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Showing posts from April, 2008

Hatred and paranoia are not a Christian theology

Liberation theology is a fascinating animal. Essentially, its the emptying of the Christian gospel of all content, and the replacement of that content with Marxism. It functions more or less the way certain wasps who inhabit the Amazon jungle do: paralyzing its victim (Christianity) and injecting its own larvae into it. The larvae eat the vitals of the host, and then emerge full-grown, leaving the corpse behind just as soon as it's safe.

Or perhaps the aliens from Invasion of the Body Snatchers would be a better example. Liberation theology, after all, uses the appearance of its host as a disguise- as a method of self-legitimization. In the same way, the language and symbols of Christianity- redefined and given alien meanings often radically incompatible with the original meanings- are co-opted by this dishonest form of left wing extremism, and made to serve an agenda with which Christianity as such has nothing at all in common.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright- the hate-filled extremist who …

Sadly, Harkin looks safe

It seems that Iowa's own Tom Harkin, the Senate's second most radical member (Barak Obama is ideologically the furthest member of that august body to the Left, despite his soothing rhetoric about turning the red/blue divide into a nice shade of homogenous purple) is going to get a free pass this year. Harkin's potential opponents look none too formidible.

I don't know what happened to rabid right-wing firebrand Bill Salier, who impressively (though futily) challenged former U.S. Rep. Greg Ganske for the GOP nomination to challenge Harkin last time out. Not that I think Salier would have a snowball's chance on a July afternoon in Washington, mind you. But at least a battle between two ideologues like Harkin and Salier would have been fun.

An announcement

Traumatic as it will be, this blog is about to undergo a major change.

I'm a parish pastor again.

I have to behave.

Henceforth, politics- which has for quite a while been the major focus of this blog- will be a matter treated tangentially here, if it is treated at all. Because of my office, I think it's important to avoid any implication that I'm claiming divine sanction for my own political opinions- which, though informed by my faith, are my own, and very, very fallible. So I'm going to try to avoid blogging here on politics per se.

Those who have read this blog for its political content, however, need not despair. I commend to them the blog of somebody I know quite well, a confessional Lutheran whose political views on most subjects strongly resemble my own: John Faber. I'm sure John will keep us all from getting bored while I struggle to be a good boy with this blog and remain more or less above the fray.

Iran holds British hostages kidnapped in Iraq

The Times of London is reporting that two British hostages kidnapped a year ago in Iraq are being held- in Iran- by the Revolutionary Guards.

Excuse me... but didn't we go to war in Afghanistan (a war which Hillary and Barak Obama continue to support, btw) on the basis of the Taliban's giving refuge to Osama bin Laden? As anxious as the MSM seems to be to suggest that somehow any suggestion of complicity between Iran and the bad guys in Iraq is a confusion of Shi'ite and Sunni (what do they think al Sadr is, a camel?), isn't it about time that the MSM and the Leftists whose line they follow acknowledge that Shi'ite Iran is in fact up to its neck in troublemaking where Iraq is concerned- and that in being complicit in the killing and kidnapping of British and American soldiers, they are in fact actively waging war against us?

HT: Drudge

Lovable winners

In case you haven't been paying attention, my Cubs are now 15-6- tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the best record in baseball.

And last night's thrilling extra-innings victory over the Colorado Rockies was significant for another reason. This may be the centennial of the Bruins' last World Series championship. But last night, they became only the second major league team- the New York/San Francisco Giants being the other- to have won 10,000 games.

Not the Yankees. Not the Cardinals. Just the Giants- and the Cubs.

Democratic nutroots formidable

In 2004, supporters or President Bush pretty much dominated the blogosphere.

Word is, though, that the Democratic nutroots this time around are at least as formidable and well-organized as we were back then. Meanwhile, GOP Bloggers, Blogs for Victo(R)y, and other Republican alliances seem for some reason to be having major problems adding new blogs (including this one) that actually came to them asking to be members weeks and weeks ago.

Hopefully, this will straighten out as the campaign progresses. Otherwise, it could be a long campaign indeed for Republican bloggers trying to repeat our impact in 2004.

"Smarter than a Fifth Grader" gives the wrong answer on the closest galaxy to ours

Last night on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" they asked a guy to name the galaxy closest to ours. He said "Andromeda," meaning M31.

He guessed right- that was the answer Jeff Foxworthy had- but both of them were wrong. The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest galaxy of comparable size to ours. But it's actually the 33rd closest galaxy.

The closest galaxy is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy (pictured at the left), which is only 25,000 light years away, as opposed to 2.5 million light years for the Andromeda Galaxy.

The Virgo Stellar Stream- 30,000 ly away and discovered in 2005- was thought to be the closest galaxy before the recent discovery of the one in Canis Major. The Sagittarius Elliptical Dwarf Galaxy (81,000 ly away) and the Larger Magellenic Cloud (168.000 ly away) were each, for a time, thought to be the closest galaxy.

But it's surprising how sloppy even astronomically knowledgable people and sites can be about the distinction between the galaxy neares…

The "right answer" was wrong

Last night on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" they asked a guy to name the galaxy closest to ours. He said "Andromeda," meaning M31.

He guessed right- that was the answer Jeff Foxworthy had- but both of them were wrong. The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest galaxy of comparable size to ours. But it's actually the 33rd closest galaxy.

The closest galaxy is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy (pictured at the left), which is only 25,000 light years away, as opposed to 2.5 million light years for the Andromeda Galaxy.

The Virgo Stellar Stream- 30,000 ly away and discovered in 2005- was thought to be the closest galaxy before the recent discovery of the one in Canis Major. The Sagittarius Elliptical Dwarf Galaxy (81,000 ly away) and the Larger Magellenic Cloud (168.000 ly away) were each, for a time, thought to be the closest galaxy.

But it's surprising how sloppy even astronomically knowledgable people and sites can be about the distinction between the galaxy neares…

A bitter pill for Barack

Here Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal discusses the damage done to the Obama campaign when he momentarily let slip the condescension toward working class Americans typical of the liberal elites.

"Bittergate" may have bitter consequences for Barack.

Ben Stein takes on the Darwinists- and other intellectual phonies

Seattle is not the most "churchy" of towns, to say the least. Certainly it will never be accused of being a hotbed of Fundamentalism (I refuse to use the slur that's spelled the same way, except with a lower-case "f").

Yet here, in a Seattle newspaper, is a favorable review of Ben Stein's new movie lampooning, among other things, the intellectual arrogance of Darwinism and materialism generally.

Being a big Ben Stein fan myself, I'll have to make it a point to see it!

Emperor Obama wears no clothes

Barack Obama's elitist gaffe about the "bitterness" of people in small towns leading them to traffic in religion and guns seems to have revealed the incredible insubstantiality of his candidacy to people from all over the political spectrum.

Here Thomas Sowell considers that, whereas the Clinton proclivity with playing fast and loose with the truth is well known, the entire Obama personna is a lie. It's about time somebody recognized that the most radical member of the U.S. Senate is not the man to unify America and help us transcend the gap between the "red" and the "blue!"

Meanwhile, liberal John Judis of The New Republic bemoans the permanent damage Obama's miscue may well have done to his prospects for winning in November.

Simliarly, Bob Herbert ot The New York Timesacknowledges the seriousness of the Obama blunder- while almost seeming to blame the white, small-town voters of Pennsylvania for it.

And John Fund of The Wall Street Journal asks …

Barak Obama and the politics of condescension

Some observations here on Barack Obama's elitist remarks about the "bitterness" of small-town white people who have experienced economic loss and hard times.

Mark my words: This one is gonna come back to haunt him, big time. It may be the single biggest gaffe since Gary Hart invited reporters to monitor his sex life.

Wolfe Tone and today

Here's a video on the continuing significance of Wolfe Tone, the Protestant Irish rebel who led the "Turn Oot" (rebellion) of Protestants and Catholics alike against the English in 1798.

My ancestor, Henry Joy McCracken, was one of its leaders- and was hanged by the Redcoats for his heroism.

Jimmy Carter continues to meddle in U.S. foreign policy

Now he's meeting with terrorist organizations- specifically, with Hamas.

The dude is a private citizen. He needs do go fishing more, and meddle in foreign policy considerably less.

Somebody needs to break the news to Carter that 1) he lost the 1980 election, and 2)that he would have been out of office for nearly a quarter century even if he'd won it!

Celebrating media bias

Despite the fuss they make over Fox News, liberals pretty much dominate the mainstream media- so much so that even without consciously trying to slant things, the view of the news the American public gets tends to be severely warped Leftward.

Nothing new in that, of course. Only the most biased of observers could miss the outrageous liberal (er... excuse me.... progressive) bias of the mainstream media. But just to celebrate this cultural phenomenon, the Media Research Center just held its annual DisHonors Awards in Washington.

If you want to learn the...ah, winners.... just go here.

The Party of Hate still hasn't learned its lesson

Four years ago, the Democratic party attempted to recapture the White House basically on the strength of personal attacks against George W. Bush. "Bush hatred" was finally all John Kerry had to offer, and it wasn't enough.

As even the mainstream media is beginning to notice, they're in the process of repeating the same strategy with John McCain. And given the George Soros- MoveOn funded media mudslinging campaign against McCain that's already in the works, it doesn't appear that the Democrats are any more confident of their message this time out, either.

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and over, and expecting a different result. One thing is sure: by this time it would be reasonable to expect the Left to have learned that personal attacks are simply not a substitute for making sense on the issues.

IOC threatens athletes with Olympic ouster if they engage in anti-Chinese 'propagada'

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge says that Olympic athletes are free to express their political opinions- but could be banned from the competition if they engage in "propaganda."

Who decides what is "opinion" and what is "propaganda?" Well, let's put it this way: it ain't gonna be the Dalai Lama.

Way to cave in to totalitarianism, Jacques.

Left gets ready to smear McCain

Look for a concerted media attack barrage by the Left against Sen. McCain in coming weeks, bankrolled by moonbat millionare George Soros.

Mud slinging. It's what these people do in lieu of arguments.

Charlton Heston is gathered to his fathers

Charlton Heston, who was famous for his portrayal of Moses in The Ten Commandments and of Ben-Hur in the film of the same name, is dead at 84.

Mr. Heston was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease several years ago. A graduate of Northwestern University, he met the NU football carrying a staff and led them through a machine-generated purple fog into the Promised Land of Pasadena the year they went to the Rose Bowl.

Too bad USC's defensive line wasn't parted a few more times in that game.

Happy Tartan Day!

By act of Congress, Sunday is Tartan Day- the commemoration of the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, which included these stirring words: "It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honors that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

As an Ulster Scot, I'm not sure whether I should display the Forbes tartan or the Buchanan tartan; "Waters" is a last name associated with both clans, and as I understand it I'm entitled to wear either. The United States, Illinois and Iowa each have their own tartans, though they are something less than historically authentic for obvious reasons.

So I've decided to play it safe and display the Ulster tartan above. I know. It's an Irish tartan, actually. But as somebody whose ancestors migrated back and forth across the Giant's Causeway since time immemorial, it seems appropriate.

Besides, it's the thought, they say, that counts.

Finally!

The Cubs finally had their first victory of the season today.

I guess Soriano had better keep leading off.

Romney leads Palin by 2-to-1 in my VP poll

With 101 votes in, the watersblogged! Republican vice-presidential poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading by 2-to-1 over his nearest competitor, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Romney has 25% (26 votes) to Palin's 12% (13 votes).

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is third, with 7% (eight votes). Then come former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts with 6% (7 votes), Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty with 5% (six votes), Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and "other," each with 4% (five votes), former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani, California Rep. Duncan Hunter, and Secretary of State Condi Rice, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, each with 3% (four votes).

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has 2% (three votes). North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole has 1% (2 votes).

Oklahoma Rep. Mike Coburn, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence have one vote each.

Barak Obama is a what?!

Last night on the way home, I heard a pollster who did some exploratory work for an independent presidential campaign by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg explain on the radio why the mayor decided not to run.

"Barack Obama and John McCain have pretty much co-opted his niche. They're both bi-partisan centrists," he said.

Now, that description certainly fits McCain. And Obama's rhetoric is certainly bi-partisan. But how in the world do you apply the description "centrist" to the most radical left-winger to be a major presidential contender in modern times?

John McCain has spent most of his career in trouble with his own party because of his penchant for crossing party lines to make common cause with Democrats. On the other hand, one of the most striking features of Barak Obama's record is how seldom he has done the same thing.

The bottom line: Barack Obama is a centrist like Madonna is anything at all like a virgin.

Chinese human rights activist Hu jailed in preparation for Olympics

China is preparing for the Olympics in typical fashion: by suppressing dissent.

Activist Hu Jia, one of the foremost domestic critics of Bejing's miserable human rights record, has been jailed for three years and six months for "incitement to subvert state power."

Now all we have to do is wait for Charlie Liu/Bobby Fletcher to show up and explain why this is a good thing.

H.G. Wells' nightmare comes true

The Island of Dr. Moreau is now a reality.

British scientists at Newcastle University announced yesterday that they have combined human and bovine DNA in hybrid embryos. One of the monstrosities lived for 32 days.

This is just wrong, people. I don't care how many times we hear that this is only for research purposes. Human life is human life- and shouldn't be played with this way.

Hawks to televise ALL games next season!

The late Bill Wirtz, who owned my Blackhawks, was famous for refusing to allow home games to be televised.

His son, Rocky, announced today that all of the Hawks games will be televised next season.

Already Rocky has done wonders to make up for a generation of neglect and mismanagement. And although there's obviously no direct connection, the Hawks clinched their first winning season in ages the other night- and are still in the hunt for a playoff berth!

The LCMS may no longer be my theoretical grandfather's Missouri Synod. But the Blackhawks are well on the way back to being the team I've loved and followed all my life- the one my parents loved before me.

Kieschnick spins the "Issues, Etc." mess

Missouri Synod President Gerald Kieschnick has responded to Mollie Ziegler Hemingway's Wall Street Journal article on the cancellation of Issues, Etc.

President Kieschnick claims that the LCMS is just one big happy family, united in doctrine. He even cites a resolution the last convention passed saying so.

He does not, of course, mention that one of the points that resolution points to as a hallmark of LCMS unity- belief in baptismal regeneration- is one which President Kieschnick himself called into question in a radio interview shortly after his election.

Apparently he thinks that calling Ablaze!(c) something other than "church marketing" will actually make it something other than church marketing. As it is, this Law-driven enterprise is much more in keeping with the theology of the methobapticoastal tradition the ruling faction in the Missouri wants so badly to emulate than with the Lutheran and biblical approach: faithfully proclaim the Law and the Gospel, and let the…