Sunday, January 31, 2021

Front-loading pain, Faith and Figs


Short memories

Ronald Reagan's first year in office was an economic disaster.

The Jimmy Carter economy sucked. Economies have momentum. The momentum was downward.

Reagan dispensed the medicine and 3.5 years later the electorate had forgotten the pain of the economic correction. 

Reagan was re-elected.

That happened so long ago it is now part of the DNA of all political wonks.

If the economy is hyper-extended and Biden is likely to have an economic contraction on their watch, it is better from his perspective to front-load the contraction and get it out of the way.

From that perspective, Biden's flurry of economy-killing Executive Orders makes sense. They are rewarding their faithful spear-carriers. They are front-loading economic pain and counting on the electorate's short memories. And any pain associated with those Economic Orders can be pinned on Joe which will leave Harris free of any accusations that SHE caused extensive job losses of Organized Labor.

It is easy to be a Christian when the sun is shining

Maybe not easy but easier.

One of the first things we teach our children is The Lord's Prayer.

Jesus was asked by his followers "How should we pray?" and Jesus responded with:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;

and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.

Matt 6:9-13  NAB. Translations vary slightly

Looking at the second line, the one that is underlined, it is a real challenge to reconcile that with what I see going on in the world right now.

There is no ambiguity, equivocation or weasel-wording in the line. Any rational, analytical reading of the line would declare it a falsehood.

St. Thomas Aquinas said this about Faith:

"(It is) the act of the intellect assenting to a Divine truth owing to the movement of the will, which is itself moved by the grace of God"   -St. Thomas Aquinas

"The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it"   -Catholic Catechism

Putting the two quotes together, Faith is the application of our will to bend our intellect to recognize Divine Truth, even when we cannot fully see or understand that Truth. It is the application of our will to live that Divine Truth, to freely share with others.

If would not be much of a challenge to "do God's will" if everybody else was doing it.


Down the fig rabbit hole.

There are folks raising them in Michigan and Ohio.

Dan Foster in Newport, Michigan has a nice presentation HERE.

Figs are not reliably hardy in Michigan without extraordinary measures. Dan grows most of his in containers and moves them into his garage. The containers have openings in the bottom and strike roots in the spring when he puts them back outside. Dan partially buries the containers.

You can see how he grows them outside in this video. You get a nice shot of his garden about ten seconds into the video.

Dan has a Youtube channel with several five-minute reviews of fig varieties he has been successful in fruiting. He also has several videos on propagating figs and protecting them from winter weather.

Even if I can never ripen the fruit, I can always use the leaves to cover my privates.

Bonus video


  1. I see that second line as a plea, part of the prayer, not a statement of fact.

  2. I see the second line as a transition from the first line -- Worship, to the third line -- Request / Confession.

    Thanks for the figgy link. Alas I'm spoiled and Blessed. With a zone 8a climate, my single Desert King provides 70 to 80 lbs per year. Sweet and wet, tastes like a cross of watermelon and kiwi. I manage to keep the tree down to 17 feet high. No pests other than occasional wasps. No pollination to worry about. Winter kill happens wherever I don't remove tiny, un-ripened second crop figs.

    I've heard of some colder zones digging a trench, root pruning one side, toppling it and burying it for the winter to resurrect it in the spring.

    With my variety the leaves are a bit too scratchy for aprons.

    1. Alternatively, the second line could be more worship. That is, continued identification of who the pleas are being made to.

  3. The Lord's Prayer is also a plea.

    Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

    You're asking for this day, for no one is sure of tomorrow.

    Daily bread could signify strength and forbearance to forgive people who have wronged you as you also ask forgiveness.

    When we lived in SoCal, we had a dog tree in the back yard, as well as an Olive tree in the front yard.

    The figs were good to eat and I used them to make homemade Fig Bars. My Mom also used them to make jam. I couldn't tell you what type they were.

    As far as the Olive Tree, when they were ripe and thrown at cars or someone's garage door, they left a deep purple stain that was almost impossible to get out. DAMHIKT.

    1. Dog is supposed to be Fig. Dang thick thumbs and no proofreading.

  4. Do Biden's advisors really view his economy killing actions as...economy killing actions? Maybe they're really wedded to the idea that the forthcoming Green economy is going to be great for all the people it throws out of work and are willing to double down on whatever the consequences are. I bet Jenny Granholm, based on the millions of Michigan tax dollars she sent to Greenies, is of that mind. However, trying to read the minds of progressives is...impossible.

  5. Those are the steps we must take...

  6. Yup, 6-7 months is about the length of memory of our collective whole . . .

  7. If I recall correctly, Joe, it was Sarah Hoyt that asked on her blog, why did the writer tell me that?

    So I am reading your blog, and enjoying it, and I come to "Even if I can never ripen the fruit, I can always use the leaves to cover my privates." ... so I asks myself, why did ERJ tell us all this- - -?

    And the easiest answer, maybe not the best answer is, it is a wonderful lead in to a joke.

    Then I realized, why it was that you told us about the act of the intellect, the application of our will to bend our intellect to recognize Divine Truth, even when we cannot fully see or understand that Truth.

    So I will NOT make any statements about the size of the fig leaves you might grow.


    1. The fig that we pick is not actually a 'fruit'. It is, in fact, a collection of tiny flowers inside the casing. The individual flowers are fertilised by a tiny wasp which enters the casing via a small opening at the tail end of what we call the 'fruit'.


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