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DEAR CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 37 Comments

Um…hi.

Uh, yeah, we’re St. Louis, Missouri, south of the border, hard by the Mississippi River and stuff.  Gateway to the West, the most important town in what was Upper Louisiana, you may have heard of us.  The Cardinals, the Blues, toasted ravioli, Rigazzi’s fishbowls, bocce, brain sandwiches, the MCJ, that kind of thing.

Anyhoo, we just wanted to let you know that if you’re thinking of expanding south of the border again (we know it didn’t work out too well the last time you tried it but if at first you don’t succeed, am I right?) or if one of your current teams wants a new yard, that team could get a REALLY sweet rental deal at the Edward Jones Dome.

And considering the way that this town currently feels about the NFL, your guys would have a much better than even chance of selling out the entire first season.

As many of you know by now, The NFL Team That Shall No Longer Be Named (TNTTSNLBN) has decided to leave St. Louis and move back to Los Angeles and folks around here are pretty pissed off about it.

Are we mad at LA?  No, at least I’m not.  LA didn’t go out of its way to entice TNTTSNLBN west; the TNTTSNLBN decided a long time ago that it wanted to move west.

At who are we pissed?

We’re pissed at the NFL for four words.

The fix was in.

Put simply, it didn’t matter in the slightest and wouldn’t have mattered what St. Louis’ stadium task force came up with.  The NFL would have found fault with it since it was determined that TNTTSNLBN owner Stan Crack Whore Kroenke should move his team to LA.  Bernie Miklasz:

The NFL’s relocation guidelines. The NFL’s integrity. The NFL’s fairness. Roger Goodell’s word. Stan Kroenke’s word. Kevin Demoff’s word. The influence of the NFL’s “Los Angeles” committee. Eric Grubman’s objectivity and impartiality.

The NFL’s cross-ownership rules that were ignored to accommodate Kroenke, the first indication that the league executives would shine his shoes when ordered to do so.

The longstanding belief that the NFL owners would give the first shot at LA to San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos who had waited in vain for a new stadium in San Diego. His Carson partnership with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and Iger was DOA when the owners cut their back-room deal with Kroenke, who had the most money — and therefore the most power. Meaningless: the personal conduct of an NFL owner (Kroenke) in his market. Meaningless: the hideous performance of the owner’s team in his market. Worthless: the concept of holding an owner accountable. Meaningless and worthless: the NFL’s respect for the relentless and remarkable effort by the St. Louis task force that raised at least $400 million in public money to fund a new stadium for a franchise and a league that didn’t appreciate it or deserve it.

I’ll never understand why the NFL shamelessly encouraged Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz and Gov. Jay Nixon to continue pressing to complete the funding for the proposed north riverfront stadium when the league had absolutely no intention of giving St. Louis a fair and honest process that would keep the Rams here. If the cartel wanted to get Kroenke to LA, then be done with it. The anti-STL fix was in; this was a competition that St. Louis had no chance of winning. So why put the STL leadership through a charade, send them through a maze of glasshouse mirrors, squander money that was used to prepare the riverfront stadium site, and waste the time and energy of men of many individuals that tried in earnest to satisfy the league’s directive for preserving NFL football in St. Louis?

I don’t understand (OK, actually I do) why Goodell throw a tantrum when league finance chairman Bob McNair pledged an extra $100 million of league money for the STL stadium project in exchange for a ticket-tax abatement for the team? Goodell made it clear the $100 million contribution wasn’t going to happen for St. Louis  … only to turn around Tuesday and give the Chargers and Raiders $100 million apiece for potential stadium solutions in their current markets. The hypocrisy — even by NFL standards — was appalling.

Why did St. Louis — the only at-risk market that made the effort to come up with at least $400 million in public money — get crushed and swept aside by the league, when Oakland and San Diego didn’t even bother to file an actionable stadium proposal by the league’s Dec. 30 deadline? How could the one market that tried to satisfy the NFL’s demands get blown away in favor of two markets that did nothing to remedy their severe stadium problems?

When you have two California-based teams that play in the two worst stadiums in the NFL and were willing to partner in a Carson project for a long overdue new stadium, why would you choose to fill the LA void by yanking a team from the Midwest and the only market that made a legitimate, money-backed attempt to save its franchise? How is that fair? (Well, it isn’t. And we knew that already. And we knew that the relocation guidelines are worthless.)

So there we are.  St. Louis produces a plan for a new stadium that is, mirabile dictu, proclaimed unacceptable to the NFL.  Oakland and San Diego get another year to work stadium matters out, along with one hundred million NFL dollars each to help them along.  The same hundred million dollars that lying crapweasel Roger Goodell said was unacceptable to give to St. Louis.

The fix was in.

So what if the Chargers decide that they’re not going to get a new stadium from St. Jimmy, figure out that second fiddle in LA is not for them and opt for moving to the Lou while the Raiduhs move to LA for the second time?  We’d have the Chargers, whose ownership and players have absolutely no links to this area.  And we’d have them at least until such time as San Diego built the Chargers a new yard back home in which case we’d lose a third NFL team in less than a century.

We have a professional baseball team in this town whose origins go back to the 1870′s and who have won eleven world titles, the second most after the New York Yankees.  We also have a professional hockey team here that has never won a Stanley Cup final game and hasn’t even been in a Cup final since 1970 but we love them anyway and have passionately loved them ever since.

Do the math.

Dale?  I hope you’re not too attached to the Lions.  Because Pharoahs which knew not Joseph arise all the time.

NON-HABIT-FORMING SLEEP AID

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 65 Comments

I hope this helps any of you who are currently fighting insomnia:

This week, the Anglican Communion may fall apart.

“May” fall apart, limey?  For most thinking Christians, it fell apart eight years ago.

The stated reason is disagreement about homosexuality. Liberal whites, especially in North America, support gay sex acts and same-sex marriage. African Anglicans oppose them because they go against what the Bible and Christian tradition say. This is a serious issue in its own right, but it does not fully explain the animus within the Communion.

Some people go to sleep by counting sheep.  Me, I go to sleep by counting Vitally Important Anglican Meetings That May Decide The Future of Contemporary Anglican Christianity As Well As The Anglican Tradition Itself.TM

The Anglican Communion exists because the Church of England spread through the British Empire. So it is, in the post-imperial world, the church equivalent of the Commonwealth. Like the Commonwealth, the Anglican Communion wants to retain former colonial links but does not take kindly to white people telling black ones what is good for them.

Ain’t stopped ‘em yet.

Modern liberal sexual morality has been invented and propagated almost exclusively by white people.

Nailed it.

So while we in the West might regard it as a liberation, many in Africa and Asia see it as an imperialist attack on their indigenous culture.

Pretty much, yeah, even though I can’t make myself begin to care any more.  So here’s some random Captain Beefheart lyrics for no reason at all.  “Pappy with the khaki sweatband bowed goat potbellied barnyard that only he noticed.  The old fart was smart.  The old gold cloth Madonna.”

Modern African Christians look with horror on Bishop Gene Robinson, the American bishop who is a gay alcoholic and is now married to a man (having divorced a woman), rather as our missionary ancestors were shocked by tribal chiefs who had lots of wives and a regrettable tendency to eat their enemies. They do not believe they can be in communion with the Church which lets him continue in his ministry. To them, Bishop Gene is a symbol of imperial oppression.

You’re getting sleepy.  SLEEEEEEEEEEPEEEEEEEEEE!!

One piece of Biblical teaching is that men should take their hats off in church (see St Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, 11:4). Although few men wear hats nowadays, I have noticed that many of those who do no longer remove them. I dropped in on St Martins-in-the-Fields last week and noticed about six men so clad, none of them having the excuse of being bewildered vagrants. It seems sad – this small sign of respect costs nothing, any more than does removing one’s shoes in a mosque. It also creates a problem if one is bothered by it: does one politely ask the wearer to observe the rule, or try to ignore it? In the past, I have slightly bossily done the former; now I rather weakly do the latter. Neither course feels right.

When I snap my fingers, you’ll fall into the best night’s sleep you ever had.  When you wake up, you’ll immediately log on to the Internet, purchase a box of New York Strips from Omaha Steaks and have them sent to Your Beloved Editor.

SNAP!!

LAST MEAL BEFORE THE EXECUTION

Saturday, January 9th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

On the other hand, if I’m checking out soon, I’m checking out happy:

The federal government on Thursday told Americans not to worry so much about cholesterol in their diets, that lots of coffee is fine and that skipping breakfast is no longer considered a health hazard.

The recommendations were part of a new “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” the influential nutrition advice book that, updated every five years, expresses official thinking about what constitutes a nutritious meal.

In what may be the most striking change, the new version drops the strict limit on dietary cholesterol, stepping back from one of most prominent public health messages since the ’60s.

But there were several other notable changes. Salt limits were eased, if only slightly, for many people. Coffee won official approval for the first time, with the book saying that as many as five eight-ounce cups a day is fine. And apparently, skipping breakfast is no longer considered a health hazard: While the old version of Dietary Guidelines informed readers that “not eating breakfast has been associated with excess body weight,” the new version is silent on the topic.

UH-OH

Friday, January 8th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Want to know what my life consists of these days?  Sure, we all do.  Ever since I got rid of the truck I could no longer afford to keep running and ever since my income was reduced to subsistence level, most of my world consists of about a half mile north, south and west of where I live (two markets and a pharmacy).  If the need arises, I can walk farther than that but I haven’t done it very often lately.

I don’t directly interact with people all that much.  It’s not that I don’t like it; even though I know that it will cost me money that I no longer have, I look forward to my occasional cab rides to the doctor or wherever because it’s something different.  It’s just that I have never been much good at human interaction.  Sometimes, the idea terrifies me and that’s been pretty much from day one if my mother was right.

Just about everybody around here that I used to consider a friend has left my life.  I still interact with my siblings now and then, mostly with text messages.  So if this report is right, I should be dropping dead any day now:

Feeling lonely can ‘vastly elevate’ a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, scientists warn.

Lacking a network of friends or family is as dangerous to your health as a lack of physical inactivity in youth or diabetes in old age, their research found.

Scientists from the University of North Carolina examined the association between relationships and healthiness across each life stage.

They determined that weak relationships in younger years can increase your risk of inflammation – at the same rate as lack of exercise.

Furthermore, hypertension in old age is more likely to occur as a result of loneliness than clinical risk factors, including diabetes.

Yet, people who have the support of loved ones are less likely to develop health conditions – and more likely to have a longer life expectancy.

Dr Kathleen Mullan Harris, of UNC and the Carolina Population Center, said: ‘Based on these findings, it should be as important to encourage adolescents and young adults to build broad social relationships and skills for interacting with others as it is to eat healthy and be physically active.’

WHAT’S NEW AT MIZZOU?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Pushback:

The University of Missouri professor who called for “some muscle” to toss a reporter out of a demonstration on public property could be the one who gets bounced, after state lawmakers on Monday demanded that she be fired.

Communications Professor Melissa Click made national news in November, when she tried to have a student reporter on assignment for ESPN thrown off the quad during a racially charged protest.

“Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?” Click yelled out after reporter Tim Tai refused to leave in an incident caught on video. “I need some muscle over here.”

Now, more than 100 House Republicans and 18 Senate members from the state Legislature have signed a letter to the school’s board of curators demanding Click’s “immediate firing.”

“The fact that, as a professor teaching the communication department and the school of journalism, she displayed such a complete disregard for the First Amendment rights of reporters should be enough to question her competency and aptitude for her job,” reads the letter, penned by Rep. Caleb Jones and Sen. Kurt Schaefer.

Causing the Kansas City Star’s Barbara Shelly to collapse on her fainting couch.

One is Melissa Click, the University of Missouri assistant communications professor who created an ugly scene while trying to keep journalists away from student protestors during the emotional demonstrations in November that resulted in the resignation of university system President Tim Wolfe.

More than 100 state House members and 18 senators have signed a letter to the University of Missouri Board of Curators, demanding that Click be fired.

“As a professional representing our university, Click failed to meet the obligation she has to her supervisors, fellow professors, university students, and the taxpayers of Missouri,” the letter said. 

Click was unprofessional and wrong. She called for “some muscle” to help her confront one journalist, while ignoring the fact that the university quad, where the protests were ongoing, is a public space and therefore open to the media and others.

Maybe she should be fired. Or maybe the greater body of her work argues in favor of her remaining on the faculty. I really don’t know. Neither do most of the legislators who signed the letter.

But the purpose of the letter isn’t just to get Click fired. It is to tell the University of Missouri system that the state legislature is prepared to meddle in personnel matters and other internal affairs that shouldn’t be the jurisdiction of politicians.

And the not-so-implicit threat is always this: We fund you, so do what we say.

See if you can get your mind around that concept.  A taxpayer-supported university either having to account for the tax money it spends or getting a whole lot less of it.  None of this Charles I v. Long Parliament vote-funds-and-shut-up crap.  We here in Missouri want to know where that money’s going and what it’s going for.

AND NOW…IDIOTS

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

One of the things that I dread the most about holidays like Christmas and Easter is all the attention that my faith gets from a secular, indeed anti-Christian, world which has absolutely no conception of what Christianity is all about.  Consequently, people like me have to read a lot of bonecrushingly stupid crap at these times.

Although exceptions exist, I have found that the published stupidity of these periods mostly breaks down by holiday.  Christmas is the time Jesus is borrowed to serve the ends of secular politics, including but not limited to the following: the Holy Family was homeless, the Holy Family as Syrian refugees, Jesus was a “Palestinian,” etc.

Since it involves the resurrection of the dead and, by extension, sin, Easter is usually the time when the basis of the entire Christian religion itself, at least as Christianity has been understood for the last 2,000 years, give or take, is called into question.  New “gospels” and other discoveries which “scholars” claim Have The Potential To Shake Christianity To Its Very CoreTM generally appear in the spring.

The following is a relatively new one, at least for me.  Someone named Valerie Tarico thinks that God has it in for young girls:

Most Americans, even many who are not very religious, look forward to Christmas as a time to celebrate warmth, friendship, generosity and good cheer. Familiar festivities weave together stories and traditions from many cultures, which makes it easy to find something for everyone. But maybe it’s time to look a little closer at the Christmas story itself. 

The birth story of the baby Jesus is heartwarming and iconic—the promise of new life and new hope in a time of darkness. It has inspired centuries of maternal art and is the best loved of all Bible stories. It also has a darker subtext, especially for someone like me—the mother of two daughters.

In the story, an angel appears to a virgin girl, announcing that she will conceive a baby boy. Her fiancé Joseph decides to stick with her only because her baby bump is of divine origins. The author of Luke makes a point of telling us that he refrains from sex with her till after the baby Jesus is born. All of this emphasis on Mary’s sexual history, or rather lack thereof, sends a message that can be shaming and harmful: Only an unbedded, unsullied, unused female—a virgin—could be good enough to birth a perfect child, the son of God.

Girls who have sex are soiled. That may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we see a picture of Madonna and child or hear a Christmas carol, but the message is clear all the same, and the fact that it is subtext may make it all the more insidious for young women.

And so on for far too many egregiously tedious paragraphs.  The thing is, you could teach yourself to read Biblical Hebrew and Greek, you could memorize every Biblical text extant, you could read Biblical commentary on this story from all over the spectrum and you could put together an unassailable theological argument why my gal Val really shouldn’t try this at home and it wouldn’t do you a bit of good.

Because all you’d get by way of a reply is a sneering, “That’s what the Church told you to say, isn’t it?  Must be fun not having to think for yourself, robot.”  So I normally wouldn’t give this garbage the time of day except for the fact that Giles Fraser, an ordained clergyman in an allegedly-Christian church, completely agrees with my gal Val.

The earliest polemic against Christianity focused on the circumstances of Jesus’s birth. “We have not been born of fornication,” says a hostile gathering to Jesus in John’s gospel. The implication being: we weren’t, but you were. In the second century, the Greek writer Celsus wrote a book about how Jesus was the illegitimate low-birth offspring of a spinner called Mary and a Roman soldier called Panthera. The implication may also have been that she was raped. Various later rabbinic texts refer to him as Jesus ben Pandera. All of which was intended as an insult: Jesus was a bastard. Obviously the son of God couldn’t be a bastard. So, the argument goes, Jesus was not the son of God.

Fraser believes that there may be a grain of truth behind those slurs.

The idea that Jesus was born of “pure virgin” could well have been a reaction to these insults. That Mary’s womb was “spotless” was perhaps a cover story designed by Jesus’s supporters to explain a more God-like nature for his arrival.

For what it’s worth, those insults sound to me like the kind of slander that would loudly and regularly be proclaimed by people who can’t explain Jesus away but who desperately need to.  Like many modern “Christians,” they must denigrate or downgrade this Man because the alternative is too terrifying to contemplate, never mind accept (see my favorite Kierkegaard quote).  But not unreasonable when you’re as Biblically-illiterate (or as willfully blind) as Fraser seems to be.

The idea that Jesus was born of “pure virgin” could well have been a reaction to these insults. That Mary’s womb was “spotless” was perhaps a cover story designed by Jesus’s supporters to explain a more God-like nature for his arrival.

Told you.

But here’s the problem. For what separates Christianity from other religious traditions is that – the birth narratives aside – Christianity deliberately refuses the familiar distinction between the pure and the impure.

???

Jesus was born in a cowshed; from lepers to prostitutes, he deliberately courted the ritually unclean; and he spent most of his ministry tearing down barriers between pure and impure – not least, those of the Temple – that separated the “ungodly” from God himself.

In Christianity, purity is abolished.

So I suppose that the following is a lie.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

And this is, no doubt, a spurious later addition to the text.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Makes you wonder why Jesus used the word “repent” as often as He did.  And I guess “Go and sin no more” is a mistranslation of “Go and be more careful next time.”  Must be since Giles is the Learned TheologianTM ’round these parts.

There is no shame in the constituent elements of our humanity, including the manner in which we are made.

There can be, however, great shame in what we do with “the constituent elements of our humanity.”  At least among people who are capable of great shame anyway.

Which is why the “pure virgin” tradition runs totally against the grain. The problem is not just basic biology: it doesn’t add up theologically.

Only to those who are too cowardly to make themselves accept what those words actually say, G.  And speaking of not adding up theologically…

[Most] scholars agree that virgin is probably a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for young woman.

Sigh.  I was wondering when Fraser would go there.  Any of you who are well-versed in Biblical sources may feel free to rip Fraser a new one down in the comments.  I will restrict myself to the following observation.  The relevant text is Isaiah 7:10-14:

Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying,  “Ask a

SIGN

for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”

But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”

Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?  Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a

SIGN:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Signs from God tend to be stuff that doesn’t, indeed, as far as human beings know, can’t happen in the normal course of natural affairs but are no sweat whatsoever to Creators of universes.  The sun moving backwards in the sky, Elijah’s well-drenched sacrifice on Mount Carmel being set alight, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, that kind of thing.  They’re signs from God because only God can make them happen.

Sunrise in the east is not a sign from God.  Sunrise in the west is.

I don’t know how it is where you live but in and around St. Louis, Missouri, young women regularly give birth to male children.  And I know that sixty years ago, it happened as far west as Montana at least once but that’s as much as I can safely assert.  End sarcasm.  The bottom line here is that the idea of a “young woman” giving birth to a son just isn’t that big of a deal insofar as it happens all the time.

On the other hand, a virgin giving birth to a son…

BERSERKERS

Monday, December 28th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments

Seems that the World’s Greatest Sausage is actually Scandinavian.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Thursday, December 24th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 62 Comments

Pointless man calls useless meeting:

The Archbishop of Canterbury today wrote to all 37 Primates inviting them to attend a special Primates’ gathering in Canterbury to reflect and pray together concerning the future of the Anglican Communion.

The meeting, to be held in January 2016, would be an opportunity for Primates to discuss key issues face to face, including a review of the structures of the Anglican Communion and to decide together their approach to the next Lambeth Conference.

The agenda will be set by common agreement with all Primates encouraged to send in contributions. It is likely to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality.

Notice which issue is listed last.

Archbishop Justin Welby said: “I have suggested to all Primates that we need to consider recent developments but also look afresh at our ways of working as a Communion and especially as Primates, paying proper attention to developments in the past.

“Our way forward must respect the decisions of Lambeth 1998, and of the various Anglican Consultative Council and Primates’ meetings since then.

That’s got be an encouraging development, right?  Not so much, no.

It must also be a way forward, guided by the absolute imperative for the church to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, to make disciples and to worship and live in holiness, and recognising that the way in which proclamation happens and the pressures on us vary greatly between Provinces. We each live in a different context.

“The difference between our societies and cultures, as well as the speed of cultural change in much of the global north, tempts us to divide as Christians: when the command of scripture, the prayer of Jesus, the tradition of the church and our theological understanding urges unity. A 21st-century Anglican family must have space for deep disagreement, and even mutual criticism, so long as we are faithful to the revelation of Jesus Christ, together.

Annnnnnnnnnd there it is.  By the way, ACNA’s going to be there.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will also extend an invitation to Archbishop Foley [Beach] or his representative to be present for part of the time.

According to Tanzania’s Eliud Wabukala, the GAFCON primates will also be there.

This is a courageous initiative and the GAFCON Primates will attend in the hope that Archbishop Welby will, like them, stand firm to guard the gospel we love, knowing that we cannot rewrite the Bible to suit the spirit of a secular age.

This time, GAFCON and the other orthodox Primates are willing to attend, but they know that after many years of debate, action is needed to restore the spiritual and doctrinal integrity of the Communion they care for so deeply. They are clear that their continued presence will depend upon action by the Archbishop of Canterbury and a majority of the Primates to ensure that participation in the Anglican Communion is governed by robust commitments to biblical teaching and morality.

What sort of “action” does GAFCON have in mind?  And what will happen if “action” doesn’t happen?  I suppose anything from an open break to Yet Another Strongly-Worded Open LetterTM and right now, Yet Another Strongly-Worded Open LetterTM must be considered the prohibitive favorite.

It has been suggested that the way forward is for the Anglican Communion to abandon the idea that there should be mutual recognition between the provinces and that it should instead find its unity simply in a common relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

This is not historic Anglicanism; the See of Canterbury is honoured and respected as the Mother Church of the Communion, but the unity of the Communion does not depend upon the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rather, it depends upon the various provinces being able to recognize each other, with all their differences of culture, as truly apostolic and committed to the faith as it has been received. Tragically, that recognition has now broken down and affection for Canterbury is no substitute.

Quite right, Archbishop.  The unity of the Communion does not, in fact, depend on the Archbishop of Canterbury but on the ability of the provinces to recognize each other in Christ.  But the question still remains.  If this meeting fails, what, if anything at all, are the traditionalist primates actually prepared to DO about it?

Because it seems to me that this meeting is set up to fail.  “I have suggested to all Primates that we need to consider recent developments but also look afresh at our ways of working as a Communion and especially as Primates, paying proper attention to developments in the past,” cannot be squared with “A 21st-century Anglican family must have space for deep disagreement, and even mutual criticism, so long as we are faithful to the revelation of Jesus Christ, together.”  At least by anyone with intellectual and theological integrity, anyway.

Why?  Not only do liberal and conservative Anglicans no longer worship the same God, they no longer speak the same language.  Terms like “God,” ”Jesus Christ, “sin,” “resurrection,” “Holy Ghost,” etc., mean one thing when Episcopalians use them and something entirely different when Christians do.

So if Welby truly wanted to respect past Anglican decisions, the Americans and the Canadians would, at the very least, be reduced to some kind of non-voting observer status within the Communion.  As I see it, Welby wants the primates to help him come up with a way to plausibly tell people that he respects Anglican decisions of the past while simultaneously keeping the US and Canada on the first team.

If a result like that emerges from this meeting , the conservative primates need to finally ACT.  And yet another Strongly-Worded Open LetterTM while once again piously intoning that Anglican unity does not depend on Canterbury is not acting.  Been there, done that way too many times.

Doesn’t the fact that Welby went out of his way to invite Foley Beach to this thing suggest that my gracious lord of Canterbury may be inching toward the idea of ACNA recognition?  Surely that has to count for something.

It certainly would have.

Six or seven years ago.

But that was then, this is now.  The mere fact that Foley Beach would be recognized as a Real Anglican Primate alongside Mike Curry and Fred Hiltz would not solve the basic and underlying problem.  Namely, that ACNA and the GAFCON provinces would still connected, however theoretically, with “Christian” churches whose teachings are antithetical, indeed openly hostile, to their own.

The only way ACNA recognition might make a difference is if Foley Beach at least temporarily became the sole North American “official” Anglican primate because the Episcopal Organization and the Anglican Organization of Canada had been kicked to the sidelines.  And you and I both know that that’s never going to happen.

If it does, future North American Lambeth checks will contain a LOT fewer zeroes.

WHOOPS

Monday, December 21st, 2015 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Right now, paraphrasing Alan Parsons, I wouldn’t want to be like Steve Harvey.

FULL DISCLOSURE

Sunday, December 20th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 49 Comments

Back in the ’60′s, my oldest sister Roberta attended and graduated from Ohio’s Oberlin College.  Now I had long been under the impression that Oberlin is and always has been a fairly liberal school; Oberlin educated and awarded degrees to blacks well before the Civil War.  But I was apparently mistaken.

Come to find out that if some of its students are to be believed, Oberlin has, over the years, transformed itself into a heart of reactionary, racist, sexist, “homophobic” and “Islamophobic” darkness.  Their manifesto begins:

Oberlin College and Conservatory is an unethical institution. From capitalizing on massive labor exploitation across campus, to the Conservatory of Music treating Black and other students of color as less than through its everyday running, Oberlin College unapologetically acts as [sic] unethical institution, antithetical to its historical vision. In the 1830s, this school claimed a legacy of supporting its Black students. However, that legacy has amounted to nothing more than a public relations campaign initiated to benefit the image of the institution and not the Africana people it was set out for … [T]his institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy. Oberlin College and Conservatory uses the limited number of Black and Brown students to color in its brochures, but then erases us from student life on this campus. You profit off of our accomplishments and invisible labor, yet You expect us to produce personal solutions to institutional incompetencies. We as a College-defined “high risk,” “low income,” “disadvantaged” community should not have to carry the burden of deconstructing the white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist system that we took no part in creating, yet is so deeply embedded in the soil upon which this institution was built.

The usual, stupid List Of DemandsTM follows, the most interesting of which are these.

The establishment of special, segregated black-only “safe spaces” across campus, including in the central library and the school’s science building.

Sexually-normal, white Christian Oberlin students, assuming there are any?  Don’t even THINK about it.

An $8.20/hour stipend for black student leaders who are organizing protest efforts.

In other words, Oberlin has to pay someone to organize protests against Oberlin.  Nice work if you can get it but I wouldn’t put that on the resume.  Not that it matters much since most of these people are going to spend their entire “careers” working some McDonald’s drive-through window.

But as horrible as all that would be for any feeling human being to contemplate, it pains me to have to report that some of Oberlin’s Special Foreign Flowers have a far more emotionally-devastating complaint against the school.  Lunch.

Students at an ultra-liberal Ohio college are in an uproar over the fried chicken, sushi and Vietnamese sandwiches served in the school cafeterias, complaining the dishes are “insensitive” and “culturally inappropriate.”

Gastronomically correct students at Oberlin College — alma mater of Lena Dunham [A fact about which no one in the world gives a crap - Ed.] — are filling the school newspaper with complaints and demanding meetings with campus dining officials and even the college president.

General Tso’s chicken was made with steamed chicken instead of fried — which is not authentically Chinese, and simply “weird,” one student bellyached in the Oberlin Review.

Others were up in arms over banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches served with coleslaw instead of pickled vegetables, and on ciabatta bread, rather than the traditional French baguette.

“It was ridiculous,” gripes Diep Nguyen, a freshman who is a Vietnam native.

Worse, the sushi rice was undercooked in a way that was, according to one student, “disrespectful” of her culture. Tomoyo Joshi, a junior from Japan, was highly offended by this flagrant violation of her rice. “If people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative,” she said.

And now for the punchline.

Oberlin’s black student union joined in the fray this month by staging a protest outside Afrikan Heritage House, an on-campus dorm.

The cafeteria there wasn’t serving enough vegan and vegetarian options and had failed to make fried chicken a permanent feature on the Sunday night menu, the school newspaper reported.

Let’s not leave the Hindus out.

The Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism joined the food fight last week after students discovered that the traditional Indian dish, tandoori, contained beef.

“Consuming beef was considered sacrilegious among Hindus,” blasted society president Rajan Zed, the Chronicle-Telegram reported.

A quick heads-up, Oberlin.  To me, they sound last-meal-before-the-execution delicious but you might want to hold off on those bacon-wrapped bacon steaks fried in bacon fat, smothered in bacon gravy and topped with bacon bits that you were planning on serving to your Muslim students since it might cause you a problem or two down the line.

American higher education, ladies and gentlemen, if you need it.

CANARY IN THE COAL MINE

Thursday, December 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 80 Comments

These days, pretty much everybody, world leaders, Christian leaders, newspaper editors, celebrities and, well, anybody with a Twitter feed has attacked Donald Trump for his proposal to temporarily halt Muslim immigration to the United States.  Dale Price:

Rancid carnival barker and all-around POS Donald Trump has proposed that we bar entry to the U.S. of all Muslims. This is clearly a garbage policy from a garbage human being, unworthy of consideration.  

However, there is one thing that can be said for it: had we been doing it a year ago, Tashfeen Malik, the murderous jihadi sow who abused our hospitality and came to our country to slaughter us, would not have been able to do so. It is–however odious–the only proposal that would have definitively prevented the slaughter, or at least lessened it. If she hadn’t been here, she wouldn’t have murdered anyone.

Ballgame, thanks for playing.  That Dale doesn’t write for an insanely lucrative living, have a nationally-syndicated column, occasionally appear on Sunday news shows, write best-selling books and regularly vacation with his family in Europe is one more proof that the world is a fundamentally evil place.

But what do you think, Johnson?  Shorter Editor: Trumpy’s an arrogant loudmouth and his proposal is idiotic on many levels.

“What Would Jesus Do?” morality questions are not the most troubling aspect of this proposal because of the sad fact that, from its toleration of chattel slavery to Andrew Jackson’s ethnic cleansing of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indians, the Trail of Tears, the Sand Creek Massacre, the Republican Party hanging black Americans out to dry in exchange for Rutherford B. Hayes’ one mediocre presidential term, Jim Crow, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Geary Act and Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, among others, this country has spent far too much of its history pissing on its “values” and spitting in the face of “who we really are.”

Price, of course, is quite right that any Muslim who assisted this country in any of its overseas endeavors and who wants to emigrate here ought to receive free passes along with free plane fare to the US for himself and his family members and should go to the head of the citizenship line.

But I would go further.  Evidently, Don’s not that bright about the rest of the world or he’d realize that there are majority-Muslim countries in the world that are anything but teeming with Islamic radicals.  Albania is so wildly pro-American that it once seriously kicked around the idea of applying to become the 51st American state.  Azerbaijan is a former Soviet republic dominated by Shiite Muslims of Iranian ethnicity.  Yet as far as Israel is concerned, Azerbaijan could not possibly disagree more with its radical cousins just to its south.

After all, Iran, also a Shiite nation, lies just across Azerbaijan’s southern border. But while Iran is the Jewish state’s mortal enemy, Azerbaijan is Israel’s largest supplier of oil  and a major purchaser of Israeli defense technology. The Shiites of Iran would treat me, an American Jew with a passport full of Israeli stamps, as an enemy. In Azerbaijan, I was an honored guest. 

Kurdistan, the Islamic Garbage Dump’s most formidable military enemy, must also be considered a tolerant place.

Civilized, relatively tolerant Muslim states are rare but they do exist.  So what possible good what it do for the US to potentially cut the ground out from under friendly nations like Albania, Azerbaijan and Kurdistan by passing a bonecrushingly stupid law which states that anyone who professes the Islamic religion cannot immigrate to this country, especially since the plan, even on the remote chance that President Trump managed to force it through the Congress, would have absolutely no effect on terrorism?

It boggles my mind just how ignorant of modern life Donald Trump is.  Why in the world would the Islamic Cesspool bother sneaking terrorists into this country when there are more than enough radicalized Muslims already here to carry out hundreds of San Bernadinos, as well as a great many more potential recruits (kids on “spiritual” journeys, Stormfront morons, anyone who gets off on the idea of becoming a “soldier” and killing people without having to join an army and leave the country, etc.) with laptops, Facebook accounts and/or Twitter feeds?

Americans shouldn’t waste any more time debating the merits of Donald Trump’s Muslim immigration proposal since it doesn’t have any.  We desperately need, however, to ask ourselves two questions.  Why is Donald Trump at or near the top of the Republican heap for the next election?  And every single time the American news media or politicians from both parties criticize him, why does Donald Trump gain even more support?  To me, the answer is blindingly obvious.

The American governing class are cowards.

Start with the Democracy.  Since the Democrats have “thought” in leftist bumper stickers since the 70′s, the MCJ is proud to present the comedy stylings of Sen. Sherrod Brown (Dumbass-Ohio):

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) struggled to explain whether he believes there is a connection between Islam and terrorist forces aiming to launch strikes at the United States when questioned by another leading lawmaker Thursday evening on the Senate floor, according to video of the exchange.

Asked by Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) during an exchange on the Senate floor if he believes “there is any connection between our enemy and Islam,” Brown appeared confused and struggled to respond.

“I’m sorry, excuse me?” Brown said in response to Sasse’s question.

When asked again if he believes there is any connection between the radicals waging terrorist attack on the West and Islam, Brown said he is not sure.

“I guess, I don’t know, I’m not here to debate this,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what that means, ‘A connection between our enemy and Islam.’”

How many fingers am I holding up, Senator?  The following selection is from President Obama’s televised address to the nation shortly after San Bernardino.  See if you can figure out the word that is not here.

Over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase.  As we’ve become better at preventing complex, multifaceted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turned to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society.  It is this type of attack that we saw at Fort Hood in 2009; in Chattanooga earlier this year; and now in San Bernardino.  And as groups like ISIL grew stronger amidst the chaos of war in Iraq and then Syria, and as the Internet erases the distance between countries, we see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.  

In the President’s defense, there are no good choices to destroy these people since every single policy choice the United States has is wrong.  Every single one.  But don’t worry.  The Democratic Party knows what will defeat the Islamic Crap Pile.

Gun control.

Now, here at home, we have to work together to address the challenge.  There are several steps that Congress should take right away. 

To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun.  What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon?  This is a matter of national security. 

We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino.  I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures.  But the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies — no matter how effective they are — cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology.  What we can do — and must do — is make it harder for them to kill.

Mr. Obama’s hometown of Chicago has gone out of its way to “make it harder for them to kill,” with some of the toughest gun laws in this country.  Paradoxically, Obama’s hometown of Chicago also has one of the highest gun-related murder rates in this country.  I’m not picking on Chi-town or anything since St. Louis’ homicide rate this year is through the roof.  Weird.

Piers Morgan, of all people, gets it.

But I don’t doubt for a minute that [Trump] believes what he says, nor that he genuinely considers ISIS to be the No1 threat to America’s national security.

It’s easy, as many do, to dismiss Trump as a bloviating old racist, or try and ban him as my own countrymen are currently trying to do.

(I note that nobody has signed a petition in the UK to stop known terror suspects returning from warzones in Iraq and Syria, so presumably they’re considered less dangerous than a billionaire tycoon?)

But Trump’s not the enemy here, ISIS are – and it’s very important to remember that.

I watched President Obama’s address to the nation from the Oval Office a few days ago and thought it was dreadful.

He sounded utterly devoid of any real new ideas on how to tackle ISIS, whose military and economic power strengthens every day.

He spoke in weary tones of how we were going to beat them but nobody listening to him could have felt remotely convinced that he has a clue how this will actually happen.

His current strategy clearly isn’t working, yet all he promises is more of the same.

Obama’s whole attitude to ISIS has always been breathtakingly complacent, and now this casual approach has come back to haunt him.

I don’t agree with, or like, Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims. I think it’s illegal, unconstitutional and downright bigoted.

But by taking such an extreme position, he may force more timid politicians like President Obama to finally confront this ISIS menace properly – before it’s too late.

Saying all Muslims are potential terrorists is stupid and dangerous.

But pretending none of them are is even more stupid and dangerous.

Look.  Donald Trump may be a megalomaniacal douchebag with a talk-first-ask-questions-later approach to life and his immigration proposal may be indescribably dreadful.  But however crudely he expresses himself, Trump and the American people understand something that the American political class deliberately refuses to.

ISLAMIC terrorism directed against the West is a serious problem that needs to be seriously addressed.  And the current administration has dropped the ball.

So is the Democratic Party responsible for Donald Trump?  No.

The Republican Party is.

Situations like this are why so many of us are believe that the Republican establishment stopped giving a crap six years ago about what its most fervent supporters think about anything.  Put it this way.  If there was another Republican candidate in the field (Ted Cruz seems to have figured it out) who understood the concerns of the American electorate as well as Donald Trump does, Trump’s standing in the polls would currently be about 5% and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

BOMBS AWAY!!

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 67 Comments

I can’t tell you the last movie I intentionally paid to see.  This is why.

NEVERMORE

Sunday, December 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Did any of you happen to catch the Army-Navy football game this past weekend?  Great game.  Navy eventually won 21-17, extending their winning streak in that series to fourteen games, but Army gave them a battle.  And I got a huge kick out of the novelty of watching actual collegiate athletes play football instead of NFL farm team players.

But what made this game particularly interesting was this outstanding junior Army wide receiver, 6-4, 215 lbs.  At one point during the game, announcer Verne Lundquist said that once this kid finishes his military commitment, he really needs to be signed by the Baltimore Ravens immediately.  Know what this kid’s name is?

Edgar Allan Poe.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

Sunday, December 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments

I apologize for the paucity of material around here lately.  A few days ago, I badly banged up my right shoulder (not going to tell you how because it’s embarrassing).  There’s this big, angry, purple bruise there now, my shoulder’s been killing me which made it really tough to type and I’ve been popping Aleves like Tic-Tacs.

As is usually the case with my shoulder injuries (I’ve had a LOT of experience), sleep’s been rather sporadic since I have to do it in the chair and ottoman in the front room because that’s the only place I can get comfortable; lying down is impossible right now.  But it’s slowly getting better, a lot better than it was.

I’m currently working on something about Trump which hopefully will be up in a day or two.  But until the shoulder heals, things will continue to be slow around here.  Thanks for your patience.

COMES THE DAWN

Sunday, December 6th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 81 Comments

The FBI figures out what average people with working brains knew several days before:

On the day she and her husband killed 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, Calif., a woman pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook post, officials said Friday, as the F.B.I. announced that it was treating the massacre as an act of terrorism.

“The investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers, and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations,” the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said at a news conference here. But he said that investigators had not found evidence that the killers were part of a larger group or terrorist cell. The couple died in a shootout with the police on Wednesday.

Early this year, the Islamic State shifted tactics, and instead of just trying to persuade followers to travel to Syria to join the group, it began calling on sympathizers in the West to commit acts of violence at home. The F.B.I. has refocused its resources on that threat of so-called homegrown, self-radicalized extremists who might be inspired by Islamic State propaganda. Even before the Paris attacks, the bureau had heavy surveillance on at least three dozen people who the authorities feared might commit violence in the Islamic State’s name.

The exact motives of Ms. Malik, 29, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, remain unknown, and law enforcement officials say the couple had not been suspected of posing a danger. But after two days of insisting that terrorism was just one of many possibilities, the F.B.I.’s statements on that prospect grew much stronger on Friday. Officials pointed to evidence like the Facebook post and what they described as a bomb-making workshop at the couple’s home, where they found 12 completed pipe bombs and a stockpile of thousands of rounds of ammunition. Officials say that weaponry could indicate that the couple were planning more attacks.

I don’t know about you but I thought “terrorism” the moment it was decided that there were multiple shooters.  How bad would it suck if you hated the people you worked with, you decided to kill as many of your coworkers as you possibly could, you packed up your 9-mil and five or six clips, you drove to your place of employment and walked inside, only to find another “disgruntled” employee was already in there shooting up the place?

That’s just bad manners is what that is.

Add to this the fact that this guy and his live-in had a small freaking arsenal at their place (AK-47′s, pipe bombs, IED’s, etc.) and you’d have to be a fool to conclude that this was anything other than terrorism.  That, of course, didn’t stop our idiot president Barack “Please let it be Christians, please let it be Christians, please let it be Christians…” Obama from continuing to push the workplace violence angle.

It also didn’t stop our idiot president’s idiot Attorney General from commenting on the Real TragedyTM of San Bernardino:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told a group of Muslims in Washington last night that her ‘greatest fear’ since the Paris terror attack is retaliatory violence against members of the religion.

Lynch said as a prosecutor, she worries that the anti-Muslim rhetoric ‘will be accompanied by acts of violence,’ and said, ‘We cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.’

Politico reports that Lynch did not mention the Wednesday shooting in San Bernardino, California, that was committed by two Muslims and is currently under investigation by the FBI during her remarks, while urging Americans of all backgrounds not to give into violent impulses.

It’s really sad what the world’s most influential political party has degenerated into.

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