THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH
”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
Yes folks, it’s Inauguration Week (aka “The Impending CRISIS”). Next Saturday when you arrive here to join us at our weekly soirée, Mr. Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America.
If ever I wished I still believed in the Rapture, it is now.
Ah well, eat drink and be merry and all that. Tomorrow, who knows?
Come to the table! The grand buffet of weekly stories, comments, and observations is served…
- Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, who leads Great Faith Ministries in Detroit. He once said of the President-elect: “Donald Trump is an example of someone who has been blessed by God. Look at his homes, businesses, his wife and his jet. You don’t get those things unless you have the favor of God.”
- Paula White, leader of New Destiny Christian Center near Orlando, Florida. As an example of the divine wisdom she has been given, she recently said, “”Far more than what divides us, this election has revealed what unites us. I have never seen such solidarity between evangelicals and Catholics, Pentecostals, charismatics and Baptists. We were brought together with a mutual love for our country and through a mutual faith in God. The election started the conversation, but what will come from these new and renewed relationships will have far more impact than anything that could be realized through the election of any politician. We aren’t ending this season so much as entering a new one, ready to love the world together to a degree greater than we ever could alone.”
- Franklin Graham, evangelist and president of Samaritan’s Purse, who is placing his hope in Trump to protect Christians from the threats of this non-Christian world: “So when we see Christianity being attacked worldwide, not just by militant Muslims but by secularism, it’s refreshing to have a leader who is willing to defend the Christian faith.”
- Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founding president of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and Ivanka Trump’s rabbi. As the head of an organization that exists “to confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our world today,” Rabbi Hier has drawn a lot of criticism from fellow Jews for appearing for Trump, whose candidacy, they believe encouraged discrimination and gave courage to white supremacy groups.
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and senior pastor at New Season Christian Worship Center, an Assemblies of God congregation in Sacramento, Calif. Rodriguez was not a Trump supporter, and has had misgivings about Trump’s positions on immigration. But after prayerful deliberation and discussion, he felt praying for the country on the inaugural platform was an opportunity he shouldn’t pass up. Rodriguez recently told NPR that he has heard a “change of tone” from Trump in the past few weeks, and now has high hopes for better relations between Hispanics and the Trump administration.
- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Dolan has had a long relationship with Trump in NYC, and has expressed mixed feelings about the President-elect, hoping that he will take action on pro-life issues, but speaking out clearly against Trump’s views on immigration.
THE GREAT PORT-A-POTTY COVER UP
It seems that the company that is the Washington area’s top provider of portable toilet rentals and long-time provider for important D.C. events ran into the possibility of a little stink this year.
This was evidently unacceptable to Inaugural organizers, so the name has been taped over. Wouldn’t want to offend a certain prominent individual at the Inauguration, apparently. Only those toilets that might come into camera range for TV were covered up. Robert Weghorst, the company’s CEO, said he didn’t know of the matter until the AP reported on it.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the Presidential Inaugural Committee had no immediate comment.
Can Mennonites be funny? (Answer: yes, very)
You heard it here first — What will John Hagee’s next prophetic book be about?
It is certainly not the whole problem, but according to a new Justice Dept. report, Chicago’s police department is certainly part of the problem that has made the city notorious for its gun violence and murder rate.
From the Chicago Tribune:
In perhaps the most damning, sweeping critique ever of the Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded Friday that the city’s police officers are poorly trained in the use of force, resort to lethal force far too often and target minorities too frequently.
The 164-page report, the product of more than a year of investigation, paints the picture of a department flawed from top to bottom, although many of the problems it cites have, for decades, been the subject of complaints from citizens, lawsuits by attorneys and investigations by news organizations.
…At a news conference, Lynch said the department’s pattern of excessive force “is in no small part the result of severely deficient training procedures and accountability systems.”
“CPD does not give its officers the training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and lawfully,” Lynch said. “It fails to properly collect and analyze data, including data on misconduct complaints and training deficiencies, and it does not adequately review use-of-force incidents to determine whether force was appropriate or lawful or whether the use of force could’ve been avoided altogether.”
All of these issues, she said, have led to “low officer morale and erosion of officer accountability.”
Read “Justice Report Rips Chicago Police for Excessive Force, Lax Discipline, Bad Training” at the Chicago Tribune
Shane Claiborne, Doug Pagitt, and other Christian leaders are inviting people to participate in a protest against the death penalty held once each five years at the Supreme Court.
The protest is put on by The Abolitionist Action Committee, and will be held this upcoming Monday and Tuesday.
Every 5 years we risk arrest in nonviolent civil disobedience on the Supreme Court steps in Washington, DC. As planned, we will once again gather at the U.S. Supreme Court to protest for an end to executions, in what is expected to be the largest act of civil disobedience against the death penalty in recent U.S. history. There will also be a legal, family-friendly vigil component, so all people are welcome – even if not willing to risk arrest.
Pagitt outlines the events taking place:
On January 16-17, dozens of groups — including families of the murdered and families of the executed, along with wrongfully-convicted death row survivors — will converge at the Supreme Court to call for an end to executions. January 17 marks 40 years since the first modern-era execution, after a decade-long moratorium. In the years since January 17,1977, there have been 1441 executions.
Monday, January 16, there will be a two-hour program (6-8pm) featuring “Voices of Experience” who have been directly affected by the death penalty (families of the murdered, families of the executed, exonerees who were wrong-fully convicted and sentenced to die).
…Tuesday morning, January 17, there will be a powerful vigil and public protest at the Supreme Court, beginning at 9am. We will unveil 40 posters with the names of the 1442 people executed over the past 40 years. Faith leaders and other activists will carry roses for the victims of both murder and execution and declare together: “Violence is the disease, not the cure.” This action will be nonviolent and family friendly, ending with a peaceful, prayerful action on the steps where we anticipate over 30 faith leaders and activists being arrested – the largest direct action against the death penalty in the past 40 years since executions resumed.
Read more at The Abolition Action Committee
Tomorrow is the birthday of Gene Krupa, famous jazz drummer, born January 15, 1909 in Chicago, IL. Read his biography here.
Rolling Stone voted him the #7 best drummer of all time. In their blurb, they quote Neil Young, who called Krupa “the first rock drummer, in very many ways. He was the first drummer to command the spotlight and the first drummer to be celebrated for his solos… He did fundamentally easy things, but always made them look spectacular.”
Krupa started working in a music store at age 11 and chose the drums because they were the cheapest item in the store’s catalog of instruments. His parents groomed him for the priesthood, but his love for drumming kept him from taking vows.
Gene Krupa is often credited with inventing the modern drum solo. He is also considered the father of the modern drum set because of his work with Slingerland drums and Zildjian cymbals, where he helped develop tunable tom-toms and the modern hi-hat cymbal. He came to prominence playing with Benny Goodman, and as one of the BG Trio, Krupa was part of the first jazz act to play in Carnegie Hall.
Here is Krupa playing with other jazz greats Benny Goodman (clarinet) and Harry James (trumpet) with Goodman’s band. They are playing “Sing, Sing, Sing,” which features Krupa’s manic drumming prominently.
Gene Krupa died in 1973.