Friday, March 11, 2016

If you don't live in Ohio, don't read this

I'm voting for Kasich in the Buckeye State. And if you live here, you should to. Strategy is everything. Excerpt:

"I'm just stating the obvious," Conant argued. "If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you want to defeat Donald Trump, your best chance in Ohio is John Kasich, because John Kasich is the sitting governor, he's very close to Donald Trump in some of the polls there."

Rubio later echoed those comments himself at a news conference in West Palm Beach, FL.

"Clearly, John Kasich has a better chance of winning Ohio than I do, and if a voter concludes that voting for John Kasich is our best chance of stopping Donald Trump, that's what they'll do," Rubio said.

Donald Trump answers the question: What is 2 + 2?

I got this from Facebook, a guy named Steven Edwards posted it. I don't know what the origin is. I find it hilarious.

I have to say a lot of people have been asking this question. No, really. A lot of people come up to me and they ask me. They say, "What's 2+2"? And I tell them look, we know what 2+2 is. We've had almost eight years of the worst kind of math you can imagine. Oh my God, I can't believe it. Addition and subtraction of the 1s the 2s and the 3s. Its terrible. Its just terrible. Look, if you want to know what 2+2 is, do you want to know what 2+2 is? I'll tell you. First of all the number 2, by the way I love the number 2. It's probably my favorite number, no it is my favorite number. You know what, it's probably more like the number two but with a lot of zeros behind it. A lot. If I'm being honest, I mean, if I'm being honest. I like a lot of zeros. Except for Marco Rubio, now he's a zero that I don't like. Though, I probably shouldn't say that. He's a nice guy but he's like, "10101000101", on and on, like that. He's like a computer! You know what I mean? He's like a computer. I don't know. I mean, you know. So, we have all these numbers and we can add them and subtract them and add them. TIMES them even. Did you know that? We can times them OR divide them, they don't tell you that, and I'll tell you, no one is better at the order of operations than me. That I can tell you. So, we're gonna be the best on 2+2, believe me. Ok? All right. Thank you.

I heard him give a speech in Maine the other day and he mentioned Ohio in passing and threw a lot of the same kind of meaningless verbiage into it. Something like "We're going to do great in Ohio. By the way, I love Ohio. Ohio is one of my favorites; there's a lot I love about Ohio. Ohio has always been great and the people there are great." Blah, blah, blah, no particulars at all. We think Ohio is great, but tell us why you like it. Why do you like Ohio, Mr. Trump? You don't know and you don't care. At least that's how you come across. At least ask your campaign aids to dig up a fun fact about Ohio and throw it out there, but you don't even do that.

I guess he thinks completely unprepared speeches are as good as any. Maybe he's right, and that is a scary idea to me. Maybe he's a blank white board onto which everyone projects their own hero. I haven't the faintest idea why he has so much support among smart people.

The following one is from David Alexander.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"I could do this all day."

Marvel supposedly makes its biggest cash hauls from a film if RDJ is in it. But IMHO, their best story-line and character development efforts are achieved when the main character is Captain America. So this thing looks like a winner from all sides. Of course, my favorite MCU flick so far was The Winter Soldier, and I'm including both Avenger movies in the comparison. So I'm optimistic going in that I'll like it.

Trump's oppenent will easily get the women's vote

One of my political beliefs is that it's never too early to think about the general election. We should be imagining a match-up between the front-runners at the very least, and it could end up being a choice between the first woman President, Hillary Clinton, and a new record-holder for bad treatment of women, Donald Trump. Here's a Nation Journal article running off a list of evidence for my claim that Trump might hold such a record, but don't worry if you don't have time to read it. There will be many more if Trump is the nominee. And if he isn't? Good; people of both genders will be able to forget this ever happened. And we'll all be spared the tawdry particulars of a press frenzy which will make Bill Clinton look like a piker in comparison. Excerpt:

The trove of in­cen­di­ary and of­fens­ive things Trump has said about wo­men dur­ing his dec­ades in pub­lic life is seem­ingly end­less. He’s dis­paraged wo­men for their looks, ranked which fe­male pub­lic fig­ures he’d sleep with on The Howard Stern Show, and once said in an in­ter­view with Es­quire, “You know, it doesn’t really mat­ter what [the me­dia] write as long as you’ve got a young and beau­ti­ful piece of ass.” In 2011, Trump called a fe­male at­tor­ney—a new mom—who took a break dur­ing a de­pos­ition to use a breast pump “dis­gust­ing.”

The con­sequences are evid­ent in Re­pub­lic­an primary exit polling and na­tion­al opin­ion polls, in­clud­ing a Feb­ru­ary CNN/ORC poll that found just 29 per­cent of re­gistered wo­men voters had a fa­vor­able opin­ion of Trump, while a whop­ping 68 per­cent viewed him un­fa­vor­ably.

By com­par­is­on, CNN’s fi­nal na­tion­al poll be­fore the Novem­ber 2012 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion found wo­men evenly split in their opin­ion of Mitt Rom­ney: 47 per­cent of likely wo­men voters viewed him fa­vor­ably, and 49 per­cent viewed him un­fa­vor­ably. Rom­ney ul­ti­mately lost wo­men by 10 points na­tion­ally to Pres­id­ent Obama, and lost them by an even wider mar­gin in a hand­ful of swing states.

It probably is a waste of time to relate these truths to some Trump supporters, but not all. I'm of the opinion that many of these people are truly good people who are just misguided followers of a raving strong man with a large ego and harem who has started a cult based on fear and bullying. I mean... we know plenty of good Muslims, do we not?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Open Comment Thread (2016-03)

I'm way behind on posting a new Open Comment Thread. But here it is, with somewhat updated graphic for the age of Trump.

Please talk about anything you want to here, including but not limited to the following:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Go-to Guy For Miracles

If a miracle happens in your church and you go directly to Rod Dreher with the news, are you trying to vet the authenticity, or are you going for maximum publicity? I report you decide. It's instructive to note what sort of pops out at me: the repeated use of the word Catholic. Four times in the original article post, once in the comments. I thought Mr. Dreher was an Orthodox Christian now? If so, what does he care about what the Catholics might say about an internal matter? Let's see:

After a couple of visits, we received an invitation to a party at the Archbishop’s house, after the Dormition feast. I felt divided about this. For one, I didn’t want to go to a fancy archbishop’s house. For another, I had had enough of bishops and archbishops, men who had wrecked the Catholic Church. I didn’t want to get mixed up with an Orthodox one.

Oh, OK. My bad. The use of the word Catholic is just a bonus leveraging of the story to once again bash the Catholic Bishops and Archbishops who had "wrecked the Catholic Church". Got it.

Some people asked me in emails "What's with the picture?" They wondered why his  head is covered. This caused me to search the terms incorrupt Dallas and I found much better pics here. Check this one out.

Looks a little bit nastier. And a lot less blurry than this one which is one being circulated the most. Love to get a face shot, but alas. One commenter notes: "The photographs look like a decaying corpse to me. Trust me, I know what dead bodies looks like. Haven't you people seen corruption before?"

And yes! You noticed it too. It's sort of like this phenomenon, I guess. Some people see red vestments, others see gold. Another commenter asks: "Can you please explain why the change of vestments? One photo shows Vladika Dimitry buried in gold vestments and another photo shows him in red. Was it changed from gold to red, because he is being proclaimed a Saint? Or was he buried in red and now is in gold? I'm wanting to explain this appropriately to others in my community." So I guess we're looking for another miracle of auto-changing vestments on top of the semi-incorruptibly.

Maybe Archbishop Dmitri, née Robert Royster, was a saint. I'll leave any doubts about that for the comment section; the truth will out as they say. But honestly, OCA, you are going to let Rod Dreher of the weeping statues, Rod Dreher of the family ghosts, Rod Dreher of Muzhik fame be the person to prematurely announce to the world your latest miracle?

Here's something else worthy to report. The Pravoslavie link with all the interesting pictures states the source for the photos as being this link on Facebook. Going to the FB page reveals an update:

Dear Friends,
Today, I have been asked by OCA Metropolitan Tikhon “to immediately remove this post an all images associated with it”.
Also, I am “forbidden to post any pictures of Archbishop Dmitri without permission of the Holy Synod” (!)
It worth noting, that being a citizen of a free country, on my personal page I will continue posting everything I want, as long as it is legal ant true. However, out of obedience and respect of the office of the Metropolitan I choose to follow his order at this time.
Thus, some pictures and parts of the text will be removed.
As I stated before, all pictures of the Archbishop Dmitri’s re-interment that are in my possession will be forwarded to proper Church authorities for consideration, and I expect them to inform us about their findings.
Yesterday we put Archbishop Dmitri in his final resting place in St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas.
I was blessed to be a part of a team, which uncovers Vladika’s earthly remains and transfers them into new coffin to be buried in the crypt of the Resurrection Chapel and probably should offer some comments about these events.
Few personal notes:
Obviously, I was glad to see Vladika's body incorrupt, but be it otherwise, it would not affect my opinion about his sanctity at all.
The body of St Seraphim of Sarov, the Patron of our Cathedral, was corrupted, but it does not change the fact that he is one of the most beloved Saints around the world.
We all know that incorrupt body alone is not the reason of glorification.
Knowing Vladika for 11 years, seeing fruits of his life in the Lord, I personally convinced that he is a Saint. I believe that there are many more people all over the country, who share that conviction.
There is no decision of any group of people, respected (or not) would be able to change that. If his body will be corrupted in two, 20 or 200 years (as some may wish), or will start to stream myrrh (as others may desire) it will not be changed.
No one can stop me or anyone else from addressing Vladika Dmitri in payer, and feel his response and intercession; same way as many others all around US feel his love and help.
All pictures I made during transfer of Archbishop Dmitri body will be forwarded to proper Church authorities together with my written statement for consideration.

So the plot thickens. It seems like a lot of this publicity wasn't welcome by the OCA, or maybe they had second thoughts when the thing got pimped by D Magazine, Wick Allison's other rag. It is worthy to note that the official article from the OCA on the reinterment doesn't mention the alleged incorruptibility of the Archbishop's corpse. At this point, the whole thing is purely a santo subito phenomenon.

Personally I had no idea that myrrh-streaming was even on the table. But I sort of appreciate the hedging of the bet here pointing out that the Archbishop's corpse may be corrupted at some time down the road even though it's incorrupt now. Some miracles obviously have a time limit. I mean, gee whiz, does anyone expect that the Red Sea is still parted?

But going back to the Dreher post, can anyone not see why we roll our eyes when he writes stuff like these paragraphs:

But we went anyway, showing up on a rainy August afternoon at the address on the card. It turned out to be not a palatial residence, but the modest two-story woodframe house behind the cathedral. Could this house, with the paint peeling, really be where the Archbishop of Dallas and the South lives? I knocked on the door, and in we walked, with our kids.
It was a family dinner. That’s how it struck us. Archbishop Dmitri, born Robert Royster in Teague, Texas, was the opposite of everything I had come to expect in a bishop. He was humble and kind and gentle. He loved his people, and his people loved him. I remember thinking how good it would be to be led by such a man.

Love and peeling paint, such a great combo. So, unlike Catholics who don't love their Bishops and don't receive any love from them, Orthodox Christians love their Bishop but can't keep his house in good repair. I've never seen peeling paint in any Catholic clergyman's house. The people of the parish won't stand for that. Or is love manifested in gushing words about supposed sanctity rather than concrete deeds? I was rather of the impression that Christ taught the opposite.