A year or so before I signed on in Fort Wayne, the News-Sentinel ran a long investigation of a religious group called the Faith Assembly. They were a cult, I guess, with one charismatic leader, Hobart Freeman. They were at their peak in the early/mid-’80s.

Their weird kink was, they rejected medicine. All of it, from an aspirin to insulin, and even eyeglasses. It was all evil. Just pray harder! they believed, and if someone died, it was God’s will.

And they did die, a lot of them, something like 52 preventable deaths among the congregation. The diabetics went first, of course, followed by the heart patients. Indiana authorities decided hey, you can believe whatever you want, folks, enjoy the other side. Unfortunately, adherents applied these beliefs to young children, and they died, too, often of very painful illnesses like meningitis or pneumonia. That’s when the prosecutors said Enough, and began taking parents to court and charging them with negligent homicide. The trials had started by the time I joined the paper, and it seemed a week didn’t go by without a photo on Page One of crying white parents hugging one another in court one last time before being taken away to separate prisons.

After a while, Freeman died, of a preventable illness if I recall correctly. Ah, yes, here it is, and thanks Wikipedia: “Freeman died at his Shoe Lake home of bronchial pneumonia and congestive heart failure complicated by an ulcerated gangrenous leg, which in the weeks preceding had forced him to preach sitting down. He had refused all medical help, even to the removal of the bandages so his leg could be cleaned.” He was 64.

Gross. Imagine what that guy smelled like at the end.

I’d read that story before I joined the paper, months before. In a weird twist, I was working night cops on a Friday and making the rounds of the police station, which was still wide open for the most part. I walked into the juvenile division to check the reports and overheard a detective talking to a judge on the phone. They’d received a call from a woman who had just given birth at home to twins, prematurely. One was dead and the other struggling, and she wanted to know if it was legal to bury the dead one in a shoebox in the back yard. The police wanted an emergency order to take the other one to a hospital. The couple was in an Ohio offshoot of the Faith Assembly, with a different leader, but the same beliefs.

Anyway, I was reading the New York Times magazine story about the anti-vaccination movement, which has snowballed since Covid. It did not make me feel better:

Although it is convenient to refer to anti-vaccine efforts as a “movement,” there really is no single movement. Rather, disparate interests are converging on a single issue. Many reject the “anti-vaccine” label altogether, claiming instead to be “pro-vaccine choice,” “pro-safe vaccine” or “vaccine skeptical.” For some, there may be a way to make money by pushing the notion that vaccines are dangerous. For politicians and commentators, the “tyranny” of vaccine mandates can offer a political rallying cry. For states like Russia, which has disseminated both pro- and anti-vaccine messages on social media in other countries, vaccines are another target for informational warfare. For conspiracy-minded private citizens, vaccine misinformation can be a way to make sense of the world, even if the explanations they arrive at are often nightmarish and bizarre.

There was a long section on Robert F. Kennedy Jr., of course:

Kennedy’s current position has moved away from scientific claims toward an even more unsettling assertion. Vaccine mandates and government efforts to manage the pandemic, he argues, are a form of totalitarian oppression. “We have witnessed over the past 20 months,” he said in a recent speech, “a coup d’état against democracy and the demolition, the controlled demolition, of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

…“What we’re seeing today is what I call turnkey totalitarianism,” he told his audience. “They are putting into place all these technological mechanisms for control that we’ve never seen before.” He continued: “Even in Hitler’s Germany you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.” But no longer, he suggested: “The mechanisms are being put in place that will make it so that none of us can run and none of us can hide.”

And the movement’s skill with manipulating social-media platforms:

California-based anti-vaccine groups had long used the hashtag #cdcwhistleblower on Twitter, a reference to the spurious claims of C.D.C. malfeasance that would be central to Wakefield’s conspiratorial documentary “Vaxxed.” But the hashtag only occasionally traveled beyond the confines of the anti-vaccine crowd. So different hashtags with broader appeal — #TCOT (top conservatives on Twitter), #2A (Second Amendment) and even #blm (Black Lives Matter) — were included in tweets. The tactic paid off. According to an analysis by DiResta and Gilad Lotan, a data scientist, there had not been much overlap between what they call “Tea Party conservative” and “antivax” Twitter before 2015. But around this time, a new space emerged between the two realms, a domain they labeled “vaccine choice” Twitter. Its participants were obsessed with the ideas of freedom and government overreach.

These online groups, quite small in number, proved to be very adept at leveraging the viral potential of social media to make themselves seem large. Although surveys have repeatedly indicated that the great majority of parents support vaccination, these activists fostered, DiResta says, “a perception among the public that everyone was opposed to this policy.” To her dismay, some California Republican politicians adopted this new rhetoric of “parental choice,” despite the fact that SB277 had several Republican co-sponsors. They seemed to have sensed a wedge issue, she says, “an opportunity to differentiate themselves from Democrats,” who held a majority in the Legislature. “It was pure cynicism.” Many of their own children were vaccinated, she points out. But the rhetoric galvanized people in a way that previous anti-vaccine messaging hadn’t.

And I thought: We’re there, aren’t we? The Faith Assembly is no longer a lunatic church in Nowhere, Indiana. It’s everywhere. From Hobart Freeman’s gangrenous leg a thousand poison blossoms bloomed, and wave among us. I think of this bag of meat lying in intensive care for seven weeks before dying, and am awed by the patience of those who had to care for her. As I write this, four candidates for governor are on Mackinac Island, preparing for a “debate.” All oppose vaccine mandates of any kind (but all support making abortion illegal, in all cases).

It’s stuff like this that makes me want to just give up on this stupid fucking country. Instead, I intend to meet a couple of friends for dinner tonight, and de-stress a little. It’s almost Friday. And I don’t belong to the Faith Assembly.

Have a great weekend, all. Keep your sunny side up.

Posted at 4:10 pm in Current events |

48 responses to “Faithless.”

  1. alex said on June 2, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    The Faith Assembly… wasn’t their house of worship known as the Glory Barn? Or was that some other group of nutters who ran afoul of the law?

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    • nancy said on June 2, 2022 at 5:19 pm

      The Glory Barn, yes indeed.

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  2. Bitter Scribe said on June 2, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    “You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.”

    Um…IIRC, that didn’t end well.

    I really think there are people in Russia whose job it is to spread shit on the Internet to convince Americans not to get vaccinated, precisely because it will drive up our health care costs and sow chaos generally. And I think their American collaborators, paid or not, should be held accountable.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    FWIW, Wikipedia says it was over 91 who died. The N-S really deserved a Pulitzer for their coverage, even though what they did with the ’82 floods brought the prize.

    I was still a fairly new mother at the time, surprised by how giving birth had totally rearranged my priorities, worrying about every sniffle and trying not to be the mom who had their kid at the pediatrician every other week. The idea that you would watch a baby die went against every God-given hormone that had been activated, and I read those articles with anger.

    Praying instead of medicine? Medicine IS the answer to most health related prayers. The brilliant diagnosticians and developers of vaccines and medicines are in my thankful prayers every single day.

    Either myself or our son could have died due to Rh incompatibility, I was hospitalized with an infection so severe antibiotics barely pulled me through, Covid vaccines no doubt saved my mother, meds saved me when I hemorrhaged month after month. I’m sure I don’t even know how many times vaccines prevented illness or death.


    Edit: I also can’t see for shit, and without glasses I’d be homebound and struggling with daily life.

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  4. Little Bird said on June 2, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    I helped house sit/keep an eye on a teen when I was in my mid-twenties. He was some how related to my then boyfriend. He had gotten into some big trouble and had an ankle bracelet (think fireworks down sewage pipes along the street) a few months after his mom died from an absolutely treatable cancer. But alas, the grown ups did not believe in medicine. So this kid was super angry that a) his parents didn’t believe in medicine, and b) was super angry because people thought his mom’s relationship with God wasn’t good enough and therefore she deserved to die. Kid thought we were going to just let him do whatever he wanted. That didn’t happen. But we were told a bit later that the kid requested us to be his “minder” the next time his dad had to go out of town. The boyfriend and I broke up not too much after that.

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  5. Bitter Scribe said on June 2, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    Give those lunkheads credit: They were true to their beliefs, no matter how hideously they had to suffer. No eyeglasses even.

    It used to drive me mad with rage when I saw a Christian Science couple on trial for letting their child die of meningitis or some such easily treatable thing, and the woman was wearing glasses. I wanted to scream, Bitch, it’s OK to get your eyesight artificially corrected but your daughter has to die in agony?

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  6. Mark P said on June 2, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    Didn’t someone here say we’re fucked? Of course they did, and I wholeheartedly agree. I do not see this country pulling out of its nose dive, not in its present form. To switch metaphors, we’re in a very big ship that is in the process of smashing itself to pieces, but it’s so big the swimming pools are just beginning to shimmer. I might be dead before the water starts rushing into the steerage compartments, but I’ll bet some of us here will live to see it. It might be a good time for those who can swim to abandon ship.

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  7. Sherri said on June 2, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    -My daughter would not exist without modern medicine. She was conceived with the aid of assisted reproductive techniques, delivered via c-section after an external version failed to turn her from breech, and fed on formula after she didn’t take to breastfeeding.

    -My husband’s team just hired a new college grad, and yesterday was his first day in the office. It was also his last day in the office, as his badge was deactivated once it was discovered that he was unvaccinated. He’ll have to work from home.

    -Louie Gohmert complains that the Democrats are painting the Republicans as supporting school shooters, inferring they have no hearts. Well, Louie, we’re still searching for evidence of either a heart or a brain in your case.

    -Another Republican lawmaker claims that the AR15 is the weapon of choice for protecting chickens from squirrels. Perhaps he’s confusing moose and squirrel?

    -I really tried to ignore the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp situation, but I don’t understand how a jury could conclude that she defamed him. I didn’t think there was any question that he had, in fact, been violent with her, he is a public figure, and he didn’t even name him in the article in question. Wonder how much his team spent on spinning up that social media campaign?

    Finally, are we fucked? In order to come together, two sides have to have some shared purpose and shared values. I have a hard time identifying those in our country. Certainly doesn’t help that since the Gingrich days, Republicans have been treating Dems as the enemy, not as the opposition who shares a common purpose but a different means of achieving it.

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  8. Jeff Gill said on June 2, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    More “Florida Man” coverage:

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  9. alex said on June 2, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Speaking of abandoning ship, I plan to make a big ask at work — to work remotely so that I can look after my 94-year-old father, who falls down a lot and really shouldn’t be left alone. And I’m steeling myself to give two weeks’ notice if the answer is the big fat NO that I’m expecting.

    I’ve about had it with that place. All kinds of empty promises over the years, and the ergonomics of my desk are killing me. Last time I asked for a new desk chair, the answer from the big boss was “And I want a pony.”

    My desk is one of those old-school wooden things that wasn’t made for computers or typing and my keyboard rests in the center drawer on top of a book. And my neck and back are killing me. I might have pressed the issue more except that I knew I’d be asking to work from home anyway and the time has come.

    On there’s jobs aplenty that are remote or hybrid remote and I’m not too worried about finding something else. Money isn’t a big issue, just health insurance.

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  10. FDChief said on June 2, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    The problem with an industrial democracy is that it requires a base level of social and intellectual competence to function.

    Effectively that means that idiotic goofballs like the Church of Fatal Psoriasis need to be kept in their lunatic ratholes away from the levers of power.

    Unfortunately the plutocrats that run the GOP realized that they needed to looney vote to award themselves largesse out of the public purse. And the plutocrats who have entirely too much influence in the Democratic Party ensured that the “moderate” wing was powerful enough to prevent any effective pushback against that.

    And, yes; now the lunatics are running the GOP asylum and with 25-30% of the U.S. public angry, stupid, and/or crazier than a shithouse rat?

    The only solution is Roman; the entire nutball squad needs to be destroyed, the ruins plowed under, and the mental ground sowed with salt.

    I honestly doubt that we have the nerve or the numbers to succeed in doing that.

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  11. David C said on June 2, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Good luck Alex. I think about moving back to Michigan and working remotely. My supervisor says he’d back me up if I wanted. The only thing keeping me from it is if I stay local, I’m sure I have a job until I want to retire. If I go 100% remote I feel like if there were cutbacks they’re going for them first.

    I wonder if Musk’s back to work screed will embolden employers to say come back to the office or you’re done. I hope so many of the Tesla and SpaceX employees tell him to fuck himself that he loses even more money.

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  12. Peter said on June 2, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    The Glory Barn? That sounds like a strip club in Oshkosh.

    “As I write this, four candidates for governor are on Mackinac Island, preparing for a “debate.” All oppose vaccine mandates of any kind (but all support making abortion illegal, in all cases).” What a bunch of dip-shit asswipe hypocrites.

    I read something several months ago that stunned me. I always thought about the response to COVID vaccines as compared to the Polio scare – how people then were so happy when that vaccine came out, and lined up for shots, and even those that weren’t too thrilled about it fell in line anyway because Supreme Commander President Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower said get a vaccine, and no one disobeys The General. Well, the article said that many people DID object to being inoculated, and people were going on the radio saying that it was all a plot, among them Walter Winchell, who used his news broadcasts to claim that thousands had died in trial runs, and that there was a shortage of small coffins because of the children who were dying from the shot.

    Alex, you are a saint. If my boss said “and I want a pony” I would have told him what he could do with his pony. I guess he hasn’t kept up on the current labor market.

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  13. David C said on June 2, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Peter, the closest we have to a strip club in Oshkosh is a porn shop by the truck stop. The strip clubs are in Neenah and Appleton.

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  14. Mssr. Coffee said on June 2, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Must be time for another status report. Age 68, no masking, no vaxxing, and still waiting for a sniffle, which I haven’t seen in 3+ years. If what they’re pushing were an actual vaccine, I’d consider it. As it is, uh-uh.

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  15. alex said on June 2, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    If my boss said “and I want a pony” I would have told him what he could do with his pony. I guess he hasn’t kept up on the current labor market.

    Looking forward to having that opportunity, except the man never lets me get a word in edgewise, even if he’s asking me a direct question. I’ve never known anyone so much in love with hearing himself talk. He’d be horrified if he actually listened to himself though.

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  16. Deborah said on June 2, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Alex, I took a job with a prestigious architecture firm in Chicago that I realized on my first day was a huge mistake. One of the things that happened was that I was given the shittiest office chair I have ever seen, it had no ergonomic factors and was literally falling apart. I asked for a better chair because I had back issues and they hemmed and hawed. Then I offered to bring my own Herman Miller Aeron chair from home so that I wouldn’t injure myself and it would not cost them a dime. That shamed them into letting me have a better chair. I told myself I would go ahead and work there for a year because I didn’t want to burn bridges but I could barely stand it for 6 months. I put in my notice and shortly after got an offer from another better firm where I worked for 6 years before I retired. Don’t let them treat you poorly, it’s not worth it.

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  17. Dexter Friend said on June 3, 2022 at 5:31 am

    I take many medications and without them it’s a crap shoot if I would still be alive. They work too, my high b/P is now low/normal, A1C perfect, asthma/COPD not handicapping me much. The nuclear heart stress test showed my heart normal. Before I joined the V.A. health system, doctor bills were wiping me out financially, with ever-increasing co-pays and huge bills for short exams. My late wife’s payments after her Medicare pay-outs took over half her SS money every month; insulin for her was just so expensive.
    Well, on another topic, I realized a used truck would be high-dollar, just not this much, as the prices are way out of my ability to pay, and at my age I am not taking anymore car loans out, so I think I may buy an ancient Ford F-150, 89K miles, for $3Gs. No rust, must have been garaged, looks well maintained. Try to find a truck with less that 100K miles for that price. Damn-nearly impossible.

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  18. David C said on June 3, 2022 at 5:57 am

    Sounds like a great find Dexter. My dad just sold his old rust bucket full size Chevy Whatever they called them before Silverado for $3000. He sold it to a 20 year old tobacco chewing cowboy cosplaying kid.

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  19. alex said on June 3, 2022 at 7:13 am

    Glad I still have my 17-year-old Toyota truck. Recently it has been making a chirping sound when going in reverse, and a vibrational low roar at highway speeds, which I think may be the U-joint going bad. I’ve been waiting for 3 weeks now to get an appointment just to be looked at. But whatever it costs, it will be worth the investment. It has been an absolutely trouble-free, repair-free vehicle for 270+K miles and when I consider the cost of replacing it, there’s no repair that would be too expensive.

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  20. Mark P said on June 3, 2022 at 9:28 am

    Alex, I feel for you with your father. Towards the end of my mother’s life one of her doctors said they did a scan of her head and found multiple signs of new and old hemorrhages caused from hitting her head when she fell. She fell all the time. I happened to drive by her house one day and found her sitting on her front stoop, where she had fallen and couldn’t get up. Another time I went to her house and found her on her bathroom floor. She had been there eight hours. She said she kept thinking she would be able to get up. She had one of those lifeline type devices but wouldn’t use it.

    I keep hearing idiot politicians justify opposing gun control legislation because criminals don’t obey laws. Of course, most, if not all, of the recent mass murderers were law-abiding citizens who bought their guns legally and then went out and murdered a bunch of people.

    I really shouldn’t say I wish they would all become victims in a mass shooting. But I do.

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  21. Icarus said on June 3, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Dexter, that’s an incredible find. What year? It makes me think either something is wrong with the vehicle or they don’t know what they have. Unlike most guys, I do not devote any brain storage to makes, models, and other car factoids, but even I know there is a used car shortage (and new car backlog) so that seller could probably get more. If the car seems solid to you, nab it.

    I’m driving a 2008 Honda Element which was mostly used as a runabout back in Chicago, except for the 3 years I used it to get to the office in Oak Brook and stare at a computer and not interact much with anyone in the actual office.

    Mark @ 20: I feel like the mass murders in the recent decade or more have been one strange iterative and sick experiment. Every time there is one, some idiot justifies changing legislation because *reason* and then the very next shooting nullifies/disproves that *reason*. But then the goal posts shift.

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  22. Suzanne said on June 3, 2022 at 11:07 am

    There was another shooting yesterday in Iowa:

    I recently read the book Dopesick and several years ago the book Dreamland. What is one of the contributing factors of heroin addiction and the rise of overdoses? Easy access to drugs. Do most people want to cut off access to drugs? Yes.
    So why is it so difficult for these same people to grasp that a huge contributing factor to gun violence is easy access to firearms. Why didn’t I worry about someone shooting up my school back in the 60s & 70s? Maybe because there weren’t gun shows, guns stores, gun ranges, mail order gun retailers all over the place and the NRA’s main mission was gun safety not gun access.

    People are stupid.

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  23. David C said on June 3, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    I guess it’s hard for someone to understand more guns = more gun violence when their access to laundered Russian money depends of their not understanding it.

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  24. JodiP said on June 3, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    One aspect of better gun control that doesn’t get addressed is the incredible number of guns out there. We also know that sales increase after mass shootings because people fear more gun control. So, my question: let’s say starting today, we have very strict gun control going forward. Will anything change due to the large pool of guns that exist? Some communities have had buyback programs but the people really into guns aren’t going to do that.

    We also don’t track gun ownership so it’s not as if we could mandate it either. Per an ABC article: [The number of guns owned] is not known. “There is no national registration, there is no law or registry on the books that requires that gun owners have to either registered or convey how many guns they actually own,” said Edgar Domenech, a former deputy director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    This blew my mind: there are 50,000 more gun shops than McDonalds in this country:

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  25. Heather said on June 3, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    One thing I like about AOC is that she said in an Instagram post that things are going to get worse before they get better. Tired of politicians living in some other reality who say we can work with the Republicans. Seems like these shootings will continue to get worse and this country will not be unlike those war-torn countries we pity on the news.

    A couple of days ago I walked into my gym and the staff was huddled around the front desk looking outside and someone was on the phone with the police . . . they were concerned someone outside had a gun. I had noticed a guy dropping something into a trash can but didn’t think much of it. It might have been some white lady Karen-ing going on, but I had to take it seriously as a possibility. It just shows how close the violence is to all of us.

    I recently found a file with my father’s birth records and some other research he did to get his Irish citizenship about 15 years ago–his grandparents were born there. There might be a loophole that would allow me to get it–I’ve gotten conflicting information about that. But I might need to start seriously looking into it. On the other hand, am I really going to leave all of my friends and family? I don’t know. I’d like to have it as an option at least.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on June 3, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    Heather, from what I’ve read it has to be parents or grandparents, no greats. However, you might skate through if your dad became an Irish citizen. Note that I have done zero research, because for me it was my great grandparents.

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  27. Sherri said on June 3, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    What do cops do? Whatever is easy.

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  28. Sherri said on June 3, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    Republican Congressman running for re-election in Buffalo. In the wake of the mass shooting there, last week he expressed support for a federal assualt weapons ban and restrictions on magazine capacity. Today, he dropped his re-election bid, after party support for him cratered.

    There is no bi-partisan deal on gun control. Face reality, dump the filibuster, and do something, Dems.

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  29. David C said on June 3, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    I can vouch for that Sherri. A few years ago someone local stole our credit card number. I know it was local because they ordered stuff to be sent to our house and ordered textbooks from the UW Oshkosh bookstore to be sent to our house. I was so obvious they intended to snag them from our porch after they were delivered. There was a vacant house across the street at the time and I told the police if they wanted to catch them all they had to do was have someone sit on the porch and wait. Nope, can’t do that. “If YOU catch them, let us know.” F the police.

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  30. Scout said on June 3, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    Here’s a perfect illustration of Christian Nationalism gone amuck. I’m so sick and tired of these people.

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  31. Mark P said on June 3, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Scout, if I were a criminal in the market for a gun, I would be very interested in locating the addresses of those people. If the houses shown are theirs or are near theirs, it shouldn’t be hard.

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  32. Deborah said on June 3, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    I do not understand why people have so many guns, that is nuts, completely and totally insane. Scout, your link was disturbing. What makes people do that? Collect so many guns, take their pictures with them like they’re the cat’s meow, when it really shows how mentally maladjusted they must be. That’s some kind of OCD weirdness. Wow, I do not get it at all.

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  33. Sheryl Prentice said on June 3, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    I was a student at Manchester College from 1972 to 1976 and teh campus had a fair bnumber of the cultists.I had friends who were head-over-ass in love with Freeman and The Glory Barn, including a lifelong childhood friend. She described sermons that lasted 3 hours from Freeman as epistles from God himself. It was increasingly evident that the Barn was a cult. My friend’s father once told me that he prayed every night that his daughter and her husband wouldn’t have children while they were so involved at the Glory Barn. His prayers were answered. They stayed in the cult for almost 5 years, but then the husband ws teh firts one to begin to see the light. Eventually he pulled her out of the Barn, too, and they had three children.

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  34. Dexter Friend said on June 4, 2022 at 3:13 am

    Well, I called for a good time to come test-drive the 1994 old truck. I called at 9:45 AM. Some farmer was granted a few hours to go have a mechanic evaluate it, so I was told to call back in the afternoon…by closing time the truck was still with the farmer. He had gotten there at store-opening time. I’ll check on Saturday, but I believe I was beaten to the punch…not aggressive enough.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on June 4, 2022 at 3:27 am

    Here’s a link, sent to me by my old army buddy Greg, who authored a book recently. He is in a studio with the host and a fellow veteran who went to Vietnam. Greg explains his personal views of the war against Vietnam and how he stood up to the brass and was court-martialed twice for refusing to report to Oakland for deployment to Vietnam, and spent time in various stockades for his political stand. I met him on his last leg of his army journey, in California. I am mentioned a few times in the book as Jim Frandsen, a name I assumed for the book as I have a cousin with my same name , to avoid confusion.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on June 4, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    The flooding in Miami focused my brain on hurricane prep, and since your girl is nothing if not thorough*, I’ve spent the last 48 hours printing every list I could find, evaluating what we need, and charging up all our fans, flashlights, batteries, and radios. Need to buy some more food, water, and paper plates. *Could be read as OCD. I won’t say bring it on, but we’ll be ready. Yes, the trees have been trimmed too.

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  37. Deborah said on June 4, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Julie, as someone who grew up in Miami, you’re going to go through some things, I hope not, but it seems inevitable. It’s not impossible to make it through it, Just be careful and follow instructions. You may have some experiences you have never had before, but are not necessarily devastating.

    One of LB good friends who spent much of the year in Beverly Hills completing a medical contract for a position at Cedar Sinai, is now moving to Key West for a permanent job in her field. she’s on cloud nine about the job because she’s always wanted to live in a beach community but I’m concerned for her because of global warming and what that will mean down the road for people like her, she’s a great kid and a wonderful friend to LB so I wish her well, but I worry. Of course, we in the desert SW are in equal danger so who am I to express my anxiety.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on June 4, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    Orlando is far enough inland that hurricanes have generally lost most of their oomph when they get here. But there’s still wind and rain damage, and Irma in 2017 left a lot of blue roofs around here.

    Our house was undamaged and since then our roof has been replaced and brought up to the highest level of wind protection. It hardly added to the cost but saves us $700/year on our insurance.

    My sister experienced all the bad storms during her years in West Palm Beach so I’ve been paying close attention for 35 years. If it happens my worst suffering will probably be the heat. We have a bunch of battery operated fans but I do not like heat.

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  39. Sherri said on June 5, 2022 at 12:33 am

    Always read Dahlia.

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  40. Deborah said on June 5, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Yesterday I drove my husband to the airport in Albuquerque, he’s going back to Chicago for a couple of weeks for business. I was so nervous driving that I hurt my right shoulder from tensing while steering and shifting, today it’s killing me. I think I need to get stronger anxiety meds and maybe getting an automatic for the next car is a good idea.

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  41. Sherri said on June 5, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    On white Christian nationalism, and the threat it poses.

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  42. LAMary said on June 5, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    We’re having a mayoral election here in LA. The guy who is probably leading is Rick Caruso who is a real estate developer billionaire. His ads have him saying he will solve homelessness. He also says that when he was appointed to a group to reform the LAPD he reduced crime by 30 percent. Personally. His ads also say he has accepted no donations from corporations or interest groups. He’s spent about 12 million of his own cash on ads. My favorite ad of his has Snoop Dog, Wolfgang Puck and Gwyneth Paltrom endorsing him. Gwyneth does great vocal fry saying, “Let’s fix LA togetherrrrrr.”

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  43. basset said on June 5, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Simple pleasures… Mrs. B and I are just back from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where we watched huge numbers of fireflies gather and flash their little lights in synchrony. Didn’t get acceptable video, but there’s some from previous years on YouTube.

    Saw a mama bear and two cubs on the walk in, too… even running across a “Trump Store” in the tourist town outside the gate couldn’t spoil all that.

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  44. Deborah said on June 5, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    LAMary, I’ve read that Caruso is a Democrat now for this race, but a Republican before, and that he has spent millions on anti-abortion initiatives. How come all of these celebs back him? Has he seen the light?

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  45. Dexter Friend said on June 6, 2022 at 2:57 am

    The farmer returned the truck to the car lot. This means his mechanic found hard issues or that he just had second thoughts. I’ll find out in a few hours.

    I posted on Facebook about the Philadelphia mass shooting and some people asked why did I do that, as it was just a few shot-to-deaths and maybe a dozen shot and wounded. Some pointed out, hell, man, no big deal, as Chicago logs a few every hour. That is a bit of an exaggeration I believe. Are we so conditioned as to expect a mass shooting like 20 times per week?

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  46. jcburns said on June 6, 2022 at 8:37 am

    “The farmer returned the truck to the car lot.”


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  47. LAMary said on June 6, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Caruso is saying he has always supported a woman’s right to choose and he says he’s a democrat. Since he has clearly lied or at least massively exaggerated other things I don’t believe either of those things. There are too many people running for mayor here. It’s a non partisan election. I fear that the votes against Caruso will be split. I like two of the candidates, Karen Bass and Kevin De Leon, but I think Caruso will win. He’s been running ads for months.

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