July 10, 2020

Saturday Brunch, June 1, 2019

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. You know what we haven’t had for a while? BRUNCH! Let’s get right to it.

Salvator Mundi is an ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ.

Remember when the Salvator Mundi, the supposed lost work of Leonardo da Vinci, sold a couple years ago for a record $450 million? Well, the speculation now is that it was a tad overpriced. How much is a tad? In this case, $448 million. What gives? Well, it seems more and more experts are doubting that Leonardo actually painted it. It was due to be lent to the Louvre in Paris this year for its big Leonardo show marking the 500th anniversary of his death. But the piece has now been rejected because because curators at the Louvre do not believe it can be attributed solely to the artist, it has been claimed. Ben Lewis, an art historian and writer who charted the story of the piece’s recent discovery, notes:

“My inside sources at the Louvre, various sources, tell me that not many curators think this picture is an autograph Leonardo da Vinci.

“If they did exhibit it … they would want to exhibit it as ‘workshop’.

“If that’s the case, it will be very unlikely that it will be shown, because the owner can’t possibly lend it … the value will go down to somewhere north of $1.5m (£1.2m).”

By the way, how do you think the person who spent nearly half a billion on a fake Da Vinci feels right now?

Next up is a piece in Aeon where the writer puzzles the therapeutic conundrumof what comes first—happiness or success:

“Work hard, become successful, then you’ll be happy. At least, that’s what many of us were taught by our parents, teachers and peers. The idea that we must pursue success in order to experience happiness is enshrined in the United States’ most treasured institutions (the Declaration of Independence), beliefs (the American dream), and stories (Rocky and Cinderella). Most people want to be happy, so we chase success like a proverbial carrot on a stick – thinking that contentment lurks just the other side of getting into college, landing a dream job, being promoted or making six figures. But for many chasers, both success and happiness remain perpetually out of reach. The problem is that the equation might be backwards. Our hypothesis is that happiness precedes and leads to career success – not the other way around. In psychological science, ‘happiness’ relates to ‘subjective wellbeing’ and ‘positive emotions’ (we use the terms interchangeably). Those with greater wellbeing tend to be more satisfied with their lives, and also to experience more positive emotions and fewer negative ones. Research suggests that it’s these positive emotions – such as excitement, joy, and serenity – that promote success in the workplace.

You know what we need for this brunch? Panda pictures. Nothing is cuter than a panda. Let’s start with this rarity:cbsn-fusion-first-ever-photo-of-white-albino-panda-revealed-thumbnail-1860119-640x360.jpg

These are the first-ever documented images of an albino giant panda.  China’s Sichuan Wolong National Nature Reserve Administration shared photos of the all-white panda on May 25. The color does not affect the animal’s activity or reproduction but it could make it sensitive to direct sunlight, the nature reserve writes.

Just for fun, we’re going to add a few more, with captions.

 

Related image

Related image

Related image

Cheezburger Image 9030024704

Cheezburger Image 9030021888

Related image

Ever wished for a “point of contact” with God? I mean, a point of contact besides Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Obviously. Ever wished you could get one for the low, low price of $45? Well, now you can! That’s right folks: for the price of a half dozen cappuccinos from Starbucks you can know own a genuine point of contact with God!!!

But wait, it gets better. This point of contact comes in the form of a coin featuring two famously godly men: Cyrus the Great, and Donald Trump.

The coin is being sold by Lance Wallnau. He claimed God told him to share the coin so people could pray for Trump. “When I asked the Lord, ‘Why the coin?’ he said ‘Because when you take the coin, it’s a point of contact,’” Wallnau is heard saying on the Jim Bakker show. “So your faith is being released with a million other believers to pray protection and peace and wisdom and counsel over the president of the United States and over his family….It’s our point of contact every day. When you see it remember God put something in your hand that you have a role in.”

I wonder how many of these coins it would take to melt down and create an image more appropriate to this kind of religious attitude? Something like this, maybe? 

Did you get your 10,000 steps in yesterday? They say that’s the goal, you know, along with drinking eight glasses of water a day and eating 2,000 calories. But who are “they”? Turns out, at least for the first of these, the “they” is marketers, not scientists:

I-Min Lee, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard University T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, began looking into the step rule because she was curious about where it came from. “It turns out the original basis for this 10,000-step guideline was really a marketing strategy,” she explains. “In 1965, a Japanese company was selling pedometers, and they gave it a name that, in Japanese, means ‘the 10,000-step meter.’”

Based on conversations she’s had with Japanese researchers, Lee believes that name was chosen for the product because the character for “10,000” looks sort of like a man walking. As far as she knows, the actual health merits of that number have never been validated by research.

So how many steps should be our goal? Lee designed a test by observing the step totals and mortality rates of more than 16,000 elderly American women. “The basic finding was that at 4,400 steps per day, these women had significantly lower mortality rates compared to the least active women,” Lee explains. If they did more, their mortality rates continued to drop, until they reached about 7,500 steps, at which point the rates leveled out.” So there you go.

Taco Bell announced plans this month to open a hotel. No, I’m not kidding.  Taco Bell’s Chief Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg said that the idea for a Taco Bell-themed hotel is meant to be playful and fun, but the brand sincerely intends for it to be an “unparalleled experience.” She added, “I have often quipped that Taco Bell is the fast fashion of food. We have our everyday classics, but then we’re always introducing these cool limited-edition experiences to do something new and different.” Yes, Taco Bell foods often do something new and different to my digestive system.

Hopefully each hotel room will have double bathrooms.

I recently ran across a website of a guy who makes balloon creations. He notes, “I create animals, plant life and insects using only balloons. The works that has been published on this page are made from all balloon only. (Adhesive, marker pen, seal, etc. are not used at all) “. Hmmm. Well how good can they really be?

コブラ cobra 2016.9.4

スズメバチ hornet 2015.10.26

ニホンザル snow monkey 2016.7.17

ムシヒキアブ assassinfly 2017.11.5

ダイオウホウズキイカ Colossal squid 2019.5.19

セイボウ cuckoo wasp 2019.1.13

フクロテナガザル Siamang 2017.1.15

Phoenix

イグアナ iguana 2015.1.11

Yeah, so not very good at all.  I could do far better.

An op-ed in the New York Times discussing a study of married couples acknowledges that the happiest wives by far in America are those in politically conservative, religious marriages. The study, conducted by a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, a professor of marriage and family studies at Brigham Young University, and an adjunct lecturer in the sociology department at Georgetown University, found that 73% of wives “who hold conservative gender values and attend religious services regularly with their husbands have high-quality marriages.” Also: “Women in highly religious relationships are about 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship than their secular and less religious counterparts.”

That figure dwarfs the numbers in less religious and conservative marriages. The authors write that only a little more than half (55%) of secular progressive wives in the United States, who are not religious and champion egalitarian family values, say they have high-quality marriages. The oped notes, “fewer than 46 percent of wives in the religious middle — who attend only infrequently or don’t share regular religious attendance with their husbands — and only 33 percent of secular conservative wives — who think men should take the lead on bread-winning and women on child-rearing but don’t attend church — have such marriages.”

Oh, and how did the Times title this item? “Religious dads can be devoted, too”.  Yeah. I’m surprised they didn’t decide to add a few exclamation points.

“‘Holy Spirit’ saves German driver from speeding fine”. I didn’t expect to come across that headline on the BBC website.  Charisma, sure, but not the BBC. Anyway, it seems the driver was caught on speed cameras – but his identity was hidden by the bird’s wings spread in flight.

A dove flies across the face of a driver in this speed camera image

A light-hearted police statement suggested that perhaps “it was no coincidence the Holy Spirit” intervened -We have understood the sign and leave the speeder in peace this time.”

Speaking of odd headlines, here are some recent ones. And, yes, these all came from real news sources (except for the one from Fox):

Texas Legislature Accidentally Repeals Plumbing Code

Gainesville man covered in chocolate syrup arrested for domestic battery, criminal mischief

Easter Island Statues Threatened By Nose-Pick Selfie-Snapping Tourists

‘What did I do wrong?’ Florida man asks after 140-mph chase, crash

Authorities: Don’t give DNA to people who come to your house asking for it

Grenade found in Goodwill donation bin

Police: Man says wife died but he brought her on road trip anyway

Mom with sleep disorder claims she once unknowingly purchased a full-sized basketball court

 

On a more serious note, there will be live streaming of Rachel Held Evans’ funeral today at 2:00 EST. Here is the link.

Let’s conclude with some photos of the week, courtesy of the Atlantic:

West Point cadets toss their caps into the air at the end of graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, on May 25, 2019.

A security guard with unusual body armor, featuring curved spikes, four head-mounted flashlights, two pairs of sunglasses, and a ready gas mask, keeps watch during the swearing-in ceremony of Malawian President-elect Arthur Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Malawi, on May 28, 2019, after a contentious election marred by allegations of fraud and vote-rigging

Colette Giezentanner, 12, reacts to spelling a word right in the finals of the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland, on May 30, 2019.

A Muslim boy arrives at a mosque during Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar, in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on May 30, 2019

Corgis race during a heat of the Southern California Corgi Nationals championship at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on May 26 2019

The eventual winner, Max McDougall (front left), chases the cheese during the first race of the annual spring bank-holiday cheese-rolling event at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester, England, on May 27, 2019. Traditionally held for villagers of Brockworth, today the event attracts people from around the world

A masked Kashmiri protester jumps on the hood of an armored Indian police vehicle as he throws stones at it during a protest in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, on May 31, 2019

A boy pours water on himself as he tries to cool off amid rising temperatures in New Delhi, India, on May 29, 2019

Floodwater from the Mississippi River cuts off the roadway from Missouri to Illinois at the states’ border in St. Mary, Missouri, on May 30, 2019

Fishermen and volunteers pull ashore pilot whales that they killed during a hunt, as blood turns the sea red, in Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands, on May 29, 2019. As local fishermen spot pods of pilot whales passing the shores of the Danish territory of the Faroe Islands during their migration, a convoy of boats drives the whales toward authorized fjords to harvest the catch.

A plume of ash is released as the Mount Agung volcano erupts, seen from the Kubu subdistrict in Karangasem Regency on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on May 31, 2019

Two boys ride in the back of a horse-drawn buggy stopped at a traffic light in Lancaster County, near Gap, Pennsylvania, on May 29, 2019

Comments

  1. Steve Newell says

    Wow. I’m first. It helps to be in Spain.

    On the coin with the image of our dear leader, Donald J. Trump, I had a different view of him in terms of biblical characters.

    I view Trump more like King Herod Antipas. I also view today’s “evangelical” leaders has the Pharisees of our day. They want to keep cultural and political power in their Sanhedrin which which is our court system.

    • senecagriggs says

      “I also view today’s “evangelical” leaders has the Pharisees of our day. They want to keep cultural and political power in their Sanhedrin which which is our court system.”
      _________

      My take as an Evangelical; Trump is the only person running for election in 2020 that is AGAINST the slaughter of the unborn even into the last day of a pregnancy. He’s clearly against infanticide. Nobody else running for President is against infanticide

      • Robert F says

        “Nobody else running for President is against infanticide.”

        What evidence of that do you have? Can you cite sources?

        • Cite sources? This is Seneca we’re talking about here. He threw his “truth bomb”, his job is done.

      • Robert F says

        Plenty of White supremacists/nationalists discountenance abortion — would you vote form them too?

      • Who wouldn’t be against infanticide? (The crime of killing a child within a year of birth.)

        • thatotherjean says

          Indeed. It’s not an infant until it’s born. There are more than a few adequate reasons for not carrying a fetus to term.

      • Christiane says

        Hello Senecagriggs,

        I don’t believe anything Donald Trump says. I think he will do all he can ‘to shore up HIS base’, and if pandering to certain agendas helps HIM, you can count on it.

        I appreciate that you find abortion to be a tragedy. You are not alone. But I trust WOMEN and their DOCTORS to make better health decisions rather than one Donald Trump, whose contempt for women is widely known.

        What makes a person care about the ‘unborn’? Maybe it’s support for a more parent-friendly social system that supports new parents with the kinds of benefits that MATTER and help new parents to bring new life into this world in practical ways . . . . time off with pay for mother AND father with jobs guaranteed to be held for them. Too ‘socialist’?

        Or maybe just realistic and the sign of a civilized country that CARES about new life?

        I’ve made my mind up: Trump is a ‘symptom’ of something far worse that goes very deep into the psyche of them what prizes greed over life . . . . . I cannot honor this, no.

        I’ll take the ‘socialist’ models of Scandinavia and some other countries that CARE for new life by doing what is practical and REAL to support new parents in raising their new babies.

        So, we disagree. But thank you for sharing your opinion here. I know that many think like you do, so you are not alone. I’m the sister of a ‘baby doctor’ (pediatrician) so I am coming from another perspective. Thanks for listening.

        • Patriciamc says

          Excellent points, Christiane. I’d say that most if not all of us here are “for” abortion, but there are times when it’s the only option. As for me, I agree with Sandra Day O’Conner: once you grant a right, it’s hard to take it away. Besides, there are far better ways of preventing abortion such as better birth control and provisions for those with babies. Preventing abortion will take changing the culture instead of just changing the law, as if changing the law will prevent abortions antway.

          Funny how Trump was quite liberal for most of his life until he got a taste of political power.

          • He saw what the most likely voting block wanted, and told them what they wanted to hear. And since pandering to them would cost him nothing, why not?

            • thatotherjean says

              This. I don’t think Trump has many actual convictions; he says what his base wants to hear.

              • Robert F says

                But they don’t care about his pandering or lack of principles, as long as, for whatever reasons, he chooses federal court judges who are more likely to allow abortion restriction legislation to stand, and possible roll back or (more likely) modify Roe V. Wade. They are practicing realpolitik at the domestic level.

          • Patricismc,

            I’m pretty sure you meant your first sentence in your excellent post to read: ” I’d say that most if not all of us here are NOT “for” abortion, but there are times when it’s the only option.”

            If I’m mistaken, sorry.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            Well said. Unfortunately, the most virulent pro-lifers are also against contraception, support for those that need it etc.I sometimes think they are sadists – make the poor and desperate give birth, then keep on putting barriers in the kids way (poverty, less education, no medical coverage, racially targeted policing etc), blame them for struggling, jailing them at alarming rates, and keeping them down. It is like they want people they can torture at arm’s length so that they can feel better about themselves, like the stinking pharisee on love with his own piety.

            • Daniel Jepsen says

              I haven’t seen any studies showing that pro-lifers are against supporting those in need.

              The only study I have seen relevant to the topic is that by Arthur Brooks, who analyzed data regarding political viewpoints and charitable giving. He expected to find what groupthink taught him: that liberals were more generous and caring. He was surprised to find the opposite, so he examined the data again. Here is what he found:

              — Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

              — Conservatives also volunteer more time

              –Conservatives give more blood. “If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United States would jump about 45 percent.”

              And yes, this was true even without regard to giving to churches.

              • Klasie Kraalogies says

                Daniel, political allegiance. They keep on voting for a party that wants to gut the ACA, discriminated against the poor, militarized the police, etc etc.

                By their fruits ye shall know them

                • Daniel Jepsen says

                  Klasie, fair enough. You make a good point. All I can say is that many of us pro-lifers have left the GOP for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Problem is, we are now in a political no-man’s land. I do not feel at all welcome in the modern democratic party.

                  • Klasie Kraalogies says

                    Sure. You are in the minority though, it seems.

                  • Christiane says

                    always best to march to your OWN drummer . . . . self-reliance, and all that . . . integrity

                    that Republican who actually READ the Mueller Report and stated that Trump deserved to be impeached . . . . he stands as the lone exception in the Congress . . . but when he went home to his constituency, and he met them at a town hall, they stood up and applauded his integrity

                    there are some American values that go deeper than Trumpist-loyalty and those values are STILL in our DNA so while I know this, I can have hope for the Shadow over the land to pass eventually

                    figure out where you stand, upon honor and conscience, and don’t worry if you find yourself a ‘majority of one’ . . . . .

                    • Robert F says

                      The Shadow over the land has been there from the beginning. Get ready for the possible eventuality that it won’t pass, because that possibility seems to be growing daily, as the shadow gets longer.

                  • Patriciamc says

                    I’m with Daniel. I left the Rep. party and am now Independent. If the Democrats would pull back to the common sense middle, then I’d join, but they keep pulling to their own extreme side- and an extreme left candidate can’t win the While House.

      • Dana Ames says

        Sen, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it were discovered that before Trump entered politics he had arranged for abortion/s. His promiscuous history is well known.

        Dana

        • Dana, I wasn’t going to say that because there isn’t any proof to date. But I don’t mind you saying what we’re all thinking.

          Even if proof did come out, I don’t think he would lose much support from his base. A couple of reasons: 1) they would continue to say that he has reformed, that everyone can be forgiven past sins; and 2) his court appointees show the fruit of God’s blessing. Kavanaugh alone is worth their vote. I mean, look at what’s going on now in the south, starting with Alabama. People are smelling blood, thinking that Roe is about to be challenged.

          Are we supposed to be having discussions like this at Saturday Brunch?

          • Christiane says

            Someone needs to have these discussion somewhere soon or we will end up with DT for 4 more years.

            As far as DT’s character, it is known because he has made it known and it is a part of his ‘bully, tough guy’ persona . . . . yes, including the disdain for women. As for the white evangelical embrace of DT, there are some cracks in that monolith already, but as long as he grinds out what ‘gives them hope’, I think a majority will support him.

            But ‘abortion’? DT? please . . . . . this is not a man who cares about children, it is known from his cruelty to border children

            I’m not sure I ‘believe’ people anymore who speak of ‘saving babies’ but don’t support policies that help newborns and their parents. I think they are speaking politically. Abortions will continue, legal or not, but the cruelty of wanting the ‘good ole days’ to come back with the back-alley butchery seems to me not to ring true that its about ‘the right to life’

            politics and the ‘abortion issue’ and the conservative right-wing ‘Christians’ haven’t made the case for a new world that welcomes new life;
            in fact, the looming ‘back-alley’ abortion scene haunts the whole ‘hyper-pro-life’ political scene and it reeks of butchery and death

          • Patrick Kyle says

            Wow. I leave this place for 6 months because it sounds like a broken ant-Trump record. Bits of fact cast in a negative light with a healthy admixture the latest MSM phony talking points. I come back 6 months later and the first 20+ comments are anti Trump dirges. As though every last Congressman on the Hill isn’t involved in the same stuff. (Like voting themselves a secret slush fund to pay off all of their sexual harassment suits and keep their names off the record, while screaming that Trump is immoral for paying hush money to a prostitute. Whatever.) They are all a bunch of bloviating liars and hypocrites. They exempt themselves from the laws they pass. Think about that for a moment.

            I voted for Trump because he is literally our ‘hired muscle’ our street brawler, to enact the policies the cuckservatives promised with their lies but never delivered, and to smash through the corrupt culture of DC. Will be interesting to see those documents Trump has declassified. I’m sure it will be revelatory.
            You people need to get a life. Brace yourselves. The House is going to Impeach him, but the Senate will not throw him out of office because there is no real evidence for the charges, regardless of Mueller’s quip about how ‘not finding any evidence of a crime doesn’t mean he isn’t guilty.’ Then people like me and my ilk will hand Trump a landslide victory in 2020. Say ‘bye bye’ to the murder of the unborn and the unchecked invasion of illegals, and hello to a couple new Supreme Court Justices.

            • anonymous says

              ‘cuckservatives’

              you won’t find much support here for white supremacy, but there are enough of us here who know how they talk

              you outed yourself

              • Patrick Kyle says

                OOOh! The dreaded ‘White Supremacist’ label. Oh no. Someone who doesn’t even know me and has never seen me, who doesn’t know what race or nationality I am is calling me a white supremacist.. All based on my use of a useful term for the ‘conservative’ grifters that lie to their constituency. We call that bearing false witness. I am not cowed or bullied by your cookie cutter ignorant name calling. In the end that’s all you libs have, name calling and ad hominem attacks. You have no argument or answers, just the cudgel of ‘white suprmacy’ or ‘racist.’
                I like how you are ‘anonymous’ too. Very courageous of you. Lends credence to your charge of racism on my part

                • anonymous says

                  you’ve been outed

                • Robert F says

                  Patrick Kyle, Current usage of the term cuck in political discourse derives directly from the White supremacist/ethno-nationalist Alt Right. You may not be a racist or supremacist, but you are using an archaic word salvaged by racist/supremacists specifically for use in their poisonous thought-world. If they hadn’t dredged it up from the past, you wouldn’t be using it now; and if you fly their flag, you are going to be identified with them — it’s as simple as that.

                  • Patrick Kyle says

                    So.. let me get this straight. The etymology of a word that is perfectly apt in describing the people I use it for now paints me as a racist because I chose it to describe politicians who betray their constituents because it was supposedly coined by the alt-right? The Left is seriously unhinged.

                    • Yes, because you are choosing to use a word that has been appropriated by combatative racists. You don’t get to tell people how they should interpret a word. If you want to communicate something clearly, speak in such a way that what you want to convey is clear without further explanation.

                      I suspect, however, that you are well aware of the words connotations, and are deliberately using it as bait.

                    • anonymous says

                      and you think that thing in the WH is sane?

  2. i thought that “the great” was usually applied to Miley, rather than Billy Ray!

  3. Robert F says

    I just don’t have much confidence in surveys that claim to be able to measure levels of happiness. They require way too much self-reporting, which is notoriously unreliable. It’s mostly junk science, not much more reliable than a horoscope.

    • And how much of it is due to playing to your Faith’s expectations? I suspect the non-Christian responders were being more honest…

      • Michael Z says

        I’ve read other surveys that found that levels of divorce and domestic abuse are the same in religiously conservative families as in the general population. If conservatives say they are happier but are divorcing at the same rate, their actions are probably a better indication of the truth than their words.

        • Robert F says

          Actions do speak louder than words, as they say.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          +1

          Also measurements of things that are observable may be more reliable than measurements of things which are not observable.

        • Patriciamc says

          I found the survey responses to be a bit of “keep sweet,” keep a joyful countenance, don’t complain, etc. That’s exactly what Gothard teaches. Good point about the divorce stats.

        • Dana Ames says

          Michael Z, it depends on how the questions and results are framed. What I’ve read is that the divorce rate of weekly church attenders is statistically less than the general populace. Those who claim to be religious but attend services once a month or less often do have the same divorce rate, or worse. So yes, actions do speak louder than words.

          “Partnering with George Barna, Feldhahn reexamined the data pertaining to the divorce rate among Christians and found that the numbers were based on survey-takers who identified as “Christian” rather than some other religion. Under that broad classification, respondents were as likely as anyone else to have been divorced. The “Christian” category included people who profess a belief system but do not live a committed lifestyle. However, for those who were active in their church, the divorce rate was 27 to 50 percent lower than for non-churchgoers. Nominal Christians—those who simply call themselves “Christians” but do not actively engage with the faith—are actually 20 percent more likely than the general population to get divorced.”

          https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-divorce-rate.html

          Dana

          • Daniel Jepsen says

            Thanks, Dana

          • Robert F says

            How did Barna and Feldhahn measure whether or not self-identified Christians led a “committed lifestyle”? How did they measure being an “active” parishoner? Defining these things involves many intangibles, and the biases of the researchers can easily be and often is read into the formation of the criteria for defining and measuring them. Identifying whether or not someone is really Christian or a “good” Christian is really beyond the ken of sociology.

    • Very much this. A more accurate headline would be about what the groups in question say about themselves. This is very different from the underlying truths about the groups.

    • Then there are the studies of the “childless people happier than people with kids” sort, which often are based on questions like “Would you rather, at this very moment, be out with your friends, or scraping poop off your kid’s butt?”

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      And how much does religious-married correlate to economic class?
      Sometimes there are correlations under the correlations.

      I also suspect religious-married correlates to geography.

      If you are wealthy you are far more likely to be married, and far more likely to be living in an economically viable part of the country (kinda: duh!). Everything is about $$$.

      • Robert F says

        Marriage in the U.S. is rapidly becoming an institution only the affluent can afford and support.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          Yep.

        • “The main distinction in marriage patterns today is between Americans who have attained at least a bachelor’s degree and those with less education. The college-educated are more likely to eventually marry, even though they may take longer to get around to it. In addition, nearly nine out of 10 wait until after they marry to have children, whereas a majority of those without college educations have a first child before they marry. Rates of divorce have been dropping across the board since about 1980, but the drop has been steeper for the college-educated. In the mid-20th century, people’s educational level had less impact on when, whether, and for how long they married. Today, marriage is a much more central part of family life among the college educated.”

          https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/03/incredible-everlasting-institution-marriage/555320/

          • Robert F says

            Which indexes to affluence. The college educated as a group earn far more than those not college-educated, and they wait to have kids (not sex) until their education resourced careers have resulted in a stable financial situation.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              Yep, again.

              And the greatest predictor of if someone will be college educated? If their parents are.

              It is difficult to disentangle all this.

              And “happiness polls” are a special thing. My favorite was the one that found proximity to water to be the greatest “predictor” of happiness. . .. something like 70% of Americans live within 5 miles of a major shore line – – – ’cause that’s were we historically built cities – and urban residents of coastal cities are wealthier than the rest of America. But it makes a good headline.

            • The only fertility statistic that is climbing is the 35+ category, my daughters included. Student loan burden and the high cost of acquiring a first home has taken its toll. Which means smaller families. Especially troubling to some means fewer WHITE babies. I read on various right wing blogs the panic over who will be left to be in charge of everything.

              • Robert F says

                Yeah, one of the primary objectives of White supremacists/ethno-nationalists is that White women have more babies, that and securing a White majority homeland for those babies to grow up and multiply in. These people are obsessed with race; it’s their god.

              • Patriciamc says

                My father, who was not particularly racist, made a similar comment. I pointed out that the important thing is not skin color, but character. We should be more worried about promoting good character in our society overall than what groups are having the most babies. He thought about it and agreed.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Exactly.

      Also, what I found about myself after exciting religion more than 6 years ago is that I became a lot more honest with myself. Religion often compels you to give the expected answers to a question, rather than the true “honest-to-God” (irony intended) answers.

      • Patriciamc says

        Yes, more honest than the holier than thou, Christianity for appearances answers.

      • Dana Ames says

        Klasie, I’ve found it depends on the community. There are Christian communities out there where people aren’t threatened by doubts and/or people’s honest answers. My parish is such a place. Yes, there are “internet Orthodox” who insist on the “only believe/just accept the mystery/Tradition” kinds of answers, and others there and elsewhere who, because of their hypocrisy/corruption/inconsistency make things difficult for ordinary believers who seek to live before God and others in honesty. The core of eastern/classical Christianity is not that kind of thing; that core can be found, even in the midst of the messiness.

        That said – and thank you for your patience in listening – I believe that God is with you, more in your atheism than in your previous religious life, because of that very honesty of yours. Because of the Incarnation, you are part of who Jesus Christ is in his humanity and his divinity – and he will never, ever stop loving you.

        Dana

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Dana, sure. My own background (fundy evangelicalism, Reformed, later Lutheranism of the conservative kind) was very much full of self deception.

    • “An op-ed in the New York Times discussing a study of married couples acknowledges that the happiest wives by far in America are those in politically conservative, religious marriages. ”

      Here is some light shed upon that rather dubious claim:

      From “Paul Dolan, professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics.

      ‘Married people are happier than other population subgroups, but only when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are. ‘When the spouse is not present: f****** miserable,’ he said.

      ‘We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother.’

      Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/26/women-happier-without-children-spouse-9693456/?ito=cbshare

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      I’m a little surprised how quick so many people are to discredit the study.

      It’s true that self-reporting is not a perfect methodology, but in cases like this (measuring happiness) it seems to be the best (if not only) option.

      Are conservative religious wives really more deceptive (or self-deceived) than secular wives? Where, please, is the proof for this? Personal opinions and anecdotes hardly count toward proving that claim.

      • They are quick to dismiss it because it doesn’t match their preconceived notions. If the study said the opposite they would wave it around like gospel truth.

        • Jon, you may be on to something. For many on this board, as long as it discredits conservative Christians it seems it’s all good. We abhor how conservative religious types defy science but we blithely dismiss the science on record when it seems to cast an unfavorable light on our caricature of them. Women of course can’t be happy in a conservative religious home without self deception. Conservative Christians supposedly are more generous but don’t you know many of them voted for Trump? Support Republicans? That personal generosity can hardly mean much when the generous have such contemptuous voting records. And so the complexity of human lives are reduced to a political totem in service of an ideological animus to a Christianity left behind. Justice requires this. We see clearly now, the rain is gone.

          • And yet, when a study supporting a progressive idea comes along, you conservatives do the exact same thing. Pot, meet kettle.

            • I may not be as conservative as you think. Just making an observation. But if the pot and kettle are both hard at it maybe some humility and less caricature on both sides is in order.

              • Robert F says

                You are painting all of us with a broad brush. For some time I have been dubious of such studies, whether they support a liberal or conservative narrative. The studies do not seem reliable to me; too much self-reporting and too many intangibles dependent on doubtful categorical definitions going into the study designs are involved. It’s only half-science, which means it’s half-assed.

                • So maybe we need to be a little more open to hearing our ideological opponents when they question the science on record. Maybe they have a rational basis for doing so, or at least believe they do, just as you believe you do in this case. Science is a powerful tool for producing knowledge, but, as Mr Einstein taught us, no consensus of scientific opinion is beyond questioning.

                  • Robert F says

                    Oh, you’re talking about anthropocentric climate change. Climatology and sociology are two very different disciplines; one is a hard science, the other far closer to the humanities sourced with some, but not nearly enough, hard data. Human beings are the most difficult to analyze and predict phenomenon that exist. You’re comparing firm, crisp apples with desiccated oranges.

                    • Not exactly. The point is scientific opinion, even consensus scientific opinion, cannot close scientific debate. Einstein developed scientific theories that went against the prevailing consensus and was vindicated. So this point has nothing to do with hard or soft science but how science works. And so there is nothing unscientific in questioning a prevailing scientific consensus, or the science on record, as you feel free to do. If we feel free to question the science on record, perhaps we might allow that others may question it for their own reasons, even when we disagree with those reasons. But too often the authority of science is used to shame those who question its conclusions. When this is done it is done to convenience an ideology, not to protect the scientific project.

      • Robert F says

        Why try to measure happiness at all if a sound methodology does not exist, and nothing can be proved by it? Whether it supports a left or right narrative, it’s junk science.

  4. Robert F says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some Christians start wearing devotional scapulars of Trump.

  5. Ok, now that the politics is out of the way… Does anyone here live in the Midwest or know someone who does? Is the weather as freaking bad as the news is hinting?

    • I’m not in the Midwest, but in Maryland, which I until recently called “Not Tornado Country.” We have had two tornadoes near my office, a week apart. They weren’t big ones, as tornadoes go: lots of tree branches down and a bit of structure damage. But they are tornadoes where we don’t get tornadoes, and therefore startling.

      • Robert F says

        I’m in Pennsylvania, and we had two tornadoes touch down in our part of the state, both not ten miles from my home, in the last two weeks. Around twenty have touched down in Pennsy since the beginning of the year, which is record-breaking by a long shot. But don’t worry — climate change is a hoax.

      • anonymous says

        but ‘there’s no such thing as ‘climate change’ (global warming)’

        soon it will be too late to ‘reverse’ the damage . . . . . the puffins are dying in the North, their food supply vanishing rapidly

        signs we will not see, warnings we will not heed

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          It is already too late; we clearly aren’t going to do anything that substantively matters.

          Invest in real-estate in temperate zone cities. When the migration begins [soonish probably] you’ll be in a good position.

          • Robert F says

            It is already too late. The world isn’t doing anything substantial to mitigate the crisis, and the U.S. is doing even less, now that it is under control of an administration that is deregulating everything, including reversing environmental protection regulations.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            And it’s not gonna matter because Christ Is Coming Soon (i.e. Any Minute Now…) and It’s All Gonna Burn anyway.

            Question, everybody:
            If’ The Rapture is going down Any Minute Now and It’s All Gonna Burn, WHY are these same Christians today either grabbing for or sucking up to The Iron Throne? Special $45 Prayer Coins or no?

            • anonymous says

              doncha know that Trump’s gonna start WWIII in the Holy Land and bring on the End of the World

              get ready!

              He’s the Annointed

        • Robert F says

          The apocalypse is not The Rapture followed by a sudden series of dramatic End Times events culminating in the coming of Christ and the Millennium; it is a juggernaut ecological/economic catastrophe, rolling past the point of no return, critical mass, and resulting in a long drawn out death, or decimation, of the human race along with many other species. The insects will inherit the earth.

        • Radagast says

          Late to the party…. the increase in tornadoes this year cannot be blamed on global warming. It has more to do with an elongated winter season out west (I was just out in Utah experiencing the snow)… with cold air from the west meeting warm air in the east producing more than the usual number of tornadoes….

      • I live in the Washington, DC area. We’ve had occasional tornadoes over the years, although the damage our area received from recent thunderstorms was from straight-line winds. Some of those gusts approached hurricane force.

        Is man-made climate change underway? Perhaps. Then again, it also could be that we’re getting reports from a lot of places which were sparsely populated, or even uninhabited, 50 or 100 years ago. So who knows?

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Michigan no longer has beeches. So there is that. Water in the great lakes is high enough to cover them.

      Fortunately, as “the” great lakes state a lot of stuff is designed to handle these kind of undulatiions. But it would be nice if it would stop raining soon, otherwise stuff other that rich people’s cottages will start to be at risk.

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      I live in central Indiana. We’ve had rain most days, but no tornadoes around here. The main issue is that the farmers haven’t been able to plant their fields. I heard one local farmer got his tractor stuck in a muddy field and tried to pull it out with another tractor. It also got stuck. He tried to pull them out with some sort of tow truck. Also got stuck.

      • This was actually the reason I asked the question. I was reading a report this week that said the crops have been so impacted by the weather that food price rises are locked in for this fall and winter.

        • Alison Zajicek says

          According to the USDept of Ag statistics, corn is 58% of normal planting, compared to 90%planted last year, as of May 28.

          Soybeans are 29% planted, compared to 74% last year. I am suspicious that soybean planting will be down this year, not due to bad weather alone, but because of the Chinese tariffs on our soybeans, and Brazilian farmers adding a 2nd crop in their fields as they pick up the markets we have lost.

          Other crops are within 10% of last year’s planting schedule.

          Alison in South West Wisconsin

          • anonymous says

            start planting potatoes in your back yard, your front lawns, too . . . use every sq. meter to plant food . . . from here on out, don’t count on a food ‘supply’ as before the extreme climate change

            too distopian?

            just plant, if your ground is still fertile enough

            • anonymous says

              ‘community gardens’ are forming EVERYWHERE for them what doesn’t have ‘yards’ or land. . . . find out, and join

              “THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS . . .
              not with a ‘bang’ but a ‘whimper'”

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Planting has been delayed in Michigan as well.

        OTOH, red district farmers are confindent Trump will bail them out for failed crops.

        • anonymous says

          they’ll take the $$$,
          but they’ve had it with his phony tariff garbage

  6. I’m glad to see Saturday Brunch back on the menu. Thanks Daniel !

  7. The balloon creations are amazing.

  8. Salvator Mundi: I have been semi-following this story for a while. There has been controversy all along about it. A lot of it was not whether it was Leonardo’s hand, but the extent of damage over the years, and botched restorations. There was a school that said that even if it is a real Leonardo, it has been hopelessly butchered. The “not an autograph” quote is a different matter. That is an assessment that Leonardo never set a finger on this, and that it is merely a copy. Hence the dramatically lower valuation. This discussion is not over, but the Louvre weighing in this way is a big deal.

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      Yes, I’ve been following it a bit myself, and its really interesting.

  9. Robert F says

    As I remember, it was hot here in Lancaster County on May 29. From the looks on their faces, I bet those two boys in the back of the buggy wish they were pouring water over themselves along with the boy in India.

  10. Robert F says

    Regarding that last panda picture: It’s a rare thing for panda’s to have offspring, or sex for that matter. They are very particular about their intimate partners, to the point of near-extinction.

  11. senecagriggs says

    Oh I think Trump is an *hole. But the Democratic Party has made it a plank that abortion can be performed anywhere, anytime by anybody.

    If you deny that, you’re simply not paying attention.

    [ Most Evangelicals I read have been pleasantly [ myself included] surprised that Trump did not reverse himself on abortion. Most of us thought he would; but he hasn’t. ]

    I consider infanticide to be a hill worth dying on.

    P.S., I strongly suspect that are hundreds of thousands of registered Democrats that do not believe in 3rd trimester abortions. But they are not running for office.

    • So, you’re upset that Democrats want a legal medical procedure to be available to anyone who wants and needs it. Go you.

      Now, answer my question I put to you last week – are you not concerned that the stance on abortion you hold has not been a historically held position in evangelicalism and fundamentalism until quite recently?

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        And next to nobody is even talking about “late term abortions”, that’s not a thing.
        Seneca’s portrail of the positions are either uninformed or disengenuous.

        What is clear is that there is no place for intelligence in the “abortion debate”.

        • John barry says

          Adam T Williams, as I am not intelligent I can respond to your post. The following states Alaska, Colorado, New Hampershire, New Jersey , New Mexico , Vermont and Washington D.C.. have no time limit at all for abortion , right until birth. New York state and Virginia just passed very sweeping late term abortion laws up to and in severe case post birth.

          So in fifty years or whatever if abortion is accepted and commonplace , which it will be I predict that the “state” will have the authority to demand abortion for those the state deems should have one. Woman on welfare, 4 children , expecting the fifth, state says get abortion or no welfare. Woman is going to have child with severe medical problems, state does not want to provide care, abort or no medical cost care. Couple getting divorce, woman 3 months pregnant , man demands woman get abortion as he does not want to pay child support or vice versa , woman does not want his child, court must rule on mandatory abortion per the law.

          If you think that late term abortion is not a current issue you are either over informed or engenouous , a word I just made up. So the RCC position on abortion carries more weight with you as they have held it forever not like the misguided evangelicals who hijacked the issue for whatever reason.

          I support a medical procedure for those who kill children, it is called the death penalty by lethal drugs administered by a qualified doctor, a severe but good medical procedure.
          China aborted most female babies as they wanted males, welcome to the camel nose under the tent.

          Surely that is a place for intelligence in the abortion debate because you are in it.

          No body talking about late term abortion ? Really, in what world do you get your news? You must start to watch Fox and if you do it in the morning ,, you can be a friend of theirs.

          • So, we can’t have something now because the government might abuse it 50 years from now?

            • john barry says

              Eeyore, Have you discovered any current news about late term abortion or you still in a news blackout zone? The majority of my note worthy comments were about current late term abortion events. The insightful 50 year projection was thrown as a freebie for dramatic effect. Besides I am afraid I will be declared a “fetus” and they will kill me as I serve no useful function. Again I am projecting into the future, it can never happen as we respect life so much.

      • senecagriggs says

        Eeyore
        “So, you’re upset that Democrats want a legal medical procedure to be available to anyone who wants and needs it.”

        They are killing fully developed babies; let;s not hide this in medical mumbo jumbo. Yeah, I’m opposed
        ___________

        Adam, late term abortions IS a thing. Did you not follow the New York legislation? Any time, any place by anybody.
        _____________

        Eeyore
        “Now, answer my question I put to you last week – are you not concerned that the stance on abortion you hold has not been a historically held position in evangelicalism and fundamentalism until quite recently?”

        Roe v Wade – 1973 –

        Eeyore, are you okay with abortion up until the day of a baby’s birth? [ I’m guessing you’re not going to give me a definitive answer. ]

        • “They are killing fully developed babies; let;s not hide this in medical mumbo jumbo.”

          Check the statistics – abortions past the first trimester are exceedingly rare, and almost all of them are performed to save the life of the mother.

          “Did you not follow the New York legislation? Any time, any place by anybody.”

          That’s just as much political theater and posturing as the Alabama legislation. It’s function is to generate court cases.

          “are you okay with abortion up until the day of a baby’s birth?”

          I’ll give you a definite answer – a third trimester abortion would bother me. But again, see the statistics. In cases where it’s either the mother or the infant, what do you do?

          Now, you give ME a definite answer – if evangelicals didn’t care about this “obviously biblical” issue up until 1980, and then started caring about almost nothing else, with zero debate or explanation – are YOU ok with THAT?

          • senecagriggs says

            No, Evangelicals should have cared about it from day one!

          • anonymous says

            the REASON ‘evangelicals’ started ‘caring’ about abortion in 1980? Politics

            Pat Robertson wanted to get the Catholic vote, so HE started all the publicity and OMG, the evangelicals flocked to the ’cause’ . . . . heck NO, they didn’t care about the issue before, no way

            it’s always been political

          • “One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.”

            https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133?paginate=false

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Seneca, youbreally need to stop repeating explosive lies.

          • senecagriggs says

            Klasie, do clarify my “explosive lies.” I’m actually quite careful about what I post. I pay close attention. I am a truly voracious reader – always have been.

            • Klasie Kraalogies says

              “They are killing fully developed babies”.

              Being a voracious reader is not necessarily a good thing. For instance, if I voraciously read the readings of Nietzsche, Peterson and such, I’d turn into a voracious idiot…

  12. Robert F says

    I knife wielding killer attacks school children at a school bus stop in Japan, killing one child, one parent, and himself; imagine how many would’ve died if he’d had a .45 caliber handgun with extended magazines (essentially a semiautomatic), like the assailant yesterday in Virginia Beach. Actually, you don’t have to imagine if you can count.

    • Robert F says

      Correction: A knife wielding killer….

      • senecagriggs says

        Robert F, it would have been even more terrible if he had a gun undoubtedly.
        __________

        The problem remains Robert, there’s somewhere north of 300 million guns in the U.S., most of them unregistered.

        This truly is an insoluable problem Robert

        If somehow you could get rid of 2/3rds of them, you’re still stuck with 100 million guns.

        • Robert F says

          Every toddler starts with baby steps, but certain powerful political factions in this Land of The Gun prevent even baby steps from being taken.

          • senecagriggs says

            Give me a baby step Robert.

            • Robert F says

              Never having handled a gun, I don’t know the particulars of gun technology and how regulation would be enacted and applied given that technology, but I do know that certain powerful political factions in our country advocate for absolutism when it comes to gun-ownership, and resist every attempt at regulation.

            • Robert F says

              Since you know guns, give me a baby gun regulation step (or two) that you would support being legislated into federal law. Or are you an absolutist?

              • senecagriggs says

                I really don’t know guns. I just follow the pro’s and con’s of the argument. All I know, some men/women are extremely wicked and there is more than an abundance of guns in the U.S.A. to all most guarantee there will be a mass murder monthly [ or more ] for the rest of our lifetimes.

            • Patriciamc says

              1. The media highlighting Russian agent Maria Butina and how the Feds proved that she was funneling money from Russia through the NRA to the GOP.

              2. Pushing back on how the 2nd amendment is more sacred than any other.

              3. Pushing back on guns = masculinity (I’m looking at my cousin’s husband here).

              4. Pushing back on the level of violence in entertainment.

          • thatotherjean says

            It’s certainly an insoluble problem if you make no efforts at all to solve it. Why should we give up before we begin to try?

            • senecagriggs says

              Otherjean – we’ve been trying for decades. 300 million guns out there. We’ve passed beaucoup laws; the killings continue unabated.

              • Those “beaucoup” laws are among the most lenient in the developed world.

                • Patrick Kyle says

                  Take heart Seneca, I am just finishing my first AR build. I love it. I work with guys who have so many boxes of AR parts that they regularly can scrounge up a whole rifle build from spare parts in their garage. These people who think that more laws are going to help are deluded. I and everyone I work with will not comply with any new gun laws. My friends and relatives will not comply. If things get tough, I’ll buy my guns where I used to buy my drugs; off the street. End of story. There will be fortunes made on the black market with reloading equipment and supplies.

                  • anonymous says

                    practically waffen

                    • Patrick Kyle says

                      Now I’m a fascist? You don’t even know what you are talking about. Hitler instituted stringent gun control laws. Parts of the infamous Gun Control Act of 1968 were cribbed from Germany’s gun control laws. It’s obvious you are historically illiterate. You should probably quit with the name calling. Still anonymous I see. A function of cowardice….

                  • I don’t even know how to respond…I genuinely hope you find peace with God.

                  • Robert F says

                    I and everyone I work with will not comply with any new gun laws.

                    In other words, you and they will be criminals. So much for conservative love of law and order; is it just a bunch of bs? Because what you are talking about is anarchism….

                    • Patrick Kyle says

                      Anarchism, like the blatant disregard for Immigration law by Sanctuary cities? The kind that contributes to grinding poverty and healthcare crises in these cities? Non compliance with further gun laws is more akin to civil disobedience. They are infringing on a right and a freedom that all American citizens had prior to the passage of any new laws. We already conform to a myriad of overzealous gun laws of dubious Constitutionality. With the stroke of a pen they will make millions of us felons. You might think that’s great because you hate guns, but what happens when they do it for the other rights that you cherish?

                    • Robert F says

                      So far as I know, no court has up to this point ordered officials of so-called “sanctuary cities” to change their policies or face arrest and criminal charges. Courts have repeatedly found that these officials are not in violation of the law. And the drastic picture you are painting of what would happen if gun-control reform legislation is passed is out of all connection to reality; it sounds like the raving of an apocalyptic religious fanatic. When I hear gun owners speak this way, it frankly makes me more frightened for their sanity than of their guns.

                    • Patrick Kyle says

                      Robert F. The ‘drastic picture’ I’m painting IS the reality. Millions of law abiding gun owners have had enough. Look at the compliance in Colorado and New Jersey for their high capacity magazine bans. It is just a foretaste to come. Also, Liberal Courts setting aside Immigration law by refusing to rule according to what the law actually says, are far more harmful than law abiding gun owners refusing to turn in their guns when the law changes.

                    • Robert F says

                      PK, I’m aware of how heedless of the laws and commonsense gun owners are. In the last two years alone I’ve overheard a gun owner talk about he and his friends like to get drunk at his cabin in the woods and target practice with their multiple guns. I heard someone else laugh about how she had accidentally brought her handgun to work, a gun-free zone, and only realized midday that it was in her purse laying on her desk. And as for the practicality of guns as real self-defense, a coworker, an older woman, told me that the handgun at home for self-protections had been robbed during a break-in when she wasn’t there — and it’s a good thing she wasn’t there, too, otherwise it’s likely she would have been attacked by the robber, possibly with her own gun. Yes, I see how gun culture in the this country works, alright.

                    • Patrick Kyle says

                      This must be an example of the ‘bubble’ white middle class people live in. You are completely biased, prejudiced, and given to broad and ignorant stereotyping. You discount any evidence or examples to the contrary and have some delusional idea of how things really are. People like you are not going to like what’s coming and on my worst days I think we deserve it.

                    • Robert F says

                      I’m White, but not middle-class, except by a stretch that straddles the lower-middle and upper- lower classes. I work with more people of color in my blue-collar workplace than other Whites. I live in a low rent apartment in a mixed race/ethnicity neighborhood. You are the one stereotyping; projection is a thing. Oh, btw, the people doing stupid things with guns in my above comment were White.

              • Seneca, it isn’t just guns—it’s machine guns. Er, rather, semi-automatic weapons that can be modified to “bump fire.”

                Here is a quote from the Republican Party platform, 2016:

                “We oppose ill-conceived laws that would restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of the most popular and common modern rifle.”

                I googled “most popular rifle” a few years ago, probably during the 2016 campaign, and according to the NRA it was then the AR-15 semi-automatic.

                And no restrictions on magazine capacity? God bless the Grand Old Party.

  13. Anyone who’s been in the military over the past 20 years has seen the challenge coin. You can have these made reprreseting your unit or yourself. I think the tradition started as a drinking game,, but morphed.into a sort.of calling card.and I have a box full of these trinkets. Wallnau borrowed on that idea. Compared to the glitzy stuff that’s out there, his looked a little bottom end, so did some research. Bought in bulk, the cost of this Godly Leader Totem is less than $5. Almost 1000% profit. Plus lots of new names on the food bucket direct mail list. Not a bad way to make bank.

  14. John barry says

    Jim Bakker and his kind have such a small following that they just barely rake in enough to skim off the top. They thrive off the old saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity” or bad publicity is better than no publicity. It is like the beautiful actress Emily ? who is suppose to be a staunch supporter of the Me Too movement and women’s rights who is always posing nude or in bikinis to support her cause as #1 her career. I do go for the click bait to see her stand on the issues , when she is at the beach etc. She is beautiful and I support her pictures on the internet as they make me think how lucky the world is to have great looking women in it. Of course I am as deep as Jim Bakker.

    Besides, a true Trumpster would know Trump does not want to share the coin or any publicity with anyone, especially a dead guy, most do not know.

  15. ok I confess. I painted the Salvator Mundi.

  16. senecagriggs says

    I’m lusting over this car. Decades ago I owned one [ it was 11 years old when I purchased it ] At the time, it came with a 70 horsepower 4 cylinder engine.

    Someone stuck a Ford V-8 in this one.

    https://www.ebay.com/i/202560848116

    Eeyore, if you’d start a go Fund me page so I can purchase this; I’ll immediately change my politics and join the Episcopal Church – smile

  17. senecagriggs says

    C.M., next Saturday let’s post pictures of our favorite cars – old or new; owned or just lusted after. Sen

    • If I remember correctly there were photos of Ramblers posted with the Saturday brunch for quite some time.

    • Pix of favorite cars would probably be terrific entertainment for most men here, but I would find it a snorefest, and perhaps some of the (few) other women here would share my opinion. So how about posting pix of favorite cars OR of our pets or plants. If you feel like it, C.M.

  18. senecagriggs says

    Well I’m going to leave for the day and go watch Blazing Saddles.

  19. Patriciamc says

    If anyone’s interested, the funeral service for Rachel Held Evans is on her website. I tuned in a few minutes after it was done and watched the tape. I kept thinking that the church looked awfully familiar, and it turned out to be the Methodist church I attended for years in Chattanooga.

    • Grieving. And I never even followed her all that much.

      • Christiane says

        so sad, the portion with Nadia Bolz-Weber speaking was very moving . . . the young sister, so eloquent

        very sad to see the husband carrying their baby daughter and holding their son’s hand in the procession

        yes, also grieving, for Rachel, for those who mourn their beloved family member and their friend

        God have mercy

  20. I watched it.

    Got a good sense of who Rachel was and why her message was (is) appealing to so many.

  21. Brianthegrandad says

    Daniel, enjoyed the brunch. It was light-hearted and poked a little fun. It gave me a reason to look up who Cyrus the Great was, and it was not Billy Ray. You do a great job and I appreciate it.

    The comments? Not so much. This is why we can’t have nice things. No matter what was posted, the usual suspects will drag their hobby horses out and ride them til they collapse, and then beat the dead horses. The brunch could have consisted of only two pictures, one a flat gray image, the other yellow, and the usual suspects would have pissed and moaned and found some way to make it political, how it was Trump’s fault, because he’s a terrible waste of human skin, or how it wasn’t Trump’s fault because the screaming libs hate him and want to kill children to the age of five.

    Gone are the days when the brunch or ramblings were my first read on Saturday.

  22. That Taco Bell Hotel better have one heck of a sewage system.

  23. john barry says

    Jon, Taco Bell Hotel is totally green , runs of natural or perhaps unnatural gas. The hotel will spend a lot of money on maintaining paper supplies. Next we will have the KFC health walk in clinic. I have to admit , I have stayed in Planet Hollywood in Vegas. Taco Bell has given new meaning to the old saying , I have to eat and run.

  24. Rick Ro. says

    Nice Brunch, Daniel, and good to see ya back! Sorry some of the comments drifted in semi-nastiness, but that’s the times these days.