Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments
I don’t get cable, satellite, etc, so I don’t remember exactly when, where or why I saw the CNN report on this incident. But I do remember that by the end of her story, the reporter was almost sobbing and that this picture will haunt me until the end of my life.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments
…for the recent extended down time, I don’t have one. All that I can say with any certainty is that something happened, nobody’s entirely sure what, that required MAJOR surgery by Greg Griffith in order to fix. While we were away, I bookmarked a considerable number of stories on which I’d like to comment so some newer posts here might be old news.
In order to at least partially alleviate any future outages which may occur, the MCJ Management Team is discussing the establishment of some kind of back-up situation. More details as they become available.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, August 19th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 25 Comments
ELCA takes out its Hattori Hanzo sword:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has approved a resolution calling on the American government to end all aid to Israel if Israel does not stop building in Judea and Samaria and “enable an independent Palestinian state”, JTA reported Sunday.
Voting at its triennial assembly in New Orleans that ended Saturday, the church also sought a halt to all investment in companies that profit from Israel’s alleged “occupation” and called on the president of the United States to recognize the “State of Palestine.”
The aid vote, which passed 751-162, urged church members to “call on their U.S. Representatives, Senators and the Administration to take action requiring that to continue receiving U.S. financial and military aid, Israel must comply with internationally recognized human rights standards as specified in existing U.S. law, stop settlement building and the expansion of existing settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, end its occupation of Palestinian territory, and enable an independent Palestinian state,” according to JTA.
The resolution also called on the president not to prevent the application of the State of Palestine for full membership in the United Nations and, in coordination with the United Nations Security Council, to “offer a new, comprehensive and time-bound agreement to the governments of Israel and Palestine, resulting in a negotiated final status agreement between Israel and Palestine leading to two viable and secure states with a shared Jerusalem.”
In the divestment resolution, which passed 821-92, the church adopted a human rights-based investment screen for its social responsibility funds to ensure the church is not profiting from human rights abuses, and mentioned the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by name. It also called for the church to “increase positive investment in Palestine.”
One of the nice things about being a completely irrelevant mainline church is that you can say the stupidest crap you care to, safe and secure in the knowledge that nobody anywhere is ever going to pay attention to you. I got well over a decade of material out of the Episcopalians because of this fact.
Although it is rare to see an alleged Christian church go this anti-Semitic this overwhelmingly, I guess ELCA figures that it’s got nothing left to lose. Nobody who matters gives a crap what it thinks so why not push all-in? And you’ll probably finally be rid of what few Christian traditionalists remain in ELCA.
So it’s a win/win.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, July 4th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments
Butter consumption was only weakly associated with total mortality, not associated with cardiovascular disease, and slightly inversely associated (protective) with diabetes, according to a new epidemiological study which analyzed the association of butter consumption with chronic disease and all-cause mortality. This systematic review and meta-analysis, published in PLOS ONE, was led by Tufts scientists including Laura Pimpin, Ph.D., former postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston, and senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the School.
Based on a systematic review and search of multiple online academic and medical databases, the researchers identified 9 eligible research studies including 15 country-specific cohorts representing 636,151 unique individuals with a total of 6.5 million person-years of follow-up. Over the total follow-up period, the combined group of studies included 28,271 deaths, 9,783 cases of cardiovascular disease, and 23,954 cases of new-onset type 2 diabetes. The researchers combined the nine studies into a meta-analysis of relative risk.
Butter consumption was standardized across all nine studies to 14grams/day, which corresponds to one U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated serving of butter (or roughly one tablespoon). Overall, the average butter consumption across the nine studies ranged from roughly one-third of a serving per day to 3.2 servings per day. The study found mostly small or insignificant associations of each daily serving of butter with total mortality, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 25 Comments
I suppose that an explanation of my current situation is in order. Remember that move I told you all about a while back? Not to put too fine a point on it but that move has gone about as badly as it is possible for a move to go.
Most of that is my own fault. While I basically only had a month’s notice (one of the reasons I wanted out of my old joint), I got seriously started way too late and I BADLY underestimated the difficulty of finding a new apartment when you don’t have a car.
Affordable apartments are easy to find. But if you don’t have transportation, not only can you not get there and look the place and the neighborhood over, you have to find a place that’s close enough to a source of food and medicine that you don’t have to drive there.
Since I didn’t have a place lined up, I had to rent a cargo van to move my stuff into rented storage. And for the last two months, I’ve had to rent cars to get around and pay for cheap hotels to live in.
I was informed the other day that I have pretty much the perfect place lined up but it won’t be ready to go for another three weeks (hopefully less) so I’m probably going to continue to live in cheap-ass hotels at least until then.
And continue to bankrupt myself, pretty much.
Actually, my life right now is not all that terribly awful. Free wi-fi covereth a multitude of sins but there are some things even I can’t take which is why I’ve moved so often. And I’ve gotten to watch cable again on a regular basis which has taught me some things.
Mainly, that I don’t care if I ever again get cable or satellite or any other enhanced television experience.
Take the History Channel. Please. Way back when I had cable, the History Channel was one of my favorite stations because you could watch, well, actual historical documentaries there and I’m always a sucker for a good historical documentary. If I could have picked what channels went into my cable package, THC would have been one of them.
But no longer. Right now, THC is showing a marathon of a show called “Ancient Aliens,” a series which suggests that alien beings have influenced the life and history of Earth. These beings were the “gods” of our legends, stories and scriptures.
And they’re doing it with a perfectly straight face. Add to that the fact that THC does very little actual history any more and I know that I at least don’t have to spend that amount of money.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 1st, 2016 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments
Normally, I wouldn’t wish unemployment on anyone. But there are exceptions:
Bloodied and bruised Hannah Cohen was led from Memphis International Airport in handcuffs.
The 19-year old was headed home to Chattanooga after treatment for a brain tumor at St. Jude Hospital June 30, 2015.
It’s a trip they’ve made for 17 years.
This time, an unarmed Hannah, set off the metal detector at a security checkpoint
“They wanted to do further scanning, she was reluctant, she didn’t understand what they were about to do,” said her mother Shirley Cohen.
Cohen told us she tried to tell TSA agents her daughter is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused, but said she was kept at a distance by police.
“She’s trying to get away from them but in the next instant, one of them had her down on the ground and hit her head on the floor. There was blood everywhere,” said Cohen.
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.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, April 24th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 32 Comments
A $15-an-hour minimum wage? HELLZZZZZZZZZZ YEAH!! We’re just sorry that we can’t afford to pay that to most of you proles. Sucks to be you, we guess:
Hundreds of employees at the University of California at Berkeley are getting schooled in basic economics, as the $15 minimum wage just cost them their jobs. Too bad liberal elites “fighting for $15” don’t get it.
A week after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s $15 minimum wage boost into law, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent a memo to employees announcing that 500 jobs were getting cut.
Those workers might want to have a chat with the folks at UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research, who just days before Brown signed the wage-hike bill released a study touting the minimum wage as a boon to low-income household breadwinners.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 67 Comments
We come from you and everybody here with a brain knows that. We are bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh and, with some modifications, our political institutions mirror yours (King, Lords, and Commons became President, Senate and House of Representatives). So it is with the deepest conceivable humiliation that we must humbly, abjectly and grovelingly apologize for Our Long National Nightmare:
President Barack Obama told Britain today that it would have to ‘go to the back of the queue’ if it leaves the European Union, then tries to negotiate its own trade deal with the United States.
A US-UK trade agreement is not going to happen ‘any time soon,’ Obama said during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
‘Not because we don’t have a special relationship but because given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements, which is hugely inefficient,’ the U.S. leader said.
Obama faced a furious backlash overseas this morning over what has been called a ‘downright hypocritical’ push for Britain to stay in the European Union.
In a highly controversial intervention in the EU referendum campaign, Obama pleaded with British voters in a local newspaper and then the press conference not to cut ties with Brussels.
‘The United States wants a strong United Kingdom as a partner, and the United Kingdom is at its best when it is helping to lead a strong Europe,’ Obama said during a news conference at Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In his op-ed Obama also invoked the spirit of the Second World War by claiming the sacrifice of GIs meant America has a stake in the EU debate and said the decision in June’s referendum ‘will echo in the prospects of today’s generation of Americans as well’.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 26 Comments
The next time my gracious lord of Canterbury shows his face anywhere in North America, the Anglican Lucy Ricardo is going to have some serious splainin’ to do:
Homosexuality is morally wrong, the Archbishop of Canterbury told a Zimbabwean newspaper this week, but should not be criminalized. In an interview with the Harare Sunday Mail, given upon his arrival in the Central African nation on 16 April 2016, the Most Rev. Justin Welby touched upon local and international church concerns.
The archbishop further stated the Anglican position on homosexuality had not changed. “You know it (homosexuality) is morally wrong but legally we cannot condemn those who practice it,” he said.
Archbishop Welby, joined by the Rt. Rev. Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare and the other Zimbabwean bishops paid a courtesy call on President Robert Mugabe on 17 April 2016. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Archbishop Welby said: “It was a pastoral meeting and not a political meeting but the meeting was confidential. We talked about the affairs of the Church. We talked about the past in Zimbabwe, the mistakes that have been made, the breakdowns of the relationships from time to time and we ended with prayer for the future of this country,” he said. Upon his return to the ACC meeting, taking place in neighboring Zambia, the archbishop told the delegates he told President Mugabe that while Anglicans have “widely differing views” on homosexuality “the majority opinion is that marriage is a lifelong union between a man and woman.”
Welby’s tap-dancing should be fun to watch.