I have been tying branches of my grandmother’s family together and in so doing came upon this account of lightning striking a house.
“The house of Rev. Israel Hay, on Mechanic street, Fredericksburg, on Sunday afternoon was struck by lightning. The bolt struck the east gable end and for some distance tore up the ——–, and then descended down to the kitchen, playing sad havoc with the glass and chinaware.”
April 17, 1492: Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella give Christopher Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia. Though he was also interested in wealth, Columbus saw himself as a “Christ-bearer” who would carry Christ across the ocean to people who had never heard the gospel.
“Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Ēostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English.”
April 16, 1521: German reformer Martin Luther arrives at the Diet of Worms, convinced he would get the hearing he requested in 1517 to discuss the abuse of indulgences and his “95 Theses.” He was astounded when he discovered it would not be a debate, but rather a judicial hearing to see if he wished to recant his words. In defending himself the next Day , Luther said, “Unless I can be instructed and convinced with evidence from the Holy Scriptures or with open, clear, and distinct grounds of reasoning . . . then I cannot and will not recant, because it is neither safe nor wise to act against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me! Amen!” When negotiations over the next few Day s failed to reach any compromise, Luther was condemned (see issue 34: Luther’s Early Years).
What a great shot with lovely, vibrant colors. I am so glad spring is here. The Skagit Valley is good, fertile land for farming. My great uncle came through there in 1939, riding with friends from South Dakota. Their destination was Anacortes. His was Seattle.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Susan Rice is a deeply unpopular figure with our Intelligence Community. Her abrasive personality and overall incompetence grated on the IC. Her habitually coarse language was inflicted on senior intelligence officials more than once, while nobody outside Obama’s inner circle considered Rice even marginally competent at her job. Simply put, she was the worst National Security Adviser in American history—at least until Mike Flynn’s dismally failed three-week tenure.
In addition, Rice didn’t like to play by the rules, including the top-secret ones. On multiple occasions, she asked the NSA to do things they regarded as unethical and perhaps illegal. When she was turned down—the NSA fears breaking laws for any White House, since they know they will be left holding the bag in the end—Rice kept pushing.
As a longtime NSA official who experienced Rice’s wrath more than once told me, “We tried to tell her to pound sand on some things, but it wasn’t allowed—we were always overruled.” On multiple occasions, Rice got top Agency leadership to approve things which NSA personnel on the front end of the spy business refused. This means there may be something Congress and the FBI need to investigate here.
Susan Rice and Team Trump are both despised by our intelligence agencies, albeit for different reasons. The prospect of a death-match between them is causing unusual emotions in the IC. “For us, this is like the Iran-Iraq war,” explained another longtime NSA official: “We’d like both sides to lose.”