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Showing posts from January, 2013

Oopa, Mr. President!

The GDP actually shrank last quarter.

And the debt is headed toward 200% of the GDP despite our avoiding the 'fiscal cliff.'

I wonder how long it will take before the American people start getting buyer's remorse, and long for Mitt Romney at the helm. But of course, one would have thought that the American people would have had buyer's remorse long, long since.

Why did they re-elect this guy? It's Greek to me.

HT: Drudge

Left, Right, and Center: Why we don't understand each other

The media continues to peddle the myth that the Obama administration is "moderate." Here's an interesting
though admittedly polemical- look at just how revolutionary it actually is.

And it's an article of faith on the Left that liberals (excuse me, progressives) are smart and have a philosophy which comprehends everything, whereas conservatives are, by definition, dolts. At times (the current time being a case in point) this essentially elitist (not to say delusional) view is not necessary exclusive of their success at the polls.

But Diane Ellis, a San Francisco conservative, agrees with liberal columnist Nicholas Kristoff (and a recent University of Virginia study) that conservatives understand liberals better than liberals understand conservatives- or themselves.

I have a few problems problems with the analysis of the new book Kristoff mentions. Admittedly conservatives have more complicated ethical beliefs than liberals do, and sometimes tend to be more authorit…

First Chik-fil-A, and now this

Letter from Senator Ted Cruz to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Bank of America, TD Bank Group, et al by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex).

Whether you agree with Sen. Cruz on gun control or not, something is becoming crystal clear about the current occupant of the Fifth Floor of Chicago's City Hall: at his core, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a bully.

That sums him up. There, in a word, is his management style, his philosophy, and his modus operandi.

And he's an insult to everything that's American. The sooner this dude is retired from public life, the better off the city I love will be.

Iranian pastor in peril; American pastor imprisoned in Iran

Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, already under sentence of death for conducting worship services and baptizing coverts to Christianity, is in increased danger of actual execution because of new charges of treason which claim that Pastor Nadarkhani is a Zionist.

Iranian law has recently changed in order to allow the execution of accused people who have already been convicted on other charges.

Meanwhile, American pastor Saeed Abendi has been sentenced to eight years in Iran's brutal Evin prison for evangelism.

Pastor Abendi worked during the last decade in support of Iran's house church movement, which has since been adjudged to be a threat to Iranian national security.

In this time when even American Christians are so ignorant of the Bible and the history and teachings of Christianity and have- often unwittingly- often effectively abandoned Christianity for a kind of low-maintenence Gnosticism, it's easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves. It's even easier since an ev…

The Blackhawks- and Crawford- are soaring

In case you haven't heard, after six games my Blackhawks are undefeated and untied. Needless to say, they have the best record in the NHL.

Goalie Corey Crawford- by whose fortunes the Hawks will rise or fall this year- has been named the NHL's Number Two Star of the Week. Corey has won five games- leading all NHL netminders- and has a 1.78 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

Them's Vezina numbers, baby.

After a stellar rookie season, Crawford stumbled badly last year. He's playing for his job. So far, it looks like he's more than up to the challenge.

Of course, it's only six games. And teams get off to fast starts all the time, only to flicker out as the season grinds on. But in this lockout- shortened season, a fast start  will probably mean more than it usuall does. And there are at least a hint that the chemistry of this team may make up for its weaknesses.

A second Stanley Cup banner in four years would look awfully nice hanging from the rafters at the United …

'By thy red ink gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois....'

Illinois- my home state, and also that of President Obamapoulous-  now has the worst credit rating of any in the nation.

I think it's way past time the Land of Lincoln got rid of its feckless governor, Pat Quinn. He started his political career by messing up a unique and practical way of electing the state House of Representatives, and he's been messing up ever since.

Blue state, red ink. No surprise here.

HT: Drudge
ADDENDUM: The title for this post got me thinking. Maybe we need some new words for Illinois' state song:

By thy red ink gently flowing,
Illinois, Illinois
And thy deficits still growing,
Illlinois, Illinois,
It's a scandal, it's a sin,
What an awful shape you're in,
'Cause your governor's Pat Quinn,
Illinois, Illinois,
'Cause your governor's Pat Quinn,

Your past decade's sad, sad story,
Illinois, Illinois,
Smells of anything but glory,
Illinois, Illinois
With Obama such a "FAIL,"
And his Senate seat for sa…

That heretical inauguration prayer

Rev. Louie Giglio wasn't kosher enough to deliver the invocation at President Obamapoulous's recent inauguration because he once preached a sermon faithfully presenting what the Bible says in both Testaments and every stratum on the subject of homosexuality.

The piece of heresy by Myrlie  Evers-Williams which replaced Rev. Giglio's prayer, on the other hand, passed Administration muster. Here's a thoughtful article on the several things which made it impossible for any faithful Christian to pray along with Ms. Evers-Williams.

Idolatry (we really shouldn't pray to America), universalism and post-modernism aren't cool. But for that matter, neither is civil religion- which is at best a violation of the First Amendment in that one particular (orthodox) faith generates prayer to the Holy Trinity under government auspices (thereby violating the rights of unbelievers), and at worst- and almost inevitably this is the case- violates the First Amendment by giving prefer…

Crikey. There's a snake in the grass somewhere.

Bindi Irwin- daughter of the late Steve Irwin- is now a lovely and smart 14 year old.

She was asked to write a 1,000 word essay for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's e-journal. She did.

But what appeared was so heavily edited that it bore no relationship to what Bindi had written. And Bindi- understandably- is upset.

HT: Drudge

Blackhawks beat Blues, remain undefeated

I don't think I've ever seen a three-on-none breakaway before. But Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks scored on one to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 last night.

The Blackhawks are undefeated and untied after three tough games They opened the season with a convincing win against the Stanley Cup champion Kings, and the Blues are the class of our division.

I like.

This explains a lot

Joe Biden is said to be "intoxicated" by the idea of running for president in 2015.

So that's why he can't keep his foot out of his mouth!

Fortunately, the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire will sober old Joe up very quickly. Which is not to say that the idea of Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate in 2016 doesn't give me what Chris Matthews might call "a thrill up my leg."

HT: Drudge

Where- and when- to find Comets PanSTARRS and ISON

Here are some helpful pictures of where Comet PanSTARRS might be found from sundown on Friday, March 8 through the night of Saturday, April 20th.

The pictures are from a standard piece of astronomy software, and the image itself simply represents a generic comet. There is no way to know what PanSTARRS will actually look like until it comes into view.

Hopefully, though, this will only be our first encounter with a Great Comet in 2013. If it survives its close encounter with the Sun, Comet ISON may well put on an even better show late next Fall and early next Winter (again, the images of the comet are merely guesses as to what ISON might look like).

Take comfort, folks.

In the wake of all of yesterday's demagoguery and media sycophancy, one comforting and undeniable fact remains: this morning the long national nightmare known as the Obama (mal)Administration is more than half over.

We survived the burning of the White House during the sack of Washington by the British in the War of 1812. We survived the Civil War. We survived the Flu Pandemic of 1918. We survived the Great Depression and two world wars. We will survive Barack Obama.

I wish I were as optimistic that America will survive the values (or lack thereof) which he represents.

Silly Saturday

Am inaugural meditation from Newsweek?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-- William Butler Yeats

Zany Leftist Danny Glo…

PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" turns out to be true

PolitiFact- a Left-leaning "fact checker" which last year somehow generally seemed to find reasons to call Romney claims inaccurate while torturing logic to justify dubious claims by the Obama campaign- picked a Romney ad charging that Jeep was moving production facilities to China as its "lie of the year."
Also sprach PolitFact:
It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign -- that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep's parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.

And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.
But there's a problem: the "lie" turned out to be true.

Like Candy Crowley&#…

So it goes

They laughed at Mitt Romney's aside during the third debate about trouble brewing in Mali.

They aren't laughing anymore.

Bob Scheiffer of that objective and professional news organization, CBS, compares President Obamapoulous's struggle against the gun lobby to the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the crusade to defeat Hitler.

In Mr. Obamapoulous's home state and mine- Illinois- one citizen in three lives at or near the poverty line.

The Artistotle called it "the heart." Sometimes the Hebrews did as well; at other times, spoke of the kidneys. The Chinese located it in the liver (as Victor Borge used to point out, the Chinese word for "fear" translates literally as "to shiver in your liver"). The Bible teaches that it is desperately corrupt; the Reformation taught that is naturally evil, while Catholicism regards it as essentially free, and only inclined toward evil. Its freedom, though, is an essential article of our cultural creed.

But it se…

Bottom line: Obamapolous owns the debt

Whatever happens- or doesn't happen- to the debt ceiling, one thing is clear: the debt is no longer a bipartisan problem.

Barack Obama's record on the deficit was sufficiently worse than George W. Bush's that it's inconceivable that the Romney campaign didn't make POTUS own that record. After all, Mr. Obama had raised the debt by as much in one term as Dubyah had in two.

But now, 60% of the debt has been incurred on Mr. Obama's watch- with no sign of actual spending reductions anywhere. In fact, I don't think we will see substantial spending reductions while he- or any other Democrat- is in the White House.

The deficit is Barack Obamapoulous's problem now. And the GOP needs to make it very, very clear that if our economy ends up like that of Greece, the fault is in no possible sense bi-partisan.

HT: Real Clear Politics

They should give this guy the money anyway

ADDENDUM: They did.

It seems that Jimmy Hoffa isn't buried in the Meadowlands end zone after all

Nor was he made into hot dogs.

A mob figure who claims to know where the bodies are buried- literally- says that he knows the late Teamster president's final resting place.

Of course, by this time there probably isn't anything left of him.

HT: Drudge

Sin and the Religious Left

Some have been lead by the Administration's reaction to Rev. Louie Giglio's position on homosexuality- a position which reflects the traditional beliefs of not only Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam- to wonder whether the word "sin" has been banished form the lexicon of the Left (including our distinctly non-centrist national administration).

As a graduate of an ELCA seminary who served that benighted denomination for over twelve years, and who had more experience with the bizarre world of the Religious Left than I ever wanted to, I can assure you that it hasn't.

Sin still exists for the Left. It's any thought, word or deed which is contrary to its god, the Agenda. And that explictly includes the  politically incorrect teachings of the Torah, the New Testament, and the Koran.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Coup de chapeau à la française!

France is not a nation traditionally associated with sexual conservatism.

Yet even in France, enough people recognize the folly of trashing the institution of marriage by redefining it to include populations which do not embrace monogamy and/or radical, lifelong committment (and which, in any case, rarely avail themselves of "marriage" even when it is legally available) that a resistance movement to same-sex "marriage" is in full swing.

Even in France, the institutions of Western culture aren't going down without a fight.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: Before anybody even says it, I agree: heterosexual couples who do not embrace monogamy and radical, lifelong committment are also not married, no matter what the State may say.

Sean Hannity joins the squirrels

We are at a defining moment in American history- and it's nothing short of tragic that the voices being raised against Barack Obama's revolutionary assault on our traditional values and even on the Constitution itself seem largely to be opposed by people who themselves are a couple of bullets short of a full clip.

I continue to be dismayed by how extreme conservatives in general have become since Dubyah left office. Admittedly, the Obama administration has provided plenty of provocation. But now Sean Hannity has joined the chorus of nut jobs who apparently think that secession from the Union is a valid option in view of the continuing degeneration of our culture and society under the Obama administration.

There was never a legal or constitutional basis for secesion to begin with. And once again, the oft-repeated urban legend that a wholly mythological provision in the documents joining the Republic of Texas to the American Union giving Texas the right to secede is just that- …

Yes, it's come to this

Anybody who needs a wake-up call regarding how much a minority movement orthodox Christianity has become and how close it is to being squeezed out of the public arena entirely needs to read this article on the Louie Giglio inauguration incident.

Today only 37% of the American people regard homosexuality as a sin. Now, given that "sin" is a theological term, and given that Americans are famously one of the most religious peoples on Earth, and given also that Christianity is in theory the dominant religion in this country, the evidence of how heterodox American Christianity has become is pretty shocking.

Wolfhart Pannenberg, one of the most influential mainsteam Protestant theologians of our time, says

If a church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm, and recognized homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical g…

How's that again?

Pastor Louie Giglio was supposed to deliver the benediction at President Obama's upcoming inauguration. But it turns out that he once preached a sermon faithfully describing homosexuality as sin, just as the Bible unambiguously does in its every stratum. He has withdrawn from the ceremony lest activists focus on his participation "to advance their agenda," taking attention away from the president.

Other than the fact that a Christian minister proclaiming what the Faith has always taught about homosexuality ought to be neither newsworthy nor controversial (whether one agrees with it or not), there is nothing wrong with Pastor Giglio's gesture. But the reaction of the Obama White House is another matter.

Quoth administration spokeswoman Addie Whisenat,"We were not aware of Pastor Giglio's past comments at the time of his selection and they don't reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural. As we now work t…

Just to whet your appetite...

Given the approaches of Comet PanSTARRS late next month and Comet ISON in the late Fall, I thought I'd give you a couple of pictures of the Great Comets we in the Northern Hemisphere essentially missed: last year's Comet Lovejoy, and 2007's Comet McNaught, respectively. Note that both of these daylight comets were photographed at dusk:

And here is an incredible video of Lovejoy- a sun-grazer, like Comet ISON- surviving its close encounter with our nearest star:

Meanwhile, for those of you who have either forgotten or somehow missed them, here, respectively, are shots of the last two Great Comets visible at their peak in the Northern Hemisphere, Comets Hyukatake (1996) and Hale-Bopp (1997).

And here is an article on the Great Comet of 1680, whose orbit is similar to ISON's.

There is no telling, of course, what PanSTARRS or ISON will actually look like. One or both might even be duds, like Comet Kohoutek (1973) or Comet Austin (1990). But these pictures will give you an …

What the cat dragged in

Like this is a surprise: based on a study of college freshmen, Dr. Keith Ablow says that we are raising a generation of "deluded narcisists" with inflated self-images and test scores which don't even come close to matching them.

Actually, I'd say the last generation that description didn't apply to was probably the "Greatest Generation" that fought World War II. We Boomers and our descendants were born "entitled" and inappropriately self-regarding, and have curdled our whole society with our smug intellectual laziness, cheerful self-indulgence, and eagerness to challenge the wisdom of the ages on the basis of inadequate information on everything from personal morality to the relationship of the individual to society to the definition of marriage.

The current crip of freshmen, it seems, ia socially isolated- but thinks that they have "friends" because Facebook tells them they do. And if anyone fails to feed into their inflated self-i…

2012 was the 'hottest' and second 'most extreme' year- since 1880

NOAA says that 2012 was the warmest year on record, and the second most "extreme."

What nobody mentions is that we only started keeping records of temperatures in 1880.

Even when confronted with that rather embarassing fact, catastrophists beg the question, and hope that nobody notices.

Sure global warming is happening. But even it if is anthropogenic, we don't have the data to justify the hysterical conclusions some reach. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take steps to deal with whatever role we may be playing in the process; after all, the survival of the species is at stake.

But we could do with less hysteria. To say that last year was the hottest and second most 'extreme' year on record isn't saying all that much.

Just that it was the hottest and second most 'extreme' year since 1880.

HT: Drudge

The slander machine chugs on

The election may be over, but the Democratic slander machine is still in operation.

New Jersey's Democratic State Senate president, Stephen Sweeney, says that Republican Gov. Chris Christie may have "prayed for" Superstorm Sandy to come in order to "cover up" Christie's "failed policies."

To quote Joseph Welsh at the Army-McCarthy Hearings, "Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator; you've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

NHL lockout ends. Yawn.

So the NHL lockout is over.

I guess I should be excited. But I'm mostly disgusted. It isn't enough that Congress and the president act like children; professional sports teams and their owners have to as well. And in both cases, the losers are the people.

Maybe the Stanley Cup will become something they do every four years, like the World Cup. If so, they should clue us in. I'm getting sick of missing seasons, or large portions of them, so that labor and management can play games instead of the people under contract to do so.

Not much of a season to determine who goes to the playoffs. They still haven't announced when the stump of a season will begin, but I doubt they'll get forty games in.

I guess if I were an L.A. Kings fan, I'd have rooted for the lockout to take all season. That way the Kings could have gotten two years as Stanley Cup champs for the price of one. As it happens, I wish Mr. Bowman had done a little more to strengthen a Blackhawks team which i…

Comet PanSTARRS and Comet ISON update

The first of 2013's two possible Great Comets will reach its peak two months from now.

C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is still far enough away that it could be either a treat or a disappointment. It will make its closest approach to the Earth March 5. Perihelion (its closest approach to the Sun) will be on March 7. Current estimates are that it will be somewhere between magnitude 3 (not even naked eye) and magnitude -0.5- brighter than Comet Hyukatake was in 1996.

Comet ISON, which will be at its best in late in November, may well blow PanSTARRS away, though. A sun-grazer which may boast one of the longest dust tails on record, there is an excellent chance that ISON may be a daylight comet. Yes, that's right: like Comet McNaught  in 2006-2007 (which put on its best show in the southern hemisphere), ISON may well be visible in the daytime. Estimates are that ISON may reach somewhere between  magnitudes -6 and -13.1. Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 had an apparent magnitude of -10.5. But there…

Anti-Boehner coup in House GOP conference called off at last minute

Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex) both refused to oppose Speaker John Boehner's bid for re-election Thursday, and an attempted coup from the Right was called off thirty minutes before the vote.

It had previously been thought that the insurgents had only 14 of the 17 votes needed to force a second ballot. But members of the caucus report that they in fact had 24, but chose not to procede because of a tactical decision to make 25 committments the trigger for the coup. Insurgents wanted a sufficient margin for error to insure against last-minute defections.

The planned coup was prompted by Boehner's support for the deal which kept the nation from going off the "fiscal cliff."

HT: Drudge

The grown-ups win

Despite resistence from the tantrum-throwers in the Republican caucus, House Speaker John Boehner was narrowly re-elected yesterday.

For the past two presidential elections the GOP nominated moderate candidates- John McCain and Mitt Romney- despite several more extreme options. The restraint of the majority of the House Republican caucus is manifest in the passage of the "fiscal cliff" deal and in turning back the challenge to Boener are further evidence that the GOP is not the bunch of wild-eyed reactionaries the White House likes to claim.

I await similar evidence about the Democrats. Alas, moderation on topics such as eating the rich, abortion, and same-sex "marriage" are not apt to manifest themselves among the members of the Donkey Clan.

Incidentally, Boehner and the House GOP have made it clear that their "line in the sand" will be the upcoming vote to raise the debt limit- again. POTUS says that he won't negotiate on the issue.

Maybe he should…

Flotsam du jour

Our national debt is now $16,432,706,000,000.00.

Unemployment is at 7.8%.

Here is a fascinating chart putting the depth of the Great Recession and the recovery into perspective by comparing them to the other recessions and recoveries since World War II.

While I have absolutely no doubt that the media will take the quote out of context in order to make it seem otherwise, Ann Coulter was not seriously proposing that the names of women who have had abortions be made a matter of public record. She was asking the question rhetorically, in order to pose the point that gun owners shouldn't be subject to such an invasion of privacy, either.

HT: Drudge

Cardinal George cuts to the same sex "marriage" chase

Chicago's Roman Catholic archbishop, Francis Cardinal George, herein lays out the basic truth avoided and denied by the "gay marriage" non-debate: the term is an oxymoron. By the very nature of marriage itself, there can be no such thing.

Marriage isn't a religious issue. Nor is it a political one. Neither prelates nor church assemblies nor legislators nor judges have the right to alter the very essence of an institution which comes from nature itself.

A man can no more marry another man, or a woman another woman, than either can swallow a bulldozer.

Theoretically, there is nothing stopping the government from establishing a new legal category to include the tiny minority of gay and lesbian couples- especially the former- who actually choose to avail themselves of "same-sex marriage" in a new legal category granting similar or identical rights as those enjoyed by "straight" couples. But regardless, such new institution wouldn't be marriage.


Do GOP grown-ups have a chance? We'll find out today

Today we will have a clear indication whether the grown-ups among the Republicans in the House of Representatives or the whackadoodles are going to be running the party in the near future.

The House will elect a Speaker today- and at least two candidates to challenge John Boehner are being advanced: Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Opponents of the deal that saved us from the "fiscal cliff" believe that they have enough votes to block Boehner's re-election.

We'll know later today.

HT: Drudge

Three thoughts

First, the Green Bay Packers are utterly worthless. Not only do they not lose when they're supposed to, they can't even win when they're supposed to.

Secondly, it's nice that enough House Republicans, anyway- the ones who sucked up their own ideology for the good of the country- were sufficiently patriotic and emotionally mature to save the country from an economic crisis which at the very least would have lead to another recession.

Third, its sad that we have a president who campaigned on a "balanced approach" to addressing the deficit, and they rammed through a deal which cuts one dollar in spending for every $41 it raises in increased taxes while adding nearly $4 trillion to the deficit,- and manages- POTUS to the contrary- to raise taxes on 77% of American households despite Mr. Obama's repeated claim that the whole crisis was about avoiding a tax hike on the middle class.

Of course, I also don't get the logic of the wild-eyed Right, who- in the …