30 September 2008

Politics is Pastoralia. Or Is That The Other Way Round?

The Former Bishop of Nevada, currently the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church (tm), recently gave a lecture where she ruminated at length on Western farm policy, land use policies, proper grazing techniques, adaptive reuse of buildings, light bulbs, the diets of cows, and the the digestion of sheep.

Thoughts about Christ, God, forgiveness, redemption or salvation... not so much.

Here is what appears the crux of her talk, which was directed at the clergy:
I hope your sermons in the next few weeks will encourage all your flock to share in that pastoral work and cast an informed ballot.

"Cast an informed ballot?" I wonder what she means by that?

Hey, I think I'll try my hand at this pastoralia politics. So tonight I'm starting

Episcopalians for McCain/Palin.

Our motto: God and guns made America free; let's keep it that way.

The Children Sing Praises To The Dear Leader.

Watch this, and remember it was not filmed in North Korea:



Funny, I don't recall parents getting their children to sing wistful odes about John Kerry, Mike Dukakis, or Bill Clinton.

Cult of Personality, anyone?

Hattip: Reason Online.

UPDATE: Holy agitprop! LGF points out that there is a website for this. Take a look at the list of people who participated - is the' Jeff Zucker' mentioned the same Jeff Zucker who is president of NBC?

If so.... bias, anyone?

Teleprompter We Can Beleive In.

The Messiah's teleprompter gets a word in, um, edge-wise:



And he's right about those hot, kinky iMacs. Once you go Mac; you never go back.

29 September 2008

I'm Changing My Name To Freddie. Or Fannie.

This may seem a bit dated (a bit?!? - ed.), but the sentiment seems appropriate right about now. So ignore all the Lefty 'Capitalism is EEEEEVIL images, and give a listen to Arlo:

Who Let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Fail?

Watch this, and I think you'll have a pretty good idea.

This whole mess seems to revolve around Congress trying to make housing "affordable." The way to make housing "affordable" is to let people keep more of their money. (Hint: They can afford more that way.) And if we don't want to be in this mess again, then don't allow - or compel - banks to lend money to people who can't afford to pay it back. Duh.

Hattip: Creative Minority Report.

UPDATE: Back in 2004, Slate asked this question about Raines at Fanne Mae:

Is he the perpetrator of an accounting crime, the target of a political witch hunt, or the victim of an overzealous bureaucracy?

I think we know the answer now. You know if Raines had been a Republican, he'd be under indictment by now. I mean, this is way bigger than Enron. But unlike Enron, Congress caused this disaster - and defended Raines.

UPDATE: Here's a rather creative site (NSFW!) for helping you, the average consumer, participate in this bailout Congress is proposing.

UPDATE: Roger Kimball has much more - with lots of links - concerning "Who Let The Cash Out!?!" (Who? Who?) I predict that we'll be hearing a whole lot of the "we-shouldn't-focus-on-placing-blame-but-focus-on-solving-the-problem" meme from the Democrats and the Mainstream Media.

You Don't Need A Weatherman To Know The Friends Obama Knows.

But you do need to know about this piece by Bob Owens, because the Mainstream Media can't be bothered:
Any plausible link between a Republican presidential candidate and someone like Eric Robert Rudolph or Timothy McViegh would unleash a torrent of feverish reporting from the mainstream media, detailing every nuance and every possible shadowy link between them. The New York Times, however, stubbornly sits on a treasure trove of their original reporting that captured the facts and circumstances of the leftist bombs that exploded in a Greenwich Village bomb factory 38 years ago.

They have spent an untold amount of time, money, and resources to send reporters to the other end of the continent to report every possible thinly sourced or blatantly fraudulent rumor about Sarah Palin and John McCain. But The Democratic nominee for president has close personal ties to a well-known terrorist and they can’t be bothered to send an intern down the hall into their own archives to develop a report about Barack Obama’s partner, Bill Ayers.

Bias? What media bias?

UPDATE: Why is this Ayers thing important? This is why. And this, too, which details how how Obama's radical connections tie directly into the current financial crisis. Hattip: Instapundit.

28 September 2008

A Tale Of Two Bracelets.

And why they matter. It's also telling which wearer knew the name on his bracelet by heart, and which one had to, uh... uh.... look.

27 September 2008

Today's Required Reading.

More Bill Whittle. This time he connects kidney stones, the current financial crisis, and little cartoon unicorns. Brilliantly, of course.

Perhaps economists should be taking Dilaudid.

UPDATE: Add this Peggy Noonan piece in the Wall Street Journal to your day's reading list. You won't be sorry.

Episcopal Convergence In The Granite State, Or, Defining The Middle Leftward.

Yesterday, The Former Bishop of Nevada had a friendly meeting in a very friendly place – New Hampshire:
Parishioners and members of the public converged on St. John's Episcopal Church Friday afternoon for a dialogue on issues that seldom arise at regular worship services.
As part of a tour of New Hampshire, Katherine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, addressed issues ranging from a lack of participation in some organized religions, men and women in religious leadership roles, interfaith dialogues and a slew of other matters affecting Episcopal and Anglican churches.

And how many friendly people “converged” for this friendly meeting? This many:
"We live in a time of profoundly rapid change," said Schori to the audience of more than 100 people before opening a question-and-answer session.

“More than 100” people?? That’s it? In "New Thing" friendly New Hampshire? I mean, I know New Hampshire can be somewhat sparsely populated, but honestly. It's the Presiding Bishop, for polity's sake! You'd get 100 people from my parish, an ACN parish, showing up just out of respect for the office. Shouldn't all that with-it relevance, with its focus on inclusiveness and UN goals, be packing ‘em into the pews?

I mean, even The Simple Country Bishop, the church’s very own cause celeb, was there:
V. Gene Robinson, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, who was at the Friday afternoon event, was not invited to attend the Lambeth Conference but attended anyway. Robinson is the first openly homosexual bishop to be ordained in the church.

Heck, he usually draws 100-plus in just his press pool alone. And speaking of The Simple Country Bishop, well, The Former Bishop of Nevada didn’t:
His ordination was not explicitly addressed during the presentation and question session.

But the Main Focus Of The Church was, of course, addressed:
Betty Lane, a Dover resident who identified herself as a lesbian, asked Schori to speak about the dialogue within the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion that relates to gay, lesbian and transgender community members.

In response, Schori first mentioned that no resolutions were passed about issues related to gay, lesbian and transgender people at the Lambeth Conference, but that the subject did come up in conversation.

Schori said that several parts of the Anglican Church currently have beliefs about faith and religion that correspond to societal ideals that were more widespread in the past, but that the church community as a whole is changing.

And how does The Former Bishop Of Nevada justify inflicting that radical change on the rest of the Anglican Communion? By redefining her position as the moderate one:
"There is a middle in the Anglican Communion that is really committed to this conversation," said the bishopi.

If that is the "middle," then who the heck is to her Left??? And let's be frank - this ain't a conversation. It's a minority of the Anglican Communion demanding that they alone define what is moral and what isn't, what God is and what God isn't, and what Christianity is, and what it isn't.

But Ms. Lane is OK with that:
After the presentation, Lane said she was pleased to hear Schori's response, citing a cultural and community inclusiveness in which members of the church can reach out.

How is all that inclusive reaching out been working out for you? Oh yeah; only 100 people show up to a meeting with the Presiding Bishop.
"We need to have that cultural sensitivity for people," said Lane, an Episcopalian, as dozens of attendees made their way to a reception at the parish rectory next door.

But that cultural sensitivity seems to extend only to people in our own Church who The Former Bishop of Nevada and her friends agree with. For the rest of us, it's shut up or sod off, thank you very much. (And leave your valuables at the door.)

So in the end, ask yourself - how healthy is a Church when it's national leader can only draw "more than 100" in very friendly territory, and only "dozens" want to stay and attend a reception with her afterward?

26 September 2008

Tomorrow's Required Listening.

My Louisiana blog-buddy Greta Perry will be interviewing Kevin Farley, star of the upcoming movie An American Carol, on her New Orleans radio show tomorrow. Her show is 3:00pm to 4:00pm on AM690 WIST, and Kevin will be on in the second half hour. You can stream it over the Net live by going here.

That's quite a coup for 'The Princess of Positive.' Back in May when she was getting started in radio, Greta got so desperate she interviewed me.

Today's Required Viewing.

Glenn Reynolds has found the best political video of the season so far:



I think The Messiah and his disciples should be more worried about how something like this plays, than this. I wonder if they'll try to have it suppressed, as well?

UPDATE 27SEPT08: The Messiah may claim to be black, but I'm sorry - only a white guy dances that goofy.

And Now For Something Completely...... Creepy.

And I mean creepy. This aparrently is NOT a parody:



This though, is:



See any difference?

UPDATE: Matthew, the master of the YouTube post, asks a good question. I don't know the answer answer, Matthew, but I do know that the girl in the video you posted could make a killing writing sermons for this lady.

UPDATE 27SEPT08: After seeing the first video again, I have this urge to add on a redwood deck.

25 September 2008

Before Iran, Igrovel.

Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to The Episcopal Church (tm). Case in point:

Iranian raving madmen President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a break from his busy schedule of building nuclear weapons, eliminating Jews, killing American soldiers, hanging gays, executing anyone not a Muslim anymore, and preparing for the second coming of Snow Veil and the Seven Imams, to lecture the UN this week on the merits of..... building nuclear weapons, eliminating Jews, killing American soldiers, hanging gays, executing anyone not a Muslim anymore, and preparing for the second coming of Snow Veil and the Seven Imams.

And the Iranian nutjob President is hanging around Manhattan for a bit, which gave a group of religious leaders and other "peace" groups the chance for some Lefty street cred opportunity to host a dinner in New York for the Iranian President:

The dinner, billed as an international dialogue, was sponsored by a collection of pacifist religious organizations including Quaker and Mennonite groups. The broad coalition of protesters outside said the event lended legitimacy to a dictator who supports terrorism and denies the Holocaust.

And who was one of those "pacifist religious organizations" that would host the utter antithesis of secular, Western pluralism? Why, The Episcopal Church (tm), of course:

Representatives from a broad range of Christian ecumenical organizations, including the Episcopal Church, plan to attend the dinner.

"Meeting with people does not mean you agree with them," said Maureen Shea, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations in Washington. "The more there is inflammatory language going back and forth, the more we feel there needs to be a way for our two countries to communicate."

So.... The Episcopal Church (tm) will agree to sit at the table with someone who says that God wants America destroyed; but will refuse to sit at the table with someone who says that God wants us to keep His Word.

Remind me again why I'm still an Episcopalian?

24 September 2008

Will Obama Disavow His Racist Supporters?

Don't hold your breath. If a Republican Congressman had made a bigoted, racist comment like this about an African-American Democrat, they would be hell to pay:

Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida said at a panel about the shared agenda of Jewish and African-American Democrats Wednesday. Hastings, who is African-American, was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race. “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through,” Hastings added as the room erupted in laughter and applause.
(emphasis mine)

Sad. It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to taxes or abortions or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-American sentiment or anti-gun sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

And there's another tidbit in the same article worth mentioning. Remember the Left's well-worn "God is not a Republican!" meme? Well, according to Representative Steven Cohen of Tennessee, who was at the same rally as Rep. Hastings, God can't be a Republican because God's.....

A Democrat!

Really:

“A lot of what Jesus talks about is wonderful,” Cohen said. “Talks about helping people and lifting them up and caring about people who are sick and all those things. He’s a great Democrat.”

And I bet He's registered to vote in Chicago, too.

Change Not Even His Friends Beleive In.

Does The Messiah have a problem?

While looking up something on this disgusting event, I stumbled across this.

These are supposed to be his supporters. I'd say he's got a big problem.

Table Reservations.

In the aftermath of Bishop Robert Duncan being thrown out of the House of Bishops, someone in the Reader Responses at Episcopal Life Online, one Nancy Cooper, of Missoula, Montana, opines:

I think it's important for Episcopalians to know the names of the clergy who are not willing to sit at the table with their brothers and sisters of the ECUSA.

I couldn't agree more, Nancy. So here you go:

Smith, Kirk
Benfield, Larry
Alexander, Neil
Marshall, Paul
Andrus, Mark
Duncan, Philip
Adams, Skip
Baxter, Nathan
Lee, Jeffrey
Duque
O'Neill, Robert
Smith, Andrew
Daniel, Clifton
Ousley, Todd
Gray-Reeves, Mary
Howard, John
Louttit, Henry
Fitzpatrick
Bainbridge, Harry
Waynick, Catherine
Wolfe, Dean
Gulick, Edwin
Sauls, Stacy
Bruno, Jon
Lane, Stephen
Sutton, Eugene
Gibbs, Wendell
Jelinek, James
Smith, George Wayne
Burnett, Joe
Edwards
Robinson, Gene
Sisk, Mark
Beckwith, Mark
Curry, Michael
Beisner, Barry
Rowe, Sean
Hollingsworth, Mark
Rickel
Alvarez
Singh
Mathes, James
Lamb (Provisional)
Frade, Leo
Breidenthal
Buchanan (Interim)
Powell, Neff
Waggoner, James
Irish, Carolyn Tanner
Ely, Thomas
Chane, John
Howe, Barry
Scruton, Gordon
Garrison, Michael
Taylor, Granville
Caldwell, Bruce

What? Not quite the list you wanted? Pray tell me - are traditionalists like me no longer your "brothers and sisters?" I don't want to walk away, Nancy, but where's our place at the table? It's very hard to remain when you are being told, in effect, "Shut up or shove off. It's our table now."

The Funniest Ray Nagin Joke. Ever.

It's up at Theo Spark's Last Of The Few. How sad that even the British understand why this is funny.

23 September 2008

No Slight-Of-Hand Left Behind.

How do you deal with academically failing schools, and the awkward questions that come with them? Well, if you're the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, you... cook the books so those schools don't look so bad:

Once students are transferred from their zoned school to a magnet school, their test scores go with them. Under the new accountability system, the magnet school students' scores will remain at their home school.

In other words, they want to move test scores from students at academically achieving magnet schools (my daughter attends one) and parcel them out to lower performing schools. And here's their lame excuse:

Some board members argue that the move evens the playing fields. "What we're asking here tonight is not a disguise or camouflage. This is bringing about a balance and equity," (Superintendent Charlotte) Placide says.

Isn't that called "gaming the system?" What a fine example we're setting for our youth.

Ya Gotta Admit, The Lady's Got Some Ba'als.

The Former Episcopal Bishop of Nevada, that is. She will be officiating at a worship service for the UN's Millennium Development Goals (peace be upon them), with our Gracious Lord of Indecision Canterbury in tow.

This bit of interesting analysis on the Goals (peace be upon them) can be found here:

“It goes down a bureaucratic rat-hole, lining the pockets of people who are connected to the power structure,” said Hanke, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “It’s basically a system to redistribute income from middle class people in the United States to rich people in poor countries. It never reaches those people who are living on a dollar a day.”

Note also in the same piece that The Messiah wants to throw lots of your money at the Goals (peace be upon them) if he gets into office. Surprise, surprise.

(For those who don't know what a ba'al is, go here.)

Hattip: T19.

22 September 2008

What A Difference A Couple Of Decades Makes.

I admit it; I am not a big Moody Blues fan. When I was a kid I liked them, but in college I discovered Pink Floyd and, well, moved on. (Someone once described the Moody Blues as "Pink Floyd for those who've never heard of Nietzsche." Yup.)

I particularly disliked this Moody Blues song and video when it came out (I was 27) and dismissed it as meaningless, syrupy, nostalgia pop.

That was then. I heard it again the other day, a few months shy of the Big Five-Oh, and waddaya know - that syrupy nostalgia stuff means something. When I was 27 I couldn't conceive of being 50, or looking back at when I was 17. Or 27. But now....

Here's another "nostalgia" song and video, but with a bit more of a wry take. (Bonus points - name all the artists/groups they parody in the video.)

(Sure bet: Matthew will find some better nostalgia songs and videos.)

No Longer 'Stig' Deprived.

Our Gustav-damaged cable line was repaired over the weekend, so we once again enjoyed our family's favourite hour of TV tonight.

And In A Related Story......

New York (RSR) - Sources at The Episcopal Church ™ Headquarters in New York said that the Rt. Reverend Katherine Jefferts-Schori, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church ™, almost deposed herself today. Deposition prevents a priest from saying Mass and removes their ordination.

Jefferts-Schori, who just this week deposed the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan for holding traditional Christian views, was preparing 36 other depositions “as a precaution” and accidentally got the “To:” and “From” lines mixed up on one of them. “David (Chancellor David Booth-Beers) can’t stop laughing about it,” said Jefferts-Schori, “He’s been emailing me all day, inviting me into a deeper relationship with my spell-checker.”

Once the error was discovered, Jefferts-Schori convened an emergency meeting of the House of Bishops in her office and the deposition was rejected. Since only Bishops in attendance may cast ballots on depositions, the 1-0 outcome against the deposition conforms with Church canons, according to Booth-Beers.

The very real, and very tragic, deposition is here.

UPDATE 29SEPT08: Welcome Ship-of-Fools.com readers! Since some of you are wondering, let me say for certain that this IS satire. Really. And a specific note to Organ Builder: I'm a Southerner, and I own several hatchets AND a guns. So y'all don't rouse me from my cow-like state of politeness. (grin!!)

A Journey Begins With A Single Step.

Matthew posted this line yesterday when discussing his future in The Episcopal Church (tm):

The question for me is no longer "Will I leave?" The question is now "Where will I go?"

My sentiments exactly. It's not like TEC really wants people people like us to stay...

Whenever Two Or Three Are Gathered Together In My Name, There An Attorney Will Be In The Midst Of Them.

More proof that The Episcopal Church (tm) doesn't give a rat's ass about Christianity anymore. They're leading a lawsuit to make sure it isn't promoted:

This lawsuit seeks judgment declaring that the imminent gift of more than $12 million in property (the Gales School) and cash from the government of the District of Columbia to a gospel mission to assist it in carrying out its religious ministry violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and D.C. Code § 44-715, and seeks an injunction prohibiting the District of Columbia from making that gift.

What do they want? This:

Enjoin the defendant from conveying the Gales School property to the Mission except in exchange for its fair market value, or unless the Mission enters into an enforceable agreement with the District of Columbia prohibiting the Mission from engaging in religious activity at the Gales School property;

According to this news story, and this post, it's not quite as Bishop John Chane and his Lefty buddies claim. Big surprise.

Two YouTube videos of one of the plaintiffs, Eric Sheptock, are here and here.

Hattip: StandFirm.

21 September 2008

Moose Shootin Mama.

I'm not a C&W fan, but I'm a-likin' this:



Hattip: Theo Spark.

Guess Who's Right? Again.

After the financial scare of the last several weeks, John McCain said this:



To which The Messiah responded with this:



Who called this one correctly? Answer here.

Mama, Don't Let You Babies Grow Up To Be Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominees.

Cowboys are a quintessential symbol of the American notions of independence, self-reliance, and self-sacrifice.

Joe Biden... hates cowboys.

How un-American is that???

19 September 2008

More Required Reading.

Bill Whittle on elitism, despair, and why J. R. R. Tolkien got it right.

There will be a test. In November.

And if you haven't already, read some of Bill's earlier work. You won't be disappointed.

John McCain Deflates One Of Obama's Old Gasbags.

From Theo Spark today:



Which is rather timely considering this:

Post Test

Still trying to figure out what is wrong...

A Tale Of Two Bishops.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.....

The Rev. Robert Duncan was a bishop in the Episcopal Church. He believes that there is a God. He believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died for our sins. He believes that the Bible is the Word of God. He believes that to be Christian we need to heed what they all say.

John Shelby Spong is a retired Episcopal bishop. He believes that, if there is a God, he is whatever We say he is today. He believes that Jesus Christ was not divine - just a really swell guy who wasn't raised on Easter. He believes that the Bible is wrong - it's a sexist, racist, homophobic, first-century sales job that has little relevance in the context of the modern world - and only the hysterical, fearful, insecure and neurotic take at face value. He believes that Christianity should heed more the words of folks like Karl Marx than Saint Paul.

Yesterday, the Bishops of the Episcopal Church, at the urging of the Presiding Bishop, voted to expel Bishop Robert Duncan from the Episcopal Church because of his beliefs, and for vocally opposing those who think John Shelby Spong is correct.

John Shelby Spong remains in good standing in the Episcopal Church, and his values are very much revered by those who voted to kick Bishop Duncan out. For all their talk of tolerance and diversity, the national church leadership does not seem to tolerate dissent, or any values diverse from their own.

So why am I still an Episcopalian when the national Episcopal Church seems to disdain most everything I value? A good question, and one I am re-examining in the wake of Bishop Duncan's expulsion.

I have remained an Episcopalian because Anglicanism is my channel to God, and has been all my life. It is a part of my very being, and I have not found anything that could replace it. I stay because there is no other alternative for me (yet). Roman Catholicism is too rigid - Methodism too squishy. I stay because I thought (until yesterday) I could hold to my values, dissent when I felt called, and still have a "place at the table". I stay because the parish I belong to holds my values, and my Bishop lets our parish do it's thing without interference. I stay because I love my parish; I love it's people; I love our way of worship and relating to God.

And our relationship with God is the important thing here, not polity and personas. Therefore, I am forced to admit that by staying Episcopalian I am enabling and sustaining those who reject the Will of God by embracing a Spong and expelling a Duncan. I am forced to admit that I am supporting, personally and financially, a church that will redefine God in order to worship things like the UN's Millennium Development Goals. And, because our relationship with God is the focus, I am forced to admit that what was once unthinkable - leaving the Episcopal Church - is now very much on the table.

Unfortunately, the time has come for my family to make some very hard choices. Not that The Former Bishop of Nevada and her buddies would give a damn, of course.

UPDATE: In the comments, Chazaq takes me to task for the phrase "Anglicanism is my channel to God," pointing out - quite rightly - that Jesus Christ alone owns that job. Besides, the phrase sounds too much like The Former Bishop of Nevada's "vehicle to the Divine" equivocations. What I was trying to say is that my call and relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the only way to God, has been through an Anglican expression. I never meant to imply that Anglicanism replaces our Savior.

Ugh!! More Annoying Things With Blogger.

I went to update my post on Bishop Duncan, 'A Tale Of Two Bishops', and something's gone very wiggy. The post will not update, nor post our of DRAFT mode, and it keeps giving me a javscript void(0) message. It also deleted the comments by Chazaq and Matthew.

I'll try and recover them later.

Not a way to ens a Friday....

UPDATE: Things seem to be showing up on my home Mac with Safari, but any post I edit is pushed to the top of the blog. Go figure. And all of the posts giving me trouble are time stamped the same time, but posted all through the day. More going and figuring.

ARRRRG!

Knows what day it tis, me hearties?

Aye, tis THAT DAY!

No, But We Are Fighting Knee-Jerk Media Bias.

Today's required viewing:

.

Hattip: Instapundit.

18 September 2008

20,000!!

At 0956 CST today, 18 September 2008, Red Stick Rant logged it's 20,000th visit since SiteMeter started keeping track back in June 2007.

The lucky visitor is apparently from Dallas, Texas, using an SBC Internet Services account, and came from StandFirm's Around The Web page.

If that's you (and we have ways of telling...) email me for your consolation prize. (They tell me that 20,000 is the rubber band anniversary....

For all of you who stop by day after day, I can not thank you enough. Knowing that someone is desperate interested enough to read what I put up here is high praise, indeed. This is fun; and so long as it remains so, I will keep at it.

When Is It OK To Question Someone's Patriotism?

At tax time, apparently. If you're not paying up as much as Joe "Gaffe" Biden thinks you should.

While it's making the rounds because of that interview today, 'Ol Chokin' Joe, has been using that tag line for a while:



What the Democrats are counting on here is that most of us don't know Joe about tax law. And we don't. A quarter mil in 12 months sounds like you're rich. And if you pocket that much in a year, I'd agree that you are well off.

But ask yourself - how does a business pay taxes? Most businesses in this country are not corporations, subject to corporate tax law, but partnerships and LLCs. Our firm is an LLC. Our firm, like most small businesses, does not pay taxes on the firm's income - the firm's Owners do. Our firm makes more than half a million dollars a year, which means that, because I own 50 percent of the firm, the gross earnings on my 1040 exceeds that number Biden was tossing about as the threshold. Do I pocket that much? Hardly. But that is what our tax liability, and most business owners tax liability is based on. On paper, it looks like I'm farting through silk - but I only see a percentage of that in my pocket. (Yes, yes, we do have deductions. But Democrats think business deductions are EEEEEEEEVIL.)

The more we have to shovel out to our crazy Uncle, the less we have for salaries, benefits, new computers, another AutoCAD license (goodness, they are expensive!), or renovating our dump office. And we have actually made salary and employment decisions based on how much we will have to pay up in April.

Government didn't make our firm. Me and my partner, and our staff, made our firm. Where there were no jobs in 2001, there are now eight.

For those of you who own a small business, you know what I mean. For those who work for one, don't get suckered in by that lefty class-warfare twaddle. Remember, the salary you get comes from your employer having enough cha-ching in the bank to pay you. If that goes away, where will you be?

17 September 2008

For Jacques.

And for all citizen soldiers in Louisiana who proudly serve:



Try Us!

“Jesus Was A Torture Victim; Caiaphas Was A Law Professor.”

Via Instapundit (yes, the same guy whose nose we were tweaking earlier today - ed.) links to this excellent analysis of last week's tag line from the Obama camp:

“Jesus was a community organizer; Pilate was a governor”

My Anglican / Episcopal readers will be interested in who gets a mention:

More importantly, the third problem with this trope is that it is an attempt — conscious or not — to undermine the gravity of Jesus’ role in Christianity and in history. From Albert Schweitzer to Episcopal “Bishop” John Spong to Oprah, outside-the-Christian-mainstream critics have tried to make Jesus only a man with a plan, a social reformer, a self-help guru, you name it — anything but the crucified and resurrected Son of God as described in the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds. Community organizers don’t raise the dead, heal the blind and sick, walk on water, or return from death themselves.

Do read it all.

A Friendly Reminder.

Theo Spark doesn't want you to forget Ocktoberfest this year.

I sure won't. Nice mugs.

You Heard It Here First.

The humorous "Obama-in-the-bunker" video was linked to today by Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit. If regular readers find it familiar, it should be - a link was posted right here four days ago.

Heh.

15 September 2008

Road To Hell, Good Intentions, Paved With.

Another gun "buy-back" program in New Orleans. Alas, this one sponsored by my very own (Church) Diocese:

A group of New Orleans Episcopal churches, led by St. Anna’s, is working in cooperation with Bishop Jenkins and the New Orleans Police Department on Horns for Guns, a gun buyback program that could take up to 300 guns off the streets of New Orleans.

On November 1, 2008, the Horns for Guns program will allow youth to trade firearms, no-questions asked, and select a musical instrument or photography equipment in return.


While they may make the sponsors feel, well... good, gun "buy-back" programs do little actual good. Most of what gets turned in are non-functional pieces, or junk, or those that are "hot" - able to connect someone to a shooting. That gang-bangers would willingly trade in their real hardware for a chance to become Winton Marsalis or Annie Leibovitz is naive in the extreme.

However, I will offer this: I'll gladly donate a new digital camera for a restorable M1911A1. I've been looking for one for years.

UPDATE: See edit above. I meant my Diocese. My church is Saint Luke's, Baton Rouge; not Saint Anna's, New Orleans. Sorry for the confusion.

A Digger Looks At Our Polity.

The Episcopal Church (tm) is always claiming that one of the reasons there is such a fuss in the Anglican Communion is that foreigners do not understand our Church's "unique polity." Well, one Mr. Edwin Byford, of Coolamon, New South Wales, Australia, read this article in Episcopal Life Online, and seems to understand our new, post-2006 polity all too well:

Perhaps it is that I am an Anglican from the other side of the Pacific but the description of the method of appointing committees of the General Convention looks like just about the most undemocratic possible.

In a Church that used to be renowned for its broad based democratic processes how is it that all committee appointments fall to just two people — Bonnie Anderson and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori? Surely it is the Convention, itself, that should appoint its own procedural committees.

What has happened, that such power is concentrated in so few hands? Since some sort of formal establishment of the modern Anglican Communion a century and a half ago Anglicans have been determined to have power dispersed. We have not wanted magisterial power at the center of our international or national lives. We have seen the diocese as the fundamental building block with the unilateral power of the bishop extremely limited by synods and standing committees.

But the American Church seems to be concentrating more and more power in the center and removing power from dioceses and even the deputies of the General Convention.

I thought you guys fought a Revolution to make sure that you were never ruled by a king and his flunkies.You divided power and made sure it was not concentrated. From Australia your system for appointing committees looks very un-American, and most certainly very undemocratic.


I agree, but I am not surprised. The Former Bishop of Nevada and her cohorts don't want any surprises as they complete their purge of those that still believe that God is, well, God - and not what the UN and 51 percent of General Convention says He is.

Episcopal Life notes that Mr. Edwin Byford is an Archdeacon in Australia. Were he a Deacon here in the States and wrote that letter, I suspect his Bishop would likely have had a stern phone call. Or two.

The French Church gets "Indaba!"

And goes all Anglican in the process:

"The relationship of the pope with the bishops is not a boss/employee relationship. He is not the CEO of a multinational corporation who is coming to visit a branch office," said Cardinal Vingt-Trois during a press briefing held after the meeting between the pope and the bishops.

"We have welcomed him and listened to him as a brother who has come to reinforce the faith of those with whom he works and with whom he is in communion," said the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris.

"We are in a relationship of communion, of affection, and of collaboration. And when we have things to say to him, we say them" said Cardinal Vingt-Trois.


Next week I expect the good Cardinal will "invite us into deeper conversation," and start wearing a colorful oven mitt for a mitre.

Bon temps!

Hattip: Creative Minority Report.

14 September 2008

Sarah Palin Looses The Out-Of-Control, Hard-Partying, More-Money-Than-Talent Hollywood Youth Vote.

Really.

I don't think Sarah has much to worry about. The author ain't exactly Kate Hepburn.

Rowan Williams Gets His Wish.

Really:

The (UK) government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Our Gracious Lord of Canterbury must be quite elated with this sign of dhimmitude progress. Perhaps he can refer this dispute to them. Beats another report.

I'm An Old Coke Kinda Guy.

Warning: Technical Rant.

There is a truism in the computer world that whenever a company really trumpets an "improvement" with their software/hardware, it usually isn't. Call it the New Coke Rule.

Today Sitemeter, one of the best and most popular blog statistics sites, proved the Rule yet again.

Sitemeter, rolled out an "improved" site with a basic interface that was nearly useless, with the only stats are those you really didn't want or you only checked occasionally - unless you got the "premium" package, that is. Which requires (cha-ching!) a subscription.

But It didn't last long - Sitemeter just put back their "classic" interface, an this explanation:

As you’re no doubt aware by now, we’ve chosen to roll back our website to the previous “classic” version.

Based on some performance issues we were experiencing along with feedback from the community it appears we have pushed our new site live prematurely.


Well I got to give 'em credit for responding to their users. (Take a hint, Microsoft, AutoDesk....)

Bloggers like me like Sitemeter because one can quickly get stats on site visits, pageviews, and visitors. That is how we gauge our demographic, see what people are reading, and find how many folks are actually stopping by. Yes, you had to put up with annoying ads, but it was worth the price (free); and besides, who doesn't have to put up with annoying ads anymore? I also belong to StatCounter, but the Sitemeter user interface was so much simpler and easier to read, and I found it to be much much accurate with visitor's actual locations.

I log into Sitemeter at least once a day; StatCounter, once a week. Maybe. If Sitemeter wants to keep that ratio intact, they should leave things as they are.

End of Technical Rant.

13 September 2008

Who's Your Community Organizer?

The Messiah's people (his campaign, the press) have been pushing this talking point of late in an attempt to defend His record and deflect the Palin Wave:

"Jesus Christ was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor."

Via Instapundit, Jim Treacher delivers the coup de response:

"Hitler was a community organizer; FDR was a governor."

Ouch. Fits in with this video....

12 September 2008

Being Out Of Touch Is Torture.

The Messiah is running this ad - which he approved - accusing John McCain of being out-of-touch because he can't use a computer or send an email.

Know why John McCain doesn't use a computer or send email? Or comb his own hair? Or tie his own shoes?

Wizbang has the answer. (Hint: it has something to do with acquaintances of Obama's good friend, Bill Ayers.)

I will agree with The Messiah on one thing: if you put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig. I just wonder what shade he uses.....

11 September 2008

10 September 2008

Bumper Sticker Idea.

OK, I admit it - I'm going to vote for McCain. And not holding my nose when I do it, either. I want to show my support, but I haven't found a bumper sticker that reflects my sentiments. I'm looking for something like this rough sketch:


Somebody have any leads?

UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long. Reader tregonsee pointed out these, from a radio talk show host in Tennessee. Thanks, Treg!

UPDATE: A confidential source sent this link to a rather NSFW variant. Um, yep.

Today's Required Reading.

My architectural colleague and sushi lunch buddy, Patriotic Progeny, has a lot of great stuff up on her blog, Uncommon Acumen. Besides some fine political posts, she picture-blogged Gustav as it passed over her house.

So head on over, and tell her Clifford sent you.

09 September 2008

An Operating System Or The Episcopal Church (tm). Is There A Difference Anymore?

Now that I have (electrical) power, I'm trying to catch up on what I missed while sans-Net. First up, I see The Episcopal Church (tm) has selected a logo for their upcoming General Convention:


Um.... ick.

First of all, the graphic image looks like an inflamed rectum. Or, some kind of trendy new bio-hazard warning.

Second, as others have pointed out Ubuntu is more popularly known as the name of a computer operating system, like Unix or Linux. (It is a variant of the latter.) Since the convention is being held in California, can't you just see some very confused hackers and code geeks showing up - "Dude, I don't know about any Windsor Report, we're just looking for the Wired party." Did anybody at 815 Second Avenue do any market research before they picked this name? Do they know what Google is, for politys-sake!?!

Third, "I in You and You In Me"? Not very original. I think "Do You Feel Like We Do" would have been more in keeping with current Episcopal theology. And could you make the text any lighter and harder to read?

Fourth, notice any mention of, or any symbolic reference to.... Jesus Christ? God? Anything remotely religious? Me, either. You know this is a gathering of Christians because.....?

Let me show you an Episcopal Church logo that says who we are and what we are about, without reverting to OS themes or Peter Frampton song titles:



(Full disclosure: I am biased here. That's the logo for my church, and my wife designed it.)

UPDATE 12SEPT08: Ontario Emperor notes that there is a Christian edition of the Ubuntu operating system. But he concludes that it wouldn't be suitable for Episcopal use as it includes a filter which blocks things like gay porn sites. He also notes that Ubuntu is actually copyrighted. And take a look at the image on the upper left of the Trademark Policy page, and look again at the GC '09 logo above. Anything seem, oh, I don't know..... similar?

Post-Gustav, Day 8 - Killer Joke, Revisited.

Sometimes, I hate to be right. Remember this pre-Gustav promise from two weeks ago:

Federal Emergency Management Administrator David Paulison said Thursday if the worst-case scenario happens, disaster aid will be swift -- and complete.

Paulison said the days of waiting for help – like following Hurricane Katrina – are over.


Only a fool (or Kathleen Blanco, but I repeat myself) puts their trust in that. And Bobby Jindal is no fool:

"I had a very blunt conversation with FEMA folks today," Jindal said, clearly frustrated with the federal agency's performance. "It still sounds a little bit to me like 'the check's in the mail.' "

He said FEMA had been telling him for two days the supply trucks were being tracked, but that he was unable to get clear information about when they actually would arrive.

The governor said he took offense at remarks he had heard about Louisiana storm victims taking more food and supplies at the PODs than they needed for the short term.

"I do take strong exception . . . that people were asking for too much food," Jindal said.


And unlike his predecessor, when one approach isn't working Bobby Jindal doesn't wait around; he finds another:

Rather than wait for the trucks, state and local officials have been supplementing the relief effort by working with relief organizations, church groups and private catering firms to supplement food and water needs. Locations in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes are serving hot meals. Several state colleges also have been providing meals.

"We were told the (FEMA) meals will arrive at PODs today," Jindal said. "We don't want to just rely on that."
(emphasis mine)

Like I've been saying - FEMA, still sucks. David Paulison should be sacked - now - and FEMA should be utterly torn apart and rebuilt from the ground up. It would be a great task for this lady come January....

Post-Gustav, Day 8 - The Electrons, They Flow!

As of 7:00 tonight (or thererabouts), Villa RSR has power! And air conditioning! And a dryer! And Internet!

Praise be to Bobby Jindal, and to the thousands of utility workers getting it done 24/7.

Post-Gustav, Day 8 - Saint Luke's.

A commenter asked about how our parish, Saint Luke's, fared in the recent storm. Well, the winds knocked the steeple over and let a fair anoint of water into the Sanctuary, but the campus had power back pretty fast (Wednesday) so it could still operate as the overflow shelter for Women's Hospital next door.


We only had two people from Women's Hospital (I believe we planned for 12-20), so a lot of parishioners and their families have been spending time in the church hall, which has some things most of us do not - air conditioning, TV, and a functioning kitchen. It's a welcome relief (it'll be 95 here today).

The large church activity building, which also serves as part of the Day School, had a gust of wind buckle in a wall.


Other than that, Saint Luke's as a campus came out OK. As a parish family, no one was injured, but many people suffered damage to their homes. One family had four trees fall on their house. Our clergy have been checking up on parishioners in the hardest hit areas, especially our older members and those not able to get about.

Considering what could have been, and what others have experienced, we have many blessings to count.

08 September 2008

Monday Afternoon Distraction.

A 'Magic Carpet Ride'.... in an F/A-18. Way Cool:



Hattip: Theo Spark.

Today's Required......

Reading:

If you have not read it already, this essay from Bill Whittle at NRO knocks it out of the park. I mean, over the Green Monster, over Landsdowne Street, and puts it somewhere out on the Mass Pike. My sentiments exactly.

Viewing:



Watch closely as he walks away at the end - this man knows something about sacrifice.

Post-Gustav, Day 7 - Power To The.... Office!

Our office got power today, so I now have Net access and phones. Hooray! And some e-mail access. But the HVAC system is still off line, so it is hot as hell in here. Mail and Fed-Ex are operating, and it is nice to have a bit of normality - even if it is work-related.

More later, including some pictures of the aftermath of Gustav.

I can surf! Yippee!

07 September 2008

Post-Gustav, Day 6 - What A Difference A Governor Makes.

A little editorializing, if you please:

Since Hurricane Gustav missed New Orleans last week, the national media determined it was all a non-event. No story here; move along. No matter that it was worst storm ever to hit Baton Rouge, was more damaging to Louisiana than Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and a half million of us are still without power. But in missing those stories, the national media missed the real story here, which can be summed up in three words:

Governor. Bobby. Jindal.

A week after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, what emanated from the Governor Kathleen Blanco's office was, at best, indecision, confusion, excuses, and finger-pointing. Looking there for answers and information was looking in the wrong place.

But Jindal has taken decisive control of this crisis, and seems to be the most informed person out there. He gives daily briefings about the status of the recovery, in detail, and the local joke is Jindal gives you 30 minutes of information in a 20 minute press conference.

And unlike 2005, Jindal is setting the agenda, not reacting to it. He demanded FEMA deliver on their promised deliveries, and he got them. (Well, most of them - we're talking FEMA here...) Jindal demanded the utilities give the public some target dates for restoring power. (There are still about half a million Louisiana customers without power.) And when the dates didn't meet his satisfaction, Jindal told them to tighten it up, find the forces, and put state resources in the mix to assist in clearing damage and clearing red tape.

Here in the Broadmoor area of Baton Rouge, one of the hardest hit by Gustav, the results of Jindal's efforts are clearly evident. We now have dozens of power trucks and hundreds of lineman, from all over the country, working to get us power. It was pretty cool to see three bucket trucks lined up in a row working on our feeder lines.

And to get gas stations, groceries and pharmacies open, Jindal is buying 400 generators for them to get powered up. Bobby doesn't wait on FEMA. And to make sure we had the gas (generators are always hungry...), Jindal got Bush to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for our use (Louisiana has to pay that back).

All in all, we took a beating. But knowing Jindal is at the helm is a bloody relief. I gave Jindal more than a few swipes over the pay raise issue a few months ago. And he deserved it. But his actions now shows that the earlier issue was an aberration, and not indicative of who he truly is as a leader.

So keep it up Bobby. We may be hot, sweaty, tired and always smell slightly of gasoline, but we're glad you're at the helm.

And of course - FEMA still sucks.

05 September 2008

Post-Gustav, Day 4 - Cajuns Of The World, Unite!

Beautiful morning here in Red Stick - sunny and cool. Well, cooler, anyway. We got the generator up and running (finally!), so we have one room cool, the fridge running, and can recharge the iPhones. (I'm typing this on one now.) Entergy, the power folks, say my neighborhood will get power back in 2-3 weeks. My office is supposed to get power back today or tomorrow.

I'm currently sitting in line for gas at the local Sam's. Been here since 0615. Generators are always hungry, and this is becoming a daily ritual. We haven't been knocked back to the the third world as many joke, but more like the second world. Disaster strikes, and we become a communist country. Not in the "from each according to their abilities, to each accocrding to their needs" twaddle, but in the "empty store shelves, stand in line for everything" kind of way. Now I see why Cuba recovers so quickly from storms - this is the way they live.

But things are improving. Governor Jindal has done a helluva job in dealing with this crisis, more supplies are getting to stores, more areas are getting power back, we're drying out, more businesses are opening.

Now, about this Hurricane Ike....

UPDATE: Oh yes - FEMA still sucks.

03 September 2008

Hot, Tired, And Sticky, But Safe.

I'm sure y'all heard, Baton Rouge took a shallacking from Hurricane Gustav. (I haven't seen the Net in days, and am posting this from my cell phone.). We're OK - no power and lots of downed branchches, trees, and power lines. Our house wasn't damaged, but many were. Will post images later. Prayers appreciated.

P.S. FEMA sucks. Still.

01 September 2008

A Non-Gustav Post! About Dorks.

Like Matthew, I dabbled in role-playing games in school (a bunch of architecture students with beer - never a good combination...) so this seems like a must see:



Me: "Um..... I'm Clifford.... and, um........ I'm.... a... Dork."
Dorks Anonymous Group: "Hi, Clifford...."

Gustav Watch 01SEP08.

Here in Baton Rouge Gustav is (thankfully!) mostly a non-event so far. Like a windy thunderstorm. And, we still have power. The wind swath maps are not as dire as they were a few hours ago, and Gustav has been downgraded to a Category 2. Jay Grimes at WAFB says that Baton Rouge will not get as much wind and rain, or for as long, as earlier predictions.

Worst issue for us so far is the coffee maker overflowed this morning, and no coffee makes your humble blogger and The Boss a tad cranky. But the problem has been resolved, and we are well on our way to our normal, caffeine-driven selves.

Down in New Orleans, Mark O'Malley is finding the same anti-climax, except he has no power. He also expounds on the merits of an "Emergency Poontang Rescue Button." Does Staples know about those?

UPDATE: Lights started flickering. From past experience, it looks like we're going to be sans power in few minutes.