Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments
This area simply cannot buy a break:
[St. Louis City] Police Chief Sam Dotson walked from a sidewalk press briefing toward the crowd at midday Tuesday. As he was describing the scene, someone scolded the others, “Listen up.” Another added, “Keep quiet.” Dotson said a city alderman had witnessed the shooting.
Afterward, Dotson said, “I want this message to be out as quickly and truthfully as possible.” The tension on the street seemed diminished.
Dotson spoke on the 8700 block of Riverview Boulevard, at McLaran Avenue, north of Calvary Cemetery. About 12:30 p.m., he said, two of his officers had shot and killed a man who, they said, attacked them with a knife.
Fortunately (if that’s an appropriate word to use here), this incident seems to have been better witnessed than the one in Ferguson.
Powell started throwing the items on the street and sidewalk. St. Louis Alderman Dionne Flowers, who works at a nearby beauty shop, witnessed the encounter and told officers the man was acting erratically and was grabbing at his waistband.
Dotson said the store owner and the alderman said the suspect was “armed with a knife, acting erratically, pacing back and forth in the street, talking to himself.”
Employees at the market and the beauty shop called 911. Two arriving officers ordered Powell to get down, but he became more agitated and walked toward them, reaching for his waistband. Witnesses told police the man was yelling, “Shoot me, kill me now,” during the encounter, Dotson said.
As for Ferguson, the award for the hands-down stupidest thing anybody has said about this whole tragedy goes to a guy who used to be an institution around here.
Ted Simmons, the former eight-time All-Star catcher, witnessed racial bias when he moved to St. Louis nearly 45 years ago, and for the Cardinals.
He was a kid who was born and raised in Michigan, drafted by the Cardinals in 1967, and saw things he couldn’t believe.
Simmons vividly recalls the hurt and anger when his own Cardinals’ teammates, Bob Gibson and Bill White, were turned away when they tried to move into an upscale neighborhood in St. Louis. Gibson wound up simply staying at a downtown hotel during the season, and immediately leaving for his hometown of Omaha, Neb., when the season ended. He remembers a disproportionate amount of cars pulled over in Clayton and Ladue belonging to African-American drivers.
Did such indignities happen to black Cardinal players in St. Louis back then? To our shame, yes they did. Our shame is made much more unbearable by the fact that such things never ever happened to black players in any other major-league cities at all. EVER. End particularly corrosive sarcasm. Then Teddy Ballgame doubles down.
“This has been tough on everyone,” says Simmons, the Seattle Mariners’ senior advisor, who has lived in the St. Louis area for nearly 45 years. “You live here, and people think that things like this only happen across the river in Illinois. Well, this is the still the South, and things happen that shouldn’t.
Still. The. South. The South. Capital S. Teddy Ballgame, who “always perceived myself as integrated and civilized with a broad perspective,” knows that such things only happen in “the South” and never happen anywhere else.
Leave aside the fact that St. Louis predates Missouri. Forget the fact that St. Louis was perfectly happy as the dominant settlement of Upper Louisiana until this “United States of America” doohickey bought the lot from Napoleon, created this “Missouri” thing and decided to let all those ’necks move in.
Ignore the fact that antebellum St. Louis business interests, which were coming to dominate the state, were directed toward Boston, New York and Philadelphia and were manifestly anti-slavery. Ignore the fact that the City of St. Louis elected an emancipationist mayor before the War. Ignore the fact that St. Louis County was one of only two counties in Missouri that voted for Abraham Lincoln for president.
Ignore the fact that St Louisians are Missourians in the same way that Basques are Spaniards; it might be drawn that way on a map but I wouldn’t suggest that to the locals if I were you.
Because NO racial bias ever occurs north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Absolutely no racial bias at all. None whatsoever.
UPDATE: Legendary MCJ commenter Katherine reminded me of something that I left out. In the comments to the post below this one, where I mentioned the Civil War’s gift to the South, according to Robert Penn Warren’s The Legacy of the Civil War, I also mentioned that war’s gift to the North, something Warren calls the Treasury of Virtue.
The Treasury of Virtue, which is the psychological heritage left to the North by the Civil War, may not be as comic or vicious as the Great Alibi, but it is equally unlovely. It may even be, in the end, equally corrosive of national, and personal, integrity. If the Southerner, with his Great Alibi, feels trapped by history, the Northerner, with his Treasury of Virtue, feels redeemed by history, automatically redeemed. He has in his pocket, not a Papal indulgence peddled by some wandering pardoner of the Middle Ages, but an indulgence, a plenary indulgence, for all sins past, present and future, freely given by the hand of history.
And that is why I keep recommending that little book. Because when was the last time you heard or read of an American leftist admitting a policy mistake or confessing that some leftist program or other was a failure?
They don’t. Ever. Every idea that pops into their heads is not only right but sanctified by God. QED, anyone who opposes them or who believes that some objective can be achieved by different means must be the Other. Utterly evil.
From the “South.”
Nothing ever goes away in America. That war didn’t stop at Appomattox in ’65. It just went cold. And it’s still going on.
Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 39 Comments
In 1961, at the start of the United States Civil War Centennial observances, LIFE magazine asked Robert Penn Warren for an essay about the effects of that war on subsequent US history. That essay eventually became a small book entitled The Legacy of the Civil War which is still in print and is well worth your time.
It’s slightly more than one hundred pages and if you’re not as glacially slow a reader as the Editor is, you can probably polish it off in an hour or less. Warren, a Kentuckian, is equally harsh with both sides, as he should be. But the curse which was laid upon the South as a result of that war was something that Warren labels the Great Alibi. I’m transcribing directly from the book so any errors are mine:
By the Great Alibi, the South explains, condones and transmutes everything. By a simple reference to the “War,” any Southern female could not too long ago, put on the glass slipper and be whisked away to the ball. Any goose could dream herself (or himself) a swan– surrounded, of course, by a good many geese for contrast and devoted hand-service. Even now, any common lyncher becomes a defender of the Southern tradition, and any rabble-rouser the gallant leader of a thin gray line of heroes, his hat on saber-point to provide reference by which to hold formation in the charge. By the Great Alibi, pellagra, hookworm and illiteracy are all explained, or explained away, and mortgages are converted into badges of distinction. Laziness becomes the aesthetic sense, blood-lust rising from a matrix of boredom and resentful misery becomes a high sense of honor, and ignorance becomes divine revelation. By the Great Alibi, the Southerner makes his Big Medicine. He turns defeat into victory, defects into virtues. Even more pathetically, he turns his great virtues into absurdities–sometimes vicious absurdities.
It occurred to me that one of the most terrible tragedies of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals is that it granted something like Warren’s Great Alibi to the Catholic left, the Christian left and other enemies of the Gospel.
For example. You’re a Catholic theologian of leftist leanings or a feminist nun. You have publicly written that not only should Katharine Jefferts Schori be allowed to preach in Catholic parishes, she should also be allowed to concelebrate the Mass.
The Vatican calls you out. How do you respond? Easy. You simply invoke the Great Christian Alibi in the same way as Sister Elizabeth Johnson [No relation - Ed] does here:
A nun who drew U.S. Catholic bishops’ ire with what they consider radical feminist writings fired back Friday (Aug. 15), saying their investigation of women’s orders is wasteful when financial mismanagement and sexual abuses are being covered up.
“When the moral authority of the hierarchy is hemorrhaging due to financial scandals and many bishops who … cover up sexual abuse of children, a cover up that continues in some quarters to this day, and thousands are drifting away from the church … the waste of time on this investigation is unconscionable,” Johnson said.
And debate is officially over. Who are you, you male member of the church hierarchy, to lecture me about anything at all, considering that the MALE hierarchy of this church covered up the sexual abuse of CHILDREN?
Leaving aside the psychological trauma of the victims, the Great Alibi freely provided to the enemies of both the Catholic Church and the Gospel may actually be the single most damaging thing to emerge from the sexual abuse scandals.
Because how do you answer it?
Saturday, August 16th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 35 Comments
Bishop Empty Coke Bottle, Public Relations Director for the Episcopal Church, strode to the podium. “Good afternoon, idiots and idiettes, er, um, ladies and gentleman,” he said to the reporters gathered in the Church Center press room. “Are any of you people new?”
About a third of the room raised their hands. “Okay here’s how things work around here, ” Bottle continued. “Anybody who raised their hands just now doesn’t get to ask a question since you haven’t been to one of these before, your questions will be stupid and the one thing that pisses me off more than anything else is stupidity.
“The booze in the back is free but the veterans won’t need it since they’re probably hammered already. Those of you who aren’t drunk off your asses might as well start drinking now since it isn’t going to cost you anything and hopefully, it’ll keep you from asking questions that piss me off.
“Anyway. The Episcopal Church would like announce a brand-new revenue stream, ministry. In a couple of weeks, the Church’s Fine Foods Division…”
“Why does the Episcopal Church have a fine foods division?” wondered ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
“For the same reason other churches do, ass,” replied the Bishop, more than a little annoyed.
“What other divisions does the Church have?”
“Jeez. There’s Episcopal Church Home & Garden, Episcopal Church Restaurant Supply, Episcopal Church Kidz Klothing, Episcopal Church Online Dating Service, Episcopal Church Bait & Tackle, Episcopal Church Insta-Ordination kits, Episcopal Church Catering, Episcopal Church Petrochemicals, EpiscoBurgers, Episcopal Church Feed & Grain, etc.
“Anyway, as I was saying before Karl so rudely interrupted me, the Episcopal Church Fine Foods Division will begin rolling out what we like to call ‘sophisticated drinks for sophisticated people.’”
“The Episcopal Church will start selling alcoholic beverages?” asked CBS’s Gayle King.
“That’s correct, Gayle. Some of the best beer in the world is brewed at monasteries. Why shouldn’t the Episcopal Church do the same?”
“What will be the first beverage to hit the market?”
“Glad you asked. In a very short time, people will be able to buy at the supermarket or order online what we call The Episcopalian Non-Alcoholic Vodka.”
Charlie Rose stood up. “Bishop, why did the Episcopal Church decide to…wait…what?? What’s this going to be called again?”
“The Episcopalian Non-Alcoholic Vodka.”
The entire Episcopal Church Press Corps looked utterly confused and stared at one another with deer-in-the-headlights expressions. Finally, CNN’s Jake Tapper managed to say, “Bishop, aren’t you basically referring to…well…water?”
“No, Jake, I’m referring to non-alcoholic vodka. If I had meant to say water, I would have said water.”
“Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay,” stammered Norah O’Donnell. “What if you took some vodka and however you do this, removed all the alcohol from it? What would be left?”
“Obviously. Non-alcoholic vodka”
“Son of a…”
“Norah, I think I’ve got this,” said the MCJ’s Michael D. Harmon. “Bishop, how exactly is The Episcopalian water…”
“Non-alcoholic vodka. JEEZ, are you people deaf?”
“…non-alcoholic vodka made? How is the alcohol actually removed?”
“It’s not, Mike. I can’t go into details because our process is proprietary. But basically, it doesn’t ever allow any alcohol into the final product at all.”
“So it starts out and basically remains…water,” observed NBC’s Brian Williams.
“It’s NON-ALCOHOLIC VODKA, moron. How many times do I have to keep repeating this? Are you people mentally handicapped or something? Do any of you have any knowledge of how big a problem alcoholism and binge drinking is with the young people of this country?”
“So what other drinks will the Episcopal Church be rolling out?” asked CBS’s Leslie Stahl.
“Good question for a damn change. In another month, we’ll be introducing Lambeth Palace Non-Alcoholic London Dry Gin while El Anglicano Non-Alcoholic Silver Tequila will follow it. We’re still working on a non-aged, non-alcoholic bourbon but we haven’t come up with a brand name yet.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing in particular.
Bishop Bottle stared at Stahl for a while and then looked around the room. “Anything else?”
“Nah, we’re good,” said Jake Tapper, nursing a Manhattan, as the rest of the Press Corps, pouring themselves drinks at the back of the room, nodded in agreement.
Thursday, August 14th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 135 Comments
It’s always interesting to read what liberals write when they think that they’re among friends. For example, these lefties seem to genuinely believe that the bad guys of the US Civil War were Lincoln and Grant:
The nation would be better off if Southern states seceded from the union, and Republicans pushing for right-to-work, voter ID laws and other reforms are “neo-Confederates” according to a candid exchange between a major Democratic donor and liberal organizers on Gamechanger Salon. The forum, a secretive and exclusive digital gathering of over 1,000 leftwing leaders, activists and journalists, was recently made public by Media Trackers, and email exchanges between members offer fascinating insights into the group’s inner deliberations.
Gamechanger Salon participant Jon Stahl sparked a conversation last October about the role of the South in American politics when he posted a link to Michael Lind’s piece for Salon magazine entitled The South is Holding America Hostage. “I thought this was an impressive (if tough) piece of big-picture political strategy and prescription,” Stahl explained before remarking, “Would be interested to hear others’ opinions of whether he is on target or way off…and if so what that might imply.”
If the “South” wanted to take another run at independence, Guy Saperstein certainly wouldn’t stand in the way.
First to respond was Guy Saperstein, a wealthy California mega-donor to Democratic candidates and leftwing causes. “In the alternative, could we just let the South secede?” the part owner of the Oakland Athletics baseball team queried.
“For more than 100 years, the South has been dumbing down national politics, tilting the country in a conservative direction, supporting militarism, all while demanding huge financial subsidies from blue states. It would be 100% fine with me if the South was a separate nation, pursuing its own priorities and destiny. And if people like you succeed in blunting the conservatism of the South, more power to you.”
But what do we do about all those African-Americans living the the “South,” Guy? Easy. Let them
eat cake move to the progressive heaven Guy and his friends will establish once they’re clear of the racist reactionary Neanderthals.
Reached via email by Media Trackers, Saperstein doubled-down on his theory. Asked about the consequences for African Americans if secession became a reality, he said “secession would be a gradual process, giving any blacks who felt threatened time to relocate.”
According to Saperstein, civil rights victories “would not be lost for any blacks willing to relocate and the ones who relocated would do much better in their new environments.”
I’m down. I’d love to have a chance to fly my Third National some time. I just don’t think that Guy and his fellow lefties understand the implications of their proposal.
For one thing, the new “Confederate States of America” will be FAR larger than the first one was, extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border and Alaska which would pretty much completely cut Guy’s “United States of America” off from most of its food and pretty much all of its energy.
From your fingertips to God’s ears, Sappy.
Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 37 Comments
Nothing worthwhile ever comes from a theologian who makes a point of referring to himself or herself as “The Rev. Dr.” Case in point: the Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite thinks genocide is bad:
There seems little doubt that the self-styled radical Islamist group, Islamic State, is committing genocide in Iraq, certainly against the Yazidis, and has targeted Christians to “convert or die” as well.
But actually doing something about genocide is also bad.
In fact, it is important, in my view, not to mistake this U.S. effort in Iraq for anything other than military interventionism wrapped in humanitarianism. That does not mean, however, the humanitarianism should not be undertaken. That’s why this is a “problem from Hell.”
Let me get this straight. Instead of militarily fighting against the Nazis, the Allies should have restricted themselves to air-dropping extra food, clothing, blankets, etc. into the death camps? Yeah, pretty much.
The doctrine of humanitarian intervention, or what is now more technically called Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was developed following the genocides in Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s. While the Holocaust during World War II had produced solemn pledges of “never again,” the fact was that genocide did happen again, and especially in regard to Rwanda, the world did nothing.
So what does Susan suggest that the world do about genocides? Nothing in particular.
So what are we supposed to do? Let Islamic State bury women and children alive, brutally massacre religious groups and drive them out of their homes?
No. That’s what makes this a hellish problem.
Just do not mistake this for anything other than military intervention that has some humanitarian goals, namely getting supplies to people who desperately need them and helping provide a safety corridor so that they might escape Islamic State. But when you see bombers and drones in action, know that this is military interventionism to “protect American interests,” and not mistake it for anything else.
Okay. Instead of relying on “military interventionism,” the only thing that has EVER stopped genocides, let’s rely instead on the unstoppable power of Twitter hashtags.
Monday, August 11th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 60 Comments
My hometown makes the national papers, as they say:
The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager Saturday by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb came after a struggle for the officer’s gun, police officials said Sunday, in an explanation that met with outrage and skepticism in the largely African-American community.
The killing of the youth, Michael Brown, 18, ignited protests on Saturday and Sunday in Ferguson, Mo., a working-class suburb of about 20,000 residents. Hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the shooting to question the police and to light candles for Mr. Brown, who was planning to begin college classes on Monday.
At a candlelight vigil on Sunday evening, the heightened tensions between the police and the African-American community were on display. A crowd estimated in the thousands flooded the streets near the scene of the shooting, some of them chanting “No justice, no peace.” They were met by hundreds of police officers in riot gear, carrying rifles and shields, as well as K-9 units.
Witnesses described a peaceful protest that later turned volatile, and there were scattered reports of violence. Images and videos captured on cellphones and posted on social media sites appeared to show people spray-painting and looting a QuikTrip gas station and other stores. Rioters shattered the windows of the gas station and damaged several police cars, said Brian Lewis, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department.
As expected, TV stations here covered the riot extensively. If any of you are worried, Ferguson is nowhere near Webster Groves. Ferguson is in the northern part of St. Louis County while Webster’s in the south, 20 to 25 miles away, give or take.
Details are still sketchy although I’ve seen several reports suggesting that the poor kid had multiple rounds in him. If that’s true, County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch will have no choice but to bring at least manslaughter charges against the cop in question.
Racial ambulance-chaser Al Sharpton is due in town soon so this story will be on the front burner for a while.
Sunday, August 10th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 32 Comments
There’s never an easy way to do this. I guess it’s true that the best way to remove a bandage is to just grab it and give it a fast yank. So here goes. Annie? This is just not working out and I think that you and I should start seeing other people:
I wonder how the Ebola doctor feels now that his humanitarian trip has cost a Christian charity much more than any services he rendered.
It’s not you, it’s me.
Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did in Liberia has now been overwhelmed by the more than $2 million already paid by the Christian charities Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA just to fly him and his nurse home in separate Gulfstream jets, specially equipped with medical tents, and to care for them at one of America’s premier hospitals. (This trip may be the first real-world demonstration of the economics of Obamacare.)
Actually, it is you. Samaritan’s Purse cares for and takes care of the people who work for them. And since none of their money comes from the government, why should it concern you how much money they spend?
There’s little danger of an Ebola plague breaking loose from the treatment of these two Americans at the Emory University Hospital. But why do we have to deal with this at all?
Because we’re…concerned about the lives of two people?
Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?
You and I are just in different places right now. I’m a Christian and, to be perfectly blunt about it, you’re kind of a cold, heartless skank.
About 15,000 people are murdered in the U.S. every year. More than 38,000 die of drug overdoses, half of them from prescription drugs. More than 40 percent of babies are born out of wedlock. Despite the runaway success of “midnight basketball,” a healthy chunk of those children go on to murder other children, rape grandmothers, bury little girls alive — and then eat a sandwich. A power-mad president has thrown approximately 10 percent of all Americans off their health insurance — the rest of you to come! All our elite cultural institutions laugh at virginity and celebrate promiscuity.
So no, there’s nothing for a Christian to do here.
Face? Why don’t you and Palm get a room, for crying out loud?
Annie, you seem to suggest that there aren’t any Christians in the United States fighting the very battles you describe. None whatsoever. Since that’s patently idiotic, why should you object to two Christian medical professionals traveling to a place where people are sick and trying to help them? After all, the Lord said that we should do things like that and stuff.
You wrote that there is next-to no danger of an Ebola outbreak occurring as a result of this. So I’m at a loss to see your problem here. Unless it’s the place to which those two missionaries traveled that bothers you. Or you think “Go ye into all the world” means “Go ye to the end of the block.”
If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia. Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.
If he had provided health care for the uninsured editors, writers, videographers and pundits in Gotham and managed to open one set of eyes, he would have done more good than marinating himself in medieval diseases of the Third World.
Right on both counts. But Annie figures that she’d better start justifying her screed with a Bible quote or two.
Not only that, but it’s our country. Your country is like your family. We’re supposed to take care of our own first. The same Bible that commands us to “go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel” also says: “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
As long as your Bible’s open, Annie, try this one on:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Know what that means, Annie? Lots of people stop in and comment here from time to time. Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox. The theological discussions get a little intense here now and then but they’re mostly civil. I generally stay out since I’m not educated enough in the theologies of these churches to make a worthwhile contribution to any of these debates.
And these folks come from all over. I’ve got regulars from Canada, Europe and other places. So here’s the deal, Annie. There isn’t going to be a United States of America in Heaven. And just because you call yourself a Christian doesn’t mean that I’m going to cut you any slack if you screw up as badly as you do here.
ANYBODY anywhere of any denomination who calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is “my own.” And I don’t give a crap where they live. Here we have no continuing city, Annie.
Wake the hell up.
Saturday, August 9th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments
A potentially-lucrative new revenue stream for the Episcopalians has just opened up. Consulting work:
China will construct a “Chinese Christian theology” suitable for the country, state media reported on Thursday, as both the number of believers and tensions with the authorities are on the rise.
China has between 23 million and 40 million Protestants, accounting for 1.7 to 2.9 per cent of the total population, the state-run China Daily said, citing figures given at a seminar in Shanghai.
About 500,000 people are baptised as Protestants every year, it added.
“Over the past decades, the Protestant churches in China have developed very quickly with the implementation of the country’s religious policy,” the paper quoted Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, as saying.
“The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China’s national condition and integrate with Chinese culture.”
I realize that it might be a bit strange for a government to order a church to tailor its theology to the national culture since you guys did the exact same thing decades ago and did it entirely voluntarily. But I’m certain that you’ll find ways to adjust.
And, on another front altogether, if only we had an Archbishop of Canterbury with a spine, he would be off to China to have top-level talks with the Catholic Church leaders there, inviting them to become part of the Anglican Communion. It seems to me that the Chinese Catholic church is at the very stage where the English Catholic Church was in the 16th century, thoroughly fed up with interference in its life by the Bishop of Rome. The Chinese Church leaders are ignoring Rome and choosing Bishops of their own (and being encouraged in this by the Chinese Government), while remaining Catholic Christians. That would have sounded familiar to Archbishop Cranmer!
Head? I believe you’ve met Keyboard. Yeah, Gordo, you particularly egregious dolt, that’s exactly why “official” Chinese Catholics are doing that. See, they’re only “official” because they…oh, never mind.
With the vast majority of RC’s despising their Church’s laws on artificial contraception, and - in some countries – a majority against their Church’s laws on remarriage after divorce, clerical celibacy, a male-only priesthood, even conservative RC’s are beginning to say that their Church would be better smaller but purer in belief. This must surely leave a lot of impure Catholics around to be welcomed into the Anglican Church!
Okey-dokey. The “vast majority” of Catholics “despise” Catholic doctrine yet they keep showing up every week. What’s up with that? For the love of God, Gordo, man up, say “Whore of Babylon” and get it over with. You know you want to.
Friday, August 8th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments
All kids embarrass their parents at some point in their lives but this little guy just retired that trophy.
Friday, August 8th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 34 Comments
You can still have a bright future in network television.
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 38 Comments
From the dawn of time, parents everywhere have dreaded having to face that terrible moment when one of their children rejects the family religious tradition:
Oh, the kids.
They don’t know the history. They don’t know how hard it was in the old days. And many ditch their spiritual upbringing for the next new thing.
It happens to Catholics, evangelicals, Jews, and yes, pagans, too.
Second-generation pagans — those whose parents were converts to pagan spirituality — are a lot like their peers in other faiths. They often do spirituality their own way. Or not at all.
Yeah, that had to have been one awkward dinnertime conversation.
“Remember that Samhain begins this Friday night so sure to be at the Sacred Maple Tree of Fuinseoig no later than…”
“Mom? I’m going to skip that this year. NWA Central States Wrestling is promoting a wrestling card in town this weekend, the Missouri State Heavyweight Title is on the line, Mike and I bought four tickets, we’re going to take our girlfriends and both of us have looking forward to it since it was announced last June.”
“But Samhain is the holiest day of our… you’d actually skip Samhain for something as base and common as…professional wrestling?”
“About that. Look, there’s no easy way to say this but lately, I’ve been kind of rethinking the whole ‘pagan’ idea.”
“I’ve been dating this Pentecostal chick named Ashlee. She’s smokin’ hot, she’s way into non-WWE wrestling promotions like Ring of Honor and she totally kicks ass at World of Warcraft and stuff.
“But your father has already bought you a sacrificial goat.”
“I’m really not comfortable with the whole animal sacrifice idea any more. If you let me keep it as a pet, I’ll be happy to take care of it but I’ve got no interest in killing it. Seems really stupid, if you ask me.”
“Anyway, we’ve talked a lot about all this and, quite frankly, Ashlee’s basically convinced me that my religion is, well, complete crap.”
“Crap? CRAP?? It…it…OUR FAMILY’S RELIGION certainly makes a lot more sense that that Christian old-man-in-the-sky garbage.”
“Ma? We worship trees.”
“We do not worship trees. We worship the force that gives life to all living…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the drill, mom. When I was a kid, you and Dad made sure that I spent many a dreary summer at Vacation Pagan School.”
“Ours is the oldest religion in the world and predates Christianity by…”
“Pop? Please. You’re just embarrassing yourself. Our “religion” was invented in the early 20th century by some British pseudo-academic whack job with too much time on his hands. Anyway, would you like to know how I spent the last Belt Sander?”
“Whatever. I spent it texting Ashlee or playing Angry Birds on my tablet. For crying out loud, dad, wake the hell up.”
“Well, I hope you’re happy. Your mother’s crying. See what happens when you repudiate your family’s religious tradition?”
“Dad? Our family’s ‘religious tradition’ began the year I was born when you and Mom both repudiated your own familial religious traditions. So boo freaking hoo.”
Monday, August 4th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 62 Comments
I hate you with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns.
Monday, August 4th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 47 Comments
Dana Beyer, FTW:
Since much homophobia and transphobia is rooted in misogyny, it’s clear to me that in order to cleanse our faith-based institution of anti-LGBT bigotry, we’re going to have to do a much better job of dealing with the pervasive sexism.
Touch ‘em all, D. I haven’t seen that many brain-dead leftist clichés crammed into one sentence so beautifully and so effortlessly in a very long time. Outstanding job.
I guess that along with “homophobia,” which is the fear of looking into a mirror, having an identical twin or people who agree with you, we’re all going to have to get used to “transphobia” now, which seems to mean the fear of crossing the street or something.
UPDATE: Great writing inspires great writing. Here’s a Dana Beyer haiku.
Transphobia, you bigot
Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 57 Comments
Manhattan real estate is an incredibly valuable commodity. So whenever this country wakes the hell up and withdraws from the United Nations (or, at the very least, pushes through the idea of moving the world headquarters of that ridiculous institution to Geneva, Switzerland and permanently off American soil), what should be done with the Rockefeller family’s former Turtle Bay property?
The United Nations’ senior human rights official said on Thursday she believed Israel was deliberately defying international law in its military offensive in Gaza and that world powers should hold it accountable for possible war crimes.
Oh right, right, right, Hamas is bad too.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also said that Hamas militants in Gaza have also violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel, sometimes from densely-populated areas.
Except that we don’t really believe that.
Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, and UN premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, Pillay said, a week after her Human Rights Council resolved to open a commission of inquiry into Israel’s alleged crimes against humanity.
“Therefore I would say that they appear to be defying… deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel,” Pillay told a news briefing. “This is why again and again I say we cannot allow impunity, we cannot allow this lack of accountability to go on.”
We all know the real criminal here.
She also criticized the United States, Israel’s main ally, for failing to use its influence with the Jewish state to halt the carnage.
“Many of my remarks have been directed to the United States since they are a party with influence over Israel to do much more to stop the killing, to bring the parties to the negotiating table. I’ve called also for an end to the blockade and an end to the occupation.”
Pillay said that she was appalled at Washington consistently voting against resolutions on Israel in the Human Rights Council, General Assembly and Security Council.
Here’s one blatantly obvious war crime for you. Israel refuses to share its self-defense technology with people who wish to exterminate it.
“They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza but they’ve also provided almost $1 billion in providing the ‘Iron Domes’ to protect the Israelis from rocket attacks,” she said. “But no such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling.”
Seriously. I’m open to suggestions. Turn the UN into office space and/or a branch of the New York Public Library? Make the UN complex into an Orthodox synagogue and a particularly traditionalist Christian megachurch? Or should we just plow the place under and give it back to the Lenapes with our profuse and abject apologies.
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 106 Comments
File this story under “Who saw this one coming, nudge, nudge, wink, wink?” Seems that His Incompetency is apparently considering a royal decree that will immediately legitimize millions of illegal immigrants:
Ubiquitous media reports indicate [that] the president is preparing to declare [that] he in essence will not faithfully executive certain immigration laws for certain groups of people — millions in total, perhaps — because Congress won’t do what he wants. This from a former constitutional law instructor. One would hope that elected officials of both parties and public figure and media of all political stripes would denounce the notion that congressional intransigence permits executive imperialism.
Make no mistake, says Jennifer Rubin. Barack Obama doesn’t give a crap about the United States Constitution.
This brazen and unilateral transformation of duly passed statutes will not easily be forgotten by future presidents. Republican chief executives may decide not to enforce Obamacare, environmental regulations or tax provisions while liberal presidents in the future may choose not to enforce other immigration provisions or, for example, labor laws and regulations against unions. Obama’s arrogant overreach and effort to stir up trouble in advance of the midterm elections for pure partisan gain (saving the Senate, trying to goad Republicans into overreaction) will, along with the disastrous Obamacare and foreign policy debacles, place Obama in a unique category of presidents who deliberately seek to wreck our system of checks and balances and separations of power.
So how should Republicans react? Easy. Bring a gun to a knife fight.
Republicans should prepare a game plan, not merely rule out impeachment (which is the president’s fondest desire). For starters, they and the GOP candidates for 2016 should make clear that any executive order will disappear at the end of Obama’s term and any who step forward for exemptions now may be subject to deportation in 2 1 /2 years. Harsh? No; it’s a sensible deterrent to prevent widespread lawlessness. (The Democratic presidential nominee should be challenged on his or her own plans to rule by executive edict. Let Hillary Clinton try to win an electoral majority on a platform of executive imperialism.)
There are many other tactics at the legislative branch’s disposal. The House — and the Senate if it changes hands — can censure the president and pass legislation to countermand the presidential edicts, let him veto it and then try to override it. Congress can contain whatever enforcement provisions it sees fit that go beyond the president’s edict. Congress can defund parts of the bureaucracy engaged in this lawless action (again, the Senate would join the House if Republicans take over). Congress has the power of the purse and should begin using it strategically to counteract executive overreach and assert its own priorities. Depending on the outcome of the fall election, the Senate could choose to decline to confirm nominees for the remainder of his term if the president is bent on rewriting our laws. In essence, the Obama presidency apart from national security/foreign policy should be declared effectively over. No consideration of his agenda, no cooperation on any legislative initiative. Congress can attend to oversight and pass its own legislation, forcing Democrats to vote on passage and on veto overrides.
Sounds great but I don’t see the GOP responding that well. I hope I’m wrong.
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