Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues to collapse

Central Lutheran, Mpls MN,  8/2009
The Evangelical Lutheran (in name only) Church in America continues its record-breaking collapse.  Perhaps, it should evaluate its message, its values, its processes, and its reason for failure...

The Supply and Demand for Clergy in the ELCA:

These figures represent statistics from the years 2005-2014.
  • Between 2005 and 2014, the number of congregations in the ELCA decreased 11 percent, from 10,549 to 9,392 (‐1,157).
  • Not only did the number of congregations decline, but in the churches that remain, the number of baptized members declined by 22 percent, and the number of worship attendees declined by 29 percent.
  • About half of ELCA congregations are in rural areas or in small towns with a population of fewer than 10,000. Nearly 75% of ELCA congregations are in locations with 250,000 people or fewer.
  • Between 2005 and 2014, the income of a typical congregation in the ELCA declined by 23 percent.
  • In 2014, 6,192 single‐point congregations could afford to call a first-call pastor [the lowest level of remuneration], and 1,941 single‐point congregations could not. The median level of defined compensation those congregations were paying pastors was $26,000.
  • In 2005, there were 9,105 clergy serving congregations. In 2014, there were 6,868.
  • Seventy‐seven percent of the pastors serving under a congregational call in the ELCA are solo pastors serving a single congregation. Nine percent serve a single congregation as part of a team.
  • Enrollments in ELCA M.Div. programs have decreased from 1,252 in the 2004‐2005 academic year to 735 in the 2015‐ 2016 academic year. This represents a 41 percent decline.
  • In 1988, the average age on the active clergy roster was just above 46 years old. At that time, just over 9 percent of active clergy were above 60 years old. By 2013, the average age of clergy had increased to 54 years old, with 32 percent of active clergy above 60.

Under New Management – Intellectual Froglegs Holiday Edition

Well, as we cruise into 2017— we live in a new reality— a reality where liberals are no longer in charge. What? Hang on a sec—- gonna smell me some roses real quick. How utterly glorious is this? Somebody pinch me.  The only problem is that the liberals don’t know it yet.   But there’s a lot of stuff liberals don’t know. - Joe Dan

Putin Outmaneuvers Obama (again and hopefully for the last time)

After eight years, it is still armature hour in the executive branch...

Putin rules out expelling diplomats, wishes Obama a Happy New Year and invites children of US diplomats to Kremlin party
Russia will not 'stoop to irresponsible diplomacy'

Vladimir Putin has ruled out expelling US diplomats in the wake of fresh US sanctions and the ordered expulsion of 35 Russians in retaliation for alleged cyber-meddling in the US election.

The Russian president also said that his country will not target US diplomats and their families days before New Year’s celebrations.

"Russian diplomats will spend the New Year holidays in the circle of relatives and friends - at home. We will not create problems for American diplomats. We will not expel anyone.

"We will not prohibit their families and children to use their usual vacation spots in the New Year's holidays. Moreover, all children of American diplomats accredited in Russia, I invite you to New Year's celebrations in the Kremlin."

Calling the US moves a "provocation", Putin said he would not "stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy".

Putin said he regretted that Obama is ending his term “in such a way,” and wished him, Donald Trump and the American people a happy New Year.

He said: "It is a pity that the Obama administration ends his term in such a way, but, nevertheless, I wish him and his family a Happy New Year.

"I congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and the entire American people! I wish all health and prosperity!"

New Year's Eve Party Etiquette

New Year's Eve party etiquette advice from

1.) Write down your goals. Create a vision, make it measurable and celebrate your success along the way. A famous Harvard MBA program study was conducted where only 3% of the class wrote down their goals. After several years, the 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!

2.) If attending a party on New Year’s Eve, have an accountability partner. The last thing you want to do is overindulge. Plan a safe ride home and please don’t drink and drive.

3.) If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party, make sure to include your neighbors on the list. This will help diffuse any frustration at midnight as you are counting down the New Year.

4.) If you are the guest at a New Year’s Eve party, help make the party memorable. Bring a host gift along with a special food or drink item for others to enjoy. Take part in the games or activities planned and have fun.

5.) Mingle with others. Much like a networking event, you will probably see people you’ve never met before at a party. Strike up a conversation with them to help all guests feel welcome and comfortable.

6.) Picture Etiquette. Have discretion for friends who may not want their pictures on Facebook or Instagram. When in doubt, get approval before posting.

7.) Follow-up and write a note to your host. Check in with everyone the next day to share a fun story and make sure everyone arrived home safely. A thank you card is always appreciated by hosts and organizers.

8.) Give thanks. Etiquette is all about being kind, considerate and respectful to everyone in our lives. Simple acts of kindness make a big impact on others so don’t be shy about expressing gratitude.

New Year's Eve Toast Tips

Some hints for a proper New Year's Eve toast from Diane Gottsman at

  • Chinese: Chu Shen Tan (pronunciation)
  • Czech: Stastny Novy Rok
  • Danish: Godt Nytar
  • French: Bonne annee
  • Gaelic (Scotland): Bliadhna mhath ur
  • German: Frohes Neues Jahr / Gutes Neues Jahr
  • Greek: kali chronya
  • Hawaiian: Hauoli Makahiki hou
  • Hebrew: Shana Tova (pronunciation)
  • Hungarian: Boldog Uj Evet
  • Irish: Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit /Bhliain nua sasta
  • Italian: Felice Anno Nuovo/Buon anno
  • Japanese: akemashite omedetou gozaimasu (pronunciation)
  • Latin: Felix sit annus novus
  • Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo
  • Russian: s novim godom (pronunciation)
  • Spanish: Feliz Ano Nuevo
  • Swedish: Gott Nyttar
  • Thai: saa-wat-dii pi-mai (pronunciation)
  • Turkish: Yeliniz Kutlu Olsun/ Mutlu yillar
  • Welsh: Blwyddyn newydd dda

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Strawberry Letter 23 - Brothers Johnson

Burning Love - Elvis

Germany and the Onset of Shariah Law

This is the way the implementation of Shariah law begins.

Don’t expect a conquering Islamic army to sweep into town, stage mass executions in front of city hall, and then post a proclamation declaring that Islamic Law will henceforward be the law of the land. That’s not how it works.

Shariah is instituted as a gradual, piecemeal process. First there is a hijra — a migration of Muslims into non-Muslim lands. Then, when Muslims are present in large enough numbers, they begin assaulting, raping, terrorizing, and killing anyone in their environs who does not follow the tenets of Shariah law — that is, all the kuffar. By these means the infidels are terrorized and “feel themselves subdued”. In order to be safe, they give up their blasphemous kafir celebrations of their own initiative, thereby bringing their behavior into line with Islamic Law. Eventually they conclude a dhimma or “pact” with Islam, and pay the jizya poll tax in order to be allowed to continue living. This makes them dhimmi, people who are inferior and subordinate to Muslims. If they want to live normally, they may decide to say the shahada (La illaha ila Allah, wa Muhammadun rasul Allah) and become Muslims themselves.

On New Year’s Eve last year in Cologne and other German cities, gangs of feral young immigrant men — mostly Muslims — went wild on the streets, groping, molesting, and raping native German women. In recent weeks authorities have been watching with apprehension the approach of December 31, especially since the truck jihad in Berlin on December 19.

And now some of the New Year’s Eve events are being cancelled.

NDSU Alumnus, Eagles QB, Carson Wents buys Linemen Shotguns

Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz bought each of his offensive linemen a personalized Beretta shotgun for Christmas, a twist on the time-honored tradition of a quarterback rewarding the men who keep him upright each week, ESPN reported.

“This is an awesome gun. I’m excited about it,” said Allen Barbre, who, like Wentz, is an avid Hunter. “I don’t know if I’ll shoot it, though. It’s pretty nice.”

The shotguns are being engraved with each player’s number on the butt of the weapon, which is believed to be a Beretta Silver Pigeon – a $2,000 model.

Global Warming and Bad Data

What is the #1 cause of global warming?

1. Insufficient regulation.
2. Insufficient taxation.
3. Income inequality.
4. Natural climate fluctuation.
5. The sun.
6. Phony government data.

If you guessed #6, congratulations, you are correct — as The Deplorable Climate Science Blog confirms.

Christian Muslim Disparity

Crusades began in 1095

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Israel's Concessions for Peace

Netanyahu Claims Kerry is Biased Against Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's Middle East speech on Wednesday was biased against Israel.

In a statement in English issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Netanyahu said: "Like the Security Council resolution that Secretary Kerry advanced in the U.N., his speech tonight was skewed against Israel."

The Israeli leader said Kerry "obsessively dealt with settlements", which the United States strongly opposes, in the speech. Netanyahu accused Kerry of barely touching upon "the root of the conflict - Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries".

Friday, December 23, 2016

US Navy Restores Traditional Ratings

After months of withering criticism from rank and file, officials on Wednesday announced a course reversal from an earlier decision to scrap the storied tradition of calling enlisted sailors by their naval occupations.

The contentious move in September was supposed to unite sailors under a simple ranking structure to remove the baffling array of titles — known as ratings — and make various job names sound less gendered.

Whereas other troops in the military have relatively easy-to-recognize ranks, such as private, corporal or sergeant, the Navy had stuck to its own system dating back centuriesIt currently has 89 different ratings, many going back to America’s youngest days.

For instance, boatswain’s mate and gunner’s mate formally started in 1794, though the titles are borrowed from Britain’s far older Royal Navy.  A boatswain (pronounced bosun) is responsible for the handling of equipment and cargo on a ship’s deck.

More modern titles include cryptologic technician and aircrew survival equipmentman.  When Navy Secretary Ray Mabus first announced the changes, he said it was to help expand sailors’ opportunities so they weren’t pigeon-holed by rating titles.  He also argued sailors leaving the Navy would find it easier to explain to land-lubber civilian bosses what their rank and responsibilities were.

Reaction could hardly have been more negative.

Trends in US Public Schools since 1970

Five Facts about Guns


Metallica's James Hetfield leaves elitist San Francisco

Metallica’s James Hetfield is fed up with the “elitist” San Francisco Bay area attitudes. In a podcast with radio host Joe Rogan he explains his reason for moving to Vail, Colorado.

"I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there, a little bit," he said. "They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it's fine if you're diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn't fly in Marin County. My form of eating organic doesn't vibe with theirs."

The 53-year-old singer said in the Bay Area he felt looked down upon because "there was an elitist attitude there — that if you weren't their way politically, their way environmentally, all of that, that you were looked down upon."

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Maria Bartiromo Criticizes Establishment

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo slammed the establishment and members of the media Sunday, saying they failed to see the economic issues that mattered to Americans during the presidential campaign.

“Obviously the elites, the establishment, the media, they had no idea what the people wanted and had no idea where the people were in terms of economic issues, in particular jobs,” Bartiromo said on the "Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM in New York.

The "Mornings with Maria" host emphasized that the 2016 election was about "the working man and woman."

“I think it was very much about the working man and woman. And I think there’s a big portion of the population out there who was saying, 'You know that, I’m the forgotten man and woman. I’m the one who has not seen their wages move in 20 years,’” she told host John Catsimatidis.

The Fox Business host noted that investors are seeing that “the Trump plan is a growth plan,” and the incoming administration’s changes will pass through because of the “Republican sweep.”

“Businesses are sitting on cash because, before the election, they didn’t know what was around the corner. They were getting just strangled by regulations,” she said.

Catholic Priests Told to Push Global Warming Propaganda

You can’t destroy Christianity by force; it has been tried. However, you might be able to destroy it through subversion, leaving the churches in place but hollowing out the content and replacing it with nonsense or trendy idiocy until there isn’t any point anymore and the congregation wanders off. For example:
The Catholic Church is intimately concerned about climate change. The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences is the world’s oldest, longest running scientific mission. That body, which advises the pope on matters of science, has concluded that global climate change is real and is caused, at least in significant part, by human activity.
This is important to the Church because creation care is part of our mission. We are called to be stewards of creation. It’s also important because climate change can exacerbate the ills of poverty. Poor people in much of the world are the most vulnerable to changes.
Leftist politics is always justified with reference to the sanctity of the poor.

Five Lessons from Trumps Win by Daniel Greenfield

What can Republicans learn from Trump’s victory? The biggest lesson is that the old way of politics is dead. McCain and Romney showed that twice. Now Trump has shown how Republicans can actually win.

1. Find Your Natural Base
2. Media and Celebrities Don’t Matter
3. Go Right Young Man
4. Money Doesn’t Matter
5. Controversy Works