Linky Friday: Take, Eat, Drink, And Pray

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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46 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    Re1: Well, given how often conservatives screw up identifying Muslim terrorists and Sikhs, this is a kinda good thing.Report

  2. pillsy says:

    I’m so glad we had Jeff Sessions stepping up to defend free speech from the menace of woke college students. After all, there’s no greater threat to our First Amendment rights.

    Trump administration lawyers are demanding the private account information of potentially thousands of Facebook users in three separate search warrants served on the social media giant, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

    The warrants specifically target the accounts of three Facebook users who are described by their attorneys as “anti-administration activists who have spoken out at organized events, and who are generally very critical of this administration’s policies.”


    • Kazzy in reply to pillsy says:

      With the interests of accuracy, is a Trump admin lawyer necessarily a member of or subject to oversight by the DOJ?Report

      • pillsy in reply to Kazzy says:


        The Justice Department is not commenting on these search warrants, but government attorneys have issued a similar search warrant to the web provider DreamHost seeking wide-ranging information about visitors to the website, which provided a forum for anti-Trump protestors. In that case, DOJ modified its initial search warrant seeking millions of IP address for the visitors who merely clicked on the website. But DC Superior Court Judge Robert Morin largely granted prosecutors’ request to collect a vast set of records from the company, which will include emails of the users who signed up for an account associated with the website, and membership lists.


  3. Kolohe says:

    I believe the Re2 article is all from before Osteen said something like “well, we were waiting for the government to ask us for help” which is gold medal winner the the Olympic 200 meter Missing the Point competition.Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to Kolohe says:

      It’s a weird piece. It argues that the church shouldn’t be used as a shelter because of the chaos that thousands of people showing up would cause. Then two paragraphs later it points out that it has previously been used as a shelter for thousands of people.

      The accessibility argument was weird from the start. The place obviously was not inaccessible in the sense that it was surrounded by water forming a moat around it. Many people were only too happy to provide photographic proof of this. It may well have been inaccessible in the sense that its immediate neighborhood was cut off. So open it up to the neighborhood, while posting information about safe routes or lack thereof. But perhaps the real issue is that their people couldn’t get to it, and it would be opened up when their people could. That would actually be really reasonable, and indeed seems to be how it finally played out.

      So why not say that? This is the most surprising part of the whole thing. Say what you well about prosperity gospel megachurches, but messaging is usually solidly in their wheelhouse. It is odd that their marketing team screwed up so big. I wonder if any have been fired.Report

      • So open it up to the neighborhood, while posting information about safe routes or lack thereof.

        Lakewood is in the middle of (very expensive) office and commercial space, and high end condos and apartment buildings. There’s little “neighborhood” there that needed shelter.

        It would make great shelter during a hurricane, and, with very good access to highways, it would work extremely well as a satellite distribution center, though it’s only about 4 miles of the G R Brown Cenrer that was used as relief headquarters.Report

  4. J_A says:


    I did point out at the time that Lakewood does sit in a micro area of severe flooding (my first apartment was across the street from it). Basically it’s at the bottom of gently slopped hill in all directions.

    I’m surprised though that they didn’t manage this better at the time. It was obvious that flooding was to be expected thereReport

  5. Richard Hershberger says:


    More food and drink should come in skull and crossbones packaging.

    Um, no. I did a spell working in a lab as an undergrad. It was considered cool to drink your beverage of choice out of a lab beaker. When the professor running the lab got wind of this he came down hard on it, on the basis that it is important to keep a clear visual distinction between a container holding a liquid for human consumption and a container holding God only knows what. He was right. A beverage labeled as “this is poison” to show it is radical hard core is also teaching people that labels that apparently say “this is poison” are actually saying “this is a radical hard core cool thing to drink.” Benefiting as I do from an absence of libertarian (in the present-day sense of the word) tendencies, I am comfortable going so far as to say that such packaging should be illegal.Report

    • As someone who teaches a lab where moderately-hazardous chemicals are used, and who has to CONSTANTLY ride her students about “don’t eat or drink in lab” (especially, ironically, the Industrial Hygiene students I get)….yeah.

      In a pure Wild West world, I’d be all “Don’t come crying to me if you get methanol poisoning” but because OSHA and because I’m teaching, and therefore responsible, it’s MY neck on the line if someone does…..and I really value this gig, so.

      But good LORD it makes me tired to have to still yell at people “PUT THAT POP OUT IN THE COOLER IN THE HALL” eight weeks into the class.Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    Re3 –

    For the rising fiscal-military state, religious uniformity and persecution simply became too expensive and inefficient.

    This is nonsense, the fiscal-military state made such persecutions ruthlessly efficient. I feel he’s got a lot of other stuff inside out as well. The relationship between Church and State in the western world has its roots in the tail end of the (western) Roman empire, reaching a decisive point in the late 300s when Ambrose of Milan became a key powerbroker. Real ‘tax reform’, that finally shook off for good medieval modes of revenue collection, and gave states real budgets to play with, only started with the French Revolution and then reached a critical mass after all the post 1848 political re-alignments. (and even then, it wasn’t until the 20th century where tax systems finally began to better align themselves with industrial modes of production)Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to Kolohe says:

      when Ambrose of Milan became a key powerbroker.

      I don’t claim great expertise in this era, but my impression is that Ambrose was more a guy who had influence with the key powerbrokers than being himself a key powerbroker.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        I claim my expertise as someone who finally finished Mike Duncan’s History of Rome podcast last week.

        I’m basing what I said on what Duncan said, which was (to sum up, possibly badly and with errors) Theodosius I defering to Ambrose on issues of moral authority (instead of say, ridding himself of that troublesome priest) set the standard for the relationship between secular authority and eccesliastic authority that would permeate and often define the middle ages. And certainly lasted well into the 19th century, and still lasts to this day with various intensity in some places.Report

        • Richard Hershberger in reply to Kolohe says:

          My claim is based on my long-term project of reading Peter Brown’s “Through the Eye of a Needle: the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the WEst, 350-550 AD” It is excellent, but not a quick read. I read the section on Ambrose a few months back. In other words, I basically don’t know shit about this. It is also possible that Brown and Duncan have differing interpretations. It is also possible that they actually agree, but worded it differently. So I am sticking with my “I don’t know shit” thesis, and will defend it against all comers.Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to Kolohe says:

      I too found the piece confusing and also thought there were points that I did not agree with, but mainly I didn’t understand what he thinks religious freedom looks like. His reference points have a distinct Continental Europe bias. Why look at limited Jewish emancipation in the Habsburg Empire in 1782, when there are examples in the British colonies, like Rhode Island, before then?Report

  7. Pinky says:

    Re5: “Yet these were not the only intellectuals and rationalists of their time, nor did rationalism and philosophical reflection die with Averroes at the end of the 12th century, as is still often believed.”

    The author makes the first case, but not the second. He doesn’t mention any Islamic philosophers who lived after 1210.Report

  8. LeeEsq says:

    Fo1: This certainly makes certain ethical arguments for vegetarianism and veganism rather difficult. One argument for an entirely plant based diet is that plants feel no pain when you eat them and they are unaware of what is happening. That seems to be wrong.

    Fo4: It is. A lot of tropical produce including coffee, chocolate, and more is threatened by climate change.

    Dk1: Reason needs to distinguish between government action caused by bureaucratic fiat and government action caused by a mass popular movement. Prohibition was misguided but was driven from bellow rather than above and was a mass movement. It didn’t stop being a popular mass movement and become magical bureaucratic fiat once the Constitution was amended and the Volstead Act passed. The American people nearly killed the cocktail because enough American people wanted Prohibition. The Federal government was just the tool used.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Fo1: Don’t read too much into that. Autonomous responses and defense mechanisms are not sentience.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Plenty of terrible stuff the federal government has done was caused by mass popular movement. This is what people mean when they say that a continuous feature of American history is white supremacy – which Prohibition was a part of (though of course it was part of that era’s feminist movement, so like everything else, things are complicated)

      But like, more straightforward, was the US Federal government’s policy towards Native Americans from the 1770s to the 1970s, which were always immensely popular and driven by bottom up political concerns.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to Kolohe says:

        Many of the most active abolitionist were also prohibitionist, or at lest temperate.

        I think Lee’s point is the essay is weakened by making claims about how everything was before 1920, when most people lived in places that were prohibition before the national amendment.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to PD Shaw says:

          That is one of my point. Teetotalism existed as social movement since before the Civil War. After the Civil War it became a political movement to outlaw alcohol consumption. The Anti-Saloon League got large swathes of the country dry before Prohibition was formally instituted into the Constitution. The Federal government wasn’t that enthusiastic about the Dry movement because it got a large chunk of its revenue from an excise tax on alcohol sales before the Income Tax came into existence.

          Most Americans weren’t living in wet paradises before Prohibition. Even in the wettest places in the country, bars and saloons were closed on Sunday at least officially and cocktails were a preserve of the affluent few. Most ordinary wets stuck to beer and straight spirits.Report

          • PD Shaw in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Lot of the pre-1920 laws were also directed specifically against saloons, not alcohol altogether, so people could buy alcohol, just not at a place that was serving it to be consumed on premises. I have to read the article as mainly glamorizing the scene in NYC and SF and a few other spots.

            This is the sentence that stood out:

            “Overnight, Washington went from guaranteeing alcohol to outlawing it.”

            He’s describing a retreat maneuver from alcohol manufacturers in the face of increasingly hostile environment as if alcohol was legal everywhere.Report

            • PD Shaw in reply to PD Shaw says:

              I want to add also that antii-saloon legislation also took the form on prohibitions of new saloons and high taxation. I wonder the extent to which the pre-1920 golden age of the cocktail is a result of these restrictions encouraging higher end stuff (and presumably pushing the lower class out of the bars)?

              Illinois passed local control legislation in 1907 which gave city wards the power to go dry. So 2/3rds of Chicago became dry, leaving the salons to the slums and in the downtown area where the hotels were located.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to PD Shaw says:

                The cocktails were mainly drunken in upper class establishments in some of the wettest places in the United States where the ASL were the weakest. I doubt that their war against the saloon had any effect on cocktails.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Most people follow rules, especially upper middle class ‘respectable’ people. That’s their entire thing.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Yeah, that’s not the relationship I’m suggesting. Goods and services are often marketed at different price points: budget, value and luxury. I’m suggesting the effect of very high taxes on saloon licenses and restrictions on opening new saloons (monopoly creation) would tend to eliminate the middle tier because drinking will be expensive. The piece brags about the premium ingredients and high attention to craftsmanship prior to 1920, but the market has been disrupted in a way that probably artificially expanded the luxury price point. Just a theory, but it works well with the increasing separation between where alcohol can be found and where the middle/upper class sleep.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to PD Shaw says:

              There were also local options rules that would allow individual counties to go dry. During the run-up to Prohibition, it wasn’t unusual for states to have dry rural areas and wet urban areas. Like with voters for women, many states decided to go dry by themselves before anything was done at the Federal level.Report

          • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

            The Federal government also wasn’t enthusiatic because the Wet/Dry split was the second biggest faultline in the national poltical coalitions in years between the Civil War and Prohibition. So like most issues with such a split, real action is deferred while lip service is paid.Report

  9. Brandon Berg says:

    No pun intended, but Fo5 sounds like a bit of a nothingburger. They’re talking about single-digit percentage declines in controlled experiments with projected future carbon levels, not even current levels. There are a number of ways you could compensate for this, like better fertilization, dietary supplements, fortification, or not eating large quantities of food from which most/all of the micronutrients have been deliberately stripped, like sugar, white flour, and vegetable oil.

    On the other hand, I’m seeing a business opportunity here for a new premium food trend: Foods raised in hypocarbonic greenhouses to concentrate the nutrients.Report

  10. dragonfrog says:

    [Do1] While it’s probably a good thing that therapeutic use of psychedelics is finally getting some attention.

    One thing I find a bit troubling is that, in order to appear “reputable”, some of the current proponents are trying to distance themselves as much as possible from anything that could look like “mumbo jumbo” – such as the thousands of years of shamanic knowledge of how to successfully use psychedelics for therapeutic benefit. So they put on a white coat and talk, not sit down and listening with humility to those in the know.

    In the article, the word “shaman” appears exactly once – preceded by the word “unsavory”.

    This for example made me shake my head, from TFA – “The use of psychedelics in psychotherapy has a surprisingly long history. In fact, as early as the 1950s and 1960s (…)” Heh. In the 16th Century, the Spaniards observed therapeutic use of ayahuasca, and condemned it as satanic.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to dragonfrog says:

      The article’s section headed “Religion and Spirituality”, starts with this paragraph:

      Many religions use psychedelics for ceremonial reasons. These include the ancient Greeks at least 3,000 years ago as part of the Eleusinian mysteries, as well as by traditional animistic religions, but also in branches of Christianity. Examples of the animistic religions include the use of ayahuasca, a brew designed to make the oral ingestion of DMT possible and long lasting, in the Amazonia basin (see image); peyote, a cactus-based product containing mescaline, in the U.S.; Ibogaine, derived from a shrub, in Central Africa; psilocybin, derived from mushrooms all over the world.

      Which. Holy carp. Where to even start?

      The list goes:
      – First (of course) the ancient Greeks – whose use of psychedelics is totally speculative, but they’re the “reputable” sort of pagans.
      – The “other” sort of pagans.
      – The quite recent incorporation of Ayahuasca into a Christian context.

      The “examples of the animistic religions”
      – Don’t actually name a single religion or culture – it just names the plants.
      – The link at “(see image)” to a blog post “My Ayahuasca Journey” – written of course by a white dude who’s taken part as a sitter in a whole three Ayahuasca ceremonies, not by an actual shaman or curandero who’s led hundreds or thousands)

      And then it just goes on, speculating about how “the most interesting potential for psychedelics is in mainline religions, especially Christianity” – and “It is possible that with legalization some people could use psychedelics to widen and deepen religious experience after a sustained consistent practice, but we just don’t know if they will have a lasting effect without ongoing practice.”

      We just don’t know y’all. Every culture around the world that has a tradition of psychedelic use, it’s always in the context of religion. But really, there’s no way of knowing whether maybe psychedelics can be relevant to religion.Report

  11. Pinky says:

    Fo3: Trix is going artificial again. Twix is made from sugar, glucose syrup, flour, milk solids, vegetable fat, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, emulsifier (soy lecithin), cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract.Report

  12. Saul Degraw says:

    I never quite got the Mormon thing against coffee but as I understand it, Mormons have high rates of diabetes because they just eat lots of sugar and sweets instead of alcohol or caffeinated products.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      @saul-degraw It’s a religious prohibition laid down by their central prophet. Examples of this in other religions are, as you are no doubt aware, abundant. What’s to get?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Maribou says:

        Tying the Mormon thing and Reason’s Prohibition article together, one reason why the Drys started to loose credibility in the late Prohibition era was that they started going after soft drinks in addition to alcohol. Previously, Drys were big into promoting tea, coffee, and soda, and juice as alternatives to alcohol because they were smart enough to recognize Americans wouldn’t embrace an all water drinking diet.Report

        • Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:

          one reason why the Drys started to loose credibility in the late Prohibition era was that they started going after soft drinks in addition to alcohol.

          I hadn’t known that, although I suspect it was more “some dry’s” and not all or most. But then again, I really don’t know.

          Interestingly (for me at least), I grew up kind of believing that caffeine was somehow immoral. Nobody ever told me it was, caffeinated beverages were never forbidden me, and nobody I knew abstained unless it was for health reasons (and I’m not even sure I knew people who abstained anyway). But somehow I came to believe it was bad.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

            I hadn’t known that, although I suspect it was more “some dry’s” and not all or most. But then again, I really don’t know.

            They rather had a point back then going after soft drinks. A lot of what we think of as ‘soft drinks’ were originally full of drugs of all sorts. People think that’s just Coke, but nope.

            I am not sure of the content of ‘soft drinks’ by the time prohibitionists went after them, whether or not any of them still had any significant drugs in them (Beside caffeine, obviously.), but they had been rather druggy in very recent memory.Report

    • El Muneco in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      It’s not the caffeine, it’s the heat. Specifically, Uncle Joe forbade “hot drinks”. Full stop. Later, it was clarified that this only meant coffee and tea and not e.g. bovril or ovaltine.

      The thing about caffeine was a folk interpretation of why coffee and tea were uniquely bad, but it was never the official LDS position.

      As to why in the first place? You’re questioning a guy named “Moroni”?Report

      • DavidTC in reply to El Muneco says:

        Yeah, people, including members of the LDS church, had a very weird chain of logic to get to soft drinks being banned.

        The actual LDS position was always anti-coffee and anti-tea, and it was clearly anti-coffee because coffee was a ‘hot drink’. Okay, so that’s a bit weird, but the actual weirdness comes when somehow the membership of the church then decide those are banned because of caffeine, instead of the explicitly stated reason that it is ‘hot’…and thus soft drinks must also be banned.

        Kinda dumb that people trying to figure out why those things are banned when the church is standing there telling them a different reason, but there you go.

        Under the apparent stated rules of the church, not only would soft drinks be okay, but chilled coffee-based products would seem to be. As would tea how most Americans drink it. (Unless the idea that heating a drink up and then cooling it down makes it still be a hot drink, but if so, logically so would pasteurized milk and a bunch of other things…in fact, I suspect almost all water in everything we drink is heated up for safety reasons, including actual bottled water, and only non-concentrated actually-squeezed fruit juice would never be heated up. I could be wrong there, though.)Report

        • gabriel conroy in reply to DavidTC says:

          I wouldn’t be so quick to call it “weird.” My working hypothesis is that belief systems, including approaches to proper food consumption, develop in tandem with the culture of the believers. There often is an official or quasi-official authority that lays out reasons, and the believers assign their own reasons. Sometimes there’s an underlying sense that’s not always available or understandable to non-believers.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to DavidTC says:


          I guess I shouldn’t comment because even though I was not raised kosher, the Jewish dietary laws are filled with all sorts of things that are not technically banned but Jews don’t eat anyway because it was seen as a logical extrapoliation of a ban. Really religious Jews will have separate plates for meat and diary dishes.

          Then again, plenty of Jews practice the fine logic of why something is technically kosher (even if it isn’t). There is an old Yiddish novel called the Brothers Ashkennazi, it is by Issac Beshavis Singer’s older brother* and there is a line about how the poor rabbis were always very strict in their interpretation of what is and is not kosher while the more successful rabbis were not. This is when rabbis depended on donations of their congregants to live. I guess it is an odd feature in Judaism that we are not centralized and the rabbis need to go through a hiring process for their posts. The Congregation chooses the rabbi, the rabbi does not choose the congregation.

          What happens in Christianity it seems to me is that the ministers or priests are appointed by central command or they grow their own congregations.

          *Apparently among people who knew Singer the elder brother was considered the better Yiddish writer but Issac won the Nobel Prize.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            What happens in Christianity it seems to me is that the ministers or priests are appointed by central command or they grow their own congregations.

            Usually, yes. Baptist churches hire their own, though.Report