By Steve Eggleston

Oil prices are at levels not seen since the beginning of the Obama Presidency, but in parts of the country, gasoline prices have radically risen. Here in Milwaukee as well as Chicago, the price of gasoline went up 80 cents per gallon since Monday as part of a spike affecting much of the Great Lakes region. In California, the spread between gas prices there and gas prices reached a record level in July.

The root causes of both spikes are the same – a lack of new refineries and boutique reformulated gasoline. In suburban Chicago, the largest refinery in the region, and one of only two that produce the RFG that is specific to the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas, is effectively shut down for at least a month by BP because of a leak in the the main crude unit. In California, a combination of a refinery fire, a strike at a second refinery, and California’s very-special environmental rules kept the price of gasoline extraordinarily high.

Yes, refineries have expanded capacity since the last new refinery was built in the late 1970s. However, this is another object lesson in what happens when One Big Factory (or in this case, Refinery) shuts down. Sadly, other than timing, it is nothing new to the residents of Milwaukee and Chicago – this spike happens every spring when the more-widely-usable winter blend of gasoline has to be swapped out for our very-unique formulation of summertime RFG.

The Marketwatch story that I linked to first noted that the shutdown of the BP refinery had another effect. As it is one of the few American refineries that can handle Canadian crude, the glut caused by that shutdown caused the price of Canadian crude to, at one point in the week, be half that of West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark. There’s a certain proposed pipeline that could have helped prevent that collapse, one that has been blocked by both Obama and the putative Democrat front-runner for their nomination, Hillary Clinton.

I speak to Mosongo Oong of Biblezon at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

their web page is here, their twitter account is here. Their facebook page is here. Their Youtube page is here.

I’m old enough to remember when doubting that Michael Sam was an NFL caliber player was considered bigotry.  Well now after signing with Montreal in the CFL and then suddenly leaving training camp for “personal reasons”,  apparently it appears he’s not coming back:

Sam signed on to roll with the Montreal Alouettes​. However, he left the team in June for personal reasons.

The story didn’t get much better two months later. Sam announced that he’s quit the Alouettes to focus on his mental health

Think about that for a second, the player that the American media was ready to pillory the NFL for if he wasn’t drafted, has found the pressure of being in the CFL too much.

In fairness if the MSM had let him be and allowed him succeed or fail on his own merits perhaps his “mental health” would not be in jeopardy.  Perhaps if he continued to work to his potential rather than to the media’s expectations of him things might have been different but right not none of that matters.

The irony of course is the MSM that made Michael Sam draft position a cause célèbre will now without a question blame Sam’s failure on everyone but himself.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia another football player who the media is less impressed with is making waves:

When Tim Tebow completes a pass or takes off running with the football, fans watching the Philadelphia Eagles practice cheer loudly and reporters quickly post about it on social media.

Few, if any, players fighting for a roster spot ever drew more attention.

and he’s already impressing his teammates

Teammate Brandon Graham already predicted Tebow not only will make the team, but make an impact. Riley Cooper, Tebow’s former roommate at Florida, expects him to succeed.

“He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever played with, and that rubs off on everyone else,” Cooper said. “I’m sure he’s going to do well.”

and there is no question about either his work ethic

 About 43,000 fans attended practiced last Sunday and many cheered Tebow’s every move.

Tebow signed his autograph on several Gators jerseys and even a Bible. He’s often the last player off the field and does his best to accommodate every fan’s request.

Nor his mental health

“It’s something you always have to think about when you come out here because you can take it for granted,” Tebow said. “And there’s probably been a lot of times in my life when I’ve taken it for granted. But you just realize how blessed you are when you come out here. You’re able to play a game that you love. That’s pretty special.”

But unlike Michael Sam who had an adoring media and an indifferent public , the public has long loved Tebow unlike the media or some of in the NFL even when he was winning for them

Right now, whenever Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway gets asked about Tebow, he effectively says, “We have no choice but to play him. He wins games.” It’s not really a compliment. It’s almost a criticism. But if Tebow did all this with a prison record, Elway would say the same thing in reverse order: “He wins games. We have no choice but to play him.” Which is similar, but not the same.


Comedians make jokes about him

Even his very existence was an affront to their highest sacrament

For starters, Tebow’s very existence is somehow controversial. He’s a walking pro-life testimonial. He’s been pulling off comebacks since before he was born. Pam Tebow, Tim’s mother, courageously chose to carry baby Tim to term despite doctors’ recommendations that she abort him.

You may recall that before Tim went pro, the Christian group, Focus on the Family, commissioned an innocuous TV ad that ran during the 2010 Saints-Colts Super Bowl game. It briefly told the story of the Tebows’ pre-natal struggle. The word “abortion” was never even uttered, but a positive portrayal of childbearing was all it took.

And so began the left’s hate affair with Tim Tebow. Radical feminist groups, media-types and liberal pundits alike lost their collective noodle even before the ad ran.

But through it all Tebow kept working and has been rewarded with one more chance to make an NFL roster.

Nobody can tell the future.  Michael Sam may pull himself together and with hard work might find himself playing somewhere, maybe in the Arena football league, maybe in the CFL or perhaps with a lot of effort and luck on an NFL team.  Tim Tebow for all the media, fan attention and hard work may never take another snap in a regular season NFL game, but there is one thing we know.

This weekend Tim Tebow will be starting Quarterback in an NFL game while Michael Sam will be at home and no amount of punditry, comedy or media angst can change it.

I speak to Author Michelle Buckman at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

her web page is here, her twitter account is here. Her facebook page is here.

One of the things we often hear from people who are apologists for Islam is that various Islamic terrorists do not represent Islam or a perversion of actual Islam.

That came to mind when I saw this story at Jihad watch concerning a Mississippi couple Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla & Amira al-Amriki, that were arrested trying to head over to the Islamic state.

His father is shocked!, shocked! that his son would want to join the Islamic State, but as Daniel Greenfield points out here, the son doesn’t seem to have had a bad relationship with the father. Neither seems to have rejected the other for being a bad Muslim. Is it really likely that the son forsook the true, peaceful Islam that he learned from his father to embrace the twisted, hijacked Islam of the Islamic State, without ever having it out with dear old dad?

This development has upset a local Mississippi paper:

The uninformed may wrongfully conclude the Islamic Center is a hotbed for radical Islamic politics and Oda Dakhlalla is the leader of a group of subversive, secretive, America-hating extremists who prey upon the large and vulnerable Muslim student population at the nearby university.That is often the narrative of those who make little distinction between those who practice a fundamentalist and violent form of Islam and the far larger Muslim population throughout the world who are no more prone to violence and anarchy than the average Southern Baptist.

There are problems with this argument:

1.  This young man didn’t learn is version of Islam from the violent fundamentalists in Syria or Iran, he learned his Islam from his father the Imam, as I tweeted the day I saw this story on Jake Tapper’s show:

So if this paper is to be believed after a lifetime of being taught true peaceful Islam by his father somehow this young guy, instantly turned to ISIS. 2.  You don’t have millions of southern Baptists supporting violent murder for example:

One in six French citizens sympathises with the Islamist militant group ISIS, also known as Islamic State, a poll released this week found.   The poll of European attitudes towards the group, carried out by ICM for Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, revealed that 16% of French citizens have a positive opinion of ISIS. This percentage increases among younger respondents, spiking at 27% for those aged 18-24.

Mind you that’s not 1 in 6 muslims, that’s one in six citizens However that fact is less important to the paper than the idea that the Imam’s son & his wife attempting to join ISIS terrorist who wish to kill us might cast a negative stereotype on Islam. That attitude incidentally is not restricted to obscure newspapers in Mississippi.

The story this is referring to comes from the New York Times of all places:

A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders. To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.

A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.

“Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, a 15-year-old girl who was captured on the shoulder of Mount Sinjar one year ago and was sold to an Iraqi fighter in his 20s. Like some others interviewed by The New York Times, she wanted to be identified only by her first initial because of the shame associated with rape.

“He kept telling me this is ibadah,” she said, using a term from Islamic scripture meaning worship.

Cuomo expressed his objection thus:

“This feeds the impression that these Muslims are animals, savages, and their faith makes them that way,” Cuomo said. “And it feeds an impression of what Islam is. What is your response to that?”

His guest was having none of it:


Totalitarianism means absolute domination of the self. These Islamists are dominating to extinction girls and women. It’s very calculated. Number one, it destroys the individual … An entire people is being emasculated. They’re being separated from their men. And women and girls are lost forever. Sixty percent of Yazidis are abducted and remain in disappearance.


What does it say about us as a nation and culture that the priority of protecting the reputation of Islam trumps terror and rape?  John Rhys Davis of the Indiana Jones & Lord of the Rings franchises states it bluntly

‘Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out – I mean not just ideologically but physically.’

He warned of how ‘people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians’ and claimed that Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf is ‘a bestseller in the Middle East’.

He told his American interviewer: ‘Your country and my country (Wales) are doing nothing about it. We have lost our moral compass completely.’ 

If Islam is so damn concerned about its reputation then maybe Muslims, instead of shaking their heads in English language press should be condemning this kind of stuff loudly in arabic in the media where it will make a difference.  At least that’s what people who really cared about this stuff would do.

One quick note I corrected a spelling error in one of my tweets above.

Update:  Stacy McCain

The media were willing to ignore reports that women were being sexually assaulted in Occupy encampments. However, once the anti-business protests ended and the kids returned to college, sexual assault was suddenly big news because, in that context, heterosexual males are targets and feminists are mascots.

The media narrative must always conform to the particular prejudices of the Anointed, which is why the media are always more concerned about “Islamophobia” than about, say, guys named Muhammad flying jets into skycrapers. Generally speaking, of course, the American media is hostile to religion, because in America, “religion” means Bible-thumpers who vote Republican. However, in terms of foreign policy, the Anointed always sees foreigners as mascots, and if the foreigners are Muslims, this means Muslims are automatically mascots, too. This was especially true after 9/11, because the U.S. military was fighting Muslims and the media hate the U.S. military almost as much as the media hate Bible-thumping evangelical Christians


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