Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 23 Comments
The Church of England is to introduce a simplified baptism service which omits mention of the devil after clergy who had tried it last year welcomed the move.
The church’s General Synod, meeting in York next month, will be asked to approve the provisional use of a shorter, clearer liturgy which is meant to make it easier for families who have no experience of church.
The synod’s meeting will be dominated by the attempt to clear the last obstacles preventing women from becoming bishops. The opponents, who managed to muster a blocking majority among the laity three years ago, have been pressured, flattered, and tempted with office by the archbishop of Canterbury and it is now almost certain that the legislation will pass, which would make it possible for a woman to become a bishop this winter.
Among the compromises on offer, conservative evangelicals who reject the notion that women should ever have authority over men have been promised that one of their number will become a bishop soon.
Among the other business, the revision of the baptism service will attract most attention. The present modern language version asks parents whether they will “reject the devil and all rebellion against God”, “renounce the deceit and corruption of evil” and “repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour”. In the new version they are asked only to say that they “turn away from sin” and “reject evil”.
Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments
Written on the wall at Facebook is its motto: “Move fast and break things.” But how much are they going to break? And how fast? A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed on the weekend that in January of 2012, Facebook manipulated the feeds of 689,003 English language users, making slight alterations to see if they could change the large scale mood of the populace. The answer was a resounding yes, a terrifying and appalling yes. The most obvious scandal here is that Facebook is willing, just to see how strong it really is, to experiment with its users’ happiness and sadness. But what is most troubling about the PNAS study is the simple fact that a new force for social control has emerged. It makes the powers of previous surveillance states looks negligible. Joseph Goebbels would have rubbed his hands in glee. What Facebook has revealed, with its little experiment, is that Facebook is too important to be left in the hands of Facebook.
Several critics have compared Facebook’s mood experiment with the Milgram experiment. In that famous series of tests, a group of psychologists proved the willingness of people to obey authority by creating scenarios in which subjects believed they were torturing their fellows under the directions of doctors. The Milgram subjects had never agreed to have their evil revealed, and because of the trauma they suffered a series of new protocols that were designed to ensure the ethics of future experiments. The parallels between Milgram and the Facebook experiment are obvious although the scale is much larger: Literally thousands and thousands of people were made to feel slightly worse without their knowledge in order to find out whether they could be made to feel worse.
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments
Ace speaks VERRRRRY SLOWWWWWLY to liberals:
Please stop saying that a corporation is a “fictitious person” as part of your case in chief against the Hobby Lobby decision.
For one thing, you sound stupid. Not because this is untrue, but rather because it is obviously true, and 90% of all literate people not only know “corporations are fictitious people” but in fact have known this since long before you apparently did.
You sound like 8 year olds who just learned a FunFact (TM) about koalas and can’t stop repeating it. Didja know that koala bears are not in fact bears but odd creatures called “marsupials”?!!? Didja? Didja?!!?
Yes, we all knew that. In second grade. But Welcome to the World, I guess.
It’s a big place. You’ll want to take notes about it until you get your bearings.
Secondly, and here I fear I will lose you completely because this is going to get slightly abstract and logical, the fact that “corporations are fictitious persons” actually destroys your arguments, rather than strengthens them, which, if you’d bother to have read the Hobby Lobby case, which you have not and will not, ever, you’d already know.
See, a corporation is a fictitious person. It is a made-up designation, created by state law, to permit business concerns to live longer than the lifespan of a natural person.
It is a fictitious person. It is not a real person. Fictitious — an imaginary construct of the law.
Think about what that means.
This means that in a closely-held corporation — where five or fewer people control the majority of shares (and in fact usually control all of it) — the “corporation” does not exist in any real way, except for its listing in the tax records of a state.
In a small closely-held corporation, “the corporation” only means “these five guys right here.”
The Supreme Court did not acknowledge that corporations qua corporations (look up “qua” on your own time, idiots) have “religious freedoms.” Rather, it recognized the obvious — that in the case of a closely-held corporation, the corporation being a fictitious entity and all, an imposition of a duty on “the corporation” is in reality just an imposition of a duty on the five or fewer people (often one or two) who own it.
Thus, when we say the Hobby Lobby corporation must provide abortifacient drugs to its employees, this is precisely the same as laying this responsibility on the five or fewer individual persons (who definitely have the right to religious freedom) to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees.
Given that the corporation is a fictitious entity of no tangible presence (something you seem so delighted to have recently learned), forcing the corporation to provide abortions is precisely the same as forcing the family who owns Hobby Lobby to provide them.
You see? You see what your problem is here?
I mean, one of your problems. You have many, beginning with the facts that (1) you are not terribly well educated and (2) you seem to believe you are extremely well educated.
Linda Stasi of the New York Daily News could use Ace’s help since she has caused yet another crisis of faith for me. Where is God when I’m out of work while someone this blitheringly idiotic gets column space in a major American newspaper?
On Monday, the Supreme Court broke the space/time continuum by propelling us back to the 15th century when it came down on the side of horny holy men against the very women these horndogs lust after. The 5-4 decision will make it legal for closely held corporations — ones that don’t approve of certain types of birth control for religious reasons — to refuse to provide coverage for those forms of contraception in their insurance plans.
Believe it or not, Linda actually gets more hysterical, throwing in this little urban myth.
The thing is that these corporations’ insurance plans will continue to pay for Viagra and Cialis for men, which ironically enough should kill any sex drive for all no-longer-insured women who aren’t named Duggard.
Kitten? Mine didn’t when I was coming off prostate cancer surgery and my doctor strongly urged me to take Viagra in order to speed healing down in that neck of the woods if you know what I mean and I’m sure that you do.
Men with erectile dysfunction who now have endless erections
Says somebody who doesn’t have the slightest idea what Viagra does.
will be chasing women who can no longer have carefree sex, and therefore will be losing their sex drive — for men, at least — in record numbers.
More “lesbians?” I’m down. The Episcopal Organization has to find bishops somewhere.
Worse, the unfortunate women who are insured by these corporations, who can’t afford birth control in the first place, now may end up with children they also can’t afford, forcing them onto the welfare rolls.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Women are going to have less sex with men but more children. If any of you guys want to jump in here, feel free because I don’t even know where to start with that one. But you all know the real reason why this decision was decided the way it was, don’t you? Yeppers.
The most important sexual decision for women possibly since Roe v. Wade, which was brought by the religious owners of a chain store called Hobby Lobby (Hobby’s Lobby would be more like it), was decided by male Supreme Court justices. The five justices who voted for it were all men appointed by Republican Presidents, while three of the justices opposing were women, with one man — all appointed by Democratic Presidents.
Let me get this straight. If a man murders a woman, the judge, the jury, the lawyers and all the judges who hear the appeals, up to and including the Supreme Court, can only be men. The dumb broad finishes strong.
The bottom line? Insurance companies will pay for impotent men to impregnate women who don’t want to have children but can’t afford birth control.
Uh….okay, I’ve got nothing.
Noncompliant females will be stripped of their burqas and stoned to death.
Lord? You are REALLY making it tough.
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 14 Comments
No hard feelings here. We had a great run.
Monday, June 30th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 63 Comments
The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision came down against the Left today and, as you might expect, the Left is bat crap about it. I’ll have more on it as the days go by but I thought that the blithering idiocy of this reaction by Sarah Morice-Brubaker was particularly noteworthy:
If it violates your religious convictions to compensate your employees with an insurance plan that might be used for contraception or abortion, how does it NOT violate your religious convictions to compensate your employees in US dollars that might be used for contraception or abortion?
Shouldn’t you, in the name of religious freedom, insist that you be excused from using the legal tender that others use? Shouldn’t you instead use an alternative form of scrip that can only be used for things you endorse? I realize that the second scenario would be a huge hassle and may make it impossible for you to run a business, but come on, if the convictions are inviolable they’re inviolable. If there’s a difference, what is it?
Nice try, kid. But you know damned well that the issue here was not how you spend the money I pay you but how the government legally coerces me to spend mine.
Monday, June 30th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 67 Comments
Today, the Supreme Court’s decision in the DemocraticPartyCare birth control diktat case is scheduled to be announced. For some reason, alleged “evangelical” Richard Cizik thinks that pro-life Christians better pray that Obama wins:
Along with nearly 50 other for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby is demanding the same religious freedoms and protections that each of us has. Hobby Lobby was not endowed by its Creator with certain unalienable rights. It does not have a soul. It cannot have faith. Yet its owners (and their lawyers) insist that it should not have to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act on religious grounds. The Obama Administration reasonably granted an opt-out to houses of worship and other religious nonprofits. Hobby Lobby wants similar treatment.
Objection, Your Honor. Relevance.
Evangelical intervention on behalf of the multi-billion dollar corporation, which donates generously to their causes, is wrong for many reasons but here are two major ones: If you are pro-religious liberty and pro-life and family, you can’t support allowing a for-profit corporation to use religion to deny contraceptive coverage.
Why is that, Dick?
First, supporters of Hobby Lobby think they are helping the Christian faith but are actually harming it. In fact, a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby weakens religious freedom.
Still not following you, Dick.
When anyone can use religion to claim an exemption on anything, religion loses meaning. Rather than a personal belief embedded in our souls, faith would become a set of arbitrary rules any corporation could choose from to skirt the law.
Um…WHAT? What does that even mean, Dick?
Indeed, it is a kind of corporatism invading the body of Christ — concern not for the “least of these” but the richest of those among us. Is this what Christ would do? When corporations are allowed the same exemptions that have always been reserved just for churches–whether on health benefits, hiring, or land use–those special protections become less clear and more open for interpretation.
What I hear you saying here, Dick, is that it is somehow perfectly “Christian” for heads of corporations to be legally coerced into violating their consciences. If you want to sin, that’s between you and God. Forcing me to pick up the tab for your sin is stealing. As in “Thou shalt not…”
If a for-profit corporation is eligible for legal exemptions on grounds of religious freedom, it puts government in charge of deciding what is or isn’t religion. You can just imagine the lawyers who will find work forever litigating these claims. I know, from experience, that their concern for what should be “legal” is not the same as what is “spiritual” or truly serves the interests of the Church.
You and I both know that it doesn’t work that way, Dick. But let me ask you this. Is it impossible for the heads of wealthy corporations to be Christians? And does it serve “the interests of the Christian church” to put a gun to someone’s head and force him to be complicit in what he knows is one of the gravest of evils?
What if a corporation owned by Jehovah Witnesses refuses to cover blood transfusions? If Christian corporations are allowed to use faith to refuse contraception coverage to women who work for them, what’s to stop a Christian Scientist business from refusing to cover any health benefits?
Their employees could go work someplace else. But let me try this one out. What if Hobby Lobby loses, decides to stop offering health care entirely and tells its employees to take their chances on Obama’s exchanges? Would that be Christian, Dick?
Second, the supporters of Hobby Lobby think they are being “pro-life.” They are wrong. A massive study conducted in 2012 showed that contraception coverage without a co-pay could dramatically reduce the abortion rate.
That study, conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine, of 10,000 women at-risk for unintended pregnancy found that when given their choice of birth control methods, counseled about their effectiveness, risks, and benefits, with all methods provided at no cost, about 75 percent of women in the study chose the most effective methods: IUDs or implants. Most importantly, as a result, annual abortion rates among study participants dropped up to 80 percent below the national abortion rate.
Irrelevant, Dick. This case is not about what works to reduce abortions. This case is about legally making people violate their consciences.
And just because DemocraticPartyCare doesn’t violate your conscience doesn’t make you right. Unless you, like the rest of the pseudo-Christian left, think that there really is only one right answer and that you alone have it.
Friday, June 27th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 43 Comments
Grammar teachers may need to amend their lesson plans after the Vancouver school board approved Monday a policy change that welcomes a brand-new string of pronouns into Vancouver public schools: “xe, xem, and xyr.”
The pronouns are touted as alternatives to he/she, him/her, and his/hers, and come as last-minute amendments to the board’s new policy aimed at better accommodating transgender students in schools.
The vote came after a brief debate that sparked unrest among opponents of the policy who shouted “dictator” and “liar” at trustees, as security guards and police officers watched from their posts at council doors. But supporters waved pink and blue-coloured flags and drowned out the detractors with their cheers once the policy passed. Three previous public meetings were similarly rowdy.
Friday, June 27th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments
Friends Fun Wine®, The New Lifestyle Drink™, continues to pioneer the “Fun Wine” category with the introduction of two new additions to its growing collection of low-alcohol, low calorie wines. Easy-to-drink Wine In A Can, Friends Fun Wine® is combining the world’s most popular Day Drink with the world’s most popular Night Drink, creating the world’s first Cabernet Coffee Espresso and Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino
Of the two new varieties, Cabernet Coffee Espresso features a rich flavor of fresh cabernet grapes, espresso coffee, and a hint of chocolate while Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino features sweet, refreshing Chardonnay grapes with vanilla cappuccino coffee and smooth hints of chocolate. These new flavors are sold in Friends Fun Wine’s 250mL slim cans, which are convenient, portable, quick chilling and recyclable, containing two servings per can. At just 6% alcohol, Friends Fun Wine Coffee Wines offer consumers a great alternative to high-alcohol beverages, making it the perfect refreshing complement to summer parties, BBQs, sporting events, brunch, at-home consumption and more.
I’m going to need one of my Marmite, Swiss cheese, dill pickle and yellow mustard sandwiches just to get that thought out of my head.
Friday, June 27th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 38 Comments
DISCLAIMER: Your Editor will never be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ever. The Mormon foundation story is too ridiculous for any thinking person to believe. Consequently, the idea that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is “scripture” is unmitigated rubbish.
That said, I can’t help but admire the Mormon ability to piss people off. Case in point: reaction to this New York Times story is all over the Internet and still coming:
Kate Kelly, who unsettled the Mormon Church by founding a movement to advocate opening the male-only priesthood to women, was excommunicated by her bishop and his two counselors in Virginia on Monday.
Ms. Kelly, who once served as a Mormon missionary in Spain, organized the group Ordain Women in 2013 and quickly became the face of a new feminist uprising in the church. She gained national attention by leading demonstrations at the church’s semiannual conferences at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, lining up with Mormon women of all ages outside priesthood meetings, aware that they would be barred from entering.
“I am not an apostate, unless every single person who has questions to ask out loud is an apostate,” Ms. Kelly said in a telephone interview on Sunday, just before her disciplinary council met. “I am a faithful, active Mormon woman who has never spoken anything against the leaders of the church, and that’s not my definition of an apostate.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is formally known, depends on women to hold many leadership roles throughout the church. But the Mormon priesthood, which is made up of laymen who are ordained as early as the age of 12, is closed to women because, the church says, Jesus had only male apostles.
Emily Shire at the Daily Tina Brown’s Ego suggests that Miss Kelly is angling to become the Mormon Sandra Fluke.
Kelly was unable to attend the trial Sunday, but held a rally with her supporters in Utah, instead. “The court isn’t really about listening to what I’ve had to say,” she said shortly after she was threatened with excommunication. “It’s about punishing me. If it was about listening to what I had to say, they had ample opportunity to listen to me when I lived in the congregation.”
People (even non-Mormons) seem genuinely shocked that a church would still do this sort of thing, Shire among them. This was, Emily claims, obviously motivated by the fact that Mormons hate women.
It seemed fitting that her trial not only occurred in her absence, but that her future as a Mormon was decided by a group of men. Proving her point that women are treated disproportionately worse in the church, Dehlin’s fate will be decided June 29 in a meeting with his stake president.
Kelly knew she was up against gender-biased odds. She explained that as a woman in the LDS church, only thee people—a local bishop and his two council members—are needed to approve of excommunication. If you are a man, and therefore a priesthood holder, it takes a council of 15 men to agree on excommunication. In that situation. “there is much less of a chance for individual bias,” she said. “For me, it’s an individual leader who is making a decision about my eternal salvation.”
Or stifling dissent from church teachings. Take your pick.
The LDS Church’s expulsion efforts speak to the intellectual crisis the Mormon community is currently facing. Church spokeswoman Ally Isom said, “In the Church, we want everyone to feel welcome, safe and valued, and of course, there is room to ask questions. But how we ask is just as important as what we ask. We should not try to dictate to God what is right for his Church.”
Those two themes are going to appear again and again. Arianna’s Clubhouse opts for “stifling dissent.”
The decision by the Mormon church to excommunicate the founder of a prominent women’s group marks a stern statement at a time when the church is under pressure to recognize gay rights and allow women into the priesthood.
Experts believe the move essentially draws a line in the sand to show church members how far they can go in publicly questioning church practices.
The ousting of Kate Kelly is rare and brings down the harshest punishment available on a church member who created an organization and staged demonstrations in a push to permit women to join the faith’s lay clergy.
“It does more than excommunicate Kelly,” said Jan Shipps, a retired religion professor from Indiana who is a non-Mormon expert on the church. “It warns everybody.”
Shipps said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is implementing “boundary maintenance,” using Kelly as an example to show people how far they can go in questioning church practices.
Fellow Mormon leftist Joanna Brooks agrees.
And we have been waiting for this moment—waiting to see whether our religion could survive the insularity, militancy, and suspiciousness engendered by its nineteenth-century persecutions, and outgrow as well the highly centralized and controlling corporate-bureaucratic style of the twentieth-century LDS Church, to adapt to the new realities of the internet era, including greater openness among Mormons with doubts or concerns about controversial aspects of our history and doctrine.
We were so hopeful it wouldn’t turn out this way. Maybe it still won’t. Maybe the highest profile excommunication court—that scheduled this Sunday in Virginia for Kate Kelly, a believing Mormon woman and one of the founders of the web-based Ordain Women campaign—will end without Sister Kelly having her baptism and marriage nullified, her membership in a Church she served as a full-time missionary expunged.
Mormon progressives have found reason for hope in the fact that after a wave of excommunications directed at high profile feminists in the 1990s, there were no such courts for more than a decade. We used the internet to regroup and grow in numbers. The Church even developed its own web-based resources to acknowledge and address its own controversies—historic and contemporary.
This, we thought, was a good sign. A sign that might not need to fear losing our membership, our place, in a cherished tradition, just for having and voicing questions, doubts, and differences. We told ourselves to not to be afraid.
CNN’s Randal Jelks goes the misogyny route, making this repulsive comparison.
There is a direct link between Kate Kelly, a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter day-Saints, who was excommunicated on charges of apostasy, and Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her supposed apostasy.
And the link is deeper than the charge of abandoning one’s faith.
Patriarchy comes in all forms, but religious patriarchy seems particularly pernicious because it assumes that male rule is constituent of God or the gods.
Let’s see. A woman sentenced to death for converting to Christianity. A woman told to leave a church when she publicly repudiated its doctrines. Yeah, both are pretty much the same thing. Dumbass. Brian Pellot mindlessly echoes Jelks.
On the same day news broke Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim had been cleared of apostasy charges, the Mormon Church excommunicated Kate Kelly for the same offense. The church’s obsession with controlling its image amounts to short-sighted censorship.
Don’t get Bri-Bri wrong. He’s just Gravely Concerned For The Future Of The Mormon ChurchTM, is all.
The threat of excommunication has become reality. Fear of speaking freely and questioning church doctrine has only been heightened.
The Mormon Church’s obsession with silencing critics is short-sighted and surely a sign of weakness. How else are we to interpret a situation in which leaders fear criticism, questions and demands?
Okay, here’s the deal. If you believe that the doctrines of your church are from God, then dissent from them should never be permitted unless there is a pillar of fire and/or cloud somewhere nearby and a really loud and scary voice telling you that it’s okay.
Otherwise, you claim to believe in a deity that can or should change His mind if the times demand it and needs an Earthly Congress/Parliament to run the universe. Which means that you don’t believe in a deity worth worshipping. Or that you really don’t believe in God at all.
Thursday, June 26th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments
No wonder I’m unemployed. A Denver office of the Environmental Protection Agency seems to be staffed entirely by eleven-year-old boys:
It appears, however, that a regional [EPA] office has reached a new low: Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.
In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.
Confounded by what to make of this occurrence, EPA management “consulted” with workplace violence “national expert” John Nicoletti, who said that hallway feces is in fact a health and safety risk.
He added the behavior was “very dangerous” and the individuals responsible would “probably escalate” their actions.
“The individuals responsible would ‘probably escalate’ their actions.” ‘Kay. Sorry about planting that thought in your heads. If it’s any consolation, I estimate that it’ll be at least Saturday before I eat anything again.
Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 35 Comments
Even though its ritual disembowelment won’t take place for quite some time, the United Methodist Church begins polishing its wakizashi swords:
In a surprising reversal, a Pennsylvania pastor who was defrocked last year for violating United Methodist law after he officiated at his son’s same-sex wedding has been reinstated.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer learned Tuesday (June 24) his ministerial credentials will be restored after the church’s Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals voted 8-1 in his favor.
The committee, which held a hearing June 20 near Baltimore, found that “errors of Church law” had been used in imposing the penalty against Schaefer.
“I was wrongfully punished for standing with those who are discriminated against,” Schaefer said in a statement. “Today’s decision is a sign that the church is starting to listen.”
Schaefer said he and his family will move to California as early as next week to accept an invitation to serve in the church’s California-Pacific Conference.
That conference recently passed a resolution calling for an end to trials in cases of clergy violating policy connected with gay rights.
You already know how this one’s going to end up. As I understand the situation, the Methodists mostly stack up much like the Anglicans do. The church is dying the West but growing in far more conservative Africa and elsewhere in the Third World.
So in two years, the next General Conference will issue some kind of “anti-gay” statement (to use the Western leftist libel) which, of course, the Americans will completely ignore. “Brave” and “prophetic” Methodist bishops will ordain homosexual clergy and perform homosexual marriages here and there.
Eventually, somebody will elect an openly-gay Methodist bishop, it’ll be 2003 all over again and everything will be on the table. Parishes will hive off here and there and something like a Methodist ACNA may organize itself. I don’t think that the Methodists are as wealthy as the Episcopalians so hopefully they’ll be less litigious.
And let’s not forget all those “conservative” American Methodists who will love the institution more than the Gospel and will stay where they are no matter what happens. How do I know these will show up? Because they already have. They’ve dusted off the via media over at the UMC.
And there is some discussion within the church of a possible compromise, under which every congregation could decide whether to allow same-sex weddings, and every region could decide whether to ordain noncelibate gay clergy members.
Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 64 Comments
TO: All MCJ users
RE: Revised St. Louis Post Dispatch policy
Like most intelligent St. Louisians, this office stopped subscribing to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a long time ago. But recently the Post published the following notice from
little girl scared coward sniveling douchebag editorial page editor Tony Messenger:
Starting today, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson replaces George Will on Thursdays and Sundays.
The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.
Education Department lawyers disregard pesky arithmetic and elementary due process. Threatening to withdraw federal funding, the department mandates adoption of a minimal “preponderance of the evidence” standard when adjudicating sexual assault charges between males and the female “survivors” — note the language of prejudgment. Combine this with capacious definitions of sexual assault that can include not only forcible sexual penetration but also nonconsensual touching. Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape. Then comes costly litigation against institutions that have denied due process to males they accuse of what society considers serious felonies.
Can you say Duke lacrosse team?
Meanwhile, the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations — an idea certain to multiply claims of them — is “trigger warnings.” They would be placed on assigned readings or announced before lectures. Otherwise, traumas could be triggered in students whose tender sensibilities would be lacerated by unexpected encounters with racism, sexism, violence (dammit, Hamlet, put down that sword!) or any other facet of reality that might violate a student’s entitlement to serenity. This entitlement has already bred campus speech codes that punish unpopular speech. Now the codes are begetting the soft censorship of trigger warnings to swaddle students in a “safe,” “supportive,” “unthreatening” environment, intellectual comfort for the intellectually dormant.
Read the rest of it. And if you find anything in that column offensive, you’re either lying or the word “offensive” has just joined the word “racist” on the list of Meaningless Terms That The Left Throws Around Every Chance It Gets.
Effective immediately after this post goes up, this site will no longer link to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in any way. We don’t even want to see Post links in the comments so if you see something there that you think might interest the Editor, leave a comment summarizing what the piece is about and when it appeared; all Post links will be removed whenever and wherever they are noticed.
The MCJ will still quote from the Post assuming it has anything useful to report or particularly stupid to argue with but it will no longer provide a link back to the story or to the particularly stupid editorial. We will not dignify the Post-Dispatch’s censorship with any traffic from this site.
Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 91 Comments
Michelle Obama is, IMHO, the “perfect FISK target.” She has no concept of what putting one’s foot in one’s mouth means, and she is supremely confident as to her superiority over everyone reading anything she has written.
The following item has already been addressed quite well by other bloggers, but there’s a big, empty spot on my office wall that I thought would be a good place to mount a trophy from bagging a wild FLOTUS.
In an interview with MSN.com, First Lady Michelle Obama explained she used to struggle to feed her kids right – even though she received an education from Harvard and Princeton. “Before coming to the White House, I struggled, as a working parent with a traveling, busy husband, to figure out how to feed my kids healthy, and I didn’t get it right,” she explained, sharing a story about her children’s doctor who pulled her aside to talk about her family diet. “I thought to myself, if a Princeton and Harvard-educated professional woman doesn’t know how to adequately feed her kids, then what are other parents going through who don’t have access to the information I have?” she recalled.
Right from the top, the difference between Michelle and *everyone else* is highlighted. She has not one, but TWO Ivy-league degrees. Whoop-de-doodly-doodly-do! This places her in a position of being able to look down on 99.999% of Americans since she knows more, by virtue of her magnificent education, than any family who doesn’t have at least one parent with 2 Ivy League degrees.
Let’s consider, for a moment, what is quite possibly a truly equivalent situation. In the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, (dialogue and director’s instructions edited together)
SCARECROW: You promised us real things — a real……brain!
TIN MAN: A real heart!
LION: Real courage. That’s what we want.
WIZARD: You do? boys, you’re aiming low. You not only surprise, but you grieve me. Why, anybody can have a brain. (editor I’m not sure if that applies to politicians….) That’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain! From the rock-bound coast of Maine to the Sun…. oh, oh, no, ah- Well, be that as it may. Back where I come from we have universities, seats of great learning where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts – and with no more brains than you have…. But! They have one thing you haven’t got! A diploma!
The Wizard reaches back and picks up several diplomas — selects one and presents it to the Scarecrow as Dorothy, Tin Man and the Lion look on –
WIZARD : Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitatus Committeeatum e plurbis unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of Th.D.
WIZARD: Yeah — that…that’s Dr. of Thinkology!
SCARECROW: (reacting with joy) – The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side. Oh joy, rapture! I’ve got a brain!
For some reason, the last two sentences of the Scarecrow’s closing line sound so much like “I’ve got two Ivy League degrees…..”
But I digress………….
Her personal struggle helped her launch her mission to address childhood obesity, she explains, especially passing a law requiring schools to provide healthier meals for kids. The First Lady recommended that schools make decisions for children because their parents struggle to feed their children well. “It’s so important for our schools to make the hard calls for our kids, because parents are struggling enough at home,” she said, pointing out that schools would simply feed children sweet cereal, chocolate milk, donuts, burgers, and fries.
Under the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some photos of “Michelle school lunches” sent in from kids around the nation:
I attended public schools from K-12, with time spent at 4 different facilities – each with its own cafeteria, and its own set of rules for method of preparation and content of lunches (in addition to a variety of federal and local rules about meal content). I cannot recall ever seeing food that scared me placed upon my tray (although the gravy on the mashed potatoes was more useful as adhesive to stick straw wrappers to the ceiling than as a flavoring for the potatoes). The 2nd and 3rd of these pictures have left me shaking and wanting to, as the folks in Monty Python would say, “run away, run away”.
Obama added that parents and school administrators needed to stop worrying about what their kids want to eat and encourage them to act like adults. “It is our job as adults to make sure that our kids eat what they need, not what they want,” she said. “I struggle with that in my own life, and I tell you, if I let my kids dictate what we have for dinner every day, it would be French fries, chips, and candy, but we don’t run our households like that, and we can’t run our schools like that.”
Instead of rolling back the national school mandates, the First Lady explained that schools just needed more help making healthy food taste better. “What we need to do is lend a hand to the schools that are struggling, not roll back the standards and say, ‘Oh, well. The kids don’t like it so let them eat cake,’” she insisted. “We can’t afford to do that.”
And yet apparently Michelle thinks that every public school district CAN afford to serve its students:
These are all items which are available in the cafeteria of the school the Obama girls attend. “First Lady Michelle Obama’s daughters attend Sidwell Friends, and their meals include hot lunches that are prepared every day fresh-from-scratch. The company that caters the food, Meriwether-Godsey, uses chefs to prepare the food on-site – from scratch – with local and organic foods where possible.”
Surely, FLOTUS wouldn’t think that those attending a public school would expect anything less than what her own offspring get? No, that’s just plain impossible.
Michelle seems to be quite comfortable with having the school her children attend make decisions regarding their nutritional needs. However, any other school clearly lacks the vision, education and experience to know that a cheeseburger and Twinkies doesn’t make for a nutritious meal. And yet, if the photographic evidence of “Michelle meals” is any indicator, the public school children would do better to hit the vending machines every day; the content and apparent lack of freshness that is displayed on those lunch trays is reprehensible.
And, I’d also like to know – before Obama scored his place in the White House, did Michelle cook meals at home that would compare to those her daughters get at their current school? Was Michelle able to live up to her own high expectations? Has she got a family recipe for ‘Roasted edamame & Shitake mushrooms’, ‘Jicama mango slaw’, or ‘Vegetarian stuffed Portobello mushrooms’?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Bill (Not IB) Do I get my trophy?
Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments
I don’t think that it’s any secret that the addition of Bill (not IB) to the MCJ writing staff has been a tremendous success. My man can flat out bring it and he proves something that I’ve thought for a long time. Lots of you should be running these things yourselves.
But if you don’t want the trouble, there are other options. I heard just the other day that the MCJ Board of Directors wants to add more writers. I’ve got four candidates in mind to come on board once the Mac gets here, I get up to speed on it and hopefully find a new ISP.
In the meantime, here’s another blogging tip (I would have titled this post Blogging One-Oh-One except that, as you recall, the one key doesn’t work on my temp lapper doohickey). Rush Limbaugh once said something to the effect that one of the first rules of talk radio is that if someone wants to make a public jackass of himself, let him.
Same goes for blogging. Quite a number of posts are so stupid that they don’t require much if anything in the way of argument or refutation. Case in point: commenting on some possible excommunications in the Mormon Church, someone named Jana Riess figures she’ll get cute:
So I searched the scriptures and prepared this exhaustive list of all the people Jesus excommunicated from full church fellowship, along with the specific reasons for those disciplinary actions.
A blank screen follows. Clever, huh? By way of response, I guess you can cite the Judas Iscariot precedent or wonder what Matthew 18:15-17 is doing in the Bible. But that would harsh Jana’s buzz or something.
Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 21 Comments
Seems that the faculty and a fair number of students at Episcopal Divinity
Whatever The Hell That Word Means School are not happy campers these days. Why? Katie Rags:
The scheduled evaluation of the President and Dean was completed in 2013. Various constituencies were surveyed and all of the data and comments were reviewed. As incoming Chair, I was privy to all of the information – confidential and communal – and then voted with the Board to renewal Katherine Ragsdale’s contract. The surveys contained overwhelmingly positive feedback. The Board took note of some faculty who expressed concerns about aspects of the President and Dean’s style of leadership. Based on those surveys and our own experience, however, we affirmed her leadership and expressed our gratitude for her smart, passionate and dedicated service. We renewed her contract.
Days after commencement in 2013, the Faculty informed me and the Board that days before commencement they had taken a vote of “no confidence.” They requested a meeting with the Board, without the President and Dean. Such a meeting would have restarted an already completed and thorough evaluation process and would have undermined a chief responsibility of a Board – the evaluating and contracting of the School’s chief executive. We all know too well the dangers of triangulation. Based on best practices articulated by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), to have the faculty speak directly to Dr. Ragsdale, with an open door policy put in place by the President and Dean to further communication, was the chosen course to follow. Despite various Board communications in correspondence, in small meetings and in one-on-one conversations, and despite several meetings or attempts to meet by the President and Dean, the Faculty persisted in saying they had not been heard. (See various communications with the Faculty Representative to the Board identified in the attached timeline.)
According to ED
WTHTWMS alum and friend of this site Tom Ehrich, things at ED WTHTWMS are way nastier than this e-mail makes them out to be.
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