Assange blocked from internet, so supporters bring down US sites

Wikileaks has been releasing hacked e-mails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton, so–surprise!–the head of that enterprise, Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, has had his access to the internet cut off. In retaliation, his supporters are hacking into major American service providers, bringing down major sites, such as Amazon, Twitter, PayPal, Reddit, and more.

Assange, who can’t leave the embassy lest he be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, is telling his supporters that they have made their point and should call off the attacks, which have mainly affected the East Coast.

We depend on the internet, but how fragile it is!

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The teams with longest championship drought made the World Series

The two teams that have gone the longest without winning a championship are in the World Series this year.  The Chicago Cubs last won it all in 1908. The Cleveland Indians won it in 1948.

That these two teams have conquered their respective leagues should be encouraging news for all other losers.

I’m pulling for the Cubs, in honor of my late father, a die-hard Cubs fan.

Which team are you for?  Why?  What are your predictions?

What you need to know about the series, after the jump.

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Restoring society by going to Church 

In the course of a review of R. R. Reno’s Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, Texas A&M professor James R. Rogers (an LCMS Lutheran) observes that most people on every side assume that going to church is a private activity.  Christians are urged to go outside the walls of their churches to change society.

But it’s within the walls of churches that God works and society is changed.  Dr. Rogers quotes St. Ignatius of Antioch:

Take heed to meet together frequently for thanksgiving [eucharis] to God and for his glory. For when you meet together frequently, the powers of Satan are cast down, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith.

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The “Bill Clinton is worse” fallacy

Donald Trump responds to videos and testimonies about his treatment of women by saying, “But Bill Clinton is worse!”  He brings together some of Bill’s victims for a press conference and invites them to the debates.  But I don’t see how Bill’s sexual transgressions and his being a sexual predator can be used to discredit Hillary Clinton.

Isn’t the wife of an adulterer one of his victims?  Isn’t Hillary the Wronged Woman?

What do we want her to do?  Divorce him?  I thought we didn’t believe in divorce.

But she “enabled” her husband’s bad behavior by denying it and attacking the women who accused him.  But isn’t this kind of denial a defense mechanism, part of the “Stand by Your Man” syndrome? [Read more…]

What Trump gets right

The empty factories have their windows broken and weeds are taking over the parking lots, but they remain as monuments of the prosperity that rust-belt cities used to enjoy.  Small towns in the heartland have downtowns with shop windows boarded up.  Their young people either move away the first chance they get, looking for work, or they stay with many of them getting hooked on crystal meth or heroin.  A large number of the displaced workers in both the cities and the towns have given up on marriage and have stopped going to church, such is their despair.

What has happened to many of our cities and our small town culture–which used to be the Norman Rockwell vision of America–is tragic.  Here we see where economics and culture come together, destroying each other.

Who’s to blame?  Wal-Mart or Amazon for destroying America’s small retailers?  Corporations closing factories here and opening them overseas in lands of cheap labor?  Can or should anything be done about it?  Maybe these are just casualties of the market’s “creative destruction.”  But we are writing off a good part of America.

Donald Trump is pretty much the only one in either party who shows any concern whatsoever about the plight of America’s working class. [Read more…]

The new and improved Iraqi army

The way the Iraqi army used to deal with ISIS, when that movement was taking large swaths of the country, was to throw down their weapons and run away.  But now the Iraqi army is winning battles against ISIS.   This is due to a replacement of corrupt officers, intense training at the hands of U.S. and coalition troops, and the increased confidence that comes from victories.

This week the Iraqis have started an offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, with over a million inhabitants.  This will mean house-to-house fighting against the best ISIS has to offer.   That will be the Iraqi army’s biggest test.

Jim Michaels gives details after the jump. [Read more…]