Friday, September 30, 2016

A huge override of a shameful veto

Congress overrides Obama's veto of 9/11 bill

Families of those killed in the terror attacks on 9/11 are now legally allowed to sue Saudi Arabia, after Congress voted Wednesday to override President Barack Obama's veto of the legislation, the first override of his presidency.

The votes by the House and Senate were overwhelming. Members of both parties broke into applause on the House floor after the vote.

The Senate approved the override on a 97-1 vote, with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid the lone Senator voting to sustain the president's veto. 

Hours later, the vote in the House was 348-77, with one Democratic member voting "present."

. . . .

Clinton's campaign said she supported the legislation and Kaine's said he would have voted for the override had he been in DC.

The president's supporters are blaming it on optics, political cowardice, opportunism, and an inability to "make the hard decisions."

I say he was just wrong and is too wedded to a policy of coddling wretched Muslim states, especially the one with nothing good for us about it but its oil.

The bipartisan vote on the Hill was a rebuke of the President who had argued the Justice for State Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) -- which for the first time would allow suits in American courts against state sponsors of terrorist attacks inside the US -- could open the US government to lawsuits for the actions of military service members and diplomats.

Obama also warned it could damage America's relationship with Saudi Arabia, a troubled but key Middle East ally, and other allies who might be accused of terrorism.

Vouchers unconstitutional?

Nevada rules funding for school voucher program is unconstitutional

Oh, it's the Nevada constitution that's in question.

I was wondering if we were going to see the beginning of the end for the GI Bill as we have known it since The Second World War, which provides extensive tuition and other assistance not only for students at public schools but also for those at private ones.

I received GI Bill assistance as a Vietnam Era veteran when I was a grad student at Duquesne University, a Catholic school in Pittsburgh.

What cultural acceptance looks like

Pop culture, anyway.

Will Wonder Woman be the movies' first major queer superhero?

A scathing attack on The Duce by USA Today

USA TODAY's Editorial Board: Trump is 'unfit for the presidency'

A detailed and devastating attack on Trump for reasons good, bad, and ugly.

But . . . .

Nor does this editorial represent unqualified support for Hillary Clinton, who has her own flaws (though hers are far less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis). 

The Editorial Board does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement.

Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president.

Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.

Where does that leave us? 

. . . .

Whatever you do . . . resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. 

By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.

Dorothy Rabinowitz in WSJ both denounces Trump and endorses Hillary, after slamming the Never Hillary types who, on the USA Today board, cannot quite swallow the best available medicine.

Hillary-Hatred Derangement Syndrome

Mrs. Clinton hasn’t failed to provide, on her own, cause for concern about her own proclivities and never more intolerably than in that debate Monday when she chose to ramble on, familiarly, about institutional racism, which invariably emerges in her responses on conflagration involving police action. 

Americans have a right to cringe at this reflexive, factually distorted, and inflammatory sermonizing. 

The accompanying, deep felt tribute to the police and their heroism, invariably added, can never offset the insidiousness of these messages.

Even so, such proclivities pale next to the occasion for cringing that would come with a Trump presidency. 

No one witnessing Mr. Trump’s primary race—his accumulation of Alt-Right cheerleaders, white supremacists and swastika devotees—could fail to notice the menacing tone and the bitterness that came with it.

Not for nothing did the Democrats bring off a triumph of a convention, alive with cheer, not to mention its two visitors whose story would lift countless American hearts. 

They were, of course, the Muslim couple Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son, Capt. Humayun Khan—brought here as a child—died in Iraq in 2004, saving his men from an explosive-rigged car.

. . . .

It will be either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton—experienced, forward-looking, indomitably determined and eminently sane. 

Her election alone is what stands between the American nation and the reign of the most unstable, proudly uninformed, psychologically unfit president ever to enter the White House.

Still a tie

Polls are all very close, some with her ahead and some with him.

1st Corinthians


5:9-13, Paul says they are to drive out of the believing community sexually immoral folk, the greedy, idolaters, robbers, drunkards, and revilers.

6, Paul says righteous believers will judge the world, even angels, when the time comes.

So they should not take fellow believers to the courts but have disputes resolved by fellow believers, or better yet leave off suits altogether.

Better to be wronged and defrauded.

6:9-11, sinners will not be saved, he says.

7, Better to marry than burn up with desire, he says. 

Spouses may not deny one another sexual congress. 

Believers may not divorce, or remarry unless again to each other. 

Nor may they divorce unbelieving spouses, though if the unbelieving spouse divorces them, that is an end to the marriage, the believer is no longer bound.

7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeying the commandments of God is everything.

7:25-31, Paul absolutely anticipates a prompt arrival of the end of the world.

8 Paul says believers may eat food sacrificed to idols in the temples of the idols, unless it leads others to fall out of their faith.

Why is this an issue?

Were the people invited into pagan temples to eat food sacrificed to the pagan gods?

Meat or other food?

Paul says repeatedly in this letter to the believers that they belong to Christ, that they were "bought for a price."

He also writes of Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Paschal lamb.

Two complementary but different understandings of the significance of the crucifixion.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

About men and women

On the whole, I have the impression that the chief difference between men and women, apart from the most obvious that men sire children while women bear and nurse them, is that men are more impulsive and violent than women.

And men are taller, heavier, and stronger, while women endure pain better and live longer.

These facts do not support notions of the superiority of men, overall.

Impulsiveness, by the way, is not a desirable feature in a chief executive.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A retreat to safety

Sick and tired of being cut to ribbons and scraped raw, I have retired the Edward London (I just got it !) and the Baili, adopting a rotation using a new blade for 6 days, 2 days each with the Feather, the Weishi, and the Merkur, in that order.

For how long?

We'll see.

How long will I appreciate excellent shaves that are also bloodless, burnless, and painless?

How long can one value privations of what is evil?

(Take that, St. Augustine.)

Update, 0028 hrs, 10/3/16.

I have just had six consecutive days of excellent, bloodless, burnless, painless shaves.

Now if only I don't do something stupid like trying the Edward London, again.


Hugo really likes him.

40 pages of blowhard, tendentious history through the June rebellion of 1832.

Literally, God is on the side of democracy, republicanism, and progress.

Revolution and progress are God's providential will controlling history.

After this 40 page digression, Hugo picks up the story where he dropped it, from the moment when Javert's raid has just missed capturing Valjean.

Les Miserables.

Update,  9/29/16.

Turns out Javert did not know the ambush victim was Valjean, but found it highly suspicious that he had slipped away.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Where it's been going all along

Call to topple Christopher Columbus statue from its Barcelona perch

Hey, hey.

Ho, ho.

They have more sympathy for Twain, To a Person Sitting in Darkness than for Kipling, The White Man's Burden.

None at all for the liberal imperialism of J S Mill.

But all of that concerns imperialism and the supposed civilizing mission that was cited in its justification, and justifies interventions today.

Colonialism, something quite different, is at issue in the attacks on the half millennium long white peopling of the Americas, of Oceania, and various other parts of the world.

As massive and destructive of indigenous societies and cultures as the Volkerwanderung was to the Roman world, but also its opposite because the European civilization that replaced utterly the native societies was so vastly and progressively their superior.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cops get a presumption of guilt, apparently

Charlotte NAACP President: ‘It Doesn’t Really Matter’ If Keith Lamont Scott Had a Gun

Of course, it's not so much about whether he had a gun as what he may have been doing with it.

Internet handover to an international body

Probably not a good idea.

Edward London long classic butterfly

Newly arrived from Amazon.

At a fall sale price of $14.85, they're selling it cheaper than the Edward London site that wants $17.95, on sale from a normal price of $28.95.

No case, no blades, though it does come in a nice box, mine rather dinged up by Amazon or by the delivery service.

It's quite hefty.

I'll try it tomorrow.

Update, 9/23/16, Friday. 

This is a very heavy razor. 

On one use, I say it seems aggressive, though perhaps less so than the Baili, than which it is much heavier - and longer. 

I used the same Dorco blade today that I used new in the Baili yesterday.  

Excellent shave, but more caution is required than by the milder razors. 

The same is true of the Baili.

No damage, though. 

Like the Baili, a bit harsher on the skin than the milder razors - the Feather, Merkur, and Weishi.

Excellent shave, but I question whether it's any better, or more easily achieved, than the shaves I get with the mild razors.

They do take more touching up, especially the Feather. 

But at less risk of bloodshed and less roughness to the skin or burn.



Used the same razor again.

Cut to pieces and burned raw.

As bad as the worst with the Long Feng.

A new low in race pandering by Hillary

Hillary Clinton: "We Have Two Names To Add To The Long List Of African Americans Killed By Police," "Unbearable"

Speaking at a campaign event in Orlando on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton called the recent shooting deaths of black men at the hands of police in Tulsa and Charlotte “unbearable."

"There is still much we don’t know about what happened in both incidents, but we do know we have two more names to add to a list of African-Americans killed by police officers in these encounters," she said. 

"It’s unbearable and it needs to become intolerable."

Hillary urges a new taboo: cops can't kill anybody who's black.

Still, she's not Barack Obama or his former AG.

Update, 9/30/16.

Cops kill a black criminal and streets are filled with black criminals, their families, and their allies, bellowing against racism.

Black criminals slaughter black people in the streets and no one thinks of carrying a sign, much less overturning cars or storming city hall.

But the black criminal masses and their allies and enablers are united in blaming the endless reign of criminality and violence in their neighborhoods on white racism and the system.

Hillary's debate lies.

The lie is that racial disparities in the fate of accused persons at the hands of the criminal justice system are due to racism rather than disparities in relevant, criminal behavior, says Heather Mac Donald.

Hillary's remedy is reeducation of the police by the racial Red Guards of PC.

She and the Democrats are only just less awful on race than Il Duce and the Republicans, with his pledges repeated only yesterday to build the wall and deport the illegals.

The art of the poll

Yesterday, NBC/WSJ had Clinton + 6 over Trump in a four way race.

Today, Rasmussen has Trump + 5 over Clinton in a four way race.

I gather they are pretty much tied with regard to the popularity contest, though she still leads significantly in the anticipated vote in the Electoral College.

Criminals vs. cops

The riots about police shootings of blacks - often by black police - are not rebellions of blacks against whites.

Everybody is lying or delusional about that.
They are rebellions of black criminals and their families and friends against policing by anybody.

The yelling about racism is just a delusion of the black masses and so many others serving as a smokescreen, often intentional.

Or as pandering for votes, in the case of Hillary and so many other Democrats.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A really stupid reason to buy anything

Meet America's gun super-owners – with an average of 17 firearms each

For years, Rich, a refinery operator from Wilmington, Delaware, was a typical American gun owner. He had only one or two guns, including a handgun he stashed in a bottom drawer in his bedroom. 

He never took it out and never fired it.

Then, in December 2012, 20 first-graders were murdered in a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, sparking renewed calls for a ban on the AR-15 military-style rifle the shooter had used.

Worried that a ban was coming, Rich joined the crowd of people at a local gun store and paid roughly $2,000 in cash for an AR-15 – about twice what the gun is worth today.

“I never really wanted one before,” he said, “but at that time there was the fear that if you don’t buy it now, you may never, ever get one.”

The Second Amendment is the only amendment whose sole current impact is to protect a really dangerous hobby not only from outright suppression but even significant control.

"Gun nut" sounds right to me.

Trump seizes the chance

Donald Trump defends racial profiling in wake of bombs

Of course he does.

"Our local police -- they know who a lot of these people are. They are afraid to do anything about it because they don't want to be accused of profiling," Trump said on Fox News on Monday. 

Trump pointed to how Israel used profiling and "done an unbelievable job."

Trump did not say on what attributes he would encourage police to profile possible suspects, but It's illegal for police to subject US persons to disparate treatment based on their race or other protected status.

"They see somebody that's suspicious, they will profile," Trump said. 

"Look what's going on: Do we really have a choice? We're trying to be so politically correct in our country, and this is only going to get worse."

Profiling would make sense at airports, in preference to the idiotic security measures forced on us by stupid liberals.

But how is that supposed to relate to "home grown" terrorist attacks?

Is he really hinting at preventive detention, internment of people who might eventually commit a criminal act?

The idea has been floated in Europe by people in the nationalist, anti-EU right.

The skinhead, soccer hooligan right.

People who support Trump and whom he supports.

Do the Israelis do anything like that?

The word is at least that old

The word "wake" is used twice within 2 lines concerning the funeral rites of Arcyte.

It is familiar in English and American literature and commonly used in New England, anyway, and in Ireland.

In my childhood, a wake was held at home for a dead great uncle, as I recall.

The body was in a coffin, food and drink were served, the rooms were full of smoke.

Catholic Canadian French in Spencer, Massachusetts.

So why is the word unfamiliar to people in the Pittsburgh region?

The Knight's Tale, 2082, 2084.

Canterbury Tales.

Theseus marries Emily to Palomon because he has earned it.

She loves him.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

1 Corinthians

Amplified Bible.

At the kids' house in Maryland.

Foolishness to the Greeks, yes.

But just what the Jews wanted, miracles and signs, according to him and the gospels and Acts.

But the Jews just didn't buy it, anyway.

Christ crucified.

Chapter 1.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

More coincidence

Marius overhears Jondrette/Thenardier planning a gang ambush on Valjean at 6 in the evening, when Valjean is to visit to give Jondrette 60 francs with which to pay a year's back rent.

Valjean now uses the name Urbain Fabre.

They plan to kill him unless he hands over a very great amount of money.

The true rent is 40 a year, and anyway Jondrette owes no more than a few months, if that much, as Marius had earlier paid his arrears.

Marius goes to the police, who plan to ambush the ambushers.

They are, of course, led by Javert.

The double ambush plays out.

No one is hurt, the criminals are arrested, and Valjean escapes out a window.

Javert, disappointed, seems to have known it was he being ambushed.

Les Miserables.

Envy and hate

Thenardier tells his wife, the ogress, that the beautiful young lady is Cosette, who was Cinderella to her and her pampered daughters when her husband was an innkeeper.

She is filled with envy, rage, and hate.

Les Miserables.

Coincidence rules Hugo's world

It is about 1832.

Marius pities a family of begging con artists, the Jondrettes, to whom he gives money.

Of course, so does Valjean.

Through them, Marius finds by chance Cosette, whom he loves but has never met and whose name he knows not, and her supposed father, Valjean.

He had fallen in love from seeing her and her supposed father sitting and chatting at the Luxembourg.

Valjean, noticing Marius following them, had moved house and stopped going there, and thus escaped him, to the despair of the young man.

Months later, at their first meeting in the beggars' wretched flat, secretly observed by Marius, Jondrette, who is Thenardier, recognizes Valjean, though it had been 8 years.

He keeps it to himself, even as Marius, astonished, recognizes the girl of the Luxembourg and her supposed father.

Valjean suspects nothing.

Hugo's portrait of Jondrette and of more dangerous criminals recalls Dostoevsky.

Or the other way around.

The Thenardiers were repulsive long before they were poor.

Poverty has not ennobled them, but it has not made them worse.

There is something to the idea that society has made them poor.

But it did not make them bad.

It did not have to.

Les Miserables.

The master of the long con

Trump gets 30 minutes free air time on CNN

An infomercial on his new hotel and a parade of surrogates praising him in return for one sentence affirming the president was born in the USA and another blaming the birth of birtherism on Hillary's 2008 campaign.

What utter contempt for the media.

I haven't watched the news in weeks.

Talk about a waste of time.

Complete, bombastic nullity

Hugo's liberalism.

No, Hugo's thought, entirely.

The Lowest Depths in Les Miserables.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

It's good for you

Not Guinness.

Nature's Own sugar free 100% whole grain bread

Land O' Lakes Light Butter

Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise

I can't believe it's not butter, light

And whole grain and light taste a lot better than they used to.

Picked up a Cuisinart Velocity Ultra blender for under a hundred bucks at Bed, Bath, and Beyond the other day to make Hershey recipe sugar-free Mocha Frappes for the wife.

That thing just destroys ice.

Very effective.

Both cocoa and instant coffee are bitter, so make sure you use flat tablespoons and not heaping ones.

The wife likes 4 packets of Splenda in one iteration of the recipe.

The flap about deplorable supporters

Each side has them, actually.

Open question which is worse, the Dems pandering to the likes of #BLM and supporting the lie that American policing and society are bitterly anti-black or the GOP going squishy on David Duke.

But the Dems and their candidate are for inclusion - "stronger together" - while the GOP is for ethnic cleansing.

Pence fails the test on 'deplorable'

"The viciousness of these Jews is unbelievable.... they are the dominant and dangerous power that exists in the United States of America today." 

Those are the words of former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke.

We're not reaching way back here: this is from just three months ago when he lashed out at Jewish members of the media who he claimed were "absolutely zeroing in now on Donald Trump." 

Duke, who is publicly supporting Trump, has since declared that voting against Trump is "treason to your heritage."

Pence rejected his support but refused to agree he and those like him are deplorable.


It really doesn't get too much more deplorable than that type of anti-Semitic rherotic. 

But when Trump's running mate was asked Monday night by CNN's Wolf Blitzer whether he would call it that, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence refused. 

Instead, Pence offered a weak response: "We do not want his support and we don't want the support of people who think like him."


When Blitzer pushed Pence on whether Duke would "fit into that category of deplorables," Pence remarked, "No," adding, "I'm not in the name-calling business..."


Duke, who recently made robocalls urging voters to support Trump, was apparently pleased at this framing, and praised Pence: 

"It's good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media." 

At this writing, Pence has not denounced even this new round of praise from the former Grand Wizard. 

(To Duke, "controlled" media is code for Jewish-run media.)

The whole story is worth reading.

But so is this, really.

‘American Psycho’ Author Bret Easton Ellis Reads Monologue Blasting SJWs, BLM Pandering, Political Correctness

Hill and The Duce, still tied

Polls at RCP all show them within very few points of each other, some with him ahead and some with her.

Proraso vs. VDH; Weishi vs. VDH.

Several days ago, the puck of VDH scented soap I had been using ran out, and since then I have been using a new, green tub of Proraso, bought some time back, as an experiment.

This morning, annoyed beyond further toleration at its inferior lubrication, I threw the Proraso in the trash.

As another experiment, I bought a puck of VDH unscented that I will use tomorrow.

Supposedly it differs only in lack of scent from the VDH scented, but, interestingly, the scented is white while the unscented is clear.

It may have been just the Proraso soap, but it seems to me the Weishi I just got in the mail from China is as mild as my Feather Popular.

In hopes it would be a little less mild, I bought at VDH at the local Giant Eagle.

Imagine my annoyance to discover it appeared identical in every respect to the Weishi 9306-F.

I had seen information on the web that the VDH razor is made in China and many people thought it similar to other types of Weishi, but I have seen nothing comparing it to the 9306-F, in particular.

I say it's the same razor.

I have already returned the VDH to the Big Bird for a full refund.

And I hope the Weishi will be more effective with the VDH soap than it has been with the Proraso.

Oh, the Proraso left a kind of dull soap scum to be seen on the razor as it dried on the rack, even though I rinse thoroughly after shaving.

The VDH scented did not.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sweet fifteen

Marius sees Cosette sitting and chatting with Valjean on a bench on a street in Paris.

He is a handsome young man of 20 or so, and Hugo describes her as "sweet fifteen."

There is a moment when girls bloom in a twinkling, and become roses all at once.

Yesterday we left them children, today we find them disturbing."

A glimmer of Nabokov, perhaps.

Though at fifteen she is a shade too old to qualify as one of Humbert Humbert's nymphettes.

Marius falls in love with her, just from seeing her.

Reading Les Miserables.

Weishi 9306-F

Ordered it for 12 bucks, free shipping from China.

It came in the mail yesterday with 15 Dorco blades and a cleaning brush, all in a traveling case.

Reputedly the Merkur 180 and Feather Popular are about equally mild, but I find the Merkur a tad less mild and the Feather a tad too mild.

I am hoping the Weishi will be a bit more like the Merkur than the Feather.

This is not a long handled razor, and so is unlike the Popular and 180 in that respect.

We'll see how this goes.

Fact is, the arthritis in my fingers and thumbs makes me a bit unsteady, which is a reason to use a mild razor.

And it's also turning out to be a reason to use a butterfly rather than a 3-piece, it being simpler to change blades.

Update, 9/14.

Mild as the Feather, but heavier.

Nice shave.

I find I prefer the long handle.

Update 9/28.

It turns out there is a long handled version of this Weishi available.

But I doubt I will buy it.


He thinks Jesus will come again very soon.

Romans, 13:11-14.

14, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Obedience to authority

It appears he is writing to the Roman Christians of the Roman authorities.

In his time, the pagan Roman authorities.

Romans 13:1-7.

Why return good for evil from your enemy?


12:20b, (Prov 25:21,22) "for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head".

Not as simple as it sounds, though

NAB, Paul, Romans,

10:9 for if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

But he really means you have to accept the emerging Christian version of the entirety of Jewish sacred history that he and the others are preaching.

But you absolutely don't have to be a Jew.

10:12, For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him.

13 For (Joel 3:5) "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Feed those rumors

Turns out she had been walking around for days, knowing she had pneumonia.

This is not no big deal. 

Pneumonia involves destruction of lung tissue that never recovers. 

Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia Friday, her doctor said on Sunday, hours after the Democratic presidential nominee abruptly left a 9/11 memorial after feeling “overheated.”

In a statement released by the Clinton campaign, Dr. Lisa Bardack said Clinton had been prescribed antibiotics and advised to rest Friday and modify her schedule. 

Clinton “has been experiencing a cough related to allergies,” Burdack said, and she was diagnosed with pneumonia Friday “during follow-up evaluation of her prolonged cough.”

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why do they market that?

A McDonald's medium mocha frappe (16 ozs) is 540 calories, some 71 grams of sugar and 22 grams of fat.

Why would you even sell that?

Substitute Splenda for sugar and use low fat milk or creamer and you can get it down to 50 or so calories with almost no sugar.

Why the hell not?

The goddam thing will give you type 2 diabetes if you haven't already got it, if you consume one a day over a year or so.

Are they f-ing crazy?

Update, 9/10/16.

Used a Hershey's recipe found online to make the wife a 12 oz mocha frappe for about 50 calories from 4 packets of Splenda on top of the fat free half and half and cocoa powder.

I thought it was tasty.

More to the point, so did the wife.

Scotsman's English

Seems just like it.

The Knight's Tale.

The Canterbury Tales.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Saudi Arabia Uncovered

On Netflix, rather a surprise in view of the liberals' commitment to hiding the truth behind the smokescreen of PC propaganda about "Islamophobia."

Islam is an ideology of bloody conquest whose Mein Kampf is the Koran, just a Geert Wilders says.

As the anti-communists of the Cold War were right about the nature of Communism but wrong about what to do about it, so too are today's European and American anti-Islamists right about Islam but wrong about the riposte.

The sexual revolution is a success in America not because Americans in the pews have bought theological liberalism - modernisn, for Catholics - but because so many of them don't want the teachings of Christianity, especially its moral teachings, written into law.

In like manner, the aim, in coping with Islam, should not be converting the denominations, clergy, or believers to liberalism but getting as many as possible of the Muslim masses to be bad Muslims, as so many Americans are bad Christians.

Of course, Christians from the days of Peter and Paul denied Gentiles needed to observe the Law of Moses in their households or personal ways, and the Law of Moses was never intended to be the law of each and every nation.

As for the Kingdom of God, Christians believe divine rulership over all mankind will be established by Jesus himself when he comes again, and not before and not by anyone else.

Separation of Church and State goes deep in Christian history and theology.

In the case of Islam, the exact opposite is true.

Shariah and Islam are to the Muslim polities what the Pentateuch, the Law of Moses, was to ancient Israel.

A much tougher nut to crack.

The advance of Trumpery in Europe

Hollande sets out stall for French elections with attack on identity politics

His casual anti-Americanism is annoying, but Sarko and Le Pen are no better and wrong on the two questions.

The Burkini ban is absurd and internment in camps of people who might become Jihaders is a bad idea.

Limiting or even shutting off Muslim immigration is another matter.

No, thank you

Upon receipt of the first payment of his allowance from his aunt, Marius returns it with a note not to send more.

She does not tell Gillenormand.

She continues to send, and Marius continues to return, the allowance.

Reading Les Miserables.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Your chances were probably better if you couldn't afford him.

The doctor/surgeon whose training and methods are described in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales.

Lines 411 - 444.

When did that change, I wonder?

In the last few days I have been lucky enough to obtain a fine, like-new but used, hard-cover copy of The Riverside Chaucer for $15 and a new Wordsworth paperback edition of The Canterbury Tales for $7, both beautiful books.

And bargains!

I have read the Tales before only in Modern English translation.

Not this time.

It is a religion, thinks Hugo

But he has no idea that means it is driveling nonsense.

Marius, shaken by his republican friends, is close to abandoning Bonaparte.

Feminist crazies with assault rifles

And you thought it was only neo-Nazis and other right wing nuts who did this sort of thing.

Armed anarchists rally at Brock Turner's home: 'Try this again, we'll shoot you'

The nature of the thing

I say again that at least nearly half the voters would go for their candidate if either major American party nominated a goat.

He could even win.

It wasn't only Caligula.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Donald leads by two, says CNN

Nine weeks out, a near even race

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton start the race to November 8 on essentially even ground, with Trump edging Clinton by a scant two points among likely voters, and the contest sparking sharp divisions along demographic lines in a new CNN/ORC Poll.

Trump tops Clinton 45% to 43% in the new survey, with Libertarian Gary Johnson standing at 7% among likely voters in this poll and the Green Party's Jill Stein at just 2%.

The current NBC poll of registered voters shows her ahead by 4 in a four way race.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Friends of the A B C

Abaisee means the abased, the downtrodden.

They were the people, says Hugo.

It's a pun.

Anyway, Hugo's liberalism is not ours.

One of his heroic young men, Feuilly, a poor fan-maker, within himself "nurtured, with the deep instinct of the man of the people, what we now call the idea of nationality."

Hugo damns utterly the Partitions of Poland that, in 1795, caused Poland to disappear completely from the map of Europe for 130 years, in the name of that idea.

A convinced idealist, he mocks and denigrates the only skeptic among the Friends of the A B C, Grantaire.

The others are great fans of the Revolution.

Of Napoleon, not so much.

Marius is befriended by them.

One of the group, Legle de Meaux, is nicknamed Bossuet, after the famous bishop of that town.

Not that he is a devout Catholic, a clergyman, or an ardent believer in divine right absolute monarchy.

It's another pun.

L'Aigle (the Eagle) for Legle.

So, the Eagle of Meaux, Bossuet.

Les Miserables.


It is now 1827, and the dead Louis XVIII has been succeeded by the reactionary "ultra," Charles X.

Marius is about 18.

Marius secretly comes to admire both his dead father, whose grave he regularly visits, and Bonaparte, with Hugo's approval.

He shouts out a window, "Vive l'empereur!"

He orders a hundred cards bearing the name "Baron Marius Pontmercy."

He travels to Montfermeil to visit Thenardier, but the innkeeper has failed, the inn is closed, and the man has gone off no one knows where.

His grandfather, M. Gillenormand, the Voltairian bourgeois and royalist supporter of the Bourbon Restoration, discovers the cards.

There is a scene, the old man shouts, "You are no more a baron than my slipper!"

And he throws Marius out of the house.

He orders his daughter, an old maid who lives with him, to send the lad 60 pistoles every six months.

That's 600 francs, in gold.

Les Miserables.

Fantasy politics

"No white supremacy in the White House."

"What have we got to lose? How about voting rights, civil rights, human rights?"

His last few months in office, what will he do?

This is not acceptable.

Apparently, nothing.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Revolt against the elites

The French Revolution was a long time ago, and was a revolt against hereditary, feudal, and clerical elites that put into power bourgeois, lay elites.

Likewise, the American Revolution.

From the 20th Century on, revolts can only be against the very same bourgeois elites.

But there are no others to take their places.

And so revolt against the bourgeoisie has empowered only monsters: Mussolini, Hitler, and the Bolsheviks, and all their dreadful epigones.

All of it had been good

Marius, on the Revolution and the Empire.

Les Miserables, Marius, Bk 3, ch 6.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Letter to the Romans

You cannot read 1:18-32 and much doubt Paul's creationism or his convictions that God's power and nature are evident in the world he has made and that polytheism - not even to speak of atheism - is "without excuse."

Nor that he regards homosexuality and lesbianism as horrible depravities worthy of death by God's own decree.

God hates fags, in other words.

In ch 2, it seems Paul writes rather like a works man.

He's not.

At 3:8 he states it as an evil maxim that one may do evil that good may come.

Is this the origin of what Christian ethicists call "the Pauline principle," "Thou shalt not do evil that good may come"?

It plays a role in Thomistic ethics that are really neither deontological nor teleological, connected to the Principle of Double Effect.

For Thomas, the natural law (the moral law) contains only one injunction: Do good; avoid evil.

So one must avoid causing pain, for example.

To cause pain would be to do evil rather than avoid it.

So can one administer a flu shot?

Enter the idea that the injunction concerns only what is intended, either as a means or an end, and not what is merely foreseen.

The pain of the injection is foreseen but not intended, as an end or as a means to something else.

So giving the injection is OK.

3:31 ff, Paul repeats Jesus' message that actual, personal sins are forgiven to those who have faith.

But we are also getting a bit of the idea of substitutionary atonement.

Jesus 4:25 who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.

He's firm on this.

3:28 For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.  


Jesus did not say these things in the gospels.

Again, note the apparent literalism regarding Genesis.

5:12,13. Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned -

13 for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law.


Paul introduces so much that we did not see in the gospels. 

Foreknowledge and predestination, for example, at 8:28-30.

Predestination for good or evil, predestination and desert, 9:14-24

How God chooses, says Paul. 

10:9 for if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

That is not what Jesus asked of those whom he said were forgiven or saved.

Arguably, he asked no more than faith that he could really do miracles, raise the dead, cure ailments, and (or?) forgive sins.

Paul's theology is not quite Jesus's theology.

Some of Trump's enemies are clowns, too

Black Pastor on MSNBC to "Devil" Trump: What Is Making America Great Again? "Hanging Blacks From Trees?"

Blah, blah.

MSNBC, the anti-FNC.

Krauthammer heard a different speech

The Only Immigration Solution

Or heard it a different way.

Turns out he's not the only one to hear it this way.

But eventually you have to let it go. 

For all his incendiary language and clanging contradictions, Trump did exactly that in Phoenix on Wednesday. 

His "deportation task force" will be hunting ... criminal aliens. 

Isn't that the enforcement priority of President Obama, heretofore excoriated as the ultimate immigration patsy?

And what happens to the noncriminal illegal immigrants? 

On that, Trump punted. 

Their "appropriate disposition" will be considered "in several years when we have … ended illegal immigration for good." 

Everyone knows what that means: One way or another, they will be allowed to stay.

The beam in one's own eye

Josh Marshall rages against Donald Trump's hate speech, and defines the crime as he commits it.

Trump's Blood Libel & Press Failure

And rails against the press for not printing his hate speech, directed at Trump, in the news accounts of Trump's Mexico trip and his Arizona speech, yesterday.

Update, 9/4.

A regular feature at The Guardian is a story titled "The lies Trump told this week."


21:13, Paul refers to "the Lord Jesus."

V 30, in Jerusalem, because Paul is recognized and believed to preach heterodoxy, there are riots all over the city.

Another way of saying the Jews of that time were as fucked in the head as today's Muslims.

22:24-29. The commander questioning Paul says he is a Roman citizen and it "cost plenty"  (v 28a).

Paul says he is a citizen "by birth" (28b).

Chapter 23, the Jews concoct an amazing plot to kill Paul.

Paul is held in custody by Felix, a Roman authority, for two years (24:27), who leaves him in jail when he is replaced by Festus.

25:11, Paul appeals from Festus to Caesar, the emperor.

By faith alone?

Yes and no.

26:20b Paul says he teaches "that all must repent of their sins and turn to God - and prove they have changed by the good things they do."

Forgiveness is for past sins.

If you sin no more, you are fine.

If you sin again you must ask forgiveness again.

You will have it.

Jesus in the gospels teaches there is no limit to how many times you can be forgiven, if you just ask.

Agrippa says Paul "could have been set free if he hadn't appealed to Caesar." (26:32)

Ch 28. Paul, en route by sea to Rome, is shipwrecked on Malta.

The last words of the chapter and book have Paul reminding us the Jews rejected the message but the Gentiles accepted it.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

And tuition assistance? Nope.

Georgetown Will Offer An Edge In Admissions To Descendants Of Slaves

Apparently, not all the slaves owned at any time by the school, but only those sold by the Jesuits to others because they needed the money to pay off the failing school's debts.

These applicants will be handled in the same way as "legacy students," "applicants whose family members attended Georgetown."

No particular tuition assistance is contemplated.

I would guess Georgetown is not cheap.

Odd approach.

The Jesuits owned plantations and owned slaves to provide the labor for them, and used the plantation earnings to support the school.

Trump's immigration speech

Trump Makes Nice In Mexico, Talks Tougher Than Ever Just Hours Later In Phoenix

The trip to Mexico and the moderation in tone of the joint statements after the meeting were Conway's doing.

But Phoenix was pure Bannon.

[A]s night fell in Phoenix, back in the U.S.A., Trump mounted the stage in prime time and quickly caught fire. 

He poured forth an hourlong harangue against all things alien, highlighting the lurid crimes of a handful of illegal immigrants as if to define the character of millions. 

He also promised to build "a beautiful wall" across the entire U.S.-Mexico border and create a "deportation task force" that would eventually guarantee that "the bad ones are gone."

On the subject of the wall, Trump departed from his script to assure his listeners that Mexico would indeed pay for it — adding, "They may not know it yet, but they will." 

In so doing, he as much as acknowledged that Peña Nieto had told him something different earlier in the day.

. . . .

At some point, Trump allowed, "we will bring back the good ones." 
[Illegals whose only crime is that they are here illegally will have to leave and "get in line" according to normal rules - that he aims to tighten and alter - of immigration.
According to the editors of the account of the hourlong harangue,  
According to the State Department, there are currently 1.3 million Mexicans who are waiting in line for a visa. Only a small fraction have any realistic hope of seeing a visa anytime soon.]
But moments after making this concession to what he has called "being humane about it," Trump was filling the stage with the grieving parents of people killed by immigrants in the country illegally.

Trump offered some key points to guide immigration reform.

From that hourlong harangue:

The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals:
  • To keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms
  • To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society, and their ability to be financially self-sufficient. We take anybody, come on in, just anybody. Not anymore. You know, folks, it's called a two-way street. It's a two-way street.
  • We need a system that serves our needs, not the needs of others — remember, under a Trump administration it's called "America First."
  • To choose immigrants based on merit, merit, skill and proficiency. Doesn't that sound nice?
  • And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first. And that, in particular, African-American and Latino workers who are being shut out in this process so unfairly. 
Look at that first point.

Ethnic quotas?

Surgery, recovery

Better all the time.

Too soon to worry about permanent effects.


It's 1:44 am and it's cooler outside than in.

Windows are open.

And it's the sound of cool night, late summer crickets.

North America is so beautiful.

Temperate North America.