Cast Off Temporal Provincialism

Posted on 2023-02-08
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Manassas, Virginia The titans of the big tech and media establishment have spent over a decade frantically drilling a hole in the boat we’re all in with the hope that we rubes would drown. Now massive layoffs are hitting big tech, social media, and corporate media – and the drillers are complaining about how unfair and cruel it all is. We never expected you self-proclaimed titans of the universe to be geniuses: only smart enough to know that if you sink the boat, you’re going down, too. While you’ve been maniacally plotting our destruction, we have quietly been building ways to survive without you or the institutions you have ruined. So, what are you going to do from here? Welcome to the party, pal.

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Our own Sheryl Collmer, editor of the CORAC National Newsletter and our accountant, had a great article published in Crisis Magazine last week. It speaks of the growing shift in the tide on the Covid narrative. It is a marvelous piece. Despite all the government, media, and public health efforts to suppress the horrifying facts, too many people now know someone who was injured or died because of the Covid shots. Truth is shooting up like a balloon being held under water after it escapes its handler’s grasp.

Once again I encourage you to get the Brazen Serpent Prayer. We sinned through hubris and fear – and dark forces in government, media and the health professions encouraged the sin by their hubris. God does not want our destruction; He wants our reclamation. Above all, this prayer is about returning us to right relation with God, particularly in our approach to health and wellness.

It would also be good to look at the 21st Chapter of Numbers, and consider the wages of rebellion against God – and His mercy in healing us anyway when we repent. The Brazen Serpent story is a minor one in the Old Testament, but it is certainly a story for our times.

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My astronomy professor in college was Dr. J. Allen Hynek. You may be familiar with him because he headed the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, an investigation into the phenomenon of UFO’s. I was delighted when he made a cameo appearance near the end of the 1977 movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” A few years back there was a TV miniseries about Project Blue Book. I only watched one episode. The actor they got to play Hynek looked the part but he was a dour, unpleasant man. In reality, Hynek had a lively, wry wit. He was the epitome of the absent-minded professor. I think Hynek purposefully put on some of the absent-mindedness as a form of the ironic humor that so delighted him.

What I remember him best for, though, is coming up with one of the most delicious phrases I have ever heard. It is one I still use on occasion. It came during a lecture he was giving about the controversies surrounding his study of UFO’s outside of class. He noted that some critics denied the phenomenon because they insisted there could not be life on other planets. That, he said, was putting the cart before the horse. The proper way to approach it was to investigate the phenomenon, determine whether it is credible or not, and only then start trying to figure out what it is. To think that the only possible explanation for such a thing was aliens and then deny the well-attested phenomenon because you don’t believe in the possibility of aliens is, he said,  the product of a peculiar “temporal provincialism” – which cannot imagine any explanation for the phenomenon other than one they reject. Such a mindset prevents inquiry into a subject altogether, thus foreclosing the very possibility of ever getting answers.

Contrary to what many think, Professor Hynek never suggested that aliens were the source of UFO’s. He concluded that the phenomenon was genuine, that he didn’t know what the cause of it was, but that he would like to know, which is why he studied it.

We live in tumultuous times. We need to liberate ourselves from the temporal provincialism that afflicts our own capacity to analyze the world and events around us. Things are happening in our world that have never happened in our comfortable lifetimes – and in ways they have never happened in those same lifetimes.

We all work from a template we have developed over the course of our lives for the purpose of analyzing the information we take in. Some people trust nothing and assume that everything is a hoax or an effort to manipulate them. The problem with this approach is that it is a sucker for every conspiracy theory that comes along and is incapable of recognizing truth at all, because it believes everything is a hustle. It is not at all the same thing as questioning everything. It is a handicap which prevents one from seeing anything as it is. Others trust everything, particularly if told them by a purportedly authoritative source. This approach is incapable of seeing when authoritative sources start to go off the rails (and often even when they lay in fiery ruins). Oddly, people who adopt either approach think they are unusually smart when, actually, their approach makes them slaves to other people’s narratives.

When an era is passing experience turns traitor. Most people’s experience encompasses their own lifetime and locale – and little else, regardless of how sophisticated they think themselves to be. This is why Jews in 1935 Germany thought what was happening was just another of the periodic pogroms that they faced in both Europe and Russia. It is why, in both France and Russia, just a year before their respective revolutions, Monarchs dismissed instability and occasionally violent eruptions of protest as the mere occasional disruptions of malcontents. Systemic failure looks very similar to transient failure in the early stages. It takes an intimate acquaintance with historical currents and with philosophy and logic to discern the difference between the two. Yet understanding the two is critical. A flat tire is a transient failure; a blown engine is a systemic failure. It does not matter how smart you are or how vast your experience is. Late-stage Rome thought the pesky Germanic tribes that would ultimately overcome the Empire were the usual lot of feckless barbarians who made a lot of noise but accomplished nothing. At the beginning of the 20th century, England’s high brain trust of statesmen and military commanders thought that the eruptions of Arabs seeking independence in the Middle East was a Jewish plot. I kid you not. Policy was made from that false predicate to the sorrow of the British Empire. The Mercantile and Industrial class of Germany thought Adolf Hitler was a dull-witted rabblerouser who, given a little appeasement, would be easily bent to their will. Understand first that, when eras change, the experience which had always been your faithful ally can become your greatest enemy, blinding you to the new reality unfolding.

Just recently Ben Shapiro conceded he had been dead wrong about the Covid shots. That was admirable, but he had spoken long and sneeringly about the ignorance of people who questioned and resisted the establishment narrative. What possessed him to be so smug and insufferable, pretending to a vast intellectual superiority over common folk, while touting something that was completely wrong and making it clear that he thought any who disagreed with his initial take was just an idiot and a rube?

In his Annual Message to Congress in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln warned that no “personal significance, or insignificance…” could spare the people of his era from their duty to history and the country. It was a stinging rebuke to the hubris that says you must believe what I believe or you’re an idiot. In fact, the concluding words of his message are well worth deep contemplation in these times:

“…The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. 

“Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We — even we here — hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.” 

We must endeavor, then, to see things as they are, not as we wish them to be or as our experience has told us they once were. I respect Ben Shapiro for admitting he was wrong but since he did not address his insufferable arrogance in insisting that what was objectively wrong was right, in the first place, I cannot know whether he has done anything to recalibrate the flaws that led to that error. So his haughty sneers about the stupidity of people who disagree with him on anything in the future without addressing their questions will leave me – and those people – cold.

It is a paradox that in the same tumultuous times when there are the most actual conspiracies the most absurd conspiracy theories march in tandem with them. In fact, actual conspiracists love absurd conspiracy theories for the camouflage it gives their machinations.

There are many things happening now that, if they happened as recently as a decade ago, I would quickly dismiss as conspiracy theories. Given our experience of the last seven years, the last three in particular, many conspiracy theories have turned out to be spoiler alerts. On the matter of government manipulation of social media sites the Twitter Files revealed that the reality was far uglier and more extensive than the worst conspiracy theorists had posited.

The key, then, is to see things as they are without letting our analytical ruts deceive us.

Let us apply Professor Hynek’s method to a minor current controversy, the shortage of eggs and the unusual stoppage of hens laying. First, is there such a phenomenon at all? The price of eggs and the universal attestation to the phenomenon by all sides and raw data confirm it. Second, what is causing it? Those who trust nothing suggest it is a government plot to disrupt our food supply. Given the Covid experience of the last three years AND that powerful people, including Bill Gates, Klaus Schwab and much of the Democratic Party have publicly stated they want the world population drastically reduced by an order of magnitude or two, that is not an unreasonable suspicion. But is it the cause? Those given to normalcy bias note, properly, that hens lay much fewer eggs when the weather gets colder. As much as it vexes global warming advocates, we have had an unusually – maybe even historically – cold winter across the entire country this year. It is entirely possible that there may be elements of truth in both positions. Then the question becomes what to do about it? If it is just the cold weather, it will take care of itself soon enough. Some people began to suspect that something was different about this year’s feed that was causing the disruption. A little edgy, but Bill Gates DID intentionally support and issue vaccines in Africa a decade ago that, also, surreptitiously sterilized the women who took them. Thus, the theory is not outside plausible reason or even recent experience. Some chicken farmers changed the feed they were giving their chickens and the hens started laying again. Those given to normalcy bias, while largely conceding the efficacy of this method, argue that as average temperatures rise, the reason is not that there was anything wrong with the feed, but that the change shocks the chickens’ systems back into a sort of reset that gets them laying again. I don’t know what the answer is and, frankly, I don’t care enough to devote even a fraction of the sort of time I did to Covid research. Both explanations have a basis of plausibility to them. In the end, I am a pragmatic man and I approve of any solution so long as it is licit. Since changing the feed has had such good results in so many cases, I am in favor of it for those who prefer it regardless of whether it is a coincidence of timing or because of a taint to existing feeds.

The key in these tumultuous times is to recognize the point of those who have come to a different conclusion than we have. If you are given to conspiracy theories, understand that it can progressively rob you of the capacity to recognize what is true – and even the existence of objective truth. If you are given to normalcy bias, know that in these times, while your experience is a great ally it is also – and at critical moments – a great liar and a traitor. We must think anew and act anew, disenthralling ourselves of our own brand of temporal provincialism that blinds us to critical aspects of the reality unfolding around us. Above all, bear with each other as we work to find solutions to the depredations that increasingly plague us.

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I have not publicly appealed for donations to CORAC since late last September. Thank heavens, many generous people stepped up to help us continue the work to connect people across the country and give them the tools they need to survive and thrive in good times and bad. But now we need your help again, so I ask you, if you can, to donate to CORAC so we can continue the good work we have embarked on. God bless you all.

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This Saturday, February 11, we will have a meeting beginning at 10:30 a.m. in Townsend, Delaware. I will speak at 10:30, we’ll break for lunch at noon, and then we will do a Q & A and at two, Regional Coordinator Kirby Bowling will give a talk on sustainability and self-defense while Larry Wescott will give a demonstration on radio communications. It will be at:

630 Taylor’s Bridge Rd.

Townsend, Delaware 19734

Of course, it is also the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes. And it is the 12th anniversary of my departure on my pilgrimage across the country.

Our True Founder

If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.

Find me on Twitter at @Charliej737

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