We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, April 17. 2017
Why do you attend church? Gallup found some unexpected answers
Preaching (ie Teaching) seems over-emphasized. I think people go to be part of a community which is body of Christ. Jesus clubs. When teaching becomes performance, I turn off.
Why American men may have less luck finding a job than women
Why Americans have stopped moving
Also, if you are an owner it is very expensive to move
California: AND YET THEY LEARNED NO LESSONS FROM THIS...
SOLAR POWER: AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER
OUT OF “THEIR” “MINDS” AT BROWN
WELLESLEY NEWS: FREE SPEECH ONLY APPLIES TO LEFT-WING SPEECH
If You Paid $63,916 Per Year To Attend Wellesley And You Write Like This, You Got Ripped Off
College Kids Are Intolerant Jerks
University’s LGBT Students ‘Fear’ Arrival Of Chick-fil-A
Liars. They say they don't feel "safe." Bullshit.
" My committee colleagues argued that "we do not teach grammar" in our writing classes."
Correct grammar is for the elites. It is difficult to learn. I am still learning grammar.
Gay Porn Kingpin: Protect America From Muslim ‘Barbarians’
No institution or agency has done more to help the poor than Walmart.
Is government ever big enough?
Andrew Sullivan Says Good-bye to Hillary
Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton?
Borders: There is a sheriff in town
DONALD TRUMP ASKS A GOOD QUESTION
Trump’s first 100 days have been better than you think
The problem of moral grandiosity, perhaps seen in purest culture in Sweden.
Marine Le Pen: Pope Francis Exceeds His Role as Religious Leader -Tells States to Disregard Their Own Citizens
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" Why do you attend church? Gallup found some unexpected answers" We used to go every Sunday and still try to attend on communion Sunday, which for our church is once a month. We almost left completely when our now retired minister got political before Obama's first election. He told us he couldn't tell us who to vote for but then proceeded to do just that in a round about way. We came close to walking out of the service as he was pushing Obama. Every Methodist minister I have know has been a leftist and we don't like it. As the churches try and become more modernized they leave out those that have gone for years. When they now read from one of the new Bibles we can't understand the simplified words as being words from our religious history. Church gives me great comfort and I miss it.
I hear you! Last year, my wife went to the Maundy Thursday service. The associate pastor gave the sermon. He started it off by saying recent events caused him to alter his planned remarks. What event could cause him to alter a sermon during Holy Week? The recent terrorist attack in Belgium perhaps? No! It was the recently passed N. C. "bathroom bill."
And then there is what has to be the most idiotic, revolting religious idea I think I've ever heard. In an online column entitled "When We Talk Salvation, Sexuality Matters ," this same pastor wrote:
Sexuality is love enfleshed...or is it Jesus who is love made flesh? In any case, "this is my body, given for you" seems unambiguously salvific and erotic.
Politics in our sermons is a bit more muted, thankfully, but we now have the Religious Left.
I wouldn't necessarily blame politics and sex for a reduction in church attendants. Those who have left our church have gone to other churches. People who have stayed and don't appreciate the recent tilt seem mostly to stay because they view the congregation as a family.
One of the reasons English grammar is difficult is because it is irregular. This is mostly because of all the different influences on it. Now, by not studying grammar, a new irregularities are being formed because people are ignorant of the regularities. This just makes the language more difficult to learn and less precise.
English grammar isn't difficult at all; millions and millions of native speakers across the world use it every day without a second's thought.
What can be difficult is the particular combination of style, conventions (such as spelling), register and expression that are the hallmarks of formal English. That's what educators and academics really mean by "teaching grammar".
As for grammatical "irregularities", these are a characteristic of all languages; English is by no means exceptional in this regard. Nor is there anything wrong with them. All languages evolve and, as they evolve, their grammars evolve.
You may have noticed that no one speaks Old English anymore.
re Why do people go to church
While many may not admit it, I suspect an important reason for church attendance is to be seen there.
Another reason for going is for social/business networking.
Churches are, arguably, antithetical to Christianity, if not by the example of the life and philosophy of Jesus, then by historical effect.
He was sentenced by the church to be tortured and executed by, in the matter, its ancillary State.
With apologies to AVI who could be far more eloquent on this subject than I am, it's pretty clear from Jesus's many commands to go and tell others about his teachings, as well the Great Commission to all Christians, and his promise to be present where his followers gather as he presented himself to gatherings of his followers after his Resurrection, a major thrust of his teachings were that his followers would form a new kind of community.
The most authentic, scholarly, informed, and humble such community I've known in 60 years of experience in the area agonized over whether to build - not have built, build - a modest sanctuary. Yes, agonized. Then they picked up hammer and saw - and I, trowel - and made it.
No excesses of any kind went into it, least of all theological.
On the other hand, factional infighting and the usual unending Theology Wars plague the Church, such as its divided self may be, and that's in a good century.
For a topper, despite our seas of experts, not a man on earth can say what Jesus had tapped and was promoting, and even fewer can divine the G-d they're doing such a favor for, what with their erstwhile partisan character and strength and their periodic public pursuits.
It is almost as if by design.
"He was sentenced by the church to be tortured and executed by, in the matter, its ancillary State."
Before Jesus, there was no "church". He was tortured and executed by Roman authorities - hardly a Jewish ancillary - to placate the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem.
You are attempting to rationalize your own argument by employing an anachronism.
The established Jewish order was exactly that, Israel's court authority convened within the auspices of the temple.
Further, I didn't say Rome was ancillary to Israel, a point I took pains to be clear on. "In this matter" has a specific implication, which is why it's there: The conviction resulted in the famed "handing over", the historical condemnation to death by religious order.
Anachronism or not, the argument needs no rationalization.
And you are attempting to divert from a concrete point. If you had a valid alternative it seems to have been lost in the pointlessness of the challenge.
With all due respect to the Jewish religious leaders of that time, they were walking a tight rope. The Roman authorities were tolerant of local religious beliefs, but only up to a point. Should religious beliefs cause civil dissent, the response was swift and brutal. I can't source it, but I remember reading that - early in Jesus' life - the roads were lined with crosses on which the Romans hung the men and women who were deemed to have been in rebellion. The main rebellion - which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem - began in 66 AD. But the Israelis were not a quiet people, and the religious leaders would have been very aware of the consequences should there be - or be seen to be - serious unrest. They were no doubt trying to save their positions of authority, but they were probably no less trying to avert the annihilation of the Jewish people.
Being known as a Christian these days will get you blackballed from a lot of things, including a lot of job positions. But that's how Jesus said it would be, so it's ok.
Most parts of America. Try this experiment. Write a college application letter. Gush about your hope that as a transitioning person you hope that no Christians will try to shame you into thinking that you are wrong in your identity at this school.
Then write another application letter to the same school talking about how faith is the most essential part of your life. Mention how you hope that the school won't infringe on your religious liberty by forcing you to use pronouns that you disagree with. I would be willing to bet that if you say that you are a Muslim, you won't be punished. If you say that you are a Christian I am confident you won't be admitted.
Try it and tell me that I am wrong.
I think that is a really good question. Who pays for these rallies and protests that often become violent? Why don't we know that? And when a rally becomes violent, often intentionally, why aren't the organizers and funders held to account? Why isn't it a criminal investigation? Why do we never hear about individual protestors who are charged with a crime being offered "a deal" to give up the person higher up in the organization? Why is it I never hear about injured people suing for damages which would give the lawyers the ability to through discovery answer some of these questions? People are sued everyday by the left for using the wrong pronouns or for simply being a white man why is it these criminals a never sued? Why is it the media has a total lack of interest or curiosity about these people and these riots/protests?
Why do people go to church? I go to Mass because Jesus told me to go to Mass. I go out of obedience, because in the Lord's Prayer I say "Thy Will Be Done," and I mean it. Pretty simple. There is more, of course, such as gaining the graces necessary to attain heaven, but at the most specific, I do it because He said I should.
SOLAR POWER: AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER
From the link:
“Camp Ripley is now capable of producing as much energy as it consumes,” said Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. “We can make a better Minnesota and a better world by joining the worldwide initiative to address the serious challenge of climate change.”You don't need to be a rocket scientist, as the saying goes, to figure out that there isn't much solar power available in cold Minnesota compared to a place much closer to the Equator, such as in California. I am not going to argue here the economics of solar power in California. But anyone could have seen that a solar electric project in Minnesota would have been a disaster. This project was done not for feasibility, but for feel-good reasons.
Feel good policy nailed it. Germany has had a similar experience with their boondoggles into wind and solar power. FAR more expensive than coal or nuclear power and not nearly as reliable as those unpopular energy sources.
For the record, I LOVE the idea of getting power from the sun or wind. The problem is that they aren't cost effective. I hope they are some day. Anyone who builds solar or wind power grids right now and lies to the public saying that they are cost effective is criminally wrong.
The story about Brown makes no sense at all for those of us who are not WSJ subscribers - we can't read the WSJ article and thus cannot read the 2nd letter that is referenced, but not quoted, in the story that is linked to here.
It used to be that if you entered the title of a WSJ restricted article into Google News, you could get the article in full. No more. Here is the article courtesy of my local library's subscription:
Brown University in Providence, R.I. houses one of the country's most selective undergraduate colleges. The Brown Daily Herald, a student-run newspaper, cites Dean of Admission Logan Powell in reporting that the school received a record-high 32,724 applications this year, and admitted just 8.3% of applicants.
Among those lucky few is the daughter of a Journal reader who is still trying to make sense of a letter the family received this week from Mr. Powell. Our reader's bright daughter had already received news of her acceptance when a letter arrived that was addressed to her "Parent/Guardian."
Oddly, the note referred to the accepted student not as "she" but as "they." Dean Powell's letter also stated that our reader's daughter had no doubt worked hard and made positive contributions to "their" school and community. Our reader reports that his perplexed family initially thought that Brown had made a word-processing error. That was before they listened to a voice mail message from the school congratulating his daughter and referring to her as "them."
We've read about the literacy crisis in the U.S. but would not have guessed that the problem extends to Ivy League administrators. An item on Brown's website announcing Mr. Powell's 2016 hiring reported that he had previously served at Bowdoin, Harvard and Princeton—and also noted that he would be overseeing a staff of 38 people at Brown. One would think that at least some of them are familiar with pronouns.
It turns out that the errors were intentional. Brown spokesman Brian Clark writes in an email that "our admission office typically refers to applicants either by first name or by using ‘they/their' pronouns. While the grammatical construction may read as unfamiliar to some, it has been adopted by many newsrooms and other organizations as a gender-inclusive option." Our reader figured as much. "Mind you, our daughter has always been clear what her biological gender and identity is -- she's a woman," he reports. He believes the school "wants to make it clear that only left wing extremists are welcome at Brown. Fine with us -- good riddance."
The letter from Dean Powell included a total of four short paragraphs, including this one: "And now, as we invite you to join the Brown family, we encourage you to allow [daughter's name] to chart their own course. Just as you have always been there, now we will provide support, challenge and opportunities for growth."
Nearly a complete stranger, Mr. Powell is writing a short, error-filled letter to parents claiming that his organization is fit to replace them. No doubt the "Brown family" with all its "thems" and "theys" can offer a wealth of valuable educational opportunities. But anyone who buys the line that competent parenting is part of the package has probably never set foot on campus.
Why do you attend church? To worship God.
The formula of the Catholic Mass is beautiful.