The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Metropolitan 1954 filmstrip for dealers 'The Inside Story of the Metropo...



Discovered this while cruising YouTube. I'll have to catch up on the "inside story" later. Enjoy!

399 TPA 1962 Nash Metropolitan


This is the car that made me a sucker for small cars. The Nash Metropolitan: the original American economy car. My grandmother and I cruised through town in this baby.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Three Wheeled Morgan

While vacationing in Delaware, Ohio, my wife and I ran across this 21st century engineering marvel called the Morgan. It was resting comfortably in front of a lawyer's office, just waiting to hit the road again.

If you'd like to know more about the Morgan, see: https://www.morgan-motor.co.uk/3-wheeler/

NASA at Saturn: Cassini's Grand Finale

NASA's JPL has the following to say about the end of Cassini's wildly successful exploration of Saturn. Thank you for all the revelations.

The final chapter in a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery, Cassini's Grand Finale is in many ways like a brand new mission. Twenty-two times, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will dive through the unexplored space between Saturn and its rings. What we learn from these ultra-close passes over the planet could be some of the most exciting revelations ever returned by the long-lived spacecraft. This animated video tells the story of Cassini's final, daring assignment and looks back at what the mission has accomplished.
For more about the making of this video, including the science behind the imagery, see the feature at https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/3016...
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. For more information about Cassini's Grand Finale, please visit https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/grandfinale

For another wonderful video, see: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/main/index.html 

Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser Spacecraft Tow Test 2017




If you miss the Space Shuttle, this will encourage you. Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser® spacecraft completes a 60mph tow test at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center.

Persistence


While hiking through Turkey Run State Park, we came across "The Wedge." This was a large slab of rock that split away from its cliff face and crashed to the floor of the ravine, sheering into three sections. Out of the left side section, a full-sized healthy tree had grown out of a crevice in the rock. Here was a perfect example of persistence. That tree's seed had wedged into a split in the rock, found some small amount of dirt, and created an environment for itself.

Whenever somebody tells you that a thing you intend to do (provided it doesn't defy the laws of physics) is impossible, remember this tree and persist.


Using Pontiac Vibe's Unique Power Plug with iPad

Cover hinge won't accept an iPad plug
One of the unusual features I really like about the Pontiac Vibe is the power plug built into the dash. It is turned on and off with the switch next to it. I wanted to see if it would power up my iPad on our vacation, but the large square plug wouldn't fit far enough into the socket with the bottom hinge for the cover. Turns out this problem was easily solved but getting an adapter plug, which fit upside down into the outlet. With that adapter in place, the iPad plug fit fully into the socket and the iPad battery was happily powered up as we drove from one location to another.

Problem solved!

I do enjoy the Vibe!

For more on the Pontiac Vibe, see: https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/08/2003-2008-pontiac-vibe-pre-owned.html and https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/08/a-tribute-to-pontiac.html

Indiana Sunrise


On the last morning of our vacation in the Midwest, we caught this sunrise. I discovered that the disk of the sun would be visible in the image provided it was filtered through the trees. Without that green filtering system, the disk completely disappeared into glare, as in the picture that follows. However, given my affection for old cars, I couldn't pass up this probably 1960s Chevy truck bed in the early morning light.


Turkey Run State Park, Indiana: Running Water 2017



Turkey Run State Park in Indiana is a unique place with primordial forest found nowhere else in the state. This is in large part due to the fact that the terrain is so rocky nobody could farm it. Here the water courses over rock in one small section of the park. Relax to the sound. Honestly, I just wanted to share the moment with you all.

Collectible History: Chevy Light Truck 1964


While vacationing, my wife and I saw this beautiful thing of beauty, a fully restored 1964 Chevy pick up truck. She sat outside a Subway shop, classing up the joint. Whoever owns it obviously loves it. I have come to terms with the idea that I will never own a classic car, and that's okay with me. It makes me smile to see classic cars and trucks of the 1950s and '60s. I am partial to their designs. To put a finer point on it, I love the look and am glad some examples are still around to see from time to time. Enjoy!

Monday, August 28, 2017

1000 Ministers March for Justice

A few images from the 1000 Ministers March for Justice, starting at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and ending at the Department of Justice. Ministers, priests, rabbis, and imams all marched. Over 3000 showed up, moving far beyond the expectations of those who organized the march. I started at the Crystal City Underground, took the Metro to the Mall, headed on over to the MLK memorial down near the Lincoln Memorial and joined the growing assembly of marchers there. Quote from the event: “It’s time for moral leaders of all religions to get rid of their fear and their political laryngitis and stand up together,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who led the march with Martin Luther King III. “We agree that morality must be above party politics.” The "unique" camera views are due to the fact that it was a sunny day and the screen didn't give me much of a view of what I was recording. Still, this will give you a small sense of what happened from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I was gratified to meet some of my friends and colleagues there.

For more information, see: http://religionnews.com/2017/08/28/clergy-to-march-for-racial-justice/

One Thousand Ministers March for Justice steps off

 Over 3,000 ministers (pastors, priests, rabbis, etc.) marched for justice on Monday, August 28, 2017, including me. The event was billed as 1000 Ministers March for Justice, but we managed to outdo the organizers' expectations. It is time to step out for what we stand for and let people know what we stand for together. It was a beautiful day when I had encounters with many friends and colleagues. And, as pastors tend to be gregarious folk, we all had some interesting discussions, when we weren't singing. We honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s August 28 Washington rally and speech with our march. We marched from the Martin Luther King Jr. monument to the Justice Department, moving past the White House and the Trump Hotel was we marched.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hobby Time: Searching for Detail While Vacationing

My wife and I are on a Midwest vacation trip this week. We stopped in Delaware, Ohio, which is quite scenic. Digital cameras are such a boon at times like this. Along with taking scenic shots, I'm also taking reference shops of how a classic downtown is set up. Just how is the landscaping done? What elevation are the buildings found at on a hillside? What details jump out as wonderful?


Also, Delaware has a wealth of old, painted signage on building walls. I have captured a few that will end up on my N Scale layout and I also have reference shots showing how multiple signs are placed on nearby buildings, taking advantage of street view sight lines.
Lion's head on city hall

 Now, on to Indiana, to see more family and what details come next! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

2003-2008 Pontiac Vibe Pre-Owned Vehicle Review



Here's the Pontiac Vibe, which recently joined our family. As I said, I always liked the Pontiac style, but when the line ceased production in 2010, I figured the chance had passed. And yet, now we have one. It may not be a GTO or a Firebird, but it's fun to drive all the same. Going on a road trip next week. The mechanic has checked her over, given her the green light and inspection stickers, and we're ready to cruise. See you later.

For a Pontiac tribute, see: https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/08/a-tribute-to-pontiac.html

A Tribute to Pontiac

 Back in my teens, the Pontiac style caught my eye. Loved the pointed nose, loved the Firebird and the GTO, wanted to own one. Now, we have a used Pontiac Vibe. Our mechanic enthused, "That's a NICE car!" Shortly after it arrived, a note was left under the windshield wiper by some admirer: "Love that car." Of course, the Pontiac is gone now. There will be no more. So, appreciate this retrospective of Pontiac from 1926 to 2010.

Car and Driver gave this tribute: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/a-tribute-to-the-best-of-pontiac-feature

If you can't place the Vibe, see: https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/08/2003-2008-pontiac-vibe-pre-owned.html

Thursday, August 17, 2017

What Do a "Jefferson Tree" and Southern War Monuments Have In Common?

Once upon a time, around 1980, I had a chance to spend a summer working as an archaeologist student intern at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia. We were working off the south lawn along a row that once held slave houses and other buildings. A tree had grown up right in the center of a slave cabin. It was a large tree as trees grow fast in the warm, wet summers of Virginia. That tree was about 75 years old. In it, with its annoyingly central location to our work, was placed a photo platform among the branches to photograph straight down into our work. About 1/4 of its roots were exposed but everyone expected the tree to survive that indignity. To be on the safe side, guide wires were strung from the tree and anchored to let the head of the project (who climbed the tree and took pictures from time to time) sleep better at nights (nightmares about a toppling tree with a photographer in it were not uncommon).

As members of the crew, we were all considered part of the Monticello exhibit. We worked but were on display and needed to answer any questions put to us every so politely. That was hard since one question came up time and time again amongst concerned citizens. The size of that badly located tree had many people thinking this must be one of the near sacred in their eyes Jefferson Trees (trees planted by Tom himself and surviving to this day). Very few such trees were on the property (if I remember correctly) and this tree wasn't one of them. They would ask, glaring, if we were killing this obviously venerable and sacred tree. We would try to assure them that no, we were not killing the tree. With only 1/4 of its roots exposed we expected it to live. And, we'd add, despite its size, this is not an original Jefferson Tree but a much more recent pretender. The people who inquired left glaring hate at us, not believing word one of what we said. We were obviously evil Jefferson Tree killers!

After wasting much time in polite explanation, I finally succumbed to my darker nature. When asked that question, I would politely say, "Yes, we are killing this tree." The glare was the same but the leave taking was immediate and time saved gratifying.

The monuments and statues to Confederate generals are much like that tree. They are latecomers to American history. They were not put up immediately after the Civil War. They were not put up by folks directly involved with that war. In fact, many of them were put up with much darker intent than to memorialize a general. They were in largest numbers put up during the dark days of the Jim Crow era of the early 20th century, when freed slaves and other black citizens were being denied rights and terrorized by the KKK. Again, there was a much smaller burst of monument planting of the CSA variety in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. These monuments are no more historic or significant than that darned tree among the artifacts. They do not represent good intentions and are painful reminders and thumbs in the eyes of our African American brothers and sisters and all who support them.

What the tree and statues have in common is that neither are original and neither are worth the emotional turmoil being lavished on them.

Somehow, as I write these words, I feel the glare of prejudgment I felt all those years ago at Monticello. So, rather than explain anything more in detail, I'll just politely say, "Yes, we are taking down those monuments, just like we killed that tree."

See this Southern Poverty Law Center article on those monuments for details: https://www.splcenter.org/20160421/whose-heritage-public-symbols-confederacy 

Congressman Ryan Costello Responds to Concerns Following Trump White Supremacist Defense August 2017

After the race riot and terrorist murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 and Donald Trump's defense of the "alt-right" and all that stands for, I wrote the Congressman and my senators. I mapped out clearly my concern about Donald Trump's lack of moral authority and unwillingness to lead and attempt to unite the nation. Here is Congressman Costello's response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the atrocious events that took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 12th and the comments made by President Trump in the aftermath of this tragedy. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to share my responses with you.
Our country is rightfully outraged, angered, and saddened by this violent and hateful incident. You should know that on August 12th, I issued the following statement 
"I condemn this hate and violence in the strongest possible terms. Hate is a dangerous thing. What happened today goes against our nation's character. Demonstrations by white nationalists to spread hate and intolerance are a stain on our national identity as an open, inclusive country that welcomes diversity."To expand on these thoughts, I wrote an Op/Ed on the hate-filled violence and rhetoric that ignited in Charlottesville. This piece, entitled “Hate is a Dangerous Thing,” ran in the Pottstown Mercury on August 16th. To read that piece in full, please click here.
With regard to my response to the comments made by President Trump and his failure of presidential leadership, I participated in an interview with WFMZ-TV on August 16th on this topic. Included below is the Q&A of that interview, and you can also read it on my Medium page. 
Rep. Costello Conversation with WFMZ regarding CharlottesvilleWFMZ: What’s your positon regarding the rising racial tensions between the alt-right and others – specifically what happened in Charlottesville: 
Rep. Costello: “I think it’s extremely unfortunate. I’m very worried about our culture right now and hate such as this has a way of spreading if we don’t deal with it in a responsible way. And I think one thing we all need to do is take a deep breath and realize that we’re all good people, and that the best thing we can do is to see good in one another, and not allow people who spread this kind of stuff to have a bigger microphone. If we ignore it, if we move beyond it, if we don’t give them a forum, if we don’t breathe oxygen into this, they will not have an audience. And to me, what concerns me most, is now we are having a very toxic conversation about racial tension, or, does hate just come from conservative groups or is it liberal groups? And to me, I don’t think hate has necessarily an ideology, I think it’s a personal decision to judge people in very harsh and inhumane terms based on their race or ethnicity – when we really should be looking at the content of one’s character. And I would just ask everyone to find wisdom in whomever they can find it in for clarities so that we can move forward in a way that deescalates the situation that we’re in right now.” 
WFMZ: And what about specifically the comments that the President made – naming both parties specifically – flip flopping on statements regarding Nazis, KKK, white supremacists:Rep. Costello: Well what happened was someone drove a car into a crowd and killed one person and injured 19 others, and that was a white supremacist. That’s what happened. So he should call it what it is and not get into this broader question of who else out there may be causing noise and contributing to the situation that we’re in right now.
It was a failure of presidential leadership and we’re going to have to move beyond it. And normally in a situation like this you look to your president to be the person of clarity and sort of ask us all as Americans to have a higher calling and look at this with longevity and more patience and more soberness. He did not that do that, and as a consequence of that I think we need to look to others for that clarity and that wisdom so we can come together as a country. 
WFMZ: Is that a tough position to be in, you think, as a country and specifically I guess because youre in the same party:Rep. Costello: Well it’s an unfortunate situation. It’s not tough if you’re just willing to say what you think is right or wrong, and you don’t worry about the political considerations, you don’t worry about what political party you’re in. I can tell you most Americans don’t really care what political party people are in. They think that most other human beings are good people. That’s why this is a moment in time that I think we all have to look inward and just realize that. And not determine whether who’s alt-right and who’s alt-left, and what organizations out there, or groups spread this sort of stuff. We just have to reject the entire emotion of hate because it’s pernicious and it undermines what’s great about this country – and what it really does also is it takes all of the men and women who fought for freedom, and all the people who go out every single day and do good in their community, and it subordinates all them and all the good that they do, and this nasty stuff comes out and we have the rest of the world looking at us, saying what is going on in the US? And if the president is not the person to be able to step up and say right from wrong, then others are doing it and should do it, and I’m going to say that because that’s what I think, and that’s what I think is the right thing to do. And I want my family and my constituents to be proud that I’m going to say what I think. 
And we’re a better country than what happened in Charlottesville. And we’re a better country than these remarks that sort of equalize or marginalize or create an equivalency between various forms of hate. Hate is bad and it’s ugly, and we should be pushing back against it on all cylinders. 
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me and share your thoughts regarding this important issue. As I stated above, we have an opportunity to come together, unite as Americans, and push back against the hate and intolerance that has infected our communities. 
Moving forward, I will continue to engage in conversations that foster unity, cooperation, and respect, and will speak out against hateful actions and divisive rhetoric.  
Best wishes,
 Ryan CostelloMember of Congress

Prophetic Proverbs: Speaking to This Moment in 2017

Read this yesterday: 
The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead. Proverbs 21:16 NLT

Hobby Time: Using Actual Signs on Walls in N Scale

Beautiful cropped wall ad for a bakery

I love detail in any scale. After creating a couple signs for the back wall of a corner drug store from vintage ads, it occurred to me I might be able to use actual old signage off of walls. I already have the Testors Decal Paper to print the signage. I found an excellent free photo program called GIMP that allows for the necessary alignment and clean up of the images, I have the camera, so I took a few test shots of wall signage from a small town we were visiting. The images cleaned up and straightened up well. I'll be able to place vintage, aged signage on walls around town to give the age and backstory I'm looking for in my modeling. Here a several signs, ready to print to the decal paper and apply to structures as the years move forward. I'll be adding to the collection in time. 
Original sign in situ
Cleaned up, cropped, and ready to use.
Nicely aged

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hobby Time: The N Scale Layout on a Door



I'm currently working on my N Scale layout on a door as well. I like what this hobbyist has done. It looks sweet. I'm also modeling inspired by a city in western Maryland. For me, I've driven past Cumberland for years and always felt the main street visible from the highway was beautiful and ripe for modeling. My era will be the 1950s-1960s roughly (i.e., there are more 1950s autos available than 1960s so I'm extending into two decades). Thanks for the inspiration David Betz!

My layout is in its very early stages, with benchwork under the door now: https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/07/hobby-time-putting-legs-under-door.html

For examples of my modeling, see: https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/05/hobby-time-n-scale-model-by-gloor-craft.html and https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/04/hobby-time-n-scale-modeling.html

1971 Schwinn Sting-Ray "Pea Picker" - Disc



Had a moment of sweet nostalgia when walking down a small town main street. In among a number of empty store fronts, there was one serious bike collector's shop, open by appointment only three days of the week, with store hours on a couple more. There in the window was a sweet Schwinn Sting-Ray Pea Picker in what looked like near mint condition. If you weren't a kid back in the 1960s and 1970s, it wouldn't mean much to you. I had a non-Schwinn with the handle bars and the banana seat and sissy bar, but it wasn't like this. Mine had one gear, so no shifter. The model in the window had a speedometer I remembered well. I would have liked to have had one of these babies back in the day. It was great to see again and enjoy the flood of memories that went with it. I went on down the street with a nostalgic grin on my face. Honestly, I don't want to own one, but it was great fun seeing it again.

What Are the "Good Old Days"?

Over the years, from time to time, I've bridled against the elderly writing off the time I'm living by dismissing the present and saying it was better when I was growing up, or when I was young. My knee jerk response was, what's wrong with my time and my generation? It felt like a moral judgment.

However, I had an epiphany not long ago while listening an elderly couple in their 90s making that statement and then describing life in their youth. I came to know exactly what they meant, and it had little to do with how things are today for all of us, but what it means for them in particular. Describing their lives, I was told about their friends, their family, their adventures of their youth, raising the kids (now well grown and living busy lives in early retirement). It became obvious why the good old days were so good. Those were the days when many loved ones were still alive and having fun with them. Those were the days when they were active and adventurous. Those were the days when they were busy raising the kids (and all parents know there are few if any boring days when kids fill the house). Those were the days when they had a solid grasp on all the technology, the cultural references, the ground rules of life in society. Now, not so much. So, now I get it, and I'm sorry I didn't get it sooner. It will be the same for all of us if we are lucky enough to live so long.

Treat everybody gently folks. We're all trying our best and handling a whole lot of baggage.

God bless you all tonight.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

American Baptist Denomination Speaks Out Against Race Riot in Charlottesville, Virginia

I am an American Baptist and a pastor. I stand with my denomination, one of the most diverse in the United States, in speaking out strongly against the hatred on display from the white supremacists, Nazis, and other hate groups who gathered with the intent of violence from all reports. I have seen comments challenging what average pastors believe and why they don't speak out. Well, here we are, speaking out, condemning, denouncing the violent and deadly demonstration.

From the American Baptist Home Mission Societies: 

American Baptist Home Mission Societies denounces and condemns—in the strongest manner possible—the violent and deadly demonstration led by a host of white supremacist organizations and individuals in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.
The human toll of three lives lost senselessly and more than two dozen individuals injured stains our American stature on the world stage. The racial and religious hatred expressed by the Neo-Nazi, Alt-Right, Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations in opposition to the city’s decision to remove a monument memorializing the American Civil War’s Confederacy and its standard bearers is an affront to democracy and our social order.
We join with people of goodwill across our country who seek to make America’s public squares, government grounds and city streets safe for all citizens.
Furthermore, we commend and pray for all the valiant clergy, students, justice workers and others who gathered in Charlottesville to say “no” to violence, threats and intimidation from the white supremacist demonstrators.
In the wake of yet another terrifying episode of violence in America’s public square, we pray for the families and loved ones of Heather Heyer, whose life was tragically taken during the vehicular assault on dozens of peace workers. We pray, too, for the families and loved ones of Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates—the Virginia state police troopers who died in a helicopter crash related to the situation in Charlottesville—along with those who were victims of assaults and trauma, both physical and emotional, resulting from the violence.
“We call upon people of faith and goodwill to continue to pray and work on behalf of freedom, justice and peace in the United States of America and throughout the world,” says Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, ABHMS executive director. “Never were these prayers and this work needed more.”

From the General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. (Ephesians 2:17)
Dear ABCUSA Friends,
As I write to you today, two concerns weigh heavy on my heart, as I imagine they do on yours as well. The whole world is watching the war of words escalate between the United States and North Korea. North Korea’s apparently successful development of its nuclear weapons arsenal threatens to destabilize Asia, forcing us to recognize that 25 years of diplomatic efforts to prevent such nuclear proliferation have failed. Since the end of World War II, American Baptists have advocated for nuclear disarmament in many ways, and surely in this current crisis no thinking person would want to see either side resort to the use of such weapons, or to precipitate armed conflict in any form. Our peacemaking mandate insists that countries find diplomatic means to settle disputes and differences. In response to this current crisis, I would like to commend to you all the thoughtful email sent out by Metro Chicago (Rev. Carol McVetty and Rev. Douglas Harris, Interim Executive Ministers), and the Mennonite prayer resources they refer to; please share it with your churches. Several people and I have been conversing about a specifically ABCUSA response. If you have suggestions/input, please share them with me.
Second, the white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia (see, for example, http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/12/us/charlottesville-white-nationalists-rally/index.html), cannot be ignored. Let us encourage our pastors to remind our membership that ABCUSA stands for the full equality of all Americans and rejects every version of racial prejudice and specifically, the contemporary ugly resurgence of so-called “white nationalism.” I especially appreciated IM missionary Daniel Buttry’s Facebook reposting of an American Baptist Resolution which is still valid today:

AMERICAN BAPTIST RESOLUTION ON THE RESURGENCE OF THE KU KLUX KLAN
The mood of America is characterized by growing economic unrest, unemployment, rapid social change and a sense of impotency and futility. That mood is contributing to a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, or to a “new Klan,” and to other white-supremist movements in the United States.
Public opinion has encouraged the growth of the Klan and racism in general when it has sympathized with it or indirectly supported it by endorsing the attitude that America’s minorities have “come too far, too fast.” Public tolerance has been demonstrated by voter acceptance of Klan political candidates, widespread distribution of printed material which accepts KKK actions, and by the failure of the criminal justice system to investigate effectively and end Klan-related violence.
THEREFORE: In accordance with the American Baptist Policy Statement on Human Rights which supports the right of all persons to be protected against discrimination and in light of its concern over the current manifestations of racism as evidenced in the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, the General Board of the American Baptist Churches urges local congregations and individuals to:
1. Indicate publicly their opposition to the Klan by statement and action wherever the Klan appears;
2. Encourage politicians and governmental bodies to take active positions against the racism, terrorism and acts of violence fostered by the Klan;
3. Educate members, especially children, about the nature of the Klan and about the myths which it seeks to foster related to racial superiority;
4. Design and implement programs to educate people, especially children, about the biblical imperatives for racial justice;
5. Take every opportunity afforded by the media to affirm our support of racial justice; and
6. Become actively involved in local and national efforts to achieve and assure racial justice.
We call upon the agencies and the leadership of the regional and national units of American Baptist Churches in the USA to:
1. Provide informational materials and other forms of support to individuals and to congregations engaged in efforts to educate their members about the nature of the Klan and about racial justice;
2. Represent American Baptist Churches in ecumenical efforts to combat the Klan;
3. Encourage public media to use their resources to promote racial justice;
4. Commend those media which have carried out investigative reporting about the Klan and its activities; and
5. Express our repugnance for the philosophy and activities of the Klan through appropriate governmental and legal channels.
Adopted by the General Board of the American Baptist Churches – December 1980 130 For, 0 Against, 0 Abstentions
Rev. Dr. Lee B. SpitzerGeneral Secretary
American Baptist Churches USA

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Proverbs 6:16-19 Speaks to Hate on Display in Charlottesville, VA

Proverbs is considered wisdom literature. Let's pause for a moment of wisdom from that book and see what is worthy of being worked hard against, today, and always. There are far too many of all of these at work right now, right here. It won't stop is we don't stop it.


There are six things that the Lord hates,seven that are an abomination to him:17haughty eyes, a lying tongue,and hands that shed innocent blood,18a heart that devises wicked plans,feet that hurry to run to evil,19a lying witness who testifies falsely,and one who sows discord in a family.

I cannot tell you how repulsed I am by the hatred shredding this nation. It is time for all people of good will to stand up and cry out against hatred in all its forms.

Here's one action we can all take immediately: https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/08/write-white-house-now.html

If you need to catch up on what is happening, here's a couple sources of news available (to date it is reported that a car has run into counter protesters today with multiple casualties): http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/trump-condemns-unite-the-right-rally-violence-in-charlottesville/article_ef4ba358-7f6a-11e7-84cf-8f840f442510.html ; http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/12/us/charlottesville-white-nationalists-rally/index.html

Here's what the Governor of Virginia had to say about those who rioted. Note that he doesn't mention the counter protesters. Apparently the Governor didn't have any doubt who were the bad actors over those two days: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/12/us/charlottesville-white-nationalists-rally/index.html

Write the White House NOW

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia, today and last night with the "alt-right" (KKK, neo-Nazis, etc.) are vile and must be called out as such. Please take a few minutes to encourage Mr. Trump to speak out immediately (a couple of paltry tweets will NOT do), clearly, strongly against the hate on display. Insist that he speak out strongly against the alt-right white supremacists, neo-nazis, and KKK present and active in the protest that ended in terrorist violence. Support the counter-protesting ministers and other American patriots who stand against the rising hatred by insisting Mr. Trump takes a stand against this evil immediately. To reach the White House, go through the following link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact#page

This is no time for people of conscience and good will to sit by silently. To be silent is to give tacit approval of the hate march and all the sickness it stands for. As of this writing, the hate groups have driven three cars into the crowds of counter protesters, creating multiple injuries.

Update: 8/15/17: After the appalling press conference Donald Trump held in Trump Tower, where he attempted to normalize race hatred, white supremacists, and compare and contrast them with those who came to demonstrate against hatred and try to make both sides the same, which they will never be, protest loudly and bluntly this immoral response to a tragedy that left three dead and 19 hospitalized. Protest as well Mr. Trump's assertion that honest reporters are fake news, as that is what authoritarians do. Do not be silent at this time, or you are complicit with those who hate and excuse hatred. Never before in my life has I seen a president do what was done today, which led to congratulations from active, prominent members of white supremacist groups.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

CGI 3D Animated Shorts HD: "LAST DAY OF WAR" - by Dima Fedotov

 Given the news of August 2017, with sabre rattling in the U.S. and North Korea, this short animated film seems quite topical. Consider it a firm warning.

Pray and work for peace.

Seeking truth might help: https://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2017/07/seeking-truth.html