June 17, 2019

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 27, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 27, 2018

End of October, beginning of November. Halloween. Reformation Sunday. All Saints. Time to change the clocks. The midterm elections. Let’s get some calories for stamina, eh? Thanks for joining us for Brunch today.

Coming in early November…

My second book, Show Me the Path: Cultivating a Life of Discernment, will be released in early November. Here’s a description:

From the Publisher: Sometimes the chaos and questioning of everyday life can be overwhelming. In his customary warm style and down-to-earth perspective, chaplain Mike Mercer here offers a solution: to approach these issues in a spirit of discernment, reflecting the psalmist’s words, “Show me your path.” The book applies a faith perspective to making choices and finding one’s way, using practical examples and stories. In addition, questions for reflection make this a good choice for parish prayer groups and book clubs.

This book is being published by Twenty Third Publications. Follow the link and you can download a sample and pre-order. Thank you for your support!

It’s crazy campaign ad time…

We’re getting close to the 2018 midterm elections, and televisions all across America are playing non-stop cringe-worthy ads trying to get people to vote for (and more importantly, against) candidates on all levels of government.

Here are a few of the worst and most curious. We begin with one from my own state, where Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly is fighting to keep his Senate seat against his challenger, Mike Braun. Donnelly’s ad really makes me laugh — here he portrays himself as more of a true conservative Republican than his Trump-supporting Republican challenger! Then, what’s really funny is that he apparently stole his ad’s style from the TV program “Veep.”

 

Here is Stephen Colbert introducing a truly excruciating example:

 

Here’s a candidate on the left telling the right to “Take that!” shamelessly using kids and an element of surprise that is certainly not designed to win any of his opponent’s voters.

 

Finally, here’s a medley made up from excerpts of the most memorably forgettable ads of these midterms:

Which leads me to ask a question or two. I myself cannot imagine that I would ever, ever be swayed to vote one way or another by any campaign ad. Would you? What does it say about our level of civic awareness and just general human thoughtfulness that political ads seem to be so successful? If they’re not, why do candidates and political action committees spend so daggone much money on them?

A few oddities from the week…

A rectangular iceberg

A “headless chicken of the sea”

A guy who ascends skyscrapers without climbing gear…

The stinky “corpse flower” at Dartmouth…

Hey Dads — ready to “chestfeed” your new baby?

A Bible a mile long…

Martin Wiedmann holds part of a printed copy of his father’s work, which is open to the Genesis creation narrative, at the Museum of the Bible in Washington. Behind him are paintings from a different series by his father, Willy Wiedmann, on the Twelve Apostles. RNS photo by Menachem Wecker

Finally, I have no clue what to say about this…

 

Some Halloween stuff…

Here’s a piece for Christians at The Calvinist International exploring the history of Halloween that comes to this remarkably common sense conclusion:

Halloween is a modern secular holiday designed to let kids have fun without getting into too much trouble and also to sell a bunch of candy and movie memorabilia to adults.

 

According to the New York Times article Who Actually Listens to Halloween Music?, which reports results from Spotify:

Here are the top five states in which people listened to the largest proportion of Halloween playlists over the past 10 days:

1. Utah
2. West Virginia
3. Ohio
4. Pennsylvania
5. Arkansas

And here are the states where Halloween music was most popular 10 days before the holiday in 2017:

1. Utah
2. Ohio
3. New Hampshire
4. West Virginia
5. Pennsylvania

Who knew Utah was so Halloween crazy?

I was also interested to learn that the town where I went to high school, Downers Grove, Illinois, is in second place for listening to Halloween music on the day itself, while my birthplace, Oak Park, Illinois, comes in fourth.

And what are the songs people are listening to on their Halloween playlists? Here are the top ten:

1. “Thriller,” by Michael Jackson
2. “Monster Mash,” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
3. “Ghostbusters,” by Ray Parker, Jr.
4. “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” by Blue Öyster Cult
5. “Highway to Hell,” by AC/DC
6. “This Is Halloween,” by the Citizens of Halloween
7. “Werewolves of London,” by Warren Zevon
8. “Somebody’s Watching Me,” by Rockwell
9. “A Nightmare on My Street,” by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
10. “Black Magic Woman,” by Santana

Give the people what they want!

 

Scary-good Landscape Photography…

Here are a few of the great shots from the 2018 Landscape Photographers of the Year (New Atlas) award winners:

Collide, Newhaven, East Sussex, England by Edd Allen – Winner, Fujifilm Print Prize, Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018

Land’s End, Cornwall, England by Josef FitzGerald-Patrick – Young Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018

Buttermere Bloom, The Lake District, Cumbria, England by Stuart McGlennon – The Sunday Times Magazine Award Winner, Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018

Fisherman, Porth Nanven, Cornwall, England by Mick Blakey – Winner, Living the view, Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018

We’ve looked at a lot of ridiculous stuff today. How about we end with something sublime? Here is Thomanchor Leipzig singing Luther’s great hymn of the Reformation, Ein Feste Burg ist unser Gott, accompanied by organist Ullrich Böhme.

May Reformation Sunday, no matter what your faith tradition, find you exulting in the grace and love of God.

Comments

  1. the sound of rain
    falling at midnight
    erases the day

    • Christiane says

      Amen.

      Thank you, Robert F

      it is said by his family that he always felt safe at Church

    • Clay Crouch says

      Thank you for pointing us to that lovely story of an awful tragedy.

      • It almost seems obscene to say, but it is a lovely story. But can there be anything that is both more obscene and more lovely than the breaking through of Christ’s cross into our broken world?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I remember after his murder (lynching?) how Matthew Shepard became a Martyr for The LGBTQ-whatever Cause. Which struck me as almost as much a disservice, reducing him to a Symbol of The Activist Cause when somehow I think he’d have rather stayed alive and living his life

  2. Susan Dumbrell says

    My Saturday explanation.

    I was told some days ago by an IMonker that Spring is not a ‘calling’.
    For us at the upside end of the world as we welcome new growth, warmth, gentle showers and see the fields blush green foretelling of the promise of better weather coming and a break to the drought, How can I not see God’s hand in the resurrection of His creation calling us to break our hibernation of a cold winter and burst forth with energy to a new day, each day, singing His praises. Brings me to songs.

    This is a calling which makes me get up these new Spring days and look to a positive future.

    I wish I could send photos of my daffodils, peonies, roses, apple trees, crabapples, chestnut blooming, maple tree bursting forth, three lilacs, bearded iris and dutch iris, pansies and many more. I have a huge garden and it is showing the glory of God’s creation.

    I will plant my Summer vegetables tomorrow as I believe the frosts have passed. Bounty for the Summer months.

    Spring is a calling. It is our Easter. Christ burst forth from the grave, I can celebrate it anew.

    I dare you to object to my definition.

    Susan

    • Christiane says

      I LOVE your definition, Susan,
      it’s beautiful.

      (and it’s a good reminder that lucky you are just now entering into springtime in the Southern Hemisphere)

    • Pellicano Solitudinis says

      I’m firmly in Camp Spring-is-Calling too, Susan. I think spring must come later for you than me, as you are further up or inland. My daffodils started blooming in August, the fruit blossom has been and gone, the trees are almost in full, luscious green leaf after the thin bare grey branches of winter.

    • Spring sounds like a calling to me. From Job 12:

      7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:

      8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.

      9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?

      10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

    • One way you can tell that Spring is a calling is that it’s possible to refuse it in a stony heart; I’ve done that myself.

      • Too many springs have gone by when I’ve been too busy to stop and smell the lilacs or the apple blossoms, even though they’re all around me. And they go by so quickly.

    • rhymeswithplague says

      I’m the IMonker who said spring is not a calling, it’s an inevitability, and no one can resist spring. I agree with just about everything that Susan, Pelican, and Ted say here. My original comment was in the sense of calling as vocation; that is, “a particular occupation, business,trade, or profession” as dictionary.com puts it in the first of three definitions. The other two are “a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career” and “a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life”. I think Susan meant the third one and I think Christian Wiman, whose piece last Sunday was what we had both responded to, meant the first and second when he said an inner resistance was inevitable to calling and that nothing kills credibility like excessive enthusiasm.

      I have no argument whatsoever with being able to see God’s hand in the resurrection of His creation. It calls us to Him, just as the heavens declare His glory and the firmament shows his handiwork. We are on the same page, Susan. But unless one is a farmer, a horticulturalist, or an astronomer, it is difficult, if not downright impossible, to earn a living, ro support one’s family, to pay the rent, from Spring.

      I got his point, and yours. I just don’t think you got mine. I’m not your adversary here; I’m a fellow pilgrim.

  3. Adam Tauno Williams says

    > I myself cannot imagine that I would ever, ever be swayed to vote one way
    > or another by any campaign ad. Would you?

    No. And their impact is very low. Most political advertising has no measurable impact.

    However American voter turnout is SO VERY LOW that elections are often decided by a small number of votes. So fishing for cranks and crazies doesn’t not make sense; cranks and crazies at least might show up.

    “He who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by one who is worse than himself.” – Plato

    > What does it say about our level of civic awareness and just general human
    > thoughtfulness that political ads seem to be so successful?

    TV adds are for old people. As a not-yet-old-person it is difficult to be confident in the general human thoughtfulness of currently old people. They are the wealthiest cohort the history of the entire human race has ever seen, and they’re spittin’ mad about it.

    > If they’re not, why do candidates and political action committees spend so
    > daggone much money on them?

    The Consultant Effect: You hired a Consultant, you paid him money. He needs something to recommend you do; so whatever he recommends, well . .. you paid him money to tell you what to do? Clearly you have to do that. The Consultant Effect is not limited to political campaigns, it is all across corporate America. Doing what the Consultant says is safe; Management can say “we hired a consultant”.

    • As the all-wise Dogbert said, “Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he will start wearing funny hats; and if you talk about fish to a starving man, you’re a consultant.”

    • > I myself cannot imagine that I would ever, ever be swayed to vote one way
      > or another by any campaign ad. Would you?

      I have actually voted as a result of campaign ads. Here in Indiana there was a disgusting series of slanders against one candidate for Congress during the primaries. The attacks against him were so awful that I voted for him in protest even though he didn’t really stand out from the crowd. The campaign against Joe Donnelly run by his opponent is the same. I’d vote for Donnelly just to vote against Braun even if I hadn’t been planning to anyway.

      • The Twitter communications and campaign speeches of our president are to me the equivalent of hateful campaign ads that will lead me to vote in the midterms in a way I deem most likely to check and balance his power in the next two years.

        • with the introduction of his claim to be a ‘nationalist’, Trump has sent the Dog Whistle of all dog whistles out to his ‘base’ . . . . . and that encouragement bore bitter fruit

          • He claims ignorance, but he knows what that word means, and though he may not be an actual ideological White nationalist, he is very willing to blow that dog whistle to keep them on his train — he doesn’t mind having their support, or appealing to their interests. But I don’t think he understood, or understands, that he cannot harness or control the powers that he has set loose.

    • Burro (Mule) says

      More and more, it appears the focus is moving away from broadcast TV, which only people my age watch anymore, to [anti-]social media. Survival of the meme-iest.

      O O
      >
      ____

      I wonder if the same thing applies to polling agencies. As an older white man living in a 95%+ non-white zip code, I get accosted by both parties. Ideologically, I’m nearly a monarchist, so maybe I won’t vote this year. I kinda like Stacey Adams, having met her personally, but sheesh her supporters. I couldn’t handle four years of that Whole Foods/Nissan Leaf crowd strutting around Georgia like North Decatur had just annexed the whole state.

      and Kemp is too obvious a Chamber of Commerce creature even for me to vote for.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      However American voter turnout is SO VERY LOW that elections are often decided by a small number of votes. So fishing for cranks and crazies doesn’t not make sense; cranks and crazies at least might show up.

      “When only one percent of the population actually votes, half a percent plus one is a majority. And any hate group can muster a loyal half percent of the population.”
      Cyberpunk RPG rules, Steve Jackson Games, circa 1990s

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The Consultant Effect is not limited to political campaigns, it is all across corporate America. Doing what the Consultant says is safe; Management can say “we hired a consultant”.

      Who WILL be blamed for everything if (or when) things go south.

      It’s a CYA move, just like “I Was Only Following Orders (and Here’s All The Documentation)” in pre-1945 German bureaucratic tradition or “What? It Never Happened” Plausible Deniability to this day in Russian bureaucratic tradition.

  4. A recommendation concerning political adds from Neil Postman;

    I am particularly fond of John Lindasy’s suggestion that political commercials be banned from television as we now ban cigarette and liquor commercials. I would gladly testify before the Federal Communications Commission as to the manifold merits of this excellent idea. To those who would oppose my testimony by claiming that such a ban is a clear violation of the First Amendment, I would offer a compromise; Require all political commercials to be preceded by a short statement to the effect that common sense has determined that watching political commercials is hazardous to the intellectual health of the community.

    pg. 159 of Amusing Ourselves To Death

  5. The landscape photography is beautiful.

  6. “Does it say about our level of civic awareness and just general human thoughtfulness that political ads seem to be so successful?”

    It may help to remember that in the 19th century, candidates often proved their fitness for office by serving (and drinking) the most rum and whiskey to their constituents.

    • This is a good point. It may be difficult to imagine in this cynical and swinish media drenched age but it has been worse, much worse.

      People are always looking back at some mythical age of wonder, when politicians and parties put their country ahead of their narrow partisan interests. This mythical age of wonder never existed. American politics has always been like it is now. Divisive, cutthroat, winner take all. The only difference now is that the cameras are on 24/7. As exasperating and wearisome as this is, I think it is for the best. For example, no Trump supporter can ever claim they don’t know exactly what he is.

  7. Hmmm. That IS a pretty good Halloween playlist. But… something is missing…

    https://youtu.be/6vtsKGzGVK4

    THERE.

    Happy Halloween. 😉

  8. Congratulations on the book, Mike! I will be ordering it shortly. It must feel good to have gotten to this stage, finally.

  9. senecagriggs says
    • I’m not a historian, nor a journalist or investigator, but nothing could justify the homophobic vitriol that was poured out on Shepard and his family by haters at the time of his death. However perfect or imperfect Matthew Shepard was in life, and whatever the exact circumstances surrounding his horrific murder, his treatment by Christian homophobes in death sealed his story into tragic legend that has forever changed this country, its laws and culture. Nothing can undo that.

      RIP, Matthew Shepard.

      • senecagriggs says

        Your memory of his treatment by Christians is certainly different than mine.

        • It certainly must be.

          Even if the account in Jimenez’ book is correct, and Shepard knew McKinney and had homosexual encounters with him (which is speculative), that doesn’t mean he was not murdered by McKinney as a result of homophobia. Self-hating on the part of homosexuals is a result of cultural homophobia; if someone is in a state of deep denial about their homosexual identity or activity because of fear of the social penalty for embracing it, they may lash out violently at whatever or whoever reminds them of it. A former lover would certainly have reminded McKinney of it. It’s still the result of societal and personal homophobia, if that’s what happened.

        • Two things to remember, senecagriggs:

          1) Having engaged in consensual homosexual activity does not mean that one has a homosexual identity.

          2) Neither having engaged in consensual homosexual activity nor having a homosexual identity mean that one cannot commit a violent crime motivated by homophobia, nor is either a mitigating circumstance if one has committed such a crime.

          • senecagriggs says

            Robert F. I would actually agree with both.

            What I wouldn’t agree with is the progressive’s narrative that it’s Evangelical Christianity which is the source of hatred through-out the western world. dryly

            ___________

            Why do progressives hate Jack the Cake Baker? Anybody can buy his cakes; regardless of their ethnicity or sexual orientation , but he wants to reserve the right to not put on cakes messages he disagrees with.

            If progressive Christians found out there was a Muslim Cake Baker in town who refused service to Jews,[ to say nothing of writing messages on the cake with which they disagreed ] would they take the Muslim to court? You know they wouldn’t.

            • Well a Christian (barring one who the discriminating baker thought was a Jew) wouldn’t have standing to sue in such a situation; however, I as a progressive atheist would certainly support any Jew denied service for being a Jew. I’m pretty certain most of the progressive Christians I know would also do the same and at a minimum boycott the baker.

            • Hello Senecagriggs,

              I don’t think ALL evangelical people are into ‘negativity’ that targets innocent people, no. But if you go to SBCtoday, and look through some of the blogs and comments, you will see how bad the negativity can get.

              Eventually the administrator, who I thought was a good person, was (I believe) influenced by a core of extremely negative folks and the administrator then insulted Wade Burleson in a manner that was grossly unacceptable . . . . that administrator apologized and resigned, but I don’t think it would have ever come to his behavior UNLESS the negative ‘core group’ on SBCtoday encouraged that nastiness of tone and disrespect . . . .

              I mean, it’s okay to disagree with folks, but why turn it into something that attacks their personhood and their dignity? Dialogue is meant to explore where people agree and where they may differ, but to do it in a way that helps increase mutual understanding. The ‘attack dogs’ in that core group on SBCtoday were way out of control . . . . and eventually, they encouraged the leader to adopt their own ‘style’, which led to his demise sadly.

              I’d say MANY evangelical people are not ‘negative’ and brutal towards those who are ‘different’, but there are some who are SO negative, they give the whole group a bad witness, I’m afraid. It would be better if people spoke to the ‘negative’ folks to try to encourage them to cut out the bullying and name-calling, but so often nothing is said against it, so what are people to then think, unless they know better from their own experience with evangelical folks who are decent?????

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                I mean, it’s okay to disagree with folks, but why turn it into something that attacks their personhood and their dignity?

                It’s called WIN AT ALL COSTS.

                “Winning isn’t everything; Winning is The Only Thing.”
                — Vince Lombardi, pro football coach

                “The winner is not asked whether he has one fairly — ALL THAT MATTERS IS TO WIN!”
                — Adolf Hitler, cult leader and poster child for toxic hypermasculinity

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                Take it from the guy with 20+ years in-country in Furry Fandom:

                LOUD CRAZIES HAVE A WAY OF DEFINING THE PUBLIC FACE OF A MOVEMENT. AND THERE’S NO WAY TO STOP THEM. Because their obsession is 24/7 On Fire for The Obsession in which they live and move and have their being And they can out-scream everyone else, like the rest of us have jobs and lives which take time away from countering their 24/7/365 Acquire the Fire.

  10. Imagining the reaction if that Jesus organ donor video was played in the States during the Super Bowl will keep me cheerful all week.

    • Stephen, It might make you cheerful, but why? Would you find cheer knowing that the commercial would offend a great many people? The clip would offend other groups such as respectful of other faith organ donors, Christians and all people who have self imposed not outwardly enforced boundaries of good taste. The only religion that would be mocked for publicity in this way is the Christian religion, there would be no “comedic” parody of Islam for example. Would they show Abraham not killing his son so his organs could be used? I do not think that any other religion especially a major religion would be used for a ad this way. How about having the Prophet instructing on beheading people so the organs can be donated? It appears this clip is from Australia

      One of the major way to undermine an institution, belief or person is humor coupled with disrespect. This clip only works , just like shock jock material because it so over the line, that the Son of God would be portrayed as a cheesy straight man. It is like the current crop of comedians where the humor is a out of place profanity.

      The Super Bowl is in trouble enough if they have to settle for the politically safe , insipid Maroone 5 band.

      • One of the major way to undermine an institution, belief or person is humor coupled with disrespect.

        Please forward to: https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump

        • Robert F. You must have posted the wrong link. The link you posted led to a twitter account of wisdom, true compassion and a steady grip of reality. However I did enjoy it as I was not aware that President Trump had a twitter account. I understand I can also purchase a MAGA hat for only $45.00, now that is funny. That Trump can compress his knowledge and understanding of issues down to twitter word allowance shows the true genius of truly remarkable President, who is of course Making America Great Again . Perhaps Trump will call it the Laughing Wall if he gets the last laugh. Thanks for the link.

          • That Trump can compress his knowledge and understanding of issues down to twitter word allowance shows the true genius of truly remarkable President, who is of course Making America Great Again.

            Good tongue-in-cheek.

            Friedrich Nietzsche used to say that he desired to write more in a few sentences than most could write in a volume.

            Not that there’s any correlation; Nietzsche at least was a great writer, whether you can stand him or not.

      • john I can’t think of a response to you that doesn’t wind with me trying to justify my sense of humor which seems pretty pointless.

        Jesus never seems to have such a thin skin.

        • Stephen, Would you cheer a commercial of a camera shop interviewing the Prophet Mohammad for a photo shoot and his reaction? Not asking you to justify your sense of humor but your perspective. Of course Jesus had thick skin, that is why they used such big nails or maybe hang nails were a problem in those days. About Holocaust jokes, okay with them? How about Polish jokes ? How about handicapped people jokes, are they justified under your sense of humor code. You know this commercial would offend many people of Christian faith but you would find cheer in it. How about a restaurant doing a BLT sandwich survey outside an temple.

          Little known fact, Abraham Lincoln was Jewish, he was shot in the temple. Would that be a good commercial for the Ford theater? Honesty,, if this were any other religion would this be acceptable, much less give you a cheerful week. Would you be cheerful because it caused Christians discomfort or do they turn the other cheek , if they have not donated it yet? Again , I am for absolute free speech for everyone, it is the marketplace of that will determine whether it gains a cheerful audience. Of course , the liberals are getting Apu off the Simpsons as he is a stereotype as are all the Simpson characters. Typical double standard of the progressive,, think Ned Flanders will get taken off?

        • Stephen, just to be clear as I know you will respond. If thought the commercial was funny, witty and well done . I also think that a majority of faithful Christians would find the video offensive and would not want it to receive any wide distribution over public air ways. Again, not questioning your sense of humor but why you would be cheerful if this were broadcast during the highly rate Super Bowl? That was my question to you.

          thanks for the reply

      • stickmanonymous says

        The distinction lies in the fact that most (maybe just many) Australians actually know a little of the stories about Jesus, and without getting into ridiculous notions of Christian heritage, Jesus is a culturally familiar quality for (Anglo) Australians, and therefore a legitimate target in this instance. Mohammed or Buddha or Vishnu would be too unfamiliar and any reference to them would be too obscure to be anything other than a boorish and pointless exercise in causing offense.

        Australians are also patently not Americans; taking the piss out of each other (and by extension the things they hold dear) is something they enjoy, value, and understand. Sacred cows (or sacred iron-age fairy-tale protagonists) are fair game. Americans aren’t too good at appreciating that.

        I think the advertisement is brilliant, and also a little cutting; Christians might be better off considering how they can make a practical difference in the lives of others without engaging in pointless noisy culture wars. Maybe that was Jesus’ point all along?

      • stickmanonymous says

        Oh, and if you were in a position to save the lives of six (no, seven!) people, and the only damage done was to your own ego, would you do it? Apparently Jesus did, but on a scale several million times larger. Seems like a he set the precedent, really…

  11. Ronald Avra says

    Thanks for the landscape photos. Exceptional.

  12. As for me, I’m voting Silly Party straight down the line this year.

    https://youtu.be/dVI5ZOT5QEM

  13. petrushka1611 says

    Re: the Halloween playlist. I heard The Who’s Boris the Spider and an excellent cover of Richard Thompson’s When the Spell is Broken in Goodwill last week, and I thought what a shame it is that it’s the only time of the year I can hear those tunes in public.

  14. Photos are wonderful – all in England, too.

    Congratulations on the book, MIke.

    Susan, praying for rain for all y’all in Oz.

    Dana

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Photos are wonderful – all in England, too.

      “Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye
      Where you and I must fare.”
      — Rudyard Kipling, “Puck’s Song” from Puck of Pook’s Hill

      • Headless U Guy, not familiar with Pook’s Hlll so I have to ask what the Puck?

        • Puck of Pook’s Hill is a collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling aimed at children and with a framing story with Puck as one of the main characters.

          Cities and Thrones and Powers
          Stand in Time’s eye,
          Almost as long as flowers,
          Which daily die.
          But, as new buds put forth
          To glad new men,
          Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth
          The Cities rise again.

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Which leads me to ask a question or two. I myself cannot imagine that I would ever, ever be swayed to vote one way or another by any campaign ad. Would you?

    All I can say is I’ve had to turn off my car radio because of the constant stream of Paid Polticial Announcements, which can better be described as a continuous “Half-Minute Hate”.

    What does it say about our level of civic awareness and just general human thoughtfulness that political ads seem to be so successful?

    I’m still trying to figure out how Donald Trump became the Second Coming of Christ.

    “Stupidity is like Hydrogen — the basic building block of the Universe.”
    — Frank Zappa

  16. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Hey Dads — ready to “chestfeed” your new baby?

    I can guess the Manosphere and its Christianese knockoff”s reactions.
    Many years ago, Bloom County did a strip on something similar:

    “The Baby Bonder. So fathers can know the joy of breastfeeding.
    That’s it. The joke is We’re Not Kidding. Sharper Image, $49.95.”

  17. God be with all the victims of the Tree of Life Congregation massacre.

    • Burro (Mule) says

      Beleve it or not I was sickened by the news. For what it’s worth I’m gonna try in the little time left to me to try and be a peacemaker.

      I can start with the Kosovars behind me

      Yitgadal yitkadash shmey rabo.
      May God be with the Tree of Life temple

      • This will likely be called a hate crime, but for all intents and purposes it is actually an act of domestic terrorism. The Armies of the Right, always the native source of the great preponderance of terrorist acts in America, have been loosed. It’s just the beginning; God help us all.

        • Susan Dumbrell says

          As we are also Children of the Book, so let us also share their grief.
          Unimaginable grief. May the dead rest with Abraham.
          Pray for the victims and their families.
          May God support and comfort them.

          Susan

          • May the dead rest with Abraham.

          • Christiane says

            Yes, Susan, let us weep with those who weep.
            May God comfort the families of those who were killed and of those who were injured.
            God have mercy on us all

            • The antisemite terrorist attacked the Tree of Life Congregation because they were Jews who were deeply involved in and committed to resettling refugees to the U.S., and advocating for the ability to continue doing that work of mercy — that is, because they were doing what all Christians should be doing. He might as well have been crucifying Christ; it is the Jew Jesus Christ that he hates.

              God be with the people of the Tree of Life Congregation.

              God have mercy on us all.

              • What is his rationale for hating Jewish people? He believes widespread theories (these ideas really shouldn’t be dignified with that word) that Jews are behind a “Globalist Conspiracy” to undermine the sovereignty of the U.S., to destroy the “White” race, and to enrich themselves in the process. Just remember that all talk about “The Deep State” is really about what is supposedly the local chapter of “The Globalist Conspiracy”, and that both are rooted in antisemitism.

                • All,

                  Unfortunately this happened in my community…. to a group of mostly elderly people. I can’t understand what would drive a person to do this. The Squirrel Hill community is a tight-knit community, quiet,….

                  The shooter graduated from the same high school my kids go to… in a sense marring the name of our school, our community.

                  Pray for those killed, pray for those injured, pray for those officers who rushed in and were greeted by bullets. Things like this don’t happen in Pittsburgh.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  “The Deep State” is just the latest code word for “The Jews”.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  He believes widespread theories (these ideas really shouldn’t be dignified with that word) that Jews are behind a “Globalist Conspiracy” to undermine the sovereignty of the U.S., to destroy the “White” race, and to enrich themselves in the process.

                  Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a deliberate disinformation op by the Okhrana over a century ago to protect the Tsar by blaming the Jews.

                  But of course what I just said is LIES. FAKE NEWS. THE JEWS.
                  The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

  18. Brianthegrandad says

    As a fisherman, I really enjoyed the photo of the guy with the rod on the rocks with the surf crashing all around him. That guy is hard core. I can’t imagine what he’s fishing for or how he’d land it if he caught it, but that’s my kinda guy!

  19. senecagriggs says

    “The Armies of the Right, always the native source of the great preponderance of terrorist acts in America, have been loosed.”

    Oh pshaw

    • Christiane says

      problem is, the crazies are calling THEMSELVES ‘Trumpenkrieger’ . . . . . now what are we supposed to think????