Tuesday, August 31, 2004

WORLD Magazine has a brief article from Marvin Olasky, who graduated from Harvard shortly after Bush and Kerry. The article itself is interesting, as Olasky points out no one wantsed to go to Vietnam. His best point, and the one that bears repeating, is his last...

What's relevant now is that George Bush did not receive his party's nomination for what he did over three decades ago, but John Kerry did. That's why we need to get to the bottom of what the Swift Boat vets are saying. The original exaggerations or lies are not the problem. The current cover-up attempt is, because that goes to the heart of what kind of president we could expect John Kerry to be.

Again, Kerry is the one who made his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign so he brought this scrutiny on himself...

Monday, August 30, 2004


Any American who loves this country should be outraged at this story. The OpinionJournal.com reports on the plight of one John Rapanos , a 68 year old Michigan farmer, on trial for daring to fill a drainage ditch on his property with sand. Read that again, on HIS PROPERTY.

I grew up in NW Ohio, and we have tons of these drainage ditches. They are put in place to allow farm fields, the fields that we depend on to grow the crops we eat, to drain properly. They are NOT wetlands any more so than a footprint in the mud full of rainwater is a wetland. The judge in this case has thus far refused to sentence Mr. Rapanos. Here is what he said...

At his original sentencing hearing in 1998, the same Judge Zatkoff highlighted the absurdity of the situation when he pointed to a drug dealer he'd sentenced that day in the same courtroom. "Here we have a person," Judge Zatkoff said, "who commits crimes of selling dope and the government asks me to put him in prison for 10 months. And then we have an American citizen, who buys land, pays for it with his own money, and he moves some sand from one end to the other and [the] government wants me to give him 63 months in prison. Now, if that isn't our system gone crazy, I don't know what is. And I am not going to do it. I don't believe he got a fair trial."

Finally a judge with some common sense. 63 months in prison for filling in a ditch? Where are the advocates of Mumia crying out about the injustice here? Of course Rapanos is a white farmer, maybe even a Republican, so he should go to jail while a black cop-killer should be freed because he is the victim of racism.

The socialist extremes of the environmental movement have the same goals as the rest of the loony Left worldwide, seizing private property and the means of production. The socialist/communist movement hasn't gone away, just changed it's face. No longer the party of the worker, now it is the party of the radical environmental/animal rights/ "peace" movement. The face has changed but the doctrine has not. This is confiscatory seziure of our land. While the name on the deed (and the payment of mortagages and taxes) may still be ours, the truth is that by taking away the use of our property they have seized it in all but name.

How much more of this do we take? Unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats passing judgement from afar and the common American gets the shaft.
This is interesting....

The Salt Lake Tribune has an interesting piece on the tension between Utah conservatives and religious conservatives elsewhere in America.

While Utah conservatives are a consistenly loyal voting block, they never have felt comfortable with the national Christian conservative movement, in large part because Christian conservatives, at least those who know much about mormonism, don't consider mormons to be Christians. Thus we have a group who politically believes in the same goals but religiously are dramatically different. On the other hand, I feel that mormons shun the Christian conservative movement precisely because they feel their faith is superior to mere Bible-belt Christianity. After all, they have the "fullness of the Gospel".
There is an interesting discussion on the Evangelical Outpost, regarding the permissibility of drinking alcohol as a Christian. My view is that while drinking is not a disqualification for Christianity per se, the ill caused by drinking far outweighs whatever perceived benefits come from slurping down a few suds.
How stupid do Democrats think the American populace is? Wait, don't answer that...

First Lady Laura Bush was asked about whether or not the Swift Boat ads against John Kerry were "unfair". According to CNN.com, this was her response...

"Not really," she replies. "There have been millions of terrible ads against my husband."

The Democrats knee jerk response...

"Mrs. Bush's statement in support of the swift boat smear ads is more sad evidence that these attacks have been coordinated from the top down at the White House," Kerry campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said in a statement.

Remember back in the day when any criticsm of Hillary was mean-spirited? Apparently Laura Bush is fair game...here she is responding that both her husband and Kerry are being attacked by 527 group ads, and she doesn't see how it is unfair. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

President Bush has been the target of an unprecedented privately funded and perfectly legal smear campaign paid for by George Soros. These attacks are outright lies and slander, yet John Kerry resfuses to denounce them. Instead Democrats insist that only attacks on their boy be silenced. This smacks of the same double standard we see with the candidates war records. It is perfectly OK to go over every inch of Bush's National Guard service, but any examination, even the most cursory, of Kerry's dubious Vietnam claims is an attack on the very foundations of democracy.

I anticipate that much like Bob Dole, John Kerry's attempt to run as the "anti-Bush" will meet with the same success as running as the "anti-Clinton".

FoxNews.com is reporting that unwashed, fat, ignorant lout Michael Moore (did I mention liar?) is covering the GOP convention for USA Today. I wonder why they didn't ask Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity to cover the Democratic convention? I did find this quote funny....

While Republican officials reportedly are less than thrilled, delegates are apparently taking Moore's presence here in stride. According to one story, delegate Terry Butts said of Moore: "I am from south Alabama and we're used to dealing with jackasses. So I look forward to making his acquaintance."

Media bias? What media bias?

Friday, August 27, 2004

Media bias? What media bias?

This is so typical. In an AP report about the mood of Republican delegates heading to New York, they refer to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks on Kerry as: "the GOP-fueled controversy over rival John Kerry 's combat record in Vietnam. " Strangely they never referred to the attacks on President Bush's Air National Guard service as a Democratic fueled controversy...they never refer to MoveOn.org as a Democratic front group...

Of course the leftist media is trying to find GOPers who question the wisdom of attacking Kerry's dubious Vietnam record. The attacks are taking their toll and hurting their boy wonder, the perfect storm of war "hero" and war protestor.

But I must be over analyzing this, there of course is no such thing as liberal media bias.
I also found this quite telling. OpinionJournal.com's Best of the Web feature quotes a Kerry supporters review of his appearance of The Daily Show with John Stewart (which a frightening number of people get their news from) Writing for Slate Magazine, Dana Stevens uses an interesting metaphor, one that suggests that rather than swinging for the fences to win the Presidency, Kerry is hoping to draw a walk. I find this especially true, Kerry's strategy is to not suggest anything new but rather to merely reflexively be against whatever Bush is for. If Bush was for being kind to old ladies and feeding puppies, Kerry would have to be against it.

Another great point later on that Stevens makes is how utterly lacking in charisma Kerry is. She especially finds it grating how he keep saluting and reporting for duty, perhaps forgetting that he is no longer in the Navy and as such shouldn't be saluting. As James Taranto points out, a lot of vets are offended that Kerry has taken upon himself the mantle of "war hero". War heroes don't constantly have to remind you that they are heroes, their deeds speak for themselves and they served out of a sense or duty to country, not to glean accolades for themselves.
A few new twists on the Kerry versus the Swift Boat Veterans issue. Fox News reports that Rear Admiral William Schachte Jr. (USN, Ret.) has finally broken his silence. Schachte was Kerry's commander during the time he got his first faux Purple Heart. According to Schachte, Kerry a) was not wounded by enemy fire, b) was not even being fired upon and c) inflicted the wound himself that he was awarded the Purple Heart for. This is even better from Schachte's superior officer...

Schachte's former superior Grant Hibbard said he told Kerry to "forget it" when Kerry came to him the day after the incident and asked for a Purple Heart.

This keeps looking worse and worse for a campaign predicated on Kerry being a war hero.

On the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com, the featured editorial is a very concise statement from John O'Neill of the Swift Boat Vets that puts to rest the notion of the 527 group as a Republican front. As O'Neill says, he is backed up by individual donations not George Soros and his millions of dollars, and they would not cease pointing out Kerry's lies even if President Bush asked them specifically by name to do so. Kerry, as he puts it, applied for the job as Commander-in-Chief based in large part on his service record, so those who know them to be exaggerated if not outright false have a right and a duty to speak up.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I have made the point before that when sports commentators try to venture into politics, they invariably come across as shrill, inane and incompetent. Typically they try to be edgy, and race almost always plays a part in their sermons. Every once in a while, a really offensive article comes out. Then there is the article by Jason Whitlock...

This goes beyond the pale.

According to Jason Whitlock, on ESPN.com's Page Two, many American's hate the US men's basketball team because they are black and we are closet racists. That is not overstating the point in the least. This is his version of a fictitious memo sent out to redneck Americans instructing us to hate them colored athletes:

Americans do not have to support a group of black American millionaires in any endeavor. Despite the hypocritical, rabid patriotism displayed immediately after 9/11, it's perfectly suitable for Americans to despise Team USA Basketball, Allen Iverson and all the other tattooed NBA players representing our country. Yes, these athletes are no more spoiled, whiny and rich than the golfers who fearlessly represent us in the Ryder Cup, but at least Tiger Woods has the good sense not to wear cornrows.

He goes on further to say....

The criticism of USA Basketball is borderline racist, is definitely unsophisticated and exposes a lot of super patriots as hypocrites.

Note the frequent reference to hypocritical patriotism. Whitlock subscribes to the school of thought that anyone who dares harbor a notion that America has something special, something other nations lack, immediately becomes a jingoistic redneck, only slightly removed from a jack-booted fascist. News flash, being patriotic has little to do with the Olympic games and virtually nothing to do with whether or not we criticsize Team USA.

Americans are critical of and disappointed in Team USA because we have set such highstandards. We weren't racists when the previous predominately black Team USA's were thumping the world but now we are? The fact is that we EXPECT to win by a ton when our Olympic men's basketball hits the court. We have the most talented players in the world. While some international teams sport two, three or four NBA players, our team is made up entirely of NBAers. What we are bemoaning is the lack of effort and lack of pride this team is showing, and the general poor state of basketball in America in general. According to Mr. Whitlock, we dare not critique the basketball team representing America. To do so is racist. Mr. Whitlock states:

If this team doesn't win the gold medal...I half expect Americans to spit on Iverson, Duncan, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony at the airport.

If this is his view of America, he needs to spend less time amongst his peers and more among regular Americans.

Jason, stick to sports. Your political views are ludicrous.

By the latest count on CBS Sportsline, the US now has 77 total medals, 21 more than second place Russia's 56. Of those medals, 25 are gold giving us more gold medals than anyone else (China is right behind us with 24 golds, but they only have 52 total medals.)

There is even some good news on the men's basketball front as the US team kicked around previously unbeaten Spain 102-94 behind 31 points from Stephon Marbury. It is amazing the difference it makes to hit the occasional jump shot! I imagine they will still find a way to blow it, but it is nice to see them show up for one game. A guy on sports talk radio today suggested that when the US team shows up in 2008, they will have something to prove and mop up the floor with the world. I wonder if that is true, given that we hardly emphasize the important aspects of the game (shooting, dribbling, passing, team defense, rebounding), focusing instead on isolation moves and flashy dunks. The Olympics are not played by NBA rules and it shows.
Good stuff!

More on the outrageously staged dog-and-pony show from Crawford, Texas. Turns out that noble Max Cleland is a BUSH APPOINTEE on the board of the Export-Import Bank making a cool $136,000 a year to participate in a once a week meeting (probably by phone). As Rich Lowry of National Review points out, if Bush is such a dastardly dude why wouldn't Cleland resign from a political appointment he received FROM Bush? Or do his principles stop where the dollar signs begin?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

I am sure the Kerry campaign will dispatch Max Cleland immediately to demand that MoveOn.org stop it's unfounded and viciously personal attacks against President Bush. A slew of B- and C- list celebs took turns bashing the President last night, using clever rhetoric like calling Karl Rove a "feminine hygiene product". These people are like middle school kids who have learned a new word and revel in being baaaaddd by using it.

The GOP rightly responded, although I doubt you will see any calls of hypocrisy from the "mainstream" press...

A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee said he had not seen the ads, but criticized Kerry for indirectly endorsing them.

"The president has already asked John Kerry to denounce all of the commercials being produced by 527 groups," said Scott Hogenson. "If John Kerry is against some 527 ads, he should be against all 527 ads the way the president is."

I especially liked this comment from has-been Phil Donahue regarding Kerry:
"I believe Kerry the man is not going to strut and allow hubris to move him and allow him to engage in a unilateral military action in a war that is underfunded, underequipped, undermanned, unconstitutional, unaffordable and unwinnable."

Kerry the man? As opposed to Kerry the porpoise? Kerry the birch tree?

Uh Phil, we already won the war. The government we helped put in place runs Iraq, our soldiers patrol the streets. The Iraqi "army" is gone. Saddam is in prison. We ar efighting now against thugs and terrorists, who we would have to fight anyway so it might as well be in Fallujah instead of Indianapolis. As far as "underfunded", your boy Kerry voted against funding the war effort, so whose fault is it that the troops allegedly don't have the supplies they need? Go back to interviewing gay nuns on motorcycles and leave serious discussions to those who are capable of having them.

By the way, the Dems have hideous Janeane Garofalo, the GOP has Jessica Simpson. Maybe it is just me but I take Jessica any day of the week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Unlike the monlithic "hate Bush, blame America first" crowd on the Left, when we are disappointed with a conservative leader we let people know about it. This story came out today, where Vice-President Dick Cheney expressed his personal preference that homosexual couples : "ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." This on the surface sounds OK, but as we are already seeing homosexuals will never be satisfied with anything less than full marital rights in every state. If Massachusetts allows gay marriage, homosexuals will flock to Mass and then go home and sue for recognition.

The other problem is that this runs contrary to administration policy and sends a confusing message. It is hard enough to get the Federal Marriage Amendment passed in a postmodern world without Cheney muddying the waters. Be sure homosexual activist will jump on this, no matter how much they hate Cheney.

Albert Mohler had a great point. This is another example of a person setting morality based on their own family's experience rather than the Word of God. This is a common phenomena, and a troubling one. We should always love our family, but when one of them strays into sin we shouldn't redfine sin to accomodate them and make sure they don't feel badly about themselves. Christ warned us that this would be the cost of following him:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; 36 "and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' 37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10: 34-39)

When we put earthly family above our Savior we choose poorly.
On the same subject, Jay Nordlinger comments on National Review that a Democratic consultant, Mary Anne Marsh , commented twice on Hannity & Colmes that Bush "betrayed" his country by not going to Vietnam. To which Nordlinger replies...

No, she was not kidding — she repeated her charge, that Bush had "betrayed his country." Okay — so must have every eligible man who did not serve in Vietnam. All traitors. Including Bill Clinton, of course, and many others Mary Anne Marsh must admire. That is the criterion: If you were eligible and did not serve in Vietnam, you "betrayed your country."

Wow, the double standard is alive and well!


Democratic poster boy Max Cleland, a "war hero" whose claim to fame is multiple amputations caused by a grenade blast friendly fire incident involving some drunk buddies is calling on Bush to specifically denounce Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Of course, no mention is made of other 527s like MoveOn.org except this: "Rassmann said the ads by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth should not be lumped together with other 527 groups running political ads because it is simply untruthful." Wow, and the ads from MoveOn.org that call Bush a Nazi are completely truthful. Please!

Cleland rolled up to Bush's ranch and allegedly tried to deliver a letter calling for unilateral disarmament but was met by Republican veterans. I love this line from Jerry Patterson, "the Texas state land commissioner and a U.S. Marine who served in 1972-73":

"You can't have it both ways. You can't build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it."

The only good veteran is one that agrees with Kerry! Ah, the liberal Democrats, party of open-mindedness and freedom of speech! Hey Max, John, et al: How about skipping the political theater and try addressing the questions!
While responding to some typically ignorant leftist lout on the Evangelial outpost, I came across another article on FrontPage from someone who actually knows something about the Patriot Act, what it does and doesn't do. The Patriot Act is the great bogeyman of the left, supposedly giving sweeping powers to the dark lord John Ashcroft to look into their most private dealings. Of course no one really knows anything about the Patriot Act, merely that they are against it. The liberal elite don't like it so it must be bad. How typical of liberal pseudo-intellectuals that they don't know the first thing about the Patriot Act, have never read it and yet feel qualified to pass judgement on it.

The authors, Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer (one a lawyer and one a law professor) write:

This difficulty creates a knowledge vacuum, allowing Leftists to spew inflammatory and highly misleading anti-Act rhetoric in an effort to galvanize opposition to the Act.

I doubt this will get much play in the "mainstream" press...

The Washington Times (reported by FrontPage) printed a piece by Col. William Campenni, a man who served with President Bush in the Air National Guard. It is a stirring piece, one that will no doubt get glossed over because of the refusal of the Left to admit that a) Bush served his full term in the ANG, b) Flying jet planes is no cakewalk and c) The hundreds of thousands who have served in the ANG served honorably and fulfilled their duty to the country.

As Col. Campenni points out, the jet fighter duty was pretty hazardous stuff and Bush was trained on the F-102 and his unit used them exclusively. The F-102 (remember this was the Cold War and guarding our airspace was a real and constant priority) is an air defense fighter, incapable of bombing missions and thus virtually worthless in Vietnam. Lots of regular service folks in the Air Force don't serve in combat areas, but try telling the Pentagon that the airmen at NORAD and in the tiny radar stations worldwide are not serving their country. Missle crews silently standing post in Nebraksa, the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming will likely never be shot at but still are serving their country to the fullest. As Col. Campenni states:

In the Cold War, the air defense of the United States was borne primarily by the Air National Guard, by such people as Lt. Bush and me and a lot of others. Six of those with whom I served in those years never made their 30th birthdays because they died in crashes flying air-defense missions.

Hardly the safe and easy way out....

The double standard here is infuriating. During the 1992 and 1996 elections, the Left cried and rent their garments whenever anyone questioned Bill Clinton, a man who was a well-known and admitted draft dodger. Anyone who would equate serving in the Air National Guard and flying jets with shirking your draft responsibilities and fleeing the country should be slapped. Certainly serving in the guard was less dangerous than serving in 'Nam. It is also legal, as is getting a college deferment. What is NOT legal is to ignore the draft entirely, refusing to serve in any capacity without even the most basic legal excuse. Bill Clinton is a coward. George Bush and John Kerry, to both of their credits, did serve in the Armed Forces albeit in different capacities. To suggets otherwise is to denigrate the service of the thousands of loyal Americans who have served in the National Guard.
Shannen W. Coffin, writing for National review online, makes some interesting points in his discussion of the increasing phenomena of rock stars and actors jumping into the political discourse. Coffin suggests that this is really irrelevant because Americans don't care what these people say. If only that were true....

I work with a woman, a devout Democrat, that has more than once started one of our political conversations with "Howard Stern said..." Huh? Why in the world would one use Howard Stern's opinion to validate their own opinion? I would think that having Howard Stern agreeing with me would be cause to reexamine my beliefs on that subject! But unfortunately, because these people are famous and entertaining, American pop culture has elevated them to the level of experts on public policy. Never mind that most of them likely couldn't find Iraq on a world map with both hands, or tell you what the basis of supply side economics is or describe Manifest Destiny. They are famous and we recognize their faces so they must know what they are talking about.

Don't get me wrong, stars and celebrities are welcome to have whatever political beliefs they want to and are free to express them publicly. What irks me is that so many otherwise intelligent people take a fact value whatever they say as Gospel truth. Justin Timberlake is not somebody I look to when I am in need of information of environmental policy. It is bad enough these people make enormous sums of money and embrace every crackpot religion that comes down the pike (khaballah, Scientology, etc.). Let's not compound it by equating a talent for acting or a skill in playing guitar with political savvy...

Monday, August 23, 2004


TV Guide.com reports that there is a remake of the movie Oh, God! in the works. Who better to replace venerable George Burns than...Ellen DeGeneres? Here are her qualifications...

"Ellen is a strong comedienne and she has always done material about God and questions about God," says producer Jerry Weintraub. "She will help us with the writing, and using her will allow us to do a proper 2005 view of Oh, God! that is hip and modern."

If by "hip and modern" you mean horrible, then you are right on.

Oh wait, I get it, they are portraying God as a woman. Ha ha ha!

Even better, as a woman who is best known as a mediocre comic who is a lesbian! Double har de har har!

I love the line, "a proper 2005 veiw of Oh, God! " In other words, a proper postmodern view of who God is. As if God must adapt to modern man's mores instead of the other way around. Good thing churches don't hold to that view. Oh wait...

I am not the Biblical expert I would like to be, but I am guessing there is something in the Word about it being a bad idea to mock God. The original movie was probably fairly inoffensive, but I can't see the remake as anything but a mockery of Him.
Another good article on National Review, this one on a victory for eminent domain opponents, a tactic used by governments to seize private property often to give to a private entity. The case he cites is a neighborhood in Michigan that was seized to make way for a new GM plant. I have no problem with tax incentives to lure business, but when people's homes are seized that is a different story. If GM wants a piece of land they should have to negotiate a buyout with every landowner, and pay fair market price.

Eminent domain abuse is rampant and we are starting to see more and more of it applied for "environmental" purposes. Government entities sieze or render useless property to preserve it and make it worthless to the land owner. Private ownership of property has long been one of th ehallmarks of American success, and the government has no business seizing private property.
A far more intelligent commentary on the Olympics, from Rudy Gersten on NationalReview.com. Gersten says what everyone should be thinking: the NBA players who are hiding from the Olympics are cowards. They claim security concerns are why they stay at home, which if true does make them cowards. The rest of the world and the other U.S. athletes are showing up, telling terrorists they will not be cowed. The reality is that these guys can't be bothered. The NBA does play a long season and for players like Shaq and Rasheed Wallace, they just finsihed their season not too long ago and start agin soon. They are more afraid of injury and losing their big paychecks that they are about terrorism and security.

Despite all of this, even the team that did bother to go to Athens is head and shoulders above any other team in the world, even those that sport one or two NBA players. Out ream has nothign BUT NBA players, and should nto lose even a siblge game. The worts part about it is that I don't think that most of these players even care that they are losing and shaming American basketball. It is time to go back to college players, send Duke or Kentucky or the NCAA champion to play. At least they know how to shoot the rock, pass the ball and play defense as a team.
Another quick point about Jim Caple's inane editorial...

In it he all but declares the U.S. to be the replacement of the old Soviet Union as the bad guy everyone roots against in the Olympic games...

You know how some American fans mourn the good old Olympic days when we could root against the Soviet Bloc teams and look down on their athletes as chemically enhanced, government-controlled ogres? Well, guess what. With the BALCO scandal, the untold millions of dollars invested in the team and our athletes' lucrative salaries and endorsement packages, that's exactly how we must look now to a lot of smaller, poorer countries. Which is to say, everyone.

The title of his editorial alone speaks volumes: "No one's cheering for Team USA" Hey Jimmie! I am still cheering for the US. I still get a little misty when our athletes stand on the podium and the Star Spangled Banner (a jingoistic, warmongering song if every there was one!) plays while they raise Old Glory. Wallow in your self-laothing all you like Jimmie boy, I still chant USA! USA! USA! and love my country. This is why no one is watching the Olympics, it has become an excuse for lttle pissant nations to wag a disapproving finger at America. Take your fencing, 20K womens walk and team table tennis and shove them. We kick around everyone in every sport we care about. If table tennis were big in America we would have the best team out there. We still have the best basketball team around, talent wise, even though they utterly lack motivation and discipline. That is undoubtedly President Bush's fault as well.

Hey Jim! If we were the same kind of repressive regime as the Soviet Union, you would be spending the next 20 years in a North Dakota gulag. People hated the USSR because they were a repressive, imperialist state. People hate the US because our model works better than theirs. No one tried to sneak into the USSR because of all the wonderful opportunities, they tried like the dickens to get OUT! America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave, all the mroe so because we tolerate morons like Jim Caple.
This is why women shouldn't be sports commentators...

I don't care for Christine Brennan, a sports writer for USA Today, just in general. She is one of those shrill women in sports for whom it is always an us versus them mentality, in this case men versus women. She is especially inane in her commentary today.

American gymnist Paul Hamm was awarded a gold medal in the Olympics after a remarkable comeback. Now it turns out that a scoring error cost the Chinese gymnist the gold medal and Brennan is calling on Hamm to give the medal back. A couple of points. Do you suppose if the situation were reversed, would the Chinese gymnist give back the gold? Not bloody likely unless he wanted to face a few years in a re-education camp. Second, how many games and titles have been won and lost based on human error? I still seethe over a game (I think in 1990) between Michigan and Michigan State. Michigan was behind but driving towards the end zone. On fourth down, Desmond Howard beat his defender BADLY and was poised to catch the go-ahead touchdown pass. It was falling right into his hands and he NEVER dropped passes like that. The Spartan DB, who really had no choice, dragged him down by the jersey from behind. Blatant pass interference. Pass falls incomplete. RIGHT IN FRONT OF A REF!!! I mean literally the guy was right there. No flag. Michigan loses. You think the MSU coaches watched the film and offered to forfeit the game after the fact? Heck no! Nor should they. Human error is a part of the game. Even with instant replay calls still get messed up. Finally, gymnastics is all subjective anyway. A different panel of judges may have scored the event completely differently. It is like figure skating in that respect. In track, the guy who crosses the line first wins. In basketball the team who scores the most point wins. Who knows what the difference between winners and losers in gymanstics or figure skating.

I think this has a lot more to do with sports writers pretending to be deep thinkers and jumping on the journalistic bash America mentality. Jim Caple of ESPN.com takes a number of cheap shots at the Americans in his column today, praising the Iraqi soccer team at the expense of President Bush, even quoting one Iraqi who said he would be fighting the Americans if he weren't so darn busy playing soccer. What a patriot! You could just see Patrick Henry in his shoes "Give me liberty or give me death, as long as it doesn't interfere with my softball game!" What a blowhard. He wouldn't even be playing if we hadn't freed his country and as soon as they can reign in the terorrists we will be out of there.

Yes, as Caple points out, the NBA players on the USA Basketball team are playing shamefully but that is not an indictment of the US in general, rather the state of US basketball. As of this morning, the USA has 58 total medal, 10 more than second place China, of which 21 are gold, one fewer than the Chinese. We are doing great in these Olympics but all these pseudo-intellectual sports writers can do is bash America. Go back to writing pithy game recaps Jimmie boy, your political commentary betrays your utter ignorance.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Legalism running amok...

This had to be one of the ugliest reports I have seen in a long time about Roman Catholicism and one that doesn't even involve priests molesting altar boys. The Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican have declared null and void a little girls first communion because the wafer she took for the host did not include any wheat. The reason it didn't was that the girl has an allergy to wheat gluten and even a little bit could kill her. As far as I can tell in the Bible, there isn't a mention of wheat in the last supper, yet the Diocese of Trenton refuses to allow this little girl to use a non-wheat wafer. The really infuriating thing is this:

Some Catholic churches allow no-gluten hosts, while others do not, said Elaine Monarch, executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, a California-based support group for sufferers.

So some diocese allow it and others don't? This is the kind of man-made rules we get from Rome that make no sense. Even if you buy into the unBiblical notion of transubstantiationism, the wafer is transformed into the body of Christ because of the priestly prayer not because of the ingredients.

Rome should worry more about setting it's own house in order rather than denying little girls communion because of an argument about wheat gluten.
This may seem like a cheap shot on my part, but it has an important message...

USA Today reports that police are investigating a suspected gang rape of a teen-age girl at Brigham Young University by football players. The girl was 17 and was in the school sponsored apartment that athletes stay in, alcohol was involved. Later in the story it also mentions several other BYU football players that are suspended:

Football players Marcus Whalen and Breyon Jones were suspended and are facing criminal charges that they assaulted and robbed an acquaintance in April.

An off-campus party involving alcohol and sex in January resulted in one football player being kicked off the team, three being suspended until at least spring 2005 and two players placed on probation.

The point here isn't to claim that the mormon run school is a den of iniquity (although it is a den of false doctrine). The point is that mormons act like they have a superior culture to everyday America (seen in the pride that BYU is listed as the most stone cold sober college in a ranking of party schools). The reality is that despite the commercials, mormons are sinners just like everyone else. They are not especially worthy, despite claiming to be worthy in temple recommend reviews. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That includes them. When they wake up to that reality, that they are sinners in need of salvation rather than gods in waiting, they might be able to see the true Gospel for what it is and really understand that grace means unmerited favor.
How bad an idea is this?

Fox News reports on a new wave of pastors using pop culture films to portray a Christian message. Some of the examples cited include:

The films analyzed on the Movieministry site include everything from “Princess Diaries 2” (“God exalts the humble”) and “Anchorman” (“What is love?”) to “Spider-Man 2” (“Confession is the first step of forgiveness”) and “The Notebook” (“God can step in where science cannot”).

There is nothing wrong with these movies as entertainment (although I haven't seen any of them except Spider Man 2), but why the need to dumb down the church to make a point? Many of those who are involved in this "ministry" are in california, and thus think those who are not keen on Hollywood are ignorant louts...

David Bruce, who runs HollywoodJesus.com and has a background in network television, said it’s foolish for the church to shun show biz.

“The church at its worst has been rock-throwing,” he said. “Hollywood is the easy whipping boy.”

Hollywood has made itself the whipping boy by churning out films full of vile language, soft core pornography and graphic violence. Worse, the overwhelming majority of films that address religious issues at all tend to mock and denigrate Christianity and revere eastern religions. How odd that we would not embrace this culture!

Hey, rather than movies how about we use a book to make our point. I know one that has a good Christian message. It is called the Bible!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Ok, this is weird...

Alan Keyes, who I love as a commentator and who I think is entertaining to listen to, has suggested a form of reparations for slavery? Front Page reports that Keyes said:

In a craven attempt to boost his faltering (read: hopeless) Senate campaign, Keyes said Monday that he would support exempting blacks from all taxation in order to repay the debt America owed them for enslaving their ancestors. Blacks would pay only Social Security taxes under his plan. The Chicago Tribune reported that Keyes justified his position with an appeal to ancient history, “When a city had been devastated (in the Roman empire), for a certain length of time – a generation or two – they exempted the damaged city from taxation.” Keyes, usually no fan of the morés of the later Roman Empire, said this would “compensate for all those years when your labor was being exploited.”

How weird is that from him? I need to look into this further, as it sounds a bit suspicious.

By the way, why should I pay reparations out of my pocket to slaves that are dead and that my poor grandparent's families never owned anyway?
Dr. Mohler presents a frightening review of a new book by one Sam Harris, entitled The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. What is truly scary is not that Harris is an atheist. Rather it was the militant anti-religion that he espouses. No freedom of religion for Harris, everything about faith is bad and everything bad that has ever happened came from people of faith. Perhaps an overstatement, but this book sounds scary and captures a growing mindset amongst the secularist crowd. No longer are they content to marginalize Christians, now they seek to outright eliminate us. This is a spiritual war where no Christian can sit on the sidelines and be content to be left alone.
I am just wiped out after a bunch of late nights in a row. Monday I got at in 1:30 AM after a Kentucky Baptist convention "understanding other beliefs" conference in Bowling Green, KY. Tuesday night I got home at midnight after the same thing in Elizabethtown. I still haven't recovered and tonight is Meet the Teachers night, which means we have 5 different classrooms to visit with the monkeys. Yikes!
Good for Alaska!

According to Fox News, Alaska governor Murkowski has decided to try to find oil next to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Since the tree huggers (or caribou huggers in this case) are styming efforts to drill in ANWR and help ease America's dependence on foreign oil, Murkowski figures he will drill on state land next to ANWR and see what they find. With luck they will hit a huge oil reserve and there will be nothing Greenpeace can do about it. 99% of Americans couldn't find ANWR on a map and will never see it. Yet eco-wackjobs in Manhattan and L.A. have decreed it off limits to drilling. It could fall off the face of the earth tomorrow and nobody would ever know. Unfortunately the same can't be said for L.A.
Boo hoo!

Poor John Kerry. He comes to Cinci (the most conservative city in Ohio) and speaks to the VFW convention. This is the same convention that enthusiatically greeted Bush on Monday. Apparently not all the vets were keen on applauding a guy who weasled out of Vietnam after 4 months, spread lies about his fellow soldiers still in the field getting shot at while he was in the states and basically voted to defund the military as much as possible during his Senate career. The American Spectator has the following story:

Sen. John Kerry is said by several advance staffers to have been visibly upset at the reception he received at the VFW convention on Wednesday in Cincinnati. "He was upset after the speech, visibly upset when he was out of public view," says a Kerry adviser, confirming the story.

Kerry was greeted by polite applause in the large auditorium, with many VFW members sitting with their arms crossed and not applauding at all. A few VFW members stood in the rear of the room with their backs turned to the dais. Kerry appeared thrown by the reception, giving a flat, sometimes-meandering speech that was intended to be a strong rebuttal of President Bush's announced troop pullback in Europe and Korea.

Here is a newsflash Johnnie-come-lately: People who vote for you in November are not voting for you because they like you. They are voting for you in spite of your nasty personality because they are voting AGAINST Bush!

Kerry went on to prove that he categorically is anti-Bush no matter what, complaining about the troop removals from Europe and Korea that are one of the smartest moves yet. Why have troops facing off against a Red Army that no longer exists? Maybe Kerry is afraid the Huns will attack Rome again? South Korea has plenty of money and people, and hates our guts so I say get them out of there and let the Koreans defend themselves against the madman. Kerry is so blindly opposed to Bush that even the most sensible policy suggestions are attacked as mean-spirited/angering our former allies/damaging good will etc.

What a tool.
Interesting stuff from Salt Lake City...

The SL Trib is following the Sunstone conference, kind of a safe place for dissident mormons to explore ideas frowned upon by the hierarchy. Lots of excommunicated types or at least those shunned. Kind of a weird crowd, it is full of people who disagree with much of mormonism but yet want to stay in the mormon church. Kind of odd. Anyway, this is a piece about a feminist mormon who was excommunicated, and her story of the excommunication process is wrenching. This is one of the reasons we did not have any desire to go before the bishop after we told him we were leaving mormonism. I was not in the mood to face a board of inquisition so they could excommunicate me before I could resign, to make them feel like they were doing their duty.

Note I have little sympathy for the feminist movement in general, but her story is a sad one regardless.

Friday, August 13, 2004

It has been said many times before but it bears repeating...

A very nice article from Victor Davis Hanson on NationalReview.com this morning on the borderline insane hatred of President Bush by the Left. Davis lists a number of factors from Bush's southern twang to his abandonment of the East Coast establishment in favor of Texas values, but what really sticks out was this statement...

>>>Similarly, Bush's Christianity seems evangelical and literal. It comes across as disturbing to liberals of the country who see religion as a mere social formality at best, useful for weddings and funerals, perhaps comforting at Christmas and Easter of course, but otherwise a potential threat to the full expression of lifestyle "choices."

American politicos like their candidates to be Episcopalian, Unitarian, or Congregationalist, perhaps even mainstream but quiet Methodists or Presbyterians. Baptists of the southern flavor, or anything not found in a New England township, reflect a real belief in the literalness of the Bible — primordial ideas that religion is not a social necessity but a fire-and-brimstone path to eternal salvation. <<<

This is so very true. Religion is a useful beast as long as you don't really believe in it. Belief in Adam & Eve, Noah, Moses, the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection are all verboten. Religion means boring but inoffensive preachers who officiate weddings in churches for people who will never darken the door of said church again (unless it is for someone else's wedding or a funeral). This is where we must draw the line between "religion" and "faith". Religion is something we do, faith is who we are. A "religious" person pulls religion out like a shield, something to use to comfort a grieving person or to add an air of formality to a wedding. Witness the empty references to deity that followed September 11th. Everyone was all in to religion to comfort themselves and then promptly forgot about it when it became inconvenient. The empty platitude of sympathy "in our hearts and prayers" has become a mantra. Those who say this are likely never found in prayer, so it is an empty muttering.

People of faith place all of their hopes on the world to come. There is no utopia to be found in this life and seeking such is invariably going to be disappointing. Just ask the people of the former Soviet Union, or those trapped in the despair of housing projects or the oppressed people of North Korea and Vietnam. This is not a defeatist attitude but one of hope. Those without faith must hope for an end to life that is annihilation. That is their best case scenario. It must be a sad existance to hope there is no afterlife as described in the Bible of fear of what that might mean.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Where does it end?

CNN.com reports that a number of seminarians at a Roman Catholic seminary in Austria have been busted for a variety of homoerotic photography, some child pornography and others photos of the seminarians engaged in homosexual behavior. With seminaries turning out priest who already live in homoerotic relationships and show a predilection toward pedophilia, is it any wonder that they are mired in a worldwide scandal over the sexual abuse of parishioners by the priest who are charged with watching over them? This is the response of the inquisitor sent by Rome to look into this...

>>>The bishop called for a "new beginning" for the seminary. As for the existing seminary students, they will have access to medical or spiritual help, have the opportunity to apply to other seminaries, or seek another profession, he said.<<<

The current students will be allowed to transfer or seek guidance? They all had to know this was going on. Until Rome cracks down on the seminary system as a whole, this will continue to fester. Of course, were Rome to turn to a biblical understanding of the priesthood and roles of church leaders, abondoning the "celibate" priesthood, the problems would diminish greatly. That seems unlikely...

After the Sci-Fi channel cancelled Farscape, I pretty much swore off the channel. It was far and away their best show, and had us hooked along with tons of other people, so like every other idiot network it went the way of Roswell, Angel, Family Guy and other shows I loved and was inexplicably cancelled.

Well, it is back! According to TV Guide online, which I read every day despite the occasional homoerotic humor, a four hour miniseries will run in October that will be more fo a beginning than an ending. I am curious to see how they resurrect the vaporized characters Crichton and Aeryn...I can't wait! Add to the upcoming resurgence of Family Guy TV is getting fun again!
Hee hee!

You had to see this coming. Kerry was talking about the war on terror and in part of comments used the word "sensitive" to describe how he would wage war on al-Qaida.

>>>"I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history."<<<

Although it was almost too easy, you know the GOP had to jump on that. Vice President Cheney commented:

>>>"America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive," Cheney said in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday. "A sensitive war will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans. ... The men who beheaded Daniel Pearl and Paul Johnson will not be impressed by our sensitivity."<<<

Right on target, as always from the ever straight-forward Vice president. The Kedwards campaign responded:

>>>Kerry spokesman Phil Singer said the Massachusetts senator was alluding to the need to work with allies rather than pursue "an arrogant foreign policy," as Democrats contend Bush has done.<<<

This is the whole problem with the Democrats in general and the Kedwards ticket in particular. They are too concerned with what Germany & France think and not enough about waging a war to win. Kerry, in the very brief time he served in 'Nam, was involved in a war we weren't fighting to win and we see the results of that. This is a war we cannot afford to lose, while we have (shamefully) turned away while the people of Vietnam suffer, this war brings the destruction to our own shores. This is a war that was brought to us not the other way around. It is time for the al-Sadr's of the world to be dealt with by an iron fist, not kid gloves. Being "sensitive" will be equated with being weak, and the terrorists need to know if they hit us again we will come down on them with everything we have, and not wait for U.N. approval and a by-your-leave from our pseduo-allies in France and Germany. Cheney would deal with terrorist in the only language they understand. John Edwards would likely try to sue them for monetary damages, but only if Kofi Annan said it was OK.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Speaking of new books on Amazon...

Linda Chavez has written an exciting but disturbing book, Betrayal : How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics, on the shady influence of unions on American politics. It has very little to do with the wishes of the union rank-and-file and everything to do with the preservation of power for the union bosses. The sad thing is that the rhetoric is so thick coming down from the top bosses that the average union guy doesn't know what is going on. Like Kerry and Edwards really care at all about the union member. My wife had a great analogy, they are like the old Soviet politburo that lived in fancy houses and had chauffeur driven cars while everyone else lived in squalor and worked to support the system. In a capitalistic system, there does exist a strata of wealth but mobility is possible both up and down the ladder. Under the Kedwards model there is a tiny elite of the very wealthy (politicians, Hollywood entertainers, lawyers, "intellectuals" and bureaucrats) and the worker bees produce for the benefit of the elite with no chance of advancement. Which is the more humane system?

I fear this is going to come back and haunt the Browns...

After making what was their "best offer" in public, a savvy move I thought in putting Kellen Winslow and his agents on the spot by asking for more money than the pick before him and more money than Tony Gonzalez, a multiple time pro bowl proven tight end, the Browns have now signed Winslow for even MORE money than before. They are now on the hook for a ton of money to this guy yet to play a down, gave up their second round pick for him and look stupid in the media. He looks remarkably talented and someone who may be one of the elite tight ends in the game, but he is also a loud mouth with a bad attitude. I hope he proves me wrong and racks up a ton of yardage and TDs in his career, but I won't hold my breath...

How embarrassing!

The number one seller on Amazon.com for the past few days is the yet unpublished Unfit for Command, a scathing expose of John Kerry's allegedly heroic service in Vietnam. I have obtained a sample chapter I am preparing to read and thus far it is dynamite. It has to drive liberals crazy that this book is doing so well before it is even available for sale. They have even had to shut off the readers review section on Amazon as it was becoming a rhetorical battleground for people who hadn't even read the book. The conservatives in this country have been quiet for a long time while Kedwards basked in the spotlight but after the resounding thud following the Democratic convention, the Right is beginning to stir itself. After all, we have jobs and families and lives unlike the professional naysayers on the Left. If we can make sure that we show up in November, Massachusetts can have their junior senator back. Maybe he will show up for some votes?
The ignored terrorist threat...

While Islamic terrorists get the most press, and rightfully so, the radical animal rights movement is gaining momentum and getting progressively bolder and more violent. An excellent piece in the National Review details what a hold they have on Britain and the economic and scientific damage they are causing. Like the radical environmentalist movement, the animal rights movement hides behind rhetoric that seems innocent to the average uninformed person. Who is in favor of pollution or abusing animals? Conversely, who is in favor of stopping animal research if it means that untold numbers of humans will suffer. Personally, I am a big fan of animals. We have rescued a number of dogs that would have been put down as part of ACES English Setter rescue, and even some non-setters as well (like the 2 puppies that were emaciated that we are nursing back to health right now). I also love to eat meat and live for hunting. I like dogs a lot but I would sacrifice any number of them to save the life of a child. How many animals are too many to save the life of a child? A dozen? A hundred? A thousand? You cannot put a moral equivalence between a person and an animal.

The Democrats are rallying behind stem cell research by harvesting unborn children for science. Where is the outrage over the animal rights activists who impede science? They are so in bed with these radical fringe leftist groups that they dare not speak out on what seems to be an obvious position...