30 April 2008

The Most Popular Toys-R-Us In America.

Suddenly, Dad wants to take the kids shopping. For the third time this week!

Hattip: Why Last of the Few, of course!

Wednesday Morning Little Known Fact.

How they make Raisinets:

From here.

And all you Stand Firm readers make sure you see this one.

29 April 2008

Inch By Inch (At A Time), Row By Row, I'm Gonna Make This Church Not Grow.

The Great Helmsperson of The Episcopal Church (tm), Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, was in Dallas yesterday to dedicate a garden. The Dallas Morning News has the story:

Why would the busy, some might say embattled, leader of the 2.4 million-member Episcopal Church travel to Dallas for a 300-member congregation's garden blessing service?

"Well, I was asked," said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead the Episcopal Church.

Actually, she would travel to any city because a 300-member congregation is pretty big for an Episcopal Church anymore. We're not like those "breeder" religions, you know.

+Kate then runs through all the hits. First up, the MDG's:

"Coming here to bless a garden, especially at this time in the history of humanity, when we're focused on how the church can be a more proactive voice in caring for the rest of creation, is an important message," she said before the service.

So don't forget your sporks, boys and girls! And make sure to lick 'em clean!

Next, the Current Unpleasantness:

"We're struggling over the appropriate place of gay and lesbian Christians in the church," Bishop Jefferts Schori said, adding that previous eras had seen conflict over integration and the ordination of women priests. "This is simply the issue God has presented us with in this age."

Really? And when did He present you with this issue +Kate? Was a burning bush involved?

And of course, fun with numbers. It is said there are lies, damn lies and statistics. You can put the following in whichever one of those categories you wish:

"We know of about 55 or 60 [congregations] which have had a majority of members decide to leave the Episcopal Church. That's well under 1 percent," she said.

The Episcopal Church (tm) is loosing hundreds of individual members per week, on average, and +Kate talks about loosing "congregations". Skip the wash cycle and go straight to spin. Even the reporter noticed that disparity:

The Diocese of Dallas itself has had departures, including what had been one of the Episcopal Church's larger congregations – Christ Church in Plano.

But worry not, dear readers. There were plenty enough people at the event - Some of +Kate's Fan Club came in from Fort Worth:

Two buses came from Fort Worth, and many of the visitors wore stickers saying, "Fort Worth Episcopalians Honor Katharine."

"We want to make it clear that the Diocese of Forth Worth is not monolithic," said Katie Sherrod, adding that she considers Bishop Jefferts Schori "fabulous."

Quick note to Ms. Sherrod - The Episcopal Church is not monolithic, either. But to dissent against the views and values of The Great Helmsperson and her fellow travellers is to leave oneself open to being tagged with such labels as "abandoning Communion," "homophobe," "thief," "bigot," "misogynist," or a host of other lovingly Christian titles the Left bestows upon those of us who do not believe in scrapping 2,000 years of Christian teaching for a "new thing." And the "fabulous" description of an Episcopal minister seems pretty apropos these days, don't you think?

UPDATE 30APR08: From the Comments - Phil Snyder said that there was a clergy meeting with the Presiding Bishop during the same trip. He attended, and his report is here. Interesting that the Presiding Bishop is basing her entire "new thing" theology - that homosexual practice is no longer a sin - upon the implied relationships in two biblical passages: one in the Old Testament about Jonathan and David's relationship, and another in the New Testament about the Centurion and his slave. So the Presiding Bishop is willing to destroy our Church over an implication based on interpretation. Swell.

UPDATE 02MAY08: This should come as no surprise - the church +Kate visited in Dallas is a "predominately gay parish."

The Sky Is Falling, Freezing Up, Silting Up, Burning Up.

Another reason not to trust Harvard types. Ontario Emperor links to this post looking at past Earth Day predictions, such as:

• “...civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” biologist George Wald, Harvard University, April 19, 1970.

• By 1995, “...somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Look magazine, April 1970.

• Because of increased dust, cloud cover and water vapor “...the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born,” Newsweek magazine, January 26, 1970.

• The world will be “...eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age,” Kenneth Watt, speaking at Swarthmore University, April 19, 1970.

I think we should officially rename 'Earth Day' (which was itself renamed from Lenin's Birthday), 'Chicken Little Day.'

If you're an Episcopalian, know that your church is out in front when it comes to Earth Day, and knows God's answer to THE IMMEDIATE AND IMMINENT THREAT OF GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!! And that answewr is: sporks. Really.

Louisiana 2005

We saw Randy Newman in concert last night in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was a small venue - a lot smaller than when he plays New Orleans' Jazz Fest this coming Thursday - just Randy and a piano. And yes, he played 'Rednecks.'

But the last song he played was 'Louisiana 1927,' about the famous Mississippi River flood. Strange as it may seem, I had not thought of that song at all post-Katrina (my Katrina song was Grateful Dead's 'Touch of Grey'), and to hear it again, now, was quite moving. Here it is, from a performance in 2006:

27 April 2008

How Many Clarifications Must One Candidate Issue, Before You Call Him A Nominee?

Via Instapundit, this Dylan-channeling gem:

I guess you really do need an (ex-)Weatherman to know which the wind blows.

I'm Baaaaaak.

I spent the last three days on a father-son camping trip on Lookout Mountain in northern Alabama with about 80 other fathers and sons. 8-hour drive each way, and several days of some really intense fun. Every time I am back there I remember why it meant so much to me when I was his age - and I hope he gets the bug, too.

I'll post some images tomorrow, but right now I am beat and off to bed.

UPDATE 28APR08: A few images from the weekend:

View down Little River. (image by Red Stick Rant)

Dogwoods in bloom . (image by Red Stick Rant)

23 April 2008

I Want One.

Dalek helmet with Dalek voice.

I mean, my wife does (still!) look a lot like Sarah Jane Smith.....

RSR Headline Contest.

This story about a new Jersey cop, some cows, and some alleged, um... "contact" screams for a better headline.

Are you up to it, dear readers? If so, place your suggested headline in the comments section.

Busy week here at the office, and so I haven't had much time today to get into anything bloggy. Besides, this is much more fun than talking endlessly about what happened in Pennsylvania yesterday, don't you think?

22 April 2008

Happy Lenin's Birthday!

Sorry. Happy Earth Day. An odd coincidence, don't you think, considering how much Lenin and his little experiment did for the environment.

I know, I know; Soviet policies may have caused the Aral Sea to dry up and destroy an entire regional ecosystem, but everyone had free healthe care!

Why I Can't Be A Lefty Democrat.

I actually paid attention in history class.

Image by "dead-ro"

Doublly ironic as this fellow was protesting at the Olympic torch run, which was started by.....

Anyone? Anyone?

UPDATE 22APR08: While I posted this image above, it is certianlly not mine. I can't remember where I got it from, but the original image appears to be from one 'dead-ro', who took it along with several other pictures of the 9 April torch protest in San Francisco. Jonathan Kay gives some context. If the image is fake, I hereby invoke the Dan Rather rule: "Fake, but accurate."

21 April 2008

Pay No Attention To The Man In The Silk Slippers...

As most of you know, the Pope - who we Anglicans recognize as the Bishop of Rome - was in New York the other day. And he had a few things to say about the Current Unpleasantness (tm) befalling The Episcopal Church (tm):

Benedict decried the "splintering" of Christian churches over "so-called 'prophetic actions' that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition." Such actions, he said, cause Christian communities to "give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of 'local options,'" thus losing their connections to Christians in other times and places. Some, but not all, interpreted that as a veiled reference to controversy in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

Though, The Episcopal Church (tm) swears on a stack of 'An Inconvenient Truth' DVDs that the Pope just couldn't have been talking about us:

"I think he did us the honor of giving us a serious address that I think needs to be read and reflected upon," said New York's Bishop Mark Sisk. Asked whether he thought Benedict had singled out the Episcopal Church in his remarks, Sisk responded, "It's possible--but I would be rather surprised. I don't think he was trying to send shots across the bow at particular churches. I think he spoke in a respectful way and I didn't see that as a shot at the Episcopal Church."

Well... surprise, Bishop Sisk!! That is exactly who the shot was for. Even the Catholic News Service says so:

While the pope did not offer specific examples, he has in the past questioned Christian communities that have decided to ordain women to the priesthood and episcopacy or to bless homosexual unions and ordain openly gay men and women.

The pope's concerns obviously extend to the Anglican Communion and its troubled relations with the U.S. Episcopal Church and some dioceses in Canada.

Some people refuse to wake up and smell the coffee, even when it is poured right in their lap.

19 April 2008

Hello, Other Home.

According to Mr. Sitemeter, someone from Newtonville, Massachusetts - my other home town - just stopped by for a visit.


They Shoot Dobermans, Don't They? III

WWL-TV will be doing a segment tomorrow morning on "Barkgate," the incident this week where the New Orleans Police Department shot a Lakeview resident's dog eight times. It should air around 10am tomorrow (Sunday). A dog trainer who left a comment in this earlier post will be talking about the incident.

This thing is giving New Orleans, and it's police force, yet another black eye. And it can't be attributed to Katrina, or FEMA, or the State, or the Feds, or any of the host of other things Nagin and his buddies like to use as excuses.

To those who say it was JUST a dog miss the point. A canine may have been the catalyst, but it is the behavior of the officer that is in question - an officer who apparently lost control of a situation, panicked, resorted to deadly force as his primary option. What does that say about the NOPD, their training, and all of those claims about reform since their well-known behavior immedately after Katrina?

What if this had been a child?

And further, this incident points up two more things: first, marksmanship training in the NOPD must suck if an officer can only connect with 4 of 8 shots at close range; and second, if a 100 lb. dog with four bullet wounds was able to continue moving (it went back inside the house) and live for an hour after being shot, I think a new pistol caliber is in order. (Hint: try one with a "4" in it.)

I know there are plenty of dedicated cops in the NOPD. But it is incidents like this, and the others since Katrina, that prolong the image that NOPD is a bunch of corrupt, trigger-happy slackers not much better than the criminals they claim to chase. I believe it is up to those good cops, not the current "leaders" and politicians, to do something about changing that.

John Lennon Was Right.

Happiness is a warm gun:

Who are all these gun owners? Are they the uneducated poor, left behind? It turns out they have the same level of formal education as nongun owners, on average. Furthermore, they earn 32% more per year than nonowners. Americans with guns are neither a small nor downtrodden group.

Nor are they "bitter." In 2006, 36% of gun owners said they were "very happy," while 9% were "not too happy." Meanwhile, only 30% of people without guns were very happy, and 16% were not too happy.

I can's speak for all of us, but I'm pretty happy.

Hattip: Instapundit.

Happy Patriot's Day.

And why you should remember it.

18 April 2008

Friday Midday Blog Link.

I should poke through folks' blogrolls more often. Via Billy Ockham I came across View From The Porch, which I highly recommend. Women, weapons, and P. J. O'Rourke - never a bad combination.

30 Seconds Over Tokyo.

This was 66 years ago today.

Friday Morning Distractions.

Something utterly non-political and non-ecclesiastical from Dark Roasted Blend: the beauty of fractals.

And of course, Last of the Few. Which is utterly political, lusty, and politically incorrect; which you should be reading every day, anyway.

UPDATE: A new "Will it Blend?" video is up: TV Remotes. These things are addictive.

17 April 2008

The Vagina Collects.

Don’t look now, boys and girls, but a bunch of uber-lefty Anglican womyn are writing a prayer book:

While worldwide attention is focused on discord and divisions within the Anglican Communion, Anglican women and girls are uniting to make their voices heard on issues of poverty and women's empowerment, express the power and depth of their faith, and to reveal their connections across cultural and economic differences, by contributing to a new book of women's prayers with a foreword to be written by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Which means this ain’t your Altar Guild cookbook. These aren't women. They are womyn! They don't bake cookies! They are empowered! (They order out.) And with a forward from the Great Helmsperson, who needs recipes?

Following on the popularity of Women's Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, Celebrated...

Which is currently holding a sizzling Amazon sales ranking of 79,598. I'm sure it will break 79,590 any month now. (UPDATE 18APR08: Well I'll be. It jumped 30,000 places in 24 hours, to 49,468. I guess somebody scooped up a dozen just to make me look bad.)

...this all-new collection of prayers, with its multicultural global reach, will be organized according to themes of the Millennium Development Goals.

You expected anything else? It's the whole reason we exist as a church anymore - to promote a UN program (peace and blessings be upon it), not thrust some 2,000 year old misogynist twaddle about sin and Resurrection down the throats of womyn! Like I said:

Editors say that the book will reveal how Anglican women are envisioning a way forward for the welfare of creation, including within the Anglican Communion itself. "At a time when a small cabal of male leaders are insisting on dividing the Anglican Communion over issues of human sexuality," said Dr Te Paa, "Anglican women are offering a way forward. We are committed to prayer, to the unity of the Anglican Communion around Christ's table, and to a common mission that leads to the full flourishing of all people."

Note that the above paragraph contains the one and only use of the word "Christ" in the entire article, so it's anybodies guess who these prayers will be addressed to. "Occupant," perhaps? And of course the article's author has to point out how horrible life is under The Episcopal Church's (tm) two approved Great Satans - conservative America and the conservative Global South:

For example, the book might show the spiritual bond between a teenage girl in the United States struggling with self-image because of a debasing popular culture and a teenage girl from the Global South who has disappeared into the slave trade.

See? Girls who have been seduced by the capitalist neo-cons into wanting an iPhone but cant get one have soooo much in common with girls who were gang-raped by Islamic militias. If you can't see the similarities you must be an insensitive. reasserter clod.

The book is due out in May 2009, just in time for the collective leap off the bridge in Anaheim.

UPDATE 18APR08: A different kind of gyno-empowerment project: cross-sections of female reproductive organs in cross-stitch. Yep. I'd want one of those on my wall.....

Look Straight Ahead. How Hard Is That?

As you know, dear readers, my state is beset with all sorts of problems - failing public schools, an eroding coastline, rampant corruption, and a dysfunctional New Orleans are but a few that come to mind. But what major problem is our legislature - namely one Rep. Mickey Guillory, D-Eunice - boldly tackling now?

The statewide crisis of, and I am not making this up....... urinal privacy. It seems our good legislator wants mandatory dividers between urinals in all new buildings because:

"sexual offenders, sexually violent predators, and child predators can easily violate the privacy of others using urinals ...."

Yeah, not a day goes by down here you don't hear about some poor sod who's been "gang peeked."

This is not the first time Rep. Guillory, D-Eunice, has led the fight against similar threats to our very way of life. Several years ago he was in the vanguard against drive-by porn.

UPDATE: Maybe Rep. Guillory, D-Eunice, should watch this short film:

16 April 2008

They Shoot Dobermans, Don't They? II

It just gets worse. A report tonight from WWL-TV, with this gem of law enforcement professionalism:

Coleman’s next door neighbor was also troubled by the officer’s immediate reaction to the shooting.

“When I met him [the officer] outside, when I heard the gunshots and ran out, the first thing out of his mouth is, ‘Do you know the neighbor, can you call him to come home? And don't tell him that I shot his dog,’” said Courtney Hidalgo, Coleman’s neighbor.

This thing stinks, and it's only going to get worse if the NOPD keeps treating it as a minor issue. There is something about hurting a dog that folks will not forgive. Ask yourself this - why did Leonard Little get to continue in the NFL, and not Michael Vick?

With Endorsements Like These.....

Powerline reports that at least one group of bitter people clinging to guns, religion, antipathy to people who aren’t like them and an anti-immigrant sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations, likes Barak Obama:

On Sunday, Aaron Klein and John Batchelor interviewed Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Prime Minister of Hamas, on WABC radio. The interview produced a scoop which, for some reason, has not been widely publicized: Hamas has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Yousef said, "We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election." Why? "He has a vision to change America." Maybe Yousef has some insight into what Obama means by all these vague references to "change."

Wednesday Evening Distraction II.

If my earlier Distraction was "cool," this is is just... just.... just...

Just watch it. And watch out for your "toodles," too.

Wednesday Evening Distraction I.

This, is wicked cool:

All Your Rebates Are Belong To Us.

Most Americans will be getting a tax rebate check this year, starting in May. And that's a good thing, too, since it is, well, our money. But not so fast if your an Episcopalian. The Episcopal Church (tm) thinks they deserve it, and you're an immoral, consumerist, raper of the environment if you don't give it to them:

"With a $9 trillion national debt, and a record and growing trade deficit undergirding a society that consumes goods far beyond its need, the call to consume more isn't just indefensible economically, but environmentally and morally," EGR (Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation) said in a news release.

I don't know about you, but we tend to use such "surprise" income to either pay down a debt, build up savings, or advance the purchase of something we had already planned to buy. I think EGR has this notion that folks will head straight to Wal-Mart with their rebate and embark on a frenzy of shopping because Bushitler and the Neo-Cons subliminally ordered them to. Whatever.

But if Kate and her buddies want us to give some of our rebate away, that's fine. Giving is a good thing. So we make this commitment to Kate and the EGR: We will give half our rebate to a worthy cause.

And this, dear readers, is a worthy cause: The Church of the Annunciation in New Orleans. We encourage each of you to send Fr. Jerry something from your rebate as well, as he and his church have done more to alleviate poverty and suffering, in real terms, than all the EGR press releases combined.

FYI to Kate and the EGR: For good measure, we may give the remainder of our rebate to another worthy cause.

They Shoot Dobermans, Don't They?

A followup on the Cop-Kills-Dog-In-Lakeview story from yesterday - the New Orleans Police are saying the police officer's life was in danger, and blaming the dog's owner. Really:

"If your dog does not receive people well, you need to secure that animal because an officer has to protect his or her life," Richardson said. "It is an unfortunate accident, but one of those things that couldn't be prevented in this case."

Accident?? My ass. One shot is an accident. Eight shots is either someone who lost control of the situation and panicked, or someone who missed "When To Use Something Other Than Deadly Force Day" at the Academy. Either way, I have serious questions about having somebody that trigger-happy out on the street.

Look, the dog was in a fenced yard. He was "secure." And it was his territory - of course he was going to bark and growl! Mr. Police officer, you are supposed to be in control of the situation. So back off. Use pepper spray. Go get a scrap of meat from Rouse's and make friends. But eight shots?????

If something like this "couldn't be prevented," the NOPD has a problem. A big problem.

The local SPCA is recommending that large dog owners post a sign, and it seems some folks are already putting up "Beware of Dog" signs.

A "Beware of Police" sign might be equally in order.

UPDATE: This isn't a local story anymore:

The Chicago Tribune has picked up on it.

In a forum, friends of the dog's owners speak out. One of them is vet who was monitoring the dog's progress after recent spinal surgery. In a follow-up post they said this:

"ALSO -- there are two placards on both doors that say there are two Doberman dogs inside - even has their names on it. It's in case of fire or emergency. My wife sent them when they got the dogs a few years ago. We have the same placards/stickers on our front door. If anyone would like one, I can prob get some and mail them out to you."

If that is true, then the officer knew the dogs were there and this could have been prevented. The NOPD statement is starting to ring very hollow.

15 April 2008

Contests. I Loves Contests.

My favourite Northshore blogger, Greta over at Kiss My Gumbo, is holding a contest for the "tackiest, most ridiculous &/or most useless" item you can find on E-Bay. Sounds like a challenge, and you can submit your entries here.

Here is my submission, which should win hands down.

And don't forget that Greta starts her radio career in the New Orleans area this Saturday, 3:00-4:00pm on WIST AM 690, where she will announce that I won the contest the winner of the contest.

Reason Number 12,853....

....why we don't live in New Orleans anymore: the New Orleans Police Department can't seem to stop all the crime, but they can shoot a dog. Eight times.

This happened in Lakeview, our old neighborhood. Note that the vet said two of the shots were "point-blank," and note the NOPD's response to the reporter's inquiry.

Yeah, I'd feel safe.

UPDATE: The NOPD has released a video of the incident they say led to their action. It's grainy, so I'm thinking it's from a dashboard cam.

We Few, We Happy Few....

Welcome Last of the Few readers to your 'Blog of the Day'!! While we are nowhere near as exciting as from whence you came (we have no 'Tottys,' alas, nor coverage of Marlyn Monroe doing a Lewinsky..) we do hope you find something interesting and come back.

And to any readers from Blackheath, know I spent more than a few evenings at the 'Hare & Billet.' More accurately, I spent more than a few nights on the heath after an evening at the 'Hare & Billet'.... Good times.

UPDATE: And if you like our little blog, make sure you go over to Billy Ockham. Covers a lot of the same things, just better. Tell Matthew that Clifford sent you.

UPDATE 16APR08: A special message to one T. S. Edwards, reporter and Anglophile zealot of the first order, who I strongly suspect reads Last of the Few: Once again TSE, I got there first.

14 April 2008

A Different Kind Of 'Listening Process.'

As in, listen to this.

Have anything to say, ++Rowan? Is that.... "unavoidable?"

And how about you, +Kate? Is that just another "vehicle to the Divine?"

Monday Morning Distraction.

From Last of the Few:

Italians vs. Europeans. Having lived in Italy, this is quite true. And it is also why living in Italy is so much more exciting than living in, say, Belgium.

More Murphy. My favorite: "Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't." Call it the Indiana Jones Rule.

No Wonder He Supports Gun Control - He Keeps Shooting Himself In The Foot.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

That recent pearl of wisdom from Barak Obama about rural America (heck, most of America! - ed.) prompted an Instapundit reader to suggest this as a response:

Even though I'm not a big country music fan, I couldn't agree more.

Whthout knowing it, Obama has clarified the real divide in this country - the "two Americas" - those who hate this country but believe government is the solution; and those who love this country but believe government is the problem.

UPDATE: Frank J. at IMAO has some thoughts on the issue, including this gem:

"If bitter people are clinging to guns, don't we need a president whose smart enough not to upset them?"

Well, yeah. And, he coins the next new political acronym.

13 April 2008

An Old Plane Weekend.

I spent the weekend with my dad and my son in Shreveport, Louisiana, visiting the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base. (Barksdale is headquarters of the 8th Air Force and is an active B-52 base.) The outside exhibits are a bit worse for wear these days, but it is still pretty neat to wander up under a real British Avro Vulcan. If you like such things, I highly recommend as visit.

After that sojourn, this seemed timely: the last helicopter used in the famous 1970 Son Tay prison raid in Vietnam is being retired after 38 years of active service. That's impressive.

Why Choose?

Matthew has a great post asking, "Fast Cars and Pretty Girls Or Vice Versa?"

Um, both.

11 April 2008

Say Kids, What Time Is It? It's Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori Time!

The Pope Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church™, the Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori, spoke to the next generation of Episcopalians the other day in Seattle, reassuring them that Christian theology is optional anymore in The Episcopal Church™. You don’t need a Bible kids; you can find salvation just by reading the bumper of a ’71 VW micro-bus in Santa Monica. Really. First up, “Love Your Mother (the Earth):”

"I expect you to hold older generations' feet to the fire for the condition of Creation," Schori argued.

So let’s worship those MDG’s, kids! Write Congress – Kate did! Next, “Change Happens:”

"You are living reminders to the rest of us that God is constantly doing a new thing . . . Some people believe the church never changes. The only thing that never changes is a dead body, and that begins to rot."

Actually, Kate, the central point of Christian Faith is that one dead body DID change, and didn’t begin to rot. That, to some of us, is still a “new thing.” But why bother the kiddies with such talk when Kate and her friends think the Resurrection is all metaphorical twaddle.

And let’s not forget the obligatory rainbow sticker on the bumper by mentioning The-Worst-Persecution-In-All-Recorded-History – that of a man who, when he is not lecturing, promoting his latest book or being a June bride, just wants to be a simple country bishop. Kate tells the kids why he will not be part of the Lambeth Conference this summer:

"It's the archbishop's party and he issues the invitations," she said. "He (Robinson) is going to be there outside the meeting."

Where he’ll be performing his new one-man stage play, ‘Gene and The Amazing Technicolor Agenda.’ Call Susan Russell for tickets.

Next down the bumper we come to “Save the Wales!” but with a twist - Kate wants to “Save the Albatrosses!” instead:

In answer to a question about cramped church facilities, Schori replied by saying: "Sometimes I think the (church) buildings are albatrosses."

We strongly suspect Kate's first response to a question about cramped Episcopal church facilities was “Where?” - since that is rarely an issue for Episcopalians anymore. The Episcopal Church™ has been pretty successful in heeding the “Fight Overpopulation” sticker. (Remember, we're smarter.) On the albatross front, Kate doesn't seem to think they're all that important:

The Presiding Bishop praised what she called "the freedom that comes with simply gathering and being together."

Unless someone wants one of Kate's albatrosses, then she's all up for the freedom that comes from suing the pants of disagreeable congregations. (Here is a video of Kate disposing of church property in future...)

And Kate took some questions from the young'uns, 'cause the Presiding Bishop is still a hip, far out, with it chick:

Katrina Hamilton, a University of Washington student, talked about how many of her friends are removed from and ignorant of religion, and noted "an increase in the stereotyping of Christians."

"It is much more acceptable in my circle to be gay than to be Christian," said Hamilton.

Which Kate doesn't seem to have a problem with, because:

"We don't live in Christendom anymore," replied Schori, "and that is both a challenge and opportunity." She urged people to ask the question: "How does the way we live proclaim our faith?"

There it is, ladies and gentlemen! THE tag line for the new Jefferts Schori movie! After the tornado of the 2006 General Convention, Kate steps out onto the rainbow-brick road with her lap dog and says, "Beers, I don't think we live in Christendom anymore."

And if you're an Episcopalian these days, it's hard to disagree.

Required Reading.

Before you go off distracting yourself (see below), read this: Michael Yon's excellent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.

And don't forget to buy his book!

Friday Morning Distraction.

Our recommendation for logging some "General Office" time today: Last of the Few - An Englishman's View.

10 April 2008

Read. This. Book.

Enough trading YouTube videos; this is important - Michael Yon's new book, Moment of Truth in Iraq, is out. You can order it here, here, and here, too.

I can not say this too many times - Read. This. Book.

Let's Rap This Up.

Matthew fires back with several great oldies, but to me a music video is something purposely filmed to promote or advertise a specific song, not part of a movie, concert, or TV show. But if we use the broader definition, then I present....

The First White Rapper.


Yeah, You Better Run....

Matthew at Billy Ockham couldn't top my OkGo video entry, so he responded by going oldie and posting the first video aired on MTV.

Child's play.

You'd have to know the second video ever aired on MTV to impress your humble blogger. So let me follow suit, oldie-wise, and respond with the first dedicated video ever made:

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Boy Scout.

Hurricane season approaches, so it's time to get prepared. Louisiana has declared a Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, 24 & 25 May 2008, to allow residents to buy things like, flashlights, portable radios and generators, tarps, and batteries, tax free.

See the link above, from wafb.com, for a complete list of the items that are covered.

A Little Relief From 'Ol Man River.

Well this isn't good news - the Corps of Engineers is going to open the Bonnet Carre spillway for the first time in 11 years.

For those who do not know, the Bonnet Carre spillway (pronounced "Bonnie Carray") is located just upriver of New Orleans, and is used to divert water from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain when River water levels could threaten New Orleans.

After Katrina, we get kinds twitchy down here when folks start talking about high water.

09 April 2008

So Cute And Squishy.

Everyone, meet 'Piskie', the new mascot for The Episcopal Church (tm).

And everyone, please thank Matthew for this classic!

Dueling OkGo.

That OkGo video was a good one, Matthew. But this one is way better:


Now that all of the GOP big-wigs are getting behind Woody Jenkins, we at RSR felt compelled to also make an endorsement.

But try as we might, dear readers, we just can't get excited by either the Republican or Democrat in this race.

In all likelihood the voters at Villa RSR will end up pulling the lever for Woody Jenkins. And nor because of Woody. We are Republicans, the Democrat candidate is even weaker than the GOP one, and we don't want to hand over a victory to that Pelosi woman. (Though, the Democrat candidate did get an "A" rating from the NRA....) But there are other temptations, candidate-wise, which were pointed out in this Baton Rouge Business Report article.

Were we truly voting our conscience, we'd probably be voting for Randall T. Hayes this time. He's no less of a joke than the two front-runners, but this guy is trying to be funny. Here's his website, which asks opinions about such probing questions as "What is your favorite non-blue primary color?" (Why red, of course!), and he has the best official campaign photo in the race.

Wall Of Separation? What Wall of Separation?

A "charter" school in Minnesota:

"Recently, I wrote about Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights. Charter schools are public schools and by law must not endorse or promote religion.

Evidence suggests, however, that TIZA is an Islamic school, funded by Minnesota taxpayers.

TIZA has many characteristics that suggest a religious school. It shares the headquarters building of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is "establishing Islam in Minnesota." The building also houses a mosque. TIZA's executive director, Asad Zaman, is a Muslim imam, or religious leader, and its sponsor is an organization called Islamic Relief."

It's not a publicly-funded religious school?? Pull the other one. You'd think that the ACLU would have been all over this years ago. And I'm sure they would have, too, had a Cross been involved.

It's Not Like You Weren't Warned II.

Well, that didn't take long. The first Democrat attack ad aginst Woody Jenkins is up and running. But this is no surprise to RSR readers!

When the ad hits YouTube, We'll post a link.

08 April 2008

I Wonder Where He Finds Shoes To Match?

I don't know about you, but I think our local Caledonian Society may have found a cause celebre: a man has run afoul of the law for wearing a skirt.

Someone should tell him about these.

UPDATE 09APR08: Goodness me. This has been by far most popular post I have put up in a while. Men in skirts - a repressed fashion trend?

07 April 2008

Jefferts Schori: God says,"Don't FedEx Me, Bro!"

The Great Helmsperson of The Episcopal Church™, The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori (who I understand hates to be called “Kate”), once more opines about the whole state of Christ's Church her Church and the world. And yes, boxes are involved.

But first, Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori takes care to remind everyone that society is really to blame for The Current Unpleasantness™ in The Episcopal Church™:

“I think we live in an increasingly polarized society and these particular actions in the church echo that.”

Falling attendance figures? It's society. Folks not willing to accept the dumping of 2,000 years of Christian teaching? It's society. Excessive cow farts? It's society. And not just any society, either - Western society in general, and America in particular. But I digress.

"Jefferts Schori argues the number of congregations leaving the church is not large – roughly 1 percent of the 7,600 congregations, by her count. “It gets a lot of press and a lot of play, but it's a relatively small portion of the church.”

The Episcopal Church™ is loosing hundreds of people a week on average, and she's talking number of congregations. You gotta giver her credit - if this gig doesn't work out, Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori has a great future in cherry picking. Or marketing for Bear Stearns. And what about that "small portion of the church" that still ignorantly believes the Resurrection actually happened? They're in denial:

“Voting to leave is the denial of the ability to live in tension with people who don't agree with you about everything,” she said."

Oy. First of all, could you please, finally, tell us what "living in tension" means, Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori? Cables on suspension bridges "live in tension"; not people. People who "live in tension" usually end up needing Valium. Or rehab. (Me, I've always been a compression kinda guy.) Second, I go to church every Sunday with lots of folks who don't agree with me about everything. We don't agree on sports teams, our favorite restaurants, who we are voting for in the next election, who will win the next American Idol, and on and on. (Want to side-track a Men's Club meeting? Ask this simple question: Ginger, or Mary Ann?) But what we DO agree on is our belief in the central tenants of our Faith - which we willingly recite without crossing our fingers. Isn't that, after all, why we show up every Sunday?

Apparently not, says Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori:

“You don't all have to profess exactly the same understandings of the central tenets of the faith,” she added. “What's important is to worship together.”

How's that for a theology - we don't care what you believe (unless we don't like it - see below), just show up. And once more Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori sounds the alarm against cardboard containment:

"Schori is not a biblical literalist. Take the six-day story of Creation in Genesis, for example. “It's too good a story to believe it literally,” she said, “It's got too much meaning to be boxed up in that small of an understanding.”

And reprises an oldie-but-goodie:

Seeing Jesus as the only way to redemption also “puts God in a very small box,” she said.

So let's recap: We don't care what you believe, just show up; and anyone who takes the Bible seriously is stuffing God in a FedEx box. I can't wait to see that added to our Baptismal Covenant. I wonder Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, wasn't it Jesus Christ himself that said God was in that "very small box?" Did you ever think that maybe He had a reason to be in that "very small box? Um, no, you never thought that:

“Most Christians believe that Jesus died for the whole world. If you believe that, then to say that some people are beyond redemption would appear to deny that,” she said."

I too, believe that Christ did die for the whole world, Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, and that no one is beyond redemption. But unlike you, I believe there are terms and conditions. I am willing to accept those terms and conditions, even when they are often hard to do (love your enemies, etc.). But to say that we are redeemed simply by the act of our birth is to deny our baptism - and our Baptismal Covenant. Are we still redeemed if we reject Christ? If yes, then what's the point of the Church?

"Either way, she adds, “I think it is up to God, not for us, to judge.”

Couldn't agree more, Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori. Judging others is not up to us; but alerting others to the consequences of sin, and pointing them to salvation, is up to us.

And of course, Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, you just had to brig up the "prophetic gift":

"She advocates for the inclusion of gays and lesbians. “If we were focused on what holy living looks like, generally, without focusing on the gender of the people involved, I think we would be a lot farther down the road,” she said."

And what, exactly, does "holy living" look like, Kate The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori? Isn't there, like, a book on that or something?

"And she maintains news outlets are way too focused on the threat of schism. “The media loves conflict,” she said. “Feeding people in a soup kitchen or building a school in Haiti ranks at a lower priority in much of the public interest.”

A modest suggestion: If you want to raise the priority of those things with the media, a few well-placed "Please do not feed the Bishop"signs would be in order.

It's Not Like You Weren't Warned....

With the primaries now over, The Wall Street Journal weighs in on Louisiana's 6th District congressional race, and the GOP's chances of keeping a solidly Republican seat:

"A conservative firebrand with a connection to a former Ku Klux Klan leader will run for a Louisiana seat in the House of Representatives, raising Democrats' hopes they can pick up what has been a reliably conservative district for more than three decades."

I told you so.
I told you so.
I told you so.

P.S. A big RSR hello to the folks from the Democratic National Headquarters who stopped by earlier. Here's something to make you feel right at home.

Monday Morning Productivity Killer.

Yep. Mine's gone. Thanks to Matthew, who has a link to this digital distraction. Yes, it's as addictive as the real thing, and it's loads more eco-friendly, but there is nothing like rolling over an entire sheet of the stuff with your desk chair.

UPDATE: Goodness. I had no idea how many folks would actually be wasting a fine Monday workday digitally popping plastic bubble wrap. Some stopped by twice to find the link. No wonder there's talk of a recession. But this one worries me, though - a visitor who followed the link came from here. I guess it's a stressful job...

06 April 2008

It's True - The Episcopal Church (tm) Is Up One Pope.

(Note: While this blog is known for placing it's tongue firmly in it's cheek at times, this post is not one of those times.)

Several weeks ago a report claimed that Former Bishop Clarence Pope, who left The Episcopal Church (tm) back in August for the umteenth time to become a Roman Catholic, was back being an Episcopalian. Those reports appear true, as former Bishop Pope (or is he still a bishop?) attended the 11:00am Mass today at Saint Luke's, Baton Rouge. He was wearing a clerical collar and purple shirt, and he took communion. Though I didn't offer him the Cup personally, your humble blogger was a LEM at the 11:00am service and saw him there.

05 April 2008

Charlton Heston Has Died.

Gone at 84. Heston was a man who stood up for his beliefs, even though they were often very unpopular with his entertainment industry colleagues. We need more men - and women - like him.

Rest in Peace, Chuck.

You Are Here.

I've always been fascinated by maps, so I really enjoyed Strange Maps which I found over at Stephen Green's Vodkapundit. This strange map should make my American readers consider a different vodka, while this map of majority religious faiths by county should interest all of our Episcopal/Anglican readers. What "mainline" denomination doesn't register on this map, not even in Newark or New Hampshire? I'll give you one guess.

Sometimes You Win; Sometimes, Well.....

The election today is over, and Laurinda didn't prevail. Louis "Woody" Jenkins is the GOP nominee for Louisiana's 6th District.

That being said, I think Laurinda ran a wonderful campaign. Eight weeks ago she was an unknown, and tonight she pulled in nearly 40% against a long-time career politician with high name recognition. Laurinda had ample opportunity to go negative against Woody, and didn't. That may well have cost her the election, but to do so would have cost her her honor. And she chose the latter. Ironic, isn't it, that a person with such character is exactly what we need these days in Washington. I hope we have not heard the last of Laurinda on the political scene.

But while Laurinda didn't go negative, the Democrats will not be so accommodating with Woody. Woody, has negatives. Lots of 'em. (Can you say dealings with David Duke? Knew you could.) It won't be hard for the Democrats to pillory him, and since the national Democrats see this seat as winnable, they will. I'm sure they're writing the commercials as you read this.

So hang onto your hats folks, it's going to be an interesting month here in the 6th District.

Louisiana 6th District Voters - VOTE TODAY!

And make sure you pull the lever for this lady in the GOP primary.

The End Justifies The Means, Eh?

In Canada, officially sanctioned sock-puppetry in the cause of "human rights" is perfectly legal. It seems to be OK to ignore constitutional protections in The Great White North if something will “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt', and the likely exposers are dirtbags (that is, Nazis - well the ones that weren't cops posing as Nazis). I loved this line:

"In one famous on-the-record exchange during the Lemire case, [CHRC lead investigator Dean] Steacy was asked ‘What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints? — to which he replied ‘Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.’

All I can say is, thank God I'm not Canadian. And I can say that, too, because the Comrades members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission can't touch me. Freedom of Speech is an American concept, remember?

Hattip: Instapundit.

04 April 2008

Time For A New Change.

Tomorrow is the primary here in Louisiana's 6th Congressional District. I make no bones about my support for Laurinda Calongne, who is vying for the GOP nomination against long-time local politician, Woody Jenkins. Jenkins is, I think a weak candidate for the GOP - he has too much negative baggage (e.g. David Duke connections), and he has never seemed to translate his social conservatism outside of his old state house district. The Democrats see his victory tomorrow as an opportunity to add another 'D' in Congress. This article at nola.com says pretty much the same thing.

For me, Woody's time has past. And in the article Woody's own words seem to prove my point:

"If you compare Bobby Jindal's philosophy and mine, I think you'd see it's very similar," Jenkins said, likening himself to Louisiana's new Republican governor."

But there is a huge difference, and it is this - when Woody Jenkins entered the State Legislature in 1972 on this agenda, Bobby Jindal was one year old. But Bobby Jindal, in less than 10 years in public service, has done more to advance and strengthen the conservative agenda, in real terms, than Woody Jenkins has done in 36 years. And I think Jenkins knows it. Why else would he be trying to ride Jindal's popularity coattails?

Laurinda is only a few years older than Bobby Jindal, and has the same conservative values, outlook, energy and "get-r-done" attitude as our new governor. That is what we need in Congress. And that is why I am supporting her.

Well, Hello There!

Welcome StandFirm and Midwest Conservative Journal readers! Glad you stopped by. Make yourselves at home and poke around our eclectic little site. As most of you came here because of an interest in the epic struggle of The Episcopal Church (tm) to achieve utter irrelevance, here is a look at our posts relating to things church and faith. Enjoy, and y'all come back now, y'hear.

03 April 2008

Hey Kids, Do You Know What Time It Is?

That's right, it's.... Opening Day at Fenway Time!

Friday, 4 April, 6:15pm CDT. Be there. (XM177 if you can't)

UPDATE 05APR08: D'Oh!! I should read my posts slower, and not let my fingers go faster than my brain. Friday wasn't Opening Day. I put in the date of the Friday's game with Toronto, which was in Toronto (which we lost...). Opening Day is this Tuesday, 8 April, at 1:05pm CDT. against Detroit.

iChi Ban!

Apple, thorough their iTunes software, is now the largest music retailer in the US. Which may explain why we got an email discount coupon last week from Barnes & Noble for 40% off all CD's. (Ended 30 March, alas.)

Is the CD going the way of the LP?

02 April 2008

Michael Yon - Holy Brothel.

Michael Yon's latest post points out that our Al Qaeda enemies aren't exactly piously waiting for their 72 heavenly virgins - ladies on this mortal coil will do nicely. And according to Yon, it's not just ladies.....

Somebody's Gonna Fatwa In Her General Direction...

A member of the Church of England's General Synod is about to get in a whole lot of hot water for saying the UK shouldn't let foreign governments build mosques in the UK anymore. A bit harsh, but considering that the head of our own Communion goes out of his way to not defend the Faith - or even the Rule of Law - her frustration is understandable.

My suggestion: Tell the Saudi government, and it's government-controlled "charities," that they get to build one new mosque in the UK for every new church that the Anglican Communion or the Roman Catholic Church get to build in Saudi Arabia. Don't you think that would help to "build good ties between different communities"?

Philip Johnson - Liberal Fascist.

Bob Heck did say I was an iconoclast, and I'm not gonna let him down now. I've likely pissed off most of my colleagues over my stand on licensing of interior designers, so let's keep it up - here's Ed Driscoll taking a look at the political leanings of that demi-god of internationalist architecture, Philip Johnson.

Germans are involved. It ain't pretty.

More Than A Pillow Fight. Again.

Geez, this is getting to be a habit - once more I'm defending licensing of interior designers (scroll down when you get there). Though, I'm not sure ASID will be all that happy with my reasoning.

UPDATE: If this issue really lays your carpet, then go here for my earlier tussle over licensing. Go through the comments, then hop over to Radly Balko's post and comments that started it all.

Your Prayers, Please.

Sgt. Terrell Gilmore, a Louisiana National Guardsman, was killed last Sunday (30 March) in Iraq. He was a member of the 769th Engineer Battalion.

Rest in Peace, brother.

01 April 2008

Our Favorite Day.

April Fool's Day is a very special day here at RSR for obvious reasons. (It's April, and some say we are utter fools.) (more than some - ed.) But it is also three days before a major deadline for our office, so posting will be light these next few days.

As we have for the past several years, we celebrate this day by helping to pen this bit of April Foolery for a friend at one of the best emergency preparedness websites out there. Most of it is "in-the-know" humor, but see if you can pick out which sections your humble blogger wrote.

UPDATE: Hee. Hee. My first "exclusive." I am such a stinker.