Goodbye and good riddance, John Kelly

One thing I have learned to do during the Trump administration is largely ignore the predictions of pundits about two things: what special prosecutor Robert Mueller is doing or plans to do, and personal changes in the White House and Trump administration generally. The former is a waste of time because Mueller seems to be very good at running a tight, leak-free ship so that all speculations lack any basis, and the latter because predicting who will stay and who will go in the Trump administration is a fool’s game when the decisions are being made by some who seems to care little for competence and due process and seems to go by moods and whims. It is best to just wait for an actual event.
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Falling for Jesus, if you know what I mean (and I think you do)

We know that for some reason, many Christians really enjoy all the gory details of the torture and crucifixion of Jesus and can’t seem to get enough of it, as witnessed by the success of Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ which I refused to see because I heard that it was one long continuous orgy of violence. There is a Christian theme park in Orlando, Florida (whose multimillionaire owners take full advantage of all the tax loopholes that the US gives to religious groups to enrich themselves) and that also wallows in the violence in staging the crucifixion scene several times a day with lifelike special effects as Jesus gets brutalized by the Roman guards. The audiences apparently love seeing it, which utterly mystifies me.
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Bernie Sanders appears on Stephen Colbert’s show

He received a sustained and enthusiastic response from the audience and then he and Colbert had an extremely substantive discussion about important issues and how so many of the ideas that he pushed that were considered fringe are now part of the mainstream conversation. You can easily see that Sanders, as a lifelong socialist, has held these views for a long time and is not just pushing them for short-term political gain.
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Is no sport safe from bad behavior?

Whenever I rail against unethical and rude behavior in sports, fans of curling have pointed out to me that that game exhibits the highest standards of sportsmanship and it did seem to be the case and I became a convert. Hence I was saddened to read about bad behavior in curling. In one case, a Russian curler was stripped of his Winter Olympics bronze medal after he admitted to doping

Krushelnitsky had initially protested his innocence after testing positive for the banned heart drug meldonium, claiming his drink had been spiked. However on Thursday he dropped his appeal before he was officially banned by the court of arbitration for sport.

It means that the medal won by Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova will be awarded to the Norway pair of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, who had originally finished fourth.

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Heather Heyer’s killer found guilty of murder

Alex Fields Jr. was the 21-year old man from Ohio who went to the neo-Nazi ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville last year and was the driver of the car that drove through a crowd of protestors against the rally, killing 32-year old Heather Heyer and injuring numerous others. At his trial, he pleaded that he had feared for his life and was trying to escape and that there was no deliberate attempt to harm anyone. Today a jury took less than a day of deliberations to find him guilty of murder.

He faces 20 years to life in prison and will be sentenced at a later date.

The jury at Charlottesville City Circuit Court, which deliberated for less than a day, found him guilty on all the charges including murder; five counts of aggravated malicious wounding; three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit and run.

Fields, from Ohio, also faces 30 other federal charges relating to hate crimes to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Thank goodness that orgy of absolution is over

The weeklong orgy of official lamentation over the death of former president George H. W. Bush, including the mystifying tradition of declaring a federal holiday, is finally over. It has served its purpose of such events, to scrub away all the misdeeds that the president committed and leave everyone with the impression that things were so much better in the past when presidents were decent and honorable people and all the awful acts by the current president are just an aberration that we must endure until he leaves office and the dignity of the office is restored by a new person.
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The Kevin Hart problem

Comedian Kevin Hart was tapped to host the 2019 Academy Awards and then it was discovered that he had made homophobic tweets about a decade ago. When asked about them he said that all that was in the past and that people should not be held accountable for what they said a long time ago and that he has grown since then. He refused to apologize for them. But that did not end the controversy and the Academy asked him to apologize or that he would be replaced. He still refused to apologize but then issued a statement saying that he was withdrawing from the event and also issued an apology of a sort.
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The battle over Christmas is over

The idea that December is now a general season of celebration for everyone has taken hold, aided by the addition of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to the mix. The commercialization of Christmas, with retailers seeking to draw everyone in to the gift-giving frenzy whatever their religious beliefs further cements that idea, and you can be sure that ‘Happy Holidays’ and ‘Season’s Greetings’ will remain in stores despite all the efforts of the Christian warriors, aided by that extremely religious person Donald Trump, to force people to only say ‘Merry Christmas’, though that too has been largely drained of any religious sentiment.
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