Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Israel Drops The Gloves

The International Tribune Herald is reporting an Associated Press story today stating that Israel is targeting mosques used by Hamas. What caught my eye - beyond the fact that Israel is not tiptoeing around mosques to begin with - is that the Associated Press even acknowledged Hamas using mosques, but even more so in such prominent fashion. I had expected that if they had mentioned it at all, it would be buried at the end of a latter paragraph. Will wonders never cease?

It is a positive sign that Israel first rejected the phony truce offer as a clandestine method for Hamas to regroup and re-arm, and is now pulling out all the stops to topple them for good. It's also encouraging to see the press starting to come around, finally.

In addition to the AP's headline admission of Hamas' culpability, the very first paragraph reads thus (emphasis mine):

JERUSALEM: Mosques and Muslim prayer halls have not escaped the relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in Gaza by Israel, which claims the Islamic militants misuse some of the holy sites as weapons depots and command centers.

Also from the article:

A security official said Israeli intelligence — probably surveillance aircraft — saw missiles being fired outside the mosque and the men who launched them running inside the building.

Worshippers denied the mosque was a military outpost.

Well, of course they did, but what this illustrates is the inability of ordinary Palestinians to direct their ire towards those who truly desecrate holy sites by hiding in them, assuming that the Israelis will behave in a war like...well, like we would.

No, it is still all too convenient for them to chant in opposition to the "Zionists" who are only doing them a favor in the grand scheme of things. I would be willing to bet, also, that if the outraged Palestinians at last rose up against Hamas and their cowardly practice of hiding in mosques - thereby making them targets - and accepted peace, that Israel would gladly help rebuild the mosques they destroyed. What a New Year that would be.

As an aside to this essay, I am including a link to an IAF video that I was unable to embed. It is quite a demonstration of the precision of the Israeli air assault. It is in stark contrast to the haphazard practice of Hamas cavalierly launching rockets at Israel.
View it here.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End Of The Line For Hamas?

It is late at night in the Middle East, and dawn is not far off. At the moment, as far as I know, a ground assault into Gaza by Israel is still only an option, but it is getting closer to becoming a reality. Indications are that Hamas may finally have bitten off more than they can chew. Support for their endeavors is in short supply amongst recognized nations while fringe factions cheer them on enthusiastically.

Quite noticeable has been the silence of Syria and Jordan, and even Hezbollah has been stationary and mute on the issue. Fatah is cheering on the impending onslaught and possible demise of their rivals - Hamas - and Egypt has been tepidly supportive of the Israeli position in this fracas. I say tepidly merely because they have not been boisterous in support, but their actions may speak louder than words. That, I'll get back to shortly.

Israel is poised - and rightly so - to eliminate Hamas' capability to launch missiles against her. "Eliminate" is not used casually here; Israel, this time out, is not going to simply degrade the abilities of Hamas military options, they plan to destroy them.

Hamas now has missiles that can reach Tel Aviv in their bunkers and what remains of their several hundred miles of tunnels under the border to Gaza. Israel's air strikes have demolished many of those tunnels, but they will need to push in on the ground to finish the job. Here's where it gets interesting.

Egypt has cancelled leave for their military and is amassing on the border with Gaza. There can be no other reason than to stop the flight of Hamas once Israel gets serious. Unless they plan on swimming, there will be no other form of egress, and as one can see from the map, Gaza is not that big.

By the time we on the east coast of the United States awake tomorrow, that tiny strip of land could be embroiled in a fierce war. Or, if Israel is as tough and as serious as I believe they are, Hamas could be a memory. I'm hearing Yes's Gates Of Delirium in my head.

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Blago Defiant

Hot Rod Blagojevich has named a replacement for Obama;
Blagojevich to Name Burris to Obama’s Senate Seat (Update1)

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The Union Has Your Back

Most people would take the title as something meaning that the union is "looking out for you". Sadly, that is not the case here. No, what I mean by "the union has your back" is that they have your back doing all the work while they live large off of your sweat.

While men and women toil away building automobiles in factories, union bosses clink their glasses and smoke their stogies in luxurious splendor, paid for with union dues. Fox News Reports:

Autoworkers Union Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

It sounds like a nice perk for the members, but it's really a nice perk for the people that members pay for "protection". Sure, union members can play golf reduced rates. That's awfully big of the bosses. While the people who actually perform the labor struggle to get by - in some cases - the people who do little more than collect dues get rich.

To make matters worse, the facility has struggled to get by, costing the union more than 23 million dollars over the past five years. It's okay, though, because President Bush just gave the thumbs-up to fork over 17 billion dollars to the industry. Maybe the UAW will go on strike again until the companies shore up the country club.

What bothers me perhaps the most, however, is why no news outlet has cared to look into this until now. I would wager that many members were completely oblivious to the existence of this club and where their dues money has been going.

I have been in several unions - through necessity - and I have always been bitter toward the elitist attitudes of those who ostensibly worked for me.
Then again, I should be accustomed to that attitude by now; it is exhibited by my public "servants" constantly.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hamas Losing More Than Lives

As Israel pounds the Gaza Strip in response to a weeks-worth of rocket and mortar attacks from Hamas, Little Green Footballs has issued a "Flying Pig Alert". What is the alert for?

As Hamas is losing personnel hourly to the air strikes, they are losing favor with some in the Arab world, as well. Egypt's Foreign Minister is placing the blame for this outbreak squarely on Hamas. See the video below:

Perhaps this will embolden our own media to have the fortitude to follow suit. Thus far, the focus has been on how Israel planned to avoid civilian casualties, a question that was not part of their lexicon concerning the cavalier lobbing, by Hamas, of primitive rockets and mortars with no guidance systems to specifically target military or leadership facilities.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wishing A Most Happy Holiday Season To All

To my fellow Christian readers, let me begin by saying that I normally would have titled this post "Merry Christmas", as that is the holiday I am about to celebrate. The title you see here is designed, in the spirit of Christmas, to be inclusive to all readers and, therefore, is somewhat on the generic side. As a general rule, I do not attempt to placate those who hold different beliefs than do I, and those familiar with my writings can be assured that I have not forsaken my basic principles but am merely making an overture to the international attendees, particularly those from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait, et al.

So, for those to whom this custom is alien, I direct your attention to the accompanying photograph. Some may see the image as an illustration of the corruption of America, and from the limited exposure to the propaganda that I have had, I would be inclined to understand such a misperception. The fact is, though, that the image portrays warmth and family love at a special time. To us, there is no better yearly event, one which garners the best spirit of humanity. Would that such good will lasted longer than a week or so.

However unfortunate it may seem, it is the competitive nature of Americans that erodes the very emotion we celebrate at Christmas throughout the rest of the year. As fate would have it, it is that very thing that has allowed our success and prosperity, something we do not take for granted, in the grand scheme of things. Americans are nowhere near as superficial as we may appear to others. Perhaps it is that message I seek to convey with this tome.

This Christmas Season, to us, is a time of hope and well wishes. The most important wish to us, often reflected in greeting cards, is peace. Peace has always been the most desired aspect of Americans' lives despite how hard we have waged war for that very goal. How we have been perceived throughout our brief history has been most unfair, just as radical elements now view our desires as weakness. It is most perplexing to the average American who, wanting nothing more than to be left to his own devices, finds himself in a defensive posture over and over.

To those in Arab countries who have been frequent visitors, I have but one message; peace on Earth, and good will toward man. My wish this season is that those among you who are "moderate" will finally see the light and, while embracing your own religion, begin to speak against the injustices perpetrated by those in your name. Fear can be conquered, fear of retribution can be overcome with help.

We can live together in God's love. What we, as individuals, call God does not matter, so long as we all understand that killing one another accomplishes nothing.

So, with all of that said, I sincerely wish every reader on the web a most Merry Christmas with no ill will intended. If someone is offended by my words of good will, I cannot be remorseful, as they are delivered with nothing but benevolence.


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Case For Angels

Just in time for Christmas comes a story of miracles and one happy family.

Life started out early and hard for Chelsea Banton, a Mint Hill, North Carolina girl, and hasn't been much easier on her mother, Colleen. Born five weeks early, her mother was told that she would live for maybe 36 hours. She spent the first four months of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, and has been a frequent visitor through much of her life, now spanning 15 years.

According to The State, a Charlotte online news service, illnesses that have afflicted the young girl over the years include hydrocephalus, requiring a shunt in her skull and, later, several shunt revisions; life-threatening viruses; and, this past July, fluid retention that required more than a week's hospitalization and three liters of liquid to be drawn from her body. The family prayed often for a miracle.

Colleen Banton believes that that miracle came on November 5th, seven weeks after Chelsea was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. Admitted to the hospital once again on September 21st, Chelsea was on life support at once. Between then and November 5th, her condition deteriorated to the point that the family met with doctors and decided that it was time to let go. On Halloween, the family made the decision to remove Chelsea from the ventilator, something that had been done several times before, each time with poor results.

This time she did well, she was breathing on her own, and Colleen was hopeful. Then, the next day, her vitals went down and she was placed in an oxygen mask. Over the next few days, Chelsea's condition did not change, and the anxiety attacks and crying bouts were increasing, so Colleen gave Chelsea over to God.

The rest is from The State

“I wanted to do what the Lord wanted me to do. And I really felt like I've had her for 14 years, and if it's time for her to go to heaven, then I know she'll be healed.”

The mask didn't come off immediately, though. They waited until family members had a chance to come to see Chelsea – perhaps for the last time.

On the afternoon of Nov. 5, as family and friends prayed about the decision, a nurse practitioner called Colleen's attention to a monitor showing the door to the pediatric intensive care unit.

“On the monitor, there was this bright light,” Colleen recalls. “And I looked at it and I said, ‘Oh my goodness! It looks like an angel!”

Colleen pointed her digital camera at the monitor to take a photo of the image, but the “first picture wouldn't take.”

She tried again and succeeded. The image gave her a peace that stayed with her when hospital staff removed Chelsea's oxygen mask.

And then, “when they took the mask off of her, her stats went as high as they've ever been.

“Her color was good, and the doctors and nurses were amazed,” Colleen said. “The nurse practitioner who saw the image in the monitor said, ‘I've worked here 15 years, and I've never seen anything like it.'”

Chelsea was removed from intensive care on Nov. 14 and went home three days later.

Her mother believes it was a miracle – attended by a very real angel bathed in light at the door to the pediatric intensive care unit.

Merry Christmas.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Schwinn Gearing Up For Brisk Sales

Now is the time to invest in Schwinn, or any other bicycle manufacturer. It may be the only legal form of transportation in the not-so-distant future.

Barack Obama has named two staunch advocates for vigorous government intervention in regards to anthropogenic global warming; Harvard University physicist John Holdren as presidential science adviser, and Oregon State University marine biologist Jane Lubchenco as head of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The headline in The Washington Post:

Advocates for Action on Global Warming Chosen as Obama's Top Science Advisers

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that Obama's science picks will work with Commerce Secretary, Bill Richardson. That is an interesting statement. It has an ominous tone to it because it implies that global warming hysteria may shape economic policy, something we deniers have been warning of for quite some time. With both houses of congress firmly in the grip of democrats, we may all be riding bikes soon. How glorious, to become so Europeanized, just the way California has wished all along.

The numerous scientists who have been laryngitically attempting to stop the madness will be crushed under the wheels of the new regime, and will likely see any funding they have been granted wither on the vine. It will be so much easier to control the debate now.

I wonder how long it will take this cabal to actually destroy our way of life. Only time will tell. I just hope that enough of the people pay close attention. There is little chance we can count on our elected leaders to help.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trophies All Around

Trophies. Awards. Citations. There was a time when such things had special meaning, that being, they were designed to recognize achievement; they were intended to reward excellence, never to denote mere participation. Once upon a time, acknowledgement of nothing more than presence was evidenced by the team photograph. Once upon a time, there was healthy envy exhibited by those simply in the photo towards those who had kudos heaped upon them, and for good reason; the kudo-reapers were celebrated for performance exceeding that of their peers. What a concept.

At some point, psychological super-performers began to write theses disparaging the concept of performance rewards lest they render the less talented insignificant and, subsequently, damage their self esteem. The consensus thus became that the elimination of the concept of winners and losers would also remove the stigma attached to such terms. No hard feelings, no harm done. Everyone would be happy.

Wrong. Kids always want to know if they're winning the baseball game that they have been playing for that very purpose, and when allegedly well-meaning parents and coaches lie and tell them that they don't need to know the answer, they seek it out from parents in the bleachers, or friends with counters who have been observing. To the "combatants", it does matter.

Just as it matters to a worker who, by some miracle, has been instilled with a pride in his worth, and wants to know that his efforts are appreciated, only to learn that the Union will not allow him to ever earn more than his co-workers, many of whom he has witnessed shirking their duties simply because they can. They have been not only in the team photo, but they have also been given the trophy for what was once deemed excellence.

No matter the strength of character of the man, it will be whittled down with time and well-placed charges by a government bent on eroding that will. It is what the founders of this great nation warned, and the means to seize an iron grip on the soul of America.

The final salvo fired in this war, the final blow to the spinal chord of the average American individualist, is the IRS relaxing its policy of the lien on tax-evaders. If they are serious about forgiving homeowners - not all of which are bad people, true - of past delinquencies, it will send the message to every honest person who feared the prospect of a lien, and therefore payed with blood, that their actions were in vain.

Finally successful, our government will have broken our collective will, and we will once and for all become slaves to our leaders. God forbid.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

United States Mental Health Alert

We hear, ad nauseam, that in order to be loved one must first love oneself. If one is in such a state of depression that self loathing is the emotion du jour, it will be noticeable to others and they will mirror that sentiment. Lord knows we hear it often enough from television "psychologists" such as Drs. Phil and Laura.

So it's little wonder that we are seen as a country loathed by the rest of the world, save for a few close allies. An Iraqi "journalist" hurls his footwear at our president and there are cheers around the Muslim world, faintly echoed by our own media. So eager are the alleged purveyors of information in the United States to lugubriously acknowledge our blemishes that they have actually begun to point them out lest anyone not notice of their own volition.

Someone I consider a close friend - although we've never actually met - recently posed the following question: What happened to optimism? It was actually an article by Cal Thomas on Town Hall that was linked to by this friend, but the question loses no validity as a result. I earnestly wish to know the answer.

Somewhere along the line it became fashionable to defecate in the kitchen. My best estimate on the timeline is mid-1960. The frightening aspect of this revelation is that the trend was no passing fad, but rather a mindset that has only gained momentum. Emboldened leftists will now look you straight in the eye and declare that the more vociferous the denunciation of America, the more patriotic it is.

Barack Obama's election victory was supposed to be the cure for this particular malady but it appears, at least thus far, that the vaccine is still in the making. One might be tempted to attribute this phenomena to the dilution - through mass invasion of illegal immigrants - of the American spirit, but that is sadly not the case. Ironically, we have seen more genuine patriotism from recent Cuban immigrants than from third and fourth generation nationals.

Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from people who have just fled real oppression. Even more intriguing is the hypocrisy of liberal do-gooders who claim that life would be so much better in, say, Cuba while lacking the temerity to actually move there. If I had the resources that some of our richest celebrities had, I would make damned sure that I lived in the best place on Earth. Oh...they already do.

I would conclude that feel-good conversation has failed, and that Americans need a good, brisk slap in the face. Love America, or feel free to leave. You have that right, after all.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Excellent Aim, Better Reflexes

Has David Gregory been to Baghdad lately? Nevertheless, this guy makes our journalists seem tame by comparison:

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Google: Gatekeepers Of "Truth"

Wikipedia has long been assailed by debate opponents as an ambiguous and unreliable source of information because it is nothing more than a collection of opinions from contributors. Many denizens of discussion forums rely on Google to instantly find news articles to bolster their side of a debate, so much so that google has become a verb.

What I have noticed for quite some time, however, is that it is often difficult to find news articles favorable to a right-leaning stance, which can be frustrating, to say the least. On more than one occasion, I have heard a news story being discussed on the radio, only to be thwarted in an attempt to find it in print on line. Discouraged, I usually gave up the argument due to lack of credible evidence to back my assertions, leaving my "adversaries" gleefully claiming victory.

As it turns out, the requisite information was not a figment of my imagination, it was simply buried where I could not find it.

Andrew Orlowski of the UK's The Register has confirmed that the folks at Google have been deciding for us what information is available:

Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.

This week Marissa Meyer explained that editorial judgments will play a key role in Google searches. It was reported by Tech Crunch proprietor Michael Arrington - who Nick Carr called the "Madam of the Web 2.0 Brothel" - but its significance wasn't noted. The irony flew safely over his head at 30,000 feet.

At least we now have a retort to those with whom we argue on the web when we are told that Newsmax, et al, are biased and therefore not credible sources; neither is Google.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Obama's Brain Talked To Blago

It's not been a good start for the president-elect. Just as Karl Rove was sneeringly referred to as "Bush's brain" by the left, Obama's brain, Rahm Emanuel is already knee-deep in quicksand. The claim by the November 4th victor was that none of his people discussed with disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich the prospects to fill Obama's vacated U.S.senate seat. Well, believe it or not, we have been lied to once again by a politician. Will wonders never cease?

In a post by Little Green Footballs today, it has been disclosed that Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff come January 20th, did talk to Blagojevich and his own now former chief of staff, John Harris about who should fill that seat in the senate. A link on LGF leads the reader to this article, which is excerpted below:

Obama said Thursday he had never spoken to Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy and was "confident that no representatives" of his had engaged in any deal making over the seat with the governor or his team. He also pledged Thursday that in the "next few days" he would explain what contacts his staff may have had with the governor's office about the Senate vacancy.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Emanuel, but the fact still remains that either team Obama lied about contact with Blagojevich, or Obama has already lost the reins on his own not-yet-administering administration. Neither prospect instills confidence in me, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that assessment. What I find troubling is the notion that most of the electorate won't even notice this disturbing trend or, worse yet, won't care.

What should be viewed as an outrageous scandal will be swept under the proverbial rug by a complicit media all too eager to usher in the first Black President, dressed in pristine garb and ready to take America in that "new direction" that was promised during the campaign. No one but the alert will notice that the new administration is capsizing in its own wake while in full reverse.

Media giants such as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have predefined what constitutes a scandal. Even Gen-X'ers will issue gusts of air at the mere mention of Watergate even as they are incapable of recalling the event. They have been taught that it was bad.

How they view this current event will, no doubt, be shaped in much the same manner. Giddiness will supplant fact, and the very media who should be providing fact will more likely provide cover and candy-coating. How the media deals with the next four years of this new administration should prove entertaining, so long as we are afforded the luxury of being entertained.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Colin Powell Gulps Koolaid

I'll Take Another, Make It a Double

Colin Powell is back to making statements that seem to contradict his former perceived ideology, that being one from a republican perspective. It has become abundantly clear that Powell could be considered a RINO - Republican In Name Only - especially after he flipped on the president and more recently shunned John McCain. Finding a note of irony in this development is an easy task, however, as he is now being warmly embraced by the left, the very people who viewed Powell as a "right-wing attack dog" not so long ago.

Powell recently did an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria for Sunday's "GPS" program, and he diagnosed the malady afflicting the GOP. Fortunately, Powell is not a doctor, because his diagnosis is way off the mark. His advice for his former party is to tone down the rhetoric and "stop shouting at the world and at the country". One could only deduce from such a statement that Powell believes that conservatism has been a bullying force that turned off voters.

There are several fallacies in this assessment. The first is the misguided assumption that the left might just warm to conservatism if it is offered up in soothing tones. As has been evidenced lately by liberal protesters, particularly on the west coast, the left is prone to violence. The very people who claim to champion the notion of peace can get pretty nasty when their protestations do not elicit the intended reaction. Therefore, engaging in a pastel attempt at getting them to see the value of conservatism is a futile endeavor.

Furthermore, Powell misfires badly in characterizing the right as shouting at the country. Conservatives or, more accurately, republicans have been too timid in their approach to acheiving their goals. All they have managed to do is further alienate the base. It is this which caused the republicans to lose the executive office and suffer deeper deficits in both houses of congress.

Powell also suggests that we stop listening to Rush Limbaugh. What a glowing endorsement for opponents of free speech. He has effectively emboldened and provided fodder for proponents of the "Fairness Doctrine", lending a perceived credibility to an extremely bad idea.

The remedy to the problems of republicans is to do the exact opposite of Powell's recommendations. We need to stand up and be heard. We need to genuinely shout at the country and let the base know that we are serious when we embrace our ideals. It is the only way to get the base fired up and out the door on election day. We whisper in the shadows in hopes of not offending those in opposition at our own peril, as was demonstrated last November 4th.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Blagojevich Arrest Video

Of note: remember the reaction to the Governor Sarah Palin case involving her brother-in-law. Let's see if this round of media outrage surpasses it.

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Blagojevich Sets Template For Corruption

Like a hawker at the local ballpark, Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich is accused of blatantly trying to sell favors for personal gain, not the least of which is president-elect Barack Obama's vacated senate seat, which Blagojevich is - or was - charged with awarding to the appointee of his choice. Such appointee would, of course, still be subject to confirmation by the full Senate, but there is little doubt that whoever was selected would have passed such a heavily weighted roster.

Earlier reports showed a clearly defiant Blagojevich, saying at one point in response to a reporter's question that there was "nothing but sunshine hanging over me". As the day has worn on, however, the clouds have rolled in for the governor.

The United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois has filed a 78 page complaint against Blagojevich, which is broken into three parts. In the first part, which runs from pages 9 to 41, the governor tells a person that he will hold up $8 million in financing for the Children's Memorial Hospital unless the hospital's chief executive contributes $50,000 in return to Friends of Blagojevich. (Page 34)

It is the third part of the complaint that details the alleged scheme by the governor to, in essence, auction off the senate seat to the highest bidder. Between pages 54-76 of this document, the U.S. Attorney for NDI lays out the complaint pursuant to the allegation that Blagojevich attempted to manipulate how he could personally benefit from his sole authority to name a successor to President-elect Barack Obama’s seat in the United States Senate.

Also at issue in this affair is the statement offered by Barack Obama today in which he claims to have had no contact with the governor concerning the vacated senate seat.

“I had no contact with the governor or his office and so I was not aware of what was happening. ”

But just over two weeks ago, Obama senior advisor, David Axelrod, had this to say on Fox News Chicago, November 23rd:
"I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

What better way to complete this impending storm than to have Patrick Fitzgerald doing the investigating. Just in time for the holiday season, the phrase formerly and giddily shouted with glee during the Scooter Libby ordeal - "Merry Fitzmas!" - is being revived from the right.

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Chicago Tribune Emulates Old Gray Lady

Media bias rears its ugly head once more

The breaking story out of the state of Illinois today is the arrest of Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, on federal corruption charges. The Trib quotes U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as saying that the “breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering”.

It certainly must be to warrant the FBI dragging a governor, sitting or retired, out of bed early in the morning and taking him into custody. Blagojevich is alleged to have sought a cabinet position in the Obama administration in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate to succeed Obama in the senate. This scandal involves not only the corruption of the governor’s office, but the tainting of the U.S. Senate, as well.

The Chicago Tribune acknowledges all of this early on in their article today, but they soon enough turn downhill in their “reporting”.

In a quote from the article, they say:

The governor has not been accused of any wrongdoing. The specific contents of the recent recordings have not been disclosed. Blagojevich has said the appointment of a Senate successor, which is his choice alone, could come in a matter of weeks.

Of course, there is also the obligatory denial by the governor himself, but the Tribune felt it important to repeat their statement of innocence only six paragraphs later:
Blagojevich has not been charged with any wrongdoing and contended that if federal investigators areƒs "going to those lengths and extents [of obtaining recordings], if in fact that's true, that would suggest all the past has been pretty good."

"I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me. I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me," the governor said.

I find it extremely odd that a newspaper would report that a sitting governor is yanked out of bed and arrested by the FBI, and twice claim that he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

It would appear that the Tribune is trying to outdo the New York Times.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Commercials That, Sadly, Never Make It To TV

It's a tad racy - if dogs engaged in simulated fornication can be considered such, but it's worth for the humor.

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Gitmo Guys Say Hurry Up

They're in a hurry to die now, those poor, misunderstood souls. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has already told interrogators he was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and five co-defendants are getting bored with the time it takes to afford them due process and want to plead guilty now.

The idea is to speed their convictions and expedite their expected executions, thereby making martyrs of them all. According to AP:

The five said they decided on Nov. 4, the day President-elect Barack Obama was elected to the White House, to abandon all defenses against the capital charges. It was as if they wanted to rush toward convictions before the inauguration of Obama, who has vowed to end the war-crimes trials and close Guantanamo.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of it, but I have heard that being executed while in the captivity of the infidel precludes one from martyrdom and therefore, the virgins. Since we can't be sure of the rule on this, however - as if terrorists actually had rules - I have a better idea.

Let's announce to the world that these five "gentlemen" squealed like - pardon the expression - pigs and told us all kinds of juicy stuff. Then, let them go back to their comrades unceremoniously. Let them then attempt to explain that they really told us nothing. It worked for old-time cops in the movies way back when. The perp would beg not to be let go so easily. My guess is that they would be tortured in earnest by their own pals to find out what they told us. Such irony would make Shakespear blush and Stephen King curse.

Can't you just see Khalid Sheikh Mohammed begging bin Laden to put underwear on his head, or forcing him to participate in a naked, human pyramid?

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cry For Me, Bill Ayers

The New York Times has given a platform to Bill Ayers, yet again, in which he takes the opportunity to lay claim to victim hood. Little Green Footballs had a great byline for the op-ed piece in the Times: New York Times Hits Bottom, Digs.

I have opined plenty on the question of how such a character could enjoy his status as a "respected professor" of the University of Illinois at Chicago. I've often wondered if Jeffry Dahmer, had he survived, would have been offered such prestige at an American campus. Parents of University of Illinois Students are wondering the same thing.

In his plaintive tome, he claims that the right made up stories about him and painted him unfairly as a domestic terrorist. Here's part of what he had to say:

Now that the election is over, I want to say as plainly as I can that the character invented to serve this drama wasn’t me, not even close. Here are the facts:

I never killed or injured anyone. I did join the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s, and later resisted the draft and was arrested in nonviolent demonstrations. I became a full-time antiwar organizer for Students for a Democratic Society. In 1970, I co-founded the Weather Underground, an organization that was created after an accidental explosion that claimed the lives of three of our comrades in Greenwich Village. The Weather Underground went on to take responsibility for placing several small bombs in empty offices — the ones at the Pentagon and the United States Capitol were the most notorious — as an illegal and unpopular war consumed the nation.

"The character invented"? Library archives are rife with news clips easily accessible to anyone with enough curiosity to find the truth about the Weather Underground. One could also ask John Murtagh, now a Yonkers, New York city councilman, how he feels about Bill Ayers' "harmless pranks". Or, one could watch the video below:

Ayers says that his group placed "several small bombs in empty offices". John Murtagh's home was neither empty nor an office.

Ayers goes further to portray his groups actions as a noble endeavor that failed to succeed, while simultaneously being benign in nature.

Peaceful protests had failed to stop the war. So we issued a screaming response. But it was not terrorism; we were not engaged in a campaign to kill and injure people indiscriminately, spreading fear and suffering for political ends.

Is that so, Bill? Intent and success are separate entities. The three WU comrades who blew themselves up were busy making a nail bomb that was intended to rip to shreds soldiers and their dates at a Fort Dix, NJ dance. In a townhouse at 18 West 11th Street in New York City on March 6th, 1970, three would-be bombers made a fatal mistake. It was only after this blunder that the Weatherman decided to target only empty buildings.

Surely the Times must know this history and yet they allow Ayers to write his rubbish on their pages. No wonder circulation is dwindling. As for Ayers, he can stop whining now. Anyone with a memory or the ability to read knows that the truth of history cannot be washed away so easily.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

It Works

Remember the Atari game, Missile Command?

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Friday, December 5, 2008

More Tolerance From The Religion Of Peace

Telling is the inability of people like this to convince others to convert on the merits of the religion alone. Denigrating other religions is a selling tool.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Democrats And Rangel Face Tough Opponent

The American people have long yearned for fresh faces in politics and that, ostensibly, has been interpreted to mean veritable rookies, new blood that would bring a whole new perspective to the halls of congress. It is a good concept, but anyone who has followed politics with even a modicum of interest would be quick to realize that such a person would be intimidated in short order. He would be brow-beaten and devoured by the professional denizens of those halls and therefore, corrupted before he even realized it had happened.

Enter "Judge Carter", Rep. John Carter of Texas, who was elected to congress in 2002. Carter served over twenty years on the bench as a Texas district court judge, which is never to be confused with anything resembling a California district court. Carter is about as conservative as they come.

Not only is he a proud conservative, he is completely immune from the "gaga" effect of being new to congress, which means that he is unafraid to confront anyone, including the Speaker, relying instead on pure righteousness as his guide. Couple that with an acute acumen for arguing, and he has all the ingredients required to severely confound the likes of Nancy Pelosi, especially in a contest fought before the scrutiny of the public.

Charlie Rangel, the Democratic chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, has been under fire since July over shady dealings that indicate a betrayal of trust of his position. According to the Washington Post:

He came under fire this week after The New York Times reported that Rangel worked to protect a tax shelter for Nabors Industries, an oil company whose chief executive was pledging $1 million to a school bearing the congressman's name.

The executive, Eugene M. Isenberg, also personally pledged $200,000 to the City College of New York, where the public policy school is named for Rangel. Last year, the company won congressional approval to preserve its tax shelter in the Caribbean, saving Nabors tens of millions of dollars annually and depriving the federal treasury of $1.1 billion in revenues over a decade, according to a Congressional analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

Anyone who remembers the Tom Delay railroad job must be scratching their heads about now. Not only is Rangel himself striking a defiant pose, but his comrades in congress are circling the wagons and doing what they can to bury this problem quickly while attempting to save face for the party. Judge Carter is having none of it. He is leading the charge on behalf of the republicans regarding Rangel's ethics problems and challenging Speaker Pelosi in a most direct manner regarding the same.

Connie Hair of Human Events has an excellent article on this subject in which she points out how Carter is demanding answers from the democrats, and how Pelosi is attempting to sweep the matter under the rug before the new congress in January. Carter is brilliant in his cross examination technique:

Speaker Pelosi last week issued a news release stating she had "assurances" that the Rangel investigation would conclude in early January, in spite of growing evidence of wrongdoing by Rangel.

In his letter to Pelosi, Carter said, “I was chagrined to learn that you issued a press release last week announcing that you ‘have been assured’ that the Ethics Committee’s investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel will be concluded by January 3, 2009. As a former member of the Ethics Committee, you are no doubt acutely aware that House rules expressly prohibit Members and staff of the Ethics Committee from discussing any aspect of an ongoing ethics investigation with individuals outside the committee.”

Pelosi explained publicly that those assurances came from her own staff and not from the ethics committee. Again, Carter's counter-punch was deadly. He said, "Indeed, no responsible news organization would have printed your announcement had they understood it reflected nothing more than speculation - or perhaps wishful thinking - by your own staff. Otherwise, the only other plausible purpose for your press release would be to put public pressure on the Ethics Committee to wrap up its work regarding Rep. Rangel before the House approves new committee chairmen for the 111th Congress during the first week of January.”

It seems that we have finally found the potent combination of rookie-with-experience in John Carter, a man who is new to the machinations of the federal government, but certainly not new to the planet, and most assuredly capable of tackling that which most citizens wish tackled; the ethics of DC.

God speed, Judge Carter.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We Could Be Tax Free

From what I've been reading of the King of the Fundraiser, there is no reason why Americans of any stripe should ever have to pay a single tax, ever again. While people like Howard Dean have previously set records for internet, grass-roots fundraising efforts, those people have not ascended to the top position.

President-elect Barack Obama shattered records for fundraising in his campaign to win the election. He also eclipsed previous records for spending, and now he's won. I see no reason to believe that he cannot continue to depend on his ardent supporters to give him all the money for which he asks. How sweet is that?

Finally gone will be the need for class envy, or guilt, as the case may be. Rich liberals will mercifully be unleashed to donate at will, funding the government programs they so cherish. Think of the economic power this will unleash as everyday working folks get to keep the meager salaries they earn. When I think of Alec Baldwin personally signing my Social Security checks, I get an electric thrill running up my leg. Free money and an autograph I can sell on E-Bay! Everyone I know can use an extra thirty-five bucks a month.

Of course, I am facetiously referring to not only the sums Obama has raised throughout the campaign, but also to the funds he's accrued from donations in the first ten days following his Election Night victory. If a candidate can raise more than $1.1 million in ten days, all the while being bound by FEC rules, what's to stop the president from accepting donations for the common good?

Granted, the amount raised equates to roughly $41 million per year, but when you factor in the over $600 million he raised in the months of the campaign, add the $41 million, and then remove the FEC rules for contribution limitations - since he won't be running a campaign, but the country - and there is no end to the funds that Hollywood may donate.

Seriously, confounding is it to realize that money flows so easily when it means winning a contest such as a democratic election in a free country, but becomes akin to dental extraction when it matters most? When actors can unabashedly spend the equivalent of the gross domestic product of many small nations to attack a particular politician, but not to correct the very affliction of which they complain?

Yes, we could have a tax-free nation if the people who live large off of our collective sweat would acknowledge their own dependence on the people they claim to champion; the working stiffs who struggle to get by and decide on occasion to treat their families to the oft-times awful products they serve up. If they truly cared for us. They don't care, though.

Except for the thrill of election victory.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Suddenly Woke Up Minor

If someone had told me 40 years ago that I would one day become a member of the minority in America, I never would have believed them, not in a million years. The very doctrines on which I was reared always seemed to be too steeped in abundant common sense to face any form of serious challenge, and yet here I am, all these years later, contemplating a future of sign-making and protest-marching.

These are acts I have witnessed and sneered at for most of my adult life for the simple reason that I considered them to be colossal wastes of time. Well, wipe the egg off of my face, because it seems that the ink and cardboard that has been used by folks formerly in the minority have ultimately paid for themselves.

I'm not talking about racial minorities here, in case that was the first impression I gave in the opening. What I'm talking about are the people who believe in the misguided notion that the more one hates America, the more they actually love it; people who are absolutely certain that the Founding Fathers of America agree with their own convoluted perceptions of what made this country great, all the while cheering that they have finally succeeded in correcting, once and for all, the heinous injustices that those very founders created.

I must give credit where credit is due, however. The left has been tenacious in its pursuit of its perceived vision of Utopia and has relentlessly hammered most of the formerly sane into submission. So here I find myself now, standing in a clearing and exhaling plumes of steam in the cold, wondering if "they" are watching from the edge of the forest, trying to figure my next move. I don't mind telegraphing such, though; I will gladly tell them what I plan.

I plan to begin to promote the Free Speech Alliance, for starters. I must admit that I find a delicious irony in the fact that someone like me will be advocating for free speech, which is something I always took for granted. Even more ironic is the reality that my new foes are people who have laid claim to fighting for and "championing" that very thing, even as they now scheme to silence the medium that has helped me maintain a glimmer of hope against their rising tide.

As the liberal democrats prepare for their coming monopoly on all things legislative, they are resurrecting the "Fairness Doctrine". If they have their way, we conservatives will be relegated to the same stature of former Radio Free Europe consumers, hiding in our shelters, trying desperately to tune into voices of reason on short-wave sets, cocking our heads like the Victrola Dog as we strain to hear through the frequency modulations. Ah, visions of bread lines dance in my head.

I don't know if Newt Gingrich, The Heritage Foundation, et al, have considered this tactic, but I would ask this simple question: if congress wants to ensure "fairness" on the public airwaves, does that mean that every evening newscast with Charles Gibson, for example, will be co-piloted by Rush Limbaugh, or Mike Gallagher? Will The View be required to empanel Laura Ingraham or Monica Crowley on a daily basis? Will Good Morning America be forced to pay Mark Levin or Glenn Beck to appear on the show every morning?

Fairness is a brass ring that already exists. It is evident in the opportunity presented, but not guaranteed to succeed. Liberal voices have had the chance and have failed. The people vote with their radios, and the left has lost embarrassingly. The only recourse is to change the rules. That, I will fight as best I can, even if it means engaging in the dreaded protest march.

Where are my crayons?

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Simple Pleasures

Last month I posted an awesome guitar video by Antoine Dufour. This month, it's time for a little Andy McKee. Enjoy.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

OK, I'm Starting To Believe

Hard as I try to push this away, simply for the sheer ludicrousness of it, it just won't leave. Where was the president-elect actually born?

I realize that the video could very well be a radio gimmick type of spot, but why are there still so many lingering questions regarding this issue? Why have so many people been signing this petition so rapidly?

There was a time when I actually entertained the notion that John McCain might have had a problem regarding Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. constitution, so despite my partisan interest in politics, this is not an example of my bias in that regard. Additionally, this post is not a clandestine statement of my hatred for Kenyans, nor Panamanians, for that matter. It is, to be concise, a declaration of my sincere desire to see my next president meet each and every requirement of the constitution, the tenants of which he will swear to uphold on January 20th of 2009.

I don't think I'm asking too much.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Canadian Meteorite

Here's something you don't see every day. It's an Edmonton Police DashCam Video of a huge meteorite crashing to Earth.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Egads! Bush Pardons

Yes kids, it's that end-of-term time when presidents start doling out pardons and commutations to convicted criminals, and the AP has a list of terrifying bad-guys about to be turned loose on society by President Bush. Lock the doors and hide the children, here they come!

The latest is the AP reporting 14 pardons and 2 commutations. Here is a sampling:

On the latest pardon list were:

_Leslie Owen Collier of Charleston, Mo. She was convicted for unauthorized use of a pesticide and violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

"Unauthorized use of a pesticide"? Lordy, save us! Who is this depraved Leslie Owen Collier? From the Washington Post:

One of the pardon cases was Leslie Owen Collier, a farmer from Charleston, Mo. He pleaded guilty in February 1996 to two counts of taking bald eagles and one count of using poisoned bait to kill animals on his farm. The victims were three bald eagles, a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl, a opossum, a raccoon and seven coyotes. Collier was sentenced to two years' probation, barred from possessing a firearm during that period, and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.

(Extra credit if you noticed the gender difference in the two reports. [Extra-extra credit if you know the meaning of "taking bald eagles"]). Actual, bonafide kudos are available to anyone who notices that animals are now referred to as "victims".

Next up is Daniel F. Pue III, 64. Oh, he is an especially heinous man (I think).
He was convicted in 1996 on federal charges of illegal storage, disposal and transportation of a hazardous waste without a permit! The waste was pentachlorophenol and creosote sludge.

And now, thanks to George W Bush, he will be free to continue this dastardly practice of moving wood preservatives. America is in grave danger, my friends.

Here's one more from the list: Richard Michael Culpepper of Mahomet, Ill, who was convicted of making false statements to the federal government.
I wonder if Bush will pardon Bill Clinton?

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Letter To Candace Gingrich

Yesterday in the Huffington Post, Candace Gingrich wrote a scathing letter to her brother, Newt, in which she several times referred to him - and ostensibly, all of "us" - as haters. I seriously doubt that Newt will respond in kind, but I have no qualms whatsoever about filling in for him. And I have no fears at all that Newt will be coming to beat me up for slapping his sister around just a bit, albeit figuratively.

Dear Ms. Gingrich,

You don't waste time, do you? In your opening paragraph, you mention the "fears and prejudices of the far right". Couple those gross mischaracterizations with the silly misnomer of "haters", and you have filled your stew with all the wrong ingredients. People are permitted to have strong opinions on subjects without being labelled as such, but it seems to be the most effective tool your "community" utilizes. You put the opposition on defense right out of the gate. I feel no need to defend against such charges, however, I just grow weary of hearing that tired, old mantra.

I will briefly address your concerns regarding "LGBT Americans". There is much credit due for the success the movement has achieved over the past decades. It is a good thing that you no longer have to live in those small closets. It was wrong for people to be brutally beaten simply for being who and what they were. Kudos on that front, you have become accepted in society.

The thing is, it just is never enough, is it? Civil unions were not good enough, were they? The cry was for equal rights for health benefits, hospital visitation, estate bequeathal, etc. Even if all this is offered, you are still akin to the warriors of old, who could not accept victory at the expense of continued conflict. To put it simply, you live for the fight. That is a sad commentary.

Your movement claims that two people who love one another should have the right to marry, but we both know that there are already prohibitions of this on myriad levels, don't we? For example, brothers cannot marry sisters or, if you prefer, brothers. Mothers cannot marry sons, nor fathers daughters. Some things are just wrong despite the efforts of others to obfuscate that fact.

A fair question asked by the LGBT community and its defenders is, "How will two gay people getting married affect you"? That is a question I cannot answer with conviction, but it is also true that someone else's kid getting kidnapped doesn't affect me, either. Does that make the act permissible?

You said in your letter:

The truth is that you're living in a world that no longer exists. I, along with millions of Americans, clearly see the world the way it as [sic]-- and we embrace what it can be. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of looking for new ideas or moving beyond what worked in the past.

You seem to equate change unequivocally with progress. I beg to differ, since changing America's laws and morals into something more resembling Europe is not progress but the opposite of it. Remember, little sis (of Newt), we left that place more than two hundred years ago for a better life, which we created and which you are trying to destroy.

Your disdain for "what worked in the past" is misguided, at best. There is an old axiom that says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

You should also leave political prognostication to the experts such as your big brother. Your belief that this election indicated a sweeping sea change in the ideology of the nation couldn't be further from the truth.

You will learn that in four years, though, and my guess is that you and your comrades will rail against the rule of democracy, just as you have seen fit to do with the proper decision of Prop 8. Democracy is only good when it works to your advantage, apparently.

In the meantime, if Newt doesn't write back, don't feel too bad, no one else would blame him.

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For Obama, A Question Of Judgement

For quite some time, Americans have dreamed of having a "common man" in the White House, someone just like them. It was a dream that never came to fruition simply because of the logistics of running for the high office coupled with the price tag. Further, the intense scrutiny of the vetting process is prohibitive to most common men since, as such, they again have little resources to afford to cover up the skeletons we all have. What happened to Joe the Plumber should serve as a prime example.

What we have now, however, is the next best thing, depending on one's perspective. Barack Obama is the president-elect, and while he is far from being a commoner, he does lack experience and is therefore an empty canvass. His promises of change and hope have already begun to yellow around the edges, though, as he begins to build his cabinet; most of the bricks are used.

Aside from the obvious problem this causes, that being the erasure of the promise, it is not necessarily a bad thing since the neophyte will need to surround himself with people who are familiar with the process, people with experience. The trick is to pick people with good experience, though, and not someone who just happened to have performed in a similar role once before.

Eric Holder was assistant Attorney General in the Clinton administration, so yes, he does have experience, but what was the nature and the outcome of that experience? The pardon of Marc Rich immediately comes to mind.

Breitbart news has found a video of hearings on the Rich pardon from 2001, in which Eric Holder is grilled by Congressman Bob Barr. During that testimony, Barr asked Holder if he made a recommendation to the president on the Rich pardon, to which he said that he made the recommendation to the White House Counsel. When Barr asked if the White House Counsel asked on behalf of the president, Holder stated that he didn't "know the process there".

An incredulous Barr then asked, "You don't know what the process is there?" It would seem that an assistant attorney general should know who the White House Counsel reports to, one would think. But the other half of the problem with Holder is his involvement with the pardon itself.

The New York Times on Saturday was kind enough to provide a neat little synopsis of why the Rich case is significant at all. (Emphasis mine).

A little history first. In 1983, Marc Rich was indicted along with his partner, Pincus Green, and their companies on 65 counts of defrauding the I.R.S., mail fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, defrauding the Treasury and trading with the enemy. (The last of these was for an oil deal with Iran while it held American hostages.) On hearing that they were about to be prosecuted, they fled to Switzerland. For the next 17 years, Mr. Rich ducked extradition requests as well as attempts by federal marshals to arrest him in France, England, Finland and elsewhere.

Going back to the testimony of 2001, Holder told Barr that, regarding the pardon of Rich, he was "neutral, leaning toward favorable", despite his own prosecutors vigorously pursuing the case against Rich. This also caused Barr severe perplexity.

The president-elect may need to surround himself with experienced people, but this is not the way to start.

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Victory In Iraq Day

I apologize to all who served for being a day late.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Freedom Is The Fairest Of All

It is a profound reality that the most successful civilizations the world has known have been the most free. There is a pitfall to this fact, however, that has historically doomed such civilizations of the past. Liberty begets abundance, yet abundance poisons the well. I find this to be a perplexing conundrum, one that mankind has suffered for all time; the thing we seek most is that which will kill us in the end. "Be careful what you ask for...", and all that jazz.

I received something in an email today that I found interesting. It is not accredited, so if anyone knows the origin of it, please share. It is partly thus:

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government."

"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."

"From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years"

"During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;

2. from spiritual faith to great courage;

3. from courage to liberty;

4. from liberty to abundance;

5. from abundance to complacency;

6. from complacency to apathy;

7. from apathy to dependence;

8. from dependence back into bondage"

I maintain that we are somewhere between numbers 6 and 7. The author asks, "How long do we have"?

From my perspective, it's not long.

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Righteousness? Who Has it and Why is it So Misunderstood?

Written By W.A.

Many of us fortunate enough to have a variety of persons of various religious and societal influences with which we can exchange beliefs and
ideas, know that the subject of religious righteousness is a sticking
point. Over and over the chasm of convictions is reached. And
repeatedly, both sides walk away feeling frustrated at the ignorance or
the judgmental nature of the other. Unbeknown to us, we are speaking
carefully orchestrated languages designed to eliminate altogether any
consensus or agreement on the subject. Political forces of the left have
begun to speak a mirror language concerning things of a moral nature.
Those on the right have only their Bibles, a predetermined set of rules
exclusively NOT to be valid by those on the left. And therefore, vastly
misunderstood by same. This brings me to righteousness.

The left sees righteousness as something they can never have, so they quit
trying. The Bible describes a righteousness that the left can not have
if they are to have what they want. Immorality, as the right sees it, is
those actions that cause one to sin or are outright sins themselves. The
left sees immorality as someone else's idea of what is right and wrong,
but exclusively “not theirs”. This is where the battle lines are drawn;
“your idea of right and wrong vs. my idea of right and wrong". The
desire for one's own freedom from a set morality is the driving force
behind this debate.

The right sees righteousness as something they can become, so they
continue to strive for it. Does this mean all religious people are
righteous? No. But they know it when they see it as a result of the
rules of the religious ideology with which they identify. For instance, as
much as the religion of Islam has been castigated, sometimes for good
reason depending upon which side of Jihad you are standing on, it has
some very righteous aspects of the other two Judeo-Christian religions.
God hates sin. Therefore, sin is bad. The definition of sin then varies
wildly and is not a matter of discussion here. But the principle of sin
is universal in these majority religious ideologies. However, those who
do not subscribe have made the sin of no consequence. The areas that lie
in between are the areas of hot fighting and philosophical debate. The
battle comes from the middle ground and a critical flaw in the mind of
the sinner. Believers and unbelievers quarrel over the right to be
right. Righteousness.

To the Christian specifically, the definition of sin is like wearing
skin. We all have it. We were born with it. And we can not eliminate it
from ourselves by ourselves. According to the Jewish Ten Commandments,
which all three monotheistic religions adhere, no one has lived a “sin
free life”. All come short of the commandments and the glory of God. If
the judgment is of those ten things, we are all doomed. This aside,
those of us who break the least of these commandments should not
attempt to change them to suit our needs. We still insist that they
stand as the Law of God handed down to Moses. They are right. We are
wrong. Sin is constant. Repentance must also be constant. Sin and guilt
can not be overcome by abandoning the laws (morals) that make them
wrong. The sin remains in the heart of man.

Unbelievers have the propensity to define their disbelief in terms of
belief. Unbelievers also experience this largely due to the fact that
they do believe and will not or do not want to admit it. The unbeliever
is caught between wanting and fear. Or wanting and doubt. They don't
believe desperately. This affords them the luxury of claiming that they
know no right and wrong other than what they themselves define. They
have no accepted rules of engagement, nor are they bound by any
customary notions of sin. But they, having defined their beliefs upon
the disbelief, have doubts. The constant gaze from those of us who carry
the Laws in our hearts is more than they can bear. Those who are aware
that they live outside the customarily accepted bounds of morality
strive for the elimination of that feeling. They want to be left outside
of the influence of the the knowledge of good and evil. But they doubt
their own religious convictions in the absence of sin.

All experience doubt. Believer and unbeliever alike. Believers deal with
it differently. Unbelievers do not know or understand why they want to
believe. Their doubt tries to find proof of the non existence of
righteousness. This is their Holy Grail, as it were. They are constantly
fighting the desire to believe. They are constantly fighting the pull
toward their place in the reality of the universe.

Then we find the disparity among the major religions. The Ten
Commandments are written in stone. They do not suggest anything. They
are definite. As stated before, we have all sinned. All have stolen a
pen or lied about the “extra” day off on Monday due to the 24 hour flu
or the death of a long lost Uncle. As harmless as many of these things
are, they are in violation of the Law and cannot be dismissed as lesser
than the other sins. This is where the Christians have taken sin to the
next level, so to speak; sin continues. All have sinned and all will
continue to sin to some degree. So where is righteousness?

Righteousness is possible only through Christ. No one alive has it, but
it is promised if the believer confesses Christ as Lord and continually
strives - in his heart and to the world - toward righteousness. Sin
remains until death. Salvation comes through grace and confession of
Christ. This does not mean confession as the Catholics use the term.
Confession to a Priest is not quite the original intent of Confession.
The ownership of Sin and repentance, true repentance is the manner and
purposeful meaning of the Christian “confession”. This is where the
righteousness of Christians resides. It's not in the sinless life of a
Christian, it is in the sinless life of the Savior, Jesus Christ of

The sin we see today of the left is lost in a sea of finger pointing.
The left continually tries to point out how “sinful” those “self
righteous” Bible thumpers are and how meaningless then their pretend
religion is. The “religion” of Christianity is exactly why the left
fails to understand us. They assume that since we are Christians, and
sin, that we are neither righteous nor Christians. The fact remains that
no one is good. All sin. So they equate this with hypocrisy. The truth
is that Christians do not call their sin good. They do not promote their
sins as alternative lifestyle or choice. Christians hate their own sins
as they hate the sins of others. Liberals find it unnerving when
Christians call their lifestyles wrong and sinful. But they are.
Liberals also feel that Christians are saying that unbelievers are bad
people. They are. We all are. But Christians do not call their sins
good. This is the major distinction between righteousness and
unrighteousness. Calling evil good and good evil is the paradox of our
time. The attempt to eliminate God or morality from our lives only
magnifies this distinction. We can no more eliminate sin by eliminating
the morality that defines sin as we can cure cancer by bleeding and
killing cancer patients. The cancer remains and bleeding is the cause of
death. But neither matters when saving the life of the patient is the
intended goal.

Sin remains even after the morals are gone. The truth of the existence
of God and God's laws are the crux of the issue for non believers. If
it was so easy to dismiss God, why is Atheism defined as the religion of
“no God” rather than the religion of nothing? When you define yourself
as Godless, you can hardly then express anything without the contrast of
God as the major factor.

Righteousness must be understood by all if we are ever going to move
beyond our current social and political deadlock in the world today.
Major religions all believe in the righteousness of their creed. But it
is the unbeliever that is still trying to define God and morality
without God that makes the issue difficult to see clearly. Once it is
established what is and what is not wrong, we can then turn our
attention to what is right. Then we must all strive to get there.
Believer or not, righteousness has it's rewards. Sin is always sin as it
leads to death and corruption. Regardless of an afterlife.

In the real terms of political conflict, righteousness is not a state of
being, it is a state of becoming. A path never fully followed by us mere
mortals. It is a path set out for us who watch where and more
specifically care to watch where we tread. The Christian does not point
a finger in judgment. The Christians points a finger in warning. “Watch
out! You are about to stumble on the oldest and well known root of all
evil along the path of righteousness, which we must all travel.” Walking
along side it is wrought with peril. Perils we have well defined in our
short but rich history of people and failures. Trip on that root, but
get back on the correct path. That is what a Christian yells at those
who sin. “Forget it! It's past, just get back on the horse and don't do
it again. But never give up, even if you sin again.” But do not call it
good. Do not make excuses for sin. Call it what it is. Sin which is
unrighteous and evil.

So when the issue of sin arises, first address what is sin and what is
doctrine. Then the truth can be seen by those circular reasonings that
cause so much meaningless argument. The righteousness of Christianity is
the celebration of the salvation of Christ when he said...”Follow me”.
It's the path of righteousness that is righteous, not those who are
walking or trying to walk it. It is to follow Christ , the righteous.
Especially if you sin. This is where Christians have been branded as
judgmental. This is a mistake.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pirates Draw Wrath Of U.N.

I realize that the image is a stunningly cavalier portrayal of the seriousness concerning the issue of the rash of Somali pirate seizures on the open seas, but I thought it was the perfect illustration when the latest news is considered. That would be the news that the U.N. has approved sanctions against the pirates!

Yes, the U.N. is flexing its flab once again, and I'm sure the effect is causing tremors in the "pirate community" (don't they have a lobby yet?) that would rival those felt in San Francisco during earthquake times. I'm waiting for the president-elect to threaten them with a terror tax. That would certainly slow the incidence of ship takeovers. Pirates are, after all, capitalists and they will cower in the face of a tax on their entrepreneurial endeavors.

I'm content to sit back for the time being and allow the United Nations to work its magic, however. When have they ever let us down?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Abolish The Prisons?

Good Lord, this guy teaches at the University of Illinois in Chicago!

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Obama And Global Warming

Barack Obama is not only aboard the global warming bandwagon, he's about to move into the driver's seat. Another one who insists that, "The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season".

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: The Next President?

He may well be the up and coming Republican superstar, a moniker I happen to agree with, for obvious reason. All one needs to do is watch him speak in the interview on CBS' Face The Nation

Pay particular attention to the seamless way he answers the creationism question when pressed on his personal stand on the issue. He's got the luxury of serving a full term as governor, which was lacking for Sarah Palin, and he's also much more sure of himself in face-to-face interviews.

There are many videos available across the web, but for now, enjoy this one:

Watch CBS Videos Online

As a post script; does it matter what he looks like? Does it matter that he's of Indian descent? Does it matter that he's not white? My answer to all of these questions is no, as I suspect will be the consensus of many of the republican party. He's bright and articulate, and he is shaping up to be the best bet to limit Obama to one term. I really do hope that I will not be clamoring for such four years from now, but I have my reservations in that regard.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wrong Turn At Albuquerque

For anyone who has been either underground or in a coma for the past ten years or so, suddenly surfacing today would be quite a shock to the central nervous system. Such a shock would likely drive the mole back to the dark of the hole and the coma patient into cardiac arrest, thus finishing the job left undone by whatever precipitated the coma in the first place. Suffice it to say that America bears little resemblance to the country I knew a scant ten years ago and is completely alien to my recollections from thirty or more years ago.

Growing up on Long Island was an experience I do not hold as the exclusive pleasure of the region, as I'm sure that there are many like me across the country who feel equally blessed by their own childhoods. I write here, however, of that which I know from personal experience and would welcome comparative narratives from any reader who cares to engage in such. My tome is of morality as I knew it then, as an inhabitant of childhood nirvana.

We had parents who struggled to get by, but nowhere near on the scale that we do now. Dad worked and Mom ruled the home, and when the weekend came, they had neighbors over to enjoy the finished basement with the bar and the music. The magic was on holidays, particularly the Christmas holidays, when the parents would be in the basement and we kids would be out running in the snow and dark, enjoying the holiday lights, while being safe from anything we as parents today fear.

There were no predators skulking in the dark waiting to abduct us and kill us. They may have existed, but they were too afraid of capture. Back then, they would have received a severe beating at the hands of the revellers in the basement, with no chance of litigious recourse to recover damages for their injuries, had they survived.

Back then, bad guys wore black hats and it was accepted philosophy. They were immediately recognizable and even they acknowledged their role. Somewhere, though, we have made a wrong turn. Today, every hat is beige, and even a criminal of the most heinous nature is something of a sympathetic figure.

For someone like William Ayers to be viewed as an upstanding member of society and hold tenure as a "respected professor" at UIC is confounding to me, and I have been awake all this time. I see the accolades bestowed on people who once would be considered toxically detrimental to America, and I shake my head, but at least for me, it has been a gradual process.

There can be no doubt that America has made a wrong turn. Some might refer to it as a left turn. I would be inclined to agree.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Remaking America In New Orleans' Image

Mention Hurricane Katrina and the first thoughts evoked in many peoples minds will be how the government failed the people; more specifically, how President Bush failed them. They will not think first of the warnings issued by government at all levels, nor will they recall their own failure to heed those warnings. Why? The answer is simple; they heard the warnings and waited for their instructions from their "leaders". The instructions were clear, however, and they were to get out of the city fast, but most of the inhabitants of New Orleans were so accustomed to being cared for on every level that they sat back and waited for someone, anyone from the government, to come for them.

New Orleans was but a spec on the landscape of the entire nation, and was not anything more than an anomaly at the time. Other Gulf Coast cities dealt with the ravages of Katrina fairly well and have since moved forward, while many of the citizens of New Orleans still languish in the aftermath of the storm, still waiting for help. Still dependent on the government.

Apply this mentality to the nation as a whole, as we are beginning to witness through the financial crises that have befallen us, coupled with the mantra of our new president-elect, and we have the makings of a gigantic New Orleans. Everyone is now demanding a helping hand from the very people who caused this financial storm, unlike the culpability of Katrina which lay largely in the hands of God and, to a much lesser degree, Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco.

Bear in mind that Nagin was re-elected by the people he damaged so, while Blanco has been supplanted. But the people of the U.S. just elected Barack Obama, who has been promoting an agenda bearing a striking resemblance to the atmosphere that created the havoc in New Orleans, that being, that government will take care of everything. Personal responsibility is being vilified as we speak as a cruel outlook on the "misfortunes" of others, while it is all of us who stand to lose in this economic meltdown.

All of us dream of a protective blanket and a world in which we have no cares, but we are all born to fly free, and the constraints of protection and security are alien to us, in the end. Even birds nudge their hatchlings out of the nest. A prison cell is the most secure place in the world, particularly an American cell, where the incarcerated has nothing for which to want; except freedom.

I do not fret over the "red state" areas of the country save for one reason; it is those people who will be forced to deal with the marching zombies exiting the large cities when the experiment of re-engineering America fails. When people realize that they have traded their souls for the comfort of an omnipotent government, only to be sadly disappointed in the end, they may well end up as trophies on a dark-wood panelled den in flyover country.

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