Thursday, August 31, 2023


I remember when writing something like 2SLGBTQI+ was a joke, a slight.  An insult.  It was a way of digging the LGBT community back in the day.  The community that, instead of confronting the question of just what makes a bi-sexual person only bi-sexual if a gay person is a matter of birth, simply added bi-sexual to the list of 'born that way.'  Because of course it did. 

Most non-conformists saw the problem, and stupidity. At that point, however, we should have realized the precarious position we were in for having allowed a generation of barn bat crazy kvetches ascend to the level of 'authoritative expert'.  We should have done something about it while there was still time. 

Many leftists blast Babylon Bee for not being funny.  In fairness, they are correct.  I seldom find BB to be terribly amusing.  That's because its sympathies swing toward conservative, and thus it spends its time trying mock and lampoon liberalism.  But when you see what liberalism has become, that's a mighty tall order.  How does one mock such a thing that is well beyond mockery?  Except to remember this is an official release from a Western government in the 21st Century world. 

I've quoted my son before but it bears repeating.  With each passing day the Left drags the world into this pit of madness and duplicitous turpitude, it becomes easier to sympathize with the Germans who lived in the 1930s.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Imagine what Pope Francis could accomplish

If he spent half as much time encouraging people to be faithful Catholics as he does disparaging people who try to be faithful Catholics.  


I have said before that a big - and I mean BIG - reason liberalism wins is that those who resist it are often all talk.  I know, we hear 'but conservatives have day jobs' or 'but conservatives are the adults in the room' or 'liberals have unfair advantages because the news media' and such.  

But as often as not, conservatives are big on talk, itty-bitty on actions.  Oh, they may rush out and make a fuss for a day or two.  But at the end of the day, it will be business as usual.  Thus:

Yep.  And that's just one.  Consider the ever present mantra that 'middle America won't sit still for this.'  Sit still for what?  Our FBI has been caught read handed spying on Churches to see what their religious practices and beliefs are.  They are pushing to mutilate the bodes of youth at the hands of state operatives while boldly declaring their aim of blocking parents from stopping them.  They are erasing our heritage and destroying the memorials to those who built our nation. They are openly advocating racial discrimination based on group and ethnic identity.  What exactly is it 'those right wing American rednecks' won't sit still for?   

Whatever it is, apparently it doesn't include ditching a beer brand to make a point.  When you have that lack of conviction and passion, don't expect to win against those who have both. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Revealing to say the least

And worth pondering when we consider the state of affairs today with our modern corporate media. 

So a visitor here linked to this old weather broadcast from 1973:

The key takeaway?  The forecast calls for high temps at 97 degrees for the next day.  And apparently that's just hunky-dory.  In fact, he says it will be a great day to get out and go on a picnic or enjoy outdoors because there won't be any rain if the forecast goes according to plan.

I've written how, over the previous weeks, we've had ginned up hysterics about heat waves and heat advisories when the temps have at times stalled in the high 70s.  Or at best, they've made it to the high 80s.  Yet not only do they issue advisories and warn of extreme heat, they get the reaction from the people accordingly.

On the day it only topped off at 77 I didn't see any interviews of the 'man on the street.'  When it hit high 80s here (and 91 in Columbus), I saw them interview some folks who bemoaned the heat, the misery, and struggles with such debilitatingly hot temps.  They needed the guy from the clip above to cheer them up, since to him at least, in 1973, a 97 degree day was just awesome for being outdoors. 

Of course, as I mentioned to the individual who posted the link, it might have been because in the 1970s - when I was in elementary school - the buzz was about the impending ice age just around the corner. I've heard some Global Warming activists insist there was no such thing back then, that nobody was talking about an forthcoming ice age.  That, like so many things that advance modern progressive agendas, is false.  I remember sitting in Mrs. Griffith's 5th Grade homeroom class and being told we were heading into a new ice age at the rate we were going.  With all of the attached upheaval and horrors that such a development would incur.  

So obviously what we're seeing isn't new.  I don't think most sane people think it is.  But unlike then, when the narrative changed pretty quickly by the time I was in high school, this narrative isn't going away.  And a generation of young radicals and fanatics, convinced the world will soon explode and anyone who doesn't think so is an enemy of their survival to be dispatched accordingly, is on the rise. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

When I think of the effectivness of our modern Expert class

 I think of this:

My sons call our modern society a Theoriocracy.  We live in a world based upon theories, founded upon theories, derived from theories, centered on theories, and planted on ideas that are often nothing more than wild guesses, dead end suggestions and outright idiocy.  

In addition, our experts don't necessarily have to actually, you know, produce anything.  There is no accountability.  They don't have to fix a problem.  Heck, the problems can get worse under their guidance and nobody ever seems to bother asking if we've been listening to the wrong experts give us the wrong advice.   Yet this idea of a loftier than Babel expert class that knows better because it always right, is peddled by our media, and not really challenged by - anyone.  

This came to my mind as I listen to the endless news stories interviewing experts on what to do about kids going back to school now that it's that time of year.  Experts tell us how to dress them.  Experts tell us how to get their bedtimes ready for a new year.  Experts tell us how to help the kids overcome nerves.  Experts tell us how to plan for healthy lunches. Experts tell them how to deal with new kids they meet.  Experts tell us how to prepare them for possible mass shootings.   Though that last one is fair, since I recall no such concern growing up, therefore there is no wisdom passed down through the ages where school safety in the face of mass shootings is concerned.

But you get the point.  

Saturday, August 26, 2023

A great day for justice

Back in the pre-Covid days of BLM, when the Left/Press was trying to lay down the battle lines in which any white can only act due to racism, and anything that impacts any African American is due to racism, young Shannon Phillips became a media target.  She was a Starbucks manager who did what most I've known who work in such establishments do, and that's ask two non-paying customers who were using the facilities to pay or leave.  Problem?  The two were black.

Of course charges of Nazi collaboration and KKK membership immediately flew like starlings.  Starbucks acted like they never heard of such a policy. The press dove into Ms. Phillips' life and found any and all dirt they could to paint her as the discount Goebbels she was. 

Eventually, a year or so later, I saw on a small story behind the grocery ads that Starbucks finally admitted she merely followed store policy.  A policy they proudly announced would be eliminated.  Were there any major nationwide apologies for the false accusations based on her skin color? 

Eh.  She was white.  Who cares.  You'd think then Starbucks would have rushed in and tried to make amends.  Apparently it didn't. She sued.  I'm not a fan of frivolous lawsuits.  But if she was any color and fired for her color, I'd support the lawsuit.  Including her being white.

Turns out, a jury agreed. Starbucks canned her because she was white.  Her settlement, at least at this point, is in the millions.  How that will work I don't know.  It's just nice to see we live in a country where, even when racism is promoted by our best and brightest, the law sometimes kicks in and makes it right. It makes me think of an old political science professor I had in college.  He said the Founding Fathers never promised a country that would never do wrong.  They promised a nation that would be able to fix the wrongs when they were done.  

Friday, August 25, 2023

One more weather report just for fun, and a fair question

So these are screenshots from two different weather apps from my neck of the woods yesterday.  The first at 4.48 PM (Right), the second at 4.51 PM (Left).  It was at the height of the Heat Advisory, an advisory that led to some schools releasing their students early.  Warnings were everywhere.  And the local news gave updates through the day regarding the rising temperatures.

Granted, we are a bit north of Columbus, and it may have made it to the low 90s down there.  But I'm old enough to remember when a single day in the low 90s did not constitute a heat warning.  Typically, advisories came with heat waves, which were several days in a row of 90s, preferably mid to upper 90s.  

Nonetheless, the advisory covered our area, too.  And the highest temp of the day, based on one of the weather apps, was 89 degrees.  It's not as funny as the Heat Advisory the other day that had the high temp only make it to 77.  But again, 89 degrees in our part of the country, in late August, is not unusual.  And until recently, not particularly noteworthy.  Hence, this is propaganda, not science, not meteorology, not weather reporting. 

BTW, I noticed the difference in the two temps.  I wondered about that.  One is from my phone, and I don't know its source.  The other app is from the Weather Channel I believe.  But 5 degrees difference is significant.  It made me wonder, as I am wont to do.  If the all time high that day was 88 degrees, did we set a record?  And is there a definitive source for temperatures that is always appealed to when we hear them talk of records breaking?  Sort of an atomic clock for thermometers?  If not, how do we know they're all keying off the same source for determining daily temperatures when we hear talk of daily records? 

Plus, note the one on the right.  It was the cooler temperature, but the higher 'feels like' (at 93 degrees).  The other had the higher temp, but the lower 'feels like' (at 91 degrees).  Is it me, or is that too subjective to warrant 'thus the records are broken, thus Global Warming, thus we're  going to die, thus we must overhaul the world no questions asked!'?  I'd like things to look a little more, shall we say, consistent before we charge forth and obediently find new ways for corporate interests to line their pockets and politicians to stack their votes. 

Kudos to Senator Vance

Once again, we have American Indian activists trying to erase the name of a memorial to a white American of European descent.  Naturally the political Left would be tickled pink to see this happen as often as possible. And perhaps it may have had some traction in another age.  After all, I saw plenty of Republicans express outrage when statues of Christopher Columbus came toppling down here in thee Buckeye State.  Yet I saw none of them actually stop it or do anything to rectify it.  Big talk being a core Republican virtue.

But J.D. Vance - a politician I didn't care for - has stepped up and said no way.  He has gone further by saying it's time to ditch all of these renaming committees that only seem to exist for the purpose of going Taliban on America's heritage and Western history. Good for him I say. 

I am never one to deny when a person I thought was the bee's knees has gone off the rails and lost my respect (I'm looking at you Dr. David Gushee and John Kasich).  But I'm equally prepared to reconsider a negative appraisal if I see the individual in question do the right thing, especially against a powerful opponent and amidst limp-wristed allies.  

Thursday, August 24, 2023

The seasonal GOP clown show

Have you ever seen a bad movie - I mean really bad - and then you see that an actor or actress you admire is in it?  Has that happened, and then you become embarrassed for the individual for being in such a rotten picture?  That's the feeling I had for the few minutes of the GOP debate I was able to stomach last night. 

Whew.  How far we have fallen as a country.  If my boys acted like that when they were young I would have punished them. I tried to watch it, but I literally became embarrassed.  Embarrassed for them on the stage, for the GOP, for our nation, and sorrowful for our children. 

I fear it has been a long time coming.  Probably when Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh In, the barrier between the stupid and the serious was forever shattered.  If it was already getting there, after that it was a fast dash to Clinton playing his sax and joking about pot smoking on Arsenio.  And from there the teenage level snark of Obama or the locker room adolescent behavior of 2016. 

But this is the age we live in now.  These are the leaders, who only look good when juxtaposed to the experts who will deride them.  I hate it for our kids.  As my son quipped after the disastrous police response to the Uvalde school shooting:  Great nations produce great men.   End statement. 

From a saner age:

The only thing worse than Sam Rocha's post about Robert E. Lee

 Is that it had 75 likes and 8 reposts:

This is standard leftwing boilerplate. Simply make an accusation, no matter how demonstrably false.  I can't think of anyone I've ever met who denies seeing racism or argues there is no definition of white supremacy.  When that accusation is made, typically it means someone who has failed to conform 100% to Left-think.

Of course Rocha goes after Robert E. Lee, as if Lee and Racist White Supremacy are one and the same.  Like Donald McClarey, it sickens me what the Marxists* have done to history in the West. Typical, but sickening nonetheless. 

In any event, as one who has seen racism, and studied enough history to know white supremacy when I see it, I can assure him I deny neither.  I also admire Lee, because as a non-leftist Christian, I am bound by ideals of forgiveness, reconciliation, humility and not casting stones too speedily.  Those ideas which, until recently, were safety bumpers for the West, no matter how many would have liked to see our approach to those past sinners be what the Left has made it today. 

But as I have said before, in my recollection there is no movement in recent times more self-righteously judgmental, intolerant or close minded than the modern Left.  Which explains the 75 likes and 8 reposts.  Though the low quality of the post from a paid professor also explains the dismal knowledge base of our modern educated generations.  

*Given the growing library of posts, articles, and editorials extolling the virtues of Marx, Marxism, communism and comparing communist countries favorably to the US and the West while calling hellfire down on capitalist imperialism as the source of all evil in our modern world, I think it's safe to start calling a spade a spade.  I'm not saying they could all pass a graduate exam on the writings of Marx or communist thought.  It's enough that the influence is clearly there and a motivating factor. After all, consider the speed with which you are accused of being a fascist, white supremacist, racist, or white nationalist merely for questioning a liberal pronouncement.  I think, given the low bar they have established for being called a white supremacist fascist, Marxist is easily a fair appraisal of what we're seeing today. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Red Leader Journalism

When I say Red Leader journalism, I'm calling to mind one of the many iconic scenes from the original Star Wars.  As the rebels try against all odds to destroy the Death Star, one of the commanders (Red Leader), makes his run against the target.  If you've seen the movie, you can't help but remember the scene.  His stone cold determination and focus on the task at hand are immortalized in his monotone 'almost there...almost there.'

But when I see how the news media shamelessly exploits and focuses on and ignores and dismisses stories based purely on the advantage the stories have for the media agendas, I can't help but think of that scene.  It's as if they have the same stone cold determination to not act until a story that can be exploited comes across the news feed:

A transgender activist  just murdered six people in a conservative Christian school!

Almost there

A black man with anti-white social media posts just killed five white people!

Almost there

A Muslim just attacked multiple collage students while yelling Allahu-Akbar!

Almost there

An opponent of the LGBTQ agenda just killed someone over a Pride Flag!

It's away! 

At which point we see front page headlines, round the clock coverage, national press outlets exploding across the media, protests, debate shows, and breaking coverage 24/7 for days or even weeks.  The others being dropped within a day or two if they bother to cover them at all. 

On any given day, we'll have at least one murder in central Ohio, usually in Columbus.  Dozens are killed on a daily basis in our country.  Yet the press will only ever care when the death or attack can further the leftwing agendas and narratives

This is a grave evil.  One of the gravest in an age of grave evils.  The exploitation and ignoring of human beings simply to advance agendas.  A human being has been murdered.  An important person has lost her life.  But the only reason we are hearing about it now across all outlets and plastered on headlines across the nation, as dozens of other victims are ignored, is because of the issues involved.  And we darn well know it. 

May God grant peace to the loved ones of the victim and strength to those left behind.  May the killer be converted from the evil spirits that drove him to such madness and violence.  And may God have mercy on the souls of journalists who have made it clear that they see in this tragedy only an advantage.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Remember what I said yesterday?

About how, when it comes to climate change, scientists and journalists increasingly sound like carnival carnies shouting out for  the sideshow, rather than actual scientists and journalists?  I thought you might enjoy this:

It's from the current weather report out of Columbus.  The map indicates the area we live in (circled in red), and the Heat Advisory, indicating an excessive heat watch for severe heat.  Note the forecasted high temp - 79 degrees.  Granted, yesterday did end up getting pretty warm, with the mid 80s and a pretty high humidity.  I'd say it felt around the high 80s or low 90s at the hottest. 

Right now, the humidity is 62, which can be a bit sticky, but since it's only in the high 70s, that's not too bad.  Plus there is a slight breeze out of the north, making it more than comfortable.  It might get up to 79 by the late afternoon or so, but I don't see it near the high 80s, which is the least I think of for a heat advisory. 

But this is the news.  Again, on the morning news shows, they focused on the Heat Index. claiming it could make it feel upwards of the 90s.  But they're soldering on with the Heat Advisory, despite it being a pleasantly warm summer day at 77 degrees with a slight breeze.  We call that brainwashing. 

Also, it's funny because that is often the example given for someone who wants something perfect.  You know, 'apparently you can't function unless it's sunny with a the high 70s and a cool northerly breeze.'  Meaning perfect conditions are demanded by you.  Except now, those once perfect conditions apparently indicate extreme heat advisory.  

He must be making progress

I posted on Vivek Ramaswamy the other day.  Now ABC has done a hit piece on him.  My guess is that he's showing some potential.  

At this stage, the former media is more a propaganda/secret police agency.  It operates to maintain narratives by elevating or ignoring stories accordingly.  If someone is brutally murdered, the first questions are what group identities, skin color, or other designators are involved.  The answer to that will determine if it is a story plastered across front page headlines for days or weeks, or if it is covered for a day and then dropped.  We darn well know this is true.

But the press also launches attacks on anything or anyone that might challenge or otherwise harm the ascendancy of the political Left.  As in the ABC piece linked above.  It's nothing other than 'my hunch is he's a bad man, a very bad man.'  It's more gossip column than news article.   It provides some details, but wrapped in a bunch of accusations and opinions that he's really in it for all the wrong reasons.  That's because people think so. 

Hint: when someone relies on accusing someone of ulterior motives, it's best to ignore.  No matter what field they write for. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

The rise of the Weather Carnies

So we've all heard about the heat waves this year.  Every morning for over a year and a half the national morning news shows have opened the broadcasts with a weather crisis story (along with daily Trump/Jan 6 stories).  Granted, I haven't seen every broadcast.  I usually only watch in the morning during the week when I'm getting ready, but not weekends.  My wife and I share a coffee, and watch to see the weather and local traffic.  Then we watch the opening of the national broadcasts at 7 AM.  We watch through the opening segments, which is our cue to wrap up the morning routine.

But during the week, I do believe for over a year and a half, every national broadcast on the three networks has led with a weather crisis story each and every day.  Doesn't have to be weather in the US.  It doesn't even have to be much of a story.  But some form of 'severe weather' headline must be shown. So when it heats up like it did this year, you can bet they were going all out in their coverage - as they did.  

Now, one of my beefs with the Global Warming political narrative is that tendency advocates have of hedging their bets.  It isn't enough for them to declare their beliefs about the climate.  It isn't enough to just stay with the facts.  They have to find ways, clever or goofy, to convince me it's more than just change, but an apocalyptic holocaust in the making that will doom mankind if I don't obey get with the political program. 

To that end, the meteorologists on the news, or the scientists interviewed, or the various climate activists banging their drums, can come off more like used car salesmen rather than experts or scientists.  And that tendency to inflate or spin or just BS makes me wonder. 

For instance, it has been hot in some parts of the country.  That much is true.  And at least some records in our 140 years of keeping track have been broken.  Not in our neck of the woods, it's worth noting. For one week - naturally the week we went on our belated anniversary vacation - the temps got into the 90s.  And the local news stations went crazy with the warnings.  But that was it.  It's been the 80s or less for most of the last month or so.

Not to cry quits because of facts and reality, however, when the heatwave in the Southwest was at its height and the news outlets were warning the rest of the county it was coming our way, our own weather stations jumped on the bandwagon.  By the end of a rather cool first week of August, they predicted the scorching heat wave was coming our way.  But nothing happened.  It didn't get that hot.

Not to cry quits because of facts, they went ahead and issued a regional heat advisory for central Ohio, on the off chance it at least made it to the high 80s (the forecasted high for that Friday).  It didn't.  It stalled at around 84 degrees.  

Not to cry quits, they kept the heat advisory and insisted if you add that rather ambiguous and subjective Heat Index, it could almost feel like 100 degrees!  Yet not only was the afternoon high only 84 degrees, there was actually a rather pleasant breeze out of the north that day. I took advantage of it to work some in our outside herb garden.  My guess, off the cuff, was that when the breeze picked up it was probably closer to feeling like the high 70s, at least in the shade.  And for late July and August in Ohio, that is cool (these are usually the dog days when high 80s and low 90s and no rain are the norm).

Finally they cried quits and by mid afternoon cancelled the heat advisory.  They still insisted that if you count the heat index, in some places the 'feels like' temperature at least was close to 100.  Which is quite a heat index bump.  I'm old enough to remember that when the heat index was mentioned (it was introduced in the late 1970s), it usually bumped the temperature from high 80s to low to mid 90s.  But this time it was supposed to be an over 15 degrees bump, or so said the local meteorologists.  

All of this is to say that we didn't witness science, or journalism, or expertise, or information that day.  We witnessed the equivalent of snake oil salesmen peddling their wares.  And that's the sort of thing that raises warning flags with me.  

With Global Warming, we are continuously treated to a never ending list of slick sales pitch style rhetoric that even the most sympathetic listener has to question.  Like the famous 'exactly when is it weather and when is it climate?' question that always seems to fluctuate depending on the temperatures and locations at hand.

Or this.  Given the strange morphing of Heat Index to apparently any number that gets the 'feels like' temperature close to 100, I begin to doubt things like this:

Fact is, it's been closer to one of the mildest and coolest summers I remember for this time of the year.  And it's been that way all over central Ohio.

But the news casts, local as well as national, have pounded the pulpit about extreme heat, Extreme Heat, EXTREME HEAT every morning of every day for weeks and weeks.  Every extended forecast has assured us that by the end of the week it's going to be a scorcher!  90s and 100s are just around the corner!  Yet by the time those days reach the left of the graphic later in the week, they've dropped to the mid to low 80s or lower. Even yesterday, the extended forecast had the high temp jumping into the low 90s.  What did it end up being?  84 degrees.  

Yes, I realize we'll probably be pummeled in the Fall, as September and maybe even October see the temps skyrocket to the 90s or hotter.  It's been doing that in recent years, even as spring has lagged later and later, with cool temps and even late frosts becoming common even into late May and June.  Climate does change.  But the hysteria, the medicine shows, the weather carnies have almost become a joke.  

As a bonus.  We were watching the news on NBC, and the forecast was for high 80s.  The meteorologist said we were still going to be lower than average, though the forecast suggested we'd be getting close to normal.  The graphic showed the average and the highs and lows for the day, with the forecasted high being just shy of the average.  Then in the next weather segment later in the broadcast, the headline on the screen said that today we would be 'unseasonably warm.'  How, pray tell, are we unseasonably warm according to the statement on the screen when the meteorologist said we would be below average?  Again, car salesmen weather carnies.  

This time we mean it!

Friday, August 18, 2023

It's difficult to find him

But I've noticed his name pop up in interesting ways recently.  I don't know much about Vivek Ramaswamy, and the media is as useless here as you can imagine.  Right now the media is already running with the "Trump v. Biden 2024" narrative that it so desperately craves.  

Despite the catastrophic failure of 2016, when Trump was supposed to destroy the GOP once and for all, the press wants to do it again.  Destroy Trump with a never ending barrage of accusations, litigations, felony charges, whatever, and then make darn sure he gets the nomination.  Similar to 2016, but with more baggage.  Or so the media assumes. 

I personally believe if they could find anyone beyond Biden they would take it.  Everyone knows Biden is in about as much control as the Sultan was in Disney's Aladdin.  But who do they have?  Vice President Harris?  That's rich.  At this point the press simply ignores anything negative to do with the White House.  Therefore the degree to which it ignores Harris shows how negative the press believes she must be.

So they appear stuck with Biden, and therefore their only hope is Trump.  To that end the press will do what it did in 2016 and shut out anyone else.  At least give nobody else the same level of coverage.  I remember in 2016. I first heard Rick Santorum was in the race when the press reported that he was dropping out of the race.  Even as a Buckeye, we had a hard time finding info about John Kasich, and he had been our governor and hometown boy.  The press wanted Trump in 2016, as it does today and that is its focus.

Therefore, learning about anyone like Ramaswamy is going to be like finding Big Foot.  From what I have seen, he seems prepared to say unpopular things in ways typically not acceptable to the modern Left establishment.  Like this.  To actually come out and call out the LGTBQ narratives and point out some obvious truths about the whole farse.  Takes guts.  More to the point, he did it in a way that was respectful and courtly, if I may use that term.  It seems to have disarmed a 'pansexual' activist, and that's no easy accomplishment. 

We'll see.  Again, I found some basic bio info, but that doesn't help much.  I'll keep an eye on him.  Everyone here knows I'm not fan of Trump. Never have been.  As I've pissed off more than one leftist by pointing out, I didn't like Trump back when liberal Democrats and Hollywood celebrities loved the guy.  I was ahead of the curve you might say. Still, you never know.  As they say, anything can happen in Texas.  

UPDATE:  To add interest, he has released a 'Ten Commandments' for his 2024 campaign.  If nothing else, he's making himself clear about these issues.  All too often politicians, especially Republicans, tend to him-haw and dance around hot button issues and liberal sacred cows.  Apparently he isn't.  Still learning about him and this is not an endorsement.  It is interesting how a politician speaking openly and honestly in a civil manner is newsworthy. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Our ministry of lies

There was an old joke a few years ago that went something like this:  If you're offended by the team name of the Washington Redskins, then there's a big chance you're not Native American.  That's because very few polls were mentioned regarding what Native Americans actually thought about the controversy.  When they were polled, we typically found most Native Americans didn't care, or actually liked such names (Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians).  

But like black Americans who love America, or women who question feminism, or former homosexuals, or those regretting sex change surgeries, or Muslims who insist Islam has problems, or Chinese defectors who speak of the horrors of modern Communist China - they are the Left's unpeople.  They simply don't exist.  If they get too loud, like African American senator Tim Scott, then it's torrents of insults along the lines of Uncle Tom (or the preferred Uncle Tim), or House N----r, or similar kindly labels.  

Obviously, a sane and mature individual of good will can see fast that these groups, and those in them, matter not a single bean for the modern Left/Media.  Just like the poor.  Ever since the Covid lockdowns, the Left/Media has acted as if no one is poor in America.  I counted on one hand minus two fingers the number of news stories that zeroed in on the catastrophic toll that the lockdowns took on the poor and lower rungs of society.  The media preferred feel good stories about how the latest celebrity or millionaire turned their mansion's foyer into an impromptu putting range to pass time while obediently abiding by the latest Covid mandates. 

Same with today.  Staggering inflation rates, food pantries depleted because people can't afford groceries, rent and housing off the scale, the rising cost of automobiles, young parents unable to afford basic necessities for their babies, record setting credit card debt (akin to what preceded the 2008 collapse).  And how are these handled?  When covered at all, they're tied to some 'how communities can help' or 'here's the silver lining' or 'the good news is!'.  No connecting the dots and suggesting there is anything significantly wrong with the economy. 

Really.  A couple weeks ago, one of our local news stations demonstrated this nicely.  There was a commercial for a special city-wide fundraiser to help raise money for parents who can't afford diapers (over 50% unable to do so per the commercial).  Then the first story following the commercial was how one of the economic indicators looked awesome, mostly because of a rise in manufacturing due to government spending on infrastructure.  Things are looking promising for Bidenomics, or so they said.  And the immediate story after that was how local agencies are coming together to help people in the area who are unable to afford food for their families due to inflation.  Why does the press present such a threefold 'people are unable to live - economy is looking awesome! - people are starving' story template?  Because a liberal Democrat is in the White House, that's why.  Let's not make it difficult people.

Again, the Left - and perhaps due to the growing number of editorials and posts extolling the virtues of Marx and his ideals, we can start calling a spade a spade - doesn't care.  It cares not if blacks are murdered by the truckload on an annual basis.  Women and girls raped only matters depending on who does the raping.  Hispanics killed?  The poor starved?  Or the fate of anyone in any such designated group?  It cares insofar as they join the coalition to destroy the Western Democratic tradition and the Christian Era.  Or if their suffering can be exploited to do so.  Otherwise?  See the Unperson mentioned above. 

That's why it's heartening when you see stories like this, though not surprising.  A group of Native Americans are suing to have the name Redskins restored to the Washington team. 

The family of the eponymous Aunt Jamima brand was outraged when their matriarch's name was erased from the product that made her famous.  Likewise, the family of the founder of Land O'Lakes was equally upset that the famous image of an Indian woman on the packaging was erased.  Because, according to them, it was put there by the founder due to his love for and admiration for Native American people.  

In the case of the linked to story, those Native Americans who were polled, who expressed support for such names as the Redskins, and were flagrantly ignored by the Left/Media because they were of no use to the destruction of American heritage, are fighting back.  Good for them I say.  

The Native Americans portrayed by the modern Left today never existed.  They aren't even fan fiction.  They are more fever dream fantasy fiction on acid. But the real Native Americans were a rich and fascinating culture that should be studied, celebrated when deserving, and listened to.  And not only those who resent and hate the West and would join the Marxists and work for its destruction. But the other ones as well.  We'll see how this goes.  I'd be shocked if the Leftwing media covers it, but you never know. 

Monday, August 14, 2023

I am no lawyer

So I don't know.  But this seems significant.  Or at least it is being portrayed as significant by our always objective and reliable news media.  Some youths sued the state of Montana because, apparently, fossil fuels exist and proper establishment approved climate change solutions aren't being implemented in the state.  Therefore, that denied them their constitutional right to clean air and water.  

Now my thoroughly untrained and ignorant-where-the-law-is-concerned eye sees this and I see something much bigger behind the gibberish going on.  I don't know.  Something about it seems on the surface goofy, almost stupid, and yet I get a whiff of maliciousness behind it all.  We'll see.  I'm sure others will chime in around the media world.  After all, the WaPo says it's a case the whole world is watching.  Therefore I suspect others in the world will have more to say than I do. 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

What my boys mean


I've mentioned before that one of my boys said debating a modern liberal is like playing a game of Monopoly with someone who keeps throwing pots and pans at you.  It's a goofy illustration, and yet it's entirely accurate. The point is that there is nothing you can do. What they're doing has nothing to do with the game.  They're not even cheating, where you can call them out or even try to out-cheat them.  They're throwing pots and pans.  

That illustrates the choking levels of duplicity and hypocrisy seen in the above headlines.  One song says we'll defend ourselves against crime and is called a racist hate song.  The other song calls on the killing of white people in South Africa, is accompanied by an uptick in violent attacks against white  people in Africa, and we're told it's no big deal.  So says the "Experts".  Facts, consistency, truth, principles, common sense, context - none of these things matter. 

So like the above duplicitous hypocrisy in reaction to two separate songs, we shouldn't be shocked to see this:

I saw this take off across social media and leftwing outlets.  Ha ha ha! , is the reaction. That's simply hatred of a person and crowing over his misfortune for daring to challenge a leftwing narrative.  Or so it seems. 

Of course the big point of this whole rigmarole is that this was a country song that went to Number 1 on the Billboard charts in the first place.  Billboard is for ranking general popular music.  There are other charts of genres like Country music.  Exactly what constitutes country and what does and doesn't reflect a crossover on the charts has changed over the decades.*  Suffice to say, there have only been a few dozen bona fide country songs that have topped the pop music Billboard Charts over the many decades of its existence.  Of those non-mainstream pop songs that have topped the charts over the years, many eventually fall quickly since it isn't their main genre.  

From the latest search on the Country charts, August 9, 2023

From a quick search on the 9th.  But things like I'm talking about assume a desire for truth, facts, knowledge and reality.  Remember, over 40% of Americans couldn't identify the historical event commemorated by Independence Day.  And three Jeopardy contestants, smart enough to get on Jeopardy, couldn't fill in missing words in the opening line of the Lord's Prayer.  Things like knowledge, truth or facts are irrelevant to those who follow the modern way.  And the Left makes bank on this fact. 

The worst part isn't the stupidity and ignorance and lack of knowledge.  It's that increasingly I feel our pundits, our scholars, our journalists, our educators and our activists are betting the farm that people remain lazy, stupid, ignorant, uninformed and devoid of a concern for actual knowledge and education. Things most of these professions should want to remedy, rather than depend upon. 

Remember one of my ongoing principles:  If agreeing with you demands I reject truth, facts, common sense, truth, or knowledge of a subject, then I'll choose to disagree every time.  And I'll also be highly suspect about anything else you advocate. 

"Fat, drunk and stupid is just how we want you to go through life, son." 

*It isn't as easy as 'how many country songs have topped the Billboard Charts'.  That's because just what is a country song or country artist can be pretty subjective.  For instance, there is actually quite a debate about John Denver and Kenny Rogers.  Both were technically country singers, but many argue their strong showing on the Billboard charts came from songs that were more popular music with a country twang than actual country music.  Then what about duets or other situations?  Nevertheless, even with the broadest definitions, the number of any vaguely defined country songs that have topped Billboard over the decades is in the several dozens of the thousands of weeks and song titles in the chart's history - at best.  So it should be no news that it dropped after the hype and hysteria died down.  What is noteworthy is that it made it in the first place.  At least for those factually inclined. 

Friday, August 11, 2023

Friday Frivolity: Favorite strategy games

After my post on wargaming as my go-to hobby, I began musing on my favorite wargames/strategy games from over the years.  I don't have a massive collection, but it's not a bad little collection, especially when added to the overall number of games we have.  I have played others, but rarely. I was never one to hang around hobby stores and play endlessly in that environment.  Most of my games have been with friends in the day or family, primarily the boys.  In that I was blessed.  I would never say they all enjoyed such strategy games to the same degree, but they seemed to enjoy them enough.  And often it was the time together, more than the outcome, that was the best part of it all.  Such is life I suppose.

Anyway, below are some of the games I've come to favor over the years.  This isn't to say others not on this list are throwaway.  And it doesn't include anything but strategy and wargames proper.  At least as I define it. Thus no poker or Cataan or Monopoly. Those are for other posts.  This is simply those strategy games that I especially like, either because of the quality of the game, or because they bring something to my love of history and strategy games. 

Stratego - Stratego?  Yes, Stratego.  This is here because it was the first 'strategy game' I ever played.  The son of a friend and coworker of my dad's owned the game.  Once when we were at their house while our parents played euchre, he pulled this off the shelf.  I couldn't have been more than six or seven.  I remember being instantly taken by the game.  I don't think I learned it well, and most likely lost.  Likewise I didn't see it again for many years.  But that was the first such game I ever played, and it planted a seed that only grew with time.  

RISK - Who didn't learn where Kamchatka was from playing this?  I visited a cousin's house when I was in middle school, and they had the most recent release of RISK, which actually played on television commercials.  Unlike every other edition, the playing pieces were molded in the form of Roman numerals.  There was one, three, five and ten army pieces.  The three is unique, as most editions only have the options for one, five and ten armies.  Something about that caught my imagination and I obsessed about getting that edition of RISK until I finally did.  Eventually I taught several friends how to play the game, and we would play it off and on over the years, even into college.  For my more socially conscience sports jock friends, this was just enough strategy game without flirting too closely with the deepest, darkest side of wargaming subculture that might cramp their style.  

Now perhaps in a universe with the Almighty, there is no such thing as luck.  If so, then the dice I roll have an incorrigible knack for never being what I need.  That's why for those who play me in RISK, I'm known for amassing about 30 to 1 odds in my favor before anything happens.  Oh, fun fact about me.  Never attack me and insist it's merely part of some big strategy when we've made an agreement not to.  I will spend the rest of the game making sure no matter who wins, it won't be you.  Something my best friend found out once in college when we were playing this with a group of friends back for Christmas break. 

Empires in Arms - What some call the single best wargame ever.  It covers the military part of the Napoleonic Era from 1805 until 1815.  Turns represent a single month.  It pulls together the two tricks of any successful historical strategy game.  It has enough historical flavor and reference points that you are always aware of the historical period in question.  Yet it allows for enough open ended play that doesn't railroad things toward their historical end.  True, by the end, most of the players of this game will have to unite against France unless they want the French player to win.  It's set up that way.  But just who does so, and what the outcome will be, is still up for grabs.  The game balances a grand strategic with tactical considerations in a way seldom matched.  There is enough 'non-fighting' considerations, such as national morale and home front economics, to add flavor.  And each turn has a diplomacy phase.  Unlike many games with a diplomatic factor, there are actual game options you can choose that must be adhered to, or game penalties are incurred.  If there is a flaw, it is the same one for any game that lasts more than a couple hours: how to get everyone together for extended periods of time.  I was blessed by the boys enjoying these games to one extent or another.  I wish we would have dusted this off earlier, but then only the two oldest could have played.  It is a game that needs at least four, if not five, players to really work. But we had fun with it during its run.  That, perhaps, is the most important thing of all. 

Civilization - Not the computer game series, but the board game that started it all.  Released in the early 1980s, it was a generic board game loosely referencing ancient civilizations.  There is combat, but it's not a war game by any stretch.  It has the civilization cards and the trade goods that become the main source of victory points needed to win.  I bought the expansion, but never played it.  My wife is no big fan of your strategic war game, hence I decided to have four sons to satisfy the requirements.  But she does like Civilization.  We've played it several times over the years.  As family fun goes, this has always been a reliable option. 

Republic of Rome - I bought this bad boy before I got married.  I liked the fact that it was high on the solitaire ability. Not a few such wargames are made for solitaire play, for obvious reasons.  At that time I had moved to Florida and didn't know many people, much less people to play strategy games.  Shortly afterwards I met my future wife and it sat on the shelf for about, oh, twenty five years.  Then my third oldest son - our boardgame guru - glanced at it and decided it was time.  At first it lived up to its high difficulty rating.  But in a strange twist, once we 'got it', it was as easy as pi.  And it gets it, the feel of the period in question.  That's not always easy, and we've had more than one game over the years that missed the mark of evoking the theme in a way the game should have.  With Republic, it all works, though ours is an old version with many millions of tiny pieces that need about a good dining room table to fit.  Like most such games, the more players the better, especially due to some of the bartering and backstabbing elements that would have to be in any Roman themed game.  

Squad/Panzer Leader  - We use as supplement with World in Flames.  Squad/Panzer Leader is the ultimate tactical level game.  There are also miniature games of the same scale.  I played one once when there was a game convention at OSU.  It was the first and only time I did that, since I led my tank platoon into an ambush and discovered the others there must have bet their mortgages on the game's outcome.  Nonetheless, in the boardgame format, these two are WWII (again) at the squad/platoon level.  It's like Flames of War, but without the models.  On the whole, I prefer my games on a bigger scale than the house to house tactical.  But when that itch needs scratched, these two work nicely.  For our third eldest's most recent birthday, I found a couple extensions of these using British and Japanese scenarios.  That way we can break from World in Flames, and dive into a particular scenario on the tactical level when the action of World in Flames allows.  

Battles of Waterloo - This is the first time I delved into an actual tactical game, apart from Panzer Leader.  Until then, most of my games were on the grand strategic level.  I had never purchased a game that sought to reenact an actual historical battle.  As the plural suggests, the game encompasses more than the famous battle of June 18, 1815.  It includes the battles and encounters the previous days that led up to that fateful conflict.  Waterloo is so studied and so analyzed that any game attempting to reproduce that legendary clash of arms will have its critics.  At some point, you pick a game and dive in and enjoy, remembering that no game, like no movie or book, can reproduce history exactly or without dispute.  I find this, with its scale, emphasis on orders of battle and unit specifics, along with some of the optional rules that unpack the details a little more, is the game to go with.  

Struggle of Nations - Quite frankly the most difficult game I've ever learned. In fact, one of the most difficult things I've ever learned, period.  And I studied Alfred Whitehead in graduate school.  It isn't the same  problem as World in Flames.  With WiF, much of the confusion comes from poorly written and edited rules that are all over the place mixed with thirty years of patchwork releases and revisions.  As I've said, with WiF you have to read about a half dozen sections from two or three instruction manuals to figure out what most rules books could put in a single paragraph.  SoN isn't convoluted, though the instructions themselves are in pros, which adds to the difficulty.  Instead of breaking things down in sections, or bullet points, or outline form, it writes them out like a novel, only breaking down certain terms or concepts on rare occasion.  Only when there is a sparse illustration does it break from that, and then you take a breath and rejoice.   The game itself is difficult, and plays to the old wargame stereotype of needing your average MIT grad student to make sense of the endless charts, graphs, cross-references, equations and variables that go into a single decision.  Unlike many such wargames, the emphasis here is on logistics, and keeping the armies fed and supplied.  Believe it or not.  Yes there is combat, but the bulk of the gameplay is about communications, transportation and supplying the vast forces that clashed at Leipzig in 1814.  

1776 - I find wargames based on the American Revolution are a mixed bag. I don't know why.  I think on one hand, the Revolution covered a large swath of geography.  On the other hand, unlike the titanic clashes in Europe during the Napoleonic Era, the battles in our War for Independence were rather small affairs.  Whereas a battle here, such as the Battle of Saratoga, might have 20,000 combatants total (and it was one of the major battles), the Battle of Austerlitz would have 170,000 combatants total.  Maybe it's trying to cover all of the colonies where such small numbers are concerned.  I don't know.  I just know the game 1776 comes about as close as any I tried over the years when it comes to striking that balance.  It literally has everything from Georgia to Canada covered, beyond the Appalachians, and including naval forces and foreign intervention.  The playing pieces display the relatively small numbers involved, and it plays out how vast the distances were in this new land.  All in all, a good mix that is worth the relatively easy play.

Flames of War  - My one foray into the world of miniature models wargaming.  Truth be told, such a hobby is tough for me.  I have what medical folks call 'essential tremors.'  That is, my hands shake.  For no apparent reason.  If I concentrate on them, or am relaxed and sitting down at the telly, they're fine.  But let me take my mind off of them and focus on something else, and they start shaking.  My dad had the same thing.  That's why when I used be a minister, I never walked about with a Bible in my hand.  Folks would be able to see it shaking and figure it was some nervous thing.  So I usually stood by the pulpit, leaned on it with an elbow or such, and just talked.  My congregations often called them my 'chats' rather than my sermons.  So try as I might, painting little figures that are half the size of a thimble is a tough call.  Nonetheless, I think in the end I did OK.  My second oldest son is better.  But when our economic fortunes hit the skids, sadly the hobby came to an end.  It wasn't cheap after all, and the ongoing paints and supplies just weren't warranted.  We still have several boxes unopened. 

As wargames go, this was a very 'intro' level.  It was generic, basic and painted with one broad brushstroke the complexities of such a tactical level game.  It went so far as to have artillery on the same board with the infantry and armored units (artillery, by that time, was a zillion miles away firing according to coordinates given by those spotters along the front).  Nonetheless, there was a method to its madness.  The producers of the game once said to imagine the game board (itself built of modelling terrain and buildings) as a computer game map.  You click on a certain part of the map, and suddenly you have a new screen zoomed in on the action happening.  This time an infantry platoon.  That next time the artillery batteries.   That's what this was.  The map was the general campaign or battle.  Then each little encounter between the units was supposed to represent something larger, even if each model was one-for-one scale (an infantry unit with five figures meant five soldiers, not representative of one platoon or such).  Given the heavy complexity such miniature wargaming can bring to the table, such a watered down approach wasn't bad.  Especially for the kiddos.  

Diplomacy - Perhaps calling this a strategy game is stretching it, but I think there is strategic thinking involved.  Truth be told, this is a game we've played as a family, but in that context it has its limits.  At the end of the day you need to be ruthless, cunning, and not afraid to stab each other in the back to get ahead.  When it comes down to it, with one exception, most of us just can't bring ourselves to do that.  Therefore the game starts strong, and then more or less bogs down when we can't do anything without stepping on each other's toes. Nonetheless, when you can play in mixed company, this is one of the purest of thinking games out there.  No luck.  No dice.  Pure thinking and diplomacy.  In the early days of the Internet, a Presbyterian pastor friend of mine organized a Diplomacy by Email game.  It had the total number of players, with him as the coordinator.  I came in second at the end. In fact, I was next to last until the final turn.  As he said in the game's summation, I must have pulled some historic level of diplomatic maneuvering to leap that far ahead (he won, it should be noted).  But then, that's what makes Diplomacy fun.   

This Hallowed Ground:  Part of a game series set in the Civil War, this particular installment features the Battle of Gettysburg.  This is one of only two American Civil War games I have.  The other was an early buy, The Civil War, by an old company called Victory Games, a subsidiary of Avalon Hill.  Most of my friends and classmates from back in the day who were history majors got into the subject through the Civil War.  That was their passion, and whatever interest they had in other historical eras grew from the Civil War.  For me, as I've said many times, it was WW2.  Truth be told, the Civil War never interested me that much, beyond the monstrous impact the war had on America.  Perhaps because by the time I came along, efforts were already under way to draw out only the negative from that period, and downplay or erase any positive.  I dunno.  It just wasn't a big topic for me.  Then a few years ago I asked Donald McClarey over at The American Catholic, to suggest a few 'Civil War for Dummies' level books to get my feet wet.  At that time, I decided to purchase this as well, since in some cases you can find quite a lot of good scholarship in the game notes of these products.  I'm not enough of a CW historian to judge this game's historical merits.  I do enjoy studying orders of battle, and I found a couple of the counters were wrong.  That sort of thing does bug me.  But it's Gettysburg on a regimental level, no easy feat.  As far as I can tell, at least in terms of playability, it didn't do bad, and was a boost for me learning about the battle.  As far as wargames go, that's not a bad combo. 

Axis and Allies - I've written about this before as well.  At least as part of our favorite games.  There are literally dozens of variations on this, and we've bought most of them over the years.  Happily, we bought the two anniversary editions when they were released.  They are now out of print and, like most out of print things, will cost a hefty price tag if you want them today.  In terms of playability, you don't get much better.  True, it isn't going to get into the nitty-gritty of World War II history beyond the generic.  But if the Second World War is something you've only heard about in news stories about internment camps, then you could come away with at least a little more knowledge of the conflict.  And as is the case with any such game, that's not bad. 

World in Flames - The game I waited my life to play.  I've written on this before, and likely will again.  It's technically my third oldest son's game.  He saw an old version of it online some years ago.  I tried to get a copy of an original print from back in the 80s, but just couldn't find one.  At least one for less than about 400.00, and then with no guarantee everything was there.  So we went all out for his 21st Birthday and got the latest versions, and everything ever published with it.  I already have written on this, and will likely do more.  If any of these games deserve the title 'hobby' in and of themselves, it's this monstrosity. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

John Pavlovitz and the necessity of bad exegesis for liberal Christianity

Now, bad exegesis happens.  And it's hardly unique to liberal Christians.  But like so many negative traits, it seems almost universal among liberals, especially liberal Christians.  That's because the liberalism they embrace rejects their Faith, its values, its beliefs, its entire worldview.  Therefore, trying to shove that square peg of Gospel into that round hole of the secular World demands some clever approaches to interpreting the Scriptures. 

John Pavlovitz demonstrates this here with a little exegetical trick call proof-texting: 

Mr. Pavlovitz knows darn well that nobody denies there were manifold sins within Sodom and Gomorrah.  The scriptural record is clear on that.  And that includes that hot topic of the ancient world, hospitality.  When my sons went through the ancient Greek literature part of their homeschooling, they concluded The Odyssey was one giant screed against bad hospitality.  

Likewise Pride is certainly a chief sin of the Faith, as demonstrated in the above scriptural passage (more on that later).  But so is sexual assault, homosexuality, and generic bad behavior, all of which were an afront to God's will for social virtues.  Here is Jude with a refresher course on some of the sins going on there that Mr. Pavlovitz seems to skip: 

Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.  Jude 7.

And in case we need a little mental jarring about what kind of 'fornication' was being demonstrated, let's go back to the hazy mists of Genesis:

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”  Genesis 19.4-8 (emphasis mine)

Was Sodom guilty of manifold sins?  Yes.  Among these, and pointed out explicitly, was their desire to break the rules of hospitality.  And the way in which they wanted to do it was so bad, the men demanding sex with the men visiting Lot, that Lot would rather break other rules of virtue by handing his daughters over than to see such a wicked act occur.   As my ethics professor David Gushee said back in the day (c.1996), you can't deny that where the scriptural record is concerned, homosexuality is presented as the ultimate deviation from sexual morality.  To only focus on one sin of Sodom above all others is problematic.  To ignore or downplay sins explicitly detailed in the Scriptures and the traditions of the Faith, however, is far worse. 

We won't even get into the stupid 'the abomination was anti-wokeness' line.  That's not worth the effort. 

Again, when you insist I remain ignorant or embrace falsehoods in order to agree with you, I'll choose disagreeing every time. In fact, the heavy reliance on such mendacity by Christians trying to square the LGBTQ movement with a biblical worldview always made me side with the biblical world view. 

None of this is to bother with Pavlovitz's suggestion that these 'Bible thumpers' are prideful, or don't help  the poor or don't care.  In every church I ever served, those 'Bible thumpers' tried to help those in need.  But this is focusing on the exegesis he is using.  It is not wasting time addressing that typical tactic so universal among leftwing political activism that must assume malicious motives and intentions and behaviors, rather than engage in the actual subject at hand.  The bad exegeses should be enough to raise the warning flag. 

By the way, a little fun study-the-Bible moment that says a lot.  I checked the biblical text for Ezekiel that he uses (it appears to be from the always flexible New International Version).  I consulted 55 translations.  Out of 55 translations, the Hebrew word (gawohn) in Ezekiel 16.49 is translated 'Pride' or 'Prideful' 47 times.  For example, from the Revised Standard Edition:

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

That's 85% of the time.  In terms of usage within the Scriptures, that word is rendered 'pride' or 'proud' more than any other way.  Yet in an odd twist of coincidence, Mr. Pavlovitz manages to grab one of the few modern translations that uses 'arrogant', rather than 'pride.'  Odd that.  Especially since this Twitter post was in defense of Pride Month.  

My favorite non-pride translation, BTW, was the New English Translation that translates the word as 'Majesty.'   Remember kiddies, know your translations!  And more importantly, pay careful attention to how those translations are used and who is using them. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The eyes of the world are upon Ohio

Whew. I have never seen our polling location this busy.  Not even in the most voted on election in human history in 2020.   And issue in question has been in Brit papers, Euro news and of course the US national press.  It's about - Issue 1.  The only issue on a midterm August special election ballot.  And it was a madhouse. In our little corner of voting world, it's the first time we have ever had to wait in line.

What's the issue?  Let me 'splain.  A couple years ago, coming out of the lockdowns when the School Board Battles were taking off, a bunch of transgender activists went to our statehouse and tried to play the 'save our trans kids from parents' card.  The local press jumped on the story and ran with it in the same way: if we let parents interfere, then what choice will our children have but to kill themselves?  And we can't have that!

Fortunately, a GOP dominated state government didn't let it see the light of day.  And in the midterms, when the GOP underperformed in several states, Ohio gushed red over almost the entire state in a conservative tsunami.  Same as with Florida, where the issue of sexing up our kids, surgically altering them, and keeping parents in the street seem to be winning issues for Republicans. 

Well, after that the SCOTUS dropped the Roe bomb and ushered in the new Terror - at least to hear the Left.  Sadly, the Pro-Life movement seemed content with resting on its laurels for a while as the pro-abortion rights movement prepared to storm the beaches.  The first big warning shot came in Kansas when Kansas voters struck down a much underreported attempt to enshrine pro-life policies in the Kansas constitution. 

Being Buckeyes, we realized the same can't happen here.  First, as soon as the abortion rights movement began pushing an amendment for abortion, conservatives effectively tied it to the same push we saw with the transgender activists only months earlier.  Which isn't altogether unfair if you think on it.   Second, the GOP moved to change our constitution to make it harder to amend the constitution in the first place. Finally we made darn sure to get the word out, even if Issue 1 itself was a little late in the promoting. 

What is Issue 1? Right now, Ohio is one of the few states where the state constitution can be amended with a vote of 50% plus 1 on citizen and legislature-initiated referendums.  Plus, currently to get an amendment push going, you need only obtain signatures from half of Ohio's counties.    This issue, Issue 1, would require a 60% vote to amend the constitution, and would require signatures from all 88 counties in order to get the proposal to move forward.

Naturally, its' really about abortion, transgender activism, parent's rights, and basically the growing rift between the Left's vision for America and those who don't accept that vision.  The pro-abortion movement already has an amendment enshrining abortion rights on the November ballot.  What will be required to get the constitution amended will therefore depend on what happens today.  

For me it's very simple.  Do we want pagan America, where life is precious or dirt cheap when certain people at certain times decide so?  Or is life precious and we work in our state's priorities accordingly?  Obviously, no matter how people articulate it, they get this is important.  That's why for the first time since we've been voting in our cavernous poling place we had to wait in line in the middle of the day.  We'll see. 


 What in the world does he even mean:

I read this five times and still can't figure it out.  Is he suggesting that if something, say a particular industry, is failing therefore nobody within it can be good at what they do?  For example, is he saying that if the music industry experienced a decline in sales there can be no talented musicians?  I have no clue, since I can't believe he would mean something that ridiculous.

Sam Rocha is my former editor at Patheos, and I don't remember him acting this goofy back then.  Like so many, he's beyond being a cautionary tale.  He has become a symbol for that malady we suffer under today in which an entire class of self-appointed experts with diplomas of the college decide they must be more brilliant than the hoi polloi because they have diplomas of the college.  

God save a nation when that is what constitutes being in the societal driver's seat. 

Saturday, August 5, 2023

David Brooks goes crazy

Over at The New York Times and asks the trillion dollar question:

What if we - that is America's modern liberal elites - are the bad guys?  It's an eye opener, though I don't know what to make of it.  We live in an age that doesn't really - care.  That he says what almost anyone sane enough to avoid the modern Left has known for years doesn't really matter if he doesn't follow through.  

Don't get me wrong.  Any step in the right direction is a step in the right direction.  His admission that most of the penthouse liberals' efforts are aimed at keeping them and their families in their penthouses, and at the expense of an ever growing segment of American citizens, at least calls the naked emperor out for what he is.  

"Armed with all kinds of economic, cultural and political power, we support policies that help ourselves … We built an entire social order that sorts and excludes people on the basis of the quality that we possess most: academic achievement. Highly educated parents go to elite schools, marry each other, work at high-paying professional jobs and pour enormous resources into our children, who get into the same elite schools, marry each other and pass their exclusive class privileges down from generation to generation."

He even mentions the suffocating levels of condescending arrogance they possess - though at times doing so in a way that almost seems as condescending:

"It’s easy to understand why people in less-educated classes would conclude that they are under economic, political, cultural and moral assault — and why they’ve rallied around Trump as their best warrior against the educated class”

He doesn't seem to go into the details of liberal ideals, values, agendas and activism.  He doesn't appear to suggest the core of their ethics and beliefs could be wrong, much less the problem.  He simply acknowledges that they all seem geared to making sure those elite liberals end up benefiting from them  no matter what happens to the 'not-them' classes.  Something, again, your average child can see by this point. 

Nonetheless we'll see. I don't think this will cause a Josiah level of repentance. At least it might help those who aren't leftwing thralls realize they weren't crazy for thinking what Brooks finally admits is true.