March 24, 2018

The Saturday Monks Brunch: February 17, 2018



Intriguing photo essay at The National from a book marking the 75th anniversary of the presidential retreat at Camp David in 2017.

During his first two terms, President Franklin Roosevelt retreated on the presidential yacht, the USS Potomac. But WWII changed everything. Security officials feared that the yacht could be sunk by German U‑boats or attacked from the air, so they decided that it was just too risky to use. In March 1942, officials from the National Park Service were tasked with looking for a location that could serve as a presidential retreat.

They chose an old WPA site from the 1930s in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains, that to this day is very difficult to find. Camp David’s official name is Naval Support Facility Thurmont, and it is commanded by a U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer and staffed by a team of sailors, marines and other military personnel under the White House Military Office (WHMO). The retreat was named for President Eisenhower’s grandson.

Today, absolute privacy is the gift Camp David continues to bestow on presidents. Press access is extremely limited, and photography is rarely permitted. Unlike at the White House, where every moment is observed and recorded, at the camp, it is possible to close the door and draw the curtains, shutting out the nation for a precious brief time. It’s a place where presidents can breathe.

Here are a few pictures from over the years, featuring most of the presidents who have enjoyed respite at Camp David.


From RNS:

The founder of a Kentucky creationism museum will appear at an Oklahoma university, after all, after the student body president initially canceled the event over objections of female and LGBTQ students and their supporters.

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham and the University of Central Oklahoma announced Thursday that the event will happen March 5, as planned.


From The Daily Telegraph:

A Hunter Valley town, which some claim is the Australian home of the mullet hairstyle, will host a festival to celebrate the cut which arguably epitomised toughness and sexuality in the 1980s.

The inaugural Mullet Fest in Kurri Kurri will centre around a competition to award the best mullet in five categories — every day, grubby, ranga, ladies and junior mullet and publican.

After the winner in each category is announced, the person with the “best mullet of them all” will be crowned, said hairdresser and festival host Laura Hawkins.

I hope those who are participating realize that wearing a mullet requires maintaining a lifestyle:


Why I love Chicago Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon.


From Bloomberg:

The centerpiece of Apple Inc.’s new headquarters is a massive, ring-shaped office overflowing with panes of glass, a testament to the company’s famed design-obsessed aesthetic.

There’s been one hiccup since it opened last year: Apple employees keep smacking into the glass.

Surrounding the building, located in Cupertino, California, are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed “pods,” also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize. That’s resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents.



You MUST check out this set of amazing interactive videos on hummingbirds at National Geographic. New advances in camera technology allowed researchers to record these lightning-fast creatures and observe their behaviors in speeds the human eye can discern. Yes, the picture above shows the hummingbird’s tongue.


Last week we were watching the tear-jerk episode of This Is Us when it shows how the dad, Jack, died. He went back into the house for the family dog and also brought out “the family photo album.” Remember when we had “the family photo album”? THE family photo album. I looked at Gail (this being shortly after we had moved) and said, “Yeah, I would have had to carry out 20 large boxes.”


From The Washington Post:

SpaceX is preparing to hit another orbital milestone with the launch of a pair of experimental satellites on Sunday that are designed to beam an ultrafast, lag-free Internet connection down to Earth.

The test satellites, dubbed Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, are a part of a years-long plan by chief executive Elon Musk to create a fleet of orbiting devices to blanket the globe in wireless broadband connectivity. SpaceX ultimately intends to put about 12,000 broadband satellites in low Earth orbit, and Sunday’s payload will mark the company’s first attempt at realizing the dream. The initial satellites in the network are expected to come online next year.


This may be the prettiest song Nick Drake (our Lenten muse) ever recorded. This is “Thoughts of Mary Jane,” from his first album, Five Leaves Left [LP].

Enjoy, and happy Saturday.



  1. Holy cow, am I first?

  2. Dan from Georgia says:

    Those mullets! THOSE MULLETS!



    • If a man with a mullet named Millard hit a mallard with a mallet while eating a muffin, would his mommy, Molly, need to be mollified?

    • Susan Dumbrell says:

      Apparently the mullet comp will be on the 24th Feb.
      I am not rushing to get there!
      I will keep you all posted.
      There is little to do in Kurri Kurri.

      • Susan Dumbrell says:

        Kurri Kurri is pronounced as in Indian Take Out.
        Bengal. Madras. Korma etc.
        They possibly have a fish and chip shop. Oh Susan!!

    • Toughness and sexuality? Really? When I see a mullet I think,

      ‘How much did you spend on that butt ugly haircut?’

      and then,

      ‘Sure has been a long time since I went fishing…’

    • Brianthegrandad says:
      Here in Alabama/florida we just toss the mullets, though there are still quite a few walking around on 80s holdouts. Btw, the florabama also has a church meeting there on Sunday mornings. Interesting outreach. No word on if the praise team has mullets.

  3. john barry says:

    Chaplin Mike, Thanks for your choice of Nick Drake as your Lenten muse. I had never heard of him or any of his music. Personally, I wonder if knowing of his early passing has influenced me in my appreciation for his music. I find some of his work haunting and I mean that in a good way.
    Who would surmise that an intelligent, handsome and talented young man could be so troubled. On the other end of the spectrum is Keith Richards who is somehow still kicking. Perhaps Nick Drake was the one who could not get any satisfaction or peace in this world. .
    Actually to me Nick Drakes music is reflective and calming , not personal qualities I have in abundance. Would I have appreciated Nick Drake in the 70’s? , a little perhaps , but I think more so now. I would say Nick Drake touched more people and is appreciated by more people than he ever thought possible, not a bad legacy and you have helped to spread it. .

    • Sometimes I wonder if Keith Richards is immortal, maybe some kind of vampire.

      • A stand-up comedian in the 80s once said only three things would survive a nuclear war; cockroaches, Twinkies, and Keith Richards.

  4. so little light
    at 5 AM, but still
    enough to pray

    • The call for prayer for the first Muslim prayer of the day done at the start of dawn includes the phrase “Prayer is better than sleep”.

      • False advertising. And yet more asceticism rearing its ugly head.

        • Perhaps. But the chant itself is beautiful; have you ever heard it? It’s haunting, and makes you want to get up early for prayer. At its best, asceticism is denial of self so that we may make space inside to receive what is better than had been there before; it is ultimately an enrichment and widening of the self. Prayer instead of sleep can be that way at times

          • You’re probably right. But working night shift on a rotating schedule makes sleep a very precious commodity, and doesn’t make me favorably inclined towards those who think it’s something to be just given up without question, even for religious reasons.

            • You’d probably not be thrilled with the EO’s standard morning prayer, either, which after a beginning trisagion+, has a standard prayer including this: “Instead, in thy usual love for mankind, thou hast raised me from the gloominess of sleep that I might rise up early and glorify thy power.”


              • “Gloominess of sleep”…

                I’ll let Shakespeare reply to that for me…

                “Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
                Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,
                Who with a body fill’d and vacant mind
                Gets him to rest, cramm’d with distressful bread;
                Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,
                But, like a lackey, from the rise to set
                Sweats in the eye of Phoebus and all night
                Sleeps in Elysium”

                Henry V Act iv Scene 1

                • Eeyore, I like Shakespeare but am waiting for the NIV book to come out so I can understand it. I want the change but will not act up or make a scene.

    • The only appropriate prayer at 0500 is “oh my God, it’s early!”

  5. Great pic of the shirtless Presidents.

  6. senecagriggs says:

    Is Keith Richards actually alive?


    • senecagriggs, anyone paying attention in 2015.

    • Soooooo…… it’s ok that the Russian Government orchestrated a highly organized and pernicious attack on our electoral system to suit their own ends? If Obama did something like that article alledges, which I would need to see evidence of, our reaction should now be changed in some way? It means that it’s OK that Putin did this and we should all settle down and forget about it? No further action necessary? Nothing to be concerned about? Let’s just keep on as we are?

      • senecagriggs says:

        You got a workable plan to actually stop meddling in other country’s politics?

        History’s pretty fascinating. Political meddling? at least as old as prostitution.

        So no, I don’t give a crap about Russian Meddling, Chinese meddling or Canadian meddling.

        Hypocrisy, however, I find always humorous.

        • I find the hypocrisy of religious leaders who have insisted that character matters in political leaders, and then turned around and supported characterless Donald Trump, and now are doubling- and tripling-down in their support no matter how outrageously deplorable his behavior and words, especially hilarious.

        • To each his own. I do give a crap about Russia meddling in our business. I don’t want them anywhere near our business. It’s like Ukraine. You’ve got a few who welcome the Russian “presence” and the vast majority who want them the hell out. It’s a criminal, murderous regime. I can’t imagine you’re really okay with their presence here but I want them the hell out as best we can manage such a thing in the cyber age. They can take the number one hypocrite in chief with them. The manipulator, the liar, the con man and idiot in chief. There’s a veil over the eyes of his supporters. How can anyone not see what this guy is? Anyone! He cowtows to Putin the thief and murderer. He thinks Putin is cool. That’s because he’s a bully and would love to be able to get away with what Putin does. I could go on all night. I have never cared about politics to such a vehement degree. He is a cancer and Putin is thrilled to see him there. I’m a life long republican and I’m amazed and disgraced. The whole thing is worse than pathetic. It started a long time ago and it devolved into President New York Scheister. My parents came from the Bronx. We grew up to be pretty good observers and to know a con man when we saw one. He’s one! Nothing more. He’s a genius in his own mind and he’ll be the first one to tell you. He’s, like, really genius and all, and everything. No one can quantify the Putin impact in the election but it seems ever clearer that there definitively was one. How could such a poser and buffoon dupe enough people to become President? It was mob think imposed through party loyalty( none of which he himself has) and fear. That’s where fake internet stories, pounded day after day and championed by the most strident voices in the party slowly overcame people’s ability to see and reason normally and they bought his line after never ending line of BS, it’s stacked and plentiful, and gave up on seeing critically. Head planted in sand and buying the party line. Tell me what to think. The emperor’s suit is just stunning. This is the first time in my life that I have felt a pressing responsibility to speak up against a threat to our democracy and it ain’t just the Russians. It’s our president who seems neatly ensconced in their pocket. This has gone way beyond party politics. We will make it through this but I’m not so sure what our standing or our condition will be. The day we regain respect in much of the world is the day that ether Mexico, under no undue influence, pays for a wall, or D J Jazzy Trump is voted out of office. Now the respect of the world is not simply an ego lift, it is essential to all diplomacy and for the cementing of critical alliances. Our best friends are holding their noses and taking cover until he is gone while Putin is crying tears of joy in his Stoli. Just do a google search of Trump Lies to get some picture of how this guy is utterly divorced from reality and/or wishes to utterly divorce his constituency from it. It’s bad.

          • He’s nothing but a con man, and he’s pulled off the biggest swindle in history. But be sure of this: he’s Putin’s boy, and Putin is the most dangerous enemy of the US in the world today. We need a leader who will defend our country against that enemy, not get in and out of bed with him at his pleasure.

          • Excellent comment, Chris. I was a life-long Republican until the Bush W days, then I realized how their values shifted toward anti-everything non-Republican (labeling everything they didn’t like as leftist and liberal) even when evidence stared them in the face that they were wrong.

            During that time, I also saw how drastic that party’s shift seemed to be away from my Christian values as, ironically, the religious right became more and more entrenched with the Republicans. This isn’t to say I’m enameled with the Dems–I’m not–but I no longer call myself Republican. The taint is palpable.

            Trump is all that you said, and one thing more: un-presidential. He’s the leader of our country, and a complete a-hole. People see that in other nations, they see that here, and I’m finally hearing from even those who’ve supported him how they wished he was more presidential. Well guess what, folks… He ain’t gonna change.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Remember that to 80% of American Evangelicals (right at the Groupthink threshold):
            “Trump is LORD”.

            And you are just another Heathen raging against The LORD and His Anointed the Donald.

        • Clay Crouch says:

          Your comment is most revealing.

      • Christiane says:

        I could see Putin’s control over Trump when Trump wanted to gut the NATO alliance. At that moment, I realized our duly-elected President no longer served this country’s interests.

        But how did all this happen? What does Putin have on Trump ? There is something there to know but I leave it to the wisdom of the special prosecutor Mueller to root it out in a way that is clear, and connects the dots that involve the intersection of the Trump empire with the goals and agenda of Vladimir Putin.

        I want my country to be honorable again. It doesn’t matter how ‘great’, if we are hurting children and our DACA kids and inflicting more suffering on the disabled. . . . . it doesn’t matter how ‘great’ if we, as a nation, lose our souls out of greed and fear. We are better than that. We will rise again as an honorable people.

        • The fact that Trump won’t enforce the sanctions against Russia that Congress nearly unanimously passed makes the loyalty of our president to Putin as plain to see as the nose on your face. MAGA — Mueller Ain’t Going Away.

          • thanks, Robert F, I needed that encouragement right now . . . . .been very sad this week over the latest massacre of children

            • We keep reliving these mass shooting horrors every few weeks; if only it were only a recurring, waking nightmare, and not real life.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                And (according to morning drive-time) the same Kabuki dance goes on each and every time:
                1) Wall-to-wall 24/7 coverage on all channels and 24/7 activity on ALL social media.
                2) Lotsa commiserating, Presdiential sympathy (and occasional Presidential visit).
                3) Celebrities and politicians talking “Gun Control Will Fix Everything”.
                4) Massive runs on gun stores buying out the entire stock before it can get banned (related to (3) above)…
                5) Then everything dies down as new headlines come online (“Ooooo! Isn’t that Kim Kardashian?”) and nothing more is heard of it…
                6) Except for the betting pools as to when (not if) the next one goes down and what the body count will be.

                • Over the last 2 days the presidential sympathy for Parkland has been nearly non-existent, as our president was too busy crowing over how the Mueller indictments supposedly vindicated him. Hey, a man has to have his priorities right; self-protection is at the top of the list!

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                    More and more, I’ve come ot the conclusion thatTrump’s Christianese Amen Chorus is because Trump acts a LOT like a Megachurch Lead Pastor/Head Apostle. Arrogant, Bombastic, Vindictive, and Horny. (Just go through various Spiritual Abuse watchblogs for examples.)

                    All the MenaGAWD who came before have conditioned Christians to see that sort of behavior as God’s Anointing. And since the Donald ramps up such Anointed behavior a couple nothces, he Must Be More Anointed. (Like the one about a kid raised in a Holiness church environment converting to Mormonism in college because “Mormons don’t drink or smoke”, i.e. exhibiting more of the tribal recognition markings of being Of God that he learned in his church upbringing.)

                    Add to that the lure of Making America CHRISTIAN Again (just as it was in the Good Old Days of the Fifties where everybody went to church), and you have quite a motivation for Taking the Mark.

  7. Glad the Church Curmudgeon and the board of deacons finally came around. It’s about time they let the rocks cry out, sheesh. Perhaps Mike the Geologist helped sway their decision…

    Update: The upcoming week’s worship music has been changed from classical to rock.

    • Who knows, perhaps they had no other choice after the rocks filed a lawsuit for discrimination.

      • David H., It is not good to rock the boat on music selection.” When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” will the Rock be on it.? The rocks probably have a song for the ages, will they cleft for Kirk Douglas? You can have the rock but not the roll, it is just too much change.
        Queen wrote a commentary of John 8:7 with their rock classic “We Will Rock You”. I do fear if the music is not done properly they will hit rock bottom.
        The good news is the nearest neighbor lives in a glass house so the supply of rocks is limited. Any time you have change the road is rocky.
        I think it dangerous to go from words to rocks because words cannot break your bones.

  8. Richard Hershberger says:

    “They chose an old WPA site from the 1930s in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains, that to this day is very difficult to find”


    I first realized where it was not long after I moved to Maryland. I went to the Catoctin Mountain Park for a day hike. I had done my research ahead of time and picked out the trail I was going to use. When I arrived, I went into the ranger station to ask where was the trail head. I was told that the trail was closed. This was mildly disappointing, but there were other trails, so it was not big deal. But I went into chitchat mode with the ranger, asking about what was going on with my first choice. The reply was odd: a fixed phrase that was non-responsive except that I couldn’t go there. There are any number of reasons a trail might be closed, so the non-responsive response caught my attention more than something like a section being washed out would have. Finally it dawned on me. I knew that Camp David was in the general vicinity, but not exactly where. So I blurted out something along the lines of “Oh, *that’s* where Camp David is!” The ranger repeated the non-response while nodding his head in agreement.

    When I got home that evening I went on Google Maps satellite view. The perimeter of Camp David is immediately obvious. This was during the Cheney administration, when the federal government was very big on having Google blur out this sort of thing, so there was no internal detail, but the location apparent. The next administration stopped that blurring out nonsense, and the current hasn’t thought of this yet, so you can see what is there.

    Truthfully, the location has never actually been a secret. The locals all knew where it was. There was something of a game where the locals would play it up as a great secret to outsiders. While undoubtedly great fun, this was not serious. I don’t doubt that there is serious security around the place, but not about its location.

    As for my day hike, I was immensely pleased by the whole affair. It meant that I had been personally inconvenienced by the administration, where previously this has been more abstract.

    • I rather like the fact that their nearest neighbour is Camp Greentop, a camp for people with disabilities.

      • john barry says:

        According to CNN and MSNBC Camp David is now a place for people with disabilities.

        • According to Fox News and Breitbart Camp David is now a place for extraterrestrials and Pizzagate operatives to convene.

  9. Went to an all you can eat sushi place with friends last night for dinner. Was really good. Couldn’t figure out why the place was packed and had a 25 minute wait when normally you can just walk right in.

    It dawned on me halfway through the meal that it’s officially Lent.

    So we ordered some chicken and beef noodle dishes after the sashimi.

    • Pity the poor chickens and cattle.

    • On the Orthodox side, we get only shrimp, crab and other shellfish, except for Annunciation Day (25 March), when we can have “real” fish. Such foods were not delicacies to the ancients; their thought was, “If you really want to eat that stuff, go ahead…” We’re essentially vegan on our fast days.

      Actually, if you can do the planning required, it can end up being a sort of “spring cleanse” for the body. I’m not so good at that kind of planning, but I’m going to try to not be lazy about it this year. My situation is, I have a blessing to eat some animal protein because of health issues, so I eat a small portion of whatever I fix for dinner for my husband (not Orthodox; definite carnivore) and eat vegan the rest of the day. The availability of Oriental, Middle Eastern and Indian food is certainly helpful; otherwise those who observe the food abstinence would be eating beans every day…


  10. john barry says:

    You are what you eat, perhaps that is why my wife calls me Mr. Snickers.

    • flatrocker says:

      You know we need to keep a running collection of this stuff.
      CM, can you add a “The Best of John Barry” button somewhere on the site?

      • john barry says:

        flatrocker According to many who know , there is no “best” of John Barry, there is just more of John Barry. My wife married me for better or worse , she is still waiting for better. Unfortunately everyone seems to get the best of John Barry especially when he buys a used car.

      • J.B. IS an original. Very creative!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      You are what you eat…

      “…then I must be malt and hops!”
      — standard comeback line from my high school days

  11. Patriciamc says:

    In regards to the family photo album, when I cleaned out my parents’ apartment, I scanned in a gazillion family photos. I kept the best of the best and pitched the rest since after a while, you know what everyone looks like. Now, our images are safe and sound as long as the Google cloud exists. If anyone hacks my account looking for nude photos, there is the one of me in the bath tub….when I was 1.

  12. senecagriggs says:

    It doesn’t require an Evangelical mind to state that Donald Trump lacks character. But it was him or Hillary – who had engaged in criminal or unethical POLITICAL behaviors for decades. She and Bill defined “Pay to play.” in the global world. They made billions selling “access.” It actually was a brilliant scheme to join the 1 percenters.

    • For every ethical/legal scandal/character flaw/etc. of Hillary, Trump exceeds by a 100 fold. If we’re talking lesser of two evils, the choice is unequivocal. Yet a sizable portion of the country, mainly evangelicals, still see Trump as the impeccable role model for this country and all that it stands for.

      The greater danger than the poor temperament and lack of communication skills, and even the complete depravity in character, is his ability to enact sweeping policy changes that will negatively impact the widespread poor and marginalized of this country, as well as the natural world itself (e.g. environmental policies). It’s not that the majority of people saw Hillary as a shining light in a darkened world, but the decision between her and Trump wasn’t even close, which is why more actual people voted for her (but still not enough). Every other politician is at least capable of making *some* good decisions; I have found it nearly impossible to find anything positive happen since he took office.

      • senecagriggs says:

        I would disagree – completely.

        • john barry says:

          senecagriggs, Question at 2016 Debate ” Will you accept the results of the election, Trump said it depends, Clinton yes of course. The question should have been asked of the mainstream media and the Democrat Party who have tried to undermine the election from Day 1.
          Evangelicals make up at most 26% of the voters in USA, they voted for Trump 81% , whereas Romney got 78%, Clinton won the non affiliated non religion voters by 68% to 26% Trump, Obama 2012 won the non affiliated religion voters 70% to 26% for Romney. Trump won those strongholds of the dreaded evangelicals states of Wi, Pa. and Wi.. 2% of the non affiliated stayed home and did not vote for HRC.
          Immediately the reason for Trump victories were the crazy evangelicals not the remaining 76% of voters who no ids as evangelicals. All parts of the coordinated campaign to nullify the election.
          No other Republican would have beat HRC. The facts unfolding now in the FBI, State Dept. and all the other areas would never come out if HRC had won. The deep state bet heavily on a HRC win and are still trying to stop Trump from succeeding.
          Trump will lose his base if he caves on immigration. California gave Clinton 8.7 million votes, Trump 4.4 million votes, 61.7% vs 31.2%, that is the difference in the popular vote and a good reason for the electoral college. One reason California went from red (Regan, Pete Wilson) to blue Jerry Brown and the Democrats is demographics brought on by illegal and legal immigration. That is why the Democrats fight so hard to add all the illegals to the voting rolls.
          The fate of the Trump presidency will one way or the other decide the future of this country, it is that serious.

          • There is no deep state, just as there is no substance to rantings about Pizzagate, or to accusations that 5 million fraudulent votes were cast for Hillary, or that it is “treasonous” to not applaud or approve during a president’s State of the Union speech, or that Obama is not an American citizen, or that Ted Cruz’s grandfather was involved in the assassination of JFK.

            • john barry says:

              Robert F. There appears to be a serious problem within many of our trusted agencies. There is nothing in your extreme examples that can be defended but that is not the deep state, it is just click bait from extreme pot stirrers who muddy the waters, they are terrible .
              The use of the IRS as a political entity is still a concern. The people in the “deep state” are not stupid and know the system, indeed they are the system. Common sense in the Lois Lerner investigation and facts revealed would lead to the conclusion conservative groups were being targeted. Just one example.
              Certainly the recent FBI 7th floor problem with Trump should be of great concern. No need to cover the details but it is evident something was going on, expecting a Hillary win made them a little sloppy. The uranium one deal with Russia bears close exam and explanation , it sure defies logic especially now the Democrats have awoken finally to the Russian Threat.
              Investigating the Trump Dossier paid for by the Hillary campaign and used for starting an investigation is worth the effort, it again defies common sense , the chain of events that led to the Buzzfeed article.
              The on purpose inclusion of the Trump Dossier into the daily presidential briefing allowed the other agencies with access to the Presidential daily briefing to know about the dossier and the leaking started. Obama expanded the agencies able to access the daily President briefing right before the election. Good questions that need to be answered.
              Clinton Global Initiative , no questions there about pay for play? Clintons 2in year 2000 left WH broke, net worth today $245 million, no concerns about that? Chelesa only has 15 million.
              Trump is right, the Russians have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams about undermining the faith, trust and loyalty to the United States electoral process. Look at the really juvenile, hateful and vengeful shows, comment, articles, news opinion pieces and media coverage of the legally elected President of the USA, who they do not think should be President. Like the FBI agent and his girlfriend they want an insurance policy to make sure he fails.

              • We live in different worlds, jb. Your wordplay comments are fun and inventive; but what you’re saying here smacks of political paranoia of the worst kind to my ears. The baseless belief in and investigation of a nonexistent deep state is exactly what Putin wants the U.S. to be embroiled in; as long as you believe in that, you can have no trust in the U.S. electoral process.

                Maybe it was a utopian pipe dream anyway. We are not one people now, and maybe we never were.

                • john barry says:

                  Robert F. We do not live in different worlds, we have different political and social views based on how we view and weight the facts of an issue. I like to come here and read the comments because I get a different point of view than I would if I stayed in my comfort circle.
                  Look at my answer to griggs at 5.14 today about the election vote and the dreaded evangelicals. Are there any factual errors in my post? I got the info from a Nov 9 2016 Pew Research article about how people voted by faith groups. Over and over you hear it was the dreaded evangelicals who won the election for Trump when he did just a little better than Mormon Romney.
                  So Trump won the electoral college because he carried the surprise states of Wi winning by only 22,718 votes, Pa won by 44,292, Mi won by 10,702. These states are not controlled by the dreaded all powerful evangelicals but that total of only 77,692 gave the electoral college to Trump. Why the evangelical mantra and why the constant call on them to defend Trump? What is wrong with my opinion or facts presented above or in my comments to griggs? You might , no probably do not agree with my opinion but the facts are the facts. I will defend your right to be wrong to your death or something like that if I got the quote right.
                  So we go on and on but that is what it takes. We live in a sound bite age and slogans win over substance on all sides of the spectrum. So we can disagree to disagree as long as we know what we disagree on.
                  America did go from trying to be the “melting pot ” of E pluribus Unum to a balkanized , diversity celebrated country who has is being defined by identity politics with the results that are just beginning to be felt and entrenched in our society.
                  I want to live in the world where Donna Douglas aka Ellie May is judged to be ugly, one of my favorite Twilight Zone shows then maybe she would have talked to me. Actually I live in a world of trouble as my wife just informed me I would be there if I do not take out the trash, in the cause of world and domestic peace I will say yes dear but I will move slowly.
                  Do not feel guilty about getting off topic as this section is old so thanks for the feedback.
                  I defer to Peter and Gordon of the British Invasion era who did not want to live in a “World Without Love”

                  • I live in PA, and I can tell you that PA is very evangelical/conservative Christian. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are like two East Coast cities, with Kentucky in between them. Just call it Pennsyltucky.

                    • flatrocker says:

                      Boy, Robert, it must be hard for you living behind enemy lines.

                    • Robert F. Before Trump, last time Pa. voted Republican President was 1988. Only Trump would win it in 2016. How about Wi, where HRC did not even go to campaign is it now also an evangelical stronghold? Is Michigan now a part of the Bible belt.
                      The last time Republicans were sure of winning Pa. Fred Warring was a major star, well perhaps more accurately well known..

                    • flatrocker,
                      I didn’t know that the deep state of PA is red when I moved here, flatrocker. This particular county, Lancaster, votes 2/3 Republican in every election, and is Trump country big time. It seems that when the pacifist Plain Mennonites/Amish go modern, they go nationalistic, my country right-or-wrong, bomb-the-hell-out-them nativist all the way.

                    • j.b., As I said, we live in two different worlds….thought worlds, that is; I don’t think there is much overlap, if any, at this point.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                      This particular county, Lancaster, votes 2/3 Republican in every election, and is Trump country big time.

                      My informant in Adams County (one or two counties west of Lancaster) said he knew Trump was going to win when he observed RECORD voter turnouts on Election Day 2016. A lot of the rank-and-file voters in that rural county were just plain fed up with business-as-usual and the Trump was the only alternative to more-business-as-usual. (Especially after the treatment they’ve gotten for decades from the Beautiful People and Chattering Classes Virtue-Signalling their Moral Superiority over them.

                      Also note the red-and-blue spread when broken down by COUNTY instead of state: Scattered Blue islands of major urban areas and college towns isolated in an ocean of red.

                      It seems that when the pacifist Plain Mennonites/Amish go modern, they go nationalistic, my country right-or-wrong, bomb-the-hell-out-them nativist all the way.
                      The proper term is “Going English”, not “going modern”.

                      And Eagle has been covering a seriously-heavy case of church corruption and abuse in a PA small town and church that’s pretty much a personal fief of a wealthy Amish-gone-English family. (Like an Amish puppy mill shifted from four-leggers to two-leggers, but the corporate culture remained the same.)

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                  as long as you believe in that, you can have no trust in the U.S. electoral process.

                  “In the early 21st, the people had had enough of Principles; now they put their trust in Princes.”
                  — Jordan179 in is essays on “The American Mandate”, a future history retelling the history of the Roman Empire (“AVE CAESAR!”) in a future United States.

              • There is nothing in your extreme examples that can be defended but that is not the deep state, it is just click bait from extreme pot stirrers who muddy the waters, they are terrible.

                Four of the five “extreme examples” I mentioned were propagated by the “extreme pot stirrer” who currently occupies the Oval Office. Yes, he is terrible.

                • Robert F. Trump , who whole id is built on name and brand identification knows the sound bite and low attention span audience that he is trying to appeal to. His bombast, his over the top examples and his outlandish behavior is part of the anti establishment persona that he cultivates. It is shorthand for issues that historically got no attention or were off limits.
                  Obama birth certificate question, birther issue , got Trump into the national political stage. Could have easily been stopped by the Democrats just by producing certificate but thought it good for them to let it go on. Before that Trump just TV, rich guy with no political following, he used what was there for political purposes. The suspicion and rumors about Barrack Hussein Obama gave Trump a base that was normally not active in national politics. Now it is only of concern to people who are not going to vote for Trump anyway.
                  Treasonous is a little too much but again shorthand for average Americans about at least applauding basic American values and victims of crime. Otherwise the pettiness of the Democrats would not have received a lot of media coverage. Again , only Trump could do this, good or bad.
                  Hillary Clinton , fraud votes, again shorthand when most Americans support or understand the need to proper id when you vote. Why would that be a major issue. Look at Ca. and what is happening.
                  Ted Cruz father, Trump attempt to throw Cruz off track. Ted Cruz father very popular with the evangelical base in the red states but Cruz and Dad got a free pass from being associated with the dreaded evangelicals in the media. Again only Trump would and could run a campaign that way and win. Trump also made a birther issue of Canadian born Ted Cruz, so he is Trump for Trump.
                  None of these issues will be a factor if Trump makes it to 2020 except to people who are not going to vote for Trump anyway, Never Trump and CNN, breaking news crew.

                  • One more comment, and I’m finished; our thought worlds are too different to find a place for dialogue, and this wouldn’t be the format for it anyway — As the Atlantic says in a headline tonight, America is under attack by Russia, and the President doesn’t care….But I suppose you don’t believe that because Deep State….Different worlds.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                      Deep State is just the latest Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory.

                      And a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is literally impossible to debunk.
                      1) All information arguing against The Conspiracy is Fake News planted by The Conspiracy.
                      2) Lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is Proof that The Conspiracy is vast enough to Silence Anything.
                      3) Anyone who even doubts The Conspiracy Theory (i.e. not a True Believer) is part of The Conspiracy.

                      “The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs! We Won’t Be Taken In!”

                      And Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is the New Normal. Just each clique of Dwarfs in their stable has a different Vast Conspiracy (i.e. everyone except Our Tribe).

                      “If your Conspiacy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy.”

                      And as the Vast Conspiracy becomes more and more Evil, it justifies Any Means Whatsoever to struggle against it.

                    • Very accurate (and frightening) summary, HUG.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                      Now let’s translate the terminology from Art Bell at 3 Ayem into Christianese.

                      Deep State (aka The Conspiracy) becomes SATAN and his DEMONS, constantly roaming about seeking who they can devour. (Or at least slip their woopee cushions under Christians’ butts.) And Christians must Mobilize and Fight Back against this Ultimate Evil. So far, the dynamic of the fringier Spiritual Warfare types.

                      Now let’s go back to Central Europe of the Thirty Years War and Massachusetts Bay of the same period:

                      Satan’s Conspiracy is everywhere, and those who are part of The Conspiracy (everyone except Us) become Satan’s Minions, the WITCHES.

                      At which point, smelling out the WITCHCRAFT everywhere and wiping said WITCHES from the face of the earth becomes the Righteous thing to do. By Any Means Necessary.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                  Remember Robert:
                  TRUMP. CAN. DO. NO. WRONG.
                  Once you doubleplusbellyfeel that, JB (and 80% of Born-Again Christians) won’t have a problem, will we?

                  The part that I don’t get about the Age of Trump is how he could build such a fanatical following among Christians (including End Time Prophecy types). A lot of the vote I understand; an outsider who would Shake Up The Status Quo, Drain The Swamp that was drowning a lot of voters who were getting Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Any More.

                  “SEND THEM A MESSAGE!” — George C Wallace campaign slogan, 1968

                  But CHRISTIANS lining up to burn the pinch of incense, take the Mark, and chorus “Trump Is LORD” like a bad Christian Apocalyptic novel or movie? Where everything goes down just as in the Book of Revelation/Late Great Planet Earth and NOBODY notices anything out of the ordinary? The same Real True Christians who explained away that particular plot hole with smug SCRIPTURE: “GOD Shall Send Them Strong Delusion, That They Should Believe a Lie”?

                  • john barry says:

                    Headless Unicorn Guy, Again, I give some specific data from a reliable source about the voters for Trump , please look at my 7.56 on 2/18 and address that post. Trump has a following of all types of voters in this country because of these issues

                    1. immigration both legal and illegal
                    2. national defense issues, stupid war for 16 years for what reason? ask the incompetent GW Bush
                    3. Economy , middle class disappearing , no wage growth
                    4. Trade policies TPP, NAFTA, CAFTA,

                    Again no real answers to questions raised just generalities.
                    Of course you are right about conspiracy theories, you cannot disprove a negative, the Grassy Knoll theory cannot be proven or disproven. You have to know the facts and make your decision.
                    My point still unadressed is why do many in the media and some on this site constantly address their concerns about Trump to the dreaded evangelicals who did vote for him in a large majority (81%) vs 78% for Romney but if every evangelical or professed evangelical or CNN identified evangelical voted for Trump he still would have lost if he had not gotten votes from the other 74% of voter who are not identified as evangelicals. To a lot of the dreaded evangelicals they had to overcome their reluctance to vote for Mormon Romney like many had to overcome their questions of Trump secular life style. If Romney was not a Mormon he would have gotten at least 81% or more of the dreaded evangelical vote in 2012 but that is my crazy conspiracy mind making an unproven statement but I think it has merit.

                    Again do you give the “credit” to Trump’s win in Wi , Mi and Pa to the crazy , dreaded evangelical?

                    Most of the dreaded evangelicals who voted for Trump would have no idea who the discredited Mark Discroll is. Like JFK, and Romney evangelical voters many crazy dreaded evangelicals did not vote on someone’s religion or lack of but for who they thought was best for the country.

                    Deep state conspiracy, would any of these facts come out if HRC had won? . Russia started their campaign in 2014 and Obama admin. did what?

                  • It’s about abortion and LGBT rights, HUG. They bit the bullet and accepted Trump’s promises about these issues on face value, and now they feel compelled to be fanatical in the justification of their choice. Remember that they have a tendency toward fanaticism as the way they see and frame the world.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                      Abortion — I’ve been dinged for $$$ by Pro-Life Group after Pro-Life Group, each with their One True Tactic (of which no two are alike). All the promises dating back to Reagan that all we need to do is elect a Republican President and Congress who’ll appoint Supreme Court Justices to Repeal Roe V Wade and American will magically become a Perfect CHRISTIAN Nation. Dating back to Reagan — what was that, 30+ years ago?

                      LGBT rights — Fred Phelps’ famous tag line says it all, and on this subject Christians have the rep of being more genteel Fred Phelpses. If Sex makes people stupid, Homosex makes Christians CRAZY. In the words of the prophet Attack of the Killer Tomatoes “Even the mention of the word is enough to induce… PANIC.”

                      P.S. With the loss of this hill to die on, everyone Double Down on “Trans is the new Fag” AND SCREAM LOUDER!

          • And don’t delude yourself. No matter how much Trump changes legal immigration policy to keep people of color out, current demographics in the U.S.make it a fait accompli that people of color will become the majority in this country in a few decades. Neither Trump or anyone else can do anything to change that, short of ethnic cleansing.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

              Neither Trump or anyone else can do anything to change that, short of ethnic cleansing.

              And there is a fringe (don’t know how big a fringe) who would be perfectly OK with that.
              (I’ve experienced one big example in my family history, catalyzed by that last billionare outsider who ran his own Messiah Politics Presidential Campaign — Ross Perot in 1992.)

              Those outside of “El Norte” — the Spanish-influenced fusion culture of the border states — have no idea how high feelings can run on this issue.

      • I would completely agree David H.

      • Always I hear the accusations of Hillary illegalities; never I see the proof, even after a decade and more of investigations. The less proof, the more many of you believe it.

        But here we have a man in the Oval Office who refuses to enforce legislated sanctions against a country known to have willfully and systematically undermined our political process, on our own soil, with operatives posing as Americans, and that’s a trifle. Trump is turning every city in the U.S. into a sanctuary city for kompromat and every other kind of Russian interference in American society and politics.

    • Clay Crouch says:

      But it seems to require an evangelical mind to justify Trump’s character. You know, there were other choices on the ballot. Didn’t your mother teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:


      With the Dems, it was Triumph of the Clinton Machine Will.
      With the GOP, it was “I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE! STICK IT TO ‘EM!” hitting critical mass.

    • Clay Crouch says:

      But it seems to require an evangelical mind to justify Trump’s character. There were other choices on the ballot. Didn’t your mother teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        As I said above, corrupt MenaGAWD — whether Megachurch Millionaires or Fred Phelps-like tiny IFB not-a-cults — have conditioned their flocks to connect such character with Godliness. And when Trump’s behavior not only echoes but one-ups that of God’s Anointed Mouthpieces (who’ve whipped you into line with all their other sheep), the only conclusion is that Trump is More Anointed.

        Like the famous essay “Southern Baptist Zombies” about how the Mormons out-Baptist the Southern Baptists in every SBC metric of Christian behavior and missionary success.

        Or as one of my blogger contacts put it:
        “If you Liked Mark Driscoll, you’ll love Donald Trump”.

  13. senecagriggs says:

    A man armed with a hunting rifle gunned down churchgoers in the city of Kizlyar, according to the Associated Press, and reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he opened fire.

    Kizlyar’s mayor Alexander Shuvalov told Russian media the gunman opened fire as people were leaving a Sunday evening service at a local ORTHODOX CHURCH.

    “Four people were killed. The shooter was shot dead. Two police officers and a woman were wounded,” he said.

    [ I’m been increasingly impressed with the Orthodox Church. They’ve stood tall for centuries. ]