The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 10, 2019 — Lament Edition

El Paso


Sorry to emphasize such down notes today, but, as the CNN story says, “What a horrible week for America.”

This has been an objectively awful week.

Far from a sleepy end to the summer, the country is reeling from mass shootings that claimed 31 lives in Texas and Ohio, not paying enough attention to an extremely deadly summer of violence in Chicago, having painful and not particularly productive conversations about gun control and about racism, and the government is rounding up undocumented immigrants in a way that leaves their children crying in parking lots on the first day of school. (Zachary B. Wolf,  CNN)

Rouse Yourself, why do you sleep, O Lord?
Awaken, do not reject us forever!
Why do You hide Your face,
Ignoring our affliction and distress
We lie prostrate in the dust;
our body clings to the ground.
Arise and help us,
redeem us, as befits Your faithfulness.

Psalm  44:24-27, JPS Tanakh

• • •

And here is one of the saddest stories of the week…

41 year-old Jimmy Al-Daoud was born in Greece and came to the United States as an infant. His parents were Iraqi refugees who fled to Greece, where Al-Daoud was born. Then, when Al-Daoud was 6 months old, his family came to the United States. Though born there, he’d never been to Iraq. He didn’t speak Arabic. He’d been in the U.S. since he was about 6 months old. He had no Iraqi ID. His family never sought American citizenship because they were poor and unable to pay for the expensive process.

And yet Jimmy Al-Daoud was recently deported from Michigan to Iraq.

Al-Daoud did not have any family in Iraq and was Chaldean Catholic by faith, a Christian group that has been persecuted in Iraq in the past. Yet, the deportee was put on a plane to Najaf, the Shia holy city in the south of Iraq. There is a sizeable community of Chaldeans in the Detroit area, and one of their spokespersons, Martin Manna of the Chaldean Community Foundation, said “There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety in the community. Iraq’s not a safe place for many of the people who are being sent back.”

[Insert comment here about the irony of many American leaders protesting Christian persecution.]

Now, you should know that Al-Daoud had problems. He had mental illness — schizophrenia. He had committed felonies, including domestic violence, disorderly conduct, and home invasion. Family and friends have said that it was his mental illness that led to his many legal problems.

Al-Daoud was also a diabetic, and although ICE said they supplied him with medication “to ensure continuity of care,” the deportee, who did not speak the language and had no place to go once in Iraq, took to living on the streets, was unable to access more medicine, and ultimately died this past Tuesday. His deportation was, in essence, a death sentence.

At last report, Iraqi authorities would not release Jimmy’s body to a Catholic priest without extensive documentation from his family members in the U.S.

Seems like in the end, nobody in this world wants him to be at rest.

Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I am in distress;
my eyes are wasted by vexation,
my substance and body too.
My life is spent in sorrow,
my years in groaning;
my strength fails because of my iniquity,
my limbs waste away.
Because of all my foes
I am the particular butt of my neighbors,
a horror to my friends;
those who see me on the street avoid me.
I am put out of mind like the dead;
I am like an object given up for lost.

• Psalm 31:10-13, JPS Tanakh

• • •

An under-emphasized aspect of climate concern…

From IPCC:

This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows a deforested area near Novo Progresso in Brazil’s northern state of Para. Imazon, a non-government group that monitors the Amazon rainforest, said Monday that the pace of deforestation has increased by 20 per cent in the past 9 months over the same period in 2018. (Andre Penner/AP)

Land is already under growing human pressure and climate change is adding to these pressures. At the same time, keeping global warming to well below 2ºC can be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its latest report on Thursday.

…Climate Change and Land finds that the world is best placed to tackle climate change when there is an overall focus on sustainability.

“Land plays an important role in the climate system,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

“Agriculture, forestry and other types of land use account for 23% of human greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time natural land processes absorb carbon dioxide equivalent to almost a third of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry,” he said.

The report shows how managing land resources sustainably can help address climate change, said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

“Land already in use could feed the world in a changing climate and provide biomass for renewable energy, but early, far-reaching action across several areas is required” he said.  “Also for the conservation and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity.”

I encourage you to read the report. Follow the link above.

He turns the rivers into a wilderness,
springs of water into thirsty land,
fruitful land into a salt marsh,
because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.

• Psalm 107:33-34, JPS Tanakh

• • •

The Pope’s perspectives on nationalism and “sovereignism”…

[In a recent interview, Pope Francis] talked about the dangers of surging nationalism and isolationist sentiments, saying, “I am worried because you hear speeches that resemble those by Hitler in 1934. ‘Us first, We … We ….’ ”

Such thinking, he said, “is frightening.”

The pope’s comments came in an interview posted Aug. 9 by Vatican Insider, the online news supplement to the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

Asked about the dangers of “sovereignism” or nationalism, the pope said it represented an attitude of “isolation” and closure.

“A country must be sovereign, but not closed” inside itself, he said.

National sovereignty, he said, “must be defended, but relations with other countries, with the European community, must also be protected and promoted.”

“Sovereignism,” on the other hand, he continued, is something that goes “too far” and “always ends badly — it leads to war.”

When asked about populism, the pope said it was one thing for people to be able to express their concerns, but quite another “to impose a populist attitude on the people.”

“The people are sovereign,” with their own way of thinking, feeling, judging and expressing themselves, he said, “while populism leads to forms of sovereignism. That suffix, ‘-ism,’ is never good.”

Asked about “the right path to take when it comes to migrants,” the pope said, “First and foremost, never neglect the most important right of all: the right to life.”

“Immigrants come above all to escape from war or hunger, from the Middle East and Africa,” he said.

When it comes to war, “we must make an effort and fight for peace” as well as invest in Africa in ways that help the people there “resolve their problems and thus stop the migration flows.”

Concerning immigrants already in one’s home country, certain “criteria must be followed,” he said.

“First, to receive, which is also a Christian, Gospel duty. Doors should be opened, not closed. Second, to accompany. Third, to promote. Fourth, to integrate” the newcomers in the host communities, he said.

“At the same time, governments must think and act prudently, which is a virtue of government. Those in charge are called to think about how many migrants can be taken in.”

If that threshold is reached, “the situation can be resolved through dialogue with other countries” because some countries need people, especially for working in agriculture or for reviving their economy and breathing new life into “half-empty towns” because of low birthrates, he said.

God stands in the divine assembly;
among the divine beings He pronounces judgment.
How long will you judge perversely,
showing favor to the wicked?
Judge the wretched and the orphan,
vindicate the lowly and the poor,
rescue the wretched and the needy;
save them from the hand of the wicked.

• Psalm 82: 1-4, JPS Tanakh

• • •

Let’s find a bit of respite at the Field of Dreams

Let’s conclude with a bit of feel-good news today, related to one of life’s greatest pastimes and one of my all-time favorite movies. From an MLB press release:

The Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees will play a regular season game in Dyersville, Iowa at the site of the beloved 1989 baseball movie, Field of Dreams, on Thursday, August 13, 2020, Major League Baseball announced today. “MLB at _Field of Dreams_” will mark the first Major League game ever held at the fan-favorite movie location as well as in the State of Iowa.

FOX will provide exclusive national coverage of “MLB at _Field of Dreams_,” airing at 7:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (CT). The event will be considered a White Sox home date, with the Thursday game followed by a Friday off-day before the two Clubs resume their three-game series at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday. Information on the limited ticket availability will be announced by MLB in the months ahead. “MLB at _Field of Dreams_” will be presented by GEICO and be a part of the GEICO Summer Series. Later this month, MLB will begin construction on a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark on the Dyersville site. A pathway through a cornfield will take fans to the ballpark, which will overlook the famous movie location. The right field wall will include windows to show the cornfields beyond the ballpark. Aspects of the ballpark’s design will pay homage to Chicago’s Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox from 1910-1990, including the shape of the outfield and bullpens beyond the center field fence.

130 thoughts on “The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 10, 2019 — Lament Edition

  1. when guns are all you have of ‘power’ and ‘control’ over your situation, they become deified sure


  2. “That is the problem, no one cares about the rule of law and what is good for the nation.”

    if you think, Randy, that the torment of little children is ‘good for the nation’, then you’ve got more problems than those poor children


  3. That claim – that scientists make lots of money from climate change -is the most idiotic claim. It would certainly be news to the climate scientists I know (Katherine Hayhoe for instance).


  4. This reminds me of the article in the Atlantic, I believe it was, last week on how a government scientist has proven how rice is losing its nutritional value due to the effects of climate change. The Trump administration, naturally, has blocked the release of his report.


  5. You clearly have no understanding of how scientific inquiry nor academia work. Are there a few bad eggs out there? Sure, same is true in any profession. But stop stereotyping all scientists together as powerful and elite. They are not millionaires, they are by and large nerds who like science, names we have never heard of, at small research universities and colleges, and are simply studying a topic that is of interest and openly exploring the evidence. No one undergoes the required training to become a professional scientist so that they can make lots of money and become political influencers. You should really study the process of science and get to know the scientific community before preemptively making such misguided assumptions. From several that I know in this particular area, I can without a doubt guarantee you they they would be ecstatic to be shown that their analysis does “not” lead to the global warming worst-case scenarios.


  6. “Do you think if you sought a GRANT to disprove climate change that you could get one? Oh no, no and no.”

    You don’t think that the oil companies don’t have the incentive, and the oodles of cash, to support accredited scientists to genuinely dubunk climate change… If that were possible?

    The fact that oil companies have not only NOT done that, but instead have subsidized crackpots and denial campaigns, speaks volumes.

    Look at the actual record of the research. Sources available upon request.


  7. No, Iain, your 1st guesd is far more accurate.

    And in this raid, the abandonment was deliberate, as with all of the many family separations at the border.

    ICE is packed with Trump loyalists. And far too many of them are white supremacists.

    I live in the middle of nowhere, close to a kosher chicken plant that employs a great many Central American refugees. A lot of them are from El Salvador, and came here legally.

    The feds have been bresking up local Salvadoran families since early 2018. I’m aware of one of their tactics, which is to deport one parent while leaving the ither one here, along with their Amrrican-borm children, who – for now – have birthriight citizenship. (Yet anither thing that Trump snd crew want to abolish.)

    What is happening is terrifying, yet we are already numb to it.

    As for the things i mentioned, there’s a plethira of stories confirming the exact intentions of these people and what they’ve bern doing tom4efugees and asylum seekers- as you probably know, this has included forcible sepsration of even the youngest children (infsnts and toddlers) from their children, and placing the kids in interment (actually concentration camps). The spokespeople for the government agencies involved even referred to the places meant for infants and toddlers as “tender age units”- and the WH and other offivuals have confirmed that there were no plans for reuniting families, last year and now.

    I could say more, but you should be easily able to find relevant stories. Some of the best reporting has come from smaller newspapers that are in the locales where these things are occurring, like the El Paso Times. The New York Times gave a lot of exposure to the EPT’s reporting a few mobths ago, when images of adults crammed into tiny spaces with chain-link fences outdoors. (Among other things that surfaced at that time.)


  8. Oh, you trust “the scientists?” Puhleeze – they too are the powerful and elite who BENEFIT financially from the climate change hysteria.

    Do you think if you sought a GRANT to disprove climate change that you could get one? Oh no, no and no.

    Geez Eeyore.


  9. Thankyou Chaplain Mike for giving enough of a stuff to post about Jimmy Al-Daoud. I cried reading this, it hurts. Jimmy died before his time, robbed of his life and his dignity. I also think of those who loved him. I know that there are many Jimmys. His blood/their blood cries out. America is not just wandering, it is deeply lost. Adding to this tragedy are those who profess Christianity not understanding or following their key calling. The anonymous poster simply and so powerfully wrote Proverbs 31:8 ” OPEN YOUR MOUTH FOR THOSE WITH NO VOICE, FOR THE JUSTICE OF ALL THE DISPOSSESSED”. This is what defines a Christian to me.


  10. let’s see

    Epstein has the goods on a lot of wealthy prominent people who are now very powerful and who have very powerful friends

    Epstein is going to be brought to justice

    oops, SOMEONE decides Epstein doesn’t need to be on ‘suicide watch’ any longer, and SURPRISE , SURPRISE . . . . the guy ends it

    no trial, no exposure of accomplices, no revelation of ‘names’ of those who participated in the crimes of this paedophile . . . and a lot of these creeps get off the hook and are breathing a sigh of relief

    but not so fast . . . there has to be a scape-goat and who else is Fox News promoting for that role?
    who else indeed


    now just who was it took Epstein off of suicide watch??????????????????? and are they now ‘apalled’ at the result ????????????

    we Americans are smarter than the average bear and you can’t fool everybody ALL of the time, so the conspiracy theories become amusement a little faster than intended especially when everyone looks underneath them and considers the ‘sources’, yep


  11. good idea

    somewhere between the ‘out of control’ Craig and the ‘shut him up’ commentators, there may be something productive yet to learn about what drives all the hatred out there

    the true culprits are usually people who are lower-keyed in their promotion of hate, and who count on the ‘craigs’ to do their dirty work for them

    I’d be just as concerned about the people who like to silence others, as though that would eliminate the ‘problem’ . . . . . silence in the face of evil never did any good, no

    maybe ‘craig’ can fill us in on his mentors, so we know who is puppeting him or hiding behind him . . . although we can guess at the usual suspects, we might get surprised 🙂


  12. not even the American Indians (who were regarded as ‘savages’ by white settlers) would harm a person who was not in his right mind

    there are few barriers left to be crossed, just a few

    we’ve already taken children from the arms of their parents, with apparently NO record keeping so they could be re-united some day . . . . that is a great sin and Christian people know this

    we’ve chanted hate slogans openly at rallies for our new ‘great leader’ and bloodshed followed

    we’ve now openly sent a man to die who had nothing and no one to help him and who was mentally disabled

    what comes next?

    the playbook? well it’s not sacred Scripture, you folks who esteem your ‘great leader’ as the Annointed One of God, no

    so what comes next and in what universe is it to be seen as the work of a ‘great nation’? God have mercy.


  13. It is the scientists who are screaming, weeping even, to save the planet.

    It is the politicians who are posturing, delaying, and even denying the truth.

    Some climate scientists are actually suffering from depression and other illnesses as they confront via their daily work the likely consequences of our collective inaction.

    You are, by parroting the line of those deniers, actually aiding and abetting their “bull shovelings”.

    Either get your categories right, or be silent.


  14. “For anyone familiar with Bureau of Prisons standard operating procedures, Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is more than mysterious; it is unfathomable.

    The 66-year-old accused sex trafficker was found dead in his prison cell at the Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) Saturday morning, apparently after having hanged himself.

    The Bureau of Prisons, the federal agency that runs the MCC, has said the FBI will investigate.

    It had better.

    Epstein’s death almost certainly means that astounding blunders occurred, perhaps by multiple personnel at the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

    If any prisoner in the federal system should have been a candidate for suspicion of suicide, it was the high-profile and disgraced Epstein. All administrative and structural measures should have been in place to ensure it could not happen. And yet it apparently did.

    If there’s any lesson of the past several years, it’s that institutional integrity is overrated, and pretty much always yields to the needs of the powerful. It was possible to pretend otherwise for a long time, but no more. This is likely another example, though of course it’s early yet.”

    “institutional integirty is overrated and pretty much always yields to the needs of the powerful.”

    Another reasons why I would NEVER yield to the intreaties of the political and scientific elite to “save the planet” with their brilliant leadership at the fore.

    Bull Shovelings I say.


  15. Thanks for the Field of Dreams news item CM. As a baseball fan and a fan of the movie, it is very refreshing in this day and age.

    Here in the south, “God and Guns” is deeply entrenched in the culture. And I would also like to say that their love for one supersedes the love of the other, and I am sure you can guess which one they will die for first.


  16. Our nearby local farm stand, the one with its own peach orchards yielding the most delicious peaches I’ve ever tasted in my life, had no peaches this summer due to crop ruination from excessive rain. They still sold us peaches, ones from Canada. If this is a taste of how food supply may be interrupted by global warming in the future, I hate to think what is coming.


  17. Others remind us that the facility Epstein was being held in is a DOJ facility, and the DOJ is headed by Barr, one of all of the president’s men.


  18. I’m with you, Robert. A lot of high-profile people were going to go down with him if he lived to stand trial. This is not mere carelessness on the part of prison officials. This is very likely deliberate.


  19. CM, thanks so much for this post.. It’s very, very good indeed.

    Just sent the link to sn Aussie friend.

    All the best to you and to all people of goodwill who comment here, regardless of what they do or don’t believe.


  20. Thanks. At least it’s not as bad as I thought – lack of planning and lack of care rather than deliberate policy to leave kids abandoned, and then trying to claim that somehow it’s not their fault and nothing went wrong.


  21. Apparently Epstein was put on suicide watch but it was stopped because he seemed to be OK. Given the intelligent, manipulative guy he was my best guess is he planned it: put on an act to make them drop the suicide watch so that he could go ahead. Or he bribed someone to get what he needed to do it. That he decided suicide was his best option in the circumstances probably isn’t terribly surprising.
    As you say, may God have mercy on his soul.


  22. His coupling of your name with mine dooms you. By yourself, you’re 3, you’re fine; with me, you belong to a frequent commenter grouping. I’m afraid you’re unequally yoked.


  23. The death of Jeffrey Epstein is something about which I will be very susceptible to a well-constructed, not overly ambitious or too wide-ranging conspiracy theory. You put an apparently already suicidal man in solitary confinement, without round-the-clock suicide watch? Too many people are likely to benefit from his unending silence for me to scoff at the possibility that his death was intended and arranged, enabled, by others besides himself.

    In the meantime, Jeffrey Epstein too was a human being, however horrible his actions in this life may have been, and I pray God’s mercy on his soul.


  24. # of times you have commented today: 3

    # of times I commented today (before this one): 4

    It’s almost as much your show as it is mine. 😛


  25. You are at it again : it’s always somebody else’s fault and somebody else’s problem, and definitely not something you need worry about. If my brother dies because he was mentally ill and diabetic, removed from his home and dumped thousands of miles away in a country with no support in which he didn’t speak the language and hadn’t set foot in since 6 months old, that’s fine because well somehow somebody else should have helped. To do such a thing to someone is a sin, and one that cries out for justice, and it was the current US government that did it as a matter of deliberate policy. No amount of smokescreen about completely different countries different leaders and Hilary Clinton can take away from that.
    Social justice and the protection of the weak and vulnerable is not just a matter of private charity or individual acts of kindness but part of the global mission of the church and a duty of all Christians to promote. Your own church recognises this:
    “In fulfilling her salvific mission in the world, the Orthodox Church actively cares for all people in need, including the hungry, the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, the persecuted, those in captivity and prison, the homeless, the orphans, the victims of destruction and military conflict, those affected by human trafficking and modern forms of slavery. The Orthodox Church’s efforts to confront destitution and social injustice are an expression of her faith and the service to the Lord, Who identifies Himself with every person and especially with those in need: Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me (Mt 25:40).”
    – Extract from “The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World”, part of the Official Documents of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church Pentecost 2016.


  26. Right now Putin is too busy failing to cover up what looks like a catastrophic weapons experiment radiation leak, including a mounting number of fatalities, to worry about any more ways to ignore refugees.


  27. ICE does work with social service agencies that place the children, but they are not very proactive about it, at least not according to the reporting I’ve been heard, and they do less than local law enforcement would if they were arresting someone. The ICE official that I quoted above said in the same interview that his people do what they can to link the kids with social service agencies, but he couldn’t guarantee that all kids left in the wake of the raids were getting connected that way, and he pushed back on the widespread sentiment being aired in the media that they should do more by saying that ICE “is a law enforcement agency, not a social services agency”. Sorry for not being clear in my initial comment.


  28. Are you talking about what ordinary law enforcement do or the ICE? I got the impression that ICEin many cases didn’t even bother trying, and basically said it wasn’t their problem: wasn’t that the point of your quite above?


  29. If the man had no intent to commit violence, he may have done us a favor by demonstrating what the law allows, and what Walmart’s policy allows.

    But if so, he took one hell of a chance with his life.


  30. Oh shut up Mule. Trudeau, Merkel, to pick 2 on your list, have done so, so much ti help refugees. But of course they aren’t Orthodox Fascists, so you don’t count them. BTW, the Ortho-fascists like Putin gave done nothing to alleviate any of this suffering.


  31. There was a time when I would get upset about the red-blue fights. Now I focus on the Purple and look to make Christ great again. If this unhappy little guy keeps on this path, he will never be happy with anything, including himself. My reaction is to pity him and pray.


  32. In that case, let me, the atheist, say this:
    Craig is not committing a folly. He is evil. Thoroughly so. He is racist. And nasty. A real piece of work. This past week it was 74 years since the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the worst conflict in human history. You know what started it? Racism. Nationalism. People espousing views like Craig did here.

    Remember that. Craig’s words are the words that lead to immeasurable tragedy, economic disaster, and blemishes on history. Craig espouses the the rhetoric of the worst people that ever lived.

    Don’t be Craig.


  33. ‘Oh yeah, Jeffrey Epstein just committed “suicide.” Not that he didn’t deserve it, but if there is any justice in the world, some of our Democratic politicians will get a bullet in the back of the head.’

    I beg your pardon? Did you mean for this to escape outside your thoughts? Maybe you’d like to rethink this, pretty quickly.


  34. Youre forgetting liability insurance. We have to have it on cars. It is required for everyone, even if you have never had an accident. Or your home. If someone is injured on your property, you better have it or the lawsuit will sink you. But if you own a gun…..


  35. Yes. After reading the “bullet in the back of the head” part, it was wrong for me to engage the rest of his comment. I normally don’t ever want to see people prohibited from commenting on this site, but there have to be limits. That was beyond the limits.


  36. Folly is one thing; filth is another. But I understand, CM: Might as well see the raw sewage in all its glory for one day. In fact, I suppose I should pray for this poor soul. I guess I will, but it’s taking that “love your neighbor” thing about to my limit.


  37. ** if there is any justice in the world, some of our Democratic politicians will get a bullet in the back of the head.**

    Craig, if I knew your real name and your address, I would call the FBI and report you. That is a vile, evil threat and a giant red flag. I do not know why you are posting on a Christian website because the two things you have posted are completely incompatible with Christianity–not to mention the fact that NO DECENT HUMAN BEING would pray for the execution of his political enemies.

    Secondly, have we all become so numb to violence and hatred that Craig’s disgusting posts seem to elicit not much more than a shake of the head? Chaplain Mike, I ask you to reconsider letting his disturbing comments remain up. Our country is becoming numb to the bloodshed and hatred surrounding us. We have to stop and say, “NO! You cannot speak that way about other human beings without consequences. We will not just stand here and listen to you. We will shun you. We will close our ears to your lies. We will extend our hand to those you wish to hurt.”

    Please don’t engage with Craig anymore. You just give power to the monster.


  38. Oh Craig, your argument is so trite, and frankly so dumb, that I’m tempted to take it seriously, so here goes:

    I am perfectly willing to have guns and their owners treated in the same way cars and their owners are treated. That is, every gun owner must have a license to shoot. That means that s/he must first study the gun laws, and then pass a written test on them. Then follows a shooting test, in which the prospective gun owner must hit a specified target correctly, a specified number of times, in the presence of a policeman. S/he is then issued his/her shooting license.

    Next, of course, like a car, every gun must be licensed and registered, and the license must be renewed yearly. Finally, each gun owner must have an insurance policy on each gun, to be renewed yearly. (So obviously if you have 47 guns that’s 47 insurance policies.)

    I’d say it’s way way past time these common-sense measures were implemented.

    OK by you?


  39. As it stands, the firefighter who stopped him could get in more trouble than the guy that was arrested, because the firefighter pointed a gun at the guy. So much for the idea that we just need more “good guys with guns” to stop the “bad guys”.


  40. Exactly this, Chaplain Mike. If we are Christians, that is our path, following in Jesus’ footsteps. Make things a little better today, where you are, with what you have.

    Like Seneca and Mule, in my worst times I can take refuge in cynicism. Unlike them, I can bw funny about it — gallows humor R us. But as I’ve grown older (*much* older!), I’ve decided that way is cheap and easy and even fun sometimes, but it isn’t following the path He showed us. Not that I always do so either, but I’m becoming aware of how much I wasn’t aware of. Progress, eh?


  41. Agreed.

    There is a guy who wanders around my neighborhood hallucinating. He has enough sesos to beg money and to avoid people like me who he has tapped out. I’ve given him about $150 altogether and stood next to him while the good brothers at Creston Baptist Church prayed for him.

    I’ll be damned if he isn’t interested in anything other than drinking. He’s a mess, but he’s not really a sinner and he sure doesn’t deserve an end like Jimmy Aldaoud.

    There are people, urban monks and what have you, who would take him in and let him steal little items from them to support his addiction. I don’t know why he hasn’t attached himself to one of those communities. When I see him I’m reminded for some reason of Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisited:

    Charles Ryder:
    It’s not what one would have foretold. I suppose he doesn’t suffer.

    Cordelia Flyte:
    Oh, yes, I think he does. One has no idea what the suffering may be – to be as maimed as he is. No dignity, no power of will. No-one is truly holy without suffering.


  42. I’m no Trump supporter, but all previous administrations have been just as negligent and/or impotent in going after the business owners as this one. And that’s a fact.


  43. No silly, neither nukes nor guns kill people, VIDEO GAMES KILL PEOPLE! At least, according to some pro-gun legislators who were desperately looking for a way to defuse the public push for more gun control legislation after the horrors of this last week.


  44. One guy showed up at a Walmart in MO yesterday or day before, carrying a semiautomatic, wearing body armor, loaded with ammo magazines. He was stopped by an off-duty firefighter who was also carrying; the police arrested him, but as it turns out, he may not have broken any laws, because open carry in public spaces is legal in MO. If Walmart did not prominently display a sign prohibiting weapons on premises, the guy goes free; if they did, it gives them the prerogative to ask him to leave while he is carrying, and only if he then refuses to call in the police. He claims he was intentionally testing Walmart’s commitment to the Second Amendment, and was actually just shopping (he had a cart in the store); as I said, he may walk if he had no demonstrable criminal intent. If he does just walk, that is craziness, made possible by the craziness of gun laws (or lack of them) in this country.


  45. Exactly. That is my argument against the “a gun is just a tool, like a hammer”

    Umm… set a hammer on a table in a crowded room and no one blinks an eye. Set a gun on a table in a crowded room….look out.


  46. Point #2.
    People are looking all the time at improving car and road safety. Better roads, better lights, traffic barriers, stop lights, roundabouts, drunk driving laws, texting laws, air bags, seat belts, drivers licensing age limits and testing…etc.

    Why do you balk when people want the same kinds of things for limiting gun killings?


  47. My apologies for negativity. If I were interested in spectator sports, baseball would be my choice.


  48. Especially when you’ve had to deal with Speshul Little Snowflakes in positons of POWER over you.


  49. Annointed? That’s a stretch.

    No it isn’t.
    The fanaticism you find on the Left is every bit as Righteous as that on the Right.
    It’s why I’m going to have to flee the state for MAGA country when I retire.


  50. Mule, I am merely lamenting today, not editorializing. My lament is that NO ONE was able to help this poor man find peace, in either life or death.

    The politics of it be damned today. This is just plain sad.


  51. This rumor has been going around for at least a year and has been debunked. The garbage sites, of course, report it with utter glee.


  52. I forgot that the IM comments section is now almost entirely the RobertF and Eeyore show, which will tender nothing you can’t glean from an hour of watching CNN or listening to Radio Rebelde, I mean NPR.

    Occasionally CM and Finn talk sense, though.


  53. Also, 100% of a gun’s purpose is to inflict harm. That is *clearly* not the case with cars, the fact that this has to be pointed out is baffling…


  54. What if Kim Jong-un gets a nuke? Nukes don’t kill people, PEOPLE kill people.

    In all sincerity, I can not understand why people reference the constitution in defense of a position. It is an archaic document made by flawed men during an entirely different era, yet it is often treated as the end-all of society, directly handed down by God himself. It should have no impact on discussions for decisions being made today. I mean, why use computers these days when we can just go back to the good ol’ days of slide rules for calculations?


  55. 100 people park at Walmart every day, too. No one is afraid of cars. If 100 people showed up with guns, trust me, there would be fear. Cars do not equate with guns in any sense.


  56. I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
    — Thomas Jefferson —


  57. > Annointed? That’s a stretch.

    Yep, this is a good example of binaryism. There is no equivalence between ‘sides’.


  58. Eeyore, Do you know that the illegal aliens arrested did not have family or support system in the United States? Are you saying the majority of the arrested were raising children by themselves with no family or social support system. If so , where do you get your information. As the children were in school or being cared for by others I do not think that would be the case. Did you read the lawyer link, what do you mean after due process. The illegal aliens were given more “due process” and consideration than a native born U.S. citizen would get.

    We cannot conflate our opinion and point of view as fact. Misconception meet reality . Facts meet propaganda.


  59. “The people who told you about Jimmy Aldaoud believe that the Hillary Clintons and the Tony Blairs, the Victoria Nulands, the Angela Merkels, the Justin Trudeaus, the Pedro Pablo Kuczynskis and the Emmanuel Macrons are the proper and anointed leaders for this time and this planet.”

    Annointed? That’s a stretch. But at least they are somewhat sane and coupled to reality, as opposed to others who need not be mentioned…


  60. “But the Constitution says that our right to bear arms is given by God himself”

    God isn’t mentioned in the Constitution. Once.


  61. “Children everyday are separated from their parents by the bad actions of their parents.”

    After due process, and almost always into the custody of family already in the US. Apple, meet orange.


  62. Ten years ago, nobody here or anywhere else cared whether Jimmy Aldaoud lived or died. My guess is that his life then sucked pretty bad, and that outside his struggling family nobody gave him a passing thought. However, now that he’s been posthumously enlisted in the Orange Man Bad brigade by some enterprising journalist, his ‘blood cries out from the ground’.

    There is enough blame for Jimmy Aldaoud to go around. His family should have had recourse to the Chaldean Catholic church, which according to the enterprising journalist has a thriving community in Detroit/Dearborn. They could have helped him become legal. He lived for a while in Greece. Maybe he even spoke Greek. The Greeks, of whom there are many in Detroit, could have, and would have, helped him.

    There are also enough false leaders to go around. Don’t be bulloxed. The people who told you about Jimmy Aldaoud believe that the Hillary Clintons and the Tony Blairs, the Victoria Nulands, the Angela Merkels, the Justin Trudeaus, the Pedro Pablo Kuczynskis and the Emmanuel Macrons are the proper and anointed leaders for this time and this planet. They’ll take of you, and they’ll make sure that all the dusty hordes will have enough cookies.

    And I’m going to say it right out, here and now. They want Jesus Christ in a museum, where He’ll be no competition for Autonomous Self-Directing Self-defining Contracepting Man (Woman more likely, but that’s a separate kettle of fish.


  63. PS One of the Mexicans who was caught sneaking over the border, had a little girl with him. He claimed she was his daughter. They found sperm from thirty men inside her.


  64. 100 people die every day from car crashes, but we don’t see that on the news all day, so why all the fuss about a couple of shooting incidents? Are media people just stupid? Do they not understand that cars are statistically more dangerous? Why do we hear so many calls to ban guns, but not to ban cars?

    No, this is a deliberate strategy by the Democratic party to demonize gun owners. But the Constitution says that our right to bear arms is given by God himself, and shall not be abridged by any state. And as Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” God bless our guns.

    [Edited for objectionable content]



    What would have happened if the illegal aliens working were American citizens using illegal ids and stolen documents to work under the table to avoid income reporting? Would they have been treated in the same way or under a different code of law? Are illegal aliens exempt from following the law of the land or is it just wrong to expect our laws be enforced? Who can change the law/ Congress, who can change Congress? the voters. So what were the long term plans of the illegal workers in the plant Completely agree the greedy owners of the plant should be punished under the law but they will not due to the “system” that is rigged in favor of big business and in favor of those who come here illegally. That is the problem, no one cares about the rule of law and what is good for the nation.

    Children everyday are separated from their parents by the bad actions of their parents. It just is not on a news loop being shown every 15 minutes. This is not way to make national policy but it keeps the emotions flowing.


  66. TomK , Good thing you are not identified as a Republican as you would be labeled an insensitive , racist who compares illegal aliens to monkeys.


  67. “They go after the workers so it looks like they are doing something and they know those people don’t have the money to fight back.”


    Punish the monkey and let the organ grinder go.


  68. Reading comments on the Aldaoud story on social media make me sick. How many people out there have no sympathy whatsoever for him because he was here without legal documentation? More than I would have imagined.
    We are a lost people and the religious leaders shouting the loudest about our being lost and needing to get on the right path are the ones who, like the Donner Party, have followed a false leader into disaster.


  69. Of course they won’t go after the business owners. They never do. That would probably put a dent in the problem but the current political group in power doesn’t want to do that because money is being made. They go after the workers so it looks like they are doing something and they know those people don’t have the money to fight back. Money = power. Which is why, no doubt, the good book told us that “…the love of money is the root of all evil…”


  70. Isn’t everything we do here a kind of betrayal?

    – No 6 (Patrick McGoohan) to No 2 (Leo Mckern) in The Prisoner (1968)


  71. I know, Robert; not everyone does. But it is one of the simple, ongoing public pleasures that helps me escape the flood of bad news and heartache in this land these days, as James Earl Jones so eloquently states.

    May you and all iMonks have a similar pleasure in your lives.


  72. They claim to try to make provisions for the kids by working with the appropriate social service agencies, but it’s not high on their list of priorities, and many kids get left out of their effort.


  73. Investigations are done, but the business owners have their assess covered by apparently thoroughly documented background checks, and not enough evidence can be gathered for any significant number of convictions, or any serious convictions. It’s been going on for years, and predates the Trump administration from way back (and I’m no fan of Trump). Nothing’s going to change; as long as undocumented workers can get employment in these places, and they can, they will continue to come into the U.S. Supply and demand.


  74. They are not content to treat immigrants like criminals – they treat them worse than criminals, and their children worse than the children of criminals: I can’t believe that in the US ordinary law enforcement abandons unprotected the children of those they arrest or send to gaol.


  75. How about going after the business that employed the illegal workers? Heavy fines and prison time could be a good deterrent for business not breaking the law as well. Don’t just go after the managers at the plant but at the corporate level for not enforcing the labor laws.

    It’s politically easy for the Trump Regime to go after the illegal workers since they view these people are considered to be “murderers and rapists” by our dear leader. But will they go after the businesses? I doubt it.


  76. If the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees can play baseball in London, then why can’t the White Sox and Yankees play at the “Field of Dreams” site? I think that’s a splendid idea.


  77. Likely the priest and Levite said something like this to themselves as they walked by the prone body on the other side of the road. Maybe that’s me and you, seneca, the priest and the Levite?


  78. As far as I’m concerned, he had an equal claim to the protection of America as I do. He belonged here, warts and all. But the authorities, representing and acting on behalf of us, the rest of America, knowingly sent him to his death. They might as well have just shot him in while in custody.


  79. what we do to the least of His, we do to Him

    so the poor man was ‘an illegal’? He looks like a human person to me. And he was non compos mentis, schizophrenic? More the shame for what we did to him. And his ‘own’ country received him not, by letting him languish and perish?

    I’d say that this dear country of ours, if it wants to ‘be made great again’ is going in the wrong direction.

    May this poor man rest in peace where no more great countries like ours can hurt him ever again.

    “He who saves the life of one man saves the world entire.”
    (the Talmud)


  80. Your interpretation of my comment seems paralyzingly literal to me. I see no way to respond to its particulars without being equally literal, which I’d rather not be.


  81. So you can’t pray for Jimmy ? Really, what would you do if someone’s body was never found or swept to sea ? You just would not pray ? What happened to Jimmy was awful so I will send up an extra prayer for you to the Lord.


  82. Regarding any children that may have been left without a legal guardian in the wake of the ICE arrests this last week, an ICE official said it “is a law enforcement agency, not a social services agency…” Thus have hands been washed.


  83. They are not listening to the pope’s words in Italy, or in many places around Europe. “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”


  84. I want to pray for Jimmy Aldaoud to RIP, but how can I do that when his remains are yet un-interred? If his blood cries out to God, but not from the ground, then from where?


  85. “There is a reward for all your people, both great and small. It is time to destroy those who destroy the earth.” – Revelation 11:18


  86. Yesterday’s lectionary reading from Isaiah was appropriate.

    Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
    who write oppressive statutes,
    to turn aside the needy from justice
    and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
    that widows may be your spoil,
    and that you may make the orphans your prey!
    What will you do on the day of punishment,
    in the calamity that will come from far away?
    To whom will you flee for help,
    and where will you leave your wealth,
    so as not to crouch among the prisoners
    or fall among the slain?
    For all this his anger has not turned away;
    his hand is stretched out still.

    Isaiah 10: 1-4



    (Proverbs 31:8)


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