The attack on the Golden Mosque was aimed at Iraq. Its purpose was to set off a civil war between Sunni and Shi'ite. That the Sunnis cannot win, of course, is not the point. The point is that it would plunge Iraq into bloody chaos, from which it would be likely to eventually emerge as once again a totalitarian state- and quite possibly just the sort of theocracy al Quaeda would like.
But there is another possibility. Having been driven to the precipice by the attack on the Golden Mosque, perhaps the quarrelling factions in Iraq may be frightened by that very prospect into a larger degree of cooperation. National Review Online points out that there have, indeed, been indications that such a thing is happening.
Two things are certain. First, civil war benefits nobody but al Quaeda. And secondly, we're entering into a crucial phrase of the struggle. How this crisis is weathered may well tell us which way Iraq is go…
Do I disagree with her? Not really. She makes the valid point that Tim Treadwell was not, in fact, a bear- however he might have wished to be- and that he seemed to have a problem with his vocation as a human being. Nor am I particularly into tree- hugging. But I can well understand Treadwell's fascination. It's just too bad that it couldn't have been channeled in a direction more profitable for both himself and the bears.
Wikipedia discusses Treadwell's life, death, and obsession here.
He says that it puts him on "the right side of history."
Need more be said?
Well, one thing, perhaps. Note the characterization Clooney's propaganda film in the last sentence. Not exactly objective journalism there. And I wonder whether the writer ever pondered the consequences of Clooney's own extremism...
ADDENDUM: It occurs to me, after reading Dan's contribution to the comments on this post, that the graphic on the right could be seen as a reference to one of Clooney's movie roles, as well as to his politics.
Ten Ways (Actually Twenty Six) in which Doing IT Support is Better than Being a Pastor
Unusually emphatic disclaimer: This is satire (săt'īr' -- "A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit"). One hopes that every item is ponderable; the only thing I don't mean at all is the title -- and I really, really don't mean the title. All clear? Tongues in cheek, then. Here goes:
For the most part:
1. People come to you for help -- instead of assuming that, if you really knew your job, you would intuitively know they needed help, and come to them without being asked.
2. Everyone immediately tells you, to the best of his ability, what his or her actual issue is.
3. Everyone who asks you a question really wants to hear the answer.
4. Everyone who asks you for help really wants to he helped.
It's worth pointing out once again, incidentally, that Blix and his fellow UN inspectors were never tasked with concluding as the result of an exhaustive search that Saddam Hussein either had or did not have weapons of mass destruction. He admitted having them on several occasions; what was required both by the peace treaty that ended the first Gulf War and seventeen subsequent UN Security Council resolutions was that he produce the WMD he admitted having, and destroy them under the auspices of the UN inspectors.
Frank Szewzyck, a member of my Blackhawks email group, posted this partial list of common Chicago slang terms and their translation. It sort of makes me homesick for the Greatest City in the World:
1. Grachki (grach'-key): Chicagoese for "garage
key" as in, "Yo, Theresa, waja do wit da grachki?
Howmy supposta cut da grass if I don't git intada
2. Sammich: Chicagoese for sandwich. When made
with sausage, it's a sassage sammich; when made
with marinated beef, it's an Italian Beef sammich,
a local delicacy consisting of piles of almost absurdly
delicious meat in a perilously soggy bun (also known
as simply "a beef-" and available "dry" as well-
meaning with a less soggy bun- REW)
3. Da: The definite article, a key part of Chicago
speech, as in "Da Bears" or "Da Mare" -- the latter
denoting the Hon. Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as he's
Sidney, our orange-winged amazon, has recently taken to challenging our macaw, Magoo, to fight. Sidney is perhaps a third of Magoo's size, and would fare in this battle about as well as Iran would if it got involved in a scrap with Israel.
This is not to minimize either Iran's military capacity or the difficulties of fighting a war on Iranian soil. It's just to point out that when picking people to push around, there are wiser choices than the Israelis- especially because they have more nuclear weapons than the Iranians will for a while, and are not apt to hesitate to use them where they will do the most good if they think it good for their nation's chances of survival.
Muslim newspapers in Jordan and Saudi Arabia have published some of those cartoons of Mohammed.
The Saudi paper suddenly ceased publication; the Jordanian one merely faced severe criticism from King Abdullah and his government.
Interestingly, the pictures were published in the Saudi paper along side an article critical of the cartoons. The motivation of the Jordanian paper was expressed by its publisher to the New York Tiimes thus:" I am telling my people, 'Be rational, think before you go into the streets. Who harms Islam more? This European guy who paints Muhammad or the real Muslim guy who cuts a hostage's head off and says, 'Allah-u akbar?' Who insults our religion, this guy or the European guy?"
It should be said that King Abdullah- a strong moderate and staunch U.S. ally- was put in a difficult position by the publication of the cartoons in his country given the recent victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections. But despite the inclination of many Wes…
During the 1980 Presidential campaign on the campus of my alma mater, Concordia College (now University) in River Forest, Illinois, I was involved in a group called Voters Organized to Elect Somebody, or Project VOTES. The idea was to combat student apathy regarding the election, and supporters of all three major candidates pooled their efforts to that end.
One of our professors gave a presentation at one of our weekly events outlining what, in his view, was "really going on" in the world, and giving his critique of the foreign policy of the candidates. One of his observations was that "the Arab world is enjoying a temporary ascendancy" because of oil.
I remember thinking at the time that he was right about the ephemeral nature of that oil-based influence on world affairs. A nation with the technological history and resources of the United States would not forever consent to be subject to energy blackmail. Sooner or later-especially if OPEC and its member states pla…
When I lived in Virginia, I was told that schools closed if they had one inch of snow. I was amused- having grown up in Chicago, and having lived in Iowa about half my life- not only by that, but also by the way drivers on the Beltway would slow down if there was even a little white on the sides of the pavement; I took to referring to them as the "Virginia creepers."
If attempts were being made to intimidate publishers into taking a more favorable view of Islam, and being less critical of it, and it was desired to defy the would- be intimidators, the logical thing would be to be more pointedly critical of Islam- in other words, to refuse to be intimidated. If Rose had chosen to engage in civil free speech, his actions might be defended on simple free speech grounds. In fact, he would have had an air-tight case.
But the moment he chose, instead, to do something outside the bounds of civil speech, two things happened.
First, the very point he was trying to make was obscured. His incivility, rather than Muslim intimidation, became the issue not only for Muslims, but also for any Westerners (and there are apparently all too few) not too blinded by legitimate revulsion at Islam's bullying, totalitar…
It seems that Enthusiasm (the expectation that God will speak to us outside of the external Word) has more uses than simply misleading souls and bringing Christianity into public disrepute (alaPat Robertson).
Many readers of my entries on the Mohammed cartoon fiasco have made the mistake of thinking that I sympathize with the rioters' obscenely disproportionate response to the deliberate, intolerant and childish provocation the cartoons represented. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nor am I under any illusions about Islam's history or nature.
In fact, it seems to me that this picture from the demonstrations in Pakistan pretty much says all that needs to be said on the subject.
I do a magazine rack survey every spring for my Cubs email group, The Cubhouse, of the baseball annuals' opinions of our team's prospects.
I am not optimistic this year. There is enough talent on the team to go far- if everybody stays healthy all season, and performs up to potential. But alas, such things don't happen to the Cubs- and even when the Cubs are loaded, other teams usually get much more done with much less.
They're down on me in the group for my pessimism. But after nearly half a century of following the Cubs, I think I'm entitled.
Thus far, I had come up with one prediction that the Cubs would finish fourth, one that they would finish third, and one that they would finish second. But today I came acrossLindy's- which, through a process of logic unknown to me, picked the Cubs not only to beat out the Cardinals and win the NL Central, but to go on to win the World Series.
Tonight it was CSI's turn to provide America with its dose of bad theology and socially Leftist propaganda.
The plot involved a group with the obviously absurd conviction that life begins at conception. Catherine Eddowes pointed out to the head of the group (a charlatan who posed as a doctor, though she had no medical degree) that throughout a major part of its history the Western church (including at least one pope) held that life began when the mother felt the movement of the fetus (aka "quickening"). Her ignorant antagonist responded that this was merely "her opinion."
Which Catherine, of course, immediately establishes is not the case. Which, of course, it is not. Neither does it reflect the application of Scripture or Christian theology to a modern, scientific understanding of what actually happens at conception- an understanding Eddowes, of course, avoids discussing.
Later, Grissom gets in his licks, suggesting that dating life no earlier than the appearance…
First things first. Pastor Stiegemeyer's response to a previous post alerts me to the possibility that what I have written about the affair of the cartoons might be taken to imply that the Islamic rioters are somehow not responsible for their own actions- that the blame for their behavior lies with that publisher and those cartoonists instead. Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course the rioters are responsible for their own behavior, and in no sense are those cartoons an excuse.
But the point remains that that publisher and those cartoonists deliberately incited them. They, too, bear moral responsibility. One cannot deliberately goad homocidal maniacs- having no other intention but to 'pull their corks,' and knowing their likely response to having those corks pulled- and then claim total innocence when they react precisely in that way!
I have maintained throughout this affair that this is just not a free speech issue. I have well-established constitutional precede…
ABC's "Boston Legal" handed out its weekly dose of socially Leftist propaganda tonight.
The message this time: Catholic hospitals have no right to refrain from violating Catholic teaching by not administering emergency birth control to rape victims. In support of this view, Candice Bergen cited the Third Commandment as evidence that a doctor who works on Sunday doesn't interpret the Bible "literally-" and so Catholic teaching shouldn't be interpreted "literally," either.
No mention of Colossians 2:16, of course. Or Galatians 4:10-11 . No indication that the Christian Scriptures do not regard the Old Testament Sabbath as binding, or that there is no biblical basis whatsoever for the notion that the Sabbath was ever transferred to Sunday.
The outcome: Pro-life rape victim has an abortion, because "she has no choice." "It's always been about power," Candice smugly observes.
Fred Phelps (I decline to use the honorific "Reverend") and his "flock" from the Westburo Baptist Church in Kansas have been picketing the funerals of people who die of AIDS for years, carrying signs proclaiming God's supposed hatred of homosexuals.
Well, it seems that now Phelps has decided that American soldiers dying in Iraq is God's judgment on America for its increasing tolerance of homosexuality. So now he and the Hate Squad from his "church" are picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq.
One need not disagree that our culture's increasing acceptance of homosexual behavior is a bad thing to be revolted by this sort of thing, whether at the funeral of an AIDS victim or a soldier. And I really don't think the First Amendment means that grieving families have to put up with it.
I wonder where Phelps thinks he's going when he dies. Absent repentance, he may be in for a nasty surprise (I John 3:15).
He shouldn't have. While his sensitivity to Holocaust survivers and to the Jewish people is commendable, and while Josef Mengele and his collegues performed their experiments on a unique scale and, for the most part, on people who could walk and talk, the point of Steele's comparison remains apt: when we start performing bizarre medical experiments to cannibalize living members of our own species for the benefit of others, the essential line has already been crossed. The dignity and sanctity of human life has already been compromised- and they can't be compromised to a degree any more than a woman can be a little bit pregnant.
Steele's remarks put the fetal stem cell debate in exactly the terms in which it needs to be discussed. It simply cannot be debated with intelligence or integrity without ta…
Can these guys truly not see that to portray Mohammed in a cartoon- a violation of one of the most basic strictures of Islam- is an insult extended, not only to terrorists and rioters, but to every single Muslim in the world- even the most benign, polite, peaceful, law-abiding, and fair-minded?
I continue to be stunned that anybody can defend a mean-spirited mortal insult directed against an entire religion as somehow a gesture in behalf of free speech, just because some members of that religion- even a large percentage- are homocidal and totalitarian maniacs!
Even if one suggests that Islam as such has a tendency in that direction, does one deliberately and mortally insult an entire world religion on the ground of a tendency?
I'm sorry, but I'm at a loss to see how any grown-up can defend those cartoons. What we're dealing with here is Serrano'sPiss Christ- except somebody else's religion is the target this time.
If only Fr. Cantalamessa's sermon reflected the unambiguous confession of the Catholic church...
But alas, the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent anathamatize the sacred truths the papal chaplain proclaimed in that sermon. And sadly, the very page on Catholic Online which features the story has a link to a story headed, "Pope OKs indulgences for caring for ill."