Archive for June, 2012
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, June 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments
And I know how to read!! Missouri’s Democratic governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon is a lot of things but one thing that Missouri’s Democratic governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon most definitely is not is illiterate. He can read election returns just as well as you and I can and he knows perfectly well that the bitchslapping that ObamaTax took here in August, 2010 was a harbinger of the bitchslapping his political party took three months later:
I certainly have some concerns about the Washington health care law. There are aspects of it that just don’t make sense here. And that’s why we’re on hold on any implementation.
If you want to hear Missouri’s Democratic governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon actually say that, there’s some audio at the link. In the meantime, if you run across Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill any time soon, please let me or somebody else from Missouri know. We seem to have misplaced her.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, June 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 62 Comments
It’s hot pretty much everywhere(according to the National Weather Service, it’s 104° around here as I type this). But you might want throw up an extra prayer or two for some folks east of the Mississippi:
A “super derecho” of violent thunderstorms left a more than 700-mile trail of destruction across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic on Friday, cutting power to millions and killing eleven people.
More than 450 damaging wind reports were received by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) as the derecho took roughly 12 hours to race from northern Indiana to the southern mid-Atlantic coast.
A derecho is defined as a widespread and long-lived wind storm that accompanies rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. The most severe derechos are given the adjective “super.”
Winds gusted to 91 mph (equal to that of a category 1 hurricane) at the Fort Wayne International Airport, Ind., Friday afternoon.
As the derecho maintained its violent nature, an 81 mph gust was then measured at Tuckerton, on the southern New Jersey coast, early Saturday morning.
Downed trees dominated the damaging wind reports and led to the deaths of 11 people, according to Fox News.
One of the multiple trees that crashed into homes in Springfield, Va., killed a 90-year-old woman as she was sleeping in her bed, according to the Associated Press.
A few hours earlier, a falling tree outside of North Middletown, Ky., (located east-northeast of Lexington) killed a man who was attempting to clear some tree limbs off a road.
One of those storms hit the St. Louis area in July, 2006. If you’re interested, here’s some video of it. I was at work when the storm blew through and since the power went out at the library almost immediately, I didn’t have anything else to do so I went outside to watch the storm from time to time.
That storm was the single most impressive natural phenomenon that I’ve ever personally witnessed. Clouds raced across the sky and I saw trees bent almost double by the wind. I was lucky; although my lights wavered a few times, I never lost power. About a million St. Louis County residents weren’t so fortunate.
The power outages meant that I got at least a week’s paid leave. And it was a month or so before this region got even close to normal again.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments
Hardly a day goes by when somebody doesn’t ask me, “Golly gee willickers, Tim Fountain! Is there any chance that I could ever be a cool blogger like you?”
Chances are, you probably could. This isn’t brain science. Or rocket surgery, for that matter. But here’s my problem, cool blogger. Where do you get your ideas?
I generally take two approaches. I spend part of my day prowling sites that have WAY more traffic than I do but that’s, like, work and stuff. Most of the rest of the time, I just sit back and wait for ideas to come to me:
In an effort to cut down on drunken driving, the state is distributing the totally awesome named Interactive Urinal Communicators to some bars, restaurants and other drinkaterias in Wayne, Bay, Ottawa and Delta counties.
Yup, talking urinal cakes.
Four hundred of the cakes will be distributed to 200 eateries prior to July Fourth, said Anne Readette, spokeswoman for the Office of Highway Safety Planning, a division of the Michigan State Police.
“We’re doing this to draw attention to Fourth of July drunk driving enforcement,” Readette said.
“We want people to be safe and make responsible decisions.”
Actually the cakes offer a message that is short, sweet and entirely nonjudgmental: “Listen up. That’s right, I’m talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many?
“Then do yourself and everyone else a favor: Call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands.”
The alcohol industry might be on board with this idea but I’m not so sure that this is such a good idea for them. I’m fairly certain that if I’ve had a couple, I’m in the bathroom draining the last of the keg, if you know what I mean and I REALLY hope you do, and the urinal starts talking to me, I may never take another drink for the rest of my life.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments
New “Doctrine of Discovery” event added to General Convention
[Special to ENS] Bonnie Anderson, outgoing president of the House of Deputies, announced that another event centered around the Church’s repentance for the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery” and its devastating effect on the indigenous population of North America has been scheduled for July 12, the last day of General Convention.
“Lemmings Over the Doctrine of Discovery” will begin at approximately 5:00 PM Eastern Time, 4:00 PM Central Time, etc., and will, hopes Anderson, “involve the whole church whether you’re with us in Indianapolis or not. Bishop Katharine is very excited,” about what Anderson hopes will be “our modest effort to take our repentance for the evil of the past to a whole, new and profound level.”
The idea for “Lemmings Over the Doctrine of Discovery” came from a Chicago Episcopal priest, the Rev. Bonnie Perry. In a sermon delivered at one of Chicago’s Hispanic Episcopal parishes, La Iglesia Episcopal de San Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta, and which was entitled “It’s a Glock 9 mm Semi-Automatic Pistol, Not a Duck Confit and a Frisée Salad with Kalamata Olives, Capers, and a Blueberry Vinaigrette,” Perry was dubious about what she called, “yet another repentance-fest.”
“We’re getting killed in the blogs,” she continued. “And with good reason. Who wants to hear us moan once again about how sorry we are for the past? What good does that do anybody? Shouldn’t we move beyond that? Shouldn’t we take a step which will show the world how sorry we truly are? If we remain alive, how can we possibly relate to the tens of millions of innocent victims who died?”
Perry went on to propose that Episcopalians deliberately kill themselves at some specified time “as the most powerful witness I can think of against the evil done to Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, lesbians, the transgendered and anyone else who’s suffered because of Euro-American Christian male heterosexist oppression.”
Jeffrey Lee, Perry’s bishop, was excited by her proposal. “I was totally blown away,” he recalled. “When I took it to the next House of Bishops meeting, just about everyone there had the same reaction that I did. The idea of someone dying because of the sins of others had literally never occurred to any of us before.”
All the bishops, said Lee, took the idea back to their dioceses and the idea went viral. With the enthusiastic backing of both bishops and deputies, “Lemmings Over the Doctrine of Discovery” was recently added to the General Convention program.
“Lemmings Over the Doctrine of Discovery,” which will be broadcast online, will consist of hymns, Scripture readings and a sermon by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. It will conclude with a reading of a poem written for the occasion by Barbara Campbell, Diocesan Poet of the Diocese of Connecticut. A reworking of the prose poem “Desiderata,” it discusses the influence of Euro-Americans on North America and is entitled “Detritusiata.” The refrain reads:
You are the turds of the universe.
Unlike the trees and the stars,
You have no right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you
The universe hates you and wishes you would die.
Suicides are to begin immediately after the poem.
The “Lemmings Over the Doctrine of Discovery” event will take place at the conclusion of General Convention and all the bishops and deputies will take part. Poison-laced drinks will be provided free of charge at the Convention but Bishop Schori urges all participants everywhere “to really live into this event and commit suicide as creatively as you are able. Everyone really needs to use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make your deliberate deaths as meaningful for yourselves as you possibly can.”
Arizona Bishop Kirk Smith plans to do just that. Writing in his blog, Smith informed Arizonans that to honor the State of Arizona, its people and all that both have meant to him, he plans to “leave this plane of existence by crawling into a bath tub filled with Gila monsters.” Missouri’s George Wayne Smith intends to use a gift from Japanese Anglicans of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai and has opted for seppuku, ritual disembowelment.
Hundreds of individual parishes across the country will also be taking part. “Most of our parish,” said Mrs. Doris Flendermayer of All Saints Episcopal Church of Gross Pointe Woods, Michigan, “will gather to watch ‘Lemmings Over the Doctrine of Discovery’ and then off ourselves. We’re really looking forward to it. Our youth group was devastated when it couldn’t participate since he’s taking the SAT’s that weekend.”
A few Episcopalians have raised moral objections to deliberate, mass suicide by otherwise happy people. “They’re actually going through with it? Seriously? What are we, freaking Jonestown now?” demanded Mark Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. “Might as well call Bob Duncan. Of course, if I play my cards right, maybe I’ll become Anglican Primate of the United States or something.”
Kendall Harmon, South Carolina’s Canon Theologian, agrees. “I’d love to read a theological justification for killing yourself to make some kind of ‘spiritual’ statement. Actually, check that. Considering who’d probably write it, I wouldn’t love that at all what with it probably not having even the remotest connection to the Christian religion.”
Retired Newark Bishop John Shelby Spong recently told Hoboken Public Radio that he was tremendously excited about “Lemmings Over the Doctrine of Discovery,” something he called, “one of the most moving and truly missional ideas the Episcopal Church has ever had.” Spong, who recently purchased two black mamba snakes specifically for this event, dismissed conservative objections to it as “examples of the kinds of stale, outmoded, obsolete and reactionary ideas this church is well rid of.”
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 19 Comments
This is the reason(well, one of them) why everybody hates you:
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa slammed it as “cynical political manipulation,” Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy termed it shameful, but for the California Teachers Association, it was a victory.
The defeat Wednesday of a proposed law that would have made it easier for school districts to fire teachers in cases of sexual and other egregious misconduct has shone a spotlight on the strong sway of the California Teachers Association, widely considered the state’s most politically influential labor union with more than 325,000 members.
SB 1530 had previously sailed through the Senate, but ran into a stepped up lobbying effort by the CTA at Wednesday’s hearing of the Assembly Education Committee. Teachers from around the state travelled to Sacramento to testify, successfully arguing that the bill violated teachers’ right to due process.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 28th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments
I’ve got a hundy that says ENS stops allowing comments on its stories soon. Here’s a selection of reaction to the news of TEO’s upcoming
mass-flaggelation crying jag Repentapalooza thing at GenCon:
Where do we Angles go to lament the destruction of our culture by the Normans? What about some equality in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America?
So, does that mean that we should all give everything back to the Natives (in my case, the Shawnee) and go back to England/Scotland/Germany/Norway where we came from? Otherwise the “Lament” is nothing more than a shallow, hollow, feel good, self-congratulating, “I am not like other beings” farce. (Oh, and there are some really interesting stories about the Shawnee and their “Doctrine of Discovery” against other groups, such as the Miami.)
I was wondering if the Lament and the Doctrine of Discovery will be accompanied by Restitution. The Episcopal Church received the land on which many of its churches stand from the Colonial Powers, such as Great Britain, and its successors in title., land that TEC accepts as having been stolen from the indigenous people. Genuine repentance comes with Restitution. Please advise me when TEC intends to return their land to the indigenous people from whom it was taken.
I’m with you! We immigrants, English, Welsh, Irish, Scot, French, Dutch, German, et cetera, ad absurdium, have forgotten much, I grant, but in Lakota Country, TEC was the major villain in subjugating the indigenous peoples … so GC, give me a break…pay back, give back, get out and shut up!
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 28th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 14 Comments
Abraham Lincoln reacts to the Supreme Court health care decision:
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 28th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ll start caring about the “Palestinians” when someone answers the following question, one that I’ve asked in other forms many times:
Perhaps the most conspicuous fact regarding the novelty of the Palestinian nation is that when it was within their power, the Arab leaders never seriously sought to create a Palestinian state during the 1940s, and after the establishment of the State of Israel, from 1948 until 1967, when the West Bank and Gaza were under Egyptian and Jordanian direct rule. Moreover, during that time all Arab leaders referred to the Palestinian issue as a refugee problem. They did not call for the creation of a Palestinian state for the Palestinian nation. Even after the 1967 Six-Day War, United Nations Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, mentions only “refugees,” not even “Arab refugees”—let alone a Palestinian people and a Palestinian state. Calls in earnest for a Palestinian state did not begin in the United Nations or elsewhere until the late 1960s or the early 1970s.
Read the whole thing.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 32 Comments
GenCon 2012 starts next week. And what would any Episcopal get-together be without Episcopalians corporately thanking Vague, Ambiguous, Infinitely-Malleable, Inclusive, Affirming, Open-Minded And Tolerant Deity Concept that they are not as other men are?
Individuals and communities of Episcopalians are invited to add their voices to the “Lament Over the Doctrine of Discovery” by praying at the same time as the special event occurring at General Convention 2012 on Tuesday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern (6:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Mountain, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 3:00 p.m. Alaska, 1:00 p.m. Hawaii).
And yes, that is actually what they are calling this
complete waste of time event.
“Dioceses, congregations and individuals — both Native and other people — throughout the Americas are invited to participate with simultaneous local laments held in cathedrals, churches, backyards, offices, apartments,” noted Sarah Eagle Heart, Episcopal Church indigenous missioner.
“Simultaneous local laments.” Three words that have never before appeared next to each other in the English language. But really? Seriously? Simultaneous local laments. Planned laments. On this specific day at this specific time, pretend to feel really bad about something that happened centures before you were born; yeah, that sounds completely sincere. Just don’t forget your trumpet.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, will offer prayers during the Lament at General Convention, to be held at the JW Marriott. The Lament will include the Red Leaf Singers, traditional Lakota singing and drum group from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, South Dakota. White Earth Tribal Chair Erma Vizenor will reflect upon the boarding school impact to Native American peoples with other church leaders sharing their perspectives on the Doctrine of Discovery.
“White People Suck” key chains and coffee mugs as well as “I Repented For Somebody Else’s Sins And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” T-shirts will be available for sale in the lobby following the event. These and many other items can also be ordered online at www.whitepeoplesuck.com. Shipping is included in the price.
For both those present for the Lament in Indianapolis, as well as those elsewhere, stay in touch and contribute responses to and reflections on the lament through…
Looks like we officially have a new Episcopal buzzword. No word yet on whether any of this will be part of the festivities but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 52 Comments
Tomorrow, the US Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on the constitutionality of ObamaCare. I certainly don’t want to unduly alarm anyone but if a member of this country’s single most repulsive family is right, I hope you all have guns, plenty of ammo and emergency food and water supplies already laid in just to be on the safe side:
As I write you, the Supreme Court of the United States is preparing to issue its decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law.
If the Court strikes down the law, Democrats will need to redouble our efforts, fighting to ensure universal health care that’s affordable and accessible to every American is a reality.
If the Court upholds the law, dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage. Backed by Super PAC’s and shadowy front groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, they’ll do everything in their power to defeat President Obama, demonize Democrats who fought for health care reform and, if they win the election, dismantle the law piece-by-piece.
An emergency generator might also be a good idea. Just to be on the safe side.
UPDATE: Well, the Supreme Court upheld the thing(it’s all over the place so no links). They also said it was a tax which means that the President (1) lied through his teeth, (2) won’t be helped by the economy at all and (3) now gets to run for reelection having engineered one of the largest tax increases in history in the middle of a recession. And we won’t get into his hit on Medicare.
But this lies all within the will of God. As for me, if things get a bit sporadic around here, that will be due to the fact that, as a certified Tea Partier(I’ve got a Gadsden flag, a really nice one that one of you sent me, and a whole lot of Gadsden flag T-shirts), I’ll be off rampaging here and there. I’ll let you know.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments
Broccoli-shaped archbishop says things about stuff:
Acknowledging that many people view Christians as “weird, “mad” and “primitive” [Rowan Williams] told them: “As somebody who doesn’t spend all his time with other Christians, I’m quite conscious too of the fact that people think that I’m weird and we’re weird.”
He acknowledged frankly that the attempts he has supported to find a compromise between traditionalists and supporters of women bishop had left the Church mired “in the middle of quite a lot of tangles”.
He added: “Same with same sex marriage, where once more we’re used to being alongside people who are gay; many of our friends may be – indeed we may be – wrestling with that issue ourselves, and the Church is scratching its head and trying to work out where it is on all that, and what to think about it.
“What’s frustrating is that we still have Christian people whose feelings about it are so strong, and sometimes so embarrassed and ashamed and disgusted, that that just sends out a message of unwelcome, of lack of understanding, of lack of patience.
“So whatever we think about it, we need, as a Church, to be tackling what we feel about it.”
No one particularly cares.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments
Claire McCaskill will not be attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, a McCaskill aide confirmed to TPM Tuesday. McCaskill joins a list of vulnerable Democratic politicians whose home districts are hostile ground for President Obama and who will be steering clear of the convention.
“In years when Claire is on the ballot, she has historically not gone to the convention,” the aide said, “because she believes it’s important to stay in Missouri to talk to voters.”
UPDATE: That must have been one nasty breakup.
Claire McCaskill, senator from Missouri, is hardly a household name outside her home state. But Barack Obama knows who she is.
She was there when Obama needed her most, a female senator endorsing him just after he lost New Hampshire’s Democratic primary to Hillary Rodham Clinton. That was a politically risky move at the time, one that angered many of her own supporters. It came when Obama’s clinching the nomination was far from certain.
Since then, the plainspoken former prosecutor and state auditor has been all over TV news and political talk shows as a top surrogate for the campaign. Obama calls her one of his closest advisers. She’s even offering guidance on possible vice presidential picks and her name has popped up as a potential running mate.
“They want to use her so much because she’s the epitome of the target voter they’re looking for,” says Democratic strategist Jenny Backus.
Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to Obama’s campaign, said there is no chance Obama could have eked out a narrow win in the Missouri primary without McCaskill’s strategic help. The campaign is tapping that insight for other states in the general election.
Asked how much the campaign intends to use McCaskill, 54, in the general election, Dunn says: “As much as possible. She’ll obviously play a huge role in Missouri and continue to be one of our top television surrogates.”
“You can’t underestimate the importance of Claire McCaskill to this campaign,” Dunn said.
Did you tell Obama that you were just in a different place now, Claire? Did you tell the President that it wasn’t him, it was you?
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments
But if I had been this guy, I would have VERY loudly gone through my store of obscenities and profanities at least five or six times:
A man’s attempt to bring the ashes of his grandfather home to Indianapolis ended with an angry scene in a Florida airport, with the ashes spilled on the terminal floor.
John Gross, a resident of Indianapolis’ south side, was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather — Mario Mark Marcaletti, a Sicilian immigrant who worked for the Penn Central Railroad in central Indiana — in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains.”
Gross said he didn’t think he’d have a problem, until he ran into a TSA agent at the Orlando airport.
“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,'” Gross told RTV6’s Norman Cox. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.
“I was told later on that she had no right to even open it, that they could have used other devices, like an X-ray machine. So she opened it up. She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it.”
“She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”
“I want an apology,” said Gross. “I want an apology from TSA. I want an apology from the lady who opened the jar and laughed at me. I want them to help me understand where they get off treating people like this.”
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments
The thing that had been known as the United Society for the Propogation of the Gospel has decided to change its name:
At its annual conference this week (25-27 June 2012), the 311-year-old Anglican mission and development agency USPG announced it will be changing its name.
The decision was taken by USPG’s trustees following a lengthy consultation with churches and supporters of the charity.
What are they going to call it now? This.
The new name – United Society to be known as Us. –will be officially adopted [at a launch event in November 2012.
“Our new name, Us, is directly derived from USPG, so it speaks to our heritage, but it also speaks about inclusivity. There is no “them”; we are all “us”. Our work – in partnership with the churches of the Anglican Communion – is for the benefit of the whole community, regardless of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, age or faith. No-one is excluded.”
Face? Palm? You know what to do.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments
We all know two things. If a prominent conservative Christian, a man or woman known for fiercely preaching traditional morality, were ever caught in flagrante delicto with someone to whom he or she was not married, such news would remain prominent in the media for days if not weeks(see Jimmy Swaggart). The following news, however, will not be mentioned by anybody and will be forgotten as quickly as possible:
San Francisco police have arrested veteran gay rights advocate Larry Brinkin in connection with felony possession of child pornography.
Brinkin, 66, who worked for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission before his retirement in 2010, was taken into custody Friday night. He spent the night in jail before he was released on bail, according to a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department.
Police say that Brinkin had pornographic images, some that appear to show children as young as 1 and 2 or 3 years old being sodomized and performing oral sex on adult men, in e-mail attachments linked to his account, according to a search warrant served by San Francisco police.
During his 22-year tenure at the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin was best known for championing equal rights for gays and lesbians. He helped craft San Francisco’s groundbreaking Equal Benefits Ordinance, which became a national model for workplace equality.
Upon Brinkin’s retirement, the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution declaring the week of Feb. 1, 2010, “Larry Brinkin Week” in San Francisco, saying his “dedication to advance the civil rights of all people has never stopped.”