Tuesday, November 30, 2021

White Is A Race

And the race most in need of protection.

Just wait ‘til those Tennessee kids learn King died in Memphis. Oh, I guess they won’t learn that, either.

And though I hate to suggest Rep. Boebert is the “head” of the GOP, she is in Congress, and a timely example of the old adage:
"The fish rots from the head.” And MTG is right about one thing: It’s the shoe that fits.

“There Were No Shortages In 2020”


 Which explains why I bought this ornament in 2020 to commemorate the year.

BREAKING NEWS!

I'll just start there, because that's the court that is currently hearing arguments on Trump's appeal (I'm listening to it on-line as I type), and to say the Court is not inclined to support Trump is an understatement. The Court's primary concern, as already reported, is that the Court does not have jurisdiction to hear this argument because this is a matter already agreed to between the Congress and the President and the former POTUS (whoever he is) can't ask the courts to weigh in on a question that's already been decided by the other two branches of government.  The judges just spent about 30 minutes making Trump's lawyer chase his tail on this issue, and it was clear they were never satisfied with his answer.  The basic argument of the court was they were being to asked to review an agreement between Congress and the White House because the former POTUS didn't like the deal they'd struck.  And what standing does the former POTUS have to raise that issue, what harm is done that he can seek to correct?  The only answer Trump's lawyer had was a harm to the constitutional structure of the Presidency.  And there's your standing issue, faced plainly:  what standing does Trump have to seek redress of that "harm"?*

I had to break off before the House counsel could start his argument, and in any appellate argument the judges try to make both sides squirm.  But the simple facts are:  the court set this for expedited hearing (today) and has already asked the parties to explain why the Court has any authority in this matter (jurisdiction, not standing as some outlets have reported; although the court may be asking for review of both topics: the court's jurisdiction and Trump's standing).

*It strikes me as a very inchoate harm.  I think the court will agree. I could make the same claim, but no court would give me the time of day.  Trump has a statutory status to object, but does that status invoke the Courts to decide when Congress and the White House are in agreement? The judges made a more cogent argument than I can report without the transcript, but I think Trump loses this round, and I still don’t think the Supremes get involved.

Keeping The Elephants Away

Abbott is confident about the electrical grid in Texas because he signed some toothless laws.  And 15% more capacity is basically twice nothing when the entire grid came so close to collapse power was cut off across almost the entire state last February.  Abbott also knows the odds of a repeat of February 2021 in 2022 are astronomically large against. So when winter passes without a repeat of this year’s disaster, he’ll be able to claim in the campaign that he kept the winter elephants away.

Not that I would wish for another incident like that, even if it guaranteed the expulsion of Greg Abbott from office.  But one can safely say Greg Abbott is simply full of shit:

The power and gas industries say they are working to make their systems more reliable during winter storms, and the Public Utility Commission, the state agency that regulates the state’s power industry, finally acted on recommendations made by federal regulators a decade ago after another severe winter storm.

But energy experts say Texas’ grid remains vulnerable, largely because newly written regulations allowed too much wiggle room for companies to avoid weatherization improvements that can take months or years. More than nine months after February’s storm — which could exceed Hurricane Harvey as the costliest natural disaster in state history — a lack of data from regulators and industry groups makes it impossible to know how many power and gas facilities are properly weatherized.

For millions of Texans, that means there is no assurance that they will have electricity and heat if another major freeze strikes the state.

This, in fact, is what Texas has done since February 2021:

The main Texas grid is an island, not connected to the country’s two major power grids. This is by design, the result of actions by state leaders decades ago to avoid federal regulation and encourage free-market competition. Multiple state agencies, as well as a nonprofit organization — the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT — govern the grid’s operations, writing rules based on laws passed by state lawmakers.

The lawmakers responded to February's disaster by passing legislation aimed at improving the power system’s preparedness for winter. It established weatherization mandates but left it to state regulators to implement them.

The Public Utility Commission followed with a rule enacting the weatherization requirements. But the rule allows power plants to request an exception if they document their efforts to comply, explain why they couldn’t and submit a plan to do so later.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the natural gas industry, is working more slowly. A proposal published in September — and expected to be finalized Dec. 1 — lays out a timeline that would identify, map and impose weatherization mandates by early 2023 for gas producers that supply power plants. It also seeks to prevent a repeat of a major paperwork error that resulted in dozens of natural gas providers having their power cut off during February’s rolling blackouts because they failed to declare themselves “critical infrastructure.”

But the proposed rule, which the Railroad Commission said was written to reflect the language in the new state law, allows gas companies to opt out of that classification and avoid having to weatherize their equipment. That infuriated many legislators, despite the fact they’d voted for the law that allowed it after lobbying by the natural gas industry.

The result is that Texas has done “next to nothing” to weatherize its natural gas supply, said Doug Lewin, an Austin-based energy consultant. 

And why is that?

The natural gas industry has been among the most politically powerful in Texas for generations and has donated generously to the campaigns of governors, lawmakers and the Railroad Commission. That contributes to a culture in which gas companies have escaped strict weatherization mandates, energy experts and consumer advocates say.

The Texas Oil and Gas Association, one of the most prominent energy lobbyist groups in Texas, defended the gas industry’s image in a public relations campaign after the storm. It also has had a heavy hand in deciding who sits on an informal advisory council that lawmakers codified after the storm, intended to ensure energy and electricity operations continue during extreme weather. 

The irony here is that the Texas Constitution was written in a 19th century populist fever and rage against banks and railroad companies, the Elon Musk/Silicon Valley of the 19th century. (Well, banks are still too big and powerful, huh?)  One agency established by that Constitution was the Texas Railroad Commission, which controlled the world oil price back when Texas was one of the major suppliers of oil in the world.  OPEC took notice and modeled their control of the market in the '70's on the success of the RRC.  Now, of course, the RRC (an independent government agency) is controlled by the very big business interests it was originally established to protect Texans against.

And begun the finger pointing has:

And the Railroad Commission said it did not know how many natural gas companies are actually prepared for winter. An agency spokesperson said ERCOT would have this information.

An ERCOT spokesperson declined to comment.

As the Railroad Commission works on its weatherization rule, electricity companies — including Oncor, AEP Texas, CenterPoint and Texas-New Mexico Power Company — have already begun criticizing the proposal. The companies filed a comment with the commission arguing that the proposed rule was too vague and “does not provide information electric utilities will need in order to efficiently and effectively incorporate natural gas facilities into their respective” emergency plans.

ERCOT has no real authority at all; the Public Utility Commission has all the authority (what little it does have) in this matter.

Will this winter be as hard as last winter?  Probably not.  That would truly be an aberration.  Still, all we can count on is Gov. Abbott's promises to keep the elephants of winter away. 

First Tuesday of Advent 2021: Andrew The Apostle



2 Samuel 7:18-29

 18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human![a]

20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.

22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?[b] 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.

25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.

27 “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”

Revelation 22:12-16

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

“Andrew the Apostle, the brother of Peter, was born at Bethsaida, a town of Galilee.  He was one of the disciples of John the Baptist, and heard him say of Christ "Behold the Lamb of God."  Immediately he followed Jesus, bringing his brother also with them. After Christ's death and resurrection, the province of Scythia was alloted to Andrew as the place of his preaching.  After working there, he went through Epirus and Thrace and converted multitudes to Christ by his teaching and miracles.

“Finally he went to Patras an Achaia, and there likewise he converted many to the knowledge of the gospel.  He fearlessly rebuked Aegeas, the proconsul, who oppsed the preaching of the gospel, because he who wished to e considered as a judge of others was himself so deceived by the devil as not to know the judge of all, Christ the Lord.  Filled with anger, Aegeas answered him: "Boast no more of your Christ. He spoke as you do but his words did not help him, for he was crucified."  Andrew boldly answered that Christ himself had delivered himself for the salvation of humankind, but he was insultingly interrupted by the proconsul and told to look out for himself and to sacrifice to the gods.  Andrew then replied: "We have an altar on which I offer up to God every day, not the flesh of bulls nor the blood of goats, but a spotless Lamb; and when all the faithful have eaten the flesh thereof, this Lamb that was slain remains whole and lives."

“Aegeas was then filled with anger and sent the apostle, bound, to prison.  The people would have set him free, but he calmed them and begged them not to take away from him the path of martyrdom which he so much desired and which now was within reach.  Shortly thereafter he was brought before the judgment seat where he extolled the mystery of the cross and rebuked Aegeas for his impiety.  Aegeas, not being able to bear with him any longer, commanded him to be crucified as was Christ.

“Andrew then was led to the place of martyrdom, and as soon as he saw the cross he cried out, "O precious cross, which the member of my Lord have made so honorable, how long have I desired you?  How fervently have I loved you!  How constantly have I sought you?  And now that you have come to me, how my soul is attracted to you.  Take me from here and unite me with my master, that as by you he redeemed me, so by you also me may take me to himself."  Then he was fastened to the cross, where he continued to live for two days, not ceasing to preach the faith of Christ.  Finally he passed into the presence of him, the likeness of whose death he had loved so well.”

--Monastic office of readings


BENEDICTUS ANTIPHON

(Apostles): As I have done, so you must do.You will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud of great power and glory.

BENEDICTUS

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,

who shepherds the people and sets them free.

God raises from David's house

a child with power to save.

Through the holy prophets

God promised in ages past

to save us from enemy hands,

from the grip of all who hate us.

The Lord favored our ancestors

recalling the sacred covenant,

the pledge to our ancestor Abraham,

to free us from our enemies,

so we might worship without fear

and be holy and just all our days.

And you, child, will be called

Prophet of the Most High,

for you will come to prepare

a pathway for the Lord

by teaching the people salvation

through forgiveness of their sin.

Out of God's deepest mercy

a dawn will come from on hight,

light for those shadowed by death,

a guide for our feet on the way to peace.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Our Father....

Source of strength and courage, you gave your beloved apostle Andrew the convinction of faith to the very end.  Grace us with the ability to translate your teachings into action, remain patient amid hardship and live as your true and faithful servants.  We ask this, O god, through Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

May God bless us and keep us. May God smile upon us and be gracious to us. May God look upon us kindly, and give us peace. Amen.

Let us bless God/and give thanks.


(The Benedictus is the traditional part of Christian morning prayer.  The Magnificat is recited at evening prayer, the Nunc Dimmitus at Compline (Night prayer).  Just by way of saying you'll be reading the Benedictus a lot, though after the first week I may just indicate it, rather like the Our Father, to simplify things a bit.)



Monday, November 29, 2021

Chronicles Of Insanity

I almost stopped at the attribution of “actual historical perspective” to Gingrich. It’s like saying Clever Hans actually worked math problems or Koko spoke English. Gingrich made the right sounds, but he never betrayed any knowledge.

Either way, Gingrichian or not, this is Mike Lindell quality rambling. It doesn’t conform to any form of reality at all. But it’s the clearest, and therefor stupidest, statement of the argument changes in election law (obviously allowed in over 60 cases) led to Trump’s loss. This is Trump’s version of “opening the machines.”  In fact, this is Lindell’s fiasco, just a la Trump.
What is it about rich people in America being completely insane?  This is redolent of being completely divorced from reality.

First Monday of Advent 2021: Dorothy Day



 Lord, you have been our dwelling place

    throughout all generations.

2 Before the mountains were born

    or you brought forth the whole world,

    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You turn people back to dust,

    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”

4 A thousand years in your sight

    are like a day that has just gone by,

    or like a watch in the night.

5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—

    they are like the new grass of the morning:

6 In the morning it springs up new,

    but by evening it is dry and withered.

7 We are consumed by your anger

    and terrified by your indignation.

8 You have set our iniquities before you,

    our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9 All our days pass away under your wrath;

    we finish our years with a moan.

10 Our days may come to seventy years,

    or eighty, if our strength endures;

yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,

    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

11 If only we knew the power of your anger!

    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.

12 Teach us to number our days,

    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?

    Have compassion on your servants.

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,

    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,

    for as many years as we have seen trouble.

16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,

    your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;

    establish the work of our hands for us—

    yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90

 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

2 Peter 3: 1-18

"After 1976 Dorothy [Day] virtually withdrew from the affairs of the world of the Worker movement.  Her lot, as she knew, was to await death.  Content to spend as much time as she could in the company of her daughter and grandchildren, she remained in her room at Maryhouse, coming downstairs only for the even Mass that was said at the house.  In her room, which overlooked Third Street, she could look out onto the dismal prospect of a narrow street, shadowed by five-story buildings, shoulder to shoulder, whose unkempt and desolate appearance suggested that they, like the people who passed before them, felt that their existence mattered not at all.  In front of these buildings, parked cars at the curbs were jammed against one another.  One structure, ugly with shattered windows and an aspect of grotesque garishness, was fronted by motorcycles--powerful brutish machines with signs and symbols that proclaimed their  owners' defiance of civilized norms.  The building was the home of the Hell's Angels, a motorcycle gang about whose doings fearful stories were told.

"It was in this part of New York that Dorothy had spent a half-century of her own life, where just blocks away she had lived in 1917 as the acting editor of the Masses and where in that cold winterof 1918 she had whiled away the nights with Eugene O'Neill and the young radicals and artists of the Village.  A few blocks to the west and south was New York's Lower East Side, the home of the Jews.  She had never left them.  Mott Street was two blocks away, the street of the Italians.  She remembered sitting on the front steps of the Mott Street house, watching them celebrate the feast of San Gennaro.  Perhaps she remembered that night soon after the war had begun, the cool clear air and the half-moon shining brightly over Mott Street.

"Dorothy died on November 29, 1980, just as night began to soften the harshness of the poverty and ugliness of Third Street.  Her daughter, Tamar, was in the room with her.  There was no struggle.  The last of the energy that sustained her life had been used.

"The funeral was on December 2 at the Nativity Catholic Church, a half block away from Maryhouse.  An hour before the service, scheduled for 11 o'clock in the morning, people began to assemble in the street.  Some were curious onlookers, the hollow-eyed people and stumbling people who roam the streets of lower New York, but others were drawn there by some sense of propriety of paying their last respects to the woman who had clothed and fed them.  There were American Indians, Mexican workers, blacks and Puerto Ricans.  There were people in eccentric dress, apostles of causes who had fealt a great power and truth in Dorothy's life.

"At the appointed time, a procession of these friends and fellow workers came down the sidewalk.  AT the head of it Dorothy's grandchildren carried the pine box that held her body.  Tamar, Forster, and her brother John followed.  At the church door, Cardinal Terence Cooke met the body to bless it.  As the procession stopped for this rite, a demented person pushed his way through the crowd and bending low over the coffin peered at it intently.  No one interfered, because, as even the funeral directors understood, it was in such as this man that Dorothy had seen the face of God."

--William D. Miller


"ALICE Paul, the suffragist leader, had gold pins made, depicting prison bars, to give to those who went to jail with her in the second decade of this century. Dorothy Day was given one of those pins; but I would bet she did not have it when she died this week. She was not good at owning things. She was good at giving things away, including her-self. It is the only way, finally, to own oneself.

"In her own and this century's teens she was an ardent defender of other people's rights. She continued to speak up for the unprotected when no one else would do that. During World War II, her protests at the internment without due process of Japanese-Americans caused j. Edgar Hoover to open his extensive file on her. Without her, how much bleaker would be our record. She fed the poor, which may not be the Christian's final task, but should normally be the first one.

"She was the long-distance runner of protest in our time, because her agitation was built on serenity, her activism on contemplation, her earthly indignation on unearthly trust. This or that cause, with its noisy followers, came and went, but she was always there. "Rest in peace," one prays over the dead; but she reposed in restlessness, so long as there was no peace-and her moral discontent should be continued. Let her rest in our disquietude.

"Dorothy Day showed us . . . that people who stand with and for others cannot act from a calculus of individual advantage. They must act as they do from a higher urgency, a love beyond what most of us think of as loving. So far from distracting them from earth's injustice, as Marx claimed religion did, Dorothy Day's faith made effective radicalism not only possible, for many people, but imperative. We may not even be able to possess the earth unless we aspire to heaven-like our sister, who is dead and lives. "

--Gary Wills


This morning to ward off the noise I have my radio on---Berlioz, Schubert, Chopin, etc.  It is not a distraction, it is a pacifier.  As St. Teresa of Avila said as she grabbed her castanets and started to dance during the hour of recreation in her unheated convent, "One must do something to make life bearable!"

I feel that all families should have the conveniences and comforts which modern living brings and which do simplify life, and give time to read, to study, to think, and to pray.  And to work in the apostolate, too.  But poverty is my vocation, to live as simply and poorly as I can, and never to cease talking and writing of poverty and destitution.  Here and everywhere.  "While there are poor, I am of them.  While men are in prison, I am not free," as Debs said and as we often quote.

--Dorothy Day

BENEDICTUS ANTIPHON

(Advent): You will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud of great power and glory.

BENEDICTUS

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,

who shepherds the people and sets them free.

God raises from David's house

a child with power to save.

Through the holy prophets

God promised in ages past

to save us from enemy hands,

from the grip of all who hate us.

The Lord favored our ancestors

recalling the sacred covenant,

the pledge to our ancestor Abraham,

to free us from our enemies,

so we might worship without fear

and be holy and just all our days.

And you, child, will be called

Prophet of the Most High,

for you will come to prepare

a pathway for the Lord

by teaching the people salvation

through forgiveness of their sin.


Out of God's deepest mercy

a dawn will come from on hight,

light for those shadowed by death,

a guide for our feet on the way to peace.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Our Father....

Holy Wisdom, you see and meet your beloved one.  Like your friend Dorothy, may be joyfully run towards you and do what will profit us so that we, too, may know your embrace.  Grant us this grace, O Holy Trinity.   Amen.

May God bless us and keep us. May God smile upon us and be gracious to us. May God look upon us kindly, and give us peace. Amen.

Let us bless God/and give thanks.


I've used this prayer form before, as early as 2006.  It's from a Bendectine prayer book, The Work of God. I'm taking advantage of some of the structure, weaving it with the Revised Common Lectionary daily lectionary.  This lectionary is set up to echo the preceding Sunday's readings through Wednesday, and then to turn to the next Sundays readings at the end of the week.  I'm going to include some readings that I've used many times before for Advent, from An Advent Sourcebook.  I've often posted these readings at Advent, usually trying to make a context for them by using as many for the appointed day as possible.  I thought this year I'd try a new context.

So Let's Just Run This Down

Sure; why say anything until we know everything? Or at least more? (First: imagine newspapers and TV news adhering to that principle. Newspapers would be published sporadically, cable news stations would go dark for weeks at a time. Come to think of it, we might be better off.) Fear-mongering? I expect an NYT article on why this reponse is bad for Biden. How about we note Trump was underwater in his approval ratings for four years, and still only lost by 10 million votes (one would have expected him to lose by McGovernish proportions, based on just his approval ratings and how "bad" Biden's are for Biden.) So, you know, if the CDC waits, people will complain they weren't warned soon enough. If the CDC acknowledges the omicron variant is a potential danger, they're fear-mongering. Same as it ever was, but as ever, we have the news media to demand the government make a rational response, which the news media can then condemn, days later, as not strong enough, or too strong, depending on what we know when "we know more." Well, we'd better report that, too! It's not like we don't have conspiracy theories coming out of the woodwork already, right? Yeah, I've used that one already, but it kind of brings this discussion to a close, doesn't it? Maybe we should just wait until we know more; or until we've all died of coronavirus and stupidity. Then we'll know more, too. Right? Yeah, I didn't think that was gonna work.

And is anybody asking the hospitals and the nurses and the doctors what they think?  Maybe they'd appreciate a more robust response this time around, huh?
On reflection, maybe we could have started there?

But! NATURAL IMMUNITY!!!

But isn’t a lung transplant my constitutional right? It should be!

'Tis the Season To Be Cynical

There were 850 books on that list. Anybody heard of Mr. Sach's book? No? Now you have.

Sachs mentions that Matt Krause put his book on a list and that Krause's committee was going to start "inquiries" into his book, among 850 others.  But shortly after Krause issued that letter the Democratic members of his committee called bullshit because they'd never seen this list nor heard of this "inquiry" by the Committee.

The major school districts in Texas told Krause to pound sand.  Several smaller school districts treated it like a request under the Texas Open Records Act, and told him (per the Act) what the estimated costs would be to comply, and will that be cash or check?

Krause did all this so he could be Texas' next AG.  But he was not ready for prime-time, and now he's decided he wants to be Tarrant County's DA (Tarrant being a relatively safe GOP county).  He got the notoriety he sought; it wasn't the notoreity he wanted.  So he doesn't even want to be a Lege back bencher; he'd rather live off the government full-time (Texas legislators are part-time, working only six months every two years).  He's no longer coming for anyone's books, nor pursuing his inquiries.  The story is as dead as Marley, or the proverbial door-nail, whichever you find more seaonally relevant.

And I doubt anybody noticed Jeffrey Sachs' book among the 16 page list of books Mr. Krause made temporarily famous; until now, anyway.  The Texas Tribune didn't notice them.  I don't know of a school district who pulled his book from their shelves. Nor does Mr. Sachs mention one.  He says his book has been "censored," but it's no more censored than if it had received a bad review from a school librarian.  Or if some libraries in some Texas schools declined to put it on their shelves to begin with.  Selections have to be made, some books don't get the shelf space for any number of reasons.  Censorship?  Or just a decision on what suits the school?  It's not that fine a line.

Mr. Sachs is crying crocodile tears in the pages of the NYT just in time for Xmas.  His motives are his own; but they don't seem to be entirely pure and altruistic, concerned only with the sanctity of freedom of the press.  Texas, despite his desperate cries for attention, is not China.  His book is not being removed from bookshelves here.  And that list he's so worried about?  Nobody's paying attention to it, except him, and belatedly.

Maybe this will help his book sales.

Call me cynical.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Covid Chronicles

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Former President's Former Doctor: That which does not kill you makes you stronger. Maybe. But if it kills you.... DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! I give up. Some people are too stupid to live. Why they want to take the rest of us with them, and why we allow them to, is the mystery. And, as I was saying, we have met the enemy, and he is us: The systems we have set up to protect ourselves (our property, more accurately) are the systems that are killing us. When will we ever learn?

First Sunday of Advent 2021


 Jeremiah 33:14-16

33:14 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

33:15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

33:16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness."

Psalm 25:1-10

25:1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

25:2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.

25:3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

25:4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.

25:5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

25:6 Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.

25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness' sake, O LORD!

25:8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

25:10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.


1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

3:9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?

3:10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

3:11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.

3:12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.

3:13 And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.


Luke 21:25-36

21:25 "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.

21:26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

21:27 Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory.

21:28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

21:29 Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees;

21:30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.

21:31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

21:32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.

21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

21:34 "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly,

21:35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.

21:36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

I’m gonna start with dull, historical stuff. If you want insight and some nugget to take with you, you’ll have to wait for it. Or just slog through the setup first.

These are fairly classic Advent texts. Advent means arrival. The season of Advent is preparation for an arrival, just like Lent is a preparation for death and then resurrection. But Advent prepares us for Santa Claus; or at least the Magi or the Christ child to bring the gifts. Except the church doesn’t prepare for Santa Claus, and Advent is the preparation of the church. Advent prepares the church, again, for the beginning of the end.

Not for the end of the year; not for the final feast and celebration of the year (which, if we were doing it right, would consume all the last six days of the year and the first 6 days of the new year. All time is God’s time and God is good, as is God’s creation, so why don’t we spend 12 days in joy and celebration? Six days to end, six to begin again; is it too much to ask?). The preparation is for the end of all things. Every year the church begins the year remembering it has already ended; that the basileia tou theou is here, now. But we still don’t see it; we still aren’t alert.

Getting there yet? At least, we’re getting closer. The nugget, I mean; we’re getting closer to the nugget.

These texts are presented together, so let’s link them together. First Jeremiah says the “righteous Branch for David” will execute justice and righteousness in the land. I suppose you were expecting peace and prosperity and milk and honey, but you can’t have those without justice and righteousness, so what would that look like?

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.

 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness' sake, O LORD!

I've been reading the Psalms as part of an on again/off again daily practice, and I'm struck (again) by how personal they are, and yet not "personal" in our modern sense, at all.  The Psalms never speak of "me" without speaking of God, and putting their "me" in that context.  Go back to the beginning of Psalm 25: three verses about the singer's enemies.  And the worst he (she?) wishes on them is: "let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous."  Which is pretty much:  let them reap what they have sown, while (the psalm continues) I remain steadfast to the Lord, and plead with God to be merciful to me, despite my sins.

Okay, brief "history" lesson, because those words connect with Jeremiah's prophecy that justice and righteousness will be the salvation of Israel.   Not vengeance, not power, not the restoration of the monarchy:  justice and righteousness, which is all the psalm seeks.  It is what the psalm trusts in, and the psalm also expresses humility: "[God] leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees."  Failing to keep those decrees is what lead to the situation Jeremiah promises recovery from.  In our end is our beginning.

So Jeremiah addresses justice and righteousness; and the psalmist praises God for mercy and steadfast love.  And Paul praises his church in Thessalonica, and offers a reminder of the lesson of Jeremiah and the psalmist:  return, again and again, to God.  

3:10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

3:11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.

3:12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.

3:13 And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

That we need each other to remain faithful, to hold firm to our trust, to increase our love for one another (how does one love alone, in isolation?), to see God strenghtening our hearts in holiness so we are prepared for the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.  Or, as Jesus puts it:

"Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near."

Jesus, as usual, is much more elliptical than we usually give him credit for. These "things taking place."  Are they signs of the end of time?  Or signs of the present?

Consider:  when you see the trees sprout leaves, you know, what?  That another season is about to make its annual appearance; that the world is actually running in an orderly and predictable manner, human behavior notwithstanding.  How do you know the kingdom of God (basileia tou theou) is near?  The same way you know summer is coming.  Because the seasons are always with us; as is the basileia tou theou.

But:

"Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

And when will you have to do that?  When you will see " 'the son of Man coming in a cloud' "? Jesus (or Luke?) is quoting Daniel 7:13-14:

 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (KJV)

Which brings us back to Jeremiah:

 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Now these kinds of things are often read as predictions of what God is finally going to do (having never intervened so directly in human affairs before; God didn't even stop Israel from abandoning God and letting both Israel and Judah fall, or the children of Abraham go into Exile) at the end of time.  But what about right now?  And why then, and not now?  Daniel is offering an apocalyptic vision to a people in Exile who have no hope left.  John of Patmos did the same thing under the Roman persecution (the destruction of Jerusalem, among other things), in a book we call "Revelation."  But the Greek word John used is "Apocalypse."  And it means not death, destruction and despair, but revealing; revealing at the hand of God, of what the true state of affairs is in this world.  Like the trees which bud in spring and sprout leaves for summer; the apocalypse that God is always present and always in charge.  And this will be a sign unto you.  

Just stay on your guard and don't weigh your heart down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life.  Be alert at all times, because the world needs more lerts (sorry!).  But staying alert?  Avoiding dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life?  Sounds like good advice for right now, or any time.  Besides, the Son of Man may show up at anytime; even in your daily life.

"Lord, when did we see you?"  It won't always be in clouds, with power and great glory.  It's those encounters you really need to be ready for.  The basiliea tou theou is already here.  It's at your elbow.  It's in the person before you, whom you could help.  Are you alert to it?

Aye, there's the rub.  But Paul gets the last word: May God so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you, too, may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. Or whenever you may come across him.

NYC Hunkers Down

I’m sure the geniuses at FoxNews will say this is being done to help Democrats, too. How, exactly, it does that will never be explained.

The Spanish Flu pandemic ran from February 1918 to April 1920. We’re going to go for 3 years, or longer. We can blame the unvaccinated. But we also have to blame the complete failure of governments on the world stage to distribute vaccine equitably across the globe. In a situation that proves we are all connected, we continue to act as if we are all autonomous and inhabiting isolated islands.

When will we ever learn?

The More Things Change...

I haven't read the article (paywall) but when I moved to Austin in 1978 (!), the only people who could afford housing were lawyers in the larger law firms (not THAT large; it was Austin, after all) or doctors, or real estate developers.  And the lucky few with decent jobs who had bought in before the market started rising. Rising because it seemed everyone wanted to live there.

The market collapsed in the late '80's.  My bankruptcy professor, a sitting Bankruptcy judge, regaled us with tales of real estate shenanigans, including the three methods of real estate appraisal:  1) windshield (as seen through); 2) wild-ass; and 3)  hell if I know, but looks good on paper!  Prices, in other words, just went up and up until they broke.

I bought my first house in Austin after living there for 12 years.  I bought it from the bank that had re-taken it in foreclosure from three lawyers who weren't as sharp at real estate investing as they thought they were.  They'd bought it as an investment with a balloon payment, then considered a reasonable way to buy real estate.  You paid small up front, but the "balloon" was a huge payment due on a date certain.  By the time it came due they were underwater (I think they’d planned on selling at that point, and cashing in), and abandoned their investment scheme, poorer and perhaps wiser.  I dunno, I didn't know 'em.  Austin has a LOT of lawyers.

Three years later I sold it for enough money to finance my way through seminary, even after packing up and moving all I had, including wife and one-year old child.

But Austin was a town notoriously stingy on jobs (most of them were government jobs or working for law firms or real estate developers).  Most people worked for restaurants (waiters, IOW) or performed other menial tasks.  The Lovely Wife and I were both gainfully employed, but the Austin market kept us shut out until it collapsed.

All of which is to say I'm looking at this tweet and thinking:  so what's new?  Prices were rising in the '80's because tout le monde wanted to live in Austin.  A local columnist became a local hero by publishing a response to someone who wrote in from another state asking about life in Austin.  The columnist told her to stay away, albeit politely.  That was the spirit in Austin for the 15 years I lived there.

I think that spirit is dead and buried now, 30 years or so later.  So it goes.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Who's Zoomin' Who?

Best I can figure this 'SUPPLY CRISIS!' B.S. is aimed at old people who still have cable (the FoxNews audience is diminishing by the day; why does no one notice?) and are stuck at home and thinks someone somewhere can't get what they want.

I drove by the mall (I live nearby, I had to pass that way) and the parking lot was full, as it should be this time of year.  I've been to Costco and, while I saw bare shelves there several months ago (when the "shipping crisis" had supposedly begun), the warehouse is full now, overflowing with the usual seasonal Xmas crap.  And I didn't notice any shortage of food at the grocery store (although coffee was down sharply on the shelves; well, the coffee I was looking for, for a gift for a friend.  But that's because the store has been flooded with customers all week.).

Although this apparently is real (the first time I saw it I thought it was parody):
Apparently after such a long bout of fighting covid, we all want syrup on our pancakes. Or in our custard. I did make maple pot de creme for Thanksgiving. But I already had the maple syrup on hand. So I didn't take anybody's; not this year, anyway.

As for that coronavirus variant stuff they're chatting about above:  lord above, people are stupid!  Yeah, it's an international conspiracy to make the Democrats look good because what helps the incumbents more than a never-ending crisis everyone is sick (sorry!) of?

Same Song, Second Verse

Pretty much...

A video recorded by Read's widow, who is now seeking custody of her stepchildren so they do not have to live with their father's killer, opens Carruth ordering the 54-year-old Read off his property as Read argues with his ex-wife about not having one of his sons available at the court-ordered time.

Christina Read, the ex-wife, says the boy is not there but she would go to get him, but her ex-husband is unsatisfied by her explanation and threatens to get subpoenas for multiple individuals, including Carruth's estranged wife, and Carruth comes back outside his home armed with a rifle.

"I'm glad this is on video, I'm very glad," Carruth says.

The two men bump chests as Carruth holds the rifle, which is pointed toward the ground, and Read dares him to use the weapon.

"Do it," Read says. "You better f*cking use it, motherf*cker."

Carruth fires a shot at the ground near Read's feet, and then Read grabs the barrel of the rifle and pushes away Carruth, who is thrown a few steps away and then spins around and fires the gun twice at Read."

"Think I'm f*cking scared?" Read says, just before he's shot and falls to the ground.

Another video was recorded from inside Carruth's home and shows the fatal altercation from another angle, which his attorney argues proves his claim of self defense.

This is pretty much how custody fights go in family law cases; except without the shooting.  The idea that Carruth needed a gun to deal with Read is ludicrous, because Read wasn't armed, and Carruth pointed the gun at him.  Carruth wanted Read to leave, and all Read threatened was to get subpoenas in support of enforcing the court order for his custody of the children.  Read didn't threaten violence in any way; that was Carruth's doing. 

Well, except for the chest bumping.  I guess that's "provocation."

Now, can Carruth cry on command and convince the jury he was just trying to help?  That's the real lesson of the Rittenhouse case, although that's not the one everyone learned.  And yes, Carruth hasn't been charged yet, which indicates prosecutors aren't so sure a "self-defense" claim wouldn't work.  Because it probably would, regardless of Rittenhouse.  There's precedent in Texas case (not strictly precedent, since it's all at the trial level) for men with guns claiming "self-defense" and shooting people running away with other people's property.  That was long before Rittenhouse.  Texans like their guns, and their rights to shoot people with 'em.

The chest bumping is the "tell" that this is self-defense.  Obviously.  Well, and the "double-dog dare ya" language.  No man can shoulder his weapon unfired after that provocation.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Blackest Of Fridays

Does anybody still watch FoxNews? And despite scary tales or turkey shortages (bought mine a week earlier than usual) I didn't notice any shortages of food or turkeys in the week before Thursday. Just hordes and hordes of people buying as if it were the end times and we could all have one last meal before we died together, in a cataclysmic event we were reconciled too.

Normal Thanksgiving week, in other words.
Yeah, I went to the grocery store because I knew it wouldn't be crowded (starting early on Xmas baking).  Otherwise I'm home today, because I don't have hordes of family crowding up the homestead and I need to get them out of the house for awhile.  (I worked in a bookstore for awhile, and the owner, a friend, swore that was why people came to the store on Black Friday.  We were open, but never sold much.  The frenzy was at the mall, which is where the Target is, come to think of it.)

I really don't understand the herd mentality that drives people to swarm like locusts in stores this time of year.  I do feel the tug to get something bought in December, having made all my arrangements (mostly baking) in October, if not earlier.  But I'm happier when I resist it, and I've never wanted to be part of a mob in a Target.

People is weird.
Christmas is coming, and people realize they are in the public eye, not just the eye of their most rabid supporters.

It Is, Indeed, A Black Friday

The only composer of musicals I admired, and the only musicals I will listen to/watch without hesitation.

Politics…

...it’ll kill ya

Irony Is A Democrat

That’s cute. This IS the GOP: top to bottom and side to side.

The irony is the GOP still expending this energy to make Rep. Omar and AOC and Rep. Tlaib the face of the Democratic Party. 

And all they’ve done is make Boebert and MTG the face of the GOP. That would be this face:
Coward, liar and a bigot. Nice look, GOP.

You Can Blame Trump For This

You can also blame Covid.

I think it’s a toxic stew of “both/and.” Although, as Covid fades and life and the economy return to normal, Trump will fade, too.

He’s already reduced to yelling (virtually) about “Communism” and Bob Woodward writing mean things about him.  Maybe he’ll run again. He’ll just lose more decisively the third time.

At This Point....

I think VP Harris just welcomes the attention.

Thanks For Thinking Of Us

Come back when you can’t stay so long.

I don’t want Greg Abbott to win re-election. But neither do I want to go through last February again. Ever.

People died in that freeze. Children died. If we go through that again, it won’t be worth it if Abbott loses his job.

And frankly, once should have been enough. If it wasn’t, twice won’t really make any difference.

The Stupid, It's International

Apparently England has its own version of Josh Hawley:

"Everywhere, not least during the cultural sphere, there seems to be a call from a tiny yet very vocal minority that every male character or good role model must have a female replacement," he complained. "One only needs to look at the discussions surrounding the next James Bond."

"And it's not just James Bond," the MP continued. "In recent years, we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, the Equalizer all replaced by women."

"Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?" he asked. "These programs make crime look cool. Trust me, a lifetime in prison is not cool."

I hasten to add these were prepared remarks.  He thought about this; wrote it down; and still decided to read it in public.

The Problem Is Not The Panhandling

The problem is the conditions that create the panhandling.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Thanksgiving Tradition

Lindell still insisted the voting machines were built to steal elections. Which can only mean they do this when he doesn’t like the outcome.  Because the machines clearly didn't steal enough elections from enough Republicans:
No word on whether the SCOTUS Justices looked up from their turkeys to notice anything Lindell was saying. Operators are standing by.

The SUV πŸš™ Did It?

Wait! Who was voting on Jan. 5th? For what? Is this another Democrat trick? I had a recording of Bach’s Coffee Cantata once. Sadly, on cassette, now as obsolete as 8-track. Especially after my cassette player died. For a long time it secured my street cred as Too Much Coffee Man.

Well, no; but that’s as close as I ever got to having street cred.

Mmmm…roast goat. What, too soon after Thanksgiving?

And yes, it sounds better in the original German.
Any excuse is a good one, right? Though this pipeline would do as much for gas prices as the Texas Lege did in March for those of us who froze in February.

(Oil consumption went down so low during Covid shutdowns oil production ground to a halt. I know people in oil. I grew up in Texas, I have always known people involved in oil. They’re hard to avoid, and most are family anyway. Been through this before (once, twice, three times?). You don’t restart that engine with an ignition switch. Or especially an unbuilt pipeline.)

Also and, since Thanksgiving is over:

A Woman's Place Is In the Kitchen. With The Turkey Baster

Turkey Basting is: a) useless; b) bad for the turkey, because you keep opening the oven, letting heat out, which has to reset; and, see a); c) went out of style with women in high heels and pearls in the kitchen in frilly aprons instead of manly "KISS ME I'M THE COOK" 'male' BBQ aprons. Which went out with the idea that anything cooked outside by men was "BBQ." d) and let me reiterate:  BASTING DOES NOTHING FOR THE TURKEY!  

If you want a moist turkey (might as well solve the problem, huh?): a) brine it (I don't, but I've had brined smoked turkey, it's excellent); or, without brining, b) roast it at about 350 for 15 minutes per pound, with two cut lemons in the cavity, and about 1/4 cup of olive oil rubbed over it.  If you have a thermometer probe that will tell you when the breast meat has hit 165F, all the better.  Cooking by weight is unreliable; cooking by temperature is the guarantee of annual success.

But for the luvvagawd, DON'T BASTE THE TURKEY!

Seriously; it wasn't the bulb that was lost.  It was the turkey baster that should have been.  The bulb clearly knew it was time to go.

Is there a Twitter thread for "Bad Thanksgiving Cooking Tips"?  Maybe a hotline?
Sounds about right.

Do You Miss Him Yet?

Neither do I. Surprised? Neither am I.

George Winston: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2021


Deuteronomy 26:1-11
26:1 When you have come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it,

26:2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his name.

26:3 You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, "Today I declare to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us."

26:4 When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the LORD your God,

26:5 you shall make this response before the LORD your God: "A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous.

26:6 When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us,

26:7 we cried to the LORD, the God of our ancestors; the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.

26:8 The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders;

26:9 and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

26:10 So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O LORD, have given me." You shall set it down before the LORD your God and bow down before the LORD your God.

26:11 Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house.

Psalm 100
100:1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.

100:2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

100:3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.

100:5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

"We're all forgiven at Thanksgiving, and everybody's welcome at the feast."--Garrison Keillor

PRAISE AND HARVEST

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, from whom cometh every good and pefect gift, we call to remembrance thy loving-kindness and the tender mercies which have been ever of old, and with grateful hearts we would lift up to thee the voice of our thanksgiving,

For all the gifts which thou hast bestowed upon us; for the life thou hast given us, and the world in which we live,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the work we are enabled to do, and the truth we are permitted to learn; for whatever of good there has been in our past lives, and for all the hopes and aspirations which lead us on toward better things,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the order and constancy of nature; for the beauty and bounty of the world; for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest; for the varied gifts of loveliness and use which every season brings,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all the comforts and gladness of life; for our homes and all our home-blessings; for our friends and all pure pleasure; for the love, sympathy, and good will of men,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all the blessings of civilization, wise government and legislation; for education, and all the privileges we enjoy through literature, science, and art; for the help and counsel of those who are wiser and better than ourselves,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all true knowledge of thee and the world in which we live, and the life of truth and righteousness and divine communion to which thou hast called us; for prophets and apostles, and all earnest seekers after truth; for all lovers and helpers of mankind, and all godly and gifted men and women,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the gift of thy Son Jesus Christ, and all the helps and hopes which are ours as his disciples; for the presence and inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, for all the ministries of thy truth and grace,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For communion with thee, the Father of our spirits; for the light and peace that are gained through trust and obedience, and the darkness and disquietude which befall us when we disobey thy laws and follow our lower desires and selfish passions,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the desire and power to help others; for every opportunity of serving our generation according to thy will, and manifesting the grace of Christ to men,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all the discipline of life; for the tasks and trials by which we are trained to patience, self-knowledge and self-conquest, and brought into closer sympathy with our suffering brethren; for troubles which have lifted us nearer to thee and drawn us into deeper fellowship with Jesus Christ,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the sacred and tender ties which bind us to the unseen world; for the faith which dispels the shadows of earth, and fills the saddest and the last moments of life with the light of an immortal hope.
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

God of all grace and love, we have praised thee with our lips; grant that we may praise thee also in consecrated and faithful lives. And may the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer.
AMEN.


THANKSGIVING

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, we call to remembrance they loving-kindness and they tender mercies which have ever been od old, and with grateful hearts we would lift up to the the voice of our thanksgiving.

For all the gifts which thou has bestowed upon us; for the life that thou hast given us, and the world in which we life,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the work we are enabled to do, and the truth we are permitted to learn; for whatever of good there has been in our past lives, and for all the hopes and aspirations which lead us on to better things,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the order and constancy of nature; for the beauty and bounty of the world; for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest; for the varied gifts of loveliness and use which every season brings,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all the comforts and gladness of life; for our homes and all our home-blessings; for our friends and all pure pleasure; for the love, sympathy, and good will of men,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all the blessings of civilization, wise government and legislation; for education, and all the privileges we enjoy through literature, science, and art; for the help and counsel oj those who are wiser and better than ourselves,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all true knowledge of thee and the world in which we live, and the life of truth and righteousness and divine communion to which thou hast called us; for prophets and apostles, and all earnest seekers after truth; for all lovers and helpers of mankind, and all godly and gifted men and women,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the gift of thy Son Jesus Christ, and all the helps and hopes which are ours as his disciples; for the presence and inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, for all the ministries of thy truth and grace,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For communion with thee, the Father of our spirits; for the light and peace that are gained through trust and obedience, and the darkness and disquietude which befall us when we disobey thy laws and follow our lower desires and selfish passions,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the desire and power to help others; for every opportunity of serving our generation according to thy will, and manifesting the face of Christ to men,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For all the discipline of life; for the tasks and trials by which we are ained to patience, self-knowledge and self-conquest, and brought into closer sympathy with our suffering brethren; for troubles which have lifted us nearer to thee and drawn us into deeper fellowship with Jesus Christ,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

For the sacred and tender ties which bind us to the unseen world; for the faith which dispels the shadows of earth, and fills the saddest and the last moments of life with the light of an immortal hope,
WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD.

God all all grace and love, we have praised thee with our lips; grant that we may praise thee with also in consecrated and faithful lives. And may the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer.

AMEN.