyes of the Christian see deep into eternity. To the man who gives himself up to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there seems to be no world; to the world there seems to be no God. . . . We must therefore find out by whom we are led. If it is not by the Holy Spirit, we labor in vain; there is no substance nor savor in anything we do. If it is by the Holy Spirit, we taste a delicious sweetness ... it is enough to make us die of pleasure!


Those who are led by the Holy Spirit experience all sorts of happiness in themselves, while bad Christians roll themselves on thorns and flints. A soul in which the Holy Spirit dwells is never weary in the presence of God; his heart gives forth a breath of love. Without the Holy Spirit we are like the stones on the road Take in one hand a sponge full of water, and in the other a little pebble; press them equally. Nothing will come out of the pebble, but out of the sponge will come abundance of water. The sponge is the soul filled with the Holy Spirit, and the stone is the cold and hard heart which is not inhabited by the Holy Spirit.

A soul that possesses the Holy Spirit tastes such sweetness in prayer, that it finds the time always too short; it never loses the holy presence of God. Such a heart, before our good Savior in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, is a bunch of grapes under the wine press. The Holy Spirit forms thoughts and
suggests words in the hearts of the just Those who have the Holy Spirit produce nothing bad; all the fruits of the Holy Spirit are good. Without the Holy Spirit all is cold; therefore, when we feel we are losing our fervor, we must instantly make a novena to the Holy Spirit to ask for faith and love. See, when we have made a retreat or a jubilee, we are full of good desires: these good desires are the breath of the Holy Spirit, which has passed over our souls, and has renewed everything, like the warm wind which melts the ice and brings back the spring. You who are not great saints, you still have many moments when you taste the sweetness of prayer and of the presence of God: these are visits of the Holy Spirit. When we have the Holy Spirit, the heart expands -- bathes itself in divine love. A fish never complains of having too much water, neither does a good Christian ever complain of being too long with the good God. There are some people who find religion wearisome, and it is because they have not the Holy Spirit.

If the damned were asked: Why are you in Hell? they would answer: For having resisted the Holy Spirit. And if the saints were asked. Why are you in Heaven? they would answer: For having listened to the Holy Spirit. When good thoughts come into our minds, it is the Holy Spirit who is visiting us. The Holy Spirit is a power. The Holy Spirit supported St. Simeon on his column; He sustained the martyrs. Without the Holy Spirit, the martyrs would have fallen like the leaves from the trees. When the fires were lighted under them, the Holy Spirit extinguished the heat of the fire by the heat of divine love. The good God, in sending us the Holy Spirit, has treated us like a great king who should send his minister to guide one of his subjects, saying, "You will accompany this man everywhere, and you will bring him back to me safe and sound." How beautiful it is, my children, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit! He is indeed a good Guide; and to think that there are some who will not follow Him. The Holy Spirit is like a man with a carriage and horse, who should want to take us to Paris. We should only have to say "yes," and to get into it. It is indeed an easy matter to say "yes"!. . . Well, the Holy Spirit wants to take us to Heaven; we have only to say "yes," and to let Him take us there.



The Holy Spirit is like a gardener cultivating our souls The Holy Spirit is our servant. There is a gun; well you load it, but someone must fire it and make it go off. In the same way, we have in ourselves the power of doing good. . . when the Holy Spirit gives the impulse, good works are produced. The Holy Spirit reposes in just souls like the dove in her nest. He brings out good desires in a pure soul, as the dove hatches her young ones. The Holy Spirit leads us as a mother leads by the hand her child of two years old, as a person who can see leads one who is blind.

The Sacraments which Our Lord instituted would not have saved us without the Holy Spirit. Even the death of Our Lord would have been useless to us without Him. Therefore Our Lord said to His Apostles, "It is good for you that I should go away; for if I did not go, the Consoler would not come." The descent of the Holy Spirit was required, to render fruitful that harvest of graces. It is like a grain of wheat -- you cast it into the ground; yes, but it must have sun and rain to make it grow and come into ear. We should say every morning, "O God, send me Your Spirit to teach me what I am and what You are."


5.20.2017

SOC 17


Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.
CONFUCIUS

I have been in a crisis of doublemindedness lately. This problem of the two minds is one that has afflicted me in the past. It is not a pleasant problem to have like deciding between a BMW or a Mercedes. It is more like deciding between a moped and a Yugo.

Doublemindedness comes from a choice between two options that are virtually equal in their costs and benefits. For instance, there is the choice between cheesecake and ice cream. Both are fattening and decadent but are so totally delicious. But when one is done, there will be the longing for the other. This is the fear of regret.

My doublemindedness comes from the dilemma of being a writer. With everything I write comes the regret of what I could have done with that time. As I get older, this regret becomes more acute. No one wants to waste their time because wasting time is wasting life. On the other hand, no one wants to waste talent either. The world would be a lesser place if Mozart had opted for a career as a piano tuner.

I can either waste my talent, or I can waste my time. I don't have similar dilemmas with my musical abilities because I am not talented in that regard. I don't lie awake at night regretting giving up the guitar. I basically quit it when the fun ended. The best I can ever be in music is a dilettante.

I am a writer, and that is something I will just have to learn to live with in the same way people learn to live with a chronic disease. I just need to settle it in my mind that I put words on screens and paper. I'm going to quit with the quitting. I also need to quit being lukewarm in the pursuit of writing. I have a long list of projects I want to get done on this side of the grave.

If writing is my disease, Twitter is my addiction. Unlike previous attempts to quit, I was actually very successful this time. I noticed that I had way more time on my hands when I shut down my Twitter account. The downside was that I was left with way more boredom. Boredom is not something I have experienced in some time. I always have something to do, and I always work to exhaustion. This leads to five minutes of stop which leads to four hours of sleep. Basically, I am either awake doing something or asleep trying to recharge. Without writing or tweeting, I was stuck with large blocks of nothing to do and lots of time to do it. I didn't like it.

Twitter is an extension of writing especially when you write about religion and politics. This is why so many journalists and politicians and even the President and the Pope use the service.  I've used other social media, but they never held my attention like Twitter. As for GAB, it merely serves as a future home should Twitter decide to expunge conservatives like me. Until it reaches a critical mass, I will use it sparingly.

So, I am a hopeless writer and tweeter. The reality is that when I get frustrated in my life I want to blame those two things for my inability to get things done. They are "distractions." But when I purged those distractions, I still didn't get anything done. My problem isn't distraction. It is laziness.

I am lazy. No one says that about me because my work ethic is above average. This is merely because the average is so low these days. This is why I choose not to use comparison with others as any true measuring rod. Instead, I hold myself to an extreme standard which has always eluded me. I don't get things done that I know need to get done.

People may consider this mindset to be extreme, but I don't. Jesus worked really hard. He worked hard as a carpenter, and He worked hard when He left those tools to pursue his public ministry. How do I know this? The fact that He could fall asleep in a boat on a stormy sea indicates that He was someone with very full days that pushed Him to exhaustion.


The Gospels are full of small details like this. Jesus had an awesome work ethic. Sometimes, I feel bad that I can sit in a chair and fall out in just a few minutes. This comes from working long hours and sleeping few hours. Yet, this is how Jesus lived. No servant is above his master. When I fall asleep this way, I just remember Jesus in the boat.

My cross is exhaustion. I always talk about the lack of time, money, and energy. But I have to admit that I have all the time and money I need. With the energy thing, I remember lamenting to God that I was always tired, and I was hit with this sort of epiphany about exhaustion. It was a command to work even though I was exhausted. For instance, I like to write after a good night's sleep, yet the command was to write even in the late hours after a grueling day at work. Somehow, the labors performed while exhausted counted more than the ones I did from rest and refreshment. It reminded me of that Navy SEAL wisdom that when you feel completely done that you are only at 40% of what is in you. There is a lot of truth to that as I have done some amazing things after I had reached my quitting point and ignored it.

I think a great deal of pain and exhaustion is purely mental. This is not merely a personal speculation and madness but is the basis of the theory of the central governor. The gist of this theory is that the brain induces sensations of fatigue as a protective response to maintain homeostasis. This is why exercise always begins in pain and ends in pleasure. When you exercise, you are overriding the central governor in your brain telling you to conserve energy, avoid injury, etc. If you can push through this resistance, you will find the famous "second wind." If you are a Navy SEAL, you will find a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth wind.

The fact is that our minds almost always give out before our bodies. The human body is capable of amazing feats of endurance. You won't find anything identical to it in the animal kingdom. Consequently, I don't think you need to fear working yourself to death. You might work yourself into sleep deprivation and marital breakdown, but your body will be just fine with it.


This leads to my other epiphany. Go ahead and bite off more than you can chew. I have done this, and it wasn't pleasant. But it was awesome. This practice pushes you to places you didn't know you could go. I think God has purposely made my life hard and frustrating for this reason. So much of our prayers are focused on external conditions instead of internal reserves. As Pope Benedict XVI put it so well, "You were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness."

We always pray for our crosses to be taken from us instead of praying for the strength to carry those crosses. God is not going to answer prayers for comfort. He will always answer prayers for strength. Like a good parent, God does not spoil us. He is demanding, but He knows best.

I have this thing called my "minimalist impulse" which is a leftover of the influence of this guy. Leo's advice for living is pretty basic. Pare down everything to a few things and relentlessly focus. Then, you will succeed. So, the result of this minimalist lifestyle is that you post a few times a week on your blog, get some exercise and sleep, and learn to live in the chill zone. Basically, you should bite off less than you can chew. Does it work? Of course!

The goal of minimalism is to make life as easy as possible. It is the philosophy of quitting. It is a mix of Epicurus and Zen Buddhism. But is it Christian? Heck no. Jesus was poor, but He wasn't a minimalist. He poured Himself out in working and giving. I have always been down with living a simple life in terms of material things. This is wisdom embraced by many religious and philosophical traditions. Life is more than houses and bling. But so much minimalism is about living a simple lifestyle in order to work less and do less. This is garbage. You want to live simply in order to work more and do more. It all hinges on the fact that this working more and doing more is for the sake of God and others. Minimalism as espoused is simply selfishness on a smaller budget.

As a Catholic, I have three role models to look to in order to emulate. The first is Jesus. The second is the Virgin Mary. The third is St. Joseph. All three of them were simple. humble, hard working, and selfless. As a layman and a husband, St. Joseph is the one I look to the most. That guy was blue collar. He didn't say much. He just put his head down and did what had to be done for his family. I don't think St. Joseph would be spending his weekends working on his golf game or putting a nice coat of wax on his Corvette. The man was a worker.


There is no happiness in living for yourself. I reject the old McDonald's slogan that said that you deserve a break today. I think there is nothing wrong with taking a break, but the troubling word in the slogan is "deserve." Unfortunately, this slogan has worked its poison into other areas such that people believe they deserve a fancy new car, a trip to the Bahamas, or an adulterous fling with an exciting new lover. Sad as I am to admit it, I have heard various people tell me they deserved each of these three things.

I don't believe I deserve anything except Hell. The fact that God forgives me and still blesses me in spite of my unworthiness makes me very grateful. And when I offer up my works and sufferings to Him, they are out of gratitude. It is a duty and a privilege to make these offerings to Him.


St. Josemaria gives an illustration of a trashcan used to hold flowers. We find our beauty and purpose in holding those flowers. But we must never forget that we are still trashcans. The moment we think we are better than those flowers we delude ourselves. To be a good trashcan, we need to empty out the trash and provide for those flowers. This is sanctity. It is in forgetting ourselves that we become truly beautiful and find our greatest purpose.

That is all I have for now. I needed to prime the writing pump again, and these SOC posts always do the trick. The simple fact is that writing is my only real leisure activity. I do not hunt, fish, or play golf. I write which seems like a better hobby because it looks a lot like work. I like working.