It is a good day to die.
My dearly departed friend, Marion Brooks, and I shared that greeting often. After some 80 years, he was not yet finished with his life plans, and he considered his fatal condition a temporary hindrance. But he always knew his fuse was short. He had survived miraculously too many times to recount. I am aware of a dozen moments when I should have been snuffed, but against all odds, it didn’t happen. Until it does, I’ve got plenty to do. But it’s always a good day to die.
Mr. Brooks will not see the hideous disaster just now beginning the Gulf of Mexico. He never heard about the BP oil disaster when it was first reported, because he was already gone. He’ll have to miss out on the festivities as they continue turning a vast chunk of the earth into yet another toxic swamp.
He’ll miss the loss of much of the Gulf Stream, and the coming Ice Age. Granted, we have had here in Oklahoma some unseasonably warm weather. I went out yesterday in shorts and a t-shirt and it was pretty warm at 8AM for a walk in the woods. But our weather is volatile, and tonight we’ll probably hit around 18°F. Still, in our island of moderate winter overall this year, it is likely to fade into fond memories in the coming years. I could be wrong, as well as the large number of scientists who believe it’s quite likely, but it won’t matter. Mr. Brooks will miss it either way.
He did reckon he was lucky we didn’t have food riots yet, because he knew our economy was going to tank. He was a keen observer of the stock markets, having played them a bit in his younger years. He had lots of silver, some gold, and lots of guns and booze. His kids have it all now; it’s their problem. They don’t much believe what he knew about these things, so I imagine they’ll be caught off guard.
He’ll miss out on a lot of excitement. He knew it was curse to wish someone could live in exciting times. He wasn’t looking forward to it, but he knew he had things to do. Now his work is stopped. Echoes of his life still resound here and there, but as with all men, this too shall pass. He wasn’t afraid of dying. I have reason to believe he’s in Heaven right now, so he’s in a lot better shape than the rest of us.
Mr. Brooks, you lucky dog.
I won’t wish you a happy New Year. It won’t do any good. I wish you the serenity of knowing none of it really matters, but we have to go through it, any way. That’s because what really matters is how we go through it.
Let’s start with the foundation: The only legitimate government among humans is the one related to you by blood or covenant. The modern nation state is an abomination before God. We are not anarchists; we are anti-state. I could easily chase down a hundred threads regarding crime and punishment, but the basic premise is a strong family culture would produce, by far, the superior socialization of all possible systems. The reason I give covenants a higher priority than blood ties is because they are rooted in the Spirit Realm, which always trumps everything on this plane of existence.
This principle is woven into the very fabric of Creation. The whole universe is bound by it. If you embrace it, reality will support you. That’s not an absolute get-out-of-jail-free card; only a fool thinks in terms of absolutes. Rather, unseen and immeasurable forces from that higher realm will always back you in your struggle to do what’s right, that which Creation itself longs to experience from you and every other human who yet breathes.
Because our world is currently so deeply perverted, twisted away from the universal moral ideals which hold matter together right this moment, we have to work around the failures. That is, if we cannot have familial leadership, we don’t accept any at all. If you can find a covenant community which embraces the ineffable principles of universal morality, then you should accept the leadership which naturally arises from everyone trusting someone particularly talented at self-sacrifice. The only person morally fit to lead is the one who tries their hardest not to lead, but seeks the welfare of others by giving them maximum freedom, empowering their choices, weeping over their weakness and failures, binding their wounds even when they result from stupidity. Right now, that’s pretty rare, so we use leaderless tactics as a path to get us going in that direction.
At this point, you see written within all this the divine principle of pacifism. Being a peacemaker is not forcing peace, but offering it. We make peace by demonstrating peace, which is just another name for compassion, mercy, justice, and all those other nice words we use to describe the nature of God Almighty born into human flesh.
Resistance is nothing more than the very act of living out that divine nature. That’s because the system inherent in this plane of existence militates against the divine nature. It wants the goodies without paying the price. By asserting our commitment to this other-worldly focus, we commit a passive assault on the lies and liars. They’ll take it personally, even as they deny doing so.
You’ll have to decide where your path runs. Bloom where you are planted. My path leads me to a somewhat isolate existence, in that I reside in a quiet mobile home park out in a rural area. While there are housing developments springing up around us, we sit in a strange bubble of unincorporated land belonging only to the county, and none of the jurisdictions can touch it. I am not aware of the political shenanigans involved, but I’m told none of the cities want it. Because of the complications from this, there will be no developments on the remaining wild land. Thus, a barrier consisting mostly of woodland and scrub insulates this place. It was a miracle which brought us here, and it will require another to move us out.
If you live closer, or in, the urban gloom, you’ll have to shape your own response to things. The last thing I want to do is advise anyone how to resist falsehood in a setting I can’t experience. I will tell you I think you can present a strong physical defense even while making peace. Paradox is a critical element in divine logic. For example, I practice self-defense techniques and tactics which focus most on escape and avoidance. I’ve tried to study a couple of systems, but none were right for me. I have to find my own way, and so do you. Never, ever buy anyone else’s system, or you are lying to yourself. Take from their offering what you can use, but stay on your own path.
If it’s in you, it will work. Not in the sense of any human measure of success, but in the sense you will simply know it’s right. But you’ll also see glimpses of truth as nature itself starts working with you. You’ll be at peace with what happens; nothing will surprise you.
He knew it would happen eventually.
After nearly two years of trying to get his ministry noticed, he was finally getting calls from churches who needed his help. There was no competition, no other ministry offering technical services and engineering on facilities, especially when the minister was licensed and certified through all the applicable authorities. There were too many buildings too long in use without basic maintenance, never mind mandatory upgrades to things like electrical and plumbing. Once word got out about his non-profit services, there were plenty of calls, and the offerings were sufficient to keep him alive and working.
But there were always those churches which just didn’t get it.
So he was now driving back toward his office with a heavy heart. He had only driven two miles from the church when his cellphone rang. He pulled off into one of all-too-numerous empty driveways of business which had closed during the depression which still hammered the region. Answering the phone, he recognized the voice of the senior pastor at the church he had just left.
“Brother, please! Tell me what happened.” It was the same famous voice many heard the radio daily.
“Pastor, your assistant was just a bit too zealous. It began friendly enough, asking questions and comparing notes on certain doctrines. In a rather short time he became rather aggressive and assertive. I have no quarrel with a man sharing his unique faith, but not to the point where it interferes with my work.”
“He interfered with your work?”
“Yes, sir. I still have two more appointments today, and I can’t slight them so one man can demand I stop what I’m doing while he makes his pitch. Given the high profile of your congregation, I seriously doubt anyone in the state hasn’t heard of you folks, and is not acquainted with what you teach. If I were interested, I’d have joined your congregation long ago…”
“So you felt it was a little insulting my assistant questioned the validity of your faith?”
“Not at all pastor. This is not about my feelings, but whether I can carry out my testing and assessment of your infrastructure. He kept insisting I stop working and give him my full attention, even to the point of physically interfering with what I was doing.”
“Oh.” The voice paused a few moments. “Do me a favor, please. Wait just a few minutes there where you are. Don’t drive any farther away. Let me call you back in five minutes. Can you wait that long?”
“Sure pastor.” The call ended.
He stared off into the distance. The lower layer of clouds were drifting far more quickly than the heavy blanket above. This was the time of year when storms struck with shocking fury and little notice. The coming winter promised to be even harsher than the last, and this particular church’s heating system had already proven unable to cope with the increasingly harsh winters they had been having.
His reverie was broken by fresh ringing of his cellphone. The display told him it was the church again. The pastor’s voice was a little less commanding this time.
“Tell me what we need to do so you can come back and finish your work. Do you need some apology or something?”
“No, sir. Again, my feelings aren’t the issue. What we need is for your man to remove me from his target list. All he has to do is pretend I’m a fellow servant of the Lord for a half-hour while I complete my survey. Then you can turn him loose on the fund-raising program you’ll need to pay for the upgrade. So far, it appears something we can do with volunteer labor from your congregation, so we can keep the costs to a minimum. I still need to check the ducts in the ceiling, so if someone can just show me how to get up there…”
“Deal! Come on back, brother. I’ll make sure it happens that way.”
Despite my misgivings about offering Red Hat (or its clones) to my clients for use on the desktop, I still need to have something to offer for churches and other organizations. That means I need to know a lot more about systems administration, networking and webmaster tasks. The only way to do any of that is hands-on, so I’m planning to turn my aging desktop into a server.
In my experience, not a single Linux distro can match Red Hat (and clones) for this mission. In particular, the latest RHEL 6.0 release is the best way to go, though for older machines I still know a lot about RHEL 5.x already (and 4.x for the really old machines, and so forth, since I’ve even used the 3.x and 2.x series). Chances are, I won’t be able to afford the actual Red Hat product, so I’m still waiting for CentOS to grind out their excellent work.
I’ve been reading the CentOS developer email list chatter and Red Hat has not made it easy for them. The actual release ISO images are lacking certain essential packages for building everything. Since the CentOS build is scripted differently than the way Red Hat does things, this means errors have to be fixed so that the whole thing can be done in one pass, if I understand correctly. It would surprise me if they weren’t the most eager of all folks to have gotten this done before today, but it didn’t happen. That means I’ll have to wait.
Although I have a version of Red Hat Beta modified and updated, this is not the way it will be done for any prospective clients. I need the experience of walking through the whole thing from scratch. This way I’ll be able to write it up in short tutorials, which can be posted here, posted at Open for Business and archived on my ministry site. These tutorials will be targeted at a very low technical level of folks who need lots of hand-holding. This is most of what I deal with every day, and I truly enjoy working with them.
That also means there will be fewer options up front. It’s pretty much: “Here; do this. Here’s why.” In the process, I’ll give them enough to build on so they can learn and customize to their heart’s contentment. For those of you with little Linux experience, determined to make RHEL/CentOS 6.0 your desktop, I’ll try to spin off a few ideas for you, as well.
Those most likely to support Assange where it counts are the ones who have been calling him on being too soft on Israel. He got the message, I believe. He recently denied any intent of taking money or other favors from Israeli agents, a story with poor credibility in itself, coming from a single source with a huge conflict of interest. But he has also promised he will show us what he has on Israel soon.
Tell you what: If he does, I’ll gladly eat my words. If what he unloads supports the obvious truth of Israel as the single greatest threat to peace in this world, I’ll change my tune. He has to know he did himself no real lasting favor by letting the mainstream press be his initial gatekeepers. Those news outlets are owned by Israeli interests. But I maintain my doubts simply because, were his trove of cablegrams really a threat to Israel, Assange would already be toast. Mossad could school the Mafia on making problems disappear.
I feel certain this is all theatrics. It’s not as if Assange has done nothing good. Let me cite one example: a piece of software called “surfraw” — look it up. According to the documentation, he coded the software himself, and it’s an excellent idea if you need significant privacy for research. I’ll settle for using Starting Page myself; it’s good enough. But the point is not whether Assange is a good or bad guy, but the effects of his work. It serves too many evil purposes, and weakens the cause of justice. Whether by choice or by ignorance, he has allowed himself to be a tool for TPTB. In exchange, he gets VIP treatment and a free ride, lots of excitement, the cloak of a martyr for truth, and some extra-curricular bedroom fun, to boot. He pointedly feeds cynicism about himself.
But I promise I’ll go back and add an update to every post I’ve made about him and write a fresh apology if he delivers much at all on his promises. I’m particularly interested in the business of hammering a certain notorious bank. It’s not possible to find any bank in the US which hasn’t done far more harm than good, so every little bit helps. I’ll certainly give Assange credit if he gives us the goods on that, but my promise applies to the stuff about Israel. Until then, I assert he serves their interests.
There several kinds of human intelligence, several ways of measuring human intelligence. Despite the ocean of educational literature regarding the importance of encouraging development of synthesis of ideas, you will seldom see any evidence of synthetic intelligence arising from any government controlled educational institutions, and darn few private ones.
Even more remote is the likelihood of contemplative intelligence. Indeed, the very ability to contemplate is the last thing TPTB want to see. Our Western culture has been reduced to commercial exploitation, and it was easy to do, since it was founded on materialism. The very essence of middle class lifestyle is an empty legalistic morality paired with conspicuous consumption. Contemplation is the enemy of such a culture.
Contemplative intelligence is the very foundation of ancient civilizations. Contemplation comes at a high price in material terms. To become contemplative means to back off from investing so much energy in efficiency and production. Were we suddenly smitten with a genuine wave of contemplation, life would slow down, and people would stop scratching for the next consumable fixation.
We see today a consumer culture driven by acquisition for consumption. Durability of anything is counted against its value, because there is no newness and freshness inside the consumer. It must all come from the outside. Herein is the key: A person easily bored is himself boring. He has nothing inside himself, nothing within to produce the flowering freshness of creativity. Thus, creativity itself is limited to what can be sold, not because it is moving, but because it fills the emptiness. It need not result from any truly artistic talent, only the ability to thrill, or simply to shock.
We are a people as empty containers, leaking and lidless. We rush about splashing whatever has been put in, adding nothing to it, and certainly taking nothing from it, since it contains nothing of value in the first place. We have no idea what we are, much less what we could be. Western Civilization is corrupt and empty, collapsing under its own weight. Were any of this frenzied seeking stop, and people begin to build from within, we might have a shot at seeing something worthwhile replacing this mess.