Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fear Escape

1 The (A) proverbs of Solomon (B) the son of David, king of Israel: 2 to know (C) wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of (D) understanding, 3 to (E) receive instruction in wise behavior, (F) righteousness, justice and equity; 4 to give (G) prudence to the naive, to the youth (H) knowledge and discretion, 5 a wise man will hear and (I) increase in learning, and a (J) man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their (K) riddles.

7 (L) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

-Proverbs 1:1-7

VBC Missionary Of The Week: Marlene Stoll

Marlene serves Pierce County (WA) as a resource for Children's Five-Day Club materials and as an instructor in training adults to minister to children.

Child Evangelism Fellowship's purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ and to disciple them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living.

Yep, Gonna Clean Up The House...

Crazy Nancy better have an industrial sized broom for her OWN side of the aisle if she's going to "clean the House" as she promised. Now incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Bush-Cheney impeacher John Conyers has been caught, but I'm sure it's just all a misunderstanding...

Representative John Conyers (D-MI) has "accepted responsibility" for possibly violating House rules by requiring his official staff to perform campaign-related work, according to a statement quietly released by the House ethics committee late Friday evening.

The top Republican and Democratic members on the ethics panel, Representatives Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Howard Berman (D-CA), said in a statement that Conyers acknowledged a "lack of clarity" in communicating what was expected of his official staff and that he accepted responsibility for his actions.

Get that? It was a "lack of clarity" that was the problem, not a lack of ethics by this jerk. He's not accepting responsiblity for anything, he's weaseling his way out of it.

A spokesman for Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Conyers will remain chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Well of course he will. They're kindred spirits.

The Hill reported last March that two former Conyers’ aides alleged that he repeatedly violated House ethics rules by requiring aides to work on local and statecampaigns, and babysit and chauffeur his children. Deanna Maher, a former deputy chief of staff in the Detroit office, and Sydney Rooks, a former legal counsel in his district office, shared numerous letters, memos, e-mails, handwritten notes and expense reports with The Hill.

To repeat something said over and over, and always true...if Conyers were a Republican, this would be major news. As he is a Democrat, you'll barely hear a blip.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


1 (A) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His (B) holy name.

2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and (C) forget none of His benefits; 3 Who (D) pardons all your iniquities, Who (E) heals all your diseases; 4 Who (F) redeems your life from the pit, Who (G) crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; 5 Who (H) satisfies your [a] years with good things, so that your youth is (I) renewed like the eagle.

-Psalm 103:1-5

Dick Armey Misses The Point

"[Republicans] don't realize that Reaganomics is dead, that the Reagan philosophy is dead…The old Reagan theory which dominated – 'Government is bad, it's out of touch, chop off its hands as soon as it moves.' – is over."
-Chucky Schumer to the New York Daily News

Substantively, Schumer is wrong as he ever was. But the last election establishes that he and his party of left-wing extremists have convinced a majority of Americans otherwise.

According to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey in the FreedomWorks email I just received, the Democrats aren't talking about collectivizing America in their first hundred days; they want to do it in their first hundred hours:

Clearly, the Radical Left believes it has a mandate to enact all of their pet schemes to take away our freedom. In fact, their new coalition – they call themselves Change America Now – recently met at AFL-CIO headquarters to plan a 100 hour assault to start the New Year. Leaders from unions like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Sierra Club, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America plotted our nation’s future. They plan a massive grassroots effort to move vulnerable Republican votes, including a major Internet and phone campaign.
Will it work? After the way November 7th turned out, there's no reason to think it won't. Remember, as I've always said: for Democrats, the campaign never ends. They never stop pushing, never stop agitating, never stop attacking. And now that they've got their long-sought power back, they're going to get even more shrill, more intense, more obsessive, and more extreme.

Armey asks a series of rhetorical questions to which I don't think he's given quite enough thought:

- Do we need “soak the rich” tax hikes, or should we defend reforms that would permanently repeal the death tax and maintain lower tax rates?

- Do we want to expand the power of union leaders, or should we empower workers to keep more of their own hard-earned money?

- Do we need Social Security “reform” based on tax hikes and benefit cuts, or should we continue to push for individual ownership that protects retirement savings from congressional appropriators?

- Do we need Al Gore’s radical proposals to tax energy, or should we seek independence through exploration and production?
There's another dual question he left out: Do we need to endanger American national security interests by surrendering Iraq to al Qaeda and the Iranian mullahs, guaranteeing its collapse andIsrael's destruction? And do we need to imperil the lives of countless American civilians by dismantling the tools of homeland security like the NSA terrorist surveillance program (on ostensible "civil liberties" grounds), guaranteeing inevitable terrorist WMD attacks against our homeland?

The answer to all those questions, in the eyes of the American electorate, is "yes." This is the point that Mr. Armey misses. He thinks his organization and the center-right it partially represents can "stop this agenda in its tracks." In terms of numbers I suppose that's potentially true, since the Dems' majorities aren't big enough, particularly in the Senate, to get much done if the GOP puts up a fight.

But there's the rub: will a Republican party that got fat and lazy and complacent - and more than a little "nativized" - over its twelve years of majority control now suddenly rediscover its ideological roots and transform overnight into determined, heroic, courageous defenders of truth, justice, and the American way? I.e. will this be like the first Clinton biennium that produced the 1994 GOP landslide? Or are the 'Pubbies, acclimated to the trappings of the Beltway and wanting a vacation from the relentless scorched earth political combat from the other side that accompanies their every moment in power, settle in for a nice long stretch on the backbench, content to take crumbs from the ruling Donk table?

The Armey email was a fundraising pitch, so it necessarily put up a brave front. And that's not to say that conservatives should abandon the fight by any means.

But neither should we have any illusions about the political dynamic that emerged last month. Or that the two questions above are any less rhetorical than the ones that preceded them.

Saddam Hussein, B.I.H.

Woke up to some good news this morning:

Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam Hussein went to the gallows before sunrise Saturday, executed by vengeful countrymen after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality that killed countless thousands and led Iraq into disastrous wars against the United States and Iran.

I think it's safe to say that he now realizes that the 72 virgins thing is a myth, just like everything in the Quran he was clutching.

Witnesses to the execution told Richard Engel of NBC News that they were cheering around the body of Saddam after the hanging — three years after the deposed president was hauled from a hole in the ground by pursuing U.S. forces.

Apparently about the only ones mourning Hussein are the leftist moonbats in our country. Check out this demented thread over at DailyKos, but take some Pepto-Bismol first. There are the usual stupid remarks about how Bush is worse than Hussein was, how he should be hanged next to Hussein, how he is a war criminal, the same inane blather we have been treated to since Bush decided to confront rather than retreat from the terrorists responsible for 9-11 and the other attacks Clinton ignored. These are the nuts who have the Democrats' ear in Congress, never forget that.

Think this would have happened if Gore had won in 2000? Nope. I have no doubt Hussein's rape and torture rooms would be in full swing, the terrorist training facilities would be busy, and Gore would still be trying to sweet talk him, or get the United Nations to do something about him. Think it's a mess over there now? Say what you will about Bush's governance, he has done a lot of things right. Iraq is no longer a threat to us or its neighbors.

Now if he would just bomb the crap out of Iran, I'd be really happy.

JASmius adds: The New York Times is joined in its mourning by a whole host of jihadi-symp would-be Saddamite poll-bearers.

Just a hunch, but if anybody wanted to rehabilitate Adolph Hitler's historical reputation, I suspect all they'd have to do is have President Bush make a speech condemning him. Pavlovian Bushophobes would be swarming to the pro-fuehrer barricades in droves.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Impaired Vision

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of (A) prophecy, they will be done away; if there are (B) tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

9 For we (C) know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

12 For now we (D) see in a mirror dimly, but then (E) face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also (F) have been fully known.

13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is (G) love.


Breck Girl Rides Again!

I'm sure you've heard that John Edwards is entering the Presidential race in 2008. Honestly, does America really want a girly-man as President? This down to earth, regular guy, good ol' boy just sold one of his homes for $5.2 million, so that'll give him a little pocket change for the campaign. His priorities?

In his message to supporters, Edwards listed five priorities to change America. Among them: "Guaranteeing health care for every single American,""Strengthening our middle class and ending the shame of poverty,""Leading the fight against global warming," and "Getting America and the world to break our addiction to oil."

Oh, and there's the other little thing. He wants to cut and run from Iraq. I'm not looking forward to listening to this pompous ass for the next couple of years, sheesh. He'll have plenty of elitist company on the Democrat side, though. The "party of the little guy" is certainly worth a lot of dough, ain't it?


Yeah, I'm still around. I've been sick as a dog with a bad cold/flu since Christmas. For someone who rarely gets sick, this has been a major inconvenience! I have a home business, therefore not working is not an option, however I certainly wasn't as productive as usual! I still have it, but I think the fog is beginning to clear a bit.

I just wanted to post a few thoughts on Gerald Ford's interview with Bob Woodward. Frankly, I think it was a bit cowardly of him to insist that it not be made public until his death. I'm not one to speak ill of the dead usually (Castro and Hussein's upcoming demise being obvious exceptions), but I just think that was an odd request. The guys over at Powerline have some thoughts regarding this that I agree with (including a link to the Corner):

Ford told Woodward not to publish his views until after his death, but apparently said once he died they could be published at any time. It's easy to understand the first part of the decision -- why would Ford, at his age, want to participate in a contentious policy debate? But Ford has been criticized for not telling Woodward to wait until, say, the end of the Bush administration to reveal his views. Either Ford felt strongly enough about the matter that he wanted his opinion in the mix sooner rather than later (but not so soon that he would become embroiled in the debate) or he didn't think things through very carefully.

I think Ford was a decent man, but I think this decision was a bad one.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Last Sins To Go

1 (A) Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.

2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, "(B) Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number."

3 Joab said, "(C) May the LORD add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?"

4 Nevertheless, the king's word prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.

5 Joab gave the number of the census of all the people to David. And (D) all Israel were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword.

6 (E) But he did not number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king's command was abhorrent to Joab.

7 God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel.

8 David said to God, "I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. (F) But now, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly."

9 The LORD spoke to (G) Gad, David's (H) seer, saying, 10 "Go and speak to David, saying, 'Thus says the LORD, "I offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you."'"

11 So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Take for yourself 12 (I) either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the LORD, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me."

13 David said to Gad, "I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, (J) for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man."

-1 Chronicles 21:1-13

War News

This passage that Hugh Hewitt posted on Iran the other day should be graven in stone tablets and force-fed into the mid-brain of every American (even if it takes water-boarding):

It is against that backdrop [of the most violent and deadly century by far in human history, the twentieth] that Iran's thrust for nukes must be understood. All of the carnage of the previous century was completed with the only uses of a WMD at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Project forward the same level of violence of the last century into the new one, but imagine even four or five of the aggressors or factions possessing WMD, and the picture of what is ahead in the next 93 years is bleak beyond description.

There is no persuasive reason to believe the world will be a better place over the next 100 years than it was in the past 100. Indeed, given the willingness of some to erase the past in order to better prepare to repeat it and the rise of a suicidal fanaticism among large numbers of industrial-age, educated people, there are many reasons to expect that their will be many people eager for the violence of the 21st century to far outstrip that of the 20th.

Thus history compels the United States to deny WMD to those most likely to use them in wars or civil wars. Saddam was one such tyrant, and Iraq even in its chaos and its toll in American lives is much less dangerous to the world and the U.S. than Saddam's Iraq or the Iraq of his sons when they succeeded him.

Iran is another such country, its leaders tyrants with intentions of piece with the worst of the last century's murderers. They want nukes and are moving very quickly and publicly towards that goal. Because the Soviets, the Chinese, the Indians and the Pakistanis have never used their deadliest weapons does not mean that Iran and those to whom it transfers these weapons will not. Reading [Niall] Ferguson's litany ought to remind people that Americans live in splendid isolation from the awful realities of the world, but 9/11 ought to have done that for at least a period of decades. The latter failed to impress, so the history lesson is unlikely to do so either.

That won't excuse the political leadership of the United States and the West though. The Security Council's resolution isn't going to stop Iran. If that is going to occur, the U.S. and its allies will have to do the stopping.

Correction: Double-H's with-the-bark-on pronouncement should have been drilled into George W. Bush's head five years ago, thence to be relentlessly pounded home to the American people who were, instead, allowed to doze off again and finally vote accordingly seven weeks ago.

Hugh's contention that the overriding issue of the 2008 campaign should be stopping the mullahs from acquiring nuclear warheads and ICBMs to deliver them is, of course, smack on target. But as even he concedes, it almost certainly will not be. Rather, the Republicans will be scrambling like at no time since 1996 (except, perhaps, pre-Florida 2000) to compete with "America's Mom" at political lactation and menstruation. Hell, I'd lay even money that at least one GOP contender will get breast implants.

And Ahmadinejad? The mad mullahs? Osama bin Laden? They'll just be friends Mrs. Clinton hasn't made us yet - a courtship guaranteed to end with a bang. And then, perhaps, another window of strategic opportunity will open - if there's enough of a window-frame left to hold it.

~ ~ ~

The unconstitutional police state manifestation of the neoGestapo also known as the National Security Agency Terrorist Surveillance Program is now 17-1 in various and sundry federal courts before judges running the gamut from Reagan appointees to Clinton appointees. And that lone defeat was at the hands of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, whose ruling was universally panned as a joke that will be easily overturned on appeal.

But it will still be outlawed by the incoming, rampagingly vengeful Democrats, who do, after all, know all about police state tactics, as the center-right, and Christian evangelicals in particular, are about to be reminded - if the Islamists let any of us live that long.

~ ~ ~

Looks like the Ethiopians are doing the LORD's work in Islamist-occupied Somalia. At least there's one government left in the world that takes the war seriously. Not that the lazy, vaccuous, seditious, dhimmized Western media will ever inform us of that blessed fact.

Perhaps the two are related somehow....

UPDATE: Looks like the Somali Islamists who were vowing jihad to the death just a few days ago have cut & run after discovering that their Ethiopian foes weren't screwing around:

The Islamist forces who have controlled much of Somalia in recent months suddenly vanished from the streets of the capital, Mogadishu, residents said Wednesday night, just as thousands of rival troops massed 15 miles away.

In the past few days, Ethiopian-backed forces, with tacit approval from the United States, have unleashed tanks, helicopter gunships and jet fighters on the Islamists, decimating their military and paving the way for the internationally recognized transitional government of Somalia to assert control.

Even so, the Islamists, who have been regarded as a regional menace by Ethiopia and the United States, had repeatedly vowed to fight to the death for their religion and their land, making their disappearance that much more unexpected.

Fortified checkpoints across the city — in front of the radio station, at the airport, at the main roads leading into Mogadishu and outside police stations — were abruptly abandoned Wednesday night, residents said.
Cap'n Ed grasps the lesson of the Ethiopian blitzkrieg:

This shows the result of a full military response to Islamist provocations. After watching half of their comrades torn to pieces by combat helicopters, one deserter told the Times that the Islamists assumed that the war would be fought like the others in their experience, which meant hardly fought at all. Ethiopia had no intent to allow the Islamists to give tit-for-tat terrorist responses to measured military action, and the Islamists quit when they started dying in droves....

This loss crushes the reputation of the Islamists as dedicated to fighting to the death. They will if they see an advantage in it, and that advantage has been gained by Western reluctance to fight an all-out war against them. Ethiopia, after having been threatened by both a traditional attack from Somalia and a guerilla/terrorist war, responded with overwhelming force, and they crumbled.

Somewhere there is a lesson for the West.

Indeed there is: sometimes, war - decisive, all-out, no-holds-barred, "bleep 'diplomacy'" war -really is the only solution. But it's going to take another massive attack here at home to wake us up again, if our collective coma can be interrupted at all.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Christmas Rose

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His (A) mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was (B) found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned [a](C) to send her away secretly.

20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, "(D) Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been [b] conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

21 "She will bear a Son; and (E) you shall call His name Jesus, for He (F) will save His people from their sins."

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was (G) spoken by the LORD through the prophet:

23 "(H) Behold, the virgin shall be with (I) child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "(J) God with us."

24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the LORD commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 [c] but kept her a virgin until she (K) gave birth to a Son; and (L) he called His name Jesus.

-Matthew 1:18-25

Gerald Ford, R.I.P.

He was the only president to truly be "selected, not elected". But it's not as though he wanted the job, or even asked for it. He was minding his own business as House Minority Leader, a RINO in good standing, when President Nixon dubbed him as a confirmable choice to replace his veep, Spiro Agnew. Then Nixon himself had to quit in advance of the Donk lynch mob, and poor old Gerry Ford was left holding the bag.

Once the bag was in hand, though, President Ford did the best he could with it, which wasn't all that much. He obstructed the worst impulses of the Democrat Congress, but also continued Nixon's appeasement of the Soviet Union and Red China, and inflicted Justice Jon Paul Stevens on the SCOTUS.

Still, Ford's RINOism, as is the case for the breed as a whole, didn't earn him any slack with the DisLoyal Opposition, who lumped him into the villification chamber with Nixon after the former pardoned the latter. They weren't satisfied with forcing their archenemy to resign in disgrace; they wanted a public show trial followed, no doubt, by a public execution, guillotine and all. An American Reign of Terror, as it were, that Ford wisely and mercifully denied them.

The unintended consequence of this errand of mercy was the four-year national disaster that was Jimmy Carter. Though I rather doubt that any 'Pubbie, much less the man who single-handedly freed Poland from the Warsaw Pact (or something like that), could have prevented that act of supreme political self-immolation.

If I were to summarize Gerald Ford in one word, it would be mediocre. He wasn't actively obnoxious (other, perhaps, than when he tried to force a "co-presidency" on Ronald Reagan during the 1980 campaign), and he did try to do some good. And he certainly was a good and decent man of high character. Mostly he was a man too small for the time and circumstances in which he found himself. More than that, you could almost call him a victim of his predecessors' excesses. Ford was, you might say, the paper bag the nation breathed into after the hyperventilations of Vietnam and Watergate. And like most paper bags, he was unceremoniously wadded up and thrown away.

With all the inevitable effusive posthumous praise pouring forth today, it's probably going against the grain to say that Gerald Ford didn't have much of a presidential legacy. The truth is that he was an ordinary man who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was unable to save the country from itself. National security having been crippled by cutting and running from Vietnam, followed malignantly by the reactionary Carter detour that brought the U.S. within a whisker of losing the Cold War, it was the election of Ronald Reagan that really began the process of healing the American spirit. Mr. Ford, in other words, was no Ronald Reagan.

His passing at the ripe old age of 93 does seem to be a bad omen of tragic history about to repeat itself. That will be a plank of his legacy least deserved, yet sharing the common thread of national insanity rampaging beyond the ability of ordinary men to contain.

If I were John Boehner, I'd be turning off my cell phone and blackberry for the foreseeable future - just in case.

UPDATE: So Mr. Ford told Bob Woodward he opposed Operation Iraqi Freedom but to keep a lid on that until after his death, huh?

Well, I did say he was a RINO in good standing. Looks like his membership card was punched to the very end.

UPDATE II: Dirty Harry to Ford family: "Drop dead."

Coming Attractions

Tighty-righties were so outraged that majority Republicans weren't governing as conservatively as they thought they should that they vowed to "punish" the GOP by betraying them at the 2006 ballot box. And indeed, they did.

Behold, the onrushing consequences of this self-inflicted purge:

***Pelosi: Democrats Will Target 'Big Oil'

House Democrats in the first weeks of the new Congress plan to establish a dedicated fund to promote renewable energy and conservation, using money from oil companies. That's only one legislative hit the oil industry is expected to take next year as a Congress run by Democrats is likely to show little sympathy to the cash-rich, high-profile business.

Whether the issue is rolling tax breaks - some approved by Congress only 18 months ago - pushing for more use of ethanol and other biofuels instead of gasoline, or investigations into shortfalls in royalty payments to the government, oil industry lobbyists will spend most of their time playing defense.
The likely consequences of this latest anti-"Big Oil" jihad?

Oil lobbyists...are preparing to fight another proposal that would raise taxes on their inventories, a change that could cost oil companies billions of dollars. The inventory tax provisions cover the entire industry and some lawmakers want to repeal them only for the biggest companies.

"That would significantly raise the cost of holding inventory" and cause companies to reduce the amount of oil they keep in storage, said Red Cavaney, president of the American Petroleum Institute, the industry trade group. If that happens "prices will go through the roof" if there is even a modest disruption, he predicted....

The Interior Department also has said it wants to work with Congress to find ways to deal with the royalty issue, but is worried the proposal to bar companies from future leases could throw the federal offshore leasing program into lengthy litigation.

"Our fear is our (leasing) program would shut down. That would have a multibillion-dollar impact on federal revenues," Assistant Interior Secretary Stephen Allred recently told reporters. [emphases added]

Making gas more expensive, endangering domestic supplies, and cutting ourselves off from finding and tapping any more, in favor of stuffing corn into our tanks. Yep, I'd say that covers the whole anti-energy gambit.

If you've been wondering why the pump price of gasoline has gone up 16% since the election, as it has at my neighborhood filling station, these bad tidings might just be a clue.

***New immigration bills in the works

Counting on the support of the new Democratic majority in Congress, Democratic lawmakers and their Republican allies are working on measures that would place millions of illegal immigrants on a more direct path to citizenship than would a bill the Senate passed in the spring.

The lawmakers are considering abandoning a requirement in the Senate bill that would compel several million illegal immigrants to leave the United States before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship.

The lawmakers are also considering denying financing for 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico, a law that Republicans wrote this year.

Wasn't the alleged failure of 'Pubbies to crack down hard enough on illegal immigration one of the tighty-righties' bigger gripes against the ex-majority? Well, congrats, numbnuts, you've sure fixed THAT problem, huh? Hey, who knows, maybe the Donks will make this ACLU gambit, which would force apartment complex owners to rent to illegal aliens, part of the latest immigration surrender.

***Say, weren't the right-wing purists in favor of winning the war on Islamic Fundamentalism? Or, at the very least, not failing in Iraq? Pity they didn't vote that way, as the Donk determination to cut and run the instant they get their hands on power is telegraphed louder and louder. Their RINO allies, bewitched by that ISG foolishness, are getting hypnotized by Bashar Assad, of all people. And Senator Joe "Chia Pet" Biden, the dreaded incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has declared a fatwa against sending any more troops to Iraq, even threatening Republicans with more electoral decimation in 2008 if they don't fall into line behind him.

And they'll do it, too. And the tighty-righties will retaliate by digging our hole even deeper.

Yeah, that'll fix those GOP apostates, won't it?

There is a word for an orgy of self-directed "punishment": masochism. But nobody listens to us neoRealists - until it's too late. the desert...of too late.


I really got a chuckle out of this. Apparently, there was quite a difference between John Kerry's reception in Iraq and Bill O'Reilly's. Check out the picture! The story below is from a serviceman who was there:

This is a true story....Check out this photo from our mess hall at the US Embassy yesterday morning. Sen. Kerry found himself all alone while he was over here. He cancelled his press conference because no one came, he worked out alone in the gym w/o any soldiers even going up to say hi or ask for an autograph (I was one of those who was in the gym at the same time), and he found himself eating breakfast with only a couple of folks who are obviously not troops.

What is amazing is Bill O'Reilly came to visit with us and the troops at the CSH the same day and the line for autographs extended through the palace and people waited for two hours to shake his hand. You decide who is more respected and loved by us servicemen and women!

Probably didn't bother Kerry one bit. He holds them in the same contempt as they hold him.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Great Quake

22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of (A) Solomon.

24 (B) The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us (C) plainly."

25 Jesus answered them, "(D) I told you, and you do not believe; (E) the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.

26 "But you do not believe because (F) you are not of My sheep.

27 "My sheep (G) hear My voice, and (H) I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give (I) eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and (J) no one will snatch them out of My hand.

29 "[a] My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

30 "(K) I and the Father are one."

-John 10:22-30

Enough To Send A Shiver

If this doesn't give you pause, nothing will.

Speaking in Dearborn late Sunday night, the first Muslim elected to Congress told a cheering crowd of Muslims they should remain steadfast in their faith and push for justice.

"You can't back down, you can't chicken out, you can't be afraid, you got to have faith in Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim," Detroit native Keith Ellison said to loud applause.
"Allahu akbar" "God is great" was the reply of many in the crowd.

Well, isn't that wonderful. If they're going to "stand up and be a real Muslim," that means he's exhorting them to start killing infidels, in my opinion. Oh, but later on in the speech he talks about how Muslims are being led by Allah to teach US tolerance and justice.

It's enough to gag a maggot.

Great Minds Think Alike

[chuckling] Looks like Jim & I posted about the same thing at about the same time!

Faith for Hire

I wanted to keep the posts positive for a day or two around Christmas, but this is just too much:

Hillary Clinton has hired an "evangelical consultant” to help woo Christian conservatives in her likely 2008 presidential campaign.

The move comes after a similar political operative successfully aided Democratic candidates in several states in the midterm elections.

At the risk of stating the obvious, if you have to hire someone to try and convince voters that you're Christian, you ain't. Further down in the article, we read about Mara Vanderslice, who went to college at Earlham College right here in my town, a very, VERY liberal bunch of people.

Vanderslice herself didn’t become an evangelical Christian until she attended Earlham College, a Quaker school in Indiana known for its adherence to pacifism. She acknowledges that she still struggles with common evangelical ideas about abortion, homosexuality, and the literal reading of Scripture, according to the Times.

After college, Vanderslice spoke at rallies held by the AIDS activist group Act Up, which disrupted Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1989 by spitting the Eucharist on the floor. In 2000, she practiced civil disobedience when she took to the streets of Seattle in a protest against the World Trade Organization.

Excuse me, but calling yourself an evangelical Christian doesn't make you one, and she ain't one. She doesn't just "struggle" with the "evangelical" (that should read "Biblical") ideas about abortion, homosexuality, and the literal reading of Scripture...she rejects them. All you have to do is learn a little bit about her.

Looks to me like the Democrats are hiring fakes in order to make themselves seem genuine. How typical.

The Church Lady

I don't think I'm going to find Hillary Clinton's 2008 coronational parade to be nearly as harrowing as it will be for all those clinging to the canard that "she can't possibly win." One, because I've been resigned to her presidency for years now; and two, after the Democrats ran as who and what they really are - NeoBolshevik traitors - and won the 2006 congressional midterms anyway, I have no reason to believe that Hillary couldn't name Osama bin Laden as her running mate and still win two years from now.

Or even Obama bin Barack (editor's note: Not a rap on Barack Obama, just a tweak of all those in the blogosphere who freaked out over the questioning by a few of the Illinois Donk senator's alleged Islamic background)

This week the Clinton machine unveiled what will be the primary PR vehicle for Medusa's long inaugural parade: Hillary as "America's mom":

Forget Soccer Moms and Security Moms; now it's going to be all Moms all the time - with Hillary as the biggest Mom of all.

The "Mom Strategy" is key to presenting the latest iteration of Hillary. She needs to move out of the center space that she populated in her last reincarnation as a moderate. That's over. Because democratic primary voters are squarely at odds with her positions on the war in Iraq, she needs to move on. The "Mom Strategy" gives her a credible way to tack to the left on the war. She's already begun. Last week, she told an NPR audience that she would have voted against the war if only she had known then what she knows now. Woulda, shoulda, coulda.

In furtherance of the new Mom strategy, she has re-released her best-selling book It Takes A Village. This time, she is pictured surrounded by adoring, well-groomed and respectful children on the cover. Just like Mom. This is no coincidence; it's an element of the strategy. The subliminal message: I'm a Mom and I'm running for president. Moms take care of people, they're compassionate and don't want wars. The fact that the book isn't selling well in its re-release - Amazon ranks it at 5,000 - doesn't matter. It's the cover photo that resonates.

Hillary the Hawk may ultimately be the way to win the centrists who dominate the general electorate. But Hillary, the Mom, another Mother for Peace, is the way to capture the left that runs the Democratic primaries. And that's exactly what she's doing.

If this sounds like the Clintonoids stealing Cindy Sheehan's gimmick, go to the head of the class. According to Dick Morris, it's also a feminization of Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election theme:

Hillary's new strategy echoes the 1996 Bill Clinton strategy in pushing a "fatherhood" agenda. Embracing the idea of taking responsibility, enforcing child support, promoting school uniforms and curfews, and fighting against teen smoking and sex and violence on TV, President Clinton promoted the idea of his fatherhood in his bid for re-election. He began his political career as Arkansas' boy Governor. When he ran for president, he was everyone's buddy - eating at McDonalds and jogging in baggy shorts - but as president he needed to grow up and project the subtle image of America's father. In carefully choreographed photos, he was deliberately surrounded by adoring children looking up at him as he pushed his new message.

Now Hillary is seeking to run for president as America's Mom - pro-peace, pro-family, pro-children.

I know, I know - Hillary "pro-peace" after voting for Operation Iraqi Freedom? Hillary trying to quit a war our enemies will never let us escape? The original counter-culture McGovernik "pro-family"? But you have to remember that these are the Clintons we're talking about; outrageous, infuriating audacity is their raison d'etere. And for them it always works.

Still refuse to learn from their first go-round? Try this on for size - Hillary intends to take her victory squarely out of the bowels of Jesusland:

Hillary Clinton has hired an "evangelical consultant” to help woo Christian conservatives in her likely 2008 presidential campaign. The move comes after a similar political operative successfully aided Democratic candidates in several states in the midterm elections.

More than one-quarter of the nation’s voters identify themselves as evangelical — a voter bloc that has long been courted by Republicans.

Clinton’s new hire is Burns Strider, an evangelical Christian who directs religious outreach for House Democrats and is the lead staffer for the Democrats’ Faith Working Group, headed by incoming Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the group last year when Democratic strategists observed that the party lost ground in the previous election in part because candidates failed to reach centrist and conservative voters in rural areas, who tend to be churchgoers concerned with moral issues, according to the Washington, D.C.-based publication The Hill.

Strider was an aide to Pelosi when the group was formed and joined Clyburn’s staff as policy director of the Democratic Caucus earlier this year, the paper reported.

"Observers of Clinton’s expressions of faith say religion has always been important to her, that she attended prayer group meetings while first lady, and that she joined a Senate prayer group shortly after winning election in 2000,” The Hill reports.

"Reporters anticipating Clinton’s ’08 presidential run wrongly discount her expressions of faith as cynical political maneuvering," the observers add.

"Reporters" will never do so publicly, because they were on board her campaign ever since January 20, 2001. If they cough and gag at her pharisiacal behavior in private, they are not wrong to do so; their only error would be in doubting that she can ever get the ostensibly ludicrous gimmick over with the electorate.

We should reiterate just to make it clear that the Republicans have not "long courted" religious conservatives, the GOP has OWNED the Christian Right (not the reverse). As a member of that bloc, I find the notion of the party of pagan zealotry and Christophobic repression actually believing that they can "reach out" to and "woo" me to be comedy so bad as to warp back on itself and become almost funny. Mrs. Clinton might just as well announce Satan himself as her running mate for all the traction such a strategy of outright contempt for the intelligence of her political enemies ought to purchase.

But she appears to believe she can do it. And the 2006 election results back her up.

Hillary Clinton, ne Rodham, is going to run for, and be elected, president as the Church Mommy.

Which goes to show that good intentions aren't the only paving material in the road to hell.

The Day After

I hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas! We sure did, and my house right now reflects that. I needed a machete to get through to my computer this morning. Oh well, the mess is part of the fun, or so they tell me.

May the New Year bring us closer together as a nation, and closer to victory in the war. May we as believers grow closer to God and each other, and may we realize even more the world's need for Christ and our responsibility to reflect His love and share it with as many people as possible, both in word and deed.

In the immortal words of Tiny Tim, God bless us, every one!

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Fitting Present

11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with (A) Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and (B) worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And having been (C) warned by God (D) in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

13 Now when they had gone, behold, an (E) angel of the LORD (F) appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him."

14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.
15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the LORD through the prophet: "(G) Out of Egypt I called (H) My Son."

-Matthew 2:11-15

Celebrating The Festival Of The Incarnation

From "The Pastor's Pen" in the December 2006 Voice of the Valley, the monthly newsletter of Valley Bible Church, by the Reverend Frank C. Emrich. Re-posted here with permission.

~ ~ ~

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Imagine a king who ruled over a large country, seeking to do his best in providing for every need of his people. But one day his nation was struck by a terrible groundquake, leaving thousands dead, injured, and homeless. Amazingly, the king and his palace remained unharmed by the devastation. Still, the monarch was deeply grieved by all the reports that came in, describing the harm that the populace had experienced. Moved by love and compassion for all who were suffering, this benevolent ruler did everything he could to help during the crisis.

However, do you know when his people became convinced of their patriarch's love and concern for them? When he put on the clothes of a common man, left his comfortable surroundings and lived among those who were hurting, in order to assist with the recovery effort.

The world at the present time knows much suffering and pain. For many it will be difficult to have a merry Christmas. And yet we can offer hope to a hurting world by reminding people what God did that first Christmas in providing a solution for the problem of human suffering.

God Himself came to Earth to not only provide us with answers to questions, but to become the solution to the problem. That meant becoming one of us in something commonly referred to as the Incarnation. In the redemptive plan of God the Father, it was God the Son Who was designated to be the ultimate solution to the never-ending problem of human suffering.

The plan was launched into action when God the Son became God the man. In harmony with the beautiful and perfect wisdom of God, the Incarnation meant that God would take upon Himself our humanity in the same way every human life begins: through a conception that occurred in the womb of a woman. However, this miracle of God demanded a crucial difference. No human father could be involved in the process, because it is through human fathers that the sin nature is passed on to the succeeding generations. That role was fulfilled by God the Holy Spirit, ensuring that God the Son would be both human and divine:

But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the LORD through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with Child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the LORD commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

So in this simple yet profound statement, we have the answer to human suffering. Our LORD's Incarnation took place through a miraculous conception performed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin named Mary. The manner of the Incarnation circumvented the problem of sin, which is the core issue in human suffering. God's answer meant becoming a man in order to identify with a suffering mankind; yet a sinless man, so that the solution would not be corrupted nor undermined by our fallen humanity.

However, the dilemma was so severe that a mere sinless man would not suffice. Adam created a quandary that another Adam could not resolve. The answer required a greater Adam, Someone Who would be sinless and human as well as divine.

That Someone is Jesus Christ, God the Son Who became God the man. This is the reason to celebrate the Festival of the Incarnation.

Merry Christmas, !#$% It!

Here is Johnny Hart's version of my essay from ten years ago. Still as timeless as ever, isn't it?

Sunday, December 24, 2006


15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the LORD has made known to us."

16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.

18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary (A) treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

20 The shepherds went back, (B) glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

-Luke 2:15-20

Two Words

Christmas shopping.

'Nuff said.

VBC Missionaries Of The Week: Peter & Deborah Steele

Pete assists local churches in establishing and maintaining a program for evangelism and discipleship for children and teens and leadership training for adults working with children and teens. He is area missionary for the Northwest and the West Coast coordinator for Word of Life Fellowship.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Baby Boy

8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And (A) an angel of the Lord suddenly (B) stood before them, and the glory of the LORD shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

10 But the angel said to them, "(C) Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a (D) Savior, Who is [a](E) Christ (F) the LORD.

12 "(G) This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "(H) Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace among men [b](I) with whom He is pleased."


A Grand Old Time At The ASSociated Press

Hey, if you were the Enemy Media, wouldn't you revel in giving wall-to-wall coverage to erupting Republican post-election recriminations?:

Narrowly defeated in his bid for a fourth term, Montana Senator Conrad Burns turned his anger on the National Republican Senatorial Committee and commercials it had run months before the election.

"The ads hurt me more than they helped. I wouldn't have spent the money," he said, his comments characteristic of the season of second-guessing now unfolding among Republicans.

President Bush's low approval ratings, the unpopular war on Iraq, voter concern about corruption and Democratic fundraising all figured in the GOP loss of Senate control in last month's elections. But among Republicans, long-hidden tensions are spilling into view, with numerous critics venting their anger at the GOP Senate campaign committee headed by North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole.

Oh, it goes on and on and on for paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs. The article is a laundry list of every prominent Republican who would gripe to them, and damn near every prominent Republican did.

I suppose some degree of embittered finger-pointing is inevitable after as spectacular an electoral collapse as the GOP suffered last month. But may I direct everybody's attention to the two most prominent reasons why Liddy Dole's National Republican Senatorial Committee got waxed in fundraising by Chucky Schumer's Donk counterpart by a whopping $30 million?

1) John McCain's "memo of understanding" betrayal that cut the legs out from under any attempt to ban judicial confirmation filibusters, one of the cornerstones of the 2002 and 2004 campaigns that gave Republicans a double-digit Senate majority;

2) The entire party's all-out, maddening, baffling, suicidal, balls-to-the-wall effort to get Lincoln Chafee (aka the ultimate RINO) re-elected in Rhode Island.

These two factors didn't exactly get ignored in the center-right blogosphere. Or can there possibly be any GOP poobah who didn't hear of the "Not One Dime" campaign? The McCain Mutiny started it, and the broad RINOization that stubbornly and complacently gripped the party thereafter only fueled the Nero-fiddling-while-Rome-burns flames.

In a lot of ways Mrs. Dole was almost a patsy, a fall-gal, a scapegoat for the results of events that were beyond her control. Makes it doubly bitter irony that it was her predecessor as NRSC chair, George Allen, that was one of the victims of Chafee's and the McCainiacs' perfidy.

The question arises once again: will Republicans learn the correct lessons from and about this defeat, or will they imbibe the Enemy Media's poisoned advice and dissolve into a conflagration of friendly fire and political civil war?

I fear that is a rhetorical question.

2006 Election Results Explained

From the AP:

Santa has lots going against him — school-yard rumors, older brothers who think they know the deal and tattle to the young ones, errant price tags, the tell-all Internet and so many Made in China labels it seems the North Pole has outsourced to Asia.

Humbuggers everywhere. But no worries. It's a wonderful life for Santa.

An AP-AOL News poll finds him to be an enduring giant in the lives of Americans.

Fully 86% in the poll believed in Santa as a child. And despite the multiethnic nature of the country, more than 60% of those with children at home consider Santa important in their holiday celebrations now.

And evidently about 53% of American voters believe in him and voted accordingly on November 7th. Won't they be surprised (again) when the bill comes due and they discover that they have somehow become "rich"?

Kind of reinforces the adage that Americans are the only creatures that can be skinned in perpetuity, because they never learn the lesson that kids should be taught from the cradle: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Nobody owes you a living.

There is no Santa Claus.

And the adult name for "naughty" is "Democrat."

Alternating Currents

As I rummage through the odds and ends of recent memory, I keep coming across this quaint recollection about any group or regime being in league with al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11 being an enemy of the United States. I believe President Bush's phrase was, "You are either with us, or you're with the terrorists." And any who are with the terrorists were doomed to face our ass-kicking wrath.

Well, here's yet another news flash: Iran is with the terrorists - and I don't mean just Hezbollah:

Irrespective of the outcome of the James case, the mere suggestion that Iran should be seeking to recruit someone with access to the innermost counsels of NATO's high command is indicative both of Teheran's intense interest in NATO's activities in Afghanistan, and its determination to ensure that the West is not allowed to succeed in transforming the country from Islamic dictatorship into stable democracy.

It also makes a mockery of the recent suggestion, advanced in both Washington and London, that the only way to resolve the region's difficulties is by engaging in a constructive dialogue with Teheran. Whether it be in Iraq or Afghanistan, the over-riding priority of the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is to ensure the coalition's efforts at nation-building end in failure.

As in Iraq, the history of Iran's involvement in Afghanistan has been complex, but rarely benign. During the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, the Iranians supported one of the fiercest Mujahideen groups. More recently, the Iranians helped hundreds of al-Qa'eda fighters to escape from Afghanistan following the coalition's military campaign to remove the Taliban from power in 2001. Recent intelligence reports have indicated that many senior al-Qa'eda leaders — including two of Osama bin Laden's sons — are still living in Teheran under the protection of the Revolutionary Guards, where they are being groomed for a possible takeover of the al-Qa'eda leadership. [emphasis added]

So, the mullahs aided al Qaeda right after 9/11, and they're aiding al Qaeda to this day. Doesn't that make them our enemy? As though that fact hasn't been made dolefully obvious for the past twenty-seven years? Well, to everybody outside the Beltway, anyway. Makes me wonder what it would take to (1) convince official Washington that the mullahs are our enemies, (2) convince official Washington that it is pointless and dangerous to keep pursuing "diplomacy" with them, and (3) convince official Washington that the only viable alternative is to do to them what we did to Saddam Hussein nearly four years ago. In all liklihood the answer is probably something that would render the whole idea moot (like, say, an EMP attack). Certainly nothing short of Iranian amphibious landings on the Eastern seaboard would seem to be able to penetrate the impregnable pacifistic armor that guards any and all approaches to the Foggy Bottom collective consciousness.

Still, although the strategic alignment has never been more favorable for Iranian global triumph, they're still having their own troubles. Though I don't consider this story to be one of them:

As protests broke out last week at a prestigious university here, cutting short a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Babak Zamanian could only watch from afar. He was on crutches, having been clubbed by supporters of the president and had his foot run over by a motorcycle during a less publicized student demonstration a few days earlier.

But the significance of the confrontation was easy to grasp, even from a distance, said Mr. Zamanian, a leader of a student political group.

The Iranian student movement, which planned the 1979 seizure of the United States Embassy from the same university, Amir Kabir, is reawakening from the slumber of recent years and may even be spearheading a widespread resistance against Mr. Ahmadinejad. This time the catalysts were academic and personal freedom. ...

The protest, punctuated by shouts of “Death to the dictator,” was the first widely publicized outcry against Mr. Ahmadinejad, one that was reflected Friday in local elections, where voters turned out in droves to vote for his opponents.

All of which might have some meaning if there were actually such a thing as Iranian democracy. In truth, Iranian "election" results have nothing to do with the will of the people and everything to do with the whims of the mullahs, who hold the real power:

The Iranian electoral ritual doesn’t tell us what the people want; it tells us what the tyrants have decided. This time, the decision had to do with the very intense power struggle going on inside the regime, catalyzed by the recent evidence of the worsening health of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In considerable pain from his cancer, for which he consumes a considerable quantity of opium syrup, Khamenei recently was forced to spend 2-3 days in a Tehran hospital after complaining of a loss of feeling in his feet and breaking out in a cold sweat. His doctors told him several months ago that he was unlikely to survive much past the end of March, and he seems to be more or less on schedule.

How does this affect Ahmadinejad's near future, particularly in light of his apparently growing unpopularity? Most likely to take him out of any possibility of ascending to the true power in Iran by succeeding Khamenei, by hook or by crook.

You have to understand what the purpose of the Iranian presidency is. The aforelinked Michael Ledeen elaborates:

[T]he position of president of the Islamic Republic doesn’t bestow much in the way of executive power. It’s always gone to a person who can play a largely deceptive role in world affairs. Prior to the current holder, we had Khatami-the-reformer-who-never-reformed-anything, a man who gave politically correct speeches calling for a dialogue among civilizations and whispering soft words to Western intellectuals and diplomats at the same time he ruthlessly purged anything free anywhere in the country, and presided over the murders of students, professors, and other dissidents. That was a period when Iran sought to lull the West into the arms of Morpheus, distracting attention from the real horrors of the regime and its preparations for war against us, including the nuclear program.

With Ahmadinejad, the mullahs bared their fangs to us. Convinced they were winning in Iraq, foreseeing the destruction of Israel, the domination of Lebanon, a jihadist reconquista in Afghanistan and the expansion of their domain into the Horn of Africa, they gave us the face of the unrepentant conqueror. He’s played his role well, and he will continue to play it. Just yesterday he proclaimed that Iran has become “a nuclear power,” leaving us to wonder exactly what that means. Is it the bomb? Or is it a technical advance that will lead to a bomb? Whatever it means, it’s an act of defiance, a reassertion of Iran’s will to prosecute the twenty-seven year old war they have waged against us ever since Khomeini’s seizure of power.

This fang-baring took place over a year ago, before the mullahs' burgeoning self-confidence was bolstered and vindicated by the defeatist/appeasenik results of the American mid-term elections. Indeed, so enhanced must Ahmadinejad's position have become that his bosses decided to take him down a few notches for the protection of their own power, especially in light of the "Supreme Leader's" not being long for this world.

But here is the key thing to understand about Iran:

The war policy is not in dispute among the rulers of Iran, whether they call themselves reformers or hard-liners. Nor is the decision to use the iron fist of the regime against any and all advocates of freedom for the Iranian people. What is decidedly at the center of the current fighting within the regime - a fight that has already produced spectacular assassinations, masqueraded as airplane crashes, of a significant number of military commanders, including the commander of the ground forces of the powerful Revolutionary Guards - is the Really Big Question, indeed the only question that really matters: Who will succeed Khamenei? [emphasis added]

There will be no revolution like the one that installed the ayahtollahs in 1979. Those that attain power by force are the hardest ones to overthrow by the same means because they know best how to guard against the same fate befalling them. While I have no objection to Mr. Ledeen's endless calls to support democratic uprisings in Iran (hey, you never know), I think that basing our war policy on such wishful thinking is as foolish as relying upon the fantasy of "diplomacy" to reach a "regional settlement" with Tehran as though the mullahs were sane, reasonable people.

The mullahgarchy will not be overthrown from within, and it will pursue its war against us until we and our allies are destroyed. They only way to stop them is to engage them in the combat they so nakedly desire and crush them beneath our heel.

That brings us to a genuine point of Iranian vulnerability that we can easily exploit:

The United Nations security council is finally expected to pass a resolution [Fri]day to impose international sanctions on Iran for the first time since the 1979 revolution, a punitive move that will heighten diplomatic tensions and risks a military confrontation in the Gulf.

Iran has threatened immediate retaliation, even though the proposed sanctions have been significantly watered down this week. Tehran's options include withdrawal from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, which would mean Iran would conduct its nuclear programme free from international monitoring, and possible closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the channel for 20% of the world's oil supplies.

Western diplomats think that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and his colleagues are bluffing but, just in case, the US announced this week it is reinforcing its fleet in the Gulf.

The British government is also increasing its naval presence. Two minehunters arrived in Bahrain on Tuesday but the Ministry of Defence said their deployment was mainly for training with Gulf states and "not to counter any increased threat". Tony Blair, on a visit to the Middle East this week, portrayed Iran as a major threat.

Never mind UN sanctions, which are wholly irrelevant to this confrontation. Even if they weren't so watered-down, economic sanctions never dissuaded any dictator from a chosen course of action. Certainly Saddam Hussein didn't suffer from them (just his people, and they were as irrelevant as the Iranian people are to their captors' policies).

However, what the London Guardian fearfully laments as a possible consequence of this toothless gesture is, in fact, precisely the form that economic sanctions should take. The Iranian economy is heavily dependent upon oil and natural gas exports, and the bulk of those exports have to go through the Strait of Hormuz. That suggests two self-evident factors: (1) the mullahs are bluffing about closing the strait themselves; and (2) that is precisely what we should do to bring about the mullahgarchy's fall. The Iranian economy, already is pretty sad shape, would rapidly collapse, the circumstances for a successful popular uprising would actually exist, and it might still be possible that regime-change could be effected in Tehran without a US-led invasion.

There you go. Impose economic sanctions worthy of the name by blockading the Persian Gulf, lend maximum support to an Iranian democratic insurgency, and wait for the mullahgarchy to topple.

Will we do that? Hell, no.

But since the '06 mid-term election, the pump price at my neighborhood filling station has risen thirty-four cents a gallon. So obviously the market is reacting to the high liklihood of an American retreat from the Middle East and like Iranian triumph. Could hanging the chief terror masters with their own commodity rope really be that much more economically painful, even in the short term?

No, not really. But that would require courage, foresight, and "realism"; commodities that are in dangerously short supply these days, as every last window of opportunity to avoid Armageddon slams shut one by one.

Prayer Last Hope?

If you ever doubted where the Democrats' loyalty lies, take a look at this from DailyKos regarding the letter from al-Zawahiri referenced by Jim below:

What I find remarkable is al-Zawahiri's insight into American politics. He understands the last election was about George Bush's war. He understands that we are Americans first and that party affiliation is, where foreign policy is concerned, less relevant. He warns all Americans that we share the responsibility as a country for allowing George Bush to occupy Iraq, and ignore the plight of the Palestinians. The warnings are strong, and the analysis is quite accurate.

The idiot who posted this tries to say that al-Zawahiri's remarks to Republicans are just as damning, but he misses the point, as do most far left wackos. The bottom line is al-Zawahiri knew that with Republicans in power his jihad would not succeed, but NOW they have a chance. He knows the Democrats will not fight him as the Republicans have.

I'm trying not to have a terribly dim outlook on our future, but sometimes it's difficult not to. I'm every bit as pissed off at the American voters who put these seditious buttholes in power as Jim is, but I'm hoping that there are enough conservatives left in the country, and hopefully in the Congress, to stem the liberal tide that threatens to drown America.

JASmius adds: I'm not angry at the voters - other, perhaps, than those myopic tighty-righties who stayed home or voted Donk out of moronic spite. There were a lot of razor-thin defeats - enough on the Senate side, at the very least, to have kept the GOP in control with full center-right participation.

I'm more accurately describable as resigned. What can we do, after all? At minimum we've provided al Qaeda and Hezbollah and Syria and the Iranian mullahgarchy and Kim jong-Il and the ChiComms and Hugo Chavez (We DO have a lot of enemies, you know, and did long before George W. Bush came along) with a two-year respite. And contrary to what President Nixon once said (in what is in several harrowing ways a vastly different age), the Democrats can screw up a great deal in just a couple of years, much less four - hell, it was only five months from their crushing post-Watergate midterm victory in 1974 to the fall of Saigon; I can easily see Baghdad falling to the jihadis that quickly, if the Dems defund the war effort as quickly as expected. And I can see them celebrating the "outbreak of peace in the Middle East" and using that as the crown jewel in their 2008 campaign. Unless al Qaeda hits us at home again, in which case they'll blame George W. Bush and "his" invasion of Iraq. And after last month's midterms, I have no reason to believe that the voters wouldn't swallow it hook, line, and sinker again.

Can the President turn this around? Probably not. If he wasn't a lame duck before, he is now. He's suffering the consequences of his foolish decision to fight half a war and leave Syria and Iran undefeated and untouched. The window of opportunity for him to do that, even if he belatedly decided to do so now, has long since closed. More likely that would just add fuel to the impeachment fire and perhaps even frighten sixteen Senate 'Pubbies into defecting and voting to put Nancy Pelosi in the White House.

GDub's lack of decisiveness has already discredited the war effort; picking up that dropped baton would perhaps discredit the very notion of national defense itself.

Should the American people know better? Yes, they should. But they should have known better six and a half weeks ago as well. They should also have known better in 1992 and 1996 when they elected the man that denuded our defenses, fed jihadi ambitions, and rolled out the red (pun intended) carpet for 9/11. But they didn't. And now the political pendulum is swinging back in that wrong direction.

That doesn't make me angry at the voters. It just convinces me beyond any doubt that we cannot rely upon the people to make mature, sensible, rational electoral decisions. And that means Republicans have to get as loud and shrill and partisan as the Democrats have been the past six years if that pendulum is ever to be dragged back towards sanity in time to avert disaster.

Even if GOPers had it in them, which they don't, I think it's going to take an American city going up in a mushroom cloud or shrouded in a nerve gas fog to get the public's attention again.

And when that happens, those who voted Donk will....

Well, you know what Montgomery Scott once said: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Joy Of Redemption

1 O sing to the LORD a (A) new song, for He has done (B) wonderful things, His (C) right hand and His (D) holy arm have [a]gained the victory for Him.

2 (E) The LORD has made known His salvation; He has (F) revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.

3 He has (G) remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; (H) all the ends of Earth have seen the salvation of our God.

4 (I) Shout joyfully to the LORD, all Earth; (J) break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.

5 Sing praises to the LORD with the (K) lyre, with the lyre and the (L) sound of melody.

6 With (M) trumpets and the sound of the horn (N) shout joyfully before (O) the KING, the LORD.

7 Let the (P) sea roar and all it contains, the (Q) world and those who dwell in it.

8 Let the (R) rivers clap their hands, let the (S) mountains sing together for joy 9 before the LORD, for He is coming to (T) judge Earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and (U) the peoples with equity.

-Psalm 98


....I took my last vacation day of 2006. Well, actually, my next to last, but I won't be able to take my last one before the year runs out. Hey, it's an improvement; last year I left three or four vacation days on the table.

Of course, it seems like every time I take vacation, something goes wrong at home that prevents me from enjoying it. Back in August I had several fires to put out, not least of which was the motherboard on this machine I'm using at this very moment burning out in the unseasonable summer heat. That little dealie took nearly the full week I took off to get replaced and all my software re-loaded. Thanksgiving went okay, but last weekend the power went out in a winter hurricane for three days, which also happened to be the coldest days of the year. And now today my internet connection has been phasing in and out, making any kind of full posting regimen a practical impossibility.

So I ate half a pizza and took a nap. At least I did something enjoyable today.

Checking the headlines, I'm reminded anew of why I've found blogging motivation so difficult to muster over the last month.

***The Enemy Media already has the long knives out for GOP presidential hopeful and ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and is smearing Christian evangelicals at the same time:

As a clean-living, church-going father and grandfather, Governor Mitt Romney has a natural appeal among conservative Christians.

The Massachusetts Republican, though, faces a delicate dilemma: How does a devout Mormon woo religious activists critical to winning the GOP presidential nomination when many of those same activists are openly hostile to a faith they consider no more than cult?

For his all-but-announced presidential bid to succeed, Romney must win primary votes across the Bible Belt from people whose churches have a historical antagonism with his own Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"The rhetoric between evangelicals and Mormons has been almost abusive," said Richard Mouw, president of the Fuller Theological Seminary in California, the largest evangelical seminary in North America.

Sheesh, didn't we go through this once already with JFK's Catholicism? Alright, let's take this from the top:

Is Mormonism (aka E.T., the Extra Testament) a cult? Why, yes, it is. And if Mitt Romney came to my door with tracts and a proselytization pitch, I'd feel the urge to pitch him into my front flower bed.

But Mitt Romney won't want my soul; he'll want my vote. He's not running for National Vicar, he's running for president of the United States. And as far as the choice between Romney and Hillary, well, I'm reminded of what Winston Churchill once told the House of Commons: "If Hitler invaded hell, I would give at least some favorable mention to the Devil." Except that in this case Hillary is both Hitler and Satan.

Oops, did I just run afoul of Godwin's Law? Well, tough tarmac. It's gonna be a long campaign, best get it out of the way early.

***Talk about de javu:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is taking what he learned during three days of meeting with military and political leaders here directly to President Bush.

Gates, due back in Washington from Iraq on Friday night, was scheduled to see Bush at Camp David first thing Saturday morning, said Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser Stephen Hadley and deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch, who has been coordinating Bush's review of Iraq policy, were also to attend the discussions at the Maryland mountain retreat where Bush was spending Christmas.

As the President weighs a course correction in the increasingly unpopular war, the White House also announced that Bush would convene a meeting of his full National Security Council next Thursday while spending a few days at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. That session was not designed to arrive at final decisions, but to continue to whittle down the options, Perino said.

Note the editorializing ("a course correction in the increasingly unpopular war"). Betcha could guess that this was off the ASSociated Press wire, huh?

I can't imagine why Gates went to Baghdad, other than to formally inform the Iraqis that we're bugging out as soon as next month when the Democrats officially cut off war funding. The ISG report was the be-all and end-all, after all. We're losing, we always lose, we can never win anyplace against any foe with any means, we should never defend ourselves, we should turn the whole world over to our enemies and go home to watch Star Trek: Voyager marathons until the jihadis come with their nukes to kill us all, and would you like fries with that? I don't know how Gates would have translated that into diplomatic Arabic, but I doubt the Iraqis had any difficulty getting the gist of it.

Only thing he could report back on was how they took the handwriting that the American electorate scrawled on their metaphorical wall last month. Kinda makes Bush's new call for rebuilding the military, including boosting troop strength in Iraq, look like public relations suppression fire to cover an all-fronts retreat.

By the way, is Okinawa now in the Middle East?

***If you have difficulty believing that George W. Bush would sign off on surrendering to the terrorists, you need to start paying closer attention, because it fits in with his surrender to the Democrats on pretty much everything else:

Eager to show he heard the message of voters who stripped his party of majorities in both the House and Senate in the November elections, Bush said he'll work hard on what he called "an interesting new challenge" — trying to find common ground with Democrats who will lead Congress for the first time in his presidency.

"I don't expect Democratic leaders to compromise on their principles, and they don't expect me to compromise on mine," he said. "But the American people to expect us to compromise on legislation that will benefit the country."

He said initial consultations with incoming Democratic leaders revealed openings for cooperation in several areas. One was an immigration policy overhaul, including a way for some illegal workers to move toward citizenship. That was stymied this year primarily by conservative Republicans who favored a get-tough-only approach.

Other openings Bush saw for cooperation were increased federal spending on alternate energy sources; reform of Congress' appropriations process that has made it common for lawmakers to slip pet projects into spending bills, and giving American workers new skills and businesses help investing in new innovations.

When the Democrats have lost, have they ever been "eager to show they heard the voters' message"? Bleep, no - they whined that they "didn't get their message out" and vowed to shriek it even louder, and to fight Bush and the Republicans even harder. And eventually, with a big assist from the GOP's RINOization of late, they succeeded. So why isn't Bush adapting a defiant, pugilistic pose? Because he's a Bush, and Bushes don't get partisan, even during election campaigns.

Bushes are also clueless, as evidenced by Dubya suggesting that the Donks don't expect him to compromise his principles. That is true, in a sense - they expect him to abandon his principles altogether on his way out the Oval Office door after his Nixonian resignation just before his impeachment. And to take all remaining congressional Republicans with him while he's at it.

And he'll do it, too, because Bushes are also not conservative. The GWOT has obscured this to a dramatic extent, but the fact is that the only domestic policy area where Bush the son has ever diverged from Bush the father is tax cuts. Otherwise he's been a Rockefelleroid born and bred, and he'll find all kinds of "common ground" on which to "compromise," even though none of the resulting legislation will remotely "benefit" the country, other perhaps than putting a great deal more of us on government "benefits." And don't be surprised if that doesn't include his signing a tax increase.

All I know is, all those purist conservatives who were so hell-bent on "teaching the Republicans a lesson" about their overspending are now going to get exactly what they deserve for their idiotic short-sightedness as the Democrat-RINO alliance busts a fiscal gusher. It is, after all, one of the things the American people voted for, whether they know it or not - and you'll never convince me they didn't know it.

***Our enemies certainly know it. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's XO, had a merry ole time making fun of us this week:

"The first is that you aren't the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen - the Muslim Ummah's vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq - are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost," Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News.

Zawahri calls on the Democrats to negotiate with him and Osama bin Laden, not others in the Islamic world who Zawahri says cannot help.

"And if you don't refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate," he said.

Obviously Zawahiri expects that the Democrats will make good on their "anti-war" word and withdraw American forces from Iraq, at the very least. He has no compelling reason to believe they will not, nor that President Bush, the Donks' new lapdog, won't go right along with them.

Expecting the Democrats to open up negotiations with al Qaeda may be a bit of a stretch, but several Dem senators are already attempting to do so with Syria's Bashar Assad independent of the Bush Administration (or perhaps with their tacit blessing; it's guaranteed Bush won't object publicly), and we're already negotiating with Iran, and the ISG report is a big, fat telegraph of the imminent direction of US foreign policy, so a Bush-bin Laden summit meeting (or perhaps a Pelosi-bin Laden summit after Bush and Cheney are removed) can't be entirely ruled out.

What's that, you say? I'm being sardonically hyperbolic? Well, maybe a little; even I don't think there'd be sixteen Senate Pachyderms who would vote to remove Dubya and Big Time from office, nor can I bring myself to believe that the "New Tone" would stretch so far as to compel the President to break bread with the cave-dwelling mass-murderer. But quitting the war against Islamic Fundamentalism wouldn't require such stomach-turningly obsequious symbolism - as the Dems themselves very well know.

At any rate, the ridicule of our enemies is hard enough to swallow. Get a load of this story:

The leader of an al Qaeda-backed group offered to refrain from attacking U.S. forces if they withdrew from Iraq within a month and left their heavy weapons behind, according to an audio tape posted on the Internet on Friday.

"We call on (President George W.) Bush not to waste this historic opportunity which insures you a safe withdrawal," said the speaker, identified as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, head of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq, which was announced in October by al Qaeda and groups linked to it....

"We are awaiting your response within two weeks of this announcement," said the speaker in the tape, which was dated December 22. He said insurgent groups would refrain from attacking withdrawing U.S. forces if they left within a month.

Okay, I'll say it: Who the frak is Abu Omar al-Baghdadi to be giving the President of the United F'ing States of America ultimatums? Answer: a jihadi who saw our mid-term election results, added two plus two, and didn't come up with five. And, once again, it is an entirely reasonable and rational expectation for him to have.

On November 7th, the American people signaled retreat to the world and waved the white flag to our enemies. And our enemies are reacting, and planning, accordingly. Even if we don't fulfill their fullest expectations, the task of winning the war has now become grievously more difficult and will be far more costly and elusive.

There's an old saying: "In a democracy, people get the kind of government they deserve." It calls to mind a line from an old Beetle Bailey cartoon. Beetle and Plato are talking politics and Plato quips, "If you don't like the government, wait an election and you'll get one you like even less."

Do the American people deserve to die? I refuse to answer that question.

But that's how they voted. God willing, it's a deathwish that will remain unfulfilled.