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Showing posts from August, 2015

A no-no for Jake Arrieta

Cubs' ace Jake Arrieta no-hit the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers last night.

The Dodgers- and even Arrieta himself- thought that a hard smash off the glove of second baseman Starlin Castro in the third inning should have been a hit. There's a video on the page linked to in the previous sentence; check it out and see what you think.

While it was a tough chance, I personally thought it was an error. Castro should have come up with it.

In any case, it's one more thrill in an exciting year that came at least a year early. This was the year the Cubs were supposed to simply become respectable; instead, they appear to be headed to the playoffs, albeit as the second wild-card team.

Incidentally, Castro cleared waivers after the game- probably not because of his missed chance. He's having a tough year at the plate and his fielding doesn't show any sign of improving. With Addison Russell having taken over at short and an improved Javy Baez coming up to the parent club after Iowa…

The Donald is Hillary's best friend

One of the biggest problems with the old, boring, so-what-else-is new Trump boom is the degree to which the media-driven Trump phenomenon is obscuring the problems with Hillary as a potential president.

Hillary is the ultimate beneficiary of the Trump phenomenon. And don't be surprised if he ends up electing her president- whether or not he turns out to be the nominee.

HT: Real Clear Politics

If Donald Trump weren't already the Donald Trump of the Left, Hillary Clinton would be!

Donald "I'm For A Single-Payer Healthcare System in Principle" Trump weren't already the Donald Trump of the Left, certainly Hillary Clinton would be.

Get a load of this demagoguery:

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway nails it here.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Not just a river in Egypt

Watching Gwen Ifell and "Washington Week in Review" last weekend, one got the impression that the whole Hillary Clinton email kerfuffle was simply a tempest in a teapot, a temporary distraction. The liberal panel didn't quite come out and echo Hillary's insistence that it's all a Republican publicity stunt (what was that phrase from her husband's administration- "a vast right-wing conspiracy?"), but one could be forgiven for getting that impression.

But according to a new Rasmussen poll, voters are concerned enough about it that nearly half of them think that she should suspend her campaign until the legal issues are sorted out.

Combined with the increasing pressure on Joe Biden to run, one begins to wonder just how in contact with reality Ms. Ifel's panel- and large swathes of the MSM generally- really are where their heroine, Hillary, is concerned.

Denial, as a certain United States senator used to say on "Saturday Night Live," &quo…

Trump's immigration Kristallnacht would mean huge growth in Federal power and spending

George Will points out that Donald Trump's Kristallnacht  plan to round up and deport all illegal immigrants would necessitate a huge increase in the size, expense, and intrusiveness of the Federal government.

Powerline points out that Trump is an empire builder.

And Rasmussen reports that while Republican voters understand how critical Hispanic votes are to winning the 2016 election, they remain bound and determined to do everything in their power to alienate Hispanic voters.

It all makes absolutely no sense.

Earth to Trump supporters!

Ok, I get it.

So you like Donald Trump's boorishness because it's not politically correct. And you also like his totally impractical ideas of deporting all illegal immigrants (or even most of them) and building a wall that will keep new ones out.

Neither is going to happen, of course, because both tasks are humanly impossible. And the price we would pay for transforming ourselves into the kind of police state that would be necessary to implement them... well, suffice it to say that I don't think you'd enjoy the attempt as you do the concept.

And do you really trust a guy who converted from favoring a single-payer system for health care and from pro-choice to pro-life only when he began considering a run for president?

Are you really comfortable with a guy who never served in the military himself, but is willing to insult John McCain and POW's generally- despite McCain's heroic refusal to give information about American targeting under torture?

When was Trump e…

Straining at a Romney- and swallowing a Trump?!

Rasmussen says that 57% of Republicans believe that Donald Trump will be the party's 2016 nominee.

I still find it hard to believe that so many Republicans are idiots- or, especially after eight years of Barack Obama, would be willing to throw away a presidential election that looks like it's in the process of falling into their laps. And how can a party containing so many people who had a problem with Mitt Romney because he was pro-choice years ago so easily be taken in my somebody who was on the far Left on almost every issue only months ago- and still favors a single-payer government health plan?!

I'll tell you one thing: I, for one, will not vote for Donald Trump.


And neither will any other responsible American.

Donald Trump will never be president. But he does have the ability to ensure that Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Crazy Bernie will be. And he's a monumental embarrassment not only to the Republican party but to America.

And in a year when the GOP is …

Another physicist says warp drive is feasible

Yet another physicist has said that Star Trek's warp drive is not only feasible, but can be available in this century.

Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre has argued the point for quite a while. Now astrophysicist Gerraint Lewis of the University of Sydney is making the same argument.

Both scientists argue that Einstein's theory of relativity validates the concept.

HT: Drudge

Kasich needs to amplify that statement on marriage redefinition

I really want to hear Ohio Gov. John Kasich say more about his "time to move on" stance on marriage redefinition.

I've always liked him, and I sense that he could be a winner in 2016- especially with Hillary Clinton, the Democrats' only half-way credible candidate, in the process of imploding. He's a pragmatist with the ability to appeal to people beyond the small minority of fanatics which Republican true believers fanaticize are a majority of the American people. He's a centrist who is more concerned with reality and with solving problems than with an ideological narrative.

We need politicians like that the way a man marooned in the Sahara Desert needs water.

As Rebecca Berg points out, he's not about to make much headway here in Iowa, where voters of both parties like their meat raw and their politicians foaming at the mouth. But he's in third place and closing in on Jeb Bush in New Hampshire, and although I was somewhat put off by his "the Co…

More woes for Hillary- but that doesn't necessarily mean good news for the GOP

It may not just be the emails on her server that could embarrass Hillary Clinton. There are also other issues- like who had access to the server- which could be a problem for the former Secretary of State.

The servers, btw, were kept in a bathroom closet.

The State Department says that 17,855 emails from Hillary's advisors are missing.

If Donald Trump wasn't making not only himself but the GOP rank-and-file look ridiculous, I'd say the prospects for the Republicans would be looking up right now. But Trump is an even bigger embarrassment than Joe Biden, and as radical as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Jerry Brown and even the post-2000 Al Gore are, they're at least serious people (more or less) with better qualifications than The Donald has.

Nominating Trump might be the one thing that could lose the 2016 election for the Republicans (well, other than nominating Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Rick Perry or Donald Duck). Fortunately, I still have a tough time believin…

Some lessons from Eastern Europe on being God's resistance movement

Gene Veith points us to an interesting article by Matthew Young in First Things on dissidence as vocation.

I remember a phone conversation with the late Dr. Robert Bertram during my ELCA years in which I whined about how much I hated being a curmudgeon. "Bob," Dr. Bertram replied, "read Jeremiah. The only people God calls to be curmudgeons are the ones who hate it."

And yes. I firmly believe that God does call us to be curmudgeons, as well as various other kinds of pains in the neck. It can be a holy thing to be a pain in the neck.

Just ask Luther. Or for that matter, just ask Jesus!

As Hillary unravels, is this ticket the GOP's best bet?

Democrats fear it and some smart Republicans think it's their best bet: Should the 2016 GOP ticket be Kasich-Rubio?

I would want to hear Kasich compare and contrast his attitude toward Obergefell v. Hodges on one hand (he says that "the Court has ruled, and we should move on") with his attitude toward Roe v. Wade on the other before deciding whether Kasich would be acceptable to me, even though I've always liked the Ohio governor and thought that he'd be a fine president some day. It's one thing to talk about other things than marriage redefinition; it's quite another to accept the effective death of society's most basic institution as a done deal.

But people are beginning to talk about Kasich as the alternative to Jeb if the guy who still is the real GOP front runner should falter.

Here's a comparison between the two candidates.

How does one respond to the Trump irrationality?

Given that Donald Trump's candidacy- and the widespread support for it- are both irrational phenomena fueled by a monumental ego on one hand and total irrationality on the other, how does one respond to those who have been taken in by The Donald?

Jim Geraghty hits the nail on the head.

As Mike Huckabee said the other day about the Iowa Caucuses, "He who is hot when the weather is hot is cold when the weather is cold." Trump's supporters will get better in time for February.

Speaking of 'going against the flow...''s Pastor Jonathan Fisk explaining how water fits into it.

Those scientifically backward pro-choicers

Unlike Marco Rubio, I am not comfortable with abortion being illegal even in cases of rape and incest. I hasten to add that I cannot defend that position theologically or philosophically. Yes, I am being emotional here. But I can't help it. I have had both friends and people under my spiritual care who have been the victims of rape, and I'm sorry, but I could not force any woman to bear a rapist's child.

Again, I can't defend that position ethically or theologically. But there it is. The failing is mine, and I frankly admit it. I believe it was LCMS theologian John Warwick Montgomery who, when asked in a debate whether he would prevent his daughter from getting an abortion if she were impregnated by a rapist, said, "I can tell you exactly what I would do. I would find her the best doctor available. I'd pay for the abortion. I'd drive her to the clinic. I'd hold her hand while the procedure was being done.

"There's only one thing I wouldn'…

You thought we were overreacting? Think again!

At first, I thought- hoped- that this was a spoof on conservative fears regarding marriage redefinition.

It's not.

Leftist Slate is not the best place to look for common sense. But believe it or not, here is an article seriously arguing that human beings should be able to marry robots.

Like Obergefell- and like the one-sided non-debate on gay "marriage" which preceded it, and still continues- it is so intent on getting to the question of egalitarianism that it totally ignores the basic question of what marriage is in the first place!

Kind of an important failing, nicht wahr? Of Obergefell, as well as for those with even more... um... exotic notions about nuptial bliss.

HT: Drudge

Liberals don't like the liberal arts. Neither do conservatives. We all should.

If you're paying out hard-earned money so that your son or daughter can get a liberal arts education, you're being ripped off.

In today's university, what passes for "education" is indoctrination into the Leftist worldview and political correctness. Our Western cultural heritage is being forgotten. A new generation has arisen which is ignorant about not only our Western spiritual heritage, but pretty much the rest of it, too. No wonder when presented by emotionalistic post-modern gobbledygook, they think with their hearts rather than their minds! Minds require imput. They require information. As has been said of computers, so it must be said of human minds: garbage in, garbage out.

Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to see education as job training. This does not make for young people trained to think critically and apply the wisdom of the ages, either.

We need to wise up.

Trump should be suspended for the rest of the semester

John Fund has it exactly right: Donald Trump isn't a serious candidate. He's not even an entertainer.

He's a teenage bully, and it's nothing less than disgraceful that he continues on top of the polls.

His game is saying outrageous things and then daring you to call him on them. If you do, he'll insult you and call you names. Oooooooo! Burn!

What he doesn't do- and cannot do- is defend his position with facts and arguments rather than name-calling and further outrageous assertions. His pique at Meghan Kelly and Fox News for merely holding him accountable for his own record reeks of an upscale nursery school. The sense of entitlement to special treatment ought to be offensive to anyone born west of Versailles.

It's shameful. But the shame isn't The Donald's, finally. The shame belongs to the people who continue encourage this overgrown spoiled brat.

ADDENDUM: Here's what Fred Barnes has to say about the damage Trump is doing to the Republican part…

The case for Kasich

Josh Kraushaar thinks John Kasich may be Jeb's biggest worry.

While I'm still in Jeb's camp, I've always liked Kasich- as well as Lindsey Graham. And I'm inclined to agree with Ed Rollins, who predicted on "Charlie Rose" last night that Kasich- along with Jeb- will be among the five or six survivors when the smoke has cleared and the serious contenders for the nomination emerge.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Camille likes Kasich; the viewers prefer the blowhard

My favorite lesbian atheist, Camille Paglia, thinks John Kasich won yesterday's debate.

She also says that Rand Paul reminded her of Caligula, that Marco Rubio will be a fine candidate when he graduates from college- and agrees with most observers that Carly Fiorina won "debate lite."

Inexplicably, however- at least according to Drudge's ever-changing and profoundly unscientific poll- the voters generally continue to thrill to The Donald's standup routine.

If true, it won't last. Republican voters as a group can't be that dumb. Donald Trump is the WWF of politics.

HT: Drudge

All voters think Biden would be the better president, but Democrats like Hillary

Interesting new Rasmussen poll, taken in the wake of rumors that Vice-President Joe Biden is considering challenging Hillary Clinton for next year's Democratic nomination.

By a margin of 38% to 29%, all voters believe that Joe Biden would be a better president than Hillary Clinton.

But among Democrats, 44% think that Hillary would be better, compared with 32% who prefer Biden.

How do you debate the Donald?

Experts offer two tips to his Republican rivals tonight:

1. Hold him accountable for his assertions without mentioning him by name. On one hand, he tends to deal in hyperbole and be loose with facts; on the other, according to the rules, if you mention a candidate by name he gets 30 seconds to respond.

2. Make fun of him. He is apt to go ballistic and destroy himself.

Vive les Maquis!

For all the jokes about "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and all the treachery we've experienced from our first and possibly most disloyal friend, it's well to remember that only the French government and the French army that surrendered to the Germans in 1940, and only the French government and the French army that lost.

The French people fought on- and eventually won.

"The Maquis," they were called- the heroic French resistance which fought courageously on and played such a decisive role in undermining the German occupation forces and paving the way for the Allies on D-Day and thereafter. In many ways, they're the gold standard to this day for underground resistance groups fighting for freedom against an oppressive regime.

You may see a metaphor coming. If so, you're right.

Those who value marriage and the historic values of Western civilization may have thought we'd lost the war when five lawless Supreme Court justices set themselves up as a…

It was the wrong place to take a stand- until government bullies forced the issue

I've said many times before that I personally don't see why a Christian- however orthodox- should have a problem baking a cake for a gay or lesbian "wedding." In no sense does selling a cake constitute an endorsement of the event.

But with the decision of the Oregon officials responsible for imposing strict party line political beliefs on the public to penalize the owners of Sweetcakes a whopping $135,000 for their stand, the issue changes. Now it's a matter of abusing the authority of the State to suppress political and religious viewpoints of which the State disapproves.

The owners of Sweetcakes are going to fight.

Good for them.

This campaign is fun already!

I really hope those polls showing superficial gasbag Donald Trump with a huge lead in the Republican primary are a temporary phenomenon, a glitch in a process which often manifests some rather bizarre aspects especially this far out.

But Joey the Clown is considering entering the Democratic race- and Hillary is losing ground among white women.

And with Socialist distraction Bernie Sanders already running wild on the Democratic side, this could be an interesting year. It could also be a make-or-break year for the Constitution and the future of the Republic.

Every election seems at the time likely to be the most important of my lifetime. But with the number of Supreme Court seats the next president will fill, it's hard for me to imagine how the stakes could be higher than they are this time.

HT: Drudge

The pope really, REALLY needs to get a clue

I regard all that talk about Pope Francis- a kindly, well-meaning if inept and naïve man- personally being the Antichrist prophesied in Revelation to be 100%, Donald Trump-grade hot air.

But I can understand how some people are beginning to wonder.

A Mass said next to a portrait of Che Guevara in a land where Christ's people are oppressed and persecuted by the people Che served? Once more, this pope crucifies Christ anew.

HT: Drudge

Sorry, but we're not getting out of this early

Pr. Stephen Schmidt explores the common- and absolutely unbiblical- notion of "the Rapture."

Racially welcoming denominations? LCMS is second from the top; ELCA third from the bottom

A sociologist decided that it would be interesting to find out how welcoming various denominations were to blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities. So he sent emails to various congregations purporting to be from members of those groups and inquiring about membership.

Despite all the blather about social justice and "inclusiveness" among the liberal denominations, they were the most cold and discouraging. The Evangelical churches were the most accepting and open to minorities.

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was the second most accepting denomination. Only the Willow Creek churches did better.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ranked third from the bottom.

Interesting. I wonder whether it might not just be a matter of who takes the Great Commission- and "inclusiveness-" more seriously in practice rather than theory. Kind of hard to whip up much missionary fervor among universalists, after all. And if you don't take the Bible seriously when it comes t…

Should Sen. Kirk step aside?

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill), whom I admire, had a stroke in 2012 and has said some... well... unfortunate things of late. For example, he addressed presidential candidate Lindsey Graham's singleness by saying, "He's a bro with no ho."

Some think he needs to be replaced. Perhaps.

But Ron Paul, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and others have been saying odd things for a long time. I hope that Sen. Kirk. learns to discipline his tongue- and sticks around.

We need sane people- and especially sane Republicans- in the Senate. And for the most part, Mark Kirk has shown better sense than a great many of his colleagues.