Friday, November 30, 2007
"The curse of the front-runner is well known in presidential politics. Think Ed Muskie, who cried when someone criticized his wife and his campaign, which everyone thought was embarked on a cakewalk to the nomination but evaporated overnight. Henry Cabot Lodge returned from Saigon in 1968, where he had been a moderately successful ambassador, to collect the Republican presidential nomination by acclamation. At the convention several months later, he ran far behind Richard Nixon, trailing even a forgettable senator from Hawaii named Hiram Fong. Stuff happens."
From here on, I'm turning over a new leaf. I shall no longer refer to Hillary Clinton's run for president in the singular. Instead I'll refer to The Clinton's run, The Clinton's candidacy. Because, who are we kidding? it's a two-headed candidacy and would be a two-headed presidency.
Therefore, from now on, I'm calling it like it is.
It's The Clintons henceforth, rather than just Hillary.
How indeed. Let's see, first there was vetting and now there's weeding.
Meanwhile, a friend e-mails me this recent link from the New York Post. Good read. Thanks to my friends and colleagues who bring important things like this to my attention.
Finally, Michael Totten writing from Iraq talks about the different states of peace in Baghdad and Fallujah. An Edgy Calm in Fallujah.
During the Bush years with lower and lower taxes, federal revenues have expanded tremendously as personal and business incomes have risen in this climate. Raising taxes only brings economic slowdown. But I digress from illegal immigration. Men like Mike want to legislate weight loss, and being nice to others, even if it's against the law:
Immigration group: Huckabee a 'disaster'
By Stephen Dinan
November 30, 2007
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is up in the polls, is starting to take shots from his opponents on immigration.
Groups that support a crackdown on illegal aliens haven't settled on their champion in the race for the White House, but there's little doubt which Republican scares them most — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
"He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor," said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year's Senate immigration bill. "Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens."
As Mr. Huckabee rises in the polls, his opponents are beginning to take shots at him on immigration. Just as problematic for the former Arkansas governor, however, is that the independent interest groups that track the issue are also giving him the once-over, and don't like what they see.
"Huckabee is the guy who scares the heck out of me," said Peter Gadiel, president of 9-11 Families for a Secure America, a group instrumental in fighting for the REAL ID Act that sets federal standards for driver's licenses.
Some leaders said Mr. Huckabee reminds them of President Bush, who pushed for legalization of illegal aliens and a new supply of foreign guest workers, despite his base calling for better border security and enforcement.
"I would say that Huckabee comes from the same perspective on the issue that George W. Bush came from — that out of a strong sense of compassion, he tries to identify with someone who comes to the United States, even if they came illegally," said Steven A. Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies.
Mr. Huckabee yesterday defended his record, but he said if voters are looking for the toughest guy, he's not their man.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
My, Oh My:
"Ladies and gentlemen," Bill Clinton told 400 Iowans at the start of his three-city swing, "I have had a great couple of days out working for Hillary."
In the next 10 minutes, he used the word "I" a total of 94 times and mentioned "Hillary" just seven times in an address that was as much about his legacy as it was about his wife's candidacy.
He told the crowd where he bought coffee that morning and where he ate breakfast.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
It's called maturity. Maturity meaning there are no illusions (as in Oslo), no quick fixes, no wishful thinking. And it's a holy place to be.
Joel Rosenberg has more from Washington:
"The very fact that the Israelis are talking about giving up land and dividing Jerusalem is a sign of blood in the water to her enemies, not a good thing when you're surrounded by sharks. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is already organizing a conference of terrorists as an "alternative" to Annapolis. He and his genocidal cronies will do everything they can to sabotage any prospect for peace, however slim, and then say, "See, we told you so! Now it's time for war." Ahmadinejad sees Olmert and his government as weak, exhausted, and doomed to collapsed. He said as much yesterday after a cabinet meeting in Tehran. "It is impossible that the Zionist regime will survive," Ahmadinejad insisted. "Collapse is in the nature of this regime because it has been created on aggression, lying, oppression and crime." Moreover, Ahmadinejad believes the winds of history are at his back. He believes he is doing Allah's will to obliterate Israel and annihilate Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it. Annapolis will very likely serve as a catalyst to him to get his nuclear weapons program complete, take care of Israel once and for all, to bring about the global carnage and chaos necessary to usher in the coming of the Mahdi."
Allison Kaplan Sommer has more from Tel Aviv. As she recounts, the Saudis simply are the most boorish people on Earth, and this conference bears that out. Here in the South, we call it poor breeding. On the other hand, for Israel's enemies to see her as fatigued and worn down is not a good thing.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This city of 1 million in Ningxia provence ---which is an "autonomous region" for the Hui Muslim people---heats exclusively with coal - so the air is less than pure!
Some things over here leave me scratching my head. This culture has been conditioned to question nothing. The longer I'm here the more aware I become of the divide between East and West.
Wish I could read your blog - but blogspot - along with most other blog sites - is blocked in China. For some reason Typepad.com is still accessible over here. Any day it could change. Security is really getting tight.
I remember the air quality in China when I was there for a month in the 80's as being horrendous---especially when the already bad air quality was exacerbated by sand blowing in from the Gobi Desert in the fall. As a matter of fact, everyone I was traveling with got bronchitis by the time we returned to Hong Kong. I coughed so hard for weeks in the aftermath of Chinese air pollution after getting back to America, that I got a hernia and had to have major surgery to repair it. The trip that kept on giving.
As for the Chinese blocking Blogspot, I'm certainly not surprised. This is a regime that doesn't value freedom of speech, thought or religion. My friends are brave indeed to be there for the next few years teaching and coughing. Don't think I would live that long there.
Ditto, Istanbul where I got sicker than dirt last year from both the extreme air pollution and Montezuma's revenge after eating a fish dish---or was it that raw fig that some vendor forced into my mouth in the Turkish market?--- that almost did me in. As far as I'm concerned radical Muslims can have Istanbul.
Monday, November 26, 2007
This is a great plan by Fred which will increase tax revenues much more than tax hikes ever could and will. Bravo.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Come on get happy
You better chase all you cares away
Come on get happy
Get ready for the judgement day
-----Judy Garland, Come on Get Happy
Forget your Troubles: World Trade Center bombing, February 1993, by Islamic jihadists who intended bringing down both towers.That would wait until after many subsequent attacks and peace negotiations.
The Sun is shining: U.S. Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 1998. Then there was the attack on the USS Cole.
Going to the Promise Land: Hezbollah War, Near the Lebanon/Israel border, summer 2006. Get ready for the judgment day, next in line for the Nobel?
Never mind. Let's forget it all, get happy and just sing along with Condi and Company for the next few days. After all Syria, the great hope for world peace has just agreed to attend. Now if that doesn't make us happy....
Amazing testimony of a journey from Allah to Jehovah.
Before Christ, he lived and died in constant fear of the scales. Muslims have to be 51% righteous to tip the scales towards paradise, and even then there's no assurance. Dying as a martyr is the only assurance. They must earn even the possibility of salvation through their works. He explains 9/11 and the desperation inherent in Islam that all Muslims feel.
No matter how churlish he was, the anonymous people, the sole boy in the tiny little church loved him unconditionally, all the way to the Cross.
Many people are not aware of the breath and magnitude of Muslims conversion to Evangelical Christianity. In 1979 in Iran, there were onlh about 500 known Iranian Christian converts. Today, there are over 1,000,000 Iranian Muslim converts to Chritianity. Likewise, in Sudan, there are approximately 1,000,000 new converts to Christianity from Islam in the midst of genocide in both western Darfur, and southern Sudan. These are rather staggering numbers.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Perhaps Madame Chirac is not enjoying her time out of the limelight and needs something more to do---a cause celebre---that will garner her a little extra publicity these days, now that Jacque is out of a job in France as president for 12 years, mayor of Paris, friend and ally of Saddam Hussein, advocate of nuclear development in Iran, friend of dictators in Africa and buddy of Vladimir Putin in Russia?
What could be better than to turn her sights from the Continent westward to the United States and next year's presidential election? And a much needed endorsement of Hillary.
The former first lady of France doesn't want to stop with just an endorsement of our former first lady. No sir. Bernadette has an even loftier idea in mind as the story goes:
She (Mrs. Chirac) even expressed interest in attending the Democratic convention in Denver in August. "And if I can be of any use to her somewhere in the campaign, I'm available. I'd like to go with her and I'm going to suggest it to her......From the first look, the first words, Hillary Clinton is a friendly, smiling person who never lets herself be caught out, " Chirac said.
Denver in August. That's pretty tempting for sure. Hot, polluted, dusty and crowded. And now, the French will arrive.
With an endorsement like that, is it any wonder, that Rudy and even Fred could catch up with her in the polls? I hope Hillary political opponents will make some hay out of this, especially since Mrs. Chirac's husband was the least popular president of France in history.
Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post wrote earlier this year of Jacque Chirac's policies, especially those towards the United States:
"As I say, it's an important legacy: one of consistent scorn for the Anglo-American world in general and the English language in particular; of suspicion of Central Europe and profound disinterest in the wave of democratic transformation that swept the world in the 1980s and 1990s; of preference for the Arab and African dictators who had been, and remained, clients of France. In his later years, Chirac constantly searched, in almost all international conflicts, for novel ways of opposing the United States. All along, he did his best to protect France from the rapidly changing global economy."
Read Applebaum's full column on Mr. Chirac's legacy in France.
And there's more here.
Is Hillary running scared now in Iowa and preparing for a letdown?
"Hard work never killed nobody."
-----Delphine at Ruthabell's, Munson, Florida
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi,
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is error, Truth; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; and Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
From the heart. So many blessings, so little time to recount them all. Happy Thanksgiving and God bless America!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Here we have a small slice of pressed fig cake served with Drunken Goat Cheese and topped with Pure Raspberry butter (pureed raspberries). You can make up your own combos, but I like to pair it with a hard, fairly sharp white cheese---I'm completely over soft cheeses of all kinds---and with the tangy wallop of raspberries. There's a complexity of tastes that I find interesting and satisfying, especially after eating turkey or chicken.
A meal finale like this requires only a small serving of each, but is power packed with taste, color and energy. It's great with coffee or espresso.
As I said earlier, this is free of wheat, flour, white sugar and dairy if you forgo the cheese. The raspberry butter is optional too. It won't leave you singing the sluggish blues the next day like most traditional desserts which taste so good on the front end and leave you wallowing in lethargy on the back. It requires no preparation time, except for hunting and gathering at something like a Whole Foods Market.
Pressed figs are also great as breakfast fare, and especially when the temperature drops.
Remember, loving figs means never having to say never.
More cooking early in the morning. Hope to post a couple more recipes.
Supersonic high energy is only one of many superlatives. So, let's dress this up a bit later today. And perhaps add a good stout cup of black coffee. (Black coffee, for health conscious adults only.)
Before you turn up your nose too quickly, I hope to convince you of several quick, easy and highly nutritious, festive things you can do with fig 'cake. ' And it has no white flour, white sugar, eggs or dairy, unless you throw in a little cheese, which I sometimes like to do.
I'll be back with more later today.
Monday, November 19, 2007
One of the many, many little things I'm thankful for is fresh flowers year-round now. It's something I never take for granted. How sweet it is.
I know, it's a bit corny, but still, every now and then I love to listen to this. And while I'm at it. Here's another one. This always happens to me when I start slaving (yes, I'm kidding)away in the kitchen. Maybe it's the cranberries....anyway, think I've gone stictly into girly mode now.
Get a cup of coffee and enjoy the luxury of a real, grown up and timely conversation among well-informed adults on meaty issues in something other than 15 second sound bites. There's no back-stabbing personal attacks. Just people focused on the most pressing issues of the day. What a refreshing idea.
I'll be back later to comment on this interview. But for now, I think it shows Thompson in a very thoughtful and well-informed light. There are no easy answers, but thank God we have good men and women willing to grapple with issues that aren't going away.
I do think Fred needs to get some work done on the bags under his eyes. He's too good a candidate not to tend to this superficiality. Then he needs to cut way, way, way back on the salt and chips in his diet. (I know, I know, but I'm a woman..... and these things do matter in the media driven world we live.... and I want my candidate to have a shot at winning. Those bags make Fred look tired and bedraggled, and that should not be the image he conveys if he really wants the job he's running for.)
Nice job, Roger and Bob.
Calling a spade a spade.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Karl Rove, Newsweek, November 26, 2007 issue
Survey of current presidential candidates' ads:
".......the damned have holidays---excursions ye understand...For those that will take them. Of course most of the silly creatures don't. They prefer taking trips back to Earth. They go and play tricks on the poor daft women ye call mediums. They go and try to assert their ownership of some house that once belonged to them....and then you get what's called a Haunting. Or they go and spy on their children. Or literary ghosts hang about public liberaries to see if anyone's still reading their books." "But if they come here they can really stay? Is judgment not final? Is there really a way out of Hell into Heaven?"
"It depends on the way you're using the words. If they leave that grey town behind it will not have been Hell. To any that really leaves, it is Purgatory. And perhaps ye better not call this place Heaven....not Deep Heaven. And yet to those who stay here it will have been Heaven from the first. Both good and evil when they are full blown becomes retrospective.....Not only this valley but all their earthly past will have been Heaven to those who are saved. And not only the twilight in that town, but all their life on Earth too will then be seen by the damned to have been Hell......you see Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory, as also damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin.....Both processes begin even before death....."
"Well, Sir, What do they choose, these souls that go back---I have yet seen no others? And how can they choose it?"
"Milton was right," said my Teacher. "The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words, Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. There is always something they insist on keeping...even at the price of misery. There is always something they prefer to joy---that is to reality. Ye see it easily enough in a spoiled child that would sooner miss its play and its supper than say it was sorry and be friends.....But in adult life it has a hundred fine names----Achilles wrath, Coriolanus' grandeur, Revenge and Injured Merit, Self-Respect, Proper Pride...."
"Then no one is lost through the undignified vices, Sir?"
"Some are no doubt. the sensualist, I'll allow ye, begins by pursuing a real pleasure, though a small one. His sin is less. But the time comes when, though the pleasure becomes less and less and the craving becomes fiercer and fiercer, he prefers to joy the mere fondling of unappeasable lust and would not have it taken from him. He'll fight to the death to keep it.....Ye'll understand, there are innumerable forms of this choice."
"How fantastic," I said.
"You think so?" the Teacher said with a piercing glance. "There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existance of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself.....as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist! There have been some so occupied in spreading Christianity they never gave a thought to Christ. Man!....Did ye never know a lover of books that with all his first editions and signed copies had lost the power to read them? Or an organisier of charities that had lost all love for the poor? It is the subtlest of all snares...."
Changing subject, I asked my Teacher, "But what of the poor Ghosts who never get into the omnibus at all?"
"Everyone who wishes it does. Never fear. There are only two kinds of people in the end: Those who say to God, Thy Will be done and those to whom God says, in the end, Thy will be done. All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell......those who seek, and keep seeking truly find. To those who knock the door is opened."
-----C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Friday, November 16, 2007
In case you don't know about Veggie Tales for kids, I want to say it's the cutest set of DVDs I've ever seen. Wonderful animated songs and stories from the Bible. Great gifts ideas for Christmas, Hanukkah or birthdays. I give 'em away only after I 'review' them first myself , being the ole fanatic veggie lover that I am...
Depressed? Eat your green veggies and watch a Veggie Tale. You'll feel better in no time.
Veggie Tales, Veggie Tales
Miracle In Iraq: The Church Service Hailed Round the World, 'Again and Again The Bishop Thanked America'
Michael Yon reports from Iraq: "It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any fighting. I can’t remember my last shootout: it’s been months. The nightmare is ending. Al Qaeda is being crushed. The Sunni tribes are awakening all across Iraq and foreswearing violence for negotiation. Many of the Shia are ready to stop the fighting that undermines their ability to forge and manage a new government. This is a complex and still delicate denouement, and the war may not be over yet. But the Muslims are saying it’s time to come home. And the Christians are saying it’s time to come home. They are weary, and there is much work to be done."
Today, Muslims mostly filled the front pews of St John’s. Muslims who want their Christian friends and neighbors to come home. The Christians who might see these photos likely will recognize their friends here. The Muslims in this neighborhood worry that other people will take the homes of their Christian neighbors, and that the Christians will never come back. And so they came to St John’s today in force, and they showed their faces, and they said, “Come back to Iraq. Come home.” They wanted the cameras to catch it. They wanted to spread the word: Come home. Muslims keep telling me to get it on the news. “Tell the Christians to come home to their country Iraq.”
A Catholic Bishop came to St John’s Church in Baghdad November 15, where a crowd of locals welcomed him home. They were joined at the service by soldiers from the 2-12 infantry battalion, many of whom had fought hard to secure these neighborhood streets. Members of the hard-fighting Iraqi Army 3rd Division were also here for this special day.
Read all of Michael Yon's post on this remarkable church service and the history behind it. You won't see much about it in the MSM. But there's much to be thankful for there.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
It was bound to happen. The victim machine just hadn't gotten there yet. But it has now, thanks to Amy Alkon, and it's a doozy. The new victim class is---of all things----men in flagrante delicto.
And she's squealing in delight and righteous indignation. She's found a new class of victim she can counsel with her It's Not Fair/You're Being Treated Like A Dog shtick.
Today, therapists, advice goddesses, lawyers and others in the helping professions eat, sleep and live (as in make lavish amounts of money) off the victimhood of others. They spend inordinate amounts of time identifying, diagnosing, advising, drugging, suing, legislating, adjudicating and attempting to cure it all while perpetuating their victimhood and racking up billions in billable hours and professional kudos.
And that's even before John Edwards became a presidential contender.
These victims have rights, no responsibilities, no insight and get a free pass to wander the halls of civilization in a suspended state of adolescent animation, while their new helpful advocates champion their cause. It's about either/or rather than both/and. It's about having your cake and eating it too.
Their daily grind---24/7/365----revolves around the elevation of VICTIMHOOD to a Divine Designation. Victimhood is made up of an identified victim, a person deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency: a victim of misplaced confidence; the victim of a swindler; a victim of an optical illusion, and an identified victimizer, a person who swindles, cheats or dupes others.
Only problem is that the Amy's of the World never focus how a victim is deceived or cheated by their own emotions, dishonesty, wishful thinking or lack of discipline. That would verge on taking personal responsiblity, and we can't have that. It's about assigning blame to others with remedies outside oneself---new laws, court decisions, publicity, government intervention and ever greater finger pointing, as the victim decibel level continues to rise.
It goes without saying that you cannot have a victim (the designation you want most, if you want Amy or Jessie on your side) without a victimizer (the designation you want least). Two sides, same coin, blah, blah blah. (But you may rest assured the helping professions love to assign which is which.) It should also be noted here that while the machines of victimhood assign only blame, the world of personal responsibility gets left far behind in the dust. Never mind that personal responsibility is the innate reality of each and every individual regardless of gender, race, color, religion, creed or nationality.)
And so it behooves Civilization's Helping Professions to keep finding new classes of victims and victimizers for the pipelines of their prestigious psychoanalytic journals, advancement of their reputations, bank accounts and blogs. It's like the drug companies who must invent new ailments, like moving foot syndrome, in order to foist new drugs on the market for their bottom lines.
Today, on Pajamas Media, Amy Alkon gives us a piece of her mind about women who victimize her new pet victims du jour: men in the act and and under the influence of their---how to say it on my blog? ---of their tiniest reptilian brains.
MEN WHO JUST CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES
Get your hankies out, folks, before you venture any further into this piece entitled: Daddy Nobucks, When Involuntary Fathers are Made to Foot the Bill, as Amy asks with a straight face, should men who say they don't want children to the object of their immediate affective gratification be held financially accountable if and when they unintentionally get their female objects pregnant?
Great question, Amy, glad you asked. The short answer is Y-E-S.
And Y-E-S also to the woman involved. It's both/and. Both are victims and victimizers who share responsibility. Either they now work out the child they created or the courts and social agencies will, and it will never seem fair to one or the other, or both. Class dismissed.
But if you don't like this answer and prefer Amy's instead, start the violins. Hands may collectively be wrung all the way to the end of the rather lengthy comments.
Amy whines on that if a man says he doesn't want children and then creates them, completely by accident with a woman he just met at, say, a bar while they both drank themselves under the table and into bed together, that he must be a victim and the woman, a victimizer if she keeps the child and wants his financial help, often for the rest of his life. He was drugged and duped by her and not himself, poor guy, and now he shouldn't have to pay out to her revenge machine for the bill.
What Amy means is, making babies shouldn't count if you're not in your right mind or if you've made it clear you don't want or aren't ready for children, but yes, you do most certainly want to have sex on demand without any further questions or consequences.
Amy----- "who has no patience for unscrupulous women luring unwitting partners into checkbook daddyhood"----continues follows:
"As I wrote in my syndicated advice column, in no other arena is a swindler rewarded with a court-ordered monthly cash settlement paid to them by the person they bilked. In an especially sick miscarriage of justice, even a man who says he was sexually victimized by an older woman from the time he was 14, has been forced to pay support for the child that resulted from underage sex with her."
My, she has a way with words.
In Amy's world having sex anytime, anywhere with anyone is a Divine Right and should carry no responsibilities or consequences whatsoever. Technology absolves us from all that. And if technology or wishful thinking fails, then we still shouldn't have to suffer consequences---because we say so!
Amy's readers---victims and would be victims waiting in the wings----are eating it up like chocolate chip cookies a la mode.
Amy and others of her ilk are victim makers and enablers. They keep the victim machines going full-steam in our world of perpetual rights without responsibilities, where more laws enabling victims rights and government intervention and funding are the only answers she can find.
A victim commenter whines as he reflects on her piece:
The law must change. Males must be considered human beings. Males are NOT ATM's with legs!
Indeed. There's truth in them thar hillls. However, why ever should this brilliant man think that the burden of change rests with the law and government, instead of with himself? If he doesn't want to become an ATM with legs, then praytell why should he treat himself like one? Why not take a little time to get to know the woman to see if she's really someone he should walk away or run from on the front end, before ever having sex?
Oh, I forgot. It's because men are no longer responsible for their own discernment, choices, drinking habits and most of all getting their immediate sexual needs gratified on demand. And of course, then neither are women.
Instant gratification with no consequences is another Divine Right in Amy's World of Fairness.
Only problem is it's not the real world. But it sure brings more "victimized"men in flagrante delicto to the Amy's of the world for "advice" and "fairness," with nary a word about personal responsibility, commitment, love, morality, discernment and those dreaded and ignored words abstinence until marriage.
Those are not words adolescents want to hear, nor the Victim Makers want to convey. Words like that might start turning people into grown-ups which then might take some of their clients away of their voracious victim pipelines.
But until men can control themselves on the front end of in flagrante delicto they are indeed ATMs with legs waiting to happen.
Probably not; we like duplicitous leaders. And the thought of a two-headed president is too tempting for words. Still for now, Hillary has lost at least one vote in Iowa. As her behemoth political machine rolls on, Hillary and company will soon move on and become more subtle in their staging techniques.
This Iowa student has, nonetheless shown a lot of backbone, in my opinion. And her conscience is clear. I admire women and men who belly up to the bar, take responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes. They're no longer victims when they know the part they played and can move on, wiser for the experience.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sir? May I approach the throne?
I wish to convey my sincere appreciation, Your Highness, for showing such moxie the other day with that boorish, abusive lout Hugo Chavez. Who in the world does he think he is insulting everyone within shouting distance? Castro? Stalin? Hitler? Satan, perhaps?
You said what thousands, maybe even millions of us, would have liked to have said to Chavez's face, had we the the chance. What we'd said if we'd been at that conference in Santiago with you and Hugo, even as Chavez's poor subjects were rioting back in Venezuela over many of his dictatorial, egomanical policies.
Isn't it amazing how Hugo enters a country mouth first, spewing insults everywhere he goes? How can you stand being in the same city let alone conference with him?
But I digress.
"SHUT UP!" you shouted to Chavez after he wore you and the other attendees out with his non-stop harangue. "Why don't you just shut up.?"
And long overdue. Think about it, Hugo flew to Chile and provoked his host country, by demanding Chile give his good buddies in Bolivia sea access which they don't have and hopefully never will. Then he hurled insults at Chilean President Michelle Bachelet by describing her friendly relations with the U.S. as "sleeping with the devil."
And if that wasn't enough he then insulted your Spainish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, calling him a "fascist.....And fascists are not human...a snake is more human!" Can you imagine Hugo of all people saying that to anyone? Then he rambled on for 25 minutes rather than the alloted 5 minutes at your conference.
I don't know which is worse, being a despotic dictator, or an outlandish boor. Either way, Chavez is both and deserved your royal exasperation and shout down in spades. Thank you again, Sir. You've just elevated your status with the rest of the free world. Being a role model and all, now perhaps other free leaders will follow suit.
Still for now, it's nice to know not everyone rolls over and takes Chavez's global boring hot air.......now could you just have a word or two with Al Gore?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Charlie Bailey who lost his left eye in Iraq and has been home a year. He still serves in the Army at Fort Huachucha, Arizona.
Clay Taylor who lost his left leg in a helicopter crash on August 12, 2005.
Kelly Bruno suffered a birth defect and lost her leg at six months. She serves Wounded Warriors through the Ranger Up program. She holds the world record in the Iron Man contest for female amputee for all ages.
Cedric Pippin with multiple injuries from IED explosion has been home for two months. He plans to enroll in college to get a business degree. And yes, he's Scotty Pippin's nephew.
Mark Leonard with 21 years in the Air Force.
Fain Grogg sustained a spinal cord injury and paralysis in Desert Storm. He lives and works in Johnson City, TN at the Veterans Administration.
Patriotic Guard Riders, not politically correct men on motorcycles who provide escorts and protection for injured and fallen soliders:
Steve Feril, Franklin, TN and Rick Burkey, Columbia, TN
God bless you all, and bless the United States. It simply doesn't get any better than events like this. And beautiful day to boot!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I, the LORD, had set them apart to be holy, making them my special people. --Ezekiel 20:12
From OneYearBibleblog this week: " the Sabbath days of rest were given as a sign between God and his people. Are you taking a day of rest each week? Would taking a day of rest - a Sabbath day - benefit your relationship with God? And with others? Would it benefit perhaps the other 6 days of your week?"
Above, "The Sabbath Rest" by the Jewish Polish painter Samuel Hirszenberg from the year 1894:
"I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all
the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful
mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small
Euclidean mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal
harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all
hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the
crimes of humanity, of all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it
not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened."
— Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Saturday, November 10, 2007
This Soldier bike ride from Percy Warner Park in West Nashville to Franklin, TN and back, Saturday morning is just one shining example.
I'll be on hand to take some pics and hopefully post them later.
What a great way to celebrate Veterans Day! Please remember these men in whatever ways you can.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Today, it's about Hillary staging questions in the audience at a campaign event in Iowa. Questions she wants asked and has already rehearsed answers for.
Hillary staging her campaign event. by planting people in the audience with the right questions, now there's an idea.
Choreography is upon us in the truest sense of the word.
I've liked Thomas Sowell for a long, long time and try to catch his syndicated columns somewhere each week. Sowell is a black conservative historian at the Hoover Institute who likes to focus on the history of concepts and ideas and often debunks current post-modern thought. He is in good company with fellow Hoover member Victor Davis Hanson.
Sowell's conservative take on life and history is always refreshing to me, in contrast to, say, the victim consciousness and constant whining of the likes of Jessie Jackson and company. I'm sure he's despised by mainstream Black American for refusing to take on the mantle of helpless victim.
This week's column appeared in Thursday's IBD and especially caught my eye. It's entitled, Giving Back Has Become A Mindless Mantra. In it Sowell talks about the new mindless terms of making a difference and giving back and how sick he is of both.
"I have donated money, books and blood," Sowell writes, "to people I have never seen and to whom I own nothing......that is not unusual among Americans who do more of that than anyone else....."
Sowell continues that he doesn't consider this giving back, "because we never took anything from them in the first place...However if we're giving back to society at large, in exchange for all that society has made possible, then that is a very different ballgame."
But in this regard, he asks rhetorically, where is the spirit of gratitude and loyalty in those who preach to us the gospel of giving back? Then he singles out the current educational system in America today which is "actively undermining any sense of loyalty to the traditions, values and institutions of American society."
"What is today's education giving back but condemnation, often depicting sins common to the human race around the world as peculiar evils of our society."
Then Sowell turns to slavery as example.
"A classic example is slavery, which is repeatedly drummed into our heads---in schools and in the media---as something unique done by white people to black people in the United States. The tragic fact is that for thousands of years of recorded history, people of every race and color have been both slaves and enslavers."
"(White) Europeans enslaved on the Barbary Coast of North Africa (by radical Muslims) were far more numerous than all the Africans brought to the U.S. and 13 colonies ...."
"What was unique about Western civilization was that it was the first civilization to turn against slavery, and that it stamped out slavery not only in its own societies but in other societies around the world during the era of Western imperialism."
Sure it took over a century, but the result was the end of slavery in the Western world.
Sowell's final point is well taken and this: Those who so anxiously want to give back, should give back the truth.
I couldn't agree more. Spinning history to grind the axe of self-hatred and to further a political agenda based on myth is not giving back anything. Rather it's taking, stealing, from the richness of our cultural heritage which, though far from perfect, has given the world a country of unlimited opportunity.
Slavery was a terrible thing. But far from endemic to our country and England. If you don't believe Sowell, just ask the people of ancient Sumner, Assyria, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Nordic invasions and the Barbary Coast......
History of slavery.
And none of this even begins to touch on the slavery within our own minds that holds us in captivity to our lower nature. But that's another post for another day.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
"Surrogate motherhood -- carrying to term and giving birth to another woman's baby - once was limited in India to helping close relatives who couldn't complete a pregnancy due to medical difficulties."
"But leading gynecologist Dr. Kamla Selvaraj says it's now becoming a regular "profession" in India, with more and more women willing to carry babies for others, for a fee."
As abortion mills grind on in our post-modern society, it's good to know somewhere women are having babies for those who can't and desperately want to bring them into the world and lovingly raise them.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
And the cult of self-esteem. Don't leave home or go to school without reading it.
Dr. Sannity: "For years now, pop psychology and the ego-stroking madness of the self-esteem gurus have mesmerized the culture at large with their theories about how exceptionally vulnerable children are to not feeling 'special'. . Like the do-gooders at the school John Miller's daughter goes to, they are preoccupied at how psychologically damaging it is for a child to accept that other children might actually possess superior skill, talent, or intelligence than they do. Protecting them from such awareness (i.e., from reality) is felt to be the greatest and most caring achievement that educators can do these days."
Is self-esteem over-rated? Can it truly be bestowed from outside oneself and one's struggle? Can it ever come from living in a false sense of reality (in love, in career and even in spiritual matters?), rather than be earned through our own long-term efforts in a world of all kinds of soft and hard knocks, i.e. reality?
Reality can often have very sharp teeth. Life can be tough and the sooner we get it, the better. Right? Well at least that's the way it used to be.
Here's another question to ponder: Is giving self-esteem to children---as if it can really be given---really an act of love in the long-term? Or is love supporting and encouraging our children and ourselves in our own journeys to do the best we can, let the chips fall where they may, and then move on from there with lessons learned ready to go forward with a little more maturity?
I believe we live in a society so steeped and overcome with narcissism and radical relative individualism that none of us are exempt from suffering from it. Unless and until we begin to live on principles.
I believe for instance that narcissism has turned our concepts of family and marriage on its ear with potentially devastating effects: The Institution of Marriage is no longer considered established for the Greater Good of Society as well as the family. Rather the Institution of Marriage is being redefined as the Narcissistic Divine Right of the individual, ANY INDIVIDUAL, who ultimately demands to define it any way he or she chooses, for as long, and for whatever reason they choose.
And we are supposed to go along with this anything goes approach to Life, Marriage and raising children with one criteria in mind: Don't let anybody's feelings get hurt. It might damage one's self-esteem. If you have hurt feelings it must be because you didn't have good enough individual boundaries. If we can change enough laws, allow enough freedom to the individual, then we won't have anymore hurt feelings and everyone will live with a glorious sense of self-esteem. Right?
Where this narcissistic train loaded with "high self-esteem" passengers demanding their individual rights---without thoughts of responsibility or even a twinge of hurt feelings---is ultimately taking us is surely a monumental train wreck waiting to happen and possibly the disintegration of society. It will surely happen unless we individuals start thinking about the Greater Good of Society as well as ourselves. What can we give as individuals as well as take, instead of obsessing about our individual hurt feelings and raising self-esteem above all else in a faux world of magical thinking?
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Staging has been a favorite term of realtors for a long time, as in staging your house for a quick sale. But staging and manufacturing the news is less known. Yet it happens all the time. I did it for the slow news Monday editions at my newspaper many years ago. You have nothing to write about so you dream up some controversial story idea, and then call around and get sources to give opposing opinions about whatever it is. And presto! you have a PAGE ONE CONTROVERSY on your hands. (Meanwhile, the combatants were half asleep on their sofas never dreaming they were in a war of the worlds conflict that I had just dreamed up and staged for the Monday edition of my newspaper!)
But this takes the cake. It's disgusting and frankly one of the reasons I watch less and less of the behemoth broadcasts anymore.
ABC News can rest assured that I am duly offended by their staged antics, even before I see the paid actors, gay or otherwise, hamming it up in pre-rehearsed public "love" scenes. Note to ABC News, poor taste is poor taste, no matter who is participating in it. And if that's what they call bigotry, then so be it.
Meanwhile Wednesday's IBD Editorials tells us why turning off NBC is the greatest thing we can do for the environment.
Being a scholar of all things Southern, I did a little research. The Wikipedia entry for "Y'all" begins as follows..."Y'all, sometimes misspelled as ya'll..." There's an age-old Southern expression, "Don't ever contradict Wikipedia..." or something like that.
Now if we could just clear up the controversy over how to spell "Hoe Cakes," or better yet, the perfect recipe for Hoe Cakes. And in case you were wondering, you'll not find it on Wikipedia. More research needed.
It's always nice having you comment here. As far as the correct spelling of ya'll, I'm guilty as charged. And still unrepentant.
You would side with Wikipedia now that you're almost a Yankee....however, the fact that you still dream of Joe Lee's hoe cakes gives me great hope that you haven't forgotten your Southern roots entirely!
As for the recipe, it involves the following: cornmeal, an egg, shortening or Wesson Oil and lots of deep fat frying. The crisp hoe cakes, when done, are then served warm and topped with lots of salty butter. If we're going to sin, it might as well be with warm butter on everything, right?!
A bite of heaven I'll bet even you can't get in The Big Apple.
Your still Southern Mom
Monday, November 5, 2007
Prediction; Thompson will never be President. But maybe VP. I like Fred tremendoulsy, but I am a realist, and it's never going to happen for him as President. (And heaven knows, I want nothing more than to be proven wrong.)
Does Fred think the same way that I do? Probably in his heart of hearts.
Fred reiterates he believes life begins at conception. But will social conservatives like his Federalist stand on abortion laws being a state decision and not a Constitutional Amendment? Only time will tell.
Russert held his feet to the fire and Thompson kept his cool. Only Hillary gets to be righteously indignant and whine at such a line of tough questioning. How dare Russert be so hard on her and that well sculptured image of hers.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
"Don't you know me?" the bright spirit shouted to the Ghost.
"Well, I'll be damned, yes, I remember you. You killed Jack, didn't you....you look pretty pleased with yourself......but what about poor Jack? What about that poor chap lying cold and dead?"
"Of course I did. But it's all right now. You'll see and meet him if you stay....."
"What I'd like to understand," said the Ghost, "is what you're here for, as pleased as punch, you a bloody murderer, while I've been walking the streets down there and living in a place like a pigsty all these years...?"
"That's a little hard to understand at first. But it is all over now. You will be pleased about it presently, Till then there's no need to bother about it," said the bright spirit.
"No need to bother about it! Aren't you ashamed of yourself?......Look at me, now. I gone straight all my life. I don't say I was a religious man and I don't say I had no faults, far from it. But I done my best all my life, see? I done my best by everyone, that's the sort of chap I was. I never asked for anything that wasn't mine by rights. If I wanted a drink I paid for it and if I took my wages I done my job, see? That's the sort I was and I don't care who knows it."
"It would be much better not to go on about that now...."
"Who's going on? I'm not arguing. I'm just telling you the sort of chap I was, see? I'm asking for nothing but my rights. I got my rights, same as you, see? I do my best and I don't see why I should be put below a bloody murderer like you...."
"OH NO. It's not as bad as that," said the Bright Spirit. "I haven't got my rights, or I shouldn't be here. You will not get yours either. You'll get something far better, never fear."
"What do you keep arguing for? I'm only telling you the sort of chap I am. I only want my rights.....I'm not asking for any body's bleeding charity.....If they choose to let in a bloody murderer like you, that's their look out. But I don't see myself going in the same boat as you, see? I'm a decent man and if I had my rights I'd have been here long ago and you can tell them I said so."
The Bright Spirit shook his head. "You can't do it like that....And it isn't exactly true, you know." Mirth danced in his eyes as he said it.
"What isn't true?" as the Ghost sulkily.
"You weren't a decent man and you didn't do you best. None of were and none of us did. Lord bless you, it doesn't matter...."
"YOU!" gasped the Ghost. "You, a murderer, have the face to tell me I wasn't a decent chap?"
"Of course. Must I go into all of that? I will tell you one thing to begin with: Murdering old Jack wasn't the worst thing I did. That was the work of the moment and I was half mad when I did it. But I murdered you in my heart, deliberately for years. I used to lie awake at night thinking what I'd do to you if I ever got the chance. That is why I've been sent to you now, to ask your forgiveness and to be your servant as long as you need one.....I was the worst. But all the men who worked under you felt the same. You made it hard for us, you know. And you made it hard for your wife and for your children."
"Mind your own business, young man," said the Big Ghost. "I'm not taking any impudence from you about my private affairs."
"There are no private affairs."
"I'll tell you one thing," said the Big Ghost. "You can clear off, see? You're not wanted. I may be a poor man, but I'm not making pals with a murderer, let alone take lessons from him. Made it hard for you and your like, did I? If I had you back there I'd show you what hard work is."
"Come and show me now," said the other with laughter in his voice. "It will be joy going to the mountains...."
"You don't think I'd go with you, do you?"
"Don't refuse. You will never get there alone. And I'm the one who was sent to you."
"Tell them I'm not coming, see? I'd rather be damned than go along with you. I came here to get my rights. Not to go snivelling along on charity tied onto your apron-strings......I'll go home..... That's what I'll do. I'll go home. And blast the whole pack of you....."
In the end, still grumbling, but whimpering also a little as it picked its way over the sharp grasses, it made off.'
----------C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Him: "Where on earth have you been all day? Just talked to Jack. They're slaying 'em up on the Caney Fork. Big browns, best fishing they've seen on that river in years. Let's run up and fish it on Friday."
Me: "There's NO way. None, zero, zilch. Too busy. Too much to do here tomorrow. I lost my Polaroids. All my fishing stuff is packed in the back of the closet. Sorry. Just one of those days, but thanks for thinking of me. And that's final. Goodbye."
FRIDAY, ON THE CANEY FORK FISHING FOR BROWNS