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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Message- Listening

This week, as I was finishing my path through chapters 16-18 of the Frist Five Books of the Bible, I read a blog post from a friend that made me question my own paying attention to God.  I remembered lonely days, sitting on a bridge at night, asking God my whys and wherefores and getting answers- and wondered why it seemed so distant now.  As you might expect, the answer was simple- "I am still talking, you stopped listening for Me."  True that.  So I need to make a better effort at listening.  But how do you accomplish that?  Well, the series I was in the middle of at the time pretty much covered that question.

STEP 1:  Welcome Him in.

Gen 18:1  And Jehovah appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre. And he was sitting at the door of the tent in the heat of the day. 
Gen 18:2  And he lifted up his eyes and looked; and, behold, three men were standing by him. And he saw, and he ran to meet them from the entrance of the tent. And he bowed to the ground. 
Gen 18:3  And he said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, I beg You, do not leave from near Your servant. 
Gen 18:4  Please allow a little water to be taken and You wash Your feet, and rest under the tree. 
Gen 18:5  And I will bring a bite of bread and will sustain Your heart. Then You may pass on, for this is why You have passed over to Your servant. And they said, Do so, as you have said. 

Once again, we have a sighting of the pre-incarnate Christ (those who doubt this, night I suggest John 8:58), and the first thing that Abraham did was marshall his resources to make Him welcome.  Do I start my morning prayers with a greeting, or just present the day's "laundry list"?

STEP 2: Cast your doubts behind.

Exo 17:5  And Jehovah said to Moses, Pass on in front of the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. And take in your hand your staff with which you smote the River, and go. 
Exo 17:6  Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb. And you shall smite the rock, and water will come out of it; and the people will drink. And Moses did so before the eyes of the elders of Israel. 
Exo 17:7  And one called the name of the place, Massah, and Meribah, because of the wrangling of the sons of Israel, and because of their testing of Jehovah, saying, Is Jehovah in our midst, or not? 

So many times, I have heard atheists with their excuse, "I know the Bible better than you do."  Big deal.  Did you ever once come without doubt? Did you ever once come without the challenge in your words, your heart?  Notice that God didn't come for the Hebrews who doubted, but were blessed by His listening to Moses, who had no doubt.

STEP 3:  Come clean.

Lev 16:2  And Jehovah said to Moses, Speak to your brother Aaron, and he shall not come in at all times to the sanctuary within the veil, to the front of the mercy-seat. 
Lev 16:3  With this Aaron shall come into the sanctuary: with a bull, a son of the herd, for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 
Lev 16:4  He shall put on a holy linen coat, and linen underpants shall be on his flesh, and he shall gird himself with a linen girdle, and he shall wrap himself in a linen miter; they are holy garments. And he shall bathe his flesh with water and shall put them on. 

God is a Holy God, and we need to come in a proper state.  Those of you who have partaken in Communion/the Lord's Supper know what I mean.  Confess your sins, be penitent.  Reflect on your unworthiness and the Holiness of God.  Aaron lost two kids who thought they could come into the Holy Place in any old state and any old time; he himself was then instructed to wash thoroughly, put on the holy linen garments, and when he was done, to remove the garments and bathe again.

You ever notice on All In The Family that the only time Archie Bunker wasn't loudly self assured was when he prayed?  He would take off his hat, bend a bit, and in a low, humble voice, say, "Good evening, Lord, A. Bunker here."  How do I enter the Holy Place?

STEP 4:  Come respectful.

Num 16:12  And Moses sent to call for Dathan and for Abiram, the sons of Eliab; and they said, We will not come up. 
Num 16:13  Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but must you seizing also seize dominion over us? 
Num 16:14  Yea, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance in fields and vineyards; will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up! 
Num 16:15  And Moses was very angry, and said to Jehovah, Do not respect their offering; I have not taken one ass from them, nor have I done evil to one of them. 

The rebellion in the middle of the Book of Numbers was all about three men- the two listed above and Korah- who thought that everyone should have the same access to God that Moses did.  They claimed that all the congregation was holy, but they were dead wrong.  Moses was God's servant because he was obedient;  the three stooges were worried only about power.  If you want to be able to listen to God, you can't interject your own agenda.

Another common misconception of atheists is, "If God is good, He should treat everyone the same."  Not so fast, my friend.  Korah, Dathan, and Abiram wanted to get God's blessings for doing whatever they wanted, up to and including undoing God's dramatic rescue of them from Egypt.  Atheists have much the same agenda- to do what they want without the Judgment of a Holy God, and to wipe out anyone who would hold them back from doing whatever they want, or judge them as God would.  That's why they fight so hard about prayers at commencement ceremonies and Ten Commandments on courthouse walls.  It doesn't offend them- it EXPOSES them.

STEP 5: Come rejoicing.

Deu 16:10  And you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to Jehovah your God according to the measure of the freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give according as Jehovah your God blesses you. 
Deu 16:11  And you shall rejoice before Jehovah your God, you and your son, and your daughter, and your male slave, and your slave-girl, and the Levite that is inside your gates, and the alien, and the fatherless, and the widow that are among you, in the place which Jehovah your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there. 
Deu 16:12  And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall take heed to do these statutes. 

Deu 16:14  And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son, and your daughter, and your male slave, and your slave-girl, and the Levite, and the alien, and the fatherless, and the widow that are inside your gates. 
Deu 16:15  You shall keep a solemn feast seven days to Jehovah your God in the place which Jehovah shall choose; for Jehovah your God shall bless you in all your produce, and in every work of your hands, and you shall be altogether joyful. 

Now just in case you think that "rejoice" and "joyful" are mistranslations, they come from a word that literally means "To brighten up".  Why joyful?  Look back over what God has done!  Verse 12 reminds them that they are no longer slaves;  verse 15 reminds us that God will bless us.  No matter the crap we are currently stuck in, we all have that which brought us TO God, and that which God brings us TO.  So be joyful!

Friday, November 28, 2014

And Now.... Time Machine Volume 4, the pilot episode

It's November 28th... and this week, the Rubber Tardis has bounced us to 1965.  An era where Lyndon Johnson is asking allies to put "more flags into Vietnam".  And still just over a month before his first inauguration as President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos has taken up the call.  They would peak at just under 200 officers and 2,000 troops in civil support roles.  And Imelda would find some nice shoes in Saigon shoppes.

Ferdinand Marcos, father of his country... a country desperately in need of a stepdad.
And welcome back my friends, to the latest evolution of Time Machine!  This opening salvo, we will be doing some hands on explaining of what is going to be going on henceforth- and just so I don't confuse you, the twin specials you've been waiting on- the Top Top Ten, and the One Hit Wonder's top hit, I am pushing back till next week.

Oh, calm down, give it a chance, willya?

First thing- we are going to be a nomadic Time Machine henceforth.  I have a randomly generated list of the years of the Martin Era, and we will visit each in turn- then I'll generate another random list, and we'll do it all again!  That is why we landed in 1965 Manilla rather than where we left off two weeks ago.  If it makes you feel better, now Burning Love will be #1 forever!

Having settled on the year, I am going to use my non-dependant-on-Cashbox-paying-its-bills sources to look into just what is hot that week.  Am I abandoning CB altogether?  Naw, we're still gonna stop off and tell you what songs made their big splash this week, that year.  For example, this week in target year:1965, the songs just making the national spotlight included:

The Kinks with A Well Respected Man
The Hollies with Look Through Any Window
and The Righteous Brothers and Ebb Tide!

First, the tide... rushes in...
But the focus is going to be in part on the collection of old radio station top 40s I can glean each time.  The farther back you go, it would seem, the more charts you find.  And in this week in 1965, I had a council of ten: 3 L.A. stations (KHJ, KRLA, and KFWB); KQV from the Steel City; KGB from San Diego; KDWB from Minneapolis; WLS in Chicago; an outlier from Ocean City, NJ, WIBG; WMCA out of the Big Apple; and WKNR from the Motor City!  Now, you get this many stations, you get a lot of different opinions on what's hot and not, and ten stations gave us seven different number ones, including Herb Alpert's A Taste Of Honey (#6 nationally), James Brown's I Got You (#11), and the Rolling Stones' Get Off My Cloud (#7- and ironically, the Stones are #1 this week in Belgium with Satisfaction).  Four songs- that we will get to in a sec- stand out from the crowd this week, though; and they not surprisingly make up 4 of the top five on CB this week.  Let's have a little fun, though, with the one that didn't make it.

Jim Croce died in September of 1973.  What's that got to do with 1965?  Shhhh, it's a six degrees thing!  When the record company bowed to demands two months later to release the ironically appropriate Time In A Bottle, it swiftly became part of a very small club- rock-era songs to hit #1 with no percussion.  Two years later, Minne Ripperton would duplicate the feat with another song that the record company had to be pushed into releasing, this time by the artist herself.  Three songs picked by Mr. A&R Man had not charted at all;  but she asked them to try one more track- and Lovin' You hit #1.

And still you ask what this has to do with 1965?  Okay, okay.  It has to do with Minnie back in '65 sang backup vocals on the song in question, the #3 on Cashbox this week in 1965- Fontella Bass' Rescue Me.

Man, ya'll so pushy...

While Rescue Me was big nationally, it got but one top 5 by our ten stations- that being WMCA at #3.   But our experts pretty much agreed on these four songs:

Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds, with two of the #1 votes, and the #5 spot on CB, was 4th.

1-2-3 by Len Berry, with one of the #1s and the top spot on CB, was 3rd.

Let's Hang On!  by the Four Seasons, with two #1s and the #4 spot on CB, was #2.

And tops by the panel this week.... Tell ya in a bit.

Because at this point there are two other things you need to know about the revamped Time Machine.  One is, I was not only collecting top fives from the panel, but also the highest song on each one that I didn't know.  And the highest one this week was the #5 song on the WIBG chart.  It was a remake of a non-charting single from 1959, and it wouldn't chart this time either, as the act never left its local roots.  The Jersey Boys in question were Anthony and the Sophomores, led by one Tony Maresco.  In 1959, he led the Dynamics, who recorded a version of Gee (But I Would Give The World) that would later get a little more notoriety in a version by Johnny Maestro and the Crests.  When he put together the Sophomores, they released their take on it in 1965:

But the story didn't have a particularly happy ending for Tony.  From a obit:

But all were modest sellers. In a business where they play the short game, it meant the group was going nowhere big. Maresco eventually found himself working a day job in the automobile business and nights with various bar bands. He had a resurgence in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was appearing regionally, including the Valley Forge Hilton.

In 1974, former Daily News Columnist Larry McMullen heard Maresco sing in a South Philly living room and wrote a column on the man whose voice could make a heart skip beats, raise goose bumps and bring down tears.

McMullen wrote of the guy who ``had a nervous breakdown. His weight went up to 300 pounds. He quit singing. He was doing cement work when a live electric wire fell close by and almost electrocuted him . . . Three years ago he started listening to the noise that now passes for music,'' and Maresco decided to sing again.

But within a decade, diabetes began to take a toll, and he died in December of 1998.

Anthony Maresco was different from a lot of others from that era who went out with the tide by the 1970s. He wasn't bitter or depressed about it. Not bad for a guy who made $25 on the record ``Oh Gee,'' which sold 50,000 locally and still makes the rounds.

You listen to that record.  Twenty-five fricking bucks.  What a damn shame.


Now it's time for our top ten, and this is gonna be REAL different.  Because I've set my Spotify playlist on shuffle, and our top ten is the first ten songs to play.  This week's top ten:

10- Teach Your Children, Crosby Stills Nash and Young.  This song depending on the story you accept, was inspired by/reminded of a picture Graham Nash saw in a gallery by the late Diane Arbus, called Child With Toy Grenade In Central Park.

Thanks to Diane!  Graham allegedly looked at the expression- and the weaponry, and decided that we need to teach our children NOT to hate, to make war.  Teach Your Children was #16 in 1970.

9- Do You Miss Me Darlin'? , the Guess Who.  This song, one of my favorites from Best of the Guess Who, Volume one, was the flip side of the single Hang On To Your Life, which shouted its way to #43 in 1971.

8- Is She Really Going Out With Him?, Joe Jackson.  Joe missed the charts altogether when he released it ahead of his debut lp Look Sharp, but it did better on its subsequent re-release, hitting #21 in 1979.  "Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street..."  ain't that always the way it goes...

7- Yellow River, Middle Of The Road.  Sally Carr's band has a BIG presence on my playlist, and this one, with one of the guys singing lead, is a pretty good take on the hit by Christie.  It was a track on their Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep lp.

6- I'd Love To Change The World, Ten Years After.  Another child of 1971, it deserved better than the peak at #40 it got.

5- Hanno The Navigator, Al Stewart.  If you are one of those folks who only know Al from Year Of The Cat in '76 to Midnight Rocks in '80, you owe it to yourself to here more of this dude.  And if you are a history buff like me, you'll love tracks like this, from the 2008 lp Sparks Of Ancient Light.

4- Bittersweet Me, REM.  From their lp New Adventures In Hi-Fi in 1996, the cd single had a great flip side (now on my Spotify list)- a live cover of Wichita Lineman.  It got to #46 on the hot 100 but #7 on the Modern Rock Chart.

3- Fly Like An Eagle, Steve Miller Band.  One of those tunes you can just about remember where you were the first moment you heard the synthesizer chords and Tick Tock, Doo Doo Do Do Doo Doo.  #2 in 1977.

2- One Step Closer, The Doobie Brothers.  The funny thing about this, the last DB lp before the first break-up, was the odd list of co-writers on the record- Paul Anka on Dedicate This Heart, Chris Thompson (former vocal on Manfred Mann's Earth Band) on No Stoppin' Us Now, and Carlene Carter (June's daughter and country star) on this title cut.  #24 in 1980.

And this week's #1.....

1- Do You Know The Way To San Jose, Dionne Warwick.  She topped out at #10 with this classic in 1968.

So what was the consensus pick this week (by one lousy point)?  Well, that would be...

I Hear A Symphony by the Supremes, which was #2 on CB for the week.

Okay, so whaddya think?  Tune in next week for the Top Top Ten and the biggest One Hit Wonder's Next Hit!   Unless you decide you don;t like the new style and Ferguson me... (too soon?  Probably so...)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Things to be thankful for

I've been reading the news (I know, big mistake), and it's made me think of some things to be thankful for as we head for the holiday.

I am thankful that there are a LOT of good Law-Enforcement Officers out there.  I am thankful that a lot of them haven't washed their hands of the whole business after unending listening to the people who say they're all Nazis, they're all against minorities, they kill without proof.

I'm thankful I don't live in a community that believes the proper way to protest something is to burn out some retailer that did nothing more than sell their wares to the public.

I'm thankful that I don't have to make my living scamming or robbing others of theirs.

I am thankful I never had a reason to boost my self-esteem by physical violence.

I'm thankful I don't live somewhere where I have to push my plane down the runway because it's -61 out and the tires are froze to the tarmac.

I'm thankful I was taught that the truth was something valuable, and not a tool to get my agenda through.

I'm thankful that I was taught that life is precious, and not disposable.

I'm thankful for the Veterans who have fought MY fight.

I'm thankful that at least once in my lifetime I have seen an example of what a President of the United States SHOULD be.

I'm thankful that this woman taught me the value of praying first thing every day...

...even if she couldn't tell me exactly where in the Bible it said there was no life on other planets...

I am thankful for this man's work ethic, his hard hands, his goofy laugh, and his legacy...

I'm thankful for the two best friends an idiot like me can have...

And among millions of other things, all of you who read this.... even the trolls, who lend their endless fun to the mix!  May you all have a Thankful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hang on tight...

...because the wind is ridiculous here!  This morning, we had 57 degrees and a tad humid- altogether not unpleasant, and actually got to go outside for break without a coat.  But by lunch, that was a BIG mistake, and I followed one lady back in after five minutes.  I get home to find some areas in our county are actually without power (although right now it is down to about 1,100).  Sure a change from yesterday:

Woody was screaming his head off and eating something off the top of this tree...

Last time I took you out here, everything was yellow and orange with un-fallen leaves.  What a difference a couple weeks of cold temps, wind, and snow make...

That big ol' hawk managed to find him a dipstick snake who thought a day and a half of 50s warranted coming out of hibernation early.

Meanwhile, in the same tree...

Different tree, different squirrel.

The saga of the KCAs goes on for another night... as you recall, I needed to win by 21 to have any chance... I am leading by 15 with Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham of the Saints yet to play.  The other team  has dangerous Torrey Smith and skin-tag Chris Johnson yet to go.  That's a decent shot...

Also, at this point, I DO have a plan in place to replace Cashbox on my Time Machine posts.  They have un-suspended their account, but I'm thinking about a CB-less, BB-less way of doing things... and I may just give it a spin this Friday.  So if you see a Time Machine Volume IV in your after Thanksgiving read list, you'll know I have taken a leap into the unknown...

Meanwhile, here's some Martin World News items for your entertainment:

First, from al-Jazeera:

Feysal Mohamed Ahmed is a man living in fear. He is tasked with the unenviable job of collecting taxes in a city awash with small arms and where people aren't accustomed to paying government taxes.  Ahmed works for the local government in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. He is one of six tax collectors in the district of Dharkanley.  Every morning before Ahmed leaves the house, he offers a silent prayer, then says goodbye to his two young sons.  Every prayer, every hug and each goodbye could be his last, and so Ahmed takes his time before he starts walking the short distance to work. For Ahmed, every passer-by on his journey is a potential hitman ready to take him out."Many of my colleagues have been killed. Others escaped with injuries and cannot work anymore," said the clean-shaved, baby-faced 23-year-old. 

He has been collecting municipal taxes for the past two years. In the last three months, four tax collectors have been killed in Mogadishu. Since 2012, at least 25 have been murdered - that's 19 percent of the city's 130 tax-collecting staff.

Not funny, except in the abstract- how many times have you (pre-PC people) seen this happen on cartoons, only to see our world become a cartoon in real life?  On the bright side Somalian terror groups and pirates no longer have to put "most dangerous job in the nation" on their CareerBuilder ads.

Next, from Digital Journal:

A U.S. physicist claims evidence that an ancient Mars civilization was wiped out by nuclear bomb-armed aliens. He warns that evidence of a past nuclear attack on Mars raises concerns about a similar attack on Earth.

Dr John Brandenburg, a plasma physicist, obtained his PhD from the University of California, Davis. He is an expert in propulsion technologies and a former consultant on Space Missile Defense and Directed Energy Weapons. He currently conducts research work at Orbital Technologies in Madison Wisconsin.

The paper, reportedly due to be published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, claims evidence for two massive nuclear explosions on Mars at two sites on the planet. Mars once had two civilizations, the Cydonians and the Utopians, wiped out by nuclear bombs detonated by technological aliens.
The site named Cydonia is the location of the formation on the surface of planet spotted by orbital crafts which looked like a human "face on Mars" but which, after closer examination, has been dismissed as incidental formations of dust dunes.
The purported evidence for nuclear explosions includes the red color of the surface of Mars which, according to Brandenburg, could be explained either by a naturally caused nuclear reaction or a nuclear device explosion which scattered radio-isotopes in the Martian environment.

Dr. Brandenburg... not surprisingly, a frequent guest on Coast To Coast AM with George Noorey...
Next up, and slightly closer to home, from Newser:

 Bad news for Prince Philip: one of his favorite cooks has been fired. The sacking of Adam Steele, 28, came after his arrest for allegedly head-butting a Buckingham Palace colleague during a gathering in the staff's living area, the Daily Mail reports. "No one knows what exactly was said to Adam, but it was something like, 'You've had enough; it's time to stop drinking,'" a source tells the paper. "Whatever it was, the next thing the other man has blood over his face and a cut eyebrow." Steele spent the night in a police cell and was fired after an internal palace investigation, the Mail notes.

Closer still, in the merry state of Massachusetts:

Massachusetts State Police say a man stripped inside a women's bathroom at Boston's Logan Airport, climbed into a drop ceiling, crashed through it and landed on the floor, then assaulted an elderly man while he was still naked and bleeding.

Police say Cameron Shenk, 26, of Boston, will be arraigned Monday on charges of attempted murder, mayhem, assault and battery on a person over 60, assault and battery on a police officer, lewd and lascivious conduct and malicious destruction to property in connection with Saturday's alleged attack.

According to authorities, Shenk went into a restroom stall in the airport's Terminal C, before the security checkpoint. Once there, he took off his clothes and climbed in to the drop ceiling. Shortly before noon, investigators say, he fell out of the ceiling to the bathroom floor, startling a woman who was in the facility.

State police spokesman David Procopio says that Shenk then attacked an 84-year-old man, biting his ear and attempting to choke him with his own cane. 

So I was going to put up one of the readily available pics of the half dressed and half witted Mr. Shenk, but I saw this during the search... and while I don't truly understand it, I thought I'd share...

And finally, what would MWN be with out a little sex?  Well, it MIGHT be like...

TUSZYN, Poland, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Winnie-the-Pooh is being run out of town, and it's not for taking all the honey.
The cartoon bear's image was banned from a playground in the small Polish city of Tuszyn because members of the town council believe him to be a hermaphrodite.
The issue came up when it was proposed that Pooh be the patron of the playground. But the more conservative members of the council took issue with the fact he was only half-dressed.
"It doesn't wear underpants because it doesn't have a sex. It's a hermaphrodite," said one Councillor.
"Well, If that means, 'He loves honey'..."

And just to prove that Russia isn't the only nation to comb the lunatic asylums to get their quota of female politicians:

They had an explanation for why poor Pooh is of "dubious sexuality" and it's through no fault of his own but rather due to the cruelty of his author, A.A. Milne.

"This is very disturbing but can you imagine! The author was over 60 and cut his [Pooh's] testicles off with a razor blade because he had a problem with his identity," said Councillor Hanna Jachimska.

Where Ms. Jachimska came up with that unconfirmed factoid about Milne is unknown, but one local speculated for Vanity Fair:

The town members of Tuszyn are unimpressed with their leaders. In an interview with Polish news program TTV, one local resident compared Pooh’s admitted “low intellect” to that of the town councillors, saying: “Winnie the Pooh was a bear with low intellect, and unfortunately, this is also evident in those who are concerned with this topic”.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday message- preaching to the rich and the stubborn

Well, I mentioned this week that there was something "brewing" for a Sunday message.  But like the manna in the pot, sometimes you hang on to something too long and it begins to stink and "breed worms."  And thus, my original intent- because it wasn't God's intent.

You see, I had heard little pieces from a pastor I listen to on the way to work- and then a big hunk from another more well known later- that led me to the conclusion, "These guys are preaching to rich/well-to-do congregations.  Why are they not reaching out to the poor- or at the very least, less well-to-do people like me?"

But that wasn't what God wanted to talk about- not directly, anyway.  And at one point when I was actually open in my mini-frustration, He said, "Wait, you will hear a word from someone that will make it all make sense."  So I waited, and kept reading.  And got no closer till about 15 minutes ago.

And this morning, I was reading in Exodus 16-18 and began to look at Moses and the Israelites in a different way.  These are the chapters in which the following things happen:

- The Israelites "murmur" about lack of food and receive manna;
- The Israelites "contend" about lack of water and Moses strikes the rock at Massah and Meribah;
- The Israelites go to war with Amalek;
- And Moses' father in law Jethro pays a visit.

And while the stubbornness of the Israelites in not using miracles to build their faith is legendary, I began to look at Moses' leadership.  Now no one, I hope, will disagree that few men who walked the earth were ever closer to God than Moses.  But as I looked at this in a different light, here's what I saw:

Chapter 16- Now Moses HAD to realize that they were getting to a point that the people were hungry.  In his semi-mystical way of waiting for the Lord to provide, you see no evidence that he went to God in advance of the problem.  Instead, he allowed the murmuring to grow until God acted first, and told him He would send quail and manna.  He waited till God addressed him about the problem to acknowledge that trouble was brewing.

How often do we wait until God "has to say something" to deal with a problem?

Chapter 17, part one:  So they move on into the desert, which is noted for one thing in particular- lack of water.  We often talk about the Israelites not learning lessons from even the immediate past.  But leadership comes from the top, dear Moses, and you waited until you had to say:

Exo 17:4  And Moses cried to Jehovah, saying, What shall I do to this people? Yet a little and they will stone me. 

Did the desert suddenly get MORE dry?  No, but Moses again waited until he felt he had to pray for his own safety.  Then, and only then (apparently), did he go to God.

How often do we wait until we're "in deep enough" to go to God?

Chapter 17, part two, and Chapter 18:  In the last section of 17, Moses ascends the hill to watch Joshua's army battle Amalek.  When he holds his arms in the air, Joshua wins; but as his arms grow tired and droop, the enemy stars to come back.  Finally Aaron and Hur (not Ben Hur, silly) come up to hold his arms up, and Joshua wins the day.

Again, though, Moses is not inspired by the fact that sometimes he needs help.  This is when Jethro drops by to drop off Moses' wife and kids, and he looks at what Moses is doing.  Particularly, he notices the long line of Israelites with gripes both major and minor, marching in an endless line to Moses for judgment while others stand around with their fingers in their noses.

Exo 18:14  And Moses' father-in-law saw all he was doing to the people. And he said, What is this thing which you are doing to the people? Why are you sitting by yourself, and all the people standing beside you from morning until evening? 
Exo 18:15  And Moses said to his father-in-law, Because the people come to me to seek God. 
Exo 18:16  When they have a matter, they come to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor. And I make known the statutes of God, and His laws. 
Exo 18:17  And the father-in-law of Moses said to him, The thing which you do is not good. 
Exo 18:18  Wearing you will wear out, both you and this people with you. For the thing is heavy for you. You are not able to do it by yourself. 

So Jethro, whom we learn just a few verses earlier was a pagan priest until he listened to Moses' story about all that had happened since he left, then tells him, "Now here's what we would do in the business world:"

Exo 18:19  Now listen to my voice. I will counsel you, and may God be with you. You be for this people before God, and you bring the matters to God. 
Exo 18:20  And you warn them as to the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they should walk, and the work which they should do. 
Exo 18:21  And you, you shall look out men of ability out of all the people, who fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain. And you place these over them as rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 
Exo 18:22  And let them judge the people at all times. And it shall be that every great matter they shall bring to you, and every small matter they shall judge. And you make it easy on yourself, and let them bear with you. 
Exo 18:23  If you do this thing, and God command you, you will be able to stand; and also this people will go in peace to their place. 

Wow.  "Don't try to do it alone"- what a concept!  And it was more than that- he was taking the advice of a former pagan as to how THEY would do it.  IDK that Moses ever thought about, "I don't wanna do it that way because that's the way the Egyptians did it,"  But one of the things that I alluded to at the very beginning of this post was hearing that famous pastor advertising a sea cruise to the Holy Land and the Greek Islands, "paid for by the guests travelling with us".  And I thought, "There's another example.  IDK how much tickets to this cost, but it's sure beyond what I can afford- IOW, catering to the rich yet again."

Now you can see problems I have here- of pride, class envy, etc.  But I was also trying to loop into it the Pastor's fault- why serve just the rich?  What about us?

And then the next pastor came on, and the words that God had promised me came out.  He was starting a message on the Collosaean Church, and began it with something to the effect of, "Paul told them they were in a good place, and needed to use their advantages for the Kingdom of God."

Oh, ho.  "Do you see what IIIIIIIIIIIII see?"  America is a land where even the poor are "well-to-do" by the standards of say, Sudan.  The "rich" of America have a unique opportunity to minister to the poor of the world- whether it be sending Bibles to China, or helping at the homeless shelter, or sponsoring a Guatemalan child (as I do.)  Every one of those people being helped could easily say, "Oh, look at the rich American feeding us the crumbs off their table."  Only the giver can judge whether he/she is sending help or crumbs.  And this is why we NEED to have pastors who deal with the rich.  Like Collosae, we are in that "good place."  If the greatest difference between America and the rest of the world is our wealth, let us use that wealth to God's advantage.

Point made, o Lord.  Instead of "murmuring,"  "contending", or "doing it myself", I need to be thankful that this nation has rich to be preached to.  Remember the charity that THEY have given ME.  And pray for the pastors that serve ALL of us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

And for the next disappointment this week...

You click on the handy dandy link to the Cashbox Archives, and see:

Account for domain has been suspended

Yes, it's time for the seemingly every year "Cashbox forgot to pay the bills" time.  Now I could just go on and do the post... I suppose...  but when you have a special thing planned (the #1 Top Top Ten and the #1 One Hit Wonder's Next Hit), it kinda takes the fire out when you try switching to Billboard in the interim and have to start out with, "and for the hot 100 debuts this week... three of them debuted last week on Cashbox... two of the ones last week on CB STILL haven't hit the Billboard charts... and the one that's left is The World Is A Ghetto by War. "  Rather appropriate, no?

Or I could try gritting my teeth and going on, and when I get to the end, tell you:  "Well, some songs seem to be moving like they were on CB (last week's #10, I Am Woman, moved from 8 to 4... Freddie's Dead, slowing down at 6 last week, drops to 7 on BB... and the song that moved from 5 to 2 last week on CB, I Can See Clearly Now, spent its second BB week at #1)... Some are like a week behind (Nights In White Satin, falling from 1 to 5 on CB last week, falls from 2 to 5 on BB this week;  I'll Be Around, which moved 5 to 3 on CB last week, moves 5 to 4 on BB this week);  Some are a little ahead (I'd Love You To Want Me was 7 on CB last week, moves 3 to 2 on BB this week); Some are a little more behind (If You Don't Know Me By Now, 16 to 8 last week on CB, 20 to 13 on BB this week, and Convention '72 and Witchy Woman on their second week in the top ten); and some are way, WAY ahead (Burning Love and Garden Party, #s 1 and 3 on CB last week, respectively, are all ready OUT of the top ten (19 and 12), having peaked on BB in OCTOBER..."

Screw that noise.  This is not a week, with my attitude about everything this week (see the last couple of posts) that I feel a need to doink with giving my effort to a sub-standard post.

This show has STANDARDS?  Who knew?
If this is like other years, CB will be off line for a couple of weeks, and Time Machine will be in for a holiday refitting.  If not... I don't know.  Somewhere in the near future, I'll certainly show you those two tops I promised, mayhap in conjunction with the threatened promised Great Nineties Countdown which I will do in January regardless.  Maybe I'll evolve a "Volume IV" at some point.

It was November 21st, 1972, and like Bob Foster by Muhammed Ali, Time Machine got KOed by Cashbox.  And the ref is giving an 8 count...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Attention Wal-mart shoppers

This Black Friday and attendant days surrounding it, you will traipse off to the store, fighting over cheap toys, waving falsified ads at checkouts who have "no choice" but to sell you a $300 game system for $80, and pretending you are spending your holiday in some virtual game show.

While you are creating your mayhem across the countryside, Laurie gets to work.  Thursday through Sunday.  And with a TON of extra hours added on.  Why?

Because you are selfish simpletons who could care less if anyone enjoys life but you.  And because Wal-Mart is a selfish, greedy corporation, whose ownership is rich enough that they could care less that they could make twice the money that they will on Black Thursday/Friday just by paying attention to all the myriad ways they let themselves get screwed.

Wal-Mart at grass roots level is one of the three most mis-managed for-profits I have ever blundered across.  Their concepts of "training" and "communication" border on that of my last job (which makes its money nowadays by weeding out any Americans who might want to get paid for what they're worth and replacing them with illegals who could give a crap what they make as long as it buys booze and sends a couple bucks home to Mamacita).

But, at least THAT job let you have a happy holiday.

So, yeah, Wal-Mart is a bunch of greedy wretches who cannot embrace the concept that you might actually give an employee ONE miserable damn day off from Thanksgiving Day to the next Sunday.

But they wouldn't do it without you, the shopper who thinks that the perfect way to digest their turkey is to make some poor cashier tend to their insults, lusts, and warped sense of needs.

And before you give me the excuse I always hear- "Firemen, cops, and medicals work through their holidays, why should retail be special"- let me pop your bubble:

Your fracking Tickle Me Elmo is not life or death.  Nor is your "copy and paste" ad match, your EBT- purchased carton of cigarettes, or your wrong size blouse that must be exchanged IMMEDIATELY!

(Sighs.  Clears throat.)

That said, may you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.  Hope the coals are as hot as Proverbs 25:22 claims.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 hear myself talk

Hello, and welcome to "stuff I saw learning what happened in the world today":

Sad news is that Jimmy Ruffin, who touched the hearts of the alone and miserable with his great hit, What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted, one of the great vocal performances of all time IMHO, passed from this world today at the age of 79.

In honor of this chilling tune, we find that all 50 states of the US of A- including, believe it or not, Hawaii- hit the freezing mark or below today.  Our contribution today was an early-morning start of around 10 F.

But think about it.  "Global warming" kept the Great lakes warmer than usual for November, and thus when the arctic blast came, Upstate NY had a lake-effect snowmageddon.  (Because, as I learned today, it is cold fronts going across warm(ish) water that causes lake effect snow.)

For example, there's Raymond James stadium in Buffalo, home of the NFL Bills.  They are asking for fans to come help shovel 220,000 tons of snow from the stadium so that they might be able to watch the game Sunday.  Anyway, as I understand it, lots of snow radiates the sun's heat back into the sky, causing the temps to drop.  This is the mechanics behind glacial ice- snow that falls but doesn't melt because it reflects heat into the atmosphere, compacted year after year into ice.  So, theoretically, the increase of lake effect snow will eventually spark a new ice age;  we will burn more fossil fuels to stay warm;  the greenhouse effect will then warm the earth, the snow will melt, and everything goes back to normal, right?  So...

Oh, before we get too far away from sports, I'll point out our Fantasy football league is going into it's last regular season week- and only two teams out of twelve have been eliminated from the hunt for 6 playoff spots.  So I will be having some fun Tuesday next trying to sort out who made it and who didn't.  (Note:  since we got beat this week, the KCAs now have to win their final game by at least 21 points to get in... and that might not do it, either.)

Next up, our buddy Bobby G.  likes to do a list of the "National (fill in the blank) Days" on his blog, but today I discovered was one he missed.

That 15 foot tall inflatable commode on the grounds of the UN (in addition to being a very good suggestion) denotes World Toilet Day, intended to bring awareness to the millions of people where lack of sanitary facilities or cultural imbecility have caused them to do it au natural, so to speak ( such as in India, where they prefer the nearest alley or somewhere out in the field where they grow the food they eat).  You know the world's in the crapper when the Jolly Green Giant's toidy is in front of the UN, right?

On a similar vein, I was looking at one of those clicky ads showing "15 eerily beautiful abandoned places to visit", when I saw a picture of the former Bulgarian Communist Party headquarters.  Hmm, wonder why it came to mind now...

Finally, a little good news.  Did you read on the news about the gentleman who saw a car in a culvert on his way home and ended up cutting a submerged baby out of a car seat?  Well, check this out.  Congrats to the heroic if soggy Leo Moody, and to Wade Shorey, another passerby who then did CPR and revived the three month old.

Another neat story- a York Haven father is now the father of a much larger family as his great dane gave birth to nondecuplets- 19 pups and please, no counting!

Sister, could you spare a teat?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So, young man, you've been awful quiet lately...

That's right, no Sunday message (God had nothing for me to say as yet Sunday... but something IS brewing), and no Martin World News yesterday because it was just too damn cold to go looking ( at least that's my excuse).  On the bright side, I did get around to replying to three posts worth of comments I had zoned about, as well as finishing (for the moment) my online Christmas shopping.  But today, I'll bring up some things on my mind.

The last news I looked at last night was the story that the Governor of Missouri is calling in the National Guard just in case the cop that shot that idiot du jure is declared cleared and the natives decide to riot.  You know, I am done with idiots that think every case, every judgment, every law that goes against a black man, whether lowlife or not, deserves to be celebrated by "righteous" mayhem.  I am sick of people who can't look in the mirror and say, "the person who failed that young man is ME."  Mom, dad (if you were around), you raised Michael Brown- or so the story goes.  Maybe you shouldn't have let the streets raise him.  Hey you, with the brick in your hand, tell me how "sticking it to the Man" by looting some uninvolved shopkeepers's livelihood does anything other than paint you as a sub-intelligent, sub-human douche canoe who likes to wrap "out for #1" in social issues you could give a crap about.

The first story I heard when I got home today was the murder in the synagogue of 4 worshippers by two Palestinian scumbags with meat cleavers.  And now, the neighborhood is celebrating this wonderful offering to their god of butchers by passing out candy as if it's Halloween.  So, anti-Israeli mouthpieces, tell me again how the Israelis are the savages, how any "repression" they use in Gaza and the West Bank doesn't have a justification.  Tell me again, Sweden, how the Palestinians showed us today how they deserve that independant state you want them to have.  (I guess I shouldn't be so hard on the Swedes.  Anyone who thinks putrified canned fish is a delicacy has MANY issues.)

Then I go around the blogosphere, and I see stories like this one (Thanks, DC), and follow it up with this one .  (Thanks, JDay.)  For those disinclined to click on links, one is a blog post about the shitstorm that hit Kurt Warner for having the effrontery to suggest that "solid science" hadn't shown him proof of evolution causing the procession from one species to another.  The other is a post about NoCal residents who think that water is a precious resource that shouldn't be wasted, "except by me."

You know, one day I'm going to bow to the evidence and admit that Carlin knew what he was talking about.

And then you have our leaders.  Let me not spend time on bashing Obama (who's really drifted into the realm of "self-bashing" by now) or Putin (who got pissed at the G20 summit that everyone wanted to talk about the Ukraine and nobody signed on to the "sperm-by-mail" plan from last week and left early), but rather, let us look at the magnificent achievements made by the "Party at Brisbane" bunch.  There were six main initiatives that came out of the G20:

1- In order to stimulate the growth of World GDP (which I find amusing in itself, because if GDP means Gross Domestic Product, what is World GDP- the trade and products we ship to other PLANETS?), they came up with (an in an amazingly short time) a THOUSAND policy measures ( and assure us that at least 800 are NEW ones) that they hope will add $2 trillion to WGDP.  Questions:

- A thousand?  Really?  And if 200 have already been done before, why do them again?

- One I have asked before: is there really that much more value to the world economy than say, ten years ago?

- How about the analysts, who say most of the initiatives, while better than earlier ones (presumably the 200 recycled ones), are still "insufficiently precise"?  Big surprise there.  I mean, kinda hard to be precise when you are coming up with one new idea every three minutes over two days.

2- A goal of increasing the number of women working by 100 million.  Because it's more important to have a broader payroll tax base than to see that children are properly raised- er, I mean, because we want to break down the barriers keeping women out of the workforce.

Did you want fries with.. oh, crap!  Fatima's sleeve caught fire on the grill again!
3- What should be called the Burger King Law- an agreement to "exchange information" to stamp out tax evasion by moving from one country to another with a lower rate.  I would have thought the first step in stopping tax evasion would have been to eliminate secret Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts, but wadda I know?

4- Working with the world banks to raise their loans for infrastructure improvements around the world.  Two things on this:

- The Asian Development Bank estimates that from 2010-2020 -which, you might note is a ten-year period- in Asia ALONE, $8 TRILLION is needed just to keep from going backwards.  How do you feel about that $.60 gas per gallon tax now?

- The group working with the bank has a 4-year mandate.  Which means they've got to find that $220 million a day over ten years in loans in just four years.  Good luck with that.

5-  One of the six great problems according to the G 20 in the world economy is the cost incurred by migrants trying to send money back home.  Because Western Union must charge way too much to wire that tax-free dough the illegals living 20 to a house are sending home to ma and pa.  They say it costs 8% of what they make, and G 20 wants to drop it to 5%.  My payroll tax is 8% .  My heart bleeds.

6- And we must, repeat, MUST do something about corruption.  Burt what?  I know- we'll "agree to share in writing what steps (each nation is) taking to prevent abuse of shell companies " that hide the identity of the real owner.

Ooooooooooh... that's tough...

But we did make some valuable steps at the summit.  We now know that you shouldn't chew gum in public as a delegate, and you should let Chinese ladies freeze unless frozen to.  And you should smile at photo-ops even if the hand you are shaking is attached to a big horse's ass...

So what this post boils down to is, there are just days where I'd as soon hear the Lord call me home and leave this place to the idiots.  Let them do their thing, and see where it gets them, without my involvement.  But.... unless I get electrocuted in the bathroom in the next few minutes, or Scrappy kills me for giving him his dinner late, I guess I'll have to sit back and shake my head.

I don't like the way that sounds, mister...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Time Machine week 30

It is November 14th, 1972, and the world is gaga over the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 1,000 for the first time.  It would shortly thereafter go in the tank, not reaching that point again till 1983.  Today it's somewhere between 16 and 17,000, and hasn't been below 2,000 in about a quarter-century.  Is there really that much more value in the US economy now than there was then?

Don't ask me, this is a music post, and I think I'd rather hear Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again than the opening bell.

Get it?  Wrap up a financial commentary with The Fortunes?  Ah, well...
Welcome to the week you've been waiting for the week I've been bugging you about, the week we do the number one Top Top Ten  the #5 Top Top Ten as it IS our week's chart!  Also this week, we are at #2 on the One Hit Wonder's Next Hit (and for the second time I cheat a little);  a six degrees that starts off with a busy signal and ropes in the Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson, Three Dog Night, and- Les Jelly Rolls???  Welcome to the week in which we first heard this parade of hits:

Jethro Tull's Living In The Past (our unofficial theme song, eh?)
The Raspberries' I Wanna Be With You
Three Dog Night's Pieces Of April
Curtis Mayfield's Superfly Theme
and Stevie Wonder's Superstition!

Music is on the up-tick this week!  Let's buy!


Let me kick things off with the one hit wonder's next hit, and like I said, I cheated a bit here.  The singer: Suzi Quatro, who had a pretty good career in the UK but was virtually unnoticed here until she landed the gig as Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days:

Yep, that got our attention!
She soon had an American hit with Stumblin' In (featuring Chris Norman), which hit #4 in 1978.  That song (which crapped out in the UK at #41) was followed the next year by her next biggest hit here, She's In Love With You, which peaked at #41.  And in fact, the next year she had one sneak up to #44!  But my favorite actually came before the big hit and peaked at #45- thus her fourth biggest hit here. (However it was a far bigger hit in the UK than the other three, with good reason.)  Without further ado, Miss Suzi Quatro:


We had a whopping 8 songs join the top 40 this week.  The first is an instrumental theme by Isaac Hayes for a film called The Man.  The Man starred James Earl Jones who, through a series of events, goes from President Pro Tempore of the US Senate to the Presidency- the first black president, and the first one not elected to the Presidency or Vice Presidency (which eventually happened to Gerald Ford under much different circumstances).

Thank you, Wiki!

The Theme From The Man moves up 5 to #40.  At 38, up 16 spots, the Jackson Five with a song called Corner Of The Sky.  After having to listen to each of these two, which I didn't know, I say, Right On! to Isaac, and WTH happened to youse guys? to the J5.  Climbing 19 to #37 is Johnny Rivers with The Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu (which you can bet I will be using an acronym for in future posts!).  At #36, up a more modest 7, the Stylistics with I'm Stone In Love With You.  At #35, the Osmonds, with Crazy Horses up 11 places.  Up nine to #32, Albert Hammond with one of the all time classics- It Never Rains In Southern California.  Shooting up eighteen spots to #30 is Gilbert O'Sullivan's ballad to his niece, Clair.  And at #21, UP 21, is a "tune" I showed you about three weeks ago- the Delegates with Convention '72.


One of the oddities I noticed as I perused this week's chart was the debut on the hot 100 of the same tune by two different acts.  The song is called You're A Lady, and it came in first by writer/pianist Peter Skellern at 97, and just above him at 96 by Tony Orlando and Dawn.  They then began a siamese-twin climb up the charts:  the next week, it was Skellern at 90 and Dawn at 91; then 85 and 84; then Dawn went back in front 78-79; then 75-76; then Skellern took back the lead at 71-72; then he finally put a little distance on Tony and crew, 67-71, 63-70, and 59-68, before both fell off the charts simultaneously.  Skellern, whose version was backed by The Congregation (who hit the top 30 with Softly Whispering I Love You a few weeks back), was mainly known for writing British TV themes.  Dawn had released this as the lead single from an lp then called Tuneweaving;  in one of two great examples of "A&R men are idiots" on this week's post, the second single was eventually released much later- a song that became such a big hit that they changed the name of the album to promote it:

'Nuff said.


With that many songs going up, we had to have some downward action, and the You Peaked file has 4 songs in it this week.  Arlo Guthrie's City Of New Orleans stopped at a SHAMEFUL 21 (should have been top ten easy);  The Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose stop at 23 with Don't Ever Be Lonely (A Poor Little Fool Like Me); King Floyd's Woman Don't Go Astray peaked at 35, and Wayne Newton... poor, picked on Wayne Newton... stopped at 38 last week with Can't You Hear The Song.

You... you mean that's it?  I'm done?
On the other side of the coin, the biggest mover in the countdown belongs to the Four Tops' Keeper Of The Castle- a song that should be played THROUGHOUT southeast Ft Wayne (hold your ears, Bobby G.)- moving 26 spots up to #68:

 Live it down, there's a lot of us been pushed around
Red, yellow, black, white and brown with a tear of their own
Oh, can't you see while you're pickin' on society
That the leaves on your family tree are callin' you to come home

You're the keeper of the castle, so be a father to your children
The provider of all their daily needs
Like a sovereign Lord protector be their destiny's director
And they'll do well to follow where you lead

Oh, in your head, you don't believe what the good book said
You're gonna strike out now instead, 'cause the world's been unkind
Put through thick and thin whatever shape your heart is in
You only have one next of kin better keep 'em in mind

You're the keeper of the castle, so be a good man to your lady
The creator of the sunshine in her day
Tend the garden that you seeded be a friend when a friend is needed
An' you won't have to look the other way

Live it down, there's a lot of us been pushed around
Red, yellow, black, white and brown with a tear of their own
Oh, can't you see, while you're pickin' on society
That the leaves on your family tree are beggin' you to come on home


Three songs into the top ten (and you'll see why it waited until THEY came in to make it a Top Top Ten), so three fall out.  The droppers are My Ding-A-Ling (dropping fast, as all novelties do, from 3 to 20), Ben (8 to 22), and Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues (sneaking out as it snuck in, from 10 to 11).

And now, the #5 Top Top Ten....

Helen Reddy roars from 13 to 10 with I Am Woman.

The Doobies hold at 9 with Listen To The Music.

Zooming up 8 to the #8 spot, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes with If You Don't Know Me By Now.

Entering the top ten at #7, up four, Lobo and I'd Love You To Want Me.

Moving up one spot to #6, Curtis Mayfield with Freddie's Dead.

And now at #5... a busy signal.  

It beeped over and over in the ear of one Harry Nilsson, and listening to it he put together the song One.  Three Dog Night put that haunting repeated chord on their debut lp (which also ended up having its name changed to the hit single after the fact.  How far after?  Well, the A&R men had released two other songs to little effect- first Nobody, which peaked at 116, then Try A Little Tenderness, which peaked at 29, before Chuck Negron begged them to release One- and it hit #4.)

Try A Little Tenderness, you say?  That song had been written in 1932, and was most recently a hit for Otis Redding in 1968.  And that version became the inspiration for a cover by the French band, Les Jelly Rolls.  This was an odd- and I mean ODD- group.  Their cover of this one -with re-written comedy lyrics- was released as Je Travaille a la Caisse (I Work At The Cash Register).  Their other known singles included a tune called Ces Maudits Personnages (Those Damn Characters), which had a cover of a Beach Boys tune- Without Me (their version, corrupted from the Boys' You're With Me Tonight from the Smile sessions)- as the b-side.  Their other single was a cover of yet another tune, and this time, the single's label jokingly claimed, "This is the original version..."  That label was discovered by some not-too-bright at UK's Record World Magazine in the 1990's who wrote a story that claimed the band that made it a hit had not wrote it at all-  but bought the rights "from an Italian band called the Jelly Roll" (because the record had been issued in Italy prior to the REAL hit's release).

Now, if you've followed me thus far (as I painfully try to hide the identity of the hit in question), let me just add this is a song that took 3 tries on the US chart before making it big... it also was released three times in the UK, hitting #19 in '67, #9 in '72, and #14 in 1979!  That song, our #5 song- and last week's #1- Nights In White Satin by the Moody Blues!

Just to prove I didn't make it all up (like the guy at Record World), here's the cover of the, er.. Les Jelly Rolls' cover.

The Spinners move up a notch to #4 with I'll Be Around.

Climbing one to #3, Rick Nelson and Garden Party.

Johnny Nash (whom I just about left out) jumps 4 spots to #2 with I Can See Clearly Now.

And the new #1 song?

...Elvis and Burning Love!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, the TOP top top ten, and the TOP One Hit Wonder's Next Hit!  See you then!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I know you're expecting a Martin World News post...

...but I don't have quite the material for a full-blown MWN, so consider this a mini.

ITEM:  Something happened this week in our fantasy league, which has only happened once before (I had to research, I thought it had never happened) in 18 seasons and 1,294 regular season games:  The Angels and Aguas played to a 59-59 OT tie.  Usually, ties are broken by the "bench points"  (we carry an extra QB, kicker, and defense for bye weeks), but this time the bench points were 5 apiece.  Which means with 2 games to go before our playoffs, all 12 teams are either 6-4, 5-5, 4-6... or, in two cases, 5-4-1.  I will have great fun figuring playoff tie-breakers!

BTW, the KCA's win again, 34-8, to be one of those 5-5 teams- the one with a four game winning streak!

ITEM:  Anyone else get this story from FoxNews, where one of the builders of the Obamacare law, an MIT prof named Johnathon Gruber, spoke about the "tortured way" the bill was written in order to a) fool the courts over whether the mandate was a tax or not, b) to make sure it was not only NOT transparent, but too complicated to actually read, and c) to take advantage of the "low information American"...

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

Um, excuse me, prof, but I didn't vote for it... Congressmen did.  And I didn't vote for any Congressmen that DID vote for it.  Those that did were Democrat voters- and thus, THEY are the ones you are calling stupid.  And let's look at that last statement, too... you'd willingly do any kind of lying, obfuscation, or legalistic sleight of hand- to get your agenda passed.  THINK ABOUT THAT.  I maybe stupid, but you, sir, and your friends, are a-holes... and I can learn.

Sub in "stupid" for "crazy".

ITEM:  I have to say, I thought Scrappy's little movie yesterday would get more comments.  That's the way the blog bounces, I guess, but Scrappy is mucho upset and wonders if my readers are Iranian.  Why would he think that?  Because of this story:

Dog owners in Iran could face severe penalties for walking their pets in public, under plans proposed by a group of hardline MPs, it's been reported.
Thirty-two MPs have submitted a bill to parliament which proposes a punishment of 74 lashes for people caught playing with, stroking or exercising their dogs outdoors, the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports. The bill says such activities "harm the Islamic culture and the safety and peace of mind of other people, especially women and children". Anyone who ignores police warnings could also be fined up to 100m rials ($3,740 - £2,350) under the plans, as well as having their animal taken away. The MPs say confiscated pets should be moved to "a zoo, forest or desert", and that owners would have to foot the bill for the transfer. Some notable exceptions are mentioned in the bill, including for farmers, shepherds and licensed hunters. 

Okay, I can kinda get Burkhas.  I can see, to an extent, the thing about making cartoons of Mohammed or Allah.  But petting a dog harms the safety and peace of mind of women and children?  Is it any wonder these joyless bastards can't do anything but kill?

You can just see that dog peering into her mind... planting evil thoughts.

By the way, I was just kidding about what Scrappy thought.  That would pre-suppose that Scrappy thinks, and that has never been clearly established.

Down on the riverbank with "Deep thoughts"...

ITEM:  Leave it to Russia to find the perfect way to solve the world's problems forever...

A lawmaker wants to hand out Vladimir Putin's sperm to Russian women en masse in a bid to create a new generation of 'military and political elite'.Yelena Borisovna Mizoulina, the Chairwoman of Parliamentary Commission on women's affairs, children and family, told colleagues that giving the president's sperm to would-be mothers would improve patriotism in Russia.

According to the Russian-language newspaper,Trust, she told the State Duma that Putin's brood would then be given 'special allowances' from the state, in return for their 'devotion' to the country.

She said: 'The essence of my proposition is simple.'Every citizen of Russia will receive by mail the genetic material of the president, to get pregnant from him and have a baby. These mothers will receive a special allowance from the state.'

Ms Mizoulina is infamous for her strange law-making suggestions.She recently recommended that all Russian Jews consider leaving the country, stating: 'We have enough problems'

Earlier this year, she also introduced a bill that banned higher education for young women who had yet to give birth.

I'm conflicted here; is the proper caption, "Please let's not give Debbie Wasserman-Schultz any ideas", or, "That'd be the ONLY way SHE gets Putin-juice"?
ITEM:  Finally, we re-cross the Atlantic to Fort Lee, New Jersey, where residents are crying "Fowl!"  Apparently the local gendarmes were trying to raise awareness of yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk.  They used a "decoy" pedestrian in order to catch scofflaws, and ticketed a lot of drivers in the course of the event.  And those drivers are a bit P.O.ed about their $230 contributions to the Policeman's Benevolent.  Why, could they not see the decoy?  Not much chance of that... the decoy was an officer in a 9-ft-tall Donald Duck suit!  One lady driver said she thought it was unfair because "it scared me", and thus she ran the crosswalk.  No word as yet if ever litigious Disney Corp. will be sending a lawyer up to Jersey to discuss the matter.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Message: What are you getting yourself into

Today Dr. Jeremiah was speaking about the family that Joseph came from, how dysfunctional it was.    One of the things that caught my ear was the significance of the Coat of Many Colors.  (Warning:  I am about to take the long way around the barn, so be patient!)  You see, the inheritance, or "birthright", was to be to the firstborn of the first wife of Jacob, Leah.  That would have been Reuben, but Reuben had sex with one of the other "ladies in his father's life", and got disqualified.  So then it passed, not to the next oldest, but the first born of the other legitimate wife (which means it bounced off both Dan and Gad), Rachel.  That meant Joseph was next in line for the birthright, and the coat was a symbol of this.  And thus another source of the jealousy the brothers bore for Joseph, particularly for Reuben.

And where did the birthright end up?  Well when Jacob ( and Reuben, because nobody ever told him that Joseph had been sold) thought Joseph had been killed/been murdered, at that point it would go back to the house of Leah- but the problem there was that Simeon and Levi had also disqualified themselves, because of their sister.  Dinah had been "defiled" by a certain uncircumcised neighbor, who wanted to marry her.  The brothers (Jacob strangely absent from yet another family decision) told the guy and his father that they could not allow the marriage unless they and their whole people were circumcised.  And while they recovered from the mass operation, Simeon and Levi killed them all.  And thus the birthright bounced to Leah's 4th son, Judah.  Judah, like Reuben, had been of a mind to keep Joseph from being killed by the others, suggesting instead, "Why not get something out of him?" and selling him to the slave traders.  Somehow or another, selling his brother and lying about it wasn't overt enough to get him DQed as well, and the birthright ended up right where God intended it to be.

Wait a minute, Chris.  Are you saying that God allowed all those bad things to happen in order to position Judah for the birthright- to become the tribe through which the Messiah would come?

Well, we are talking about the God who allowed Abraham to have a son by a slave and then kick him out to get to Isaac.  And He did allow Jacob to cheat both Esau and Isaac to get HIS birthright.  And He did allow Laban to cheat Jacob, so that Jacob's eventual heir would be his 11th son.  But there's another step in this point- which is, God WILL allow bad things into your life to get you into position for His blessings.  Let's backtrack along the day that Joseph got sold, in Genesis 37.

Gen 37:12  And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 
Gen 37:13  And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. 
Gen 37:14  And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 

Now at this point, Jacob already knew the animosity growing amongst his sons about Joseph.  But he still sent Joseph to go check on them that day.  But when Joseph got to where they were...

Gen 37:15  And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 
Gen 37:16  And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 
Gen 37:17  And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. 

Here Joseph went to where he expected to find them, and they were gone.  So he "wandered in the field", confused.  He had no idea where the brothers had gone.  At this point, he might have turned around and went home, and told dear ol' Dad, "I couldn't find them."  But "A CERTAIN MAN" found him.

Now here's where I'll go out on a limb.  In Jacob's past, he had one night wrestled with "a man."  This man is certainly recognized by many as the pre-incarnate Jesus.  And his "What seekest thou?" certainly reminds one of John 1:38, when John and James began to follow Jesus and He turned and asked them, "What do ye seek?"  Circumstantial, I know, and none of the commentators seem to agree with me.  But the proof is in the pudding:  this "certain man"- a man with no other reason given for being there and no further mention after- tells Joseph exactly where to go to find his destiny.  A short term destiny of being assaulted by his brothers, left to starve while they ate dinner, sold into slavery, and reported to be dead.  A short term destiny that led through even more trials to him not only becoming rich and powerful, BUT also the savior of his family.

Was the "certain man" another pre-incarnate Jesus sighting?  Doesn't matter; he was used one way or another to put Joseph into the position that God wanted him.  And therein lies the point of this message.  God often uses catastrophes to put us in a position of greater grace and faithfulness.  And just as He had with Joseph through his dreams, God often gives us the barest glimpse of what lies on the other side of the trial- just enough to get us to keep moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel.  And, like with Joseph, sometimes that light is a series of ever-increasing "oncoming trains".  But they all end up taking us where He wants us to be- and preparing us for what we are to do on the other side.

The other day when we discussed what the Pope said about evolution, he mentioned that God "didn't wave a magic wand."  Even though He could, God prefers to be a craftsman, carving and whittling until we rise from the cuts and the chips to be something really special.  When Jesus cried out, "My God, why have You abandoned Me?", He did it because God had indeed withdrawn from Him so He could become "sin in the sinner's stead."  When we say it, most times we just haven't looked ahead or behind to see how close He really is.