February 19, 2020

Saturday Brunch, April 21, 2018

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready for some brunch?

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We’ve got some silly stuff, some serious stuff, some sporty stuff. Let’s start with a public service announcement:

Scientists in New York have a polite request for you: STOP PEEING IN WALDEN POND. Well, they phrased more scienty:  It will be “prudent to further reduce the flow of anthropogenic nutrients to Walden Pond under the warmer, wetter conditions that most climate models project for New England during the 21st century,” said the study, which was published in the journal PLOS One. Apparently, swimming in Walden Pond is a local family tradition (like cow-tipping here in central Indiana). And, as Curt Stager, the lead researcher, noted, “a certain percentage of the swimmers pee.”  The urine, combined with warmer water, creates too much algae growth. So Stop, already.

Use the nearby creek instead

Pictured: NOT your toilet!

Chaplain Mike loves something called, “baseball”. Apparently it involves a base and a ball. I don’t know. I never watch. I just write condescending things about it to piss him off. But I did find this article about it that some of you might find interesting. Apparently, some players of this game throw the ball towards another player who tries to hit it with a “bat” (I was confused until I realized they were not talking about the kind of bats that live in caves). Anyway, the article notes that some of the guys who throw the ball (called “pitchers”) can throw at over 100 miles an hour, but that they will never be able to throw it much faster than that:

Similar retroactive estimates have put Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller’s fastest fastball at 107.6 miles per hour—and that was all the way back in 1946. Walter Johnson, who played from 1907 to 1927, is also thought to have thrown pitches at 100 mph or more. All of which is to say: Pitchers have been throwing north of 100-mph for the past 100 years. Over the same time period, advances in training, technology, nutrition, and, yes, drugs, have fueled a dramatic upward trend in world-record athletic performances, from the marathon to the long jump to the 50 meter freestyle. But when it comes to hurling a five-ounce, leather-wrapped sphere as fast as possible, humans appear to have plateaued.

The fact that we’re still here proves no-one has really had an “everything” bagel.

The TV show “Survivor” is coming back for a 37th season. They are apparently starting to run out of locations. They just announced that next season is being held at a Costco on a Saturday.

A Beyonce Mass? San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral has announced that it will host a special mass devoted to Queen Bey’s music and accomplishments on Wednesday, April 25. Hosted by the Vine, a weekly contemporary worship service espousing progressive theology set to a pop beat, the Beyoncé Mass will give parishioners a chance to sing along with their favorite songs and discover how the star’s art “opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten — particularly black females.”

Scientists are predicting that in a few years we’ll be able to smell the TV shows we watch. They claim this is good news, but do we really want to smell shows like “Hoarders”, “Dirty Jobs” or “Dog the Bounty Hunter”?

Speaking of dogs:

Alex Jones, lead actor at InfoWars, has revealed some shocking news that we all need to take very seriously: The forces of evil are engaged in an inter-dimensional battle against goodness, and this includes hot women going back in time to date him and convert him to satanism. 

Every time I thought some hot 17-year-old, when I was like 13 or 14, really wanted to date me and I’d drive out to some big old mansion of theirs—and I mean real mansions, helicopter pads, private landing fields, you name it—God almighty, after the third or fourth time I had been with them, they’d tell me, ‘By the way, we worship this god and we want you to come to this event, we want you to engage in this activity because Lucifer is really God,’” Jones said.

They knew inter-dimensionally because believe me, they weren’t trying to get the average person to go do that. Everybody thought like, ‘Why are you dating the head cheerleader or the head senior when you’re a freshman in high school?’ Well, because she was driving me out there in her $100,000 Mercedes and that was 30-something years ago, driving me out there in her $100,000 Mercedes that’d be a $300,000 Maybach today, to try to get me into the cult.”

Now look how crazy that was 30-plus years ago. I’m 44, so I was about 13, 14, when that started. And look at what we’ve done against the globalists, look at Bohemian Grove, look at it all…I don’t tell you that story to sit there and impress you, because I’ll be honest with you, I love women and they were great pieces of ass. But they weren’t there to get me because they thought I was good-looking. They were there to get me because evil knew, because let me tell you they weren’t going after other 13- and 14-year-olds at the high school, evil knew what we were going to do in the future but evil failed.”

Well, I, for one, believe Alex Jones completely on this. Darn those time-travelling satanic hotties. And we need to take information like this very, very seriously.

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It was reported today this week President Trump has been pushing for women’s health programs that are based on abstinence.

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There’s talk of legalizing marijuana in Utah. However, Mormons are worried that marijuana may be a gateway drug to coffee. This reminds me of a joke we told when I was in a fundamentalist Baptist college: Why did our school prohibit pre-marital sex? They were afraid it might lead to dancing.

You’ve probably heard of the irreproducibility crisis. The Wall Street Journal had a disconcerting update:

Half the results published in peer-reviewed scientific journals are probably wrong. John Ioannidis, now a professor of medicine at Stanford, made headlines with that claim in 2005. Since then, researchers have confirmed his skepticism by trying—and often failing—to reproduce many influential journal articles.

The biggest newsmakers in the crisis have involved psychology. Consider three findings: Striking a “power pose” can improve a person’s hormone balance and increase tolerance for risk. Invoking a negative stereotype, such as by telling black test-takers that an exam measures intelligence, can measurably degrade performance. Playing a sorting game that involves quickly pairing faces (black or white) with bad and good words (“happy” or “death”) can reveal “implicit bias” and predict discrimination.

All three of these results received massive media attention, but independent researchers haven’t been able to reproduce any of them properly. It seems as if there’s no end of “scientific truths” that just aren’t so. For a 2015 article in Science, independent researchers tried to replicate 100 prominent psychology studies and succeeded with only 39% of them.

Further from the spotlight is a lot of equally flawed research that is often more consequential. In 2012 the biotechnology firm Amgen tried to reproduce 53 “landmark” studies in hematology and oncology. The company could only replicate six. Are doctors basing serious decisions about medical treatment on the rest?

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The Louisiana State Senate has passed a ban on sex with animals by a vote of 25-10. Not quite sure why the split vote on this one…

Who Needs Freedom of Speech?  The California legislature is considering Assembly Bill 2943, which makes it an “unlawful business practice” to engage in “a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer” that advertise, offer to engage in, or do engage in “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”

The bill then defines “sexual orientations change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” (Emphasis added.)

A broad reading of this law would outlaw the sale of any book, magazine or counseling service that does not promote the same view as the bill’s authors. In any case, it is a serious limitation on speech. Attorney David French points out the obvious:

No one doubts that Christian orthodoxy is contentious. No one doubts that its teachings on sexual morality are increasingly unpopular. But they remain constitutionally protected, and no state legislature should be permitted to ban a “good” (such as a book) or a “service” (like counseling) that makes these arguments and provides them to willing, consenting consumers. In fact, state law would lock in a sexual-revolution orthodoxy that all too often hurts the very people the state seeks to protect.

To take just one example, large numbers of children who exhibit gender dysphoria eventually “desist.” Their dysphoria resolves itself as they grow older. Indeed, there is serious research indicating that this is the “most likely outcome” for a child with gender dysphoria. Under AB 2943, the very act of communicating this truthful and indeed hopeful message could very well lead to legal jeopardy. This is extraordinary.

Despite the obvious constitutional problems the bill is presently sailing through — passing two committee votes by 8–2 and 8–1 margins.

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Did you get your taxes done on time? On Tuesday the high volume of incoming data on the IRS website caused it to crash until later in the afternoon, displaying the message: “Planned Outage – April 17, 2018 to December 31, 9999.” Though the message beneath said it would be over on September 22, 2016. So, which is it? Either the outage will occur in the past, courtesy of some mischievous time traveler, or not until the conclusion of the next stage in human evolution. Either way, they’ll get your money.

This week Pope Francis was asked by a boy if his late father, an atheist, was in heaven. The boy noted that all the children were baptized, and that his father was a good man. This is Francis’ response, which he gave to the crowd:

 What a beautiful thing, that a son says of his father, “He was good.” That man gave a beautiful testimony to his children, for his children to be able to say, “He was a good man.” It’s a beautiful testimony on the part of the son that he has inherited his dad’s strength, and also, that he has had the courage to cry before all of us. If that man was capable of raising children like this, it’s true, he was a good man. He was a good man. That man didn’t have the gift of faith, he wasn’t a believer, but he had his children baptized. He had a good heart. And this boy is doubting whether or not his dad, not having been a believer, is in Heaven. God is the one who decides who goes to heaven. But how does God’s heart react to a Dad like that? How? What do you think? … A dad’s heart! God has the heart of a father. And faced with a dad, a non-believer, who was able to have his children baptized and to give them that courage, do you think that God would be capable of leaving him far from Him? Do you think so? … Say it loudly, with courage…

All: No!

Pope Francis: Does God abandon his children?

All: No!

Pope Francis: Does God abandon His children when they are good?

All: No!

Pope Francis: There you go, Emanuele, this is your answer. God surely was proud of your dad, because it’s easier to have your children baptized when you are a believer, than to have them baptized when you are not a believer. Surely, this pleased God greatly. Talk with your father, pray to your father.

What are your thoughts?

Let’s finish with some cool pictures of China From Above, courtesy of The Atlantic:

People walk along a high cliff wall on a glass-floored sightseeing walkway in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province,

A lotus field in Quzhou, Zhejiang Province

Terraced fields near Tiger-Mouth Village, Yuanyang, Yun’nan

Looking down on part of Hong Kong, near Victoria Peak

Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai

Solar panels cover south-facing hillsides in a part of rural China

A high-speed train travels through Anshun in southwest China’s Guizhou province

The Emperors Yan and Huang memorial in Henan Province. At 348 feet tall (106 meters), the statues were purposely built larger than Mount Rushmore

Green rice terraces viewed in the morning in Guizhou Province

Aerial view of the Li River on a hazy day

Comments

  1. Heather Angus says

    I love Pope Francis!

    Wonderful pictures of China! They sure knew a thing about conservation and land use, while we Americans were turning the millennia-old lush prairies into the Dust Bowl.

    And — walk on that transparent walkway over the Abyss of Doom? When the Sahara freezes over.

    Thank you, Daniel!

    • Patriciamc says

      I’m adding that to my Places I Will Never Go!

      • My acrophobic brain does NOT care how strong that glass is.

        • +1

        • When glass fails it fails catastrophically. I’m told that’s an engineering term. Best not to find out.

          • –> “When glass fails it fails catastrophically.”

            Not when it’s DURAGlass (TM) by 3M. Yes, that’s DURAGlass, the glass that does not fail catastrophically!

            –> “I’m told that’s an engineering term.”

            Then those engineers haven’t yet met DURAGlass (TM) by 3M. Yes, that’s DURAGlass, the glass that has confounded engineers with properties that fail to fail catastrophically!

            • “…made from the whole wheat kernel raised by Norwegian bachelor farmers in the rich bottomlands of the Lake Wobegon River Valley— POWDERMILK BISCUITS give shy persons the strength to get up and do what needs to be done!”

              Not to be confused with DURAGlass (TM), a cheaper imitation.

          • flatrocker says

            Actually the term is “non-passive failure” after the occurence has been run through the legal department.

            • So wouldn’t a “non-passive failure” be an ACTIVE failure? Why would the legal department touch that label with a pole?

              Ironically, it looks like “non-passive” is an attempt at imitating the passive voice, a spineless denial of accountability such as “mistakes were made” or “it was inadvertently omitted.”

    • Brianthegrandad says

      Those are great photos, and the walkway induces vertigo just looking at it. As far as conservation and land use… well, I don’t know that I’d classify the Chinese as great conservationists. Some of their dam projects, mining projects, etc were/are quite damaging and inconsiderate of the people and land. That is changing, and the photos are evidence of that. they have a great appreciate and respect for their past,

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        They are getting better. It is a slow process, given the size if the population and the country, but they are moving in the right direction.

        • –> “It is a slow process, given the size if the population and the country…”

          *I’M* a slow process, and I’m only one person!! 😉

          –> “…but they are moving in the right direction.”

          Hopefully the same can be said of me! LOL.

    • Christiane says

      “Aerial view of the Li River on a hazy day”
      Daniel, that is magical!

      something about those very high very round-topped hills are so lovely . . . weird, but lovely . . . . they look somehow strangely familiar and I’m thinking ‘either a past-life in China or too many Tolkien/Narnia type films’

      Amazing photos, Daniel! Thank you.

  2. On the one hand, Alex Jones is laughable; on the other hand, by promoting and platforming Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, he has caused tremendous suffering to the survivor parents of murdered children. I just can’t laugh at him. I just can’t.

    • Christiane says

      I hope those Sandy Hook parents win their case against Jones.

    • I saw a comment on Patheos last month that pretty much nails it…

      “The Determined Fool decided many years ago that they were extremely correct about something… it turns out they were wrong. About everything. So now their life is devoted to developing the insanities necessary to keep their minds from noticing their mistake.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      …promoting and platforming Sandy Hook conspiracy theories…

      And now he says that all the Rich and Famous SATANIST Hawt Babes used to throw themselves on him at age 14, bringing him to them in their private helicopters….

      Mike Warnke and John Todd meet Teen Sex Fantasy —
      This is supposed to add to his credibility?
      (Maybe among Christian Spiritual Warriors; after all, he’s hitting on the CHRISTIAN Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory — SATANISTS HERE! SATANISTS THERE! SATANISTS EVERYWHERE! SO BEWARE!”)

  3. Truly pastoral words of Pope Francis to that little boy. What else would you have him say?

    • Christiane says

      🙂

      there is a time for deep theological discussions, but in the special encounter between Francis and a little boy, I’m sure this Scripture came to mind:

      ” Love never fails.”

      • There are some who wish the Pope had said, “Well, son, he may have been a very nice man, but, you know, he could be in hell at this very moment, since he was an atheist. Sorry. Have a nice day…..Oh, and don’t grow up to become an atheist.”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          i.e. the CHRISTIANESE Response to damn near everything.
          You missed the Altar Call Invitation Ending.

          • Christiane says

            ‘pastoral’ . . . . a beautiful word to describe Francis, yes . . . . he would like that

  4. Pope Francis: Does God abandon his children?

    All: No!

    Pope Francis: Does God abandon His children when they are good?

    All: No!

    Not Pope Francis: Who is/does good?

    Mark 10:18, Romans 3:10-12

    There’s truth in God not abandoning His children, but the reverse isn’t true. (There’s probably better passages on this, but Jeremiah 2 was what’s come to mind, Jeremiah 2:17)

    It’s good to keep in mind the time and place for how you teach God’s Word (salt + wisdom), but not to the point of sacrificing truth.

    • Note, not saying the Pope should have responded with those verses (that wouldn’t have been appropriate for the time and place), but he should have responded in a way consistent with them and the rest of the Bible.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        As Chaplain Mike and IMonk said many times on this blog, times like that are NOT the opportunity for Heavy Theological Debate, twirling pens and all.

    • Iain Lovejoy says

      I am quite sure that Pope Francis did not mean that the child’s father was perfectly good in every way. It should also be apparent from any commonsense reading of the two passages in question that they are using good / righteous to mean “wholly without sin” in Romans and in Mark “the Good” in the sense of the source of goodness or the ultimate good: Jesus, who denies the appellate “good”, actually is sinless.
      That God is pleased and delights in such little good we do do, even if we are nevertheless sinners, is completely consistent with the rest of the Bible, in the way that saying nothing about anybody ever is at all in any sense pleasing to God or good really isn’t.

    • IMO, Francis did not “sacrifice truth”, rather he revealed that love triumphs over justice and mercy is greater than “righteousness”.

      From another RC;

      And if we put too much emphasis on the seriousness of what we do, we not only make the judgment of God the most serious reality in our life, but we are in fact judged: we are judged as men who have taken seriously something other than His infinite mercy. He who takes mercy seriously will hardly sin seriously. He who takes his own works seriously will not be kept, by that seriousness, from sin. It is pseudo-seriousness. It is not good enough.

      Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, pages 333-4

      • Yes, I’ve gotta spend some time with Thomas Merton. Was intending to a couple of months ago but got detoured. I don’t believe in a God who would torment that child’s Dad for ever and ever. Or anyone else for that matter.

        • Right. And there’s some indication in the Bible that “as we see God, so will He see us.” If I think He’s vindictive and judgmental, maybe that’s how He’ll decide to view me.

          So… No thanks. I like my God as I see Him: loving, caring, forgiving, merciful, long-suffering, etc. etc.

      • Christiane says

        It is rare to hear the phrase ‘God’s infinite mercy’ on religious blogs these days. I think that those who worship ‘the God of Wrath’ would have no understanding of what ‘infinite mercy’ looks like . . . . they don’t understand what a ‘crucifix’ means at all

    • Matthew 7:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
      The Narrow and Wide Gates

      13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And some Christians are just not happy unless someone (else) gets it in the neck.
        “SMITE! SMITE! SMITE!”

      • Clay Crouch says

        Do you think there other ways to interpret those two verses than, “Everyone but a few who find it are going to suffer eternal torment forever.”? I certainly hope so, for all of our sakes.

        • These same Christians who object to Catholic and Orthodox traditions of interpretation for understanding scripture have their own extra-biblical interpretative tradition, including the interpretation that the destruction mentioned in this passage is eternal, and that the destruction involves everlasting, eternal conscious torment; nothing less will do, because they’ve made up their minds beforehand, based on their tradition of interpretation, and really because they like the idea.

          • Clay Crouch says

            Tell me about it. I live in the south. That tradition of interpretation is delivered in our mothers’ milk. Fortunately my mother was an exception.

      • Dana Ames says

        “Text without context is pretext.”

        Said in more than one sermon by my last Evangelical pastor. There were difficulties in our relationship, though not the main reason I left Evangelicalism – but this is nonetheless true.

        You can’t simply quote Bible verses and expect people to get your point, no matter how straightforward it appears to you, without some words about how you interpret those verses.

        What was Jesus getting at when he said that? The context is important for interpretation. And interpretation is the issue.

        Dana

      • Clay Crouch says

        Mr. Griggs, how do you know that you’ve found that small gate and narrow road?

      • Seneca, I’m not convinced that middle class American Evangelicals will EVER find the “narrow way”. And, perhaps they will never make it through the eye of the needle either. However, in God’s mercy, ALL things are possible.

    • Dana Ames says

      Francis was right, but explained it the wrong way. It’s not about anybody being good, and I’m not at all saying we can’t be good because we’re fallen, etc. No. His answer shows that for him and his questioner – even though a child – the issue is about morality (not to mention the false idea of “heaven” as a place – but there I went and mentioned it again…).

      But it’s not about our goodness or lack thereof. It is completely about God’s love and mercy, which have nothing to do with our goodness or lack thereof, but only with HIS love and goodness. A better, still simple, answer would have been Ch Mike’s: Your father is in God’s care, and God loves him.

      The Lord awoke as one asleep, and arose, saving us. (Ps 77:65LXX)
      Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
      (saving = delivering and healing)
      Communion verse sung during Orthodox Holy Saturday Liturgy

      Christ is risen!
      Dana

    • Bah, humbug. There’s a time to put “truth” in your pocket, especially if it might not be theologically correct, even though you believe it to be truth. The boy needed comforting. That’s not the time to trot out doctrine.

  5. A lot of bad science is done in psychology, sociology, and medicine. This is nothing new; I’ve been aware of it for a long time. But let’s not allow the bad science being done in these disciplines to be used as a pretext to dismiss the valid findings of good science being done by scientists in physics, biology, astronomy, earth science, and many other disciplines. Yes, evolution happened; no, the Earth wasn’t created in six days; yes, anthropogenic climate change is a real and cataclysmic thing.

    • Christiane says

      Hello Robert F,

      problem:
      ‘climate change’ is a threat to the profits of fossil fuel companies

      between the fossil fuel industries and their lobbyists, you can bet that big money will keep our politicians ‘stupid’ about climate change . . . . but when the cataclysmic events BEGIN, they will come faster and closer together and with more intensity so it’s just a matter of time before the voters ‘wise up’, but by then . . . . . .

      • It’s not just oil companies. Deep down, most people realize just how much our lifestyle depends on fossil fuels. Transportation, electricity, plastics, fertilizer, electronics… to do anything practical about fossil fuel use, climate-wise, would wreck global industrial civilization. The fossil fuel companies have the advantage of telling folks EXACTLY what they want to hear.

        • Yes. Global humanity is addicted to oil and oil products. The fossil fuel companies are our dealers, and we are the junkies who would rather die than give up the high that our dealer’s product gives us.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            And the solution is what?
            Besides Virtue Signalling and Counting Coup on the Unrighteous?

            • I don’t know, but denial is not the river to go up.

              High, my name is Robert, and I’m a fossil fuel addict.

              • I mean freaking Hi, not High!

                • Christiane says

                  LOL

                • 4/20 was yesterday.

                  • Dana Ames says

                    In my neck of the woods – the Emerald Triangle – 420 is every day; and has been since Viet Nam.

                    My Latino neighbor is a grower – has half his house rigged for indoor cultivation. A/C on all the time, all through winter. The place reeks. Children live there – they seem to be well cared for, but as I was putting in my flower baskets today I thought about how they were growing up with a stench they think is normal. That can’t be good for them. Sigh.

                    Dana

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    And things got weird in my area. (Remember, where I am it’s legal at the state level.)
                    OC Weekly (local pretentious tabloid) had a special “4/20 Guide” section. And the ads were the most hilarious part:
                    * Several ads for what used to be called “head shops” holding “annual 420 sales”.
                    * Two ads for dispensary get-togethers to “Experience 4/20 at a Higher Level” including a “complementary food truck ticket” on any purchase on 4/20 itself.
                    * One for a hydroponics place offering 420 specials on “6 plant grow kits” and another offering “quality product”.
                    * One from a “Cannabis Catering Service” for parties of 10-200 with “Onsite Budtenders”.
                    * Another for a “Cannabis Delivery Service” that delivers “to your home or office”.
                    * An inside back cover for a law firm specializing in “Cannabis Cases” and regulations/licensing.
                    * And three or four from “farms – wholesale or retail, reserved/customized batches” in Mendocino County, with license numbers posted — including one “Owned and Operated for 40 Years”. (Looks like the Emerald Triangle growers are going legal.)

                    I couldn’t make up stuff like this.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  I mean freaking Hi, not High!

                  You’re one day late.
                  4/20 was the day before.

            • Christiane says

              Headless, there might have been a time for turning things around but it may have gone by (?)

              I don’t know what is predicted, but I think I would always consider any sources of information.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                “Virtue Signalling and Counting Coup on the Unrighteous” are the only “solutions” Milords in Sacramento have for ANY major problem.

                And it doesn’t matter with Christians(TM) anyway. They’re some of the most extreme about “The Global Warming HOAX! HOAX! HOAX!”, just sprinkled with Verse after Verse.
                “DRILL, BABY, DRILL; FRACK BABY FRACK: CHRIST IS COMING SOON AND IT’S ALL GONNA BURN ANYWAY.”

                • Christiane says

                  there does seem to be a ‘let it all burn’ attitude in the sort that claim they are ‘saved’ and everyone else is going to hell

                  not exactly a ‘loving’ group, no; rather openly viciously destructive at times actually . . .
                  and if you want to ‘join’ them, you must verbally admit to the same kind of hatreds they harbor towards ‘the others’ they look down on from their great self-righteous heights

                  so who is left? a group that sees the wounded Earth as something interconnected to ourselves and, being humbled before God by that realization, are given the grace of God to want to care for the Earth out of thanksgiving to the Creator of all that exists

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    Remember my background in this fight:
                    The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay and Jack Chick.
                    During the height of the Cold War.
                    (And I have the Aspie trait of everything defaulting to literal FACT.)
                    Forty years later, the scars are still there.

  6. Thanks for the vertigo-inducing pictures, Dano! Now excuse me while I go throw up….

  7. Patriciamc says

    Survivor will be set in a Costco on a Saturday: I love it! LOL!

    There’s also Walmart on Black Friday.

    All in all, excellent use of snark, Daniel Jepsen.

  8. “The Louisiana State Senate has passed a ban on sex with animals by a vote of 25-10.”

    For the ten who voted against… Son of a gun, they have some fun on the bayou!

    And for those with strong stomachs, a guide to the intricacies and byways of British law on the subject may be found at http://barristerblogger.com/2014/02/01/sex-animals-allowed/.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Louisiana’s ALWAYS had their own way of doing things…

      As for “the intricacies and byways of British law on the subject”, remember that British law is based around common law and precedent. They wouldn’t have written the law that way unless the subject (and specific acts) came up in actual case precedent.

      (And I’ve heard some doozies about Shari’a law on the subject. Along the lines of REGULATED, not taboo.)

      • –> “Louisiana’s ALWAYS had their own way of doing things…”

        Tell me about it! I grew up there. One of the strangest: drive-thru daiquiri stands. Yeah, nothing like giving people a drink while they’re driving!!

  9. “Either the outage will occur in the past, courtesy of some mischievous time traveler, or not until the conclusion of the next stage in human evolution.”

    Damn those time-travelling Satanists! 😉 (I think we have a new catch-all explanation for everythimg.)

    • We know he’s a New Age (I continue to use the term, because I know of no other term that can take its place, and because many scholars of religion continue to use it and see the phenomenon its describes as a currently widespread and growing facet of American and global religiosity) wacko, rather than a Christian one, because he believes in evolution.

    • Whoops, please to ignore my above comment. I thought you were quoting the words of Alex Jones, having not read the blog post thoroughly.

  10. I told my wife the Alex Jones story. Her response (exact quote) – “Fake news. NOBODY wanted to date you in High School, Alex. Not even Satanists – they have better taste than that.”

  11. john barry says

    Eeyore, I had a similar experience as a young man to A.. Jones. The women attracted to me looked like hell. I do not think I talked to 150 young ladies by the time I was sixteen much less have Biblical knowledge of them and only three I knew had helicopters. Of course I was a teenager in the 1960’s and we were not interested in sex back and if we did stray , of course , the devil made me do it, so maybe A. Jones is right. Back in my day if a young women wanted to drive me somewhere to have her way with me, fantasy island material, her Father would have had to drive us.

    If you asked me in my teen years, ‘what do you call a young man driven to a mansion by beautiful women to have sex”? my answer would have course been lucky. If you asked me when I was a teen what I thought of a young man who told me , he was driven to the mansion by a beautiful woman to have sex, I would have said I think he is crazy or now I would use the word delusional but crazy probably better.

    However, as I ponder it now, perhaps the young ladies of my youth were demons and they did give me hope. They always told me they consider my worldly advances When Hell Freezes Over. Thanks Mr. Jones, now I know was dealing with demons not women with good taste. It has to be true.

    I do think as a public service when I was a young man I had a large part in having young women chose abstinence. Now I realize they somehow knew an encounter with J. Barry would be like an addictive drug and they were just saying no to drugs. As A. Jones has shown , the devil is in the details..

  12. Matthew 7:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
    The Narrow and Wide Gates

    13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

    • Seneca, you do realize there are better translations than the NIV available?

      • senecagriggs says

        “Seneca, you do realize there are better translations than the NIV available?”

        Very much, I’m a fan [ and use ] the ESV myself but I figured the NIV would probably be more acceptable to most Internetmonk readers.

        Tom, which is your preferred version?

  13. I love fossil fuels and all the comforts they provide. Fast cars, getting food at the grocery store instead of plowing and reaping. Jet trips to seem family that don’t live anywhere close.

    I love Air Conditioning, gas stoves and ovens; Refrigerators

    I like the internet; which wouldn’t exist without fossil fuels.

    • I used to think that I was cool
      Burnin’ all this fossil fuel,
      But now I see what I was doin’
      Was drivin’ down the road to ruin.

      —James Taylor

  14. senecagriggs says

    Besides generating 27 percent of America’s electricity, natural gas is used to make fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, plastics and fabrics, just to name a few. If you’re wearing a shirt made from nylon or polyester, you’re wearing a product that came from natural gas.

    The same applies to oil and coal. Besides supplying 95 percent of the nation’s transportation fuel, oil is used to make asphalt, aluminum, shampoo, cosmetics and much more. Every step of your morning, from putting on deodorant to driving to work, involves products derived from oil.

    Coal, meanwhile, supplies the largest share of the United States electricity, at almost 40 percent. Coal is also used to make steel, concrete, aspirins, soaps, carbon fiber, and more. Imagine life without roads, bridges, and sidewalks. That is life without coal.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      And thanks to the Anointed in Trump Tower DC, King Coal will supply 110% of everything!
      (I remember billboard after billboard along the Pennsylvania Turnpike saying “BRING BACK COAL!”)

      • senecagriggs says

        You’re not paying attention are you Ken. Fossil fuels are here through out my life time and yours – Trump doesn’t factor. He’ll be gone. It’s not a Trump thing. It’s a hard reality thing.

    • Clay Crouch says

      Mr. Griggs, are you in favor of development clean, renewable sources of energy? What if it costs us more in the near term but will save untold trillions of $$$ and countless wars and aggressions for future generations, not to mention cheap energy for every nation? Would you be okay with that?

      • senecagriggs says

        “Mr. Griggs, are you in favor of development clean, renewable sources of energy?”

        Yes, I’m also in favor of mermaids and unicorns.

        Hard reality say; we’re dependent upon fossil fuels as the primary source of energy in my lifetime.
        I’m also good with nuclear – clean and renewable too.

        Are you good with nuclear Clay?

        I’m actually not worried about the generations to follow. Pipe dreams will be sold. They will not deliver however.

        • I like nuclear power. In fact I’ve worked in that industry, my first job. I like solar, wind, geothermal, etc, all of them, the more the better. They all have their niches. Perhaps they can achieve clean coal too.

        • Clean, renewable sources of energy work. They just don’t work on the massive scale that would be required to replace fossil fuels.

          I also don’t have anything against nuclear power per se. It’s just that we still have NO IDEA what to do with all the leftover radioactive waste. :-/

        • Clay Crouch says

          I’m fine with nuclear energy, just as long your fine with the spent fuel being stored in your backyard. ?

          • Exactly. And I’m fine with nuclear energy, just as long as they’re fine with the millions of gallons of contaminated radioactive water that are still be generated to cool the Fukushima cores being stored in their cities, and seeping into their groundwater, 6 years and counting after the event of the multiple nuclear core meltdowns (no one knows when or if the “clean-up” will be done, so your city will need plenty of storage space available).

          • It’s laughable when people say nuclear energy is clean. Sure, the volume of waste byproduct is much smaller than other energy generating fuels, but the toxicity of that volume is thousands (or maybe millions?) of times greater than the same volume of waste byproduct from any other fuel. No, it’s not clean energy; it’s extremely dirty. Just an infinitesimally small amount of the waste nuclear energy produces put in a conventional explosive device would be called a “dirty bomb”, not a clean one.

  15. Yep, gotta love living here in CA where the nuts run the government…and we just keep on re electing them…makes us the kooks, eh? This bill, which I was already aware of, so-called high speed rail (debacle on steroids), highest taxes in the country, and this list goes on…as you all know from the headlines. Governor’s race will get interesting…stick around and watch the circus?

    Still, can’t beat the weather year-round. We’re here to stay…unfortunately. Hard to relocate when your business is here (self-employed).
    My husband is in the print business-and uses those everyday with clients…too ? funny. (Cartoon)

    As for the flawed research bit….haven’t we known that for like…forever. That’s why we have to take everything with a grain of salt. They say they have all the data (for whatever) and we need to believe it. Gee, hope we’re not all that stupid. I believe in research, to a point, cuz all research have/has agendas, and we have to watch who’s finding it.

  16. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    It was reported today this week President Trump has been pushing for women’s health programs that are based on abstinence.

    Well, he IS a Born-Again Bible-Believing CHRISTIAN, God’s Anointed POTUS.
    FRANKLIN GRAHAM AND ALL THOSE CHRISTIAN LEADERS SAY SO!
    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”

    • It was reported this week President Trump has been pushing for women’s health programs that are based on The Handmaid’s Tale.

    • Dana Ames says

      Like women are the only parties responsible for being abstinent….

      Dana

      • Don’t you know, Dana? Men can’t control themselves. And the more of a “real man” they are, the less they can control themselves. Only women can control them. (Sarcasm Alert!! Sarcasm Alert!!)

  17. Regarding the Pope Francis/little boy clip… I had this little exchange of FB yesterday:

    Me, commenting on the clip: “This theology is closer to what I believe than the more historic evangelical theology. And when you’re trying to comfort a little boy, best to use God’s grace!”

    The reply to my comment from someone else (call him James): “‘”This theology is closer to what I believe than the more historic evangelical theology…’
    I’m not following your thought, can you explain further?”

    Me, replying to James: “Just the idea that evangelical theology – or maybe more appropriately ‘AMERICAN-ized evangelical theology’ – is that one must say the Sinner’s Prayer (or something akin) to that in order to be saved. I once kinda felt that way, but not so much any more.”

    James: “okay so what does get someone saved?”

    Me: “I’ll preface my answer with a ‘this is probably best discussed face-to-face and not on FB’, but here goes anyway… Oh, no doubt about it: Jesus. And God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. But after years of reading the Gospel accounts and factoring in the entirety of scripture (the book of Hebrews does a great job of old covenant and new covenant reasons), I’m not sure that ‘the Sinner’s Prayer’ is anywhere in there. That’s more of a man-made thing that helps us in our own “trying to save someone” and also in the surety of salvation. Bottom line for me: He saves and he is The Way, but how he saves, when he saves, who he saves, etc, well, to me that’s where some of the mystery comes in, and it’s way above my pay-grade…LOL!

    James: “ok, fair enough. Do you think the boy’s dad is/should be in heaven? Is that the point of the video?”

    Me: “I don’t believe that is the point of the video. I think the point of the video is to comfort a boy who is worried about where his father is. If this boy came to me and asked me, and I replied, ‘Well, son… if your father didn’t say the Sinner’s Prayer and repent of his sins, he’s no doubt in hell, and why don’t we take this moment now for me to tell you, YOU should say the Sinner’s Prayer, too, or you’ll end up with him!’ Where is God’s grace in THAT?There’s a time to put potentially unhealthy theology in your pocket, especially if there’s a chance it’s not true.”

    James: “so, you obviously have a strong dislike for ‘the sinner’s prayer’. Is that the dividing factor for you?”
    Followed by: “You’re saying the concept of a ‘sinner’s prayer’ is unhealthy theology?”

    Me: “Sounds like a good topic for discussion at church!”

    ————-

    Grrr!! This kinda thinking is maddening! The important thing is Christ’s blood, shed for us, and NOT the Sinner’s Prayer! The “magic” (figurative magic, so back off) is in His blood! There’s no “magic” in the Sinner’s Prayer, people!!!

    • Right, and we need to get ride of the gnostic/pagan thing about “going to heaven”…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      If this boy came to me and asked me, and I replied, ‘Well, son… if your father didn’t say the Sinner’s Prayer and repent of his sins, he’s no doubt in hell, and why don’t we take this moment now for me to tell you, YOU should say the Sinner’s Prayer, too, or you’ll end up with him!’ Where is God’s grace in THAT?

      You’re asking the wrong question, RickRo.
      The REAL question is “Where’s the notch on my Bible for Souls Saved Brownie Points on J-Day?”
      And “momentary respite from the Wretched Urgency Hell Gun pressed to the back of my head?”

      • Christiane says

        The ‘sinner’s prayer’?

        which one?

        the one prayed by fundamentalist-evangelicals?

        OR

        the one in sacred Scripture prayed by the publican: “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          The knockoff of the Act of Contrition followed by the Invitation into My Heart.
          Which (like any incantation) must be done with the exact words and gestures.

  18. Daniel, you really, really have this brunch thing down. Almost too many savory items to mention, but here are a few, with my own spin:

    -“The fact that we’re still here proves no-one has really had an ‘everything’ bagel.”
    (Reminds me of the young manager of the Best Marigold Hotel (in the movie), when he says, “Everything will be alright in the end, so if it is not alright, it is not the end.”)

    -The 37th season of Survivor being held in a Costco on a Saturday.
    (How about a new reality TV competition, “Can You Get Out of Costco for Under $300?”)

    -Alex Jones. ’nuff said.

    – “Mormons are worried that marijuana may be a gateway drug to coffee. This reminds me of a joke we told when I was in a fundamentalist Baptist college: Why did our school prohibit pre-marital sex? They were afraid it might lead to dancing.”
    (Good thing Jesus died! Now I can say the Sinner’s Prayer and be saved!)

    -“President Trump has been pushing for women’s health programs that are based on abstinence.”
    (Not to do sleight-of-hand and take away this irony, but I was wondering what kinda program President Clinton supported that had similar irony…?)

    -“The Louisiana State Senate has passed a ban on sex with animals by a vote of 25-10. Not quite sure why the split vote on this one…”
    (This is really disturbing.)

    -The stunning pictures.
    (Never really want to visit China, but these photos are appealing and enticing!)

  19. senecagriggs says

    ‘Regulatory hell’ proposed as ‘global warming’ solution – An Activist’s candid admission to solve ‘global warming’: ‘You have to drag people into some kind of regulatory hell’

    • That’s frustration talking. They know that fossil fuel use is hurting the environment, but haven’t accepted the inevitability of our complete dependence on it. That’s one reason why I never bought the right-wing paranoia about the climate change accords – NO government is going to seriously cripple their economy to conform to the targets set in them.

      • senecagriggs says

        Let’s just say I have less faith in my government than you do Eeyore to not do something stupid.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Eeyore: You’re outside of California, right?

      • Burro (Mule) says

        You also need to factor in the calculus of ‘Minor inconvenience for me’ > ‘Total destruction of your way of life for you’.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      There’s another solution:
      NUCLEAR WINTER SOLVES GLOBAL WARMING.
      Think about it.

  20. senecagriggs says

    If you’re a lover of the environment, then you MUST hate wind power. Wind power is inefficient, using massive amounts of resources and land to build, and gobbling up some of the most beautiful, pristine land in America. This is the worst offender among the “alternative energy” sources being pursued today, and it must be stopped. It is only being built at all because of the worst sort of crony capitalism, being built on the backs of subsidies that come out of the taxes of working people. And if you live wildlife, you won’t believe the carnage being done to bats and migratory birds by these giant, killer bird grinders. According to the Audubon Society, hundreds of thousands of migrating birds are senselessly slaughtered every year, often in violation of the laws that protect them.

    Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markmeckler/2017/06/wind-power-offers-high-environmental-costs-limited-energy/#8kPAxYB68kCbHAGS.99