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Showing posts from August, 2007

Things learned this morning by watching local news

Fred Thompson will announce his candidacy for President on September 6.

A Polk County judge has struck down Iowa's law banning same-sex "marriage," and gay couples are mobbing the courthouse here in Des Moines applying for marriage licences.

(The latter state of affairs will not stand, to use George H.W.'s phrase.)

An update on the gay "marriage" nonsense can be found here.

Voice of America's coverage of Fred's impending announcement can be found here.

And now, the ELCA's position on homosexuality has been completely gutted

Two years ago I did an long entry on the long, long history of the ongoing plan by the leadership of the "Evangelical" "Lutheran" Church in America to foist the acceptance of homosexuality on the church's membership no matter what the laity might say about it.

As I pointed out in that entry, the ELCA committed itself to the acceptance of homosexuality as a morally acceptable lifestyle in 1991, when it adopted a carefully weasel-worded statement to the effect that gays are "sinners only in the sense that all of us are sinners," and guaranteeing that- fudging the distinction between orientation and conduct- homosexuals without distinction would be welcome as members of the church.True enough, traditionalists agreed; all sinners are equally guilty before God. No sin is worse than another, and repentance and faith are equally needed by all. Homosexual orientation in itself should not be a bar to membership in the church.

Few noticed the phrase that clinched…

More and more Dems in Congress are becoming "born again" hawks where Iraq is concerned

As the evidence mounts that the President's troop surge in Iraq is working, and that- despite the political problems that remain- the war is militarily very winnable, Congressional Democrats who once were dependable hewers of the Party line are suddenly discovering that it might be a good idea not to withdraw from Iraq too precipitously after all.

The Cubs go rollin' on

Looks like the Dirty Birds are in second place now, two games back of the Cubs.

I watched last night's Cubs-Brewers game from Hessen House, our local German bierstube. It's great to have a team that comes back as often as this Cub team does. And as one looks individually at the performance of the players, it slowly dawns on one that this is actually not a bad team at all.

I'm not counting my chickens, of course; I know better than to underestimate the power of The Goat. But still, I continue to have a good feeling about this year.

I'll feel better, of course, if we can go on to push the Brew Crew back to, say, four and a half games out.

ARGH!!!!!

Just heard two co-workers talking about how every vote for George Bush in 2004 counted twice, and those for John Kerry only counted once. Also how, since George Bush's brother was governor of Florida, he must have stolen that state and the presidency in 2000.

The malicious, unreasoning hate is something we should all be used to by now. But even at this late date, that degree of willful stupidity really bothers me. Had to invent a need to go to the bathroom in order to shut myself up.

Mother Teresa and the way of the cross

In "The Scrupe Group-" the email group I run for Christians with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- folks often complain that they don't feel their love for Jesus, or His love for them; that they don't feel appropriate gratitude for what He has done for them (who does?), that they fear that their prayers may be insecure, and that they are convinced (mainly on the basis of their emotions, or lack of them) that their faith is wanting.

I customarily point out that periods- sometimes very long periods indeed- of spiritual dryness and feelings of abandonment by God are a common theme in the lives of the saints; that feelings of personal unworthiness are in fact a positive sign, so long as Christ's sufficiency is borne in mind; and that, in any case, emotions are an utterly unreliable guide to the status of our relationship with God. This last, of course, strikes at the very heart of the shallow pop theology that dominates "evangelical" circles, and conflicts espe…

Tonight's game

I wonder whether the Bears/Colts game tonight- a replay of the Super Bowl- might be a little more meaningful to the Good Guys tonight than pre-season games usually are.

Probably not. But it sure will be to their fans...

ADDENDUM: Final score, for what little it's worth: Bears 27, Colts 24. Regrettably, the same Rex Grossman showed up who played in the Super Bowl: an interception and three fumbles.

But he says his confidence is intact. Wish mine was!

The last day of the State Fair

Having grown up in Chicago, I only got to attend the Illinois State Fair in Springfield once- back in 1960. My chief memories of the event were acquiring a Nixon button and being startled in the parking lot by a huge, obscenely naked-looking male hog.

Since I've lived in Des Moines, I've often gone to the State Fair. Still debating about whether to go tonight- the last night; after all, things don't generally change much from year to year. Granted, deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos aren't available many other places (for which, perhaps, we all should be grateful), and having grown up with lamb as a staple meat I always look forward to a visit to the Lamb Producers' Pavilion. The booth where they serve huge, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and tall glasses of cold milk also calls to me over the hog manure-scented breezes, as do the inch- thick Iowa pork chops on a stick. And I haven't been there in years. Maybe I'll rouse myself and get down to the Fairgrounds…

Cubs 5, Cardinals 3

For the seventh time in ten tries this year, the Cubs today beat the Cardinals.

At last report Milwaukee was leading Cincinnati. But hopefully the Reds can stage a rally, and increase the Cubs' division lead to a game and a half.

Those first-place Cubs

The Cubs beat the Cardinals yesterday- as usual- and, thanks to the Reds' victory over Milwaukee, are now in first place all alone!

It's destiny, folks. We'll beat the century mark since our last World Series victory yet, goat or no!

FDT visits the State Fair

Fred Thompson visited the Iowa State Fair yesterday, and made the first of many speeches in this state.

Note the anxiety of the AP to emphasize what (with the exception of FDT's fundraising problems) were a series of totally manufactured difficulties his candidacy supposedly faced this summer. Note especially the lack of acknowledgement of the fact that the "lobbying for abortion rights" nonsense has long since been cleared up (Thompson asked some proceedural questions of an administration official on behalf of a partner who was doing the lobbying- in which Thompson himself was not involved).

Yup. The MSM and the rest of the Democrats are scared to death of Fred Thompson. And with good reason.

Here's hoping Masters of Science Fiction gets better

Last night I made it a point to watch a new ABC series, Masters of Science Fiction. It's a Twilight Zone/Outer Limits-style sci-fi anthology hosted by- of all people- Stephen Hawking. Whether Hawking's own identity or the robot-like sound of his voice contributes more to the atmospherics of the show is- sadly- debatable; certainly nothing either Hawking himself or the story he presented last night had to say particularly participated in the kind of brilliance his name evokes.

The story was about as standard a piece of mainstream sci-fi banality as can be imagined. The President of the United States- portrayed by William B. Davis, the Cigarette-Smoking Man of X-Files fame- spent most of the program in teleconference with the leaders of the other great nations of the earth, trying to decide how to deal with the sudden appearance of "enlightened" aliens spouting out-of-context quotations from the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, and other sacred texts to the effect t…

Huckabee- NOT Romney- is the real winner at Ames

A vignette from yesterday's Iowa Straw Poll at Ames:

A reporter enters a Hilton Coliseum men's room, and encounters a young man wearing a Romney T-shirt. "So you're for Romney, eh?," the reporter asks.

"Nah," the young man says- and winks. "Romney's just he one who brought me here."

Given the advantage he had in organization and finance, Mitt Romney's first place finish at Ames was anything but impressive. That his organization (and bankroll) would render the straw poll non-competitive has been obvious for many months; it's the reason why John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson decided not to participate. Lesser candidates remained in the fight chiefly because a second-place finish- ahead of first-tier candidates McCain, Giuliani and Thompson- would lend credibility to their campaigns. Tommy Thompson staked his entire candidacy on finishing second, and lost. Sam Brownback actually decided to go after Romney himself in an effort…

Romney to score meaningless victory today at Ames

Mitt Romney- the only major candidate contesting today's Ames Straw Poll- will win.

Romney- who is rolling in dough and busing volunteers in from all over the state to vote after paying the $35 per voter registration fee that is the real purpose of this fundraising effort for the Iowa Republican Party- had the poll well and truly bought a long time ago, which is why fellow first-tier candidates Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain decided to skip it.

Romney's people, of course, will claim a famous victory, but the result is essentially meaningless. If the straw poll has any real significance, it will be in determining whether Mike Huckabee or Sam Brownback manages to retain viability by finishing second.

Leftist attorney registers domain for anti-Thompson smear site.

A common theme on this blog in recent weeks has been the obviously concerted effort by Leftists in the mainstream media to smear Fred Thompson through repeated hit pieces on non-issues: the sexist attacks on his wife, the shocking news that he did his job as Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee by sharing information with a president of his own party; the silliness about his having done a professional courtesy for a partner doing a lobbying job on behalf of a pro-choice group somehow constituting pro-choice lobbying in itself; and others.

But if there is any doubt how much the Left fears Fred Thompson, the newest dirty trick should dispel it. It seems that a lawyer named Henry Reynolds registered a domain site with an interesting ISP- http://www.imwithfred2008.com/ . The site currently links, for some reason, to a Wikipedia article on a Marxist writer. Hmm.

Originally it led to a web-page extolling the KuKlux Klan and white racism.

Attorney Reynolds is a contributer to M…

Rest in peace, "Brownie"

Ed Brown, who quarterbacked the Bears when I was first rooting for them (at age six or seven),
is dead at 79.

"Brownie, " as Bears radio voice Jack Brickhouse used to call him, was my second-favorite football player, exceeded in my admiration only by great Bears fullback Rick Casares.

Old Number 15 came to the Bears as their third-string signal caller, behind George Blanda and Zeke Bratkowski on the depth chart. By the time I was paying attention, Bratkowski was backing him up, and Blanda (who later quarterbacked for the Oakland Raiders of the AFL) was pretty much a full-time place kicker.

Brown never led the Bears to an NFL title, though he did quarterback them in their losing appearance in the NFL title game in 1956, a defeat at the hands of the New York Giants. He was a consistent quarterback and a fine on-field leader, who probably will not be remembered as widely as he deserves.

Rest in peace, "Brownie."

The reason for Spencer Abraham

There have been those- Carl Vehse comes to mind- who have repeatedly asked why Fred Thompson brought Spencer Abraham on board to his campaign, intimating that something dark and evil is going on here.

Despite the fact that what Abraham occupies is not a policy position, and despite the fact that (whatever might be true of Abraham), Thompson's own record on the Middle East and terrorism leaves absolutely no room for reasonable concern, and despite the fact that I've answered the question more than once, innuendo continues on the Right that somehow Abraham might influence Thompson on policy matters, or that Thompson doesn't really mean his pro-Israel and anti-terrorism votes and positions, or something.

Over and over I've pointed out that there's a perfectly obvious reason why Thompson would want Abraham on board: Abraham is a powerful figure in Michigan, a large state which figures to be difficult for FDT. In case Carl considers this "spin," here's some …