Slacker generation kids…

The Foo Fighters were farging fabulous. Fine musicians, totally on, acoustic foo… ten great songs in the set including a pile of them from the soon to be released “Skin and Bones” CD. Petra Hayden Haden (late of “That Dog”) joined them on violin, mandolin and vocals… her mandolin work was extraordinary. Acoustic is kind of an understatement of course. The instruments were acoustic but so wonderfully amplified that they blew my ears out. The keyboard player (Bobby Chaffee Rami Jaffe) played piano, of course, but also keytar, organ and the accordion.

Set list?

  1. Times like these
  2. Marigold
  3. My hero
  4. Big me
  5. Next year
  6. See you
  7. Another round
  8. (Taylor Hawkins track number nine)
  9. Skin and Bones
  10. Everlong

There was a brief intermission and then an industrial music assemblage of older men in hats and a pedal steel guitar player took the stage and jumped into a song called “Maggie’s Farm.” The keyboard player (who occasionally swapped out on harmonica) was a thin guy in a black suit with red trim wearing a flat brimmed zorro hat with silver conchos on the band. The drummer wore some kind of brimless middle eastern looking thing. The three guitarists wore classic fedoras. (The lead guitarist had the best one). The pedal steel player needed no hat. He was younger with a full head of hair. They played another fifteen songs before they were through.

The pedal steel was all about air horns halfway through the set when they played Highway 61. More about this later I think. I better go to bed now. Tomorrow is a work day and this whole experience was almost too fun to blog.

Update: Denny Freeman, the lead guitar last night in the Bob Dylan Band was wearing a classic homburg with rolled brim.

Another f’ing nazi…

Senator Allen, accompanied by Brown Shirts, appears to have prematurely adopted a policy of violent confrontation when approached by the press. Hopefully Stark will sue his pants off. And their shirts. And the right-wing lout will lose the election. hopefully.

…one big sit-com

Tamar summarizes American culture in a few well chosen words.

Well, I’m off with a pencil, a tablet and a couple of expensive tickets to the Foo Fighters and Bob Dylan. Beth is under the weather so it looks like one of the tix will go to waste. It’s a pity that Papa Golby is so far away.

The offending text…

Here then is the excerpt from the Bishop’s “personal and confidential” message to his subordinates that I find so offensive:

Please listen to the enclosed message: it deals with the marriage referendum, the death penalty referendum, and the issue of embryonic stem cell research. The message is educational in its purpose, and is certainly nonpartisan. What I expect of each of you is a simple introductory statement that the bishop has required this message to be played during the homily time at all Masses of obligation on November the 4 th or the 5 th. If you can express some support for the message that I offer that would be appreciated but not expected. I must make it very clear that any verbal or nonverbal expression of disagreement with this teaching on the part of the priest will have to be considered by myself as an act of disobedience, which could have serious consequences.

Here is a link to the audio that the Bishop requires be played at all “masses of obligation” the weekend before the election.

Tom Bozzo provides a nicely reasoned examination of the Bishop’s testing the limits of 501(c)(3) free speech in an electioneering context. Among many other fine arguments, he says,

On same-sex marriage, the Church position, as we’ve noted before, is a mishmash of incoherently selective Biblical fundamentalism and rank hypocrisy. Once you move beyond ancient assertions of at best dubious provenance towards a rational view of homosexuality, it becomes frankly silly for any self-appointed defender of marriage to want to do anything other than encourage the formation and preservation of stable relationships. Morlino is also a fan of the “we’re just saving civilization” pitch, regarding which we note the continuing absence of the breakdown of civil society in those polities that tolerate same-sex marriage or at least equivalent civil rights.

Sack Bishop Morlino, Christ’s lobbyist…

Bishop Morlino should be stripped of his office and brought into court for election tampering if what Bill Wineke reported today is true. Wineke said,

He sent [all his priests] a “personal and confidential” letter last week ordering them to play a 14-minute CD announcing his positions on the “marriage referendum, the death penalty referendum and the issue of embryonic stem-cell research” at all services next weekend.

The bishop says the priests don’t have to endorse his views but warns, “I must make it very clear that any verbal or non-verbal expression of disagreement with this teaching on the part of the priest will have to be considered by myself as an act of disobedience, which could have serious consequences.”

Such arrogance. But the Bishop is devoted to Mary, which I suppose gives him the right to interfere in our elections. And while insinuating his vile intolerance into the broader community at large, the Bishop encourages free and open discussion of the important matters in his own community, like music at mass.

Archbishop RomeroIn 1980 Archbishop Oscar Romero was martyred in an act of class warfare, an act of state sponsored terrorism that began with the training of the assassins by the US government at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia. Now called the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,” the trainers and the graduates of the School of the Americas are complicit in hundreds of similar crimes committed since the school was founded in 1946.

Madison Bishop Robert Morlino accepted an appointment to the WHINSEC Board of Visitors last year. Many people thought this was unpardonable.

Earlier in 2024 the Bishop’s cathedral in Madison was torched. I haven’t heard anyone suggest that the Bishop himself was responsible in order to provide leverage for building a grander structure on the city’s west side.

The fourth Bishop of Madison’s reign has been tainted by circumstance and the ill favored WHINSEC appointment, but it wasn’t until today that I wondered if Henry VIII didn’t have the right idea: if the Bishop is going to meddle in secular affairs, then his properties should be forfeit to the state.

This post is not about the pompous fellow’s urging the Governor to withdraw support from embryonic stem cell research, although the arrogance of that request is beyond belief. It is not about his strange silence following community concern about his role supporting the training of Latin American terrorists. I wouldn’t even make the assertion that having found disfavor in the eyes of God his cathedral was burned, because there was — one assumes — insurance.

This post is about the separation of church and state and Morlino’s sense that as a catholic Bishop he stands above the law. Shoving down the priests’ collective throat his political opinions about stem cell research and the state’s need for a “marriage amendment” to our constitution is one thing. Herr Ratzinger provides the bishops with a lot of strong suggestions about how to pull the church to the right and disempower the people. It’s the bishop’s job to follow Herr Ratzinger’s orders as it is the priests’ job to follow Morlino’s orders. But where does it stop? Morlino has ordered the priests to instruct their parishioners how to vote next Tuesday. He has threatened to punish any who do not follow these instructions absolutely.

The arrogant fellow needs to answer to the District Attorney, and if he wants to be Christ’s lobbyist, then we should demand that he turn in the miter, we should rescind his tax exemption and we should make him file the appropriate paperwork.

Faithful Interpretation

Ironic, the blog post I intended to draft (and that will likely appear above this one in the reverse chron order of such things) has been delayed while I print out Tom Matrullo’s reflections on AKMA‘s Faithful Interpretation.

That post, the one upcoming, advocates emulating Henry VIII in stripping the Bishops of their property and power.

Tom’s post will be tucked in the back of the AKMA book I’m dawdling through, so I can read it when I’m ready to dive back into Faithful Interpretation.

FSM, IPU or ID? You decide…

Recently the borders of the country of reason have been under siege by sectarian violence… pastafarians hurling plates of marinara at adherents of the Invisible Pink Unicorn (may her holy hooves never be shod)… Intelligent Designites hurling insults at Dawkinsians in a deft feint, an October surmise aimed at drawing attention away from their cruel assaults on human relations and social justice. While the ID folks confuse the kids with bizarre discussions predicated on heaven and hell and how many virgins a christian martyr can expect to prong if a muslim is allowed seventeen in paradise… while these weighty discussions continue in Universities across the land… and while University administrators lacking the balls god gave a banana slug (no offense UCSC) and fearful that christian fundamentalists may withhold substantial bequests and ever mindful that the size of the endowment trumps truth any day of the week, these chicken-shit academic second raters permit the bizarre intrusion of religion where honest intellectual effort had previously held sway and the insidious christian referendums aimed at throttling human rights and eroding human dignity are on the ballot in dozens of states.

The October Surmise…
It seems likely that if we can get people talking about the straw man issues of intelligent design, then we can deny reproductive choice, we can impose a death penalty nationwide, we can strangle the efforts to eliminate gender discrimination in the area of committed relationships, and most importantly we can hang onto the house and the senate for our oligarchic masters.

In an effort to help clarify matters, I’ve dug up some reasonably meaningful assertions from several sides of the conflict. There are those who suggest I leave well enough alone, those who suggest that if we don’t fight them here, the Brits will have to fight them in Northern Ireland, the Israelis will have to fight them in Tel Aviv.

The Eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts” of the Pastafarians:

1. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Act Like a Sanctimonious Holier-Than-Thou Ass When Describing My Noodly Goodness. If Some People Don’t Believe In Me, That’s Okay. Really, I’m Not That Vain. Besides, This Isn’t About Them So Don’t Change The Subject.
2. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Use My Existence As A Means To Oppress, Subjugate, Punish, Eviscerate, And/Or, You Know, Be Mean To Others. I Don’t Require Sacrifices, And Purity Is For Drinking Water, Not People.
3. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Judge People For The Way They Look, Or How They Dress, Or The Way They Talk, Or, Well, Just Play Nice, Okay? Oh, And Get This In Your Thick Heads: Woman = Person. Man = Person. Samey – Samey. One Is Not Better Than The Other, Unless We’re Talking About Fashion And I’m Sorry, But I Gave That To Women And Some Guys Who Know The Difference Between Teal and Fuchsia.
4. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Indulge In Conduct That Offends Yourself, Or Your Willing, Consenting Partner Of Legal Age AND Mental Maturity. As For Anyone Who Might Object, I Think The Expression Is Go F*** Yourself, Unless They Find That Offensive In Which Case They Can Turn Off the TV For Once And Go For A Walk For A Change.
5. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Challenge The Bigoted, Misogynist, Hateful Ideas Of Others On An Empty Stomach. Eat, Then Go After The B*******.
6. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Build Multimillion-Dollar Churches/Temples/Mosques/Shrines To My Noodly Goodness When The Money Could Be Better Spent (Take Your Pick):

a. Ending Poverty
b. Curing Diseases
c. Living In Peace, Loving With Passion, And Lowering The Cost Of Cable
I Might be a Complex-Carbohydrate Omniscient Being, But I Enjoy The Simple Things In Life. I Ought To Know. I AM the Creator.

7. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Go Around Telling People I Talk To You. You’re Not That Interesting. Get Over Yourself. And I Told You To Love Your Fellow Man, Can’t You Take A Hint?
8. I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You If You Are Into, Um, Stuff That Uses A Lot of Leather/Lubricant/Las Vegas. If the Other Person Is Into It, However (Pursuant To #4), Then Have At It, Take Pictures, And For The Love Of Mike, Wear a CONDOM! Honestly, It’s A Piece of Rubber. If I Didn’t Want It To Feel Good When You Did It I Would Have Added Spikes, Or Something.

Chapter 2 of the Book of the Prophet April:

1. And the Invisible Pink Unicorn spoke unto me, and said, “Write this stuff down.”
2. Therefore did I search my pockets, and came up with a bunch of 3×5 index cards, and also a ballpoint pen.
3. Then did Her Equine Self touch the pen with Her marvellous horn, and lo! it turned pink! And I was much amazed, and began jotting down this account.
4. And I said unto the Principle of Unicornity, “If we’re going to be really appropriate, shouldn’t this be in invisible ink?”
5. Surely then was the Great One annoyed, and She spake, and said, “Do not be a wise-ass, my child, unless you want a hoof-print in your forehead. But, if you must know, when you post this to the Internet, which is the centre of My worship, then indeed shall the pinkness of the writing be invisible.”
6. Thus was I first afflicted by the terrible jokes of Her Invisible Pink Glory.
7. And the Unicorn spoke again, saying, “Write this. First, know that there is not merely one doom reserved for unbelievers, but a Very Big Number. Therefore am I shown to be greater than any other deity.
8. For who else can boast the Hell #655, wherein transgressors are punished by having to listen to the endless drivel of uncountable net.kooks?”
9. “Who else can boast Hell #333, where fundamentalists are continually sawn in half by stage magicians?”
10. “Oh, and note down that there is no Hell #666.
11. For that would be too easy.”
12. So did I write all that down, and the Invisible Unicorn said, “Come again next week.”
13. And the Holy Writings on the Sacred 3×5 Index Cards in the Blessed (Invisible) Pink Ink were put in the Very Devout Plastic File Box, where I left them, buried in the sands of A/sa/teague.

The most catholic and holy Bishop of Pittsburgh (invoking another esteemed hierarch, this one European and wearing a Red Hat) says,

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria, wrote in an op ed piece in the July 7, 2024, New York Times: “Evolution in the sense of common ancestry may be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”

God directs his creation toward its completion or perfection through what we call Divine Providence. This means that God has absolute sovereignty over all that he has made, and guides his creation according to the divine plan of his will. At the same time, both the evidence of the world that we discover by our human intellect and the testimony of Sacred Scripture show that for the unfolding of his plan God uses secondary causes, including the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, as well as the cooperation of our own human intellect and will.

I have first hand knowledge that it is NOT intelligent design that leads us to call Providence “Divine,” for if there had been intelligent design then the damn big-dig would have long ago been completed to everyone’s satisfaction and Logan would be the terminus of choice in that part of New England. But today, rather than fly into Logan, particularly if you are visiting the Cape, it is obvious that Providence, yes — Divine Providence — is a better choice.

Be that as it may, the Darwinians and the Dawkinsians also deserve to have their positions clarified here, but I just don’t have time for a reasonable bunch of people who don’t have a creed to shove down someone’s throat. Atheists? Agnostics? They’re all going to hell anyway.

Squirrel watching…

We have the feeders up and stocked, a fresh order of books in from Amazon…

… so we’re ready for the squirrels, and all I can say is “Bring it on.”