October 21, 2020

Saturday Ramblings, June 25, 2016

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready to Ramble?

Rambler Classic

Rambler Classic; as sexy as a station wagon can get.

The big news this week, of course, is the Brexit. Were you surprised by the results? I was. I mean, what is going on this year? Have we tried unplugging 2016, waiting ten seconds and plugging it back in?

Meanwhile, at the chunnel:


And India is blown away that you can get Britain to leave by just voting.

This actually came out a few weeks ago, but, like me, you might have missed it. I am talking about the emoji Bible. Now, of course, it’s not like every word is replaced by an emoji, though when they figure out what to use for “circumcision” that day may come. Rather, The 3,282-page book is based on a computer program that detects certain characters or strings of characters in the King James Version of the Bible and automatically substitutes an emoji, numeral, or other symbol (e.g., &) in their place. That’s why, for example, “twined linen,” from the section of Exodus about building the tabernacle, shows up as a wine glass sandwiched between a “t” and a “d.” The emoji for God? Two happy faces with halos.


Said one of the co-creators.”A major goal of this whole process was to take a book that I think is very non-approachable to lay readers and try to make it more approachable by removing a lot of its density.”

In related news, Apple announce seventy-two new emojis, including one of a pregnant woman. Apparently it’s the emoji you get nine months after texting, “You awake?”

The University of Missouri has published a helpful chart of microagressions. Some are reasonable and helpful. Others? Well, what do you think? Are these microagressions?

  • Saying that people overcoming disabilities are “inspiring”.
  • Claiming that, “I believe the most qualified person should get
    the job.”
  • Asking a Black person: “Why do you have to be so
    loud/animated? Just calm down.”
  • Asking an Asian or Latino person: “Why are you so
    quiet? We want to know what you think. Be more
  • Television shows and movies that feature
    predominantly White people, without
    representation of people of color

An Oregon judge has allowed a 52-year-old retired Army tank mechanic to change gender identity. Not from male to female, or vice versa. That’s so old hat. But to a new, third gender. Jamie Shupe is now legally non-binary — widely believed to be a first for the United States.

As of now, the state isn’t fighting the court’s decision. In a few months, Oregon driver’s license applications will have new gender designations, in addition to male and female.

“Is it a third box? Or will it require multiple boxes?” a BMV executive asked. “We just don’t know the answer to those questions; we’re going to need to study that.” ozmeme

More than 30 people who attended an event with motivational speaker Tony Robbins have been treated for burns after Robbins encouraged them to walk on hot coals as a way of conquering their fears, Dallas fire officials said this week.  Robbins conducts a variety of empowerment seminars — which can range from about $1,000 to up to $3,000 — and “Unleash the Power Within” is described on his website as “designed to help you unlock and unleash the forces inside that can help you break through any limit.” Hopefully they feel empowered enough to sue him.

Democrats held a big sit-in on the House floor to protest Congress’ refusal to vote on gun control. Or in other words, congressmen were tired of Congress not getting anything done, so they refused to get anything done until someone got something done. And by the way, you know the state of our Congress is terrible when you see a bunch of politicians sitting on their butts and think to yourself, “Wow, they’re finally doing something!”

House Speaker Paul Ryan referred to the Democratic-led sit-in for gun control as “nothing more than a publicity stunt.” He then reaffirmed his endorsement of this man:

It’s been reported that after leaving office, President Obama is considering owning an NBA team. Apparently he feels it’s his only chance to get someone on the court.

And Bernie Sanders admitted this that he “doesn’t appear” to be the nominee, but, just to make sure, he’ll remain in the race for three more years.

At a meeting with nearly 1,000 evangelical leaders this week, Donald Trump told the attendees that Hillary and Obama are not worthy of their prayers.

[…Anything] about Hillary in terms of religion. She’s been in the public eye for years and years and yet there’s nothing out there, there’s, like, nothing out there. She’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse because with Obama you had your guard up, with Hillary you don’t and it’s going to be worse. So, I think people were saying, some of the people were saying, ‘Let’s pray for our leaders.’ Well, you can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that, pray for everyone, but what you really have to do is you have to pray to get everybody out to vote, and for one specific person. We can’t be politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes, and it’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening.

Man, he sounds just like the Apostle Paul, doesn’t he?

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2-4

In any case Hillary’s prayers were already answered when Trump won the GOP nomination.

Jerry Falwell Jr, of course, was one of those evangelical leaders, and is now of Trumps evangelical advisory board. After the meeting, Falwell tweeted this picture.


And why does the Donald have TWO copies of the same magazine cover of himself?

And yes, that picture over Becky Falwell’s shoulder is a Playboy cover featuring some porn star wearing Donald’s coat and apparently nothing else.

Falwell refused to apologize (shocker) and hit back at his critics (super-shocker) with this nuanced and profound analysis:

Honored for same hypocrites who accused Jesus of being a friend of publicans and sinners to be targeting me over a decades old mag cover! TY

The Playboy Magazine cover, however, did apologize, the Babylon Bee reports.

“I’m super ashamed about this,” the Playboy issue’s press release read, in part. “Donald takes tons of pictures with people in this office, and they’re usually friendlies—I wasn’t paying enough attention Tuesday afternoon to realize he was taking a picture with Jerry Falwell, Jr., son of political moral crusader Jerry Falwell, both of whom have spoken out against me thousands, if not tens of thousands of times, telling people to hate me while openly questioning the morality of anyone who would gaze upon my pages.”

“Frankly it makes me question Trump’s moral acumen, to have a guy like that in his office,” it continued, noting that Jerry Falwell, Sr., used to organize protests of Playboy back in the 80s, and that the magazine is officially forbidden from being brought on the campus of the college Falwell, Jr. runs. . .  I assure you I’ll be more vigilant in the future about whom I’m being photographed with,” the magazine promised.

More headlines from Babylon Bee:

It’s being reported that LeBron James’ 11-year-old son already has basketball scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky. Hey Lebron, that means you can stop saving for college!!

Ticketmaster is settling a class action lawsuit for overcharging customers. As part of the settlement, they’re giving out $5 million in free concert tickets.  Minus the $3 million “convenience” fee.

We end today with one of my favorite pieces. I would choose your favorite, but I don’t know who you are. And you probably like country or something. And you didn’t just spend five hours writing the Ramblings, did ya? No, I DIDN’T THINK SO. So I get to choose. And today it’s Holst. Enjoy!






  1. Dan from Georgia says

    Love the chunnel meme!

    Also, I don’t give a rats you-know-what who this Falwell male is, he’s just another culture war lemming, along with the other so-called evangelical “leaders” on Trumps board (Dobson…what a surprise he’s on that board!)

    • Danielle says

      Having watched much Thomas, and read all the original stories, with my four-year-old, I think Henry in chunnel is a pretty great picture for the current situation.

      Next time the boy asks if its a true story, I will say yes.

    • Christiane says

      I was thinking, ‘poor Brits’, and then my husband tells me that the BREXIT impacted our 401 to the tune of $1500 in a single day . . . . great big frown face, enlarged and weeping

      the Atlantic Ocean is not as large as it used to be, no

      • Robert F says

        Yes. Trump thinks it’s great, because he’s going to make a killing from it, but Brexit is decreasing the value of most Americans’ financial portfolios. We’ll be lucky if it doesn’t push the world into another global recession.

        • Christiane says

          ROBERT, my husband said that before too long, he heard that the Brits will be involved in ‘REGRETXIT’, but there are cold winds blowing with changes in the works and people who feel that have no voice are going to do foolish things to get peoples’ attention, I’m afraid.

          I see the Brexit vote as a part of the Trump craze in the way millions of people are willing to destroy an awful lot of the status quo without thought of the consequences that will be negative for everyone.

          We live in interesting times.

  2. FWIW, per Wikipedia the gal in question is not a porn star but a Playboy Playmate and a convicted drug trafficker…
    (not sure which is worse…)

  3. Enjoyable Ramblings as always, Daniel. Very much appreciate your humor and the effort you put into pulling these together when it’s your turn.

  4. Thanks for sharing the Holst.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Jupiter from the Planets is one of my favourite pieces…

    • Yes! I just shared this on Facebook and said listening to the Holst at the end is necessary – after the reminders about the state of this world. Thank you.

      • Dana Ames says

        Holst and his buddy Ralph Vaughan Williams were big into English folk music. IIRC, the 3/4 time theme at the end of the Jupiter section is an English folk tune. Possibly appropriate for the Brexit vote week?

        One of my offspring gave me “Planet Narnia” for Christmas 2014; the author posits that Lewis wrote into each of the Narnia books the ancient and medieval characteristics of a particular planet and associated little-g god. It was a very good read, and I think it’s plausible. His sort of genius would have several levels running at the same time in a work of fiction.


  5. I wasn’t too surprised at the Brexit results. There has been a growing wave of nativism and antiglobalization worldwide (of which the Donald is himself a manifestation), and the EU is a ripe target of opportunity.

    • On a more common level, it was reported that the Brit on the street was getting really fed up with aristos in Brussels foisting regulations from on high onto the common man.

      Example: In a nod to global warming Brussels passed a regulation that limited vacuum cleaners to operating on no more than 10 amps. It just so happens that one particular product is made by a Brit, and that product is wildly popular amongst those who can afford it…Dyson Vacuums!

      That same regulation also hampers the ability of hair driers and THAT really set off the hirsute class!

      Little things and small irritations ended up pushing more people over the edge into Brexit support.

      • Danielle says

        Unfortunately, regulating hair dryer output is not the only thing the EU does.

        Enjoy the warm blast of air. Cancel the French vacation.


        • Danielle says

          Err. Vacuum cleaner suction. I really ought to have sipped my coffee before writing this.

          • Christiane says

            I was sipping coffee when my husband called our new pool vacuum ‘Monica’ . . . I spewed coffee all over the kitchen.

        • Robert F says

          Danielle, I don’t like the Brexit, or the rise of nativist nationalist movement here and in Europe. But this is partly the result of leaders, including the ones in Brussels, not dealing with the legitimate grievances of middle-class and working-class citizens, who for decades have watched their fortunes decline even as they are asked to do more to underwrite the needs of others, while these leaders remain insulated by their own affluence from the worst depredations of decline.

          • Danielle says

            I agree on the root cause. If only the political manifestation targeted the class problems, and didn’t dash instead for race. The misdirection to race pits one set of disadvantages people against the other, which prevents pressure going against the right places.

          • Robert F says

            Agreed. I would say that the dysfunctional political manifestation targets race, but is wider: “otherness”.

          • A friend explained Trump/Brexit this way: You have some sort of vermin infestation in your attic and it’s hindering your life, so you call an exterminator. You don’t care that he smells, smokes, cusses, wears pants that show his crack, and takes cash only. If he gets the job done it’s all good!
            I would add that you’ve talked to your homeowner association multiple times over the past few years about the problems in your home and they agreed to help you fix things but what they are doing only seems to be making the problem worse. Now your ceiling has holes in it, and the vermin make it impossible to sleep in your upstairs bedroom. “Just be patient,” the Association tells you. “Our plan takes time to work, but in the end, you’ll be better off!” In comes stinky, smelly, rude exterminator who says he can fix the problem in no time and the money you’ll save over the other guy’s or the association plan will allow you to completely renovate your now vermin free house! So you hire him. You feel pretty darn good about your decision until he shows up to do the work with a flame thrower…

          • Nationalism scares me. It undoes all the great things that we’ve accomplished in the last 50, 100 years. It’s a step back towards tribalism. It’s a huge mistake.

          • Robert F says

            It scares me too, Stuart. It’s a step back into a fractious past, the past out of which WWI and II came.

        • Robert F says

          It’s not just about vacuums.

          • flatrocker says

            > leaders remain insulated by their own affluence from the worst depredations of decline.

            It is about the vacuum. Just of a different sort.

          • Never said it was all about regulations. It was just that the regs were a small indication of what set off the majority. I agree, there is much more to it and saying that it is ONLY about regulation is like saying that the cause of World War I was a hand gun.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Oscar, as many have reported, the referendum became about much more than the EU. Farage and his ilk made a thing about immigration and too many “other” people. Many others made it into a quasi-nationalistic nostalgia fest. There is a reason why there werensone strong regional trends – why Scotland, that is more liberal and more resentful of English domination voted remain so strongly. There is a reason that Northern Ireland, the only place with a land border, voted remain by and large.

        None of those have to do with long regulations of butt cream.

        • From the beginning I believed that I would live long enough to see the diminishing of the EU. How so many different cultures, classes, and ethnicities could subsume their centuries long aspirations and long held way of thinking to such a small group of bureaucrats is a Utopian Dream, accent on “Dream”.

          Scotland, in its own way, wants to be separate from England, and that is the same dynamic that drove the Brexit believers. The same goes for Northern and Southern Ireland. Maybe this event will prod them into unification so that they can stay part of the EU. I can’t imagine that they will put up with border checks between North and South, and since religious differences have started to diminish they may begin to find common cause.

          The REAL conclusion to all of this is “Who KNOWS?”

          • If the European Union continues to break up, the the tensions and conflicts between countries that led into the gargantuan death and destruction of WW I & II will reemerge. This possibility by itself is enough to feel make me feel unhappy with the Brexit vote, aside from the economic shock waves and the decay of liberal democratic ideals that follow in its wake and that it intensifies.

        • It also became about MONEY. And politicians lying about the money per day going back to healthcare or whatever.

          Surprise!! That money isn’t going anywhere they promised.

      • Certain Brits on the streets. If you look at the voting map, it was the poor and undereducated who felt that. The more educated and affluent areas felt the opposite.

        Nothing new under the sun.

        • Robert F says

          It’s a little concerning if the poor and under-educated comprise more than a half of a nations voting citizens, enough to win a referendum. And you’d have to assume that most of those voting for leaving were white Brits, not ethnic minorities, since a good part of the animus driving the exit was fear of immigrants and ethnic others. If that much of Britain is poor and under-educated, then there really is a big, big problem, one that leaders have been ignoring for a long, long time. The affluent and well-educated weren’t large enough in number to outvote the plebs.

          • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

            To be honest, most of the comments I’ve read on this thread about Brexit have a distinctly American flavor. I can’t speak for the Brit on the street, but I can say that if you look at the issue through an economic lens, things look a bit different. The bottom line here is that the liberalization of global trade has dramatically improved the wealth of the wealthy, but hasn’t yet trickled down to the common man. The EU, the numerous trade agreements and legislations all affect the common man as an inconvenience, while affecting the 1% as a chance to significantly increase wealth. So I doubt this had anything to do with poor or under-educated. I think the media intentionally played up that angle. I think the underlying issue was the gigantic elephant in the room – the EU arrangement simply didn’t benefit the common person.

          • Robert F says

            Apparently the EU arrangement was in some way benefiting the 48 percent of those that voted; that’s far more than 1 percent of the electorate.

          • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

            Robert, I’m pretty sure you don’t believe that percentage of vote represents percentage of benefit. Would you use the same argument on the Trump phenomenon? There are many benefits to the EU, not least of which is a future of cooperation and mutual agreement. But there is 40 years of data demonstrating that this cooperation has not benefitted people evenly. That’s the economic picture; not the psychological one.

          • The main thing is that after 30+ years the economic theories that said if the rich do well, we all do well have been proven to be utter & complete nonsense. The rising tide did not lift all boats but only the luxury liners. If the rest of us are lucky, the yacht owner might pluck one or two of us out of the wake and allow us to serve in some underling servant capacity. Might.

            The Good Book says the love of money is the root of all evil. I’m not sure why people thought the rich were exempt from this and would become altruistic with their ever burgeoning wealth.

  6. To the post-Leaveangelical wilderness – – I saw this tweet this afternoon:

    “Brexit could be followed by Grexit, Departugal, Italeave, Czechout, Oustria, Finish, Slovakout, Latervia, Byegium.
    Only Remania will stay”.

    But maybe Remania will invite them back together to celebrate old times at their 50th year Euronion.

    • Dan from Georgia says

      Good stuff!

    • They forgot Switcherland.

    • Did you mention Portugo?

    • Christiane says

      poor Latvia, the EU offered a buffer against Russia . . . . the Latvians are only a generation, if that, from Russian control ….. my son’s fiance is Latvian with some Finnish ancestry (she speaks four languages, including Russian), her parents still live in Latvia, an hour outside of Riga, and her grandparents have a farm near her parents’ home . . . . her sister made it to England to settle and her brother has moved to Vancouver ……. Russia looms over the Baltic states and my son’s fiancee says Putin is crazy . . . . lot of tensions there

  7. Well after all if you pick the smart person for the job rather than the stupid person you are discriminating against the stupid person…and we can’t have that! These poor saps. Wait until they get out of school and get introduced to the real world! Microagressions? They’ll never know what hit them.

    I hope this was satire but I read a headline a couple hours ago that the second largest google search in England today was “What is the EU?”

    • Robert F says

      The UK is probably just the first. Nativist nationalism is an extraordinarily powerful force in the postmodern 21st century; it feeds on religious energies, as evidenced by the American evangelical right’s dirty dance with Trump. And apparently there are still plenty of religious energies present throughout Europe, its much vaunted secularism notwithstanding.

  8. Danielle says

    Ever wondered what Trump said in the Playboy Interview? Here are some choice selections:

    • Danielle says

      “How large a role does pure ego play in your deal making and enjoyment of publicity?

      Every successful person has a very large ego.

      Every successful person? Mother Teresa? Jesus Christ?

      Far greater egos than you will ever understand.

      And the Pope?

      Absolutely. Nothing wrong with ego. People need ego, whole nations need ego. I think our country needs more ego, because it is being ripped off so badly by our so-called allies . . . .”

      • flatrocker says

        wow people actually do read playboy for the articles…

        • The big surprise is that Danielle read it! 😉

          • Danielle says

            Being from Baltimore, I hate to surrender my newly-acquired street cred.

            But I’m afraid the truth of the matter is that is easy to find large numbers of people online who already have the article, and are willing to copy it.

    • Danielle says

      What were your other impressions of the Soviet Union?

      I was very unimpressed. Their system is a disaster. What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.

      You mean firm hand as in China?

      When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world—

      • Robert F says

        His public utterances over the decades have been remarkably consistent when it comes to this core attitude about power and its uses, and his admiration for those who ruthlessly smash, and kill, their opponents. This is the real Trump, who won’t change if he’s elected POTUS. Whatever other vacillating he may seem to do on stated policy positions is just a strategy intended to get him to that place in the Oval Office from which he can start to exert power in the way he admires.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          But that core attitude is what Wins in the international Game of Thrones.

          My high school career showed me what happens when you’re meek and reasonable and want to get along, i.e. Weak Prey among the Predators.

          Don’t parade your Vegan Pacifism before Kzinti.

    • Danielle says

      About your own toughness…

      Well, as I said, I study people and in every negotiation, I weigh how tough I should appear. I can be a killer and a nice guy. You have to be everything. You have to be strong. You have to be sweet. You have to be ruthless. And I don’t think any of it can be learned. Either you have it or you don’t. And that is why most kids can get straight As in school but fail in life.

    • Danielle says

      And how would President Trump handle it?

      He would believe very strongly in extreme military strength. He wouldn’t trust anyone. He wouldn’t trust the Russians; he wouldn’t trust our allies; he’d have a huge military arsenal, perfect it, understand it.


      You have taken out full-page ads in several major newspapers that not only concern U.S. foreign trade but call for the death penalty, too. Why?

      Because I hate seeing this country go to hell. We’re laughed at by the rest of the world. In order to bring law and order back into our cities, we need the death penalty and authority given back to the police.

      • Robert F says

        Notice how he loves to speak of himself in the third person, also a remarkably consistent habit that he’s exhibited over the decades.

  9. Robert F says

    In the election, I hope Hillary Clinton does to Trump what Trump did to McMahon in that video: shaves his head (or removes his toupee) in public. God help me.

    • Robert, if she falls into the same trap that the other Republican candidates fell into, meaning name calling and accusations, then she will lose. She is not built like that. She is more about calculation and misdirection, scripted speeches and teleprompters. She cannot match Trump in full bombast mode, and she SHOULDN’T.

      If there are more than a couple of presidential “debates”, and I doubt that there will be more than one, it is going to be Bombast versus “stay the course”.

      • I think Elizabeth Warren is good at getting under Thin Skin Donald’s thin skin, and she seems to relish it. Clinton should let Warren do her dirty work.

        • Christiane says

          I LOVE Elizabeth Warren. Wall Street is terrified of her.

        • Danielle says

          This would be the main reason to run with Warren. She’s actually capable of landing verbal jabs.

          She is also good at explaining Democratic economic positions in terms people understand. Wonky Democrats are terrible at it.

          • Robert F says

            I agree, but Wall Street is issuing ominous warnings to the Democrats that if Warren is the running mate, they won’t contribute….we’ll see….

  10. About the Oregon court case: I tried and failed to think of any reason the government needs to categorize people by sex anymore, now that any two adults can get married. Seems very odd to me but doesn’t seem worth getting worked up about.

    • Robert F says

      Aside from regulating marriage, there are compelling reasons why government categorizes people by sex, among other indices. For instance, without doing so, government would not know that women get less pay than men for the same work in most jobs. Without this knowledge, an important piece of information for understanding the function and dysfunction of society and economy would be missing.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        The great majority of people will still fill in the field with reasonable values – so nothing happens to the ability to index data. When you import a data set for processing the first step to collapse categories or purge; just turn everything not male or female into “other” and proceed. There is not a problem here.

        As for regulating marriage: turn in back into contract law. Which it actually is a hybrid of anyway.

        These are fights over nothing.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Yep, just make in a free form text field that defaults to “whateva”. And lets move on to real issues.

  11. Great Ramble Daniel !

  12. Richard Hershberger says

    In other, sadder news, Dr. Ralph Stanley, 1927-2016. He was the last of the bluegrass pioneers. He struggled financially through most of his career, then saw a late-career bounce after the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” which he cheerfully cashed in on. You can find any number of worthwhile videos on YouTube. Here are just two: the first because it it the one you will see all over the place, and the second, a duet with Patty Loveless, because I really like it:

  13. Robert F says

    I think one of the reasons the exit polls had Remain slightly ahead of Leave for most of the day in the Brexit referendum is that quite a few people would not admit that they voted for Leave, given the opprobrium heaped on the Leave option by much of the media and many leaders and luminaries. I’m afraid the same may be true of the polls showing Clinton ahead of Trump by a significant margin at this time; stealth voters may lie to the polls, and their own family, friends and associates, and vote for Trump anyway.

  14. Robert F says

    I was not impressed with the Democratic sit-in. I’m in favor of legislation regulating the kinds of weapons that can be sold (like the ban on the sale of machine guns that has existed for decades). But that sit-in did nothing to advance any legislation. I found it amusing how much of the media was so taken with it, seeing it as somehow a new and revolutionary and possibly ultimately effective tool in promoting legislative change. Think again.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      The Democrats managed to capture the attention of the media and hold it for more than 30 seconds. Color me impressed. They have not accomplished such a thing in a long time. This, no doubt, very much appealed to the Sanders contingent – which is a bid deal.

  15. I admit to being surprised by Brexit, surprised that the 1% didn’t manage to steal the vote. Those expressing most shock and pain were those Londoners benefitting most from central control and exploitation of the independent minded middle and working class folks, or as they refer to them, “Them.” The elitists and banksters took a heavy hit here. Good for the Brits! This might be their most important contribution against tyranny since the Magna Carta. For those of us who balance out the general mind control of mass media with alternative news sources, these days are far more interesting than Star Wars and Late Great Planet Earth combined. However I need to go work on my winter firewood before it gets hot.

    • Robert F says

      Young Brits are not so happy about it, Charles. They view it as the voting of a heavy older hand out of touch with the future.

      • Robert F says

        Actually, out of touch with the present, and trying to prevent the young, who think of themselves as European, from getting to the future.

      • >> a heavy older hand out of touch with the future.

        An older hand raised on Brave New World and 1984, both written by Brits, today referred to as the New World Order. Look around. My northern English working class grandfather and my pioneer Scotch-Irish grandfather would have been proud. Independence for the first time since 1066. Celebrating my heritage. Hopeful that my own future won’t resemble the shambles of the EU.

        • Robert F says

          Charles, How do you expect there to be spiritual unity, or a new age of spiritual awareness to be upon us (as you’ve said there is), when every nation jealously guards its own interests and history against every other, and looks to the fractious past for the model of what the present and future should be? The history of most of our nation-states is the corporate equivalent to the false self that you say again and again must diminish so that the true Self may be found and flourish in the individual. It’s hard for me to understand how you don’t see this. No new age of spirituality can be upon us unless it includes our corporate existence as nations and peoples.

          • >> No new age of spirituality can be upon us unless it includes our corporate existence as nations and peoples.

            That’s what Jesus said, tho he wasn’t talking about states so much as peoples, and nowhere seemed to think there would be monolithic spiritual awareness. Even the conversion of the Roman Empire was hardly a monolithic spiritual awakening. What is happening now is an increase in the number of people waking up even as the World System seems to remain solidly in control. The outcome of this is uncertain but I am more hopeful than any other time in my life. Sovereignty and free will are key, and the World System hates sovereignty and free will, except for the elite. Spiritual unity does not mean uniformity.

          • Dana Ames says

            Though I don’t necessarily agree that a “new age of spirituality” is dawning, I think I am witnessing a bit of what my friends, who served as missionaries in Uganda for a very long time, have told me repeatedly: culture always wins. That doesn’t always have to be depressing, though sometimes it is.

            In this case, it is not the EU culture, but the British culture, for good or ill, that has emerged. I don’t think it’s all about bigotry and othering. We Americans didn’t get our strong independent streak from nowhere; its dominant flavor is very “British Isles.” England never did go to the Euro, and because of that, I think the economic fallout will end up being negligible after the initial kerfluffle dies down.

            I don’t think the existence of the EU has prevented “every nation jealously guard(ing) its own interests and history against every other” – witness the debacle that is Greece and how the EU states have been handling it. I think the existence and ethos of the EU sort of put the lid on probably healthy cultural expressions of people in its member countries in a way that has helped the fascist-admiring folks to gain traction; push something down here, it pops up there.

            Unity does not have to mean uniformity; what happened to the notion of diversity as a strength? If the European states want a certain trading mechanism, they can have it; that’s what the Common Market was for. Seems to have worked fairly well, as I recall. The no-border aspect of the EU has been seen to be problematic in this age of terrorism; that could also be tweaked without having to have all those countries united. At the time the EU was formed, I didn’t understand why people thought it was necessary. I still don’t.

            “Progress” is not always what it’s cracked up to be.


          • Robert F says

            I can say that I hope that you and Charles are right in your analyses, though I doubt that you are. In the meantime, I’m hoping that Brexit will not be the catalyst that pushes the world into another global recession. I think we’ll know soon enough.

          • Burro [Mule] says

            Any “unity” which is not based on the perichoresis of the Blessed Trinity will eventually involve coercion at some point. That fact is not particularly well hidden in the circles in which Hillary Clinton lives and moves and has her being. You can vote for her if you want to. I will not.

            The problem between the particular and the universal has always been with us, mostly because we are not properly Trinitarian in our hearts. Western Christianity has yawed between the competing poles of the hypertrophic Papacy and the atomism of AW Pink looking askance at his wife over their dinner table.

            The ethne, the tribe or the clan appears to be a natural resting place between the autonomous individual and the emerging oikumene of the Kingdom of God. Here we have the Orthodox model; each nation with its Church, incorporating and redeeming the best elements of each nation’s culture and bringing them into the Session around the common cup.

          • The tribe or clan ultimately amount to das Volk. The trouble with all of them is that they afford no room for the outsider, the other, except possibly on the margins, and only when the tribe/clan/Volk are in a good mood. If there is no room for the outsider or other, there is no room for the Christ.

            Your caricature of Western Christianity gets more than a little tiresome, Mule. It’s not that there’s no truth to it; it’s just that it bends the truth to your tendentious ends.

            You’re damn right I’m gonna vote for Clinton. Better Machiavelli’s Prince than Nietzsche’s Blond Beast (though the self proclaimed Anti-Christ would’ve been embarrassed by this Beast’s vulgarity and ignoble qualities, and most of all his lack of magnanimity).

        • Robert F says

          Britain has chosen to take a path back to a spurious greatness that was never real to begin with, and can’t even exist as an illusion now. Sad.

        • I still need to read those. Currently reading The Handmaiden’s Tale. It is…scary.

        • >>Britain has chosen to take a path back to a spurious greatness that was never real to begin with, and can’t even exist as an illusion now.

          Britain is still covered with ancient Megalithic astronomical and religious observatories that date back far beyond the rise of Sumeria and Egypt and Babylonia. These were huge undertakings and could not have been conceived, never mind actually built, by the primitive peasantry that existed in most of the rest of Europe at that time. There were systems of roads for commerce and most of the present villages in Britain date back to that time. The English language has multiple more times words than most other European languages, and is likely much more ancient. This was all before what you were probably taught was the rise of civilization in the Middle East. You may choose to scoff and deny and denigrate all you want, but you can’t take away what still exists for eyes willing to see. Britain has fallen a long way since then, especially since World War II, but they picked themselves up off the floor with Brexit. I hope they can maintain against the globalists that seek total control of all the world and all within, but it’s a hard fight. The story of St. George and the dragon is not of British origin but he’s the patron saint of Britain and maybe rode by yesterday for a reenactment.

          • Robert F says

            Scotland seems ready to have another referendum to leave the UK, and remain in the EU; Northern Ireland may follow its example. England itself seems to be in the grip of extraordinary bitterness about the outcome of the Brexit vote. St. George may have accidentally left the Balkanization of Britain in his wake.

          • Danielle "Globalist" Du Bois says

            Some claim that my family, on my father’s side, can trace its pedigree to Charlemagne.

            In the modern world, this fact and $2.50 will buy me a cup of coffee.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Young Brits, Scots, Northen Irish, the Intelligentsia – all were against it.

      Name me one time in history where anti-intellectual chest thumping yielded good fruits in the long term.

    • And of course, Putin just love the Brexit: a united Europe would be much harder for him to intimidate and push around than a fractured one.

    • “Britain is still covered with ancient Megalithic astronomical and religious observatories that date back far beyond the rise of Sumeria and Egypt and Babylonia. These were huge undertakings and could not have been conceived, never mind actually built, by the primitive peasantry that existed in most of the rest of Europe at that time. There were systems of roads for commerce and most of the present villages in Britain date back to that time. The English language has multiple more times words than most other European languages, and is likely much more ancient. This was all before what you were probably taught was the rise of civilization in the Middle East. You may choose to scoff and deny and denigrate all you want, but you can’t take away what still exists for eyes willing to see. Britain has fallen a long way since then, especially since World War II, but they picked themselves up off the floor with Brexit. I hope they can maintain against the globalists that seek total control of all the world and all within, but it’s a hard fight. The story of St. George and the dragon is not of British origin but he’s the patron saint of Britain and maybe rode by yesterday for a reenactment.. ”

      Charles, I’m not sure where in the world you live, but the Britain you describe is not the one I live in. As can be seen by the numerous incidents of racial hatred which have been reported since the result of the vote, the main reason for the Brexit voters to vote out was immigration. The Brexit campaigners wove a compelling anti-immigration narrative and unfortunately those unable or unwilling to research further were taken in by the rhetoric. We are a tiny island, our heavy industries destroyed by Thatcher and co – where I live in the NE of Scotland we are facing unprecedented unemployment due to the current oil industry crisis – things are looking pretty bleak to be honest – and now we have a vote to leave the EU which will probably mean a new Scottish referendum (which may or may not be good for us in Scotland, but it certainly plays into the hands of the SNP who have been clamouring for IndyRef2 since losing the last one) and before we know it I will need a passport to visit my daughter in England. All we need now is for Boris to become PM and Trump to become president – then I’ll know it’s time to leave the planet!

      • Robert F says

        The Brexit campaigners have been lying from the beginning. They’ve known all along that the UK requires large numbers of immigrants, and much fluidity across borders, to survive. What they seem to have actually wanted was to stoke the xenophobic fires that exist in Britain, which they’ve succeeded at wonderfully, as the anti-immigrant acts that have occurred since the vote illustrate. Shame.

        God bless you and yours, Scotty.

  16. melissatheragamuffin says

    I liked the Babylon Bee one about the Calvinists sense of superiority being visible from faith. I liked it even more that it was a shadow – darkness. LOL! Pretty much how I feel about Calvinism.

  17. Robert F says

    Ominous dark clouds
    threaten my watering pot
    with redundancy.

  18. The list is not wrong about how people with disabilities, by and large, feel about what we often refer to as the “I word”. There was a great poll on worst terms to use for someone with a disability, and the results were sorted between crips and able-bodieds. The top ten lists shared a few: mong, retard, etc. The one that sorted for only responses by those who had disabilities however had both inspiration and brave within the top 4.

    More of us would rather be called a retard by a outwardly othering person you can just write off than inspiring by some lady at the grocery store who you are expected to respond to positively when you’d rather just pick between yellow and white onions. (That is not a made-up example.)

    There are non-pejorative uses of the word inspiring for your friend with a disability, but you had better BE friends, and whatever they just did had better actually inspire you to do something. If you find yourself using the word on a stranger who appears to be doing a perfectly normal life activity in an accessible establishment, don’t expect a positive reaction.

  19. “And by the way, you know the state of our Congress is terrible when you see a bunch of politicians sitting on their butts and think to yourself, “Wow, they’re finally doing something!””

    Epic quote of the week. I hope you didn’t rip it off Jimmy Fallon or somebody b/c I’m gonna be citing Daniel Jepsen.

    Ticket Master settled their class action lawsuit and is giving out vouchers, not tickets. I have friends IRL that received vouchers but all of the “eligible events” are closed. They gave out the vouchers, keeping up their end of the deal, but the recipients still don’t have anything to show for it.

  20. On the Brexit, virtually none of my British friends, most of whom are Christians, voted Leave, and virtually all were dismayed by the result of the vote. So was I. Anger makes for unwise decisions and that is what we are seeing in both Britain and here in the US with Trump.

    As for Falwell Jr. I can’t say I’m surprised. A caricature of what Christianity should be at best, but that’s the culture war for you. However, interesting that a lot of the reaction seemed to focus on the Playboy issue in the background. To me it just demonstrates American Christianity’s ongoing imbalanced focus on one category of sin at the expense of others. Trump has consistently been xenophobic, said racist things, been misogynistic, advocated violence, cheated and mistreated contractors, and much more, all completely at odds with following Jesus. Yet Falwell’s biggest mistake and hypocrisy is the Playboy mag on Trump’s wall? Huh?

  21. Heather Angus says

    Late to the Brexit party, but I did want to say: My head was with Remain, but my heart was with Leave. (My head notes that my IRA amount took a nosedive.)

    After the Smugs have ignored the middle and working classes for years, in pursuit of globalization, I’m kind of glad to see them get smacked upside the head.

    Of course, the Smugs won’t give any thought as to WHY the likes of Brexit, Trump, and even Sanders are proving so “unexpectedly” strong.

    They’ll just keep on whining that these pathetic lower classes are too uneducated and dumb to understand why it’s good for their country’s workers, who have battled hard for any rights they ever got, are now logically supposed to be happy to compete with people from Bangladesh whose desperate poverty compels them to labor 14 hours a day, without safety regulations, benefits, or hope, for $2. It’s the corporations’ dream come true!

    • Brianthedad says


    • Ok. It’s just that Bangladesh isn’t in the EU and nothing about this vote will actually change that…

      Oh and Farage is now saying immigration won’t stop.

      • Robert F says

        Yeah, the Brexit leaders now are walking-back their promises about immigration; either somebody just told them that Britain’s economy needs the free flow of immigrants, as well as goods, back and forth across borders to survive, or they were lying from the get-go to manipulate the British to the Brexit end they desired. And as it turns out, more of these immigrants to the UK come from Poland than from India; that’s something I didn’t know.

        • The best explanation I have heard is that they didn’t expect to win, didn’t plan for the consequences of winning and now are sort of at a loss for what to do next.

          • Robert F says

            That makes sense. Dunderheads should’ve remembered to be careful what they wished for…

  22. A song for the Thames, and for Britain, be it great or little: