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Showing posts from March, 2014

A powerful inducement

I've yet to decide for whom to vote in the Iowa Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate- that is, if I can bring myself to ignore my revulsion being in the same party as the Paul and Cruz people and register as a Republican again.

But this ad, I have to admit, is a powerful inducement to support Joni Ernst:

Obama's foreign policy paradox: Americans are embarassed to be wimps

Contrary to what is often claimed, the architect of our defeat in Vietnam, Gen.Vo Nguyen Giap, was not the subject of the interview a section of which is reproduced below. It is not from his memoirs, but from the Wall Street Journal.

The actual interview was with (former) North Vietnamese Col. Bui Tin, who when he gave it had turned against the Communist cause. Here is what Bui had to say:

Q: How did Hanoi intend to defeat the Americans?

A: By fighting a long war which would break their will to help South Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh said, "We don't need to win military victories, we only need to hit them until they give up and get out."

Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?

A: It was essential to our strategy. Support for the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Vi…

The rise of the "progressive" totalitarian

Pastor (and later Father) Richard John Neuhaus was fond of quoting what he called "Neuhaus's Law." It goes like this: "Where orthodoxy is optional, it will sooner or later be proscribed." An essay on that theme by the twice reverend gentleman can be found here.

Actually, the thought is not original with Neuhaus. It should really be called "Krauth's Law." The great American Lutheran theologian Charles Porterfield Krauth originated the idea, and expressed it this way:

But the practical result of this principle [of the church tolerating within her bosom those who claim she is teaching error] is one on which there is no need of speculating; it works in one unvarying way.

When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of others. …

The Dhimmi, two Omars and a Sura

Here's an article on the refusal of the media (and other politically correct institutions) to report accurately on the attitude of Islam toward Jews and Christians.

Of course, the historiography is sloppy, and it only goes to reinforce the point that a great deal of unreasoned prejudice against Islam (as a religion) and Muslims generally (as opposed to a minority) is a very real phenomenon

The "Conditions of Omar" (or "Umar") supposedly date from the time of Caliph Omar I (634–644), but most scholarship suggests that they are apocryphal, and actually originated in the 9th Century. Some recent scholarship, however,  suggests that they may be much earlier, and in fact contemporaneous with the reign of Omar. Either way, there are so many versions of the "Conditions" or "Assurance" or "Covenant" of Omar that it is probably impossible to state their content with much accuracy. Some even claim that it was the Christians and Jews of Omar&#…

Celebrating Democratic vote fraud

Remember the Democratic battle cry in Florida's 2000 recount? "Let all the votes be counted," they enthused- while working to disenfranchise thousands of Florida servicemen whose votes had been legally cast.

All too often (well, usually, as a practical matter, whether the person who uses the term consciously intends it or not), Democratic jeremiads against Republican attempts to "suppress the vote" ( you know- like the networks did when it drove George Bush's Florida totals dramatically down by wrongly calling the state for Al Gore half an hour before the polls closed in Florida's most Republican counties, and the votes were all duly cast everywhere else) are just Democrat-speak for "The Republicans are trying to stop us from stealing votes."

Democratic demands that "all the votes be counted," you see, don't tend to be restricted to all the legal votes. Insist on that adjective, and they go ballistic.

And sometimes, Democrats eve…

Why women shouldn't be ordained

The Rev. Dr. John W. Kleinig of the Lutheran Church of Australia- a former advocate of women's ordination- explains why he changed his mind.

The North American Lutheran Church (NALC) and the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) are two new denominations born after the ELCA's renunciation of Scripture and the entire Christian consensus concerning homosexuality. Both- influenced heavily by sentiment and cultural considerations, and never really exposed to the arguments to the contrary- promptly embraced both women's ordination and the equally unbiblical policy of open communion, unknowingly justifying these practices by pretty much the same unsound process by which the ELCA had decided to ordain and "marry" homosexuals and lesbians. In fact, the use of Scripture by these denomination's- composed by people seeking nothing other than to be faithful Christians, and not sufficiently exposed to the other sides of these issues to be aware of the proble…

Vatican Chief Justice: Obama policies "increasingly hostile toward Christian civilization"

It seems to me that Raymond Cardinal Burke- formerly the Archbishop of St. Louis, and now the Vatican's chief justice- pretty much has President Obama's number.

“It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” Burke told  Polonia Christiana magazine.

Cardinal Burke accurately accuses Mr. Obama of  trying to “restrict” religion:"“Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions.”

Bingo. Mr. Obama- and the Left generally- just don't seem to "get&q…

Frightening and hilarious at the same time

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is accusing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker of being a "theocratic dictator."

His act of theocratic oppression? Tweeting "Philippians 4:13." The verse reads, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."

The Freedom from Religion Foundation people have got to find something more constructive to do with their time. Judicial decisions forcing photographers and bakers to violate their own religious convictions in order to accommodate same-sex "weddings" when willing photographers and bakers are just down the street, or the Obama administration's determination to force folks to violate their religious convictions by providing insurance coverage for abortions despite the fact that nobody forces their employees to work for their particular company are far greater threats to the First Amendment than a public official who is religious utilizing his rights of free speech.

If Gov. Walker is out of line, the…

Fred Phelps's body will soon be mould'rin in the grave... but sadly, his soul goes marching on. On the Left.

Fred Phelps is dead. He either repented his hate, and is with the Lord with all those other unworthy sinners He redeemed (may we all spend eternity among them!), or he is learning too late and to his eternal cost just how wrong he was.

Strange, I think, how much his spirit is reflected by those who take the opposite position from his on the subject of homosexual behavior.

Read the comments on this amazingly objective article on Phelp's death (such articles on the subject of homosexuality are rarely so even-handed in the mainstream media these days), and recall that they're made by the same sort of people who said similar things upon the deaths of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Oh, the hypocrisy of the American liberal, who thinks that the definition of "hate" is "any belief which conflicts with my own," and therefore believes himself absolved, sans the repentance without which no one will see the Lord, of his own hatred!

Fred Phelps: the best friend of the Gay Rights Movement

This article is overly paranoid in suggesting that Fred Phelps was a cynic who chose his abrasive and toxic lie that "God hates (rude euphemism for gay people)" simply for its potential to gain attention and therefore money.

Cynicism is common in this world. But so is evil- and the evil of Fred Phelps's blasphemous message of hate would only be intensified if it were a matter of mere cynicism.

But it wasn't. Some people's hearts are so corrupted that they actually believe excrement like that which formed the substance of the Irreverend Mr. Phelp's satanic message.

And evil feeds on itself. Phelps's well-publicized hatred enabled the Leftist lie that we who are not willing to accept homosexual behavior as the moral and civil equivalent of the act by which the race propagates itself are also motivated by hatred. It has granted a patina of moral authority to the liberal media in its supression of the arguments against same-sex "marriage," and its p…

Ron Paul is still clueless

Ron Paul, whose dedicated cadre of conspiracy theorists, racists, and assorted extremists has amused us all the last couple of elections, still thinks he's living in the 18th Century.

He hasn't gotten the memo that Hitler invaded Poland and nearly conquered the world because Neville Chamberlain had essentially the same view of international relations as Ron Paul does today.

Paul- the social liberal who believes that the U.S., rather than Al Qaeda, was the bad guy on 9/11 and whose bizarre economic theories bemuse conservative and liberal alike- actually defends Russia's effective conquest of the Crimea through a rigged and constitutionally illegal plebiscite, using the same discredited arguments the South used when it tried to illegally secede from the Union.

The irony is that Paul insist that he's a constitutionalist. Strange that he has such little regard for the constitution of the Ukraine- or for international law. Or, for that matter, for the rights of Crimeans w…

Russia declines to give Obama and Kerry their shrubbery

Russia's deputy premier is calling President Obama a "prankster" for the reprisals John Kerry threatened so ominously last week.

As predicted in this space, the Russians are laughing at us- just as Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry invited them to do by their threat to say "nih!" to Vladimir Putin if he didn't give up his ambitions in Crimea.

Mr. Putin's response to the administration's posturing was to recognize the "independence" of  Crimea, a first step toward its annexation.

While the liberal media can be depended upon to downplay the fact, our ineffectual president has embarrassed himself- and America- once again in this latest caper cut by the most diplomatically inept administration in recent American history.

HT: Drudge

The return of the snakes, and the pagan Shamrock: a re-post from St. Pat's Days gone by

Maewyn Succat, the the British son of a pagan Roman official named Calphurnius and the grandson of a Christian priest, was kidnapped at the age of sixteen by Irish pirates, and made a slave. His captivity seems to have been rather gentle; he was employed as a a Druid priest, Milchu, who treated him well.  During his long days watching the flock, he meditated on the Christianity that seems not to have been especially important to him in earlier years.

He finally managed to escape. Once back in Britain, he had a vision in which an angel disclosed to him the Vox Hibernicus- the Voice of the Irish- calling him "noble youth" ("noble" in Gaelic is "padraig") to return to the land of his captivity and convert his former captors to Christianity.  He changed his name from Maewyn ("Warlike") to the adjective the Vox Hibernicus had applied to him- Padraig- and was ordained a priest, consecrated a bishop, and given the official blessing of the …

Kerry to say "Nih!" to Putin next Monday; Kremlin silent on shrubbery demand

Secretary of State John Kerry has given Russia until Monday to reverse course in the Ukraine, or face "serious consequences."

Perhaps he will say "Nih!" to Vladimir Putin.

One thing is pretty obvious, though: there's not much the United States can do next Monday that will faze old Vlad. Which would seem to argue for not setting oneself and one's nation up to look foolish through silly posturing.

Mr. Obama and his administration seem to have a knack for such things. But not to worry. Perhaps we'll get a shrubbery out of the deal.

And the world holds its breath....

HT: Drudge

In today's America, the cross is a scandal even when it commemorates a loved one

I disagree with what you say, so I will defend to the death my right to prevent you from saying it.

-- Something Voltaire never said
The intolerance of the secularist Left, which demands that believers not only be restricted in expressing their faith but wherever possible actually silenced, is reaching the level of the intolerable.

Below, a grief-stricken mother removes a roadside cross marking the spot where her Christian son was killed- because atheists found her exercise of her freedom of speech and of religion "offensive."

As with so much of the ravings of the Far Left these days, this isn't about respecting the beliefs of non-Christians. It's about silencing Christians.

It's an open revolt against the First Amendment.

Hobby Lobby and the First Amendment

Some thoughtful comments by constitutional law professor Phillip Hamburger on the Hobby Lobby forced contraception coverage case, the Obama administration's ongoing war on religion, and their implications for the future of the First Amendment in a world in which the Left increasingly sees it as unconstitutional.

Quayle was no JFK, and Obama is no Eisenhower

Apparently the Paul insanity on foreign policy is hereditary

Rand Paul has come out with his prescription for dealing with the Ukraine crisis.

Like the delusional foreign policy beliefs he shares with his father, Ron, it makes no sense whatsoever.

This guy will not be president- and anyone with an ounce of common sense will do everything in his or her power to make sure that he doesn't even come close. Reality matters- and it seems that the Paul family just doesn't do reality.

Seldom in American history have two less qualified men than Rand Paul and Ted Cruz done so well in preliminary Republican polls. Here's hoping that the party of Lincoln and TR and Ronald Reagan comes to its senses in the coming months- at least outside Iowa, where the nuttiness seems to be part of our state party's DNA.

Blues, Blackhawks both worry me

My Blackhawks are in trouble.

After leading the NHL (or being close to it) most of the season, they've fallen four points behind a very good St. Louis Blues team in the Central Division of the Western Conference. The Blues have been systematically and intelligently rebuilding for some time, and I feared this moment might come sooner rather than later: the Hawks are not assured of supremacy even in their own division.

True, the Hawks have scored 13 more goals than the Blues thus far. But the Blues have allowed 28 fewer. It's no secret that Corey Crawford is a good, but not elite goalie, whereas both Brian Elliot and Ryan Miller of the Blues clearly belong in the elite category (it's too soon to say how Antti Raanta is going to turn out; his 2.40 GAA is .10 higher than "Crow's," though his 12-2 W/L differential is clearly better, and I have the sense that he has more raw talent). In any case, team defense has been terrible, and whoever is between the pipes wil…

Crimean Parliament, surrounded by Russian troops, sets referrendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia

Nobody, of course, consulted the Ukraine. Can you say "armed conquest?"

When Saddam Hussein did the same thing in Kuwait Putin is doing in the Crimea, we went to war.

Obviously, even post-Soviet Russia isn't Iraq, and there's little that we can do in the short term of a military nature without assets in the area sufficient to matter. But as the First Bush said of the precedent, "This cannot stand."

No referendum taken under the present circumstances will be anything like fair or meaningful.

ADDENDUM: Craig Ferguson did a riff the other night about how he seemed to recall some guy with a mustache doing pretty much the same thing in the Sudetenland that Vlad is doing in the Crimea, even down to giving the protection of the ethnic Germans as an excuse. He had a referendum, too. As Craig asked, "How did that turn out?"

A blessed Ash Wednesday from Iowa

Hope you enjoyed your pancakes last night.

Ross Douthat is ready to waive the white flag

I fear that he's right: that our national ability to think and act rationally about the institution of marriage- or even to dialog about it without one side being marginalized and silenced by slanderous charges of hate coming from people who themselves spout hatred and vitriol from every pore- is so far advanced that the Supreme Court will ultimately be forced by the (il)logic of its own position to conclude that that oxymoron of oxymorons, same-sex "marriage," is somehow a constitutional right.

Perhaps he's right about that. Perhaps, too, he's right in saying that the shoddy way Christians have treated gay people in the past has made it inevitable that we will in turn be treated shabbily when same-sex "marriage" becomes the law of the land.

But I'd still like to know why, despite all the hate the Left can muster, cultural conservatives are not buying billboards and TV time to trumpet the facts that might yet reverse the mindless trend: the virtual …

Putin is still kicking sand in Obama's face

Neville Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin, and Barack Obama, and Vladimir Putin: One of the four is a bully.

The other three are patsies.

Guess which are which.

And by the way... when will POTUS and Madeline Albright be apologizing to Mitt Romney for their mockery of his remarks during the campaign concerning Russia's role as our number one strategic opponent?

So. Been bowing and scraping to any more foreign heads-of-state lately, Mr. President?