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Showing posts from May, 2015

The argument ipse dixit is a logical fallacy

I used to watch "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" reruns every midnight before going to sleep. I stopped only recently, when a propaganda piece for marriage redefinition was so heavy-handed that the propagandizing outweighed the entertainment value of a generally well-written and well-executed episode.

SVU always did that once in a while. Snarky left wing cracks by Detective Munch (now departed from the series) about moronic neocons or the evil of George W. Bush were not every-episode occurrences, but they happened often enough to be irritating. And the other cast members always agreed with him.

This time, there was sort of an excuse, though. A crusading homophobic attorney used bogus studies to convince the gullible grandparents of a child with two mothers that such an arrangement was dangerous to her development to drive a wedge between the grandparents of a child and the partner of her deceased mother- the only living parental figure the little girl knew- and get the …

Since you won't hear it tonight...

...when the Blackhawks score, because Game 7 if the Stanley Cup Western Conference Final is being played in Anaheim, here's the Chicago Symphony playing the Hawk's goal song, Chelsea Dagger by Fratalis:



Let's all hum it tonight until our lips are numb- and then on to Tampa Bay, to ground the Lightning!

Absolute tripe from TIME

TIME contains a remarkable piece of intellectual gibberish this week which claims that Ireland didn't reject Catholicism when it voted for gay marriage- but in fact was affirming its Catholicism when it trashed the Church's teaching on the nature of marriage and the morality of homosexual behavior.

As intellectual gymnastics go, this one is the equivalent of touching one's tailbone with one's nose. The definitive beliefs- the boundaries, if you will- of a religion are not defined by majority vote any more than truth is. In Catholicism, the boundaries are established by the magisterium; in the other Western Christian traditions, they're established by the Bible.

To reject those boundaries- as the Irish people have- is to reject the tradition. And it's worth noting that only those few, marginally Christian communities have embraced homosexuality and same-sex "marriage" which minimize or reject the authorities which supposedly set the boundaries that de…

This and that, from here and there

Carly Fiorina is kicking.... well, she's doing well.

Michelle "The Grinch" Obama is now going after S'mores.

Sheppard Farley, the artist responsible for the iconic Obama "HOPE" poster, says that Mr. Obama is a failure

Sadly, Israel's "Burning Man" festival accidentally burned the remains of an ancient man.

Tats, it seems, are not merely silly, short-sighted and disfiguring, but unhealthy.

Any person connected with this event in any way has absolutely no ground for calling anybody else a bigot. Ever.

Vlad the Inhaler says that the United States is "meddling" in FIFA affairs by arresting crooked officials of the soccer agency.

Nor ready, certainly not willing- but possibly Abel?

President Obama- and Hillary Clinton- may have a labor problem.

And Marco Rubio's campaign has hit Hillary with a slam on his birthday that takes the cake.

HT: Drudge

Duck soup.

What do you get when you put Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the same line?

Roast Duck.

The Hawks clobbered Anaheim 5-2 at the United Center last night, setting up an epic Western Conference Final seventh game in Anaheim Saturday night.

Keep your tomahawks crossed, Hawk fans!


Meanwhile, on the religious freedom front....

A Marine has been convicted by a courtmartial for refusing to remove a Bible verse from her computer which "could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline."

The subversive verse? Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”

Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was demoted to private and given a bad conduct discharge. The courts have thus far ruled that the display of a Bible verse does not constitute religious practice, and thus is not protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Her superior ordered her to remove the verse and cursed at her while doing so.

She is appealing to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) has said that there is a "real and present danger" that Christianity will be labeled "hate speech" by the courts.

HT: Drudge

"A.D." needs to re-visit the Book

The "A.D." television series takes some rather drastic dramatic license with the Book of Acts at times. And it takes even more theological license.

It seems to separate baptism and the reception of the Holy Spirit, for example. And Peter actually prayed on Sunday that all Christians might receive the Holy Spirit.

If he actually had prayed such a prayer, it would indicate that he needed to listen to he Holy Spirit a bit more closely himself- and familiarized himself with just what the Holy Spirit's "job description" is.

Perhaps "Peter" and the writers of "A.D." both need to re-read the Book of Acts.

The snakes get the last laugh

Natural historians tell us that there actually never were any snakes in Ireland. The legend of St. Patrick driving them out, it's generally acknowledged, is a metaphor for his driving paganism out of Ireland.

But the snakes are back- and triumphant. Ireland has voted to set aside Jesus's definition of marriage and embrace a pagan one.

Doubtless many will be hypocritical enough to continue to attend Mass and celebrate St. Patrick's feast day in March.

"Ochone!," as the ancient Celts would say. Somewhere in heaven- if those who dwell there are, as Catholicism teaches, allowed knowledge of what transpires here on earth- St. Patrick is surely saying it.

To all who served, and especially to all who gave their lives to keep us free...

...thank you.

Sci-fi fans (or at least those who have read Heinlein's Starship Troopers) will be familiar with this song. It celebrates the heroism of one such man, and it's always seemed to me to stand quite well for the heroism of them all.


Rubio v. Clinton? The prospect gives the Democrats a heart attack!

Speaking of the aging of the Democratic party, ccording to the Democratic Campaign Pamphlet of Record- the New York Times- the prospect of a matchup between Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio scares the living Geritol out of the party of (snicker!) Jefferson.

Given the Democrats' current attitude toward the Bill of Rights, of course, old Tom has got to be spinning in his grave.

I can see it now: the party of Barack Obama and Jack Kennedy telling us what a bad idea it would be to elect an inexperienced but charismatic senator...

HT: Drudge

Here we go again!

Just got another email from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who earlier had emailed me to announce that he would announce that he would announce his decision to run for President on Monday. I misinterpreted that to mean that he was announcing that he would run for President. Got that?

Well, I just got another email from him beginning, "When I announce my candidacy for President...."

So did he just announce that his announcement that he would announce his decision on whether to announce his candidacy in June is now inoperative, and that he's just announced? Or has he just announced that he's going to announce?

I just wanted to announce that when I figure it out, I'll make an announcement to that effect.

But he's running after all.

Marcus Kruger sends me to bed happy

Through all the static is by now a familiar part of trying to listen to WGN in downtown Des Moines, I listened last night as the Hawks and Ducks went into triple overtime in Game Two of the Western Conference Stanley Cup Finals.

Marcus Kruger finally lit the lamp- and the Good Guys have pilfered home-ice advantage from their Fowl opponents.

Game Three is Thursday night at the UC. GO HAWKS!



And speaking of Sweet Home Chicago....

...what those who knew what they were about feared would happen if "Chuy" Garcia had been elected mayor has happened anyway: Moody's has reduced Chicago's debts to 'junk bond' status.

Not that this will necessarily have long-term consequences for Mayor Emanuel, who may be a totalitarian at heart but has been struggling manfully to put the city's financial house in order. There probably isn't another financially responsible candidate who will challenge him four years hence.

His strongest opponent will probably be another far-Left deficit lover. Or maybe more than one.

Chicago- which has always been a corrupt oligarchy- is now crazy Left as well.

"Getting small" really does make you smaller!

Here's another reason why the comparisons between alcohol and marijuana don't work: according to a new study, marijuana brings about early puberty and stunts growth.

Boys who regularly smoke it end up being four inches shorter than those who don't.

I guess that gives George Carlin's routine "getting small" as a euphemism for smoking dope whole new meaning.

HT: Drudge

Boys and girls are not frogs.

Certain frogs and other such critters are able to change from male to female (and vice versa) when the local population has an oversupply of one or the other. This helps to maintain a balance between the genders, and maximizes the community's potential for reproduction.

Somebody apparently needs to tell the Fairfax County, Virginia Board of Education that human sexuality doesn't work that way. They seem to be confused about this.

Excuse me, Senator, if I'm a little irritated

The other day I got an email from Sen. Lindsey Graham saying that he would have an important announcement about his 2016 plans this morning on CBS. So I blogged that he would be announcing his candidacy this morning.

But it seems that he was only announcing that he would announce his candidacy on June 1. Mike Huckabee pulled the same stunt a while back. I bit that time, too.

Give me a break, Senator Graham. And Governor Huckabee.

It's either one or the other

Diane Lockhart watch: on last night's "Good Wife" re-run, Alicia's boss made the legal point that homosexuality is defined, not by psychological orientation, but by specific sexual behavior.

Which is interesting, because only a few weeks ago she dismissed the argument that one cannot discriminate against behavior and said that it's just a dishonest dodge to justify discriminating against people of a particular sexual orientation.

Both things cannot be true. Unless truth is merely the will to power, and the truth is whatever happens to serve the agenda at the moment- as I seem to remember Nietzsche and Hitler both claimed.

Graham will announce for president early Monday morning

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will announce his candidacy for the presidency Monday on "CBS This Morning."

Since it's scheduled for 6 am Central (7 Eastern), it obviously won't have much live play, but should be in time for the morning news cycle.

Few candidates in either party can match Sen. Graham's foreign policy and defense credentials. He's clearly one of my three or four top choices.

ADDENDUM: Well, no.

Turns out that he merely announced when he would announce whether he'll announce.

June 1.

ISIS goes 'boo-hoo' for Abu. Sayyef, that is. Or not. Whatever.

When I was a debater in college, I quickly learned one standard negative case that works in debate, but nowhere else: the evil decried by the affirmative is totally imaginary, it's not as bad as they say, and besides- it's stopped. Obviously, the three propositions are mutually exclusive. But since the task of the negative side in a debate is not to make sense, but merely to prevent the affirmative from making its own case, Nichego.


But ISIS seems to think it can work for propaganda, too. They're gonna get us for killing Abu Sayyef, and besides- we're lying about having done it in the first place.

Sorry, guys. Ain't gonna work.

As was the case with the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama- who has, on the whole, been one of our more ineffectual presidents on the world scene- deserves credit for having given the order.

Even the Obama administration does something right every once in a while.

An ISIS supporter comments:



HT: Drudge

Oboy.

Saudi Arabia says that if Iran gets the bomb, they- the Saudis- want one, too.

Somehow, Tom Lehrer never gets dated...



HT: Drudge

History (or herstory) repeats itself

You know, there was an Eva Peron Foundation, too.

In fact, the comparisons between Hillary and Evita are remarkable.

So, America. How does it feel to be living in a Broadway musical?

There are no 'atheists' or 'agnostics'

This article, which reports that a Pew Research Center poll shows that America is becoming a less Christian country and that "atheists," "agnostics," and "nones" are on the rise statistically, misses the point on at least two counts.

First, it's doubtful how "Christian" a country America was to begin with. Countries don't have religions; people do. And if there has ever been a time when a majority of Americans were serious disciples of Jesus, it's a long time ago. More to the point, we as a people may recognize that we are sinners in principle. But as a practical matter, being one's own savior is the American way. We like to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps (or tell ourselves that we have) in the spiritual realm as well as in all the others. The theology of most of the popular American religious movements leaves little doubt of that, nor does our national religious history.

For most Americans, religion is pretty much what …

REPOST: One of my favorite Blackhawk Stanley Cup stories

In 1938, the 14-25-9 Chicago Blackhawks won the most improbable Stanley Cup championship in history- so improbable that nobody bothered to have the Cup there the night they won it. And one of the Hawks' stars in the series was Alfie Moore, a minor league goalie who was under contract to the other team at the time and who had prepared for the game by downing "ten or fifteen drinks."

Perhaps they should stock a case of good Canadian whisky for the nights when Corey Crawford's game isn't up to snuff.

Hmm. I guess he must hate gay people or something.

The gay co-owner of a hotel named, of all things, "OUT" has expressed his displeasure over the boycott against his business being waged by what he calls "gay extremists" over his partner having met with- met with- Ted Cruz.

At a fundraiser for Israel that both happened to attend, and which had nothing whatsoever to do with gay issues.

Horrors. The man actually talked to somebody who disagrees with him about marriage redefinition!

Oh, the humanity!

When we've gotten to the point where we can't even talk to people we disagree with about marriage redefinition even about totally unrelated matters without becoming the subject of boycotts and demonstrations and hate-filled hissy fits, we have lost something not only important but vital to our future as a free people.

Despite the penchant of the media and other Leftists for describing anyone still holding the position Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama themselves held until recently as "anti-gay," the con…

Oops!

Gotta give Jeb credit for being straight with us. But then, we've known that he's been doing that- to his cost- for a while now.

The trouble is that I'm not sure we want our leaders to be straight with us. We penalize that. We reward them for telling us what we want to hear.

In any case- right or wrong- saying this was not the best of tactics for the Jebmeister.

HT: Drudge

George Will, Mike Huckabee and the Two Kingdoms

While he doesn't put it in exactly these terms, George Will fears that Mike Huckabee doesn't understand the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms.

The Kingdom of the Left hand- the realm of law and coercion and power (not limited to the State, btw; equally present in church government) is as much God's kingdom to govern as the Kingdom of the Right- the kingdom of grace and the Gospel. But the Kingdom of the Left includes all of God's human creatures- including unbelievers. Its currency isn't the Gospel. It's reason and justice- the common currency of just and reasonable men whether they're believers or not.

Yes, we Christians would argue that, in substance, that's nothing other than the Law. But it's the Law as written on the human heart, and not simply as written in the Scriptures.

HT: Real Clear Politics

The Independent expects Britain's new Conservative government to become (shudder)- conservative!

The Independent thinks that now that Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party has an outright majority in the House of Commons, it might actually become conservative.

Imagine that.

Drudge's headline to the contrary, though, I don't think this heralds "The Strange Death of Liberal Britain." Quite the contrary. After all, the word chosen by The Independent to describe Mr. Cameron's expected new policy trajectory is, of all things, "radical."

Imagine what that makes The Independent.

HT: Drudge

Current NASA plan: manned landing on Phobos by 2033, and on Mars by 2039

NASA's current plan is a manned mission to the Martian moon Phobos by 2033, and perhaps a landing on the Red Planet itself in 2039 or so.

This saddens me. I'd always assumed that I'd be alive for the first landing on Mars. I certainly looked forward to it. And while it's certainly possible that I'll be around by then, I'd be 83 when we get to Phobos and 89 when we land on the Martisn surface.

Not sure I'll make it.

Oh, well. I did get to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.

Brits retain pseudo-Conservatives

David Cameron, who talks up Great Britain's Christian heritage on one hand while setting aside Christ's definition of marriage on the other, has been re-elected.

Ultra-Rightest Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of his party after failing to win his own seat in Parliament. The leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democratic parties also have resigned.

Perhaps the defeat of Farage, whose career has been tainted with accusations of racism (though given the ease with which that charge is leveled, that in itself proves nothing) will pave the way somehow for a genuinely conservative alternative to emerge in Great Britain. UKIP (Farage's United Kingdom Independence Party) doesn't seem to be it- or at least doesn't seem able to convince the electorate that it's a responsible, viable alternative to Cameron.

HT: Drudge

On to the Conference Finals!

I, for one, am stunned by the ease with which my Blackhawks disposed of a very good Minnesota Wild team in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last night's 4-3 victory completed a sweep of the team whose goalie was previously the hottest goalie in the playoffs.

There are many things the Hawks did right in this series that they didn't do against Nashville. They will have to do them again- and in spades- against the Ducks and the Rangers, whom I suspect the Hawks will have to vanquish in order to bring Lord Staley's mug back to its rightful home in the United Center.

Neither will be easy to beat, no matter how hard the Good Guys play.

In the meantime, the Hawks get a rest. Hope they aren't rusty when the Anaheim series opens.

Mea culpa. And so has Rachel Held Evans.

Shouldn't have signed on so quickly to that Rachel Held Evans piece (the post endorsing it now deleted) on what Millennials want from the Church.

I continue to believe that she's on target in decrying the attempt to be gimmicky and "cool," and to play down the very things that make the Church worth bothering with: the Word and the Sacraments.

But I missed something even more important in my initial (and culpably cursory) reading of the article. Trouble is, as David French points out, that she doesn't "get" the corollary: that if we end up denying what the Word says and the Faith teaches, there's no point in bothering in the first place.

If Ms. Held's suggestions concerning the content of the Faith were adopted, and the Bible's clear and consistent teaching about sexual ethics were changed, the Church would have no reason to exist. It would have denied its very reason for being. It would confess to being merely a changeable set of human idea…

Interesting

Hillary had taken a hit, but still leads her potential GOP rivals. She is extremely polarizing (like, big surprise!).

Jeb has the most support among Republicans.

Rubio has the greatest percentage of Republicans saying that they could see themselves supporting him.

And surprisingly, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul- the only two Republicans I would not vote for- are not the most polarizing of the GOP options after all. I'm rather surprised, frankly, at who are.

HT: Drudge

Apropos of which...

A few years ago a local church posted the phrase "GAY IS NOT OK" on the sign outside its door. Admittedly, the phrasing lent itself to the lie that it's sexual orientation rather than behavior which is the issue when it comes to the Christian problem with homosexuality. But in any case, the gay community responded promptly and decisively.

Hundreds of protestors promptly descended on the church. Before many hours had passed, the sign had changed. It now read "ADULTERY IS NOT OK." Presumably adulterers are not so politically conscious.

Whether the American Psychological Association convention which first entertained the notion that homosexuality is not a mental aberration or various church conventions considering trashing the teachings of the Bible and historic Christianity on homosexuality, confrontation and physical intimidation have been hallmarks of the sexual revisionist movement.

And we've allowed ourselves to be intimidated. And where, by contrast, ha…

No, cultural conservatives 'have not yet begun to fight.' The question is whether we ever will.

Another David French article from the National Review says that "Cultural Conservatives Have Not Yet Begun To Fight."

I quite agree with him (as would Luther; God is, after all, the Ruler of the Kingdom of the Left Hand,, too), and have an obligation to stand up for what is just and right even in the public arena, and even when it falls into the realm of reason rather than faith. We should fight. We have an obligation especially when the State crosses the line and begins to dictate to our consciences to utterly refuse to render unto Caesar the things that are God's.

But regrettably, there is another sense in which we cultural conservatives have not yet begun to fight. How many of us are using Firefox and/or Thunderbird? How many of us attend Disney films (the House of the Mouse cut off support from the Boy Scouts a while back because they insisted on applying sexual behavior to the category "morally straight" in dealing with appropriate conduct for Scouts). Wh…

Eleven more victories to go

The Blackhawks usually play down to- and below- the level of their opponents in the first couple of games of a Stanley Cup series before reaching down and finding what it takes to win (usually a decision to outwork the other guys). So I guess that last night's 4-3 victory over the team with the lamest name in professional sports, the Minnesota Wild, is a good sign- especially since the Good Guys jumped off to a 3-0 lead this time before deciding to take a nap.

But this is a very good team they're playing, despite their stupid name. And never underestimate the ability of the Hawks to make even a series they should win in a blowout- which this is not- much, much more entertaining than it needs to be.

Game Two at 7:30 pm tomorrow, also at the United Center. Put 'em in a headlock, guys.

Figuratively, that is. Your penalty killing unit is good, but not that good.