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Showing posts from January, 2010

Hawks prove they know the way in San Jose

In what I suspect will be a preview of the Western Conference Finals this year, the Blackhawks clinched the season series against their main rival for conference supremacy, the San Jose Sharks, with a 4-3 overtime win tonight in San Jose.

Because the teams were tied after regulation, the Sharks get a point, too- which keeps them one point ahead of the Good Guys for the NHL's best record. But the Hawks have won two more games.

Of course, if the Red Wings get their case together, they are capable of making some trouble for the Hawks and Sharks down the line. Can't count the old men out; they are currently fighting to even make the playoffs, but that's only because they've been so banged up.

 But tonight's game matched the two teams which have clearly been the cream of the crop so far. And frankly, I'd be less worried about the Sharks than the Wings in a short series.

HOF decides Dawson will wear the wrong hat

Apparently for historical reasons and despite his own preference, Andre Dawson will go into the Hall of Fame as an Expo, not a Cub.

Or at least wearing an Expos hat, rather than a Cubs one.

Dawson played for ten years with the extinct Expos, and only six for the Cubs. Nevertheless, he feels (and I agree with him) that his greatest impact was as a Cub.

Chicago is where his heart is- and he's ticked off that his bronze image in Cooperstown will be wearing a beach ball with a bill on its head instead of Cubbie blue.

I always assumed that a player who was elected to the Hall and who had played with different teams got to make the call as to which team's cap he wore on the plaque himself. Apparently not. It seems that while the player is consulted, it's finally the Hall's call- and it decided that, since there are comparatively few Montreal Expos in the Hall (in fact, I don't think that before Dawson's election there were any), it would somehow be fitting to commem…


Wonder of wonders, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "deeply resents" the silly (but sadly typical) criticism of the clueless and malicious segment of the international community of the efforts of the United States' relief effort in Haiti. Given President Obama's fondness for apologizing for America even when no apology is owed, this display of national self-respect from a member of his administration is refreshing.

HT: Drudge

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand: an inspiration and a rebuke

Last year was the centennial of Lutheran confessor and author Richard Wurmbrand, who spent much of his adult life in Communist concentration camps for the sake of the Faith.

His work on behalf of those who suffer for Christ all over the world continues in the ministry of  The Voice of the Martyrs. (NOTE: There is one typo in the video: substitute "Romania" for "Armenia.")

I am not an Enthusiast (one who looks for God's voice outside the external Word). I do not believe in looking for Him outside the Word. But I am not about to tell the late Pastor Wurmbrand (who says of a vision he recounts, "extraordinary circumstances result in extrordinary things") that in his extraordinary circumstances Jesus did not act in the extraordinary way He sometimes behaved in the book of Acts.

How does "Gov. Kasich" sound?

Former congressman and TV commentator John Kasich is a guy I've had my eye on for a long time. He's one of the most articulate, intelligent Republicans around. He's not only a star in a party that's hungry for stars, but a first-rate political talent.

You may or may not recall that he made a run for the White House in 2000, and despite his inability to get much traction in that race was in all respects an impressive candidate. Hopefully the second time will be the charm; he'd make a fine president some day, and my gut tells me that he's going to get the chance.

In any case, at the moment, it appears quite likely that he'll be the next governor of the "mother of presidents," Ohio.
After that... who knows?

Chavez's clown act is wearing thin at home

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is not the only left-of-center leader in the Americas who has lost the support of a majority of his people.

In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez's regime is quietly crumbling. Throughout Latin America, the democratic model is winning out over the Castro/Chavez/Ortega paradigm of socialist totalitarianism.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Co-author of UN global warming report admits knowingly using unverified data

Dr. Murari Lal- co-author of a UN report that claimed that the Himilayan glaciers will have melted by 2025 due to global warming- has admitted that the data used is unverified and that it was included in the report soley to increase its political impact.

Dr. Lal's admission confirms other reports to that effect. Meanwhile, American scientists report that temperatures used in a key study often used to support the notion of catastrophic global warming were based on cherry-picked data.

The revelations cast further doubt on the case for catastrophic global warming that has already been shaken by revelations of previous widespread collusion by scientists who support the notion to falsify data and to suppress studies which seemed to contradict it.

HT: Drudge

'Dear Internet...'

For shame, Daily Kos.

Daily Kos has never been a major contributor to the cause of civility in the political arena. But this post comparing pro-lifers to terrorists is moonbattery above and beyond the call of duty.

One does not argue in favor of legalized armed robbery because people who hold up banks are sometimes killed. There were at least three alternatives to back alley abortions before Roe v. Wade: 1)don't have sex (and the number of conceptions which result from rape or incest is well under two percent of the total); 2) if you're going to have sex, contracept; or, 3) have the baby, and either raise it yourself or put it up for adoption by one of the couples who desperately want a baby but can't have one of their own- and drastically outnumber the babies who are aborted every year.

Anything that can be done to improve the alternatives for women considering abortion should be. Bill Clinton to the contrary, nobody is in favor of sending women to jail for having abortions. But there is no ques…

Daily Kos hits a new low

Did you know that pro-lifers are domestic terrorists?

So much for civil discourse. And nary a word about the millions of living members of our species who have been legally torn limb from limb or chemically skinned alive since Roe v. Wade- the decision pro-choice Supreme Court clerks referred to among themselves as "Harry's Abortion-" was handed down.

Never mind Osama bin Laden. Roe makes Hitler and Stalin and even Mao look like pikers. I'd be tempted to cite a politically incorrect figure of speech involving pots and kettles, but I won't. Neither will I point out that what legal abortion is doing to the African-American community borders on genocide.

Instead, I'll outclass the Daily Kos and acknowledge that most pro-choice individuals honesty believe that there are living members of the human species who should not be regarded as persons. To me, that in itself is a scary conviction. But I do not regard these as willing accomplices to mass murder. They are, f…

Tell me another one, Jon

Sure. The ruinous "stimulus" package (that failed to stimulate anything), the feverish attempt to apologize for America in as many countries as he can visit, the attempt to socialize medicine, the systematic attempt to marginalize opponents and the ongoing war with Fox News... these are all the hallmarks of a president who is "governing from the Center."

Uh-huh. And Jon Meacham, the author of the article linked to above, is a moderate, too.

Right. Or perhaps I should say "Left. " Moderate like Keith Olbermann is moderate.

Meacham's piece begins with an elaborate attempt to establish his own centrist bona fides. He protesteth too much- and in any case, Newsweek- the publication for which he writes- has long since lost any reputation as anything but an organ of Far Left opinion. The ongoing attempt by the Leftist media (however hard they try to masquerade as a bunch of Centrists) to portray POTUS as a responsible, sober middle-of-the-roader simply lacks…

Tulsa atheists dissolve non-prayer fellowship with Rev. Beecroft

The Tulsa Area Atheists email discussion group has excommunicated Pastor Mason Beecroft of Grace Lutheran Church for heresy.

He believes in God, you see. They are particular about with whom they don't pray.

I, for one, have no problem not praying right along with an atheist. Or a Mormon, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Moslem, or anybody else who doesn't happen to worship the same God I do.

But it's a shame the atheists aren't so broad-minded.

Wisconsin Synod atheists?

The Rev. Mason Beecroft of Grace Lutheran Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma joined the Tulsa Atheists Online Meeting Group to open a dialog not long ago.

They threw him out.

Now, a case can be made that a Lutheran minister doesn't belong in an atheist discussion group, of course. The problem is that if one is going to make that case, one cannot very well turn around and suggest that people of convictions alien to to those of the Lutheran Reformation (or any other specific religious tradition) have any inherent right to belong to congregations which subscribe to them, either- or to commune at their altars.

There is no right to be admitted, or to be allowed to remain within, any religious or political group with whose rationale and purposes one disagrees. Depending on the group and the circumstances, of course, such a group may (or may not) choose to waive its inherent right to its own internal homogeneity of purpose and conviction. But that's their call, and nobody has any business call…

Hugo Chavez explains the Haitian earthquake

The clown who is president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, says that the Haitian earthquake is not only the fault of the United States, but was deliberately caused by a U.S. "earthquake weapon."


Maybe Hugo and Pat Robertson should go on tour together. No, come to think of it, sometimes "clownish" and "funny" are entirely different concepts.

And it would also appear that it's not always necessary to be somebody whom people can take seriously to be a head of state. Or, for that matter, a TV minister.

HT: Drudge

Der Spiegel says it's time for the world to say good-bye to Obama

Der Spiegel, the Leftist German publication, doubtless over-interprets Tuesday's victory by Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts' special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy when it seemingly concludes that POTUS is toast. On the other hand, the other German publications it quotes imagine successes for President Obama during his first year which pretty much exist only in their own fantasies, and those of his other supporters around the world. Moreover, they attribute to Mr. Obama a bi-partisanship and a centrist ideological bent which are also largely imaginary. Barack Obama is an ideologue who, whatever his water-carriers in the media and around the world may claim, has governed as such during his first year in the White House. And from his first day, he has done so with remarkable ineffectiveness.

But Barack Obama is far from finished. His re-election is still more likely than not. And it seems clear that the major obstacle to passing at least the Sen…

The Catechism by candlelight

We in Des Moines, who have experienced the double luxuries of normal temperatures and no new snow lately, have been hit the last couple of days by a new form of winter suffering: the ice storm. Freezing rains have turned sidewalks and streets into what hockey rinks would be if instead of Zambonis laying down a smooth, even surface, water fell in uneven patterns from the ceiling and froze wherever a strong wind happened to blow it. We've gone from place to place, in other words, across a lumpy hockey rink, upon which would be even more impossible to skate on than it is to walk.

The trees, our mailboxes, our windshields, and everything else have been covered in a sheet of ice sometimes three quarters of an inch thick. Last night Saint Mary was plunged into darkness about an hour and a half before Confirmation class began when the ice which coats the power lines finally brought the critical one down. The lights didn't go on again until a little after nine thirty. So we had Confir…

A Chicago team that actually deserves the respect of the city's fans

Here's an article by Dennis Byrne of the Trib on rediscovering hockey now that Chicago finally has  a professional sports franchise that deserves the city's respect- the one that wears ice skates to its games and has an Indian head on its sweater.

More bad news for BHO

According to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, only about a third of the American people see health care reform as a good idea.

Not good news for a president who has made it the centerpiece of his legislative agenda, and who has just lost his fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

ADDENDUM: Interestingly, the exit polls in Massachusetts show that health care was, after all, the most important issue to voters.

They overwhelmingly wanted to kill it.

Brown defeats Coakley

Not a blowout- but not all that close.

With 87% of the vote in, it's Brown 52%, Coakley 47%. Teddy Kennedy's successor will be a Republican.

The question now: whether Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate will allow Brown to take his seat in a timely manner, or whether they'll hold out and try to keep their veto-proof super-majority until the health care thing is settled.

Preliminary polls indicate that Brown may have gotten as much as 22% of the Democratic vote. Interviews with rank-and-file Democratic voters in Massachusetts indicated that since the state has its own publicly-funded health care system, Obamacare held no great attraction- and certainly none great enough to overcome their frustration at a government in Washington which is spending beyond its (our) means, and has become increasingly unresponsive to the voters back home.

And so, tomorrow morning- on the first anniversary of President Obama taking office- the president and his fellow Democrats will be conte…

Looks like the Dems are conceding the Massachusetts race already

From the way both Obama aide David Axelrod and Martha Coakley's own people are reacting, the Democrats know even before the polls close that Coakley is a dead duck.

Meanwhile, the impending Republican victory in the People's Republic of Massachusetts has Democrats in another solidly blue state- California- worried. Sen. Barbara Boxer is up for re-election this fall, and hasn't polled particularly well against any of the three Republicans who want to run against her.

Boxer's numbers against all three are under the 50% mark- generally regarded as a danger sign for an incumbent even early in a race.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: One pollster- Democrat John Zogby- still thinks Coakley is going to win. But given the size of Brown's lead in nearly all of the polls, the lateness of the hour, and the fact that from all indications that lead is growing rather than shrinking, it's hard to see Zogby's suggestion as anything but wishful thinking.

ADDENDUM II: Zogby now says tha…

I agree with Joe Scarborough

The- ahem!- gentleman to whom Joe is referring has accused Scott Brown- without any evidence whatsoever- of being a racist, a homophobe, and of favoring violence against women.

The hatemongers on both extremes need to be deplored- and ignored.

Olbermann slanders Brown- and Scarborough calls him out for it

Keith Olbermann, the hatemongering left-wing extremist with the chutpah to suggest that others are outside mainstream of American politics or the bounds of reason and civility, has accused Scott Brown- utterly without evidence or even rationale- of being a racist, a "homophobe," and of favoring violence against women.

Joe Scarborough, also of MSNBC, isn't letting Olbie get away with it:

HT: Hot Air

The thing about King

Martin Luther King was one of the greatest Americans of my lifetime. I cannot possibly express my admiration for the man.

However, the ELCA celebrates the day of his death as "Martin Luther King, Renewer of Society and Martyr."


"Renewer of Society," yes. But in order to be a martyr, you first have to be a Christian.

Martin Luther King was not a Christian. He not only denied the Resurrection of Jesus, but he denied his divinity.

Christianity- like every other religion- gets to define its own foul lines. Dr. King, tragically, lies outside the foul lines Christianity has drawn for itself for two thousand years.

None of this makes Dr. King any less great a man. In no way does it detract from his importance to American history or to our society. But we need to get this straight, for the sake of honesty and accuracy: as a great a man as he was, he was not a martyr. Nor was he a Christian, as the Christian Church has defined the term for two thousand years.

Oh, Dah-ah-nah!

Donna Brazille- campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000 and Democratic stratagist du jour for TV journalists- was on CNN tonight, conceding a "slight chance" that Scott Brown could beat Martha Coakley tomorrow and succeed Teddy Kennedy in the U.S. Senate.

Get real, girlfriend. Although CNN "broke" the news that Brown had taken over the lead in the race on the basis of its poll (all the others have been reporting this for the last 24-48 hours), the fact of the matter is that even Democrats are now breaking for Brown. With numbers like these at this point, Martha Coakley has as much chance of being elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts tomorrow as does Spongebob Squarepants.

Scott Brown is going to win tomorrow, and it's not going to be close. To take a page from Hermann Goering, if Martha Coakley wins, you can call me Al Gore.

It's over, Democrats. Done. Finito. Over with. You've lost Teddy's seat, a foretaste of the fiasco to come this November.


The First Amendment vs. Martha Coakley

Should doctors, nurses and other health professionals who have religious or moral objections to abortion, birth control, or other procedures have the right to decline to participate in them? The First Amendment would seem to say yes.

Here is what Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is seeking to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in  Tuesday's special election, says:

HT: All in Faber

Coakley continues to self-destruct

Gen. Coakley has stuck her food in her mouth once again, informing the people of Massachusetts that Red Sox World Series hero Curt Schilling, who supports Brown, is "just another Yankees fan."

Sometimes gaffes are sort of understandable. George W. Bush's adventures in oratory pretty much stemmed from his having atrocious language skills despite an IQ significantly higher than nearly all of the people who spent so much time mocking him as a moron. But Martha Coakley seems to be nothing less than a female Joe Biden or Dan Quayle; for some incomprehensible reason, she somehow manages to keep saying things which nobody could possibly think could do anything other than do her political damage.

I have a strong feeling that next Tuesday the people of Massachusetts will do the unthinkable, and elect a Republican to succeed Teddy Kennedy.

Coakley and conscience

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley- hopefully on her way to a well-deserved defeat in the special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy- has the following to say about the right of healthcare professionals who believe that certain medical procedures are morally wrong and may even violate their religious beliefs not to participate in them:
Here's hoping that the people of Massachusetts strike a blow for religious freedom by electing Coakley's Republican opponent, State Sen. Scott Brown, next Tuesday. HT: Politico

America has buyer's remorse where President Obama is concerned

One week short of a year after Barack Obama took office as president, a Quinnipiac University poll shows a statistical tie on the question of whether America would be better off today if John McCain had won the 2008 election.

Both the Quinnipiac poll and one by CNN and Opinion Research also yield statistical ties on the question of whether President Obama's first year in office has been a success or a failure.

A USA TODAY/Gallup poll shows America also sharply divided on Mr. Obama's handling of terrorism and of foreign policy, but sharply disapproving of his performance on the health care issue and the economy. The Quinnipiac and CNN/Opinion Research polls reflect similar results, except for better marks for Mr. Obama on handling terrorism.

HT: Drudge

Perhaps in his civilian life he farms a piece of bottom land?

Out of regard for the members of the Iowa National Guard, Rep. Ray Zirkelbach (D-Monticello) wants to change our state seal so that it no longer features "a citizen soldier with a plow in his rear."

I personally wouldn't have even thought of it that way if Rep.Zirkelbach hadn't suggested the image. What do you think?

Well, sonuvagun

I don't agree with Chicago aldermen often. In fact, I spent a great deal of time in the early 'Seventies working to make some of them former Chicago aldermen. But I find myself very much in agreement with one ex-Marine member of my home town's city council who finds Avatar an often offensive,lsometimes stupid piece of anti-American, anti-Marine propaganda.

Hurrah, so to speak, Ald. Baker.

HT: Drudge

Conan vetoes NBC shuffle

Looks like Conan isn't going to let himself be pushed around by NBC.


I've always been a Conan fan, and have especially appreciated the chance to watch both Conan and Craig Ferguson during Conan's tenure as Tonight Show host. I hope he lands at Fox so that I can continue.

I used to be a Letterman fan, too- until his arrogance got the better of him. That and potty humor are too much. At least with Conan and Craig, all you have to deal with is the potty humor.

Jay is OK. I especially enjoy "Headlines," a type of humor for which I've always had a weakness. But Conan and Craig both have a zany aspect to their comedy, a creative and unexpected quality which somehow can even make things as unlikely as Raymond the Singing Hemorrhoid Cream Distributor amusing (you had to be there).

Here's hoping that the Redhead has a long and successful late night run somewhere.

Good on Google!

After years of colaborating with the butchers in Beijing- censoring search results and even ratting out dissidents- Google has finally developed a conscience.

In fact, rather than colaborate with history's bloodiest regime any further, it may leave China altogether. The bully boys in power, it seems, hacked the Chinese version of Gmail, and this apparently was the final straw.

Congratulations to Google for finally deciding to live up to its slogan, and stop being evil.

Remember my comment about how you've seen Avatar even if you haven't seen Avatar?

Actually, I think somebody linked to this in the comments over at Cranach:

see more Epic Fails

Apparently Brit Hume isn't allowed to articulate his faith

It seems that Brit Hume committed a faux pas the other day: he suggested that if Tiger Woods craves forgiveness, one place he might find it is Christianity.

This has apparently unleashed a firestorm of vitriol from the secularist Left. Here's a thoughtful response to the truly intolerant folks- the ones who think only those who believe that there is no such thing as absolute truth and that all religions are equally true have a right to a place in the public square.

Such a viewpoint is as anti-pluralistic as one can get.

Perhaps they should let her vote...

Border collies are reputed to be the smartest dogs in the world.

An  Austrian border collie called, for our purposes, "Betsy" (not her real name; she even uses a pseudonym!) is apparently the smartest border collie in the world.

When I lived in a parsonage, for some reason I never got a dog, although I had several opportunities. The two dogs I had when I was in high school and college were both shelties (Shetland sheepdogs)- a breed which, as the list linked to above indicates, are themselves no slouches in the canine brains department. But before I die, I'd like to have one border collie- even if it's one with a less extensive vocabulary than "Betsy's."

Of course, mine would have to speak English.

The mess the Democrats- and all of us- are in

David Horowitz, Pat Caddell (!), and Scott Wheeler discuss the fix the Democratic party- and thus the nation- is in right now.

OK, Horowitz's rhetoric is a bit ripe. But it's worth listening to somebody like Caddell- former advisor to Jimmy Carter and George McGovern- talk about the people who are running the Democratic party and the White House, and how they got there.

There are plenty of reasonable people who voted for Barack Obama and still haven't figured out just how loony the people they put into power really are. They need to wake up.

Half a loaf

The Hawk- Andre Dawson- is a Hall of Famer.

But we continue to await the righting of an historic injustice, and the election of Ron Santo- whose statistics are better than most of the third basemen already enshrined in Cooperstown- to join him.

The best NHL team for the first half of the season?

Three guesses!

Hint: they lead the NHL with 63 points, a 30-10-3 record.... and they have an Indian head on their jersey.

Star of Wonder, Redux

Here's an encore of a post I did on this date a few years ago:

Today is Epiphany, the festival of the the Church Year which commemorates the revelation of the Christ Child to the world. as represented by the Wise Men. And no, we actually don't know how many of them there were. The tradition with which most of us are familiar say that there were three; the earliest Christian tradition says that there were twelve. Matthew just doesn't say. Their names were probably not Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar, and it is unlikely that one was African, one European, and one Asiatic, as beautiful and symbolically meaningful as that notion might be.

Nor were the Wise Men kings- or if they were, we aren't told that by the Bible. What we are told is that they were magi- astrologers, likely from Mesopotamia.

Mesopotamia is the seat of one of the most ancient of culture of Earth's stargazing civilizations. The ancient Babylonians had a knowledge of the heavens which is astounding. Of co…

In the Na'vi, or The Last Samurai Treehugger Dances with Blue Pterodactyls

I saw Avatar on New Year's Day. You've seen it, too- whether you've seen it or not. Spoilers follow.

To call the movie formulaic would be putting it mildly: military man accepts recon mission among the natives, realizes that they are Noble while the American civilization from which he himself comes is Ignoble, switches sides and goes native, and finally leads the home team into battle against his own people. In this case, the military man is Jake Sully, a Marine who has been paralyzed from the legs down, but is nevertheless sent on a mission to Pandora-a moon of a gas giant orbiting Alpha Centauri A- because he is the identical twin of a scientist who had been scheduled to go, but died. Since his DNA is identical, he will be able to interface with his dead brother's avatar- a living being concocted of both human and native DNA (or its local equivalent), and able to look like the homies while housing his own, human consciousness.

And here, at the outset, lies the first …