christian

Watching and listening to the Trump impeachment debates

Last night, I listened to the debate over the Trump impeachment vote; the 30 seconds given to each member to speak their mind forced everyone to not express anything unique or interesting. It forced concision. And among lawyers and lawmakers that may not be a bad thing, but to listen to hours of speeches last evening it was clear that all the Republicans and Democrats sounded the same, and listed out the same talking points, as if they all had “the memo” from their party brass. It was only toward the end when we heard the party brass themselves speak that some utterances that were in more detail as to the learned opinions of the leadership of the House of Representatives.

Sometimes, speaking at length is just verbal diarrhea. But that is the only time we get to hear an individual’s thought process. In 30 seconds, it is really easy for a Republican to say “there is no evidence against the President”, since that already used up a couple of those seconds. A few more of these sweeping sensatioanlist statements, and their time is already up.

Another use of the 30 second rule is that if you say something truly absurd, you don’t need to elaborate. You drop your verbal bombshell and just leave your nonsense hanging in the air. Like when one of the nameless, faceless speakers stated that Jesus was given more rights by Pontius Pilate than Trump was given by the Democrats. It had the effect of a crazy Trump tweet. There is no journalist asking the person questions, so the statement is disconnected, taken as it is. The beauty of crazy statements made to “the speaker” or of tweets made in social media, is that no one is there to question you, your grasp of reality, or ask for details. Who cares if Pontius Pilate consigned Jesus to carry his own cross, endure public scorn, and suffered 40 lashes, only to have nails driven through his feet and hands to the wooden cross at the end? What kind of numb-nut would say that Trump had it worse? It is great copy for those who don’t care about the Bible.

Would a more accurate comparison be to compare Trump’s public speaking appearance at a Michigan stadium yesterday (same day he was being impeached) to the Nuremburg rallies, and the propaganda against the Democrats as being like the Reichstag fire? Actually, it is close: the New York Times has compared it with Castro rallying his followers after the government did the same thing to him one year. The Nazi comparisons I’ve made as an example are kind of extreme too, and would only rankle die-hard Republicans. Those views don’t teach us much nor advance any discussion regarding articles of impeachment based on evidence. In fact they do the opposite, in inhibiting clarity of thought and in discouraging honest and open debate and discussion.

Happy 400th, KJV! (and Hamlet!)

Am I the only one who noticed that the King James Bible, written in 1611, is 400 years old this year? While I am not certain exactly what kind of a celebration we would have as a culture, but I believe that at least some mention is in order.

I remember that 1611 was the date, because 1611 was the same year Hamlet was completed, my most favourite of Shakespearian plays. I also think about the KJV, because my profession, education, has it to thank for introducing the elementary school system and teaching children of all families how to read. In 1611 english, the KJV was written for a grade 6 reading level.  There is a modern Bible, also aimed at the same reading level, written in modern English: The Good News Bible.

The KJV, as I understand it, is still widely read, but is not considered the most accurate translation. It appears that the NAV (New American Version) of the Bible is the most authoritative to my understanding, but aimed at a higher reading level.

St Patty’s Day Matinee

This is a humorous kid’s animation that tells the story of  St. Patrick.

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On a raunchier tone, comedian Mark Day offends several nationalities equally with this send-up to St. Patrick’s Day, and describes sainthood as divided into the A-list and B-list.

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