Back in the ol’ hometown, ctd

Another hot summer weekend is underway.

Nothing like a hot and muggy July in Detroit.

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Quote for the day

The most epic moment of Pelosi’s oversight abdication was, of course, her response to the Mueller Report. She was completely outfoxed by Bill Barr’s shameless misdirection at first, and once his sleight of hand became obvious, she seemed to have no strategy to hold Trump to account in any way. She was presented with striking evidence that President Trump repeatedly abused the power of his office to obstruct justice — the charge that brought down Nixon, and was one charge that forced even Bill Clinton into a Senate trial — and was all but invited by Mueller to move the ball forward through impeachment: “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Pelosi immediately, reflexively, punted.

Andrew Sullivan

Pelosi is no shrinking violet; I suspect she wants to let the Mueller report and Trump’s serial indecencies simmer for awhile. That would have made sense, ohhhh, 10-years ago — but memories are short in the modern media era. And with FOX News commanding roughly one-third of the American appetite for news, I am sure that many Americans don’t know yet that the report doesn’t come close to giving Trump a pass. It may be that the only way to focus public attention on Trump’s corruption and incompetence is to start impeachment hearings just to force news coverage.

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Amazon and automation

Apparently, Amazon thinks that a lot of the workforce it is about to displace with robots can be taught to program those robots.

As automation technology has leapt ahead, workers increasingly worry about losing their jobs to robots and algorithms. Economists dismiss those concerns, by and large, arguing that workers can grab higher-skilled jobs with better wages.

Amazon may soon find out who is right.

The e-commerce giant said Thursday that it planned to spend $700 million to retrain about a third of its American workers to do more high-tech tasks, an acknowledgment that advances in technology are remaking jobs in nearly every industry — and that workers will need to adapt or risk being left behind.

There are doubtless some bright college kids schlepping boxes around Amazon warehouses and, yes, some of them are probably studying subjects that are transferable to the way Amazon does business. For most of those warehouse employees, however — the two-thirds who aren’t going to get retraining — displacement by a robot is going to mean a step-down in their lifestyle.

There will always be boutique jobs, and there will always be trades not susceptible of automation — crawling under my house to repair a plumbing leak, for instance — but the combination of automation and AI means that some people are going to be put out of the workforce for keeps. We need to be thinking about what is going to become of those people today.

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16-months, 600-stories

Bruce Gerencser regularly publishes a feature entitled “Black Collar Crime,” a round-up of clergy crime stories; he has just published the 6ooth story, and has a few hundred more he hasn’t linked to yet.

Sounds believable to me. Ten years ago I launched a Website named Piety, Inc. that aggregated clergy crime stories, and got so overwhelmed by the sewage that I closed it down after about 8-months. Jeri Massi focused on clergy crime in IFB churches and severely damaged her health, the Wartburg Ladies seem to me to be getting short-tempered, and Gerencser remarked once in a comment left on this site that the stories often left him feeling sick and dirty.

In consequence of which I firmly believe that, proportionally, there are far more screwed-up men standing behind the pulpit than sitting in the pews.

Anyway, he reflects on this dubious milestone:

Sixteen months ago, I posted the first story in the Black Collar Crime Series. Yesterday, I posted the six-hundredth post in the series. Focused primarily on clergy sexual misconduct, the sheer level of reports puts to rest the notion that such crimes are committed by a “few bad apples.” Numerous times a day, I receive notices from Google Alerts, notifying me that a new report of alleged clergy crime has been posted to the Internet. I look at every notification, choosing to only publish the stories that are publicly reported by reputable news sites. I am often contacted by victims who are looking to expose their abusers. I do what I can to help them, but if there’s no public news reports or other information that can corroborate their stories, I am unable to do anything for them. Believe me, I WANT to help them, but it would be legally reckless of me to post a story without sufficient evidence. I generally also only publish reports about clerics from the United States — mostly Protestant, Evangelical, Southern Baptist, and Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB). While I post stories featuring Catholic priests from time to time, I usually leave such reporting to others. The same could be said of widespread clergy sexual misconduct in Africa. The point I am trying to make here is this: 600 published reports is just the tip of the iceberg. As of today, I am also sitting on over 300 clergy sexual misconduct stories I have not published due to a lack of sufficient evidence or a shortage of time to do so.

The clergy, abetted by psychologically damaged followers, are the most corrupt class of men in society.

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Dismal theology-related tweet for the day, — OR —
The Christian marriage

Have I ever mentioned that, taking instruction from a 1st-Century cult, modern Southern Baptists don’t actually approve of marriage? I think so.

Linger on that thought for a while, think about what is being said: Marriage is an instrument for serving the cult; it is not — NOT — about building together the satisfying lives you and your spouse want.

No wonder evangelicals have the highest divorce rate in society.

I say again, then: If pleasing an Invisible Wizard who lives in the sky is the most important thing in your life, then …

  • You are a fool …

  • Who is committing a fraud against your spouse, and …

  • Not actually married at all.

Russell Moore, y’all will be comforted to learn, has the answer: Fools ought to marry only other fools. From advice given to a Christian man who has got his non-Christian girlfriend pregnant, and wonders what he ought to do.

If you were merely dating this woman I would counsel you to immediately end the relationship. But the situation is, of course, more complicated than that.

[ … ]

The question here is not whether you will be yoked unequally with an unbeliever. You are. The question is whether you can or should get out of it.

Well … I don’t know. After all, she doesn’t claim to be godly, and isn’t the one who does claim to be godly, fooled around anyway, and then went looking to Russell Moore for help getting off the hook.

It looks to me as if the question ought to be this: Should she marry this sniveling li’l hypocrite? — and on first impression, the answer is … No. But, then, I am well-known to be extremely wicked.

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