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July 28th, 2009
08:19 pm
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Forget zombies. They are so 3 seconds ago. It is the robots we must fear.

First there was the Flesh-eating robot, EATR.

Biomass-Eating Military Robot

Now the evil metal is attacking us outright!

Robot attacked Swedish factory worker

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April 25th, 2009
10:12 am
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Golly, I dunno
25 years ago, I got aboard a bus in skid row Los Angeles and, addressing the black bus driver, I said something wherein I remarked, "Golly," to express mild surprise or bewilderment, and the driver laughed in some mild astonishment of his own, saying, "You just said 'Golly.' That's not something I hear people say any more these days. It's kind o' nice to hear mild language like that."

I have to admit that my use of the word was a case of my being very deliberately corny or "square" or a hayseed. (Just as my using those describers is.) Not unnaturally so. 'Golly' is a good word, and I wore it well, I wear it well, in all sincerity and with not a trace of affectation nor irony.

About that. Not a trace of affectation nor irony. My Freshman year at Windsor Mountain School in 1968 I had my first encounter with natural-sounding black-American vernacular in the person of fellow freshman Boo-Boo Monk, daughter of the jazz musician. Boo-Boo used words and phrases that were strange to me, and which, had I attempted to use them, would have sounded pretentious. It would have been as if i were attempting to sound black, without my being black.

But "golly?" Now, "golly" is a word that I can lay claim to as being of my culture and (generally speaking) of my generation. Oh, it was ten years out-of-date by the time I was a teenager, but that is of little moment. Now, it may be that "golly" is an expression one may associate more with youth than maturity. Nevertheless, its strong evocation is cultural. As such, it is my culture. I get to use "golly" with a straight face and not a trace of self-consciousness. And that is one of the things I like about the word. It is a case of language which is  culturally defining.

Who is that Man, anyway?

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April 24th, 2009
06:03 am
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Hi, Perba Lee. You Jazzin Me?
John has told me a few times about how some guy says that any recordings made after 1927 or so are without merit. The last time John mentioned it a couple of days ago, he added that this remark was probably somewhat self-serving on the part of the guy who said it.

I believe what it is, it's an example of what is called hyperbole. High-PERBA-lee. That's when someone says something that is on the face of it false, a deliberate exaggeration in order to make a point, to underscore some truth.

Hence, by disparaging all music recorded since the 1920s, the speaker underscores how excellent was and is the music recorded during or before the 1920s.

Hyperbole is ubiquitous in politics.

SMITH: "My opponent in this race is a child-molester!"

JONES: "Smith has the mistaken impression that I have molested his children. His error is understandable, since I HAVE had sex with someone in his family. But it was not his children. It was his WIFE. And it was strictly a mercy fuck - I had sex with her only after she BEGGED me to, because he is such a LOUSY LAY!"

Smith and Jones engage in ad hominem argument (aka mudslinging) in order to emphasize the unworthiness of the other to hold office.

Plenty of excellent music has been recorded since the 1920s. Lately, I have been getting more into the jazz of the 1920s.

Back to the 1990s I had acquired some CDs containing 1920s jazz recordings. An Irving Berlin A Hundred Years CD with a few old recordings by Ben Selvin. A Columbia Jazz Masterpiece CD of Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, a Columbia Jazz Masterpiece CD of Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven, and a 4-disc Armstrong box set with the first 3 discs covering 1920s recordings. A CD of Bix with the Wolverines. Plus a few tracks of Eddie Lang accompanying bluesman Lonnie Johnson on a blues sampler CD.

Other CDs of assorted recordings that strictly speaking aren't categorized as jazz. E.g. blues, gospel, country, string band.

But last year I got a-hold of the 10-disc Documents box of Dixieland Jazz, plus the first 10-disc Documents box set of Louis Armstrong, and the second one, its sequel. All inexpensive, and filled with excellent music.

Then, this past month, on tips from aficionado Kerry, I tried even more, still. A couple of bands I had never heard of. The Goofus Five 1926-1927. The Mound City Blue Blowers 1924-1931. Plus more by Bix, who never blew a bad note, and whose sound I already loved. Vol.1 and Vol. 2 of Columbia Jazz Masterpiece Bix discs and a 4-disc Bix-Tram set, all covering his work with Tram circa 1927. And, now, a 4-disc set of Eddie Lang & Joe Venuti - New York Sessions 1926-1935.

How excellent was, and is, this music recorded during the 1920s!

But I cannot disparage later recordings.

I was listening to the Eddie Lang, and there was this one track which was a tune familiar to me. I couldn't place it. The play-list had it down as "Prelude." A quick google revealed it to be Prelude in C Sharp Minor by Rachmaninoff.

And it came to me where I knew it from. (Did Lang's jazz version inspire this later jazz rendition?)

Circa Fall-Winter 1975-1976 when I was an undergrad at Brockport, at the campus bookstore I bought a remainder copy of the LP, Capitol Jazz Classics Vol. 8: King Cole Trio - Trio Days.

This is beautiful jazz music. Cole's piano playing is alive and commanding and hot and cool and smooth. (It says in the liner notes that Cole was a disciple of Fatha Hines' piano playing.) Oscar Moore's electric jazz guitar is equally astounding.

This LP introduced me to the sound of a jazz trio. It made me a convert. This is one my favorite Cole albums. (Also recommended, Dream With Dean, with Dean Martin singing accompanied by his pianist, Ken Lane, and a trio, drummer Irv Cottler, bassist Red Mitchell, and guitarist Barney Kessel. But I digress.)


The first four cuts, the January 17, 1944 recording session, bear repeated play.

A1. 1944-01-17 The Man I Love
A2. 1944-01-17 Body and Soul
A3. 1944-01-17 Prelude in C Sharp Minor
A4. 1944-01-17 What Is This Thing Called Love
A5. 1944-03-06 Easy Listenin' Blues
A6. 1945-05-23 Sweet Georgia Brown
B1. 1945-11-01 This Way Out
B2. 1946-10-30 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
B3. 1947-06-25 Honeysuckle Rose
B4. 1947-08-06 Rhumba Azul
B5. 1949-03-22 Laugh! Cool Clown
B6. 1949-03-22 Bop Kick

The writer of the liner notes tells how playing the original discs back in the 1940s was a morning ritual. I followed suit after I got this album. Put Side A on when you wake up. Perfect music to start the day with. Simultaneously soothing and enervating.

Capitol Jazz Classics Vol. 8: King Cole Trio - Trio Days (1972) - Capitol M-11033.

I had bought the album out of curiosity, having hitherto had no familiarity with the King Cole Trio. My knowledge of the Cole sound was limited to what I knew from the radio as a kid in the 1960s, e.g. L-O-V-E, Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer, Mona Lisa. That, and three LPs I had bought about a year earlier.

Winter 1974-1975 at Brockport, on the strength of knowing his songs from the radio, I bought three Nat King Cole LPs issued by the budget Pickwick label. They were priced at (I think) under two bucks each, and contained tracks licensed from Capitol Records. The price was certainly an incentive.

Nature Boy LP (1970)
Pickwick Records SPC-3249 LP (1975)
Nat King Cole
Pickwick Records
A1 Nature Boy
A2 Laughing on the Outside
A3 Spring Is Here
A4 Tenderly
A5 This Is Always
B1 Until the Real Thing Comes Along
B2 The End of a Love Affair
B3 Star Dust
B4 When the World Was Young

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing LP
Nat King Cole
Pickwick Records SPC-3046 LP (196?)
A1 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (2:38)
A2 Tangerine (2:43)
A3 That's A Natural Fact (2:34)
A4 Dreams Can Tell A Lie (2:56)
A5 I'd Rather Have the Blues (2:51)
B1 If Love Is Good To Me (2:43)
B2 Breezin' Along With The Breeze (2:29)
B3 Lillette (3:00)
B4 Don't Cry, Cry Baby (3:03)
B5 Ain't She Sweet (2:50)

You're My Everything LP
Nat King Cole
Pickwick Records SPC-3154 LP (1967?)
A1 You're My Everything (2:45)
A2 Little Coquette (2:54)
A3 Magic Moments (1:53)
A4 You'll See (2:55)
A5 Bend a Little My Way (2:25)
B1 The Girl from Ipanema (2:53)
B2 Because You're Mine (3:08)
B3 Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes (2:45)
B4 Poinciana (3:55)

These albums served as my introduction to a lot of these songs, and what an excellent way to discover such songs! Excellent tunes, excellent lyrics, excellent arrangements, and an excellent voice.

No hyperbole, that.

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April 7th, 2009
09:23 pm
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Away up on old Calvary Hill

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

Monday, April 5, 2009 1:00PM

Away up on old Calvary Hill
Two thieves and a Rabbi will

Be remember for how they died:
That's where they was crucified.

But the Rabbi rose again
Compared himself to a mother hen

Calling his chicks unto him
Out there in Jerusalem

Away up on old Calvary Hill
The life he gave He's a-giving still


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March 31st, 2009
02:57 am
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When considering what Luther wrote concerning Jews, ask yourself what it meant.

In America we take free speech and non-establishment of religion for granted. But in Luther's Europe, establishment of religion was intrinsic to the culture. Christianity was the religion established by the state. German princes were Christian princes. Government was monarchy. Not democracy.

Jews rejected Christianity. They were an outsider culture that refused to assimilate. Jews practiced a religion that teaches its adherents to reject the true Jesus (Yeshua ha Mashiach Adoni). They did this where Christianity was the religion established by the state.

Jewish doctrine was and is false religious doctrine with respect to the Lord Christ Jesus. (Except when it isn't, e.g. Jews For Jesus. But your JDL types claim that Jews who accept Jesus are no longer Jewish. Similar to the claim made by Jessie Jackson types that African Americans who register Republican and vote conservative are no longer black.) In America today, sanctions for false religious doctrine apply only within the church, which is separate from the state. (And on university campuses, where, as always, the left's religion is politics.) In the kingdoms of Luther's Christian princes where the state established the Christian religion, false religious doctrine was punishable not just by the church with excommunication (withholding communion, the cup of forgiveness, unless you repent sin and recant heresy). In the kingdoms of Luther's Christian princes, false religious doctrine was also punishable by state sanctions. (This was also the case in Puritan New England; it is not as un-American as you might think.)

Luther recommended to the princes that they impose harsh sanctions on Jewish blasphemy against Jesus. Burn their houses of worship (because it was there that false religious doctrine were preached), etc. Harsh by American standards. But in Europe, pogroms were routine.

Essentially what Luther proposed were medieval sanctions on blasphemy. I.e., XVI century speech codes.

Speech codes? Where have you heard of those before? That's right! College campuses in present-day America! Civil laws in present-day Canada! Civil laws in present-day U.K.! Civil laws in present-day Scandinavian countries. Etc.

Modern-day speech codes will get you thrown in jail or otherwise punished for saying stuff that offends homosexuals and Moslems. In the old Soviet Union, if you spoke against the state, you were punished harshly. Same thing today in China, or North Korea, or Cuba, or any Communist state. Communism rejects free speech just as God does in Deuteronomy. In Moslem theocracies today, there is no freedom of speech, no free exercise of religion, no non-establishment of religion.

The kingdom of God is not a democracy. God punishes with damnation those who die in their sins. Is there free speech in Heaven? Is there freedom of religion in Heaven?

What government does God ordain for his people in the OT? Theocracy! Not democracy. Stoning for homosexual offenders and adulterers and blasphemers. Not free speech. Not freedom of religion.

America's founding fathers make a good Bible-based case for the natural rights of Man. We are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. Free speech, free exercise of religion, non-establishment of religion – it is the American way. I am for it. But don't let's impose on Luther judgments provincial to our own context. His arguments were Bible based, and while some of what he recommended with respect to Jews may seem barbaric to contemporary thought, the same can be said of the punishments ordained by God for His people Israel upon sinners in the Books of Leviticus or Deuteronomy. Or the punishments imposed by Canada for speech code violations, or by American universities for speech code violations. Or by Cuba for speaking your mind. Or by North Korea for standing for human rights. Or by China for practicing your religion. Or by Egypt or Saudi Arabia (death) for converting to Christianity from Islam.

When Jesus returns, he will set things right. Until then, Christians muddle through as best they can with the Spirit to guide them. Luther took his cues from Scripture, from Church tradition, from prevailing cultural customs, from his own zeal for true doctrine, and from his own hatred of lying doctrines. Before you judge him for doing that, take a look in the mirror.


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March 9th, 2009
11:01 pm
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FunnyBooks_and_LordJesus. What a ministry! A little over a couple of decades ago I became a comics lettercol letterhack, and I generally inserted  in my locs unattributed passages from scripture, and or references to the Lord or the faith, along with some morally or politically (or both) conservative comments about some storyline.

That got me (along with a bunch of nasty anonymous phone calls and letters) invited to participate in Alpha Omega, and I met Don Ensign, whose ministry witnessing Christ to the world of comics had been ongoing for some time, then; and still is today. I got to know a great bunch of evangelical Protestant Christians whose confessional witness dovetailed my own. (No Lutherans [sigh], much less LC-MS; but all Bible-believing; and no RCs [pardon my redundancy].) And they were all a bunch of fanboys, like me!

It was like coming home.



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December 31st, 2008
02:39 pm
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Pat gave me this for Christmas.

See BradMeltzer.com

I'm a few chapters in. Pat says he learned from it more about Superman than he ever hoped to know. Promotional write-ups say it is about Cain and Abel.

Gerdi Weiner told us that Cain murdering Abel was a story of sibling rivalry.

(Smothers' Brothers. "God always liked you best!" Bang, you're dead.)

Their father was Adam. Imagine being Adam and raising your sons. Enoch, Cain, Abel.

"Well, boys, I used to have fellowship with God. You can't know what it was like, but let me tell you, it was amazing. We lived in the Garden of Eden, and I was God's boy.

"The reason you'll never know what it was like is because I disobeyed God (and your mom did, too), and he kicked your mom and me out of the garden, and things have never been the same since. I screwed things up for you, boys.

"You'll never know the fellowship with God like what I had. Sorry about that. Too bad for you."



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November 22nd, 2008
06:13 am
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Who is Mr. White?

In Casino Royale, he is the guy referenced on Vesper's cell phone, whom Bond tracks down and shoots in the knee. In Quantum of Solace, he brags about the un-named secret criminal organization to which he is the first link known to British Intelligence. Mr. White's bragging takes the form of mentioning that the members of the secret criminal organization are so often afraid that British Intelligence has infiltrated the organization, that British Intelligence is watching them, listening in, knows their plans, and who they are; whereas it turns out that British Intelligence does not even know they exist.

But Mr. White was mentioned much earlier, at the very beginning of Casino Royale, when the African military strong man first meets Le Chifre, where Le Chifre suggests that Mr. White has told the strong man about Le Chifre.

So, what is the secret criminal organization?
Who are they?
And who is Mr . White?

Is Mr. White a Persian cat?

In the films, Blofeld almost always appears with a white Persian cat.

Blofeld is the head of the global criminal organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E. (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion).

The Daniel Craig version of James Bond re-boots the character to Bond's origin as a double 0 (license to kill) British spy, and one assumes that his evolution to super-spy saving the world and foiling nefarious plots by super-villains will occur over the space of several films.

The second film picks up where the first one left off, with the capture of Mr. White who, with the aid of his secret organization, promptly escapes. Mr. White remains an enigma, and the solution to the riddle of Mr. White has not been found.

If the series re-boot intends to evolve Bond from a thug to the spy equivalent of a super-hero, it would make sense that he will become that by confronting a nemesis worthy of any super-villain. Blofeld and his S.P.E.C.T.R.E. gang would fit that bill.

So, what is the secret criminal organization?

Who is Mr. White?
Blofeld's white Persian cat? Blofeld himself?

When is the next movie?

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05:35 am
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JESUS SAVES - Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia
National Review Online. Kathryn Jean Lopez. Roman Catholic. Roman Catholic Church.

K-Lo at NRO is always puffing the RCC. It gits teejus. I wish NRO's resident Lutheran, Mark Hemingway, would puff Lutheranism more, over there at NRO.

RCs are familiar to me, but not from an insider's perspective. Dad was raised RC, but had gone agnostic as a teen, so it was just history to me. My cousin, Father Greg Elmer (initially just Brother Greg, a Benedictine monk) at Saint Andrew's Priory in Valyermo, Calif.  His mom, Dad's sis, my late aunt Pat. Mom's mom was a daughter of German Catholic immigrants who converted to the Episcopal Church. I met Great Grandma Gern once, when I was little.

Family, in other words.

And friends.
John Rich, in Grammar School. In 6th Grade, Tracy Heaton. At Windsor Mountain School, Celeste Sullivan, and Ria Pelletreau. College pals, among whom Bruce Schlieder went Seventh Day Adventist, yay; and John White (JW, jay dubla or jay dubya), who is now studying to be an RC Deacon, God love him. And  coming from an RC family is college friend Paul Petrie of Paul and Donna.


I was mentioning to Pam Davis the other day about how Lutherans reject the notion that the ritual of Confession is a sacrament (by Lutheranism's definition of "sacrament," which is different than the RC definition), but historically Lutheranism has a ritual of Confession that conforms to Scripture.

I guess that Baptists have formal counseling from a pastor, too.

Pastoral counseling and ritual confession are probably quite similar.

Harry Miller, who is one of our community of "comics fans who are Christian," turned from evangelical Protestantism to the Roman Catholic Church.

Bruce (and Adventism generally) is virulently anti-Catholic; and he takes Jack Chic's Alberto comic book series to be a valuable expose.

But Chick comics' anti-Catholicism so often points the finger at RC immorality.


As for me (and God bless Jack Chic; he is a godly man who had done much good with his comics), I agree with Dr. Luther who, in his letter to Erasmus, remarked that he was not concerned about sin so much as he was concerned about doctrine, that he would prefer sin run rampant and doctrine be pure than that all be virtuous and doctrine corrupted.

So, for me, the RCC's moral failures are not the real issue. It's the doctrine.

Pam's brother remarked, WRT his girl-friend being RC, that Protestant church and Roman Catholic church are pretty much the same. Pat remarked that his father-in-law bristled at that remark. Understandable. They may have surface similarities, but the substance is quite different.

The RCC differs in major ways from Protestant Christianity.
What is with the whole "ecumenical movement," that they would sacrifice doctrine for the sake of unity?


Roman Catholic Church
Get rid of these and we may be able to talk.
(The RCC will never recant the Council of Trent, so there is no likelihood of any significant conversation.)

Council of Trent
(aka works righteousness: "by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" ""If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.)

Papal Infallibility ex cathedra
No. It is "Scripture Alone," my friends.

Immaculate Conception
This is another extra-Biblical doctrine.

Apocrypha as Canon / Purgatory / Indulgences (They are all connected.)

Praying to Mary / Praying to Saints

The notion that a priest must absolve a sinner of his sins for the sinner to receive salvation:
The formula of absolution has the priest saying, "I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." The priest is forgiving sin. The priest is acting in the place of Christ.

Yes, Christ forgives your sin; but clergy can only assure you that Christ extends that forgiveness.
Clegy cannot forgive sins against God.
Only God can forgive sins against God.

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October 26th, 2008
01:59 am
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image link

[img src="http://bp3.blogger.com/_cg1H8TDwZgY/RoqbkjilaQI/AAAAAAAAAE8/jyUJBLdNrCw/s1600-h/No+Liberty.JPG"]


These words appear on the cornerstone of the courthouse in the movie Big Brown Eyes (1936)

I was watching the dvd, and when I saw that quote I wrote it down because I thought it was a good quote, and wondered where it came from.

liberty1.org/roots says " ‘[T]he message of The Federalist reads: no happiness without liberty, no liberty without self government, no self government without constutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality -- and none of these great goods without stability and order.' Clinton Rossiter (Preface to Mentor Edition, 1961)"

Wikipedia says: "Clinton Rossiter (1917 – 1970) was a historian and political scientist who taught at Cornell University from 1946 until his suicide in 1970."

So, Clinton Rossiter was 19 years old in 1936. Maybe he saw that movie, too.

The following appears online in THE UNOBSERVED CONSPIRACY By Pastor Pete Peters: "There is no happiness without liberty, no liberty, without self control, no self control without constitutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality."

It appears that neither the Clinton Rossiter quote nor the Pastor Pete quote predates the movie, though Pete Peters places his non-attributed quote directly after a quote attributed to John Adams; but I find nothing to indicate it comes from Adams. Maybe Pete made it up.

The folks over at ifapray.org state: "Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay quote Clinton Rossiter in their Federalist Papers: ‘There is no happiness without liberty, no liberty without self-government, no self-government without constitutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality.'"

Amazing that those Founding Fathers all quoted someone who wouldn't be born for over another hundred years.

Could it be that Hollywood created this quote?

Balaam, a genuine prophet of God, was a non-Israelite prophet, after all, who worked for Israel's enemy.

And Elijah was fed by ravens, an unclean creature.

However unlikely it may seem, it is, after all, *concEivable* that Hollywood created the quote. (I would prefer that it came from a more respectable source. But the sentiment is still good.)


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