Smoke and Mirrors, Paper and Paste

I have a new column going up later today, but we have a ton of new readers here of late. This post is not among the most important I have written, but it is vitally important for understanding what is happening around us. This first appeared on Oct. 26, 2014.

The Next Right Step

Some men just want to watch the world burn. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

By Charlie Johnston

If a man develops a serious degenerative illness, he has a couple of choices on how to proceed. He can take medicine designed to ease the pain and mask the symptoms. That will make him feel better for a time, maybe even a good, long time. But if he doesn’t deal with the underlying cause of the illness, it will advance, eating away at him. If he waits long enough before taking action, it will eat away his chance to cure it. And then he will die, which might have been avoided if he had taken serious steps earlier rather than just masking symptoms. That is not the state of the American economy: it is the state of the world economy right now.

I have both bad news and good news. The bad news is that the entire…

View original post 2,581 more words

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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32 Responses to Smoke and Mirrors, Paper and Paste

  1. CrewDog says:

    Hey Charlie,
    I’m pretty much a New Guy here and ave probably missed some of the more important messages … certainly some additions in the comments … so perhaps if Ya ever get the time …. it might be nice for me-n-newbees to have a “Top Ten” list?


  2. If the Far Left party wins today in Greece, the acceleration of the demise of the European Union and the break up of the EURO will happen. Let us continue to implement God’s Solution….Imitation of Jesus through Mary….and accept God’s Extraordinary Grace now offered to protect and then perfect one’s Faith, the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This Grace is fully approved by the Church and has spread to all continents. Go to This is a continuation of the Fatima Message: “God wills to establish in the world devotion to His Mother’s Immaculate Heart and promises salvation to those who embrace it.” On May 13, 2010, our Holy Father Benedict XVI stated: Our. Blessed Mother came from Heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her, the Love of God burning in her heart”! Think about that….ponder that….for this is the Extraordinary Grace…the Love of God burning in her heart!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Meriadoc says:

    Great read for us “newbies.” Thanks Charlie! Your views on the apparent state of the economy vs its actual condition are wholly accurate (at least as I see it). The boasted signs of success are less real than the shadows in Plato’s cave.

    I was fascinated by the next reading at the link, entitled “The Writing on the Wall.” You state that, as bad as the current President is, he is “sincere.” The real drivers of our distress–according to your angel–are evil forces surrounding him. Who would these be? It seems like the writing has been on the wall for decades, as our culture descends into greater and greater degeneracy.

    Also, do you know of a talk given in 1969 by the medical director of Planned Parenthood, a certain Dr Day? It is recounted by Dr Lawrence Dunnegan on YouTube. Dunnegan contends that a plan to wholly transform society has been underway by an organized coterie since the mid-60’s. Dr Day claimed that the pieces of the plan were in place already by 1969, and nothing could be done to stop the plan. Dunnegan also did an interview with Randy Engel, the author of the Rite of Sodomy. It’s on YouTube also.

    I know, I know, it’s “conspiracy” stuff, go ahead and cue the Twilight Zone music. The problem is, every time I listen to Dunnegan’s account, I ask myself, Where is this guy wrong? Increasingly, I draw a blank. Nearly everything he predicted is unfolding before our eyes. Anyway, do you or others know about this talk? If so, what do you make of it?

    Sorry if I am being a bore. I was just curious. No need to answer if you are inconvenienced. God bless!


    • charliej373 says:

      I’ve heard of him Meriadoc. A lot of weird, ugly stuff has come out of Planned Parenthood. There are larger cultural issues that have been at work. I am not a fan of conspiracy theories. As long as we can kid ourselves that big, shadowy forces are pulling all the strings to create chaos, we can relieve ourselves of our own responsibility for not having stood up for God and the principles that made Western Civilization great. I will NOT give myself or anyone else that easy excuse. You want to identify who is responsible for this…look in the mirror, for we all are.

      There is a big shadowy force out there. It is satan’s demons….and all we had to do to thwart them was to hold fast to Christ. We didn’t.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. SwampYankee says:

    Don’t look now Anthony but the Drudge Report is reporting that the left Syriza party did win in Greece. Batten down the hatches.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Observer says:

    It seems more and more that Pope Francis is attempting to get people thinking about the near future without being too blunt or alarmist about current times. And mentioning that book again:

    Apocalyptic beliefs may explain why Francis is a pope in a hurry

    Amazing what the good man is planning for such a short time and with his age and health conditions. He needs and is most worthy of deep prayers by all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth K. says:

      Thanks for this link–this supportss something that I’ve been thinking for a long time–that Pope Francis is really trying to get people “on the ark” so to speak. It’s interesting that he mentioned LOW again in this interview.


  6. Bob says:

    Michael Brown posted the latest Medjugorje message today
    It speaks of the power of the satan and of us maintaining our hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gabrielle says:

    Charlie, I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue:

    Thank you!


    • charliej373 says:

      Gabrielle, these things must come. These are just details. Yes, the west in general and America in particular has thought it was the straw that stirred the drink and could do anything it wanted. For almost a century it could. But you do enough craven, stupid, devious, arrogant and venal things long enough and it all comes tumbling down.


  8. Gabrielle says:

    Charlie, I am sorry. I know that I ask a lot of questions. It is out of a sincere desire to learn but I will understand if you get frustrated by it and would rather not address it. I read this paragraph several times:
    “What will emerge is the left’s fondest dream…a dictatorship. Alas, it will not be the dictatorship they wanted. I am led to believe the ultimate dictator, while exercising unreviewable executive, legislative and judicial power in America, will consider himself the “Regent of Democracy.” I expect he will clear out the brush of our overly intrusive laws and federal agencies. I think he will largely leave the states alone, so long as they don’t adopt anti-Christian legislation or attack basic freedoms – real freedoms. The most close parallel is probably Oliver Cromwell’s tenure as Lord High Protector of England, though that is not completely accurate.”

    I was a bit confused by the wording. Am I to understand that you are saying there is a sole person here in the U.S. who will be appointed (for lack of a better word) by God as the new leader of the U.S. He will be a dictator but will promote a Christian understanding of American laws and way of life? Or, were you saying that it will be God who is the “dictator”? Or, are you saying that there will be a dictator and that is where the description basically ends? I am concerned that what you may be describing is a dictator will be the anti-christ or will he be a true savior of sorts? And, is the term “Regent of Democracy” an important term to remember? Thank you.


    • charliej373 says:

      Sorry, Gabrielle, I was using the term, “dictator,” in its technical historical sense and briefly forgot that in modern terms, dictator is almost always a pejorative. In ancient times, when city-states degenerated into chaos, often a dictator rose who was charged with restoring order and calm to the city. For a specific period, the dictator held absolute power. Once order was successfully re-established, he was supposed to quit the scene. Obviously, there was a great temptation there and sometimes the dictator didn’t leave…becoming a tyrant. But far more often than modern people realize, he did. In the original use of the term, dictator was not synonymous with tyrant.

      As for God ruling directly over us, let me reiterate in the strongest terms that that will NOT happen until the end. We don’t get heaven until we actually reach heaven. In the meantime, we must muddle through and we are ultimately responsible to God for how we do. I expect the dictator to be an actual person.


  9. CrewDog says:

    “Federal Reserve Implies Indirect Tax on Savings” – James Longstreet


  10. CrewDog says:

    The FED may “Rain” on the Pope’s visit with this or more likely use the all the hoopla & media coverage over the visit as “Cover” for a ruling? I also expect Obama and his Administration to use Pope Francis as cover for more Constitution shredding and policies totally in opposition to Church Teaching and Judeo/Christian Traditions ….and other politicians too will …………… ;-(
    “Fed tightening ‘threatens disaster for debt saturated global economy”
    Perhaps the FED will trigger the events that the Locution People are pushing …. it does not matter to us ’cause we have Target Fixation on Jesus … right? ………….. RIGHT!!!?


  11. CrewDog says:

    “Greeks embrace bartering to survive economic collapse — and soon, you will too”



  12. CrewDog says:

    Now! I wondered if this was appropriate @ NRS … maybe not?It does fit the topic of why we are in trouble and why The Storm. Contrary to all the sissy depictions of Jesus … He was no wimp!! Nor was Joseph, The Apostles, St JPII or any of the Saints. Unfortunately! The Church like the USA/Europe has, in fact, been wimpified, sissified and PC-ified in the past 50 years…. believe it or no! I suspect it’s a major reason why the pews are empty … particularly of menfolk!
    Fred Reed is a former Marine, DC Crime Reporter, Agnostic and renegade cynic … but he “Tells it Like It Is” for the most part. The only beef I have with the article is … I would have added a paragraph about how the USA is no longer a successful engine of capitalism! That same capitalism that provided all the jobs, wages, benefits that provided the great living standard and wealth to build our USA … and all those Catholic Churches, Monasteries, Convents, Schools, Missionary Ops …… and provided $$$ Trillions for Foreign Aid and the freeing of millions from Nazi/Japanese/Communist Totalitarianism! We are no longer a Capitalist Nation. Capitalism was long ago stifled by onerous taxes, regulations, “laws” and PC that has so distorted our economy that Customer “Service is some guy in India and NOTHING under the Christmas Tree is Made in USA .. including the Tree!
    I guarantee that this very day some corrupt presidential candidate is ranting about the evils of Capitalism ….

    Wimp Nation: Poised to Fall
    Posted on October 23, 2015 by Fred Reed
    [ Here is supposed to be a pic of The Marlboro Man (cigarette ad) from days of yore]
    {Marlboro Man] An example of pathological masculinity, male privilege, substance abuse, and patriarchy with overtones of violence against women and people of color, as well as probable homophobia. May drive a truck.
    Come morning, I receive emails from friends documenting the curious social transformation coming over the US. These missives usually accompany links to some new tragicomic antics. E.g., Harvard, once a university, lets students invent odd pronouns to promote gender equity. “He” and “she” represent oppression and lack of inclusion.
    Recently a friend, a Harvard PhD, wrote and said, “It’s not funny anymore.” I thought, and realized that, no, it isn’t. Things that seemed the obsessions of the occasional lugubrious neurotic are so common that they represent a change in the national character. It is eerie. Something strange is happening.
    What now is the national character? What sort of country is America today? A country of rugged individualism? Land of the free and home of the brave? A nation of the independent and self-reliant?
    Let us start with Brave.
    “Student wearing Halloween costume prompts Pueblo County school lockdown“
    “Pueblo County High School was on lockdown for more than an hour Wednesday after authorities say a student was apprehended wearing a trench coat and gas mask.”
    Panic strikes school after student says ‘gum’
    “A student at Lehman High School reportedly asked for some chewing gum, but another student thought the student said “gun,” KCEN reports.
    “No gun was found and Hays County, Texas school district spokesman Tim Savoy insists the school was never in “lock down,” though school administrators did “hold students in their extended class periods to investigate….”
    Rugged? Not even close. Obesity is so common that the Army has trouble finding recruits. Professors complain of the emotional fragility of the young.
    College Students Call Police, Seek Counseling After Seeing Mouse”
    “Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges.”
    They cry if they don’t get A’s.
    Psychologists note a surge of narcissism among the young. Students in universities need “safe spaces” where they won’t hear any word or idea that upsets them.
    “In College and Hiding from Scary Ideas”
    Somebody might do a microaggression or commit a racial slur, such as saying “watermelon.”
    The United States has become a nation of weak, pampered, easily frightened, helpless milquetoasts who have never caught a fish, fired a gun, chopped a log, hitchhiked across the country, or been in a schoolyard fight. If their cat dies, they call a grief therapist. Everything frightens Americans.
    “School District Bans Playing Tag to Ensure the Physical and Emotional Safety of All Students”
    Independent? No. America is a nation of employees, afraid of the boss, trapped by the retirement system, worried that if they lose the job they won’t get another one.
    Farmers can be independent. So can mechanics with their own tools, commercial fishermen with their own boats. Employees sitting in a maze of cubicles like letters in some gigantic crossword puzzle are not independent.
    Self-reliant? Americans now depend on the hive for almost everything. The faucet leaks? Call the plumber. The car makes funny noises? Go to a mechanic. Someone is sneaking around your house at night? Call a cop. A porch light stops working? Call the electrician. You saw a mouse? Call a psychiatrist. Self-defense? Dear God, no. Too macho.
    Further, Americans cannot feed themselves. If any catastrophe–revolution, war, epidemic–breaks the link between the two percent who work on farms and the cities, within a week New Yorkers will be eating each other.
    Individualism? America is among the least individualistic countries on the planet. The United States discourages everything reflecting difference, whether architectural, political, or cultural, often under heavy penalty. It is the land of indistinguishable shopping malls, of burger chains and tract suburbs of a hundred identical houses. Urban architecture means the office block. Casper looks like Des Moines looks like everywhere else. When a region like the South stubbornly tries to maintain its identity, the hive forces it to conform. I am reminded of what I believe to be a Japanese proverb: “The nail that stands up is beaten down.” We are more a nation less of nails than of thumbtacks, though.
    The ferocious American hostility to individualism is most virulent in the form of political correctness, which requires that all of us think the same things. The universities are worst, and they are the future. Once, unpopular ideas were argued and freedom of speech respected, however grudgingly. Today we have the pack mind.
    Beyond the insistence that everyone should be like everyone else is the insistence that everyone already is like everyone else. No differences exist between men and women, sex being a social construct, and thus women should be in the Marines. Differences of race do not exist, race being a social construct, so if members of one non-existent race do not do as well at physics as members of another nonexistent race, we must on racial grounds hire them as physicists anyway under affirmative action, since differences are social constructs.
    Home of the free? America is controlled, watched, and regulated to a degree unimaginable in 1960. Speakers on subways admonish us to watch other passengers for suspicious behavior. We dance barefoot in airports. Cameras read our license plates and mail us tickets. Freedom of speech? Say anything interpretable as a “racial slur” and you lose your job. Truth has nothing to do with it. You are a reporter? Criticize Israel and you lose your job. Offend the proliferating sexual curiosities and you lose your job. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Freedom of religion? Overt Christianity is almost illegal.
    “Ten Commandments Removed from State Capitol per Oklahoma Supreme Court”
    You are not free to decide what your children are taught in school. If you suggest that Sojourner Truth was not perhaps as important to civilization as Aristotle, your children will be horrified and, if they mention your heresy at school, you will probably have a visit from Child Protective Services.
    Democratic? As Stalin had show trials, America has show elections. These serve to distract the public while keeping them away from issues of importance. Who do you vote for if you want to end the wars, halve the military budget, end affirmative action, get the government out of family life, control criminal minorities who burn cities, and slap down NSA?
    Strong? America actually wants weaklings.
    “Students warned: Bulging biceps, big guns advance unhealthy masculinity”
    But in today’s America, any masculinity at all is unhealthy.
    “Navy teaching members to combat “Male Privilege” Healthy masculinity. The new America.
    The United States, in a historical first, has turned the pyramid of civilization upside down. Universities, instead of seeking the qualified, actually look for the unqualified.
    “Georgetown University Drops SAT/ACT Requirement”.
    This latter is needed to open the gates to the “disadvantaged,” meaning the stupid. And it has worked marvelously:
    Forbes: “America’s Millennials Are Among the World’s Least Skilled”
    Specifically, they are short on literacy, numeracy, ability to follow simple orders, poor at solving problems. Oh good.
    This ménage of middle-school delicates is not the country that fought World War II, or Vietnam. It is a jellyfish threatening to collapse under any serious stress. Corrupt, seriously divided racially, the middle-class sinking, ruled by fools and kleptocrats, a house of pudding cannot stand. Scared, fat, weak, fragile, narcissistic, herd-minded, prissy, censorious and, increasingly, ignorant. Deliberately ignorant. This is wonderful stuff.
    It warms a curmudgeon’s heart.


    PS: Moms!! … Don’t let your sons …. nephews, husbands become Wimps!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Except for the jarring line about “criticize Israel and you lose your job.” The reality is “criticize Muslims or praise Israel and you lose your job.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • CrewDog says:

        Charlie sez: “Except for the jarring line about “criticize Israel and you lose your job.” The reality is “criticize Muslims or praise Israel and you lose your job.”
        Yup! I did notice that line…… Fred is about 10 years late on that comment! …. the bottom line … criticize any cherished Dem/Lib Victim Group and/or Agenda Item and lose your job!
        I do think there is some hope for the future in The Dem/Libs overplaying The PC Angle. I can’t but think that millions of taxpayers are becoming angry over the 50 years of PC-BS that has gravely damaged the USA/West … it’s economy, morals, lifestyle … even the lily-white Liberal Chardonnay sippin’ Quiche Eaters are seeing their friends, family and bank accounts being adversely affected …… too late to make much difference but The Storm will provide a Wake-Up … and angry/violent backlash ….. GOD WILLS IT!!


        PS: Got back from my Mission Inside the Beltway. Had a great Fam-Reunion and don’t think I took too many “hits” in DC … Land of the Beautiful People, AKA: Liberal Herbivores.
        Thanks for the Prayers …. & Back at Ya 😉

        Liked by 3 people

        • Petra says:

          In my home town on a public forum board (Everyblock), a commenter suggested that people who don’t/can’t/won’t shovel the PUBLIC sidewalk in front of their property should not be allowed to own property. The rationale was, if you can’t “afford” to have the sidewalk cleared, you shouldn’t own property.

          Here’s the comment: “If you can’t yourself shovel nor afford to pay someone to do it, then you really should sell your property and move into a managed facility. It’s part of the responsibility of ownership. There are resources for those who need financial assistance to get this done. Coming across endless stretches of iced-over packed snow in winter is just unfun.”

          This just rubbed me the wrong way. There are people out there now suggesting home ownership is only for the able bodied or rich? Move out if you can’t handle it? Hey, I think, what about the so highly prized “diversity?” Aren’t old people or the disabled part of the much vaunted “diversity” the PC are always going on about?

          Social media is full of these kinds of public shaming comments, and if you are not PC, forget about bringing in an unpopular (traditional/conservative) point of view. Because out come the switch-blade ad hominem attacks.

          This is NOT the country I grew up in and expected to live in as an adult. How is this creeping PC behavior making our lives better?

          Well, anyway, Crew Dog, thanks for posting the article. It’s how I see it too.
          God bless.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. CrewDog says:

    Below is another ominous “SIGN” of Financial collapse. Remember back in 2013 when Germany decided that they wanted their Gold back? Gold that was being stored for safekeeping, from possible Soviet attack, in NY, London & Paris. They were told, of course …. but it’s gonna take SEVEN YEARS to get it all to you …….. WHY??? …. exactly!! That is the question and do we really have any significant USA Gold Reserve anymore? … Probably like Comex there are far more claims than Gold to back them ;-(

    “There’s a ‘very dangerous situation’ taking place in the Comex’s gold vault”



    Liked by 1 person

  14. CrewDog says:

    Now!! Alex Jones is a “Wild-n-Crazy Guy” but I’ve been reading about George Soros for nigh on 20 years and I’m convinced that he & his empire are pure evil. There have been several articles from credible sources these past couple of days reporting on Soros’ Market Moves. Yeah!! We here, hopefully, don’t need anymore “SIGNS”?!



    Liked by 1 person

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