September 19, 2020

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 8, 2020

Rail commuters wearing white protective masks, one with the additional message “wear a mask or go to jail,” during the 1918 influenza pandemic in California. (Vintage Space/Alamy)

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 8, 2020

• • •

Graham honored, white supremicist replaced…

From RNS:

A life-sized statue of the Rev. Billy Graham will be installed in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall collection sometime next year, replacing a statue of a white supremacist that both the state of North Carolina and the U.S. House want removed.

Last week, a North Carolina legislative committee approved a 2-foot model of the statue depicting the famous evangelist who died in 2018.

The sculptor, Chas Fagan, will now begin working on a life-sized model that will have to be approved by a congressional committee. Fagan has previously created several statues of religious figures, including St. John Paul II for Washington’s Saint John Paul II National Shrine, as well as Mother Teresa for the Washington National Cathedral.

The U.S. Capitol, Statuary Hall collection consists of 100 statues of prominent people — two from each state. Graham, a North Carolina native who was born on a dairy farm in Charlotte, will take the place of Charles Aycock (1859-1912), a former governor.

Aycock was one of the masterminds of the 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina, race riot and coup, in which a local government made up of Black Americans was overthrown and replaced by white officials. North Carolina’s other statue is of Zebulon Vance (1830-1894), a former governor and U.S. senator who was also a Confederate military officer.

Meanwhile, Liberty University President disgraces himself (again)…

Boy, I wish I’d had such a good role model when I went to Bible College. #falwelldisaster

UPDATE: Falwell taking indefinite leave. (RNS)

Church can be dangerous these days…

In Monday’s post, Mike Bell wrote:

Certain things I will not do until there is a vaccine:

  • Eat inside a restaurant.
  • Attend a church.

Things I will do until there is a vaccine:

  • Wear a mask indoors
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Practice social distancing.

The thing is,  I need others to do their part as well.

Well, a man in Ohio wasn’t as cautious. According to CNN:

A man with Covid-19 went to church in mid-June, then 91 other people got sick, including 53 who were at the service, according to Ohio’s governor.

“It spread like wildfire, wildfire. Very, very scary,” Gov. Mike De Wine said Tuesday. “We know that our faith-based leaders want nothing more than to protect those who come to worship.”

To illustrate how one infected person can spread the virus, state health officials released a color graphic showing how the cases radiated to some who weren’t even at the service. [see above]

The governor said he was going to send letters to churches, mosques and synagogues to share important health information.

“It is vital that, any time people gather together, everyone wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands, and while indoors, making sure there is good ventilation and airflow,” he said.

In the case of community spread from the worshipper at the undisclosed church, a 56-year-old man went to the service. A total of 53 people got sick and 18 of those churchgoers spread it to at least one other person.

75 years ago…

From Lynn Rusten, at USA Today:

Seventy-five years ago today, Aug. 6, 1945, the atomic bomb incongruously named “Little Boy” detonated above the Japanese city of Hiroshima, incinerating tens of thousands of people and injuring tens of thousands more. The force of the blast and firestorm from that bomb, and a second one dropped three days later, on Aug. 9, over the city of Nagasaki, were almost beyond comprehension at the time. The true toll of the massive radiation release wouldn’t be felt for years.

Today, the numbers of those who survived to bear witness to that horrific experience are dwindling, and for far too many people, nuclear weapons are an abstraction. Even for those of us who have dedicated our careers to national security and reducing nuclear risks, it’s far too easy to debate the arcana of nuclear policy, forces, deterrence and arms control without reflecting sufficiently on what it would mean for even one “small” nuclear weapon to be used.

The 75th anniversary of the first and only wartime use of nuclear weapons — by the United States against Japan in World War II — is an appropriate time to reflect on the lives lost or forever changed, and the incredible physical, environmental and economic destruction. It reminds us never to lose sight of the staggering human consequences of using nuclear weapons.

…Today, there are still an estimated 13,410 nuclear warheads on the planet, and the risks of nuclear use around the globe are evolving and escalating.

…Reversing or mitigating these threats must be on the front burner. We must keep the pressure on global leaders to work together to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and reduce the risk of their use.

MLB play of the week…

Where I live…sigh

This incident happened just a couple of miles from where my daughter and her family live. She is married to a black man. One might have thought we’re past this kind of stupid behavior, especially here in Indiana. But racism knows no boundaries, and people continue to behave without any respect for others, especially those who look different and who have long been consigned to second-class citizenship.

This is why “Black Lives Matter” matters.

From WISH TV, Indianapolis:

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — A Lawrence man is facing a federal hate crime charge and firearm offenses after authorities say he intimidated and interfered with his neighbor based on his neighbor’s race.

Shepard Hoehn, 50, of Lawrence, was charged by criminal complaint for violating the Fair Housing Act and two counts of unlawful firearm possession.

The criminal complaint against Hoehn was unsealed Thursday in federal court.

According to the complaint, Hoehn intimidated and interfered with his Black neighbor on June 18 in the 6400 block of Meadowfield Boulevard in Lawrence. He is accused of creating and displaying a swastika on a fence facing his neighbor’s home and for burning a cross above the same fence. Authorities say he also created and displayed a large sign with racial slurs, placed a machete next to the sign, and played the song “Dixie” loudly on repeat.

“Although the First Amendment protects hateful, ignorant and morally repugnant beliefs and speech, it does not protect those who choose to take criminal actions based on those beliefs,” said U.S. attorney Josh Minkler in a release to News 8. “This office will continue to prosecute federal hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”

The FBI and Lawrence Police Department investigated the incident.

Investigators obtained search warrants for Hoehn’s home and found several firearms and drug paraphernalia. Investigators also learned Hoehn was a fugitive from Missouri and he was prohibited from having firearms.

“The FBI takes allegations of civil rights violations very seriously and will not tolerate harassment and intimidation directed at individuals because of their race, sexual identity or religious beliefs,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis, in a release to News 8. “Such incidents represent not just an attack on an individual, but also on the victim’s community, and are intended to create fear. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to work to identify those committing these acts to ensure the rights of all Americans are protected.”

If convicted, Hoehn could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge.

And then there’s THIS GUY in our neighboring state…

Comments

  1. Regards the Ohio church story: this is not the first. The major entry point of Covid into France, and the point from which it spread, was a conference hosted by an evangelical church in Mulhouse.

    • I would like to know the details of these church outbreaks. Was there singing, were people wearing masks, were they distancing, was there a limitation on the number of attendees, was there good ventilation, was the service long, etc. Our Lutheran church has not met in person since mid-March. There is a tentative soft-opening — very limited number of attendees, though I don’t know how many; no singing; no chanting; no vocal liturgical responses from congregation; mask-wearing; distancing; short service; Communion via individual, sealed, prepackaged kits; traffic into and out of church controlled and directed; and other measures — scheduled for the second Sunday in September. My wife is employed as church musician, and, if she were sufficiently recovered from a recent surgery, would be expected to be there when the church opens; I would need to go with her, since she has some physical limitations that require me to assist her. It’s the kind of soft power pressured command performance that workers are subject to in our national survival-of-the-fittest, Darwinian economic dispensation, even during time of pandemic. We are both in high risk categories for severe cases of COVID-19. We want to know more details about what mitigation practices were being followed, or not followed, at the outbreak churches so that we at least have an informed understanding of the risks we would be taking, but I don’t often get that information from reports in the news.

      • “Was there singing, was the service long” – Quite probably. The kinds of churches that are loudly insisting on in-person meetings are not likely to change their MO in any meaningful way.

        “were people wearing masks, were they distancing, was there a limitation on the number of attendees” – Quite likely not, for the same reason mentioned above.

        “was there good ventilation” –
        “THAT, Detective… is the right question. Program terminated.”

        • I think the issue good ventilation is likely to be among the most crucial. It concerns me much because the large essential business I work for emphatically DOES NOT have good ventilation. In the last years they’ve invested much money in big fans to recirculate air, and thereby decrease energy use, but whatever fresh air comes into the building is incidental, from opening of shipping dock bay doors or regular doors and the lack of complete airtight building construction, not planned or intended. As for the church my wife works in, I’m not sure. I’m sure the AC is designed for recirculating; in the newer parts of the building, the same is true of the heating. Alarm bells.

          • Clay Crouch says

            Our church (no live services since Feb.) is looking to engage a company to assess and mitigate our HVAC system.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              At the very least, set to maximum air exchange and install the highest MERV rating filters that will work with the existing system.

        • Not many of our building in this country are well ventilated. Just the opposite; recirculating air to conserve energy has been the priority for a long time, and mostly without filtration, or without adequate filtration.

          • That recirculated air is what makes fast spreading possible, and unless the filtration system is the same as used in Semiconductor Clean Rooms, it will not filter COVID virus particles. Need both HEPA and ULPA filters which can filter stuff down to 100 nanometers (0.1 micron). Interestingly safest indoor space for COVID would a semiconductor clean room with all the laminar air flow, filtration, gowning, etc.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Sick Building Syndrome.

            NY now requires all A/C systems to be set on maximum air exchange and have the best filters the system can use (MERV-11 minimum, MERV-13 recommended) as a requirement for re-opening. MERV-16 (hospital grade) is the max non-HEPA systems can take; according to my A/C guy (who upgraded me from 13 to 16 during my last A/C repair) today’s MERV-16s do not restrict flow any more than the lower ratings, but MERV-16 filters cost 2-3x that of 13s.

            MERV-13s. 16s if you can afford them. Maximum outside air exchange setting.

            My writing partner (the burned-out preacher) lucked out. His church building is 1950s vintage (“when everybody smoked”) and still retains its original non-recirculating A/C. Outside air comes in through the A/C, makes one pass, and is extracted by exhaust ducts in the ceiling.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy,

              Here is the breakdown on the the efficiency of the various MERV numbers:

              http://www.mechreps.com/PDF/Merv_Rating_Chart.pdf

              The problem is the the SARS-Cov2 virus particle is around 100nm in size (0.1 micron), which means even MERV-16 won’t filter those. But it will filter the expelled breath droplets and aerosols (both fresh and evaporated cores).

            • Dana Ames says

              My grandmother’s generation lauded fresh air and sunlight…. Although in cities the air has never really been “fresh”…

              Dana

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Georgia just opened their schools (“HAIL TRUMP! MAGA!”) and have already shut one down after only three days because of a COVID super-spread event.

            Why don’t they set up “tent schools” with open-sided pavilion tents for maximum ventilation and hold classes outdoors in these tents? Where I am, restaurants are setting up “sidewalk cafe” tables under umbrellas in their parking lots, barber shops are doing business outdoors under tent-roof canopies, and Catholic churches hold Mass in their parking lots under tent-roof cover.

        • Tom Parker says

          Eyeore–Joking but not joking these folks probably believe in Predestination. If you are going to die in church it was predestined.

          • That’s indeed the language that they use. What irks me is that they only seem to use it when asked to inconvenience themselves on behalf of others.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Or when what is Predestined(TM) is to their own personal advantage and benefit. Or personal convenience. Same thing.

      • Burro (Mule) says

        Checking in…

        At the Greek Cathedral, you have to pre-register to attend a service. Attendance is limited to 200 for a building built for 2000. Masks are mandatory. Temperatures are taken before you enter. The Greeks are involved in door-to-door food distribution and medical transportation and have partnered with a large Evangelical congregation to provide a safe house for women and children at risk for domestic violence, which is on the rise.

        Sorry, but there’s nobody like Greek, Rumanian, and Lebanese women to keep a cool head in a crisis.

        At my wife’s Pentecostal church, it’s a little scarier. The building is a converted warehouse, with no ventilation. Masks are mandatory, and the pastor will call you out from the pulpit, but there is congregational singing. Ten-foot distancing is enforced. People over 50 and diabetics are given red arm bands so that you don’t hug them or shake hands with them.

        I don’t know if attendance is down because of the masks. It doesn’t seem like it. This church is big on “street ministry” among the homeless population. The pastor checks up on lot of homeless and nearly-homeless folk personally to make sure they’re OK, and he hasn’t gotten sick yet.

        There hasn’t been a case of COVID-19 at either church yet, thank God.

      • I too would like to know the details of these church outbreaks, especially considering other churches have met without attendees becoming ill. What are those congregations doing that the congregations with outbreaks didn’t do?

        My church will hold indoor public worship tomorrow for the first time in five months. However, it will be under draconian restrictions: advance registration required, sharply limited attendance, no singing, no Communion, and limited bathroom access. The bathroom restrictions are especially perplexing. I won’t be there until they become less restrictive. As someone over 60 with a couple of health issues, I take this virus seriously. Yet somehow I’ve kept working this whole time in a healthcare facility without getting sick, and I don’t see why we can’t do the same in church without having to go overboard on restrictions.

        One last observation, for which I expect some will take issue with me: why are some governors and mayors OK with protests and riots but not with those who wish to gather in their respective houses of worship?

        • My coworker’s Pentecostal church has been meeting, with restrictions though I don’t know particulars, for over a month without an outbreak. And they are singing. It’s not a mega, but the congregation is pretty large; again, I don’t know how may are attending.

          Re: protests: the natural ventilation of outdoor events seems to make a big difference in transmission of the disease. Being in a house of worship, all other things being equal, is far more dangerous for spread than being outdoors. And I don’t think you’ll find anybody here who is okay with riots, but the fact is there haven’t been many riots, although the media coverage, including the so-called liberal MSM, would make one think otherwise.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            The churches in my diocese now hold in-person Masses outdoors, and livestream for those who can’t make it.. One of the two I’m familiar with (St Justin Martyr) has an ideal setup in the roofed-over open-air lunch area used by their parish school. About half to a third as large as the main building. The other (St Boniface) is just holding them open-air in one of the two parking lots.

            The barber shop I used to go to is also doing business outside, in an open-aired pavilion canopy in their back parking log. I might get my hair trimmed there in the near future — right now my hair looks like I should be refitting a Delorean into a time machine.

            • I hear you about the hair. Before I got my first haircut since March earlier in the summer, my hair was the longest it had been since I was a college student. Except back then I still had some hair left on top. Not much, I might add; I began going bald at a rather young age. I was down to strands by the time I attended my 10-year high school reunion.

              David Crosby may be able to successfully pull off the bald-headed hippie look, but I sure can’t.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                “Bald-headed hippie look” =
                Proof God has a sense of humor.

              • David Crosby does not successfully pull off the bald-headed hippy look. He hasn’t successfully pulled it off since the early 1970s.

        • thatotherjean says

          Larry–The right to protest is protected in the Constitution. The ones that have occurred lately have been outdoors, with people almost all wearing masks. Until Bill Barr’s Little Green Men get there dressed in riot gear and start throwing tear gas canisters and hitting people, they have been largely peaceful. Most governors and mayors are OK with peaceful protests. In-person church services, especially the ones that have drawn censure, have been indoors, with few if any congregants wearing masks, people not staying six feet apart, hymns being sung, hugging, and shaking hands–conditions favorable for the spread of COVID-19.

          Nobody is in favor of riots, except the rioters–who are, so far, not the actual protesters.

          • Bill Barr’s Little Green Men = Secret Police

            Why isn’t anybody calling the unidentified federal agents who appeared in Portland what they were: secret police?

          • Freedom of religion is also in the Constitution.

            I’m willing to wear a mask. I even offered to wear my work-issued face shield when a monthly service where I frequently usher resumes. However, the church leadership isn’t allowing that service to be conducted, whether by livestream or in person. That’s very frustrating.

            I’m wondering if I had COVID-19 before it became a pandemic. I came down with some mystery bug in late January. If it was, I’m grateful all I got was a glancing blow.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              You’re not the only one wondering that.

              A lot of people (including me and my writing partner) “came down with some mystery bug” with flu-like symptoms and a months-long tail of bronchitis around the same time. Main fever-and-flu lasted about three-four days, residual bronchitis tapered off over the nest two-three months.

              No way to be sure without paying $130 to Quest Diagnostics for a residual antibody test and after six-seven months there wouldn’t be enough residuals to detect. No known tests for long-term T-Cell immunity.

              • My wife and I both were very sick in early February. I had high fever for three days, and dry cough. It became bronchitis. My wife had the same symptoms and developed pneumonia. I remember trembles racking my whole body from high fever. I later read that there were an unusually high number of cases of pneumonia and deaths from pneumonia around the country late last year into early this one. I also read that the flu vaccine they rolled out last year was not for the flu that actually spread, and that the one that did spread was especially virulent. So who knows.

                • I wonder if my wife and I had something similar. I caught a bad cold in mid-Feb in the Dominican Republic while on my annual medical mission, even lost my voice for the first time ever (inconvenient for a translator). The voice returned in 3 days, but the cold took 7 to 8 weeks, and apparently went to pneumonia in the left lung. I described to my MD daughter the crackling sound & feeling while I was laying on my left side, and she said that it was very likely pneumonia. Was it Covid? Dunno. No fever though. And my wife got a bad cold in March, her worst ever, and she rarely gets sick. Possibly picked up mine.

                  Next flu season could be interesting.

                  • For years, due to a chronic respiratory condition, I quickly develop bronchitis when I get a cold. I’m not sure what you mean by that “crackling sound & feeling”, but I know the bronchitis is starting when I hear myself rattling ever so quietly with each soft breath as I start to go to sleep in bed, or even just relax in my chair. It’s like a rattlesnake coiling down my respiratory tract into my lungs. Hope you haven’t developed a chronic respiratory problem.

                    • It went away. And “rattling” is as good a description as “crackling.” It was only there when slouched in my comfy chair, or lying on my left side. My daughter said that that sounds like “gravity-dependent,” and possibly pneumonia, although never diagnosed. But it was the length of the illness, and the unusual effects, plus that I was in a foreign country and had passed through Newark airport twice, at the onset of a plague, that makes me wonder. The whole world shut down two weeks after we got back.

  2. anonymous says

    loved the British sign
    “all Americans must be accompanied by an adult”

    ah, the British have SUCH a way with language 🙂

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      +1

    • We’ll, that’s London. Outside London, there are plenty of Little Englanders who are the ideological kissing cousins of our own mask-rejecting, immigrant-hating red-hatters. BTW, in case you may have forgotten in all the recent brouhaha, Brexit is still happening, and there’s still a possibility of it being a “hard” one.

      • Yup: Trumpism is part of a larger international phenomenon. The current British government is another, where it manifests as Brexit.

      • Apparently a lot of young Germans have recently been protesting mask-wearing. Many Europeans are not a lot more mature than their American counterparts, as far as I can see. European governments have much better social and economic safety nets, which makes it more difficult for defiance culture to spread through the populace; but once it does, for whatever reason, look out.

        • And the German police gave their anti-maskers a solid beatdown.. unlike here.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            +1

            Kudos to police who actually enforce the law vs. running around like a bunch of Wyatt Earps dealing out justice under a policy of “discretion”.

        • Michael Z says

          In every society, there are going to be some people who find the demands of adult responsibility to be too much, and who revert to more immature behavior as a way of signalling the world not to put those demands on them. But in most countries in Europe, those people are a much smaller proportion of the population and therefore have much less influence on the culture as a whole.

          • I suppose in less developed/industrial societies, such people are less common, as such willfully immature folk are a downright threat when you’re living hand-to-mouth.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            This.

            The difference in impact of a 5% Defiance Culture and a 20% Defiance Culture is significant.

            • That is definitely true. And a good national economic safety net helps prevent the spread of defiance culture.

      • True. I’m a brit who lives outside London. Not everyone by any means but a sizeable percentage.

  3. Steve Newell says

    Jerry Falwell Jr. is taking a leave indefinite leave of absence from Liberty University.

    He didn’t get in trouble with the “conservatives” on his KKK mask that he tweeted since that is not a problem.

    • Racist face mask? No problem.

      Driving away Black athletes with his racist rhetoric? No problem.

      Putting his students and their families at risk by insisting on opening campus for in-person classes? No problem.

      Insulting parents who call him out on his putting their children at risk? No problem.

      Ruling Liberty University like a mini-me KJU? No problem.

      Hugging a woman-not-his-wife while half-dressed and holding a cup of “black water”? PROBLEM!

      Gnat, strained. Camel, swallowed.

      Pharisees. The whole bloody lot of them.

      • Tom Parker says

        Easy prediction-they will not fire him.

        • Agree.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          He’ll be back.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Lay low until the heat blows over, then the Triumphant Return.

            With or without the anonymous stranger in Wyoming with a Word of Prophecy to the ManaGAWD to make his Comeback before vanishing without a trace.

        • Liberty University is simply too connected to the Falwell family for Jerry Falwell, Jr. to be gone indefinitely. Don’t forger his brother, Jonathan, is senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, which their late father once led in addition to founding Liberty University.

          That having been said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jerry Falwell, Jr. is reinstated into a much less visible role while someone who’s less controversial becomes the public face of the university.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Liberty U is Housef Falwell’s Cash Cow/money machine.
            The equivalent of House Lannister’s gold mines.
            Junior fancies himself a Tywin Lannister, sees Jamie when he looks in a mirror, and has the attitude of a gender-bent Cersei.

      • The blackface mask was unbelievable. He should’ve been fired immediately. He’s a frat boy gone wild posing as a man of God and Christian educator. And, of course, a big supporter and good friend of our frat boy gone metastatic president.

        • And as we all know, frat boys have each other’s backs.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            All these Frat Boyz said one to another:
            “FRAT BOY UNTO FRAT BOY O’ER THE WORLD IS BROTHER!”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          The blackface mask was unbelievable.

          Which could be plausibly denied/defended as a VERY Sick sense of humor. (I’ve known a few guys like that.) Or totally Clueless. Neither of which is much of an improvement.

          And, of course, a big supporter and good friend of our frat boy gone metastatic president.

          “But he was holding up a BIBLE! A BIBLE! A BIBLE! See? See? See?”

      • anonymous says

        He was trying to out-Trump Trump with the nasty photo.

        • Tom Parker says

          And to out Trump-Trump is really difficult-but the Evangelicals believe he is God’s man.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            After all, if Trump is God…
            “Imitate me, just as I imitate Trump.”
            — NOT the Rabbi from Tarsus

            • Tom Parker says

              Do these Evangelicals even know who Jesus is? Do they even talk about him in their daily lives and would they dare to put his words into action?

              • not lately, but they are full of ‘trump’ – defending him, proclaiming him, justifying him, promoting him, ad nauseum

                cult stuff, don’t ya know

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  Eagle & I have a working hypothesis that the God and Christ preached from a lot of pulpits is basically a Cosmic Donald Trump in personality and attitude and ego. So when an enfleshed version came along who hit ALL the Metrics and then some…

                  There’s a book titled “Jesus and John Wayne” (look it up on Amazon) that makes a similar case; that Culture War Christianity and Christian Manhood for the past 40 years “groomed” Evangelicals to worship a figure of Power like Trump. Again, “If He acts more Godly than God, Who Else Could He Be?”

      • Michael Z says

        Don’t forget to add to the list all sorts of financial hijinks, including using Liberty to enrich himself and friends of his in ways that may or may not even be legal.

        But that’s just money. The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about the morality of how we use our money, right?

        • Not if you listen to most evangelicals, it doesn’t. At least beyond promptly sending your tithe to the church…

          • “God helps them that helps themselves” — it says it right there in the Good Book, a few verses down from “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!”

            • People who believe that there are things in their holy book that aren’t actually there, are more likely to endorse religious violence. Conversely, those who are more familiar with the contents of their holy book are less likely to endorse religious violence. Apparently this pattern holds true for both Christians and Muslims.

              https://www.psypost.org/2020/08/supporters-of-religious-violence-are-more-likely-to-claim-theyre-familiar-with-religious-concepts-that-dont-exist-57580

              • And on the other hand, my Pentecostal coworker — whom I actually like — once responded to my repeating lines in the Magnificat about the poor being given good things, and the rich going away empty, by asking me where I’d read that. When I told him it was in the New Testament, he was incredulous. He probably thought I was trying to pass something from Karl Marx off as from the Bible. There’s a lot of basic Bible ignorance out there among those who are most ready to hold up the Bible as a magic oracle from heaven.

                • In fairness, this is hardly the only place where the Bible promotes communism. It is a dangerous book.

                • thatotherjean says

                  Because I am a bit of a cynic, I would suggest that one of the reasons Evangelicals are so KJV-only is because the language is archaic enough to be difficult to understand. I’m sure a lot of folks filling the pews just think it says what the pastor says that it says.

                • The first verses of James 5 read like Karl Marx. You could easily fool people with that, until it starts to mention the Lord Almighty.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                People who believe that there are things in their holy book that aren’t actually there, are more likely to endorse religious violence.

                During my short time in Azusa Newman Center c.1980, anything that sounded like or thought to be in the Bible but wasn’t (misquotes, non-Biblical sayings) was cited as the “Book of Hezekiah”. This was a running joke.

                Difference was, when these On-Fire CHRISTIANS quote Hezekiah – especially in “God Hath Said!” Justification – they are DEAD SERIOUS.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Book of Hezekiah, both ways.

          • Tom Parker says

            Sarcasm alert-you will go to Hell even if you are saved if you do not tithe.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Including aborting your kids so the money you’d spend on raising them can be Tithed. I am not making that up; one cultic Pastor actually “counseled” the women in his congregation to abort for that reason.
              When Coin in Pastor’s Pocket Rings…

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          But that’s just money. The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about the morality of how we use our money, right?

          Only Pelvic Issues.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        The way Liberty U’s black athletes are trasnferring out (and both them and ex-faculty are talking about “an Underground Railroad”), it’s going to hist Junior & LU right where it hurts — in FOOTBALL standings.

    • “This is classic evangelicalism. It’s OK for the president of the largest Christian university in the world to do all the things I listed above, but in the end it all comes down to sex and alcohol. Sex and alcohol, not all these other things, is what is most likely to hurt enrollment numbers at Liberty University.”

      https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/08/07/why-did-the-liberty-university-board-of-trustees-put-jerry-falwell-jr-on-indefinite-leave/

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Another JFea posting on the subject:
        https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/08/07/some-historical-context-for-jerry-falwell-jr-s-crotch-shot/

        And the links cascading from it:
        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2020/08/you-want-context-jerry-falwell-jr-s-crotch-shot-and-the-history-of-family-values-evangelicalism/
        Harking to a book “Jesus and John Wayne” (click on the cover to take a look inside):
        https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-John-Wayne-Evangelicals-Corrupted-ebook/dp/B07ZTSVLX3
        And the author of the above (scroll down page for “Latest Resources” interview/article links):
        https://kristindumez.com/

        Wartburg Watch is also covering it:
        http://thewartburgwatch.com/2020/08/05/jerry-falwell-jrs-alleged-history-with-other-racy-photos-along-with-the-pool-boy-episode-and-the-alleged-hiring-of-that-micheal-cohen-to-make-it-go-away/#comments
        According to the comment thread, the pic was taken at a costume party on Junior’s Yacht (yes, YACHT) whose theme was a Canadian TV show called “Trailer Park Boys”. Described as a Live Action South Park with additional sleaze. Sleaze. (As an aside, such themed costume parties were also a fad among the rich and super-rich during the Roaring Twenties, a bit of needed background context I encountered in a Father Brown Mystery.)

        And the fact Junior hired Trump’s Fixer to “disappear” previous similar photos also explains why nobody has ever sued Junior. Best attack-dog attorneys money can buy.

        • thatotherjean says

          Now that that photo of Jerry, Jr. and the secretary has gone viral, though, the Executive Board of Liberty U. had to do something. Parents who send their children there expect them to not be exposed to “worldly” excesses, and be taught “godly” behavior. They pay a very large amount of money in room, board, and tuition to make that happen, and their children could be expelled for far more minor infractions. They cannot be pleased.

          . Jerry and the Secretary pretty much blew up the sanctimonious facade of the school. He had to disappear for a while. Maybe he’ll end up in Evangelical rehab for a few months, then re-appear after God “forgives” him, taking some minor post for a while before he can be reinstated.

        • Dana Ames says

          Costume parties… not always, but often another way to show disdain for those one rung beneath you. “Trailer park boys” – really???!?

          D.

          • Both Jerry Jr. and Donald Jr. wear perpetual smirks on their faces. They seem to be expert in disdain and contempt, and you can be sure not just for their detractors, but for the hoi polloi among their supporters as well.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            From the coment thread on the subject over at Wartburg Watch:

            On a trip to Asia, my in-laws stayed at a beachfront hotel. There in the sand was a wrecked boat that Vietnamese refugees had used to escape their homeland.

            The hotel guests were invited to take their cocktails aboard and play “boat people.”

            Like French Aristos at Versailles cosplaying poor peasants – just before the Revolution.

          • thatotherjean says

            Yep.

          • thatotherjean says

            Waaaay too much Republican humor is at the expense of people poorer than the folks who think it’s funny. Fred Clark, over at Slacktivist, calls it “punching down.”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Best description of that particular party:
            RICH WHITE TRASH COSPLAY POOR WHITE TRASH.”

        • Burro (Mule) says

          the pic was taken at a costume party on Junior’s Yacht (yes, YACHT) whose theme was a Canadian TV show called “Trailer Park Boys”. Described as a Live Action South Park with additional sleaze.

          That explains the 70s church girl hairstyle on the dim-looking little putah. My first reaction to the photo, before I know who was in it, was ‘I sure hope those two crackers don’t have kids together. It looks like they’re taking the short bus to Idiocracy.’

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            As the mouthy afternoon drive-time radio guys in my area would put it:
            “I SMELL TRAILER.”
            (Don’t know how widespread the expression is, but locally “Trailer Trash” means the TRASHIEST of “White Trash”.)
            “JUST ONE MORE QUESTION: DOES YOUR HOUSE HAVE WHEELS?”

      • Just another dog-bites-man story; nothing new to see here. Its not unusual for fundamentalist authoritarians to bask in their own hubris. Their fall is usually due to being so convinced of their own invincibility that they hardly bother to conceal their hypocrisy and spiritual abuse. (Mark Driscoll?) Being loose with other people’s money is no big deal. Senior even plugged the Unification Church after he pulled a sizable donation from Sun Myung Moon. Creepy sex that is exposed so that it attracts negative attention is the game-changer. (Think of Jack Schapp’s fishing pole sermon). Frankly, the Falwells have never been evangelicals. If anything, Senior hastened its demise, and Junior is the current demi-god in true fundamentalist nepotistic fashion. I’m sure he will be spiritually “restored” soon (probably before the election), but I wish he would seriously contemplate what Proverbs has to say about leaders versus fools.

        • Or what the Prophets have to say about shepherds who fleece their flocks.

        • Stuart,

          Weren’t you referring to Jack Schaap’s polishing a shaft sermon during FBC Hammond’s Youth Conference in 2010?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr0UpQXYkGs

          • Right. Another trust funder fundie that went over the raunchy misogynist line. Also recall Dinesh D’Sousa. Oh, too many to mention. That’s why to me this is no man bites dog story. Heard it too many times and the ones who need godly counsel the most are the least willling to receive it.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          (Think of Jack Schapp’s fishing pole sermon).

          Actually, it was actually called “Polishing the Shaft”.
          (Even n Furry Fandom, you’d need to pour a quart/liter of Jack Daniels into a Furry before he’d get that crude and “clever”.)
          So to me, he will always be “Polish-the-Shaft Schaap”.
          Just as for similar reasons Mark Driscoll will always be “Deep Throat Driscoll”.

          • I was trying to be Christian was polite about it, but the same cocky attitude ?

          • Old Jack has do no doubt been polishing a lot of shafts in Federal Prison, but not his own…

            Also take a look at the reaction of the people sitting behind him when polishes the shaft.

  4. Steve Newell says

    Pastor Trump warned us about would happen to the US if Biden would be POTUS:

    “No religion, no anything,” Trump said. “Hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God.”

    Pastor Trump has been a great example of Christian virtue over his many years. Just ask Jerry Falwell Jr.

    • Michael Z says

      Listening to Trump trying to appeal to the “God, guns, and Bibles” crowd always shows how much Trump actually despises them. He understands so little about Christianity and has such a low opinion of the intelligence of evangelicals that he thinks he can win them over just by waving a Bible in the air or talking about how Biden is “against God, against guns.”

      That approach might be effective for the people who are only culturally Christian and whose true god is the guns they put their faith in to save them or the culture that they’ve capitulated to. But I hope this time in history will also set the stage for true Christians who know and love Jesus to start showing the world how different our faith is from the caricature that people like Trump pander to.

      • Iain Lovejoy says

        “Trump … has such a low opinion of the intelligence of evangelicals that he thinks he can win them over just by waving a Bible in the air or talking about how Biden is “against God, against guns.”’
        Sadly, his low opinion of them is also pretty accurate.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > has such a low opinion of the intelligence of evangelicals

        He’s been right so far. Or, he has a VERY HIGH estimate of their intelligence – – – that they can spin,rewrite, and split hairs better than anyone else.

        • He knows that they didn’t support him because of any nuanced policy platform. They endorsed him because he’s giving them power, and insulting the people they hate. Plain and simple.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        He understands so little about Christianity and has such a low opinion of the intelligence of evangelicals that he thinks he can win them over just by waving a Bible in the air or talking about how Biden is “against God, against guns.”

        AND HE’S RIGHT.

        • Tom Parker says

          That is so scary!

          • Things are likely to get even scarier as the election approaches. If we were at Disney world, it would be Space Mountain, not the It’s a Small World ride.

        • thatotherjean says

          Unfortunately, that appears to be true. Trump’s approval rating–despite EVERYTHING–is terrifyingly high.

          • It’s true. He could actually win. I read the other day the results of a poll that said that if the election were held right now, 50% of white people would vote for him, DESPITE EVERYTHING; if those votes were in the right states in terms of the electoral configuration of our country, he could be reelected.

            • That’s still a lower percentage of white people who voted for him last time. And he only squeaked by in the states that put him over the top in the electoral college. In those states now, his campaign is bleeding out.

          • Tom Parker says

            It has always blown my mind that anyone would vote for Trump in 2016 and still vote for him today, but the “Evangelicals” have shown me they are not concerned about Jesus and very likely never were over the last 50 years.

      • Clay Crouch says

        Warren Zevon almost had it right.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP5Xv7QqXiM

      • Clay Crouch says

        Send money, guns, and bibles.

  5. Jr.: What strikes me about this photo is the self-destructive stupidity. It is as if he doesn’t understand his own subculture. Blackface? Hilarious! I get how these people, even if they sort of understand that the libs consider blackface a problem, don’t really internalize that posting photos of it is a bad idea. But the pelvic stuff is their own core value. Nor is he young enough to feel a generational compulsion to post pictures of everything he does. (I totally understand generational compulsions. I have paid good money to watch many bad Star Wars films because of it.) He wants to cavort on his yacht with women whom he does not happen to be married to? He is powerful enough that he can get away with it. But it requires the absolute minimum discretion of not posting the photos online. He seems not to be smart enough to understand that. Though I expect he will be reinstated, and likely sooner rather than later. So perhaps he is onto something. Maybe that is the real point: perhaps he gets his thrills by flaunting this kind of stuff.

    • All power corrupts. If you keep getting away with stuff, you start to think you’re invincible, that the laws really don’t apply to you. I once had a pastor who said the worst possible place you can be is where you can get whatever you want, whenever you want, and are shielded from the consequences.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Behaving leeringly – publically – with subordinates wives is classic strong-man behavior.,

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I once had a pastor who said the worst possible place you can be is where you can get whatever you want, whenever you want, and are shielded from the consequences.

        Especially when you’re BORN into that.
        Joffrey Baratheon-Lannister. Motto “Because I Can”.

      • thatotherjean says

        I’m sure that Jerry, Jr. assumed that was where he was. I’m glad the Executive Board did something, even if it won’t last–although I don’t believe for a minute that they would have removed him at all, if not for the photos.

    • He’s defiance culture in the flesh. It’s all an in-your-face joke to him. He’s showing how none of the rules, even the in-group sacrosanct prohibitions of his subculture surrounding public sexuality, apply to him, and he wants the rest of us, especially “the libruls” and the Main Stream Media, to know that. This is his way of “owning the libs.” He’s above the rules. In this he reminds me even more o Donald Jr. than of Donald.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > It is as if he doesn’t understand his own subculture.

      He understands it; and he’ll be back.

      > But it requires the absolute minimum discretion of not posting the photos online

      Not if flaunting his power is part of the fun. And this might increase male enrollment at Liberty.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Jr.: What strikes me about this photo is the self-destructive stupidity. It is as if he doesn’t understand his own subculture.

      “THIS CAN’T RUIN ME! NOTHING CAN RUIN ME!”
      — Congressman Wilbur Mills, when he got caught drunkenly cavoriting with a stripper in a public fountain

      • thatotherjean says

        I am old enough to remember that. He was wrong. This, alas, is a different time.

    • When I lived in Virginia almost 30 years ago, I was friends with someone who went to high school with Jr. He had stories of financial corruption that was instilled in him at least as early as High school and inherited from his father.

  6. The existence and persistence of leaders like Falwell says much more about the institutions they lead than it does about the leaders themselves.

    Whoever comes to be in charge of LU – and I agree the Falwell probably won’t be fired — the school 1) offers no faculty members tenure (apart from the law school, and that for accreditation purposes alone), and 2) abolished the student newspaper, replacing it with an administration rag. Those two facts alone will prevent the school from attracting top flight talent,.either as faculty or student.

    • Not to mention having to sign an iron-clad doctrinal and behavioral contract (most fundamentalist/evangelical schools have them, of be shocked if Liberty didn’t).

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > prevent the school from attracting top flight talent,

      Did it ever? Seriously.

      I’ve worked with many Liberty students and grads; nothing about this should surprise anyone.
      At least two I know of ended up dismissed from their positions due to WILDLY inappropriate behavior.
      It is obvious the Evangelical sexual ethic is deeply unhealthy and dysfunctional [I am no Libertine]

    • Some parents and students think that lack of accreditation in a Christian college is a good thing, that it allows more freedom to be, uh, faithful to God’s word. This may be related to the independent church movement, versus denominationalism which offers stability but with restrictions.

      Or, it could be just cheapness, sloppiness, or authoritarianism instead of the word of God.

      • Accreditation really makes it hard to have a science department that is based on YEC.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The existence and persistence of leaders like Falwell says much more about the institutions they lead than it does about the leaders themselves.

      Also says a lot about their Followers and Tithing Units.

  7. A change is gonna come — but it will be good change, or bad?

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Wildfires are change.

    • Tom Parker says

      What would ever made it change? When the FUNDAMENTALIST took over the Southern Baptist Convention-the argument was when all of the LIBERALS were removed a great revival would occur. I have yet to see this great revival. Wonder what percentage of Southern Baptists voted for Trump and still wholeheartedly continue to support him?

      You can have a bumper sticker supporting Trump on your car if you are Southern Baptist, but you better not have one that supports Biden.

  8. Burro (Mule) says

    For me, the singular fact that in the 75 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there has never been another use of nuclear weapons is a strong evidence of Providence, or that even if the War Monkey is crazy, at least he isn’t suicidal.

    When I was a kid, there were a lot of scary post-apocalyptic post-nuclear holocaust movies. Nowadays, that is seen as a Boomer curiosity, replaced by zombies, epidemics, and asteroids. I don’t think people appreciate how easily it could still occur,

    I hope our luck holds until we come to our senses.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > I hope our luck holds until we come to our senses.

      +1,000

    • There was a throwaway line in *Red Storm Rising* where the Soviet general in charge of the German invasion heard that the Kremlin was thinking about a limited nuclear strike. He mused quite loudly about how if they did that, the survival of the human race would depend on whatever NATO leader was the *least* stable – and promptly started planning a coup against the Kremlin.

    • The longer they exist, the more likely they are to be used, but I imagine it would happen when a national government is losing control, and radical factions take over its resources, including nukes. Think Pakistan, not so much India, unless India responds in kind to a nuclear attack launched by radical factions that have taken over nuclear assets from the Pakistani national government.

      • Yep. We have not yet had a full-blown civil war in a country that possesses nuclear weapons. Someday, that will happen. And that will be… an interesting day.

        • Who knows, the nuke-rich U.S. could even be that country, if things go as badly as I sometimes think they may leading up to and away from the November election.

    • I hear you, Mule.

      My 9th grade science teacher showed a film to his class every year, connected to the physics curriculum he covered. It was a coldly factual documentary made in the late ’40s about the then-known effects of the bomb, from the devastation in the city to the lingering radiation diseases among the people. We all knew where his politics lay, but he didn’t make any political comments – he didn’t need to, even to a bunch of callow 15-year-olds – and we were rightly impressed enough not to make any jokes or snide remarks, either.

      Dana

    • thatotherjean says

      Me, too, Mule. Me, too. The scariest words out of Trump’s mouth yet came early in his term: “If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?” He asked that, if I remember correctly, TWICE.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I am a survivor of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay and it’s side effect Christians For Nuclear War (“IT’S PROPHESIED! IT’S PROPHESIED!”) The Rapture was to happen just as the warheads were cutting atmo on re-entry, detonator capacitors at full charge and plutonium primary pits pressurizing with Tritium gas. (Any minute now… Any minute now… Any minute now…)

        “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up thy heads; for thy redemption draweth nigh.”

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I remember hearing abuot Christians who voted for Trump in 2016 BECAUSE he would start a Nuclear Armageddon fulfilling End Times/Bible Prophecy (and found it all Very Exciting — Left Behind, the Role-Playing Game). After all, they’d be watching it all from Heaven as a Spectator Sport, from their catered Superbowl Suite right on the 50-yard line.

  9. Eeyore,

    Red Storm Rising was a good book. Interestingly it was the only novel actually authored by Tom Clancy that did not include his main character Jack Ryan. I think Tom Clancy stopped actually writing novels after Red Robin or thereabouts. Still have all the stuff Clancy actually wrote in hardcover (except Hunt for Red October)

    • I was very interested in the “WWIII in Europe” genre growing up, and read all the books (and wargames) related to it. One thing that irked me, however, was the *deus ex machina* tactics almost all the authors used to pull a NATO victory out of their hats. Ralph Peters’ novel on the subject (full disclosure – not an author I’d normally recommend) was the only one that clove to the likely reality, and had the Soviets win.

      • Likely outcome of WWIII in Europe: It depends heavily on the timing. The Vietnam War seriously screwed up the US military. It was in pretty bad shape in the mid-1970s, and took about a decade to recover. (This recovery, by the way, began under Carter. This would be an embarrassing detail to the right wing narrative, had they not stuffed it so deeply down the memory hole.) In the meantime, the Soviet army suffered from peacetime rot. This hits all peacetime armies eventually. Then came Afghanistan, which affected it much like Vietnam had us. By the time the Berlin Wall came down, it was an empty shell. Set the war in the mid-1980s and the Warsaw Pact wouldn’t have a chance. But if we set the war in the late 1970s (such as the Sir John Hackett scenario) it is a more interesting question. How badly had the rot set in the Soviet Army by that time? I doubt that anyone really knows. It certainly wasn’t as good as we feared at the time. Another item to note is that most of their equipment was crap. Yes, the Kalashnikov stands out, but it was an exception. For larger items, the quality generally sucked. When Germany unified, the German military inherited a bunch of this stuff, which they discarded or sold off to third world countries. They weren’t interested in keeping it for themselves.

        • As numerous conquerors and autocrats have noted throughout history, quantity has a quality all it’s own.

          • Richard,

            The defense of West Germany basically boiled down to holding and delaying the Warsaw Pact attack through the Fulda Gap.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulda_Gap

            In the late 70s through the 80s was the annual REFORGER exercises by NATO (in much bigger scale than earlier). Another thing was the A-10 and the AH-64 Apache were specifically developed to attack Soviet armored formations in Europe. Finally, with the advent of AirLand Battle doctrine (and the weapon systems like F117s, PGMs, etc. to effectively execute it), would also put the Warsaw Pact at a disadvantage.

        • In the 80’s and 90’s the Soviets marketed an ag tractor in the US that went by the name Belarus. It was cheaply priced relative to the standard brands. I was around several and got to check them out and operate them. Relatively simple machines. However, what I noticed was that instead of correcting an engineering problem–as in the fuel system for instance–the manufacturer added a down-line “fix”. The tractor had several examples of that kind of “fix”. If Soviet military machinery was anything like the Belarus tractor then I doubt that many of their tanks would have penetrated western Europe.

      • When I was in college I read John Hackett’s book, “The Third World War: August 1985.” It was quite compelling and quite scary. And one event in his historical fiction book eventually did happen: the collapse of the USSR. Thankfully the collapse came peacefully rather than through the nuclear exchange depicted in Hackett’s book.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I can’t remember the technical term, but such “Future War Narratives” have a specific name in German. The genre first hit the bookshelves some time around 1900, during the runup to World War One, and have stayed a constant ever since.

          I’m looking at one of the classic examples on my shelf right now: The Great Pacific War by Hector Bywater (1925). Written as a realistic rebuttal (Bywater was THE naval-affairs expert of his day) to another highly-spectacular US/Japan Future War novel — Homer Lea’s1909 The Valor of Ignorance. (Lea himself was a militaria fanboy from California, “soldier of fortune”, and part-time Chinese warlord; I am not making that up.)

          And you can make a case that H.G.Wells’ War of the Worlds (1897) also fits into the genre as one of its earliest examples as well as proto-SF.

    • Clancy was a natural storyteller. This is not quite the same as being a good novelist, but for potboiler genre fiction it generally serves. His problem was he was successful too early in his writing career. This gave him the standing to not be edited, even as his worst tendencies grew until they were out of control. This manifested itself physically. His early books were of reasonable length, with tight plotting. Later books grew bigger and bigger. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a book being long, but only if the size derives from the content. Clancy’s later books don’t really have more in them than do his earlier ones. They just are bloated with sloppy writing. This is the critique from a strictly craftsmanship perspective, and would have been valid even had he not simultaneously devolved into Mary Sue political revenge fantasies. Also, he was racist as hell. In the US this usually manifests with racism against African-Americans. In his case, it was Asians. It doesn’t matter what part of Asia, east, west, or south. The sole positive Asian character is carefully and extensively established as being so acculturated as to be thoroughly American, while looking Asian. (This is someone’s cue to lecture that this isn’t racism, but some other form of bigotry. I don’t care. It is a distinction without a difference, at least for purposes of this discussion.)

      As for the absence of Jack Ryan in Red Storm Rising, my understanding, which may be entirely wrong, was it was a matter of rights. The Hunt for Red October was published by Naval Institute Press, which had not previously published fiction but decided to take a flier on this unknown writer. It did better than anyone expected, so Clancy promptly dumped them for a bigger publisher, with some time being needed to sort the rights out. (This was something of a pattern with Clancy. You know how Jack Ryan’s wife is a hotshot eye surgeon? So was Clancy’s wife. Or rather, his first wife. Once he hit it big, he traded her in for a newer model.)

      • And eventually Clancy sold all the movie rights to his books (which is why movies like Patriot Games, Clear and Present Dander, and Sum of All Fears diverged so much from the books), got into video games, and licensed the characters for a whole slew of books by all kinds of other authors as long as his name as listed on the book.

        As I said earlier, I stuck with only the stuff he actually wrote.

      • My father-in-law was a Russian linguist, often penetrating Soviet waters on submarines, or grazing it in AWACS planes. He was sworn to secrecy by the Navy (and by the NSA, his real boss), but after Tom Clancy’s books came out, he started telling stories about his adventures, and about U.S. intelligence tactics. He said, “What’s the point in keeping quiet? Clancy has already written about it.”

        • There were a couple books out about Ivy Bells where US subs snuck into the Soviet Northern Fleet base and put a tap on the various underwater cables the Soviet used for communications. It could have easily been a Cold War Thriller movie like Hunt for Red October.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        So Clancy peaked early in his career and gradually declined into Jack Ryan sequel-itis? And merch?

        • HUG,

          Yup. He figured he could make more money marketing out his name for video games, books by other authors,,etc. Think all the schlock Krusty the Clown was paid so they could use his name in the Kamp Krusty Episode of the Simpsons and you get the idea.

  10. The Lawrence, IN racist doesn’t surprise me in the least. People like this have continued to exist over the last decades, likely in considerable numbers, but have mostly, with notable exceptions, been trying to keep a low profile, biding their time while continuing to nurse their hatred. Now they believe the time is right to go public. The poison mushrooms are growing and spreading now, but the spores have been around for a long time.

    • Doesn’t surpise me either, Robert. It just feels different when it hits closer to home.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      According to the complaint, Hoehn intimidated and interfered with his Black neighbor on June 18 in the 6400 block of Meadowfield Boulevard in Lawrence.

      Checked the address on Google & Bing Maps:

      Suburban residential street only 2-3 blocks long, suburb NE of Indianapolis, right at the edge of the built-up area which implies recent development. Large pond in tract and arrangement of streets suggests recent-construction upscale “community”. On Birds-eye View at max zoom, houses look large but not full-honk McMansions. No Streetside views available.

      • Sounds like a CIA surveillance report.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          It’s what I was able to find out with five minutes on Bing or Google Maps.
          Over 90% of Intel work is recognizing patterns in the raw data and working from those patterns.

          Not familiar with Indiana specifics, but where I am I’m pretty good at reading (within 10 years) when a residential area was built up from the arrangement of the side-streets and properties and size/details of the houses. Urban planning/arrangement and tract-house architecture varies with time.

          And online maps usually also mark local businesses; their arrangement, proximity, and type also provides a clue.

          • I suspect you were at one time a data analyst for the CIA. I promise not to tell anyone.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              No, just a crazy polymath whose brain’s always thrashing.

              And I hang out online with an Investigative Journalist blogger. Same skillset holds for investigative journalism.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Yes. And the Leelanau county guy is a pretty common type in “blood red” northern Michigan.

      **BUT**, and this is important, many of these guys run unchallenged, and have for years. And as for “blood red” – – – a friend of mine running for a county commission seat in a “blood red” county in northern Michigan lost on Tuesday by . . . . drumroll . . . 29 votes. Razor margins are becoming common. Many of these guys are hanging on by their finger nails. There is plenty of real frustration with ‘leadership’, and oxygenating that blood is a goal within site [ even in these “blood red” areas ]

  11. clouds and rain
    cover the mountains until
    nothing is hidden

  12. I have been in a foul frusrated lonely lockdown mood all morning until I saw the Falwell story which snapped right out of it. Try to look on the bright side. Imagine how much worse it be if Trump and his minions weren’t so stupid.

    • thatotherjean says

      Indeed. There’s always that. We need to make some changes–making traditions best practices into laws to govern the country and restrict the powers of the three branches, before we’re suckered into electing someone just as crooked, but smarter than the current bunch.

    • I’m hoping the tide has turned on white evangelicalism.

      • Burro (Mule) says

        I am thinking that White and Evangelical are going to part ways.
        You aren’t going to like what replaces it.

        • Why not?

        • I don’t think white and evangelical are going to part entirely, because there’s nowhere else to go if your religion includes nationalism. But I’m hoping that the movement comes to have less political power, and less influence over other Christians. Probably many whites will leave, but it’s whites who are the fabric of the movement.

          I may be echoing Michael Spencer here, from The Coming Evangelical Collapse.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I don’t think white and evangelical are going to part entirely, because there’s nowhere else to go if your religion includes nationalism.

            Prune out the pesky God-talk leaving a religion of only the nationalism, a pure Master Race Cult?
            (Like a funhouse-mirror reflection of The Church of Q-Anon?)

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          You aren’t going to like what replaces it.

          NAZIizm with a new, different coat of paint?

  13. Thoughts on why Trump voters from 2016 will vote for him again.

    Wanting to change you mind means coming to the conclusion that:
    – your church, it’s leaders, and 99.999% of all your friend there are wrong and have been wrong for years.
    – your relatives are wrong and have been wrong for years.
    – your kids friends will be blocked from many of their friends. And for someone under 12 they have no idea why.
    – YOU were wrong. Seriously this is one of the hardest things for most people to admit.
    – you will be supporting abortion.

    And on and on and on.

    And I have not even to get into the conspiracies about Democrats. And they are deep, evil, and wrong.

    • Losing your job, and watching family and friends sicken and possibly die, seems to be having a clarifying effect.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Not if you’re a True Believer.

        And the Evangelical Circus (especially the Culture War Ring) has been grooming True Believers ever since the Reagan years.

    • “Wanting to change you mind means coming to the conclusion that…”

      That list sounds an awful lot like what Christ asked, nay, demanded, that His followers do when they repent. You’d think that, as supposed Christians, we’d intuitively get that.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Wanting to change you mind means coming to the conclusion that:
      – your church, it’s leaders, and 99.999% of all your friend there are wrong and have been wrong for years.
      – your relatives are wrong and have been wrong for years.
      – your kids friends will be blocked from many of their friends. And for someone under 12 they have no idea why.
      YOU were wrong. Seriously this is one of the hardest things for most people to admit.

      Sunk Cost Fallacy, the con man’s greatest friend.
      Why the suckers double down, scream louder, and FANATICALLY support/defend the grifter as he cleans them out.

  14. sound of rain
    in old downspouts
    time out of mind

  15. Update: My wife has made a good start on the road to recovery after her bilateral mastectomy just over a week ago. In a consultation yesterday her oncologist told us that test results indicate no cancer remains, and no further treatment is necessary, though hormone treatment may reduce risk of future recurrence. Thanks for all your prayers; please continue them, as the road to recovery after the trauma of surgery is yet a long one.

  16. This is great, thanks for sharing.