Friday, May 6, 2011

Mr. Moonbones shreds R2P

When I want some dark humor, I wander over to the Lunar Ossuary where Oengus Moonbones never fails to disappoint, offering gems like Winning the War of R2P.

Winning the War of R2P

Shock and awe them with our Tolerance,
Overwhelm them with our Diversity
Then smash 'em with our Sensitivity.
We’ll show 'em how Progressive we do be.

Free speech for me but not for thee
Such double standards we all can see
We learnt at Open Minded University
Along with other strange perversity.

For we must not offend the R.O.P.
Nor our Saudi masters overseas;
They own the oil spigot, don't you see?
So let us all visualize whorled peas,

And shock and awe them with our Tolerance,
Overwhelm them with our Diversity
Then smash 'em with our Sensitivity.
We’ll show 'em how Progressive we do be.

Love it. Maybe these guys should use this as a marching hymn?

Space Aliens land in Vilnius, Lithuania

If I were an alien, I'd be, like, "Screw Palm Beach! We're going to Vilnius!!"

Dershowitz: Release the Dead OBL Photos

Over at HuffPo, Alan Dershowitz really rips the operation which took out Osama bin Laden for basically everything done after he was taken down. Here are the bits where he argues for releasing the photos:

The president's decision to suppress the remaining photographic evidence is disturbing on many levels. First, it is wrong on its merits. The public is used to seeing visual portrayals of dead bodies. They are routinely shown on television and in movies. Anyone who has served as a juror or a courtroom observer in a homicide cases has seen bodies riddled with bullets or afflicted with stab wounds. We are mature enough to endure viewing such visual evidence if we choose to. Nor is there any real risk that these photographs will inflame Muslim or Arab sensibilities, any more than the photographs of Saddam Hussein did.

On a more fundamental level, I have serious doubts whether the president has the legal or constitutional authority to suppress these photographs. As Commander in Chief, he had the authority to order the kill operation, but in a country governed by the First Amendment, the president may lack the authority to decide what is published and what is suppressed. It would establish a terrible precedent for the Commander in Chief to be given the sole authority to determine what the public has the right to see and know, especially when the sole justification for suppression is a matter of judgment regarding the possible offensiveness of the photographs.

In a democracy, doubts must always be resolved in favor of disclosure, particularly in a matter of such great public interest and controversy. Surely Congress has at least equal authority to decide what to do with the photographs. Moreover, the press may have the right to obtain and publish these highly relevant items of evidence as part of its duty to inform the public. Some media will surely challenge the president's decision, and if they do I hope they win....

The photos are going to come out at some point. It's amazing to me that we are publicizing all kinds of things that are counterproductive or at least unhelpful to the war effort, e.g., "we found lots of hard drives, everybody", "he wasn't armed when we found him, everybody", etc., but they don't want to release the photos.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This one goes out to Muzhik

"Johnny? All yours!"

"Careful what you say, don't give yourself away."


The Man in the Cellophane Mask

As I had pointed out earlier, Rod Dreher's writing over the last year or so has been greatly curtailed by his employer, the John Templeton Foundation. In the meantime, speculations and questions from various sources about when he might be back have abounded. A hostile gay site asks "What's going on with Rod Dreher?" Another mean spirited blog entry hopes aloud that he was fired. Then there are Bluegrass Up and Alexandria voicing a more friendly curiosity, and from the online birthday party at Red Cardigan we learned that although Rod is not allowed to blog, he is allowed to comment on blogs. That was on February 14.

About two weeks later on March 3, Rod began blogging at the OCATruth site under the pseudonym "Muzhik", which means peasant in Russian. This was revealed by the OCA News site on April 30 based on "leaked" emails sent to Mark Stokoe, the OCA News site administrator. Since then, Rod has not added to his fifty blog posts as Muzhik. News items include the termination of a priest, Father Joseph Fester, who was in on the creation of OCA Truth and an FBI investigation about leaked emails. There is evidence that several OCA Truth posts hastily written since the outing have been since removed, a pretty good indication that they are shaken and confused, although to my mind they seemed to be the wronged party here.

Pikkumatti requested that I write up the cliff notes to this pile of spaghetti, but I admit that I need to buy a vowel as well. I don't know all the characters in this soap opera, and I admit that readily. The comments to the OCA news revelation may serve as a beginning, and there are some criticisms and condemnations of Dreher written there which make mine look mild and moderate by comparison. Some are strong enough to make me resemble the guy's drinking buddy. That suggestion is probably more likely than the narrative behind Mark Shea's accusation that I really, really hate Rod Dreher which he made a year ago in National Catholic Register. But no, I'd rather drink with happy, non-anonymous people who don't hug the bottle, and I doubt our Working Peasant would want to kick a six of MHL with such an admitted cultural Philistine.

Another piece penned around the same time a year ago was Dreher's blast at the OCA's former administration, suggesting that Metropolitan Herman has a gay lover and extolling the newly elected Metropolitan Jonah for condemning the previous administrations for corruption. Maybe he got that idea from shots at George Bush in Barack Obama speeches? I was thinking that Rod's line—"Seeing him lead us at the March for Life made me so proud to be OCA, and that’s not a feeling I’m accustomed to"—on that first post as Muzhik reminded me of Michelle Obama's comment during the 2008 campaign. An interesting admission, I think, that he's rarely proud of his new denomination. But this is a digression, sorry. My main point in bringing up the "Primate Rape" post is that in the comment section, he predictably returned to his old standby topic, the Roman Catholic clergy abuse scandal, and wrote 3 or 4 times the copy as the original post about the OCA. I won't excerpt any of that here, you can go read it yourself. He hit all the old memes: the Pope's moral failings, the lack of action on the part of Catholic lay people because they shrugged and said "It's no big deal" instead of starting blogs, bishops didn't attack other bishops enough in public, the absolute need for righteous journalists to uncover corruption, etc.

It appears that Muzhik is not much different than Rod Dreher. In his post titled This is not a game. This is real life, peasant Muzhik informs his Orthodox readers about what is going on in the Catholic church in a warning tone.

Any OCA bishop not affected by what the Roman Catholic Church has suffered because its bishops did not take sexual integrity and immorality seriously, is a fool. In Philadelphia, a grand jury recently indicted a monsignor of the Roman church over his alleged complicity in the rape of children by two priests. This monsignor did not participate in any sexual assault. The grand jury indicted him because he knew these priests were pedophiles, and he assigned them to ministry anyway.

If the state is willing to go that far there, in Philly, will it not do the same elsewhere? Personally, I rejoice in this. The bishops of the Roman church are incapable of policing themselves, and in taking their responsibilities to the faithful seriously. Let some of them start going to jail for the damage they do. That will get their attention. If our hierarchs don’t get right on this issue, they too may face jail. And that is not a bad thing.

To my knowledge, we don’t have any issues in the OCA like what the Catholics are dealing with, but I am in no position to know for sure....

Here's a cute one from March 14 where Muzhik publishes a note from a reader. Read the letter. Of whom does the reader remind you?

Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from a man who said he had been thinking for a long time that “the OCA promised by Metropolitan Jonah” is the place he and his family belonged. They are feeling defeated by the chronic problems in the Roman Catholic Church, and want a solid, orthodox place to grow in Christ. The recent trouble between the Synod and His Beatitude had discouraged the man, but he said that seeing my name on the list of Jonah supporters gave him confidence. I’m honored by his confidence in my judgment, and I’m glad to be part of an effort to spread the good news about Met. Jonah, and to remind the wider world that there’s another side to the story. His letter reminds me, though, that there are huge implications to this crisis beyond the immediate result of whether or not His Beatitude survives it. People are watching us, and not just fellow Orthodox. We are a very small church, and we cannot afford to lose potential converts. More importantly, we cannot afford to lose ordinary families who are desperate for what Orthodoxy offers. That’s how my family found its way into the OCA. We didn’t come because we believed in the bishops. We came because we believed in Orthodoxy. But the bishops, if they don’t get their act together and act like men of God instead of CEOs, will make it ever more difficult for people on the outside to hear the call of the Gospel in Orthodoxy over the noise of the petty game-playing and agenda-pushing.

The emphases are mine. Sounds like the Working Boy, doesn't it? It sort of reminded me of the episode where Bruce Wayne calls Batman on the Bat-phone. Alfred has to use some special kind of computer keyboard connected to the phone and programmed with words spoken in Batman's voice. The internet sure has simplified things.

Here's another post, The Long Game (didn't he say "This is not a game" earlier?) which takes some more shots at the Catholic church. For the record, I'm not really concerned with the posts that don't contain the word "catholic" in them. That's how I've chosen the ones to highlight, by the way.

Fr. Ted Bobosh, who is the ethics chair of the MC, has publicly stated that he doesn’t believe homosexuality to be a sin, and Mark Stokoe, Bobosh’s parishioner, is living with a same-sex partner, though we don’t know whether or not they are living chastely. Again and again, I don’t make it my business to pry into the sex lives of other people, but as an Orthodox layperson, I have a right to expect that the private lives of the men and women who serve in leadership capacities in our church — especially top leaders like MC members — are lived in conformity with Orthodox teaching, especially on a subject as contentious within all Christian churches as homosexuality. +Tikhon can’t brush this aside (nor can the other bishops), especially not in light of the destructive experiences of the Roman Catholic and Mainline Protestant churches with this subject. Not only is this a matter of theological divisiveness, but a hidden culture of sexual sinfulness among the clergy (homo and hetero) has wreaked total havoc within other churches, especially the Catholic Church. We cannot let tolerance for that kind of thing take hold in the OCA, because it will tear us apart. The OCA is not going to change its teaching on homosexuality, but neither have the Catholics, and they have been devastated by the secrets kept and lies told to keep a facade of holiness for the laity’s consumption while the reality of life among some of the clergy is very different.

Got to love that ol' Catholic facade of holiness!

I had already blogged on this post by anonymous blogger Tovarishch which features a letter from non-anonymous Rod Dreher. Here's an excerpt from it which I find darkly humorous:

The OCA, like the Roman Catholic Church in our country, is too often an absolutely passive church, one that just stands back from the culture in self-satisfaction and with a false sense of invulnerability, while opportunities to open the door for Christ to save souls slips through our complacent fingers. True, none of us need the permission of priests or bishops to evangelize for Orthodox Christianity, but when you have a visionary pastor like His Beatitude, who is all-in for a visible, counter-cultural Orthodox mission, it does wonders for one’s sense of hope and confidence.

I agree that everyone, Catholics included, should be doing more to spread the Gospel message. But I'm sorry, when you add in the current context, what I'm forced take away from this is that if Catholics were more active in spreading the Gospel, we'd be starting more anonymous blogs, then we'd be writing letters to the anonymous authors and signing our real names to be published in said anonymous blogs. Whiskey, tango, foxtrot.

I could go into a long list of books written by Bishops like Chaput and Wuerl and Popes like Benedict and John Paul along with those by hundreds of Catholic priests and lay people. But what a waste of time that would be, tilting at the cardboard windmill of Dreher's official narrative.

Well you can read the rest of the entire Rod Dreher Muzhik catalog on your own. I wish I had read more of it a couple weeks back. I think I might have outed Dreher as Muzhik without doing anything potentially illegal or unethical. He's wearing a mask, but it is made of cellophane. Who could have written this stuff other than him?

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Momz Day Lolz

Funny stuff.

"You can live some sort of life..."

Just found this quote from Richard Dawkins on this site about evolution:

Natural selection is the only workable explanation for the beautiful and compelling illusion of 'design' that pervades every living body and every organ. Knowledge of evolution may not be strictly useful in everyday commerce. You can live some sort of life and die without ever hearing the name of Darwin. But if, before you die, you want to understand why you lived in the first place, Darwinism is the one subject that you must study. — Richard Dawkins

I guess I am living "some sort of life" with a darkened intellect and a total lack of understanding of how I evolved from a Drosophilia. But I am laughing my ass off dancing on Lord Darwin's grave, and I'm ready for another beer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Guitar George, he knows all the chords"

Did they say "Sultans of Swag"?

Someone will have to develop some sort of powerful vaccine to inject my brain with to make me decide this stuff isn't hilarious.

We all know this about Emergency Rooms

We know it either intuitively or from experience. But here are the facts, presented by doctors who work in the ERs. However, maybe you prefer the opinions of DC Bureaucrats who wrote ObamaCare to those wearing the stethoscopes.

Hospital emergency rooms (ERs), the theory goes, get overcrowded because people without health insurance have no place else to go. But that's not the view of the doctors who staff those emergency departments, says NPR.

The real problem, according to a new survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians, isn't caused by people who don't have insurance -- it's caused by people who do, but still can't find a doctor to treat them.

  • A full 97 percent of ER doctors who responded to the survey said they treated patients "daily" who have Medicaid (the federal-state health plan for the low-income), but who can't find a doctors who will accept their insurance.
  • At the same time, 97 percent of ER doctors also said they treat patients daily who have private insurance and primary care doctors, but whose primary care doctors sent them to the emergency room for care.
  • Apparently that's because the patient's need for care arose during a time when that private doctor's office was closed.
  • Since these insured patients are more -- not less -- likely to use the emergency department, 89 percent of physicians in the survey said they believe the number of visits to emergency rooms will increase as the new health law is implemented.

Watch for construction crews increasing the size of ERs as well as building new Urgent Care facilities in a neighborhood near you. To reuse a Bushism, Heckuva job, Brownie.

John Paul II Beatification

Nice quick video.

The line "...Princess Letizia, wearing a black lace mantilla..." cracks me up. Obviously the journalist is trying to "spice up" this seemingly dull story.

Death of a Great Islamic Leader, Osama Bin Laden

One down, many more to go.

"It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honor, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their color, sex, or language." -- Osama Bin Laden, "Letter to America", 2002

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday

"For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on us and on the whole world."

O Mercy Divine,
Rain from the skies, so bright
To fill this soul of mine
With Heaven's Golden Light.