Category Archives: News

Word of the Week – February 27, 2021

Charivari

Noun

French, 17th century

A noisy mock serenade performed by a group of people to celebrate a marriage or mock an unpopular person. A series of discordant noises.

Example: Watching the charivari of conservatives in Orlando reminds me of the Saturday morning cartoons of my childhood.

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Video of the Week – February 27, 2021

Donald Trump may be a native New Yorker, but there’s no love lost for the Orange One in a city that often shows no mercy.  Earlier this week a man carrying a “Trump 2024” flag at Wollman Rink in Central Park was tackled by an ice skater.  Chaos ensued.

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Tweet of the Week – February 27, 2021

Beto O’Rourke

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No S**t Quotes of the Week – February 27, 2021

All courtesy of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott opining about the recent ice storm chaos:

“When essential services were needed the most, the system broke.  You deserve answers.  You will get those answers.”

“You shouldn’t be saddled with skyrocketing power bills.”

“Each of these power sources failed to fully produce because of inadequate safeguards.”

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Saddest Quote of the Week – February 27, 2021

“Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone: 500,071 dead.  That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined.  That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth.  But as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America we remember each person and the life they lived.  They’re people we knew.  They’re people we feel like we knew.  Read the obituaries and the remembrances.  The son who called his mom every night just to check in, the father’s daughter who lit up his world, the friend who was always there, the nurse who made her patients want to live.”

President Joe Biden, on the COVID-19 death toll reaching the half million mark in the United States

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Worst Quotes of the Week – February 27, 2021

“I’ve got to say, Orlando is awesome!  It’s not as nice as Cancun, but it’s nice.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida

“If you’re reading the room and you’re intelligent, you realize that Donald Trump is still the future of the Republican Party.  Those people who are being displaced by illegals, those people who are being swept aside by the Democrat Party, who has just flagrantly ignored them for decades, Donald Trump is all over that.”

Donald Trump Jr., on Fox News

“So, they had this whole big narrative going right after January 6, and that narrative has completely collapsed.  There was no insurrection, there was no coup.  As you mention, the only shot fired in the Capitol on January 6 was the shot fired by a policeman into Ashli Babbitt’s neck.  They tried very hard the New York Times was the chief culprit in making up the story about Brian Sicknick, now they knew that the story was a lie from the beginning, and the reason is that there is plenty of video of what was happening all over the Capitol.  And yet you will notice there never was any video of Brian Sicknick being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher.  The New York Times made that up, attributed to unnamed sources and never published a correction, they just later said, ‘well the story has been updated because there’s been new facts that have come in.’ The truth of it is they tried to construct a false narrative and now that that false narrative has imploded they’re moving to the, let’s call it the White supremacy narrative, which is equally bogus.”

Dinesh D’Souza, refuting that the January 6 Capitol Hill rioters were insurrectionists

Brian Sicknick was the Capitol Hill police officer who succumbed to injuries after the chaos, and Ashli Babbitt was the former U.S. Air Force servicewoman who was shot and killed as she tried to enter a hallway.

“We spent all day trying to locate the famous QAnon, which, in the end, we learned is not even a website.  If it’s out there, we could not find it.  Then, we checked Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter feed because we have heard she traffics in disinformation, CNN told us, but nothing there.  Next, we called our many friends in the tight-knit intel community.  Could Vladimir Putin be putting this stuff out there?  The Proud Boys? Alex Jones?  Who is lying to America in ways that are certain to make us hate each other and certain to destroy our core institutions?  Well, none of the above, actually.  It wasn’t Marjorie Taylor Greene.  It was cable news.  It was politicians talking on TV.  They’re the ones spreading disinformation to Americans.  Maybe they are from QAnon.”

Tucker Carlson, claiming there is no evidence of a conspiracy group known as QAnon

On a side note, I’ve said before that Carlson resembles an adult film actor who went by the name T.T. Boy, c. 1990.

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Best Quotes of the Week – February 27, 2021

“Members of the board of ERCOT resigned for their failures and Greg Abbott should follow.  He is the head of the state. He is responsible for this crisis.”

Gilberto Hinojosa, Texas Democratic Party Chairman, in response to the recent ice storm and the ensuing failure of the state’s leadership to handle it

“It really would have been nice to have a state representative helping on the ground, working at a warming center, packing food, etc. rather than immediately (flying) off on a private plane when the going got tough.  My neighbors didn’t get to do that when her pipe burst.”

Brian Walz, resident of the Fort Bend, Texas area, criticizing State Rep. Gary Gates (pictured) for flying to Orlando, Florida as effects of the ice storm in his district worsened

A first-term lawmaker, Gates is facing backlash for taking a private jet to Orlando, but says he and his family had to leave their home, as pipes had burst.

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A Letter of Faith

A Trump supporter carries a Bible outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press)

Earlier this week more than 500 evangelical Christian faith leaders composed a letter denouncing “radicalized Christian nationalism” that many of the January 6 rioters used to descend upon the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to undermine certification of Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th President.  The statement is bold in its condemnation by actually calling out names of various entities now deemed as hate groups. This is the letter in its entirety:

Sign on: Evangelical Leaders Statement Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the January 6th Insurrection

Evangelical Leaders Statement
Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the Insurrection January 6

As leaders in the broad evangelical community, we recognize and condemn the role Christian Nationalism played in the violent, racist, anti-American insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6.

We recognize the damage done by radicalized Christian Nationalism in the world, the church, and in the lives of individuals and communities.

We know from experts on radicalization that one of the key elements is a belief that your actions are “blessed by God” and ordained by your faith. This is what allows so many people who hold to a Christian Nationalism view to be radicalized.
While we come from varied backgrounds and political stances, we stand together against the perversion of the Christian faith as we saw on January 6, 2021. We also stand against the theology and the conditions that led to the insurrection.

Over the centuries, there are moments when the Church, the trans-national Body of Christ-followers, has seen distortions of the faith that warranted a response. In ages past, the Church has responded by holding emergency councils in order to unilaterally denounce mutations of the Christian faith, and to affirm the core values at the heart of Christianity. It is in that spirit that we unite our voices to declare that there is a version of American nationalism that is trying to camouflage itself as Christianity –  and it is a heretical version of our faith.

Just as many Muslim leaders have felt the need to denounce distorted, violent versions of their faith, we feel the urgent need to denounce this violent mutation of our faith. What we saw manifest itself in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is a threat to our democracy, but it is also a threat to orthodox Christian faith. The word “Christian” means “Christ-like.” As leaders in the Church, we do not agree on everything, but we can agree on this – Christians should live in a way that honors Jesus, and reminds the world of Him.

As Jesus himself said, “They will know that you are my disciples by the way you love” (John 13:35). No Christian can defend the unChristlike behavior of those who committed the violence on January 6. Not only was it anti-democratic, but it was also anti-Christian.

On January 6 we saw the flags claiming Trump’s name, calling for violence, and raising the name of Jesus. We saw images of a police officer being beaten with an American flag and another being crushed in a doorway. We know an officer was murdered in the act of insurrection. We witnessed the cross and the gallow being erected. We saw and heard the prayer the insurrectionists prayed from the Senate desk in Jesus’ name. Many of us recognized the content, the structure, and the style of that prayer as matching our own churches and faith.

But we reject this prayer being used to justify the violent act and attempted overthrow of the Government.

We have witnessed the rise of violent acts by radicalized extremists using the name of Christ for its validity in the past, including the deadly actions in Charlottesville in 2017. We join our voices to condemn it publicly and theologically.

We recognize that evangelicalism, and white evangelicalism in particular, has been susceptible to the heresy of Christian nationalism because of a long history of faith leaders accommodating white supremacy. We choose to speak out now because we do not want to be quiet accomplices in this on-going sin. But we also want to celebrate the long tradition of prophetic Christian witness in this nation that has challenged white supremacy and violent Christian nationalism. Though the KKK in the South claimed the symbol of a Christain cross, prophetic Black Christians formed and discipled children in Birmingham, Alabama who led a nonviolent witness in the face of dogs and firehoses. Though an appeal to “biblical values” has been used to demonize immigrants, undocumented Christians in America today have led a movement that insists upon the dignity and full humanity of all undocumented people. There is a powerful Christian witness for the common good in our past and in our present. White evangelicals in America can grow in faithfulness by following this cloud of witnesses, including the many white freedom-fighters who risked their lives standing up for love in the face of violence and hatred.

We urge all pastors, ministers, and priests to boldly make it clear that a commitment to Jesus Christ is incompatible with calls to violence, support of white Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories, and all religious and racial prejudice.

Just as it was tragically inconsistent for Christians in the 20th Century to support the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi ideology, it is unthinkable for Christians to support the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, QAnon, 3 Percenters, America Firsters, and similar groups.

We urge faith leaders to engage pastorally with those who support or sympathize with these groups, and make it clear that our churches are not neutral about these matters: we are on the side of democracy, equality for all people, anti-racism, and the common good of all people.

Instead of seeing the United States as God’s chosen nation we thank God for the church around the world that calls people of all races, tongues and nations to the knowledge and love of God. Instead of seeing any particular political leader or party as divinely appointed, we believe in the prophetic and pastoral ministry of the church to all political leaders and parties. Instead of power through violence, we believe in and seek to imitate the powerful, servant love practiced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our faith will not allow us to remain silent at such a time as this. We are also aware that our world needs more than a statement right now… we need action.

Every one of the signers of this declaration is committed to taking concrete steps to put flesh on our words. We will combat bad theology with better theology. We will resist fear with love. We will tell the truth about our nation’s history.

We will seek to repair and heal the wounds of the past. We will seek racial justice on a personal, ecclesial, and systemic level. We will support organizations led by people of color. We will listen to and amplify the voices of people of faith who have been marginalized by the colonizing force of white supremacy and Christian Nationalism.

We will do our best to be faithful to Jesus, and to those Christ called “the least of these.”

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Word of the Week – February 20, 2021

Stochastic

Adjective

Greek, 17th century

Randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely.

Example: State officials’ response to the ice storm proved they only have stochastic viewpoints.

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Tweet of the Week – February 20, 2021

Beto O’Rourke

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