This is not a parley against tax resistance. It is more of a spit balling of my doubts about its feasibility. I do not know whether it will elicit followers, echoes or feedback. All welcome. I hear of tax strike, tax exempt, etc., and cannot but wonder: 1) the IRS takes in yearly much less than the Government spends (result: 29T of deficit + hundreds of T of future unfunded liabilities); even if 80M patriots did not pay taxes, Congress and any POTUS would pass bills allowing Treasury/Fed to print fake money indefinitely, like they do every year (just in larger amounts); 2) would be easier for those who do not own properties (the IRS could seize them); 3) till after 4/15, we would never know who actually honored his/her promise; 4) we would never know who and how many would chicken out after receiving the first IRS notice. Much easier (and legal) to spend less in futilities made in China and, inherently, hit sales taxes as well. Aventino 2022!!!
Tonight, a refresher on leadership. From a little known Churchill's discourse asking for a vote of confidence on 1/27/42, after 6 months of Brits defeats around the world (subtly similar to what we are now getting from China). Note both sense of humor and sense of irony. "There is no objection to anything being said in plain English, or even plainer, and the Government will do its utmost to conform to any standard which may be set in the course of the debate. But no one needs to be mealy-mouthed in debate, and no one should be chicken-hearted in voting. I have voted against Governments I have been elected to support, and looking back, I have sometimes felt very glad that I did so. Everyone in these rough times must do what he thinks is his duty." Our founding fathers would have considered this passage obvious. Our current leaders (Nancy, Chuck, Mitch, etc.) would find it incomprehensible. No matter how much it may hurt, I believe the Aventino 2022 is the only short-term solution.
Definition of hero (Merriam Webster):
a) legendary figure endowed with great strength or ability
b) illustrious warrior
c) person admired for achievements and noble qualities
d) one who shows great courage
Hence, I am right to refuse to be called a hero, now for 14 months in a row, like all other workers in the healthcare sector should, as we do our job and are paid for it.
From "Romans without laurels" (Indro Montanelli, 1962), speaking of made-up Roman legends (Mucius Scaevola, Horatius Cocles) ensuing from their initial loss against the Etruscans (excerpts):
"The war was lost. These legends prove it. One of the earliest examples of war propaganda. When a country suffers defeat, she invents or exaggerates glorious episodes to distract contemporaries and posterity from the final outcome. That is why heroes nearly always belong to the losers. Winners don't need them. For example, Cesar, in his books, never mentioned one."
Rome was much more important than New York ever will...
Tomorrow, back to politics with the propagandist use and abuse of the word "hero" (heroes come quite cheap nowadays), but today let's complete the 5 meanings of personal prayer (fifth and last, petition):
I ask You, my God, to give me everything, not just my petition "laundry list", which You know even better than me. I know that the only "thing" that matters, the work of Redemption, has already been delivered, and even though I know You are not a slot machine (actually, precisely because of this), I ask You everything for me and for the rest of mankind, including my enemies, according to the order of Charity. Because just asking You only this or that would equate to comparing You to a doctor for health, a farmer for produce, a craftsman for his expertise. Alexander the Great told the beggar, after giving him cities to govern instead of alms, "you asked as who you are, I give as who I am". How much more this applies to You, my God, who can give everything, to everyone, for free.
For whatever reason, I did not expect a warm reception for my parley yesterday. Glad to see I was wrong. I can't wait to go back to political issues, but this is how I address the fourth (out of 5) meaning of personal prayer (offering):
I offer You, my God, all I have, that is all my nothingness. With all my heart, I offer You indeed this poor heart of mine, sinful, touchy, presumptuous, egocentric, selfish, petty, distracted, confused, hypocritical, arrogant, cynical, idolatrous, but also contrite, repented, humbled (you are not humble when you humble yourself; you are humble when others humiliate you, and you accept it for the love of Christ), so that You can keep forgiving it over and over again. I offer You all that You give me and all that You deny me (equally thankful for both), because I know both are the best for me in Your infinite Wisdom. I offer all this to You, the only One Who can do what no man can, that is being at the same time infinitely merciful and perfectly just.
Just in case, this is how I address the first 3 (of 5) meanings of personal prayer (adoration, thanksgiving, atonement).
I adore you, o Lord, because you are God and I am not. Because You are You, and I am I. Because I am Yours and You are mine, by Your desire.
I thank You, my God, for having created me, for having made me a Christian, for having protected me from myself (who am my second worst enemy, second only to Satan) and from those who don't like me.
I ask Your pardon, my God, for all my sins, mortal and venial, together with the abundant Grace necessary to both prevent me from sinning again, against You and against my neighbor (created like me, by You, in Your image and after Your likeness) and teach me to forgive those who sin against me immediately, from the very first moment. Because, no matter how grave their sin against me that I am forgiving, that is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to the seriousness of my sins against You, which You forgive on a regular basis.
In 1984, Alphaville, in the hit "Forever Young", asked President Reagan ("the mad man"), "are you going to drop the bomb or not?" In 1985, in the hit "Russians", Sting did not even count on Reagan being wise anymore. He preferred to sing, "I hope the Russians love their children too." The liberal propaganda, echoed by morons who think they know better than commoners because they are famous for totally unrelated skills (actors, singers, athletes, clowns, etc.), always escalates against strong Republican POTUS (after Reagan, only Trump, and only for 1 term). After all, it took Reagan not much more than talking of "Star Wars" for the USSR to collapse; and to ask, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"... for the Berlin wall to collapse as well. Just by instituting the Space Force, without even having a chance to beef it up, Trump tamed China's hegemonic ambitions. With another term, they would have been set aside for decades. Unfortunately, with Joe, they are now in full display once again.
After China recently humiliated the US in Anchorage (basically telling us that: 1) it could not care less about what we think of its international ambitions, geopolitical influence goals and territorial expansion projects; 2) by 2050, it will achieve complete modernization, subtly hinting at not needing for silly Americans to keep buying its cheap stuff anymore), how will our next humiliation from China materialize: Taiwan? China's own cryptocurrency? An Olympic thrashing? Taiwan will be invaded, no doubt, for 2 reasons: 1) China cannot internally downplay forever its lack of such achievements (Hong Kong first, ongoing, Taiwan next); 2) Nobody (UN, US, EU) can stop it (each of them is way too dependent on China). The Yuan may never replace the greenback, but a Chinese crypto-currency could destroy all the "coins" in the world AND the greenback. Finally, I would be shocked if, with US athletes in lockdown, the Chinese were not readying to flip the medal list in Beijing, of all places.
Tomorrow, back to politics, but today the lesson of the good thief according to Fr. Ugo Borghello. If you remember, yesterday's question was, "how did he manage to go to Heaven right away, certified by Jesus Himself?" Most say, "because he asked Him". Yet, this answer is wrong on 2 accounts: 1) he did not ask; 2) many other people ask for it, but nobody receives the formal "guarantee" from Jesus after having asked. The correct answer starts with an example. Have you ever ad a terrible headache or another terrible pain refractory to medications? Well, if you have, you know that you cannot think straight. Not even about your own things, let alone those of others. You just wish the pain went away. Yet Dismas, the good thief, who was also dying on a cross in unspeakable torments, when Gestas (the other thief) reviled Jesus, came to His public defense (at a time in which nobody else did). For a moment, he set aside his own agony, participated in Jesus' and "stole" Heaven from His heart.
The MOST IMPORTANT lesson of all times
Happy Easter! I remember, during the funeral of Pope John Paul II, many in the crowd crammed in St. Peter square had signs with written "Santo subito!" (Saint! Right now!), trying to have him canonized on the spot, by acclamation. I doubt now St. John Paul II would have agreed with that type of spontaneous, rushed pronouncement. Yet, there is a commoner who we know went to Heaven right after his death indeed, "certified" by Jesus Himself. It is Dismas, the good thief. How did he manage? What is his lesson? After all, if the only, ultimate thing that really matter in this finite life of ours (yours, mine) is going to Heaven, Dismas' lesson is the most important lesson in the history of mankind. Yet, it is taught nowhere. Luckily enough, there is a priest, Fr. Ugo Borghello (whose books on Love not being translated in English are a real tragedy, in my opinion, for the soul of our country and for that of its citizens), who has dedicated most of the long life God gave him to this topic.
How credible can a Christian (?), conservative (?) soap seller be to start Holy Friday with a "no news at all" attack on Kristi Noem? If you need an answer, please ask Dinesh D'Souza, who so acted early this morning, probably not to feel outdone by Tucker, Dan, Sebastian. Then, if you go through the comments of his followers, you will find the reason for we, the conservatives, tend to lose against the near 100% brain washed Dems voters. Because about 50% of us, conservatives, are brainwashed too! It should be clear that "our own" soap sellers have their own agenda (not ours), strictly dictated by the same Republican establishment which hated Donald Trump (like it hated Reagan, before he became POTUS) and now does not want a woman as POTUS. They want a senator, not a governor. A talker, not a doer. Governor DeSantis, be ready! You are next. Meanwhile, today, Our Lord dies on the Holy Cross. But Dinesh felt he needed to try to steal the show...
Today, Christians celebrate the Last Supper. Of course, I am neither a priest nor a preacher. Yet, like anybody else who shares my faith, I cannot pretend that all this did not happen about 2K years ago, with no electricity, TV, internet, main-stream and social media, pundits and soap sellers. We cannot but bow before the mystery. The mystery of God having come down to Earth, made Himself a man, lived few decades as a Mr. Nobody, then acquired a miraculous fame and now "throwing it all away". Yet, prodigies aside, the mystery had already been manifested earlier. For example, charismatic leader among His own, "out of nowhere" Our Lord challenged them to "eat His Body and drink His Blood to have Life." Most left Him in the blink of an eye. Any political leader would have immediately called them back, "explained the misunderstanding", perhaps even admitting having "misspoken". Not at all. He asked the few remaining, not less puzzled than the others, whether they would leave Him too.
"Tucker ANNIHILATES the left", "Donald Jr. destroys the left", "Tucker WRECKS Juan Williams", "This is outrageous!", etc. Once upon a time, titles like these were more common on liberal information outlets and networks, perhaps "justified" by falling ratings. Now, we see them on a regular basis on Parler and Rumble. It does not take Sherlock Holmes to figure out the reason. To sell soap (by promoting Fox News segments, for example), you must "glue" the potential purchaser to a screen (TV, computer, smartphone) and trigger his fingers to click, as the number of actual newspapers readers (those who don't read them online and actually buy the version on paper) is shrinking day after day. With a newspaper or a magazine made of paper, if the title does not hint at the actual content of the article, you usually ignore it. Electronically, instead, it does not matter whether the content matches the title. What matters is how many clicks they can get out of it. Your clicks are their cash.
I do not know whether it be true that, as reported today, self-defined conservative congressman Matt Gaetz may be considering leaving the House of Representatives and, seemingly, politics, to accept a gig from Newsmax. However, if it happened to be true, this would only confirm (in my mind there never was any need of formal evidence) that it is far easier to sell soap like Tucker, Dan, Dinesh, Sebastian, Juan, etc. than to try to become a Donald Trump. It is easier to talk like a senator or a congressman, than to act like a governor. As I started saying yesterday, it is not enough for us, the people, to live by "do as they say, don't do as they do". It is necessary to pay ever closer attention not only to what they do AND WHY, but also to what they say AND WHY. I hope Matt Gaetz will deny all this by the end of the day. If not, it would at the very least mean that he is thinking about... trading places. The question being, like Eddie Murphy or like Dan Aykroyd?
If Tucker, Dan, Dinesh, Sebastian, etc. just spent as much energy to fight Democrats and RINOs as they do to undermine Kristi Noem... I of course know neither them, nor her. That is why I can honestly say this, don't worry, Kristi. Most pundits were against Trump as well. But people saw through their sanctimony and false moral superiority. As if we really had to believe that Tucker, an "anointed", spoiled boy care about girls sport integrity and opportunity more than you, a girl yourself... LOL at them! You go, girl. Teach those RINOs and those puritans how to do things, instead of only talking about them. They look like those who talk of Heaven all the time, but spit on Eden. As if Eden had not been created by the same God. Shame on them! As for us, the people, I remind all what I remind myself every morning. It is not enough to live by "do as they say, not as they do". I say, "look at what they do AND WHY, not at what they say." Journalism is more fictional than movies and politics.
What is more fictional, movies, journalism or politics?