February 19, 2020

Saturday Ramblings, May 16, 2015

Hello, Imonks, and welcome to the weekend. Ready to Ramble?

53 Convertible

53 Convertible

Of course the big news in religion this week was the release of a new Pew study on American religion. However, Mike Bell had a post about that yesterday and will have another one next Friday, so I will leave that in his capable hands. I do, however, need to pass along one interesting and related graph:

How fertile is your faith?

How fertile is your faith?

Instead, we start with some politics, just so we can piss off both sides right at the beginning. You’re welcome. Jeb Bush got in trouble this week when he said he would have supported the Iraq war, even if we knew what we know now.  This amazed the left and annoyed the right, who would dearly love for us to forget the fact that the invasion cost thousands of lives, billions of dollars, destroyed any good will we had in the most volatile region in the world, and never did find those pesky weapons of mass destruction (or any tie to 9/11).  Jeb later tried to backpedal on this, but not before leaving many people wondering about his sanity and how independent he is of his older brother. 051415MikeLuckovich_Creators

Obama held a meeting on poverty, and complained, ““Part of what’s happened is, is that elites in a very mobile, globalized world are able to live together, away from folks who are not as wealthy, and so they feel less of a commitment to making those investments … And what’s happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better — more skilled, more educated, luckier, having greater advantages — are withdrawing from sort of the commons — kids start going to private schools; kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks.” He then left to pick up his kids at the local public school. Just kidding, of course. He sent the limo to pick them up from Sidwell Friends School, (tuition: $37,500) described as “the Harvard of Washington’s private schools.”  Prior to his election as president, his daughters attended a private school in Illinois with a tuition of $27,384.

Around 200  influential evangelicals will huddle this weekend in hopes of coalescing their support around a single Republican presidential candidate. The Council for National Policy, currently overseen by Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, will meet behind closed doors at the Ritz-Carleton in McLean, Va. They expect to hear from Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee. Scott Walker promised to attend the next one. The idea, of course, is to not let the evangelical vote get split up in the primaries.  And really, wouldn’t Jesus be all about a secret political meeting at the Ritz?

And it was announced Wednesday that Chicago will be the city hosting the Obama Presidential Library, edging out Honolulu and New York.

051415ScottStantis_TribunePolice in northwestern Massachusetts posted an important reminder Monday night:

**Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised**

The North Adams Police Department is urging everyone to NOT chase bears through the woods with a dull hatchet, drunk. Yes that really did happen tonight. We understand there are bears in the area. If you see a bear, LEAVE IT ALONE and call us. We certainly don’t need anyone going all Davy Crockett chasing it through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet. It is just a bad idea.

Pope Francis said Monday that “many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off war”. The comment was a response to a question from one of the 7,000 children taking part in an audience held with the Peace Factory organisation. “This is serious,” Francis told the children. “Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms….It’s the industry of death”.

The Pope has a big fan in Raul Castro, the president (for life) of Cuba. Castro met with Francis on Sunday, and thanked the pope for the Vatican’s contribution to December’s historic resumption of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.  Later, he said he was “really impressed by his wisdom and his modesty…When the pope comes to Cuba in September, I promise to go to all his Masses and I will be happy to do so….I told the prime minister if the pope continues to talk as he does, sooner or later I will start praying again and return to the Catholic Church, and I am not kidding.”

Alas, not everyone is happy with the Pontiff. The Vatican’s decision to recognize the state of Palestine in a treaty on Wednesday angered Israeli officials. The move comes four days before the first-ever canonization of two Palestinian nuns and it solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

sbr050615dAPR

This week a jury sentenced convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection. Here is my question to you, imonks: Assuming the facts in the case are correct, do you support the death penalty in cases like these?

The Southern Baptist Convention will now admit candidates who speak in tongues. Previously, a questionnaire had asked potential missionaries about whether they spoke in tongues, and an affirmative answer was a deal-breaker. Divorced candidates are now also welcome to apply. Lest you think they have gone all loosey-goosey, however, they did tighten up one qualification: only those baptized by immersion are now eligible. Gotta have some standards.

Funny-cartoon-Kermit-the-frog

Sweet gig, if you can get it. Turns out, if you work for the IRS, you don’t actually have to follow IRS laws. Nearly 1,600 IRS employees didn’t pay their taxes over a ten year period, and only 39 percent were fired. Some employees even got promotions less than one year after they were caught cheating on their taxes.

Odd Headline of the Week: Wild Boar Falls Through Mall Ceiling In Hong Kong, Hams It Up Inside Children’s Store.

The California Senate passed a bill that ends the “personal belief” exception regarding children’s vaccine.  Now parents who do not vaccinate their children would have to home-school them.  In recent years, vaccination rates at many California schools have plummeted as parents, some of whom fear a link between vaccines and autism, have declined to inoculate their children against such diseases as polio and measles.

During a press conference earlier this week explaining the circumstances under which local police shot a suspect they were pursuing, Sheriff Ed Mattingly of Bardstown, Kentucky, expressed relief that the man who was shot was white. “We are glad that he is white, and we shouldn’t have to be worried about that. And we do not want any backlash or violence in this community because people have been misinformed.”

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Hyon Yong Chol of North Korea was a very important man. A four-star general, he rose to Defense Minister (equivalent to our Secretary of Defense). But he apparently was “disrespectful” to Kim Jong Un, (the dictator from central casting). He even fell asleep during meetings. So Kim had him fired. Literally. He executed Chol. In front of hundred of observers. With an anti-aircraft gun.  Yeah.  Cuz why use a rifle when you can make your point with this:

Pictured: subtlety

In related news, sales of Red Bull have skyrocketed in North Korea.

A Picasso sold for a new record at auction this week: 179 million.  This is stupid.  First, because Picasso is over-rated and couldn’t carry Van Gogh’s paint-smock.  Second, this wasn’t even one of his more significant works.  Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) is a late-in-life-resting-on-his-laurels-and-phoning-it-in type work. This isn’t Orson Welles in Citizen Cane. This is Orson Welles in Masters of the Congo Jungle. This buy was about the Picasso brand, not the meaning of the painting.  But one good thing came of it, at least: the chance to laugh at the Fox affiliate in New York that censored the breasts of the painting in their reporting. Because, you know, Picasso women are such a turn-on.

Guys, please try to control yourselves

Guys, please try to control yourselves

On Tuesday, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled plans for a new Harmony in Diversity Museum aimed at promoting religious tolerance. Later that day,  a Singapore court found 16-year-old blogger Amos Yee guilty of insulting religious feelings on YouTube.

You thought I was joking about this one, didn't ya?

You thought I was joking about this one, didn’t ya?

Being a Christian is very difficult in Pakistan,  where Muslims account for more than 90 percent of the population (Christians make up just 1.5 percent). Christians have been fleeing Pakistan in droves in recent years amid a wave of horrific attacks against them. Christians are also often targets of Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy law. The law forbids insults of any form — even by “innuendo” — against the Muslim prophet Muhammad and makes the crime punishable by death. But Pakistani businessman Parvez Henry Gill has a plan. Gill says he was sleeping when God crashed into one of his dreams and gave him a job: Find a way to protect Christians in Pakistan from violence and abuse. “I want you to do something different,” God told him. Eventually Gill found his idea: building a 140 foot cross in Pakistan’s largest city. It’s being constructed now. “I said, ‘I am going to build a big cross, higher than any in the world, in a Muslim country…. It will be a symbol of God, and everybody who sees this will be worry free.” Because building a mammoth cross in a violent Muslim country definitely leaves nothing to worry about, right?

Pictured: subtlety

Pictured: eternal tranquility

cross2Lucille is an orphan.  Legendary blues artist B.B. King died this week at 89.  King first learned music from the African American churches of the Mississippi Delta.“Church was not only a warm spiritual experience, it was exciting entertainment. It was where I could sit next to a pretty girl and mostly it was where the music got all over my body and made me wanna jump.” One fateful Sunday, a Pentecostal pastor taught King to play three basic chords. After that, King was converted. He volunteered to be a janitor at the church so he could spend time with the instruments. We leave you with a great video of King and his beloved guitar, Lucille, performing in 1993 (which amazingly means King is in his mid 60’s here):

 

Comments

  1. Robert F says

    Rest in peace, B.B. King.

    • Memory eternal, BB. We were at our daughter’s graduation from Purdue University yesterday and were touched to see lovingly assembled display cases around the campus with posters and tributes to BB King . What a life he lived. Has anyone else enjoyed himself longer and with more vim?

  2. So funny. The mainline press makes fun of the number of people in the Republican camp who are declaring to run for president while the Democratic party is celebrating their diversity with…an old, white, establishment woman! Period!

    So, the GOP fields white, black, male and female, Cuban, Mexican and Anglo, and TEAY are the ones being ridiculed! All are making themselves available for questions while Hilary answers almost nothing.

    OK, seems fair…

    • Rick Ro. says

      (Sarcasm on)

      The Republicans need to trot out so many diverse folks so voters THINK they believe in diversity, when they actually don’t, while the Democrats don’t need to because, you know….everyone KNOWS they believe in diversity.

      (Sarcasm off)

    • Richard Hershberger says

      (1) A woman nominee is in fact diversity. Don’t believe me? How many women have been major party nominees in the past?
      (2) The Democrats actually nominated and elected a black man.
      (3) What do you want to bet that the 2016 Republican nominee won’t be a white guy?

      • Rick Ro. says

        “What do you want to bet that the 2016 Republican nominee won’t be a white guy?”

        And what do you want to bet that the 2016 Democratic nominee won’t be a white guy, either?

      • If the Republicans really want to have a chance they’ll put up Condoleeza Rice.

        • Richard Hershberger says

          I believe she has firmly disavowed any interest. It would be interesting. I consider present-day Republican policies so toxic that I would be hard pressed to vote for any Republican candidate for any national office. (State and local is a different dynamic.) But Rice is someone I like, and regret the baggage that she would bring with her.

          • I agree—but there may be enough distance between her and George W by now. Not saying I’d vote for her (I pretty much stopped voting Republican after voting for Reagan twice and repenting) but it sure would be interesting. She’d be a very impressive candidate (and probably president, hate to admit it).

            Toxic is right. I’m in Maine, Olympia Snowe’s home state, and she declined to run again for senator citing the polarized atmosphere in Washington. An independent, former governor Angus King, took her seat, and it serves the Republicans right.

    • Dan Crawford says

      What makes the number of Republican candidates remarkable is that they represent the various facets of political asininity.

      • Well, they certainly represent the significant and not-inconsequetial fractures within the GOP. It is amazing that the same party can apparently support both Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. As for Huckabee…it boggles my mind that anyone would take him seriously as a person, let alone a political candidate.

      • Mr, Crawford, isn’t it a little early to start assassinating character?

  3. Rick Ro. says

    Oh, my…one of your best, Daniel!!! Your knack for equal opportunity skewering is amazing. Many laughs here. Thanks!

    (Though the Kermit comic is kinda sad. Funny, sure, but sad too, ya know?)

  4. OlldProphet says

    Just business as usual here in the Peoples Republic of California led by Jerry Brownshirts. All school kids must be injected with all necessary vaccines. No religious exemptions whatsoever. Bug Brother is watching you! At least you can get it paid with by Covered California. What, CC will be out of funds by early 2016? Well, I can always go a free clinic. What, a 9 hour wait because it’s filled by undocumented aliens? Guess all I can do is pray not to get sick.

    • But, but…we’ll have the Bullet Train!!! (Never mind that it will cost more than air fare and take twice as long to get where you want to go, and that speeds will never come close to those advertized. But then who really wants to travel from Fresno to Modesto in record time?

    • Richard Hershberger says

      “All school kids must be injected with all necessary vaccines. No religious exemptions whatsoever.”

      Good! Experience has shown that reasonable exemptions will be abused, and it is not reasonable to let the crazies endanger everyone else’s kids.

      • As I read Daniel’s point, it still seems that people have a choice. They don’t have to vaccinate their children, but if they don’t, then they have to find an alternative to public education. Am I wrong about that? There’s always a choice. We just want our choices not to cost anything. And by the way, I’m for vaccination as a respectful communitarian way of caring for our families and our neighbors. There are costs to vaccination, too, but that’s just the way life is.

        • I think the anti-vac crowd is a bit off, especially the ones who still cling to the discredited “vaccination causes autism” pov (the guy who proposed it has had his med license revoked and his theory debunked). but be careful about the communitarian view because it eventually leads to marginalization and exclusion.

          The cure for the anti-vac crowd is to deny insurance coverage to those who didn’t vaccinate their kids with only a medical exemption excepted. When a kid comes down with measles, diphtheria, pertussis, or any other of the preventable diseases, and the parents are responsible for the whole medical bill, I think you will see a change in attitude.

          • Donalbain says

            That completely misses the point. There are some people who simply cannot be vaccinated for various medical reasons. If someone comes to school without a vaccine, that puts those kids in danger. Refusing vaccination is bad because it hurts others, not just because it hurts yourself.

          • Donalbain, either way, the kids suffer. At least denying insurance coverage will hurt the parents who make dumb decisions based on a discredited theory. A financial penalty usually convinces people to do what they initially decided NOT to do: vaccinate.

            California is leaving the “cannot vaccinate” group alone, and these kids SHOULD be assured insurance coverage.

            By the way, does anyone really know what percentage of the population CANNOT be vaccinated because of medical reasons? My guess is that it is amazingly small.

      • “All school kids must be injected with all necessary vaccines. No religious exemptions whatsoever.”

        Good! Experience has shown that reasonable exemptions will be abused, and it is not reasonable to let the crazies endanger everyone else’s kids

        I tend to agree. The selfish brutality of parents who would endanger their children and their neighbors’ children through ignorance is surprising, even in California. Apparently there are folks who believe theoretical principles of individual choice trump common sense and public safety. Unfortunately, that is virtually the opposite of liberty.

      • Patrick Kyle says

        Yeah, the illegal aliens comprise the largest block of un immunized children. This religious exception BS is a red herring. The measles outbreak last year? Immigrants mostly..

    • I normally try to bow out of SatRam fights, but I can’t tell if you are kidding or not, and communicable diseases are nothing to mess around with. Ask anyone who has memories of life before, say, 1950, what it was like losing friends and family to polio, smallpox, and whatever other diseases have since been clamped down by immunizations. Do immunuzations have risks? Yes. So does sunbathing. And the risks are minuscule compared to the anti-vax agitprop – and NOTHING compared to life before we had them.

    • The religious exemption I find most troubling is the exemption against thinking clearly.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I’m definitely NOT a fan of the Our Anointed Betters in Sacramento (AKA the Thin Grey Ponytails), and I’m no stranger to nasty snaking, but I’ve never seen this much denunciation and vitriol in such a short comment this side of a real nasty radio shock-jock. All that’s missing is the Oath of Galt’s Gulch and the mantra of “RON PAUL! RON PAUL! RON PAUL! AYN RAND! AYN RAND! AYN RAND!”

  5. Robert F says

    Interesting graph. Herein is evidence of the widespread use of artificial birth control among many religious groups, including Catholics despite RCC teaching (Does anyone actually believe that most Catholics keep down the numbers of children born to them by the use of natural family planning?).

    • Richard Hershberger says

      Has anyone believed this in the past fifty years?

      • Robert F says

        No. But many ignore the evidence when discussing religious teaching and values by talking as if it doesn’t exist. I think it’s important to point out that it does exist.

        • Robert F says

          I also would point to this as an example of how, in the “West” at least, the conscience of most Catholics regarding moral teachings has become almost completely “Protestantized”, putting individual belief and choice above Church teaching.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I’m curious to see where American Muslims fall on this graph. Wasn’t there a large enough sample to include, or were they skipped in this particular Pew study?

  6. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think that saying that parents who don’t believe in vaccines can’t send their kids to public school sounds that unreasonable.

  7. Robert F says

    Immunizations should be required for children going to public schools. Unimmunized children create a health threat to the general public. Without the widespread use of immunization, we can look forward to the resurgence of many diseases that have practically disappeared in the general population. And “widespread use” means around 95%, I believe.

  8. Robert F says

    I find the anti-vaccination movement interesting because it highlights the anti-scientific mindset that can occur among well-educated, upper-middle class people, who happen to make up the bulk of both the rank-and-file and leadership of this campaign. Money and education are not airtight shields against irrationality.

    • Yes, Daily Show had a hilarious “special report” on the issue, as only that show can deliver. I think in fifty years or so we will look at the early formation of social media and information sharing as a time of great adjustment as people had to sort fact from fiction for themselves (and often failed).

    • Brianthedad says

      Hell hath no fury like an anti-vac soccer mom denied her little unvaccinated snowflake’s attendance at the school of her choice. You get a similar thing in the water supply world. There are always some very vocal kooks who are convinced that chlorine and fluoride are unhealthy or government methods of mind control. Pardon my obvious generalizations, and my bias. But that is the view from my admittedly limited anecdoteasphere.

      • Dave Denis says

        “A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works. ”

        “God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.”

    • OldProphet says

      Obviously most of you Imonkers did not get the satirical bent of my post at all. I attended LAUSD schools my whole life and polio vaccinations were mandatory from K-6. So no problem there. The issue is Cali! All 7 statewide offices are liberal Democrats. The Assembly and Senate are veto proof Democrat, with a super majority. They can pass any bill they like with no GOP votes. Cali is a one party state. And the California Teachers Union is the most powerful group in the state and they are the ones who pushed for this vaccination bill. Since JB was funded and elected by the CTA, it was passed. Cronyism at its best. To not bow to this law means that parents cannot send their kids to public schools but will have to home school them. And, according to the HSLDA, Cali is one of the top states to bring legal action against legal homeschooling families. Where is HUG, my favorite anti-dictator guy when I need him? GOOSESTEP! Hail, Caesar, errrr Jerry.

      • ATChaffee says

        Interesting, theory, but just for the record, I’m in California, have unschooled for 12 years and know a fair number of homeschoolers . I have never heard of legal action against homeschoolers personally or in the news. My kids have gone from homeschool to high school and in one case college with no problem, and they have popped into the public school campuses to take standardized tests as well. FWIW.

        • OldProphet says

          Well, you’re the lucky one AT. I’ve know several who had run ins with local school boards, truant officers at the door etc. California’s tough on homeschoolers. It’s all about money. It’s why here in SoCal that the local counties have created charter schools:you can school at home but must use state approved curriculum and state testing which basically gives the state control over homeschooling families.

        • It depends on what type of neighborhood and school district you live in. Large tax base? No problem! Low income and low tax base? “Get thee to a public school!”

          • If the kids are getting a better education in a public setting than a private setting, I’d hope parents selfish ideologies would bend a little for the sake of their kids.

            Love others, and all that.

          • ATChaffee says

            Well, true that experiences differ. Around here the public schools dislike charter schools which suck off some of the limited pool of funding.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And every election since around 2000 has been “ALL INCUMBENTS RE-ELECTED. *NO* EXCEPTIONS.” Upon retirement, former Incumbent-for-Life’s SON becomes the new Incumbent-for-Life.

        Highborn Primogeniture. I wonder why we even have elections anymore.

      • From the wiki:

        Poe’s law, named after its author Nathan Poe, is a literary adage which stipulates that, without a clear indicator of an author’s intention, it is often impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of such extremism. Someone will likely mistake the parody for a genuine article, or vice-versa.

        • The blog stufffundieslike.com is a good example of that. It’s very hard to tell if it’s April 1st or not with some of the stuff they report on.

    • SottoVoce says

      I would say rather that it is proof that science education and critical thinking (especially distinguishing good information from bad) are severely lacking even at the highest levels of education. If I had any say in policy, I would advocate for mandatory statistics classes in high school; at the very least, it might teach a few more people the importance of things like sample size when evaluating all those studies that everybody talks about.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Money and education are not airtight shields against irrationality.

      A TIME article on the subject some months ago called it “Master of the World Syndrome”, i.e. I’m Rich, I’m Educated, I have my Lawyers, what do you mean I have to obey the Law of Gravity? I’LL SUE!

      And after that Whooping Cough epidemic in Santa Barbara and the Disneyland Measles outbreak, you expected any different?

      • I’d almost modify that with “inherited” money…the ones who are intelligent and earned their money don’t seem to have the same hiccups.

        • And yes, being given a cushy VP type job in an org that makes a ton of money after being groomed with a MBA and all the perks IS still a form of inheritance.

  9. Robert F says

    From what I know of it, such art auctions have long profited from factors having little to do with the actual quality of the paintings involved, whatever one may think of Picasso and this particular painting.

  10. >> And what’s happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better — more skilled, more educated, luckier, having greater advantages — are withdrawing from sort of the commons <<

    At Purdue's graduation ceremonies last night, President Mitch Daniels admonished graduates not to lose touch in that way, saying, "It is no problem if truck drivers can't identify or understand the concerns of the college professors and politicians. But it is a big problem if college professors and politicians cannot understand the concerns of truck drivers."

    • Robert F says

      But they will lose touch.

    • The exact name of the fellow escapes me, but there was an orator during the Roman Republic who issued a similar warning to the optimate class of his day. He was ignored. And we all know how that turned out… :-/

      • That would probably be Cicero, eventually killed because he was a pain in the concience.

  11. Robert F says

    I would have been disqualified as a jury member because I would never impose the death penalty. Not even in this case. And I’m not sure I would be doing Tsarnaev any favors, because he will spending 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, and that will be a psychological hell for him. I think, if I had to make the choice for myself, I’d rather be executed.

    • Robert F says

      I meant, he would be spending 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, and that would be a psychological hell etc.

      • Donalbain says

        Yes, in this case, the options were between two barbaric forms of torture.

        • Execution and torture are immoral and are tools of vengeance that are not ours to possess. While we have the means to protect ourselves from convicted killers, we don’t seem to have the ability to protect them from us.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Besides, it’s a Massachusetts jury, and they get VERY Righteous about such things.

      And with Federal death penalties, remember Ees POLITICAL Matter, and An Example Must Be Made.

      Only thing is, we won’t execute him, we’ll euthanize him. IV and Go Sleepy-Sleep, intoning in legalese.

      Burning alive in a cage or sawing the head off with a paring knife ISIS-style — now THAT’s a Revenge Spectacle!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        What I’m trying to say is ISIS knows how to KILL.
        They don’t “put to sleepy-sleep”, they KILL.

        • OlfProphet says

          “Shrink, I wanna kill! Kill, kill, kill! Sez Arlo from Alice’s Restaurant.

  12. Richard Hershberger says

    “Assuming the facts in the case are correct, do you support the death penalty in cases like these?”

    This is a really good question, that I’ve been thinking about the past few days. I have come to the conclusion that the answer is still no. There are various possible lines of argument. Among them is all that is packed into “in cases like these?” What makes a case be like this one?

    This one is a slam dunk. If you allow for the death penalty in any case, this is the one. (I doubt that anyone is persuaded by the “it was his brother’s fault” argument. This clearly was a defense lawyer being dealt a weak hand and making the best of it.) The problem is that we know that many innocent persons have been convicted, and some of them given the death penalty. This is despite the legal presumption of innocence, and the standard of reasonable doubt. A person is only convicted if it would be unreasonable to doubt his guilt. Yet society still gets it wrong disturbingly often.

    Here in this case we have a heinous crime and no reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt: a slam dunk. But those innocent defendants were also convicted of heinous crimes, and under the same standard of proof. We don’t have any way to distinguish between these and the “no, really, this guy is obviously guilty” cases. Absent some way to make this distinction, what we are ultimately talking about is how many innocent people we are willing to execute in order to make sure that we get the genuine bad guys, too. As a Christian, my answer is “zero.”

    This would be harder if the choices were execute this guy or let him walk free. But that isn’t what we are talking about. The choices are between executing him and throwing him in the clink for hard time for life. This isn’t a vacation in the Bahamas. (Only people who steal millions of dollars get to go to that jail.) So while this case gave me some pause, ultimately the answer turned out to be pretty easy.

    • Robert F says

      +1

      The execution of a “certainly” guilty person leads to, or maintains, an atmosphere in which innocent persons are also more likely to be executed.

    • I don’t know, honestly, in this case. Part of me says execution is humane, and also an appropriate punishment for someone who is a MASS murderer, key word there. I don’t think it should be 1:1. Nor should there be an arbitrary threshold, like 10>:1=Execute. But this was not only a mass murder, but a demonstration of public terrorism that has effected thousands/millions. That’s different.

      On the other hand, life in solitary confinement will essentially destroy the man and his mind while keeping him alive and having to be paid for and taken care of. If there is a hell on earth, solitary confinement could be qualified for it. It will literally destroy him for eternity. He will be tormented and driven insane for eternity.

      So this is a physical, dare I say “real” example of the eternal hell vs annihiliation argument.

      Which do I fall under?

    • I couldn’t vote for the death penalty because of the guy’s family. Any guy, or gal, who is convicted of murder still has people who care about him/her. They suffer horribly with the trial and conviction, and to add the death of their evil family member to that suffering is not something I could agree on. I saw a photo of Timothy McVeigh’s father at the moment he got news that his son would be executed. It just isn’t worth it.

      As Richard said, “This would be harder if the choices were execute this guy or let him walk free. But that isn’t what we are talking about. The choices are between executing him and throwing him in the clink for hard time for life.”

      I realize many of the victims’ families do want the death penalty, and I do respect that. But if someone slaughtered, say, my daughter or my grandson, I too would want (at least at first) not only the death penalty but the death penalty by slow torture, for the killer. Should I get my wish? The law is there not only to punish the guilty, but also to stand between the victim and the perp.

      • Honestly, the only way I could ever support not implementing the death penalty in cases like this is if we had a reform system instead of a punishment system, and if it included value-added labor to help pay back a debt to society. As it stands, life incarceration is a very expensive and meaningless proposition that is something like torture. Does that make me a cold-hearted, pragmatic bastard? Maybe.

        • Robert F says

          “As it stands, life incarceration is a very expensive…”

          I’ve heard that, given the cost of all the more-or-less automatic appeals that follow any death sentence, it is far less expensive to incarcerate someone for life than it is to have them executed. Is that untrue?

  13. Robert F says

    The Obama Library as depicted in that satirical cartoon resembles the obelisk in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

  14. Last week I brought my job site roughness to this forum and offended some here. Every morning in lamenting this I cried to God for forgiveness as too I added in prayer those who I believe to have offended. I publicly ask for forgiveness. I have nothing further to add or explain. I can’t live without following through those things he puts in my heart. A poem for you and peace be in your days…

    Touching

    People leaving traces upon my soul
    Those touches that make me who I am
    Such struggle to bring me back to whole
    Never the less this is the man

    In that this is overcome
    The touch of Jesus making new
    The taste of wine in having some
    In changing points of view

    For the need is great inside the chest
    The heart springing to new life
    In those times receiving rest
    Knowing deeply and given right

    Grace has spilled and covered me
    It is by this in which I am
    Left to choose in loving free
    This gift from God to man

    So in return what should I do
    Maybe to offer such simple prayer
    For this much I know is true
    My hope is to see you there

    • Robert F says

      w, For my part, I confess saying things in angry response to your comments, things designed to defend and vindicate myself rather than merely sharing the truth as I understood it.

      In my experience, the need to ask forgiveness is almost always, in some way, mutual.

      Please forgive me.

    • w, stupidity and offensive words have been spewed by some of the more erudite and well-spoken, “cultured” members of this forum. You are not alone, so take heart.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Don’t let it bug you, w. We all have our days off (and some of us have years off….). We wouldn’t be human otherwise.

  15. Robert F says

    Daniel, I think you chose a bunch of potentially pretty incendiary subjects for this weeks Rumbling…, er, I mean Ramblings..

    Where’s the music? May I suggest “Saturday” Morning Noon and “Night’s Alright for Fighting”?

  16. Klasie Kraalogies says

    I know only one anti-vaxxer – and he is so because his wife and her family are virulently anti-vaccine. Chap has a masters degree (in the humanities). His family’s politics is defintely of the Camelia senensis variety…

    It seems that people susceptible to conspiracy theories, even though otherwise rational thinking, are prone to this particular deception. No matter what their politics is, or their social class (in this case, lower middle class).

  17. -which amazingly means King is in his mid 60’s here-

    So do you imagine we automatically lose all our skills when we turn 60?

    Do you not see the distinction between a movie Orson Welles wrote, produced and directed and a movie he went into the studio for a few hours to hire out as narrator to raise money for his own work? Your analogy doesn’t work.

    I oppose the death penalty under any circumstances. It is barbaric and demeaning and unworthy of a civilized people. I also note the irony of conservatives who constantly remind us of the evils of BIG GOVERNMENT and complain about its influence being willing to cede the power of life and death to it.

    • …and don’t be so quick to laugh about the picture illustrating the execution by artillery. As our police forces get more and more militarized with “gifts” from the Pentagon of surplus equipment, we are not far from the day when the use of heavy armor will be used to kill unarmed “suspicious” civilians. And many will be there to defend its use.

      • Brianthedad says

        To be fair, it wasn’t an anti-aircraft cannon as pictured that was used to executed him. It was a battery of six quad-50 cal heavy machine guns. At least according to satellite photos. Not sure this makes a difference, but it probably makes it a little safer for the observers, at least until they nod off.

        • Rick Ro. says

          I imagine there wasn’t much left of the guy.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            When you’re Making an Example, you WANT overkill.
            The more vicious and cruel, the better.
            “Make an Example of one, and a hundred will fall into line.”

          • Pink mist

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Actually, six quad KPV 14.5mm HMGs. Bigger than .50-cals; round was developed for a Russian anti-tank rifle in the Thirties and is about twice as heavy and powerful as a .50-cal round.

          And knowing Comrade Kim the Fat’s penchant for overkill cruelty when Making an Example, probably had to empty the entire 100-round drum per barrel, 2400 rounds total.

      • Rick Ro. says

        A little paranoid, are we?

    • So do you imagine we automatically lose all our skills when we turn 60?

      That’s right, look at the Rolling Stones, er,…never mind!

      • Good point, Oscar (he said, aiming to clean up sexagenarian misconceptions one year ahead of his becoming one), and don’t forget Picasso.

        That’s right, PICASSO, Daniel Jepsen. You thought nobody noticed your little dig against the old Spaniard. “Picasso is over-rated and couldn’t carry Van Gogh’s paint-smock,” you said.

        Well, HA! Have you SEEN some of his earlier stuff? Van Gogh should drool over them.

        (You weren’t trying to suck up to Chaplain Mike, were you?) 🙂

    • I mentioned it above, but it’s hard for me to be super opposed to the death penalty when compared to the utter horror that is solitary confinement.

      • Based on my limited knowledge of the prison system (as a prison ministry volunteer for a number of years)those in solitary confinement can still read, write letters, and take correspondence courses from Christian prison ministries. Not to mention the fact that high-profile inmates tend to bring out the prison groupies….think Richard Ramirez, aka “The Night Strangler” and of course Charles Manson.

  18. Aaron O'Kelley says

    On the Southern Baptist mission board issue, just wanted to let you know that requiring baptism by immersion (because that is what baptism is, according to SBC doctrine) has always been the policy. This was not a tightening of standards. In fact, the mission board has actually loosened its standards on baptism. Formerly it required all missionaries to have been baptized by immersion in a church that only practices baptism of professing believers by immersion (for all practical purposes, a baptist church). Now that requirement has gone away, but the SBC understanding of what baptism is (immersion in water) has not changed.

    The upshot of this is that now, those who may have formerly belonged to other denominations and were baptized as professing believers by immersion in those denominations are eligible for appointment as missionaries. The mission board formerly did not allow this unless such persons submitted to baptism in a baptist (or at least baptistic) church. So the policy is more open now than it was before.

    • Thanks, Aaron. I looked back at the link. I misunderstood the meaning of the document. Good catch.

    • Rick Ro. says

      Full immersion. Does it matter if it’s backward dunking or forward? Is to the side okay?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      On the Southern Baptist mission board issue, just wanted to let you know that requiring baptism by immersion (because that is what baptism is, according to SBC doctrine) has always been the policy.

      Credobaptism by Immersion is also the Baptist tribal marker — it’s even in their NAME.

  19. Christiane says

    “Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms….It’s the industry of death”.
    ~ Pope Francis

    great example of speaking truth to power . . . and I can’t wait ’til the Pope addresses Congress

    • Burro [Mule] says

      Why do I get the awful feeling that Pope Francis is going to preside over the biggest schism in the Catholic Church since 1417?

      I like the man. I think he has the right attitude to be the Pope right now, but he has everybody’s knickers in a twist. Every Catholic parish I’ve ever been to has been packed to the gunwales. Maybe this is because of the priest shortage, because I’ve noted that that there is usually only one parish in a geographical area that supports literally hundreds of Protestant communities of all varieties. Rome doesn’t look like a faith that is at death’s door.

      The Restoration churches now, or even the OCA, that’s a different story.

    • Robert F says

      What about those people, and nations, that purchase the arms produced and sold by this industry of death? Cultures of death, no?

  20. you guys do realize that there are such things as vaccine injuries, right?

    http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/fileclaim.html

    it’s not all make-believe and hocus-pocus by those “loons” or “crazies” or whatever you may want to call them.

    not being part of the public school system is probably going to be good for those kids. they won’t be indoctrinated by americanism and secularism at its fullest force.

    • Of our 5 children, 4 have children of their own and only one is NOT vaccinating. Unfortunately, that one lives with us which makes it difficult for us to obtain the vaccines we believe are important for us at this stage of life – the shingles vaccine for instance. I think they are not only irresponsible toward others, but they are putting their only child at serious risk. This child developed a disorder that was the result of a robust immune system (which is part of their reasoning for avoiding vaccines). I just keep my mouth shut – thanks for letting me vent here.

    • they won’t be indoctrinated by americanism and secularism at its fullest force.

      I don’t know about that. See yesterday’s post for context, but I’d argue they’d get more of that in evangelical type churches and groups than in any “secular” education setting.

      Which group recommends 1984 and New World Order to read? Which group values advancement and knowledge and intellect? Which group wants to fulfill the goals of the sermon on the mount?

      etc

      • americanism and secularism at its fullest force.

        Come to think of it, this is precisely why I detest modern country music

        but that’s a #musicmonday rant…

  21. Trish,

    I don’t completely follow your comment, but I do know that shingles is in part prevented by being near children or others who’ve had chicken pox. Chicken pox is a natural booster to older adults that helps prevent the onset of shingles. Unfortunately, we’re vaxxing for chicken pox now too which in turn, leads to more shingles cases since there is a lack of natural boosters and antibodies in everyone’s system.

    I’ve been on both sides of the aisle and honestly, I don’t know where i stand right now, even, but anti-vaxxers are not insane, despite the popular media fueled public opinion.

    • The Shingles vaccine is a live virus, so the one receiving the vaccine is contagious for about 3 weeks. Living in the same house with a child who has not had the chicken pox and has not had the vaccine made getting our own vaccinations a challenge. Thankfully, I was in FL for 3 weeks and had mine. Shingles is something I don’t want to deal with if I can avoid it!

      • Christiane says

        it’s the worst imaginable
        . . . I had to take heavy drugs for about ten days . . . very, very painful

  22. I don’t understand why? Wouldn’t it be beneficial for those kids to get chicken pox? Getting chicken pox is not a bad thing!

    • To quote the CDC

      “Chickenpox (varicella) used to be very common in the United States before the chickenpox vaccine became available in 1995. In the early 1990s, an average of 4 million people got chickenpox, 10,500 to 13,000 were hospitalized (range, 8,000 to 18,000), and 100 to 150 died each year. Most of the severe complications and deaths from chickenpox occurred in people who were previously healthy.”

  23. Mr s – “Wouldn’t it be beneficial for those kids to get chicken pox?” Well one would think so, but then again I live with them and for me to deliberately expose my grandchild would not be appreciated – it would be fine if the child contracted it “naturally” I guess . . . however, with most children getting the vaccine, that seems a bit remote doesn’t it? Whopping cough is another matter too.

    Having one grandchild that is not vaccinated puts my other children’s newborns at risk. Lots of potential conflict here . . .

  24. how exactly are the vaccinated children at risk? anyone can be a carrier – even a vaccinated child can carry and transmit a disease without catching it.

  25. Christiane says

    the anti-vaccine thing has a cult following . . . the usual suspects line up to partake of the paranoia involved and NO ONE can shake their denial of their ‘beliefs’

    I urge responsible parents to sit down with a good pediatrician and LISTEN to her, or him . . . and to do it for the sake of their own child’s life . . . membership in a cult of denial involved a pride that has a price too high to pay: the health of an innocent child

    I DO blame parents who ignore science and listen to the crazies. I DO think they are beyond misguided, I think they are irresponsible people bent on ‘proving’ something at the risk of THEIR CHILD’s life, not their own, and that difference says to me that they wouldn’t be so cavalier if it was there own life on the line, no.

    I have to say I am the sister of a pediatrician, and the aunt of a physician. So, yes, I come from that way of thinking.

    We’ve seen cults practice terrible things before, but this is ONE thing that is so sad to witness, because it comes from a place of prideful ignorance which is even more selfish when seen in the light of the suffering of children needlessly.

    It would be ‘safer’ to join a cult that beats babies and toddlers than one that denies an infant a chance to avoid some of the worst diseases our planet has seen. Responsible people have their children properly cared for medically, and do not expose their little ones to hell in order to prove to their cult that they, as parents, are ‘true believers’.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      the anti-vaccine thing has a cult following . . . the usual suspects line up to partake of the paranoia involved and NO ONE can shake their denial of their ‘beliefs’

      To the anti-vaxx movement, Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is now in effect. (The Conspiracy being The Medical Establishment and Big Pharma.) Any evidence against The Conspiracy is Disinformation planted by The Conspiracy; lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is PROOF The Conspiracy has Silenced Them; anyone who doubts the existence of The Conspiracy has PROVEN themselves to be part of The Conspiracy. The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

      P.S. I am just old enough to remember when the Polio Vaccine first came out. And the big rush and media blitz to get vaccinated. The TV commercials showing a steel braces suddenly superimposed over a child’s leg?

      And the tail end of The Fear every summer, because early summer was Polio Season. Ever kept your kid indoors and isolated every summer to protect them from Polio? Ever heard of an Iron Lung, the low-tech version of a Ventilator? For life? Ever needed steel braces just to stand up? Ever seen arms and legs in those steel braces that look like they came off a body dump at Buchenwald, muscles completely atrophied?

      And the quack or folk cures that changed completely every summer?

    • Christiane

      so many of your accusations are just not true. my brother was not vaccinated at all. he did not vaccinate his son. he is just as much “at risk”. he is not interested in proving any point nor is he into conspiracy thought of any sort. he did the research and was convinced it was best not to. I was half vaccinated and i thought my mom was insane for her holistic methods that she adopted during my teenage years. I was thru and thru a “pro vaxxer” for most of my adult life. I just don’t know now. Each side presents compelling cases. There was a doctor in Chicago who had a massive pediatric practice. He did not vaccinate his patients. his children were more healthy than the average child. I’d assume his parents didn’t feed their kids garbage like most americans tend to do (GMOS are safe, CDC says so! and Obama protected Monsanto from any potential lawsuits by scapegoating them in the Monsanto Protection Act a year and a half ago. Sorry, I don’t trust people who say it’s safe to spray chemicals similar to agent orange on our food sources).

      Speaking of cults, if you were to ask me, it’s the pro vaxxers who are the cult — DISOBEY US AND BE OSTRACIZED. ya’ll are vehiment and mean. i think what bothers me the most, is that a vaccinated child can spread something like whooping cough just as easily as a non-vaccinated child can, it’s called shedding. you can be a carrier without being infected, even when immunized.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        I am sorry to be so blunt, but judging from your writing here, you are NOT competent to make the necessary judgement regarding vaccines etc.

        • Mr. S, I have to agree with KK here. As well, I would suggest you read some introductory material on immunology and epidemiology. The CDC has some good material.

          • Patrick Kyle says
          • Patrick Kyle says

            KK,

            I am not anti- vaccination, but am skeptical about claims of 100% safety of vaccinations especially in light of the fact that pharmaceutical companies are exempted by law from lawsuits resulting from any harm caused by the vaccines, and the government has a special fund to compensate those who are harmed by the vaccines.. If the vaccines are as safe as many here claim, there would be no such measures. There are many documented cases of vaccines harming and even killing people.

            All three of my children are vaccinated, but we waited as long as we could and even then spread out the MMR series of vaccinations instead of having our children get those vaccines in one session.

            Polio vaccines still resulted in some deaths even into the 1980s.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1383764/

            I find it ironic that the people on this thread that have cast off the scourge of ‘mindless evangelicalism’ have eagerly and thoroughly embraced government propaganda concerning vaccines, and have fallen into lock step with the government , as noted by another commenter.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            PK – i am not pro-vaccine because of government, but because of medical science and statistics. Nothing is 100% safe, but the probability of a bad vax reaction vs the probability of negative effects from say childhood diseases weighs heavily in favour of the vaccines. I actually made sure I understood that myself.

            I am generally skeptical of claims made by politicians. I like to see the reasoning behind it.

        • Patrick Kyle says
        • Patrick Kyle says

          Sorry, the last one was a repeat. This is the second link.

          http://voxday.blogspot.com/2015/02/measles-actual-risks.html

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            C’mon,PK: Anti-vaxxers are generally against all vaccinations. And it is true that improved living standards improve general outcomes, however, vaccinations close the final gap. Also, people travel – and not all populations have the luxury of the high living standards and medical care we have in North America. Someone with measles travelling to Costa Rica is going to do a hell of a lot more damage.

            So are you against mass polio immunizations too? And German measles? You know the latter doesn’t kill so much as leave little boys infertile?

            Or are you going to risk your neighbour’s well-being because of some selfish desire for “freedumb!!”?

      • I think it is much more prudent to air on the side of the overwhelming consensus of the professional medical community over a select group of people who did some internet research and personal reflecting…I’m not putting you down for looking into it, just saying that while different people can look at the same evidence and come to different conclusions, it seems pretty clear in this case which “conclusion” is the more trustworthy/credible one.

        • (And on a side note, my wife is a family medicine doctor, so I’m not just speaking from my own perspective either)

  26. OlfProphet says

    Injections for polio. Injections to make people sterile. Silver nitrate in baby’s eyes even if the parents are pure. Lets all roll over to the state, aren’t they always right? What’s next, forcing women to have their uterus’ removed or tubes tied by a court order? What.that’s already happened?

    • “Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook.”

      Also from the Poe’s Law wiki

  27. OlfProphet says

    I’m totally fascinated by the FA t that a majority of you on this blog left a Christian group (Evangelism) because you disagreed with its ideas but walk lock step with with the government? You don’t want the Evangelical church to tell you what to do but let the government do so. Curious.

    • That’s not the point. One of the reasons I’ve left/leaving the Evangelical church is because their blatant anti-intellectualism, even prideful boastful anti-intellectualism coupled with the Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory.

      IF the government happens to be more intellectual, that’s a nice perk. It’s not “gov instead of church”, and never was.

      I like to walk lock step with common sense. Not finding much in the church nowadays.

    • You raise a different point though that I’d like to address: the idea of “letting the government (or anyone) tell you what to do”.

      This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and actually was praying through for a while last night. One of my biggest regrets is willfully giving up my adulthood and autonomy and submitting myself to a Christian authority figure at my previous fundamentalist charismatic church. I was 21, 22 years old, and I allowed myself to be treated no different than a child, with rules and regs and freedoms taken away in the name of “killing the flesh” or “growing in the Spirit”.

      It’s something I spent a lot of time recently repenting over, and asking/begging God to give me the ability to forgive myself for. I need his grace and mercy. Recognition of this has helped, but the long term damaging effects of it are still there. My dad and I were talking about it recently, and his view is he thought I had “left that” a long time ago, 5 years or so now. But you can leave such things physically, while the damaging voices and views are still in your head guiding you for years to come. And maybe even now, in my hellbent determination to get as far away from them as possible.

      I’m not going to let the government tell me what to do. Nor am I going to childishly stomp my foot and do precisely the opposite because the government is not gonna no how tell me what to do. Same with the church. Common sense, intellect, and above all my own will will determine what I do.

      I may write a blog post on this, but one of the biggest problems facing my generation is our lack of adulthood identity. There are lots of factors that go into this. But one of the biggest ones as it pertains to the IMonk blog is that issue of authority and autonomy and adulthood.

      I refuse to ever again let myself be put under a yoke of slavery by any church or religious leader, to ever give up any of my religious, personal, political, spiritual, whatever freedoms in service of some “greater good” that I’m told is for the best. I did that once. I lost nearly 10 years of my life. Years that God had better restore because the locusts took nearly everything.

      I’ve had enough of anyone telling myself what to do, what to think, what to say, how to act, how to be. No. More.

      And let me cut off the inevitable Jesus Juke: that includes Him as well. Law. Grace. That thinking is the former. For the first time in my adult life, it’s time for the latter.

    • Christiane says

      there is no ‘evangelical Church’ as such . . . there are MANY denominational entities claiming to be ‘evangelical’ and to be honest, some of them don’t resemble the others at all . . . and even in the Southern Baptist faith, try to get a definition of the phrase ‘biblical gospel’, and see the variety and diversity of ‘definitions’ you will hear only after you have been lectured for being ‘ingenuous’ for acting like you ‘don’t know’

      I think the Church has an evangelical mission, yes. But ‘the Church’ does not disregard science and medicine as valuable to the human race. Some denominations DO disregard science, especially if they are cult-prone with authoritarian leaders who are ‘in control’ and defy all their members to disagree with their personal interpretations of sacred Scripture. In these cult-like denominations, there is tremendous pressure to conform and fall in line, or to be ‘disfellowshipped’, so NO, not many people will listen to ‘the Evangelical church’ that seems irrational and ‘know-it-all’ and also (because of self-obsession) does not display any sort of active role in caring for the common good.

    • I, for one, am curious how this non-sequitar is even related to the conversation on immunizations. Perhaps you are projecting your own fears and insecurities on the participants?

  28. I wear seat belts and drive under the speed limit — and won’t ride a motorcycle at all — because I believe strongly in the laws…of physics and the frailty of human anatomy. I don’t care so much what the state says. If you already do what the government (in a strange moment of complete clarity) wants you to do (get the kids vaccinated, wear a seat belt, etc.), then you’re not being coerced: you’re just ahead of the curve.

    The question of coercion is, to state the obvious, about those who disagree with vaccination policy, not those who are already on board. No one I’ve met endorses vaccination programs because it’s government policy: it’s government policy because most people endorse vaccination in general.

    The sheeple meme just doesn’t apply here, OP.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      I obey the government even if it is stupid. I will only contemplate disobeying if it orders me to do wrong – think extreme cases like Nazi Germany for instance. I will protest through the channels provided for me in a democratic society.

      People often think they are making a stand for liberty when they are making a point of being arrogant dumbasses. And when the government legislate things in order to keep the population safe, likenspeed limits and motorcycle helmets and smoking laws and vaccine laws then I seriously question the motivations of those whon rebel against it: It seems so, well, idiotic when seen against the opression of people in countries where only one faith is allowed, and other faiths and atheists are prosecuted. Or when being a driving woman can get you flogged and jailed. Or where criticizing government will get you shot. Or where law and order broke down and law abiding people live behind 9 feet walls, electric fences, armed response and razor wire (I came from such a society).

      I am sorry, but some people are ignorant idiots, and I meant that last word.

  29. OldProphet says

    It’s OK. Everyone has the right to be wrong but they will be serving ice cream sundies in Hell before I think I’m wrong about this. Even if its hot fudge ones.

  30. OldProphet says

    Sorry Trevis, not in SoCal! The only reason that where I live that people don’t speed. Wear seatbelts, wear helmets, etc. Is because of the LAWS. Almost nobody obeys the speed limits here. The freeways here are scary to.drve on. Throw in the large amount of undocumented immigrants without licenses and its like Mad Max out there.

    • Robert F says

      I’m originally from northern New Jersey, 20 miles outside of Manhattan. I’d always thought that if you can drive well among all the crazies on New Jersey and New York roadways, you’d be pretty much okay anywhere in the U.S. Then I flew to CA, rented a car, drove on an Orange County freeway, and had all my illusions of driving expertise smashed like so many pumpkins just before Halloween. Mad Max all the way.

  31. Randy Thompson says

    Wait a minute. . . There are a gazillion posts today, and no one, NO ONE, is discussing whether or not one should get drunk and chase bears in the woods. Where oh where are our priorities?!?

    • Obviously, you shouldn’t get drunk and chase bears through the woods with a dull hatchet. Sharpen that hatchet first! Then the results are bound to be more dramatic.

      Question: how many cubs does the average bear have, and does that tell us whether bears are a) evangelical b) catholic or c) atheist?

      • Yes, I couldn’t tell whether the problem was chasing bears or chasing bears with a dull hatchet, but it surely stands to reason that if a person is going to chase a bear with hatchet, a sharp hatchet would be preferable if only because it’s the choice of the more successful bear chasers.

    • It’s not the drunk or chasing bears thing, all of which is best enjoyed naked; rather, it is the dull hatchet issue. Clearly, this fellow was an idiot. The common sidearm for drunknakedbearchasing is of course the shillelagh.

  32. OldProphet says

    The average bear has 6 cubs 2 are Evangelical, 1 is Catholic, 1 is Charismatic, 1 is in a cult, and 1 used to be an Evangelical but left and joined a mainline church. 2 of them read Imonk, 1 reads the Wartburg Watch.

    • Apparently in the venn diagram, I hit all of those but Catholic…hmm…

      I do eat a lot of fish around Lent because cheap and available, so I guess that counts.

      I am the ubercub.

  33. OldProphet says

    The oldest cub is a distinguished Chaplain LOL

  34. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    Well, I seem to be the youngest member of our meeting at age 43. So, we are not fertile at all.

  35. If Pew is going to include atheists and agnostics in their study of “fertile faith,” why not include the unaffiliated, which constitutes 22.8% of the population? Who are these people and instead of pandering exclusively to evangelicals, might not politicians devote some of their butt-licking to them? Here’s a good CBS link that will includes another Pew link.