December 14, 2019

Saturday Brunch, November 16, 2019

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend.

Semper Dry? A rule change means that male U.S. Marines, who previously had to stand in the rain, can now carry umbrellas while wearing their service or dress uniforms.
(Women have long been afforded a black umbrella — but only in their left hand, to keep their right free for salutes.)

During World War II, Major Digby Tatham-Warter of Britain famously carried an umbrella into battle. Once, he used it to attack an armored vehicle and incapacitate the driver. When a lieutenant later questioned the umbrella’s usefulness in war, the major asked, “Oh my goodness Pat, what if it rains?”

The Democratic presidential field is getting larger. Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick threw his hat into the ring. And Michael Bloomberg, he former New York mayor,  has yet to formally declare a run for president in 2020, but he’s spending $100 million on a digital campaign against President Trump, starting today.

Now, nothing against these two guys…but there are still well over a dozen candidates. We don’t need more to replace the couple that have dropped out. This is a primary, not a sustainable fish farm. Let’s start narrowing down, please.

Just a reminder that this gem exists:

It’s the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road. Dominic Green takes stock: “Abbey Road isn’t the worst of the ten Beatles studio albums; that’ll be the posthumous Let It Be. Nor is it the most overrated (Sgt Pepper) or their most creative (Rubber SoulRevolver or the White Album). It isn’t even the dullest Beatles’ album – the orchestral lashings of Phil Spector can’t mask the lassitude and loathing of Let It Be. It was, however, the last studio album the band recorded, and the biggest selling. By the time it was released in September 1969, the long and winding death of the band had slowed the previously torrential tide of new material. A Beatles-starved public bought it in their droves, and so the album’s 50th anniversary, instead of eliciting a sober chorus of raspberries, has incited one of those delirious outbreaks of cheering that tend to follow the pop critics’ receipt of a well-tempered box-set such as the Abbey Road Anniversary Super Deluxe. In fact, Abbey Road is less a cornerstone of the Beatles’ legend than its tombstone.” 

Ben Hart wanted a vanity license plate. The self-proclaimed atheist wanted to make a religious statement too, which led to the request being denied. This week the Kentucky Supreme court ruled for Hart, arguing that vanity plates are a form of protected speech. So here is Ben with his message:

Image result for Ben Hart, a self-identified atheist,"

Venice flooded this week, with the highest water levels in 50 years. Fortunately, the Italians are known for their plumbers: 

Talk is cheap. Until you hire a lawyer.

Uber got a hefty bill this week. New Jersey has demanded that the company pay $649 million for years of unpaid employment taxes, arguing that Uber drivers were really employees, not independent contractors.

Back in May, three drunk Hoosiers got into a fight. It was the crescendo of an incident brimming with colorful details: the trio drinking the night till 3:00 am,  a failed attempt to visit a strip club called the Red Garter, a brawl in the parking lot of an Indianapolis White Castle. The brawl ended with two of the three getting shot.

Everyone survived, but all three got suspended this week from their jobs…

…as judges.

Judges Andrew Adams, Sabrina Bell and Bradley Jacobs

Free tickets to rapper Kanye West’s Jesus Is King “Sunday Service” concert at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, are being scalped online for hundreds of dollars ahead of the touted event expected to draw “huge crowds” in what is to be the biggest installment of the event yet. I KNOW Chaplain Mike would love to go, so if you can all chip in…

The return of witchcraft: “In 1768, John Wesley expressed concern about the decline of popular belief in witchcraft and the supernatural: ‘The English in general, and indeed most of the men of learning in Europe, have given up all accounts of witches and apparitions as mere old wives’ fables. I am sorry for it. . . . They well know (whether Christians know it or not) that the giving up of witchcraft is in effect giving up the Bible. With my latest breath I will bear testimony against giving up to infidels one great proof of the invisible world; I mean that of witchcraft and apparitions, confirmed by the testimony of all ages.’ Actually, Wesley need not have worried. If Europe’s learned had abandoned witchcraft, and most nations accordingly had stopped prosecuting it, a great many ordinary people retained older ideas. In various forms, witchcraft beliefs persisted in the West until quite modern times. And as Christianity has spread around the world over the past century, it often has done so where such beliefs remain strong, above all in Africa; and where churches of necessity devote significant effort to dealing with such manifestations among the faithful. Witchcraft, surprisingly enough, is a pressing global and theological issue of the twenty-first century.”

At least he won’t have to wait forever. Calvin Hawley of Winnipeg reported damage done to the curb outside his home by a snow removal machine in 1993. Nothing happened. He called the city on and off for years to plead for repairs. At one point, Hawley was told the city’s system for logging complaints had changed and that his was no longer on record. As time passed, the rebar on the curb began to crumble and became more exposed. With the help of neighbors, he placed decorative stones where the chunk of curb used to be.

The final straw came on July 1, 2017.

“I was watching crews merrily drive past the front of my driveway to stop and repair other curbs on the other side of the bay that weren’t as damaged as mine or as old,” Hawley told CBC.

He filed yet another complaint later that day. That’s when he was given his repair date: June 26, 2037.

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Tired of slumming it with your puny 65 inch tv? Ready to stop squinting? Samsung is here to help. This week they announced the release of The Wall (no, not that one, Trump). It is a tv measuring a whopping 219 inches, or about 18 feet diagonally.samsung-fl2019-219-the-wall-with-models3.jpg

Wasn’t this predicted in Fahrenheit 451?

Benjamin Schreiber Of Des Moines has been serving the life term since being convicted in 1997 of beating a man to death. But what is his life already ended once? Or five times? Does that mean the life sentence is fulfilled and thus now void?

Schreiber says his heart stopped five times on March 30, 2015, at a hospital where he’d been taken from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison. He filed for release in April 2018, on the basis that since he died his life sentence was fulfilled.

The appeals court ruled against him Wednesday, saying: “Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot.”

Now word yet on if Schreiber will next try the “Schrödinger’s cat defense”.

Well, that’s it for these Saturday. Have a great weekend, friends.

Comments

  1. Susan Dumbrell says

    Tomorrow, Sunday, we will pray this prayer in Australia with great intent.
    Our county’s needs are great.
    I ask for your prayers come with ours in Australia to the throne of Heavenly Grace.

    All things look to you, O Lord,
    to give them their food in due season:
    look in mercy on your people,
    and hear our prayer for those whose lives and possessions are threatened by drought and fire.
    In your mercy restore your creation and heal our land. So guide and bless your people,
    that we may enjoy the fruits of the earth
    and give thanks with grateful hearts,
    through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

  2. Iain Lovejoy says

    What’s with the vacuum cleaner in the well?

  3. If you haven’t watched Good Omens yet, you will perhaps not be aware that the Witchfinder Army still exists!

    But then, with people like Osteen around, it probably needs to.

  4. senecagriggs says

    “London Opens A Museum For Women’s Genitalia”
    __________

    Should I add it to my bucket list of places to visit? Probably not.

  5. Human beings are constitutionally religious, and folk religion, of which witchcraft is one form, will always exist. The great thing is that in some places around the world Christians no longer can use the machinery of the state to persecute witches for their beliefs; they no longer have the power to do so. That is much better not only for the witches, but also for the Christians.

    • Now I’ve read the linked article, I see it is really about how the fear of witches, with consequent anti-witch rhetoric and violence against suspected witches, has persisted and thrived in the modern world, not only in Third World countries where Christianity is rapidly spreading but also in parts of Europe. It seems Christianity is once again feeding the evil phenomenon of religious persecution of other religions and other people’s religious practices under the guise of resisting evil. I’m saddened to hear this.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        It’s like the very one rhetorical device Christianity should never employ; and yet… 🙁

  6. Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis, Kanye and Joel.

  7. It may not have been among their best albums, but Abbey Road included two really fine songs, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”, contributed by George Harrison, who usually took a back seat to Lennon and McCarthy but came to the fore on this album.

      • I have nothing against Abbey Road, whatever the critics may say. It was the first album I received as a gift at Christmas from my brother and his wife, on cassette. Sergeant Pepper’s, however, was a creature of its times that has not stood the test of intervening time well.

      • I once drove from Jackson, Mississippi to Atlanta in a borrowed car with nothing but two cassettes available to listen to – DAYDREAM NATION by Sonic Youth, and one of the later lesser Doors albums whose name I can never remember (the one with ‘People are Strange’ on it). After a while the Doors dropped away, and I listened to DN over and over. I entered a truly alternate state of consciousness, a non-drug drug experience if that makes any sense.

        I tell this story just to point out that no matter how much we might love a piece of music the true test of our devotion is isolation and repetition. Some highly regarded works simply do not bear up to repeated listening. Something to consider when you’re picking out deserted island disks.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I entered a truly alternate state of consciousness, a non-drug drug experience if that makes any sense.

          It does.
          It’s called “a fugue state” (pronounced “fyoozh”) and also “being in the zone”. I do my best and most prolific writing when I’m able to enter a temporary fugue state and “let the juices flow”..

      • +1.

        The Abbey Road side B medley is just pure genius.

    • Still my favorite, is Abbey Road. During my high school years I used to put it on the record player in the living room and crank up the volume while I was getting ready for school. My parents had a lot of patience 🙂

      White Album was creative, all right – some of it is brilliant. Parts of it are completely depressing, I believe from the drug influence – there’s not always beauty on trips into the depths of our minds.

      Dana

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      “Here Comes the Sun…. KCBQ….”
      — KCBQ-AM San Diego station ID sung to that Beatles tune, circa 1970-73.

  8. my water heater
    kicks against the Arctic blast
    fighting the good fight

  9. Is anybody finding all this 50th anniversary cultural stuff rather a letdown? We’ve had Woodstock and Manson and now the Beatles. Somehow it doesn’t seem as seminal as it once did. I was born in 1960 so it was all a child’s hazy background view of reality when it was going on. My parent’s house was about a mile from the Atlanta Raceway so I remember well when the hippies descended on the Atlanta Pop Festival for July 4th in 1969. Time is cruel but fair. In a couple of decades when the last of the boomers is well and gone perhaps this cultural gridlock will break and kids will finally feel free to create something new. Who knows maybe bluegrass will come back in a big way.

    • Jerry Garcia started out playing bluegrass/folk in a jug band…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_McCree%27s_Uptown_Jug_Champions_(album)

    • Cultural gridlock? Aren’t the most commercially successful popular music forms country/Western, which preexisted rock and the Boomers, and rap/hip-hop, which is definitely not Boomer music, and is new and constantly reinventing itself? Welcome to the future; rock is dead.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “We have both kinds of music here — Country AND Western!”
        — Blues Brothers

        • Country, Hip Hop, Pop, and EDI (electronic dance music) are leaving rock behind in the dust. We are way out of Boomer territory when it comes to most popular music; if not dead, rock is certainly moribund in terms of popularity.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Is anybody finding all this 50th anniversary cultural stuff rather a letdown? We’ve had Woodstock and Manson and now the Beatles. Somehow it doesn’t seem as seminal as it once did.

      It’s 2019 — a full half-century after That Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow we were promised of supersonic airliners, large space stations, cities on the moon and Mars, and fusion-powered cheap power.
      “WHERE THE F IS MY JETPACK?????”

  10. At first glance, I thought the video was titled “Benny Hill.” Benny Hill was funnier.

    • Funny thing is, at first I saw “Benny Hill,” too.

      The video is crazy. No doubt some very earnest believers in those crowds, but all I could think was “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” (He even dresses in WHITE, for heaven’s sake!)

  11. David Cornwell says

    With their dignified looks and colorful records, one the trio of judges, Andrew Adams, Sabrina Bell and Bradley Jacobs should be a shoo-in for becoming the next nominee for the Trump Supreme Court.

  12. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    The final straw came on July 1, 2017.

    “I was watching crews merrily drive past the front of my driveway to stop and repair other curbs on the other side of the bay that weren’t as damaged as mine or as old,” Hawley told CBC.

    He filed yet another complaint later that day. That’s when he was given his repair date: June 26, 2037.

    Sure this wasn’t Los Angeles?
    You hear about stuff like this all the time on drive-time talk radio.

    Only things that tell me it’s not L.A. are (1) mention of snow-removal and (2) no virtue-signalling or “You Stupid Sucker!” laugh when he was given his repair date.

    There’s a reason more and more Californians (outside the Dem Party Machine-run cities) are Taking the Mark of the Trump. “MAGA!”

    • Genuine story.

      My wife’s father’s family came from Jersey – not New Jersey, the small island that’s near to France but part of the British Isles. Life there in the 1950s and early 1960s was bucolic – tarmac roads were a relative novelty out in the country, and mains water was quite rare (most people had boreholes).

      The water company contacted my wife’s grandfather in 1962. They said they had a plan to run a water main along the road past his house: if they did, did he want to be connected? He said yes, and they said they would do it when it came to the top of their corporate to-do list.

      The old man died in 1967. His son inherited the house, but never lived in it. By the early 1990s he was suffering from dementia, so his daughter took out a power of attorney and the responsibility for the house devolved on her. In 2000 she had a letter from the water company – the job was now at the top of the list, was a connection still required?

      (We almost missed out as well: she verbally confirmed, but the company sent out a letter to the house. We were living some hundreds of miles away, but fortunately we came over for a visit, and stopped the works crew just as they were about to fill the trench in and go home!)

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Schreiber says his heart stopped five times on March 30, 2015, at a hospital where he’d been taken from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison. He filed for release in April 2018, on the basis that since he died his life sentence was fulfilled.

    The appeals court ruled against him Wednesday, saying: “Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot.”

    Did the appeals court preface their ruling with “Nice try”?
    I would have.

  14. What is the Kentucky Supreme Court doing ruling on an Ohio license plate?

  15. Benjamin Schreiber’s photo shows a man who has been roughed over by life, and no doubt by his own hand, by his own actions and thoughts. I know he is a killer; he belongs in prison, whatever suffering that entails. But he is also a human being, for whom Jesus won redemption as surely as he did for me, and I hope one day Schreiber finds the peace of God that seems to have eluded him in this life.

  16. uncanny echo —
    leaves driven by a hard wind
    under moonless clouds