Saturday Ramblings: October 8, 2016

norma-bauerschmidt-72479524

INTERNET MONK RAMBLER OF THE WEEK

This week we’re inaugurating a new way to open Saturday Ramblings. Each Saturday we will give honor to a Rambler of the Week, someone who shows us what it means to live the journey of life fully.

The only qualifications will be that the person honored will exhibit interesting and praiseworthy characteristics, revealed in the context of some kind of actual journey. I’ll be scouring the internet to find such individuals (or groups) and you are welcome to submit nominations to me during the week via email (just click the link on the right top of the page).

Today, our Rambler of the week award goes posthumously to Norma Bauerschmidt, a 91-year old with endometrial cancer who decided she’d rather head out on the open road than spend the final season of her life in doctor’s offices and suffering the side effects of surgery and treatments.

When she was 90, two days after her husband of 67 years died Norma was diagnosed and the doctor recommended a hysterectomy and chemotherapy. She said no way.

Her son Tim and wife Ramie offered to have Norma come live with them and their dog Ringo. But there was a catch — they live in an RV and travel full time. “I’m 90-years-old,” Norma said. “I’m hitting the road. Let’s go have some fun. I don’t want to spend another minute in the doctor’s office.”

And so began a year-long ramble across the U.S.

Over the course of the year, they traveled nearly 13,000 miles and slept in over 75 locations in 32 states. They visited dozens of national parks, monuments and recreation areas, and Norma got to experience some smaller joys as well, like going up in a hot air balloon, riding a horse and getting a pedicure.

They made it from Michigan to the state of Washington, where Norma died last week at the age of 91.

Now she’s rambling in a better land.

• • •

IM PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENTS

The presidential election is a little more than a month away here in the U.S. We here at Internet Monk don’t like either of the major party candidates, and the “third-party” candidates appear to us to be a few cards short of a full deck. What to do in the face of this dilemma?

We want to help you find alternative candidates in whom you can put your trust to lead our country with vision, wisdom, and skill. So, for the next few weeks we’ll be recommending worthy people for your consideration. We know it’s late, but with a groundswell of support, perhaps one of these outstanding candidates can make their mark this year.

We begin with a man who is as eloquent and well-spoken as he is handsome. Internet Monk proudly recommends you consider casting your vote for Boomhauer in 2016. In the first video, Boomhauer explains his overall philosophy of life, and the second contains a compilation of his wisdom, expressed in a variety of contexts.

• • •

INTERVARSITY ASKS STAFFERS TO CHOOSE

The campus ministry InterVarsity has been conducting an 18-month study on sexuality, and now in light of their conclusions, staffers are being asked to come forward and make their opposition known if they disagree with the theological conclusions detailed in the official document that summarizes their findings. They are asking staffers to do this voluntarily, rather than asking people to assign or affirm any kind of morality clause or statement.

“We’re trusting their integrity that they’ll resign rather than continue to work with an organization that disagrees with them,” said [Greg] Jao [vice president and director of campus engagement]. “We framed it as an involuntary termination even though staff are self-disclosing. We are trying to acknowledge that they would not have chosen this except for the fact we have clarified and reiterated our position.”

The story was covered by Time magazine this week, prompting a lot of discussion. In their article, they summarized the ministry’s perspectives and position:

…“Scripture is very clear that God’s intention for sexual expression is to be between a husband and wife in marriage. Every other sexual practice is outside of God’s plan and therefore is a distortion of God’s loving design for humanity.”

The position paper also outlined theological positions against divorce, sex before marriage, pornography, cohabitation and sexual abuse, but the practical application of the study focused on implications for the LGBTQ community. The July letter [sent to staff explaining the policy] states, “We expect that all staff will ‘believe and behave in a manner consonant with our “Theological Summary of Human Sexuality” paper,’ as described by the Code of Conduct. (To ‘believe and behave’ means we [1] agree with the substance and conclusions of the ‘Theological Summary of Human Sexuality,’ [2] will not engage in sexual immorality as defined in the paper, and [3] will not promote positions inconsistent with the ‘Theological Summary of Human Sexuality.’)”

• • •

 DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?

conspiracy-theory-tinfoil-hatWant to have more fun than you can stand? Try The Conspiracy Blog, your one-stop for keeping up with the wildest and wackiest stories of the treachery and intrigue that only the truly initiated can grasp.

Some of my favorite headlines:

  • Elvis Presley was Adolf Hitler
  • Dinosaurs a Myth Designed to Undermine the Bible
  • Did Obama Have a Nose Job to Hide Davis Resemblance?

Oh, and the crackpot theory of the week:

  • Obama is Trying to Impeach Himself

You’ll find a dozen categories in which conspiracies abound, including Bible & Religion, World Governments, Historical Conspiracies, Secret Societies, and Media, Television, & News.

  • Did you know that the YMCA is a CIA front?
  • That Justin Bieber And Miley Cyrus are actually the same person?
  • That Catholics may be in conspiracy with pagan Muslims who worship the crescent moon? That Islam itself is a Vatican conspiracy?
  • That the AIDS virus came from aliens?
  • That the earthquake in Haiti was caused by a U.S. “earthquake weapon”?

I can’t get enough of this stuff!

• • •

REFORMATION MONTH: LUTHER INSULT OF THE WEEK

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• • •

POINTING OUT LITURGICAL ABUSE

Apparently, a growing trend on the internet, “liturgy shaming” finds furious believers using social media to denounce pastors or parishes that in the critics’ eyes are promoting something outrageous in the sanctuary.

liturgicaldance-thumb

Someone in a Catholic parish in Seattle, for example, posted pictures of liturgical dance from their church, clearly intending that they be ridiculed as self-indulgent and in bad taste.

William Bornhoft has written about this trend at Aleteia, ultimately concluding that it is not the best way to promote liturgical reform. Commenting on the Seattle church, he writes:

This instance of online liturgy shaming wasn’t unique in its viciousness. I followed a handful of groups on Facebook that frequently engage in this practice, including the amusingly named “SLAP” or “Survivors of Liturgical Abuse in Parishes.” The group exists in part to curate the names of renegade parishes and liturgical horror stories. The posts are often accompanied with photographic evidence, usually something shocking or cringe-worthy.

…if we step back, reflect and pray, it should become obvious that Catholics must avoid using the brute force of the Internet to “expose” liturgical problems and shame the offending parishes. It is both uncharitable and impractical — uncharitable because we often wrongly assume the worst rather than the best intentions of the parish (“they’re heretics”; “this isn’t allowed in the Church”; “they must not care for God or the Eucharist”) without knowing anything about it. It is impractical because viral shaming campaigns are not a realistic method of reform or correction in the Catholic Church. Shaming people does not encourage them to listen; it usually urges them to hide, as this parish did by closing down its Facebook page.

…As Catholics we’re still learning how to navigate the tides of the Internet effectively without falling into worldly and often sinful habits. We will all make mistakes, I’m sure, but we must continue to examine our behavior, promote what is working and throw out what is not.

• • •

 QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

636113501950853669-ap-aptopix-haiti-hurricane-matthewCan the Cubs do it, finally? They’re off to a good start!

How much more must Haiti endure?

Is the danger we’ve been told is presented by Hurricane Matthew all a liberal government conspiracy — spread to drive a point home about climate change?

Can great apes tell what people are thinking?

Have you had your flu shot yet?

According to theologian Miroslav Volf, which presidential candidate has positions most compatible with Christian faith?

Can the peace process stay alive in Colombia?

How do you turn an old lawn equipment warehouse into a $1 million home?

cubs-javier-baez-nlds-game-1-home-run
Javy goes deep to give Cubs 1-0 win over Giants.

121 thoughts on “Saturday Ramblings: October 8, 2016

  1. When Illuminati was on the game-store shelves, Space Gamer magazine had an article with an expansion pack for it: “The British Illuminati”. EVERY card was based on a Monty Python skit — Ministry of Silly Walks, Upper Class Twits, Spanish Inquisiton, etc.

    My favorite was The Spanish Inquisition, who’s special trick was always achieving Surprise. Because “NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!”

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  2. P.S. Something I half-remember from reading Dante’s Inferno over 40 years ago:

    The damned in Hell who Dante Alighieri recognizes and want to talk (i.e. those he knew IRL and wrote into Inferno) — the only thing they want to speak to Dante about is Florentine City-State Politics, Politics, Politics, Politics, Politics, Politics, and (of course) Politics.

    I wonder if this is Dante getting in another little dig?

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  3. Wisdom according to the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”
    “You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”
    “No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
    “Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
    “I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
    “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t people get rid of the lizards?”
    “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
    “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
    “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
    “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
    “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”
    “What?”
    “I said,” said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, “have you got any gin?”
    “I’ll look. Tell me about the lizards.”
    Ford shrugged again.
    “Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them,” he said. “They’re completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone’s got to say it.”

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  4. …since, like Trump, they think they should have the right to control women’s bodies, albeit in different ways than him.

    And maybe the same way as him, with all those Evangelical Sex Scandals that keep popping up.

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  5. Over the weekend, I heard a rumor that Putin has told the Russian people to “Prepare for Nuclear War” in the near future.

    And the Russian Orthodox Church (following their tradition of Sanctifying the Autocrat of All Russia) sounds like they’re about to proclaim Putin “Saint Vladimir of Holy Russia”.

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  6. QUESTION: “”””””The campus ministry InterVarsity … positions against divorce, sex before marriage, pornography, cohabitation and sexual abuse… “”””

    Note that ALL of these are SEXUAL.

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  7. Weren’t the Soviets and their fanboys into “National Sanctification” by POLITICAL POLITICAL POLITICAL Everything?

    I’m having to turn off my clock-radio immediately upon awakening just to get away from the constant drumbeat of POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS (and did I mention POLITICS?)

    As far as I’m concerned, this election is just going to choose America’s first Dictator-for-Life. Only choice is what type of Dictator — bombastic Il Duce or Comrade Beloved People’s Democratic Leader.

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  8. And now for something completely different:

    In the mural at the top, those two cars at the bottom (#s 30 & 72) look like Ferrari 250 GTOs. It’s the overall shape and three ventilation slots behind the forward wheel wells characteristic of the Ferrari 250.

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  9. It’s clear to me now. Trump is the perfect pro-life candidate. He’ll appoint justices and ban abortions because he needs more young women in his life. He’s literally like so many pro-life pastors and church leaders and young adult men’s leaders I’ve known my entire life. He’s just not “PC” about it like church people have to be.

    He’s perfect! The literal best candidate ever for the pro-life platform. He’s the most consistent pro-life candidate who has ever run.

    Vote for him!

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  10. Hi Charles,

    Greetings from Basel, Switzerland. Just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed reading your blog – thank you for sharing your life on the blog.

    I was lighting the fireplace in my flat for the first time (we just moved into this apartment in July this year)…and I thought of what I read on your blog about how you are stockpiling firewood to last you for the next couple of years…and I’m thinking wow that’s an awful lot of firewood! I made an order online from a local farm supplier for about 100kg of wood and I’m envisaging that wont last me very long at the rate I’m going! I hope you stay warm this winter. Regards, Grace.

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  11. Scrolling down a few pages, it turns out that one of the bishops on that site is a good friend of mine. I climbed Mt Katahdin with him while he was a lowly priest. His vestment is unremarkable, and the questionable crozier might have been useful on the hike, say to snag a mountain goat if we had got lost and nearly starved.

    He’s also a huge Bob Dylan fan, which makes up for a lot of sartorial misjudgment.

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  12. My favorite episode is when Bobby gets involved in a “cool” Christian youth group and Hank confronts the youth pastor: “You’re not making Jesus any better! You’re just making rock music worse!”

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  13. That’s not the whole story though. Islamic state (and other) terrorists are hiding among civilians, mostly in Aleppo. Russia’s calculus is cold, but not irrational. And there is no political analyst on any side who believes that Syria will be safer and have less bloodshed without Assad. There are no good options, but there are better and worse.

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  14. But it was in an image so I had to go old school. (Well, old school internet, I had to type it out in google)

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  15. The medias overreaction and screams of ‘you’re all going to die’ is endangering lives. It boost ratings, but enough of them cry wolf loudly and persistently and over-the-top enough, and eventually people get fatigued and ignore it. Shepard Smith at Fox is a case in point.

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  16. One of our favorite shows. My son named his Jeep Arlen, and I will occasionally respond to nosy questions of “now, who are you?” with “Rusty Shackleford.”

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  17. Mike,

    I have a son who is a catcher so I am sensitive to such things, but if you look closely, you will notice that even Buster Posey blinks at the moment the ball gets there. 😉

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  18. Yes, but I doubt those men had any idea this video existed when they announced their support for Donald Trump. Had they known, I expect they wouldn’t have supported him.

    The video may be the “October surprise” some were talking about a while back. Then again, Hillary Clinton has her own share of baggage so I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s in for an “October surprise” of her own. Both major parties owe the American people an apology for nominating such incredibly flawed candidates.

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  19. Drudge is an aggregator. He posts stuff from other news wire sources, magazine, newspapers etc. People are pissed because he has a fancy news bulletin board.

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  20. There may be no good guys in Syria’s war, Mule, but there are certainly innocents. Do you think that anyone will ever have to answer to God for the innocent blood spilled? And how do we know that we won’t be among them, even if only because of our sins of omission?

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  21. At this level of politics they have all ‘made compromises’ and are corrupt in one fashion or another. I’m for Trump because1. SCOTUS appointments. Under HRC abortion will become a Constitutional right paid for by our tax dollars. 2. Middle East policy. Why are we trying to topple the Syrian Government? Our policies over there helped create and arm ISIS and arming of ‘moderate rebels worsened the conflict. Now our ‘Saudi allies’ are funding ISIS with money they get from selling us oil. HRC and John Kerry are putting us on a collision course with Russia. This is insanity. We have been fighting over there for 15 years and toppling legitimate governments. It needs to stop now. 4. Immigration. It’s broken and needs a sane fix.. 5. Competence. Trump is new to government and the machinery will mitigate the damage he could do. Hillary is the machine and has circumvented the parts that she does not control. She would put the progressive agenda into hyper drive. I fear the outbreak of violence in that case. 5. The Clinton Foundation. The Clintons are worth $200 million. They own no factories, tech, or service companies. Don’t practice law or consult. They sell influence with the US Government to the highest bidders. This includes foreign governments. 6. She is a woman. While I believe women are perfectly capable politicians, the fact remains that our adversaries in the Middle East and in Asia DO NOT respect women especially in leadership. This puts us at a disadvantage right out of the gate when it comes to dealing with those nations, and may even embolden them.

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  22. Their are occassional bad reactions from vaccines. But they are vastly outweighed by the nast affects of not vaccinating. But necause government supports vaccination, they also look after the occasional bad reactions.

    No conspiracy. Just good governance.

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  23. There are no good guys in Syria’s war, Robert.
    There might be 15 cosmopolitan European-style Social Democrats in the whole country.

    Tribes are very useful when the police stop answering.

    The universalist sanctimoniousness on this board grates on me from time to time. When the bullets start flying, my concern for the other guy drops dramatically. Geopolitics as it is played on the ground is “how many of my guys do I want to trade for how many of your guys?” There were 800,000 Christians in Iraq when Saddam ran the place. Now there might be 80,000.

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  24. The case for vaccination is not airtight. The Government has a fund to pay out to those harmed by vaccinations and have indemnified the companies that manufacture the vaccines against lawsuits. That right there tells me that they are not always as harmless as they would lead us to believe.

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  25. As to the presidential election, I think people should consider the Natural Surealist Party. I believe Goerge Papoon may still be their candidate.

    Official slogan: “You know he’s not insane.”

    Enough said.

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  26. Wait, Assad (and the Russians) are targeting civilians in Aleppo for barrel-bombing, but he’s good for Christians and that’s what really matters?….Okay, then…gather your tribe around….

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  27. I don’t know specifically about these two, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to support Trump, as some other evangelical leaders have said they would today, since, like Trump, they think they should have the right to control women’s bodies, albeit in different ways than him. As long as there’s the slimmest hope that he would nominate anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court, Trump may have carte blanche in his treatment of women in other respects, as far as these evangelical leaders are concerned.

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  28. I was thinking the same thing earlier.

    And lets not forget poor old Cruz. His timing could not have been worse. He waits till just before the collapse, and then endorses Trump. Poor sod.

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  29. If you are talking about Trump and Hillary as people, yes she every bit as bad and maybe worse. But if you are talking about who is more likely to do something that will prove instantly catastrophic to the nation, no she is not as bad as Trump. Frankly they are both awful, and the only reason the race has been this tight is because they are both so awful.

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  30. Exactly – this is an issue I think if ‘the church’ doesn’t approach with reasonableness will only drive more people away. With all due respect to Oscar, no, I don’t “know this”. But I do know plenty of people sharing apartments and houses – as many as three people in a one-bedroom apartment, as that apartment may be $1,500/mo or more. It has a lot to do with economics.

    And when I was younger I shared a house with two women… why? Because when I gave one of them my share of the rent money I knew the rent would get paid – contrary to my experience living with four other dudes, who also left me in-the-hole with the telephone company to the tune of $700.

    Assuming everyone can [or wants] to pay for their own residence is a class and a life-style issue – – – not a moral one.

    So… I am assuming that the answer to “is there a biblical argument against cohabitation?” is “No”. As I still haven’t heard one. And a Church that wants to argue the contrary possibly should consider offering rental assistance to it’s community.

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  31. Oscar, it’s not “a scam.” Some people have reactions like yours, but tat’s a very small percentage out of the overall # of the population. I’ve been getting flu shots for 30 years, and never once have I gotten ill from them. In fact, they have probably protected me at a time in my life when my immune system was suppressed after a bad bout of mononeucleosis.

    And I’m more than happy for my elderly mom to keep getting her flu and pneumonia shots. They save lives.

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  32. I am leaning towards voting for Clinton now. That’s all I have to say about that (a la Gump).

    In other news, I wish I could vote for danged Boomhauer!

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  33. Hillary is business-as-usual. What’s wrong with her is that she is the Algorithm incarnate. She’s probably more capable than any Presidential candidate since Bush 41, but when you’re car is headed in the wrong direction, it’s better to have a drunken lout in the driver’s seat than a NASCAR vet.

    Trump is a walking black swan event. He’s like Governor Skeletor of Florida on steroids. I don’t think anybody can predict how he would govern. Somebody’s ox would be gored, but not mine.

    I was originally attracted to Jill Stein, but she’s proven herself to be more SJW than eco-warrior.

    Gary Johnson? I don’t know where he stands on anything except reefer.

    We don’t have a good choice in this race.

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  34. My final vote will rest on whether Hillary is really going to appoint Victoria Nuland as Secretary of State. I don’t live far from Fort Benning and I don’t want to end up as Sunday barbecue because of some neocon-shines in Ukraine or the Middle East.

    PS – I’m in favor of leaving Assad in place. He’s good for Christians and Shi’a. Hillary hates him with the fire of a thousand suns for some reason.

    The Shi’a and the Orthodox have been getting to be real buddy-buddy in the geopolitical world, yet most of Russia’s Muslims are Sunni. I wonder what’s up with that.

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  35. Seriously. The intellectual suicide required to equivocate Trump’s behaviors and Hillary’s is a categorical fallacy at best, lunatic ravings at worst. I find it hard to believe that political discourse in this country has devolved to the point where one is not able to evaluate candidates in a non-partisan manner. We are, after all, voting for an office that will affect us and our children and those of other nations as well. We owe it to humanity to consider more than our fragile ego when evaluating candidates for any political office, especially the Presidency. In this regard, I found Schwarzenegger’s tweet today refreshing.

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  36. Amen to that . . . . . they will have some great memories and their kindness to her will help to ease their grief

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  37. orange mums
    vibrate with color and light
    in the steady rain

    (My apologies to Robert Frost: I’m playing without a net.)

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  38. I’ve never heard of “liturgy shaming” but I recall visiting a blog which ridiculed gaudy vestments worn by some ministers and bishops in liturgical churches. And in some of those cases, the vestments indeed went overboard.

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  39. I work in a healthcare facility and flu shots are mandatory unless one is allergic to the vaccine’s ingredients. I’ve never had a problem with the shot except for some occasional soreness around the injection area.

    Even if the shots weren’t mandatory, I’d opt for one anyway. Some years back I got the flu in back-to-back winters and developed bronchitis afterward; the second time it later turned into walking pneumonia. I’m not interested in going through that again.

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  40. I’ll admit I’ve gotten violently ill every time I’ve had the flu shot. I also tend to throw up giving blood too. It’s not the needles or whatever, it’s like a physical reaction hours later, flu like symptoms of cold sweats and fevers. I talked to a nurse friend about it and they said it was probably a hypertension thing.

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  41. Poet– 9
    Pundit– 3 to 7

    Not your fault, Robert, it’s Universal Law. Yes, I noticed your vacation, but since it seemed to equally affect both personas, I assumed you had either worn yourself out or had some pressing reality to attend to. The punditry, yours and others, will more than likely sort itself out as more information becomes available. Or not. Always look forward to your haiku showing up.

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  42. Oscar, Don’t hold it against me because I have no trouble with the flu shot; in fact, in the last decade that I’ve received it each year, I haven’t had the flu once. As a younger man, when I rarely got the shot, I regularly contracted flu, which I can’t afford to risk now that I’ve been diagnosed with respiratory issues.

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  43. Quick mini-rant:

    “Hillary is just as bad/worse!” is NOT a legit critique of the numerous problems Trump has.

    Seriously. If that’s all you have, go take a nap before preschool resumes.

    /rant

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  44. Doesn’t it count that it was a non-partisan rant? And that, since conscientiously receiving my annual flu shot for the last ten years, I’ve not had the flu in the entire decade? Oh, come on, Charles! Cut me a break!

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  45. I’m proud to have inspired one of your haiku, Charles. I am, however, disappointed that my fasting from punditry this last week has gone unnoticed. I guess I’m now back in that category because of my Trump and Clinton inclusive rant, or is it because I said I have no side-effects from receiving the flu shot?

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  46. Good tweet thread about Trump and evangelical women.

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  47. Clinton is corrupt and cynical. She’s closer to Christian ideals than Trump.

    For God’s sake. I would rather, ANY DAY, vote for a “Satanic Baby Killer” than the xenophobic racist sexist rapist con-artist than Trump is.

    Open your eyes.

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  48. My comment is a-
    waiting moderation, thank
    you for your patience.

    Please stay on the line
    for the next available
    representative.

    Cirrelatuon is
    not the same as causation.
    This is really fun.

    Autumn leaves, no match
    for my old beater mulching
    mower, get back fall!

    Robert F, do you
    have a different hat for
    poet and pundit?

    I know technically these are supposed to be in descending replies but I’m still getting the hang of it. Also trying not to tax the patience of the moderator.

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  49. I live on the Florida coast; returned to town yesterday afternoon about 1/2 hour after the height of the storm. It did NOT live up to warnings, but it could have. I have no power but I’m near the coast. House survived, big tree didn’t. I could have waited another 12 hours before I returned.

    Global Warming? bah! We’ve had hurricanes forever and will continue to do so.

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  50. Ah, I was hoping for some respite, even escape, this morning, possibly even encouragement. Oh well. The pee-pee police are on red alert, Lee Harvey Oswald was a crazed lone assassin just like they told us, and Boomhauer makes more sense to me this morning than half the people commenting. The one bright moment is that the old lady who gave the finger to the medical establishment and decided to live for the first time in her life was from Michigan, thus letting me stand a bit taller by osmosis. If I was better at teleportation, I would knock on Oscar’s door this morning, maybe swing by Georgia on the way and pick up Mule. As it was I survived this ramble by putting on some old Amy Grant cranked up loud and featuring antidotes like power in the blood and the old rugged cross. If you rang my bell while I was recovering, sorry, try again. Did we run out of Ramblers? I suppose the supply is finite, like a lot of other things. Pardon me, it’s time to practice patience and kindness, for others and myself.

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  51. It still is irresponsible calling it a scam. Saying that because of a bad reaction once you are reticent in receiving it again would have been fine.

    I also once thought I had a bad reactiom but it didn’t reoccur. Turns out that I had been in a big space with lots of people when receiving it – so the chamces of getting something before I had developed immunitt were pretty good. Also, it won’t stop you from getting a cold under the same circumstances. Cirrelatuon is not the same as causation.

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  52. Yes, of COURSE! But the overwhelming majority are sexually sharing couples. The exceptions do not negate the overwhelming majority.

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  53. Irresponsible and ignorant? How generous of you, Klasie!

    Doctors regularly tell EVERY patient to get vaccinated, whether they have a history of susceptibility or not. THAT IS a scam! Those who die after contracting the flu almost always die of related complications because their immune system was already compromised, most of those being the elderly.

    A measure of caution IS warranted, though. people working in the health care industry, educators, and those who have regular illnesses SHOULD get vaccinated. But someone like ME, who has exhibited a history of good health and bad reactions to the vaccine should NOT be pressed into getting the vaccine.

    I am not one of those anti-vac people. I believe in measles/mumps, pertussis and polio vaccinations, as well as some others.

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  54. You’ve never heard of roommates? (Including pairings og gay and straight people.) It’s more common than you imagine, and saving $ has a lot to do with it.

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  55. Sorry – not meant to be here. Should have been on its own. It has NOTHING to do with Oscar’s comment.

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  56. I have a friend whi has been looking after a friend of hers for years – taking him shopping, taking him to medical appointments etc. He is into a very wide variety of conspiracy theories (from chemtrails to 666-type ones).

    The surger in interest resulted in brain damage from an accident. A particular part of the nrain that was damaged was the area controlling emotions.

    No, not every conspiracy theorist has brain damage. But the software can go wrong just as much as the hardware.

    I will leave it there.

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  57. Oscar, I envy you your natural immunity , but not everyone has that. The flu kills lots of people still. Therefore it is highly recommended that the vulnerable, like old people, get it.

    To call it a scam is irresponsible and ignorant.

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  58. Re: Liberal Hurricanes

    proposition 1: The eye is upon us and I still have power.
    proposition 2: My reality is truth
    conclusion: All deadly hurricanes are a conspiracy theory.

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  59. The IVP thing is really bugging me. I don’t love what Intervarsity is doing with its campus stuff, I get that – they stand in the position of teachers in many cases, and for a ministry organization your teachers have to teach what you teach. People who print books??? Why in the world would you fire them?

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  60. Adam! You are just being contrary… again! 😉 Seriously though, when younger people cohabitate it is simply because it is more convenient to engage in a physical relationship than it is to spend one’s time at someone else’s house while neglecting your own. Vey few do it for financial reasons, at least for younger people.

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  61. Well good for YOU! I’ve had the flu twice in my life, once way back in 1955, when doctors still made house calls, and then again in 1976 when I still went to work and pushed through it. Since then I have been amazingly healthy, so why fall prey to the vacs scam?

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  62. Tom, whenever a religious leader holds forth on the “Christian-like” qualities of a candidate then it is a defact endorsement. Why else would he even attempt to make the correlation?

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  63. Robert, I have more respect for you if you choose Clinton knowing how corrupt and cynical she really is than if you would say “She’s closer to Christian ideals than Trump”. At least your eyes are open.

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  64. I would like to go back to when politics was about interests, rather than national sanctification. That way nobody would feel shamed about supporting a particular candidate.

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  65. When they mention cohabitation they are probably speaking of men and women in a relationship living together before they are married. Although men and women not in a relationship living together would probably be looked upon as unwise as well.

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  66. CM, you speak humorously about conspiracy theories — but every semester I get students who want to write their research paper on how the US government orchestrated 9/11 and faked the moon landing. These are often the same people who are against immigration because it will undermine American culture and values. Rather than bang my head on the table at the illogical nutiness, I try to speak gently about presenting oneself as a creditable, honorable, even likable person in order to persuade people to accept something that will be important to them. I don’t always feel I get very far.

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  67. Yeah – I would be stunned if they couldn’t tell what I was thinking. Dogs can, we know that. Highly trained horses get pretty good at it too [*1] – and horses *STUPID* in addition to having lousy vision. I doubt there is a land-dwelling pack/herd animal that can’t learn to read facial/body cues.

    [*1] spent some time as a horse trainer. The really good ones often begin to respond to some instructions before you’ve even consciously giving it… so they must be reading a ‘tell’ the master isn’t aware of.

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  68. QUESTION: “”””””The campus ministry InterVarsity … positions against divorce, sex before marriage, pornography, cohabitation and sexual abuse… “”””

    So – what is the biblical/theological case against “cohabitation”, aside from all that other stuff. I encountered this in my Evangelical days… is it more than the mere assumption that people of different genders cannot cohabitate without sexuality? [which raises a lot of questions in general]. What constitutes cohabitation – same bedroom, same apartment, same building?

    Cohabitation is often the result of economic realities. And lining up all the options it may be the least-worse options? Would I rather co-habitate with a responsible person of a different gender or a womanizer or a drunk?

    And I’ve never heard a “theological” statement about it. Is it more than a cultural taboo [of wealthy people]?

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  69. In light of Intervarsity’s admonishments to quit/get fired for not toeing the company line, I guess that I have to resign my job at the YMCA because of its affiliation with the CIA. What a world in which we live! 🙂

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  70. Oscar, I did not understand Volf to say that HC, or any candidate, is “Christ-like”, rather, he was examining their rhetoric and past actions and saying that HC’s attitude and policies are more in line with “Christian”.

    No politician or party is our salvation–despite what Trumpster may say.

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  71. Wait….is Intervarsity Press also asking divorced and remarried employees to participate in their own employment termination? I very much doubt it. It’s always the GLBT community that’s behind the eight-ball when measures like these are taken.

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  72. When an assertion begins with; “Scripture is very clear…” it is a tip-off that what is really meant is “my/our opinion of what I/we have determined Scripture to mean is very clear…”

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  73. “Norma got to experience some smaller joys as well, like going up in a hot air balloon, riding a horse and getting a pedicure.

    They made it from Michigan to the state of Washington, where Norma died last week at the age of 91.

    Now she’s rambling in a better land.”

    way to go, NORMA, way to go!

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  74. Matt Drudge’s ridiculous rantings about hurricane Matthew has endangered lives, by leading people to minimize the importance of heeding warnings and evacuation orders in the path of the hurricane. What a reckless, self-promoting, conscienceless jerk!

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  75. I’ve been ready to bite the bullet and vote for Clinton, because of Trump’s vile, boorish, fear-mongering, racist-baiting campaign and persona; I may still do so, but it will be with the heaviest of hearts, as each wave of Wikileaks and other heretofore “confidential” Clinton/Democratic documents released disillusions me more and more with a candidate in whom I had no trust to begin with. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are mostly about acquiring and consolidating power and influence, using progressive politics as their means to that end. When the thin surface is scratched, I’ve seen nothing but roiling cynicism and power manipulation; Hillary Clinton is their candidate not because she’s trustworthy or qualified, but because the Democratic Party “owed” her, and had to pay off. I don’t know if I’ll have sufficient stomach to bite the bullet in November.

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  76. That Catholics may be in conspiracy with pagan Muslims who worship the crescent moon? That Islam itself is a Vatican conspiracy?

    CM, have you been reading Chick Tracts again?!? 😉

    Did you know that the YMCA is a CIA front?

    As anyone who has played Illuminati can tell you, it’s just as likely that the CIA is a YMCA front. 😛

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  77. Is an imitation of Christianity the same thing as BEING Christ-like?

    We here often criticize those who pretend to be Christian but whose hearts are not aligned with Christ, evidenced by their true motives shown by their actions. So why is it that a leftist is considered to be the choice of Christians for the nation’s leadership when “leftism” is just a rip-off of Christian ideas and virtues?

    Does an imitation christ save? Did a substitute Jesus die for our sins? And does trusting in a false Christ gain us heaven? Should we trust in a person who shows some earmarks of Christian virtue while exhibiting many other traits that are antithetical to the Christian life? And we denigrate contemporary Christian music because, WHY?

    I am not deceived by either candidate. We are not voting for a Christ substitute, nor are we asking for a spiritual leader. In fact, in MY opinion, the sooner BOTH sorry, self-seeking, self-promoting frauds disappear from public view the better off we will ALL be! Unfortunately one of them will win and we will have to endure four to eight years of regret and recriminations.

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  78. Flu shots? NEVER!!! The first one I had 10 years ago resulted in a week of miserable achiness and fever. The doctor said it was because I had already contracted the virus and that the shot had nothing to do with it.

    Fast forward to 2015. At the urging of my physician, I relented and allowed him to give me the vaccination even after reporting my previous experience. The result, this time, amounted to two weeks of lost labor, one of which was my last week of vacation so that I could fully recover.

    Naturally, my doctor said “Impossible!” to my claim of a reaction to the vaccine, but a blood and urine test revealed no flu virus present. No more vacs for Oscar!

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