"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Monday, October 31, 2005

A muslim's "take" on western man.

AHMADINEJAD�S BRAIN [Cliff May over on NationalReview - the Corner]
Hassan Abbasi has emerged as Ahmadinejad�s chief strategic guru also know as the Kissinger of Islam. He thinks he�s playing chicken with the U.S.

According to Abbasi, the Western powers, especially the United States, still wield immense military and economic power that looks formidable on paper.� But they are unable to use that power because their populations have become �risk-averse.�

�The Western man today has no stomach for a fight,� Abbasi says. �This phenomenon is not new: All empires produce this type of man, the self-centered, materialist, and risk-averse man.�

Abbas has described Britain as �the mother of all evils.� In a recent lecture he claimed that the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and the Gulf states were all children of the same mother: he British Empire.

As for France and Germany, they are countries in terminal decline , according to Abbasi. Once we have defeated the Anglo-Saxons the rest will run for cover, he said.

He could be right of course about "the self-centered, materialist, and risk-averse man."

I think more and more we want peace but at no cost to ourselves. Pretty sure peace is still expensive and requires blood, sweat and tears. More blood than we want to give.

Doug Gresham on C.S. "Jack" Lewis - Read the rest HERE

Americans have latched on to C. S. Lewis, and yet here's a guy who was a chain smoker, who liked his pints, who told ribald jokes, and in general, wouldn't fit what we think of as the "typical evangelical." And yet we've all wrapped our arms around him. Why is that? [ Question by Christianity Today]

Gresham: One of the reasons is that through the, if you can excuse the expression, the bulls--- that has come to be taken so seriously in American Christianity, through all of that, they can still see the essential truth that Jack represented. The problem with evangelical Christianity in America today, a large majority of you have sacrificed the essential for the sake of the trivial. You concentrate on the trivialities not smoking, not drinking, not using bad language, not dressing inappropriately in church, and so on. Jesus doesn't give two hoots for that sort of bulls---. If you go out and DO Christianity, you can smoke if you want, you can drink if you want though not to excess, in either case.

But I think that even past the trivialities, many evangelical Christians can see the ultimate truth to what Jack wrote. I think that's why he's so popular.

The blogsphere Impacts

The blogsphere has changed our world.     HERE

One that deserves study is how a lightning-fast news cycle, a flat-footed defense and the growth of new media such as talk radio and blogs sank Ms. Miers's chances even before the megabuck special-interest groups could unload their first TV ad. Ms. Miers herself has told friends that she was astonished at how the Internet became a conveyor belt for skeptical mainstream media reports on her in addition to helping drive the debate.
The rapidity with which Supreme Court nominations can become full-scale political contests would astonish previous generations. While one out of five previous nominees to the highest court failed to be confirmed, the battles used to be far more gentle. Nominees didn't even show up at confirmation hearings until 1925.

It is not that everybody is constantly reading the blogs.  Only a small percentage do.  BUT, more and more people of influence are increasingly aware of the blogs and when you get a call from someone saying there’s a big debate about you over on www.mylittleblog.com you tend to suddenly pay attention.  So the ultimate impact of the blogs far outweighs their still limited readership.  Even the Main Stream Media (MSM in blog parlance) now has become very attuned to what is being said in the blogosphere and that influences how they write and what they write.
The blogs were all over the Harriet Miers story; while she was both attacked and defended it really inspired close checking of her history and perspectives.  In the blogs, they can really put the microscope on you.
Stay tuned.

Journalist? NO

So you wanna be a journalist?  Maybe change the world with the brilliance of your words?     Denbeste has some insightful perspectives.

There was a time when we believed that top media personalities were men of integrity. Now we must view them as being as trustworthy as used car salesmen, and polls show that most of us actually do rate them that way.
What I think is rather strange is that polls within the industry also tend to show that journalists have much different opinions about themselves than the general public has about them. Journalists think they are centrist; the public sees them as slanting heavily to the left. (Understand that these are all generalizations.) Journalists think they are in touch with the public zeitgeist and that they tend to pursue issues the public cares about; the public doesn't tend to agree with that.
Even more interesting is that journalists not only have a higher opinion of themselves than the public has, but journalists seem to think the public holds them in higher esteem than the public actually does.
(The eat the taco belle grande go HERE.)

The world has changed since the era of Huntley & Brinkley.

RANDOM COMMENT:  To me the most outrageous, idiotic thing Dan Rather ever said was when he stated that he thought Bill Clinton was a pretty honest man.  Clinton?  Honest?  What was Dan smokin’?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Life is tough

"Life is tough, but its tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

More terroristic evil

More followers of Jesus Christ pay the ultimate temporal price.

Three teenage Christian girls were beheaded and a fourth was seriously wounded in a savage attack on Saturday by unidentified assailants in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi.
The girls were among a group of students from a private Christian high school who were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota subdistrict on their way to class, police Major Riky Naldo said.   MORE
It is truly evil and Satanic, there is no other intelligent explanation.  Who beheads teenage girls because they attend a Christian school?  

Islamic Terrorists

You don’t have to be Jewish to be hated by Islamic terrorist.

Multiple explosions in New Delhi have killed at least 33 people. Indian authorities say that the group responsible has not yet been identified, but the bombings are presumed to be the work of Islamic terrorists.
Liberals often argue that the Islamists' hatred of Christians is explained by policies of the American government, and, likewise, their hatred of Jews has its origins in Israel's purported misdeeds. It is always worth remembering that they hate Hindus, too. The fact is, they hate pretty much everyone. It has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with them.    HERE    - Powerlineblog.com

Chesterton on Evolutionists

Where evolutionist always run afoul.

Quote of the Moment:
It is absurd for the Evolutionists to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into anything.- G.K. Chesterton     (Found on thinklings.com)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

Me, my wife and “da kids” loved the Chronicles of Narnia.  If you’re an adult, be sure and read Lewis’ SPACE TRILOGY.  The final book in the series is THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH.  Simply brilliant.
ANYHOW, here’s this.

Florida governor Jeb Bush has chosen The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as the centerpiece of his "Just Read, Florida!" program, and he's already coming under left-wing fire. "Some are concerned that the selection is an attempt to Christianize the students of Florida," complains blogger Michael Schaub.
And so it begins: The controversy over whether impressionable schoolchildren should be exposed to the nefarious influence of C.S. Lewis. It will only grow louder as we approach December, when the big-budget movie version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe reaches theaters

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Larger Than LIfe? or just Larger

Your Blogging Type is Commanding and Larger Than Life

In blogging circles, you tend to rise to the top with your take charge personality.
You are driven to solve problems, connect bloggers, and be an influential force.
You are also motivated to keep your blog fresh and high quality.
Your hard work has paid off - you set a high standard for other bloggers to aspire to.



I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it's a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can't be fixed, or won't be fixed any time soon. That our pollsters are preoccupied with "right track" and "wrong track" but missing the number of people who think the answer to "How are things going in America?" is "Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination."
I'm not talking about "Plamegate." As I write no indictments have come up. I'm not talking about "Miers." I mean . . . the whole ball of wax. Everything. Cloning, nuts with nukes, epidemics; the growing knowledge that there's no such thing as homeland security; the fact that we're leaving our kids with a bill no one can pay. A sense of unreality in our courts so deep that they think they can seize grandma's house to build a strip mall; our media institutions imploding--the spectacle of a great American newspaper, the New York Times, hurtling off its own tracks, as did CBS. The fear of parents that their children will wind up disturbed, and their souls actually imperiled, by the popular culture in which we are raising them. Senators who seem owned by someone, actually owned, by an interest group or a financial entity. Great churches that have lost all sense of mission, and all authority. Do you have confidence in the CIA? The FBI? I didn't think so.
But this recounting doesn't quite get me to what I mean. I mean I believe there's a general and amorphous sense that things are broken and tough history is coming.

But of course.  If you read ancient Scripture, particularly the Book of Revelation,  you know that the wheels come off and EVERYTHING explodes/implodes.  EVERYTHING.  The question for final history is, then WHERE will we turn?  Will man continue to think he can save himself or will he acknowledge his dependence upon the Creator God?  Stay Tuned.

Go  HERE to read the whole Taco El Grande!

Making a blended family Work

Making a blended family work.  Now that’s a challenge requiring all the help possible.  HERE is some.

I was thrilled when a young man I knew whose wife had left him with two small children began dating a woman in a similar position. They cautiously developed their relationship and decided to marry, making them an instant family of five. It was a few years before we began to see the cracks in their relationship. Soon the pressures of blending two families became overwhelming for them, and they are now separated.I wished I knew how to help them when they first began struggling, but I was at a loss. In light of countless stories such as these, we have developed a six-part course on remarriage and the blended family. Our intention is that this will be a practical tool to help those who are trying to blend two families into one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Don't plagarize yourself

So how is your personal morality today?  Could I offer you a little money to change your mind?

Have a masterpiece paper?Sell it at AXXDemon!
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Perhaps most of my readers would never sully their conscience through the purchase of papers or thesis written by others but attributed to self.  On the other hand the temptation to make money on the sale of your own efforts might be a little stronger.   “So what’s the big deal about selling my own papers?  I’m not making anybody buy them am I?  What’s the big deal?” you might ask.  [Truth in advertising insists that I declare -- my own written work was never better than barely sufficient.  Believe me, I couldn’t find buyers for my literary efforts.]   But enough about me.  To sell one’s work on the open market for nefarious purposes is the same as purchasing alcohol for minors.  It jes’ ain’t write!

GWB nails a home run

GWB nails a home run.  (Found on Ace of Spades)

Some have argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. (Applause.)
The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 150 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan. Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence -- the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world.
No acts of ours involves the rage of killers. And no concessions, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans of murder. On the contrary; they target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory. (Applause.)

Read the last sentence.  It is Churchillian.  I can feel the goosebumps.
What we don’t know is how God, as He continually accomplishes his purposes,  will use the Islamic terrorists.  In the Old Testament book of Habbakuk, the prophet is complaining about how the Israelites have turned from God and he asks what God is going to do about it.  God tell the prophet that he is going to use the hated Chaldeans to punish the Israelites.  The prophet is horrified.  He points out that the Chaldeans are worse than the Israelites.  God replies that He will also punish the Chaldeans.

Here’s my point.  God may choose to use Islamic terrorists to punish westernized countries such as ours.  Then of course he will also punish the terrorists but our suffering may proceed theirs.  God will not be ignored; by them or by us either.

Bob and the Healey

My oldest friend is Bob “beef” Hamrell.  We’ve been friends for more than 50 years now; not always in touch but thanks to the wonder of e-mail always in touch since the early 90’s.  Bob was the one who turned me onto British sports cars.  While a senior in H.S. (’66) Bob purchased a 1960 Austin Healey.  He did a lot of work on it and put it into such “cherry” condition that he refused to take it out of the garage after a few years of driving it.
Sadly, somewhere in the late 70’s he, in a moment of impetuous importunity, decided to stick it on his front lawn with a For Sale sign just to see what would happen.  FIFTEEN MINUTES after putting the sign out a customer was pounding at the front door saying he wanted to buy the car.  At that moment Bob realized two things.  ONE, he had undervalued the car.  TWO he didn’t really want to sell the car but being a man of some integrity, he was stuck with selling it.  Bob still wears only black as a sign of his continuous and lachrymose mourning.

Anyhow, he turned me onto British cars.  Luckily, because I’m no mechanic, I’ve only owned one – a 1961 Morris Minor.  It was a funny looking little coupe that had an 1,100 c.c. engine and probably developed about 60 horsepower – going downhill.  On the one hand, it was a lot of fun.  On the other hand it suffered from British engineering.  As Britain turned towards socialism in the 50’s and 60’s, the engineering and quality of their cars de-volved.  You had to be a mechanic to keep them on the road.  Jaguars, MG’s, Triumphs, Healeys, you name it – it had to be fixed and fixed frequently.  But they had some awesome designs.  

A car I lusted after but never was able to buy was a “bug eyed” sprite.  HERE is an article on Donald Healey and below is an excerpt of the article on the Sprite.

Like the 100, the Sprite was designed to fill a market niche, in this case the hole in the market for cheap, rudimentary sports cars that had been filled by Austin 7 variants prior to the war. To keep it cheap, the primary goal, Healey specified as many stock Austin parts as possible, most of them coming from the A35. Power (if you could call it that) was furnished by a tiny four-cylinder engine with displacement of less than one liter (948 cubic centimeters, to be exact.) With just 43 horsepower on tap, the Sprite wasn't all that sprightly, even given that its curb weight was a svelte 1,500 pounds. Acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour took nearly 21 seconds, but the little car was so much fun to throw around that most forgave its power shortcomings.The Sprite's styling benefited from happy accident. The upright headlights that gave the car its "bug-eye" nickname ("frogeye" in the UK) came about because Austin decided to forgo the installation of a mechanism for hiding them under the hoodline during daylight hours. Feeling that such a system would be too expensive and complicated, the powers at Austin just left the headlights to jut into the breeze, giving the car its unique "face." As another cost-saving move, Austin corporate moguls also contemplated using identical front and rear body panels, but by the time production arrived that idea had been put to rest, though the front and rear lines are remarkably similar. Gerry Coker and Les Ireland share credit for the design.

Today, IF you could get a hold of a bug-eye, it would cost you LOTS of MOOLA!  Sigh       I blame Bob for my sorrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Is the sun setting on the U.S.?

Is the sun setting on the United States?

WHAT DOES MODERN HISTORY have to teach us about the age of American empire? The final chapters of the British Empire offer lessons and parallels aplenty. Empires don’t last forever, and the combination of martial victory, popular ennui, and liberal anti-patriotism is a dangerous mix for a superpower.     Jonathan Last – Weekly Standard


Not Bad

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 7/10 correct!

I'm not Okay & You're not Okay

NO PLACE FOR TRUTH; or What Ever Happened to Evangelical Theology?   David E. Wells

Reviewed HERE

Has something indeed happened to evangelical theology and to evangelical churches? According to David Wells, the evidence indicates that evangelical pastors have abandoned their traditional role as ministers of the Word to become therapists and “managers of the small enterprises we call churches.” Along with their parishioners, they have abandoned genuine Christianity and biblical truth in favor of the sort of inner-directed experiential religion that now pervades Western society.
Specifically, Wells explores the wholesale disappearance of theology in the church, the academy, and modern culture. Western culture as a whole, argues Wells, has been transformed by modernity, and the church has simply gone with the flow. The new environment in which we live, with its huge cities, triumphant capitalism, invasive technology, and pervasive amusements, has vanquished and homogenized the entire world. While the modern world has produced astonishing abundance, it has also taken a toll on the human spirit, emptying it of enduring meaning and morality.
Seeking respite from the acids of modernity, people today have increasingly turned to religions and therapies centered on the self. And, whether consciously or not, evangelicals have taken the same path, refashioning their faith into a religion of the self. They have been co-opted by modernity, have sold their soul for a mess of pottage. According to Wells, they have lost the truth that God stands outside all human experience, that he still summons sinners to repentance and belief regardless of their self-image, and that he calls his church to stand fast in his truth against the blandishments of a godless world.

I believe David E. Wells is on to something.  From my perspective; so many messages today are all about “US” instead of being about HIM.  The shallowness of ”US” messages is printed, ad nauseum, in the aisles of Book-A-Million and Barnes & Noble.  I say let it stay in those aisles, not the aisles of our churches.

Brief Addendum:  Some years ago someone coming into town had a talk based upon the work of Thomas Harris,  I’M OKAY, YOU’RE OKAY!

The talk was titled;  “If I’m Okay and You’re Okay, who keeps doing these terrible things?”     Sorry I missed that talk!

Monday, October 24, 2005



A woman whose psychologist had sex with her in parked cars, claiming it
was part of her treatment, has said she was disappointed he had not been struck off. [I take that to mean banned from practicing therapy]
Mrs W told the panel that Dr Manley said he could only justify what he was doing by treating the sessions as sex therapy and charging her £35 an hour.

There is so much that I could say but simply put; taking advantage of clients and CHARGING THEM TOO really takes the cake.

What Manley did was wrong; no justification, no time, no place. There are moral laws; he broke them.

Times of London

The article below was referenced in AlbertMohler.com and was found in the London Times.

Scottish reformation

The University of Edinburgh now plans to ban the Bible -- from distribution in the dorms at least.  As The Times [London] reports:
Edinburgh University is set to ban Bibles from its student halls of residence amid concern that the Holy Book is "discriminatory" and makes students of other faiths feel unwelcome.
The move is the result of protests from the students' association and is being considered in an effort to pursue a policy of "evenly supporting all faiths", a university spokesman said yesterday.

To quote Dana Carvey once again, “Well isn’t that special.”  The university students at Edinburgh must be protected from the truth claims of ancient Scripture.

If objective truth shows up at the modern university it must be quickly banned.  TOLERANCE insists on the banning of Scripture.  But of course.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Would you like to read some YUGO jokes while waiting for Wilma?


Saturday, October 22, 2005

B.B. & Babies

B.B. King — A profile of B.B. King in the Oct. 9 Sunday Calendar section said the blues musician had been married and divorced twice, with no children. King had no children with either of his wives but fathered 15 children with other women.

Heck, no wonder ancient B.B. is still working.  His bills must be pretty impressive.

Reminds me of a Jerry Lee Lewis quote.  “The Killer” had trouble with the IRS for EVER.  When asked about it he once replied:
“The good news is that I’ve made 15 million dollars in the last couple of years.  The bad news is I spent 17 million dollars.”

Open Thread

One of the blogs I read on a regular basis is Little Green Footballs; brainchild of Charles Johnson.  Once or twice a week he’ll post an “open thread” which means people can just post about whatever they want.  Often he’ll get 500 posts.  While my readership may not be quite as high as Charles’ I thought I’d present an open thread.  That strategy alone should double my “hits.”     So here it is:     OPEN THREAD!

Go ahead and post now.  JB

Friday, October 21, 2005

100 not so great books

Eh (pause) NOT!                            (Found on thinklings.org)

100 Best Novels
By Jared @ 11:26 am |
It’s a little confusing because they’re titling it the All-Time 100 Best Novels, but then subtitle it “the Best 100 English-Language Novels Since 1923.” But here’s Time Magazine’s list.

The Adventures of Augie March   [SB had 5 kids, 5 different women – loser] Saul Bellow
All the King’s Men       [You loved it because you hated Nixon] Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral    [  Liberals loved Roth] Philip Roth
An American Tragedy  [Pprobably a book about Republicans] Theodore Dreiser
Animal Farm               [ Way overated ] George Orwell
Appointment in Samarra   [ clueless here] John O’Hara
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret  [Judy Blume? Gag me with a spoon] Judy Blume
The Assistant        [ I read it; didn’t stick with me] Bernard Malamud
At Swim-Two-Birds  [ Floating dead; one bird] Flann O’Brien
Atonement   [ Ian wouldn’t know atonement if he was crucified] Ian McEwan
Beloved       [  Hated;  it’s Toni “politically correct” Morrison] Toni Morrison
The Berlin Stories  [Never heard of ‘em] Christopher Isherwood
The Big Sleep  [ Oh yea,  R.C. could write and he did.  Great stuff] Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin   [ Not anywhere as good as The Blond Assassin] Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian   [  yawn ] Cormac McCarthy
Brideshead Revisited  [ I don’t like books written by men with women’s names] Evelyn Waugh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey  [Much preferred Bridge over River Kwai] Thornton Wilder
Call It Sleep  [ Call it   ZZZZZZzzzzzzz ] Henry Roth
Catch-22        [ Had some hilarious perspectives but a dated 60’s book] Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye  [  Oh Please;  elitist garbage; must read in H.S. ] J.D. Salinger
A Clockwork Orange  [ Movie was stupid ] Anthony Burgess
The Confessions of Nat Turner  [ Why didn’t Nat write it huh?] William Styron
The Corrections  [ a musical group? ] Jonathan Franzen
The Crying of Lot 49  [ Undoubtedly became a low rent chick flic ] Thomas Pynchon
A Dance to the Music of Time [ No dancing books please ] Anthony Powell
The Day of the Locust  [ Night of the roach – my nightmare ] Nathanael West
Death Comes for the Archbishop  [ The “bish” died huh.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy] Willa Cather
A Death in the Family  [ Three deaths would have made it a thriller ] James Agee
The Death of the Heart  [ Woman author, death, heart; it’s got to suck] Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance  [ Caught the movie, missed the book] James Dickey
Dog Soldiers   [ Cat masseuse is a better book ] Robert Stone
Falconer   [  If you like birds…..  ] John Cheever
The French Lieutenant’s Woman  [“French” is in the title; ‘nuff said] John Fowles
The Golden Notebook  [ It says “chic book” all the way] Doris Lessing
Go Tell it on the Mountain  [ Who dares dis James Baldwin? ] James Baldwin
Gone With the Wind    [ You have read it haven’t you? – stupendous achievement] Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath  [ Have a cup of depression ] John Steinbeck
Gravity’s Rainbow  [ need something snarky here but I can’t think] Thomas Pynchon
The Great Gatsby  [ The stupidest book I read in H.S. – avoid it ] F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Handful of Dust  [  There’s Evelyn again; get a man’s name will ya] Evelyn Waugh
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter  [ Guys, you know you’re gonna hate this] Carson McCullers
The Heart of the Matter  [ Doesn’t Graham have a cooking show?] Graham Greene
Herzog  [ Shoulda named it  Gozreh - ] Saul Bellow
Housekeeping  [ They’re including cleaning manuals on the list? ] Marilynne Robinson
A House for Mr. Biswas  [ Sounds foreign to me ] V.S. Naipaul
I, Claudius  [ Shouldn’t that be Claudius I – Roman numerals etc?] Robert Graves
Infinite Jest        [ Like the title; didn’t read the book ] David Foster Wallace
Invisible Man  [ Had its moments ] Ralph Ellison
Light in August  [ If you don’t know; Faulkner was a major weenie/loser    GAH] William Faulkner
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe  [ You do own the set don’t you?] C.S. Lewis
Lolita   [  Ruined a perfectly good name – forever ] Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies  [ I hated it but……..] William Golding
The Lord of the Rings  [ You should own two sets; one a back up just in case] J.R.R. Tolkien
Loving           [ Hating ] Henry Green
Lucky Jim         [  You’ll be lucky if you don’t read this ] Kingsley Amis
The Man Who Loved Children  [ or How to Become a Priest in the Catholic Church ] Christina Stead
Midnight’s Children  [ overrated Iranian ] Salman Rushdie
Money  [ But of course ] Martin Amis
The Moviegoer  [ Thanatos was HUGE, read it instead ] Walker Percy
Mrs. Dalloway  [ Try the movie; forget the book] Virginia Woolf
Naked Lunch    [ Put your clothes on ] William Burroughs
Native Son  [ Any book with “native” in its title is a no-go] Richard Wright
Neuromancer  [ Is this about dead people?] William Gibson
Never Let Me Go  [ Let me go  NOW] Kazuo Ishiguro
1984               [  Pure Pap but popular with the H.S. set] George Orwell
On the Road  [ Another drugging drunk gets published] Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  [ and drugging drunk number two] Ken Kesey
The Painted Bird  [  No comment; none necessary] Jerzy Kosinski
Pale Fire [ Why isn’t Dostoyevsky  on the list?  Now he could write] Vladimir Nabokov
A Passage to India  [ It’s going, going, going GONE!] E.M. Forster
Play It As It Lays  [ Can’t we all just be nice?  Short answer;  NO ] Joan Didion
Portnoy’s Complaint  [ Nobody complains like Portnoy; except Roth hisself] Philip Roth
Possession [ Don’t get bogged down in the title] A.S. Byatt
The Power and the Glory  [ Here’ the dang cook again; thinks he can write] Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie  [ Stupidest movie of the 60’s] Muriel Spark
Rabbit, Run   [ Depression, I am Thou] John Updike
Ragtime   [ Nice restaurant in Atlantic Beach – lousy book] E.L. Doctorow
The Recognitions  [ Hot Ska band currently touring  L.A.] William Gaddis
Red Harvest  [  A drunk who could write his socks off, and yours too. ] Dashiell Hammett
Revolutionary Road  [ Yada, yada, yada] Richard Yates
The Sheltering Sky  [ Clueless here, must be running out of energy] Paul Bowles
Slaughterhouse-Five  [ Very popular with the dense hippy children of the 60’s] Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash  [ Hmm,  like the title anyway] Neal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed Factor  [ Another gardening “How To” manifesto.  Yeech!] John Barth
The Sound and the Fury [ A biography of Howard Dean – if you like that stuff] William Faulkner
The Sportswriter  [ Going, Going, Going, GONE] Richard Ford
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold  [ Loved the books and the TV] John le Carre
The Sun Also Rises  [ Then it Sets ]   Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God  [ Forget Zora, read Zorro instead ] Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart  [ Ya don’t say] Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird  [ New Legacy DVD just came out;  stupendous book] Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse  [ A Lighthouse in Wolf’s clothing] Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer  [ Can’t we re-ban this loser ] Henry Miller
Ubik  [  Why would you read this book?  Ubik?  What kinda title is that?] Philip K. Dick
Under the Net  [ Don’t even go there] Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano  [ Not far enough under in my humble opinion] Malcolm Lowry
Watchmen  [ Watch women,  Watch children, Watch Animals  etc., etc., etc.] Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
White Noise  [ Racist attack on Florida Crackers?  Wait for the movie] Don DeLillo
White Teeth  [ Dental instruction manual; keep your “spit cup” close] Zadie Smith
Wide Sargasso Sea  [ Nice, meaningless title; but nice] Jean Rhys

Well there you have it.  I’ve saved you several years of pointless readings.  Political Correctness is of course huge on the list.  Only the great books will actually survive.  
Oh, by the way  the BIBLE is a timeless read but it didn’t make the list.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Reality of Satan

The former pastor of DENNIS RADER, who was the Kansas City serial murderer, is the focus of an article HERE.   A few extracts below.

Satan has the ability to use us, as I interpret it. Listen to all the experts on television. I have heard few if any suggestions from the experts indicating that there could be some kind of demonic force or a spiritual side to this. All of the top-notch experts have got him pigeon-holed and categorized as a sociopath, psychopath, whatever.
Quest:  If you had heard about a similar case elsewhere a year ago, would you have used those terms?
... I would have bought into that same thinking. ... But we've got a situation in which we are living off of a scientific model of understanding and explaining sin in people, a mental health model, whatever you want to name it, a psychiatric model. I use the phrase we psychologicalize evil in this world, and we explain it and justify it in psychological language. And the reason we do that is we can measure it, we can test it, we can diagnose it and then we can put it into a category. And it works.
Quest: How has your new understanding of evil changed the way you do ministry?
Well, one of the things I've found is that I'm not having any trouble speaking to the issue of Satan and the devil. Honestly, I would avoid that (in the past). I would just take that stuff out of the Scripture. But it's amazing. It's all over the place. ...
What I'm finding for the most part is that mainline, traditional Protestantism does not deal directly with the issue of Satan. You've got ... parts of the Christian tradition that do. You've got the Roman Catholic Church, which ironically is coming back and dealing with demon possession……………………………………………
Because of the fog and the muck and the mire of the pain and the suffering, it's sometimes difficult to recognize God's presence. I think that's part of what we're going to work with here. The things that have happened around the Dennis Rader case have definitely had an impact on people in terms of anger, bitterness, hardened hearts and confusion as to how God can allow these kinds of things.
A realization I've had in the last few weeks is that this has been a blessing to me. Had you told me that two months ago, I would have told you that you are crazier than heck. But as I am able to look back on it, it has been. And I realize more clearly that often we expect the blessings to take place on the mountain tops. But often they take place in the valleys.

In my own life I’ve found it to be true; blessing often take place in the valley’s of our existence where we’re scared, hurt, angry, shamed etc.  PAIN!  What’s it good for?   Quite a lot.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bring on the mumbo jumbo

Bring on the “mumbo jumbo.”        Read THE WHOLE TAMALE

Minnesota State University will host Mankato’s 24th Annual “Women and Spirituality Conference” this weekend. And judging from the itinerary, let’s hope there’s not enough interest for them to host a 25th. According to the MSU website, the conference will focus on “self-image, spiritual autobiography, Zen, forgiveness, meditation, therapeutic wellness, psychic development, Celtic music, Feng Shui, emotional physiology, interactive imagery and other talks and musical performances focusing on mind, body and spirit.” Hmm, where to begin… First, when hosting a two-day conference on spirituality, is it really too much to ask that at least one or two mainstream religious groups play a prominent role? Of course that might bother the chronically offended among us, but one has to admit that Christianity, Judaism, and the other major religions do at least play a peripheral role in the overall topic of spirituality. Instead, MSU focuses on nebulous and meaningless terms like “therapeutic wellness” and “spiritual autobiography” while they host workshops featuring Wiccan traditions, animal communications, and Goddess “magik.”

The further we drift from the foundations of radical pursuit of Jesus Christ, the more we believe every unbelievable thing.  “Spirituality;”  a buzzword for empty promises.

Conservatives on Campus?

Conservatives on Campus?  Ain’t happening and HERE’s why!
( The guys at Powerlineblog.com)
Why Are University Faculties So Liberal?
John Tierney

Aspirin a Killer

The little things can kill you.

Here is the lede from “Show Me the Risk!” by Deroy Murdock in NRO (National Review Online) on 19 October 2005:
“According to The Archives of Internal Medicine, pharmaceutical companies market a drug that kills some 7,000 Americans annually. These people don’t die instantly, but instead expire after slowly suffering gastrointestinal bleeding. Oddly enough, TV-news producers are ho-hum about this deadly medicine. The Food and Drug Administration has yet to prohibit it. Personal-injury attorneys aim their crosshairs elsewhere. No one seems much concerned about a lethal substance called aspirin.”
You did know this didn’t you?

Islam brutal towards women

They say Turkey is one of the more liberal muslim countries.  Hmm
(Little Green Footballs has the WHOLE TAMALE)

In a new survey by a Turkish university, almost 40% said a woman who commits adultery deserves to be murdered.
More than 20% apparently thought the death penalty was too harsh, but cutting off noses or ears would be appropriate.

As should be more and more evident, Islam is pretty brutal towards its women.  

Kids and Corvettes

The infamous “Jay Tea” of wizbangblog reminds us of the vulnerabilities of teenagers and the responsibilities of parents.

In the second [case], though, we have a fairly clear case of parental involvement. Steven Miles just turned 16, and to celebrate his brand-new driver's license, his parents got him a car. And it was a nice "starter" car, too -- a 1998 Corvette. And I doubt anyone could have foreseen him getting a buddy of his a ride and blasting around town -- and ending up wrapped around a telephone pole. Both kids are in the hospital, with the driver in guarded condition -- rescuers had to pry the dashboard off his legs.
Kids tend to think they're indestructible. And every now and then, fate/God/the world/Nature decides that it's time for a graphic reminder that it's not so. It's the job of parents, and adults in general, to try to help the kids learn otherwise before they learn it the expensive way.
And any parent who gives a 16-year-old a Corvette is, in this non-parent's book, certifiably insane and unfit as a parent.   Jay Tea  
I don’t wish to be guilty of “piling on” as they call it in football, but I have to agree with Jay Tea.  Giving your 16 year old, testosterone loaded teenage boy a Corvette for his first car just ain’t bright.   On the other hand my first car was a 16 year old “Cheby” of dubious parentage.  I paid $30 for it; I shoulda just paid $10.  But it seemed like a deal at the time.  JB

Grandchildren & Hurricanes

WILMA Go Home!

The hurricane season really needs to end.  Unbelievably at the writing of this post WILMA is a category 5 hurricane and is the strongest one yet for the year 2005 which includes Katrina and Rita.  They say it is headed for the west coast of Florida and if it comes ashore would probably hit as a category 3.   “Well isn’t that special” as Dana Carvey AKA the “church lady” used to say.  It is on the same track as “CHARLIE” from 2004.  Charlie destroyed Punta Gorda but was a very fast moving hurricane so it rapidly passed over the state and did no particular damage to my little corner of Florida.  It would be nice for my little corner of Florida if WILMA took the same track though we certainly don’t deserve that particular mercy.

The good news appears to be that there is not a line up of oil refineries that could be damaged by Wilma so gas prices are probably not going to rise.  That would be nice too.

Did I mention that we are weary of hurricanes?

In other news, my youngest sister Barb became a grandmother for the first time 2 days ago.  She and her no-good, rapscallion, ne-er-do-well, burden-on-society husband are to be commended <grin>.   If their grandchild follows family history he will   a) love words,  b) have as his economic motto “buy high and sell low” c) taste neither fame nor fortune.  The fortune part is easy to predict based upon the economic motto of my family.  But kudos to Barb, her husband, her son and his wife.  Giving birth to a child is a good thing; we need more of them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Can't we just shack up?

Can’t we just “shack up?”   Well we could but……

James Wilson  SAYS  (hattrick Hugh Hewitt)
Why does marriage beget loyalty when cohabitation does not? The difference is that marriage follows a public, legally recognized ceremony in which each person swears before friends and witnesses to love, honor, and cherish the other until death parts them. Cohabitation merely means shacking up. Of course, many marriages end in an easily arranged divorce, but even in this new era of no-fault divorces, they still must be done before a magistrate and be accompanied by a careful allocation of property and children. Perhaps because of the acknowledged impermanence of their condition, cohabiting couples, compared to married ones, are more vulnerable to depression, have lower levels of happiness, experience more cases of physical abuse, are more likely to be murdered, are more likely to be sexually unfaithful, and more likely to be poor. Children living with cohabiting parents are, compared to those living with married ones, much more likely to witness their parents’ relationships end, to have emotional and behavioral problems, to experience educational problems, and to be poor.

(Do yourself a favor and read the WHOLE TAMALE)

“Shacking Up” is one of those things that looks so easy, comfortable, fun and problem free.  For the guys it’s  SEX without commitment and someone else to pay or help pay the bills.  For many of the women it’s also help in paying the bills and the sex just might lead to marriage.  However as the research has now been saying for THREE DECADES;  It doesn’t work!  Shacking up couples don’t tend to get married (but sometimes they do when it is too late) and the reverberations from the failed relationship never seem to end.  Emotional and psychological scars; hardening of hearts, loss of innocence, loss of trust, loss of soul are just a part of the cost.

But hey, it looks like fun!  

Monday, October 17, 2005

Russians and HIV/AIDS

Is anybody really surprised?  The lifespan of the Russian male continues to diminish.  Drugs, alcohol, overt and subtle suicide – a country where God and hope were abandoned decades past.   Now THIS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Almost one in 150 people in Russia lives with
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HIV/ (image placeholder)(image placeholder)(image placeholder)(image placeholder)AIDS and tuberculosis and other health problems are spiraling.
"HIV infection in the Russian Federation has acquired an epidemic character," the
United Nations Development Agency said Monday.
According to a UNDA statement, 860,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in Russia, which has a population of about 148 million.
For so many people in so many countries death and despair appear to be their lives and their fate.  It need not be that way.
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Madonna Clothed

One of the more interesting evolutions of a human being is MADONNA.  I’m quite sure she’ll never appear in public sans clothing again.  I suspect those days are very gone.   Now it’s starting to actually get interesting

(Drudge HERE)
MADONNA WARNS: ALL WILL GO TO HELL IF DON'T TURN FROM WICKED BEHAVIOR; 'MOST PRIESTS ARE GAY'The former Material Girl now believes "the beast is the modern world that we live in!"  

I’ll withhold comment on  “most priests are gay.”  I’m not in the Roman Catholic Church so I have no first hand knowledge.  But her take that “the beast” is simply the modern world is interesting.   In the article she goes on to  say that the physical world is the world of illusion and that we are enslaved by it.

She may have a point!    Curiously Madonna knows as well as anybody about the world of illusion.  She has been a very successful practioner of illusion and it has brought her fame and wealth if not exactly happiness.
All of her various personas have been just that; not the real Madonna. The Material Girl, the sex goddess, the mantrap – all illusion.

She has children now; she doesn’t want them exposed to the illusion.  Shall we call it a “late conversion” on her part?  She sold sexuality now she works hard to make sure her children are not exposed to what she once sold.  

It will be interesting to see how she pays her bills in the years to come.  Having given up selling sex, which was her most successful sale, she’s left with her voice and her movies.  At 46 or so she’s just another over-the-hill actress looking for roles as a mother figure or matron.  Those roles are hard to come by.  As for her singing career, I’m not sure her voice was ever great but she picked up on some good songs.  However, that part of her persona is probably waning too.  She can’t do ingĂ©nue songs anymore and I don’t think she has the musical “chops” to simply make it on her voice.  But we’ll see.

THE BEAST; maybe it’s not the BEAST of the book of Revelation but our materialism is surely beastly.  She is right about that.

The SUICIDE RATE in Lithuania

The SUICIDE RATE in Greece is very low but you don’t want to live in Lithuania if you’re depressed.  ( Hattip – Ace of Spades)  Article HERE

The Polluters

G. Tracy Mehan III has some piercing insights into the state of our culture.
( National Review Online -  Full read HERE)
Norms, values, and ethics are a precondition of ordered liberty, a free society, and a market economy. Their sources are family, community, and religious faith. Without them, disorder runs rampant within the human heart and within society.
The family is the paramount human society which is threatened by the licentiousness (there is no other word for it) promoted by businesses such as Victoria’s Secret, Hollywood film studios, breweries, and Super Bowl promoters. Rather than celebrating fidelity and self-sacrifice in the context of stable family life, they promote self-indulgence that pollutes the public square from which it is impossible to insulate one’s family or oneself.

Ain’t that the truth.  The polluters are here in force and it is seemingly impossible to avoid the pollution.  Is there an end in sight?  Good question.  Of course if we’re taken over by the Caliphate we won’t have to worry about Victoria’s Secrets but don’t think they, Muslims,  are not sexually corrupt.  They are.  They just hide it in their little family secrets.  Where you have a society in which women have no rights, you have massive ongoing sexual abuse.  That is the nature of man.  So what will our American culture do?  I suspect we’ll just continue to deprave.  After all, here in these United States liberal tolerance absolutely rules as the greatest moral good.  And that’s Bad!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

God was a Trojan today

This day,  October 15th, 2005,  God was a Trojan.  Being reared in the wilds of L.A. I’ve been a fair-weather Trojan fan since the days of Mike Garrett.
( A long time ago).   I was very fearful about today’s game;  Footballs can take a funny bounce and the best team can lose.  Notre Dame had the  crowd, the Q.B., the coach, the players AND the REFS.  But USC pulled the miracle win out of the ol’ hat.   Whew!   That was close.
USC has now survived 3 consecutive road games against ranked opponents.

Major opponents left;  CAL and finally UCLA.    Cal lost for the second time today so they’re in the re-building phase and at the writing of this column, UCLA is also losing.  Possibly USC’s toughest opponents for the season are now behind them.  Victories all.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Stephen King is a WUSS

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER make Stephen King sound like a wuss.

It was announced last week that U.S. scientists have just created a living, killing copy of the 1918 "Spanish" flu.
This is big. Very big.

First, it is a scientific achievement of staggering proportions. The Spanish flu has not been seen on this blue planet for 85 years. Its re-creation is a story of enterprise, ingenuity, serendipity, hard work and sheer brilliance. It involves finding deep in the bowels of a military hospital in Washington a couple of tissue samples from the lungs of soldiers who died in 1918 -- in an autopsy collection first ordered into existence by Abraham Lincoln -- and the disinterment of an Alaskan Eskimo who died of the flu and whose remains had been preserved by the permafrost. Then, using slicing and dicing techniques only Michael Crichton could imagine, they pulled off a microbiological Jurassic Park: the first-ever resurrection of an ancient pathogen. And not just any ancient pathogen, explained virologist Eddie Holmes, but "the agent of the most important disease pandemic in human history."
Which brings us to the second element of this story: Beyond the brilliance lies the sheer terror. We have brought back to life an agent of near-biblical destruction. It killed more people in six months than were killed in the four years of World War I. It killed more humans than any other disease of similar duration in the history of the world, says Alfred W. Crosby, who wrote a history of the 1918 pandemic. And, notes New Scientist magazine, when the re-created virus was given to mice in heavily quarantined laboratories in Atlanta, it killed the mice more quickly than any other flu virus ever tested
To “eat the whole burrito” go HERE

My Question Is:  What were these mad scientists smokin’?    Can you tell me huh?  Oh, I know, they want to give up working in science and write movie scripts instead.  They thought this discovery would give them “street cred” with the horror/devastation people.  Move over Stephen King.

Well, how long will this brilliance last before carnage ensues.  JB

iPods & Porn

How LOW can we go?  Lower than you think.

Apple Introduces New Video iPorn        ( Wizbangblog.com)
Apple's video-enabled iPod models, announced Wednesday, promise to be a gold mine for pornographers. While Apple announced a deal to sell episodes of popular series from ABC for $1.99 a piece, the video iPod's represent a potential windfall for the adult film makers, adult film stars, and webcam girls, who already have large libraries of material to re-purpose onto the new medium.
While the video iPod may be a dream device for podcasters, if the history of the Internet is any guide, it's pornographers who will be the first to really exploit the commercial possibilities of the new device.

Sadly I’m sure “Wizbang” is right.  Porn sells.

I KNOW what I think

I KNOW what I think but what do the great minds think?  JB
  John Derbyshire responds:  

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October 13, 2005, 8:32 a.m.Does Anyone Have a Clue?The truth about opinions.
I was glad to see Michael Ledeen, in The Corner recently, let loose with the following flash of candor, in re our president’s latest pick for a Supreme Court justice:
I used to be proud to call myself an intellectual, but I have learned that most of the time intellectuals are wrong. Hell, most everyone is wrong most of the time. So I am not impressed by George Will's call for some sophisticated deep thinker for the S[upreme] C[ourt], and I do have some sympathy for the idea of a normal human being sitting alongside the deep thinkers.
Leaving aside the whole Supreme Court issue, Michael is voicing a thought I myself have rather frequently nowadays: The thought that I don’t know jack, that my opinions are no better than anyone else’s, and that the same thing is true of all the rest of those of us who flatter ourselves with the title of "opinion journalist." “Everyone is wrong most of the time.” Yup, and that includes us bloviators.       Read the rest

One of the great talks I heard was 15 years ago at a convention of Christian mental health practioners.  The title of the speech was:  WE DON’T KNOW JACK!  The speaker took 45 minutes to prove his point.  It was brilliant.  I’ve never forgot and I think he and John Derbyshire are right.  

QUOTE of the moment

QUOTE of the moment found on Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus – National Review Online

Simon Heffer, of The Spectator, is a Brit who favors cricket over soccer. Listen to him, for a second:
“[Soccer] is not, in my view, a sport: it is somewhere between a business racket and a mental illness. I associate it with all the worst aspects of our society — violence, drunkenness, drugs, racism, exploitation, greed and stupidity; and that’s just for starters.”

I gotta admit; I like a well turned phrase and Mr. Heffer turned it well.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Hound of Heaven

A complex piece of prose; it was the story of Thompson’s life.  A cocaine addict, failed doctor, broken human, the poem recounts a life on the run from God and God – never abandoning the chase even as Francis seeks shelter in the shallow and the empty.
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.            But with unhurrying chase,            And unperturbed pace,Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,            They beat — and a Voice beat            More instant than the Feet—"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."

The name is strange. It startles one at first. It is so bold, so new, so fearless. It does not attract, rather the reverse. But when one reads the poem this strangeness disappears. The meaning is understood. As the hound follows the hare, never ceasing in its running, ever drawing nearer in the chase, with unhurrying and impertubed pace, so does God follow the fleeing soul by His Divine grace. And though in sin or in human love, away from God it seeks to hide itself, Divine grace follows after, unwearyingly follows ever after, till the soul feels its pressure forcing it to turn to Him alone in that never ending pursuit.The Neuman Press "Book of Verse", 1988.

FRANCIS THOMPSON     died at the age of 48.  The “Bruit” won so Francis Thompson indeed  Rest In Peace.


MARK KNOPFLER has written some great lyrics.  On the album, Best of Dire Straits, there are two songs that appear to reflect the weariness of someone who does private investigations and finds only betrayal and lies.  He also authored PRIVATE DANCER made famous by Tina Turner.  It too is a very sad song.  I don’t know what makes Knopfler “tick” but he has written several great songs with moral themes of some depth.  Then I read this today.

Infidels is Bob Dylan's best album since the searing Blood on the Tracks nine years ago, a stunning recovery of the lyric and melodic powers that seemed to have all but deserted him. Under the aegis of Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, Dylan has produced eight vigorous songs that teem with self-effacing introspection and wit, free of the cant that's weighted down his recent efforts. The songs on Infidels touch on religion and politics but are rooted in an ineffably deep sadness: the sadness of broken hearts and broken dreams, the sadness of middle age, the sadness that has been the wellspring of great rock & roll from Robert Johnson to "Every Breath You Take." Flaming through that sadness is the sort of hell-hound-on-my-trail passion that you'd have to reach back ten years to find in Dylan's recorded work.

“broken hearts,” “broken dreams,” “hell-hound-on-my-trail.”   Even in secular music, all the great lyrics have at their root a moral message.  More often then not they also recognize the on-coming train of deterioration and loss of self.  I’ve never been a Dylan fan but I love this review and if it accurately reflects the album, I just may purchase it.  

For the full review  HERE


     Apparently somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people may have been killed by a massive earthquake in and around Pakistan and India.  It is an unimaginable amount of deaths.    WE are weary.   We are weary of disasters.  We are weary of being helpless in the face of natural disasters.  We are weary of being asked to give.

However we are not yet so weary that we have gotten down on our collective knees and begged God’s forgiveness for ignoring HIM and we have not yet begged for Mercy of the ONE who can actually control the winds, the waves, the weathers, the world.

Bring back the O.T. Judges

SOMETIMES new websites like NOAGENDA.ORG can be pretty funny.

Sleaze. Corruption. Breaking the law. And no agenda for the American people. The ethical hypocrisy of today's Democrats knows no bounds. While a discredited partisan hack pushes trumped-up charges against Tom DeLay, the Pelosi/Dean Democrats have become a Caucus of Corruption -- name an ethics violation, and they're guilty of it. NoAgenda.org exposes the wrongdoings of more than 50 Democrats who are under an ethical cloud. Learn more about who's doing it and what they're doing.

Let’s face it; the Repubs are not to be confused with the Boy Scouts but everytime the Democratics scream about Republican ethics issues you just have to laugh.  Or maybe you cry.  Politics is a really corrupt business.  Our system is so ugly; yet it’s so superior to any other on God’s green earth.  

I say “bring back the era of the Judges” (Old Testament times before King Saul).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Osama at Costco

Phil Johnson of PYROMANIAC fame really is a terrific writer and thinker.  I like this.

In the hypothetical example I concocted, when I indicated that I wouldn't hesitate to kill Osama bin Laden, I was not actually condoning "vigilantism."
  1. Of course if I saw Osama at Costco buying milk and riding one of those scooters for disabled people, I wouldn't wantonly and unnecessarily crack his skull with a chub of frozen meat.

  2. The imagery of beating him into unconsciousness with a tube of Costco ground beef was 1) partly for humorous effect, 2) clearly exaggerated, and 3) likewise loaded with a few unspoken but rather obvious assumptions, including the theory that he would most likely try to resist arrest (in which case the same principles would apply whether I was a military authority or a regular Costco shopper trying to make a citizen's arrest.) Only if he resisted would I hit him with bovine products. (Are we clear on that?) If I could reasonably and easily subdue him peacably, I agree that killing him would be an unjust and unjustifiable act of vigilantism.

  3. I would not, however, first invite Osama to a Backyard Bible Club, a week of VBS, or an evangelistic meeting. [I’m thinkin’ that a week of VBS would surely meet the necessary qualifications for civilized torture.  At least it does for me. JB]

  4. I would indeed want him to hear the gospel at an opportune time, but that will most likely come only after he is subdued and imprisoned. (Unless he meets a more immediate form of justice, in which case I would feel no personal responsibility for the failure to evangelize him. That will be true even if by some amazing and unlikely turn of events I become the one who ultimately has to beat the life out of him with a frozen Costco chub, or whatever.)
I realize there are those who will judge me guilty of an unloving and overly-harsh attitude toward our terrorist neighbors who need to hear the gospel, and a few tenderhearted souls might even henceforth boycott the blog. But I gotta be honest with you: At the moment, I want to see Osama out of commission. After that, if the opportunity arises, I'll help map out a strategy to evangelize him.

I believe my evangelical witness to Osama would start with this:  “Osama, have you ever seen bacon fry?”  Then we’d go from there but I’d be holding that Costco chub just incase he needed a quick one across the old hair line.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lucky Us Indeed

DESPITE a myriad of problems, Americans are the luckiest people on this planet.  Can I have a witness?

Born in the USSR I survived Soviet health care--barely. BY JULIA GORIN Monday, October 10, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
I recently came face to face with a level of Western ignorance that I hadn't encountered since the 1980s, when Russian immigrants were still a novelty to Americans. A British-American asked my father a question that could only come from someone who has known freedom his whole life: "Why did you leave Russia? Your family was there, you had a job, you had free health care. Why did you leave?" The questioner, a former editor with the New York Times, then proceeded to assert that today's Britain and U.S. are no longer free.
The exchange reminded me just how out of touch many who live in the free world are with the reality of life under tyranny--and why, therefore, so many Americans and Brits think nothing is scarier than war. On the subject even of that oft-cited "perk" of Soviet life, universal health care, a picture of the system in practice on its happiest occasion would shock Americans and Western Europeans alike.

Frederica Matthews Greene

I FORGOT.  The movie review excerpted below is by contributor to National Review Online – Frederica Matthews Greene.  

HERE is the whole, excellent review.

Movie Tears

After DIE HARD 5, maybe I’ll see  THIS ONE.

Red-Hat DistrictWatching In Her Shoes.
About midway through In Her Shoes we see Rose Feller (Toni Collette, always a delight), semi-professional dogwalker, being yanked down the streets of Philadelphia by a team of mismatched pooches. It's a good metaphor for this film, which is propelled by several different stories at once, and some are livelier than others. That's an eye-of-the-beholder thing, of course, and there were many in the audience who were happy-teary puddles by the end of the film.

PUHLEESE!  “happy-teary puddles” indeed.  To get cleansed I’d have to then go see, immediately,  DIE HARD 6.  Let me release the inner man will ya.

R U missing your jet

R U missing your jet?                 READ

LAWRENCEVILLE — A $7 million charter jet reported stolen from St. Augustine, Fla., was found Monday at Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville. Crime scene technicians scoured the interior of the Cessna Citation 7, a 10-passenger aircraft owned by Pinnacle Air of Springdale, Ark., after airport personnel located it on the tarmac about 1 p.m. Monday. The flight crew responsible for the plane was on a chartered flight to St. Augustine. Crew members discovered the jet was missing when they went to check on it Monday morning, said Sgt. D. Mattox of the Gwinnett County Police Department. A check of Gwinnett airport records revealed that the jet landed here between 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Mattox said. Whoever stole the jet didn’t file a flight plan, which authorities said is somewhat unusual for that size of aircraft. The jet suffered damage to the front edge of one wing, but it was not disabled. Police believe the suspect is an experienced pilot who has flown through Gwinnett in the past. Briscoe Field is the third-busiest airport in Georgia. “It had to be somebody that knew or had experience with this type of aircraft,” Mattox said. “You can’t just walk over from one of these smaller planes and fly this.” Mattox said planes are easy to steal if you know how to fly them, because they usually don’t require a key to start the engines.

Who in the world steals a jet of all things.  Let’s not jump to “it’s a terrorist” conclusion just yet but my goodness – stealing a jet? What are the odds?

Smurf Christianity

Albert Mohler nails it again.    READ

Confusion marks the spiritual understanding of most Americans. Pollsters report amazingly large numbers of Americans who profess belief in God, but live like atheists. The vast majority of Americans profess to be Christians, but have no concept of Christian belief or discipleship.
A quick look around the local trade bookshop will reveal something of the contours of America's spiritual confusion. Books on religion and spirituality abound, but most are empty of content. You know you are in a confused age when a popular book is entitled, That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist. Sadly, this confusion has invaded our churches as well. An amazing number of Christians allow for belief in reincarnation, channeling, or other spiritualist manifestations.
The current popularity of angels is another symptom of our spiritual confusion. Americans now love to decorate their homes with angel figurines, artwork, calendars, and inspirational messages. These citizens may or may not believe in God, but they do believe in divine messengers, and they are always cute and friendly--the theological counterparts to the Smurfs.

Smurf Christianity: I think that’s what we’re all about.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ive seen the future

“I’ve seen the future of hockey and it is soccer!”  

(John J. Miller – NationalReview, the Corner)

As you’re scratching you head and wondering about the purpose of this post; I’m scratching my head too.  Frankly I just liked it.  Struck “the ol funny bone.”

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Calif protects the Wicked

While I realize that ancient Scripture appears to be somewhat intolerant of sins, maybe there’s a reason?    

Cathy Seipp write a op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today called "The Sex-Offender Lobby," which begins:
Did you know that in California, child molesters and rapists are a protected class? It's true. Not only are California landlords banned from using the state's Megan's Law database to decline renting their properties to sex offenders, they're not even allowed to warn other tenants that these paroled criminals are now their neighbors. If they do the first, they can be fined $25,000 for housing discrimination. But if they don't do the second, they can be sued for failing to protect tenants against a known danger.
The ACLU has fought Megan's Laws in every state but never succeeded in getting one declared unconstitutional; but as a sop to those worried about vigilantism, California's version included the provision against housing discrimination. The reform measure, AB 438, would specify that sex offenders are not a protected class. It would also order that the addresses of registered sex offenders--which are often outdated--be kept current online…………………….
…….at least, [Mark] Leno ( San Francisco based State Assemblyman – Democrat) hasn't backed an affordable-housing-for-paroled rapists measure. He also once called a San Francisco police sting against Internet sex predators "mean-spirited" and "a waste of tax-payers' money." What, I wondered, does Leno consider a good use of taxpayers' money? Well, besides gay marriage, his projects have included hosting self-esteem conferences for young men, making sure the transgendered aren't denied medical insurance, and fighting anti-porn filters in public libraries.

Well there you have it.  With friends like Mark Leno – California Assembly Democrat – who needs enemies?  His philosophy; punish the righteous, protect the wicked.  I’m sure he’ll be re-elected.

Friday, October 07, 2005

ANXIETY is the curse

ANXIETY is the curse of modern man.  But it was also the curse of ancient man.  Fears over the future; worries about the present and despair about the present is endemic in mankind.  

In William Goldman’s brilliant novel from the 70’s, MARATHON MAN , Tom "Babe" Levy is a runner in every sense: racing tirelessly toward his goals of athletic and academic excellence - and endlessly away from the specter of his famous father's scandal-driven suicide. But an unexpected visit from his beloved older brother  set in motion a chain of events that plunge Babe into a vortex of terror, treachery, and murder - and force him into a race for his life...and for the answer to the fateful question,  "Is it safe?"

Szell the butcher dentist of Hitler’s Germany, based upon Joseph Mengele, is forced to come to the U.S. to retrieve some of his wealth.  He is obsessively worried about his safety.  So he grabs  “Babe”; a history major and a distance runner, and the younger brother of  a man in the governmental underworld who knows Szell in hopes he can establish whether or not it is safe for him to be in the U.S.  Tying Babe into a chair, he carefully prepares his dental tools planning to torture  Babe until he get the truth.  Unluckily  Babe knows nothing about Szell or his safety so when Szell, holding the drill in his face asks, “Is it safe?” Babe goes “Yes, yes it’s safe.”  Szell drills a tooth then asks again, “Is it safe?”  Babe figures the first answer he gave was wrong so he gives the opposite; “No, no it’s not safe.”  Szell drills again.  Then tension and the terror in the book and in the movie are exquisite.  Ultimately Babe manages to escape for the moment but continues to be pursued by Szell and his henchmen.

In the end, Babe tracks down and sneaks up on  Szell  and softly utters, “It’s not safe.”  And for Szell it wasn’t.

The question we ask: “Is it safe?”

The answer is: “No, it’s not safe.”

Will my spouse always be with me?  “It’s not safe.”   Will my children outlive me?  “It’s not safe.”  Will I always have a shelter, a bank account?  “It’s not safe.”  Will the laws and the police protect me?  “It’s not safe.”
Will my illnesses and pains be manageable?  “It’s not safe.”

If I die, will I go to a good place?  “It’s not safe.”

Jesus Christ said follow me and I will make it safe.   I believe that’s our only chance.  Otherwise the answer to all questions must be, “It’s not safe.”

Employment opportunities

Found on the Ace of Spades    HERE to read the rest

Top Ten Requirements For Employment With Al Qaeda
10. Must be eager to work with a dynamite group of diverse suicidal maniacs
9. Must be a "self-starter;" also, a "self-detonator"
8. Must be a "people person"………………………………………

A terrible statistic

A terrible statistic from the research wing of Planned Parenthood – Alan Guttmacher Institute

( Written by black Washington Post columnist – Courtland Malloy)
African American women, who make up only 13 percent of the U.S. female population, accounted for 32 percent of the 1,293,000 abortions performed in the United States in 2002.
That's 413,760 abortions performed on black women in one year -- or 1,133 a day. (In the District, half of all pregnancies ended in abortion, a higher percentage than in any state.)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

SCOTUS in perspective

Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court has certainly elicited a firestorm of opinion – on both sides of the isle.  Let us remember this about the Supreme Court of the U.S.A.

They can’t stop a hurricane
They’re helpless against the earthquake
All members of SCOTUS are stained by sin
They are without answers against the ravages of aging
They will be largely forgotten within 5 years of their death
The longevity of this nation is dependent upon God, not them.

Other than that; they’re quite important.

Unmasked the real Shakespeare

Unmasked: the 'real Shakespeare'
By David KeysOctober 6, 2005
EXTRAORDINARY historical evidence suggests Shakespeare's plays were not written by the bard, but by a Tudor politician descended from King Edward III.
British Shakespeare scholar and former university lecturer Brenda James and university historian William Rubinstein propose that the real Shakespeare was Sir Henry Neville, an English courtier and diplomat.   Here

Though I’ve never followed the debate closely or obsessively, I admit to being one of those who think actor/commoner Bill Shakespeare did not author the plays that bear his name.  It has always seemed either a) highly unlikely or b) downright impossible to me.  But I’m no Shakespeare expert either.
Well that’s my 2 cents worth.  Or maybe ½ that.