Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Happy Birthday, Van. Read more here.
Ways To Help
The Impudent One has links (here) to a number of organizations which will accept donations to help those in the hurricane devestated areas. Give early, give often.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Calling For A Lutheran Reformation
My brother at one time attended a former ELCA church (North Heights Lutheran Church) which was always on "double secret suspension with fines and sanctions" (ask Wally Karbo) for being "too Evangelical". This article may help explain:
Lutheran theologian Carl E. Braaten, who is Executive Director of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, has written an open letter to Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and asks a difficult question:Read more and follow the links here.
I am writing out of a concern I share with others about the theological state of affairs within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The situation might be described as one of “brain drain.” Theologians who have served Lutheranism for many years in various capacities have recently left the ELCA and have entered the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church in America.
German News Update
Davids Medienkritik updates yesterday's post here. Evidently, German news organizations feel they must respond to bloggers.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Not Quite "Triumph Of The Will"
Friday, August 26, 2005
Castro Burns Books
Nat Hentoff reports on Fidel's victims and enablers. Read the article and consider what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela.
The Land Of The Free And Happy
Davids Medienkritik points us to a poll which confounds Europeans. From the poll:
"With a few exceptions, Americans are generally happier with their lives and more optimistic about their future than are Europeans, according to a new Harris Poll. In this survey, Americans were asked some of the same questions that were asked in a recent Eurobarometer survey conducted for the European Union.Read the rest and follow the links here.
The big picture is that Americans are much more satisfied with their lives, much more likely to believe that their lives have improved and much more likely to expect their personal situations will improve than most Europeans.
Fully 58 percent of Americans are very satisfied with their lives compared to the 15-country European average of 31 percent. Fifty-six percent of Americans think that their lives have improved in the last five years compared to 45 percent of Europeans. Furthermore, 65 percent of Americans expect their personal situation will improve in the next five years compared to only 44 percent of Europeans. However, Europe is not at all homogenous and the mood varies widely from country to country."
Thursday, August 25, 2005
No Pain, No Gain
Aleksander Boyd On P. Robertson, Part 2
Mr. Boyd (of VCRISIS) points to an interview between Pat Robertson and Thor Halvorssen (link to video below) and gives additional commentary.
The media frenzy generated by Robertson's assassination calls has brought to the fora the issue of Hugo Chavez and it's still early days to analyse in its full dimension the political repercussions that such remarks will have. A quick review of yesterday's news suggests that, indeed, Venezuela, for the first time in a very long period, made it to the headlines, albeit for all the wrong reasons.The video includes a background report on Hugo Chavez. Read the rest here.
. . . . .
Thor Halvorssen views are to the point, accurate and compelling enough to alert a broader audience about the perils that the Castro-Chavez duo represent for the hemispheric stability. We, Venezuelan citizens, have been denouncing the impending danger for quite some time now only to be treated with utmost contempt by the international democratic community.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Liberal Larry On P. Robertson
After a history lesson and a primer on current events, Larry addresses P. Robertson's call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez.
With a red beret and a thick Latin accent that makes the panties of every progressive American glisten with dew, Hugo Chavez is much more than your typical Marxist revolutionary. . . . . Its no wonder, then, that Pat Robertson has issued a death warrant on Papa Chavez.Read the rest here.
. . . . .
For the lack of a more gender neutral noun, our founding "fathers" never intended for one man to wield so much power over the mouth-breathing, biblethumping lemmings of Jesusland. That's why they constructed a wall between church and state - the only thing in the Living Breathing Constitution that isn't ethereal or anachronistic. It's for our protection, people! One word from this Osama Bin Laden of the Religious Right and Christian sleeper cells could be activated all across the nation, acting all Holier-Than-Thou and making gay couples feel like second class citizens. Before you know it, Robert Schuller would be sawing off the heads of fornicators on The Hour of Power.
Venezuelan Vice President Charles Rangel (D) had it right. Calls for the assassination of world leaders should be done only by the seasoned professionals on Air America, where they can be directed at members of the Bush administration in a humorous, light-hearted fashion. What Robertson did goes beyond the pale. In a free, democratic society like Venezuela, he'd never get away with it.
Barcepundit On P. Robertson
Franco Aleman comments:
YES, PAT ROBERTSON really deserves to be one of those who inspired the term idiotarian; but, I can't help but being amazed at the gall of many of his critics -the ones on the left side of the spectrum, generally. Here's what Robertson exactly said:Follow his links here.We have the ability to take him out and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert-ops do the job and get it over with.. . . . .
Why I'm saying this? Well, because Robertson's recipe was exactly what many on the anti-war camp said should be done with Saddam in Iraq ("yes, Saddam is a bad guy and deserves to be removed, but why not killing him in a covert-operation instead of going into a full fledged war?"). Well, at least the ones who didn't want to appear as if they were on his side, that is.
Besides, how many them have been fretting everytime a third-rate political figure (which is exactly what Robertson is), or some commentator in Venezuela, Spain or any other country, has advocated for Bush's assassination?
Maybe We Should Kill The Messenger
Aleksander Boyd, no friend of Hugo Chavez, comments on P. Robertson's bloviation:
London 23.08.05 | Leftist talebans the world over are celebrating their utter infallibility this morning; the unsubstantiated claims of assassination plots to kill Fidel Castro's poodle have been confirmed by one Pat Robertson. From this day onwards they shall boastfully say "our great leader Chavez was right; the US is out to kill him as confirmed by the statements of Bush pal, and covert CIA agent, Pat Robertson..."
. . . . .
Robertson remarks shall be placed in equal footing with the 2.156.876 assassination attempts 'uncovered' by the Cuban dictator in the last 46 years and the 15.897 ones made, to date, by his Venezuelan bitch.
McMillan's Canadian Perspective
- Canada Compared To Australia
The comparison is not flattering.
Australians are unabashed about flexing their muscle. "We're all very proud to be punching above our weight," says Susan Windybank, head of foreign policy research at Sydney's Centre for Independent Studies. "We don't want our backyard to become a junkyard."Kate's conclusion:
. . . . .
Despite his skepticism of Australia's over-arching ambition to be in the big leagues, Harries is contemptuous of Canada's more cautious foreign policy. "I don't admire Canada's foreign policy very much. For a country of its weight, it should be doing more than engaging in good works."
Though, perhaps it's more than the umbrella provided by a big, powerful brother to our south - the difference in our national sense of responsibility can be partially attributed to our contrasting national evolution. Austrailans worked their way up from what began as a colony of criminals, while Canadians seem content to be governed by one.
- Canadian Military Intelligence
The fact the Canadian navy has no warships with ice-protected hulls is another knock against the country's Arctic ambitions, said Fairley.The Canadian government is planning to defend its northern coastline from warmer southern waters.
Everyone Should See This
While waiting for a plane this weekend, I had the opportunity to watch baggage unloaded from a plane. The person removing the baggage from the conveyor threw the bags onto the tarmac. Several bags fell off the conveyor as they exited the plane. Think about this when you pack that ceramic vase you bought as a souvenir in Paris.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Another Reason To Love Camille Paglia
A few gems from Ms. Paglia:
CP: I would say that many of these people are regular people. I started listening to Rush Limbaugh probably in the early ‘90s, we’re talking 15 years now. There are people who are twisted but there are a lot of mainstream Americans. . . .Find much more here. (Hat tip to Bad Hair Blog via Barcepundit.)
. . . . .
There is a kind of humanitarian do-gooder mentality abroad in the public schools these days, which is like, “We all get along. Here’s our quota. We are going to read the poem by the African American, the poem by the Native American. The poem by the Chicano.” Like that. There is no more quality. So we are not giving the kids anything to sustain them. Heaven forbid there should be anything about religion or sex. The far right keeps the sexual out—nudes from the history of painting. And the left keeps anything from religion out. The things that are the most substantive are not there.
. . . . .
If I hear one more time that my ancestor Christopher Columbus is guilty of genocide. It is so boring.
. . . . .
You listen to talk radio long enough and you are going to hear the voices of the people. I voted for Kerry but heard the way he was being discussed early on and all the flaws of the Boston-run campaign. Oh my God. It was a revelation, seeing things. That’s how I knew Kerry was going to lose. I saw it through the eyes of what the callers were saying.
. . . . .
RB: I take it you agree with Thomas Frank’s [What’s the Matter With Kansas] notion of what he calls an “age of derangement,” that working people are voting against their interests?
CP: I totally reject that formulation.
CP: The idea that working people are voting against their interests seems to me—I’m sorry, I find that to be one of the most condescending, twisted things that has now taken root. It’s now in the media everywhere. That is twisted.
. . . . .
So what I am saying is, how dare Thomas Frank decide what is—the people who are voting Republican believe that capitalism, despite the misery of individual places, they still believe that capitalism provides the best chance for small entrepreneurs to have an idea, put it into motion and eventually make a killing. Even if you are not rich you see other people getting rich and you want a system that can produce rich people.
. . . . .
The people vote. So the leftist claim that what they are doing is for the people but when the people show what’s on their mind, [in a scolding voice] “Oh no, you are so ignorant.” So all we have are armchair leftists. There is no real leftism.
. . . . .
Most people who are secular humanists having the idea that they are doing fine. We are doing fine and our only enemy is the Bible-based far right. The reason why the real threat is the far right is that they have the Bible. And the Bible is a masterpiece. The Bible is one of the greatest works produced in the world. The people who all they have is the Bible actually are set up for life. Not only do they have a spiritual vision given to them but artistic fulfillment. They don’t even recognize just the pleasure of dealing with this epic poetry and drama. Everything is in the Bible. What does the left have? The left has a lot of attitude.
. . . . .
People in the art world are full of sanctimonious sense of superiority to most of America. But they must address America, learn to address America. Yes, have your friends, have the people who support what you are doing in the art world, but you have to recover a sense of the general audience and the same thing I am saying to the far right, get over the sneering at art, the stereotyping—
RB: They started it.
CP: Wait a minute. The far right wouldn’t have any opinions about art if it weren’t for those big incidents in the late ‘80s to the ‘90s when some stupid work was committing sacrilege
Monday, August 22, 2005
If you are worried about meth labs in rural Minnesota, read this:
According to DEA officials, Mexican drug cartels now control 11 of the 13 largest drug markets in the country and wield more influence over our illicit drug trade than any other group. DEA reports show that in 2004, 92 percent of the cocaine in the U.S. came through the U.S.-Mexican border, up 15 percent from 2003. They also show that methamphetamine seizure at the border is up 74% since 2001.Read the rest here. (Hat tip to Heavy-Handed Politics for Cartel Assassins .)
These numbers demonstrate the futility of any drug policy that doesn't take into account America's porous border problem. Any laws that Congress or the states enact to curb local production of meth, such as busting up meth labs and moving ephedrine-containing cold medicines behind the counter, is undermined by the burgeoning business of Mexico's super labs. Restricting access to meth-making chemicals on our side of the Rio Grande has simply resulted in U.S. cities flooded with Mexican-made meth -- which is stronger, cheaper, and more addictive than its American counterpart.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Everything Ulster And Africa
From Everything Ulster:
Recently appointed Deputy President of South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (and I thought Orlaith was a dodgy name!) has called for South Africa's "land redistribution" scheme to be speeded up, citing Robert Mugabe's antics in Zimbabwe as an example.Find the links at South African Deputy Wants To Follow Mugabe.
"Land reform in South Africa has been too slow and too structured. There needs to be a bit of 'oomph'. That's why we may need the skills of Zimbabwe to help us."
Yes that's right. Apparently the burning out of farmers based on the colour of their skin, the murder of anyone who is less than pleased at the policy and the transformation of the "breadbasket of Africa" into a country facing expulsion from the IMF, 70% unemployment and over 500% inflation can be summed up as adding "a bit of 'oomph'."
Her spokesman later said the remarks were made in "a light-hearted moment." Yes, she's a right old kidder! But what would you expect from a country that blames Britain for the madness of Mugabe?
Thursday, August 18, 2005
A Fatwa For You
S.O.S. reminds us of things said:
We — with God's help — call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.Read the rest and follow the links here.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
More On The Madrid Bombings
The Counterterrorism Blog brings us Spanish authorities ignored tip:
A few days ago Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that more than a year before the deadly March 11, 2004, train bombings, Spanish police received detailed information about the plans of a group of Islamic fundamentalists to attack Madrid. On February 12, 2003, the wife of Muhannad Almallah entered a Madrid police station and told officers that her husband was planning a car bomb attack in Madrid and that the likely targets were the towers of Plaza de Castilla, a modern and imposing structure located on one of Madrid’s busiest arteries. The woman told officers that her Madrid apartment was often visited by men who watched jihadi tapes and talked about carrying out attacks and identified many of them by name. Spanish authorities did not act.
. . . .
The story, if confirmed, proves two things:
1- Spanish authorities did not pursue Islamist terrorists aggressively enough before 3/11. The Almallah incident is just one of the many "missed opportunities" stories in the Madrid bombings, much as the current "Able Danger" embarassment.
2- While the timing of the bombings might have been masterfully planned to make Spanish voters blame the Aznar government's support of the Iraqi war for the attacks, the carnage in Madrid had little to do with Iraq. In February 2003, when Mrs. Almallah reported her husband's murderous plans for the Spanish capital, the war in Iraq had not even begun.
Keeping Canadian Crime Canadian
On Toronto's crime problem:
Blaming the United States because Canadians are shooting other Canadians was a complete and utter waste of the AmericanÂs ambassadorÂs time, time that could have been better spent discussing serious issues like trade.This trail started with More guns from the US.
David Wilkins, diplomat that he is, said after the meeting that keeping American guns out of Canada is a "shared responsibility". The ambassador added that according to his information is that most American guns that make their way to Canada are brought into the country by Canadians. Hmm. It is doubtful that either McGuinty or Miller ever even thought of who is actually bringing these guns into the country.
After the private meeting was held, McGuinty made the absolutely inane comment that the U.S. Congress is not likely to ban handguns any time soon. Well, so much for Canada trying to pawn off our problems on another country.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sweets For The Sweet?
Why does Venezuela give Cuba enough oil to allow it to re-export that oil at a large profit?
After leading a bloody but inept and unsuccessful coup in 1992, Hugo Chavez was sent to prison but after a few months he received a pardon from Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera. One of the things that he did after coming out of prison was to pay Fidel Castro the first of what would become a long string of more than 30 visits. In this initial visit he was treated by Castro as a Head of State. He was received by the dictator at the airport and had the opportunity to give a speech before a large audience that included the top Cuban leaders. This modest investment by Castro in an obscure and ignorant Venezuelan demagogue paid handsomely. Today, Chavez is still an ignorant and a demagogue but, due to a combination of favorable circumstances and personal shrewdness, he has reached a very high level of political power in Venezuela and is now paying back CastroÂs hospitality with a largesse both beyond CastroÂs imagination and disastrous for the Venezuelan nation.Read the rest of Hugo Chavez: the new sugar daddy.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Venezuela Watch 8/12/2005
Reasons to fear Hugo Chavez:
The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, taking part in the opening ceremonies for the World Festival of Students and Youth, and spoke on the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.. . . .
"We pay tribute to the victims of those suicidal terrorist acts, to their pain, and condemn those attacks as the greatest acts of terrorism in recorded history. Today, 60 years later, in the Valley of Caracas, we are operating an atomic bomb that gives life here, the youth of the World is here," he said.
"The challenge that we have ahead is the salvation of the planet, of the world, a world threatened by the voraciousness of North American imperialism, which that knows no bounds," affirmed the Venezuelan president.One messiah introduces another. Read the rest of the article here.
He greeted Cuban President Fidel Castro from the podium, who he described as," a giant in the fight for our people."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
For Chris Muir
This will expedite the site visit referred to in today's "Day By Day" cartoon.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
After Practice Rounds in Iraq,
Friday, August 05, 2005
Things Not Found In A CAIR Press Release
The Spy Who Wouldn't Go Out In The Cold
Dust My Broom has a report on the non-presence in Canada of disaffected American Democrats following the re-election of G.W. Bush. His post is aptly named How can we miss you if you dont leave?. Well worth the read!
Vacation Blogging, Part 2
"He had no imaginings of such horrors as would befall him 'ere he ventured into that nether world" My time in northern Wisconsin provided only a few fleeting hours of internet connection. At this point I can explain that episode only by consulting astrological charts. I was never able to connect again despite great persistence. Perhaps that was God's way of telling me to do something else. I am back home again and will spend the next week working on my house. Not exactly my idea of vacation, but very necessary at this point in time. We are getting closer to finishing the first chapter in the story I call "The House That Ate My Life." My wife calls it a "labor of love". Oh well . . .