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Showing posts from May, 2014

To live- not die- in LA

After the Blackhawks squandered the home ice advantage in their Western Conference Final series with the Kings by falling apart in the third period of a Game 2 they seemed to have all wrapped up, they had to win one in L.A.

They did, last night- in their last possible opportunity.

Facing elimination for the second straight game, the Hawks once again showed that they're a team that is most dangerous when its back is to the wall. Trailing 3-2 with less than half a period left, the Good Guys tallied twice- Patrick Kane scoring the winner- to force a seventh and deciding game at the UC Sunday night.



I'm not cocky- anymore. While I never thought the Kings would be easy, I didn't expect them to be nearly this tough. This is a very, very good Los Angeles team, only a year removed from their own Stanley Cup and themselves well-seasoned and knowing very well what it takes to win. And they're better than the Red Wings team the Hawks came from a similar three-games-to-one defici…

This is it

The Stanley Cup will be decided tonight.

If the Kings win, it's them against the Rangers in the Finals. The Kings win.

If the Blackhawks win, they win again Sunday at the UC, and then beat the Rangers in the Finals.

My fingers are crossed. Gonna be tough to pull it off at the Staples Center, but I have faith.

Dexter and Terry Schaivo

As one of those few Americans who doesn't have cable, I wasn't able to watch much of "Dexter." So I did what I'm doing for "Game of Thrones:" I read the books.

Not quite the same, since the story took very different courses in the two media. I just read Dexter's Final Cut- an excellent book which may or may not be the last in the series (I won't spoil the ending, but it leaves Dexter in a very bleak and very ironic place- a conclusion I see as more satisfying than that of the TV series, even if a bit sadder for the part of us that roots for our favorite psychopath-vigilante). But there is a crack of daylight in the ending that holds out at least the possibility that there might be at least one more book- and maybe even more. I didn't see Dexter's predicament as nearly so hopeless as he did (and presumably as author Jeff Lindsey wants us to; if there is another Dexter book, it will probably sell like hotcakes).

Anyway, this post isn'…

Dodging a bullet at the UC

Well, as predicted, my Blackhawks beat the Kings last night in Game Five of the NHL's Western Conference final in Chicago. Of course, they did it in double overtime, which is worrisome.

Coach Joel Quenville seemed to adopt an extension of the strategy he used at the critical juncture of the Hawks' successful bid to defeat the Bruin's attempt and physical intimidation and strong defensive play in last year's Stanley Cup Finals. De-emphasizing defense himself, Coach Q had the Hawks going all out offensively- figuring, logically, that if he could turn the game into a "run and shoot" affair, the Kings would have to abandon their defensive strategy in order to keep up, and the faster and more talented Hawks would prevail.

As has happened over and over in this series, it seemed early in the going to be working, with the Hawks moving out to leads of 2-0 and 3-1, only to have the Kings catch up by the end of the second period and take a 4-3 lead. Ben Smith tied it b…

Just came across this

A response by Dr. Dean Wenthe- president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Fort Wayne seminary (and the man, had extremists on the Missouri Synod Right and LINOs on its Left not conspired-however unintentionally- to put the Church of God through the ordeal of the Gerald Kieschnick administration, would have been the LCMS president for some time now) to the ELCA's apostasy on human sexuality.



The Blackhawks have their backs to the wall. Good.

Now, don't misunderstand this. I'm very far from giving up.

The Blackhawks are a team that is at its best when its back is to the wall. Last year they came back from a three games to one deficit to defeat a very good Red Wings team, and they are more than capable of doing the same with the L.A. Kings. There is nothing that makes my Hawks more dangerous than a game in which they face elimination. And they certainly should win tonight at home.

But I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm nervous. And the last three games have once again given rise to my concerns about Corey Crawford, a merely good (and not great) goalie who is very inconsistent and, despite the loyalty of his teammates, is the weak link on an otherwise formidable team.

If the Hawks are eliminated, I'll be spending an anxious summer hoping that Stan Bowman does something about that weakness. A number of quality goalies should be available; Antti Niemi might even be available for a second stint in Ch…

Happy (belated) tenth birthday to Watersblogged!

Ten years ago Sunday- after several months first as a haphazard, occasionally written-in, stand-alone entity, then an experiment at Blog City, and finally a sojourn of several months at Blog Studio (where my files were deleted in some sort of server malfunction while the site's owner was on vacation)- this blog came to rest here at Blogger. It's been here ever since.

Since then, this blog has seen three presidential elections (1 win, 2 losses), two wars, the doctrinal collapse and then rebirth of the Missouri Synod, the ELCA's headlong plunge into politically correct apostasy, an unwanted and unscriptural divorce, surgery and chemotherapy for colon cancer, and the amazingly rapid disintegration of our culture's legal, ethical and spiritual foundations. There have been moments of triumph (two Blackhawk Stanley Cups, for example, and Dubyah's re-election). But on the whole, it's been a sobering decade, both personally and for the Republic. I'm not sure wheth…

What the hell......?!

This was most unBlackhawk--like.

Leading 2-1 and seemingly headed toward their ninth straight home playoff victory and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, the Hawks did essentially what the Blues did in the sixth game of that series: they got rattled, lost their composure, and fell apart.

And you can't do that against a good team that won a Stanley Cup themselves only two years ago.

Final score: Kings 6, Hawks 2.

The Kings were inspired. They played the kind of hockey the Hawks do when they're on the brink of disaster. And guess what? They're on the brink of disaster. They pretty much absolutely have to win at least one of the next two games- both of which will be played in Los Angeles.

I predict that the Hawks- embarrassed and humiliated by their sad and sorry showing last night- will come out playing the kind of hockey the Kings did in last night's third period. And I also predict that we'll have a pretty good idea who will win this series before it ever …

Monogamy is good- and marriage without monogamy isn't marriage, no matter what the law says

Contemporary sexual mores to the contrary, Ryan Anderson writes, monogamy is a good idea.

Heterosexual "serial monogamy" aside, the average straight man has nine sexual partners in his lifetime. The average gay man has over a hundred. And "committed, caring relationships" among gay men don't necessarily constitute an exception.

This is not a good thing. And it should be taken into account before extending the legal definition of marriage to relationships which have very little in common with marriage as it has hitherto been understood.

It's not just about who is getting "married." It's about what marriage is- and whether it matters.

It does.

Gag me on a milk chocolate cross

Some time ago I took a cellphone shot of an interesting candy item I came across in a store, supposedly celebrating Easter.

It was a milk chocolate cross. A more incongruous object I would have trouble imagining.

I'm reminded of a poem the Wittenburg Door ran a few years ago, which went thus:

On a desk close at hand
Stands a new plastic cross
So lov'ly and popular and nice,
And so easy to hold,
For it promises gold,
And a life that's without sacrifice...
The cross is about suffering. The cross is about God turning the tables on evil by becoming its victim. And the cross is about the pain and sorrow and suffering that God allows to come into our life in order to help us grow, and for our long-term good.

In the public context, it's about bearing the shame of the cross- the shame Jesus bore for us- right along with Him.

It is not optional. It comes with the territory. It's a living, glowing rebuke to the Joel Osteens of this world, the embodiments of the spirit of po…

I'll take the Kings- and Rangers

The Blackhawks will either host the LA Kings or visit at the Anaheim Pond Sunday in Game One of the Western Conference Final.

Not sure which team I'd rather play, Anaheim looks stronger, but you never want to face Jonathan Quick. But I think home ice advantage is a bigger plus than either matchup affords. I'm hoping, therefore, for LA.

Meanwhile, the way things are playing out in the East are fascinating. Boston eliminated? By Montreal? It's tempting to think that this might be the year we'll get our revenge for all those humiliations in the 'Sixties, and for 1971 above all.

The seventh game of the 1971 playoffs-highlights below- was played at Chicago Stadium, and doubtless was one of the greatest games ever played anywhere. The first two periods wee arked by impossible play by both goalies-the Hawks' Tony Esposito and Montreal's Ken Dryden- two periods of classic playoff hockey and by Chicago goals in the last minute or so of each period. Bobby Hull hit t…

Blackhawks tame Wild; regicide or duck-hunting next

Believe it or not, the Hawks showed up for their second consecutive game in St. Paul, winning a hard-fought contest with Patrick Kane's overtime goal and advancing to the Conference Finals against either Los Angeles or Anaheim.

I think I'd rather have the Ducks, but either of them will be tough.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's rendition of the Blackhawks goal song, Chelsea Dagger.


The WIld aren't turkeys after all

Looks like I sold the Minnesota Wild short.

More to the point, so did the Blackhawks- who, after taking an easy two games to none lead in their best-of-seven second-round series with Minnesota, failed to show up for Games Three and Four, apparently expecting the sight of the mighty Chief on their sweaters alone to terrify the Wild into submission.

It didn't work. As the Hawks slept through the third period of Game Three and all of Game Four, the Wild- a team on the rise, with plenty of character, and a determination and  confidence which had already enabled them  to upset a superior Colorado Avalanche squad in the first round- outworked and outhustled the lackadaisical Hawks so completely enough that an uninformed observer might well have thought that they were the team that has won two Stanley Cups in the past four years, and the guys wearing the Indian heads the second to last Western Conference seed.
Alas, ever since the 2010 Stanley Cup season, this Blackhawks team- almost c…

Check your compulsion to tell others to "check your privilege"

"Privilege" is a current buzzword on the Left.

"Check your privilege" is Left-speak for "shut up." It implies that if you're white or male or otherwise "privileged," in the rather narrow sense in which the Left uses the term, your viewpoint is skewed and/or invalid. Of course, in the Leftist way of looking at things, if you simply disagree with the politically correct party line for any reason whatsoever, then your viewpoint is skewed and/or invalid.

Only that which agrees with The Narrative may licitly be spoken or heard. It's simply a function of the essentially totalitarian nature of "progressivism."

But not if you're an "unprivileged" person who might not be white or male or straight, but just far more powerful and influential and set apart for preferential treatment precisely because you're not white or male or straight.

Or otherwise "privileged." Which a very large percentage of "progress…

The difference it makes

Hillary Clinton and Bob Beckel want to know what difference it makes at this point whether or not the Benghazi affair was handled competently, or whether it was the result of a spontaneous street demonstration or a terrorist plot.

One would think that the difference would be obvious. But since these worthies are puzzled by the point, the editors of the National Review enlighten them here.

Are Anglicans changing their most basic doctrine?

For Lutherans, the doctrine of justification is "the doctrine by which the Church stands or falls."

I did CPE with a gay Episcopalian from Yale Divinity School who once told me that, for Anglicans, the doctrine by which the Church stands or falls is "justification by good taste."

Apparently the Anglicans have changed their position on this matter.

Two biblical disqualifications for the ministry for the price of one

In countries where same-sex marriage has been around for a while, same-sex divorce rates tend to be significantly higher for same-sex couples than for straight ones.

In two of the larger on the subject of long-term marriage durability,, lesbian divorce rates in Sweden were two and a half times that of heterosexual couples and half-again as high among gay male couples in Norway (stats usually cited by supporters of same-sex "marriage" are usually carefully selected so as to be  limited to jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is new, and the couples involved have been together for a very short time).
In any case, it seems that the Episcopal church's first openly-gay bishop is divorcing his "husband."

It should be noted that he is initiating the divorce- a rather significant detail for those concerned with the rather secondary issue of the biblical character of the divorce and his subsequent qualifications for the ministry if the "marriage" had been bi…

Study: Divorce is contageous

A new study confirms what a lot of us have intuitively sensed: divorce is contagious.

When members of a family/extended family/friendship circle/church/ community get divorced, divorce gets just a bit more thinkable for us.

Pretty much the same as for sinful behavior in general. What was that Paul said about bad company spoiling good morals?

But you can't always divorce the company you keep, especially in the family . Unless you're married to it, that is. So we're stuck with the dilemma of somehow trying to maintain our values when even those closest to us give them up.

Nobody said being a Christian- or a morally responsible human being- is supposed to be easy.

Especially these days, when the sole criterion of whether something is moral or not tends to be whether or not I want to do it.

HT: Drudge

Yay! Blackhawks draw Wild instead of Avalanche in Round 2

The Blackhawks will not only have the home ice advantage in Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but will be playing the lesser of two possible opponents.

The Minnesota Wild ousted the division champ Colorado Avalanche 5-4 last night.

The Hawks should get a bit of a rest before having to face Los Angeles or Anaheim in the next round.

Hawks in five games.