Saturday, August 8, 2009

i'm gonna tell!!!!

Facts Are Stubborn Things

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to

I actually hope I get turned in, for posting this in a manner that is (obviously) in opposition to this health care bill, not to mention putting such lib non-think-tanks as sojo to the rod of ridicule, and for thinking that turning your fellow citizens in to the government for simple disagreement is an idea only liberals would love.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

spreading the blame for the agenda

Sojo has commented on the recent murder (please note the word murder) of an abortion provider. Of course, they make use of it by quoting a blog entry elsewhere by Franky Schaeffer (he who blames all on his father).

Abortion: Conversations, Not Killings
The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as “murderers.” And today once again the “pro-life” leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I’d like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I — and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church — all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words.

Ah, yes, one man acts in an irresponsible manner, and the whole pro-life movement is impugned.

Perhaps Sojo or Schaeffer can tell us, please, how many times abortion doctors have been killed like this man was? Unsure of the number myself, but I'm thinking it must be pretty small, since I can't remember the last time this sort of thing happened. One can think it's blissfully infrequent.

Schaeffer seems to not like that abortion providers are called "murderers". One may assume, I guess, that he would prefer one of the mushy PC titles? Or maybe they are called that because abortion itself is, in fact, murder?

An ancient myth is being played out: You kill me, I kill you, neither of us really knows why. We inhabit a culture where violence is taken for granted. It’s on the air so much it feels like it’s in it. Acts of violence occur at the end of a continuum that begins with how we talk about being human. Moral denunciations, even when focused on people who do awful things, need to be handled with care. Bill O’Reilly isn’t going to change if only enough liberals will shout at him. People aren’t going to stop killing people they disagree with if only our culture can isolate them further than they already are.

Wow, reading that, one would think that the streets are running red with blood, that one can't go out of one's house without having to duck behind the nearest car or other obstacle so that the shooters won't get you.

Seriously, the reason this murder is making the news, and is such a big deal, can perhaps be summed up in two reason.

1. Pro-lifers attacking abortion doctors happens infrequently, so those who see a way to cash in on it are trying to make the most of.

2. It fits the present mindset and attempts to set the agenda by the liberal media and liberal politicians.

It's all about spin.

Schaeffer wants to spread the blame. Sorry, but I do not accept blame for the actions of a loon, not matter what that loon's position. Schaeffer can repent of his own sins (one would wish he truly would), but he does not speak for me.

Because while one man murdered an abortion doctor (a crime and one that deserves justice, which I hope is give), that same abortion doctor murdered many others (a travesty that is currently legal). That abortion doctor deserves justice, too, but you must pardon me if I do not consider him a saint or martyr.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

jim wallis' double vision

Last week, Jim Wallis had this to say about former Vice-President Dick Cheney.

The Good News About Yesterday’s Duel
I will leave the judgment of Dick Cheney’s soul to God, who alone is in the position to render that judgment on all of us. But I will say the vision of America that Dick Cheney offers, and did again yesterday, is decidedly evil, and has helped to spread even more evil around the world. Dick Cheney represents the dark side of America, a view of the world dominated by fear and self-righteousness—always a deadly combination. It accepts no real reflection or self-examination, the evil in the world is always external, and the threat ever present. There is only certainty, and never humility. And, when the dark side goes unchecked, what it leads to is a state of permanent warfare, which will only be won by using any means necessary; and where the ends always justify the means. At the end of his breathtaking speech, the former vice president was so full of admiration and praise for those who used “enhanced interrogation” against America’s suspected enemies that you got the impression that he would happily preside over those brutal sessions himself.

I suppose it's pretty clear that Wallis disapproves. Very well, such is his right. Frankly, I think he exaggerates and misrepresents.

For the moment, I'll confine myself to his comments at the end, where he refers to the for Vice-President's remarks about "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

Frankly, I'm more than willing to respect anyone who may be uncomfortable with some of those techniques. I've written elsewhere about that.

But a few weeks ago, Wallis had this to say about someone else.

Thoughts on Obama’s Notre Dame Address
Perhaps this president’s willingness to confront controversy with an appeal to common values can also change the way we address other divisive and controversial issues. We live in a country in which we know everyone will not agree on everything. In fact, it is quite an accomplishment to even get half of the country to agree on anything. Our differences, and our ability to maintain this union in spite of them, are some of our country’s greatest strengths. It’s been a long time since I have heard a president be able to articulate so well a positive vision for how people of faith, and a nation as a whole, can work together to face the difficult moral issues of our time in both disagreement and unity.

Wallis claims to be pro-life. While I have no real reason to doubt it, I find it odd that he should be oh-so-ready to make excuses for a president who has approved not only of abortion of the the infanticide of those babies who had the audacity to not decently die in the abortion process, while ranting against a former vice-president who approved of interrogation techniques that may have caused physical discomfort or even pain but that were not intended to kill.

If he wishes to stand so strong against the one that isn't meant to kill, perhaps he should do so against the one that is out-and-out murder as well.

Or does being a socialist cover a multitude of blood?

Friday, May 29, 2009

he should stop trying so hard

A sojo writer is again trying too hard, trying to read too much into modern-day things and the Bible to make his liberal point.

He tries to use the account in the book of Ruth as a way to bludgeon the US, particularly conservatives, and it just won't work.

What if the Bible’s Ruth Came to America Today?

In the biblical story, Ruth was a foreigner from the nation of Moab, which was despised by all patriotic and God-fearing Israelites. Yet when she came to Israel as a widow, companion to her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, she was welcomed onto the fields of Boaz, where she gleaned what the regular harvesters had left behind. Boaz made sure that even this despised foreigner had a decent job at decent pay. When she went one night to the barn where the barley crop was being threshed, he spent the night with her — and decided to marry her.

First, I will say that the most distasteful thing here is the insinuation (which is repeated later and more clearly) that the time Esther met with Boaz on the threshing floor was a sexual encounter between the two of them.

When she boldly “uncovers the feet” of Boaz during the night they spend together on the threshing floor, has she violated the “family values” that some religious folk now proclaim? Or has she affirmed that love engages the body as well as the heart, the mind, and the spirit, and that sometimes a loving body comes before a wedding?

The Bible does not say that, and for this writer to say that reveals his agenda. He is clearly insinuating that moral bounds have no place where "love" is concerned--in other words, that sex outside of marriage is ok so long as the two "love" each other (one may also wonder if he is working in the "love" argument of the homo/trans/whateversexuals, too.)

In the biblical story, Ruth was a foreigner from the nation of Moab, which was despised by all patriotic and God-fearing Israelites. Yet when she came to Israel as a widow, companion to her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, she was welcomed onto the fields of Boaz, where she gleaned what the regular harvesters had left behind. Boaz made sure that even this despised foreigner had a decent job at decent pay. When she went one night to the barn where the barley crop was being threshed, he spent the night with her — and decided to marry her.

Here is a bit, from the biblical account.

1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, from the clan of Elimelech, a man of standing, whose name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor."
Naomi said to her, "Go ahead, my daughter."
3 So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.
4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The LORD be with you!"
"The LORD bless you!" they called back.
5 Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, "Whose young woman is that?"
6 The foreman replied, "She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi.
7 She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter."
8 So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls.
9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."
10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?"
11 Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.
12 May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."

One wonders if this blogger would have approved of Boaz, if this were to happen today. After all, Boaz seems to have based his decision on allowing Ruth to continue gleaning on her character, not her status as poor/immigrant/foreign/whatever PC label may or may not fit. He knew of Ruth's support for Naomi, and of her leaving her home (and perhaps by extension her false gods) to come to Israel. I could as easily see this blogger saying Boaz was being discriminatory in his hiring, because he took her actions and character in account in his decision.

In ancient Israel, everyone had the right simply to walk onto a field and begin to work, begin to use the means of production of that era. And then to eat what they had gathered.

I would like to see what scripture he has in support of that position. Perhaps it's there, but he gives nothing for it here.

Here is a bit about the gleaning that Ruth did.

Levitcus 19
9 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 23
22 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.' "

One thing that isn't in dispute in these passages is that the one who owned and worked or paid workers was entitled to the lion's share of the harvest, and even the first of it. And even with the gleaning, it was hardly a "wait for a check in the mail" type of thing--the poor people had to actually get out and do some work to get the food, not expect the government to do the work for them.

Parts of the blogger's entry are simply ridiculous, as he tries to vilify the US.

Would she be admitted at the border?
Or would she be detained for months without a lawyer, ripped from Naomi’s arms while Naomi’s protest brought her too under suspicion — detained because she was, after all, a Canaanite who spoke some variety of Arabic, possibly a terrorist, for sure an idolator?
Would she be deported as merely an “economic refugee,” not a worthy candidate for asylum?
Would she have to show a “green card” before she could get a job gleaning at any farm, restaurant, or hospital?
Would she be sent to “workfare” with no protections for her dignity, her freedom, or her health?
Would she face contempt because she and Naomi, traveling without a man, might be a lesbian couple?
Would she be waterboarded — drowned again and again, revived at the point of death to be drowned yet again — until she confessed that she had supplied a foreign enemy with mass-destruction weapons to attack America?

Perhaps he should go out into the real world, and see how immigrants are actually treated here, instead of relying on biased sources that have their own political leanings and agendas (though this man has them himself, so I doubt he's going to look hard to see contrary evidence, no matter how obvious it is). And his comments about waterboarding her can only be seen as a stretch, as that was done only to known terrorists.

This blogger's article is silly to the point of hilarious. Whatever point he's trying to make is lost in his biases and agendas and poor support for whatever scriptural claims he's trying to make (and, again, the fact that he's saying that premarital sex is ok only makes one wonder what other bad interpretations he's using).

This Sojo article is Total Fail.

Friday, May 15, 2009

guess i need to find that Alabama disc...

I'm not a huge country music fan. There have been songs I like, like Alabama's "I'm in a Hurry to Get Things Done", and a few others. There's also some painful ones, too, but that goes for almost any music out there. In fact, some types are almost nothing but painful.

But I give it kudos for ticking off the right people.

Country Music: Too Much Freedom-Loving?

The Post music critic going by the name Josh Freedom du Lac – that just can’t be his name – doesn’t really seem to like patriotic music, despite the patriotic byline. He worries that songs like Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown” or the Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” do something wrong: They are “narrowcasting to a specific community: the core country audience, whose roots aren't exactly in America's urban centers.”

That claim in itself sounds silly. Aren’t people who make rap music or big-band music or polka music “narrowcasting?” Maybe du Lac just doesn’t like this particular niche audience. He doesn’t like the message that’s offered, either.

“The symbolism and prideful sentiments of the songs are intended to create a sense of belonging among people with similar backgrounds and lifestyles, or at least people who romanticize life in the rural South,” he wrote. “To some listeners, though, it might sound as if the artists are closing ranks.”

As the writer later shows, du Lac likes groups like the Dixie Chicks and The Coup; you know, the anti-patriotic and anti-American kinds of music groups.

So, maybe it's time I started re-learning the Electric Slide.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

sojo misrepresents, for their own agenda

'Religious Left' agenda advances on hate crimes

A person who follows religion and politics more closely than I tells me the decision of two major conservative Christian leaders, Joel Hunter and David Gushee, to sign on in support of legislation outlawing "hate crimes" against gays and lesbians, is a pretty big deal:

Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:

A fundamental Christian belief is that every person is created in the image of God. Too often in our country when violence has been directed against gay and lesbian people, most Christians have been painfully silent. The hate crimes legislation now in the House is designed to strengthen our society's ability to prosecute these crimes. It contains additional explicit protection for free speech and religious liberty, rights which are already guaranteed by our Constitution, and allows for continued free expression of speech about controversial issues around homosexuality, gay marriage, etc. Regardless of the theological differences we may have on these issues, Christians should all agree on the fundamental protection of human rights. That is why I support this legislation.

The problems with "hate crimes" laws is this, that they make some wrongs "more equal than others".

What Sojo and other "progressive christians" (note the non-capitalization, which is not accidental)(is that an example of hate on my part?) don't see or don't want to say is that simply being against "hate crimes" laws does not mean one is for the crimes; rather, it is about treating some crimes as worst than others based on factors not related to the crime.

For example, murder is murder, and those who murder should be punished. If someone murders a straight man with a wife and four kids, the crime is no more serious than someone who murders a lesbian woman. But "hate crimes" laws have us look at them differently, trying to kind some kind of motive of hate behind the murderer of the lesbian woman, and so treat it as a more serious crime than the other murder.

What it is about, really, is not the crime itself, but the intent or supposed intent of the criminal. Perhaps what it is most about is how people see the crime. As an example of that, check out this article.

ABC Debunked Matthew Shepard Murder as No Hate Crime, MSNBC Savages Republican for Repeating

But, on the November 26, 2004, 20/20, ABC host Elizabeth Vargas ran a report in which a number of figures tied to the case, including the prosecutor, were interviewed, and made a credible case that Shepard was targeted by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson not because of anti-gay sentiment, but because McKinney was high on methamphetamines, giving him unusual violent tendencies as well as a desire for cash to buy more drugs. Vargas not only found that a meth high can lead to the kind of extreme violence perpetrated against Shepard, but that McKinney had gone on to similarly attack another man, causing a skull fracture, very soon after his attack on Shepard. Additionally, McKinney’s girlfriend and another friend of McKinney’s even claimed that McKinney himself has bisexual tendencies, although McKinney himself denied it.

Vargas appeared on the November 16, 2004, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC and summarized her findings:

The prosecutor who prosecuted these crimes says that he never believed it was a hate crime. He believes it was a drug crime. Aaron McKinney, according to Aaron McKinney himself and to several other witnesses, was coming down from a five-day methamphetamine binge. He freely admits he not only used methamphetamine but dealt them, sold them. Five days up with no sleep, strung out on drugs, desperate to buy more, desperate to rob somebody to get money to buy more drugs. This was the motive, according to Aaron McKinney and the other witnesses.

Shepherd is the poster boy for hate crimes laws, and the current hate crimes bill is named after him, as the Newsbusters blog points out. And one can see how some lefties react when the truth of the matter is pointed out.

Hate crimes laws don't promise more justice, but less. It's a political tool, not a matter of justice. Murderers and thugs should be dealt with, no matter whom they murder or beat. Treating them differently based on whom they murder or beat will not bring about justice, but instead cause injustice.

That is why the attempts by such as Sojo to paint us against hate crimes laws as being unloving and unchristian is a joke, and they should be ashamed of themselves for stooping to such blatant lies.

Monday, April 27, 2009

what the supposed "tell-all-ers" aren't telling us


As should probably come to no surprise, Sojo has voiced it's opinions of the latest "Blame all the world's problems on the Bush administration" antics by the current administration. In this case, it's about the ways used to get information from captured terrorists.

Torture Memos: ‘What Is Done in the Dark’

Some things they aren't telling us, though, are...

First, that many of their own lib leaders were in the know on what was going on, and were not only not unhappy about it, but even encouraged it.

Fair-Weather Hawks

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then on the House Intelligence Committee, and others knew of the tough methods as long ago as 2002. A December 2007 Washington Post story revealed that in September of that year, Pelosi attended an hour-long meeting in which she "was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk."

In fact, top Democrats like Pelosi and Rockefeller sat in on about 30 such bipartisan private briefings. One of those in attendance, former House Intelligence Committee Chairman and former CIA Director Porter Goss, remembered: "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing." According to the onetime Florida GOP congressman, "the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement."

Statements from Pelosi and other Democrats suggest maybe they were dozing off when the briefers described waterboarding. Such excuses, if the expression can be excused, hold little water.

The fact is clear: Top Democrats in Congress chose not to object to getting tough with terrorist prisoners because the poll ratings told them it was politically dangerous not to be an anti-terrorist hawk in 2002 and 2003.

Second, that such tactics may have succeeded at getting important information.

Extraordinary redaction

President Obama's national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

"High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa'ida organization that was attacking this country," Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.

For my part, I'm willing to agree that there may be a need for more consideration in regards to what is acceptable and what not in regards to ways of getting information from these terrorists. I suppose all of us would agree there are lines that should not be crossed. The problems come when we try to consider what would be acceptable.

For example, there are people out there who would likely consider a parent spanking a child a form of torture. Making those kinds happy would likely only involve making sure the terrorists have cozy cells and satellite TV access. These would be justly laughed out of the discussion.

Equally bad would be the "anything goes" types. A "whatever works" mindset may lead to some ugly abuses.

But my own thought is that politics is going to play too big a part in the discussion. It's going to be about painting the last administration in a bad light, and not about really fixing anything.

Monday, April 20, 2009

drinking the taxation flav-r-aid

A Christian Argument for Progressive Taxation

I can't help but think of this post of Butler-Bass' as awful. Whatever her own take on "tax day" (one wonders if she's ever been audited, and how such an experience would effect her)(or, considering how evasive libs try to be on taxes (consider the current president's own nominees for offices), what a look into her own tax situation would reveal), some of her arguements for "progressive" taxes are rather hypocritical, if not scary.

No, taxes aren’t such a bad deal. Nor are they, as might have been heard at the ersatz “tea parties” around the country, at odds with Christianity.

As one commenter asked on her blog, where did she hear anyone claiming the taxes are at odds with Christianity, among any of the Tea Party goers? If she cannot show where any of them said such a thing, her statement is irresponsible and a deliberate misrepresentation.

Indeed, tax day is a day that progressives should celebrate — as we participate in one of the greatest social reforms of the 20th century: the progressive income tax.

"Yea, we progressives are happy, because we take from the people who work for it, and give to those who don't!!!"

Thus, progressive theologians developed a Christian argument for taxation. They believed that a progressive tax would increase the overall morality of society.

Isn't Butler-Bass among those types of people who get learly about 'legislating morality'? But apparently, you can make people moral by taxation, and that's fine.

For example, Scudder pointed out that “the Church, like her Master, is in a way more concerned over the spiritual state of the prosperous than over that of the poor” because the rich “countenance unbrotherly things.”

"We progressives take from you, you filthy rich scum, because we care about you."

Although many progressive Christians understood the spiritual dimensions of taxation, other church people lagged behind. “Again,” she insisted, “no Christian can remain indifferent or non-partisan toward movements for the protection of the weak.” The church should — and must — be on the frontlines of social justice.

First, I do not believe in social justice, and this is one reason why--they idea that one should take from those that have (irregardless of how they attained) and give to those who do not (irregardless of reason why or why not) is a prime example of bad and shallow thinking.

And trying to make 'progressive taxation' a matter of "spiritual dimensions" is asenine, a way of playing the "We're more spiritual than you are" card.

Friday, April 10, 2009

the compromisers, of course, support compromise

Be Not Afraid: Faith and Reason in the Notre Dame ‘Scandal’

I'm not Catholic, and have more than a few concerns about things that particular church says and does. I have no big feelings this way or that about Notre Dame, particularly in regards to their football team.

I'm no so ambiguous abot Sojo, so it's a safe rule that anything they support likely has something ugly behind it.

The Cardinal Newman Society, a watchdog group for perceived breaches of orthodoxy on Catholic campuses, calls it an “outrage and a scandal” and has circulated a petition admonishing Notre Dame to “halt this travesty.” Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, warns that the commencement would represent the “cultural rape of true Catholicity.” These stark responses betray a rich Catholic intellectual tradition revered for centuries for promoting the values of civil debate, prudence, and reasoned engagement.

It's always amusing how pomo's hate to call a spade a spade, unless they are the one's doing it, like the Sojo big guy himself, Jim Wallis, quoting this about Rush Limbaugh...

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as ‘losers.’ With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence…

As another rule, one should be ware when one comes on those who whine when they receive what they dish out. If you're going to engage in such vitriol, or quote those who do, you should be be sensitive when you receive it back in return.

The Catholic university is not a defensive fortress walled off from diverse ideas that flourish in a pluralistic democracy.

Being open to new ideas is one thing, but the President's views and supported positions one many things are rightly considered anathema to many Catholics, and they are right to see this as a serious breach.

Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins is facing furious backlash after inviting President Barack Obama to give the university’s commencement address next month.

One would assume that being invited to give a university'e graduation commencement is a thing that is an honor to do, that since these the university's last charges to the graduates (not counting student loan payments :-)), that the person asked to give it would be someone for whom the university largely approves, and doesn't disapprove of in any serious ways.

Some critics of Notre Dame have expressed their disagreement in measured tones that foster fruitful debate.

I suppose the question is, why should debate be fostered? What is there to debate? Does Obama not support abortion and even infanticide?

Sadly, this controversy has largely been exploited by ideologues and culture warriors more interested in scoring political points than advancing common ground and principled dialogue.

Exploited, perhaps, but by those like the Sojo writer.

The president’s commitment to a budget that uplifts the poor, universal health care as a human right, and finding common ground on divisive issues reflects traditional Catholic values in the public square.

A budget that merely spreads the poverty? Universal (bad) health care? Perhaps the writer should get his head out of his socialist hole, and look at the real world. A world where such budgets do far more damage than good. A world where universal government-run health care as he sees it has been an abyssmal failure.

Faithful Citizenship, the U.S. Catholic bishops’ election year political responsibility statement is clear that “direct assaults on innocent human life and dignity, such as genocide, torture, racism, and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war,” are also actions that “can never be tolerated.”

I’m still waiting to hear from outraged culture warriors when it comes to those moral scandals.

"Direct assaults on innocent human life and dignity". Someone who supports the current Presidents has lost a lot of credibility when it comes to any of those issues. Someone who thinks that it's ok for a person who supports abortion and infanticide to have the honor of giving a commencement address has no grounds trying to "call out" others.

And anyway, if he'd again get his head out of the little liberal socialist enclave he obviously lives in, he's likely to find that we conservatives are doing more than just have nice little protests about those things. We're actually doing stuff about them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

not-god's hypocrites

It says a lot about Jim Wallis, who has the audacity to call his blog by the misnomer "God's Politlcs", to see whom he honors, and whom he attacks.

This passed week, he attacked Rush Limbaugh.

I Hope Rush Limbaugh Fails

And he does so in personal ways.

I have two boys, a five-year-old and a 10-year-old. And Rush Limbaugh ranks as one of the worst role models in the country for mine and other people’s kids. As a Little League baseball coach, I spend my time teaching my players values that are the direct opposite of the values of Rush Limbaugh—like respect for each other and other people, like helping each other out when somebody needs help, like lifting somebody up when they’re down, treating our opponents the way we would like to be treated, and knowing that there is more to life than “winning.” Rush Limbaugh is an almost perfect anti-role model for a Little League baseball coach.

Yep, as a Christian and even a Little League baseball coach, I hope that Rush Limbaugh and the world of values he stands for will fail. Limbaugh does not represent the vast majority of Republicans, and I don’t know any conservative parents that would hold up Rush as a role model for their children. The president shouldn’t waste his valuable time in debating Limbaugh. But I would like to make that offer. Hey Rush, I’ll debate you about the kind of country and world we want—especially for our kids. Bring it on!

Last year, he had this to say about someone else.

The Lion of the Senate

The nation got a shock this week. Edward Kennedy, the lion who has been in the U.S. Senate for nearly 50 years, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I know Ted Kennedy and his wife, Vicki, and have enjoyed personal conversations with them on a number of occasions over a wide range of issues, including the application of Christian faith to public life. I’ve found them both to be serious Catholics. And I have worked with Sen. Kennedy on a variety of issues, including legislation for a long-delayed increase in the minimum wage and for comprehensive immigration reform.
This genuine and generous outpouring of love and concern for Sen. Kennedy proves a very important thing. It shows that one can be an advocate, a passionate and relentless champion for clear and controversial causes and yet still be a bridge-builder, a reconciler, and a seeker of common ground. The conventional wisdom says you must be one or the other, an advocate or a bridge-builder, but never both. Ted Kennedy, once again, proves the conventional wisdom wrong. It is because he is a lawmaker who genuinely wants to get things done, to find real and concrete solutions — especially for people who really need them. Kennedy is known as a senator who truly wants to be effective and not just right, as so many others, on both sides of the aisle, are too often content to be.

Here is the kind of person Wallis thinks so highly of. Emphases mine.

Ted Kennedy

While still in law school, Kennedy met Virginia Joan Bennett, known as Joan, while delivering a speech at Manhattanville College in October 1957.[15] She was a senior there, had worked as a model and won beauty contests, but was unfamiliar with the world of politics.[15] After their engagement she grew nervous about marrying someone she did not know that well, but his father insisted the wedding not be put off.[15] They were married by Francis Cardinal Spellman on November 29, 1958, in Bronxville, New York.[2][7] They had three children together: Kara Anne (born February 27, 1960), Edward Jr. (born September 26, 1961), and Patrick (born July 14, 1967). By the mid-1960s, their marriage was troubled by his womanizing and her growing alcoholism.[16] They would divorce in 1982.

On the night of July 18, 1969, Kennedy was on Chappaquiddick Island at a party for the "Boiler Room Girls", a group of young women who had worked on his brother Robert's presidential campaign the year before.[35] Leaving the party, Kennedy was driving a 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 with one of the women, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, as his passenger, when Kennedy drove off Dike Bridge into Poucha Pond between Chappaquiddick Island and Cape Poge barrier beach. Kennedy escaped the overturned vehicle and swam to safety, but Kopechne died in the car. Kennedy left the scene and did not call authorities until after Kopechne's body was discovered the following day.

On July 25, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and was given a sentence of two months in jail, suspended.[35] That night, Kennedy gave a national broadcast in which he said, "I regard as indefensible the fact that I did not report the accident to the police immediately," but denied driving under the influence of alcohol and denied any immoral conduct between him and Kopechne.[35] Kennedy asked the Massachusetts electorate whether he should stay in office, and after getting a favorable response, he did

Various interest groups have given Kennedy scores or grades as to how well his votes align with the positions of each group.[104] The American Civil Liberties Union gives him an 84 percent lifetime score as of 2009.[105] During the 1990s and 2000s, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood typically gave Kennedy ratings of 100 percent, while the National Right to Life Committee typically gave him a rating of less than 10 percent.[104] The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Kennedy a lifetime rating of 100 percent through 2002, while National Rifle Association gave Kennedy a lifetime grade of 'F' (failing) as of 2006.[104]

Perhaps this explains Wallis' infatuation with an other distasteful person--he supports all the right (read: left) things--abortion, gay marriage, socialistic health care and economic policies, the disarming of the American people. All that hides the womanizing, the morally repugnant positions, and so on.

I would much rather children gain a respect for Limbaugh then for Kennedy. Yes, Rush's life has been far from perfect, but at least he has stood for what is right. Kennedy isn't even close.

Monday, March 9, 2009

movie review--watchmen

"Watchmen" is a long movie. It's a serious movie. There are occasional chuckles, but few laughs. It tries to deal with some rather serious matters. It has it's moments, and even has a couple of characters I rather respected.

But in the end, it's essentially an empty movie with an empty and depressing story whose moral is essentially a variation on "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".

It's set in some kind of alternate history, which I guess most comic books are. In "Watchmen", the famous photo of a soldier kissing a nurse in a victory celebration is turned into a lesbian kiss. The US wins the Vietnam War, though one wonders if that was a good thing. Nixon has somehow redone the Constitution so that he could be elected President for well passed the 2-term limit.

And costumed heroes have been outlawed for several years.

Probably the character the movie focuses most on is Rorschach, a 'crime noir' type of man who wears a mask that has ink blots on it that constantly shift, I don't recall really being told how or even why he chose that name and gimmick. He's street-wise, hard as nails, and while probably the weakest of the lot in terms of physical strength, tech gimmicks, or powers, he's probably also the one with the strongest character. Much of the movie is shown as entries to his journal, so is also told largely from his perspective. Comparisons to the Batman in the last two movies is almost unavoidable, considering that the actor uses much the same kind of husky gruff voice that Bale uses when in costume as Batman, but a better comparison may be with the Punisher or Wolverine.

Second in emphasis would be Dr. Manhattan. While Rorschach is a mostly normal man with a hefty amount of cynicism and rage, Manhattan is a man transformed in a scientific accident into a blue being, essentially manshaped, with powers of material manipulation, abilities to see his past and future, transportation, and others I think. Some in the movie seem to see him as a god-like being. His demeanor is calm, only once in the movie does he 'lose it'.

Although he's killed in the first few minutes, the Comedian haunts the movie by his death and by the things he did in life. I don't think it would be unfair to characterize him as a 'hero' in name only. He's at least as cynical as Rorschach but without the core of decency.

NIght Owl and Silk Spectre are kind of there to provide sexual tension, and of course the obligatory sex scene. Throw in the world' smartest man, a former hero who's gone corporate and then gone mad scientist, and that about round's out the main players.

One issue I had was with the sex and nudity. The scene with NO and SS doesn't skimp on the footage, and there are several scenes showing Manhattan's business (if you know what I mean).

The other issue I had was with the ending. It does recall "The Dark Knight", where someone blameless takes the rap for the real criminal because of some kind 'greater good'. It goes further, though, when one of them is killed so that he would not be able to tell the truth (though the movie ends with the impression that he had crossed them up on that front).

And that is one of the reason the movie ends on an empty and depressing note, because the 'peace' at the end of the movie is based on lies and manipulations, and when that is realized, nothing good can come from that. The illusion of world peace, based on the existence of a supposed common enemy, will not last.

Because the core issues have not been dealt with. The one 'hero', the smart corporate mad scientist, thinks that it's resources, particularly fuel, that is cause of wars, and that if he and Manhattan can solve the problem of energy, then the world will be a happy-go-lucky place. How that explains wars before cars, I don't know.

And the solution he does come up with--blowing up several of the world's major cities, killing millions of people, and doing it in such a way that Manhattan is blamed for it--is so shallow as to be almost laughable. Nothing is truly 'fixed', no one is truly 'changed', and while for a while the superpowers may be in agreement to stop what is the greater threat, when that is passed they will eye each other again.

It's all washing the outside of the cup, and not dealing with the filth inside it.

I think I can recommend it, though just barely. It is violent, and while that didn't bug me so much, for others it may be a problem. The nudity and sex are there, and they are graphic, and they add nothing to the story. It does give some things for thought, though, so if you can handle a bit of stuff, go for it. If not, you haven't really missed much.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

a spin on how to win

If you were asked about World War II, and about the things that led to the victory of the 'good guys' (or the not-so-good guys, in thinking about the Soviet Union), what events may come to mind?

Perhaps Pearl Harbor? Iwo Jima? The landing at Normandy? The people of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) who resisted through extreme situations? Those who kept the Reich from occupying Moscow?

Very likely, most people would think that the ones who were most instrumental in defeating the Nazis are those who took up arms and fought back, with a special nod at those who aided the fighters in various ways--supplies, arms, encouragements.

But here, we're not dealing with history, but revisionist history. Here's what I mean.

Nonviolence Begets Nonviolence
In 1940 Germany was vastly stronger than Denmark and occupied Denmark with hardly a shot fired. The Danes resisted in subtle ways but mostly gritted their teeth and tolerated the Germans. This largely passive acceptance of Germany ended in 1943 when the Germans tried to arrest the Danish Jews, and the Danes rose up as one and actively, but nonviolently, resisted. More than 95 percent of the Danish Jews were spirited away overnight. In the next six months, almost all of the Jews were smuggled across the bay into neutral Sweden. The Danes reacted heroically, but the German army’s role in all this was most curious.

The German Schutzstaffel (SS), originally formed as Hitler’s bodyguards, was a fanatical and ruthless elite. They were tireless and effective in pursuing the Jews and persecuting the Danes. On the other hand, the Wehrmacht were the ordinary soldiers, the draftees, and these soldiers were a far different story. A number of high-ranking Wehrmacht officers actively helped the Jews escape, and many more looked the other way. Similarly when the Nazis tried to starve Copenhagen into submission, the Wehrmacht basically ignored the large-scale smuggling of food occurring right under their noses. Since there were only a few of the SS in Denmark and the Wehrmacht had become sympathetic to the Danes, the Nazis were severely constrained in what they could do to punish the Danes. The Danish nonviolence begat nonviolence by subverting the Wehrmacht to the point that it would not use violence against the Danes.

This writer wants to make the Danish turn in 1943 about Nazis arresting Jews. Here's Wikipedia's page about Denmark during WWII

Occupation of Denmark

In March 1943 the Germans allowed a general election to be held. The voter turnout was 89.5%, the highest in any Danish parliamentary election, and 94 % cast their ballots for one of the democratic parties behind the cooperation policy while 2.2% voted for the anti-cooperation Dansk Samling.[35] 2.1% voted for the Nazi party, almost corresponding to the 1.8% the party had received in the 1939 elections. The election, discontent, and a growing feeling of optimism that Germany would be defeated led to wide-spread strikes and civil disturbances in the summer of 1943. The Danish government refused to deal with the situation in a way that would satisfy the Germans, who presented an ultimatum to the government, including the following demands, on 28 August 1943: A ban on people assembling in public, outlawing strikes, the introduction of a curfew, censorship should be conducted with German assistance, special (German military) courts should be introduced, and the death penalty should be introduced in cases of sabotage. In addition, the city of Odense was ordered to pay a fine of 1 million kroner for the death of a German soldier killed in that city and hostages were to be held as security.[36]

The Danish government refused, so on 29 August 1943 the Germans officially dissolved the Danish government and instituted martial law. The Danish cabinet handed in its resignation, although since King Christian never officially accepted it, the government remained functioning de jure until the end of the war, but this is a technicality. In reality all day-to-day business had been handed over to the Permanent Secretaries, each effectively running his own ministry. The Germans ran the rest of the country, and the Danish Parliament didn't convene for the remainder of the occupation.

He tries to make it seem like Denmark was committed to non-violence. Here's more to what really went on.

As the war dragged on, the Danish population became increasingly hostile to the Germans. Soldiers stationed in Denmark had found most of the population cold and distant from the beginning of the occupation, but their willingness to cooperate had made the relationship workable. The government had attempted to discourage sabotage and violent resistance to the occupation, but by the autumn of 1942 the numbers of violent acts of resistance were increasing steadily to the point that Germany declared Denmark "enemy territory" for the first time.[34] After the battles of Stalingrad and El-Alamein the incidents of resistance, violent and symbolic, increased rapidly.

Sabotage, unencumbered by government opposition, grew greatly in frequency and severity, though it was rarely of very serious concern to the Germans. Nonetheless, the Danish resistance movement had some successes, such as on D-Day when the train network in Denmark was disrupted for days, delaying the arrival of German reinforcements in Normandy.

The author does note how the people of Denmark reacted when the Nazis tried to arrest the Jews in the country, and it is worth noting here, too, as an example of heroism of a different sort, though I think neither greater nor lesser, to those who took up arms.

After the fall of the government, Denmark was exposed to the full extent of Nazi terror. In October the Germans decided to remove all Jews from Denmark, but thanks to an information leak from German diplomat Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz and swift action by Danish civilians, the vast majority of the Danish Jews were transported to safety in neutral Sweden by means of fishing boats and motorboats. The entire evacuation lasted two months and one man helped ferry more than 1,400 Jews to safety

My point in this is not to either denigrate or praise the Danish (though there is admiration for their response in helping the Jews escape). My point it to point out what seems to be a blatant attempt at rewriting history to fit an agenda.

World War II had many heroes, some widely known but likely the majority unknown. Many took up arms, many let or told those close to them take up arms and supported them, some resisted in other ways.

But for all the respect one may feel for the Danish, one would have a hard time trying to make them the true 'heroes' of the war over those who actually fought the Nazis and kept them from their homes and cities and drove them back. And it is madness to make them the model for nonviolence when 1. they surrendered more because they had no army with which to resist, and 2. they weren't really completely nonviolent in their resistence.

No. No matter what this man and his ilk try to say, the Germans were defeated on battlefields, by men with guns and tanks and warplanes. And that should never be forgotten, and never disparaged.

Monday, January 19, 2009

one of the better legacies a president can leave behind

No doubt, much will be debated about the good and bad of the Bush II Presidency. Personally, I think it was mostly a good one, up until the end with the bailouts that I fear mark an end to the US as it should be.

For all of that, here's a part of his legacy that is worth remembering with gladness, though maybe also with the wish that it had been stronger. Still, maybe it was about all he could have done.

Another thing is, it puts the lie to the libs who say that he did nothing concerning abortion.

Bush Had Best Pro-Life Record of Any President, Say Pro-Life Groups

Friday, January 16, 2009

made of fail 4

Obama Interior Nominee to Consider New Ban on Oil Drilling in USA

( - President-elect Barack Obama’s secretary of the interior nominee, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), said he will consider restoring parts of an expired federal ban on offshore oil drilling, but told that he has “no idea” how much of the drilling restrictions should be reimposed.

“I think there is no question that the elimination of the offshore oil drilling ban was one of the biggest accomplishments of the not so accomplished 110th Congress,” said McConnell. “It would be a step in the wrong direction to restore the ban. Obviously, I and my colleagues are going to oppose that and hope that does not happen.”

Rep. Barney Frank said that though he is focusing on financial issues right now, he hopes the administration will try to restore a “general ban.”

“Obviously many of us want to have a general ban,” said Frank.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

movie review--the unborn

Horror, as a movie genre, suffers from a lot of baggage. Some of the previews that were shown when I saw "The Unborn" highlighted some of them--violence, gore, and sex that add nothing to the story but are gratuitous.

I'm not a big watcher of horror movies, with the expection of some of the older classics, like "Dracula" and "Frankenstein". In recent years, the two movie I've seen that I would consider the most effective horror movies would be "I Am Legend" and "Silent Hill".

"The Unborn" comes close to them. Perhaps if some of the crudity and sexual stuff were taken out of the first half-hour of it, it would have reached the same level, because it was a fairly well-though-out and well-made movie.

I do wonder how much of the mysticism references is really in the Kabbalah, though I did recognize the one kind of prayer or chant the group at the end was speaking from another thing I saw not long before, the anime series "Silent Mobius", though there were a few differences.

The story could be summed up in a typical fashion (as could most movies, I would guess)--girl is haunted by some strange being, seeks help from a spiritual guru-type who at first doesn't believe her but then has his own encounter with it, some people die, there's a creepy kid (though not a little girl this time, for a change), there a big final encounter where the big evil spirit-dude gets cast back to wherever, and our heroine lives, though not exactly happily ever after.

It does well in setting the mood, and I must give kudoes to the actress who played the heroine. Once the movie got going, she did pretty well in convincing me the viewer that she was a fairly rattled and on-the-edge person who was fighting a losing battle (much like the character's mother) unless she got some help.

Another big plus in the movie was Gary Oldman, playing the guru. I do think that he is one of the more under-rated actors out there--you could line up the characters he's played, and be not a little surprised that one person had done all of them. Unlike a Tom Cruise (whose characters seem to be all the same), Oldman seems to become the character rather than the character becoming him.

In this movie, though, I would guess the character wasn't a very difficult one to do.

And in a movie season where the main theme seems to be fighting Nazis ("Valkyrie", which I refuse to watch (yeah, Cruise has a really convincing German accent in the ads, right?) and the other with the new James Bond actor in it (who does sound rather Slavic)), "The Unborn" probably gets extra kudoes for finding an original way of working in the Nazis (though I don't know if such experiment were actually performed by them) as the ones responsible in a primary sense for the troubles.

Here are some thing of special interest to me.

When prepare to perform the exorcism, Oldman's character, a Rabbi, calls in an Episcopalian (can't remember if he was a bishop or not) to help with it. When the exorcism goes bad, we see the Episcopalian kneeling and praying right before the evil spirit things jumps into him to take over his body for further mayhem.

I don't know if there was suppose to have been any meaning behind that or now--given that the Rabbi was there at the final confrontation to dismiss the spirit, perhaps there was a certain pro-Jewish religion and/or an anti-Christian thing showing through. Hard to say that, though, since they played the Episcopal as being essentially a pretty good guy willing to add his two-cents to help the girl.

And while I have my doubts about this, I would guess there's a chance, a remote one, that it's a bit against Episcopals. Maybe the statement is that some Episcopals don't really believe and so are open to being manipulated by such beings. And for myself, I think, well, isn't the Bishop Spong an Episcopal? And Eugene Robinson? If so, well, I would find myself in agreement, at least to some extent.

But that's a stretch, I know.

Perhaps the thing that struck me, and that gave me pause, was right at the end. The spirit had entered the girl's boyfriend, and she and the Rabbi had finished reciting a Psalm that had the effect of dismissing the spirit (or so we think), but in doing so the boy is thrown from a second floor down to the first, and with the girl holding his head he's dying. His last statement was in a since one of the more chilling ones I've ever heard in a movie. It was something like "Will I ever stop falling?"

I was uncertain at the end if the movie resolves everything or not. I don't know if the discovery of the condition that caused the haunting to begin was now safe and the haunting over, or if it will go on to another generation.

But, despite some things I didn't particular care for and maybe some plot weaknesses, overall it was pretty good. If you like horror, you'll probably like this movie.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

ramblings from watching too many bowl games

The game isn't over yet, but I'm watching lowly Utah put a scare into the 'Bama Crimson Tide, and for all that I'm an SEC fan, I'm loving it.

For one thing, I'm not a big fan of Saban. He hasn't exactly struck me as being one of the more charactr-filled of persons out there, most especially with his short-notice leaving of the Miami Dolphin head coaching spot.

Also, it's merely another reason to consider the college football BCS games as jokes. Utah has a 12-0 record, and if they win this game, their claims to the national title should be taken seriously. Of course, it's an 'if', but even so, the fact that they're playing as well as they have so far should be worth more than a little bit.

(and if you throw in Ole Miss' win against former #1 Texas Tech, whom Alabama beat to win their SEC division, than the whole thing just gets more deliciously messy)

I have an observation. There are three things in college football that are useless, or even worse than useless.

Marching bands, cheerleaders, and dance teams. This observation also applies to basketball, though the band there isn't marching.

The time of the marching band if passed. Perhaps it served a function at one time, but now it's nothing but a big out-of-tune noise, and needs to die a merciful death. It adds nothing to a game.

Cheerleading needs to end, and any father who values his daughters would agree. Maybe in the past, cheerleading was a good thing, but that time is passed, and now cheerleading has become nothing more than an excuse for young women to show off some flesh for the camera and the spectators. And it anything, it's even worse in the pros.

And what is the use of dance teams? Really, are they anything more than just a way to raise up a next generation of pole dancers?



It's been a strange and difficult year, with graduation and injuries taking a lot out of the UK football team. And towards the end of the year, it seemed like the team ran our of gas, or out of heart, or something.

But in the Liberty Bowl, they showed a lot of heart, and in the end came out ahead. And at the least this Cat fan is happy about that.

Oh, and Utah just finished putting a major whooping on Bama.

And the whole championship picture just got uglier and messier.

And I'm loving every minute of it.