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The impetus behind this blog is that of the bucket brigade from the days before fire stations, when everyone in the town lined up to combat a fire, passing each precious bucket of water down the line. As we continue to bring the deeds of the darkness into the light, we have a chance to impact that darkness.

In addition, news is chosen that reflects possible patterns leading to apocalyptic fulfillment(s) known to the ancient Christian church as the last days and, more specifically to the present condition, a possible last hour.

I have long suspected that we need to keep our eyes fixed on a range of possibilities to that end, rather than determining that only one possibility must fit. This blog will attempt to create a landscape for possibilities and a road map for connecting dots between events.

Several items are at play, then, in the blog at large: certainly, the need to contribute to the hope of 'necessary news' going viral but additionally, the play of news upon the global consciousness as the story about the story that is news.

And finally, sculpted from that story, a particular story, and that, the apocalyptic reality of a final hour that perhaps looms near.

I am not an activist. I believe in the necessity of war. Without war, Hitler would have achieved his end, and that is a matter of most factual reality. When Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, returns for His own, He will in some capacity we do not yet know fight a war to free us.

Any time darkness is brought to the light, a war is fought against its relinquishing, to a manner of speaking.

What is happening about us as activities of war and national treacheries and repositionings of national identity march forward to a terror the world has never known, nor will ever know again, is a different matter.

I merely join the ranks herein of those who find it necessary to fill in the blanks in the places where we may not know, as the German citizens 'did not know,' before the liberation of Nazi camps, the horrors around them.

A moral responsibility is inherent in knowing.

I merely join the ranks here, then, of those who are documenting necessary knowledge, and create here a list of that knowledge. The sheer volume of material that is out there will still leave out most stories. And those that are receiving sufficient press elsewhere may not be needed here.

I also encourage readers to stay grounded somewhere outside this abyss. As our Lord counselled, when you see these things begin, lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh. [NB: Some possibility there is that 'lift up your heads' was an idiomatic expression of that time that meant stand up and be counted. Readers are encouraged to research further. Ed.]

Remember, in the midst of whatever degree of your own moral responsibilities that you wield, that Jesus enjoyed the blessings and joy of the Creation God gave to us. Find His peace and remember to respond in joy to every breath of drawn-in sweetness about you, moment by moment, from the beauty of His giving.

Notes from the Dying City is my eighth blog. In addition to Sophia, I blog under two versions of my own name and an additional nom de plume that is the name under which I began blogging in 2007. During the years since, I have removed all but one of those blogs from public to private view, and back to public again. All are at present public.

It may well be that in a time frame far closer than I like to consider, the blogs will be removed en masse to private view again (including Notes from the Dying City). Many there are who don't quite 'get' what is happening at large around us. The loss of moral absolute (wherein what is not-good is declared to be good) is a portion of the landscape of the final hour.

Freedom to express ideas not 'approved by' the machinery that will one day be "the Beast" will be eliminated (and is already being eliminated). It is out of caution for that loss that I have removed all links between Sophia and my other blogs.

I work for a living, and loss of income could be devastating. Whether the 'hidden' (and otherwise: hidden in plain sight, some of them) notes I have set out in my private version of the public arena that is my blogs will be sufficient to have 'redeemed my time' remains unknown.

And the stuff of the question each of us must ask...

As I have observed many times, the end is coming upon us like water through a sieve: every possible line of defence against the enemy now has been invaded. No place can a vessel be found now that will hold water.

Many nuances, however, to an understanding of what our final safety (for those of us who belong to the Master, Jesus Christ, Redeemer, and Son of the Living God) is in this last hour, and this blog is not the place for an appropriate examination of them.

If personal safety, however, is your 'dividing line' in defining your faith, you may not prove sufficient to the hour.

We don't need to question the love of God for those whom He created. What more could He do than what He has done?

It is, rather, the love of each individual for (and returned to) the Lord who died that must be the question. We live in a world handed over to our keeping. Don't blame God for our failures...

The enemy is the one whose idea is bondage. With God, the gift of free will means freedom to choose our actions.

And responsibility, then, for the world we have handed on.

[Title head alludes to (and contains a portion from) W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919.]

One of the items blogging allows is a ready function for updating and/or refining thought. I am prone to such, and while particular places wherein information has been updated will be listed as such, private editing to refine and/or develop a thought may not be.

My personal view of blogging intends that blogs exist as libraries of knowledge, rather than ephemeral and/or present moment-bound breaths of air. News aggregate blogs, however, require more attention to a daily discipline than other personal blogs. I note that a blending between this idea of news as more than the present moment and blogs as libraries of knowledge is already on the horizon and present in other news aggregator blogs.

I relish observing that the world wide web has developed to the point that a return to the use of created names is accepted, as we move beyond the necessity for excessive 'transparency.' At a great many points in history, anonymity has allowed (as much as necessitated) a sense of 'Everyman' who can operate at that juncture of truth vs. darkness.

We have a great many variants of that juncture at the present hour.

Readers should note that I do not necessarily agree with all 'facts' presented by writers nor will I always be able to vet whether they are true facts or created. That is the reality of our day, if not from the beginning of news reporting.

Stories are researched and, as possible, I determine the earliest dates of posting as an inquiry point. Merely because a matter is reblogged into infinity does not mean that it is supported by fact.

Facts can have a resonance, however, even when they are not true.

This blog is the news about the news...

It is the story about the story.

However, training in how particular words and ideas are utilized within what seems 'news' is needful, for all of us. Agenda is too often the rule in mainstream news and a particular blatant misuse of agenda is on the rise. A course in recognizing when a matter is a fact and when words chosen to express that fact invisibly frame it within agenda would be in order.

But it remains a matter each of us must teach ourselves.

Oddly, the image which became the logo began as a colour photograph of flowers. A segment had been converted to black and white, then cut and pasted into a portion of a collage. I noted after the collage was finished that a section of it seemed to leer out at me like the famous mask of Melpomene, the muse of tragedy, but fractured, as if by a cataclysmic wound.

That image was cordoned off and became the logo.

The leering mask is not at all visible in the original colour photograph of flowers.

Civility is requisite, but should be self-policed. Obnoxious comments may be deleted but monitoring the comments of this blogging community is not guaranteed.

Readers may contact me at the email address listed on my profile page.

Several factors converged into a decision to not pursue further effort on this blog. For now, I leave Notes from the Dying City online as the library envisioned above, in particular because several posts are read at large by readers throughout the world (most of whom read a single post, and never return).

For those readers to whom this must serve as an introduction to the blog, please note again that its hue and cry from the beginning has been apocalyptical news. By virtue of that focus, future items that must be trumpeted, for the sheer indignation of their existence, of necessity remain a portion of any pulling away: I expect that, even as the blog is silent, posts will be set in, at random points of awful. In a world fast approaching a collision course with the end, however, the sheer volume of awful seems to leave us as if flipping coin: if one event is chosen, what about all the others; does this choice determine a degree of awfulness that others do not possess...

What I have observed, from several years now of reading alternative sites, while still watching the nightly news, hints that mainstream news begins to be driven by the alternative press. Yes, that is an issue of money: news is a money-making industry, like other industries, and if someone else has the story, inevitably, your edge lessens. The earlier 'there, there; the wee pups want to play, too,' however, is heard far less now.

Where a great many people are unhappy with mainstream news as it is perceived to be 'bought, sold and owned' by various entities who do not necessarily have the good of the American people in view, in defense of the reporters and anchors who people that industry, I have noted that language can serve two purposes: a great many in the alternative press do not realize that sometimes, the viewer is expected to read a different story.

Simply because a story is couched in terms of appropriate respect does not mean that many other stories are not told as truly, behind a tale. Subtleties can be distinguished in various news stories that allow that not all mainstream news is (if I may) corrupted...

The apocalyptical reality to our world likely will not be dissipating. As other blogs I have kept remind, the matter of being able to turn the tide back is likely lost for us now.

And this end has been inevitable.

Yet if twilight is upon us, what last works must still be done? As others who keep watch remind, the safety the Master promised is in Him. It is not in circumstance, or Rapture, or white picket fences.

And 'in Him' is the only safety remaining.

But the work of the twilight still hovers. Not so long now, as the light fades...

Or, as was said in the exquisite words of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God:
It behoves us to work the works of the One who sent Me, while it is day.
For the night comes, when nothing at all will have the power to work... 
[John 9:4]