Saturday, May 28th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Dear Readers,

This is an experiment in making access to recent posts easier. Please leave your opinions in the comments for this page.


(bonus points for identifying that acronym – and Googling is unfair! Bill_iB)





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Friday, May 27th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

I was reading about Christo’s latest project earlier this week (wrapping a lake in Italy) and when I saw this – well, it’s just too good to be true (but it is true):

Pair of glasses left on floor at museum mistaken for art

Bill (not IB)


Thursday, May 26th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 25 Comments

from the desk of Bill (not IB)

OK. You’re an average American – ethnic background, religion, sexual preferences completely irrelevant. What does matter is that you volunteered to serve your country. You enlisted in the United States Army, and after basic training you were assigned to multiple tours of duty in some very dangerous places – Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. You were injured by an IED in Iraq, and took a bullet from a sniper in Afghanistan.

But – you’re one of the lucky ones. You survived. The injuries were serious, but the treatment you received in the field and at the in-theater hospitals was excellent.

However, no matter how good the medicos were, they couldn’t work miracles – they couldn’t put you back together the same way you were before being wounded. They patched you up enough for you to finish out your tour of duty, and when you got back Stateside you decided not to tempt fate too many times. You mustered out with an honorable discharge, and medals aplenty.

After your experiences with bombs and bullets, your health isn’t quite what it was once upon a time. You have issues with pain and mobility, and you find yourself making trips to a VA hospital frequently. The wait times are annoying, and the hospital is a dump, but – it’s still a lot better than many places you’ve seen.

Then – the Veterans Administration finds a way to take the words “bureaucratic foul-up” to levels previously unheard of. They declare you dead……

Do you think I jest?

You can’t get any benefits – when you go to the VA hospital, they turn you away as if you were trying to con your way into getting treatment you’re not entitled to.. Your veterans pension payments stop. And when you call to get things straightened out, you’re told rather rudely, “the file for the person you are referring to has been closed out, since that person is dead.”

Think about it. You survived the worst that terrorists could throw at you; they may have hurt you, but they couldn’t stop you. Then, the folks at the VA got busy – and they did what the IED and bullet couldn’t do. They killed you. Dead. Thank you, VA bureaucracy. And they didn’t even have the courtesy to bury you, or to send flowers.


Thursday, May 19th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 140 Comments

Wi-Fi here seems to be back up for the time being.  Anyhoo, if I owned a business in the People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of New York City, I’d start planning my business’s move out of town:

Greeting customers as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” — or even not using the pronoun “ze” or “zir” — could prove costly for New York City businesses under rules drafted by Dear Leader   Big Brother   Comrade Napoleon   Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bureaucrats.

The Gotham mayor’s Commission on Human Rights says entities that failing to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns and titles is a violation of the law and could be subject to penalties of up to $250,000.

The commission issued a “legal enforcement guidance” for the New York City Human Rights Law, which now “requires employers and converted entities to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the indivi-d’dual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.

The guidance, issued in December as part of a broader interpretation of the human rights law, notes that some people prefer pronouns that don’t have masculine or feminine forms, including “they/them/theirs or ze/hir.”  The former are plurals being drafted for use in the singular, while the latter are among several alternative pronoun systems developed by academics and/or LGBT communities.

addendum – Bill (not IB)

When you walk into a business, it’s been traditional for the first thing you hear to be “Welcome”. Now, it will be, “What pronouns should I use when I speak with you?”

Additional addendum – CJ

You’ve got it all wrong, Bill.  When you walk into an NYC restaurant, the first thing you’ll hear is the maître-d’ self-importantly asking you if you’d like to see the restaurant’s pronoun list.  ”Excellent choice,” he or she will tell you once you’ve made your selection.

gratuitous addition to addendum – Bill (not IB)

Most presumptuous, CJ. Are you sure that “maitre-d” is the proper form of address for the head_wait_person   principal_wait_person   principal_attending_person non-specific_being_offering_general_assistance_in_return_for_gratuities   headwaiter?

And, aren’t you also assuming a lot with – “the first thing you’ll hear“, “asking if you’d like to see“? What about the hearing impaired? What about the sight-impaired? Shame, shame. I’m quite certain every restaurant will have a designated sign-language translator on hand, as well as Braille pronoun lists.

[warning to all - I am NOT slamming or mocking the disabled, or implying they don't deserve proper consideration. Don't accuse me of doing so. I'm pointing out how difficult it would be for any given business to be prepared ahead of time to deal with every possible disability. There needs to be a balance between accommodation and reasonable expectations.]

Pushing the joke WAY too damn far Unnecessary addendum to gratuitous addition to addendum – CJ

I guess pronouns are not the only parts of the English language that are going to have to be made over.

I yield to my betters… Bill


Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments

from the desk of Bill (not IB)

I’m not going to spoil this with a description. It had me ROTFLMAOOL more than anything I’ve seen in a long, long time.


ps – our esteemed editor has had a lot of wifi issues of late, and I’ve been “feeling my oats” after a long bout of depression – hence my frequent posts. Never fear; I know my position/status quite well. CJ is the heart and soul of MCJ; I’m Tonto, Sancho Panza, Robin, Kato, Festus, Dr. Watson, &c., &c., &c. (Just don’t call me Shirley…)


Monday, May 16th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 77 Comments

In the past, this presidential candidate was perfectly okay with the concept of ObamaCare insofar as his state basically invented it.  He marched in “gay pride” parades and boasted about how “pro-choice” he was.  And he didn’t care for Ronald Reagan.

Donald Trump?


Mitt Romney, the thief-on-the-cross “conservative” that this country’s “conservative” political party ran against the First Socialist four years ago.

Conservative purists?  Here’s how real life actually works.  The first presidential election in which I got to vote was in 1976.  And in all the presidential elections in which I voted from that time to the present day, the ONLY candidate who came closest to my principles was Ronald Reagan.

The rest of the time, I voted according to what I call the LOTE principle.  The lesser of two evils.  Was I happy with my party’s candidate, the only other viable candidate in the race?  No.  But I voted for him anyway because of the awful alternative.

Do I like the idea of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?  No more than anybody with a brain does.  But the prospect of President Hillary Clinton is too horrifying to contemplate.  So I’ll take my chances.

You sound kind of cynical there, Johnson.  Maybe.  But that’s really the only way to look at all this and still remain sane.  So sack up and deal with the fact that Trump won.  And if you’re okay with handing the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue back to socialist kleptocrats like the Clintons, do us all a favor and stop calling yourselves conservatives.


Monday, May 16th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

from the desk of Bill (not IB)

Time to have some fun. No politics, no theology – any comments which contain political or theological references WILL be removed.

I’m sitting watching “Dirty Harry”, which I’ve probably watched at least 30 times before.

And, suddenly, I observed two things which I’d never noticed in all those previous viewings:

1) In the bank robbery scene towards the beginning, as Harry walks towards the camera after having foiled the robbery, there’s a movie theater marquee in the background. The film currently showing is “Play Misty for Me”. Gosh, what a coincidence…

2) The bank robber who is injured and has Harry ask him “Do you feel lucky?” looked familiar. He should. A quick check on IMDB showed he was Harry’s partner in “Sudden Impact”. But I’d never realized that he looked familiar before.

Have you ever had this happen to you – something that went unnoticed even though it was blatant as all get-out, and when you finally see it you say to yourself, “How could I have missed that?

Let’s hear YOUR stories. I think it could be interesting to be enlightened as to what buried gems folks have discovered; movies provide many opportunities to include things on an almost subliminal level. And remember – this is a fun, lighthearted post. Comments that are off-topic are not welcome, and will be summarily relegated to the byte-me bucket.


Friday, May 13th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Know who wants to form a union at the internationally-famous, tax-supported circus from which I earned a Masters degree?  These guys:

A long-threatened lawsuit to determine whether graduate assistants at the University of Missouri qualify as employees under state labor law was filed Wednesday in Boone County Circuit Court

The Coalition of Graduate Workers, a local union affiliated with the Missouri National Education Association, sued the university for recognition as the bargaining representative for 2,600 graduate students employed as teaching and research assistants, instructors, library assistants and graduate fellows.

I don’t know how many graduate assistants MU has but it doesn’t sound like too many of them were ready to look for the union label.

In an election held April 18 and 19 — organized by the coalition and supervised by the League of Women Voters — about 30 percent of graduate assistants voted; 84 percent supported forming the union. On May 6, the university again rejected a request for recognition of the vote.

What brought on this stupid idea anyway?

Agitation for a union began after MU leaders said last August that the university no longer would provide individual health insurance plans for graduate assistants, replacing the plan with a stipend designed to cover some insurance costs. The university quickly reversed that decision, which was based on IRS interpretations of federal health care law.

The university responded the way American universities tend to respond to their special snowflakes these days.

The university has attempted to soothe the discontented graduate assistants with increased stipends, efforts to provide affordable housing and changing dates when fees are due.

Translation.  “Free candy!!”

I was a TA when I was getting my Masters at MU but I never actually did any teaching.  I put in a couple of hours three or four times a week in the library school’s computer lab helping, as best I could, library students with their computer problems (mostly figuring out what was wrong with their BASIC programs).  This was the early nineties and library schools were just starting to come to the realization that computers might be of some importance in the library profession.

For that, I got tuition, room and board picked up (discombobulated my dad no end; the old man thought my Masters would cost him a ton of money and it ended up costing him almost nothing) and a small stipend.  I don’t remember exactly how much it was but it allowed me an occasional Taco Bell run now and then.

Tell you what.  If you’d suggested way back when that people like me needed a union, I would have laughed you into the next millennium.  Also, “Doot Doot Doodle-Ooodle-Oot-Doot Do Do” would have come up a lot.


Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Those wanting to make comments pertaining to the NHL playoffs are directed to scroll down to the NHL Open Thread

Bill (not IB)


Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Mikey?  If you EVER want to have any kind of professional football career at all, I have four words of advice for you.  For the love of God, shut the hell up:

Defensive end Michael Sam is attributing his inability to get signed to an NFL squad to his publicly coming out as gay in 2013, while others insist he just doesn’t have what it takes and that Sam was never more than a “stunt” for the NFL.

“I think if I never would have came out, never would have said those words out to the public, I would still be currently in the NFL. But because of me saying those words, I think it could have played a huge part in my current situation,” Sam said in a recent interview.

A huge media splash surrounded Sam’s draft in 2014, touted as historical because he was the first openly gay man ever drafted by an NFL team.

After winning co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in his senior season at Missouri, Sam, after “coming out,” was repeatedly passed over in the 2014 draft. The St. Louis Rams finally drafted him in the seventh round, the 249th of 256 players selected in the draft. The Rams cut Sam shortly before the season. Sam joined the Cowboys practice squad later in the season before his release in Dallas. He ended up playing in one game with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League last year.

Mike, I’m just going to bottom-line it for you.



I watched every down of the Florida game your senior year and, admittedly, you were an absolute felon that afternoon.  But Florida was a banged-up team that year and was playing second-string offensive linemen.

I also saw every down of the SEC title game that season and Auburn completely shut you down.  And I saw every down of the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State and you just barely registered in that game.

Do you really want to play the gay card, Mikey?  Because anyone with an Internet connection can easily find out that when you put up great SEC numbers, you put them up against bad SEC teams.

Mike?  In the NFL, every single team is Auburn.

The only reason you got drafted at all was because Jeff Fisher saw something.  And you had a decent exhibition season.  But do you know what would have happened if you’d stayed quiet about the whole gay thing?

Ethan Westbrooks still would have beaten you out.

Lots of us were rooting for you, Mikey, including me.  For one thing, we thought you were an undersized but tough defensive end and pretty much the ultimate underdog.  We weren’t aware that you were a whiny little bitch.  So that’s something that you’re going to have to work on if you want people like me to get back on board.


Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 68 Comments

from the desk of Bill (not IB)

New York City has often been considered a “counterweight” to Los Angeles. There’s a great deal of strangeness in both places, and all things considered, they kind of cancel one another out.

But at any given moment, there will be an outburst of irrational behavior in one or the other of these “cities of depravity  distinction”. It’s New York City’s turn this time.

Hizzoner the Mayor of NYC is a feller by the name of Bill de Blasio. (No, that’s *not* the Ghost Rider – the Ghost Rider was   [correction, courtesy of Hibdon's Best]   Billy Johnny Blaze.) De Blasio has become very well known for wanting to bring all of NYC in line with his mind drool ideas on how people should do just about everything. He wanted to ban the sale of large sodas, since they contain so much sugar. He refused to answer why someone wouldn’t just buy two smaller ones instead. He has banned travel by NYC employees to North Carolina because of the LGBT uproar there; anyone want to bet on whether or not this ban will have a major affect on North Carolina’s economy? He has even pushed hard for a ban on carriage horses in the city (which are very popular with both tourists and locals; Central Park is best seen from a carriage at a nice, slow walking pace…)

De Blasio’s latest – he’s called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A. What has him so angry? What has Chick-fil-A done wrong? Did the cows finally win the advertising war? Or has Chick-fil-A been caught using (heaven forbid!) cooking oil with trans-fat?.

No. The owner of Chick-fil-A said something so horrid, so dastardly, so mind-bogglingly dreadful and inhuman that it warrants immediate, drastic action.

Dan Cathy (owner of Chick-fil-A) said he believes in traditional marriage.

    Can you believe that!

If you walk into a Chick-fil-A restaurant, you won’t be greeted by a host of Westboro Church members violently waving “God hates fags” signs. You won’t find a guard at the door asking your sexual orientation. You won’t be asked at the counter if you’re in a same-sex marriage. In fact, when you walk into a Chick-fil-A, no one cares what your sex life involves.

But Bill de Blasio cares. He’s bound and determined that someone who merely states their personal opinion (and doesn’t even ask others to agree) shall pay a price for having the wrong opinion.

But – does de Blasio really care? Hmmmmm – I wonder how many Muslim businesses de Blasio has slated for boycott? After all, *some* Christians (TEC ring a bell here?) are okay with the whole LGBT thing, but I have yet to hear of a single Imam coming out in favor (or even tolerance) of homosexuality.

The double standard is amazing. There’s a blogger/podcaster you may have heard of named Steven Crowder. He’s done quite a few videos which expose the duplicity and stupidity of the Liberals/Leftists. One of his videos shows him going around to various Muslim bakeries and asking them to make a homosexual-themed wedding cake. Care to guess the result? I’m sure you heard all about the lawsuits filed by LGBT activists over this wanton discrimination. What? All you heard was crickets chirping? Surely you don’t think there’s any hypocrisy involved, do you? (Crowder has two other videos worth watching- in one, he shows just how ridiculous transgenderism can get, and in the other he lets loose on a protestor in a classic put-down (runs about 4 minutes; language warning).

Now don’t get de Blasio wrong – he really is a nice fellow. He concedes Chick-fil-A “has a legal right” to exist. (I’m sure that’s one of the future bans de Blasio is working on…) But, His Honor the Mayor is “certainly not going to patronize them and I wouldn’t urge any other New Yorkers to patronize them.”

Where’s the tolerance? Where’s the diversity? Where’s the consistent treatment of everyone?

It sure ain’t New York City – at least as long as Bill de Blasio has a say in matters.


Thursday, May 5th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 61 Comments

Well, Bill, it’s 2-2 so it’s anybody’s puck game.  I’ve followed the Blues for a long time and I’ve learned that tonight’s loss may take something out of my boys when they head back to D-town.  And since I live in St. Louis, I’ve learned to expect the worst out of my sports teams pretty much every single time that they play.

Talk about hockey.  Or any other topic that interests you.


Thursday, May 5th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 86 Comments

Donald Trump seems to have all-but locked down the Republican presidential nomination.  The conventional wisdom is that Hillary will cruise to victory in the fall and quite a few “conservatives” think that that would be the best possible outcome.  But make no mistake: the Left is absolutely terrified that Trumpy will take down this pot.  How scared are they?  This scared:

On April 28, I joined a multiracial group of Christian ministers and scholars in releasing a statement confessing resistance to Donald Trump as a Christian obligation. Indeed, I helped draft the statement, signed by dozens of leaders such as Jim Wallis, Otis Moss III, Shane Claiborne and Lisa Sharon Harper.

The statement stems from our shared sense that the Trump phenomenon challenges Christians at a core moral level and that faithfulness to Jesus is at stake in how American Christians respond.

If traditionalist Christians ever posted an open letter claiming that opposition to abortion or opposition to whatever claims various sexual deviants happened to be making at the time constituted the “Christian” position, the Left would have immediately started tossing around words like “theocracy” or “bigotry.”

Yet as far as Gush is concerned, the Christianity of millions of Americans can be accurately measured based solely on their support for one particular American presidential candidate in one particular American presidential election.

Seriously, Gush?  Do you really want to go there?  But it’s not that Gush and his friends are calling Trumpy supporters Nazis or Afrikaners or Serbs or anything.  They’re not.

The language of “confessional resistance” harks back to two particular moments in 20th-century history in which groups of Christians made major statements claiming that the very purity of the faith was at stake in political events and that a failure to resist represented a failure to follow Jesus. Those two instances were Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. While no direct comparison is intended, the language of confessional resistance draws on that history.

Except that they actually are.

The ascendancy of a demagogic candidate and his message, with the angry constituency he is fueling, is a threat to both the values of our faith and the health of our democracy. Donald Trump directly promotes racial and religious bigotry, disrespects the dignity of women, harms civil public discourse, offends moral decency, and seeks to manipulate religion.

Will I vote for Trumpy over the Hillarybilly?  Damn straight; I’m not as sanguine as George Will.  This won’t be a case of four-years-and-out.

Do I think that Trumpy will be a great American president?  No way in hell.  Most American presidents have been mediocre to bad and if Trumpy’s arrogant enough to think that he’ll buck that trend, he’s got an outstanding shot at becoming the next Franklin Pierce or James Buchanan.

Trumpy will screw over people like me before his inauguration day is even half-finished.

But thanks to the fecklessness of the Republican National Committee, those are the choices we have and we’re stuck with them.


Thursday, May 5th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Prussia is finally and forever dead:

The German military, once the most feared fighting force in Europe, is being forced to lay down its weapons by restrictive new overtime limits.

German soldiers taking part in a four-week Nato exercise in Norway earlier this year had to leave after just 12 days because they had gone over their overtime limits, it has emerged.

Troops have complained to a parliamentary watchdog that they are being forced to spend entire days doing nothing under the new rules.

“It can’t be that we can’t fulfil our NATO obligations because of overtime,” Hans-Peter Bertels, the German parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Ursula von der Leyen, the defence minister, has been widely criticised for reforms that have seen creches and flat-screen TVs introduced to military bases and postings limited to match school term dates.

Last year it emerged that fewer than half of Germany’s 66 Tornado aircraft were airworthy.


Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments

From the desk of Bill (not IB)

Step right up, step right up and place your bets…

The official Godfather of betting odds, Jimmy the Greek, has been taking all of his bets in either Heaven or Hell for almost exactly 20 years now (April 21, 1996).

But the betting public isn’t about to be discouraged. There are plenty of pundits who will give you guaranteed winners on everything from the 3rd race at Belmont to the Premiere League Title.

So, let’s make things interesting around MCJ for a while. Chris and I are in a friendly rivalry regarding the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs, St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars.

I’m willing to bet Chris a dozen groats that the Stars win. And I’m willing to stand all comers at 2-1 odds, 12 groats will get you 2 dozen groats.

Go to it, boys and girls…

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