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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's still The Game in these parts.

This great ESPN retrospective on Jim Harbaugh's "Guarantee Game" in 1986 shows why.

I genuinely feel for other sports fans who don't have a strong tradition of college football--you are definitely missing out.

After winning their first nine games in Harbaugh's senior season in 1986, the Wolverines were in the thick of the national championship race.

Then the unimaginable happened: No. 2 Michigan lost to unranked Minnesota 20-17 at home on Nov. 15, 1986. The loss not only knocked the Wolverines out of the national championship hunt, but it also put them one game behind the Buckeyes in the Big Ten standings.

Two days after the devastating loss, Harbaugh met with reporters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When Harbaugh was asked how the Minnesota loss would affect the Wolverines as they prepared for their final game against Ohio State, he delivered a stunning answer:

"I guarantee you we'll beat Ohio State and be in Pasadena."

* * *

[Then-Sports Information Director Bruce] Madej: Jim Harbaugh was probably the last player who talked at the press conference, and he was the last guy you would think would do anything out of the ordinary. He always said what you would expect him to say. All of a sudden, he comes out and guarantees a victory. My neck could have had whiplash I jumped up so quick.

After Jim said it I knew that Bo had to know about what was going on. I literally caught him coming through the room where the service employees were. I was really scared to tell Bo what Harbaugh said. I looked at Bo and said, "I better tell you something right now. Jimmy guaranteed a victory over Ohio State." I expected him to explode or get a little testy, but he didn't. He walked up to the podium and didn't say anything about it until a question was asked. The only thing he said was, "I'm glad he said it. What else would you expect your quarterback to say?"

Schembechler: I said to him, "Jim, are you crazy? Did you really guarantee a win to the press?" He said, "Yeah, I believe it." I said, "Well, damn it, you better be right."
And, yeah--it's safe to same I'm a Jim Harbaugh fanboy. In addition to having conniption fits on the sidelines, he does things like this.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Black Lives Matter.

Most definitely, they do. And let's admit there is an antagonistic relationship between police departments and black men that leads to innocent black men being shot and--yes--murdered. We practice a destructive form of denial if we try to pretend that racism isn't a part of it.

All that said, I can't get on board with BLM for one simple fact: they only get involved when some black lives are affected. Namely, those killed by law enforcement.

For example, if you are a black man shot near a BLM protest by someone not carrying a badge, your shooting will not get a hashtag, let alone one that reads #BlackLivesMatter.

You're just #MondayNightintheBigCity.

When a kindergarten teacher hates kindergarten boys.

From the Horrible People Files, a typically-vicious social "justice" warrior inflicts her feminist grievances on five year old boys:

A kindergarten teacher in Bainbridge Island, Wash., actively denies her male students the opportunity to play with Lego blocks in order to encourage her female students to play with them.

Karen Keller bars the boys in her class from playing with the colorful blocks, even going so far as to lie to them about their opportunity to play.

"I always tell the boys, 'You're going to have a turn' — and I'm like, 'Yeah, when hell freezes over' in my head," Keller told the Bainbridge Island Review. "I tell them, 'You'll have a turn' because I don't want them to feel bad."
If this happened to little girls, the Title IX jihad would flatten the school building. But, it's just boys, so no big whoop. She's dedicated to all her charges--honest.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the gender imbalance at four year colleges continues to skew in favor of women, with men projected to be only 41.4% of college enrollees by 2020.

It's pretty simple, folks: lefties don't send their kids to be formed by conservative institutions. Why are you sending your kids to be formed in theirs? 

Friday, November 20, 2015

A big tip of the hat to MSU and OSU.

Both football programs are honoring six-year-old Chad Carr, who is battling an inoperable brain tumor and has been in hospice care since November 11. 

Chad is the grandson of former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr, and both of the rival schools came up with the idea.

Bravo to both programs for this beautiful gesture.

Yeah, it's still allergy season.


Rand Paul, explaining why the surveillance state is all watch and no dog.

They are collecting your phone records as we speak. They did not miss a beat, even though we voted on reform, all your phone records are being collected and stored in Utah. Did it stop the attack in Paris? No.
Just like it didn't stop the Tsarnaevs, or the Chattanooga terrorist, or the Arkansas recruiting center terrorist, or the Beltway snipers, or the Jewish Community Center terrorist, or the Fort Hood terrorist...

Another reason Rubio gives me the hives. Compare Ted Cruz, who makes a bit more sense, even if he's not as good as Paul on this issue.

Common sense isn't quite dead.

Ashland University's student government bucks the trend of the autodemolition of higher education: 
The student government at Ashland University voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a resolution supporting free expression in response to speech restrictions imposed by student protesters at campuses across the country.
“I was seeing a trend of colleges across the country having protests where free speech was under attack,” student senator Josh Frey, who introduced the resolution, told Campus Reform. “And we thought, as college students, that there weren’t a lot of people coming to defend free speech among students.”

Frey said there were no votes against the resolution, and only three abstentions, when it came before the full 37-member Senate Tuesday evening.

The “Resolution Denouncing the Anti-Free Speech Actions of the Students at Various Colleges Across the Nation,” as the measure is titled, begins by asserting that the free exchange of ideas is essential to the educational mission of any university, even when “some of these differing opinions are contrary to Truth.”
Confronting offensive ideas, the resolution elaborates, “is the only way for students to disprove them and, in the process, develop into free thinking individuals.”

In support of that claim, the document includes two quotations from Thomas Jefferson’s bill establishing religious freedom in Virginia.
Now, I have two motives in posting this. First, to support it--the spectacle of our colleges embracing injustice to fight injustice is a horror which, if embraced generally, will shatter our nation. 

Second, because I happen to know Josh Frey--the very-together son of our dear friends, Zach and Nancy Frey. Bravo, Zach and Nancy: if there were more like Josh, I'd be less pessimistic about the future.

Trump's candidacy must go down in flames ASAP.

I'm hoping it goes down in flames, period, but if he's backing this, now would be the time.

Now, the question is, did he endorse mandatory registration?

I happen to think that Trump is an ill-informed opportunistic blowhard who doesn't believe a lot of the crap he's peddling. 

Ed Morrisey (also not a Trump fan) puts together a case that Trump was talking about immigrants, but that doesn't help much, given the other crap he's peddled recently:

Allahpundit remarked yesterday that he couldn’t tell if Trump was being serious, or if Trump was in effect trolling the reporter. In this exchange, Trump is serious, but possibly confused between what Hillyard asks — registering all Muslims — and what Trump seems to answer, which is registering Muslim immigrants. When Hillyard catches up to him the second time, Trump stops answering his questions when asked to explain the difference between his proposal and the registration of the Jews in Nazi Germany, as the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” plays surreally in the background. It appears that Trump has no idea what Hillyard means.

The problem with assuming that Trump’s only talking about Muslim immigrants is the interview yesterday, when Trump at least did not object to special IDs and warrantless searches for Muslims regardless of their status. Two days ago, he was talking about having the government shut down mosques, which also doesn’t sound like Trump’s limiting his actions to Muslim immigrants. But even if this is a case of two people talking past each other, the questions from Hillyard aren’t terribly difficult to figure out. Instead of listening to them, Trump just seems to uncork a series of platitudes that are non-sequiturs to the questions, without bothering to reframe the question first. He looks lost, and then even more so when Hillyard makes the obvious comparison to the Nazis and the Jews.

Either way, it’s an appalling idea, and one that flies in the face of the First Amendment. First off, what’s the need for a special database for Muslim immigrants, even if Trump is just talking about immigrants? All legal immigrants get “registered,” and fixing the visa system would ensure that they get tracked along with everyone else. Putting Muslims in a special class is not just unconstitutional, it’s unnecessary, and proposing it is needlessly provocative politically.
Look, I think our hypersensitive approach to combatting Islamic terrorism is counterproductive and reality-defying. The reports of the slaughter refused to name the obvious source of the attacks, then the bodies of the slain haven't cooled before the media is hard at work, peddling worries about a backlash against Muslims and an entire American political party can't even say "radical Islam." It's an obscene, grotesque spectacle that doesn't get better with age. 

But what Trump is apparently proposing is even more obscene. One doesn't have to bathe in the treacly PC drivel to recognize that fascism isn't the right response.

God have mercy. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"He went to Botswana!™"

1,111 carat diamond unearthed by a mining company in that African nation.

Now that's a rock.

In fact, it was a very good day to be an investor in the Lucara Diamond Corporation:

Lucara also said it found two other very large white diamonds,. The first weighs 813 carats before cleaning, meaning it’s likely to rank among the 10 largest ever found. The second is 374 carats.

"This is a balance sheet changing development" for Lucara, Investec Plc said in a note on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shut up, Hatey-McHaterpants!

Senior Obama officials have warned of challenges in screening refugees from Syria.
FBI Director James Comey added in congressional testimony last month that “a number of people who were of serious concern” slipped through the screening of Iraq War refugees, including two arrested on terrorism-related charges. “There’s no doubt that was the product of a less than excellent vetting,” he said.
Although Comey said the process has since “improved dramatically,” Syrian refugees will be even harder to check because, unlike in Iraq, U.S. soldiers have not been on the ground collecting information on the local population. “If we don’t know much about somebody, there won’t be anything in our data,” he said. “I can’t sit here and offer anybody an absolute assurance that there’s no risk associated with this.”
According to DHS, Section 212(d)(3)(B) of the INA allows either the secretary of state or DHS secretary in consultation with each other and with the U.S. Attorney General “to determine that certain terrorism bars of the INA do not apply.”
While Vaughan conceded that there are a number of immigrants seeking protection who have been denied due to unintentional contact with terrorists, she sees the exemptions as likely another opportunity for people to get around the system. 
“If the recent past is any guide, those evaluating these cases will be ordered to ignore red flags in the applications, especially if the applicant is supported by one of the many advocacy groups that have the ear of senior DHS staff,” she explained. “The administration already approves of the admission of gang members as asylees and criminals in the DACA program and grants of prosecutorial discretion, so I don’t expect them to be troubled by the admission of terrorists and garden variety fraudsters in our refugee program.  This is how we end up with families like the Tsarnaev brothers [the Boston marathon bombers], who were originally admitted for political asylum.”
All that said, I'd like to be able to offer help to people who are genuine refugees, regardless of religion. But it's clear that this whole process is more about making a statement than addressing the genuine security concerns of the American people. If you can convince me that you are making the latter the top priority, then I'm open.

Still, I'm willing to compromise. If we really want to help, let's take them all in, and place them where they can have the best chance to thrive--America's wealthiest suburbs. Why should they be sent to some aging suburb with strained finances like Dearborn or into the decayed inner cities in hopes of revitalizing them? Nope--let's help them hit the ground running.

This looks like a promising set of neighborhoods with the resources--especially schools--necessary to get a leg up in life. And in many cases, it would sure help with the mosaic of diversity for some of these startlingly-pale enclaves.

Let me throw in a few other names--Silver Springs, Chevy Chase, Orange County, the Upper East Side, Arlington, Oakland County, Ann Arbor, the bedroom communities of Philadelphia and Boston...I'm sure you can come up more.

And why stop with mere zip codes? Surely, our enlightened private high schools and colleges can set aside blocks of scholarships (Sidwell Friends, answer the call!), residential housing and the like. Why put the burden entirely on local governments and aid groups? Nope. If we're going to make sacrifices, that includes the privileged and portfolioed in bi-coastal gated communities. 

If they are not willing to make such sacrifices, that tells you all you need to know about this process. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yes. Bingo.

The repetitive, predictable and wholly unserious moral finger-wagging which happens after the mass slaughters by Muslim terrorists has gotten to be a bit wearing. Let Mollie Hemingway explain its overarching uselessness in this tidy sixteen point list.

And, yes, No. 16 is perfect--but it's not only atheists who do it. I treat atheist arguments from scripture to support their preferred policy ends the same way I treat a thrice-divorced chap's lectures on marital fidelity: 

But you can laugh that BS off pretty easily. When the finger-wagging comes with the rattle of Rosary beads, it's much worse.

Before I jettisoned Facebook again, my readings contained a strong strain of mockery and anathema sit towards those who wanted to put any limits on the plans to import 85,000 people from Syria. 

Apparently, only a bad Catholic would think it is imprudent to import tens of thousands of impossible-to-vet refugees from a war zone when it's undisputed that the plot used the refugee stream to import at least one of the Paris massacre perpetrators and six of the attackers spent time in Syria....?

Got it. No, really--got it.

Oh, and finally: spare me the SEE THIS TV SHOW TALKING HEAD UTTERLY DESTROY ISIS IN THIS VIDEO!!!!! nonsense. 

Unless he moonlights with the Legion Etrangere and was in a French fighter-bomber over the weekend, he didn't destroy shit. He just postured for ratings and impressed a few educated morons who imagine themselves to be smart because they have the correct opinions about how the world should work.

But I repeat myself.

"In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes."

Polytheism is back, and it wears a crucifix.

Or, perhaps more accurately, a resurrefix.

That is, alas, the logical conclusion of the current pontiff's recent statement opening the reception of the previously-Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist to pretty much everybody who has thought about it really hard and thinks they have engaged in an internal dialogue with Christ on the topic.

If there were some way to be nice about the...emotive bafflegab offered by the successor of Peter, I would. But there's not, so I won't. Here it is, in full, so I can't be accused of cherry-picking:

The question on sharing the Lord’s Supper isn’t easy for me to respond to, above all in front of a theologian like Cardinal Kasper – I’m scared! 

I think of how the Lord told us when he gave us this mandatum to “do this in memory of me,” and when we share the Lord’s Supper, we recall and we imitate the same as the Lord. And there will be the Lord’s Supper in the final banquet in the new Jerusalem – it’ll be there! But that will be the last one… in the meantime, I ask myself and don’t know how to respond – what you’re asking me, I ask myself the question. To share the Lord’s banquet: is it the goal of the path or is it the viaticum [etym. “to accompany you on the journey”] for walking together? I leave that question to the theologians and those who understand. 

It’s true that in a certain sense, to share means that there aren’t differences between us, that we have the same doctrine – underscoring that word, a difficult word to understand. But I ask myself: but don’t we have the same Baptism? If we have the same Baptism, shouldn’t we be walking together? And you’re a witness of a likewise profound journey, a journey of marriage: itself a journey of family and human love and of a shared faith, no? We have the same Baptism. 

When you feel yourself a sinner – and I’m much more of a sinner – when your husband feels he’s sinned, you go forward to the Lord and ask forgiveness; your husband does the same and also goes to the priest and asks absolution, [thus] I’m healed and kept alive in my Baptism. When you pray together, that Baptism grows, becomes stronger. When you teach your kids who is Jesus? Why did Jesus come? What did Jesus do for us?, you’re doing the same thing, whether in the Lutheran language or the Catholic one, but it’s the same. 

The question [Pope draws question mark with his finger]…. The supper? There are questions that only if one is sincere with oneself and the little theological light one has, must be responded to on one’s own. See for yourself. This is my body. This is my blood. Do it in remembrance of me – this is a viaticum that helps us to journey on. 

I once had a great friendship with a bishop who went a little wrong – 48 years old, he married [then had] two children. This made for great discomfort in him – a Catholic wife, Catholic children, him a bishop. He accompanied them on Sunday, his wife and children, to Mass, and then went to worship with his community…. It was a step toward his participation in the Lord’s Supper. Then he went forward, then the Lord called him [to realize] “I’m not right.” 

I can only respond to your question with a question: what can I do with my husband that the Lord’s Supper might accompany me on my path? It’s a problem that each must answer [for themselves], but a pastor-friend once told me that “We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present” – you believe that the Lord is present. And what's the difference? There are explanations, interpretations, but life is bigger than explanations and interpretations. Always refer back to your baptism – one faith, one baptism, one Lord: this Paul tells us; and then consequences come later. 

I would never dare to give permission to do this, because it’s not my own competence. One baptism, one Lord, one faith. Talk to the Lord and then go forward. [Pauses] And I wouldn't dare – I don’t dare say anything more.

That's an interesting argument--for open communion.

The only authoritative guide is conscience, however formed. Clearly, Catholicism plays no role, as he's responding to a Lutheran here.

Revelation? Eh, no! If you feel that it's the body and blood of Christ in some way, that's what counts. You certainly don't have to buy into that Holy Sacrifice of the Mass/Transubstantiation stuff that only a Doctor of the Law (boo, hiss!) could possibly care about. The re-presentation of Calvary?

It's the supper.

Insisting on more is a majoring in minors that will call down upon you the predictable rhetorical thunder

Older Brother! Doctor of the Law! Pharisee! Bat Christian, afraid to dance! Promethian neo-pelagian! In short...

Sure, he offers a lot of equally-emotional language about baptism, but implicit desire for that sacrament will suffice.

Confession? Surely, you jest. 

I'm actually slightly disappointed, because that was one aspect of his program I appreciated--the touting of the sacrament of Penance. Clearly, such is not required of Lutherans, and he's not going to be insisting on such trifles from Christians he actually likes. Indeed, he does not do so here. 

No, sadly it seems that Penance is just for Catholics, and then just as part of a process of ridding oneself of rigorism, judgment, unseemly attachment to doctrine and other Doctor-of-the-Law badness he's trying to flail out of his flock.

And the requirements of Canon Law? 

This Bishop of Rome has an almost-antinomian insouciance towards authoritative laws and rules. So far, it seems he has precisely two uses for the Codex Iuris Canonici: (1) to ensure more annulments and (2) to expeditiously replace bishops who are not on board with his program.

If you can cobble together any objective basis for not receiving the Eucharist using the above rationale deployed by the pontiff, I'm all ears.

The bottom line is that the only guide to receiving is the infallible self, unsullied by exterior concerns (i.e., formation by magisterial teaching). Such, after all, can be corrupting traditions of men and thus cannot be of the mind of Christ. At a bare minimum, they are divisive.

With each man as the bearer of the voice of God, you have, in effect, the Church as a cult of one billion gods. Each equally right, each equally authoritative, each equally beyond challenge.

There are scriptural precedents for such thinking--but not in a good way.

Alas, we have no excuse for such thinking--because we have a King, reigning eternally.

Haven't stopped blogging.

Just a wee bit busy with life outside of the net. We had an early Thanksgiving with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, nephew and niece (my little brother's seniority is, alas, insufficient for actual Thanksgiving time off). Always good to see family.

We also witnessed an historic event: the Lions winning in Wisconsin, mirabile dictu.

I made a brief return foray into Facebook, courtesy of my eldest daughter accidentally signing me back in.

Alas, it remains what it was when I left it--a place for the expression of high dudgeon and moral righteousness. I found out a classmate had passed away unexpectedly, and offered condolences and prayers to others I care about. But then Facebook became Facebook, and I pulled the plug again.

In related news: For a happier life, give up Facebook.

Carried out by the Happiness Research Institute (HRI), the study involved a sample of 1,095 people in Denmark who were divided into two groups, half of whom continued using Facebook while the others stopped.

“We focused on Facebook because it is the social media that most people use across age groups,” Meik Wiking, HRI’s chief executive, said.

After a week, those people who had not been on Facebook said they were more satisfied with their lives, with 88 percent of them describing themselves as “happy” compared with 81 percent from the second group.

Some 84 percent said they appreciated their lives compared with 75 percent in the other group, and only 12 percent described themselves as dissatisfied, compared with 20 percent among those who continued using Facebook.

At the end of the experiment, the abstainers reported having a richer social life and fewer difficulties in concentrating, while the others reported no such change.

“Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have,” the authors of the study wrote.

In other words, Facebook users are 39 percent more likely to feel less happy than non-users.
And so it is with me.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Votive Mass Against the Heathen.

It seems especially fitting this horrific evening.


Arise, why sleepest Thou, O Lord?
Arise and cast us not off to the end.
Why turnest Thou Thy face away,
and forgettest our trouble?
Our belly hath cleaved to the earth:
arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us.
Ps. We have heard, O God, with our ears:
our fathers have declared to us.
V. Glory be to the Father.


Almighty, everlasting God
in whose hand are the power and the government of every nation,
look to the help of the Christian people,
that the heathen nations, who trust in their own fierceness,
may be crushed by the power of Thy right arm.


Esther 13: 8-11, 15-17.

O Lord, Lord, almighty king, for all things are in your power, and there is none that can resist your will, if you determine to save Israel. You have made heaven and earth and all things that are under the cope of heaven. You are Lord of all, and there is none that can resist your majesty. And now, O Lord, O king, O God of Abraham, have mercy on your people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish your inheritance. Despise not your portion, which you have redeemed for yourself out of Egypt. Hear my supplication, and be merciful to your lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise your name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to you.

Gradual and Alleluia

Let the Gentiles know that the Lord is your name: you alone are the most High over all the earth. V. O my God, make them like a wheel; and as stubble before the wind. (Psalm 82: 19, 14).

Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Stir up Thy might, O Lord, and come:
that Thou mayest save us.


Luke 11:5-13

And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend and shall go to him at midnight and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine has come off his journey to me and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer and say: Trouble me not; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot rise and give you. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as many as he needs. And I say to you: Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives: and he that seeks finds: and to him that knocks it shall be opened: And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? Or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?

Offertory Antiphon

Thou wilt save the humble people, O Lord,
and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud:
for who is God, but Thee, O Lord? (Psalm 17:28, 32)


Look, O Lord, upon the sacrifice we offer:
that Thou wouldst deliver Thy champions from all wickedness of the heathen,
and keep them safe under Thy protection.

Communion Antiphon

My soul in Thy salvation,
and in Thy word have I hoped:
when wilt Thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
Help me, O Lord, my God (Ps 118: 81, 84, 86).


Look upon us, O Lord, our protector,
and defend Thy champions from peril of the heathen,
so that by the removal of all disturbance,
they may serve Thee with free minds.

Lord, comfort the dead, wounded and grieving in France, and smite the pagans who did this.