Archive for January, 2006

In the News

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

Bill Clinton is no longer the president. His decision to use the Davos forum to publicly opine on the subject of US foreign policy is not appropriate. His overtures to the terrorist group, Hamas, were particularly distasteful. We must remember that the Nazis won a democratically held election. (We also cannot forget that Bill Clinton was democratically elected. What did Lincoln say about \”fooling some of the people some of the time\”?) Additional commentary on the looming climate catastrophe is a significant departure from his earlier warnings about the impending ice age, but with all the hot air coming out of Davos, Switzerland these days, there is bound to be some glacial melt somewhere. In his desperately selfish attempts to remain relevant, he would be wise to grab a clue from Phil Conners. Perhaps he should make some time this Thursday for a review of the primary principle artfully illustrated in \”Ground Hog Day\”.

His wife\’s decision to change her mind and throw her support behind a Senate filibuster designed to derail Judge Alito\’s Supreme Court confirmation speaks volumes about her reliance on money from the extreme left. It is also illustrative of how far left a politician must lean in order to earn the Democrat nomination. We know it is a woman\’s prerogative to change her mind (a million times, according to Twain; Shania, not Mark), but even politicians must sometimes take a firm stand.

Cindy Sheehan\’s decision to challenge Diane Feinstein in the upcoming California senatorial race will actually place Feinstein in the enviable position of appearing moderate. This election season is likely to be the political version of American Idol, with Sheehan in the role of William Hung. SheeHangs!?

Now that’s entertainment!

In The Beginning

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

In the beginning was the Word.
In the end was the Deed.

Contempt in Congress

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

The Senate Democrats have made significant efforts to paint Judge Sam Alito as a pervert (permitting the strip search of a 10 year girl), a racist (as a member of conservative club at Princeton University), and as the defender of big government abuse (for ruling more often than not in favor of the police). All of these myths have been fully addressed and successfully debunked in the Senate confirmation hearings. Yet the Democrats, in the glaring light of the truth of these matters, will unanimously vote against him. This vote, even more than the fabrications they have manufactured for these hearings, will cause them to be held in contempt in the court of public opinion and will ultimately condemn them, individually and as a group, for their naked choice to support government sponsored hedonism as opposed to the rule of law.

Mission Accomplished

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Should last night’s murder of Elder Young, a 21 year old Mormon missionary, by an unidentified black man be considered a hate crime? The assailant approached Elder Young and his 19 year old companion as they were walking through a Chesapeake, Virginia neighborhood and, without provocation, pulled a gun and shot them both. The 19 year old, Elder Heidbrink, will likely survive.

Is this a hate crime? What is a hate crime? Is there a racial component to this crime? Is there an element of religious persecution or intolerance? How do these facets of this story factor in to the mass media’s decision to sit on or sensationalize a crime? There was a handgun involved. Where are the voices of the gun control crowd? Would this story find greater resonance in the major media if the assailant had been white and had the two missionaries been representing the Nation of Islam?

I suspect that this story won’t be much of a story outside of Utah. It doesn’t have the cachet that disappearances possess. This is no titillating mystery, only a callous crime. Its victims are white Christian males; three groups that are pre-approved for public persecution.

My heart goes out to the family of young Elder Young, and I pray for the Comforter to attend them. This fine young man was spreading the good news, the Gospel of Peace, in a world plagued by the purveyors of evil. Given the choice and the ability to rewind the clock, I am certain that Elder Young would still choose to serve, to offer this same message of light and hope. Given the same choice, I cannot imagine that his parents would fail to support him in this decision. Given the same choice, it would be hoped that the shooter would have chosen differently. He will spend eternity wishing he had listened to Elder Young instead of killing him.

If Elder Young’s selfless service, and the seemingly senseless act that ended his life, should cause one person to choose the better path, he will have accomplished his mission.

Homage to Oma

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

I have not recently been attending to this blog as religiously as has been my custom over the last two years. Part of that is due to the unilateral cease-fire I declared prior to Christmas. Though the war for the hearts and souls of men continues unabated, some time must be invested in rest and reflection.

The other significant reason for my relative silence is the welcome presence of my mother-in-law in our home. She is visiting from her native Germany and will have been with us for two months when she departs in mid-January. She will be 90 this year and she still possesses the strength and resilience that enabled her to endure the privations of World War Two and its horrific aftermath. She and her two surviving children were part of the largest migration in human history; the forced removal of 10,000,000 Germans from their homes in the no-longer-existent German states of Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia.

She heard a knock on her door at 3:00 AM on a winter night in 1946, and was told by local Polish authorities to leave immediately. All she was able to do was dress herself and her children. They were allowed to take nothing but the bread on the table. Along with her few neighbors in the very small Prussian farming community outside of Danzig, they were marched to the train station in Steegen and none-too-gently herded aboard the cattle cars that had doubtless been previously employed by the Nazis to bring Jews and political prisoners to nearby Stutthof; a satellite in the Auschwitz system of camps. The doors were locked shut and the train lurched westward in the cold darkness.

They were unceremoniously dumped just across the border of the newly formed and euphemistically named German Democratic Republic; what we called East Germany. For nearly two years my mother-in-law, her eight-year-old son and four-year-old daughter wandered from village to forest, from abandoned bunkers to the shelter of railroad bridges. (Another son and daughter had died of ordinary childhood diseases during the war where the lack of needed medicines had sealed their fates. The little girl was buried in a suitcase. The little boy was buried in a box in which the end was broken out so that he would fit without having to break his lifeless little legs.) They existed on whatever my mother-in-law was able to find, scrounge or steal, from boiled nettles to potato peels. She would frequently leave her children hidden by night in dense forest undergrowth, or buried beneath leaves in bomb craters while she scavenged for anything edible. She would tell them not to make a sound, or risk discovery and any number of horrendous fates that would attend.

In the summer of 1948 they had arrived at a place near the East/West border and she determined that she would join with others who had decided to run the gauntlet of Soviet troops that were attempting to prevent such defections. There were no walls or fences at that time but there were towers and patrols. In preparation, she burned her identification papers, knowing that she could potentially be sent back to the Russian Zone if her address was shown to be within that zone.

In the middle of the night they crept forward through the forest and breathlessly awaited the previously timed passing of the border patrol. At the given signal the refugees all leapt to their feet and, quietly as possible, fled in a dozen different westerly directions beyond the curtain of iron. The exertions of years of fright in flight almost immediately took their toll in this spawning-like push to reach this place of freedom, a place where it is permissible to say “no”. This she did. When their legs could carry them no further the three sat united in the middle of the road, refusing to move until someone offered them a ride.

They were brought, nearly lifeless packages of skin and bones (my mother-in-law weighed 85 pounds, less than half her normal weight; the children were wraithlike and gaunt, with distended bellies) to a refugee camp along the German/Czech border. Here they remained for a year until they were healthy enough to be sent further west to a village pre-selected for them. They lived in a single-roomed dwelling attached to a barn and here they worked as farm laborers along with several other refugee families. Here they were told to “go back where you came from”. This lack of empathy exemplifies but one of the symptoms of the malady known as the “Teutonic Temperament”; the dark side of German discipline, industry, intelligence and creativity. My wife became an American at this time in her life, although she didn’t know it then.

My mother-in-law worked hard her entire life. She still busies herself the best she can. She lives comfortably and independently in a 600-year-old house she owns in a charming little village nestled in between the manicured forests that adorn the gently rolling hills of central Bavaria. She is well blessed for her efforts of long ago to secure the lives of her remaining children. She will tell you, without reservation, that it was her God that sustained her through those dark times, and she will be equally quick to tell you that it is her God that comforts her today and grants the blessings she enjoys, not the least of which is the joy that accompanies the love of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who affectionately refer to her as Oma or Omi.

It is with her that I have chosen to invest the time I would have ordinarily devoted to this page. I am certain that you understand.