If you see something, say nothing

It was a report of the now numbingly familiar sort. Witnesses at the synagogue in Paris recounted that an Iranian immigrant had been screaming “Allahu Akbar!” while he chased the rabbi and his son. When he finally caught up, he slashed away at them with a box-cutter, causing severe lacerations. Nevertheless, the Associated Press assured readers that “[a]n official investigation was underway to determine a possible motive.”

Quite a mystery, that.

via If you see something, say nothing by Andrew C. McCarthy – The New Criterion.

If your big media does not provide you with the truth, take action.

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Filed under Bigotry, Culture, Faith

A note for historians of the future…

Below are comments from Roger Kimball. I post them, not because I think very many – or at least, not enough – concerned (or unconcerned, for that matter) citizens will be moved to effective action because of the posting, but because, perhaps, in the days to come, far beyond the train wreck that is currently taking place, some future observer will note that the train wreck was neither completely a surprise nor completely unavoidable, but that mass apathy, nurtured by an impotent and self-absorbed generation, is absolutely necessary for the formation of any kind of tyranny. Apathy is perhaps the worst enemy of freedom, be it freedom of body or soul. Future observer, take note!

The following words come from Roger’s Rules. I emboldened some of the words.

I am contemplating the train wreck revolving around the revelations about our National Security Agency’s appetite for spying on U.S. citizens, along with the train wreck that swirls around the revelations about the deployment of the IRS for partisan vengeance, along with the train wreck that is the fiscal, administrative, and, ultimately, medical catastrophe called ObamaCare (aka, the un-affordable “Affordable Care Act”), not to mention the train wreck that was the administration’s reaction (“What difference does it make?”) to the murderous Islamic terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, along with  . . . well, you get the picture.

Thinking just about the first, the NSA part of the current entertainment, I am reminded of a friend’s note to me about how it fits in with the administration’s gradual transformation of itself into an unaccountable nomenklatura with more or less unlimited powers.  The … transformation … is the transformation of us citizens … into serfs, i.e., slaves working for a feudal master. My friend quoted Obama’s statement about the behavior of the NSA when it came to your phone / internet / banking / whatever data. “It’s important to recognize,” said the leader of the formerly free world,

that you can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society. And whatI can say is that in evaluating these programs, they make a difference in our capacity to anticipate and prevent possible terrorist activity.

As my friend noted, Obama leans toward the security side of the equation, and he does so with, so to speak, a vengeance. Right: we have to debate this issue, “but he puts his thumb on the scale. And because of the secrecy involved, no one outside his top-secret circle can make an informed judgment about the efficacy of these powers.”  Just like those unpleasant chaps in Orwell’s 1984, the fact that we are now and apparently ever shall be on a war footing means that we are living in a state of perpetual emergency, which in turn means that he, the man in charge, can do pretty much whatever he wants to whomever he wants, and so can his minions [editor’s note: in order to keep those minions “safe”]….

Few people, I think, would deny that extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures.  Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War and, in my view, he was right to do so.  But what we have here is the fabrication of perpetual emergency in order to justify the unlimited and permanent expansion of of government power. The other word for that process is tyranny. It doesn’t happen all at once. But it’s happening pretty fast.

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What Matters

From the helpful blog, Glory to God for All Things:

God matters and what matters to God matters. I know that sounds very redundant, but I’m not sure how else I want to say it. There are many things that do not matter – because they do not matter to God. Knowing the difference between the two – what matters to God and what does not requires that we know God.

And this is theology – to know God. If I have a commitment in theology, it is to insist that we never forget that it is to know God. Many of the arguments (unending) and debates (interminable) are not about what we know, but about what we think.

Thinking is not bad, nor is it wrong, but thinking is not the same thing as theology. It is, of course, possible to think about theology, but this is not to be confused with theology itself.

Knowing God is not in itself an intellectual activity for God is not an idea, nor a thought. God may be known because He is person. Indeed, He is only made known to us as person (we do not know His essence). We cannot know God objectively – that is He is not the object of our knowledge. He is known as we know a person. This is always a free gift, given to us in love. Thus knowledge of God is always a revelation, always a matter of grace, never a matter of achievement or attainment.

It matters that we know God because knowledge of God is life itself. “This is eternal life,” Jesus said, “to know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”

The Orthodox way of life is only about knowing God. Everything we do, whether it is prayer, communion, confession, forgiveness, fasting – all of it is about knowing God. If it is about something else, then it is delusion and a distraction from our life’s only purpose.

Knowing God is not a distraction from knowing other persons, nor is knowing other persons a distraction from knowing God. But, like God, knowing other persons is not the same thing as thinking about them, much less is it objectifying them.

Knowing others is so far from being a distraction from knowing God, that it is actually essential to knowing God. We cannot say we love God, whom we have not seen, and hate our brother whom we do see, St. John tells us. We only know God to the extent that we love our enemies (1 John 4:7-8).

And this matters.

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Obama uses ‘Stasi methods’, the Germans tell us

Obama has defended the intelligence-gathering system as a “modest encroachment” that Americans should be willing to accept on behalf of security.

“You cant have 100 per cent security and also then have 100 per cent privacy and zero inconvenience,” he said. “Were going to have to make some choices as a society. There are trade-offs involved.”

via Germany slams US for ‘Stasi methods’ ahead of Obama visit — RT News.

 

THEY WHO CAN GIVE UP ESSENTIAL LIBERTY TO OBTAIN A LITTLE TEMPORARY SAFETY, DESERVE NEITHER LIBERTY NOR SAFETY.

~Benjamin Franklin

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15th Antiphon

Today is suspended on a tree He who suspended the earth upon the waters.

The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns.

He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.

He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face.

The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails.

The Son of the virgin is pierced by a spear.

We worship Thy passion, O Christ.

We worship Thy passion, O Christ.

We worship Thy passion, O Christ.

Show us also Thy glorious resurrection

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May 3, 2013 · 2:59 am

I Have a Right to be Unlimited

Sprint is running a new ad pushing the merits of its data plan. While it might be a mistake to make too much of an ad, it seems appropriate to “read” them as representing the current cultural vibe, for if nothing else, advertisers are keen students of what motivates their audiences. So what, then, does this ad tell us about ourselves?

The first words: “The miraculous is everywhere. In our homes. In our minds.” The miraculous is identified with technological advances. This is obviously one way that the word “miraculous” is employed today, but consider the implications: the miraculous is merely the apparently magical work of technicians who deliver devices and applications that most of us don’t fully understand. No longer is the term “miraculous” reserved for God and His works. The miracles all around us—even in our homes and our heads—are the product of human ingenuity. And like old Bartimaeus, our new eyes reveal a world bursting with wonders.

More via I Have a Right to be Unlimited | Front Porch Republic.

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Returning from a Far Country: On the Prodigal Son

Every person possesses the image of God; every person receives the greatest grace, God’s great gifts, at the Mystery of Baptism. But starting from childhood, from infancy, we begin to squander God’s goods, receding ever further from God by our sins into a “far country.” What is this “far country”? It is a spiritual condition in which the soul is entirely full of such thoughts, feelings, impulses, words, and deeds as are characteristic of the devil alone and separate us from the Lord. And the graver the sins, and the more of them there are, the further man becomes separated from God. Thus has all mankind become separated; thus is each one of us separated from the Heavenly Father.

via Returning from a Far Country: On the Prodigal Son : A Russian Orthodox Church Website.

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