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Dawn and I are headed to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula tomorrow and all next week to try to catch the fall colors, so posting will be light if there is any at all; I’ll be back the week of October 2nd.

Here are a few of my favorite pics from previous trips.

Tahquamenon Falls

Miner’s Castle, aboriginals worshipped at that
outcrop ~ 5000-years before Jesus’ preaching drew a crowd

Porcupine Mountains ahead, Lake Superior on the right

Near L’Anse, at the southeast corner of Keweenaw Bay

Fog rises off the Portage near Michigan Tech

In the Porcupine Mountains, 2016

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Touchy, touchy

I can understand why somebody might be offended by one of those lawn jockey things, but how revved should we get over a cotton stalk sold in a craft store?

A Texas woman has been getting ridiculed online for being “too sensitive” after she blasted the arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby for selling faux raw cotton stalks — which she found offensive.

“This decor is WRONG on SO many levels,” Daniell Rider posted on Facebook this past Thursday, along with a photo of the phony plants.

Ho-hum.

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Dismal theology-related quote for the day

You’re not awesome or great or imbued with some radical purpose or potential that will magically make your life phenomenal and give you oodles of self esteem once you discover it.

You’re a dirty, stinking, rotten, rebellious sinner. You yell at your kids. You don’t submit to your husband. You act out of selfishness. You lie. You gossip. You covet. You bow down to your idols instead of to Christ. You sin against a holy and righteous God in a thousand ways every day in thought, word, and deed.

Michelle Lesley

Remember, never forget, drive the thought into the most deeply buried crevice of your mind: Y’all are no damn good.

That “you’re a dirty, stinking, rotten, rebellious sinner,” that you are a putrid blot on the cosmos, that your highest aim ought to be self-annihilation because your self is no damn good … that is Christianity’s indispensable metaphysical claim. Take it away, and the idea of salvation is meaningless and Christianity has nothing on offer.

Christianity cannot flourish among the healthy.

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Upton Sinclair, b. 1878-Sep-20

Now, more than at any time in America’s history, we need brave journalists like Upton Sinclair. Journos occasionally make errors, but every one that I’ve ever known is obsessive about getting the story right and hates to get it wrong. Not all, but a decisive majority, of criticisms of journalism have more to do with shooting the messenger than with a mistaken message — especially The Donald’s favorite hashtag: #FakeNews.

There is a reason why Trump hates the press, and the reason is that journalism is a vital part of the constitutional safeguards that stand between him and plain-vanilla fascism. This would be a good day to pick-up a copy of The Jungle, or The Profits of Religion, and be grateful for the vision and courage that so unsettle the powers that be.

  • I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach. [On The Jungle]

  • I know you are brave and unselfish people, making sacrifices for a great principle but I cannot join you. I believe in the present effort which the allies are making to suppress German militarism. I would approve of America going to their assistance. I would enlist to that end, if ever there be a situation where I believe I could do more with my hands than I could with my pen.

  • American capitalism is predatory, and American politics are corrupt: The same thing is true in England and the same in France; but in all these three countries the dominating fact is that whenever the people get ready to change the government, they can change it.

  • All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescapably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda.

  • It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

  • The American People will take Socialism, but they won’t take the label.

  • Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself. He is humiliated by his simian ancestry, and tries to deny his animal nature, to persuade himself that he is not limited by its weaknesses nor concerned in its fate. And this impulse may be harmless, when it is genuine. But what are we to say when we see the formulas of heroic self-deception made use of by unheroic self-indulgence? What are we to say when we see asceticism preached to the poor by fat and comfortable retainers of the rich? What are we to say when we see idealism become hypocrisy, and the moral and spiritual heritage of mankind twisted to the knavish purposes of class-cruelty and greed?

  • The first thing brought forth by the study of any religion, ancient or modern, is that it is based upon Fear, born of it, fed by it — and that it cultivates the source from which its nourishment is derived.

  • In the most deeply significant of the legends concerning Jesus, we are told how the devil took him up into a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; and the devil said unto him: “All this power will I give unto thee, and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it. If thou, therefore, wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Jesus, as we know, answered and said “Get thee behind me, Satan!” And he really meant it; he would have nothing to do with worldly glory, with “temporal power;” he chose the career of a revolutionary agitator, and died the death of a disturber of the peace. And for two or three centuries his church followed in his footsteps, cherishing his proletarian gospel. The early Christians had “all things in common, except women;” they lived as social outcasts, hiding in deserted catacombs, and being thrown to lions and boiled in oil.

    But the devil is a subtle worm; he does not give up at one defeat, for he knows human nature, and the strength of the forces which battle for him. He failed to get Jesus, but he came again, to get Jesus’ church. He came when, through the power of the new revolutionary idea, the Church had won a position of tremendous power in the decaying Roman Empire; and the subtle worm assumed the guise of no less a person than the Emperor himself, suggesting that he should become a convert to the new faith, so that the Church and he might work together for the greater glory of God. The bishops and fathers of the Church, ambitious for their organization, fell for this scheme, and Satan went off laughing to himself.

  • Journalism is one of the devices whereby industrial autocracy keeps its control over political democracy; it is the day-by-day, between-elections propaganda, whereby the minds of the people are kept in a state of acquiescence, so that when the crisis of an election comes, they go to the polls and cast their ballots for either one of the two candidates of their exploiters.

  • In the course of my twenty years career as an assailant of special privilege, I have attacked pretty nearly every important interest in America. The statements I have made, if false, would have been enough to deprive me of a thousand times all the property I ever owned, and to have sent me to prison for a thousand times a normal man’s life. I have been called a liar on many occasions, needless to say; but never once in all these twenty years has one of my enemies ventured to bring me into a court of law, and to submit the issue between us to a jury of American citizens.

  • Birth control is one of the great fundamental achievements of human reason, as important to the life of mankind as the discovery of fire or the invention of printing. Birth control is the deliverance of womankind, and therefore of mankind also, from the blind and insane fecundity of nature, which created us animals, and would keep us animals forever if we did not rebel.

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Dismal theology-related tweet of the day

Right: Your family, your spouse and children, are your enemies.

I have been saying this for years, and I am not kidding or wrong: Christianity is not a family-friendly religion; ‘family values’ is a brazen marketing lie. And, it is all about power, because healthy marriages and healthy families undermine the Holy Man’s ability to totally control the folk in the pews. The good life starts by leaving church.

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