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Death by Boiling and the Vanity of Hate-Crimes *

Murder and attempted murder were once considered the same thing and thus judgement was simple and severe. Since that time, distinctions have been made. Normal murder is where someone actually dies and is punished by drawing, quartering and hanging. This year an additional distinction is made in English Law. If a person of sound mind murders another by way of poison, the punishment shall be death by boiling. It's a slow death and reflects the distaste that King Henry the 8th has of such a devious means of killing. He equates it with treason. In other words, he takes it personally. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the modern day the law demands a punishment that reflects the disapproval of society. Use of crack cocaine is punished more severely than powdered cocaine. Drunkenness by alcohol is punished differently than by marijuana. Your attitude counts too. Murder in the heat of passion is different from a carefully planned murder. However, a hate crime is judged on the assumption that if you show any evil intent then you are totally evil... like a radio with the volume off or full blast. No in-between. People have called me names, threatened me, but I never sensed that they hated me for my race or religion. They just wanted to get my goat. (FYI, I kept my goat.) My father suffered real racism. What I experience is the normal friction of society. I don't flatter myself that I suffer what my father did many years ago. In comparison, this is a cake walk. [3] [4]

The Evil Saturday Flood

A massive flood carries away 18 villages and 100,000 people in the Netherlands. The St. Felix Day Flood or the Evil Saturday Flood left the town of Reimerswaal (Rye mer swal) as an island, mostly intact but useless. With the surrounding farmland gone, it became impossible to sustain the town and all attempts to reclaim the land are eventually abandoned. The work of centuries has been swept away. [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This wasn't the work of global warming or global cooling. It was just weather. Weather is chaotic and sometimes it's really, really bad. That is why we send up satellites and consult Doppler radar. But our best efforts can be thwarted by chance. Weather models predicted that New York City should have had the biggest snow storm in a century. The Mayor shut down the city. At the last moment the storm changed direction and they got almost nothing. I saw the coverage in New York. It was embarrassing to watch reporters with yard sticks measuring snow next to lamp posts... probably left there by snowplows. The news coverage switched to Boston where they normally get more snow. Weather is chaotic. Pay attention to the reports but don't bet the bank on them. [7] [8]

The Lutheran Confession: By Faith Alone...

The Holy Roman Emperor is still trying to settle this religious issue between the Catholics and the Lutherans so that he can get back to beating the stuffing out of the Ottoman Turks who were recently pounding at the gates of Vienna... too close for comfort. He calls for a gathering at Augsburg, but the Protestants are suspicious. Last year a meeting like this went south in a second. Instead of showing up, Martin Luther and several others submit a confession or statement of beliefs which will become an integral part of the future Lutheran Church. One major statement is that faith alone is the foundation by which a Christian attains salvation. This is in contrast to the Catholic belief that an infusion of good deeds, the sacraments and especially the Eucharist become part of ones body and mind and brings one to salvation over time. (Hope I got all of that right. Corrections are welcome.) [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
These fundamental beliefs are tough to explain in a paragraph so please consult your local religious authority. Don't listen to what some guy on the Internet says. Now... the guy from the Internet says that if faith is the foundation of Christianity then how do you explain, "Faith without works is dead" from James 2:14-26. Luther seems to be saying that faith is the most important part of that pair. Do I agree with this? Well... certainly God's grace is sufficient for salvation. I'm counting on it, actually, because at this point, I've piled up so many sins that good works alone aren't going to cut it. Grace means: "a gift, freely given and undeserved." That means I didn't earn it. God is just giving it to me. Maybe I should ask politely but ultimately, the final decision is up to God. From a Jewish perspective it seems unfair to require faith in God for salvation. After all... if you don't believe in God, who is commanding you to do so? If you already believe in God, then what need is there for a commandment telling you to do so? I don't know the answer but I believe in God.[11] [12]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are sent back to the year 1530! [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm speechless mostly because they renamed this game several times, tweaking the graphics and releasing it as a new game... and the public loved it! I used to program video games and I've done conversions from the arcade versions but I never did anything like this. I'd like to say that we had standards back then, but I can't without laughing.[14]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1530, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Poisoning Act 1530 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. Chapter 14. Of Homicide, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769). Retrieved on 27 February 2015. “Of these the most detestable of all is poison; because it can of all others be the least prevented either by manhood or forethought.101 And therefore by the statute 22 Hen. VIII. c. 9. it was made treason, and a more grievous and lingering kind of death was inflicted on it than the common law allowed; namely, boiling to death; but this act did not live long, being repealed by 1 Edw. VI. c. 12” 
  3. Obama Signs New Bill, Changes Cocaine Laws. Obama.net (August 3, 2010). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “The new law replaces the old one from 1986 where an equal sentence would be set for someone who has one hundred grams of powder cocaine and for someone who has one gram of crack cocaine. The new law changes it from 100 to 1, to 18 to 1, a much better ratio.”
  4. New Drug Law Narrows Crack, Powder Cocaine Sentencing Gap. PBS News Hour (transcript) (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “The new law reduces that dramatic disparity, cutting the ratio to about 18-1. And, for the first time in 40 years, Congress is rolling back a mandatory minimum sentence already on the books.”
  5. Zuid-Beveland - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “As a result of the St. Felix Day's floods in November 1530, much of the island disappeared under water.”
  6. Pays inondé de Zuid-Beveland — Wikipédia. fr.wikipedia.org (FRENCH) (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “Dans cette zone se trouvaient 18 villages et la ville de Reimerswaal. L'inondation signifia la fin définitive des villages, et le début de la fin pour Reimerswaal.”
  7. This week's East Coast blizzard could be the biggest on record.. slate.com (January 25, 2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “The National Weather Service (NWS) in New York City is calling the potential for epic snowfall &lquot;historic,&rquot; while the Boston office says the incoming storm is a &lquot;textbook case for a major winter storm/blizzard.&rquot; Three-day snow totals could reach 24-36 inches in each city—good enough to rival the biggest Northeast snowstorms on record.”
  8. East Coast Snow Storm Shuts Down New York City, Snarls Travel Plans. HuffingtonPost.com (January 27, 2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “The glancing blow left forecasters apologizing and politicians defending their near-total shutdown on travel. Some commuters grumbled, but others sounded a better-safe-than-sorry note and even expressed sympathy for the weatherman.”
  9. Augsburg Confession - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “Man cannot be justified before God through our own abilities; we are wholly reliant on Jesus Christ for reconciliation with God. (This is often described as the one article by which the 'Lutheran church stands or falls'.)”
  10. Sola fide - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “He [Martin Luther] became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity, the most important of which, for Luther, was the doctrine of justification—God's act of declaring a sinner righteous—by faith alone through God's grace. He began to teach that salvation or redemption is a gift of God's grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus.”
  11. James 2:14-26 NIV - Faith and Deeds. biblegateway.com (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
  12. Romans 3 NIV - God’s Faithfulness. biblegateway.com (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”
  13. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015.
  14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 March 2015. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, released as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Turtles in Time in Europe, is an arcade video game produced by Konami. A sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) arcade game, it is a scrolling beat 'em up type game based mainly on the 1987 TMNT animated series. Originally an arcade game, Turtles in Time was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992. It was retitled to serve as a sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. That same year, a game that borrowed many elements, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist was released for the Mega Drive/Sega Genesis.”

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