Edge of the abyss….
More at July 26, August 1, 2. Also, other posts in July, and in following days. Check back.
Today is just another day of breaking news, following all the other days. Today is the day millions of people will not get the $600 weekly supplement, $15 per hour. My friend, Kathy, mentioned one of the beneficiaries who bought a dishwasher with some of the money: IS THIS A LOAFER SQUANDERING UNEARNED MONEY? DISGUSTING! So the debate can go.
It also must be noted that the money for the dishwasher is a boon to capitalism…somebody made the machine, someone sold it, someone installed it. SOMEBODY PROFITED, WITHOUT LIFTING A FINGER.
We are a capitalist society. People can’t spend money they don’t have; they can’t seek or take jobs that don’t exist….
As I compose this about 10:30 a.m. CDT, the story is the quandary of school reopening – it is not easy to translate sound bites into universal policies in this time of Covid-19….
The first two days of this month, and another on July 26, I talked about politics from my own perspective in 2020. The link to those is here.
My dominant thought this day is that we are a nation full of rubes, susceptible to a huckster-in-chief. We are only at the edge of the abyss. Falling into the immeasurable chasm won’t happen until after election 2020, when we learn the consequences of believing false pitches for some, against others. We have always seemed to be attracted to fantasy – only the process has become more and more sophisticated with passing years.
The president we unfortunately elected four years ago is a master of the carny pitch, and too many of us want to believe that pitch. And today the pitch is more easily and instantly spread to masses in means available to almost everyone, no discernment required.
Yesterday, I was reading an article in the July/August 2020 Vanity Fair, “Undercover in the Church of Trump” by Jeff Sharlatt. At page 122, Sharlatt references Aimee Semple McPherson, a noted and entertaining, then notorious, evangelist who founded the Pentecostal “Church of the Foursquare Gospel” in the 1920s. It brought back some memories, one from my Dad, another from a most unlikely good friend, Alan King-Hamilton, an elderly and prominent British Judge who I met in person in London in 2001.
Of Sister Aimee, Sharlatt said this, comparing hers with Trump’s showmanship.: “[her] belief that church should above all be entertaining. She once preached a sermon dressed as a motorcycle cop, complete with a motorcycle onstage….”
Judge King-Hamilton, as a young man, was president of the Cambridge Debating Society, and spent a remarkable fall of 1927 with two colleagues, in debate competitions in the midwest and west of the United States (places visited are here: King-Hamilton et al 1927001). The Judge loaned me a copy of the diary he wrote during the trip, which included several hundred words about a Nov. 27, 1927, visit to “Sister Aimee McPherson at her Angelus Temple – one of the worlds greatest show-women…” He was then 20 years old. His visit obviously intrigued he and his companions – he spent more time on writing about that visit than on any other event in the three months in the United States. Among King-Hamilton’s comments, “Sister is no mean story-teller. She is a great show-woman and understands how “to get it across.”
The show was the thing, not the substance. Ultimately Semple McPherson flamed out…. She was a theological Carnival barker.
Not long ago, in Centennial, 7/16/2020, I recalled my Dad’s recollections of attending a similar event in Valley City, North Dakota, perhaps about 1930. The actor on stage that day was evangelist Billy Sunday, and here is part of what Dad – a devout Roman Catholic – had to say: “I do remember Billy Sunday, a fire eating evangelizer, who preached fire and brimstone for about an hour. I don’t remember much of what he said but his antics were sometimes bizarre. He would start his sermon very calm but as he warmed up to the occasion he would take off his coat and tie, jump up and down on the stage and sometimes as a climax he would get up on the table and shout. no microphones so they had to be leather lunged in order for the audience to hear. I think most people were more impressed with his antics than with what he said”.
Billy Sunday had his run, and Aimee Semple McPherson hers, as have legions of pitch men and women of all stripes before and since.
Most all of us remember Jim Jones, and hundreds of his followers, who “drank the koolaid” and died in a mass murder-suicide in Guyana in 1978. So will the current successors, and those in the future, remembered as fools. But it will be too late. A bit further back in time, Grigori Rasputin, the so-called ‘mad monk’ for the last Tsarina, comes to mind.
Perhaps there is method to the madness of the stunt of our President posing with the Bible at the Presidents Church earlier this summer after he called in the troops to clean protestors out of the park across the street from the White House.
from Annelee, born 1926, grew up in Hitler’s Germany: Dick, your Blog and Jeff Sharlett’s article “THE SECOND COMING” Vanity Fair July/Aug., should be required reading.
At page 88, bottom, Pastor Sean stated that he loves Trump because he believes God has chosen Trump for this hour. That which Trump’s critics see as crude and divisive, Pastor Sean takes as proof of his anointing. He is God’s champion, a fighter, a “counterpuncher.”
I lost count of similar statements throughout the article, I was appalled and said, “Oh, no, not again!”
My thoughts flashed back to my home country, Germany during 1933-1939, Adolf Hitler had been voted in and most German people were sure they made the right decision. After all, the unemployed who for years couldn’t take care of their families, worked now on the Autobahn, build schools and homes and their health care was excellent and affordable. By 1935 life was good and it seemed it would get better. Most families were now members of the Nazi Party, my friends joined the German Girls group, the boys belonged the Hitler Youth.
I was eight; I begged Papa to let me join.
Papa said, “Anneliese, I am NOT joining the Nazi Party, und you will not join either”.
After 1936-1939 Adolf Hitler suggested and then enforced changes. The changes soon became laws.
The Jews have taken over the German Banks and stores—don’t buy from Jews
Jews need to wear special armbands —-the Star of David
Newspapers and radios, except for local news are now controlled by the government
Only selected radio stations will bring commentaries.
Immigration and emigration is under number control.
Now, even if people stated to question few dared to speak up.
These rules and laws made Germany a tightly controlled country. It was easy to convince the people that Poland attacked. WWII started, and the 1000 Year Reich was destroyed
I remember when people used to ask me “How could the German People believe Adolf Hitler?”
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