Monday, December 31, 2007

We've Moved!

Welcome to a blog that is now an archive of the middle-Bush43 years! The fur is now flying at our new location! You know, the site I spend most of my vacation setting up! The one in which I will post my first official post two seconds from now!

Oh, screw subtlety! Our new URL is! Now (pretty please) get over there, and tell everybody you know to go over there, and keep going there every single minute of every single hour of every single day of the rest of their lives and turn into the biggest megablog on the Internet! How else am I ever going to be able to blog for a living, get rich, and retire to a desert island full of naked women and Zefram Cochrane!?!

And don't expect to find any exclamation points over there; I've just used up a decade's worth.

Kevin Nash used to say, "Come on the other side."

Profitable For Growth

10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings — what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the LORD rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

-2 Timothy 3:10-17

Odeo Feed Claim of Hard Starboard Radio

Just one more duty to perform:

Gala Premier!

My Odeo Channel (odeo/100ce74217b31652)

Fred Thompson 2008

Watch this, and you'll see why we here at Hard Starboard are firmly behind Fred Thompson.

JASmius adds: See below....

Oliver and Hugo Sittin' In A Tree...

If you still need to be convinced that Hollywood is a cesspool, check this out:

American filmmaker Oliver Stone praised President Hugo Chavez on Friday as the Venezuelan leader launched a mission to airlift three hostages held by leftist rebels out of Colombia’s jungles.
Stone, standing near Chavez, said he was working on a film and hoped to accompany the humanitarian operation into Colombia.

“I’m doing a documentary about Latin America and also about North America. You have to wait around to see it,” Stone told reporters. He said he planned to take part in the mission, calling it a “beautiful, great process.”

“I’m hoping it works. I’m all for this,” Stone said.

The Oscar-winning director, who made a 2003 documentary about Cuban President Fidel Castro as well as the movie “Platoon,” called Chavez a “great man” and said “I’m a fan.”

Urging Stone to speak with reporters, Chavez told him in accented English: “The girls want to see you!” He joked that Stone was President Bush’s “envoy.”

“There are some good Americans. That’s why I’m here, to remind you,” Stone said.

If that last line ain't enough to make you lose your breakfast, I don't know what is. I rarely go to the movies anyway, because there is seldom anything playing that I want to see, but another good reason is in order not to support creeps like Oliver Stone.

H/T Michelle Malkin

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Belayers

13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the LORD, because from the beginning God chose you [a] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings [b] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

16 May our LORD Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

-2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

A Final Appeal For Iowan Sanity

VBC Missionaries Of The Week: Roy & Elvia Sprague

Roy serves as minister-at-large for Northwest Independent Church Extension. He travels extensively with Elvia, speaking in churches, conferences, advances, and camps, as well as representing the mission. In 2006 Roy was privileged to serve as interim pastor for a church in Olympia (thus disproving the overpowering assumption that the Donk-dominated state government had them all banned and bulldozed years ago). Roy is also president of the Pacific Northwest Regional of IFCA International.

Their daughter, Judi Allen, is also a VBC missionary.

Pelosi Softening? Not Likely

When I saw this over at Michelle Malkin's blog, the possibility that Nancy Pelosi is sincere about this phone call really didn't occur to me. Actions speak louder than words. She has spent the last seven years doing everything she can to undermine our military, now she's phoning the father of fallen hero Sgt. Eddie Jeffers to offer her condolences? Smacks of political calculation to me. Sgt. Jeffers' father said she was very gracious, and I'm glad. But I don't believe she was sincere for a moment. Read the whole thing, and read Sgt. Jeffers' words, which were written back in February. She didn't seem to care much about what he thought then, did she?

I'm not usually overly cynical, but talk is cheap, and Nancy Pelosi is cheaper.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It Is Not Good

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam [a] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs [b] and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [c] He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.

23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, [d] ' for she was taken out of man."

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

-Genesis 2:15-25


There's an old saying: the best defense is a good offense. I don't think it was Sun-tzu who coined that axiom, but it makes a lot of sense nonetheless - particularly in political campaigning.

As I discussed yesterday, Mitt Romney's herculean focus on Iowa and New Hampshire, the lynchpin of his "win early, win the nomination" strategy, is paying the dividends that I predicted they would several months ago. He had nowhere to go but down, and as the finish lines for both early contests approach, he's fading in both.

So the former Massachusetts governor is doing what any pol in his position has to do: opening fire on the rivals who are overtaking him. The other day he ran a quasi-negative ad against John f'ing McCain in New Hampshire that has already paid handsome dividends in provoking "Sailor" to, in effect, blow his stack by countering with an ad that calls Romney a "phony".

Pot. Kettle. Black. Image of McCain as thin-skinned, unstable hothead reinforced.

Romney has done the same against Mike f'ing Huckabee in Iowa, only the reaction he's provoked from the Arkansas vickar was, shall we say, noticeably less manly:

Republican Mike Huckabee on Saturday denounced political attack ads, saying people aren't looking for a president whose campaign is based on what's wrong with someone else.

Huckabee, who has surged to the top of the polls in Iowa with less than a week before the January 3 caucuses, said people want a president who will tell them what he would do if elected. He criticized attack ads aimed at him, saying, "If I believed half of that stuff, I wouldn't vote for myself."
First of all, Romney has been doing nothing BUT laying forth what he believes over the course of this year. True, much of what he says he believes now is at considerable odds with what he said he believed before he decided to run for president, which is most of why the Mittster has faded down the stretch, as I predicted he would. But he has hardly risen to the upper tier solely by stepping on the heads of his rivals.

More to the point, though, and speaking for myself, but knowing I'm not alone in this viewpoint, I find whining about negative ads on the part of a pol to be highly aggravating. This is, after all, a race for the most powerful office on the face of the planet. Running for president of the United States isn't like running for a seat on the local school board, or county water commissioner; it's not playing jacks or mumbledy-peg; it's a full-contact sport; it's the big leagues. And the more success you achieve in the effort, the more hostile fire you're going to attract from your rival(s). It comes with the territory, and I frankly expect any man or woman who has reached front-runner status to not only be aware of that, but accept it, and be willing to give as good as they get.

Now, of course, if an attack ad is recklessly inaccurate, that usually redounds to the detriment of the attacker. This makes it incumbent upon him or her to ensure that the content of said ad is vetted and verified. But then again, there's a difference between an ad with the cliched grainy black & white picture and the ominous voice over suggesting that Senator Bunghole might, just might, be an ax-murderer, and an ad that simply seeks to contrast one candidate's record on issues of importance to an electorate favorably with his/her rival.

And that's all Romney's "attack" ad does with Huckles:

Nothing shocking or unusual about that thirty-second spot. It just seeks to remind Republican voters that Mike f'ing Huckabee is no conservative on foreign policy, national security, fiscal policy, or crime. And it does so very effectively.

As has become emblematic of the Huckster, finding out the downside of being on top sent him careening into stepping on several more rakes in succession:

Huckabee said Americans want a president who will be truthful and consistent in his stands.

"You're not going to hear me say something different about the sanctity of life than I did 10 years ago," Huckabee said, referring to Romney's change in position on abortion rights. Although Huckabee has long been opposed to abortion, Romney had earlier supported abortion rights.
Leaving aside that Huck, in that comment alone, is getting as "negative" as Romney did, his problem is, ironically, that he is being truthful and consistent in his stands. But he's compounding that problem by the incompetence with which he's attempting to expound upon them while under the kilowatt klieg lights of a level of public scrutiny to which he's obviously unaccustomed:

In recent days, Mike Huckabee has tried to answer long-standing questions about who is on his foreign policy team. On Friday morning, he listed former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as someone with whom he either has “spoken or will continue to speak.”

At a Thursday evening press conference, Huckabee said, "I've corresponded with John Bolton, who's agreed to work with us on developing foreign policy.”

Bolton, however, has a different view. “I’d be happy to speak with Huckabee, but I haven’t spoken with him yet,” said Bolton, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.
Sun-tzu once said, "Don't drop names before you have them in your hat." Well, actually, he probably didn't say that, but I'm sure saying it, and my name is easier to pronounce. Either way, it's advice that Huckleberry Hound should have heeded, and indeed should not need. Especially on the heels of his other gaffes of just the past forty-eight hours (if you want an obscene amount of detailed analysis on them, you know where to go):

This follows two embarrassing gaffes on Pakistan after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. In one, he mistook the shared Afghan border as being on the eastern side of Pakistan instead of the north-west side, and in the other he accidentally used the word "apologies" instead of condolences. The border error is minor, but the use of the word "apologies" has distinct diplomatic meaning, and if used by a President would have raised eyebrows around the world.
Romney almost doesn't have to bother casting all of Huck's weaknesses like swine before pearls (Can I hear a "suuuuueeeeeeyyyyy!"?). At least, he doesn't have to do much. And that's more than enough for this blogger, who seems to sum it up nicely:
I'm sure Mike Huckabee is a swell guy, but in my eyes, he's a mixture of everything I didn't like about Bill Clinton and George Bush.

A big government conservative with a history of accepting gifts from donors, a compulsion to legislate morality, and an "aw shucks," personality designed to catch you off guard, right before you find yourself taxed more to get less freedom.

If our friends in Iowa could give us a hand, we could Chuck Huck January 3rd.
Oh, did I mention this story?:
Mike Huckabee last year accepted $52,000 in speaking fees from a biotech giant that wants to research human embryonic stem cells, a nonprofit working to expand access to the morning after pill and a group pushing to study whether tightening gun control laws will reduce violence.
Consistency? Or The Price Is Right?

We report, you decide.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dying To Live

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. "Never, LORD!" he said. "This shall never happen to You!"

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life [a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what He has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

-Matthew 16:21-28

Hucked Up

As Mitt Romney is frantically trying to hold off John f'ing McCain, of all people, in New Hampshire, so his minions are desperately trying to regain the initiative in Iowa by going after newly minted, long-demented front-runner Mike f'ing Huckabee, who I will never stop saying should be running for Mark Pryor's Senate seat instead of a job for which he's manifestly unqualified in so very many ways.

That's quite a list of almost uniform right-wing punditocratic denunciation of the Huckster that Jeff Fuller put together, isn't it? It'd take me hours to even skim every linked article, but a particular favorite of mine was Dean Barnett's contribution in the Weekly Standard. It's so good from beginning to end that it's difficult to distill down individual exerpts, but I'll give it the ol' college try:
The [Foreign Affairs] essay was a disaster for both Michael D. Huckabee and Mike Huckabee. Their bid to persuade America's most serious foreign policy analysts that Huckabee understands global affairs was equal parts embarrassing and unintentionally comic.

In one part of the essay, Huckabee somberly intoned that "Sun-tzu's ancient wisdom is relevant today: 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.'" The only problem with citing this ancient piece of wisdom is that it comes not from Sun Tzu, but Michael Corleone. Unfortunately, the rest of Huckabee's essay was silent as to what America should do about Hyman Roth and his Sicilian message boy, Johnny Ola.
Actually, I believe Sun-tzu said, "Know your enemy," or words to that effect. Note the Wikipedia link; note also that this wasn't an off-the-cuff quip in a speech, but a written essay. Which means that either Huckles is as intellectually lazy as his campaign staff, or vice versa, or both.
Other parts of Huckabee's Foreign Affairs opus uncomfortably suggest that the governor isn't just playing at being a rube. Repeatedly, Huckabee clumsily tried to make purportedly serious points in Bumpkin-speak. "When we let bin Laden escape at Tora Bora," Huckabee reminisced, "we played Brer Fox to his Brer Rabbit." At the risk of revealing my lack of bumpkin bona fides, I don't know what that's even supposed to mean.
Ouch. I dunno, maybe that's what passes for being well read in Arkansas. Oh, I guess I'm not too non-bumpkinesque to grasp the point Hucksaplenty was trying to make; personally, I'd have used Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, since EVERYBODY knows THEM. Although that would be an awfully conspicuous slap at our military, which didn't bumble its way into letting bin Laden escape six years ago.

Here's a direct quote from Huck's intellectual tour de force:
"The United States, as the world's only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised."American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush Administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad."
If I hadn't overtly introduced this quote as being from an article written by the 2008 Republican presidential frontrunner, you'd have assumed it came from a Democrat, wouldn't you? It sounds like floor sweepings from John Kerry's quixotic, Thurston Howellesque White House run three years ago, minus the mental twang.

Hucker couldn't leave that isolationist, Ameriphobic bilge on the written page, though:
And then there was the speech Huckabee gave in conjunction with the essay's release. In his speech, Huckabee made certain points that he didn't put in the magazine, perhaps for reasons of space or maybe because some Foreign Affairs editor has a well developed sense of mercy. "The bottom line is this," Huckabee cautioned. "Iran is a regional threat to the balance of power to the Middle and Near East; Al Qaeda is an existential threat to the United States."

Stunningly, Huckabee got it perfectly backwards. Al Qaeda is a menace to American security. But a nation governed by a hostile regime poised to produce a small arsenal of nuclear weapons that its leadership promises to use presents a truly existential threat. We can only conclude that "existential threat" does not mean what Mike Huckabee thinks it does.
Actually, they're both wrong, as al Qaeda and the Iranian mullahgarchy - which are collaborating in their joint war against the United States, particularly in Iraq, if you'll remember - are both menaces to American security. That Huckaplucka elevates American groveling on the world stage above protecting the U.S. from rogue and/or terrorist WMD strikes and still is the (or at least a) frontrunner for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination is flatly inexplicable.

Which didn't prevent Mr. Barnett from taking a go at a profoundly dismaying theory: personal likeability and a mistake-free campaign masking....
the most disquieting aspect of his ascendancy. On every major issue save for abortion and gay marriage, Huckabee is dramatically out of step with the Republican party. He talks a class warfare game that would make John Edwards blush. His foreign policy prescriptions make one yearn for the comparably muscular approach favored by Jimmy Carter. His anti-business rhetoric and his past regard for tax increases have left the Club for Growth types fuming. His leniency towards criminals is rapidly becoming legend.

Huckabee has risen because of identity-based politics. The bottom line rationale for his candidacy is frighteningly close to that of a Jesse Jackson campaign. Addressing a sliver [well, more like a helping] of the electorate, Huckabee in essence says, "Vote for me because I'm one of you." ...

If the Republican party nominates Huckabee, it will nominate a man who is both unqualified for the job and ideologically out of step with the party. The Republican party's main advantage over the Democratic party the last few decades has been the fact that Republicans were united by principle, while Democrats were a motley pastiche of special interest groups, each looking to tear a little piece off the government's bloated carcass in exchange for their support.

If Huckabee's ascent turns out to be anything more than a personality fueled blip, it will signal trouble for the Republican party. It will mean the ideology that has defined the Republican party since the age of Reagan is no longer enough to hold the party together. If Huckabee gets the nomination, it will mean that base identity politics have officially supplanted conservative ideology as the Republicans' uniting principle.
And it will be justifiably blameable on [drumroll] the "religious Right".

I guess this is the downside of a "wide-open" nomination race. But as empty-headed Elmer Gantrys and treacherous press fellators surge past pugnacious prosecutors and plastic panderers, it's not as if there isn't an inspiring, bona fide, comprehensive conservative behind which the Republican Party can rally.

If the Republican Party still gives a frog's fat leg about conservative principles, that is.

My theory? Heck, I already said that Huck's rise is inexplicable. Ditto squared "Sailor" McCain's rise in New Hampshire. My hope is that GOP voters still aren't paying close attention yet. My suspicion is that Hillary is so inevitable that they're just not engaging and aren't likely to any time soon, on the assumption that whoever we nominate will be cannon fodder anyway.

My fear is that GOP voters ARE paying attention.

"A dark prospect" indeed.

Questions Are Irrelevant

Don't believe the claims on my side of the blogosphere that Hillary Clinton's campaign is "collapsing" or "panicking"; if that were true, would she be so free and easy about being herself?
As she races through Iowa in the days before next week's caucuses, Hillary Clinton is taking few chances. She tells crowds that it’s their turn to “pick a president,’’ but over the last two days she has not invited them to ask her any questions.

Before the brief Christmas break, the New York senator had been setting aside time after campaign speeches to hear from the audience. Now when she’s done speaking, her theme songs blare from loudspeakers, preventing any kind of public Q&A.

She was no more inviting when a television reporter approached her after a rally on Thursday and asked if she was “moved’’ by Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Clinton turned away without answering.
There's actually a great deal of logic to this strategy.

First, Mrs. Clinton has demonstrated that she stinks at thinking on her feet and speaking extemporaneously in any sort of genuinely spontaneous exchange as takes place when candidates take questions from an audience of voters. The fewer questions she takes, the fewer opportunities for her to flip-flop her position on an incendiarily controversial issue five times in three minutes.

Second, why answer voter questions when everything she says is buffalo bagels anyway? We all know what Hillary REALLY is: a hardcore left-wing extremist who will take America the way of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela to the greatest degree humanly possible. Donk primary voters know this, she knows they know it, and she's relying upon that implicit knowledge to carry her to the Democrat nomination. As it will.

Third, it's refreshingly honest. Senator Clinton looks upon the American people as cattle anyway; she doesn't give a rat's ass about any of us other than as voters to be hoodwinked and revenue sources to be pillaged. That, too, comes across in ad lib conversation; better for her later triangulation needs if she limits her exposure to such rhetorical minefields that she has no genuine, much less natural, inkling to navigate.

Richard Nixon ran precisely this sort of no-retail/all mass advertising campaign in 1968 and captured the White House. He did so for the same reasons Hillary is now.

She's still up five in Iowa, three in New Hampshire, and seventeen nationally. And the GOP is committing its usual ritual Republicide. So pardon moi if I stifle another yawn.

Bhutto Details Dribble Out

Remember yesterday when it was thought that former Pakistani Prime Minister Benizir Bhutto was "simply" blow to smithereens by a suicide bomber at a public rally? It's turning out that the story is more complicated - and more harrowing for its implications to that country's immediate future:
American and Pakistani military leaders are seeking to account for what may be renegade commando units from the Pakistani military's special forces in the wake of the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader and former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

The attack yesterday at Rawalpindi bore the hallmarks of a sophisticated military operation. At first, Bhutto's rally was hit by a suicide bomb that turned out to be a decoy. According to press reports and a situation report of the incident relayed to the New York Sun by an American intelligence officer, Bhutto's armored limousine was shot by multiple snipers whose armor-piercing bullets penetrated the vehicle, hitting the former premier five times in the head, chest, and neck. Two of the snipers then detonated themselves shortly after the shooting, according to the situation report, while being pursued by local police. ...

A working theory, according to this American source, is that Al Qaeda or affiliated jihadist groups had effectively suborned at least one unit of Pakistan's Special Services Group, the country's equivalent of Britain's elite SAS commandos. This official, however, stressed this was just a theory at this point. Other theories include that the assassins were trained by Qaeda or were from other military services, or the possibility that the assassins were retired Pakistani special forces.

"They just killed the most protected politician in the whole country," this source said. "We really don't know a lot at this point, but the first thing that is happening is we are asking the Pakistani military to account for every black team with special operations capabilities."

Well, if the notion of bulldozing ahead with parliamentary elections in under two weeks that can only hand effective political control of Pakistan (and its nuclear weapons) over to Osama bin Laden wasn't rendered moot before, it is now. If al Qaeda has penetrated Pakistani Intelligence (the ISI), there's nobody in that country that they can't kill, and they don't even have to use their own jihadis to do it.

Moreover, as Admiral Ed points out, this infiltration and its disastrous result finishes whatever figurative castration of Pervez Musharraf that he hadn't already been compelled to do to himself. If he can't trust his intel service, his military will be correspondingly hampered in its efforts to eradicate al Qaeda and the Taliban from Waziristan. And that leaves aside the question of the degree to which the Islamists have penetrated the Pakistani military as well.

Let's add this up: Musharraf can't fight the jihadis, and he dare not go through with the aforementioned elections. Mrs. Bhutto's successor as opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, is demanding the election's cancellation as well, but against the pre-condition that Musharraf resign first, which would, of course, also play right into al Qaeda's hands. And, closing the vicious circle, many in the American Beltway are backing Sharif's demand upon threat of cutting off US aid to Pakistan.

So, then, Musharraf can't go through with the elections if the opposition boycotts them; if he cancels the elections, he alienates his American patron; if he tries to go ahead anyway, the Islamists will sweep to power.

It seems that there is no alternative that doesn't result in Osama bin Laden conquering Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal. Except, of course, Pervez Musharraf and George W. Bush saying, "[Screw] it!", and restoring martial law for as long as it takes to crush the terrorists. It may split the Pakistani army, which would be the country's death knell, but it's appears to be the only alternative to sitting helplessly back and watching the cancerous, inexorable rise of al Qaedastan.

UPDATE: Could Mrs. Bhutto have really died not via the suicide bomb blast, or the ISI snipers, but by hitting her head when ducking back down through her armored vehicle's sunroof and fatally fracturing her own skull? Why on Earth would she be sticking any part of herself into the open in the first place? Hell, how can an armored vehicle expressly designed to protect VIPs possibly have a frakking sunroof at all?

Is it any wonder that bin Laden and his followers think that "God" is on their side?

The Rabbit Is Fading

At least two newspaper editorial boards REALLY do not like Mitt Romney.

The Concord (NH) Monitor:

The Concord Monitor broke with political tradition Sunday, telling readers in the state with the first presidential primary why they should not vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney instead of whom they should support.

In a scathing anti-endorsement that called Romney a "disquieting figure," the New Hampshire newspaper's editorial board said he looks and acts like a presidential contender but "surely must be stopped" because he lacks the core philosophical beliefs to be a trustworthy president.

In particular, the newspaper noted the former Massachusetts governor's change of heart on such issues as abortion rights, stem-cell research and access to emergency
contraception, as well as on signing an anti-tax pledge.

"When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state's first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we'll know it," the newspaper said. "Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no."

Leaving aside (with an effort) the absurd notion of independents voting in a Republican (or Democrat) primary, it appears the Monitor is definitely using the standard anti-Mitt "Johnny-come-lately" meme, questioning the "convenience" of his recent Damascus Road-like conversion to conservatism. It also appears that the Monitor fears a Romney victory in New Hampshire (he still has a mid-single-digits lead with under two weeks to go) and is desperate to stomp on his fingers to keep him from hanging on.

Why would the Monitor be so eager to shiv Governor Romney? Well, look at the candidate who has closed to within striking distance: John f'ing McCain, the personification of the political zombie, the man who killed his own campaign last summer with his quixotic, arrogant, obnoxious tilt at the immigration amnesty windmill and now, somehow, is rising in the polls again, and the "maverick" whose torrid love affair with the Enemy Media I guarantee isn't dormant, either. A fact that the Romneylans were quick to point out.

But if the Concord Monitor is just another lib rag, that cannot be said of the other Granite State paper that pissed in Romney's face this week:
Mitt Romney has gotten stung by another so-called "anti-endosement" - a New Hampshire newspaper, the statewide Manchester Union Leader, is calling upon voters to pass on the former Massacusetts governor. Following on the heels of a similar Concord Monitor blast over the weekend, the editorial cites:

"There is a reason Mitt Romney has not received a single newspaper endorsement in New Hampshire. It's the same reason his poll numbers are dropping. He has not been able to convince the people of this state that he's the conservative he says he is.
Like a lot of people in New Hampshire, we wanted to believe Romney. We gave him the benefit of the doubt. We listened very carefully to his expertly rehearsed sales pitch. But in the end he didn't close the deal for us.
My goodness, Hugh Hewitt must be experiencing an overpowering need to jog a few hundred extra miles a day just to sweat out the stress - though, of course, his blog will never show it. And that's before you figure in his guy's six point deficit in Iowa, whose caucuses are only six days away.

Anybody who has followed my admittedly intermittent comments on the GOP primaries over the course of this year know that Mitt Romney's slow fade is no surprise to me. He put all his emphasis on the two earliest states, zoomed out to big leads, and put himself in the classic position of having nowhere to go but down. What does surprise me is which candidates are catching and passing him. Mike Huckabee in Iowa? John McCain in New Hampshire? If the concern of Republican voters and center-right publications like the Manchester Union-Leader is
the alleged ersatzness of the Mittster's conservatism, how can they be turning to two of the least conservative Pachyderms in the race? C'mon, Huck's reaction to the Benizir Bhutto assassination was to apologize for it as though he were channelling Bill Clinton. And McCain? Sheep dip, you can't trust him as far as you can throw him, other than to be what he's been for the past decade: an untrustworthy, backstabbing media whore whose popularity with the Fourth Estate springs precisely from his delight in shafting his own party on issue after issue of crucial importance to the GOP base.

That, of course, makes McCain inherently vulnerable to ads pointing out these facts, and to his credit, Romney isn't wasting any time in laying down suppression fire:

Yeah, there's a difference, alright: one is ashamed of his RINO background, and one is damned proud of it.

Meanwhile, the only comprehensive and credible conservative in the race, the closest Republican candidate to the mantle of Ronald Reagan, is going nowhere.

The spectre of President Rodham looks more and more predestined all the time, doesn't it?

UPDATE: The Admiral generally concurs, and adds the very salient point that while McCain may have an impressive knowledge of national security issues, he has zero, zip, utterly and absolutely no executive experience with them. Of course, neither does Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani, or my man Fred; that's the sort of experience you can only get "on the job," which gets back to character, which gets back to why Fred Thompson is head & shoulders above the rest of the GOP field.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Family Stories

1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2 "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."

4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."

8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been [a] in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

-Joshua 4:1-9

Bhutto Goes Blammo

The battle of Iraq is over; behold, the battle of Pakistan has begun:
Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

A senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, confirmed that Bhutto had died.

Her supporters at the hospital began chanting “Dog, Musharraf, dog,” referring to Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf. Some of them smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears.
How knee-jerkingly convenient that Mrs. Bhutto's followers blame Musharraf, whose recent actions in declaring a scarcely any less knee-jerkingly convenient state of emergency that included putting the woman under house arrest created just the soil in which such reflexive recriminations can easily take root - but which were also a nearly inescapable Hobson's choice as well.

Meanwhile, the actual perpetrators weren't shy about glomming the "credit" for their latest murder:
A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda #2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto.
"The Egyptian doctor". The irony reels the mind.

Still, this sure looks like an al Qaeda hit. Suicide bomber, ordered by the same man who was behind the assassination of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat twenty-six years ago, which also was carried out by a suicide bomber at a crowded public rally. And it's not as if the Islamists haven't been trying to blow Mrs. Bhutto to bits for the past several months.

Why this is the case is perhaps not quite as obvious as one might think. Clearly it isn't out of an Islamist fear of democracy:
A recent CNN poll showed that 46% of Pakistanis approve of Osama bin Laden. aspirants to the American presidency should hope to score so highly in the United States. In Pakistan, though, the al-Qaeda emir easily beat out that country’s current president, Pervez Musharraf, who polled at 38%.

President George Bush, the face of a campaign to bring democracy — or, at least, some form of sharia-lite that might pass for democracy — to the Islamic world, registered nine percent. Nine!

If you want to know what to make of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder today in Pakistan, ponder that.
You could look at it that al Qaeda and the Taliban were practicing the Pakistani version of "hardball politics". By eliminating the Western-palatable alternative to Pervez Musharraf and turning Bhutto's followers even more embitteredly against his embattled regime, our enemies get pretty much the best of all worlds: either Musharraf cracks down again, bringing about a Western crackdown against his regime that would do the rest of al Qaeda's dirty work for them; he sits there, paralyzed, and his country is swept into bin laden's hands; or, as New Mexico Donk Governor Bill Richardson idiotically insists, we take this assassination as an "opportunity" to overthrow Musharraf, Shah-like just because, in order to "democratize" Pakistan - because, you know, any Pakistani democracy would automatically be pro-Western, despite all evidence to the contrary, right? - after which the Islamists will be swept into power by popular demand, just as happened in Lebanon and Gaza.

Both Andy McCarthy above and Mark Steyn in the Corner make powerful arguments that the foolish delusions of Western diplomats, who believe that jaw-jaw can solve everything, were scarcely any less culpable for sending Benizir Bhutto to her death than "Dr." Zawahiri and the demonspawn with the explosives vest. The truth, brought home anew this morning in a flash and a roar, is that Pakistan is Islamicizing, if not already majority Islamicized, and the only possible way to keep it and its nuclear arsenal from falling into OBL's hands is to do whatever it takes, use whatever force, and impose whatever draconian measures necessary to eradicate Islamic Fundamentalism once and for all.

And that doesn't put democratization very high on the to-do list. Unless, of course, people like Bill Richardson want to see Barack Obama's summer-time dream come true.

What, pray tell, was President Bush's reaction to the Bhutto assassination? Well....
The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. Mrs. Bhutto served her nation twice as Prime Minister and she knew that her return to Pakistan earlier this year put her life at risk. Yet she refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country.

We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto’s memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.
"Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice"? Are we sure that John Kerry didn't somehow gut the real Dubya after the '04 election and put on his skin like the bug did with that redneck farmer in Men in Black? This wasn't a "crime" in any conventional sense of the term, and the remedy isn't conventional law enforcement, any more than it was after 9/11. This was another enemy offensive in the Fourth World War aimed squarely at turning a valuable Western Ally in that war into a nuclear al Qaedastan. And the counter to it isn't the Bush Administration's democracy fetish, which would only lend the enemy democratic legitimacy, but to kill every last one of them, no matter how long it takes.

Hey, it's what Mr. McCarthy concluded:
For the United States, the question is whether we learn nothing from repeated, inescapable lessons that placing democratization at the top of our foreign policy priorities is high-order folly.

The transformation from Islamic society to true democracy is a long-term project. It would take decades if it can happen at all. Meanwhile, our obsessive insistence on popular referenda is naturally strengthening — and legitimizing — the people who are popular: the jihadists. Popular elections have not reformed Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Neither will they reform a place where Osama bin Laden wins popular opinion polls and where the would-be reformers are bombed and shot at until they die.

We don’t have the political will to fight the war on terror every place where jihadists work feverishly to kill Americans. And, given the refusal of the richest, most spendthrift government in American history to grow our military to an appropriate war footing, we may not have the resources to do it.

But we should at least stop fooling ourselves. Jihadists are not going to be wished away, rule-of-lawed into submission, or democratized out of existence. If you really want democracy and the rule of law in places like Pakistan, you need to kill the jihadists first. Or they’ll kill you, just like, today, they killed Benazir Bhutto.
Hmmm; the "war on terror" a war of annihilation....trying to win the war on the cheap via the destruction of only two Middle East dictatorships and a "surge" of recycled Wilsonianism that is succeeding in Iraq only because we've got 150,000 troops on the ground while our enemies are left free in Iran, Syria, and now almost Pakistan to run wild dismissed as rank folly, inexcusable cowardice, and courting strategic disaster....It all sounds familiar, somehow.

Makes me feel like the ghost of Christmas to come.

Not that showing Hillary Clinton the future she's destined to destroy would change her mind, as Ebenezer Scrooge's was, of course....

Central Command News (12/27/07)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Against All Odds

Lawrence Kudlow has a good article up over at The Washington Times' web site. He calls it "Bush's Very Good Year." We have commented on this recently on this blog, but I think it bears repeating, because remember how he was being written off after the 2006 election? Why, the Democrats were going to run all over him, then run him out of office. In reality, he has been smacking them upside the head over and over again.

Against all odds, and despite the usual drumbeat of criticism, President Bush had a very good year.

The troop surge in Iraq is succeeding. America remains safe from terrorist attacks. And the Goldilocks economy is outperforming all expectations.

At his year-end news conference, Mr. Bush said with optimism that the economy is fundamentally sound, despite the housing downturn and the subprime credit crunch. The very next day, that optimism was reinforced with news of the best consumer spending in two years.

The prophets of recessionary doom, such as former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Republican adviser Martin Feldstein, ex-Democratic Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, and bond-maven Bill Gross have been proven wrong once again.

Calendar year 2007 looks set to produce 3 percent growth in real gross domestic product, nearly 3 percent growth in consumer spending, and more than 3 percent growth in after-tax inflation-adjusted incomes.

Meanwhile, headline inflation (including food and energy) will have run at 2½ percent, with only 2 percent core inflation.

You get the idea. What I keep going back to are the gloom and doom reports of how Christmas season spending was going to be awful this year, and the "experts" were proven wrong again. I'm beginning to wonder how these experts ever got to be experts. Must have been an online 4 week economy course or something. Or maybe...Democrat hopes for bad times for America. That seems more likely.

Still New

1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance [a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Peter, [b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

-1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Incomparable Christ

By an unknown author....

~ ~ ~
He came from the bosom of the Father to the bosom of a woman. He put on humanity that we might put on divinity. He became Son of Man that we might become sons of God. He came from heaven where the rivers never freeze, winds never blow, frosts never chill the air, flowers never fade, and no one is ever sick. No undertakers and no graveyards, for one one ever dies, no one is ever buried.
He was born contrary to the laws of nature, lived in poverty, reared in obscurity - only once crossed the boundary of the land, in childhood. He had no wealth or influence and had neither training nor education. His relatives were inconspicuous and not influential. In infancy, He startled a king; in boyhood, He puzzled the doctors; in manhood, He ruled the course of nature. He walked upon billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book, yet not all the libraries of the country could hold all the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme of more songs than all writers combined. He never founded a college, yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced medicine, and yet He healed more broken hearts than the doctors healed broken bodies.
He never marshaled an army, drafted a soldiers, or fired a gun, yet no leader ever made more volunteers who have, under his orders, made rebels stack arms or surrender without a shot being fired. He is the Star of astronomy, the Rock of geology, the Lion and the Lamb of zoology, the Harmonizer of all discords and the Healter of all diseases. Great men have come and gone, yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him, Satan could not seduce Him, the grave could not hold Him.
He laid aside His purple robe for a peasants gown. He was rich, yet for our sake became poor. How poor? Ask Mary! Ask the wise men! He slept in another's slop trough. He cruised the lake in another's boat. He rode on another man's ass. He was buried in another man's tomb. All failed, but He, never! The ever-perfect One, He is the Chief among ten thousand. He is altogether lovely and He is my Savior.

The Blessing Tree

46 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the LORD 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is His Name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."

-Luke 1:46-55

Merry Christmas

From "The Pastor's Pen" in the December 2007 Voice of the Valley, the monthly newsletter of Valley Bible Church, by guest-posted by Stephanie Buczak. Re-posted here with permission.

~ ~ ~

Thank the LORD we still have a season worth celebrating.

Remember Christmas? Remember waking up early on Christmas morning, sneaking out to the smell of the fresh pine Christmas tree, crawling under the tree to turn the lights on, and waiting ever so impatiently for your parents to wake up? Remember the Christmas program with the manger and the little biblically incorrect blue-eyed baby doll? Remember the angle costumes with theitchy garland halos (if you're blonde that was likely your costume every year when you really wanted to be Mary)?

What is Christmas all about? Certainly, we know what the holidays are all about. Presents, of course. Let's just be honest. Why else would all the stores have so many sales and why is the traffic around the malls so awful this time of year? Presents. The world tries to fool itself by saying that it's all about spending time with family, but that point is not well argued at all. Haven't you heard the commercial about how much of a drag it is to "have to go see the in-laws"? Don't give me "holidays". I don't want any part of such a contadictory sham.

Remember the name? Remember Jesus? Remember? Oftentimes I don't. It's very easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the season. I catch myself evaluating every commercial to see if what they're advertising is really what I want for Christmas. Could I ask for that and not hurt the budget too badly? What I remember is that December 25th is called Christmas, but in all this craziness about Christmas being called anything other than Christmas, I have been reminded that I have a reason for celebrating Christmas AS Christmas.

I celebrate a Savior Who is worth far more than my temporary, covetous wants. He's worth far more than just His birthday. For unto us is born this day....a Savior, Which is Christ the LORD. A Savior; a self-sacrificing, all-powerful, loving-above-all-other-loves, Savior, Jesus Christ. The Savior Who died for me. I have been saved for years and I still can't grasp the fact that Jesus died for me. Knowing that I remain safely in His arms, I still long to hug Him.

Say the Name against and remember it this Christmas: Jesus.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Forgotten Man

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the Name Jesus, [a] because He will save His people from their sins."

22 All this took place to fulfill what the LORD had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with Child and will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel" [b] — which means, "God with us."

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the LORD had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a Son. And he gave him the Name Jesus.

-Matthew 1:18-25

What A Coincidence!!

This kind of stuff has moved beyond eye-rollingly disgusting to just plain funny.

An amazing coincidence the other day on the campaign trail in Iowa with Hillary Clinton.

The New York senator was in Donnellson as part of a broad statewide tour in which she, her husband, relatives, friends and Magic Johnson spread out to all 99 crucial counties to tell stories meant to soften her image in what's become a very tight Democratic caucus race.

At a campaign forum in the fire station, a caucus site come Jan. 3, Clinton happened to be asked about her religious faith. Practicing Methodist, she responded, adding, "I'm often asked if I'm a praying person, and I am a praying person. My father prayed at his bedside every night and we prayed at the table over dinner."

Then, someone pointed out that Clinton's childhood Sunday-school teacher, Rosalie Bentzinger, from her Park Ridge, Ill., days, happened to be right there in the very same Iowa fire station at that same moment. Can you believe it?

The Sunday-school teacher stood up. Clinton rushed over. They hugged.

The 84-year-old Bentzinger gave Clinton a photograph she happened to have with her. And Clinton announced, "She has a picture of my confirmation class -- March 27, 1959."

Clinton aides said they were unaware the Sunday-school teacher was in the crowd.

Wow, how convenient for Mrs. Clinton that her old Sunday School teacher was there, AND she happened to have a picture of Mrs. Clinton's confirmation class from 1959! But wait...

Hillary has staged another campaign event for her "Hilly Copter Trail of Tears" tour, this time carefully staging a "reunion" with her long-lost Sunday School Teacher in a firehouse in Iowa.

The event was staged to make it appear that Clinton was "suprised" to see her old Sunday School Teacher in the firehouse. The two hugged. The Teacher, Roaslie Bentzinger, even brought a photo of Hillary's confirmation class. Not a dry eye in the house! After all these years!

The event also provided an excellent opportunity for Hillary to expo[u]nd on her religous beliefs (presumably contrasting them with Obama's). The entire staged event was started with a planted question about her faith. After Hillary expounded on her praying habits, the long-lost Sunday School Teacher came forward from the small crowd gathered.

The problem with the event is that Hillary and Ms. Bentzinger are hardly strangers, having met at a similar campaign event in April of this year.

Ms. Bentzinger is hardly an unknown retired Sunday School teacher living in obscurity, either.

Ms. Bentzinger is a well-known regliious scholar and leader and even has a religious scholarship named after her.

Hard to believe Clinton did not recognize her in the crowd, considering they shared BBQ together a few months earlier.

The most incredible thing is she still has supporters who lap this stuff up. It's no surprise that the press does, of course, but it's hard to believe there are enough stupid people in this country to make this woman a viable candidate for anything, let alone President of the United States.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Reserved In Heaven

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

-1 Peter 1:3-12

VBC Missionaries Of The Week: Tim & Sharon Simmonds

The Simmonds are ministering to new candidates at the New Tribes Language Institute. They help with the last stage of training as new missionaries prepare to go into tribal evangelism. Tim is also working on Bible curriculum for the Mamusi churches in Papua New Guinea.

Sharon works in the finance office.

Global Cooling?

Somebody call Al Gore, quick! Nah, never mind. Don't bother him with facts like these:

Al Gore says global warming is a planetary emergency. It is difficult to see how this can be so when record low temperatures are being set all over the world. In 2007, hundreds of people died, not from global warming, but from cold weather hazards.

Since the mid-19th century, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. This slight warming is not unusual, and lies well within the range of natural variation. Carbon dioxide continues to build in the atmosphere, but the mean planetary temperature hasn't increased significantly for nearly nine years. Antarctica is getting colder. Neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased. The 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.

The mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees in the last 100+ years! Oh my goodness, Al Gore is right! It's a crisis! Send him your money immediately!

South America this year experienced one of its coldest winters in decades. In Buenos Aires, snow fell for the first time since the year 1918. Dozens of homeless people died from exposure. In Peru, 200 people died from the cold and thousands more became infected with respiratory diseases. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency.

Read the rest of the article. It's full of evidence such as the above that Al Gore and his Green Cult are nothing but a bunch of liars.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Where's The Leash?

1 Listen to what the LORD says: "Stand up, plead your case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say.

2 Hear, O mountains, the LORD's accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of Earth. For the LORD has a case against His people; He is lodging a charge against Israel.

3 "My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer Me.

4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.

5 My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."

6 With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?

7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

-Micah 6:1-8

The T-101 Really Is Obsolete

My, how the fearsome and awesome Terminator has fallen. Shall we take a brief stroll down memory lane?

1984: Out of a ball of dazzlingly electric-blue lightning emerges a massive creature that looks outwardly like a certain Austrian body-builder. Talks like him, too. He's naked, and he knows he needs clothes. He spots three young hoodlums. He approaches them and, ignoring their insolent ridicule of his unclad state, barks in an uncanny imitation of Jorgen Von Strangle, "Your clothes! Give dem to me! NOW!!" He punctuates his demand by backhanding one of them several yards through the air to land in an unconscious heap, impaling the second on his arm, while the third wastes no time in disrobing as fast as frenzied terror will allow.

His mission? To "terminate" a young woman named Sarah Connor who, in the future he comes from, is the mother of the human resistance leader that defeats his kind. He's the villain, but he's the ultimate badass.

1994 (1991, really, but in the movie it's 1994): Out of a ball of dazzling electric-blue light emerges another massive creature that looks outwardly like a retired Austrian body-builder. Still ripped by ordinary standards, and still talks like him for the most part. He's naked as well, and knows he needs clothes. He spots a nearby honkytonk bar. He enters it, sizing up the patrons, until he finds a biker of approximately comparable size. In a calm tone, he announces, "I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle." After the biker finishes laughing hysterically at him, and putting out a lit cigar on his shoulder, he calmly pummels, hurls, and stabs half a dozen of the establishment's male patrons. The biker sobbingly surrenders his clothes, boots, and motorcycle. But nobody died.

His mission? To protect the son of the young woman his predecessor failed to terminate from a newer, deadlier terminator. He's still a badass, but a kinder, gentler one.

2003 (The actual year isn't specified, but the movie came out in 2003): Out of a ball of dazzling electric blue light emerges a noticeably diminished creature that looks like the father of a retired Austrian body-builder. Sports a good build for a geezer, good enough that you can almost ignore that unairbrushable chin waddle and the heart surgery scar on his chest. Of course he's naked, but he needs clothes to conceal the paunch he's been unable to exercise away no matter how hard he tries. He spots a nearby gay bar. He, um, enters it, er, sizing up the patrons but finding none that match his, uh, size. Finally he settles upon the gay stripper currently, eh, performing on stage. Climbing up beside him, he politely asks, "May I please have your clothes?" After a lengthy negotation the stipulations of which were blessedly kept off-screen, he is donned in the same tell-tale leather ensemble as his predecessors.

His mission? To protect the older version of the young woman's son that shouldn't exist after the successful mission of his immediate predecessor but does anyway, whose older self is terminated after the human victory by the very same model that is trying to protect him now from a fembot - even newer and even deadlier, but still a fembot. And she kicks his ass.

(Later in) 2003: Out of a ball of dazzling electric-blue light emerges a politician. He used to be a body-builder, and then three shrinking terminators, and in his spare time, an Action Hero. He's not naked anymore, and has amassed so much cash that if he never again wore an article of clothing more than once, he wouldn't be naked for over fifty seven million years. But in his jury-rigged heart, the spark of what he once was still flickers, and he decides to apply it to politics.

He spots a nearby state, which he dubs "Gollyfornia". He enters it, sizing up the allegedly elected officeholders, finally settling on an amorphous pipsqueak not anywhere close to his size. But rather than demanding his clothes, he tells the man, in the spirit of his predecessors, to "get out." Governor Gray Davis complies, but only because of the crazed pitchfork-bearing mob gathering behind his assailant.

But to cover his exit he throws his Lieutenant-Governor, a man whose surname translates as "Large Breasts," into the grasping arms of his deposer. He backhands "Large Breasts" several yards away to land in an unconscious heap, then impales him on his arm - electorally, of course.

The Governator is born.

2004: His mission to "do da vill of da peepul" accomplished for the time being, the Governator accepts a new mission: get President George W. Bush re-elected. Believing that to be too daunting a task even for his mighty populist powers, he limits his involvement to the Republican National Convention and a lone, late-October joint campaign appearance in Ohio. Bush, who at this point still is an Action Hero, wins re-election without the Governator's help.

A certain esteemed pundit opined that the Governator was "cool." And he was. But the lugnuts of his coolness were steadily loosening.

2005: Terminator I survived gunfire, multiple car crashes, and massive explosions, and kept on coming. Terminator II defeated the more advanced and deadly T-1000. Terminator III defeated the even more advanced, and definitely hotter, Terminatrix. But as the Governator, champion of right-wing populism, he finally meets, in the California Left, a villain he can't beat.

But rather than displaying the single-minded relentlessness of his predecessors, the Governator quits. No, he does more than quit: he switches sides. His descent from fearsome and awesome Terminator to Governor Girlyman is now complete.

2006: His circle from mighty villain to mighty hero to fallen hero to craven villain now closed, what's an obsolete, emasculated Terminator to do? What else - embark on a new mission. His new persona? The Toxic Avenger. So much for "getting the government off your back," "lowering the taxes," "making government accountable to the people instead of the people accountable to the government," "your family knowing how to spend your money better than the government," and "faith in free enterprise, the resourcefulness of the American people, and the U.S. economy."

2007: It all comes down to this:
California will sue the US government within weeks over its failure to give the green light to the state's tough new vehicle emissions standards, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday.

The movie star turned Republican politician said in a strongly worded statement that the Environmental Protection Agency's rejection of a request by California to be allowed to set its own standards was "legally indefensible."

The statement said California would file suit "within the next three weeks" at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in Washington to challenge the EPA's ruling, which was issued on Wednesday.

"We will sue to overturn this ruling as quickly as possible," Schwarzenegger said. "I have no doubt that we will prevail because the law, science and the public's demand for leadership are on our side.

"Anything less than aggressive action is inexcusable."

"EPA's denial of our waiver request to enact the nation's cleanest standards for vehicle emissions is legally indefensible and another example of the failure to treat climate change with the seriousness it demands."
Ah-nuld is not only "a coward after all," he's a liar as well.

Funny, I didn't know that Al Gore knew how to reprogram advanced cybernetic organisms....

Friday, December 21, 2007

God's Surprising Answer

1 "Here is My Servant, Whom I uphold, My Chosen One in Whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations.

2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets.

3 A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice; 4 He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on Earth. In His law the islands will put their hope."

5 This is what God the LORD says — He Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out Earth and all that comes out of it, Who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 "I am the LORD; that is My Name! I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols.

9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."

-Isaiah 42:1-9

The Worst Campaign Ad EVER

Okay, now that I've wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes...I'll share this with you. Have you ever seen a bigger phony in your LIFE? One would almost believe her opponents put that one on, except at the end she says she approved it. Wow.

JASmius adds: Wow, indeed. Senator Clinton's ad is so....what's the word? Honest. She thinks Uncle Sam should be Santa Claus, wants to turn him into a tranny by taking his place, and she actually made an ad publicly confirming it.

I guess that also confirms that her campaign IS worried about its chances in the looming primary season. There's no triangulation in sight in this ad, and a whole lotta frantic pandering to her party's lunatic neoBolshevik base.

It gives me a new nickname for the Chappaqua Gargoyle, though: Senator Claus.

Sounds right, doesn't it?

A damn sight better than "President Rodham," at least.

Central Command News (12/21/07)

US CENTCOM Latest News Feed

U.S. Airmen Help Open Hospital in Afghanistan.aspx

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:38 PM CST
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HERO, Afghanistan – Airmen in a medical mentoring team here have been working hard to ensure the successful opening of an Afghan National Army hospital for the past several months.

Multinational Division Baghdad Transfers Authority.aspx

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 11:59 AM CST

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Control of Multinational Division Baghdad changed hands during a ceremony here yesterday.

US CENTCOM Press Releases


Posted: 21 Dec 2007 06:06 AM CST

Nuclear Ships, Passing In The Night

While the Iranian mullahgarchy is frenetically working toward building a massive nuclear arsenal - no matter what the intel defeatniks that put together the latest National Intelligence Estimate hallucinate - that they, unlike we, will promptly use against us and our allies, the United States, under the gelded, beknighted direction of the gutted, emasculated Bush Administration, is sailing suicidally in the opposite direction:
The United States has dismantled its nuclear weapons stockpile faster than anticipated and will meet President George W. Bush's goal of reducing the arsenal by half at the end of this year - five years early, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

Bush in 2004 announced a goal of halving the U.S. nuclear stockpile by 2012, which will now be met by year's end, a National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman said.

The number of nuclear weapons is classified and the agency is working to reduce the stockpile by another 15%, John Broehm, an NNSA spokesman said.

"We are reducing our nuclear weapons stockpile to the lowest level consistent with America's national security and our commitments to friends and allies," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement.

She said the reduction would put the U.S. stockpile at less than one-quarter its size at the end of the Cold War.

"It is a comprehensive effort to reduce U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons and streamline and modernize our nuclear infrastructure," Perino said.
I am disquieted by the notion of unilateral nuclear disarmament just on general principles. It takes far longer to build a nuclear arsenal than it does to heedless throw one away, after all, and history shows that disarmament inevitably necessitates re-armament by the encouragement such overt displays of weakness give to our enemies. Only in this case and these circumstances we may not even get the chance to rearm before our willingly embraced vulnerability destroys us.

What strikes me in particular is the reference to "reducing our reliance on nuclear weapons." During the Cold War we relied upon a strong nuclear deterrent to defend Europe from the Warsaw Pact because we were so hopelessly outnumbered in conventional forces and unwilling to invest in the level of manpower and weaponry it would have required to maintain parity with that enemy. After President Reagan won the Cold War (by BUILDING our nuclear stockpile, among other "warmongering" remedies), and our "holiday from history" passed, we found, and find, ourselves in both a new war and new KIND of war, one that doesn't focus as much on the faceoff of massive land armies and more on far-flung, small-scale guerrilla (or "insurgency") campaigns scattered across the globe, but with the paradoxically greater likelihood of the use of weapons of mass destruction - including nukes - against our homeland. The surest and most straightforward means of winning such a conflict is to deprive Islamist terrorists of the support and sponsorship of like-minded regimes who are hell-bent on gaining access to WMD for the sole purpose of using them against us.

Regimes such as the one that used to dominate Iraq, and the ones that still exist in rogue outposts like North Korea and....Iran.

Yet how is the Bush Administration handling the metastasizing Iranian nuclear threat? Do you really want to know?
US President George W. Bush said Monday that Russian deliveries of nuclear fuel to Iran only fed the need for the world to clamp down more firmly on Tehran's home-grown atomic work.

And the US State Department announced consultations Tuesday with five other powers on a draft UN Security Council resolution imposing tougher sanctions on the Islamic republic for refusing to freeze uranium enrichment.

"Iran was a threat to peace, Iran is a threat to peace, and Iran will be a threat to peace if we don't stop their enrichment," which can be a critical step towards getting nuclear arms, Bush told a town-hall style audience here.
The Russian deliveries of nuclear fuel to Iran resumed only after the brain-dead "The mullahs stopped seeking nukes four years ago despite their crash-course enrichment drive" NIE was vomited onto the global news nets, handing Tehran a load of propaganda largesse that Santa Claus couldn't have managed. Coincidence? I think not.

It also had the intended effect of cutting off any embryonic decisive move by the Bush White House to "neutralize" (or sterilize) the mullahgarchy once and for all at the proverbial knees. Not that any such move was remotely in the offing, but now it's bloody impossible. Which both limits Dubya to futile multilateralist diplodiddling about meaningless UNSCRs and toothless sanctions measures and anything and everything but the only thing that can stop the mullahs from getting the nuclear weapons they are making no secret of seeking: regime change by American military force; and guarantees a bloody end to this process, with most of the blood being spilled out of American civilian veins.

The greatest irony? By not employing our conventional military superiority where it is most needed - and whose very existence had already, at least I THOUGHT, "reduced our reliance upon nuclear weapons" - that reliance will only INCREASE as hostile, irrational regimes build ever large nuclear stockpiles and distribute them out the tentacles of the terrorist networks they animate. And that's in addition to the still vast Russian nuclear arsenal, in the hands of Time's Man of the Year who has shown a nascent desire to revive the Cold War of late, and the ever expanding Red Chinese nuclear and conventional military machine.

If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, we seem determined to divest ourselves entirely of the means of both.

And that's BEFORE Hillary Clinton moves back into the White House.

Perhaps it's not so ironic that the shadow of war looms over this season of ostensible "peace on Earth." "While they are saying, 'Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: to modify an old Maoism, "Peace and safety come out of the barrel of a gun; that gun must never slip from the grasp of the United States of America."

And we're throwing it away - on (almost) every front.

How's that for a stocking-stuffer?

Where, Oh Where Has My JASmius Gone, Oh Where, Oh Where Can He Be....?

I'm still here. I'm just still recovering from the long, dark tunnel that was this recently concluded budget season. I'm also more of a creature of habit than I remembered, or perhaps was even aware of.

That's the nature of an externally imposed change in one's daily routine. It seems temporary at first, but after awhile the change becomes the routine. You get used to the new situation, adjust to it, and soon forget, at least consciously, about the status quo it replaced.

When I first ventured forth into the wonderful world of blogging three and a half years ago, I had all the time in the world to indulge that passion. My day job, as compared to what it is now, was orders of magnitude simpler and both less burdensome and less stressful. I had ample time on breaks, as well as ample time on evenings and weekends, to commentate away to my heart's content. And the timing - coming into the home stretch of the 2004 presidential campaign - was golden. I rummage through the archives from that period and marvel at my wit and perspicacity (if I do say so myself).

After 2004 the day job started to change. Or, more specifically, expand, as in beyond the original parameters of the one for which I interviewed and which I accepted. The workload, hours necessary to fulfill it, and concommitant stress level, rose malignantly. The effect manifested itself here by the dwindling of my posting output, both in quantity and quality of content as well as frequency.

Oh, yes, there have been ebbs and flows. As recently as last spring I resolved to get back to the level of the early days, and did enjoy some success. But that resolution got bludgeoned by the Seven Weeks Of Vocational Hell, and even now that they've passed (for now), I find myself unable to focus on blogging like I used to, either years ago or mere weeks.

Not even on days off. That leads into another drain on blogging time and focus that didn't exist in days gone by: my family. Between my father-in-law passing away back in February and my mother-in-law's infirmity and ultimate move closer to where we live, and the hassles and burden of trying to manage her affairs and the disposition of the estate that have afflicted Mrs. Hard Starboard, to the awareness it raised in my mind about my own septuaginarian parents, to my son's behavioral and academic problems, to simply having a teenage daughter (and one who is obsessed with getting her learner's permit, thence to driver's ed, thence to a driver's license, thence to a new level of paternal worry - and that doesn't even figure dating into the equation), there are more than sufficient distractions around Hard Starboard Galactic HQ to crowd mere commentating on the onrush of events that could determine the future of humankind on this planet out of sight, and thus out of mind.

Then there's all the to-do list stuff that continues to languish. Home repairs (several doorposts, no hot water in our shower, a new kitchen floor, putting a roof and walls on our deck to make a "rumpus" room, a storage shed, disposing of a seemingly ever larger quantity of boxes and other deritus that clutter our laundry room, the aforementioned deck, and have spilled out onto our front porch), non-critical "homework" from the office that I haven't been able to get to, routine household finance work that remains to be done, and a couple of CPE courses I have to order and complete by the end of next week. Indeed, much of this list is on the list because of my frustrated attempts to keep up with blogging over recent months. As the old saying goes, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

And my body is making me invest more of them than I'd like in sleeping. I just can't burn the midnight oil like I used to. Time was, going clear back to my college days, when I could easily get by on six hours of sleep a night. Rare was the evening that I went to bed before midnight. Like my father, I was a classic "nightowl," only whereas dear old Dad would sit up until two in the morning reading Popular Mechanics and listening to his police scanner (which he still has, BTW), or in more recent years watch tapes of aircraft programs on cable, I would be clackity-clacking away at this keyboard, contributing my own unique take on the world and its events to which our vast and loyal readership has (or HAD) grown addicted. But not anymore; nowadays when I get home I can already barely keep my eyes open, and as often as not am asleep within half an hour of coming in the front door. All but one night this week I didn't even make it to nine o'clock. Which is most of why I'm up at this ungodly cow-milking hour clickety-clacking away on nothing to do with the Earth-shaking place-takings of the day. Besides, I'll never have time once I get to the office, and I'll probably fall asleep on the way home tonight.

And as if all of the above wasn't depressing enough (at least to my still-functioning blogging compulsion), you have no doubt noticed the technical problems we've been experiencing for months, both in the incessant crashing of the main page (You have to click your browser's "stop" button after the posts load) and the inability of most of my graphics to load. Actually, the "fix" to the crashing problem partially negates the graphics problem by truncating the full loading of the sidebar, which suggests that the crashing problem is caused by conflicting scripts somewhere therein. A conflict I suppose I could find if - drumroll, please - I had the time to tear it apart and determine just exactly what is conflicting with what. Which, of course, I do not have, which is why the problem has persisted. Oh, I've tried to contact the good folks at Google and beg for suggestions as to how to fix either or both problems; but, of course, Blogger is a free service, and as in most things in life, you get what you pay for.

So what is the solution to all these problems? How should I know? Arrogant pagan "science" hasn't quite fabricated a "unified field theory" that explains everything and ties together all the unsolved mysteries of the cosmos; how could I arrogate to myself a remedy that would restore temporal balance to my life, get my fat ass back on this site pixelating like I'm capable of, and make the site itself work like it's supposed to?

The first two are irresolvable unless you remove the need for sleep and earning a living from the equation. Well, okay, if I could earn a living FROM blogging, that would be a solution - but we can't all be Ed Morrissey. But as to the last issue, one of my old bosses had a saying: "When the going gets tough, EXPAND!"

Or, in this case, upgrade. As in migrate Hard Starboard from Blogger to a different host (one I'd have to actually pay for), with our own honest-to-goodness domainname (no frakking "blogspot" in the URL), on honest-to-goodness Moveable Type v. 4.0. A move I have contemplated on several occasions over the past few years, but never bothered actually pursuing because there wasn't any overt need for it. Until now, that is.

You see where this is headed, don't you? I have next week off, and nine uninterrupted days of freedom sound like a lot, which is why they always end up half-overloaded and entirely squandered as everything I plan to do during the typical week off gets procrastinated into limbo by sleep and the sheer joy and release of the absence of stress (or immediately proximate stress, anyway). Relaxation from the frenetic regimentation of my professional (and increasingly, family) life to me means its diametric opposite - do nothing. Which is incompatible with finishing "homework," dispatching two CPE courses, rebuilding a full blogging regimen, taking my daughter out to finish her Christmas shopping (and do some belated Christmas shopping of my own) and - MAYBE - get her her learner's permit, if only so I can laugh uncontrollably at her first attempts to drive a standard transmission, catching up on the towering mound of home receipt data entry, ANNNNNND obtaining new digs for this once and future (?) Empire Of The Mind. And besides, Mrs. Hard Starboard always gives me grief whenever I try to relax anyway, evidently out of a heartfelt devotion to the axiom that misery both loves and DEMANDS company.

I don't honestly know how long it would take to carry out the migration. But it appears that I no longer have a choice if we want to have a blog that actually works, and in that context I would like to have it up and running by the dawn of 2008.

That's not a promise - not yet, anyway. But the eventual new URL will be, and everything should work again.


A pity regaining my blogging stamina won't be even this easy.