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I must say, watching Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theatre has its moments of levity.

During a luncheon in which Matthew Crawley, the new heir of the estate is meeting some of his “family” he mentions something about coming down on the weekend.

The Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith, arches an eye and inquires in all sincerity, “what is a weekend?”

Now that is sure to set you up. I mean who doesn’t know what a weekend is? Think about it. The Dowager, safely ensconced in her country estate, probably only recognized one day and that was the Sabbath when she motored or carriaged her way to the services.

But it got me to wondering. I suspect there are plenty of people still on this planet who would have no idea what the word weekend means. We live in our enclaves of worlds within worlds don’t we?

***

The Contrarian is busy outside. He’s pulled two huge trunks over to the splitter, and is loading another cart of wood. We are headed for some really LOW temperatures next week, and he’s hoping to spend as little time as possible outside for the four or so days in the zero and below range. He has tomorrow and Monday to get it all chumped up and split, ready for the great fall coming Monday night.

On the bright side–winter is half done. It’s all down hill starting tomorrow!

***

There is a truly thought-provoking piece over at the Boston Review that warrants your attention. Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a report on “The Negro Family.” Basically it posited that cultural behaviors were the causation of systemic poverty within the black community. The backlash to this was so enormous that for some forty years, it is claimed, research steered clear of anything that might suggest that the victim caused their own problems.

Now, we are told that research is reopening that issue. Are these so-called culturalists, still confusing cause and effect? Stephen Steinberg writes a compelling piece arguing that they have in fact failed to make their case.

***

I had to laugh Pat Buchanan this morning on MSNBC. The topic was Sarah. And Pat is making the case that everybody is piling on her because they are “terrified” of her. And worse, the more you make her feel defensive, the more you encourage her to attack.

I guess Pat fails to see the idiocy of his remarks. First, nobody is “terrified” of her, since her poll numbers are so abysmal as to be a joke. And they keep getting worse, the more she plays the victim and lashes out. So um, might it be a pretty smart thing to keep attacking?

I mean the woman is an idiot. Her next big gig is to be the keynote speaker at a gun show in Nevada. GUNS and more GUNS, Grifter Girl!

***

As you may or may not know, one Reince Priebus is the new head of the GOP. Taking out all those pesky vowels, we get RNC PR BS or Republican National Committee Pure Bullshit.  HA! a H/T to Bluegal at Crooks and Liars! Priebus was elected on the 7th ballot, saying something I guess about how much unity there exists within the Grand Old Poops.

***

It appears that all is in order and quite soon John Paul II will be beatified. I am quite conflicted about this. He was a good pope in many ways, but he did his best to unravel Vatican II and install a college of Cardinals that for decades will pursue conservative policies, leaving women and gays marginalized within the Church. I won’t even start on the pedophilia issue. All in all, I think it a bad move at this time I think. Although goodness knows, no saint is expected or often is totally blameless. Still, this is moving too fast, almost as if it must be done quickly, before too much more negative stuff comes out.

***

If you watched the Memorial at Tucson on Wednesday, you saw the Benediction by Carlos Gonzales, faculty member at the University of Arizona, and of Mexican and Yaqui lineage. Brit Hume, (who famously advised Tiger Woods he should dump that Buddhist stuff and become Christian in the throes of his marital woes), said that he found the benediction “peculiar.” I guess that was one of the nicer comments from the Extreme Right. Others called his prayer “pagan”.

Things only got worse at The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s site. After referencing Hume’s “peculiar” statement, they  liked to an unnamed blogger (post apparently now removed) who bemoaned that Gonzales kept using the term “Creator” and not God. Apparently he doesn’t see the Creator as God. He went on to surmise that the victims “likely would have appreciated a pray more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.” The post concluded that Gonzales was “reportedly” a doctor and professor at the university.

A perusal of the comments vomited up what you might expect. Invective, ad hominem attack, and vicious vicious assumptions. Words like, Chief Loony Toons, Nappy Hair, injuns, idiot president, part-time employee at an Arizona casino, peppered the comments, and it was hard to think that any of them could be over the age of 12. Not one could cite to any Arizona paper, news show, or statement by any family member of actual Arizonan to back up the charge that the service was an affront to real Christian Americans everywhere.

So much for toning down the rhetoric.

Go Packers!

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