Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Last Call For The Christmas Taliban Strikes Again

It's that time of the year again where the Christian outrage police go after businesses for not being Christian enough when it comes to the holiday season, because as we all know any business that doesn't put Jesus on everything after Halloween must hate Christians and must be destroyed.

Starbucks, on Sunday, addressed criticism for removing symbols of the Christmas season from its cups, and making them just plain red with the company logo. Starbucks reportedly came under fire from a Christian group in the U.S. which accused the coffee company of waging a "war on Christmas." 
Starbucks removed the usual array of decorative images such as Christmas trees and snowflakes that adorned the cups in previous holidays with a simple red cup with their green and white logo. 
Starbucks reportedly said in a statement Sunday that it tries "to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity," adding that the cup is meant to be a "blank canvas" that encourages "customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way." 
Joshua Feuerstein -- a former pastor who calls himself a "social media personality" -- posted a video on Facebook last week, criticizing Starbucks for removing "Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus." 
In an email to CNNMoney Sunday, Feuerstein noted that his video has had more than 10 million views. 
"I think Starbucks has gotten the message that the Christian majority in this country has awakened and are demanding that our voice be heard," Feuerstein reportedly wrote.

These of course are the same evangelical Christians who say they are being victimized by the evil gay mafia over same-sex marriage, victimized by schools for not teaching Bible classes, victimized by other religions for being allowed to exist in a "Christian country" even though the Constitution expressly forbids such things, and on and on.

We've gotten to the point now where a red coffee cup is "anti-Jesus"

If this is your Christianity, I want no part of it.

Welcome To Bevinstan, Con't

A whole bunch of Kentuckians didn't think Matt Bevin would ever take Medicaid away from people like them, but that's exactly who and what they voted for last week.  Now that Bevin plans to make good on his promises, they're pretty damn scared.

Dennis Blackburn has this splintered self-interest. The 56-year-old mechanic hasn’t worked in 18 months, since he lost his job at a tire company that supplies a diminishing number of local coal mines. “The old guy had to go home,” Blackburn says of his layoff. 
He has a hereditary liver disorder, numbness in his hands and legs, back pain from folding his 6-foot-1-inch frame into 29-inch mine shafts as a young man, plus an abnormal heart rhythm — the likely vestige of having been struck by lightning 15 years ago in his tin-roofed farmhouse. 
Blackburn was making small payments on an MRI he’d gotten at Pikeville Medical Center, the only hospital in a 150-mile radius, when he heard about Big Sandy’s Shelby Valley Clinic. There he met Fleming, who helped him sign up for one of the managed-care Medicaid plans available in Kentucky. 
On Election Day, Blackburn voted for Bevin because he is tired of career politicians and thought a businessman would be more apt to create the jobs that Pike County so needs. Yet when it comes to the state’s expansion of health insurance, “it doesn’t look to me as if he understands,” Blackburn said. “Without this little bit of help these people are giving me, I could probably die. . . . It’s not right to not understand something but want to stamp it out.”

Well sorry Dennis.  You voted for the guy who ran on taking health care away from you.  Steve Benen isn't exactly sorry for Dennis here either.

My point is not to be unsympathetic. It seems this man is facing serious health issues and I can only hope he, and others like him, receive the assistance they need. 
But Matt Bevin did not hide his intentions, and Kentucky will now try to live with the consequences of the voters’ decision. The state was a model for the nation; Kentuckians had an opportunity to keep that model in place; and now they’ve chosen to go in a very different direction
I should note that the future isn’t entirely clear. Bevin ran on an anti-healthcare platform, but he’s begun to hedge on some of the details, vowing to come up with a new, as-yet-unstated plan, which will likely cost more and cover less, but which may prevent hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians from losing their health security altogether. 
In the meantime, however, a lot of families are worried about just how much damage a Bevin administration will do, and by all appearances, those fears are well grounded.

And before anyone starts thinking Bevin is the one who is going to burn for this, let's understand that all Bevin has to do is say that Medicaid expansion was always going to go away because Obamacare was always broken, and to blame Obama and the Democrats.

And Dennis here?  That's exactly what he'll do.

He will continue to vote against his self-interests.  He wanted his Medicaid, but he wasn't going to admit that the ni-CLANG! president was helping him.  So he voted for the other guy and thought he would be able to tell Obama to go to hell and keep his Medicaid.

A lot of people did.

Guess what?

Welcome to Bevinstan.

University Of Hard Knocks, Con't

Well it turns out University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe stepped down over an insufficient response to a number of racist incidents on campus this year, and now the bullseye is on university Chancellor Bowen Loftin.

The same day University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation, the deans of nine different MU colleges requested the dismissal of Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

In a letter sent Monday to Wolfe and the UM Board of Curators, the deans said they wanted to express "our deep concern about the multitude of crises on our flagship campus" and call for Loftin's dismissal.

The nine deans met with Wolfe on Oct. 9 and on Oct. 13 met with Wolfe, Loftin and Provost Garnett Stokes to express their concerns, according to the letter.

"The issues we raised in those meetings have continued to deteriorate into a campus crisis that demands immediate and decisive action," they wrote. "It is the Chancellor’s responsibility as the Chief Executive Officer of the campus to effectively address these campus issues."

Loftin, the former president of Texas A&M University, has been chancellor at MU since February 2014.

The letter is signed by Daniel Clay, dean of the College of Education; Kristofer Hagglund, dean of the School of Health Professions; David Kurpius, dean of the School of Journalism; Judith Miller, dean of the Sinclair School of Nursing; Gary Myers, dean of the School of Law; Neil Olson, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine; Michael O'Brien, dean of the College of Arts and Science; Thomas Payne, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; and Barton Wechsler, dean of the Truman School of Public Affairs.

The deans said Loftin has shown failed leadership through a number of instances, including the elimination and eventual reinstatement of graduate assistant health insurance and the elimination of the vice chancellor for health sciences position. The deans claim Loftin created a "toxic environment through threat, fear and intimidation."

"It is imperative to take immediate action to begin the process of resolving the issues and improving the environment," they wrote.

On Sunday, faculty members of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures sent a letter to the Curators saying they had no confidence in Loftin's leadership. The letter said 28 faculty members in the department expressed no confidence in Loftin; two abstained from the vote.

The faculty members said Loftin's leadership has created a "climate of mistrust, miscommunication, chaos, despair, and anger."

"The demoralizing campus climate under his lack of leadership is no longer conducive to our fundamental duties of teaching, research and service," the letter said. "We believe that the only way out of this impasse is to find a new Chancellor who … will find the resources needed to increase rather than dismantle the excellence of our institution."

So it turns out that yes, the problems at the University of Missouri have been ongoing for some time now, enough for multiple college deans to call for a chancellor's ouster.

But the backlash from the dregs of the Confederacy is pretty vocal.

This controversy, as with the current upheaval at Yale, suggests aggrieved students most desperately want administrators to acknowledge their pain and tell them they have a right to live free of emotional turmoil. But no competent administrator can provide them with this false sense of security, since the proper role of a university education is to help students overcome (rather than sidestep) challenges. 
In any case, Wolfe’s resignation also means that hyper-offended students are not as powerless as skeptics of the campus speech wars claim they are. I'm often told by these skeptics that the actions of outraged students are harmless because they never amount to anything, but this development at Missouri is a significant contrary example. 
I would be disheartened, but not at all surprised, to see more professors and administrators driven from campus for the crime of failing to erect suitable safe spaces.

How ridiculous, according to the right, that colleges and universities should work to actually do something about racism, sexual assault, and abuse on campus, when America, the greatest nation on earth, is full of racism, sexual assault, and abuse.


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