Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The Likelihood of the UK Leaving the EU Just Jumped
I will refrain from commenting on the pig-headed, arrogant,
disrespectful, imperialistic pact between the Hun and their Surrender Monkeys
to stonewall the UK and their request for EU treaty changes. I will leave commentary on their
backstabbing, conniving, petty conspiracy to others. Instead I will briefly comment on the effect the cowardly
secret/leaked agreement will likely have on the coming In-Out UK EU Referendum.
And the chances just greatly increased the UK will vote to leave. Yes, there is still a lot of time. Yes, one should not underestimate the
UK-EU establishments’ effort to manipulate the referendum. But Germany and France teaming up to
give few to no concessions (And I expect the EU will still give a few token
concessions. They want to UK to
stay in, don’t they?) to the UK will have to motivate British voters to turn
out and tell them what they can do with the EU. And it would surely dampen the enthusiasm of those inclined
to stay in the EU.
I had expected the UK to vote to stay in. Now, I am not confident in that at all.
The aforementioned manipulations to keep the UK in the EU without
giving UK much real reason so to do will become interesting.
Knee Update: The knee is better, but still bad enough to trash my previous
plans. I am trying to get a timely
appointment with a doctor. People
go through a lot worse things than this, but prayers would nonetheless by
Labels: EU, UK
Friday, May 22, 2015
The Last Time I Had Crutches
Yes, as my
previous post reveals, I did not expect to post again so soon. But my busy plans were interrupted by a
knee injury. So about all I could
do yesterday, and that with the help of a friend, is go to WalMart, get
crutches, and rest my knee. And I
won’t be doing much more than that today.
(I think something is strained, not torn. I will rest it for what was going to be a busy weekend and
This is the
first time I’ve used crutches since 8th grade, and it brings back to
mind an episode back then.
B-team soccer career had just been ended when a teammate, during practice, took
out my ankle while going for the ball.
Yes, he was a bit over-enthusiastic. It was a bad sprain, so I was to stay off it. Hence the crutches.
Back then, my distance running had not yet gained respect as it would that Spring, and I was a
frequent target for teasing. One
day right before a class period, a boy took my crutches and ran around with
them. While I was athletically hopping
around on one foot trying to retrieve them, one of the sterner teachers
appeared. She was not happy. It was clear the boy was in trouble.
Now, in 7th
grade, I would have greatly anticipated the justice to come. I had been picked on for most of my
childhood, and I relished those rare times when my tormenters got what was
coming to them. But in the middle
of 8th grade, God had been working on me. Later on that year, on Maundy Thursday, also my 14th
birthday, I made my first profession of faith at Casa Linda Presbyterian
came over me and, without really thinking about it, I intervened and told the
teacher that we were just joking around.
It was not some difficult decision; it was instinct, and instinct I
surely would not have had a year or more before.
I do not know
if the teacher believed me. She
did not look very convinced and surely had noticed I was a target of teasing at
other times. But she chose to go
with my word and let it drop on the spot.
thanked me profusely as he returned my crutches. He knew very well I had spared him.
My point is
telling this is not to make you think, “What a good boy Mark was.” I have my regrets from 8th
grade, too. The time I did not
take up for a friend – a friend who was a good friend to me after my mom died –
still bothers me. Jamie Devlin, if
you are out there, I am sorry.
My point is
that there are times to forgive when the recipient of forgiveness has done
nothing to merit it – no apology, no repentance, nothing. Is forgiveness a Christian obligation
at such times? No, and I oppose
such teaching that Christians should always forgive no matter what. I do not think that is what the Bible
teaches, and I do not at all like putting false guilt on victims.
But God chose
to forgive me long before I had it in my mind to apologize and receive his
forgiveness. And surely a good way
to witness about God and his forgiveness is to model it by doing likewise. Not to mention being like the Father
can and should be a pleasure to a child of the Father.
And I have to
admit, even the 8th grade Mark got more pleasure out of giving
forgiveness than he would have out of receiving justice. He did not think it through; it was a
spur of the moment decision. But
it was one of the best decisions he made.
Labels: forgiveness, life
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Democrat News Media
The adventures of George Stephanopoulos illustrate why I don’t call it
the Democrat News Media for nothing.
Media has become little more than the
public relations/hatchet men arm of the Democrat Party.
Now I would say more about Stephanopoulos, ABC News, and the Bill and Hillary Clinton Slush Funds for that matter. But I
am a bit overwhelmed with happenings outside this blog. And I expect to continue to be slightly
overwhelmed for two or three more weeks.
So do not be alarmed at my quiet.
God willing, I shall return.
Labels: ABC News, George Stephanapoulos, Hillary Clinton, news media
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Some Semi-Friendly Advice to the United Methodists
The United Methodists are not my cup of tea. But I have to admit they are not going to Gehenna quite as
fast as the “mainline” Presbyterians and Episcopalians. Hey, I give credit where credit is due.
Yes, I am unusually magnanimous this morning. So here’s some friendly advice for the United Methodists –
close your D. C. office post haste.
lone Jewish state must be singled out for punitive divestment campaigns, while
we should at the same time promote economic investment in North Korea, whose
government has done absolutely nothing in the area of human rights worthy of
specific criticism. And we should take our
broad support for sex outside of marriage one step further by advocating to
This was the
moral vision offered by our United Methodist Church’s apportionment-funded D.C.
lobby office, the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) at its Spring 2015
board of directors meeting.
I will spare the sordid details.
I will just say decades ago, an important factor that pushed me out of
the “mainline” Presbyterian Church were its outrageous public policy
pronouncements. At the very least,
they alerted me that something was very wrong with my denomination.
One of the surest ways to shrink your church is to issue poison such as
that coming from the UM’s Washington office.
Methodists, you know what to do.
Close it. Now.
A hat tip to Christopher Johnson, whose title captures what the D. C.
Office is doing to the United Methodist Church.
Labels: mainline denominations, Methodists
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
What Compassion is Not
I apologize ahead of time for stating the obvious. But sometimes false memes get repeated
so often that stating the obvious is needful.
And in the aftermath of the U. K. elections, we are hearing again and
again lefty laments that the U. K. electorate is so lacking in
compassion as actually to vote Tory. Oh the humanity!
What about the poor!
Giles Fraser is among those so wailing (which is sad because the man is
capable of intelligence on occasion).
So the obvious begs to be reasserted: taking by force from someone else
to give to the perceived needy is not compassion. We can have a healthy debate as to when
such taking by force is justified, but compassion it is not. When you give of your own
substance to help the needy, that is compassion, not when you send government
to take from someone else.
The Good Samaritan did not mug someone to provide for the gentleman he
assisted. He provided for the
gentleman with his own efforts and money.
I will try to exercise some restraint and compassion and not say
Labels: politics, UK
Monday, May 11, 2015
The Toxic Left and “Shy Tories” – a Preview of U. S. Elections?
Among the interesting items of the U. K. elections last week was how
the pollsters got it all wrong.
They has us (me included) thinking that there was no way the
Conservatives would win a majority of seats without a majority. It even seemed Labour and SNP combined
might have a shot at a coalition.
Then as voting closed, exit polls surprised by indicating the
Conservatives would actually get much closer to a majority then previously
thought. The talk among many was
that those exit polls could not possibly be right.
They weren’t - the Conservatives actually won a majority of seats by a
So what happened? And why
were the pollsters so wrong? Some
think millions of “Shy Tories” turned out to stop a Labour-SNP government, and
I suspect they were right.
My American friends especially might be asking, “What is a Shy
Tory?” A Shy Tory is one who votes
Tory, but is reluctant to tell you about it ahead of time. And they have made pollsters look foolish before:
Factor is a name
given by British opinion
polling companies to a phenomenon observed by psephologists in the 1990s,
where the share of the vote won by the Conservative Party
(known as the 'Tories') in
elections was substantially higher than the proportion of people in opinion
polls who said they would vote for the party.
In the 1992
general election, the final opinion polls gave the Conservatives between
38% and 39% of the vote, about 1% behind the Labour Party –
suggesting that the election would produce a hung parliament or a
narrow Labour majority and end 13 years of Tory rule. In the final results, the
Conservatives had a lead of 7.6% over Labour and won their fourth successive
general election, though they now had a 21-seat majority compared to the
102-seat majority they had gained in the election five years previously. As a
result of this failure to 'predict' the result, the Market
Research Society held an inquiry into the reasons why the polls had been so
much at variance with actual public opinion. The report found that 2% of the
8.5% error could be explained by Conservative supporters refusing to disclose
their voting intentions; it cited as evidence the fact that exit polls on election day
also underestimated the Conservative lead.
And history has at least echoed with even exit polls underestimating
Tory strength this past Thursday.
I think two factors made the army of Shy Tories larger than usual this
1. Labour, led by “Red Ed”
Miliband, has lurched to the Left in recent years and really did not hide
it. Further, their likely would-be
coalition partner, the Scottish National Party, is even further Left and
doesn’t like the English all that much to boot. That pushed a lot of middle England into running to the
2. There is at least a
segment of the UK Left that has made being an open Conservative
problematic. There is not only the
toxicity of the Left in social media, but there are a number of professions and
occupations in which having open Tory tendencies is not good for one’s
career and workplace comity. (Yes,
the phenomenon of the Toxic Left is probably worse in the U. S. But I will get to that.) Understandably, this has made many
Tories that much more shy. And it
has also surely repelled people from Labour, increasing the number of Shy Tories.
I am normally not the most optimistic man in the world. But I think alert readers can already
see where I am going. Here in the
U. S., the Democrat Party has lurched to the Left in recent years. In the past, Democrats, with the help
of the “Mainstream” News Media, would try to hide their Leftism from the
electorate, and they may again in the Fall of 2016. But so far Hillary at least is not. (Not to mention Obama is not now that he
does not have another election.)
She herself is moving to the Left on immigration, class warfare,
opposition to freedom of religion, etc.
(Sorry, I lack time to get into specifics for now.) Both Obama and Hillary have made it
that much more difficult for middle of the road people to find excuses to vote
Further, the Toxic Left here in the U. S. (And those with any
involvement in social media or certain occupations will know what I am talking
about.) are both driving people away from the Democrats and at the same time
making people reluctant to say they might be such BIGOTS, RACISTS, and SEXISTS
as to actually vote Republican. I
would guess this factor is even stronger in the U. S. than in the U. K. We are just not as nice as the English,
Thus it would not surprise me that we see a big Shy Republican
phenomenon in the 2016 U. S. elections with polls having the election close,
and the actual election returns being something else altogether. This past Thursday, the U. K. may have
given the U. S. a preview of 2016.
P. S. Apologies for the lack of links and details. This is a big subject in the midst of a busy day. But I hope I (with the help of the UK) have alerted you to what may be an important aspect of the 2016 elections.
Labels: Election 2016, politics, UK
Friday, May 08, 2015
Towards a Robust Federalism . . . in the UK?
United States won its independence from Britain, the Founders in their wisdom
decided a robust Federalism was the way to go. With our current and deep-seated divisions, if we are to
survive as genuinely united states, it is a necessity that we return to that
irony of the UK election results overnight is that the UK may become a good
example to the US in that regard.
From re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks at 10 Downing
I have always believed in governing with
respect. That’s why in the last parliament we devolved power to Scotland and
Wales and gave the people of Scotland a referendum on whether to stay inside
the United Kingdom. In this parliament I will stay true to my word and
implement as fast as I can the devolution that all parties agreed for Wales,
Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Governing with respect recognising that the
different nations of our United Kingdom have their own governments as well as
the United Kingdom government. Both are important and indeed with our plans the
governments of these nations will become more powerful with wide
responsibilities. In Scotland our plans are to create the strongest devolved
government anywhere in the world with important powers over taxation and no
constitutional settlement would be complete if it did not offer, also, fairness
UK’s divisions, I think this a wise way to proceed. As much as I detest Scottish politics, to let Scotland be
Scotland and England be England without either putting the other under their
thumb seems the most peaceful way to proceed. (And, certainly, there is quite enough history to back me up!)
And that to
England’s benefit as well. One
reason a Labour-Scottish National Party victory would have been so awful is the
two parties would have likely ganged up on more sensible and more conservative
England. Leftist Scotland should never
be allowed to dictate to England.
Here in the United
States, the Left coast, the almost as Leftist Northeast Coast, and states
dominated by urban enclaves of social rot use the Federal Government to dictate
to the rest of us. That. Must.
divisions are probably worse than the UK’s and make a return to a robust Federalism
that much more needful. The
alternative . . . is not pleasant to think about. If California, Chicago, Cleveland, New York etc. want to go
to Hell, that is their choice. But
I would rather not be dragged there with them, thank you. And I would rather not be at their
throats or they at mine either.
The practice of Federalism in which the Federal Government does a few
things we can all agree on, and the rest is left to the states and localities
is surely a better, more peaceful way to go.
would be one of those ironies of history if the mother country reminds us of
the need for Federalism and gives us a good example of how to do it.
Labels: David Cameron, Federalism, politics, Scotland, UK