December 3, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 11.5.11

Hi-ho, fellow ramblers. It is I, your trusty news broadcaster, back from a recent trip to the local Shady Rest for some tests on the ol’ ticker. It ticks still. The nurses were nice—until, that is, I started arranging wheelchair races. I thought the “Southcrest 500” had a nice ring to it. I suppose the final straw was when I put apple juice in the specimen cup. When the nurse came for it, I started to hand it to her, then said, “This looks kind of cloudy. Let’s put it through one more time,” and drank it down. You know, I didn’t think nurses were supposed to use that kind of language. But what do I know? I’m not a medical professional, just a common ordinary rambler. So, now that I am back home and wearing clothing that covers all of me, what say we ramble on?

First of all, this that has nothing to do with anything. I have several of the Beatles albums that were digitally remastered. Amazing. I now hear instruments I never knew were on those songs. The same with the Pink Floyd remastered CDs. It’s like hearing these albums all over again for the first time. As I write this, I’m listening to the latest “remastered” master: Jethro Tull’s Aqualung. Released as a 40th anniversary tribute, this is truly amazing beyond words. You need to get it and listen over and over again. I know I will.

If you do get this album, you better get it soon. An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier is schedule to pass by us on Tuesday. It’s trajectory will bring it closer than the moon. What are the chances of it striking the earth? About the same as the Taliban TV system adding TBN to its line-up. At least this time around. Give it a hundred years or so and then we’ll talk about doomsday.

Oh, what will those crazy atheists think of next? A group—if 15 can be called a “group”—of students at the University of Dayton want to start a student organization called the Society of Freethinkers. The Catholic university says no. So for now these freethinkers are meeting at a nearby Panera to do what ever freethinkers do.  I’m proud of my beloved UD for sticking to their guns—this time. (I went to UD for a semester in my college days. Hey, I got all A’s, thank you.)

Oh when will we Christians ever come up with something original? I think Occupy Wall Street is rather silly, but hey, if they’re having fun camping in the rain, then why not? But Occupy The Altar? Anyone from Tennessee want to defend your fellow Volunteers?

Bishop Harry Jackson says the way to tell the difference between the policies of President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Herman Cain is to look at the churches they attend. Meanwhile, the Obama administration just might want to pick up a copy of Bible For Dummies. Seems White House spokesman Jay Carney quoted a verse during a press conference this week that, ahem, isn’t actually in the Bible. Whoops.

Ok, Martha–‘splain this one to us …

Ho boy. You know I can’t make this stuff up. Seems our good friend Robert Jeffress, last seen denouncing Mormonism as a cult and saying “good Christians should vote for a qualified Christian” and not a Mormon like, oh, Mitt Romney, that same Jeffress—pastor of First Baptist of Dallas—has a new book coming out. Guess who Jeffress cites on the very first page as the inspiration for his book? Glenn Beck. Um, isn’t Beck a Mormon? Don’t they edit books any more?

Or maybe Mormons are zombies. Seriously, that is what one Southern Baptist pastor compares Mormons with: zombies. (You know, I absolutely love writing Saturday Ramblings…)

And the final zombie reference (for today) has a group of Republicans in Virginia in trouble with their own party. Seems they used a picture of President Obama as a zombie with a bullet through his head as an invite to a Halloween event. Apparently not everyone has their, er, sense of humor.

Guess who now controls 50% of the Christian publishing industry? Rupert Murdoch’s HarperCollins publishing division announced this week the purchase of Thomas Nelson Publishers. HarperCollins already owns Zondervan who, along with Nelson, combines to bring in roughly half of all revenue from Christian book sales. Yes, I predicted this three years ago. Sigh …

I’m sure your church has a way of getting meals to those laid up due to illness. What if the person needing the meals requested that they be brought to the church instead of their house, and limo drivers would then deliver the meals to person in need. Think anyone might question this? Apparently members of a very famous church in California did just that.

Finally, I want to once again thank each one of you who has generously contributed to the iMonk fund to allow me to get a new computer to replace my dying one. (Adam Palmer came by yesterday, spent some time with my computer, and said last rites over it.) Some have given five dollars, some a hundred dollars or more. The amount is not important. It is the kindness and generosity of this community that at once thrills me and humbles me. Thank you. (More is still needed if you would like to join in the fun. Thank you in advance.)

Happy happy birthday wishes went out this past week to Leon Redbone; Peter Green (the original guitarist for Fleetwood Mac); Richard Dreyfuss; Kate Jackson; Grace Slick; Timothy B. Schmit; Michael Collins (the Apollo 11 pilot who circled the moon as Neil and Buzz walked on the same); Vanilla Ice; Keith Emerson; Rich Grech; Lyle Lovett; the patron saint of Oklahoma, Will Rogers; Walter Cronkite; and Art Carney.

Birthday boy Lyle Lovett is from Texas, and if there’s one thing they take more seriously in the Lone Star State than church, it’s eating. (And football comes in ahead of either one.) Preachers who go too long on a Sunday morning usually don’t last too long in the pulpit. Just sayin’. And just singin’, here is Lyle Lovett. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-42NzUuUlLY’]

And an additional song from Mr. Lovett, just because. Really enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLU_IYflUkQ&feature=related’]

Comments

  1. Glad to have you back, Jeff. As for the news story you’re asking about, that’s what happens when you have atheists in the government.

    No, not to bash our freethinking brothers and sisters (there are two, both in the Labour party, the minority partner in our coalition government. One is the Minister for Education and the other is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, as mentioned in the linked story). Now, I’m sure they’re not adverse to scoring a few ideological points with the chattering classes here, especially as Labour is getting heavily criticised for being supine in this government, but that’s not the reason behind it.

    Our economic situation is what’s driving this. As the story says, the government is looking to close embassies to reduce expenses, and as they say, they’ve already got the embassy in Rome to the Italian state so they don’t feel the need to maintain a separate one for the Vatican. However, that’s not the whole of it, either.

    This kind of announcement is also cheap though splashy publicity; remember all the fuss about breaking the seal of the confessional? Our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, got some kind of confidence boost out of portraying himself as standing up to the power of the Church and representing the right-thinking plain people of Ireland against the autrocracy of the remote, out-of-touch, and dictatorial Vatican, so why not go for a second round of the same? We’re a big, grown-up modern state and we’re severing all those old links with our peasant, priest-ridden past!

    The honeymoon is over for the government, which came into power on the back of a campaign about all the brave and bold things they were going to do about standing up to Europe when it came to repayments on the bailout loans we needed to prop up the banks.

    Except they didn’t do anything like that, and I never expected them to, since the Troika (the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission representatives overseeing our debt) are the ones setting the agenda. As long as we keep meeting the debt reduction targets, they keep patting us on the head.

    Greece may threaten to default and get away with it, but we don’t – despite much public and media commentary on why don’t we tell them to take a hike? What are they going to do if we don’t stick to their plan?

    Just over the past week or so, there have been stories in the news about (1) an error by the Department of Finance in the calculation of our national debt which over-estimated it by €3.6 billion (2) the announcement of our budget in December which is looking for a reduction of €3.8 billion in spending, mostly by reducing social services and capital investment and some tax increases – but tax increases not on businesses but on the ordinary Joe and Jane Soap (3) the Fiscal Council, which is the new body set up by the government to assess if we’re hitting our targets that we should be looking at €4 billon reduction in the budget at least (4) the repayment in full to the bondholders who hold five-year bonds in a notoriously failed bank of the monies owed to them, at the taxpayers’ expense, despite Greece getting a 50% reduction in a similar case and with allegations of profiteering as some bondholders only invested after the bank failed in order to avail of the government guarantee of repayment (5) many announcements of job losses due to overseas firms, who availed of state grants, now moving jobs overseas with accusations of inaction by the government (e.g. the Taoiseach or another Cabinet minister did not meet with company representatives to try and persuade them not to close) .

    So the government needs to be seen to be doing something, and this – closing the Vatican embassy – is a great way of looking big at little or no cost – come on, what’s the Pope going to do, mount an invasion of Ireland to force us to kneel before his throne? Unlike the Troika, who can and will shut us down if we don’t dance to their tune.

  2. I like your taste in music as well as hospital humor.

  3. Matt Purdum says

    Aqualung is one of the four or five greatest rock masterpieces, and it’s something Christians really need to understand. Timeless, powerful and true. He’s not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.

  4. “Mormons are zombies”… sigh… when are we ever going to stop this Us vs. Them mentality against every other religion?

  5. Dan Crawford says

    Former pastor and Fox “News’ celebrity and country musician Mike Buckahee (you know who I mean) made news this past week when he suggested “conservative” voters in Ohio might want to slash the tires and lie about the date and time of Election Day to keep people from voting for the repeal of legislation denying collective bargaining rights to civil servants – including firemen and policemen. But Mike and his fellow Republicans worship at the Darwinian Church of the Survival of the Richest and the Fittest and its holy trinity of Spencer, Rand, and Sanger. They have a pro-life platform which includes maximum execution rates for accused murderers and the death of people without medical insurance (they find such positions bring great rounds of applause). Though they claim they are not racists (some of them actually like the Godfather’s pizza), their god is a white male who has nothing but contempt for the poor, the immigrant, the disadvantaged and anyone else whose support by the state only “wastes” their tax moneys and encourages recipients to reproduce at a frightening rate. It’s not surprising that their high priests are Southern Baptist and fundamentalist ministers.

    • Wow, Dan. Don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think…

    • VolAlongTheWatchTower says

      Dan speaks unvarnished truth.

      • VolAlongTheWatchTower says

        Oh, and, Jeff, if by Volunteers you mean my Beloved Big Orange, well, may they rest in peace. As for Occupy The Altar, well, not just them but as so oft before, please accept my humble apologies for The South as a whole, for indeed more often than not we’re just a collective embarrassment.

  6. Occupy the Altar? But my altar is already occupied by the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Sorry, there’s no room for your political agenda. #Catholicsnark

    So when I clicked on that link it took me to Jesus Needs New PR, and the post right above the “Occupy the Altar” video is a letter where Pastor Shade at Cornerstone Reformed Church excommunicates some poor parishioner. The letter actually says “We are handing you over to Satan and his kingdom of darkness,” and “we are declaring that you are no longer a Christian, and you are no longer part of the company of the saved.”

    Can we talk about THAT??

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      What did the guy do? Ask Pastor Shade where all the money went or something?

      Wait… “Reformed Church”… Maybe the Apostate handed over to Satan didn’t parse his Reformed Theology exactly right?

  7. “Snot running down his nose”

    Oh, I did love (and wear out) one of my first ever cassette tapes – Aqualung. It sounded so tinny on a little portable cassette player.

    Glad you’re back.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      THAT’S THE FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF WHEN HE MENTIONED JETHRO TULL/AQUALUNG!

      • It was memorable.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Yeah. Imagine THAT one line becoming the most famous and best-known thing you’ve written/sung, to the complete forgetting of all the rest.

          Kind of like a Bart Simpson version of what happened to Arthur Conan-Doyle and Jonathan Edwards.

  8. So, the University of Dayton has a Muslim society, but not those nasty atheists!

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    What are the chances of it striking the earth? About the same as the Taliban TV system adding TBN to its line-up. At least this time around. Give it a hundred years or so and then we’ll talk about doomsday.

    At “the size of an aircraft carrier”, you’re not talking about an Extinction Event. More like Meteor Crater in Arizona, a multi-megaton surface burst. Actually spectacular as long as it’s well away from a populated area. Probably wouldn’t even raise much of a tsunami in a sea strike.

    Oh when will we Christians ever come up with something original? I think Occupy Wall Street is rather silly, but hey, if they’re having fun camping in the rain, then why not? But Occupy The Altar?

    “Just like Occupy Wall Street, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

    And when will Christians (TM) come up with something original? When the Evangelical Emperor (from Jeff’s series) puts on some clothes, that’s when.

    Meanwhile, the Obama administration just might what to pick up a copy of Bible For Dummies. Seems White House spokesman Jay Carney quoted a verse during a press conference this week that, ahem, isn’t actually in the Bible. Whoops.

    Book of Hezekaiah strikes again…

    Guess who Jeffress cites on the very first page as the inspiration for his book? Glenn Beck. Um, isn’t Beck a Mormon?

    But Glenn Beck is God’s Anointed Prophet Against the Obamanation of Desolation! Don’t you know the Tea Party has replaced the Republicans as God’s Own Party (TM)?

    Seems they used a picture of President Obama as a zombie with a bullet through his head as an invite to a Halloween event. Apparently not everyone has their, er, sense of humor.

    Party Commissars (i.e. Kyle’s Moms in positions of Power) seldom do.

    I’m sure your church has a way of getting meals to those laid up due to illness. What if the person needing the meals requested that they be brought to the church instead of their house, and limo drivers would then deliver the meals to person in need. Think anyone might question this? Apparently members of a very famous church in California did just that.

    And the Crystal Cathedral Meltdown continues…

    • Depending on where and how it hits, it might mess up the world’s weather and ruin agriculture for a few years.

      • (Not this one, I hasten to add–some comparable asteroid that actually did strike the earth.)

  10. “…Texas wants you anyways.”

    Love me some Lovett! Thanks for sharing two great songs.

    • I need to drop the kids off at Grandma’s house and take the wife down to Green Hall for a little boot scootin’

  11. Jeff, I may just have to get some of those remastered albums for hubby and I for Christmas, especially the Fab Four. In my young days I knew the all the lyrics and could strum the chords to some of the easy songs.

    ON A SERIOUS NOTE; Could all of you reading please pray for our friend Dave and his wife, who came home from dinner last night and found their 18 year old son dead on the floor. It was not suicide or foul play, but I strongly beleive it is related to a head injury and concussion the boy had three weeks ago.

    The worst is that Dave had a argument with his son before leaving for dinner that ended in hard words and slamming doors. PLEASE pray for Dave’s peace and the removal of this false guilt, and lead him to lean on the One who KNOWS what it is like to lose a Son.

    Thank you….flooding heaven for his peace and his son’s soul is all I can do…..

    • Oh Pattie,
      Will join you in prayers for Dave and his wife.
      How devistating.

    • Me, too. The readings from All Soul’s Day were from Wisdom 3:1-9. Very apropos.

    • David Cornwell says

      Pattie, will definitely remember this family.

      • Thanks to all for the prayers for Dave and his wife. According to our pastor and those who have already visited, he is practically catatonic with grief and guilt. PLEASE continue your prayers. I wish there was something “more”we could do for him, but God is the only one who can deal with this.

  12. Thomas Nelson’s purchase by a News Corp. subsidiary doesn’t really bother me much. After all, it was TN who in 2008 put out a book on parenting by Britney Spears’ mom (equivalent, in my mind, to publishing The Jeffrey Dahmer Cookbook) … so I don’t know that their new corporate masters could be anything but an improvement. The bottom has already been reached.

  13. Hypocrisy being nothing to ignore, I also think the fact that a pastor, a claiming shepherd of the church, Jesus’ Body, is listing Glenn Beck as in inspiration is just as disturbing – sigh – the evangelical wilderness is truly a dry and thirsty land.

  14. “Um, isn’t Beck a Mormon?”

    Ayn Rand is the one true diety, and Beck is her prophet.

    • It is an interesting observation, which ties in nicely with recent discussion regarding atheism. Atheists are supposed to be the great evil of the world. I recently saw a story about a pastor who wanted to create an atheist tracking registry, so that crypto-atheists couldn’t slip in amongst us and deflower our youth.

      But what Beck represents is a breath-taking secularization of religion, retooling it into a weapon of sheer political and elitist power. This is happening right before our eyes, and few cry foul. And Beck is not an atheist. It represents a threat to the core of our faith which makes bans on school prayer pale in comparison.

      The more we write off guys like Beck or Bickle as the lunatic fringe of organized religion, the more they seem to garnish acceptance among conservative politicians. The sad fact about democracy is that those with the will-to-power will gain a tyrannical hold over the majority unless majority has an equally powerful will to stop them. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  15. Wow, Aqualung remastered! I would like to hear that. The non-mastered version was incredible.

  16. Richard McNeeley says

    “I suppose the final straw was when I put apple juice in the specimen cup”

    My wife (Gail) did this when she was pregnant with our daughter almost 20 years ago, although she didn’t drink it. The nurse ( a friend of ours) thought it was very funny.
    I never liked Aqualung or any of Jethro Tull’s music, however, Pink Floyd is another story.

  17. Matthew Johnson says

    As the author of the Mormon/Zombie article, I would like to clarify that I wasn’t suggesting that I actually think Mormons are zombies. While I am a Baptist minister, I am not a Southern Baptist. My question was: Why are Southern Baptists (like Jeffress) so seemingly scared of Mormons? My answer was: They are scared of Mormons because Mormons as so much like them, only a bit different. This led me to think about the “uncanny valley” (an interesting idea you should look up if you are unfamiliar) and to the zombie comparison.

    The article is actually critical of the SBC, and is not critical of the LDS at all. When I wrote it, I assumed the only people who would read it were Baptists like me who would understand what I was getting at. It got picked up for wider distribution and a lot of people have understandably gotten my intentions exactly backwards.

    As for the rest of your post, I love Jethro Tull and Lyle Lovett, so it was nice to see them both together. Thanks!