Friday, April 29, 2005

High School Political Antics

It seems the ACLU is defending the wrong person for the wrong reason, yet again. Boy, they're good at that.

A kid wears a t-shirt to school, which depicts a picture of Bush with the words "International Terrorist" in the caption.

So here's my question: If around Christmas, a kid wears a t-shirt sporting a picture of Christ, with the caption underneath: "Jesus is the Reason for the Season," will the ACLU be falling all over itself in defense of his religious liberty and freedom of expression?

It'll be a very Merry Christmas in North Korea, before that happens.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Founding Quotes of Note XXVIII

"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. ... How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?"--John Adams

The Roadmap to Oblivion

Here's a good article demonstrating our government's cluelessness, regarding the Jewish/"Palestinian" conflict:

It is a national disgrace that the U.S. government is spending $350 million more to subsidize the Palestinian Authority, which holds that no Jews are permitted to live within its territory or future nation. It is a national disgrace that the U.S. government would join with the rest of the anti-Semitic world to force Israel to abandon its own security needs and its own Jewish communities on historically Jewish lands. And it is a national disgrace that the U.S. government, while supposedly fighting a global war against Islamist terrorism, is appeasing it in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Points for pondering.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Found floating in cyberspace:

Hut on Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him self from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger.

"God, how could you do this to me?" he cried.

Early the next day he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

"How did you know I was here?" Asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

We are all castaways in this world of tragedy and corruption. Pilgrims passing over the cusp of eternity. Strangers in a strange land. But God has not forgotten us. Nor shall He. Someday He'll rescue us and take us all home. In the meantime, we must accept that "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."--1 Corinthians 13:12

Friday, April 22, 2005

Coming to America

I want to relate an interesting back-&-forth I observed, this past saturday.

That afternoon, my wife and I went to I-HOP for supper. For those who think I'm talking about B'rer Rabbit's house, that's an acronym for International House of Pancakes.

Our waiter was a polite man in his mid-to-late twenties, who spoke with a foreign accent. He was very attentive and eager to please.

In a private moment, my wife asked, "Is he Russian, or something?"

"I dunno," I said. "I haven't heard him speak enough to place his accent."

Our meal came. Midway through gorging myself on chicken tenders and a baked potato, I overheard a conversation between our waiter and another family he was serving, just a few booths away.

Turned out my wife was correct. He originally was from Russia. He had emigrated to the U.S. through legal channels, after many difficulties. It took him a year-and-a-half to learn English, and he accomplished this arduous task before stepping foot on American soil. He was well-spoken, and his accent was not thick or garbled.

What's the point of my story, you may ask? Well, I just noticed the glaring contrast between this hard-working guy and many immigrants from Mexico.

I've personally worked with Mexicans. In my experience, most speak either no English, or very little. When I see them out in public, clustered together like a gaggle of hens, they usually speak only Spanish. I see no interest on the majority's part in learning the language of the United States. In fact, just a few days ago, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, while my wife grabbed a few items inside the nearest store; and I saw a man exit another store with a three or four year old boy in tow. As they crossed the parking lot, the man (presumably his father) gave vent to a staccato rapid-fire of pure Spanish. When children are small, and their brains soak up knowledge like sponges, that is the best time for teaching a language. I just shook my head and wondered at what I beheld. Of course, I don't know their situation. But was he doing his child a favor, by only conversing with him in a language most people in this country don't speak or understand? I overheard the manager of I-HOP complaining along these lines. She mentioned that hiring Mexicans is a nuisance (I'm paraphrasing, here), because none of them know even rudimentary English. She lamented the situation, saying that she's forced to manually take them and show them what must be done, each time she has a task for them.

Lest I be misunderstood, these are not isolated events. I see such things all the time. Nor am I suggesting that all Mexicans or Central Americans fall into this mold. I know that some come here legally, thirsting for the American Dream, as it were. I know some work hard, and become decent upstanding citizens. This isn't a blanket accusation or condemnation. I'm speaking merely of trends I've noticed in the news, and in my own experiences. Furthermore, the influx of Mexicans into my neck of the woods, alone, cannot possibly be explained as a product of legal immigration only. It's statistically impossible. Just a few short years ago, I didn't encounter one-sixth as many Mexicans as I do, now.

The gulf between integration and non-integration is wider than the distance between stars. I'd suggest asking the Romans, for the skeptics, but they're conspicuously absent from the discussion--and contemporary life.

Taxed to the Limit

In honor of income confiscation month, here's a quote from a little-known dead white racist male named Thomas Jefferson:

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. ... A wise and frugal government...shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. ... Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated. ... Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands?"

A few others:

"Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets." --Ronald Reagan

"Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer." --Ludwig von Mises

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." --Winston Churchill

"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." --Lenin

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." --Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Deus Le Volt!

As everyone probably knows, by now, John Cardinal Ratzinger became the new pope, on Tuesday. Speaking to a herd of reporters just after his coronation, he told them: "I chose the name Benedict because I've always been a great fan of eggs benedict. Mmmmmm."

Nah, seriously, I'm glad a person close to the former pope took his place. I hope he's the kind of man John Paul II was, but that's a mighty big beanie to fill. May he not bow to the forces of evil running amok in our world. God bless him.

I was a little disappointed, I must admit. I relished the idea of a new warrior pope, perhaps like Pope Urban II, who preached the first crusade. There're a lot of infidels who need chasing out of our lands, and tons of jihadis in dire need of an arranged meeting with their maker.

Ah, well. What's that old Rolling Bones song say?:

You can't always get whatcha want. . .

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Founding Quotes of Note XXVII

"Human government is more or less perfect as it approaches nearer or diverges farther from the imitation of this perfect plan of divine and moral government." --John Adams

Mr. Adams, you poor ol' theocrat. Don't you understand that there's a Wall of Manure separating religion from life?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Treason, Wetbacks, Citizenship, and Minutemen

According to a spokesman for the Minutemen, the ACLU is helping illegal aliens:

Grey Deacon told Joseph Farah's nationally syndicated "WorldNetDaily RadioActive" audience yesterday that ACLU monitors sent to the border to watch Minuteman activity and report civil-liberties abuses to authorities have begun flashing lights, sounding horns and warning off illegals and their "coyote" human smugglers from entering territory patrolled by the volunteers.

"They are actively engaging in criminal activity," said Deacon.

Deacon said the ACLU activists are resorting to new tactics because of the success the Minuteman Project is having in assisting the Border Patrol in spotting illegal aliens and in generating publicity about the insecure U.S.-Mexico border.

"The ACLU's position is that illegal aliens have a right to enter our border and stay in this country as long as they want," said Deacon. "That's what one of the leaders of the group told me personally."

This is putrid, treasonous behavior on the part of this leftist front group. How does aiding illegal aliens in evading apprehension fall under their purview? Do those four letters now stand for "Illegal Civil Liberties Union?" OK, it's the ICLU, then.

These people pose as defenders of freedom and champions of justice. In reality, they've done far more harm to this nation than good. The only freedom they defend is licentiousness, secularism, or treason. They do not champion justice, but leftist causes. As you can see, they've kicked it up a notch, and have no intention of stopping. I find them the most loathesome vandals of our society's mores working today. Like Huns pouring from the steppes, like barbarians clamoring at the gates, they're tearing down our country, one brick or fortress at a time.

As a brief aside, I want to address George W. Bush's characterization of the Minutemen as "vigilantes." This is poppycock. Our Founders formed this nation predicated upon the idea that it entails a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Is that what we see happening, today? This administration and its many cogs thumbs its nose at the desires of the American people, regarding border security and immigration control. It has absolutely no regard for the will of the people. I truly believe it will take another terrorist attack of equal or greater devastation to 9/11 to awaken our "leaders" to the realities and dangers of loose immigration policies. Even then, I won't be surprised if they do not take the proper curbing actions.

The information I've gleaned in researching the Minutemen is that they embody the ideals once held dear in our country's early years: citizenry is more than simply saying, "I'm an Amurricuhn." It's an act. They've addressed a problem that our government refuses to deal with--and quite effectively, considering their limited range and resources. They're acting like militia members on the frontier; and indeed, that is what the border region is: a frontier between civilization and chaos. It must be strengthened. It must be held. I commend them for their efforts.

If vigilantism is protecting your homeland from foreign invasion, while g-men pick their noses and hang Spanish signs in their windows, then I'm all for the concept. Is it vigilantism for me to form a neighborhood watch? Is it vigilantism for me to hold a man at gun-point, after catching him breaking into my neighbor's house, around midnight?

If the answer is yes, then we need more of it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hubris of the Death-Gods

George Felos' ex-wife has involved herself in the Schiavo-Schindler situation, offering to review and analyze findings from the autopsy report.

What are her qualifications for doing such a thing, you might ask?

Well, she's a lawyer (pronounced lie-uhr, in Tennessee), and a licensed massage therapist.

Dunedin, Fla., attorney Constance d'Angelis was married to Felos, who represented Terri's husband Michael Schiavo.

When Terri Schiavo's condition was argued in court, d'Angelis presented a CT Scan and other medical records to assert Terri was in a "persistent vegetative state."

Now, d'Angelis claims she will be available to interpret the anticipated medical examiner's report.

According to a statement, "Upon the release of the autopsy report, [d'Angelis] can analyze the results and weigh in on the important matters of how -- by reason, not emotion -- the 'persistent vegetative state' diagnosis of Terri Schiavo was arrived at, and why."

Can you believe her audacity? That kind of gall would embitter a bottle of vinegar. Highly trained medical doctors--including neurologists--varied widely on Ms. Schiavo's condition; but we're supposed to lend credence to the views of a lawyer?

If you take this idjit seriously, you just might be in a persistent vegetative state.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Founding Quotes of Note XXVI

"History, by apprising [citizens] of the past, will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views." --Thomas Jefferson

And what better way to keep children nice and ignorant, than teaching "social studies" in schools?

History shows us the errors of humanity's ways. It's a time-spanning "What Not To Do" course, for all of us. Making the right decisions in life, and drawing the correct conclusions about where our country is heading and should be going, is a daunting task without at least a decent grasp of the history of our nation, and the world around us. In fact, it's kinda like a one-legged man trying to win a butt-kicking contest.

All is vanity.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905

Jokes for the Fokes

The Collection plate

Every Sunday, a little old lady placed $1,000 in the collection plate. This went on for weeks until the pastor, overcome by curiosity, approached her.

"Ma'am, I couldn't help but notice that you put $1,000 a week in the collection plate," he stated.

"Why yes," she replied, "Every week, my son sends me money, and what I don't need, I give to the church."

The pastor replied, "That's wonderful. How much does he send you?"

The old lady said, "Oh, $20,000 a week."

The pastor was amazed. "Your son must be a very successful man. What does he do for a living?"

"He is a veterinarian," she answered.

"That is a very honorable profession," the pastor says....... "Where does he practice?"

The old lady says proudly, "Well, he has two cat houses in Las Vegas and one in Reno."

Here's another'n:

A guy walks into a bar with a duck on his head.

The bartender says, "Harry, what the heck happened to you?"

The duck says, "Stan, you wouldn't believe it if I told you. . . "

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Religion of Humanity

“I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.”– John Dunphy, "A Religion for a New Age," The Humanist, January–February 1983, p. 26.

Gotta love those government-run indoctrination centers, better known as "schools." Don't these comments make you want to find your happy place, and never come back?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Evolutionist Admissions of Bias

‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.’--Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons," The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997.

‘Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic’--S.C. Todd, correspondence to Nature, Sept. 1999.

And they call creationists biased and unscientific?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Blogathon for Bane

Bane sure could use a little help. And no, I'm not talking about the psychiatric variety. He's a good guy, and he keeps things interesting--at his blog, and elsewhere. Most of you are already familiar with him, I'm sure. Of late, his family has had many rivers to cross, and they've even overcome a few rapids. Through it all, he's kept his sense of humor and a heartful of love for his fellow man.

So break open your kids' piggy banks, slip a coupla bucks outta your hubby's wallet, or just help yourself to the contents of the offering plate, next Sunday--whatever it takes to help a fellow blogger in his time of need.

Go here for more information.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Not Neutral About God

From Meet the Press, 3/27/05:

"Look, I want to say generally, very briefly, that the mix of God and government, of religion and politics, is quintessentially American, and it was there at the beginning. The fact is that in the first American document, the Declaration of Independence, the founders of our country said that they were forming the new government to secure the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that they saw as the endowment of our Creator. So this government, this country was not neutral about God right at the outset.

"One, accepting that there is a Creator, so our existence here is not accidental. And secondly, that as a result of the creation, we have an inherent unity. We are all equal. We have equal opportunity for those rights. We are a country based on a vision, a belief in creationism. And part of that is not only the humans, who were created on the sixth day, but the natural Earth…America itself is a faith-based initiative….

"I think that the public square is greatly strengthened and enriched when people are prepared to speak, not just about secular notions of justice, but about the moral sense that our faith gives us. And again, I want to say that to me that is not un-American, that is very American. We are--our Constitution says we don't establish a religion, but it also says everybody has freedom of religion, and everybody has the right to speak their mind. And if your mind is faith-based, God bless you. Speak your mind."

"So though this is a nation that--the majority of which is Christian, I will say to you as a Jewish American that I believe in the 5,765 years of Jewish history, there has never been a country, other than Israel during certain times of its history, which has given Jews more freedom….That's the glory of this country and, frankly, the grace and gift of the Christians who founded the country and who continue to be the majority within it.

"And incidentally, I think this is an important message for us to convey to the rest of the world, because when--those rights that were in the Declaration of Independent, we didn't say that only Americans got this endowment from our Creator. That's a universal declaration of human rights….

"So, you know, I say to the--you can't separate God from America. You go right back to the Declaration of Independence. We have to always remember that the Constitution, in my opinion, promises freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Washington reminded us in his farewell address that religion in a democracy is one of the sources of values we need, because in a democracy the state won't tell everybody what to do every moment."

In the main, this is a pretty remarkable commentary, considering its source: Joe Lieberman

Do Not Go Gibbering Into That Long Night

From a letter to World Net Daily:

What is it with you guys? Pushing your own agenda on god, evolution and religion. Do you have any balance in the editorial room? The evidence for evolution is overwhelming, but the evidence for a manmade god is not. The earth is but a speck in the cosmos, and there are probably tens of millions of planets with life forms. There are probably tens of million of other universes. Use your god-given brain and stop trying so hard to convince the masses, which are vulnerable because they are scared of death and need a reason for their brief existence on this planet.

Urk! The horror! Actually having an opinion on God, evolution, and religion! Why can't we all set aside our biases, like this enlightened guy?

WND always has been open about its agenda, with no subtleties involved. It's pro-God, pro-Constitution, and pro-Christian. That said, there's more diversity of thought at WND than within any other newspaper I've ever read.

This is funny. Evidence for evolution is "overwhelming," yet he cannot give one definitive example in his diatribe? And what is this gobbledegook about a "man-made" god? That's not the God Christians worship. If the evidence for "tens of millions" of other universes--peopled with sundry life forms--is so weighty, let's see a wee bit of it.

Whew! I'm glad we have such intellects to set us sheep in the "masses" straight. Oh, one final question: How does atheism bring comfort to those who "need a reason for their brief existence on this planet."?

Hear that sound? It's a vortex, sucking his brain into one of those ten million universes.

Good luck finding it.

Thursday, April 7, 2005

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Remember all the scoffing at the "slippery slope" arguments of pro-lifers? Remember all the pshaws at the idea that the Schiavo case foreshadowed worse things to come? Well, golly-gee, turns out those anti-death fanatics were right.

In a situation recalling the recent death of Terri Schiavo in Florida, an 81-year-old widow, denied nourishment and fluids for nearly two weeks, is clinging to life in a hospice in LaGrange, Ga., while her immediate family fights desperately to save her life before she dies of starvation and dehydration.

Mae Magouirk was neither terminally ill, comatose nor in a "vegetative state," when Hospice-LaGrange accepted her as a patient about two weeks ago upon the request of her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, 36, an elementary school teacher.

The dehydration is being done in defiance of Magouirk's specific wishes, which she set down in a "living will," and without agreement of her closest living next-of-kin, two siblings and a nephew: A. Byron McLeod, 64, of Anniston, Ga.; Ruth Mullinax, 74, of Birmingham, Ala.; and Ruth Mullinax's son, Ken Mullinax.

In her living will, Magouirk stated that fluids and nourishment were to be withheld only if she were either comatose or "vegetative," and she is neither. Nor is she terminally ill, which is generally a requirement for admission to a hospice.

"Grandmama is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus," Gaddy told Magouirk's brother and nephew, McLeod and Ken Mullinax. "She has glaucoma and now this heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like these?"

Isn't that nifty? Little Bethie gets to decide when Grandma dies, whether she likes it or not. The above statement from the "granddaughter" is one of the most chilling, morally depraved regurgitations of Hell that I've ever had the displeasure of reading. Satan's probably clapping his hands with delight, about now, and kicking up his cloven hoofs.

No Comprende Consensus?

A Poll from AOL (Association of Leftists) News:

How much of a priority should curbing illegal immigration be?




Are you surprised that 10 million U.S. residents are undocumented?



Total Votes: 25,524

Now, I don't put much stock in polls. But the ones AOL produces on this issue intrigue me, since most of their "news" coverage is sympathetic to illegal aliens. Yet there is a uniformity of thought throughout these polls: Americans are sick unto death of illegals sneaking into our country and engorging themselves on our largesse, while we're left sucking hind teat. Rattlehead government officials whine about how "Americans are too compassionate to deport people who've been here for a long time, milking the system."

I wouldn't be surprised if Asa de Guadaloupe de las Hutchinson wears an "Aztlan Forever" t-shirt to work, every day.

Bulldozing the Innocent

Remember Rachel Corrie? She died in Israel, protesting the demolition of "Palestinian" homes, after being run down by a bulldozer.

Now, her family is suing Caterpillar, the manufacturer of the bulldozers used in the demolition.

The complaint alleged Caterpillar was a party to "war crimes; aiding and abetting extrajudicial killing; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; wrongful death; and negligence."

In its investigation, Israel concluded Corrie's death was an accident and that the driver of the bulldozer did not see her. The probe said a slab of concrete slid down a mound of earth and crushed her.

Ms. Corrie went to Israel by choice. She involved herself in the "Palestinians' plight" by choice. She went to a dangerous place and waded knee-deep into the thick of things, by choice. She was negligent of her own safety, and acted in an extremely stupid and irresponsible fashion, by choice. And she lost her life not in protecting the lives of peaceful people. No, she threw her life away while protesting the destruction of buildings. I'm not aware of any actual evidence pointing toward foul play in her death.

I understand her family is grief-stricken. I understand that they are angry. But suing Caterpillar is asinine. There's no justice in it. It's just like suing Smith and Wesson, when a criminal shoots someone with a weapon the company manufactured. It's just like suing cigarette companies, after the death of a loved one who smoked two packs a day for twenty-five years. It's just like suing Little Debbie, after a relative eats a box of oatmeal cream pies each day for years, until his heart literally explodes from the cholesterol overload.

This is drawing a bead on whoever happens to make a nice target. Besides hurting those who were not complicit in Ms. Corrie's death, it accomplishes nothing. Oh, sure, they might pick up a nice hefty wad of cash, in the settlement. But they've traded principle and justice for the greenbacks.

Personal responsibility has gone the way of the dinosaur. It's abdication very well may lead to an extinct nation.

Moral Black Hole

“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer that died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.”– G. Richard Bozarth, The Meaning of Evolution, American Atheist, p. 30, Sept. 20, 1979.

He's right. So here's the question: Why on earth would a Christian want to get sucked into such a worldview as evolution?

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Thinking Outside the Evolutionary Shell

From AnswersInGenesis:

In North West Queensland, Australia, scientists found some fossils of turtles that they thought had become extinct during the so-called Pleistocene period. This was about 50,000 years ago, according to the evolutionary time scale. Then about 90 kilometers, or 56 miles away, they found a new species of a living turtle. It turns out that this turtle appears to be the same as the fossils they found!

The remarkable thing was that the living turtles showed absolutely no signs of any evolutionary changes over the supposedly 50,000 years since the fossils were formed.

And what will be the reaction of evolutionists to this revelation, you might ask?

Ah. . .well, that's easy. They'll hunker down and contract into their shells and hide, just like the Galapagos tortoises probably did, when they first saw Darwin.

You Go First, Abdullah

Muslims are demanding an apology for the Crusades:

The world's highest Sunni Muslim authority has demanded an official apology from the pope for the medieval Christian crusades.

Thomas F. Madden, author of "A Concise History of the Crusades," contends the Crusades "were in every way a defensive war."

"They were the West's belated response to the Muslim conquest of fully two-thirds of the Christian world," he wrote in a National Review column. "While the Arabs were busy in the seventh through the tenth centuries winning an opulent and sophisticated empire, Europe was defending itself against outside invaders and then digging out from the mess they left behind. Only in the eleventh century were Europeans able to take much notice of the East. "
Madden said the event that led to the crusades was the Turkish conquest of most of Christian Asia Minor, modern Turkey.

"The Christian emperor in Constantinople, faced with the loss of half of his empire, appealed for help to the rude but energetic Europeans. He got it. More than he wanted, in fact," wrote Madden, associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Saint Louis University.

This is not a defense of the crusades. Personally, I have a lot of problems with the way they were carried out. But Madden is dead-on in his assessment. In fact, I don't think he's harsh enough. Read his book, though, if you have a chance. It's a great general overview of why the crusades were launched.

When drawing a judgment on the crusades, one should keep in mind that when the First Crusade was preached, Islamic conquests of Christian territories had been in full swing for over 450 years. The Jihad against the West was a long and bloody affair. It never truly has ended. The crusades were a complex series of wars. But foreign excursions purely for the slaking of imperialistic lust they were not.

As for apologies, I think the papacy should apologize for the crusades when the Muslims apologize for the jihad. Apologies should be extended, when they account for:

1. The taking of the Holy Land, at great loss of life.

2. The conquest of the largely Christian (at the time) populace of North Africa.

3. The toppling of the Byzantine Empire.

4. The conquest and subsequent raping of the Balkans.

5. Further, persistent invasions of Eastern Europe.

6. The invasion and occupation of Spain, which led to a centuries-long counterpunch by the Europeans, known as La Reconquista.

7. Other assorted mass slaughters, pillaging, and hostile forays into Christian territory.

The list goes on, ad nauseum. It would not be a difficult task to write a book merely numbering the unwarranted atrocities commited by Islamic invaders.

After centuries of unprovoked aggression before the Christians made their first moves, I think the apology needs to start with Islam. Not the papacy.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Posing for the Cameras

Here are Jebby and Georgie's reactions to Ms. Schiavo's death, as reported in the media:

"Many across our state and around the world are deeply grieved by the way Terri died. I feel that grief very sharply as well," his statement said. “After an extraordinarily difficult and tragic journey, Terri Schiavo is at rest,” Bush said. “I remain convinced, however, that Terri’s death is a window through which we can see the many issues left unresolved in our families and in our society. For that, we can be thankful for all that the life of Terri Schiavo has taught us."--Jeb Bush

"Today, millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. Laura and I extend our condolences to Terri Schiavo's families. I appreciate the example of grace and dignity they have displayed at a difficult time.

"I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to work together to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed, valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others. The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of life."--George W. Bush

It's funny, but though I used to be a staunch Republican and have a conservative outlook in many areas, my contempt for these two increases daily. This is the worst kind of political charlatanry. Both men held the power in their grasp to stop this murderous injustice. Both stood by and did nothing, with folded hands, and lied to the nation about the nature of their influence. Now we're supposed to believe they're grief-stricken about the outcome? Please. This is a simple case of playing politics. They understand that the populace expects some word from them, some statement of "closure." They realize that many are ticked off and looking for a means of expending their anger. So they come out and provide a little speech about how deeply tragic and sorrowful this set of circumstances is.

Reread Jeb's reaction. For the most part, it's gobbledygook. If Terri's life is a "window," I suggest we make the good governor walk the two-inch ledge just outside it on a windy day. I saw a video clip of some of his words on the subject, a couple of days ago. He had a smirk on his face, the whole time--as if he were speaking to foolish children. This was the famous "my hands are tied" moment. His apologies seemed as sincere as a Democrat promise. I know it's not exemplary of proper Christian behavior; but if I'd been in the crowd, that day, I would've been hard put not trying to put my fist through his grinning teeth.

I officially nominate Jeb as the Cop-Out King.

As for the President, he was perfectly willing to extend his condolences, just not his aid. And what's that nonsense about sympathies to her "families"? What garbage. I'm sure Michael Schiavo needs him to feel his pain. Shoot, the jerk probably danced a jig, as they carted Terri's body away. G.W.'s more of an enigma than his brother. He talks about the importance of building a culture of life. Then when he has a chance of putting his money where his mouth is, he balks, waves his hands in defeat, tucks tail, and runs.

When I heard his speech on Fox News, it sounded canned and emotionless, like a robot reading from a cue-card.

"The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak." It's also the essence of presidential obligation. Too bad he rejects this basic duty of his office.

He condemns himself with his own words.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Without Excuse

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:--Romans 1:20

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Less than half an hour ago, Fox News reported an announcement from the Vatican that the pope's journey in this world has ended. He was the longest sitting pope of the 20th century, and his was the second longest papacy in history--second only to that of Pius IX, whose papacy lasted 31 years (1846--1878).

Karol Wojtyla held the distinction as the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. The last non-Italian was Adrian VI (1522-1523), who was born in the Netherlands. Also, he was the first Polish pope in history.

Personally, I have strong disagreements with many teachings of the Catholic Church. Nor have I always agreed with this pope's actions and words. But his strong stance against abortion and euthanasia--which he labeled components of a "culture of death"--cannot be denied. He took a powerful stand against communism, as well, encouraging the Solidarity movement in Poland, which eventually led to the fall of its oppressive government. He further supported Reagan's fight against communism, during the Cold War.

My differences with the Catholic Church aside, I believe he was a man of strength and integrity, holding uncompromising moral clarity on a number of issues. He will be missed. His passing is a moment of great historical importance. Finding someone of his calibre for a replacement will be a difficult task.

I hope he resides in Heaven, now; and I hope his final moments were without pain.

Rest in peace.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! New Blog Roll Additions!

These fall into various places between the "new kids on the block" category, and that of the "salty, crusty veteran of the blogosphere."

I've visited, read, and commented on some of them for a long time, without proper linking credit (to my everlasting shame). Others, I've discovered only in the past few weeks. But all of these nice folks have interesting, worthwhile views on a wide assortment of issues. So if you haven't done so, check each one out. You won't be disappointed.

Do not castigate me for my procrastinations. Do not upbraid me for my inexcusable laziness. Do not cast stones, or I shall launch them back. . .ten-fold. . .with a trebuchet. You get the picture.

Here's the list, in no particular order of importance:



Love Is Tough Enough



Redneck's Corner

Derech Shalom

Darlin' Joy


Flicka Spumoni

The Ranting Room

Now go catch up on your reading.

UPDATE!! I forgot one! How forgetful and clumsy of me. My apologies, Amigo.

Amigo's Place