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Archive for March, 2010

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”(Luke 24:49)

4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.(Acts2:4,17) Fulfilment of  Joel’s prophesy occurred on the day of Pentecost.  Resurrected Christ commanded the apostles to remain in Jerusalem till the Holy Spirit was poured out on all peoples. This was a visible and aural testimony of Church on the make.  It was an historical event in the calender of Church. This Church is made up of all who are purchased by the blood of Christ.(Ref:Parable of the wedding guest who was refused)

The Church is one and it is what becomes the dwelling place of God. In the Gospel of John we have the prayer of Jesus to his Father. Oneness where triune God is united with the Church will be revealed only where ”  The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.(Rev 11:15)

There are certain Pentecostals who teach the believers to replay the Day of Pentecost and it is contrary to God’s Will. It the work of man and Pharisees of latter day than the work of Grace. These cults disguise their control over the mind of believers by saying their church is fundamental in that it is going back to the first century church in practice and worship. They may call themselves New Testament Church!

In our time we saw how such replays end up.  Woodstock  festival thirty years later was repeated.  There was nothing of the spontaneity and reality of the first. In recent months we heard about tea party in the USA. This was spearheaded by the Republican Party. Wasn’t it a tame  affair?

The unfolding of Church is according to Divine Will and Spirit is also at  work. Cold Replay of man to imitate the Real shall only end in disaster.

benny

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“the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”(Rev 13.8KJV)

Here we read God s  Will which was from the foundation of the world.  Also revealing that it is in context of names found in the book of life. As I mentioned in my post In My Sunday Best-3 Triune God puts His Will into operation. Imagination of God expresses  the Will concerning God the Son in the book of  Genesis. Thus God clothing Adam and Eve with the skins must be seen as unfolding of His Will in stages. Holy Spirit as the author of the Book of Life gathers material from the manner living beings, angels perform and it is put into a certain form.  The Bible is such a composition where the Three aspects of Godhead expresses.  So if only creation of Adam and Eve is described in the book it would not mean there were no nations on the earth.

There is another point as to the sin that Adam committed. Sin of disobedience. Did God know it beforehand? St.Paul says in one of his episles where there is no law there is no sin. Therefore in the imagination of God there was no sin  implied or attributed. Only when Adam broke a direct commandment the fall of man occurred. The Clean Slate principle prevents  man’s actions as controlling His Wisdom or Power. In other words the Absolute Value of Truth is unaffected. 

Notwithstanding what I have set down here is according to human understanding. It necessarily is not the final word. We  need to make our assumptions and draw conclusions with a caveat ‘we could be wrong .”

benny 

benny

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The soldier came back from the war,whether he saw the fighting in Helmond or in Basra I do not know, but he was back from the conflict. As he passed through the jungle terrain  in Colombia he came across  an  old hag who wanted a favor. Accordingly he went under ground to fetch a tinder box she wanted very badly. In one room he found boxes stacked with pesos and the dog that guarded it said,”You a dealer, you will make as much as pesos you can fill your house with. What do you deal in amigo? ‘Reefers grass, shit man!?”The ex-soldier was curious. He went to the next room. The dog who  lived  there had drums full of heroin,and the dog had big eyes and he asked why his eyes were so big.”He laughed as only a lucky dog could and said, “”these are goggles man. I have a distillery here and sometmes it burns”.”He wanted to deal with him   and said his cut would fill the entire wall that was a vault. It was full of  silver ingots. “From Peru! all legit.”They shook hands and closed the deal. The soldier was getting  more  curious  than ever. So he checked the next room where the dog was almost bursting as if he were inflated. His eye were as big as a  house. Are you dealing in something “?”Poor fellow  burst expelling the tinder box he had concealed inside. The dog  from next door explained the tinder box held a few tricks.  “You strike once and I will come wherever you are. The second strike of course made the heroin 100 % pure”.  The time was short so he said ,”You take that tinder box and run.”” So he did.The old hag asked for her prize but he gave her a mighty shove and escaped.

He went to a strange  kingdom where the king had offered his daughter.The prize was very high.  The princess, from enquiries he understood, was a porn star and not one who was a princess by blood. He saw the kingdom was the most populated kingdom on the earth. He made some calculations and went to the palace and made his offer. The king wanted him to prove. So he took the tinder box and struck once and then  twice. Oh the ground split in two and came the dog with goggles and he brought along 100 wagons full of silver ingots. Duly he got the porn star and the throne. He was the  king and when the Queen confessed on the first night he laughed it off. “No I want to be a good wife and spend my life in serving the poor he’gave her a slap and said,’  Nothing of that sort.”He had already an idea. Hers stood in its way. He made every subject an heroin addict and made himself the richest king. His tinder box came handy.

benny

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The fellow who by sweat  and tears in the end reaches a key position to steal the company wholesale. He goes to Lichestein and dreads the day the kingdom changes its  tax haven status.  Whileone who never did a day’s honest work floats a pyramid scheme and makes off with it to a rogue nation. He gets instantly a celebrity status. His loot by a special Presidential decree is  free from any taint.

Moral: Thieves stick together  and even their law knows which side is more crooked than the other.

benny  

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2 Peter 1:20 no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Here we have the real authorship of The Bible. Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. One fifth of the Scriptures it seems deals with some kind of prophesy. The Bible is more than prophesy: it is a book where God, Spirit and Man are conjoined. The Trinity in short and these three aspects of God are in agreement.

Each aspect of God is involved: Will of God is Imagination of God implied. Holy Spirit sets it in operation. The Will of God is fulfilled through the agency of Man. Spirit of man catches its intent through visions, dreams, symbols or through angels.

Take the creation account in Genesis. In the first chapter of Genesis the verse begins ‘In the beginning God created heaven and the earth’. A terse statement. Another statement a little later on : ‘male and female he created them’. In the will of God they are as one even before woman is created in the process given with more details. This detailing is from the standpoint of the Holy Spirit. In the chapter 2 ( chapter divisions came later) we get to read how  it was done. For instance God caused a deep sleep over Adam, the bone from his rib is used for His purpose, then closed with flesh etc., The details are of immense value for a Christian. The simple fact the epistles and gospels keep referring to these makes the agency of Holy Spirit as vital.  For example Adam exclaims

Gen 2:23 “This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;

Later in the New testament Eph. 5 we find how the verse 23 resonates giving us a hint of Christ’s mission on earth. The Word was made flesh and lived among men. This also echoes when John the divine speaks of the New Jerusalem. We see that we are built where we live with God Rev.21 1-3

The Nature of the Church of Christ has its reference on the verse quoted. Adam’s revelation holds true for our relationship with Christ. Eph 5:23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 1Cor 11.3 God is the head of Christ.

Holy Spirit reveals and illuminates our place in the Will of God. Only Bible can do this.

First Adam was created and the woman later. It points to the preeminence of Christ over us. Holy Spirit reveals time and time again some essential truths. One of these is:we are made righteous through Christ before God.

Obedience of man in its execution makes him an integral part. Thus whatever Adam named His creatures(birds of the air and beasts of the earth) were so. Man is instrument of God’s Will as much as of God the Holy Spirit.

One important point a reader has to keep in mind is that the Book carries different perspectives in consonance with the agencies involved here.So in order to get the most out of it we have to put ourselves in the right spirit. With humility and faith that we need to hear the Will of God we ought to approach our reading. Not only hear the word also make it part of us is required. This way a reader creates himself as an instrument.

There is a literary form called slipstream. When we consider the Word of God we need to see it is nothing new.  Slipstream* of Holy Spirit creates its own form. A reader who does not take trouble to understand from which standpoint it is written is likely to get confused. If he accepts it from the perspective of Holy Spirit it touches a familiar chord as ‘deep calls unto the deep.’ If he takes the reading from a literal point of view he may view it as hard and contrary to common sense.In his own generation many dismissed his teachings as hard.

Is God being contrary? No He is not.

Our lack of understanding of Godhead speaks for our ignorance of His Will. The Bible is our guide. God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son make the reading of Word bears His Will as expressed through each agency.

When as a school boy I learned light was a wave and later as a particle. I accepted these as a matter of course. Science can well explain quantum mechanics as explaining the macro universe and it is in a way that is at variance with macro cosmos. The singularity in explaining Origin of universe is allowed. If so cannot the Bible keep singularity of His Will? For man it is foolishness even though such ‘singularities’ bear annotations from Holy Spirit or from Man. The Word of God must be accepted as working with several perspectives of God, Holy Spirit and from Man. For example as mentioned earlier the Creation account is one sentence. Then its working out by Holy Spirit. The Scriptures also carry ample evidences of man, whose office is usually that of a prophet. Prophesies of man, for example Ezekiel as he is carried in his spirit enables him to record the vision of dry bones. These visions are of course limited in scope but intended for a nation or for man. Daniel’s interpretation of the writing on the wall is one such. Ezekiel’s vision of an army of dry bones was for the house of Israel.

The most fantastic and also wondrous is that imagination of of God (His Will) has a parallel in the manner Holy Spirit makes it come to pass. In the book Luke the father of John the Baptist is given a sign since he didn’t believe. He remained mute till what the angel foretold became true. It is often through human agency the Will of God is driven home.

The Three perspectives of God,Holy Spirit and Man are in agreement. This may be reason why Simon Peter is told whatever binds on earth will be bound in heaven as well. In such a case do we take the scope of the book ias limited on this side of heaven?

2.

Imagination of man may be intuitive or analytical. Thus Charles Darwin writes the natural selection and his theory of evolution is only a different perspective of creative account of God. As a rational man I tried to account for a balanced view of God’s Word and man’s word. The more I delved it it more in awe I stand of God’s Creative Power. Where I am left with no clear answers from the passages in His Word I know these will be illumined and made clear in His Time. Jesus said in emphatic terms the heavens and the earth shall pass away but His words shall never. So what we understand is like through glass darkly.

I would be foolish to think the word of God is only for a certain period when our only vocabulary is as limited as common sense. And our instruments as rudimentary as our mind. We are following screwdriver technology in a world of some say 10 dimensions. Earlier we took our world for three and with Einstein we have time as the fourth dimension. Such gradual unfolding of our understanding does not rule out multi dimensional states our being. At best we leave the complexity of the Will of God to our own limitations. The Emmaus experience of hereafter will make us see much more into the bottomless depths of the Scriptures.

note*slipstream definition from answers.com:

The turbulent flow of air driven backward by the propeller or propellers of an aircraft. Also called race. Example: To drive or cycle in the slipstream of a vehicle ahead.

benny

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Themes

The opening scene shows a chapel with two figures lounging in the grass. In Poland the Church has always been a refuge in any crisis. However crisis for the two does not stem from their faith but has to do with their conscience: The war is over yet death does not stop.
One of them has to assassinate while the other is responsible for him..

Maciek: “I’ve waited for bigger things.”

Maciek(Zbigniew Cybulski) and Andrzej(Adam Pawlikowsky) are vetran Home Army soldiers, and friends,licked into shape by their struggles as members of a resistance movement. Maciek the assassin is young and is the responsibility of the older Andrzej who in turn is responsible to another. This however does  not prevent an attack of conscience. It is an individual thing though Maciek pulls the trigger for the good of many. The dark glasses that Maciek wears is a metaphor: it cuts off clear moral judgment till he does what he is expected to do on a command passed through many hands. Maciek’s intended victim is one who also fought the war on the same side. In a fine performance Maciek brings out his dilemma and tragedy.

The Nazi Germany has just surrendered. The war is over. In such a case why carry on with killing in time of peace? This moral dilemma gives the film its internal energy and it gives each character a point of reference to a particular story set in Free Poland; it also stands true for cases that might be anywhere. Poland as a nation had for long been subjugated by other nations including Russia; in her terrible hour patriots fought side by side suffering the same pain and death; now with their freedom in hand as the Regional Secretary of the Communist says,’The end of war is not the end of our war. What kind of Poland we need to become.’ Szczuka (Waclav Zastrzezynski) representing the pro-Moscow People’s Army, has just survived an assassination attempt and he knows the two cement factory workers killed a little while ago died for nothing. War has decided the fate of nation very little; besides it spills over in times of peace killing the innocents as in time of war. So in the film Maciek gets another chance but very little time to sort out his moral confusion. To complicate matters he falls in love and it tells him that he ought to make some changes in his life. But does he really get that chance?

On May 8,1945 it is decision time: what kind of nation Poland should become. Throughout the night Reds had already fanned out occupying vital installations and deciding who gets what posts and other perquisites the new regime could give. The mayor for his loyalty to the Soviet Bloc has been elevated to a minister. His secretary Drewnowski (Bogumil Kobiela), a double agent dreams that it opens for him plenty of wealth. The newly elevated Minister and his cohorts, mingle with  members of Polish bourgeosie during the banquet to celebrate the victory. Maciek and Andrzej slip among the crowd in the bar.

Maciek observes.”He has got a stupid back,” the guest turns around. Maciek tells Andzej,”His front is stupid  also.”

There has been a complication in that Captain Wilks in whose detachment the two were members, is killed and Andrzej has to take his place by 4:30 in the morning. Maciek would like very much to go with him but he has to finish  his assignment first.

The film resolves the fate of two representatives of the ideological divide Maciek and Szczuka represent. The irony of it all is that each is a double for the other:  one could be the surrogate father for the younger. The younger within a span of day is at hand to give a match to light the cigarette of the older twice. Each time the viewer is left with no doubt the two exude certain empathy that only can be because of their close relationship by blood. Their political divide is as superficial as the Hungarian cigarette (‘because it is stronger,’) that Maciek smokes while Szczuka settles for the American brand. They both are Polish through and through and the ideology of old or new is like rustle of leaves. The tree must still stand whether winds of change came across the Steppes or not.

This film is one among 120 great films and is included in my Movie Lists.

In Depth

Based on Jerzy Andrzejewski’s 1948 novel of the same name, Ashes and Diamonds is the Wajda’s last in the war trilogy, following A Generation and Kanal.  Adapted for the screen by Andrzej Wajda and the author time and space have been condensed to less than twenty-four hours in and around a single location—the hotel Monopol. The title comes from a 19th Century poem by Cyprian Norwid ‘…Or will the ashes hold the glory of a starlike diamond/The Morning Star of everlasting triumph.

In the town’s leading hotel and banquet hall, Monopol., a grand fête is being organized  for a newly appointed minor minister by his assistant. Maciek having missed his mission manages to get an entry into a room with the desk clerk who was present in Warsaw even while the uprising resulted in the destruction of the Old Warsaw The old porter recalls ‘It is like losing your arm.’. He also remembers the chestnut trees in particular. This reminiscence echoes in the part of the Party secretary who we understand had taken part in Spain. His sad memories have a parallel in one of the dramatic moments at the bar, where Andrzej is nervously waiting for dawn Maciek lights glasses with alcohol as a memorial to their fallen comrades. Andzej snaps crossly,”We are still alive.” The realization Maciek played with his life and still he has to play with it is a turning point in the film.

Maciek: “I swear these violets smell sweeter and sweeter.”

The episode with hotel’s bar-maid Krystyna (Ewa Krzyzewska) begins here. Their love is physical as he is not totally at ease to receive her love. Even as she visits him in his room(right next that of his target) he is frantically trying to cover up his real mission.( He must similarly lie to the old porter who warms up to him.). His sense of responsibility will not allow him to becompletely on level. Nor the girl is free from her past ( She tells simply her father was killed by the Germans and her mother during the uprising) and it is she puts a full stop realising he is lost to her forever.

Maciek abruptly takes leave of her as his victim is anxiously waiting to reclaim his son Marek. He has been taken prisoner by the Reds. He also belonged to the detachment of Captain Wilks. By inference Maciek is almost like his son.

We are given to understand Marek is a child of Szczuka and his mother none other than the wife of Major Stanieswiez. who has given order for his elimination! Freedom for Poland cuts across love whether illicit or normal. There is a scene in which Maciek witnesses a domestic tragedy. Fiancee of one of the worker killed by him is comforted by one who is none other than her boss and he has nylon stockings as a gift. They are ready for a roll in the bed. She knows the men have only one thing in their mind. Yes social life, open or secret cannot run its normal course. The old order has been completely over thrown and is visually summed up in the broken down statue of Christ in the crypt.

Before the close we are given a chance to probe Maciek’s emotional undercurrents and his need to change his way of life. It underscores the pathos that the tragedy must awake in us. This crucial moment follows when Maciek goes for a walk with Krystyna and ends up in a bombed-out church. Maciek realizes what he had been missing in life. (He could have had an education or settle down to a regular family life every day warmed by love, awakened by his brief love-making with the barmaid.) The aridity of his past, a life of the mind is brought to him with a sledge-hammer force by the two innocent victims he sees in the crypt. The result of his botched attempt. It was all he had to show for his life as a sewer rat. But he is committed to fulfill his duty.

When he does and as Szczuka falls, it is a dramatic moment and the built up tension in the viewer literally explodes: fireworks celebrating the end of the war fill the sky.

At appointed time Maciek goes to where Andrzej awaits in a truck. From concealment he watches as the other accomplice Drewnowski is exposed.  Andrzej throws him to the ground and drives off. When Drewnowski sees Maciek, he calls out to him and Maciek flees only to run into a patrol of Reds He is shot and ends up dying in a landscape strewn with trash.

No empire or old order however feeble passes away quietly but makes quiet a din. We have in our time seen in the Balkans and it was so when the Ottoman Empire came crashing at the end of WWI.

What a trash new emerging nations make of the fine ‘ideals’ of the old order!

Quote:’The measure of my satisfacton is that during the writing of the book I pictured Mack Chelmicky entirely differently. Now when I see the film I see him only this way, as Cybulski played him.” Andrezjewski

Directed by

Andrzej Wajda

Written by

Jerzy Andrzejewski

Starring

Zbigniew Cybulski,

Ewa Krzyzewska,

Waclaw Zastrzezynski

Running time

110 min.

Language

Polish

Trivia:

The entire film takes place over two days, May 8th and 9th 1945.

One of Martin Scorsese‘s favorite movies. He showed it to Leonardo DiCaprio while making The Departed (2006), as main characters of these two movies have to deal with the same dilemmas.

The title comes from a 19th century poem by Cyprian Kamil Norwid and references the manner in which diamonds are formed from heat and pressure acting upon coal.

Director ‘Andzrej Wajda’ realized that his leading man Zbigniew Cybulski would be constrained by period costume so he allowed him to wear clothes that felt more natural to him.

After the film’s release, sales of sunglasses shot up because Zbigniew Cybulski wore them consistently throughout the film.

Wajda was particularly influenced by The Asphalt Jungle (1950).

Because of the film’s nihilistic tone, the Polish authorities were not keen on it being exhibited outside of the country. Until a low-level official had a print shipped out to the Venice Film Festival where it played to great acclaim.

René Clair was a particular fan of the film.

(ack: imdb,wikipedia,criterion)

benny

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St.Matt 16:18-19,23

And I tell you that you are Peter,[and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Let me fix a few points first before I try to make my meaning clear.

I will build my church..’ Who makes this statement? Jesus is the Builder. There is no difficulty here. There are so many churches that cater to all sorts of believers. Those who build it may profess certain creed but they are kept by those who subscribe to their teachings. Some may profess their faith keeps the church which is a blatant lie. They rely on men to pack their halls and hear their slant to the Word of God. Even so they depend on man. It is obviously not what Jesus is telling. He is not telling of a church built on Peter since he rebukes him a little later in no uncertain terms that he is Satan!

Kingdom of Heaven :The church that Jesus is hinting at is not an ordinary one. It has a divine seal: it is impervious to the attacks of Satan. Either it must occur when Satan is finally bound and cast into bottomless pit or death is no more an event. (Jude. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.) It is not for us to seek things that God has chosen to hide from us. For example the time frame in which this is to be visible is by God’s calender. How will you predict it since St. Peter speaks of thousand years in human terms is like a flash? So it is waste of time to prove we are wiser than God.  More than that it would be blasphemy! By many parables Jesus has warned us to watch and be ready. Any man who is intelligent and good sense will be circumspect and conscious of his time and place. Similarly Christians are instructed to be prepared. Those who have known the will of God and also are found doing them will be part of the kingdom of heaven.

Members chosen from all over the world,- and not of any particular church, make up the new heaven. As we are told in the Book of Revelations old will pass away. A new Jerusalem is not by any account a geographical reality but a figure of speech as it were.

Therefore we need to look at our public worship as pointing to a reality that would happen in future. For Christians a place of worship in which brotherly love guides each is a prepratory school. It is essential to encourage one another as well uphold our brothers in prayer and in good will. Hearing the word and not doing them as Apostle James points out is pointless. We measure ourselves as in glass and forget straightaway what we need to do. The word is meant to correct where we have come short. In the Church built by Jesus we are the Word in its effect. Jesus was the Word made flesh but  we all will be the proof of it. The churches on the earth are and imperfect. It is rife with heresy, abuse and wickedness that must naturally come with serving two masters. State and Church has never made a perfect union. Nor it will on the earth. Kingdom of God or heaven is where God as Judge and as Love make State and religion as one..

Church of Christ, so we may conclude is not a historical church. The Church that we read in the Acts of Apostles, was already bedeviled by Satan and Jesus had correctly warned him during his earthly ministry. Simon Peter transcribed his masters teachings and gave a Hebraic form to it. He did not want to exclude those who were Jews. So he let them feel comfortable with certain elements of Jewish worship under his stewardship. Paul was in his own admission all things to all men. He made himself an Apostle and he wanted to accommodate gentiles. His goal was to spread of Jesus’ teachings as interpreted by him throughout the Roman Empire.. These churches are not built by Jesus. In such a case can anyone say he is surprised at the evil rampant in the Church of Rome or any other? These churches are tainted by earthly ambition or custom of men. I cannot say any of the church is Satan- proof.

The Church of Christ built by Jesus and will be called Kingdom of heaven.

Dan2:44“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. Prophet Daniel is speaking about future. Who all shall belong to it? No one knows the Father but the Son; similarly it is God’s office to reveal the Son. Peter had knowledge by what He revealed to him. Did he have in his mind the things of God? No he had not. Hence the rebuke from Jesus.

He is the one who chooses. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matt 7:21) There will be a new earth and new heaven. The Church is made secure and eternal. Death is a past event. Being with God a new reality

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

This is the Church of Christ Jesus meant and it will be built by Jesus.The work is in progress. ‘I go to prepare a place for you’, Jeus said. When he ascended to the skies the work of New Jerusalem began in earnest, Not the city of David but of His Father.

(To be continued)

benny

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‘For The Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man’

Kier Hardy,(1856-1815) first Socialist Member of Parliament on the first day of entering the House of Commons was stopped by the police man at the gate. Looking at the figure in his cloth-cap the guard asked:’ Are you working here?’

‘Yes,’ replied Hardie who was indeed a Lancashire miner.

‘On the roof?’

‘No,’ replied the M.P,’On the floor.’

2.

Zachary Taylor(1784-1850) was known as ‘Old Rough and Ready’ for his short and dumpy figure made all the more worse by his thick neck and old battered straw hat that he always sported. He was the least military looking general,- and he looked more a codger that he was mistaken by a newly appointed lieutenant from the West Point.

He mistook him for a camp follower and addressed him as ‘say old codger.’

Later when he realized his mistake he hastened to the general to make amends. Accepting his apology Zachary Taylor said with a smile,’Never judge a stranger by his clothes.’

3.

William Rufus(1087-1100) who reigned as William II had notions of dressing in extraordinary clothes as befitting his majesty. One morning while putting on his new boots he asked his chamberlain what they cost.

He replied,’Three shillings.’ The king shouted,’You son of a whore, how long has the king worn boots so petty a price?’He added,’Go bring me a pair worth a mark of silver.’

The chamberlain went and brought a much cheaper pair. When asked of the price he replied that it cost as much he was allowed. He also added that it suited his majesty handsomely. His answer pacified the king who let his chamberlain a free hand to choose his clothes. Not only he pleased the king thereby he also lined his pocket handsomely.

Benny

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China has indeed made a Great Leap Forward. Chairman Mao coined the slogan and what really happened was something else. Let us focus on very bright aspects of the China’s market socialism and a visitor looks at the stunning skylines of China’s redeveloped coastal cities and state capitals and he is impressed. He may not exactly remember he is on a guided tour. He is not allowed to traipse the length and breadth of China on a whim. A visitor sees, and the official who is in charge may write in his report he saw only what he was allowed to see or spoke to who are allowed to speak. There are restrictions now as then.

Notwithstanding let us not forget that the Chinese leaders make an impressive walk as they strut on the world stage. They need US as much as America need them. There is a new reality that ideological differences are as close as two sides of a coin. You spin for tail or head what you get spells ‘free enterprise.’ It is not frightening one would think George Washington would not tell a lie and he is at par with Mao. George was as noble as Mao the Great Helmsman who subscribed to the idea ‘end justifies the means.’ Each has impressed the nation it represents. Over the years Truth and Expediency have closed ranks over free trade.

China chose market socialism so it can hold its own as a superpower with USA. In one there are things like Free Press and Accountability and the highest of the realm can be impeached and thrown out. On the other it is the sole prerogative of the powers that be. How accountable are they? How free and transparent are their press?

If any one is interested in the environment safety record in China there are may articles relating to it. Reading them one is left with no doubt spirit of Chinese Communism is alive and well in the present leaders. Only it uses an euphemism: market socialism.

benny

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Life is such a wonderful experience that one often misses it in the anticipation of what is to follow.

*A child who cannot wait to snap his ties to his mother’s apron strings will soon find he has to pick up the pieces himself; and also make good of the damage.

*Success by worldly standards has been dinned onto you. You want to prove your parents that you are better than they, only to find they are not there when you succeed.

*Success that you run after sometimes is such you may win too soon. If you don’t follow it with much more spectacular you are a has been. Imagine not yet thirty something and a has been. Who can live down that?

*Think of success that comes so late: OK you may have bitten off much more than you could chew. But after lifelong struggle you have no single tooth left and no stomach either to digest it all.

*Suppose you achieve success. You paid your price for it in sweat and tears. Well and good. Those friends who cushioned you in your toil have all become your sidekicks: of course they get a kick out of your winnings. You thought success was some kind of life annuity only to find it has been spread all too thin to satisfy any.

*You went through life with blinkers on and you had one single aim. But when you are,in the end let to pasture you can only see what you missed and you can do nothing about it.

benny

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