Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, June 27th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments
Tom Whyman, a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Essex, explains the British departure from the European Union in The New York Times. It was all those Neanderthals with whom he’s forced to live:
Alresford is my personal hell.
We are not used to thinking that a place like this — a pleasant town with a pretty center — might actually be hell. There is almost no poverty and only the occasional act of violence. There are good schools, a range of shops, a heritage railway. In fact, it’s somewhere that a lot of people, apparently, actively want to live: Houses in the center easily sell for upward of a million pounds. (What they will cost once the vote to leave the European Union makes the economy crater remains to be seen.)
But dig below the surface, and you will find the demons crawling. You can see them in the looks that residents give you when they pass; sneering snobs glaring down their noses with entitlement; small-minded townies, bullying you with eyes that you recognize from the primary school lunchroom; the old people, 80 and above, wearing blank stares. You can hear it in their bothered tutting at the bus stop (especially if they ever hear a visitor mispronouncing the name of the town), the shots that constantly ring out from across the countryside as they set about murdering as many of the local pheasants as they can.
Since my late teens, every effort I have ever exerted has been with the intention of escaping Alresford. And yet, I am an early-career academic and so I am forced to move back, every summer, to live with my parents because I cannot afford to pay rent elsewhere after my temporary teaching contract ends. Then, sometimes, I think: What if I’m actually secretly comfortable here? What if I have chosen the security of death in Alresford over the risks of life elsewhere? What if I am in fact fully in the clutches of Alresfordism?
Even if I’d managed to cast my vote, it would have been pointless. The Remain campaign didn’t just lose by my vote, we lost by more than a million. Britons wanted to make our world smaller. They wanted to make it more like Alresford. As far as I can tell, they are going to get exactly what they wanted.
All I can do is look out at the nature from the window of my room in Alresford. I’m from here, so I can’t be sure whether or not this is just another type of nihilism, but I think: Well, if all this nature is bigger than us, then I want it be get even bigger. I want it to become so big that it will consume all of our smallnesses, invalidate them, smother them out. Not just Alresford. I want a demented, throbbing, fecund nature to overrun this whole country, to overturn the wretched consequences of the laws that we have, in our stupidity, set for ourselves.
And there it is. People who love their country, despite its faults and sins, and respect and revere its national traditions are xenophobic, exclusionary racists.
Or whatever the next invented leftist epithet turns out to be.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, June 26th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 48 Comments
“Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.”
GOLLY gee willickers, schadenfreude is fun. NYU political scientist Ian Bremmer
Brexit is the most significant political risk the world has experienced since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) June 24, 2016
Strong start. Click on Ian’s name up top there because he’s got a lot more stupid crap on his Twitter feed. The New York Times’ take was a little more restrained:
No one really knows what happens now. The collective imagination leads to dark places.
The world map has been redrawn with the rules of commerce across Europe, the largest marketplace on earth. Britain’s vote on Thursday to leave the European Union has set in motion an unprecedented and unpredictable process that threatens turbulence and potential crisis — for Britain, for Europe and for the global economy.
If you don’t know how Christiane Amanpour reacted, you don’t watch much television.
Xenophobia and anti-immigrant views played a key role in influencing the outcome of United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union Thursday evening, said CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Amanpour made the claim five times Thursday evening and early Friday morning that U.K. voters were swayed largely by nationalism and xenophobia when they decided this week to ditch the EU.
Here’s professional lesbian Sally Kohn’s take.
Okay, xenophobic exclusionary nationalism. You won a few fights today. But you will lose in the long run.
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) June 24, 2016
Don’t know who Anil Dash is and, well, don’t care.
We must learn from brexit: Elderly xenophobes will lie to pollsters to hide their racist views, then vote for destructive policies anyway.
— Anil Dash (@anildash) June 24, 2016
CBS’s Debora Patta. An alleged “journalist.”
— PostTurtle (@AuburnJulia) June 24, 2016
The Internet’s forever, Debbie. The Washington Post.
British voters have defied the will of their leaders, foreign allies and much of the political establishment by opting to rupture this country’s primary connection to Europe in a stunning result that will radiate economic and political uncertainty across the globe.
That one might be my favorite although CNN’s Peter Bergen comes close.
Britain has had its fair share of foreign policy fiascoes over the past century: the disastrous decision to seize the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956, the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s, and the military strategy in World War I, which destroyed a generation and gave us such synonyms for military misadventure as Gallipoli and the Somme.
“Brexit,” the British vote Thursday to leave the European Union, will surely join this list of disasters.
You left out the Saxon invasions, Pete. And Marston Moor, for that matter. Dumbass.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Sunday, June 26th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments
A whole new round of unemployment is coming soon – one which I, for one, am anxiously awaiting:
Can there possibly be a more egotistic, self-serving, introverted headline than this? “Poor, pitiful Obama clones; how will they survive?” Well, clowns, how the freak did they survive BEFORE Obama? Haven’t they been gifted with a rare and very remunerative opportunity these last 8 years? Are we supposed to waste our tears and sympathy on those who parlayed a chance physical similarity into a career?
I’d love to see what happens if an Obama impersonator files for unemployment. How does one go about finding a new job when one’s sole qualification is a chance physical resemblance? “I interviewed with 3 Senators, 4 Members of Congress, and the Vice-President last week, but they all said I didn’t look like them…”
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, June 26th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments
Wildly flailing about, educated classes on both sides of the Atlantic are getting Brexit/Trump as wrong as they possibly can. Luke Bretherton, Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University, has a go at explaining The End Of The World As We Know It:
Putting aside prudential judgments about what policies are most fitting, theologically, phenomena like the rise of Donald Trump and the vote for Britain to leave Europe can be read as forms of immanent theodicy: the attempt to make sense of suffering, disorder and pain and the fear and anxiety they produce. But they are idolatrous forms of theodicy that, with a shrill petulance, cry peace for me and mine, whatever the expense for others. They are attempts to deal with uncertainty and feelings of being overwhelmed by chaos through trying to re-establish prior regimes of control, while ignoring how these regimes of control and the prosperity they once produced were founded on violent disorder and destruction for others – particularly those judged racial and religious others.
Big dog? Stick to theological ethics, whatever the hell that is. Because the
thing that Trump/Brexit means is, to use an American idiom, a revolt against the Wilsonian progressive idea that the common people need “elites” to run things because the idiots are too stupid to know what’s best for them (and yeah, I’m talking to you, George Will).
The Tea Party gave you your chance, Republican Party establishment, and you completely, totally and utterly either botched it or didn’t care one way or the other. So lead, follow or get out of the way.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, June 25th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments
Says here that the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina just elected itself a new bishop, the Rev. Canon José McLoughlin of the Diocese of Oklahoma. I can’t find where the Rev. Pádraig Gutierrez, the Rev. Heinrich Delvecchio or the Rev. Vyacheslav Johnson finished. And, of course, friend of this site the Rev. Bonnie “
It’s A Bag Of Potato Chips, Not An Open-Source Web Browser It’s A River, Not A Pie” Perry was cheated out of a pointy hat once again.
Good gravy, I’m really starting to dislike the Episcopalians.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, June 25th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments
As Obama & his AG might say, we may never know true motive of British people for wanting to remain British …
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) June 24, 2016
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 24th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 80 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 | 19 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 | 26 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 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 Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments
Before next season, find the longest possible longshot to win England’s Premier League and drop £20 on ’em:
Leicester City have won the Premier League title in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.
Tottenham’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Monday confirmed a stunning achievement for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Leicester started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title after almost being relegated last season.
But they have lost just three league games in what has been described as a “fairytale” and the “most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport.”
No argument here. Leicester’s going to pick up fans from all over the world.
This is the very first time that this team’s ever finished on the top of the heap in its 132-year history, which is fourteen years longer than the last Chicago Cubs World Series win. Not all that long ago, they weren’t even in England’s top tier and, as the article says, they came close to being kicked out of the Premier League last season.
Never EVER give up the dream, Cubs fan. Or Blues fan, for that matter.
Oh, and Leicester businesses? You might want to write off this week. Because I imagine that a
of Leicester workers are going to “come down with the flu” over the next several days.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments
Have you ever seen a major American university intentionally commit suicide?
[Missouri’s] vice chancellor for marketing and communications, Ellen De Graffenreid, received a disheartening email last fall at the pinnacle of the crisis on campus. A disgruntled parent wrote to the university’s Board of Curators, describing how her son, a sophomore, considered transferring out, while their two high-school-aged children “have all but eliminated Mizzou from their college list.”
Someone had forwarded the note to the university’s Department of Marketing and Communications, adding: “I’m sure you already know this but you have a PR nightmare on your hands.” De Graffenreid, in turn, forwarded it to the college’s leadership, adding the letter from a parent was “pretty representative of the middle of the road people we are losing.”
New correspondence reviewed by Heat Street and National Review depicts the cataclysmic backlash against the University of Missouri as its administrators grappled with demands from rowdy protestors, a hunger-striking grad student, and a boycotting football team. The protests ultimately toppled both the president and the chancellor.
This passionate backlash doesn’t appear to have been a bluff. Already, freshman enrollment is down 25%, leaving a $32 million funding gap and forcing the closure of four dorms. The month after the protests, donations to the athletic department were a mere $191,000—down 72% over the same period a year earlier. Overall fundraising also took a big hit.
Read the rest of it since it’s the best summation of the Missouri Tantrum that I’ve seen.
Oh and Vanderbilt? You’re welcome.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 66 Comments
As many of you have heard by now, Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill next year and former US senator (and, briefly, Democratic presidential candidate) James Webb is not at all happy about it:
One would think we could celebrate the recognition that Harriet Tubman will be given on future $20 bills without demeaning former president Andrew Jackson as a “monster,” as a recent Huffington Post headline did. And summarizing his legendary tenure as being “known primarily for a brutal genocidal campaign against native Americans,” as reported in The Post, offers an indication of how far political correctness has invaded our educational system and skewed our national consciousness.
This dismissive characterization of one of our great presidents is not occurring in a vacuum. Any white person whose ancestral relations trace to the American South now risks being characterized as having roots based on bigotry and undeserved privilege. Meanwhile, race relations are at their worst point in decades.
Far too many of our most important discussions are being debated emotionally, without full regard for historical facts. The myth of universal white privilege and universal disadvantage among racial minorities has become a mantra, even though white and minority cultures alike vary greatly in their ethnic and geographic origins, in their experiences in the United States and in their educational and financial well-being.
There is a sense of karmic payback here, the former slave replacing the slaveholder. And it’s not even remotely hard to hear the political calculations over there at Treasury that went into this decision.
“The chief wants a woman on the twenty. Any ideas?”
“Susan B. Anthony?”
“Nah, she already had a turn on the one-dollar coin.”
“Lucretia Mott? Elizabeth Cady Stanton?”
“Nobody knows who either of those women are.”
“Gloria Steinem? Jane Fonda?”
“Both are still alive, dumbass.”
“I think I’ve got it, boss. Harriet Tubman.”
“Harriet Tub…that…is…frickin’…BRILLIANT!! We not only get a woman, we get an African-American woman at that. Two birds with one stone. Make it so. And take the rest of the day…hell, take the rest of the week off, Tomkinson.”
This makes me no never mind. I rarely use cash any more and I can’t remember the last time I had a twenty in my wallet. If the government wanted an African-American in that slot, I would have opted for Martin Luther King or even Jackie Robinson. Say what you want, both men changed this country for the better.
Do you want to keep Andrew Jackson around? Put him on the half-dollar coin which the US still insists on minting for some reason; the only reason Kennedy’s on there is because he got his brains blown out in Dallas back in ’63.
And if this country ever seriously decided to stop printing one-dollar bills and replace them with one-dollar coins, that would be the ideal place to put a dignified portrait of Martin Luther King. Dissing Washington, Johnson?
Not at all. I figure that once you’ve been on coins, paper money and medals and you got your face carved into a freaking mountain, for God’s sake, our reverence for you should have been proved beyond the shadow of a doubt.