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Showing posts from April, 2012

Obama's bin Laden posturing: Don Knotts as George Patton

President Obama- marking the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death by doing his best impersonation of Don Knots cast as George Patton- has personally insinuated that Mitt Romney would not have taken out the al Quaeda leader:



An Obama web ad made the same insinuation the other day.

The Romney's campaign respondes: "It’s unfortunate that President Obama would prefer to use what was a good day for all Americans as a cheap political ploy. President Obama’s feckless foreign policy has emboldened our adversaries, weakened our allies, and threatens to break faith with our military. While the Obama administration has naively stated that ‘the war on terror is over,’ Gov. Romney has always understood we need a comprehensive plan to deal with the myriad of threats America faces.”

HT: Drudge, The Weekly Standard

A very non-gutsy call: new ad reveals the Obama campaign's chutzpah

In what universe would ANY president on whose watch bin Laden's location became known have dared not to take him out? To have had this information and failed to act on it would have seriously damaged eany president's chances of re-election if it came out, and might have set impeachment charges in motion!

Look, I'm as glad as the next guy that we got bin Laden. But this decision on Obama's part took absolutely zero courage, and to suggest otherwise- much less, as a new Obama campaign video does, to suggest that Mitt Romney would have failed to make the same call- is as transparently ridiculous as it is intellectually dishonest.

I predict that the absurdity of this self-serving video- promulgated in order to foster the re-election of the most diplomatically and militarily inept president in recent history- will backfire.

Oh. One more thing: it's come out that the president did not have operational command of the mission. Once Mr. Obama had made the no-brainer to get bin…

Two views of the state of the Blackhawks

Here is a bad assessment of the Blackhawks by GM Stan Bowman, and a good one by the Trib's David Haugh.

Since it's Bowman rather than Haugh who is going to make the decisions, I can't say I'm optimistic about next season. Maybe that Pirri kid can be the Hawks' second line center next year- he led Rockford in scoring- but Patrick Kane belongs on the wing. And while we might as well resign ourselves to another season of the Crow between the pipes; Bowman badly underestimates the importance of a consistent goaltender.

Blackhawks go- and so should Crow

Puck Daddy's lead for the Blackhawks' second and final playoff victory of the 2012 campaign pretty much said it all:

The Chicago Blackhawks had two options entering their fifth straight overtime game against the Phoenix Coyotes: Wait around until Corey Crawford gave up some Snuggle Bear-soft goal to Mikkel Boedker, or end the game before it got to that point.

The Warriors of the Four Feathers were eliminated from the playoffs last night by the Phoenix Coyotes, and three of their four defeats came when Crawford muffed easy stops in overtime. And it especially hurts because, with the exceptions of Boston and the Rangers (and maybe the Caps)- each of whom is one game from elimination- all the elite teams have likewise bitten the dust. Pittsburgh, Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver are gone. The Cup this year will probably be won by a team nobody figured would have a shot.

My guess is that it will be St. Louis. If it is, we'll never hear the end of it. Our only defense will be to point…

Captain Serious saves the Hawks

Not since 1951 have five consecutive games in a Stanley Cup playoff series gone to overtime. But last night's 2-1 Blackhawks victory meant that the current first round series between the Good Guys and Phoenix has done precisely that.

Jonathan Toews buried a shot at 2:44 of overtime, and the Hawks stayed alive.

Puck Daddy's lead in the article linked to above is a hint as to the step I think the Hawks will have to make over the summer if they fall short in their quest for their second Stanley Cup in three years.

Game Six will be Monday Night at the UC. Anything can happen at this point.

BTW, the Coyotes' Raffi Torres has been suspended for 25 games for his dirty hit on the Hawks' Marian Hossa in Game 3. It's the longest NHL suspension in five years, and- given Torres' track record- in my opinion is richly deserved.

Hawks one overtime loss from elimination

This time they tied it with 1:26 left in regulation, coming back from a 2-0 third period deficit. But for the third time in four tries- every game has gone to overtime- the Hawks lost to Phoenix last night, 3-2. They are now one game from elimination.

You certainly can't fault this team's guts or effort. I have my own ideas about what needs to change next season, but I'll wait until the series is over to say more. Suffice it to say at the moment that they had better reach down Saturday night and find that extra something they need to be the ones who score the really big one, or they'll be watching the next round with the rest of us.

It should be mentioned in passing, of course, that a year ago the Hawks were down three games to none against a Vancouver team that was much better than this year's Coyotes, and won three straight.

Only to lose Game Seven- in overtime.

C'mon, guys. Reach down and win one for Marian Hossa.

Finally! Vatican to crack down on pro-choice, pro-homosexuality nuns

In The ALC and the ELCA, where I spent most of my pastoral career, the Office of the Keys was neglected shamefully. Oh, sure, absolution was pronounced week after week in the absence of any shared conviction about biblical ethics or even the consequences of living in open and unrepented sin. But challenging open, public and unrepented sin- something obviously a pastor's duty- was by no means guaranteed the support of the congregation. Most of my collegues didn't bother. Many thought there was no problem with premarital sex or abortion or homosexual behavior anyway, so why hold people accountable to the archaic standards of the Bible?

I've always wondered why the Pope didn't start excommunicating pro-choice politicians. Why let the teachings of his church be publicly flouted by people who- in the embarassingly purile formula famously offered by Mario Cuomo- said that they were personally opposed to murder, but didn't want to impose their views on that subject upon ot…

Barnabas Collins finally rests in peace

Jonathan Frid, a Shakespearian actor from Hamilton, Ontario who spent several years in the middle and late 'Sixties as an unlikely teenage heartthrob in the phenomenal Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows,is dead at age 87.

Frid played much put-upon and essentially good-hearted vampire Barnabas Collins in the classic ABC show,  which brought high school kids of my era racing home every weekday afternoon in breathless anticipation of Frid's adventures decades before it became fashionable for romantic vampires to be sexually ambiguous.

The series riffed on every classic horror story in sight during its five-year run at the top of the daytime ratings, from Frankenstein and Dracula to the Cthulhu Mythos to "The Monkey's Paw."It was shot daily on a live-to-tape basis, usually in one take, and its frequent on-screen mishaps and line-blowing which characterized it was part of its charm. Like the early Dr. Who, it was one of those rare shows whose somewhat seedy production va…

Coyotes bite. So do the officiating- and the score

The Hawks lost to Phoenix 3-2 last night in their third straight overtime game.They now trail their best-of-seven first-round series 2 games to 1.

Worse, they lost Marian Hossa on a dirty  (and unpenalized) hit by the Coyotes' Raffi Torres (right), who actually left his skates to make it. Hossa was removed from the ice on a stretcher.



Minutes later, the Hawks' Brandon Boelig was given an ironic major penalty for roughing.

With forward Andrew Shaw suspended for three games for a hit on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith which did not knock Smith out of the game, the Good Guys must now proceed without two of their top forwards.

Despite the lack of a penalty, Torres will face a hearing conducted by league officials. Torres had a history of pulling stuff like this against the Hawks when he was with Vancouver. In last year's first round, he delivered a controversial hit to Chicago's Brent Seabrook.

Hang in there, Sons of the Four Feathers. You're better than these guys.

ADDENDUM…

Permanently

That's more like it!

Blackhawks 4, Coyotes 3.

Patrick Sharp tied the game with 5.5 seconds left in regulation, and Brian Bickel won it in overtime.

The first round Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied at one game apiece. More importantly, the Hawks have stolen home ice advantage.

The Hawks tied the score with 14.2 seconds left on Thursday night, but lost it in overtime. This team has character- and being only a year removed from winning the Cup, it knows how to win. And maybe if they just don't use a goalie, they'll go undefeated the rest of the way!

The series switches to the United Center on Tuesday night. GO HAWKS!

Let's hope the Administration's Korean policy is the only thing that blows up

The humiliating failure of North Korea's rocket launch (remember the suspected nuclear dud a while back?) has stirred fears that its paranoid, hostile and irrational regime is preparing yet another nuclear test, leaving the Administration's Korean policy "in tatters."

So much for President Obama's policy of "engagement" with madmen. Now about Iran...

Given the Administration's penchant for playing nice-nice with maniacs, another question looms: which American city will be the first to be vaporized by a terrorist nuke developed by an unstable regime run by madmen and coddled by the present occupant of the White House?

HT: Drudge

Chicago's !@%$#@! Mayor takes a page from his former boss's book

President Obama's supporters are claiming that we should disregard the state of the economy because its problems have their root in the policies of the previous administration. By that logic, of course, we should have re-elected Herbert Hoover over FDR in 1932 because the Great Depression was really more the result of Calvin Coolidge's polcies than Hoover's.

And now POTUS's former chief of staff- da !@%$#@! Mare o' Chicago, Rahm Emanuel- seems to be blaming Richard M. Daley for the fact that my home town has replaced Detroit and Washington, D.C. as the murder capital of America.

In both cases, it has to be admitted that a new president- or mayor- is more or less stuck with the situation he inherits when he takes office. It's worth noting, though, that whether he gets to stay in office greatly depends on what he's able to do about that situation.

As well it should.

HT: Drudge

Who let the Dogs out?

Game One of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs got away. The Hawks lost to Phoenix 3 to 2 in overtime last night.

Negative perspiration, however. We'll get 'em Saturday. This is a series I'm confident about.

Just don't let me down, guys. OK?

Hawks begin new Cup quest tonight

Tonight the Blackhawks begin their quest to bring our Stanley Cup back home where it rightfully belongs with a first-round matchup against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Dog House.

Captain Jonathan Toews is confident he'll see action.

GO HAWKS!



LYRICS:


Here Come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks
Take the attack, Yeah, and we'll back you Blackhawks
You're flyin' high now, so let's wrap it up
Let's go you Hawks, move off
Now all look out, Here Come the Hawks,
Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here come the Hawks

Here they come movin', weavin', flyin' high and throwin' spray,
Blades flashin' sticks crashin' tryin' for the play,
And the Blackhawks, take control,
There's a shot, AND A GOAL!

Here Come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks
Take the attack, Yeah, and we'll back you Blackhawks
You're flying high now, so let's wrap it up
Let's go you Hawks, move off
Now all look out, Here Come the Hawks
Here Come the Hawks,…

The demagogues win: Zimmerman to stand trial for not letting Trayvon Martin kill him

George Zimmerman has been criminally charged for defending his life against a hoodlum who was trying to kill him. His real crime: protecting himself from grievous bodlily harm inflicted by an African-American while white.

This in spite of the fact that four eyewitnesses and the forensic evidence support Zimmerman's story that Trayvon Martin responded to being asked why he was wandering around a gated community in which he didn't life at a suspicious hour with an unprovoked punch to Zimmerman's face, after which Martin sat on him, pounded his head onto the concrete, and tried to take Zimmerman's gun away from him. This in spite of the fact that Martin's body bore no signs of violence other than the gunshot wound, whereas Martin was treated for precisely the injuries the eyewitnesses said that Martin inflicted.

Police declined to prosecute Zimmerman because he had patently done nothing wrong. There was no evidence to suggest that he had. But that wasn't good enough…

Santorum bows to the inevitable

I see where Rick Santorum has thrown in the towel.

Good for him. By acknowledging reality and getting out of the way, he's smoothed the way for the crusade to retire a president who means well, but is clearly overmatched by the job.

Newt and Crazy Ron remain in the race. Both are irrelevant. I'm embarrassed a bit by the former Speaker; "Irrelevant," of course, might well be Ron Paul's middle name.

Now is the time for Republicans and concerned Independents and Democrats to unite behind the nominee, Mitt Romney. And while I think Santorum went much too far on some issues- birth control is an obsession of his that isn't going to sell in this culture, and which is a concern only to a small minority even of religious conservatives- I have always admired Santorum's willingness to take on the ethical revisionists.

I would not necessarily be adverse to a Romney-Santorum ticket, if it comes to that.

Why we bother having church on Sunday mornings

I just got done responding to an email from a guy I know who has come to understand the Faith from a Lutheran perspective, but had a bad experience yesterday when he took his Reformed wife to her first Lutheran service.

Too "Catholic," she said. Too formal. Too morbid (?). Too "scripted" (as if there was ever a church service in even a "non-liturgical" church that wasn't!).

It's a common reaction in a culture with so little a real idea of what the point is of going to church, and in which the talk show format and the deification of warm fuzzies reign supreme.They're poor substitutes for Gottesdienst: God's service to us in Word and Sacrament, forgiving our sins and strengthening our faith. Next to that, our feelings and praises don't amount to a hill of beans.

Here's what I wrote:

Your wife is an American and a Reformed Evangelical, and therefore both theologically and culturally out of touch with historic Christianity when it come…

He is risen!

1. Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God's right hand He stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of hallelujah!
Hallelujah!

2. It was a strange and dreadful strife
When Life and Death contended;
The victory remained with Life,
The reign of Death was ended;
Holy Scripture plainly saith
That Death is swallowed up by Death,
His sting is lost forever.
Hallelujah!

3. Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree-
So strong His love!-to save us.
See, His blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, Death passes o'er,
And Satan cannot harm us.
Hallelujah!

4. So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended.
Hallelujah!

5. Then let us feast this Easter Day
On Christ, the Bread of heaven;
The Word of…

For me, for us, for all

1. O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown.
O sacred Head, what glory,
What bliss, till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call Thee mine.

2. Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee,
Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee
And flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish
That once was bright as morn!

3. Now from Thy cheeks has vanished
Their color, once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished
The splendor that was there.
Grim Death, with cruel rigor,
Hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou has lost Thy vigor,
Thy strength, in this sad strife.

4. My burden in Thy Passion,
Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression
Which brought this woe on thee.
I cast me down before Thee,
Wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee;
Redeemer, spurn me not!

5. My Shepherd, now receive me;
My Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Tho…

Singing the blues in St. Louis

First, the St. Louis Blues win their division. And now, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Purple Palace in suburban Kirkwood has decreed that the LCMS logo be changed from


to


When I lived there, I used to say that the trouble with St. Louis is that people wear too much blue and not enough red during the hockey season, and too much red and not enough blue during the baseball season. Well, purple is almost red, and maybe making this particular change as the baseball season begins is a step in the right direction.

GO CUBS!

New uniforms for Bears

To go along with the new number one wide receiver, new backup quarterback, new backup running back, and the new sense that Halas Hall has a clue. Nike instead of Reebok.

What do you think?

Augsburg-Fortress issues inclusive language translation of the Neconomicon

Motivated by the demand in the ELCA and other mainline churches for more eclectic and inclusive texts- including those aiding congregations such as Ebeneezer/herchurch Lutheran, San Francisco in the worship of alternative deities- Augsburg-Fortress has published a new, inclusive language version of theNecronomicon, or Al Azif, a sixth-century religious text by Abdul al Hazred (probably a corruption of Abdullah Ala zred, which some scholars believe to be derived from Arabic or Persian phrase meaning "Servant of the Forbidden").

His biographer, Howard Philips Lovecraft, says this of al Hazred:

Of his final death or disappearance (738 A.D.) many terrible and conflicting things are told. He is said by Ebn Khallikan (12th cent. biographer) to have been seized by an invisible monster in broad daylight and devoured horribly before a large number of fright-frozen witnesses. Of his madness many things are told. He claimed to have seen the fabulous Irem, or City of Pillars, and to ha…