2/25/21

Paradise: the Stuff of Daily Life?

Last Saturday we received our first (and only) snowfall of the year.  It started in the evening and continued through the night, and in the morning a thick layer of snow covered the evergreens, sailboat, hammock, and picnic table. 

It transformed the entire landscape. 

I craved experiencing the specialness of it, and so put on my purple rubber boots, doubled up my coat with a cashmere sweater and headed out into the snow. 

The snow was so deep that it seeped into my boot and onto my jeans a few times. 

I traversed the same terrain I've been living on for over twenty years, walking down the street toward a forest nearby.  But it felt starkly original and new.  Cars drove slowly by, and less frequently.  Large snowdrifts piled either side of the road. 

The snow created a paradigm shift from the ordinary and put me into a completely different frame of mind.  This "new world" I was in compelled me to walk a road I hadn't been down in years, and I discovered a trail to the beach I'd never known about before. 

Prosaic Paradise

Jesus tells in Luke 17:21 that “the Kingdom of God is in our midst.”

To me, this passage makes eternity seem like a big let-down.  Hitting the alarm clock in the morning, deciding between cereal or a bagel for breakfast, and proceeding to knock off a litany of tasks (stopping by the post office, shopping for groceries, preparing meals, answering emails, meeting with friends) could hardly be the stuff of Paradise. 

Sipping piña coladas on the beach all day long seems more like it. 

How could Paradise be here, amidst our daily life, which, at best, feels rote and ordinary?  What could He possibly mean? 

Over Christmas several years ago, I'd spent several days hanging out with my sisters; sipping coffee together at Cafe Ladro in downtown Seattle, window shopping at Westlake Mall.  One evening, while visiting in the kitchen, an epiphany came over me and I recognized that this is what eternity would consist of. 

It really is this stuff of daily life: spending quality time with family, sharing meals, helping an elderly neighbor with her groceries, visiting with the people in our life, holding a pet in the evenings.  It's what do every day, minus the anxiety, boredom, strife.

Glimpses of Eternity

Can we deliberately recognize the Kingdom in our midst?  Perhaps this total shift in our perception of daily life--from mundane (and at times heinous!) to idyllic--is a gift that can only be given, as the snowstorm did for me. 

But I wager it's also a practice that can be developed; a skill of recognizing moments of peace, warm connection with other people, and then cherishing and reflecting on them. 

I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.”  Jesus a tells us in John 10:10.  Whenever we encounter fullness of life (and life just happens, doesn't it?  We don't need to make the initiative), we're witnessing the Kingdom.  

A friend came to visit last weekend and we caught up over coffee, walked on the beach, spent the night at a cabin, ate lunch from food carts and explored two nearby casinos.

These ordinary occurrences provide glimpses of the Kingdom. It's something to learn to recognize and savor.  And praise God for the gift of life, peace, community.

What's your take on this passage from Luke?  How do you experience the Kingdom every day?

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2/19/21

Beware: Powerful Hypnotists are Trying to Trick You!

Last month, I signed up for Mike Lindell’s emails.  I kinda wanted a MyPillow, but not really, and so thought, ‘eh, just get on the e-mail list’. 

Guess what I was doing three weeks later on when he ran a flash sale? That’s right.  Pulling out my credit card to buy something I didn’t need with money I don’t have. 

What does this little anecdote have to do with the title of this post?  As it turns out, a whole lot.  Stay with me.

Fake News Feast

We all know politicians and media lie to us, constantly.  The left knows, the right knows, the inbetweeners know, heck even our pets know.  Spin, smoke and mirrors, gaslight, fake news, even hypnosis and magic are some of the words we use to describe this phenomenon.

You could say it was always thus: in the 50s the general population in America believed Alger Hiss was totally innocent, and Chambers a nut job; yet evidence reveals the opposite.  And in his book Homage to Catalonia, with boots on the ground in Barcelona, George Orwell delineates various spins English periodicals gave to the unfolding events in the Spanish Civil War.

But I’d propose that today, what’s passing as news and political rhetoric is fundamentally spin.  They dabble in empirical information, but the singular aim of politicians and the media is to persuade. 

And they’re very effective at it.

How does it work, exactly?  How do they spin narratives and downright lie and get away with it?  Wouldn’t the public be outraged and call them out by now? 

Trump’s impeachment trial, and specifically one tweet presented, encapsulated an instance of this persuasive propaganda.  In breaking it down; the circumstances preceding the lie, what the lie consisted of, how the public reacted; helps in part to answer these questions.

A 'This. Is. What. Happened.' Campaign

In the immediate aftermath of confounding event at the capitol on January 6th, the media (and in one instance, before the event even occurred) ran a focused “This is What Happened” campaign. 

Here’s how this campaign works: push pre-determined Narrative, HARD.  Repeat Narrative repeatedly, tell lies that support Narrative and disappear evidence that contradicts Narrative. 

In this instance, the Narrative was: Trump incited his MAGA base to violence and they stormed the Capitol with insurrectionist aims, and so he should be impeached. 

The headlines printed this Narrative and the talking heads, pundits, experts and visages discussed it. 

Dozens of outlets pounded the story that police officer Brian Sicknick, “was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher” by right wing extremists, firmly etching the bloody fatality in the public’s mind.  Until they quietly suggested, several weeks later, that he wasn’t. 

Antifa activist John Sullivan got the word out on social media that “we need numbers to show up” at the Capitol on January 6th.  Less than a week after the incident, all of his Twitter and Instagram accounts (@realjaydenx, @insurgenceusa & more) were deactivated.  (However, they couldn’t remove this C-span video, which records Sullivan (1:37) as one of the first “insurrectionists” to “rampage” the Capitol.  Note, also from this video, that the “insurrectionists”, Antifa and otherwise, walked inside the corded rope; hardly the behavior of crazed terrorists.) 

The media bludgeoned the public with their Narrative until a plurality were committed--remember that word--to a belief that yes, the Narrative is indeed what happened.

Smoke and Mirrors Swalwell

On day two of the impeachment trial, CA Representative Swalwell presented the following image, while speaking the following words:

Kremer tweeted, “The cavalry is coming, Mr. President,” referring to the cavalry showing up on January 6.  She also added a website for supporters to RSVP and made clear what the message was. #StopTheSteal.  And what did President Trump say in response to hearing that the cavalry was coming?  A great honor, he wrote back.

Let’s play Hocus Focus: what’s different about Swalwell’s statement and the tweet he presented?  That’s right, Swalwell incorrectly read “Calvary”, falsely stating that it read “cavalry”. (Additionally, Kremer did not tweet this--but more on that later.) 

A meaningless error?  Well, hm, let’s define these two words:

Cavalry: an army component mounted on horseback 

Calvary: an open-air representation of the crucifixion of Jesus 

Wow, these words don’t mean the same thing at all.  In fact, they almost have OPPOSITE meanings.  Swalwell’s false reading (cavalry) communicates militant action, while the actual tweet (Calvary)  references Christ’s Crucifixion. 

No, definitely not meaningless errors.  

Swalwell didn’t simply distort the meaning of the text; he completely inverted it

As David Schoen, Trump's Lawyer spells out so clearly (2:06): 

House manager Swalwell showed you this tweet….and said this tweet reflected a call to arms!  Call in the cavalry for January 6th.  He expressly led you to believe that President Trump’s supporter believed that the president wanted armed supporters at the January 6th speech; paramilitary groups, the cavalry, ready for physical combat.  The problem is, the actual text is the exact opposite: tweeter promised to bring the Calvary, a public display of Christ’s crucifixion, a central symbol of her Christian faith, with her to the president’s speech; a symbol of faith, love and peace. 

Swalwell presented this egregious perversion of evidence on a massive stage, with millions of Americans tuned in.  Given the enormity of the platform, you have to ask how the error came about. 

There are two possible explanations:

1. Swalwell and the rest of the Impeachment team made a foolish, yet honest mistake.  While analyzing this tweet, they genuinely didn’t realize it read “Calvary” and not “cavalry”. 

2. They knew the tweet didn’t read as they’d present it, but they ran with it anyway, as the “cavalry” mis-reading perfectly suited the Narrative they were pushing. 

Except, wait—that’s right—we’re talking about at least a dozen reasonably intelligent, educated, grown-ass men; i.e. in possession of a rudimentary grasp of English vocabulary; examining this tweet.  So that rules out the first explanation. 

Leaving us with only one possible explanation: they knew damn well what they were doing.

A First Down

You’d think a flagrant misrepresentation on a huge platform would be an embarrassment, a faux pas of epic proportions.  However, given they knew they were making it, Swalwell et. al. clearly didn’t think so.

What kind of response did Swalwell’s presentation receive? 

Here's what Vox had to say

Schoen also quibbled with the prosecution over the significance of misspellings in tweets...To be clear, the discrepancies on the tweets are legitimate errors, but they had absolutely no bearing on the actual content of the posts in question or the substance of the House managers’ case. 

 And here's two responses on twitter: 

Not exactly throwing mud into Swalwell’s face.  Not at all.  Instead, they’re citing Swalwell's false statement as fact, and discrediting the actual evidence. 

Wow!  The Impeachment Team certainly advanced their Narrative to a segment of the public; this play secured them a first down.

Not Exactly the High Road

Not only did Swalwell mis-read the text of @jenlawrence21's tweet, he also incorrectly attributed the text to Amy Kremer.  Additionally, the image he presented added a blue check mark to the @jenlawrence21 account, which would be an indication she’s a “high profile influencer”.  To finish of the caricature they wanted to present to the public, they also changed her profile picture: rather than the headshot of her smiling, they put up an image of a woman holding a gun!  You can’t make this stuff up. 

At this point I’ll point out that altering evidence is illegal under both state and federal law, with a penalty of up to 20 years in prison

Trump’s lawyers were quick to point this out both during the trial and afterwards.  In an after-trial interview on CBS News with Lana Zak, Trump Impeachment Lawyer Michael van der Veen said the following: 

The prosecutors doctored evidence.  It was absolutely shocking.  Somebody should look at the conduct of these house managers.  It's unconscionable.  When they were caught, they didn't say anything about it.  They didn't even try to come up with an excuse about it.  That's not the way our prosecutors or our government officials should be conducting themselves.  The media shouldn't be letting them get away with it either. 

The Impeachment team flagrantly broke the law during an impeachment proceeding in which they accuse the president of instigating insurrection.  They hardly justify their outrage at Trump.           

More importantly, the Impeachment Team made it abundantly clear this ordeal has nothing to do with the law at all--rather it's sheer showmanship.  They're trying Trump in the court of public opinion; i.e. it's entirely about persuading you and me.    

Dust off Cialdini

At first glance, this play of the Impeachment team solicits a “Say what?” response.  How could they break the law and tell a flagrant lie — yet have it serve to advance their narrative to the public?

Leonardo da Vinci tells us:  

It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

In 1980, Robert Cialdini published Influence, in which he explains seven distinct methods that marketers and politicians, and anyone really, use to persuade.  One of these methods he calls “Commitment and Consistency.”

Once a person makes a commitment to something, even a very small one, it’s more likely they'll make a larger commitment later on. When I committed myself to receiving Mike Lindell’s e-mails, it opened the door for me to make the larger commitment of forking over cash. 

Generally, our inclination to commit and be consistent is a desirable personality trait.  'Honestly' and 'stability' are some words we use to describe individuals who make steady commitment to families, careers, and beliefs. 

However, Cialdini points out, this desire to be consistent can make us impervious to reason and so vulnerable to exploitation. 

Have you ever went through a lugubrious online order, advancing through screen after screen, only to arrive at the “final” screen and be hit with an additional expense?  Trust me, the arduous process was by design.  After clicking through so many screens, most people become so committed to the purchase they go ahead and pay the added fee.   

In an example from the book, Cialdini cites a study where a group of Californians who’ve been previously asked “how committed are you to keeping California beautiful” were WAY more likely to put an enormous “drive carefully” billboard onto their lawn than those who hadn’t been asked.  

Unbelievable--simply answering a question greatly increases the likelihood of agreeing to an enormous sign in your front yard!  The desire to be committed to our convictions is that strong.    

Which brings us to the Impeachment trial.  

A portion of the public had been so committed to the Narrative the media pushed, that when presented with another piece of “evidence” that supposedly supported the Narrative, they were able to gloss over the fact that:

a) the Impeachment team had broken the law by presenting doctored evidence, and

b) the evidence contradicted the argument the Impeachment team was making. 

It’s scary, really, what a commitment can drive you to think or do.

Journalists, Politicians, or...Hypnotists?!?

Just how far will the media and politicians go to advance their narrative?  Well as demonstrated last week, they’ll not only lie, but will also break the law. 

This is to say, these politicians and journalists aren’t invested in the fabric the binds the country; i.e. rule of law and the Constitution; but rather are adherents to the tools of persuasion and hypnosis. 

In Chapter 10 of Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn writes that the propaganda arm of the Soviet Union employed a team of hypnotists:

In the 20s some leading hypnotists gave up their careers and entered the service of the OGPU.  It is also reliably known that in the 30s a school for hypnotists existed in the NKVD. 

It's not at all a stretch to conclude we have a few hypnotists working within our system as well.  Very good ones.  They may well be running the show.

Who are the objects of their trickery?  YOU.  ME.  The everyday public.

The Stakes are High

The actions and beliefs of the unwashed masses shape the future of the country.  Even more critically, our actions and beliefs determine the relationship we have with our Creator.

In order to be engaged in reality, then, and not manipulated by a group of hypnotists, it’s crucial we understand their methods of persuasion and how they’re used on us. 

To this end, I highly recommend Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence.  It was published over thirty years ago but the message rings true today. Believe it or not, we’re still humans and wired the same as we were back in the dark ages of the 1980s. 

What’s you take?  How do you view persuasion and manipulation in the media? 

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2/11/21

The Communist Revolution is in Our Midst

Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall!” 

Just over two years after Reagan spoke these famous words in West Germany, the Berlin Wall crumbled.  The dissolution of the USSR two years later in 1991 propagated the belief that the West had delivered communism a lethal blow and purged its philosophy from Europe and America.   

The unfortunate reality is that communism, although officially “rejected” and “dismantled” in the West, is nevertheless very much entrenched in American society and has been for decades.

And while in days gone by its influence was perhaps covert and obscure, in recent years it's right in our faces.

Going Way Back

"The Great Experiment" Americans pride themselves on; a Constitutional Republic where our rights cannot be taken from us by government or majority opinion; has shown signs of rot and decay going back a hundred years.  

Whittaker Chamber's Witness

In 1952 Whittaker Chambers published Witness, recounting his work as a spy for the Communist Party in Baltimore in the 30s, and the famous Alger Hiss Trial (where Hiss vehemently denied Chamber's accusations that he was a Communist, in the face of overwhelming evidence). 

As a defected Communist Party member, Chambers offered penetrating insight into the communist mentality and its seep into the United States government. 

In Witness, he writes:

“Experience has convinced me communism is a form of totalitarianism, its triumph means slavery to men…and spiritual night to the human mind and soul.” 1 

I perceived that the Communists were much more firmly embedded in Government that I had supposed, and that any attempt to disclose or dislodge was enormously complicated by the political situation in which they were parasitic...every move against Communists was felt by the Liberals as a move against themselves.” 1 

(The purpose of my testimony is to) help make Americans recognize at last that they are at grips with a secret, sinister and enormously powerful force whose tireless purpose is their enslavement.” 1 

The whole aggressive mood of Communism, which had been mine for years, now came to my aid against the Communist Party.  Its mood had been: there is almost nothing that is impossible if the imagination is bold enough to block it out and the will resolute enough to carry it through.” 1 

These passages, written by a Communist insider way back in 1952 makes it difficult to conclude that communism is merely a bogeyman or external threat.  No, Chamber's account rather portrays a Communist Party well-entrenched within the US government and determined to realize its heinous revolution.  Chambers affirms that the objectives of all Communists--be they Chinese or Russian--are one and the same. 1

 

A Private Central Bank

Witness isn't the only evidence of decades-long communist influence in our country. 

The ten planks of Marx's Communist Manifesto include: 

  - a Heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

  -  Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

The creation of a central private bank in 1913, the Federal Reserve, fulfilled both these planks. 

After its creation, the government “of the people” owed interest to the owners of the Fed, forcing citizens to pay income taxes to private bank owners.  (Who, then, does the government really serve?  The people or these private bank owners?) 

Communist Parasite

And so we can see, to use Chamber's word, Communist Party members and the communist ideology have been parasites on the United States for over 100 years, slowly yet fixedly eating away at our Constitution, rights, culture. 

The Here and Now

Which brings us to the present day.  Where do we see a totalitarian communist agenda at work in the world today?  Well, as it turns out, pretty much everywhere.  (I'm writing this in January of 2021; things are moving so quickly this will soon sound dated.) 

World-Wide Chinese Communist Party Infiltration

From a data leak she received in December 2020, “The Australian” journalist Sharri Markson reports that 200 million Chinese Communists work at companies, universities, banks and government agencies worldwide. 

The database revealed the individual's position within the Communist Party and the chain of command; the CP has central hubs within the institutions that report to the CP in China and President Xi.  Infiltrated companies include Pfizer, Boeing, Volkswagen, HSBC. 

Chamber's claim of a CP "firmly embedded" within our society was dead on.  And it certainly can push its weight around with this kind of clout! 

It would naturally follow, then, that this Communist Revolution of worldwide enslavement would be playing itself out before our eyes. 

As indeed it has been, writ large. 

CCP Bioweapon Causes Seismic Shift

The treachery the China Virus has inflicted need hardly be described, as we're all living through it.  Small businesses shutter, while corporations double in value.  “For our safety”, governors across the nation have enforced lockdowns, isolating a race designed for socialization--and not coincidentally, 2020 saw the most overdose deaths ever in a 12-month period.  

Plus, they've whipped out a vaccine at a dangerously rapid pace (vaccines generally take over a decade to create), and threaten to severely restrict travel for those who choose not to take it. 

Is this pandemic simply one of those uglier things Mother Nature inflicts on us from time to time?  That's looking pretty unlikely.  Independent research from scientists Dr. Quay and Dr. Li-Meng Yan, as well as declassified US intelligence all corroborate that the covid virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, not from bats or snakes at a wet market, as they originally had us believe. 

To quote everyone's favorite host, speaking on his show last week: 

"It would almost be a conspiracy theory to think it didn't start in the lab."  Bill Maher 

Additionally, these Chinese Communists overtly pushed to disseminate the virus to the rest of the rest of world.  Brian Kennedy reports in Imprimis:

We know with certainty that after the virus began spreading in Wuhan in the fall of 2019, the Chinese government closed down flights from Wuhan, which is in Hubei province, to the rest of China.  At the same time, it allowed flights from Wuhan to continue to go to Europe and to the U.S.—where the Chinese knew with certainty that the virus would spread.

This scenario: lab-generated virus, created by the Communist Party, and deliberately spread throughout the country, recalls another line from Witness

The Communist Party exists for the specific purpose of overthrowing the Government, at the opportune time, by any and all means; and each of its members...is dedicated to this purpose. 1 

Schwab Calls for a Great Reset

As if the totalitarianism inflicted on us by the Wuhan Virus weren't lucid enough, last June the Big Cheeses explicitly called for a worldwide seismic shift, citing their bioweapon as the justification. 

"The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that our old systems are not fit any more for the 21st century.  In short, we need a great reset."  Chairman Klaus Schwab at the World Economic Forum in June of 2020.

They've created the problem and are whipping out the solution.  It's like a thief breaking into your home and the next day selling you a security system. 

Children Raised By the State

Communism sees children as property of the state, and increasingly this philosophy has seeped into state schools. Blue states, including Washington, California, and New York have passed comprehensive sexual education bills, mandating the state teach children about sexuality.

In counseling and instructing students, schools deliberately squeeze the parent out of the equation.  In her book Irreversible Damage, Abigail Shrier cites how schools facilitate gender transition treatment for girls while, as a policy, keeping it secret from the girl's parents!  (I would be so pissed if my daughter received testosterone injections without my knowledge or consent--and this is happening a LOT.  And it's LEGAL!!!)

Really Bad Political Theater

And I cannot fail to mention (with relish) that totally bizarre Presidential transition that rolled out with such poorly staged and directed theater there's no way all the producers in Hollywood weren't doubling over in laughter. 

I'm talking about the Capitol Hill “massacre” on Jan 6th, the subsequent 30,000+ troops in DC, all of the barbed wire surrounding the Capitol at this moment (like it's under imminent threat of an insurrectionist attack), and the flags covering the National Mall on Inauguration Day to conceal that none of Biden's 85 million voters would be making it out.

Yes, something's definitely afoot.

Clarity with GameStop: The Boot on the Neck

Just in case it weren't already really, really clear that we're the serfs to an elite power, January's GameStop super-surge hit us over the head with it one more time. 

When a small group of investors in the Reddit group WallStreetBets caused the price of GameStop (GME) to surge 400% on January 27th, (opening at $354 versus $88 the day before), hedge funds were forced to close their large volumes of GME short positions, and they lost billions.  

The Redditors showed no sign of abating the bull run, with calls for "HOLD, MotherF*^#@!*, HOLD!!!" smattering the rapidly-expanding, overnight sensation group. 

In reaction, as a measure to prevent further losses to the billionaires, the following day RobinHood, Citadel and Schwab halted buying on GameStop, and related stocks!!!   

Notice how they didn't step in and change the rules, mid-game, when the little guy's IRAs collapsed back in 2008 due to the mortgage crisis and subsequent market crash?

Mike Cernovich had a great analysis of this event in his January 30th interview with Steve Bannon:

This is right in our faces now.  We are the indentured servitude class....Ok, you can live, you can eat some processed food, you can watch cable tv, maybe if you're lucky you can get an iPhone.  That's all you're gonna get though.  You've never going to own a house, a company.  You've never going to trade against Wall Street and win.

Is the Warning Just Around the Corner?

Yes, it's abundantly clear: the communist bogeyman is no longer hiding under our beds.  He's crawled out and has invaded every corner of our country and world. 

In her apparitions at Garabandal, the BVM told the four visionaries that the Warning would take place when the “spirit of communism” returned to the world. (The Warning is a great event wherein every person on the planet will have his life revealed to him, in light of his transgressions against God.  Read more about it here.) 

In Matthew 16:3, Jesus tells us to discern the signs of the times, and it's fair to conclude that this period Our Lady is referencing may well be upon us. 

Notice she calls it the “spirit” of communism, so we needn't anticipate an explicit return, but more of a return to the philosophy and principles of communist rule. 

Given this transition-phase we find ourselves in, the question naturally emerges: will the government pull, as my friend likes to call it, a jack move?  Or is the takeover more like the frog in boiling in water, where death comes gradually and not at one moment? 

I vote for one moment of decisive takeover; a “great reset” as the elites themselves called for.  In order to convince the masses that the shift is necessary for the safety of us all, the elites will probably stage a heinous false-flag event, much like they did with 9-11.  Given the rapidity of events, the CCP probably attempt their wrest “soon” (again, that cryptic word!).

And so in turn, it's entirely feasible, though of course not certain, that the Warning will occur shortly thereafter; and so even as soon as sometime this decade.

As Amos called for back in 800 BC: 

Prepare to meet your God, oh Israel!!!


Posted on February 11th, 2021

1 Witness, Whittaker Chambers. Pgs 541, 473, 542, 60, 497, 542

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