Thursday, March 09, 2023

I’m not dead yet . . . but this blog probably is.

I’m not dead yet.  I’m feeling much better actually.  

Seriously, yes, I’m okay.

And I apologize for going silent, especially if I worried anybody.  If I wanted to make excuses for that, they would be 1. I just didn’t have anything I wanted to write here and 2. I got locked out.  Both of which are true.

But now that I finally found my way back in there, I think it’s time to put this blog to bed.  I do reserve the right to revive this blog months or even years from now, but that is unlikely.

I once thought I would surely take this blog to twenty years in 2024.  It was a long-lived blog!  But I am writing so much for other venues, often anonymously, often privately, and more and more under my real life name, that something has to give.  I have never been a prolific writer, and I’ve always had limited energy.  So I think it time to end this blog.

It was a good run, wasn’t it?  I was occasionally wrong, but mostly right on target, even with a prediction or two.  In fact, now that I think about it, I might have a greatest hits post or two.  But I will probably do that on my twitter feed. 

Yes, do follow my twitter.  I remain very active there.

It’s been fun.  And I’m having fun now, just in other venues.  Thanks to all who supported me and prayed for me through the years.  I love you all.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Vagrancy in the U. K.

 Vagrancy in the U. K.

. . . which I guess is cousin to Anarchy in the U. K.

Anyway, yes, I still exist.  I’ve been busy studying, mainly in Oxford, and also busy enjoying my time here.  I am now in York, taking something of a vacation from my studies.

When I came back to England some weeks ago, I feared the problem with panhandlers and other street people would be much worse than my last U. K. sojourn in 2018.  I did not expect it to be as bad as, say, Los Angeles or Seattle, but Oxford and elsewhere in the U. K. have long been very tolerant toward panhandlers and the like.  So I was afraid it would be bad.

In the case of Oxford, I was surprised to find it has not changed much. But an exception to that illustrates that Oxford is asking for it to get much worse.  

(I did have a disturbing episode with an obviously drug-addicted panhandler attacking me while I was trying to eat in peace in Cowley, near Oxford.  But I’ve not spent much time in Cowley in the past, so I’m not in a position to say whether the situation there has gotten worse.  But I can testify firsthand it is bad!)

The exception is three panhandling women regularly in three spots in central Oxford.  All three use the same passive-aggressive tactic.  They pick a narrow place in a busy sidewalk, then sit and block half of it.  All three spots have barriers that make walking around the women difficult if the sidewalks are crowded as they often are.  Their signs (which look suspiciously similar) claiming homelessness are not placed beside them but in front of them thereby assisting them in blocking the sidewalk.  

If you’ve ever walked around Oxford, you would know this is a really obnoxious thing to do as these sidewalks are constantly crowded as it is.  Trying to walk around Oxford can be annoying and even treacherous without panhandlers willfully blocking the way.

Yet these three women, whom I suspect are part of a racket, are allowed to do this every day as far as I can tell.   Of course, when you allow and enable this sort of behavior, you are likely to get more of it as has been the awful experience of American cities . . . any maybe that’s why there are three women doing this already.

Yet, other than these three, the situation with street people hasn’t changed that much in Oxford since 2018.  I cannot explain why it hasn’t gotten worse.  Perhaps some cultural pond differences are in play?  In any case, Oxford is asking for trouble.  But, as historically the case with the city of dreaming spires, they are fortunate . . . for now.

York is a different matter.  There are definitely more street people than in 2018, even “within the walls” in the heart of York. 

York is foolish to allow this as much of their commerce comes from tourists and shoppers roaming within the walls.  At some point, the increased vagrancy has to discourage tourism and shopping, and that point may be near.  

Personally, I am enjoying my stay in York, but the situation has me making a point to retreat to my room well before dark. (I am thankful it takes a long time to get dark this time of year!)  And I will think twice before coming back to York — if the vagrancy situation is getting worse, how bad would it be if I return?  I may not want to find out.

I say this with sadness as I really love York.

York is still far from L. A. or Austin.  But the city seems to be asking for trouble much as Oxford is.  It would be interesting to see how on target my concerns about both cities are, but I won’t be here in the U. K. much longer to find out.

There are surely factors in all this that this Texan is missing.  Feel free to inform me of them in the comments.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

You Want Systemic Racism? You Want Systemic Injustice?

You may need to sit down for this.  And this is important enough that I am posting here for the first time in a while.  Ready?

I am a firm believer is systemic racism now.

Yes, it’s true.  And systemic racism is true. I have seen the light, and I am awake to it.

I saw the light yesterday when Jesse Smollett was let out of jail while his conviction is appealed.  He was let out less than a week after he was sentenced to 150 days in jail.

Now, as he wants everyone to know, he is black and gay.  What he wants you to ignore is that he orchestrated fake hate in order to smear Trump supporters and to elevate himself as a victim of those deplorables.

So let’s flip it.  Suppose a very heterosexual white Trump supporter orchestrated a made up black-on-white hate crime on himself in order to smear Black Democrats.  Maybe he would have the fake attackers wear BLM or Biden hats kinda like Smollett had his fake attackers wear MAGA hats.

Do you think such a hypothetical white fake hate artist would be sentenced to only 150 days in jail?  Do you think he would be let out of jail while his conviction is appealed?

Of course not.  Because he is white and straight and Trumpist, not black and gay and Democrat.

So, yes, I believe America has a systemic injustice and a systemic racism problem . . . except it is the opposite of what the woke crowd would have you believe.

I don’t have to make up a hypothetical case to make this point.  Compare the overall absurdly lenient treatment of the diverse Antifa/BLM rioters of 2020 or of the rather monochrome looters/shoplifters of 2021 and 2022 to that of those in jail for January 6th.  Yes, some of those J6 people in jail are rioters, but not all.  Some acted peacefully. But even the rioters did far less damage than the Antifa/BLM rioters.  Yet many J6 people have rotted in jail for over a year without trial.  That is not the speedy trial promised by the Constitution.  That looks more a tyrannical government holding political prisoners to me.  The long sentences Biden’s Justice Department is seeking confirms that.

So yes, the United States has a problem with systemic racism, with systemic injustice.  We have two-tiered “justice” in this country.

And that is exactly how woke Democrats would have it.  That is what woke Democrats have brought about.  Oh yes, they claim to deplore systemic racism and systemic injustice.  They so carry on about how much they hate it.  

But, actually, they love it.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Archbishop Cottrell the Climate Change Clown

Few things are both more contemptible and laughable than church leaders obsequiously aping the agendas of the globalist establishment.  How some clergy make “climate change” more their Gospel than the Gospel itself is certainly part of this sell-out behavior.

Take the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell.  Please.  The other day he was asked by a Canadian:

The Fifth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Church of Canada is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” What’s your advice about how to motivate people in our pews to take positive action about climate change? (and what might that action as a church be?)

A clown question typical of the ACC being far more wedded to leftist ideologies than to the Gospel.  But Cottrell’s answer was even more clownish:

What a good question. Is there a more important question facing the world?  

What the….?  A supposedly Anglican Archbishop suggesting that the issue of climate change may be the most “important question facing the world?”  I think the Bible and the Creeds suggest some slightly more important questions.

It gets worse.  (Emphasis mine.) 

I think I would start by…two things…on the big picture level I think we need to teach much more about this. This needs to be not a kind of add-on to the Gospel; this is the Gospel…how we inhabit the world in the way of Christ…this is the Gospel. So, I’d want to preach and teach about it much more…

So Cottrell wants the church to go even more all in on pushing climate change agendas.  He even says “this is the Gospel.”

This is outrageous is what it is.  It is also puzzling.  Does he not see what an obsequious sycophant he is playing for everyone to see?  Does he not realize he makes a joke of himself when he says such banal blasphemies?  Does he care?

I knew Cottrell was bad news when he was appointed Archbishop of York.  But I did not expect him to be a clown.

This reminds me of another time I saw another Church of England cleric look silly in pushing climate change.  I won’t name names because I respect the woman in question, who has far more intelligence than Cottrell.   But one time, she drank the climate change Kool-aid a bit much and had a bad day. 

I was visiting an Oxford chapel on a Sunday morning back in 2007.  She happened to be the preacher.  And her entire sermon was on global warming.  (That’s what it was called back then.)

Well it so happened that very same Sunday was the most miserably wet and cold day that term.  So when, shivering from a long walk in the cold rain, I later entered her college chapel for Evening Prayer, I smiled and admonished her, “You and your global warming sermon!”

I don’t think she appreciated my humor.

To be fair, she normally led her chapel and preached with wisdom.  I say that although her churchmanship was decidedly different than mine.

Nonetheless, when clergy try to turn secular political agendas into Gospel issues worthy of much pulpit time, they not only do a disservice to the Gospel, they are likely to become silly . . . like Cottrell the Climate Change Clown.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

If I were Roman Catholic...

No, I am not becoming Roman Catholic.  I’m a traditional Anglican until I die even if that means starting an Anglican parish in my house.

But I do share a lot with traditional Roman Catholics.  And my heart is with them as the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) is being suppressed by LibPope Francis and his . . . minions. 

Knowledgable readers might think I’m exaggerating by saying the TLM is suppressed.  Fair enough.  Let’s look at the Archdiocese of Chicago under Cardinal Blase Cupich (SPIT).  For the sake of “the unity of the church” deplorable trads cannot have their Latin mass on the first Sundays of months, nor during Christmas, the Triduum, Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday.  And among other restrictions is the required permission of the bishop.  Yeah, I’m sure Francis fanboy Cupich will be generous in giving permission for Latin masses.  In any case, during the holiest times of the year, traditional Roman Catholics cannot have their Latin Mass in Cupich’s Archdiocese

This from a Cardinal and diocese replete with enormities, such as this service that began with a “Happy Kwanzaa.”

Yes, not all dioceses are not quite that bad.  But increased restrictions on the TLM are the norm as directed by Francis.

If I were a Roman Catholic I would not submit to having decent traditional liturgy taken away from me.  I will not do that as an Anglican either.  If that means going it alone for a brief time, so be it, but I would hope to find clergy and people with the gumption to rebel against rot in the church.  People like this:

On April 12, 1977, Parisian traditionalists got sick of worshipping in the community hall the petty New Church bureaucrats relegated to them for the celebration of their banned Mass. So they did what any decent, God-fearing Catholics should – they processed into the church of St. Nicholas with priests, occupied it, and stayed there. Every living Trad should know by heart the exchange that occurred between the parish clergyman of St. Nicholas du Chardonnet and one of the occupying priests.

‘By what right do you come here?’ asked one of the parish clergy.

‘We come,’ replied Mgr. Ducaud-Bourget… ‘In Nomine Domini.’[1]

When the police were called by the conciliar priests to expel the invaders, the police showed that they knew more about liturgy than the Congregation for Divine Worship does today. The police did nothing because, as they told the Novus Ordo priests about the Trads: “They’re saying Mass and praying, that’s what a church is for!”

They also displayed that they were inhabiting a more Catholic, and less officious France, when a group of progressive clergy went to a police precinct to complain about the takeover. Requesting to speak with the officer in charge they were told he was unavailable, as he was attending Latin Mass at St. Nicholas.

Yes, I do think it is time for rebellion from faithful Roman Catholics.  For the LibPope and most of their leaders have rebelled against their own history and patrimony.  Francis and his tools are trying to tear the church from the Faith handed down to them.

Those who think I’m overwrought and overstating the situation should remind themselves that lex orandi, lex credendi.  Liturgy and faith cannot be separated.  A crap Novus Ordo liturgy leads to watered down crap belief and visa versa.  Defending and insisting on traditional liturgy is defending and insisting on the Faith.

Those faithful Roman Catholics who are so doing have my respect and prayers.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Boris the Bust

The overnight by-election disaster for Tories in North Shropshire may be the best thing that’s happened to Britain in a while.  

I say that as one who still considers Labour and the LibDems worse than the Conservatives.  And I know very well the by-election was a train wreck.  The district had been Tory for 200 years.  Boris Johnson won it by over 20,000 in 2019.  But a swing of 34 percentage points has handed it to the LibDems.  It wasn’t even close.  To make matters worse, Reform UK (whom I would have voted for) had a weak showing.

So why does this despiser of all things Left think this good nonetheless?  Because it pushes Tory MPs closer to dumping Boris Johnson as Conservative leader and Prime Minister.

Yes, this is all quite a switch not only for many once Tory voters but for me as well.  I once was a great admirer of Boris.  He was an excellent Mayor of London after the insanity of Red Ken Livingston.  He showed political courage in backing Brexit and then insisting it be carried out. He seemed to be politically savvy.  So I expected him to be an excellent Prime Minister, possibly a great one.

But since then, he has been a horrible disappointment.  Look, I know British Conservatives are centrist at best by American standards, and I knew he would be no Margaret Thatcher (still my heroine).  But I did not expect him to be more Blair than Thatcher.  I did not expect him to swallow Climate Change Net Zero madness hook, line, and sinker.  I did not expect him to RAISE taxes.  I certainly did not expect him to persist in COVID lockdowns and then revive restrictions even after it was very clear they do not work and cause far more harm than good.

In short, Boris Johnson began with a remarkable amount of good will as reflected in the 2019 elections and has pissed it all away — and not just by getting pissed at a certain Christmas Party at Downing Street.

Perhaps I should disclose this is personal for me.  I had planned to visit the UK again in 2020.  I then thought I would instead visit in 2021.  Instead I now have bought tickets for 2022 though I fear it will be a sad place thanks to the devastation Johnson’s COVID tyranny has wrought.  If the absurd entry requirements continue, I will cancel those tickets as well.  (It’s a good thing I have travel insurance.)  Not only that, since the UK once looked more sensible and politically stable than the US, I was considering moving there.  Not any more!  I now intend to stay put in Texas, thank you.

Anyway, Boris Johnson has lost most of the good will and patience of the British.  He is worse than a failure.  If Tory MPs have any wisdom, they will turn the big lemon of the North Shropshire by-election into lemonade and use it to dump Boris.

Friday, October 22, 2021

A Reminder About Who is on the January 6th Commission

With the absurd House resolution finding Steve Bannon in Contempt of Congress for his principled refusal to comply with the January 6th Commission, a reminder about said Commission is in order.

The January 6th Commission is beyond stacked.  It is entirely appointed by Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and has only two Republicans in Name Only (RINOs), both of whom voted to impeach Trump.  There is a story behind that.

As is customary, Republican House leaders appointed a group of  Republicans to be the minority on the commission.  As is not customary, Pelosi rejected two of those appointments, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, both of whom are reputable men, both of whom would have surely asked inconvenient and needed questions.  

Rejecting these minority appointments as Pelosi did just is not done.  That is the reason some really vile and untrustworthy Democrats like Adam Schiff and Ilhan Omar get prominent committee positions even when Republicans control the House.  Unless there is serious misconduct, the minority party leaders get to appoint minority party representatives on committees.  Even when there is serious misconduct, as with Schiff and Omar, rejecting or ousting minority party committee members is rare. 

So Pelosi rejecting Jordan and Banks to further stack the January 6th Commission was an outrage, and Republican leader Keven McCarthy was outraged and immediately pulled all the Republican members from the committee.  Hence the only two Republicans on the commission are the pariah RINOs Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. 

As if that is not bad enough, Adam Schiff is on the commission.  He has a record of hoaxing, lying and leaking as past head of efforts to impeach Trump.  His presence on the committee makes it even more disreputable.

So the question should not be why Steve Bannon is not cooperating with the January 6th Commission, but why are any Republicans cooperating with it?  To call it a kangaroo court is not fair to kangaroos.  It is a stacked farce.

Principled people should give it the respect it deserves – zero.