Tuesday, April 30, 2024


Mates, yer Captain still finds it difficult to believe that the former President of the United States (who will remain unnamed in this blog) still has a shot at being returned to the White House in 2024.

Of course, we all remember how the 2016 candidate said he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose a single vote.

Back then we all laughed and shook our heads at the foolishness of that statement.

Even Republicans at the time wished he had said it differently, but… "He's still our man!"

But now it’s getting scary.

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering the question posed by the former President, who is currently facing multiple indictments, as to whether a President has “absolute immunity” while conducting official business.

That should be a no-brainer. 

Even for the current embarrassment of Justices.

The Constitution in no way gives the President immunity.

That's one reason we declared independence from England!  

CAPTAIN'S NOTE: Both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence can be found in that Bible the former President is hawking. Y'know, if you want to read it.

Nonetheless, the Justices are taking their job as GOP patsies serious. They posed to the former President's attorney a series of possible scenarios: 

  • Can the President have a political rival assassinated? 
  • Can the President share nuclear secrets with other nations? 
  • Can the President shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue?

And the attorney's response to each was, “Yes. Those actions could possibly fall under presidential immunity."

So now the Justices are deliberating…

Seriously. They are deliberating.

Pondering the possibilities.

Pondering the legal issues.

Pondering the ramifications.

Pondering how they can interpret the Constitution in a manner that will benefit the former President.

These bought-and-paid-for Justices are dragging their feet because they know that the whole question will go away if the former President is elected again.

Because the relevant indictments will go away.

It is the policy of the Department of Justice to not indict a sitting president, so the former President would earn a 4-year "Get Out of Jail Free" card, after which most of his legal problems would be irrelevant.

And he has explored the possibility of pardoning himself.

But the SCOTUS also knows that if they grant such immunity while President Biden is still in office, the former President will not be able to exact his revenge on President Biden with an endless series of frivolous lawsuits.

...even though President Biden (or anyone in his Cabinet) has yet to be indicted for anything and a prolonged impeachment inquiry by the Republican-controlled House failed to produce anything either.

But wait! Just like the former guy promised us his tax returns and his plan to replace Obamacare, Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R-KY) recently promised the goods on Biden: "You're about to see the proof!"

CAPTAIN'S NOTE: Still no proof.  

A quick SCOTUS ruling would also open the possibility that President Biden could use that power to… well… remove his political opponent before the election!

CAPTAIN’S NOTE: That won’t happen, but I seriously hope the thought keeps the former guy awake at night!

Seriously, mates. I don’t know how the former President does it.

He has conned half the nation into believing that he, and he alone, is the answer to all our nation’s problems.

Despite evidence to the contrary from his first term in office.

Despite his attempted insurrection and voter fraud indictments.

Despite his bizarre and mostly incoherent pronouncements on the campaign trail since the 2020 loss.

He has convinced his followers that the Democrats are the bad guys wanting to create a dictatorship, all the while lavishing praise and adoration on dictators around the world.

 And he has convinced his followers that the pile of indictments against him are simply a Democrat ploy to keep him from getting re-elected, although most of them point to real crimes he has [allegedly] committed.

Some claim his MAGA followers are just ignorant. Illiterate. The Deplorables. But that’s not completely true.

Bill Barr, the attorney general for the former President, is a reasonably intelligent man. He knows the former President’s methods and motives about as well as anyone. He did not reserve criticism for his former boss after the 2020 election loss, and the former President rained down insults upon Barr, as he does with anyone who speaks an unkind word against him.

During a recent interview Barr noted that the former President frequently talked about executing his rivals.

CAPTAIN’S NOTE: Refer back to the quest of absolute immunity for Presidents.

This allegation was backed up by Alyssa Farrah Griffin, who was the White House Communications Director. She claims the former President spoke openly about wanting to execute an unknown White House staffer who leaked some embarrassing information about the former President.

And yet, in that same interview, Barr admitted he will still vote for him.

The same for Senator Mitch McConnell, who, following the failed impeachment of the former President, took to the floor of the Senate and declared that “We all know he is guilty…”

But if we know anything about McConnell it is that he will always choose party over country and even now promises to vote for whoever the GOP nominee happens to be.

The same for Senator Lindsey Graham, who has long been a sycophant of the former President…

“Even if he is a convicted felon.”

Then there’s Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, who threw his hat into the ring to be the next President and tried to actually be worse than the former President. In the desperate day of his campaign he resorted to mildly criticizing the former President, which brought on a tweet-storm of rage. DeSantis was frequently called “Meatball Ron” and “Ron DeSanctimonious”.

After dropping out of the race, DeSantis complained in an interview:

“With […], if you don’t kiss the ring, you can be the best governor ever, and he’ll trash you. You can be a terrible, corrupt politician, but if you kiss his ring, then all of a sudden he’ll praise you.”

This past weekend DeSantis went to Mar-a-lago to kiss the former President’s ass and pledge his loyalty. 

And he received the resulting praise.

"I am very happy to have the full and enthusiastic support of Governor Ron DeSantis..."

Yer Captain just does not understand how this could be happening in the United States of America!

And maybe you're a "party-before-country" person yourself. Let me ask you this: what exactly is the point of electing a Republican President if you don't know what he stands for?

Since before the 2016 election the Republican Party has not put forth a “platform” detailing the party’s goals should they come into power. 

In fact, in 2020 their ONLY goal was to get their candidate re-elected – whatever it takes.

Now the RNC and all its resources have been given over to the former President – much of which will be diverted toward his legal expenses – leaving down-ballot candidates blowing in the wind.

So it's not even "party-before-country" anymore. 

It's all about stroking the ego of the former guy!

If you want to know what a second term under the former guy might look like, Eric Cortellessa of Time magazine gives us some insight:

“What emerged in two interviews with Trump, and conversations with more than a dozen of his closest advisers and confidants, were the outlines of an imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world. To carry out a deportation operation designed to remove more than 11 million people from the country, Trump would be willing to build migrant detention camps and deploy the U.S. military, both at the border and inland. He would let red states monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans. He would, at his personal discretion, withhold funds appropriated by Congress, according to top advisers. He would be willing to fire a U.S. Attorney who doesn’t carry out his order to prosecute someone, breaking with a tradition of independent law enforcement that dates from America’s founding. He is weighing pardons for every one of his supporters accused of attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury. He might not come to the aid of an attacked ally in Europe or Asia if he felt that country wasn’t paying enough for its own defense. He would gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.”

Sadly, there are enough people who agree with his agenda that many polls are showing the race for the White House is still close.

Mates, I’ve been a registered voter in this country for 43+ years and I have never seen anything like this.

Lord help us!


Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Happy Easter!

No, Jesus is not doing jumping jacks! 

Mates, as you have probably discovered by now, your Captain takes his faith very seriously.

Not in the conventional “Evangelical Christian Ya-Ya” way.

And I’m not a deep theological thinker either. 

But I’ve been at this a long, long time and some things just chap my butt!

Read on, if you dare.

We are just past Easter Sunday – it fell early this year – but the liturgical calendar says we are still in “the season of Easter”, so the greeting is appropriate.

Now, since many of my friends are clergy colleagues, for the last couple weeks my Facebook feed has been filled with invitations to Holy Week and Easter services and activities.

We all do it.

Such ads are cheap and easy and (hopefully) reach a lot of people.

“For only $42 you can 'boost' your post and reach another randomly-selected 1,065 people!”


One ad in particular caught my good eye:

CAPTAIN'S NOTE: I do not know this church or its pastor.

Where to begin…

Okay, first off, Good Friday is the day on which Jesus was crucified. The Last Supper, which they call "Communion", is observed on Maundy Thursday.

Maybe the Captain is straining out a gnat, but there is a difference.

Typical Good Friday services are somber affairs. Your Captain tends to lean on the Tenebrae service, “a service of growing darkness”, in which candles are extinguished one by one as scripture accounts of Jesus’ last hours are read. As Jesus breathes his last, the final candle is extinguished, leaving the congregation in total darkness. That final candle is then re-lit as a sign of promise and the hope of resurrection to come, but Jesus is left in the grave until Sunday morning.

Apparently the above-mentioned congregation celebrates the Last Supper on Good Friday - the meal at which Jesus told his disciples he was going to be betrayed by one of them, be arrested, be crucified - which seems to me would be a real downer as well. 

But then the ad promises an “After Party”! 

Complete with "pulled pork and all the fixings!"

Because... just... well...


Of course, every preacher wants his church to be full on Easter morning, and this church is no exception.

“Children’s choirs will be performing at both services!”

“Easter Egg Hunt at both services!”

“Cookies for the kids!”

“Bounce Houses!”

“A Photo-Booth!”


“The Easter Bunny will make an appearance!”

“Plus, sign the attendance pad and you will be entered into a drawing to win a lifetime supply of Chick-fil-a!”


At Christmas we call it "crass commercialization". 

Easter is quickly catching up!

Perhaps the Captain just doesn’t have the vision needed to lead my small congregation on these special days.

I mean, we did an Easter Egg Hunt… the week before.

But I told the 50-or-so children the Easter story before turning them loose on a thousand candy-filled eggs!

On Easter morning I did give away the Easter Lilies I purchased for decorations.

But only because I am allergic to them and I didn’t want them to sit on the altar and die.

But… the Easter Bunny? Really?

To be honest, we don’t have much of a budget for stuff like this.

And most important of all, the Captain believes you shouldn’t have to bribe people to come to church!

When I was a kid, there were rumors circulating around town about one particular church’s Bus Ministry, that they would tape money under the seats of the bus and if you rode the bus to church and sat in that seat, you got to keep the money!

This was never confirmed, but totally plausible.

Mates, the Captain doesn’t recall anywhere in the Bible where anyone tried to bribe people to worship God or to be followers of Jesus.

Jesus did feed the hungry on occasion, but not as an enticement. In fact, in John’s gospel Jesus turned on the crowd of followers one afternoon and declared, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

Well… yeah.

And we’re hungry again…

Jesus reportedly turned water into wine at a wedding feast, but not to make disciples.

CAPTAIN’S NOTE: He did that because his mother told him too!

Your Captain can’t even begin to imagine Jesus offering Bounce Houses and Chick-fil-a to entice people to follow him.

And the Easter Bunny?

Holy shit!!! Run, children, run!

Instead, Jesus told his disciples to take up their cross and follow him.

Literally, 'Do what I have done.'

In the Sermon on the Mount (as reported in Matthew’s gospel), Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted prophets who were before you.”

Now there’s a recruiting poster for ya!

Your Captain is serious here: How do they make the switch?

When the preacher finally gets around to talking about discipleship (if he [sic] ever does), how many are going to respond, “Oh, no. I just came for the pulled pork!”

The following anecdote came from a book written by John Maxwell, (so it may or may not be true):

President Abraham Lincoln, an incredible communicator, was known during the Civil War to attend a church not far from the White House on Wednesday nights. The preacher, Dr. Gurley, allowed the president to sit in the pastor’s study with the door open to the chancel so he could listen to the sermon without having to interact with the crowd.

One Wednesday evening as Lincoln and his companion walked back to the White House after the sermon, the president’s companion asked, “What did you think of tonight’s sermon?”

“Well,” Lincoln responded, “it was brilliantly conceived, biblical, relevant, and well presented.”

“So, it was a great sermon?”

“No,” Lincoln replied. “It failed. It failed because Dr. Gurley did not ask us to do something great.”

But Jesus did.

The purpose of the Church is not to entertain people or offer free prizes from the Easter Bunny.

The purpose of the Church is to continue the work of Christ by sharing with others the Good News that God loves them and that their sins are forgiven, no matter what. 

The purpose of the Church is to set people free from the bondage that prevents them from living their best life, an abundant life. 

In this world.

The purpose of the Church is to reach out with loving hands to feed the hungry and heal the sick, to provide shelter to the un-homed, to be a friend to the friendless.

And the purpose of the Church is to make more disciples who are willing to go and do the same.

Well, now look here…

The Captain has gone to preaching!

With apologies to my crew, I just had to get that off my chest.

Carry on, mates.

But think about what I’ve said.