The Church, Culture and Science

Despite the too-frequent abuses of men and women, which may have driven “weaker vessels” from the Church, the Church is the safest and most sure institution to protect the rights and dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the person, per se, the preserver of culture and social development.

The proof is that, had it NOT been for the Church during the Dark Ages (between the fall of Rome as a political power and the advent of the Renaissance Era, when humanity began to “live” again), there would have been NO Western civilization, at all.

The Church took Her cue from the Gospels, which,  after all, were the records of Jesus and His teachings for our relations to the world around us.

Jesus, as both a Jew AND a rabbi/teacher, understood that the Jews were the first to address the dignity of the individual, and how society ought to be organized to suit the needs of the individual, which is, after all, the mirror of the Father of Lights!

We owe what we have and who we are to the Irish monasteries and those monk-and- nun-scribes, who preserved for the future – for US: the writings not only of the Apostolic Fathers of the Church, the post-Apostolic Saints  the very Scriptures themselves, as well as the ancient philosophers and scientists.

Between the scriptoria in the monasteries, saving our intellectual and spiritual heritage – often at great risk to their lives from the Danish/Norse invaders – and the Islamic preservation of the Greek and Roman wisdom and science, the architectural studies (most importantly, the Gothic arch), the mathematicians, medical knowledge and the philosophers, our civilization would not have developed without these noble copyists and scholars.

When the Moors brought this “classical” knowledge into Andalusia in Spain, they thereby established a cultural centre where Jews, Christians and Muslims all lived, worked, traded goods and ideas in harmony. The arts flourished, wisdom was disseminated and a civil society was brought forth.

This wonderland was forcibly destroyed when Ferdinand and Isabella, Their Most Catholic Majesties, decided to purge Spain of the civilizing influences of a cosmopolitan society. It took another few hundred years for Spain and most of Western Europe to develop away from the medieval practices like blood-letting, burning witches and heretics, and other superstitious twaddle.

On a more contemporary note, it seems the United States is embracing that sort of ignorant rubbish, once again. How long, I wonder, before we begin burning “witches” or libraries? We have already banned books and chased university professors out of their classrooms. What else is left for us to prove that we are actually a nation of morons?

Many political and public figures already disparage scientifc fact, to public acclaim; Darwin’s theories are reduced to ridicule; while at least one museum is erected wherein Jesus is shown with dinosaurs…one can’t make this sort of silliness up!

Unfortunately, though such displays may make for entertaining imagery, scientific facts cannot possibly be produced to support such fantasy. One may as well use Disneyland as a science museum.

Children, and susceptible adults, get the wrong impressions from these kinds of fundamentalist extravagance. This sort of “museum” is founded more on an emotional display of faith than sound scientific fact and research. I have read the Bible more than once and cannot for the life of me, think where it validates such fraud.

And this, I think, is where the true Church must step in and bolster up true knowledge and progressive science. It will not do to turn our face from the future and TRUTH, and look instead to a past, already dusty with the failed superstitions and ignorance of a time best relegated to the dust-bins and file-cabinets of history. We should seek absolute TRUTH, not some sort of hybrid between faith and our desires…more faulty foundations upon which we ought NOT to build.

Even Jesus, in the Gospels, most especially in Luke 8:5-18, addresses the matter of those who broadcast the seed onto stony areas, or into shallow soil, or among thorny patches, as well as in good soil. While the immediate reference is to the Gospel Truth, insofar as the Gospel Truth informs our social fabric, it also addresses the “secular” truths upon which we build our society. We cannot have one and not the other. Truth is truth and cannot be negotiated out of the way, or ignored.


St. Cyprian of Carthage

The Gospel(s) for this day are seemingly contradictory.

The Gospel for the feria, the Tuesday after the XIIth Sunday of Trinity, is following Luke through. We are at the point where Jesus is carrying HIS Cross, and HE was too weak, so “they” laid hands upon Simon of Cyrene, to help carry the Cross for Jesus.

Whereas the Gospel for the Feast of St. Cyprian of Carthage, a great Bishop and writer of the early church, is that of the Good Shepherd.

“He can no longer have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother; . . . he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ” (vi.); “nor is there any other home to believers but the one Church” (ix.).



I fear that too many of us Christians, who ought to know better, overlook, or ignore altogether, the earlier books of the Bible.

I was watching a film this evening, “Moses” with Ben KIngsley in the title role, David Suchet as Aaron, Geraldine McEwan as Miriam. Kingsley didn’t stammer as much as I always thought Moses did, but I won’t really know until I meet him, so…

What struck me most about the film, of course, are the themes of oppression and freedom from tyranny. Just before the final plague is visited upon an unrelenting Egypt – the death of the first-born – Moses remarks to Aaron about the high cost of freedom.

In such a struggle, someone always loses something of value.

While I have always thought the books of Genesis and Exodus are very instructive, which is why I love to read them, we fail to learn their lessons simply because we overlook the deep implications in them.

In Genesis, the dangers of idolatry, disobedience and deception loom large in the early chapters. In the later chapters, we are treated to lessons in filial love, in fraternal love, amongst other guides.

What we really ought to be focussed on in Exodus, as well as the spectre of oppression and the threat of tyranny – is the precious and life-giving quality of freedom. And that lesson links nicely with the OWS movement. These men and women are gathered, en masse, demanding freedom from the “Pharoah” of banks, loan “sharks,” mortgage corporations, insurance cartels, “and so on, and that which followeth.”

As I view things, there is nothing which separates the OWS men and women and those who followed Moses, certainly not in the main issues – freedom from tyranny, defeat of slavery, god-like “Pharoahs” gambling with our lives and those of our children. As in the time of Moses, there were many doubters and nay-sayers, so with the OWS movement, many choose the comfort of that which they know over that which is unknown and risky.

NO real progress, no head-way, was ever made by playing it safe. Certainly, those who doubted and stayed behind, were just made the butts of Pharoah’s cruel treatment and made to work doubly-hard.

In today’s world, we have bent over backward, trying to mollify the banks and gamblers in the lending institutions, thinking – mistakenly, as it turns out – that, if they were to fail, the Republic, indeed the world economy, would suffer catastrophically.

Presently, we are doing time, treading water, in a sense, or we COULD say, wandering in the desert. The banks, like Pharoah, have hardened their hearts and are ever eager to devour the first-born of our citizens. Foreclosures forcing whole families to live in their cars, children growing up in shelters, subject to the risks and insecurities such a life entails. This must not be allowed to continue on. We MUST put an end to it, whether Pharoah likes it or not.

Heavens above, Pharoah’s likes or dislikes are not relevant, really.

In his world, health care and other such “luxuries” for the slaves are out of the question, of course. I don’t have to tell you about eking out an existence, and the 1,000 little
sacrifices one must make along the way.

Go the 99%!! The bankers and Wall St. have f**ked us over for the last time…we NEED a new world. Regarding the up-coming revolution: as Jesus says (to paraphrase): don’t fear those who can torture your body: instead, fear Him Who can cast you into hell.
I.e., we need to fear the Most High, the Ancient of Days, not those piddling bankers and gamblers who have destroyed this world, its environment, our food-crops; pretty much everything, all for their obscene profits – NONE of which, I notice, seems to work its way – trickle down, HAH! Ronnie, the Great Bulls**t salesman – back to the people, the men and women who actually produce the goods and secure said profits!
Well, THIS prophet (not profit!) says, the battle is waged.
And we, the blue collars, the working men and women, WE the 99%, shall rise up, en masse, unstoppable and ultimately victorious, because justice and righteousness are with us!
I think Jefferson would be tickled pink.
It is time, and long since, that we got REALLY angry at the gross injustice, the inequity dealt out to us, and turned the wealthy, those oppressors and abusers on their heads.
I realize there are “weaker brethren” among us. Eventually, however, we are all going to have to face down the police lines or we will lose our rights utterly. There are far more of us, the 99%, than there are of the 1%…they simply cannot triumph, the numbers are against them – and the one thing they DO seem to comprehend is “numbers.”
So, let us hold our heads up high and proudly proclaim that “WE ARE THE 99%.”

Occupy and the strike

Frankly, I’m in favor of a general strike in the US, have been for a long time.

It is time the working people of this republic, the stomped on and abused people who pay for all the waste and profligacy of our government (not only this administration, but so many before), the give-aways to corporations and to the greed of businesses…and what do they get for their (i.e., yours and mine) taxes?

It is necessary that we stop all the money going into the rich guys’ coffers and demand some equity.

The last general strike, if I remember correctly, well, there was back during the Great Depression, and another in the ’40s…and now, look, we are back at the same place, again: another depression, let “them” call it what “they” want to – if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc.

We need to take the same stance, again! It seems the “monied class,” the so-called, “job creators,” (what a farce!) need teaching a lesson, once again.

We all know the value of a strike. Sure, it is inconvenient, and sometimes, costly. But continuing their game – going to work when the conditions are not changing: when the boss-man is making money hand-over-fist, and your take home is dwindling to nothing; your bills going up; food costs rising each week; child-care; medical; mortgage; transportation; etc., etc. – all this mishigas keeps demanding more of what little money you, as the work-force of this nation, are making…well, I think we can safely call a spade a spade – this is nothing less than slavery. And we know slavery is both undignified and immmoral!

Well, it is time this failed system got turned on its head.

Since I am not now and never have been an advocate of capitalism, I would be happy to see it brought to the ignominious end it deserves!

In the final analysis, capitalism has done only a few people any real benefit.

A handful of men and women have made unseemly amounts of money: meantime, the workers – o created this wealath for those “job-creators” have starved, frozen, died in mining or factory accidents which were almost always criminal and could certainly have been preventable, had the “owners” spent the few dollars and taken the precautions to secure their employees well-fare…but NO, greed and its corrupting influence – NOT the marketplace, even, have spoken louder and louder, so that now, our courts, our legislators, our very way of life, are bought and sold by these vile creatures.

These are not men, these Wall St. gamblers and “captains of corporate industry” (if that is what one wants to call them!): they are unspeakable slave-masters, true parasites, whose end would be a good thing!

As I read my “Declaration of Independence,” it is time for a revolution, again. The government has ceased to meet the needs of the people. A major purge is needed. Some accountability is called for. We certainly need a governmental body which is both more representative of the people, more responsive to OUR needs, and more socially alert, as well.

That, I think, is the complaint of the Wall St. movement, boiled to its essentials…though those kids are always quick to state that no one can speak for another. That is why consensus is critical.

The Quakers do the same thing – spend the time to reach a consensus regarding an issue. It may take a while, it usually does, but consensus is much the more reasonable and mature way to arrive at answers or responses.

Compromise almost alway leaves someone unhappy and feeling cheated.

Consensus really means everyone is of the same mind about a project, agenda or what-have-you.

So far, the Occupy movement-protests are doing some good, especially regarding the “new” Constitutional amendment to put an end to the Citizens United decision – ANOTHER farce…so much for the f**king corrupt Supreme Court.

I think Republicans dare to stand in the way to their peril at the polls.

People are just sick and tired of being abused. YEA!

Finally, the people of this republic are taking their authority back from the elected morons.

The New Babel

I just watched a most interesting program on EWTN, Light of the Nations, presented by Fr. Brian Mullady, OP. While the entire segment, one of many addressing the document Lumen Gentium, of Vatican II, was interesting, what I found of particular note, and I am surprised this had not occurred to me, reflects upon the Day of Pentecost, when the sound of “a rushing mighty wind” and there were “cloven tongues like as of fire,” which settled upon the Apostles’ heads.

That event, Fr. Brian points out, reversed the “damage” done at the Tower of Babel, when the very reverse occurred, and all men were separated into different “tribes” by language, each speaking a tongue which was not understood by others.

I found this an exciting revelation. I love finding these wonderful parallels in Scripture.

I am not sure, but parallelism may be unique to the Jewish sacred literature

I do not understand those who cannot be troubled to know the very foundation of our society, who state that they do not believe in God – or whatever!

Indeed, the willful ignorance of those who declare, without the least sense of irony, that they know better – when one usually has ONLY to look at the shambles of their lives to learn the utter falsehood of THAT misstep.

Hubris is a terrible sin. Indeed, I have written elsewhere, how that false viewpoint led our first Mother, Eve, into nearly unredeemeable error – and now, too many of us have followed too many of our forefathers, into those murky sloughs of Falsehood.

The messy paths of the sins associated with hubris, pride and selfishness, are too many to enumerate here, but the underlying fault is always that we have put ourselves first: we have set ourselves upon the pedestal reserved for the Father of Lights and are worshipping “that.” No matter which “path” one is treading, we think that what we say is the only correct thing and that, finally, there is no god but ourself.

Idolatry, plain and simple.

Patently, this is erroneous on its face, and I would think self-evidently so, BUT you cannot tell that to those who espouse hubris. Their egotism blinds them to the obvious flaws in their arguments – like, why is their life such a mess, when they have all the answers? Inquiring minds want to know.

I would be happy to learn of my mistake, to admit I have been wrong, as a faithful Christian, all these years, but so far, no one can prove to me that I am. The only “proofs” I get are emotional, not Scriptural or even scientific.

Now, I know I have not always been the “best” representative of the faith as might be. And I would certainly be lying if I held forth that I had never put my own desires ahead of what I knew to be the Church’s/the Gospel’s instruction. But I cannot think I ever set myself up as a false god!

That would be a most heinous sin.

At some point, maybe I did, and I’ve forgotten about it, but I hope not. I cannot – AND WILL NOT – state that I have not erred, often hugely: though any sin – ANY SIN – separates us from Our Blessed Trinity and so, serves as a wedge for the enemy to twist and turn, attempting to drive us farther from the embrace of our loving Father.

We are fools if we think we know how to rectify our lives, by ourselves. Submission to the will of the Father is not always easy, but it is always, and ultimately, necessary.

Those who fall vicitm to hubris, are blinded by the terrible falsehood of self. The only time “self” is actually of any real value, is when we turn it over to the Holy Ghost and let Him use us for His furtherance…then, and only then, can we be said to be making a contribution. At any other time, if we are motivted by our own self, to “give” of our time or talents, we are simply clouding the issue. We are not really making a contribution of our free will, but we are actually striking a deal, a quid pro quo, if you will. And the sole recipient is oneself.

After all, that is how hubris works. It does not, and cannot, give freely: it does not know how…I think that is how we can tell such sin is of the enemy – it turns its focus self-relfexively, NOT outward, onto the Father, to reveal His glory.

Political thoughts…again

Re: the jobs point – Obama has many
“infrastructure” jobs in his jobs bill – roads repair, airports, schools,
hospitals, all these things we need to bring up to safety, and which a civil society requires to conduct life, but that f**king Boehner/Cantor Congress will not pass the bill! I did hear on the news how he gave them grief…a bit too little and too late, if you ask me, but I’m not in the White House, am I?
The Occupy people, at least those I’ve seen interviewed, seem determined to keep things Gandhian – it is the police and
hired hands (probably egged on by the Wall St./corporate CEOs and rightly nervous city governments) that go a bit over-the-top, using stun-grenades, tear-gas, rubber bullets…plainly, they are not troubled by their consciences.

In the end, it will be the price of them.
What we need are some nuns and priests -in full
habit – in the front-lines. Of course, during the anti-Vietnam and anti-draft protests, back in the 60’s and 70’s, nuns and priests
LOOKED like dedicated religious…today, one can’t tell them from any Tom, Dick or Harry.
There is something to be said for a nun or priest in full “pontificals.” They have gravitas – it tends to give the police pause, they think before they whack a nun or priest in full regalia on the head, not that today’s crop of cops would bat an eye at killing a
protester…any protester.
As things have gone these past few years, America seems to have forgot that Jefferson was addressing just this very situation when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
On the news, I hear all this drivel from cowards that “as long as the laws are observed.” Isn’t that the point of this – laws HAVE NOT been observed, and now innocent and unsuspecting individuals,
indeed, whole communities (one might say, the entire nation), are paying a terrible price – and not one banker or Wall St. gambler has even been brought to trial, never mind gone to prison for their willing, and with aforeknowledge, sins: theft and misdeeds.
I wonder: would our Revolutionary Fathers have stood still for this sort of shameful betrayal? I don’t think so.

Didn’t they break a law or two, rising in rebellion and taking up arms against their “lawful” sovereign, George II? They asked politely a few times, then, getting nowhere, they took the inevitable course of action.
Americans should frequently re-read, in fact, memorize the Declaration…it gives us the impetus we require to march in
the streets, to demand answers and redress of grievances and to reclaim our democracy. The conservative faction seems to have forgotten HOW this republic got its start, and they need a refresher course in US history (if they ever paid attention in high school civics, at all): we started in blood and rebellion.
When Mark comes to take me shopping Sunday or Monday, we will take the bedding I have down to Occupy San Francisco
at Justin Herman Plaza. Apparently, Occupy Oakland is in need of bedding, so, we can drop the goods at the Occupy SF site and they can see that the Oakland brethren gets them. That will be good.
I wish I had some food for them, too. Well, I guess the bedding is enough for now.
Now the military are getting involved in a big way, since that tear-gas cannister hit that Marine in the head last week.
One does not lightly disrespect a member of the armed forces and expect NO bounce-back from the other brothers. Unions, too, are stepping up, little by little…this movement is changing the face of this country, and it is about time.
I cannot think why anyone listens to the trash and mis-information spewed out by Fox “News”. They spread such lies and deliberately slanted misinformation. It is despicable.
Well, that I have lived to see this
day…nothing can ever be the same (let’s hope!).
I do see on the news that Netanyahu is rattling the saber at Iran…with very real consequnces if he gets his vote in the Knesset.
The US, of course, will be obliged to stand with her “ally,” as ill-fitting as that relationship is. The evangelical Christian’s passion for Israel, has led us to make terrible mistakes, since Israel was stolen from the Palestinians in the 40’s.
For a very long time, I have not thought we were very wise to be so four-square in Israel’s hip-pocket. Now, if Netanyahu fires on Iran, we will be embroiled in yet another war.
Where is the man we voted for?
God help us, this is scary. We’d have the entire Islamic world at our heels, and we don’t have too many friends among the rest, left!
Well, this won’t bear thinking about just now. All I can do is pray that calmer heads prevail. F**king fascists are running our government.
              Justice, justice shalt thou follow,
that thou mayest live,
and inherit the land
which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deuteronomy 16:20 (JPS)

Confession and the state of our souls

I have been watching a most interseting program on EWTN, the Catholic TV channel.

One of the two priests made the remark that, since the last century, we have become less and less conscious of, or troubled by, sin. Even the concept seems to have flown from us. I notice that, in the “new” Book of Common Prayer, 1979, in the General Confession, to be prayerd each day, at Matins and Vespers, the term “miserable sinners” is removed. So, what we are left with is the tacit statement that, though we may have wandered or drifted from the Creator’s intent, we are NOT sinners, sin has not tainted us and corrupted HIS creation! That there is no real rift between us.

Anyone, looking at the present state of things in this world, and how we, mankind, treat Creation, cannot possibly think this is how things are supposed to be!

That we are without sin is not theologically true. No Christian, holding the faith in conviction, can possibly think we are equivlent to our Father. We may be HIS chiildren, but we can never be truly like HIM. Even Quakers, who do not share many  of our most basic theological views, still they will acknowledge that we are deeply flawed.

The immediate corollary to this is that we have lost interest in confession. We no longer find respite in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Since we do not find comfort in confession, we do not avail ourselves of the spiritual ease which can be afforded our soul, when we approach the Sacrament of the Altar.

Anyway, last night, on this one show (on EWTN-TV) I find interesting, about Europe’s heritage as a Catholic Christian group of nations, the two priests who are the presenters of this show (they are both from dioceses in Ireland) they were discussing about a young woman, Benoitte, I think it was, in late 17th century France.
Now, when I was younger, I read a great deal about the visionaries and the “sanctioned,” or recognized, apparitions of Our Lady. I’ve never heard of this particular person, but so many apparitions are only known locally. In truth, the message of any apparition is what is important, not the person(s) to whom the appearance is made or the message is given. According to these men, this young woman could discern hearts, too.
These are NOT, of course, like the Holy Face on a tortilla or a grilled cheese sandwich. I’ll leave those “pious fictions,” that rubbish, to the Rick Perry/Michele Bachmann crowd. They wouldn’t know shit from
Shinola, anyway.
Jesus on a piece of mouldy bread…sure, why not? But would that Jesus would want them to recognize their gay sons and daughters as equals and deserving of all rights and duties of citizenship…oh, that’s asking TOO much – going TOO far!
But Jesus WILL appear on a tortilla or potato chip! How demeaning for the Creator of the Universe.
Anyway, what I found so interesting under discussion on this program, was this observation that the priests made: since the latter half of the last century, we (I guess we might say, the civilized, or the “first,” world), as a people, have fallen into a state in which we do not fear or even have a sense of sin.
Upon reflection, and allowing that these are radically different times than the mid-50s, say, or post-Vatican II, I wonder if there is not more than a
rain of TRUTH in all that. After all, we see multiple events of young children, utterly oblivious to the obvious results, carrying guns to school, with the goal of shooting their school-chums.
How often, too, do we see stories about men or women, wilfully and
cruelly, bludgeoning children, or girls who dump their new-borns into

Amoral, we have no sense of sin. Not all of us, mind you, just enough of us, as a group, to poison the well, as it were. Graft and corruption in business is common-place. Don’t get me started on the shameful lack of decency and morality in our government representatives, whether local or national.

Political correctness has gone so far beyond what was intended, that societal norms bring children to the brink of madness, shooting their school-mates and teachers, all because they view themselves as “put upon!”
We all must learn to deal with bullies, it is a life lesson, but in my youth, we did not bring guns to school…we learned to negotiate or otherwise work around those morons!
We had a lively sense of sin and the repercussions of our bad behavior.
We went to church each Sunday and Feast-day, and paid attention to the priest or minister.
Eternity was then, and is now, a very real “place” for some of us, and it helped us mold our thinking and lives. We may not have all wound up as saints, but I’m not sure the Gospel calls for that. On the other hand, I do not think anyone of my circle became an ax-murderer, either. There were a few pippins in the lot, to be sure, but none of us slipped the tether, completely.
We had/have a lively sense of sin!
I think we are not so much immoral, as we are amoral, and with that comes an absence or lack of sense of sin. We are a bit like the “picture of Dorian Gray.” The exterior looks swell, but scratch the surface of the US, and the moral stink must rise to the Heavens.
And that is a sad revelation, but it cannot be countered. We are become SO secularized, we do not realize how utterly crass and commercial we are. And that is tragic, because the longer we remain in this spiritual wasteland, the harder it will be for us to reclaim our heritage, to turn away from such empty promises, the pomps of the devil, and live for, and IN, the Trinity.
But, we have convinced ourselves – and all around us – that the “elder paths” of the Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the ways of the Fathers of the Church, are too antiquated and out-mode. We must “get with it.”
Well, I’m not sure “getting with it” has paid off with BIG dividends. We seem to be in a spiritual void.
The priests went on to explain that the Sacrament of Confession, or Reconciliation, properly practiced, is the proper corrrective for the ills of the soul – and if we, as individuals, are well  and morally grounded, then society as a whole, will be healthy and morally grounded, as well. Society takes its tone from its members, after all.
The critical point, from the Spirit’s view, is that His children, us, are well and fully-functioning for the Kingdom. We need to be firing on all cylinders. If we are not, if we are morally corrupted, we cannot possibly hope to contribute to our society’s growth. It is really very simple and it follows the natural order.
The symptoms of our society’s sickness is that children kill one another, then often, kill themselves; that young women kill their new-born babies; and that we are in what seem to be eternal wars – there seems to be no strategy, no goal, no end in sight, for no real purpose. Innocents are killed, societies are disrupted, and WHY? Finally, there can be no rationale for war, AT ALL. This madness of the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, the list is too long to enumerate here, defies reason; it is as pointless as Hitler’s initial blitzkrieg on Poland.
Ours is not an healthy society, say what one wants. The old axiom about putting lipstick on a pig works admirably well, here. 
America needs to make wiser choices – especially in our legislators. The rot in this country starts at the top, sad to say. But when ordinary folk see those who ought to know better, doing shameful and illicit deeds, paying no penalty,  feeling no shame or standing at a mic and declaring how they suddenly found Jay-sus, then ordinary folk tend to say, “Why not ME?” “Where’s mine?”
And that is never good for the soul. It is envy, which leds to hubris, a deadly sin of the first order.
I cannot fathom how we justify such rot. When I was young, I, and I suppose most of my friends and classmates, were taught that just because “–” did it, does not make it right! The almost universal example used was, “If Jimmy jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too?” 
We need to find a more balanced approach to real life. The rot which is eating this Republic shows no signs of abating, so it falls to the smallest, least important of us, to create the change necessary to save us, both as a nation AND as a people. I think the expression is: “Failure is not an option!”