Ernie Harwell on J.P. McCarthy

ernieOne of the best lines Ernie Harwell ever delivered:

“I had a lady tell me at a party one time that, ‘When you broadcast out there on the west coast, those Tiger games, I always go to bed with ya.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but you wake up in the morning with J.P. McCarthy!'”

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William Bennett did NOT pen an essay endorsing Trump

Over the last several months several friends have forwarded to me an email containing an essay purportedly written by former Secretary of Education William Bennett praising Donald Trump.

Bill Bennett did NOT pen this essay.

It was originally posted on the web site Reality News Media on 17 September 2015 and circulated for several weeks with no attribution attached to it. It wasn’t until mid-November 2015 that Bill Bennett’s named started to appear alongside the title in an apparent attempt to lend credibility to the essay.

Bennett’s views on Donald Trump are not in line with those expressed in the essay. While the unknown author writes that Trump would make a good President since he is self-funded and does not play by the rules, Bennett said in an interview with Sean Hannity that he was not okay with a Trump presidency:

Because I look at a man and the totality of his acts and his record and the things he has and stood for.  And I think, probably, he’s not very principled in terms of his convictions anyway, except he, you know, is a businessman who does things his way, his own idiosyncratic way.

I do understand the appeal. People are angry, mad.  And he seems big enough to kind of encompass that anger …

… Here’s Trump with a record, you know, longer than your arm, wrong on all these things, getting all this support. That’s what makes me a little angry and makes me think there’s a lot of irrationality on it…

… Look, if Trump’s the nominee, Sean, I will support him because I won’t support Hillary.

Does God Hear the Prayers of Superbowl Quarterbacks?

newton_manningBoth Quarterbacks in Superbowl 50 are followers of Jesus Christ, which presents a conundrum of sorts.

If both Quarterbacks are praying for a win, whose prayers does God answer?

Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers):

“It’s just a God thing. I thank God every single day. I’m just His instrument and He’s using me on a consistent basis daily. [God is] using me to extend His word and I’m a prime example of how God could turn something that was bad into something that was very great… If God is with me who can be against me.”

Peyton Manning (QB, Denver Broncos):

“My faith has been number one since I was thirteen years old and heard from the pulpit on a Sunday morning in New Orleans a simple question: ‘If you died today, are you one hundred percent sure you’d go to heaven?’ Cooper was there and Eli [Peyton’s two brothers] but it didn’t hit them at the time the way it did me. It was a big church, and I felt very small, but my heart was pounding. The minister invited those who would like that assurance through Jesus Christ to raise their hands, and I did. Then he invited us to come forward, to take a stand, and my heart really started pounding. And from where we sat, it looked like a mile to the front. But I got up and did it. And I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since.”

This Is Your Life

Wendell Berry’s insightful description of (your) modern life from The Unsettling of America:

The disease of the modern character is specialization. Looked at from the standpoint of the socialsystem, the aim of specialization may seem desirable enough. The aim is to see that the responsibilities of government, law, medicine, engineering, agriculture, education, etc., are given into the hands of the most skilled, best prepared people.

A system of specialization requires the abdication to specialists of various competences and responsibilities that were once personal and universal. Thus, the average – one is tempted to say, the ideal – American citizen now consigns the problem of food production to agriculturalists and ‘agribusinessmen,’ the problems of health to doctors and sanitation experts, the problems of education to school teachers and educators, the problems of conservation to conservationists, and so on. This supposedly fortunate citizen is therefore left with only two concerns: making money and entertaining himself. He earns money, typically, as a specialist, working an eight-hour day at a job for the quality or consequences of which somebody else – or, perhaps more typically, nobody else – will be responsible. And not surprisingly, since he can do so little else for himself, he is even unable to entertain himself, for there exists an enormous industry of exorbitantly expensive specialists whose purpose is to entertain him…

The beneficiary of this regime of specialists ought to be the happiest of mortals – or so we are expected to believe. All of his vital concerns are in the hands of certified experts. He is a certified expert himself and as such he earns more money in a year than all his great-grandparents put together. Between stints at his job he has nothing to do but mow his lawn with a sit-down lawn mower, or watch other certified experts on television. At suppertime he may eat a tray of ready-prepared food, which he and his wife (also a certified expert) procure at the cost only of money, transportation, and the pushing of a button. For a few minutes between supper and sleep he may catch a glimpse of his children, who since breakfast have been in the care of education experts, basketball or marching-band experts, or perhaps legal experts…

The fact is, however, that this is probably the most unhappy average citizen in the history of the world. He has not the power to provide himself with anything but money, and his money is inflating like a balloon and drifting away, subject to historical circumstances and the power of other people. From morning to night he does not touch anything that he has produced himself, in which he can take pride. For all his leisure and recreation, he feels bad, he looks bad, he is overweight, his health is poor. His air, water, and food are all known to contain poisons. There is a fair chance that he will die of suffocation. He suspects that his love life is not as fulfilling as other people’s. He wishes that he had been born sooner, or later. He does not know why his children are the way they are. He does not understand what they say. He does not care much and does not know why he does not care. He does not know what his wife wants or what he wants. Certain advertisements and pictures in magazines make him suspect that he is basically unattractive. He feels that all his possessions are under threat of pillage. He does not know what he would do if he lost his job, if the economy failed, if the utility companies failed, if the police went on strike, if the truckers went on strike, if his wife left him, if his children ran away, if he should be found to be incurably ill. And for these anxieties, of course, he consults certified experts, who in turn consult certified experts about their anxieties…

It is rarely considered that this average citizen is anxious because he ought to be… He ought to be anxious, because he is helpless. That he is dependent upon so many specialists, the beneficiary of so much expert help, can only mean that he is a captive, a potential victim. If he lives by the competence of so many other people, then he lives also by their indulgence; his own will and his own reasons to live are made subordinate to the mere tolerance of everybody else. He has onechance to live what he conceives to be his life: his own small specialty within a delicate, tense, everywhere-strained system of specialties.

My God, My Portion, and My Love

Driving home last night after hosting my radio program my own radio was tuned to WRJC-FM 90.9. I want to thank them for introducing me to this great Isaac Watts hymn which I had never heard before.

Here is a video of the performance of the hymn by the Choir at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN in the Boe Memorial Chapel on May 7, 2012. The hymn text is below the video.

Hymn text by Isaac Watts set to the tune Dunlap’s Creek arr. Mack Wilberg.
Gerard Sundberg, Soloist. Zach Busch, Pianist. Joshua McClure, Organist.

My God, my Portion, and my Love,
My Everlasting All,
I’ve none but Thee in heav’n above
Or on this earthly ball.

What empty things are all the skies,
And this inferior clod!
There’s nothing here deserves my joys,
There’s nothing like my God.

In vain the bright, the burning sun,
Scatters his feeble light;
‘Tis Thy sweet beams create my noon;
If Thou withdraw, ’tis night.

Let all that dwell above the sky,
And air, and earth, and seas,
Conspire to lift Thy glories high
And speak Thine endless praise.

The whole creation, join in one,
To bless the sacred Name,
Of Him that sits upon the throne,
And to adore the Lamb!