"... pray rid me of God ..."

"I pray God to rid me of God."

That, by Meister Eckhart, "... Eckhart von Hochheim O.P., commonly known as Meister Eckhart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire." He is one of the great Christian mystics, born 1260 AD, died in Avignon, France, 1328. Interestingly, Avignon is home to the Abbaye Notre Dame de l’Annonciation, a cloistered group of Benedictine nuns who are among our most favorite purveyors of Gregorian chants. But that's another story ...

Matthew Fox comments further on the thought Meister Eckhart was expressing:

 "Eckhart often surprises us with his stark observations. We often make God over into our own image, and this is the 'God' Eckhart wants removed. Eckhart often prays to God for forgiveness and help moving beyond human projections of God to the real thing. Have you ever prayed to God to rid you of God? Are there human projections you need to let go of; perhaps of an all-male God, a God of judgment and condemnation? A God that spreads division, class oppression, homophobia, sexism, excessive nationalism?"

Those who see themselves as God's selected reps on earth usually think they have a lock on who and what God is. Particularly, God's professionals, like Franklin Graham and his sister - though Billy Graham certainly has God's ear. Pat Robinson. The Falwells. Any number of political preachers. They all have got a solid lock on who and what God is, and since they channel God on a regular and routine basis, they are perfectly willing to have the hoi polloi keep 'em in silk suits and white-washed tomb-temples while preaching The True Word Of God™. Church congregations are full of such people, eager to admonish and rebuke the rest of us miserable losers. Almost all of them are full of shit.


Another Primrose Path

Trump’s silent surge in the Middle East — and the slippery slope to war

We've been down this primrose path before. Congress and We the People went along with the program, and our presidents gave us Vietnam. Our involvement there was based on lies and deceit, most of it coming out of the Oval Office.

Congress needs to do its collective job and challenge what Ol' Heel Spurs is pulling in the Middle East. Right now he pretty much has a blank check, and he's letting the generals ramp it up over there with no discernible oversight. This is a lot like what happened with Johnson and the 'blank check' of the Tonkin Resolution. It took years for Congress to wake up and eventually pull the fiscal plug.

"Congress should renew the debate on a new authorization for the use of military force to replace the one passed to counter al-Qaeda and its associated forces more than 15 years ago. Across the broader Middle East, the United States has about 80,000 troops deployed — far fewer than the more than 300,000 serving in 2008. Today the overall numbers are not as important as where the troops are located, what they are doing — and, most critically, how the use of military force fits into a broader strategy. The Trump team needs to explain this strategy, and Congress needs to authorize it and set appropriate limits."

What is the Trumpian strategy? Is there one? Not even Mattis has come up with anything resembling a coherent policy or strategy for the Middle East. He's talking about 'annihilating' ISIS, but I'm taking that as more of that generalissimo 'shock and awe' crap, and we all know how well that worked out. What about the State Department? Tillerson has not come up with anything ... unless it's all part of Ol' Heel Spurs' "SecretPlan™."

"As a candidate, Trump announced he had a secret plan to defeat ISIS, even as he was suggesting that the US needed to pull back from acting as a world policeman and enforcer of stability. Instead of unveiling that secret plan after he was elected, Trump signed an executive order on January 28 directing his national security team to come up with a strategy to defeat the group."

So far ... nothing. Other than Mattis' 'annihilating' ISIS, which is great stuff for getting the flag-waving super-patriot juices flowing, but not much else.

And then we have Duffelblog, where satire strikes at the heart of the matter:

Army unveils 700-part op-order process for fighting new wars Americans won’t care about

"According to Dial, the Army was looking at ways to remove all moral culpability of sending America’s sons and daughters to their deaths under dubious circumstances since the Vietnam War. But those efforts stalled after lop-sided victories of zero importance in Grenada, Panama, and Operation Desert Storm.

“With the situation in the Middle East as hopeless as ever and only 30 percent of legislators still in Congress who decided to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, we knew it was only a matter of time before committing US forces to another historically volatile and culturally opposite area of the planet with no legitimate plan for success,” said Dial."

I think Duffelblog is wrong, however, with that Americans not caring. These wars and adventures are great for generating really great tear-jerker country western songs, and for speech-sourcing on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Can't have patriotic moments without a little blood in the bucket.


Servile fear

"Nothing should be feared -- not human beings and not any other thing -- perfect love drives out servile fear, which is fear that expects punishment before everything else. Christ had no servile fear."
- Thomas Aquinas
Matthew Fox observes:
"Psychologist Jerry Jampolsky teaches that fear is the opposite of love. John's epistle says that 'fear is driven out by perfect love' (1 John 4:18) and Aquinas offers a similar teaching, urging people to live without fear. And this includes religious people. Living our lives without fear is trying to live a Christlike life. If fear is the opposite of love and Christ taught love, then clearly a life of fear is not a Christlike life.
How much does fear play a role in our lives, individually and collectively? Do our religions preach a servile fear of God? Is that not the opposite of preaching love? Do politicians and the media exploit fear? Is that not the opposite of building community?
Courage, having a heart that recognizes fear but does not allow it to take over one's soul, is one of the signs of a truly spiritual person."
So now, we have in the Oval Office a man placed there in great part by those who would declare this to be a 'Christian' nation ... yet he is a man who revels in the creation of servile fear. He thrives on it; he requires it. Anyone who has ever watched Ol' Heel Spurs crush those pathetic, groveling 'apprentices' has seen this. His cabinet, save a few such as James Mattis, is more of the same. His manner of dealing with our international allies, is more of the same. His manner of dealing with the loyal opposition (and they *are*, being Americans all, the loyal opposition), is more of the same.
His philosophy is not in keeping with John 13:34, which to my untutored and ignorant mind seems to be at least a major part of Christian behavior (at least the attempt, which is the best most of us can hope for) ... but more in keeping with that priceless scene from Conan the Barbarian ... mercilessly driving one's enemies before, and hearing the lamentations of their women. Vengeance. Revenge. Mercilessness. Violence. Greed, above all.
Violence. I wonder where it comes from:


New stuff on Pen and Hook

Check out Leece's sari silk ribbon on her Etsy shop. They come in four skein lengths - 10, 30, 45, and 60 yards.

It's all hand-dyed in her workshop; custom colors are available.Victorian Plum and River Blue are the current favorites:

And here are but a few other color options:

Trump exports Christians

The evangelicals, the 'Christian' Right, had foamed mightily at the mouth over the shabby treatment of 'Christian' refugees by Obama.

Ol' Heel Spurs was going to take care of that.

Speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump said that it had been "impossible, or at least very tough" for Syrian Christians to enter the United States.

"If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair -- everybody was persecuted, in all fairness -- but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them."

But ... Ol' Heel Spurs is deporting Iraqi Christians.

The deportation effort has alarmed lawmakers who have tried to raise awareness about the plight of Chaldean and other Christian communities in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. Those communities have struggled to survive under the reign of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Removing the detainees from the United States “represents a death sentence should they be deported to Iraq or Syria,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who has family and religious links to the Middle East, said in a statement.

Christian activists are scrambling to file legal challenges to the deportations and coordinate with sympathetic lawmakers. As the news has spread, so has the feeling that Trump has betrayed the affected Christian community, activists said.

He promised he would help us, when in fact he’s exacerbated problems now by sending people back to the hands of the Islamic State,” said Steve Oshana, an Assyrian-Christian activist with the group A Demand for Action.

While some refugee organizations are up in arms over this I doubt that the Trumpkin evangelicals will lose a lot of sleep over this. These are mostly Chaldeans. The Chaldean Catholic Church. And as we all know, to the Trumpkin evangelicals as well as a fair number of mainstream Protestants ... Catholics of any flavor are not really, you know ... "Christians."

Some of them are with the Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East. There's that 'C' word again.

It's interesting to note that '... Many of the people detained in weekend raids were from Michigan, a swing state Trump barely won in 2016.'

Payback's a bitch with Ol' Heel Spurs.

Deep thinking

Remember the little party Ol' Heel Spurs threw, in the Rose Garden, to celebrate the passage of this bit of legislative doggerel? Back then, he said it was 'terrific.'

Now, apparently, it is not. Now, apparently, it is 'terrible.'

What a buffoon. He can't even keep his own lies straight, much less anyone else's.


Bernie's theological meltdown

"At a contentious confirmation hearing last week for Russell Vought as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget — generally not known as an institution with theological job requirements — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took vigorous exception to an online post Vought had written claiming that Muslims (and, presumably, others) who “have rejected Jesus Christ” therefore “stand condemned.”

Sanders found this “indefensible” and “hateful.”"

Well ... it is defensible, sort of, though I don't agree with it. I'm more in line with Rob Bell, Thomas Jay Oord, and John Donne on this one. But here's the thing. When it comes to doing the job, I really don't care what Vought thinks, theologically. We don't have to be in theological agreeance. If he wants to be a member of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, what do I care? The only time it would matter, should matter ... is if Vought used his religious beliefs to discriminate under the color of the authority of his position. Bernie needs to get a grip.

Trump's Praise and Worship Team

Trump's recent cabinet meeting was more of a Praise and Worship Team extravaganza, with Reince Preibus sinking to such a pathetic low as to state:

“We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing to serve your agenda.”

Trump’s Cabinet, With a Prod, Extols the ‘Blessing’ of Serving Him

"A few cabinet members diverged from the apparent script. Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense — whose reputation for independence has been a comfort to Mr. Trump’s critics — refrained from personally praising the president, instead aiming his comments at American troops fighting and dying for their country.

“Mr. President, it’s an honor to represent the men and women of the Department of Defense, and we are grateful for the sacrifices our people are making in order to strengthen our military so our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength,” Mr. Mattis said as Mr. Trump sat, stern-faced."

Marines. The Few. The Proud. The 'we don't kiss no asses.'

Trump really doesn't get Mattis. He can't. He isn't equipped for it, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically.


Greed, Avarice, Lust, and Gluttony

From Fr. Richard this morning:

Voluntary Poverty

"... [Francis] own father was one of the first generation of propertied businessmen in the new trading class of Europe. One biographer found city records of twelfth century Assisi showing that Pietro De Bernadone, Francis’ father, was indeed buying up the lands of the poor. Francis recognized that his father’s obsession with money had in many ways destroyed his father’s soul. And so, in some ways overreacting to his father, Francis set out on a radically different path.

Francis concluded that the only way out of such a world was to live a life of voluntary poverty, or what he called a life of “non-appropriation,” and to simply not be a part of the moneyed class. Franciscans wear a rope around their waist as a sign that they carry no money, since the leather belt in Francis’ time also served as a wallet. Francis knew that once you felt you owned anything, then you would have to protect it and increase it. That is the inherent nature of greed—there is never enough. For some reason this is no longer considered a capital sin in our capitalist society. In fact, I have never heard anyone confess an offense against the tenth commandment. “Coveting our neighbor’s goods” is the very nature of our society.

Today the need for simplifying goes beyond an avoidance of violence. Our planet is in grave peril largely due to greed, overconsumption, and reckless exploitation. While most of us are not like Francis, willing to dive into a life of voluntary poverty, we must all make choices and decisions to do our part to follow these wise words of an unknown speaker: “live simply so that others may simply live.”

That isn't going to happen so long as we have the very personification of greed, lust, and avarice - and a bit of gluttony - sitting there in the Oval Office. He represents Greed; he revels in Greed; he thrives on Greed.

No wonder those prosperity preachers love him like a Savior.

But it doesn't say much for the 'Christian' state of the evangelicals who put him in office, does it.

An immoral man cannot provide moral leadership. A 'moral' majority that embraces such a man is hardly 'moral,' other than in a self-righteous, self-defeating, self-serving Pharisaic way.


Hank the Heretic?

Hank Hanegraff, the 'Bible Answer Man'

"Pulpit and Pen, a combative web site that considers Catholicism and Orthodoxy “false expressions of Christianity,” charged that Hanegraaff “has left the biblical Christian faith for (a) Greek Orthodox tradition ... highly driven by graven images” – a reference to the icons, which adorn most Orthodox churches."

"As the news about Hanegraaff spread on social media and the Internet, between 100 and 150 radio stations dropped his nationally syndicated show from their daily lineups.
“That picture of Hank kneeling before a Greek Orthodox priest – that was hard for many evangelicals to see,” said Mike Carbone, chief operating officer at The Truth Network, which booted the “Bible Answer Man” show from six of its stations, including those in Charlotte and Raleigh. “Hank is as likable a guy as you’ll find, but we were not able to go where he was going.”"

These are the same people - the white evangelicals - who do not consider Catholics of any flavor to be 'Christians.' Remember JFK? But their theological certitude and purity is very ... fluid. For decades upon decades they have also considered Mormons, JW's, and others as well as Catholics, to be if not the Minions of Satan then certainly misguided heretic heathens. Until ... they could only get a rich white Mormon (there are a few non-white Mormons floating around. You have to look hard, but they are there) to run against that black Muslim pretender. Then ... it became quite different. The Rich White Mormon received a dispensation (perhaps a form of Protestant indulgence?) from the evangelical God's Vicar on Earth, Billy Graham. Graham declared Mormons to be 'Christians', despite his own decades of ranting to the contrary ... and thus, it was OK for white evangelicals to vote for the Rich White Mormon. Isn't it interesting how their politics guide their theology? Is God really a Republican? Is God really an American conservative? Are all Democrats really godless liberal scum?

But decades upon decades of serving as the go-to guy for questions about the Bible were not sufficient to save Hanegraff. Nope. He's a-goin' ta hail. Yup. He's fallen in with the Jesus-eatin' plaster saint worshipers, and that's that. Never mind The Truth Network and Pulpit and Pen are full of shit and wallowing in abysmal ignorance about any of the Catholic churches. It has been decreed.

It must be nice to have God so solidly on your side that you can shit all over people in his holy name.

And I guess all the Wesleyan types are going to hell in a handbasket, too. Wesley was heavily tainted by the Eastern church, and the Romans, and he was actually an Anglican, and the Anglicans have an order of apostolic succession, unlike their evangelical 'brethren.' I wonder if they can receive a dispensation from Graham Godly Works, LLC.


Trump unhinged (again)

Trump unhinged

Trump also tweeted that “extreme vetting” is necessary to keep our country safe, and added that “the courts are slow and political!”

Well ... Ol' Heel Spurs wanted his intitial Muslim/travel/whatever ban for 90 days, so he and his fellow cartoon characters could implement that 'extreme vetting.'

So far, they have done nothing. Nada. Zip. Ol' Heel Spurs got the high hard one from the courts (that pesky Constitution do git in the way of a good dictatorship, doncher agree?), mostly because of his own stupid twits and inflamatory rhetoric. That threw him into a frenzy of foaming and frothing. Rather than do something constructive, he's pissed away the time trying to beat down the courts, about which he has little if any knowledge and for which he has no respect. Ditto for the Constitution. Much like his base, most of whom think they are constitutional scholars.

“We have put our pens down,” acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall told the told the 4th Circuit last month, when questioned about work on new procedures during a separate hearing about the travel ban. Wall said the administration has “done nothing to review the vetting procedures for these countries.”

Where's the 'extreme vetting,' Donnie? Where's that 'leadership?'

Trump's latest foaming and frothing over his 'travel ban'

In Twitter barrage, Trump ramps up push for ‘TRAVEL BAN!’ even as opposition hardens

Ol' Heel Spurs is frothing and foaming anew over his 'travel ban.' He hasn't a clue about who the London murderers were and are - other than one of them is known to the public as a "man born in Pakistan but raised in Britain." Maybe the rest of 'em are all freshly arrived in Britain, but Ol' Heel Spurs doesn't know that, and is throwing the usual tantrums.

Meanwhile ... remember how it was supposed to be a 'temporary' ban? Ol' Heel Spurs said he and his henchmen needed 90 days to improve the vetting process?

It's been more than 90 days. So if he's had the time he said he needed, where's the beef? Others ask the same question:

“It’s been four months since I said they needed four months to put that in place,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think you can do that without a travel ban and hopefully we are.”

Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), the top Democrat on the panel, said Trump’s administration has had plenty of time at this point to examine how immigrants are let into the United States and make any improvements that are needed. “If the president wanted 90 days to re-examine how individuals from certain countries would enter the United States, he’s had more than 90 days,” Warner said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

But they've been doing nothing. Nothing.

“We have put our pens down,” acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall told the told the 4th Circuit last month, when questioned about work on new procedures during a separate hearing about the travel ban. Wall said the administration has “done nothing to review the vetting procedures for these countries.”

Donnie didn't get what he wanted, so he's pissed, and now, instead of dealing with what he said was a problem in vetting ... he is focused on getting his way.

Grow up, Donnie, and MoveOn. Or go back to something really important, like twitting about the size of your inauguration crowd.


"... I love you guys!"

According to Graham Godly Enterprises, LLC, God has scheduled a VLCME (Very Large Coronal Mass Ejection), which will outflow from the sun and engulf the earth in a maelstrom of cosmic rays, x-rays, hotter-than-the-fahrs-a-hail coronal gases, and just plain fire and brimstone.
"God's had enough of this crap," said Chuck Spurgeon, spokesperson for GGE LLC. "It was the repeal of the North Carolina bathroom law that sent Him over the edge," Spurgeon continued, "that, and He still isn't over Obama banning Christmas in the US military. He has always seen the American armed forces as his own 'Christian soldiers," Spurgeon noted,"but this bathroom thing was the last straw."
Although the time and date of the fiery smiting and destruction of billions of living creatures has not been announced, God has reportedly reassured the governing board of GGE LLC that "I love you guys!"
Reports of smug 'Screw you buddy, I got mine!' attitudes on the part of some board members are greatly overblown, insisted Spurgeon, who was packing a travel kit in anticipation of being raptured,"but you know, it isn't our fault that God's on our side."

Whenever the evangelicals like the Grahams and their brethren come out with a new load of theological puke, I think of Deuteronomy 31:6.
 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”


Creative slumlordery

How Jared Kushner built a luxury skyscraper using loans meant for job-starved areas

Creative slumlordery. All legal. You just have to know the right people, who won't ask too many questions.

"They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.

The tactic — critics liken it to the gerrymandering of legislative districts — made it appear that the luxury tower was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Companies and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program."

Exploiting the EB-5 visa program. Imagine that. And this, from the son-in-law of the guy who is going to Save America From The Filthy Immigrants.

Sounds like a good 'Christian' move, doesn't it? Bet the prosperity preachers love it. Exploit the poor and line your pockets with cash.


God's Own Man

GOP Congressman: God Will ‘Take Care Of’ Climate Change If It Exists

"Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”
So ... we humans do nothing. It's in God's hands. If climate change, global warming, is really a problem, God's got it for us, and we don't have to do anything.
So ... the war in Syria, the bombing in Kabul, the opiate epidemic in Colorado and throughout the nation, poverty throughout the world, human trafficking, the crazy fat little NORK, and the most consummate evil of all, the Democrats ... these must not be problems, since I'm not seeing much Godly handling going on.
But wait! I have missed the obvious! God *is* working!
He has given us ... Trump.
Trump of the gilded bathroom fixtures. Trump of the debauched casinos. Trump the Pussy Snatcher. Trump, stiffer of little workers and contractors. Trump the slumlord (well, Kushner ... Trump's Wormwood). Trump of the Kremlin. Trump, Mammon's Main Minion.
Godly Trump. Trump, God's Own Man. Trump, the Christian. Trump, our Savior and Salvation. Trump, darling of America's evangelicals (well, 81% of the white evangelicals, who have suffered such grievous persecution at the hands of the godless liberals).
Trump ... the consummate American.
Yep. I see God's hand in it all.
I think I'll stick with our favorite heretic and those of his ilk.
Is a gilded bidet anything like a gilded calf?

Paying a terrible price

This is a really good Memorial Day video.

It will give the flag-wavin' super-patriot saber-rattlers a good patriotic stiffie.

It will bring tears to the eyes and an ache to the heart for many of the rest of us.

This is a good time to understand the terrible price we pay for our adventures.

Better make sure the 'adventure' is worth the price, rather than blindly following some flag-waving, manipulative, self-serving cheesedick and a collection of Congressional Clowns who are overwhelmed with a flood of testosterone.

I'm thinking of Lyndon Baines Johnson; Richard Nixon, George W. Bush .. and most recently, Ol' Heel Spurs himself.

When buffoons of this ilk start rattling their sabers and waving the flag, it's time to put on the brakes and have a good hard think about what we're doing and why we're doing it and how we're doing it.

All the tear-jerker speeches in the world don't make up for thousands of ... this ... just because it feels like ... Murrica!

Kissing Putin's Ass

What possible justification does Ol' Heel Spurs have for this?

Early last month, the Trump administration told the Russians that it would consider turning the properties back over to them if Moscow would lift its freeze, imposed in 2014 in retaliation for U.S. sanctions related to Ukraine, on construction of a new U.S. consulate on a certain parcel of land in St. Petersburg.

Two days later, the U.S. position changed. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a meeting in Washington that the United States had dropped any linkage between the compounds and the consulate, according to several people with knowledge of the exchanges.

Ol' Heel Spurs yucks it up with the Russians while sharing Israeli intelligence

“There is absolutely no justification for this,” says Russia expert Max Bergmann, a former Obama State Department official. “Russia not only interfered in our election, but just in the last few months they did the same to our French and Dutch allies.” He says bluntly: “At a certain point, we need to just call this out for what it is — Trump is acting in the interests of a hostile foreign power over the interests of the United States. Congress meanwhile is MIA, as Senator Bob Corker and the Republican leadership continue to block additional sanctions against Russia.”

Tell me again how Trump's Makin' Murrica Grate Agin. Explain it to me. 

The bones of the dead and other filth ...

How Jared Kushner built a luxury skyscraper using loans meant for job-starved areas

Creative slumlordery. All legal. You just have to know the right people, who won't ask too many questions.

"They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.

The tactic — critics liken it to the gerrymandering of legislative districts — made it appear that the luxury tower was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Companies and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program."

Exploiting the EB-5 visa program. Imagine that. And this, from the son-in-law of the guy who is going to Save America From The Filthy Immigrants.

Sounds like a good 'Christian' move, doesn't it? Bet the prosperity preachers love it. Exploit the poor and line your pockets with cash.

Anything built by the Trumps is as "... whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth."


The Chamber Pot


City Council has voted to spend $5152.00 on the Chamber of Commerce building, to provide a sorta kinda 'temporary' visitor center.

The money will fund paint, some new carpet, and a bit of an overhaul of the bathroom(s).

Critics are going a bit alpha sierra over the fact that the bathroom(s) will not be ADA compliant.


But the new fixtures - the toilet, the sink, then handrail - will be ADA compliant.

The ramp, the doorway, other factors and features ... no.

Oh, the humanity!

One might well be asking why the facility is not presently ADA compliant.

One might well be asking why the taxpayers are paying for upgrading a building privately owned.

One might well be asking why the building owner isn't keeping the building properly maintained.

And, one might well be asking why the Chamber isn't paying for it.

As for this 'upgrade' or whatever it is not being ADA-compliant ... it doesn't have to be.

Check the parts about 'feasibility' and 'disproportionate costs.'

So. One might well be asking ... why not spend this money for more of the new book drops ... uh ... trash cans? You know. The ones nicely done up in Swink colors. Five Large would be enough for five more of them. They are only a grand apiece, reportedly.

Would not five more book drops/trash cans bring in more tourists than new carpet in the Chamber building? I saw an older couple from Kansas taking pictures of one of the new book drops, commenting that they were going to bring some friends over from Garden City next week to see them for themselves.

"Make it a priority to hire local or regional artists to design/fabricate streetscape elements. For example, artists could create or refurbish existing benches, fencing, trashcans, tables, awnings, shade structures, planters, lighting poles, banners, electrical boxes, paving/stamped concrete, bike racks, crosswalks, etc."

We don't need carpet or paint or new bathroom fixtures.

We need more decorative trash cans; more Rizzuto Stones; some snappy fencing; decorative electrical boxes, and so on. Manhole covers with antelopes on them!

Let's get with the program!



In the United States in particular, 'Christians', and fundies and other evangelicals tend to be fixated on eschatology. End times theories. The wackier the better; they tend to really go for heresies like 'The Rapture.'

But Fr. Richard has an opinion on that:

Paul believes that corporate evil can only be overcome or confronted with corporate good. He uses primitive yet powerful words for the negative side of corporations, institutions, and nations: he calls them “thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers” (Colossians 1:16). These are not “bad angels” as much as collective attitudes that are almost impossible to break. Because they are so widely shared as mass consciousness—the way we’re programmed to think—they no longer look like evil and are hard to resist. Murder is bad, but war is good; greedy people are bad, but capitalism is going to save the world; ambition and pride are supposedly major sins, but not in the good ol’ USA. Do you see the problem?


For Paul, community is the living organism that communicates the Gospel message. Paul, like Jesus, wants to change culture here, not just send people away to a far-off heaven later! If Christ’s cosmic message doesn’t take form in a concrete group of people, then, as far as Paul is concerned, it is an unbelievable message. An autonomous Christian is as impossible as an independent arm or leg. Arms and legs exist only as parts. No single one of us is the whole Christ, and “the eye cannot say to the hand, I do not need you” (I Corinthians 12:21). Believers exist as parts of the whole, the Body of Christ. Their very existence is an objective, shared state that Paul calls love or living “in Christ.” When Paul says, “without love I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2), he implies that he is inside of another Being who is Love.

Paul sees what we will eventually call the “communion of saints” (by the fifth and sixth centuries) as an organism that is very alive, real, and operative in this world. I like to call it an “energy field” created by all those who share in the various parts of Christ. “Salvation” is thus something we can participate in right here and now. When Paul addresses his letters to “the saints,” he is clearly not speaking of our later idea of canonized saints, but of those who make up his living communities and who are participating in this shared life of love in this world.

Evangelicals in particular should spend less time on eschatology - particularly the wackier heresies such as 'the Rapture' - and give a bit more attention to the here and now. Fundies are pretty much beyond the reach of reason, so they can just continue to gnash their teeth, wail, and rend their garments or whatever.