Friday, September 30, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

Mr. Bush now has the unenviable task of choosing another nominee for the Supreme Joke that is SCOTUS.

Perhaps he'll cave in to pc pressure and choose a mannish, spinster leftist lunatic for the position.

Oh, wait. That role's already been filled. Sorry.

Feminism in Action

Iraq's first female mobile bomb detonates.

See? Women can do anything that men do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More Good News About Adult Stem-Cells

In an apparent major breakthrough, scientists in Korea report using umbilical cord blood stem cells to restore feeling and mobility to a spinal-cord injury patient.

The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cythotherapy, centered on a woman who had been a paraplegic 19 years due to an accident.

After an infusion of umbilical cord blood stem cells, stunning results were recorded:

"The patient could move her hips and feel her hip skin on day 15 after transplantation. On day 25 after transplantation her feet responded to stimulation."

The report said motor activity was noticed on day 7, and the woman was able to maintain an upright position on day 13. Fifteen days after surgery, she began to elevate both lower legs about one centimeter.

The study's abstract says not only did the patient regain feeling, but 41 days after stem cell transplantation, testing "also showed regeneration of the spinal cord at the injured cite" and below it.

The scientists conclude the transplantation "could be a good treatment method" for paraplegic patients.

I love reading stories like this. Sometimes we get bogged down in all the societal decay, so it's nice hearing about positive medical advances. Isn't it great when someone's quality-of-life is improved, using methods that don't require the harvesting and destruction of embryos? Not that such an act has ever yielded positive results, in the first place, but it's a pleasant departure from the norm.

Thomas Jefferson on the Judiciary

The Judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. (1820)

...the Federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scarecrow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. When all government... in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated. (1821)

The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislative and executive also in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.

...judges should be withdrawn from the bench whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may, indeed, injure them in fame or fortune; but it saves the Republic...

Monday, September 26, 2005

To Follow, or Not to Follow?

We had a conversation a few days ago that touched on the concept of following legal precedent in SCOTUS cases. The case-in-point was Roe v. Wade. I thought I'd supplement that with a few more thoughts.

Adhering to legal precedent is a great idea, if the past court decisions-in-question are constitutionally sound. If not, then the concept simply creates a mechanism for the self-perpetuation of unconstitutionality. This seems so obvious to me, I'm not sure that I understand from whence disagreement comes.

If SCOTUS makes an unconstitutional ruling, it is null and void from its inception. How is the practice of abiding by such rulings honorable?

I've heard a counter-argument that goes something like this: "Well, you can't have courts regularly overturning decisions, simply because they don't like the verdicts." But of course, this in no way addresses the issue. It's not about a difference of opinion. It's not about what makes us feel all warm and snuggly inside, and what doesn't. I submit that disagreeing with someone's opinion is a far cry from finding a decision in violation of our founding document.

If SCOTUS can act with impunity in its decision-making process, only to be followed in lock-step by future court findings, this carves out a troubled path that leads straight into the hell of totalitarianism.

That's not a precedent I want to follow.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Racist Gringos

Apparently, abiding by the laws of this country is racism:

A 3-year-old policy by Greyhound Lines Inc. warning employees that they could be arrested or fired for selling bus tickets to anyone they know or believe is an undocumented immigrant is discriminatory and invites racial profiling, several local and national Latino advocacy groups say.

Here's the quote that busts the pinata:

"The whole policy screams out discrimination," said John TrasviƱa, senior vice president for law and policy at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. "It puts a lot of pressure on employees to go overboard and exclude undocumented immigrants when there is no legal reason to do so."

Huh? Have you eaten one-too-many tequila worms? The legal reason is that illegal immigration is--according to my dictionary's definition of the term--well, illegal, dummy!

The company transports 22 million passengers a year. It has denied tickets only a few times.

The policy was revised in 2002 after Golden State Transportation was indicted on charges of conspiring with smugglers to illegally transport thousands of undocumented immigrants to destinations throughout the country, including Arizona. The company was fined $3 million in 2004. The company was operated by a subsidiary of Greyhound.

The company says undocumented immigrants are recognizable by certain characteristics: large groups of people traveling together, led by a "guide, and guides holding tickets without giving them to passengers."

I believe many of these pro-Mexican and pro-immigrant organizations are actively engaging in subversion of the law and attempting a sea-change in the culture, an incremental drift toward something other than the American ideal. Think I'm delusional? Then ask yourself these questions: Why aren't such organizations spending their considerable bankrolls and time fighting illegal immigration and lauding and encouraging legal immigration. Why are they making concentrated efforts at working against assimilation, through methods such as bilingual education and constant accusations of racism?

It is this slow transformation in the culture over decades that I fear far more than any terrorist group, like Al Killya. This coupled with an abysmal "education" system mass produces a populace full of those who have no loyalty to the American concept--no idea what it means, and no desire to learn it.

Where do we go from there, I wonder?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

This Groan's on Me

How many Marxists does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. The lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

Today's Axiom

A penny saved is a government oversight.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Differences Among the Elect

A friend from blogdom sent me this article, and though I don't agree with most of it, it is an interesting read and one deserving of commentary. A quick disclaimer: This post is a critique of the article-in-question, and its author's assertions. It is not a criticism of anyone who frequents my blog. So please don't take my comments as a personal attack, since that's not how I intend them.

The Far Left and Far Right are essentially anti-establishment mentalities

I agree, as long as the term "Far Right" is limited to anarchists.

The Far Left, the intelligentsia asserted that the United States deserved these murderous attacks. After all, we are an unrighteous nation: we arrogantly and triumphalistically meddle in other nation's affairs; we employ military might with selfish motives; we rape the environment; we violate human rights by imposing the death penalty; we discriminate against homosexuals, women, and minorities; we exploit workers by keeping wages low; we bring religious views into the public square; we dismantle legal protection for "women's right to choose"; we act unilaterally in world affairs by spurning the opinions of other nations; we disseminate our materialistic decadence by means of large, multinational corporations; and on and on. To hear the Far Left tell it, at 9-11 we got our comeuppance from "freedom fighters" weary of America's exploitation of the rest of the world. Indeed, among the Far Left, there seems to be an insufficiently suppressed glee at America's tragedy.

Remarkably, the response on the Far Right was somewhat similar. Among some Christians, there was zealous, undisciplined talk of 9-11's being "God's judgment on America." For what? Well, let them count the ways: our "idolatry" in insufficiently opposing Islam and Orthodox Judaism; our butchering of unborn children; our relaxation of sexual standards culminating in the legalization of homosexual "marriage" in some quarters; our unjust laws of taxation; our laxity toward pornography, profanity, and violence in Hollywood on network and cable TV; our "free trade" legislation by which we allow cheap imports to subvert jobs of hard-working Americans; our socialistic government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security; and so forth. The toppling of the World Trade Center and the incision of the Pentagon were patent acts of God's judgment against a rebellious and apostate nation, according to the denizens of the Far Right.

I don't see the views of the Left and Right as synonymous, as this author does. For one, the Left's agenda entails destroying everything this nation stands for and sowing its foundation with salt. Most of its hysteria is directed toward that end, and there is little or no merit in its condemnations. This cannot be said of most Right-wingers.

As for the Right's elucidation on why 9/11 happened, I think it is the height of arrogance to make many of these connections. No one knows the mind of God in totality, and suggesting that He is behind these atrocities is offering speculation dressed as fact. But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that there is at least a biblical basis--however tenuous--for these claims. Time and time again, scripture reveals that nations engaged in God's will were protected by His hedge of safety, and nations that laughed Him to scorn suffered the consequences of their mockery. Israel is the best example, but it is by no means the only one. And whereas the Left's assertions that we rape the environment and infringe upon a woman's right to murder her unborn child are baseless and morally putrid, concerns over homosexual marriage and its public acceptance, unrestricted abortion, and confiscatory taxes are legitimate areas of outrage.

The Founders were profound, experienced men (all influenced by the Bible and Christianity). . .They believed in the sin and corruption of the human heart and therefore resisted the consolidation of political power, creating checks and balances. They believed that God made men to be free, and thus held that government's rationale is to secure individual liberty. They believed that the government should be represented by a wide body of the populace, and consequently they established a form of democracy. . .In forming a national legislature, they gave equal weight to both population representation (House of Representatives) and states' representation (Senate). . .They were unflagging advocates of religious liberty.

This is a very accurate description of the Founders' efforts and intentions. But it's my thesis that all of these aspects of America which make her great are in grave danger of being annihilated. It is the efforts of those in government and other power bases to subvert every one of these cherished ideals that leads to criticism from Right-wingers, such as myself. Unfortunately, the piece doesn't address this facet of the situation, which I find strange.

In expressing a patriotic spirit, Christians are at the least acknowledging the basic soundness of our system of government.

True, as long as one is clear on his definition of patriotism. Patriotism is a love of one's country and people, and the ideals for which they stand. But it is not defined as slavish devotion to wrongheadedness, constitutional degradation, administrative expediency, or a political party.

Peter exhorts his readers that they pray for their civil magistrates, who should act in such a way that Christians can live quietly and peaceably (1 Tim. 2:2).

This is the most accurate statement in the article. All of us should pray for our leaders in positions of power--whether we like them or not, whether we agree with them or not. Though I've done so in the past, this is one of my great failings. I haven't spent nearly enough time on my knees, asking God to help our leaders and inspire them to do what is right. It's a valid point, and a good reminder for correcting my mistake.

Christians have been virtually unmolested in their efforts to evangelize unbelievers, build churches, and train their children in the Faith.

This, on the other hand, is patent nonsense. It may be true in relation to Communist China or Soviet Russia, but in terms of contemporary American life, it's willful blindness. Entire volumes have been written demonstrating the falsehood of this claim. Persecution, by David Limbaugh, is only one of numerous books entailing the encroaching tide against Christianity in this country, carried out or aided and abetted by the government. And the problem worsens, as we speak. Citing specifics in this area is a topic for another time.

libertarians can complain that it is not possible for a president to be elected until he has made his religious views plain, so important has religion (notably Christianity) become in the public realm.

Of course, this bears no relation to actual religious devotion or sincerity. Bill Clinton exemplifies this. Yes, he talked about God and attended church. He also was a rabid womanizer and committed adultery repeatedly and unrepentantly. Phony religious zeal has zero importance or relevance, to me. I'm interested in reality, not a facade.

Some of the leading books of the New York Times list are either explicitly Christian (The Purpose-Driven Life) or ardently conservative (Bill O'Reilly, etc.).

This is somewhat embarrassing. If the author can't get his facts straight in so small a matter, why should we accept his larger points and statistics? I might call Bill O'Reilly a lot of things (some of them in a whisper, in polite company), but an "ardent conservative" isn't among them. I wonder if the author watches Bill's show, or has read his books and columns. I have.

If God were willing to spare Sodom over simply a few faithful folks, an adversarial view by Christians toward the United States, with its widespread and burgeoning Christian testimony, is surely counterproductive.

Apples and oranges, I think. God spared these cities because Abraham--a man who was not a citizen of either city--begged him to do so. And how long did they last after Lot and his family left? There's little substance in this assumption.

Our nation suffers from deep spiritual problems, but those problems are just one portion of a rather diverse moral picture. Any responsible Christian evaluation must take into account all of these factors, not just some of them.

I agree, but apparently my acknowledgment of these problems makes me an anti-patriot, unless I recant and speak of them only in the most saccharine terms imaginable.

A family, a church, and a nation may be less than perfect--far less than perfect--and still deserve our respect and loyalty. Patriotism is allegiance to a country, its ideals, and its citizens.

And Christians here have not surrendered their allegiance to Jesus Christ when they maintain patriotism toward the United States.

True. But I want to reiterate my words in a slightly different way. It may be argued convincingly that someone who points out serious, abiding problems in his nation's governing bodies and rejects them is more of a patriot than someone who goes along with the government's smoke and mirrors, uncritically accepting every violation of all that we hold dear as a country and a people. Questioning the patriotism of someone in legitimate, genuine distress over the country's direction is a refuge of the intellectually lazy or obtuse.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Devil Went Down to Nawleuhns

The Devil went down to Nawleuhns
She was looking for a photo-op.
She had big plans for '08,
And she needed a
Sad backdrop.

When she came upon a looter selling stereos that were hot
She jumped up on a cypress stump and said
"Boy, let me tell you what.

I bet you didn't know it,
But I'm running for president
And all the little people
think I'm Heaven-sent.
I know Tha Man has got you down,
But give the Devil her due,
I'll bet a motorboat against your vote,
'Cause I think I'm better than you."

The punk said "My name's Tyrone,
And it might be a sin,
But I don't care, I needs wellfare,
So, for me its win/win."

Tyrone git yo butt in gear an' sell them stolen goods
'Cause hell's broke loose in Nawleuhns
An' it's overrun with hoods.
An' if you win you'll simplify your crime-spree with a boat,
But if you lose, the Devil gets your vote.

The Devil grinned like a slit-eyed snake
An said "I'll start this show."
Then she reached inside her pantsuit and
Pulled out The Communist Manifesto.
When the boy rolled his eyes,
She spat out an evil hiss,
Then a band of demons joined in,
And it sounded something like this

(eerie music)

Here come the Guardsmen, run boys run.
Devil's in the house of the rising sun.
Chicken's in the squad car picking his nose.
Sean Penn's bailing, down he goes.

The Devil bowed her head
because she knew that she'd been beat
And she laid that nice new motorboat
On the ground at Tyrone's feet.
Tyrone said "Devil just come on back
If ya ever wanna try again.
I done told ya oncet
You mean ol' bat,
Either way for me's win/win."

With apologies to Charlie Daniels and my readers. I just couldn't resist.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Emotional Atheist

“I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.”
– Isaac Asimov, Free Inquiry 2(2):9, 1982.

Asimov was a great short story author and novelist; but apparently not a brilliant philosopher. If I was going to make a deduction of such earth-shattering importance, I believe I'd base it on more than the whims of emotion. Put simply, if there is no God, one has nothing to worry about. But if there is--as I believe--I sure wouldn't want to stand in front of Him, some day, and admit: "Well, disbelieving in Your existence was so emotionally satisfying."

I don't think that'll cut it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Hitting the Nail on the Head

From Vox's column, today:

They have redefined conservatism to be the actions of one known as a conservative, so the individual is no longer defined by his ideology, the ideology is defined by the individual.

The whole article's worth a look.

Bill, you should read it as a form of penance, if for no other reason.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

John Roberts: The Man for the Job?

Here's a quote from an AP article in my local newspaper, from a few days ago:

"The right to privacy is protected under the Constitution in various ways," Roberts said at one point. Hours later, he said he agreed with a 38-yr.-old high court ruling in a case involving contraceptives for married couples, a decision often cited as the underpinning for abortion rights.

He said that if confronted w/ an abortion case--as seems likely in the high court's upcoming term--he would give full weight to the precedent of the landmark ruling that established a woman's right to end her pregnancy.

"The legal principle of "stare decisis" requires that, he said--but he also said that the same principle allows past rulings to be overturned.

The final paragraph above essentially contradicts the one just before it. "Stare decisis" is the legal principle of following precedent in court rulings. Yes, it does facilitate overturning bad precedent, but how will this happen under Roberts' watch, when he's made it clear that he will follow precedent? His commentary is pure gobbledygook.

This, coupled with his pro homo--er, I mean, pro bono--work for a homosexual lobbying group in his lawyering days is a red flag, for me.

This nomination process for SCOTUS Chief Justice says even more about George Bush than it does Roberts. The President could've chosen almost anyone for this appointment--a stout constitutional constructionist who plans following the Founders' intentions, for example. But I suppose we'll have to settle for a man who won't rock the boat, and who will not defend the pro-baby position.

That's one reason why I'm no longer a Republican. I became tired of "settling for" things.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

For Lord Of the Rings Fans

I received this in an email. It gave me a pretty good chuckle:

Things to Do When Seeing The Lord of the Rings:

Block the entrance to the theater while screaming, "YOU.....SHALL....NOT..... PASS!"

Finish off every one of Elrond's lines with "Mis..ter Ander-sonnn."

Talk like Gollum all through the movie. At the end, bite off someone's finger and fall down the stairs.

Dress up as old ladies and reenact "The Battle of Helms Deep," Monty Python style.

In TTT when the Ents decide to march to war, stand up and shout, "RUN FOREST, RUN!"

Every time someone kills an Orc, yell: "That's what I'm Tolkien about!"

Release a jar of daddy-long-legs into the theater during the Shelob scene.

When Shelob comes on, exclaim, "Man! Charlotte's really let herself go!"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bless You, Thomas Sowell

Now here's a man who makes sense:

"Immigration has joined the long list of subjects on which it is taboo to talk sense in plain English. At the heart of much confusion about immigration is the notion that we 'need' immigrants—legal or illegal—to do work that Americans won't do. What we 'need' depends on what it costs and what we are willing to pay. If I were a billionaire, I might 'need' my own private jet. But I can remember a time when my family didn't even 'need' electricity. Leaving prices out of the picture is probably the source of more fallacies in economics than any other single misconception. At current wages for low-level jobs and current levels of welfare, there are indeed many jobs that Americans will not take. The fact that immigrants—and especially illegal immigrants—will take those jobs is the very reason the wage levels will not rise enough to attract Americans. This is not rocket science. It is elementary supply and demand. Yet we continue to hear about the 'need' for immigrants to do jobs that Americans will not do—even though these are all jobs that Americans have done for generations before mass illegal immigration became a way of life." Thomas Sowell

For all those wearing "Aztlan Forever" t-shirts, I'm sorry for the pain this must have caused you. Carry on, muchachos.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sean Penn: Strike Two

Sean Penn's doing wonders in cultivating his whole self-enraptured-cretin image.

From The Federalist Patriot:

Penn attended a 10,000-man rally, where worshippers chanted "Death to America." To our relief, he notes, "the call is related to American foreign policy and does not intend to target the death of the American people." (Well, then—let's bring the troops home.)

Apparently, Penn was bitten by a mosquito carrying the West Hollywood Virus, in Nawleuhns. Of course, if their problem is with America's foreign policy, why aren't they chanting, "Death to America's foreign policy!"?

I suppose he'd also have us believe that September 11 was just a little chastisement for being naughty, or maybe a love-tap. Please. Isn't it funny how celebrity somehow makes one an expert in matters one previously knew nothing about? I wish Penn and the other demigods of celluloid would shut up.

Or go live in Iran. Yes, that's even better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Giving Himself a Pass

Mayor Nagin of Nawleuhns sloughs off any responsibility for not adequately transporting people out of the hurricane's crosshairs:

In an interview with Tim Russert, Nagin gave the explanatory equivalent of a shrug, when he said:

"I think I did everything possible known to any mayor in the country as it relates to saving lives."

What a crock.

"Sure, there was lots of buses out there," Nagin said. "But guess what? You can't find drivers that would stay behind with a Category 5 hurricane, you know, pending down on New Orleans. We barely got enough drivers to move people on Sunday, or Saturday and Sunday, to move them to the Superdome. We barely had enough drivers for that. So sure, we had the assets, but the drivers just weren't available."

In a city this size, you couldn't find enough people to drive buses? I seriously doubt that's true. In fact, I doubt you even tried.

The planning was always in getting people to higher ground, getting them to safety, said Nagin.

Mr. Mayor, you didn't even pull that off. Since city disaster plans called for the busing of people before the tragedy struck, why is it that mass busing didn't begin until after the storm's devastation? I'm sure we'll get a coherent, comprehensive answer to that one real soon, won't we, Mayor? About the same time we find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.

Russert also quoted previous statements from Nagin about alleged racism delaying response, as Nagin had said, "[t]he more I think about it, definitely race played into this. If it's race, fine, let's call a spade a spade, a diamond a diamond. We can never let this happen again. Even if you hate black people and you are in a leadership position, this did not help anybody."

And what evidence does he offer in support of his absurd conclusion? Absolutely nothing. Racism is inherent in the system, so supplying proof of its existence is unneccesary. Oh, how this must simplify life for those who view the world through racial lenses.

I have some questions for the race-baiters: Is it racism for you to bring hatred for black people into the situation as an explanation for inadequate emergency measures taken? Is it racism for you to suggest that white people--including the president--have no concern for the fates of black people? And all this without the slightest shred of proof to bolster your theory?

The only involvement of race in this equation is the race to be the first to blame Bush for the methods used in handling the storm's aftermath. The entire linked article above is an exercise in political sleight-of-hand and plausible deniability. This guy even gives politicians a bad name; and as we all know, that takes herculean effort.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Everybody Needs a Scapegoat

Michael Brown, director of FEMA (Federal Emergency Mismanagement Agency) resigned, today. I don't agree with his organization turning away people who went to help storm victims in New Orleans. But isn't it obvious that this is just the government's way of deflecting criticism and putting up a facade of "getting things done?" As most of us already know, it's not the federal government's job to be the country's wet-nurse.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 11

Another anniversary of this horrific atrocity has come. It's hard to believe that four years have passed since that day. Time sure flies. Looking at it one way, it seems like yesterday. And yet so much has happened in the interval, it seems like a long time ago, as well. It's really odd how the passage of days and years plays little tricks on your mind.

I hope those who lost family and friends somehow find peace during these dark hours.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.--Matthew 5:4

Saturday, September 10, 2005

"Now Thank We All Our God"

Have you sung this hymn in church before? I must admit I never have.

But the story behind it is compelling.

Martin Rinckart (1586-1649) was a Lutheran minister in Eilenburg, Saxony, during the Thirty Years War. Refugees flooded the town as the Swedish army lay seize to its walls. Plague and famine became familiar bed fellows for the citizens. In the seize, over eight hundred homes were obliterated. People died in droves. In fact, over eight thousand perished. Dozens of funerals were performed, each day, putting a terrific physical and psychological strain on local pastors. As pestilence gnawed away at the population, so, too, did the clergy succumb.

All except Martin Rinckart. In the years 1636 and 1637, he was the only remaining pastor. During this time, he performed as many as fifty funerals a day--over four thousand funerals in total. In 1637, his wife became one of the victims, and he presided over her interment, as well.

The occupying general imposed a confiscatory tax on the remaining townfolk, one which they couldn't possibly muster. Rinckart left the relative safety of the city's walls and pled with the general for leniency. The Swedish commander ignored his plea, so Rinckart spoke to some of his followers who had accompanied him, saying: "Come, my children, we can find no mercy with men, let us take refuge with God." They began singing "When in the Hour of Utmost Need."

When the general witnessed this, his heart softened, and he lowered the tax to one-fifteenth of his original demand.

Soon after, in the midst of unremitting tragedy and grief, Martin Rinckart wrote the lyrics to the song "Now Thank We All Our God." It since has crossed denominational lines, and is sung at Thanksgiving, primarily. It was sung at the opening of the Cathedral of Cologne in 1880, at the cornerstone-laying of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1884, at the end of the Boer War in South Africa in 1902, and at other victory celebrations and national events.

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, Whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Jihad Against the Machine

The Nation of Islam in Los Angeles is calling on the Crips and Bloods street gangs to stop fighting each other – and to unite in a jihad against the LAPD.

That's the essence of a flyer obtained by KFI News and circulated in South Los Angeles, calling on members of two violent street gangs to start a "holy war" against the police department.

It's about time this subversive fifth-column was shut down and lanced like the pustulant boil that it is. I know the LAPD isn't the epitome of virtue and sterling character, but calls for the random murder of police officers goes way over the line. Chalk this up as more fruit borne by the "Religion of Peace."

A Letter

I found this letter to the editor on WorldNetDaily. I think it perfectly characterizes the situation in Louisiana:

I am a retired New Orleans police captain. I now live in another state,
and I hurt for the citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes.
However, the situation that now exists in New Orleans was predictable. We are
now reaping the benefits of a welfare state.

For more years than most can remember, we have been told by those
holding office that they will take care of us. We have provided food, clothing
and shelter to the extent that the recipients became entirely dependent on
government resources to live. They have reached the point that no longer do they
have the knowledge to take care of themselves. They will sit there and drown or
go hungry, and curse the fact that the government has not gotten them out of
this mess.

When it is all said and done, there is but one person who is
responsible for me, and that is me. The responsibility falls to me to take care
of my family, not the government. Society, not government, has an obligation to
provide care and sustenance to those who, because of age or physical impairment
cannot take care of themselves, but able-bodied people who stand around and
complain that no one is doing anything for them deserve whatever the fates cast
in their direction. Life is hard, and you either get tougher or you get washed
away – it is as simple as that.

Politicians will never, ever take care of you – they only want one
thing from you, and that is to stay in power as long as they can. In a situation
like Katrina, they will stand in front of the cameras and microphones and
denigrate everyone above them in government to take the eye off of their
pathetic efforts.

This is a situation that they have created, and now the good citizens
of the area will have to step in and clean up the mess that has been created by
the politicians. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen – there are too
many good people who live in that area for it not to happen. I love the people
of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes, but I despise the politicians –
there are a few good ones there, but most of them are not worth the powder it
would take to send them to the moon.

I just hope that when the area is rebuilt, they stay away from the
massive welfare system they had before – absolutely no good comes from welfare.
It depletes available resources, making it ever more difficult for what passes
as government to respond to the true needs of the community: roads, bridges,
levees, and police and fire protection, sanitation and drinking water.

Robert E. Johnson

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Blossoms in the Ruins

The largely untold story of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath is that of Americans pulling together--with no prospect of material gain--and helping their fellow citizens. In the coming weeks, I think we'll hear more uplifting anecdotes of despair transformed into hope. The media's fixation on sensationalizing destruction and death aside, charity's face is shining on the Gulf coast.

For example, the Southern Baptist Convention sent over 1,000 volunteers into New Orleans to help give medical aid and hand out food and water, as needed.

From my own state of Tennessee, the sherriff of Knox County sent helicopters to help in search-and-rescue missions, as well as transportation of water to victims of the storm and the nanny-state mentality. My wife's uncle was called up with the rest of his National Guard contingent, and he's now in the thick of things, helping with relief work and the restoration of order. Shelters have opened for evacuees, and the local university hospital has prepared itself for an influx of patients with specific medical problems--such as the need for kidney dialysis--from Louisiana and other states hit by the hurricane. Clayton Homes has 2,000 single-wide trailers ready for delivery into the coastal area, for use as temporary shelters.

All of this doesn't even include aid sent by individuals, or charitable efforts in other states, all around the country. According to a figure I saw on Fox News, a couple of nights ago, donations to the Red Cross already have exceeded their intake of funds after September 11, 2001.

The point of all this is that the people of Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana are getting the help they need. Some deserve it; some do not. But they're getting it, all the same. I think when all is said and done, we'll find that the most significant impact on the victims of this horrific disaster came from the charitable sacrifices of ordinary citizens, not the local, state, or federal governments. If the U.S. is to learn a lesson from this situation, it should be that relying on oneself or one's fellow Americans makes far more sense than leaning on the everlasting beauracracy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Guardian of the Year

From The Federalist Patriot:

Each year the Florida State Guardianship Association chooses a "Distinguished Guardian of the Year" in recognition of commitment and extraordinary care. Patriot readers will no doubt be shocked -- SHOCKED -- to learn that Michael Schiavo has been selected as this year's recipient. While the association admitted its choice was "controversial," they stressed that "he stuck by [Terri's side]. He didn't walk away." True, he was still there when she finally died at his request, but how does that qualify him for the award? "He was an ordinary guardian who carried out his duties in extraordinary ways," former association president Joan Nelson Hook said. On the contrary, according to Florida Statute 744 for incapacitated wards, his "guardianship" was not law-abiding -- he did not complete the required guardianship training, he limited Terri to a single hospice room for more than five years, did not provide appropriate therapy and did not submit to an annual review of his guardianship report and plan. While Judge Greer would not hear any of these charges, we still believe Schiavo is obviously disqualified for this particular award.

That, my friends, is a classic case of adding insult to injury. Turns my stomach.

Textbook Snafu

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh's show earlier today, as I occasionally do. I switched on just in time to hear him reading verbatim from the emergency management plans of the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. What struck me as I listened was not that the state and city had no specific plans for a disaster of this magnitude; rather, it was the lack of implementation of those plans. As he read, it became quite clear that the local and state governments considered themselves next in the line of responsibility for the citizenry's welfare--just after the individual citizens, themselves. Strategies for the transportation of those unable to help themselves via city buses were in place. I can't remember all of the specifics, but failure came not from lack of preparation. It came from a lack of will to carry out measures already in place. What a shame and tragedy. Many dead people lie in silent testimony to city, county, and state government inefficiency.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Leaky Vessel

Sean Penn's rescue efforts go awry in New Awleuhns:

Penn had planned to rescue children waylaid by Katrina's flood waters, but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel, which began taking water within seconds of its launch.

The actor, known for his political activism, was seen wearing what appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out of the sinking vessel with a red plastic cup.

With the boat loaded with members of Penn's entourage, including a personal photographer, one bystander taunted the actor: "How are you going to get any people in that thing?"

Let's all say it together: Photo-op!

Saturday, September 3, 2005

The "Grieving Mother's" Family

From The Federalist Patriot:

The family of Casey Sheehan, an American soldier killed in Iraq in April, 2004, has broken their silence and spoken out against Sheehan's much-publicized mother, Cindy Sheehan, who has undertaken a vocal anti-war protest against President Bush outside Mr. Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch.

The family's statement reads: "The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son's good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect." The statement was signed "sincerely" by "Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins."

How much air-time has this report received? All I've heard is what a great American Cindy Sheehan is, and how she has a right to freedom of distortion, and how she's a grieving mother, blah, blah, blah.

Friday, September 2, 2005

A Maelstrom of Thoughts

On the Gulf coast, I have compassion and sorrow for the plight of the indigent, the mentally incompetent, the physically disabled, and infants--many of whom had no means of escaping the storm's onslaught. May God watch over, heal, and protect you all.


I find that I have less sympathy for those too stupid, too arrogant, or too reliant upon government aid to take appropriate actions for protecting themselves and their families.


Does expecting and demanding aid from others for your predicament make sense, when you had the ability and the time to arm yourself against the storm, yet did nothing?


If newscasters announced that a storm was headed my way--three days in advance--and suggested that the aftermath would be a "nightmare scenario" (as Brian Wilson on Fox News claimed), I would leave the area temporarily. If I had to pitch a tent by the roadside, I would do so. Whatever it takes to protect one's family, one does.


Shooting at helicopters and other rescue vehicles probably is not a prudent choice, if one seeks rescue.


It is neither the president's constitutional duty--nor his right--to send $10 billion of taxpayer money as a safety-net for those who gave no thought to their own safety, and made no provision for it--whether disaster strikes New Awleuhns, or New Delhi.


Seeing the president--along with Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush-- at a press conference made me want to stand up, pull out my lighter, and chant: "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony."


Caring about someone's dire situation, and acting in ways that produce positive effects are not synonymous. Good intentions do not equal good results. Remember the recent tsunami?


Earth goddess worshipers: The U. S. is not the only country in the world that uses oil. Did we forget about the one billion-plus people who live in China? Ergo, the U.S. is not evil incarnate. I know the truth hurts when swallowed, but you'll get over it. I promise.


If you have a dark complexion, and you feel the need to pillage jewelry stores and banks, brandish guns at rescuers and innocent civilians, and rove about in gangs--understand that this is called living the stereotype.


"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."-- James Madison (speech in the Virginia constitutional convention, 2 December 1829)

Remember this, the next time you see police joining looters or a government official on tv demanding wads of cash for the Gulf.


I strongly support Christian charity. Giving to those in need has a long history in this country, and in Western civilization. But charity cannot be forced. Where there is compulsion, there is no charity.


I'll pray for the people of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. I hope you will, too.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

One of the Worst

Here are some interesting and disturbing facts about major hurricanes in American history, which I found on AOL News.

The Strongest:

Florida Keys, 1935, Category 5
Camille, 1969, Category 5
Andrew, 1992, Category 5

The Costliest:

Andrew, 1992, 26.5 billion
Charlie, 2004, 15 billion
Ivan, 2004, 14.2 billion

The Deadliest:

Galveston, Texas, 1900, 8,000-12,000 killed
Lake Okeechobee, Florida, 1928, 2,500-3,000 killed
Florida Keys, 1935, 408 killed

I could be wrong, but from what I've seen on the news and internet, Katrina probably will live in infamy as one of the worst.