Why do we do what we do?


(Ian Charleson, playing Eric Liddell, leads the cast on the sands of St. Andrews)

Is it just me or does it seem that our news headlines have recently been inundated
with the stories about the struggles of our Nation’s younger athletic phenoms.

And in struggles I don’t mean physical ailments or injuries but rather
mental health struggles.

Earlier this year, twenty three year old tennis great Naomi Osaka
withdrew from playing in the Wimbledon Open due to anxiety, depression
and stress…

Isn’t that pretty much the life of training and competing for athletes?
Anxiety?
Stress?
Depression from the agony of defeat??

And then just yesterday, gymnastics superstar Simone Biles withdrew from
Olympic Competition due, also, to “mental health” issues.

Recently I watched several of the Olympic Gymnastic events and noticed that,
for the girl’s US team, there just wasn’t that usual spunk, no joie de vive.
The camaraderie and banter, along with the hugs and smiles, appeared to be
few and far between…
And yes I remember there’s a pandemic but this goes beyond that.

The familiar unity, the smiles, the group support did not seem as apparent
with this Olympic girl’s squad as it has in the past.
Not until Simone withdrew and an apparent invisible weight lifted from
her shoulders.

Maybe it’s just me but I’ve sensed more trepidation.
and heaviness then I have a typical competitive team energy.

Of course there should always be those serious game faces,
but there’s just not that emblematic team embrace as with teams prior.

Compare this year’s girl’s team to the men’s team.

This year’s men’s squad has seemed to be working as a cohesive unit of solidarity
despite working as individuals as well as a team unit….
but the girls…
well something has just seemed off with both team and individuals.

The aged stoic in me, who I might add has never ever competed at such
a level as an Olympian but who had always participated in team sports
while growing up say’s ‘suck it up buttercup, this is the Olympics’

Biles was at least seen laughing and cutting up after she “quit” and
thus the pressure was gone…or so it seemed.

And yet a more reflective part of me looks at what we as a society
do to our athletes by putting them up on platforms of worship.
Our expectations, the media’s obsession and the constant buzzing in the
ear and mind from all things Social Media are all heavy weights placed on kids
who push and push and push, year after year after year to be…the best of the best
at all costs.

Yet what of the competitive, the win at any cost athletes?
Think Tom Brady, Michael Phelps et el.

But costs for what???

So at first, I thought I wanted to write a post about things based on
snowflakes, coddeledness, spoiled, whining, golden calves…but rather…
something else popped into my head.

Growing up in the Episcopal Church the Hymn Jerusalem was and remains
a favorite of mine.
Hauntingly beautiful.
And yet despite it being a true English hymn and considered a quasi British National
Anthem…it moves my heart.

The hymn is based on a poem by William Blake and according to Wikipedia…

“And did those feet in ancient time” is a poem by William Blake
from the preface to his epic Milton:
A Poem in Two Books, one of a collection of writings known as the Prophetic Books.
The date of 1804 on the title page is probably when the plates were begun,
but the poem was printed c. 1808.[1]
Today it is best known as the hymn “Jerusalem”,
with music written by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916.
The famous orchestration was written by Sir Edward Elgar.

The poem was supposedly inspired by the apocryphal story that a young Jesus,
accompanied by Joseph of Arimathea, a tin merchant,
travelled to what is now England and visited Glastonbury
during his unknown years.
[2] Most scholars reject the historical authenticity of this story
out of hand, and according to British folklore scholar
A. W. Smith, “there was little reason to believe that an oral
tradition concerning a visit made by Jesus to Britain existed
before the early part
of the twentieth century”.[3]
The poem’s theme is linked to the Book of Revelation
(3:12 and 21:2) describing a Second Coming, wherein Jesus establishes
a New Jerusalem.
Churches in general, and the Church of England in particular,
have long used Jerusalem as a metaphor for Heaven,
a place of universal love and peace.[a]

In the most common interpretation of the poem,
Blake implies that a visit by Jesus would briefly create heaven in England,
in contrast to the “dark Satanic Mills” of the Industrial Revolution.
Blake’s poem asks four questions rather than asserting the historical
truth of Christ’s visit.
Thus the poem merely wonders if there had been a divine visit,
when there was briefly heaven in England.[4][5]
The second verse is interpreted as an exhortation to create an ideal
society in England, whether or not there was a divine visit.[6][7]

So my mind drifted to one of my most favorite movies…Chariots of Fire.

The movie, the soundtrack…each became an integral part of me.
I went to showing after showing and I eventually bought the CD…
sans video cassette.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie, the story…
is a true tale.

The movie came out in 1981 but the true tale reaches back to the early 20th century.

Again…here is what Wikipedia has to share about the plot…

In 1919, Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) enters the University of Cambridge,
where he experiences anti-Semitism from the staff,
but enjoys participating in the Gilbert and Sullivan club.
He becomes the first person ever to complete the Trinity Great Court Run,
running around the college courtyard in the time it takes for the clock to strike 12,
and achieves an undefeated string of victories in various national
running competitions.
Although focused on his running, he falls in love with Sybil (Alice Krige),
a leading Gilbert and Sullivan soprano.

Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), born in China of Scottish missionary parents,
is in Scotland.
His devout sister Jennie (Cheryl Campbell) disapproves of Liddell’s plans
to pursue competitive running, but Liddell sees running as a way
of glorifying God before returning to China to work as a missionary.

When they first race against each other, Liddell beats Abrahams.
Abrahams takes it poorly, but Sam Mussabini (Ian Holm),
a professional trainer whom he had approached earlier, offers to take him on
to improve his technique.
This attracts criticism from the Cambridge college masters
(John Gielgud and Lindsay Anderson), who allege it is not gentlemanly
for an amateur to “play the tradesman” by employing a professional coach.
Abrahams dismisses this concern, interpreting it as cover for
anti-Semitic and class-based prejudice.

When Liddell accidentally misses a church prayer meeting because of his running,
his sister Jennie upbraids him and accuses him of no longer caring about God.
Eric tells her that though he intends to return eventually to the China mission,
he feels divinely inspired when running, and that not to run would be to
dishonour God, saying “I believe that God made me for a purpose.
But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

(bold is mine)

The two athletes, after years of training and racing, are accepted
to represent Great Britain in the 1924 Olympics in Paris.
Also accepted are Abrahams’ Cambridge friends,
Lord Andrew Lindsay (Nigel Havers), Aubrey Montague (Nicholas Farrell),
and Henry Stallard (Daniel Gerroll).

While boarding the boat to France for the Olympics,
Liddell discovers the heats for his 100-metre race will be on a Sunday.
He refuses to run the race, despite strong pressure from the Prince of Wales
and the British Olympic Committee, because his Christian convictions
prevent him from running on the Lord’s Day.

A solution is found thanks to Liddell’s teammate Lindsay,
who, having already won a silver medal in the 400 metres hurdles,
offers to give his place in the 400-metre race on the following
Thursday to Liddell, who gratefully accepts.
Liddell’s religious convictions in the face of national athletic pride
make headlines around the world.

Liddell delivers a sermon at the Paris Church of Scotland that Sunday,
and quotes from Isaiah 40, ending with “But they that wait
upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Abrahams is badly beaten by the heavily favoured United States runners
in the 200 metre race. He knows his last chance for a medal will be the 100 metres.
He competes in the race, and wins. His coach Sam Mussabini,
who was barred from the stadium, is overcome that the years of dedication
and training have paid off with an Olympic gold medal.
Now Abrahams can get on with his life and reunite with his girlfriend Sybil,
whom he had neglected for the sake of running.

Before Liddell’s race, the American coach remarks dismissively to his
runners that Liddell has little chance of doing well in his now, far longer,
400 metre race. But one of the American runners, Jackson Scholz,
hands Liddell a note of support, quoting 1 Samuel 2:30
“He that honors Me I will honor”.
Liddell defeats the American favourites and wins the gold medal.

The British team returns home triumphant.
As the film ends, onscreen text explains that Abrahams married Sybil
and became the elder statesman of British athletics.
Liddell went on to missionary work in China.
All of Scotland mourned his death in 1945 in Japanese-occupied China.

And so as I reflect upon our young American athletes who are having a difficult
time with their various world stages, I remember Chariots of Fire.
A tale of two very different men competing for two very different reasons…
yet they compete because they knew they must.

One competes to honor God, the other competes to honor his people, his heritage.
Each man driven to and by honor of something so much greater than themselves.

I watched as the American Gymnasts, who had won silver, went over to
congratulate their Russian competitors who won Gold.

So why do we do what we do?

effects

“Thus, brethren, God has loved you from eternity,
and through pure love, he has selected you from among so many men
whom he could have created in place of you;
but he has left them in their nothingness,
and has brought you into existence, and placed you in the world.
For the love of you, he has made so many other beautiful creatures,
that they might serve you, and that they might remind you
of the love which he has borne to you, and of the
gratitude which you owe to him.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 218
An Excerpt From
Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori


(a tiny ghost crab / Julie Cook / 2021)

“The works of man, whether they are good or bad,
are not always isolated, transitory acts; more often,
especially in the case of the leaders of nations and those who are
invested with public authority,
they continue to subsist after they are concluded,
either in the memory of other men or in public acclaim,
as a result of the consequences they have had and the scandal
they have caused.
Thus, at first sight, a particular,
secret crime seems to be only a private, personal deed;
but it becomes social on account of its effects.
Certainly it is of faith that there is a particular judgment,
and that every man, at the instant of his soul’s departure
from the body, appears before the tribunal of God to hear
his eternal sentence pronounced. Yet this judgment cannot suffice,
and it is essential that it should be followed by another public judgment,
in which God will not examine the actions in isolation and taken in themselves,
but will examine them in their effects upon other men,
in the good or evil deriving from them for families and peoples—in a word,
in the consequences they produced and which those who perpetrated
them ought to have foreseen.”

Fr. Charles Arminjon, p. 94
An Excerpt From
The End of the Present World

sign of the times??

My God will be my Great Reward. I don’t desire to possess other goods.
I want to be set on fire with his Love.
I want to see him, to unite myself to him forever.
That is my Heaven…
that is my destiny:
Living on Love!!

St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Quoted in the book Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: Living on Love


(an odd juxtaposition of images on the off beaten path / Julie Cook / 2021)

A flag, a dumpster and a ‘dead end’ sign.
What a telling mix of imagery.

Is it a sign of what might be?
A sign of what currently is…?
Or simply a bad mix of imagery?

I think we will be the determining factor of what will or will not be.

“We have to accustom ourselves to pray in all places and at all times.
The real place to pray in is the soul, for God dwells there.
If we wish to obey our Lord’s counsel,
when we pray we should enter the chamber of our soul,
close the door, and speak to the Father, whose loving eyes seek ever our own.
This inner chamber of our soul is the true temple,
the sacred sanctuary, and we carry it with us and can at any time
either remain there or quickly return to it,
should we have been obliged to leave it.”

Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 111
An Excerpt From
The Prayer of the Presence of God

The art of how to or how not…

The God of all mercy teaches us that our vocation is to learn to love
and also to be able to love after the image and in imitation
of the Most Holy Trinity.
Christ, therefore, is situated at the heart of marital and family life,
in other words, at the heart of the gestures and the attitudes of
the husband toward his wife, and vice versa,
of the father and the mother of the family toward their children—
which you seek to put into practice in trust and in truth.

Robert Cardinal Sarah
From his book Couples, Awaken Your Love!


(the Mayor struggling with the art of the fondue / Julie Cook / 2021)

In yesterday’s post, I noted that I had not kept up with the news during our
small family’s recent little getaway.
A smart and delightful choice I might add.

And thus, upon our return home, I foolishly thought that I needed to play
a bit of catch-up.

So of course there was the story about the plane full of smug, arrogant
and really stupid Democrats who thought they were running away from Texas,
setting their sights on being liberated in Washington D.C.

But what it really was…was a plane full of super-spreaders of Covid.
So why do we vote for such people…??
I digress.

And then there was and is the continuing migrant story…
but where do we start with that one???
Covid, welfare, gangs, sex trafficking, drugs…
Simply not enough time.

Then there was the typical story of hostility in The House between
Dems and Republicans.
A bipartisan panel to look into that House infiltration fiasco…
HA..bipartisan…that’s a good one!
But what’s new???

And of course there was the story about Dr. Fauci proclaiming that we
all need to mask up again…vaccine or not.
But maybe it’s more about the haves and the have nots.

Yet Dr. Fauci now wants us to mask our toddlers…
wee ones who will be heading to pre-school and or daycare.
So hear me now as I channel my best Charlton Heston voice…
NOT ON MY WATCH–NOT MY GRANDCHILDREN!
And no, NO SHOTS for toddlers.
We simply don’t know enough.
Perhaps that shall be one of my many mountains to perish upon.

And once again, there was the continuing story about CRT.
That idiotic ideology which I referenced yesterday.
How to teach about not being a racist…
Lets set people apart, teach them about shame, teach them about resentment,
teach them about angst and anger—those are some really powerful
kumbiya thoughts…right????
Eyes rolling.

And now there’s this latest story about the White House promoting the
Abolitionist Teaching Network whose desire is to “disrupt whiteness”…

What in the heck is that all about???

So let me backup to where we really need to be with this whole
education thing.

If you want to go backwards, which it seems the woke folks are bent on…
let’s go back to what actually worked back in the beginning…

God.
Prayer.
The Ten Commandments.
Faith.
Family.

That pretty much covers all of this lunacy in a nutshell!
Go back to those particular key components and all this fiasco will
finally be righted.

Righted only if those 5 things fall back into their original place…
then and only then will we ever have some sense of normalcy and peace….
otherwise it’s Katie bar the door—
all Hell is about to break loose and I mean hell with a big H…
as in literally.

Love, by its essence, involves a leap into the unknown, a death to oneself,
because genuine love is a love that loves to the end.
And to love to the end means to die for those whom you love.

Robert Cardinal Sarah
From his book Couples, Awaken Your Love!

we just don’t seem to get it…

“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds…
What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.”

St. Thomas More


(the Sheriff trying to get the hang of a crab net / Julie Cook / 2021)

So upon my return from being away 7 days, I did what most stupid
gullible, people do..
I felt compelled to see what had been newsworthy in my absence…
what was news worthy.

Ohhhhh, what a loaded idea that would be…

There were just so many stories…
so much so that I’m having a difficult time focusing on that one
news story that needs to be showcased.

Well firstly, I did catch a nauseating story about how Mademoiselle Squad member
seems to think we need to include reading, writing and race theory within our
preschool curriculums…

Hummmm….

Ok, so here is your favorite retired educator’s take on this latest banter
of idiocy…

It seems that those self-proclaimed wizards behind the mirror have
deemed that we need to be teaching our most wee and impressionable children
Critical Race Theory–or so they say??!!

Teaching propaganda in our public schools.

Hummmm….

Teaching wee children how not to be racists…

Wait, what exactly is a racist??

According to Merriam…a racist is: a belief that race is a fundamental
determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences
produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

Hummm…

Wait, I thought brown, black, yellow and white were all created equal
and precious in His sight….

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,
there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

So might we note that we adults are having an incredible challenge
with crime.

Forget race…crime has taken the forefront of our lives.

We are killing one another at such a rapid pace that we are unable
to keep count.

There is an exponentially critical spike in violent crimes…
in particular that of murder.

Mlle Squad member wants to educate our wee ones on how not to be racist but
we adults are busy killing the innocents.

Hummm…

This Nation of ours just had a one year old shot in a convenient store
in Philly this past weekend.

That is unacceptable yet Mlle Squad member seems to think teaching CRT is
just that in a nutshell, critical.
Forget murder…forget hate…forget rage…

More later…

“Finally—and this is perhaps the most difficult aspect of what
concerns the practice of conformity to the will of God—
we should desire virtue itself and the degrees of grace only insofar
as God wishes to give them, and not desire more.
Our whole ambition should be to attain the degree of perfection
that has been appointed for us, since it has not been given to everybody
to reach the same height.
It is obvious that however well we may correspond with the graces given us,
we can never equal the humility, charity and other virtues of the Blessed Virgin.
And who can even presume to imagine that he can reach the same heights
as the Apostles?
Who can equal St. John the Baptist whom Christ called the greatest
of the children of men? Or St. Joseph to whom God entrusted His Son?
In this we must as in all else submit to the will of God.
He must be able to say of us, My will is in them;
it rules and governs everything.
So when we hear or read that God in a short time has brought some souls
to a very high degree of perfection and shown them signal favors,
enlightened their understanding and imbued their hearts with His love,
we should repress any desire to be treated likewise so as not to fall short
in pure love of conformity to His Will.
We should even unite ourselves still more closely to His Will by saying,
‘I praise Thee, O Lord, and bless Thee for deigning to show Thyself with
so great love and familiarity to the souls Thou has chosen …'”

Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, p. 75-76
An Excerpt From
Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence

I’m baaaaack

“The glory of God is man fully alive,
and the life of man is the vision of God.”

St. Irenaeus


(a willet in the surf /Rosemary Beach / Julie Cook / 2021)

We got home yesterday from our week away and I’ll share more about our
adventure with the Mayor and Sheriff at the beach… soon…
just as soon as I get alllll these clothes washed.

My last post was about the homecoming for Sgt. Rob Holloway’s as he
and his wife returned home to Carrollton after months in two
different hospitals…this following his having been shot in the
wee hours of April 12th during a high speed chase.

Rob and Stephanie got home Wednesday…they were to spend a few days home
before heading back to Atlanta to begin a transition period at Pathways
which is a program to help Rob learn how to manage his daily routines
while getting back to “normal” as best as possible.

However on Thursday, Rob began running a fever.
The Hospital told Stephanie to get him back to Atlanta ASAP
where he was placed back in ICU.

He has since received IV fluids and antibiotics…
and is reportedly feeling better.

Because bullet fragments remain lodged in Rob’s brain and due to having the
reconstructive skull surgery, the risk of meningitis remains high.

So will you please join me as we offer up prayers for Rob and his family…
as we also pray for all our men and women in blue, as well as for their families…
those members of our various law enforcements who give their all for us….

“The Creator of the universe awaits the prayer of one poor little person
to save a multitude of others, redeemed like her at the price of His Blood.”

St. Therese of Lisieux

civilization run amuck…Lord have mercy

In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.”
Jeanette Winterson, The World and Other Places: Stories

looters 2

Images of looters ransacking Neiman Marcus in San Francisco

“Instead of Gnostics, we have Existentialists and God-is-dead theologians,
instead of Neo-Platonists, devotees of Zen, instead of desert hermits,
heroin addicts and Beats (who also, oddly enough,
seem averse to washing), instead of mortification of the flesh,
sado-masochistic pornography; as for our public entertainments,
the fare offered by television is still a shade less brutal
than that provided by the Amphitheatre, but only
a shade and may not be so for long.”

W.H. Auden, The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Essays, Volume III

Hear our prayers oh Lord

Not too long ago nor too far away

“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too.
Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action:
you liberate a city by destroying it.
Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will
solemnly vote against their own interests.”

Gore Vidal

“Political correctness is going to kill American liberalism if it
is not fought to the death by people like me for the dangers
it represents to free speech, to the exchange of ideas,
to openheartedness, or to the spirit of art itself.
Political correctness has a stranglehold on academia,
on feminism, and on the media.
It is a form of both madness and maggotry.”

Pat Conroy, My Reading Life

Not too long ago nor too far away…there was once a high school teacher.

Now for the purpose of this story, we should note that this teacher was
actually older…that being toward the end of her career verses
being at the beginning…for she was but a mere babe when she began
teaching…this story takes place long past that baby beginning.

So let’s put this teacher, say, at about the age of 50.

She had taught at the same school going on for nearly three decades,
which made her a bit of an institution within an institution.

Still viable and loved but just older and wiser.

During her years spent at this school, this teacher had watched as pay phones
and office phones gave way to cell phones. Radios become iPods, and paper
books become ebooks. Chalk boards became smart boards.
She was there for the first computers and eventually retired as each student
had a digital notebook.

This teacher had pretty much seen it all.

One day, this teacher’s school, a school which prided itself on always being
above the curve, as in always being cutting edge,
began to implement what they proclaimed as a paradigm shift—
a new and improved way of thinking.

Let’s note that this started a good 10 years prior to end of
our story…starting when this teacher was, say, in her 40s.

As time passed, change began to accelerate exponentially.

A 6 class period day transitioned to a 4 x 4 block schedule.

Teachers were made to participate in focus groups during their
planning periods, as well as on workdays.
They were given books to read.
Think book club a la pedagogy.

Speakers were brought in to offer new ways of looking at education.

Oddly it all became a bit more precise as well as peculiar.

White teachers were suddenly being told that they were no longer relating
well to their black students.
This was a reason as to why there was growing resentment from the black students
toward the white teachers.

The resentment had not been readily realized…not until the teachers were told
it was happening. We don’t even know if the kids were privy to said resentment.

White teachers were told they must begin to discipline their black students
differently.
They were told that they must try multiple means of confronting discipline
issues before ever writing a student up for an offense.
Sometimes those students who were written up for an offense were simply
sent back to class with no real cause and effect.
Much to the frustration of the teacher.
The teacher then looked rather unsupported by her superiors.

Teachers were told to be mindful of what they said and how they said it.

Students began to feel empowered over their teachers.
And thus lies much of the problem.

Respect suddenly went out the window.

Most of this new thinking was coming from Black colleagues and
administrators yet embraced by many white administrators.

White female teachers were told by black administrators that young black
male students had little to no respect for them and therefore the
white female teachers needed to work extra hard at getting through to
these young boys.

One day a speaker was brought in on one particular workday for a bit of role playing.
He had all the teachers line up along a straight line.
He would ask a question, and depending on each individual teacher’s response
to the question, they were to either step forward or backward.

Did your grandparents go to college? 2 steps forward if so; two steps back if not.
Were you raised in a two parent household? 2 steps forward if so; two steps back if not.
Did your mother work outside of the home? 2 steps backwards if so; 2 steps forward if not.
Did you have your own car in high school? 2 steps forward if so; 2 steps back if not.
Did you have to work you way through school? 2 steps back if yes, 2 steps forward in no.
Did you attend summer camp? 2 steps forward if yes, 2 steps back if not.

On and on went the questions.
And so I think you’re probably figuring out where all of this was going.
By the end of the questioning, the original straight line was now vastly staggered —
those out front were not considered so much winners as much as they were
considered “privileged”—or is that labeled as privileged?

Hummm…privileged…now where have we heard about being privileged?

As time passed and toward the end of this teacher’s career,
there was a weekend workshop that everyone was encouraged to attend.
It was a conference on racial thinking within our schools.

Now remember, this story is not a current story but rather a story that took
place almost ten years back…long before CRT right?

Well…maybe not exactly.

This older teacher had a younger colleague who was also a dear friend.
The older teacher was white, married and a mom.
The younger teacher was black, not married and overweight.
Yet both of these ladies were friends both in and out of school.
Thick as thieves.

They worked well together and often created or spearheaded new initiatives
within the school.
Initiatives with a Christian focus as each woman was a committed Christian.

The younger teacher had actually gone to this same school when she was in high school
as she had grown up in this same community. Her parents were well known and
well respected professionals in this community.

The younger teacher was very smart and opted to go back to school in search
of her doctorate.
She chose Woman’s Studies—of course she did.

She had an Asian woman chair who was her doctoral mentor.
This particular academic was a self proclaimed feminist…
she noted that her “partner” who was a man, was her lesser.

The older teacher began to notice a significant change in her younger friend.
There was an anger that came bubbling to the surface.
She constantly fussed and cussed the good ol white boy system
of administration in the school system.

She fussed and cussed and greatly disparaged a friend and colleague’s
husband who was a police officer—a white police officer who she feared
might pull over her young black nephew.

Why fret in this small town community unless one was fed the notion of fear
by others…

Now back to the workshop on racial thought.

This younger teacher attended this particular conference,
the older teacher did not.

At the end of the weekend the older teacher called her younger friend, asking
how the conference went.
The younger teacher began a small tirade.
She fussed that several administrators did not attend.
She fussed that a young white male teacher stood up taking
umbrage with the presenter– all the while she maligned said young
white male teacher and yes, colleague.

She disparaged the administrators who actually did attend, sitting stone faced
with arms folded or so she raged.

Come Monday this younger teacher came by the older teacher’s classroom and
simply blew up–
she blew up and turned on her older white friend…for no real reason…
but turned as the older teacher simply was sitting there and was deemed
to be representative of all that was wrong with life and education.

The older teacher was blindsided and distraught when her young friend
stormed off.

What had she done??

Nothing.

Nothing but to represent some sort of imagined injustice.

The older teacher was crushed.
Hurt by someone she felt she no longer knew.

The young teacher remained defiant.

The older teacher retired a year later.

So now back to this blog post…

About a week ago I read a marvelous post by our friend Mel Wild regarding
Critical Race Theory—the new hot button topic in our educational system.
Here is a link to his post:

https://melwild.wordpress.com/2021/07/01/pulling-back-the-curtain-on-critical-race-theory/

I realized after reading Mel’s post that I had actually witnessed CRT creeping into
our schools years ago.

I commented on his post and Mel responded:

Yeah, it’s been the proverbial frog slowly being cooked in the kettle since the 1970s from the radical left. They were very shrewd, slowing taking over all our cultural instititions over the last five decades, especially in indoctrinating our children.

The idea of “white privilege” actually came from guilty white academics!
The term was popularized by Peggy McIntosh,
feminist activist and women’s studies scholar
who wrote a paper called “White Privilege and Male Privilege:
A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences
Through Work in Women’s Studies” in 1988.

Now, these social sciences radicals are trying say that math is racist!
“2 + 2 = 4” is part of white supremacy, etc..
This is not only stupidly insane but dangerous.
Not to mention, it actually disempowers people of color and makes
them the left’s slaves because they will not longer be able to
function on their own in the marketplace.
This is NOT compassionate.
It’s evil.
Not only that, we will cease to function as a society
if we fully embrace this nonsense.
If we survive at all, our society will become feudal,
where the intellectuals and globalist plutocrats rule over
miseducated peasant masses.
But, apparently,
that’s what some of them want.
The rest are the indoctrinated sheeple.

Next, Citizen Tom has also offered a similar post:

https://familyallianceonline.org/2021/07/08/crt-challenge-racist-teaching/

If, as a parent, you think CRT is a liberating sort of mindset that your child
needs to be exposed to, you are sadly mistaken.
CRT is a form of deep divide and Marxism at its best.

It will drive a dangerous wedge between our students and teachers.

All the while, how we teach children will never be the same.
Go back and read your history lessons…our global history.
Go back to Germany following WWI and read the impetus for
the likes of an Adolph Hitler…read of a Valdimr Lenin, a Karl Marx,
a Leon Trotsky, a Joseph Stalin, a Fredrich Engles, a Mao Zedong…
read about what happened on the opposite end…what happened with McCarthyism…read about J Edgar Hoover and paranoia…
read what happens when certain people learn how to manipulate others.
Then read about folks like George Soros, Bill Gates and those who
think they are the wise ones while you and I are considered the goats
who simply need a herder…

And then pray my friend—pray very hard!

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant,
abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal,
not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

conspiracy, good practice or a dark path slippery slope


(Sutjeska, Tjentište, Bosnia and Herzegovina via the web)

So I did it again, I watched a bit of the news.

I caught the tail end of a story about the Biden Administration’s
desire to head out, hitting the asphalt, in order to go door to door
checking to see who has and who hasn’t gotten their COVID vaccine.

Hummmm…

Let it be known, I didn’t grow up like my parents did who spent their youthful
summers, back in the 30’s and 40’s living under a veil of fear…
fear not so much from a raging world war across an ocean but rather fear
of disease…
as in polio and tuberculosis.

Both diseases—viral and bacterial were running rampant when my parents
were young.
People were told to avoid crowds—
Summer’s, in the South back in those days, were pre air conditioning days—
Since it was hot, sticky and steamy,
everyone wanted to duck into a theater to watch a movie or head
to one of the many community pools.
Places where all types of humanity collided together.

Both places where folks were told to avoid yet beckoned for one and all.

But I can tell you, both my parents threw caution to the wind.
Dad loved his Buck Rodgers and Mother loved to swim.
Even in the big city, kids could pretty much come and go with
nary a thought as to safety.
Kids ran free—walking or riding a bike to wherever they wanted to go.

Yet the fear of contracting polio or TB was real…
especially after a 39 year old husband and father in New York
went to bed one evening with a slight fever and then
woke up in the morning and was unable to move his legs.

That 39 year old husband and father was Franklin Roosevelt.
He had somehow contracted polio.
And the rest is history.

And might we note that my grandfather, who I never met, died in 1940 from
Tuberculosis.

So I understand the reality of worry and fear regarding “catching”
a debilitating “bug.”

And so as vaccines were formulated, eventually we all began to be
‘vaccinated’.

And so as a child, I can remember receiving my polio sugar cube…a real sugar
cube doused with the vaccine.
At my elementary school, we lined up in our various grades,
wending our way to the Nurses clinic to receive our dosed sugar cube.

And blessedly with time and diligence, polio was eventually eradicated.

And so I am perplexed as to how I feel about the Biden Administration
wanting to go door to door to “check on” whether a vaccine has been
embraced or not…

I really don’t like the idea of our Government knocking on doors
checking on folks medical privacy—hence why we have HIPA—a health
privacy protection component that keeps our medical info just that…
our own.

But now…that is not so much the case.

So how do I feel about Big Government knocking on our doors
inquiring as to wether we have been vaccinated or not…and if that
answer is not, what will they then do or say????
I don’t know…but I think I’m feeling very uneasy.

I read a blog post yesterday that piqued my interest.

It was actually a re-blog from another person…
a person who thought the idea of the Big G, as in Big Government, knocking
on our doors and demanding to know whether we’d been vaccinated or not
was a reason that average citizens should be concerned.

This notion of ‘knowing’ reminds me of census takers….
those folks who are hired by the Big G government to inquire as to our income,
household numbers, etc…

How old are you?
Who is the head of your household?
What is the highest level of education reached within your household?
Can you read?
Can you write?
What is your gender?
What is your income?
Do you rent or own your home?
Etc.

Now the question is going to be, ‘are you vaccinated?’
And if your answer is no…what will that look like?

Here is a link to a copy of that post:

https://leohohmann.com/2021/07/07/what-should-you-do-when-federal-agents-arrive-at-your-door-with-questions-about-your-personal-health-decisions/

And here is an excerpt along with a look at a very interesting book–
a book I immediately ordered once I saw it:

What should you do when federal agents arrive at your
door with questions about your personal health decisions?

Below is an excerpt from a review of Black’s book by the
Alliance for Human Research Protection.

“A question that had eluded historians for decades was how
did the Nazis obtain lists of Jews – not only in Germany but
throughout Europe—whom they rapidly rounded up for deportation
and ultimately for extermination?
Black pursued this question until he found the answer:
IBM and its German subsidiary which custom-designed,
named after Herman Hollerith, who founded IBM in 1896 as
a census tabulating company.

“But when IBM Germany formed its philosophical and technologic
alliance with Nazi Germany, census and registration took on a new mission.
IBM Germany invented the racial census—listing not just religious affiliation,
but bloodline going back generations. This was the Nazi data lust.
Not just to count the Jews—but to identify them.

“People and asset registration was only one of the many uses
Nazi Germany found for high-speed data sorters.
Food allocation was organized around databases,
allowing Germany to starve the Jews. Slave labor was identified,
tracked, and managed largely through [IBM] punch cards.”

Interestingly, the IBM of today is also involved in the creation
of digital health passports, partnering with vaccine-maker
Moderna in New York’s Excelsior Pass, which is being required
for anyone attending sporting events or other large-venue events
in New York.

Microsoft is likewise partnering with the city of Los Angeles
schools and Anthem Health to implement the Daily Pass QR Health Portal
that will track every student in that district under the premise of
“protecting” people from COVID.

“The voluntary ‘health passes’ now being rolled out are just
the tip of the iceberg. Before long, they will become mandatory,
at which point unvaccinated individuals will be effectively excluded
from society,” writes Dr. Joseph Mercola in his article IBM Partners
with Moderna for COVID Reset.

As I was reading this post, I was intrigued by this book
regarding IBM and Nazi Germany.
How DID the Germans know the names and locations of all the Jews??

I always wondered how they knew such without the type of technology we
possess today.

And of all organizations…it was IBM who gave up those names
and information.
It was a business that was first charged with, of all things,
census information.

The Nazis knew because IBM had documented households…
their ethnicity, their income, their religion, their family members…

So how do I feel about the Big G government coming to my door inquiring as
to whether or not we’ve been vaccinated….?
I don’t know.
I’be been vaccinated but do I want Big G to be privy to such???
Again, I don’t know.
What will the repercussion be if a household opts not to answer…
what if they actually refuse to answer yay or nay?

What of personal choice?

A dangerously slippery slope…

But Peter and the apostles answered,
“We must obey God rather than men.

Acts 5:29

sailing with a ship of fools

Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made,
for somewhere deep in their oaken hearts the soul of a song is laid.”

Robert N. Rose

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars,
or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven
to the human spirit.”

Helen Keller


(Hieronymus Bosch / Ship of Fools/ 1490-1500/ Louvre, Paris)

The art of Hieronymus Bosch coupled with the notion of sailing…

Ahhhh…

Does it get any better????

As a long time art teacher, who loves the symbology of the Dutch northern Renaissance
artist Hieronymus Bosch, topped off with notion of sailing…sailing along a
warm air current, I was actually transported back to a better time by the misery
of our current events.

Huh??

Stay with me.

When I was in college, I spent my summers as a camp counselor up in Black Mt,
North Carolina…at a Christian girls summer camp.

And may it be noted that I have an equal love of both mountain and ocean…
for God planted the seed in my soul for a love of His handiwork.

I was a city girl who was growing up in a massively dysfunctional family…
and so just being able to get away, getting lost high in the Appalachian mountains,
provided me with the reassuring knowledge that there was something, or more like
Someone, who was so much greater than my current state of misery.

It was the summer of 1980 and I took off from Atlanta in my little blue pinto
with its solid glass back hatch and blue plaid seats, pinto jeep as I affectionately
called her, heading north on a 5 hour journey, high up into the mountains.

I had a tape cassette player in my car and I always popped in Chris Cross’s tape.
At some obscure mile marker as I exited off of I-85, I popped in the tape
once I saw the first looming blue grey mound topping the horizon.

I’d play the song Sailing over and over again.
Hitting repeat constantly.
Over and over, mile after mile.

Windows cranked down as my arm was outstretched acting like a small wing–
all the while as I cruised upwards on what seemed like an endlessly
inviting string of winding roads.

Alone, with some sense of independence, I was contently winging my way to
a place where I felt at home.
Sailing along on the current of a warm summer wind, I was lovingly nestled
within the undulating spine of an ancient mountain chain.

Flash back to my northern Renaissance art history class.
It was where I met Hieronymus Bosch.

A surreal painter long before surrealism was a thing.

Mystical and full of Christian symbolism…his paintings rang of
the satirical yet candid truth of what our ancient faith was all about.

God doesn’t play.
His word is His word…whether we like it or not.

Fast forward…..

I did a stupid thing today–I watched the news.

Hackers hit again.
Holding US companies hostage.
Putin knowingly and smugly smiles.
Biden trips over his thoughts and words.

Chicago continues killing itself…skyrocketing black on black murders…
Innocent children being shot and killed…
while a black mayor blames a white population.

A White House Press Secretary is asked about the current troubles
plaguing the land and right on cue, she defers responsibility, blaming the
previous administration.

The latest version of the Mod Squad defames the flag, their
constituents, their responsibility, their nation.

Hate spews from their mouths.

A black anthem verses THE anthem.
Segregation is oddly, once again, the name of the game.
A statue of Liberty is labeled obsolete.
Oddly it is now black who wants the separation from white while
a new generation is brainwashed over the notion of white privilege.

All the while we sail away on a ship filled with fools….


(A reconstruction of the left and right wings of the triptych: at upper left
The Ship of Fools; at lower left: Allegory of Gluttony and Lust.
Panel at right is Death and the Miser. At bottom “The Wayfarer”
which would have been on the outside of the triptych.)

The painting Ship of Fools is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch,
now on display in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
The surviving painting is a fragment of a triptych that was cut into several parts.
The Ship of Fools was painted on one of the wings of the altarpiece,
and is about two thirds of its original length.
The bottom third of the panel belongs to Yale University Art Gallery
and is exhibited under the title Allegory of Gluttony.
The wing on the other side, which has more or less retained its full length,
is the Death and the Miser, now in the National Gallery of Art,
Washington, D.C.
The two panels together would have represented the two extremes
of prodigality and miserliness, condemning and caricaturing both.
The Wayfarer was painted on the right panel rear of the triptych.
The central panel, if existed, is unknown.

wikipedia

Well, it’s not far down to paradise, at least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see.
Believe me.
It’s not far to never-never land, no reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see.
Believe me.
Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free
Fantasy, it gets the best of me
When I’m sailing
All caught up in the reverie, every word is a symphony
Won’t you believe me?
Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free
Well it’s not far back to sanity, at least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see.
Believe me.
Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

(songwriter Carter Burwell / performed by Chris Cross)