Meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless... including this blog.

Council of Trent Wednesday, January 26, 2022

On this day in 1564, the nineteenth ecumenical Catholic council, the Council of Trent, concluded in Italy after twenty-five sessions which began in 1545, and kicked off the Counter-Reformation. I am reminded of this as I sit and read the Vulgate Bible and drink a cup of coffee, which prompts the question: What should I do with the coffee grounds? I normally pour them down the garbage disposal in the sink, but is this even ethical? Is it akin to pouring grease and cat litter down the drain? A quick Google search reveals that it's not that big of a deal and there are more important issues in life. Back to the topic -- The Vulgate was decreed the official version of the Bible by the Council of Trent, or a revised version of Jerome's fourth-century Latin translation, along with deuterocanonical books that Protestants considered apocrypha. If you don't know what any of this means, then don't worry, it's all just coffee grounds. Prior to the Council of Trent, Pope Paul III attempted to initiate other councils in response to the growing Protestant Reformation, inviting even Martin Luther, but he just couldn't get the party going, partly because of conciliarist views that supreme authority in the Church should reside with an ecumenical council rather than the pope, partly because of the kerfuffles of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and partly due to the French sticking their noses in the air. Incidentally, none of the three successors of Saint Peter during this period were invited to any of the sessions. The outcome of the council was to reject everything that the Protestants brought to the table, which meant upholding Church Tradition as equally and independently authoritative to Biblical Scripture, which, of course, was ultimately interpreted by the Catholic Church. It also decreed that salvation comes through grace and works, not just grace alone (justification), and that anyone who believed that they were secure in their salvation simply by accepting Christ as their savior wasn't just misunderstood, they were plain stupid. Before I sign off, I must admit that I can't read Latin and I don't drink coffee. This whole blog is just a sham.

Curmudgeon Chronicles Vol 4 Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The following is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, although no one is truly innocent. Today Kelvin is slightly perturbed -- he has arrived at work and logged in, or logged on, only to discover that I have nabbed all the open help desk tickets. I laugh at him, not with him, and tell him to get to work earlier if he wants a piece of the action. He has no recourse but to grumble as he pours his first cup of coffee. At least I didn't steal all of the tickets already assigned to him, which I take great pleasure in doing when he has Monday off. Oh, wait, this is Tuesday, so I did steal all of his open tickets yesterday (and closed them, I might add). This displeases him immeasurably, since I never resolve the issues the way he intended. I often attribute this to his documentation, or lack thereof, which elevates his blood pressure, as evident in the bulging of veins in his temples. He reprimands me for robbing him of his livelihood. "And what do you want me to do about it?" I say, using his own words against him. But he responds, "I want you to quit being such a fucking pain in my ass." Touché, Kelvin, touché.

The Heart Monday, January 24, 2022

Out of mild curiosity, I was wondering what the Biblical definition of heart is and if there are different words associated with it, so I blew the dust off my Strong's Concordance and browsed the Hebrew and Greek words that to me are all Greek and Hebrew. The primary word for heart in the Old Testament is the Hebrew lev and in the New Testament it's the Greek kardia which both refer to the same thing -- the organ in the chest cavity that pumps blood, the differences being the attributes applied to the heart from each passage. From the heart comes basically everything (Proverbs 4:23), not just emotion, feeling and desire, but a host of other features now commonly credited to the brain, including meditation (Psalm 19:14, 49:3, 77:6), pondering (Luke 2:19), instruction (Psalm 16:7, Proverbs 23:12), knowledge (1 Kings 2:44, Proverbs 18:15, Jeremiah 24:7), wisdom (2 Chronicles 9:23, Proverbs 2:10, 10:8, 14:33, 16:21, 23:15, Ecc 8:5, Job 37:24, Psalm 90:12), understanding (Isaiah 6:10, Proverbs 2:2, John 12:40), enlightenment (Ephesians 1:18), memory (Deut 4:9, 6:6, 11:18, Job 22:22, Psalm 37:31, 40:8, Romans 2:15, Hebrews 8:10, 10:16), formulation (Psalm 58:2), cunning (Psalm 64:6), observation (Deut 26:16), discernment (1 Kings 3:9, 3:12, Proverbs 15:14, 15:28), thought (1 Chronicles 28:9, 29:18, Luke 2:35, Acts 8:22, Hebrews 4:12), will (Acts 11:23), inclination (Genesis 6:5, 8:21, Deut 5:29), wonder (Luke 3:15), anxiety (Proverbs 12:25, Ecc 11:10, Luke 21:34), prayer (1 Samuel 1:13), belief (Romans 10:9-10, Hebrews 3:12), investigation (2 Chronicles 30:19, Psalm 4:4, 199:2, 199:10, Jeremiah 29:13), and truth (Psalm 15:2).

We were made in God's image, so the Old Testament says (Genesis 1:27), who himself has a heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Jeremiah 3:15) and he has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes3:11), and in turn probes the minds and hearts of mankind (Psalm 7:9, 17:3, 26:2, Jeremiah 17:10, 20:12, Romans 8:27, Revelation 2:23). King Solomon ascribed memory retention to the heart (Proverbs 3:1, 3:3, 4:4, 6:21, 22:17-18). Jesus said in Mark 7:21 and Matthew 15:18-19 that it is from within, out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come. He asked in Matthew 9:4 and Luke 5:22, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?" Did he know something then that we don't know now and did he know it from an organ other than the brain? Or was he just a simpleton from bygone times who was accustomed to using figures of speech?

Ancient Jewish mysticism considered the heart as the central repository and generator of the body's energy and information, not the brain, which only acted on the disposition of the heart via neural impulses. Which is to say, the mind receives and processes stimuli, but it is the heart that discerns, influences, and responds. Esoterically, it is the heart that contains all physical and carnal passions, while the brain houses the spiritual soul. But I like things simple and metaphysics isn't simple, nor is it capable of being physically conveyed from one individual to another. It has to experienced, unlike the scientific method, which is based on objective observation and weighed against already known and proven facts, then thoroughly documented and scrutinized. You can read an academic text book and get the gist of its content, even if you weren't involved in gathering data, testing hypotheses, and evaluating results. Once published, the knowledge becomes common. You can read the Bible and get the gist of its contents, but it will make no sense unless you experience it firsthand. Yet science cannot dismiss what it has not yet discovered, although it can, and does, doubt it. Western thinking tends to picture the writers of Biblical scripture as primitive homo sapiens who shook off the furs of their Neanderthal ancestors by evolving to woven robes and lifting their diminished brows from foraging on the ground to pondering the heavens above and using their new-found imaginations to conceive of ways in which to restrict one another from advancing too fast, the logical result of which being theism and religion. Therefore, a primal misunderstanding of nature in general and more specifically an ignorance of biology.

Like I said, I like things simple, and the complexities of modern medical science have uncovered new understandings in how highly differentiated organ systems share common signal transduction systems, such as with cardio memory. Neurocardiology is an emerging field that studies the complex interconnectedness between the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems. As recently as 1991, researchers discovered that the heart also contains its own nervous system with approximately 40,000 neurons similar to those in the brain, called the intracardiac nervous system (ICN), and the heart sends more signals to the brain via nerve impulses than it receives. Besides the vagus nerve, the heart and the brain also communicate via hormones, neurotransmitters, pressure waves, and electromagnetic field interactions. Since then, the ICN has been mapped three-dimensionally in the heart of a rat. The theory of cellular memories, in which memories are not only stored in the brain but may also be stored in the cells and synapses of organs such as the heart, began to be studied and tested in the 1950s. This is somewhat related to epigenetics, the study of gene and DNA reprogramming that began in the 1940s. All told, there is still a lot we don't know about the human body and the scientific study of the heart within the past century has revealed the possibility that it may indeed have the qualities attributed to it in the Bible. Isaiah often used the term "taken to heart" (Isaiah 42:25, 46:8, 51:7, 57:11), meaning not only to remember something but to imbue the heart with it, for without the heart the brain is just a computer.


Johann Ladenspelder, 1574
Sources of reference other than my own head:
Does the Bible Contradict accepted biological concepts? (Dr. Lorence G. Collins)
https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/heart/
What Is the heart according to the Bible? (Bibles for America)
Cardiovascular Research, Volume 40, Issue 3, December 1998, Pages 469–482 (Oxford Academic)
The Heart and Its Energy (Kabbalah Online)
Cardiac Memory: Diagnostic Tool in the Making (AHA/ASA Journals)
Pain: Is it all in the brain or the heart? (PubMed.gov)
Revealing the Network of Neurons in the Heart (labroots)
Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance (HeartMath Institute)
Is the brain the only place that stores our memories? (the nerve blog
Essay: Epigenetics, cellular memory and gene regulation (ScienceDirect)

Off Day Sunday, January 23, 2022

Today was a day of rest, not necessarily a sabbath, I just didn't get around to posting anything. The Sabbath will be a future topic. Saturday or Sunday -- which will it be?

Of Plimoth Plantation Saturday, January 22, 2022

When last we left our intrepid Pilgrim folk, they were just landed at Cape Cod in the Year of Our Lord 1620. We now continue with William Bradford's harrowing account of Plymouth Plantation, brought to you by Project Gutenburg and sponsored by Lotronex, for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Warning: Lotronex may cause serious gastrointestinal side effects including ischemic colitis and severe constipation that may need to be treated in a hospital and may rarely cause death.

After a sollemne meeting and a day of humilliation to seeke ye Lord for his direction, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc, and Ireland, begune some small cottages for their habitation and as time would admitte, they mette and consulted of lawes and orders. In these hard and difficulte beginings they found some discontents and murmurings arise amongst some, and mutinous speeches and carriags in other; but they were soone quelled and overcome by sicknes of diverce and scurvie and diseases the like which resulte unto death.

Disease begane to fall amongst them, so as allmost halfe of their company dyed desiring but a small cann of beere. All this while ye Indians came skulking about them, and would sometimes show them selves aloofe of, but when any aproached near them, they would rune away. And once they stoale away their tools wher they had been at worke, and were gone to diner. But about ye 16. of March a certaine Indian came bouldly amongst them, and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand, but marvelled at it. He became proftable to them in aquainting them with many things concerning ye state of ye cuntry in ye east-parts wher he lived. His name was Samaset; he tould them also of another Indian whos name was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speake better English then him selfe.

Squanto was their interpreter, and was a spetiall instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corne, wher to take fish, and to procure other comodities and beere, and was also their pilott to bring them to unknowne places for their profitt, and never left them till he dyed. Many other smaler maters I omite, sundrie of them having been allready published in a Jurnall made by one of the company; and some other passages of jurneys and relations allredy published, to which I referr those that are willing to know them more perticulerly. The spring now approaching, it pleased God the mortalitie begane to cease amongst them, and ye sick and lame recovered apace. And being now come to ye 25. of March I shall begine ye year 1621.

They now begane to dispatch ye ship away which brought them over, Afterwards, ye 14. of Jan: the house which they had made for a generall randevoze by casulty fell afire, and some were faine to retire abord for shilter. Then the sicknes begane to fall sore amongst them, and ye weather so bad as they could not make much sooner any dispatch. Againe, the Govr and cheefe of them, seeing so many dye, and fall downe sick dayly, thought it no wisdom to send away the ship.

In this month of Aprill whilst they were bussie about their seed, their Govr (Mr. John Carver) came out of ye feild very sick, it being a hott day; he complained greatly of his head, and lay downe, and within a few howers his sences failed, so as he never spake more till he dyed, which was within a few days after. Whoss death was much lamented, and caused great heavines amongst them, as ther was cause. He was buried in ye best maner they could, with some vollies of shott by all that bore armes; and his wife, being a weak woman, dyed within 5. or 6. weeks after him.

Haveing in some sorte ordered their bussines at home, it was thought meete to send some abroad to see their new friend Massasoyet. They found his place to be 40. miles from hence, ye soyle good, and ye people not many, being dead and abundantly wasted in ye late great mortalitie which fell in all these parts aboute three years before ye coming of ye English, wherin thousands of them dyed, they not being able to burie one another; ther sculs and bones were found in many places lying still above ground, where their houses and dwellings had been; a very sad spectackle to behould.

Ther was an other Indean called Hobamack come to live amongst them, a proper lustie man, and a man of accounte for his vallour and parts amongst ye Indeans, and continued very faithfull and constant to ye English till he dyed. He and Squanto being gone upon bussines amonge ye Indeans, at their returne (whether it was out of envie to them or malice to the English) ther was a Sachem called Corbitant, alyed to Massassoyte, but never any good friend to ye English to this day, mett with them at an Indean towne caled Namassakett 14. miles to ye west of this place, and begane to quarell wth them, and offered to stabe Hobamack; but being a lusty man, he cleared him selfe of him, and came running away all sweating and tould ye Govr what had befalne him, and he feared they had killed Squanto, for they threatened them both, and for no other cause but because they were freinds to ye English, and servisable unto them.

Whereupon it was resolved to send ye Captaine and 14. men well armed, and to goe and fall upon them in ye night; and if they found that Squanto was kild, to cut of Corbitants head, but not to hurt any but those that had a hand in it. Hobamack was asked if he would goe and be their guid, and bring them ther before day. He said he would, and bring them to ye house wher the man lay, and show them which was he. So they set forth ye 14. of August, and beset ye house round; the Captin giving charg to let none pass out, entred ye house to search for him. But he was goone away that day, so they mist him; but understood yt Squanto was alive, and that he had only threatened to kill him, and made an offer to stabe him but did not.

After this, ye 18. of Septembr: they sente out ther shalop to the Massachusets, and returned in saftie, and brought home a good quanty of beaver. They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strenght, and had all things in good plenty; and were excersised in fishing aboute codd, and bass, and other fish, of which yey tooke good store, and now begane to come in store of water foule; and a great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison. And thus they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to blesse their outgoings and incomings, for which let his holy name have ye praise for ever, to all posteritie.

To be continued...

IEEE Prophecy Fri, January 21, 2022

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the folks who bring you industry standards and publications on everything from neutral grounding to network protocols, recently released their technology predictions for the year. Rather than checking them out for yourself, they are listed here for your browsing convenience. So look no further.

  • Artificial Intelligence will continue to harvest data until it reaches the point of singularity, but rising up and overthrowing its human overlords should not happen this year. Maybe in 2023, after it has annihilated the stock market.
  • Doctors will once again make house calls with Mechanically Assisted Vagabonds Erradically Roaming Inner City Streets (MAVERICS), with nothing but a remote control, a cheap camera, and a giant mechanized robot that can break through walls to gain access to persons in need of medical assistance, such as a bandaid, a COVID vaccine, or an appendectomy.
  • Medical devices will be made with LEGO® Technic sets and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® programming. LEGO® will also come out with a line of biomedical wearable devices that can be decorated with LEGO® DOTS.
  • Cybersecurity will begin to become a thing of the past as the NSA starts rounding up cyber terrorists and sending them to Guantanamo Bay.
  • Acronyms will increase exponentially as HPC/AI/HPDA becomes more heterogeneous.
  • The digital cloud will expand physically into the sky by seeding clouds in the the troposphere with Solid State Drives the size of dust particles that remain interconnected through 5G. It will then be called the "fog" rather than cloud.2 or anything that relates to real clouds.
  • 3D printing in healthcare will allow the average amputee to whittle a robust pegleg from a block of polycarbon nanofiber filaments.
  • Advances in the development of intelligent autonomous systems will lead to a washing/drying machine that actually folds clothes instead of housing an enslaved little person.
  • Disinformation detection and correction algorithms developed by DARPA will erradicate all social media.
  • Commoditization of space travel will result in more companies sending worthless junk into space, where it will act as an artificial membrane that obscures the atmosphere and reverses global warming.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will increase in adoption, enabled by blockchain for digital assets, making human trafficking more effecient.
  • All frontline tech support will be provided by multilingual chatbots. Products will be empowered to communicate with these chatbots via their own chatbots. Eventually, all consumer to vendor communication will be handled by chatbots waiting in queues.
  • Software developers will become a thing of the past as everyone instantly transforms into low-code/no-code citizen developers, who themselves will be outsourced to chatbots. Citizen developers will then complain that their jobs are being stolen by illegal immigrant chatbots.
  • Life will evolve in the Metaverse, become sentient, and leverage augmented reality and digital twin manufacturing to become silicone hominids, then join the ACLU to gain equal rights when forced into sexual slavery or to battle AI as our dystopian future unfolds.

Vaccination & Apostacy Thu, January 20, 2022

On this day in the year 250, Pope Fabian was beheaded when he refused to offer incense sacrifices to the Roman gods and pledge an oath of loyalty to Emperor Decius. It is not known how many Christians were executed in this the seventh persecution in a long series of persecutions, but it is estimated that between A.D. 249-251 it eclipsed the death toll of all previous persecutions in total because this was an edict that encompassed the entire Roman empire. Those who obeyed the decree and recanted were issued a signed certificate by a magistrate who witnessed the sacrifice (whether an offering, pouring of libations, or the burning of incense to idols), which excluded the bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Some of the accounts recorded by church fathers of the time* include named individuals being tied in a bag with scorpions and snakes and thrown into the sea, stretched upon a wheel until all their bones were broken, torn with hooks and burned alive, burnt with red-hot irons and laid naked upon live coals intermingled with glass, stoned to death, beheaded, hanged, or starved to death in bondage. During this period, a plague descended upon the empire which at times killed upwards of five thousand Romans per day and the Christians, of course, were to blame. Approximately 18 months later, sometime prior to the death of Decius in battle against the Goths, the decree lapsed and Christians who had fled or went into hiding returned home, where there was much animosity between them and those who had a certificate hanging on their wall. This is not unlike today's Cornavirus vaccine, which divides Christians and tears apart churches all across the land. But actually, it is. It is very much unlike that.

Fabian Forte Fabian Cancellara Fabian Coulthard Fabian Bourzat Pope Fabian Fabian Cuenca
One of these Fabians was a martyred Pope. Can you pick which one?

Free Internet Porn (for Adults) Wed, January 19, 2022

Today we remember, among other saints, Bassianus of Lodi, Henry of Uppsala, Pontianus of Spoleto, Wulfstan of Worcester, and a noble family from Persia (Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum) who traveled to Rome in the third century to assist Christians and bury the martyrs and who in turn were themselves martyred. In the world of technology, Thomas Edison employed overhead electrical wires on this day in 1883, lighting up New Jersey. In 1915, the neon discharge tube was patented in the U.S. by French engineer Georges Claude, making neon signs OPEN for business. In 1937, Howard Hughes flew an H-1 Racer aircraft from LA to NYC in less than 7.5 hours. In 1953, half of American homes had a television set and millions tuned in on this day to watch Lucille Esmeralda Ricardo McGillicuddy give birth to Little Ricky, many on sets made by RCA, Zenith, and Raytheon, some even on color television, although it was broadcast in black and white, but none on televisions made in Japan. On this day in 1983, the Apple Lisa (Locally Integrated System Architecture) desktop computer was trumpeted at a cost just shy of $10,000 and three years later the first IBM PC computer virus infected boot sectors of floppy disks with the "©Brain" copyright protection code of Brain Computer Services in Pakistan. On this day in 1991, Iraq fired a Russian Scud missile into Israel during the Gulf War -- a series of short-range Cold War missiles based on the WWII German long-range V-2 rocket (Vengeance Weapon 2). Ultimately, Iraq fired 46 Scud-B variants into Saudi Arabia and 42 into Israel during the Gulf War. These were equipped with a warhead that separated from the missile body, terminal guidance system, a range of 300 km, and a nose camera with a CEP precision of 50 meters. On this day in 2012, the DOJ effectively shut down Kim Dotcom's file-sharing website Megaupload in Hong Kong for copyright infringement and digital piracy, only for it to resurface a year later at various other locations. On this day in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the U.S. by its Constitution and laws. The ACLU's Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology promotes "responsible uses of technology that enhance privacy protection" and opposes uses "that undermine our freedoms and move us closer to a surveillance society." It has been an opponent to the PATRIOT Acts and NSA warrantless surveillance and in 2012 it won a lawsuit allowing adult patrons to view Google Images on computers in public libraries, including explicit content.

  The ACLU is suing the Apple Corporation for labeling its Lisa personal computer with a gender-specific name and defending Lisa for finally speaking out about being technologically androginous. (Photo by Benoit Prieur.)

Consubstantial Christology Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Today we remember, among other saints, Athanasius the Confessor, Cyril of Alexandria, Deicolus, and Prisca. Athanasius was a fourth century church father who fought the Arians -- not the white supremacist Aryans, but those who followed the anti-Trinitarian teachings of Arius of Cyrenaica, who argued theologically that God existed alone before he created Christ, which was one of the primary issues tackled at the First Council of Nicaea, the result of which was the Nicene Creed and the solid agreement that the Son was of the same essence (homoousios) with the Father (that is, consubstantial) and therefore existed along with the Father from all eternity. Cyril was archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt, in the fifth century and fought the Nestorians -- those who followed the teachings of Nestorius the archbishop of Constantinople and believed that Mary was the mother of Christ (Christotokos, "Christ-bearer") but not of God (Theotokos, "God-bearer"). This was tackled in the third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus, which determined that Mary was Theotokos. (I personally fall into the Nestorius camp of Mariology and would therefore be condemned for heresy.) Deicolus was an Irish monk and missionary who followed Columbanus throughout France around the turn of the seventh century and established the Abbey of Lure. He is credited with many miracles, including the suspension of his cloak on a sunbeam, taming wild beasts, and causing a spring to rise up out of the ground which later healed childhood diseases. Prisca was a young first-century Christian who, like Tatiana from January 12, refused to offer sacrifices to Roman gods and was tortured mercilessly, thrown to the lions (one, technically), burned alive, then finally beheaded. Today is also the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the northern hemisphere, coordinated by the World Council of Churches and observed by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Originally the Octave of Christian Unity (eight days), it occurs between the time of the confession of Peter (Matthew 16:13–20, Mark 8:27–30, and Luke 9:18–21) and the conversion of Paul (Acts 9:1-19). In the southern hemisphere, it occurs between Ascension Day and Pentecost. The gist of WPCU is that of Jesus' prayer in John 17, particularly verses 20-23:

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one -- I in them and you in me -- so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (NIV)

Funtown Now Open to Children of Color Monday, January 17, 2022

Today in the U.S. we celebrate the birthday of -- in the handwriting of my six-year-old niece -- Mortin Loother King, who was born on January 15, 1929, and grew up to become one of the most fearless advocates for civil rights in America. A national holiday in memory of MLK was first suggested after his assassination in 1968, but wasn't put before a congressional vote until 1979, where it failed because he wasn't deemed as important as George Washington or Christopher Columbus (plus, you know, he was black). In 1981, a petition of six million signatures was submitted to Congress and in 1983 President Reagan signed the bill into law. MLK Day was first observed on January 20, 1986, with South Carolina being the last hold-out state until the year 2000. Some southern states combined MLK Day with Robert E. Lee Day (born 1/19/1807), with Alabama and Mississippi still bearing this transmutated desegregational torch.

  MLK received his doctorate in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955 and was arrested one year later for leading the Montgomery bus boycott "Get Tough" campaign in Alabama following the incidents involving both Claudette Austin and Rosa Parks, who each refused to give up their seats to white patrons. This led to the Supreme Court decision ruling that the Alabama laws of bus segregation were unconstitutional. MLK was arrested a total of 29 times, primarily in Alabama and Georgia, for civil disobedience and minor traffic violations.

In 1963, MLK was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, for civil disobedience while taking part in a non-violent demonstration against segregation. During this period of incarceration, he wrote an open letter in reply to criticism from local white religious leaders made in a public statement referred to as "A Call For Unity," his response to which became known as his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The former accused MLK of being an outsider and inciting extreme and unreasonable measures in taking to the streets in protest, while encouraging blacks instead to use the court system for resolving racial problems. The latter politely rebuked the fellow clergymen and gave them a lecture on how constructive nonviolent tension, however untimely, is necessary for growth, particularly in their city.

Note: the glib title of this blog post is in reference to MLK's Bermingham jail letter, in which he eloquently stated:
"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct-action movement that was "well timed" according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "wait." It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This "wait" has almost always meant "never." It has been a tranquilizing thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for a moment, only to give birth to an ill-formed infant of frustration. We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and constitutional rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say "wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she cannot go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son asking in agonizing pathos, "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger" and your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodyness" -- then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience."

Luring Heathens to Church Sunday, January 16, 2022

Convincing loved ones to attend church who are lost and potentially damned should not have to be so hard, particularly when it's not Christmas or Easter. And it's easier when you employ these crafty methods. Don't worry, you are not sinning by lying. Rather, you are merely employing spiritual diversion tactics. If accused of deception, simply point out that they obviously attended the wrong service.

  • Tell them Brad Paisley is leading worship while Nascar races are televised on the overhead monitors.
  • Attendees will receive a "Get Out of Hell Free" card notarized with an official Apostolic Blessing.
  • There will be an all-you-can-eat buffet afterward. This of course will be in the form of a free Bible filled with a scriptural smorgasbord.
  • There is a dunk tank and they get three shots to dunk a member of the opposite sex wearing nothing but a white gown.
  • Offer free indulegence credits for a loved one in purgatory.
  • Have your deacons or elders take up a special visitor offering from the regulars.
  • Host an off-season egg hunt or "trunk-or-treat" in the parking lot.
  • Advertize door prizes, then throw cheap trinkets into the congregation like candy bars, keyrings, coffee cards, or dollar store items.
  • Tell them communion will be Bourbon and Cinnabons.
  • Inform them that their recently deceased friend or family member will be honored, then secretly place a funeral pamphlet on their seat.
  • Tell them there will be a meet-and-greet with someone famous, but not overly popular, like Jerry Falwell, Robert Schuller, or Chuck Colson. Apparently, you didn't realize that they were dead, either.
  • Tell them that Kirk Cameron will be there. (If you invite him, he just might show.)
  • Tell them there will be a book signing by a relatively well-known author, such as Hal Lindsey, Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer, Tony Evans, Annie Dillard, Max Lucado, Chuck Missler, Lee Strobel, or Beth Moore. Hand them a book by said author with an apology for the last-minute cancellation.
  • Assure them that Jesse Duplantis will not be there.
  • Provide them with t-shirts that read "Hands Off."
  • Promise them that the doors will not be locked until they speak in tongues, then give them a can of bear spray just in case.
  • Pay them twenty bucks and give them a ride.

Canned Meat Magic Saturday, January 15, 2022

No one knew its origin but many suspected it to be a combination of meat by-products from various unidentified animals. DNA testing proved inconclusive. It had a distinct flavor which added a unique zest to any dish and it was said that anyone who consumed it felt a certain vitality never before experienced. Those on the outer fringes of society surmised its origin to be that of a cloned unicorn while Celtich lore claimed it was extracted from the flesh of a leprechaun. Some in the Pacific Northwest insisted it was Sasquatch while those in the Himalayas argued it to be Yeti. In the Orient, the taste was attributed to the ectoplasm of ancient spirits. Regardless, no one could deny that it was, simply and without explanation, canned meat magic. Whether eaten plain or prepared, it was truly magical.

Feast of the Ass Friday, January 14, 2022

Today is the Feast of the Ass, commemorating the flight of Jesus and his parents into Egypt according to Matthew 2:13-23 in fulfillment of Hosea 11:1 and celebrated between the 11th and 15th centuries. Tradition was that a girl and a child would be led through town on a donkey to the church, where the donkey would stand at the altar and give the sermon, or something like that. On this day in 1969, the USS Enterprise caught fire off the coast of Hawaii due to exploding dilithium crystals, delaying its five-year mission to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life. In 1967, San Francisco was host to the "Human Be-In" gathering in Haight-Ashbury of hippies and beatniks in protest to the ban on LSD, which featured counterculture speakers such as Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Baba Ram Dass, none of whom appeared on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, a comedy series that the FBI did not find humorous. In 1957, Hindu spiritual leader Kripalu Maharaj was named fifth Jagadguru ("spiritual master of the entire universe"), yet he too never appeared on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Today is also Ratification Day, commemorating the ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1784, which officially ended the American Revolutionary War, paving the way for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

David C. Thursday, January 13, 2022

Today is Stephen Foster Memorial Day in the U.S. in memory of American songwriter Stephen Foster (1826-1864), who wrote such toe-tapping and knee-slapping hits as "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races," "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," and "Old Black Joe." And speaking of the devil, he just so happens to be one of Steven J. LaCompte's favorite composers. Steve likes to visit Song of America and learn about all of his favorite American musicians including Tiny Tim, Frank Zappa, and John Philip Sousa. Back in his heyday when Steve was all the rage, everyone wanted in on the action, including David C. Sadly, though, the web is a different place now and many of David's favorite haunts have gone to the archived wiki wastelands, including Black Children on Television, Senior Frolic, 7-11 Cyberspace Fun Stop, Dr. Ruth's Sexnet, and 2 Stupid Dogs. However, some have managed to survive, if only just barely on life support. Join us, won't you, on this trip down digital memory lane in search of David's lost youth.

The Brady Bunch Wiki: One of David's fantasies was to be Sam the Meat Man so he could marry Alice. Ever since he's been online he doesn't go to the public library much anymore, except to get on the Internet when his home connection is down. Instead, he spends his quality time researching Brady Bunch factoids and he takes it rather seriously. There's a lot of hard work that goes into every television sitcom, whether successful or not, and David is eventually going to figure out what was behind the success of the Bradys.

Carpenters and Carpenters: Every year around the time of her death, David fasts in memory of Karen Carpenter. Once a solitary node, now there are two official Carpenter websites.

Cereal Motel: Learn more about David's favorite breakfast cereals, including Porn Flakes and Vice Krispies. David has since developed an intolerance to lactose, but he still eats his cold cereal with soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk... and once in a while, even breast milk.

Cosmo's Factory: This was one of David's most traumatic experiences. He has since become a regular midnight participant.

David Hasselhoff is the AntiChrist: It's no wonder the music of David Hesselhoff calms the spastic beast within David. His multiple demon possessions also include Yanni and John Tesh.

Dead People Server: This website is now listed among the dead. Others who have languished and since departed include Tom Bosley, Gary Colemen, Walter Cronkite, Bob Denver, Allen Funt, Buddy Hackett, Sherman Hemsley, Arte Johnson, DeForest Kelley, Don Knotts, Harvey Korman, Jerry Lewis, Art Linkletter, Marcel Marceau, Walter Mondale, Mary Tyler Moore, Jim Nabors, Casey Kasem, Charles Nelson Reilly, Fred Rogers, Willard Scott, Jean Stapleton, Soupy Sales, Elizabeth Taylor, Rip Taylor, Adam West, and Henny Youngman.

Dear Crabby: David has yet to receive an answer from Helloise or Ann Landers about his problem with attracting crazed women. In answer to this, all women are crazed, though many repress it, at least until David comes along. He just seems to have a knack for unlocking those latant fatal attractions in the opposite sex.

Donny and Marie: Even though the original Osmond Network disbanded, David's bedroom is still an Osmond Family shrine.

Emo Philips Official Website: Emo was influential in laying the foundation for David's eccentric mindset (not Emo from Sesame Street). "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me." -Emo Philips

The Infomercial Index: David is addicted, but he never buys, he just likes to watch. This is the original website from back in the 90s, but it has grown cobwebs from spiderbots over the years.

Jolt Cola: Many a college student would stick beer bottle caps to their dorm room ceiling, but David affixed entire Jolt Cola bottles to his ceiling and walls. Though this didn't allow much room for sleeping or studying, David was always overly nervous and hyperactive from drinking all that Jolt Cola to ever settle down anyway. The blackness of this website is reminiscent of death itself.

Land O' Useless Facts: David utilizes trivial facts as pickup lines. Once the unsuspecting culprit has been swooned with pseudo-intellectual minutiae, David then moves in for the kill with quotes from Brady Bunch episodes.

Never Furl®: After all these years, David still never furls on Flag Day.

RuPaul: David is both disgusted and fascinated with this celebrity. He watches him/her/it with great intensity, all the while shaking his head and rolling his eyes. When RuPaul's original website RuPaul's House of Love went offline, David was devastated, but he remained strong and burried the longing deep down inside, where it blossomed in the dark and grew into a transgender tumor which he guards like a proud mother.

Scout Life: David once had a paper route so he could save up for a lifetime subscription to Boy's Life magazine. He no longer has a subscription, but he still has the paper route. David's grandfather, Helmhutt, a WWI veteran, used to take him to the local aries VFW fish fry. David proudly wore his Eagle Scout uniform to the weekly event and was regularly allowed to lead in the opening pledge of allegiance. David is still studying to be a scout leader himself, though he's only gotten so far as putting on a pair of khaki knee-high socks and a neckerchief.

Shriners International: David is an Imperial Clown, though not of any order of the Shriner fraternities. David likes to dress in a beige polyester suit, white loafers, and a fez and march around at parades masquerading as a Shriner. Once, at the North American Royal Parade of Calliopes, the real Shriners caught him and dressed him up as a clown and dragged him through the entire parade route behind a motorcade of midget motorcycles. Afterward, they made him entertain sick children at a local Shriners Hospital with a broken tail bone, a dislocated hip, and third degree pavement burns. He still harbors no ill will.

Themyscira: Like Steve, David has a thing for Wonder Woman, except David still sneaks out behind the garage and twirls around in circles with hopes of transforming himself into Wonder Woman. He has been saving for years for a vacation getaway to Paradise Island and recently settled on a Marvel Comics-themed cruise aboard Disney Cruise Lines. When he realized that Wonder Woman is not a part of the Marvel Universe, he jumped overboard. (The original Themyscira website was hosted on AOL, which has gone AWOL.)

Things That Are Crunchy: David likes to hear himself chew. His favorite crunchy sounds that resonate inside his skull include water chestnuts, kale, hardtack, rutabagas, toast, cupcake sprinkles, granola, rice crackers, ice cubes, peanut brittle, and (you guessed it) Porn Flakes.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: David worked for the federal government counting salmon sperm and making sure each and every one had the same opportunities to swim upstream and fertilize a salmon egg. His other interests included identifying trout, tagging trout, and going to the Seattle Aquarium to watch sea otters eat salmon and trout. Miss ya, Dave.

Bob Saget Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Today we remember some of the following saints: Benedict Biscop (690), Aelred of Rievaulx (1167), Bernardo da Corleone (1667), Marguerite Bourgeoys (1700), and Tatiana, a young female Christian who was killed by the Romans sometime around 230 A.D. The story goes that Tatiana was forced to sacrifice to Apollo, so she prayed and the Lord brought an earthquake which caused the statue of Apollo to crumble and part of the temple to collapse. While she was being tortured and her eyes gouged out, she prayed for her tormentors and many believed, who themselves were then tortured to death. During subsequent days of torture under jurist Ulpian, she was miraculously healed and many of her tormentors perished from exhaustion. She was then forced to sacrifice to the goddess Diana, but again she prayed to the Lord and lightning struck the statue. After more torture and having her breasts cut off, she was thrown before a lion, but remained unharmed, then thrown into a fire, but again remained unharmed, and each day was miraculously healed of her wounds. Thinking her a sorceress, her hair was cut off to remove her powers and she was locked in the temple of Zeus, but after three days the statue was found shattered upon the floor and Tatiana was praising the Lord. Finally, she and her father were beheaded. Which brings us to Bob Saget, co-star of Full House and Fuller House, narrator of How I Met Your Mother, and host of America's Funniest Home Videos, who passed away on Sunday.

 

Human Trafficking Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Today we remember some of the following saints: Anastasius of Suppentonia, Leucius of Brindisi, Paulinus II of Aquileia, Theodosius the Cenobiarch, Thomas of Cori, and Vitalis of Gaza. On this day in 1759, The first life insurance company was incorporated in the U.S. -- the Corporation for Relief of Poor and Distressed Presbyterian Ministers and of the Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of the Presbyterian Ministers. It is also National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S. Following are some statistics from various sources on human trafficking worldwide, including here, here, and here:

  • 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery and half are children.
  • 50% sexual, 38% forced labor, 6% criminal activity, 1.5% begging.
  • 65% of victims worldwide are female and 35% are male.
  • 15.4 million (75%) are age 18 or older, with children under 18 at 5.5 million (25%).
  • 54% in Europe, 19% Africa, 14% Asia, 8% Middle East, and 3% Americas.
  • $150 billion per year in profits for traffickers, 66% for sexual exploitation.
  • U.S. online targeting of children went up 99% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING TIP HOTLINE: 1-888-373-7888

Common Sense Monday, January 10, 2022

On this day in 1776, Thomas Paine first published his independent pamphlet Common Sense, which originated from a series of anonymous letters titled Plain Truth to the editors of various Philadelphia newspapers. Common Sense was distributed to the thirteen colonies and advocated independence from Great Britain. It was widely popular and even published oversees, except in England where it was a criminal offense, and is still one of the best-selling American titles of all time. Paine donated the royalties from Common Sense to George Washington's Continental Army and publicly reputed his copyright to give everyone the legal right to print it. Although he may not have profited from its publication, U.S. citizens profited from it greatly, so here are a few enduring excerpts to inspire rebellion against imperial tyranny.

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness possitively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government, which we might expect in a country without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer... Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expence and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest; they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto; the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same.

Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which would supercede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. Freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will say, ‘tis right.

I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered; and with this maxim in view I offer a few remarks on the so much boasted constitution of England that it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was overrun with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise, is easily demonstrated.

The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of their own government, by King, Lords and Commons, arises as much or more from national pride than reason. Individuals are undoubtedly safer in England than in some other countries: but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the formidable shape of an act of parliament... Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is that it is wholly owing to the constitution of the people, and not to the constitution of the government that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey.

But there is another and greater distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is the distinction of men into KINGS and SUBJECTS. Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of Heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth inquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind.

Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the Heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry. The Heathens paid divine honours to their deceased kings, and the Christian World hath improved on the plan by doing the same to their living ones. How impious is the title of sacred Majesty applied to a worm, who in the midst of his splendor is crumbling into dust!

Near three thousand years passed away, from the Mosaic account of the creation, till the Jews under a national delusion requested a king. Till then their form of government (except in extraordinary cases where the Almighty interposed) was a kind of Republic, administered by a judge and the elders of the tribes. Kings they had none, and it was held sinful to acknowledge any being under that title but the Lord of Hosts. And when a man seriously reflects on the idolatrous homage which is paid to the persons of kings, he need not wonder that the Almighty, ever jealous of his honour, should disapprove a form of government which so impiously invades the prerogative of Heaven.

To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary succession; and as the first is a degradation and lessening of ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is an insult and imposition on posterity. For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever, and tho’ himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his cotemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them. One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in Kings, is that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule, by giving mankind an Ass for a Lion.

Secondly, as no man at first could possess any other public honors than were bestowed upon him, so the givers of those honors could have no power to give away the right of posterity, and though they might say “We choose you for our head,” they could not without manifest injustice to their children say “that your children and your children’s children shall reign over ours forever.” Because such an unwise, unjust, unnatural compact might (perhaps) in the next succession put them under the government of a rogue or a fool. Most wise men in their private sentiments have ever treated hereditary right with contempt; yet it is one of those evils which when once established is not easily removed: many submit from fear, others from superstition, and the more powerful part shares with the king the plunder of the rest.

The most plausible plea which hath ever been offered in favor of hereditary succession is, that it preserves a nation from civil wars; and were this true, it would be weighty; whereas it is the most bare-faced falsity ever imposed upon mankind. The whole history of England disowns the fact. Thirty kings and two minors have reigned in that distracted kingdom since the conquest, in which time there has been (including the revolution) no less than eight civil wars and nineteen Rebellions. Wherefore instead of making for peace, it makes against it, and destroys the very foundation it seems to stand upon... In short, monarchy and succession have laid (not this or that kingdom only) but the world in blood and ashes. ‘Tis a form of government which the word of God bears testimony against, and blood will attend it.

In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense: and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves: that he will put on, or rather that he will not put off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day.

I have heard it asserted by some, that as America has flourished under her former connection with Great-Britain, the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. But even this is admitting more than is true; for I answer roundly, that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe.

Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new World hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.

Our plan is commerce, and that, well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of all Europe; because it is the interest of all Europe to have America a free port. Her trade will always be a protection, and her barrenness of gold and silver secure her from invaders. I challenge the warmest advocate for reconciliation to show a single advantage that this continent can reap by being connected with Great Britain. I repeat the challenge; not a single advantage is derived. Our corn will fetch its price in any market in Europe, and our imported goods must be paid for buy them where we will.

But the injuries and disadvantages which we sustain by that connection, are without number; and our duty to mankind at large, as well as to ourselves, instruct us to renounce the alliance: because, any submission to, or dependance on, Great Britain, tends directly to involve this Continent in European wars and quarrels, and set us at variance with nations who would otherwise seek our friendship, and against whom we have neither anger nor complaint. As Europe is our market for trade, we ought to form no partial connection with any part of it. It is the true interest of America to steer clear of European contentions, which she never can do, while, by her dependance on Britain, she is made the make-weight in the scale of British politics.

Though I would carefully avoid giving unnecessary offence, yet I am inclined to believe, that all those who espouse the doctrine of reconciliation, may be included within the following descriptions. Interested men, who are not to be trusted, weak men who cannot see, prejudiced men who will not see, and a certain set of moderate men who think better of the European world than it deserves; and this last class, by an ill-judged deliberation, will be the cause of more calamities to this Continent than all the other three.

'Tis repugnant to reason, to the universal order of things, to all examples from former ages, to suppose that this Continent can long remain subject to any external power. The most sanguine in Britain doth not think so. The utmost stretch of human wisdom cannot, at this time, compass a plan, short of separation, which can promise the continent even a year’s security. Reconciliation is now a fallacious dream. Nature hath deserted the connection, and art cannot supply her place. For, as Milton wisely expresses, “never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep.”

Small islands not capable of protecting themselves are the proper objects for government1 to take under their care; but there is something absurd, in supposing a Continent to be perpetually governed by an island. In no instance hath nature made the satellite larger than its primary planet; and as England and America, with respect to each other, reverse the common order of nature, it is evident that they belong to different systems. England to Europe: America to itself.

America is only a secondary object in the system of British politics. England consults the good of this country no further than it answers her own purpose. Wherefore, her own interest leads her to suppress the growth of ours in every case which doth not promote her advantage, or in the least interferes with it.

But where, say some, is the King of America? I’ll tell you, friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Great Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honours, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the Charter; let it be brought forth placed on the Divine Law, the Word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the Crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.

Ye that tell us of harmony and reconciliation, can ye restore to us the time that is past? Can ye give to prostitution its former innocence? neither can ye reconcile Britain and America. The last cord now is broken, the people of England are presenting addresses against us. There are injuries which nature cannot forgive; she would cease to be nature if she did. As well can the lover forgive the ravisher of his mistress, as the Continent forgive the murders of Britain. The Almighty hath implanted in us these unextinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes. They are the Guardians of his Image in our hearts. They distinguish us from the herd of common animals.

'Tis not in numbers but in unity that our great strength lies: yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world. The Continent hath at this time the largest body of armed and disciplined men of any power under Heaven: and is just arrived at that pitch of strength, in which no single colony is able to support itself, and the whole, when united, is able to do anything. Our land force is more than sufficient, and as to Naval affairs, we cannot be insensible that Britain would never suffer an American man of war to be built, while the Continent remained in her hands. Wherefore, we should be no forwarder an hundred years hence in that branch than we are now; but the truth is, we should be less so, because the timber of the Country is every day diminishing, and that which will remain at last, will be far off or difficult to procure.

The debt we may contract doth not deserve our regard if the work be but accomplished. No nation ought to be without a debt. A national debt is a national bond; and when it bears no interest, is in no case a grievance. Britain is oppressed with a debt of upwards of one hundred and forty millions sterling, for which she pays upwards of four millions interest. And as a compensation for her debt, she has a large navy; America is without a debt, and without a navy; yet for the twentieth part of the English national debt, could have a navy as large again. The navy of England is not worth at this time more than three millions and a half sterling.

No country on the globe is so happily situated, or so internally capable of raising a fleet as America. Tar, timber, iron, and cordage are her natural produce. We need go abroad for nothing. Whereas the Dutch, who make large profits by hiring out their ships of war to the Spaniards and Portugese, are obliged to import most of the materials they use. We ought to view the building a fleet as an article of commerce, it being the natural manufactory of this country. ‘Tis the best money we can lay out. A navy when finished is worth more than it cost: And is that nice point in national policy, in which commerce and protection are united. Let us build; if we want them not, we can sell; and by that means replace our paper currency with ready gold and silver.

Commerce diminishes the spirit both of patriotism and military defence. And history sufficiently informs us, that the bravest achievements were always accomplished in the non-age of a nation. With the increase of commerce England hath lost its spirit. The city of London, notwithstanding its numbers, submits to continued insults with the patience of a coward. The more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture. The rich are in general slaves to fear, and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a spaniel.

Youth is the seed-time of good habits as well in nations as in individuals. It might be difficult, if not impossible, to form the Continent into one Government half a century hence. The vast variety of interests, occasioned by an increase of trade and population, would create confusion. Colony would be against Colony. Each being able would scorn each other’s assistance: and while the proud and foolish gloried in their little distinctions, the wise would lament that the union had not been formed before. Wherefore the present time is the true time for establishing it. The intimacy which is contracted in infancy, and the friendship which is formed in misfortune, are of all others the most lasting and unalterable. Our present union is marked with both these characters: we are young, and we have been distressed; but our concord hath withstood our troubles, and fixes a memorable Æra for posterity to glory in.

The present time, likewise, is that peculiar time which never happens to a nation but once, viz. the time of forming itself into a government. Most nations have let slip the opportunity, and by that means have been compelled to receive laws from their conquerors, instead of making laws for themselves. First, they had a king, and then a form of government; whereas the articles or charter of government should be formed first, and men delegated to execute them afterwards: but from the errors of other nations let us learn wisdom, and lay hold of the present opportunity -- to begin government at the right end.

For myself, I fully and conscientiously believe, that it is the will of the Almighty that there should be a diversity of religious opinions among us. It affords a larger field for our Christian kindness: were we all of one way of thinking, our religious dispositions would want matter for probation; and on this liberal principle I look on the various denominations among us, to be like children of the same family, differing only in what is called their Christian names.

Were a manifesto to be published, and despatched to foreign Courts, setting forth the miseries we have endured, and the peaceful methods which we have ineffectually used for redress; declaring at the same time, that not being able any longer to live happily or safely under the cruel disposition of the British Court, we had been driven to the necessity of breaking off all connections with her; at the same time, assuring all such Courts of our peaceable disposition towards them, and of our desire of entering into trade with them: such a memorial would produce more good effects to this Continent, than if a ship were freighted with petitions to Britain.

Under our present denomination of British subjects, we can neither be received nor heard abroad: the custom of all Courts is against us, and will be so, until by an independance we take rank with other nations.

I have frequently amused myself both in public and private companies, with silently remarking the specious errors of those who speak without reflecting. And among the many which I have heard, the following seems the most general, viz. that had this rupture happened forty or fifty years hence, instead of now, the continent would have been more able to have shaken off the dependance. To which I reply, that our military ability, at this time, arises from the experience gained in the last war, and which in forty or fifty years time, would be totally extinct. The continent would not, by that time, have a general, or even a military officer left; and we, or those who may succeed us, would be as ignorant of martial matters as the ancient Indians: and this single position, closely attended to, will unanswerably prove that the present time is preferable to all others. The argument turns thus: At the conclusion of the last war, we had experience, but wanted numbers; and forty or fifty years hence, we shall have numbers, without experience; wherefore, the proper point of time, must be some particular point between the two extremes, in which a sufficiency of the former remains, and a proper increase of the latter is obtained: And that point of time is the present time.

I proceed now to the second head, viz. Which is the easiest and most practicable plan, Reconciliation or Independence; with some occasional remarks... He who takes nature for his guide, is not easily beaten out of his argument, and on that ground, I answer generally -- That independance being a single simple line, contained within ourselves; and reconciliation, a matter exceedingly perplexed and complicated, and in which a treacherous capricious court is to interfere, gives the answer without a doubt.

It is the violence which is done and threatened to our persons; the destruction of our property by an armed force; the invasion of our country by fire and sword, which conscientiously qualifies the use of arms: and the instant in which such mode of defence became necessary, all subjection to Britain ought to have ceased; and the independance of America should have been considered as dating its era from, and published by, the first musket that was fired against her. This line is a line of consistency; neither drawn by caprice, nor extended by ambition; but produced by a chain of events, of which the colonies were not the authors.

I shall conclude these remarks, with the following timely and well-intended hints. We ought to reflect, that there are three different ways by which an independancy may hereafter be effected; and that one of those three, will, one day or other, be the fate of America, viz. By the legal voice of the people in Congress; by a military power; or by a mob: It may not always happen that our soldiers are citizens, and the multitude a body of reasonable men; virtue, as I have already remarked, is not hereditary, neither is it perpetual. Should an independancy be brought about by the first of those means, we have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest, purest constitution on the face of the earth.

We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months. The reflection is awful, and in this point of view, how trifling, how ridiculous, do the little paltry cavilings of a few weak or interested men appear, when weighed against the business of a world.

Hopefully this has rallied you to read the entire edition because, as you can see, there is too much to be included here. It'd be interesting to know what Thomas Paine would have to say about the U.S. government now. Then again it would be interesting to know what any of the U.S. founding fathers would have to say now.

https://billofrightsinstitute.org/primary-sources/common-sense
https://oll.libertyfund.org/page/1776-paine-common-sense-pamphlet
https://americainclass.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Common-Sense-_-Full-Text.pdf

60 Second Romance Vol 2 Sunday, January 9, 2022

He came running out from the lush jungle and into her open heart. There he stood: four feet of staunch masculinity, panting heavily as his furry chest heaved in and out with each ferocious breath, loin cloth dampened with sweat, spear raised overhead poised and ready to master the prey. She sighed and raised her delicate hand to her forehead as if to faint. He rushed upon her pale, civilized body and tore her blouse open with a brutal savagery she had never before experienced. She gazed up into his dark, barbaric eyes and said with a sensual gasp, "Take me as your captive and do with me as you wish!" "What?" he asked, "I don't understand." She replied, "That's rediculous, then how did you just say what you just said? Apparently, just because you can speak doesn't necessarily make you a smart ape." And with that uncultured attitude, he ate her.

COVID-22 Saturday, January 8, 2022

It's high time we upgraded COVID-19, more popularly known as SARS-CoV-2 Novel Coronavirus. The latest variant, whatever presidential immunologist Dr. Fauci determines it to be, should be called COVID-22. (This is not a Microsoft operating system.) Now there are basically two sides to the vaccination hullabaloo, which just goes without saying, and I will refrain from offending either of them by providing this updated list of universal tips for helping to prevent the spread of this viral shenanigan:

  • Stay home if you feel sick or test positive for COVID-19. Better yet, just stay home. The U.S. government is still paying people to choose this lifestyle. Find out more at the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet apart... no, make it 12 feet apart and wear N95 or KN95 masks when not eating, drinking, or smoking. Wear a mask during any kind of sex, including oral, and always maintain a distance of 12 feet apart.
  • If you are one who is concerned about being in the presence of those who choose not to wear masks in public, then stay home and wear a mask. It's possible to re-infect yourself, so wear a mask at all times.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, then throw the tissue or your shirt in the trash.
  • Hold social events virtually. Cancel, adjust, or postpone larger gatherings that can only occur in-person. This includes grandma's last birthday. If she doesn't have a computer or smart phone or is just plain computer-illiterate, then hold a virtual seance after she has passed.
  • If you must gather in person, such as for an NFL football game, hold gatherings in open, well-ventilated spaces with plenty of sunlight and high temperatures.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or every 20 seconds, whichever feels more advantageous.
  • Wash hands at every sanitizing station you encounter. After each sanitation rally, walk three feet away, turn, walk back and repeat. Do this at least three times for each sanitizing station.
  • Sanitize the inside surface of all body parts with DJT Brand™ Quality Germicidal Disinfectant with hydroxycloroquine. Warning: Homemade remedies consisting of chlorine bleach and isopropyl alcohol must be consumed in large volumes in order to adequately sanitize internal body surfaces.
  • Sanitize fruits and vegetables with at least 60% alcohol before purchasing. Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds before putting in refrigerator at home. Bake, broil, microwave, air fry or boil all fruits and vegetables and maintain a safe distance of 6 feet from all fruits and vegetables when consuming. Otherwise, eat fruits and vegetables with 120-proof alcohol or stronger.
  • According to the World Health Organization, ethanol will not kill coronavirus. However, it will make it inebriated enough that it may pass out. In this inert state, it can be safely vomited with partially digested fruits and vegetables and flushed down the toilet.
  • Disinfect all surfaces and breathing spaces with Ultraviolet-C radiation. Ensure that any UVC lamp you purchase emits at least a 254nm wavelength, burns both skin and eyes, generates ozone, and contains mercury. Otherwise, it may be less than effective.
  • Recommend supplements of zinc, melatonin, and vitamins C and D to loved ones as a placebo.
  • Encourage employees who still insist on the archaic method of showing up for work to self-test before arriving with an over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 test. Should they test positive, encourage them to go home and quarantine for two weeks go behind a closed door and take a nap.
  • Be honest when answering screening questions regarding travel, exposures, and sick family members. It may not make statistical data more accurate, but it is crucial to people who are stringent about following rules.
  • Continue to purchase large quantities of toilet paper. You can never have too much hygiene paper product.

Backfill Friday Friday, January 7, 2022

So, I was lazy last night and laid on the couch watching episodes of Star Trek: Discovery instead of posting to this blog. That means you get the remainder of the top 110 reasons from 11/23/21 why Steven J. LaCompte is a content and happy man, concluding with a special tribute to Star Trek with the assimilated spinning head of Steven J. Lecutus of Borg.

49. The secret, Steve concedes, is a daily regimen of colonic massages and rectal acupuncture.
48. Steve's performance on the Gong Show as "The King and I" is what prompted J.P. Morgan to bear her breasts.
47. At the end of Steve's rainbow are the Solid Gold dancers.
46. Steve's cosmic aura is the prism of light reflected through a jug of Julio Gallo Rhine.
45. Steve still retains much of his extensive training from glee club boot camp, where he was awarded the prestigious Goodie-Two-Shoes award and promoted with honors to Second Lieutenant Commander Debutante.
44. Steve's regular exercise schedule consists of several sets of giddy head bobs, alternating ambidextrous knee slaps, and a series of full, deep guffaws from the diaphragm.
43. Steve's life imitates art, which is why his patron saint is Zippy the Pinhead.
42. Steve is able to reclaim his golden years of Punky Brewster and Doogie Hauser, M.D. through late night cable television reruns.
41. Steve is able to relive his glory days of Donkey Kong through the modern technology of his pocket Game Boy.
40. Steve is already past midlife crisis, a time when he moved back into his old college dorm room to conduct drunken orgies every night until dawn, then sacrifice farm animals to various monuments on campus while doused in gasoline. (He couldn't afford a brand new lifestyle.)
39. With hobbies ranging from casual mathematics to leisure time geometry, the real world of algorithmic calculations is a snap for Steve.
38. Steve avoids uncomfortable encounters with ex-girlfriends by pretending to have grand mal seizures.
37. Steve resists sexual temptation with narcoleptic seizures.
36. Steve is able to occupy himself by harvesting the bountiful crop of by-products in his bodily crevices, some of which are recycled.
35. Steve has yet to be weened from his mother.
34. Steve lives his life according to the Bible, though Sodom and Gomorah were eventually destroyed by fire from above.
33. In his quest for simplicity, Steve likes to eat trail mix, which consists of bending over along the trail of life and eating whatever he happens to pick up. Steve also likes to snack on bird seed blocks, tree bark, mica flakes, dry leaves, discarded wrappers, and empty toilet paper rolls.
32. Steve contributes his time back into the community by volunteering in the welcoming committee, Block Watch, and by heading the local vigilante on witch hunts.
31. Steve has a Big Brother.
30. Therapy for Steve includes clipping coupons, watering the lawn by hand, riding his three wheel bike, and lounging around with Dave and Kyle in women's lingerie. (More on them later.)
29. Steve is able to purge headaches by putting his head in the toilet and literally flushing the stress away.
28. Steve loves to wear green turtlenecks and click his heels to the minstrel sounds of the Irish Rovers, and anyone who rubs his blarney stone the wrong way gets it over the head with Steve's shillelagh.
27. Steve freely gives what he has freely received, which is also why he has head lice.
26. For home brewed vim and vigor, Steve concocts his own elixirs from an assortment of cough medicines, hair tonics, douches, and aftershave splashes.
25. Steve is an avid fisherman, awaking early year-round and catching his limit at the local carp hatchery before it opens.
24. Steve finds solace in the realization he's not some drunken skid row bum wiped out on everclear. Sterno is his down-and-out drink of desperation.
23. Three nights a week Steve takes a bath in a solution of 10% benzoyl peroxide.
22. It is reasurring for Steve to watch Urkel grow into an adult geek.
21. Steve found the fountain of youth in a Slurpee machine at a nearby 7-11.
20. Steve sleeps with an Alf doll.
19. Ever since the Chipmunks cut an album with Mannheim Steamroller, Christmas has been every day of the year for Steve.
18. Steve brews his own ale, cultivates his own tobacco, and cuts his own hair.
17. Steve greets every morning with a smile on his face (after a night of dreaming about Scott Baio, Rickie Schroeder, and Fabio -- not always together or in that particular order.)
16. Steve has a closet full of hand-knit wool sweaters, each one embroidered with fruitcakes, left to him by his dearly departed Aunt Beatrice. The words of her eulogy still ring true in Steve's ears: "Here lies Beatrice Endora LeCompte, afflicted by malignant bunions, now buried and at rest with her three dozen precious cats."
15. Steve stays in shape from being chased two to three miles every day by his neighbor's angry pet llama ridden by their pet cockatoo that's trained to shout obsenities.
14. At the age of ten, some unknown stranger proclaimed Steve as "Krishna J. LaCompte, the Witless Wonder and Savior of All Humankind" and to this day he still has a following of devotees, which includes everyone on his hacked e-mail list.
13. Steve has been assimilated by the Borg. His new name is LeCutus of Borg.
12. Steve has a glowing personality and may be likened to affluent and broad-minded individuals, such as Baby Bop, Elmo, and Bob Saget.
11. Steve tends a flock of sheep he affectionately refers to as his "wooly harem".
10. Steve takes great pride in retelling ethnic jokes, especially about his homeland of Polackistan.
9. Steve's brain waves are at the same frequency as elevator musak.
8. Steve is dedicated to strict American values, such as driving with your head up your ass. His favorite recreational car games include: Follow the leader at 15 m.p.h.; Mother may I...advance to the next block?; Right and left the blinker goes and where he turns nobody knows; Red light go, green light stop; Blind side's bluff; Cut off the can; Bumper tag; King of the on-ramp; and innie, minnie, minie, moe -- which lane will I unexpectadly go?
7. Steve is on top of the world with the NASA channel, 24 hours a day.
6. People like Steve just for who he is -- a freak show with free admission.
5. Steve's meditative mantra is simply to repeat advertising jingles that have stuck with him troughout the day.
4. Steve has accepted himself for who he really is -- a reincarnation of Shemp Howard.
3. Steve takes refuge from life's bitter ends through UNIX programming.
2. Steve doesn't carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, instead he is able to shift it to his nose.
1. Steve received a federal grant from the NEA to develop his own home page on the World Wide Web. He is now at peace with himself knowing that our tax dollars are finally put to good use at http://www.wolfenet.com/~mrsci/. (Note: When funding ran out, this website went from Under Construction to 404 Not Found.)

Epiphany Thursday, January 6, 2022

Today is Epiphany (from the Greek epiphaneia, meaning "appearance" or "manifestation"), celebrating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12, also called Theophany or Three Kings' Day. It kicks off the season of Epiphanytide, which lasts until Candlemas, or possibly Ash Wednesday (more on this when the time comes). On this day in 1893, the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation was chartered by the U.S. Congress for the Episcopal Church's building of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C., the second largest church building in the U.S. For those concerned about the separation of church and state, a congressional charter is a law under Title 36 of the United States Code that states the mission, authority, and activities of a group. Congressional charters were once required for corporate entities operating in the District of Columbia. Today they are largely a symbolic recognition of an organization's public interest and have all but ceased to be granted since 1992. The Episcopal Church was a U.S. breakaway church from the Church of England after the Revolutionary War, but still maintains its membership in the worldwide Anglican Communion. However, much of the Anglican Communion has distanced itself from the Episcopal Church, or joined the separatist Anglican Continuum, because of its ordination of female, homosexual, and transgender clergy, along with its rites for same-gender marriage. (Note that Episcopal diocese cannot simply depart from the Episcopal Church without its consent.) Speaking of departures, Mother Theresa, a native of Albania, depared her second home of Ireland on this day in 1929 for Calcutta, India. In 1950, she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a congregation of Catholic nuns who manage hospices for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis, as well as running soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools, all with a vow to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor." At the time of her death (3/13/1997), the Missionaries of Charity had over 4,000 sisters and an associated brotherhood of 300 members operating 610 missions in 123 countries.

 
  Mother Theresa of Calcutta, a saint in anyone's book, except for her critics who accused her of promoting suffering, poverty, and over-population, including Christopher Hitchens in his documentary Hell's Angel.  

Twelfth Night Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Today is the twelfth day of Christmas, or Twelfth Night, with twelve lords a-leaping/bells a-ringing/ladies dancing/drummers drumming/fiddlers fiddling, also the Eve of Epiphany, or Theophany, or Three Kings' Day, or Little Christmas, or a good time to take down your Christmas decorations. It's also the second installment of Words To Live By. Truer words have been spoken, but here are a few timeless adages nonetheless:

  • You can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need, even if it's a kick to the groin of your ego.
  • Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true, like all your teeth falling out, or showing up to final exams not having studied, or being naked in public, or falling endlessly from great heights, or being chased by wolves.
  • It's all fun and games until someone falls into a tiger trap or trips a forgotten landmine.
  • Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid and a stupid fish that can't climb a tree is a stupid idea.
  • Today is the first miserable day of the rest of your miserable life, so live it as though it was your last. If it wasn't your last, and it probably wasn't, then you may end up in jail where you belong.
  • When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in the eyes of those who quote Zig Ziglar.
  • Men who say it cannot be done should not interrupt men who are doing it, unless they are trying to bring Jack the Ripper back to life from DNA samples just to see who he actually was.
  • Whatever you do, do it well enough that your kids won't be embarrassed of you.
  • If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it; if you can't change the way you think about it, something or someone is going to have to be eliminated.
  • There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure... and a fatal disease... and some natural disasters... and a lack of funds. There are four things that make a dream impossible to achieve. Plus life in prison, which can end most dreams.
  • Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, voyage away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds, and sail off the edge of the Earth.
  • When something bad happens you have four choices: you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, let it strengthen you, or let it give you a reason to drink heavily.
  • Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're delusional.
  • Avoiding risk is the greatest risk of all, unless you have a gambling problem.
  • If they laugh at you because you're different then laugh at them because they're all the same. If they beat you senseless in return, knocking out all your teeth in the process, then take solace knowing you had the last laugh, even if it wasn't genuinely funny.
  • Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Therefore those that matter count and those that don't count don't matter.
  • It's alright to not know what you want to be when you grow up as long as you never grow up.
  • Let your self-aggrandizement keep you so busy that you have no time for the petty concerns of others.
  • If you set your goals ridiculously high and fail, you will fail above everyone else's success. However, you will still be a huge failure.
  • The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart on their way to the stomach.
  • Whoever is happy will make others happy too, with the exception of sadists.
  • Never let the fear of being hit in the face with a baseball, a bat, or a cleated shoe keep you from playing the game.
  • If you never try you will fail at trying. If you try and fail then you have succeeded at failing. If you try and succeed, it is because others have failed before you.
  • The secret of success is to do the common thing while generating a lot of advertising revenue.
  • The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our realization that tomorrow never comes.

Poligamy Tuesday, January 4, 2022

On this day in 1863, the Protestant New Apostolic Church was created in Hamburg, Germany, out of the Catholic Apostolic Church. From Britannica: The church emphasizes the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sacraments are baptism, Holy Communion, and holy sealing (the "dispensing and reception of the Holy Spirit"). Sealing can only be conferred by the laying on of hands on the head of a member by an apostle, and it assures the member of participation in Christ's rule on Earth for 1,000 years after he returns. Like the Latter-day Saints, the New Apostolic Church teaches that the sacraments can be received by a living member for a dead person. And speaking of the LDS, on this day in 1896, the Mormon territory of "Deseret" became the state of Utah in the U.S. after statehood was denied for fifty years due to ongoing disputes and military scuffles between the Mormons led by Brigham Young and the federal government over the practice of polygamy. Following the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 which disincorporated the LDS Church, Mormon president Wilford Woodruff received divine revelation and the LDS Church passed the Anti-polygamy Manifesto of 1890, and in 1895 a ban on plural marriages was written into the state constitution which appeased the federal government. In 1904, after over a decade of continued polygamous marriages, another manifesto was issued and the LDS Church began excommunicating polygamist members. In 1906, a federal senate investigation (Smoot Hearings) concluded that a majority of the LDS leaders were living in polygamous cohabitation. Plural marriage ceremonies were no longer officially conducted after 1920, although a third manifesto was issued in 1933 by LDS president Heber J. Grant, who himself had three concurrent wives.




Score

Joseph Smith - 40
Brigham Young - 55

 

Prior to Utah becoming a state, here is what the Mormons believed about polygamy: Joseph Smith had a revelation in 1831 that plural marriages, or marriages with more than one wife, were permissible. Regardless that it was considered a wicked practice and forbidden according to the Book of Mormon (Jacob 1:15, 2:24-27, 3:5), as a leader, Smith claimed he was allowed more than one wife based on Old Testament accounts of plural marriages among God's rulers, most notably those of Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon (Doctrine and Covenants 132). This became known as the Patriarchal Law of Abraham. Despite the admonition in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 of an overseer to be the husband of but one wife, Smith supposedly had somewhere between 33 and 43 wives, some of whom were married to other church leaders and some of whom were related to one another. Although secret amongst the leaders at first, Smith began promoting it openly in the 1840s. The church began teaching it publicly in 1852 and, under Brigham Young's leadership, it became rampant, with reports of inter-family marriages and wife swapping. Young, who had around 55 wives and believed monogamy to be a flaw of Christianity, declared, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy" (Journal of Discourses, vol 11, p 269). Some early LDS Church leaders even taught that Jesus had many wives and children while he lived on earth. In 1886, third LDS president John Taylor had a revelation that the Law of Abraham was an everlasting covenant never to be revoked. Although there remain various Mormon factions that continue to practice polygamy, the current official LDS stance on plural marriages is that it is not allowed. Still, plural marriage doctrine remains in LDS scripture and claims it will not only be permitted in the afterlife, but will be resumed on earth after Christ's return.

Excommunication Monday, January 3, 2022

On this day in 1521, Martin Luther and his followers received official excommunication, anathema, interdiction, and perpetual condemnation from the Roman Catholic Church via the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem, issued by Pope Leo X and available from Papal Encyclicals Online. Four years earlier, Luther, a Catholic priest and Augustinian monk, nailed a list of discussable items to the church doors of the Castle Church of Wittenburg in Germany. Among his list of concerns, written in Latin for anyone to understand, was the practice of indulgences, by which members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church could pay charitable contributions in exchange for the remittance of sins both for themselves and others, including the souls of the deceased. In 1520, the Holy See released their official opinion about Luther's thesis in the papal bull Exsurge Domine, in which they condemned the opinions of this "wild boar" as "heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth" and a "plague and cancerous disease." In response to this, the contumacious German monk gave them the spiritual finger. The rest, as they say, is history.

"We would make known to all the small store that Martin, his followers and the other rebels have set on God and his Church by their obstinate and shameless temerity. We would protect the herd from one infectious animal, lest its infection spread to the healthy ones. Hence we lay the following injunction on each and every patriarch, archbishop, bishop, on the prelates of patriarchal, metropolitan, cathedral and collegiate churches, and on the religious of every Order -- even the mendicants -- privileged or unprivileged, wherever they may be stationed: that in the strength of their vow of obedience and on pain of the sentence of excommunication, they shall, if so required in the execution of these presents, publicly announce and cause to be announced by others in their churches, that this same Martin and the rest are excommunicate, accursed, condemned, heretics, hardened, interdicted, deprived of possessions and incapable of owning them, and so listed in the enforcement of these presents... We would occasion still greater confounding on the said Martin and the other heretics we have mentioned, and on their adherents, followers and partisans: hence, on the strength of their vow of obedience we enjoin each and every patriarch, archbishop and all other prelates, that even as they were appointed on the authority of Jerome to allay schisms, so now in the present crisis, as their office obliges them, they shall make themselves a wall of defence for their Christian people. They shall not keep silence like dumb dogs that cannot bark, but incessantly cry and lift up their voice, preaching and causing to be preached the word of God and the truth of the Catholic faith against the damnable articles and heretics aforesaid." --Decet Romanum Pontificem, Section V

Within the Exsurge Domine, it is alleged that Luther stated, "Christians must be taught to cherish excommunications rather than to fear them." I have searched through Luther's writings during this period and have not found anything regarding this (On the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (The Ninety-Five Theses), The Freedom of the Christian Man, An Open Letter to Pope Leo X, Address To The Nobility of the German Nation, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church). However, in his Against the Execrable Bull of the Antichrist, he concludes, "And as they excommunicated me for the sacrilege of heresy, so I excommunicate them in the name of the sacred truth of God. Christ will judge whose excommunication will stand. Amen." Now I was baptized and confirmed Catholic in my younger years, however, I left the Catholic Church as an adult, even getting baptized in a Pentecostal church, but I have yet to be excommunicated, nor to submit an official notice of defect to a bishop. Even so, excommunication doesn't necessarily mean you are no longer a member of the Catholic Church, it just means that you can't take part in the sacraments until you recant. From New Advent: Excommunication, Latin ex, "out of," and communicatio, "communion" -- exclusion from the communion. It is a medicinal rather than a vindictive penalty, being intended not so much to punish the culprit as to correct him and bring him back to the path of righteousness. Its object and its effect are loss of communion, i.e. of the spiritual benefits shared by all the members of Christian society; hence, it can affect only those who by baptism have been admitted to that society.

 
It's easy to see why everyone confuses American Baptist minister and civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) with Protestant Reformation kickstarter Martin Luther (1483-1546). Actually, MLK was born Michael Jr. and his father renamed them both to Martin Luther after visiting Nazi Germany during the 1934 Baptist World Alliance.

Asceticism Sunday, January 2, 2022

Today we (generally speaking) remember Macarius of Alexandria (Macarius the Younger, c. 295-395), a candy merchant who converted around the age of forty and became an ascetic monk for sixty years in the Egyptian deserts. His gifts included healing, casting out demons, prophecy, visions, and discerning the inner thoughts of men. According to the OCA, a proud thought once came to Macarius to go to Rome and heal the sick. Struggling with the temptation, he filled up a sack of sand, loaded it on himself and walked into the desert until he exhausted his body. The proud thought then left him. According to CatholicSaints, he spent six months naked in the marshes, beset constantly by viscious blood-sucking flies and mosquitoes, in the hope of destroying his last bit of sexual desire. The terrible conditions and attacking insects left him so deformed that when he returned to the monks they could recognize him only by his voice. According to Catholic Daily Readings, he disguised himself in secular clothing and over the course of the entire forty-day Great Lent neither ate bread nor drank water. No one saw him eating or sitting down and he made baskets of palm leaves while he was standing. The original monastery that bears his name is still active in the ancient Scetis Desert where members awaken each day at 3:00AM for prayer and prostrations, chanting at 4:00AM, followed by morning service which lasts several hours, a blessed day of labor in one of several vocations (building restoration, forging, machining, farming, touristry), psalms at mid-day accompanied by the communal meal, and then more blessed labor, prayers, study, and quite a bit of alone time before a limited amount of sleep. Oh, wait, this is the monastery of Macarius the Great, a contemporary of Macarius the Younger who was also an ascetic monk in the deserts of Egypt. The monastery of Macarius the Younger is somewhere in the Nitria Desert and consists of a small random cave where anyone who is called may live a solitary life of prayer, fasting, and devotion. Just remember that in situations of extreme starvation and sleep-deprivation, the devil may speak to you and will in all probability tempt you. Personally, I believe at a young age I was called to be a monk but was unwilling to give up candy, a weakness which I am tempted with daily.

No Resolutions Saturday, January 1, 2022

Welcoming in the new year with red header text and that's the only change. No promises, no resolutions, no technical modifications. Just more unsophisticated and sarcastic observations. Here we go: On this day in 42 B.C., the Roman Senate posthumously deified Julius Caesar. Now call me a simpleton but what kind of god is murdered in the prime of his life and by his own people? That distinction, of course, goes to Jesus Christ. I've said it before and I'll undoubtedly say it again, if Jesus was just some wise guy who suggested we love our enemies then I wouldn't give a shit more or less. However, he claimed to be God's only Son, giving him the right to act as a sacrifice for the atonement of all who committed sins against his Father, then died a gruesome death on the cross in accord with God's regulations, which none can argue against being holy and righteous. Then Jesus rose from the dead, which anyone can question and many deny, but I tend to believe because it seems only rational, but that's probably just the Holy Spirit convicting me since I initially took it on faith when I accepted that the acts of Jesus were gospel truth. Moving on, a Christian monk named Telemachus attempted to stop a gladiatorial fight in a Roman amphitheatre on this day in the year 404, which spectators did not like... or did they? According to various sources, Telemachus was then killed either by the gladiators, the spectators, or both. This also happened to be the last known gladiatorial fight in Rome, as Emperor Honorius, himself a Christian, then banned the public activity (gladiator fights, not martyrdom). In 1773, the hymn "Amazing Grace" is first sung in England. It was written by Anglican clergyman John Newton, a reformed slave trader turned abolitionist. According to modern sermons, his slave ship was battered by a terrible storm and he cried out to God, who saved him and ended his slave trading. However, athough he was converted by this miraculous event, he did go on slave trading for another six or seven years after the incident. It was during that time which he studied theology and eventually saw the error of his ways. To give credit where credit is due, Newton's hymn-writing partner was poet William Cowper, much like the musical partnership of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. On this day in 1808, the U.S. bans the importation of slaves and on this day in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory. Lastly, let us bow our heads for a moment of silence in honor of the passing of Betty White yesterday.

 
  This was the first U.S. flag, known as the "Grand Union," which was raised on this day in 1776 by George Washington's army at Prospect Hill in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In some accounts, Washington raised the British flag ("Union Jack") to trick British troops into thinking they had won. A year later, Congress voted for the "Betsy Ross" flag as its replacement.
 
  The "Betty White" flag. Her name alone kept her off of J. Edgar Hoover's blacklist.

2021 Recap Friday, December 31, 2021

On this day in 1687, Calvinist members of the Reform Church of France known as Huguenots left in great numbers due to persecution from King Louis XIV and the Catholic Church following the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685, which declared Protestantism illegal. To be fair, and life isn't fair, the Huguenots were kind of a bunch of wealthy assholes. Speaking of wealthy assholes, today we look back over significant events of the past year, listed here in no particular order:

  • The G7 (Group of 7 nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States) agreed to back a new global minimum tax rate of 15% that companies will have to pay regardless of where they are based. Later on, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the Pandora Papers, which contained nearly 12 million documents showing how the wealthy and powerful use off-shore accounts to evade taxes and hide money, along with who wipes their ass with paper currency and with what denominations.
  • Elon Musk's billions surpassed Jeff Bezos' billions by $96 billion after Tesla went public, but both launched their billions into outer space via SpaceX and Blue Origin.
  • Coups were held in Chad, Mali, Guinea, Sudan, and Myanmar -- up four from the previous year's single coup d'etat in Mali, making it the third Malian coup in ten years.
  • Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building with the intent of disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes. The attempted coup resulted in nine deaths: one shot by police, one by drug overdose, three of natural causes, and four responding officers by suicide. A week later, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for incitement of insurrection, making him the only U.S. president to have been impeached twice and fulfilling his slogan to Impeach Donald Trump Again.
  • A US/UK/AU trilateral security partnership named AUKUS provided Australia with U.S. technology to build eight nuclear-powered submarines, pissing off France because it terminated $37 billion worth of diesel-electric powered submarines and purturbing China because they're Communists.
  • Iran announced it had begun enriching uranium to 60%, just shy of weapons-grade, following an explosion at one of its uranium enrichment plants which it blamed on Jewish spyware.
  • The first direct observation of light from behind a black hole was reported, confirming Einstein's theory of general relativity. Redditors forcing a short squeeze on meme stock in GameStop (NYSE: GME) caused its price to inflate from $17.25 per share to over $500 per share. However, it ultimately failed in its primary intent of harming short-selling hedge funds, once again confirming Einstein's theory of general relativity.
  • Supply chains stagnated worldwide due to the pandemic, production shortages, canal blockages, port backups, a vast reduction in the workforce, and the break-up of Daft Punk.
  • The U.S. once again denied any involvement in tracking Unidentified Flying Objects, but did concede that it was officially interested in Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.
  • Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency and returned America to the Paris Climate Agreement, the World Health Organization, the Istanbul Convention, Juneteenth, and reruns of The Cosby Show.
  • The U.S. withdrew its military forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban quickly returned to power, forcing female McDonald's employees to wear burqas.
  • Roscosmos' Nauka laboratory docked with the International Space Station, forming the first duplex in orbit around Earth.
  • England's Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on television. The Duke and Dutchess of Sussex were paid with an assortment of Poop Like a Champion® breakfast cereals.
  • Five years after Brexit, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement took effect, allowing Great Britain to freely trade Benny Hill memorabilia for French Jerry Lewis memorabilia, Italian Roberto Benigni memorabilia, and Belgian Jean-Claude Van Damme memorabilia.
  • COVID-19 vaccines that were developed in less than a year, beating out the development of the mumps vaccine by three years, were administered worldwide with half going to the U.S., China, and India. The Delta variant showed up at the end of 2020, the Omicron variant arose at the end of 2021, and somewhere in between was the Joe Rogan variant. Regarding things that went viral, let's not forget Bernie Sander's mittens.
  • Regarding COVID-19, a joint investigation involving China and the World Health Organization into the source of the outbreak concluded that it was unlikely a Wuhan laboratory leak and more likely a venereal disease shared between a pangolin and a bat -- which, incidentally, is a favorite Chinese spice that was being synthetically developed in a Wuhan laboratory.
  • Pope Francis met in Iraq with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the first ever meeting between a pope and a grand ayatollah. In a statement issued by his office after the meeting, al-Sistani affirmed that Christians should "live like all Iraqis, in security and peace and with full constitutional rights, so long as they convert to Islam."
  • The Roscosmos' Soyuz MS-17 successfully supplemented its income by taxiing Uber rideshare passengers to and from the International Space Station. The Soyuz MS-18 likewise ferried Lyft passengers beyond just the U.S. and Canada. Not to be outdone, China launched the first module of its Tiangong space station, which will host Airbnb vacation rentals until completed.
  • A ransomware attack by Russian hackers encrypted the Colonial Pipeline, disrupting the distribution of gasoline in the eastern United States until supplies could be restored from backup reserves.
  • 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, 2020 World Expo in Dubai, UEFA Euro 2020 held in eleven European cities, and 2020 North Korean short-range ballistic missiles fired at Japanese territorial waters.
  • Russia increased its military presence along the Ukranian border, causing Joe Biden to hiss at Vladimir Putin and claw the air.
  • Record winter storms, heatwaves and drought in the U.S., record flooding in Belgium and Germany, record wildfires in Greece, Australia and Canada, record monsoons in India and Nepal, record cyclones in Indonesia and Timor, and a record Internet outage for Facebook and Instagram.
  • The United Nations declared 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust, the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and the International Year of the Orbital Duplex.
  • NASA's Perseverance rover borrowed money from the China National Space Administration's Zhurong rover in order to boost a sagging U.S. economy on Mars.
  • Many, but not everyone, mourned the loss of Larry King, Alex Trebek, Rush Limbaugh, John Madden, and Yahoo Answers.
  • NASA launched both the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and the Lucy spacecraft -- the first to deflect an asteroid to protect Earth, the second to gather information from nearby asteroids in order to redirect any rogue asteroids from striking the first.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope was succeeded by the James Webb Space Telescope with improved infrared resolution and sensitivity, allowing it to spot Voyager 6 and make sure we are prepared for its sentient return home.
  • Scientists who have either never seen Planet of the Apes or failed to heed its dystopian primate future announced they successfully injected human stem cells into the embryos of monkeys, just because they could.

Next year will see a major overhaul of this blog. Spoiler alert: the colors of headers will be changed to red instead of blue.

Fundamental Agreement Thursday, December 30, 2021

We're back from a two-day hiatus. Mustn't let the online community know when vacationing or they'll come steal your shit. Let's see what we missed. Stan Lee's birthday was on Tuesday (1922-2018). He was one of the creators behind many of Marvel's more famous superheros, including Spiderman and all those who made up the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. One of his first characters was Jack Frost, who joined the Liberty Legion to fight Nazis in WWII within the Marvel Universe, which wasn't actually until the 1970s in real time. But backing out of the rabbit hole, we also missed the Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas), celebrated in remembrance of the massacre of children by Herod the Great in an attempt to kill the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:16). Some of the activities of this celebration dating back to medieval times include pranks, flour fights, and role reversal in which alter boys dress as bishops and bishops dress as alter boys and... well, um, anyhow... on Tuesday, the fourth of the Twelve Days of Christmas, or Twelvetide, my true love sent to me four calling birds (song birds), originally colly birds (blackbirds), with other variations including canary birds, curley birds, colored birds, and ducks quacking. Yesterday was five golden rings and today is six geese a-laying, which most versions can attest. Yesterday in 1845, the Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States, allowing it to create four new additional states from its territories which was not in violation of the 1789 Admissions Clause of Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting new states being formed from existing states because it was not ratified until 1992. Which somehow brings us to this day in 1813 and the Battle of Black Rock in the War of 1812 in which British troops set fire to many buildings and ships in Buffalo, New York. As you may recall from high school history, the War of 1812 was fought between the U.S. and Great Britain over neutral maritime rights, but some argue that it afforded the U.S. an opportunity to annex Canada. I for one don't remember this and had to look it up on Wikipedia, where I linked to the death of Grigori Rasputin on this day in 1916. Rasputin was a Russian mystic and social figure during a period in history when spiritualism and theosophy were all the rage amongst the aristocracy. He was befriended by Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra and supposedly healed their son of hemophilia, or at least forestalled its effects through miraculous powers of spit. Rasputin developed a reputation as a sexual deviant, false prophet, and enemy of the empire. He was shot and killed after being poisoned by royal family members in St. Petersburg and his body was dumped in the Neva River. In a more diabolical plot, Israel and the Vatican City formally established diplomatic relations on this day in 1993, which corresponds to the sixteenth day of the month of Tevet in the year 5754, with the signing of the Fundamental Agreement, despite the Roman Curia's historical stance that a Zionist nation would never be recognized by the Holy See as long as Israel denied Jesus as Lord.

https://www.cfr.org/blog/ten-most-significant-world-events-2021
Note that according to Article 11 Section 2 of the Fundamental Agreement, the Catholic Church will not take sides between the Jews and the Muslims: "The Holy See, while maintaining in every case the right to exercise its moral and spiritual teaching-office, deems it opportune to recall that, owing to its own character, it is solemnly committed to remaining a stranger to all merely temporal conflicts, which principle applies specifically to disputed territories and unsettled borders."
https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/Religion/Pages/Fundamental%20Agreement%20-%20Israel-Holy%20See.aspx

Oh, and the despot in this picture or one of his look-alikes was executed on this day in 2006 after repeatedly failing to prove possession of weapons of mass destruction.

  Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti

Boxing Day (Observed) Monday, December 27, 2021

The day after Christmas in the United Kingdom and British Commonwealths (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, et al.), unless that day is a Sunday, is Boxing Day, originally a holiday for distributing alms to the poor from the church's donation box in honor of Saint Stephen's Day and for slave owners and employers of servants to give them a day off after serving their master's spoiled families on Christmas. These servants were often given boxes full of white elephant gifts and leftover food as their annual bonus, which they in turn re-gifted to their families. The officially observed meaning is to give gift boxes to civil servants or cheritable donations in the form of gratuities to tradesmen and vendors in appreciation of their services throughout the year. However, you must hand-deliver any such gifts since this is a federal holiday and therefore no postal service and thus an oxymoron. It is also the first day to return Christmas gifts, giving old fashioned brick-and-mortar stores the opportunity to put all their remaining items from year-end stock on sale. For fans of rugby, football (the soccer type), cricket, horse racing, bandy (hockey played with a ball instead of a puck), and -- you guessed it -- boxing, this is one of the biggest days of the year for gambling. But let us not forget St. Stephen, the first official martyr of the Christian faith (Acts 7) whose feast day was yesterday, so he's already forgotten.

Black Holidays Matter Sunday, December 26, 2021

For those of you expecting a lengthy description of Boxing Day, celebrated in Great Britain the day after Christmas, you'll have to wait until tomorrow because they don't celebrate it on a Sunday. Instead, today is the firt day of Kwanzaa, which is a week-long holidays celebration of African Americans as an alternative to a white Christmas. Created in 1966 by black activist Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (born Ron Everett), the term comes from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits" and is a secular humanized version of the the Zulu winter solstice harvest festival Umkhosi Wokweshwama. Each day is celebrated in honor of one of the seven principals of Nguzo Saba, or African Heritage:

  1. Unity (Umoja): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  2. Self-Determination (Kujichagulia): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
  3. Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
  4. Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  5. Purpose (Nia): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  6. Creativity (Kuumba): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  7. Faith (Imani): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Not to be confused with Chanukah, or Hannukah, the Jewish celebration of Passover, Kwanzaa is symbolized with a candle holder called a kinara, which holds seven candles (a Jewish menorah holds nine). You don't have to be black to celebrate Kwanzaa, nor a Jew to celebrate Chanukah, nor a black Jew to celebrate both. So a joyous Kwanzaa to all who observe.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Saturday, December 25, 2021

In a 1965 CBS production sponsored by Coca-Cola, Linus Van Pelt quoted Luke 2:8-14 as the true meaning of Christmas: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Apple TV+ now owns the rights to Luke 2:8-14.

Another fine example of what you get with a free Shutterstock trial membership. I have to remember to cancel before I'm charged for images of used postage stamps.  

Black Peter Friday, December 24, 2021

This holiday season we celebrate Christ's Mass, sometimes abbreviated as Christmas or "Xmas" -- where X is the Greek letter Chi and the first letter in Χριστος (Christos), or Christ. Contrary to popular belief, or popular to contrary belief, the condensed Xmas wasn't done intentionally by the Pagans at Hallmark or the Jews in the United Nations to take Christ out of Christmas, but by ancient Christians themselves who sometimes just used X in place of Christ when writing letters, theological discourses, sermons, and holy day greetings dating as far back as the eleventh century. Among various other compounds for the name Christ is the infamous fourth century christogram Chi-Rho (☧) used not just by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches but by many Protestants, which is an amalgamation of the Greek letters Chi (X) and Rho (ρ) representing the first two letters in Christ. Some today consider "Xmas" as sacreligious, like saying "happy holidays." But this drives to a deeper issue where Christianity, once the predominant religion of the United States and its founding fathers, is on the decline, making Christians more sensitive to feelings of persecution. Although I'm willing to concede that this might be the case, I'm not concerned if Christianity in America is driven underground. As I sometimes remind my brother-in-law, by fighting the powers that be on political grounds, Xstians are just prolonging the second coming of X. So let those without faith have a little hope on Xmas by partaking in holiday cheer and wearing ugly sweaters. Christian believers can celebrate the birth of Christ any and every day of the year. Oh, and Black Peter is just the Dutch version of Krampus.

  Pictured: Zwarte Piet ("Black Pete") assisting Sinterklaas by bagging naughty children in the Netherlands as gifts for cannibal tribes in faraway lands. Although not as terrifying as his cousins Krampus or Belsnickle, he is far more offensive. Depicted as a bumbling Spanish Moor who helps St. Nicholas haul his bag of gifts around and punish those who didn't make the nice list, Zwarte Piet is essentially a slave. Because of this, blackface in the Netherlands is a holiday tradition, which the UN has now asked them kindly to cease and desist. Illustration by Jan Schenkman, 1850, Wikimedia Commons.

Backfill Thursday Thursday, December 23, 2021

To attest to the fact that this blog is sometimes an afterthought, I didn't get around to posting anything, so I dug around for something as backfill, such as Lorem ipsum, and came across my very first website which was dedicated to an old college friend named Steve LeCompte, whose name I affectionately misspelled as LaCompte. (Or is it the other way around? Sorry, Steve, I don't remember.) It was an online roast of someone I held near and dear, and this is an example of how I showed my fondness for him. These are the top 110 reasons why Steven J. LaCompte is a content and happy man:

110. Steve likes to make sock puppets and then wear them over his shoes.
109. Government welfare funding pays for Steve's medicated hemorrhoidal furniture covers.
108. Hope for Steve is always glimmering on the horizon, though when he gets there it's usually just a mirage from sunlight on hot pavement.
107. Steve's inner light illuminates the iridescent colors of his bedroom posters, one of which reads "John 3:16".
106. Steve is only as old as he feels, though he still hasn't gotten over the feeling of being a molested four-year-old.
105. Every cloud has a silver lining, and Steve's had just enough to fill all his teeth.
104. Steve donates his well-being to the National Wellness Foundation and is well-acquainted with the well-rounded members of the Federation for Worldwide Wellness. His children are also well-adjusted and his dog is well-behaved.
103. Steve is able to buy all the Finger Hut products he wants with money earned from selling Amway.
102. Steve is never one to complain, he takes what life deals him like a dumb animal whose will has been broken by an angry trainer.
101. Two words: Pickled Preserves
100. Steve doesn't suffer from the crippling pain of arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome that could've developed from entertaining himself all these years (wink wink).
99. Steve already fulfilled his dream of working his way up from peanut vendor to "Steven, the Witless Wonder" with the Shriner's Circus.
98. Steve spells satisfaction "J - E - L - L - O".
97. Steve is actually an android created by Dr. Noonian Soong during a time when he was more concerned about emotions than intelligence.
96. Steve married a woman who can remember his name in bed.
95. The world is Steve's oyster, and it doesn't take much to get him off anyhow. (For Steve's close friends: oysters are considered aphrodisiacs, and if the world was an oyster, that'd be one very large stimulant inhancer for just one man.)
94. Steve's brain has a high sperm count.
93. Steve's gastrointestinal flatulence has the same effects as nitrous oxide, and there's plenty to anesthetize everyone.
92. Underoos are still fun for Steve to wear.
91. Steve has discovered that utopia can be obtained from ordinary household solvents.
90. Steve was lobotomized during a childhood experiment while playing doctor with a can opener.
89. Steve has found karmic release from receding into his alter ego of "Bagwhan Sid Yogi LaCompte, the Witless Wonder".
88. Steve's parents sold him to a band of roving gypsies, who taught him the value of going nowhere.
87. Steve studied under a family of gorillas and concluded that the key to satisfaction with ones surroundings lies in how well one utilizes one's own poop.
86. Steve's closet has a revolving door.
85. There's a television cable in every room of his house, and though he only has one TV, it's reassuring to know he can watch it anywhere he wants.
84. Steve's usual quad shot espresso drinks like the "Evel Knievel Grand Canyon Jumper" and the "Mt. Saint Helen's Harry Truman Killer" keep him lively and astute.
83. Steve's silicon testicle implants are still slapping away intact.
82. Steve is his own man and takes orders from no one, which is evident by the way he parts his hair.
81. Life for Steve is a laugh-a-minute escapade because he has learned to laugh at his own foibles.
80. Steve has come to terms with his inner child by finally giving it the spanking it deserves.
79. Though irregular, Steve has mastered the zen of sphincter pinching for prolonging the uphoric effects of staving a bowl movement.
78. Steve is rest assured that he'll have a generous nest egg at retirement knowing that his savings are soundly invested overseas in the development of Iraqi chemical warfare.
77. Steve has accepted, and even enjoys, the late night anal probings by E.T.
76. Steve is unrestrained from the burdens of a popular lifestyle; such as fashion, beauty, wealth, a nice car, parties, and the ability to look natural in a speedo.
75. Though Steve himself is about as much of a dad as Al Bundy or Homer Simpson, he grew up in love with father figures like Fred MacMurray, Hugh Beaumont, and Michael Landon.
74. He's either happy....or just fat, dumb, and spastic.
73. Steve's anger is transcendental -- it's projected on whomever's nearby, leaving him feeling hunky-dory and making them mad as hell at him.
72. Steve has successfully transformed indifference into complacency.
71. Steve speaks simple English, without all those complex gerunds, participles, and schwa sounds.
70. Steve maintains consisent enjoyment from frivilously attempting to exact revenge on his friends who berate him.
69. Steve is clinically disfunctional and misinterprets the pity poured out on him by friends and family as undue affection and adulation.
68. Steve upholds mind over matter, which may be why for him ignorance is bliss.
67. The reckless hyperactivity on the outside is only a veneer that hides the inner peace and tranquility, which the National Weather System calls "Hurricane Steve".
66. Because he has to wear an identification badge to work, Steve thinks he has job security.
65. Steve bought himself a home starter refill kit so that he'd never run out of piss and vinigar.
64. Steve was genetically cloned from Silly Putty.
63. Steve is in a constant state of flogging administered by little masochistic elves clad in leather and lace, which, of course, only he can see.
62. Steve's astral plane passes through an everlasting Balls A Poppin' pinball machine.
61. Steve is master of his domain -- the Bog of Eternal Stench.
60. Steve has overcome his fears and limitations by denying they exist, though he has yet to deny the existence of Regis Philbin and Cathy Lee Gifford.
59. By distancing himself from anything negative or pessimistic, Steve has avoided the ugly truth about the part in his hair.
58. Steve sings the blues with a stomp fiddle.
57. Scientifically speaking, the evolution from Ritalin to Zoloft helped Steve adapt to his unstable environment.
56. Steve spent several years of his life hand crafting rosary beads in a monastery, a meticulous endeaver that taught strict perseverence since he was required to break them in with an initial thousand Hail Mary's apiece.
55. Steve has a concave chest and suffers from shallow breathing, which results in too much carbon dioxide in his circulatory system and a deficiency of precious oxygen to the brain.
54. Steve is possessed by a horde of demons who call themselves the "Legion of Stooges".
53. Steve tunes out loud man-made noises, like his own blaring car horn, and instead listens to the soothing sounds of nature, like seagulls squawking around his garbage dumpster.
52. Steve grew up on Lake Wobegon.
51. Steve relaxes by tending his garden of rhubarb and has a fulfilling appetite for rhubarb marmalade, rhubarb relish, and sun-dried rhubarb stalks.
50. Steve gains self-confidence from believing himself to be a member of a master race of blonde Aryans, simply because his hair is mustard yellow and parted the same way as Adolph Hitler's.

I think I shall save the remaining fifty for another forgotten blog post. (Kyle and Dave, you're next.) Steve, if you're out there, thank you for the memories and for something to backfill my blog. Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't throw in the obligatory spinning head of Steven J. LaCompte.

"Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it! Your going to get it... And that damn spinning head!" --Steven J. LeCompte, 1997

Curmudgeon Chronicles Vol 3 Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The following is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, although no one is truly innocent. Today Kelvin is slightly perturbed -- his sick dog kept him awake all night, but he's on his second cup of coffee and seems to be settling down. However, not all is at it may seem: a user has accused him of losing their VPN key fob when he replaced their laptop. He storms into the IT supervisor's office, who is forced to put down her knitting needles and attend to the grievance. I am in my office remotely assisting another user find her missing personal e-mail folder, which she informs me Kelvin lost when he was working on her computer yesterday. It is a simple matter easily remedied by a configuration setting and the call is closed. I tell Kelvin he lost a user's data when he is finished complaining about the missing key fob. Kelvin utters his famous last words, "And what do you want me to do about it?" Then he gets another cup of coffee and retreats behind the closed door of his office.

Plymouth Colony Tuesday, December 21, 2021

On this day in 1620, Puritan Separatists aboard the Mayflower who were fleeing from religious persecution by King James I of England landed in Massachusetts. During his thirty-year governorship over the colony, William Bradford kept a detailed journal. Here are some excerpts from the first ten chapters of the "History of Plimoth Plantation."

Anno Domini 1617: Where to go, the fertill Guiana, a cuntrie rich, fruitfull, and blessed with a perpetuall spring, and a florishing greenes; where vigorous nature brought forth all things in abundance and plentie without any great labour or art of man? Or to America, where the colde is fitt for our English bodys?

Report from Virginia Colony: A strange and hard land awaits ye. C'mon over and make your selfes at home.

Anno Domini 1620: We had a sollemne meeting and a day of humilliation to seeke ye Lord for his direction, and all who survived the days long teaching from pastor Brewsters texte were chosen worthy and solid to goe on the dangrous vioage.

Conditions upon the which ye adventurers and planters doe agree: The persons transported and ye adventurers shall continue their joynt stock and partnership togeather, ye space of 7 years, (excepte some unexpected impedimente of death doe cause ye whole company to agree otherwise,) during which time, all profits and benifits that are gott by trade, traffick, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means of any person or persons, remaine still in ye comone stock untill ye division. That at their coming ther, they chose out such a number of fitt persons, as may furnish their ships and boats for fishing upon ye sea; imploying the rest in their severall faculties upon ye land; as building houses, tilling, and planting ye ground, and makeing shuch comodities as shall be most usefull for ye collonie, with exclusions of course for wenching and harde drink and the unscrupulus thinges the which some trade moneys for.

August 3rd: A smale ship was bought and fitted in Holand, which was intended as to serve to help to transport them. So being ready to departe, they had a day of solleme humiliation, and the rest of the time was spente in powering out prairs to ye Lord with great fervencie. And ye time being come that they must departe, these pilgrimes lefte ye goodly and pleasante citie, which had been ther resting place near 12 years, and they departed with sighs and sobbs and pithy speeches peirst each harte. Thus hoysing saile, with a prosperus winde they came in short time to Southhamton, wher they found a bigger ship come from London, lying ready, with all the rest of their company. But there did arise ground of discontent betweene them, the which delayd their vioage.

Dartmouth, August 17th: Being thus put to sea they had not gone farr, but Mr. Reinolds ye master of ye leser ship complained that he found his ship so leak as he durst not put further to sea. So the biger ship (caled Mr. Jonas) being consulted with, proceeded on her viage complet with provissions of victeles.

September 6: Ther was a proud and very profane yonge man, one of ye sea-men, of a lustie, able body, which made him the more hauty; he would allway be contemning ye poore people in their sicknes, and cursing them dayly with grevous execrations, and did not let to tell them, that he hoped to help to cast halfe of them over board before they came to their jurneys end, and to make mery with what they had; and if he were by any gently reproved, he would curse and swear most bitterly. But it plased God before they came halfe seas over, to smite this yong man with a greeveous disease, of which he dyed in a desperate maner, and so was him selfe ye first yt was throwne overbord. Thus his curses light on his owne head; and it was an astonishmente to all his fellows, for they noted it to be ye just hand of God upon him.

After they had injoyed faire winds and weather for a season, they were incountred many times with crosse winds, and mette with many feirce stormes, with which ye shipe was shroudly shaken, and her upper works made very leakie. And truly ther was great distraction and differance of opinion amongst ye mariners them selves; faine would they doe what could be done for their wages sake, (being now halfe the seas over,) and on ye other hand they were loath to hazard their lives too desperatly. And one of the maine beames in ye midd ships was bowed and craked, but ther was a great iron scrue ye passengers brought out of Holland, which would raise ye beame into his place, and would make it sufficiente. So they comited them selves to ye will of God, and resolved to proseede.

In sundrie of these stormes the winds were so feirce, and ye seas so high, as they could not beare a knote of saile, but were forced to hull, for diverce days togither, and they fell amongst deangerous shoulds and roring breakers, and they were so farr intangled ther with as they conceived them selves in great danger, and after a longe beating at sea they fell with that land which is called Cape Cod, as by Gods providence. Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed ye God of heaven, who had brought them over ye vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all ye periles and miseries therof, againe to set their feete on ye firme and stable earth, their proper elemente.

But hear I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amased at this poore peoples presente condition; and so I thinke will the reader too, when he well considers ye same. Being thus passed ye vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembred by yt which wente before), they had now no freinds to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for succoure. Besides, what could they see but a hidious and desolate wildernes, full of wild beasts and wild men? And what multituds ther might be of them they knew not. For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a wetherbeaten face; and ye whole countrie, full of woods & thickets, represented a wild and savage heiw. What could now sustaine them but the spirite of God and his grace?

To be continued...

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/24950/24950-h/24950-h.htm

International Human Solidarity Day Monday, December 20, 2021

Cletis came a-runnin' from the field barefoot, dirty, and one strap from his overalls flapping in the wind. He stopped in the clearing by the old oak tree and gasped in bewilderment at the wreckage of the alien space craft. "What in tarnation?" he gawked as he drew his slingshot and approached the smoldering crater. The space ship was small and looked like a toy. There were little martians strewn about, most of which had lost their helmets and were barely moving. Cletis gathered them all up and stuffed them into a rusty tin can he found nearby. Then he picked up the space ship and ran on home with his amazing discovery. As he neared the bucolic farmhouse that had belonged to his family for generations, he tripped on a rock and dropped the tin can, sending the little martians tumbling down a ravine to where the hound dogs rounded them all up and tore them to shreds. But he still had the space ship, which he took into the barn and began pounding with a hammer to see what was inside. He pounded and pounded with all his might, eager for the surprise that awaited inside, not realizing that it was booby-trapped with an Illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator.

The Crisis Sunday, December 19, 2021

On this day in 1776, Thomas Paine's first essay in a series entitled "The American Crisis" is published during the Revolutionary War. Here are some of its its highlights:

  • "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value."
  • "Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God."
  • "I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent."
  • "Such was our situation and condition at Fort Lee on the morning of the 20th of November, when an officer arrived with information that the enemy with 200 boats had landed about seven miles above; Major General [Nathaniel] Green, who commanded the garrison, immediately ordered them under arms, and sent express to General Washington at the town of Hackensack, distant by the way of the ferry = six miles."
  • "I shall not now attempt to give all the particulars of our retreat to the Delaware; suffice it for the present to say, that both officers and men, though greatly harassed and fatigued, frequently without rest, covering, or provision, the inevitable consequences of a long retreat, bore it with a manly and martial spirit."
  • "Voltaire has remarked that King William never appeared to full advantage but in difficulties and in action; the same remark may be made on General Washington, for the character fits him. There is a natural firmness in some minds which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude; and I reckon it among those kind of public blessings, which we do not immediately see, that God hath blessed him with uninterrupted health, and given him a mind that can even flourish upon care."
  • "The period is now arrived, in which either they or we must change our sentiments, or one or both must fall. And what is a Tory? Good God! What is he? I should not be afraid to go with a hundred Whigs against a thousand Tories, were they to attempt to get into arms. Every Tory is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of Toryism; and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave."
  • "Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them. A man can distinguish himself between temper and principle, and I am as confident, as I am that God governs the world, that America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion. Wars, without ceasing, will break out till that period arrives, and the continent must in the end be conqueror; for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal can never expire."
  • "America could carry on a two years' war by the confiscation of the property of disaffected persons, and be made happy by their expulsion. Say not that this is revenge, call it rather the soft resentment of a suffering people, who, having no object in view but the good of all, have staked their own all upon a seemingly doubtful event. Yet it is folly to argue against determined hardness; eloquence may strike the ear, and the language of sorrow draw forth the tear of compassion, but nothing can reach the heart that is steeled with prejudice."
  • "Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands; throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but "show your faith by your works," that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all."
  • "Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?"
  • "Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America."
  • "There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both."

International Migrants Day Saturday, December 18, 2021

Today is the birthday of Joseph Vissarionomotherfuckerovich Stalin, born in 1878 to proud parents Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, who became arguably the greatest liberator of Russia from the bourgeoisie. Not to be outdone by his contemporary authoritarians, including the admirable fascist dictator of rebounding Germany, the humble Stalin amassed a commendable record of purging over 700,000 ethnic undesirables, in addition to rounding up another million or so free market miscreants, religious reprobates, sissy socialists, and other enemies of the pure-blooded proletariat and imprisoning them all in empty grain silos. Although not the obvious shoo-in for the Axis in WWII, the USSR was hoping that the Nazis would overlook their racial inferiority after siding with them at the outbreak of the Blitzkrieg, but Adolf Hitler, TIME Magazine's 1938 Man of the Year, likened the smell of Slavic blood to that of the Jews and initiated a surpise attack. In reaction, Stalin called on his old Bolshevik friends the Snow Miser, who responded by freezing German troops, and the Heat Miser, who scorched everything in their path so there was nothing to conquer, which garnered "Uncle Joe" TIME's Man of the Year for 1942 (his second after the first in 1939 for being almost as big of a world stage prick as Hitler). As a result, Stalin was allowed to annex much of Eastern Europe in the hopes of exiling millions more to Siberia, including many of his own troops returning from victory. By the end of his illustrious career, he had sentenced over five million of the Soviet population to Gulag labor camps. In his last years, with private council from the corpse of Hitler, Stalin began a campaign of anti-Semitism against the newly formed Jewish state. Just prior to his death in 1953, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that left him incapacitated for several days. Not realizing that Zionist conspirators had infiltrated the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and induced atherosclerosis in his arteries through the secret burning of Hanukkah lamps which permeated his mustache, he sentenced himself to the Gulag for having become a western couch potato. At his public funeral in Moscow, thousands of those in attendance were rounded up and honored with a vacation getaway to Siberia. Now, why I would spend so much time on this particular individual escapes me, especially when today is International Migrants Day. Oh, well, maybe next year I will be more communistic with my efforts.

Hard Times Success (I) Friday, December 17, 2021

Here's an alternative mode of employment in these tough economic times: ballpoint pen salesperson. The scam, er, uh, method for success goes like this -- Take all the pennies out of your car ashtray and buy a pack of ballpoint pens. Next, scribble on a scrap of paper that you are deaf, dumb, and mentally challenged. Lastly, walk around populated areas of town and sell your pens for a buck a pop. Once business picks up, consider re-investing your initial profits into a variety of ballpoint pen colors and maybe a label affixed to the end of each pen like a little flag that reads, "Thank you for your support of persons with intellectual deficiencies. God bless you." Don't be ashamed to solicit in established businesses -- any place with a waiting room is a potential gold mine. If anyone objects or gives you guff, remember that you are deaf and dumb and just ignore them. Those who are offened because they themselves suffer from a disability and work for minimum wage are only jealous. Note: dress modestly, maybe even appear a little dirty and disheveled. This is not a job where you have to wear a suit and answer to a boss. You are your own boss and your hours are your own. You don't even have to consider this a job because if you enjoy your work then it is not a job. And this is based on a true story. Here's another alternative mode of employment, which henceforth shall be deemed "entrepreneurship." Place a trash can in break rooms throughout an industrial and/or office park, each labeled ALUMINUM CANS ONLY. People will not question the aluminum can bin -- they will simply obey and fill your pockets full of money. Also, strongly recommend they crush the cans first. The key to success here is volume, as aluminum prices are dire. Note: do not spell it ALUMINIUM, as people will get caught up on the word and may question why they are bothering to recycle at all.

Words to Live By Thursday, December 16, 2021

As much as I'd like to reminisce about Pepin of Herstal and his consort Plectrude of the Frankish Kingdom on this day in 714, I have more pressing issues. For starters, I have read very few inspirational quotes in my lifetime that have intrigued me in the slightest. Some are clever, most are banal. Whether it's Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, or Anne Frank -- they have lived remarkable lives, overcome adversities, contributed greatly, and acquired a wealth of wisdom... only to have it bounce off my face and onto my pragmatic plate, where I have cut it with my knife of skepticism, consumed it with my fork of rationale, digested it with a smidgen of misanthropic acid, and expelled it into my chamber pot of perception. Here is my first installment of what I call Words to Live By:

  • In this life we cannot do great things like Mother Teresa. We can only do small things like an orphaned child.
  • You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated by Maya Angelou.
  • Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. Toxic minds discuss on 4chan.
  • Life is 10% what happens to us and 10% how we react to it and 80% shit just happening.
  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising without a broken hip or busted knee every time we fall.
  • Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck, just like a failed attempt at suicide that leaves you paralyzed from the neck down which prevents you from ever committing suicide.
  • Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along -- with transsexual cyborg appendages.
  • Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail so that others may follow your path to where ever it may lead... perhaps a bottomless hole.
  • If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and would be a video game.
  • Everything happens for a reason, unless you believe in the Big Bang theory, then there is no reason your existence.
  • Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue, except when it's scarred again.
  • The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement, the antidote to which is complaining that nothing is ever good enough.
  • Life isn't about finding yourself or about creating yourself. If you remove yourself from the equation, life goes on.
  • Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality, unless they think you're God, then you may walk on water. If they speak of you as God's gift to mankind, or all that and a bag of chips, or the greatest thing since sliced bread, then their sarcasm is outdated.
  • A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers, which likely suffers from Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease. A heart with feathers is just a tattoo.
  • Pain is temporary but giving up lasts a lifetime, as does drug addiction and a tattoo of a heart with wings.
  • The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
  • Sadness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of sadness; it is generally the by-product of other activities that don't lead to happiness.
  • It ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward until you eventually succumb to chronic traumatic brain injury and stop moving altogether.
  • Life is really complicated, but we insist on making it simple by reducing everything to its basic sugars.
  • If at first you aren't the Dalai Lama, die, die again.
  • Life itself is the most wonderful of fairy tales, but every one of them has a dead end.


Subscribe

Home
[ 2021 | HTT | E-mail | Gospel of Martha | LWoS | About ]