Archive for July, 2011

The Hockey Mama for Obama strikes again. . .

She who had so much fun with Sarah . . .

has now turned her sharp satire on Michelle, she who graduated from that bizarre “Christian” law school. Obama Mama’s vid below isn’t as funny and stinging as the Palin vids, but it does have its moments–especially the ending . . .

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(PHOTO BY LARRY LANDOLFI, who of course is one of our favorite photographers here at the blawg that appreciates and holds up great photography sometimes.)

Another day, another 106 degrees in the concrete oven that is Dallas, Texas.

But we here at jitterbuggingforjesus.com–the blawg that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole towns, nations, cities and states and Rick Perry fundamentalists–we have some cool, cool water music to help you beat the heat and get in the mood for your Friday night. (PERSONAL NOTE TO MEGAN MCKAY: Don’t forget dinner at Chuy’s at 6:30 sharp tonight, kid. Have you seen Amy’s new wheels? Nice. I bet she drove it around all night.)

With no further of that old ado, here’s the Beachers with some healing water music, followed by them with His Greatness Ray Charles.

Ray Charles and Brian Wilson together on stage: Genius loves company.

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I’m glad my governor is a man of obviously strong Christian faith.

But God help us all–not so glad that he’s testing the waters to be Pastor in Chief of the United States where people of all faiths and no faiths are allowed to flourish.

What follows is an article from the Houston paper where yours truly was a longtime scribe who met Rick Perry on a few occasions as both a Houston reporter and before that as a scribe in Bryan-College Station–when Perry was a moderate Democrat and didn’t wear his Christian faith on his sleeve.

Transcript shows Perry likening office to pulpit
Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
Employing deeply religious language that national experts say affords both power and peril for his political career, Gov. Rick Perry in late May told a group of East Texas business leaders that he was “called to the ministry” at age 27, suggested that the governor’s office was his pulpit and that God put him “in this place at this time to do his will.”

According to a transcript of the private meeting, organized to raise funds for Perry’s Aug. 6 “day of prayer and fasting” at Reliant Stadium, the governor stated that property rights, government regulation and a “legal system that’s run amok” were threatening the American way of life and “it’s time to just hand it over to God and say ‘God, you’re gonna have to fix this.’ ”

Perry spokesman Mark Miner could not verify an Internet transcript of the remarks, but said it contained nothing inconsistent with the governor’s belief that “every Christian is called into ministry” whether serving as a church leader or in the workplace, and that “God provides opportunity throughout peoples’ lives to do his will.” Eric Bearse, a spokesman for “the Response,” confirmed the meeting was a fundraiser for the Houston prayer event.

Historians and political scientists say that Perry, who is actively testing the waters for a presidential campaign, may be ratcheting up religious rhetoric to seize the mantel of evangelical candidate in the Republican primary, but could frighten away a more mainstream general election electorate.

“This speech is a good example of both the power and the peril of politicians talking about their faith,” said Dr. John C. Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron and senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “To the extent they can mobilize people’s deepest sentiment, it can be very effective for them. On the other hand, it can also frighten people because it sounds like too much of an intrusion of religion into the public sphere.”

For the immediate goal of seizing a lead in the GOP primary, Perry’s strong appeal to the religious right “will play incredibly well,” pollster Anna Greenberg suggested.

“I don’t think there is anything off-putting about his language or his imagery in the Republican primary,” said the senior vice president at the national polling firm of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner.

Pitfalls of declaring faith

According to a transcript of the Longview meeting, Perry said his faith grew after his service in the Air Force, when he returned to live in his parents’ home in Paint Creek. “God was dealing with me,” he said. “At 27 years old, I knew that I had been called to the ministry. I’ve just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was gonna have. I still am. I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will.”

To advocates of religious tolerance, that borders on “a theocratic declaration,” said C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Interfaith Alliance.

“The problem is not faith. The problem is the public assumption that he understands God and the will of God so perfectly that he can implement for everybody God’s policies for this nation,” Gaddy said. “I think there are a lot of people uncomfortable with that — and I am one of them.”

The American public is accustomed to politicians who talk openly about their faith.

“Voters very much want their leaders to believe in God, to have an internal moral compass,” said Greenberg.

Remarks ‘innocuous’
Baylor historian Thomas Kidd saw Perry’s remarks – in the context of a fundraiser attended by evangelicals – as fairly “innocuous.”

Kidd sees a challenge for Perry as he moves to other parts of the country less familiar with what Green called “a strong evangelical accent.”

“You can do this in Texas. It is more challenging on a national level,” he said

Outside the evangelical community, voters will be suspicious of a politician who links political and religious roles, Greenberg said, adding that “separation of church and state is still a majority position in this country.”

At one point in his remarks, Perry reminded the gathering that he had recently signed imminent domain legislation because “ownership of personal property is crucial to our way of life.”

Tort reform not doctrinal
After saying that property ownership was in jeopardy because of taxes, regulation and the legal system, Perry said, “And I think that it’s time for us to just hand it over to God and say, ‘God, you’re going to have to fix this.’ ”

Greenberg noted there are “a lot of people, even in the evangelical community, who don’t like the mixing of politics and religion” for issues on which religious doctrine is silent. “Tort reform is pretty far afield,” she suggested.

Buchanan warned that if Perry initiates a presidential campaign, opponents will be studying every recorded sentence he has uttered.

“To imply he’s got God’s direct guidance – if I were advising him and had his best interests at heart, I would downplay that kind of thing,” Buchanan said. “But he’s road-testing it.”

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“One great reason why the rich, in general, have so little sympathy for the poor, is, because they so seldom visit them. Hence it is, that, according to the common observation, one part of the world does not know what the other suffers. Many of them do not know, because they do not care to know: they keep out of the way of knowing it; and then plead their voluntary ignorances an excuse for their hardness of heart.”

— From John Wesley’s Sermon No. 98, “On Visiting the Sick,”
In which he sang the praises of the compassion of women in . . .

Go to johnwesleyproject.com for a pretty good primer site on Rev. Wesley, who traveled 250,000 miles on horseback and did enough writing in his journals and for his sermons to fill whole encyclopedias. He was out begging for alms for the poor in the snow not long before he died at 87.

He keeps me inspired and reconnects me with Christ many days when my spiritual energy needs a boost.

More from his Sermon “On Visiting the Sick” and his praise of the French women:

“How contrary to this is both the spirit and behaviour of even people of the highest rank in a neighbouring nation! In Paris, ladies of the first quality, yea, Princesses of the blood, of the Royal Family, constantly visit the sick, particularly the patients in the Grand Hospital. And they not only take care to relieve their wants, (if they need anything more than is provided for them) but attend on their sick beds, dress their sores, and perform the meanest offices for them.

“Here is a pattern for the English, poor or rich, mean or honourable! For many years we have abundantly copied after the follies of the French; let us for once copy after their wisdom and virtue, worthy the imitation of the whole Christian world. Let not the gentlewomen, or even the countesses in England, be ashamed to imitate those Princesses of the blood! Here is a fashion that does honour to human nature. It began in France; but God forbid it should end there!”

“And if your delicacy will not permit you to imitate those truly honourable ladies, by abasing yourselves in the manner which they do, by performing the lowest offices for the sick, you may, however, without humbling yourselves so far, supply them with whatever they want. And you may administer help of a more excellent kind, by supplying their spiritual wants; instructing them (if they need such instruction) in the first principles of religion; endeavouring to show them the dangerous state they are in, under the wrath and curse of God, through sin; and pointing them to the “Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.”

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Because it occurred to us here at the blawg that is saving the world that we have not posted our theme song for a long and very long time, we now present to you our Jitterbuggingforjesus.com theme song, featuring the late and the great Billy Preston going all Pentecostal and breaking out in Jitterbug legs at his close friend George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh. . . .

Keep on rocking in the free world, people . . .

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In which we feature the Fab Four before they let their hairs grow really, really long and started doing way too many drugs and too much strong drink and neglecting good hygiene as drug and alcohol abusers are wont to do.

Oh well–the music was always top notch whatever phase or stage the Beatles happened to be in, and this is a cool little video for another hot day.

Chill, people.

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Live without pretending,

love without depending,

listen without defending,

speak without offending.

— words I’m trying to live by, trying being the key word.

—- Megan McKay, blood of my blood

Very nice, Meggles. Life is all about the keeping trying so keep trying.

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I like this pantoum* verse by the late and the great Donald Justice” because I grew up around so many old folk who lived through the Great Depression and have fond memories of them rocking in their rocking chairs on porches and dipping and spitting snuff into their coffee cans and telling yarns. In fact, my grandmother could rock and dip and spit and tell yarns for hours on end with the best of them.

(Hat tip: L.K. the mystic and mysterious and deeply Christian contemplative and flaming sixties librul (Joan Baez Div.–you know the type) who is our research assistant and sometimes contributer here at jitterbuggingforjesus.com the blawg that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole towns, nations, cities and states.)

Pantoum Of The Great Depression”

Our lives avoided tragedy
Simply by going on and on,
Without end and with little apparent meaning.
Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.

Simply by going on and on
We managed. No need for the heroic.
Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.
I don’t remember all the particulars.

We managed. No need for the heroic.
There were the usual celebrations, the usual sorrows.
I don’t remember all the particulars.
Across the fence, the neighbors were our chorus.

There were the usual celebrations, the usual sorrows
Thank god no one said anything in verse.
The neighbors were our only chorus,
And if we suffered we kept quiet about it.

At no time did anyone say anything in verse.
It was the ordinary pities and fears consumed us,
And if we suffered we kept quiet about it.
No audience would ever know our story.

It was the ordinary pities and fears consumed us.
We gathered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor.
What audience would ever know our story?
Beyond our windows shone the actual world.

We gathered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor.
And time went by, drawn by slow horses.
Somewhere beyond our windows shone the actual world.
The Great Depression had entered our souls like fog.

And time went by, drawn by slow horses.
We did not ourselves know what the end was.
The Great Depression had entered our souls like fog.
We had our flaws, perhaps a few private virtues.

But we did not ourselves know what the end was.
People like us simply go on.
We had our flaws, perhaps a few private virtues,
But it is by blind chance only that we escape tragedy.

And there is no plot in that; it is devoid of poetry.


* A pantoum is written in four-line stanzas; the second and fourth line of each stanza become the first and third of the succeeding stanza. In the last stanza, the second and fourth lines are the third and first of the first stanza so that the opening and closing lines of the pantoum are identical.

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could we have more prayer and spiritual growth and outreach and a lot less soap opera now?

I know pretty much nothing about the Anthony capital murder case, but I do know that I’m disgusted by all the obsessive attention it’s received.

I know that a beautiful 2 year old child was murdered and dumped in what was a heinous and revolting and sickening crime, that her mother stood accused of the murder and essentially walked. I also know that this case and this trial became a National Soap Opera driven by a national “news” media that no longer is about covering criminal trials for any redeeming or serious or illuminating reasons but rather about providing heinous crimes and tragedies as entertainment to an American culture that just can’t get enough entertainment as a way of escaping their problems, stresses, strains and for way too many people, escaping the emptiness of their own lives and souls.

Here’s a few thoughts on the trial that I know pretty much nothing about except that Americans everywhere are outraged that the child’s mom didn’t get her face duct-taped and her body dumped like the child . . .

1. As a former newspaper scribe who covered more capital murder crimes and trials gavel-to-gavel than he cares to recall, I do know that the child’s mom was not found “innocent” because there is no such thing as an “innocent” verdict in our always imperfect but perfectly wonderful jury system.

She was found “not guilty” of murder, which doesn’t mean she is innocent. It means the prosecutors could not prove beyond a REASONABLE doubt that she killed her child, and a jury decides what is REASONABLE based on evidence and testimony presented to them. (REASON, not EMOTION, ultimately has to prevail in a jury’s decision.)

And they don’t get to see or hear everything that the soap opera audience in TV Land gets to see or hear. They decide guilty or not guilty based on the evidence and testimony that the judge allows them to see and hear after the lawyers fight like hell over what is fair for the jury to see or hear.

2. I know that what gets lost in all this trial-as-entertainment show is that it distracts people of faith from growing in faith. That is to say that Christians and others of faith could be spending all that time and energy they put into hating the child’s mother into doing something constructive for their own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, church or synagogue youth and children or . . . whoever.

3. Why this case? Why this girl and this mom? Why not this obsessive attention on any number of other heinous crimes that could have just as easily have been covered and exploited like the proverbial blanket for whole years? Was it because this was such a cute and sweet little girl? What if she had not been so cute–maybe even too “ugly” or not photogenic enough for prime time TV in the judgment of the media entertainment exploiters?

Nobody would know who this child was outside of Orlando.

4. All in all this trial and the coverage of the verdict was a horrible public spectable and pseudo national news event that had little redeeming social value or value of any kind except to work up viewers and readers and make, as usual, lots of money for lots of media corporations.

And as for spiritually redeeming value–and this is for Christians–maybe we should turn off the TV coverage now and turn our time and energy and attention to making our children and loved ones better people of faith–not to mention ourselves.

As Christians or people of serious faith–if we’re serious about Christian faith whatsoever–we’re better than this.

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In which we feature a whimsical little

poetic little

funny little

feel-good little thing he did way back when. . . .

And him having fun with Chevy Chase . . . .

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