America’s Greatest Enemy is Not a Physical One

But I repeat myself

by baldilocks

David Solway

Writing the book forced me to undertake relentless scrutiny of the values and beliefs I’d accepted as gospel and to realize that I had thoughtlessly succumbed to an all-encompassing lie fostered by the media, the academy, and the political left. Intellectually speaking, I had thought I was pole-vaulting; instead, I was doing the limbo. Almost every statement I’d read about American treachery, Israeli apartheid, the “religion of peace,” feminist grievance, global warming, right-wing extremism, the ironhanded Patriarchy, oppression of minorities, and the rest was an outright lie and functioned as aspects of what Quentin Skinner in From Humanism to Hobbes called “the potentially ruinous impact of rhetorical redescription,” that is, reframing something that is not the case as emphatically and undeniably the case. (…)

I finally began to understand that what I’d taken for history was nothing but ideology and what I’d thought was truth was an order-of-magnitude lie. And that my political and cultural preceptors were, to a man and a woman, professional liars.

Everything I’ve learned since I began paying attention has only served to confirm my conviction that we are living in unique times, an era in which lies come so thick and fast it seems like one is dodging bullets. It makes no difference where we turn, the lie is there. And we have credulously absorbed it as indisputable fact.

We Christians are familiar—some only passingly familiar–with Jesus’ assertion that the Devil is the Father of Lies. That is, he is the progenitor of everything that is false. Let’s stipulate that and go further: he is the architect and builder of Lies.

God is building His kingdom, and so the Adversary is building his.

This adversary does deal in simple falsehoods, but those aren’t his most lethal weapons. He is an imitator of his enemy, God, and therefore, his deceptions are high, wide, deep, broad, complex — and, long-term.

These types of deceptions are four-dimensional at the very least; they are his weapons of mass destruction.

I’ve pointed this out before.

Solway again.

Nearly all the political news we get is Fake News, disseminated by a media conglomerate that constitutes the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party in the U.S. and the Liberal Party in my own country. The media are proof positive that the political and cultural left has completed its long march through the institutions.

I kept reading to see if Solway came to the same conclusion that I did.

Pay-dirt:

We need to recognize that these “kings” have built a world of lies so massive and infusorial that we have been unwittingly conscripted into its dominion. We must somehow expose this bogus world and return to the real one, we must be wakeful rather than woke, though I’m afraid the struggle may now be Sisyphean. (…)

As M. Scott Peck reminds us in People of the Lie, “the only power that Satan has is through human belief in its [Satan’s] lies,” a belief consistent with lack of empathy, the failure of introspection and the inability to distrust oneself. This leads to the further question of whether evil lives in the human spirit or is a factor in the objective world. As Peck remarks, “Perhaps it will forever be impossible to totally discern exactly where the human Shadow leaves off and the Prince of Darkness begins.”

You’ll want to read Solway’s entire essay … and the late M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Russia’s next move: Belarus and Turkmenistan

The media is laser-locked on the non-war with Iran and impeachment. In typical Russian fashion, Russia has been able to fly under the radar and stay out of the news. But the recent resignation of the government showed that its not quiet in Russia.

Putin continues to make moves to solidify his power in Russia. We already knew that. Putin’s larger goal is to recreate the USSR. He wants the Russian empire to extend again from the Pacific to Lithuania, the Arctic to Kazakhstan. While he’s made moves, successfully, in Ukraine, its come at a cost. The Russian economy shrank considerably, suffering under pretty severe sanctions, sparking protests in Moscow. Putin isn’t stupid, so his next moves will come in Belarus and Tajikistan, and they’ll look vastly different.

Yup, that’s a nasty drop. From Wikipedia.

Belarus has always been close to Russia, and as the next door neighbor to NATO, gives Russia a way to intimidate the nearby countries of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. But Belarus has been happy with its independence. It’s ethnically different from Russia, has its own currency, and is relying more on European Union support. A Ukraine-style invasion isn’t likely.

Instead, expect to see Putin setup Belarus as a failed state and use legal agreements to bring them into the fold. Putin has tried to get Belarus to rejoin Russia, using a 1999 Union Treaty to start discussions, but this hasn’t worked. But Putin has more levers, especially economic ones. Since most of Belarus’ oil and gas comes from Russia, Russia will no longer give Belarus a discount, worth about 10 billion dollars a year, unless it walks down the path of Belarus/Russia unification, including a single currency and unified government. President Trump’s warning about Russia using oil as an economic weapon will likely get played out in Belarus in 2020.

Turkmenistan is different. Bordering Russia and Afghanistan, it is landlocked except for a coastline on the Caspian Sea. With large natural gas reserves, Turkmenistan needs export routes, and has been pursuing a pipeline under the Caspian Sea. More importantly, much of its oil and gas is purchased by Russia or China, making it vulnerable to Russian economic measures.

Putin will likely pursue a different path with Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan’s border with Afghanistan remains dangerous, and an IS affiliate known as the Islamic State in Khorasan is continuing to cause problems. Russia has kindly offered military assistance, giving it a legal way to move military forces into the country. Over time, this will give Russia more influence in the region, especially as the United States removes troops from Afghanistan.

Putin will likely first pull economic levers to get Turkmenistan back into the Commonwealth of Independent States, a treaty that Turkmenistan hasn’t ratified yet. Then, expect there to be multiple “terrorism” problems that require Russian assistance. Over time, this will turn Turkmenistan into a larger version of Belarus, with an eventual goal of unification.

It’s not all hopeless. The US can use its export of petroleum to wean these countries off of Russian oil dependence. Cheap, safe nuclear power could be exported to eliminate the need to burn oil or gas for electricity. Media, hospital care and technology, all areas that the US and Europe are leading on, could make these regions profit and want to more align with democratic ideals. It’ll require us to care about an area of the world that most people can’t find on a map, but if we do, it could stunt Russia’s world domination desires.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Missing Mike the Butcher

Yesterday Mike Romano the owner of the last butcher shop in Fitchburg that has been run by his family for 100 years died after a short but violent bout with cancer at the age of 69.

Mike was in the shop every day. Six days a week open and Monday’s doing his bookkeeping except for the week of Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Years when he would close on the holiday and open on Monday to make up for it. He was a fixture of the city. For decades when you walked into Romano’s Market you saw Mike fist with his father and uncle and then later with his sons. He was of the old school, he worked hard, did his job well, didn’t whine, didn’t complain and took care of customers.

I first wrote about Mike after seeing a post at Instapundit comparing sausage making and laws. His piece prompted this email which was the 1st time I was mentioned at Instapundit:

UPDATE: How bad have things gotten? Bad enough that when you compare journalism to sausage-making, people write in to defend sausage-makers! Reader Peter Ingemi writes:

I live 7 doors down from a butcher shop that has been in the neighborhood and one particular family for 100 years. A couple of months ago when I walked in and was making my order I noticed Mike (the butcher) cutting and cubing pork. He seemed to be cutting an awful lot of it, I didn’t see a special on the board so I asked about it.

He reminded me it was Wednesday and that is the day he made all of the different sausages he makes (about a half dozen types not counting chicken and kielbasa) I stood there and watched him making sausages and realized that the old saying about Sausages no matter how true it might be for a plant or maybe another butcher shop it wasn’t true at Romano’s. (I can’t speak for other local butchers but I would bet good money that this is true for other family butcher shops too.)

I think Mike and the other local butchers deserve a caveat.

So noted.

Shortly afterwards Mike let me film him making sausage it turned into an in depth look at an old fashioned neighborhood family business

part 2

Part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6

There is no part 7 or if there is I don’t know what happened to it, here is part 8

Part 9

Part 10

I filmed there several other times. like the day before Thanksgiving one year

Kaite is only there occasionally these days, Michelle is now 29 and still works there part time in fact she cut the steak I bought there Wednesday. Harold has been dead for a few years. Mike’s Son Josh the teacher is now the Principal of school he was at and left the service as a Major. His other son Todd from the videos is still in sales but is regularly at the shop

I have no idea what the future of the Butcher shop will be as I can’t imagine going anywhere else after almost three decades of walking down the street for my meats but even if it continues it’s going to be an odd thing walking in there and not seeing Mike anymore but I’m glad that I had the chance to shoot these videos and others so I and others can remember him by.

Mike was a good man, and if he treated his other customers half as good as he treated me and mine over the years he will be sorely missed as a person can be.

Update: Corrected his age, Mike was 69 would have been 70 this year. I should mention that if you walked into Romano’s over the last few years, particularly during the holiday season or the summer months you were very likely to be waited on by one of Mike’s many grandchildren which makes seven generations of Romano’s at this business.

Here is his Obit from the Sentinel & Enterprise this jumped out at me:

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Mike’s name to the Lunenburg Fire and Rescue, 655 Mass Avenue, Lunenburg, MA 01462 or Fitchburg Fire Fighters Relief Fund, 33 North Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420. or may be left at the funeral home.

The firestations would always come down for a big order on a regular basis

thought I’d include one more video of his sons talking during the pink slime business: