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Showing posts from April, 2014

Libertarians gone wild

At Iowa's First Congressional District Convention, the delegates went and did a very silly thing.

Sparked by the "Liberty Movement," they passed a platform plank that says that government has no business regulating marriage.

Huh?

So it should be legal to marry a five year old? Your brother or sister? Your dog? The living room sofa? The local fire department? If government has no business regulating marriage, what in the world does it have business doing?

I know. Some on the extreme Right will reply with the non sequitur that since the Constitution enumerates certain powers and/or responsibilities,  at least the Federal government can't constitutionally do other things- which is like saying that if it's legal for you to scratch your arm, you can't scratch your leg without specific Constitutional permission (what part of "promote the general welfare" don't they understand?). But what about state governments, which are the ones which regulate marr…

Let's be fair to the Blues

Andy Fales, a local Des Moines sportscaster, is a staunch Cardinals and Blues fan. Last night, in the wake of the Blackhawks' elimination of his favorite team, he launched into a cri du coeur with which I, as a lifelong Cubs fan, could easily identify. In fact, he called the Blues "the Cubs of hockey," citing loyal fans, individual stars, a history of lackluster players becoming stars once they leave the team, and- most poignantly, in this case- strong seasons followed by post-season heartbreaks.

Been there, Andy. Though the Blues have never come within six outs of going to the World Series. The Cubs have, twice in my lifetime.

But the Blues are not the Cubs for other reasons. Take it to the bank: the Blues will win at least one Stanley Cup in the next five years. They are that good. And they have intelligent management that will make sure that whatever tweaks and adjustments have to be made will be made.

The reasons for their losses in the first round the past two yea…

UKIP giving the Tories and Labour fits as European election looms

Is the United Kingdom's anti-EU UK Independence Party racist?

Dunno. But not on the basis given here.

One of the most vicious and counterproductive things about the ease with which the Left tosses the term "racist" around is that the term has become so devalued. It's a matter of "the boy who cried wolf." If  "racist" simply means that the Left disagrees with something, what word do we use when something is actually racist?

One thing appears certain: The UKIP, led by Nigel Farage (right), has the Tories and Labour worried as the European Union election approaches. Just goes to show what happens when a party that calls itself "Conservative" buys into a Leftist social agenda.

HT: Drudge

Toews, Hawks take 3-games-to-2 lead on St. Louis

We had to win one in St. Louis. Last night, we did.

Jonathan Toews scored on a breakaway a little more than seven minutes into overtime, and the Blackhawks beat the Blues 3-2, to take a three-games-to-two lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Hawks can close the Blues out tomorrow afternoon at the UC (2:00 CDST faceoff), but I'm not counting my chickens. The Blues are a very, very good team- good enough that they were my pre-playoff pick to win the Cup, as much as I hated it- and they will be desperate. It should be some game.

Meantime, with teams like Colorado, Anaheim, San Jose and Boston looming ahead of them, the road to a repeat for the champs doesn't get much easier from here.

It's going to be a fascinating month of May.

A classic series between two very, very good teams

Wednesday night's overtime victory by the Blackhawks (thanks, Patrick Kane!) evens the series with the Blues at two games each.

It's turning out to be a classic series- as I expected it to be- between the two best teams in the Western Conference, and maybe the NHL (well, on second thought, you do have to acknowledge the Bruins, I guess. They did win the President's Trophy).

Tonight's game in St. Louis won't be make-or-break, but it's still huge. The winner comes within one game of eliminating the loser. And if the Hawks win, they will have stolen that one St. Louis game they need to win in order to win the series.

If only Seabs had behaved himself in Game Two, we'd be leading the series 3-1 at this point. Ah, well. Too late now.

Time to go out and win ourselves Game Five tonight.

A refreshing lapse into relative sanity by David Cameron

I emphatically disagree with British Prime Minister David Cameron's controversial statement that Britain is "a Christian nation."

Nations are not baptized. Nations do not believe. Nor are law and ethics the measure of whether a person, or group of people, are "Christian;" the test, rather, is faith in the specific claims of a man named Jesus of Nazareth, and in His promises. But these days- especially in places like England- I've learned to be grateful for every remaining glimmer of sanity when it comes to such things.

Cameron- who freely confesses that he is only a lukewarm member of the Church of England, and not all that well informed as to its doctrines and teachings- confirms his rather fuzzy ideas about the relationship between Christ and culture in the article linked to above. It's also ironic that the man who has spoken up- however confusedly- for the role of Christianity in the life of his increasingly secularized country is also the man who de…

Blackhawks 2, Blues 0

After two "brutal" ( Coach Q's word) losses in overtime to the Blues after leading with less than two minutes left, Jonathan Toews came through and Corey Crawford made it stick as the Blackhawks beat St. Louis 2-0 at the United Center yesterday.

Game Four will be on Wednesday, also in Chicago.

This will be an epic series between two young and very, very good teams. The Blues are the team I've feared all season as the greatest obstacle to my Hawks repeating as Stanley Cup champs.

 Hawks in seven.

Christ is risen!

Awake, My Heart, with Gladness
By: Paul Gerhardt


Awake, my heart, with gladness,
See what today is done;
Now, after gloom and sadness,
Comes forth the glorious sun.
My savior there was laid
Where our bed must be made
When to the realms of light
Our spirit wings it flight.

The foe triumph shouted
When Christ lay in the tomb;
But lo, he now is routed,
His boast is turned to gloom.
For Christ again is free;
In glorious victory
He who is strong to save
Has triumphed over the grave.

This is a sight that gladdens
What peace it does impart!
Now nothing ever saddens
The joy within my heart.
No gloom shall ever shake,
No foe shall ever take
The hope which God’s own Son
In love for me has won.

Now hell, its prince, the devil,
Of all their power are shorn;
Now I am safe from evil,
And sin I laugh to scorn.
Grim death with all its might
Cannot my soul affright;
It is a powerless form,
However it rave and storm.

Now I will cling forever
To Christ, my Savior true;
My Lord will leave me never,
W…

Surely

53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 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.
3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men;
a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted withgrief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him

Despite the hype, it was just your average lunar eclipse

"Blood moon," my hemorrhoids .

At least in downtown Des Moines, this morning's lunar eclipse was a burnt orange a little darker than the piping on the Bears' uniforms. Maybe Texas Longhorn orange. Which is about average for a lunar eclipse. I've seen a couple of brick red ones in my time, but dark orange is the norm

I don't know where this "blood red moon" business came from. An even bigger mystery is why, though I knew better, I bought into it. Now that I look back on it, I should have wondered when the hype was first being dished out. The color of an eclipse is largely a function of the amount of dust in the atmosphere, and I haven't read about any recent Krakatoa or Mt. Pinatubo or Mt. St. Helen's or Yellowstone Super Volcano eruptions, or the onset of nuclear winter (though I'm beginning to wonder about that last one; Spring lasted all of two days here). So I can't imagine why anybody thought we even might have a "blood red…

"Progressive" fundamentalism

No, Paul Krugman. Facts most certainly do not have a liberal bias.

And yes, people who disagree with the Left have the same rights as the Left does. Sorry, but's that's kinda the basis for our system of government.

Interesting, though, how much the "progressives" have in common with the mindless persecutors of religion's darkest moments- the very folks the Left would have us believe Christians and Jews and Muslims are as a group.

Mindless faith can be an addictive drug. Especially when you believe that only your opponents are capable of it.

I hate the use of the word "fundamentalist" as a put-down. It's  name of a historic religious movement  (can you imagine, say, "methodist" or "catholic" used as a put-down?) whose very purpose was an to broaden the boundaries of the Christian community by identifying those beliefs which supposedly were basic to the faith, thereby making disagreement about lesser issues less divisive. But it'…

CBS blew it in not picking Ferguson to replace Letterman

Craig Ferguson is a class act.

He's also the wittiest, funniest-on-his-feet, and best at putting a guest at ease of anyone I've ever seen do a talk show. I've been looking forward to snarky (and increasingly unfunny) left-winger David Letterman's retirement for some time, assuming that Craig would take his place (the earlier time slot would even serve to curb Ferguson's one drawback: his obsession with discussing his own genitals and those of others).

Sadly, CBS has decided to replace one left-wing snark artist with another. Stephen Colbert, not Craig Ferguson, will replace Letterman when the latter retires next year.

A pity. I'll still watch as much of The Late Show as  I used to: the last five minutes, to be sure that I don't miss any of Craig's monologue.

But no more than that.

This is a mistake, and CBS is going to regret it, because I don't think I'm anywhere close to being alone in that regard.

McCarthyism: the Left's default position

Herein Dennis Prager explains why the Mozilla purge needs to be the occasion of that rarest of occurrences- a boycott by those on the Right.

He also explains an essential difference between the Right and the Left: that for the Right, McCarthyism was an isolated incident in history.

For the Left, on the other hand, it's a way of life, deeply engrained in its view of reality.

Conservatives believe in converting people who disagree with them. "Progressives" believe in destroying them.

SCOTUS refuses to uphold the First Amendment

The Supreme Court has copped out its duty to uphold the Bill of Rights by refusing to hear the case of a photographer who declined on First Amendment grounds to take pictures at a gay "wedding."

It lets stand a New Mexico decision which says that merchants can be compelled to violate their religious beliefs in order to comply with "discrimination" laws.

When basic human rights specifically listed by the Constitution take a back seat to manufactured ones, all cause for confidence in our courts has disappeared. We are no longer a government of laws. We are then  a kritarchy- a nation governed by judges- and not a nation governed by the three-lobed system of checks and balances the Constitution establishes.

Meanwhile, LCMS President Matthew Harrison has posted an article by Robert Knight on his blog which does an excellent job of summing up the issue of same-sex "marriage," and how no court or legislature has the right or finally the authority to redefine a p…

Time for all good Americans to fire Firefox

Three cheers for gay columnist and activist Andrew Sullivan, whose disgust at the firing of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich because he contributed to the campaign for Proposition 8 in California shows that there are some people who still can manage to keep their perspective when it comes to an emotional issue like marriage deconstruction.

And he isn't alone. To their credit, a great many gay Americans are coming out against "progressive" tactics which have more in common with Beria and Himmler than with Jefferson or Lincoln.

The firing- or perhaps I should say "purge-" of Eich has inspired this meditation from Kevin Williamson at NRO on the nature of liberal fascism- and the illiberal nature of the movement which falsely calls itself  "progressivism."

I hope you all have uninstalled Firefox and Seamonkey and Thunderbird by now, regardless of your politics. Firing somebody because you disagree with his politics crosses a line that ought not to be crossed in A…

When science becomes dogma

Being an amateur astronomer, I've always been a fan of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director of New York's Hayden Planetarium and host of FOX's new, re-booted "Cosmos" TV program.  I really admire his breadth of knowledge, his wit, and  his talent for explaining things in terms mathematically-challenged folk like yours truly can understand. More than that, he's always struck me as basically a nice guy, as well as an interesting one. Having a couple of beers with Dr. Tyson would be an experience I'd relish.

He summed up the reasons for Pluto's demotion as a planet about as well as possible when he pointed out that "if Pluto were in Earth's orbit, it would grow a tail- and that's just no way for a planet to behave." His comment on the demise of Comet ISON similarly hit the mark: "Comets are like cats. They have tails, and do whatever they want."

I also admired Dr. Tyson's predecessor as "Cosmos" host, Dr. Carl Sagan- a…

Papal Nancio?

It seems that Pope Francis gave President Obama a rosary. Being a liberal Protestant-or something- POTUS gave it away,to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, whose Catholicism bears a close resemblance to the president's Protestantism.

She then proceeded to overrule the Catholic magisterium on abortion while accepting an award honoring racist feminist Margaret Sanger.

Last week, she termed Pope Francis and those who actually believe the genuine teaching of the Catholic church on abortion  closed-minded, “oblivious,” “dumb,” and “whatever.”

Whatever, indeed. That seems to sum up Ms. Pelosi's attitude toward the authority of her own church, as well as the content of the Christian faith.

Or whatever.

Pro-traditional marriage Mozilla CEO forced out

Brendan Eich, The inventor of JavaScript and the CEO of Mozilla (which makes the Firefox browser and the Thunderbird e-mail client, among other things) has made a fatal career move, and has paid for it with his job.

He supported Proposition 8 in California, defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. And he's been fired for it.

The move is a result of a boycott by gay activists.

The totalitarian Left is coming on hard in its attempt to not only silence the other side in the gay rights debate (which may not be working; a recent Rasmussen poll, btw, has the nation split on the issue, 43%-43%, despite attempts by their attempt to portray their position as being in the decisive majority), but to use raw power- legal and otherwise- to compel conformity.

Google Chrome has a new customer. Me.


Pope Francis isn't buying what POTUS is selling

POTUS is trying to "spin" his meeting with Pope Francis.

But Pope Francis isn't letting him. Just get a look at the expression on the pontiff's face in the picture of the two men.

Kind of reminds me of those "comedy and tragedy" masks!

Good for the Pope. He and Mr. Obama may both want to help the poor, but they have very, very little else in common. And the Vatican isn't going to be a willing partner in his strategy for the midterm elections.

Look what they've done to my home town, Ma

For a guy who loves Chicago as much as I do, the graphic this link connects to  is heartbreaking.

Chicago is losing its middle class. Fast.

It's not working, Rahm.


HT: Drudge

Another reason to look forward to paying your taxes

Don't miss the (possibly) blood red lunar eclipse on the night of April 15- doubtless arranged to commemorate what the government extracts from us turnips on that day.

It may be special.

But this is probably not the harbinger of the end of the world predicted by Joel 2:21,  Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12. It won't be that special.

HT: Drudge

Sometimes 'higher education' means that the administration is smoking something Colorado is famous for

I've always been fascinated by the way the feminist movement has taken to the "liberating" sexual revolution, and especially the nearly obligatory living together before marriage. Great way for the guy to get his jollies while the woman is left holding the bassinet. Nothing is quite so empowering as being condemned to a life of poverty as a single mother.

Of course, she can always off the kid....

Now, though, Duke University provides us with an even more bizarre notion of what is "empowering" for women: something feminists have always condemned- and rightly so- as profoundly demeaning to women.

Pornography.

Baa, baa blue sheep /Have you any will?

George Orwell's 1984 prominently featured the concepts of "doublethink" and "doublespeak," as used by the oligarchy headed by the (probably symbolic and fictitious) figure of Big Brother. In Oceania, the Ministry of War was called the Ministry of Peace (or MiniPax for short). The Ministry of Propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth. The Secret Police were the Ministry of Love.

And then, there was "thoughtcrime." Whereas it's a cherished principle of the Anglo-Saxon legal system (and most others that can be called remotely humane and/or liberal, in the proper sense of the world) that the law takes no notice of mere thoughts, that concept, sadly, is not confined tot he pages of Orwell's masterwork. It also exists among modern Anglo-Saxons, in the inherently totalitarian concept of "hate crime." Admittedly, the NSA has yet to perfect the technology needed to read our minds. But if it can be reasonably established that an illegal act…

Obamacare proves lethal for Frank Alfisi

Obamacare has now taken at least one life.

Frank Alfisi needed dialysis to live. But he could only get dialysis if he were an inpatient- and government guidelines prevented him from being admitted to the hospital. So he died.

Reminds me of the hysterical horror stories told by leftists all over the world about  uninsured Americans dying because emergency rooms wouldn't treat them. That this would have been illegal is conveniently overlooked.

The difference is that Frank Alfisi's story is true.

Stories of Canadians with early and highly treatable cancers which had become advanced and inoperable by the time the bureaucratic machinery of the Canadian health care system managed to authorize simple diagnostic tests are not uncommon. It should be noted that a great many of these tests are carried out in the United States, outsourced by a Canadian health care system which lacks the necessary resources:




 Wealthy Canadians come to the U.S. for health care. And as we've seen, we do …