Sometimes a picture tells so much. This one is particularly funny.
You paid for it. You own it.
It’s Friday again, and something must be funny. How about a criminal who figures it’s cool to come to court flashing police lights in traffic:
Holland-Harris, 31, of Norwood, pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in a controlled drug and faced a maximum $50,000 fine, 10-year jail term or both.
She was arrested at Enfield on May 26, 2016 inside a blue Kia sedan that used flashing police-style lights to move through traffic. The car was being driven by Benjamin Michael Stacey, who was also charged over the incident.
Police seized the sword, a loaded air rifle and stolen tools from the vehicle, while Holland-Harris had both drugs and $4760 cash on her person.
In sentencing, Judge Stretton said Holland-Harris had a total of 12.35g of MDMA in various forms, including powder and tablets, and 5.34g of methamphetamine.
He said a subsequent search of her house yielded a further 48.5g of MDMA and 9.28g of methamphetamine.
Yes, that does show a certain level of humor.
Yes, at the first sign of trouble, what you need to do is whip out your trusty side arm and start blazing away. That’s the way to make sure the rest of your day is going to be interesting:
Three charged in shooting after Spencer talk
Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with an incident in which a shot was fired.
Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with a shooting, according to Gainesville police.
William Henry Fears, 30; Colton Gene Fears, 28; and Tyler Eugene Tenbrink, 28; were charged with attempted homicide and held in the Alachua County jail. Tenbrink was also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon.
People, the Second Amendment gives you the right to keep and carry weapons. But what good is it if you never get a chance to open fire? Opportunity awaits. Use your imagination.
And I thought, “This is really funny.” Then I thought maybe it’s not so funny. Actually, it is funny. Here it is:
Woman Arrested For Training Squirrels To Attack Her Ex-boyfriend
45-year old Janice Smith was captured toward the beginning of today by officers of the Detroit Police Department, for supposedly catching various squirrels and preparing them to assault her previous sweetheart.
The casualty, 51-year old James Robinson, was probably assaulted by the rodents on more than twelve events in the course of the most recent month.
These assaults caused him numerous genuine wounds, including the loss of two fingers and one gonad, gnawed off by his assailants.
The poor man had no clue why squirrels continued assaulting him until the point when he saw his ex, a previous carnival creature coach, cheering the creatures amid one of the assaults.
What I’m thinking is I ‘m not even going to check with Snopes to see whether this is genuine. It is just too funny.
I like to remind my readers that the National Rifle Association is their friend, always ready to protect their Second Amendment freedoms. Nobody appreciates this concern more than Radee Labeeb Prince, 37 years old:
The man believed to have killed three people in a “targeted attack” near a Maryland business and also suspected in a later shooting in Delaware was apprehended by police in Delaware Wednesday evening after a manhunt that stretched on for hours.
Thankfully for Mr. Prince, the NRA was there to look out for his rights. Although Mr. Prince may not have been allowed to possess a handgun legally, that would not have been much of a problem. If a dealer had sold him the weapon he used, it’s possible a considerable waiting period and a comprehensive background check would not have thwarted the transaction. If Mr. Prince had purchased the weapon at a gun show, there would have been no background check, and there would have been no record of the transaction forwarded to legal authorities. Similarly if Mr. Prince had purchased the gun from an individual. Same for if an individual had given Mr. Prince the weapon with no money changing hands. Had Mr. Prince stolen the weapon, it would have been the first time in its recent history that a law had been broken, but there would have been no requirement for the previous owner to report the theft, along with the weapon’s serial number.
No, there was little if anything to prevent Mr. Prince, despite his legal history, from having the weapon he used to kill three and to injure three others. We can be so thankful that Mr. Prince’s Second Amendment rights have organizations such as the NRA to protect them. And the elected officials who take their money.
Humor comes in multiple flavors. Sometimes it is somebody else’s bad luck. Other times it is something so bizarre you cannot imagine somebody doing it. Like this:
A randy couple are facing jail for allegedly making a series of explicit public porno films including one in a Burger King.
Police in Louisiana say they discovered images which suggest the pair filmed graphic scenes inside a public library, supermarket and the popular fast food restaurant.
The Smoking Gun reports the married couple are now facing obscenity charges — which could lead to a jail term.
Funny for us. Not so much for Elizabeth and Rex Jernigan. Out on bail, the pair are exploiting the publicity to promote their porn site. They have truly come to conclude that at Burger King you can have it your way.
Yes, the picture says it all. Some may not know, but I subscribe to the newsletter of Dallas, Texas, Pastor Robert Jeffress, head of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. This came in an email to me shortly after 58 people were murdered by a millionaire gunman, who subsequently killed himself. Over 500 others were otherwise injured. The message is that financial gain knows no missed opportunity.
The email came with a link to a page hawking one of Pastor Jeffress’ books:
REQUEST YOUR COPY OF A PLACE CALLED HEAVEN: 10 SURPRISING TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR ETERNAL HOME
Start living today with eternity fresh in mind!
Brand-new hard-cover book from Dr. Jeffress and the ministry-exclusive DVD/CD set opens the Scripture to answer your questions about heaven!
• Three popular myths about God and Heaven
• Is Hell a real place … and would God really send someone there?
• Six things you and your loved ones can do to prepare for Heaven
Please be as generous as possible — and learn as much as possible — about your everlasting home!
Use the form below to request the book with a generous gift to Pathway to Victory.
You are asked to select amounts of $25, $50, $100, $250.
First Baptist in Dallas is, if nothing else, about money. From Wikipedia:
Under Dr. Jeffress’ leadership, the First Baptist Church of Dallas broke ground on the construction of a new 3,000-seat Worship Center. As of 2013, it was the largest Protestant church building campaign in modern history. The $130 million church campus officially opened for Easter Sunday worship on March 31, 2013
Not mentioned in the above item, the perception in Dallas is that First Baptist serves the richest and the most conservative clientèle of a rich and conservative cluster. Jeffress’ conservative politics are never to be questioned. Wikipedia:
Dr. Jeffress is a Fox News contributor and a faith advisor to President Donald Trump.
Jeffress supported Governor Rick Perry in the Republican presidential primaries for the 2012 presidential nomination. On October 7, 2011, he provoked a national controversy when he introduced Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, by indicating that one of Perry’s rivals, Romney, of Massachusetts, is opposed to Christianity. According to Jeffress, Romney’s Mormonism contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ. He had previously made a similar statement during the 2008 presidential primaries. Nevertheless, in April 2012, Jeffress endorsed Romney for president because of the pastor’s strong opposition to the re-election of Barack Obama.
I may be missing something, but the perception is there is a common theme running through here. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.
Laura Ingraham has been popping up on my news feeds for the past few years, always in relation to some conservative viewpoint. I never paid much attention before. It’s time. From Wikipedia:
Laura Anne Ingraham (born June 19, 1963) is an American TV and radio talk show host, author, and conservative political commentator. She hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, The Laura Ingraham Show, is the editor-in-chief of LifeZette, a long time Fox News Channel contributor, and starting October 30, 2017 will host her own FNC show, The Ingraham Angle, weeknights at 10 p.m.
All right. I’m comfortable with that. Here’s what brings me some distress:
Ingraham: “I also think we should remember that we’ve done a lot to kick Christianity, God, to the curb in our society in the way we treat each other, in some government policy, in our schools”
That’s from a recent post on MediaMatters. The quote is apparently from a session of Fox & Friends on 3 October. There is some more, but the salient point is the matter of kicking God to the curb. Others commented:
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): You mentioned religion. We all have our cross to bear, right? We all are sinners, and we fall short. This guy, his brother said, did not have religion in his life. You wear your cross. I heard you last night say you went to St. Patrick’s to pray. There were a lot of people there lighting candles and praying. And then I heard you say Big & Rich, when they sang on stage “God Bless America” an hour before some of [the concertgoers] were killed to go meet God, that you said that was such a gift to their families, and I agree with you.
Earhardt remarks the Las Vegas shooter had no religion, and she mentions this as though it were significant. The fact is, having a religion seems not to matter when it comes to mass murder:
How much does it cost to kill 14 people and terrorize a city?
About $4,500, according to an NBC News analysis of the pre-tax cost of the guns and explosives assembled by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik for their attack on an office holiday party in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
In this case two deeply religious people went on a killing spree, all in the name of religion. To be sure, Ingraham and others will argue this is not the religion they want in our schools. Really? These people prayed to the same God that Christians and Jews pray to. It’s the God of Abraham, the same Abraham who was willing to kill his son on instructions from God. But it’s not Christianity. That makes a difference?
Eric Robert Rudolph (born September 19, 1966), also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American domestic terrorist convicted for a series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured over 120 others.
Rudolph is not alone in demonstrating that Christian belief is no inoculation against mayhem:
James Charles Kopp (born August 2, 1954) is an American citizen who was convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Barnett Slepian, an American physician from Amherst, New York who performed abortions. Prior to his capture, Kopp was on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. On June 7, 1999 he had become the 455th fugitive placed on the list by the FBI. He was affiliated with the militant Roman Catholic anti-abortion group known as “The Lambs of Christ“.
“Lambs of Christ,” indeed. When do we get to meet the Goats of Christ. But I wax sarcastic. Issues with Laura Ingraham run deeper. Getting back to the Las Vegas shooting:
On the October 5 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham used her platform to spread conspiracy theories about the massacre in Las Vegas, NV. Ingraham claimed photos of the shooter’s room “were selectively leaked” to the media and “look[ed] like a scene from a Law & Order” episode because everything is “perfectly laid down.” Ingraham implied that these selective photos were staged and leaked to support Democrats who were “speaking from the same [gun control] script” since the attack. Ingraham also baselessly suggested that the shooter was inexperienced with firearms and “clearly in poor health” to cast doubt on the possibility he acted alone.
To be sure, law enforcement agencies are thinking the shooter may have had an accomplice, but it’s not due to his state of health. Unlike many jihadists of late, the Las Vegas shooter appeared to have an escape plan. That said, no accomplice has been identified. The above from MediaMatters is a summation. A pertinent quote is in order:
INGRAHAM: Selective leaking of photos. The press has an overwhelming lack of curiosity as to why those photos were selectively leaked, and where are the other photos? Where are the press folks asking questions about the check-in of Mr. Paddock? When he checked-in by himself, 10 significant-sized bags that held these weapons? Where’s that? Where’s the video? You’re releasing video of body cam — like one body cam video, as far as I can tell just one. You know all those police officers had body cams. One body cam video. And these pictures of the cart and the — it’s just very curious. But you notice how the media, they’re only on gun control. They’re not on — well, wait a second. How is this even possible for one man, with no significant weapons training —
I note from Wikipedia that “In 2012, Ingraham was rated as the No. 5 radio show in America,” and that is telling on the American audience. The quote above indicates there is not a boat load of deep insight going to waste here. And, yes, you guessed it. Ingraham is not alone in casting about for conspiracies. My Facebook feed is alive with them [a bunch of stuff deleted]:
It is becoming apparent a bunch of people did not get the memo. It is wrong to believe in false stuff, and it especially wrong to believe in false and stupid stuff. Some people are unclear on the concept. Who, you might ask? How about a favorite of all, former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson:
Yes, Pat Robertson blamed the Vegas shooting on ‘disrespect’ for Trump and the national anthem
The Las Vegas attack was the result of disrespect for President Trump, televangelist Pat Robertson told his viewers Monday.
There is “violence in the streets,” Robertson said, because “we have disrespected authority. There is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation. They say terrible things about him. It’s in the news; it’s in other places.”
That is, of course, depressing to hear. People disrespecting the President of the United States. Even worse, it’s causing death and destruction. Particularly, 58 (one count is 59) people were murdered at a Las Vegas musical concert Sunday night, and over 500 were injured. I would be the last to downplay the connection, but I’m thinking this may deserve some Skeptical Analysis.
First, an analysis of what motivated the supposed shooter, one Stephen Paddock. Obviously he was thrown off track by all the indignities being heaped upon the current president. The connection is clear. Clear, that is, to former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson. Drawing that conclusion from the void of evidence spilling out of the case takes a mind of immense comprehension. Or else a mind of immense disjuncture. I will leave it up to the reader to decide which.
Then there is the matter of scorn being heaped on a sitting president. Pat may have a point there.
Anyhow, these came across my wire, mostly by way of Facebook, in the past months. How’s that for respecting the office of President of the United States? But then, nothing has been said about disrespect for President Trump. So, let’s talk about it.
Are you tired yet of disrespecting this President? I’m not. I’m just getting warmed up.
Meanwhile, Pat, while you still have two braincells to keep each other company, think before you make any more absurd statements.
Did I? Yes, I’m sure I did. I already mentioned I subscribe to a newsletter from the Media Research Center (MRC). They are a news-corralling outfit with a conservative bent. They figure mainstream news outlets are slanted left, and their aim is to provide a right-leaning shove. They provide an enlightening look at the hurt pride of conservatives, who think the world is not giving them a fair shake. That said, here is something from a recent missive:
The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets.
The item includes a link:
CNN: Zilch on Menendez Trial Bombshell, 2 Hours on Price Plane
By Mike Ciandella | September 29, 2017 4:35 PM EDT
The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets (this coverage was all before Price’s resignation).
Yes, that does sound a bit one-sided. All this talk about Tom Price’s obsession with plane travel and barely a squeak on the notorious Senator Menendez. Indeed, CNN’s most recent coverage, from a Google search, is four days old:
Menendez prosecutors begin tying friend’s campaign donations to senator’s political favors
Newark, New Jersey (CNN)An official at US Customs and Border Protection told jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez’s federal bribery trial Thursday that she received a “somewhat odd” request from the New Jersey Democrat’s staffer on January 11, 2013, asking the agency to hold off delivering cargo scanning equipment to the Dominican Republic.
And more, of course. Considering there may have been television content not posted to the Internet, I checked YouTube and could find nothing more recent. What could be the reason CNN is not dragging the Menendez trial across the screen hourly, while it’s jumping all over former Secretary Price’s ride fest? What, indeed?
Could it be the facts of the Menendez case have been aired for months and years, and the trial is a public rehash? And the Tom Price affair hit the pavement with a bounce over the past few days? Could be.
Note to the MRC, if conservatives feel feel they can’t get a break from the world of real news, there are some things they can do to turn this around. Here are some suggestions to get them started:
- Quit denying the science behind biological evolution.
- Quit pretending there is a magical person in the sky who smiles on American conservative values.
- Quit insisting that guns do not kill people.
- Shake loose that corrosive element of white supremacists and Nazis who dog your campaign rallies.
- Quit promoting and electing a presidential candidate whose campaign comprised a 15-month long litany of bald-faced lies and personal insults.
When you get that cleared off your plate, come back, and I will give you the second installment. It took conservatives decades to dig the hole they’re in. They should not expect a miracle fix by the end of the year.
And may Jesus have mercy on your souls.
I get a bunch of my story ideas from Facebook. Let me restate that. I get almost all my story ideas from Facebook. This one came through my feed yesterday, courtesy of a Facebook friend. See the image. It’s a screen shot from Facebook, and I’ve turned down the brightness so you can read the name of the originating publication at the bottom. It’s TheFederalist.com. And here’s what’s interesting.
The lined story was posted by Bre Payton, who is a staff writer covering culture and millennial politics, and she has some interesting things to say about the just started trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey:
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial has gotten very little attention from members of the media. When they do talk about it, they like to leave out the fact he’s a Democrat.
And that is strange on two levels. First, the media—meaning mean stream news outlets—pay little attention to (do not report much on) the Senator Menendez trial. Second, when they do talk about it, they neglect to mention that Menendez is a Democrat. Double strange, because double false.
Mainstream media have been reporting on the Menendez trial. CNN:
Newark, New Jersey (CNN)As he walked into the federal courthouse in New Jersey, Sen. Bob Menendez became emotional.Speaking to reporters gathered in the rain Wednesday, he appeared to choke back tears as his son and daughter stood by his side.“Never, not once, not once have I dishonored my public office,” said Menendez, a Democrat.
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford” by accepting luxury trips and other favors from a wealthy doctor seeking political influence, a government prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during opening statements of the Democrat’s corruption trial.
A federal prosecutor said Wednesday the case against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is about a corrupt politician who, “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford, and a greedy eye doctor,” CBS News’ Pat Milton and Erica Brown report.
Prosecutor Peter Koski methodically and meticulously laid out the U.S. government’s corruption case against 63-year-old Menendez, a Democrat, who is charged with accepting bribes including lavish vacations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor, in exchange for political influence and favors to advance his business interests.
WASHINGTON — The first U.S. senator to face bribery charges in nearly four decades goes on trial Wednesday in a case that could affect the Senate’s partisan makeup and the fate of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.
Robert Menendez, a Democrat in his 12th year as a senator from New Jersey, is charged with using his influence to do favors for a Florida eye doctor accused of overbilling Medicare. In return, prosecutors say, the doctor treated Menendez to “a lavish lifestyle that included private jet rides and vacations in Paris and the Caribbean.”
Since his indictment more than two years ago, Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, and last week he reiterated that. “I am going to be exonerated,” he said in a brief interview on Wednesday with reporters following a rally protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.
I am not too sure how many of these mainstream media sources I am supposed to name in order to reveal that mainstream media are covering the Menendez trial. And they are calling him a Democrat. And they have been calling him a democrat for years. From The New York Times, 7 March 2015:
For decades, Senator Robert Menendez has been one of the immovable objects of New Jersey politics. Even now, staring down expected criminal charges, the Democratic lawmaker has vowed not to give way.
So, what am I missing here? I suspect what I am missing is that Bre Payton, who reports on culture and millennial politics, has now taken a turn at writing about the news—without first reading the news.
I am guessing some of the people who commented on the Facebook post are in the same situation. Here are some comments on Facebook, without naming names:
It wouldn’t surprise me if the piece is right about it being under-reported, especially the fact that he is a Democrat. Like the author says, the NY Times piece neglected to say he was a Democrat until it was edited a few hours later, and even then it was placed in the fourth paragraph. I would lay odds that if Menendez had been a Republican, the Times would have featured that fact much more prominently, maybe even in the title.
Imagine if he were a hated Republican. It would be a top story and the only story in many cases. As things are everyone expects that Democrats lie cheat and steal so it’s not news.
Imagine if you were actually adding something to the conversation rather than spouting off emotionally charged nonsense…
Hmmmm…. So you don’t think that pointing out the contrast between the way that “the media” treats republicans and democrats is adding anything. It’s not nonsense because it’s true. It’s also not emotionally charged, just a simple observation. Just trying to understand. You must be one of those that thinks that there is no real difference in the way that the media treats public figures. Either that or you think that all republicans are bad and so deserved to be treated differently. Which is it?
Apparently a bit of persecution complex is showing. To paraphrase, “The mainstream heads won’t hype the dirt unless it’s about a Republican.” For “Republican” you can substitute “conservative” or “Christian” or “white person.”
For the record, I’ve been on the story for several years:
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and wealthy donor Salomon Melgen on Wednesday with participating in a long-running bribery scheme.
New Jersey’s senior senator used his office to benefit the Florida eye doctor in exchange for nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions, prosecutors say.
A 68-page indictment outlines 14 criminal counts against Menendez, 61, including eight counts of bribery. Melgen, a 61-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., ophthalmologist, faces 13 counts, also including eight bribery counts.
That’s from 2 April 2015. Maybe Bre Payton needs to follow my blog.
To be sure, Bre Payton’s story posted to The Federalist pointed out that The New York Times was slow coming around to the fact that Menendez is a Democrat:
On Sunday, The New York Times published a 1,288-word article about the trial, which begins Wednesday, without once mentioning Menendez’s political party affiliation. The newspaper of record then stealth-edited the piece hours later. The updated version identifies the New Jersey senator once in the fourth paragraph as a Democrat.
I like the phrase “stealth-edited.” Stealthy. In the middle of the night. When nobody was looking. So nobody would notice the Times was trying to play favorites. Good try, Payton, and welcome to the world of real news. If you worked for a real news outlet you would know it works something like this:
Editor: Nick [Corasaniti], did you write this? (Of course he did.)
Nick: Yes (gulp), sir.
Editor: I just read it. It’s already on the streets. You failed to mention Menendez is a Democrat.
Editor: Fix it right now. Fix the on-line edition and print a correction in today’s edition.
I would like to contrast that with how things are done in the not-so-mainstream media:
The conspiracy-choked story of Seth Rich’s killing has made a sudden comeback thanks to Fox News, but the latest reporting seems to have generated more controversy than credibility.
Rich’s family is demanding a retraction from Fox for airing unsubstantiated claims about the Democratic National Committee staffer, whose death last year generated a wild river of theories and innuendo about who was behind it.
Fox’s latest reporting on the unsolved crime has an odd twist: Much of its work relies on a private investigator who is also a Fox News contributor. The investigator, in turn, is being funded by a frequent Fox News guest.
I would not bother to bring up this item, except that with Fox News this has been the modus operandi for much of its existence. Please do not ask me to cite additional examples, and I will not ask you to read them when I post them.
This series is supposed to be about funny things, so I’m wondering whether this story applies. I’m going to guess it does, provided I define ironic as funny.
Rapper Shot and Killed After Claiming ‘God Made Me Bulletproof’
God made me bulletproof 🙏🙏
— Yung Mazi (@yungmazibwa) December 27, 2016
Apparently last Sunday was God’s day off.
Friday again. How about another tale of stupid criminals. They are always a lot of fun. Here’s one from merry old England:
Armed robber Andrew Hennells was caught after he boasted on Facebook about his plans to raid a supermarket in a post which included a selfie, a picture of a knife, and the words: “Doing. Tesco. Over.”
Police caught him 15 minutes later with the knife and £410 in cash stolen from a Tesco in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.
He was jailed for four years last April.
Some criminals like to brag to their pals about their extra-legal exploits. A booth in the local pub would be a bad idea. Worse yet would be on live TV or on Facebook, both about the same. These are the funny ones.
It’s Tuesday again, and the names of those who died for Jesus continues to be drawn from the record of years past. This week we commemorate the sacrifice of Garrett Dean Eells to the healing power of faith:
Oregon woman fights Idaho faith healing laws
On a serene, windswept hill outside of Boise is a cemetery called Peaceful Valley. It is where some Followers of Christ members bury their dead. Of the more than 550 graves, at least 144 appear to be of children under 18 years old. At least 12 of those children have been buried since 2011, including Garret Dean Eells. The coroner said he died from untreated pneumonia. He was six days old.
KOIN Channel 5 in Portland, Oregon, reports on a continuing issue. The story concerns members of a church in Oregon City called Followers of Christ. Oregon law previously protected parents who, for religious purposes, did not provide proper medical treatment for their children. In Idaho, where young Garrett Dean Eells died, the same church continues to practice faith healing without fear of legal retribution. Children continue to die.
It’s now over a year since I started posting these, one each week. If a person were not cautious, a person would conclude that Jesus has an inordinate love for the young and helpless. He takes so many of them under his wing. A previous post marked the sacrifice of young Monica Johnson. Now I mark the passing of her sister:
“What seems to be happening is that the children are doing fine and then they take a turn for the worse very quickly,” said Robert Levenson, director of the Philadelphia Health Department’s division of disease control.
Indeed, after 9-year-old Monica Johnson died last Sunday, a health department doctor visited the other 11 children in the family and, while not permitted to conduct an actual physical exam, found no cause for alarm. But early this morning Monica’s 13-year-old sister, Tina-Louise, died.
Monica, Tina-Louise, plus 9-year-old Karen Still, all died in a measles outbreak associated with, and to the fault of, two fundamentalist Christian churches in Philadelphia in 1991. The New York Times reported then:
Measles and Faith Combine In 5 Deaths in Philadelphia
By TAMAR LEWIN, Special to The New York Times
Published: February 16, 1991
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15— Five children have died in a measles outbreak here in the last 10 days, all of them from families that belong to two fundamentalist churches that preach a reliance on prayer, not medical care, to cure disease.
The churches, the Faith Tabernacle Congregation and the First Century Gospel Church, each run their own schools, which together have about 350 students who have never been inoculated against measles or other diseases.
I have chosen to dribble these deaths out one at a time, week upon week, every Tuesday morning, in order to drive home a point. This problem is not come and gone. It persists. On a daily basis people are using religion as a license to kill—their children. So long as I can obtain the name or death report of a child, or an adult, who has fallen victim to this cultural monstrosity, I will post the details on a Tuesday.
What goes around comes around, apparently. We have seen the Church of Scientology previously:
I have some previous acquaintance with the Church of Scientology, so the term “Going Clear” wasn’t strange. “Going clear” is a term used in Scientology to mean going through their auditing process and clearing yourself of whatever Scientology means for you to clear yourself of. Something like twenty years ago a friend in Dallas told of his encounter with a Scientology recruiter. I contacted him to confirm my recollections. He did not recall the telling, but back then he said the recruiter told him he could go clear for only $16,000. My friend now reminds me people are paying much more.
Lawrence Wright’s book touts the history of the church, from a plot hatched by a prolific science fiction writer to a repressive cult to a 21st century financial enterprise. Cult aspects are highlighted by the church’s practice of “rehabilitation,” a scheme worked to keep members in line. Wright recounts the experience of member Hana Eltringham:
When she returned to the Apollo, she was shocked by the hellish changes that had taken place. In January 1974, Hubbard issued Flag Order 3434RB, creating the Rehabilitation Project Force. The stated goal was to rehabilitate Sea Org members whose statistics were down or who might be harboring subversive thoughts against Hubbard or his technology. Because the RPF provided a second chance for those who might otherwise be fired, Hubbard saw it as an enlightened management technique, the sole purpose of which was “redemption.” When Eltringham came aboard, she found dozens of crew members housed in the old cattle hold belowdecks, illuminated by a single lightbulb, sleeping on stained mattresses on the floor. They were dressed in black overalls, called boiler suits, and forbidden to speak to anyone outside their group. They ate using their hands from a bucket of table scraps, shoveling the food into their mouths as if they were starving.
Wright, Lawrence. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (pp. 154-155). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Episodes related in the book appeared to stop short of involuntary confinement, at least to the extent that would stand up in court. All that seems to be in the rear view mirror now. The church may at last be meeting some harsh reality:
Scientology Rehab Facilities Shutdown After Holding Patients Against Their WillMay 5, 2017 by
Scientology facilities in Tennessee are closed down after police find patients are being held against their will.
The Cannon Courier reports three suspects have been charged and multiple rehabilitation facilities have been permanently closed in Cannon County after local police found patients being held against their will at psychiatric facilities owned and run by the Church of Scientology.
A statement from the Cannon County Sheriff’s office said:
The Cannon County Sheriff’s Department would like to make the general public of this county aware that the Scientology facilities are closed and not operating in Cannon County.
A number of Hollywood notables lend their shine to the cult, including:
Documentary film maker Alex Gibney has produced Going Clear, based on Wright’s book. I hope to obtain a copy and do a review.
Yes, it certainly does. ABC World News Tonight With David Muir had the story last night:
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was warned by the Pentagon against receiving payments from foreign governments in 2014 after leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., revealed today.
Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, released three documents on Flynn, including a letter from the DIA counsel’s office in response to an inquiry from Flynn in October 2014.
The letter, a primer on ethics restrictions that apply to retired military officers, warned that Flynn was prohibited from receiving foreign payments without prior approval, under the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“The Pentagon’s warning to Gen. Flynn was bold, italicized and could not have been clearer,” Cummings said at a news conference today.
That General Flynn did not pick up on this legal technicality is mind-numbing, considering he is an expert on criminal intent. As recently as last July he was giving sound legal advice to chanting crowds.
It certainly does come around, doesn’t it.
Well, you know what follows.
Donald Trump’s first pick as his National Security Advisor was soon his ex pick for National Security Advisor. It was not the first time the retired lieutenant general was shown the door. The previous president had the pleasant task three years ago. As I previously wrote about that:
According to The New York Times, Flynn exhibited a loose relationship with facts, leading his subordinates to refer to Flynn’s repeated dubious assertions as “Flynn facts”
I have heard around baseball circles, “It’s not over until it’s over.” It’s not over.
Yesterday ABC World News Tonight with David Muir had the story (see the image above):
Today, a turning point. The top Republican and Democrat on the House Oversight Committee emerging in agreement, saying Flynn failed to disclose his business dealings with Russia and likely broke the law.
How many ways are there to say, “Lock her up!”
Yesterday’s edition of The New York Times has amplification:
Flynn May Have Broken Law by Not Disclosing Russia Dealings, Lawmakers Say
I have not polled my liberal, especially Democratic, friends on the matter, but for me there is no end to the joy I am obtaining. Watching Donald Trump and his administration fold under the weight of missteps and bold face lies is a sight to behold. We should quit whining and enjoy this while it lasts.
And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.
Apparently Jesus does save. Saves on the cost of health care. Also the cost of college tuition and the cost of public schooling for children. Because with Jesus you don’t need all this stuff. Because you are by then with Jesus:
Pennsylvania pastor charged in faith-healing death of 2-year-old granddaughter
A pastor in a fundamentalist Christian sect that rejects doctors and drugs has been charged in the death of a child — his own granddaughter — from medical neglect.
The novel prosecution is raising hopes among some advocates that it might spur change in a church that has resisted it.
Faith Tabernacle Congregation has long told adherents to place their trust in God alone for healing. As a result, dozens of children, mostly in Pennsylvania, have died of preventable and treatable illnesses.
Apparently we have not heard the last of Faith Tabernacle Congregation. Ella Foster has. She is with Jesus now.