A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Giving Thanks

Last year at this time a friend died. He`d apparently had a stroke, and a police-officer friend found him dead on his kitchen floor. His funeral was a very sad affair, as he was much loved. He was in his mid-forties.

This Thanksgiving, my friend 7lb Dave (he`d caught a 7 pound Bass and was inordinately proud of it!) lost his Mother-in-Law unexpectedly; she had an aortal aneurysm and her passing was a complete shock. (You may remember, actor John Ritter died of this exact same illness.) Dave`s poor wife and family had the grim task of burying their mother right after Thanksgiving, and their lives have been forever changed.

Yesterday I received a shocking call from my mother; my father had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. He had been at our house on Thanksgiving, and was having chest pains then, but he (and everybody else) thought that he had eaten too much. I know that dad has been suffering from bad indigestion for a while (which is a warning sign) but had never considered that he might have a heart attack; he is in good physical condition, eats well, tries to exercise (although he does smoke albeit not very much) and has no heart disease on his side of the family. My dad is one of those people who thins and toughens as he ages-they are the people who usually have strong hearts.

Fortunately, he went to the hospital in time, and it looks like all is well. They found two arteries were 99% clogged, and performed balloon angioplasty to clear the blockage. (It is miraculous what medicine can do these days; my dad was awake and watching the proceedure on a television monitor!) He`ll be coming home tomorrow, and should be back at it in no time!

He dodged a bullet.

How long can anyone go before they come to a bullet they CAN`T dodge? This whole episode has me thinking about our collective mortality, and the brief flicker which is life. The Bible describes our days on this Earth as ``like the morning dew`` which quickly fades in the heat of day. We don`t like to think about it, but our time is short, and what we can accomplish is limited.

When we are young we believe we have eternity before us, and time is an easy thing to squander. It is the unfortunate folly of youth that we waste our chances and misspend our time. Some learn the importance of it early, most not until a bit later, while some never realize how precious is our time here. Our lives must be lived in such a way that they are not in vain, yet it is easy to look to tomorrow for what we should be doing today. Man is a procrastinator by nature; we don`t like to grab the bull by the horns, but prefer our ease and comfort. Day after day we live our lives while the falling sands of time collect about our feet. Time, like those grains of sand in the sun, is hot on our heels, yet too often we vow to get moving ``tomorrow``. We are wrong. Time is indeed the stuff of life; we should never waste a moment given us.

A week ago Sunday the Gospel reading at my Church was about three servants who were given sums of money by their master, and who were then left to manage his affairs. The first servant had invested wisely, as had the second, and had made a fine profit for their master. The third, however, had buried his portion under a ground. The master rewarded the first two servants, but angrily fired the lazy third for squandering what was given him. The whole point of this parable was to illustrate precisely what I am talking about; we have all been given our lives for a purpose, and we need to live them wisely. Our days here are short, and we need to be grateful for the time we have to accomplish that purpose. You needn`t be religious to see the wisdom of this; the atheist should die knowing he made the world a better place for his time spent here. (Granted, I sympathize with the atheist; his time here is ALL, and often he is desperate to be relevent.) We should be grateful for the opportunities presented us.

Which is precisely the problem with Liberalism; liberals are ungrateful! Theirs is a philosophy which, although centered almost entirely on Earthly things, has at it`s core envy and ingratituted. The left never is thankful for the great blessings given us-rather, they complain incessantly about what is denied. Since time is short on this Earth, the denial of things wished for is doubly painful. Everyone has some blessing denied to others, and the unfairness of this demands wrathful action to the liberal and the ingrate. To many on the left, it is better if no-one has something than that some have while others have not. Better the pot be empty for all than full for some. What right have we to be full, how can we be thankful when others are lacking? How dare we rejoice the blessings of today when sorrow waits at the door?

That is why the Bible says to ``give thanks in all things``. A thankful spirit guarantees we not squander our time, nor decend into bitterness and envy.

That is why the Pilgrims celebrated that first Thanksgiving; it was not just because they had food, but because God had given them the means to continue to live, continue on this Earth in the work they set out to do. They saw the value in their lives, the worth in what they were doing, and were grateful for the beneficience provided by their God to carry on. Without such gratefulness, the Colony would have perished.

I know that 7lb. Dave and his wife are grateful. Not that her mother died, but that they had the privelege to know her and learn from her. Her time was a blessing, albeit a brief one.

I am grateful to have known my friend Dan, who`s passing we mark today. He touched many lives, and for the better.

I am thankful, indeed, that my father is going to be well. When the time comes for him to depart from us, I will be eternally grateful to have known him, to have had him teach me, to be able to carry something of his spirit with me for the rest of my days. He will never die, in that regard, as long as my family holds to those things he worked so hard to instill in us, and remembers in gratitude those things he did for us.

Love is eternal, and gratitude is the expression of that love.

And I know that I`ll see him again, on the other side, when my time is finished on this Earth. There is great comfort in that!

For that, too, I am grateful!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

An Eyewitness Account of Genocide

Aussiegirl, the ever-brilliant author of Ultima Thule, has posted her mother`s account of the terrible famine in Ukraine during the early 1930`s. As you all should remember, this famine was an attempt at genocide by Uncle Joe Stalin, who wanted to be rid of the Ukrainian people. He cordoned off the country, shipped all of the food out, and waited for an entire nation to starve to death.

Aussiegirl writes:

Ukrainians call the genocidal famine “Holodomor”, which means “murder by famine”. At precisely 4 p.m. on Saturday, a national moment of silence was observed followed by the lighting of the candles.

I would like to honor the memories of those who died by publishing my own translation of my mother’s short memoir of those years. It is her testament to what she saw and experienced -- the death not only of millions of people, but of an entire way of life.

Go here to read this tremendous historical account.

Fighting With Judicial Restraint

W. James Antle III, writing in Conservative Truth, argues that Conservatives have never appreciated or understood the importance of the Courts, and have subsequently fought the Judicial War tepidly, at best. He makes some excellent points.

New to the Honor Roll

I`ve added some new blogs to the blogroll recently, and I recommend everyone check them out.

For those of you who haven`t visited Steve Rankin`s Free Citizen, you`re missing out; Steve has an excellent, thoughtful site that you simply can`t miss.

Another one you need to check out is Don Bangert`s Current Observations. His site (much like Free Citizen) is weighted heavily to the philosophical and historical roots of the Republic, and is something you don`t want to miss.

Writing from the true ground zero in the War on Terror(Israel), E. B. and team bring us a birds-eye-view of life and politics in the Promised Land. This is a terrific blog, and well worth your visit.

Finally, I`d be remiss in not directing everyone to the Land Down Under where our friend Morris keeps the faith in Perth. This should be a daily for everyone!

I do hope y`all (a little Ozark lingo!) take the time to check out these blogs, as well as the rest of the sites I have linked; they have to meet my rigorous standards to reach the lofty heights of blogrolldom! I believe that every site posted is absolutely first-rate, and I am continually amazed at what a brilliant group I`ve managed to find! So be sure to check out the new ones, and don`t forget to visit our old friends.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Defeat Through Good Deeds

The ever-brilliant Herb Meyer has a terrific piece on why the war in Iraq is dragging on today in the American Thinker. He makes the case that wars are not won by good deeds, and that our ``winning the hearts and minds`` strategy of rebuilding and reconciliation are only encouraging the enemy. He`s right.

An enemy, any enemy, must know they are defeated before reconstruction. Consider the Texas revolution; Mexico had to be repelled on several occasions after Texas won her independence; Mexico once actually captured San Antonio! Why? Because the Mexicans never believed they had been defeated by Sam Houston at San Jacinto. They had trounced the Texicans in all previous battles, and only through the carelessness of Santa Anna had they been defeated (and Santa Anna captured). They didn`t SEE themselves as beaten, so they tried to renege on Texas independence. That all changed with the Mexican War, where the United States gave them a thrashing.

Consider the case of WWI Germany; the Germans surrendered and were humiliated by Clemenceau and his patsy, Woodrow Wilson, (Lloyd George was the only one with any sense) but Germany was not actually BEATEN. There was no D-day style invasion, no march through the Fatherland to Berlin. As a result, the treaty signed at Versailles enraged many Germans, including a young corporal who was recuperating from a mustard gas attack and who would eventually plunge the entire World into the greatest war in human history. Most Germans saw the Armistice as a betrayal because the people never actually felt defeated. This state of affairs opened the door to Der Fuehrer and his Thousand Year Reich.

The gentle treatment of Napoleon by the British lead to the Corsican`s return from his ``kingdom`` on Elba to raise an army which would again imperil Europe is another such example.

The destruction of the Confederacy and the destruction of Germany and Japan in 1945 stand as examples of what happens when an enemy understands they are beaten; reconstruction went largely unopposed because the people knew that further struggle was futile.

Iraq folded so quickly, and our efforts have been so gentle that the Sunni see themselves as having a credible shot at kicking us out and returning to power-and they`re absolutely correct! They learned the lesson from Vietnam; what is lost on the battlefield can be won through persistant resistance. If we continue to fight a politically correct, kinder and gentler war we will lose. The enemy must first know they are beaten, then we can win their ``hearts and minds`` afterwards. We put the cart before the horse.

It has been said that victory in war comes not to the strongest but to the most determined. Who could credibly say we are the more determined?

The Federalist Thanksgiving Issue

The Federalist is a free subscription newsletter I receive about twice a week. As regular readers of Birdblog know, I am ruthless in stealing the better material out of it, although I`ve never reprinted the entire edition-before now. This issue was a Thanksgiving special, and needs to be reprinted in total. (The Editors kindly grant reprint permission free of charge, so I shall take full advantage!)

If anyone wants subscription information let me know-I`ll e-mail it to you. Now sit back and enjoy!


"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the LORD is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations."
(Psalm 100:4-5)

Why is America such a blessed land? Some point to its bountiful resources, its vast and glorious expanses. Others point to that which is inspired by these geographical gifts the freedom, the entrepreneurial spirit, the economic and technological wonderment. Still others, however, would note the rancor and recrimination that currently poison our political discourse and argue forcefully that this country is blessed no more.

Were we to field the question, we would answer it differently, for we believe our nation to be so heaped over with blessings that only the most jaded would deny our indebtedness to Almighty God for His continuing favor. Pressed further, we would say that America is blessed not so that we should thank God, but blessed because we have, continually, from our earliest days on this continent, given thanks to God and humbly sought ever-better to follow His precepts.

Consider this history: Though the "First Thanksgiving" by name was in the Virginia Colony in 1607, our Thanksgiving heritage has its roots with the Pilgrims' three-day feast in early November of 1621.

The Pilgrims were Puritans, Calvinist Protestants who rejected the institutional Church of England. After a brief, ill-starred sojourn in Holland, the Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on 6 September 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. For almost three months, 102 hardy seafarers braved the bitter elements to arrive off the coast of what is now Massachusetts, in late November of that year.

On 11 December, prior to disembarking at Plymouth Rock, the voyagers signed the "Mayflower Compact," often cited as America's original document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government. While still anchored at Provincetown harbor, their Pastor John Robinson counseled, "You are become a body politic...and are to have only them for your...governors which yourselves shall make choice of."

Governor William Bradford described the Mayflower Compact as "a combination made by them before they came ashore...occasioned partly by the discontented and mutinous speeches that some of the strangers amongst them had let fall... That when they came a shore they would use their owne libertie; for none had power to command them..."

Upon landing in America, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service and then quickly turned to building shelters. Starvation and sickness during the ensuing New England winter killed almost half their population. But through prayer, hard work and the assistance of their Indian friends, the Pilgrims reaped a rich harvest in the summer of 1621. The settlers knew clearly that their new-world enterprise sought civil and religious liberties, but, disastrously, under pressure from investors funding their colony, they reluctantly organized their efforts communally, holding all fruit of their labors in common so as to send back half their profits as investment returns. Predictably, their work yielded little success, and Plymouth Colony was in danger of foundering after two years.

Governor William Bradford recorded the following in his history of the colony: "At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number."

The Plymouth Colony's first Thanksgiving to God was celebrated during the summer of 1623, when the colonists declared a Thanksgiving holiday after their crops were saved by much-needed rainfall. The reorganization of their labors toward ownership and property rights set them on the proper path to reaping continual rewards. Families working together primarily for their own betterment were freer—and were better able to pay off the investors.

As the Plymouth Pilgrims' experience clearly demonstrated, a governing body steeped in liberty and virtue is the sole sure guarantor of private property, family security and preservation of freedom.

By the mid-17th Century, the custom of autumnal Thanksgivings was established throughout New England. Observance of Thanksgiving Festivals spread to other colonies during the American Revolution, and the Continental Congresses, cognizant of the need for a warring country's continuing grateful entreaties to God, proclaimed yearly Thanksgiving days during the Revolutionary War, from 1777 to 1783.

Our new nation's first official Thanksgiving Proclamation, issued by the revolutionary Continental Congress on 1 November 1777, expressed gratitude for the colonials' October victory over British General Burgoyne at Saratoga. Authored by Samuel Adams, the man the other Founders turned to for reasoned statements of liberties as God's blessings, it read in part: "Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to Him for benefits received...together with penitent confession of their sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor; and their humble and earnest supplications that it may please God through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of is therefore set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feeling of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor...acknowledging with gratitude their obligations to Him for benefits received... To prosper the means of religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth 'in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost'."

We were at war then, no less than we are now, but do we still offer such special thanks to God for our battlefield successes, praying for the continued safe advance of our troops?

In one of the first acts of the new constitutional government, our Founding Fathers officially recognized the importance and rectitude of a day for citizens to come together giving God thanks for our nation's blessings. After adopting the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, Congress approved a motion for proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving. Both chambers of Congress asked President George Washington "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Washington thereby set his signature to the first day of thanks for the liberties enshrined in our new Constitution, by writing as follows:

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor...

"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

"And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplication to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

"Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, AD 1789."

As president, John Adams followed the custom of declaring national days of thanks, and James Madison called for three national observances of fasting and grateful prayer for deliverance during the War of 1812. (In light of this, we can't help but wonder what Madison, the Father of our nation's Constitution, would have made of the notion that school prayer is un-constitutional.) But in a foretaste of the impermissibility that current-day secularizers attach to the acknowledgment of God as Provider of our country's blessings, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams refused to continue the practice of proclaiming a day of national thanksgiving.

Ironically, on the south bank of Washington's Tidal Basin, etched in the marble of the Jefferson Memorial, is our third president's immutable admonition about the origin of liberty: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" Surely, they cannot, as history would soon prove out.

After 1815, there were no further annual Thanksgiving proclamations until our country was imperiled from the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln declared 26 November 1863 a Day of Thanksgiving, calling for prayer and thanksgiving for the nation, and saying in part, "[It is] announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord... It has seemed to me fit and proper that...[God's blessings] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people."

For the following 75 years, every subsequent president repeated that proclamation, until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving Day to a week earlier than had been tradition, to lengthen the growing pre-Christmas consumer frenzy. Two years later, Congress returned the celebration to its traditional date and permanently set the fourth Thursday of each November as our official national Thanksgiving. Alas, we've come to commemorate the holiday with a near-perfunctory acknowledgment.

Indeed, by this Thanksgiving, after 40 years of secularization, our nation has strayed far from the soul-deep thankfulness toward our Lord expressed by our first countrymen and generations after them. How, then, can we recover and properly bend our grateful hearts toward God in 2005?

To begin, we must seek to restore the bedrock of liberty and democracy, the family. Recent contention has followed the adage, "It takes a village to raise a child." The unspoken portion of this aphorism implies that the goal of child-rearing is forming good inhabitants of "the village." But this can't account for our national heritage, our history of remarkable challenges overcome by outstanding leaders and Patriot citizens.

More astute analysts would argue that it takes a family to raise a child. And while that is certainly close to the truth, it still does not offer a complete account. We would submit that it takes a family imbued in thanksgiving and not only for raising good children, but also for everything in a decent and just society.

We must therefore confront those whose intent it is to turn our country into a secular utopist commune, where public religious exercise is forsworn and relegated to individual private spheres. These secularists, of course, face an insurmountable fact: Public observances of thanksgiving declared by government leaders have been the hallmark of our nation since its inception. Indeed, so long as our nation observes a Thanksgiving holiday, two irrepressibly logical questions will accompany it: Thanksgiving for what? And to Whom?

For citizens, participation is noncompulsory each may freely choose whether to give honor and gratitude to God, as respect for liberty of conscience requires but not for our country if we wish to remain a land of liberty.

Here, then, we are left to ponder: What is the wellspring of thanksgiving? Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Likewise, humility before our Heavenly Father plants the seeds of gratitude. We often describe our national character as based on self-reliance, but that is only so insofar as we acknowledge that our ultimate reliance is on Almighty God.

Our successes are not by military might, not by our firepower, but by His blessing. What the Pilgrims, the Revolutionaries and the Founders sought was liberty—but most of all religious liberty. More than merely an adjunct or afterthought to our manifold freedoms, our forbears knew that religious liberty is the centerpiece of freedom: A nation that freely gives thanks is a nation that will remain free.

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving..."
(Psalms 147:7)

On behalf of our National Advisory Board and your Patriot staff, we wish God's blessing and peace upon you and your families this Thanksgiving.

Semper Vigilo, Paratus, et Fidelis!
Mark Alexander

"Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence."

Justice Joseph Story

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Light Blogging for a Few Days

Blogging will be light for the next couple of days; we still have an enormous amount of cleaning up to do, I have to check my ``cabin`` to make sure the recent windy weather didn`t blow the roof off, and I have to attend a wake for a good friend`s mother-in-law who passed away unexpectedly. I`ll try to post something tomorrow, and should be back on monday.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving


Here is a version of the Thanksgiving story, and here is a more revisionist view.

I hope you all have a great and prayerful day of Thanks!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Making An Offer They Can`t Refuse

The Evans-Novak Report has a piece postulating the end for Tom Delay. It looks like our fearless friends in the Republican Party are running for cover over Delay, and are prepared to throw him overboard to protect their shivering skins. What cowards they are!

You know what the Democrats would do if the situation were reversed? They would bring prosecutor Ronnie Earl up on ethics charges, or even indict him for racketeering. The Democrats understand power politics, and they will not allow one of their own to be trampled, lest another of their own meets a similar fate. Basically, the Democrats are a mafia family, one who`s area of interest is government rather than unions or gambling or prostitution (well, that one`s debatable). They operate like the mob, and they understand the manipulations of pure power as opposed to moral behavior for the sake of electability. OF COURSE they will find a corrupt prosecutor to indict a high ranking Republican! They`ll do it again if it works-which is why it must be squashed immediately.

There is the problem; the Republicans will let this sort of thing work over and over. Remember former Interior Secretary James Watt? Remember Bork? Shoot, we can go back to people like Spiro Agnew and Tricky Dick himself. (Keep in mind that Saint Hillary Rodham, while working as a lawyer on the impeachment panel of the Judiciary Committee argued against the confirmation of Gerald Ford as Nixon`s veep so that the Democrat Speaker of the House would become President.) Power. That is what they understand, and that is what they crave. Cost is no object; if some people must be personally destroyed, if the the Nation has to suffer, so be it!

I am reminded of this bit of dialogue from Mario Puzo`s novel The Godfather;

``Hagen went on ``I`ll give you some more straight talk. After the Don died, Mike was set up to be killed. Do you know who set him up? Tessio. So Tessio had to be killed. Carlo had to be killed. Because treachery can`t be forgiven. Michael could have forgiven it, but people never forgive themselves, so they would always be dangerous... They would have been a danger to us all, all of our lives.``

This is how the `Loyal Opposition` thinks; to the Democrat Cosca, an enemy of Delay`s caliber must be destroyed. This is kill or be killed politics.

When will the Republicans understand that weakness invites attack?

For the first time in several months, Republicans in Congress have both accomplished something and scored political points in the same week. They came up big with a vote on the Iraq War designed to embarrass Democrats, and with passage of a cost-saving budget. But there was an embarrassing failure as well.

Also, two key House members have begun soliciting support among their colleagues for a run at the GOP leadership this January. This confirms the sense among some House Republicans that the end is near for Rep. Tom DeLay (R), who was forced to step down as majority leader about three months ago.

Leadership Elections: Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) are calling members on the Hill, courting votes as they plot to run as a team for the House leadership in January. Boehner, who has long sought to return to a leadership position and has said he will retire if he does not become Speaker, would probably be challenging Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) for majority leader, and Reynolds would seek the majority whip position, now held by Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor. Other contenders could emerge, however, such as Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.).

The belief that leadership elections will occur in the new session stems from a feeling that DeLay is history, and that the problems he faces in the indictment of lobbyist Jack Abramoff could be fatal for both for him and his allies in the House. The damage could spill over to House Republicans generally if he returns to leadership.

The need for new elections may also have been spelled out by the embarrassing failure last week of the Health, Education and Labor appropriations bill. The bill, which would have frozen spending in these areas, fell short by eight votes. Call this a second victory for Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle (D), whose indictment of DeLay in a campaign finance matter forced him out of his position.

Still, DeLay will not likely give up that easily. He is trying to have a quick trial in Austin, and he clearly still had a hand in some of the House GOP's recent successes, including the budget bill.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Heard In The Halls of Government

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. As enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself."

Marcus Tullius Cicero

(Muchos Gracias-Federaliste)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Dirty Laundry

Some interesting observations on our anti-war friend, Congressman Murtha.

(Hat Tip-American Thinker.)

Will The Real Jihadists Please Stand Up?

This from The American Thinker:


Bill Palmer understates his case. It’s not that the left is cowardly or timid. Leftist hate this country; some of them hate us almost as much as the Islamic fascists (really they’re the same kind of people using different names). Right now, leftists believe that they can conquer and dominate the United States through lies, fraud and a little violence. If their political influence continues to wane, I’m reasonably sure we’ll witness an escalation in violence. This is a sad, but inevitable consequence of the majority of Americans forgetting the price of freedom. I hope we’ll crack down on leftist groups before it gets too bad, but our current leadership in the Republican Congress doesn’t fill me with confidence. Clarification: I want to be sure that everyone understands who I’m referring to when I say “leftist” A “leftist” as I use the term has completely surrendered any ethics to the ethos “The end justifies the means”. Many leftists have what they think are noble goals. A pristine environment, equal distribution of wealth, healthcare and education for all, any or all of these may be the goals of any one leftist. Indeed, I’m sure there’s a bunch of stuff I’ve left off my list. What all leftists have in common is an absolute disregard for any law or morality, except where they can be used as weapons against an opponent, a desire to use any method (including terrorism) to achieve their ends, and an absolute certitude in the righteousness of their cause. There are very few real leftists in the United States, but there are lots of people who have leftist leanings. Together, they represent the longest term threat to the well being of the United States.

Steven W Dugger 11 20 05

Intelligently Designed Letters

George Neumayr, writing in TAS, has stirred up (again) a bare-knuckle brawl over Darwinism.
There were numerous letters to the Editor, and I`ve reposted several here because they agree with me (and it`s my blog, so there!)

KW, if you`re out there, you are welcome to dispute these-I won`t have much time to argue with you (I`ve got a small NATION coming for Thanksgiving, and I just may go down to my place in the country to enjoy my holiday in peace and solitude, leaving my guests to fend for themselves!):

1.)George Neumayr has written a good summary of the state of the argument, but I submit that this argument is not really of much interest.

Darwin made a very creative hypothesis -- that evolution explained the development of life and that evolution itself was defined as random mutation culled by natural selection. A very strong hypothesis. But is it true? That is the question. Simply asserting over and over that it is true does not advance the science.

I think that virtually all observers concede that natural selection operates on some level. Darwin's finches are excellent examples of this type of evolution. If the climate changes then normal variation already present in the species will be selected for a certain characteristic -- longer beaks in this case. But the beaks are not new beaks, nor of an extraordinary length, but merely a selection of the beaks that already occur randomly in the species.

In this sense, Darwin is undoubtedly true. But does this type of variation and natural selection account for what Darwin originally wrote his book about -- the creation of new species? There are many problems with Darwin's hypothesis when extended to this level.

One of them is that biological engineering must be different from all other engineering with which we are familiar. In all engineering which we observe, when one moves from one functional form to another, there is a "disassembled" condition when the object is less useful than either its beginning or its end state. This does not mean that Darwinian engineering in impossible, simply that it must be demonstrated, not asserted. How is it that a leg turning into a wing doesn't become a useless leg long before it becomes a useful wing? It might be possible, but asserting it does not make it so.

Darwin also does not account for sexual reproduction. How is it that when small beneficial changes occur there is a mate with the same beneficial changes that connects with the first organism and produces progeny with this mutation?

All our experience of engineering is that a system is balanced in all its parts. You cannot change one part without making simultaneous adjustments in all the other parts -- if the leg is longer, then the other legs must be longer, the pelvis must change, the backbone must change and so forth. Posing this question is not the same thing as saying such changes are impossible but it is incumbent on the theory to demonstrate how they occur. Asserting that they must occur is not an argument, at least not a scientific one.

I believe that the Darwinists have used some jiu-jitsu on the Intelligent Designists by immediately challenging them as to who the designer must be. The answer is "you know who" and we are back to a shouting match. For starters, let's just ignore who the designer is. Why get involved in that? The question is, is there design? That is enough for now.

Essentially the Darwinian argument is a reductionist one -- since Darwinists assume there cannot be intelligent design, then there is no other way for life to have developed other than through evolution by random mutation / natural selection. That lets them write books endlessly repeating the same point and still making cocktail hour. How about some math? How much random mutation must occur per unit time to get the changes we observe? Has there been enough time once this calculation is made?

Darwinism is a hypothesis, and that's all it is. The hard work of proving the hypothesis has yet to be done. It is entirely possible that Darwinism will turn out to be a relatively uninteresting subset of a much larger phenomenon -- true but not the whole truth. Let's see the chemistry, let's see the math, let's see the mechanisms of evolution. Enough bombast.
-- Greg Richards

2.)Words such as "blind chance," "random," and "probability" denote mental constructs, and there is no agreement among philosophers that they also denote real phenomena. Most mathematicians (I am one) distinguish between mathematical models and reality. Stochastic models are applied to phenomena otherwise too complex to describe. Philosophical discussions of science often cloud the distinction. Such subtlety is mostly lost in the popular debate about evolution and theology. When scientists (even eminent ones like Darwin) draw conclusions about philosophical notions (e.g. cause, effect, being, origin) based on their work, they do so perilously.
-- J. Felt

3.)I think turnabout is fair play here. If in Mr. Miller's opinion Darwinism is intrinsically atheistic that's fine. But the corollary to that is that Darwinism itself cannot be science. The study of physics for example makes no claims for or against the existence of a deity, or least I have never heard a physicist make such a claim. It merely states the rules and postulates of quantum physics.

So here we have authorities postulating that evolution is inherently atheistic. The problem I have with this is the very science of the evolutionary theory. First it can't define the means with any precision as to how the "chance" occurs. It can't define the factors that make a mutation superior to the parent organism in the environment. And it at this point can't define genetic sequencing that makes all this happen. And so this postulate is branded as science. Then to top it all off much of the experts hold a view that fosters antireligious viewpoints, also in the cause of science? If evolution is truly a science then should not the Darwinist hold the same standards of the Physicist? Neither willful proving or disproving a deity?

I will grant that much of the Old Testament is colored in the perceptions of its times. As well many passages were probably bent to a political purpose. So I don't always hold to the literal translation when there is evidence that might the event as recorded somewhat improbable. But it is odd that slowly archeology is uncovering more and more than hold the events to have at least occurred in the times and places found in the Iliad and the Bible.

Evolution may never be reconciled with religion. But I think evolutionary theory, of which there is evidence it occurs, has a very long road to hoe before it is declared science.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Zarqawi RIP?

Jay from Stop the ACLU reposts an article from the Jerusalem Post which claims Al Zarqawi may be dead!

I would rather have captured him, but this is the next best thing.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Exodus From France

Jews are leaving France in ever growing numbers because of rising anti-Semitism in the Land that Liberals built. Does anyone remember the disdain and contempt displayed by the French toward us ``cowboys`` here in the United States? Who are the real barbarians?

(Hat tip: BobG at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia.)


From First Things:

Richard John Neuhaus writes:

As Allen Hertzke spelled out recently in FIRST THINGS (see “The Shame of Darfur,” October), one of the great changes of recent years has been the determination of evangelical Protestants in this country to get serious about human rights, and about religious freedom in particular. Michael Cromartie, who also heads up evangelical studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, is chairman of the Commission on International Religious Freedom. This week, the commission, which operates out of the State Department, issued a blistering report on religious persecution in North Korea.

Based on eyewitness accounts of those who have fled the North Korean dictatorship, the stories curdle the blood. For instance, in the building of a highway near Pyongyang, a house was demolished and a Bible was discovered hidden between bricks. Along with it was a list identifying a Christian pastor, two assistant pastors, two elders, and 20 members of the congregation.

All were rounded up and the five Christian leaders were told they could avoid death if they denied their faith and swore to serve only Kim Jong Il and his father, Kim Il Sung, the founder of the communist dictatorship. Refusing to do so, they were forced to lie down and a steamroller used in the highway construction was driven over them. The report continues, “Fellow parishioners who had been assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steamroller.”

The persecution, imprisonment, and killings of Christians in North Korea involve hundreds of thousands. President Bush this week spoke out forcefully on human rights and religious freedom in North Korea, as well as China, in his visit to Asia. Many of the details on concentration camps and other horrors in North Korea were collected by the intrepid human rights activist David Hawk. Credit for leading congressional concern goes to Representatives Chris Smith of New Jersey and Frank Wolf of Virginia, who were also instrumental in establishing the religious freedom commission in the State Department.

Insiders say that the commission has over the years been marginalized in the department, since professional foreign service officers tend to view human rights and religious freedom as nuisances that distract attention from the “real business” of conducting foreign affairs. With Michael Cromartie heading the commission, backed by the support of Smith, Wolf, and others in Congress, it seems we will be hearing more about religious persecution, and not only in North Korea.

A crucial test case is Saudi Arabia. Those who call themselves “realists” in the foreign policy establishment have for decades given the Saudis a pass, not only in turning a blind eye to its persecution of any religious expression that violates its established Wahhabist version of Islam but also in ignoring its export of Islamic radicalism around the world.

France Adopts a New State Religion

Here is a nice essay about the French inability to balance the Seperation of Church and State in First Things:

Joseph Bottum writes:

Liberté, égalité, fraternité is the motto of the French Republic, but the fraternité seems to have gone up in the smoke of burning cars over the last few weeks. And so the French government has appointed a commission to see whether another distinctive mark of modern France shouldn’t also be set aside: laïcité, the official and nationally enforced secularism of the state. In particular, the French are looking into state funding of mosques and government employment of Islamic clerics.

France may once have been the eldest daughter of the Church, but she has never managed to hold a clear idea of Church-State separation. Before the French Revolution, the royal court insisted on its powers to name bishops and generally treat the Catholic Church as a state-run enterprise. (Remember the Avignon captivity?) Come the Revolution, and the French promptly swung to the other extreme, confiscating schools, hospitals, monasteries, and anything else they could get their hands on. What existed in neither case was anything that, say, the American founders would recognize as religious freedom. The French version of the Enlightenment, carried down from Voltaire to the laïcité that became fundamental French law in 1905, was not just neutral toward religion. Rather, it feared religion as the great danger both to the state and to enlightened thought.

Some while back, several observers predicted that the French, faced with its angry and active Muslim population, would remove the legal disabilities that currently hobble believers. But last year the government moved to enforce laws that limit the wearing of religious dress in public by prohibiting Muslim girls from wearing head scarves to school. And it seemed as though the French were actually going to hold to the abstract, all-religions-banned-equally language of their laïcité.

So what are we to make of the new commission that will examine changes in the law to allow state funding of mosques—a commission, it should be noted, appointed by the more conservative member of the government, interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy?

If concessions denied to Christians are granted to Muslims, it will obviously demonstrate what the counter-Enlightenment always claimed: The French version of the Enlightenment wasn’t anti-religious; it was entirely anti-Christian—born, in its deepest sense, from a hatred of Europe’s past.

But there may be something else signaled as well. The commission’s goal, Sarkozy said, will be “to separate French Islam from foreign influences”—to build, in other words, a distinct and government-controlled form of Islam in France.

We have a name for that. We call it a state religion. A curious state religion to be held by the eldest daughter of the Church, certainly, but in reality only the swinging back of the pendulum to where the nation was before the Revolution. Once again, the French are getting the relation of religion and the state wrong. Perhaps we’ll eventually see an Avignon captivity of the imams in France, the youngest daughter of Mecca.

Mexican Revolution Day

November 20th is Revolution Day in Mexico; today Mexicans celebrate the Revolution of 1910 against dictator Porfirio Diaz. Read a brief synopsis of what occured here.

To all our south of the border friends, I extend a warm greeting from your northern neighbors!

The Madness of Senator Joe

Did anyone catch Joe Biden on Fox News Sunday this morning? He made a statement which shows how completely insane the Democrats have become; he said we should solicit intervention by IRAN to end the Iraq War!!!

I really couldn`t believe my ears; when asked by Chris Wallace how we should deal with the situation in Iraq, Biden said we needed to follow the Afghani model and bring in the regional powers. I thought ``surely he didn`t mean what he just said-surely he didn`t mean bringing the Syrians and Iranians into this!`` I was wrong, and Biden specifically singled out Iran!

He said that Iran should be brought in to ``put pressure on their people`` because ``it`s not in Iran`s interest to have a civil war in Iraq``!!! NOT IN THEIR INTEREST?! What in the HELL does he think has been going on over there? The ``insurgents`` have been hiding in Syria and Iran; they have been at the root of the whole problem since the invasion! Where does Biden think the ``insurgents`` have been getting their equipment, their training? Why do they have any command and control?

Doesn`t Biden remember the ``Axis of Evil`` speech, in which President Bush put Iran on notice? Doesn`t Biden know that the top proliferator of terrorism in the World is Iran? Doesn`t he know that the Iranian President, a former hostage taker, has called for the destruction of America in a recent speech? He wants to turn the future of Iraq over to that!

Doesn`t he understand that the whole point of invading Iraq was to drive a wedge between the two terror masters and to foment the fall of their evil governments? Iraq is one domino; the whole point is to kick the Iranians and Syrians out, not invite them in.

This is equivelent to bringing the Japanese into Germany after V.E. Day.

If anyone needed any more proof that the Democrats are the party of Treason and polital advantage over any rationality, Biden has supplied it. THIS is the best solution they can offer?

The man simply cannot be that much of a fool. Who has an intent to deceive, Senator?
Either that, or he is just plain nuts? The lust for power has driven him mad?

Any way you slice it, Biden and the Democrats have completely lost their minds!

Two Bit Lie

Jed Babbin proves that the Democrats assertion that they were mislead is a two-bit lie.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Democrat Bird Flu

Looks like our quacking gaggle of Dems have developed a strain of bird flu-they`ve all turned chicken and voted against an immediate withdrawl from Iraq. Maybe now they`ll quit their squacking!

Looks like their ``Bush lied and people died`` goose call has laid an egg!

Friday, November 18, 2005

High Noon

Looks like No-Good Nancy and her blackhat wearing gang of Dem`s are going to have a shootout tonight with those darn Cowboy Republicans over Iraq. Finally, our boys are growing themselves a pair of Texas-sized danglies.

This was long overdue; it`s put up or shut up time for the party of treason. Do THEY have the peaches to stand by their big mouths?

Breaking Rino Bread

David Hogberg has an article in TAS which fits nicely with my Rino rant from a week back. David shows just how much Congress kneads our dough, and how fast they can get their hands on our buns (to get our wallets.)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

No WMD`s?

Here is an article for reader Jeff and all those who stick to the ``no WMD`s`` mantra; Bill Tierney from UNSCOM gives us an inside peek at Saddam`s lack of weapons.

(Hat tip; The American Thinker

Echoes of Treason

Matt May echoes my accusations of Treason at the American Thinker.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Desert Despot

Christopher Orlet has some thoughts over at TAS on our erstwhile Saudi allies worth pondering.

With friends like Saudi Arabia...

The Attack of the Clowns

Here is some fallout (from the Evans-Novak Report) over the Democrats treasonous behavior, and the Presidential response:

The Bush Administration and President George W. Bush may not yet have hit bottom.

1) The Democratic attack on Iraq comes at a time when Bush's approval rating is below 40 percent. It is more focused and effective than previous efforts, asserting that the President not only misled the nation into war but did it intentionally by lying and calculated deception. The brief speech on the Senate floor Monday afternoon by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was tougher and more strident than anything he said as a Democratic presidential candidate last year.

2) The weakness of the White House response up until now has intensified the effectiveness of the Democratic assault. Those reporters who are more sympathetic to Bush have been amazed by the fecklessness of the White House response. It has been nearly impossible to get even a routine response to Democratic attacks. An old rule of politics is that an unanswered attack is enhanced geometrically in its impact.

3) The new counter-attack is viewed by Republicans as welcome, even if it comes late. But shrewd Democratic analysts believe the GOP has blundered by engaging in a debate of whether Bush told the truth three and four years ago instead of imaginatively coming up with something new.

4) For the first time, we hear the "I" word - impeachment -- bandied about Washington by Democrats who can be taken seriously. We have even been told by some astute Republicans that it smells mighty like 1973 in the capital, but that is premature at best. Any talk of impeachment now would cost the Democrats as perceived excessive partisanship, and astute Democrats know that.

5) Meanwhile, the disarray of the Republican majority in Congress cannot be overestimated. The stalled budget bill in the House is a leadership problem, adding to sentiment for election of new leaders in January. But nothing is settled.

6) The election of a Democratic governor in Virginia has propelled outgoing Gov. Mark Warner as the leader for the non-Hillary candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Some Republicans reject that idea, as he is a rookie in national politics. But the last two Democrats sent to the White House also were little-known Southern governors who were national rookies.

7) The one big Republican political asset, the economy, faces menaces. Federal Reserve Chairman-designate Ben Bernanke is known to fear a weakening of the economy while the inflation tiger is out of the bottle. That is not "stagflation," but it is worrisome. The reduction in the Consumer Price Index because of lower oil prices does not impress the Fed, which looks at the larger inflationary picture.

8) The report by the presidential panel on tax reform was a total bust. The House Ways and Means Committee will start from scratch, but nobody expects tax reform in this Congress. The only hope is extending capital gains and dividend tax cuts, and that is a long way from certain.

Iraq: In the past week, the White House communications shop has made a concerted and aggressive effort to turn the tables on the Iraq War by going on the offensive against its critics. The most high-profile element in this campaign was President Bush's speech Friday, complemented by comments from White House spokesman Scott McClellan and communications director Nicole Wallace, who went so far as to accuse Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) of dishonesty.

1) The key lines in Bush's speech represent an attempt to take the high ground and brand Democrats as reckless and partisan for their criticism of the Iraq War. "The stakes in the global war on terror are too high and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges," Bush said. "While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began."

2) There is some apprehension over the speech because it could create deeper partisan divisions over the war at a time when Bush's popularity is already reaching new lows. However, the White House wants to suggest that some Democrats have simply crossed the line in their anti-war rhetoric, moving from loyal opposition to outright hostility.

3) Bush's speech is meant to call out his critics and put their charges into perspective. The White House wants to clarify that charges that Bush "lied" about intelligence information before the war are mere demagoguery. Both American dominance of the oil-rich Middle East and regime change in Iraq had been part of the agreed-upon, bipartisan foreign policy for more than a decade by the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Still, this does not diminish the fact that the attacks are hurting Bush and getting under the Administration's skin.

Bear in mind, there is criticizm and there is sedition, and the Democrats are crossing the line. They are the minority GOVERNING party, not some outsiders looking in. As such, they have a responsibility to speak, well, responsibly, and these attacks play into the hands of the enemy. This is unprecedented! In their lust for power they are willing to inflict irreperable harm on the Nation. This behavior is beyond reprehensible! If they want to talk impeachment, perhaps the time has come for us to speak of treason.

Do they really want to have THAT fight?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Traitors Among Us

William Bennett argues that Jay Rockefeller may have performed an act of treason by warning Syria that the President was planning an invasion of Iraq.

The insurgency began almost immediately after we took Baghdad. Even before that, we saw large trucks pouring across the Syrian border, and it seems that every major offensive launched by our military attacks rebels on the western edge of Iraq. Coincidence?

Iraq certainly had been working feverishly to acquire WMD`s, and that Saddam had been hiding equipment necessary to reconstitute his program. (This links to a CIA document.)

David Kay made this case;

In addition, Kay summarized some of the Survey Group's discoveries, which included: a clandestine network of laboratories and safe-houses controlled by the Iraqi Intelligence Services containing equipment suitable for CBW research; reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientists home; documents and equipment hidden in scientists' homes that could be used for resuming uranium enrichment activities; and a continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD missiles.

Further, Iraq had low enriched uranium in waiting.

What was going on here? It almost seems that the Iraqis were warned in advance! They had the means of reconstituting their program, but were waiting for something; what could that have been?

What we are witnessing is unprecedented; an entire political party has turned traitor in a quest to regain power-with the complicity of the media. TRAITOR. We have to call this what it is. If Rockefeller leaked our military plans to the enemy he committed an act of treason. The endless criticizms of the Commander-in-Chief, the ``Bush lied and people died`` mantra coming not from private citizens but from the ``loyal opposition`` while we are engaged in hostilities encourages and emboldens our enemies while disspirits our own military. Americans are dying because of this treasonous behavior by the Democrats! Their lust for power has become more important than anything to them, even the security of the Nation.

If we lose in Iraq we will have to fight the terrorists here. It is that simple. Whether the Iraqi invasion was a good idea or not will be immaterial after a certain point; we will witness an explosive growth of terrorism overseas as our allies flee from us, we will see Europe desperately making peace with them in return for promises of safety, we will eventually see the use of weapons of mass destruction on American cities. We must win in Iraq! The endless stream of defeatism and criticizm of our efforts by the Democrats is not simply a disagreement over policy; it is an active attempt to subvert our war efforts for their political benefit. Let`s call it what it is-treason!

If we lose this, it will be solely a failure of will, and that failure will rest with the Democrats and MSM. This is as serious as a heart attack; our loss in Iraq will probably be the beginning of the end for Western Civilization. Europe has no stomach for the fight, and Islam will overshadow the Earth like a plague of locusts. Our way of life depends on our resolve here and now. We are in a pivotal moment in history, and our actions will decide our fate. All depends on this.

There was a time when traitors were hanged; now they make appearences on Sunday morning talk shows!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Will You Marry Me, Black and Decker?

When San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, I thought that this was a golden opportunity for conservatives to turn the tables on the left, turning the whole affair into a circus. I thought we should have shown up with our pets, our cars, our household appliances, pet rocks, shrubbery, girlie magazines, blow-up dolls, and various lawn and garden tools and demanded the right to marry! It looks like Mike Adams from has borrowed a page...

(Thanks to the Federalist)

"Recently...I heard an especially good idea that will drive liberal administrators—former hippies who stopped supporting campus protest shortly after becoming administrators—absolutely crazy. That idea is called 'Marry Anything Day.' The idea behind 'Marry Anything Day' is to bring an ordained minister to campus to perform marriage ceremonies. But the ceremonies are not limited to unions between a man and a woman, or even a man and a man, for that matter. On 'Marry Anything Day' you can choose your own definition of marriage based upon the most important of all legal doctrines; your personal feelings. (For further elaboration see the opinions of Justice Anthony Kennedy). For liberal administrators who never really considered the implications of changing the definition of marriage—because they suffer from a fear of campus gay activists, which they say is outside the normal definition of homophobia—this should be a long overdue wake-up call. Imagine the reaction of administrators when they see the minister performing a ceremony between a man and several women, or a woman and her cat. Of course, the ceremonies will not be restricted to living entities because that would discriminate against someone who really loves his favorite lamp. By the end of the day, some administrators will be sorry they ever supported the student protest movement. And some, wondering whether they are having a flashback, will be sorry they dropped acid in graduate school."

—Mike Adams

Moslem Mayhem

Our friend Jay from Stop the ACLU has a post about a murderous rampage by Moslems in India.

Funny, I haven`t heard a thing about it in the Mainstream Press.

Don`t Beat That Ox, I Could Trade Two Women For That

The Islamic World claims the West has no respect for women. Boy, isn`t thatthe pot calling the kettle black!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fair is Foul

Ilana Mercer explains the deeper meaning ofthe French riots at World Net Daily.

Hat tip: Jay Homnick at The Reform Club.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Immigration Problems in Russia and a Modest Proposal

According to Pravda, the Russians are about to institute a guest worker program for illegal aliens. This ill-thought out strategy, borrowed from President Bush no doubt, seriously threatens the long term stability of Russia, and imperils the eastern flank of Western Civilization.

I suppose Presidents Bush and Putin did more than gaze lovingly into each-other`s eyes and looking into their alter-ego`s souls; they seem to have passed half-baked ideas back and forth. One of President Bush`s worst ideas was the guest-worker program, and Putin seems to have caught the bug. The problem with guest-worker programs is that, by rewarding illegal immigration, it encourages more of it. Russia, after enacting supply-side reforms, has experienced an economic boom, and is looking for cheap labor. At the same time, Russia is being flooded by illegal immigrants from the Caucasus and from China, and Putin is unsure about how to respond to this situation. He shouldn`t listen to our President on this (he didn`t listen about terrorism or Iraq) as President Bush has an extraordinarily myopic view.

If illegal immigration is threatening the social fabric of the United States, it is threatening to destroy the far more fragile system in place in Russia. Without a firmly established Rule of Law, any group which attains sufficient numbers can claim the right to self-government, and will either have to be dealt with through force of arms or be allowed to dismantle Russia piecemeal. Russia has a declining population, and every immigrant who goes there REPLACES a Russian. They do not, as here in the States, melt into the pot, but rather retain their cultural identity. This is a point that must be understood; as the Russians recede, the immigrants rise. (That`s not to say that legal immigrants-especially from traditionally associated nations-don`t have a proper role in Russia.) How long can a nation absorb an alien culture before it collapses? Russia already had a large Islamic community, and the Chechens have been in rebellion for years. Russia has suffered her share of terrorism, yet Putin has maintained a policy of anti-Americanism and easy immigration. He should take a hard look at what is happening in France.

The real danger to Russia lies not along the Islamic frontiers, but to the east. China has actually stated that they covet Siberia, and they have been filtering pioneers into Russian territory steadily. Their plan is Texification; settle large numbers of Chinese on uninhabited Russian land, then secede from Russia and be annexed by China. From the standpoint of English estate law there is really nothing wrong with that; here in America we hold the ``right of Adverse Possession`` which states that a squatter can take property from the rightful owner if the rightful owner fails to use it, or evict the squatter. (This is why America has been composed of small farms rather than great estates as in Latin America.) Russia has failed to settle or utilize Siberia. The Chinese feel they have the right to take it.

China, however, has positioned itself as our mortal enemy, and we must do all in our power to prevent such growth. Russia must be supported in this, or we will find Chinese in control of all of Asia (much like the Japanese had sought to do before WWII.) We have to talk the Russians out of this crazy cheap labor scheme! We have to talk ourselves out of it, too!

A thought occurs to me (I have them occasionally); perhaps we should settle these lands in the Russian Far East! America has long been a pioneering nation, and the closing of the frontier has profoundly disaffected the character of the Nation. Easternmost Russia-Kamchatka and the like-are mostly empty and of little use to Tsar of Moscow; perhaps we could have another Seward`s Folly! I once read that most farmers in this country are forced to rent land until their parents die, and then if more than one sibling wants the farm they are simply SOL. We could offer cheap land for sale in Siberia to these luckless sod busters. We could have special amnesty programs for non-violent criminals (a form of internal exile) if they settle there. We could even offer illegal immigrants from Mexico the choice of going back or moving on to settle Kamchatka. Settlers in Texas were offered ``a league and a labor``, a league for cattle, a labor for farming-4605 acres total. Maybe we could offer the same deal in eastern Siberia.

Alaska was once Russian territory, and became our 49th State; why shouldn`t we expand the United States across the Bering Sea, and begin bringing Asia into the blessings which God has afforded us? We have been idle for far too long.

If Putin wants to avoid surrendering Siberia, he had better rethink his policies.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Mayflower Compact

November 11, 1620

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

Mr. John Carver,
Mr. William Bradford,
Mr Edward Winslow,
Mr. William Brewster.
Isaac Allerton,
Myles Standish,
John Alden,
John Turner,
Francis Eaton,
James Chilton,
John Craxton,
John Billington,
Joses Fletcher,
John Goodman,
Mr. Samuel Fuller,
Mr. Christopher Martin,
Mr. William Mullins,
Mr. William White,
Mr. Richard Warren,
John Howland,
Mr. Steven Hopkins,
Digery Priest,
Thomas Williams,
Gilbert Winslow,
Edmund Margesson,
Peter Brown,
Richard Britteridge
George Soule,
Edward Tilly,
John Tilly,
Francis Cooke,
Thomas Rogers,
Thomas Tinker,
John Ridgdale
Edward Fuller,
Richard Clark,
Richard Gardiner,
Mr. John Allerton,
Thomas English,
Edward Doten,
Edward Liester.

Happy Birdthday to Birdblog

Today marks the anniversary of the founding of Birdblog! `Twas one year ago this very day that I planted the seeds which would grow into this wild, unpruned vine. It has been quite a party, and I`ve enjoyed it immensely. The best part has been meeting all of you, my good friends and loyal readers.

When I started Birdblog I didn`t expect any of this; I had assumed that a few personal friends and relatives would check it out, and I have been amazed at the response from all of you over the year! I am truly blessed to have a circle of such intelligent readers and friends! It was far more than I had hoped!

That`s why I want to thank each and every one of you for your friendship and support. I am honored by the confidence you have shown in me, and it is truly a privilege to discuss my views with all of you because you are such a sharp bunch. I am always amazed at the level of intelligence and wisdom displayed by you, my regular readers and friends. I want to offer my heartfelt thanks!

I want to offer special thanks to Aussiegirl, my very first fan, without whom I would probably have quit after my first week of blogging. Thanks for all of your kindness and encouragement, Aussiegirl!

The future awaits! Let us forge ahead-together!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Where Is Charles Martel When You Need Him?

What is going on in France? Are these riots by Moslems part of the general uprising of Islam, that is, a form of Jihad, or are they merely socio-economic disturbances? There seems to be an argument about the causes and nature of what is occuring in the land of frog legs and chicken hearts, and we need to understand this in light of our current World War with radical Islam.

Christopher Orlet, writing in TAS Online, argues that these riots are not episodes of Jihad but are similar to the Watts riots of old; they are disturbances caused by deranged liberal social policy and feeble economic growth coupled with a non-integrative social system and lack of economic opportunity. He pointed out to me in an e-mail that he was convinced by articles by Theodore Dalrymple in City Journal that this was the case, and that Jihad is ancillary in this matter.

This view is at odds with any one of a number of writers who see this as a desire to establish the Caliphate. Static Noise, for example, pretty much sums up this view that Islamo-fascism is at the heart of such doings, and that France has become another battleground in the War. Who is right?

Personally, I tend toward the view held by Static. I`ve never believed that the riots during the `60`s and `70`s here in the States were caused by economics, but by liberal agitation (just as they were on college campuses-remember Kent State?) and left-wing social theory was more cause than effect (Mr. Orlet agrees with this assessment). I would like to point out that poverty and criminality may be congruent, but are hardly inextricably linked; some of the poorest areas have low crime rates. We have had poverty throughout the world throughout history; why riot now?

I think that former Vice President Dan Quayle`s ``poverty of values`` applies here, only this is a poverty of Western values. France has allowed an alien culture in it`s midst, and has allowed the values which make Western Civilization stable-the Rule of Law, Christian ethics, patriotism to ``King and Country``-to drown in a sea of ennui and nihilism. The French are unwilling to defend their way of life against the barbarians. They see such struggle as chauvinistic and pointless, and they have invited their enemies to settle in their cities on the theory that the disease won`t kill the host. They are wrong.

These riots are similar to riots we`ve seen in Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, albeit on a larger scale. (Someone on Christopher Orlet`s blog pointed out that such rioting is impossible in America thanks to the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Fear of police brutality may also explain why young Moslems haven`t rioted more in their homelands.) They don`t resemble mere criminality, like the Watts riots and the Rodney King riot. (The Rodney King riot buttresses that gun theory; remember how Korean grocers were shooting it out with the thugs?) These riots go on night after night, and look more like what was going on in Russia in 1917.

As Tony Blankley points out;

``As Paul Belien, writing from Brussels this weekend observed: "It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularized welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The "youths" do not blame the French, they despise them."

(Thanks, Aussiegirl)

Islam is very serious about establishing the Caliphate. They think that their time has come, and they believe Allah will bless their efforts; OF COURSE they are rioting! They see the West as weak and corrupt, and I can`t say that they are necessarily wrong. The great powers of Europe have lost their will.

France faces a serious problem because they have devoted their efforts to undermining the United States. The French government still sees itself as relevant, and they haven`t learned that this isn`t 19th century Europe. They have been playing games at their own expense while thinking they are sticking it to America. Why did these riots begin now? Because the Moslem community saw the French government had no intention of being firm in the War, and it became obvious that they could be bullied. Terrorist attacks worked in Spain, why wouldn`t an indigenous uprising of Moslems send the French scurrying under the sink, shouting ``Sacre Bleau`` and doing their best Marcel Marceau impressions?

This is also a cautionary tale about unrestricted immigration. France allowed a nation to settle in their midst without making those immigrants become French. They were just asking for it-there are few places on this Earth where two competing nations can co-exist in the same space. Look at the former Yugoslavia. What happened to the Ainu of Japan? How about Northern Ireland? Rwanda, Palestine? Why did Ferdinand kick out all non-Catholics from the new Spain? Multiculturalism, the concept that alien cultures can exist in the same space, has been disproven time and time again by history. Yet post-modern liberalism has triumphed in Europe, and France welcomed this alien culture with open arms. Now they are reaping what they have sewn. They really should have known better.

Will a Charles Martel rise to expel the saracen rebels? I wouldn`t hold my breath. Chirac let this situation smolder on and on; only recently did he declare a state of emergency (you think Jacques?). I suspect he was waiting for a U.N. resolution asking the rioters to stop. If that failed, Chirac was prepared to go back to the U.N. for another resolution, asking them nicely again. Truly, the man is a tower of strength!

Maybe the French will finally wake up!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

RINO Droppings

I just received a copy of Rising Tide, which is the magazine of the Republican National Committee. I suppose they sent it to me because I donated a couple of dollars to the Party before the `04 election, although I haven`t done anything since, and had never received it before now. Being a sucker for free stuff, I eagerly flipped through the glossy publication only to be horrified by what I was seeing; if this magazine is any indication of where the Republicans are headed the Conservative movement is in deep trouble.

The magazine opens with a letter from GOP Chairman Ken Mehlman, in which he bragges about the outstanding accomplishment of Republicans-including the highway budget buster bill, the reprehensible energy bill (which forces stricter CAFE standards as part of government mandated conservation), and the party`s efforts to ``reach out to all communities``-which is code for the big tent philosophy which has been fracturing party unity and giving us such wonderful things as President Bush`s ``guest worker`` initiative for illegal aliens. (This was one factor in GOP gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore`s loss-Kilgore was here! He shouldn`t have wasted his time.)

``Inclusion`` was a big theme (not much talk about including conservatives, though) and much talk was given to how Republicans can spent taxpayer money to accomplish this; ``The President`s plan already has created 2.3 million new minority homeowners since he was elected...He has pledged to help create 5.5 million minority homeowners by 2010, so that the gap between minority and non-minority homeownership will be gone forever`` according to the Chairman. Not only is such targeted policy discriminatory (to those not covered under the programs) but it is not at all something a believer in limited government can condone. It is not the job of government to buy people houses, and the Republicans USED to be the party who opposed robbing Peter to buy Paul`s vote. No longer; we now have Democrat lite.

Page eight boasts about the ``nation`s first energy legislation in more than a decade`` as if more government control and largesse is cause for pride. The core of this boondoggle is the establishment of ``new energy standards``, and this alleged republican magazine crows about this with pride. Further, they brag that this law REQUIRES (read forces) the annual use of 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel (which cost much more without government subsidies than gasoline), as well as funds windmills and other moonbean energy schemes (the very schemes which lead to the power shortages in California). Another article on page 8 waxes poetic about the jobs to be brought to America thanks to the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act, and they actually have the gall to say, ``The bill will create jobs, fund vital highway and mass transit programs...and holds the line on the budget... President Bush said the bill `is going to give hundreds of thousands of Americans good paying jobs`..the American Road and Transportation Builders Association estimates 47,500 jobs are created for every $1 billion invested``! I feel like I`m in a time warp! Has Bill Clinton returned to office? Has Jimmy Carter?

There is a large, sickening piece by Laura Bush in which she lauds The Helping America`s Youth Conference. She brags about how this group has spent millions to find out ``what factors drive children toward risky behavior`` (gee, Laura, I guess eating too many pop-rocks), and she pushes such drivel as the ``good behavior game`` for first graders (why aren`t children learning to read in first grade?) and the Computer Asssisted Debate project, in which middle-schoolers learn to voice their emotions with debate ``rather than turning to violence and anger as a means of expression``! It looks like Hillary has returned, too! She likes a tattoo removal program run by a group called ``Homeboys Industries``; I suspect this is government funded, also.

Pages twenty and twenty one feature more on the outreach to minorities, by Matthew Dowd in which he bragges about President Bush increasing his vote among African Americans by 70% (of course, in 2001 he received only 8% of the black vote, so ANY increase was guaranteed to be enormous) and devotes considerable time to Bush`s outreach to hispanics (which is failing, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.) All of these outreach programs are at taxpayer expense, and are of dubious value to the longterm success of the Party and those they are designed to help.

Pages twenty two and twenty three deal with No Child Left Behind; there is something to rally the troops! Education is a matter for the States.

Twenty five and twenty six treat us to an essay by Senator James Inhofe about the Clear Skies Act, which imposes even more regulation on industry in an effort to steal environmental issues from the Democrats, page 31 ballyhoos Bush`s Prescription Drug (abuse) Program, etc. How fast can we spent your money, folks?

The last page has an add with this plea:


Considering what a huge pile of RINO droppings this agenda is, I have to say thanks but no thanks.

It`s clear conservatives have lost control of their party.

Smile, if You Know What is Good for You

Writing from down under, Morris points up a relic from the old East German past; ,employers are ordering their employees to be cheerful or they will be fired! It reminds me of the parades they used to have; everyone must cheer enthusiastically or you will be shot!

What a world.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Media Founderings

Yet more proof (as if we needed it) that the HMS Media lists dangerously to port:

"When a multiple indictment was handed down against Clinton's Agriculture Secretary, Mike Espy (he was later acquitted on all 30 charges), most of the broadcast networks relayed the news in a sentence or two. It was the same with HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, who was indicted on multiple counts for misleading the FBI about payoffs he made to a mistress. Cisneros later plea bargained to a single misdemeanor charge of lying to the FBI. The Media Research Center noted at the time that the Cisneros indictment generated 18 seconds on ABC's 'World News Tonight,' while the CBS 'Evening News' didn't get around to it until the following day, then allocated just nine seconds to the story, choosing to focus, instead, on a two-minute report about how El Nino was impacting butterflies. Only NBC bothered with a full report the day of the indictment... By contrast, the Libby indictment story was treated as 'Breaking News' and a 'News Alert,' the same designations given to terrorist threats."

—Cal Thomas

(Hat tip: Federalist)

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Dog Is a Boy is a Rock is a Deer...

Animal Rights run amok:

In September, after law enforcement officers in North Carolina spotted a reportedly stolen ambulance and chased it through three counties until forcing it into a ditch north of Greensboro, they found the driver to be mohawk-hairstyled Leon Hollimon Jr., 37, who is not a medical professional but was wearing a stethoscope and with latex gloves in his pocket. Strapped to a gurney in the back was a dead six-point deer, and according to witnesses cited by the Florida Times-Union newspaper (Hollimon is from Jacksonville, Fla.), an intravenous line was attached to it and a defibrillator had been used.
[Florida Times-Union, 9-28-05] the Nose of the Beholder

They may not know about art, but they know what they like.

Among the extraordinary exhibits constructed especially for this year's Burning Man festival in late August in Nevada's Black Rock Desert was Don Bruce's and Tracy Feldstein's "The Disgusting Spectacle," a 23-foot-tall human head designed with a pulley and large hamster-type wheel that lets it pick its own nose. In a July interview in the San Francisco Chronicle, Bruce admitted that theirs wasn't the typical artsy Burning Man project: "Ours is stupid. That's stupid with three O's."
[San Francisco Chronicle, 7-7-05]

Friday, November 04, 2005

Wilsoning in the Dark

Clarice Feldman asks some penetrating questions about the whole Joe Wilson affair at the American Thinker. Don`t miss this.

This whole business looks more like a CIA special op against the President the more we learn!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Science At The Service of Liberalism

Human Events Online has a piece about left-wing manipulation of science to advance the ``progressive`` agenda. Anyone who followed the firestorm after my Darwin piece in the American Thinker should recognize the pattern.

Uncle Sam Full of Gas on Windfall Profits

So, ``Big Oil`` is gouging the public? Congress can indeed do something about skyrocketing gas prices!

(Thanks to The Federalist)

"So, Exxon Mobil broke corporate records last week, posting a $9 billion profit on $100 billion in revenue in the third quarter. Right on cue, Democrats demanded that Washington confiscate some of those profits. Are they predictable or what?... Want to know who is making a bigger windfall than oil companies are making from the prices paid by the poor gasoline consumer? It's good old Uncle Sam and his 51 little brothers. Refining costs and profits combined make up about 15 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Department. State and local taxes make up almost double that, about 27 percent. State and local gas tax collections exceed oil industry profits by a large margin, according to a Tax Foundation study released last week. Since 1977, consumers have paid $1.34 trillion in gas taxes more than twice the profits of all major U.S. oil companies combined during that same period. Last year, state and federal gas taxes took in $58.4 billion. Major U.S. oil company profits last year totaled $42.6 billion." New Hampshire Union Leader

It is withing the purview of conservative philosophy to demand action by the Government on oil prices; we should demand tax reduction, easing of regulations, etc. These prices are artificially high, thanks to our ne`er-do-well Uncle Sam and his kids. If market forces functioned unfettered in the oil industry, we would see sanity return to the pricing of oil-based products.

When is our Conservative President, and his conservative allies in Congress, going to lead on this?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Apostate Universities

Catholicism teaches that homosexual behavior is a sin. How can Catholic Universities encourage homosexuality, and still claim to be Catholic?

(Thanks to 7lb Dave)



Lisa Leff
Associated Press Writer

More than 40 Catholic colleges were represented on Saturday at a conference that was billed as the nation's first on how gays and lesbians fit in at universities guided by a faith that says their sexual orientation is wrong.

But rather than lamenting the Catholic Church's stand on homosexuality, the two-day "Out There" conference at Santa Clara University showed that plenty of gay-related scholarship and student affairs planning is going on in Catholic higher education, said co-organizer Linda Garber.

"It's important and interesting to know there are Catholic universities that have offices and staff people specifically geared toward LGBT concerns," said Garber, director of the women's and gender studies program at Santa Clara. "There are a lot of people out there who are teaching (LGBT) studies without a national professional organization, a newsletter or anything."

The conference drew about 150 people, most of them faculty and administrators who deal with gay subject matter or students. Topics included "Curriculum and Same-Sex Marriage in a Jesuit University" and "Can I Be Gay and Catholic?"

The continuing tension was demonstrated into the oft-repeated anecdote that Notre Dame University has had an active gay and lesbian student group for years, but the college does not recognize or provide financial support to the organization.

One sign of how far the universities have come in openly addressing gay issues is that the dean's office and campus ministry at Jesuit-run Santa Clara provided money for the event, while the school's president sent a welcome letter to participants, said Lisa Millora, assistant dean for student life.

"There are a lot of people who subscribe to Catholic values as they relate to academic work, but don't necessarily agree with how the Catholic Church carries out its work," Millora said.

Among the universities represented at the conference were Georgetown, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, Fordham, DePaul, Boston College, College of the Holy Cross, La Salle, Marquette and Emory.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

GM versus the Volvo Crowd

GM Roper has a terrific piece on the follies of the Global Warming crowd. Don`t miss it!

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