by baldilocks

Nature abhors a vacuum.

–Aristotle

Evil, runnin’ through our brain,
we and evil’s about the same.
Bad blood through our body flows,
where’s the love nobody knows.

Evil –Earth, Wind and Fire

Mark Steyn’s offerings are always worth your while, but this one is outstanding.

In between [the Las Vegas, NV and Sutherland Springs, TX massacres], some guy went Allahu Akbar on a Manhattan bike path and killed eight people. Within five days, the usual psycho misfit loner from the

teeming swamps of loserdom managed to make a proud Uzbek Soldier of Allah look like a know-nothing piker who can’t even rack up a third of the corpse count of some schlub with an unknown grievance against a town of 400 people. Some global caliphate you got there, Sayfullo.

A republic requires virtue, and the decline of virtue is accompanied necessarily by the decline of the concept of evil, and its substitution by exculpatory analysis of the “motives” of evil. A more useful conversation would be on what it takes to remove the most basic societal inhibition – including the instinctive revulsion that would prevent most of us from taking the lives of strangers, including in this case eighteen-month-old babies. That inhibition is weaker in the dar al-Islam, because of Islam’s institutional contempt for “the other” (unbelievers) but also because of the rewards promised in the afterlife. Thus, violence is sanctioned by paradise. That is the precise inversion of our society, and yet the weakening of inhibition seems to be proceeding here, too. A church sealed off by yellow police tape: a shameful and astonishing sight, and yet one senses that it will neither shame nor astonish us for long, that something else will come along to make the records books and distract a couple of news cycles. (…)

Texas officials now believe they have their “motive” – in their words, “a domestic situation going on in this

family”; in my words, “the black void at the heart of the act”.

As I implied here, I think that there is no motive for this kind of thing that normal people would understand. However, as I think more about this, there is no void in the souls of people who do this. Oh, very likely, there once was. But something filled up the empty space of those souls and whispered into their ears: “Do this thing. You’ll feel better and all your troubles will be over.”

That’s what I think.

More in a bit at my place. I will post an update here.

UPDATE: Sort of related. Why Non-Christians Don’t Understand Christian Prayer.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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Painting of the first fruit of evil.

by baldilocks

David French sums up the surrealism in the aftermath of Las Vegas.

So, a person who’s “not a gun guy” has either expended untold thousands of dollars to legally purchase fully-automatic weapons, somehow found them on the black market, or purchased and substantially modified multiple semi-automatic weapons — and did so with enough competence to create a sustained rate of fire. This same person also spent substantial sums purchasing just the right hotel room to maximize casualties. I cannot think of a single other mass shooter who went to this level of expense and planning in the entire history of the United States.

And there was no real warning? [Stephen Paddock’s] family was unaware? His brother also reported that the shooter had no meaningful political or religious affiliations. “He just hung out.” At the same time, however, there are reports that a woman told a group of concert-goers, “You’re all going to die tonight.”

I’m not ready to draw any conclusions from these reports, but it’s worth highlighting how extraordinary this attack seems to be. Given the firepower and the packed mass of people, it’s easy to see how the casualty count was so high, even firing from an extreme range (by the standards of mass shootings.) This was the University of Texas tower attack on steroids, conducted out of nowhere, with meticulous planning and at great expense, from a person who doesn’t seem to fit any normal profile of a mass shooter. There is much we have yet to learn, but for now, this is one of the most chilling and mysterious events I’ve ever seen.

The Texas Tower sniper, Charles Whitman, was just as meticulous in the planning of his carnage; he was found to have a brain tumor. Read Whitman’s biography. There are startling similarities — besides the obvious — between Whitman and Paddock.

We’ll see what is reported about Paddock’s autopsy. Note the emphasis.

I blogged, glancingly, on the Massacre this morning, but my inner compass tells me something extra: the prevalence of these mass killings is a spiritual issue. I doubt that we will find any rational reason for this one or any of the others. People, sometimes, do what they inner voice tells them to and, as often as not, that inner voice isn’t God.

Evil and its father exist; evil produces its own justifications — it bears fruit.

And if we can’t understand such justifications, we should count our blessing for that alone.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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by baldilocks

Click the links at the risk of your own emotional equilibrium.

In Saturday’s post, I said this:

[W]hat does Satan want ultimately? Answer: the death of humanity, but not just death. He wants our debasement, since he is envious of God’s love for us. Therefore, he will turn as many of us as he can into monsters. He does this on many levels: individual, familial, national, and ethnic; and he does it over time.

Lately, we’ve seen reports of mayhem in which people do unthinkable things to their children and to the children of other people. These ideas don’t just pop up in the minds of the perpetrators; a foundation is laid in the spirits of such people and a “house” is built on top of that foundation. From what I’ve read about it, these people were usually victims of severe child abuse themselves, but where did/do these things start? Who was the first to “decide” that the abuse of others—especially of children—was not or just okay, but pleasurable?

People decide all the time that they don’t believe in and/or need God, but I think that it takes more than that decision to lay the basis for evil in one’s soul. The Bible calls it “hardening of the heart”—an active turning to the other side. It seems that is usually involving occult practices and/or drugs.

If you looking into many of these cases, often the perpetrator is taking some psychotropic illegal substance—like heroin or meth. (The latest drug fad is synthetic marijuana.) And I bet if one looks far enough back into such a person’s lineage, one will find that a progenitor dabbled in the occult.

With God, all things are possible, but without Him anything is, including all the evil things we see in the news of late. Spiritual doors are being opened, entryways better left shut.

RELATED: Musings on Evil, Part One

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

by baldilocks

Two recent public atrocities have been on the minds of many observers this week: the Chicago torture of a disabled man–which the perpetrators streamed on Facebook–and the latest jihad shooting at Ft. Lauderdale Airport during which five people were murdered. And tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the Christian-Newsom rape-torture-murder.

My purpose here isn’t to recount any of these crimes or to talking about the looming racial and/or religious warfare. It is to point out how mundane and commonplace these things seem to be. But, the reality is that none of these types of disgusting things are new.

The world over, perverse murders and mayhem are carried out almost unchecked and this has been so for millennia. And lest you think I’m talking about the Third World, you might want to review your pre-1945 European history. Everywhere in existence, there are people who will rape, disfigure, murder, etc. without the slightest twinge of conscience.

The difference here in the USA is that monsters think twice before they attack. It may seem as if there is a greater amount of American violent crime these days, but that’s only because we have direct access to the crime reports within seconds.

Here’s the thing about those who will still commit their acts despite the likelihood of legal consequences: they don’t care about the consequences; I doubt if they even think far enough into the future to care; such people are all appetite and always hungry. And I’d even venture that such people are proud of themselves—like the Facebook torturers.

It is a spiritual matter and, because of that, you cannot reason with these types.

Consider this: what does Satan want ultimately? Answer: the death of humanity, but not just death. He wants our debasement, since he is envious of God’s love for us. Therefore, he will turn as many of us as he can into monsters. He does this on many levels: individual, familial, national, and ethnic; and he does it over time.

Monsters don’t just spring up out of nowhere. They are made.

(To be continued…)

UPDATE: Musings on Evil, Part Two

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

…I wonder if countries should just surrender to radical Islam & be done with it, after all one death cult is as good as the next:

Belgium passes right-to-die law — for children, with no age limit

If you are an adult that actually think that a child of any age is competent to decide to kill him or herself, then I question your sanity, your morality and your maturity.

Actually I don’t question it at all. I state for a fact that support for such a measure shows you insane, evil, stupid or any combination thereof.

Boy did Python peg that nation.

Of course they could be following Al Gore’s advice and taking up the green man’s burden. as the Poem says…

Take up the Green Man’s burden–
The savage ways of green–
Cull surplus population
For Earth’s abiding need;

Update:  Interesting tweet from a liberal I know:

Nice to see a leftist get it, Maybe we just have to frame the argument better for people on the left to understand

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Henry:  Get somebody else.
Undertaker:  Nobody else will drive it! So here.
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The Magnificent Seven 1960

One of the most often asked questions has been why does God allow bad things to happen? Why does he allow evil things and evil people to exist?

There are many theories the most common one & reasonable one being that bad thing also bring out virtue as people rise to the occasion but there a much better answer comes from today’s Mass readings the first of which many of our protestant friends might have missed as it comes from the Book of Wisdom, which they removed when breaking away:

Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

Wisdom 11:22-12:2

One of the basic tenets of Christianity is God’s love of his creation, or as it is often described: Loving the sinner but not the sin.  In this passage it talks of God moving slowly not by force but “warning”, and “reminding” the of sin, never excusing it, but always trying to help the sinner change direction.

The second reading of the week from 2 Thessalonians is a perfect complement to it

Brothers and sisters:
We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. 

We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed
either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

2 Thes 1:11-2:2

Consider the first half of the passage, it’s all about praying for people with the goal of bringing people to be brought to the ways of the lord.  Emphasizing again the grace of God.

Then see the 2nd half warning against people trying to create a drastic fear to try and force a conversion, an excellent answer to every single doomsday cult that has come up over the centuries who have either conned people out of their possessions or even worse tricked them into thinking they have a faith they do not and then when reality strikes destroying it.

And finally we have this week’s Gospel from Luke that completes the package:

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

Luke 19:1-10

We have Christ not only defying convention and expectation by dining with a well known sinner but reminding the self-righteous what his entire mission is.

Think about it.  What would have happened if God had, as he was sinning and extorting simply decided, forget it, he’s not worth my salvation, or the time and effort to bring him around?

But also  consider Zacchaeus.  He wasn’t seeking redemption, he wasn’t seeking conversion, he went to see Christ out of sheer curiosity and I suspect nobody was more surprised at his conversion than he was.

And as Kristen Powers informs us, that surprise is still going on to this day:

I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn’t shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.

I didn’t know what to do, so I spoke with writer Eric Metaxas, whom I had met through my boyfriend and who had talked with me quite a bit about God. “You need to be in a Bible study,” he said. “And Kathy Keller’s Bible study is the one you need to be in.” I didn’t like the sound of that, but I was desperate. My whole world was imploding. How was I going to tell my family or friends about what had happened? Nobody would understand. I didn’t understand. (It says a lot about the family in which I grew up that one of my most pressing concerns was that Christians would try to turn me into a Republican.)

I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don’t remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I’ll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, “It’s true. It’s completely true.” The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.

God doesn’t throw people away he finds the of value and will spend till their very last minute of their lives to call them.

And he doesn’t ask their voter registration when he does it.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.

A Bronx Tale 1993

EMMETT: If I’d brought a pretty lady like that into a place like this, I’d stay close.

Silverado 1985

Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;  Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.

Joel 2:12-13

There has been, in my opinion a morbid fascination with the autopsy photo of the dead terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaey, part of it fueled no doubt by the quite normal human inclination of revenge. A very Jacksonian way of looking at things satisfying the anger that burns in our hearts.

I was also filled with anger on friday based on a photo of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but it came from this photo of him with his girlfriend at Gateway Pundit

What the future might have been
along with this story.

“Tamerlan says he doesn’t drink or smoke anymore: ‘God said no alcohol.’ A muslim, he says: ‘There are no values anymore,’ and worries that ‘people can’t control themselves.’”

and this:

We know Tamerlan Tsarnaev was 26 and a competitive boxer for a club named Team Lowell, who won the Rocky Marciano Trophy for being New England Golden Gloves heavyweight champion in 2010. He did this while taking time off from school at Bunker Hill Community College, where he studied in hopes of being an engineer.

We know he had a YouTube profile, where he created a playlist dedicated to terrorism. The photo gallery features his girlfriend at the time, and the caption reads:

Tamerlan says his girlfriend is half Portuguese, half Italian girlfriend and converted to Islam: “She’s beautiful, man!”

Most people see and read this and see just the terrorist, who slaughtered women and children and robbed them of their future, but Radical Islam didn’t just rob those people of those potential wonderful lives, it robbed Tamerlan of the same.

I look at this picture of this young man and his lady and I get angry, not for what he did, but for what could have been.

I look at that photo and I see a handsome young man and a beautiful young lady happy together. I can imagine them marrying. I can see the joy of the day. As the years pass they raise a family, watch them grow up with all the joys and foibles that entails. I see him eying his daughters boyfriends as only a father & ex-boxer can eventually walking a daughter down the aisle. In their middle age bouncing grandchildren on their knees.

But there is more than that. He worried about people not having morals or able to control themselves, a valid worry in today’s society. Just imagine, if instead of killing he lived hat life of restraint, being an example of a person can live a fully without the vices that he rejected. Picture him in his forties saying to his sons when they are tempted by the wrong crowd: “If you want to find a good wife like your mother, instead of drinking and partying work hard, go to school, improve yourself and worship God.”

Imagine him, graduating, being a successful engineer, buying a house and being a man who other men look up to, a role model for his children & grandchildren. What if he lived that pious life and happy life, (they are not mutually exclusive no matter what they say on TV) with the women of his dreams beside him. He would have been a light to all who saw him.

Imagine all the people who could have been touched by a life lived this way. Just think of all the good that could have been done! How many people would have asked him: “How did you get so lucky?” and he with a grin giving the answer that comes from age and experience: “It’s not luck, I lived a clean life, worked hard and remembered God.”

Imagine if the discipline that his religion teaches was applied in that way. How many might have followed his example? How many lives could he have toughed for the better in subtle ways?

Instead he is an example of death, destruction and pain and disgrace. Hundreds of lives shattered, his own family and people disgraced and under suspicion and his young woman alone and in tears.

This is what Radical Islam has done multiplied by the thousands, and THAT’S why I hate it. It doesn’t just destroy the people it murders, it destroys the people who do the killing.

And those destroyed lives outrage me. All of them.

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ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

George Orwell: Animal Farm 1945

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.

Alexander Stephens March 21, 1861

One of the first arguments that generally come out of the mouth of a person who supports abortion when confronted by the argument on innocent life is that you aren’t killing baby in abortion.

Not anymore. Mary Elizabeth Williams has decided to go the other way here is the title or her Salon Piece

 

So what if abortion ends life?
I believe that life starts at conception. And it’s never stopped me from being pro-choice

Mary Katherine Ham notes the thinking process:

This was the exact thought process that led me to the exact opposite position. I, too, noticed a distinction between how women approached an in-utero child when they wanted the child and how they felt about it when the pregnancy was unexpected and unwanted. Logically, it made no sense to me that the mother’s disposition should change the biological disposition of the baby. Therefore, it made no sense that it should change the ethics of the situation. But Mary Elizabeth Williams goes a whole different direction

Mary Elizabeth Williams doesn’t just go in a different direction she goes all Comrade Napoleon on us

All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss

Katrina Trinko calls asks the obvious:

By this same logic, isn’t infanticide also fine and dandy? After all, if we’re talking about autonomy, kids aren’t exactly independent as soon as they are born. No infant can take care of themselves. And even later on in childhood, children rely heavily on the adults in their life to provide shelter, food, and emotional support. What about kids and adults who become disabled in life? What about quadriplegics?

Elizabeth Scalia, meanwhile is horrified:

When terrorists flew jets into tall buildings, they believed that those 3,000 lives were “worth sacrificing” for the furtherance of their situation. When Nazis led people with disabilities into gas chambers, those lives were “worth sacrificing” for society. When Herod had all the male children killed Bethlehem, those lives were “worth sacrificing” for his ease of mind.

The utilitarian mindset is a crystalline brutality of efficiency. If human beings of unknown or dubious worth cannot contribute to the comfort of a society, or the success of an endeavor or the happiness of one’s life, they are swept aside and away.

I’m shocked none of these ladies mentioned slavery, the ultimate utilitarian argument, consider these words from Williams…

She understands that it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families.

..and remember the arguments in the past concerning the black man, and the red man and how their subordination allowed the superior the more important to advance and achieve, to give them roads to go down and possibilities for them and their families.

And it also ignores something else, the costs of abortion:

A recent study published by Great Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists (H/T Alveda King Blog) includes data collected from 22 studies, conducted over 14 years, involving over 887,000 women, of which at least 166,831 had abortions.  The results? Eighty-one percent of women (81%) who have had abortions suffer an increased risk of severe mental health problems.

All these reactions have merit but they miss the real story of the Salon piece although Elizabeth comes closest…

Were I a cartographer, I would hasten to warn Ms. Williams against this route; I would mark the map, “Here be Monsters.”

Elizabeth Elizabeth Elizabeth you are so close, being kind-hearted you conclude that Ms Williams is taking herself on a monstrous route unknowingly, but observe her argument carefully. This is a place she has been forever, in fact an honest reading of her piece admits the pro-abortion side has been there all along. The only reason she is making this statement in public is she believes it will advance her cause.

In short Ms. Williams is not taking the route toward the monsters, she is the MONSTER and the monster has decided it is strong enough to show true colors. By it being printed in a national magazine publicly it informs others that they can openly discuss this topic without fear.

That begs the question why now? Well that’s a piece is for tomorrow.

In 1941 Governor Lee “Pappy” McDaniel ran in a special election for an open Senate seat created by the death of Senator John Sheppard (an interesting fact is that a son of Sam Houston the 1st president of Texas born in 1793 was appointed as a “placeholder” senator during the time between the death and the election). His primary opponent was Lyndon Johnson then a congressman from the 10th district. The two primary candidates fought it out and both were involved in some underhanded tactics however at the end of the day it looked like Johnson had the game won until (According to Robert Caro in his book The Years of Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power) O’Daniel’s enemies contrived to steal the election FOR him to get him out of the governors office.

It turned out that Pappy although corrupt had one “virtue” and that was dislike for alcohol. Convinced it was the devil’s brew he was prepared to keep “dry” zones around military bases and his foes in the liquor industry wanted him out.

I thought of Pappy O’Daniel when I read this surprising quote from Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Fidel Castro:

Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the “unique” history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence.

It was quite a shock to hear one of the monsters of the 20th century excoriating a modern monster for antisemitism and going on about the long history of Jewish suffering, that’s when I remembered Pappy.

Pappy was an opponent of the dangers of drinking, but it didn’t make him any less a corrupt pol.

Castro if this interview is to be believed believes that antisemitism is a centuries long disgrace and that Israel has a right to exist, that doesn’t make him any less of a murderous thug. I’m not going to fall for his pap any more that the Babliu blog guys will.

As the Doctor once told Margaret the Slitheen it doesn’t matter, you can oppress millions because every now and again you can speak up against an injustice that has nothing to do with you.

memeorandum thread here