In These Last Days …

Could be, who knows? There’s something due any day / I would know right away, soon as it shows. / It may come cannon balling down through the sky / Gleam in its eye, bright as a rose. — From “West Side Story”

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid. the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. — Isaiah 11:6

The link that attaches individual persons to society is so strong that, even in the so called “individualistic society,” people struggle to exercise the critical thinking needed to resist mass trends, and end up readily consenting to the annihilation of what they cherish most: their freedom. — Bernard Charbonneau *

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What is really going on?

Mainstream media organizations are of little help, steadily putting themselves out of business in terms of credibility. Internet alternatives are a mixed bag; some of the best, though, include skilled reporters doing original investigative work; add to these analysts (some in pajamas), entertainers, stylists, ideologues and combinations of these categories, most sifting through mainstream and alternative sources, and most relying in part on revenue obtained through Donate button appeals.

We at do zero original reporting but try to get at truth and mislead as little as possible. One of us is a retired journalist (mostly newspapers, some wire services), the other a retired engineer and academic (mathematics and computer science).

There are so many interrelated cons going on it’s impossible to keep track of them all.  A friend brought this home during our walk across Massachusetts last year. He insisted The Confidence Man was Melville’s best novel, one he would like to teach.

Hence for me the current liturgical season of Advent, in many churches a few weeks of special anticipation and hope, has been welcome. It signals the coming of the birth of the baby Jesus, while also amplifying the later ministry of the wild John the Baptist, whose voice cried out about the ministry of the adult Jesus, his cousin whose sandals he is unworthy to carry.

Many nominal Christians whose tradition includes Advent avoid thinking about the season at all, much less relating it to today’s world. I’m not one of them, because all the coverups are intolerable.

A old joke: “The wolf and the lamb may lie down together, but the lamb won’t get much sleep.”**

— Mark Channing Miller

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* Thanks to Ted Lewis of the Interntional Jacques Ellul Society, who began a message received yesterday with those words from Charbonneau. Lewis might send the same message to anyone writing him at

** Thanks to Stephanie Spellers and Julie Hoplamazian. They add, “But when the laughter stops, there’s a painful truth. Left to our own devices, following our own instincts, we can predict where most narratives will run: The powerful will win; the weak will suffer; divisions only grow stronger with time.”

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