Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Problems With Threes

Annals of Government: Well, it's now official. Abq Jew can now happily state - along with millions of happy voters - that the current Outgoing Incumbent (OI) president is a Lame Duck.

Lame Duck

Be it known that, while the Urban Dictionary defines "lame" as an "adjective used to describe someone who is boring, uncool, or just sucks in general," Wikipedia offers a more robust explanation of the term "lame duck."
The phrase "lame duck" was coined in the 18th century at the London Stock Exchange, to refer to a stockbroker who defaulted on his debts.  
The term was transferred to US(!) politicians in the 19th century. 

In the literal sense, the term refers to a duck which is unable to keep up with its flock, making it a target for predators.
Three Lame Ducks

There are many in the Senate and the House of Representatives (including, alas, several Democrats) who are also Lame Ducks. Yes, that makes (in a manner of speaking) Three Lame Ducks. Lined up. In a row. 

An Unholy Trinity, you (or Abq Jew) might say.

Tommy Tuberville

And then there's Tommy Tuberville, the Republican Senator-elect from Alabama, who defeated - in a landslide - the OI senator, Democrat Doug Jones.

Doug Jones is a former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. His most prominent cases were the successful prosecution of two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls and the indictment of domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph.

Tommy Tuberville (/ˈtʌbərvɪl/) is a retired football coach. He was the head football coach at the University of Mississippi, Auburn University, Texas Tech, and the University of Cincinnati. He is the only coach in Auburn football history to beat in-state rival Alabama six consecutive times.

One Two Three

Yes, Senator-elect Tuberville has problems with threes. As you may have heard (example here), he recently (post-election) misidentified the three branches of the US government as

the House; the Senate; and the Executive

He also claimed that he tells people his dad "fought 76 years ago in Europe to free Europe of socialism." He later clarified that he meant

Socialism and Communism

The correct answer here (Abq Jew is sure he doesn't have to tell you) is Fascism. As for the three branches of the US government  - our Holy Trinity, you (or Abq Jew might say) - Wikipedia tells us
Three Branches Government

The Constitution of the United States, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. 

Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches

the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress (Article I);

the executive, consisting of the president and subordinate officers (Article II); and

the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts (Article III). 

Americans, we all know, can be kind, compassionate and caring. 


And so several Tweeters (referring to Twitter, the social media engine), including @NurseSheepie, asked the helpful question:

Three Branches

What are the three branches of government?
WRONG answers ONLY.

Boy, did @NurseSheepie and the others get WRONG answers. Including:

Me, Myself, and I

Offense, Defense, Special Teams

Rock Paper Scissors
Rock, Paper, Scissors

The Good Bad Ugly
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Three Stooges
Moe, Larry, and Curley

Huey Dewey Louis
Huey, Dewey, and Louis

Snap, Crackle, and Pop

Bed Bath Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond

Larry, Darryl, and Darryl

Groucho, Chico, and Harpo

Patty, LaVerne, and Maxine

Shlemiel, Shlimazel, 
Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

And, finally -

3 Branches

Which brings us to -


Saint Patrick's Day 2017 

Wherein Abq Jew seriously discussed (seriously) the shamrock, both as a symbol of Ireland and as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity.

Problems with threes. Again. 

Whereupon Abq Jew asked:

How about us Jews? Don't we get a Holy Trinity, too?

Three Things

Yes, we do!

We Jews have our own set of Trinities! There are, in fact, lots of threes in Judaism -

  • Noah had three sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth
  • The Three Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
  • The prophet Balaam beat his donkey three times.
  • The prophet Jonah spent three days and nights in the belly of a large fish
  • Three divisions of the Written Torah: Torah (Five Book of Moses), Nevi'im (Prophets), Ketuvim (Writings)
  • Three divisions of the Jewish people: Kohen, Levite, Yisrael
  • Three daily prayers: Shacharit, Mincha, Maariv
  • Three Shabbat meals
  • Shabbat ends when three stars are visible in the night sky
  • Three Pilgrimage Festivals: Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot
  • Three matzos on the Passover Seder table
  • The Three Weeks, a period of mourning bridging the fast days of Seventeenth of Tammuz and Tisha B'Av
  • Three cardinal sins for which a Jew must die rather than transgress: idolatry, murder, sexual immorality
  • A Beth Din is composed of three members

Many more sets of threes appear in Pirkei Avot, a compilation of the ethical teachings and maxims of Mishnaic-period Rabbis.

The first verse of Pirkei Avot tells us

Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the elders; the elders to the prophets; and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: 
Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence around the Torah.

Plenty of the following verses also tell us "three things," But it is the second verse to which Abq Jew wishes to draw your attention.

Shimon the Righteous was one of the last survivors of the Great Assembly. He used to say: 
On three things the world is sustained: on the Torah, on worship, and on deeds of lovingkindness.

    Any one of these three things - Torah, worship, or lovingkindness - would not be enough. Indeed, any two of these things would not be enough. But these three things together enable us to build a sturdy structure for living in the world.

    And speaking (which we were; see above) of Unholy Trinities: 
    Tragically, here in New Mexico (and all over the USA) Covid-19 cases are up; Covid-19 hospitalizations are up; Covid-19 deaths are, alas, up. 

    Therefore, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Abq Jew say:

    New Mexico! Stay Home!

    NM Stay Home

    Even (Especially) for Thanksgiving!
    No Place Like Home

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