Questions about God, and coincidence

Does God DO that?

My new friend Carla, who I’ve only known for a half-century starts off this round of  Ask Roger Anything:

God
The star in the center, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, is known as V1331 Cyg and is located in the dark cloud LDN 981.

If you had the chance to ask three different people (living or dead, famous or not) ONE question… who and what would you ask?

The one requirement for this exercise, I suppose, is that they would have to answer honestly. What would I ask? What is your sense of how God manifests God’s self if, in fact, God does that? Or maybe Does knowing God just take practice?

I’d ask Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967. I’m thinking of his disappointing experiences in his previous couple of years might have changed his world view of God’s plan.

I’d ask Thomas Jefferson c. 1820, long after he had left the presidency. As this article explains, his “relationship with Christianity was complicated.” So where was it near the end of his life?

I’d ask Donald Trump in 2020. But I’d wonder if he’d understand what I was trying to get at. Maybe I’d need some clarifying questions. Does he think God favors the rich? Does he believe that God supported him in herding demonstrators so he could hold up a Bible in front of a church? And if so, what was God saying to him?

Does he believe God wanted him to be reelected? Does he actually read the Bible? And if so, what parts resonate with him?

He was asked this last question around 2017, and he gave the non-answer “Oh, all of it.” Anyone who has ACTUALLY read the Bible will admit that there are some parts of Scripture with which they are uncomfortable.

What a coincidence

Uthaclena, being their usual mystical self, asks:

Isn’t “coincidence” an ALTERNATIVE Fact??

So, what do we know here? “A coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances that have no apparent causal connection with one another.” So a coincidence is a fact.

“The perception of remarkable coincidences may lead to supernatural, occult, or paranormal claims.” So the perceptions of coincidences may be alternative facts.

Presidents Day 2019: Second Bill of Rights

“The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth.”

Abraham Lincoln 1836
Abraham Lincoln, Congressman-elect from Illinois. icholas H. Shepherd, photographer. Springfield, Ill., 1846 or 1847

Some Presidential trivia:

From Summer Bowl 9 (Chuck Miller)

Donald Trump has 24, Ronald Reagan has 10, and John Tyler has the most at 30. The most what?

Who was the last U.S. President who did not nominate a judge for the U.S. Supreme Court?

JEOPARDY! game #7807 aired 2018-07-17

CITING THE PRESIDENT $400: In the 1970s: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $800: In the 1970s: “Our long national nightmare is over”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $1200: “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved–I do not expect the house to fall–but I do expect it will cease to be divided”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $2000: In an early 20th c. message to Congress: “We have stood apart, studiously neutral”
CITING THE PRESIDENT $2,000 (Daily Double): In the early 20th c.: “I took the canal zone, & let Congress debate, & while the debate goes on the canal does also”

JEOPARDY! game #7806 aired 2018-07-16

4, 4 (two words, each with four letters) $1000: In 1848 Martin Van Buren was the presidential candidate of this party that opposed slavery in western territories

JEOPARDY! game #7868 aired 2018-11-21

PRESIDENTIAL IRONY, Final Jeopardy! 1 of the 2 Presidents who offered Daniel Webster the VP slot; he declined both, thinking the job went nowhere.

Answers below.

Why Thomas Jefferson Owned a Qur’an

Why James Madison would say our real problem is not misinformation

“The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth.” Rutherford B. Hayes

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union Message to Congress, January 11, 1944, including the Second Bill of Rights:
“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence… People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all — regardless of station, race, or creed.”

“I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them, and they think it’s Hell.” – Harry S Truman, 1948

“If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956

The Eisenhower Matrix

When the President and His Chef Feuded Over Cold Beans

Thursday, August 8, 1974: the night that Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency (three hours)

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter pass up riches to live modest, giving and truthful lives

George HW Bush was a complex man who somehow perfectly embodied a simpler time: both a blue-blood and, to quote Nixon, a ‘nut-cutter’ who knew how to carry out the dirty work of politics

When New York Tried to Take Away a W

What Obama secretly did at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Pastor: When White Folks Say Obama Was an ‘Embarrassment’, Here’s What You Say

One Last Time (44 Remix) – Christopher Jackson, Barack Obama, Bebe Winans #Hamildrop

Answers to quizzes:

Summer Bowl 9:
The number of the age difference between the President and his First Lady
Jimmy Carter

JEOPARDY!
Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Abe Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt
Free Soil
William Henry Harrison or Zachary Taylor

Jackie and John Kennedy wedding
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and John Kennedy talking at their wedding reception, Newport, Rhode Island / Toni Frissell. 1907-1988, photographer, 12 September 1953


Photos from the Library of Congress. No known copyright restrictions.

April Rambling: Mr. Rogers, and SNL

“A wonderful experience, but it also tests the limits of human emotions.”

dino
Here’s A News Report We’d Be Reading If Walter Scott’s Killing Wasn’t On Video. Also, from Albany: Chief Krokoff’s Retirement And The Ivy Incident.

Orioles COO John Angelos offers an eye-opening perspective on Baltimore protests. And from late 2013, David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’.

Looking forward to watching the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight this weekend? I’m not.

Religious Freedom: Colorado’s sensible middle way. Also, ‘The Good Wife’ Defends Gay Marriage Against ‘Religious Freedom’ and Matthew Vines: “God and the Gay Christian”.

Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an” and Practicing Islam At A Catholic University.

Kitty Litter Shuts Down Sole US Nuclear Weapons Waste Facility.

20 photos that change the Holocaust narrative.

Not everyone has come to grips with the reality of that spring day in 1995.

Virginia is still imprisoning an almost certainly innocent man—even after he did the time.

Meryl Jaffe analyzes “March: Book 2” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell.

Before Jackie Robinson.

Six things not to say to a mixed-race person.

The Radical Politics of Mister Rogers.

Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’. “Michael Schiavo knows as well as anyone what Jeb Bush can do with executive power. He thinks you ought to know too.”

In the “really sucks” category, my buddy Eddie Mitchell still has cancer.

Dustbury’s blog turns 19. I love that Steely Dan song. Speaking of which, he masterfully blends Meghan Trainor, Maya Angelou and Steely Dan in a piece about selfies.

ADD asks “How Do You Decide What’s Right and Wrong?”

Mark Evanier and his dad: on retirement.

Jack Rollins celebrates his 100th birthday. He has managed Harry Belafonte, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Joan Rivers, Nichols and May, Tony Bennett, Jim Carrey, Dick Cavett, Diane Keaton, David Letterman, and a bunch more.

A telegram Joan Crawford sent to Rod Serling after she saw The Planet of the Apes (1968).

The Inside Story of the Civil War for the Soul of NBC News. Also, A DUMB JOB: How is it possible that the inane institution of the anchorman has endured for more than 60 years?

SNL is: Nora Dunn: “A traumatic experience. It’s something you have to survive.”. Also, “‘A wonderful experience, but it also tests the limits of human emotions”: Gary Kroeger looks back on his three seasons.

Frog explains how the filmmakers wrecked The Incredible Hulk movie.

What the critics wrote about the Beatles in 1964. And The least-celebrated Beatle is finally getting the respect he deserves.

Apparently, Dancing with the Stars and The Voice are using the arrangements of Postmodern Jukebox without acknowledging the group. Here are their versions of Wiggle (Jason Derulo/Snoop Dogg cover) and Creep (Radiohead cover).

Joni Mitchell is Not a “60s Folksinger”.

Percy Sledge.

SamuraiFrog ranking Weird Al: 115-101 and 100-91.

K-Chuck Radio: Guitars sound better with fuzz.

The Laughing Heart (Listen – it’s just one minute.) Never Let Go – Tom Waits Cover.

The top 100 movie number quotes.

Muppets: 40 minutes of “Sam and Friends and Tough Pigs has been collecting those Muppet Moments from Disney Junior and Aveggies: Age of Bon Bons and Cookie Monster, artist and Game of Chairs and one grouch’s trash is another grouch’s outfit and Taraji P. Henson on Sesame Street (sort of) and SamuraiFrog’s Toad Dweebie and Miss Piggy is recipient of prestigious New York museum award.

Passover, Rube Goldberg style.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

After a hiatus of more than a year, the podcast 2political is back on a regular schedule! With Arthur (yes, THAT Arthur) and Jason, from DC.

Jaquandor answers a bunch of my questions.

Dustbury points out the Judgmental Map of Oklahoma City. He is also disinclined to get a smartphone.

Gordon now has a greater appreciation for the work of librarians and realizes why libraries are important.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)

This was unsettling: Ex-Burnley teacher Roger Green dies aged 62. BTW, I am 62.

Presidents Day 2014

MartinVanBurenFrom JEOPARDY show 6666: MY “SON”, THE PRESIDENT (each answer has the word “son” in it)
*Chronologically, he was the first who fits the category
*He was preceded & succeeded as president by the same man
*He beat Clinton–DeWitt Clinton–in 1812
*For refusing to shine the boots of a British officer as a child, he got a saber across the face
*He whipped 2 former presidents in the same election by an electoral score of 435-88-8

Another quiz question: Who was the last president to outpoll non-voters in a presidential race?

Some music trivia: What blues legend, who performed under a pseudonym, was actually named after a US President?

(Answers at the end)

Nixontapes.org is the only website dedicated solely to the scholarly production and dissemination of digitized Nixon tape audio and transcripts. We have the most complete digitized Nixon tape collection in existence–approximately 2,300 hours spread over 2.5 terabytes of hard drives that contain more than 7,000 audio files. This is the only website in the world that makes the complete collection of Nixon tapes available directly to the public in a user-friendly format, free of charge.” There are a total of 3,700 hours of tapes, so the job is only 2/3s done!”

The song The ’68 Nixon (This Year’s Model)- Denver, Boise & Johnson [LISTEN]. And here are the LYRICS.

Thomas Jefferson’s Silent Armies. Also, re TJ: Esopus Spitzenburg and the Newtown Pippin.

James Garfield: good at math.

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, were the official witnesses of a marriage between two women in Maine last September. “Several other notable Republicans have voiced support for gay marriage, including Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush.” That last sentence I did not know; didn’t seem evident during his administration.

If Hillary Clinton becomes President, will she name Bill as Secretary of State? No, she can’t, unless they get divorced. And I gather the law banning it was in reaction to John Kennedy naming his brother Bobby as Attorney General.

“Expansionism and intervention are oppressive forms of activism. From that perspective, it’s easier to arrive at the four worst Presidents.

Five-year-old kid who knows more about US Presidents than most people I meet.

And a 12-year-old girl who showed that all the Presidents, save for one, have a common, royal, ancestor; that would be 42 of 43 Presidents, despite what the article headline reads. And there is only one President whose native language was not English, and that would be that same outlier, the guy pictured.

ANSWERS –
Who was:
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
James Madison
Andrew Jackson
Woodrow Wilson

and Theodore Roosevelt.
I had guessed LBJ, who beat Barry AuH2O badly in 1964. Dan reminded me that “Johnson got the highest vote total of the century, but the non-voters still beat him. Goldwater’s veep went to Albany Law School. He was also the first Catholic veep nominee for the Re-pubs. His name? [which I DID remember] ‘Here’s a riddle, it’s a killer/ Who the hell is William Miller?’ His daughter is comedienne and talk show host Stephanie Miller.”

The musical answer is Howlin’ Wolf, who was born Chester Arthur Burnett.

Oh, the guy pictured: Martin Van Buren, whose native language was Dutch. This was a quiz on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanapoulous earlier this year, and NONE of the panelists got it right.

Presidents Day 2013: books, 1912, and longevity out of office

Which four presidents were assassinated?

 

JEOPARDY! Show #6451 – Monday, October 8, 2012

THE 1912 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

With his opponents dividing the vote, this Democratic challenger was elected
This incumbent president accepted the Republican nomination & did no campaigning; electoral votes: 8
Theodore Roosevelt used this metaphor when announcing his run, hence the button seen here
Eugene V. Debs garnered almost 1 million votes representing this left-leaning party
*Everyone wanted change even back then; the opposing campaign slogans were The ____ Freedom & The ____ Nationalism (same word)

2012 was a big year for Abraham Lincoln. He was featured in two movies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and that other one. But he did NOT invent Facebook. And secede from the Union? Lincoln has something to say about THAT.

The other guy who got a lot of play was Thomas Jefferson. There was Master of the Mountain: “The real truth about Thomas Jefferson. Forget Sally Hemings — a historian discovers the ugliest side of a founding father in his ledgers.” Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, and previously, American Lion [Andrew Jackson] and Franklin and Winston, insists he’s not letting Jefferson off the hook.

The Meacham book was one of the Good Reads’ best history & biography, along with Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard: “A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the follow-up to mega-bestselling author Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln.” Also selected: The Passage of Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #4) by Robert A. Caro.

In 2013, HBO will air a documentary about Bill Clinton, who is giving his full cooperation. It will be directed by Martin Scorsese.

As of early September 2012, Jimmy Carter became the U.S. president who lived the longest after leaving the office, overtaking Herbert Hoover. Navigate the length of retirement field on this Wikipedia page, and you’ll see that they are followed by Ford, J. Adams, Van Buren, Fillmore, GHW Bush, who just passed Truman, then after him, Nixon, and Madison, the first person this list who served two full terms (though Truman practically did). If I Google for the answer, John Adams often comes up as the answer. That was accurate until Hoover overtook him in 1958.

Carter, incidentally, is severing his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, because of the church’s choice “to interpret holy teachings… to… subjugate women.”

America’s Greenest Presidents. The tease said the top two were Republicans, which made it very easy to pick. Carter was third.

The “Checkers” speech was the making of Richard Nixon. Speaking of the 37th President, Throughout Richard Nixon’s presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super 8 home movie cameras.” A Kickstarter campaign will help the documentarians “launch OUR NIXON out into the world.”

JFK campaign stamps and Vintage anti-JFK GOP Coloring Book from Early 60s. You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to conclude, as RFK, Jr. did, that the Warren Commission Report was “a shoddy piece of craftsmanship”.

There was a What’s Your White House IQ quiz in Parade magazine. The print version was better. It would ask “Which four presidents were assassinated?”, whereas the online version would make it multiple choice. I DO know the answer, BTW, without the prompts.

Girl discovers all US Presidents except one are related to a former king.

President Obama, again. Plus Obama and his predecessors.

This is a comedy bit: 26 Ways President Obama Has Completely Ruined The Country.

Hard Times – George H.W. Bush Campaign Song. During the 1992 election, Fresh Bush and the Invisible Man released this single.

National Review outraged that Obama called Holocaust ‘senseless violence’; he was essentially quoting Ronald Reagan.

The 2012 Chester A. Arthur Presidential Dollar was finally released after a lengthy delay. It was the first Presidential coin not minted for circulation and struck only in very limited quantities for collectors only. Still hate that; the next three are out now, Cleveland 1, B. Harrison, and Cleveland 2. More on Chester A. Arthur.

JEOPARDY! answers

Woodrow Wilson
William Howard Taft
Throwing his hat into the ring
The Socialists
New