Archive for October, 2010

PREMORTEM

Saturday, October 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 43 Comments

Two years ago, Barack Obama was elected president by a wide margin, the Democratic Party had unassailable majorities in both houses of the Congress and the Republican Party was dead in the water.  Next Tuesday, just about everyone predicts massive electoral losses for the Democrats. 

Why?  According to Thomas Sowell, the President forgot that he isn’t Fidel Castro and his party forgot about the existence of actual opposition:

For all its sweeping and scary provisions, ObamaCare is not nearly as important as the way it was passed. If legislation can become laws passed without either the public or the Congress knowing what is in those laws, then the fundamental principle of a free, self-governing people is completely undermined.

Some members of Congress who voted for ObamaCare, and who are now telling us that they realize this legislation has flaws which they intend to correct, are missing the point.

The very reason for holding hearings on pending legislation, listening to witnesses on all sides of the issue, and having Congressional debates that will be reported and commented on in the media, is so that problems can be explored and alternatives considered before the legislation is voted into law.

Rushing ObamaCare into law too fast for anyone to have read it served no other purpose than to prevent this very process from taking place. The rush to pass this law that would not take effect until after the next two elections simply cut the voters out of the loop– and that is painfully close to ruling by decree.

Other actions and proposals by this administration likewise represent moves in the direction of arbitrary rule, worthy of a banana republic, with only a mocking facade of freedom.

Shelby Steele agrees to a certain extent.

The first answer is well-known: [Obama's] policymaking has been grandiose, thoughtless and bullying. His health-care bill was ambitious to the point of destructiveness and, finally, so chaotic that today no citizen knows where they stand in relation to it. His financial-reform bill seems little more than a short-sighted scapegoating of Wall Street. In foreign policy he has failed to articulate a role for America in the world. We don’t know why we do what we do in foreign affairs. George W. Bush at least made a valiant stab at an American rationale—democratization—but with Mr. Obama there is nothing.

Steele adds that another major reason for Democratic unpopularity is that many Democrats, from the President on down, really don’t like this country very much.

But Barack Obama is not an “other” so much as he is a child of the 1960s. His coming of age paralleled exactly the unfolding of a new “counterculture” American identity. And this new American identity—and the post-1960s liberalism it spawned—is grounded in a remarkable irony: bad faith in America as virtue itself, bad faith in the classic American identity of constitutional freedom and capitalism as the way to a better America. So Mr. Obama is very definitely an American, and he has a broad American constituency. He is simply the first president we have seen grounded in this counterculture American identity. When he bows to foreign leaders, he is not displaying “otherness” but the counterculture Americanism of honorable self-effacement in which America acknowledges its own capacity for evil as prelude to engagement.

Bad faith in America became virtuous in the ’60s when America finally acknowledged so many of its flagrant hypocrisies: the segregation of blacks, the suppression of women, the exploitation of other minorities, the “imperialism” of the Vietnam War, the indifference to the environment, the hypocrisy of puritanical sexual mores and so on. The compounding of all these hypocrisies added up to the crowning idea of the ’60s: that America was characterologically evil. Thus the only way back to decency and moral authority was through bad faith in America and its institutions, through the presumption that evil was America’s natural default position.

Among today’s liberal elite, bad faith in America is a sophistication, a kind of hipness. More importantly, it is the perfect formula for political and governmental power. It rationalizes power in the name of intervening against evil—I will use the government to intervene against the evil tendencies of American life (economic inequality, structural racism and sexism, corporate greed, neglect of the environment and so on), so I need your vote.

But true believers still exist.  The Barack Obama Fan Club Newsletter(St. Louis edition) believes that you people are too ungrateful and/or too stupid to understand everything Captain Awesome has done for you.

All politics eventually comes down to allocating public resources and channeling collected money for the public good. But the last three decades have seen big chunks of the nation’s wealth redistributed to the rich.

Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats spent the last two years trying to even the scales a little bit. If polls are accurate, they are about to be punished for that.

The health care reform bill, for example, would be paid for in large part by raising payroll taxes on households making more than $250,000. Most of the benefits would go to households making less than four times the poverty level — currently $88,200 for a family of four people.

Democrats passed a financial regulatory bill aimed at preventing a recurrence of the 2008 meltdown. It did not go far enough — both parties remain far too deeply in thrall to Wall Street — but it does contain valuable restraints and consumer-protection measures. Polls say the Democrats will be punished for that, too.

And they will be punished for the $819 billion stimulus bill that they passed in early 2009. Some of it, to be sure, was political pork. But about a third of the bill was tax cuts for individuals and small businesses, including $116 billion in income tax cuts for 95 percent of working families. Much of the rest of it shored up state and local governments reeling from the ever-increasing costs of health care.

Republican candidates avoided the details. They preferred to chant “failed stimulus bill,” because, while the bill may have saved or created 3 million jobs and forestalled a much deeper recession, unemployment rates remain doggedly high.

While Arianna Huffington thinks that the decision to grant the right to vote to the Lizard People was a big mistake.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, Co-Founder, The Huffington Post: But you’re being – you’re being rational. And this is not a rational election. I mean, look at all the –

SCARBOROUGH: But don’t get me wrong, I’m a conservative guy and I would vote conservative. I’m saying for the independent swing voters, though.

HUFFINGTON: But that’s not what I mean. What I’m saying is that people are operating out of fear and anxiety at the moment. And when they operate out of fear and anxiety, they operate out of what they call their “lizard brains.” And “lizard brains” are not susceptible to rationality. That’s why the argument of “You just voted them out, why do you want to vote them in?” isn’t going to cut it.

Tuesday should be interesting.

THE 2010 INTERNATIONAL ANGLICAN BLOGGERS SUMMIT MEETING

Friday, October 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Lambeth Palace, London

Transcript – Must credit MCJ

ROWAN WILLIAMS:  First of all, the Archbishop of York and I would like to thank you all for coming.  As many of you know, some are calling this meeting the world’s first digital Lambeth Conference because…

SCOTT GUNN: Dear God, I hope not.

ROWAN WILLIAMS: Um…why?

SCOTT GUNN: Does that mean that we’re all just going to sit around babbling for a few days and then issue some kind of meaningless statement?  Because if we are, count me out.  I’ve got Spurs tickets for this afternoon.

WANNABE ANGLICAN: Who are they playing?

SCOTT GUNN: Man U.

WANNABE ANGLICAN: Sweet!

ROWAN WILLIAMS: No, no, it’s nothing like that.  I called this meeting because the Anglican Communion recognizes the influence and importance of the new media in Anglican affairs…

MARK HARRIS: You’ve finally figured that out, have you, Dr. Williams?  Good to know.  If you want, I can stick around for a week and do a seminar for Communion staff on something all the kids these days call “electronic mail.”

SARAH DYLAN BREUER: Then there’s the whole carbon footprint thing.  The world’s first digital Lambeth Conference consists of a bunch of people flying in great big airplanes halfway around the world to sit in a room and stare at each other?  Have someone on your staff look up the term “videoconference” some time, Your Grace.

ROWAN WILLIAMS: …and we felt that by calling a meeting of bloggers from all sides of the Anglican Comm…yes?  Do you have a question?

CHRIS JOHNSON: Where’s the booze?

ROWAN WILLIAMS: Um…over there in the corner.

CHRIS JOHNSON: Open bar?

ROWAN WILLIAMS: I’m afraid I don’t know what that means.

CHRIS JOHNSON: Do we have to pay for it?

ROWAN WILLIAMS:  No, no, certainly not.

CHRIS JOHNSON: Sweet!

GREG GRIFFITH: Get me something, will you, Johnson?

CHRIS JOHNSON: Will do.

ROWAN WILLIAMS:  Now then, I’ve asked you here because we feel that…yes?

RED STICK RANT: What’s that thing in the case over there?

SIMON SARMIENTO: That’s William of Wykeham’s celebrated crosier.

RED STICK RANT: Can I have it?

ROWAN WILLIAMS: What?  No, you can’t have it.  That’s a national treasure.

WANNABE ANGLICAN: But I thought all those cases contained our participation gifts.

CAPTAIN YIPS: Really?  Then I’m going home with that original edition of the first Book of Common Prayer over there.

JOHN SENTAMU: No, I’m afraid you don’t quite under…

SCOTT GUNN: Is that a Turner on the back wall?

ROWAN WILLIAMS: I believe so.

SCOTT GUNN: Sweet!  Anybody got a razor blade or an Exacto knife?

SARAH DYLAN BREUER: Dibs on the Constable!

SUSAN RUSSELL: Damn it, I wanted that!

SARAH DYLAN BREUER: Too bad.  You snooze, you lose, grandma.

SUSAN RUSSELL: Listen, you little punk, I will personally…

CHRIS JOHNSON: Greg?

GREG GRIFFITH: What?

CHRIS JOHNSON: Our gracious lord of Canterbury over there didn’t provide any bourbon.

GREG GRIFFITH: Crap on a stick!!  Well what have they got?

CHRIS JOHNSON: A bunch of Irish and Scottish fake bourbon.  I guess Europeans haven’t learned how to make real bourbon yet.

GREG GRIFFITH: Effing cradle-to-grave socialism robbing people of initiative.  Just pour me a triple of one of ‘em, willya?  Doesn’t matter which. 

CHRIS JOHNSON: Yeah, they’re pretty much all the same anyway.  Comin’ up.

ROWAN WILLIAMS: I think we’ve gotten badly sidetracked here.  The items I’ve assembled in this room aren’t your participation gifts although you will be receiving tokens of our appreciation for coming here today.

JOHN SENTAMU: These items are meant to display aspects of the history of Christianity in these islands in the hopes that regardless of which side of the various controversies roiling the Anglican Communion right now that you find yourselves, you will see that we all share a common heritage that would be disastrous to lose.

ROWAN WILLIAMS: We realize that all of you represent radically different, some might even say mutually exclusive, Anglican viewpoints.  It was our hope that if you could come to some point of commonality, some point of agreement…

MARK HARRIS: We already have.

ROWAN WILLIAMS: What?  You have?  When?

WANNABE ANGLICAN: Last night. 

RED STICK RANT: We’re at this Kensington pub Sarmiento recommended called the Spork & Beanie-Weenees.  We were on our, what, fourth round?

SCOTT GUNN: Fifth.

RED STICK RANT: Fifth round when Sarah just suddenly blurted something out.

CHRIS JOHNSON: Know something?  I would kill for a Gentleman Jack right about now.

GREG GRIFFITH: Word.

CAPTAIN YIPS:  There’s this dead silence in the group.  Then we look at each other and we’re all like, “Yeah.  That’s it.”

SUSAN RUSSELL: We’d reached consensus.  Maybe you can call it a miracle but all of us, right and left, had reached perfect agreement.

ROWAN WILLIAMS: Well that’s splendid!  I must say…that’s wonderful news!  What did you decide?!

WANNABE ANGLICAN: We decided this, Your Grace.

SARAH DYLAN BREUER: We all think you should make a decision.

ROWAN WILLIAMS: Um…about what?

RED STICK RANT: That’s up to you.  We just think you should actually decide something for a change.

MARK HARRIS: Doesn’t much matter what. 

CAPTAIN YIPS: Just decide something before you retire. 

SCOTT GUNN: So I guess we’re done here.  Listen, I’ve got an extra ducat.  Want to come with?

WANNABE ANGLICAN: Sweet!  White Hart Lane, here we come!

Fifteen minutes later

JIM NAUGHTON: Sorry I’m late.  Can someone fill me in on how…uh…hello?  Hello?  Is anybody here?

HYPOCRISY WATCH

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 45 Comments

It’s like Glenn Reynolds always says.  I’ll start to believe that global warming is a crisis when global warming believers start acting like it’s a crisis.

ESTABLISHMENT CLAWS

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

There’s legitimate religion and then there’s the stupid, bigoted crap you say you believe:

Last Friday, an eleven-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court dismissed a claim by Catholics in San Francisco that the City Board of Supervisors violated the Establishment Clause when they denounced Church teaching and urged the Archbishop of San Francisco to defy the Vatican. A little background is warranted.

Early in 2006, Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a statement clarifying that Church agencies should not place children for adoption with same-sex couples. The statement had particular significance for Levada’s former Archdiocese of San Francisco, whose Catholic Charities agency had been placing children for adoption with same-sex couples.

In response to Cardinal Levada’s statement, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution denouncing the Vatican’s foreign meddling, demanding Levada retract his “hateful,” “insulting,” “discriminatory,” “callous”  and ignorant directive, and urging current San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer and Catholic Charities “to defy all discriminatory directives of Cardinal Levada.” Members of the Board of Supervisors also threatened to remove funding from Catholic Charities’ other programs unless they did defy the Vatican (The City was not funding the adoption program at Catholic Charities).

J’OH!!

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

The fifth Teletubbie wins friends and influences people:

A spokesman for Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has denied that Sarkisian asked U.S. Vice President Joe Biden not to “force” the issue of Armenian genocide while negotiations on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations were in progress, RFE/RL’s Armenian Service reports.

A video was posted on YouTube on October 27 that shows Biden speaking to a man who says he is an Armenian-American community activist.

He asks Biden what message from the administration of President Barack Obama “we should be giving to our community” on the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire from 1915-19 and its recognition by Washington as a genocide against Armenians. Biden responds: “What you should be giving to your community is that we are not backing off. The Turks have to come to the realization of what the reality is.”

He adds that “And what we [have] got to do is, you know…the compromise that was going on and being worked at for a while…. Tell [the Armenian-American community] that it was the Armenian president that called me and said ‘Look, do not force this issue [of genocide recognition] now, while we are in negotiations [with Turkey on reconciliation].’ We passed…. So anyway, reality has a way of intruding.”

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MCJ

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

This is a bit of a cheap shot.  Actually this is a whole lot of a cheap shot but given Mrs. Schori’s recent reflections on dictatorship governmental “flexibility,” it seemed appropriate.  And in the immortal words of Daffy Duck, “What the hey, I gotta have some fun!”

Anyhoo, Corporate liked it(about damn time the suits gave me a little credit).  They liked it so much that for a limited time only, it’s going to appear on the large and small coffee mugs at the company store.

They make great gifts.  I realize that most of you have already finished your holiday shopping for this Saturday and if you ordered them now, you wouldn’t get them in time anyway.  But it never hurts to get an early start on Christmas presents for all those folks on your list. 

And it’s for a good cause.

BROKEN CLOCKS

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Richard Cohen accidentally backs into something profound:

The Tea Party has no leader. It has no address, no phone and no Washington headquarters. It is everywhere and nowhere. For Barack Obama, the Tea Party is the quintessential asymmetrical enemy, much like the Taliban in Afghanistan. The president stands a chance of losing on both fronts.

The difference between being an early-20th-century Democrat and an early-21st-century Tea-Party member is the Internet. With it, the middle man is eliminated — in this case an actual political party, Republican or Democratic, which was once called the organization because it actually organized.

Now that’s done laptop to laptop so like-minded people can get together, even if they do not actually get together. The Tea Party exists in the vapors. For Obama, it’s a refutation of what Joe Louis said before his 1941 bout with Billy Conn: “He can run but he can’t hide.” The Tea Party can do both.

As a result, the vexed Obama has been swinging wildly, punching at ghosts. He has tried elevating the colorless John Boehner as a worthy opponent, but his face is as unrecognizable as his name is unpronounceable.

Obama tried to make the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Public Enemy No. 1, but to most Americans the chamber is a group of guys in short-sleeve shirts and clip-on ties who sponsor the July 4 parade. He has tried going after Big Business and Evil Finance, but they are where the jobs are — or used to be — and while they are both more or less disliked, the message is mixed.

Obama is stuck in the classic dilemma of asymmetrical warfare: Who and where is the enemy?

Yeah, pretty much.  The Web has driven a lot of this and continues to do so.  With the help of the Internet, information can be disseminated quickly, effectively and widely.  Rallies can be gotten up almost overnight just about any place that they’re needed.

Have you found some particularly egregious example of Obama or Democratic excess?  Post it to your blog or link to it on Twitter.  Do you know some place in your town that sells Gadsden flags?  Let people know pretty much all at once.  And you don’t need to sit around waiting for orders.

As a result, the Tea Party is not a movement with one leader or a small group of them but thousands if not tens of thousands.  So it’s not surprising that Obama has not yet come up with a way to deal with it.  And it’s also the reason why the Republican Party leadership holds the movement at arm’s length.

SCHADENFREUDE

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Progressive leftist hipster douchebags?  We know that you’re going to be flooding into Episcopal churches any day now because of Gene Robinson and Mary Glasspool, the fact that Episcopalians have abolished sin so you can do pretty much anything you want and all the rest of it but is there any possibility that you could pick up the pace?

By way of a related resolution proposed by FFM, the council approved borrowing of up to $60 million to refinance $46.1 million in debt that comes due at the end of this year. The $37 million renovation loan makes up the bulk of that amount. In addition, close to $10 million was spent on property in Austin, Texas, as a potential site for relocating the Archives of the Episcopal Church. The resolution said that the borrowing authority is also meant “to provide continuing working capital and liquidity.”

The resolution calls for mortgaging the Episcopal Church Center in Manhattan and securing the rest of the borrowing with unrestricted endowment assets. The current debt is in the form of a line of credit.

HUNCH

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Something tells me that if the Democrats get their asses handed to them next Tuesday, the President’s not going to take it very well:

The Democratic National Committee formally has asked the Pentagon for reams of correspondence between military agencies and nine potential Republican presidential candidates, a clear indication that Democrats are building opposition-research files on specific 2012 contenders even before the midterm elections.

An internal Army e-mail obtained by ABC News indicates that the DNC has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for “any and all records of communication” between Army departments and agencies and each of the nine Republicans — all of whom are widely mentioned as possible challengers to President Obama.

The nine Republicans that Democrats are seeking information on are former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska; former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.; Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss.; Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.; former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark.; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.; Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; Gov. Mitch Daniels, R-Ind.; Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La.

Cuz that’s exactly what Defense Departments are for.  Oppo research.

ROYALTY CHECK

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Adventures of Queen Nanner I:

By the end of 2008, Pelosi had been speaker for nearly two years. But the military was about to confront another controversy regarding her use of the Speaker Shuttle. According to a Dec. 9, 2008 military email, the Speaker Shuttle was at San Francisco International Airport as usual, waiting to take her back to Washington D.C. The email said that Pelosi wanted the jet to be moved, or “repositioned,” just 51 miles away to Travis Air Force Base, closer to her Napa Valley home but far outside of her district. 

“(T)he jet will not reposition to Travis,” says a military official, “Jet will depart from SFO.” 

“(W)hy can’t the jet reposition to Travis?” asks another military official. “You know this is a firestorm waiting to happen.” 

“We can’t reposition the airplane such a short distance. It is not a judicial use of the asset. It is too expensive to operate the jet when there is truly no need to do so.” 

The exchange between apparently frustrated military officials continues. 

“You know I understand and feel with you…but, this is a battle that we are bound to lose if we tell the speaker office..I wish that I could say this is a one-time request, but we know it will probably happen again in the future. We know you are correct in your justification, but this is still the request from the speaker’s office.” 

“We have never done this in the past. The deal is from (the Office of the Secretary of Defense and) the White House that the Speaker shuttle is from DC to SFO and back. We will not resposition. We do not reposition for convenience, even for the SECDEF (Secretary of Defense). It is not too far of a drive from Travis to SFO. Did the (Air Force) escort suggest to the Speaker that this is ok? If so, I hope you guys correct them immediately. If you agree with me that I am correct, then you need to stay strong and present the facts to the Speaker’s office.” 

“She lives about 1.5 hours from SFO and much closer to Travis… From our point of view, it is difficult to tell the speaker that we can’t support her when the whole reason we have a jet is to support her. Whether it is the best use of assets is not the question, but instead is it worth upsetting the speaker due to what really amounts to a rather minor point?

Democrats?  This is why.

CURIA-SER AND CURIA-SER

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 40 Comments

I’ve been studying the steady decline of the Episcopal Organization into high-church universalism for a long time and I thought I had them figured out.  But four recent stories about the Episcopalians have got me awfully confused.  Katharine Jefferts Schori:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori challenged the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Oct. 24 to avoid “committing suicide by governance.”

Jefferts Schori said that the council and the church face a “life-or-death decision,” describing life as “a renewed and continually renewing focus on mission” and death as “an appeal to old ways and to internal focus” which devotes ever-greater resources to the institution and its internal conflicts.

“We need some structural change across the Episcopal Church,” she said. “Almost everywhere I go I hear dioceses wrestling with this; dioceses addressing what they often think of as their own governance handcuffs, the structures that are preventing them from moving more flexibly into a more open future.”

Later in her remarks, Jefferts Schori said “we need a system that is more nimble, that is more able to respond to change,” calling for “a more responsive and adaptable and less rigid set of systems.”

The Executive Council to TEO:

A member of Council stated her desire to seek clarity from the Presiding Bishop about her remarks on Sunday on church governance. She noted that the Presiding Bishop’s remarks were taken by some to diminish the role of deputies in the widest governance of the church.  The Presiding Bishop explained that she was not questioning the need for the House of Deputies nor diminishing their governance role, and that she views the natural tension between the two houses as healthy and necessary. She said that her larger concern was that leaders in the church – bishops, clergy and laity – not be afraid of exploring ways to respond to changing circumstances in a nimble way, that we “choose life” and find ways to insure that our governance enables that, and does not get in the way of it.

From an analysis of the recent Title IV revisions at The Living Church:

The revisions to Title IV enacted by General Convention at Anaheim in 2009 turn the principles of the founders of the Diocese of Dallas and those of the entire Episcopal Church on their head. As neatly summarized in the excellent article on this subject written by Alan Runyan and Mark McCall, these amendments inflict a broad range of damage that should be of grave concern to Episcopalians across the entire political spectrum. They enable a bishop (and the presiding bishop) not only to serve as policeman writing the citation, but also to sit as a member of the three-person board (or grand jury) that will be appointed to replace a duly elected standing committee.

Any resemblance to due process as we understand it in this country has been eliminated from Title IV, including protection of ordained clergy against self-incrimination. Clergy must now “testify and cooperate”; they must “self-report” an offense; and they will no longer hear Miranda warnings. As rewritten, Title IV works to the advantage of those who currently hold authority within TEC. With a change in regime, however, it could easily become an instrument of control by those they oppose. Good law should serve all parties, not simply whichever group may be in power.

By 2009, a handpicked group of attorneys and bishops led a Title IV Task Force II on Disciplinary Policies and Procedures. They had learned their lessons from 2006. Resolution A185 arrived on the floor of the General Convention on July 13, and it passed virtually unchallenged. As I recall, 15 minutes of debate was allotted, which was consumed almost completely by one deputy, while long lines waited at the other microphones. A motion to extend the debate was ruled out of order. The next day the House of Bishops concurred. Reports indicated only one question was asked about Title IV in the daily news conference, and a story appeared on page 6 of the Convention Daily announcing the passage of Resolution A185.

And the other day at Naughton’s:

Until Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service files her story, we will be without a first hand account, but email communication with some of those present suggests that some members of the council thought that the Presiding Bishop was beginning to make the case for a style of governance that concentrated more authority in the hands of bishops and the Church Center staff at the expense of clergy and laity. Several deputies noted remarks made by bishops at the last General Convention which seemed to disparage or discount the need for the House of Deputies.

All four of these, taken together, bring up an interesting question.  Is Mrs. Schori actually trying to centralize Episcopal power?  Does she really want to become an Episcopal pope?

We all know what terms like ‘nimble,” “flexibility” and “governance handcuffs” mean coming from someone like Katharine Jefferts Schori.  Stop tying my hands with all these rules, regulations and canons and let me run this church the way I see fit!

The question is why.  Mrs. Schori has already acted the tyrant on more than one occasion without anyone raising a fuss about it.  She already has the power and she knows it.

Episcopal liberals can do anything they want right now because anything resembling traditional Christianity in the Episcopal Organization is either dead or almost there.  Some talk about rearguard actions, defending bridges and whatnot but most people know that that’s no longer possible or even desirable.

So I don’t get it.  Why would Mrs. Schori officially want what she already has?

PITH HELMETS

Monday, October 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Progressive academic douchebags study the savages:

The research and analysis from the panelists is along those same lines. Why are people joining the Tea Party? Perlstein kicks off the conference with an analysis of conservative anger, tracing its history and discussing the “sluicing” that conservatives do to keep people angry by giving them stories that reinforce their fears. The audience, mostly academics and activists but some students, respond to quotes from Newt Gingrich and other Republicans with nervous laughter and gasps, the air-rushing-through-teeth kind that you only hear from audiences reacting to speeches. The plaintive questions start in.

Damn it, why won’t all those rednecks realize how stupid and helpless they are and how much they need us?!!

“How is it that [the Tea Party has] read the Saul Alinsky handbook and progressives haven’t?” gripes one activist. “It seems like a natural thing for progressives to take the lead here and say, look, this is in your interest. Especially when jobs and homes are being lost, that seems like a cakewalk.”

To those people, the wrong side won the Civil War.

“There is that U.S. DNA that goes all the way back and does provide the conceptual source for this lynch mob mentality,” says Steve Martinot, who teaches at San Francisco State University. “And that is white supremacy. Shouldn’t we be looking at the Tea Party through that?”

That’s not it.  It’s the fact that we have to let those morons vote and let the idiots they elect write laws and stuff.

Perlstein moves around the question. “The thing that makes America different, and this is a very dialectical, paradoxical concept, is that we have a lot of democracy,” he says. “The idea that everyone has an opinion of about what they’re hearing is both the glory and the tragedy of American democracy.”

No, it’s definitely racism.

But the social scientists are more ready than the historians to crunch numbers and prove that racial animosity is key to the Tea Party. It’s cold comfort for people like Hardy Frye, but it does suggest that Obama’s ability to form some grand populist coalition was always limited. The University of Washington’s Christopher Parker shares his research-in-progress based on interviews in seven states that break down subjects into “true skeptics” of the Tea Party at one end and “true believers” at the other.

No question about it.

“If you look across the board here, true skeptics of the Tea Party, 49 percent agreed with the proposition that blacks ought to work their way up without any special favors,” says Parker. “But if you look at the true believers, that goes to 92 percent. This is another indicator of racism, right: Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve. Forty-five percent of true skeptics disagree with this; almost 80 percent of true believers disagree with this.”

But for the love of Karl Marx, what is to be done?!!  For a start, the Republicans should just shut up and stop insisting on debating the issues since everyone knows that there’s nothing to debate.

That puts the blame on Obama, but a moment later, Disch argues that the Senate and the Republican Party used the Tea Party’s anger to undercut any progressive agenda Obama might have had. “You’re not allowed to just say no to everything the president wants,” she says, venting. “The Tea Party movement gives them the illusion they’re speaking for the majority when they aren’t.”

Since they’re obviously going to start killing people and blowing things up real soon, why can’t the government round up those reactionary bastards and put them all in concentration camps or something?  We have to defend our way of life.

“I wonder if we’re likely to see a Timothy McVeigh situation,” says Nicholas Robert, an attendee originally from Australia, who basically wonders if any Tea Partiers can be arrested. “It seems to be that we’re being very polite. I wonder if there are any legal mechanisms—one that comes to mind are the provisions used to crush the Wobblies.”

Nah, probably better not do that just yet.

He gets no sympathy from the academics. “I think that’s a dangerous road to go down,” says Berlet.

Until we get rid of universal suffrage, we can’t risk it.  The racists might vote to cut our funding and force us to get jobs in the…gaspprivate sector.

CURIAS ‘R’ US

Monday, October 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Remember when Anglican popes were bad?  Guess who suddenly seems open to the idea:

Until Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service files her story, we will be without a first hand account, but email communication with some of those present suggests that some members of the council thought that the Presiding Bishop was beginning to make the case for a style of governance that concentrated more authority in the hands of bishops and the Church Center staff at the expense of clergy and laity. Several deputies noted remarks made by bishops at the last General Convention which seemed to disparage or discount the need for the House of Deputies.

The Presiding Bishop said she had not heard conversation about doing away with the House of Deputies. There was much use of the Pauline metaphor of the church as the body of Christ, and general agreement that, as Paul said, no member could say to another: I have no need of you. Yet, each member has a different role, and the bishops on the council asserted the distinct nature of their role.

I say go for it.  Full throttle, pedal to the medal and don’t look back.  When the Presiding Bishop makes a diocesan visitation, carry her into church on a gestatorial chair.  For really special occasions, buy her a tiara.

Require that all official church correspondence have a wax image of TEO’s massive Great Seal attached by a strip of cloth.  Engrave Mrs. Schori one of her own.  Have Church Center start exchanging ambassadors with other countries.  The Episcopalians are limited only by their creativity.

Tell me something, smartass.  How are they going to pay for all this since they’re bleeding scratch like nobody’s business?  Easy.  All they have to do is start selling off those properties they’ve been suing people out of. 

In this real estate market?  Yeah, well…hey, shut up!!

BLOWBACK

Sunday, October 24th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 41 Comments

Stand Firm reports that Baltimore’s Mount Calvary Episcopal Church is Episcopal no longer:

Mount Calvary voted on two resolutions today at a special meeting following 10:00 Mass:

1) That Mt. Calvary Church separate itself from The Episcopal Church, and

2) That Mt. Calvary Church seek admission to the Roman Catholic Church as an Anglican Use parish.

Both resolutions passed by majorities of almost 85%.

KILL ME

Sunday, October 24th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Just kill me now.

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