April 12, 2021

Spontaneous Human Combustion and Other Worries

I read an email from The Dispatch (Jonah Goldberg's outfit) and it was hard not to think of the path not taken by my cousin Joe. It was written by journalist Rachael Larimore, from Cincy, who graduated OU in 1995, a very similar life path to Joe without the career results. He now toils in a far less glamorous job unrelated to journalism while she's a managing editor. I pondered fate when I read her story: 

"When I chose to go to OU all those many years ago, it was in many ways a practical decision. It had a highly ranked journalism school, which is what I wanted to study, and in-state tuition made it affordable. I was close enough to home that I could visit occasionally, but not so close that I could show up at home on a Saturday morning and beg my mom to do my laundry."

That would make her about 47, a few years older than Joe. She entered journalism before the jobs crashed due to Craig’s List and later Facebook. I’m guessing Joey is 43 now making them near contemporaries. But she entered the workforce in 1995 and he probably around 2000.  Newspaper revenues fell like a downed rocket beginning in 2000, an economic Great Depression for the industry. Certainly Joe had precious little time to break into that type of job if he desired to do so and the talent required to enter a dying field would necessarily be rare. 

As Warren Buffet said of newspaper decline:  “Simply put, if cable and satellite broadcasting, as well as the Internet, had come along first, newspapers as we know them probably would never have existed."

If Joe seems to be an underachiever then Jesus himself might’ve seemed a failure in the eyes of the world at age 30 before his public ministry. 

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I made it a priority today to find on google maps where the poet Donald Hall lived.  For some reason it felt important to concretize the airy dream of his descriptions of his farm in New Hampshire. I wanted to see it with Google in the way I wanted to see the Shroud of Turin as physical proof of Christ’s death and resurrection.  After a lot of fits and starts I located the cuss; the 1803-built house and 160 acres near the bottom edge of Eagle Pond, a mysterious Elysium come to life via the prying surveillance of Google maps. 

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Later during a workout I listened to Jimmy Akin talk about spontaneous human combustion.  So far the takeaway is that thin nudists will never have that issue.  I commend you all to the podcast “Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World” for further details. Being neither thin nor a nudist, I’m unrelieved of worry.

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I had to laugh at the Drudge (the modern day doomsday report I normally try to avoid) about covid strains being resistant to the Pfizer vaccine. All this trouble to get vaccinated and perhaps for naught. The anti-vaccers may have the last laugh. After a year of disruption and semi-heroic efforts, I think at some point we’ll all be ready to just die in the streets if that’s what it takes to burn out the covid strains.  Virus 1, world 0. 

In a similar fatalistic vein, I feel 2020 marked the epochal turning point at which the nation is set furiously on disunion, the rubicon passed. I’m finally at the point ol’ Hambone was back circa 2011: "burn it down".  The surreal insult to legislators in Georgia attempting to make elections secure just feels all of a piece, that 50% of us have no home here anymore. I'm with Texas, wherever she goes. 

April 09, 2021

Library of the Unabomber

After watching the show Manhunt: Unabomber last night I checked out a website that showed his cabin and saw a photo of his books. Inveterate book snoop that I am, I googled some of the titles. Turns out they weren’t much out of the mainstream except for a taste for literature on revolutions. Loved him revolutions. A wee bit shy on religious literature and Bibles, shockingly.  It seems his historical preoccupations centered narrowly on 1848 European revolt, conquest of Latin America, and Russian revolution. The lack of poetry or fiction reminds me a bit of Chesterton’s madman as one over-relying on reason; Kaczinsky is, after all, a math whiz. 

1. Revolution and Reaction 1848-1852, by Geoffrey Bruun  

2. Many Mexicos -Lesley Simpson

3. Zapata and the Mexican Revolution - J. Womack

4. Conquest of Peru - W. Prescott

5. Conquest of New Spain - Diaz

6. Conquest of Mexico - W. Prescott

7. The Origins of the Latin American Revolutions: 1808-1826, Humphreys/Lynch

8. A history of the Middle Ages, 284-1500 by Sidney Painter

9. Russia a History by Sidney Harcave

10. New Understandings in Administration by Harleigh Trecker, 1961, a social worker and studier of how groups and committees get work done. 

11. The World of the Maya by Victor W. Von Hagen

12. Baroque Times in Old Mexico: Seventeenth-Century Persons, Places, and Practices by Irving Leonard 

13. Guides to learning Latin, Russian, and Spanish. 

14. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

15. Deerslayer and Last of the Mohicans

16. The Forest People, about indigenous peoples 

17. My Lives in Russia - Markoosha

Review of the last:

“My Lives in Russia is a wartime attempt [1944] to put lipstick on the Stalinist International Socialist dictatorship with whom ‘we’ were allied during the war against the National Socialist dictatorship. But it is a valuable book to compare with Ayn Rand's "We The Living." Both books cover the same country in overlapping eras. The difference is in the slant and spin Markoosha and Ayn put on their depiction of the same objective facts. The exact same events are soul-crushing descents into suffering and despair in one book, and necessary sacrifices joyously endured for the good of the collective in the other. Anyone interested in comparisons and frames-of-reference as applied to values will find this a very informative read.”

April 07, 2021

The Mystery of Raffensperger

Since the '20 election I've been fascinated by the tale of GA Sec. of State Raffensperger, his meteoric rise in politics and his trustworthiness.  An older gent with no history of political ambition, he suddenly ran for a lowly GA House seat in 2015. (Spoiler: by 2018 he was running the state's election system.) 

On January 6th, 2015 he had a problem though. He could not clear 50% of the votes in the special election* for the House seat, and so had a bitter run-off with opponent Kelly Stewart on Feb 3rd. A nail-biter of a race, he had one month to win it.  He went to the local Chinese community and said, "just get me 100 votes" which sounds eerily like Trump's phone call to him later. Of course he was saying it prior to the election so there's that...

And nothing wrong in asking for votes of course. 

But we know that Chinese spies were very active in our politics at this period. Swalwell's spy-lover was very active herself from 2011 through 2015:

She used political gatherings, civic society conferences, campaign rallies, and campus events to connect with elected officials... U.S. intelligence officials believed she was overseeing likely unwitting subagents whom she helped place in local political and congressional offices.

Fang attended regional conferences for U.S. mayors, which allowed her to grow her network of politicians across the country. She also engaged in sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors of Midwestern cities over a period of about three years. 

Sen. Feinstein's spy was also active during the same period, with the FBI showing up at the Senator's office in 2013 to warn her. 

Chris Wray acknowledged the threat Chinese spying in particular poses, saying, “China from a counterintelligence perspective represents the broadest, most pervasive, most threatening challenge we face as a country.”

So we have this Raffensperger fellow desperate for votes in this seemingly minor governmental position, perhaps in need of money, the grand money that all politics brings nowadays - and is meeting with a group of politically attuned native-born Chinese who, wittingly or unwittingly, had agents among them.  

* - the special election resulted when Lynne Riley was plucked by ethically challenged Gov. Deal (in trouble previously for having "office staff pressure Georgia officials to continue the state vehicle inspection program that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for his family's auto salvage business"); Reilly was later chosen by present Gov. Kemp as State Treasurer. Riley, Stewart, and Raffensperger all hail from John's Creek, GA, a town of 80,000 and apparently a hotbed of aspiring pols.

Late model political careers suit Georgians: Govs Deal and Kemp, Sec Raffensperger, Treasure Riley all got relative late starts after owning businesses (likely seeing how business and politics intersected and noting where the money was). 

April 06, 2021

The Verboten Book

It's fascinating to see how the mere idea of election fraud is treated like the ebola virus by the elites: they must eradicate, contain, quarantine any suggestion of fraud.  Is challenging Dominion Voting really the same as calling for the extermination of Jews?  Yet they are treated the same. 

For example,  a search for Mein Kampf is found as top search result on Amazon. 

While, hilariously, I watched in real time as The Deep Rig by Patrick Byrne became progressively harder to reach via Amazon's search engine. His bestselling ebook really got their attention.  In the first couple weeks, you could search for "Deep Rig" and find it among the first results. Then I noticed it would auto-change the word "rig" to "ring" and look for books around the title "Deep Ring".  This seemed odd. 

But that was a temporary measure because a couple days later I could type "deep rig" successfully in their search bar though it did not bring up Bryne's in pages of results.  But I noticed I could still type "Patrick Byrne" and get the result wanted. 

But that still wasn't enough.  The algo was tweaked again and they've thwarted that avenue. They are making sure the only way to find it is via direct links from other users. 

This review, by K. Martin, is represenative: 

5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Difficult to Find Must Read

Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2021

I searched for this book on Amazon, VERY difficult to find. Curious, it isn’t difficult to find about any book I want- Amazon often finds books/products with obscure search terms but for some reason this one is hard to locate, even searching for the title- “The Deep Rig” comes up with everything BUT the book. It’s almost as if algorithms are written to discourage idly curious people from finding and therefore buying this.

I read Byrne’s observations/account as he wrote them, I think it was a 6-part series on his website, almost a blog. I was absolutely mesmerized by the topic, his firsthand experience, what he uncovered, how he did it, why and the very fact that he spent tens of millions of dollars- his own money and by his account somewhere close to half of his entire net worth to pursue the truth- by a man who didn’t vote for President Trump appears to be entirely altruistic, unnervingly rare today- it seems that everyone has an angle, something to gain and his story is both fascinating and nauseating. I didn’t want to believe the depth and breadth of corruption in our country, in each of its agencies and to learn of this was insightful while disgusting, difficult to accept but easy to believe- the United States is in real trouble and on a level, depth and breadth that appears to be impregnable- there are just too many powerful people with too much to lose and it appears that all of the safeguards that the founders put into place to avoid the situation that we are in have not failed us, the people entrusted and sworn to defend and protect these documents and therefore us...the governed have most certainly failed us.

I see no easy solutions however continue to believe that the clown show of illegitimate leadership that “leads” the country today is a house of cards that must fall. The fact remains that our elected leadership will be held accountable- clearly vote fraud must be solved before anything substantive will change but I see no alternative. I have no idea how this might play out, how this might be solved but I simply refuse to believe that this is the end of our republic, this is where it all ends, this is the end of the road for the United States of America and therefore the end of the free world.

Of course I could be wrong, this very well may be the end but I still hold out hope and pray daily for a return to integrity, truth, justice and good over evil.

The political class stepped over the line long ago, they forgot that this doesn’t work from the top down and I simply do not believe that Americans will allow our country to be lost, to be stolen right in front of us. I don’t know anyone who believes that everything is normal, that it’s just another day, another administration, just another year. We are living in historic times and because of Patrick Byrne and others we know the truth, he has done our country an incalculably valuable service in investigating, documenting and disseminating the truth, giving us all the opportunity to make this right.

I am incredibly grateful for this man and his teams. Our country owes a debt of gratitude to all involved.

March 30, 2021

Seven Takes

Life was scary as a kid. I remember seeing TV depictions of quicksand and I actually thought that was a not completely unlikely death. Same thing with spontaneous internal combustion stories in the National Enquirer.  I can still remember my flesh crawling when reading about one in the 1970s, surely right after Mom brought the tabloid home along with the cinnamon bread that I liked to eat. 

It probably didn’t help to read Ripley’s Believe it Or Not!, which sometimes had a ghoulish aspect. Much worse was the horror of a local murder of a family at Easter, which was our generation’s Manson family killings.  Add to it the grisly details of the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire and the ‘70s were sort of harrowing for tender youth. 

Other events didn’t effect me at all. The Who concert debacle where some people died due to too crowded conditions didn’t seem as terrifying. Elvis’s death also; he seemed pretty old to me at the time.  Now not so much...

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It’s interesting to consider there is spiritual gluttony and not just the eat and drink variety.  For example, I was always kind of envious of St. Paul, who received a special visitation from Christ. I didn’t grasp how much turmoil his life was thereafter, including prison and amputation of the head. 

But even St. Paul could’ve been spiritually gluttonous if he’d wanted. He could’ve yearned for more visitations, including while he was being shipwrecked or imprisoned or whatnot.  And he also could’ve yearned to have been one of the Twelve, to have gotten to know the human Jesus and witnessed the miracles, like the changing of water into wine or the feeding of the five thousand, himself. 

But the funny thing he wasn’t spiritually gluttonous because he didn’t need to be since he - and all of us - have all the Jesus we desire. God is omnipresent. There was no less Holy Spirit when Paul was in prison singing hymns than when Peter was on the mount of Transfiguration. 

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Great Heather King post: 
Christ’s death on the Cross made it possible for someone like me to be propped up, one day at a time, sufficiently to participate in life, to contribute in some small way, to feel occasional stabs of joy.

And to those who think attendance at Mass is the mark of a small, confined, rigid, parochial, lemming-like worldview, to me there is and could be nothing wider, deeper, higher than the sacrifice re-enacted on the altar. Nothing more sublime, nothing more mysterious, nothing more astonishing, nothing more counterintuitive, nothing that opens onto more infinite vistas. Nothing more unexpected, nothing more radical, nothing more of love. Nothing I deserve less– than to “stand in your presence and minister to you”–as the Eucharistic prayer runs.
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Cold and windy day follows sunny warm day. Rinse and repeat.  March giveth, and March taketh away.  

Ah Florida, sweet Florida. Glory days in the sun with 4pm beach beers and the promise of margaritas dancing in our heads. The panache of the Gene bookstores. The tucked-away bike paths. The yore of the yearn, the yearn of the yore. The glad-handling of groceries delivered as if by magic wand.  The morning walks and dusk strolls and the constant variety of seashells. The walk out pool.  The gator’d pond and jungled fringes.
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Patrick Byrne suggests in 6-8 weeks the whole election scam will exposed to all. Obviously the track record of the good guys on this has been spotty. But would be a great hopeful sign if the rot in our system would be exposed.  If it does get exposed National Review is certainly dead to me, as well as any conservative media who similarly treated election fraud as a joke.  
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From St. Ephraim The Evergetinos:
"Take care, my brothers and sisters, for the Evil One wars against spiritual strugglers in sundry ways. He works against man with unimaginably hypocritical cleverness. Thus, before sin is committed, the enemy diminishes its significance in the eye of the strugglers. More than any other sin, he puts before them the desire for fleshly pleasure as such a small thing that, prior to succumbing to it, it appears as insignificant to the conscience of a brother or sister as throwing a glass of cold water on the ground. When, however, the fleshly desire is fulfilled, then the Evil One greatly puffs up the sin in the conscience of the sinner, kindling in his soul numberless thoughts of despair, like black waves from Hell, so that the brother’s good thoughts of repentance are submerged and he is hurled into the depths of hopelessness."