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Showing posts from November, 2005

Angie: I'll improve German relations with the U.S.

In her first speech to the Bundestag since taking office, conservative German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to work for a closer and friendlier relationship with the United States.

Bi-lateral relations had soured when socialist former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder took sides with France's Jacques Chirac against the United States in the buildup to the invasion of Iraq.

Hastert: Capitol "Holiday Tree" should be a "Christmas Tree"

And while we're at it, maybe we should put any plans on hold to re-name the National Menorah the "National Non-Denominational Series of Inclusive Candlesticks."

To acknowledge and even celebrate the religious heritage of individual faiths is not to endorse them. Perhaps we could even dedicate a vacant lot somewhere in D.C. to in honor atheism.

By the way, since it's Packer Week...

Packeri delendae est!

I think I am about to become sick.

Canada's Liberal government falls!

This gives 'trans-lunar injection' a whole new meaning

Saturn doesn't have "rings" after all!

Free speech?

...And da Bears roll on

The Bucs played 'em tough, though.

Next week, 8-3 Bears play the lowly Green Bay Packers. I am really, really looking forward to the coming Cheesehead debacle, and sincerely hope that Favre- always dangerous even in, shall we say, a less than glorious Packers season- doesn't make me eat my words.

Naw. Won't happen. Not against this defense.

Interesting 'hot stove' rumors

I don't know how I feel about the second of these rumors.

Furcal would instantly solve the most glaring weakness the Cubs' offense has had for years: the lack of a credible leadoff hitter. Another recent rumor, which has cooled off of late, had another free agent- Juan Pierre of Florida- coming to the Cubs to play center field. Either would be a good move.

But while Soriano is a good ballplayer, and I'm not wholly adverse to his being the Cubs' second baseman next year, he's not terribly consistent. I'd rather have Nomar Garciaparra playing there- and he's game; after he's spent the past two seasons on the DL, though, it doesn't look like the Cubs will be willing to spend the necessary bucks to bring him back. On the whole, though, Soriano would certainly be an upgrade over Todd Walker (no slouch himself), and while the article's suggestion that an infield of Aramis Ramirez, Furcal, Soriano, and Derrek Lee would be the best infield in the history…

Some things defy comment

Does Pope Benedict read this blog?

Probably not.

But if he did, I'd urge him to consider this interesting take on Harry Potter- of whom the Pontiff disapproves- at Incarnatus Est.

"Church growth," taken to its logical conclusion

Oops.

Pastor Picard and I were discussing sermon bloopers we've committed after church a couple of weeks ago.

The one from the youth pastor from Colorado with the deer-in-the-headlights look on this page is a doozy.

Good for him!

King Abdullah II of Jordan- the only Chief of State ever to do a guest appearance on Star Trek: Voyager, and for whose head al Quaeda Coward-in-Chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi called recently- has declared war on al Zarqawi and his ilk.

The British and American-educated king may be our best friend in the Islamic world. Through criticized by Islamic militants for his friendship with the West and by many in the West for the autocratic nature of his regime, he has tried to walk the difficult path of moderation and common sense while leading his nation in the direction of reform and gradual democratization.

ADDENDUM: My wife wonders whether the King gets royalties for re-runs of his Star Trek appearance.

Groan.

As far as we know...

And despite my chronic and often petulant ingratitude, God remains gracious to me- and continues, for Jesus' sake, to count me as His own.

I am thankful for many things today: my wife and family, my brothers in sisters in Christ (especially the members of the Lutheran blogosphere and our readers), relative health, employment, and really all I have. But most of all I am thankful that while I was His enemy, Christ died to make me His friend- and that He doesn't withdraw His friendship for me despite the fact that, like those nine ungrateful lepers, I am often something less than thankful.

God is gracious to ungrateful folks like you and me. And I think celebrating that fact is really what this day is all about.

People unclear on the concept III

Message on the sign in front of our local Assemblies of God church: "A test of your faith is your thankfulness in all things."

First, do these folks really believe that guilt is a viable means of engendering either thankfulness or faith?

And secondly, the implication that not only gratitude, but faith itself, are achievements rather than gifts, is about as exactly opposite the message of the Scriptures as it's possible for a concept to be.

Quite an impressive confusion of Law and Gospel for a message only eleven words long- and a good illustration of the problem, from a biblical point of view, with America's national folk religion, Methobapticostalism!

The Feast of C. S. Lewis

I never before realized that C.S. Lewis died on the same day as Jack Kennedy- November 22, 1963.

Kudos, in any case, to the Aardvark for his fine entry on this, Lewis's feast day: his birthday into eternal life.

Denise and I are looking forward to taking our Roman Catholic niece, Maddy, to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when it comes out. Maddy tends to be a little frightened of wild animals- on her one visit to Ashton Observatory, which is located in the woods, she was constantly on the lookout for bears- so we're assuring her at every opportunity well in advance that, in the words of the Beavers, while Aslan isn't safe, he is nonetheless good.

I owe to Lewis my own way of reconciling the notion of hell with the goodness of God- Lewis, that is, and a bumper sticker I once saw while serving my first parish in Webster Groves, Missouri, which read, "Hell is a city much like St. Louis."

I wonder whether God giving those who want nothing to do with Him permissi…

Well, duh!

The Roman Catholic Church is insisting that candidates for the diaconate (and ultimately the priesthood) be free of "homosexual tendencies" for at least three years prior to ordination.

Imagine that. The Catholic church is insisting on something Christianity has taught ever since its inception.

It says a great deal about the state of our culture- and of religion in that culture- that this is news.

You are simply not going to believe this!

I mean... come on!

No media bias. I am so sure.

To quote my seminary roommate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Poland, "Gross me up and gag me with spoon!"

UPDATE: Here is CNN's explanation of the incident.

Judge its credibility for yourself.

"The Origin of Speciousness"

The Rev. Mike Zamzow sent me this link to what is in many respects a fine article on the real story of Charles Darwin and the implications of the theory of evolution.

But the article contains a fatal flaw. It tries to make the patently absurd case that believers in theistic evolution share with Darwin and the other supporters of the theory the notion that evolution took place by pure chance. By definition, of course, theistic evolution actually holds that God guided the process of evolution along pre-determined lines to reach the results He desired.

This is not, of course, to argue that theistic evolution is therefore harmless. Paul uses the figures of the first and second Adams (the second being Christ) to explain the introduction of death into creation, on one hand, and its conquest, on the other. It's true that, in one sense, the mere fact of comparison doesn't actually necessitate Adam being an historical personage; to say that "just as Tom Sawyer got others to do hi…

War critics LIED!!!!!!!

Is that enough exclamation points to match the shrillness of the Far Left's anti-Bush baloney? It's a hard standard to match.

Anyway, the Administration's counter-offensive against the baloney being peddled by the Party of Hate continued today as Vice- President Cheney called critics of the Iraq war on the carpet for their dishonest nonsense about the Administration deliberately misleading anybody in the buildup to this war.

White House finds al-Zarqawi reports "not credible"

Apparently the White House doubts reports that the coward Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed this morning in Mosul, Iraq.

The incident was a firefight, and not, as earlier reported, a suicide bomb explosion.

That in itself makes the reports seem less credible. After all, al Zarquawi's style is slicing the heads off helpless civilians with their hands tied behind their backs, not engaging in actual battle with armed enemy soldiers who can fight back.

Re-alignment in Israel

We're for real, folks!

"He who lives by the sword..."

Arab sources are reporting that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed today in an Iraq suicide bombing.

One presumes that he was not the one intending to die.

This is (or was) the guy who reputed to have personally sliced the heads off of Nick Berg and Paul Johnson and the other foreigners a while back- and the de facto head of the bad guys in Iraq.

HT: Drudge

What a remarkably intelligent article!

Sad day

Rep. John Murtha- normally one of the House's most realistic Democrats in the arena of foreign policy- has chickened out on our committment to Iraq.

HT: Drudge

Meanwhile...

Vice-President Dick Cheney- himself the target of a combined Democrat/Leftist media lynch mob- has reminded the self-reinvented Democratic wafflers on Iraq of what they now want so badly to forget.

This administration has been the target of unprecedented slander from the Left ever since the Supreme Court stopped the Democrats from stealing Florida and the presidency in 2000. You'd think the Lefties would have learned by now that they're not going to get away with it!

Again, HT to Drudge.

Democratic hypocrisy on Iraq

Bill Clinton- in full partisan mode- now says the invasion of Iraq was a "big mistake." Of course, his analysis of the situation was very different when he was president.

For Clinton, there was no "axis of evil," though. It was an "unholy axis." And speaking of an "unholy axis," in his change of positions on Iraq he has a great deal of company among other, equally partisan and equally hypocritcal Democrats in Congress.

I guess the Democrats are hoping the American people have short memories about their own position on Saddam when it was their call- a position pretty much identical to that of President Bush, but one which they simply lacked the guts to impliment.

Mr. Bush's analysis is right on the money: the critics of his Iraq policy are largely hypocrites who are trying to blame him and his administration for policies they themselves supported earlier!

Of course, don't expect the media to point this out.

One medium did: Drudge.

"My name is Jimmy Chirac..."

Was this man cured of AIDS?

A British man was diagnosed with AIDS in 2002- the tests have been re-checked, and found to be accurate- but all trace of the HIV virus had vanished from his system when he was re-tested a year later!!

Doctors wonder whether examining Andrew Stimpson might provide the key to defeating the virus. But thus far, he has declined to come forward for that purpose.

Question, constant readers: Should he be forced to? Remember, this is England; the Bill of Rights doesn't apply.

HT: Drudge

DA Bearsss....

"Let e'vry play clear the way to victory..."

At last, Adrian Petersen gets his chance to start next week. Look out, NFL!

Dubyah accuses war critics of 're-writing history'

Which is, of course, exactly what they've been doing all along- not only as to the circumstances surrounding the war's beginning (including the multiple reasons why we went to war), but as to the question of whether Saddam had those WMD's and what became of them, what Mr. Bush and members of his administration said about them at the time, and what many who are now his critics had to say at the time about the case for doing what they now say was a mistake!

You tell 'em, Mr. President!

HT: Drudge

The French are acting. Yes, the French!

France has finally decided to get tough with those Muslim rioters- and it seems to be working!

I wonder if they'll learn from this.

Well, Ok. I hope they'll learn from this, whatever my doubts.

Pat Robertson does it again

Doesn't he realize what an embarassment to the cause of Christ statements like this are? And does he really think that it's even possible to "vote God out" of a city?

Dumb question. Of course he doesn't. His sense of such things is regrettably on the same level as his orthodoxy.

Small world!

Turns out that Pastor Joe Fremer of The Grateful Christian and I were not only neighbors for a brief time as kids in the Lawndale/ Little Village community on the Near Southwest Side of Chicago, but that he attended Third Grade at the parochial school from which I'd graduated the year before, and that we belonged to the same congregation- Grace!

Dr. Charles Ford, a mathematician at St. Louis University and a well-known Bonhoeffer scholar, left Grace just before my family joined the congregation. Ironically, we met many years later as members of the St. Louis ***A, when I was the pastor at Bethany, Webster Groves (pictured below), and he was a member of Bethel in University City!

Both of us, of course, have returned to Holy Mother Synod since then.


Jordanians to al-Zarquawi: 'Burn in hell!'

This after he claimed responsibility on al-Quaeda's behalf for the Amman bombings which killed 56 of them Wednesday.

Perhaps there's a limit to the degree to which the Islamic world is willing to deceive itself as to the nature of the current struggle. The enemy is crazy enough to kill anybody- and a goodly percentage of the world's Muslims are sane enough to resent it when they themselves become the targets.

Better, though, that he should "turn from his evil ways, and live."

I don't think the Jordanian Muslims share that wish, though.

AHEM! Guess what?!

"Contrary to ongoing reports by mainstream media outlets, WMDs have been found in Iraq, so (sic) reports New York Times best-selling author Richard Miniter in his new book, Disinformation..."

The ongoing, largely unchallenged whopper that President Bush was wrong about Saddam's WMD's (or even "lied" about them- or, more often, "LIED!!!") has always seemed both amazing and ironic to me. Saddam admitted having those WMD's, and gave a detailed inventory, as part of the peace settlement for the first Gulf War. That agreement committed him to disposing with them under UN supervision within 90 days.

He didn't. In fact, he never disposed of them under UN supervision. He played games with the UN inspectors for twelve years, and for an extended period actually kicked them out of the country. In fact, huge quantities of WMD's there was never any doubt that Saddam had at the conclusion of the First Gulf War were never accounted for.

Seventeen UN …

A good night for the Democrats

Corazine was to be expected in New Jersey, and Democrat-in-all-but-name Bloomberg was a given in New York City. But Tim Kaine's victory over Jerry Kilgore in red state Virginia is a real blow to Republican expectations for next year's midterm elections.

Of course, two-term presidents usually face a severe dip in popularity at this point in their administrations, and scandals- even manufactured ones like the Bush Administration is facing at the moment- don't help. Asking the American people to have the patience to do what is right even though it hurts in Iraq doesn't help the President politically, either.

I suspect that after DeLay is no longer in the news, Scooter Libby is inevitably acquitted, and the inuendo in the media about Karl Rove consequently dies down, things will look up a bit for the GOP. And grumble as they might, Americans generally don't shirk their responsibilities to freedom, civilization and history on the battlefield- especially when (the media t…

'We hate France, and France hates us'

Cheer up, my Moslem friend. France hates us, too.

But if you hate France so much... have you considered leaving?

Gee.

Not that they're experts, mind you...

I don't mean to imply that the land of the Tsars, the Soviets, and Vladimir Putin is famous for sound judgment as to what is or is not appropriate in the face of civil disturbances (real or imagined), but the Russian press is beginning to wonder why Jacques Chirac hasn't sent in the Cossacks.

Apparently the Russians are just now figuring out what we realized about the current French regime back in the days when M. de Villepin promised to support military action against Iraq in the Security Council, and then reneged.

Y'think?

Those Muslim rioters in France are in for it now!

Jacques Chirac, Dominique de Villepin and the French Cabinet have authorized local authorities to impose curfews!

Are they sure this isn't an overreaction? Wouldn't it be better to wait another week or so?

In memory of heroes

Awhile back, Bunnie tagged me in a book meme. I mentioned McKinley Kantor's Gettysburg, in which the heroic tale of the First Minnesota Volunteers is movingly told.

Here's the story as it's told at the Park Service's Battlefield site.

I still get chills up and down my spine.

The picture is the First Minnesota Monument at the battlefield, from the Park Service site.

Sarkozy for President!

Can you imagine? Responding to a declaration of war with "warlike words?"

Who knows? If such a Frenchman were President of the Republic, France might even become our ally again!

From Drudge

The French intifada goes national

Moslem neigborhoods in Paris, Nice, Cannes, Lyon, Lille, Marseille, and Strassbourg are now battlegrounds.

Given the large and rapidly-growing French Muslim population (if present trends continue, our children may yet see a Caliphate of Paris!), Chirac and de Villepin have to measure every word... and action.

The beginning of jihad in Europe?