Archive for November, 2004

Stopping Violent Crime

Friday, November 26th, 2004

The recent series of horrific murders that have occurred in schools in China speak volumes about controlling deadly weapons as a means of reducing violent crimes. Similar attacks in England a decade ago should have been taken as a warning, but were not. Here at home, the senseless murder of young and defenseless Polly Klaas at the hands of psycho-killer Richard Allen Davis, also taking place about a decade ago, should have served as an additional wake-up call and is further proof of the need to renew this debate. Crimes such as these and countless others are proof that we must address the issues of safety and protection that have been raised by such events. Are we to simply ignore these horrible occurrences and hope that it won’t happen again, or that it will not happen to us, or are we willing to take whatever action is necessary to completely disarm the society for its own good?

The murderers in China have used knives to kill their victims. The British school murders were committed with a machete. Richard Allen Davis took his innocent victim’s life with his hands. Box cutters were used as weapons of mass destruction on 9-11.

It is not the weapon that kills; it is the killer that kills. We should all be clear about this. Disarming law-abiding citizens will never solve this problem, and in fact will only make it worse. Take, for example, the new Australian gun laws and the impact that has had on violent crime; it is up 400%! Look to Florida where criminals single out foreign tourists as targets because they know the tourists will not be armed. Violent crime in general is down in Florida, as these same criminals are understandably wary of attacking a citizen armed with the Second Amendment and a 9MM.

Most people who believe in gun control, like those who came to DC for the Million Mom March, are unquestionably motivated by a desire to do good. No one wants to see anyone senselessly harmed or killed by a madman firing a gun, but no one wants to see anyone senselessly harmed or killed by a madman wielding a knife, or a screwdriver, a box cutter or rock. To those whose response is “yes, but guns are designed exclusively to kill people!\” I reply, “yes, but they also protect the innocent from the would-be killer.\” The law that is almost universally overlooked here is the law of Unintended Consequences. Disarming law-abiding citizens ultimately creates more victims.

Crime’s common denominator is not the weapon, but the criminal.

Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 25th, 2004

We have much to be thankful for, especially those of us who are privileged to live in the United States of America. Of all the peoples in all the ages and in all the nations in the history of the world, none have been as blessed as we. Apart from the technology that grants us ease and comfort and the ability to be more productive than any civilization ever has been, we enjoy wealth and an access to information that would make King Solomon envious. Of all the wealth that man is capable of possessing, none is as portable as knowledge. All else (apart from potentially eternal familial ties) must be checked at death’s door. This is probably why Solomon asked God for wisdom. For recognizing this truth, God blessed him materially, as well.

Throughout the generations of man, there has been a quest and thirst for novelty that was never satisfied. We recall the Epicureans and Stoicks (Acts 17:18-21) to whom Paul introduced the “unknown God\”. These ancient Greeks spent their lives in search of “some new thing\”. Yet novelty, in an age when information could travel no faster than a horse could gallop eluded most of them and the majority of succeeding generations, but in our age novelty abounds. We have more “new things\” than we have time to appreciate. If we were able to devote our entire lives to a full-time study of all that is new, we would still fall dramatically short. We could easily be and frequently are distracted from the important things in life by all the new things, and it is equally easy to be addicted, not only to things but to more things. Nevertheless, it is wholly appropriate to be grateful for all the choices we are able to exercise in view of all the available options. Again, no one has been more blessed with material bounty and endless streams of the knowable.

I am grateful to the men and women who have chosen to serve and defend this land, its citizens, and all the principles that this nation represents. No greater love exists than in the willingness to lay down one’s life for the protection and benefit of another.

The enumeration of each and every blessing and advantage I enjoy would consume more space and time than I have but I would be deeply ungrateful indeed if I failed to publicly thank my earthly parents for all they sacrificed to serve me in my youth, and my Heavenly Father for all He has seen fit to bestow upon me in the form of opportunities and talents. I am grateful that He is not “unknown\” to me and that I am likewise not unknown to Him. I consider myself to be one of the most fortunate people to ever live on this planet. I hope you, dear reader, feel the same. May God bless you and your family on this Thanksgiving Day and throughout your lives.

May I recommend a reading of the 100th Psalm on this special day of thanks?

Trust is a Fragile Thing

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

Dan Rather reminds us that trust is a fragile thing. Hubris, apparently, is not. Some people seem willing to trade integrity for a false sense of self-righteousness stemming from a prideful unwillingness to admit fault. If they are going to be wrong, by golly, they are going to magnify it by compounding the error! I am reminded of Bill Murray\’s character, Phil, in Groundhog Day. At the beginning of the movie he is attempting to return to Pittsburgh from Punxsutawney when he is stopped by the snowstorm he failed to predict. He told the State Trooper he needed to proceed and the Trooper replied that he wasn\’t going anywhere, that the weather was too bad and the highway was closed. Phil, refusing to recognize reality, responded by declaring, “I make the weather.\”

Dan Rather is rather like Phil but unfortunately, he is not a weatherman. It would be well for us if he was, for then we could simply look outside to see whether the weather. Reporting the news is altogether different from \”making\” (manufacturing) the news. News is subjective enough to begin with. With the volume and variety of available news, not all stories make the cut, being subject to selection on the basis of the bias of the editor. Those stories that do are massaged, pinched, minced, seasoned, or strained with words and phrases chosen to illuminate, enshroud, or color particular facets of the story. We are all daily engaged in this kind of exercise to one degree or another as we negotiate our way through our various relationships, understanding on some basic level that our ability to be truthful will be reflected in others\’ willingness to invest their trust in us. Most of us know how hollow it feels to lose that trust. Those unfamiliar with this discomfort are either perfect, prideful to the point of arrogance, or they simply do not care. The vast majority of us, however, are not paid millions of dollars specifically to be trustworthy.

After \”making\” the news for all these many years, in some unexpected yet poetically just fashion, it has become Dan Rather\’s destiny to truly make the news.

Do Questions Remain?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

41 years later, the questions remain. I have stood on the grassy knoll. I have looked out across Dealey Plaza from the window of the Dallas School Book Depository. I walked across the street at the very spot where the final bullet collided in brutal, bloody violence with President Kennedy\’s skull. In the hours I spent at the site of this national trauma, overwhelming thoughts continued to replay themselves in my mind; \”Kennedy was set up to be murdered on this spot. His motorcade was specifically directed to this perfect killing field. If Oswald had anything to do with this at all, he didn\’t act alone.\” I have been unable to shake these thoughts. No compelling evidence to the contrary has ever emerged, and I have read much (though certainly not all) of what has been written on the subject. Tenacious, stubborn doubts persist in spite of all the arguments that have been made in defense of the Warren Commision\’s conclusion that Oswald acted alone.

The magic bullet is not magic because of its remarkable ability to change directions, as was claimed in the Oliver Stone movie. It was magic because it appeared, virtually unscathed, on the stretcher that had borne the wounded body of Governor Connally. Do bullets just fall out of people’s bodies? If they did, would they look like they had never entered a body? Anyone who has ever hunted and has ever recovered the bullet from his prey fully appreciates the amount of damage inflicted on the projectile itself, especially if that bullet has hit bone; Governor Connally’s wrist, for example. Much is made of the fact that ballistics tests prove that the bullet was fired from the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle allegedly owned by Oswald. Is this proof that it was fired by Oswald or that it was the bullet that struck Kennedy and Connally? Relative to the questions about the nearly 8 seconds required to fire three shots at the President, attempts have been made to show that an average person can chamber a round, aim and pull the trigger of that particular weapon three times within 8 seconds, but accuracy has not been part of that test. Marksmen have attempted this feat but have been forced to sacrifice time for accuracy, or accuracy for time. Witnesses have claimed that Oswald was a marksman in the Marine Corp and have produced his score cards to prove that he could have done this, but they then show you a picture of him on the rifle range firing not a bolt action rifle, like the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle in question, but rather an M-1 Garand; a semi-automatic rifle. The case against Oswald as the lone assassin would be hard to make even if the only questions remaining were about this weapon and this bullet.

There are other questions. Why was the President’s body removed from Texas in contravention of Texas law? Was the coffin loaded onto Air Force One in Dallas the same coffin that came off the plane at Andrews Air Force Base? Are there discrepancies between the descriptions of the wounds as described by the Parkland doctors and the Navy doctors that handled the autopsy in Bethesda? What happened to the initial autopsy report? What happened to JFK’s brain, removed during the autopsy? Why was the President’s car not preserved as evidence of the crime, rather than being immediately refurbished? There are many more questions relating to eye witness accounts, as well as a host unaccountable circumstances revolving around the untimely demise of many of the witnesses in question. The reader may refer to other sites for these rather more subjective objections to the Warren Report.

Who comprised the Warren Commission? Why would Allen Dulles, former CIA chief, fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs, be asked to sit on such a panel? Would that not seem to be a clear and immediate conflict of interest? Would not the World Bank people cause the raising of a few eyebrows? What about Gerald Ford and his subsequent ascension to arguably undeserved heights? Speaking of undeserved heights, Arlen Specter, the author of the “magic bullet� theory, was counsel to the Commission. How has he managed to survive his many gaffes all these many years?

Shouldn’t these things and countless other ill-fitting pieces of the puzzle cause most people to justifiably question the discordant conclusions we have been fed without being deprecatingly referred to as kooks? We have long ago reached the place in our history where too few people are concerned about what happened anywhere in 1963, let alone Dallas. Is this fact alone sufficient cause for us to be concerned today in light of the well-accepted notion that \”he who does not learn from history is condemned to repeat it\”?

A case can be made that the trauma of November 22, 1963, set our culture and particularly its youth, on the path of grave mistrust and serious apprehension that not only generated in this generation serious misgivings about the status quo, but also began a degeneration into a culture of self-medication (in its many forms), cynicism, and selfishness from which we now struggle to recover. If the truth can set us free, wouldn’t it be good to have it sooner rather than later? Should we have answers to the questions raised above? Would it aid our national healing process? What would you be willing to do if your answer is \”yes\”?

The Woods are Lovely

Saturday, November 20th, 2004

I almost hesitate to start this as it should be a book instead of a mere post on a blog page; perhaps in installments? No.

I lived in Germany for a couple of years in the 70’s. I have visited there with some frequency since then. There is much to like about the place; the colorful villages nestled between lovely, dark, manicured forests; the testosterone rush of the Autobahn; old women sweeping the roads on Saturday mornings; fresh baked rolls and pretzels for breakfast; Kaffee und Kuchen in the mid-afternoon; German cleanliness and efficiency; the Cathedrals, Monasteries and Churches that define the skyline of every city, town, and village; the architecture, history and tradition.

I have family and friends there. They are wonderful people. Most people are if you invest the time to know them. The Germans deservedly get a bad rap for their Teutonic temperament and the disturbingly bad habit of following the wrong people in the wrong direction, but they have paid a severe price for this failing. The lessons of two lost wars are not lost on the vast majority of Germans. In spite of the re-emergence of a few radical skin-heads and neo-Nazis, we are not likely to witness the revival of German militarism. That is not to say that we have nothing to fear from them. The cold shoulder treatment we Americans have recently received from Gerhardt Schroeder and his ultra left wing allies among the Green Party has frosted most of us, even and especially people like me who happen to have a fondness for that country and its people. But if you ask most Germans, they clearly recognise that \”Greens\” are unripened \”Reds\”.

The leadership may not accurately reflect the opinions of the majority of the German people. Instead the people reflect the information the government feeds them. The spirit of Joseph Goebbels lives on in the state controlled media and its propensity for propagandizing the population. While it is obvious to Americans who have lived there that the average German is much more politically aware than is the average American, we Americans have access to more and varied media news outlets, and Americans are more likely to be engaged in their own family and business pursuits to the exclusion of political interests. Widening the Euro-American understanding gap is the fact German economy is not the entrepreneurial paradise that America is; the vast majority of businesses and land holdings have been passed down through the centuries in a quasi-royal traditional manner. The serfs of yesteryear assemble automobiles today. Those souls who were afflicted by a certain level of creative discontent have long ago fled to America.

Relative to families, the Germans are unable (unwilling?) to maintain a birthrate capable of keeping up with the death rate. With “familyâ€? being re-defined to include homosexual marriage, we cannot anticipate an increase in the anemic figure of 1.1 children per household. It is not simply the introduction of a “newâ€? kind of family that has driven this number down from the day, at the beginning of the 20th Century, when a family of 10 children was closer to the norm. Economic realities, limited and increasingly expensive living space, restricted vacation options, and simple garden-variety selfishness have all taken their toll as young married heterosexuals have chosen to invest themselves in the narrow pursuit of finite self-interest rather than the expensive and time-consuming business of raising more than one child. This fact alone could ultimately create new economic opportunities for the working class as even the traditionally wealthy families are “flickering out\”, leaving room for the appropriately motivated to fill the void. But even those poised to take advantage of the decline in the numbers of \”silver spooners\” will still need customers. The last time I checked, customers are born, not manufactured.

The other dynamic at play in furthering the decline in the birthrate is an attitude that exists in too many minds in too many places; that bringing a child into this world is a terrible thing. At one point in time I was guilty of similar thoughts but something happened to change my thinking entirely. I was visiting my wife’s aunt and uncle in southern Germany. He had served as an infantryman in the Wehrmacht from September of 1939 until the end of the war in 1945. He fought in Poland, France, Russia and Italy, where he last served and was severely wounded. She spent the war as a nurse close to the battlefront. He spoke openly about the war and his experiences, often in gruesome detail. At the end of one of our conversations (in fact, the last time I saw him before he died), I said something to the effect that all of this must have been quite terrible, that this had to have been a very dreary and difficult time to be alive. They both stopped abruptly and looked directly at me quite quizzically and said, “Oh no, not at all. We didn’t think that at all. That was just the way life was. That was just the way it was. That was our life. We didn\’t know anything different.â€? In that moment I captured a very important concept. We humans are an adaptable bunch, indeed. We have a remarkable ability to live anywhere and through anything. Denying future generations the privilege of life because of our narrow perspective is as arrogant as it is wrong. Had these two people not lived, had they not endured the horrors of that cataclysmic event and the lessons and blessings of the peace that followed, had they not enjoyed the simple sense of appreciation for a walk in those manicured and lovely, dark, and deep woods, had their spirits not been lifted by the peaceful peel of the bells from the village below, had they and we not experienced the mutual joy of sharing our lives, the whole world would be a poorer and far less meaningful place.

The Clinton Legacy

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Bill Clinton is a publicly affable but personally flawed character. Not that any of us are perfect. Not that he has to be that way or stay that way. He is capable of changing; as we all are, differentiating us from the animals. But in order to change, a person must first recognize the behavior to be changed and then have a desire to change. Clinton has not made this effort and is therefore consigned to remain as he is. As a result, his legacy is that he was Bill Clinton, with all that his name has come to mean. His punishment for the transgressions he refuses to recognize is that he will live out his life being Bill Clinton; irascible, irreverent, irredeemable and irrelevant.

Semper Fi

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

The Marine who shot the wounded terrorist acted wholly appropriately in that circumstance. Anyone who claims otherwise has no understanding of the enemy and his mindset and has absolutely no understanding of the state of modern warfare; not that dispatching enemy wounded, or even prisoners, is modern. Booby-trapping the dead and wounded is a trademark of the modern guerilla fighter. Many a well-intentioned soldier has been killed or maimed by the object of his natural compassion. The Marine Corps has seen this behavior before and has not forgotten. The war in the Pacific was so brutal, owing to the Japanese fighting man’s suicidal tendencies, that our military leaders were forced to issue the declaration that no Japanese prisoners would be taken. Korea and its suicide waves of Chinese troops have not been forgotten. Booby-trapped Viet Cong bodies have not been forgotten. The Marine in question was facing an enemy possessing a death wish that makes Kamikazes seem like the Civil Air Patrol. He had not forgotten being shot in the face only the day before and there is every chance that he knew at least one fellow Marine who had been killed or wounded by a wounded terrorist.

The inveterate complainers and America haters who are making a big deal of this are not worthy of the sacrifice this courageous Marine was willing to make by serving in Iraq. In fact, they have long-ceased to be worthy of the many sacrifices made by this nation’s brave fighting men who have willingly shed their blood to preserve the freedoms these ingrates abuse. It is not lost upon us out here in the red counties, that the most vociferous of this Marine’s critics are those who supported John Kerry; a man who won his Silver Star by chasing a wounded Vietnamese teenager behind a building and shooting him dead.

No Fear

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

The Left has little to fear from Evangelicals, unless the radicals at the ACLU and their accomplices continue to kick the Christians in the shins or insist upon throwing secular sucker-punches at the body of the faithful.

Real Christians, meaning those who live the principles they espouse, do not hate homosexuals or atheists or ACLU attorneys. Christ’s message is clear; love God and love your neighbor, as you love yourself. This He gave in answer to the question “which is the greatest commandment?� In the Sermon on the Mount, He told the gathering that there is no reward in loving those who are easy to love, that the real reward comes from loving those that are difficult to love (this may be the real value and purpose in the existence of the family structure). He instructed His followers to love the sinner. He also admonished them to avoid sin; that the least degree of sin cannot be tolerated if one expects to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father. After those with sin departed without having thrown stones, He instructed the woman they had brought before Him to “go and sin no more�. Is there anything to misunderstand about this? True followers of the Savior will behave similarly.

The problems that Christians have with the Left have their genesis in the Left’s intolerance for Christian tradition and values. To those who argue that this is a chicken and egg question, I refer you to the preceding paragraph. There is certainly room to argue that a degree of hypocrisy has always existed relative to prejudicial treatment of one type of sin over another. This is the human side of the issue, the frailty of the faithful. God, on the other hand, is not inconsistent.

Neo-secularists will hold this to mean that Christians have an obligation to love them, and they will be correct. It is appropriate to hold everyone to account for their beliefs and to point out incongruities between words and deeds, between philosophy and action, between belief and behavior. That being said, it would be foolish to extend the argument to say “because you love me, you must accept everything that I choose to do.� This flies in the face of reason but yet, this is essentially what neo-secularists are saying. They have misinterpreted Christianity’s requisite call to repentance as a denunciation of them as people rather than the charitably inspired warning that it is. How does a loving parent or friend, for example, react when a small child runs into the traffic to fetch an errant throw? Does he or she simply ignore the potentially fatal act? In our day, failure to act in a manner sufficient to prevent further follies of this kind would be called “child endangerment�. We pass laws that require us to wear helmets and seat belts. We put warning labels on everything from cigarettes to microwave ovens in an effort to modify behaviors in the direction of safety and the promotion of health and longevity, but when it comes to arguably more dangerous behaviors resulting in STD’s, HIV, unwanted children, broken families, the devaluation of life, and the attendant descent into the morass of moral relativity, the neo-secularists want everyone, especially Christians, to sit down and shut up.

The Ten Commandments, the foundational principles of both the Jewish and the Christian faiths, are also the bedrock for our Western legal construct. There can be no question that a safe, civil, sane society requires a system of laws that prevent its devolution into anarchy. Certainly murder (thou shalt not kill), theft (thou shalt not steal), and perjury (thou shalt not bear false witness), cannot be tolerated by any society that wants to last longer than a generation. What makes us think that the other seven commandments are simply the unreasonable demands of another, less enlightened era? Perhaps in our secular system of laws there are no consequences for adultery or for failure to honor one’s parents, but that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences at all. Only a person afflicted with terminal hubris would deny that adultery is harmful to the families involved, that coveting your neighbors possessions or spouse will cankers one’s perspective, performance, and one’s ability to properly appreciate one’s own life and talents, while drastically minimizing the potential for learning through positive action. We have seen the evils of the welfare state and class envy here in this country, and with even greater clarity in the failed socialist systems of Eastern Europe. Christians and Jews have an obligation to obey all the Commandments and the obligation, as well, to lovingly point out the consequences of failing to do so.

It is every human’s right to choose whether or not to believe in God. In our nation, this right is especially clear and dear. Again, it must be stated that much of the debate between religionists and neo-secularists is a result of the misinterpretation of the Establishment Clause, nevertheless, we should all be able to agree that the First Amendment acknowledges each citizens right to freely access their God. There is nothing in the Constitution that grants one set of beliefs supremacy over another. This includes the belief in no god at all.

Real Christians will love all of God’s children and will act accordingly. Honest secularists will honor the First Amendment and the original intent of the Establishment Clause, and neither side will have anything to fear from the other. The extreme minorities, the Hypo-Christians and sociopathic neo-secularists, will continue to fight to sieze the center stage. Will reason and goodwill triumph? As has been so eloquently stated, all that is required for evil to prevail is for good men and women to do nothing. What will you do?

The Verdict

Friday, November 12th, 2004

While it is always important for justice to prevail (and often it does not), and while it is critical for the family and friends of Laci Peterson to have this moment to begin the healing process, the most important facet of the Peterson case and the guilty verdict is the acknowledgement that an unborn child is a human being, and that killing an unborn child is murder.

Veteran\’s Day

Friday, November 12th, 2004

An open letter to all veterans of the United States Military,

Dear Fellow Citizen,
Please accept my sincere gratitude for your willingness to serve our nation. I recognize that you are the one who has purchased, with your sacrifice, your toil, and your blood, the freedoms I enjoy. Your selfless service cannot be measure by any earthly standard. To the families of those who have given their all, I wish to extend my heartfelt and eternal appreciation. May God bless you and yours, and may He continue to bless the nation we love.

May His Survivors Rest in Peace

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Four decades as a terrorist could never qualify someone for burial in the “City of Peace�. It is, however, wholly appropriate for the stateless Arafat to lie in state on the tarmac in Cairo for the fly-by paying of what passes for respect among terrorists or terror supporters from around the region and the world; those who would be understandably uncomfortable in the state of Israel.

Arafat consistently mislead his followers during their 40 year sojourn in what would have remained a desert had it been ruled by him. He promised them freedom. He delivered nothing but despair, dismay and death. How many died at his hand? Arguably more Palestinians than Israelis were killed by his thugs. Add this number to those Palestinians killed in self defense by the IDF, and the grotesque results of his failures are self-evident. Hatred was his motivation. Terrorism was his MO. The killing of innocents was his specialty. His cowardice caused him to target defenseless Israeli athletes rather than the IDF, as would a true soldier. Murdering Leon Klinghoffer, an old man confined to a wheelchair, was a demonstration of his complete lack of courage and compassion. Hijacking planes and killing defenseless passengers further magnified his disregard for every acceptable law or norm. Encouraging young Palestinians to blow themselves up on buses or in restaurants filled with women and children completes the picture of a man devoid of humanity in nearly every sense of the word. None of this even contemplates the billions of dollars he has undoubtedly misappropriated (stolen) for his own purposes over the years, rather than investing it in the infrastructure of a new Palestinian economy. Any attempt to portray this gangster as a true leader or a statesman calls into question the level of understanding and the moral clarity of anyone willing to make such a hideous claim.

The Palestinian people certainly have a right to live peacefully with their families on land they can call their own; either personally or as a nation. Perhaps with the long overdue passing of this murderer and thief, and with the long awaited ascension of those Palestinians who have the best interests of their people in their hearts, their common aspirations will be realized. It will take a leader, or a leadership council committed to peace with Israel. Anything less than this will fail to yield any of the long-hoped-for dreams of peace, prosperity or freedom for their people, and by extension nearly everyone else on the planet. We are all impacted, to one degree or another, by the shockwaves that reverberate from every act of terror or reprisal that shakes the Holy Land.

Euro-Cheek

Monday, November 8th, 2004

As I enter my pewter years (my retirement account contains neither silver nor gold in quantities sufficient to enter either of those ages), I am blessed with an enhanced measure of understanding, sufficient to satisfy myself; sufficient to be comfortable with certain conclusions. Because this is my blog, and because my keyboard is very patient with me, I am also comfortable posting the following thoughts.

My ancestors left the “Old Country�, arriving on these shores in or about 1710, for two reasons; religious freedom and economic freedom. People still come to this land for these same two reasons. The “Old Country�, whether it is Ireland, France, Germany or Kazakhstan, remains largely in the grip of the Dark Ages if you define the Dark Ages as an era in which enlightenment is lacking. Sure, the citizen of these lands enjoy most of the benefits of the IT Age and nearly all the accoutrements of technology in general but despite this fact, they are and have always been very slow on the uptake when it comes to the issues of religious and economic freedom; no small matters. This is why our forefathers departed, in many cases leaving everything and everyone behind, for what is dearer than freedom?

Now we are mocked for our beliefs by the ossified residue of the “Romanticâ€? tradition; the European Socialists. We are ridiculed for having the audacity to re-elect George W. Bush; for the temerity, the effrontery, the gall, the nerve, the cheek to elect someone the Euro-Elites don’t like! Our ancestors were fortunate in the sense that, once gone, they weren’t overexposed to the nonsense that drifts across the pond on the airwaves or through cyberspace. Well—excuse us! When did we condemn you in the exercise of what little democracy you have enjoyed in the last 220 years? I can recall extricating you and your neighbors from the grip of tyranny on more that one occasion. I recall the Germans electing Hitler, the English electing the appeaser, Chamberlain, and then tossing out Churchill after he had carried them through the war on the strength of his determination and courage. I remember the Soviet Union signing a non-aggression pact with Hitler. I remember the Dutch and the French handing over their Jews to the Germans for extermination and the Vichy French fighting US troops on the beaches of North Africa. I recall that Sweden sold Bofors anti-aircraft guns to the Germans, the Japanese, the Americans and the British, during the same war, and that Swiss Banks took anybody’s money. (Let’s not forget Kaiser Wilhelm, Napoleon, Stalin, Lenin, Charles XII, Henry VIII, the Vikings, or the wonderful Catherine de Medici.) There is no moral high ground to be found anywhere in Europe today, apart from perhaps Italy and Poland. That any Americans are willing to listen to or agree with any of the drivel we hear from the organs of the “Old Countryâ€? is cause for concern, as the proponents of these dark notions are assuming the countenance of enmity. As even broken clocks are right twice a day, the Germans have an expression appropriate to the point; “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.â€?

Real Americans are not, and should not be disturbed by the rantings and the rumblings of the rancorous “Old� world. Show me their Golden Age and I might consider paying attention.

Election Reflections

Thursday, November 4th, 2004

A second term for George W will be a good thing for America; even for those Americans who voted against him. Some day most of these will admit this fact, just as most Americans were thinking the same thing New York’s Mayor was saying on September 11, 2001, “Thank God George Bush is President!� We must hope, however, that this realization will not arrive with a similar moment or event. We recall all the people who threatened to leave America if Bush were to win the 2000 election. They all stayed here after all, and benefited from a better economy and a host of other uniquely American advantages that George Bush did not diminish.

We will all enjoy a brief respite from hyper-politics for a time, although some will suffer withdrawals. Don’t lose heart. The Senate Judiciary committee will soon give us all reason to cheer or jeer as the Dems do all they can to torpedo Bush’s nominations to the bench. It will be great theatre, for sure, as today’s calls for unity will then be forgotten.

Today’s calls for unity ring hollow as they fall from the lips of those who have spent the last four years being divisive and derisive. The appeal for “healing� would have been better received if it had been delivered by the victim instead of the perpetrator.

The polls, those leading up to the election, and the exit polls, should cause us all to demand an accounting of the polling companies and the networks. It appears to this independent observer that there was an effort, by some, to create the illusion of greater support for Kerry in order to attract the less discerning and ideologically challenged among us. This alone could account for as much as 10 points that Kerry would not have otherwise received. Add this to the 2,000,000 new and arguably unqualified Democrats that Clinton-Gore covertly herded through the INS during their second term (refer to David Shippers book “Sellout�-Shippers is a Democrat and was the counsel to the House Impeachment managers during the Clinton Impeachment), along with those who voted multiple times and in multiple states, and all the dead who seem to have an undying affinity for Democratic candidates, and every reference to Kerry would henceforth include the name, McGovern, and we could have all gone to bed at 9:00 PM on election night knowing that Bush had won.

Marriage played a pivotal roll in the Bush victory. The homosexual lobby will have to come to terms with the fact that their particular predilection doesn’t qualify to be graced with that sacred title. The Democrats, to whom the homosexual lobby has long been betrothed, will have to come to terms with this fact. They actually believe that they should have \”talked\” more about their religious faith and values. Talking about \”values\” is all they heve ever done. They still don\’t get it! A person is supposed to live and behave in a way that is illustrative of his or her beliefs. When the Dems become personal examples of the belief system they must emulate in order to win, they will no longer be Democrats!

Hillary and Bill played a minimal roll (likethey wanted Kerry to win!!) Cronkite laughably tried to pin the Bin Ladin video on Carl Rove. He could have retained the title of \”most trusted man in America\” had he proposed the possibility that Bill and Hill were behind the forged Rathergate documents and the unfortunate revelations concerning the 350 tons of high explosives missing from the bunkers at Al Qaqqa. We must consider the possibility that this startling information was \”channeled\” by John Edwards.

Michael Moore and George Soros can now MoveOn.

Bruce Springsteen will be lucky to get an audition for the remake of “Name that Thune�.

Teresa can’t be blamed for the loss but had her handlers been less diligent, Teresa would be blamed for the loss.

Hoorah for Zell and Ed\’s excellent example!

Kudos to the voices on our radios; Rush, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, the new Bronx Bomber, aka Michael Savage, and all their colleagues who kept the debate focused and kept us focused on the debate. The new journalists, the bloggers, deserve just praise. Fox News remains the only fair and balanced source for news on television. Thanks to all.

The Swiftboat Vets deserve a double dose of gratitude; first for their service to our nation in Vietnam, and secondly and not least, for their courage in facing hostile fire from some of their fellow Americans (the same people who took aim at them when they returned from Vietnam) as they called our attention to the real John Kerry. I would like to let a little air out of the myth that the Swifties were a Republican hit squad by confessing that I, an Independent, contributed to their cause believing that they had earned the right to be heard. I am certain many other Independents and a few fair-minded Democrats did, as well. I salute these good men for their continuing service to our nation.

George Bush does deserve ample credit for the win. He is a proven leader, a proven friend of the citizens of this nation; a good and decent man. His calm resolve saw us through some pretty dark days. His efforts to protect this nation have appropriately and effectively engaged our government in the fulfillment of its primary function; to provide for the common defense. This he has done with uncommon courage and with a remarkable lack of all-too-common partisan acrimony. His wonderful wife, Laura, is as outstanding a First Lady as our nation has seen. She is gracious, graceful, charming and real.

Lastly, the American people, in the great tradition of another Vietnam Vet, Forest Gump, have somehow snatched victory from defeat, have somehow risen from the muck sporting a smiley face, have stepped in the “_ _ it� and have taken wisdom from it, and as a nation, will surely keep on running as long as the politicians do.

There is no Balm in Gilead

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004

This election will bring our nation face to face with the reality that there really are two Americas, or more precisely two kinds of Americans. John Edwards was right to make this claim; he simply did not understand the real difference. This fact has been with us for many decades, but only recently have the respective numbers of these two groups been nearly equal.

I recall my days in Berkeley. I was living with roommates who asked me to extend the favor of finding elsewhere to live for two weeks while parents came to stay for a visit. This I was happy to do. I was able to find temporary digs in a Marxist commune and moved in to the room adjacent the garage out back. It did not take me long to get to know the people whose rooms were decorated with Che and Mao posters. All of these “kidsâ€? were students at UC Berkeley. The men were mousey and morose; the women were surprisingly attractive and opinionated to the point of being intimidating (on both counts). Mealtimes were particularly enervating for the men at the table as each innocent and oblique reference to females was met with scorn and derision and adjudged as “sexistâ€? by the girls—-no—- gals—-strike that—–ladies—–oops—-women—–excuse the inclusion of the word “menâ€? in that word——-uh——uh—–what shall we call you—- you of the softer persuasion? Each meal was concluded with a short lesson on one of the two virtues of socialism (I have forgotten what they are.), and with the men clearing the table and washing the dishes; sort of a reverse affirmative action program. I encountered a few more difficult and memorable moments among these people, but I shall reserve those as private memories. Let’s just say that I was happy move back home.

I came away from this experience with an understanding that pushed me in the \”Right\” direction. It was clear to me that these people were Marxists only because their fathers were successful capitalists. This was the reason they were able to afford the circumstances that permitted such unapologetic self-indulgence. I have many flaws but I have always given an honest day\’s work in exchange for my pay. I am responsible when the bills come in and when the checks go out. I have traded my sweat in apple orchards, bagging groceries, over the pot sink, at the sauté station, beneath the derricks, drenched with machine oil and making cold calls, all for the wherewithal to support my family. I have done my best to inculcate a similar attitude toward work within my own family. In this life we are what we do, and herein exists the difference between the two types of Americans.

There is the group that is self-responsible; that works; that applies the principles of self-reliance and demonstrates appreciation for opportunity on a daily basis. These people are as likely to be from Vietnam as Van Nuys. Americans are born everywhere; it is an attitude. These are the people who know that self-esteem is the fruit of accomplishment, not the other way around. They are bound by a faith in America, the American Dream, and a belief that this is God’s Country. Principle prevents these people from selling their vote.

On the other hand, we have our Marxist friends whose major contribution to the world is the upbraiding of their fellow Americans and the draining of their trust accounts in pursuit of the world’s pleasures. Mixed in with this group are those who attained wealth, on their own, before attaining wisdom and maturity, who cling to their faith in the ultimately flaccid “arm of flesh� purely in response to peer pressure and from an unwillingness to honestly test their assumptions. In addition, we have those who have no familial resources to fall back on, but have plenty of excuses, and usually these are excuses for not working. These are the prey of the poverty pimps, intentionally kept down by those who brazenly claim to be helping them. Then there are the unions, once righteous champions of the little guy, now grown fat and corrupt; always demanding more for less. Lastly, we have the ruling elite. These Americans have three things in common; they don’t really want to work, they do not appreciate the American opportunity and the nation’s traditions of work and fairness, and the vast majority does not have an abiding faith in America or in God. Personal interest will permit these people to assuage their consciences with a little “walking around� money, or a vial of crack from a vile practitioner of real politic.

Regardless of who wins this election, these two groups of Americans will move farther apart as, sadly, there really isn’t much room for grace on either side. There may or may not be a recount but we can count on endless recrimination punctuated by brief stays of acrimony caused by outside forces (a terrorist attack, for example). The farther we drift apart, the more likely we are to find ourselves on a collision course.

Faith of the Secularists

Monday, November 1st, 2004

The 2004 presidential election is not a battle between George Bush and John Kerry. In a quadrennial race often seen as a beauty contest, not many people can honestly say they find Senator Kerry attractive, not even Kerry himself. That he felt it necessary to resort to Botox is not only indicative of his vanity and his insecurity but also a lack of understanding for an inherently American appreciation for substance over form. Oh sure, Hollywood punches an occasional hole in this notion but most Americans recognize that beauty is truly more than skin deep. That Kerry has yet to reach this conclusion speaks volumes about his opinion of the rest of us. The fake face, the fake tans, the fake interest in the BoSox, the fake fondness for football and hunting, and the fake expressions of faith (faith without works truly is dead) have all taken a real toll on this candidate. The verdict is in; no one really likes John Kerry. So why is there even a small doubt about who will occupy the White House for the next four years?

This is a contest between the people who like George Bush and the people who do not, and the primary issue dividing these two groups is religion. Like this nation’s first George W., Bush has never made a secret of his faith. He recognizes, as do half of the people in this country that God exists and that He is not indifferent to America. Aligning himself with certain moral principles and relying upon the sustaining power of prayer are illustrative of his faith. These are the deeper moorings to which many of the nation’s citizens have tethered themselves in the midst of these uncertain and challenging times. Similar beliefs have sustained this nation and it people for over two centuries. Only recently have these fundamental principles been called into serious question. Only recently has this foundation of faith been undermined by the very institutions that the Founding Faith brought forth on this continent. It is this faith that the secularists and hedonists find so hard to tolerate. It is this faith that that they fight so hard against. But why?

Is it faith itself that is so difficult for them to accept? Or is it a brand of faith; Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, etc? Or is it the simple belief in God that troubles them? Why, in a nation founded upon the principles of religious tolerance, would some people be so intolerant of religion? Perhaps we need to establish an acceptable definition for religion before we can press for an acceptable answer to this question. Webster tells us that religion is the “service or Worship of God or the supernatural� and adds that it is also “a cause, principle, or systems of belief held to with ardor and faith�. Is there any legitimate disagreement with Webster? Hearing none, let us proceed along two avenues that will bring us to a singular conclusion.

The difficulty most secularists have with religion stems from the “systems of belief� portion of this definition. Belief systems generally expect adherents to observe more than the doctrine. It is hoped that people will also make a sincere effort to harmonize their behavior with their beliefs (as Christ told Nicodemus “He that doeth truth cometh to the light.�). John Kerry has alluded to this through his quoting of James, ‘Faith without works is dead.� He is a perfect negative example of this principle. Works, however, doesn’t simply mean that one does something; it means that one does specific things and avoids other specific things. This is what the secularists object to. Any constraint on their behavior is viewed as an obstacle to their freedom. Little do they understand that adherence to the truth really does set one free, just as the kite string enables to the kite to fly and to remain aloft.

Violation of basic governing principles always carries a consequence, a consequence that will always include the limiting of future options, i.e. the loss of freedom. For example, we are free to drink alcohol, but if we drink just a little too much we can be thrown into jail or suffer serious health problems. This is unquestionably a diminution of freedom. All choices come with consequences. Secularists simply don’t wish to be reminded of this fact and therefore think that they can avoid the consequence if they can remain ignorant of the law. If they don’t hear it or know it, they feel that they cannot be held accountable for it. Is that truly possible?

Freedom of choice as observed by the secularists is a euphemistic abuse of the word, “choiceâ€?. The choice to engage in sexual intercourse may yield pregnancy as a consequence. The “choiceâ€? they then demand is the freedom from the consequence itself. This is not possible without depriving another human its own right to choose. The bottom line is this; secularists are not interested in what is right or fair or consistent, even within the principles they claim to espouse (as examples; their stance against the death penalty while being \’pro-choice\”, their promotion of affirmative action while decrying racial profiling, putting helmets on youthful bicyclists to protect their skulls while opposing the legislation to limit internet pornography that would protect their brains). Their ideology is not even self-consistent. They are not motivated by principle at all (and this is why they are so hard to pin down in a meaningful debate). Their anti-religious position does not proceed from principle. It can only be understood thusly; they resent sets of governing principles that limit their hedonic pleasures. They are abusing the misinterpreted “Establishment Clauseâ€? in the Constitution to obfuscate or bury any reference to moral guidelines that would make them uncomfortable. They hate Bush because he openly subscribes to a set of these governing principles. The majority of politicians have been afraid to do this; fearful of alienating the hedonist lobby represented by Hollywood, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and the New York Times. This group hates and fears Bush as they hate and fear religion.

The next question is this; is secularism itself, a religion as defined by Webster? The case can easily be made (but not, of course, by the ACLU which, itself, could be a reasonable candidate for the status of a religion as defined by Webster). Do the secularists not represent a cause to which they hold with ardor? They may not subscribe to a traditional belief system, but does a system have to be traditional to be a system? Choosing not to believe in God is a belief choice legally equivalent to espousing a belief in a God; the same way that refusal to choose is still a choice.

Secularism is a religion by any standard, and should be treated the same as all other religions, and should not be given special considerations under the law. Special treatment is what they have come to expect. Equal treatment under the law is what they fear. They want a fellow hedonist in the highest office in the land. Any hedonist will do, even John Kerry.