Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Blogburst, A Blogburst...My Kingdom For A Blogburst...

I wish I had a great blogburst today, but I didn't even think about it until 6 pm or so when Republican Vet reminded me that I had been woolgathering and not blogging. Anyway, I thought Joseph Farah summed up my thinking on the ACLU and much of the source of my frustration here:

Let me tell you, there is no threat – no threat at all – that Christians or Jews will, any time soon, successfully impose their own divided faiths on anyone else with the help of the local, state or federal government. It just can't happen, not in the 21st-century, American socio-political climate.

And the ACLU knows this.

The ACLU is on offense, not defense.

The ACLU is not afraid of Christians. It knows they are easy, wimpy targets who don't fight back. (Emphasis supplied).

The ACLU doesn't really care about manger scenes, Ten Commandments monuments and other symbolic targets. Instead, they use these legal assaults to keep their enemies off-guard, on defense and from recognizing what the real agenda is.

What is the real agenda?

Well, I guess you could call it state-imposed, enforced, official atheism.

What really gripes me about the ACLU is the fact that Mr. Farah is right in his observation that Christians are, for the most part, easy, wimpy targets who don't fight back...for every story of a Christian who says "I'm taken all I'm gonna take and and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" there are 100,000 quietly taking it on the cheek and turning the other one. And while there are many times that quietly taking it is right, there are also many times that, like Peter and John when they were ordered not to speak the name of Jesus, we ought to flat out tell the authorities, "No, we're not going to do that, we listen to God, not you."

The ACLU wants to turn the US into an atheist country, period. If you call yourself a Christian (or, for that matter, if you follow any religion that believes in a god), it is time to stand up and be counted.

Cool Stuff That's Not There Anymore...

I was just listening to some classic rock, and remembering back to some of the best times I ever had...and then I started thinking about cool stuff that isn't around anymore and the 4th of July...

One Fourth of July, I went with a group of friends to watch the fireworks in downtown Pittsburgh. Now, it's almost impossible to get in and out of Pittsburgh when a big event like the 4th of July is happening...most of the ways out of town involve tunnels and/or bridges, so your best bet is to get to town early and find a place to hang out before and after.

We found this little bar on Smithfield Street, Jimmy' had the coolest jukebox ever. You put in a quarter and picked up the phone on top of it...a lady came on and she would say, "What youns want, hun?" (Pittsburghese for "What would you like to hear, sir?") You gave her the title and artist, she went and got the record and put your song on in a couple of minutes. I never knew where she was located, but I never asked her for a song she didn't have, including "Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money" by Warren Zevon.

If you have any recollections of cool stuff that's gone, feel free to comment or post and trackback to here...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Oh suuuurrreee....

Now it works right just to spite me.

What Do I Have To Do?

For those of you who are expecting this post to be some expression of conservative, angst, sorry. The question is, "What do I have to do to get this stupid blog to display the date properly?" I posted the UN piece below on Monday, it says Sunday...I set the time zone, I set the display, I set all that stuffon blogger, and it still gets the stupid day and date wrong...I hate that. It'll probably say "Monday" on this post even though it's Tuesday--AArrrgh.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sixty Years of Irrelevance Is Enough

June 26th marked the 60th anniversary of the meeting in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization. Since that moment, the UN has been an exercise in futility and failed promises.

In the last 30 years, here's what the UN has "accomplished":

In 1975, the UN stood by and did nothing while 21% of Cambodia's population was massacred; however, the UN did pass a bold measure that year, Resolution 3379, which declared that "Zionism is a form of racism."

In 1980, the Iran-Iraq war began. The UN called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. The parties responded by ignoring the UN and the war continued until 1988.

In 1990, the UN authorized the use of force during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Primarily due to the efforts of the US, Kuwait was liberated.

In 1992, the UN dispatched peacekeepers to Somalia to restore order and protect the food supply...the mission failed and the peacekeepers were removed three years later.

In 1994, the UN stood by and did nothing as 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered in 100 days.

In 1995, the UN passed the Iraqi Oil-for-Food program--Investigation of this fiasco is ongoing.

In 1996, 50 years after passing its first resolution, which had called for a ban on nuclear weapons altogether, the UN adopted the nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Source

Although the UN passed various resolutions condemning Iraq and demanding Saddam Hussein's cooperation, it ultimately chose to do nothing, resulting in the US leading its own coaliition of forces into Iraq in 2003.

Today, thousands of non-combatants are being killed and raped in the Congo while 16,000 UN peacekeepers do nothing. 180,000 non-combatants have been killed in the Sudan without the UN lifting a finger. They have decided to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation.

Now Kofi Annan, that bold visionary, has come around to the idea that reform may be needed, but, according to his editorial on the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal, but he cautions that a "big stick" approach--taking away US financial support if changes we want aren't implemented--isn't the way to go, and urges negotiation with the other member states.

I say "Why?" We have tried compromise, we have tried negotiation, we have tried patience, we have tried cajoling, we have even tried embarrassing the UN into action and reform...It's about time we try sanctions, at this point 60 years of irrelevance is enough.

Friday, June 24, 2005

It Was His Time?

I really like my dogs...I have an American Bulldog named Arnie and a Shar Pei named Sassy, and they are two of the sweetest dogs you could meet. But I would never pick my dogs over my kids, as this moonbat apparently did:

Maureen Faibish was arrested and charged with child endangerment after her pit bull killed her son, 12 year-old Nicholas. Her male dog "Rex" was acting possessive because "Ella," the female was in heat.

Mrs. Faibish claims "We were never seeing any kind of violent tendencies" in the dogs, but what did she do? While she went out to run errands, she put little Nicholas in the cellar, "with a shovel on the door" (to lock him in). Even though these dogs had no violent tendencies, she felt the need to physically separate her son from them. "And I told him: 'Stay down there until I come back.' Typical Nicky, he wouldn't listen to me."

You see? This is all that little Nicky's fault...he should have known that his mother only had his best interests at heart in locking him in the cellar. He got out of the cellar, and was found dead when his mother returned. Do you think it might have made more sense to lock the dogs up instead of her son? Do you think maybe she knew this might happen and didn't care enough to protect her own son?

Mrs. Faibish faces up to 10 years in jail (which I doubt she'll ever see), but the saddest part of this, to me, is the fact that this woman has no sense of her own culpability in her son's death. "It's Nicky's time to go...When you're born you're destined to go and this was his time." It was his time? Maybe we should find out if it's "her time" and lock her in a room with a couple of pit bulls. Idiot.

The ACLU--Against Sexual Abstinence

Thursday the ACLU opened its new website, Take Issue, Take Charge, the purpose of which is "stopping government funding of ineffective and harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and ... promoting responsible sexuality education." In other words, the ACLU has a brand-spankin'-new program and website, designed solely for the purpose of insuring that the only sure way to stop the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies is not taught to young people--in favor of teaching them "responsible sex." Why? In the name of "reproductive freedom."

“Take Issue, Take Charge is for people who believe that the government should stop interfering with the decisions we all make about whether or when to have children, including to deny teens the information they need to prevent pregnancy,” said Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, Louise Melling.

Apparently teaching about the safety of abstinence will not stop pregnancy, but teaching how to put a condom on a banana will. But let's get to the nitty-gritty, shall we? This isn't really about teens and reproductive freedom, this is about the deep-seated ACLU fear that "abstinence" is "too Christian." Look at the reasons they cite for opposing the teaching of abstinence--

"...[M]any of these programs promote gender stereotypes, discriminate against gay and lesbian youth and all too often proselytize on the public’s dime."

How does teaching abstinence promote gender stereotypes and discriminate against homosexuals? What proselytizing? The unspoken assumption is that only Christians are interested in promoting chastity, and then only the "right-wingers," who will certainly promote gender stereotypes and discriminate against homosexuals. The writer doesn't even bother to explain these bald assertions--they are just made as though "everyone knows" they're true...the fallback position of the liberal zealot.

It should also be noted that, following its "initial focus on sexuality education," Take Issue, Take Charge:

"will target other pressing reproductive rights issues, including increasing access to emergency contraception and combating refusals by hospitals, insurance companies, pharmacies and others to provide basic reproductive health services." (Italics added).

First let's get all the kiddies doing it, then we'll move on to making abortion more available and affordable. And we can sue everybody who tries to stop us and make a hefty buck in the process. What a scam.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Government Can Take Your House--Yeah, That's Right, Your House...

The Supreme Court today, in a decision that is going to have long-term deleterious effects across this country, said that local governments may use the power of eminent domain to seize private property, not just for public projects, but so that it can be "handed off" to different private ownership the government prefers.

The case involved homeowners in a Connecticut working-class neighborhood whose homes are being taken to develop a hotel, a health club and offices. The Court (the "Fab Five" of Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer and Kennedy) held that (although they seem to think they are the final word on everything else in America) this was a decision better left to the municipality.

John Paul Stevens wrote the opinion of the Court, in which he opined that, if the municipality has a plan that will provide benefit to the community, they can take YOUR house and give it to somebody else, over your objection. Not to build roads or schools, as has been the traditional role of the use of eminent domain, but to put in a casino, to build a mall, or to do anything else they think is in the interest of creating jobs or raising the tax base.

Family farmer? Watch out--if the town can turn a tax buck by subdividing you, you're toast. Own waterfront property? Better hope it doesn't look good to a condo developer. On the bright side? Maybe you're a developer that can't get that last hold out to sell...just grease a couple of palms on the local board and, voila! The benefit to the community outweighs the hardship on the owner and your problem is fixed. See ya', Grandma.

This is the kind of decision that is slowly eroding this country and turning it 180 degrees from where it began...After today, we all know that none of us really "owns" anything...we just have it on loan from the government until the government gives it to somebody else.

Clue-Less Gives It Up

I see my ol' buddy over at common logic (also known as cl or clue-less) has given up his blogging aspirations. I stopped commenting on his site some time ago, partly because Republican Vet was doing such a nice job of blowing his lack of logic, common or otherwise, away; and partly because he is invincibly ignorant--if he's ever actually studied logic, he's long abandoned anything he learned (although I think it more likely he just thought his blog's name was "cute"). His last post, however, is priceless--he is stepping away from blogging so he can "make a difference."

How? "I'll continue to put in my dues and work up the government ladder to obtain a position where I can truly make a difference." That sentence is a dead giveaway that illustrates the gulf separating me from the clue-less's of the world...they think difference-makers come from within the bureaucracy of government that will somehow transform our society, while I recognize that what has made a "difference" in our society is not the "largesse" of government, but God's blessing on the American spirit and the American people.

Do We Need a "Flag-Burning Amendment"?

As the Congress mulls over whether the Constitution ought to be amended to ban flag-burning (in Congress-ese, "mull" means to see which way the wind is blowing before voting in your personal best interest with the voters), the StoptheACLU blogburst has been asked to weigh in today on the issue, so here goes.

As most of you probably already know, the ACLU is bitterly opposed to banning flag-burning as a means of expression, and many on the right are equally vehement about putting a stop to what they see as desecration of a near-sacred symbol. Where do I stand? Last week I had this to say about flag-burning: "You probably shouldn't be holding your breath waiting for an invitation to dinner at my house, but as long as you burn flags you purchased and do it away from me, knock yourself out. Flag burning says more about you than it does about anything else, anyway."

That's what I believe...I think if you burn the flag you are demonstrating, for the world to see, that you are pretty much a brainless fool. No one's going to follow you, or run to your"cause", or drink your kool-aid because you're a flag-burner. Maybe you'll get 10 seconds on the news in Poughkeepsie if nothing else is going on, and you might hit the networks if you accidentally burn yourself to death while dumping gas on the flag, but that's it. You're just another fool in a long line of fools.

As you can tell, in general I am not one to get all "whupped up" about flag-burning, any more than I think it is reasonable to start riots or kill people over rumors of "koran desecration." One is a piece of material, one is a book. Somebody asked over at Daisy Cutter awhile back, "would you desecrate a Bible if you knew it would save a life?" My answer? Sure, without a second thought. Hurting a symbol can't change me--destroying my symbols debases you, not me.

So ordinarily, I would not be in favor of a Constitutional amendment to outlaw flag burning, except for this: The ACLU and others of their ilk have turned it into a free-speech issue, and have therefore left those who feel more strongly about it than I do with no other choice.

Don't blame those in favor of an amendment for this turn of events. If the liberals had left well-enough alone, this could easily have been handled by local ordinances, which was originally what was happening. I believe that, if there are sufficient people in a community who find flag-burning offensive, the issue of whether flags can be burned ought to be the peoples' decision, not the ACLU's. You want to burn a flag on Ted Kennedy's front lawn? He's probably OK with that, go ahead. You want to burn a flag in the middle of Parris Island? Probably not such a good idea. It's not as though we don't regulate other acts that are arguably "expressive." You can't expose yourself in public and urinate on something, although that might "express" your feelings.

I don't believe the First Amendment was intended to protect flag burning--but since the courts, with the ACLU's urging, have taken that position, I guess we'll see how the American people really feel about it.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"Judge Not" Does Not Mean "Disconnect Thy Brain"

As a pastor, I have noticed that many people who have absolutely no use for the Bible, and don't ever intend to live one moment of their lives as though they do, know one verse of the Bible verbatim: No, it's not John 3:16, it's Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that you be not judged."

I find that, almost without exception, any time I express a view on a moral or political issue in public (here on my blog, for instance), someone is ready to say, "you're not acting very Christian, pastor--doesn't the Bible say 'judge not, that you be not judged?'" Usually this is said rather sneeringly, as though by being able to parrot one verse of Scripture, they have shown me to be the fraud and hypocrite that I am.

But what does the whole passage say? Verse 2 says, "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." What Jesus is saying is not that Christians are not to use judgment...what He's saying is that we must be careful in being discerning and using judgment, because we are judged in all the areas we judge others.

To think that this means otherwise, or to believe it gives ammunition to those who have the "anything goes" mentality so prevalent in the world today is sheer idiocy. If Jesus literally meant "never judge anything," then Christians would be well-advised to start eating handfuls of dirt instead of food, since we can't judge that one thing is good to eat over another. Or maybe we could just all rise up in anarchy, since I would have no way to "judge" whether laws are good or bad, or apply to me or not.

So to all of you who come here armed with only Matthew 7:1, please don't bother--you just demonstrate your own foolishness every time you try that ploy here. My brain is turned on and working fine, and I still call 'em as I see 'em.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Durbin Recants...Pretty Much

Dick Durbin, "Tears welling in his eyes," tried to apologize today for his Gitmo remarks, in which he likened US military personnel at Gitmo to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge. The AP reports that Durbin was drawing fire from some Democrats, including Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who said, "I think it's a disgrace to say that any man or woman in the military would act like that."

As he was finally being pressed by the left as well as the right, Durbin said, "Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line. To them I extend my heartfelt apologies." He also said, "I made reference to Nazis, to Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr. President, I've come to understand that's a very poor choice of words."

For myself, the apology is he should remove himself from the Democrat leadership, just as Trent Lott was forced to do for remarks much less offensive.

Waiting for the UN--An Exercise in Futility

I know that I have friends on both sides of the Bolton controversy--should he be confirmed or shouldn't he? My answer is and continues to be--Who cares? Even as the nattering nabobs of the Senate argue about whether this guy is "UN material" (what a joke, after Kofi, who isn't?), the UN remains what it has always been--a toilet to throw money into.

In two years, 180,000 people have died in Darfur, Sudan--2,000,000 have been left homeless, and "
rape is systematically used as a weapon of warfare," according to UN Under-Secretary General Jan Egeland. The Sudanese do not protect their population and, should a woman become pregnant because of rape, she is treated as a criminal and further brutalized by the police.

In the eastern Congo, 2,000 cases of sexual abuse of women and children are reported each month, a "situation partly attributable to the breakdown of discipline in the regular armed forces." In other words, their own army is raping them. The 16,000 UN "peacekeepers" in the Congo look the other way as armed groups still operate in the east of the country.

What is the UN's answer to the senseless violence? They have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes. By the time the ICC does anything and anyone is brought to justice, how many more people have to die? How many more have to be raped?

Bolton? You've got to be kidding...He could be a statesman or a sideshow freak, and the UN couldn't possibly do a worse job than it already does...Personally, I think he's a great pick, but let's suppose he alienates the, that's even better!!

Abortionist Accused of Eating Fetuses

No, this isn't the National Enquirer, or the Daily Nutjob, or any other tabloid you just read the headlines of while you're in the grocery store checkout...this is real, unfortunately. VanHelsing (somewhat ironically, I think) reports that abortion "doctor" (I use the term loosely) Krishna Rajanna of Kansas City has been closed down due to his extremely unsanitary and disgusting facilities and the accusation by one employee that he microwaved and snacked on fetuses.

Rajanna apparently had three ways of disposing of babies...he took them home in garbage bags for residential pickup, flushed them down the toilet, or put them in styrofoam cups in the fridge (yes, the fridge where he kept his lunch).

I know many believe in a woman's right to kill her own baby, but this is beyond the pale and it is what we can expect to see when the profession that swears an oath not to do harm is perverted into an assembly line of baby killers.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Byrd's Albatross--The Kleagle and the Klan

Perhaps now we know why Robert Byrd keeps standing up and ranting for what seems like hours about absolutely nothing of any import on the floor of the Senate...He needs the face time because he has a new book out on Monday!! (Or it could just be that he is as totally senile as he appears, take your pick). I will be neither buying nor reading it, as I hope the West Virginia University Press loses its shirt on this one. This doorstop is 770 pages long, and is entitled, "Robert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields".

The "Child of the Appalachian Coalfields" is once again trying to explain away his involvement with the Ku Klux Klan--now, to understand how difficult this is for him, let's not forget that the "Child" was not just a hooded nobody on the outskirts of the KKK, a lost babe wandering through the Appalachian coalfields, an ignorant nobody who was recruited under false pretenses...the "Child" was the organizer of his local chapter of the KKK. And far from being taken in by a recruiter, Byrd was an official recruiter for the Klan, a "Kleagle." So as you might expect, his book appears to be another flight into fancy for the "Child," as his remembrances don't seem to have much to do with reality.

In the book, according to MSNBC and the Washington Post:

"Byrd says he viewed the Klan as a useful platform from which to launch his political career. He described it essentially as a fraternal group of elites -- doctors, lawyers, clergy, judges and other 'upstanding people' who at no time engaged in or preached violence against blacks, Jews or Catholics, who historically were targets of the Klan."

Now this is thin enough on its face...there was no Elks club in West Virginia? The boys wanted to make a fashion statement in their oh-so-chic sheets and hoods around the poker table? The "elites" didn't know what the Klan stood for? But that's the "Child's" story and apparently he sticks with it for 770 grueling pages.

Even the Washington Post can't quite swallow this, however--Eric Pianin points out that "the account is not complete. He does not acknowledge the full length of time he spent as a Klan organizer and advocate. Nor does he make any mention of a particularly incendiary letter he wrote in 1945 complaining about efforts to integrate the military." In the letter in question, the "Child" says that he would never fight

“with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."

And although the "Child" asserts that he was just a kid with "a jejune and immature outlook," let's not forget the "Child's" later escapades: Into his 40's and beyond he was an outspoken opponent of civil rights, filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (in his mid-40's), and opposing the nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court on the basis of his race three years later in 1967.

The Kleagle/Child says his affiliation with the KKK is an "albatross around his neck"...maybe somebody should put this book on a string and make him wear it, so he can see what carrying a 770-page albatross feels like.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Tell Durbin What You Think

Daily Kos posted a link to contact Dick Durbin, so I thought I would do the case your blood isn't already sufficiently boiling, The Trained Ape had this to say: "For strength, truth, and the American way, support Senator Durbin!"

I want to support Senator Durbin to the unemployment line, and I let him know should too.

When Is an Apology Not an Apology?

It seems like the answer to this question is: When it's an apology by a politician. I'm going to talk about two lefties here, but before you write comments about the fact that BOTH sides do this, let me just say "I agree". These two just happen to be the two most obvious and egregious examples lately of politicians who refuse to really apologize even when they've made an intemperate or even stupid remark.

I keep listening to Howard Dean, and he obviously has no intention of ever saying, "Wow, saying that most Republicans never made an honest living in their lives was certainly not true, and insulting to many hard-working Americans...I'm sorry I said that." Instead, Howard says that the listener misunderstood him--he meant that Republican policies have declared war on hardworking Americans. So it's the policies that are at fault, not hard-working Republicans.

Well, two points about that--First, there are no nebulous Republican policies just floating around in the ether that have declared war and are running around attacking people willy-nilly. There are Republicans who hold certain beliefs and put them into practice...So when Howard blames Republican policies for declaring war on hard-working Americans, he is still saying Republicans have done so.

Second, since he is saying Republicans have declared war on hard-working Americans, the only message I wind up with is the one he started with--Republicans are bums who don't work and prey on the poor hard-working Democrats. Nice apology, HD.

Now we have tricky Dick Durbin trying to backpedal from his comparison of American interrogators at Gitmo with Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or "some mad regime" such as Pol Pot's. Durbin, when initially called on to apologize, defended his remarks, saying:

"This administration should apologize to the American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorizing torture techniques that put our troops at risk and make Americans less secure,"
Joe Shoemaker, a Durbin spokesman, said Durbin's comments were meant to compare torture at Guantanamo Bay to torture during the Nazi regime, not equate Americans at the base to Nazis and similar groups. Does this remind you of Republican policies declaring war, but not Republicans? The "torture" is "nazi-like" but not the "torturers"?

Dick apparently figured out by Friday that this wasn't going to fly, so he decided to fall back on a phony apology:

"I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: Our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support."

This smarmy, slippery, smelly piece of offal refuses to recant the statement itself, he's just sorry if you feel bad about what he said...not for one moment does he say he was wrong in what he said; nor does he say he's sorry for saying that American servicemen are comparable to Pol Pot's army of murderers or Hitler's goose-stepping stormtroopers. He just says his use of a historical parallel was "misunderstood." we misunderstood you, Dick? Then just tell us what you meant! You can't possibly mean that, when you said that what was being done at Gitmo was being done by people "that had no concern for human beings," we were supposed to understand that you have nothing but "respect, admiration and total support" for those people?

This is absurd. We know what you meant, man enough to stand by your words, and then resign.

Your Minute of Fame

Andy Warhol is credited with saying that everybody gets 15 minutes of fame...I think I had mine when I was about 4 years old, but that's another story...

Anyway, 15 minutes for each and every person seems like an awful lot considering the world population, but there's a new site that is willing to give you one minute-- will let you speak, absolutely live and uncensored, over a 200 watt amp, to an audience in the Columbus, OH area on an "impromptu basis" (I don't know if this means whenever they feel like doing it, or it means they do it until they get asked to move it or go to jail). They call the amp and speaker a "mobile sculpture," so you might as well use probably paid for it through the NEA.

If you e-mail them they will let you know when you can go "live"--if you don't want to be live, you can call their number and leave a taped message for later broadcast. So get it off your chest and get your one minute of fame today!

Thanks to Think Bacon for this little gem.

Books, Books, Books

Hi Ya'll, welcome to Father's Day weekend, the holiday invented by tie manufacturers to clear inventory...(actually, I have had pretty good luck on Father's Day, tie-wise...I have a cool Tazmanian Devil tie I got on F-Day, not suitable for preaching but cool nonetheless).

Although I was fortunate enough to avoid memes for the first 7 or so weeks of bloglife, I have now been tagged with the infamous "book meme" and I will now dutifully answer the questions to the best of my ability...but could somebody tell me what "meme" means? I have no idea, and I am not one to refrain from asking a question just because the answer might make me appear stupid (well, actually I am, but I want to know anyway). Well, here are the questions and the answers--

Total Number Of Books Owned Ever: I have no idea--starting with "The Hardy Boys" through "Doc" Savage, through all of Heinlein's space operas, Asimov, Zelazny (Amber Series Best Ever), Heinlein's later works, Herbert, Niven, Farmer (Riverworld Series second Best Ever (even though I think he loses track of who all the characters are somewhere around the end of the third book)), Clarke, Piers Anthony (didn't care for Xanth after about 4 but mostly great stuff), on to theology, then law, then back to mostly theology--probably not 100,000 but more than 50,000.

Last Book Bought: Mastering Pastoral Counseling by Hart, Gulbranson and Smith

Last Book I Read: Double Play by Robert Parker (mostly known for Spenser, but this book is a fictionalized account of Jackie Robinson's first year in the majors off the field).

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me: 1. The Bible; 2. The Tempting of America by the Hon. Robert Bork; 3. Things to Come by Dwight Pentecost; 4. Tie--Atlas Shrugged/The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (I grew out of buying her philosophy completely, but her books affected me profoundly as a teen); 5. The Supreme Court by the Hon. William H. Rehnquist (Good read, solid history of the Court and Rehnquist's role in shaping the modern Court. Also gives insight into how things really work.)

Bonus: The Way Things Ought to Be by el Rushbo--Even liberals ought to borrow this book from a friend (You don't have to buy it and support the "Evil Rush Empire") and READ it... Rush is funny and reading his stuff should make it possible for you to see that he LOVES to get libs riled up by using hyperbole and satire. I have heard people call his show absolutely foaming at the mouth over stuff he said that every conservative listening knew was a joke--really, read it, you might like it.

OK, that's the meme--I will have to study up on who to pass it on to...(Kevin, look out...)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ethics According to PETA

Thanks to Kevin over at the Kevin Show for this heads-up...Those fun-loving folks over at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are at it again. This time two PETA employees, Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va., and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, Va., got caught dumping 31 dead dogs and cats in a shopping center garbage bin. The police had the bin staked out, as dead animals had been found there for several weeks.

PETA claims they were providing free "euthanasia services" for the animals...PETA supposedly gives the animals painless lethal injections rather than allowing them to be gassed in groups, which they consider less humane.

"But veterinarian Patrick Proctor said that authorities found a female cat and her two 'very adoptable' kittens among the dead animals. He said they were taken from Ahoskie Animal Hospital.

"'These were just kittens we were trying to find homes for,' he said. 'PETA said they would do that, but these cats never made it out of the county.'" Another veterinarian, James Brown, also said that he was told PETA was trying to find homes for animals he put into their care, not that PETA was euthanizing them.

Regardless of whether PETA was supposed to be providing euthanasia services or seeking homes for the animals, what in the world were these two people doing dumping dead animals at a shopping center? Obviously, the animals never made it to PETA headquarters, and since this had been going on for weeks, what were these two telling their superiors? They never picked up any animals? They lost them? They found them all homes on the way back? Or what?

These folks run around telling us that they are morally superior to the rest of us because they don't eat good ol' Colonel Sander's chicken or wear leather or fur, but they are apparently ready to turn a blind eye to this. Hinkle has been suspended, but Cook is still working, and PETA's president doubts this ever happened (I am sure the police just stake out shopping center garbage bins in their spare time).

This isn't an isolated incident, however. PETA kills about 80-85% of the animals it receives, and places only about 15-20% in homes. If you want to save animal life, don't count on PETA's "ethics."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Kiddie Porn...Not Too Disgusting for the ACLU

I think the fact that this even has to be the subject of a post speaks volumes about why I find the ACLU contemptible...maybe "beneath contempt" would be more apt. After all, I may not agree with your views on evolution, but I can (and did) remove my children from the public school system so they are not indoctrinated with evolutionary theory taught as "fact".

Or, you may support flag burning as "free speech". You probably shouldn't be holding your breath waiting for an invitation to dinner at my house, but as long as you burn flags you purchased and do it away from me, knock yourself out. Flag burning says more about you than it does about anything else, anyway.

You may even hate and fear belief in God so much that you think saying that we live in a nation "under God" is tantamount to forcing Christianity down your throat (even though there's no mention of any particular "god" in the Pledge) and needs to be stopped via legal action. I think the postion is absurd and the motivation of pursuing such a suit is simply to generate attorney's fees, but we live in a foolishly litigious society and the courts are open to you, so have a party...

But I would think that even the most rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, leftist radical loon would pull up short at the issue of showing minors in pornography, and say to himself (or herself), "Wait a minute, let's think this speech versus children's welfare, free speech versus children's welfare...uh, ok, we protect kids first." Yet the ACLU has a policy that promotes child pornography.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group self-described as "Defending Freedom in the Digital World", has the ACLU position paper posted concerning pornography and the First Amendment. According to the paper, the ACLU is for prosecuting criminal acts against children, but not books or films depicting such acts.

So therefore, according to their own position paper, the ACLU's stance is that it should be OK to view child pornography and own child pornography and peddle child pornography--you just can't make it. This is like saying it's alright to knowingly receive stolen just can't steal the stuff yourself.'s OK to buy black-market body just can't actually cut them out of anybody yourself. However you look at it, the ACLU is for subsidized crime against children.

They are beneath contempt.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Crosses aCross America

If you haven't visited Crosses aCross America yet, you ought to take a look. The premise is pretty simple: Our religious symbols and our right to freely exercise our religious beliefs are being trampled every day...and the ACLU makes hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney's fees which are paid by us, the taxpayers, every time they have another religious symbol or practice eradicated from public life.

So what to do? Simple. We keep fighting for our rights BUT, in the meantime, let's put crosses and copies of the Ten Commandments in plain sight on our private property, where the ACLU has nothing to say about it.

We need to show the ACLU and the fanatical atheists that we are not going away, that we are not going to be silenced and that we are not going to stop fighting for our rights. I would encourage everyone not to stop with putting a flag or a ribbon on your car or truck--add a cross, add the Ten Commandments. Put a cross in your window...let people know where you stand and let's make Crosses visible aCross America.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Americans Are Too Rude!

If you're sick of talking to people you can't understand on the phone, let it be known that they are also sick of talking to you...Over at Think Bacon, they are reporting that Indian call center workers are increasingly stressed out by having to deal with rude Americans.

In fact, the Observer reports that counselors and psychiatrists have to be employed in the call ceters to help with the stress of talking to us uglo-Americans. "Pooja Chopra, 29, from Delhi, who spent two years fielding calls for BT Cellnet and America Online, faced similar abuse. 'People would say, "You're a Paki, I don't want to talk to you, pass me to someone who can speak my language."'"

Hostility from "clients" ("clients" appears to include victims of unsolicited sales calls) is a major contributing factor to employee turnover.

I'm sorry, but I can't feel too awfully sorry for these folks...I am nice enough to just gently hang up the phone in the middle of their spiel, and I would never call anybody a name, but I don't think it's too much to ask that, if you are going to hire people to call me on the phone, or hire people to help me with a problem on warrantied merchandise you sold me, they should be intelligible.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Aid to Africa--Help or Empowerment of Dictators?

Tony Blair is on a crusade to "free Africa from debt and poverty...Blair has demanded that poor countries' debts be cancelled and their aid doubled" according to Reuters. Blair also "proposes to jump-start African economic development by boosting access to international markets" according to the Houston Chronicle. Mr Blair is currently doing some arm-twisting of President Bush and other leaders of developed countries to push his program.

Even if I were to assume that this is a good plan with a chance of success, (and I am not at all convinced), I still have a huge problem with this line: "Blair and Bush agreed this week help on debt should be given only to countries ready to tackle corruption." Notice the phrase, "...ready to tackle corruption."

What does this mean? Does this mean that if Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe promises to stop killing his citizens we will give him aid? Do the African countries who routinely turn a blind eye to genocide all around them have to promise to care in the future? In countries where stealing humanitarian aid is considered "business as usual" are we going to accept assurances that "this time will be different"?

I would encourage Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush to look for change before committing our nations' resources to this plan. We don't know what the African peoples can do for themselves because, in large measure, they have never been given the opportunity to try. Force the dictators and the despots out and only then should we intervene economically.

Trouble on the Horizon For Dems?

Daisy Cutter notes that as many as 11 Democrat Senators may be on the hot seat for the next election if they don't change their ways, including rant-a-holic and kleagle Bob Byrd. DC quotes Dick Morris:

"...Byrd needs beating for a host of other reasons. His defense of the filibuster was natural, since it was he who conducted a lonely 14-hour attempt to kill the 1964 Civil Rights Act by talking until he almost dropped. He stays in office by being a pork-barrel machine who waxes eloquent, at the same time, on the perils of deficit spending."

Amen, Brother Morris!! But in West Virginia, saying Byrd needs a beating is sort of like going to Rome and saying the pope needs one...not too likely...nonetheless, with at least 10 other Democrat Senators in Red states facing some possible stiff opposition, perhaps there is yet hope that even the flaccid Republican leadership can actually accomplish something after the next election...assuming they show a little gumption before the next election.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Mike Tyson--A Sad End to a Sad Career

Mike Tyson quit in the corner between the sixth and seventh rounds of his fight with, um, hang on a sec...oh yeah, Kevin McBride last night. Tyson announced his retirement after the fight, saying "I'm not going to embarrass the sport." Ok, so it's about 10 years too late for that, but at least maybe Mike will have the good sense to go find a product to shill like Big George Foreman did when he finally quit boxing at the age of 97.

Seriously, I hope Mike Tyson doesn't wind up in the headlines in a couple of months back in jail or worse...bad companions, taking bad advice, bad management and a lack of common sense have put Mike in a bad place. He needs a lot of help, and I hope he gets it. And I hope this retirement announcement is for real...I'll be praying for you, Mike.

Friday, June 10, 2005

"Blogshares"? Uh oh...

Yesterday I was cruising around and I ran across this "Blogshares" site; I wasn't sure what it was right away, but I thought it looked interesting so I start looking's a game, like playing in the get $500 blogdollars and off you go, buying and selling blogshares for fun and virtual profit. Cool.

So I decide to sign up...but it tells me "The Pulpit Pounder" is already in the market, which ticked me off until I realized they keep 1000 shares reserved for the "real owner" in case he ever shows up. So I claim my 1000 shares and try to figure out what to do next.

You get 20 trades a day for free, so I figure I'm way I'll ever make 20 trades in a day...I see Right Decisions is listed, so I spend my whole $500 on 86 shares of Right Decisions, and I leave for awhile...

Right Decisions is going fact, I can sell my 86 shares for 1000% I sell...then I buy Flight Pundit, TMH's Bacon Bits, Vote Churchill and Angry Republican Mom--several times, and now I'm up to 15 trades...and I'm hooked like a large-mouth bass... by this morning I hit the 20-trade wall and have to upgrade...

And there's only about a zillion things I haven't figured out yet in the game...ideas, artifacts, karma, .... hopefully I'll get bored in a week or so...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

STOP the ACLU--START with HR 2679

WARNING--This is a "Stop the ACLU Blogburst" production...liberals read at your own peril, I cannot be responsible for your blood pressure, nor will I pay for anything you break in a fit of pique.

I am all for civil rights, as I have said here before. I am also for vindicating and protecting those rights. I don't even mind (much) if my tax dollars pay some attorney's fees when someone suffers physical or property damage during an infringement of their civil rights.

But that's about where I would draw the line, which is why I support the Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005, sponsored by Representative John Hostetler.
The Act would limit the relief allowed in lawsuits filed under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the injunctive variety, and would not allow the prevailing party to collect attorney's fees. What does that mean? It means you can sue to stop a municipality or school from doing whatever it is that you find offensive, and if you win they have to stop doing it, but there's no payday for the ACLU at the end of the day. Let them pay for their political and anti-Christian agenda through the donations of their loyal camp followers and leave tax dollars out of it.

How much are we talking about? Attorney's fees awards in these cases, in recent years, have sometimes run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. This creates a "chilling effect"--beleaguered municipalities would rather "switch than fight" when the ACLU threatens a lawsuit,
even if they believe in their hearts that the challenged activity is constitutional. They can't risk being wrong, and even if they're right, they can't afford the chance that they will run into an activist judge who will rule against them.

The Act
would not affect the citizen's right to sue to vindicate a perceived violation of their would only eliminate a huge incentive the ACLU has to generate cases in order to collect inflated 6-figure attorney's fees, and it would take away a huge hammer that they use to batter defendants into settlement agreements. This is not an amendment to the constitution or a change in constitutional rights or a limit on constitutional simply correct a flaw in an earlier piece of legislation.

Contact your legislator and support this important bill.

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst! If you would like to join, it is very simple.

Go to our new portal at Protest The ACLU , click where it says "sign up now", and fill out a simple form. This will enable us to send you a weekly newsletter with information, and keep your email private. Current members who have not registered, please do so. There are additional advantages and features that will be available for you can opt to use them, or not. Thank you!

Sites Already on Board:

Stop The ACLU
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What Attitude Problem?

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Freedom Of

Is This Life?

Patriots For Bush

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We Thought Terry McAuliffe Was a Nut...

For years, I really disliked Terry McAuliffe. I don't know about you, but for me, there are just some people who have "punch me" faces...the minute I look at them, I want to give them a left jab right to the schnozolla. Terry McAuliffe was really high on my list of "punch me" face people...and then he would only add fuel to the fire by opening his mouth and telling the Democrat Lie of the Day...whatever the party catchphrase of the moment was, there was Terry, beating the drum and frothing at the mouth.

But one thing you could say for least he was usually with the party...Howie Dean, on the other hand, seems to be out doing his own little loony-dance while supposedly acting as the DNC chair. He's getting so irrational that the Democrats find themselves trying to distance themselves from their own chairman. Thanks to Jody over at Steal the Bandwagon for this interesting tidbit--Howard is now defending the statement that the Republican party is for white people and Christians.

Howie originally made the statement on Monday and refuses to back down...when given the opportunity to "clarify" his statement Wednesday, Howie said, “unfortunately, by and large it is. And they have the agenda of the conservative Christians,” Mr. Dean said as he moonwalked across the stage...Did I just type that? Sorry...thinking out loud...

I never though I would say it, but Howard (the Duck) Dean makes Terry Mc-Awful look like the voice of sweet reason.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Improve Education--Bribe a Teen

A new way to educate our young people has arisen in England...bribe them to go to school. The AP is reporting that Bournemouth and Pool College is offering kids $300 iPods if they take summer courses "aimed at helping them find jobs." Although some officials call this what it is, bribery, others say it's necessary because the youth are:

"predominantly disaffected by education, they have possibly not had a very good experience in the school sector and therefore are not engaged in learning." (For those of you who were "predominantly disaffected by education," this means they don't like school, they don't care about school, and they aren't trying).

Now for those of you who are thinking that this might at least be a way for them to get some readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmatic, think again...although a couple of the courses are at least loosely tied to job skills, the choices include "outdoor pursuits and extreme sports" (play all summer and score an iPod), and "travel tips" (where to hang out with your iPod after "graduation").

Not to be outdone, Glasgow city schools are giving out, among other things, movie tickets, iPods, and Xboxes for eating "healthy meals"at school. What's next, a DVD player for changing your underwear?

"Judy" Christ? I Think Not...

WorldNet Daily reported on June 3 that a new version of the Gospels has recently been released, in which Jesus is replaced by "Judith" Christ. I found this to be very strange, but it's a strange world, so I just figured it was weirdness as usual. I did want to verify the story for myself, however, so I started to look around a's some interesting info that inclines me to think this is some kind of an elaborate hoax: lists this book as being authored by "LBI," the Law & Business Institute...WorldNet confirms this and says they tried to contact Stephen Glazier of LBI without, I don't know everything about LBI, but Mr. Glazier is an intellectual property attorney who has written such thrilling theology books as "e-Patent Strategies for Software, e-Commerce, the Internet, Telecom Services, Financial Services, and Business Methods (with Case Studies and Forecasts)";

LBI's VP is said to be named "Billie Shakespeare"--right, nothing strange there...;

Although the book is said to be "new", the copyright listed by Amazon is 2003, and the book is "out-of-print";

Further, although the book is "out-of-print", it oddly has 67 reviews, 65 of which were posted in the last week...the reviews are uniformly terrible, which means all these people bought a book they knew in advance they would hate, or they never read the book and are just reacting to the news story, or a bit of both.

So...a company that focuses on patents and e-business printed a twisted set of gospels 2 years ago, and is now suddenly promoting them on WND through "Billie Shakespeare", but the books aren't available anyway, yet Amazon is flooded with reviews of the book...I dunno what the agenda is here, but it looks like a hoax. If anybody has more info, I would love to hear it.

Thanks to Dane Bramage for alerting me to this...and the Anchoress has a different take.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Cotillion

If you haven't stopped off to enjoy the ladies' company yet, I would encourage you to try the Cotillion today for some refreshing viewpoints! Beth, Janette and Jody are doing a great job as hosts...

Update...Just to clarify, I guess Beth, Janette and Jody are the "web mistresses" while your hosts today are Merri Musings, The American Princess and an American Housewife...enjoy...

The Kerry Form-180...Anticlimax?

After stating that he refused to sign the Form 180 for so long because, "the call for me to sign a 180 form came from the same partisan operatives who were lying about my record on a daily basis on the Web and in the right-wing media," Kerry has finally released his info to the Boston Globe today. He didn't mention the fact that the "partisan operatives" were simply demanding that a candidate for President keep his word.

Although the documents are not reprinted on the Globe's website, this about sums it up: "The lack of any substantive new material about Kerry's military career in the documents raises the question of why Kerry refused for so long to waive privacy restrictions....By signing Form 180 now, Kerry may hope to achieve several goals: settle the question of whether there is an explosive document in the file; put pressure on critics to release their military records; and try to put to rest an issue that dogged his 2004 campaign and would probably come up again if he seeks the presidency in 2008."

I'd just like to point out that the issue would never have come up in the first place if he hadn't made his whole campaign about his heroic service in Vietnam and then refused to provide the details of said service. I, for one, am happy to put it to rest, with or without a smoking gun...

Hillary's Nightmares

According to the Washington Post, Hillary Clinton has trouble sleeping at night because of ... well, you'll see. Anyway, I have taken a page from TJ over at NIF and interspersed Mrs. Clinton's comments with some subliminal messages...

"'There has never been an administration Clinton, I don't think in our history Clinton, more intent on consolidating and abusing power Clinton to further their own agenda William Jefferson Clinton,' said Clinton"

"'I stay awake at night thinking about all the mistakes Clinton and the wrong direction Clinton and all the bad decisions Clinton being made in Washington,' Clinton said at the fund-raiser. 'It's very hard to stop people who have no shame Clinton Clinton , Hillary Clinton, William Clinton. Clinton clan about what they're doing. It's very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth Holy Clinton, Batman!!.'"

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Democrat looniness...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Blogging, Religious and Political...

I'm not much for thoughtful introspection here in this public forum, mainly because I don't think most people in the blogosphere care what I think about me, my wife, my kids, my dogs, my truck, my self-esteem, my yadda yadda yadda.

I know some people think we want to know all this stuff about them, but I just don't think I'm that fascinating--I did, however, want to address one comment I received earlier in the week--it basically said, "This is supposed to be a religious blog, so why do you talk about politics so much?" Although I think the person making the comment intended his remark to be offensive to me, I think it raises a good point, and I want to take a minute to answer it...

First--I appear to comment on politics a lot because my life is not "disconnected"--there's not "religion" and "everything else"--My Christian beliefs and worldview impact on every part of my life, and I don't see my commentary as religious or all reflects my beliefs. So the distinction between political blogging and religious blogging is a false one, in my view.

Second--Before I was a pastor, I was an attorney, and before that I managed several businesses, and I have always been interested in the law and politics...becoming a preacher doesn't take away your natural interests or turn you into a cloistered monk. I still like a little debate on the issues of the day from time to time.

Third, and lastly--Blogging is just an opportunity to develop my thinking on issues that might be presented to me by folks in my congregation...people are often interested in what the pastor thinks on an issue and why--and they would prefer not to receive a blank look and an "I dunno, never heard of that." So following topics of the day and reading different views and commenting on them is one way to stay on top of things...

It may not look "religious," since I don't post a "verse for the day" or trumpet hellfire and brimstone every day, but what I write reflects my faith in Jesus Christ and my understanding of God's Word to man, the Bible.

Let's Talk "Shreddergate"

This strikes me as a total witchhunt--You can all come back later and tell me what a dunce I am if I'm wrong, but I don't see why everybody's in hysteria over the New York Times story about shredding at the ACLU. I don't know if anybody calls it "Shreddergate" yet, but no doubt by the time I finish this post, somebody will have...I'm asking myself, what's really going on at the ACLU with regard to its shredders, and even as I do so I feel a little silly, because I think that, for the most part, if you want to shred documents that you generated or collected, that ought to be up to you. Within the boundaries of document retention required by law, if you want to shred, shred, if you want to save, save...and sometimes you may have a difference of opinion about what to save or what to shred--you need to sort that out internally, it's none of my business.

And so far, all I can see in this little soap opera is that's what's going on at the ACLU...let's just look at the facts for a second...Until last month, Janet Linde was the "records manager" at the ACLU...basically, Ms. Linde is an's was her job to see papers chronicling the work of the ACLU are preserved. To that end, the ACLU has, historically, had strict document retention policies. Anything being destroyed was to be put in a locked bin to be approved for destruction before it was actually destroyed. Point 1: It's not as though documents weren't already being shredded, the only potential issue is whether an office policy was violated.

2001: Enter Anthony Romero, executive director...Director Romero brings his shredder with him, and mentions the fact to some employees in 2002...the employees are dutifully shocked, but no action is taken, other than that Mr. Romero was reminded of the policy. Point 2: Sombody's in violation of the policy...nothing illegal so far, but Ms. Linde's toes are feeling tramped on.

So where are we? So far I see an archivist, whose entire job and function and importance in an organization revolves around having control over documents (read, "she might be a tad obsessive") versus "the Boss" who isn't so concerned with the details. So what happens next?

In 2003, the ACLU hires Richard Smith, an expert in computer security, to offer suggestions regarding protection of info on the computers. Mr Smith recommends more shredding of documents and that document disposal be more convenient. In 2003, shredders were place in more convenient areas adjacent to copiers. Gee, do you thnk Ms. Linde was pleased? No...Ms Linde started complaining, stating in one memo that, "if...the means for unauthorized shredding is present in the office we cannot say that we have made a good faith effort to monitor and document our records disposal process."

Point 3: There's a difference of opinion as to what the policy ought to be...apparently somebody above Ms. Linde decides computer security trumps document retention."

The bottom line is, the Director kept his shredder, and the Director of Administration and Finance, Alma Montclair, and her associate, David Baird kept theirs as well. Ms. Linde continued to complain, especially when some bags of shredded documents from Administration and Finance showed up near a freight elevator, and I think the atmosphere in the office can be summed up in this tidbit from Mr. Baird to Ms. Linde--"It is not clear to either Alma or I the specific reasons why shredding these clearly confidential documents needs to be reported to you." In other words, Ms. Linde is pretty much just being a pain about this, and why doesn't she find something else to do. So now she has quit her job and suddenly, an "unknown person" leaks Ms. Linde's gripes to the NYT and she is dutifully "disturbed" about it...hmm

Point 4: Ms. Linde has lost the battle, and wants to leave the ACLU with a little something to remember her by.

That's it? For this we should sign petitions, call out the Marines, the Special Prosecutor, the CIA, and the Man From U.N.C.L.E.? I'll get upset when there's actually a fact, ANY fact, that indicates there's something nefarious going on here...I still don't see anythig more than a little potential embarrassment and bad pub for the ACLU over violating their own policies while whining about "big business" and government doing excessive shredding.

For a totally different view of this issue, you can check out Stop the ACLU and most of the members of the Stop the ACLU Blogburst (just not me)...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Take Off Your Tie--It's Environmental!!

In case you missed it (I did), Sunday was "World Environment Day"--fittingly, the meeting of mayors from more than 50 cities, marking this year's event, was held in the home of American flakes, San Francisco. As usual, lots of terrific-sounding enviromental goals that these people have no long-term control over were set, and they agreed to rank cities with one to four stars based on the cities meeting 21 environmental targets (I'm not sure whether AAA members will get special discounts for visiting "four star" cities as opposed to "one-star" cities).

They also agreed to lower CO2 emissions by 25% before 2030, even though the Kyoto protocols only require cutting emissions by less than 6% before 2012. (And even though nobody cares what they set as a goal).

But one really important thing came out of World Environment Day...a fashion show. Japan is encouraging workers to go less formal to save on air conditioning costs--Sanyo Electric Chairman Satoshi Iue modeled a suit and white shirt without a tie...tres chic, and oh so environmental. "By trying on these clothes, it helps ... raise awareness of environmental issues and help realize how we need to revolutionise our ways," says Chairman Iue, showing us once again that "consciousness-raising" is what it is all about.

Gitmo a Gulag? Maybe, Maybe Not Says Amnesty International Director

Amnesty International must have gotten all the splashy headlines they require for the present moment--William Schulz, the Director of AI who called Donald Rumsfeld a "high-level architect of torture" and Guantanamo Bay a "gulag," now says, according to Reuters, that he does not know whether Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved severe torture methods such as beatings and starvation. "It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea," says Schulz. How can one be accused of being the "architect of torture," while at the same time the accuser admits he has no idea?

Schulz says "We don't know for sure what all is happening at Guantanamo and our whole point is that the United States ought to allow independent human rights organizations to investigate." On the one hand, we don't know what is going on, yet on the other, the US is running a this William Schulz or Sergeant Schultz? He also said he has "absolutely no idea" whether the Red Cross has been given access to all the Guantanamo prisoners...

The ICRC says this:

"Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been regularly visiting the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay since early 2002 for the purpose of monitoring that persons held there are treated in accordance with applicable international laws and standards.
It also enables those detained at Guantanamo Bay to remain in contact with their families by means of Red Cross messages. " (Bold supplied).

But Schulz has "no idea." Yet even though his phrase of the day seems to be "I Know Nothing!" he continues to say there are a few things he does know--"The United States is maintaining an archipelago of prisons around the world, many of them secret prisons into which people are being literally disappeared ... And in some cases, at least, we know that they are being mistreated, abused, tortured and even killed."

If the pattern continues, next week Mr. Schulz will be asked how he knows that, and he will reply, "I have no idea..."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

More "Kew-Ran" Shenanigans

Amidst all the yadda yadda concerning the Koran and the Gitmo detainees, I think Nickie Goomba has the most cogent and clear take on the whole affair...clearly more executions of scofflaw guards at the facility are in order...

Update on Howard...

According to William Teach over at Pirate's Cove, Ellen Ratner says that Howard Dean is just "playing to the democratic base" when he says that Republicans are crooks and dishonest bums (see below for his exact quote). In other words, Howard's opinion of his own constituency is that they want red meat and lots of it, and aren't too concerned with fact--something of course that I have long known.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I really am beginning to like Howard Dean...he can't possibly be accomplishing anything for the Democrat Party, because he spends all of his time trying to explain that he didn't really mean what he said, or it was taken out of context or that you may have heard what you thought he said, but what you heard was not what he meant....

Anyway, today we find Howard trying to explain what he meant when he said, while discussing the hardships of working all day and then going to vote, that it's easier for Republicans. Why is it easier for Republicans? Because "Republicans, I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives." Like Republicans Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton, for instance...

Now his explanation for this is that in context, "The point I was making is clear: Republican policies have declared war on hardworking Americans." Well, if that's the point he was trying to make, and it is as "clear" as he says, why didn't anybody understand that to be what he was saying?

My reading of that statement is that, "if you are a registered Republican, there is a good chance that you are a crook, or at least a leech on society." If that's what he believes, why doesn't he stand by his statement? After all, he is the "face" of the Democrats, the head of the DNC. And if that's NOT what he meant, then Democrats had better recognize that this guy is going to alienate the right AND the left if he keeps shooting his mouth off without thinking about what he is saying.

But if that's what they want their "leader" to do, that's fine with I said, I'm starting to like Ole Howard.

The Heck With Balance--Give Us Truth Says Foley?!!

Linda Foley, the President of the Newspaper Guild, has recently been in the news for her insane rant that the US military is targeting journalists...but wait, it gets better. According to Conservative Friends she now also calls for doing away with "balance" in the news in favor of reporting "the truth" (her version, one assumes). She complains that, when there's only one side of a story to be told, trying to "balance" it is "kind of crazy." In other words, we all KNOW that Bush is a lying right-wing tyrant, so "balance" is really just not needed here.

I think what she is getting at is that it is OK to make wild accusations against the government as long as it is "true," even if there is no proof of the truth of what you say, as long as YOU KNOW it's true--and once YOU KNOW it's true, it's OK tell FoxNews and anybody else who disagrees with you to shut up with their stupid balance...

So Long Jennifer...We Never Knew Ye

Jennifer Wilbanks today completed her 15 minutes of fame by pleading No Contest to charges of faking her own abduction. As expected, she got a slap on the wrist in spite of having a previous criminal long, Jennifer, good luck John Mason...and don't forget, it's "I Do", not "Nolo Contendere" at the wedding...Complete story here...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I'm Going To Pummel You Until You Have Puppies, And Dip You In Uranium!

According to the Battle Cry Generator (bottom right column) this, alas, is my Battle Cry..."I'm going to pummel you until you have puppies, and dip you in uranium!" ?? Sigh...I was hoping for, "It's Clobberin' Time!!"

My wife's was even worse--I'm going to contort you until the cops have to tear me off your wraithly spirit!

My daughter's was much better...I'm going to punch you until you're a Dungeons & Dragons statistic!! That has some panache!

But my boy, my boy got the coolest of all...I'm going to forcibly reverse your gender!!!

Now That's a Battle Cry...

Thanks to NIF

Why The Acrimony Toward The ACLU?

The "American Civil Liberties Union" is a great name.

It has "American" in it, which almost automatically produces a patriotic response in me...(I usually "well up" while singing "America," although I stop short of Dan Rather meltdown).

It has "Civil Liberties" in it--I like Civil Liberties-- I am rather fond of free speech, the fact that there is no state religion and my right to practice my religion as I choose; I like having the right to own a gun (in case Michael Moore ever threatens to visit); I haven't had to stop the government from quartering troops in my home, but I guess I'm pretty happy about that; I'm satisfied that I'm free from unreasonable searches; I enjoy the protection a Grand Jury, Due Process and the right to avoid self-incrimination afford; I'm sure I would appreciate a speedy trial if I were ever to be accused of breaking the law; I'm happy my right to a jury trial exists, and that there's no double jeopardy in our great land; I'm glad there's no cruel and unusual punishment (like forcing me to listen to Janeane Garofalo) allowed...I'm also glad that the Bill of Rights simply tells me what the government can't do to me and doesn't in any way limit my rights.

It has "Union" in it--I think of Americans, working together, creating a more perfect Union, shaping and building an amazing country unlike any ever seen before, the greatest country on earth. Not perfect, no...but striving and moving to become better, to reach an ideal that we, being finite and of limited vision, cannot even fully comprehend and can never reach, because the human spirit will always aspire to be more than we are.

It's a great name--but when you put it all together, what do you get?

American--Might as well change this to "Victims"--The ACLU is only interested in Americans who can cast themselves as victims...

Civil Liberties--"Distorting Liberties" is more like it--the ACLU wants to curtail religious freedom, tell you how and where you can express yourself, stop you from gun ownership, allow pedophilia and prostitution, legalize drug use, legalize homosexual marriage, legalize kiddie porn and kill babies in the name of "liberties"...

Union--This group isn't interested in a "union" or "unity"--its desire is to tear down, to splinter, to creates societal rifts by always seeking its own agenda without any regard for morality or the beliefs of those who aren't in lockstep with that agenda...

So I guess I decode "ACLU" and get "Victims Distorting Liberties for a Political Agenda."

Why the acrimony toward the ACLU? Start with the from there.

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To Not Pron or Not to Not Pron--That Is The Question?

I discovered something yesterday (and when I say "discovered" I mean I found something that I, the not-super-computer-literate-lawyer-cum-pastor, had not seen before)...I think it is the internet equivalent of "TEGWAR," The Exciting Game Without Any Rules, from Bang the Drum Slowly.

It's called Not Pron--I guess you could call it a game or a puzzle, the object of which is to find your way through over 130 levels (and growing). On each screen there is a photo and a title for the have to figure out how to get from that screen to the next. You can (and must) Google for clues, you can (and must) read the Source Code for each page--you can do anything you want to, so long as you don't outright go asking for the answer to the level...there is a forum with moderators to give "hints," and so far my expertise in candy bars and The Beatles has been helpful...

It is terribly absorbing...I made it to level 12 after several hours last night, and I felt like I just sat down. But, I am giving up Not Pron...if I blog AND play Not Pron I will soon be homeless...and I don't have a notebook computer.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

So What's "Blogging Part Deux"?

Here's something I welcome as much input on as possible, so please feel free to unload your $ I am surfing, I am of course seeing sites just like my site because my site is a cookie-cutter blogger template...I also have been attempting to put photos and so forth on the page, usually with the result that everything on the right of the site disappears to the bottom because the stuff doesn't fit....

I want to change the look, and I want to find an easier way to work with content...which brings me to the I want software to design my own site, and if so, WHAT would you recommend, OR do I need somebody to do this stuff for me and make it simple, and if so WHO would you recommend? Pretend I don't know anything about all this...never mind, there's no pretending about it...

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