Archive for May, 2012
Thursday, May 31st, 2012 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments
To the casual observer these images of rich and powerful titans feting Glenn Beck in uptown Manhattan may come as a surprise. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that the mainstream media was more or less declaring him dead, or at least irrelevant. Last summer, Fox News cancelled Beck’s show, meaning he’d suddenly lost an audience of 2 million. But as last December’s event in Manhattan illustrates, Beck’s political influence is still significant, and that’s partly because his media empire isn’t crumbling at all–in fact it’s expanding and his reach could get bigger than ever before.
When Fox News and Beck jointly announced in April that they would amicably split before the end of 2011, popular opinion held that the decision would negatively impact Beck’s earning power and cachet in a big way. It turns out, though, that by monetizing his core viewership through GBTV — an Internet television venture that launched Sept. 12 — Beck is actually raking in considerably more money than ever before.
Here’s how: GBTV is only available to paying subscribers. For $4.95 a month viewers can watch “Glenn Beck Show,” a daily two-hour, televised talk show that bears a strong resemblance to what Beck used to do for Fox. For a $9.95 monthly fee, Beck acolytes gain access to all of GBTV’s programming options. Content can be streamed live or on-demand, with video archives dating back 30 days. Mercury Radio Arts confirms that when GBTV started up in September, more than 230,000 paying subscribers were already onboard.
So when Forbes Magazine plugged in forecasts from research analyst Rich Greenfield of the international brokerage firm BTIG, Forbes concluded: “GBTV is already generating revenues of $27 million a year from subscription fees. … Greenfield envisions Beck increasing that conversion rate (by a multiplier of five), yielding a subscriber base of over 1 million. In that scenario (GBTV) would be generating $135 million in subscription revenues.”
Buttressing the Forbes assessment, the Wall Street Journal confirmed the immediate profitability of the new Internet television service: “GBTV is on track to take in more than $20 million in revenue in its debut year.”
For the sake of comparison, Beck earned “only” $2.5 million from Fox News in 2010 — a mere 6.3 percent of Mercury Radio Arts’ income for that year.
Beyond the financial leverage inherent in GBTV, Beck is now also free from advertisers threatening to boycott — a specter that long clouded his tenure at Fox News. That liberation, combined with the fact Beck is now preaching his pre-apocalyptic gospel to a self-selected core audience of paid subscribers, means that Beck fully expects viewers to be increasingly responsive to his proclamations that run the gamut from somber assessments of Pres. Barack Obama to edicts about the virtues of charity and service.
At the same time, Beck’s news site, TheBlaze.com, is still growing by leaps and bounds 18 months following its launch. After hosting 3.6 million unique visitors in June, the website’s traffic quickly surged 44 percent and The Blaze set a new record for monthly visitors with 5.2 million apiece in both August and October.
Thursday, May 31st, 2012 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments
Do you think that aborting a baby simply because it’s a girl and you wanted a boy is a barbaric idea? Would you favor the passage of a law criminalizing the practice in this country? Come to find out that the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank disagrees with you.
Want to know why? In just about the stupidest column ever written about anything at all in any major newspaper anywhere in the world, Milbank pretends to worry that a law banning sex-selection abortions would be…racist:
Republicans long ago lost African American voters. They are well on their way to losing Latinos. And if Trent Franks prevails, they may lose Asian Americans, too.
The problem with Franks’s proposal is that it’s not entirely clear there is a problem. Sex-selection abortion is a huge tragedy in parts of Asia, but to the extent it’s happening in this country, it’s mostly among Asian immigrants.
For Franks, who previously tried to pass legislation limiting abortions among African Americans and residents of the District of Columbia, it was the latest attempt to protect racial minorities from themselves.
In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Franks didn’t dispute that Asian Americans would be targeted. “The real target in the Asian community here is the Asian women who are being coerced into aborting little girls,” he told me, adding: “When the left doesn’t want to make abortion the issue, they say you’re being against minorities.”
The debate on the House floor was brief but nasty. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) warned of a contagion spreading from Asia. “Today the three most dangerous words in China and India are ‘It’s a girl,’ ” he said. “We can’t let that happen here.”
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) claimed that opponents were “positioning the United States as a safe haven for those who cannot legally acquire sex-selection abortion in their own home countries.”
Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.) countered that the Republicans were setting up a straw man. “As I listen to this debate, I’m not sure if we’re talking about India or China,” he said.
Neither, Congressman. Just people who come from those places.
If the term “honor killing” occurred to you just now, you’re not alone.
UPDATE: Barack Obama, who, like Katherine Ragsdale, never met an abortion he doesn’t enthusiastically support, apparently has no problem whatsoever with gendercide as the White House press corp’s favorite cat toy explains:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded that President Obama is against discrimination in all forms, but the legislation under consideration would penalize doctors.
“Well, Ed, the administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms,” Carney said. “But the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision. I think we, again, oppose gender discrimination in all cases. I think our record on that is very clear. The president’s record on that is very clear.
“But the purpose of this legislation – or the result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution for failing to divine the motivations of their patients when it comes to a very personal and medical decision,” Carney said.
The Parental Non-Discrimination Act would make abortions based on a baby’s gender illegal by creating a penalty for those who knowingly have gender-selective abortions, coerce a woman into having one, or provide transportation to a woman so she can come to the U.S. to have a gender-selective abortion.
Video at the link.
Thursday, May 31st, 2012 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments
Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod was shouted down Thursday at an event in Boston that was staged to attack Mitt Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.
Axelrod called the press conference to hammer home the Obama campaign’s critique of Romney’s time as governor, and brought along officials from around the state to reinforce the message.
But the pro-Obama speakers had to shout to be heard over the “boos” from Romney supporters who showed up for the event. Holding “Obama Isn’t Working” and other pro-Romney signs, they blew bubbles at the stage and loudly chanted, “Where are the jobs?” and “broken record.”
“You can shout down speakers, my friends, but it’s hard to Etch A Sketch the truth away,” Axelrod said, referring to a remark from a Romney strategist about the presumptive GOP nominee’s move into the general election campaign
A visibly irritated Axelrod took another shot at the protesters later in the event as he strained to hear questions from reporters.
“You can’t handle the truth, my friends,” Axelrod said. “If you could handle the truth, you’d quiet down.”
They shouldn’t be allowed to do that; only we should be allowed to do that. Then there’s this. Remember Mr. Obama’s “hit back twice as hard?”
“The reason for keeping it quiet is because we knew if word got out that Solyndra would do everything in their power and the Obama administration would do everything in their power to stop us from having this news conference,” an aide said in a briefing en route. “But taxpayers made a substantial investment in Solyndra, there are serious questions about what happened at Solyndra, why that investment was selected, what happened to that money.”
Solyndra is the failed California-based solar technology company that received more than $500 million in federal stimulus money before it went bankrupt last year. It has since become a mantle of Romney’s argument that Obama doesn’t know how to run the economy.
“Have you seen Solyndra’s corporate headquarters?” Romney asked. “You probably have.”
“Who wants to put money in a solar company when a government puts a half a billion into one of its choice?” Romney asked, suggesting that investors and entrepreneurs would be less likely to found their own companies if they believe the government would help a competitor. “They don’t understand how the free economy works.”
Thursday, May 31st, 2012 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments
From now on, ignore all health studies:
Could exercise actually be bad for some healthy people? A well-known group of researchers, including one who helped write the scientific paper justifying national guidelines that promote exercise for all, say the answer may be a qualified yes.
By analyzing data from six rigorous exercise studies involving 1,687 people, the group found that about 10 percent actually got worse on at least one of the measures related to heart disease:blood pressure and levels of insulin, HDL cholesterolol and triglycerides. About 7 percent got worse on at least two measures. And the researchers say they do not know why.
“It is bizarre,” said Claude Bouchard, lead author of the paper, published on Wednesday in the journal PLoS One, and a professor of genetics and nutrition at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, part of the Louisiana State University system.
Dr. Michael Lauer, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the lead federal research institute on heart disease and strokes, was among the experts not involved in the provocative study who applauded it. “It is an interesting and well-done study,” he said.
Don’t get me wrong. I need to exercise far more than I do, mainly because strenuous exercise is one of the only things that consistently fights off the anxiety attacks that have been hitting me hard lately. That said, I don’t yet know what this weekend’s menu will consist of but I’m fairly certain that it will prominently feature bacon.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments
I don’t know about you but from time to time, I wouldn’t mind being a whole lot younger. I’d have a lot fewer health problems, a lot less weight and me hitting on the attractive women who come in the library would be a whole lot less skin-crawlingly creepy.
But this is one of those times when I want to be exactly as old as I am. We didn’t have all the really cool stuff you kids today have now. We also didn’t have people recording our most humiliating moments and posting them on the Internet for all to see.
UPDATE: It replays here late at night so I just saw it. Short seemed almost effortless.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments
…bad things suddenly become good ones. The title of this TIME story is “Being 30 and Living With Your Parents Isn’t Lame — It’s Awesome.” I kid you not:
Just how much of a bummer is it to be well past the age of adulthood and still living under your parent’s roof? As this living arrangement grows increasingly common, the perception is that it’s not so bad after all. In fact, living with mom and dad can be pretty sweet. According to a new survey, young adults who live with their parents are nearly as likely to say they are satisfied with their housing situation as those who live on their own.
Last fall, a study revealed that the number of young adults living with their parents had soared. Prior to the recession, 4.7 million Americans ages 25 to 34 lived with their folks. As of last year, though, the number had increased to 5.9 million, thanks largely to years of widespread high unemployment and underemployment for young workers—who often simply did not have the money to move out of their own.
But in the new Pew survey, the attitudes and optimism of young adults living with their parents aren’t that different from that of young adults living on their own. Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) of those living with mom and dad say they are satisfied with their family lives, compared with a slightly higher percentage (73%) of those living on their own who report the same. While 49% of adults out on their own declare themselves satisfied with their present housing situation, 44% of those living with their parents can say the same thing. Roughly the same portion of both groups (83% with parents vs. 84% on their own) believes that they will have enough money down the line to live the kind of life they want.
The Great Recession has brought with it a reevaluation of the American Dream, and even whether a college degree is worth the money. Now, the idea of living at home with your parents isn’t associated with failure or a lack of achievement. More likely, young adults living with their parents are thought of as victims of unfortunate circumstances, with plenty of good company.
They may also be considered to be pretty smart customers: At the very least, they weren’t foolish enough to buy a home that they couldn’t afford—and that promptly declined in value by 50%. That’s what so many adults, young and old alike, did five or so years back. To homeowners who are deeply underwater or facing foreclosure, living debt-free in your parents’ home must sound like a nice possibility.
When I was in my thirties, I lived with my father and let’s just say that “awesome” is the last word that I’d ever consider using to describe that period of my life. I kind of had to what with not having a job, working temp jobs when I could find them, having money in my pocket for anything at all every couple of months or so if that, watching my mother die of Alzheimer’s one day at a time, reading Psalm 88 a lot, staring at the ceiling and wondering about life. Unfortunately for me, funemployment hadn’t been discovered yet.
Michael Van Gorkom was laid off by Yahoo in late April. He didn’t panic. He didn’t rush off to a therapist. Instead, the 33-year-old Santa Monica resident discovered that being jobless “kind of settled nicely.”
Week one: “I thought, ‘OK . . . I need to send out resumes, send some e-mails, need to do networking.”
Week two: “A little less.”
Every week since: “I’m going to go to the beach and enjoy some margaritas.”
What most people would call unemployment, Van Gorkom embraced as “funemployment.”
While millions of Americans struggle to find work as they face foreclosures and bankruptcy, others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown. These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s. Some were laid off. Some quit voluntarily, lured by generous buyouts.
Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. And at least till the bank account dries up, they’re content living for today.
“I feel like I’ve been given a gift of time and clarity,” said Aubrey Howell, 29, of Franklin, Tenn., who was laid off from her job as a tea shop manager in April. After sleeping in late and visiting family in Florida, she recently mused on Twitter: “Unemployment or funemployment?”
Plus, George H. W. Bush was the president then. So there was also that.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments
Every since the demise of Lil Slice O’ Goofy, AKA, the Episcopal News Service letters to the editor section(dear LORD, I miss old friend Ed Clarke of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), good letters to the editor have been tough to find. So I was delighted when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch printed this free theology lesson from Mr. Paul. M. Jeannot of Foristel, Missouri:
In my opinion, a “Catholic belief” is what followers actually “do” rather than what the hierarchy “wants” them to do. So the practice of birth control is what most Catholic women do and is, therefore, a “Catholic belief”.
Take that, Pope!
Seriously, when you mackeral snappers get around to turning banging Hooters waitresses on a regular basis, free booze, government-grown high-grade chronic, free rolling papers and discount bong-cleaning services, just to name a few, into “Catholic beliefs,” let me know and I’ll convert the day before yesterday.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 8 Comments
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 19 Comments
Episcopalians Back In The Headlines
by Christopher S. Johnson
HUNTLEIGH, Mo. – Like some religious Norma Desmond that refuses to accept its own irrelevance, the Episcopal Church is ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille.
During a sermon at Holy Apostle Mary Magdalene Catholic Church(She Was So and We Are Too), pastored by certified Catholic priest the Rev. Tammi Sue Higginbotham, Gene Robinson shocked the four assembled worshippers.
“As far as I’m concerned,” the soon-to-be-retiring Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire told the congregation, “all opponents of gay marriage along with anybody else who thinks homosexuality is a sin ought to be killed and eaten. And I’m not speaking metaphorically!!
“I’m sick and tired of pretending that I like these bigots. And as you all know, one of the hallmarks of all stages of my ministry, from priest on up to bishop, is honesty.
“The most loving thing we can do for these people is kill them. Who would want to live harboring that much hatred? And eating these people would provide the Episcopal Church with a great mission opportunity to the Vegetarian-American community.
“Think of it. How many church cookouts and such have have been closed to Vegetarian-Americans because they’ve insisted on cooking pork, chicken, rattlesnake chili and other meats vegetarians can’t eat? At least the lives of these people would have some worth.”
While she agreed with Bishop Robinson’s general sentiments, the Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, California cautioned against killing or eating conservative Christians. “While it’s certainly a laudable idea,” said Russell, “some bigoted homophobe of a judge might start babbling about ‘murder’ or something.
“Plus there are obvious health considerations involved in eating human flesh. So unless you know where he or she has been, as they say, and you’re blessed with a progressive court system, I can’t recommend eating people. For the time being.”
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s office had no immediate comment.
When asked for his reaction, a San Francisco Episcopalian identified only as John forcefully declared, “What about Westboro Baptist? Huh? What about them? I’m obviously not for this but quite frankly, any conservative who claims to be horrified at what Bishop Robinson said is a hypocrite.
“Sure, some people will be uncomfortable with the idea and there’s nothing wrong with that. But everybody knows that the right thinks way uglier thoughts before 9:00 AM than most of the left does all day.”
Still more controversy erupted when Matt Kennedy at the conservative blog Stand Firm revealed that the Episcopal Diocese of Huntleigh & Ladue, just outside St. Louis, intended to introduce a resolution at the Church’s upcoming General Convention that Stand Firm argues would completely do away with the Bible.
The resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS that the Bible contains all things necessary for our salvation, and.
WHEREAS the Bible also contains archaic rules and regulations that no longer have and no longer should have any influence on modern life and
WHEREAS the Bible’s various rules and regulations do not and, indeed, cannot make anyone a good person and
WHEREAS injunctions against this or that so-called “sin” put up barriers against the radical inclusiveness Jesus obviously intended, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that the Episcopal Church now regards as “scriptural” only those passages of the Bible that influence Christ’s and the Church’s earthly mission which is to “reconcile all persons to unity with God and each other in Christ” or affect the Church’s baptismal covenant, should be regarded by Episcopalians in the exactly the same manner as the Episcopal Church regards the “historical documents” in its prayer book.
The Rt. Rev. T. Casper Van Frehlingshuysen XLVII, Huntleigh & Ladue’s Bishop Suffragan, scoffed at the notion that his church was effectively abolishing the idea of sin. “South Africa and Rhodesia were states begun and sustained by white Europeans and that were based on racism and racial subjugation,” he said.
Asked what that had to do with anything at all, Rev. Van Frehlingshuysen replied, “Oh, you know. Don’t pretend that you don’t know,” and then angrily walked away.
“I mean, look,” said the Rev. T. Casper Van Frehlingshuysen XLVIII, Huntleigh & Ladue’s Canon Assistant to the Canon Theologian’s Assistant. “These so-called ‘sins’ occur in every church. Every single one.
“If we’re always going on and on and on and on about how you shouldn’t steal or make graven images or committ ‘adultery,’ whatever the hell that is, and other crap like that, why should you walk in our door if you enjoy doing that stuff?
“I mean, nobody likes getting yelled at. And if you never come in, how are you going to hear about the all-inclusive love of Jesus? Makes no sense. Makes no sense at all.”
Church insiders rate the chances of the resolution’s passage at 50%. The Anglican Communion had no official comment either on Robinson’s remarks or on the proposed resolution, both of which it called, “purely-internal Episcopal Church matters.”
“After the fights of the last ten years,” a Communion spokeswoman said, “we would much rather prefer to focus on what unites us rather than what divides us.”
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments
Come to find out that Real African Word is, like, a good thing and crap:
An initiative to enable mission by strengthening relationship between parishes, dioceses and provinces has been celebrated by participants and evaluators as “an important tool” and “wonderful gift” for the Anglican Communion.
Continuing Real African Word, an official ministry of the Communion, has, for three years, been promoting cross-Provincial/diocesan dialogue, visits and the production of theological resources aimed at supporting the process of enabling “conversation across difference”.
A recently published progress report Continuing Real African Word – Celebrating A Journey revealed that those involved considered Real African Word to be “an important tool for moving forward together as a 21st century Anglican Communion”.
The report states: “The fruit of Real African Word is becoming evident. The consistent testimony of those participating points to a deeper understanding of the unity of the church resulting in common participation in the Mission of God. They are already communicating the potential for Real African Word in their own diocese, in their relationships with other Anglicans around the world and for the Communion as a whole.
Bishop Pradeep Kumar Samataroy of Amritsar Diocese of the Church of North India said that taking part in Real African Word had not been without its challenges: “People came with lots of fear, apprehension and pessimism about the usefulness and outcomes of an Real African Word consultation. But those feelings were turned to joy and excitement when understanding stated to be built up through face-to-face Encounter. We came as participants [to the Real African Word resource hubs] but returned as partners in the mission of God.”
Daniel Graves, of Toronto said of Real African Word, “It is a different way of being together and requires us to take a leap of faith out of some of our old ways, and into being vulnerable, risking really listening and really being honest when we have our opportunity to speak.”
Continuing Real African Word, Celebrating a Journey – Progress Report May 2012 has been commended to the Anglican Communion by Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams “as an important resource for ensuring that all voices can be heard as we seek to be a flourishing Church together.”
Content edited slightly.
Sunday, May 27th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 37 Comments
Question one. Is the selection process for a new Archbishop of Canterbury as rigged as any given professional wrestling show?
The panel chosen to appoint the next Archbishop of Canterbury is facing claims that it is dominated by clerics who reject orthodox teaching.
The committee is unfairly balanced in favour of liberals who support “revisionist” moves such as the appointment of homosexual bishops, traditionalists have warned.
Their intervention came as the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) met behind closed doors last week for the first in a series of meetings to decide the successor to Dr Rowan Williams.
Orthodox clergy fear that influential liberals on the panel will swing votes away from the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Coventry, prominent conservatives who have been widely tipped for the post.
Dr Richard Chartres, the traditionalist Bishop of London, is also back in the running, as he pulled out of elections to the CNC which would have excluded him from being considered.
The most senior member of the commission is Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, who has said he would be prepared to appoint Britain’s first homosexual bishop.
Other liberals on the panel include Mary Johnston, a campaigner for women bishops, and the Rt Rev Michael Perham, the Bishop of Gloucester, who has forged links with the liberal-leaning Episcopal Church in the US.
Their presence on the CNC would appear to strengthen the chances of the Rt Rev Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, a liberal Anglo-Catholic candidate.
The Rev David Houlding, a prebendary at St Paul’s Cathedral and a member of the orthodox group Forward in Faith, said: “I wonder how representative a group it is – the vast majority are from the liberal side of the Church of England.
“My fear is that someone like the Bishop of London will be overlooked when I believe that he is by far the best person to take over – and that people like Barry Morgan and Michael Perham will make it an issue and say, ‘We cannot have the Bishop of London because he won’t ordain women’.”
Question two. Does it make the slightest bit of difference who gets the Big Miter? No. The fact of the matter is that putting someone like James or some other liberal into Lambeth Palace might just be the best possible outcome.
Why? Because it would hasten the day that we all know is coming. And it will hopefully strip away the last remaining illusions of Anglican traditionalists that “the Anglican tradition” still has anything slightly resembling a coherent, Christian meaning.
Saturday, May 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments
Remember that statement that the bishops of the Church of England issued a while back, the one that nobody understood? Judging by the hysterical reaction of the Anglican left, the bishops may have inadvertently blundered into doing something roughly approximating the right thing. Andrew “Every Day Is Guy Fawkes Day” Brown thinks that the C of E shot itself in the foot and he’s clearly worried about the possible consequences:
I wrote disparagingly about the last-minute tinkering that the Church of England’s bishops have done with the measure to allow female bishops. Now I have had time to think properly, it’s clear that one of these little tinkerings could be a really historic mistake.
Gracious. Does Andy think this legislation might negatively affect the Church of England, a vibrant and vigorous British institution that is one of the key indicators that Great Britain is not…I’m sorry but I can’t continue what with cracking myself up and all.
One of the tweaks proposes to enshrine in law the principle that parishes can set out particular theological demands on anyone who is sent to them as their priest. To some extent, the mechanism of parish opt-outs which enables traditionalists to refuse the ministry of women already allows for this. But even that limited concession is what software developers call “a wart”: while there is every reason for the bishops to be pastoral and not to inflict unsuitable priests on any congregation, this has to be a matter of discretion and not of legal inability.
How are we ever supposed to get rid of the reactionaries if we have to start taking their stupid reactionary “theology” seriously?
The present code of practice makes it possible for parishes to reject the ministry of women but it was introduced in the clear expectation that such parishes would die out. Enshrining the veto in law makes it much less likely than they will, and it also introduces an unmistakable element of gender discrimination into the law. That will confront parliament (which also must approve the law) with quite a tricky problem.
You thought I was kidding, didn’t you? Silly you.
I suspect that a certain discomfort about the naked gender discrimination implied here led some bishops who should have known better to suppose they could get round the problem by allowing parishes to discriminate against men who have the wrong views about anything the parochial church council believes and not just about gender roles. But, actually, that doesn’t help at all.
Why not, Andy?
To give parishes the legal right to choose their bishops is wholly incompatible with the way the Church of England has always worked before, so it’s a nice irony that it should be brought forward by “traditionalists”. It’s also incompatible with the Church of England functioning as any kind of organisation in the future. It’s no longer one church if every parish can choose any bishop.
Does anybody besides me think that it’s hysterically funny when guys like Andy Brown, who have spent their adult lives plowing under every Christian doctrine they can get their hands on, start yammering about how we’ve never done it that way before? No?
This may seem a very arcane point. After all, the overwhelming majority of churchgoers don’t care much either way about any of the things that synod discusses, and the congregations opposed to women priests will continue to exist in their little parallel world. But actually it carries the opportunity to poison a lot of parish life. By moving the decision level down to congregations, and in particular the parochial church councils, who must draw up these statements, it offers huge attractions to the kind of people who care about church politics. They are not the ones who make Christianity attractive or credible.
In case you don’t know what Andy means, think of it as the Episcopal Church strategy in reverse. Andy’s terrified that Christian traditionalists will infect the Church of England with their traditional traditionalism while the C of E’s liberals stand around wailing, “We’ve never done it that way before!” to the Guardian, eventually work out some sort of modus vivendi with the Episcopalians and fly Katharine Jefferts Schori into Britain a couple times a year to provide “episcopal oversight” to the British Anglican left.
There is a reason why conservative evangelicals care about laws so much. It’s not just a temperamental fondness for clarity and firmness. There are also huge advantages to controlling and manipulating the rules book and often it is the tiny and apparently insignificant changes that have the greatest effect in the future. Two recent examples are the 1998 Lambeth conference resolution condemning homosexuality, which supplied American conservatives with a decade’s worth of ammunition in their war against the liberals; and the apparently minor decision to allow people to celebrate their marriages pretty much anywhere they wanted to, which hugely damaged the Church of England’s position as the national provider of ceremonies and ritual.
Never ever doubt me. I know these people better than they know themselves.
There is no graceful way out of this mess. The synod, meeting in July, could reject the bishops’ amendments but in that case the decisive vote on women will be postponed until the autumn. It could reject the amended legislation entirely. In that case there will be no women bishops for another five years. Or it could accept the amendments, and vote for women bishops who would always be second class – and so, of course, will all the male bishops be, once it’s officially optional to believe that any of them are real.
Hate to break this to you, Andy, but that train left the station 500 years ago.
Saturday, May 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 117 Comments
Come to find out that Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist also seems to have a bit of the pedophile in him:
Investigators learned that her daughter, Sandra Barton, was a very close friend of Brett C. Kimberlin. The relationship between the pair was complicated by his strange affection for Mrs. Barton’s pre-teen daughter, Debbie.
Investigators learned Debbie accompanied Kimberlin on several long, unsupervised trips, including holidays in Florida, Mexico and Hawaii.
Mrs. Scyphers (Barton’s mother and Debbie’s grandmother) violently disapproved of Kimberlin’s questionable relationship with Debbie and her mother. The concerned grandmother arranged for Debbie and her sister, Shari, to leave their mother’s home and move in with her.
Separated from Debbie, Kimberlin threatened suicide.
On Saturday, July 29, 1978, Julia Scyphers, a 65-year-old grandmother was in her living room chatting with her granddaughters at her small home at 1651 Cunningham Drive, Speedway.
(At) about 3 p.m., a man knocked on her door asking about some items she had displayed at a garage sale.
When Mrs. Scyphers went outside to the garage to show him the items, he slipped a .25 caliber pistol from his black briefcase and shot her once in the back of the head. She slumped to the floor beside the family car.
UPDATE: Seems that the State Department doesn’t have a problem with Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist.
UPDATE: Maybe it’s working.
Friday, May 25th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 37 Comments
Come on, Chris. Dial it down, big smacker. Isn’t “domestic terrorist” far too strong a term to describe Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist? Why, no. No it’s not. There aren’t terms in the English language anywhere near strong enough to describe the evil of Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist or his domestic terrorist friends and associates:
Patterico describes the results of that phone call.
At 12:35 a.m. on July 1, 2011, sheriff’s deputies pounded on my front door and rang my doorbell. They shouted for me to open the door and come out with my hands up.
When I opened the door, deputies pointed guns at me and ordered me to put my hands in the air. I had a cell phone in my hand. Fortunately, they did not mistake it for a gun.
They ordered me to turn around and put my hands behind my back. They handcuffed me. They shouted questions at me: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THE HOUSE? and WHERE ARE THEY? and ARE THEY ALIVE?
I told them: Yes, my wife and my children are in the house. They’re upstairs in their bedrooms, sleeping. Of course they’re alive.
Deputies led me down the street to a patrol car parked about 2-3 houses away. At least one neighbor was watching out of her window as I was placed, handcuffed, in the back of the patrol car. I saw numerous patrol cars on my quiet street. There was a police helicopter flying overhead, shining a spotlight down on us as I walked towards the patrol car. Several neighbors later told us the helicopter woke them up. I saw a fire engine and an ambulance. A neighbor later told me they had a HazMat vehicle out on the street as well.
Meanwhile, police rushed into my home. They woke up my wife, led her downstairs and to the front porch, frisked her, and asked her where the children were. Then police ordered her to stand on the front porch with her hands against the wall while they entered my children’s bedrooms to make sure they were alive.
The call that sent deputies to my home was a hoax. Someone had pretended to be me. They called the police to say I had shot my wife. The sheriff’s deputies who arrived at my front door believed they were about to confront an armed man who had just shot his wife. I don’t blame the police for any of their actions. But I blame the person who made the call.
Because I could have been killed.
Later on, Patterico hired a forensic voice identification expert to compare that recording to a recording of the voice of one of Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist’s known associates. The expert concluded that both voices were the same.
Here’s some other stuff that happened to Patterico.
OccupyforAccountability.org, a site related to Kimberlin, published my home address, as well as a Google street view and Google aerial view of my home. The “Gaped Crusader” republished that address.
Brynaert and Kimberlin have both filed complaints against me with my office. (Rauhauser and Brynaert have spoken of these complaints publicly.)
When Brynaert contacted my office, he initially called the very same person Kimberlin had complained to — even though that person was no longer my boss. If Brynaert had simply called asking for my boss, the office would probably not have routed Brynaert to the same person Kimberlin had complained to. But if Brynaert asked for that same person by name, they would route the call to that person.
Kimberlin also spoke to at least two secretaries in my office, calling me a stalker, a racist, a homophobe, and saying he was going to have to get a restraining order against me. I had to explain to the secretaries that the man who called them had been convicted of setting off several bombs and had been sentenced to 50 years in federal prison — but was now free and harassing me.
Rauhauser has encouraged people to file complaints against me, as has anonymous Kimberlin supporter @BreitbartUnmask. The “Gaped Crusader” spoke of sending packets of defamatory material about me to candidates running in the election for District Attorney, as well as to defense attorneys on my cases. As noted, Brynaert has stated that my wife and I should be fired. Anonymous Kimberlin supporter @OccupyRebellion constantly talks about how I will be fired and disbarred.
Here’s some stuff that happened to other people who have written about Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist.
Brynaert wrote to Andrew Breitbart defaming his employee Mandy Nagy (aka Liberty Chick), who wrote that comprehensive piece about Kimberlin in October 2010 I mentioned earlier.
Kimberlin put Aaron Walker’s home and work address into court documents. The inclusion of the work address contributed to Aaron’s being fired, due to the employer’s fear that a convicted bomber might appear at their workplace.
Kimberlin contacted Stacy McCain’s wife’s workplace.
Brynaert contacted a man named Ken Ashford in an attempt to learn Aaron Walker’s real name, and threatened to email every member of Ashford’s firm claiming Ashford had harassed him. Brynaert later contacted the Human Resources Department at Ashford’s firm to complain about him.
Kimberlin has filed numerous frivolous court actions against Aaron Walker and Seth Allen. The details of the court appearances are frequently reported — with a pro-Kimberlin spin — by Rauhauser and Brynaert. In a blatant abuse of the court’s process, Kimberlin served invalid interrogatories in the Seth Allen lawsuit on me, Aaron Walker, Mandy Nagy, and Andrew Breitbart. Rauhauser and @OccupyRebellion publicly referred to those interrogatories and asked when we were going to answer them.
If you read nothing else today, make sure you read the whole post.
Am I worried? I’d like to be. But the fact is that it’ll be a while before Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist, gets to me. Today is “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist Day” and Michelle Malkin, who knows way more than a little bit about online harassment, has a lengthy post up on all the bloggers who are blogging about Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist, today, a day which has been officially designated “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist, Day”
So unfortunately, I think I’ll be okay for quite some time.
Thursday, May 24th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments
Did you know that not being able to be an Anglican bishop is pretty much the same thing as being slapped around by your husband or boyfriend?
A female priest has compared the Church of England to an abusive husband following controversial last-minute changes to plans allowing women to be bishops.
The Rev Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, interim principal of Durham University’s Ustinov College, branded the Church an “abusive institution” and questioned whether women should stay or flee.
She wrote in a blog post: “The question for women priests today is: do we stay with this abusive institution?
“Do we stay, hoping it will get better? Do we stay, because we feel called by God to be in this marriage? Do we stay, thinking we can continue to try to change it from the inside?
“Or do we flee to the nearest refuge (let’s ignore the fact for now that they rarely exist) – leaving home, family, community, and our dreams behind?”
In another passage, she reportedly referred to the recent case of a man who gouged out his wife’s eyes.
The posting was later withdrawn.
Unless women become Anglican bishops, women all over the world will DIE!! DIE, I TELL YOU!! DIIIIIIIIIIE!!
She wrote on Monday: “One of the reasons women’s ordination is important is because women’s current exclusion from the church hierarchy justifies and entrenches sexist attitudes which have very serious consequences for women around the world.
“Rape, sexual abuse, violence against women and women’s political and economic subjugation are repeatedly justified on the basis that it is ‘natural’ and ‘God-given’ that women should be below men on some divine hierarchy.”
Whatever, kitten. I’d have at this but some blithering idiocy just needs to be left alone.
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