Friday, June 07, 2013

Breaking News: The New York Times Denounces Obama

The New York Times editorial board today denounced the Obama administration for its massive and unprecedented  NSA-run domestic datamining operation.  Some notable highlights:

"Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers:

"Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights. Those reassurances have never been persuasive ...especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.

"The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it...."

"...Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.

"This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy."

Of course, that power shift and repudiation is precisely the point of such operations:

We have in the White House the most anti-individualist and anti-Constitutional president (a man intellectually weaned in his youth by anti-West totalitarianists) since Woodrow Wilson (a would-be dictator who viewed the Constitution as "outdated"), albeit without the latter's secret army of thugs serving his "progressive" whims. Yet.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

GOT FASCISM? Verizon, Obama, and the National Security Agency

"Far from providing the audacity of Hope, the Obama regime has been audacious in its contempt for legality and standards of civilisation. Fascism is not too strong an epithet." --British reader commenting on the Manchester (UK) Guardian's breaking story:

Why is it that foreign news outlets –including the liberal-to-leftist Manchester Guardian– are doing the job our own mainstream media here in the USA ought to be about; namely, investigating and exposing questionable activities within the Obama administration?

When will the American media finally wake up and scrutinize the White House's current resident with even 10% of the energy and determination they showed toward the previous one?

Had Bush administration-run agencies been found
(1) killing American terror suspects with drones and without juries;
(2) covering up the Benghazi fiasco;
(3) running the Fast and Furious gun running ops;
(4) misusing tax law to audit and intimidate their political opponents;
(5) snooping into the work and lives of scores of reporters and their families; and, now,
(6) misusing the Patriot Act and top secret (!) court orders to indiscriminately gather all the phone records and internet data of private American citizens,
both W. and a good chunk of his cabinet would've been residing in a Federal penitentiary to this very day.

And rightly so.

Apparently, the current regime does not grasp the concept of universal inalienable rights recognized and encoded by our Constitution.

They seem to think the Founders established situational "rights" open to watering down by a quasi-police state.

The top secret court order itself can be read in its entirety HERE.

Monday, May 20, 2013

With Voters Like This, Who Needs Nincumpoops?

It seems some outspoken politico folk don't understand the difference between nonprofit charities and nonprofit advocacy groups.
Take for example "progressive" defenders of the IRS' recent abuse of its power against 501(c)4 advocacy (e.g. educational, civic, or "social welfare promotion") groups critical of the Obama regime. They seem confused about the somewhat distinct ways Federal tax law is supposed to apply to each, and even how the Constitution is supposed to protect them from the Feds.

Or perhaps they just don’t care.

Consider, for example, this Facebook meme posted by "Too Informed to Vote Republican:"

Of course, by "attack...." this person really means "criticize or disagree with the views of some Muslims, etc."

Such advocacy groups, Too Informed by Half apparently believes, should be refused the same legal rights all 501(c)4 advocacy groups (, the NAACP, and NARAL, for example) are entitled to under current Federal tax law, up to and including advocacy groups speaking out or educating the public in favor of balanced budgets, tax reform, and –yes-- even abolishing the IRS (not exactly an "institution" established by the Founders during the Constitutional Convention).

Moreover, contra the claims of ignorami in the Looney Left and the Low Information Lamestream Media, a 501(c)4 nonprofit is by its very nature either an advocacy or educational group (often both), not a social services organization or charity of the 501(c)3 variety (for example, a church, synagogue, free clinic, homeless shelter, or private emergency relief agency). 

By the IRS' own rules and guidelines, and as established in the United States Code and defined by Federal courts, conservative advocacy groups are just as entitled to tax exempt status as and hundreds of other "progressive" advocacy groups whose equally outspoken political opinion-making against previous administrations didn't seem to negate their tax exempt status.

Therefore, no one at the IRS had any business “investigating” or auditing any such groups without clear evidence of illegal activity --such as funding candidates--  much less harassing or stonewalling them to hampering or punish the exercise of their Constitutional rights, often at the "suggestion" of liberal politicians and "progressive" watchdog groups (according to the IRS Inspector General's report last week).

More information on  501(c)3 and (c)4 nonprofits and how the IRS is required to treat them can be found at the FindLaw Free Enterprise Blog  and at The Alliance for Justice

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

It's time once again to post our favorite yuletide fruitcake recipe:

The Best Ever Holiday Fruitcake Recipe
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
lemon juice
1 gallon whiskey

Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again to be sure that it is of the very highest quality.

Pour 1 level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still okay.

Cry another cup. Turn off the mixer. Break two legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the whiskey to check for tonsnisticity. Next, sift 2 cups of salt. Or something.

Who cares. Check the whiskey. Now sift some lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add a tooble spain of sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven.

Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don' t forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out the window.

Check the whiskey again. Go to bed.

Who likes fitcruke anyway

Friday, December 07, 2012

Did the United Nations Make Him Crazy?

Over the past few days, the mainstream media and dozens of advocacy internet sites have been jumping on Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) for the Senate's failure a few days ago to get a 2/3rds majority vote to ratify the U.N.'s Conference on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities international treaty (hereafter CRPD) passed by that organization in 2006.

The CRPD was negotiated by then-President George W. Bush that same year, and has since been endorsed by a majority of U.S. congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.  According to its proponents, it mirrors the U.S.'s excellent Individuals with Disabilities Education Act  together with President George H. W. Bush's 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

But apparently that wasn't good enough for 38 GOP senators this month when it came down to ratifying the treaty, which would've made the USA an official signatory to the CRPD along with the European Union, Russia, China, Cuba, both Koreas, many Muslim nations, and others. Sen. Santorum, it seems, raised an alarm about some of the CRPD's provisions and succeeded in getting his colleagues to reject it.

So why did Santorum (father of a young disabled child!) do this?  According to the aforementioned media and internet sites, it was because he hates disabled people. See the following examples:

Santorum’s new cause: opposing the disabled, by Dana Milbank (Washington Post)   

Rick Santorum’s Most Recent Enemy? The Disabled People ( 

Rick Santorum’s Most Recent Enemy? Millions of Disabled People Around the World  ( 

Rick Santorum Takes On The Disabled ( 

Aside from the fact that the j'accuse  titles of all such articles and links seem to come from some Giant International Political Headlines Cartel, they have one thing in common:  Santorum's actual motive isn't revealed until well within the texts and it doesn't match the motive implied in the headlines (i.e., Santorum hates and/or opposes helping disabled persons).

For example, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank admits that Santorum's real concerns came from "the document's [supposed] threat to American sovereignty" and from a possible "plot to keep Americans from home-schooling their children and making other decisions about their well-being."  So, ostensibly looney "theories" aside, even by Milbank's own admission Santorum doesn't really "oppose the disabled" after all. He opposes the United Nations.  (Perhaps Milbank's editor didn't bother to read his entire column before assigning a headline to it.)

So which passages in the CRPD's text could've raised such alarms in Santorum's and other GOP Senators' minds? At this writer's initial reading of the text, the CRPD appears quite harmless, even innocuous. But ineffectual as well, given the U.N.'s poor record on protecting human rights since the organization was founded (e.g., the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, and the Sudan).

As has been typical of UN treaties and resolutions, the CRPD's language is so ambiguous that it invites a rainbow of interpetations and applications. No wonder therefore that the nations which signed the CRPD include more than a few totalitarian and authoritarian dictatorships –which also signed other U.N. human rights treaties in the past but never abided by a single one of them.

In other words, except as propaganda tools for Marxist, Maoist, and Islamo-Fascist regimes ("See? We support human rights too!"), such treaties have proven to be a waste of time and money, barely worth the pixels and paper they're published on. And they offer no help to anyone, disabled and otherwise, in the USA which already has its own very effective civil rights and human rights laws and enforcement mechanisms, beginning with the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court.

Moreover, as has been the case with previous such U.N. treaties, signatory nations are required to submit reports to the U.N.'s "rights experts" so that the latter can pass judgment on their  record. In addition, signatory nations must send a delegation of at least twenty representatives to Geneva to appear before a panel of such "experts," which often include officials from such human rights giants as Cuba, China, Iran, and North Korea.

So why bother in the first place? As Senator Michael Lee (R-Utah) correctly pointed out, "We don’t think that it’s appropriate for the United States to be answering to a U.N. convention based in Geneva, Switzerland, when we are the leader of the world on this issue, as we are on so many other issues."

Perhaps knowing all that was what really drove Rick Santorum over the edge.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Obama to House Republicans: "Take It or Leave It"  

From the very first hour of his victorious status quo re-election on November 6, President Obama has been urging both sides to "compromise" while at the same time repeating his demand that the House Republican majority --also victorious in the same status quo re-election-- end the Bush tax cuts for the upper 2% of taxpayers (which includes not only millionaires like himself and billionaires but also small businesses making $250K per year). 

The House GOP rejected that idea since 2009, but seem to have now finally put it on the bargaining table. All they want in return is for Obama to put entitlement spending cuts and tax reforms on the same table. Yet rather than meet the GOP at least halfway on this Obama has told Congress that he also wants $1.6 trillion in more taxes (instead of his original $800 billion "request"), especially for entitlement programs. On top of that, he wants more “stimulus” money and wants to take control of the debt ceiling limit away from Congress --in effect, to do away with it.

Mr. Obama’s definition of "compromise” seems to be an Orwellian one: Just shut up and give me everything I want.”  If he persists on this road, this would put the House GOP in adamned if we do, damned if we don’t” position:

If they cave in and give Obama the blank check he wants, and taxing-and-spending goes even higher through the roof while the economy goes down the tubes, Obama and his palace guard [aka the mainstream media] will blame the Republicans. If they stand their ground and say “no,”and  the country drives over the fiscal cliff with Obama at the wheel, Obama and his palace guard will likewise blame the Republicans.

Perhaps the House GOP’s only ways out are: 

(A) Push for enactment of the Simpson-Bowles Commission’s debt and tax reform proposals despite deep rejection by both parties in 2010; 


(B) Pass another extension of the Bush tax cuts in the House. Publicly emphasize it's "for the sake of small business and the middle class" using mass media, the Internet, and tweets --implicitly "daring" the President and the Democrat-controlled Senate to reject it.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


This 7-minute video, produced by the Wall Street Journal a few weeks before the election, is an excellent "primer" on the Fiscal Cliff --what it is, what it means, and how it can be avoided.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Charles Krauthammer on Tim Geithner's Absurd "Deal"

Yesterday, the White House sent Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner to the House GOP with an "offer" in the face of the coming fiscal cliff:

Obama wants another $1.6 trillion in taxes, but not to pare down the national debt. Instead, this would be used to fund Obamacare and entitlements, yet another "stimulus" package costing tens of billions, and other Federal programs. The White House included almost no entitlement cuts and wants Congress to turn control of the debt ceiling limit over to him --permanently.

Apparently, this "deal" was offered in response to the House GOP's offer to reconsider eliminating the current Bush tax cuts for "the rich" if the administration was willing to make cuts to entitlement programs.

Here's Washington Post journalist and pundit Charles Krauthammer's take on this on Fox News last night:

“It’s not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal. What Geithner offered [the House GOP], ....Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War. The Democrats won [the White House] by three percent of the vote, and they did not hold the House. Republicans won the House [by six percent of the vote]. So this is not exactly unconditional surrender, but that is what the administration is asking of the Republicans.

"This idea – there are not only no cuts in this, there’s an increase in spending with a new stimulus [emphasis added--JME]. I mean, this is almost unheard of. I mean, what do they expect? They obviously expect the Republicans will cave on everything. I think the Republicans ought to simply walk away. The president is the president. He’s the leader. They are demanding that the Republicans explain all the cuts that they want to make.”

For more on this read Charles Krauthammer: Cliff Jumping with Barack Obama

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." — George Santayana

"...There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility [for the economy] over to the state, one can achieve better results. Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit, accumulation of the national debt - are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game. 

"During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself...."

Read the full article here:

Pravda: "Obama's Soviet Mistake"

Monday, November 26, 2012


Perhaps the best solution to this crisis is to stop speaking English altogether (unless you're a liberal):

...."The entire English language was created by slaveowners as a means of oppression. You can’t just say that one word is a racist code word or another....Whenever [conservatives] use English, they are using it to hiddenly express racist ideas. Whenever they speak, they are speaking entirely in racist code words. But when Democrats like us speak English, we’re using tolerance code words."

....Republicans responded to this development with their usual extremism by ridiculing the cry of the oppressed and refusing to repudiate their racism. A number of leading establishment Republicans however have suggested that this represents an opportunity for their party to embrace the future by switching to Spanish....

*Danger! Satire ahead!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Catholic author and blogger Mark Shea offers a pithy and timely comment on materialism and capitalism in the Season Formerly Known as Christmas on his Facebook page: 

":...Capitalism, like fire, is a useful tool if it is subjected to the Holy Spirit and profits take a firm back seat to more important goods like the love of God and Neighbor. Allow it to be the primary good (in other words, worship it as an idol) and it becomes, like all idols, a mortal enemy of God and man as it burns and rages out of control with greed and envy (among other mortal sins)...There's a reason Leo XIII wrote Rerum Novarum..." 

Rerum Novarum was Pope Leo XIII's encyclical on the rights and duties of both labor and capitol. Written in 1891, it's often cited by historians as sparking early and widespread Catholic participation in the American labor movement.

Monday, November 19, 2012


It's that "most wonderful time of the year" again, so a fellow curmudgeon sent in the following updated and sanitized safer version of Christmas well-wishing in the Post-Christian Era.

Feel free to pass it on to the Scrooges, Grinches, ACLU lawyers, and secular fundamentalists on your own Yuletide list:

Holiday Seasons Greetings to You
Please accept with no obligation implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally-conscious, socially-responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasions of your choice or the secular practices of your choice with respect to the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others or their choice not to practice religious/secular traditions at all.

And a fiscally-successful, personally-fulfilling and medically-uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally-accepted calendar year 2013 of the Common Era, but not without due respect of the calendars of choice of other cultures, and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious profession, sexual preference, or choice of computer operating system of the wishee.

(By accepting this greeting, you are accepting the terms herein as the wishee. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal at any time and without notice. It is freely transferable with no alteration from the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually deliver or implement any of the wishes for him/herself or others and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the generally accepted application of good tidings for a period of no more than twelve months, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

At Least One Columnist “Gets It” About Islamo-Fascism

(First published June 15, 2004) 

In his very thoughtful column yesterday at National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson addresses a central Western liberal attitude which will inevitably lead to the demise of the West if something isn’t done to reverse it.

The West, especially Europe, says Hanson, has been playing into the hands of Al Queda and other militant Islamists through self-loathing combined with ignorantly regarding them as mere nutcases and unthinking fanatics who “don’t understand” us. On the contrary, he asserts, they understand us all too well, and perhaps better than we understand ourselves. And that is what makes them so dangerous, on some level even more dangerous than the Nazis and the USSR were:

..[T]oo many of us deem bin Laden's new fascists unhinged — their fatwas, their mythology about strong and weak horses, and their babble about the Reconquista and the often evoked "holy shrines" are to us dreamlike.

But I beg to differ somewhat.

I think the Islamists and their supporters do not live in an alternate universe, but instead are no more crazy in their goals than Hitler was ...Nor was Hitler's fatwa — Mein Kampf — any more irrational than bin Laden's 1998 screed and his subsequent grainy infomercials. Indeed, I think Islamofascism is brilliant in its reading of the postmodern West and precisely for that reason it is dangerous beyond all description — in the manner that a blood-sucking, stealthy, and nocturnal Dracula was always spookier than a massive, clunky Frankenstein.

Like Hitler's creed, bin Ladenism trumpets contempt for bourgeois Western society. If once we were a "mongrel" race of "cowboys" who could not take casualties against the supermen of the Third Reich, now we are indolent infidels, channel surfers who eat, screw, and talk too much amid worthless gadgetry, godless skyscrapers, and, of course, once again, the conniving Jews.

Like Hitler, bin Ladenism has an agenda: the end of the liberal West. Its supposedly crackpot vision is actually a petrol-rich Middle East free of Jews, Christians, and Westerners, free to rekindle spiritual purity under Sharia Israel to be nuked, a Europe to be out-peopled and cowered, and an America to be bombed and terrorized into isolation. This time we are to lose not through blood and iron, but through terror and intimidation: televised beheadings, mass murders, occasional bombings, the disruption of commerce, travel, and the oil supply.

It was hard for the Islamic fascists to find ideological support in the West, given their agenda of gender apartheid, homophobia, religious persecution, racial hatred, fundamentalism, polygamy, and primordial barbarism. But they sensed that there has always been a current of self-loathing among the comfortable Western elite…If anyone doubts the nexus between right-wing Middle Eastern fascism and left-wing academic faddishness, go to booths in the Free Speech area at Berkeley or see what European elites have said and done for Hamas. Middle Eastern fascist killers enshrined as victims alongside our own oppressed? That has been gospel in our universities for the last three decades.

...bin Laden understood the importance of splitting the West, just like the sultan of old knew that a Europe trisected into Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism would fight among itself rather than unite against a pan-Islamic foe...

If after four years of careful planning, al Qaedists hit the Olympics in August, the terrorists know better than we do that most Europeans will do nothing — but quickly point to the U.S. and scream "Iraq!" And they know that the upscale crowds in Athens are far more likely to boo a democratic America than they are a fascist Syria or theocratic Iran.

Just watch.
Will the West Sacrifice Its Freedoms to Placate the Implacable?

At least one American columnist thinks so.

Back in 2006 at the height of the controversy over some editorial cartoons critical of the radical wing of Islam, Washington Times columnist Diana West got it right in the op-ed piece "Cartoon Rage," about the Western media's cowardly response to ongoing militant Muslim riots and threats over the cartoons:

"...We dress up our capitulation in fancy talk of 'tolerance,' 'responsibility' and 'sensitivity.' We even congratulate ourselves for having the 'editorial judgment' to make 'pluralism' possible. 'Readers were well served... without publishing the cartoons,' said a Wall Street Journal spokesman. 'CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons in respect for Islam,' reported the cable network....

"...Calling these cartoons 'unacceptable,' and censoring ourselves 'in respect' to Islam brings the West into compliance with a central statute of sharia [Islamic "law"--JE]. As [Danish newspaper] Jyllands-Posten's Flemming Rose has noted, that's not respect, that's submission."


Noted Conservative Columnist Saw the Signs of the Times

Below is an eerie passage from a piece written by columnist Peggy Noonan on Nov. 30, 1998.

It was republished on Sept. 18, 2001 at the Wall Street Journal web site, where the entire piece can be read:

There Is No Time, There Will Be Time

....Something's up. And deep down, where the body meets the soul, we are fearful. We fear, down so deep it hasn't even risen to the point of articulation, that with all our comforts and amusements, with all our toys and bells and whistles . . . we wonder if what we really have is . . . a first-class stateroom on the Titanic. Everything's wonderful, but a world is ending and we sense it.

I don't mean: "Uh-oh, there's a depression coming," I mean: We live in a world of three billion men and hundreds of thousands of nuclear bombs, missiles, warheads. It's a world of extraordinary germs that can be harnessed and used to kill whole populations, a world of extraordinary chemicals that can be harnessed and used to do the same.

Three billion men, and it takes only half a dozen bright and evil ones to harness and deploy.

What are the odds it will happen? Put it another way: What are the odds it will not? Low. Nonexistent, I think.

When you consider who is gifted and crazed with rage . . . when you think of the terrorist places and the terrorist countries . . . who do they hate most? The Great Satan, the United States. What is its most important place? Some would say Washington. I would say the great city of the United States is the great city of the world, the dense 10-mile-long island called Manhattan, where the economic and media power of the nation resides, the city that is the psychological center of our modernity, our hedonism, our creativity, our hard-shouldered hipness, our unthinking arrogance.

If someone does the big, terrible thing to New York or Washington, there will be a lot of chaos and a lot of lines going down, a lot of damage, and a lot of things won't be working so well anymore. And thus a lot more . . . time. Something tells me we won't be teleconferencing and faxing about the Ford account for a while.

The psychic blow--and that is what it will be as people absorb it, a blow, an insult that reorders and changes--will shift our perspective and priorities, dramatically, and for longer than a while. Something tells me more of us will be praying, and hard, one side benefit of which is that there is sometimes a quality of stopped time when you pray. You get outside time.

Maybe, of course, I'm wrong. But I think of the friend who lives on Park Avenue who turned to me once and said, out of nowhere, "If ever something bad is going to happen to the city, I pray each day that God will give me a sign. That He will let me see a rat stand up on the sidewalk. So I'll know to gather the kids and go." I absorbed this and, two years later, just a month ago, poured out my fears to a former high official of the United States government. His face turned grim. I apologized for being morbid. He said no, he thinks the same thing. He thinks it will happen in the next year and a half. I was surprised, and more surprised when he said that an acquaintance, a former arms expert for another country, thinks it will happen in a matter of months....

--by Peggy Noonan, originally published in Forbes ASAP magazine, 11/30/1998

A Magnificent Tribute to Our Guys and Gals in Uniform

This Flash presentation first appeared in 2006. It was moving and beautiful then, and remains so now. It incorporates some wonderful photography of our troops "over there," together with a recording of Marta Keen's gorgeous song "Homeward Bound," the lyrics of which are as follows:

In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing and the sky is clear and red.
When the summer’s ceased its gleaming,
When the corn is past its prime,
When adventure’s lost its meaning,
I’ll be homeward bound in time.

Bind me not to the pasture, chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.

If you find it’s me you're missing, if you’re hoping I’ll return.
To your thoughts I’ll soon be list’ning, and in the road I’ll stop and turn.
Then the wind will set me racing as my journey nears its end.
And the path I’ll be retracing when I’m homeward bound again.

Bind me not to the pasture, chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.

In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing,
I’ll be homeward bound again.
-Music and Lyrics by Marta Keen

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Greenpeace Damages Coral Reef (11/1/2005)

"In one of those 'the operation was a success but the patient died' scenarios, Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior II damaged a coral reef in the central Philippines--during a climate change awareness program. 

"The ship and its Birkenstock crew will have to pony up after being assessed a 640,000 peso ($15,000) fine after the 55m motor-assisted environmentally friendly schooner ran aground at the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park on Monday, according to park manager Angelique Songco. 

"The ship's bow sliced through a reef formation measuring 160sq m., she said...."

Monday, October 31, 2005


It's Not a Wiccan Holy Day After All

On BeliefNet (use the link above to read the article), a Catholic priest writes about the history of this allegedly pre-Christian pagan festival:

"We’ve all heard the allegations: Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety...."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Baptist Writer: Hurricane Katrina Was "God's Wrath"

In a rambling pontification on his internet-based radio broadcast, Baptist writer and "scholar" James White argues that the USA, if not the populace of New Orleans, brought Hurricane Katrina upon itself:

White seems convinced that Hurricane Katrina, like the 9-11 terrorist attacks, was an instance of God's wrath against the USA for rejecting "biblical Christianity" (which rejection, no doubt, includes allowing the Catholic Church to exist on American soil) and especially for "cultural degradation," such as allegedly promoting sexual immorality.

Yet the French Quarter --the section of the city known for its extravagant uber-partying, its transsexual strip joints, and its largely homosexual population-- stayed dry and mostly untouched. As one commentator noted, upon encountering the Wrath Theory embraced by White, God's aim must've been off that day.

Moreover, White's Wrath Theory cannot account for the fact that in the predominantly traditionalist, orthodox Protestant culture of 1900 --decades before there was any such thing as Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, or Playboy magazine, or MTV, or the gay "rights" movement-- a hurricane wiped out the town of Galveston, Texas, killing between 8,000 and 10,000.

(To be fair, White insists that San Francisco would've been more deserving than the Big Easy of such a demonstration of divine judgment. But it doesn't really matter because, as his Hyper-Calvinist Manichean theology informs him, merely being born human makes you ipso facto evil and therefore deserving of death anyway.)

Catholic blogger Mark Shea masterfully puts such nonsense to rest in his own debunking of the Wrath Theory:

...From where I sit, there are certain things I think it's safe to say. First, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Second, God is in control of stuff (including weather). Third, life is extremely mysterious. Fourth, God is the judge of the world, not me and not even my most especially holiest readers. Fifth, if I were in the position of people in New Orleans, I would be strongly tempted to give a good swift kick to the Holy Ones whose first thought is not, "How can I help?" but "This is your fault, you know."

Theodicy is a fun game in the abstract. Sort of like playing "Lifeboat" in a college bull session. I enjoy a good game of "What if" as much as the next guy. But playing Lifeboat is much less fun when you are in a lifeboat and sensible people know that there is a time and place for speculating on the mysterious purposes of the Almighty and a time and a place for shutting one's trap and just helping.

...Was New Orleans judged by this hurricane? Only in the sense that everything that happens to us can be a means by which God reveals himself and ourselves to us. Certainly, I think, we learned some very unpleasant things about ourselves last week. But then again, I think as the stories of heroism emerge (as they will) we will also find that (at least some people) learned some very surprising and good things about themselves and others last week too.

...In a strange way, it helped me make sense, at an experiential level, of Paul's talk in Romans about how the trials of this life are nothing compared with the glory to be revealed. It explained how an entire generation can look back fondly on a time of depression and war. Because the judgement does not consist of our external circumstances. It is, rather, how we embrace God's love and live it out under those circumstances.

Our task is not to check on other people's test scores, but our own.

Jesus Himself made a similar point in Luke 13: 4-5: "Do you think ... those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them ... were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

The bottom line is we don't know why thousands of Christians were killed in Galveston in 1900. Nor why tens of thousands of Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and others were killed in Indonesia and Thailand last year. Nor why over 650 (according to the latest count) were killed in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, although most of those deaths were the direct result of human error, incompetence, and malfeasance in the first place.
Nor can anyone this side of Heaven know why Katrina was "allowed" to do what it did.

It is, as Shea correctly points out, a mystery. Know-it-all "prophets" would do well to humble themselves before their Creator by keeping that in mind and "checking their own test scores," lest they risk invoking upon themselves the very same wrath they seem to think the Almighty rained down upon New Orleans three weeks ago.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Political Correctness and the Coming Death of the First Amendment

Dr. James Hitchcock, a professor of history at St. Louis University, notes some scary trends here and in the rest of the West which bode ill for the survival of freedom of conscience and religion –at least for those whose consciences are religious in orientation.

In his weekly column, titled Religious Liberty for Whom?, Hitchcock cites some examples of how liberal government officials here and abroad have been increasingly trampling on the rights of Christians and other religious people who refuse to walk in lockstep with whatever guilt-and-envy-driven public policy comes down the pike. For example:

In England a crowd assaulted a street preacher who posted a sign saying, "Stop Homosexuality." The police arrived and made an arrest of — the preacher! He was convicted of insulting and harassing behavior. Also in England, an Anglican bishop was investigated by the police after he publicly suggested that homosexuals seek counseling.


Meanwhile the Irish Council for Civil Liberties has warned the Catholic Church of possible prosecution if it promulgates the Holy See’s official statement on "same sex unions.


In Canada a teacher has been suspended for writing a letter to a newspaper saying that homosexuality is immoral. The preacher was being deliberately offensive, and the teacher’s letter no doubt upset many homosexuals among his students.

As for the notion that This Could Never Happen Here in the Good Ol’ USA, don’t be so sure. Hitchcock warns, 

 “…where homosexuality is concerned, governments are prepared to abrogate civil liberties. The American tradition of free expression so far has resisted these measures, but there are no grounds for complacency. Just outside public view, in books and journals read only by scholars, there are influential American political and legal theorists who openly advocate the restriction of religious liberty, in order to prevent the ‘wrong’ ideas from being circulated. In particular these theorists bluntly insist that parents have no right to inculcate their own beliefs in their children.”

That humming you hear may not be coming from the cicada invasion. It may be Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave.
Far-Left Cartoonist Takes a Page from the Church of Scientology’s Law Book

One of the more interesting aspects of Looney Left “journalist” Ted Rall’s character (see our June 9 post on Rall, “Attack of the Girlie-Men,” below) seems to be how he handles criticism, including when it comes from a colleague in the form of parody.

In 1999, fellow editorial cartoonist Danny Hellman poked scathing fun at Ted Rall for the latter’s strange Village Voice article defaming noted Jewish cartoonist Art Spiegelman, author-illustrator of Maus, a creative psychological exploration of his Holocaust survivor father’s life under the Nazis. Apparently sick and tired of Rall’s narcissistic rants in general, Hellman set up an e-mail list of his fellow cartoonists to whom he sent out a few over-the-top “letters,” using the internet ID “TedRallsBalls,” satirizing Rall’s writings, style, and personality.

One of those on Hellman’s e-mail list was Rall himself.

Now, any normal adult would merely laugh off such antics and take them like a mensch, especially someone who seems bent upon making a public figure of himself. But not Ted Rall, for whom the words “normal” and “adult” apparently hold little or no meaning.

Instead, Rall seems to have followed the example of late paranoid cult leader L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. Hubbard’s cult, as cult watchdog groups well know, takes as kindly to criticism as Rall seems to, especially when it comes from the media. For example, in 1986 Time magazine published a lengthy, well-documented expose of Hubbard’s “church” titled “The Cult of Greed and Power,” in which it detailed the long checkered history of Hubbard’s shenanigans as well as several Federal crimes which had been committed by some of Hubbard’s top lieutenants, for which they ended up in a big house, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

The “church’s” reaction to the story? Following its decades long tradition of “handling” critics, it sued Time magazine for “libel.” After years of legal battling with the “church’s” in-house lawyers (who seem to outnumber its ministers) and spending millions of dollars defending its First Amendment rights, Time managed to get Scientology’s case thrown out of court as a SLAPP (“strategic litigation against public participation”) suit, a tactic of intimidation-via-litigation used by wealthy corporations to silence public dissent.

Like the Church of Scientology, Ted Rall responded to Danny Hellman’s criticism by suing Danny Hellman for libel, and –get this!— to the tune of 1.5 millions dollars. However, unlike the Hubbard cult, Rall thinks of himself a “journalist.”

Not even the Church of Scientology is that out of touch with reality.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Envy-Ridden “Journalists” Whine One More at the Gipper

German sociologist Helmut Schoeck points out in his book Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour that envy is "a drive which lies at the core of man’s life as a social being…[an] urge to compare oneself invidiously with others." The envious person is a type of sociopath who, upon comparing him- or herself with another of higher character or greater accomplishment, finds him- or herself wanting. But rather than emulate that other person the envious person will try to destroy him or her, or at the very least in some way bring that person down to their own level.

Thus even before Ronald Reagan's corpse had a chance to get cold, some on the Looney Left, like the stuck-in-adolescence dimwits they seem to be, couldn't wait until after the funeral to vent unrestrained vitriol about the former Prez.

One such example is a shamelessly soul-less narcissist named Ted Rall, who seems bent upon dancing on whatever nearby freshly dug grave will further his career as a "journalist" and editorial cartoonist, and keep his name on the front burner. As noted writer and blogger Mark Shea (compared to whom Rall is an intellectual amoeba) aptly summarizes Rall’s character, “Notice ME! NOTICE ME! NOTICE MEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!”

Rall, some may recall, initially made quite a splash for himself in the mainstream media barely two months ago by publicly denigrating the sacrifice made by the late Pat Tillman --the NFL player who quit pro football and a 7-figure-earning career to serve his country in Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks-- and insulting Tillman’s family and friends in the process. Tillman lost his life; it turns out, by friendly fire. Rall's reaction to Tillman’s death, while Tillman's loved ones were still burying him, was to make Tillman the subject of his syndicated cartoon series, in which he calls Tillman an "idiot" and portrays him as a bloodthirsty bigot who wanted to kill Arabs.

Tillman, whined Rall, "falsely believed" the war in Afghanistan was linked to the September 11 attacks and was a "cog in a low-rent occupation army that shot more innocent civilians than terrorists to prop up puppet rulers and exploit gas and oil resources." Contrariwise, however, Rall approved of the cozy relationship the Taliban had with Al Queda while the former were executing women in football fields for showing their faces in public, or going to school, or in other ways displeasing their Mullahs. As for Al Queda's attack on Rall's own town, no doubt he found a way to blame that on Bush. Or perhaps the NFL. Or both.

Similarly, this week, fresh on the heels of Ronald Reagan's death, in his "Search and Destroy" web log and elsewhere, Rall asserts that the late former president must be in Hell "turning crispy brown right about now" for all his alleged "crimes" against humanity --which in Rall's world seems to consist only of gays, liberals, and his buddies in Al Queda and the Taliban. "If there is a hell," Rall says, "this guy is in it." Reagan, Rall declares, "was an idiot" who "elevated unjustifiable military action to an art."

Of course, Rall has not been alone in his envy-ridden denigration of real men like Tillman and Reagan. At about the same time the cyber-ink was drying over at "Search and Destroy," in chimed veteran crank Christopher Hitchens, who, like Rall, seems to relish in bashing his betters. For example, back in the 1990s Hitchens defamed Mother Teresa not only with a nasty character-assassinating book but with an equally nasty character-assassinating "documentary" as well, both sarcastically titled "Mother Teresa and the Missionary Position."

In his June 7 column immediately after Reagan’s passing, the supposedly more-mature-than-Rall “journalist” Hitchens cannot seem constrain his lesser impulses to “memoralize” Reagan by engaging in the same level of scorn and character assassination he leveled at Mother Teresa almost a decade ago. For example,

“…The famously genial grin turned into a rictus of senile fury…”


“The fox, as has been pointed out by more than one philosopher, knows many small things, whereas the hedgehog knows one big thing. Ronald Reagan was neither a fox nor a hedgehog. He was as dumb as a stump.”


“He had no friends, only cronies. His children didn't like him all that much. He met his second wife —the one that you remember— because she needed to get off a Hollywood blacklist and he was the man to see.”


“I could not believe that such a man had even been a poor governor of California in a bad year, let alone that such a smart country would put up with such an obvious phony and loon.”

Thus it's the propensity of envy-ridden girlie-men like Hitchens and Rall to detract real men and any others who are or seem better than they are in some way. But only when it's safe, such as when the latter are dead and the former live in a country kept free by their betters. There can be only one explanation for this sort of conduct on the part of allegedly civilized persons:


In response to Hitchens, Shea points out in his web log. one of the “peculiar talents” Americans have is “burying the hatchet.” Shea wistfully wishes that “people like Hitchens” --and Rall-- “would learn it.”

However, it seems they did: But they buried it in Mr. Reagan's back. It’s the only way they know.