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Showing posts from June, 2010

Please be wrong, evidence!

More and more evidence seems to be accumulating that we're headed into the second half of a "double-dip" recession.

Instead of a recovery- however sluggish- fears are growing that the economy is going right back into the depths of the dumpster from which it really has never fully emerged.

One thing is clear: even if this is a 'W-shaped recession,' President Obama isn't going to be able to blame W for it. We're well into his watch now.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Why do they bother?

Contradicting two thousand years of scholarship, a Swedish pastor has decided that Jehovah's Witnesses are right about Jesus not having died on a cross.

He disputes the consensus of historians that crucifixion was a common form of punishment in the Roman Empire, and suggests on the basis of a second account of what was described by a Roman writer as a crucifixion which sounds more like an impalement that historians and theologians have been wrong about the way Jesus and many Christian martyrs were put to death.

I know that sometimes there are slow news days. But I never cease to be amazed at how easy it is for any eccentric with a pet theory throwing doubt on some aspect of the Christian Faith to get all the publicity he wants. There's nothing new about this theory, which most experts reject.

By the least of the sons of J.S. Bach

...courtesy of Professor Peter Schickele of the University of Eastern North Dakota at Hoople, the world's foremost expert on that afterthought of an offspring, P.D.Q. Bach:

Quoth Wikipedia:

P. D. Q. Bach was born in Leipzig on May 5, 1807 at age 65, the son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Anna Magdalena Bach; the twenty first of Johann's twenty children. According to Schickele, Bach's parents did not bother to give their youngest son a real name, and settled on "P. D. Q." instead. The only earthly possession Johann Sebastian Bach willed to his son was a kazoo.

In 1755, P. D. Q. Bach was an apprentice of the inventor of the musical saw, Ludwig Zahnstocher (German for "toothpick"). In 1756, P. D. Q. Bach met Leopold Mozart and advised him to teach his son Wolfgang Amadeus how to play billiards. Later on P. D. Q. Bach went to St. Petersburg to visit his distant cousin Leonhard Sigismund Dietrich Bach (L. S. D. Bach), whose daughter Betty Sue bore P. D. Q. a chi…

Adrianna is missing

Adriana Hope Garcia
DOB: July 24, 1989
Missing Date: December 29, 2004
Missing City: Tulsa
Missing State: Oklahoma
Sex: Female
Race: Hispanic
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
Weight: 120 lbs (57 kg)
Hair: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Case Number NCMC1005827

Adrianna- the daughter of one of my Facebook friends- is an endangered runaway. Her photo is age-progressed to 19 years. She may still be in the Tulsa area. Her ears are pierced multiple times. She has copper streaks in her hair. She has a scar between her eyebrows and a birthmark on the right side of her waist. Adrianna may go by the name "Dreena."

The patient isn't getting better

Government "stimulus" spending- the prescription of Dr. Obama and the Left generally for our sick economy- isn't working. The patient isn't getting better- and it doesn't take Greg House to figure out why.

Time to remember the successful cures Dr. Reagan and Dr. Kennedy pulled off when the nation suffered from the same sickness.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Oh, great.

I'm a published poet!

Little did I realize, when I presented a poem in honor of Tycho Brahe to my astronomy club in commemoration of the dedication of our new PortaPotty, that it would some day be enshrined on the Internet!

Oh, wait. I guess I submitted it to that site myself, didn't I? But it's been so long that I'd completely forgotten about it.

Anyway, I trust that everyone will agree that my poetic gifts are quite appropriate, given the occasion.

Keith captures Norris Trophy

Buffy and Ben Eager may be gone, and we won't be seeing Akim Aliu in an Indian head sweater- but there is good news today for Hawks fans.

Defenseman Duncan Keith has- quite rightly- won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman.

Keith- aka "Duncan Teeth," for the seven he lost while blocking a shot with his mouth during the Western Conference Finals- is an essential part of the championship core which the Hawks will retain for years to come.

Oh. For those who are dispirited by yesterday's trade, two words: Kyle Beach.

Remember them. They explain why losing Buffy might not hurt all that much after all.

Oh, #@#$@%$&^%&#^!!!!!!

Well, at least the Blackhawks don't have to worry about the salary cap anymore....

The Hawks have reportedly traded Buffy, Sopel, Eager and solid prospect Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for the 24th and 54th draft picks overall, as well as center Marty Reasoner and left wing Jeremy Morin.


Well, nobody said that dealing with the salary cap problem wasn't going to hurt. It's a given that Cristobel Huet will be either waived or banished to Rockford. Together with this move, the salary cap problem , at least, is history.

But... ouch. The loss of Byfuglien is especially going to hurt, and I've always liked Ben Eager. Aliu- who will be, I believe, the NHL's first Nigerian player- is a better prospect than Morin, who projects as a second line forward (Aliu will probably play on Atlanta's first line).

Though not without wincing, I think I would have traded Kris Versteeg, whom the Islanders reportedly wanted, before parting with Buffy. Let's hope Bowman knows w…

In case you folks in other parts of the country haven't been paying attention...

...the Big Ten, which had eleven teams last season, will now have twelve, because Nebraska has joined after leaving the Big Twelve, which- since Nebraska and Colorado (which joined the Pac Ten) have left it- now has ten teams.

To summarize, the Big Ten has twelve teams, whereas the Big Twelve has ten teams, and the Pac Ten has eleven teams. No word yet on plans for the Pac Ten to consist next season only of teams which were in the Atlantic Coast Conference last year.

If you think life puts you through changes sometimes...

...just be thankful that you're not Doctor Who!

Time Lords (humanoid aliens from the planet Gallifrey, who have mastered the art of time travel through devices called TARDISes (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) are capable of regenerating when they are old or sustain life-threatening injuries. They transform into healthy individuals whose personalities and physical appearances differ from the original, though they remain the same person. In addition to helping Time Lords cheat death, this ability also enables those with British accents who are the protaganists of television series which have run for close to fifty years to be portrayed by new actors every time the old one decides to leave the show. There is no regeneration from the Eighth to the Ninth Doctor shown above because the Ninth Doctor was the first of the new series which began production after a seven-year hiatus (briefly interrupted by a TV movie, the only adventure starring the Eighth Doctor- actor Paul McGann…

What ails the LCMS- and the Church catholic

Since leaving Saint Mary, I've been looking for a new church home. I visited what was one of the top contenders Saturday night. It's dropped off the list.

The sermon was about that notoriously sinful woman who "loved much-" who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair one evening while he was having dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee. The sermon title was something about how our love flows from being forgiven by Jesus. In short, we seemed all set for a good, strong Lutheran sanctification sermon- one which starts by breaking the hearer with the Law, but then- instead of trying to extort obedience through guilt or threats- recognizes the fact that "we love Him because He first loved us," and that it is the Gospel, and not the Law, that change hearts and causes them to love Jesus.

I'm not sure exactly how we managed to get a sermon on that text and with that title that was at least 90% Law, but we did. I have the feeling t…

And now, the problems with Obamacare become manifest

Even this early in the preparartions to impliment Obamacare, it's becoming clear that we're not getting the program we were told we were getting.

As someone without health insurance- but with large medical bills- I am very much in favor of something major being done to ensure universal health care- even free health care, to those to can't afford it. In fact, it has always seemed to me to be inherently immoral for anybody's access to health care or legal assistance to depend on their financial situation. No matter what the Republican mantra may have been during the health care debate, health care- and justice- are basic human rights.

But this expensive, patchwork program isn't going to work. And now, it seems, it isn't even going to give us the control over our own health care choices we were told we would have.

Perhaps some of these choices may have to be given up in order to get to a workable plan. But we ought to get the plan the democratic system produces, and…

Patrick raises Kane, and the Hawks raise the Cup

When Mush March scored the overtime goal that won the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks in 1938, they didn't present the Hawks with the Cup. The Toronto Maple Leafs were so highly favored that nobody took the chances of the Hawks winning that night seriously, so they didn't bother having it in the building.

Last night, when Patrick Kane scored the overtime goal that won the 2010 Cup for the Hawks before the biggest television audience to see an NHL game in 36 years, the Cup was duly presented. They just didn't turn on the goal light. Everybody but Kane himself, it seems, momentarily lost track of the puck, and only he realized that it was in the net.

Macht nichts, as my grandmother would have said. The forty-nine year wait is over, and the Chicago Blackhawks are again the world champions of professional hockey.

My dad saw three Blackhawk Stanley Cups. By that standard, I still have one to look forward to. Actually, despite the fact that the Hawks will have to dump some key perso…

Haugh has good advice for the Hawks

Don't read the newspapers- and don't be too impressed with how unbeatable you were last night.

In other words, stay hungry. Letting up at all is a sure route to defeat in Game 6- and you don't want the Flyers to have a shot at a Game 7.

The Flyers handle adversity well. Just ask the Bruins. But the Hawks don't handle prosperity well. After victories in the first two games, it took two drubbings in Philly to produce last night's effort by the Good Guys.

Oh, and btw... Michael Jordan showed up last night- sure enough, wearing a Jonathan Toews sweater, just like his statue outside the UC.

The Hawks find an answer

Several, really.

Mix up your lines. Make sure that Buffy plays at times when Pronger isn't around, so he can use his muscle around the Flyers' goal without obstruction. Make sure Buffy plays at times when Pronger is around- so he can knock him on his rear and give him back what he's been dishing out. Stay out of the penalty box. And above all, play with energy.

And outwork Philadelphia. One of the Chicago sportswriters- I forget who- commented a few weeks ago that the Hawks figured to win any game of a previous series in which they simply worked as hard as their opponent did. Same applies here. The Hawks are a better team than the Flyers; when they aren't outworked, they win. And last night they didn't let the Flyers outwork them. The result: they were winning the battles along the boards they were losing in Philadelphia. And beating the Flyers, 7-4

As long as they follow that formula, they'll win. I am expecting a seven game series-with the Hawks winning the Cu…

An all too familiar feeling for Chicago fans

Trib sportswriter Bob Rosenberg has it exactly right: it's not the best team that wins in the playoffs. It's the team that plays best- and right now, it's the Flyers.

The gaffes and the undisciplined play on the part of the Blackhawks are getting embarassing. More to the point, the Hawks are taking a series they had in hand, and by all rights should win, and doing to it pretty much what the Cubs did in 1969, 1984, 2003, 2007, and 2008.

It's hard to avoid the word "choke." And now it's reached the point that in the Trib's poll of its readers as to how the series is going to turn out, a plurality says that it'll be the Flyers in six.

I hope not. Sunday's game, of course, will tell us a great deal. If the Hawks lose again, this time at home, it's over. If they win, there's still a fighting chance.
One thing, however, it certain: if the Blackhawks pull a "Cub" after raising the hopes of Chicago's hockey fans so high, it will be a…


...tonight the Blackhawks can put paid to this nonsense about Philly having a chance in this series, open up a 3 games to 1 lead, and set up a clincher at the UC Sunday- with yours truly in front of the TV, wearing his Indian head jersey.


And to think that a few years ago hockey was almost dead in Chicago!

Sweet Home Chicago has, by all accounts, gone hockey mad. Even the fountain in the Civic Center Plaza (the plaza with the Picasso sculpture wearing the Patrick Sharp helmet in it) is spouting red water. And landmarks all over the city have taken on a distinctly red, black and white tone, with images of The Chief and hockey helmets and sweaters bearing them appearing in the most unlikely places.

I was searching the internet for pictures of all the ways in which Col. McLaughlin's team has popped up all over town, but I just came across this slide show, which does a pretty good job of hitting the highlights.

And no, I don't think either Michael Jackson or the ghost of Piccaso mind a bit.

Personally, I think that helmet makes the Picasso in Civic Center Plaza look Sharp (you may groan now if you like).

What's it all about (hic), Alfie?

In 1938, the 14-25-9 Chicago Blackhawks won the most improbable Stanley Cup championship in history- so improbable that nobody bothered to have the Cup there the night they won it. And one of the Hawks' stars in the series was Alfie Moore, a minor league goalie who was under contract to the other team at the time and who had prepared for the game by downing "ten or fifteen drinks."

Great recap of the story here.

Tavis Smiley needs to get a clue

PBS's Tavis Smiley is almost a poster child for mindless politically correctness. But when he goes ballistic because a Christian author "idealizes" Christianity and turns people away from Islam, he's being mindless even for the politically correct set.

Christianity and Islam are two different religions which- the sentimental, brain-dead insistence of the unthoughtful and ill-informed to the contrary- worship entirely different deities (I have yet to meet or hear of a Muslim who worships the Holy Trinity, or who does not consider the entire concept of this foundational tenet of Christianity to be blasphemous at best). They do agree that there is only one god; they disagree entirely, however as to his identity, his nature, his character- and absolutely as to the basis upon which he may be approached.

In short, the truth claims of Christianity and Islam are absolutely irreconcilable and mutually exclusive. Christianity has as its foundation its assertion of Christ'…

A real shame

Al and Tipper Gore are seperating after forty years of marriage.

The couple, whom the former vice-president once claimed served as Eric Segal's model for Oliver and Jenny of Love Story, seemed to be one of the most solidly connected couples in public life. Most of us recall the steamy kiss he planted on her just before accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000. And whatever one may have think of Al's politics, Tipper was for many years an outspoken critic of violence and obscenity in popular culture, a true advocate of the besieged American family.

They have my prayers and best wishes. Here's hoping that they eventually work everything out.

Before you vote next week, Iowa Republicans....

...consider this.

Those negative TV (and web) commercials about former Gov. Terry Branstad's "comeback express" supposedly "colliding" with his record are not, as most of us have assumed, sponsored by the Vander Platts or Roberts campaigns.

They're the work of a Democrat who historically has been in the corner of incumbent Democratic Gov. Chet Culver, and are apparently aimed at preventing the strongest potential opponent for Culver- Branstad- from being nominated.

Think about it.


That's historically the percentage of teams that have won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals that have gone on to win the Cup.

Of the 33 cases in which a team has won the first two games in the Finals, it has gone on to win the Cup in 31 of them.

The Blackhawks beat Philadelphia in Game 1 on Sunday night by a score of 6-5, and in Game 2 last night by a score of 2-1.

No time for glory

It's a day late- I couldn't get to a ocmputer yesteday- but this song (made famous by Robert Heinlein in Starship Troopers) captures the essence of what Memorial Day is all about: