I remember, before becoming Catholic, not knowing for sure whether I was forgiven of my sins — on God’s “good side.”

Before I was baptized in a quasi-Christian sect at age 19, I wasn’t sure if I felt “sorry” enough. I thought I had to have powerful feelings for it to take, lest I be guilty of just going through the motions. I felt the same when it came to post-baptismal sins. How could I know if I was “repentant enough” to be forgiven?

As a Catholic, it’s a matter of believing the Faith. If I believe the teaching that we are forgiven of all sins (personal and Original) at baptism, as long as there is correct form and matter, and if I believe that the eternal consequences of post-baptismal sins (even big ones) are forgiven in Confession, then I don’t have that nagging doubt anymore. As long as we, at some level, acknowledge our sins and repent of them — wanting to be separated from them even if it’s just out of fear of going to hell — then we can know we are forgiven through the Sacraments.

But that’s just a matter of whether you will “make it” (eventually) once you die. That’s not to say you don’t have the hard and even painful experience of being purified of your attachments to sin. You have to work on aligning yourself with God’s will now, in this life. Better to do it now than to hope for purification after death (the theological term for this is “purgatory”).

The Sacraments are not *our* “works” that lead to salvation; they are God’s work, his generous, free gifts to us. Ultimately, that’s reason to have peace and great hope. It’s not a matter of “once saved, always saved,” but a matter of knowing with confidence how to get on track after you’ve fallen. We can come boldly to the throne of grace.

A woman who is impregnated by rape wants the whole ordeal to be over. She should be allowed to have an abortion and be done with it, it is argued.

But even if she was not impregnated, her ordeal won’t just “be over.” Rape is a trauma that has serious, long-lasting effects.

Killing a baby does does not make the situation less complicated.

I hear arguments that a mother should not be forced to use her body to maintain a pregnancy.

But do we remember what an abortion procedure is? It’s not a surgery that stops a mother’s body from supporting something; its goal is the demise of that something.

“I don’t think the answer to rape is killing a baby” — Michael Knowles

I just came across a funny name of a nurse in Florida: “Stabinski.”

Anyone else use Obsidian and/or the Zettelkasten method of note taking? I’ve been interested in it for a good while. Just need help learning and implementing it.

I’ve heard disparaging remarks about people using fake names and anonymous identities on social media, because they're not accountable for what they say behind their keyboards, things they wouldn’t say in real life.

But these days, it makes perfect sense to keep one’s privacy. And here’s a crazy thought: You can be anonymous AND not be a jerk.

I only use my full name and info on MeWe. But the Fediverse is drawing me in more. It’s more active in my experience.

Eric Sammons' tweet:

"Liberal Logic: All the 🇺🇦 accounts who cheered Zelensky for arming his citizens at the beginning of the Russian invasion are now calling for Americans to be disarmed."

I remember in 2014 or 2015, when I worked for a local engineering/manufacturing company, we were infected with ransomware. I read the snarky ransom text file demanding Bitcoin. I didn’t have a good impression of Bitcoin at that time. I thought it was stupid video game money. But now it’s popular, and it’s worth a lot.

Now, Monero is very popular amongst cyber criminals infecting computers with ransomware. Why? Because it’s private and untraceable. I can understand why some people see it as a currency for cyber criminals. But I believe it, like Bitcoin, will only grow in popularity and value. Except it won’t be popular with regulated banks, investors, exchanges, and Mastercard — just regular people who value its utility as private digital cash.

I was trying to be patient and prudent, but then I prepaid for a month of VPN service with Monero right before it went up $10 in value. There’s no way I could have known.

Much of the Monero I have is from when it cost over $100 more than it does now.

I would be terrible as a crypto daily trader or “investor.” But regularly getting some Monero, spending some Monero, and saving some Monero is the best approach, and I don’t regret my approach. It’s only when the greed for “gains” takes over that it becomes a problem.

Everything in life must be in its proper order: God, family, people, and stuff. Only then can one have true peace.

If a “pro-choice” advocate is in favor of free health care, or is opposed to capital punishment, or demands subsidized child care, etc., because it’s befitting of human dignity and promotes human freedom and flourishing, then why do they insist on a right to kill the smallest, weakest, most vulnerable among us? Why wouldn’t they want the unborn to flourish like the rest of us? It’s contradictory. It’s evil.

ABORTION IN CASES OF RAPE?

What makes rape wrong? A vulnerable person is intentionally, viciously attacked by a stronger person.

What makes abortion wrong? Same thing.

The second wrong does not undo the first; it only compounds wrongdoing.

“You’re not pro-life; you’re pro-birth.”

This accusation takes the focus off where it belongs.

That’s why I tend to agree with Timothy Gordon’s view that we should stop saying in this context that we are “pro-life” (though we are), and instead wear the label “anti-abortion,” since that’s what we’re talking about.

Darren boosted

Oh, and of course Bitwarden! (password manager)

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One thing I forgot is SimpleLogin. You can create multiple email aliases (say, one for social media, one for total junk, etc.) that are forwarded to your regular email address. So you don’t have to give any web site or promotional sweepstakes your real email address. If you start getting spam, you simply delete that alias you created.

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This is a fork of the popular Signal app, which is very good itself. But while Session has Signal-like security, it has greater privacy because you don’t have to reveal a phone number, and it’s onion routed so it obscures your IP address — things that can be traced to you.

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Send me a text / instant message to say hello.

getsession.org

Try it out. Anonymous. No phone number or email required. 

My Session ID is:

050338d386890baba81d78d3cac4baa5990c2c0e7f5179162b0135691e06d5b301

Some of my favorite privacy apps and services:

jmp.chat … Anonymous phone number that works on WiFi. Can text or talk without a phone plan.

crypt.ee … Write and save notes, images. Browser based. Super duper encrypted, and can even hide (“ghost”) files and folders.

xmpp … encrypted chat protocol, can choose from a variety of clients

Session … encrypted anonymous chat app, no phone number required (fork of Signal)

Cake Wallet … Of course. (Monero)

Jitsi Meet … Free, open source, browser-based secure video chat. Like Zoom but better.

Mastodon/Pleroma … social media on the Fediverse. Will never look at FB ever again

Protonmail … Popular encrypted email service; also calendar and cloud drive and vpn

IVPN … Anonymous good quality VPN. Can pay with Monero, BTC, cc, or even cash! (But just use Monero!)

F-Droid … good open source apps for Android

Any good stuff I’m missing?

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