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Showing posts from September, 2015

'...And what rough beast, its hour come round at last...'

Interesting take on Pope Francis and the kind of "soft-boiled spirituality" that has produced this odd pontificate.

Human nature being what it is, Christianity has always had its "soft-boiled" side. "A little Christianity is as useful for our purposes as none at all," C.S. Lewis's fictional demn Screwtape wrote to his nephew Slubgub, "but much more amusing." While secularists are fond of mocking the "Christian majority" for claiming to be picked on and persecuted, the fact is that the Christianity of most Americans- and most Westerners- has always been of the casual variety. Discipleship isn't all that much easier in allegedly "Christian" countries than in pagan ones.

And Christian theology has always ha its accommodationist side as well. Mainline Protestantism is its most obvious and influential face. But Catholicism has its analog. Pope Francis's own Jesuit order has always been suspected in some circles of a w…

"A 'kick me' on his backside"

Barack Obama's distain for history helps explain his inability to deal with the world whose story it tells.

It's a savage place, inhabited by human critters who have some real dark stuff in their makeup. "Original sin," Christian theology calls it; some might prefer simply thinking of it as the dark side of human nature. But if there's anything history teaches us, it's that it's a significant factor in human affairs, and that civilized people and nations spend a lot of time fighting it.

A bright new world in which enlightened people universally make nice-nice with each other is unlikely, to say the least, this side of the Eschaton.

'Christian, Christian-influenced, anti-Christian'

Gene Veith shares some interesting thoughts on and by Ross Douhat on Christianity and culture.

We have never been a culture in which everyone believed, of course. But this is the first time in our history when, at least among the population as a whole, Christianity and its influence on our culture was not only controversial, but divisive.

Back in the '60's, the Kerner Commission found that we were dividing into two, racially distinct societies, "separate and unequal." It appears that the same thing is happening now when it comes not only to religion, but to those aspects of our culture which have long been generally accepted, and have been influenced by religion.

"Who'da thunk it," as Harry Caray would say?

Hillary's own private spy network?

Seems the Democratic front-runner may have been running her own personal intelligence agency while Secretary of State, off the public books.

Information thus obtained- including stuff influencing decisions on the Benghazi consulate attack- were allegedly downloaded directly into Hillary's private server.


Douhat calls out Planned Parenthood's backers on their 'non-existent tape' misdirection play

Ross Douhat puts the hair-splitting attempts by Planned Parenthood defenders to discredit Carly Fiorina's outrage at those abortion tapes in the last debate into perspective.

It's not Carly who's trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes here. It's the abortion enthusiasts.

Carly's attempts at summary could have been done better. But it's PP and their supporters who are trying to deceive the American people.

More on the pro-abort scam here.

HT: Real Clear Politics

In case you missed something...'s a review over at The Federalist of the whole sick story of those Planned Parenthood tapes, and exactly what's on them.

Be amazed.

Is Rand Paul the next GOP candidate to bite the dust?

Donald Trump's candidacy is like a cancer. There's nothing healthy about it. It just eats up attention and dries up fundraising for more credible candidates while offering nothing real itself. Trump will not be the nominee- and if by some satanic miracle he is, he will not be elected president. To many members of his own (for the moment) party simply will not vote for him, even to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

First Rick Perry succumbed to the Trump malignancy. Then Scott Walker. There are indications that the darling of the libertarians and heir to a.... um.... well-known political brand, Rand Paul, may be the next whose campaign will die from the Trump malignancy.

Meanwhile, the crazies in the House have driven out John Boehner, and the crazies in the Senate are aiming for Mitch McConnell. Their replacements are likely to engage in precisely the kind of pointless obstructionist tactics that has brought the Republican brand into such disrepute with the people t…

Pants on fire, Planned Parenthood defenders

Abortion enthusiasts claimthat the infamous Planned Parenthood tapes were "edited" to put PP personnel in a bad light.

They are the ones running a scam here.

Read at The Federalistwhat an independent forensic examination reveals that the "edits" were all about.

So what else is new?

'PUTIN OUTSMARTS OBAMA,' Drudge headlines.

'Obama has turned Putin into World's Most Powerful Leader,' says the New York Post.

So what else is new? The crafty Russian has played Mr. Obama like a fiddle ever since they've shared the world stage. And taking away America's leadership role in the War on Terror is just the latest example.

Barack Obama is a naive ideologue. Vladimir Putin is a tough, world-class statesman. We've known both things for a long time.

Here's hoping we have the sense to elect Vlad's match a year from now. And btw, that match will not be named Hillary, or Bernie-or certainly Joe or Donald.

Maybe we just don't want grownups governing us

John Boehner is a casualty of the Republican crazies. They have Mitch McConnell in their sights next. And even if the party survives the Trump Chumps, those crazies are poised to cost the GOP an election Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are almost begging them to win.

Here are some cogent thoughts on the fall of John Boehner, and what it bodes for the Republican party.

HT: Real Clear Politics

NASA discovers flowing water on Mars! Today!

NASA scientists have found evidence of flowing water on Mars.

The implications are far-reaching. Perhaps there once was life there after all.

Perhaps there still is.

“There is liquid water today on the surface of Mars," says Michael Meyers, NASA's leading Mars expert.

The evidence consists of pictures taken from orbit showing dark streaks on the walls of valleys and craters in the Martian Spring with intricate, fanlike patterns typical of water flow. Scientists speculate that the water may come from underground aquifers.

The bottom line: Mars has at least the potential to be habitable.

HT: Drudge

Back to the days of the Borgias and Medicis?

Reports are circulating from within the College of Cardinals that Pope Benedict XVI may in effect have been ousted in a palace coup by a radical clique wanting to change the direction of Catholicism.

There have been rumblings to that effect before. If true, it would explain a great deal.

Interesting that Pope St. John Paul II was thought to have secured the College of Cardinals- and thus, the Catholic church- for the traditionalists for a generation. Not so, apparently.

You tell 'em, President Harrison

The head of my church body testifies before Congress and HHS policy on abortificants as "birth control."

He speaks well, and truly.

Here we stand. We cannot do otherwise. God help us. Amen.

Condom-throwing femiNazis assault Carly at Iowa Hawkeyes game

Isn't it inspiring, the reverence in which the extreme Left holds the First Amendment? Not?

I'd say Carly touched a nerve by outing Planned Parenthoods's macabre trade in baby parts in the last debate!

HT: Drudge

Tonight, we'll see a big, red moon

And no. While this is kind of a special lunar eclipse (because of the size and brightness of the moon, which won't be matched until 2033), this "blood moon" doesn't herald the end of the world, either.

Just a fun thing to watch.

And remember- in August of 2017, a total SOLAR eclipse will be visible over much of the Midwestern United States!

Who is he to know what he's talking about? (Apparently the question is who am I to know?)

No, Pope Francis.

The Bible and the Koran are not the same.

Not even close.

Nor is Allah the Holy Trinity.

ADDENDUM: On the other hand, who am I to know what I am talking about?

My Roman Catholic nephew, Steve, points out that in fact, Pope Francis never said any such thing. The quotation is false.

And to say the least, I'm glad in this case to be wrong.

Cue the Monty Python theme

The radical Left can dish it out. But it can't take it.

Not that the wildcard, being an abomination, is anything to celebrate, but...

Marco is making his move in Iowa

Marco Rubio is one of the best candidates to stand up to bully Donald Trump. He's called Old Tribble head out on the blowhard's personal insecurity, and a Trump crowd booed The Donald when he called him "a kid-" and Hillary Clinton is said to be terrified of him for reasons it isn't hard to figure out.

Like Carly Fiorina, he isn't my first choice. But as is the case with Carly, I could live with Marco Rubio in the White House.

Quite happily, in fact.

HT: Drudge

DA says Kane rape kit tampering was "an elaborate hoax;" dismissal of charges seems likely

The District Attorney in the Patrick Kane case says that the "tampered-with rape kit" is an "elaborate hoax" by the mother of the accuser. This explains the mysterious resignation of the accuser's attorney yesterday for unspecified "ethical" reasons involving his having been deceived about the "sequence of events" in the case.

The DA says that in fact the rape kit never left police custody. It seems much less likely now that the case will even go to a grand jury. It's going to be awfully hard to prosecute Kane in the face of this.

If Kane is guilty, it's hard to see what his accuser's mother was thinking. The problem, of course, is that we'll never know for sure. The case could still go forward.

But again, it seems more and more likely that the charges will simply be dropped. Patrick Kane will continue his great NHL career under a cloud, but at the moment it looks like he will, indeed, continue it.

I'm afraid I'm really starting to like Stephen Colbert after all

I am, first of all, a Craig Ferguson fan. And I also am not a fan of David Letterman's left-wing snarkiness, So when Stephen Colbert- another leftie- was hired as Letterman's replacement instead of Craig, I really, really didn't want to like him.

But I can't help myself.

Boehner hounded out of the speakership- and Congress

The raw meat crowd has finally managed to get rid of John Boehner. One of the few grown-ups in Congress, someone who was not tone-deaf to the disgust of the American people at the partisan, ideological pettiness that has come to characterize our national legislature, is resigning at the end of next month in an attempt to preserve party unity.

The result will probably be, among other things, another government shut-down in order to defund Planned Parenthood. This will have the effect of rallying the American people behind Planned Parenthood, which is currently vulnerable, to say the least. It will also further damage the brand of the Republican party and almost certainly help Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden a year from now.

And while I'm sure that he's a fine gentleman, it probably won't help from a PR point of view that the leading contender to replace Boehner is named McCarthy.

HT: Drudge

Glorying in their shame

People having abortions do not have the right to demand that others approve, any more than people who have sex with members of the same gender (or, for that matter, with members of the opposite one) do.

This notion that one is being discriminated against unless everybody applauds their behavior isn't just more than a little unreasonable. It's downright silly. Yet that's the premise for one of the more depraved happenings of this depraved age, the "Shout Your Abortion" shamefest.

Because something is legal, or common, or popular doesn't make it right. Or even respectable.

Oh. And incidentally, the fetus isn't a "potential life." Despite the attempt of some to arbitrarily locate the moment when life begins at implantation into the wall of the uterus, cell division and the processes which define life begin at conception. This is no set of blueprints for a house; it's a house under construction.

It's a life- and, being a human rather than a …

More sordid developments in the Kane case

The attorney for Patrick Kane's accuser has quit for ethical reasons, saying that the sequence of events was misrepresented to him. He says that the discrepancy in no way reflects on the events of the night the incident took place, and that he still believes his former client.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Kane appeared a a news conference with a Hustler mug in front of him.


Kane rape kit allegedly tampered with- and then left on the doorstep of the victim's mom

The rape kit in the Patrick Kane case has allegedly been tampered with- and then left on the doorstep of the alleged victim's mother.

Ok. First of all, of course the kit has been opened; the results of the tests on the content have been leaked to the public. Kane's DNA was underneath the fingernails and on the back of the alleged victim, but not on her underwear or in her genital area. Not exactly exculpatory, despite what some bozos have been saying.

But why leave it on the doorstep of the victim's mom? It makes no sense. Intimidation? How is this intimidating, rather than simply stupid and self-defeating?

I can't explain this. And it doesn't bring us any closer to knowing the truth than we were before.

HT: Yardbarker

CAUTION: Warning people about behavior that can be fatal can be fatal to your career

The sheer, unmitigated irrationality of contemporary American mores staggers belief.

Somehow, telling the truth about behavior- not saying nasty things about people with a particular sexual orientation, mind you, but merely saying true and accurate things about homosexual behavior- can cost you your career.

Read this, and this- and weep for America. Weep for us all.

There is a scene in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons in which Thomas More stops Richard Rich- who has just perjured himself at More's trial for treason against Henry VIII- and asks what the chain of office around Rich's neck signifies. "Sir Richard is appointed attorney general for Wales," he is told.

"Richard, Richard," More says to his former protege. "It profits a man nothing to gain the whole world in exchange for his soul. But for Wales?"

At least in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, the powers that be did this kind of stuff to hang on to power. But for the sake of being p…

More thoughts on Walker's exit: Did CNN and Fox give him the short end of the stick?

A friend who is an admirer of Scott Walker shared this with me.

I disagree that speaking time should be rationed in any way in a presidential debate, beyond seeing to it that everybody has a roughly equal opportunity to be heard. That this was not done as regards Gov. Walker is the primary complaint of the article linked to above.

That said, the demise of Scott Walker's once-promising candidacy can be finally laid to one thing: the domination of the contest by a jackass who has no more chance of being president of the United States than Vladimir Putin, and has tossed a hand grenade into a contest among the ablest group of candidates either party has fielded in a generation.

This could have been a great opportunity for America. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has turned it into a joke. Scott Walker isn't the only victim of The Donald's silly, self-promoting ego orgy.

We all are.

Bad move, Governor.

I have just heard that Gov. Scott Walker, who withdrew from the race for the GOP presidential nomination last night, has endorsed Rand Paul.

If so, I'm very disappointed in Scott Walker. Of course, he is a P_cker fan....

ADDENDUM: Turns out that Gov. Walker is innocent after all. I've learned that the report I heard was mistaken.

Scott Walker's Facebook group has endorsed Paul. But Gov. Walker himself has not.

Which vindicates my previous opinion of Gov. Walker.

Gaffe or insight? Joe Biden says that life begins at conception!

Not sure whether this is one of his patented gaffes, or whether Joe Biden has a seared conscience.

Either way, this is news: Biden says that life begins at conception!

You know. Just like his church teaches.

Maybe Nancy Pelosi and Andrew Cuomo and assorted Kennedys and all those other pro-choice folk who claim to be Catholic will reconsider.

Naaaaaaaaaaa. When the Christian faith and the "progressive" agenda conflict, we all know what wins in those circles.

HT: Drudge

Walker will withdraw from the GOP race tonight

Straped for cash and unwilling to go into the Iowa caucus campaign crippled, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will reportedly announce his withdrawal from the 2016 Republican presidential race tonight.

Which is a shame. While Walker was never my first choice, he was a serious candidate. Donald Trump, whose advent spelled the doom of the Walker campaign, is not. I continue to believe with every fiber of my being that the protest movement which has spared Trump's surge in the polls is an expression of voter frustration, not of actual support for a Trump presidency. He will never be considered when sensible people actually begin the process of picking a president. And if by some demonic miracle he were to be nominated, a goodly percentage of the Republican electorate would stay home. Trump would be lucky to carry a single state against Hillary or Joe Biden.

But it's a measure of the damage this clown has done to the process that a serious candidate like Walker has been forced out of t…

Taranto agrees: It's time for the 'fact-checkers' to stop lying to us

James Taranto opines in the Wall Street Journal about dishonest, partisan "fact-checkers-" including those who variously (and falsely) claimed that the Planned Parenthood video which Carly Fiorina so eloquently discussed in last week's debate was variously non-existent, "heavily edited" (deception being implied), or otherwise fraudulent.

The problem of political partisans posing as objective arbiters of who is and who is not telling the truth is itself deceptive, dishonest, a blight on journalistic ethics, and a scourge to the electoral process.

They should knock it off.

Here, once more, is the video Carly referred to. It shows a former employee of a company to which Planned Parenthood sold specimens describing a process in which exactly what Carly described took place. The video includes footage of a living, aborted fetus- admittedly a different one, but pretty much identical to the one the former employee described. It also includes the voice of a Planned Par…

No DNA evidence in Patrick Kane rape case

Apparently there is no DNA evidence in the Patrick Kane rape case. It seems likely that he'll be acquitted- if he's ever actually brought to trial.

But that's not enough. I'm reserving judgment until I hear more. Whether or not Kane can be legally convicted, if the preponderance of the evidence indicates that he did this, he needs to be gone.

There should be a different standard for whether somebody should go to prison and whether he should be allowed to be a role model.

HT: Yardbarker

Smart, Carly

In 2012, Democrats spun Mitt Romney's record in turning around bankrupt companies into the image of a heartless capitalist, with no qualms about putting people out of work in order to make a buck. That the moves which resulted in people losing their jobs were necessary and inevitable if others were to keep theirs, of course, was not something the Democrats bothered to mention.

Carly Fiorina lost her California Senate race- a race she appeared to be making shockingly competitive in the big, deep blue state on the Left Coast- because of a commercial Barbara Boxer's campaign ran painting her in similar terms- and as an incompetent CEO to boot. Trump supporters (displaying a disregard for the consequences of providing the Democrats with November ammunition against someone who might well turn out to be the Republican nominee reminiscent of the self-centered MO of their candidate) have adopted the same talking points.

In fact, Fiorina was the head of Hewlett Packard at a time when t…

Colorado traffic safety, teen behavior going to pot

A new study shows that traffic accidents, emergency room visits, school suspensions, and many other problematic aspects of teen behavior have mushroomed since the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado.

Surprise, surprise. Not.

And believe it or not, I've even seen Facebook posts claiming that pot cures cancer and grows brain cells! I would wonder what the folks who post such nonsense have been smoking, but I think I already know.

HT: Drudge

Hopefully, Iowans will recover from their tanTrump by February

Iowans tend to be rebellious when it comes to the presidential caucuses. And Iowa is in rebellion right now.

Which is why Donald Trump is doing so well.

Hopefully people here will calm down and caucus with their brains rather than with their adrenal glands come February. Iowans may be rebels, but they are not fools.

HT: Real Clear Politics

CNN poll says that Carly is now Number Two

A new CNN poll shows Carly Fiorina moving into second place- behind Tribble Head- as the choice of Republicans as their candidate for president.

Carly isn't my first choice; Jeb Bush is. But I would be proud to have Carly Fiorina as my president. And unlike The Donald or Ben Carson, whom she displaces as number two in the poll, I could actually vote for Carly.

HT: Drudge

The pope should stop talking nonsense

Pope Francis says that "we do not serve ideas; we serve people."

But that's a false dichotomy. And it's also an idea!

All of Christ's teachings are ideas. And as popular as the idea that mindless service of people is even possible may be among the less thoughtful in Western society, it's still nonsense. The head of the Catholic church owes it to his own faith and to the Faith all Christians confess- to the Church catholic as well as to the Catholic church- not to speak nonsense if he can avoid it.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows that Pope Francis is more popular than the Catholic church.

Now, I'm not a Catholic. But as I Christian, I would point out that it's not the Church's job to be popular. It's the Church's job to be faithful. And while I would not categorically charge Pope Francis with being otherwise, his naïve statements undermining the Faith have long since reached the status of a public scandal.

HT: Drudge

Another one bites the dust

This religiously bigoted comment by Dr. Ben Carson adds his name to the list of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul as GOP presidential candidates for whom I will not, under any circumstances, vote next November.

ADDENDUM: I addressed this in the comments, but it should be said here.

It's one thing to exclude someone from the presidency because he rejects the separation of church and state, or because he believes something else that Islam teaches. But to reject him because he's a Muslim is another matter.

The Constitution says that there should be "no religious test" for public office. It's kind of hard for me to see how anybody could reject that very clear dictum from the Constitution and still claim to be, in any sense, a constitutionalist.

HT: Drudge

Climate doubters need to be answered, not just mocked. Or prosecuted!

Charges have arisen that temperature data is being falsified in order to make POTUS's case for climate change.

Look. Every time stuff like this comes up, all we get are reminders of the consensus of scientists that anthropogenic global warming is taking place. No mention is made of the disagreement within that consensus of how severe the consequences will be or even the degree to which human beings are responsible.

Maybe the alarmists are right. But personally, my confidence is not helped by mere appeals to the consensus when refutation of counter-arguments is needed.

Shouldn't scientists have to defend their conclusions from the data? Instead, we get this.

Personally, I believe that climate change is real. But is it entirely anthropogenic? And is it catastrophic? "Trust us, we're the experts" doesn't cut it- especially when the consensus in matters of degree among the experts themselves  is misrepresented.

HT: Drudge

It's starting

According to Rasmussen, the percentage of Republicans who expect The Donald to be their presidential nominee in 2016 is trending down.

And it will continue. Gullible the American voter may be, and extreme the average Republican (or, for that matter, Democratic) voter may be. But not that gullible, and not that extreme.

Guess who this anonymous Lyft driver in Chicago is

'Highly edited video,' my gluteus maximus (WARNING: Actual abortion footage)

This is a video containing a rawer version of the video referenced by Carly Fiorina in Wednesday night's debate, which CNN and Hillary Clinton have deceptively called "highly edited."

This is the considerably less edited version of the actual footage.

Somebody is trying to pull the wool over our eyes- and it ain't Carly.

The Federalist addresses the matter here.

This blog, of course, posted the video of the former Planned Parenthood employee who described the incident in question- the video many on the Left say doesn't even exist- last Friday.

Here, once again, is the version of the video to which Carly referred:

Here, preceded by her thoughts on how to handle the Iranian nuclear threat, is what Carly said:

More in-your-face from Obama: a fashionably gay Secretary of the Army

POTUS has just appointed an openly gay Secretary of the Army.

Nothing wrong with a gay Secretary of the Army (I'm speaking of orientation here, of course, rather than behavior)- as long as his or her sexual orientation is not seem as a qualification. Does anyone seriously believe that such is not the case here?

If the social Left were smart, it would be smoothing the waters when it comes to homosexuality right now. This "in-your-face" stuff just invites push-back, and delays the acceptance of homosexuality in our culture.

Totalitarianism never uses the velvet glove when the bludgeon is available. Fortunately, that's one of its weaknesses, in the long run.

HT: Drudge

In case you missed Wednesday night's debate, here it is

The Great American Heresy

Revival meetings. Altar calls. "Decisions for Christ." "Giving my heart to Jesus."

Herein the folks at "The White Horse Inn" discuss the influence of the Pelagian heresy on American "Evangelicalism-" and one of the greatest heretics of all time, the man responsible for the unbiblical abominations above, Charles Finney.

The crackpot candidate who appeals to crackpots

Local news item here in Des Moines: Doctors are concerned that Donald Trump's irresponsible embracing of discredited claims that vaccines cause autism may result in kids getting sick because their folks are afraid to have them immunized.

And Trump not only fails to correct a bozo who claims that President Obama "isn't even an American," but agrees with him that POTUS is a Muslim?

Trump has "secret sources" that he can't reveal which tell him that llegal immigration is a plot by the Mexican government?

The dude is going to deport 11 million illegal immigrants- a group of people the size of the population of Ohio?

With the possible exception of Ron Paul, Donald Trump has got to be the biggest crackpot ever to be considered for the nomination of a major party for President of the United States. And perhaps it's not surprising that the crackpots are coming out of the walls to support him.

Given the damage he's doing just as a candidate is severe en…

You tell him, Jeb!

If this is 'transcending politics,' I'd hate to see an in-your-face act of hostility

As I noted yesterday, President Obama is planning to confront the Pope with gay Episcopal bishops, radical nuns, transgendered folk, and various other individuals who flaunt Catholic teaching.

Well, how's this for chutzpah from the Leftist media? From the Washington Post: "In Pope Francis's Visit, White House Sees Chance to Transcend Politics."

Right. "Truman Drops Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima in Peace Gesture."

HT: Drudge

And now, for something completely different, as Monty Python would say

Here are Doctor Who's eleven-and-a-half regenerations as they would have occurred if he had been a character on South Park.

References to three cult TV shows in a title and two lines of one post. Wow. Sometimes I impress even myself!

Fighting a guerrilla war against marriage redefinition

Here's a thoughtful article on the need for conservatives to develop a new approach in our response to Obergefell.

One thought, though: the major reason why gay "marriage" went from three out of every five Americans to opposing it to a small majority favoring it is that not only were we inundated with emotional propaganda about how an institution that had always been about children really being about "love" and how a radical redefinition of the institution of marriage was actually nothing but achieving "equality," but those who tried to make the opposite case were bullied, persecuted, harassed, slandered, and fired from their jobs.

And silenced. Hard to have a debate when only one side is allowed to be heard.

Kind of hard to fight that sort of thing. We need to develop a strategy for dealing with that, above all.

You go, girl!

Chris Stirewalt of Fox News also sees Carly as the winner of her "face off" with the Donald- and of the debate.

And so does Nick Gass of Politico.

And John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics.

John Podhoretz of the New York Post is a fan, too. As is Rebecca Berg of Real Clear Politics.

John McCormack of The Weekly Standard says that Carly won the debate- and that Old Tribble Head flat out lost.

Meanwhile, look for John Kasich on a milk carton.

I'm not ready to throw Jeb overboard yet- he also had a decent debate- but I have to agree: Carly is the woman of the hour.

Here's hoping that The Donald is yesterday's nightmare.

HT: Real Clear Politics

From your computer, John, to God's inbox

John Fund of NRO saw last night's debate as heralding the fall of Donald Trump and the rise of Carly Fiorina.

Under no circumstances will I vote for Donald Trump for dogcatcher. On the other hand, I would be proud to have Carly Fiorina as my president. And intelligent voters who are looking for an "outsider" alternative to the usual run of politicians would be better advised to flock to the standard of the anti-Hillary than to that of the bloviating blowhard with the squirrel on his head.

HT: Real Clear Politics

The highlight of the night


... if you're really, really curious, here's an hour-and-a-half long documentary on Lovecraft.

And speaking of another incomprehensible being whose enraptured followers are oblivious to the personal consequences of their own misguided loyalty...

...this particular video is intended as a commentary on why gaming gets the Cthulhu Mythos and H.P. Lovecraft wrong.

Which is fine. Except it does something else, and does it really well: it explains what makes Lovecraft and the Mythos so terrifying.

And so cool.

Cherish your property rights?

Then you DON'T want Donald Trump in the White House!

Tonight's debate should be interesting

If you're one of the serious Republican candidates for the presidency, what do you do tonight about Donald Trump?

The temptation is for everybody to gang up on him. That won't work. His support is irrational, and essentially emotional; if his followers perceive that he's being "picked on" (oh, the irony!) they'll probably just rally around him. And as we know, it doesn't matter how much of an ass Trump makes of himself; the more like a spoiled three year-old he acts, the better his supporters will like it. It's no use goading him into exposing the "real" Donald Trump; that's been on display all along and- somehow- his supporters actually like it.

Despite Jerry Seinfeld's sage advice to treat Trump's lack of manners as the problem and focus on the psychological problems that make him apparently incapable of playing well with others (especially women), once again, this assumes that the audience is being rational. The whole problem…

Need proof that Donald Trump is a RINO?

60% say that Trump is unqualifed; Nate Silver gives him a 5% chance of winning the nomination

A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 60% of the American people have the sense to realize that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President of the United States.

Neither is Ben Carson, of course- although the retired neurosurgeon is at least a grown-up. Anyway, a New York Times-CBS poll shows Carson pulling nearly even with the blowhard Republican front-runner.

Nate Silver, the political guru who so accurately forecasted the result of the 2012 election, puts The Donald's chance of winning the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at five percent.

Meanwhile, Heather Wilhelm ponders the danger Carly Fiorina faces of falling into Trump's trap and playing the victim tomorrow night in the face of the Tribble-Headed One's sexism and general bad manners.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Chicago circles the drain, and drags Illinois down with it

Herein is the sad tale of my home state- and my home city- as they descend from greatness into poverty and gloom.

The politics of Illinois- and Chicago- have become a farce. Even more than in the nation as a whole, the Center has vanished. And there's practically no Right.

But apparently either the insight or the will necessary to change just isn't there. And even though I don't live there anymore, it breaks my heart.

Gov. Rahner is doing his best. But it's going to be tough. My heart and my hopes and my prayers are with him.

In that heart, I'm still a Chicagoan and an Illinoisan, and always will be.

ADDENDUM: If present trends continue, by the end of the decade Houston will pass Chicago in population and become the nation's third largest city.

Unacceptable, Rahm.

HT: Drudge

How RINO Trump is not only turning less-than- thoughtful conservatives into unwitting RINOs, but getting them to call real conservatives RINOs

And speaking of Donald Trump's boorish and juvenile behavior...

...dig the response of my current second choice, Carly Fiorina, to Trump's rude comments about her appearance.

Hey. At least she doesn't wear a squirrel on her head.

I wonder whether he was frightened by a woman when he was very small. That's one of the few things that would explain the pleasure he takes in saying such puerile things in an effort to humiliate them.

Poor man.

Seinfeld nails it: Don't argue with Trump. React to him by sympathizing with his pathology.

Jerry Seinfeld learned early in his career how to handle a heckler. Don't get involved in a fight with him. Become very serious, sympathize with the problems that make him act with such irrational hostility, and treat him with absolutely relentless pity.

Refuse to take him seriously.

Seinfeld- recognizing that when all is said and done Trump is merely a heckler with a lot of money and a very large audience who deals with his own insecurities by treating others in a juvenile fashion- the same way he'd treat any heckler of his nightclub act.

People react to The Donald in pretty much one of two ways. It seems from the polls that lots of people treat his childish behavior as a way of venting their own hostility and frustration with illegal immigration and pretty much any other subject Trump decides to demagogue on. The worst thing that we could do is to validate their hostility- not necessarily their concerns, but their irrational hostility- by taking Trump's seriously.

The oth…

This is what abortion is. Don't watch this video if you don't want to know- or can't handle knowing.

WARNING: This video is graphic. Do NOT view it if seeing a living fetus- born alive- being snuffed would be traumatic for you.

I am posting this for one reason: this is what abortion is. To deal with it euphemistically, as the Left is wont to do, is not admissible. It's just not.

Well, not really.

Usually the kid is torn limb from limb in utero.

Another reason to reject Ben Carson

Besides discrediting himself with his ridiculous comment that prison rape proves that homosexuality is a matter of choice, there's another reason to reject Ben Carson.

He seems to be a theocrat. He's out to lunch both politically and theologically.

Of course, the author of the article seems not to understand the degree to which the entire Western legal and cultural tradition is based on Judeo-Christian values. But there's a distinction to be made between values and theology.

Bottom line, Ben: there is no such thing as a "Judeo-Christian faith." There's Judaism. And there's Christianity. And there's secularism. And there's pluralism- which is none of the above.

HT: Real Clear Religion

CNN: Jeb, Carson now beat Hillary; Trump only ties her

According to new CNN polls, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson now beat Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump only ties her- and by the time the conventions role around, any Democrat will beat Trump by a landslide.

I continue to maintain that when push comes to shove and an actual decision has to be made, people by and large are simply not stupid enough to seriously consider someone as personally immature and totally unqualified as The Donald.

HT: Real Clear Politics

A cheerful thought about Western society. For a change.

One of the most helpful things in learning to deal with depression is the knowledge that it's cyclical. You see things through mud-colored glasses, and it seems to you that they will never get better.

But knowing that your perception is distorted is a major weapon with which to fight back. So is knowing that no matter how things seem, they will get better. They always have, and they will again. And they will next time depression strikes, too.

There is considerable thought (though not, it should be noted, by The Experts; never by them!) that climate change, too, is cyclical. We have only been keeping records of temperatures for a little over a hundred years, so rhetoric about "the hottest year in recorded history" needs to be taken with a carload or two of salt. There is in fact substantial evidence in nature and even in literature that we've gone through periods of global warming at least as bad and even worse than the current one. Climate change, like depression, se…

Not to worry, Blackhawk fans

Even if- as I anticipate- Patrick Kane's days with the Blackhawks are over, they still have Captain Serious.

Just watch this ridiculous trick shot by Jonathan Toews:

HT: Yardbarker

We need the truth about Patrick Kane

Apparently Patrick Kane and the woman who accuses him of raping her are in "settlement negotiations," and we may never know the truth.

I agree with this article: such a thing would be simply unacceptable. If Kane is innocent of the charges- and I hope he is- then we have a right to know that. And if he's guilty, he belongs in prison and should never play in the NHL again.

The guy is a role model. More than that, rape is simply and radically unacceptable, and needs to be treated as nothing less.

Not only for Kane's sake, but because anything less would be obscene, if he's innocent we need to know it- and if he's guilty, he should not be allowed to have any further claim on our admiration, affection or allegience.

Period. End of story.

Kim Davis should resign

Kim Davis- the Kentucky County Clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples- has it wrong.

She's not wrong because she questions whether the Supreme Court may properly ignore two thousand years of precedent regarding the conjugal basis of the institution of marriage and redefine society's most basic institution on the basis of poorly-defended personal preference on the part of a majority of the Supreme Court.

She's not wrong theologically when she says that God instituted marriage as an institution involving one man and one woman, and that Anthony Kennedy does not have the authority to overrule Him.

And she's certainly not wrong when she refuses to violate her conscience by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But she is wrong when she tries to have her cake and eat it, too.

Rightly or wrongly (and I agree with Davis that it's wrongly), the law not only permits but mandates civil "marriage" between individuals of the same gen…

When is the Gospel not the Gospel? When the Law isn't the Law.

The Right-On Rev. Nadia Boltz-Weber is an interesting phenomenon. A tattooed, profanity-friendly ELCA clergy person who wears the only sleeveless clerical shirt I've ever seen is something of a superstar, an advocate of "meeting people where they are." Young folk, especially.

As an alumnus of the 'Sixties (and of Wartburg Seminary, where the 'Sixties never ended), I find this sort of old hat. What's refreshing about Rev. Boltz-Weber, though, is her emphasis on sin and grace- in other words, on the Christian Gospel.

Mind you, she gets the Christian Gospel wrong. But hey. She makes the gesture, at least.

The late Dr. Gerhardt Forde was fond of contrasting Luther's understanding of Christianity as a daily return to the baptismal font to be forgiven and restored with the Roman Catholic (and pseudo-evangelical) understanding of the Christian life as a climbing of Jacob's ladder, an upward ascent toward greater and greater personal holiness. Now, the fact …