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Showing posts from October, 2013

Hugo Chavez, too, appears on underpasses, it seems

The Blessed Virgin is often spotted on tacos, rusty refrigerators, underpasses (right), and other places where she isn't. I guess that's understandable. After all, she's the mother of God, and I suppose people find her imagined presence comforting somehow.

But why would anybody be comforted by a similar apparition of- Hugo Chavez?

HT: Drudge

Stephen King gets his domes confused

Like a lot of people, I was hooked on the miniseries "Under the Dome," based on Stephen Kings' novel of the same name. And like a lot of people, I was frustrated by the cliffhanger that ended the first season- not expecting a miniseries to even have two seasons.

In fact, I was frustrated enough to order the book from the library. It's so much better than the series that I'm not sure I'm going to even bother watching the second season (and other than the title, the basic situation, and the names of the characters- some of them, anyway- there really isn't all that much similarity between the two). Without revealing too much, the miniseries has already basically precluded the scary, weirdly almost plausible Stephen King-esqued explanation fof the dome that suddenly descends on Chester's Mill, Maine, cutting it off from the outside world. And precluding the explanation also precludes the solution. It's hard to see how the denouement of the miniseries…

Richard Dawkins is sure Obama is an atheist- and that JFK was, too

Thus speaks the Western world's most intentionally obnoxious unbeliever.

I'll let POTUS answer the question of whether he's an atheist or not, and accept whatever answer he gives. My inclination is to believe that he does believe in a god, since that's the direction his public statements seem to point in. I do seriously doubt, because of his positions on various public issues, that his religious commitment is anything resembling historic Christianity.

But I could be wrong. Nobody can look into another person's heart, and if Barack Obama says that he's a believer of some kind- even a Christian- I have no right to call that into question.

Rumors about his personal life aside, I'm willing to extend the same courtesy to Jack Kennedy. The rumors may not be true, and even if they are, believers, too, fall into sin at times.

I'm afraid  that I do believe that Richard Dawkins is an atheist, though. After all, he freely admits that he's sure that something …

Divided we're falling

Read this and weep.

And then read this and vomit.

Folks, this country is in big, big trouble- and if we don't come to our senses quickly... well, let's just say that I'm glad I probably won't be alive in 20 years.

HT: Drudge

A 'Lost World' gets found

So does Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Michael Crichton get credit for foreseeing this?

An isolated "lost world" full of previously unknown species has been discovered in Australia
It figures that it would be in "Oz," the place where God apparently decided to let His sense of humor run a bit more rampant than He did elsewhere.

Except maybe for the Galle Crater in Argyre Planitia on Mars.

HT: Drudge

And it's not just talking about the Obamacare website!

The Republican National Committee is selling a new bumper sticker in order to raise money.

It doesn't say, "Don't blame me- I voted for Romney," and it doesn't advertise the potential candidacy of any of the GOP favorites for 2016.

It simply says, "Error 404-" with a little artistic license taken with the zero.

It's an error America made twice.

HT: Drudge

Incest is on the rise- between the Obama administration and the media

21 journalists have left their  media jobs to work directly for the Obama administration.

Former Obama Chief-of-Staff Bill Daley is the latest ex-Administration member to join the media. Daley recently dropped a primary challenge to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, allegedly because he didn't want the responsibility of governing a state as deep in the financial doo-doo as the Land of Lincoln.

More on what the Sheppard article quite properly calls the "incestuous" relationship between the MSM and the Administration can be found here.

HT: Drudge

Atheists please read this

I always get a chuckle at the generally ignorant and always arrogant folks who claim that a belief in God is somehow incompatible with science.
So even though the point is rather rarified and doesn't actually relate to a Supreme Being in the sense that Christians and Jews and Muslims and Mormons and such believe in them, I have to enjoy this headline simply for the effect it will doubtless have on such folks.

You know. The same reason why I put up a poster of a military parade in Red Square next to the door of my room at my relentlessly left-wing seminary I attended with the caption, "RUSSIA: VISIT US BEFORE WE VISIT YOU."

HT: Real Clear Religion

The iniquity of fried chicken

When I first saw the headline on this story, I assumed the attitude of the minister in question was  an example of how legalistic and unevangelical so many "Evangelicals" are. Since so many things God created to be received with thanksgiving when used responsibly, wisely and in moderation (beer comes to mind) are deemed inherently sinful by so many American Pietists, why not fried chicken?

Turns out it's about how intrusive and arrogant "progressives" are- as well as how legalistic and unevangelical so many "Evangelicals" are.

HT: Drudge

Good- and good for you?

Before you eat that chicken nugget....

As the counter man in the Brand-X fast food restaurant in the old commercial says of the "chicken parts" of which his chain's nuggets are made when a visitor inquires about their content, "parts is (indeed) parts."

Warning: You many not want to visit the site linked to above and find out more. That is, if you ever want to eat chicken nuggets again.

HT: Real Clear Science

An interesting question

Christie withdraws gay "marriage" appeal. Is Jeb the only viable option left for sane Republicans in 2016?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie- who has been on my (very) short list for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination- has ordered the withdrawal of an appeal of the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex "marriages."

Christie says that he continues to disagree with the decision, but that since he court has ruled his duty is to enforce the ruling. The court is, after all, the final arbiter of the meaning specifically of New Jersey's constitution. Drudge's headline that Christie has "embraced" gay "marriage" is thus not merely misleading, but downright false. Nevertheless, Christie's explanation smacks of the weasel-like reasoning which pro-abortion Catholic Democrats are fond of using to rationalize their support of what their faith teaches is legalized murder.

That a state Supreme Court should issue a mistaken or even downright unconstitutional ruling is neither new nor surprising. But- as Mario Cuomo and his imitators conveniently forget-…

Utter, blasphemous nonsense

Why is this newsworthy?  Why in the world would Time feature an item on this silly poem? Why would anybody even think it worth watching or commenting on? The Bible tends- in case the poet and/or the staff at Time haven't noticed- to come down rather strongly and consistently on the other side of this question.

So what does this silly poem  even mean?

Just another indication of how clueless Time and the rest of the MSM are when it comes to the subjects of God and religion. And how dishonest.

HT: Real Clear Religion

Beware of climate moderation!

It's not just that the arctic ice cap is rapidly growing again.

It seems that 2013 has been a remarkably non-extreme weather year- in fact, one of the most moderate in history!

I accept that the climate is changing. Global warming is a fact of life. That it is primarily anthropogenic and that it's going to be catastrophic, on the other hand, are things of which I have yet to be completely convinced.
HT: Drudge

Houston Chronicle says it didn't 'unendorse' Cruz after all. It just misses sanity.

The Houston Chronicle says today that it didn't 'unendorse' Sen. Ted Cruz with yesterday's editorial saying that it regretted
backing the... uh, gentleman.

It says it merely misses the ability of former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson to reach across the aisle and promote bi-partisan cooperation, as opposed to Sen. Cruz' contrary behavior.

Cruz voted against the deal reopening the government, btw.

Is there such a thing as "loose cannon law" in the Catholic church?

First atheists can go to heaven. Then everybody should follow their own code of right and wrong. And of course, there's that need to not be "obsessed with doctrine," and the notion that proselytizing by Christians is misguided.

Conservative Catholics are beginning to wonder about this "loose cannon" Pope.

And not without reason.

HT: Drudge

A lie that convinces nobody

It seems that biblical revisionists at something called the "Values Voters Summit" are pushing the dishonest argument that there is any question where Scripture or the Christian faith stands on the subject of homosexual behavior.

That kind of dishonesty is convincing only to post-modernists or those so intentionally ignorant of Scripture, history and the Christian moral tradition that no evidence would shake their determination to lie to themselves.

The case is more accurately put by Wolfhart Pannenberg, possibly the preeminent Christian theologian of our day:

Can love ever be sinful? The entire tradition of Christian doctrine teaches that there is such a thing as inverted, perverted love. Human beings are created for love, as creatures of the God who is Love. And yet that divine appointment is corrupted whenever people turn away from God or love other things more than God.

   Jesus said, "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me..." (Matt. …

Oppose the lies; support the victims

Thoughtful piece by Russell Shaw in the National Catholic World Reporter on why Christians need to oppose the lies which underlie the drive to legalize same-sex "marriage," and support the victims of the persecution which seems the lot of those who decline to be intimidated into compromising their beliefs on the subject.

HT: Real Clear Religion

Obama lets Republicans twist slowly in the wind

Gay "marriage" and Massachusetts

It's not just people of the same gender are allowed to be "married."

It's not just the media refusing to report or acknowledge arguments against it, or people who think that it's a bad idea being intimidated into silence, resulting in what is increasingly becoming a one-sided debate.

If you have religious objections to same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, you can be fired from your job for expressing them. Schools actively promote homosexuality as normal- and the courts have ruled that, because it's legal, parents have no right to object. The First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech and religion are no protection.

This video on the experience of Massachusetts with same-sex "marriage" contains arguments I don't agree with (for one thing, I think it's perfectly reasonable that people taking the bar exam should answer questions regarding existing law on the subject, however they might feel about it). But this video is a worthwhile…

Way to go, Sen. Cruz and company!

In the wake of Sen. Ted Cruz's bizarre faux filibuster and the government shutdown, the approval rating of the Republican party has descended to its lowest level in the history of the Gallup Poll.

These antics have no chance of altering Obamacare. And it's rapidly making it absolutely certain that the next Congress will be even less likely to change it than this one is.

So exactly what is this nonsense accomplishing- besides disrupting the lives of average Americans?

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: A pro-Obamacare group has sent Sen. Cruz flowers to thank him for his success in boosting support for Obamacare and the Democrats.

Also this e-card:

ADDENDUM II: And it's not just the Gallup poll. Thursday's Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows the same thing.

HT: Real Clear Politics

It works for the Giants, too

A mean old giant and his mean old wife decide to get divorced. So the judge asks Baby Giant, "Do you want to live with Papa Giant?"

"No," Baby Giant replies. "He beats me."

"Do you want to live with Mama Giant?," the judge asks.

"No," says Baby Giant. "She beats me."

"So who DO you want to live with?," the judge asks.

"I want to live with the New York Giants," he replies. "They don't beat anybody."

Including my Bears last night. But I guess that's nothing to particularly brag about- especially since they easily could have lost. They've been doing a lot of that themselves lately.

And yes- I know that the original version of the joke, dating from the 'Seventies, was about the Three Bears. But anyway... BEAR DOWN!

Noonan on the shutdown

Interesting take on the government shutdown by Peggy Noonan.

Of course, one must also take into account the inherent craziness of the very concepts of "defunding" Obamacare now rather than either repealing or- better- reforming it when the GOP has the votes after the next election, on one hand, and risking default by refusing to OK an increase in the debt limit on the other.

The entire GOP agenda seems to be driven by folks with absolutely no contact with political reality, who would rather make futile gestures that hurt average Americans than a difference.

HT: Real Clear Politics

'Dead Democrats can vote multilingually now'

James Woods- an actor with a genius IQ and an attitude- has tweeted that in view of his outspoken criticism of President Obama, "I don't expect to work again."

Among other recent tweets, Woods has said, “This President is a true abomination. To have barricaded the WW2 vets, but allow illegal aliens privilege...”

Commenting on a California plan to allow non-citizens to monitor polling places, Woods tweeted that "dead Democrats can vote multilingually now.”

Given Hollywood's rigidly- and nearly monolithically- left-wing culture, a follower asked, "(D)ude, aren’t u worried about...u know...ever working again??” Woods replied, "I don’t expect to work again. I think Barack Obama is a threat to the integrity and future of the Republic. My country first.”

A selection of Woods' tweets can be found here.

A collection of characteristically tolerant and civil liberal responses to Woods on Twitter can be found here. Sample: "Go away and die old man.&quo…

Great news : Comet ISON should survive!

A new study by Matthew Knight of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona and Kevin Walsh of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio predicts that sungrazing Comet ISON will probably survive its upcoming encounter with Old Sol and put on a dazzling display when it emerges from behind our local star next month.

There's no telling just how great a show ISON will put on. It could be anything from a conspicuous object in the sky to a can't miss celestial feature that will be visible in the daytime and by whose light one might read a newspaper at night.

Given the relative youth of the century, it probably will have no difficulty living up to its "Comet of the Century" billing. But it remains to be seen whether it will rival such spectacular comets of the late 20th Century as Hyakutake, Hale-Bopp, McNaught and Lovejoy.

Signs of the End Times. Or something.

Three New Yorkers convicted of vehicular homicide are appealing their convictions on the ground that they were too drunk to know that it was dangerous for them to drive.

Funding for clinical cancer treatment trials and other life-critical research at the National Institutes of Health has been cut due to the government shutdown. But the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was given $445 million on the first day of the impasse. Big Bird, it seems, trumps chemo.

An Ohio judge has told a man who disappeared in 1994 that he is still legally dead despite the fact that the man was standing right in front of him. Apparently it's too late to change the ruling. The State of Ohio seems to lack a mechanism for legally raising the legally dead, so I guess the gentleman is now legally as good as decomposed. They could at least have declared him a legal zombie.

A Pennsylvania grammar school is cancelling Halloween-oriented observances on the ground that some people think that Halloween has reli…

Sorry, but "Redskins" isn't cool

While I'm no fan of political correctness- and an avid fan of the Chicago Blackhawks- I've always had a problem with the Washington NFL franchise being called the "Redskins."

"Redskins" is not "Indians," or "Braves," or "Warriors," or "Blackhawks." The problem is that "Redskins" is an ethnic slur. It seems to me that Dana Milbank the Washington Post has it exactly right (please excuse the hypothetical names compared to "Redskins"):

To see whether it’s right to use “Redskins” as a mascot, NFL owners gathering in Georgetown on Tuesday for their fall meeting should substitute some other common racial epithets and see how they would sound: The Washington Wetbacks? The Houston Hymies? The Chicago Chinks? Or perhaps the New York Niggers? That would be enough to send anybody to the shotgun formation.
The issue isn't whether Native Americans are cool with the name or not. The issue is that the rest of …


Every time I think American folk religion has hit rock bottom in its ongoing quest to turn the sublime and ultimately important into the tacky and frivolous, it surprises me anew.

On one hand, I am gratified that leaders of the United Methodist Church are calling for an end to the practice of online Communion. On the other hand, I cannot possibly imagine how anyone, anywhere, ever thought that it was a good idea.

I realize that the theology of most Protestants trivializes the Sacraments. I also realize that the so-called "mainline" denominations have been hemorrhaging substance from their proclaimation and practice for a very long time. But the lines between trivialization and blasphemy, between cluelessness and self-caricature, between bad taste and intellectual incoherence seem fuzzier in the minds of doubtless well-meaning folks in far closer touch with the culture than with the Gospel than I can even comprehend.

HT: Real Clear Religion

Douthat's take on Pope Francis

Journalist Ross Douthat- one of the sharpest religious thinkers we have in the Western world, and a Roman Catholic whom I trust to know whereof he speaks- has some interesting thoughts here on the promise and perils of Pope Francis I.

One of these days I'm going to get around to finishing my review of Douhat's book Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, one of the most important and insightful works on contemporary Christianity I've ever read. If you see it, read it. If you don't, find it.

Douthat discusses his book here:

HT: Real Clear Politics

It seems you can't sell your endorsement in the Iowa Caucuses

At least if you're a member of the legislature.

State Sen. Kent Sorenson, who caused my eyebrow to raise back during caucus time by chairing Michele Bachmann's campaign here in Iowa and then switching at the last moment to Ron Paul, has resigned from the legislature after an ethics report nailed him for taking money for both endorsements.  Investigations of the Bachmann and Paul campaigns continue.

Meanwhile, at last glance the crazies (Cruz and Rand Paul) still lead the pack for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination here in Iowa.

May divine providence protect us from Iowa Republicans.

Welcome to the shallow society

From our point of view, a little religion is just as good as no religion at all- and much more amusing.
--The demon Screwtape, in C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters

For all those both within the Church and outside it who are in denial about just where our culture is right now when it comes to religion, here's a thoughtful look from a Roman Catholic blogger on the rise of 'nominal' Christianity and Judaism in America.

Now, here's the thing: it's not that biblical faith is outmoded, or irrelevant. And it certainly isn't that organized religion hasn't sold out sufficiently and compromised its substance enough in order to embrace modern Americans and their values. It's that we in our culture have forgotten how to think, and have become shallow, banal individualists who make our decisions on the basis of a combination of selfishness and sentimentality.

Then, too, there's something to be said for G.K. Chesterton's observation that "Christiani…

Lutherans are neither Arminians nor Calvinists

Good article at First Things pointing out that while Lutherans do believe in predestination (which is only another way of saying "grace"), we reject that Calvinist notion that God has predestined anybody to hell.

And since God is not willing that any should perish, that leaves us with a paradox. One takes a giant step toward understanding Lutheranism when one realizes that unlike Catholics and Calvinists, Lutherans don't see paradox as a problem.

HT: Real Clear Religion

It's only hurting the average American

The Department of the Treasury is warning that a failure to raise the debt limit resulting in another national default could have consequences for the economy worse than the Great Recession.

Partisan hyperbole? Perhaps. But even so, this wholly artificial crisis undertaken for the purpose of somehow blackmailing a majority of the Senate unwilling to modify Obamacare into doing so cannot help but fail. And at the very least, our national credit rating is going to be downgraded again.

All this Obamacare defunding business  will do is to hurt ordinary, every day Americans. It will not and cannot succeed in stopping or substantially modifying Obamacare.

Repeal or modify Obamacare after the 2014 mid-term elections, Republicans, when you have the votes. Don't put the country through the meat-grinder in a doomed attempt to win the battle now by holding the lives of ordinary Americans- and our national credit- hostage .

This pope is turning out to be a disaster for Christianity

Pope Francis has stuck his foot in it again.

He advises the world to follow its own ideas of what is right and wrong. He calls efforts to convert people to Christianity "solemn nonsense."

So much for the Law. So much for any need for the Gospel. So much for Christ.

So much for striving against fashionable promiscuity, abortion, marriage redefinition, and even unbelief.

Anyone who believes that this guy was elected by divine fiat by now should realize otherwise.  The best thing Pope Francis could possibly do would be to abdicate as soon as possible. The charitable view is that he is in way, way over his head.

Reformation polemics labeled the institution of the papacy as the Antichrist predicted by Revelation. Whatever one thinks of that notion, Pope Francis's "heresy offensive" is wreaking havoc on any attempt to confess the Faith to a world increasingly at odds with it. While I remain convinced that Pope Francis is personally honest and well-intentioned, it…

Is the tea the Tea Party named after the kind you drink or the kind you smoke?

World War II vets can't visit the World War II memorial. Kids participating in cancer drug trials are finding them delayed while their disease rages on. People who depend on government checks to live aren't getting them. And for what?

The bottom line is that the insane notion of forcing a government shutdown in order to modify Obamacare- something that simply isn't going to happen until its opponents get the votes in both houses- is as destructive and cruel as it is pointless. The shutdown needs to end- NOW. The GOP needs to cave. Its position has no merit. None.

Deal with Obamacare after the 2014 elections. There is no way you will be able to until then. All you can do with this shut-down business and playing games with the debt limit  is to hurt people- and not least of all, yourselves.

Rest in peace, Tom Clancy

I was shocked and saddened to hear today of the death of one of my favorite authors, Tom Clancy. Written by a man more knowledgeable about defense matters than many of those running the DOD, Clancy's books gave us not only riveting narratives and well-developed characters but a sense that America and the values it was founded on can still get us through this vapid and diminished time in our history. Jack Ryan, his most important character, has provided us with a model of what a real patriot- and, recently, a real president- really looks like at a time when the memory of such folks grows ever dimmer.

I understand his last novel, Command Authority, will be coming out in December. Saying good by to President Ryan, First Lady Kathrine Ryan, Jack Jr, John Clark, Ding Chavez and the rest will be tough.

Thanks, Mr. C, for hours and hours of pleasure, and for making these bleak years more bearable for those who, like me, wish that we had the option of voting for a Jack Ryan- and who wish…