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197 Pentecost 21: Brotherhood
”The Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens." ~ Psalm 96
I was in the Justicar’s office when the bell tolled to announce the approach of a visitor. “It is the superintendent,” the intercom buzzed. “She is not waiting.” My heart sank with despair as I eyed the practice rifle sitting on the Justicar’s desk. Two moments of awkward, knee-shivering silence were split by the her iron voice. “Imik, you understand the special rules for boys?” “Of course,” I smiled and nodded. “Good boys take their medicines, or the pandemic will return.” “I see that we understand each other.” “Yes, Justicar. I am in compliance.” To survive, you had to be…. The Mad Tank is launched. Dark Shore Industries is ready to roll. The world is either going to end, or it isn’t, and I’m looking forward to writing a lot more stories. Meanwhile, video content from "Return to Wittenberg" and our SP815.org Annual "Set Apart" event will be uploaded to YouTube and spread through the regular podcast channels this week. In addition, a new chapter of Earth dropped at revfisk.com, along with new original art for the first four chapters. Going forward, I’m going to take a run at short stories in this space. Something tells me that it’s just what our battle against the beast ordered. These last two weeks are built on drafts from my early smart noting experience in 2020. I’ve thought of them often, usually to shame myself for not finishing them. Silly me. Why, in a time such as this, would we ever let them memory hole the historical value of the short story? Till angel cry and trumpet sound, The Mad Christian Read the rest of Rev Fisk's story at our website:
Odds and Ends
It's been said (perhaps thousands of times in the last week alone) that the first casualty of war is the truth. But on Thursday, corporate media said, "Hold my beer." A number of influential news outlets rushed to blame Israel for an explosion at a hospital in Gaza which reportedly killed hundreds. It soon became apparent that the details were not so certain as first claimed, with US and Israeli intelligence providing evidence that the strike was caused by a rocket, misfired from within Gaza. Later reports revealed that the hospital in question was untouched with the impact damaging an adjacent car park. Whatever the casualties, it is unlikely to be as many as Gazan health authorities (run by Hamas) initially claimed. The BBC offered a quiet apology, but the damage created by careless reporting was done.
The news drew harsh criticism from the Arab world, with calls for a “day of rage” across the region. Outbreaks of violence in Germany included the attempted firebombing of a synagogue in Berlin. A thousand or more protestors marched on the Israeli embassy in Houston. Arab leaders cancelled their plan to meet with President Biden.
NPR blamed Elon Musk for allowing "misinformation" to circulate online, with high-profile accounts "rapidly pushing out definitive takes which later turn out to be wrong." Yet, as Mark Hemingway pointed out at The Federalist, corporate media were just as guilty of "media malpractice" with their own definitive takes, stealth-editing headlines as the situation unfolded.
So don’t give everyone the benefit of the doubt! Evil exists, propaganda is prevalent and reality is complicated. We don't have charge of an international news desk, but when it comes to our own news feeds, there is no real downside to waiting and reserving judgement.
BTW, public confidence in media at all-time low. (Gallup)
Pastor Wolfmueller responded to the question of whether the current Israeli conflict is fulfilling biblical Prophecy. In a word, "NO!"(Wednesday What-Not)
Also, on last week's Brief History podcast, Dr. Koontz explained why Christian support for Zionism is not biblically-mandated. (Madpxm)
President Biden completed a short visit to Israel last week, at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The President pledged America’s continuing support for Israel's mission to wipe out the Hamas terror organization, but cautioned Israel to avoid loss of human life in Gaza. A number of commentators questioned whether the visit was a way to stall the commencement of a ground campaign into Gaza, even as support for Netanyahu’s leadership founders. (CNN, Guardian)
The first aid convoy has reached Gaza. (Reuters)
Two American hostages have been released by Hamas, God be praised. (NBC)
Pro-Palestinian supporters demonstrated in the Cannon Rotunda on Capitol Hill, with hundreds of arrests ensuing. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)held a rally outside, calling for an Israeli ceasefire. (The Blaze, Fox)
President Biden has asked Congress to approve $14bn in aid to Israel and $61bn for Ukraine. The President has also included funding to help with immigration crisis on the US-Mexico border. (Times Of Israel)
Florida’s governor, Ron De Santis was praised for stepping up to bring stranded Americans home from the conflict zone. (The Spectator)
Kenneth Chesebro, an advisor to Donald Trump and co-defendant in a Georgia conspiracy case, is the third to plead guilty. Earlier in the week, Sidney Powell, a key Trump attorney opted to take a plea deal. Chesebro and Powell will be called on later to witness against others charged in the racketeering case, including Donald Trump. (USA Today, The Federalist)
The House Oversight Committee claims they have evidence that President Biden was paid directly by his son's business partners. According to a news report, Mr. Biden also paid cash for a beach house within weeks of receiving the transfer. (Red State, Red State)
Republican efforts to appoint a new House speaker are a little like a revolving door at the moment. Jim Jordan was removed from the race, gaining less votes after three rounds. A number of Republicans have put their hand up for the job. (Just the News, USA Today)
Arkansas has told Chinese-owned companies to sell farmland under new rules regarding foreign ownership. (WNG)
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican has won the state's "jungle election". (WNG)
Texas governor, Greg Abbott has announced he will build a wall on the NEW Mexico border. “Our barriers around El Paso forced the migrants crossing illegally to enter into New Mexico. They then entered into El Paso from there,” he said in a post on X. (Breitbart)
History podcaste,r Dan Carlin has noticed that lots of immigration is not good for society. (The Blaze)
Raise a hallelujah and turn that frown upside down!
Marriage, Sex and Family
An Illinois school has said it will investigate students who chose to use a single stall bathroom, claiming that their choice represented "implicit harassment" of transgender students. When Waterloo Community Unit School implemented a policy allowing students to use the bathroom which corresponds to their "gender identity,” regular kids asked to use the private bathroom in the nurse's office. But when the line to use that facility filled the hall, the school started dishing out penalties. (Daily Wire)
Wisconsin Republican-led House has passed a bill protecting kids from transgender procedures. Democratic Governor Tony Evers says he will veto it. (WNG)
You’ve got to admire the moxie: Harry Potter author J K Rowling has warned fellow Brits that should the Labour Party win the next election, “misgendering” will become hate speech. She then added that she would rather spend two years in prison than deny “the reality and importance of sex.” (The Blaze)
Pop singer Britney Spears claims in her forthcoming memoir that she had an abortion while she was dating fellow singer, Justin Timberlake. Spears said she did not want to have the abortion but Timberlake was "certain he did not want to be a father" yet. One study revealed that 60% of women who have abortions feel pressured to do so, often by the baby's father. (Daily Signal)
The Board of Trustees of a new Florida college says there will be no gender studies department. "The gender movement pays lip service to critical thinking and freedom of speech even as it engenders closed-mindedness... Nothing could be further from the spirit of academic inquiry." (The Federalist)
ACT test scores in America have fallen to their lowest in 32 years, even as universities dispense with entry requirements to boost dwindling enrollment. (Axios)
The Supreme Court of the USA has upheld a federal government ban on ghost guns. (NPR)
Initial studies of material taken from the "active" asteroid Bennu have revealed "carbon-rich material and the abundant presence of water-bearing clay minerals." NASA scientists are now turning themselves into pretzels to plug the evidence into their theories of how the universe got here. Try starting here: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.." (Futurity)
How to scale nuclear power. (Andreeson Horowitz)
Laser beams deflected off nothing but air for the first time. (The Debrief)
The US Federal Communications Commission has voted along party lines to return to Title II net neutrality. The policy has been batted back and forth by the Trump and Obama administrations and would see the FCC with more power to regulate broadband services. (ArsTechnica)
We know that the Democrats are keen to require “kill switches” in cars, but could a President have the power to shut down the internet? (Not the Bee)
Rapper Pras Michel is demanding a retrial in his corruption case after his [former] lawyer used an AI-generated final argument, which was a "resounding flop." (NBC)
Netflix will open two "houses" where people can eat, shop, and watch events based on their favorite shows. (Insider)
From the Mad☧Tank
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Pfizer has revised its estimated earnings downward after demand for its new covid boosters was much less than expected. The pharmaceutical giant has also increased the price of its covid vaccine and antiviral Paxlovid several fold. (Investors, ArsTechnica)
A new preprint study says it discovered a "new safety signal" related to mRNA covid vaccines that is worth further study. "The new seizures/convulsions signal observed in our study should be interpreted with caution and further investigated in a more robust epidemiological study." (MedRxiv)
Amazon will begin delivering meds by drone. (ZNet)
Stories from Far Away
🇰🇵North Koreans using false identification to work in the US in computing jobs, sending money home to fund ballistics programs, according to the FBI. (Insider)
🇨🇳 China will restrict its exports of graphite, a fresh volley in the “global tech war”. The move comes are the US imposed additional limits on sales of semiconductors to Chinese companies. (CNN)
🇮🇷 Iranian teenager reportedly brain-dead after being beaten by police for not wearing a headscarf. (DW)
🇮🇳India's Supreme Court has refused to legalise same-sex marriage. (AP)
🇦🇷 Argentina’s presidential front runner Javier Milei says shutting down government science departments could help fix the country’s economic woes. Milei believes funding for scientific research could come from private sources. (Nature)
🇯🇵 Japan officially tests a railgun. (Not the Bee)
🏴 Brave sheepdog swims flooded field to save ewes. (Daily Mail)
Your favorite pixelated hero will return when EDH has returned from a well-earned rest..
John Michael Jones Gets a Life is produced for Mad⳩Mondays by E. Darwin Hartshorn. Episodes can also be found on Tuesday, along with previous episodes, on Bunny Trail Junction at bunny-trail.com.
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds
✨Alpacas dressed for dinner
👀 Parallax: airplane stuck in optical illusion
🦸🏼♂️ A history of spandex and superheroes
🚧 Landing a fighter on a carrier
😍 Elegant paper sculpture
👛 The world's most expensive spice is worth more than gold
⚾ Fastball: view from the box
🍷 2023’s wild wine-making weather may result in an outstanding vintage
🪟 Glass is a scientific mystery
🇮🇳 India’s whacky racers
😂 The leaning pole of Philadelphia
A Good Word: Links from the Show Notes
The Fisks changed it up a bit this week, with a Friday Night Special edition of Stop the White Noise (YouTube, Rumble). Jonathan and Meridith discussed the marvelous prayer that is Psalm 1. Rev Fisk offered a hot take on the Prayer of the Church and challenged the prevailing idea that prayers are only petitions.
Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Join Rev Fisk on the Psalm 118 bandwagon
Pray Jeremiah 30’s blessings over our nation
Sweetness You May Have Missed
This Week Preached:
Let us pray. O God, the protector of all who trust in You, have mercy on us that with You as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
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