Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Afternoon In the Park


'CONFESS YOUR faults to one another.' (James 5:16) He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur because, though they have fellowship with one another as devout people they do not have fellowship as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship.... But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He doesn’t want anything from you—a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. This message is liberation through truth. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You can dare to be a sinner.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

After the Snowstorm, Comcast Wireless Down Over Much of the City

AND WITH IT MY WIRELESS. It's been down since early yesterday afternoon and still is. Not that that's a bad thing. Actually being able to rest, read a book, nap and be quiet, enjoying this brief weather interlude, has been wonderfully restful and refreshing. Nature sometimes banishes us to silence, prayer and inactivity and no doubt has its own good reasons. Activity and hyper-activity will be back all too soon.

Many stores were closed yesterday in the wake of the snow which was not nearly as bad as predicted. Today my church called off services due to icy roads. I have to say I find the break in routine delicious and fun.

Woke up this morning and decided to try to find a place that still has wireless. It's a bookstore I rarely visit but can get to on fairly clear roads. I'm sitting in front of a large south-facing window with sunlight streaming in. Hope you're staying warm wherever you are. Thank you as always for coming by.

Friday, January 29, 2010

On A Snowy Lane In Winter

ALL THE world's being blanketed in silent, falling snow. Don't look now but it's a wonderful afternoon for a nap..... falling, falling, falling.....getting sleepy.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Michelle Obama: SOTUS Fashionista


T'WAS VERY LITTLE I liked of what came out of her POTUS husband's incredibly long-winded mouth last night. Still, I have to hand it to Mrs. FLOTUS, think she looks nearly plum perfect in this high-waisted Izaac Mizrahi design. Love the stiff, glowing satin/taffeta skirt combined with the matte jersey top, separated by the black (grosgrain? velvet?) waist band. Gotta say I don't know anyone who does high-waisted anymore as it usually looks absurd on women over 14 who aren't in their third trimester of pregnancy. Be that as it may, Michelle carries it all off with pearls, matching pearly nails and now 3/4 sleeves. The dark bipartisan plum look is newer, fresher than black (which would have just been too dressy), works well with her skin tones and is the perfect rich cold weather color...and that's everything nice I have to say about SOTUS, except that our SCOTUS comported themselves in an extremely dignified manner in the face of some cheap foul shots from our rookie basketbally POTUS.

Dem. Sen. Diane Feinstein, Mayor Bloomberg Speak Out Against KSM Trial in Manhattan


THE ASTRONOMICAL COST ALONE BEGS THE QUESTION OF WHY PRESIDENT OBAMA would continue to insist on having this trial in Manhattan. When Senator Feinstein criticizes the administration's decision saying the situation has changed with the Christmas bomber, you know it's becoming more and more unpopular, costly, and a looming security risk for New Yorkers. I'm glad to see her take up this cause, hope our president comes to his mindless senses. He certainly doesn't seem to mind spending tons of other people's money at a time where budgets are strained.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

President Obama: Bartender-in-Chief


AFTER A BRUISING DROP IN THE POLLS LAST WEEK WITH SCOTT BROWN'S WIN IN MASSACHUSETTS, President Obama is in full wannabe best bartender mode. He's brewing several very strong government concoctions he hopes to serve us that will satisfy like a cold one in 100 degree weather in July, after several sets of of tennis. He hopes we will like it and then beg, beg, beg for more government intervention. And more. But only, mind you, if we're middle class---code word for independent voters who are scared to death and in need of a stiff drink.

We need to remember, as Bartender-in-chief, Barack doesn't want to hurt us, he only wants to help us....relax a little.....get us sleepy, just a little punch drunk with a little government fixes and intervention breweries. He thinks, hopes we're a bit jumpy these days and need some federal libations to calm us down.

Tonight, President and Chief Bartender Barack Obama has a full bar of beer and harder stuff ready and waiting for all of us in need of what he wants to give us ....

*****The Bernanke Cheap and Dirty Money Martini---It's made with ten parts newly printed dollar bills and one tiny part very low-interest vermouth---One of the best ways to get the lower and middle-classes drunk fast, especially when they can't hold their liquor, is to give em liquor loans they can't afford and sustain. The drinking gets so fast with these in fact, no one will remember how they got so drunk and when they sober up, they'll be ready to do it all again!(More later... it's Bible study then tango dancing tonight!
Somehow, I think my Scotch-Irish brethren below will be at another bar, not Obama's bar and tavern.... I'm not a big bar kinda girl, but if I had to choose, I'd be with Toby, Willie and the gang myself....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why Ben Bernanke Should Take A Fast Fed-Exit

I WANT TO CONTINUE EARLY WEDNESDAY and talk more about why Ben Bernanke needs to leave the Federal Reserve now. He should not be re-confirmed as its chairman. He's abused his position and politicized the money supply--- the U.S. dollar (with Geithner at Treasury) and short-term interest rates drop to scandalous lows---as commodity bubble-after-bubble (housing, gold, oil and gas) blew up and burst in our faces greatly diminishing Americans' buying power, dastardly stunting our savings power and jeopardizing our childrens' and grand-childrens' fiscal future in ways we can't now fathom.

Sadly our neophyte president thinks Bernanke should continue to soldier on for the good of the country. But nothing could be further from the truth. Keeping Ben at the Fed is a decision that would be about as fortuitous and costly to our country as the puerile and frightening decision to conduct the KSM terrorist trial in New York City. It's ill-conceived, badly thought-out, wildly expensive and just plain wrong. I want to talk about why.

But first a good night's sleep.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haggis: Legally Back in U.S. In Time For Robert Burns Night

BANNED, BANISHED, BAD-MOUTHED in the U.S. over fears the Scottish import's main ingredient sheep offal caused a type of mad-cow disease, Haggis--a true Scottish delicacy---is now being allowed back into our country. Not a minute too soon to celebrate Robert Burns night. Here's the story. Bon appetit!

Me, Monday Afternoon Quarterback

IT'S A VERY GOOD THING my home wireless router crashed and completely flamed out during a wild thunderstorm sometimes during the night this weekend when I was already scheduled to spend a full day Sunday afternoon/evening with the NFL, AFL and all things pro football. Only a brief trip to Whole Paycheck after church for my Sunday post saved me from complete online deprivation and un-connectivity. But I'm not complaining, pro football filled the gap.

Today, I'm still waiting for Comcast to come and attempt to get me back to normal online functioning late this afternoon. For now I'm back at Whole Paycheck (with very slow internet) trying to keep from being distracted by friends so I can write a few words about all that I've learned about pro football in the past 24 hours. It will be mercifully brief because I know almost nothing. And what I learned yesterday from a very, very fine football tutor will slip out of my little female brain very quickly. Still, I'm rather pleased of my new found knowledge and think I can fake knowing more than I do in polite conversation and talk moderately intelligently to a group of third graders ahead of the Super Bowl in February (forgot when, but think early).

Right now, the names Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Pierre Garcon, and of course Brett Favre are etched in my gray matter. Sure I'd heard of some of them before, especially Peyton who played at UT, but in the course of human events couldn't have told you much about any of the rest of them except they played some kind of pro sports.

Today I have opinions, hopes, aspirations and favorites for the Super Bowl. And I'm so proud of them. Very quickly I want to tell you what they are and yes, it's okay if you don't care.

My tutor wanted the Colts (check) and the Vikings (no check) to win their respective games and be paired up in the Super Bowl. He said it would be the biggest SB in recent history. While I'm sorry he didn't get what he wished for, I have to say, after all was said and done and the Saints and Vikings went into overtime, I couldn't have been happier that the Saints came out victorious. What a great night for New Orleans! I mean how could anyone really root against the Saints in their home stadium after all their city has been through the past few years? I got goose bumps seeing the whole spectacle! The Saints played well and I really think that even Brett Favre---with the truly remarkable year he's had at 40 with Minnesota---in his heart-of-hearts was extremely happy that his childhood pro-favorite team won. He must have been very conflicted going into the game. I certainly would have.

Anyway, this ends for now my Monday quarterbacking. Oh, except to say Pierre Garcon is a man to watch. It was nice seeing him stand up for Haiti and I wish the Colts well in the Super Bowl. But I haven't picked a winner yet. But stay tuned, this sports commentary thing could be the start of something, well.....very small!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Idols: Once We Discover Them, What Next?

IF WE MAKE IT TO THE EPILOGUE of Tim Keller's mighty little book, Counterfeit Gods, and are not yet convicted of our idols----good things things we put ahead of God and make the ultimate, controlling desires/ goals of our hearts---then perhaps we need to put the book away and come back another time. We may not be ready to tackle the tough sledding ahead. Maybe we just haven't suffered enough in our attempts to do things our way rather than God's way.

For those of us who do get it, it's a good time to ask, So what? What now? How can I change?

We recall that idols distort not only our thinking but our feelings to unwarranted and disproportionate degrees. And our idolatrous beliefs often magnify ordinary disappointments and failures into life-shattering experiences. When we live under hidden idols, therapy and medication can often help to manage our depression and anxiety but unless we get to the root of our malaise, real change continues to elude us as we continue to believe we must have certain things to give our lives meaning and validation or else we can become despondent enough to die.

It is only when we begin to discover and believe the Gospel--that we are truly saved by Grace alone and not our own best efforts at anything we hope to achieve---that we begin to get relief from our idolatrous neediness and guilt for failures and start to find true peace and consolation

Keller writes in the final chapter The End of Counterfeit Gods:

The human heart is indeed a factory that mass-produces idols.

Is there any hope? Yes, if we begin to realize that idols cannot simply be removed. They must be replaced. If you only try to uproot them, they grow back; but they can be supplanted. By what? By God himself, of course. But by God we do not mean a general belief in His existence. Most people have that, yet their souls are riddled with idols. What we need is a living encounter with God.

Jacob, whom we met in Chapter Two of this book certainly believed in God, but he needed something more to defeat the counterfeit gods---of romantic love, family entanglements and independence---that enslaved him. In Genesis 32 he found them as he struggles with the Angel of God all night and is finally wounded and blessed by God. This is one of the most powerful and dramatic narratives in the Bible. It is also one of the most mysterious, but clearly stands as the centerpiece of Jacob's life......

This example clearly highlights the certain reality that the Lord cannot be added to a life as one more hedge against failure. He is not one more resource to use to help us achieve our agenda. When He comes into a life, He is the whole agenda.....

Have you sensed, through the Holy Spirit, god speaking to you? The blessing he wants to bestow through His Spirit that is our through Christ's work on the Cross and Resurrection--is what Jacob received, and is the only remedy against our own idolatry. It often takes an experience of crippling weakness for us to finally discover .

It is only then we let God into first place in our hearts. Until that point we may know about God with our heads but not truly in our hearts. Keller continues,

How can we put the Gospel truths on video in our lives so they become real and shape everything we feel and do?

Keller goes on to say the remedy for idols is a life-long process involving the spiritual disciples of worship, private prayer and meditation, corporate worship, and Bible study.

You cannot simply get relief by figuring out your idols intellectually. You have to get the peace that Jesus gives, and that only comes as you worship and by praying them in to your heart. It takes time and it often takes the rest of our lives.

He ends the book with a quote from the great pastor and former slave trader, John Newton:

If I may speak my own experience, I find that to keep my eye simply on Christ, as my peace and my life, is by far the hardest part of my calling....It seems easier to deny self in a thousand instances of outward conduct than in its ceaseless endeavours to act as to act as a principle of righteousness and power.

Keller adds, The man or woman who knows the difference that Newton refers to---the difference between obeying rules of outward conduct rather than setting your whole heart on Christ as your peace and your life--is on the road to freedom from the counterfeit gods that control us.

I consider this book my permanent handbook and constant reminder to the lifelong process and sometimes struggle of letting God be God in my life. As I've said before, this is not the prosperity gospel but rather a sometimes difficult journey into the unknown---but with an Eternal perspective and certain destination. I thank Tim Keller for the work he's done in helping me connect the dots that assist me in surrendering to God more each day. It's an important book that if you feel you're drawn to, I hope you'll avail yourself of.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Drops Down Economics

THE REAL STATE OF THE UNION IN 2010: UNSUSTAINABLETHIS FROM MY FAVORITE BEST BAD INFLUENCE in Grand Junction. Giving graphic, twisted new meaning to the term trickle down economics.

So let me get this straight again, I keep forgetting: Does government exist for the people? Or, do people exist for the government? Just asking.

Also, I'm posting this again because I think it's brilliant and oh so funny.

Thursday: 'Monster' Victory For Free Speech in Political Campaigning Compliments of SCOTUS



THIS HAS BEEN AN UNPRECEDENTED WEEK of exciting reversals for individual liberties in the political annals of our country's history: Not only did Massachusetts's Scott Brown win the U.S. senate seat they said couldn't be won by a conservative thereby putting passage of the fallacious Democrat healthcare boondoggle in jeopardy, but yesterday the Supreme Court handed down its monster decision declaring McCain-Feingold basically unconstitutional thereby dismantling most restrictions on campaign finance giving and advertising. First Amendment attorneys Ted Olson and Floyd Abrams successfully argued the case.

Brown's election victory and the SCOTUS decision are gargantuan victories for conservatives and First Amendment freedoms both within and outside of political campaigning. And it opens up campaign advertising to both political parties and interest groups. (Unfortunately big investment banks didn't fare so well as the Obama administration announced re-doubled efforts to clamp down in ways that will only dampen hopes for economic rebound. As ever, feds are trying to solve the wrong problems with the wrong medicines rather than get to the root causes. Again, such unconstitutional meddling will only come back to haunt the administration in more ways than one. It will also create more problems than it solves. Steve Forbes writes eloquently on the issues.)

For now, conservative proponents of free speech and limited government have much to be thankful for. I don't know about you, but frankly in this age of out-of-control federal government spending and meddling, I'll take every concession I can get and be extremely grateful. It's been a very, very good week for our side.

Below is a clip of the movie that started it all and that Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign objected to and sued:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Collapse of Healthcare Tyranny Before Our Very Eyes

SURE THEY'RE KEEPING UP A BRAVE FRONT ON HEALTHCARE REFORM. But in truth they've seen the hand -writing on the wall: the American people don't want it, won't pay for it and don't want government meddling in that part of their lives. And that's that.

Either Pelosi and Reid get it, or they're doomed to go down in ignominious defeat, sooner rather than later.

Left To Free Markets, Tigers Will Not Become Extinct As Environmental Hand-Wringers Predict


TIGER NUMBERS IN CHINA HAVE FALLEN TO UNDER 50---20 Siberian, 20 Bengal and 10 Indochinese---with no end in sight. Extinction of this mighty species is predicted by 2030. Even though there's been a ban on hunting tiger for years, poachers persist and are blamed for the tigers' dwindling numbers. The loss of habitat is also contributing. It's now estimated there are only 3,200 big cats left in the world.

Still one can't help but wonder what would happen if tiger farming for fun and profit in free markets were legalized.

J.P. Floru opines about the 'problem' at Adam Smith:

Wild tiger extinction is demand driven. There is a huge demand for tiger parts in traditional Chinese medicine. Campaigns to reduce this thousand-year-old practice have failed. As there are fewer and fewer tigers, the price has gone up. Tigers live in poor countries. It is lucrative to risk being caught, and to bribe game wardens, officials and politicians. Because the price has sky-rocketed demand has gone up even further, as we see in the recent popularity of high-end tiger bone wine and tiger meat.

For decades environmental policies have focused on banning the tiger trade. This is doomed to failure, as the sky-rocketing price makes it impossible to police it. When trade is outlawed only the outlaws trade.

Then Floru gives us a solution which purist, environmental lobbyists steadfastly oppose:

For decades environmental policies have focused on banning the tiger trade. This is doomed to failure, as the sky-rocketing price makes it impossible to police it. When trade is outlawed only the outlaws trade.

There is a market solution: the commercial farming of tigers. It is not difficult to farm tigers, and it is being done in many countries, including China and the USA. China has 5,000 captive tigers; the US 10,000. In fact these privately owned tigers may very well guarantee the survival of the species.

Economically and environmentally it makes total sense. The high demand is met by an increased offer. Therefore the market price for tigers goes down. If the price of a farmed tiger sinks below the price to poach one, poaching will disappear. In other words: farm tigers in captivity and tigers in the wild will be left in peace. It has been done before: widespread farming and internationally sanctioned trade rescued crocodiles from extinction.

The market can do even more for wild tigers, apart from farming them commercially. One fundamental problem with wild tigers (and wild animals in general), is that they are not owned by anyone. They are literally a free for all, which results in shortages, as is always the case where there is collective ownership. People are more protective of what they own privately than what they own collectively. Wild animals are greatly helped when their reserves are privatised. It can for example allow tourists to pay the cost of protecting the reserve. State owned tiger reserves bear a heavy responsibility for the killing of wild tigers.

Why we can't get it through our thick skulls that private tiger farming is a boon to this species is beyond me. Environmentalist want it their way and their way alone. Meanwhile, tiger numbers plummet and with it, hopes for reviving the Asian tiger species goes forever down the drain. Sometimes we just can't see the forest for the trees.

First seen at Carpe Diem

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When Unimaginably Bad Foot Things Happen To Good Carpets

NOT CRAZY ABOUT the all-white bridal dress look on perky, cutey Kate Hudson at the Golden Globes. But when it's combined with the elevated white-wedge platform shoes, I'm left wondering who in the world dressed her--- her old boyfriend, A-Rod? Three men and a baby? Everything looks stiff, uncomfortable, even dangerous. When you wear stuff like this, do your orthopedic insurance rates for ankle injuries go up? If I thought I had to wear them, I'd insist on a steady man's arm and shoulder for support or I'd end up flinging them across the room and darting around in my stocking feet. Triple ugh. The dress, over-sized earrings and cloven-hoof look are un-marvellous on Julianne, an otherwise lovely looking woman. Why would she put herself and her fans through this when a simple black dress could have been a great default look? Does she really think her feet accessories add to the dour outfit or look well enough to be parading them on the red carpet?

The final foot atrocity of this dreadful series. While I'm not fond of the sub-par dress, it could perhaps, maybe be salvageable were it not for the foot bondage look she's forcing us all to witness and endure. Who in the world designs these things? Some costume designer from Night of the Living Dead? More importantly, who---with a straight face---talks women into wearing this kinda thing on their feet anywhere in the known universe, let alone in front of fifty million cameras? I demand to know! Who? They should be shipped out of town on a rail. Is this what the extreme feminist movement has wrought in women's fashion?

Ladies should look and act like like ladies during occasions like this. And a lady's feet should be dainty and lithe as she enters a room. As far as I'm concerned the less on the foot the better. But you sure wouldn't know it from these.

Nine Trends Scott Brown's Epic Election Victory Presages

1. Healthcare reform as defined by liberal, anti-democracy, spend-like-there's-no-tomorrow, one-size-fits-all Democrats in Congress---with its public option and myriad behind-the-scenes special deals--- is DOA. Let me say it again, DOA. And the DOA ball is just getting started.

2. Nationalizing elections is more important than nationalizing healthcare. The Internet has changed everything as we're all now watching. We have hereby seen the end of state elections without national involvement especially when it's pivotal. Support and contributions for good, conservative candidates of either party is only just beginning. So get out your wallets, folks, and get ready to shell it out, baby, across state lines, from here on out. I expect to see a bumper sticker soon to the effect: I'm spending my children's inheritance on conservative causes, but saving them future taxes. Hey, I like it and may ever get it printed myself!

3. All political stars of the past 24 months are waning. This includes Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Palin and your hope-and-change truly, President Barack Obama. We live in a time of meteoric political half-lives which rise and fall faster than a speeding bullet. Nancy will soon go home to watch her husband's baseball team and Sarah Palin will become a lucrative ladies home companion who signs books and drinks lots and lots of tea. Neither women, nor Mr. Obama, will ever hold office again.

4. Party commitment will be scarce as hens' teeth: Sure there are still two parties in the United States, both with declining numbers, however, the bulk of American voters---Independents---are and will remain at the go-to fulcrum of all successful future campaigns. While Independents will float a little left and right of center and occasionally lose their way to charlatans (as in 2008), this group will determine who wins from now on, every time. Their loyalties will never be to either party again, as in the old days, but rather to practicality and principles that preserve foundations of liberties and rights based on personal responsibility.

5. Americans care about national solvency---ours and our children's---more than we realized as the good times rolled. Sure we've been a nation of personal spendthrifts, but when it comes to our country's fiscal well-being, we know when to say enough is enough. And we're saying it now. And we're saying it loud and clear.

6. Bigger Government and bigger spending are peaking and---in spite of all evidence to the contrary---are on the way south. Sure Bush should have, could have used his veto pen more, and for that I de-commend him a little, however Mr. Raise-the-Debt-Ceiling Obama has more than worn out his political welcome which was based solely on false premises and faux Greek columns.

7. States rights and responsibilities are on the rise. It's no longerThe South will rise again so much as the states will rise again, higher and higher.This is a wonderful thing and the only answer to our top-heavy federal government. Just think what 50 state laboratories can do for the American dream, circa 2010....

8. Freedom is not free and the land of freedom and liberties with responsibilities is a land of grown-ups who are willing to fight for our country's founding principles, including states rights and freedom from government tyranny. It's time for all of us to take a big leap towards growth and away from our cradle to grave entitlements mentality. It's time we all do our part. It's now or never, folks.

9. Most of us, if we're honest, would still rather have a good man with a firm political stance at the helm of state than a woman all things being equal. Oh yes we would. It's why Sarah Palin has peaked and moved into conservative celebrity, folk-hero status and will stay there.

More later.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

He Did It! Scott Brown Wins In Massachusetts, Now Time To Take A Chair

STUNNING, EPIC HISTORY MADE TUESDAY NIGHT AT MASSACHUSETTS TEA PARTY!!SHARED CONVICTIONS elected U.S. Senator Scott Brown to put government back on the side of people!

Watching Brown's acceptance speech leads me to believe he's going to be an outstanding U.S. senator and definitely, definitely presidential material.

All Eyes on Massachusetts, Right, Mr. President? Mr. President?

THIS IS A GREAT PHOTO for projecting all sorts of things on, limited only by our wildest imaginings. For instance, Mr. Obama might be thinking....I could have had a V-8! It's really Bush's fault---now I gotta figure out exactly how.....So close, yet so very far away.....Wonder if Rahm could get me a pick-up basketball game today...I'm in a combative kinda mood.

A libertybomb is coming. Wait for it, as all eyes focus on Massachusetts. Today. Tonight.

Meanwhile, Dems are saying this election isn't that big a deal and not really a referendum on Obamacare after all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Three Fashion Winners at the Golden Globes

MEANWHILE and ELSEWHERESOFIA, above, needn't have done anything else but stand there last night in that exact pose to win my best dressed award. No dress---however wonderful-- is ever complete without the proper attitude combined with the proper pose and she's certainly struck it here. What a fab color combo with that hair and olive skin. Who knows if the locks are all hers. Who cares at the moment? She looks wonderful and gets my best dressed award hands down.
Sandra looks extremely well in more color than she wore when she last walked the red carpet recently in a nude colored wash-out. Last night she gave herself a fashion blood transfusion and couldn't have looked better in the process. Very feminine without overdoing it. She's redefining her image in many ways recently and I like all of them.
Who can deny Jennifer combined cut, color, coif, carriage and curves to carry off one of the best coutures of this celebrity-fest? Cruly creamy.

The Promissory Note

INALIENABLE RIGHTS TO ALL. Inalienable responsibilities of all. There are no rights without responsibilities. Otherwise it's child making. The government is not here to give us everything. It's here to protect our freedoms so we can produce and share it among ourselves.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some Notable Quotes

HAD PLANNED FINISHING UP TIM KELLER'S BOOK TODAY but then left it behind when I caught a plane, so I'll come back to it next week. Meanwhile, I'm taking a monthly Christian literature book course that I am very smitten with. This semester we're studying C.S. (Jack) Lewis. Want to post some quotes from last weeks gathering of women which I am meditating on and then a final quote from Bob Deffingbaugh's recent commentary on Christian obedience:

They were all fixed faces, full not of possibilities but of impossibilities, some gaunt, some bloated, some glaring with idiotic ferocity, some drowned beyond recovery in dreams; but all, in one way or another, distorted and faded. One had a feeling they might fall to pieces any moment.... (----The Great Divorce)

I am not, in my natural state, nearly so much of a person as I like to believe: most of what I call me can be very easily explained. It is only when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.

At the beginning I said there were Personalities in God. I will go further now. There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given up your self to Him, you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most 'natural' men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.

The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. (----Mere Christianity)

The male you could have escaped, for it exists only on the biological level. But the masculine none of us can escape. What is above and beyond all things is so masculine that we are all feminine in relation to it. (---That Hideous Strength)


Surely there is a principle here for all Christians pertaining to God’s will and man’s. The Christian does have a free will in the sense of being able to choose whether or not he (or she) will obey that which God has commanded.13 We can resist the commands of God, but we cannot thwart His ultimate purposes.14 God allowed Jacob to go his own way and to reap the consequences of his disobedience. But in the final analysis we will do what God has purposed. God does not, like many of us do as parents, yell and holler, fuss and fume, over the disobedience of His children. He is, of course, deeply grieved by disobedience, but he will allow us to go our own way and to reap the painful price of sin. And then, when we have gotten our fill of sin and there is no other way to turn, He will speak to us again, reminding us of that which He has previously spoken. Then, too, we shall surely listen and obey. God’s will can be resisted for a season and at a great price, but ultimately God will create an atmosphere in which we will gladly hear and obey. And then His purposes will be realized in our lives.
(----Bob Deffinbaugh, commentary on Jacob in Genesis 35 at OneYearBible blog)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wow! Smart Money at INTRADE Goes For Scott Brown!


I TURN MY BACK ON THE COMPUTER for a few days and looky what happens: Scott Brown takes the lead over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts! WOW! You know the tide is turning when the INTRADE money goes to Brown who was down last week 4-1. Now it's Brown at 55.1 and Coakley at 45.1.

Don't think the Dems--led by President Obama--aren't running scared. So freaked in fact that they're now talking about changing the rules---game change in mid-stream anyone?---to only needing 51 rather than 60 votes. Can anyone deny that this is one of the, if not THE most crooked and despicable Congressional leaderships in the history of our country. Truly these people think they're outside the law and certainly outside even the loosest bounds of the Constitution. It is shocking to say the very least. Meanwhile, give, give, give to Scott Brown and pray we elect this decent, conservative man to the people's seat in Massachusetts. And when they/we do, then don't think we'll have a major rodeo on our hands getting him seated in time to vote on the healthcare bill. But we can count that chicken when it hatches....One last thought: this has truly been a national effort that has crossed state lines and only the first of many in this new era of political shenanigans.

On and Off the Tamiami Trail

IT DOESN'T HAVE any up and downhill climbs. It's my idea of a nice long weekend with good friends in warmer, breezy weather---and it is warmer weather. Still, without discernable topography, I'm a fish outta water here for long.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti: Scenes From An Incredible Disaster

Children's Lifeline, American Red Cross
Photos: Helping Haiti at The Daily Beast.
God have mercy on Haiti in its time of greatest need.

Victor Hanson On Five Truths We Dare Not Speak

NOBODY WRITES ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION WITH ITS DEVASTATING EFFECTS ON OUR COUNTRY AND ECONOMY--- dispelling the euphemistic and myriad myths with harsh realities--- better than Victor Davis Hanson. I remember the first time I met Victor years ago. I was wandering around a tony boutique bookstore outside Santa Barbara when I spied a tiny book called Mexifornia on the round table of recommended books. I picked it up, and began perusing its pages with a fine tooth comb. Then I bought it.

I was visiting a friend in Monticeito and needed something else to read in between hiking up mountains in the area. Little did I know, my life would never be the same. It was a quick read written with truths and documentation from his hard-earned experience, but its harsh realities are tidbits I'm still digesting today.

Today in Pajamas Media, Victor gives thumbnail sketches on illegal immigration-- what it has done to California and doing to the country, along with four other truths that are no longer fashionable to discuss: the success of the surge in Iraq, the failures of affirmative action, the myth of the superiority of an Ivy League education, and finally how anti-Semitism keeps the Middle Eastern the most flagrant and long-lasting conflict in the world.

Ever since I met Victor Hanson in that bookstore in Mexifornia, I listen when he writes, even though I sometimes wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then. Or something like that. Read Hanson and occasionally weep. We owe it to ourselves as conservatives to read what he writes. Believe me, you can't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Face of Crushing, Desperate Poverty, Need and Death

WHY IS IT THAT POVERTY ATTRACTS NATURAL DIASTERS? How come the worse the impoverishment, the worst the disaster seems to be? Why do big tornadoes go straight for poor trailer parks and earthquakes and tsunamis gravitate to poor and famished shorelines? I surely don't understand it, but do know these Haitian people are in desperate, desperate need of our prayers and largess. If Port-au-Prince is leveled, we can not turn our backs on its massive needs. Many there were already in desperate shape before this earthquake, and now are living on the edge of starvation, disease, ineffable loss, lawlessnes and death. God help and have mercy of them and us as we try to relieve some of their incredible suffering.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Masschusetts Election: Forget the Polls and Bloggers, Go Straight to the Smart Money

IF YOU WANT TO KEEP expectations realistic about next week's election in Massachusetts between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley then forget Drudge, bloggers, polls and pundits. Cut to the chase and go straight to INTRADE, The Prediction Markets on my sidebar, and see what the smart money, which has nothing at stake, no political axes to grind, really thinks. Here traders vote with their cold hard cash.

Then keep your eye on it and how and if it changes.

Right now, no matter how well Brown looks to be doing on the conservative side of the Internet, he 's still far behind Coakley. Sure he's come up a bit over the last day, since his campaign is a million dollars richer and he's in the national spotlight. However, he's still a dark horse candidate in the eyes of traders. Sue dark horses can come from behind and win and even win BIG. Still odds are clearly on the side of the Democratic candidate by 4 to 1. But this fact isn't keeping a whole world of expectations from riding on Brown's shoulders right now.

So stay tuned. I've sent Brown money and I hope you have too. Whether he wins or loses, whatever the traders are saying, I consider it money well spent.


Millions Suffer Global Depression from Avatar Envy and Pandora Deprivation

JUST ABOUT THE TIME I START bemoaning the fact that I wasn't born into Victorian England with its decorous society and fabulous women's fashions, I discover the rest of the world is seriously depressed over not being able to live on a so-called idyllic alien planet called Pandora, complete with blue skinned people who leave earthlings wanting nothing more than to flee the filthy rotten place we call planet Earth and come live with them in their noble savage society.

Good. I liked being in the theater yesterday with a friend and only five other people. I like being where the crowd isn't. As I've always said, there's good reason for DisneyWorld and OpryMills: It's to keep throngs of people off the trout streams I love to inhabit with a few other fishermen and women who'd rather stand in icy cold water for hours, days, weeks contemplating our navels in peace and quiet than do anything else .

So what's up with all this? Well, surely it's no accident that Avatar----which I haven't seen nor have plans to see---was released during the emotionally toughest and most highly-charged time of the year: the dead of winter. A time when yearnings and dis-satisfactions with our ordinary lives come most starkly into focus. A time we are most susceptible to contrasting what we have with what we wish we had. Human longings are strongest from Christmas until early spring.

If we're single, we want to be married; if we're married, we want to be single. If we're working, we wish we weren't and if we're not working, we want to be. Etc. Etc. Etc. It's a time we are more prone to take a quick emotional fix to medicate and mitigate our bereft feelings.

Somehow, Avatar has presented throngs of people with Norman Rockwell pictures of Utopia that sharply contrast with those of their personal realities---ie, the fallen, imperfect and sometimes lonely places we all inhabit. Years ago, I remember it happening to me after seeing that wretched movie Love Story. I moped around for weeks during the winter, depressed with all sorts of cravings of things I didn't have and thought I needed and deserved. I'm sure I was even more a pain to live with than normal.
Anyway, it appears that Avatar has hit a real collective nerve with masses of people who long for a better world. A world without hunger and want, a world without war and conflict, a world without struggles in relationships, imperfect love and rejection. A Utopian fantasy world. A world where our if onlys and what ifs really might come true.

I've come to understand with a little age that these longings are a normal part of the human condition and as such come and go. While they're based on fantasy, they really do emanate from the deepest part of our souls seeking a better life and deeper connection. And while we may have glimpses of glory during special times in our lives here on Earth, the reality is that that perfect world hasn't come and won't for any of us here...... not yet, at least.

I'm sure you know what I'm going to say next, so here goes: There is a New World that's surely coming one day that's infinitely more wonderful than Pandora and all the things we crave. It's laid out for us in the Bible though there are many mysteries surrounding this New World that are yet to be revealed. If you're really seeking your heart's desires and need hope and encouragement to meet the stark realities of your life and relationships during our dead of winter and beyond, then there is a balm even better than Avatar you can begin to rub on your wounded lives and relationships. Here for each and every one of us willing to take a look and open to a mustard seed's worth of faith and inquiry. It won't make everything suddenly magically right, but it can and will make each of better, giving us greater meaning to our lives and the longings of our souls

Perhaps this winter will bring you into contact with that only real Hope that's far, far beyond anything you can conceive in Avatar or on Pandora. The real adventure starts here and until the new heaven and earth arrive in earnest, it certainly helps us deal better with the old, fallen one we still inhabit in spite of the deep yearnings Pandora kicks up in millions of our lost souls.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just How Cold Has It Been in Florida Lately?


HERE'S HOW COLD: A torpid iguana lays in the path of joggers in Davie, Florida on Sunday. Iguanas become catatonic in the cold and fall, as if dead, from trees. But never fear, they're reinvigorated when it warms up. From the looks of it, record cold has gripped the state.


For A Civilized Movie, Don't Miss 'The Young Victoria'

A FRIEND AND I WENT TO A MATINEE this afternoon of The Young Victoria, a movie based on the true story of Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert in the early years of their lives and her reign as queen of England. I recommend you do not miss it, if you haven't seen it already. Don't know why I'm just now getting to it. In a movie field this year of violence, sex, inane plots and blue-skinned aliens in over-drive, this civilized film shines and inspires.Below are a few clips. Beautifully done with fabulous costumes, music and scenery, I can only say it made me realize once again what an anglophile I really am.

Tunku Varadarajan On David Brooks, Cultural Supremacy and the Tea Party Movement

EVERY TIME I read NYU business professor, Hoover Institute fellow and British writer Tunku Varadarajan---who contributes at The Daily Beast--- I like him better. He's level-headed, fair and generally a good centrist thinker and writer. In his piece today, In Defense of Tea Parties, Tunku calls out intellectual elites who sneer at the tea party movement, starting with friend David Brooks whom he calls a cultural supremacist, saying Brooks and others look down at this these people (that would include me) at their peril.

In this age of ossified career politicians---who think they're accountable to none of their grassroots electorate---he sees promise in political amateurs that make this grassroots movement. Writing about one of Brook's recent columns on this phenomenon Tunku opines unrepentantly:

His (Brook's) column was about the Tea Party movement, which has, in the space of a year, come to inhabit—and inhabit raucously—the landscape that Brooks parses from his lofty perch. In the piece, he sets up a dialectic between “the educated class” on the one hand, and, on the other, a force that he identifies variously as “public opinion,” the “opposition,” and “the Tea Party movement.” The latter, a “fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against,” are, David writes, reflexively opposed to the beliefs of the educated class (to which he, naturally, belongs). They are, in effect, reactionaries.

Wow. Nothing like a smart man who can take a smart, intellectual elitist man down a notch or two. But wait! There's more--it only gets better:

Put to one side, for the moment, David’s exaggeratedly Hamiltonian belief in the natural leadership abilities of people like him, and ask this: What exactly is this “educated class,” and what leads him to think that those who oppose it are not, somehow, sophisticated?

I wish I had written and wielded this lovely rhetorical dagger, but clearly destiny chose Tunku to address Brooks instead. Tanku continues in an I beg your pardon sort of way:

Forgive me, here, for bringing to the discussion a personal note. I have a cousin who is a Wellesley graduate, a widely traveled, thirty-something, multilingual daughter of Indian immigrants who lives in that most redneck of territories…Union Square, in Manhattan. She is a Tea Party supporter, and she wrote me these words in an email: "I laugh, but also feel indignant, when I read that the tea parties are filled with angry white men, because it’s obvious that reporters are not attending the same tea parties I attended. The events were a mix of young and old, VERY mixed ethnicities (but yes, a majority white). Everyone to a person was courteous and polite, and the best part was the signs, which were funny and clever. It did feel very grassroots and very much a movement fueled by the people rather than by shadowy party apparatchiks. It felt cool to think that we were not going to be taken in by government and be told what was good for us. (Does that sound really hokey?) It felt good to be a part of a group of people who were saying “enough!” I’m a huge supporter of the tea party movement because I think it exists outside of the traditional parties and is a true manifestation of the voice of the citizen."

While Tunku grants not all tea partiers are Wellesley graduates, he allows as how his cousin is considered a member of “educated class,” the same high perch to which Brooks clings as he looks down with scorn on us tea party peasantry. Tunku warns the Brooks crowd their disdain is not just irritating, but down right dangerous. The left fears a tsunami of losses in the next election cycle, while the right fears it might mess up its plans to take the country back from liberal lawmakers.

Tunku predicts the rise of the populist tea party movement is here to stay and fueled as much by wounded pride at being looked/ talked down to by intellectual elites, as driven by economic concerns. He concludes:

So by this reckoning, the Tea Parties would be a very serious development in which anti-big business forces would finally join with anti-big government forces to create a genuine free-market party that would maximize the opportunities of the little guy—like this small-business owner from California.

See my right side-bar for the video. And thank you Tunku Varadarajan for your fine piece.

Tempest in a Thimble: I Disagree with Morrissey, Steele and Cheney Dissing Reid's 'Negro Dialect' Comment


THIS WHOLE BROUHAHA over Harry Reid's private remarks to Ted Kennedy (recorded in the new book Game Change) about Barack Obama's "negro dialect" is such a ridiculous non-issue that I am hard-pressed to understand how so many conservative thinkers I normally respect--Ed Morrissey and Liz Cheney--- can be swept away in such ridiculous moral grand-standing. I say this even though I think Harry Reid should be run outta Washington on a fast-rail. He ranks among the worst politicians of our and all time. Nevertheless he needs to go for dozens of other reasons and not for this remark. It was really a veiled compliment, even if could be considered a bit condescending. Is there a law against that?

Let me make myself clear: I do not think Reid's remark was racist. I do not think he should be excoriated by the right for his honest opinion/ perception or for using the word 'Negro' for heaven sake! I do not think Reid was being mean spirited; he was talking about Obama's electability. from his white political perspective. And while the left's understandable defense of Reid points out the absurd double standard of assessing political correctness along party lines (recalling Trent Lott's Strom Thurmond moment and resignation in 2007 only partially because of that, as well as Obama's mean remarks beforehand), it also illustrates that two politically insane wrongs don't make a right.

I am firmly on the side of George Will (and George Stephanopoulos) in his Sunday exchange with Liz Cheney. To wit:

WILL: I don't think there's a scintilla of racism in what Harry Reid said. At long last, Harry Reid has said something that no one can disagree with, and he gets in trouble for it.

CHENEY: George, give me a break. I mean, talking about the color of the president's skin...

WILL: Did he get it wrong?

CHENEY: ... and the candidate's...

WILL: Did he say anything false?

CHENEY: ... it's -- these are clearly racist comments, George.

WILL: Oh, my, no.

Oh, my no is right. This is political moralism and self-righteous finger pointing at its worst. Liz---well meaning as I know she is attempting to be--- is just digging herself and us further into the grave of political correctness. And I for one am not having it. No cigar to Ed and Liz on this one.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Counterfeit Gods, How We Uncover Idols In Our Lives


ANYONE WHO FINISHES TIM KELLER'S book Counterfeit Gods and merely puts it back on the shelf without experiencing varying degrees of personal unease, conviction of sin and a gnawing need for personal reflection---with its concomitant desire for Godly healing---surely has missed the point of this mighty little treatise on the timelessness and pervasiveness of sin and idolatry. All I would say is, give it a rest then go back and read it again asking the Holy Spirit to show you what you most need to see of your own misplaced priorities within its pages.

But only if you want to see real and sustained change, albeit slowly in your life and relationships.

That's because this book on our myriad (blatant as well as subtle) idol worships from Old Testament and New Testament characters is designed to be more than just another good read with commentary. Everything, every character, every story is chosen to point each of us back to ourselves, our sin and---best of all---the sin underneath all other sins in each of our lives: putting ourselves in the place of God.

I submit that Counterfeit Gods is not just a compendium of interesting Bible stories but a practical handbook for the soul's long journey back to again letting God be God and take first place in our lives. It's a blue print for the deepest change God wants to accomplish in our lives and offers encouragement from the many examples Keller chooses to showcase from the Word.

In the last chapter of the book Epilogue, Finding and Replacing Your Idols, Keller recounts how Martin Luther clearly recognized, Idolatry is always the reason we do anything wrong, adding the Ten Commandments begin with a commandment against idolatry. Why? Because the fundamental motivation behind all sin is idolatry. We never break other of God's commandments without breaking the first one: Thou shall have no other gods before thee. Keller continues:

Why do we fail to love or keep promises or live unselfishly? Of course the general answer is because we are weak and sinful, but the specific answer in any actual circumstance is that there is something you feel you must have to be happy, something that is more important to your heart than God himself. We would not lie unless we first had made something---human approval, reputation, power over others, financial advantage---more important and valuable to our hearts than the grace and favor of God. The secret of change is to identify and dismantle the counterfeit gods of your heart.

So how do we begin to identify our specific personal idols, those good things that we've turned into ultimate things in our lives, those idols that when we worship and fail, often throws us into irreparable despair?

Keller offers several clues for those who are willing to dig and endure the inner search for idols or those things we think we must have to feel fulfilled and significant

1. Imagination and what we fantasize about. Or as Archbishop Temple once wrote, Your religion is what you do with your solitude. Keller adds, the true god of your heart is what your thoughts effortlessly go to when there is nothing else demanding your attention. What do you enjoy day dreaming about? Ask, what do you habitually think about to get joy and comfort in the privacy of your heart?

2. Money and how we spend it. Our money flows most effortlessly toward our heart's greatest love.....Most of us tend to overspend on clothing, or on our children, or on status symbols such as homes and cars Our patterns of spending reveals our idols.

3. Time and how we allocate it. What is your daily functional salvation? What are you really living for? What do you pray and work for and if you don't you respond with explosive anger or deep despair---despair enough to die? This is probably where your most important idols are.

4. Our strongest emotions: Life and death matters and how we define them. What is so important to us that we must have at all costs? What heartaches and hurts from the past can't we get over or forgive ourselves and others for? What do our most uncontrollable emotions hinge on? What do we want that we're willing to do anything for, even if we know it's wrong?

All these questions and others, according to David Powlison, help us tease out whether we serve God or idols, whether we look for salvation from Christ or from false saviors.

Next week the final installment comes with what we do on this journey when we finally find our idols? Can we ever get rid of them? And if so, how?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Webutante's Fashion Award at People's Choice : Lea Michele


AFTER LOOKING THROUGH fashion shots of the People's Choice Awards (whatever that is!) of the likes of Sandra Bullock, Hugh Jackman and Johnny Depp (Depp continues to be the biggest fashion mess I've ever seen. How in heaven's name anyone thinks this child-man is sexy, let alone the sexiest man alive, is beyond my wildest comprehension. He always looks like he needs to be fumigated to me.) I'm crowning Webutante's choice award to Lea Michele.

Love her look from head down to her toes: her fabulous hair, gorgeous skin and perfect not overdone makeup, her sensational little red dress---the cut, the color which works so well with her skin tones---and her adorable pointy-toed heels which in this fashion season of bondage-type wedge combat sandals says a lot. I wouldn't change a thing if I were her stylist. And I myself would wear the whole thing, though I wouldn't look nearly as adorable as her! Seeing Lea look this good and uncrazy gives me hope for womankind for the 20-Teens. She knocks the ball outta the feminine sensual-in-good-taste fashion park!
Lea Michele

Later a coupla runner-ups.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What Drugs, Sex,Cigarettes, Alcohol, Rock & Roll and the Occult Did to A Former Beauty Over Past 40 Years

SHE WAS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS ROCK CHICKS AND PARTY GIRLS OF THE 60s and 70s. Glamorous lover to Rolling Stones Brian Jones, then Keith Richards, Anita Pallenberg lived the life so many of today's sports and celebrity groupies/ wannabes only dream of.

What did she get for forty years of hard living with a group of famous, debauched boy-men who play music? I could pontificate, but why bother? A picture speaks volumes and worth thousands and thousands of words. Scroll down and see for yourself. We can be glad that we were never so fortunate.

Looking tough-as-nails, haggard, rode hard and older than her 65 years, Anita Pallenberg, erstwhile rock goddess, takes a hard drag during her daily outing to the store for more cigarettes and who knows what. Daily Mail has story and photos. The short version: living this life takes its toll, takes a mighty toll.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Couple of Links


THIS MORNING I FOUND a couple of pieces I think are well worth a look if you have the time.

Yesterday's New York Times magazine review features a long story that caught my eye entitled, The First Senator From the Tea Party? Naturally I wanted to see who was being written about, so I followed the link and and read as fast as I can. I knew when I read the lede about the ever-tanned, swarthy, charming Gov. Charlie Crist that the real subject of this piece wasn't Charlie. I instantly knew who it was since the story began and ended in Florida. So do you. But first, more about why Charlie isn't ever gonna be the---or even a---Tea Party candidate:

One of the most liberal politicians in the Republican firmament, National Review said of him. Crist’s support for the stimulus bill came to embody what many on the right view as his RINO (Republican in name only) inclinations — in, among other areas, environmental policy, judicial appointments, spending and small-government orthodoxy.

That critique has blared constantly as Crist navigates a treacherous Senate race that nine months ago looked like a beach stroll. Crist wants to fill the seat vacated in September by Mel Martinez, also a Republican. His Democratic opponent in the fall would likely be Representative Kendrick Meek. But first Crist must survive a civil war: a Republican primary fight against....

And if that's not enough, then there's this to let you know, it's still not Charlie: the lingering crowd, a woman named Antoinette Parsons, who goes by Toni. She is a 78-year-old precinct representative from Bradenton who introduced herself as a “political activist and ballroom dancer.” She gave me her political card (she also has a card for ballroom dancing) and described Crist as “my dear friend for 15 years.”

“That is why it pains me to speak badly of Charlie,” she said. But she’s mad at him, for a lot of reasons — she mentions his last-minute endorsement of McCain in 2008. But mostly “the political winds are shifting, and this is not Charlie’s time.” She says she will vote for......"

The article teases and leads up to someone else. You know who it is:

It's Marco Rubio a conservative Cuban-American---whose bartender father and housekeeper mother immigrated to Miami from Havana and raised their family including Marco there and in Las Vegas. He's running in the August 24 primary against none other than Gov. Charlie Crist himself.

From all indications, it looks to be quite a horse-race as Marco comes from behind to become the almost front-runner and Charlie contines to fall behind.

More soon.

Obama on Gitmo: Another 'Make No Mistake' Moment


WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA PREFACES HIS REMARKS WITH his now infamous and familiar Make no mistake! phrase, I've learned he's telling us in no uncertain terms deep stuff about the governing principles of his soul. Make no mistake! literally means he's really, really intent on telling us he's governing by a landslide of popular opinion to Make no mistake! Translated: he's here to clean up, straighten out, set the record straight on all the filthy, rotten mistakes made by his predecessors, especially HIS PREDECESSOR who is the most pathetic excuse for a predecessor this country and the world has ever seen. A clear example came on Tuesday, so let's review:

Did he make himself clear? But what are we to make of his most recent Make no mistake! moment now reverberating like sugarplums in our heads? Some strong possibilities:

1. Putting terrorist detainees in Gitmo for any reason was a Big Mistake! The Bush administration is and will remain guilty. Closing Gitmo is not a mistake; it's good and proper penance.

2. Imprisoning terrorists in Gitmo during the Bush years gave al Qaeda good and quite understandable justification for starting terrorism recruitment and training in Yemen. No wonder all those Gitmo releasees went back to Yemen: they had been treated like, well, terrorist prisoners at Gitmo and that was a Big Mistake!

3. No matter what it takes to redeem ourselves from our past sins, including Gitmo, so that terrorists will know we're really, really trying hard to make them like us, we're going to go the distance for making restitution to them. Our national security may have to come second in some cases.

4. The hard-hearted ways the Bush administration dealt with terrorism caused al Qaeda to grow angry and frustrated and therefore they are not threatening us with growing acts of terrorism like the failed Undie Bomber on Christmas Day, and the massacre at Ft. Hood. These attacks are just justifiable tit for tat.

If you're not yet clear on these Obama Make no mistake! moments, then stick around. I'm sure we'll be tutored more in the weeks and months ahead, especially as the KSM trial begins in Manhattan. You know, when our enemies are read their Miranda rights like they are U.S. citizens and start their own Make no mistake! diatribes to the frothing press, grandstanding against the mean Bush adminstration---who kept us safe from further attacks after 9/11---and how they were persecuted by us evil Americans. I can hardly wait.

Ed Morrissey has more at HotAir.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Congressional Exodus! No Country For Old Men!

NEXT? Dem Senators In Trouble: Harry Reid (NV), Arlen Specter (PA), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Michael Bennett (CO)
GLORY HALLELUJAH! Dodd declares he's leading the crossing of the Deadest of Seas for liberal political pickpockets and hacks to the promised land of high dollar retirement benefits and exclusive gold-plated healthcare forevah at taxpayers expense. Other of his generation will follow soon after doing the maximum damage on the economy---housing, healthcare, banking---they possibly can.

Their motto? Big government and other people's money is the answer to all problems.

More from NRO. Photoshop photocredit NRO. Trouble is that these people with Pelosi and Reid are going to do a hit-and-run on healthcare and then flee the scene of the crime. Dodd will probably retire to Ireland, never to be seen again. Oops, not so fast with the hallelujahs! Cushy landing for Dodd?

Bill Whittle at PJTV opines on the damage the liberal mindset had wrecked on America. Stay with it, it gets better and better as it goes. Roger Kimball at PJM says Good riddance!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Super-Majority, Super-Mashority


In case you're not yet paying attention and still moving slowly after the holidays, I want to remind you that two, TWO, U.S. Senate seats are now up for grabs. If even only one is captured by the GOP---sooner rather than later--- then the Dems super-majority, bomb-proof Senate would be capoot, over, dead-in-the-water, fini. That would mean there would be a lot less chance of the Dems it's socialist agenda down our throats. To wit:

FIRST AND FOREMOST, Scott Brown is running for the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts. The election is January 19, so there's no time to lose. I wrote about it yesterday. Please consider donating to Brown's campaign. He's down by 11 points but it's not an impossible feat. Donate here. If he wins, then we can defeat the healthcare madness being crammed down our throats this winter.

THEN THERE'S Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND, who retires at the end of his term later this year and won't seek re-election this fall.
Currently rated a "solid Democrat," Dorgan's seat will now be hotly contested, especially if North Dakota's Republican Gov. John Hoeven decides to run. Dorgan said that after consulting his family over the holidays, he wants to leave behind his 30-year career in Congress to pursue "other interests," including teaching, writing, and working on "energy policy in the private sector." Democrats are getting nervous about this. Read it at MSNBC

Insurrection in Iceland

CURMUDGEON Karl Denninger delights in the torch lighting and wholesale insurrection now going on in Iceland, as its people and president JUST SAY NO! to bailing out the banks at taxpayers expense. He describes the situation thusly:

A land where a handful of banksters robbed the nation and looted its Treasury, then demanded that the public accept paying for the consequences.

The people have risen and declared that these are the acts of a criminal gang. That the actions that led to this distress were not mistakes, they were instead unindicted and unpunished felonies. That the people were unwilling and unknowing dupes, not willing participants with equal culpability.

And finally, that they will not pay so the criminal cabal - the international bankster fraternity - will be protected and made whole.

Iceland's President has said "no":

“The cornerstone of Iceland’s constitution is that the nation is the highest judge for the validity of law,” Grimsson told reporters at his residence outside the capital Reykjavik today.
Grimsson vetoed the so-called Icesave accord after more than 60,000 of Iceland’s 320,000 inhabitants signed a petition urging him to reject the legislation. His decision means lawmakers must either drop the bill or put the matter to a referendum.

Does anyone know what the laws are governing immigration - to Iceland?

Denninger goes on to say he's only half-joking, but one can never be too sure.

Olafur Grimsson, president of Iceland, said legislation to bailout banks, which narrowly passed parliament last week, should be put to a national referendum, amid overwhelming public opposition to the bill.

President Grimsson, I'd like to introduce you to President Obama.

I wonder when the U.S. Teaparty movement (or is it Tea Party?) will follow suit? It's only a matter of time....and when it starts, Heaven only knows where it ends. Us all fleeing to Iceland with Carl?

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Brit Hume on Tiger Woods Commotion

TUESDAY: Charlie Martin at PJM weighs in in a Buddhist kinda way. Being salt and light in a fallen world is a recipe for persecution. Secularism's drones hit Hume.

I'D LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS on all the brouhaha Brit Hume's brief remarks about Tiger Wood's fall---and how a relationship with Jesus Christ could offer him total, ultimate redemption---caused on the Internet, and beyond.

I've seen this described as Hume telling Tiger Woods he must leave Buddhism and convert to Christianity and repent, as well as Hume's casting judgmental stones at Woods. (The Anchoress has a wonderful and kind wrap-up on the controversy at First Things) But neither of these fits the description of what I see when I review this video:

It was a Sunday talk show which elicited each participant's personal opinion. Hume gave his---which didn't just include a prognostication on Wood's golfing career, as Bill Kristol did (seeming very smug as he summarily predicted a Wood's win at the Masters this spring). Hume's take included a much deeper assessment and came across to me as authentic, humble and genuinely caring. I happen to understand and believe every word Hume said and agree that a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and not some religious moral do-gooder stunt conversion for publicity reasons, can bring---over time, painful honesty and self-assessment---true repentance and slow but sure change in any person's life. I have never, ever known the silly atheistic moniker of "getting a a free pass out of jail" card to be a reality.

Change like Hume is talking about ideally can be very inspiring to the rest of the world. But such testimony must be God's will and we have no idea what that is here and neither does Hume. Still I give Hume the highest marks for his courageous salt and light statement on the condition and cure of Tiger Wood's shattered life and soul. I also get the impression that Hume knows of what he speaks. If he's a true follower of JesusChrist, then it follows that Hume knows he is a sinner (not was a sinner, is a sinner) saved by Grace. True believers understand they are not saved by their own efforts but rather, only by the sacrificial blood of Christ on the Cross. So they and we truly cannot cast stones. I am endeared to Hume for his kind public expression towards Woods.

By the way, Larry Kudlow wrote a very public piece to Tiger Woods several weeks ago giving him some advice. Kudlow spoke from his own tough experience with cocaine addiction and hitting a very hard bottom a number of years ago. In this piece, Kudlow told Woods he needed to 'come clean' with his wife or else he, Woods, would fall deeper than he could ever dreamed possible.

I've learned in living, recovery and brief years of blogging that there's simply no way we can ever control how other people will hear what we're saying or how they take our message---no matter how well-meaning it may be intended. We can only put it out there and the chips will fall where they may, whether we like it or not. Hume will be criticized by some and praised by others. Whether he could have been more effective in communicating this to Woods privately is a moot point and a waste of time to cogitate about. It happened as it did. One thing's for sure: It will be used by God for His purposes and His glory whether we ever understand or like it, or not.
Meanwhile, I appreciate the free exchange of ideas that Hume expressed and laud his courage. No doubt he will take some hits and some heat for it and be greatly misunderstood. But such is life in a fallen world where Satan twists things and casts his deceiving spells on all who are easily swayed. Those who have ears will indeed hear and understand.

This from the above commentary I linked to and it is so salient to Bret Hume's words on Fox:

Salt also, as it is used elsewhere in the New Testament, is a word picture for speech rather than for works.

3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one (
Colossians 4:3-6).

Colossians 4:6, Paul calls for gracious speech, seasoned with salt. The context is speech that makes manifest the mystery of Christ’s gospel. It was his speech that got Paul chained and put in prison. You would think that Paul would be asking prayer for deliverance from prison, but for him it was far more important that he make manifest the gospel and that the Colossians also have a vocal and effectual apologetic. It is salty speech that results in persecution for Christ’s sake even today.