Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Permanant Deflation of Tom Brady's Star In the Court of Public Opinion

THIS OP/ED IN THE NY POST TODAY FOLLOWING THE NEWS OF TOM BRADY'S NFL SUSPENSION BEING UPHELD, proves once again that no matter how much fame and fortune a man may achieve, it's never, ever enough:

He couldn’t smash his own cellphone — he had to tell a flunky to do it. That’s how privileged Tom Brady has grown. It’s one telling detail in an appalling fall.

With his smug defense of his Deflategate coverup, Brady has turned a fairy tale — from 199th pick in the NFL draft to perhaps the greatest quarterback ever, with four Super Bowl rings, a supermodel wife and mansions ’round the world — into trash.

He stands exposed as a scoundrel — quick to cheat, cover up and still preen.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell likely would’ve shown mercy on the Patriots quarterback had the star not engaged in “destruction of relevant evidence” — mainly, the cellphone the NFL had asked to examine, to check for texts with team staffers fingered for deflating Brady’s balls before last fall’s AFC championship game. Brady ranted, “I replaced my broken Samsung phone . . . after my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under any circumstances.”

The gazillionaire next talked up his union membership — a pathetic play for sympathy. Then he falsely implied that he’d been disciplined for the evidence-destruction. No, Tom, it was the cheating. Fine: The NFL process is no court of law.

But you won’t impress many fans by airily declaring evidence off-limits to investigators — and then having your minion trash it. What’s next? Brady — backed by Patriots management and his union — is headed to court to contest the suspension. Maybe he’ll win. In the American court of public opinion, though, Tom Brady’s reputation stands permanently deflated. 

And we won't even talk about Gisele's recent burqa-wearing stunt in Paris  recently.  Frankly, who cares whether she gets plastic surgery?  It's the hypocrisy that people are turned off by.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday At River Crossing--Day of Decision


Friday, July 24, 2015

Blue Angels Fly Over Jackson Hole This Week


THE BLUE ANGELS, the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, flies over the Teton Range on Tuesday afternoon. The aerobatic team, consisting of six aviators from the Navy and Marines flying F/A-18 Hornets, made three passes over the range for a photo op on their way to an air show in Fargo, N.D. LINK.

Thanks Judy for sending this stunning Wingman photo.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fascinating Lawsuit in the Culture/Religious Wars---As Nuns Intensify Fight To Prevent Sale of Convent to Katy Perry


ARE THERE ANY FASCINATING LAWSUITS THESE DAYS?  Well yes, actually: My ongoing legal proceedings with Abe's Garden.

Aside from that, there are a few others I think are well-worth following as Sisters Rita Callahan and Catherine Rose Holzman (pictured above) fight to block Katy Perry from buying their beloved, old convent in LA. The sisters do not like her, her lower cash deal or anything about her offer. They're revving it up with a top  LA law firm to play hardball with Perry, some of their other convent sisters and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.  Gosh, this sounds familiar.

This from the NY Times article Monday:
Poverty, chastity, obedience — and they are still barring the door to Katy Perry. 

In a pair of legal filings on Friday, two nuns who object to Ms. Perry's proposed purchase of their order's convent on eight acres here disclosed an email describing any sale to the saucy pop singer as a breach of their sacred vows.

"In selling to Katy Perry, we feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church," Sister Catherine Rose Holzman wrote to an official of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on May 22, as competing deals for the property, valued at about $15 million, were being considered
Whether the Los Feliz-area Mediterranean villa and acreage go to Ms. Perry or to her rival, the developer Dana Hollister, may depend on a decision by Judge Robert H. O'Brien of Superior Court in Los Angeles County. Judge O'Brien is expected to consider arguments in a case filed against Ms. Hollister by José H. Gomez, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, at a hearing on July 30. 

Friday's filings by Sister Catherine Rose, 86, and Sister Rita Callanan, 77, include a memorandum opposing the archbishop, and declarations peppered with intimate details about church dealings. They add heat to a dispute that is already complicated by a possible clash between canon and civil law, and the decision by the nuns to reveal their distaste for Ms. Perry in public interviews late last month.

The court papers include claims by several of five surviving nuns in the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the archdiocese is betraying them and bullying them into supporting a sale other than their preferred transaction with Ms. Hollister. That deal would pay about $10 million for the convent, but with little cash up front, while giving the archdiocese more than $5 million to buy out its long-term lease on a retreat house for priests that also occupies the hillside plot on Waverly Drive. Under its terms, the nuns contend in their filings, they would directly control the proceeds, rather than having them administered by officials of the archdiocese. 

Their rejection of Ms. Perry's slightly lower cash offer — under diocesan control — now borders on schism. (It appears the Catholic hierarchy much prefers Ms. Perry's upfront cash deal and the control it gives them rather than the more money later deal.) Their filings included a letter titled "How the Chancery Stole Waverly," which was sent to the archbishop on June 13 by Sister Jean-Marie Dunne, 88, who previously filed a declaration supporting the sale to Ms. Perry and did not join in Friday's action. 

After a litany of objections to the archdiocese's attempt to assert control over the nuns' civil nonprofit, Sister Jean-Marie's letter concluded: "All of the above would and should have been avoided if the chancery personnel possessed a modicum of humility and honesty." 

Instead, she added, "they seem obsessed with their misconception of their sovereign, ecclesiastical canonical importance." (She later suggested that the archdiocese "even the score" by putting $3 million in the Immaculate Heart bank account.) 

Representatives of the archdiocese have argued that their only concern is to get the best deal for a now-dispersed group of aging nuns, who would continue to own the proceeds of any sale. Under the terms of Ms. Perry's deal, those would include a new priestly retreat house in the Pasadena area — though Sister Rita and Sister Catherine Rose say they view ownership of that house as a liability. 

"I would like to reiterate my continued commitment to all of the Immaculate Heart sisters that the archdiocese will take care of them and ensure their well-being now and in the future," Archbishop Gomez said in a statement on Saturday. 

Like Sister Jean-Marie, Sister Marie Victoriano, 88, and Sister Marie Christine Muñoz Lopez, 82, have filed declarations in support of the archbishop. But Sister Rita and Sister Catherine Rose, in a filing prepared by the lawyers from the Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtingher law firm, a Hollywood powerhouse, have questioned the validity of at least the Dunne and Lopez declarations.

Sister Jean-Marie, they noted, expressed opposition to the sale both before and after signing her statement, and Sister Marie Christine, they said, was observed to be "woozy" and under the influence of morphine at about the time church officials asked her for a declaration of support.Sister Marie Victoriano said in an email on Sunday, "I have great confidence in the archbishop's decision and have no concern whatsoever."

Sister Jean-Marie did not respond to an email query on Sunday. Sister Marie Christine could not be reached at her home in a Los Angeles care facility. The five nuns have been living separately since leaving their convent, which was acquired from a benefactor, Daniel J. Donohue, in 1971.
J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the archdiocese, disputes claims that the declarations of support were improperly secured. 

Judge O'Brien is now being asked to decide whether the archdiocese relied too heavily on canon law in taking control of the nuns' temporal affairs, without meeting the demands of civil law. Mr. Hennigan said the archdiocese in no way neglected civil requirements. The Vatican, he added, has clearly decreed that no sister or group of sisters should be involved in the governance of their nonprofit. 

It is clear that several of the nuns do not trust the promises of care. Sister Rita and Sister Catherine Rose say the archdiocese misappropriated a final bequest of $250,000 from Mr. Donohue, who died in 2014, and has failed in its obligation to maintain the existing retreat house.
Fascinating fundamentals and cast of characters. While I certainly identify and sympathize with the plight of Sisters Rita and Catherine Rose, I still don't know enough to make an intelligent guess about the validity of their claims. It seems some of the dispute might be settled within the church hierarchy as far as possible, with what's left settled within the civil courts of Los Angeles. I wish these gutsy ladies well and plan to follow their case closely.

Gay Baker Jesse Bartholomew Chastises Fellow Gays For Wanting to Force Anyone to Do Their Wedding Cake Who Doesn't Want To

THIS GAY BAKER JESSE BARTHOLOMEW IS 100% CORRECT:  No one should be forced to bake a wedding cake or do any preparations for a gay wedding who doesn't agree or want to.  There are plenty of other people who will gladly do it. Can't embed it, but link to Jesse's rant is here.

He can't tell his fellow gays and lesbians how disgusted he is with them and their bullying. Shame on them, according to Bartholomew.

Radical gay Nazis are wrong to try to force everyone to agree and celebrate gay marriage. It will never work and just another form of forced religion. The backlash will be not be pretty.

Truth is,  citizens in our country are free to object for religious reasons or for no reason at all.   Or. For. No. Reason. At. All. Would gay bakers want  hetero conservatives to force them to do anything they don't want to do, including being dragged to church to  'get religion'?

Of course not. But radical gays want a double standard.  They want their cake and eat it too.

Thank you Jesse Bartholomew for speaking truth to nonsense.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

John Piper On Romans 9:20: Who Are We, Mere Mortals, To Question God?

OUR POSITION IS TO BE THAT OF UTTER SUBMISSION TO GOD. We can humbly ask for God's help and guidance however. Of course, this submission is easier said than done, and always involves a serious inner struggle.

The End of the Road For Cosby and Trump

I KNOW IT'S SUNDAY AND I INTEND TO DO ANOTHER POST SOON AFTER THIS SHORT ONE. Still I'd like to take a minute to say how painfully obvious it is that both Bill Cosby and Donald Trump have completely lost whatever vestige of reputation each of them had left in the public eye.

With the publicity surrounding Cosby's newly released 2005 deposition admitting he used drugs to seduce vulnerable women, there's no doubt that Bill's career has come to the end of the road, not a minute too soon.

It didn't take Donald Trump nearly as long to self-destruct with his latest arrogant stunt comments on Senator John McCain not being a war hero. Terrible and shameful, especially since John refused his prison release until all his fellow POWs were let out with him. This opened him up to additional torture and extreme suffering. BTW, I am no great fan of McCain but have to take his side in this one whether he did anything heroic on the battlefield or not. Rod Dreher has a short piece up on Trump's demise.

All I can say now to both is Good, Good Riddance. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chattanooga's Darkest Days

SATURDAY UPDATE CHATTANOOGA IS WITHOUT DOUBT MY FAVORITE CITY IN TENNESSEE, IF NOT THE WHOLE COUNTRY. Smart, conservative, affluent, outdoorsy, beautiful and brimming with opportunity, Chattanooga has managed to hold on to its exquisite quality-of-life and unique character in  ways that Nashville is losing at warp speed.

Nashville has become just another too-big, generic city taken over by developers. But that's another blog post for another day. The sadness I, and we all, feel for this terrible lone-terrorist shooting of four---now five---unarmed Marines in Chattanooga Thursday cannot be exaggerated. It is especially painful knowing it will happen again and again because this country seems to be hellbent on liberal and insane policies of niceness, political correctness and turning a blind eye to the obvious: Marines and soldiers should be armed, anyone named Muhammad who travels to the Middle East needs to be on a terrorist watch list and the US needs to declare war---REAL WAR--- on ISIS and radical Islam as well as illegal immigration---just to name a few.

The deterioration of the moral and political fabric of our country---and the accelerated speed at which the race-to-the-bottom is occurring---sometimes leaves me speechless.  Learning of a video of a little Muslim boy beheading an adult infidel---which I could not watch---is almost the last straw.

Anyone who wonders why Donald Trump, brash and uncouth as he sometimes comes across, is rising in the polls needs look no further than Chattanooga, or El Paso or even New York for answers.  People are getting fed up fast and grasping for bold independent leadership.  God help us if we don't find it soon.  Irregardless of politics,  I like Trump because he's not afraid to say what he thinks, mean what he says and let the chips fall where they may.

God bless all those families and citizens in Chattanooga who are suffering and may our country make some quick adjustments to policies long-overdue for revamping.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Amphitheater Lake: Going to the Top of the World

MY HEAVY-HITTER HIKING FRIENDS in Jackson Hole who live here mostly year-round think nothing of doing a 12-mile hike with 3,000' altitude gain. After all, they have all those coveted red blood cells that pick up every morsel of the scant oxygen floating around in these higher atmospheric realms.

But me,  just here from lower lands, I have to wait patiently for my body and blood to acclimatize and make more reds as I heavy breathe my way up mountains. It gets a little better every week, but in truth, complete acclimatization doesn't happen for months---about the time I have to go back to Tennessee.  Still, every new red helps.

Yesterday, a patient friend invited me to hike up to Amphitheater Lake assuring me he knew I could do it. I couldn't turn him down though I knew pain and suffering lay ahead up that trail.

When hiking,  there are three things I pay attention to:  Shortness of breath, energy and joint pain.  My energy and lack of pain were terrific all the way up, but I had to stop  often for 30-60 seconds to catch my breath.  Coming down energy and breath were fine...but the knee pain began and got worse as we worked our way back down 20 switchbacks before taking the last, long  ridge down to the parking area in GTNP. Going down can often be the hardest part in some ways.

Long and short,  I should have taken an ALEVE in my pack and downed it at our lovely rest break at Amphitheater Lake before starting back.  It's amazing how much it helps.  Next time, for sure.

Last night I took an ibuprofen before going to bed and it's amazing how energized and pain-free I am today---though I will take it much easier for a little while.

In the beginning, middle and end, it's all Grace that enables me to get up and walk up to almost the top of the world again this year.   I am so fortunate to have friends to do these gorgeous hikes with.

I am deeply grateful, more so each year.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday: Tim Witmer Shares the Apostle Paul's Antedote to Worry

THIS IS A WONDERFUL MESSAGE TO REMIND US WORRIERS---AREN'T WE ALL THERE SOMETIME?---WHAT TO DO WHEN WE'RE IN A DARK PLACE. Essentially, it's about how we can stop digging ourselves deeper into the grave of negativity and despair. It works every time. It's a message I need to hear early and often from the Apostle Paul through this article by Tim Witmer:

What? Me Worry?” Those of us who are old enough remember Alfred E. Neumann’s mindless approach to worry. Similarly, Bobby McFerrin’s smash hit “Don’t Worry Be Happy” resonated with millions of people who just hoped that it could be that easy. It isn’t.

All of us wrestle with anxiety. After all, there are lots of things to worry about: money, health, family, career—you can fill in the rest.

One of the more popular approaches to addressing worry these days is the suggestion to set aside a thirty-minute period of time to do your worrying. Have you ever tried this? It doesn’t work. Trying to confine worry to a time slot is about as doable as herding cats.

The good news is that the Scriptures give us clear direction when the burdens of life press in upon us. Paul was a man who had a lot to worry about. There were all those struggling new churches, his concern for those who had not yet heard the gospel, not to mention his own health and safety. But it was while he was under confinement in Rome that he wrote some of the most memorable words on worry and anxiety, words that God has used to encourage His people ever since.

These remarkable words are found in Philippians 4:6–8. In these verses we are given two antidotes to anxiety that we will explore below. Instead of Worrying, Pray In vv. 6-7, Paul writes: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. These are amazing words.

We are told not to worry about anything but to pray about everything. There are several different words for “prayer” in v. 6. The first is a general word for prayer but the second two words refer to specific prayer requests. We worry specifically, so we need to pray specifically. Worried about that unexpected bill? Pray specifically for the Lord’s provision. Worried about that diagnosis? Pray specifically for wisdom for the way forward.

Remarkably, we are promised that when we pray, the Lord will give us peace instead of anxiety. It is a kind of peace that defies the circumstances that we face. God’s peace is not the absence of conflict but a settled security grounded in our relationship with Him. Paul writes that the resultant peace will safeguard our hearts and minds.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones described it this way: What will happen is that this peace of God will walk round the ramparts and towers of our life. We are inside, and the activities of the heart and mind are producing those stresses and anxieties and strains from the outside. But the peace of God will keep them all out and we ourselves inside will be at perfect peace. Don’t forget to pray.

But Paul doesn’t stop there. He gives us another antidote to anxiety. Think about What You Think About. There is good reason that v. 8 follows vv. 6–7. In vv. 6–7, we are told that prayer is the place to begin. In v. 8, we are told what to think about instead of worrying. To be honest with you, I don’t know anyone who can pray all the time. Paul gives us some important principles to think about instead of worrying. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (v. 8) Essentially, we are being challenged to think about what we think about. Each of these words represents a brand-new vista to replace the worry weeds that can crowd into the landscape of our minds.

Just take the first phrase, “whatever is true.” This is the foundation for all the rest. We are blessed to have the truth of God’s Word, which includes all His wonderful promises. Worried about finances? The truth is that “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (4:19). Worried that you won’t have the strength to carry on? The truth is that “I can do all things through Him that strengthens me” (4:13). If you are feeling lonely, isolated, or neglected, the truth is that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

Instead of worrying, spend some time plumbing the depths of this new way of thinking. You will notice that these antidotes to anxiety take into account your vertical relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Remember to look up to the One who hears you when you cry out to Him and who has given you His amazing promises to reflect and meditate on in the midst of the storms of life.
Please note, this is not about secular 'positive thinking' It's about focusing on the truth and beauty of the glories and promises of God and what he's done for us through his son Jesus Christ and what he's yet to do. SOURCE: Tim Challies

Friday, July 10, 2015

Bill Whittle: History Lesson On Democrats---Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey

SATURDAY UPDATE: TRUMP WINS WHITE HOUSE DOSSIER POLL DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS? LOOK IT UP. Good job, Bill. This is worth the time it takes to watch and learn (or relearn) 10 times over. From PJMedia Afterburner: The Dems want to pin the Confederate Flag, KKK, Great Depression, urban decay, and harsh marriage laws on the GOP… pin the tale on the Donkey instead, shouts Bill Whittle in response. Review the truths about the 16th, 17th and 18th amendments. Don't believe any of this? Look it up on the Internet.

Then listen to it again.

 Growing up in small town American, my father was a big Republican and businessman who employed hundreds of people in our town in Tennessee. I never, once, in my entire life heard him say one racial slur or racist remark----ever. Speaking the n-word  in our home was completely verboten. My father employed more than his share of blacks---or colored people as we called them back then---in our town and many of them prospered.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

UAL, NYSE, WSJ, ZH Have All Gone Down This Morning---Is This A Concerted Cyberattack?


After a series of cyber failures involving first UAL (United Airlines), then this website (ZeroHedge), then the NYSE which is still halted, then the WSJ, some have suggested that this could be a concerted cyber attack focusing on the US. So we decided to look at a real-time cyber attack map courtesy of Norsecorp which provides real time visibility into global cyber attacks. What clearly stands out is that for some reason Chinese hackers really are focusing on St. Louis this morning.

I suppose we won't know for a while, but it certainly looks like these failures are no coincidences. But NYSE says it's nothing more than a technical glitch that's frozen the floor.

Mother Raccoon Teaches Kit to Climb a Tree


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday--- Recharging Our Imaginations With A Sense of Adventure and Supernatural Power

AND AGAIN.... Enemies will unite that seek to corrupt all goodness, steal the light from this world.....

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Over Togwotee Pass: Coming Into the High Country This Week

MY FINAL DESCENT INTO JACKSON HOLE TUESDAY EVENING was over the most beautiful highway of all: the almost 10,000' continental divide known as Togwotee Pass. I had driven almost 3,000 miles from Nashville via Houston and Laramie. This view was a sight for sore eyes.

As I drove over and down the pass, I stopped to check water levels and fishing conditions of some of my favorite tertiary tributaries of the Snake.  Then I called Marty. Water conditions up high all looking good. He, of course, already knew this and wondered, Where you been?

I replied, It doesn't matter,  I'm here now.

When I got  into the Valley, to my place, I was so tired, I fell into, onto the bed and went fast asleep with all my clothes on.  I must have slept for 10 hours without moving.   I'm just now beginning to come back to life again after two days.  Altitude adjustment and time-zone change are always a challenge.

I thank God to be here. I thank God too for the past several days of real down time.