Alpine Summit

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Only Ones

Yolo Cowboy makes a good point I had not thought of before regarding the flodding in the south right now compared to the tsunami aid we gave when all that stuff happened.

One of the largest support efforts made by America was the US military. The resources set in motion to help find stranded and isolated victims was a Herculean effort. All the helicopters, hovercraft, and amphibious craft sent into the region cost untold millions, if not a billion dollars.

As some unfortunate people in Mississippi and Louisiana sit on their rooftops for a second night waiting to be rescued, I wonder how many helicopters from Mexico or Canada are flying tonight to help the rescue effort? I couldn't find any stories on the web as of this post.

One thing he leaves out is how all those countries not helping us were posturing and squawking about how greedy we are compared to them who donated more money. Then again, who wants their help anyway? I don't think we would be able to live with their egos after that. I mean, I can barely live with them now.

|

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Media Whores

Lee has a close-up and wide angle shot of Casey Sheehan's mother and Al Sharpton crying at a cross with her son's name on it. These two different pictures of the exact same event tell completely different stories. Interesting how you become more aware of things when you can see the bigger picture, isn't it?

Now, call me crazy, but it’s almost like the whole “quiet moment” was actually a well-scripted press event, designed to evoke feelings of sympathy in the viewer while actually being devoid of any legitimate feeling whatsoever.

Okay Lee, YOU'RE CRAZY! Just kidding. I think it's obvious to anyone with half a brain at this point, that this woman is simply out to get publicity for herself by walking all over her son's grave.

|

Monday, August 29, 2005

Same Old Thing, New Coat of Paint

I picked up the first edition of my University's student paper; the Branding Iron, and it has a message from the editor, Tony C. Yang. He writes:

Welcome back to school.

As you may have noticed, the Branding Iron has undergone a major renovation with the addition of a Monday issue, along with a new "The Arts" section and a beefed-up sports section.

With the recent spate of changes, the BI will remain as commited as ever to journalistic ethics and quality. My staff and I are going to do everything we can to report the facts and cover stories that matter to you.

Feel free to express your concerns or questions through a letter to the editor or through our new "Campus Voice" feature. We will strive to offer students, faculty and staff the best source of information on campus and community news.

"Okay," I thought, a new team a new BI. When will I learn? The three opinion pieces printed were; a campus story about how busy the police are this time of year, a piece on national institute of health's latest ethics decision about conflict of interest among researchers and companies, and finally a piece on how Iraq is like Vietnam. We'll see if they print a pro-Iraq piece tomorrow, but I seriously doubt it and so I'm not going to be holding my breath.

The next generation of MSM editors are off to a good (bad?) start it seems. Though, I guess it isn't surprising that he didn't say the opinion section was changing at all.

|

Foosball Is Da Devil

(Hat tip: LGF)According to another Islamic religious leader, yet one more thing about the civilized world is unacceptable to Muslims- football.

LAHORE: Ulema in Saudia Arabia have issued a fatwa (religious decree) declaring football an un-Islamic sport, and have urged the youth to quit it immediately, BBC radio reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the clerics urged the youth to indulge in jihad and other constructive activities that could help the Muslim ummah, the radio reported. The ulema argued that football wastes a lot of time and the participants wear shorts, which they said was an un-Islamic dress, the radio reported.

Following the decree, some players of the famous Taif Football Club have quit the game, the report added.

As LGF highlights, these "Ulema" are saying "football bad, jihad good." Yet another contributor to the problem of Islam in a civilized world. This is the result of yet more leaders of Islam condemning a civilized version of battle and advocating more violent means of "recreation." Unfortunately, the blind followers, again, blindly follow.

I'm all for faith (at least, faiths that don't condone the slaughter of innocent people), but I'm not for blind faith. People should be constantly questioning their faith as a means of growing in it. To simply follow what some cleric or priest says is right, without asking "why," is dangerous and leads to stagnation of intellect and ultimately horrible atrocities in the name of God. The Catholics have proven that, the Puritans have proven that, and the Muslims have continually proven that since its inception. It's absolutely amazing how all the mistakes we make as a species today are the exact same mistakes we've made over and over in the past.

|

Protests Are The Answer!

I was reading up on the latest that's going on with the protests in Crawford, TX and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and it came to me that protesting is the answer. Not for political change, mind you; that rarely does any good, but for fighting America's obesity problem. Using people's ideologies to get them to stand on a street corner for hours on end is a great way to add to their exercise regimen that might otherwise be non-existent. Sure it isn't running a marathon, but it beats sitting around eating fries.

Think about it! All we need is a continual controversey du jour to get people riled up and on the streets protesting. The best part of this plan is that everyone can do it. Not to mention the social networking and making of new friends (and enemies) that goes on at these things.

|

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Rural America Is The Next India

High tech companies are moving their operations into small-town America more and more, according to this article by ABC. It's rather interesting to think that jobs where the latest craze is to outsource them are actually being kept "in-house." One thing I thought of is that cost of living can actually be cheaper in small towns mainly because property values are low and, depending on what the town's primary function is, other goods and services can be cheaper as well. Not to mention the people.

There are just more pleasant, honest, people that I'd much rather be around than in a city or suburb. I can't say a town of 700 is really my cup of tea, but here in Laramie the population is around 25,000 which I love. I still consider it "small" but it affords the benefits of a larger town with the pleasantness of a small one. Though they still shut off the traffic lights at midnight- which is still weird for me.

|

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Another Reason the Red Cross Sucks

I caught this story off of Cox and Forkum's site.

Maurizio Scelli, the outgoing commissioner of the aid organization, is reported to have said the deal to free the two women -- Simona Pari and Simona Torretta -- was kept secret from U.S. officials.

"The mediators asked us to treat and save the lives of four presumed terrorists sought by the Americans, wounded in combat. We hid them and brought them to the doctors with the Red Cross, who operated on them," Scelli told La Stampa daily in an interview published Thursday.


Unbelievable. Red Cross helps terrorists and HIDES them from us. That goes way beyond simply helping them without bias as their spokesman says.

Red Cross spokesman Fabrizio Centofanti later confirmed to CNN that the organization had treated the Iraqis.

"The Red Cross is an impartial organization and it does not depend on the Italian government," Centofanti said.

"It did help presumed Iraqi terrorists, but it did so in the spirit of the Red Cross to help out everyone in need."


The Red Cross gives medical treatment to terrorists- I don't like it, but I can live with it considering the arguments. But hiding them and providing any other type of aid other than medical assistance I absolutely cannot condone. Never will I give one dime to the Red Cross. In fact, there are plenty of other charities to which I would rather donate. Not to mention civil rights organizations.

If the Red Cross is able to spend resources aiding our enemies beyond what they're supposed to be doing, then they don't need my money.

|

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bush Has Gas

More from the "liberal media" file. This story is all about how much gas Bush consumes. The very nature of this story is liberally biased. First off, it has absolutely no newsworthy value, and secondly it only talks about how the evvvill kkkapitalist Bushitlerhalliburton uses more gas than the rest of us and implies some kind of fault on his part.

Almost every vehicle Bush uses is custom-made to add security and communications capabilities, and the heavier weight of these guzzlers further drives up gas and jet fuel costs.

The White House declines to discuss travel costs related to the presidential entourage, and did not respond to a request for the overall effect of higher fuel prices on its budget.

It is not Bush's choice to be ferried around in a less than fuel- efficient manner. Those arrangements are dictated by tradition and the Secret Service, whose mission is to protect him.

But Bush is one of the nation's most-traveled presidents.


It's not his choice to travel in gas-guzzlers, but it's TRADITION and the secret service?! Traditions are things that usually don't have much practical meaning but people do them anyway because that's how they've always done it. The reason they put armor plating and heavy communications equipment in Bush's vehicles is to ensure that the head of the country is not cut off from the body. I guess if they want to call it the tradition of not wanting another Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, or Kennedy then sure; call it tradition.

This is hard-hitting news:

The president's limos alone consume lots of gas.

Wow. Not only is this a subjective statement (which aren't supposed to be made in news reporting), but it's further contributing to the image of Bush being some evil oil user. Not to worry though! This "reporter" has a solution:

Reducing his appearances outside the White House and making other gestures toward fuel conservation could help cut down on costs.

But some suggest that could do more harm for national morale and Bush's image than good for the financial bottom line.

Remember Jimmy Carter donning a sweater and asking Americans facing an energy crisis to turn down their thermostats? Or giving the speech about the nation's "crisis of confidence" that led to his permanent association with "malaise?" Carter's critics turned both utterances into emblems that contributed to his political undoing.


Finally, the punchline: "Bush shouldn't use so much gas, but it's unlikely he'll cut back because of political reasons." She goes on to say how Carter's plea to reduce energy consumption in the 70's contributed to his downfall. There she's merely criticizing the rest of the nation, basically, by saying that if a president advocates energy conservation, he'll commit political suicide.

This has got to be the most blatant example of liberal media bias I've ever seen. Everything about this story, from the subject matter to the subtle insertion of opinion and subjective statements, reeks of liberalism.

|

Over There Then and Now

Last night, my friend pointed out the difference he noticed between the lyrics to the end theme of "Over There" and a song of the same name from World War I. He made a compelling argument I thought. The lyrics of the tv show are these:

The day is comin'
The drums are drumin'
If you know one, say a prayer

Theres mothers crying
Fathers sighing (uh huh)
War is in the air

The trains are fillin' up with boys
Who've left behind their favorite toys

Their goin' over there
Over there (over there)
Where someone has to die

Over there (over there)
Over there (over there)
Their odds are not the reason why
Over there (over there)
Over there (over there)
Where someone has to die

So, it's all about going "over there" and dying and how miserable the families will be because their son/daughter is off fighting. Compare that with the original song with the same title:
Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Take it on the run,
On the run, on the run.
Hear them calling, you and me,
Every son of liberty.
Hurry right away,
No delay, go today,
Make your daddy glad
To have had such a lad.
Tell your sweetheart not to pine,
To be proud her boy's in line.
(chorus sung twice)

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Johnnie show the Hun
Who's a son of a gun.
Hoist the flag and let her fly,
Yankee Doodle do or die.
Pack your little kit,
Show your grit, do your bit.
Yankee to the ranks,
From the towns and the tanks.
Make your mother proud of you,
And the old Red, White and Blue.
(chorus sung twice)

Chorus
Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there -
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
Ev'rywhere.
So prepare, say a pray'r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there.

According to First World War.com; this song, written by George Cohen in 1917, became extremely popular and a huge morale booster for soldiers marching to the tune as well as to those on the homefront. Compare that with the song "Over There" today. It's a depressing, slow beat song meant to illicit sadness and despair.

Message in 1917: "Get ready for the end of the war because the yanks are coming and you don't have a prayer!"

Message in 2005: "We should never have to go to war because it makes people sad."

How far we have come.

As a side note, the episode last night was about the media spinning a story to make it look like our soldiers were bloodthirsty murderers- which isn't really ground-breaking in itself, but the UKN (United Kingdom Network) was the first media organization to break the story. Interesting they would choose the *British* news organization (a representation of the BBC) to be the ones to break the story of America's shortcomings be they falsified or otherwise. This show really is realistic in some ways.

|

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Testing A New Thing

Testing A New Thing

I’m testing a new plug-in for word that lets you make blog posts without the web interface.  PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!

|

Casey's Bio

Blackfive has posted the details of how Casey Sheehan died with a link to a CNN story. I think it only makes what his mother is doing now that much more disgusting and dishonorable.

He wasn't even on an offensive mission! It was a mission of mercy to rescue a stranded group of fellow soldiers. Thanks to al Sadr telling his congregation to go kill anyone non-muslim they see, Casey's mother blames Bush. Makes sense if you're a coward and hate America, I guess.

This whole story shows me that the patriotism of the child is not equal to the patriotism of the parent.

|

Real Men

Last night I was watching "Shootout" on the history channel and the episode was the fight for Baghdad. One of the skirmishes/battles they featured was a fight at the Baghdad airport where a Sergeant won the Medal of Honor.

*SMITH, PAUL R.

Rank and Organization: Sergeant First Class, United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock of the Marne,” and the United States Army.


I couldn't possibly hope to be half the man guys like this are. When I hear of battles or read historical accounts of battles, it's a very abstract concept for me. The great thing about "Shootout" is that it recreates the battles so vividly and gives you a much less abstract concept of what the battle was actually like by using the perspective of the individual soldiers. When you read in a history book about a battle, you think: "oh, side x fired on side y and they fought and one side won." In actuality, there are emotions and perspectives not being conveyed. It's hard, if not downright impossible, to quantify such things in a book but "Shootout" does an excellent (albeit still lacking) job of how it must be for soldiers on the ground.

Watching this show, I also can't help but compare such bravery and galantry to the cowardice and irrelevance of the people wishing failure on these men and women. History has shown, though, that the soldiers are buried in accolades and praise by a grateful nation (including Vietnam- it just took longer) while the hippies and protesters are buried into obscurity. Nobody is going to be speaking the name of Michael Moore with hushed reverence in 50 years- unlike Sgt. Paul R. Smith.

Interestingly, the next show was "Man, Moment, Machine" a.k.a. "M3." That episode was about Gen. Schwartzkopf, the first Iraq campaign and the M1A1 Abrams tank- though I think it's more accurate to call it the "Kuwait campaign" because liberating Kuwait was the primary aim of the war. Anyway, I recall (I was 9) protests in the street similar to the ones today protesting THAT war with the typical "no blood for oil" and "wage peace" signs. We could have gotten rid of Saddam back then, but the U.N. would have none of it and the LIBERAL MEDIA kept making Bush 41 out to be some imperialist oppressor of goat farmers. So, when we could have easily walked into Baghdad with impunity, we didn't; we left and allowed Saddam to continue killing his own people and support terrorists and play all the games he played all through the 90's. That seems to be the common theme: whenever we follow the views of these whacko America-haters, we eventually end up in more trouble than we started.

For that reason, I'll continue putting my money on our military and the outstanding individuals who make up that outstanding organization and who perform their jobs with the utmost of professionalism and patriotism.

|

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

J'Accuse!

So now the french are accusing Lance Armstrong of juicing. Of course. "How did zat stupeed amerikkan beet us so many timez?" I'd like to say I'm surprised at the french for trumping up charges against Armstrong, but I'm more annoyed than anything.

PARIS (Reuters) - Seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has denied ever taking performance-enhancing drugs following a report in French newspaper L'Equipe that he had used the blood-boosting drug EPO.

Tour de France executive director Jean-Marie Leblanc said he felt let down by Armstrong after L'Equipe alleged the American had taken the banned drug in 1999, the year he first won the world's greatest cycle race.


So, some paper makes an accusation, and the executive director immediately gets behind the "report" and feels "let down" by 'zee stupeed amerikkan."

"I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs," the 33-year-old, who retired in July, said in a statement on his personal website.

L'Equipe, saying it had access to laboratory documents, reported on Tuesday that six of Armstrong's urine samples collected on the 1999 Tour de France showed "indisputable" traces of EPO (erythropoietin).

L'Equipe published what it claimed to be a results sheet from the laboratory which appeared to show six figures revealing traces of EPO. The newspaper also published documents from the French cycling federation showing exactly the same figures under Armstrong's name.

The Chatenay-Malabry lab said in a statement that the samples they tested did not have names attached and they could not confirm if any of the samples were Armstrong's.

TEST RESULTS

The lab said all test results had been sent to WADA, the agency in charge of the fight against doping in world sport, on the condition they did not use them to take disciplinary action.

Despite the lack of proof and Armstrong's denials, cycling officials expressed disappointment.


Who needs proof when the charges are enough to smear a successful american? I'm reminded of the reports of Armstrong getting spit on as he won last year. There are a lot of disgusting people in France and I refuse to go there (as much as I'd like to) and I refuse to buy French products until they start encouraging people to be more respectful and nicer to America and americans. I'm not holding my breath though.

|

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sweet Sweet GLORIOUS Oil!

KesherTalk is plugging thermal depolymerization (TDP) today. I had never heard of this before, but once I read about it I got incredibly excited about it. This is one of those "first steps on the moon" sorts of advancements. Basically, you throw garbage (including infectious waste and refrigerators) in one end of a machine, and get purified water, oil, and gasoline out the other end. Sort of like Mr. Fusion from "Back to the Future," but it doesn't power stuff, it just provides the fuel for the power. This has really exciting prospects and, should it become more widespread than a couple of a plants, may provide for a good portion of domestic energy needs.

The only drawback seems to be that oil from TDP costs about $80/barrel right now while importing only costs $67. I imagine that could be made up somehow to lower the price per barrel and I have a few ideas, but I'd rather not say what they are just yet as I'm seriously considering using this as a business idea.

KesherTalk has a better summary of the whole thing and Google is a good source, too. To go straight to the horse's mouth, though, you can check out the company's website that owns the process here.

|

Preston: Islam Incompatible with Democracy

Bryan Preston wrote on Michelle Malkin's site that he doesn't think Islam can resolve itself to democracy because it is a product of Christian thought.

... A real question that has hovered over our entire Iraq enterprise centers on whether Islam, even the non-caliphascist variety, is even compatible with democracy at all. That's not an idle question; republicanism only arose in the West after long exposure to and experimentation with Christian thinking and its emphasis on the value of the individual soul. It took us several centuries to get to the American experiment, centuries which saw the "divine right of kings" and sectarian warfare. Islam it's fair to say lacks the same set of ideals regarding the individual, and doesn't have for its prime example a figure nearly as complex as Christ, who eschewed secular power and never once preached converting anyone to his banner via the sword. Mohammed may or may not have been a prophet, but he was definitely an earthly warlord whose powers of persuasion were enhanced by martial thinking. He would not and did not volunteer to suffer for anyone else's sake, and thus provides no example for loving one's neighbor selflessly. The two examples for religious leadership--Christ and Mohammed--couldn't be more different, therefore it's reasonable to believe that their faiths would take followers down different moral and political paths. But if a majority of Muslims now think democracy is compatible with their faith, and if we have given them the spark they needed to demand the right to try democracy, then we have gone a long way toward winning the war.


I don't think it will take centuries for Islam to resolve itself to democracy. I also think Malkin is comparing apples and oranges, here.

The reason I don't think it will take so long for Islam to come around to democracy, disregarding the view that it's Christian-based, is that they are starting out further down the learning curve thanks to the "American experiment." the U.S. was more or less the first time anyone tried running a country based on the view of the people. That means that we were groping blindly in the dark trying to figure out everything. We've made mistakes along the way (still do) and have become aware of (and solved) many different issues associated with a government run by those it governs. The Muslim countries have the benefit of learning from our mistakes and can start off where we are now after 230 years.

I've never considered the democratic process to be a Christ-inspired ideology- though it may be, it's an interesting concept to consider. I see how those who came up with the democratic process happened to be Christian, but I don't see how it couldn't work for other countries, either. One of the main points of the U.S. is that we aren't a Christian country (officially); we're a secular nation that respects all faiths. I imagine Islam could conflict with THAT, but it's hardly a conflict with a "Christian" ideology and more a conflict with a democratic ideology. Again, Muslim countries can learn from the U.S. by taking a cue from Muslim communities in the U.S. to see how they resolve living in a democratic nation already. America is the perfect model for them to look at and emulate because it incorporates, in some way, most or all the aspects and issues the Muslim countries considering democracy will need to address.

|

Sunday, August 21, 2005

AP: Sheehan Being Oppressed

Sheehan and her America-hating group have tried to get ads on TV in Salt Lake City where Bush is planning to give a speech to the convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars. So is the AP going to talk about how Sheehan is trying to whore herself to the media and gain more recognition? No, they'll dutifully fall in step and talk about how a station is refusing to run her ad.

The ad began airing on other area stations Saturday, two days before Bush was scheduled to speak in Salt Lake City to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

However, a national sales representative for KTVX, a local ABC affiliate, rejected the ad in an e-mail to media buyers, writing that it was an "inappropriate commercial advertisement for Salt Lake City."

In the ad, Sheehan pleads with Bush for a meeting and accuses him of lying to the American people about Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction and its connection to al-Qaida.


"Hey, Mr. Bush! I want a meeting with you to discuss why you suck so much!" Is it any wonder Bush isn't granting her an audience? I've talked about that before though, my issue is this news story.

The fact that a station is refusing Sheehan a forum to spew her hatred and vitriol is a news story illustrates the bias in the media- also something I've talked about before. Any station has the right to refuse any potential customer at their own discretion. Whether the AP wants to admit it or not, the advertisements of a station implicitly give the position of that station. If people who disagree with Sheehan's worthless comments see her being advertised on a local station, they may not want to patronize that station, or other advertisers may not want to associate themselves with the same. Either way, it's bad for business, period. This story makes you think Sheehan is somehow being silenced by the eeevil kkkapitalist pigdogs of Utah.

"What stunned me was that it was inappropriate to hear this message," she said. "How is it that Salt Lake City should hear no questions about the war?"

The e-mail read: "The viewpoints reflected in the spot are incompatible with our marketplace and will not be well received by our viewers." It added that the spot didn't qualify as an issue advertisement.


First off, they aren't asking questions. They're making unfounded statements in the form of a question. Some of you may remember from elementary school the "answer yes or no to the following" trick. You're made to promise only to answer yes or no to a question, then once you do, they ask if your mother is out of prison yet, or other more obscene questions. The question assumes a false premise which is exactly what Sheehan and her ilk do.

The AP should be ashamed that they waste ink on this. Jusk thike the Sheehan crowd, the author of this story assumes that Sheehan somehow has a right to pay for ad space and have her ad put on the channel. Sure she has the right to bid, but the channel has the right to refuse.

"The bigger picture is, by suppressing the message are we doing what is right under the First Amendment and in an open democratic society?" Wiest said.

By implying that the owner of the airwaves somehow has no right to refuse you and is trampling on their rights- violating their first amendment rights. Sure you have the right to say what you want (with exceptions), but you don't have the right to be listened to, and you don't have a right to other people's property to get your views out to the public. If you don't like it, buy your own channel and stack it with all the ads you want. I'd imagine, however, that investing in intellectually bankrupt viewpoints will only result in actual bankruptcy. I suppose that's why liberals hate trying to compete in a capitalist society.

|

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Best and Brightest

I've always been of the opinion that the members of our armed services, from the lowly (or venerated) cook all the way to the 4 star generals, have been the best and brightest our nation has to offer with few exceptions. Well now it seems that that isn't just true about those in the military, but also those joining the military. Awesome.

It was love, not desperation or a lack of prospects, that propelled honor student and all-state vocalist Caity Swanson into the Army: love of language. As a junior, Caity's 3.9 GPA qualified her for the National Honor Society, while A's in Spanish earned her acceptance into the Spanish National Honor Society. She realized she wanted to pursue foreign-language translation as a vocation, and she began exploring colleges that offered a major in linguistics. But though her parents earn a good living—dad Chuck works in the pharmaceutical industry and mom Andria is an R.N.—good programs were too expensive.

Then as a senior, Caity, like thousands of American high-school students, took the military entrance exam. An Army recruiter saw her score—93 out of 99—and called her last December. That's when she learned about her dream school: The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, Calif., the largest foreign language school in the world.

After careful discussion with her parents, Caity enlisted. She's now looking forward to learning a new language by immersion, packing two weeks of traditional college instruction into each day during the year-long course, and learning from native speakers. "The way they teach a foreign language is the way I want to learn it," she said.

She doesn't know which language yet—the military assigns that based on a student's ability and the government's need. But it's likely to be a tough one: Caity blew away the Defense Language Battery, qualifying her to learn any language the Institute offers, including those considered most difficult, like Chinese or Arabic.


Still rolling out patriotic Americans after 230 years!

|

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Lileks v. Presbyterians

James Lileks is a great opinion writer and usually has a lot of good things to say. This column is about how the Presbyterian church is backing the Palestinians and working to boycott companies in which the church owns stock. I imagine this is more symbolic than anything, but what gets me is that the church is involving itself in world politics.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) -- not the members, but the learned elders -- has announced it will use its stock holdings to target Israel for being mean to the Palestinians.

But they're not anti-Semites. Heavens, nay. Don't you dare question their philosemitism! No, they looked at the entire world, including countries that lop off your skull if you convert to Presbyterianism, and what did they choose as the object of their ire? A country the size of a potato chip hanging on the edge of a region noted for despotism and barbarity. By some peculiar coincidence, it happens to be full of Jews.

I've mentioned before about how the churches and clergy should (officially) stay out of politics. It's a divisive thing that can upset the patrons and has the potential to cause strife within the church; a church version of a civil war, all because of the leadership is using their position as a religious leader to advocate their personal politics.

Okay, now that that's out of the way; why would the Presbyterian church, of the two choices between Israelis and Palestinians, choose to back the ones whose culture is to target civillians and send their kids to "kill jews" camps?

It doesn't matter that one side is a liberal democracy that grants rights to women and non-Jews while the other has thugs and assassins for rulers and sends its kids to summer camps where they learn the joys of good ol' fashioned Jew-killing.

Of course it doesn't matter, Lileks. The point here is that the Israelis are in the wrong! Nevermind the bulldozers are used to destroy tunnel entrances in which bombs and munitions are smuggled into Israel, and the night vision goggles are used to spot suspicious, seditious, and subversive violent activity without putting defenders' lives in danger.

This is all symoblic anyway, but just like symbolic gestures, the meaning is the important thing. There is no way that the Presbyterian church is going to bankrupt, or even force the hand, of these companies. This act is going to end up bad for them in the long-run. They're on the wrong side of this and if it gets out among a good portion of their congregation that their church supports murderers and Islamic militants over a peaceful-by-nature country, they will lose members.

|

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Oh, THAT Liberal Media- Ongoing

From an interview of Sheehan on a lefty news-talk show blogged about here:

“Our family was against it from the beginning. Casey was against it, but he felt it was his duty to go because he was in the Army. And he felt that he had to go to protect his buddies, to be there for his buddies, to be support, and they are brainwashed into thinking that even if they don’t agree with the mission, they’re brainwashed into just blindly following it. I begged Casey not to go. I told him I would take him to Canada. I told him I would run over him with a car, anything to get him not to go to that immoral war. And he said, 'Mom, I wish I didn’t have to, but I have to go.' ''

Now, here's how the AP reports it:

Sheehan's 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, in April 2004 just five days after he arrived. He was the oldest of four children. "I begged him not to go,' she said through tears. "I said, 'I'll take you to Canada' ... but he said, 'Mom, I have to go. It's my duty. My buddies are going."

See, if they had reported her saying she would run over her own son with a car, that wouldn't make her look too good in the eyes of the public. So what does the writer do? She just omits that little tidbit and completely changes the tone of Sheehan's statement to make her sound more sane than she actually is.

|

Kelo of Insanity

I swear, the government MUST be using drugs. As most of you probably know, the Kelo decision caused a big uproar in the blogsphere (left and right blogs alike). Mainly because the government was saying anyone who might be able to make more money, and hence more tax revenue for the government, with a plot of land, they can then simply hand it over to those people by way of eminent domain- oh with due compensation at 2000 market values- not current, 2005, market values. So in response, Freestar Media, LLC. decided to petition to start the "lost liberty hotel" on the land of supreme court justice David H. Souter's home- an amusing distraction that I haven't heard any more of since it was announced. Anyway, the latest insanity of this, according to Fairfield County Weekly, is that now the city in question; New London, CT, is demanding back rent from the losers of the case!

Those who believe in the adage "when it rains, it pours" might take the tale of the plaintiffs in Kelo v. New London as a cue to buy two of every animal and a load of wood from Home Depot. The U.S. Supreme Court recently found that the city's original seizure of private property was constitutional under the principal of eminent domain, and now New London is claiming that the affected homeowners were living on city land for the duration of the lawsuit and owe back rent. It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation.

I just can't believe these people. "You were on our land during the 4 years this was in court, so give us money!" This is just absolutely despicable and I honestly don't understand why a government would so readily and thoroughly trample all over these people. If it was me, I'd refuse to pay and just move. Let them (first find me) file a civil suit against me if they want to take it that far, and hope they win. Unbelieveable. The city just fought for 4 years to evict these people and now want to get paid for it! I think this qualifies for "intrusive government" status.

|

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

VDH Is Awesome

Victor Davis Hanson adds his two cents on the Sheehan deal. I goes on to describe why the use of force is necessary and another angle on what's wrong with the positon liberals take on this war.

So yes, a brutal dictator who has murdered hundreds of thousands and is eager to achieve weapons to kill millions more should be eliminated, the suffering that he inflicts and that ruins our dinner stopped — but once the butcher's bill arrives, we change our minds. The same people who castigate us for allowing the slaughter in Rwanda and Sudan and a dozen other venues now chide us for insuring that such brutality stops in Iraq. They chafe at the unforeseen consequences, mistakes, and inadvertent death that always and everywhere has accompanied the use of force. How many tens of thousands died unnecessarily in World War II, the “good war,” because of such contingencies? The tragic truth of action is that we have to accept those risks and accept that to achieve a future good we often have to risk a present evil. The only alternative is never to use force, and pacifism is a juvenile ideal refuted on every page of history.

It would be nice if we could just go over and ask a despot to "play nice" and do the things we would like them to do and it would actually do some good. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way- it never has and it never will; but, we should still pursue such avenues first all the time. Even then, though, it's only by threat of force that makes despots lend an ear to our "requests." So, since injustice or evil is happening, if we wish to truly stop it, we can't just call on someone to do something- we actually have to do something! Sometimes doing something involves going to war. Going to war means life will get ugly and uncertain for a lot of people. It also means (hopefully) that, from that point on, the descendents of those people ad infinitum will live better lives for their suffering. Don't mistake that for a "somebody think of the children" comment. What I mean is that war- however ugly- solves problems once and for all. Either by the other side capitulating (WW2- Japan) or by attrition (WW2- Germany).

For liberals, the "injustice" is deposing a brutal murderer/dictator by force. Somehow that seems to me that the priorities of liberals are extremely skewed and their "justice compass" is WAY off. I've never heard a good reason why getting rid of Saddam was a bad thing- but somehow, it is.

The "reasons" I've heard previously have been emotional appeals: "x people have died already!" Which really isn't a good reason because it doesn't address the actual issue of why we went there in the first place. Another argument I hear a lot is: "There are so many other problems in the world- why don't we fix those first?" Again, not relevant because it doesn't address the current problems already there and it's implicitly advocating war elswhere... "anywhere but where we are" which is actually a good argument for liberals to make because it can be made regardless of what place in the world we decide to help.

VDH also talks about how "Casey Sheehan's mother" should not be afforded more ethos simply because her son died.

As much as we respect and sympathize with Ms. Sheehan's grief, then, we are under no obligation to respect her opinion about the necessity or justice of this war, or give it any more of a hearing than anybody else's. In fact, we should suspect that it reflects her understandable grief rather than any superior insight into the reasons for going to war. Those reasons should be debated and discussed through the political process, and they should reflect as much as possible fact and rational argument. Presenting those facts and arguments is the job of a responsible media. Unfortunately, exploiting suffering and indulging their political prejudices are often more important to the media than providing their fellow citizens with the resources needed to make the best decision.

I completely agree. The media plays this story up because all the left has to contest the war are emotional appeals and misdirection attempts.

|

Rushing Yards

Rush Limbaugh had a great monologue speaking to the liberals behind Cindy Sheehan on her personal crusade against the president.

But without the sons and daughters of the American people, this country wouldn't amount to anything. It is the people who make this country work, and the ease with which those of you on the left disparage the people in this country while you seek to focus all attention on government, is a sight to behold, and it is why you are losing elections; it is why you are losing favor; it is why you are becoming more fringe and extreme and kooky, because you've lost touch. You've lost contact. You've lost all ability to understand who it is that comprises the heart and soul of this country. You have no clue who the backbone of this country is; but I will tell you this: it's not Cindy Sheehan and it's not one member of her entourage in a ditch in Crawford, Texas. Those people are a bunch of squatters. Those people right now are contributing nothing to the greatness or future of this country. Neither are the members of the media who are down there trying to elevate all those people in the ditch to be superheroes. There's not one of them that comes anywhere near rating the title of hero. They are nothing but a bunch of squatters who are miserable and unhappy for who knows whatever reasons and deciding to take it out on people who they think have control over their lives. In this case, with a bunch of liberals, it's government. You want government to have control over your life, you want government to be able to do this and that for your friends and neighbors and help you, but the simple truth of this country is that it's the people who make this country work. It is the people who comprise the economy.

It is the people who comprise the morality. It is the people of this country who determine the ethics. It is the people of this country, and that's what you're upset about because you're in the minority. The people of this country, the people who make this country work differ from you in tremendous ways. They are religious. They are God-fearing. They respect values and morality. They know what's right and they know what's wrong, and they do their best to abide. You are offended by all that, claiming they don't have the right to make such decisions, while you sit around and make no decisions whatsoever because you're willing to totally put your life in the hands of some liberal politician and that will take you off the hook for having to make any decision about your life or anybody else's. Well, that's not how the country works. This country works on the basis of an educated and informed public seeking excellence in their own lives to whatever degree they wish it. People pursuing life the best they can, using freedom, God-given freedom -- and for you to call here and to come up with something as irrelevant as to say this war is not worth it because the president's kids aren't there or because nobody from Washington's kids are there doesn't say a thing about the war effort, doesn't say one thing about it, doesn't make it noble, doesn't make it ignoble, doesn't make it anything, because the war is taking place. Whether you agree with the fact that it's going on or not, we all have come to the decision that it's best that we win it. You haven't even joined us on that. You hope we lose it. You want to lose it because you want to embarrass the leaders of the country. What must your lives be like?

I've often surmised that liberals are unhappy people. In fact, the more liberal the person, the more angry they are, it seems. Even the "cheerleaders" on the left (personality-wise), when you talk to them, are just unhappy people. The turn to chemicals and vice to feel happy and call it a contented life! I see through that though. I see in their eyes that they are looking for more than that. Rush has a point here- these people are miserable and hate this country for one reason or another.

It's gotten so absurd, now that Howard Dean said on TV that if this new constitution is enacted as written, that the women of Iraq are going to be worse off than they were under Saddam Hussein.

Do you realize how patently absurd and bordering on insane that comment is? No, you don't. Because you think so little of your own country, you think so little of this president, you have such little faith in the ideals that have combined to make this a great country, that you assume it's worse here than anywhere else, and the places that it is bad is because of us, either through environmental pollution, or whatever cockamamie, asinine, stupid, ignoramus idea you can come up with.


Again, these people will always blame America first, will always find ways to make it our fault somehow and never come up with their own solutions- other than capitulating to anyone who flashes us a stern face. Then we're supposed to sit here and be lectured on how we're wrong to think these people are un-patriotic?! Give me a break!

JimK's 2-minute rant on Starkcast 14 (which was late, grr) was absolutely awesome in talking about the paradox liberals make for themselves talking about "supporting the troops" by wanting them to come back.

Today's 2-minute rant is about supporting our troops. You hear the phrase bandied about a lot; "support our troops, you have to support our troops," but not everyone seems to know what that means. The other phrase I hear often in relation to this is: "I support the troops, but not the war." Well, to most of them, there isn't a difference. You can't support the soldier but hope he fails in his objective! You can't say you support the troops but say you're against the very thing it is the troops are doing; otherwise, what are you supporting? Their uniforms? It's like saying you support making omelettes but you don't support the cracking of eggshells. Look, you're not really supporting anything. You're paying lip service so that people don't call you names and accuse you of being un-patriotic. It's my belief that in order to support the troops, you must support what it is they're doing; and right now, that means killing terrorists and trying to bring stability to the middle east. I support that goal and I support the men and women trying to achieve that goal. What led me to all of this is that right now a certain grieving mother is in the news demanding to see the president- which is something she's already done once since losing her son, Casey Sheehan, in Iraq.

It's my contention she's not being supportive of her own son's decisions. He did a tour in Iraq. He volunteered to go back (against her wishes) and stay with his unit and do the job he felt obligated to do. He died for that feeling of obligation and duty and that, to me, makes him a hero. And supporting Casey Sheehan in my mind means honoring the choice that he made. To honor Army specialist Casey Sheehan, I refuse to say or type the name of the woman who's become a political associate of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org. Instead, I will refer to her in the future as Casey Sheehan's mother; because Casey is the real story here, no one else. I urge everyone to stop talking about his mother and start talking about Casey: Casey's choices, and Casey's sacrifice. That is how we honor him; by remembering Army specialist Casey Sheehan and remembering exactly what he did and appreciating him for choosing to do it.


I honestly couldn't say it better myself! The longer this stuff goes on in Texas, the less I feel Cindy Sheehan (a.k.a. Casey Sheehan's mother) is grief-stricken by her son's death and the more I feel she's trying to cash in on that death. She dishonors her son by using the prestige he afforded her through his death by standing up to be counted among the enemy of everything her son stood for.

Let's get back to Rush, though. He goes on to talk about some other things and takes a call. He closes the subject with this:

CALLER: Thank you, sir, I appreciate it. Yeah, I just wanted to say, especially after that one caller, I mean I didn't volunteer because the president's daughters were doing something or some senator's son was joining or anything like that, and I didn't join because I was coming from the ghetto and I wanted to get out. You know, I joined because it was a career choice, and I wanted to do it, and I really feel that if her son was here today -- and I understand her grief. I mean, I'm a father as well, but I served in Iraq. I've served in Afghanistan. I've been over there many times, and, you know, I've had friends lost right next to me in battle, and I can understand the grief, but, you know what? At the same time they're doing what they wanted to do. So many of these people are stuck back in the Vietnam days, and the days of the draft, that I used to get e-mail saying, "Boy, I'm sorry that you're over there." I would e-mail back and say, "What do you mean, you're sorry? I put myself here on purpose. This is what I want to do."

RUSH: It's no more complicated than the fact that the people who are engaged in all this simply don't like this country, and they haven't liked it since the sixties. They haven't liked it their whole lives. Thankfully there aren't that many of them. There are only a hundred people down there with her, but she's gone beyond grief, this is not about grief for her, this is not a woman grieving, this is a woman reveling this attention, this is a woman soaking it all up. This is a woman thinking she matters. Which we all want to do. Everybody wants to matter. Everybody wants their life to have meaning. Unfortunately, hers has taken on this direction that the meaning she thinks she's deriving is actually empty. There's no meaning to what she's doing. She's a pawn, she's a tool of a bunch of fellow crackpots upon whom we couldn't depend if our lives were at stake, and that's why they are so few and far between. Thankfully, they are not anywhere near the majority of people in the country.

You can read (or listen) to Rush's rant here. It's really good and I recommend you "experience" in whatever way is convenient for you. Also, JimK's Starkcast is awesome. It does have explicit parts, so if you're easily offended, don't bother. If you can handle swearing, abortion jokes, adult humor and blasphemy, then click away- you won't regret it.

|

Monday, August 15, 2005

We Be Deep-Fried Thin Skins

I cannot believe this. Michelle Malkin wrote a column about a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines. Two black sisters (not "sistahs," they're actually related) are suing Southwest because the flight attendant said "eenie, meenie, miney moe, pick a seat, we gotta go."

So if you're sane, you'r probably asking why these sistERs are suing.

The humor-challenged siblings preposterously allege that Cundiff was making a discriminatory reference to their race because there is an obscure adaption of the children's counting rhyme that replaces the word "tiger" with the n-word in the verse that ends "Catch a tiger by the toe." Cundiff, 22, says she had never heard of the offensive version. (Neither had I, nor, I imagine, have most people in Cundiff's generation or mine.)

OH MY GOSH how stupid are these people?! They seriously need to lighten up and quit trying so hard to be a victim. I hope once they lose this case they have to pay the airline's legal bills. On the other hand, they're probably too poor anyway- why else would they be suing?

The more disappointing part of the story is that a judge actually let this go to trial. He actually thought the facts of the case warranted a trial. So who appointed this giant among idiots?

The grandest insult, of course, is that a federal judge allowed this litigious farce to proceed. U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil, appointed by President Bush I, has set trial for March 4. Cundiff and Southwest, which is commendably standing by her, are entangled in costly litigation over a word she never said and a slight she never intended. Yet, Judge Vratil is permitting Sawyer and Fuller to seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for dubious "physical and emotional distress" (including Fuller's "unexplained memory gaps" about the flight). They are also demanding employee sensitivity training.


Unbelievable. I guess this is proof that everyone makes mistakes. Kudos to Southwest for standing up to this. If I were in charge, I'd seriously consider going into bankruptcy to defend this attendant. If you don't like how a company operates, especially in the realm of airlines, then show your offense to them by not patronizing them anymore.

|

Enumerated Powers

For those of you living in Arizona District 3, vote for this man. He's introduced a bill in the House of Representatives requiring a constitutional justification included with any bill introduced in congress. Full bill here.

The Enumerated Powers Act, H.R. 2458, requires that all bills introduced in the U.S. Congress include a statement setting forth the specific constitutional authority under which the law is being enacted. This measure will force a continual re-examination of the role of the national government, and will fundamentally alter the ever-expanding reach of the federal government.

Lee doesn't think this will get passed just because it limits congress' power and adds accountability for the members of congress and so, wouldn't like it. I imagine if this were to gain more popular exposure in the country, the public's pressure could easily force an acceptance of the bill. But he's probably right. MSM certainly wouldn't cover this (without having their hand forced... again... by the blogosphere)- since they're all liberals anyway and know making this a well-known bill would ensure its passing.

Check to see if your representative is on the Committee on the Judiciary and tell them to vote for this to get it through to a floor vote. Even if you don't have a representative on the committee, shoot an e-mail off to your rep. and tell them to get behind it anyway. I realize my blog has little (if any) pull in the blogosphere, but just remember the little engine that could!

|

Older is Better

Sometimes the old ways are the best ways.

KANDAGAL, Afghanistan - Frustrated with the limitations of using its Humvee four-wheel-drive vehicles in rugged mountains with few roads, a battalion of U.S. Marines has enlisted a mode of transport used for centuries by Afghan villagers: donkeys.

About 30 of the animals have been rented from farmers to haul food and bottled water to hundreds of Afghan and U.S. troops on a two-week operation to battle militants deep in remote mountains in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province.

"With all the smart bombs and the modern stuff in war nowadays, this is the best way for us to resupply our troops there," said Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan, commander of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, which is based in Hawaii. "It's also much cheaper for the U.S. taxpayer for us to rent the donkeys than for everything to be air-dropped."

This is a pretty cool story I thought. Plus it's weird that with all our technology and advancements, the four-legged ATV- used for centuries since before Christ- is still the best way to get around in such rough terrain. I think the domestication of donkeys and horses is up there on the list of human advancements as the wheel or the lever. I also like how it's cheaper.

|

Sunday, August 14, 2005

More Liberal Media!

So I'm watching TV, flipping through channels and see CNN covering a story about Bush throwing the first pitch at a kids baseball game- his pet project as president. "Okay," I thought, "this is a cool story- let's watch." No sooner did they finish talking about the "first pitch" story than they started in on how he got there! I mean, who the hell cares how he got there? What did they say about how he got there? GLAD YOU ASKED!

The game was being played just about 20 miles from the ranch where Bush is spending the month of August. Bush traveled to the game by helicopter, missing the throng of anti-war protesters gathered on the country road leading to his ranch.

The demonstrations began August 6 when Cindy Sheehan of California came demanding to ask Bush about her son -- a soldier who died last year in Iraq. (Full story)

More than 350 anti-war demonstrators rallied at a park in nearby Crawford Saturday in support of Sheehan, then traveled several miles out to her roadside campsite.

About a dozen Bush supporters stood across the street, kept apart from the anti-war group by sheriff's deputies and Secret Service agents.



They round out the story with "Bush took an alternative route to the field, bypassing anti-war protesters." Since one of their bigger stories involves Cindy Sheehan wanting to ask why "Bush killed her son," they make it a point to mention that he's not going near the protesters. This way, they make Bush look like a complete jerk who cares nothing for the whims of those who hate him. I would think that his route choice has more to do with security than anything- but even if it didn't, so what? Their story revolves around a woman who has already met with Bush! Of course, why let such trivialities stop someone from complaining? Also, they number the protesters in the hundreds and call them a "throng" and simply pay lip service to "a dozen" pro-Bush people.

When all this Sheehan stuff started, she complained: "why won't the president speak with me?" Implying that he flat out refuses to speak with the families of war dead. Then it came out the president already HAD spoken with her and she changed her tune to; "why won't the president speak with me AGAIN?" The president did her a service speaking with her the first time, and it was no doubt a special event (heck, even Sheehan said he was sincere and warm-hearted etc.). The president is not here to be at the beckoned call of almost 200 Million people 24/7. I certainly wouldn't expect the president to instantly come to me if I wanted to speak with him. Why? Because I recognize that his job involves running a country- not chatting with his constituents- or political enemies for that matter.

You had your chance, Ms. Sheehan, and now you've been brainwashed by Moore et. al. and want to have another go at it, too bad.

I also see on Fox News they're talking about some irked neighbors who are sick of the protesters. It's probably that unbearable scent of patchouli oil and unwashed bodies.

|

Piles of Rocks 3

One of Saintos' claims is that the pope never made the assertion that Catholicism was the "one true faith" as I claimed he said. To some extent, he was right- but I did some digging and found this story of Cardinal Ratzinger. He never actually mentions Catholicism is the one true belief system, but he certainly implied it.

A new Vatican assertion that the Catholic church cannot be anyone's "sister church" because it is the "mother" of individual churches represents a potentially serious blow to relations between Catholicism and other branches of Christianity, according to several ecumenical experts.


As I said, Ratzinger asserted that the Catholic church is sibling to none and parent to all who believe in Christ.

Ironically, the term "sister church" was first used by a pope, Pope Paul VI, who referred to Anglicans as a "sister church" in 1970. Pope John Paul II has endorsed the concept, referring to Eastern and Western Christianity as the "two lungs" of the church.

Properly speaking, the new document says, Catholicism cannot be a sister of another Christian body such as the Orthodox because it "implies a plurality ... on the level of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church confessed in the Creed, whose real existence is thus obscured."


Interesting words, I believe. My point is that Catholics assign far too much value to the church (among other things) instead of concentrating on the faith. This Pope is thus convinced of the Catholic church's own superiority.

"So Paul VI was in error, was he?" asked the Rev. Barry Norris, an Anglican priest involved in ecumenical dialogue in England. "What other term do you use? I mean, either you're sister churches or you're not. If you're not, then it's just the Catholics and the heretics."

I couldn't put it better myself. This is why I have an issue with the Catholic church on this point. If Catholicism is the only true church, that makes me a heretic. That fact they argue about there being more than one church is evidence that they ignore faith and put all power in their own creation. As I said before; Jesus' "church" is the entire Christian faith. The Catholic church is merely one part of a greater thing.

|

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Letter to the Insane

This is a great letter written by a recently liberated Iraqi to Cindy Sheehan. Ms. Sheehan has said this war was unjust and wrong and [insert Michael Moore talking point here]. Well here's what an actual Iraqi thinks.

|

Friday, August 12, 2005

Piles of Rocks 2

So apparently, I seemed to have struck a nerve with the Catholics. I posted a comment on Catholic Pillow Fight that I felt I should go ahead and repeat here.

What I meant by that post is that I find Catholicism to be too wrapped up in its traditions and itself. I dated a Catholic girl and she (as well as her mother) were insistent that whoever she marry be a Catholic. To me, "The Church" spoken of in the Bible is not a Catholic one- nor is it a protestant one. The biblical church is the Christian faith. I'm not a Catholic because like I said, I have other issues with the Catholic church itself. I know this sounds like I just don't like it in any way shape or form, but really, all I'm saying is that I just have an issue with how Catholics (and their church) treat such sculptures, cathedrals, and paintings. I think Catholics ascribe too much meaning to them.

Also, I read Saintos' post as a criticism of protestant worship in how he described worship at his new parish- which was the inspiration for my post.

BTW, apologies Saintos for calling you "this guy" I guess that sounds somewhat demeaning.

UPDATE: I made a post about Saintos claiming the pope never said Catholicism is the one true church. Read it here.

|

sNARALing Beast Put to Rest

NARAL, the pro killing children group, has decided to withdrawl its ad against Bush's supreme court nominee- John Roberts.

The abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America on Thursday announced it will withdraw a television ad criticizing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts' record on abortion rights following criticism of the ad by conservative groups and some abortion-rights advocates, the Washington Post reports (Balz, Washington Post, 8/12). NARAL Pro-Choice America on Monday announced the launch of the ad, which opposes Roberts' confirmation to the Supreme Court and suggests that the nominee supports violent, antiabortion "fringe groups" because of his 1991 involvement in Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic. In the case, Roberts argued in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue that protesters should not be prevented from blocking entrances to abortion clinics. The 30-second ad, which has been shown on local stations in Maine and Rhode Island and nationally on several cable news networks, is part of a $500,000, two-week campaign aimed at the constituents of three moderate Republican senators in Maine and Rhode Island (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 8/11).

My friend mentioned to me that this is huge news. Had it not been for blogs (or O'Reilly/Fox News), this would have continued unopposed and people would simply have believed it. Like most liberal groups, though, they can't just admit they were caught lying and embelishing for the sake of opposing Bush. Of course, that's standard procedure for the left which is probably why blogs are so soundly criticized by them; it makes it harder for them to lie to the public.

"We regret that many people have misconstrued our recent advertisement about Mr. Roberts' record," NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan said in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), adding, "Unfortunately the debate over that advertisement has become a distraction from the serious discussion we hoped to have with the American public" (Holland, AP/Yahoo! News, 8/12).

Oh right. It's our fault that they were "misunderstood." Please. Nobody was misunderstood here. NARAL got caught lying and trying to demonize Bush's nominee. I'm not entirely sure what they think is being misunderstood. They lied and got caught trying to garner opposition to a perfectly qualified candidate to the SCOTUS simply because Bush nominated him. Also, if their idea of a "serious discussion" is to lie for the sake of emotional appeals to oppose Bush in any way, ,shape, or form, then they don't deserve a voice in any public debate.

|

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sheehan's Unilateral Injustice

Apparently Cindy Sheehan is the only one in her family who feels the way she does about her son's death. Don't expect to read about this anywhere in the MSM, though.

Hello again Melanie,

Our family has been so distressed by the recent activities of Cindy we are breaking our silence and we have collectively written a statement for release. Feel free to distribute it as you wish. Thanks – Cherie

In response to questions regarding the Cindy Sheehan/Crawford Texas issue:
Sheehan Family Statement:

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

Sincerely,

Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.


I posted thoughts on Sheehan and her idiocy yesterday if you missed it.

|

The *YAWN* N

So the latest from the U.N/Europe/Iran Nuclear issue:

VIENNA, Austria - The U.N. nuclear watchdog expressed "serious concern" Thursday over Iran's resumption of nuclear activities that could lead to an atomic bomb and diplomats said Tehran faced a September deadline to stop uranium conversion at a plant in central Iran. The Iranians resumed work at the nuclear facility in Isfahan earlier this week, despite appeals from European negotiators to maintain a voluntary suspension of nuclear activities.

Despite their appeals and reasoning with the Iranians, they've still decided to continue their nuclear program. I'm going to LOVE it when Iran gets the bomb and start threatening the world with it. With all the bloviating of the Europeans (read: French and Germans) do/did on how Bush was wrong to use force in Iraq, and should have been more diplomatic, etc; for Iran to show Europe and all those pathologically insane lefties that force is necessary sometimes will almost be worth Iran getting the bomb- except then it will be our job to clean up their mess.

Of course, once they fall on their faces... again... they'll come plead with us to come bail them out... again... and of course we'll oblige... again... and they'll hate us for it and condemn us as the violent knuckle-dragging Americans wondering why we didn't use diplomacy... again.

I'm just absolutely dumbfounded at the feet-dragging pace of people coupled with such stone cold stupidity. Haven't we learned by now that if hostile nations are making aggressive gestures, they aren't just doing it for their own health? Guess not. While our side is talking, our enemies are doing. Like FDR says in the movie "Pearl Harbor:" "We build refrigerators while our enemies build bombs." Exactly the same thing going on today and somehow people just don't see it.

|

Over There... Somewhere

Tonight I watched another episode of "Over There." I missed last week's but it was a good episode anyway. The main plot revolved around a suspect that they knew had the location of 20 stinger missiles that had been stolen by terrorists. Because the missiles were stolen, helicopters would not be able to provide air support to troops that may need it as it would be too dangerous.

So, to get the guy to talk it involved interrogation. Let me just say that interrogation is not a pretty business and anyone who thinks they can be in intelligence and ride a white horse is sorely mistaken. Anyway, the terrorist kept trying to get himself killed so he could go get his rasins in heaven.

But Manji says recent research shows all that virgin stuff was based on an erroneous translation of the Koran: what awaits in heaven are 72 raisins. What? Could 54 people really have been blown up for a bag of raisins? “Well in 7th century Arabia raisins were so exalted as to be promoted to paradise.”

During the interrogation; "Sergeant Scream," as he's known, was doing the interrogation and threatened to hand him over to the Pakistanis who are none too kind to terrorists- and the terrorist knew it. All the while, the terrorist kept whining about the Geneva conventions.

As they correctly mention in the show, Geneva conventions only apply to uniformed military personel. No uniform, rank, or serial number means they can be considered spies or illegal combatants- who are NOT protected under Geneva conventions. I enjoyed the episode because it really put a good perspective on our captives. We treat them with professionalism, but not with kid gloves. The lives of soldiers (as well as our own lives) depend entirely on people willing to do ugly and distasteful things for the rest of us. Sure people will curse them later for what they did, but at least they'll be able to curse them. That alone shows they did their job.

As one character says: "If cutting the balls off a terrorist will save one American life, I'm all for it." While that may be a tad on the extreme, I'm certainly for using their religion against them as well as any type of leverage possible to get them to talk if it means saving an American's life. In the show, the Sergeant found the terrorist's sister and described how she would be "raped until her flesh turned black" by the Pakistanis. Sure it was harsh, and sure it broke the guy mentally, but it also got the job done. After locating the missiles at a farm, they simply sent him to fetch the missiles and dropped a bomb on him and the farmer and his family holding the missiles.

This is the sort of thing that happens in a war. No sane person will tell you that war is a fun and jolly time. In fact, most (if not all) soldiers will tell you war is an ugly horrid business. But, these are the things that are done to save lives on our own side and it takes a strong constitution to perform such deeds.

It may seem barbaric for us, but even what's described above is a cake walk compared to what the terrorists do, or would do, to us if/when given half the chance. One only need look at Israel and see that the targets for the Palestinians are busses, cafes, and shopping centers. There's also the example of Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, or any other litany of beheadings and executions done in the name of Allah.

How can anyone say we shouldn't fight this evil?

|

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Maternal Traitor

Cindy Sheehan, whom you should know by now as the woman camping out in Texas to call Bush a murderer and other leftist names, has betrayed her son's memory from what she's done.

After her son died, she met with Bush were she called him sincere and honest in his grief for her son's lost life. Of course, this wasn't reported back when she said it. In stead, she was only covered by the MSM after deciding to camp out and criticize the president. Interesting timing, don't you think? Anyway, I'm talking about how she's a traitor. Not to her country- anyone has the right to disagree, change their minds, etc. No. She's a traitor to her son.

Her son conciously made a decision to join the military and agreed to put his life on the line for his country. When he joined the military, he made his country's goals his own and became an active participant to bring those goals to fruition. Unfortunately, he had to give all he had to accomplish those goals.

Now his mother is saying "honor my son by pulling out of Iraq." How is she honoring or supporting her son this way? She's saying "honor my son by abandoning all he worked for." How is that honoring him? It seems to me that by making sure the goals he was working towards- that is, a free Iraq and one less place for America's enemies to live, one could honor him. Not ensuring all he worked for never happens. Do we "honor" dead people by completely ignoring what their will says? No. We honor them by following their final wishes. Could one not consider such an act as willingly going to Iraq as a final wish?

I never met Casey Sheehan, but I have met soldiers. The soldiers I've met would NEVER want what they've worked so hard for to simply vanish. Even today Vietnam is a bitter memory for many soldiers; not because they felt they were forced to fight an unjust war, but because they lost a war where many of their friends and comrades died and neither loss or excessive death had to happen.

I can't help but wonder who she's been talking to that made her change her mind. I know she's aligned with Michael Moore and other crazy people, but there had to be someone she spoke to on an individual level to convince her that her son died for no reason. The fact that she's merely spouting the typical leftist "bushitlerhalliburtonbloodforoil" screed tells me she's been convinced and hasn't come to these conclusions on her own- considering her opinions only a few months ago.

|

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Piles of Rocks

The Anchoress posted a link to this guy, who converted to Catholicism, describes his experience in a cathedral.

Dear God, how we are going to enjoy attending Mass here. No movie screens, no power point, no easy four or seven blanks to fill in on our bulletins making simple a rich salvation, no worship ensemble, no skits, only the beauty of iconography that moves one to contemplate our Lord, his blessed Mother, the communion of the Saints and oh yes, the drama of the Real Presence.


Now, I'm all for people worshiping God in whatever way they choose. What I see from Catholics, though, is an implicit (and sometimes overt) criticism of protestant's method of worship. In fact, I seem to recall the Pope mentioning something about "saving protestants." Anyway, if Catholics need a sculpture or statue and a large building to feel the presence of God, that's their own prerogative.

I always have to fight this feeling that a baroque painting or a great cathedral is somehow "proof" or validation of a faith. Then I think of the Mormon tabernacle in Salt Lake City and remember that it's merely the work of men. I also think of how Jesus lived. He lived as a pauper who traveled around in rags relying on others for all his needs. He would preach where he would be heard and even embraced the lepers (social outcasts at the time).

This tells me that all the grandiose cathedrals and nice paintings and gold leaf fixtures, while nice, are merely trimmings and have little (if anything) to do with God's message or greatness. Sure it's moving to see such grand things done for the glory of God, but God's true glory is immaterial.

Again, I'm not belittling Catholics or their method of worship. If they need/want such grand things to be moved and feel God's presence, then fine. They should keep in mind though that they are just things... "earthly treasures" if you will. It's important to know that the difference between Catholics and Protestants- boiled down to its core- is merely semantics. As long as one believes in the teachings of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that Christ died on the cross for our sins, and three days later ascended into heaven to return again at a time of God's choosing is really what all Christians believe.

I have far more issues with the Catholic church, but for Catholics to criticize how other Christians worship is wrong. There are many paths to the same goal; which is glory to God and His Son.

UPDATE: To those of you who have come here through Saintos' site or elsewhere, I've posted afollow up here.

|

Monday, August 08, 2005

IBD: Awesomeness incarnate

Investor's Business Daily gives it to the terrorist-linked CAIR, and how! Read it all- excellent profile of an islamist organization in America. (Hat Tip: LGF)

|

"War, Huh, What Is It Good For?" Plenty.

Dadmanly has a great post about war and how the evil affect the good.

Once fed and secure, it seems the hands and minds of the clever will earn their due, and work their destruction. Something about idle minds I suppose. At first for self, then for kin and clan, eventually for country. I can appreciate how one might fervently desire to be a pacifist, even if I could never be one myself.

That is why the concept of Just War is so important. The impulses for violence and destruction will always be with us. Evil and hate will often be its motive, and initiator. But unless we surrender to evil, or try to appease those who threaten to destroy us; unless we offer tribute in gold or the human sacrifice of willing bondage or self-genocide; we must harness those impulses of our lesser selves in channeling that violence on behalf of good.

He makes a good point. I've always had the attitude of "live and let live" and "don't start nothin' won't be nothin'." Obviously, not everyone shares that view. I don't know of any other country more concerned with the moral implications of its actions than the United States. This is especially true when it comes to the military. There was a LOT of soul searching before we dropped the bomb on Japan. We had a clear moral compulsion to fight communism and other murderous regimes around the world through the years. Sure the political reasons weren't morally based, but moral judgments were incidentally made as part of the decision process. Reagan wanted to defeat communism at all costs. He considered it the primary evil in the world- and so it made getting in bed with the Contras and the Taliban okay because they were fighting communism and it didn't matter what else they did. Such moral judgements can be debated over as to whether it was right, but that's beyond the scope of this post.

Such moral judgments must always be made before a decision to go to war or commit aggressive acts towards others can be made. Perhaps that's the reason liberals can rarely (if ever) get behind any kind of act of war today. Their world-view is that all opinions and viewpoints are equally valid regardless of who holds them and in what situation; and who are we to impose our own world-view? Well little do they know, but they are trying to impose their worldview too- a world-view of all inclusiveness- which doesn't work. This world is full of conflict- armed and otherwise and if it wasn't for good people willing to do the same ugly things as the evil ones, evil would undoubtedly prevail in this world.

|

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Piltdown Pillow

I watched the History Channel's "Ape to Man" documentary about evolution tonight and they talk about Dr. Dart's discovery of A. africanus (Taung child) as a missing link. His discovery comes after the much more convenient (and later proven a hoax) discovery of the piltdown man. It gave me some thoughts as to the attitude science has towards intelligent design today.

I find it interesting that when an actually legitimate discovery came along, the scientific community dismissed it as some offshoot of gorillas- certainly not what it actually was. British scientists had the answer they wanted and weren't interested in new evidence that proved them wrong.

What I find interesting about this, is that during this time (mid 20's), everyone KNEW piltdown man was a scientific theory approved by the experts as legitimate. Only after several decades of blindly accepting piltdown as fact, they discover it's fake. Meanwhile, the ones who had different theories were laughed out of academia for their theories that didn't jive with piltdown.

Now compare that to today. I often find this "I can't believe these people are so dumb" attitude among intellectual elites, and those who refuse to acknowledge there's a god, when talking about intelligent design (ID) advocates. I often hear the refrain "evolution is a proven scientific theory" from evolution advocates. Well, piltdown was a "proven scientific" discovery at the time until it was discovered to be a hoax.

I refuse to hear people denigrate ID advocates because it isn't "scientific." Science is not perfect and I doubt any decent scientist would say that it is. A lot of those same scientists, though, will also criticize ID advocates because their method or reasoning isn't scientifically provable. Evolution has some fairly large holes too, though. So what makes science and evolution so much better if it's just as reliable (or even less so) as ID? Science looks at evidence. It looks at what people can see and touch and smell and hear. I guess in that case, science is better because it relies on physical evidence and so it's conclusions are validated over an ID theory because people can point to physical evidence. ID has never been disproven, and if we're willing to accept evolution because it hasn't be disproven, ID is just as valid of a theory as evolution.

Don't think I don't have faith in science. One need only flip that switch on the wall to see science work and certainly has a relevance to our lives; but the purpose of science, and what is often confused even by scientists, is to show how something happened or happens. Science never answers "why." The Bible says God created heaven and earth, plants and animals, man, and so on. That doesn't mean a theory of evolution is in conflict with the Bible. Evolution merely explains how God may have accomlished the great feat of creating.

|

Friday, August 05, 2005

Carnival of the Recipies

OMG! Carnival of the Recipies sounds freaking awesome this week! If I had money (and equipment) I'd make that breakfast calzone in a heartbeat. Mom; if you're reading this, please keep this in mind next time I come over.

|

More Liberal Media Coverage

JimK posted an exclusive by Drudge saying the NY Times was looking into getting adoption records for John Roberts' kids. An absolute low-blow even for the Times. It's pretty weird they're doing that, too considering they want to change their image as a liberal rag. Here's the text of the Drudge report:

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU AUG 04, 2005 11:35:09 ET XXXXX

NY TIMES INVESTIGATES ADOPTION RECORDS OF SUPREME COURT NOMINEE’S CHILDREN

**Exclusive**

The NEW YORK TIMES is looking into the adoption records of the children of Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The TIMES has investigative reporter Glen Justice hot on the case to investigate the status of adoption records of Judge Roberts’ two young children, Josie age 5 and Jack age 4, a top source reveals.

Judge Roberts and his wife Jane adopted the children when they each were infants.

Both children were adopted from Latin America.

A TIMES insider claims the look into the adoption papers are part of the paper’s “standard background check.”

Roberts’ young son Jack delighted millions of Americans during his father’s Supreme Court nomination announcement ceremony when he wouldn’t stop dancing while the President and his father spoke to a national television audience.

Previously the WASHINGTON POST Style section had published a story criticizing the outfits Mrs. Roberts had them wear at the announcement ceremony.

One top Washington official with knowledge of the NEW YORK TIMES action declared: “Trying to pry into the lives of the Roberts’ family like this is despicable. Children’s lives should be off limits. The TIMES is putting politics over fundamental decency.”

One top Republican official when told of the situation was incredulous. “This can’t possibly be true?”

Developing…


Yet another example of how liberals will do anything, anything, to soil the name of someone they don't like. The Anchoress had some thoughts on this:

Standard background check my patootie - does anyone believe for one second that this were a Clinton (or any Democrat president) SCOTUS nominee with adopted children that such an intrustive “background check” would be undertaken. Is it too much to expect, at this point, that a nominee’s CHILDREN, at least, would be off-limits to dirt-digging?

I guess it is, Anchoress. I've mentioned before how we have free trial copies of the NYT on my campus. I don't even bother to look at it anymore- even for the business articles. The Internet is far more diverse and a LOT less biased than this. I had considered getting a subscription to the Times after graduating for the business section alone, but after this, even THAT won't make me decide NOT to give them my money. Anchoress also links to an awesome post by Sensible Mom who decided to break her summer silence to post about it.

So rather than sending a reporter to investigate Air America, an organization that did something as immoral as taking money set aside for the poor and infirm, constituencies they and all liberals claim to protect, they choose to delve into an extremely personal and emotional issue that has no bearing on John Robert's nomination. And in the process possibly throw the children's lives into upheaval."

Yeah, Air America is found to have taken money from the handicapped (Michelle Malkin is covering this) and totally get a pass in the MSM, John Roberts has adopted kids- SCANDAL! WE MUST INVESTIGATE! People who think the MSM is unbiased or conservatively biased is either incredibly stupid or willfully ignorant. Read the whole post by Sensible Mom. She completely nails it.

|

For you Gamers

So here's a post at Harley's blog I came across; I found it quite amusing. Perhaps they should start teaching school like this. Although in real life, people don't usually talk after being killed. Also, Patton was in a car- not a jeep.

|