Monday, September 30, 2013

Join the NSA's New Online Dating Service.

Really excited for the season finale....

One More Theory

Video: Robert Farrar Capon Retreat

Wonderful talk with the recently deceased theologian Robert Farrar Capon.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thor Prefers Lattes

World's Finest International Coffee Day

Great Freemasons: Gene Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998

I`m not a good actor, a good rider or a particularly good singer, but they seem to like what I do, so I`ll keep on doing it as long as they want.
Gene Autry

Orvon Grover Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998), better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Autry was also owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997.

(Catoosa Lodge No. 185, OK)

Happy International Coffee Day!

Great Freemasons: Roscoe Turner (September 29, 1895 – June 23, 1970)

Col. Roscoe Turner, seen here with Gilmore, his pet lion.

Roscoe Turner (September 29, 1895 – June 23, 1970) was an aviator who was a three-time winner of the Thompson Trophy.

Here is some great video footage of him from a documentary:

(Corinth Lodge 116, Mississippi)

John Polkinghorne on the Friendship of Religion and Science

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Great Freemasons: George W. Peck

Gents—If you have made up your minds that the world will
cease to move unless these "Bad Boy" articles are given to
the public in book form, why go ahead, and peace to your
ashes. The "Bad Boy" is not a "myth," though there may be
some stretches of imagination in the articles. The
counterpart of this boy is located in every city, village
and country hamlet throughout the land. He is wide awake,
full of vinegar, and is ready to crawl under the canvas of a
circus or repeat a hundred verses of the New Testament in
Sunday School. He knows where every melon patch in the
neighborhood is located, and at what hours the dog is
chained up. He will tie an oyster can to a dog's tail to
give the dog exercise, or will fight at the drop of the hat
to protect the smaller boy or a school girl. He gets in his
work everywhere there is a fair prospect of fun, and his
heart is easily touched by an appeal in the right way,
though his coat-tail is oftener touched with a boot than his
heart is by kindness. But he shuffles through life until the
time comes for him to make a mark in the world, and then he
buckles on the harness and goes to the front, and becomes
successful, and then those who said he would bring up in
State Prison, remember that he always was a mighty smart
lad, and they never tire of telling of some of his deviltry
when he was a boy, though they thought he was pretty tough
at the time. This book is respectfully dedicated to boys, to
the men who have been boys themselves, to the girls who like
the boys, and to the mothers, bless them, who like both the
boys and the girls,

Very respectfully,

George Wilbur Peck (September 28, 1840– April 16, 1916) was an American writer and politician who served as the 17th Governor of Wisconsin.

Peck was born in 1840 in Henderson, New York, the oldest of three children of David B. and Alzina P. (Joslin) Peck. In 1843, the family moved to Cold Spring, Wisconsin. Peck attended public school until age 15, when he was apprenticed in the printing trade. He married Francena Rowley in 1860 and they had two sons.

Peck became a newspaper publisher who founded newspapers in Ripon and La Crosse, Wisconsin. His La Crosse newspaper, The Sun, was founded in 1874. In 1878 Peck moved the newspaper to Milwaukee, renaming it Peck's Sun. The weekly newspaper contained Peck's humorous writings, including his famous "Peck's Bad Boy" stories.

In the spring of 1890 Peck ran for mayor of Milwaukee. A Democrat, Peck was elected despite a Republican majority in the city. The state's Democratic leaders took notice and made Peck the party's nominee for the 1890 gubernatorial race. Peck won the election, beating the incumbent William Hoard, and resigned as Milwaukee's mayor on November 11, 1890. He was reelected as governor in 1892, defeating Republican John C. Spooner, but lost a third term to William Upham in 1894. He ran again in 1904 but lost to the incumbent Robert M. La Follette, Sr.

Peck died in 1916 at age 75 of Bright's disease and was buried at Forest Home Cemetery. After his death, his "Peck's Bad Boy" writings became the basis for several films and a short-lived television show.

(Wisconsin Lodge No. 13, Wauwatosa, WI)

Shiny...cute, too.

Great Freemasons: Jimmy McClure (September 28, 1916 - February 12, 2005)

Jimmy McClure (September 28, 1916 - February 12, 2005) was a champion table tennis player from USA. From 1936 to 1949 he won several medals in doubles, and team events in the World Table Tennis Championships

(Oriental Lodge 500, Indianapolis)

Herne the Hunter by Daniel Eskridge

Friday, September 27, 2013

Great Freemasons: Sam Ervin (September 27, 1896 – April 23, 1985)

When people fear surveillance, whether it exists or not, they grow afraid to speak their minds and hearts freely to their government or to anyone else.
Sam Ervin

Samuel James "Samy" Ervin, Jr. (September 27, 1896 – April 23, 1985) was an American politician. A Democrat, he served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina from 1954 to 1974. A native of Morganton, he liked to call himself a "country lawyer", and often told humorous stories in his Southern drawl. During his Senate career, Ervin was a legal defender of the Jim Crow laws and racial segregation, as the South's constitutional expert during the congressional debates on civil rights. Unexpectedly, he became a liberal hero for his support of civil liberties. He is remembered for his work in the investigation committees that brought down Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954 and especially his investigation in 1972 and 1973 of the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation in 1974 of President Richard Nixon.

(Catawba Valley Lodge 217, Morganton, NC)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Great Freemasons: Stephen Benton Elkins (September 26, 1841 – January 4, 1911)

Stephen Benton Elkins (September 26, 1841 – January 4, 1911) was an American industrialist and political figure. He served as the Secretary of War between 1891 and 1893. He served in the Congress as a Delegate from the Territory of New Mexico and a Senator from West Virginia.

NM Montezuma Lodge 109 (MO Charter)

Animals Have Feelings

Monday, September 23, 2013

Great Freemasons: Arthur Willard Pryor (September 22, 1870 – June 18, 1942)

Arthur Willard Pryor (September 22, 1870 – June 18, 1942) was a trombone virtuoso, bandleader, and soloist with the Sousa Band. He was a prolific composer of band music, his best known composition being "The Whistler and His Dog". In later life, he was an American Democratic Party politician from New Jersey, who served on the Monmouth County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders during the 1930s.
 was a trombone virtuoso, bandleader, and soloist with the Sousa Band. He was a prolific composer of band music, his best known composition being "The Whistler and His Dog". In later life, he was an American Democratic Party politician from New Jersey, who served on the Monmouth County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders during the 1930s.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Albert Camus

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus

(Art by Adam Hughes)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Great Freemasons: Austin Augustus King (September 21, 1802 – April 22, 1870)

Austin Augustus King (September 21, 1802 – April 22, 1870), also known as Austin A. King and Austin King, was an American lawyer, politician, and military officer. A Democrat, he was the tenth Governor of Missouri and a one-term United States Congressman.

Richmond Lodge 57, MO)

Che Guevera

If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.
Che Guevara, as quoted in The Quotable Rebel : Political Quotations for Dangerous Times (2005) by Teishan Latner, p. 112

(Art by Howard Chaykin)

Great Freemasons: Claude Pepper (September 8, 1900 – May 30, 1989)

If more politicians in this country were thinking about the next generation instead of the next election, it might be better for the United States and the world.
Claude Pepper

Claude Denson Pepper (September 8, 1900 – May 30, 1989) was an American politician of the Democratic Party, and a spokesman for left-liberalism and the elderly. In foreign policy he shifted from pro-Soviet in the 1940s to anti-Communist in the 1950s. He represented Florida in the United States Senate from November 4, 1936, to January 3, 1951, and the Miami area in the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 1963 until his death on May 30, 1989.

(Jackson Lodge 1, Tallahassee, Florida)

Baruch Spinoza (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677)

The ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself or others.
No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty.
Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise (1670)

(Art by
Mitch Breitweiser)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Great Freemasons: James Cash Penney, Jr. (September 16, 1875 – February 12, 1971)

No serious-minded man should have time for the mediocre in any phase of his living.
James Cash Penney

James Cash Penney, Jr. (September 16, 1875 – February 12, 1971) was an American businessman and entrepreneur who, in 1902, founded the J. C. Penney stores.

(Initiated into Wasatch Lodge No. 1 Free and Accepted Masons of Utah, on April 18, 1911. A member of both the Scottish and York Rites, Penney was coroneted a 33rd Degree on October 16, 1945, and received the Gold Distinguished Service Award by the General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, in Kansas City, Missouri in 1958.)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beaumont and Fletcher

He never is alone that is accompanied with noble thoughts.
Beaumont and Fletcher, Love's Cure (1647).

(Art by Alex Ross)

Great Freemasons: William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930)

Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.
William Howard Taft, Popular Government: Its Essence, Its Permanence and Its Perils, chapter 3 (1913)

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930). He is the only person to have served in both of these offices.

( Kilwinning Lodge 365, Ohio)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pope John Paul II

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”
John Paul II,
Fides Et Ratio: On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason: Encyclical Letter of John Paul II

Great Freemasons: Alf Landon (September 9, 1887 – October 12, 1987)

“I Will Not Promise the Moon”: Alf Landon Opposes the Social Security Act, 1936
by Alf Landon

The U.S. Congress enacted the Social Security Act, originally called the “Economic Security Bill,” in August of 1935. The Act was aimed at giving older Americans a pension that would provide them with a reasonable standard of living as they aged. The Social Security Act was politically moderate. The agen
cy created to administer these benefits was to be funded by both employees and their employers, as opposed to using funds collected from general tax money. Still, it represented a milestone in moving this country toward a modern welfare state; as a result of this legislation, the United States joined other industrialized nations in offering old-age pensions and unemployment compensation. Several groups offered a spirited resistance to the program. Alf Landon, the Republican candidate for President in 1936, offered strong opposition to Social Security based on its burden on employers and employees as well as the possibility that the money coming into the Treasury would not be put away for later liabilities.

…Beginning next January employers must, in addition, begin paying taxes on the payrolls out of which your wages are to come. This is the largest tax bill in history. And to call it “social security” is a fraud on the workingman.

These taxes start at the rate of $2 in taxes for every $100 of wages. They increase until it is $6 in taxes for every $100 in wages.

We are told that this $6 will be equally divided between the employer and the employe [sic]. But this is not so, and for a very simple reason. The actual fact will be, in almost every case, that the whole tax will be borne either by the employe [sic] or by the consumer through higher prices. That is the his¬tory of all such taxes. This is because the tax is imposed in such a way that, if the employer is to stay in business, he must shift the tax to some one else.

Do not forget this: such an excessive tax on payrolls is beyond question a tax on employment. In prosperous times it slows down the advance of wages and holds back re-employment. In bad times it increases unemployment, and unemployment breaks wage scales. The Republican party rejects any feature of any plan that hinders re-employment… …One more sample of the injustice of this law is this: Some workers who come under this new Federal insurance plan are taxed more and get less than workers who come under the State laws already in force.

For instance, under the new law many workers now 50 years old must pay burdensome taxes for the next fifteen years in order to receive a pension when they are 65; whereas those of the same age who come under some State laws- pay no taxes and yet actually get a larger pension when they reach the age of 65.

These are a few reasons why I called this law unjust and stupidly drafted. There is a further important point in connection with the compulsory saving provided by the plan of the present administration. According to this plan, our workers are forced to save for a lifetime. What happens to their savings? The administration’s theory is that they go into a reserve fund, that they will be invested at interest, and that in due time this interest will help pay the pensions. The people who drew this law understand nothing of government finance…

…Let me explain it in another way—in the simple terms of the family budget. The father of the family is a kindly man, so kindly that he borrows all he can to add to the family’s pleasure. At the same time he impresses upon his sons and daughters the necessity of saving for their old age.

Every month they bring 6 per cent of their wages to him so that he may act as trustee and invest their savings for their old age. The father decides that the best investment is his own I O U. So every month he puts aside in a box his I O U carefully executed, and, moreover, bearing interest at 3 per cent.

And every month he spends the money that his children bring him, partly in meeting his regular expenses, and the rest in various experiments that fascinate him.

Years pass, the children grow old, the day comes when they have to open their father’s box. What do they find? Roll after roll of neatly executed I O U’s.

I am not exaggerating the folly of this legislation. The saving it forces on our workers is a cruel hoax.

There is every probability that the cash they pay in will be used for current deficits and new extravagances. We are going to have trouble enough to carry out an economy program without having the Treasury flush with money drawn from the workers…

Source: Alfred M. Landon, “I Will Not Promise the Moon,” Vital Speeches of the Day (October 15, 1936), 26–27.

Alfred Mossman Landon, known as Alf Landon (September 9, 1887 – October 12, 1987), was an American Republican politician, who served as the 26th Governor of Kansas from 1933 to 1937. He was best known for having been the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States, defeated in a landslide by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election.

Fortitude Lodge 107, KS)

Friday, September 13, 2013

How convenient....

Great Freemasons: John J. Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948)

“No commander was ever privileged to lead a finer force; no commander ever derived greater inspiration from the performance of his troops.”
― John J. Pershing

John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948), was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. Pershing is the only person to be promoted in his own life time to the highest rank ever held in the United States Army—General of the Armies (a retroactive Congressional edict passed in 1976 promoted George Washington to the same rank but with higher seniority). Pershing holds the first United States officer service number (O-1). He was regarded as a mentor by the generation of American generals who led the United States Army in Europe during World War II, including George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, and George S. Patton.

Lincoln Lodge 19, NE)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Black Elk on Peace

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes from within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.
Black Elk in The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (1953).

(Art by Freddie E. Williams.)


Very cool video. Watch.


Great Freemasons: Arnold Palmer (born September 10, 1929)

The road to success is always under construction.
Arnold Palmer

Arnold Daniel Palmer (born September 10, 1929) is an American professional golfer, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men's professional golf.

(Loyalhanna Lodge 275, Latrobe, Pennsylvania)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Great Freemasons: George Henry Dern (September 8, 1872 – August 27, 1936)

Football is too all-absorbing. During the season we had no time to think of anything else but the winning of the pennant. … I am heartily in favor of college football, if not carried to such an extreme.
George Henry Dern (September 8, 1872 – August 27, 1936)

George Henry Dern was an American politician, mining man, and businessman. He is probably best remembered for co-inventing the Holt–Dern or
e roasting process, as well as for his tenure as United States Secretary of War from 1933 to his death in 1936. He also served as the sixth Governor of Utah for eight years, from 1925 to 1933. Dern was a progressive politician who fought for tax reform, public education, and social welfare. He was an exceptional public speaker, able to captivate and entertain his audience, whether they were Progressives, Democrats, or Republicans.

He was also the grandfather of actor Bruce Dern and great grandfather of actress Laura Dern.

(Interestingly, even if he had a reputation as a speaker, I could find no quotes by him other than the one shared about football)

(Here is his impressive Masonic record: He was initiated in Wasatch Lodge No. 1 F. & A. M., of this city, April 16, 1897; passed April 23rd and raised May 7, 1897. He was Master of that Lodge in 1902.

In Grand Lodge he served as Grand Lecturer for the years 1910 and 1911; was elected Senior Grand Warden January 18, 1911; Deputy Grand Master January 17, 1912; and Grand Master January 22, 1913. He was a member of the Board of Custodians in Grand Lodge 1916 to 1919, and 1924 to 1934; of the Committee on Grievance and Appeals, 1920 to 1923, and of the Committee on Jurisprudence 1925 to August 27, 1936.

In York Rite he received the Chapter Degrees in Utah Chapter No. 1, R. A. M., February 2, 1898, and was Knighted in Utah Commandery No. 1 Knights Templar, March 22, 1898.

In the A. & A. S. Rite he received the degrees from the 4th to the 32nd inclusive, in Utah Consistory in November, 1904; served as presiding officer in the Lodge of Perfection; Council of Kadosh and Utah Consistory. October 16, 1923, he was advanced to the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor and on October 21, 1927, he was invested with the Thirty-third Degree and proclaimed an Inspector General Honorary and an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction.

He was created a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in El Kalah Temple, Salt Lake City, March 28, 1898, and served that organization as Illustrious Potentate for the year 1929.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Great Freemasons: Carl Owen Hubbell (June 22, 1903 – November 21, 1988)

A fellow doesn't last long on what he has done. He has to keep on delivering.
Carl Owen Hubbel
Carl Owen Hubbell, nicknamed "The Meal Ticket" and "King Carl", was an American baseball player. He was a member of the New York Giants in the National League from 1928 to 1943. He remained on the team's payroll for the rest of his life, long after their move to San Francisco.

Twice voted the National League's Most Valuable Player, Hubbell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947. During 1936 and 1937, Hubbell set the major league record for consecutive wins by a pitcher with 24. He is perhaps best remembered for his performance in the 1934 All-Star Game, when he struck out five of the game's great hitters in succession. Hubbell's primary pitch was the screwball.

(Raised in 1929, Meeker Lodge #479, Meeker, Oklahoma)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Great Freemasons: James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849)

One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights.
James K. Polk

James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849).

[EA (June 5, 1820), FC, MM (September 4, 1820), in Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tenn.]

Ivan Illich (September 4, 1926 – December 2, 2002)

    Jesus was an anarchist savior. That's what the Gospels tell us.
    Just before He started out on His public life, Jesus went to the desert. He fasted, and after 40 days he was hungry. At this point the diabolos, appeared to tempt Him. First he asked Him to turn stone into bread, then to prove himself in a magic flight, and finally the devil, diabolos, "divider," offered Him power. Listen carefully to the words of this last of the three temptations: (Luke 4,6:) "I give you all power and glory, because I have received them and I give them to those whom I choose. Adore me and the power will be yours." It is astonishing what the devil says: I have all power, it has been given to me, and I am the one to hand it on — submit, and it is yours. Jesus of course does not submit, and sends the devilcumpower to Hell. Not for a moment, however, does Jesus contradict the devil. He does not question that the devil holds all power, nor that this power has been given to him, nor that he, the devil, gives it to whom he pleases. This is a point which is easily overlooked. By his silence Jesus recognizes power that is established as "devil" and defines Himself as The Powerless. He who cannot accept this view on power cannot look at establishments through the spectacle of the Gospel. This is what clergy and churches often have difficulty doing. They are so strongly motivated by the image of church as a "helping institution" that they are constantly motivated to hold power, share in it or, at least, influence it.
    Ivan Illich