Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29, 2008, Leap Year Day


And while we're at it, Pamela at Atlas Shrugs has much more on Obama's Muslim upbringing.

Is the surge working? Ask even Angelina Jolie. Evidently she's now in Iraq and thinks the time is right for a humanitarian surge.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

McCain's Running Mate In the Fight of His Life Against Obama's Magical Mystery Tour

As John McCain becomes the presumptive candidate of conservatives for POTUS, I, along with the rest of the free world, think and talk endlessly about who his running mate and VP should be in the fall election.

I've seen short list after short list of potential VP choices for McCain, including Condi Rice, and the fine enough governors of Florida, and Ohio, among many others. Nice guys, probably all, and certainly innocuous. But they all leave me cold, colder and coldest. None of them have the star power McCain needs for the teamwork required for the fight of his life. For the fight of our lives.

No one resonates with me---No. Not. One---like the man I now think is the ONLY real choice for McCain to take on as VP to take on against the Obama Magical Mystery Tour that's waiting to take us away. That is, IF we really want to win the White House in 2008. You know who it is, don't you? You, like me, realize there's only one choice now, haven't you?

You and I know there is only ONE MAN to run with Senator John McCain now. And if John is even contemplating anyone else, then he simply hasn't got his head screwed on right yet. Right? Right, I thought you'd agree.

Oprah and Obama are now taking reservations, and waiting to take YOU away. Oh yes they do. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes they are.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Mom in Overture, Ta-Da!

One of the best of the Web in a long time. Fasten your seat belts, please. I gratefully copy-catted Gerard.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Story of a Former Fairly Regular Guy


.....there was a fairly regular guy who lived and worked in Chicago, IL among other fairly regular people, doing what people regularly do who live in the rat race there--living in skyscrapers, driving on freeways, riding in elevators.

Then one day this fairly regular guy heard a wild story that fascinated him, and changed his life forever: he heard about a blind man who learned to snow ski without being able to see, after losing his sight to diabetes years earlier.

The fairly regular guy loved to ski too. He was simply amazed that a blind guy could ski, or would even want to ski, just like him.

He'd never thought that people with disabilities could do things fun like fairly regular people do. The fairly regular guy began to dream dreams of helping blind and disabled people learn to ski and do things in the outdoors like he loved to do.

Then one day, the fairly regular guy could stand it no longer. He sold everything he owned and moved a thousand miles away to Aspen, CO to start a ski camp for blind people and others with disabilities.

He was no longer interested in being a fairly regular guy in the old rat race. He didn't know how it would work, he just knew it was something he had to do.

After arriving in Colorado, the former fairly regular guy contacted his best friend from grammar school---living a fairly regular life in Nashville, TN---and asked him to get involved in his dream of helping people with handicaps learn to ski. It didn't take much persuasion. His friend said yes he'd help and soon the program and its supporters began to grow. Family, friends, other organizations like Wounded Warriors, and even strangers began to come together to help. Today the programs and its umbrella organization is called Challenge Aspen.

At first, the program focused purely on helping people with disabilities in the civilian population learn to ski and that was a big job. But then its mission expanded. The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan opened up a whole new need and started a new program of outreach: helping wounded soldiers and their families---who were back home from the Middle East---learn that life doesn't have to be over after coming home from the war with injuries and disabilities they didn't have before they went.

Challenge Aspen's programs for veterans have been so well received that the organization is now broadening its programs and outreach to Israeli soldiers wounded from terrorists attacks. These wounded warriors will be arriving in Colorado from the Middle East March 1.

These new programs started bringing together more family and friends in a new sense of community who stepped up to the bat to help raise awareness and funds to see that these new programs---including summer as well as winter ones---would be successful and that everyone who wants to attend them, can.

Even a couple of ruffians off the street were anxious to help. Right, fellows? (Actually, they've been helping for almost a decade.)

Right, ladies? Where ever did you sisters find those guys?

Which brings us to today. Challenge Aspen itself has its plate full of challenges as its mission and expenses grow. Monday night a new program to help with its expansion was introduced in Nashville. Called Challenge America 2008, it will include a performance and party on June 17, 2008 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with a star -studded line-up of stars, supporters, participants and ruffians to raise money for operations and new programs.

In order to do this, the original family and friends, are asking new people to participate and open their hearts and pocketbooks to help them meet the challenges this year. I will put up new links soon, but anyone who wants to help---as a volunteer, a ski coach, or donor, a participant in any way---can contact me at, and I'll pass the info on to the right people. And to the man who once, long ago, was a fairly regular guy. He will tell you how much it's changed his life forever for the better.

BTW, here are two people who'll be spearheading the Challenge America 2008 event by singing for their supper on June 17 in D.C. and loving every minute of it.

One of them, incidentally, is a fairly good skier and the other is challenged to even get down a beginner slope. ...but I'll never tell which one it is.

Only the former fairly regular guy knows for sure.

No New Territory for Old Men in Hollywood

I did not see the movie that won the Academy award for best picture last night in Hollywood. Nor will I.

I will say that without even one exception that every person who saw it made virtually the same comment to me: "Do not go see it. It's without a doubt the most violent, depraved, depressing movie I've ever seen. As far as I can see, it has no redeeming value. None."

Even before hearing all these personal reviews, I had determined not to go. I am neither sophisticated nor evolved enough emotionally, spiritually or culturally, to watch a movie, or read the book, of such vast and dark renow.

Is it any wonder that the Academy is fast becoming obsolete outside of a very small, out-of-touch group of narcissistic, elite intelligentsia who prepare and endlessly enjoy eating their own refuse?

Sunday, February 24, 2008


More here on Wintley Phipps. He is pastor of a Seventh Day Adventist Church in Palm Bay, Florida and founded the U. S. Dream Academy. Extraordinarily talented man and mentor to young people.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The New York Times: #1 Choice for Parakeet Cages


It's official: Parakeets and their owners everywhere heart the NYT best of all for catching bird droppings and all those nasty little seeds they eat 24/7/365 whether it's The Times shredded or The Times unshredded editions.

Or so said Brent Bozell Thursday while talking about the growing irrelevance of the New York Times to all non-parakeet species and their owners in the rest of the world---readers, investors and media watchers in general. Bozell went on to say on Fox News that if the Times wasn't careful, it would be dead and buried in five years.
He was opining about The Times in the aftermath of the completely unsubstantiated story, using unknown, anonymous sources on John McCain's alleged romantic inclinations towards a female lobbyist back in 1999. Bozell, among many others, thought it was one of the poorest examples of journalistic unprofessionalism ever printed. It was a first-class hack job.

I agree. In my days as a newspaper reporter, my editors would never have let me get by with such a story. They didn't print innuendo---no matter how juicy---based on rumors that couldn't be traced back to something substantive or a real person who was identifiable and credible. Period.

The Times reputation is on a steep, steep one-way downhill slope, so expect more layoffs, stock declines and lower journalistic standards. On the other hand, expect an uptick in parakeet demand.


Last night, HG, my good friend and intrepid liberal sparring partner, brought me a copy of Friday's NYT's editorial page, pointing out that whereas 85% of the Letters to the Editor were usually pro Times, yesterday, a much higher majority of readers were offended by the liberties the Times had taken with McCain.

Even he--HG--admitted this was not a good sign for his favorite newspaper of record. He left me the paper and this morning I quote from some of the letters readers sent in:

Mr. J. Mitchell of Greenville, S.C. writes:

"The article on your front page concerning John McCain is unworthy of your publication. I am not a supporter of Senator McCain; however, I am uncomfortable with the way you portrayed him.

"As far as I can tell, he may or may not have done favors for a lobbyist; he may or may not have had an inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist.

"This is all supposition; why print allegations if you cannot at the same time print the smoking gun or letter that clearly indicates he did something wrong?

"It's bad enough to hear that the candidates do this sort of thing, but I would think that The New York Times would try to rise above this."

Julie Fordyce of New York writes:

"The article appears largely mired in innuendo and gossip, and as such, falls far below the editorial standards I ascribe to The New York Times.

"It's probably inevitable that the Keating Five scandal should re-emerge---and perhaps appropriate---but why are you wasting above-the-fold space with rumors of a romantic relationship? Have we learned nothing from the Monica Lewinsky debacle? Don't we have more important issues to resolve?"

Finally, I give you Mark Proctor of Brandon, Florida:

"Senator John McCain is a genuine American hero, but that would not excuse him for inappropiate behavior; however, while this article does not claim as much, it leaves many questions in the reader's mind.

"All candidates running for president should be scrutinized appropriately, but the news media should use caution before publishing stories based on rumor.

"If there is more to the story then I challenge you to publish everything immediately. The New York Times owes it to its readership to come forth with all the facts.

"The alternative is an unacceptable drip, drip, drip."

I say, is it drip, drip, drip, or drop, drop, drop?

Only the parakeets and the poppycock know for sure.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This Blog, A Quick Aside

Last August, I was a victim of my own stupidity. I took the bait of an illegal, fraudulent Internet phishing scheme that posed as Google, and got phished out of my original blog. At the instant I took the bait and was hooked (me, the former professional fishing woman), within a split second, I was forever locked out of my (Google) blog. Locked out of ever posting again, from getting and moderating comments and from even telling my readers what had happened. It was monumentally frustrating. Ultimately, I started over at this site.

People have often asked me if I think it was because I'm a conservative blogger that this happened. I've always said no, I do not think this happened because of my politics. I still don't. It happened because I, along with probably thousands of others, was randomly and consistently solicited within the Google system and I mistook something false for something real. Didn't call it the Wilderness of the Web for nothing.

I do think there's more of this going on again in various forms today. Nothing new, I'm sure. I'm sure kids from all over the world with nothing better to do than dream up these schemes are at the root of most of this.

If I'm ever get closed out of this blog and the Blogspot/Blogger/Google system again, I won't return to it----ever. Instead, I'd start another site with another blog company. I may do it anyway in the next few months. The way you can find me if it should happen again is to Google Webutante and then find the freshest blog that might take you to a most recent post. But who knows, by then, I may decide on a new name, cause I won't still consider myself a ingenue on the Web.


FRIDAY UPDATE: An Obama supporter is getting nervous, really nervous.

UPDATE: Thursday afternoon while doing errands, I was listening to talk radio in my car and heard for the first time the wild allegations that in November 1999, Barrack Obama, while still a state senator in Illinois, had a late night rendezvous/fling with a man in a limo in which he smoked crack cocaine and then went on to have a tryst..... with the same man. This was news to me. The man who made these allegations and also allegedly had the sexual encounter with Barack evidently has agreed to a lie detector test. He's probably a sleaze bag, but if there's any truth to it, Obama could be farther from the finish line than we think.

Meanwhile, it's also noteworthy that while unsubstantiated rumors of John McCain's alleged romantic interest in a female lobbyist half his age in 1998 has flooded every airwave, newspaper and Internet outlet in the past two days, nary even a sparse word has been written about Barrack's possible escapade. My first question: Is Barrack's accuser a Hillary plant? And if not and there's a shread of truth to it, then katy bar the door.

When you're all style and no substance, isn't that just another side of the same coin? Too much, too little, it's still the same when it comes to controlled substance-less-ness: abuse. The placebo is called C-H-A-N-G-E, laced with H-O-P-E . It's an elixir that feels so good for a shorter and shorter time, yet delivers less and less. Except maybe for this.

We want specifics. Not just an emotional high. We want to know Barack knows something about history, and has experience that would inform his decisions as president.

Don't voters who are fainting for Barack and mainlining Obama seem like they've had a few too many? The more Barack talks---and talks and talks and talks---the more mesmerized people become from the mere sound of his voice. But no one stops to figure out what he's really saying and how substance-less it is.

We fail to pay attention to this vacuous substance-less-ness at our great peril. If we don't wake up, we'll soon elect a man-child to the White House and the learning curve will be steeper and more perilous to our country than any of us could ever imagine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday Night

UPDATE: 8:53 PM, WEDNESDAY, THE BEST EVER! It's cold here, with a chilly breeze and intermittent cloud cover, but when the total eclipse materialized, we saw the unreflective moon in all its splendor. Wow. It's still mostly in an melon colored shadow, but too chilly to stay out any longer, on this cold February night. Next one, 2010. See you around the galaxy! I love this kind of thing. When I was a little girl and would visit my grandpaprents in Dalton, Georgia, I would swoon over all the grand and mysterious books in my grandfather's magnificent library. One of my all time favorites was a big coffee table astronomy book---that weighed a ton---and had huge drawings and paintings of the solar system, the planets and the moon. It even detailed the moons of Saturn and the rings of Jupiter! I would lug it down from the shelves onto the floor and, often with my cousin Allan, literally pour over it for hours and hours on end. No one could find me in the house and finally when they did, would have to drag me away almost kicking and screaming. I dreamed of flying through the universe one day in star ships and on moonbeams.

Anyway, tonight is a total lunar eclipse. You recall that the sun, the earth (in the middle) and then the moon which has to be full at the time, all line up perfectly so that for a little while, there's no sun shining on the moon at all. It's only a brief moment in time which makes it all the more fascinating. Here's a little music to watch by. Hopefully the clouds will stay parted here and we can see the spectacle with our own eyes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

McCain Talks on Substance As Opposed to Obama's Chimera Of Change

Only proven principles promte change. Anything else is a 'holiday from history.' Whenever faith resides more in the power of government to act rather than allow, it's a one-way trip downhill.

McCain verses Hill/Bama on the Economy

A post at Larry Kudlow's blog today talks about how each presidential candidate would affect the business climate and the economy, if he or she wins the election. If you're a fiscal conservative then you can't help but like McCain.

Kudlow writes:

"........ interesting story in USA Today by Dan Nowicki of the Arizona Republic says that Sen. McCain has often talked about getting top U.S. business leaders into his administration. Several times on the campaign trail, McCain has mentioned Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Cisco’s John Chambers, and FedEx CEO Fred Smith as possible cabinet members.

Contrast all this with Hill-Bama. Take a look at some of the latest headlines. How about the front-page Wall Street Journal weekend story, “Democrats’ Attacks on Business Heat Up”? Or Sunday’s Washington Post editorial, “Trading Down — On economics, Mr. Obama goes populist,” which talks about Obama undoing free trade deals? Or today’s New York Times story by John Broder and Jeff Zeleny highlighting Hill-Bama’s populist class-warfare approach to businesses and successful investors?"


The crux of the Hill-Bama approach is to sell voters on the idea that the economy, and the middle class, are in such dire straits that only the federal government can fix it. The federal government---aka Nanny----knows best how to absorb and correct the problems we face. This approach says there should be no pain in the world and certainly no consequences.

Our Nanny government intends to penalize those who've been successful in making themselves, the economy, and other people more independent and prosperous through innovation, hard work and belief the free enterprise system and democracy (All men are created equal, but all outcomes are not equal.) Heaven forbid that anyone who seeks to be financially independent shouldn't be taken down a notch or two.

In this worldview, the Hill-Bama answer is the chimera of class warfare. By that they mean to make war on the part of the economy that creates jobs and profits and tax revenues both for the private and public sectors, while making love to the people who wish to be dependent on government handouts, often for life. By doing that we push the payments for all these entitlement forward to our children and grandchildren, making them our unwitting beasts of burdens who will foot the bill for making more people dependent on government, even as Obama is heralded a rock star, messianic figure.

That's their idea of HOPE and CHANGE. And I suppose that's what is making Michelle Obama so proud of our country for the first time in 35 years. Michelle Obama is an articulate, stand-by-your-man ill-informed financial illiterate. You heard me correctly, this kind of nonsense has never worked and never will in the history of our country. But we so quickly forget history, if indeed we ever knew it.

Government by the Hill-Bama crowd will only sink the economy into deeper and longer pain and suffering and recession. While we are certainly in a correction, asking governement---rather than free markets---to work it out for us, is only asking for exponentially greater trouble. Government needs to get out of the way. Remember, children who are over-protected only get weaker over time.

Even Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander has gotten into the Hill-Bama shtick of 'we don't want to hurt you, we only want to help you' with his dreadful proposal for a $15,000 tax credit for certain distressed home buyers. This is a nice intention, but a ridiculous, dull notion. Whatever is Lamar thinking? Tennessee conservative blogger Bill Hobbs has more.

In closing, the next time I hear the Hill-Obama crowd lamenting the sorry state of the middle class, I will drag them directly to the nearest Whole Foods Market to show them the middle class buying chocolate truffles, $17/pound Drunken Goat cheese, organic pizza and $7/pound cherry cobbler to assauge their poverty.

Our middle and even lower classes have never had it so good in the history of the world. And it's democracy and free markets coupled with risking takers, hard and focused work and determination, that have made them--US---that way. I'm not buying the Clintons or the Obamas sad, fabricated story of how bad life is in America today, such that we need hope as never before.

It's a monumental bore. Even in our soft (as in we're now the softest, most pampered people in the world) pain, we have it so good.

The Beginning, The Beginning of the End

The long-awaited beginning of a new country in Kosovo. The opportunity to live in a mostly free country is never taken for granted by those who have lived under oppression and in strife for so long. The price? Eternal vigilance. Lest we forget, the Albanians, among many others there, are here to remind us. Why should the West back full independence for Kosovo? One opinion.

The end always comes, but it can seem like a very long time. Will this be a new beginning for Cubans living under this communist despot for almost 50 years? There's still Raul, 76, Fidel's baby brother.

Fidel's resignation letter, in his own words a mere 49 years later:

"To my dearest compatriots, who have recently honored me so much by electing me a member of the Parliament where so many agreements should be adopted of utmost importance to the destiny of our Revolution, I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief."

The reaction of the presidential candidates is here. However, I post John McCain's response below:

"Today’s resignation of Fidel Castro is nearly half a century overdue. For decades, Castro oversaw an apparatus of repression that denied liberty to the people who suffered under his dictatorship.

"Yet freedom for the Cuban people is not yet at hand, and the Castro brothers clearly intend to maintain their grip on power. That is why we must press the Cuban regime to release all political prisoners unconditionally, to legalize all political parties, labor unions and free media, and to schedule internationally monitored elections.

"Cuba's transition to democracy is inevitable; it is a matter of when – not if. With the resignation of Fidel Castro, the Cuban people have an opportunity to move forward and continue pushing for the moment that they will truly be free. America can and should help hasten the sparking of freedom in Cuba. The Cuban people have waited long enough."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, President's Day

Black Fire Percussion. Wow. Double wow.

Here's another double, triple wow that I've also just linked to in my sidebar to the right: Stuff White People Like. Hat tip to Gerard at American Digest. They nail us with our own stuff with irony, irreverence and a subtle sense of humor. Come on now, you know it's priceless. You know you do.

And fellows, for the record, us white girls love, love drums and percussion and stuff like that....makes us feel like royalty coming down the street-- like we're Princess Diana, or the First Lady, or better still, a baton majorette. Makes us feel like we got it going on. (Sure we may stand still at concerts, but not when we're alone in our kitchens or in front of our computer screens and listen to stuff like this.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Quotes and Commentary With Bob Deffinbaugh and Tim Keller

"It is impossible for a human heart, without crosses and tribulations, to think upon God."

---Martin Luther (1483-1546)



Two paths for every man: or the difference between religion and an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. Bob Deffinbaugh, the author who writes this commentary, is the real thing. Well worth a read, in my opinion.

Have posted this Tim Keller video (my favorite) several times before and will undoubtedly again. The main point being that Keller distinguishes again the difference between atheists, religious rule keepers and those who have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. Here Keller underscores the crucial fact that they are not one and the same, as does C.S. Lewis in many of his writings. This is a distinction that we ignore at our great peril.

Christ came to destroy religion, a truth symbolized when the veil in the Temple was rent from top to bottom at the time of His crucifiction. This was meant to convey the futility of a Pharisee-ic religion and focus on an authentic personal journey and relationship (with each of us now having direct access to Christ through the Scriptures and prayer) in which Christ with the Holy Spirit transforms a person's heart and life over time into the likeness of Christ. We often, sadly mistake what that should and does look like. Attending church can be fine, but does not necessarily mean a person is in a personal relationship with Christ.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Good News From Iraq

Things like this just don't get reported in the MSM, but are heartening to say the least. There's no drama in our troops rebuilding and refurbishing hospitals like there is in stories of mass destruction. But this is what's happening in Iraq and it's very good news for us and our troops there.

Then there's this heart happy great story of man and dog in Iraq, from ABC News. After focusing on Jane Fonda yesterday, I can only say this story of Nubs and his Marine buddy is a welcome breath of fresh air and much more inspiring. (Does this mean I'd rather read about dogs than Fonda's latest sex romp? ---How'd you know?)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jane Fonda, Still Appalling After All These Years, Part 2

Several months ago while in Atlanta with family, I did a post on Jane Fonda after reading about her on the front page in the Atlanta paper. I was shocked at her encouraging young unwed mothers and teenagers from getting pregnant, while, in the very same breath, touting her own triumphant swinging single sex life at 70. I asked myself, "What's wrong with this picture?"

Several weeks later, I received a long note in my comments section from a man who obviously adores Jane and took great issue with my post. He got fairly abusive by saying how much better Jane's plastic surgeon was than mine, and how I should sue my doctor for a 'botched lip job.' (How do I sue God, my plastic surgeon?) Anyway, he then dared me to publish his comment.

Yesterday I saw where Jane and her publicity machine was at it again, only this time it was in New York on NBC. As usual, I was shocked by Jane's comments though I shouldn't be. I was heartened to know NBC News later apologized for Jane's off-the-cuff vulgar remark.

How desperate is this woman for media attention and page one status? I mean we all like some recognition, but......this? Where is her decorum? Where is her inner lady? I'm still appalled by a woman who by worldly standards has it all (including an obviously damn good plastic surgeon as my aforementioned commenter assured me), and yet, from a higher plane, has so little. It's not very attractive at any age, Jane. But at 70, it's sad, wo-mano to wo-mano.

This is my last post on this aging sex symbol. Because to give her any more attention, any attention at all, is giving Jane exactly what she appears to so desperately want and need.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Thank you to my readers, commenters and colleagues in the blogworld---supporters as well as critics---for adding more value and interest to Webutante! I appreciate your participation and welcome your continuing input, even when we disagree. xxoo.

How about this for a Valentine idea: John McCain's VP running mate: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal?
Young. Conservative. Articulate. Minority. Southern (sorta).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ramirez, IBD

La Shawn Posts on Lenny Kravitz

Refreshing, to say the least.

Read the whole thing. There are still some role models around for us. And I'm talking about both Lenny and La Shawn, each class acts in the best sense of the word.

Listening to Obama's Victory Speech Tuesday Night Was Like....

(UPDATE: Bad news for Obama and Pelosi.)

....... listening to Superman before subduing the evil Gotham empire in one fell swoop. He can do what other mere mortals have failed repeatedly to do in the past, and go where angels fear to tread. Government as God is the last, best hope for humanity, and he's the messianic man for the job, he assured the bleating crowds.

........listening to Santa Claus before coming to town. He told us in no uncertain terms those he'll consider naughty and those he'll consider nice in an Obama Administration.

Let's see, all the entrepreneurs and big companies who have created jobs and wealth for those who are clever and hard working enough to take advantage of it, will be punished and get no presents for the next four or more years. Didn't you and I know, it's the government, stupid, who's supposed to give all good economic gifts? The creative private sector will now have to pay through the nose.

And all the fine soldiers who've fought the good fight in the War on Terror are going to have to come home, so that the last seven years of their work can go down the drain, as an Obama-nation will quickly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The War with Islamic fascism is just an illusion anyway, you understand.

On the other hand, those who Obama perceives as victims of course through no fault of their own, will be the beneficiaries of his largess in the form of higher taxes and more government entitlements. Individual and personal responsibility will be out of vogue, but those with their dependent hands outstreatched to Daddy-government assistance and guidance will receive hope and lots of goodies from O-Santa's magical bag of addictive tricks.

That should be good for all of us. Let's see, maybe Obama also can spend billions of taxpayers' revenues investigating the 9-11 attacks, just to make sure it wasn't a great right-wing conspiracy after all.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Wobbly Roots of Wobbly Anglicanism


Should we really be surprised at the Archbishop of Canturbury Rowan Williams's recent, controversial pontifications about the inevitability of sharia law in England, if we stop and recall the early history and beginnings of the Church of England which he now heads?

A brief walk down memory lane should help us understand how Rowan Williams is as inevitable a leader to the increasingly irrelevant Church of England today, as King Henry VIII is to its beginnings in 1534.


The Anglican Church, an offshoot of Roman Catholism, did not begin as a part of the Protestant Reformation sweeping Europe in the mid 1500s, but rather as a quick political fix because England's King Henry VIII couldn't get the Roman Catholic pontiff's permission to divorce his wife and remarry his mistress.

The English Bible History puts it this way:

"King Henry VIII had in fact, requested that the Pope permit him to divorce his wife (Catherine of Aragon) and marry his mistress (Anne Boleyn, who ultimately bore their daughter and future queen, Elizabeth) because among many other things, he desperately wanted to produce a male heir to the throne.

The Pope refused the king's request. King Henry responded by marrying his mistress anyway, (later having two of his many wives beheaded), and thumbing his nose at the Pope by renouncing Roman Catholicism, taking England out from under Rome’s religious control, and declaring himself as the reigning head of State and also the new 'Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England.'

This new branch of the Christian Church, neither Roman Catholic nor truly Protestant, became known as the Anglican Church or the Church of England. King Henry acted essentially as its “Pope”. His first act was to further defy the wishes of Rome by funding the printing of the scriptures in English… the first legal English Bible… just for spite."

Again, Anglicanism was founded as a convenient and quick political fix involving sex, lies, power, long before the time of rock and roll.

While former Catholic monk and declared Catholic heretic Martin Luther worked arduously in Germany to eschew the Roman hierarchy with its rules and regulations regarding the layman's relationship with Christ, and finally broke off from Catholism because of doctrinal differences, it was not the case in England: King Henry could have cared less about doctrine or the importance of the Bible to believers. He just wanted a male heir to the throne and the ability to marry whomever he wanted. To hell with the specifics of doctrine. His favorite doctrine was the doctrine of beheading his wives on trumped-up charges so he could remarry and remarry and remarry.


And here, at the end of the executioner's axe, the Church of England began. But there's more:

After King Henry's death in 1549, and Bloody Mary's brief reign (and short restoration of the Catholic Church there), Queen Elizabeth I ascended the throne of England and further defined the role of the newly formed Anglican Church as follows:

Saying creeds would be important in this new 'church' but no clear, absolute doctrine was necessary, as long as everyone said the uniform ditties found in the Book of Common Prayer.

In A Church Asunder, Peter J. Boyer writing in The New Yorker magazine in April, 2006 describes it this way:

"When Elizabeth ascended to the throne as a Protestant, the realm faced a third religious about-face in a dozen years, and the prospect of civil war was real.

"Elizabeth’s elegant solution allowed her subjects to believe whatever they wished but insisted upon a uniform worship service.

"The vehicle for this “middle way,” as Anglicanism came to be known, was the Book of Common Prayer, which gracefully blended Roman Catholic liturgy with some Protestant principles. The prayer book allowed for the coexistence within one institution of distinctly different interpretations of Christianity, with the unofficial designations of High Church (those parishes inclined toward a more Roman Catholic orientation), Low Church (evangelicals), and Broad Church (those Anglicans tolerant of wide doctrinal interpretations).

"The Anglican way proved remarkably resilient, absorbing the shocks of the English civil war and the Enlightenment, and ultimately planting itself worldwide in the footsteps of the British Empire. In the United States, the Church of England became the Episcopal Church."

The style of Anglicanism had to be uniform as found in that drafty ole Book of Common Prayer, but the substance of Anglican doctrine was always---and still is---up for grabs.

In other words, 'anything goes doctrine' IS the fundamental doctrine ruling the Anglican/Episcopal Church since its inception the middle 1,500s.

With over 500 years of this history in mind, why should we really be surprised at the Archbishop of Canturbury's recent pontifications about sharia law coming to England? When in fact, it's business as usual for the head of the anything-goes Anglicans: a little Catholism here, Protestanism there, and now a sprinkling of Islam and sharia, for good measure.

In the process today, Rowan Williams is re-inventing his liberal, politically correct denomination in a way that would make King Henry VIII proud, and should surprise none of us.

The only thing left to wonder is when and where will the next heads roll.

Rowan Williams and the Anglican/Episcopal Trainwreck Ahead

Several springs ago in April, 2006, I was in New York City and caually picked up a New Yorker Magazine on my son's coffee table. As I began to peruse it, I found that the cover story was a fascinating, long history of the Anglican Church in England and then America., dating back to its inception under England's Queen Elizabeth I in 1558 A.D.

The occasion of the article, of course, was the recent controversial ordination of practicing gay priest Gene Robinson as a Episcopal bishop in the liberal diocese of New Hampshire.

While the controversy over Robinson's ordination (as well as the more recent controversy involving Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan "sharia law in the UK is inevitable" Williams) threatened---and still threatens---to split the Anglican/Episcopal church beyond recognition, and was the focus of the article, I found that recalling the early history of Anglicanism to be, by far, the most fascinating part of the article.

To me, it went a long way in explaining Anglicanism here and abroad and helped me understand why I had finally left the pomp and ceremony, the deadening litury of the prayer book, the rote sacraments in beautiful surroundings with well-heeled people, gorgeous stained glass windows and thundering pipe organs, after trying to stay away in Anglican church services for over 30 years.

I was already long gone that day and have never looked back, except with a sense of relief and gratitude. The New Yorker article only served to deepen my gratitude that Whiskopalianism was in my rear view mirror.

For me, the Episcopal Church had died long before the present day controversies erupted, if in fact, it had ever been alive for me at all. The truth is for me the Anglican Church in the US and England has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics and politically correctness.

The New Yorker article entitled, A Church Asunder, by Peter J Boyer is well worth reading. And I'll be back soon to pull out some of the salient points of it.

For me, it helped better explain phenomenon like Gene Robinson, Rowan Williams and a host of other priests whom I've known over the years who were literally caught with their pants down with their own parishioners. The last married priest I knew before my leaving the Episcopal Church in early 2000 was let go just last summer from his church, after admitting a years-long affair with a young woman who attended his "cathedral" whom he was "counselling."

Will return to talk about why heretics like ABC Rowan Williams no longer surprise me in view of the genesis of that church. He and it are just business as usual for the vast majority of Anglicans.

E-Mail From Heritage

Often I get thought provoking notices from Heritage Foundation, announcing upcoming speakers. Wish I were in D.C. so I could attend more of them. In my inbox today:

Fredrick Douglass (an outstanding black leader) argued that “The sum of the black man's misfortunes and calamities are just here: He is everywhere treated as an exception to all the general rules which should operate in the relations of other men.”

In light of this, what should we think about Black History Month? What was its original purpose, and has it outlived this purpose? And does it now serve to divide rather than unite America, highlighting racial differences and fostering “identity politics” -- where individuals are treated differently depending on their race and not their merit?

Questions well worth pondering, in my opinion. Frederick Douglas was a wise man.

Could not the same be said for other minority groups? Personal responsibility and the rule of law apply to all of us. Yet, we try to single out certain groups for preferential treatment citing all sorts of excuses that ultimately infantalize them. Singling out only creates a huge sense of entitlement, destroys the incentive to grow up and only forestalls the inevitable and painful show down. In other words, in the end, it does more harm than good.

Today we make careers of separating out ourselves and other groups for special treatment in the name of political correctness, such as Hispanics, illegals, gays, the new underclass of men battered by extreme feminism, sick people who want unlimited drugs and healthcare instead of taking the slightest care of themselves or their health through diet and exercise, and finally the newest victims du jour, poor homeowners who were forced by the government and unscrupulous bankers to buy more house and take on a bigger mortgages than they could afford.
It was all foisted on them.

And on and on. One common refrain of the victim of the day: "Someone else made me do it, so it's their fault and not mine. Therefore, you owe it to me to make it right. I don't deserve to suffer one iota for my actions and I'm going to throw tantrum after tantrum until you and the taxpayers give me what I want."

The real cure is always the same: Individuals must step up to the plate and take responsibility for their part in creating the problem in the first place. Next, take steps to repair the damage while remaining within the Rule of Law. Then move on as an adult and stop whining about past injustices, or demanding the world make it all right for us. Wisdom always comes from making mistakes and finally learning from them.

It does not come from constantly making exceptions.

Electing leaders who indulge our senses of entitlement, like Hillary and Obama, may look good on the front end, but only bring us more heartache on the backend both individually and collectively as a nation.

This does not preclude the need for compassion. But it does preclude the demand that others take responsibility for what only we can do and ultimately undo.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lon Solomon on Moses' Veil and The Gospel Message


Winter is often the time for the Old Testament study of Moses and the Israelites wandering forty years in the desert between Egypt and the Promised Land. Nobody does Moses better than Pastor Lon Solomon at McLean Bible Church in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Today, Lon talks about Moses and the veil which covered his face after he came face to face with God. Why was Moses' message insufficient? As usual, Lon goes on with "So What?" This is an amazing sermon and relates to our everyday lives in relevant ways and the Gospel of Christ.

Listen, and learn. I know I never cease to be amazed by these sermons.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Vanderbilt Baseball Banquet

I'm not easily impressed and certainly no avid spectator sports fan, by any stretch of the imagination. But I have to say, Vanderbilt's baseball team, last year's SEC champions, has really caught my eye and wowed me and thousands of others like me. If there's a finer coach anywhere, in any sport than Tim Corbin, then please let me know.

Meanwhile at Saturday night's Dores' baseball banquet, Coach Corbin introduced his 2008 team with such personal flair, good humor and detailed knowledge of each member's individual talents and family names that it's hard to imagine he wasn't reading from index cards. But it was business-as-usual as Corbin pulled it all from his extraordinary memory bank and fastidious attention to detail.

I have a great idea, Tim Corbin should run for president. No really. He's respected, disciplined, mature, funny, smart, and insightful, on top of being one of the finest speakers I've ever listened to. Vanderbilt is most fortunate to have him heading its baseball program. He's a role model and prototype leader extraordinaire. Best wishes to him and all his players, as they begin their 2008 season soon.

Coach Tim Corbin.

Former football great Jamie O'Rourke with VU baseball senior and left fielder Parker Hanks were at our table. We had lots of laughs.

Coach Corbin Quote: "Parker is the epitome of what a grinder is. He's hardnosed, tough, inspirational, and gets the most out of his ability. Because of his athleticism, he gives us many chances to play him."

Everybody loves Pedro Alvarez.

Coach Corbin Quote: "I think he's the best third baseman in the country. He might be the best player in the country. He flashes five tools. He runs very well. He is a great teammate and cares about other people which goes a long way when you're talking about leadership."

Mothers Without Fathers

The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough. Great article with lots of wisdom in hindsight from Lori Gottlieb in the Atlantic. Extreme feminism has never, nor ever will get the job done when it comes to realistic expectations in everyday life and marriage.

Of course, all this begs the question, has feminism jumped the shark? The case is made that the answer is yes for a long while, for most of us it's a movement that's over. When extreme positions finally eat its young--like so-called feminists thinking fundamental Islamic chauvinism/ brutality is actually good for women--- it's history except for a small fringe that hangs on like smelly, middle-aged hippies from the sixties and disenfranchises itself with its own extreme and contorted thought processes.

Women everywhere, no matter what they call themselves, should be raising hell about the treatment of our sisters in these slavish Muslim regimes.

BTW, I wonder why some of my liberal commenters here don't ever comment on posts like this one? What, cat got your tongue?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Finally Investors Business Daily Gets On Board For McCain

Investors Business Daily, IBD, yesterday finally climbed aboard the John 'Wayne' McCain presidential train that was pulling quickly out of the GOP station.

After months of dissing Fred Thompson while promoting Rudy Giuliani, IBD has graciously and gracefully---with only a tad bit of grousing---endorsed, RIGHTLY endorsed in my opinion--the presumed Republican candidate in the fall presidential election.

There are very few issues I take issue with in IBD's editorial pages, but its earlier presidential endorsement for Rudy was certainly one of them. Undoubtedly they liked some of his campaign promises to abolish estate and capital gains taxes.

Still, it was a tad bit too much, too soon for me and I wondered when and if they would come around to McCain.

I hoped they would not stay in the corner pouting and sucking its thumb with Rush and Ann and other disgruntled ultra-conservatives.

But yesterday and today IBD has shown they can love and lose, only to come back and love---well sort of---again. They showed they can move on like the adults they are. Bully for them.

Among the highlights of today's editorial, it gave high marks to McCain for making the following campaign pledges at yesterday's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) conference in Washington D.C., where McCain "made the most important speech of his life so far." That's because he was facing many combative conservatives who were not happy that McCain is the new leader of the party.

McCain knocked the ball out of the park by flatly stating he will:

*** Cut taxes on individuals and corporations, and end the alternative minimum tax (AMT).

***Use markets, not big government, to solve health care problems.

***Appoint federal judges and Supreme Court justices in the mold of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito.

***Put Iran on notice that its espousal of the destruction of Israel and its hatred of the U.S. will earn out implacable opposition to its bid to gain a nuclear bomb.

***WIN the war against terrorism, arguing convincingly that losing in Iraq would result in far greater losses than any we've seen, and he "will NOT allow it to happen."

IBD continues,

"These are all profoundly conservative stances But the last one is especially, and vitally, important....for all Americans. Indeed, it's the main point of difference between Democrats and Republicans. Those who think a vote one way or the other won't matter aren't thinking seriously."

IBD's endorsement will be a boon to McCain and also to its own credibility as the finest conservative business newspaper in the country.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

M2C2: Living in Tornado Alley

Tornados in Febrauary are rare, but certainly not unheard of in the mid-South. While the Al Gores and John Kerrys of the world are screaming climate change, or rather man-made climate change as the ultimate cause, the fact remains that the weather has been unpredictable since the beginning of time. And always will be.

Just as there are 500 year floods which only come severely every 500 years or so, there are also 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 year tornados, hurricanes and and the like. This is not rocket science.

Trying to control and predict larger scale weather patterns would be mankind's greatest folly and ego trip. Attempting to organize government around such Gorish predictions would be beyond ridiculous. But make no mistake, that's the current trend.

Conferences like Davos are hatching hundreds of new schemes, government programs and business ideas to control and curtail our freedoms in the name of man-made global warming, which never has nor ever will ever be proven. These international globe trotters are the beginning of forming a one world government which seeks to regulate the bejeebers out of us all in the name of MMCC, M2C2. It is based on heavy-duty myth making and should scare us all.

In most of these cases the cure is much more deadly than the disease.

I am all for green and alternative energy development and have in fact put a good deal of my own money in such private, high risk start-up companies. But for man-made global warming to be the central focus or government going forward would be a boon doggle of the highest degree.

The devastation and havoc such storms as Tuesday night can wreck are not to be underestimated or taken lightly. My heart goes out to those who have and are suffering in the aftermath of these storms. We have tornados and flooding. Other people have earthquakes or volcanos or hurricanes. And other people just have mosquitos, drought and mega-forest fires.

There is no perfect place where the living is easy all the time. And just when we think there is, along comes something like a bird flu epidemic.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tornados In Tennessee as Hillary and Huckabee Rule

Tennessee replaced native son Fred Thompson who recently dropped out of the presidential race with the next best thing as it voted for Arkansas' Mike Huckabee to win the Republican primary.

Huckabee beat John McCain by only 2 percentage points. But the night drove the last nail in the coffin of Mitt Romney in the South. It's over for him here, no matter how much he spends, how conservative he comes across.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton played the race card in rural Tennessee counties where Democratic voters said---when presented with the choice--they'd rather have a woman than a black in the White House.

The Democratic race is not one of idealogy and principles so much as popularity and personalities based on highly charged emotional images employing the chimeras of hope, change, unity and eternal well-being.

Will we ever learn?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday: Tennessee Will Go For McCain

John McCain will win handily in Tennessee today, leaving Huckabee and Romney forever behind as presidential contenders, while choosing one as his vice-presidential running mate in the November general election.

John McCain will then go on to be elected the next president of the United States.

While I have contended that Mike Huckabee would be his best choice as VP---not because I personally favor him, but because I surmise southern conservatives will cotton to his being on the ticket--political junkies more astute than I argue to the contrary.

They reason: McCain already has the South in his hip pocket. Huckabee is irrelevant. John needs help in the Midwest more than in the South and that's where Mitt Romney can help him the most. Plus Romney is a businessman who is perceived stronger on fiscal policy. California and New York will go for Hillary or Obama, but the Midwest is where the election will be won or lost.

It will be an interesting day, but it's all over but the shouting for John McCain. He's the winner today in Tennessee and beyond, and will be in November too.

Oh yes he is. Oh yes he will.

But make no mistake, McCain and Romney have their work cut out for them in the arena of the economy.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday, Some Astounding Images From One Year Bible Blog


The first thing I do early each morning
is click on the sidebar here to One Year Bible blog, a daily Bible study that covers the entire Bible in one year with commentary and dazzling images. Every day there are readings from the Old Testament, the New, a Psalm and a Proverb. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The Bible is the most fascinating book on earth, in my opinion. And yes, I believe it is the inerrant Word of God.

This past week we've been studying the Exodus from Egypt of over 2 million Jews, led by Moses. Some of the images that Mike has featured simply astound me to look at and imagine. So I wanted to share several of them here with you today.

Above, the parting of the Red Sea so that the Jews could pass through unharmed on dry land! It was mostly at night that they traveled acorss. Then of course, the Egyptians came in hot pursuit and met their untimely demise when the sea closed in on them in the early hours of the morning. But the image above is amazing.
The Jews were guided by a pillar of fire during the night and a cloud during the day. What a way to travel. This image, above, especially piqued my interest.

The gathering of manna each day for the millions of Jews on this journey. God kept them alive in the midst of inhospitable environments for forty years this way! And there was always plenty each new day.

If you are so called to deepen your study of the Bible, I cannot recommend more highly One Year Bible blog.

It is truly a bessing in my life.

Photo Essay For Pajamas Media: McCain Rally in Nashville Saturday

John and Cindy McCain came to town Saturday to headline a political rally ahead of Super Tuesday. Held at private boys school Montgomery Bell Academy, down the street from me, it was a packed house, standing room only event.

The most fun part was working with Noah Schwartz, a junior at Vanderbilt, who was on hand to help photo, write and edit the event with me. Our joint work can be seen here on Pajamas.

Two quick observations:

First, it was interesting to see so many young people there and engaged. As one observer said to me later, "You'd expect to see this at an Obama rally, but not so much with McCain. I was impressed."

So was I.

And second, I liked what I saw of Cindy McCain up close. She's beautiful and poised, but most of all she wears well at John's side. Of all the candidates wives, there is none I can see more as First Lady and carrying it off with aplomb than Cindy McCain. If John is elected, she would be an asset to our country, no doubt. And woman to woman, I loved her cashmere lavender turtleneck.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tennessee on Super Tuesday: A Bellwether


From the New Republic:

As the "buckle of the Bible Belt," Tennessee is traditionally conservative and tends towards the Republicans, going for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Though Huckabee is relying on its strong evangelical community, the state has a history of being more economically and racially liberal than other southern states. Hillary is also hoping that, with its relatively small black population, Tennessee can be one of the few southern states she can win. Having voted for the winner in the last 11 general presidential elections, Tennessee is considered a bellwether state.

Delegates: Democrats, 85 (68 in primary; 17 super-delegates); Republicans, 55

Format: Democrats hold an open, proportional primary; Republicans hold a closed, winner-takes-all primary.

And today John McCain comes to town.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I Disagree with Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin About McCain

UPDATE: Reasons we're gonna vote for McCain in the fall and love it.

Though Ann Coulter apparently comes to her quite emotional diatribe here based on sound conservative principles, as is her right, she goes too far overboard in my opinion. Michelle has voiced similar concerns. I beg to differ with these bright and outstanding conservative women. McCain is not Darth Vader.

While neither McCain nor Huckabee are my first choices for president or VP, I prefer, like Newt Gingrich, to deal with reality as it presents itself and go from there.
Again, I am not ecstatic about John McCain as the front-runner. But I'm not going to vote for Hillary or Obama under any circumstances. And I hope I'm not going to throw a hissy fit because McCain is the candidate.

An important question for me remains, who would our enemies and detractors most like to see us elect in November? Least like us to elect? I can't see them cheering for McCain nearly as much as, say, Obama.