I Woulda Thunk . . .

Insty would get it, but apparently not:

IT’S ABOUT TRUMPISM, NOT TRUMP: Roy Moore wins in Alabama. “What this humiliating loss tells President Trump is that Trumpism is not even about him. The indisputable lesson here for the president is that even he, the man who started the movement, is not bigger than the promises, ideas, agenda, and platform he ran on.” He’s a vehicle, he’s not the engine.

Plus: “In a different world, in a world where, for the last eight months, while in complete charge of the federal government, the Republican Party actually delivered on its promises; in a fantasyland where the GOP did not expose itself as a gang of feckless cowards unwilling to keep even the Obamacare repeal promise that defined the party’s existence for seven years, maybe Trump could have gotten away with supporting a Luther Strange. But that is not the world we live in.”

Instead we get Roy Moore. Which is a lesson for Trump, if he takes it, but also a lesson to the rest of us.

No, Glenn.  Donald didn’t have to “take it” – he was teaching the lesson a point I made at Bill Quick’s joint earlier:

My take?

I am laughing at the whole piece of work Donald accomplished.  He has been getting the ole shafteroo from McConnell (and Ryan and the rest of the GOPe!) since the beginning, and the street-wise NY’er decided to have himself some fun, show McConnell he ain’t got shyte, and will have even less the closer the 2018 primaries dates edge up on the calendar.  He knows his base pays attention and would get the game, the GOPe, the idiot elephants in the room, would not.  So he backed Mitch the Bitch’s candidate so that, when Strange (and McConnell and the rest of the GOPe’s) got shellacked, Trump could quickly step in and back Moore.  The base would get it.

Like I said – I’m still laughing, and the timing – right after Mitch proved he has no business leading the Senate, i.e., the Obamacare debacle (Mitch is throwing a shutout on that one!) – as I said last week – the timing was very interesting.

And did anyone see the Bushie rep – Karl “the Wrong” Rove on FOX tonight trying to put a positive spin on the GOPe’s shellacking?  No little marker board this time!  Snort!    This is good stuff!

Heh!

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One and Done

I’m done with the NFL – reading about it, worrying about it, did not watch one play last night.  If those “gaboons” – as BQ calls them, are too stupid to realize that this is the commie dems really doing this, and doing it TO them . . . the commies dems have wanted to destroy football as the last bastion of masculinity, and colored ribbons and pink shoes did not turn the trick.  Blacks who succeeded in football had achieved a visible measure of success in America.  The commie left can’t have THAT happening – they need their causes encased on concrete!  So they latched on to the ?new? idea that blacks are too stupid to realize when they are being manipulated, as the commies have done since the passage of the Civil Rights Act – effectively returning blacks to the new version of “Massah’s Plantation” – to the modern version of “picking cotton” yet again.

In short, the commie dems have convinced blacks to destroy their very success!

A pox on both their houses!

Who’s in Charge?

17th Sunday after Pentecost

Text:  Matthew 21:23-27

Theme:  Authority (ἐξουσία)

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23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

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We have a love/hate relationship with “authority.”  We Americans. especially, because our Constitution grants natural rights, and political rights, and one of those, is to hold our leaders to account for what they do and what they legislate.  And naturally, we don’t all agree on the degree to which they should be held accountable.  Hence, political parties and factions, and the usual rigmarole surrounding elections.  And Lawdy, Lawd! do we get into tussles over American elections!

Some say that is a sign of good political health.  Others are not so sure.  I tend to lean toward the former – given the rights I have, which are guaranteed by the Constitution, not “given” to me – I prefer that politicians be held accountable always.  There is, as we have all witnessed in recent years, an incredible amount of graft and corruption that is perpetrated by politicians.  And besides, our Constitution delegates the final authority to us as citizens under the Constitution.  AND – God says he bless that authority

That is not to say we don’t need politicians – we do.  But it is to say that the crooks who steal what is not theirs; or those who write or get laws passed on their narrow self-interests and not for the protection and good of all Americans, should be voted out – another of our peculiar institutions that has spread around the world.  Some say we must vote – others disagree.  Our system is unique in that there is no “law” that says we must vote.  Romans 13, which tells us Christians to obey the king, is not abrogated whether one votes or does not vote.  And if you look at it – not voting is still a “vote.”  In fact, the franchise was once restricted to land-owners.  Of course now, when the completely non-historical view of the both “democracy” and the franchise is considered, even my dawg, Conan Da Pug might be eligible to vote in a few short years!

But all of the above comes under one heading – authority.  And that, is the subject of our Gospel, and I really don’t intend, or any more want, to discuss politics.  I will say this about that – every Christian is bound, by their faith and the Word of God, to vote in accord with the clear teachings of Scripture, and no other way.  Yes, it often means we must vote for the lesser of two evils, but having said that, we must likewise examine the facts closely and make a God-pleasing decision.  No matter the political consequences, we Christians must vote in accord with the things of God.  Otherwise, who is it we are voting in accord with?  There is only one other answer!  I refuse to give the devil his due!!!

And now . . . enough of politics, per se.

What is the meaning of ἐξουσίαauthority” used by Jesus?

Strong’s Concordance lists all the usages:

(a) power, authority, weight, especially: moral authority, influence, (b) in a quasi-personal sense, derived from later Judaism, of a spiritual power, and hence of an earthly power.

Now,  Jesus uses the word to mean “of a spiritual power, and hence of an earthly power.”  That is not the same as pure earthly “power” – which comes from the Greek word δύναμις – which can mean raw power,  and is the root of our word English word “dynamite.”  All too often, our politics become quite explosive!  The word δύναμις is also used in Scripture to describe the explosive Heavenly power involved in miracles!  But Jesus does not use that word.  No, and here Strong’s Concordance is emphatically clear – thew word ἐξουσία used by Jesus is speaking to delegated power.  A power delegated by one in higher authority.  And it is here, with that understanding, we can make clear sense of not only authority in the world, but far more importantly and to the point of Jesus taking the Pharisees to school, to our benefit!.

All authority proceeds from God – earthly and Heavenly.  Whatever power political systems have, is granted, or in the worst cases, permitted by God.  The last “permission” is beyond our knowing why.  Think Communism.  God has used the evil of the devil to spread the authority of his Word and the Gospel, has he not?  Joseph told his brothers in Egypt – “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good!”  God has His purposes, and we often forget that simple fact.  He doesn’t just “pop on down” and say to me – “Jeffrey, what I mean to say is this or that!”

And that was why Jesus said what he said to the Pharisees.  They KNEW John the Baptist was a prophet of God, but they fought him every step of the way, and Herod finally imprisoned him and had him beheaded.  They wouldn’t answer Jesus’ question about John’s Baptism, knowing that Jesus had caught them in their corruption.  Look at their reasoning – so hilarious, and, sad to say, often just like we reason in our sin.  So he refused to speak of the authority by which He preached the Gospel.  They loved the authority they had delegated to themselves, but they would not admit the Heavenly authority present in the words of either the Baptist or Jesus, for fear of losing their authority.  What they did not comprehend is what we so often do not comprehend – under what or Whose delegated authority are we, really?

God the Father delegated His authority to His “begotten, not made” Son Jesus Christ, whose authority was over sin, against which He preached and for which He died and defeated death.  Having risen, He said it clearly at the end of Matthew 28: “ALL authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me!”  That ends any discussion on our part – even for the unbeliever!  The absolute authority under which we live IS the Cross and the Resurrection.  Period.  And Jesus delegated that power.  First, in His preaching, he showed how that authority was delegated to the Prophets – to speak for God to Israel, and of the promise of the Savior.  Once Christ arrived as Savior, He taught likewise, and ordained His Apostles.  His Apostles in turn ordained Pastors – we might speak of ranks, such as Arch-bishop, Bishop and Pastor, but all are Pastors – Shepherds of the flock of God – on the basis of Christ’s authority HE earned on the Cross.  That means it is never our doing, but HIS!!!  By His authority – His ἐξουσία – of the Cross, He justifies, sets us aside as holy ones of God, reckons us perfectly clean before the Father, for the sake of the Cross and the Empty Tomb, where Life defeated the death of sin, death and the devil!

This is getting suspiciously close to Luther’s Small Catechism, and rightly so.  Consider the Six Chief Parts of the Catechism.  The law in the 10 Commandments; our plea for help and forgiveness is the Lord’s Prayer given to us to pray; The Creed – our voices in unison confessing the blessed Gospel in the Three persons of the Trinity!  His means of forgiveness – in their proper order, Holy Baptism – the washing of regeneration and renewing of a “right” mind; Confession and Absolution – the sure knowledge that all Pastors forgive sin by virtue of, in the actual words “By virtue of the authority given to me by my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all of your sins!”  And finally, the fulfillment of it all, when Jesus through the blessed Mystery of that Holy Altar, takes up His residence, with the Father and the Spirit, within each of us!  Law, then Gospel, Gospel, Gospel!!!  Many, many thanks to the Herr Pastor Doktor Martin Luther for his blessed work of re-instituting the Gospel as the supreme ἐξουσία – the supreme authority in the Church.

And so, that authority comes down to us – Pastors to Fathers as heads of their households, to Mothers as over children, and children having the authority, as the “first” in the Kingdom, according to Jesus, to return their praise first to the Lord, and then back up the whole chain – to Mom to Dad to Pastor to the Scriptures of the Apostles and then the Prophets, all of it rooted in Jesus, the “delegated” ἐξουσία authority of God, and who took all ἐξουσία authority upon Himself by virtue of His bloody sufferings and death on the Cross, and His glorious Resurrection, which Paul constantly acclaimed as our seal of complete victory.

And in all of it – from Jesus Himself, through and even down to the most innocent, believing through Baptism child – holds ἐξουσία authority over sin and the devil.

Authority – ἐξουσία.  The Pharisees were blind to the treasures of Heaven.  We need not be, for we have all of the promises –

Fulfilled!

Amen.

 

 

 

On Hell, Hand-baskets, Etc.

Interesting week.  Down further into the tubes our culture goes!

The absolute highlight was this piece of work spouting off (video), and who is now further upset that over a million folks have seen the video.  She even claimed there were racist remarks made toward her.  Who could have talked over her?  Anyway, she might be surprised to hear me agree with her!  Some animals should not only not be permitted in restaurants, but anywhere in public.*

I would suggest she look in the mirror to see an example of one such type of animal that should be prohibited – on site, on sight!

*Service dogs not included.

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The Runner-Up?  I’m shocked!

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This picture below encapsulates the entire “kneeling” issue.  That young son did 3 tours in Afghanistan.  He gets it!  Those millionaire idiots on the sideline, their coaches and owners, the NFL Commish and the media?  They don’t even realize Donald has their goats tied up in his backyard.  As I said earlier today to a friend:

“Donald has them kneeling now, not for their “holy cause or crusade” . . . But for him!  That’s what makes the whole thing hilarious!  They don’t know they are doing EXACTLY what he knew and hoped they would – he got them to show themselves as being mindless idiots who don’t even really know why they are kneeling!!!”

But after 3 tours in Afghanistan, this Young Son gets it . . .

Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger and graduate of West Point, visibly stood outside the tunnel at Soldier Field with his hand over his heart during The Star-Spangled Banner while his teammates remained under cover inside the stadium.

One more note – to Goodell and the owners from their own rule-book! – the specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rule-book.  It states:

“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.

“During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.  The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition.  It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country.  Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”  (Emphasis mine)

Jes’ sayin’ . . .

P.S.  ESPN Sports Center which I watched at 11pm specifically to see what might be said, turned the entire show in a paean to the football gods about the “righteousness” of the anthem protesters.  It was disgusting, and I watched (kinda) for two hours while here at the keyboard writing something else.  Finally, at 1am, I gave in to my rational side and blipped the flipping show, and TV – off!  Is that the level to which ESPN and the NFL is descending?  I’ll watch them for the MLB playoffs, if necessary (I need to check the programming specifics at mlb.com), but otherwise as for them, and the NFL – finis!

And in getting off the subject, here is one, last, well-aimed arrow through their collective heart!

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The total incompetence of Jeff Sessions, or as some have said, his ongoing obeisance to the GOP establishment notwithstanding, Robert Mueller’s “investigation” has sprung as many leaks as has the White House during Trump’s time there.  And those leaks are conclusively revealing, as is Mueller’s contrived witch-hunt, the real criminals in it all.

Here is an excellent summary of what really has happened, and if confirmed, which appears most likely (and not at all Mueller’s intent, since he intended to obfuscate, not reveal) will completely destroy the commie-marxist organization know as the Democratic Party.  Likewise, the hands of the “Deep State” are dirty in it all beyond cleaning.  As criminal as all of it is, the saddest thing of it all, in my estimation, is the complete refusal by the GOP to defend the President at all!  Their silence has been revealed them to be explicitly complicit in all that has happened.  Their #NeverTrump-ism has been such that they have silently rooted and hoped Trump was guilty, not the now-known criminals.  And they have exacerbated that dismal behavior, in being the worst of the “do-nothing” Congresses in history.

As such, the things Donald Trump has accomplished, are truly more remarkable than they seem at first, or second, glance.  Some decry his quirks, despite having won as the populist he promised to be and has since acted.  Or they point to “unforced errors.”  I would respond by saying none of us would know what kind of “quirks” we ourselves might develop being under the intense, never-ending scrutiny of the kind the President has endured.  But even there, to his great credit, he employs those quirks to destroy the false notions underneath the stances taken by his opponents.  Rather than speak of him not being a “politician” as we commonly define it, perhaps our own definition of “politician” has been deficient for a very long time!  As to his supposed “unforced errors” – almost every one has in fact worked to his advantage, to such a degree that many are coming to realize his master plan is far more in scope than anyone ever imagined.

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It is waaaaaay past any semblance of a normal bedtime, and I am a’hangin’ up the spikes.  Y’all take care!

jb

On the Eucharist

If, in our Lutheran teaching on the Eucharist, after the Holy Consecration of the elements of bread and wine, they become the Body and Blood of Christ – with the emphasis on “This is” – then what is to be done with remaining elements after all have been served? Does “is” only serve “momentarily” so to speak, and then disappear, like a magic spell, after the last of the faithful is fed? – which would mean the remaining elements tossed or are then “re-consecrated” at the next Eucharist – as do many pastors.  Or does “is” continue for good until consumed?

There is, in that, a serious ontological problem – and not one one often hears or reads being addressed in long detail.  And likewise, there is a serious concern for casuistry – regarding proper pastoral attitudes – in his physical movements and thought – toward the Eucharist in actual practice.  Dr. Teigen gives an excellent overview of the Eucharist from a Confessional perspective, but does not answer the question – what becomes of the reliquae?  Is the Sacramental Union still “in effect?”

Answering the last question first – yes, the Mysterious Union is in effect until used for its specific intended use by Jesus – consumed by a communicant.  The ontological concern over the word “is” – is thus a settled issue, and there is nothing contrary to that understanding in Scripture or in our Confessions.

The first question is a little more detailed, but Pastor Weedon, in his blog several years back, devoted some effort to the issue.  It is clear-cut, and explains the matter in all necessary detail to both Pastors and laymen alike.

One Pastor Curtis, in the comments, was rather point-blank in his advice to Pastors who do not properly treat the reliquae as they should:

“You have identified the doctrinal problem in this (receptionism) – and Pr. Mayes has pointed folks in a good direction to undo that error: although a shorter read is a wonderful article by Scott Murray in Logia 9.3.

But there is one more problem: lazy pastors. It is easy to toss 100 hosts on a paten (even though you will never use more than 70) and then toss the “left overs” into a plastic ziplock bag to be used next week. It is harder to come up with a system for determining the approximate number of communicants at each celebration and consuming all that was consecrated at the altar.

It is easy to have the altar guild tidy up and wash up the individual cups. It is harder for the pastor – the steward of the mysteries – to do his job and treat those cups (which hold the same Blood as the chalice) with the same respect as the chalice: that is, come back after the service, fill each one with water, ingest that water, and cleanse the cups.

If you don’t believe in receptionism (and the ranks of those who do are constantly dwindling, Deo gratias multissimas) then you have no excuse: quit being lazy and do the right thing.”

Even more explicit and concise as to Lutheran practice, was Dr. Weedon’s  response, in the comments, to a well-educated layman:

“Luther defined the sacramental action as starting with the “Oratio domini” (which I take to mean the speaking of our Lord and not the our Father – i.e., the Verba) and continuing until all had been communicated, the chalice had been drained, the hosts consumed and the communicants had left the altar. See WA, Briefwechsel, X, 348-349. This was his second letter in the famed Wolferinus exchange, written in 1543.”

In fact, for the most part, the comments are a good and a recommended read.

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I personally solved the issue long ago in a two-step practice.  I never consecrate the flagon.  I pour from it into the chalice before the Words of Institution.  With the hosts, I put out enough on the paten for those expected at the table.  I then consecrate only the paten and the chalice.  I keep an open roll of unconsecrated hosts at the Altar, but out of sight.  If the need arises for more wine or bread, I simply consecrate whatever I need to add to either as I go along.  I then consume whatever of either is left as the faithful sing the Canticle.  There is rarely much at all.  Quite simple and precise.  I clean the individual cups as does Pastor Weedon, and the chalice, and the water in the devoted tub for that purpose?  I have a spot outside at the back base of the altar and the foot of the exterior Church Cross where I pour it out with a short prayer of thanksgiving.  Simple, easy, and removes all doubts in my mind or anyone else’s mind.

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One further point I would like to make to my Brethren – strictly from a proper pastoral view of the sheer Divinity we are handling at the Altar in the Eucharist . . .

SLOW DOWN!

Some of the brethren are so watching the clock for some magic minute when the Benediction should be pronounced, so he can “set his people free!” – that they turn the timeless Mystery and Divine Words into something akin to ordering a burger and fries at the McDonald’s drive-through.  One should take the time, and simply ignore the clock, and allow your flock the great privilege of hearing the holiest of the words spoken by our Dear Lord, and then fully appreciate the Blessed Communion.

If time is your “god” in that regard, you need to school yourself and your flock otherwise, and pronto!  What you are doing is a timeless action, and you are handling and touching and sharing the most blessed of eternity and the literal fulfillment of all Christ said and did!  Cultivate your own good, right and proper Altar manners – FOR HIS SAKE!  In doing so, you will teach your flock rightly about the monumental event that is taking place before all of you.  Christ deigns to be in our midst!  Act like it – and by all means, do not put a stopwatch – physically or mentally – to His appearance among us!

And – some among us would do well to pare down lengthy and, from some of those I have read or heard – very repetitious sermons.  You are not in the pulpit to preach the “whole counsel of God” at one time, nor are you there to “bore hell” out of the flock!  Constantly work on not only your words for the proper understanding, but learn to preach – practice to be smoothly effective in the words you use, and how you deliver them.  Do it the right way with the right preparation.  Most of the repetition I have heard or read is simply boring and completely unnecessary.  Those who know me know I am the harshest critic on my own sermons, so I take every word of homiletical advice I am giving.

And never, ever lose sight of the fact we handle the most precious things in this world or the next.  We weird collar wearers don’t “run the show!”  This is the Savior of all coming to His own blessed saints on earth – together as we chant in the Proper Preface – with angels and arch-angels and ALL the company of Heaven – the entire Holy Trinity and the Church of all ages – present for the event.  Start thinking in those AMAZING terms yourself at every Divine Liturgy, and you will be also amazed at how receptive and understanding of matters your flock becomes over time.  After all – what you do is for them, for you act in Christ’s stead making that promise in your Office and the whole service up to the Holy Communion.  Then Jesus takes over and gives Himself to you and your whole flock!

Think on these things!

Pax Domini!  +++

Dawgs

I am, only partially, absolving Jonah Goldberg for his abhorrent opposition to my President he showed so stupidly last year.  But his piece got me to reminiscing . . .

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I am, perhaps, the single-most biased dog lover in the world.  To that statement, most any “critic” would accuse me of having nothing but anecdotal evidence, at best.  For those not paying very close attention to the news, this week a bint of a particular hateful type went off in a restaurant someplace in Delaware, because a serviceman with a service dog was eating there.  After losing her cookies and getting royally embarrassed nation-wide on video, she took the only avenue of escape she could muster.  She accused others of racism.  I don’t suppose it is supposed to matter that she happened to be “black” – but all the same – a bint is a bint no matter what color.  And she . . . is a bint.

I grew up with dogs in the house – a Kerry Blue Terrier, Barney, and his goofy son, Joe, stood guard over my crib from the day Mom brought my soon-to-be skinny buns home from the hospital.  Both Kerry’s died of cancer before I was eight.  There was great grief about the house, until Cindy girl won the old man’s heart at the pound.  Pardon the pun, but pound for pound she was one of the best dogs I have ever known.  When she sniffed my leg after I had been gone almost 2 full years with the AF in December of ’73, she literally mugged me the moment I walked in the house after my NY to WPB flight – the last leg of a long and arduous return from Ankara, Turkey.  For my entire 30 day leave at home, I had to take “Mah Girl” with me wherever I went.  My next duty station was in Missouri, and she passed back home while I finished out my enlistment there.  The old man hadn’t cried in 35 years, but when he held her for her “final vaccination”, he bawled like a baby.  He and Mom then took after Gramps, and began raising Dalmatian pups from the generations of The Champion Dalquest Colonel Ace – who was, I would contend, the most “human” dog I have ever known.  It was uncanny how he and Gramps interacted.  You just had to be there to understand.  Fifteen years ago, I held the last pup in the line in my arms got her “final vaccination” – Kelly Girl was a full-grown Dal with excruciating painful cancer.  Mom couldn’t watch, but she went in after I came out all teared up, and they left her in there with Kelly Girl for a good half hour with no interruptions.  Vets get it!

And all during that, I was in the excellent company of my equivalent to Gramps’ Ace – Lord MacDougall, Duncan of Lorn, my Westie, whom I have memorialized in the address line of this here blog.  What a magnificent, smart piece of dog meat Ole Mac was!  His vocabulary just continued growing.  He had a knack for thinking along with me, and oft-times, an instant before me, it seemed.  He lived 17 long years, and only on the day I gave him his final “vaccination,” did he ever show any sign of leaving me.  He had congestive heart failure, the vet gave him but a few hours, but he had outlived the “Westie average” by over three years, and was, simply put – a phenomenal dog.  Whatever my son or I were doing – he was game for it all.  He roamed cow pastures and back 40’s with my son, chased the go-cart and the motorbikes on the wooded trail my son carved out of our back two acres of woods, and loved rolling in cow pies – his one vice for which my son was solely responsible.  Heh!  Never me doing THAT bath!  ’88 to ’05.  And maybe another time I will tell the tale of how that white piece of dog meat perfect portrayed, in a children’s “sermon” – “sheep that hear their Shepherd’s voice.”  He walked down center aisle past 1200 people, directly to me – sitting on the steps to the altar in that large sanctuary, in the midst of 50 kiddies, with one call – “Mac, come to Papa.”  In 20-ought-5 I finally learned how badly my dad bawled when he had to put Cindy Girl down in ’75 . . . that day I watched the lights go out in Mac’s eyes as he gently licked my nose.

Sweet Mama Lou came into my life a few months after that, and not long after that, Mac’s long-lost and seemingly much younger son came into our lives – a shaggy, brown, floppy-eared cocker, with a smile so much like Mac’s I had to wonder some times.  He was 4 – not an abused dog, but one ignored by the S-daughter and SIL, and very badly trained  So I took him, and within a month had a new best, and best-behaved – buddy.  Ole Milo.  So much like Mac, and yet, so much his own dog with his grin and perpetual exuberance.  When SML decided she was going to make me pay a sizable chunk of money so she could get another of her beloved Pugs, I had to wonder when that flat-nosed bundle came home.  But Milo took him to task, taught him how to take a piss the right way, even after his “dog-hood” twins were removed.  And as Milo aged, I watch Da Pug become Milo’s defender – always checking out strangers anywhere near Milo, and sticking by Milo’s side.  September 6th last, Milo came over to me asking for an ear-scratching, which he got.  He slowly walked over to SML for the same, then laid down with his head on his paws, drew a deep breath in front of us both – a mere foot away – and made his final exit.  Da Pug took it worst of all, and none of the three of us took it well, but poor Conan mourned like I have never seen.  He about came out of it as Christmas neared, and was about over it, when My dear Love, Lou, took her last breath on December 28th, 5 days short of 9 months ago, and then ascended to the Lord.  And then, both Da Pug and Papa were inconsolable.  Mama was gone for good.

As I spent the next 30 days slowly packing to move – I couldn’t stay in our special apartment without Lou – Conan, Da Pug, lay at the top of the stairs all day, every day – waiting for Mama to come home.  I fed and watered him there, and went he went out, he searched all over the yard for her – even checking out the passenger side of the outside of the truck and the driveway for a new scent of her – every time outside.  He only left the top of the stairwell for that, and for sleep, which was spent curled on the floor next to the LR sofa, where I had permanently confined myself for sleep as I packed and divided and gave things to family – things that once, but only partially, defined “Lou and me.”

And Da Pug – Conan – McGillicuddy as I call him now (and he answers to all three), has remained “Mah Dawg” despite all the other fam around or my friends or whomever.  My neighbors here, us being back in R-burg, and at Lou’s fave Church, all call me “Papa” now, once they heard me call Conan to “Come to Papa” and he did, straightaway.  Like Cindy Girl, like Ole Mac, like Milo the Dog – Conan’s “big bother” – he goes everywhere with me.  I leave him at home when I am at Church, or a quick run to the store.  But if I am going to be out and about for awhile, and how he knows the difference I do not know, he occupies his Mama’s seat in the truck.  When assigned to the back seat if I am giving someone a ride, he yips at them every few minutes to let them know they are in his seat next to Papa!  It is hilarious.

So when I read Jonah’s piece that some dog-loving vet started scanning dogs’ brains with regard to the old “food versus Da Boss” argument as to why dogs love us, and that he came to the unmistakable conclusion that Mama or Papa set off the pleasure centers in their brains far more than any food he was “preaching to the choir!”  We dawg-lovers have always known dogs love their people, and accept them as the alpha males in their lives, and treat them with total love and devotion, and none of us dog lovers out here were the least bit surprised that the science proved we were right all along. As a bit of a close, and wanting to keep it for whatever posterity I might have, I’ll close with this little gem:

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Senator Vest’s “Tribute to the Dog”

It is strange how tenaciously popular memory clings to the bits of eloquence men have uttered, long after their deeds and most of their recorded thoughts are forgotten, or, but indifferently remembered. However, whenever and as long as the name of the late Senator George Graham Vest of Missouri is mentioned it will always be associated with his love for a dog.

Many years ago, in 1869, Senator Vest represented in a lawsuit, a plaintiff whose dog “Old Drum” had been willfully and wantonly shot by a neighbor. The defendant virtually admitted the shooting, but questioned to the jury the $150 value plaintiff attributed to this mere animal. To give his closing argument, George Vest rose from his chair, scowling, mute, his eyes burning from under the slash of brow tangled as a grape-vine. Then he stepped sideways, hooked his thumbs in his vest pockets, his gold watch fob hanging motionless, it was that heavy. He looked, someone remembered afterwards, taller than his actual 5 feet 6 inches, and began in a quiet voice to deliver an extemporaneous oration. It was quite brief, less than 400 words:

“Gentlemen of the jury: the best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his worst enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous… is his dog.

Gentlemen of the Jury: a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”

The jury deliberated less than two minutes then erupted in joint pathos and triumph. The record becomes quite sketchy here, but some in attendance say the plaintiff who had been asking $150, was awarded $500 by the jury. Little does that matter. The case was eventually appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, which refused to hear it.


A statue of “Old Drum” was erected on the Johnson County Courthouse Square in Warrensburg, Missouri, where the trial occurred. The statue still stands there today.

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And, of course, only Ronnie could properly portray Vest . . .

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I completed the first third of my Bachelor of Arts at Central Missouri State University, in Warrensburg.  I’ve seen Old Drum’s statue personally.  Never knew the whole story until tonight, but it fits perfectly!  Like McGillicuddy, and all my other “Bubbies” (Buddy-puppies) . . .

Good Dawg!

 

 

 

I Will . . .

Say this about that.

Dude – if that is the best you can come up with, and let us be honest here, UNZ is hardly a neutral site, then you don’t need our generosity in letting you live in our midst.

I am the least of any “stars and stripes” kind of fellow – I detest with a vengeance ANY jingoistic and false patriotism.  I detest many of my own country’s faults, and to your credit, you have pointed many out.  Today, my President went “constitutional” – which should have earned your praise.  Instead, and rather, you did the opposite.  Call it whatever you wish, but your words condemned him.

I have, in the interest of “fairness” – whatever that now idiotic word means, given Russia much credit for their progress out of the miserable, damnable, and generational horror YOUR country perpetrated upon – first your OWN people, and then many other nations.  Much of the shyte of which you are complaining about us, is us trying to clean out the absolute tripe of the communism Russia unleashed on the world.  So please, as long as you live here on our largess, please refrain, at least until you, if ever, take on actual citizenship, refrain from your high and mighty act.  It doesn’t wash down here on Main Street, USA, any more than does the neo-con crowd’s crap dished up daily from our Uniparty.  But your writing as you do, with such an obvious disdain for my country – the land of my birth – is highly offensive, and beneath your calling as a Christian.

The post I linked above really set me off – and was 10 times as bombastic as the things you accused my President of doing.  You, who most of all, knowing the excruciating pain your own countrymen went through when YOUR people capitulated to communism, ought to be very cautious in advising us.  If you don’t like America. let me ask you frankly and honestly, brother in Christ you say you are – why do you live here?  I think your answer to that question would be quite telling.

America is no less perfect nor more at fault than ANY other nation on earth, and God Almighty knows our many, many faults, but unlike your own country, we did not make problems and then run from them, or blame some obscure, destitute but for Engels, cheap philosopher who peddled a lot of crap.  And Russia, in doing so, unleashed a ton of crap upon the world!

So do a little cleaning in your own house before you try to come clean mine, okay?  No, America is by no means perfect as I have said, but your, sir, have chosen to live here – here – where you can write the things against us you do.  We accept that as a right, even to non-citizens, because we are bound by our Constitution to recognize the rights of man, not as did the French, most certainly NOT as did the Germans, and most certainly not as did the Leninists, Stalinists, and all the other stooges YOUR regime imposed upon the rest of the world.

Perhaps, you will understand my words as being “charitable” in the specific sense our Lord Christ meant.  The American people have taken the blame for a lot of crap our leaders have perpetrated upon us, and about many things we did not do!  And one thing that raises my dander/hackles is someone who lives here and enjoys the benefits of a nation he decries, is your lack of Christian charity.  Take your act back to Russia, and try it out there!

Somehow, I doubt you will.

Pax Domini –

jb