Friday, February 1, 2008

Courting The Climate

Courts Confront Climate Change January 24, 2008
S. Fred Singer
Washington Times
Late last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must consider the “risks of global warming” when setting gas-mileage standards for light trucks, minivans and SUVs.
Central to the court’s ruling was the claim that NHTSA, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, had ignored the benefits of reducing emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2).
Whatever their legal acumen, Justice Betty Fletcher and her colleagues on the bench demonstrated they have little expertise in climate science. Tighter restrictions on CO2 emissions cannot produce the imagined benefits. Greenhouse gas emissions occur globally: The court’s mandate will not measurably curb CO2 levels or global warming.
The court also assumed that human activity is the main cause of global warming. This has yet to be demonstrated by hard evidence.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) points to glacial melting, shrinking sea ice, and other consequences of global warming. But such “evidence” doesn’t tell us whether the causes are natural or manmade. Other evidence, such as the claimed correlation between temperature and CO2, is circumstantial; during much of the 20th century the climate was cooling while CO2 levels were rising.
A forthcoming report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), of which I am the editor, may provide needed balance. An independent organization, not sponsored by the United Nations, national governments, or industry, NIPCC—which includes many IPCC authors and expert reviewers—was created to provide a second opinion on the IPCC’s official findings, much as a physician’s diagnosis may warrant a second opinion.
Drawing on peer-reviewed publications in major scientific journals, NIPCC examined the data used in IPCC’s May 2007 climate-change assessment, as well as research ignored in the IPCC report or published subsequent to its release. NIPCC concludes that “evidence” to support public hysteria about human-caused greenhouse warming does not hold up to scrutiny. Among the findings, expected to be published early this spring:
Human activities—such as transportation and industrial production—contribute little to global warming. The claim that greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for rising global temperatures is based on computer models. But as NIPCC confirms, key temperature readings contradict the models. For example, while all greenhouse models show temperature trends rising with altitude in the tropical troposphere—the lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere—weather balloon data show the opposite: a cooling trend. The models are wrong.....
go here for the rest of the story
The models can't predict the weather next week, why would we believe they could predict something further out?

3 Quarter Backs Go To Heaven........

God asks Eli Manning first: "What do you believe?"
Manning thinks long and hard, looks God in His awesome eye, and says, "I believe in hard work, and in staying true to family and friends. I believe in giving. I was lucky, but I always tried to do right by my fans."
God can't help but see the essential goodness of Manning, and offers him a seat next to him.
Then God turns to Brett Favre and says, "What do you believe?"
Favre says, "I believe in passion, discipline, courage and honor are the fundamentals of life. I, too have been lucky, but win or lose I've always tried to be a true sportsman both on and off the playing fields."
God is greatly moved by Favre's sincere eloquence, and he offers him a seat next to him.
Finally, God turns to Tom Brady: "And you, Tom, what do you believe?"
Brady replies, "I believe you're in my seat."

Why Huck Won't Bail?

Mark Finkelstein over at Newsbusters says that the reason Huckabee remains in the race is that he and McCain have made a deal- maybe a VP deal..
read the story here

Would that work? Or would that be some kind of un-holy alliance?

What Else Can We Tell Them?

In an article in the Washington Times we are told the news of an apparent successful missle attack in Pakistan a few days ago:

Abu Laith al-Libi, a known top-tier commander of al Qaeda's combat operations in the region and No. 12 on the U.S. most-wanted list, was killed in his compound in a village about nearly 3 miles outside Mir Ali in North Waziristan. An Islamist Web site first reported al-Libi's death, which it blamed on the U.S., saying yesterday he had been "martyred" but not describing how. The site did not say who might succeed him.

and then they go on to quote the proverbial "anonymous source":

Although U.S. officials were coy about taking credit for the strike, one intelligence official told The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity that attacks against terrorists are succeeding because of better intelligence capabilities and technologies, such as the use of the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, a new type of drone that makes less noise than its predecessor.
The older Predator unmanned planes "were too loud and many times could be heard" before reaching its intended destination, whether for spying or firing Hellfire missiles, the intelligence official said.

While not reaching the depths of the NY Times those who say, "I'm not supposed to talk about this but..." should be brought to task. Both the source and the paper should be brought up on charges.


Now Brits ban 'mum' and 'dad'New rules demand sensitivity for 'gays'
Posted: February 1, 20081:00 a.m. Eastern
By Bob Unruh© 2008
Only months after a plan generated by California's legislature created a ban on the use of "mom" and "dad" in public schools, the Brits have announced a similar move, with orders for teachers to be more sensitive to homosexuality and not use terms like "mum and dad."
According to a report in the Mail online, a guidance plan has been released to tackle "anti-gay bullying" in schools in Britain. Written by the homosexual activist group Stonewall and announced by government Schools Secretary Ed Balls, the plan tells teachers not to make assumptions about a "mum and dad," perhaps instead referring to "parents."
And it directs teachers to introduce to students as young as age four the idea of same-sex couples in order to battle "homophobic" attitudes.
The California plan, which now is being targeted by an initiative effort that aims to take the issue to voters to have them overturn it, mandates a positive – and no other – portrayal of bisexuals, homosexuals, transgenders and others choosing alternative sexual lifestyles in public schools.

rest of the article here

Thursday, January 31, 2008

What if Gaza Were To Conquer Egypt?

From the Wall Street Journal

The possibility is not as remote as it may seem just by glancing at the map.
Egypt has more than 50 times the population of its former colony and 2,800 times the landmass. But Gaza is sovereign Hamas territory, Hamas is the Palestinian branch of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, and Egypt -- not Israel -- is the country that has most to fear from a statelet that is at once the toehold, sanctuary and springboard of an Islamist revolution.
No wonder liberal Egyptians are reacting with near-hysterical alarm to last Wednesday's demolition of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai.

Dial '08 for Terrorism

By: John C. Wohlstetter
The Washington Times
January 31, 2008Original ArticleBy John C. Wohlstetter - The assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has brought foreign policy and security issues to the forefront, as America prepares to elect a president. Homeland security is part of the seamless web that links actions abroad to consequences at home. Above all, fears that a nuclear device will be detonated on American soil have been aroused anew by the plausible prospect of political disintegration in the world's only nuclear-armed Islamic nation. For the last two years, a national debate has raged as to what communications monitoring the government may legitimately conduct in its effort to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. Begun shortly after September 11, 2001, disclosed to bipartisan congressional leadership from the outset, with periodic review by the Justice Department, the Telecommunications Surveillance Program nonetheless came under heavy fire from privacy advocates when its existence became publicly known.

the rest of the article is here

Darwin Day

Discovery Institute tells us what happened to Lincoln's Birthday

February 12 used to be celebrated in schoolrooms across America as Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Not anymore. In recent years, schools, museums, and community groups have decided to use the day to celebrate the birthday of the father of evolution instead. Darwin Day celebrations provide an eye-opening glimpse into the world of grassroots Darwinian fundamentalism, an alternate reality where atheism is the conventional wisdom and where traditional religious believers are viewed with suspicion if not outright paranoia. Darwin Day events often explicitly attack traditional religion, and the original "honorary president" of Darwin Day was biologist Richard Dawkins, author most recently of The God Delusion. Darwin Day celebrations are symptomatic of how science is routinely misused in America today to attack traditional morality and religion, and how Darwinian biology in particular is influencing virtually every area of our culture—morality, the courts, the welfare system, medicine, and even our churches.

Join author Dr. John West, author of the provocative new book Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science (ISI Books) as he explores the Darwin Day movement and what it reveals about the pervasive influence of Darwinism and scientific materialism on every part on our culture.
What: Darwin Day in America
Who: Dr. John G. West
When: Feb. 12, 12pm - 1:30pm
Where: Media Center at the Family Research Council, Washington, DC

The Value of the Values Voter

From the folks at ChronWatch:

By Tony Perkins Tony Perkins is executive director of the Family Research Council in Washington, D. C.

In the latest round of political musical chairs, when the music stopped last night in Florida Mayor Giuliani was knocked out. What happened to this front runner who just months ago was all but anointed as the GOP candidate, the only one who could beat Hillary Clinton?

Spiritual Morphine- The Delusory Hope of Dying on Your Own Terms

This is an excerpt from an article from this month's Touchstone Magazine. It can be found in it's entirety here

by Kristina Robb Dover

....Simone Weil goes so far as to say that in the same way that the natural phenomenon of a sunset reminds us of the order and beauty of creation, so too does affliction—it is written into the delicate structure of the universe to which human beings belong and ultimately must give heed. In her essay, “The Love of God and Affliction,” she writes:
Each time that we have some pain to go through, we can say to ourselves quite truly that it is the universe, the order and beauty of the world, and the obedience of creation to God that are entering our body. After that, how can we fail to bless with tenderest gratitude the Love that sends us this gift?
By agreeing with Weil that even pain can minister God’s grace to us, I do not intend to glorify suffering purely for suffering’s sake. There is nothing redemptive in suffering alone. Nor do I wish to suggest that death is a good. The Bible is clear from start to finish that just as death did not belong to God’s original plan for creation, death will not have a place in the heavenly resurrected life that God promises to those who love him.
My unease is with a Christianity that in a highly therapeutic, health-obsessed Western culture genuflects before the idols of comfort and happiness. A religion that assigns greater value to pain relief in the here and now than to the lordship of Jesus Christ has only succeeded in erecting another golden calf, with the damaging result that health and comfort and a pain-free death are falsely proclaimed as the answer to the riddle of human existence.
Such misplaced worship is a far cry from “true religion,” understood as that “which binds us to God as the one and only God,” in the words of John Calvin (a man, incidentally, racked with illness his whole life). It falls prey to the kind of utilitarianism that Friedrich Schleiermacher once bewailed: religion that exists not for its own sake, but as a means to an end—in this case, the relief of pain.....

Time for Huck to Bail?

Question- If Huckabee were not in the race who would his supporters most likely vote for?
My hunch is the answer would be Romney. Except in Texas maybe where for some reason they seem to have a strong affinity for Paul. (I guess we are a bunch of loonies down here)

Assuming my hunch is correct, that Huckabee's supporters, given the choice between Romney and McCain, would support Romney, then is Huckabee's continued run hurting Romney and helping McCain?

Does Huckabee see himself as gathering enough delegates to make him kingmaker at the convention and thus able to have some say in the platform?

Or do the republicans seek a "favorite son" solution suggested here or do they just "recruit Newt" as suggested here

Thoughts anyone?

Either way it looks to be an interesting process. Too bad it's also getting kind scary.

A Sign of Things to Come?

Christian Photographer Hauled before Commission for Refusing Same-Sex Job
By John Jalsevac

....A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a "commitment ceremony" that the two women wanted to hold. Huguenin declined because her Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony.
The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division, which is now trying Elane Photography under state antidiscrimination laws for sexual orientation discrimination.

read full story here

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

'Filthy' Israel's days are numbered - Iran

HARDLINE president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has renewed his verbal attack on Israel, saying its days are numbered and predicting that the "filthy Zionist entity" will fall sooner or later."I advise you to abandon the filthy Zionist entity which has reached the end of the line,'' Mr Ahmadinejad today told world powers in a speech in the southern city of Bushehr carried live on the state television. "It has lost its reason to be and will sooner or later fall,'' he said. "The ones who still support the criminal Zionists should know that the occupiers' days are numbered.''

the full story

UN human rights chief backs plan that seeks end to Zionism

UN human rights chief backs plan that supports elimination of Israel

Just another day at the office for the UN Human Rights commission. "Arbour backs plan that seeks end to Zionism: UN human rights czar supports controversial pan-Arab charter," by Steven Edwards for The Ottawa Citizen (thanks to Sounder):
UNITED NATIONS - Louise Arbour, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, has thrown her support behind a major pan-Arab human rights charter that commits to the elimination of Zionism.
Some critics say the wording is code for the destruction of Israel, but in a statement from her Geneva headquarters, the former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada welcomes the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which will come into force in mid-March....

While the document demands respect for a host of internationally recognized human rights, its references to Zionism concern leading human rights activist groups, including Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists and UN Watch.
click here for the rest

We Will Destroy America and Britain, But Won't Use Nuclear Bombs

As reported by Yahoo News (McClatchy Newspapers) here

and an interview with him here at Jihad Watch:

"Pakistani Taliban Emir By'atullah Mahsoud: We Will Destroy America and Britain, But Won't Use Nuclear Bombs," from MEMRI (thanks to Mackie):
Following are excerpts from an interview with By'atullah Mahsoud, the Emir of the Pakistani Taliban, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 25, 2008. Throughout the interview, the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was not mentioned, and it seems the interview was recorded earlier.
To view this clip, visit

From the interview:
Interviewer: "Have you ever had any connection with Al-Zarqawi, Al-Zahawiri, or bin Laden?"

By'atullah Mahsoud: "Before Al-Zarqawi left for Iraq, he was in our region with us. We had strong relations with him. After America began committing injustice in Iraq, he went over there, and he had an extraordinary role. With regard to Osama and Al-Zawahiri, I never met them, but I have the utmost love and respect for them, because of their enmity towards the Jews and the Christians. The Muslims must be harsh towards the infidels and compassionate among themselves. These two men reflect this Koranic verse. Their enmity towards the Jews and the Christians is strong, and therefore, I respect them.[...]
That's Qur'an 48:29: "Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are merciful to one another, but harsh to the unbelievers."

Quote Of The Day- My Favorite Lefty

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

review of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion in the London Review of Books beginning "Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology." -- Terr Eagleton

The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2007-From CT

From Christianity Today

What do monks, kites, unwanted pregnancies, a 19th century abolitionist, and a young man with a life-sized inflatable doll have in common? They're all in movies that we've deemed the ten most redeeming films of 2007.posted 01/29/08
First off, what do we mean by "redeeming" films? They're all stories of redemption—sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of them literally have a character that represents a redeemer; all of them have characters who experience redemption to some degree—some quite clearly, some more subtly. Some are "feel-good" movies that leave a smile on your face; some are a bit more uncomfortable to watch. But the redemptive element is there in all of these films.

See the list here


Orwell Would Be Proud
By MARK STEYNJanuary 28, 2008

My favorite headline of the year so far comes from The Daily Mail in Britain: "Government Renames Islamic Terrorism As 'Anti-Islamic Activity' To Woo Muslims.".....

Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. "There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief," she told her audience. "Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic."
Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in
Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be "anti-Islamic" — in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an "anti-German activity." But I don't recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a five-year old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen.
Article here

Never Go To Bed Angry?

By Fernanda Moore

The world is full of advice for married couples, newlyweds or not -- some of it commonsensical, most of it well-intentioned, and much of it wrong. In the 14 years we've been married, my husband and I have broken all the rules at least once -- and when I copped to friends, most of them gleefully admitted they'd done the same.

Having a baby puts enormous strain on your relationship. One solution? Simple acknowledgment.

So I asked them to go on the record as we figured out the biggest myths about marriage. With the help of a few experts (themselves veterans of long, kid-filled relationships), we've decoded what bits of conventional wisdom are worth tossing -- and what are worth tweaking -- from the suggestions we've all heard since walking down the aisle.

Myth: Never go to bed angry
It sounds reasonable -- why risk letting a fight smolder overnight only to flare up again the next day? Better to resolve things, sleep soundly, and start fresh.
What we say: Just agree to disagree until morning -- especially if it's midnight, there's no resolution in sight, and you're dying on the vine. After all, not every argument comes with a built-in time limit.

See full article here:

Question: Doesn't the author support the so called myth in their answer? Agreeing to disagree until a dispute can be brought to closure is a way to "let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Eph. 4:26
Hey, maybe there are some things we can learn from the Bible!

Dissin' Jesus

From the Voice of the Martyrs feed on the left of this blogs page an post that gives one answer to the question I posed on an earlier post this week entitled, "Free Speech and a Christian Response."

In his article Dissin' Jesus, Burchett writes, "The fact is that Christians are getting beaten up a bit in this culture. And a lot of Christians are getting defensive about it. I understand that. Nobody likes to be mocked, ridiculed, badgered and marginalized . Okay, most of us don’t like that. The tough thing for followers of Jesus is deciding the right response to all of these verbal drive-bys. I have a hard time calling them attacks. I read the Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter. The suffering Christians around the world can use the word attack and persecution honestly. So far in America we are only dealing with bad manners and insults."

Click the link on the RSS feed to the right or follow this link to the artcle

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Trap For the U.S. and Israel?

Another thought provoking article from American Thinker

John Bolton just talked about the Iran threat at a conference in Israel. Said Bolton:
"... the pre-emptive use of force ... has to come before they get the (nuclear) weapon. ... in the next year the use of force by the United States is highly unlikely ... That increases the pressure on Israel ... if it feels Iran is on the verge of acquiring (nuclear) capability, it brings the decision point home to use force." (emphasis added)
"A senior Israeli security official
said in reaction that 'one should listen very closely to what Bolton has to say.'"

Click here for the full article

Pathological Science

Good article over at American Thinker

Today's Global Warming campaign is endangering real, honest science. Global Warming superstition has become an international power grab, and good science suffers as a result.
Freeman Dyson, one of the great physicists alive today, put it plainly enough in his autobiography:
"...all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. ... I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. ... They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in."

Click here for the rest of it


Exclusively published to the Touchstone website each week, these Daily Reflections are brief commentaries on the lectionary readings contained in the St. James Daily Devotional Guide. The reflections are penned by Patrick Henry Reardon, editor of The Daily Devotional Guide and a senior editor of Touchstone. These Daily Reflections can be found at:

Tuesday, January 29
Romans 7:1-12: Already in this epistle Paul has touched on the function of the Law with respect to the reign of sin and death. In the present chapter he treats this theme in a more ample fashion. How is it, he wonders, that something so godly as the Law, given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, should actually serve the interests of sin and death? .....

The real problem, Paul will argue here in Romans, was not with the Law in itself; the problem was in man, whose bondage to sin and death rendered him incapable of observing the Law. The Law, remaining external to man, did not alter him within. Grace, he will argue later in this epistle, alters man from within. .....

Betting On The News

Nigel Eccles, a news junkie and former online betting site employee, wanted to try pursuing both interests at once.
Thus was born
Hubdub - a new website Eccles and three colleagues in Edinburgh, Scotland, assembled - where customers will bet for fun, not money, on the outcomes of real news stories.....
Here's how it will work. After signing up, you'll receive 1000 "Hubdub dollars," play money that works only on the site. You can look at stories about, say, whether Gregg Williams will be named the next head coach of the Washington Redskins or who will win the Florida Republican primary.
Guess right, and you'll win more Hubdub dollars. Lose, and your account will draw down. In the spirit of the board game Monopoly, where simply sticking it out is rewarded, you'll also get 20 new Hubdub dollars ever day you log in....

I guess this is less destuctive than the lottery, right?, right?

A Radio Smaller Than a Grain of Sand

CHICAGO - Transistor radios tinier than a grain of sand, made using nanotechnology, can not only tune in to the traffic report, but may end up outperforming current silicon-based electronics, US researchers said on Monday......
These strands are a hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair, forming a thin layer of semiconductor material that can be used in electronics devices and circuits.

I can't comment on things like this. My mind cannot comprehend such things.....

Earmarks Unmarked

From a Fox News story here:,2933,326147,00.html

WASHINGTON — President Bush was set to act Tuesday on his State of the Union promise to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to ignore any future earmarks not voted on by Congress.
Bush warned lawmakers he would flourish his veto pen if Congress does not rein in the number of congressional earmarks — money set aside for pet projects — that make it into law without a vote.
As many as 95 percent of earmarks are inserted after Congress has voted on appropriations measures, and the pork is never seen by most lawmakers. Bush called on Congress during last year's State of the Union to cut the number of earmarks in half, but Monday night he chided lawmakers for failing to do so.
"So this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I will send it back to you with my veto," Bush promised. "If these items are truly worth funding, the Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote."
To that end, Bush was scheduled in the afternoon to sign an executive order called "Protecting American Taxpayers From Government Spending on Wasteful Earmarks."
The types of projects targeted would include the likes of which have been pilloried in the recent budget-writing session, such as an insert by Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens to provide $20 million for a "Ferry to Nowhere," or the $1 million earmark obtained by New York Sen. Hillary Clinton for a museum dedicated to the 1969 Woodstock festival.

The Dawning of a Hard Reality

In an article in the British newspaper "The Daily Express"

Interesting to note that the focus here is not on Islamo-Fascism but rather on the threat to culture. The truley disturbing part here is that the Muslim population will triple in the next 17 years. If Europe doesn't stop contracepting and same sexing itself into sterility it will soon be a moot point.

AN “overwhelming majority” of Europeans believe immigration from Islamic countries is a threat to their traditional way of life, a survey revealed last night.
The poll, carried out across 21 countries, found “widespread anti-immigration sentiment”, but warned Europe’s Muslim population will treble in the next 17 years.

A Poem from St. Francis

From the Voice of the Martyrs website Persecution Blog, an oldie but a goodie..check out more from the RSS feed on the left of this blog.

A Poem from St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not soMuch seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Free Speech and A Christian Response

A Wichita Kansas pastor is arrested for merely being on the sidewalk, a series of disturbing incidents in Canada (here),lawsuits over movies (here) and the good ole "F_ _ _ _ Jesus" rant at an ESPN roast here and here and a subsequent demand by some groups for her immediate firing leads me to pose the question: In light of all that we are told to expect as disciples of Christ, is this the best way to respond?

The U.S,A. Is Finished- Or Not

NYT: Celebrating America's Decline, 'Waving Goodbye' To The U.S.A.
By Warner Todd Huston January 28, 2008 - 12:41 ET
Through the pessimistically, penumbrous pen of Parag Khanna, the New York Times has declared that the U.S.A. is finished. Yes, we have lost our "global hegemony" and we will find that by 2016, "America’s standing in the world remains in steady decline." Boy, it looks bad the for the good 'ol U.S. of A., as far as the Times is concerned. My guess is that the news of our demise is being greatly exaggerated....

How To Eat An Elephant

Iraq The Model is a blog run by two Iraqi dentists living in Iraq. It's one of the first blogs that appeared in Iraq after the fall of Saddam's regime in 2003. Through this blog, the authors try to provide news, analysis and commentary on events in post-Saddam Iraq as well as on the political changes in the Middle East and the global war on terror.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007
How to eat an elephant
Most people would say it’s impossible. No one could eat an elephant. Others would argue that one actually could eat an elephant—with patience, one bite at a time.The government cracked down on the Association of Muslim Scholars, an organization of Sunni clerics sympathetic to al-Qaeda and believed to have even been involved in leading, funding and hosting insurgent groups that have been responsible for countless attacks against Iraqis and Americans alike.Unlike previous operations, this one is different in that the troops were sent following a request submitted to the government by the department of Sunni endowment, an entity in charge of overseeing Sunni mosques and other religious activities. The chief of the Sunni endowment, Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Ghafour Samarraie, is a moderate Sunni cleric who has renounced the insurgency and explicitly accused the association of assisting al-Qaeda by justifying their murderous attacks against Iraqis.For four years now we’ve been waiting for this to happen. This al-Qaeda apologist, so-called association of Muslim scholars had to be dealt with and honestly it was frustrating to see them operate freely when the damage they caused was widely known, in nature if not in extent.......
read the rest at the blog

“Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise....

The Truth About the Spanish Inquisition By Thomas F. Madden
The scene is a plain-looking room with a door to the left. A pleasant young man, pestered by tedious and irrelevant questions, exclaims in a frustrated tone, “I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.” Suddenly the door bursts open to reveal Cardinal Ximinez flanked by Cardinal Fang and Cardinal Biggles. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Ximinez shouts. “Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope.... Our Amongst our weapons...amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I’ll come in again.”
Anyone not living under a rock for the past 30 years will likely recognize this famous scene from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In these sketches three scarlet-clad, inept inquisitors torture their victims with such instruments as pillows and comfy chairs. The whole thing is funny because the audience knows full well that the Spanish Inquisition was neither inept nor comfortable, but ruthless, intolerant, and deadly. One need not have read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum to have heard of the dark dungeons, sadistic churchmen, and excruciating tortures of the Spanish Inquisition. The rack, the iron maiden, the bonfires on which the Catholic Church dumped its enemies by the millions: These are all familiar icons of the Spanish Inquisition set firmly into our culture.
This image of the Spanish Inquisition is a useful one for those who have little love for the Catholic Church. Anyone wishing to beat the Church about the head and shoulders will not tarry long before grabbing two favorite clubs: the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. I have dealt with the Crusades in a previous issue of Crisis (see “The Real History of the Crusades,” April 2002). Now on to the other club.

Read the whole paper here:

Take A Deep Breath- Its Not That Bad

The Economy Is Fine (Really)
By BRIAN WESBURYJanuary 28, 2008; Page A15
It is hard to imagine any time in history when such rampant pessimism about the economy has existed with so little evidence of serious trouble.

For some good news on the economy go here:

The Pill That Does It All

One of my favorite things about the magazine "Salvo"
( is it's fake adds. This is one of the latest. I love the list of possible side effects at the bottom. Scary thing is these ads aren't too far from current reality, so my laughter can be described as a nervous one.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weather From Eutychus

Click the sticky showing Austin weather on the left side of the blog and you can put in your own town's weather (or where you are going for vacation or work) and get a 5 day forecast, radar etc.
And if you need help you can always ask Eutychus for an assist. After 23 years in Air Force weather I almost have it down.

If you aren't blessed to live in Austin, it's the least I can do. :-)

Men At Forty (or 44)


Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.

At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it moving
Beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors
They rediscover
The face of the boy as he practices tying
His father’s tie there in secret,

And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.

~ Donald Justice (1925-2004)

Poetry Corner- Those Winter Sundays

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden
The following is from Anthony Esolen one of the assistant editors of Tpuchstone magazine from back in June and (as usual raises some very good questions:

June 28, 2007
Deus Absconditus
Why, if God wants us to have faith in Him, does He play hide-and-seek with us, asking us to find what we do not see, and even requiring us to toss our lives away for a promise, a hope in light on the other side of what sometimes seems impenetrable darkness? Now I could venture many answers to the question, answers that spring from the Love that God has revealed Himself to be, and from what it means for us to bear the image and likeness of that Love. For there is something dangerous about Love -- and it may be that our answering love for a God we do not (and, given the structure of our beings, could not) immediately see, is a powerful reflection of God's own self-giving in creation, brooding over the nothingness and bringing forth light.
But then another question comes to mind: would it really be any better for us if God made His presence more easily known? The dark angels knew of His existence, and fell. Satan is faithless, and no atheist. Take this story, for example.
Click here for the rest of the story

Go Fred Go

Editorial Cartoons By Michael Ramirez
By MICHAEL RAMIREZ Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:30 PM PT

War Hero: Sheffield Ford

Not your everyday Afghanistan War Story:

"The coalition forces totaled 72 men. The Taliban had more than 200. At times Ford's men were surrounded on four sides. At other times the fight was so close, the enemy was yards away. "We were expecting some resistance, but not of that nature," Ford recalled. "They basically laid siege to us."

Media Bias: 935 false statements

Media Bias: Left-wing activists claim "at least 935 false statements" by the Bush administration on Iraq, and the charge gets reported as if it were a scientific finding. Doesn't it follow that top Democrats also lied about Iraq?

The Greatest Letter Ever Written?

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Rome has recently been called, “The
Greatest Letter Ever Written.” N. T. Wright has a 6-part video series with this title,
and John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
also gave his verse-by-verse expository sermon series the same title. Is Romans
really the greatest letter ever written or is this merely a rhetorical devise used
by preachers and teachers?
Read the paper here:

Do You Know Roe?

Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America have developed a 20-question test to see how much you know about Roe v Wade and abortion myths. You can take the test here:

Tempora Bona Volvant!

"Let the good times roll!" Sorry, as a Latinist I cannot bring myself to use the French version of this famous exclamation. Thank you for the invitation! My wife thinks I am addicted to blogs. I currently manage three: (the blog of Vita Nova Christian Academy), (the blog for the Theory of Knowledge class at North Central High School in Indianapolis), and (the blog for a group of students who enjoy Classical literature on Fridays at lunch).

I look forward to some good discussion here. I tried to follow the link on films other than the Passion, but could not seem to find it on that website. Here are some films I would suggest that portray important aspects of the Christian faith and/or make for good starting points in conversations about Christ.
  1. The Matrix
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. The Godfather
  4. A Man For All Seasons
  5. 300
  6. Braveheart

I would be happy to talk about any of those, if others desire.

Finally, a link to suggest: This is a growing database of every extant Latin text having to do with the church from the time of the Apostles through Pope Benedict XVI. Many of the texts have translations.

Thank you for offering this site!