Another milestone toward civil war

As I said earlier this year, I fear civil war. Today, another milestone. @lsanger Twittered links to a couple anthems by Five Times August (Dallas based singer/songwriter/guitarist Bradley James Skistimas): “Jesus… What Happened To Us?” and “God Help Us All.” They sound like folk songs to fuel a revolution inspired by resentment over the way the American government handled the pandemic. I’m not buying it. Skistimas calls on Jesus and God (note lack of mention of the Father and the Holy Ghost). I studied the lyrics, and I allowed the images to flow over me at 2x speed. I muted sound to eliminate the strong level of negative emotion the song incites. Yes, it is a call for revolution. Yes, God—but by God I mean Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—God help us! We shall see.

I love Makoto Fujimura’s art. I once saw a few of his pieces. He was invited to speak in Colorado Springs and brought some of his work. I was delighted to be there. See for yourself. (Bing image search)


I am concerned about another American civil war

My friend Paul Hsieh Twittered, “One of my friends is a Trump supporter and they just posted this. I don’t agree with the sentiment, but I think it is important that people understand what a significant part of the country is thinking. (2 screen captures. Post anonymized.)”

God—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—have mercy if this indeed represents what a signficant number of neighbors in my belovèd country are thinking. Before the election another friend, Eric Schwartz, persuaded me to listen to Dan Carlin (DC). DC talked about civil war. I blogged about it. I am more concerned now than I was then. Not yet fearful, but closer to fear. That is all I can bear to say about that today.


On Chinese clocks, Roman numerals, and Twitter engagement

This is the end of a journey I started on Twitter last year: “Would you please share a picture of a clock in a public place on Chinese soil that has Roman numerals?” It has 2,958 impressions and 14 engagements, still counting. Nobody responded to my request, though.

I tried again in June. Only 211 impressions and 4 engagements: “Would you please share a picture of a clock in a public place on Chinese soil that has Roman numerals? And I am not afraid of CCP. …

Next, in October, I Twittered, “Do you have a picture of a clock in a public place in mainland China that has Roman numerals? Please show me,” and paid $5 to promote it. That was a fun experiment. As I write, it continues to draw attention: 34,802 impressions and 1,892 engagements, etc.

Twitter stats 1 of 2 Twitter stats 2 of 2

But still no help.

Last month, Mega Wolf @WolfEyeRight asked, “So. You still haven’t got that result?

I replied, “Kinda spooky. I’ll chalk it up to serendipity. I got motivated this afternoon. As you Twittered this, I was searching and found several results on my own.…

It turns out, results are easy to find. I think I still have those search results open on my notebook. I’m writing on my desktop though, too lazy to check. I simply searched Flickr today for china clocktower, beijing clocktower, and tianjin clocktower. I’m only going to share one: Here’s a crop of what I was looking for, from a typical picture of the China Railway Museum’s clocktower in downtown Beijing by kitmasterbloke. clock face with Roman numerals

Wolf saw my ad and Retweeted because they thought it was “weird” that I would pay to promote my request. And they wondered “why someone wants to find out something so specific.” Well, Wolf, this may be disappointing, but here’s why. Last year it struck me that China has a long history all its own, and the Chinese have invented many devices ahead of or in parallel with the West. I wondered what place, if any, Western clocktowers, Roman numerals and all, hold in Chinese architecture. After I got that in my head, I attached it to Twitter and wondered if any Tweeps would see my request. When I got no reply, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could pay a modest sum to motivate a response. Not the response I was looking for, but I’m glad you asked, anyway.

It’s been fun. Moving on…

Clocktower of China Railway Museum, downtown Beijing” by kitmasterbloke is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bought a Google Mini for $9.99 (discount code). Plugged it in today and set it up. It’s called The Google Assistant. I now have a disembodied soulless robot (aka d24t) of my very own. Its portals are the Mini and my LGG7 LGR. It answers to “Hey Goo” (2 syllables, nice and short).

I see too much effort put into inflating an interpretation of America’s situation beyond reality. POTUS45 was a threat to democracy but he was barely down the road to fascism. Saying so does a disservice to history seeing how the fascist nightmare ruined Germany & Italy. #mbnov

Puzzle muzzle nuzzle Razzle dazzle hassle Mass hole black hole Magnetar 300 million false prophecy of the priests of scientism False hope Resist despair Love takes effort Mentally awake is another way of expressing the state of mindfulness #mbnov

We have a President who stoops to dog-whistling his base with unfounded suspicions of election fraud, and who wants to disenfranchise voters with an infantile tantrum over votes that are, in fact, legally cast. #mbnov

Prayers for the U.S. election

Good politics begin with good theology. Prayers are essential. I was struck by Listener prayers for our nation, podcasted this morning.

I love that the first prayer offered is #24 For an Election, from the Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States (or of this community) in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I should have prayed that before now. Never too late in tight races, though.

I wondered about one of the other prayers and found an English translation. It’s a prayer by Calvin.

Here is my own lightly edited version of that one for good measure:

Father, the depravity of our nature is so great that we cannot bear prosperity without some wantonness of the flesh immediately raging in us and without becoming arrogant against you. Grant that we may profit under the trials of the cross; and when you have blessed us, may we, with lowly hearts, renouncing our perverseness, submit ourselves to you, bearing your yoke submissively. And may we proceed in this obedience all our lives, and so contend against all temptations as never to glory in ourselves, and feel also convinced that all true and real glory is laid up for us in you, until we shall enjoy it in your celestial kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

This microblog post is not written to astonish you. I am phoning in the third day of #mbnov just to catch up quickly so I can go to sleep. I waited until midnight local time November 3rd to send it. Been having trouble sleeping. I blame Annus Horribilis.

I suppose the #mbnov challenge will make Pandemic November less dreary. I am not signing up for a novel (NaNoWriMo).

Highlights of Dan Carlin Common Sense 320 Steering Into the Iceberg

I listened to Common Sense 320 Steering Into the Iceberg by Dan Carlin aka DC. He grates on me. He meanders way too much. Whenever I listen to him I find myself shouting at the player, “Get on with it! Make your point!” I did it at a friend’s urging. It was tolerable at 1.7×. I calculate I saved 30 minutes. Here are highlights. He spends the first several minutes talking about … nothing. Total waste of time. Around 19:53 he is reflecting on POTUS45’s call for his supporters to refuse to accept his defeat at the polls. A rigged election will be the battle cry for civil war. I say who’s surprised? POTUS45 admires Putin and Kim Jong Un. At 29:35 I was thinking about DC’s references to Caesar crossing the Rubicon. He says Congress did nothing. But the House sent impeachment articles to the Senate. It’s the Republican Senate who is not leading. Now I understand how Rome ended up with Caesar. Around 34:45 he calls for oppositional voting. Vote against the authoritarian. He rants about POTUS45 with his finger on the nuclear button. He urges us to steer away from the civil war iceberg. Plus the harmful conspiracies iceberg. At 42:00 he names QAnon. At 51:40 he talks about non-violence. Then he riffs on the idea that the US is a democratic republic. By 1:07:00 he is using the metaphor of a bus with 60 steering wheels. He is Jeffersonian,” a we the people guy.” Wraps up with a desire for a ”meeting of the minds.”Oh the drama, ending with Franklin’s quote: ”A republic, if your can keep it.” Mic drop, ending at 1:13:00.

Regarding chatmail

A few people I need to work with—and a few friends—use email as their go-to communication tool. One CEO told me that he finds having only one way to write to be most efficient and refuses to use Slack. Prior to the pandemic some colleagues had Slack installed but seemed more comfortable in email. That’s changed. I have seen the pandemic push many people to more Slack and less email. Yay. For personal chat where we do not share a workspace, I prefer Keybase or WhatsApp or even Signal; I’ll use MMS or SMS if old-school texters insist. I have older relatives who have calcified on email, though. So fine. More and more I’m dropping notes to friends and family in subject lines and blasting them off. I put [chat] in the subject line once and decided it was redundant. Occasionally I’ll end with [EOM]. I’m still evolving my use of email. The medium is the message. Compare with AODLW.


We are being given a gift we do not deserve to flourish as human beings during this pandemic. DON’T WASTE IT! Examine your life. Evaluate your most basic beliefs about the meaning of the universe and the meaning of your life in this time where you live. Rearrange your priorities!

Neither a maskhole nor a racehole be. Whether PC or not, woke or not. There are —holes with all ideologies.

Talking about #prayer in my Bible reading group. Ancient: The Jesus Prayer 12 words. 5 seconds. Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I pray it hundreds of times a day. I pray it 4 times when washing my hands. It is the foundation of all my other prayers. The Jesus Prayer is the rock on which I pray. 🙏

TIL Alison Balsom

Because sometimes nothing will do except a genuine #baroque #trumpet.

Actually discovered her yesterday on YouTube in a short about her love for the baroque trumpet.

She makes the world more #beautiful!

OH: “In what sense does the free market recognize and promote #freedom?” #kmmhaj Friday Feature “Freedom, ancient and modern”