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Table of Contents

LA Times Tries an Unusual Polling Strategy
All Christians Thank Basil for Clarifying the Mystery of the Trinity
The Chicago columnist, Mike Royko, attempted to Spotlight Problems in Chicago Politics with Humor
Praise Comey’s Initative on Muslim Youth

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LA Times Tries an Unusual Polling Strategy -

The LA Times system of polling is to take a fixed group of 3000 citizens picked for characteristics like age, past voting pattern (Democrat or Republican or new voter or Independent) , sex, income status, etc. Care is taken to get the percentages of each group in the 3000 to match the percentages likely to actually vote. This group is called every few days to see if their feelings are trending toward Trump or Clinton or remaining undecided.

In a year where there is a politically correct candidate and a politically incorrect candidate. Is it better to have a familiarity between the pollster and interviewee (a degree of comfort or trust if you will) or is it better to have a one off interview where the pollster and interviewee are strangers (possiblly with the associated lack of trust regarding politically incorrect statements )?

In 2012, the first time this technique was used, the LA Times approach yielded great visibility and accuracy on the Obama victory over Romney.

To date this LA Times poll is the only poll consistently showing a 3 to 5 percent win for Trump. Will it work in 2016? Time will tell.

The current results of this poll is always available at The Real Clear Politics web page (www.Realclearpolitics.Com) .......... .... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 10/8/16)

All Christians Thank Basil for Clarifying the Mystery of the Trinity -

Basil of Caesarea was born to a prominent Catholic family and received a good education. He became a successful lawyer, but he had a change of heart in 357 and decided to devote his life to religion.

He investigated being hermit monk for a time, but decided he needed more interactions with others so he organized an early monastery where he could have companions.

He wrote a famous monastic rule which is used today. As a monk, Basil, attended the Council of Constantinople (360 AD) where the church was struggling with the Arian heresy and the need to define the relationship among and between the three persons in the Godhead.

This experience caused Basil to create the formulation used to this day - the Godhead consists of three persons with one nature. Basil was also instrumental in defining the Son as Consubstantial with the Father. This was needed to counter the Arian belief that the Son was only similar to the Father, not of the same substance.

After five years in the monastery, Basil was called to be a bishop. He proved to be an excellent administrator and even helped civil authorities conduct their duties effectively.

The Church was emerging from centuries of persecution and needed a standardized liturgy which Basil helped create. This liturgy is in use today in the eastern church and is called The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, the Great.

St. Basil’s feast day was Jan 1 for centuries in both the East and in the West. In the west his feast day was moved from Jan 1 to June 14 for about 700 years until it was moved to Jan 2 in 1969. In the Eastern church, St Basil’s Feast day remains Jan 1st a day when children expect gifts of candy.

Subsequent Developments Effected by St. Basil’s Work

Regarding St Basil’s formulation on the substance of the Father and the Son, Pope Benedict XVI a few years ago had to issue orders that all translations of the Nicene Creed had to include the word “consubstantial” rather than loose translations with such words as “same”.

Regarding St. Basil’s Mass, St John Chrysostom (360 - 435), also a bishop of the eastern church, developed a Mass based on St Basil’s Mass but which is somewhat shorter than St Basil’s Mass. This shorter Mass, called the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, has become the most popular Mass in the eastern Church as is used today along with St Basil’s Mass. Perhaps, more interesting this Mass of St. John Chrysostom became the template used by the Council of Trent when the western church had to consolidate and standardize following the Protestant Reformation.

Regarding St Basil’s Monastic Rule, this rule was familiar to St John Cassian a eastern monk who traveled to the west and founded a monastery in southern France. St John Cassian’s Institutes and Conferences were then used by St Benedict (480 - 543) when he wrote the Rule of St Benedict which in turn led to the establishment over 10,000 monasteries in the west. Monasteries where Greek and Roman ideas were preserved and where the young were educated so that western culture and civilization could be passed down following the fall of Rome.


This man who only lived 49 years managed to write a monastic rule that has survived to this day, he helped create a liturgy for the Mass which is used even to this day, and he devised the “three person - one nature” formulation that allows us some understanding of the mystery of the Trinity and is used to this day.

It is easy to see why he is a Doctor of the Church, and why Jan 1 was/is his feast day for many centuries in both the east and the west.

............... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 7/20/2016)

The Chicago columnist, Mike Royko, attempted to Spotlight Problems in Chicago Politics with Humor - (Introductory note: This columnist spent decades pointing up the virtues and misdeeds of Richard J. Daley who spent over 2 decades running the City and its Democratic Party machine. The material coming from city hall was so voluminous Royko decided on a book which he entitled simply Boss. ........... Royko died too early at age 62 and yet he left a great legacy of interesting, light columns many focusing on the mis-deeds of lawyers. ........ Of course, Daley was a lawyer, but Royko did not limit his attention to “the boss”. What follows is a humorous article about a different lawyer.).

....Bomb Backfires, Husband Gets Burned

.......There can come a sad moment in some marriages when both sides finally know that the magic has faded away.

That's the way it was with Richard, a Chicago lawyer. He had an attractive, intelligent wife, two lovely children, and a spacious home in a Chicago suburb. But he was in his 40s, often a difficult age for a man. His once-happy home life seemed a bit dull. His wife, the same age, was still slender and attractive, but she seemed to spend a lot of time in her role as mother to their children and on other domestic duties.

Their relationship just wasn't the same as when they were in their 20s, laughing, carefree, and he was beginning his law career.

No, things had changed over the years. The real excitement in his life came when he went downtown to defend his felonious clients and to pal with the color-ful characters in the Criminal Courts Building.

And he became certain that the romance had gone out of his marriage when he found himself regularly sneaking into bed with a cute young thing in her 20s.

His wife learned of his hanky-panky, so he left his home, moved in with his young girlfriend and filed for divorce.

His wife didn't take it too well. Women can be that way, especially when they've spent years raising the kids and working part-time during those lean early years of a marriage.

So the wife did what many wives do when they believe they have been treated shabbily. She made the divorce difficult by getting a lawyer and asking for a hefty chunk of her husband's wealth and generous child support for their two teen-age daughters.

That wasn't easy, because Richard had his money well stashed. And it appeared, from financial records his wife found, that he might not have been perfectly honest with the Internal Revenue Service.

Naturally, her stubbornness irked Richard. And it troubled him that if she got really mad and blew the whistle to the feds, he could wind up in serious tax trouble.

There was the potential inconvenience of having to give his wife much or most of his loot and pay big child support, while trying to give his new young sweetie the lifestyle she deserved.

That's when he decided that divorce wasn't the solution to his problems. Murder was.

Of course, he wouldn't do it to himself. Being a lawyer, he had professional standards to maintain.

Instead, he would hire one of the many criminal cutthroats who were his clients.

The $10,000 assignment went to a hulking thug who had been a member of a murderous motorcy-cle gang.

The hired hit man stalked the wife for a while, intending to shoot her dead when he got the chance. But she never presented a suitable target.

So he decided instead to blow her up.

You many have read about it a couple of years ago. The wife, Margaret Kagan, left a commuter train, got into her car, turned the key, and the car exploded and was engulfed in flames.

Close, but no cigar. The bomb hadn't been placed properly, and Margaret Kagan managed to scramble out of the burning, melt-ing car with only mi-nor injuries.

When Richard Kagan got word in his law office that his wife was still alive, and yelling to the cops that he did it, the poor fellow had to pop a nitro pill for his heart.

In such cases, the estranged husband is always the logical suspect, as unfair as that might seem to Californians who serve on juries.

And it was only a matter of time before the cops tracked down the hit man and persuaded him to squeal on Richard in exchange for a lesser prison sentence.

Another example of the recurring north suburban complaint that it is difficult to hire good help these days.

So Richard stood trial, his hit man told all, and after Richard wept and blubbered that it was all a mistake and that he really adored his wife and kids, the judge told him what a slimy character he was and sentenced him to 42 years in prison.

And that's where Richard is to-day. But the story hasn't ended yet. As goofy as it sounds, Richard and Margaret are still married.

After he was sentenced last year, Richard dropped his divorce suit. He would have sounded strange explaining to a judge why he wanted to be rid of Margaret.

But after the explosion, Margaret filed for divorce. You can't blame her. It is one thing to be dumped. It's something else to be blown up.

You might think that this would be an open and shut divorce.

"It's this way, your honor. He hired a guy to kill me. So the hit man is doing 10 years and my husband is doing 42 years. So I don't think it's likely that we'll patch things up.

" What's there to talk about?

Apparently a lot. Richard, from his cell, is putting up a legal battle with writs and motions and all sorts of things he learned in law school. It's more fun than working in the prison laundry.

The case has bounced from one judge to another, and could wind up in front of a fourth.

So Margaret still isn't rid of the husband who tried to blow her to bits.

And lawyers actually complain that they are misunderstood? (Originally published 11/1/95)

......... .(prepared by Hugh Murray on 12/22/2016)

Praise Comey’s Initative on Muslim Youth -

- James Comey, the director of the FBI, has been much criticized for his “on again - off again” handling of the Hillary Clinton server scandal.

....... However, in the middle of the election season the FBI proposed placing agents in Islamic mosques to both identify radicalizing young people and then act to deflect these young people into more constructive activities. This idea had a lot of merit because it would provide a viable way to reduce the number of Muslim terrorist attacks.

...... Unfortunately, the leadership in the Islamic community vetoed the idea saying it was a violation of America’s long standing policy on separating Church and State.

...... The analysis of these Muslim leaders seems straight forward and correct on the surface. Unfortunately it overlooks the fact that Islam is both a religion and a political system. The importance of politics to Islam is illustrated by the talk Dr Khizr Khan delivered on 12/11/16 to the Islamic Public Affairs Council in which he repeatedly pleaded for young Muslims to run for public office and for those present to support these canidancies. Islamic office holders are a necessary first step toward implementing political Islam, particularly Shiria.

...... Obviously the FBI has no interest in shaping the religious side of Islam, but the FBI has had, since its creation, a deep interest in monitoring subversive political forces in our society. One only has to think back to the Nazi activity in the US in the late 30's within the German-American communities and the Communist activity in the late 40's amongst certain liberal groups to understand the important role the FBI has played in identifying and frustrating harmful political activity.

..... But how does one cope with an organization where religion and politics are so totally intertwined.

...... History at times is instructive. These elements in Christianity, more specificly in the Catholic Church, during the middle ages were similarly intertwined. It took the rising of the Lutherans and the Thirty Years War in Germany to teach Europeans that religion and politics had to be separated. The separation did not happen instantly, but over time France, England, and even Italy and Spain arrived at a separation of Church and State. When the United States was founded this concept of seperation was pretty well formed. A particular state might have a favored religion, but violence and force against members of other religions was not to be tolerated.

...... Islam was not part of this European experience, so some Muslims that come into open societies are thinking they can take advantage of the openness without sacrificing the traditional public/political aspects of the faith which they bring with them. Perhaps an example will serve to illustrate. A young Muslim man likes the educational and work opportunities in the west, but he wants to marry a teenaged girl who wears the hijab and has been genitally mutilated. This is an impossibility in locales where the governmental system does not tolerate violence or coercion. But this young man had read in the Koran and the Hadeeth and now believes such is the ideal marriage partner. He may become frustrated and strike out against his new homeland.

............. This, of course, is just one example. There are many others (eg honor killings, a man's right to whip his wife, lying to help Islam, killing unbelievers, attacking women dressed immodesty, etc.). So it is easy to understand what Comey was up to when he suggested that mosques admit FBI agents. After all you can’t expect a mufti in a mosque to teach the young man that the Koran or Hadeeth are wrong, but an FBI agent who senses a young man’s wayward desires or frustrations could catch him in the lobby or parking lot and explain why things have to be different in the US.

...... You might say why can’t the mufti be expected to teach that the writings in the Holy Books are wrong. Well, he can’t because the Koran itself teaches that it contains a transcription of direct dictation from God. So it is impossible for an Islamic cleric to say the Holy writing “is wrong”. Just as it would be impossible for a Catholic priest to say Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. After all there is a direct quote recorded in the New Testament where God’s says “Jesus is my Son in whom I am well pleased"

........ Of course, many western Muslims see the dichotomy between the style of life envisioned in the Holy writings and the style of life they see all about them in the West, and they adjust. More particularly, they set aside large chucks of the Koran and the Hadeeth saying to themselves “I’m not going to let that violence and coercion stuff apply to my life”. In other words, they begin living a life governed by a personally modified Islam.

........... However, there are many mature Muslims who outwardly profess a “modified Islam” while in their hearts they secretly desire a change in western society so a “full bodied” undiluted Islam might be practiced. They realize that western society would have to change a lot to allow this, so this group secretly supports the radical terrorists that emerge from the disaffected Muslim youth. Usually when a terrorist attack occurs the investigation turns up two, three or more older Muslims who provided aid and comfort to the attacker(s).

...... This "aid and comfort" phenomenon is a big unresolved issue from the 9/11 attack. The attackers evidently got a lot of aid and comfort from important people in Saudi Arabia, including at least one employee of the Saudi government. Obama wants to protect these important people from civil damage lawsuits; whereas the Republican Congress thinks these cases should go forward. The civil charges would involve conspiracy to commit the torts (civil injuries) of damaging private property, injuring others, and taking other peoples’ lives. Since about 3000 people died and three buildings along with two airplanes were destroyed, the litigation would employee over 1000 lawyers for years and could yield 20 to 100 billion in actual and punitive damages awards. A lot is at stake.

................ This essay has covered a lot of ground. Mentioning one factor leads to another. The issues are very complex and intertwined. It is hard to state a firm conclusion. The only sure thing, the West doesn't want another Thirty Years War. The last one cost Germany about one third of its total population. ................ (prepared by Hugh Murray on 12/17/2016) .

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This page hopes to bring a common sense, old fashioned view to today's news. The comments displayed on this page were prepared by Hugh V. Murray, who can be reached at hvm@aol.com