Sleeping Through A Culture War #TamirRice #DCprotest #Ferguson #TortureReport

December 9, 2014

Sleeping Through A Culture War

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

It’s heroic humanism, stupid

The heroic humanism that gave unofficial permission to exercise the inhumanity described by ‪#‎TortureReport‬ gives the same unspoken permission to murder 12 year old Tamir Rice‬, ‪‎New Yorker Eric Garner‬, et al.

Consider how such diabolical humanism informs law, the so called rule of law, government mission and the culture of death.

Let us repent, together.

 

… 

U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on CIA practices for Detention and Interrogation

The official title of the unclassified #TortureReport is a long one:  Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program. It is the 528 page executive summary that has been released for public review. The full Study exceeds 6,700 pages and it documents the countless, inhumane, and diabolical abuses and mistakes made between 2001 and 2009. Those abuses and mistakes represent a grotesque monument of horror, immorality and human rights violations.

Here’s a few links for you to begin a journey into an Inferno which makes Dante’s hell seem polite and tolerable:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/09/world/cia-torture-report-key-points.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/09/worst-horrors-cia-torture-report/20146081

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-cia-torture-report-global-reaction-20141209-story.html

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/226564-us-embassies-issue-warnings-after-cia-report-release

http://www.odni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/198-press-releases-2014/1149-dni-message-to-the-intelligence-community-workforce-on-the-release-of-the-ssci-report

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/10/cia-torture-report-global-reaction-roundup

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/09/the-most-gruesome-moments-in-the-cia-torture-report.html

Culture War

It is no coincidence that we have been woken from our sleep at this time. We cannot ignore the overwhelming and horrific evidence that our society and culture has been compromised, corrupted, and turned over to an enemy – unprosecuted police abuses, the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice, and, now, the #TortureReport.

Any attempt to defend, ignore and obscure these horrors is reducible to deception, false accusations and diabolical suspicion regarding the dignity of the human person, human purpose and the destiny of the human species.

The Culture War is not an academic debate. It is not a moveable feast for the parlor of intellectuals. It is not a clever forum to debate the diversity and consequence of opinions, values and ambitions. It is about casualties. It is painful, horrible and juggernaut. And wars, they are fought in the streets.

Snooze Button

Who can you trust? Neither Republicans nor Democrats to be sure. Nor libertarians, I regret. For they all serve the same masters – pride, greed, gluttony, lust, etc. Parties are called parties for good reason. No? But if you can’t trust anyone, why not hit the snooze and wake up when the dust has settled? Some suggest that this is what a democracy looks like.

What should a great democracy look like? Where is the dream, the vision, and the want for a promised land?

Where is the hunger and the thirst for good things? Where is the want for greatness, goodness and prosperity?

 

Where is the love!

Love, it is said, comes like a river when we have repented of our evil and forgiven others for the evil they have done to us.

 

What should democracy look like 1

Stan Faryna
09 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Broken hearts and getting away with murder #TamirRice #DCprotest #pray

December 7, 2014

Broken hearts and getting away with murder

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

It has been said that when evil, immorality and self-serving license prevails in the world, the human heart will grow cold. That our compassion, empathy and desire to be a comfort and help to others shall be greatly diminished. I wonder if these are those times.

I wonder now if my own heart has grown cold.

Because I watched surveillance video footage that provided a view of the murder of a 12 year old child and I did not weep.

I understood it was a true horror that I was watching. I felt deep sympathy for Tamir Rice’s parents, but what I felt did not go deep enough. An awkward sound escaped my mouth but I should have sobbed. And I knew the fault must be mine. That my heart was growing cold.

Has my heart been so broken that it is beyond repair. Yes and no. Comfort and convenience will not heal this heart. Technology cannot fix it. Nor chemical prescription – legal or illegal. Nor government.

The hows and whys of the murder of Tamir Rice will be argued with heartless contention, legalistic pageantry and much anger. But I will not put the murder of a child behind me. I will not move forward in my thoughts. There is enough evil in the murder of a child to claim my hearts’ complete attention. Racism and prejudice is also evil and, yet, I cannot move past the greater evil to feast and rail upon the lesser evil. There is time to account for all of our evil.

There is enough evidence in the paltry, unadorned facts that a child was murdered for you and I to understand that the world is broken and that we, collectively as the human family, are exceedingly worthy of a curse upon our heads- a curse that follows each one of us wherever we go and whatever we do, and confounds us with unrelenting hardships, misery and unbearable misfortune.

Some say that this is what is happening now. Others even suggest that those who do murder or other evil, they share their curse with us all. And those who get away with murder, they break the human heart (all hearts) in ways that shall never be healed – even until the last star blinks out. Yet we also know, deep down, that the answer is not to tear them to little pieces.

I feel the curses piling up upon me, my body, mind and soul. Upon my family, friends and neighbor. Upon my nation and all of the human family. I feel the poverty of my spirit growing wide and deep as oceans. For what should I be proud?

If only I could have wept, I could almost imagine that I could step out from underneath this particular curse – one among the millions. And so I put my face on the ground and I repent for us all.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and [God’s] word is not in us.

1 John 1:10

And I beg God to have for mercy on us and on the whole world.

Stan Faryna
06 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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Where is the light? #EricGarner #ICantBreathe #Nowisthetime

December 4, 2014

Where is the light? #EricGarner #ICantBreathe #Nowisthetime

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Eric Garner


Eric Garner died as a result of a choke hold used by a NYPD officer attempting to subdue him. The first video shows it here. Mr. Garner pleads for his life. “I can’t breathe,” he cries out (weakly) to the police officers. The second video (here) shows police officers and EMT handling an apparently unconscious Mr. Garner like an animal. Or a slab of meat.

How did the Grand Jury not indict the police officer?

We should and must mourn the loss of Eric Garner lest we accept that our hearts have grown cold. We should and must grieve over the injustice served by the non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo.

In the midst of an overwhelming number of police officers, Daniel Pantaleo’s actions in subduing Mr. Garner (in the manner in which he did) were arrogant, contemptuous and, yes, evil – beyond even the possibility of a racially motivated crime. If you watch the second video where Mr. Garner appears unconscious, hand-cuffed and mishandled, Pantaleo appears in the background – proud, puffed up and “manly” in how he holds himself.

Pantaleo did not act as a man on that day. He acted as a coward. He did as a bully does. And we can all see this with our own eyes. Any other conclusion is in itself, cowardice, false consciousness, or, yes, evil. Regardless of prejudice.

Daniel Pantaleo, however, is not beyond redemption or our compassion. He can confess his sin and repent, publicly. And, in return, we can forgive and love the man.

Cases of police brutality, state oppression, terrorism, and all kinds of violence may be worse and more frequent elsewhere in the world. That does not make the wrongful death of Eric Garner, acceptable. Lukewarm reaction is absolutely reprehensible and disgusting. It is written that God vomits the lukewarm.

In the face of overwhelming lack of compassion and concern for the dignity of the human person, outrage and anger will burn in the hearts of those who still have hearts to mourn what has happened. Evil shall also grow in burning hearts. There will grow a want of revenge, a spirit of fear and contempt for others. This too is human – fallen humanity.

Now is the time for justice. For leadership. For love.

Ye are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

Where is the Christian voice in the midst of the darkness? Where is the light of Christian love in dark nights as these?

Light does not shine in the streets. Now is the time for Christians to go forth, cast out demons, heal the broken-hearted, and demonstrate the power of Jesus. In prayer. In compassion and with love. In sharing Christian wisdom and truth. In solidarity with the human family. With a crying out to God!

I am reminded of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words, Now is the time.

Or is my opinion in error?

Stan Faryna
04 December 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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#BlogSoup Reboot 22.08.14 @AdrienneSmith40 @berget @yogizilla @ce_kilgore @snowglobeman

August 23, 2014

#BlogSoup Reboot 22.08.14 @AdrienneSmith40 @berget @yogizilla @ce_kilgore @snowglobeman

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup

Some may remember the much celebrated blog soup which I had retired some years ago in the naïve hopes that others would take up the torch and advance blogosphere and social media for sake of our humanity and dignity.

None did. That bummed me out.

… 
If you don’t know about the epics of blog soup, a deliciously OP (Over Powered) explanation follows.
The comments below represent comments that I posted and those that failed to post to the websites and blogs that I visited. On occasion, they may represent Tweets, Replies, or Comments made on Facebook and other Social Media networks. Not everyone will appreciate the comments made to their post (I rarely suck up, brown nose or gush), but hopefully they’ll forgive me any offense (real or imagined) and they should love the serious link juice to blog and Twitter. This is not a noob’s blog.
… 
I art one blogger who is-has serious histories and algorithms.
Luna Moth 3 Faryna May 2014
Without further ado…

Thank you for stealing my identity

http://www.adriennesmith.net/beware-impostor-among-us

Adrienne Smith writes about how spammers are using your identity to create back links. And sometimes, they forget to back link! Silly bots – tricks are for kids.

My comment

My heart goes out to you, Adrienne.

Spam is getting interesting, indeed.

The consequence of identity theft in this regard is typically unintentional. But even unintended consequences remain consequential – especially for the victims of identity theft. This kind of black hat activity, however, will only increase. Such is our dilemma.
… 
Your prolific comments actually single you out as a preferable identity to use for black hat seo purposes. They hope that use of your identity will increase the value of the back link, discourage back link deletion and get past spam detection.One way you can make your identity a nuisance to spambots is by contacting the businesses/persons at the links and let them know that you hold them responsible for their sinister seo practices and that you will seek damages against them for their fraudulent use of your good name and reputation. If you are lucky, they will apologize and fire their trollish seo people.
… 
If the business is unsympathetic, the next step involves a blog post and a lawyer. And it may involve a lawyer in the local region of that business. Such is the internets. With much benefit, there is much cost.

What’s right? What’s wrong? What can people get away with.

This is the unhappy conclusion of a world that celebrates moral relativity. Sometimes, things work your way. Sometimes, they don’t. But I wish it were otherwise. I would rather we were all led by Christ and that we acknowledged and repented of our own wickedness and all the wickedness of the world.

The Trial

http://www.snowglobeman.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-trial.html

Thomas Snow writes beautifully here. And that is no exaggeration.

My comment

Beautiful. Wonderful. THIS makes me feel alive. Thank you!

How do you measure success on Facebook?

http://slymarketing.com/measure-success-facebook
[note: site is under new and untrusted management]

Jens-Petter Berget solicits opinions from social media pros on how they are measuring success on Facebook.

Update: Link has been removed in 2017 as Jens’ website seems to have gone spammy and rogue.

My comment

The cost of creating and maintaining relationships on social networks can be considerable. I see social marketers investing the equivalent of hundreds of dollars (or more) in one to one relationships that just aren’t feasible for corporate (big to small) online strategy.

Businesses want conversions and transactions at the cheapest possible price. The internet advertising and marketing mumbo jumbo suggests that that they can do it for pennies on the traditional ad spend dollar. But it gets worse. The social media people try to sell the imaginary numbers and benefits of social based on the recycled lies of online advertising.

None of which means that there is no value in online advertising and marketing. Or social. As Ted Rubin suggests, the conversation is most of the content in an online relationship.

Yet the cake remains a lie.

… 

I’m a former IAB European National Director. So I’m not talking out my…

So my effort and measurement is based on a completely different model – a business model that may remind you of the business of the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Have I made impact in the minds, hearts and lives of the people that tune in to me?

Have I helped them work through their own self-deceits, delusions and vanities?

Have I helped them discover, see, and live out true love, truth, goodness and beauty?

The return is small but this is work for which we shall not count the cost.

Because this is the only work that is worthwhile.

10 Myths About MOBAS Debunked – Perhaps

http://geekyantics.net/10-myths-about-mobas-debunked-l2p
Yomar Lopez addresses the hate growing around games referred to as Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas.
… 
My comment

If you aren’t into games, you might wonder why you should care about MOBAs. But online games are a powerful segment of online business. In terms of growth, it may be second to porn.

Because people got time to kill. Because some don’t have work. Or can’t get work. Because some people need something more than what they got offline – love, acceptance, admiration, purpose, etc.

And if you say you know a little something something about the internets, you gotta know something about MOBAs, MMORPGs, FPSs, etc. You know what I’m saying!

Age and disinterest are not excuses. In the age of internets, we are all expected to know a little about everything.

Yomar really wants to tell you about how you can get in and get out of the MOBA experience with a little grace. Maybe, you can even retain some dignity and self-esteem too. But not really.

I just wish he’d focus on that. As for MOBA players – they’re seriously demonized. They breathe hate, contempt and hostility like it was air.

Note:

Demonized is not demonization. Demonized a la Derek Prince is kinda like possession but minus 360 degree head spins, levitations, glowing eyes, biblical boils, etc.

You know I love you, bro.

Authors and Twitter: You’re Doing It Wrong

http://www.tracingthestars.com/authors-and-twitter-youre-doing-it-wrong
C. E. Kilgore writes about the problem of faking it as a curator via Triberr, etc.

My comment

The cake is a lie.

I’m sorry you had to figure it out the hard way. But we all do – all who dare to dream. We all learn the hard way – unless we came to the game as a taker.

The problematic extends to all who hope to do something epic in social. Because the cake is a lie. Beyond the cake meta of social, the dynamic of reciprocity and all the dreams of pyramid schemes never works out like it should. For many reasons.

Mostly, it doesn’t work well because the effort is herculean – not to mention that it requires a serpent’s cunning. And even if this was all in place, the rewards are intensely insufficient.

But our lessons in online advertising and marketing are not over. Nor our disappointments.

Beyond our desperate need for reach, there is too much noise in social. Competing for attention is expensive – one way or the other. If you succeed in getting that one to 10 seconds of attention for which you fought tooth and nail, then the truth shall out: is your value to your customer explicit, intense and irrefutable?

Ironically, the above walkthrough represents another common and devastating error  – putting the cart before the horse.

The business model for books (as suggested by the New York Times’ bestseller list) is selling 5,000+ books per week. If what you are doing can’t go there, you may have a problem – if ever you dreamed of limos, five star hotels, big houses, elegant clothes, fancy cars, vip events, etc.

This Week and other Social Media DOHs

Geeks are all excited about the pending debut of the 12th Doctor (13th regeneration) on Season 8 of Doctor Who. John the Baptist almost wrote poetry about Ferguson. Meanwhile, we continued to mourn Robin Williams’ suicide and I still can’t get anyone from Revel Casino to talk to me about how they were supposed to pay for the damages done to my car by their valet people, but they are officially bankrupt. Obviously.

Hamas finally admitted that it’s own people abducted the Israeli teenagers and killed them. Christians in Iraq and Syria are being slaughtered, raped, robbed, displaced, etc. for being Christians. That includes the beheading of children in public places. The video of the beheading of a freelance, American journalist James Foley ignited American outrage. His ransom for 100 Million Dollars had not been paid. So much for the religious ideals of IS. But there’s not much in tears or outrage for the murder of helpless, Christian children. That bums me out. Maybe, it’s just too horrible for some people to think about.

I have no doubt that IS has brought a heavy curse upon their own heads, their people, and their nation. For God keeps all of His promises – the beautiful and the terrifying. It will go very badly for them and it will go badly for many generations.

The Christian solution, I imagine, is not to send soldiers to kill the bad guys – unless Jesus has shouted down from the heavens and no one told me. The Christian solution is for us to unite in repentance, praise, thanksgiving and prayer – we must plead with God for Him to bring peace to His peoples on Earth. One million people united in humility, hope and prayer to God, our heavenly father, will accomplish more than 100,000 soldiers on the ground, 10,000 missiles and rockets, ten billion dollars worth of air support, and ten million rounds of various ammunition.

What we got here is a lack of leadership, wisdom and love – political and spiritual.

Likewise, Ferguson would never have become what it did if political and leaders had stood with the people in solidarity and led them in mourning and healing. Ten million dollars of tax payer money in fancy military gear does not obtain anything resembling peace, justice or the American way.

The death toll of the Syrian Civil War approaches 200,000. Egyptian blogger and human rights activitst Alaa Abd El Fattah remains imprisoned. Thousands of Pakistanis overran the security barrier around the house of Pakistan’s Prime Minister and demanded his resignation. Ebola remains to be contained in Africa. Quakes surging around the Eyjafjallajokul volcano in Iceland.

The only thing that made sense (of everything) this week was Patti’s recitation of Keats on HBO’s 8th Episode of HBO’s The Leftovers. Coincidence?

Michael Robartes Bids his Beloved be at Peace by Yeats

HEAR the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,

Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;

The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,

The East her hidden joy before the morning break,

The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,

The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:


O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,

The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:

Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat

Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,

Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,

And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

Myself, I am not a believer in coincidence. Serendipity, however, is never recognizable to the foolish and proud.

God enlighten us, everyone. Soon. Actually, make that sooner…

Stan Faryna
22 August 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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Phil Robertson: Hero or Monster?

December 21, 2013

Letter to Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, et al.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Dawn of the Dead Credits with Johnny Cash

Dear Phil Robertson and everyone else interested in this public scandal,

There will be disagreements, contentions and frequent temptation to act and speak in an unbecoming manner – especially in a multicultural society and that includes online communities. In this context, idle talk and memes can be a divisive device which begs caution, scrutiny and wisdom.

How shall we live, work and relate with each other in our diversity? How shall we enthusiastically collaborate toward the common good and our own separate, individual, nobel ambitions?

However our opinions may differ, each of us will find it challenging (more or less) to live in a world that includes those whose actions, opinion and political will contradict our identity and, perhaps, even challenge the living out of our intimate hopes and aspirations.

That is a challenge we must accept with several virtues. I speak of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If each of us do not accept to meet this challenge with these several virtues, then we are not worthy of democracy, freedom, peace and/or happiness.

If we cannot agree these virtues are necessary or exercise these virtues with an enduring devotion, then communities and nations are doomed. For we will walk in darkness.

That is a bleak future that reminds me of the Prince’s warning and lament in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

ALL ARE PUNISHED!

May God bless us, everyone.

Best Regards,

Stan Faryna
21 December 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

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Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna

I’m a creepy, lonely man!?
The Greatest Show on Earth is on Andaman road
Get Lucky

We must love one another or die, wrote W. H. Auden

December 11, 2013

Reflections on Auden’s poem September 1, 1939

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

J.S. Bach, Saint Matthew’s Passion

In the face of impending war and for his contemporaries who did not know, a world war, Wystan Hugh Auden reminds his reader of several things which we, today, will also benefit by.

Oh – Auden is considered among the important writers of the 20th Century.

1. We must love one another or die

2. Though we are busy in each our own everyday trials, comforts and leisure, things are going on in the wider world and, quite possibly, terrible things

3. Despite all our pretenses, happy talk, busy-ness, and self-deceit, most of us were never happy. And, more importantly, that we were never good and, thereby, we shall not be spared impending terrible evils and torment that defy our present imagination.

September 1, 1939
by W.H. Auden 

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
‘I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,’
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

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The Problem of Nations: Romania

October 2, 2013

The Problems of Nations

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Imagine Dragons, Demons

Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, I have passed out from under the curse and entered into the blessing of Abraham, whom God blessed in all things.
– Derek Prince
Voronet Church

Below is my comment about George Sipos’ intelligent, self-reflection on Romania’s troubles:

I celebrate the author’s passion to ask soul searching questions that are rarely asked by Romanians in Romania. There may not be one answer that helps us understand what happened, what is going on, and who we are. Good questions will lead to better questions.

Good books will also help to frame better questions: C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man, Jacques Maritain’s The Person and the Common Good, Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man, Solzhenitsyn’s What’s Wrong With the West and Derek Prince’s Curse or Blessing – You Can Choose.

Beyond the economic, political, social and psychological predicament, there is also a spiritual predicament. Romania is besieged by evil spirits, great and small. Curses and demons abound and the spiritual armory is in profound disrepair. Romania is not alone in this predicament but the people were truly unprepared to receive the demons and vice of Mammon that must always accompany the promise, blessings and virtues we celebrate in democratic capitalism.

The lack of knowledge of God’s word, sacrifice, and promise may be the greatest problematic. And not just for Romania.

Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor (The Brothers Karamozov) illuminates the problem of a church, government and bureaucracy that presumes it, alone and unaided by heaven, can mediate and resolve the sins and salvation of a people. Nor will the idolatry of the violet light cult, Reiki, Masonic secrets, Feng Shui, astrology, etc. save Romania; infact, it brings God’s curse (for three or four generations!) as God promises in Exodus 20: 5.

Be sure of this – God keeps his word.

Those pure-hearted individuals who believe, repent, obey God’s laws and live in virtue (faith, hope, and love), however, can find deliverance. Even the Romanian, the Syrian, the American, the Russian…

George Sipos’ article is here:
http://quotidianwonders.com/2013/08/14/romanias-passion-for-masochism

Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna

I’m a creepy, lonely man!?
The Greatest Show on Earth is on Andaman road
Get Lucky
Stan Faryna
01 October 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

One Ugly American Reflects On Syria, War, Evil

September 1, 2013

One Ugly American Reflects On Syria, War, Evil

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Black Eyed Peas, Where is the Love?

 

I’m not unsympathetic to Syrians in their struggles, sorrows and agonies. I pray for them with this intention: I want and hope the Syrian people (and all people) will enjoy those freedoms which ensure the dignity of the human person AND provide each individual person with every opportunity to love, to live in great virtue and to be a blessing to the world.

That want and hope, I imagine, must be accomplished under the custody of good government and the exceptional exercise of a passionate citizenship. I also imagine that such want and hope must pour from the hearts of the people in that nation that seeks deliverance from evil. In this regard, I am not convinced that the majority of the people of Syria are ready to repent, forgive, and, yes, deliver themselves from evil.

I may be very mistaken in my impression.

I am under this impression because the Syrian people have accepted great evil in their midst for too long.

I am under this impression because I have not seen a million Syrians walk together a long road, non violently and their hearts lifted in love, in search of freedom, justice and righteousness. Nor 100,000. Not even 10,000.

And I would like to believe that if I had seen and heard such a thing, I do not require my government to cast missiles upon the armies of their dark lords. I would like to believe that I have the courage to go there, myself, and join arms with Syrian men, women and children and face evil with love.

Love never fails.

And as Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted with great urgency, we will not overcome evil by doing evil. There is no exception. Period.

Stan Faryna
01 September 2013
Fairfax, Virginia


A heart-felt letter to my President

August 31, 2013

A heart-felt letter to my President

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

John Lennon, Give Peace a Chance

Yesterday, Seamus Heaney died at the age of 74. He was a poet. He was also the 1995 Noble Prize laureate in literature. In other words, he was a somebody.

Seamus Heaney

Yesterday, the drums of war were beaten. Lies and deception poured from the mouths of so called world leaders and statesmen. But the peoples of the world knew better. They knew the facts being presented were askew, the calculus was bogus, and the journalists – they are as outrageous as money changers in the temple.

Mr. President: The people long for history and hope to rhyme.

The Cure at Troy

by Seamus Heaney

Human beings suffer,
They torture one another,
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.

The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father
Stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
Faints at the funeral home.

History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracle
And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing
Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.

Stan Faryna
31 August 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Get Lucky

August 25, 2013

We’ve come too far to give up who we are…

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Daft Punk, Get Lucky

For the purpose of the peace and security of our nation, our families and our hope for tomorrow, I have declared a national emergency and enacted Martial law. Shelter in place until further notice. Food, water and medical care will be made available to the public at designated locations, dates and times which will be announced by local authorities following my message.

Stand strong, America! Stand together. Stay calm and follow the instructions of your local authorities. Together, we will get through this difficult time. We shall overcome even this.

It had been three days since Mary Elizabeth Arlington had heard the emergency Presidential broadcast, four days since the failure of electronic banking transactions and the lock down on the internet, and five days since trading had been halted on the NYSE after a 10 percent dip.
… 
She adjusted the rear view mirror and checked her lip stick. Metallic Strawberry. Her smile was perfect. She was hot.
Mary tuned her radio to the station indicated on a large sign at the entrance of the distribution center. Her DHS and national identity cards were duct taped to her driver side window. The former entitled her to double rations.
… 
Someone honked their horn from behind her car. Mary rolled her eyes.
Mensch!
… 
In front of her, 100 cars waited anxiously in the priority lane for National Guardsmen to distribute the emergency rations: two 5 gallon bottles of water, 12 MREs, three 15 oz can of beans and a small bag of rice. That was the standard ration.
On the other side of the distribution center, the queue for ordinary civilian distributions was ten blocks long.
… 
An announcement repeated on her radio.
Please stay inside your vehicle. Unlock your doors. Guardsmen will directly load the supplies into your vehicle when you reach the designated loading zones.
 …
Do not leave your vehicle for any reason. All violators will be sentenced without exception. If you need medical assistance, please proceed to the medical center which is located at the other side of the distribution center. 
… 
Once your car is loaded, immediately leave the loading zone in a calm and orderly manner. Thank you.
Mary slid a bible study CD into the dash slot – she would put this wait to good use.
… 
An hour later, Mary rolled up to the loading zone. Her bible study ended with a quotation from Revelations.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
A guardsmen opened her back door and proceeded to load six boxes into the black seat of her black BMW X6.
“Nice car, Miss. See you next week…” the soldier remarked before he closed the door and waved her to move forward.
Mary smiled. He was cute and he smelled nice. Like lemons and verbana.
It’d be nice to have a man like that at home, she thought to herself.
A real man – not like her husband who was ten years older than her, diabetic and a stroke survivor. It’s not like her husband’s money was good for anything now… 
What she needed now was a strong, young man and a good…
Mary drove forward and out of the distribution area. She slid another CD into the dash slot – Daft Punk.
… 
Two blocks down the road, she stopped at a stop sign. A woman walked in front of her car carrying a hand written sign in one hand and an infant in her other arm. The sign read, Please help, my child is hungry.
… 
The back door opened and a man grabbed a box and handed it off to another man. Then, he grabbed another box. He smelled like piss and sweat.
… 
Fuck!
I didn’t lock the door, Mary thought to herself as she stepped on the gas and hit the woman with the hand written sign.
The woman’s face hit the hood and then her body went under Mary’s car. The child was thrown on the windscreen. Her little face was pressed against the glass in front of Mary’s face. Her innocent, big blue eyes met Mary’s tear-filled eyes.
… 
This doesn’t make me a bad person, Mary thought to herself as she jerked the steering wheel – hard left and right. The blue-eyed infant girl slid off at the car at 60 mph and the back door slammed shut.
Mary remembered the wisdom of the Desiderata as she pushed the door lock button.
… 
I’m a child of God and I have a right to be here…
…..
Note: My attempts to write flash fiction are mostly inspired by John Magnet Bell of Start Your Novel.
More Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna
Stan Faryna
25 August 2013
Fairfax, Virginia