Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, August 1st, 2016 | Presidential Election | 49 Comments
Let’s put it this way. If Donald Trump takes down the pot this November, the worst that can happen is that he’ll be a bad, one-term president and this country’s survived plenty of those. But if Ms. Early-Onset Dementia gets the nod, the entire national edifice will crash to the ground within four years.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, August 1st, 2016 | Presidential Election | 7 Comments
Guess which American political party will stop blaming the Koch brothers.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, August 1st, 2016 | Presidential Election | 9 Comments
In this case, endure an interview with Hillary Clinton.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, July 31st, 2016 | Presidential Election | 30 Comments
…of a Hillary Clinton presidency? Thanks to the socialist “revolution” initiated by Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, a once-happy and prosperous nation that sits on the largest proven oil reserves in the world, is now an economic basket case:
Pregnant women, children and even elderly Venezuelans crossed into Colombia on Sunday after the border was temporarily reopened, allowing them to buy basic foods and toiletries — rare commodities in their home country.
Tearful Venezuelans had gone weeks without basic food items like milk, flour and toilet paper. It’s a sad but common part of daily life today in crisis-ridden Venezuela, a country that has the world’s largest proven reserves of oil. Colombian officials estimate that about 100,000 Venezuelans crossed the border.
You have to go some when even Zimbabwe’s looking pretty good.
The IMF forecasts Venezuela’s economy will shrink 10% this year, worse than its previous estimate of 8%. It also estimates that inflation in Venezuela will catapult to 700% this year, up from the earlier guess of about 480%.
The numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. Venezuela is deep into a humanitarian crisis — people are dying in ill-equipped hospitals and many live without basic food items. Venezuela can’t pay to import goods because its government is desperately strapped for cash after years of mismanagement of its funds, heavy spending on poorly-run government programs, and lack of investment on its oil fields.
So what is Caracas’ answer to all this? Slave labor.
A new decree establishing that any employee in Venezuela can be effectively made to work in the country’s fields as a way to fight the current food crisis is unlawful and effectively amounts to forced labour, said Amnesty International.
“Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
The decree, officially published earlier this week, establishes that people working in public and private companies can be called upon to join state-sponsored organizations specialized in the production of food. They will be made to work in the new companies temporarily for a minimum of 60 days after which their “contracts” will be automatically renewed for an extra 60-day period or they will be allowed to go back to their original jobs.
Seriously. All The Ego has to do to take down this pot is to find some audio or video of Lady Macbeth saying nice things about Hugo Chavez and then spend the rest of the commercial describing life in today’s Venezuela.
Ballgame, thanks for playing, as they say.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 29th, 2016 | From the Editor | 25 Comments
More or less. I’m settled into my new joint in beautiful Shrewsbury, Missouri, close by the majestic River Des Peres (only St. Louisans know that’s a joke and not a particularly good one. Although during the ’93 flood, there was so much water in the Mississippi Valley, that “river” took out a good chunk of South St. Louis City and County on the Mississippi backflow alone).
I seem to have digressed. I’m nowhere near organized yet, of course, and I’ve been using the old computer since I put the one you guys bought me in storage because I didn’t want anything to happen to it. And I’m trying to get used to once again having slow Internet compared to the relatively fast wireless Web I had on the road.
But I’ll live. And eventually get organized.
As for my partner’s fundraising appeal (you can go ahead and unstick that thing, big dog, because it’s more than done its job), if any of you are looking to raise money, you might want to enlist the services of my friend. Because the amount of money that post raised is INSANE.
Or maybe I am; it’s never been easy for me to tell the difference. When you spend your days essentially homeless, you inevitably start to think that people don’t care one way or the other what happens to you. You’re out there, you’re all alone and nobody asks about you or considers the idea.
You’re nothing but a credit card number to the people you rent cars from or run the cheap hotels where you stay. You start to think that nobody anywhere really gives a damn about you.
Even your Creator goes silent.
The idea of a quick heart attack actually starts to appeal to you. That somebody else would have to clean up your mess isn’t much of a contribution to the world but beggars can’t be choosers.
What’s the point, Lord?
Then God, with His infinitely exquisite sense of comic timing, jumps out, yells, “GOTCHA!!” and you once again fall on your ass.
Rhetorically speaking, of course.
Yahweh’s done me like that more than once. You’d think I’d learn.
Wow. Folks, in this particular case, “thank you” borders on an insult.
I’m working on getting individual notes out to everyone who kicked in so if you haven’t heard from me yet, I’m still getting to you. If you contributed and I miss you, I most sincerely apologize. And if you wanted to contribute something but couldn’t, thank you as well; I know what that feels like.
Bill and I will continue to try to make this site worthy of your unbelievable generosity.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Friday, July 29th, 2016 | Website Issues | 14 Comments
Behind the curtain in the Emerald City……
A few weeks back, I ran a program to check on the status of the links which Chris had accumulated on the Blogroll, There were a number of blogs/websites that no longer existed, and I eliminated them from the Blogroll.
Having finally gotten the features, formatting, and structure of the blog updated to be more functional, and easily handled by Chris (that’s what I aimed for several months back when the revision process began) I’m now going back to look at the content. And there are a LOT of listings in the blogroll that, while they don’t come back with a “does not exist” status, have not been updated within a reasonable time frame – I set the threshold at 24 months. Those sites will be disappearing from the blogroll slowly but surely; if they haven’t had anything new to say in 2 years, their past comments are likely to be out-of-date and their blogs/websites not useful for future reference.
And remember, my favorite treat is:
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Thursday, July 28th, 2016 | Support MCJ | 18 Comments
This post is “sticky” – it will appear at the top of the list of posts until I remove the lucky penny from the sponsulator and reconfigure the panjandrum coefficient to match the number of birds in my back yard at any moment other than the moment I select.
Chris asked me to write up a “periodic funds appeal” for him, details of which will shortly become clear. I love Chris; he’s been a true friend, and MCJ has been one of the few things keeping me on my feet during troubled times. (He’s also a great tour guide of the St. Louis area…) Since Chris gave me the keys to the MCJ offices [told you you’d regret it, boss!], it is my privilege to do more than just say “please give” – you folks need to understand how much of a sacrifice Chris has been making.
You may have noticed that all of the recent posts have been by moi, Bill (not IB).
Chris has been searching for an apartment that would meet his [extremely spartan] needs for a long time. He finally located the right spot, and last week he moved into his new digs. That took a lot of effort, and has kept him more than a bit busy, so he left MCJ in what I *hope* are my capable hands. One of the primary reasons for this is that he has no Internet access other than – I want to gag when I say this – dial-up.
Many of you are aware of the following; others may not have been reading MCJ long enough to know the facts, and perhaps some folks have forgotten. Chris spent many years working in the Webster Groves, Missouri library. He was terminated the first week of November, 2012. No golden parachute, no safety net, no gold watch – just “fare-thee-well”.
There’s not much call for research librarians nowadays, and the skill set which held Chris in good stead for so many years is now being replaced by the *very* dubious Google search and Wikipedia. Chris has looked for employment, and found that there’s not much call for white men in their late 50’s; one of the few jobs available is “Wal-Mart Greeter”, and that’s not the kind of thing that one can survive in for long with any semblance of sanity.
To say that his financial situation is *dire* is by no means an overstatement; it’s an understatement. He’s been living out of rented cars and hotel rooms for over two months; any kind of apartment is a huge step up in his living conditions – and also his expenses.
So, dear friends – it’s time for you to help. If you value MCJ; if you enjoy the articles, discussions, and camaraderie –
PLEASE GIVE. AND GIVE GENEROUSLY.
This isn’t Chris, trying get you to open your wallets – it’s Bill, BEGGING you to come to the assistance of our esteemed host, my friend, a man whose generosity and caring cannot be overstated. And I assure you, I’ve hit the PayPal button myself; I’d never ask anyone to do something I’m unwilling to do.
It takes a LOT of effort to keep a blog alive, relevant, and interesting. I trust that all of you will step up and give Chris the credit that is his due for sustaining MCJ. There are times he’s been ill, depressed, overwrought with worries – and still he has posted items, overseen comment problems, and kept the blog alive.
And, no ads, pop-ups, malware, or *anything* other than legitimate content. I’d have to say that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.
Chris may well decide to clobber me for writing this appeal; it’s not quite what he expected. Me no care – as I said in a post not too long ago, my Mom and Dad taught me right from wrong, thank God. Urging all the readers of MCJ to support Chris is –
RIGHT. (Thanks, Mom & Dad; and Thanks, Chris.)
(All you should need to do is click on the “PayPal” button under “Support MCJ” at the upper right of your screen. If you have problems, please contact me at Bill_not_IB@tx.rr.com and I’ll work with you to get your donation processed. ALL DONATIONS GO TO CHRIS.)
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 | Saints and Martyrs | 94 Comments
Here’s your chance, folks – I’m not going to bother recounting the facts: 1) there are too many versions of the facts to sort out the truth at this point, and 2) only one fact really matters – a Christian Priest was brutally murdered because he was a Christian Priest.
Please keep the conversation polite – this is a very emotional topic, which I’d love to write up as a condemnation of – well, let’s just say I don’t buy into that “religion of peace”
bullsh!t myth nonsense politically correct nuanced terminology vague grasping at straws to make people think that black is white, 2+2=9, and the meaning of life is *NOT* 42 idea. But returning evil with hatred doesn’t accomplish anything.
However – we are required to expose evil; to name it, point out it’s existence and whence it came, and show that there IS eternal truth, and that truth is the Gospel of Christ.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 | Religion | 23 Comments
The Christian Church exists for a reason. The best statement I’ve ever seen regarding the ultimate goal of the church is what’s commonly known as “The Great Commission”:
St. Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:2 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Lest anyone think I’m “cherry-picking” a single passage of scripture, here’s my backup:
St. Matthew 11:5-6 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
St. Mark 16:15-18 Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
I Corinthians 1:15-7 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
I usually don’t like to make an issue out of quoting scripture. I figure that most readers are familiar with the basics, and don’t need to be hit with multiple references. But when I’m faced with something like what follows, the only thing that keeps me from laughing myself to death is the knowledge of the Truth of the Gospel of Christ:
Yes, you read that right – an Evel Knievel wannabe thinks that fancy stunts is the way to win souls for Christ. If he can get enough press, and create a persona of sufficient notoriety, he can get people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Never mind trying to convey what it means to be a Christian; never mind encouraging people to seek spiritual guidance. If you can startle and amaze them, that’s enough – they’re sure to come around to Christian doctrine because they saw someone perform a third-rate circus stunt.
I’d have to say that the movie “Ghost Rider” is much more theologically accurate and compelling (which isn’t saying much) than this fool who seems to believe that his antics will somehow lead people to the Gospel. If a motorcycle is the path to salvation, it should at least be an impressive one – a 1910’s Indian, or for a recent vintage, the Victory.
I’m sure that there are some who will say “anything that can get people into a ‘Christian’ environment where they have a chance to come closer to Christ is a good thing.” Problem is, what’s to prevent them from coming to see a “free show” and then simply walking out? The Gospel is supposed to come first; not be an “oh-by-the-way” issue.
If I want to see a show, I’ll go to see the real thing – Robbie Knievel (Evel’s son). I think that most people are savvy enough to know that if they want to find religion, it’s within the doors of many, many churches – not the local “jumbo-drome”. And the best thing is, churches don’t charge admission.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 | Humor | 17 Comments
Do you remember those years when you were in the “Junior High School” age bracket; variously grades 6-9 in different portions of the country?
Life had a certain air of “je ne sais quois”, an indefinable quality wherein you were simultaneously learning and misbehaving. Boundaries were pushed; rules tested; a balance between what was expected of one and what one could get away with was established.
A great deal of this occurred at lunch time, in the cafeteria. In my own case, we had two primary distractions:
1) The gravy that was served with mashed potatoes and various other items had a remarkable glue-like quality. (Several nasty bouts of constipation can attest to this.) The recommended procedure was to tear the end off a straw, dip the other end into the gravy, and then aim the straw at the ceiling [acoustic tiles] and blow. In 90% of the attempts, the straw wrapper would weld itself to the ceiling, requiring a sharp object and plenty of elbow grease to remove it.
2) In the cafeteria, there were “lunchroom monitors” – almost always single women in the age 50-65 years bracket, looking to pick up some much needed extra money. All that they had to do was keep order – which really wasn’t too hard; we kids may have been “rambunctuous”, but we weren’t packing Glocks or selling heroin. The worst thing we did was childish, but very enjoyable to repressed suburban teenagers. We’d throw pennies at the lunchroom monitors; always being careful to avoid doing so when the identity of the thrower might be evident. One of the monitors was nicknamed “the Penny Lady” – she very wisely realized that those pennies add up over time, and scrupulously searched out each “Abe Lincoln” thrown at her.
I happened to run across this yesterday, and it reminded me right away of the cafeteria – but multiplied by about 10,000%.
We used to try combining various foods to see what unique properties would be present in the resulting mixture; two of the best were meat loaf/gravy/mashed potatoes, and kernel corn/gravy/mashed potatoes. After thorough mixing, the end product was generally a very good substitute for concrete, and completely resistent to aging and decay. (The hamburger patties with painted-on grill stripes also worked well added to either of the aforementioned combinations.) The “Fast Food Hacks” are all well worth reading about; they take the Junior High concepts and place them into an adult (if childish) context.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Friday, July 22nd, 2016 | LGBT+54 | 15 Comments
You’re undoubtedly familiar with the concept of “blackmail”, where someone is threatened with exposure of an embarrassing secret if they fail to pay the blackmailer’s demanded fee.
There’s also “greenmail”, where unless a certain financial course of action is taken, “bad things” will happen. This can be something like a company having its shares bought up by a “corporate raider” in an attempt to take over the company, or it can be a threatened lawsuit which could bankrupt a company just by having to pay legal costs.
Nowadays, we’ve got a new variation on these “threat or else” concepts: gaymail, where unless one accepts/approves of LGBT+54 behaviors, the wrath of Khan (including the infamous “ceti eel/ear worm”) will be called down on the “offending person/company”.
There are more examples of Gaymail that I can even begin to cite. The latest one caught my attention, because it’s probably the ONLY thing that can alter the course of major league sports:
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community – current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans,” the league said in a released statement.
Translation: Bow before Zod. Kneel before Zod. Kiss Zod’s . . .
Since when did Major League Sports become a social advocate? Are ticket buyers polled to determine what their opinions are, and the poll results then turned into guidelines for action? Or are a few shrill voices terrifying the team owners so much that the owners simply knuckle under, rather than be faced with the publicity nightmare of an angry LGBT+54 lobby?
When I pay an exorbitant amount to get into a sporting event (football is really the main culprit here; a trip for a family of 4 to see the Dallas Cowboys play runs about $640, including parking, 1 round of beer/soft drinks, and 1 hot dog each) I reckon I ought to have some say-so as to what opinions go along with my money. To simply provide a [very expensive] platform for owners/league officials to preach from is just plain wrong.
But then, that’s what Gaymail is all about – forcing people to declare that what is inherently wrong is actually right, facts notwithsanding.
Lord, help us…
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, July 21st, 2016 | Presidential Election | 152 Comments
Has Ted Cruz dynamited any hope he might have had of eventually becoming President of the United States? I don’t know that but I do know this. During the primaries, I fervently supported the guy and I remained a Cruz man until Trump officially took down the pot. But I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would ever again support Ted Cruz for any office:
Ted Cruz knows exactly what he’s doing. On Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention, Cruz walked onto the stage in Cleveland to thunderous applause, smiled, waved, and then openly defied the Republican Party.
Not only did Cruz fail to endorse Donald Trump, in a master stroke of rhetorical understatement he also implored Republicans to “vote your conscience” in November. It was all he needed to say.
Cruz uttered the name of the GOP nominee only once, right at the beginning. “I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” Cruz told the crowd.
That was it. The very next thing he said was a rhetorical shot across Trump’s bow: “I want to see the principles of our party prevail in November.”
The closest Cruz came to an endorsement of anyone was a plea for the beleaguered down-ballot Republicans who in many places across the country face tough odds in November with Trump at the top of the GOP ticket.
“To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” he said. “Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
Two words, Ted. You lost. And here’s six more words. Man up and deal with it.
This convention speech was quite literally Ted Cruz’s public political suicide. How do I know that? Because of the Strange New Respect that the Texas senator quickly received from people who normally (and will once again, assuming Hillary wins in November) hate him with a passion.
Cruz congratulated Donald Trump on winning the presidential nomination and he made a nod to some Trumpian policy priorities, airing some mild skepticism of trade deals. Then, in the part of the speech where his endorsement might have been expected, he said instead: “We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody.” This does not sound like a description of Trump.
“To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” Cruz continued, renewing anticipation on the convention floor that the endorsement was coming. Some on the floor started cheering. Then: “Stand and speak and vote your conscience,” he said. The crowd started realizing what was happening, growing restive as Cruz spoke. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), after all, had weeks ago advised that Republicans should vote their conscience on this year’s “very unique nominee,” implicitly admitting that misgivings about Trump are valid.
Still, perhaps Cruz would find his way to throwing his support behind Trump, as Ryan himself did? It was not to be. “Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution,” he said, signaling that he was really asking Republicans who dislike Trump to at least come out at vote for conservative congressional candidates, if not the Republican presidential nominee.
Off the top of my head, I can think of two reasons for Ted’s speech.
(1) The kindest possible spin that I can put on this speech is that the Croozer thinks that Trump will win the presidency but will eventually crash and burn so he wants to keep as much distance between himself and The Ego as he possibly can.
(2) The Croozer thinks that a Hillary Clinton presidency will make straight in the desert a highway toward a Cruz presidency. Leaving aside the fact that four years of Lady Macbeth will effectively kill the American republic that Cruz thinks that he will waltz in and lead in 2020.
Either way, Ted, you’re dead to me.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, July 21st, 2016 | Hypocrites Unlimited | 13 Comments
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 | Idiots Unlimited | 44 Comments
Jiminy Cricket, there are some thin-skinned people in Muncie, Indiana:
Amid a tense atmosphere nationwide over report after report of police-action shootings and police officers being shot, it only took a billboard to set off an online controversy in Muncie.
A billboard reading “Hate cops? The next time you need help call a crackhead” was visible for at least a few hours on Saturday on an electronic billboard near the Wheeling and Riverside intersection in Muncie. Megan Thomas said she noticed it around 1 p.m. Saturday while walking with her niece along the Riverwalk. She was offended not just by what she called a message that was “vulgar, discriminatory to many different classes of people in our city,” but also by the fact that it appeared to have gone up right before the start of a planned demonstration against police brutality, starting just a few blocks away.
“I was very ashamed that something so dividing was present in Muncie,” Thomas said on Sunday.
Posted by Bill (not IB) | Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 | Terrorism | 28 Comments
Every time there’s a mass shooting (say 3 or more victims) one of the first memes to appear in the media is a call for more gun control. The method in which the attacker obtained [his] weapons is scrutinized; was it at a gun show, a licensed gun dealer, off the streets, etc? Were waiting periods observed, background checks run; is there any way the killer could have been prevented from getting the gun[s] that were used in his attack?
I’m a gun enthusiast (I love my .44 Magnum pistol, which is both accurate as all get-out and a ton of fun), but I have no problem with mandatory background checks or waiting periods for first-time gun buyers. Common sense can be applied without interfering with 2nd Amendment rights. (And I’m an NRA member – 2nd Amendment zealots, look elsewhere to vent your anger.)
But – I get really, really tired of listening to the mantra that the reason mass killings occur is guns. There seems to be fixation on choice of weapon; it’s assumed that guns are the only way for terrorists to commit mass murders.
I won’t go into such things as Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, whose home-made bombs killed 3 and injured 23; or the poison gas attacks in Japan; or more recently (within the past week) the knife and axe attack in Germany.
No, I think that what I want to focus on is the most recent really “mass” terror attack, in Nice. The basic facts:
A 19-ton refrigerated truck vehicle rented by the terrorist drove down the seaside promenade in Nice at a speed of about 30 miles per hour, traveling in all about 2 kilometers. The terrorist was confronted by police, and was killed in an exchange of gunfire. At least 84 people were killed, 10 of them children; and at least 303 were injured.
OK. That’s what happened. No guessing, no interpretations, no opinions – just facts.
Now, according to the logic which is used so often by leftists/liberals here in the US, the easy availability of weapons is the cause of terror attacks. It’s so easy for anyone with a cause to obtain firearms they are guaranteed the ability to gun down people indiscriminately. And the calls go out to restrict firearms; ban sales of semi-automatic firearms and/or magazines that hold more than 10 rounds; track ammunition sales; stop person-to-person sales at gun shows; etc, etc, etc.
So, based on the exhibited logic of the left, the cause of the terrorist attack in Nice was the easy availability of rental trucks. The weapon which was used in Nice was:
In order to prevent future tragedies, I propose that there be a waiting period instituted on renting of all kinds of vehicles, but particularly trucks. Background checks of potential renters should be mandatory, and the intended use of the rented vehicle should be verified prior to release of the vehicle to the renter.
Trucks kill people, so trucks must be regulated. And there is *NO* constitutional right to rent vehicles; rentals may be limited, taxed, etc. as provided for by state and local law. (How many cities impose taxes on vehicle rentals as a source of funding for stadiums, airports, etc.)
Trucks are dangerous. Trucks are deadly. Trucks are weapons of mass destruction. Trucks must be regulated!