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Daily Archives: 14 May, 2023

The Fine Print

Tired of watching TV commercials? Read the fine print at the bottom of the advertising. Interesting what’s there – all sorts of restrictions and limitations when using a “better” credit card… Warnings that some medications could result in death… An admission that the product on sale did only slightly better than a placebo.

DEMOCRACY. For history buffs, what is the oldest operating democracy? Answer at the end of this blog.

GREAT MUSIC. The wonderful Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, piped in to theaters around the world, from Alaska to Uruguay .

ON YOU TUBE.  Wonderful masses of Schubert, especially the series conducted by Swalllich.

ST. PAUL.   In 1 Corinthians, he cautions against marriage… even predicting that there will be troubles for those who marry.

GNOSTICS. From Nag  Hammadi , a treasure trove of Gnostic writings has appeared in the last 75 years, particularly from Egypt in 1945 – most of these were found heretical by the established church.

NOTRE DAME. One of the great losses to society – the wonderful acoustics, severely harmed by the great fire at the Paris Cathedral. Supposedly, the sound was so good that it inspired polyphonic singing in the Middle Ages.

DEATH OF A HERETIC  From the wonderful ancient Ireland series by Peter Tremayne,, these sayings:

  • When a boat is safe in the harbor, it was not what a boat was built for.
  • When the storm winds begin to rise, some people will start building walls. Others will see the opportunity to set up windmills.

LIARS. A recent Washington Post commentator from the UK expresses concern over a US elected representative shouting “liar” during the State of the Union address of Pres. Biden.  There are plenty of comments flying around the British Parliament, says  the commentator, but “liar” goes too far.

GAMBLING.  Lots of advertising before the Super Bowl.  Innocent pleasure… Or weakening of American virtue?

ACCURA RADIO  Plenty of music in an amazing variety of niches – from sacred classical to Norse folksongs.

… AND SERIUS FM.   Fine music honoring African-American composers during Black History month.

NEAT IDEA. Young men running with his big dog – he’s on a skateboard with a leash… And the dog is  pulling them along.

ANSWER TO THE HISTORY QUIZ .   The nation is Iceland. 


RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY? One college professor estimates that there are 40,000 Christian denominations in the world – and 1,200 in the United States alone.

FIRST CLASS STAMPS.  A recent Washington Post analysis reveals that the cost of mailing a first-class letter in the United States is actually considerably lower than most of the other developed countries of the world.

REPORTING ON FOX. Not to get political – but an observation: how little the recent settlement with Dominion was reported on Fox, as opposed to the progressive channels

RED TAPE.. From about 1780 to 1980, the Federal government bundled many of its documents in red-dyed fabric which was soon called “red tape” – a shorthand for bureaucratic entanglements.  The Washington Post reports that in 1864, the War Department purchased 154 miles of red tape. And in 1943, the Treasury Department bought nearly 123 miles of tape.

THE HERITAGE OF JESUS. An amusing friend suggests:

·         Christ was Italian – he talked with his hands, he had wine with his meals, and he used olive oil

·         Jesus was Jewish – he went into his Father’s business, he lived at home; his mother was sure he was God

·         Jesus was black – he called everyone brother, he liked the Gospel, and he did not get a fair trial

·         Jesus was Irish – he never got married, he was always telling stories, he loved green pastures

·         … And most compelling of all, suggestions that the Jesus was a woman – he fed a crowd when there was virtually no food, he kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who refuse to listen, and even when he was dead, he had to get up because there  was still work to do

SPEAKING OF JESUS… Jean-Pierre Isboults has produced a Great Course series on the historical Jesus. While assuring everyone that there is no challenge to believers, he comments on the following:

Herod was not Jewish by birth; his mother was an Arab princess. The Jewish community resented him deeply

“Give us today our daily bread” can be seen in perhaps a new way – each day, Galilean women baked bread.

The home of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus would have been a simple affair of packed earth, with the roof made from thin beams and branches covered with palm fronds and backed with mud. People sat on the floor using rugs.

Perhaps the Pharisees debating with Jesus were not trying so much to trip him up is to engage in the intellectual/religious debate, in Judaism of that time.

Close to Nazareth, a city named Sepphoris was built. The population was mostly Gentile

Christ taught near the Sea of Galilee. From Nazareth, he could travel across this relatively small lake, preach, and return home – all within one day

It is likely that Christ carried only the crossbar of his cross. Archaeology suggests that the Roman guards already had permanent poles set up

The reason the Romans crucified Christ was their understanding that he claimed to be “King of the Jews.” As such, He was regarded as a revolutionary seeking to establish a new Israel free of Roman influence.