Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christ Reveals To John His Future Triumphant Return In Revelation

Revelation is the only book in the Bible which promises blessings to any and everyone who reads it. It's a fascinating journey of prophecy of the end of our world as we know it. Both daily Bible studies that I currently do and highly recommend to anyone seeking to know more of God's Word---Daily Quiet Walk, an e-mail service, and One Year Bible Blog, one of my links to the right---are both winding up this year with studies of Revelation. Here is a brief commentary from Revelation 19:

Apocalypse: "The revelation of a violent struggle in which evil will be destroyed" (Webster's Dictionary). The second coming of Christ will be the apocalypse fulfilled. While the symbolism of the language in Revelation makes it difficult to ascertain exactly how events will unfold, it is clear that when Jesus returns again, it will be to confront evil and destroy it. The heavens will split and Jesus will descend upon the armies of the earth which have gathered in opposition to His return. In contrast to His past role as Savior of man, He will now come as King of creation. Whereas once He made Himself subject to men, now all men will become subject to Him. History will end and eternity will begin.

Most of us simply don't take this seriously, calling it nonsense. But we do so at our own great eternal peril, it reveals.

The eternal state ---an in-depth commentary.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

No Thank You


Don't think even Victor Daivs Hanson lecturing on ancient Greece could get me on one of these bacteria infested, love obsessed behemoths. I know it's not wise to say 'never.' So I'll leave it at, I simply cannot imagine enjoying vacationing like this. Ever."

A Short Word on Resort Vacationing

Where we all met for breakfast yesterday. The center of town, a happening, chaotic crowded place. Sensational weather, with mild temperatures and very low humidity. I suppose it is a visual feast for sore eyes. For some.

I love visiting and reconnecting with extended family over huevos.

However, only a few days in a place like this and I realize I'm not cut out for resort vacation/living for the long haul, or even the medium run. From our vantage point yesterday, I watched the cruise ships bobbing in the harbor and thought how, if I happened to find myself on one, I would try to escape to dry land and beg to be incarcerated in jail, rather than have to return to the boat. Can't imagine being on one of those pleasure, love boats by choice.

I kept asking people if there are any trails up that hill at land's end in the background right, and no one seemed to know. Never mind. There are plenty of other hills for me to go up and down here. And that's enough for me.


A distant male relative from D.C. here with us turned to me in the car yesterday with the following pronouncement:

He: "I simply ain't cut out for this place for very long."

Me: "My thoughts exactly. But tell me why? Put words to it while you're at it."

He: "It seems in resorts like this people from the States have thrown in the towel and come to slowly die of a life of pleasure. I want to die in the fray with my sword still bloodied, so to speak. The weather is lovely and the company good, but this place is wearing thin for me."

Me: "I couldn't have said it better. Can I quote you on my blog?"

He: "Yes, of course. And tell 'em we'll both be back to the fray in a couple of days!"

10 Most Corrupt U.S. Politicians Circa 2007

Guess who's in number one spot?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Recent Interview With Benazir Bhutto

UPDATE: Joel Rosenberg on why Bhutto's assassination matters.

Gail Sheehy interviews the late Pakistani opposition leader in a piece that was scheduled for publication in Parade Magazine Jan. 6. What red-blooded American woman doesn't grieve over Bhutto's brutal double assassination/murder? Like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she lived in constant danger of being murdered. From this interview:

Like her country, Bhutto is a riddle. Brilliant, beautiful, fearless, she is also ruthlessly ambitious, devious and corrupt. The first question that perplexes an American: How could Bhutto — Harvard- and Oxford-educated, unapologetically secular — have become the first woman elected to lead a Muslim country? In part, the answer is that in dynastic Pakistan, she is effectively royalty. The second question: Why should this election matter so much to America? That answer is simpler. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Also, the most dangerous place in the world is Pakistan’s lawless border with Afghanistan. It is a Ho Chi Minh Trail of terrorism where Osama bin Laden is believed to enjoy sanctuary.

She was undoubtedly wildly, scandalously ambitious like Hillary, and came by it naturally via birth, or else, how could she have become political royalty as she was? The puerile drama in these Muslim countries just isn't going to stop. In fact, it will undoubtedly ratchet up going forward.

via Drudge.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Blogging A Gentle Sea Breeze

I must be dreaming. I awaken early this morning to the sounds of gentle breezes through an open door, a fan whirring over my bed and the sounds of birds and the sea in the background. I touch my bare feet down on a tile floor and wiggle my toes in delight. The sun comes up over the sea and bougenvillia floods my eyes on the terrace beyond. Excuse me, I mean bougenvillia on the terrace beyond floods my eyes.

I think I shall like this dream, for a few days anyway. I promise myself I will learn how to spell bougenvillia correctly before I wake up. But for now, I shall be very quiet, with nary a thought of presidential primaries, proper syntax or Drudge to jar me awake. Now if I can just find some fresh avocado to have with my green eggs and ham without offending my hosts with my outlandish food choices. They say, 'you want what for breakfast?!' I say, 'just a little avocado, pour favor.'

In fact, I could live on avocado, olive oil, and water for a while. Oh, and little black coffee thrown in for good measure.

Before the sun rise.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Meaning of Christmas is simple: The God of the Universe and Savior of our fallen world becomes manifest in it as a baby, so that He could take on the consequences of our sins, arrogance and loathing, and give us Hope for more, much more than we ever dreamed possible, or than we could ever do for ourselves.

Thank you Mike at One Year Bible blog. You have made studying the Bible this year online a rich and ever wonderous experience.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christ, Born in Bethlehem

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
And the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over hit kingdome,
establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (NIV)

---Isaiah 9: 6-7

Ineffable wonder, unparalled hope for the world.

Tim Keller calls wonder involutary praise. And says that sense of wonder is what we all need to transform our lives into truly living the Gospel and the Good News, rather than just knowing about it and believing it. I agree.

So I wish you wonder and joy in this holiday season that transforms your life into the future.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to my readers and commenters. See you in the New Year.

Some Thoughts About The Kite Runner Movie

.....and ultimate differences between Christianity and Islam. A review of the movie from the Christ-centered perspective of Dr. Albert Mohler:

The background worldview of the film and the novel is, of course, Islam. Given that fact, several thoughts have been framed in my mind since reading the novel several years ago and seeing the movie just recently. The thoughts concern the contrast between Islam and Christianity brought into focus by the story. These differences are not that Christians are better people than Muslims, that brutality is limited to the Islamic world, or that the Christians and Muslims would understand the theme of betrayal in starkly different terms. Both Christians and Muslims would agree that Amir's betrayal of Hassan is an evil and sinful act.

No, the big difference is that The Kite Runner is based on a false promise and a heart-breaking need. The false promise is that offered to the adult Amir: "There is a way to be good again."

The whole plot suggests that Amir can redeem himself for his sordid betrayal of a young friend by his brave act of rescuing the friend's son, Sohrab. The Christian gospel reminds us that there is no act, however brave, virtuous, or sacrificial, that can make us "good again." Christians understand that our redemption is nothing we can accomplish at all. Instead, our redemption is accomplished by God through the atonement achieved by the obedience of the Son -- obedience even unto death on the cross. Furthermore, the gospel never promises us that sinners are made "good" as we are saved by grace through faith. Instead, sinners who come to Christ by faith receive the imputed righteousness of Christ by the declaration of the Father.

By the end of the film, it certainly appears that even Amir does not feel that he has been made "good" by his brave rescue of Sohrab. He remains a deeply troubled soul.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Before Christmas

In New York City with my son, his lovely fiance and her precious mother who just flew over from England to meet without my computer and on my way to Redeemer Presbyterian Church to hear Tim Keller. Will post more later. God bless and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hillary, Wrapping Gifts of Socialism in Pretty Packages; Wanting to Be Our Nanny-In-Chief

There's no subtlety here. Hillary has a vision for our country: increasing every citizen's dependence on the federal government from cradle to grave, using our tax monies. She's a blatant socialist and intends to make our country into an even greater nanny state.

It's scandalous.

Surely the people of our great country will not let this happen. Surely we value our freedom, our economy, our independent spirit too much to let her try to force feed us these 'gifts.'

Just say no. In unison.

The Clintons are truly a political disgrace. They must not be elected.

Outdoor World/Bass Pro Shops, Americana at Its Most Outrageous Fun

The most festive, fun place on Earth at Christmastime. I'd put it up against anything. Everyone comes with a dream and tries to hang onto to their wallets. Only a country with free markets and the great entrepreneurial spirit like ours could come up with so many, many choices of how to spend your money and your leisure time. You won't find this in the Middle East, Russia, Cuba or most any other place in the world. Americana at its most outrageous.

The aquarium with dozens of big fish delights everyone, especially future little bass pros.

Seventy pound catfish is a favorite of the aquarium there.

Merry Christmas from Tennessee.....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Getting Personal: My #1 Most Favorite Gadget of 2007

In the overall scheme of things, I consider myself a simple soul.

To wit, the longer I live, the more I like simple, easy to care for, lightweight things (food, relationships and other gadgets). Anything that gets too complicated, too fast---no matter how wonderful the promises---either never gets in the door, or quickly gets the boot if it does. I don't have a lot of storage space here, so I relish space-saving, decluttering indulgences.

I've never cared much for vacuum cleaners. They just get bigger, fancier, more laborious and expensive and take up way too much space in the closet. I loath lugging them around, ripping out the electrical cord from the wall, just as I've crawled under the bed to get a 5 year-old dust wad. In short, the vacs I've had over the years---great and small--have all been less than satisfactory.

Until this year.

Something magical happened to my vacuum world in 2007: I saw and bought on a whim a little Bissell Turbo Perfect Sweep for $39 at Target and threw away my last vacuum cleaner---FOREVAH! I admit I was skeptical at first, and even agonized for at least thirty minutes in the store before ringing the register and checking out. Totally unnecessary.

I now feel like Cinderella after the Prince when I vacuum.

It's the cutest little machine and will go anywhere with me. It's tiny and doesn't even have a permanent cord. Instead, when you're not using it, you plug it in overnight to charge it up for hours of hard work and then store it in the closet until you use or charge it again.

So ladies, remember to consider this when you want to do something nice for yourself. And fellows, if you're not giving her diamonds or lace, then consider a little touch of perfection. It's a lot cheaper and can do things in short order that jewelry can never do! And unless you're a cleaning perfectionist---which I'm not---the little turbo gets you out doing whatever else you most love to do instead of vacuuming.


Merry Christmas!

The Telegraph Names Internet Top Ten of 2007

It's a British take on the year now ending, but still not bad from where I stand. From the phenomenon called GodTube to the King of Spain standing up to Chavez, it's been quite a year. I know it's early, but it's my blog and I'm doing it now anyway.

Joel Rosenberg on Putin's Personhood

Joel always has a solid take on breaking news, especially as it relates to Israel and the Middle East. In essence, Time Magazine considers Vladimir Putin a greater (negative) force for change in the world than anyone else as this year draws to a close. I can't disagree with anything Joel says here.

He also reminds us of President Bush's historic trip to the Middle East in early January. It will be his first trip to Israel, since he became President, though he was there as governor of Texas.

Meanwhile, the braying Archbishop of Canterbury takes issue with God's Nativity good news story, and as usual wants to set us straight. What ever would we do without this top atheist impersonating a Christian?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Copy of the Magna Carta Sells in New York For $21.3 Million, A Bargain

(This is the kind of headline my late dear grandmother would have swooned over! As a Magna Carter Dame who pilgramaged with my aunt to Runnymeade in the 70s, she took this document very seriously and instilled in me the importance of our forebearers' foresight to the freedoms we have, and often take for granted, in our country today. It was the beginning of the Rule of Law. I guess her influence and my lineage make me a proud Magna Carta damette, or something like that.)

One of 17 copies of the Magna Carta sold for $21.9 million yesterday:

Bearing the seal of King Edward I and dated 1297, it is one of 17 known copies of the historic tract that defined human rights as the foundation for liberty and democracy as it is known today. It is one of two that exist outside Britain; the other is in Australia.

The Perot Foundation bought its copy from a British family for $1.5 million. From 1988 until earlier this year it was on loan to the National Archives in Washington, sharing space with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, two documents that drew on its principles.

"Over those years," Redden said, "it may have been seen by 40 to 50 million people, certainly the most viewed version of the Magna Carta anywhere."

The Magna Carta came into existence when a group of English barons demanded that King John affix his seal to a list of protections at Runnymede in 1215. Those edicts were not fulfilled, but subsequent versions of the document followed for the next 80 years, until 1297, when it was codified into law.

Tuesday's sale price included the auction house's commission.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Ugh Report: Democratic Candidate John Edwards Candidacy Will Soon Bite the Dust When Rielle Hunter Pregnancy Rumors Confirmed?

THURSDAY UPDATE on John Edwards-Rielle Hunter story.

John Edwards, baby daddy?

Rumors have been circulating for months and months, and now appear undeniable: John Edwards has a girlfriend who's six months pregnant.

Drudge headlines it late Tuesday. The National Enquirer screams it in its current edition: Rielle Hunter is having John Edwards baby for sure? The aphrodisiac power of politics. Rielle Hunter was Edward's videotographer, and now allegedly secluded in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Her web videos of Edward's campaign disappeared but now have surfaced again.

Presidential candidate John Edwards is washed up. if this is true Completely. Utterly. It will be a two-person race between The Clintons and Obamas.

After months of denial, the truth is coming out? If Edwards doesn't like it, well he can just......sue us.

He's toast. Burnt toast at that.

UPDATE: Former campaign assistant Andrew Young is now taking the rap, saying he's the father of Rielle's baby. What a story!

In a bizarre twist, Young, a 41-year-old married man with young children, now claims HE is the father of Reille's baby. But others are skeptical about his claim and talk of a political cover up is heating up. Reille, when contacted in person by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, denied that she was Reille Hunter. Later, she hired a lawyer and issued a statement, saying that Young is the father. But a source close to the 43-year-old divorcee says Rielle has told a far different story privately. "Rielle told me she had a secret affair with Edwards. When she found out that she was pregnant she said he was the father."Rielle loves Edwards and will do anything to protect him, the source said. The NATIONAL ENQUIRER has obtained exclusive photos of a visibly pregnant Rielle and learned from close sources that she has been in phone contact with Edwards. That information has not been denied by anyone. "Rielle told me while Andrew Young is a friend, she's not romantically involved with him," says the source close to Rielle.

To be continued for sure.

Forbes, Top Ten Tots?

Surely they jest.

Just in case you don't have enough to do, here's a ridiculous link to show us what this world is really coming to. Honest to goodness.

Powerful babies? Influential infants? How low can we go? I feel sorry for these poor children who will be brought up in the spotlights of the media circus, surrounded by armed guards at all times and living in the shadows of pompous, sychophantic unreality and larger-than-life egos.

Praytell, can any of them survive to live a half-way normal, grounded life?

The Dreaded Deflated Hillary Photo Beamed Round the World

Update: I took her photo down, I simply can't look at it any longer. Anyway, it's all over the Web and easy to find. She's not my candidate and never will be, but I wish her well and anyway, it's Christmas.


Is it the end? Drudge asks rhetorically. Don Surber sees vulnerability writ all over it. Ann Althouse complains only middle aged women get this kind of unfair treatment. Rush believes our looks obsessed culture will simply not choose to look anymore and banish her herewith. Dr. Helen argues, no, men also get the dreaded ageism treatment , often unfairly, while The Anchoress agrees: not the first time, won't be the last, then links to Michael Totten's love post with some pretty unbecoming photos of politicos. Then the GOP weighs in.

It's a love/hate link fest of unprecedented proportions. The only thing that could have gotten even more attention would be if the photo had been of Hillary's rear end.

There's nothing original I can add to the cacophony of commentary abounding, except,

Hillary looks her age here, no question. She looks tired, deflated, puffy around the eyes---like she's eaten too much salt---older and out-of-sorts. In short, every woman's worst nighmare of a photo, with all due respect to Ann, Helen and other of the great levelers. Women hate stuff like this, me included. We all should humbly admit but by the grace of God, go we. Yes, yes I know it's dreadfully vain and superficial of me. So be it.

I think women, and men too, never photograph anywhere near their best in cold, cold weather. It's because our pores, skin cells, veins, capillaries and connective tissue are all contracted by freezing temperatures, and thus we become shells of ourselves until we warm up again. Whether this is a metaphor for a larger looming reality remains to be seen, but I wouldn't be at all surprised. For now, I say, she's in trouble not because of ageism, sexism, racism, culturism, atheism or cold weather.

The Clintons are in trouble because she and Bill are cold, hard-bitten, aging politicians who can't be trusted to run the country anymore and that harsh reality is reflected in the above photo. We must now make sure she doesn't get the Supreme Court, as boobie prize.

She does have at least one thing to be thankful for: it wasn't a photo of her derrier flung round the world. I've heard for years that she's given the strictest of orders to her staff of keepers and handlers not to let anyone, a-n-y-o-n-e, take a photo of her from behind. So in the relative scheme of things, her worst photographic scenario hasn't come true. Yet. And God help us if it should happen. But for now, she's probably thankful for such small things. Still make no mistake, there are times that Hillary does look good. And she will again.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Word About Huckabee and Thompson, as Iowa Looms

Much is being written about the ascendancy of Mike Huckabee as a Republican presidential candidate.

And the demise of Fred Thompson.

It may all unfold as it now appers. Be that as it may, I want to add my two cents worth:

Mike Huckabee would be a disaster to his party if nominated for either president or VP. I concur with Steven Stark that he's the new Jimmy Carter, I also concur with Bryan Preston at HotAir on his position on clemency and Rick Warren's influence on his so-called purpose driven model for leadership as governor of Arkansas.

As a southern evangelical, let me cut to the chase: Mike Huckabee would ruin any chances of a Republican winning the presidency in 2008. He needs to stay in the pulpit and the private sector and out of the White House. He will never win, no matter how he shows in Iowa in two weeks and beyond.

On the other hand, Fred Thompson who appears to be in trouble, is just the man this country needs, as President or VP, to hang tough and stand firm on the most pressing issues facing America today: homeland security, tight borders, the war on terror, free trade and opening up new markets, objective verses subjective Constitutional interpretation and appointing judges, to name a few.

One final note: for the first time in two years, I think The Clintons may have jumped the shark and be forever on the decline. And it's about time. It couldn't happen to a nicer couple. American Digest has memories of their times together in the days of drugs, sex, rock and roll in the late, late 60s (1971).

Dick Morris agrees The Clintons don't have a clue how to win the White House back now. Interesting, since Dick declared earlier this year that Hillary would certainly be the next President of the United States.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Micah Prophesies Christ Born in Bethlehem, 700 Years Before The Story Is Told in Matthew


This great Messianic prophecy was written some 700 years before the birth of Christ:

Micah 5:1-5

1 Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel's ruler on the cheek with a rod.

2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins from ancient times.

3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.

4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.

5 And he will be their peace.

Could it, oh could it be just a coincidence when we then read the account in Matthew 2, written almost 800 years later which goes like this?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi came from the east to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one born king of the Jews? We saw his star and came to worship Him.' When he King Herod heard this he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 'In Bethlehem of Judea,' they replied for it is what the prophet (Micah) has written. 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judea are by no means least among the rulers of Judea, for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'

Then Herod sends the Magi out to Bethlehem to find the Christ child and instructs them to return to him and tell him where the child is, so he too can go and worship (read that, kill) the child. So the wise men leave, find the Christ, recognize they have found the Son of God and bow down and worship him. But before they can return to Herod, an Angel appears to them and instructs them to leave the country another way and not go back to Herod.

What an incredible story! This intense but miraculous time of year is a wonderful opportunity to ask this Christ child to be born and grow in our hearts. If we continue asking, He will indeed come and reveal himself to the Wisest Men of our hearts and minds, much wiser than any so called worldly wisdom.

Thanks to One Year Bible blog for inspiration today and every day.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup

Recipe Saturday....

Saturday: So busy cooking and getting ready for a family gathering tonight for my son and his lovely new fiancee---to introduce her to family and a few friends that I haven't had time to write. But I'll be back, God willing, sometimes later this weekend.

Ladies Luncheons 2 and 3

Quick political poll:

Atlanta: Anybody but Hillary. Anybody but Hillary and Jane Fonda. Anybody but Hillary. Anybody but Hillary and Obama. Anybody but a Democrat. Anybody but John Edwards, Obama, or the Clintons.

Anybody but Hillary.

Nashville: Anybody but a Democrat. Anybody but Hillary.

Ugh, sorry about all the Johnny Depp pics, he's not ideal at all...just listen to the music if you like. Only one I could embed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jane Fonda at 70, Still Appalling After All These Years

Have to admit I've never been a great fan of Jane Fonda. My disaffection started decades ago, like many others', after seeing photos of her with the Viet Cong smeared all over the world when she became Hanoi Jane.

Jane, poster girl, sex symbol, wild child war protester of the 60s and early 70s. But get this, Jane is now 70 and wants to be the recycled sex symbol of the 21st century, if she and her publicists have anything to do with it. And, judging from the sound of it, the're working overtime to indeed do something about it:

Jane Fonda has her mind set on making an erotic film. The 70 year old actress wants to prove that elderly couples still have active and fulfilling sex lives. She says, "They're not knocking down the doors of someone almost 70 in Hollywood. I want to make an erotic movie about a woman over 70. There's this cultural vacuum that, when you hit a certain age, you're not sexual anymore. The contrary is true. We'll see if I can do it. Got to get it written first. I've already mapped out the love scene."

Goodness gracious, Jane, you're so kind to show all us dumb illiterates the way to the sexual riparian promise lands of old age. What a relief to know sex after, say 35, is even possible.


I met Jane briefly, in the early 90s out West. She was with then-husband Ted Turner up in Montana at an environmental conference where Ted was a featured panelist/speaker (can't remember what he was his topic---perhaps raising bison in an ecologically happy way). Anyway, Ted was so surly and offensive on the podium, for a minute I actually felt sorry for her. But the feeling didn't last, and over the years kept up with her less and less.

But Thursday while visiting relatives in Atlanta I picked up the morning edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and who should be on the front page but Jane and her dog with the happy and reassuring headline: Fonda at 70: 'Best Time of My Life.'

The story goes on to chronicle Jane's outstanding life and journey from Hollywood to Atlanta, her marriage to and divorce from Ted, and the non-profit she started 13 years ago to help prevent teenage pregnancy in Georgia called Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP). The article indicates Jane is a role model for young people, especially teenagers who are struggling to finish school and not let their lives be messed up by early pregnancy.

So important is this organization to her that's she's celebrated her biggest birthday last night with proceeds to benefit G-CAPP. Price of admission about $50,000 over seven years per person.

Wow, I thought, Jane has started a non-profit to help prevent teenagers from getting pregnant. The article didn't give any details as to how to her organization accomplishes this feat of preventing pregnancies in youth. Education? Birth Control? Abortion? Who knows.

But never mind. Judging from the sound of it, it's certainly not through celibacy, abstinance, or role modelling. Nor advocating sex within the confines of love, marriage, commitment and the ability to actually care for children. That would be far too, well, 20th century.

The piece continues by saying Jane is most anxious to tell the world that at 70.... 'sex is good and she's having it, thank you very much.' It is only very late in the article that a boyfriend, who looks like a movie star, is revealed as the object of her sexual happy affection. He is a man who lets Jane do whatever she wants.

What a relief to know that sex is even possible at such a ripe old age and that our last century's most insufferable sex symbol has now made it into the 21st century, and her 8th decade intending to kiss and tell all AND be a role model for preventing teenage pregnancy every step of the way.

Wow, Jane Fonda sure has her work cut out for her: Sex and the suddenly single 70-year old role model counselling kids how to prevent pregnancy. What about this picture, especially on the front page of the Atlanta paper, makes me uneasy, so so uneasy?

I shudder to think what might happen when she turns 80 or 90. Perhaps a full spread in Penthouse or YouTube videos, completee with instructions on how to find.......oh never mind

Whatever would we do without Jane Fonda to show us the way? And to know that discretion, decorum and living quietly never has to be a choice of an aging hippie population.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Word About Censorship

A commenter writes:

“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime . . . .” — Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

Also a hallmark of Webutante.


I am flattered by your compliment and remain, happily, guilty as charged.

When I was a newspaper reporter a long time ago, I met the First Amendment for the first time. I may have thought I understood it before then, but I didn't. Not really. Today I probably have more to learn, but I've now come to believe there is nothing more misunderstood by the citizens of our country than the First Amendment. And of the issue of censorship. And the huge differences between personal and government censorship.

Censorship, in our free, democratic world, has for the most part, been taken out of the realm of the government and put in the hands of individual citizens.

The magnificent concept of individual censorship also has another name: free speech. Free speech not only means I can say, write, think, watch, ingest, buy and read what I want---within the limits of the law---it also means I can discern and decline what I choose to think, write, watch and read.

I can and do write what I want here within the bounds of the law and my own sense of propriety, but just as important, no one is compelled to read a thing I say here. Amazing!

I can accept or reject comments for good reason, or no reason at all! Even on a whim. And call it what you may, I am guilty as charged. The Constitution guarantees me this ineffable privilege.

We individuals live and breathe individual choices and censorship thousands of times each day. I censor what I eat, who my friends are, what I blog and don't blog and who I publish in my comments section. Rarely I do reject a comment, sometimes for content and other times for taste. The First Amendment guarantees this right to me and you, but it doesn't and can't guarantee our feelings will never be hurt, or that we won't sometimes be offended.

Others have the same privilege. I may not always agree or like their censorship choices, even when they might censor me, but I staunchly defend their right to disagree with me, censor me and even reject me, even when I think it is uncalled for. The shoe of personal censorship fits both feet.

The First Amendment gives me the individual right of first refusal, so to speak. And guess what, Oh Anonymous Commenter, I can and do exercise that right for good reason, or for no reason at all on this blog.

It gives me the right to walk away, turn off the remote, delete or block an e-mail, refuse to respond to a caller. Remain silent. Be offended, and on and on and on.

And that's good news for you too. Because, if I don't publish your comment, you may still publish it on your own blog for anyone else to read, or not read, as they so choose.

That's freedom within the limits of our law, for that I am most thanbkful. And hopefully you are too.

So, Mr. Anonymous, I'm on my way to a day of personal censorship in myriad ways, and I hope you are too. If you don't like my censorship choices, then you certainly have The First Amendment's permission to walk away from me and my little choices.

Best wishes.

The Pope uses his First Pope Right to condemn and dissuade.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In the O-Zone

Monday, December 10, 2007

Manufacturing News on A Slow Monday: Can't Drudge Do Better?


This morning Drudge features---at the top of the scroll---a speech by Mike Huckabee preaching the need to Take This Country Back for Christ and headlining it as if it were made this weekend on the campaign trail, rather than almost 10 years ago to a national group of Baptist ministers.

The speech is here, and as a Baptist minister, it's right on. As a stump speech on the way to the presidential nomination, it could be construed as going way too far, in my opinion.

Again, this speech was made almost a decade ago by a Baptist minister to a convention of Baptist ministers meeting in Salt Lake City and, within that context, was totally appropriate. But the media will probably, sadly, eat Huckabee alive for this. And as usual take it out of context and then project it on the highest office.

I personally think Drudge is sensationalizing something that is business-as-usual for men who minister and preach the Word of God. It plays so well today precisely because it is a timeless message for our times within the religious/spiritual realms of our country.

Please note that it's a very slow Monday for Matt Drudge, a very slow news day for the media in general. So drudging up old news for the top of his scroll---even very old news--- sometimes takes going to heroic measures for lots of attention. and traffic.

I'm sure it will play well to the horrified masses, including the ACLU.

Vanderbilt Students Make Political Ads for Presidential Candidates

These Giuliani ads were done by Vanderbilt junior Noah Schwartz and Team Giuliani as part of a class project for a course being taught this semester by former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-TN and VU political science professor John Geer. Teams were formed to make ads for each of the major candidates and much of their semester's work has been posted on YouTube.

Great job, Team Giuliani! Watch more here.

This one---pitting Giuliani against Hillary---got some, er, cackles in class.

Team Thompson got some good publicity in the (home team) morning daily. Also this.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday, Advent

Note: I had intended posting another vignette today from C. S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, but have stashed the book somewhere and can't find it. However, when I do uncover it, I plan to feature the grand finale nearer to Christmas. I hide things from myself, I suppose, to entertain and frustrate myself, all at the same time!

Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, is one of my favorite times of the year. It is also one of my most challenging, as days shorten and distractions multiple ad infinitum. Both joys and sorrows seem magnified as our existential loneliness and longings often come to the forefront of our emotional and spiritual lives.

It's easy, so easy, to take quick fixes which promise to bring relief to the anxious soul. The temptations of too much food, alcohol, sex, spending, and of course a zillion distractions and rampant materialism have never been so abundant or compelling. Those of us who have lived through enough of these cycles know quick fixes are a chimera and often lead us into deeper long-term. We don't have to do so many quick fixes....this will slowly pass.

If only we could take some time, as we wait to celebrate the birth of the Hope of the World--the Christ Child, to be still. To be quiet. To reflect on our blessings. To repent of our sins. To learn from our mistakes. To pray for others. To ask forgiveness. To reach out in appropriate goodwill. To grow a little emotionally and spiritually. To sit still and alone and be content.

God speaks to us in silence as well as his Word. Quietness is a discipline and a virtue.

Advent is also a wonderful, rich time to---in the silence and stillness of our aloneness---to humbly ask Christ to reveal himself to us in our lives and hearts. If we continue to ask with sincerity and humility, He will eventually answer.

May God help us all to grow closer to Him and His Son during this mysterious time of year.


Yesterday, my greatly loved son in New York called to tell me he has just become engaged to a wonderful woman whom I already love dearly. I'm so happy for them! I pray this is for life. God bless them and their life together and protect and guide them in all things. Needless to say, I'm thrilled!


A wonderful, inspirational, preposterous fable for our times. Love lost, love found and magnified. Reviews weren't particularly good (and yes, I know Roger would eject this one!), but I still enjoyed it immensely. It's a woman thing... See this movie alone or with loved ones! And take the children too. Sweet fantasy tied together with music of every ilk.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mitt's Speech Thursday

Just a few words about Mitt Romney's speech Thursday,

As a Southern evangelical Christian woman who believes Mormonism is a strange cult (are the prophets Joseph Smith and Mohammad really all that different, if you take jihad out of the picture?), I nonetheless would have no problem from a personal perspective if Mitt Romney ends up being elected President next year.

That's not to say I'll ever necessarily vote for Mitt. It's not to say I wouldn't either. Rather it means that I won't get all wigged out and move to New Zealand if he wins.

While Mitt's speech was designed to address and sway one target audience, and one audience only Thursday----conservative Christians like me who are supposedly concerned, even alarmed at his Mormonism---in the end it left me extremely cool. And relieved at the same time.

Cool in the sense that he made a straw man out of his candidacy being a referendum on religious tolerance in America today, which I don't buy for even a minute.Religious tolerance in this country has reached high art and at times has gone over the edge as far as I'm concerned. And relieved because the idea that he might talk about any doctrinal tenants of Mormonism and the details of his personal beliefs in the political arena seemed inappropriate and completely uncalled for to me. In fact I cringed when I first heard he was going to make a religious speech of any kind.

Frankly, I don't think he should have ever made the speech in the first place. And the fact that Mitt thought it either necessary or advantageous to the forward movement of his campaign, as JFK once did, gives me pause.

No matter how much he, or outspoken evangelicals, try to make religious tolerance an issue for Mitt, in the end his candidacy for me will either sink or swim on the issues of homeland/ border security, immigration reform, the War in Iraq(to a lesser extent), Roe vs. Wade, tax and health care reform. I also reserve the right to discern which candidate I think has the most character, integrity and ability to lead this nation wisely in the next four years. While I would always prefer someone who's just like me, in the end, I reserve the right to vote for a Church going candidate or an agnostic/atheist if I so choose.

Mitt is accomplished and experienced enough that he can stand on his own two feet as a candidate and not be judged to any great degree by his Mormon faith.

If, however, it were one of the Flying Imams running for President, God forbid, then that would be a completely different story and one in which I'd vote for a healthy dose of religious intolerance and righteous indignation, whatever that says about me.

Many of my evangelical brothers and sisters may have a totally different take on Mitt's religious affiliations and beliefs. They certainly have the right and responsibility in this country to sort if out for themselves, as I do, and base their support on whatever criteria they deem important to them.

So let the campaign continue. And let Mitt put the mantle of religious intolerance behind him and win or lose, as he will. I like the way Tony Blair recently stated his religion was a source of comfort and inspiration while he was PM of England. But he kept it to himself for fear of being considered a religious nut.

Let's see if Mitt can do the same. And Mike Huckabee too.


Speaking of the flying imams, a man who has known these clerics for years, tells it like he sees it and puts their behavior on and with U.S. Airways in well thought out perspective. These imams---to no one's great surprise---have been honing their victim consciousness for a long, long time, and waiting for a moment in history when they can make a public display of their gleeful victimhood. My response to such nonesense? They need a good dose of religious intolerance and righteous indignation from me. Who do these clowns think they are, anyway?

E-Mail from A Soldier in Iraq

UPDATE: NBC has rejected a TV ad from conservative group Freedom's Watch which supports administration policy in Iraq. The ad asks viewers to remember and thank U.S. troops during the holiday season.

NBC said it declined to air the ad because it refers to the group's Web site, which the network said was too political, not because of the ad's message.

And so it goes. I watch so little TV that it would make no difference if I boycotted NBC. But it will be interesting to see how this story unfolds.


A friend in Florida whose son is just back from Iraq, forwarded this e-mail to me from another soldier still serving there. It was written to his wife this week. The direct detailed communication we now can have with our soldiers abroad and share with others here is truly miraculous to me. This e-mail speaks for itself:



We were using an Iraqi internet company named "Sadik's". I think they've tried to allow Iraqi companies a chance to get in on the American business action. He delivered very poor quality internet at a premium price. I think he just made the wrong people mad. We started checking him out and come to find out they were in fact looking in on everyones emails and computers.

Very well could have been selling information to our enemies.

We raided the company a few days ago and he is now in jail. Hopefully this will pave the way for a more honest company to set up here, but it may take a few months of no internet. Because I work beside the commander, I'm allowed to use his internet in his office which is US run. So occasionally I'll be able to get messages to all of you.


Our last mission went pretty well. It was by ground this time, Of course I still had air support to contend with. I just did some of it from the truck. Once we got to our area we immediately started looking for the insurgent we were after.

We were picking up signals from him, and it took several hours to find him. It's the finding him that's interesting. We ended up splitting up, and it was the Commander, Gutierrez and myself that ended up getting him.

Once we got to the house, we got a signal-lock from the air; we snuck over the fence and quietly got to the door. The commander whispered to me, "you think we should do this?", "I said well, I have one grenade, once flash-bang grenade and we have a ton of ammo, if they start to give a fight I'll just toss the grenade in to clear out the room, and we can mop of the rest of them as we go through".

Of course we plan for the worst case scenario. We planted Sgt. Gutierrez at the back door and the CO and myself at the frt door. We didn't have any breeching tools with us, so we had to do this the old fashioned way and kick the door in. So I stepped back, preparing to kick the door in; aviation was poised ready to catch any squirters (men that escape without us knowing) we may have missed.

The closest support we had was on foot about a klick (mile) away, so it was JUST US, and with everything I had a mustered up, I gave a good kick and BAM....I bounced back and about fell on my ass. They had every door reinforced with steel framing. At that point the gig was up, so I just started kicking, trying to get that door open, I broke every window trying to get in from the outside, it was useless...after about 5 minutes of this (which is a very long time, we would normally have the whole house cleared by then), a woman comes out and unlocks the door and lets us in. (I look back and laugh at it now).

Of course, we go through the routine of clearing every room, about the time we finished, I get a call from aviation saying they're seeing someone hop the roof tops from our position, he must have climbed out a window, and he was on the run.

There were only three of us, so it got crazier. We had to leave someone at the house. I was in contact with the birds so I was going. As the CO and I headed out the door for no apparent reason the woman dropped the front part of her robe, I said to the commander jokingly..."normally we have to pay to see a show." It's not every day that an Iraqi woman is willing to disrobe. Normally, they're screaming and throwing cloths ON, as we stack into a room.

So the chase was on, I told the apache's to laze the target with IR, so we can see them with our night vision. We saw the laze and started running in that direction, about that time one extra soldier saw us running and joined in the chase. The birds for some reason kept losing their orientation and were leading us in circles. What it came down to was we ran probably a klick in circles and we found the man about 100 meters away on the roof. Once we confirmed he was up there, the three of us tried to find a way up without having to crash into this house too. (We really don't want to interfere with families if we can help it.)

I found a small mud style stairwell leading upward one house down. The CO stayed down, and I led the way up. I heard in my ear "the man is peaking over the edge and looking at you guys"...from the birds. (Remember since I'm the FO – I'm the only one that has the communication with the air).

I squeezed myself up against the wall trying to get out sight, so he couldn't get a clean shot off at me. I went up the stairs slowly, once we reached the edge, it was the "take a deep breath quietly & point"...I looked at the other guy and told him..."this is what we are going to do, I'm going to pop up and clear the sector, if he is there with a weapon, I'll take him...but as soon as a I pop up I'm going to move over and you have to pop up immediately to my right." If it's just one guy he'll have to choose who to shoot first and that thought process will buy us enough time to take him.

So I popped up and the man luckily just threw his hands up, the adrenaline was pumpin, let me tell you. I yelled "get on your stomach" (in Arabic) a couple of times, and he did what he was told, I moved to his position and zip tied his hands, my partner moved over behind the wall where he was at and checked to be sure there was no one else lurking around.

So it was exciting with a good ending.

We walked him over to his house he ran from and found his wife still topless. Gutierrez said apparently it was feeding time for the little one. The man was our number 5 man on the most wanted list in the area....and I did the catching.

There was some jealousy once we all got back, but it is all in good fun……………………….. Oh, Hun...apparently they started naming our missions after our wives, so I'm putting you on the list.

It's like a hurricane being named after you, so it's a good thing. Sean's wife was the last mission.

Congratulations, fellows, on a job well done.
May God bless our brave soldiers working in harms way there and elsewhere and their families. Amen.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Confederate Yankee: Surviving A Mall Shooting

There's some great advice at Confederate Yankee on how to increase your odds of surviving a shooting spree at a mall or anywhere for that matter. God forbid that we should ever have to use it.

But it's something everyone would do well to read and remember: Get in. Get low. Get out. Keeping moving. Get in. Get low. Get out. Keep moving.

VP Dick Cheney On Who's Not Carrying A Big Stick

An excerpt from an interview with Cheney at

Most striking were his virtually taunting remarks of two men he described as friends from his own days in the House: Democratic Reps. John Dingell (Mich.) and John P. Murtha (Pa.).

In a 40-minute interview with Politico, he scoffed at the idea of two men who spent years accruing power showing so much deference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the big spending and energy debates of the year.

Murtha “and the other senior leaders … march to the tune of Nancy Pelosi to an extent I had not seen, frankly, with any previous speaker,” Cheney said. “I’m trying to think how to say all of this in a gentlemanly fashion, but [in] the Congress I served in, that wouldn’t have happened.”

But his implication was clear: When asked if these men had lost their spines, he responded,

“They are not carrying the big sticks I would have expected.”


I like it that Dick tells it like it is in an agreeable sort of way. MKG.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Talking Politics at Ladies Christmas Luncheon One


Back in October, while driving up Interstate 81 to New York state, I did a random survey of truckers in several rest stops along the way to discover the candidates they were most leaning towards for president in next year's election.

Today, I'm going to the other end of the political spectrum and doing a little reporting from a few ladies Christmas luncheons that I either have attended or will attend during this festive time of year. Two of them are in Nashville, and one next week in Atlanta.


Luncheon 1 Monday: While there were undoubtedly many conservative women in the room at this grand old Southern ladies club, I was not sitting near any of them at my table. When the subject of politics came up, my hostess turned to me, on her left and inquired,

"You don't support Bush, do you? And the War? Bush is the worst! The worst!" This was a woman from a conservative background who, like me, has spent decades working in the conservation movement. However, from my perspective, this movement in past years has become increasingly one-focused (no other issue matters but the environment!) and radical in its dependence on government funding, legislating and assistance on the federal and state levels. Though my hostess is a born leader who's served her community with honor and distinction for years, in middle age she's become the new radicalism of the left-leaning, Al Gore movement crusading for the environment.

When I realized the extent of her Bush Derangement Syndrome, I quietly tempered my response: "I am much more supportive of our President than you. And the War. In fact, I've gone back to my days as a newspaper reporter and become a conservative blogger this past year. However, I don't think it's wise for us to continue talking politics here, now."

"A conservative blogger? Oh no! I can't believe you! How could you?" she said. "Bush is a traitor. Can't you see that?"

From across the table another lady chimed in....."A conservative? A conservative blogger? How unfortunate!"

No need to go any further. I changed the conversation and left politics behind, as best I could.

But the dark cloud hanging over us remained.

Several minutes passed and my hostess was still in severe scowl mode on my right, at the end of the table, so I turned to her and said, "Come on, deary, buck up. Get that look of impending disaster off your face!"

She replied, "I'm so sorry for my outburst, really. I should never have gone off on Bush."

"It's okay," I said. "It's's the way it is today....let's move on."

The truth, in my experience, is there is no reason to discuss this emotionally charged subject any further. Nothing I could say, or she could say, could have bridged the great divide between us. My position had been arrived at from years of rethinking my social and political stands, which were formed coming of age in the sixties and which were reformed from years of hard knocks and observing the way the world works, and doesn't work.

The day was barely rescued from BDS. I was glad, however, that I had been moving in another direction over the past ten years as a more conservative conservationist, and not as a radical Bush hating eco-political extremist. I simply don't have the time or energy for it. I'm a moderate conservationist who knows how to change a light bulb and refuses to let politics get in the way of a great luncheon.

Theses ladies are currently focused on being daughters of their current king incarnate---Al Gore! And that's okay by me. But I'm no longer in the club. That club. I have long since left and won't ever go back.

So please pass the hollandaise. Then tell me more about your grandchildren.

And that's all I have to say of Luncheon 1 this week in Nashville.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dems Opposing Hillary Send Message to Iowa: She Crumbled

Interesting. Don't know who's really behind all this courage talk. But I think Hillary's backing down---after proposing a $5,000 account from the federal government for every baby born in America---shows she still has a lick of sense, rather than not an ounce of courage. Let's face it, this proposal is Extreme Nanny State hubris designed to play on the heart strings of her potential vote-for-Hillary audience.

The Founding Fathers must have been rolling in their graves. Hillary was smart to back down, though she was an idiot to have proposed it in the first place.

Whether she has any real backbone in times of crisis as president is a separate issue.

The good news is that no one is accusing Hillary of being a pinhead....yet.

If Only...

One of the cleverest videos I've seen in a long time. Thanks to American Digest for ferreting it out.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What Fun: Karith Foster Debuting With Don Imus Today On WABC

UPDATE: Imus went on the air today and said not a word of defense about the reprehensible, sexist, racist comments he made last spring. Rather, he called his major gaffe a life changing experience. Good for him:

'Imus apologized to the basketball players and called the ensuing furor a "life-changing experience.

Imus' lineup of guests featured two presidential hopefuls, Democrat Chris Dodd and Republican John McCain. As he did several times in the days after the episode, Imus condemned his controversial remark last spring and said he had learned his lesson.

"I didn't see any point in going on some sort of 'Larry King' tour to offer a bunch of lame excuses for making an essentially reprehensible remark about innocent people who did not deserve to be made fun of," he said. '

Now let's move on.


A new sidekick for Don Imus who covers all bases: A New York, Texas, Black, Jewish American female, who apparently has a sense of humor. And she can laugh at herself first and foremost. Sounds like fun. An excerpt from this morning's NY Post article:

Karith Foster, a Harlem resident who grew up outside Dallas, was brought on by Imus to ease tension stirred up by his racist comment about the Rutgers women's basketball team, which got him booted in April, sources said.

Foster was raised in upscale Plano, Texas, which she describes on her Web site as having “the ethnic diversity of a Klan rally."

After earning a degree in broadcast journalism from Missouri's Stephens College, she went on to study at Oxford University in England before taking a reporting job at ABC.

She later moved to the production team of Barbara Walters' “The View" - where she was exposed to the world of stand-up comedy.

She was soon appearing at several top comedy clubs, including Caroline's in New York and LA's The Laugh Factory.

Foster's TV credits include NBC's “Last Comic Standing" and the original “Showtime at the Apollo."

Despite her Texas roots, “I'm really a Jewish girl from Long Island trapped in this body, which technically makes me a JA-AP [Jewish African-American Princess]," she jokes on her Web site.

“So it's not ‘talk to the hand,' but ‘talk to the manicure.'"

I like it, I like her, I like the toned-down Imus and I like the idea that we live in a country that allows second and third chances, especially for people who can admit their mistakes and are genuinely sorry. Heaven knows we've all been there, and will be again.

Voters Just Say No To Lifetime Thuggery By Dictator-In-Waiting Hugo Chavez!

Chavez with Jesse Jackson in better days, before the Venezuelean people said, Hell No! Sunday. Perhaps there's a new job waiting with real emerging dictator, Vladimir Putin? Read more.

Chavez's greater foolish admirer and political ally, Sean Penn. Just say no to his foolish movies too.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Unveiling Mormonism

Lon Solomon, Senior Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Tysons Corner, Virginia, explains Mormonism. This is from a series on World Religions. Since public discourse is bringing it up, there is much to be learned here that the average American does not know.

This talk is important in view of Mitt Romney's upcoming talk Thursday night on religion, religious tolerance and Mormonism. At least that's what I think he's going to talk about, like it ot not.

Let's talk 1st heaven, 2nd heaven and 3rd heaven. Joseph Smith. Baptism of the dead and Mormon obsession with geneology. Eternal wives who are eternally pregnant. Spirit babies. Promotion to godhood and earning your own planet for eternity. Ban on blacks becoming Mormon. Polygamy. The rebuilding of the last Jewish Temple in Missouri. Jesus as the first man who attained godhood. And more.

Whether this is really important in the political discourse of the current Presidential campaign each voter must decide for themselves.


Tony Blair talks on the centrality of his Christianity to every aspect of his life, despite low-keying it during his years as British Prime Minister:

Another Ghost Meets a Bright Spirit

One of the most painful meetings we witnessed was between a woman's Ghost and a Bright Spirit who had apparently been her brother. They must have met only a moment before we ran across them, for the Ghost was just saying in a tone of unconcealed disappointment,

'Oh, Reginald! It's you, is it?'

'Yes, dear,' said the Spirit. 'I know you expected someone else. Can you....I hope you can be a little glad to see even me, for the present.'

'I did think Michael would have come,' said the Ghost; and then, almost fiercely, 'He is here, of course?'

'He's there----far up in the mountains.'

'Why hasn't he come to meet me? Did he know?'

'My dear it wouldn't have done. Not yet. He wouldn't be able to see or hear you as you are at present. You'd be totally invisible to Michael. But we'll soon build you up.'

"I should have thought if you can see me, my own son could!'

'It doesn't always happen like that. You see, I have specialised in this sort of work.'

'Oh it's work is it?' snapped the Ghost. 'Well when am I going to be allowed to see him?'

'There's no question of being allowed, Pam. As soon as it's possible for him to see you, of course he will. You need to be thickened up a bit and made more solid.'

'How?' 'I'm afraid the first step is a hard one,' said the Spirit. 'But after that youu'll go on like a house on fire, You will become solid enough for Michael to perceive you when you learn to want Someone Else besides Michael......I don't say more than Michael, not as a beginning. That will come later. It's only the little germ of a desire for God that we need to start the process.'

'Oh you mean religion and all that sort of thing? This is hardly the moment.....and from you, of all people. Well never mind. I'll whatever's necessary. What do you want me to do? Come on. The sooner I begin it, the sooner they'll me see my boy. I'm quite ready.'

'But, Pam, don't you see you are not beginning at all as long as you are in this state of mind? You're treating God only as a means to Michael. But the whole thickening process consists in learning to want God for His own sake.'

'You wouldn't talk like that if you were a mother.'

'You mean, if I were only a mother. But there is no such thing as being only a mother. You exist as Michael's mother only because you first exist as God's creature. That relation is older and closer.....Michael also loves....also has suffered....also has waited a long time.'

'If He loved me he'd let me see my boy. If He loved me why did He take my boy away?.....It's pretty hard to forgive, you know.'

'But he had to take Michael away. Partly for Michael's sake....'

'I'm sure I did my best to make Michael happy. I gave up my whole life....'

'Human beings can't make one another really happy for long. And secondly, for your sake. He wanted your merely instinctive love for your child---tigresses share that too, you know----to turn into something better. He wanted you to love Michael as He understands love. You cannot love a fellow-creature fully till you love God.'

The Bright Spirit continued, 'Your instintual love for Michael was uncontrolled and fierce and monomaniac. Ask your daughter, or your husband. Ask our own mother whom you haven't once thought of in years. The only remedy was to take away the object of your fierce, instinctive love like surgery. When that first kind of love is thwarted then sometimes there is just a chance that in the loneliness, in the silence, something else might begin to grow....'

'This is all nonsense---cruel and wicked nonsense. What right have you to say things like that about Mother-love? It is the highest and holiest feeling in human nature.'

'Pam, Pam, no natural feelings are high or low, holy or unholy in themselves. They are all holy when God's hand is on the rein. They all go bad when they set up on their own and make themselves into false gods.....natural affection in the end turns deadly and hellish when not converted.'

'It's a lie. A wicked, cruel lie. How could anyone love their son more than I did/ Haven't I lived only for his memory all these years?'

'That was rather a mistake, Pam. In your heart of hearts you know it was.'

'What was a mistake?'

'All that ten years of grief. Keeeping his room exactly as he'd left it....refusing to leave that house though Dick and Muriel were both wretched there.'

'You are heartless. Everyone was heartless. The past was all I had.'

'It was all you chose to have. It was the wrong way to deal with sorrow. It was Egyptian----like embalming a dead body.'

'Oh of course. I'm wrong. Everything I say or do is wrong, according to you.'

'But of course!' saud tge Bright Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my observer eyes were dazzled. 'That's what we all find out when we reach this country. We've ALL been wrong! That's the great joke. There's no need to go on pretending one was right! After that we begin living.....'

'My son is mine, all mine. I hate your religion and I hate and despise your God. I believe in a God of Love.'

'And yet, Pam, you have no love at this moment for your own mother or for me.'

'That's the trouble is it, Reginald. I've hurt you.....'

'Lord love you, Pam. You needn't worry about that. Don't you know you can't hurt anyone in this country?'


'Come. We will go a bit further,' said my Teacher, laying his hand on my arm. 'It might take a while, that conversation. And ye have heard enough to see what the choice is.'

'Is there any hope for her, Sir?'

'Aye, there's some. What she calls love for her son has turned into a poor, prickly astringent sort of thing. But there's still a wee spark of something that's not just herself in it. That might still be blown into a flame.....There's something in natural affection which will lead it on to eternal love more easily than natural appetite could be led on. But there's also something in it which makes it easier to stop at the natural level and mistake it for the heavenly. Brass is mistaken for gold more easily than clay is . And if it finally refuses conversion its corruption will be worse than the corruption of what ye call the lower passions. It is a strong angel, and thus when it falls, a fiercer devil.'

-----C.S. Lewis. The Great Divorce