Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 24th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 42 Comments
Great Britain has voted to leave the European Union. What does it mean? I’m currently (6:00 AM-ish) switching back and forth between CNN and CNBC, watching their talking heads desperately try to sort it all out. It’s been more than a little fascinating to watch “experts” make complete jackasses of themselves because none of them expected this result. For what little they’re worth, here are a few preliminary observations of mine:
(1) This vote not only heralds Britain’s exit from the EU but could very well signal the end of the United Kingdom itself. Look at the map at the above link. England and Wales voted overwhelmingly to leave while Northern Ireland voted to stay. And in Scotland, the vote can only be called a landslide win for the forces desiring to remain in the EU.
It’s not too hard to imagine a Scottish referendum on the same issue at some point in the near future. I’ve heard it said that one of the reasons why Britain tends to vote center-left on certain issues is that the Scots, who are much more leftist than the English are, can still vote in Westminster.
So if in their referendum, Scotland votes to remain in the EU, does that effectively mean that the Scots will regain the national independence that they haven’t had for a little over 300 years? Because it’s impossible to see how the English Parliament can allow them to remain under those circumstances.
(2) Britain’s “conservative” Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned; when his resignation will take effect is, at this point, unclear. Former London mayor Boris Johnson, who campaigned hard for Britain to leave is said to be the leading candidate to replace Cameron as head of the Conservative Party.
(3) The British pound is currently trading at a 30-year low, the euro is down, the price of crude oil is way down, gold is way up, the American dollar is way up and stock markets are tanking all over the world. Dow futures are currently down over 500 points although they’ve improved a bit since I first started watching all this.
(4) Leave your thoughts in the comments. And stay tuned.
UPDATE: 8:37 AM. The Dow’s down over 500.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments
The Piskie Peace Creeps intentionally get Orlando wrong:
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) vigorously affirms President Barack Obama’s call to ban the sale of assault weapons following the worst mass shooting in US history at the Pulse – an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida – early June 12. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others injured.
“Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds all victims of the Pulse massacre in prayer, while urging our membership toward action,” said the Rev. Liles, EPF executive director.
“Homophobia, bigotry and racism exist around the world – however in the United States persons with these ideologies of hate have legal access to AR-15s. Assault rifles have no place in civilian society and EPF calls our members to contact legislators, imploring them to pass sensible gun laws such as an assault weapons ban, universal background checks on all private sales and legislation preventing suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns,” she said.
In other news, Fake NCR believes that it’s time to
get rid of “rethink” papal infallibility.
Quoting Küng, Mannion suggests that “the time has come to ‘re-vision’ this doctrine. Indeed, I would suggest that the time has come to reimagine and to re-envision the entire system of ecclesiastical magisterium — how Catholic teaching authority is understood and practiced.”
That’s a large undertaking and is likely to run into plenty of resistance within the Curia and elsewhere. But it’s why the church universal should consider itself less an institution and more a movement. A movement, after all, is much more interested in its goals and mission than it is in its structure or in its traditions being preserved for the sake of preserving traditions.
Even if most Protestants can’t articulate an accurate description of papal infallibility, many of them are suspect of it because of what it reveals about the insecurity of an institution that requires it. For that reason alone, it may be time to rethink it.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Conflicts can and do end no matter how old they happen to be:
About two months ago a world geopolitical conflict tracing back to days after the death of King Solomon was ceremoniously resolved. It didn’t make the news. Now, Extra!, read all about it!
This April the end of the longest political estrangement in the world was celebrated. The celebration went almost unnoticed but could be consequential. The world’s oldest persisting conflict began almost 3,000 years ago as a tax revolt. The consequences of this conflict have mistily haunted world lore, echoing through millennia.
Yet here the Israelite-Samaritans still are. Their population has risen from fewer than 200 people a century ago to about 800 today and continues to rise. They live by most ancient Biblical traditions and are a cultural treasure of Biblical proportions.
The Israelite-Samaritans reside in a village outside Nablus – the modern name of the very Shechem in which Rehoboam was crowned – and in Holon, a suburb of Tel Aviv. I have the privilege of serving as the honorary envoy of the Israelite-Samaritans to Washington and of having co-founded, together with Samaritan elder and civic leader Benyamim Tsedaka, the Samaritan Medal Foundation. Under Chairman Tsedaka’s leadership, the Foundation awarded its Peace Medal to Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdalla last August.
This past April the Foundation awarded its Peace Medal to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Thereby an ancient rift was ceremoniously resolved.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments
I don’t like the idea of President Donald Trump any more than anyone else does. The dude’s as good a candidate for Antichrist as there is out there. The Republican Party establishment along with professional “conservatives” like George Will, Bill Kristol and David Brooks are too stupid, too invested or both to grasp this but Donald Trump’s Ego just explained why he won the GOP nomination and why any attempt to deny him that nomination will result in the total destruction of the Republican Party:
Donald Trump ripped into Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, painting her as a corrupt career politician who he said would enrich her allies and cater to special interests at the expense of the American people.
In an address where he rarely strayed from his prepared remarks, Trump accused the former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic nominee of being a “world-class liar” who “may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.”
“She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund — doing favors for oppressive regimes, and really, many, many others, in exchange for cash,” Trump said — allegation Clinton’s campaign has repeatedly denied. “Pure and simple, folks, Pure and simple. Then, when she left, she made $21.6 million giving speeches to Wall Street banks and other special interests — and in less than 2 years — secret speeches that she does not want to reveal under any circumstances to the public. I wonder why.”
As Rush Limbaugh put it, this speech is something that Republican voters like me have wanted to hear for a VERY long time. Can you imagine Bob Dole saying this stuff? John McCain? Mitt Romney?
But we now have a Democratic opponent who, if this speech is any indication, is more than willing to punch back twice as hard (to borrow a line from the President). And if any current or former Republican presidential candidate had been willing to do the same, this country would not now entertain the idea of President Donald Trump.
Or would ever have been cursed with the presidency of Barack Obama.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 | Hypocrites Unlimited | 6 Comments
Well, well, well –
Seems like there may be some documented cases of "all things are not equal" …
"Six months after the Pentagon ordered all combat jobs open to women, seven female Marines are either serving in those posts or waiting to serve, and 167 are performing noncombat duties in front-line units, according to new data obtained by The Associated Press.
The numbers underscore the difficulty of integrating women into the demanding jobs, and reflect the small number of women who want to be combat Marines and can pass the new tough physical standards required to qualify. So far this year those standards have weeded out most female hopefuls and have also disqualified some men.
Six out of seven female recruits — and 40 out of about 1,500 male recruits — failed to pass the new regimen of pull-ups, ammunition-can lifts, a 3-mile run and combat maneuvers required to move on in training for combat jobs, according to the data."
Read it all here
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments
Missouri University’s football and basketball programs are going to suck royally for the foreseeable future. And not much of anybody in this state will even remotely give a crap:
ESPN announced it will give the University of Missouri (MU) football team a special humanitarian award in July for the team’s strike, which led to the the school’s president being fired and a massive drop in enrollment.
Last fall, MU was hit by a wave of protests led by Concerned Student 1950, which claimed the school was a hotbed of racial animosity in need of drastic change, starting with the removal of college president Tim Wolfe. The protest received limited, mostly local attention, until early November, when an absolute bomb dropped. Black members of MU’s football team announced they were joining the protest movement by going on strike. They wouldn’t practice or play games until Wolfe was gone. Within days, Wolfe was out, along with Columbia campus Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.
The success of activists at Missouri sparked a wave of imitators all across the country, who held their own mass protests and wrote their own demand lists, to varying degrees of success. It also sparked a major backlash against MU itself, which has seen a big drop in enrollment that has torn a $32 million hole in its budget.
I got a Masters from the place and right now, I couldn’t care less whether the Tigers win or lose.
Go Missouri State Bears!!
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments
You seldom see anyone win the Internet as handily as Cloyd Rivers did a week ago.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Sunday, June 19th, 2016 | Hypocrites Unlimited | 38 Comments
I have to admit that I was very, very fortunate when it came to the draft and military service.
I fell into a small “doughnut hole” in the mid-70s. (To be exact, “men born between March 29, 1957, and December 31, 1959, were completely exempt from Selective Service registration.”) I wasn’t required to register for the draft, and so I also couldn’t be called up for active service, since I didn’t “officially” exist.
I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I’d gotten an induction notice. I was attending college (an engineering school) and, based on the way things typically operated at that time, I would have gotten a student deferment. Worst case, I could have signed up for ROTC and made my own choices regarding branch of service and location. I didn’t hit 18 until after the USA was already out of Viet Nam (1976), so my worries were relatively minor.
I believe that I would have served if I was called upon – but the only way to know for certain is to live through the circumstances. I can’t be said to be a conscientious objector; the notion of killing an NVA soldier with my trusty M16 wasn’t evil in and of itself, just as killing Nazis with an M1 Garand (actually, a BAR) was something my Dad had no trouble accepting in WW II.
It was certainly interesting to note how fear of being drafted was a uniquely “male” issue. Women had nothing to worry about; they weren’t required to register for the draft, much less worry about being yanked out of their everyday existence and dumped into some 3rd world cesspool with gazillions of locals wanting nothing less than to send you home in four or five body bags.
Do any of you Dear Readers remember the “Equal Rights Amendment” push in the 70’s? The women’s lobby wanted to ensure that there was fairness and parity in all areas. But – somehow, military service was exempted from that “women are equal” mantra. Except insofar as women who were in the military and desired to serve in a combat role were supposed to be accommodated. Following the 1994 death of Kara Hultgreen (nicknamed “Revlon”), the first woman carrier-based fighter pilot, whose F-14 crashed during a landing attempt on the USS Abraham Lincoln, questions arose as to whether or not the same criteria were being used to judge both male and female candidates for certain combat roles, with preference being given to underqualified women in order to establish a female presence. (There was a really good “Law and Order” episode roughly based on “Revlon”…)
Gradually, women’s roles in the military have expanded. The absolute ban on women serving in combat areas has been done away with, and while it could hardly be said that complete parity has been reached (thank goodness!, since men’s and women’s abilities are NOT equal) there are now all sorts of opportunities open to all.
But that doesn’t address a most basic idea; one which goes back to the
War of Northern Agression Civil War – conscription, A.K.A. “the draft”.
Since 1980, all men have been required to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. No woman has EVER been required to register for the draft – it has been totally, absolutely sexist; 100% discriminatory.
Have you noticed any massive crowds of men marching on Washington in protest? Has the NCLU filed suit against the government for blatant sexual discrimination? Are men standing up and claiming with “absolute moral certainty” that the sons of America are being deliberately sacrificed to “political correctness”?
Oh – I get it; all you’ve heard is the chirping of crickets.
Well, the times they are a changin’ – and suddenly the ladies who were all for equality are beginning to wonder what they may have gotten themselves into: Women, Draft: A Battleground
As they say, be careful what you wish for – you may get it.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Saturday, June 18th, 2016 | Website Issues | 4 Comments
In all likelihood, relatively few of our readers noticed that two posts of mine disappeared suddenly and with no explanation.
There are reasons, as follows:
1) First post – had to do with the draft, which is a very contentious issue. Items that Chris posted seemed to merit more concern and attention than mine, so my lackluster observations have been “retained for resubmission at a time in the future to be determined; said time to be defined by the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, and the price of pickled beets.”
2) Second post – a very, very humorous item. But – it referenced hunters; was based on the voice of “Donald Duck”; and was incompatible with the tragic death of a toddler at Disney World. This item shall also reappear when the timing is right.
I will never, ever yield to the self-appointed deities of political correctness. But damned if I don’t know the difference between what’s right, proper, and appropriate; and what is tasteless, tactless, and thoughtless. Doing the considerate and decent thing allows one to sleep soundly at night, and deal with the face in the morning mirror with no doubts or regrets. (And I assure you, my face needs all the help it can get!)
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 17th, 2016 | LGBT+54 | 12 Comments
If “men” who “self-identify” as “women” are allowed by law to use female bathrooms, then uttering the insult, “Go eff yourself” will probably be considered a hate crime or something.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 17th, 2016 | Stupid People | 16 Comments
These skanks are the reason (well, one of them) why the word “racism” has lost all meaning.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 16th, 2016 | Sports | 20 Comments
I watched this on ESPN2 the other day. And TBS is currently running this as an ongoing series. It’s nice to know that all those hours I spent at the 7-11 when I was a kid weren’t completely wasted, it’s always fun to officially be a pioneer and if they ever get a classic video games thing going, I might have a shot at playing Pole Position on national television even though I made it to the third level exactly once.
But come on now. Are you people that hurting for sports programming? You can’t work out some kind of Rugby deal or bring Australian Rules football back on a regular basis? If so, then I can guarantee that the American people will see televised Angry Birds or Candy Crush tournaments in the very near future.
And absolutely NOBODY wants that.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 | Website Issues | 23 Comments
WordPress, the folks what power, whatever that means, this here site, has just had an upgrade. I don’t know about my associate but I’m not entirely used to the software yet. So if something goes sideways around here for the next couple of weeks, Bill and I officially apologize in advance.
On an unrelated note, would Katherine, FW Ken and The Little Myrmidon drop me a line? Put your handles in the subject line so I’ll know it’s you. I’ve got a proposition for the three of you.
And I’ll have propositions for even more of you in the coming months.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 | The Court has Decided... | 13 Comments
Since the news has been so depressing lately, I thought that the following might lift your spirits. Never ever forget that every so often, the good guys win and the bad guys lose:
A federal appeals court on Monday threw out $1.8 million in damages awarded to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who said he was defamed by the late author Chris Kyle in the bestselling book “American Sniper.”
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also sent a portion of the case — Ventura’s defamation claim — back to the district court for a new trial, saying Ventura’s attorneys made improper remarks and the trial court “clearly abused its discretion in denying a new trial.”
Kyle is a former SEAL regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills. In his book “American Sniper,” he wrote a subchapter called “Punching Out Scruff Face” in which he describes decking Ventura at a California bar in 2006 after Ventura made offensive comments about SEALs, including that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” in Iraq.
Kyle, who was killed on a shooting range in 2013 by a troubled fellow veteran, gave sworn videotaped testimony before his death that his story was true. The case proceeded against his estate.
In 2014, a jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, appealed, asking that the verdict be thrown out or that a new trial be ordered on First Amendment and other grounds. Ventura’s lawyers, however, argued that jury got the verdict right.
In Monday’s ruling, a three-judge appellate panel reversed the unjust-enrichment award, saying the theory of unjust-enrichment “enjoys no legal support under Minnesota law” and fails as a matter of law.
The majority found that Ventura’s attorneys improperly let the jury hear that publisher HarperCollins had an insurance policy to cover a defamation award and attorney fees. The majority said those comments prevented Kyle’s estate from receiving a fair trial and that Ventura’s attorneys deliberately referenced a “deep-pocket insurer” to try to influence the jury and enhance damages.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 | Website Issues | 15 Comments
Yes, MCJ was “out of service” for a long time today.
Katherine picked up on the likely cause almost immediately – the “yobbo” who thought he was so slick at updating the website.
in other words, – moi.
I have apologized to CJ, offered a fatted calf in sacrifice for my transgressions, and volunteered to make monetary amends to CJ retroactive to the beginning of time (courtesy of the First Trans-National Bank of Eden; Mr. A. D. Am, proprietor). What *really* hurts is that CJ wants me to give him my collection of Hot Wheels… (not really).