By Charlie Johnston
I was involved in an auto accident Sunday that could have been – and possibly should have been – fatal. I came out of it unscathed – and my car came out of it practically unscathed, too.
I was eastbound on I-40, around 10 miles out of Amarillo. I was going 75 mph in the left passing lane, about to go past a semi. An SUV came up on my right and started to merge where I was. I honked and started to veer left. Unfortunately, by the time the driver of the other car realized I was there and pulled back, my wheel had already hit the grass in the median and started to spin out of control. I got the car back on the road, but in my struggle for control, it went to the right into the ditch past the shoulder, continuing onto a farm road and then, into the ditch to the right of that. I was deeply fortunate that there were no vehicles behind us as I spun through four traffic lanes – three eastbound and one westbound. The terrain was fortunate for me, as well. The first ditch had a relatively gentle slope and then a very gentle lip onto the farm road. I tried to get control back on the farm road but the momentum was too strong and I carried into the ditch across it.
The folks who accidentally ran me off the road stopped to see if I was okay, God bless them. It was a young Hispanic family who was taking their grandpa to Tulsa for a scheduled cancer treatment. My car, amazingly, did not even have a new dent in it, though the centrifugal stresses had flattened the front driver’s side tire. I was able to back it out of the ditch. The family put my donut tire on, still very nervous and concerned. They did not seem to want to exchange information so I did not make a report. The car was fully operable and they were very nice, if nervous, people. Some might think that stupid, but I was not about to be the servant who, after his master forgave him so much, seized on a fellow servant who owed much less. One young fellow gushed that I had handled the skid and drift better than any he had ever seen. I don’t remember what I said, but I thought it was undoubtedly my guardian angel who handled it. I gave them each a Brazen Serpent Prayer card before I left.
With the help of a cashier from a Love’s Station, I found a guy, Nathan, who would fix the tire on a Sunday afternoon. But he was 70 miles up the road. When I pulled in, it was a double-wide trailer with a bunch of trucks out front. He had a service truck he used to help people on the road. He said he was just about ready to put a shop up when the price of everything exploded and his plans were killed for the time being. He fixed the tire, found that nothing was wrong except that a lot of dirt and grit had gotten between the tire and the wheel. He checked and fixed several of them. He was very kind. My son-in-law called while I was there and Nathan turned the air on in his service truck for me and went and got me a Pepsi. He worked an hour in the 90+ degree heat to get it all done and my tire remounted. When I asked him how much I owed him, he astonished me by saying $15. I was having none of that and gave him significantly more. I don’t have much personal money, but I always think of the widow who gave Elisha the last that she had when someone does me a signal service. The workman is worthy of his hire – and Nathan was worth far more than $15 after spending an hour of his Sunday afternoon in the hot sun getting me road ready.
I have been thinking about all that happened. Probably in 70% of such cases in identical circumstances there would be significant damages and injuries. I didn’t even have a bruise across my chest from where my seatbelt grabbed me. What are the odds of coming out of it with no injuries to anyone and no serious damage to any vehicle? One in 200, one in 300? Yet there it is. Beyond that, I have had five circumstances the last two years where people who helped me could have significantly gouged me. Never happened. In fact, in three cases I ended up giving people who helped more than they asked. People are kind if you treat them with dignity and don’t scream about what you are expecting from them. Thanks be to God. There is much more there to be contemplated, but I think a very clear message is that God and His people can be counted on – if only you humbly do so without bewailing your misfortune.
Back to Russia and Ukraine. The war goes far rougher for Russia than Vladimir Putin expected – but far better for Russia than the west reports. I have fairly clear vision, but it is rough to see when everything is surrounded with such a thick cover of smog.
The first thing to understand is that this is like a rhinoceros battling a lynx. The cat may scratch the rhino, but it will not win the larger battle. America has sent Volodymyr Zelensky the equivalent of more than a year’s worth of the entire GDP of Ukraine and a lot of deadly weapons. I don’t think it has helped Zelensky – who has developed such a case of hubris that he refuses to enter into negotiations with Russia. This could have been prevented 20 years ago by negotiating for self-determination for Crimea and the Donbass – which identify primarily as Russian. It could have been ended early on by ceding the same. It could be ended now by ceding the same. But the globalists and our western elites want war with Russia – by proxy if possible, openly if not.
There is widespread speculation that Putin is sick or cognitively diminished. That could be, but it is the sort of propaganda that is always spread about enemy leaders. I have seen no hard evidence of it yet. I suspect that he is stunned that even an invasion could not get the west to the bargaining table – and now the west is spoiling for an open fight with nuclear Russia. I don’t know if Putin is a madman who has lost touch with reality, but I know western leaders have long since lost touch with reality. Here’s what is likely to happen going forward:
Russia will accomplish its aims to secure the Donbass and Crimea. Russia’s frustration with America and the west’s deafness to the easy way of doing that may lead it to take Ukraine over altogether. If we do continue to push for expansion of war and fill Zelensky with continued fantasies of his own invulnerability, Russia may set off a nuke in Ukraine in hopes of finally getting the west to see the stakes involved. Then it would assure European countries it will go no further if they stop whipping up war plans against Russia and expanding NATO. If America and the west continue to push, then we could have global war. If it sobers up, things will go much more quietly. But that could be a desperate situation for American elites because if Russia takes all of Ukraine, you can bet it is going to start revealing the secrets those elites have hidden in Ukraine in revenge.
Russia is the indispensable buffer between the world and China’s hegemonic ambitions. The geo-political significance of Ukraine, which is regional, pales before that. China, while nominally supporting Russia, has given little in the way of tangible assistance. That is a blessing. It means Russia can give lip service to, but largely stay out of the fray, when China invades Taiwan later this summer or in the fall. This war has put a wedge between Russia and China – a very subtle wedge, but a wedge, nonetheless. The one nation which could have prevented or negotiated this war away was the United States. Instead, it has busied itself throwing gasoline onto the flaming pile, thinking a larger conflagration would be in its current leadership’s partisan political interests. Boy, is that illusion going to be shattered before the year is out!
Amazingly, for all the incompetence and hubris, the war has progressed in a manner that preserves the potential needed to overcome the massive Chinese threat when it finally fully shows its face. Russia knows it needs a strong and sober America to survive and have a chance of overcoming that threat. America does not know that it needs Russia for that coming project, but it will. The entire American foreign policy establishment has the combined geo-political knowledge and analytical prowess of a dull-witted third grader right now. But events will painfully educate America into casting off the lunatics who now “govern” us and act in self-defense. I will write more about that this weekend.
Most of us will live to see America once again become a major force for good in the world, but only after we have been badly enfeebled by our dalliance with the willful adolescent idiots we now suffer to govern us. A badly weakened America and an equally badly weakened and chastened Russia will wearily make common cause to stop the megalomaniacal ambitions of an incredibly emboldened China. A lot more people will suffer and die than would have to if we had stuck to real justice instead of “social” justice illusions and sound policy instead of toxic ideological flights of fancy. There is real peace at the far end of all this, but another generation of young men is going to be badly decimated because of our entirely preventable hubris. I pray that the horrific trial we are plunging headlong into will be sufficient to convince people for a thousand years that human nature cannot be whatever you want it to be and that peace and prosperity are attained and sustained by reverence for God and good policy choices. I always knew the road to hell was paved with good intentions: I did not know it would be lined with crowds cheering on their own descent into the maelstrom. All those timid people who have tried to protect their political viability by compromising with evil lunatics will be swept away by the very demons they have summoned.
Already the rules have changed, however it may seem to you in this fog of cultural war. Petty, clever gamesmanship in service to your own wishes will get you killed. It is your love of and service to God and your neighbor that will carry you safely through this valley of death we have chosen to enter.
CORAC’s Region 9, which covers Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas – both north and south – is holding a one-day conference at the Shrine of Good Help near Green Bay, Wisconsin next Tuesday. And boy, have they got a line-up of speakers who will knock your socks off! First up will be Dan Cheely, former talk-show host at Relevant Radio and now director of evangeliztion for St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Chicago. Then comes Anthony Esolen, who I personally believe is the most elegantly beautiful Catholic writer in America today. A bold survivor of the “cancel culture” who stood his ground firmly with charity when the shrieking mob objected to having a refined orthodox Catholic voice in residence at “their” college, Esolen is the very definition of refined, courageous and charitable. His recent piece on unborn children moved me to tears. They will wrap up with renowned international champion for life Raymond de Souza. President of the Sacred Heart Institute in the U.S., de Souza champions life tirelessly as an activist, writer and broadcaster.
As with most of CORAC’s events, there will be no charge to attend. (You gotta buy your own lunch, though). So, if you can make it next Tuesday, June 14, they still have some seats available. You are welcome, wherever you come from. The Shrine of Our Lady of Good help is at 4047 Chapel Dr., Champion, WI 54229. The talks will be presented at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay that afternoon. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you are coming and how many.
These are speakers worthy of a national conference, so don’t miss it if you can get there.
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 Gab at Charliej373 or at the CORAC group.
Find me on Twitter at @Charlie62394802
The Corps of Renewal and Charity (CORAC)
18208 Preston Rd., Ste. D9-552
Dallas, Texas 75252