Sunday Funnies, a Busy Week

A busy, and yet a pretty satisfying week.

And the high point of the week – The March for Life

Phrasing? One hopes so.

And of course… Audre will note that she is a brunette.



Sunday Funnies; Real Comedy, a Dead Terrorist, and Other Enemies of America (and a Useless Prince, too)

America had a good week, I think. And we got to laugh some too!


And, of course

Wait there is more, a video bonus

Sunday Funnies; Shampeachment and Christmas

And so, we have something new. A President impeached but the House so embarrassed at the way it did it that it won’t send it to the Senate. If this is a proper government, I’ll take anarchy – it’s better organized.

The Democrats plan for 2020

And, of Course

And the last, and perhaps the best Advent Hymn, O Holy Night, from Celtic Woman

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Well, guys, next week is Christmas, and I’m declaring the political end of the year. They are unlikely to either destroy or renew the Republic (or the Realm) in the next week and a half, even including the two major holidays. They should go home and think about the damage they have caused. But they probably won’t so the war will soon resume. Call it a Christmas truce. That’s pretty much life.

In any case, I’m getting on a jet plane to go see my family for Christmas Monday, and so posting next week will be some of my (and your) favorite holiday posts over the years. We will all enjoy revisiting them. And they will incorporate the Christmas post that Jessica wrote that so many of you have been sneak peeking.

Today, I just want to share some of my favorite secular Christmas songs. Yes, even Christians like some of them. Tomorrow will be  Sunday Funnies, Monday, I don’t know yet, and the rest of the week will be favorites time. I’ll presumably be back sometime Saturday, and maybe I’ll get something up Sunday. That said, all I’m taking along is my phone, so don’t expect much from me, maybe I’ll answer some comments, but even that will be limited. You guys feel free to talk amongst yourselves, over the years you’ve added a lot to the place, so have fun, keep it reasonably clean and have fun. No running with scissors, though!

There were a couple of videos out of Parliament this week, which were intentionally funny, and succeeded. Let’s join in the laughter for once with instead of at the politicians.

Tracey Crouch was chosen to give the first Loyal Address (What’s that? I haven’t a clue either, the British are a bit strange sometimes) Anyway, it’s funny, good-natured, an altogether good time. Enjoy!

And other than tomorrow’s memes, that pretty well wraps up politics for 2019, finally!

I’ve been listening mostly to a British station that plays music from the late 30s to the early 50s… I’ve been finding it most restful, and they play a lot of Christmas music, mostly by the people we grew up listening to on the radio or watching on TV. As dark as the world was then, they produced some of the most uplifting music imaginable.

One thing that has happened is that I’ve become a huge fan of the Andrews Sisters. Why? There are a few reasons scattered through this post. Like this one.

Or this, with Bing Crosby

I’ve never heard this better performed.

Maybe an ad with my favorite singer, Petula Clark.

I assume our British friends have long since seen this, but it is a lovely advert.

Those rough men who keep us safe, may not be so rough after all, keep them in mind.

Petula and Rod McKuen? They do an excellent job.

Without comment!

And of course:

But my favorite for this year is this, from the Andrews Sisters. I can’t remember ever hearing it before.


My World

From Timothy P. Carney in the Washington Examiner, of all places.


The whole town has only two institutions, really: a Catholic Church and an Irish pub.

In fact, it’s a bit misleading to say Imogene has St. Patrick’s and Emerald Isle. Imogene is the church and the pub.

If you picture a country church in a 30-person town, hidden in the remotest corner of Iowa, you might picture a modest, decaying building. Conversely, if you know the history of Catholic immigrants to the Midwest in the 19th century, you might expect an impressive crumbling structure that faintly gives off the echoes of faded glory.

So you would never expect St. Patrick’s.

The brick Gothic church standing atop Imogene might be the most beautiful country church in America. The three impressive front doors, flanked by two towers, are capped by the pointed arches typical of the Gothic revival period. Walk through the doors, and you’ll be stunned. Intricate stained-glass windows ring the church and fill it with delightful light. The oaken hammer-beam ceiling, like everything in this church, points worshipers’ eyes toward heaven. […]

It was a good metaphor for my trip to Imogene. I came to Fremont County expecting to write a very different story. Fremont has one of the very worst rates of opioid overdoses in the country. It has no major cities. The factories and schools are closing down. Its population is shrinking.

I came here to write about a community that is falling apart. Instead, I found a community that is constantly coming together. In the heartland, small-town America is fighting for its life.

How did a church as magnificent as St. Patrick’s end up here? It started with a fire in 1915 that destroyed the old church. Father Edmund Hayes, the pastor for 40 years, was from a wealthy family, and he decided to spend his money on building the best church in Iowa. […]

Emerald Isle is another such structure. After the church and the grain elevators just across Railroad Avenue, the bar is the largest structure in town. It’s spacious enough inside that one extended family, which had a member deploying in the military, hosted an early Thanksgiving there in mid-November.

Of course, the town’s population of 30 — and shrinking — doesn’t provide the bodies for Mass, parish breakfast, or happy hour. “It’s the outlying area that supports the parish,” explained Jake McCargill, who was raised here. People come to Imogene from the farm fields of Fremont and Page Counties.

This is the world I’ve spent my life in, small rural farming communities in the middle of America, and like Imogene, my world is dying. But it’s not going quiet in the night, it’s still raging against the light. And Timothy nails it here, there are two essentials: one or more churches, and a bar or cafe (sometimes combined). Lose either one and the community is doomed. I know one town in Northern Minnesota that when the cafe owner died, formed a coop to keep it open – it’s that important. I know Catholics that attend Methodist services, and Lutherans who attend Catholic services because that’s what available. It’s key.

My wedding reception was in a bar like The Emerald Isle. It was pretty simple, I hired a DJ, found some local church ladies to cater some munchies, and gave the owner $100 for a free bar, and told him to let me know if he needed more, everybody welcome, and everybody came, some who could afford it paid, some who couldn’t, didn’t. I didn’t check because I didn’t care, they were (and are) my friends.

The cooperation happens on an everyday level. Terry Owens, who grew up here and moved back after getting married, lives it. Terry heats his home with both wood and costly propane. A neighbor has a copse of trees next to Terry’s property that provides plenty of deadfall. The neighbor has long let Terry get his firewood there for free.

After about three or four years of this, Terry noticed the neighbor had tall grass that needed mowing. Terry started mowing the half acre for free. As he sees it, there’s no explicit barter here. His neighbor gives what Terry needs, and Terry gives what his neighbor needs. “You don’t even think about it. You just do it,” as Terry’s wife Deborah put it.

Late on Sunday afternoon, two farmers named Short and Roger showed up at Emerald Isle with their colleague Blake. Short and Roger were celebrating, as they had just finished their harvest.

They started bragging to me about the town and the farmers of the surrounding area. They began a story about a local farmer who died suddenly in one recent year when his crops were in the field. Soon, half the bar was telling the story, in tag-team. Come harvest time, 12 combines and a few semitrucks showed up to harvest the field for the farmer’s widow and children — for free.

That’s about $12 million dollars worth of equipment, and it’s owners – working for free. I’d have been shocked if they hadn’t done it. It’s what we’ve always done, ever since our predecessors crossed the Alleghenies and held barn raisings. It’s the American way. for almost everything, right on down to the fire department. Fix it, make it work, or do without. It’s what de Tocqueville saw in us all those long years ago, and it’s still in us. But we’re losing.

The cause is deeper, but it’s not complicated. “It’s as simple as this,” Kevin Olson said from behind the bar: “Farm families used to have 10 kids, and now, they don’t.”

But it’s not just smaller families. It’s also bigger farms.

“It used to be,” Jerry explained, “they farmed their … 300 acres, and they raised 6, 7, 8, 10 kids. Now, on farms 3, 4, 5 times that size, they raise one or two kids.”

Jerry is the only one of Margaret’s 10 children still farming. Emily, the bartender on Sunday night, told me that almost all of her high school friends have left.

The result, as Jake McGargill put it, is “fewer and fewer farmers, and fewer and fewer families to support churches and schools and businesses.”

We can’t just blame birth control. This area’s decline started about a 100 years ago. The culprit may be efficiency, specifically the efficiency of the modern farm.

“You’ve got better genetics on the seeds,” Roger explained. “You’ve got fantastic technology on the equipment. And so you don’t need as many people.”

“This combine I’m running,” Short told me, “has four monitors in it.” The combine measures the yield for the year and will use that data to automatically modify the planting for next year, and in turn, the fertilizer use, and so on. Also, farms are reducing erosion. “We’ve gone from 100-bushel corn [per acre] to 250-bushel corn because we’re saving our soil,” Short said.

The technological advances make every acre of farmland more valuable. As a result, farmers have every incentive to sell. “Farmland is worth a lot of money,” Jerry said. “More than you can make off of it.” […]

In most rural towns, this would be an absurd hope. Why would anyone stick around? But in Imogene, the reasons to stick around are plenty. You stick around for the wings and the tenderloin. You stick around for Marleen’s pies. You stick around for the revelry at the pub. You stick around for the marble altars, and you stick around for the community where people live out the commandments to love God and love their neighbor.

We’re stubborn opinionated people, and maybe enough of us will stick it out, and our culture will survive, but some days I doubt it.

But don’t bet against us!



Sunday Funnies; Narwhal Tusks and Impeachment

Another week nearly beyond description, but we’ll try

There are still, I guess, Democrats who want to be president, but they have it wrong, we usually don’t elect the most stupid candidate. 2d most maybe, but not the most.

I can’t really blame Nancy Pelosi for running away from reality last week though.

Die Hard Advent Calendar

And, of course:

Or maybe this suits this audience better

How about an advent special?

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