On Tsunamis and the passing of Jerry Orbach
Yes, I know the two are very unrelated, but my blogging time is limited.
The disaster and devastation experienced as a result of the Asian Tsunami cannot be understated. I, for one, cannot remember a natural disaster in my lifetime that has caused so much destruction and taken so many lives at one time. My heart breaks to see so many in so much pain.
Now that the water has begun to recede and the bodies are beginning to be identified, the political jockeying on the world stage is starting. Everyone wants to be seen in the best possible light.
I am very proud of the way W has taken swift action in this matter. He has organized a Coalition of the Effectively Able (my words, not his) of the United States, Japan, Australia, and India to respond to this disaster. That said, the UN is up in arms - stating that they and they alone should be the organizers of the relief effort. W, by there definition, is undercutting their authority. They seem astonished at this effort.
I can answer their astonishment with one simple phrase:
Iraqi Oil for Food Program - Codename RATHOLE.
Why on earth would we want to throw more money down that rathole? Can anyone in their right mind expect well meaning democratic nations to fall for that again? Sorry guys. We don't dance. The Coalition of the Effectively Able can get relief aid to the needed regions faster and more effectively than the RATHOLE people can - even bypassing the stop where the RATHOLE bureaucrat's pockets are lined.
I'm sure this won't be the last we hear of this effort.
Memo to two nations:
France: You are not the largest donor of humanitarian aid in the world. Your numbers are roughly half that of the United States, and that's even before we start counting foreign aid. Nice try.
Sri Lanka: You may not like Israel. That's fine. But when your house is on fire and your family is dying you really shouldn't ask where the fire hose came from.
And finally - Jerry Orbach aka Detective Lenny Briscoe.
Jerry Orbach died yesterday after a short battle with Prostate Cancer. After 12 seasons on NBC's Law & Order he had become a regular visitor to my television screen.
His musical theatre, stage, and screen career spanned over four decades. That said, he'll be most remembered as Lenny Briscoe - the hard nosed, old fashioned, and wisecracking detective he played so well. Near the end of his life, he and Lenny became harder and harder to tell apart. I guess that's the hallmark of a great actor - they just play themselves.
One more note about Jerry - your kids probably know him very well. You see, not only did he play a hard nosed NYPD detective, he also lent his vast musical talents to the first animated feature ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Jerry played the speaking and singing voice of Luimere - the Candle Stick in Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Remember that next time you find yourself humming Be Our Guest.
Godspeed Jerry. You'll be missed.
Here endeth the lesson.
Defining "Stingy": 100,000 Euros
Stingy: The French government has pledged 100,000 Euros for tsunami disaster relief. That's --roughly--$135,000. Whew, I bet they're going to have to sell bonds to cover that generous aid package.
Not stingy: The citizens of the United States and Amazon.com. Amazon held a disaster relief fund raiser on their website:
"Amazon.com collected more than $1,300 a minute for tsunami and earthquake relief efforts in South Asia after calling for donations on its Web site... During the first four hours more than $315,000 was collected."
The total is now, I believe, in the neighborhood of $1 million. That's money from citizens paying out of their own pockets, not money from government aid (which also comes out of citizen pockets).
The United States, for its part, can do no right. It's always the good guys who are made out to be the bad guys. It doesn't matter who we help, it doesn't matter what we do, it doesn't matter that we never ask (or expect) anything in return. The U.S., according to some, never does enough.
It's certainly nice of these foreign "leaders" to dictate how we should and should not use our wealth. The U.N. referred to "stingy" contributions from wealthy nations, implicating the U.S. in the comment.
We originally pledged $15 million, before all the details of the destruction were even known. As more reports came in, our pledge for initial aid increased to $35 million. And that's just tax-funded relief. Our citizens will give much more, through fund raisers like the one conducted by Amazon.com, civic organizations, and churches.
President Bush summed it up nicely:
40% of the relief aid given in the world last year came from you and me, and I'm proud that our nation is a model of generosity to the international community. But, wait! There's more...
"Bush noted that the United States provided $2.4 billion 'in food, in cash, in humanitarian relief to cover the disasters for last year. ... That's 40 percent of all the relief aid given in the world last year.'"
"...[U.S.] foreign assistance for development and emergency relief rose from $10Remember that the next time you see someone in the international community pointing fingers at the United States. And remember, that unlike the U.N., we don't expect kickbacks and financial profit from our offers to help those in need.
billion in President Clinton's last year to $24 billion under President Bush in
2003. Powell said U.S. assistance for this week's earthquake and tsunamis alone
will eventually exceed $1 billion."
P.S. What's important right now, and needed more than arbitrary financial numbers, are our prayers for those affected by this disaster.
For Christmas, Mrs. Bonjo treated me to a copy of Ann Coulter's latest book, "How to Talk to a Liberal (if you must)". It's definitely a good read. I instantly knew I would like it when I read the first line of Chapter 1:
Historically, the best way to convert liberals is to have them move out of their parents' home, get a job, and start paying taxes.Another quote, found on the jacket:
Teddy Kennedy crawls out of Boston Harbor with a quart of Scotch in one hand and a pair of pantyhose in the other, and Democrats hail him as their party's spiritual leader.Needless to say, I've been enjoying the book in the few minutes I've had to sit down and read. If you see it in the stores, I recommend you grab yourself a copy.
New and Improved: SOTR v1.100001b
As you have undoubtedly noticed, we've done some remodeling here at SOTR. We hope the new blog format is easier on your eyes and helps you find your way around more easily.
Another new feature we've just added is member-less commenting. If you've ever tried to comment on a BlogSpot hosted blog, you have encountered an ugly sign-in page giving you the option of posting anonymously, or with your Blogger nick.
To foster a more conducive environment for your feedback and commentary, we've added a new commenting ability which will allow you to simply write in your name, blog URL (if applicable) and comments. Easy as 1, 2, 3! This is the brain child of the folks over at BloggerHacks, geniuses that they are.
In the coming days the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, an even commonly known as Christmas, despite all efforts to redefine the season. Trees will be lit, presents will be opened, and feasts will be eaten - all to commemorate the birth of a man over 2000 years ago.
His birth, foretold by prophets and heralded by an angelic choir, went largely unnoticed by the world he came to save. It was a very busy season after all. The world around him was in turmoil - each man being recalled to the city of his birth to be taxed and counted according to imperial fiat.
It was in such a world that he was born. His birth was the most important event happening at that time, never the less when that event came knocking on the door of Bethlehem, there was no room in the inn. Our lives are sometimes like that. Too cluttered by the hustle and bustle of the daily grind to take notice of the small events and opportunities that come knocking.
The first 30 years of his life are largely unrecorded. We know that he grew up as the son of a carpenter, "growing in grace and truth by degrees." He grew to be a large man - standing some 6 foot 3 inches judging by the modifications made to the tomb his body inhabited for the three days after his crucifixion.
He took from the weak and the simple of mankind and forever changed the world - even though he never ventured far from the place of his birth. His gathered a physician, a tax collector, some fisherman, and other run of the mill people and turned them into a group of men that would forever leave their mark on the world.
He was the most popular dinner guest in all of Jerusalem. Women flocked to be near him. Children loved him. He ruined every funeral he ever attended. He was a strong and mighty man - if you doubt that go read the story of the Cleansing of the Temple.
His message was simple. "Come follow me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." What did he ask in place of a burnt offering? A broken heart and a contrite spirit. For this he was persecuted, humiliated, and eventually crucified.
He was hung on a cross between two thieves just outside Jerusalem. For those of you unfamiliar with the brutal nature of this form of capital punishment, I will only advise you it takes a very long time to die. It was during this time, undoubtedly the lowest point in Christ's life, that one of the thieves looked upon Jesus and said the following immortal words:
Jesus, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom!
It is from this event that I learned a very important message. When the chips were down, his enemies were celebrating victory, and all seemed to be lost, Christ conducted himself in such a manner that a dying man looked into his eyes...and saluted him as a king.
That, dear reader, is why I celebrate Christmas. It truly is a time to celebrate joy, renewal, and peace.
Lastly, while in the midst of your reverie, take time to remember those Peacemakers who are far from home and in harm's way. They do what they do so you may live as you like.
Here endeth the lesson.
From the front lines
Before I get around to my Christmas post, I'd like you to visit Training For Eternity. It is written by a US Army Chaplain who was present in the aftermath of the attack in Mosul. This man truly does God's work.
Soldier on, Chaplain.
Re-Indoctrinating my Child
Yesterday when I arrived home from work, my 3-year old son met me in the kitchen.
He gave me a hug, and said, "Have a good holiday, daddy!"
What the... a good holiday? Needless to say, my son had picked this up at pre-school, where I guess even now it's important to be "P.C."
I'm all for being sensitive to the beliefs of others. However, at Christmas time, it is not an infringement upon anyone's rights to be told, "Merry Christmas."
Thus, I decided to use my son as a Weapon of Mass Christmas Greetings. I asked him to say, "Merrrrrry Christmas!", which he did. We practiced it, we shouted it, we laughed as we did so. Then I said, "Tomorrow, when you go to school, tell your teacher 'Merrrrrry Christmas!'"
Then I added: "And tell allllll of the other boys and girls: 'Merrrrry Christmas!'"
If there's one thing I know about my 3-year old, he'll be shouting "Merry Christmas" until his birthday next summer.
With that I return to my capitalist endeavors.
Pro-Life = War of Terror?
After Arlen Specter's "Extreme Makeover: Senate Edition" attitude adjustment, he toned down his rhetoric to the point of saying he would be more than happy to approve all Bush court nominations, even those who would support overturning Roe vs. Wade.
Good boy, Arlen. Here's your treat, fella, fetch!
While that was a nice gesture on the part of Arlen, the Senate GOP leadership knows better than to leave him to his own devices. In post-election committee reshuffling, two fresh GOP senators are being placed on the Senate Judiciary Committee, while two existing GOP members from the committee are being assigned elsewhere.
The new committee members are unabashedly pro-life. I found the following summary in the Liberal Washington Post rather entertaining. Note the wording applied to the various viewpoints on abortion:
Antiabortion groups hailed yesterday's appointments, while advocates of keeping abortion legal expressed dismay. "The color code for potential threats to the Constitution just went from orange to red," said Ralph G. Neas of People for the American Way. "It's hard to believe the Judiciary Committee could go any farther to the right, but it just did."So, according to the Post, those crazy, zealot, "antiabortion" people think the appointments are good. However, the "advocates of keeping abortion legal," legal scholars and social supremists that they are, find fault with the appointments.
Let's rephrase that first sentence:
"Advocates for the protection of innocent, unborn babies conceived through consensual sexual relations hailed yesterday's appointments, while pro-abortion zealots lacking souls expressed dismay."That's better. Now, let's take a closer look at the rest of the quote:
"The color code for potential threats to the Constitution just went from orange to red," said Ralph G. Neas of People for the American Way.Did you catch this reference? Ralph has likened the pro-life emphasis of the Judiciary Committee to a terrorist attack. That's not the only disturbing comparison made by the Left:
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said: "It appears the far right is massing troops on the border of Roe v. Wade."Massing troops? Indeed, wars are fought to protect life and liberty. In this case, the GOP is massing troops to protect the life and liberty of unborn, innocent children conceived through consensual sexual relations.
The title of the above article is, "Two Opponents of Abortion Are Tapped for Senate Judiciary Panel: Democrats Question Effect on Supreme Court Nominations".
Let me answer the question for the Democrats: It will have an effect on Supreme Court Nominations. And if you guys ever want to win another national election, you might consider aligning your views with those of the Average American.
With that I return to my capitalist endeavors.
Blessed Are The Peacemakers
Today in Iraq 22 American Servicemen were murdered by terrorist bastards.
My prayers go out to the wounded and the families of the dead. What did they do to deserve this attack? They were having lunch.
I hope the families find peace and understanding after this loss. As for the terrorists (I will no longer refer to them as insurgents, for they are little more than criminal thugs) I have but one thing to say.
Make your peace with Allah, you'll be seeing him shortly.
To the survivors, I need say nothing more than Godspeed and Good Hunting. They know what to do.
1. To fallen soldiers let us sing
where no rockets fly nor bullets wing
Our broken brothers let us bring
to the mansions of the Lord
2. No more bleeding no more fight
No prayers pleading through the night
just divine embrace, eternal light
in the mansions of the Lord
3. Where no mothers cry and no children weep
We will stand and guard to the angels sleep
All through the ages safely keep
the mansions of the Lord
- Mansions of the Lord as performed by the West Point Glee Club
The Two Word Controversy
I'm going to say it, so if you're easily offended, you've now been warned.
Turn back now. I'm warning you again.
Ok. You asked for it.
Somewhere, somehow, lawyers at the ACLU headquarters just felt a tremor in the force. They are, no doubt, at this time drafting legal proceedings against the SOTR demanding a cease to all references to holidays of a religious nature.
You laugh, but remember absurdity usually finds its way into the public square.
I grow weary of the unceasing effort made by the Christophobes masquerading as politically correct leftist elites to remove all mention of Christ from Christmas - replacing said reference with terms like "Winter Carnival", "Time of Gifts", and the old standby, "Holiday Season".
As Anthony Browne, a self proclaimed atheist explains, this assault on Christmas is nothing new.
In 1647 Oliver Cromwell cancelled Christmas: no parties, no fun, no days off work. Cromwell's Puritanism was offended by bacchanalian revelry, led by the Lord of Misrule. Each year, town criers went through the land ordering that "Christmas and all other superstitious festivals" should not be celebrated.Reminding the reader again of Browns status as "a lifelong atheist who finds all God stuff embarrassing," he himself appreciates the religious message of Christmas.
The English were outraged. Secret festivities were held, pro-Christmas riots broke out and dozens of Christmas martyrs were jailed. A pamphlet called An Hue and Cry after Christmas was published, demanding that: "Any man or woman, that can give any knowledge, or tell any tidings of an old, old, very old grey bearded gentleman, called Christmas . . . let him bring him back again into England."
The ACLU and like minded self-loathing, guilt-ridden, politically correct liberal elite would have you believe that the mere mention of Christ in a carol, decoration, or other context is offensive to minority religions and thus - in the spirit of never offending anyone on any level - must be discouraged and even outlawed.
Their argument is invalid on its face and any other part of its anatomy. America is the most universally acceptive religious country on the face of God's Green Earth. You want to set up a Kwannza display? Go right ahead. Light the Menorah. Trim the Christmas Tree. Come join the party, there's room enough for everyone. That is the great message of America - one that is truly lost on the self-loathing, guilt-ridden, politically correct liberal elite.
So, dear reader, join me in a little civil disobedience. Its good for the soul. Don't let Scrooge and The Grinch win. If you see any of the Christophobes waging war on Christmas, sing a carol for them. Try Joy to the World, or O Come All Ye Faithful.
Then make sure to wish them a Very Merry Christmas.
Here endeth the lesson.
Rummy Wars Part Deux
And the cheap shots just keep on coming.
Yesterday it was revealed that Rummy has not personally signed the Letters of Condolence sent by his office (with a likeness of his signature) to the families of those who have lost loved ones in the War on Terror.
What is it with this constant stream of childishness?
I will remind the reader that, throughout the history of the United States, the families of fallen warriors have been notified of the death of their loved one by mail, usually a telegram, containing the following text:
The Secretary of War regrets to inform you....
followed by dates and other details.
The fact that Senator Hagel is "concerned" about whether or not Rummy signs each and every letter that leaves his office is troubling. Do you sign all your correspondence, Senator? Me thinks not.
As for myself, I think the families of these fallen heroes are far more concerned in ensuring the victory for which they have paid so high a price than in a signature on a piece of paper.
Here endeth the lesson.
Heroism, Life and Death
Definition of Heroic:
a : exhibiting or marked by courage and daring
b : supremely noble or self-sacrificing
c : of impressive size, power, extent, or effect
I read this post over at GOP Bloggers, and the above definition came to mind, since these definitions describe the actions of Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta on November 15, 2004. Peralta's battalion was mopping up sub-human terrorist thugs in Fallujah on that day, as recounted by Oliver North:
Peralta threw open the closed door, but behind it were three terrorists with AK-47s. Peralta was hit in the head and chest with multiple shots at close range.Knocking on death's door, this man reached back through the veil of mortality to do one more selfless act in order to save his comrades. All three of the above definitions apply to Sgt. Peralta. To Sgt. Peralta, I say rest in peace. Godspeed, and Sempre Fi.
Peralta's fellow Marines had to step over his body to continue the shootout with the terrorists. As the firefight raged on, a "yellow, foreign-made, oval-shaped grenade," as Lance Corporal Travis Kaemmerer described it, rolled into the room where they were all standing and came to a stop near Peralta's body.
But Sgt. Rafael Peralta wasn't dead - yet. This young immigrant of 25 years, who enlisted in the Marines when he received his green card, who volunteered for the front line duty in Fallujah, had one last act of heroism in him.
As Sgt. Rafael Peralta lay near death on the floor of a Fallujah terrorist hideout, he spotted the yellow grenade that had rolled next to his near-lifeless body. Once detonated, it would take out the rest of Peralta's squad. To save his fellow Marines, Peralta reached out, grabbed the grenade, and tucked it under his abdomen where it exploded.
"Most of the Marines in the house were in the immediate area of the grenade," Cpl. Kaemmerer said. "We will never forget the second chance at life that Sgt. Peralta gave us."
I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that you haven't heard of Sgt. Peralta, nor his brave acts. Far more people have, unfortunately, heard of the spineless act of selfishness exhibited by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes, who...
... did something the liberal elites consider "heroic" and the media consider "newsworthy" - he defied an order. Last week, Paredes refused to board his ship bound for Iraq along with 5,000 other sailors and Marines. He showed up on the pier wearing a black tee shirt that read, "Like a Cabinet member, I resign."Was Paredes act "daring"? Well, I certainly wouldn't have dared to show up wearing a shirt like that.
Was it "supremely noble or self-sacrificing"? Hardly. Self-sacrificing to the extent that he'll get thrown into the brig and court-martialed. From a military perspective, "supremely noble or self-sacrificing" to me means to put one's life on the line in defense of one's freedoms and country. His acts are certainly not of "impressive power, extent, or effect."
Paredes wanted to stay home where it was safe. America is now his home, a home that welcome him when he was an immigrant. A home that was provided, defended and protected for him by countless men and women who did exactly what Paredes lacked the spine to do. Yet, the liberal elites call him a hero.
Let's not forget the true heroes of our day. There are men like Sgt. Peralta who are willing to take on the terrorists half a world away so we don't have to face them here at home. Let us keep these men and women in our prayers. And may they know of our gratitude for their sacrifice and their true heroism.
The Rummy Wars
I grow weary of those who seek to curry favor in the eyes of some by taking shots at one of their own.
Yes, Senators McCain and Lott. I'm talking about you.
In the past few days McCain declared his "no-confidence" in Rummy as SecDef. Right behind him was Lott who in not so many words explained he was "no fan" of Rumsfeld.
Both stopped short of calling for Rummys resignation (a lot of good that would do) but their feelings and intentions were very clear to anyone who cared to see them.
I, for one, and I am not alone, support Rummy in his thankless job. He is expected, evidently, by the media, arm chair generals, and left leaning pundits to accurately predict something that is - by its very nature - unpredictable. In other words - War. When he explained to a soldier (whose question by the way had been set up by an embed reporter) that "you go to war with the Army you have" he was vilified as "unfeeling" and "arrogant". No one cared to realize the truthfulness of his statement. The soldiers and officers understand. The meida is incapable of getting to that point.
Memo to Senators McCain and Lott: Rummy is staying. Both of you are not in any position what so ever to bad mouth or criticize the way he does his job. You would be well served to find ways to simplify his tasks rather than belittling him on the national stage. That is, of course, unless all you want is more facetime on the MSM.
Now regarding Senator McCain, I know that to be the case. But Senator Lott....I expected better from you.
Here endeth the lesson.
Senator "Who?" Dayton calls for own resignation
You've got to love liberals, they provide so much entertainment.
Remember Senator Mark Dayton? I know, I know, you're saying, "Who?" Allow me to refresh your memory. Several weeks before the November election, Senator Mark Dayton, D-MN, closed his Washington offices due to an elevated terror threat surrounding the national election season. He closed his offices, and he and his staff high-tailed it to Minnesota, a state lacking any formidable targets or infrastructure worth a terrorist's time and efforts.
The rest of us, back here in Washington, went about our daily lives. We understand that the terrorists win when snivelling, namby-pamby, spineless individuals like Dayton hide under a rock (or in the fictitious Lake Woebegone). Frankly, if Senator Dayton were so concerned about the terror threat, shouldn't he have stayed in Washington to see that something was done about it?
Senator "Who?" is back in the news again. You may recall seeing footage of Donald Rumsfeld talking to soldiers in Iraq. The media was pleased to report that these soldiers gave Rummy a hard time about the lack of armored vehicles. As it turns out, the question was planted by a reporter and a soldier, eager to get his picture on TV at home, was glad to oblige.
Democrats have, in large part, seized upon this opportunity to pounce on the Administration. Dayton is among them:
Sen. Mark Dayton urged President Bush Wednesday to order an investigation into the government's failure to provide enough armored vehicles for soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.Hey Dayton, you might consider starting your investigation right there in the Senate. In fact, your resignation theory isn't half bad. Let's rewind about, oh, six months. John Kerry (remember him?) was in the news and was both for and against the war in Iraq. Dayton was apparently against the war at the time (hat tip to Captain Ed):
In a conference call with reporters, the Minnesota Democrat called the failure "outrageous and indefensible" and said Bush should ask everyone responsible to resign.
Dayton said he is upset by recent reports that makers of the armored vehicles and armor kits had the capacity to produce more armament upgrades but hadn't received orders to do so.
You're increasing the number of forces, the number of tanks over there. How can this have anything to do but to escalate the level of violence, the opposition of Iraqis, intensify the hatred across the Arab world to the United States, and more atrocities? How can this have any result other than to put us deeper into this situation and make the conditions there worse for our forces and for our nation and for the world?There you have it. Six months ago, we were worsening the situation in Iraq by sending tanks and armored vehicles. Dayton didn't want us sending anything else over there, since we were "angering" people and making "more war".
Now, we're not sending enough, and we just can't send it fast enough! In fact, it's such a precarious situation that Dayton is calling for resignations from everyone responsible!
Okay, Senator. You've seen the evidence that this is partially your fault. Why don't you set a good example for everyone else and submit your resignation?
With that I return to my capitalist endeavors.
Lord, Help Thou Newsweek's Unbelief
This commentary is written as part of Hugh Hewitt's Vox Blogoli VI - What does Newsweek's story on Christmas tell you about the MSM?
Let me first state, for the record, I am not a New Testament Theologian - nor do I intend to play one in this Blogosphere. Never the less, I was a bit taken aback by Jon Meacham's lengthy effort to put a secular spin on what he himself admits is a belief held by a majority of Americans.
You see, I count myself among the number who believes that Jesus Christ was born to Mary in a Bethlehem stable over 2000 years ago. I take Luke at his word when he describes the Angel Gabriel announcing the birth to the shepards watching their flocks by night. It is somehow fitting that the most spectacular musical event in human history was witnessed by so few.
Are there imperfections in the Scriptural Record? Of course. The gospels were written by different men with differing viewpoints on what was important to record for posterity. Their recollections are imperfect, but never the less they speak truth to the hearts of men - and something inside the reader senses and feels the truthfulness of their words.
And that, dear reader, is where the MSM and the Believing Christian part company. Jon Meacham would want you to believe Christianity in general is too flawed to be believed. His sources are no doubt well researched and vetted - at least enough for him to be satisfied with
his work. Mr. Meacham is obviously very well read and learned, however he lacks wisdom.
It is as if Mr. Meacham and the rest of the MSM were like those who listened to Jesus as he recited parables and teachings in the 13th Chapter of Matthew:
53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.Very little can be done with those who make not the slightest effort to have faith or believe in something or someone they cannot fully understand. As is evident by the last verse quoted above, even Christ himself could do no mighty works because of the unbelief of the people with whom He was interacting.
54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.
58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Am I making a wholesale, full scale, scathing indictment of the MSM as a whole? Perhaps. I know there must be men and women of faith behind the wrought iron gates of the MSM establishment. That said, their voices are faint, and their beliefs well hidden. Until the MSM undergoes a rebirth of mainstream values and beliefs, no great work can be done there.
Here endeth the lesson.
What if Harry Threw a Hearing, and Nobody Cared?
In a very short article in today's Washington Times it is reported that the Dems intend to continue their oversight of the W Administration.
I feel the need to point out something that is and should be obvious to everyone. The Democrats are going to hold show hearings next year which have no real meaning. No subpoena power is granted to these "committees" and little more can come from them except sound bytes good for use on the evening news.
The Dems feel the need to do this because they believe the Republicans have "skirted its responsibility for administration oversight as defined in the Constitution."
If the Democrats really want to exercise the responsibility of congressional oversight as it relates to the Executive Branch, they might want to consider one very simple, elementary course of action:
Win An Election
Here endeth the lesson.
Clinton Billionaire-Pal Involved in Iraqi Oil-for-Food Scam
Hey Kofi, you sure you don't want to step down now while the stepping is good?
Let me take you back to January 2001 and the waning hours of the Clinton presidency. As joyous as that time was for those of us in the GOP, Clinton still had time to do damage. Besides his staff breaking off all the "W" keys on White House computers, and his friends stripping Air Force One of any possible keepsake, Clinton pardoned Marc Rich. Rich, a billionaire who had been hiding in France and other places for close to 20 years, was wanted in the United States for tax-evasion, racketeering and trading oil with the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini.
Quite a guy.
Now authorities are implicating Rich as a "central figure" in the U.N. debacle/scam better known as "Oil for Food". From the New York Post:
Billionaire Marc Rich has emerged as a central figure in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal and is under investigation for brokering deals in which scores of international politicians and businessmen cashed in on sweetheart oil deals with Saddam Hussein, The Post has learned.I'm sure Kofi is "surprised" and "disappointed" at this development.
Under the scam, hundreds of international political and financial figures from France, Russia and other countries were awarded middleman vouchers allowing them to purchase set quantities of Iraqi oil at discount rates.
With that I return to my [always legal] capitalist endeavors [which are of no interest to Federal prosecutors].
Liberals Oppose Christmas; Remind Others of True Meaning
Yesterday started out a cloudy, rainy day in the nation's capital. Mrs. Bonjo and I loaded up the little Bonjo's and drove off to find a Christmas tree. We went to a local tree lot and within minutes had found a suitable tree. As we were leaving, I thanked the clerk who had helped us, and she replied, "Have a nice holiday!"
(Side note: the sales receipt states the return policy: If I'm not satisfied with any item, I can return it within 90 days for a full refund. Does that mean I can take my Christmas tree back in March? "Sorry, the color didn't hold up like we'd expected, and it’s dropping needles!" Lest you think I’m looking for a handout, I’ll state that I don't advocate corporate subsidized Christmas trees, though I'm sure one day some liberal politician will draft just such legislation. I digress.)
Later in the day, I thought some more about the clerk's "Have a nice holiday." I can understand that stores serve people of varying cultural backgrounds, and that not all customers will recognize Christmas. However, the sole intent of my visit to that store was to purchase a CHRISTMAS tree. Has the pendulum swung so far that it's not "PC" to wish someone a Merry Christmas when, seconds earlier, he or she purchased a Christmas tree? Do people buy Christmas trees in order to not celebrate Christmas?
This, in turn, led me to think about Christmas itself, as celebrated by the majority of Americans. Like it or not, for most Americans Christmas is not a religious holiday. It's a day when folks take a day or two off work, their kids open presents, families gather for a big dinner, watch a bowl game or two on television, and maybe go to church.
For those that go to church, I suspect it is largely due to tradition. Do they ponder the significance of what the day symbolizes for Christianity? Some do, undoubtedly. Many don't, however.
That being said, I find it extremely ironic that the lefties in this country find so much offense in the celebration of Christmas: the singing of a Christmas carol in a public school, or the display of a Nativity scene on government property.
In the Seattle area, a public school banned "Jingle Bells" from the seasonal choir concert. "Jingle Bells" makes some people feel uncomfortable (maybe PETA protested "Jingle Bells" since it advocates the abuse and torture of animals with horse-drawn sleighs and whips).
It's not just Christianity that receives such "attention." Just days ago, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., President Bush spoke at the lighting of the National Menorah. Some people oppose the fact that a menorah is on display on Federal property.
I find it ironic that those on the left who despise the religious aspect of Christmas also dislike Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailers who profit from the commercialization and related "secularization" of the holiday! Shouldn’t they be thanking Wal-Mart for making Christmas less religious? Wal-Mart has even accomplished this without suing anybody!
The fact the lefties haven’t considered is that their complaints only serve to remind people of the “true meaning” of Christmas. The more the lefties complain, the more people are reminded that Christmas is a time to remember God and Jesus Christ. Yes, even in the blue states, some people will celebrate Christmas.
With that I return to my capitalist endeavors.
The Clueless ACLU
I am not a lawyer. I do not play one on TV, nor to I claim to be a legal authority in the blogosphere.
That said, and despite the best efforts of CBS' David Paul Kuhn I will say what's on my mind if for no other reason that to make him angry.
This week, the House and Senate passed what is billed to be the most extensive reform of the US Intelligence Community in nearly half a century. Whether or not the reforms prove valuable, or merely political window dressing remains to be seen. I have a great respect for the men and women who work in the shadowy Intel world and will thus give them the benefit of the doubt for now.
Within the intel reform bill were also some anti-terrorism laws designed to give the government more effective tools in catching the bad guys.
That is, after all, what law enforcement is supposed to do. More often than not, the American Civil Liberties Union believes the exact opposite. They believe in making life easier for the criminal element and harder for those who would prosecute, imprison, and possibly execute said criminals.
Perhaps I should've warned the ACLU readers. The mere mention of state sanctioned execution might rupture one of their blood vessels.
You can read about the ACLU hysterics here.
Having admitted my non-lawyer status, let me explain a few things to the ACLU:
1. There exists no right to criminal behavior. Scour the Constitution all you want. Its not there. Therefore, if your scumbag clients get themselves caught by The Man while engaging in criminal activity, they'd better get used to a 6x9 cell with a large, morbidly obese roommate named Bubba.
2. Terrorists do not have a right to operate in this country. Nor do those who harbor, fund, or otherwise support said terrorists. Anyone participating in terrorist related activities who has the mis-fortune of falling into Uncle Sam's dragnet better make friends with Bubba too.
3. This nation is at war. There are those who seek to do this nation harm, and more often than not, you at the ACLU find yourselves on their side. Think about that very carefully. Would you have the same freedoms under their system of "government"? Methinks not.
4. Finally, a cheesy reference to a really bad Stallone movie. In Cobra, right after he had cleaned out and killed several thugs in a supermarket, Cobra was asked the following question by a reporter:
Reporter: Detective, did you use unnecessary deadly force?
Cobra: I used everything I had.
We've already learned through sad experience the consequences of senselessly limiting our ability to protect this country from her enemies. I, for one, would not want to be caught on the wrong side of this war.
Here endeth the lesson.
Terry McAuliffe invoking Pearl Harbor
Just when you think he would stop digging. Terry McAuliffe, a man who for the past decade has taken the democratic party and driven it into the ground right off a cliff, invoked the memory of thousands of dead sailors, soldiers, and marines in an effort to demean the Republican Party.
I am truly stunned, though I'm not sure why. This is not uncharacteristic of Terry. He doesn't understand that by using the memory of great American heroes to further his own political goals he drags his party further down the slope of irrelevance.
Terry, this conduct is the reason why your party is in such a state as it is. Someday you'll figure that out, but you'll forgive me if I don't wish that to be very soon.
Pound sand Terry. The adults are running the show now.
Here endeth the lesson.
Chinese Bribe Clinton (Again); Discover Cure for Slick Willy
Back in the good old days, the Communist Chinese government would make hidden payments to the William Jefferson Clinton presidential campaign fund. In exchange, they were able to steal many of our nuclear secrets. Nowadays, they have little else to do but to make residual donations to the construction fund of the Bill Clinton Presidential Lie-brary.
Clinton returned the favor by going to China to launch the new Chinese (government-backed, of course) search engine, dubbed "better than Google" (by the Chinese, of course). The search engine supposedly utilizes artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence? Really? Can they can apply that same technology to Bill Clinton? It certainly couldn't hurt.
Pile it on...
Hardee's (and Carl's Jr.) announced yesterday the latest arrival on their burger lineup: The Monster Burger. Weighing in at 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat, it is in stark contrast to the lawsuit-induced "light salad and tofu burger" craze of the last few years.
It's about time!
As you might guess, there is opposition to the mammoth burger. Some people feel the government should regulate the fast food industry. Others claim that the parent company of Hardee's/Carl's is being irresponsible:
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based advocate for nutrition and health, dubbed the Thickburgers "food porn," the Monster "the fast-food equivalent of a snuff film."Give me a break! The company's purpose is to make money, and they sell hamburgers. It's not as though they are peddling tobacco to minors!
"At a time of rampant heart disease and obesity, it is the height of corporate irresponsibility for a major chain to peddle a 1,420-calorie sandwich," the center said.
Look, if you eat 1,000 of these things, you'll either die of a heart attack or from bloodclots due to your inability to walk. Anyone with half a brain knows that.
But absent the Monster Burger, there are countless other food items that are unhealthy if eaten in inordinate amounts. Take the guy that weighs 400lbs and eats 3 boxes of Twinkies every day. Should we outlaw Twinkies, simply because this guy doesn't grasp the concept of self control?
That being said, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis has it right:
"Let the food puritans say what they will. There's nothing really wrong with counting the occasional juicy burger among life's simple pleasures."Indeed. To illustrate that point, the Sons of the Republic have already christened it the "Official Burger of the SOTR". Next time my capitalist endeavors take me on the road, I see a Monster Burger in my future.
Now That's A Burger
Offical Hamburger of the SOTR
I had such hopes for Harry Reid
I did. I swear.
I had hoped that he would've learned from his predecessor, Tiny Tommy Daschle - the soon to be former Senate Minority Leader whose next job is wondering what he's going to do now that he actually has to live in South Dakota.
South Dakota is wondering what it will do with Tiny Tommy. Perhaps his travel visa will be revoked. But I digress.
Harry (I haven't come up with a nickname for him yet - feel free to suggest one) went on Meet the Press on Sunday. Rather than attempt to bring some semblance of comprehension to the Democratic Party, Harry evidently spent the night studying Tiny Tommy's playbook. A complete transcript of the interview can be found here.
Some highlights of the exchange:
That, dear reader, is straight from the Tiny Tommy playbook. Back in September, I commented at length regarding the realities facing Social Security. Harry would do well to read that. He needs to remember that my Social Security funds are mine and I would prefer that he keep his hands off my decisions regarding my retirement.
MR. RUSSERT: Private accounts for Social Security--the president has made that a priority of his domestic agenda. Will you work with him in privatizing part of Social Security?
SEN. REID: Tim, I can remember as a little boy my widowed grandmother with eight children. She lived alone, but she felt independent because she got every month her old age pension check. That's what this is all about. The most successful social program in the history of the world is being hijacked by Wall Street. Yes, Social Security is a good program. And if the president has some ideas about trying to improve it, I'll talk to him, and we as Democrats will, but we are not going to let Wall Street hijack Social Security. It won't happen. They are trying to destroy Social Security.
MR. RUSSERT: No private accounts?
SEN. REID: They are trying to destroy Social Security by giving this money to the fat cats on Wall Street, and I think it's wrong.
After reading the interview transcript and the barbed attacks aimed at W, Big Time, and Clarence Thomas, I can only arrive at the conclusion that Harry is attempting to follow in the footsteps of Tiny Tommy.
Harry, you and Tiny Tommy share some remarkable similarities. You are, as he was, a Blue Senator from a Red State. Next time you go to the White House, look closely at the roof. Someplace up there on a pike is Tiny Tommy's political head.
Best to shred the Tiny Tommy playbook, Harry.
Here endeth the lesson.
Retiring in Chile
by Thom the Blog Culler
The only thing standing between us and and fixing Social Security is, well, us.
This is exactly what we need to do. If a third world South American nation can figure this out and reap the benefits, what the heck's wrong with us?
Merely our devotion to a 70 year old Democratic power grab disguised as a failed experiment in socialst utopianism. Oh yeah, and the nay saying scare tactics to enforce the legacy power grab.
An ownership society is a society that works. Lets fix Social Security now, and lets fix it forever.
What can I say more?
Corruption at the UN?!? I'm shocked!!
Taking time to point out corruption at the United Nations is like trying to count the stars. The instances are far too numerous to document - almost.
In recent days, the putrid details surrounding the UN Oil For Food (properly entitled Oil to line the pockets of Kofi Annan's Cronies) have begun to surface.
If you read the entire article, you'll find links to other details that will raise your blood pressure. The one that particularly perturbs me is the one regarding Kofi Annan's son, Kojo
Seems that Kojo took advantage of his dad's position to line his pockets with some cold, hard, ill gotten Iraqi cash. Kofi's reaction when confronted with proof of his son's misdeeds? Surprised, and of course the old Tom Daschle standby, disappointed. To quote the man directly:
He is a grown man, and I don't get involved with his activities and he doesn't get involved with mine.
I don't know about you, but my father would personally fly out and woodshed me to express his surprise and disappointment if I had acted in a similar manner.And, don't forget the French Connection.
Kofi's actions as a "leader" are symptomatic of the near if not completely fatal disease infesting the halls of the United Nations Headquarters which has turned those buildings into a huge waste of valuable New York City real estate. Its almost as if Kofi took a page from Casablanca and is doing a very bad imitation of the cop:
Kofi: There's corruption in this establishment! I'm shocked!
Moneygrubbing Corruption Peddler: Sir, here are the numbered Swiss accounts into which your kickback money has been deposited.
Kofi: Oh, yes. Thank you. Please blame the Usual Suspects.
Moneygrubbing Corruption Peddler: The Americans and other well meaning capitalistic countries with democratically elected leaders?
Kofi: Yes, that will do nicely.
Somebody, please stop the insanity.
I recently came across an interesting blog titled, "Life in this Girl's Army". It's written by Sgt. Lizzie who is currently serving in Iraq.
Her posts last week were about her excitement at coming home. They were packing up gear, cleaning equipment, and were about 2 weeks out from moving to Kuwait. On Saturday, she was in a transport convoy when her truck was hit with an IED. The soldier driving the truck was killed (Godspeed, my friend).
Read about it for yourself. This kid is remarkably resilient and has a positive, upbeat attitude and humorous view on life and her mission in Iraq that you won't read in the main stream media.
To give you an idea of her level of commitment to her duties, her post from today is titled, "GOING BACK!!! YAY". Yes, she was inches away from death two days ago, and this is what she had to say today:
"I have my flight out tomorrow morning at 0715 to fly me directly back to Camp Victory where my chain of command can pick me up:) So that means one more night of sleeping in the ward for me. Not too bad, though I have slept on more comfortable beds hehe."Lizzie, God bless, and good hunting.
Groningen Protocol Part Deux
Scott Ott at Scrappleface does a fantastic job of illustrating absurdity by being absurd.
Protection of LIFE, liberty and the pursuit...
Mrs. Bonjo doesn't often read the news. She really has no need since she has me. I provide daily recaps of relevant news stories in often entertaining and thought-provoking deliveries, practicing for my debut as anchor of the CBS Evening News.
Seriously, Mrs. Bonjo follows the main stories, but usually gets too frustrated at the idiocies of the Left to read much more. Last night I shared one piece of news with her that instantly made her eyes well up with tears.
I mentioned the Dutch Groningen Protocol. It's a disgusting illustration of government gone bad and the utter disregard for life that is eroding away the values of world society. This hideous piece of legislation actually allows medical professionals to euthanize [kill] infants. Newborns. Babies.
If a doctor determines a baby is terminally ill, they can end it's life. In fact, the protocol allows any child up to age 12 to be killed if doctors deem they have a terminal illness.
This isn't abortion we're talking about here. This is a living, breathing child. It's not a matter of "choice" (though faulty even that argument is), this is just plain murder.
Mrs. Bonjo's first question was, "Will parents decide this?" It was heartbreaking to see her reaction when I told her that, no, parents don't have a say in the matter:
"A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors."Any doctor deciding to terminate the life of one of my children must "consider" the fact that I will lay down my own life doing whatever necessary to protect the life of my own flesh and blood, even if it means ripping said doctor limb from limb.
I believe that any hospitals practicing this must first fly the Nazi flag. What they are doing is tantamount to the horrific genocide committed by the Nazis. If it's not perfect, kill it. If it doesn't meet our guidelines, kill it.
The reality of this issue is money. The Dutch have a socialized health care system. As such, the government pays for health care. And obviously, the government feels it has the right to make decisions that affect the bottom line. It seems to me the Dutch government is saying, "We know this child is going to die. Let's just save some money in health care costs and do it now."
That is a disgusting position for a government to adopt. The great nation of the United States was founded on the belief that governments exist for the "protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." When governments disallow for the protection of life, they disallow the protection of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Cordeiro summarized discussing this topic by quoting from the New Testament. Those in Dutch parliament voting for this measure, and doctors carrying out this protocol would be wise to read this verse, in particular the consequences stated:
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. - Matthew 18:6Interesting... Isn't Holland below sea level?
Thom's Pic of the Day - Newsflash for Brian Williams
by Thom the Blog Culler
Even Brian Williams doesn't get it yet.
According to CBS Marketwatch, at a post-election wrap-up session, when a fellow panelist "mentioned that bloggers had had a big impact on the reporting on Election Day, Williams waved that point away by quipping that the self-styled journalists are 'on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem.'"
I wonder how many more MSM news anchors will have to "retire" before reality begins to set in. I mean really. Who has a modem in their bathroom?
What can I say more?
Terrorists don't keep promises, France learns lesson
Just over a week ago, the namby-pamby French, in an attempt to show their acceptance of varying cultures and pander to terrorists, cleared the way for Hezbollah to broadcast in Europe vis-a-vis the al-Manar television network.
The group of militant, anti-Semitic terrorists had agreed not to "incite hatred among religions" (in the same fashion that the Iranians agreed to stop their nuclear weapons programs). Last week, in an effort to not incite hatred among religions, the al-Manar network delivered a broadcast claiming Israel is trying to infect Muslims and Arabs with AIDS.
Well, that certainly sounds like religious harmony to me! From Reuters:
"The CSA cited as evidence an Al-Manar broadcast last week that spoke of 'Zionist attempts to transmit dangerous diseases like AIDS through exports to Arab countries.' The broadcast said Israel had "no scruples" about infecting Arabs and Muslims."Now, one week later, France's broadcasting authority, the CSA (think of FCC Commissioner Michael Powell in a beret), has called for a ban on the station.
When WILL these people learn? You can't deal with terrorists.
In a shockingly predictable statement, the terrorists, I mean, al-Manar, denies any wrong doing:
"The channel affirms its commitment to the agreement and is surprised by the decision since it is intent on carrying out the agreement", it said, calling CSA to "stick to the agreement and not submit to the political pressure being exercised upon it."Hey, let's get the U.N.'s take on all this. Oh, wait, never mind, they've already answered the question. As Chainik Hocker reported last week, the U.N. is convinced that anti-Semitism is caused by Jews. Silly us for not realizing that sooner.
What? Why block our broadcasts? We affirm our commitment to the agreement! What we did last week doesn't matter! That's all in the past. Trust us. We're the nice guys. Sure, we blow people up occasionally, but no one can prove anything. It's the evil Israelis that are the problem here!
Regardless, let's hope France has learned something from this: You can't deal with terrorists. (I'm not holding my breath)
Birth, Life, and Death
After having taken to heart the virtual tongue lashing bestowed upon the Blogosphere by Hugh (honestly, Hugh, I was really getting around to it), I have decided to comment on the Groningen Protocol.
Now I know you're asking, "Sure, Cordeiro, first how do you pronounce Groningen and what is the related Protocol?"
I have no idea how to answer the first question, as I don't speak anything close to Dutch. I can answer the second question.
The Groningen Protocol has been put forth by the Dutch detailing the circumstances under which measures may be taken to euthanize newborn babies deemed to be terminally ill.
No, you did not misread my commentary. The Dutch, who already have protocols to kill terminally ill elderly people now have a protocol by which they can legally kill newborns - actually up until age 12.
But wait, it gets better.
A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors.I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I do not purport to understand the issues surrounding the decision to terminate life support or other measures used to prolong the life of a terminally ill infant or child.
What I am is a husband and a father. I have stood by the fetching Mrs. Cordeiro twice as she has reached forth to touch the hand of God and bring life into this world. In the deep recesses of my soul I knew that I might be called upon to make decisions that would affect the life and possible death of my bride and/or our child.
As a husband and a father, that is my job. Its what I signed up for. No doctor or other professional has the right, Groningen Protocol be damned, to interfere in that role. Anyone attempting to make life and death decisions regarding my children runs the risk of having his or her head forcibly removed from his or her body. The duty of parents is to protect their children at all costs from anyone seeking to do them harm. Parents understand this. Fathers understand this.
The Dutch, however, seem to have justified themselves all the way down the slippery slope by codifying something unspeakable - most likely so they can justify a death for convenience sake.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.- Matthew 18:6 Here endeth the lesson.
My Life's [on] Jeopardy
I see that Ken "The Amazing Brain" Jennings, age 30, has finally been unseated as the reigning champion on Jeopardy. I admit that I haven't followed Jennings' appearances on the show.
There are some in the world who dislike Jennings simply because he is successful. Anything negative I've heard about this man have been made up complaints regarding a "smug smile" or some other idiotic fault-finding.
The truth: He's smart, he's friendly, and now he's rich.
Yes, that's right. So to the whiners out there, read closely:
I admire people who seize upon opportunities to use their talents for good. Jennings won over $2.5 million. One million of that will, sadly, be gobbled up by taxes. Approximately $250,000 will be donated to Jennings' church. The remaining money he plans to invest and put away for another time, and he will undoubtedly continue to use this money for the benefit of others.
This man is incredibly smart. Smarter than you.
And now, he's incredibly rich. Yes, richer than you.
Get over your jealousy.
This money has not and will not change his lifestyle:
My father-in-law was recently on a Southwest flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. If you've ever flown Southwest, you know that they are the bargain-basement of airfares. As part of their efficient operation, assigned seats are not provided. You simply show up early and get the best seat you can find.
Well, my father-in-law was waiting for his flight to leave, reading, when Ken Jennings sat down next to him--in the middle seat. They chatted, Jennings was extremely gracious, and even agreed to autograph a business card for my mother-in-law (who has watched Jennings since he first appeared in June).
The fact that Jennings flew coach on Southwest impresses me almost as much as his knowledge of the world, for apparently that knowledge includes an understanding of wealth. You don't stay wealthy by spending money. Jennings knows that he won't often have another 70 opportunities to make $40,000 in 20 minutes.
So to those who dislike Jennings, I now implore you to stop your whining. The reason behind your whining is obvious: you are jealous of his success. Realize that he is smarter than you, and move on with your life.
With that, I return to my capitalist endeavors.