Thursday, November 30, 2006

Are you allowed to bring a Geiger counter on board an airplane?

I was thinking it might be a good idea to carry one on board with you in case the Russians decide to kill another spy:

Traces of radiation have been detected at 12 locations by experts probing the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Home Secretary John Reid revealed 24 unnamed locations have been or are currently being monitored, including two British Airways panes.
This is really scary stuff, imagine if you were one of the people on those planes. This has the potential to be made into a very interesting movie when they figure out who did it. Or at least a CSI case.


So, tell me again how Iran is going to stop the violence in Iraq?

Proof that Iran is supplying arms to the terrorists in Iraq:

U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.

This suggests, say the sources, that the material is going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militias, rather than taking a roundabout path through the black market. "There is no way this could be done without (Iranian) government approval," says a senior official.

Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq's growing Shia militias from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.

Evidence is mounting, too, that the most powerful militia in Iraq, Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi army, is receiving training support from the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

The Iraq study group better change their findings or they are going to look like idiots for suggesting we appeal to Iran to help control the violence when they are the ones arming the fight. I think Hitchens' assessment of the study group is correct:

If the latest assassination in Lebanon caused any embarrassment to the enthusiasm of the Baker-Hamilton team for direct talks with Damascus and Tehran, the embarrassment wasn't evident. The Lebanese Cabinet may have bravely voted last week, in spite of a campaign of blackmail by Syria's death squads and religious proxies, to establish a tribunal to investigate the murder of Rafik Hariri, but in Washington, the talk is of getting on better terms with the people who, on all the available evidence, blew up his car. You may have noticed the new habit in the media of referring to the government of Lebanon as "American-backed" or "Western-backed." This is as if to imply that it is not an expression of Lebanon's remaining autonomy. But it is also cruelly ironic: Where exactly is this "backing"? Once again, it is becoming more dangerous to be a friend of the United States than an enemy.

The objectionable thing about the proposed Baker-Hamilton "talks" is not that they are talks but that they give the impression of looking for someone to whom to surrender. And they have, apparently, no preconditions.


This is too serious for this kind of Keystone Cops approach to foreign policy. We shouldn't be talking about negotiations we should be fighting the war to win.

I wonder if he's being paid my MSNBC?

Does he really know what's going one over there or is this just wishful thinking:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday Iraq had descended into civil war and urged world leaders to accept that "reality".

Powell's remarks came ahead of a meeting between Bush and Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki in the Jordanian capital to discuss the security developments in Iraq.

"I would call it a civil war," Powell told a business forum in the United Arab Emirates. "I have been using it (civil war) because I like to face the reality," added Powell.


President George W. Bush denied on Tuesday that sectarian violence had reached the scale of civil war. He said the latest wave of violence was part of a nine-month-old pattern of attacks by al Qaeda militants aimed at fomenting sectarian tension.
Looks like he's taking potshots at Bush, loyalty thy name is not Powell.

Who knows what's going on and who to believe. I know one thing the press wants this to be civil war so bad, they can taste it. Let's see if they have the power to be the deciding fact if it's civil war or not. After the Tet Offensive, Conkrite said that Vietnam war was unwinnable and so Johnson caved. He had the power, do they?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Letter has been received by the American people

Well, Reuters has seen it anyway. It appears that the leader of Iran reads Democratic Underground and Kos:

On Iraq, he said that with a constitution and government now in place, "would it not be more beneficial to bring the U.S. officers and soldiers home, and to spend the astronomical U.S. military expenditures in Iraq for the welfare and prosperity of the American people?"

"As you know very well, many victims of Katrina continue to suffer, and countless Americans continue to live in poverty and homelessness," he said.


I know they love him over there, they must be ecstatic over this letter, I can just hear them saying, "He is so right. Why can't we have a leader like him instead of Bush." Maybe one day they will get their wish.

Updated to add:

Here's a copy of the letter. Oh, if I only had the time to read it. I know that he wants to dialogue but I'm busy writing my paper on the unjust judge. Maybe some other time when I'm not so busy. Though there are others who have the time to respond.



Waiting with bated breath for the words of Ahmadinejad to the American people

Evidently, he has something to say to us:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to the American people that will be released at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday, a state newspaper reported.

The newspaper gave no details of the letter, an apparent attempt by the firebrand president to reach out to Americans over the head of their government.

The state-run newspaper Iran reported the letter in bold type on its front page, saying "the five-page letter to the American people will be released by Iran's representative at the United Nations today."


Earlier this month, Ahmadinejad said he was planning to write a letter to Americans.

"Many American people asked me to talk to them in order to explain the views of the Iranian people," Ahmadinejad told reporters, referring to his visit to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly session in September 2005.

Will he be honest and say that the Iranian people want to annihilate Israel and destroy our influence in the region? Or will he try to placate us with lies of trying to stabilize the region?


The anticipation is killing me. Oh, well back to the Parable of the Unjust Judge.

Syria Planned to Assassinate 36 Lebanese Officials

Since this is a clear violation of UN resolutions, I wonder what the UN will do about it?

The Lebanese security forces exposed a network which planned to assassinate 36 senior anti-Syrian Lebanese officials, the Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal reported Wednesday morning.

The newspaper, which belongs to the family of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated last year, reported that the Lebanese security forces managed to arrest two of the network's key members.

According to the report, the investigation revealed that the network trained in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and planned to execute a plot initiated by the Syrian government to assassinate 36 senior Lebanese officials.


According to the report, the investigation revealed that the Syrian government, through this plan, carried out the most blatant violation of United Nations Resolutions 1559 and 1701 and interfered in internal Lebanese issues.


In addition, it should be noted that Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son and head of the faction that constitutes the majority in the Lebanese parliament, recently harshly criticized President Bashar Assad and the Syrian regime and claimed that they were operating in an attempt to damage the political stability inside Lebanon and were even inciting an internal Lebanese war.

Why wouldn't Syria try to overthrow the government of Lebanon? Who will stop it?

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What the heck do you think Christmas means?

It really is not right that I had to sit in a library all day, trying not to panic that my paper is due on Thursday with only two pages written and not a clue what I was going to write, while this was going on. I know I'm late on commenting (that certainly hasn't stopped me in the past) but I can't believe that they wouldn't allow a movie about the birth of Christ to be sponsor of a Christmas bazaar. It makes absolutely no sense.

A public Christmas festival is no place for the Christmas story, the city says. Officials have asked organizers of a downtown Christmas festival, the German Christkindlmarket, to reconsider using a movie studio as a sponsor because it is worried ads for its film "The Nativity Story" might offend non-Christians.

New Line Cinema, which said it was dropped, had planned to play a loop of the new film on televisions at the event. The decision had both the studio and a prominent Christian group shaking their heads.


"Our guidance was that this very prominently placed advertisement would not only be insensitive to the many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market for its food and unique gifts, but also it would be contrary to acceptable advertising standards suggested to the many festivals holding events on Daley Plaza," Jim Law, executive director of the office, said in a statement.

Here's a link to the website for the event. Everyone going to this event knows that it's about the birth of Christ. You can pretend that it's about Santa all you want but when it comes down to it, there would be no Christmas without Jesus.


Is it the Mayor's intention to drive off customers? Just ask Wal-Mart why they are saying, "Merry Christmas" this year.

BTW, for those of you who may be concerned about the paper, I did have a breakthrough and am now up seven pages (thank you, God) and I know what I'm going to write about. So, I better get back to it.

How many people in America have your name

I posted this over at my other blog but I can tell from the traffic stats that you people aren't reading that blog. So, sometimes I punish you by not double posting :-) and sometimes I don't. Here is a fun time waster (which I am not doing, believe me! I am working on my paper):

There are 299,968,595 people in the United States of America. If everyone in the U.S. lined up single file, the line would stretch around the Earth almost 7 times. That's a lot of people.

The U.S. Census Bureau statistics tell us that there are at least 88,799 different last names and 5,163 different first names in common use in the United States. Some names are more common than others.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I was surprised that my name isn't more common.

Negotiate with Al Qaeda? How about we fight instead?

I read George Parker's article on Sunday and agreed with some of it but totally did not agree with his Iraqi strategy. And then I saw this and thought it sounded very similar to Parker's proposal. I couldn't believe that they are really going to propose that we bring Iran and Syria into negotiations, the same Iran who said this and the same Syria that is trying to topple the government in Lebanon. Unbelievable, sometimes I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

So, from Parker's article, this part made sense:

...James A. Baker III and Robert Gates, can lead the way out. These are the same men who, fifteen years ago, abandoned Afghanistan to civil war and Al Qaeda, allowed Saddam to massacre his own people, and concluded that genocide in the Balkans was none of America’s business. They are not the guardians of all wisdom. At some point, events will remind Americans that currently discredited concepts such as humanitarian intervention and nation-building have a lot to do with national security—that they originated as necessary evils to prevent greater evils. But, for now, Kissingerism is king.
Yes, I agree that we can't return to the way we used to run foreign policy and I also agree that the Democrats have no idea what they are doing:
And the Democrats? Since winning the midterms, they have been talking about the endgame in Iraq with a strangely serene sang-froid. Last week in the Times, John M. Deutch, who was the director of Central Intelligence under President Clinton, praised the nomination of Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld, and added, “The consequences of withdrawal need not be catastrophic to American interests in the region.” Also last week, on National Public Radio, Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who was an early supporter of withdrawal, casually offered that, if Iraq were to fall apart in the wake of an American departure, “I don’t think it’ll be any worse” than the partition of the Indian subcontinent. A million people are estimated to have died in 1947 during the movement of Muslims and Hindus across the newly drawn India-Pakistan border. Sixty years and several wars later, the two countries confront each other in a nuclear standoff, trade charges of subversion, and periodically exchange fire in the Kashmiri Himalayas.
And he makes a very good point here about reducing troop levels:
It is true that the presence of American troops is a source of great tension and violence in Iraq, and that overwhelming numbers of Iraqis want them to leave. But it is also true that wherever American troop levels have been reduced—in Falluja and Mosul in 2004, in Tal Afar in 2005, in Baghdad in 2006—security has deteriorated. In the absence of adequate and impartial Iraqi forces, Sunni insurgents or Shiite militias have filled the power vacuum with a reign of terror. An American withdrawal could produce the same result on a vast scale. That is why so many Iraqis, after expressing their ardent desire to see the last foreign troops leave their country, quickly add, “But not until they clean up the mess they made.” And it is why a public-service announcement scrolling across the bottom of the screen during a recent broadcast on an Iraqi network said, “The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians not comply with the orders of the Army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by coalition forces working in that area.”
But when he made this point he lost me:
Though it may well be too late, politically a new Iraq policy is finally possible. It should use every ounce of America’s vanishing leverage to get the Iraqi factions, including insurgent and militia leaders and their foreign backers, to sit together in a room, with all the vexing issues of political power and economic resources before them.
Negotiate with Al Qaeda? Is that what he's suggesting? How do you negotiate with a group that wants the world to be under the rule of Islam? And we see how well negotiations are going in Thailand and in Palestine.

And this doesn't sound like someone who is willing to negotiate unless we want to hand over the White House:
Al-Qaeda's Iraq chief threatened on Friday in an audio message posted on the Internet that the terror network will "blow up the White House."

"We announce today the end of a phase of the jihad [holy war] and the start of a new one ... to usher in the project of an Islamic caliphate and restore Islam's glory," Abu Hamza al-Muhajer said in the message.

"We swear we will not rest from our jihad ... before blowing up the filthiest house, dubbed the White House," in the course of establishing the caliphate which began with the proclamation of an Islamic state in Iraq, he said.

The authenticity of the message could not be independently confirmed.

"The location chosen by your mujahidin brethren to set up their state ... is but a stepping stone for the leap," Muhajer said, referring to the "Islamic state of Iraq" proclaimed last month.

An alliance of Sunni insurgents headed by the Iraq branch of al-Qaeda announced the creation of an independent Islamic emirate in Iraq in a video posted on the Internet on Oct.15, after parliament in Baghdad approved a federal Constitution for the war-ravaged country.

The idea of negotiation sounds as helpful as this one. (This wouldn't work with a lame duck president anyway. Maybe he would be interested in someone who has a parent in line for the White House, someone like Chelsea Clinton.)

But thank the Lord, Bush hasn't lost his mind:
U.S. President George W. Bush on Tuesday ruled out any talks with Iran until it suspends its uranium enrichment program, and said Iran and Syria should not destabilize the fledgling democracy in neighboring Iraq.

"Iran knows how to get to the table with us," Bush told reporters during a visit to Estonia. "And that is to do that which they said they would do, which is verifiably suspend their enrichment programs."


Speaking at a news conference before heading to a NATO summit in neighboring Latvia later in the day, Bush also accused Iran and Syria of undermining the government in Lebanon.

"That government is being undermined, in my opinion, by extremist forces encouraged out of Syria and Iran," Bush said. He added that a democratic Lebanon "will be a major defeat for those who articulate extremist point of views."


"I hope their talks yield results. One result that Iraq would like to see is for the Iranians to leave them alone," Bush said. "If Iran is going to be involved in their country they ought to be involved in a constructive way — encouraging peace."
And here is further proof that Iran would be the wrong nation to bring into a negotiation to stabilize the region:
Iran has allegedly played a key role in uniting Hezbollah with the Mahdi Army. Syria has also cooperated, but it is not clear whether senior government officials knew of the arrangement. Although Iran wants a stable Iraq, it apparently made a decision it could benefit from short-term instability in its neighboring country to discredit the United States.
We are acting weak at a time when we should be acting strong.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

The Parable of the Unjust Judge

If you were concerned that they don't have enough books on the parables of Jesus, don't be because I found a lot of them. And some of them are really out there and some of them are pretty good and some of them read into the text like you wouldn't believe.

As you can tell from the subject matter, I've spent the day in the library at Westminster trying to write a paper on the Parable of the Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8). So, I don't have too much to say today about politics, or Iraq or Islamic fascists, or the persecuted church. But you can check back later, much later, probably around midnight (unless I fall asleep) because I have a post ready on appeasement. I just have to add some late breaking news to it (well, late breaking being 6:00 am, I have no idea what's been happening today in the news) before I publish it (it might take some rewriting).

Spy might have killed himself

This is my husband's theory:

Detectives investigating the death of Alexander Litvinenko were last night examining the possibility that the former spy killed himself to discredit Vladimir Putin.

Increasing concerns over the reliability of the Russian dissident's death-bed testimony have prompted police to check every detail of Mr Litvinenko's version of events on 1 November, the day he said he was poisoned.


Some reports in the Russian press have suggested that Mr Litvinenko's death could have been a "martyrdom operation", on the grounds that no state would want to attract the attention of a radioactive poison plot.

But British officials warned against assuming that the spy staged his own dramatic demise.

One senior source warned: "You have to remember this guy was on his guard 24 hours a day. Normal assassination methods may well not have worked."

You would have to be pretty committed to your cause to do something like this. To me it seems pretty extreme but who knows? People have killed themselves over less.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Actually the homeowner was the one with too much free time

And money! $10,000 worth! Here's an update on the Christmas lights video, according to, the homeowner synchronized the lights and music himself! I could have sworn it was stop-action photography!

Thanks to Kevin for letting me know.

This is what happens when you try to appease Islamic Fascists

So, the military removed the Prime Minister in Thailand and put in his place a Muslim with the hope that he would be able to solve their problem with terrorism but it has only made it worse:

Hundreds of schools in Thailand's restive south will shut their doors in response to increasingly vicious attacks by suspected Muslim insurgents against teachers and schools, an official said Saturday.

The closure, which begins Monday, affects all 336 primary and secondary schools in the province of Pattani, where two teachers were fatally shot by suspected insurgents in the past two days.

In one of the killings, attackers shot a school principal Friday, and then set his body on fire. The principal became the 59th teacher or school official killed in three years of violence, said Bunsom Thongsriprai, president of the Teachers' Association in Pattani.


Thailand's new military-installed government has pledged to make peace in the south a priority, and reverse the hardline policies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a Sept. 19 coup.

Defense Minister Boonrawd Somtat said Friday that insurgents had stepped up violence to keep residents from accepting new peace overtures from the authorities.

"They have intensified violent attacks to intimidate and terrify people," Boonrawd said, adding that the shadowy groups behind the violence have not accepted government offers to hold talks.
Doesn't this tell you something? They don't want peace, you can't negotiate with them, they want domination. If you want to appease them, give them the keys to your capitol and let them institute Sharia law.


Nativity Scene Animals at Risk

Who knew Nativity scenes were so dangerous?

In the letter to Armstrong, Vergerio shared some sad fates of previous nativity animals - like Brighty the donkey, snatched from a nativity scene in Virginia and beaten by three young men. Ernie the camel fled a creche in Maryland but was struck and killed by a car. Two sheep and a donkey had to be euthanized after a dog mauling at a manger scene in Virginia.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Christmas Lights

I know some of you probably saw this video last year but I have never seen it so I thought I would share it with those who hadn't see it. The person who filmed this had way too much free time. It must have taken him forever to film it.

Christians on Trial in Turkey

Christians on trial in a country with a"secular" government who want to join the EU. It's amazing they would be doing this at such a critical time as this:

Two men who converted to Christianity went on trial Thursday for allegedly insulting "Turkishness" and inciting religious hatred against Islam, the Anatolia news agency reported.


Hakan Tastan, 37, and Turan Topal, 46, are accused of making the insults and of inciting hate while allegedly trying to convert other Turks to Christianity. If convicted, the two Turkish men could face up to nine years in prison.

The men were charged under Turkey's Article 301, which has been used to bring charges against dozens of intellectuals — including Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk.

The law has widely been condemned for severely limiting free expression and European officials have demanded Turkey change it as part of reforms to join the EU.

They also are charged under a law against inciting hatred based on religion.

Prosecutors accuse the two of allegedly telling possible converts that Islam was "a primitive and fabricated" religion and that Turks would remain "barbarians" as long they continued practicing Islam, Anatolia reported.

Here's a link to a video where SmartChristian says they "boldly declare their faith in Christ and their love for Turkey." I wouldn't know, I can't understand it.

Are You Still Confused?

I know that people come to this blog and wonder what the heck our name means, what does it mean to be Reformed? (I think that ya'll know what chick and blabbing refer to, right? :-) And I've been thinking that I should write something more indepth than what I'm currently linking to (which is our first post where I explain the name of the blog and the purpose of this blog) but I don't have time. So if you are still wondering what it means to be Reformed or a Calvinist, here is the cliff notes version of the TULIP. The TULIP is only one part of Reformed theology (though there are some, a lot of them, who act like it's the beginning and end of Reformed theology).

When I complete this semester, I will try to write something that will cover the stuff that goes beyond the TULIP like covenant theology, glorification, union with Christ, adoption, etc.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Rick Warren Praises Syria According to Syrian News Agency

I was so busy with my paper on Hagar that I missed this story:

Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren is adamantly denying he praised Syria on his recent trip, which he describes as a favor to his Muslim next-door neighbor.

Warren, author of the best-selling "The Purpose-Driven Life," visited Syria this week and was quoted by official Syrian news agencies as saying the U.S. should have been holding dialogues with Damascus, that Syrian Muslims and Christians co-exist peacefully and the Syrian leadership is responsible for the nation's tolerance and stability.
There was a video posted to YouTube and then removed of him saying something positive about Syria:
However, in a video posted on YouTube but removed today, titled "Building Bridges," Warren is shown walking down a Damascus street commenting on political and social life in Syria, saying Christians and Muslims get along with each other.

"It's a moderate country, and the official government role and postion is to not allow any extremism of any kind," Warren says.
He is reported to have said the following according to the "official Syrian news agency:"
* "Pastor Warren hailed the religious coexistence, tolerance and stability that the Syrian society is enjoying due to the wise leadership of President al-Assad, asserting that he will convey the true image about Syria to the American people."

* "Syria wants peace, and Muslims and Christians live in this country jointly and peacefully since more than a thousand years, and this is not new for Syria."

* Warren told Syria's Islamic grand mufti there could be no peace in the region without Syria and 80 percent of Americans reject the U.S. administration's policies and actions in Iraq.
But Warren wrote the following to his congregation:
"Why Syria? The simple truth is that I was invited by my neighbor! We were talking over his backyard fence a couple months ago when my Muslim neighbor, Yassar, said, "Rick, you visit so many countries, I want to show you mine." I was touched by this invitation from my friend and promised, "The next time I'm traveling that direction, I'll visit your home with you." It was a favor for a friend, not a political statement.

"When we got to Syria, our first event was a home cooked meal with 20 of Yassar's family," he wrote. "Then he showed us many of the sacred Christian sites in Syria: the road to Damascus where St Paul was converted, Straight street where the Holy Spirit led Paul, the house where Ananias prayed for his healing, (2,000 years old!), the wall where Paul was let down in a basket to escape the Romans, the tomb of John the Baptist, and the oldest Christian church building in existence (AD 315)."

Warren went on to explain that every Christian he met expressed gratitude to the government for protecting their right to worship.

"Next, my neighbor arranged for me to meet many of the key Christian leaders of Syria, including the Presbyterian pastor who leads the coalition of Evangelical Churches of Syria, the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Catholic Church, the patriarch of the Catholic Church, and the pastor of the oldest church in the world," he continued. "You may be surprised to know that Christianity is legal in Syria, that the government provides free electricity and water to all churches, allows pastors to buy a car tax-free (a tax break not given to Imams), appoints pastors as Christian judges to handle Christian cases, and allowed Christians to create their own civil law instead of having to follow the laws for Muslims. One city we visited, Malula, is two-thirds Christian. Every Christian I met with expressed gratitude to the government for protecting their right to worship. Honestly, that shocked me."

Warren explained how his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came about.

"Then my neighbor invited me to meet the president since I often meet presidents of countries we visit," he explained. "I had talked to Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse who has had years of experience with Lebanon and Syria and asked him what to say. Franklin told me, 'Thank the Syrian president for protecting the freedom of Christians and Jews to worship there.' After what I had seen in the churches I’d visited, I did just that."
He probably said something positive that got twisted by the Syrians but it looks suspicious now that the video has been removed by the user from YouTube.

The Nativity Story

I think that I'm going to try to see The Nativity Story after finals. Samantha doesn't want to see it because it's violent, she was upset that her joyful, beautiful Christmas story would have violence in it. I tried to explain to her that the birth of Christ did lead to violence because Herod killed children in an attempt to kill the Messiah but she doesn't care. She doesn't want the realism. Sarah and I are OK with the realism, so I think her Dad can take Samantha to see Flushed Away, Happy Feet or the new Santa Clause movie (better him than me, though I do want to see "Happy Feet").

I cried when I watched the trailer. I'll probably cry through the whole movie.


Scrappleface has a funny spoof of the trailer here.

“We acknowledge that a baby born in a manger 2,000 years ago has little relevance for today’s audiences,” said an unnamed studio spokesman, “but we’re hoping the new spot will let us ride the coattails of these other films that capture the meaning of the holidays more explicitly.”

Grandma "suicide bomber"

You've got to love a "military" that would use grandmas as foot soldiers. And why in the world would her family be proud? She didn't even kill anyone. What in the world is in it for her? Is there some kind of reward for women who kill themselves for jihad?

Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians, including a top militant commander, in raids in northern Gaza yesterday while a 57-year-old grandmother blew herself up near soldiers.
The army said soldiers spotted the woman approaching them with an explosive device near the Jabalya refugee camp and threw a stun grenade at her. The woman detonated the device, killing herself, the army said. Three soldiers were slightly wounded.
The Israeli operations took place a day after the government decided to press on with a five-month-old offensive in Gaza but not order a massive assault to curb an upsurge in Palestinian militant rocket strikes on the Jewish state.
The armed wing of the governing Hamas movement took responsibility for the attempted suicide bombing and identified the woman as Fatima al-Nejar.
Her family said she had nine children and nearly 30 grandchildren. She is the first known Palestinian grandmother to attempt a suicide bombing against Israelis.
"I'm very proud of what she did. Allahu akbar (God is great)," said one of her sons, Fuad, 31.
On a Hamas-released video, the woman read a statement saying she wanted to dedicate her death to Palestinians held in Israeli jails and to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.
She wore a black suicide belt and had an M-16 assault rifle slung over her neck.
"I offer myself as a sacrifice to God and to the homeland," she said.


Someone finally said "No" to Iran....

Too bad it was just the soccer federation:

Iran was suspended from international soccer by FIFA on Thursday because of government interference with the country's soccer federation.

The decision was made Wednesday at an emergency council meeting of soccer's world governing body. FIFA said it had given Iran a Nov. 15 deadline to reinstate elected soccer federation president Mohammed Dadgan and comply with FIFA regulations.

"This deadline was not met," FIFA said.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving today and that you have much to be thankful for and that you don't stuff yourself too much. And I hope you enjoy your football games and your Thanksgiving Day parade -- though it sounds like they aren't having any balloons and it's raining.

It's great living in a country where we take a day to be thankful to God for the blessings that we have in this country. I'm surprised the atheists and the ACLU haven't taken the government to court to end it. If they had their way, I'm sure they would.

I am thankful that I finished my exegetical paper for Old Testament History and Theology on time but I'm not thankful that I will be spending my break working on my exegetical paper for Gospels.

Ah, the life of the seminarian! I used to enjoy holidays, now they are just markers for deadlines.

(image via)

Updated to add this:


Updated again to add this video of turkeys waiting for the train in NJ:

They knew what was coming and decided to fly the coop (though as you can see in the previous video they can't fly so they have to take the train :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hypocrite Thy Name is Democrat!

You really have to love the chutzpah of someone who is on the record as being anti-gun and yet brings his to church:

A Mississippi mayor has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor weapons charges after carrying a handgun on church and school property, and a gun rights group thinks now would be a good time for him to step down from Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, a Democrat, pleaded guilty Nov. 15 to the misdemeanors to avoid felony charges that would have cost him his job. Instead of jail time, he was fined $1,500 and put on a year's probation.


According to The Hill newspaper, Melton created a stir in the U.S. Capitol in July when he received credentials that would have allowed him to carry a firearm in the building, a privilege normally reserved only for active-duty police officers.

The Hill reported that Melton is known for carrying a firearm with him at all times, including on commercial airline flights and in accompanying Jackson police during crime-fighting efforts.

That FzxGkJssFrk is pretty wise!

Go read about FzxGkJssFrk's dilemma and how he is putting his trust in the Lord. I would be a nervous wreck but he has more faith than I do. Pray for him and his family during this time of transition.

Also, he noticed the same thing I did about the weblog awards, that the conservative category is filled with nominations for a liberal satire blog (which I have no intention of linking to or even naming) but the liberal side is filled with liberal blog nominations which tells you the difference between liberals and conservatives. The conservatives are much more mature except for maybe one person who decided to tweak the noses of the liberals by leaving one satire nomination.

And yeah, FzxGkJssFrk, I couldn't sink low enough to reach their level. They are pretty profane.

News Right Now

Here's something for the news junkies like me! Pretty cool!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Michael Richards Debacle

By now everyone has surely heard about Michael Richards' racist diatribe at a comedy club the other night. The actor best known for his portrayal of Kramer on tv's Seinfeld Show totally lost his cool while performing live at a comedy club. It seems a couple of patrons were heckling him and he went into attack mode, hurling n-bombs and racial insults faster than the speed of light.
Fast forward to last night's David Letterman show. I'm not even going to describe how little respect I have for Mr. Letterman. That's another post altogether. But at Jerry Seinfeld's request Richards was allowed to offer an apology on the live broadcast. I was really surprised at the actors' apparent sincerity. He looked awful and sounded like he was really angry with himself about speaking so horribly.
The more cynical among us might say that he was angry with himself because it's time for another Seinfeld DVD Box set to be released and sales might not go so well.
Some other cynics might say that he's an actor, so naturally he knows how to "look sorry."

I'd like to think that he meant it when he said that he needs to look deeper into himself and hopefully find what would cause him to lash out in such a manner. I'd like to think that this could be a jumping board for many of us to consider our own views on race/ethnicity/religious differences.
Beauty from ashes? Maybe.
Let's pray for Michael Richards.

This is what it means to be a Christian

What amazes me the most about this story is that the Muslims asked for forgiveness and it is still amazing to me that Christians can follow Christ to the point of forgiving and embracing those who beheaded their daughter:

The parents of three Christian girls beheaded by Muslim militants in Poso, Indonesia, have said they forgive their daughters’ killers during a meeting between the three militants and the parents yesterday.

Hasanuddin, still on trial for the crime, pleaded for forgiveness from the parents of the victims during the meeting, organised by local police. He said repeatedly that he had repented and expressed his deep sorrow together with his two accomplices, Irwanto and Haris.

A mother of one of the victims said with tears that she forgave them of their wrongdoings. As a gesture of peace, the Muslim militants and the Christian families shook hands and embraced each other, Asia News has reported.

The police chief, Sutanto, commented that the meeting between the two parties was a historic moment, giving the victims’ families and the murderers the opportunity to “exchange their deepest feelings and seek to forgive”.
The power of God for all the world to see, how else can you explain the desire to embrace men who did this to your child?

Christian Leader Killed in Lebanon

It looks like Hezbollah may be trying to take over Lebanon:

Pierre Gemayel, an anti-Syrian politician and scion of Lebanon's most prominent Christian family, was gunned down Tuesday in a carefully orchestrated assassination that heightened tensions between the U.S.-backed government and the militant Hezbollah.

Anti-Syrian politicians quickly accused Damascus, as they have in previous assassinations of Lebanese opponents of its larger neighbor. Gemayel, 34, an outspoken opponent of the Syrian-allied Hezbollah, was the fifth anti-Syrian figure killed in the past two years and the first member of the government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to be slain.

The assassination, in Gemayel's mainly Christian constituency of Jdeideh, threatens further instability in Lebanon at a time when Hezbollah and other parties allied with
Syria are planning street protests unless Saniora gives them more power.
About a month ago I came across a very interesting quote in one of the assigned reading materials for my Gospels class. It was prophet of the situation going on in Lebanon today but had nothing to do with that subject, in fact it was from a paper on oral tradition:

But what is the process of entering new material into this form of tradition? We will limit ourselves to two illustrations, one a parable and one an historical incident. First, the parable. The official head of the Protestants in Lebanon was, until his recent death, the Rev. Ibrahim Dagher. Rev. Dagher was an authentic reciter of the informal controlled oral tradition of his community. In the autumn of 1967 a theological college in Lebanon where I was teaching was requested by its Board to conduct a series of public lectures relating to the war in June. We did so. The last of the series was led by three Middle Eastern pastors. Each spoke in turn. The first two gave a strong, fair, rational appeal for support of the Palestinian cause. They spoke for some forty-five minutes. Lastly, Rev. Dagher, a Lebanese nationalist, rose to his feet. He spoke as follows:

Once there was a bedouin who had a camel. On a cold night the camel said to the bedouin, 'My nose is very cold. May I put my nose in your tent?' The bedouin said, 'Tafaddal' (please go ahead). A bit later the camel said, 'My ears are very cold. May I put my ears in your tent?' The bedouin said, 'Tafaddal.' Then the camel said, 'My neck is still in the cold wind. May I put my neck in your tent?' The bedouin said, 'Tafaddal.' The neck of the camel is very strong. When the camel had his neck in the tent he jerked his powerful neck upwards and struck the top of the tent with his head, and the tent collapsed on the bedouin and on the camel.

Rev. Dagher then sat down. That was eighteen years ago. The present text is, to my knowledge, the first time that this parable has ever been recorded on paper. The audience instinctively recognized that the camel symbolized the Palestinians, the bedouin referred to the Lebanese and the tent represented Lebanon. The point of view expressed is that of the Lebanese nationalists...The conceptual content of the parable is straightforward. He was saying, 'We the Lebanese have welcomed our Palestinian brothers into Lebanon, but there is danger lest they break down the social and political structures of Lebanon and bring the whole country crashing down around our ears.'

Polygamy? Why not?

For those of you who asked how does gay marriage destroy the institution of marriage? Here it is:

In her battle to legalize polygamy, the only thing Valerie hasn't revealed is her last name. The mother of eight has been on national TV; her photo along with that of her two "sister-wives" has graced the front cover of a glossy magazine dedicated to "today's plural marriages."


All the while, the petite brunette with a smile as bright as Utah's sky has insisted that she's just like you and me: "I'm a soccer mom. My kids are in music lessons. They go to public school. I'm not under anyone's control."

Valerie and others among the estimated 40,000 men, women and children in polygamous communities are part of a new movement to decriminalize bigamy. Consciously taking tactics from the gay-rights movement, polygamists have reframed their struggle, choosing in interviews to de-emphasize their religious beliefs and focus on their desire to live "in freedom," according to Anne Wilde, director of community relations for Principle Voices, a pro-polygamy group based in Salt Lake.


In recent months, polygamy activists have held rallies, appeared on nationally televised news shows and lobbied legislators. Before the Nov. 7 elections, one pro-polygamy group issued a six-page analysis of all Utah's state and local candidates and their views on polygamy. "We can make a difference," the group told supporters.

The efforts of Valerie and scores of others like her are paying off. Utah's attorney general, Mark L. Shurtleff, no longer prosecutes bigamy between consenting adults, though it is a felony. Shurtleff and his staff have established an organization, Safety Net, to bring together at monthly meetings representatives from at least five polygamous communities and law enforcement officers. He has arranged to have representatives of polygamous groups address Utah police. And three years ago, he wrote legislation to reduce bigamy between adults from a felony to a misdemeanor, although pressure from Utah's county attorneys derailed that.


"The thinking is this: This is a big group of people. They are not going away. You can't incarcerate them all. You can't drive them out of the state. So they are here," Shurtleff said. "What do we do about it?"

In their quest to decriminalize bigamy, practitioners have had help from unlikely quarters. HBO's series "Big Love," about a Viagra-popping man with three wives, three sets of bills, three sets of chores and three sets of kids, marked a watershed because of its sympathetic portrayal of polygamists. The U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which voided laws criminalizing sodomy, also aided polygamy's cause because it implied that the court disapproved of laws that reach into the bedroom.

Conservatives said this at the time. It's just a matter of time before it will be decriminalized. Then what's next? Marrying your sister or your cousin?


Monday, November 20, 2006

It's about time!

Why couldn't these people do this over the last six years:

While House Republicans reacted to stinging rejection from America's voters by refusing to change leadership, their Senate counterparts have tried to use their closing weeks in power to enact a last burst of pork-barrel spending. But that effort was stalled last week by independent-minded Republican senators, spearheaded by two abrasive freshmen and one longtime hairshirt. Before Congress recessed Friday for Thanksgiving, the GOP leadership appeared to capitulate.

The freshmen, Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint, campaigning in 2004 in Oklahoma and South Carolina, promised not to fall in line with GOP leaders. Fulfilling that pledge allied them with the long-termer John McCain. They have been backed by Jeff Sessions of Alabama and another freshman, John Sununu of New Hampshire. In the lame-duck session's first week, they played Horatio at the Bridge by combining to block a pork-filled omnibus spending bill.

That would place responsibility for spending excesses on the new Democratic majority taking office next year. It is highly unlikely that Sen. Robert Byrd, a legendary king of pork returning as Appropriations Committee chairman, will reverse the habits of a lifetime and listen to ordinary voters' revulsion over excessive federal spending. "Voters want the earmark favor factory shut down, not turned over to new management," said Coburn. He estimates that Congress can save the taxpayers a cool $17.1 billion by passing a resolution that would continue spending at present levels rather than enacting an omnibus bill laden with earmarks.

The bipartisan dismay the dissenters have caused cannot be exaggerated. Hard-working staffers are beside themselves that their lame-duck feast of pork is being thwarted. K-Street lobbyists are frustrated that they are being deprived of a vehicle for their special interest amendments.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran wanted President Bush, currently in Asia on a trade mission, to phone DeMint and ask him to stop blocking the agriculture appropriations bill. It did not happen, and the Republican leaders mournfully agreed to the cost-cutting resolution. An irate House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis, who has taken pride in passing his committee's bills on schedule and filled with earmarks, called the outcome an "absolute disaster and catastrophe."

Among senators wailing that their pet projects are being derailed, none has been louder than Democrat Kent Conrad, who will be Budget Committee chairman in the new Congress. A self-described fiscal conservative (because he wants tax increases), Conrad in 2005 alone submitted 41 proposals busting the Bush budget. He was so distraught last week that the ag money bill blocked by DeMint contained $4.9 billion in additional emergency relief that he threatened to stop any money bills from passing in the lame-duck session. He did not follow through with this program of actually closing the government.

These people have lost their way. Big government spending isn't going to win them any elections. I wish they would see that. They don't seem to be able to take a hint, do they?

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So, let's set up a Bolton Pay Pal account and contribute to it

According to Claudia Rosett, Bolton won't be able to collect a pay check if Bush has to appoint during the recess:

If Congress is absolutely determined to reject the best UN ambassador the world has seen in about a quarter of a century — John Bolton — then the only alternative if President Bush wants to keep him is another recess appointment. For that, Bolton would have to work without pay. It’s enough to make a person want to suggest that if you really care about trying to do some good in the world via the UN, stop sending your kids out to collect for UNICEF, and start sending them out to collect donations to keep John Bolton in office. Bolton, from everything I have seen, is far more honest and competent on every level than UNICEF, any of the other UN agencies, or most of the senior staff walking the halls of the UN, let alone many of the UN ambassadors whose limos cruise the streets of New York.

I say let's do it! Let's pay his salary and show him and the world our support for his work and stick it to the Democrats and Lincoln Chafee at the same time. Seems like it would be the best money we spent this year (especially if you contributed to the DeWine, Burns or Allen campaigns)

The Election as a Rorschach Inkblot

When I read this article this morning I was struck by how much the recent election is like a Rorschach inkblot, everyone sees what they want to see in the picture:

The beauty of the Democratic Party midterm victory, Clinton muses, is that voters said no to ideology. They wanted to move past fearmongering and demonizing toward true debate. "America rejected shorthand," he says. "People are thinking again." But they are not thinking of a set of liberal policy prescriptions. He argues that the election was about more than Iraq and corruption; it turned on the unmet needs of middle-class voters for whom the country "isn't working anymore." And yet no one is exactly sure how to make it work again.
Though I do agree with him on this one (and I'm pretty shocked to agree with Clinton on anything):
"The people didn't give Democrats a mandate," the former president cautions. "They gave us a chance."
You might not want to bother reading the rest of the article because it's just a snow job for Hillary. Here's a sample:
It's a vindication of Clinton's "Third Way" presidency, though ironic considering that the Democrats lost the Congress in the first place in 1994 in part because of the alleged excesses of "Hillarycare." Now the former First Lady, whose impressive 67 percent re-election to the Senate showed she could win the support of independent swing voters and even a quarter of Republicans, is betting that a moderate image will erase the phony national impression of her as a left-wing harridan.
When someone writes something like that you know they've been spending too much time around the Clintons. Can you say lap dog?

BTW, if she wants to erase the national impression of her as a left-wing harridan, she better stop campaigning because every time she makes a speech and starts raising her voice she sounds like a harridan. My daughters and I were listening to a clip from one of her speeches and they couldn't take it, "Turn it off!" Her voice is like fingers on a blackboard and imagine listening to her for four years of her presidency? I shudder just thinking about it.

Here's a shock

I think this study just states the obvious:

In the book, he cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservatives -- from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-funded social services -- make conservatives more generous than liberals.

The book, titled "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" (Basic Books, $26), is due for release Nov. 24.

When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: "For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."


The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.

Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.

Such an attitude, he writes, not only shortchanges the nonprofits but also diminishes the positive fallout of giving, including personal health, wealth and happiness for the donor and overall economic growth.
All of this, he said, he backs up with statistical analysis.

"These are not the sort of conclusions I ever thought I would reach when I started looking at charitable giving in graduate school, 10 years ago," he writes in the introduction. "I have to admit I probably would have hated what I have to say in this book."

Still, he says it forcefully, pointing out that liberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.


"I know I'm going to get yelled at a lot with this book," he said. "But when you say something big and new, you're going to get yelled at."
Big and new? Are you kidding? Who is surprised that liberals expect the government to help the needy? Why should they do it, it's the government's job?


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Christian Unions in Britain facing discrimination

I wonder if Christians tried to address the gay or atheist unions or sit on their ruling committees this would stop:

CHRISTIANS on campuses across Britain are preparing to take legal action against university authorities, accusing them of driving their religious beliefs underground, The Times has learnt.

Christian unions claim that they are being singled out as a “soft target” by student associations because they refuse to allow non-Christians to address their meetings or sit on ruling committees.

The dispute follows the associations’ decisions at four universities to ban the unions from official lists of societies or deny them access to facilities or privileges. Christian unions at Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Birmingham universities are all taking legal advice after being accused of excluding non-Christians, promoting homophobia and even discriminating against those of transgender sexuality.


In Exeter, the Christian union had privileges suspended, including free access to university rooms and funding, after the guild deemed its core statement of beliefs too exclusive. At Edinburgh University, where copies of the Bible were banned from halls of residence last year after protests from the students’ union, the Christian union has been banned from teaching a course about sex and relationships after complaints that it promoted homophobia. At Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh, the union has been told it cannot join the students’ union because its core beliefs discriminate against non-Christians and those of other faiths.

They are beginning to face reality

It's about time we started to see realistic stories about the Democrats agenda. It's not going to be as easy as they make it seem (as Pelosi realized when Murtha was defeated -- her people aren't under her thumb and now everyone knows it and there is blood in the water and she's surrounded by sharks). They have to deal with the Republicans, especially in the Senate and McConnell doesn't sound like he's in the mood to deal.

After retrieving control of Congress for the first time in a dozen years, Democrats will set out to redefine the domestic agenda through policies they say would address the economic needs of middle- and working-class Americans.

Striving for a few quick legislative victories in January and longer-term goals whose details -- and viability -- are not yet certain [yes, admit it, they can only point out problems, they have no solution], Democratic lawmakers want to shift the dialogue on Capitol Hill to workers' pay, college tuition, health-care costs, retirees' income and other issues that touch ordinary families.

Their success is not assured. Democrats will hold a tenuous 51 to 49 majority in the Senate, where Republicans and the Bush administration will be well-positioned to thwart their legislation, and Democrats in the House already are showing signs of division. Democrats will face a conflict, too, between the cost of some of their policies and their pledge to tighten federal spending rules.

Still, key Democrats interviewed in recent days portrayed their strategy as an attempt to do several things at once: distinguish themselves from the outgoing Republican majority, heed voters' messages from the midterm elections and lay groundwork for the 2008 presidential campaign, in which they predict the widening income gap in the United States will be a prominent theme.
See, this is the bottom line, how do they do the expensive things they want to do without deficient spending or raising taxes?

And if they really want to address the issue that the voters cared about then they better rethink spending:
By a Margin of Nearly 3-to-1, Americans Vote for Small Government, Even if it Means Fewer Services. When given the choice between a “larger federal government that provided more services and charged higher taxes” and a “smaller federal government that provided fewer services and charged lower taxes,” Americans indicated a clear desire to downsize. In fact, 62% of voters preferred the smaller government – and with intensity as 41% would definitely pick a leaner administration. By comparison, just 22% opted for the more expansive government.
Sorry guys, if you wanted smaller government and less taxes, you shouldn't have elected Democrats. They said they want less spending but their nature will manifest itself. They are like the scorpion who says to the frog, "Carry me across the pond" and the frog says "No, you will sting me." But the scorpion says, "If I do, then I would die as well." So the frog carries the scorpion on his back and as they are crossing the pond the scorpion stings the frog and the frog says, "Why did you do that?" The scorpion replies, "I couldn't help myself, it's my nature."

Tax and spend is the nature of Democrats.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Studio 60

I've been watching Studio 60 and each week it's getting harder to watch. I think Matthew Perry is a great comedic actor but his character's hatred of Christianity is making it hard for me to watch the show. And the fact that the writers know absolutely nothing about Christianity doesn't help. A recent episode demonstrated that. They did a sketch about taking Jesus' name in vain (I'm assuming that you don't live in a box and that you know that the show is a combination West Wing meets Saturday Night Live). And in the sketch, which was truly unfunny and painful to watch, Jesus doesn't care if they take his name or his Father's name in vain because "caring for the weakest among us is my thing." That would be news to anyone who has read the Bible:

Exodus 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Though the Bible is filled with many verses about God's care for the "weakest among us," Jesus came to glorify the Father and to set his people free from sin.:
John 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 "I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
It's not just about you being able to do what you want to do without any regard to sin. And that is the main point of the sketch. The writers thought it would be funny to have a Jesus who doesn't really care about what men do, he loves them and wants them to do their own thing. They have to be able to take his name in vain because they get frustrated, that's just the way they are. They think that God understands our weakness and excuses it but that's not the case. He does understand our weakness and yet still expects us to live up to his standard but in his grace he came to pay the penalty for our weakness, not to excuse it. He takes the penalty freely, without payment, it is a gift. But if you reject that gift, then you will pay the price yourself. That includes taking the Lord's name in vain -- which is part of the Ten Commandments. Pretty clear. If you're going to mock the religion you might want to learn it first. It might make for funnier comedy.

But what is worse (a whole lot worse) is that Jesus says he forgave his Father for the cross. Why in the world would you write something about Jesus when you haven't a clue about the Jesus you are ridiculing. Comedy is funny when it's based in truth, it is so clear that the don't have the slightest clue who Jesus is.

Jesus would never say something like that because God the Father is perfect and has no need to be forgiven. Jesus laid His life down. God didn't force the cross on Him, He picked it up. He made the decision to be obedient to the Father, He did it willingly:
Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."
Sheesh, people read the Bible, it's pretty clear.

One final note to the producers and writers of this show: do you really think this is edgy? Beating up Christians has been done to death. How about doing something really edgy, how about you beat up sanctimonious writers of liberal shows who beat their viewers over the head with their propaganda. So much so that they lose viewers week after week, now that might be funny.

Update: One of the comments I have been getting in regard to this review is that I didn't clearly state that this was a sketch about censorship and not really about Christ. That the writers were aiming at the censors who were trying to stop them from taking the Lord's name in vain. They can't understand why Christian values were being upheld by censors. Why should the network care about what would offend Christians? Because everyone takes the Lord's name in vain. And they used the Jesus character to show that even Jesus doesn't care about taking his own name in vain, so why are we censoring? And this is what offends a Christian because that isn't true. And that is where I came in. Now, go read the review with this context. You can see that the context doesn't really change my criticism of the show. They don't understand Christ, so I suggest they stick to targets they do understand because comedy is funny when there is truth (like when Harriet was trying to stand up to the executive and not break ties with a Christian group she had been associated with for years, the group canceled her appearance because they thought she wasn't going far enough, now that was funny because you know that something like that would happen -- sad, but with some truth).

Poke fun at Christians all you want, I don't care, in many respects we deserve it. But the point I made at the end of the article holds true, they need to turn around and poke themselves because they deserve it just as much as we do.

But leave Christ out of it because he doesn't deserve it.

Now, if we discuss anything, let's discuss their view of Christ because their view of Christians isn't the point of this review.

And I should make myself clear on one final point, even though this show drives me crazy, it doesn't drive me crazy because it's a mirror. I believe the portrait they point is skewed and doesn't reflect me at all. They drive me crazy because they think they know us but they don't.

Coburn talking smack on Hugh Hewitt

It's one thing to talk tough, but you better back up your words with action because we are tired of the rhetoric. How many years have they said that they want to have this debate? It's time for the judges to be confirmed:

HH: Now Senator Coburn, I'm most concerned about judges, because I watched Senator Leahy during the interregnum there, after Jim Jeffords jumped, and I know it's coming back. I know you have a great deal of interest in this. A) Who's going to lose their seat on Judiciary for the Republicans?

TC: Nobody. Nobody on the Republicans will lose a seat. Mike DeWine lost his election, so therefore, he'll be off, and we will be decreased to one.

HH: That's very good.

TC: So we'll have the same group of fighters on there. Look, if they want to block good judges, then they can do that, and that'll be a great debate for the '08 election. That's one of the key issues that I believe the Republicans didn't talk about. The way we get our country back from a overreaching government, and an overreaching judiciary, is to put people who understand that their job is to interpret the Constitution, not to make the law and set cultural standards. And that's a debate I'm willing to fight Leahy on, and Schumer, every day. If they want to have judges that want to think that we can use European law and postmodern thought that says there are no principles that guide us, there's no truth, then let's have that debate in America, because we're going to win that debate. So I relish the chance for them to try to obstruct the judges.


HH: All right. Now when the Supreme Court nomination comes around, Chuck Schumer said yesterday there's not going to be another Alito, and I guess that means another superb justice will draw his ire. How big of a battle will that be? Because there has never been a Supreme Court nominee who's been denied a debate on the floor of the Senate, and at least a vote on cloture on the floor of the Senate.

TC: Well, I think a couple of things will happen. Number one is that Senator Schumer's wrong. The President has the Constitutional authority to nominate, not Senator Schumer. So the President will nominate, there'll be a hearing on Supreme Court nominees, and if they don't let the President's nominees have a vote, or if they get voted down, which that may more likely the case, is that any nominee has...will get voted down, 10-9. Then it can go to the floor, but without the recommendation...but the majority leader won't bring it to the floor. So they'll attempt to kill all of them in the Judiciary Committee. The key is, and this is a democracy that we work under, and so the wonderful thing will be is we get to talk about voting against somebody that is qualified to be a Supreme Court nominee.

This is pretty funny, Hugh throwing in the fact that he's a law professor to sway Coburn to action:

HH: Let me understand what you're saying. You want to trade the two D.C. Circuit seats to the 9th Circuit and split it? Is that...

TC: Yeah, I want to create a new circuit, so that we have a circuit for the other states out there, and let California have its circuit court.

HH: You know, I wish I could spend hours convincing you as a professor of Constitutional law why that is a terrible idea, Senator, because the D.C. Circuit matters so much in the control of the federal regulatory state.

TC: Well, but the D.C. Circuit isn't overloaded right now.

HH: But, but...

TC: And we've got good votes on the D.C. Circuit.

HH: We don't have enough good votes, and it's aging good votes. But I can understand that. Did that why Keisler didn't get out, because of the Republican decision that they want...

Read the rest here.

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Playstation 3, this year's Cabbage Patch Doll

They've been in the gaming business for years and yet they release a product before they have enough of them? Every year it's the same thing, people stand in line to get the hot new toy for Christmas and then after Christmas there are thousands of them left over.

I remember thinking during the Cabbage Patch Doll craze that these parents were insane to put themselves through the lines and the fights and the mayhem for an ugly doll. And then I had Samantha and she wanted a mechanical cat for Christmas but I couldn't find them anywhere. I asked a clerk where they were and he looked at me like I was insane because they couldn't keep them on the shelves and why didn't I know this? So, I did what any sane mom would do, I told Samantha she would have to wait until after Christmas for it because I couldn't find them. She was disappointed but OK with it. I had a better understanding of what motivated the parents but I think teaching kids the value of waiting for something and handling disappointment is important and an even better gift than the cat.

Then a week before Christmas, we were in PA and I said to Doug, "There's a Toys R Us. I think I'll see if they have them." And I was surprised to see that they had a whole shelf of them. I guess it was popular in some areas but not in others. She was pretty happy to get the toy but she hardly played with it, so I'm glad I didn't wait in long lines and fight another mother for it.

And I certainly wouldn't stand in line for days for the privilege of paying $500 for a game:

Armed thugs yesterday robbed a line of people waiting to buy the PlayStation 3 in Putnam, Conn., and a man who refused to hand over his money was shot in the chest.

In Palmdale, Calif., police shut down a Super Wal-Mart Stores outlet after a line of people waiting for the new game console got out of control. In Tysons Corner, police fired pepper spray toward a crowd of about 200 people who rushed the locked doors of a Circuit City Stores outlet before it opened.

Forget video game violence, Sony Corp.'s new PlayStation 3 delivered a dose of real-world insanity yesterday as it hit retail shelves across the country -- and sold out moments later. Low supply led to long lines and short tempers outside retail outlets.

Sony delivered 400,000 units of the PS3 to the United States for the launch and said it would ship 2 million units worldwide this year.

The low supply, caused by a component shortage, has sparked a demand so high that the $500 and $600 devices were selling for thousands of dollars on the online sites eBay and Craigslist.

EBay spokesman Hani Durzy said 500 auctions for the PS3 had closed as of early yesterday afternoon, with an average selling price of $2,700. A search for "PS3" turned up 11,000 auctions on the eBay auction site yesterday, including one that listed the console for the "buy it now" price of $10,000.


Another new PS3 owner, Michael Torres of Bethesda, said he was too exhausted to take the console out of the box yesterday. Torres and his wife had been camping out at Circuit City since Tuesday. At some point, he came to regret the urge to get a new PS3 no matter what, but he also didn't want to give up his place in line.

"I would never, ever do that again," he said. "You're under a tarp, sitting there with the rain pelting down on you -- you're asking yourself 'why?' and you're not coming up with any good answers."
I wonder if the product is living up to this type of hype and if the company will be selling enough in the long run or did this hype generate more demand than they would have had?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Glenn Beck Show

If you haven't watched this, you need to see it. There is some amazing footage of what the Islamic fascist are teaching their kids. And what's even more amazing is the footage of Muslims who speak out against indoctrinating the children:

China Loves SUVs

So, what are the environmentalists going to say about this:

"Red" China may not approve of our McDonald's, free press, and western ways, but they share our appetite for SUVs.

China's auto market will grow by 40 percent this year, including a surprisingly large percentage of SUVs for a country where income is a fraction of what we enjoy, and the families are smaller.


Today only 24 out of 1,000 people in China own a car, one-fifth of the rate of the rest of the world. If China's fuel consumption were are the same rate per capita as the U.S., they would require all of the petroleum that is currently consumed annually per year...
Tell me they don't have plans to ensure that their future oil supply needs will be met.


No third party talk with Clinton on the horizon...

The people have spoken and they decided that more of the same was needed. The same leadership team that lost the Republicans the House is once again at the helm. So, what's a conservative to do when their elected officials don't seem to be listening to the message the electorate and their pundits are sending them? When their base wants them to be more like Regan and less like Bush 41. Do they leave the Republican party and form their own party? Mark Tapscott thinks it might be time to leave and Captain Ed (via) sounded like it he thought it might be an option, as well as Steve at No Neutrality.

But let me remind those of you who are thinking this way, please remember the election of 1992. Remember when another Clinton was running and there was a third party candidate in that election. I would hate to see history repeat itself. So, let's not go there.

I'm happy to see that Captain Ed's readers have talked him into a more positive direction:

Given that our choices of leadership have become so constrained that Trent Lott represents the lesser of two evils to some, then it is incumbent on conservatives to start finding better choices for these offices. Over the next few weeks, I'll be dusting off my Not One Dime More domain and developing some initiatives designed to do just that. I'm tentatively calling this the First Principles Project, and I'll eventually need plenty of help from the CQ community.

Right now, though, here's your task: find viable candidates for House and Senate seats. That process has to start now. We waited too long to develop and champion challengers in the midterm cycle; we need to start finding the men and women who will follow the First Principles and use them to build broad coalitions and charge into office in 2008. I'm hoping to set up a new clearinghouse for these potential candidates where CQ readers can get to know them and their positions and start supporting them early enough to make a significant difference. I'm hoping to partner with other bloggers on this project.

If you have suggestions or comments, for now just leave them in the comments section of this post. I'll be setting up a new e-mail and website for this project if it generates enough interest. If we can't create our own political party, then conservatives can remake the Republican Party, one candidate at a time.


I would also recommend not giving another dime to the RNC and directing all money to the Club for Growth. Why should the money of conservatives go to someone like Lincoln Chafee who's blocking Bolton's nomination out of spite against Republicans for not supporting his run?

So, no more talk of third parties, it would take too much time and effort to grow one to the point it would be workable for 2008, let's take back the party and force the issue. If the current batch doesn't get it, we should start replacing them in the primary with conservatives who do.