Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

It's in Honor of Philip Mathews and to the people who can relate Thing

Dear America,

"Observe the wonders 
as they occur around you.  
Don't claim them.  
Feel the artistry 
moving through, 
and be silent."  

so not the blog Just a Girl intended to write...
meets up with not the column he wanted to write....

but often, when living in a reality where worlds collide or run parallel, in living color or specks of detail, this day is dedicated to that which we all share, as living humans, at the very core:  the heart.

Hearts breaking; hearts loving; hearts grieving; hearts celebrating; hearts memorializing...

Just read Alexander's column, as this girl calls it a day.

Make it a Good Day, G

Friday, October 25, 2019

It's Raising the Barr Thing

Dear America,

"We have staked our future 
on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves..." 

This was Attorney General William Barr, quoting Founding Father James Madison...in one of the best speeches to have ever been told.  Location:  South Bend, IN, at the University of Notre Dame.

And yet, this quote -- included in Barr's remarks just like so -- was actually taken from Madison's speech to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia, in the year 1778, and went something more like this:

"We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments of God."
Alrighty then.

Now, in some respects, Barr was preaching to the choir; he is Catholic, and he was making his address before a room full of Catholics, and the like, so, there is that.

And given Barr is living as an individual in this country -- he carries the same liberties as everyone else in this country -- he has the right to say what he wants to say, to believe in what he wants to believe, and to walk his talk in his daily life.  And these liberties hold true no matter the audience, no matter if at work or play, for these liberties are all encompassing and walk with each of us, as individuals.

And yet, as Barr emphasizes throughout his remarks, he notes how the nation is losing its religion across the board, across state lines, across the continent, and delves into making further observations as to what this truly means for America.  And it isn't good.

Barr says:

On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square. 
On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism. 
By any honest assessment, the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim.
and in about the next breath, details said consequences like so:

In 1965, the illegitimacy rate was eight percent. In 1992, when I was last Attorney General, it was 25 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. In many of our large urban areas, it is around 70 percent. 
Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic. 
As you all know, over 70,000 people die a year from drug overdoses. That is more casualties in a year than we experienced during the entire Vietnam War.
And as the story of America unfolds, just how do we respond to our growing issues of a fallen, desperate, sick, morally corrupt, addicted society?  We call in "the State to mitigate," as he says.

Are you ready for it?  Here it goes -- Barr, speaking to the mitigation process:

So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion.
The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites.
The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the State to set itself up as the ersatz husband for single mothers and the ersatz father to their children.
The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with the wreckage. While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.
We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on which we depend.
Interestingly, this idea of the State as the alleviator of bad consequences has given rise to a new moral system that goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society.  It can be called the system of “macro-morality.”  It is in some ways an inversion of Christian morality.
Christianity teaches a micro-morality. We transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation. 
The new secular religion teaches macro-morality. One’s morality is not gauged by their private conduct, but rather on their commitment to political causes and collective action to address social problems.

there it is:
That thing called self-government, to govern ourselves accordingly, for the benefit of the whole.

The truth is, this is a story as old as time itself.  The Rise and Fall of Civilizations is nothing new, right?  It's just new for America.  And just who could ever have imagined it would come to this?

Well, for starters, heeding to another quotation [by Barr] of one of our Founding Fathers, John Adams -- our founders saw this day coming and made their own fair warning, right up front:  “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

Which explains why things have become so unglued in less than twenty five years.  The secular missionaries of the Left -- the radicals, progressives, socialists, community organizers --  have not only made secular advances in replacing, if not totally dismissing, the essential elements of religion in daily life, but have also made nearly routine, the unethical, amoral advancement of undermining the Constitution, itself.

Without a smidgen of doubt, the use of judicial power from state to state, has grown into a leftist machine -- making radical changes to society without so much as a second opinion.  As Barr notes, even Catholic institutions are being called out on being too Catholic, abiding by their faith too much!

AGAIN,  just who could ever have imagined it would come to this?

Let's head back to the year 1947, when a sociologist from Harvard wrote a book about just this topic, Family and Civilization, by Carle C. Zimmerman.  In simple, easy to understand words -- Zimmerman predicted this day would come, too...seventy-two years ago.  Cataloged between the binding, Zimmerman frames the fall of civilization by the following characteristics:

  • increased and rapid "causeless" divorce
  • decreased number of children, population decay, and increased public disrespect of parenthood
  • elimination of the real meaning of marriage, marital ceremony
  • popularity of pessimistic doctrines about the early heroes
  • rise of theories that "companionate" marriage, couples living together, and allowing for a permissible looser family form would solve the problem
  • the refusal to maintain family traditions
  • breaking down of most inhibitions against adultery
  • revolts of youth against parents, making parenthood more difficult
  • juvenile delinquency
  • common acceptance of all forms of sexual perversions
Our issues, in America, stem from this kind of breakdown of the family unit, in concert with losing our religion, which can only lead to fundamental and detrimental changes to society as a whole.

And, as you can well imagine, Zimmerman quickly lost all respect after this book was published; ostracized by his community of peers who believed to know better and, ironically, chocking up his warnings to that of near heresy. 

Ah, but Zimmerman was right.  Along with all the other historians over all time, who not only recognized, but truly understood, just what the Fall of Man -- the fall of Civilization -- looks like, acts like, talks like, and walks like, no matter in the light of day or dark of night. And for some of us, this realization is historically made significant the day Jesus was nailed on the cross, and ultimately glorified by His resurrection on the third day.

Barr continues speaking of faith, hope and love, much like that of a famous letter to the Corinthians...taking this address to great heights, while making clear of his intentions moving forward, being a man in his position -- the top attorney in all the land.

There is some glimmer of light:

Because this Administration firmly supports accommodation of religion, the battleground has shifted to the states. Some state governments are now attempting to compel religious individuals and entities to subscribe to practices, or to espouse viewpoints, that are incompatible with their religion. 
Ground zero for these attacks on religion are the schools. To me, this is the most serious challenge to religious liberty.  
For anyone who has a religious faith, by far the most important part of exercising that faith is the teaching of that religion to our children. The passing on of the faith. There is no greater gift we can give our children and no greater expression of love. 
For the government to interfere in that process is a monstrous invasion of religious liberty.
and continuing,

We understand that only by transforming ourselves can we transform the world beyond ourselves. 
This is tough work. It is hard to resist the constant seductions of our contemporary society. This is where we need grace, prayer, and the help of our church. 
Beyond this, we must place greater emphasis on the moral education of our children.
Education is not vocational training. It is leading our children to the recognition that there is truth and helping them develop the faculties to discern and love the truth and the discipline to live by it. 
We cannot have a moral renaissance unless we succeed in passing to the next generation our faith and values in full vigor.
it is all about transforming ourselves, one by one, from the inside out.

The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion. 
Scholarship suggests that religion has been integral to the development and thriving of Homo sapiens since we emerged roughly 50,000 years ago. It is just for the past few hundred years we have experimented in living without religion. 
We hear much today about our humane values. But, in the final analysis, what undergirds these values? What commands our adherence to them? 
What we call "values" today are really nothing more than mere sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity.


It's called raising the Barr, raising the bar, raising the Barr bar and it's all good.


"What we call 'values' today are really nothing more than mere sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity."

Which begs the question, wonder how much longer it will last...this wee little vapor trail of Christianity, with the potential of vanishing into thin air almost any day now.

At least we still got  our Free Speech, right. right?   right?  right?

Make it a Good Day, G

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

It's to the Power of John D. Thing

Dear America,

“What gets measured gets managed.”

and while this day will turn out to be a different kind of day for the ole G Thang, it will surely be a simple day to measure and manage.

what started out as just a random visit, intending to be just in and out while checking in with an old muse of mine @The Art of Manliness --  a couple clicks later, I became fully engrossed in the reading of a short biography on John D. Rockefeller.  (Written by Brett and Kate McKay -- and first published in 2016; it was updated in October of last year).

The thing that caught my attention was the hook -- Be Your Own Tyrant...and  from there, this girl was thoroughly engaged to the very end.  And to muse upon the muse just briefly, the post by the McKay's reflected their captivation with a book on Rockefeller, written by Ron Chernow. Thus, here we are --  thrice removed, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller; the Art of Manliness:  Be Your Own Tyrant; to little me, G.  

And if I may be so bold -- it's real men like John D.  who have made America what it is today.
(teehee, there's a personal bit of wit in there, but you'll never know :)

“I would rather be 
my own tyrant 
than have some one else 
tyrannize me.”

that makes a whole lot of sense.  thank you, John D.

Be your own tyrant...brilliant.

From Practicing Persistence to Paying Attention to Details to Living Frugally (even after amassing great wealth), if you read nothing else today, let it be this.

No, silly; not me. 
Stop reading me full stop and read the full post by the McKay's; but wait, there's more...click on the link directing you to Amazon and order the book, Titan...!

These are the very things, the ideals, the motivations -- through the mind of John D. -- that truly are the key to success, that work equally and without prejudice, if applied daily.

America's leaders need to be reminded about these things, especially that little thing at the top of the morning, "what gets measured gets managed."  Our leaders hesitate to measure anything in real numbers, over real time, and that is a problem.  More on that to come; the thing is, it may take days to finish my thoughts on John D....days. maybe even a lifetime.

Make it a Good Day, G

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

It's True -- there is no governmental solution -- Thing

Dear America,

"...to decide the important question, 
whether societies of men 
are really capable or not 
of establishing good government 
from reflection and choice..."  
Alexander Hamilton, 
The Federalist Papers, No.1

To the first paragraph, in its entirety:

To the People of the State of New York: 
AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind. This idea will add the inducements of philanthropy to those of patriotism, to heighten the solicitude which all considerate and good men must feel for the event. Happy will it be if our choice should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, unperplexed and unbiased by considerations not connected with the public good. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished than seriously to be expected. The plan offered to our deliberations affects too many particular interests, innovates upon too many local institutions, not to involve in its discussion a variety of objects foreign to its merits, and of views, passions and prejudices little favorable to the discovery of truth.
I have started this morning's musings based upon the September issue of Imprimis, the readers monthly from Hillsdale College.  This month, featuring an adaptation of a speech made by Myron Magnet, the author of the book, Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution.

Being just a few pages, it's surprisingly a difficult read; expect to become engulfed in a rather tight weave of the finer points of a few hand-picked Supreme Court cases -- dabbling in precedence, findings. and usurpation of the law, if any, and tying the knot with a brief biography of Clarence Thomas (advancing the belief, his grandfather saved him from a life of victim-hood and despair). 

At the end, Myron confirms what Clarence Thomas grew to know firsthand, and what very well could serve as the saving grace in the days ahead:  "there is no governmental solution."


..to decide the important question, 
whether societies of men 
are really capable or not 
of establishing good government 
from reflection and choice..."

...in conjunction with the understanding that there truly is no governmental solution to most things.

As Magnet magnifies in his final words:  "Regardless of race, everybody faces adversity and must choose whether to buckle down and surmount it, shaping his own fate, or to blame the outcome on powerful forces that make him ineluctably a victim -- forces that only a mighty government can master.  The Framers' Constitution presupposes citizens of the first kind.  Without them, and a culture that nurtures them, no free nation can long endure."

The establishment of good government requires that it's most precious content IS not only it's citizens, but good citizens -- good, honest, hard working, conscientious, kind, citizens, with the integrity and wherewithal to behave appropriately in all places in society, especially within the powers of government.

To that end, we have lost touch with this kind of service to God and to country.  We have totally lost touch with establishing good government from reflection and choice.  We have totally lost our sense of responsibility to be self-reliant, dependent upon the virtues and outcomes of what may come simply by being a nation elevated in good, decent self-government, fastening the security of a nation from one generation to the next.

This nation was intended to be built upon GOOD people.  

No law can take the place of just being good decent people; and every solution to our problems lies within our own, purely independent, power to change behavior.  Like George said just yesterday:

“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”
― George Washington

I'm alarmed by what is happening in D.C. these days.

The more light shed upon the swamp, the uglier it gets.  Our Framer's would be so ashamed of us.

Just imagine how the history books will tell it in the years to come....speaking of which, while bouncing around La Jolla on Sunday, hitting an art show and the local farmers market, my baby and me walked into a used book store -- always a good move.  Talk about falling down a rabbit hole and losing an afternoon amid musty bindings, and all the while sensing it would be a marvelous way to go, being buried in books with one wrong move (picture a game of Pick-up Sticks, only with volumes of good reads stacked to the ceiling and three rows deep).

Lucky me, though, I came away with what is titled, the Concise Dictionary of American History. printed in 1962, by the Editors of Charles Scribner's Sons, New York (first printing in 1940).  It amounts to about 1050 pages from A to Z and begins with what was called "A.B.C. Conference, which met at Niagara Falls May-July 1914, after Argentina, Brazil and Chile tendered mediation to prevent a conflict between the United States and the Huerta regime in Mexico" and ends with ZOUAVES -- "The Zouaves were a class of light infantry regiments of the French Army serving between 1830 and 1962 and linked to French North Africa, as well as some units of other countries modelled upon them. The zouaves, along with the indigenous Tirailleurs Algeriens, were among most decorated units of the French Army".

Put in another light -- this girl is proudly in possession of this Concise Dictionary, weighing in at all of 4.8 lbs,  for only a dollar!  And I haven't even got to the best part; its previous owner signed the inside cover --  "Leslie & Sam Hinton"  -- written in fancy script.   

And, of course -- I had to Google it.

Lo and behold, discovered a sweet biography through Sam's obituary at the LA Times.  He died ten years ago -- at the age of 92! -- after making La Jolla his home (apparently Leslie passed away five years earlier).   In matters of context and life intersecting life, Sam died about the same time this thing called It's a G Thing came to be; Obama was president and we were knee deep in the creation of a brand new entitlement program, better known as Obamacare.  And I just couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer, that summer of 2009, I just couldn't.

I can appreciate how Sam's life seemed a wee bit all over the place -- what a kindred spirit of mine, right.  I loved this part about him, too:  "In 1942, he became a director of the Desert Museum in Palm Springs. In 1943 he took a post doing war-related research at the University of California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. The research involved helping the U.S. Navy find better ways to carry the fight to the enemy or, as Hinton later put it, 'how to sink and not get sunk'.”  The personal overlap of family ties to Palm Desert and the Navy solidifies that feeling of interconnected lives we all weave, all our lives.  Indeed, how to sink and not get sunk...familiar with that kind of old-school humor.

The thing is -- establishing a good government from reflection and choice requires us to respect this kind of societal interconnection; every move we make bears an outcome, be it by one or by all.

Proving my ongoing theory meeting up with the amusing, age-old Monty Python skit--  it's my theory, and mine alone, and my theory is that we connect in the beginning, disconnect in the middle, and reconnect in the end.  (say it with a slightly high-pitched British woman's voice)

The Forward in my new Concise Dictionary of American History notes the following:

"Twenty years and more have passed since the Dictionary's first publication, years full of event and shock, glory and anxiety, the widening of our horizons and the deepening of national responsibilities.  Amid the complexities of our present course, a clear, accurate, unprejudiced knowledge of what we have been and what we stand for is demanded of every intelligent American.  Realms of knowledge which were once comfortably regarded as of value only to the teacher and scholar are now of immediate importance to us all.  Those for whom the Dictionary of American History was originally planned -- thinking, concerned men and women who wanted to know the facts of our national being so that they might make their present judgments with wisdom and without prejudice -- are counted no longer by the thousands but by the tens of thousands..."

The more history changes, the more history stays the same.

yet, again, there is emphasis on the thinking, concerned men and women -- this thing called reflection and choice continues to come up, no matter what happens.  And event and shock, glory and anxiety continue to play together, politely like taking turns.  The widening of horizons and the deepening of national responsibilities ever clear, ever present, and ever more important.

Yes, There it is again, that called anxiety.  It's like I'm back to the good old days, running on a theme.

Deep, deep breaths.

Everything will be okay, eventually. 
For a good start -- just aim for being good, in general.

Make it a Good Day, G

Thursday, October 10, 2019

It's to the Real Crisis Concealed Thing

Dear America,

"Do not be anxious in anything, 
but in everything, by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, 
present your requests to God.  
And the peace of God, 
which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts 
and your minds in Christ Jesus."
the Apostle Paul, near the end of his address 
to the Philippians (Ch. 4:6-7)

can I get an amen?
“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”
― George Washington

Thank you, George. Love that.

Moving right along to being more to the point, probably my favorite verse in the whole Bible, comes in the advice immediately following.  So to the Apostle Paul speaking to the Philippians one more time:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praise worthy-- think about such things,  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you," (Philippians Ch. 4:8-9)

These are anxious days in America.  Newsflash: again.

While my Jesus Calling of daily devotions noted this just today: "Don't divide your life into things you can do by yourself and things that require My help.  Instead, rely on Me in every situation."

To which my reply is, yes, please. 

Summer is over.  
And given this stark reality -- my responsibilities to family, job, service organization, my own welfare, have collided into a whirlwind of activity from dawn until dusk.  But strangely enough, I'm finding that the more I slow down, the more I can accomplish; to be sure, this girl is venturing to capture the very essence of less is more in all things no matter where life takes me.   

And to that end, the sheer demand of being present with one thing at a time has allowed me to meet this intersection -- this continuously running four-way stop, juggling day to day things, pulling me this way, and that way -- without collision, and without so much as a ding (aside from the rather off-putting run-on sentence)  (cuz it's what I do!) (what ever)   

Moving right along...

It's not me; it's letting God do God's thing with me. What's the point in fighting it anymore; truth is, there is nothing that I do all by myself that I do very well.

Moving right along some more...

And this is just my observation (duh) -- but America, as a whole, seems to be in this place.   

No,  Not the position of letting God to God's thing...as we slip further and further away from that day in the life of America, losing our religion and all...; but the place called collision.  

And never you mind the logic, or the dictionary, but this place called collision happens to appear just after collusion.  I know.  weird, right?

Those links, plucked from my one of my favorite things -- The Patriot Post -- just gives a nice snapshot of the scene of the accident.  And to have it make sense, you need to read the second link before the first.  k?  And if you have already read the first before the second, it will be okay; no need to look back.  The further you get away from it in the rear view mirror, the better.  (Just say a little prayer and keep going, that's what I always do.)

Moving right along.  Be mindful of who you are listening to and the ulterior motives in the mix...


What a mess.  

But I kinda like where this president is going with it.  

The thing is, people -- Trump said he was not in favor of this thing called Endless Wars.  And it's a pretty big deal in America.

Honestly, I'm confused by all the grief Trump is getting on this one.  The reality never changing on these Endless Wars, year in and year out, has been a horrific scene on the side of the road that nobody seems brave enough to walk away from, and I mean, nobody.  

America is not responsible for being the leader along the avenue of providing security forces for the entire world!  

It's like, how did we get here?  Why did I highlight that sentence as if rainbows and unicorns are dancing in my head? 

Moving right along,,,,
as a matter of fact, I think the president should do more of this.  

Pull out! Bring our troops home.  Let all the world provide their own security...if only for a nano-second in the great scheme of things.  

Better yet, start sending an invoice for services provided.  If you want American troops, with heavy artillery and a spirit of leave no man behind, we will comply and properly send all the world a bill.  How would that be?  

And yet, where would that invoice to the Syrian Kurds go?  Seriously?  Where would you send it?

Love this headline from The Washington ComPost:  "Trump downplays U.S. alliance with Syrian Kurds, saying ‘they didn’t help us in the Second World War’"

What amuses me, in this age of most Americans having war fatigue for quite some time now, is that we have finally come to a point of decision under Trump, to loosen the grip we have in the Middle East just an itty bitty bit, and suddenly people respond with oh my word, no, we can't do that...Seriously?

Now -- I have always believed that you go into war to win.  I have have always believed in peace through strength.  I have always believed in defending human rights, whether next door, or around the world.  I have always believed in keeping a strong military, national sovereignty, and secure American borders.  I have always believed that our national security, and the intrepid keeping of a well-regulated militia, is the MOST important, and quite possibly the MAIN, responsibility of our Federal Government...

And with that being said, I believe the world has taken advantage of America and her security resources.

The thing is,  it's Americans, everyday Americans, who have paid dearly for this good fortune all over the world -- in body, in limb, in mind, in soul, in assets and tax payer dollars!

I believe this aspect of policing the world's peace and security has got to come to a better understanding; it's just a consideration, don't hate.  

See more background at Nate Jackson's piece on Trump's Turkish Test.

In any event, between Trump's lack of eloquence, in general, and his natural ability to look like a bull in a china shop on any day, this whole Syrian scene is hard to ignore; the damage has been done and we can't seem to look away, let alone un-see it.    What else can we expect with the election of a mover and a shaker, and quintessential New Yorker, to the highest office in all the land?  This is Trump doing Trump things, as only Trump can do.  (Just hoping Trump prays on all things, too.)

Moving right along.  The whole world is a basket case.

Ah boy, the more I think about it, it's not so much the little things happening in my own little world that make me anxious, so much as the other things going on around me -- in the macro.  

And then again, this too, must be let go.

God is still in charge.

God has a plan.

God is not dead, no matter how many people around us act like it.

And this TRUTH gives me pause at every turn.  Awe, G, look both ways before you cross the street and then look up.

Look up. Indeed.  Look up.

And, look in; close your eyes and look inside and know that God is doing God's thing.  Rely on God in every situation, large and small, and all things will be well.  No matter what happens.

The drive-by media makes matters so much closer than they appear in the rear-view mirror; and not only that, the drive-by loves to accentuate the negative when it comes to any story, any decision, any thing and every thing this president does.  That is just a drive-by fact courtesy of yours truly.

Moving right along.  Collision, collusion, tomayto, tomahto.  It's all the same.  We survive by the Grace of God, large and small.  And to that end, it would be wise to be disciplined in the reliance of God in everything.

It is through this reliance that we are assured true peace, every day.

“The turning points of lives are not the great moments. 
The real crises are often concealed 
in occurrences so trivial in appearance 
that they pass unobserved.”
― George Washington

yes, a cryptic message at the end of this day just seemed like the right way to go.

Make it a Good Day, G