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Archive for May, 2017

During the first week in office the military aides of the President brought a folder of transcripts to him. They asked President Truman if he were interested. It was an extensive practice during the Roosevelt years. Truman glanced at the two pages of the doings of the wife of one member of the White House staff. Truman told the officials, “I haven’t time for any such foolishness as that. Tell them I don’t authorize any such thing.”

2.

After eighteen years in Washington, more than seven of them in the White House, he left for Independence, MO in Jan.23. A neighbor back home observed it was as if the Trumans had never been away; they were natural and as unspoilt by high office as if Truman had risen no further than alderman of Independence.

The day after he got back home he took his usual morning walk and one television reporter asked him what was the first thing he did when he walked in the house of 219 North Delaware the night before. “I carried the grips up the attic,” was the simple answer.

benny

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Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in sometime later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” The gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try going inside in spite of my prohibition. But take note. I am powerful. And I am only the lowliest gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the last. I cannot endure even one glimpse of the third.” The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be accessible for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more closely at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets permission to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him once more that he cannot let him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it all but, as he does so, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.” During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost continuously. He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this first one seems to him the only obstacle for entry into the law. He curses the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud; later, as he grows old, he only mumbles to himself. He becomes childish and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has also come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper. Finally his eyesight grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely deceiving him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers up in his head all his experiences of the entire time into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body. The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the difference between them has changed considerably to the disadvantage of the man. “What do you want to know now?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is it that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.”

 

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The fat cats came at a price. They did not steal outright; nor will as doctors  kill their patients with malpractice. Social conscience of GOP said the existing affordable health care did not go far enough. So Government of Peddlers stretched healthcare of the vulnerable section but the expensive medical prescription made it worse. In the end the Great Swamp sent Dr. Fat Cat to sell Affordable Health Care to the sick hens where ever they were to be found.  He came to a barn where a sick hen was left to die.

The fat cat said, ” My my, a hen that is healthy makes the nation and Col. Sanders happy!”

The hen would not be drawn in. Then the cat said, “Affordable Health Care.”

Oh the hen shot up at that instant. She was so flustered that the cat could imagine chicken nuggets by buckets. The cat explained the hens were true patriots since they lay eggs, and a sick hen merely skirted the issue of serving the nation. ”

“But I am poor!” the hen cackled in frustration. “No matter,” when I treat your case the nation shall have something to celebrate.” Instantly the hen got up ruffled her feathers and took off.

Amazed the cat said,”I never knew you could fly?”

“When fat cats take to treat the poor it is time I showed some tricks that you never thought as possible.”

The cat could only say, “By St.Vlad*  the hen is only good for deep fryin!”

*St.Vlad is revered across the world. All oligarchs when they steal they need a patron saint. It makes their fat seem patriotic, puttin’ it mildly.

Benny

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Folks say that Rai-den, the Thunder, is an unloving spirit, fearful and revengeful, cruel to man. These are folks who are mortally afraid of the storm, and who hate lightning and tempest; they speak all the evil they can of Rai-den and of Rai-Taro, his son. But they are wrong.

Rai-den Sama lived in a Castle of Cloud set high in the blue heaven. He was a great and mighty god, a Lord of the Elements. Rai-Taro was his one and only son, a brave boy, and his father loved him.

In the cool of the evening Rai-den and Rai-Taro walked upon the ramparts of the Castle of Cloud, and from the ramparts they viewed the doings of men upon the Land of Reed Plains. North and South and East and West they looked. Often they laughed—oh, very often; sometimes they sighed. Sometimes Rai-Taro leaned far over the castle walls to see the children that went to and fro upon earth.

One night Rai-den Sama said to Rai-Taro, “Child, look well this night upon the doings of men!”

Rai-Taro answered, “Father, I will look well.”

From the northern rampart they looked, and saw great lords and men-at-arms going forth to battle. From the southern rampart they looked, and saw priests and acolytes serving in a holy temple where the air was dim with incense, and images of gold and bronze gleamed in the twilight. From the eastern rampart they looked, and saw a lady’s bower, where was a fair princess, and a troop of maidens, clad in rose colour, that made music for her. There were children there, too, playing with a little cart of flowers.

“Ah, the pretty children!” said Rai-Taro.

From the western rampart they looked, and saw a peasant toiling in a rice-field. He was weary enough and his back ached. His wife toiled with him by his side. If he was weary, it is easy to believe that she was more weary still. They were very poor and their garments were ragged.

“Have they no children?” said Rai-Taro. Rai-den shook his head.

Presently, “Have you looked well, Rai-Taro?” he said. “Have you looked well this night upon the doings of men?”

“Father,” said Rai-Taro, “indeed, I have looked well.”

“Then choose, my son, choose, for I send you to take up your habitation upon the earth.”

“Must I go among men?” said Rai-Taro.

“My child, you must.”

“I will not go with the men-at-arms,” said Rai-Taro; “fighting likes me very ill.”

“Oho, say you so, my son? Will you go, then, to the fair lady’s bower?”

“No,” said Rai-Taro, “I am a man. Neither will I have my head shaved to go and live with priests.”

“What, then, do you choose the poor peasant? You will have a hard life and scanty fare, Rai-Taro.”

Rai-Taro said, “They have no children. Perhaps they will love me.”

“Go, go in peace,” said Rai-den Sama; “for you have chosen wisely.”

“How shall I go, my father?” said Rai-Taro.

“Honourably,” said his father, “as it befits a Prince of High Heaven.”

Now the poor peasant man toiled in his rice-field, which was at the foot of the mountain Hakusan, in the province of Ichizen. Day after day and week after week the bright sun shone. The rice-field was dry, and young rice was burnt up.

“Alack and alas!” cried the poor peasant man, “and what shall I do if my rice-crop fails? May the dear gods have mercy on all poor people!”

With that he sat himself down on a stone at the rice-field’s edge and fell asleep for very weariness and sorrow.

When he woke the sky was black with clouds. It was but noonday, but it grew as dark as night. The leaves of the trees shuddered together and the birds ceased their singing.

“A storm, a storm!” cried the peasant. “Rai-den Sama goes abroad upon his black horse, beating the great drum of the Thunder. We shall have rain in plenty, thanks be.”

Rain in plenty he had, sure enough, for it fell in torrents, with blinding lightning and roaring thunder.

“Oh, Rai-den Sama,” said the peasant, “saving your greatness, this is even more than sufficient.”

At this the bright lightning flashed anew and fell to the earth in a ball of living fire, and the heavens cracked with a mighty peal of thunder.

“Ai! Ai!” cried the poor peasant man. “Kwannon have mercy on a sinful soul, for now the Thunder Dragon has me indeed.” And he lay on the ground and hid his face.

Howbeit the Thunder Dragon spared him. And soon he sat up and rubbed his eyes. The ball of fire was gone, but a babe lay upon the wet earth; a fine fresh boy with the rain upon his cheeks and his hair.

“Oh, Lady, Lady Kwannon,” said the poor peasant man, “this is thy sweet mercy.” And he took the boy in his arms and carried him to his own home.

As he went the rain still fell, but the sun came out in the blue sky, and every flower in the cooler air shone and lifted up its grateful head.

The peasant came to his cottage door.

“Wife, wife,” he called, “I have brought you something home.”

“What may it be?” said his wife.

The man answered, “Rai-Taro, the little eldest son of the Thunder.”

Rai-Taro grew up straight and strong, the tallest, gayest boy of all that country-side. He was the delight of his foster-parents, and all the neighbours loved him. When he was ten years old he worked in the rice-fields like a man. He was the wonderful weather prophet.

“My father,” he said, “let us do this and that, for we shall have fair weather”; or he said, “My father, let us the rather do this or that, for to-night there will be a storm,” and whatever he had said, so, sure enough, it came to pass. And he brought great good fortune to the poor peasant man, and all his works prospered.

When Rai-Taro was eighteen years old all the neighbours were bidden to his birthday feast. There was plenty of good saké, and the good folk were merry enough; only Rai-Taro was silent and sad and sorry.

“What ails you, Rai-Taro?” said his foster-mother. “You who are wont to be the gayest of the gay, why are you silent, sad and sorry?”

“It is because I must leave you,” Rai-Taro said.

“Nay,” said his foster-mother, “never leave us, Rai-Taro, my son. Why would you leave us?”

“Mother, because I must,” said Rai-Taro in tears.

“You have been our great good fortune; you have given us all things. What have I given you? What have I given you, Rai-Taro, my son?”

Rai-Taro answered, “Three things have you taught me—to labour, to suffer, and to love. I am more learned than the Immortals.”

Then he went from them. And in the likeness of a white cloud he scaled heaven’s blue height till he gained his father’s castle. And Rai-den received him. The two of them stood upon the western rampart of the Castle of Cloud and looked down to earth.

The foster-mother stood weeping bitterly, but her husband took her hand.

“My dear,” he said, “it will not be for long. We grow old apace.”

 

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(Here I am posting an excerpt from my third book which is under way. In two months I hope to complete the first draft-b)

Kingdom of God

 

 

“The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all (Ps.103:19)”

 

‘The Lord hath prepared his throne…’ The expression ‘his throne in the heavens’ is not as simple as it would seem. Heaven itself is his throne. This is what we read in the book of Isaiah, ‘Heaven is my throne…(Is.66:1-NIV).’ A question arises then as to why mention a throne at all? The most satisfactory explanation would be that King David predicted it as a throne of Judgment as distinct from his habitation. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away…(Re.20:11)” When we study the Word we find several instances in which the Spirit isolates a specific object from the whole, like a tissue sample as it were, and gives it certain treatment in order to explain spiritual commentary on the whole. Adam and Eve in the Garden is one; another instance is the collapse of the building project on the plains of Shinar, which is called the Tower of Babel. The Spirit first reveals physical lineaments be it a garden or a ziggurat in order to enlighten us the underlying spiritual aspects of each in relation to the whole. Firstly we need approach it as a specific feature say the Garden of Eden and as such it is representational in nature. Secondly wherever the Spirit gives physical objects his focus there shall also be a spiritual basis found. Consequently the episode of Adam and Eve represents mankind elsewhere. Their fall has a spiritual basis and it makes the whole culpable as well; similarly the wellspring of pride, the motivating factor in the undertaking of such gigantic scale can be traced to the revolt of angels who left their first estate. The Spirit while casting light on events occurring on the earth switches to heaven. When such shunting occurs repeatedly we need understand the intent of the Spirit.

In order to get the best of our study from the book of Revelation we need to understand this principle of inversion. This is drawn from music: the process of reversing the relative positions of the notes of a musical interval, chord, or phrase. In another book we had explained inversion in a mode, an example for which we have this quote from our Lord Jesus Christ. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last (Mt.20:16-NIV).” Spirit bases it in on a well-established principle in that man who relies on his own wisdom resists the wisdom from above which is free. Before God he is last in estimation. All honour and glory be to God, Amen. The Spirit organizes the narrative therefore according to the mind of God and in the manner the Son of man fulfilled it. The theological term of emptying process ‘kenosis’ by which God the Son became flesh is but an example.

 

Coming back to the key verse the throne is an inversion of the whole heavens. The spiritual significance therefore is not in the throne itself but as a symbol for the sovereignty of God. As the sweet psalmist of Israel writes, ‘his kingdom ruleth over all.’

From the creation account to the last book the Spirit belabours this truth for our understanding. Take for example the dream of Nebuchadnezzar: the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth (Dan.2:35). Physical objects like rock or throne in the Spirit’s usage carries spiritual significance as well. Jesus Christ is the spiritual rock; he proved to be the stone of stumbling for his nation; and he also is the rock upon which his church is being founded. And this foundation is in heaven. In the book of Daniel the rock represents the kingdom of his dear Son that fills the earth (Col.1:13). If articles double for spiritual counterweight what we are to make of the vision of the seven golden lampstands? The Spirit in setting forth the testimony of Jesus Christ elucidates the mystery of the stars in his hand and the lampstand as follows, “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches…(Re.1:20). Churches are watched over by angels; so are kingdoms of the earth. If such angels are pressed in service for the Lord God it is equally conceivable that cohorts of Satan shall work behind the kingdoms of the earth where God is not worshiped. In the book of Daniel we read that ‘the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me …but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me…(Dan.10:13) If the heaven represents throne of God and the earth his foot stool what are these angels but under the sovereignty of God? We shall come to it by and by.

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Mio Strand is in the Province of Suruga. Its sand is yellow and fine, strewn with rose shells at the ebb tide. Its pine trees are ancient and they lean all one way, which is the way that the wild wind wills. Before Mio rolls the deep sea, and behind Mio rises Fuji, the most sacred, the mountain of mountains. Small marvel that the Strange People should come to Mio.

Of the Strange People not much is known, even at Mio, though it is sure they come there. It seems they are shy indeed, more’s the pity. They come through the blue air, or across the mysterious paths of the sea. Their footprints are never, never seen upon the wet beach, for they tread too lightly. But sometimes in their dancing they sweep their robes upon the sand and leave it ribbed and ruffled; so, often enough, it may be seen at Mio.

This is not all. Once a fisherman of Mio set eyes upon a maiden of the Strange People, and talked with her and made her do his bidding. This is a true thing, and thus it came about.

The fisherman was out in his boat all night. He cast his net here and he cast his net there, but he caught nothing at all for his pains. It may be believed that he grew weary enough before the morning. In the cold of the dawn he brought his boat to shore and set foot on Mio Strand, shivering.

Then, so he says, a warm wind met him and blew through his garments and his hair, so that he flushed and glowed. The very sand was full of comfort to his chilly feet. Upon the warm wind a fragrance was borne, cedar and vervain, and the scent of a hundred flowers.

Flowers dropped softly through the air like bright rain. The fisherman stretched out his hands and caught them, lotus and jessamine and pomegranate. And all the while sweet music sounded.

“This is never Mio Strand,” cried the fisherman, bewildered, “where I have pulled my boat ashore a thousand times or flown kites upon a holiday. Alack, I fear me I have sailed to the Fortunate Isles unawares, or come unwilling to the Sea King’s garden; or very like I am dead and never knew it, and this is Yomi. O Yomi, Land of Yomi, how like thou art to Mio Strand, my dear home!”

After he had said this, the fisherman looked up the beach and down the beach, and he turned and saw Fuji, the mountain of mountains, and then he turned and saw the deep rolling sea and knew he was at Mio and no other place, and gave a long sigh.

“Thanks be,” he said, and lifting his eyes he saw a robe of feathers hanging upon the branch of a pine tree. In the robe were feathers of all the birds that fly, every one; the kingfisher and the golden pheasant, the love bird, the swan, the crow, the cormorant, the dove, the bullfinch, the falcon, the plover, and the heron.

“Ah, the pretty fluttering thing!” said the fisherman, and he took it from the pine tree where it hung.

“Ah, the warm, sweet, fairy thing!” said the fisherman; “I’ll take it home for a treasure, sure no money could buy it, and I’ll show it to all the folk of the village.” And off he set for home with the fairy feathers over his arm.

Now the maiden of the Strange People had been playing all this time with the White Children of the Foam that live in the salt sea. She looked up through the cold clear water and marked that her robe hung no longer on the pine-tree branch.

“Alas, alas!” she cried, “my robe, my feather robe!” Swifter than any arrow she sprang from the water, and sped, fleet of foot, along the wet sand. The White Children of the Foam followed at her flashing heels. Clad in the cloak of her long hair, she came up with the fisherman.

“Give me my feather robe,” she said, and held out her hand for it.

“Why?” said the fisherman.

“’Tis mine. I want it. I must have it.”

“Oho,” said the fisherman, “finding’s keeping,” and he didn’t give her the feather robe.

“I am a Fairy,” she said.

“Farewell, Fairy,” said the fisherman.

“A Moon Fairy,” she said.

“Farewell, Moon Fairy,” said the fisherman, and he made to take his way along Mio Strand. At that she snatched at the feather robe, but the fisherman held fast. The feathers fluttered out and dropped upon the sand.

“I wouldn’t do that,” said the fisherman. “You’ll have it all to pieces.”

“I am a Moon Fairy, and at dawn I came to play upon fair Mio Strand; without my feathers I cannot go back to my place, my home in High Heaven. Therefore give me my feathers.”

“No,” said the fisherman.

“Oh, fisherman, fisherman, give me my robe.”

“I couldn’t think of it,” said the fisherman.

At this the maiden fell upon her knees and drooped like a lily in the heat of the day. With her arms she held the fisherman about the knees, and as she clung to him beseeching him, he felt her tears upon his bare feet.

She wept and said:

I am a bird, a frail bird, A wounded bird with broken wings, I must die far from home, For the Five Woes are come upon me. The red flowers in my hair are faded; My robe is made unclean; Faintness comes upon me; I cannot see—farewell, dear sight of my eyes; I have lost joy. Oh, blessed flying clouds, and happy birds, And golden dust in the wind, And flying thoughts and flying prayers! I have lost all joy.

“Oh, stop,” said the fisherman, “you may have your robe.”

“Give,” she cried.

“Softly, softly,” said the fisherman. “Not so fast. I will give you your robe if you will dance for me here on Mio Strand.”

“What must I dance?” she asked.

“You must dance the mystic dance that makes the Palace of the Moon turn round.”

She said, “Give me my feathers and I will dance it. I cannot dance without my feathers.”

“What if you cheat me, what if you break your promise and fly immediately to the moon and no dancing at all?”

“Ah, fisherman,” she said, “the faith of a Fairy!”

Then he gave her the robe.

Now, when she had arrayed herself and flung back her hair, the Fairy began to dance upon the yellow sand. In and out of the feather robe crept her fairy feet. Slowly, softly, she went with folded wings and sang:

Oh, the gold and silver mountains of the Moon, And the sweet Singing Birds of Heaven! They sing in the branches of the cinnamon tree, To entertain the thirty kings that are there. Fifteen kings in white garments, To reign for fifteen days. Fifteen kings in black garments, To reign for fifteen days. I hear the music of Heaven; Away, away, I fly to Fairy Places.

At this the Fairy spread her rainbow-coloured wings, and the wind that they made fluttered the red flowers in her hair. Out streamed the robe of feathers bright and gay.

The Fairy laughed. Her feet touched the waves of the sea; her feet touched the grass and the flowers inshore. They touched the high branches of the pines and then the white clouds.

“Farewell, fisherman!” the Fairy cried, and he saw her no more.

Long, long he stood gazing up into the sky. At length he stooped and picked up a little feather from the shore, a grey dove’s feather. He smoothed it out with his finger and hid it in his girdle.

Then he went to his home.

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