Archive for October, 2007

 I find it deeply curious that after no less than two wide-open fundraising scandals, the Democrats’ political machine trundles on unimpeded, kind of like a steamroller over a slow pedestrian. “What bump?!”

First we have:

Hsu raised big money for Clinton supporters

And then:

As Campaigns Chafe at Limits, Donors Might Be in Diapers

Now I would think that short of adding dead people to your voting rolls, laundering campaign contributions through underage donor fronts would be considered one of the most serious forms of political legerdemain. Apparently not.

To my knowledge, there hasn’t been so much as a press release or news conference to address these accusations of fraud. Merely a few milquetoast mutterings as the Ms. grudgingly returns so many thousands of dollars, with a vacuous declaration that she new nothing about it, NOTH-INGGGG. Er, whatever you say, Sgt Shultz.

I can’t help but look at this and remember HillaryCare, which will REQUIRE everyone to have health insurance, paid for out of the government larder, or the $5,000 education “fund” for children, again paid for out of public/government money. This is, in effect, stealing from Peter to pay Paul. Anytime you see “government” money, remember that it should say, “YOUR money.”

This seems to reflect an almost instictive disregard for the rule of both law and common decency by the Democrats when it comes to funding their agendas. It doesn’t seem to matter where the money comes from, as long as it keeps coming! I can only imagine what will happen if Clinton 2.0 gets into office, and suddenly has alllllll that money at her fingertips, along with the Executive Order pen warmed up and ready.

A potentially deadly combination for this country. IMHO.

 Cross-posted over at Four Right Wing Wackos

What I find interesting in the increasingly vocal debates centering around atheism, the spurious church-n-state thing, and the apparently “growing” influence of a cabal of Christian “Dominionists” over all things secular in this country (?!?!) is the continued distinction the atheist set seeks to make between “rational thinkers” or “free thinkers,” and those who believe in God; as though the two must by definition be mutually exclusive.

The clear implication is that if you had half a brain, you wouldn’t be so easily duped by this whole “God” concept.  That those with a devout religious faith are some how drooling mental defectives, or possessed of so little discernment that they are too easily fooled by charlatans, or by their own willful self-delusions.  That they rely solely on a blind-faith in what was force-fed them by their parents, sunday school teachers, etc., to determine their worldview rather than thinking for themselves.

Yeah, thanks for that.

Flip over most atheists, and underneath you will usually find someone who was either hurt by a church or group of church members, grew disillusioned with what they were being taught because it didn’t provide answers, or rebelled against a faith that was force-fed to them by people long on rhetoric and short on real answers.

Which leads me to wonder, how many atheists has the Church created simply because those within it don’t know their own scriptures?  How many people have been turned away from the Church and God, simply because the people they met were too ill-equipped to answer the questions of a seeker? 

“BECAUSE I SAID SO!” doesn’t help much in winning hearts and minds.

The fact is that a great many of the traits ascribed to many of today’s churches by atheists are far too accurate.  We give them far too much cause to doubt.  Too often people within the Church are content to sit in a Sunday sermon and have 45 minutes of theology spooned their way, blissfully wandering back to their “other” life after a cup of coffee and a few vanilla cream cookies.

Many are even threatened by an active, questioning examination of the Bible, as though an eagerness to learn, or a willingness to admit confusion on an issue, must somehow equate to doubting one’s faith.

To know the Bible, you must know what it says, NOT just what people have TOLD YOU it says.   And this takes work.  And study.  And being willing to wrestle with the difficult issues.  A blind faith is just that…blind.  Unseeing, undiscerning, unable to explain and teach.  You HAVE to question and dig, or your faith will be shallow, and your witness and testimony to the world sallow, weak and ineffective.

From what I’ve read and heard of late, many atheists seem to be characterized not just by an apathy towards religion, or a passive disbelief in a creator God, but by an active distaste or opposition to all things religious. 

Why is this?  What is it about religious faith that inspires some to almost open hostility?  Despite all the evidence that we are quite clearly living in a “post-Christian” era, what is maintaining this perception that there is a “rise of religion’s influence on politics and policies,” when so much of religious thought and expression (specifically the Christian religion) are being steadily expunged from the public eye?

I don’t know. Somebody help me out here.

What is it that makes atheists and other ardent activists feel that we are on the cusp of some theocratic takeover which must be actively opposed lest the “free thinkers” be rounded up and burned at the stake as heretics?

Thoughts?

Perhaps you’ve heard about the big hullaballo wherein Ann Coulter is being flambe’d in liberal circles for have the insulting audacity to suggest that Jews needed to be perfected.  {{insert Obligatory Shocked Gasp}}.  Now, as a stand up comedienne, and as an ascerbic and bombastic editorialist, Ann Coulter is all that and more.  As an evangelist or exegetical teacher, she obviously needs some work.  Her basic facts were correct, but her clumsy delivery made it difficult to see.

The simple reality of it is that Christianity IS about being perfected.  It is about taking what God started in us, and allowing Him to finish it, not by our works, or by The Law, but by His grace and unfailing work IN us.  Not by what we are doing, but by what HE is doing.  Thus Ann, while attempting to be tongue in cheek with her “fast track” remark, was stating the view that the Jews still labored under the Law as their path to righteousness, whereas we (as Christians) live under the redeeming grace of Christ as our path.  In effect we aren’t saved because we obey the Law, we obey the Law because we are saved.

In Galatians  Chapter 3:

Gal 3:2-3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being  -perfected by the flesh? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

This letter to the Galatians was meant as a rebuke to those who were seeking a return to a works-based faith, attempting once again to use obedience to Talmudic law as the path to salvation.  Paul reminds them that their salvation was by faith, not works, and to not seek to finish with human endeavors that which can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit. 

And later on:

Gal 3:29 – And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

According to the writings of the New Testament, Christians are also Abraham’s descendants, like the Jews, but we are his by adoption:

Eph 1:4-5 – For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will…

…by the grafting in of the vine, as reflected in Romans Chapt 11, written by Paul, a (now Messianic) Jew:

Rom 11:13-17 – But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles.  Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen (the Jews) and save some of them…

If the first piece {of dough} is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,

Jews are the firstborn, the favored ones.  Gentiles (non-Jews) are the adopted children.  They are the first piece (of dough), we are the lump added later.  They are the rich root, we are the grafted branch.  But if you’ve ever seen a tree with a branch grafted in, after a while, you can’t even tell where it happened, for the tree brings the new branch in, feeds it, helps it to grow.

Heb 12:22-23 – But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of {the} righteous made perfect.

If fact, Ann misspoke.  Christians are not perfected Jews.  Christians are Jews who are being perfected, by the works of the Holy Sprit in our heart’s and lives.

Rom 4:13 – For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Gal 2:21 – “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness {comes} through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

Phil 3:8/9 -…so that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from {the} Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which {comes} from God on the basis of faith,

Christians believe that God’s Law was meant to bring us to an awareness of sin, and that only the sacrifice of Christ Jesus for those sins can bring redemption.  The law is meant to show us the NEED for a Savior, not to BE the Savior.

Rom. 3:20 – because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law {comes} the knowledge of sin.

Ultimately, under the redeeming blood of Christ, we lose the distinction between Jew and Gentile, Arab, Greek or Anglo, we all become one:

Gal 3:28 -There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

To me, that’s the ultimate kind of embracing diversity.   The only really meaningful kind.

So, I suggest Ann Coulter stick to political/social commentary and leave evangelism of the Jews to those a little more, shall we say, qualified.

Or work on her delivery.

Why did you take the job at the supermarket if you knew that you’d be asked to handle pork, alcohol and tobacco products?

Why did you decide to become a cab driver if you weren’t going to take fares from people who smoke, or drink, or have dogs, or have a juicy ham sandwich in their greasy little fist?

Now, you may consider it “intolerant” of us wacky westerners to ask you to do otherwise, but it’s not intolerance if you know ahead of time that it’s going to be a requirement of the position! One might begin to suspect that you had some sort of, how you say, an agenda?

Don’t want to get your mitts dirty handling “unclean” foods?  Don’t get a job in the %$&%*#’ing deli!

So, cry me a river, Muslim grocery clerks when we don’t seem too sympathetic to your “plight.”  Your brethren for years seemed to have little problem dishing out the warmed over hot dogs and MadDog 20/20 at 7-11.  Why so squeamish all of a sudden?

Birds of a feather, etc…

Fidel Castro Calls Hugo Chavez During Venezuelan Broadcast

“Long-time listener, first-time caller.”

“I am very touched when you sing about Che,” Castro told Chavez during his call to Chavez’s “Alo, Presidente!” program — referring to revolutionary icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara, to whom the program was dedicated.

From one murderous dictator to another, with luv.

Funny, but seeing the names Castro, Chavez and Guevara in the same sentence just doesn’t seem all that weird to me.

So, the next time you don your edgy “Che” t-shirt to go hang out at Starbucks with your Chai latte’ and your “progressive” friends, just remember that Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are there with you, in spirit.  And don’t forget Mugabe.  And Pol Pot.  All “visionaries” ahead of their time.

Heck, I think that’d make a great t-shirt.  The faces of Castro, Chavez, Guevara, Pol Pot, Stalin, you name it.  And then maybe a caption that reads something like…

You Are Judged By The Company You Keep.”TM

Okay, so me, being the easily confused sort of individual that I am, I’m having a bit of a hard time figuring out how you get awarded the Nobel Peace for a PricePrize for “raising awareness about the grim, awful, terrible, inevitable, crushing, life-destroying, people-caused specter of global warming,” not too long after your “acclaimed documentary” gets a rousing kick in the nads for using bad science and overstating its claims.

The Nobel Prize – just one step above a star on Hollywood boulevard. 

 Of course, these are the same jokers that gave one to Yasser Arafat.  You know, that guy from the “religion of peace.” Also known as the “PLA” or “Hamas.”

Tell me again how the NPP is somehow non-partisan?  It’s supposed to be, but is it really?  Or does it, as an unofficial sycophant of the UN, merely seek to lend credibility to the feel good cause of the day, rather than acknowledging genuine accomplishment?

It’s starting to seem a little like my kid’s soccer team, where at the end of the year EVERYBODY gets a trophy for “participating.”  Time was, you got at the most a certificate for participating, and there were actual awards for the exceptional players; most inspirational, team leader, most improved, etc.

But when everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, they really don’t mean all that much anymore, do they?  All you’ve done is lower the bar, not raise expectations.

So do I put Mr. Gore in the same category?  Sorta.  To me, he’s an ideologue who has found an issue around which he can rally a following.  Mr. Gore may wholeheartedly believe in what he’s saying…but that doesn’t mean that he is right. To me, rather than raising an alarm, he serves more as a scare-monger using a high-visibility issue to push an agenda.  The radical environmentalists have long been working to impose penalties on industrialized nations…mostly western, capitalist nations mind you. 

Things like the Kyoto Protocol and other such “legislation” are, at their core, not really about saving the planet, but more about centralizing ever increasing aspects of our national sovereignty under the auspices of UN controls and mandates.  When we are governed by UN laws….we are governed by UN laws, not our own.

Those who seek to bring about this infusion of foreign control have found a highly effective avenue to do so via the environmental movement.  As much as people use, “but what about the children!?” to marginalize dissent, something long the lines of, “But don’t you care about the environment?!” can be every bit as effective in appealing to emotion-based responses, often (and deliberately) at the expense of a reasoned examination of the facts.

So, rather than contributing to world peace, I think Mr. Gore and his movement are accomplishing just the opposite.  By painting an overly bleak and even catastrophic outloook, by carrying on about the coming wars and conflicts over ever-diminishing supplies of resources, he and his cronies could very easily create a crisis where none need exist.

The simple reality of it is that the countries best suited to find solutions to such problems, and fill the needs of those who are genuinely in danger, are the successful, prosperous, and affluent free-market capitalist countries, who, while consuming the largest portions of the resources, are the most capable of distributing their products worldwide.  Yet activist groups and intrusive environmental regulations such as Kyoto seek to bring the heaviest tax on those whose production is the most efficient, and the most environmentally friendly.

Western countries take the earliest and heaviest hit by these groups not because they are the worst polluters, but because they are the most accessible.  They are an easy target, and they’ve shown a tendency to roll over early to these special interests, which only ensures that they will be targeted again with the next, tighter level of restrictions. 

To me, the Nobel Prize has become about lauding or approving of those who best conform to the socially approved meme, whether or not they’ve actually contributing anything meaningful to the furtherance of world peace.

So, in that respect, I guess Al Gore is highly qualified to receive the award.  Kudos, then.

UPDATE:

Yeah, what she said.

And him.

And them.

Bring me a Sebring!!

Posted: October 13, 2007 in Blitherings

Me like. Me want.

 In my travels I’ve had occasion to rent many different types of cars.  I even once had the (mis)fortune of getting a PT Cruiser.  Hated it.  Chick car.  Uncomfortable.  No room.  Bad layout.

But then.  Oh, dear sweet lordy but THEN! This trip I got a Chrystler Sebring. The Limited Edition ta boot, mind you.  Don’t ask me how.  Thrifty folks must’ve been in a good mood or something.

I’m in love.  Perhaps lust.  I am smitten. “What, are you gonna marry it?!”

I just might, though I’ll probably have to move to Massachusetts or some place to do it.

Me like soooo much.  It drives like its floating on a liquid or something. It doesn’t drive, it glides.  And it has major juice; I broke the tires loose at a stop light just by jamming the gas a little.  I think I giggled.  Although, I suspect it was more of a “Muahahahhaaa!”

 Comfy, stylish.  And the stereo! Oh yeah, baby!   Awesome tunage.  Huge bass response.  And dude, check it out — this thing has an option where you can install a multimedia system complete with LCD touch screen and a hard drive so you can load your MP3s right into the car. Totally. Bitchin.

I haven’t been this jazzed about a car, or any other inanimate object for that matter, since I had my Saturn SC2.  Another most excellent ride.  But the Sebring qualifies as a luxury touring car, but with a sporty elegance, rather than the effete snobishness found in the more traditional land yachts of yore.

 I built my own online, and the price tag with the various ultra-bitchin’ upgrades, was $27,465.  Yeeouch.  I need to get busy with the ebay account, selling all those collectible trading cards and my limited edition Furbys.

Oh yes.  It will be mine.  If it takes every resource of the empire, I will possess it.

For it has possessed ME!  {{cackles with maniacal glee}}

Precioussssss….

I find it interesting that not once in this AP article:

Austrian Man Shoots Colleague, Slices off Penis in ‘Honor Killing’

…are the words “Islamic” or “Muslim” mentioned.  Instead, honor killings are said to be:

an ancient tradition associated with Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq and Iran as well as tribal areas in Pakistan and some Arab societies

Hmmm.  Lessee.  What do Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and “some Arab societies” all have in common?

Nope.  No agenda hear, folks.  No media bias.  Move along.  Move along.

Muslim Leaders Warn Pope ‘Survival of World’ at Stake

The “survival of the world” is at stake if Muslims and Christians do not make peace with each other, leaders of the Muslim world will warn the Pope and other Christian leaders (my emphasis) today.

Okay.  Uh, let me get this straight.  A MUSLIM is warning CHRISTIANS that we need to make peace. Uh…uh…uh…I think my brain just exploded.

“As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them

{{coughbullshitcough}}

Lesseee here.  Ever hear of Sudan?  Indonesia?  Nigeria? Any of several other world-famous locations for Muslims beheading Christians for being….Christians? Al Qaeda?  Taliban?  Ringing any bells?

How does this guy, with a straight face, get up and suggest that Christians bear an equal responsibility for achieving peace between the two religions as do the Muslims?  How often do you hear about a gang of Christians ravaging through a Muslim village, killing, raping, and beheading?  How many mosques have Christians burned down, vs. how many churches have Muslims burned down?

When was the last time a Christian issued a fatwa or declared a Jihad against anyone?

The not-so-subtle subtext here is that our attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq occured not because of Sept 11th, not because of a long history of support for violent terrorist acts by these countries…it was because a bunch of Christians wanted to go kill a bunch of Muslims.  And this has just got to STOP, you know?!

This guy should have been laughed at, mocked, and booed off the stage.  But you just KNOW that a broad swatch of academia and the capitulationist set responded with the requisite thoughtful nods of agreement, much hmmming and ahhhing, followed by the obligatory golf clapping.

I’d be a lot more willing to nod and smile and clap at such foolishness if the Muslim world would stop referring to us as “The Great Satan” and blowing up our skyscrapers.

But that’s just me.

Just so we’re clear, charging people an additional $0.50 per GALLON of gas as an “incentive” to conserve gas and thus help fight against global warming is akin to the same sort of bullshit that had people dumping bales of tea in Boston Harbor 200 some-odd years ago.  That’s an extra 10$ on every 20-gallon tank of gas we’re already paying $60 for!  $70 a fillup!  That’s more than a day’s wage for a LOT of people!

Oh, and if that isn’t enough,

Dingell’s proposal would also phase out the mortgage interest deduction from taxable income on loans for large houses over 3,000 square feet and eliminate the tax benefit for homes over 4,200 square feet.

Dingell said while new bigger homes are more energy efficient than smaller ones built years ago, the so-called “McMansions” are usually located in the suburbs, requiring longer commutes that lead to dramatically more energy use.

So, you’re not only being penalized for driving a gas hog, but also for having a big house and the temerity to live to far away from work.

WASTER!  I wonder how fellow Democrats John Edwards , John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, or Al Gore, feel about that?

The money from the gasoline tax would go into the federal highway trust fund to pay for roads and mass transit. The jet fuel tax would be used to improve airports.

Suuuuure it will.  Just like all that money in the Social Security account will be there for me when I retire.  Uh huh.  Buying it.  Really.  And all that money we dump into the Department of Education actually goes to schools.  Snicker.

And, in a related point, most of the people pushing this kind of legislation ride around in limos, or write their fill-ups off as an official expense, and could care less what it actually costs at the pump.  Which, again, is what led to some tea bales being dumped in the aforementioned harbor, once upon a time.

And let’s not even talk about all they gas they burn flying the jet-set in for another environmental “summit.”  When I see Rep. Dingll driving around in a Prius, maybe THEN I’ll take him seriously.

Lends to mind a quote from the movie “300.” 

This will not be over quickly.  You will not enjoy it.” 

And yes, the context is the same.