The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 13, 2019 — Jehu Edition
“The driving is like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi—crazy!” (2 Kings 9:20 MSG)
I’ve been teaching my grandson to drive. Today I’m going to warn him against driving like Jehu.
This Brunch is dedicated to King Jehu, patron saint of road rage, who rampaged and slaughtered his way through ancient Israel until Ahab and Jezebel (think Bill and Hillary) and all the other radical feminists and socialists and their supporters were wiped out of the land. It was Jehu who said, “Come along with me, and witness my zeal for God!” (2 Kings 10:16)
And so today, we will squeal our tires, peel out, and terrorize the land with pronouncements on the corruption and evil that threatens the things we love. Interspersed of course, with coffee and general conversation amongst the saints.
Welcome to Brunch. Don’t forget those seatbelts.
• • •
IT’S BLASPHEMY, I SAY!
A computer officially called balls and strikes for the first time in the game’s history in the United States at a minor league all-star game. Major League Baseball in February signed a three-year agreement with the independent, eight-team Atlantic League to install experimental rules in line with Commissioner Rob Manfred’s vision for a faster, more action-packed game.
…On Wednesday, home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an Apple AirPod in his right ear that connected to an iPhone in his back pocket. A computer in the press box communicated to that device whether the pitch was in or out of the strike zone, and deBrauwere relayed the calls to the field as a normal umpire would.
I, for one, am most certainly NOT ready for this. The glory of baseball is its human drama, and that includes human umpires and disputes between umpires and players and coaches over calls. Human error is a necessary part of human drama, and the angst, anger, regret, conflicts, and broken hearts that result are, in my view, a vital aspect of life.
I DON’T WANT MY BASEBALL SANITIZED OF ALL HUMANITY!
Besides, I can testify that my life would be immeasurably poorer if I had not had a chance to witness guys like this close up and personal in the days of my youth. Good ol’ Earl went after those umps like Jehu…
What think you, Richard H?
• • •
Some of you may have been following along with J. Michael Jones as he battles cancer (follow the link above or the continuing link on the IM Bulletin Board), but some may have missed his latest update.
So here it is. Stand up to cancer like Jehu. And continue to pray for and support our brother:
It appears that I have pseudo-Host Vs Graft Syndrome. For patients like me, who received their own stem cells, this problem, while with severe symptoms, is usually easily treated. The team reached this conclusion by all the other test being negative and how profoundly I’ve responded to three days of high dose steroids.
So, I went from feeling horrible on Monday morning to feeling halfway decent this morning. I felt so well that yesterday we did a 5-mile urban hike (Pete Gross House to Lake Union to Pikes Place Market and back).
This morning I felt so well that I was able to walk down to meet Ramsey and Denise for coffee at the Cascade Coffee Works. This was the first time I’ve had a cappuccino since I was admitted to the hospital (before the transplant) on June 9th. There are two reasons I’ve avoided espresso. The first, was that the transplant process made everything taste like a burnt cat turd soaked in bleach. Since espresso taste a little burnt to start with, it was unpalatable. The second reason was that I’ve had (one of my main symptoms) Godzilla-diarrhea (my term for this awful symptom). Espresso has the tendency to move the bowels and I didn’t want to take any chances with that. Since going on the steroids, my taste buds have finished returning to normal and the diarrhea had stopped so it felt safe.
It was truly a milestone this morning to have coffee with Denise and Ramsey (although Denise doesn’t drink coffee).
We met with the team today and we have a new (tentative) plan. We will finish the course of high-dose steroids on Sunday and then start the taper. The concern is that the symptoms will start to return. The studies show that 79% of the time, the symptoms do not return. So, our new discharge date is a week from today, July 17th. Please pray that the symptoms do not return and it would launch us down a new pathway of trying to figure this out, possibly going back into the hospital.
• • •
RIP ROSS PEROT. ARE WE EXPERIENCING HIS LEGACY TODAY?
His television platform was Larry King Live, not The Apprentice, and his persona was genial and folksy, not blustery and dark. But more than a quarter century ago, Ross Perot revealed a truth about the American electorate that Donald Trump would exploit: There is a big chunk of voters who feel disaffected, harmed by free trade, threatened by demographic change, and attracted to an eccentric outsider who promises to upend the status quo.
• • •
ABUSE OF POWER AT ITS WORST…
One might be forgiven for thinking the newest hot show on TV this week was “Battle of the Celebrity Sex Predators.” Jeffrey Epstein (and by connection: Bill Clinton? Donald Trump? Alan Dershowitz? etc., etc., etc.), and R. Kelly — we’ve been made to endure watching some ultimate debauched version of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
McKay Coppins at The Atlantic suggests that it is stories like this that foment conspiracy theories about the secrets of the elite.
The more we learn about the allegations against the reclusive billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the more he seems like a figment of the online fever swamps. The wealthy financier arrested last week for underage sex trafficking is accused of operating an international sex ring that could implicate high-powered men across business, politics, and Hollywood. Every nightmarish detail of his story—from the creepily decorated mansion to the flights on “the Lolita Express” to the stays on “Orgy Island”—sounds like it was conjured by conspiracy theorists.
…It should not come as a surprise that some of America’s most outspoken conspiracists have spent the days since Epstein’s arrest taking victory laps.
“I definitely see it as a moment of vindication,” David Seaman, a chief proponent of the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory, told me. “I think this is a turning point.”
“This is just the beginning,” said Liz Crokin, a prominent QAnon devotee, in a video posted to YouTube. “The storm is officially here.”
“I think I’ve been unnecessarily maligned,” said Mike Cernovich, a right-wing social-media personality who has claimed that every A-list actor in Hollywood is a pedophile. “This shows I’m doing real things, man.” (Cernovich was, in fact, among those who successfully sued to unseal court documents related to Epstein.)
Of course, the notion that the Epstein case somehow validates every outlandish assertion uttered by the tinfoil-hat brigade is absurd. But squint at the recent headlines and you’ll see a story—about abuse of power, and elite impunity, and moral rot in the ruling class—that helps explain why a certain breed of conspiracy theorist has gained so much traction in this political moment.
…As Matthew Walther recently wrote at The Week, the Epstein story doesn’t fit neatly into any of the dominant partisan-media narratives. The bad guys belong to both parties. Trump is linked to Epstein, but so is former President Bill Clinton. The case has less to do with any political tribe and more to do with class and status. The story, as it’s been alleged, is one of rich, powerful men careening through the world with complete impunity, treating the young and the vulnerable as props, and protecting one another from accountability.
You don’t have to believe in lizard people or baby-eating politicians to understand why so many are looking at our leaders and letting their imagination run wild.
• • •
PLASTIC MAY NOT BE THE BADDEST GUY IN THE ENVIRO-GANG…
“[P]lastic replaces things that would do even more damage to the climate.” That is the surprising (at least to me) take from a story on NPR I heard this week.
Chemical engineer Beverly Sauer of Eastern Research Group, an independent research company, led one such study that compared a mix of different plastic packaging with substitutes such as paper. “The impacts associated with plastic are generally much lower than the impacts for the mix of substitute materials that would replace packaging,” Sauer says. ERG’s analysis calculated the quantity of raw materials as well as the electricity, fuel, water and other materials needed to make and use paper and plastic packaging. Plastic uses less. And at the end of its life, paper in a landfill may emit greenhouse gases as it breaks down.
Even if, ounce for ounce, some kinds of plastic have a higher carbon footprint than other kinds of packaging, you need less of it. That’s one big advantage plastic has — it’s light.
“The plastic packaging accomplishes its purpose with very little weight of material,” Sauer says. So if a paper bag weighs twice what a plastic one does, she says, “not only do you have to produce twice the weight of material, you have to transport twice the weight of material [and] you have twice the weight of material to manage at the end of its useful life.”
The ERG analysis was done for the American Chemistry Council, which says plastic replaces things that would do even more damage to the climate. “Plastics are often used in products that help to reduce much larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions over their life cycle,” says Steve Russell, ACC vice president for plastics.
• Christopher Joyce, NPR
Of course, carbon footprint is only one thing to consider. The amount of plastic trash in the ocean and in landfills, for example, is a growing ecological problem. But then again, so is climate change. As Susan Ruffo of the Ocean Conservancy says, “You know, we have a history as a species of solving one problem with great intensity, only to figure out that we’ve created another one.”
• • •
PERHAPS HERE’S A HUMBLE ENVIRO-HOPE…
One group of scientists is, however, thinking small. Maggots are being examined as a source of protein by scientists in College Station, Texas, according to The Washington Post.
The larvae of the black soldier fly have “remarkable ability to transform nearly any kind of organic waste — cafeteria refuse, manure, even toxic algae — into high-quality protein, all while leaving a smaller carbon footprint than it found,” according to a story that ran in the Post on July 3. “In one year, a single acre of black soldier fly larvae can produce more protein than 3,000 acres of cattle or 130 acres of soybeans.”
In a week, a “modest” size colony of larvae (1.6 million) can turn a ton of organic waste into 100 pounds of protein and 400 pounds of compost. They will eat almost anything organic: pig manure, human waste, food scraps, waste from distilleries, etc.
This kind of food waste contributes to 7 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2011 report from the United Nations.
The larvae not only eliminate the greenhouse gases, they also become protein that, when roasted, can be used as feed for animals. This would take pressure off ocean species currently being overfished as a source for animal feed. One quarter of all fish harvested from the ocean are fed to fish, poultry, hogs and other animals.
Scientists and engineers are working on ways to make this commercially viable. One Texas company is already breeding larvae for pet reptiles. Researchers hope that larvae will be competitive with ocean fishmeal prices within five years. It would be ideal if the process could be miniaturized for use on farms to recycle animal and plant waste.
Roasted larvae might even supply protein to humans. “They taste like Fritos,” one promoter told the Post.
“They have a pleasant, neutral, nutty flavor to them,” wrote Christopher Ingraham, the brave Post reporter who tried them. “Slather them in powdered ranch or barbecue seasoning and it’s easy to imagine bags of them flying off the shelves in truck stops and convenience stores.”
• • •
SEEN RECENTLY BY WARREN THROCKMORTON…
In other Mark Driscoll news, the once designated “Young, Restless, Reformed” pastor calls the Five Points of Calvinism “garbage.”
Please Mark. Please. Go away.
• • •
SOME “INTERESTING” RECENT HEADLINES FROM CHARISMA MAGAZINE…
- Think a Virtual Antichrist Isn’t Possible? Think Again. (Wonder what Alexa thinks about this? You know, Alexa the Great?)
- How This Woman Went From the Psych Ward to Prophetic Deliverance Minister (Of course she did! Short trip, that one.)
- Country Singer: Jesus Visited Me on My Porch, Saved My Life (I hope you offered him a sweet tea.)
- Kanye West: “The Bible Is Better than Pinterest” (No way! Pinterest has way more practical ideas. And pictures. And shiny things.)
- Is Donald Trump Like King Jehu? (The only thing I remember about Jehu is that the Bible says he drove like a maniac — 2 Kings 9:20. Our OT teacher in Bible College always used Jehu to complain about the way students drove on campus — I think it’s the only thing I ever heard about Jehu in school. I don’t think DT drives himself much these days. Bad comparison.)
- Prophecy for July: God Is Using Your Rehearsal to Release You (Huh? Who talks like that?)
- “Prophecy Fulfilled”: Spirit-Filled Songwriter Penned Song at Exact Spot Where Trump Made History (But Jehu was anointed to slaughter all his enemies — 2 Kings 9:4-10. Again, bad comparison.)
- Your Secret Supernatural Keys to Truly Understanding Your Spouse (For all y’all who were married in a Gnostic church)
- How to Set Up a Spiritual Security System for Your Home (Call us at 1-800-GET-JEHU)
• • •
Friends, check out the sites. What might this tell us about the direction and future of evangelicalism?