Saturday Brunch, December 14, 2019

Hi, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready for brunch?

Well, it’s mid-December, and you know what that means: Superfluous college football bowl games, of course. This year there are 40 (count ’em) bowl games. Which, if my math is correct (an unlikely occurrence) translates into 80 teams playing in a bowl this year. Now, I’m not saying they don’t deserve it…I’m just saying this seems like its more and more about the money and sponsorship than about a team being bowl-worthy. Don’t believe me? Here are some names of this year’s bowls. Only two of these are made up:

  1. Cheez-It Bowl
  2. Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
  3. San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
  4. Camping World Bowl
  5. Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
  6. Internet Monk Wandering in the Wilderness Bowl
  7. Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
  8. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
  9. Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
  10. Putin Crimea River Empire Expansion Bowl

This is the coolest and most informative graphic I have seen in a long while: The Deep Sea.

The Kensington Community Children’s Co-operative has ditched Santa for its end of year party, dubbed a ‘Celebration Picnic‘, and instead opted to bring in a ‘Sustainability Pirate’ for all the kids and their parents. Parent Kristoffer Paulsen isn’t happy about the change: “If anyone has any clues about the sustainability pirate and what drugs they were taking when they came up with that, I would like to know.

The childcare centre said that it’s to ensure that the event is inclusive for everyone.

Yes, I can see that. That’s what’s most important. Nevermind you are replacing a saint known for generosity and giving with a seafaring criminal known for murder, theft and kidnapping. As long as it’s inclusive murder, theft and kidnapping.

Speaking of criminals, these guys are on the GENIUS level. We’re talking Oceans 14 here:


U.S. officials misled the public on the Afghan war. Top American officials hid pessimistic assessments of how the 18-year military campaign in Afghanistan was going, according to documents published by The Washington Post. The Post said the documents had come from 2,000 pages of Pentagon interviews conducted from 2014 to 2018 in order to write a series of unclassified “Lessons Learned” reports. They were released after a long legal battle with the government’s watchdog for the war. “We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking,” said one retired general who helped oversee the war.

A Pentagon spokesman said “there has been no intent” by the Defense Department “to mislead Congress or the public.” He said that “most of the individuals interviewed spoke with the benefit of hindsight.”

Related: The Times found that there was little to show for the $2 trillion spent on the war, during which more than 38,000 Afghan civilians and 2,400 American soldiers have died.

Seems about right

Is Jewishness a race, religion or both? President Trump signed an executive order that would effectively define Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion, in an effort to compel colleges and universities to combat discrimination. The effect, if not the goal, would be to ban anti-Zionist, and perhaps Anti-Israel, critique.

Jared Kushner gives the rationale for this:

This new order adopts as its definition of anti-Semitism the language put forth in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, while also accounting for other forms of anti-Semitism.

For example, the alliance defines “the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” and those who deny “the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor” or those who compare “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as examples of anti-Semitism.

The Remembrance Alliance definition makes clear what our administration has stated publicly and on the record: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

There are at least two problems with this Executive Order. The first is articulated by one of the commentators on the Times Oped:

Kushner’s assertion that Jews will not be defined by nationality, but will be protected against discriminatory measures under the auspices of national characteristics is splitting hairs and makes it abundantly clear that he hasn’t read anything that address the distressing consequences of attributing Jewishness as a nationality in countries that have openly engaged in anti-Semitic behavior. This EO is a gift to white supremacists who now have another justification for categorizing Jewishness as a race, rather than people who adhere to a religious tradition.

The other problem is censorship.  Any speech that could be construed as “Anti-zionist” or Anti-Israeli will now be viewed as racial bigotry. And make no mistake: college administrators will allow nothing that can possible be construed as racism. This EO may silence most criticism in universities of the nation of Israel or its policies.

Person of the year? Time magazine gave Greta Thunberg that honor.

Thoughts? Here’s mine on what the cover should have been:

How it should have been.

Christmas is going to be awkward: Michigan man sprayed brother’s hunting area with deer repellent, DNR says.

You think it’s not harmful?!

In Plough, Tara Isabella Burton writes about walking alone in cities:

“I do not enjoy walking in cities. As a semi-retired travel writer, I often find that people assume I enjoy my job. What could be more pleasurable, after all, than strolling along the Rue Lepic in Paris, or along Via Governo Vecchio in Rome, taking in the sights and panoramas and street cafés with all the gentle aestheticism of an old Baedecker guidebook?

“But, when I have done my job well, I have been miserable. Not because cities are bad for the soul, but because they are too punishingly good. I was a travel writer, after all, because I did not like myself when I was at home. I did not want to be my ordinary self, but to be the self I could be in relation to an imagined otherness: to be the sort of person who climbed mountains in the Caucasus, or clambered on ruins in Rome. Existing in new cities was supposed to be a kind of escape from who I was. Instead, it was an eternal, if ever-shifting, mirror of who I could not help but be. I found I was not the panama-hatted adventurers I’d read about imposing my word and will on the world like planting a flagpole. Instead, I was astoundingly vulnerable.

The Molière's language.

By the way, did you ever notice that queue is just the letter q followed by four silent letters? Or maybe they are just standing in line, waiting their turn.

A middle school in Manatee County, Florida, evacuated its students after someone sprayed too much Axe body spray.  Another bus arrived at the smelly scene to pick up the students. A local EMS came to check out the students but thankfully, no one was transported to the hospital from having too much Axe body spray.

Walmart had to apologize for selling the following sweater on its website: 

Yes, that’s Saint Nick doing a line of coke. Amazon still sells it. Sigh.

Bald Eagle versus large octopus: Who would you put your money on? A team of salmon fishermen can tell you: they had to rescue the bald eagle after it bought off more than it could chew. The eagle had dived into the water for its dinner, but likely didn’t realize what it was getting itself into:

I really wonder what was going through both creatures minds during all this.

Well, that’s it for now, friends. Have a great week, and don’t forget to set your DVR to record the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. You’ll never forgive yourself.

124 thoughts on “Saturday Brunch, December 14, 2019

  1. I’m more worried about Greta.
    She’s now a CELEBRITY (Cover of TIME and all!), with all the problems that brings.
    * She’ll be in a Media fishbowl, both mainstream and Internet.
    * Activists will try to USE her (like Christians USE a CELEBRITY convert). She will be in demand as a performing THING to Advance My Agenda.
    * Activists on the other side might try to wreck or harm her — No Quarter, No Mercy, (and expectation of Presidential Pardon if they go too far).
    * Plus just being a CELEBRITY will be a magnet to Celebrity Stalkers and other crazies.
    * And the reason for her CELEBRITY drops her straight into the realm of Religious Fanaticism, from More Woke Than Thou to Warriors for Christ and/or Trump. Anything is justified FOR THE CAUSE! (Again, No Quarter, No Mercy.)

    And she’s Aspie (low-end autistic). And probably a genius, with all the downside that brings. As someone who’s seen both from the inside (shows low-end Aspie traits himself and knows people farther up the Autism spectrum), she’s got a rough life to begin with. Add CELEBRITY (see above) and I’m not sure if she’s going to survive it.


  2. Like the Post-Vietnam Angst of the late Seventies, or the Social Justice/Liberation Theology movements of the Eighties. In both these cases the Winning Side to get on board was Soviet Communism.

    And I noticed during that time of the Late Cold War that the more brutal the USSR acted, the more cruel, the more vicious, the more bloodthirsty, the more all the Third World countries would suck up to them and sing their praises. Usually while screaming “DEATH TO AMERICA!” while taking our foreign aid money.

    As someone said above, “The Cruelty is the Thing”. Everybody sucks up to the biggest bully in the schoolyard. And the 2016 elections and after showed I wasn’t the only one to think “About time they sucked up to us instead?”


  3. And if everyone says “someone else should cut back”, where does that leave us?

    If everyone else cuts back, that means there’s more for MEEEEEEEE!
    And if I wield the POWER, I can force all my Inferiors to cut back!

    Tragedy of the Commons, meet Zero-Sum Game.


  4. I guess Trump is a such as small and insecure person that he must tear down others to make himself feel important.

    As well as showing he is such a Tough Guy by sucking up to the likes of Duterte, Putin, Xi, and all these hyper-macho Third World Strongmen. (“SEE? ME TOUGH! LIKE YOU! SEE? SEE? SEE?”)

    (That is actually a pathology called “Tough Guy”, where a small and/or weak person hangs out with REAL tough guys – like Mafia wiseguys or gangbangers – to convince himself he’s a Tough Guy too. It also explains why so many Navy SEAL impersonators are preachers.)


  5. Sunday morning headline:

    House Dems attend Trump’s holiday party amid impeachment.

    It’s all Kabuki theater my I-monk friends.

    – and Navy smashed Army


  6. Since nomad tribes filled their young with stories of the EVIL of those City Dwellers (Sodom & Gomorrah being a specific example of such a cautionary fable), there’s been a mythic contrast between the Evil Cities and the Godly Righteous Countryside.

    This got accelerated after the Industrial Revolution, where jobs (and population) migrated to the cities and agriculture in the country became less and less labor-intensive.

    Even Left Behind kicks off its Neverending Series in Volume 1 (and the initiator of Armageddon) with the invention of a literally magical Miracle-Gro fertilizer (sprinkle on barren desert and ZANG! tons-per-square-meter crop yield with NO water required!) . This (in the words of Slacktivist) “Tips the Balance of Power to the countryside where its Moral Righteousness should have kept it all along”.

    And in Volumes 12 and 13 (or is it Volumes 12 and 19?), LB gives us a glimpse of The New Heavens and New Earth — an Earth without any oceans, only an endless worldwide American Rural Midwest of Mayberries and Pleasantvilles with White Picket Fences. Never mind the source documents’ imagery of New Jerusalem (a city), it’s Triumph of the Godly Countryside. Forever.

    But then, what can you expect from a Second Coming and J-Day where the Author Self-Inserts are handed a new Erda — no, a new Ea — from the Hand of Iluvatar Himself in the Timeless Halls and their first and only reaction is “Now we have a Truly Christian Nation”?


  7. And it’s getting crazier.
    Here’s what one of my writing partners sent me last week:

    I am deeply concerned about the future of Christianity in the United States. On one hand, we have the deterministic monster of Calvinism and on the other, we have the occult woo-woo of the New Apostolic Reformation, both of them trying to get in bed with Washington D.C. And then I come across a book by Michael John Beasley (The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism) who claims that the two groups can also be one and the same!


  8. By “her boy” do you mean Barron?
    Autistic, raised one-percenter Super-Rich, growing up in the White House Media Fishbowl (the focus of that Nest of Vipers on the Potomac) with one of the most extreme cases of Famous Father Syndrome…

    “That boy” needs all the support and help he can get.


  9. I have noticed that since the Eighties, “GAWD’s Anointed Choice for Next POTUS” gets scuzzier and sketchier with each election cycle.

    It had to hit Critical Mass sometime.


  10. Once crazies used to scream alone on street corners.

    Now they can all link up on Social Media Echo Chambers and achieve Critical Mass.


  11. The other problem is censorship. Any speech that could be construed as “Anti-zionist” or Anti-Israeli will now be viewed as racial bigotry. And make no mistake: college administrators will allow nothing that can possible be construed as racism. This EO may silence most criticism in universities of the nation of Israel or its policies.


    Like this one (ITS’ PROPHESIED! IT’S PROPHESIED!):

    From my time in country, perpetually Twenty Seconds Before The Rapture(TM):

    (Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick… )

    The Jews are In The Land, the fuse is lit for Armageddon, God Wills It, anything but Wild Enthusiastic Support for this Fulfillment is Rebellion Against GAWD and Bible Prophecy(TM), DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND(TM)!

    Never mind that the Israelis (like you and me and the Muslims and China’s Kings of the East) are nothing more than expendable pieces on the End Times gameboard, to be destroyed and cast into Hell like all the other pieces once Christ Returns for Armageddon at the end of the Seven Last Years. (All of this being a spectator sport for The Raptured in their Heavenly Superbowl Suites on the 50-yard line. Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick… )


  12. At least Mister Hanky the Xmas Poo was a deliberate parody.

    As for Sustainability Pirates and Santa Blow, well, they’re Dead Serious.

    “Stupidity is like hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the Universe.”
    — Frank Zappa

    And even in a major city your only two choices these days are Amazon or Wal-Mart.


  13. Another similarity between The Trump and a lot of CELEBRITY MegaPastor MenaGAWD.

    When you’ve been groomed (on pain of Eternal Hell/being Left Behind/shunning) to see such an attitude and behavior as God’s Anointing, what happens when someone else comes along who fulfills the metrics of such Anointing even more then MegaPastor SuperApostle?

    “If you liked Mark Driscoll, you’ll LOVE Donald Trump.”


  14. After the Democrats vote to impeach, and the Republicans vote not to convict, Trump will become bulletproof. Nothing he could say or do will take him down.

    And the Christians will rejoice in smug vindication at the impotence of the Kings of the Earth raging against “THE LOOOOOOOOOOOOORD AND HIS ANOINTED!”


  15. Too bad that his wife has been silent on this dispute the fact that she has taken up cyber bullying as her cause.

    Too busy admiring the fifty-carat rock on her finger.


  16. Especially when the Santa Claus Mythos has been growing with new characters, new events, new sappy “True Meanings of Xmas” with every Xmas Special on TV. (Though it still lacks an afterlife belief — except maybe in Night of the Comet, where “The Scientists” tell the children they’re about to vivisect that they’ll go to the North Pole and live forever with Santa…)

    Until Parker and Stone finally lost it and created the Ultimate Ridiculous Xmas Special character: Mister Hanky the Xmas Poo. Tag line and all — “HIDEY-HO!”


  17. Trumpians have shown that they have no problems with attacking minors since they have shown that they have adopted the moral character of the Donald.

    And the Christians cheer “AAAAAAA-MENNNN!!!!!”

    And make pilgrimage to the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick:


  18. Klasie, , no better way to bring people together and upgrade the dialogue than to call the peoples comment, with no specificity , disgusting and label the commenters indecent. Is it all the comments or just those you do not agree with? Are we deplorables? Free speech means what it says. However you do have the right to be disgusted , just as Miranda had the right to remain silent. Actually, I think the comments today were all over the map, the good, the bad and the ugly. As a decent person I defend your right to be disgusted and so state. People vote with their feet and their eyes. As usual I forgive the people who do not agree with me, they know not what they do.


  19. I find today’s comments venturing on the disgusting. The inability of people to differ in a decent manner is telling. It shows them to be indecent men.


  20. I think Melania was right to support her son, but the rest of her later remarks don’t do her credit. On the whole, she seems to have attempted to remain dignified even in the midst of the something unspeakable which is ‘trumpism’. I think she must try for the sake of her boy to keep up appearances and to behave with dignity. Most women on the left feel compassion for her situation. She is both admired for her dignity and pitied for her situation. I remember that during the womens’ march after the inauguration, there were signs that read ‘Melania, blink if you want us to rescue you’

    I think we should let her alone and let the boy alone. They have enough problems to bear.


  21. You will absolutely love the book he’s putting together. It touches on the themes you mentioned in your post.


  22. Thanks for the link to a very interesting site. I took the travel quiz and scored as a “Learner” Bookmarked.


  23. “And if everyone says ‘someone else should cut back’, where does that leave us?”

    Alas, here. I wished I believed more in the power of personal example to effect change.

    Incrementalism might work on a large society-wide scale, but if Ms. Thunberg’s science is right, it’s too late to avoid the libertarian Die-Off. And I fear the choices I may be forced to make, or which will be made in my name, and acquiesced to by me.


  24. “I appreciated the science. It seems sound, but to get the place where it appears she wants me to be, I’d have to jettison practically everything that makes my life pleasant, like my car, meat, air conditioning, 24×7 electricity.”

    Aye, there’s the rub. And that IS a lot to accept. But I can accept it much easier when someone says “what’s required of us is too much to bear” than when they simply attack and slander the messenger.

    “But what will happen if I backslide and have a hamburger? Is she willing to put the pistol of the state against my head and coerce me back into line? Hmmm? Will there be show trials?”

    I think you and I both know that those things are never going to happen. What is far more likely to happen is that the people forced to flee the climate collapse in the developing world will be the ones who are shot, as they try to flee to our nation’s.

    “If you get less of what you tax and more of what you subsidize, it is obvious that we need a lot less of is White Guys (and their emulators) Livin’ Large. What puzzles me is what we are going to subsidize. My guess is more woke propaganda.

    Count me out.”

    Well, we DO need less people living large. So, it should be someone else besides you who cuts back first? And if everyone says “someone else should cut back”, where does that leave us?

    “At what point is the cost of collective effort too high and the focus shifts to salvese quien pueda (Every man for himself)?”

    I fear we’ll soon find out.


  25. the right-leaning SCOTUS just might let the country see Trumps tax returns

    now that would be a miracle indeed, if it exposed his monies from the Russkies and the Sowdies


  26. Trump puts down a young person with spectrum asperger’s and then proceeds to ‘define’ Judaism . . . .

    the ‘Annointed One of God’ is very busy these days sorting the world out, isn’t he?
    the christian far-right is getting it’s monies worth from this paragon of the alt-right


  27. I read Ms. Thunberg’s speech at the UN. Other than this, I know very little about her, and her speech really didn’t reveal much about what she wants me to do. I appreciated the science. It seems sound, but to get the place where it appears she wants me to be, I’d have to jettison practically everything that makes my life pleasant, like my car, meat, air conditioning, 24×7 electricity.

    I understand that Ms. Thunberg is in the apostolic succession founded by Mahatma Ghandi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr, so she has currently enjoys tremendous moral authority. But what will happen if I backslide and have a hamburger? Is she willing to put the pistol of the state against my head and coerce me back into line? Hmmm? Will there be show trials? Will I be expected to publicly repent of my bourgeois sins?

    No, I know the State has evolved since Happy Joe Stalin’s day and is far more likely to use tax and fiscal policy to implement its policies than raw terror. If you get less of what you tax and more of what you subsidize, it is obvious that we need a lot less of is White Guys (and their emulators) Livin’ Large. What puzzles me is what we are going to subsidize. My guess is more woke propaganda.

    Count me out.

    At what point is the cost of collective effort too high and the focus shifts to salvese quien pueda (Every man for himself)? A lot depends on calculating that correctly.


  28. The above snippet and the entire linked article on travel by Tara I. Burton are full of insight and meaning. Related and somewhat in consonance with how she ended her article, below is something I posted to my blog back in 2014 titled “Caputo on Derrida and Travel, Journey and Truth”.

    me–I’ve enjoyed reading several of John Caputo’s books. My favorite is What Would Jesus Deconstruct. The following is an excerpt from a Dec 17, 2014 interview by Amy Frykholm with Caputo that appears in the Christian Century.

    Caputo quotation–When Jacques Derrida would come to Philadelphia, I would say to him, “Let me take you on a tour. Let me show you the Liberty Bell or Valley Forge.” But he didn’t want to go. His way to explore a city was to walk until he got lost and then try to find his way back. In the process, he would discover all kinds of things. Both personally and as a philosopher, he thought that being genuinely lost and seeking something is a crucial part of the journey. We expose ourselves to the unknown and the unforeseeable. Truth is like that.

    me–Travel can be a spiritual discipline. This is great advice.


  29. So what am I missing? From Slate… JURISPRUDENCE
    No, the Trump Administration Is Not Redefining Judaism as a Nationality.


  30. The figure on the sweatshirt bears no resemblance to either St Nick or Santa Claus. The whole thing is simply ugly, more worship of the Almighty Dollar.

    This kind of thing is another reason why I have greatly restricted my Amazon purchases in the last few years. I only buy there when I can’t get the thing somewhere else, and that is extremely rarely.



  31. And the fact that this came from, in essence, a gossip column aggregation site doesn’t bother you? Hell, I’d accept a column from National Review before something like that.

    Sources matter here.


  32. My point, seemingly missed by you: These folks are getting fed opinions from other than Fox. There are some nutty people out there with their own outlets and audience.


  33. Yes, it IS invalid, because he never gives any reasons for why he disagrees with us. A lot of us used to believe the same things that you and he believe. We don’t, and we have reasons for changing ourinds. And many of us (not all) still consider ourselves legitimate Christians despite all that. Internet Monk speaks to where we are, and where we have come from, and where we hope to go. If you disagree, fine. Give reasons why you do so. If you can’t be bothered, and just want to vent, then don’t be surprised if we dismiss you.


  34. Seneca:

    You’re assuming that Greta has no mind of her own.

    You’re assuming that all of this is bad for Greta.

    I’m assuming, as have others: you’ll know a tree by its fruit. She has energized young people and old, giving them a voice in environmental matters. God bless her.

    You’ll know others by their fruit too: look at the ones insulting her. They should be ashamed.


  35. So, Greta is a dupe? Where did you find such information to formulate that opinion?

    I have heard her interviewed and from her own accounts she was out ahead of even her parents and teachers on the climate issue and what she intended to do about it.


  36. She thought it was worth it. Have you read her history? It’s on her Wikipedia page. Have you read her speeches? They’re widely available online. If you ever bother to do these things, you’ll discover that she is taking what scientists have been saying for decades seriously, and decided it’s worth her while to get the older generations to do something about the mess we’re leaving to her and all our children.

    But of course, I really don’t expect you to do any of that, because you have already and repeatedly stated that you don’t care about what happens after you’re gone. So in that case, the least you can do is shut the hell up and take the scolding she’s giving.



    Senecaggigs, good observations or as some would say “talking points”, talking points meaning that when you disagree with someone it is not valid only a talking point. I have to say her parents are masters of the PR game but have a willing press to aid them . BTW, did not Al Gore the guru of climate change give us 11 years until it is too late . He must be mad he got replaced by a 16 year girl and he only made about a billion dollars trying to save us. Thanks Al. Hope Greta does well and has a great life. See, how good home schooling can be.


  38. Apparently he can do anything.

    Insulting a 16 year old girl? His base finds that amusing. They make the First Lady’s BeBest campaign sound like a liberal joke.

    He got away with insulting candidate Carly Fiorina during a 2016 debate: “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

    He called John McCain a phony war hero because he got captured.

    He pardons war criminals and invites torture.

    He has insulted blacks and hispanics in word and deed.

    Any of these should have disqualified him to responsible voters. And yet…

    Every outrage he utters energizes his base: the alt-right, the neo-nazis, the KKK, the NRA, and the evangelical Christians.

    Every outrage becomes a new level of normal. We are all becoming conditioned to this.

    After the Democrats vote to impeach, and the Republicans vote not to convict, Trump will become bulletproof. Nothing he could say or do will take him down.

    Unless there’s a market crash. It’ll have to be a practical matter. Morality doesn’t count with voters anymore.


  39. In the eternal war between the Degenerate Louts and the Naïve Idealistic Teenagers I will always support the latter because I used to be one.


  40. Rock To. . Pot calling kettle black alert! The top 5 frequent commenters on this site do talking points from the progressive perspective. Look at todays comments. Always love the “you watch Fox News” go to talking point .


  41. Greta Thunberg

    If you want to be angry you should be angry about this.

    What FOOL thought it was in a 16 year old girl’s best interest to be made the face of a very divisive cultural issue and be paraded throught-out the western world making [ typically unwise] 16 year old pronouncements to the powers that be.

    What fool thought that it was good for her to be made Times’ Person of the Year?

    What evil fool thought, we’ll USE HER for our own purposes; the hell with the impact it will have upon her thru the rest of her life.”

    What FOOL thought this was a good thing for Greta.

    That’s what you should be angry about. Greta didn’t have a clue but agreed to be an [unknowing] pawn to others for their political gain.

    BOTTOM LINE; Those people who decided they would use a young girl somewhere on the autism spectrum scale for political gain; they really don’t care about Greta’s future life.

    The criticism should start with the “adults” who thought she would be an effective tool for their cultural wars.

    Now she has been thrust into the role of politician, cultural agitator. OF COURSE there will be continuing blowback. It goes with the territory.

    Wise adults know that; children don’t. This does not end well for Greta. Frankly, the “adults” in her life obviously don’t care.


  42. I was reading the list of bowl games outloud to my family and had to stop, I was laughing so hard. Any school with an ounce of dignity (or at least, dignity over ALMIGHTY DOLLAR) would say, “I think we’ll pass on Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl.”

    But man o man, how about the recent baseball free agent signings and the dollars involved?!?! Three players at almost 3/4 of a BILLION dollars!!!



  43. What’s scary is that I now have three friends—friends who dont know each other and who’ve never met as far as I know—who now share all the same talking points. I mean, almost verbatim. “Where do you come up with this stuff?” I ask.

    Mumble mumble. I never get a clear answer.

    There are so many weird social media outlets out there, and the crazies can talk to anyone and gain an audience.

    Btw… this isnt just limited to the far right. The left has their nut cases and social media outlets as well.

    Something is gonna break soon, and it’ll be ugly.


  44. Trump is an a-hole. What 60+ year old in their right mind would berate a teen on Twitter, especially one in the position of, oh say… PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!?!?!

    Most of us who would do such a thing would be shamed beyond belief, and rightly so. The fact that Trump feels no such shame should be troubling to most Americans. The fact that he has so many fan boys who aren’t troubled by such behavior is maybe equally as troubling.

    Lord, have mercy on us!


  45. Re:Afghanistan…

    Absolutely no surprise to any of us who grew up through the Vietnam mess/war. Worse, to have seen that Afghanistan was Russia’s “Vietnam” and then go in ANYWAY–thinking it would go differently for the good ol USA because, you know, we would do it differently–well, it was idiotically shortsighted at best.


  46. +1.

    I could see the Republican train wreck coming a couple years before they decided to sell their soul to beat the Dems. I’ve generally voted Rep even since then, but the GOP has gradually pushed me away from consistently voting that way. And it’s been several elections now since I’ve voted for who they’ve propped up for Prez.


  47. Yes, that’s Saint Nick doing a line of coke. Amazon still sells it. Sigh.

    I’m afraid to see what they’ll do with “White Christmas”….


  48. I know, but I wanted to ask him that question anyway, since I replied to the question he asked me. But senecagriggs rarely gives a direct, non-evasive/non-deflective reply.


  49. If they want a Celebration Picnic and a Sustainability Pirate, they should have at it. I have no skin in the game. The popular Santa Claus mythology is just as empty to me.


  50. So seneca, you’re alright with the POTUS using his office, the most powerful office in the world, to bully a and ridicule a teenage activist?

    A teacher would be fired for such behavior toward a student; the only way of firing the POTUS for such loutish bullying is by impeachment and removal, and I’m totally 100% in favor of it on those grounds alone, never mind all the other occasions of similar behavior in the last years.


  51. If a man has a fragile ego and has defined his self-worth purely in terms of being able to use and control women, any woman who doesn’t fit into his world-view is going to be received as a powerful threat.

    I suspect that one lasting effects of the Trump era will be that it has brought that sort of misogyny out into the open even more than in the past – “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” (Ps 12:8) No one can ignore it when it’s so in-your-face, so no one can stay on the sidelines or pretend it doesn’t exist – each person will be known by whether they reject that sin and others, or embrace it.


  52. Trump’s strategy here is based on the antisemitic trope and belief that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America, and that he will secure more of the American Jewish vote in the next election by suppressing criticism of Israel on campuses, despite the fact that it involves suppressing the free speech rights of academic Jewish leftist and liberal critics of Israel on those campuses. It’s actually a very crafty political strategy to split the American Jewish community, and garner more of its votes. It will have little to no effect on the expression of Nazi/white nationalist antisemitic opinions on campuses, since those opinions are not very popular, prevalent, or frequently expressed at American colleges.


  53. Let’s not miss one of the purposes of the EO: to silence the voices of leftists and liberals on campus, including Jewish leftists and liberals, who are the most vocal critics of Israeli policy.


  54. I was a Republican before Trump turned the GOP into the Party of the Donald, a cult of personalty.

    Trump has shown that he has nothing but contempt for our Constitution. He is Putin’s useful idiot as he stated that he believes Putin over our own intelligence agencies; thus he is disloyal to our nation.. Trump has rejected Western Liberal Values and he loves authoritarianism. He has no issues with using government for self-enrichment. In addition, Trump lies all the time as well has no problems with insulting others. He has lowered the office of POTUS to the New York sewer that he loves to live in and his followers love this since they love the fear and hate that he vomits out.

    Trumpianism is leading America to fascist authoritarianism.


  55. He also bragged, regarding women, “You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Yep, he’s cut from the exact same stuff as the Savannah batterer.


  56. Do you also think that we were never meant to go faster than 15mph because we weren’t born with wheels? 😉


  57. Well, your talking points and theirs are just about identical. You may want to consider the implications of that.


  58. If you look at Nazi Germany, they viewed being Jewish as a matter of race. If a person of Jewish heritage was a Christian, they were branded as “Jewish”.

    Trump continues to show that he is the most ignorant POTUS.


  59. I’d admire him from the surface; if we were meant to be underwater we’d have gills. That’s my take.


  60. Remember that Trump has not issues with making fun of a news photographer who had disability in 2016 to the cheers of his followers.

    Trump is a vile individual and he is an example of the behavior that any descent person would above and shame.


  61. “As long as it’s inclusive murder, theft and kidnapping.”
    Ummm…It’s the ‘Sustainability Pirate’ that means it will be SUSTAINABLE & inclusive murder, theft and kidnapping.
    …probably “fair trade” as well.


  62. These old men who like to ridicule and bully Greta Thunberg on social media are made of the same stuff as the runner who slapped the TV reporter’s behind as she was reporting on a run in Savannah GA. That man, who btw is a youth pastor at a local Christian church, has now been arrested and charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.


  63. > the voices of Jews on campus protect Jews on campus?

    I suspect that is actually the point, to not protect.


  64. As far as I’m concerned, the way the POTUS bullied Greta Thunberg on Twitter is grounds enough for his impeachment, since it glaringly illustrates his unfitness for the office, as so many other things he’s said and done have. But not a peep of protest from the Trumpian Party, and not much criticism from anybody else either. His regular thuggish behavior has desensitized the whole country.


  65. Hmmm… Steve Carrell and Alice Cooper.
    Kind of makes one wonder why we never see Cindy Crawford and Caitlyn Jenner in the same place at the same time.


  66. Every d___ day. It goes all the way down. 😦

    If there is ONE seminal American trope it has to be “Sunk Cost Fallacy”. It is Everywhere.

    X: “But, you know that’s stupid and doesn’t work?”
    Y: “Yes, of course. You’re right. But we have $3 Billion dollars budgeted for this” (~7 miles of one additional lane on I-75)
    X: (points to plan endorsed by a list of people, agencies, and corporations so long it needs to be printed in 8pt font to fit on one page) “This alternative has an amazing ROI, the existing plan just throws that money away.”
    Y: “Yea, but that’s not our model. This is how things are done.”
    X: …. (crys)

    Sadly, yes, that conversation has pretty much happened, verbatim.


  67. > about walking alone in cities:

    An essay which mentions the city and Christianity [“…more Christian way to be in cities…”] with something other than contempt and disgust. That’s a one in a million.


  68. As the critique in the in the post said, to define Jewish identity totally in terms of race is to make a gift to white supremacists, who want Jewishness to be subsumed into their racist antisemitic definitions, and who call Israel itself a racist ethnostate on that basis. One can become fully Jewish by conversion.

    The other critique is just as salient. I wonder what will happen to the voices of the many Jewish critics, themselves educators and students, of Israel’s policies on college campuses. I suppose they will be silenced as well. How does an EO that silences the voices of Jews on campus protect Jews on campus?


  69. In the Manassas City Christmas parade last week there was one Santa… and TWELVE Grinches. Make of that what you will. 😛


  70. +1

    One does have to give props to Israeli PR; they’ve honed the cry “anti-Semitic” to precision. They can effectively dismiss critique of utter thuggishness.


  71. Speaking of stupid criminals….

    > A Pentagon spokesman said “there has been no intent” by the Defense Department

    What would be more damning, that is was or was not intentional?


  72. > Speaking of criminals,…

    When I was in high school there was a cement block gas station which backed up to the railroad tracks. There were some bushes obscuring the back of the windows.

    Before 24/7 everything the fueling station closed at night. Some dudes broke into a nearby maintenance facility and stole a CEMENT SAW. Cut a man sized hole in the back wall of the fueling station. Stole the safe. Broke into a nearby auto repair shop. Used the torch to cut the safe open. Took the ~$200 dollars that was inside. Went to the local bar, got hammered, and started bragging about it.

    Some neighbors had called the police about the noise (cement saw) but the police never got around to checking it out.

    The dudes went to prison on a l-o-n-g list of charges.

    They were probably safer in prison, watched over by guards, from themselves.


  73. I guess you approve of the cyber bullying by our dear leader and his stooges.

    Trumpians have shown that they have no problems with attacking minors since they have shown that they have adopted the moral character of the Donald.


  74. Trump and his followers has shown that they will engage in cyber bullying against a minor with their attacks on Greta Thunberg. Trump continues to show that he is vile and immoral individual. But like most bullies are who are cowards, he has no problems with insulting others but he is a “snow flake” when he in insulted abased on facts. Also, look at the Trump Reelection Campaign as well. Trump and his followers are all pathetic humans.

    I guess Trump is a such as small and insecure person that he must tear down others to make himself feel important.

    Too bad that his wife has been silent on this dispute the fact that she has taken up cyber bullying as her cause. But then again, hypocrite is an virtue in Trumpianism.


  75. > This is the coolest and most informative graphic… The Deep Sea.

    SCUBA diving to 332 meters (~1,000ft). Oooph. Props dude. I’m happy to admire him from ~150ft. 🙂

    Technically – and emotionally – that’s a real achievement. Exhausting to even think about.


  76. > ‘Sustainability Pirate’ : Nevermind you are replacing a saint known for generosity ..

    Are they? Santa Claus seems pretty distant from St. Nicholas, IMO.

    > with a seafaring criminal known for murder, theft and kidnapping

    What could be more American?

    Perhaps this is a story of saturation-to-meaninglessness. Santa’s everywhere, even at the gas station. Symbols wear out. I’d be happy to see anyone do just about anything other than Santa Claus.


  77. “Greta Thunberg tells cheering crowd ‘we will make sure we put world leaders against the wall’ if they do not tackle global warming as she attends climate protest in Turin”


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