If I Refer To LaG Again As "Elderly," I Will Have Knucks On My Head
In my flowing description of Tim kidnapping his mom for a fire call, I appeared to refer to LaG as "elderly," that being one reason I didn’t abandon her at an airport and go strolling about on a Mom hunt. LaG, if you recall, is my own Mom who, at a young and vigorous 85, is a force to be reckoned with. Let's see, what happened, what happened. I KNOW! Obviously, someone at Blogspot altered my original script, where I referred to LaG as "elevated," meaning advanced on the planes of morality, power and spirituality. That grevious error was pointed out to be gently by LaG, and so I swiftly correct that erratum at this time. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.
Minor Observations on the Freemasons
In answer to dearest Rags, my longtime Shelf compatriot, who asked why the Masons are a "secret society" in a comment to a post on the Shrine Hospital funding problems:
Melissa, darling, Google "Masonic ritual" and you will see several versions of the "secrets." Some of them are fairly accurate and some of them are belly laughs. I have a lot of fun with the videos on youtube where "investigators" "expose" the Masons. Often, they have been "investigating" the bottoms of bottles of spirits or the unopened tops of their psychotropics.
Freemasonry is not secret. I am not aware of any "secret" which is not available somewhere online. Mind you, they are all buried in the garbage and because I have made a promise, I won’t separate that wheat from chaff, but trust me, the stuff is there somewhere.
Freemasonry is not secret, it is private. As I understand it, the Catholic confessional is private, and yet we have a pretty good idea of what happens there. A lawyer’s conference, ditto. I shudder to think of the activities at bridal showers, and whenever a group of ladies is discussing one, they clam up when I come within earshot. I assume that blood sacrifices, Satanic music played backwards and so forth isn’t going on, but I cannot be sure. Doing things in privacy aids people in expressing themselves, turning their thoughts inward and concentrating, and sometimes simply adds to the fun. Nothing more, nothing less.
With respect to your question about why various churches go from disapproving of the Masons to criticizing the Masons to banning their members from belonging, there are their stories and there is my/our view. Their stories concern blood sacrifices, demonism, strained construction of the street plans of Washington and other rather silly stuff. (Getting a Masonic design out of the street plan of Washington takes myopia and idiocy. However, take a look at the street plan of Sandusky, Ohio, which with a fair wind and minimal understanding of inserting stuff I have placed below. The planner was the Master of the Lodge there, and it would take equal idiocy to deny that he stuck the primary Masonic symbol right into the street plan.)
However, in some strict doctrinal respects, I understand some of the churches’ views. The Masons are religiously and politically ultra-tolerant. No atheist can be a Mason. Beyond that, there is no religious inquiry at all, ever. I can sit in lodge with a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc., in perfect harmony, attend prayer, and so forth. The ability to do that offends some beliefs. It is a specific offense within the organization to discuss let alone argue religion, politics or anything else disharmonious in the precincts of a lodge. Oh, also, there is a misperception (often intentionally misrepresented) that Masonic ritual includes representations of resurrection of others than Christ. Again, Google it, it can be a hoot.
And we will simply put up with this stuff because (1) we will not break the privacy which is important to the organization and (2) the First Amendment has to permit loony stuff in order to let sane stuff flow, so who cares?
Attorney General Holder and Hate Crimes Legislation
Today, Attorney General Eric Holder called for much stronger legislation against "hate crimes," which are crimes motivated by discriminatory beliefs. Kill a gay person intentionally not knowing him/her to be such, that's murder, and pretty bad. Kill him/her because they're gay, that's worse, and should be punished more severely. That's the idea of hate crime legislation. He cited recent incidents where a late-term abortion doctor was killed in church, a guard at the Holocaust Memorial was killed by an old nutzoid white-power-Aryan guy, and two soldiers were attacked in the US by peeved Muslims.
Holder quotes from today:
"Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed brazen acts of violence, committed in places that many would have considered unthinkable: a sacred memorial in the nation's capital, a recruiting station for the nation's armed forces and a church in the nation's heartland * * * The violence in Washington, Little Rock and Wichita reminds us of the potential threat posed by violent extremists and the tragedy that ensues when reasoned discourse is replaced by armed confrontation [Oh, yeah, that's a real new phenomenon, people using violence first, isn't it?] * * * I testified in support of stronger federal hate crimes legislation when I was deputy attorney general almost 10 years ago. My friends, that is far too long to wait. Too long to wait for the authority to prosecute offenses motivated by a person's gender, disability or sexual orientation. Too long to wait for the tools necessary to staunch the rising tide of bias-motivated violence directed at the Latino community. Put simply, too long to wait for justice."
[Full disclosure: One day I must write about the expenditures for the Holocaust Memorial. I must be independently wealthy to do so, because LaJ makes it clear that my welcome will become a tad worn when that occurs.]
I hadn't heard about the Muslim thing, but the other incidents have been all over the news. It appears that the "suspects" are "alleged" to have toted guns into public places and gunned down people. [The "suspects" and "alleged" is a bit of fun. The mainstream press has more guts about creating misleading, incomplete or shady impressions of ordinary folks than bluntness about violent crime. These guys took guns and intentionally shot people without justification. That's murder.] Hate crime motivation looks at their motivation. So long as they have the capacity to form criminal intent - know what they are doing, know that it is wrong - it doesn't matter why they do it. The victim is just as dead.
Years ago, around 2000, there was a murder near Fairmont of J.R. . . . darn, forget his last name. Quiet fellow, black and gay. I'd run into him at our office once or twice and that was the impression he left, just a quiet guy. Some teenagers killed him by beating him up and then running back and forth over him a few times with a car, partly to kill him and partly to make it look like a hit & run. [They were vicious, but not too bright.] The boys were charged with murder and tried as adults, there was public street stuff (including our buddies the Westboro Baptist Church Moron Brigade from Kansas) and there was a lot of noise about how West Virginia desperately needed hate crime legislation. (This might not be a good time to disclose to one loyal reader, LaG, how close I got to being arrested for taunting the Chief Nitwit from Westboro.) Anyway, the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney at that time was the late G. Richard Bunner. Richard was a short guy, built like a fire plug, who still had a working farm. He wasn't the greatest trial lawyer on Earth, but he knew what was right and you could trust his word absolutely and that's the best epitaph I know for a lawyer. After Richard caught hell for 3 or 4 days in the press because he wouldn't label it a "hate crime," he blew. "Well what in the hell do you think it is?," he bellowed. "They ran over him with a car again and again! That's hate! That's why we've charged 'em with murder!"
Richard was right. Hate crime legislation is bullshit feel-good tokenism for mouthy special interests. We are losing the war against drugs. Anyone who says differently is lying or stupid or both. We are losing the war against gangs. Anyone who says differently is lying or stupid or both. As a society, we are too greedy, lazy and afraid to deal with crime, rather than have press conferences and giving speeches with indignation and cute but moronic solutions that we know won't work while we hope that the whole thing doesn't collapse on our watch.