August 18, 2019

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 13, 2019 — Jehu Edition

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 13, 2019 — Jehu Edition

“The driving is like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi—crazy!” (2 Kings 9:20 MSG)

I’ve been teaching my grandson to drive. Today I’m going to warn him against driving like Jehu.

This Brunch is dedicated to King Jehu, patron saint of road rage, who rampaged and slaughtered his way through ancient Israel until Ahab and Jezebel (think Bill and Hillary) and all the other radical feminists and socialists and their supporters were wiped out of the land. It was Jehu who said, “Come along with me, and witness my zeal for God! (2 Kings 10:16)

And so today, we will squeal our tires, peel out, and terrorize the land with pronouncements on the corruption and evil that threatens the things we love. Interspersed of course, with coffee and general conversation amongst the saints.

Welcome to Brunch. Don’t forget those seatbelts.

• • •

IT’S BLASPHEMY, I SAY!

Umpire Brian deBrauwere huddles behind York Revolution catcher James Skelton while wearing an earpiece during the first inning of the Atlantic League All-Star Game on Wednesday in York, Pa. (Julio Cortez/AP)

A computer officially called balls and strikes for the first time in the game’s history in the United States at a minor league all-star game. Major League Baseball in February signed a three-year agreement with the independent, eight-team Atlantic League to install experimental rules in line with Commissioner Rob Manfred’s vision for a faster, more action-packed game.

…On Wednesday, home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an Apple AirPod in his right ear that connected to an iPhone in his back pocket. A computer in the press box communicated to that device whether the pitch was in or out of the strike zone, and deBrauwere relayed the calls to the field as a normal umpire would.

Jacob Bogage, Washington Post

I, for one, am most certainly NOT ready for this. The glory of baseball is its human drama, and that includes human umpires and disputes between umpires and players and coaches over calls. Human error is a necessary part of human drama, and the angst, anger, regret, conflicts, and broken hearts that result are, in my view, a vital aspect of life.

I DON’T WANT MY BASEBALL SANITIZED OF ALL HUMANITY!

Besides, I can testify that my life would be immeasurably poorer if I had not had a chance to witness guys like this close up and personal in the days of my youth. Good ol’ Earl went after those umps like Jehu…

What think you, Richard H?

• • •

UPDATE FROM J. MICHAEL JONES…

Some of you may have been following along with J. Michael Jones as he battles cancer (follow the link above or the continuing link on the IM Bulletin Board), but some may have missed his latest update.

So here it is. Stand up to cancer like Jehu. And continue to pray for and support our brother:

It appears that I have pseudo-Host Vs Graft Syndrome. For patients like me, who received their own stem cells, this problem, while with severe symptoms, is usually easily treated. The team reached this conclusion by all the other test being negative and how profoundly I’ve responded to three days of high dose steroids.

So, I went from feeling horrible on Monday morning to feeling halfway decent this morning. I felt so well that yesterday we did a 5-mile urban hike (Pete Gross House to Lake Union to Pikes Place Market and back).

This morning I felt so well that I was able to walk down to meet Ramsey and Denise for coffee at the Cascade Coffee Works. This was the first time I’ve had a cappuccino since I was admitted to the hospital (before the transplant) on June 9th. There are two reasons I’ve avoided espresso. The first, was that the transplant process made everything taste like a burnt cat turd soaked in bleach. Since espresso taste a little burnt to start with, it was unpalatable. The second reason was that I’ve had (one of my main symptoms) Godzilla-diarrhea (my term for this awful symptom). Espresso has the tendency to move the bowels and I didn’t want to take any chances with that. Since going on the steroids, my taste buds have finished returning to normal and the diarrhea had stopped so it felt safe.

It was truly a milestone this morning to have coffee with Denise and Ramsey (although Denise doesn’t drink coffee).

We met with the team today and we have a new (tentative) plan. We will finish the course of high-dose steroids on Sunday and then start the taper. The concern is that the symptoms will start to return. The studies show that 79% of the time, the symptoms do not return. So, our new discharge date is a week from today, July 17th. Please pray that the symptoms do not return and it would launch us down a new pathway of trying to figure this out, possibly going back into the hospital.

• • •

RIP ROSS PEROT. ARE WE EXPERIENCING HIS LEGACY TODAY?

His television platform was Larry King Live, not The Apprentice, and his persona was genial and folksy, not blustery and dark. But more than a quarter century ago, Ross Perot revealed a truth about the American electorate that Donald Trump would exploit: There is a big chunk of voters who feel disaffected, harmed by free trade, threatened by demographic change, and attracted to an eccentric outsider who promises to upend the status quo.

Todd S. Purdum, The Atlantic

• • •

ABUSE OF POWER AT ITS WORST…

One might be forgiven for thinking the newest hot show on TV this week was “Battle of the Celebrity Sex Predators.” Jeffrey Epstein (and by connection: Bill Clinton? Donald Trump? Alan Dershowitz? etc., etc., etc.), and R. Kelly — we’ve been made to endure watching some ultimate debauched version of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

McKay Coppins at The Atlantic suggests that it is stories like this that foment conspiracy theories about the secrets of the elite.

The more we learn about the allegations against the reclusive billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the more he seems like a figment of the online fever swamps. The wealthy financier arrested last week for underage sex trafficking is accused of operating an international sex ring that could implicate high-powered men across business, politics, and Hollywood. Every nightmarish detail of his story—from the creepily decorated mansion to the flights on “the Lolita Express” to the stays on “Orgy Island”—sounds like it was conjured by conspiracy theorists.

…It should not come as a surprise that some of America’s most outspoken conspiracists have spent the days since Epstein’s arrest taking victory laps.

“I definitely see it as a moment of vindication,” David Seaman, a chief proponent of the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory, told me. “I think this is a turning point.”

“This is just the beginning,” said Liz Crokin, a prominent QAnon devotee, in a video posted to YouTube. “The storm is officially here.”

“I think I’ve been unnecessarily maligned,” said Mike Cernovich, a right-wing social-media personality who has claimed that every A-list actor in Hollywood is a pedophile. “This shows I’m doing real things, man.” (Cernovich was, in fact, among those who successfully sued to unseal court documents related to Epstein.)

Of course, the notion that the Epstein case somehow validates every outlandish assertion uttered by the tinfoil-hat brigade is absurd. But squint at the recent headlines and you’ll see a story—about abuse of power, and elite impunity, and moral rot in the ruling class—that helps explain why a certain breed of conspiracy theorist has gained so much traction in this political moment.

…As Matthew Walther recently wrote at The Week, the Epstein story doesn’t fit neatly into any of the dominant partisan-media narratives. The bad guys belong to both parties. Trump is linked to Epstein, but so is former President Bill Clinton. The case has less to do with any political tribe and more to do with class and status. The story, as it’s been alleged, is one of rich, powerful men careening through the world with complete impunity, treating the young and the vulnerable as props, and protecting one another from accountability.

You don’t have to believe in lizard people or baby-eating politicians to understand why so many are looking at our leaders and letting their imagination run wild.

• • •

PLASTIC MAY NOT BE THE BADDEST GUY IN THE ENVIRO-GANG…

“[P]lastic replaces things that would do even more damage to the climate.” That is the surprising (at least to me) take from a story on NPR I heard this week.

Chemical engineer Beverly Sauer of Eastern Research Group, an independent research company, led one such study that compared a mix of different plastic packaging with substitutes such as paper. “The impacts associated with plastic are generally much lower than the impacts for the mix of substitute materials that would replace packaging,” Sauer says. ERG’s analysis calculated the quantity of raw materials as well as the electricity, fuel, water and other materials needed to make and use paper and plastic packaging. Plastic uses less. And at the end of its life, paper in a landfill may emit greenhouse gases as it breaks down.

Even if, ounce for ounce, some kinds of plastic have a higher carbon footprint than other kinds of packaging, you need less of it. That’s one big advantage plastic has — it’s light.

“The plastic packaging accomplishes its purpose with very little weight of material,” Sauer says. So if a paper bag weighs twice what a plastic one does, she says, “not only do you have to produce twice the weight of material, you have to transport twice the weight of material [and] you have twice the weight of material to manage at the end of its useful life.”

The ERG analysis was done for the American Chemistry Council, which says plastic replaces things that would do even more damage to the climate. “Plastics are often used in products that help to reduce much larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions over their life cycle,” says Steve Russell, ACC vice president for plastics.

• Christopher Joyce, NPR

Of course, carbon footprint is only one thing to consider. The amount of plastic trash in the ocean and in landfills, for example, is a growing ecological problem. But then again, so is climate change. As Susan Ruffo of the Ocean Conservancy says, “You know, we have a history as a species of solving one problem with great intensity, only to figure out that we’ve created another one.”

• • •

PERHAPS HERE’S A HUMBLE ENVIRO-HOPE…

One group of scientists is, however, thinking small. Maggots are being examined as a source of protein by scientists in College Station, Texas, according to The Washington Post.

The larvae of the black soldier fly have “remarkable ability to transform nearly any kind of organic waste — cafeteria refuse, manure, even toxic algae — into high-quality protein, all while leaving a smaller carbon footprint than it found,” according to a story that ran in the Post on July 3. “In one year, a single acre of black soldier fly larvae can produce more protein than 3,000 acres of cattle or 130 acres of soybeans.”

In a week, a “modest” size colony of larvae (1.6 million) can turn a ton of organic waste into 100 pounds of protein and 400 pounds of compost. They will eat almost anything organic: pig manure, human waste, food scraps, waste from distilleries, etc.

This kind of food waste contributes to 7 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2011 report from the United Nations.

The larvae not only eliminate the greenhouse gases, they also become protein that, when roasted, can be used as feed for animals. This would take pressure off ocean species currently being overfished as a source for animal feed. One quarter of all fish harvested from the ocean are fed to fish, poultry, hogs and other animals.

Scientists and engineers are working on ways to make this commercially viable. One Texas company is already breeding larvae for pet reptiles. Researchers hope that larvae will be competitive with ocean fishmeal prices within five years. It would be ideal if the process could be miniaturized for use on farms to recycle animal and plant waste.

Roasted larvae might even supply protein to humans. “They taste like Fritos,” one promoter told the Post.

“They have a pleasant, neutral, nutty flavor to them,” wrote Christopher Ingraham, the brave Post reporter who tried them. “Slather them in powdered ranch or barbecue seasoning and it’s easy to imagine bags of them flying off the shelves in truck stops and convenience stores.”

Thomas Reese SJ, RNS

• • •

SEEN RECENTLY BY WARREN THROCKMORTON

In other Mark Driscoll news, the once designated “Young, Restless, Reformed” pastor calls the Five Points of Calvinism “garbage.”

Please Mark. Please. Go away.

• • •

SOME “INTERESTING” RECENT HEADLINES FROM CHARISMA MAGAZINE…

SLOW DOWN, JEHU!!!

• • •

Not sure I’d exactly pick that OT king for a Christian lyric. This video was produced by Rocks Worldwide Music, part of a group known as Rock Churches Worldwide.

Friends, check out the sites. What might this tell us about the direction and future of evangelicalism?

Comments

  1. cheesehed says

    The Charisma headlines…good grief! They’re like heads from the Babylon Bee.

    These folks have lost their minds, and I think that happened awhile ago.

    Garbage.

    • Robert F says

      Too many people are consuming the garbage as if it’s healthy nutrition. It has to end badly.

    • Alexa as the Whore of Babylon?

      … actually, I’ve heard worse theories. 😛

    • Charisma publishes some strange stuff, but there’s other material at the site worth reading. I enjoy former editor Lee Grady’s “Fire In My Bones” column, which is normally published every Wednesday on the magazine page and is frequently featured on the news page as well. Grady is much more down to earth and practical when compared to some of the site’s other authors. He’s also spoken out eloquently against spiritual abuse. So has Jennifer LeClaire, one of Grady’s editorial successors, although I must admit some of LeClaire’s other writings have left me shaking my head in disbelief.

  2. Clicking on “Supernatural Keys to Understanding your Spouse” gets you pop-up ads for a bunch of books with “SATAN” in the title. Just sayin’.

  3. Seeing the picture of the hands covered in maggots is not what I needed just before bed. Thank goodness it wasn’t video…

  4. Robert F says

    The story, as it’s been alleged, is one of rich, powerful men careening through the world with complete impunity, treating the young and the vulnerable as props, and protecting one another from accountability.

    Patriarchy at work, as it has been for thousands of years — that’s the only conspiracy involved, but it’s an age-old doozy.

    • Patriarchy, hypercharged with wealth and sociopathy.

    • How many wealthy powerful women do you think turned a blind eye to this for years. This isn’t patriarchy. Everything bad that men do isn’t patriarchy. This is lust and depravity combined with wealth, power, and no conscience.

      • Robert F says

        If you don’t want to see the obvious, no one can make you.

        • The words of a person who has no real argument.

          • Robert F says

            I’m certainly not going to argue with you, or anyone thoroughly invested in the idea that patriarchy is a good or neutral social arrangement rather than a societal pathology.

            • Well we all know the best way to build bridges and change minds is to be unwilling to talk to people. But seriously, my comment wasn’t about the goodness of patriarchy. It was about missing the root of the problem. Calling everything bad that men do patriarchy is just lazy, and will often miss the real issue. Jeffery Epstein is not a patriarchal person. Neither is Bill Clinton or Donald Trump. They are men with money and power driven by lust without conscience. This is not a gender specific problem. In our society it has generally been men who have had the power and money. But as women get more power and money and become more accustomed to having it, I guarantee that you will start to similar types of problems. Not to mention the women who already have money and power who could have done something but didn’t. This problem is about money, power, and feeling like you should be able to do whatever you like to whoever you like.

              • Human depravity may be *a* root problem. But simply stating that women would be just as bad if *they* were in power is no excuse to hold men accountable for the system we have used to abuse others for so long.

                • anonymous says

                  brainwashed women voting for mr. ‘grab em by the’

                  girls at a seminary singing ‘go Grudem go’

                  a wife of the head of a seminary having a whole new building built to teach ‘tatting’ to women

                  girls, it’s time to grow up and be responsible now: forget the free ride of letting ‘the men’ rule over you and grow a pair for the sake of the nation:
                  patriarchy is a sick, sick way of life . . . . it drags everyone down

              • Robert F says

                You are not taking into account the reality of structural sin, the way a society can be overtly or tacitly set up to benefit official or unofficial classes of people to the detriment of other classes. If I pointed out how this worked in the totalitarian communist USSR, or communist China today, you would no doubt be more than willing to see it there, as most conservatives are. But if I point to how it has worked for millennia of patriarchy in the West/Europe, giving systemic social cover, both open and invisible, to male malfeasance and sin, providing the shadow of darkness in which it is safe for it to exist, you refuse to see that. I have to wonder why.

              • Robert F says

                There is individual sin, and then there are networks of sin that connect at nodal points throughout a society; the latter is structural sin. By far the worst and most evil that has been done has been under the cover of social structures that hid, or even sanctioned and commanded the evil done, not by individuals working alone or in small groups. Patriarchy has been the occasion of evils that would not have occurred but for its existence; pointing to the potential sins of a possible matriarchy is mere deflection from this fact.

                • Michael Z says

                  Someone from a conservative mindset is going to be operating with different forms of moral logic, unfortunately, so they aren’t going to recognize the existence of structural sin – people within the conservative moral framework tend to only think about harmfulness and fairness on an individual level, not looking at larger patterns of abuse and oppression within society as a whole.

                  Similarly, conservatives aren’t going to have access to the idea that unspoken power differentials exist and can be exploited. (For example, between a 30+-year-old Roy Moore and his teenage victims.) They’re more likely, in fact, to see those power differentials as natural and good.

                  So trying to explain patriarchy to them might be a waste of time, because they’re going to try to comprehend it using only the forms of moral logic that they *do* have access to, and they’re either going to conclude that it doesn’t exist or that it’s not so bad. Unless someone’s underlying moral framework can be expanded, their surface-level behavior may shift in response to societal pressure (e.g. being more cautious in response to the MeToo movement) but they aren’t going to understand *why* their morals and beliefs need to change.

                  • That’s why I used the example of Soviet era structural sin, because I think conservatives should be able to see how it operated there, and I believe I’ve heard them speak as if they have seen it. If they can see it there, then they should be able to see it elsewhere, unless they are intentionally evading acknowledging it in places where it operates in their perceived favor.

                    • The Soviet system didn’t give conservatives the results that really mattered. Our system here did.

                      Power for them.

                  • Burro (Mule) says

                    This is true. I am living evidence of this mindset. I think there are certain power relationships between groups of people which, if not natural – nasty word that – at least they reoccur often enough to appear that way. If you want me to be less abstract; male over female, tall over small, aggressive over passive, disciplined over chaotic, assured over hesitant.

                    Most of the complaints about power and power relationships seem to be about the “wrong” people (I.e. not me) having power, and if only the right people had it then everything would be OK. Forgive me for being less than enthusiastic over this.

                    We as humans seem to be in the lamentable position of not being able to keep our ganglia of solidarity and obligation free of demonic infection nor able to dispense with them altogether.

                    • No, I don’t believe that if only the “right” people had power things would be okay. I believe unless power is more equitably shared, and there is transparency and accountability for how it is used, things can never get better. Secrecy and control make things worse. I think my view is typical of a lot of liberals

                    • Michael Z says

                      From a Christian perspective, just because something is “natural” does not make it good. In our “natural” state we are prone to all sorts of sinful, unhealthy, and destructive tendencies. God became incarnate in human flesh in part so that our natural humanity can be transformed into the likeness of Christ.

                      In particular, the Bible makes it pretty clear that men dominating women is an aspect of natural, fallen humanity, not an aspect of redeemed humanity. (“Nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gat 3:28))

                      Arguing that men should dominate women because it’s “natural” is as inexcusable as arguing that it’s “natural” for men to commit adultery or to joke about assaulting women. We should be asking what is moral, rather than behaving as if men “can’t help themselves” and can never rise about their “natural” state.

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      Transparency and accountability are just mewing liberal words for what we conservatives call a mutual checking of each other’s pockets before sitting down to a card game. The problem is tha same as it has always been. Either there has to be a party everyone is afraid of enforcing the rule, or you have to be willing to quit the game and forgo the possible benefits.

                    • Mule, your cynicism is invincible, like the invincible ignorance that plays an important part in Roman Catholic moral casuistry.

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      Michael Z

                      I have never been all that interested in morality. Count your fingers after shaking my hand.

                      Morality doesn’t make saints.

                      Transcending gender a la Galatians 3:28 in traditional Christianity aka Cathodoxy has mostly been discussed in terms of deliberate celibacy. Once you extend the circle to married believers you are treading on territory that has been poorly navigated by the Church. To your credit, I believe the current dustup between the genders is forcing the hand, much like the Arians forced the definition of the Trinity.

                    • And your moral reasoning reminds me very much of that of Anton LaVey in his Satanic Bible. There he says that do-gooders do more harm than good, and it would be better for each to stick to looking after their own best interest, and leave everybody else alone, unless they come after you and yours, in which case you let hell loose on them.

                    • Michael Z says

                      Mule, what do you mean by “morality doesn’t make saints”?

                      I agree that no one can become moral just by trying hard, but I also believe that if someone is growing closer to Christ, they will naturally grow to reflect his likeness better and better – and will thus become more a moral person. To me that’s kind of the whole point of the Christian life – the joy of seeing the way that God, working in us, transforms us and the world around us.

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    They’re more likely, in fact, to see those power differentials as natural and good.

                    They ARE — when YOU’re the one on top Holding the Whip.

              • Robert F says

                Think of the antebellum Southern slaveholder who fancied himself a good Christian that treated his slaves well. In response to the criticisms of the abolitionists, he acknowledges that much evil is done by slaveholders, but then says that the remedy for this evil is the conversion of the slaveholders hearts, so that they will treat their property kindly rather than cruelly. His answer is an evasion of the fact that the institution of slavery had to be abolished, and that was far more important than the “conversion” of any number of hearts, because it was the structure of the institution that allowed the wickedness in human hearts to grow, fester, and multiply their sins. Powers and principalities, synergizing with and metastasizing the human propensity for sin.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  “the antebellum Southern slaveholder who fancied himself a good Christian that treated his slaves well” is also an example of What’s Normal — a fish doesn’t know it’s wet. If you’ve been raised in the Master class of a Master/Slave society, it’s what’s NORMAL.

              • Michael Z says

                I see Epstein as a classic example of how “elites” tend to form in-groups of mutual support and protection. There are occasionally powerful women who manage to shove their way into those groups, but for the most part they’re made up of “alpha male” personalities – men with a powerful urge to be in control and to be the center of attention, often suffering from empathy disorders like sociopathy or narcissism, and often with a strong belief that they’re above the law and entitled to anything.

                Men in those positions are often not particularly qualified for the authority they wield – they got there, after all, through luck or inheritance or ruthlessness or single-mindedness, not through (necessarily) intelligence or true leadership ability. So they all share a similar unspoken vulnerability and therefore have a strong incentive to defend others in the in-group in return for knowing that the in-group will defend them in the future.

                That may not be “patriarchy” per se, but it’s a pattern that takes root much more easily in patriarchal cultures than in more progressive and egalitarian ones.

                • Burro (Mule) says

                  This reminds me of why I eschew progressive and egalitarian communities. I much prefer naked self interest to the mewing bleating hypocrisy and moralizing these groups seem to produce in industrial quantities. As if ‘Oh, little ol’ me am reluctantly exercising power on behalf of All Of Us. I would rather be in my herb garden, but you know, if I don’t do it some really bad people will.’

                  • You’d rather get reamed by somebody in-group than from outside. Spoken like a true Roman patrician. But in case you haven’t noticed, your in-group does as much moralizing as the progressives and egalitarians you despise. Look no further than the evangelical right or the the conservative Catholic contingent to hear non-stop moralizing and hypocrisy; that’s what’s driving young people away from your side’s churches.

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      RobertF you have such a gift for thinking you’re insulting me by comparing me to groups I admire.

                    • Robert F says

                      I was pointing out the inconsistency of your disgust with moralizing, hypocritical liberals, but your blindness to the moralizing, hypocritical players on your team. Any insult was by way of implying that you yourself are a hypocrite. Let’s get the nature of insult straight, okay, Mule?

                  • Michael Z says

                    Do you believe that it’s possible for leaders to genuinely reflect the nature of Christ and therefore be *neither* hypocritical nor self-interested? This comment and your other one makes me think you’re rather pessimistic about the possibility that God is able to transform a person or a community to reflect God’s nature and priorities.

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      If it does occur, and it does, it is Grace. It cannot be generated by a political algorithm. It is as likely to occur in an autocracy as in a democracy, and to be brutally honest, it’s effects would be magnified by an autocracy and diminished by a democracy. It seems I haven’t shed all my Calvinism, doesn’t it?

                      You seem like smart people. Why does this not occur to you?

                    • Michael Z says

                      Who said anything about “politics”? I personally don’t believe that *either* political party in the US does a particularly good job of modeling healthy leadership or morality.

                      The fundamental truth that Christians in the US cannot afford to lose sight of is that following Christ means not conforming to *either* the liberal *or* the conservative pattern that this world offers to us. If Christ is true north, then liberal and conservative are east and west – a completely different axis. If we align ourselves with either end of the political axis, we’ll no longer be aligned with Christ. And if we find our *identity* in one of those political camps instead of in Christ, we have become idolaters and sooner or later we will stop experiencing Jesus as a reality in our lives and will begin just treating him like an idea to fight over.

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      Só what, in your present life as you are living it, does not conform to Christ as the True North? Ponder well and hard.

                      Ponder some more.

                      Pray

                      Found it? Good. You’re ahead of me already.

                      Now correct it.

                      Rinse and repeat, and forget about the other guy.

                      Oh no, there wouldn’t be any Wartburg Watch if everyone did this. I wouldn’t be the first to admit that the Ds are performing a remarkable and necessary service, but I think I probably am the first to admit that I read it primarily to snigger over the misdeeds of evil White evangelicals and feel morally superior for fifteen minutes.

                    • You have a good point about no one conforming adequately to Christ, Mule.

                    • And I doubt that many of us, if any, are sufficiently free of partisan politics of one kind or another to meet Michael Z’s Christ-conformity criteria, either.

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      Michael Z (sorry dude) strikes me as another woke scold who doesn’t like Chads (“alpha males”) who I kinda like.

                      The greatest saints are cut whole cloth from great sinners, much in the same way the happiest women I know are the ones who married a retired womanizer

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      No. Change that.

                      Really the happiest women I know are the ones married to men who easily could have been womanizers but decided they’d rather womanize just one woman.

                    • Klasie Kraalogies says

                      Mule, this is the shittiest comment from you, ever.

                • And yet many, if not a majority, of the people who have fallen in the me too era have been the progressive egalitarian type.
                  You guys keep blaming patriarchy if you like. But do away with it and you won’t do away with the problem. A combination of money, power, and connections will always be fertile soil for problems like these. Real transparency is about the only solution, but that is hard to do when the people in charge of enforcing the laws or reporting the stories are buddies with the people committing the crimes.

                  • And yet many, if not a majority, of the people who have fallen in the me too era have been the progressive egalitarian type.

                    How, pray tell, do you know that?

                  • Michael Z says

                    What’s going on in the MeToo movement doesn’t align perfectly with the liberal-conservative or Democrat-Republican split. It’s more of a generational and cultural split between (mostly older) men who were raised in a “boys will be boys” setting where certain behaviors were overlooked or excused and (mostly younger) people who will no longer tolerate that behavior.

                    But what’s happening in the US right now is that whenever we’re discussing some moral issue, the moment people on one end of the liberal-conservative axis start defending one side, the folks on the other end defend the other. So moral issues that originally cut across both political aisles (like MeToo, or abortion, or child separation) end up being treated like partisan issues.

                • anonymous says

                  TRUMP IS ABOVE THE LAW !!!!

                  dint u reed the muller report
                  lookie what he got away with and the Barr backs him up

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  Don’t we see the same pattern in churches?
                  With all those pedo pastors and pastors with pet pedos all puffing up and protecting each other?

  5. Robert F says

    To the idea of using something like maggots as a source of protein for human food consumption, I have only one thing to add: It’s people!

  6. Robert F says

    As Susan Ruffo of the Ocean Conservancy says, “You know, we have a history as a species of solving one problem with great intensity, only to figure out that we’ve created another one.”

    That statement is it’s highly likely to include all the alternative technologies we have developed or might develop to reduce climate change. I don’t think technological development is going to provide us with a way out of this crisis.

    • The only way out of this crisis is for everyone to consume less and use less energy. Given the reaction that solution gets from some of the other commenters here… ain’t gonna happen. 🙁

      • senecagriggs says

        That’s right – it ain’t gonna happen. That’s why it’s such a waste of time and energy. Saving the planet? Not hardly.

        • Just like stopping abortion isn’t going to happen, so why waste time and energy trying?

  7. Robert F says

    That’s a fancy coffee you’re having there, J. Michael Jones! May you have many more years to enjoy fancy coffees, and every other good thing in life. God bless you.

  8. senecagriggs says

    BULLITT – the first great movie car chase scene. I spent years lusting after a ’68 olive green, hatchback Mustang.
    [ re; the first picture in this post ]

    • Robert F says

      Welcome to Brunch. Don’t forget those seatbelts.

      I don’t think they wore seat belts back then.

    • senecagriggs says

      It’s an iconic picture but that car is NOT the ’68 ‘Stang.

      • senecagriggs says

        “After Steve McQueen lost control of his car and smashed into a parked vehicle, his then-wife Neile Adams begged Peter Yates to use stuntmen. … Frank Bullitt’s (Steve McQueen’s) car is a 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback. The bad guys drive a 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum.”

    • senecagriggs says
    • senecagriggs says

      Bullitt was toxic masculinity at it’s finest. TESTOSTERONE on magnificent display

      • Robert F says

        It was a Hollywood illusion, senecagriggs. Toxic masculinity is never sexy, appealing, or magnificent. It’s just plain ugly. But we have been brainwashed for millennia by a million social-cultural influences into seeing it as somehow beautiful. It’s not.

        • David Cornwell says

          Yep.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Remember the type example of Toxic Hypermasculinity was Adolf Hitler.

          “CLOSE YOUR HEARTS TO PITY! ACT BRUTALLY! THE STRONGEST IS ALWAYS RIGHT! THE WINNER IS NEVER ASKED WHETHER HE HAS WON FAIRLY; ALL THAT MATTERS IS TO WIN!”
          –Fuehrerbefehl to the German Armed Forces for the invasion of Russia (from William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)

    • I think that’s a Dodge Charger.

      Our ’65 Rivera had seat belts.

  9. Conspiracy theories: There is an important distinction to be made between a “conspiracy theory” and a theory about a conspiracy existing.

    The thing is, conspiracies occur all the time. The two gas station owners in town sit down over a cup of coffee and agree on what price they will charge? That there is a conspiracy. And if one were to note that they always have the same price, and that it is a bit higher than can be explained through normal market forces, one might formulate a theory about what they are talking about over coffee. This is neither remarkable nor new. Adam Smith said the same thing: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

    This is in contrast with a conspiracy theory, which is divorced from anything so mundane as facts and evidence. The Air Force has a secret base in the desert? Space aliens! What other possible explanation is there? This is how we get a conspiracy theory about what is going on in the basement of a mundane pizza parlor, that doesn’t actually have a basement.

    Real conspiracies are banal: people pursuing their lust for money, power, sex, whatever. The Epstein conspiracy is more lurid than most, because his lust was for underage girls and he had the resources to pursue this lust on a larger scale than most. But at its heart, it is as banal as those two gas station owners setting prices.

    How does this relate to Pizzagate? Not at all.

    • Robert F says

      An important distinction to make. Thank you for stating it clearly, Richard.

    • Note also: the confusion between conspiracy theories and theories about conspiracies is exploited in both directions. We see here the Pizzagate guy using a theory about a conspiracy to validate his conspiracy theory. Suggest that those gas station owners are up to something and they might respond by talking about your tin foil hat. In both cases these are rhetorical ploys to obfuscate the issue.

      • Robert F says

        Conspiracy theories routinely attribute far too much intelligence and competence to the alleged conspirators — and also, of course, to the conspiracy theory believers, who are so obviously smart for believing the theories.

        • “The Conspiracy controls the mainstream media, the government, and the churches… But they can’t stop me and my self-published newsletter/YouTube channel/blog!”

          • Robert F says

            It’s patently ridiculous.

            Unless, of course, the Conspirators are really “extraterrestrials” (or “the visitors”, as Whitley Strieber called them), and are nearly omnipotent and omniscient, at least in relation to us mere earthlings. In that case, the conspiracy theorists are just dupes of the visitors, manipulated by them to send human beings on wild goose chases, to deflect attention away from their existence, real character, and true purposes. Heck, this is starting to sound like Lewis’ novel That Hideous Strength.

            • Here, put on these sunglasses… 😉

              • Robert F says

                You mean, my tinfoil hat isn’t enough?

              • In the background of much conspiracy theorizing is the belief that some absolutely evil group, The Jews/The Deep State/The Globalists/The Clinton Foundation, etc., is behind the worldwide plot. The step from that belief to the fundamentalist Christian belief that Satan and his legion of devils is behind all these things is not a long one; that’s why these theories, or versions of them, can be adopted by so many Christians without easily. They are rooted in the same kind of paranoia and distrust, and fear.

                • Scratch just a little, and you find belief in some occult phenomenon as the source of the conspiracy and the conspirators in these theories. In terms of Christian fundamentalist beliefs, you find that Satan is behind the conspirators/conspiracy. That’s why conspiracy theories are so widespread in America; Americans are a superstitious and religiously credulous group.

                  • I also suspect that, since conspiracy theories often postulate such incredible secrecy and power to their Bad Guys, a supernatural Bad Guy just works better by default

                    • Robert F says

                      And if they’re so evil, you can do anything you want to fight them, since they’re not even really human. It’s called demonizing the enemy.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      And if they’re so evil, you can do anything you want to fight them, since they’re not even really human.

                      Remember the aftermath of Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Body count of over 6-8 million and counting…

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    In terms of Christian fundamentalist beliefs, you find that Satan is behind the conspirators/conspiracy.

                    That’s just the Christianese version of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory. Putting it between God and Satan just ramps everything up to Cosmic Importance.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Unless, of course, the Conspirators are really “extraterrestrials” (or “the visitors”, as Whitley Strieber called them)

              Don’t forget the shapeshifting cannibal alien lizard Illuminati from the constellaction Drado (David Icke)…

              The Deros shining their Telaug Rays up from inside the Hollow Earth (Shaver Mystery)…

              Or the COMMUNIST GANGSTER COMPUTER GOD ON THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON PARROTTING PUPPET GANGSTER ASSASSINS WITH FRANKENSTEIN EARPHONE RADIO CONTROLS!!!!! (Francis E Dec Esq, who makes other conspiracy kook rants sound as mundane as a business memo)

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Unless, of course, the Conspirators are really “extraterrestrials” (or “the visitors”, as Whitley Strieber called them), and are nearly omnipotent and omniscient, at least in relation to us mere earthlings.

              In the first saucer cults (the Contactees of the Fifties), the Space Brothers (ETs) were basically benevolent god-figures.

              The anal-probing Greys of today’s saucer cults are MALEVOLENT god-figures.

              Like Richard Shaver with his Deros in the hollow earth, today’s UFO Religions have technologized Hell.

    • anonymous says

      ‘lust for underage girls’

      lets call it waht it is: child rape

  10. Robert F says

    behind a thick fog
    the mountain continues
    business as usual

  11. I was in undergrad when Ross made his first big run for the White House in ’92. His regional campaign manager was an acquaintance of mine. He was the definition of a “true believer”. He zealously repeated every talking point. When Perot dropped out of the race, he defended Perot’s crazy conspiracy talk. And when Perot jumped back into the race, our friend picked up right where he left off, despite the obvious truth that Perot stood no chance of winning. Talking to him about the absurdity of it all was as effective as talking to a brick wall.

    Yeah… Sounds ALL too familiar. :-/

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Yep.

      One cannot debate the validity of a conspiracy; doubt is poof.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        proof, not poof, or in this case it is the same thing.

      • Robert F says

        The more the counter-evidence for Pizzagate surfaces, the more its adherents believe it. Maybe the only one who doesn’t believe it now is the guy who took it so seriously that he went down to that restaurant with a gun to “free the children”, and is now in prison for the long haul. But I don’t know, maybe he still believes it too.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Any evidence against The Conspiracy is Disinformation/Fake News planted by The Conspiracy.

        Lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is PROOF The Conspiracy is So Vast they can Silence Anyone.

        Anyone who doubts the existence of The Conspiracy is part of The Conspiracy.

        The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      His regional campaign manager was an acquaintance of mine. He was the definition of a “true believer”. He zealously repeated every talking point.

      Same with my parents.
      The last time I saw them both alive in July of ’92, they spent the entire visit Witnessing to me to Accept Ross Perot as My Personal LORD and Savior — OR ELSE!

    • Rick Ro. says

      Perot would’ve gotten quite a few more votes had he picked someone a little more “normal” as his running mate than Admiral Stockdale. Similar misstep as to when McCain picked Palin.

  12. Steve Newell says

    With Ross Perot’s death, I have heard many talk about how Trump is the result of his first POTUS run. There is a very good book on how the politcs of the 1990’s are impacting us today. The book, “The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism”, is written by Steve Kornacki.

    https://www.amazon.com/Red-Blue-1990s-Political-Tribalism/dp/0062438980

    • The 1990s gave us Perot, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News. So there’s plenty of fodder for that thesis to grind…

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        I prefer to blame everything terrible on the 1980s.

        Trump and the Satanic Panic have a great deal in common, IMNSHO. Or Trump is the witch that got away and has come back to avenge her coven. Either way.

      • flatrocker says

        The 90’s also gave us Milli Vanilli, Rosie O’Donnell, fanny packs, Dances with Wolves, la Macarena and Bill Nye the Science guy. And don’t even get me started on Achey Breaky Heart which ultimately lead to the gift that keeps on giving – daughter Miley.
        It truly was the lost decade.

      • Carter and Clinton screwed up their plans. After Reagan, we had Bush, and he was supposed to have a second term. They threw a hissy fit, made up charges, and pursued all they could to destroy that administration. They cheated and lied and broke the law so Bush Jr could win, and then Obama happened, and they doubled down. A powerful foreign ally flooded them with cash and made them follow a candidate they hated or they’d release hacked documentation, and now here we are.

        So much of all this evil…it goes right back to Reagan and the response to Clinton.

    • Ross Perot may have laid the foundation for Donald Trump’s successful presidential run 24 years later, just as many political observers believe Barry Goldwater’s unsuccessful 1964 presidential candidacy laid the foundation for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 triumph. But in the short run, Perot was far more responsible for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential victory. Had it not been for Perot’s candidacy, I suspect George H.W. Bush would have won a second term.

      One thing for which I give Perot credit was bringing attention to the national debt, a debt which has grown by leaps and bounds in the 21st century. Neither major party has shown any willingness in recent years to deal with that debt. I hope someone in Washington wakes up and addresses the matter sooner rather than later.

      • The debt is a great tool to extend bennies to your supporters when you are in power, and a great stick with which to beat your opponents when you are not in power. Case in point – ask a Republican nowadays how important they think the debt is, and compare their answer to what they said five years ago.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Perot was similar to Trump in that both were autocratic billionaires running autocratic corporate cultures who decided to run for President just because they wanted to. Both practiced Messiah Politics of very different styles.

      Perot was the Wise Grandfatherly type; he just smiled and looked grandfatherly and never let himself get pinned down on any specific details. “I Have a Plan.” “What’s the Plan?” “It’s a secret. Just Trust Me.” And the Perotistas each projected their own dreams into that Secret Plan — the one within my own family (from someone who was very racist towards Hispanics and Asians) was “Perot will Get Rid of All The Mexicans — America for REAL Americans!”

      (Obama would use a Messiah Politics strategy similar to Perot in 2008, with “Hope! Change! HopeChange!” instead of “Just Trust Me”.)

      Trump-as-Messiah is a very different style — Arrogant, Bombastic, and IN! YOUR! FACE! New York all the way. Instead of projecting their dreams onto Messiah, Trump is able to amplify the base’s existing resentments and whip them up into a frenzy for Someone (guess who?) to Stick It To ‘Em!

      Something else about Perot; his one-time campaign manager later wrote a memoir titled Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms about the political types he’d worked for. The part about Perot is not flattering. Mentions that it was probably for the best that Perot’s Presidential bid crashed and burned, because if Perot had been elected, “he would have been at war with Congress from Day One”. As in the first time Congress went against him, he’d probably try to “Fire Them All” and order the military to force the issue. (After all, Perot’s corporate culture was THAT autocratic; differ in any way with the boss and “YOU’RE FIRED!” on the spot.)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        P.S. Regarding that relative, I was keeping a ear on Perot (not hard to do in ’92) and Perot did NOT say anything racist.

        Just “I have a Plan. It’s Secret. Just Trust Me.” (grandfatherly smile)

        The “Get Rid of all the Mexicans” was entirely my relative projecting her own racism into that “Secret Plan”,

        Funny how someone’s god-figure hates all the same people & things they do…

  13. Steve Newell says

    If I where to compare Trump to a biblical king, it would King Herod Antipas. I would also compare the leaders of “American Evangelicalism” as being the Pharisees of our day. They will put up with Herod and his immoral action as long as they can control to the social and moral culture through the court system where they can make the laws.

    I want to know who will be the “John the Baptizer” of our day.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > the leaders of “American Evangelicalism” as being the Pharisees of our day

      The Pharisees had way more class, this is unfair.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      They will put up with Herod and his immoral action as long as they can control to the social and moral culture through the court system where they can make the laws.

      Didn’t the Wahabi Mullahs make the exact same deal with the House of al-Saud?

  14. I can’t see the whole maggot thing taking off. Maybe it could be started at already existing garbage dumps. But I can tell you this right now, unless it makes a whole lot of money, people aren’t going to get in to maggot farming.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      We’d feed maggots to animals as a protein source, just like we do with fish today.

      Most people won’t even know it is happening – – – – and they don’t know what goes on in the modern poultry|ranching and meat processing business as it is today.

      • I don’t think there is an issue with feeding them to animals. The issue is the farming part. There has to be some pretty good money in it for people to do it on a large scale. If you are dealing with a few square feet no big deal, when you start talking about acres, that’s a big deal. Best case scenario is a spot already ripe for maggots where you can just move your chickens to and let them harvest them.

        • Most people don’t understand that the digestive system of a chicken is so inefficient that it makes sense (from a $$ point of view) to mix their crap back into the feed system.

  15. I just wanted to have an unrelated gripe this morning. July is well underway, and in Alabama that means “mission trip” season. My co-workers and/or their teenagers are all on “mission trips”. “Mission trips” to the beach, to central American countries, to Eastern Europe. Ugh.

    Of all, the Central American ones bother me the most. Take a vacation to a developing (mostly Catholic) country, take some poverty porn pictures with some children, and come back bragging how they are on a mission for God. And, these are also “Build the wall” people.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Everything sounds normal.

      I share your feelings on “Mission” trips.

  16. Burro (Mule) says

    My favorite is the Heisenberg Umpire.

    “Balls and strike? Balls and strikes?

    Hell, there’s just pitches until I say otherwise.”

  17. thatotherjean says

    A couple of things:

    All good wishes to you, Mr. Jones. I hope that tapering down the steroids does not result in your symptoms returning.

    About those maggots: Marketers are going to have to work on a name. “BBQ Flavored Black Soldier Fly Larvae” is not going to cut it as a snack food, no matter how attractive the packaging might be.

  18. senecagriggs says

    Bullitt – just a movie indeed.

    But look at the cast and crew, writers, producers directors ect.

    Testosterone all the way Robert F.

    MEN

  19. The lyrics in the Rock Churches song are terrifying, with or without the Jehu references. It could easily be a motivational song for the Taliban or ISIS with a few minor changes. As far removed from a Gospel message as it’s possible to get in my opinion.

    • pretty bad

      “Enemy about to be smacked// open that window throw him down//

      …// Go in and slay no one come forth// Destroy them now with the edge of a sword//

      …/Don’t stand in my way ’cause I’m coming through //See the hand of the Lord when I’m done with you//

      … //I go the plan// We got the moves// Launch the attack// No looking back// We goin’ in// Better watch out// Burning it all // Down to the ground//

  20. Dana Ames says

    Susan D. in Australia – praying for you and your dear one.

    Dana

    • Susan Dumbrell says

      Love to you.
      I am just back from a couple of nights away at my daughter’s.
      Cleared the mind.
      Went to excellent church.
      SueD

  21. Can ghat Earl Weaver video make you love Jesus more? Of course it can. The raw humanity and natural flow is where God is. I’m not sure you find Him in instant replay.

  22. Robert F says

    Widespread power outages in Manhattan NYC. No explanation given at this time.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Conspiracy Theory Explanations — no two TRVTHs the same — to follow at a later time all over Social Media.

  23. chipmybrothersnameisdale says

    I was cleaning out my birdcage. To my chagrin I discovered I was out of newspaper. I looked found some chicken scratch by some guy Driscoll I said this will work. Another weekend chore finished.