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Showing posts from April, 2009

Not such good news from Vancouver

My Blackhawks are getting their lunch handed to them in Vancouver tonight- the opening game of the second round.

I sort of expected this. As good as the Hawks are, they're young- and they have years and years to win the Cup. I'd be very surprised if they get past the Canucks. Generally it takes some experience to get very deep into the playoffs- and frankly, I think they can use some size.

But I'm very proud of my team- win, lose or draw. They'll be a force to be reckoned with in the NHL for at least a decade.

ADDENDUM: Well, they did come back from a 3-0 deficit to tie it- and then lost 5-3 on a blunder and an empty-netter.

Enjoy it while it lasts, Mr. President

Dick Morris argues- convincingly, in my opinion- that however glowing President Obama's poll numbers may look at first glance, they reveal the seeds of his political undoing.

However in love with The One the public may be (cheered on by the sycophantic media), America simply doesn't want to go where Obama is trying to lead it. Sooner or later, his unpopular substance will outweigh the glitter and media adulation.

And even Bo won't save him.

HT: Real Clear Politics, M.Z. Hemingway

You might be influenced by evangelicalism if...

From Rev. Tom Chryst at Preachrblog:

YOU MIGHT BE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF EVANGELICALISM IF:

You believe it's important to be “Christian First, Lutheran Second”

You would rather have lunch with James Dobson than C.F.W. Walther

You believe the Great Commission is the central point of Christian teaching

You think that many Lutherans are too concerned about doctrine

You've ever called someone a pharisee for defending a point of biblical teaching

You think that different Christian teachings needlessly offend people

You prefer to say “close” rather than “closed” communion

Your idea of close communion means that Christians from other denominations are probably “close enough”

You say things like, “we've just gotta get the young people involved at church”

You don't see why an organ is more appropriate in church than a drum set

You prefer Group Publishing to CPH

You prefer Youth Specialties to Higher Things

You prefer Focus on the Family over Issues, Etc.

You think churches that are shrinking …

"The Obama flu?"

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack (a former Iowa governor) and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano want us to stop calling the swine flu "the swine flu."

They want us to call it "the H1N1 flu."

The reason they give is that people who raise hogs shouldn't have to suffer. Personally, I don't think people are likely to persecute hog farmers because of a virus, and I'm not convinced that they're going to stop eating pork, either. And given the fact that- although it's not the same virus- the virus which caused the great 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic is known by the same designation, this does not seem to me to be the smartest moniker for the bug.

But I don't think "the H1N1 flu" is going to catch on. What do you think? Should we call it "the Vilsack flu" or "the Napolitano flu?" Or maybe "the Obama flu?" After all, if Dubyah is going to be blamed for everything that happened on his watch, wouldn't…

Hawks eliminate Calgary!

Hawks 4, Flames 1!

Whatever happens now, the season is a success!

Hawks win, 5-1!

John Murtha rides again!

Remember Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa), the powerful congressman who spread the lie about the Haditha non-massacre and portrayed brave Marines who were later exonerated and shown to have been acting in self-defense as sadistic baby killers?

You might find this interesting:



Also this, from when he was an ABSCAM target (FBI film of his interview with undercover agents offering him a bribe):



John Murtha is a disgrace.

HT: MZ Hemingway

A blast from the past

When I was growing up, one of the true cultural treasures of our nation was the Barton pipe organ at Chicago Stadium-the second largest pipe organ in the world, and an instrument which, in a building said to have "the acoustics of a tin can," rocked the world of NHL fans for decades.

One of the worst bench-clearing fights in NHL history- one that had gotten completely out of hand, and which the officials simply could not control- was once quelled by the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner on the Barton. Since all the players on both teams were Canadians, this gives you some notion of the power of this marvelous instrument.

Sadly, when the Stadium was demolished and the new United Center constructed across the street, the organ wasn't moved. Instead, the tonal qualities of each pipe were computerized, and used to program the Cylon device at the U.C. The genuine article was moved to Las Vegas, where the console survives; the pipes, tragically, were destroyed in a fire.

Anyw…

Dr. Oz sets Oprah and Michael J. Fox straight on stem cells and Parkinson's

Herein Oprah's Dr. Oz explains to Herself and Michael J. Fox why the patient's own skin cells, rather than embroyos, are the best bet for providing the stem cells which will provide a cure for Parkinson's and other illnesses perhaps within the next decade.

And here M.Z. Hemingway- to whom a hat-tip for the above- comments.

Haven't heard much about this in the media, have you?

HT also to the Reverend Christopher Esget.

"Progressives" versus "liberals"

I've noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my on-line conversation with lib... er, progressives: their seeming conviction that to disagree with them, or to suggest that their rhetoric is irresponsible or ill-advised, is somehow to attempt to deny them their freedom of speech.

An equally fascinating phenomenon is their conviction that conservatives have no right to free speech whatsoever.

Maybe that's why they don't want to be called "liberals" anymore.

HT: Real Clear Politics

The One is on the cover of TIME. Again.

This is the seventeenth week of 2009.

Barack Obama has been on the cover of TIME magazine for thirteen of them.

He's there again this week.

This is getting a little ridiculous. The One is no more newsworthy than any other president. But love is a powerful motivator- and the media are in love with Barack Obama.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: This is about right!

Saturn is a knockout

Here are some really spectacular closeup views of Saturn, its rings, and its moons from Cassini.

A sample is on the right.

HT: Drudge

HAWKS WIN AGAIN! Up 2-0 over the Flames!

Iowa porkulus

In case you're wondering, here is where some of President Obama's bacon-flavored "stimulus" money is being spent in Iowa.

Information concerning the number of jobs to be created by the spending is provided.

Nothing like good, tasty Iowa pork.

Susan Boyle redux

YouTube has disabled embedding, so I wasn't able to include a video in my previous post on Susan Boyle. But- Yahoo! Video to the rescue!

In case you've been on Mars and haven't seen it, here's the 47 year-old Scotswoman instantly becoming one of the cultural icons of the Western World:


Susan Boyle Singer Britains Got Talent 2009 With Lyrics @ Yahoo! Video
I will never hear this song again without thinking of Susan. She's taken this beautiful song right away from Fantine!

HAWKS WIN!

YES!!!

Marty Havlat ties it in the third, and wins it twelve seconds into overtime!

ADDENDUM:

The game winner:

Was ist das?

President Obama, Georgetown University, and the monogram of Jesus

It was problematic enough for faithful Catholics that Georgetown University had invited pro-abortion on demand, pro-fetal stem cell cannibalization President Barack Obama to speak there. But once there, White House staff requested that the university cover up the monogram IHS (actually ιης, the first three letters in ιησους,the name "Jesus" in Greek) which is engraven on a pediment of the stage where the president was to speak.

A triangle of black painted plywood accomplished this.

The White House claims that concealing the monogram per se was not their intention. Rather, they wanted to provide a suitable background to the appropriate flags. It was seen as "disrespectful" to have a Christian symbol displayed behind a president making a policy speech.

Judge for yourself from the photos whether the monogram- which is located behind the black plywood triangle- would have been problematic.

Georgetown is a Catholic university. No president would have any right to ask that C…

The governor of Texas really ought to know better

It seems that even Texas Gov. Rick Perry believes the urban legend that the treaty by which the Republic of Texas was annexed to the United States granted Texas the right to secede.

Snopes.com deals with that much-circulated whopper in the last paragraph of this article.

That the treaty contained no such provision can be readily seen by simply reading it. Its full text is here.

The Wikipedia article on the annexation of Texas to the United States says this:
A popular urban legend has grown stating that Texas has a special right to secede from The Union. A thorough reading of all documents for annexation shows that no provision is made for Texas to secede from the United States.Texas has the same rights granted to it as any other state, but also the right to form from its territory 4 states in addition to "Texas", essentially creating 5 states. Furthermore, in its 1868 decision in Texas v. White, the United States Supreme Court ruled that secession of Texas from the United States…

Go Hawks!

My Blackhawks make their first Stanley Cup playoff appearance since the 2001-2002 season tonight, facing off as favorites against the Calgary Flames.

Here's hoping for a deep playoff run in this second season of the New Era.

They don't call it the bronchial tree for nothing!

A 28 year old Russian man, Artyom Sidorkin, apparently inhaled a fir tree seed at some point. There is no other explanation- other than Photo Shop and some doctors who want attention very, very badly.

Sidorkin developed severe pain in his chest. Surgeons removed most of his lung, expecting to find a tumor- and instead found a small tree growing in it.

Reminds me of that Allan Sherman song from the 'Sixties, I See Bones:

The doctor was looking at the X-ray
And I asked him, "What do you see?"
And he kept on looking at the X-ray
As he said in French to me:

"I see bones.
I see gizzards and bones,
And a few kidney stones
Among the lovely bones.

I see hips
And fourteen paper clips,
Three asparagus tips
Among the lovely bones.

I see things in your peritoneum
That belong in the British Museum.

I see your spine,
And your spine looks divine.
It's exactly like mine.
Now doesn't that seem strange.
And in case you use pay telephones
There's two dollars in change,
Among your lovely bones.

Co…

Weak, meek, and insubstantial

Well, the reviews are in from the French on The One's European tour.

Nicholas Sarkozy and company are apparently not impressed. The French president apparently sees the American president as weak, unoriginal, unassertive, and full of hot air.

Mr. Obama is the one who, if you recall, was supposed to restore our reputation and relationship with the cheese eaters and other European types.

Image by א (Aleph), http://commons.wikimedia.org

HT: Drudge

Staff infection

Apparently the House gym has been contaminated with antibiotic-resistant staphlococcus. It's being disinfected after a staffer (who is apparently recovering, having been simply warned against using the gym again until the drainage has stopped) caught the scary staph infection that eats the stuff used to treat it.

I'd pun further on "staph" and "staff," but this is no laughing matter.

HT: Drudge

Peeps give some of us the creeps

Since the high school I graduated from is in Chicago, and since I could care less about the Iowa Hawkeyes (unless they're playing Northwestern or Illinois), and since my allegiance to Iowa State is pretty much due to the fact that you're a Cyclone fan by default if you live in Iowa and do not root for the Hawkeyes, I seldom watch local sports programs. But I saw an item on one of then last night which captured my interest. Sort of.

It seems that the crew at this particular station is notorious for eating anything that is left out in the break room- including, on one memorable occasion, salted sugar cookies. But the host left out a box of Peeps yesterday in honor of Easter.

There were no takers.

It appears that I am not the only one who is not a Peeps person.

Just who is guilty of 'hate speech' here?

Herein former Polk County GOP Chair Ted Sporer reflects on the hate speech Iowa's legislative left wingers (specifically extremist House Speaker Pat Murphy) are using to demonize those who don't think the same way they do about gay "marriage."

This is standard moonbat operating procedure, of course. You don't have to engage the opposition in debate if you simply call them enough nasty names- a technique the Party of the Jackass has long since mastered. After all, why think when you can slander?

'He is risen. He is here.'

And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. --Mark 16:6

But as I told the congregation at St. Mary this morning:

He is risen. He is here- in the Word and in the Sacrament, sharing His victory over death with us.... I have yet to hear of anybody receiving Holy Communion from a caddy, hearing a good sermon preached by a walleye, or receiving Holy Absolution from a blue jay. A cardinal, maybe- but not a blue jay.

Jesus is God, and God is present everywhere, including golf courses and the great outdoors. But only here is He present to share with us His victory over death. Only here does He give us not merely information about Himself, but Himself; only hear does He give us not instructions on how to survive death, but His own resurrection life.

We do not need information about Him, or even from Him. Our plight us much more serious than that. The only thing that can save us from t…

The Fenton Communications disinformation machine

The huge percentage of journalists- both broadcast and print- whose views tilt strongly Left is well documented. Though the Left denies it, so is the overwhelming bias which asserts itself in their coverage of the news.

Little known, however, is the role of Fenton Communications, a left-wing propaganda machine which is responsible for intentionally promoting a goodly percentage deal of the disinformation which misleads the American people on the issues of the day.

Rowan Scarborough of Human Events explores its activities here.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Surely he has borne our griefs...

Isaiah 53 (English Standard Version)

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that i…

Religion isn't the issue

During my senior year in high school- 1968- a great deal of national attention was charmingly given a college student (I forget which college, but it was a major one) who was the subject of disciplinary action by the dean for moving in with her boyfriend. In retrospect it seems incredible that any dean would even notice such a thing in 1968. But apparently there was sufficient recall of the common sense behind the "Ozzie and Harriet" family constellation of the '50's for this to be the case. Even the national news magazines covered the story. It was used as an object lesson by Pastor Sedory in our high school Doctrine class.

Now, despite the refusal of some few clergy- like yours truly- to perform weddings for couples who are doing so, most of us tend to assume that couples will live together before getting married- that is, if they even bother get married at all. And this despite the evidence of survey after survey that living together before marriage, far from re…

And this is where it leads

A Turkish anchor reports a story on our president- in blackface.

One has to be neither a Democrat nor a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, or a supporter or a critic of Mr. Obama to be outraged at this. It is not merely a tasteless, racist insult to Mr. Obama. It is an insult to America.

But it does show how much some of those to whom Mr. Obama wants to make nice-nice respect us- and him- as a result.

HT: Drudge

The LCMS on the IowAbomination

Here is the text of a statement by Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod President Gerald Kieschnick on the Iowa Supreme Court's attempt to redefine society's oldest and most basic institution- marriage- so as to make it possible for individuals of the same gender.

It is unusual- though not entirely unprecedented- that yours truly should endorse a statement by President Kieschnick, so marvel.

I have not as yet been able to find an authoritative ELCA statement on the subject.
Of course, no statement the ELCA makes on the subject of homosexuality will ever be treated as truly authoritative until the radicals and apostates who run that benighted church body manage to enforce the decision quietly made at the ELCA's founding, and impose the acceptance of homosexuality on an unwilling laity via the method of the slowly boiling frog.

Meanwhile, down here in Triple A...

This morning I saw a billboard advertising Opening Day for the Iowa Cubs- the North Siders' Triple A franchise, located here in Des Moines.

It read as follows:

THE SPITTING AND THE SCRATCHING STARTS APRIL 17.

Today is Opening Day.... but not for the Cubs

They say that the Cubs' season opens tonight in Houston.

They're wrong. The Cubs' season opens in October, with the National League Divisional Series. Nothing that happens before then matters any more than spring training. And better that they not make the playoffs at all than that they go out in the first round again this year.

Getting to the NLCS is the only thing that will make this season other than a failure. Winning it is the only thing that will make it a success.

Iowa Supreme Court overrules reality

In Iowa, it is still illegal to marry a horse or a chair. But it is now legal to "marry" a person of the same gender.

Granted, such arrangements also stand entirely outside the meaning of the word "marriage," as society's foundational institution has always been understood. No, laws restricting marriage to couples of opposite sexes do not discriminate against gays, who are equally free to marry people of the opposite sex- the only people whom it is possible, by the very definition of the concept, for people to marry.

But the Supreme Court has chosen inanely and lawlessly to overturn the will of the people of Iowa and their legislature, ignore the entire social and legal history of Western society, and legalize gay "marriage" on the ground of political correctness. Undoubtedly a constitutional amendment reversing the decision will be quickly forthcoming, and political life in Iowa has been turned on its head for the next couple of cycles by today'…

Iowa Supreme Court OK's gay "marriage!"

It's a sad day for the state of Iowa and the nation.

The Iowa Supreme Court has illogically and inanely (but predictably) ruled that it is somehow unconstitutional for the state not to permit gay "marriage."

The text of the abomination can be found here.

A useful article on the social effects of legally-protected gay partnerships and "marriage" in Holland can be found here.

How marriage between people of the same gender differs from still-prohibited marriage between species or inanimate objects (both of which also stand outside the very definition of marriage as it has existed throughout the history of Western culture) is not explained. Homosexuals are not in any way discriminated against by any law which permits them to marry members of the opposite sex- since by the very definition of the word marriage can only take place between members of the opposite sex. Neither does any court or legislature have either the right or the authority to idiosyncratically rede…

H.P. Lovecraft, The Musical (?)

One summer long ago I read virtually all of H.P. Lovecraft, the Providence, Rhode Island horror writer often considered the successor of Edgar Allan Poe.

I got hooked.

I recently came across the following incongruous You Tube item. It is- of all things- the Lovecraft story "The Shadow over Innsmouth," set to music and produced in a tone- well, somewhat at variance with the atmosphere Lovecraft strove to create. While fellow Lovecraft fans will probably appreciate it most of all, I think it ought to provide a chuckle to anybody even vaguely familiar with Lovecraft's reputation:



By the way, there actually is a Lovecraft musical, called A Shuggoth on the Roof- a parody of Fiddler which Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick have prevented from actually being produced through threats of legal action. A scheduled production in Chicago had to be canceled a while back; while parody is a legally protected form of art, the producers didn't have deep enough pockets to fight the lawsuit…

Cutler to Bears for Orton and picks!

My Bears have a quarterback again!

They've traded Kyle Orton and their first and third round draft picks in 2009, as well as their first round pick in 2010, to the Broncos for Jay Cutler and Denver's 2009 fifth round pick.

I'd heard rumors, but I never believed it would happen. Perhaps they're serious about winning after all!

ADDENDUM: And less than an hour later, they signed All-Pro offensive tackle Orlando Pace as a free agent!

Some receiver action in the draft and/or the free agent market, and this could be a Super Bowl contender again!

On NBC's Kings, Rev. Samuels is a false prophet

I've gotten rather addicted to Kings, the NBC series about a nation remarkably like the modern United States, but ruled by an absolute monarch.

The series is actually a modern-day retelling (more or less) of the Old Testament story of King Saul (called "King Silas" in the series) and David ("David Shepherd"). David- who saved the life of the king's son, "Jack" (read "Jonathan") by slaying a tank called the Goliath with a bazooka- is now very popular and famous, too much so for Silas and Queen Rose (the royal family, btw is the House of Benjamin- the tribe from which Saul came). He commands much more of a price than does the king himself for the privilege of sitting next to him at a charity event; as Silas's queen observed Sunday, "Silas has raised his tens of thousands, and David his hundreds of thousands."

David is in love with the king's daughter, Michelle (read "Michal"). King Silas has made a number of …

I survived April Fool's Day. You?

I told the congregation last night that we'd be doing the whole midweek Lenten service on our knees. Had a few of them going for a moment or two, but most of them figured it out.

At the Blank Park Zoo here in Des Moines, they decided to take a proactive approach to the annual phone calls for Ann Teeter, Anna Conda, Ellie Phant, C. Lyon, and their co-workers. Each was given voice mail; callers were informed in a voice of the appropriate gender that the recipient of the call was away from his or her cage, but would return the call if a message was left with the caller's number.

'...Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons...'

Growing up in Little Village, a neighborhood on the near Southwest Side of Chicago, hot cross buns were an annual Lenten tradition. I hadn't even thought of the sweet, citron-filled buns with the cross made of icing in years.

During grade school and high school, I'd often have hot cross buns for breakfast during Lent, especially during the years when we lived across the street from a bakery on Keeler Avenue. Like Italian beef sandwiches and Tom Tom Tamales, it simply never occurred to me that this familiar food wasn't as common everywhere as it was in Chicago. But while I'm sure they had them in Dubuque, a heavily Catholic city where I went to seminary, and in St. Louis, where I had my first parish, with my departure from Chicago I lost track of them, and they simply passed from my consciousness.

But my memory was jogged Sunday at church, when one of the kids quoted a rhyme she'd heard at school, one my mom used to recite:

Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns!

Give them…

Government seeks to reverse Stevens' conviction!

Citing prosecutorial misconduct and withheld exculpatory evidence, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is seeking to reverse the conviction of former Alaska senator Ted Stevens, a Republican, on corruption charges late last year.

The 85 year-old Stevens, one of the state's founding fathers, was narrowly defeated for reelection after a conviction the government now admits was improperly obtained.

Justice at last has been served, regrettably too late to prevent the bogus charges from dictating the result of last year's election. But Ted Stevens' good name is in the process of being restored, and at least that's something. And the Obama administration deserves credit for acting promptly to right the wrong done Senator Stevens insofar as doing so is still possible.