Friday, February 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Because the US is not arming the Peshmerga.  Which, by the way, would make a REALLY cool nickname for an American professional sports team.


Friday, February 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Mark Judge dreams big dreams:

Memo to Hollywood: if you want to replicate the blockbuster success of American Sniper, make a film about Lepanto.

The Battle of Lepanto was fought on October 7, 1571, in the Gulf of Lepanto south of Greece. It was a seminal victory of the Western world turning back Islamic imperialism, which in the 16th century had been spreading west for one hundred years, since the time of Mohammed.

It would make a ton of money.  But I think that Mark is smart enough to know that there is a five-word reason why a Lepanto movie will never see the light of day.  Roman Catholics win.  Muslims lose.

I’ll just be blunt about it: Lepanto would be a film about Islamic imperialism and the attempt by the Christian West to turn it back. It would depict Muslims — not all Muslims, but more than a few — as violent hegemonic oppressors intent on taking over the world.

Yeah, Mark, considering what Hollywood just did to Noah, here’s that pitch meeting.

“Okay, we LOVE the script.  Our tech people tell us that CGI-ing the sea battle itself will be a piece of cake so we’d LOVE to take this project on.  There are just a couple of very MINOR changes we’d like to make.

“What kinds of changes?

“Well, for a start, is it absolutely NECESSARY that the opposing fleet be Muslim?”

“Because…that’s what they…were?”

“I’ll take your word for it but remember, we’ve got foreign markets to consider.  What Muslim country will show this movie?

“What self-respecting Turk is going to pay good money to watch his own fleet getting blown out of the water?  No, we’ve got to lose the Muslim angle.  How about we make the other fleet Protestants?”

“Because Protestantism was barely 50 years old at the time of the battle and didn’t have a fleet.  Why would you even suggest such an absurd…”

“Artistic license.  What say we move the whole thing to land then?  Protestants v. Catholics.”

“Then it wouldn’t be a sea battle, would it?”

Will you work with me here?!!  How about this?  The enemy fleet is filled with Vikings.”

“Great!! Except for the fact that the Viking Era ended roughly 500 years before this battle took place.  Tell you what.  Thanks for your time and we’ll get back to you.”


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Stop paying attention to food studies:

Eating a whole egg, yolks and all, has gotten a bad reputation over the years, but new dietary guidelines may send egg white-only omelets by the wayside. The recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which are now under review, are expected to downplay the importance of lowering cholesterol intake.

The most recent set of guidelines in 2010 recommended consuming less than 300 milligrams per day of dietary cholesterol, which is about the amount in one egg.

In the coming weeks, the committee is expected to release the report for use by the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments to write the final version of the 2015 dietary guidelines, due by the end of this year.

For decades, the government has warned against diets high in cholesterol. But now many nutritionists believe that cholesterol intake may not significantly impact cholesterol blood levels or increase the risk of heart disease in healthy adults, according to the Washington Post.

In December, the advisory panel said in its preliminary recommendations that cholesterol is no longer “considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” That would be a change from previous guidelines, which said Americans eat too much cholesterol. This follows increasing medical research showing how much cholesterol is in your bloodstream is more complicated than once thought, and depends more on the kinds of fats that you eat. Medical groups have moved away from specific targets for cholesterol in the diet in recent years.

And stock up on the liverwurst.


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Remember back when the Episcopal Organization insisted that it merely wanted to allow homosexuals to marry “bless life-long, committed same-sex relationships,” that it was most emphatically not changing the definition of Holy Matrimony, which it still considered to be between a man and a woman, just like every other Christian church, and how


you even begin to suggest that we’re changing the definition of marriage or anything as outrageous as that?  Yeah, me neither:

The A050 Task Force on the Study of Marriage is recommending that the 2015 meeting of General Convention authorize Episcopal Church clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages.

The task force proposes the change in its just-released Blue Book report by way of a resolution (numbered A036) that would revise Canon I.18 titled “Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony.”

The revision removes, among many edits, the language of I.18.2(b) that requires couples to “understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman.” Removing that and other gender-specific language from the canon, the report says, addresses the mandate in the group’s enabling resolution that it “address the pastoral need for priests to officiate at a civil marriage of a same-sex couple in states that authorize such.”

Section 3 of Canon 18 would be rewritten to, in part, remove the requirement that the couple sign a declaration stating they “solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.”

The revision would recast the requirement in the canon’s first section that clergy conform to both “the laws of the state” and “the laws of this Church” about marriage. The rewritten portion of that section would require that clergy conform to “the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage, and also to these canons concerning the solemnization of marriage.”

Canon I.18 contains the majority of the rules in the church’s canons about clergy officiating at marriage. Canon I.19 governs the “preservation of marriage, dissolution of marriage, and remarriage” and as such refers to “husband” and “wife” in its third section. The Book of Common Prayer, which Article X of the church’s constitution authorizes, refers to marriage on page 422 as Christian marriage being “a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God.” It uses gender-specific language throughout “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Blessing of a Civil Marriage” and “An Order for Marriage” rites, as well as in its “Additional Directions” section.

The task force says in its report that its revision of Canon I.18 makes the canon “focused on the actual vows made in The Book of Common Prayer marriage rite, rather than on the purposes of marriage in general,” which it adds are stated “in literally creedal form.”

The clergy’s discretion to decline to solemnize any marriage is preserved and extended to include the choice to decline offering a blessing on a marriage, the task force said.

For now, anyway.


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Congratulations, Islam.  The Islamic State has managed to turn the shahada, your most basic statement of the Islamic religion, into a new swastika:

I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears. If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God.

I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else…. + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall. I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it.

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Read the whole thing.  And if you haven’t teared up by the end of it, I don’t want to alarm you or anything but your soul is already dead.

The Jordanians and the Kurdish Peshmerga, among others, are fighting for the honor of Islam with little or no help from the United States.  But Barack Obama is the this country’s current president so, unfortunately, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Via David Fischler comes word that, starting in March, some World Council Of Churches Nobody Goes To Any More types will spend the first of each month commanding the tide to stay out or something:

The Fast for the Climate campaign is an interfaith initiative bringing people of different faiths to fast, as a spiritual exercise, in solidarity with the victims of climate change. People are invited to fast the 1st of each month. The WCC is one of the co-sponsors of this initiative.

I was a “victim of climate change.”  I don’t like to talk about it because it happened fairly recently and the emotional wounds are still raw.  But…I was walking home from the market, it started to rain, I didn’t have an umbrella and I got…really wet.  I’m sorry but I can’t say any more.   Excuse me.

In a comment, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “the WCC 10th Assembly has recently stressed the urgency of climate crisis in a Minute on Climate Justice. The interfaith fast for climate justice is one concrete way churches and other religious institutions have expressed their concern about the situation and the negotiations at COP 19 in Warsaw.”

For I was hungry and you gave me no food.”

“That’s a damned lie.  Remember that time that you told me how hungry you were and I gave you a picture of a T-bone steak?”

The fasting can be seen as a component of the pilgrimage of justice and peace, called by the WCC Assembly message.

Whatever.  There’s a web site here if you’re interested.


Monday, February 9th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Here’s how this will go down, Bills Fan.  Your boys are on the fifty.  Your O-line clicks and C. J. Spiller runs one all the way in for a touchdown, completely untouched.  Or E. J. Manuel and Fred Jackson hook up for the most perfect screen pass ever executed when Fred takes the rock 80 yards to the house.

But neither touchdown will count since there’s this piece of yellow cloth on the field and a referee who announces, “Personal foul, unnecessary roughness on the offense…” and calls Richie’s number.  So instead of a touchdown, it’s now 2nd and 10 or 3rd and 23.

After the seventh or eighth time this happens during the season, most of you will be asking Serious QuestionsTM about the idiot who decided that signing Richie Incognito was a good idea.  Trust me.


Saturday, February 7th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 43 Comments

Prediction: expect a WHOLE lot fewer stories about “the Francis effect” this year:

As Slovakia gears up for a referendum on same-sex unions this coming weekend, Pope Francis gave his blessing to the country’s efforts to block marriage and adoption rights for gay couples.

Speaking at his weekly general audience on Wednesday, the pope said: “I greet the pilgrims from Slovakia and, through them, I wish to express my appreciation to the entire Slovak church, encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society.”

Alliance for the Family, a Slovak conservative group, has gathered more than 400,000 votes — representing nearly 10 percent of the country’s electorate, according to Reuters — on a petition calling for a national vote that could block any future efforts to overturn Slovakia’s existing ban on same-sex marriage.

And then there’s this

Pope Francis says it’s OK to spank your children to discipline them – as long as their dignity is maintained.

Francis made the remarks this week during his weekly general audience, which was devoted to the role of fathers in the family.

Francis outlined the traits of a good father: one who forgives but is able to “correct with firmness” while not discouraging the child.

“One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them,’” Francis said.

“How beautiful!” Francis remarked. “He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.”

For what little it’s worth, I never thought that Francis was or is an Episcopalian in Catholic drag.  I just thought that he was a guy who tended to speak with the safety off and who didn’t, at least at first, quite grasp the difference between being Archbishop of Buenos Aires and sitting in the Chair of St. Peter.


Friday, February 6th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 49 Comments

Heather Cook is looking at serious time in the hole:

Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook was indicted Wednesday on 13 charges in the death of a Baltimore bicyclist, including homicide, drunken driving, texting while driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state’s attorney, had announced Jan. 9 that her office was charging the 58-year-old cleric from the Diocese of Maryland with killing Thomas Palermo on a Saturday afternoon in December while he was out for a ride.

Prosecutors have said since January that Cook could face more than 20 years in prison.

And if I’m Bishop Eugene Sutton, I’m starting to sweat bullets right about now.  Because while the Diocese’s actions in this whole matter might not constitute criminal negligence, they’re about as close as you can possibly come.

On Tuesday, Sutton’s office said they didn’t push Cook to discuss her drinking last spring when her 2010 drunken-driving arrest appeared in a background check, explaining that they were trying to respect her privacy.

There are DUI’s and there are DUI’s.  You’re out, you have a few too many and you either drive up to a checkpoint or get pulled over.  You’re a little over the limit but it’s your very first time so maybe the judge assesses a small fine or just a warning.

In 2010, Cook was pulled over while driving on a completely-shredded front tire.  She blew a .27 and was so blasted that she couldn’t finish the sobriety tests.  Then there’s the fact that none of this information, was shared with the diocesan convention.

Cook was charged in a dramatic 2010 drinking-and-driving incident, the bare bones of which top diocesan officials knew when they selected her as a candidate but which they did not share with the broader body that voted to choose her.

And here’s the cherry on the top of this banana split.

On Monday, the diocese set off debate when it posted a new, detailed timeline showing Sutton suspected that Cook was drunk during a pre-consecration dinner two nights before she was made a bishop in the fall. 

The timeline also says Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, leader of the Episcopal Church, who presided over the Sept. 6 service that consecrated Cook, was also made aware that Cook may have been drunk during the dinner.

Gene Sutton has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Presiding Bishop this year but I think that’s pretty much out the window now considering how badly the Diocese botched all this.  Besides, Gene’s going to have his hands full trying to keep the Diocese of Maryland from being sued into quite literal oblivion.

UPDATE: If this is accurate, Heather Cook’s drinking problem may have been common knowledge for a WHOLE lot longer than the Diocese of Maryland is letting on.

Zogg Wendy This is a side note to what you are asking, but I feel compelled to share…

In 1988 she [Cook] was the Chaplin at my school and drive me and another student to a movie 45 minutes away. We were young, but could smell the alcohol and her driving was so scary and erratic. Honestly- we are lucky to be alive. She was so drunk and we were too scared to tell the school. After all-she was the Chaplin. Who would believe us? I am sick hearing this story. I feel guilt that maybe had I said something years ago the investigation could have started sooner. Maybe not, I just don’t know.

I have 3 kids if my own now and I grieve for this family.

Zogg Wendy Yes- Stuart Hall in Staunton, Virginia: I was about 17 at the time. I actually was asked by her and accepted being a part of her ordination in Virginia. I could not be more upset and feel more strongly about her being charged with this crime.   She could have killed me and ended up killing someone else. She must be stopped. So sad.

So Peter, we know that there are members of our Episcopalian community who have known that Bishop Cook drove d[r]unk and endangered the lives of others (including children entrusted to her care) since 1988. Should we not be looking for ways to undo the growing culture of denial in the Church and ask for honesty and transparency from our leadership?


Thursday, February 5th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 49 Comments

Anyone who’s ever spent any time in the St. Louis area knows that up until fairly recently, what Sonny Bunch wrote here would have been considered fighting words around this town:

On the one hand, Budweiser deserves some kudos for staking out a bold stance: “Our cheap swill is so tasteless it goes down like water,” the ad screams. “We know you don’t want little things like ‘flavor’ or ‘seasoning’ in your beer: you want low ABV, pee-colored liquid served in a warm glass.”

On the other hand, reminding consumers that your product is bland and inoffensive to the palate might not be the best strategy. After all, there’s a reason that Budweiser is losing ground to craft beers: It’s because Budweiser brings literally nothing to the table. It’s the sort of beverage you drink if you’re … hell, I don’t even know. I mean, it’s not even particularly good for a cheap domestic lager.

The point is, Budweiser is a garbage beer, even by garbage beer standards. It’s not “beer for people who like beer.” It’s beer for people who hate beer, a beer for people who are looking to slowly get buzzed as a means of numbing the pain while their life slips away and death creeps up behind them. It’s sadness in a bottle, regret in a can. Drinking Budweiser isn’t a lifestyle choice; it’s a plea for help.

In St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch was never Anheuser-Busch; it was always The Brewery.  The Brewery was the reason why the Cardinals still play here.  The previous ownership was all set to sell the team to a group which would have moved the Birds to Dallas until The Brewery bought the team, finally convincing owner Bill Veeck that his St. Louis Browns were doomed in this town.

When I played church softball, we took turns bringing the beer.  And the only beer that we were allowed bring was AB; nothing else.  Granted, none of us were beer konna-sewers back then.  Post church-softball beer had one purpose, only one and taste didn’t figure in.

That tradition cost me once back when I was long-term unemployed the last time.  After one particular game, one of the guys kept handing me one bottle of some AB product or other after another.  When I finally made my way home, I was as drunk off my ass as I’ve ever been in my entire life.

Which meant that the very next morning, I was as hung over off my ass as I’ve ever been in my entire life, a fact which actually seemed to amuse my mother and father.  Never saw that coming.  It might have amused me as well were it not for the fact that I had to take the Postal Service exam that very day.

Needless to say, I never became a postman.

Point being that not all that long ago, folks around here would have been offended by Bunch’s words had not some of us began slowly admitting something to ourselves.

AB beer really wasn’t that good.

The only difference between Bud Light and club soda is alcohol; if you drink enough of the former, you can get drunk.  And when InBev bought AB, The Brewery became just another Big, Multinational Corporation.

Seven or eight years ago, when legendary Australian blogger Tim Blair came through town on one of his North American tours, a bunch of us local bloggers entertained Tim here rather than any place associated with AB.

Cuz we wanted Tim to sample what really good St. Louis beer tasted like and stuff.


Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Seriously, dude?

Last December marked two important milestones for this old man.  I finished my second year of unemployment.  And I got my very first cell phone (actually, my sister bought it for me as a Christmas present).  I’m still learning the thing.  I know how to call someone and I sent my sister a text (I think) but so far, that’s pretty much it.

It’s a Motorola Moto G and it runs Android.  It’s also got a “powerful” Qualcomm 400 quad-core processor with built-in 4G LTE and no, I don’t have the slightest idea what any of that means, thanks for asking.

I can see good reasons for having a cellular phone (or sailor phone as we pronounce it around here).  Calling 911 is much quicker should the need arise.  And if you get a flat or your car breaks down miles from anywhere, it would be nice to able to call Triple-A and then just wait for them to come get you.  Plus, it would be great to have a good, mobile camera in case a tornado blew by or something.

I get all that.  But I guess I’ve resisted because the simple fact of the matter is that I’m just not tight enough with anyone at all to spend a whole lot of time texting back and forth with them.  And I figured that since nobody ever calls me on my land line, what would be the point of buying an expensive telephone and continuing to pay bills just to own something else for people not to call me on?

Also, I didn’t want to end up like that guy in the boat.


Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 42 Comments

The South Carolina court has released its decision in the case of Diocese of SC versus TEC, and TEC is the loser. A link to the court’s decision and a news item are over on Titus 1:9. The court decision is long, but excellent reading – the judge really takes TEC apart and shows them for the poseurs that they are. Many of the shortcomings of TEC’s piecemeal approach to creating an empire ruled by the PB are explicitly cited and deconstructed, including my favorite, the lack of a rule saying that a Diocese cannot withdraw from TEC. (If you can associate, you can dis-associate; basic freedom requires that duality of operation).

Watch for the reaction from TEC; it should be interesting!

Bill (not IB)


Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 51 Comments

Yet another scandal rocks the Roman Catholic Church to its very foundations.  What in God’s name has happened now?  This is what in God’s name has happened now:

The 1.2 billion-member church’s attitude toward women came under extra scrutiny last week when Father Joseph Illo, the pastor at Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco, declared that girls would be phased out as parish altar servers, a job usually fulfilled by older children in the church who then assist the clergy during mass.

In explaining the decision, Illo stated “boys usually end up losing interest, because girls generally do a better job.” In addition, he said, girls may be distractions to male altar servers, and, ultimately, the position is training for a priesthood girls will never qualify for because of their gender.

I know that quite a number of this site’s readers would like The Editor to become a Catholic but he honestly doesn’t see how he can possibly join such a scandal-ridden church.  Word on the Webster Groves street is that the Church of the Annunciation, the Catholic parish directly across Elm Avenue from where The Editor lives, actually ran out of bear claws during last Sunday’s coffee hour.

Seriously, Lydia O’Connor?  Is this all you’ve got?  The fact the ONE SINGLE ROMAN CATHOLIC PARISH decided to make this change constitutes a “scandal” and a “decision [that] is symptomatic of a much larger problem?”

Guess which one.  Uh huh.

“Not allowing women to be priests leads to decisions like not allowing girls to be altar servers,” Jennifer O’Malley, a spokeswoman for Roman Catholic Womenpriests, told HuffPost.

Well, that and the fact that Francis might actually not be an Episcopalian.

While Pope Francis has hinted at wanting to expand the role of women in the church, he has maintained a strong stance that the “door is closed” on ever considering ordaining women. Critics have argued that he rarely speaks of women’s importance outside of their fertility and that he has repeatedly used the image of older, infertile women to illustrate lack of vibrancy in the church.

Candida Moss, University of Notre Dame professor of New Testament and early Christianity, and Joel Baden, professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale University, touched on the topic in a Los Angeles Times op-ed.

“Even when ostensibly elevating women, Francis reveals a highly patriarchal view of where their value lies,” they wrote. “Repeatedly, Francis has come back to extolling the role of women specifically as mothers, noting that ‘the presence of women in a domestic setting’ is crucial to ‘the very transmission of the faith.’”

I honestly don’t see how you Catholics tolerate it.


Monday, February 2nd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 51 Comments

Have at it.  I’ll start things off by asking a question:



Saturday, January 31st, 2015 | Uncategorized | 44 Comments

Know who MSNBC sock puppet Richard Maddow thinks can easily take the presidency for the Democrats next year if Hillary circles the drain?  Here’s a hint: I live in the same state that Robert’s dreem date represents:

During her Thursday MSNBC broadcast, network host Rachel Maddow explored the possibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not running for president in the 2016 election, which according to Maddow could fixed if Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) were to run.

“Our next guest is here to talk with me about something totally unrelated to the 2016 race,” she continued. “Our next guest has never talked about being interested in president. But I’m telling you, our next guest — if Hillary Clinton didn’t run, our next guest would give the Democratic Party the best chance of all other possible candidates of actually winning the White House in 2016. I think my next guest would be the strongest candidate that the Democratic Party could run for president other than Hillary. Just saying. Don’t tell the person that I said that. We’ll have an interview about something totally unrelated. Shh.”

Fine, whatever.  Thing is, Reinhold, that right about now, Claire would be driving the kids to soccer practice rather than wasting this country’s time as a US Senator if the Missouri GOP had been able to get out of its own way in 2012.

It’s not like Claire’s insanely popular around here or anything, Ragnar.

So go ahead and talk her into it.  That is, if you enjoy the prospect of watching yet another Democratic candidate losing his/her own state in the general election.

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