Saturday, January 24, 2009

Try to Read it without Snickering- I Dare You

Funny stuff-this time intentionally and (for a change) not made up...
From the NY Times

...In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly if the word “bottom” is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent, doubly cursed because “prat” is slang for buffoon.

As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.

“It’s pronounced ‘PENNIS-tun,’ ” Fiona Moran, manager of the Old Vicarage Hotel in Penistone, said over the telephone, rather sharply. ....

Several months ago, Lewes District Council in East Sussex tried to address the problem of inadvertent place-name titillation by saying that “street names which could give offense” would no longer be allowed on new roads.

“Avoid aesthetically unsuitable names,” like Gaswork Road, the council decreed. Also, avoid “names capable of deliberate misinterpretation,” like Hoare Road, Typple Avenue, Quare Street and Corfe Close.

(What is wrong with Corfe Close, you might ask? The guidelines mention the hypothetical residents of No. 4, with their unfortunate hypothetical address, “4 Corfe Close.” To find the naughty meaning, you have to repeat the first two words rapidly many times, preferably in the presence of your fifth-grade classmates.) ...

...“Sniggering at double entendres is a loved and time-honored tradition in this country,” Carol Midgley wrote in The Times of London. Ed Hurst, a co-author, with Rob Bailey, of “Rude Britain” and “Rude UK,” which list arguably offensive place names — some so arguably offensive that, unfortunately, they cannot be printed here — said that many such communities were established hundreds of years ago and that their names were not rude at the time. ...

...Mr. Bailey, who grew up on Tumbledown Dick Road in Oxfordshire, and Mr. Hurst got the idea for the books when they read about a couple who bought a house on Butt Hole Road, in South Yorkshire.

The name most likely has to do with the spot’s historic function as a source of water, a water butt being a container for collecting water. But it proved to be prohibitively hilarious.

“If they ordered a pizza, the pizza company wouldn’t deliver it, because they thought it was a made-up name,” Mr. Hurst said. “People would stand in front of the sign, pull down their trousers and take pictures of each other’s naked buttocks.”

The couple moved away. ...

...Jacqui Anderson, a doctor in Crapstone who used to live in a village called Horrabridge, which has its own issues, said that she no longer thought about the “crap” in “Crapstone.”

Still, when strangers ask where she’s from, she admitted, “I just say I live near Plymouth.”

(read it all here)
Ah, that is good stuff-right up there with the squirrel story..

Same-sex "Marriage" Used as Defense in Canadian Polygamy Case

"Slippery Slope" defined....from LifeSite

CRESTON, British Columbia, January 22, 2009 ( - Canada's same-sex "marriage" law is being used as justification for polygamy by defense lawyers in the case of Winston Blackmore, 52, and James Oler, 44. The pair are leaders of the controversial polygamous sect in Bountiful, near Creston, British Columbia, and are accused of being married to more than one woman at a time....

...Blackmore is being represented by lawyer Blair Suffredine, a former member of Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government, who, while stating he is personally opposed to polygamy, says that Blackmore has "a very strong case" in light of Canada's legalization of homosexual "marriage."

"If (homosexuals) can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can't marry more than one person?" said Suffredine in an Associated Press report....

...Opponents of same-sex “marriage” have long observed that once homosexuals are permitted to “marry,” there is nothing holding polygamous marriages from being legally recognized as well. “It’s like this,” explained Stanley Kurtz in a 2006 National Review article,

“The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence. If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage. Legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless.”

While same-sex “marriage” advocates have strongly denied that such “marriage” would lead to polygamy, it appears that the warnings of pro-family advocates may now be coming to fruition in Canada.

At March, Black Pastor Warns Obama not to Preside over “Genocide” of American Blacks

From LifeSite:

...“We are calling on the President of Change, President Barack Obama,” he said, “to be an agent of change as it relates to the lives of over one million children who will be slaughtered in this, his first year as President, by a horrible practice called abortion and ‘a woman’s right to choose’.”

The most striking portion of Robinson’s speech came as he begged Obama not to preside over the genocide of African Americans. “We need change Mr. President because every day about 4000 babies die by abortion. Every day Mr. President, people with your ethnic background any my ethnic background die in astounding numbers. Abortion is the number one killer of African Americans in this country.”

“We make up about 12% of the population and about 34% of all abortions are black babies. In the last 36 years over 17 million African American babies have died by abortion alone. We need to change this picture. We need to stop this slaughter of the innocent preborn.

“Please Mr. President, be that agent of change that can commute the sentence of over 1400 African American children and over 3000 children from other ethnic groups sentenced to die every day in this country by abortion.”

“We need change and we need it now.”

“I pray with so many others,” he said, “that your administration will preside over the end to abortion and to the black genocide in America.”

“At the conclusion of your term in office, may it never be said that you presided over the largest slaughter of innocent children in the history of the country and that African Americans became an ever increasing minority under your hand.”

the REAL truth about hiring in the Justice Department

From SA

...The double standard still applies: Political considerations are okay if done by lefties, but evil if used by conservatives.

For what it’s worth, the Environmental Crimes Section of DoJ’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division (and indeed, almost certainly the entire division) is similarly staffed almost entirely with lefties. Do a Google search or an FEC or Open Secrets search on the political donations of the division’s attorneys, and you will see: Democrat after Democrat, lefty after lefty. Yet it is only conservatives who are run through the ringer for “politicized” hiring. This is an outrage.

For an example of the evil — yes, EVIL — that can be done by ideologically left, officious prosecutors, see all four pieces (follow all the internal links) in my
Washington Examiner package ( Examiner Special Report: How one good man’s intentions took him from a fuel cell to a jell cell) yesterday on a case study that might literally make you cry, about a sweet, earnest inventor now sitting in a federal prison for 21 months for “abandoning” hazardous waste that he didn’t really abandon and that was neither waste nor even, in the form that he packaged it, hazardous.

We’re in for a rough ride, folks.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Seduced by Change

From American Thinker:
Barack Obama won the presidency based upon the theme of change. We already live in a world of constant change, and we assume too easily that change is good. Politicians, professors, pundits, self-proclaimed champions of the oppressed -- those with vested interests in change -- repeat the lie that change makes things better. But these cheerleaders of constant change are unhappy people, by and large. Certainly there are some areas of human life in which change is good -- who would want to go back to the medicine or dentistry of fifty years ago?

But, surely, if there is one idea that should have been debunked in the last century it would be the idea of beneficent progress. The First World War was dramatic and catastrophic progress. The Bolshevik junta in 1917 was progress in the direction of omnipresent police state and slave labor camps. The Second World War was progress along the road to genocidal madness and global war. Ghastly diseases and debilitating physical conditions are "progressive," and that means change that is bad.

AIDS, pornography, broken homes, prostitution and increasingly vile violent crimes are changing America by progressively making life worse. Television, what Ray Bradbury once called the Medusa that turns 100 million Americans into stone for six hours each day, is progression toward puerile images supplanting serious reflection. The oceans of frantic, frivolous, and foolish news and entertainment stories that drown out all real sentiment and cognition are constructed around our foolish infatuation with change and our pathetic trust in progress.

The overthrow of the Shah of Iran was not benign progress. The degradation of Islamic rage into homicide bombers is not progress. The construction of the largest death camp in the world in North Korea is progress into the Inferno. The expansion of government in America to the point that it increasingly swallows up all other resources is progress toward bankruptcy. The very notion of progress as essentially good is false. (more)

Adult Stem Cells May Cure Blindness, while Embryo Researchers Complain of Funding Cuts

LifeSite bears witness to the truth highlighted in the Embryo Farming article below:
"The dirty little secret liberals don't want you to know is that stem cell science has moved beyond the use of embryonic stem cells. George Bush, as Charles Krauthammer has pointed out, was right. There was a better way. "

LONDON, January 19, 2009 ( – At the same time that Britain’s embryo researchers are complaining of budget cuts to their research, experiments with adult stem cells continue to bear fruit, with a possible cure for blindness on the near horizon.
The UK Stem Cell Foundation and Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with the Chief Scientist Office, have been given the green light to begin trials this month using adult stem cells that could potentially restore vision to patients with corneal blindness. The planned clinical trial with around 20 patients represents a major step forward for stem cell therapies that often take years of animal testing to bring to human trials.

The treatment involves the transplantation of stem cells on to the surface of the cornea to replace diseased cells in the eye of a patient with chronic corneal disease. Lead researcher Professor Bal Dhillon, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh, said, “This study is the first of its kind in Scotland and it is exciting to be involved in such ground-breaking work.

“Piloting the use of limbal stem-cell transplantation is a great landmark in the treatment of patients suffering from corneal blindness.”

At the same time, other researchers are complaining that after years of lobbying the government for laws allowing it, embryonic research, including the creation and use of human/animal hybrid clones, is having its funding cut. Some scientists are accusing funding bodies of holding vestigial moral objections to the idea of creating cow/human or rabbit/human chimeras in their funding decisions.

Ya Think?? (more)

Obama's Embryo Farm

From American Spectator:

...It's not just the prospect of embryo farming that should concern conservatives. The redirection of research monies into embryonic stem cell research will impede progress into truly important stem cell therapies. The dirty little secret liberals don't want you to know is that stem cell science has moved beyond the use of embryonic stem cells. George Bush, as Charles Krauthammer has pointed out, was right. There was a better way.

The really exciting stem cell research in the last year or so has centered on the transformation of adult cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Right now, researchers can take adult skin or blood cells and turn them into iPS cells as powerful as embryonic SCs. These cells have the potential to reverse heart disease, diabetes, paralysis and a host of other diseases. The benefit to individuals and our economy will be enormous.

The respect-for-life issues aside, it probably isn't a good sign that this new administration is falling back on antiquated policies and approaches to embryonic stem cell research. It surely will keep President-elect Obama's constituencey, the abortionists, happy, but it isn't good that tax dollars will be wasted on research that is now obsolete. (more)

Unprecedented Economic Crisis

What does our new president mean by this? Has he not heard of the 'Great Depression?' Surely not because those times were far worse than what we are experiencing right now. So I'm guessing what he must mean is that there has never been a time when we've had a national economy in crisis AND we're going to do our best by driving it down even more by bailing out anybody and everybody. But you have to give the man some credit with this statement, because if you make a situation sound really bad then you will have low expectations and can't be blamed in the end if things don't turn out right.

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama pressed congressional leaders to reach a consensus on an $825 billion stimulus plan, warning the country may be facing an “unprecedented” economic crisis.

Is This What You Call Change?

Always one step ahead and with an eye for the very funny CMR...
"Jon Stewart (Yes, That Jon Stewart) has a very pointed and very funny piece about the the same ol' rhetoric being treated in a whole new way thanks to the golden lips that deliver it." see it at Creative Minority Report

Judge Bans 'Secondhand Jesus'

Always good reading at Creative Minority Report. Thank goodness for the judge saving us all from the dreaded "moment of silence." Pitiful.

I will not submit

I will not submit. That's what the writing means.

And as the rest of the world goes crazy (see below) I will continue to say it over and over again...

Submission in the Netherlands: The trial of Geert Wilders represents another blow against Dutch freedom.

Submission in Austria:
Vienna — Austrian far-right parliamentarian Susanne Winter was convicted Thursday of incitement because of her anti-Muslim statements, including the claim that Islam’s prophet Mohammed was a paedophile. A court in Winter’s home town of Graz also found the 51-year-old politician guilty of humiliating a religion. From Gates of Vienna

An Anatomy of Surrender
Motivated by fear and multiculturalism, too many Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.

Radical Muslim preacher welcome in Rotterdam
Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin rejects demands by two parties to bar a radical Islamic preacher from speaking in the Netherlands.

Explosive Video Reich, Obamas economic advisor no "White Male Construction Workers"

From Beer n Sandwiches:

It would appear from the above video that one injustice is being replaced by another injustice. I hope that President Obama makes it very clear that the colour of a person's skin will not be a determining factor in accessing opportunities in the new America, and clarifies the statement made by his economic advisor.

The Root Cause of Abortion

From over at MereComments an excellent summary of the root cause of abortion:

So what are the root causes of abortion? The Root Cause is using sex--and therefore our bodies--for something for which they are not designed. Sex is designed for marital union and procreation, period. Marital union is more than two bodies and an orgasm. It has a familial dimension to it, an opening to ever-abundant life within a lifelong commitment. And you can't build a home--which children require--by shacking up. The word shack contrasted with home, is our clue to the root problem. It might take a village to raise a child in a sense, but in all cases it takes homes—families—to even make a village. Shacking up will only produce shanty towns.... read the rest here but don't forget to check out the comments for some of the most intelligent and insightful people I know (or don't know but wish I did)

Our Struggle for the Soul of Our Nation

By way of MereComments we get this from Robert P. George:

On the 26th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, Robert P. George addresses The Struggle for the Soul of a Nation at the Witherspoon Institute. About the seven Supreme Court Justices who approve Roe v. Wade, George writes:

They were wrong on all counts. They were wrong about the Constitution. As William H. Rehnquist and Byron White, the two dissenting justices in the case, pointed out, it is absurd to claim that a right to feticide follows from the constitutional injunction that “no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” If the Constitution can be read to imply anything about abortion, it is that unborn human beings are, like everyone else, entitled to “the equal protection of the laws.” At a minimum, Roe and Doe were an outrageous usurpation of the constitutional authority of the people of the United States to shape law and policy through the institutions of representative government.

Read the article here:
Robert P. George: Our Struggle for the Soul of Our Nation

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Moral Accountability

Moral Accountability: An Open Letter

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Islam film Dutch MP to be charged

It will be here before you know it...
From the BBC:
A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements.
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders made a controversial film last year equating Islam with violence and has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.
"In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to... draw a clear line," the court in Amsterdam said.
Mr Wilders said the judgement was an "attack on the freedom of expression".
"Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted," he said.
Not only he, but all Dutch citizens opposed to the "Islamisation" of their country would be on trial, Mr Wilders warned.
"Who will stand up for our culture if I am silenced?" he added. (more)

Death to Free Speech in the Netherlands

...Suspiciously, the wording of the appellate court's ruling strongly echoes public criticism made by the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) when the earlier prosecution was dropped, where the OIC censured prosecutors for ignoring the "thin line separating freedom of speech and the instigation of hatred, animosity and discrimination."
Even more disturbing is that the State of Jordan, most likely acting as a stalking horse for the OIC, has issued a request for Wilders'
extradition to stand trial in Jordan for blasphemy of Islam, a crime for which Shari'a law declares the penalty to be death. The Dutch parliament has taken the extradition request very seriously, and has shut out Wilders from all multi-lateral negotiations....(more)

You can watch Fitna here

Mom arrested, jailed for disciplining kids on plane

From OneNews Now:
The Patriot Act was enacted following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. But it has given airlines some latitude in dealing with what they may consider unruly behavior. A case in point is Tamara Jo Freeman, who in 2007 was flying on Frontier Airlines to Denver when she moderately spanked her unruly children, then responded with some profanities when confronted by a flight attendant. The Los Angeles Times reported this week that Freeman was arrested and spent three months in jail before entering a guilty plea. Mat Staverwith Liberty Counsel reacts to the story. "It makes no sense at all to convict some mother, who is trying to discipline her children, of violating a terrorism law -- a law that's defined as trying to stop terrorists, defined as trying to stop somebody from overthrowing or hijacking the plane," says the attorney....

...According to the Times, Freeman's conviction cost her custody of her children, who were placed in foster care during her incarceration. She is now trying to turn back legal proceedings in which the foster parents are seeking to adopt the children. (more)

Gitmo News

Obama Moves to Halt ‘Harsh’ Interrogations, Close Gitmo

Europe ambivalent about Gitmo inmates
“The Europeans have been nagging the United States to close Guantanamo for ages,” said London-based security analyst Bob Ayers. “Now the U.S. is actually thinking about doing it, these same Europeans that have been critical of the U.S. are now very reluctant to take those people into their own countries.” ...

Report: Ex-Gitmo detainee joins al-Qaida in Yemen

When Squirrels Attack

Who needs Monty Python? From the Telegraph:

Nurses have been told to walk in pairs or carry umbrellas to protect them from attacks by squirrels.

According to the Daily Mirror newspaper one district nurse was left with "reddening of the scalp" after being attacked.
In her "squirrel attack report" she wrote: "On walking up farm access I was jumped upon by a squirrel. Then another landed on my head." She rated the "severity of incident" as "insignificant to catastrophic".

But alarmed officials deemed it so serious that they sent a report to the Department of Health in London.

Gregor Miller, a safety officer, said the nurse was shaken after the attack, which happened near Langley Park, County Durham.
He told the newspaper: "It's not every day you are attacked by a squirrel. It was a garden grey as far as we're aware.

"There were two of them, but they don't seem to hunt in gangs. We've had no other reports of squirrels - probably in hooded jackets - attacking staff."

Last year, inventor Mike Madden suffered whiplash after a squirrel leapt on him as he tested a head-mounted bird feeding tray in Huddersfield.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Judge Obama on Performance Alone

“If his presidency is to represent the full power of the idea that black Americans are just like everyone else -- fully human and fully capable of intellect, courage and patriotism -- then Barack Obama has to be subject to the same rough and tumble of political criticism experienced by his predecessors. To treat the first black president as if he is a fragile flower is certain to hobble him. It is also to waste a tremendous opportunity for improving race relations by doing away with stereotypes and seeing the potential in all Americans.”

Now the campaigning is over, or is it, will it be a presidency of continuous campaigning as with the “Clinton’s” presidency. Clearly, the next four years are going to be tough with the deceptive media fawning over the new president, notwithstanding the financial situation and the beginning of socialism, as well as the forever struggle against a group of people that would like to see us either under Mullah Rule, or wiped off of the face of the earth.

We must be diligent in our scrutinizing of our leaders. The Democrats now have complete and absolute power. There is no more whining or pointing of fingers. What will they do with this power? Will they continue to blame George Bush until they are out of power, or will they seize the moment and lead the country on our continued path to even greater things?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Greco-Roman Legacy

Regardless of anyone's political persuasion, it is worth our time as Americans to consider that today's inauguration of President Obama was a prime example of the living legacy bequeathed us from the Classical cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. In her opening remarks at the ceremony, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) reminded us that "The world is watching today as our great democracy engages in this peaceful transition of power."

A peaceful transition of power.

How often has power peacefully changed hands in the history of the world? From tribes to city states to nation states, not to mention monarchies, oligarchies, and all manner of tyrannies as well, power has, more often than not, been transferred under violent and deadly circumstances.

Yet for all the vitriol and excoriating attacks during the campaign season, the American people cast their ballots, and the forty-fourth President of the United States took office today from the forty-third without one gun shot, without one body buried. Instead there was music, both soul and classical. There was music and there was prayer. And while some may not have liked the music or may have taken issue with the prayers, what no one can deny is that the seed of democracy, planted in Periclean Athens and developed in republican Rome, has flourished and produced its mature fruit in American soil.

We watched as an African-American citizen assumed the highest office in the land a mere forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Has there been too much made of race in this election? Has there been a pandering to and exploitation of ethnicity? Perhaps. But the better question may be this. Will the daughter of a Pakistani girl whose school was destroyed yesterday by Taliban bombs rise to such a level in her country within a mere four decades?

Today we indeed witnessed a peaceful transition of power, and ours is certainly a great democracy. It is time once again to take our leaders at their words until such time as they may prove themselves false. It is time for us to exercise our kratos of the demos, our rule of the people, by involving ourselves in our own economy, yet another word of Greek origin that means literally the governance of one's own household. And it is time that we begin our prayers for God's guidance of those we have chosen to lead.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's the plan for Afghanistan?

From This Week at War, No. 2- What the four-stars are reading -- a weekly column from Small Wars Journal.

What is the incoming Obama administration's plan for Afghanistan? According to a story in this week's Washington Post, President-elect Barack Obama's national security team needs more time, until at least April, to come up with the "parameters" of a new strategy. Although lacking a plan, Obama still intends to sharply increase in 2009 the number of U.S. soldiers in the country, from about 32,000 today to more than 50,000 later this year.
As the Obama team attempts to achieve a consensus, both among its members and with the NATO allies also fighting this war, what will the additional U.S. troops do after they arrive? The Los Angeles Times
reported on a debate between factions within the Pentagon on what the mission should be for these soldiers. One faction, representing counterinsurgency theorists, is recommending using the additional soldiers to protect as much of the Afghan population in urban areas as possible. The other faction recommends deploying the soldiers to rural areas near the Pakistani border to cut off infiltration from militant sanctuaries there.
Small Wars Council had a gloomy view of the transition on Afghanistan policy. Participants stirred up memories of Lyndon Johnson's handling of Vietnam policy after the death of John F. Kennedy. And the debate over urban protection versus securing the Pakistani border brought to mind postwar analyses of the Soviet Army's failure in Afghanistan in the 1980s. (additional articles here)

Rather a Demon

From Touchstone's MereComments:

We began reading Genesis on January 1, so today I read chapter 19, entitled in my Oxford Press edition of the RSV as "The Depravity of Sodom." You all know the story, but the familiar verse that jumped off the page is the response of the men of Sodom to Lot's refusal to hand over the two men staying at his house for sodomizing. Lot, begging them not to "act so wickedly," is then threatened: "This fellow came to sojourn, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them."
The response seems straight out of modern times: "How dare you judge us!"

From the Epistle I would have appreciated reading a robust section of one of Paul's letters, such as Ephesians 6:10, putting on the armor of God, or maybe one of those rich Christological sections from Hebrews, but we just finished reading that epistle before starting Romans. But Romans 1:18-32, on the unnatural vices, where we happen to be in our sequential readings, read alongside Genesis 19 seems planned.

The Gospel, also in sequence, is Matthew 8:28-34, the Gadarene Demoniac story. What has it to do with Genesis 19 and Romans 1? After reading the first two, I was struck by the insanity in verse 34: in Mark's version, I knew, we find a former demoniac "clothed and in his right mind," and I assume so here as well. The response of the people? "All the city (like "all the men of Sodom"?) came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw, him, they begged him to leave."

So, they apparently could live with a demoniac or two, but the healing of Jesus was just too much to bear. We have to pray hard that people will want to be released from the mystery of iniquity. Look at the vehemence aimed at those who claim to have escaped the dead end of sodomy, and at those who help them to do so. Losing a bit of their economy, a herd of swine, in the process, probably didn't help. But wouldn't you be happy to be rid of demonic influences in your society, even if it cost something? Not these people.
(read it here)

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

A long one worth reading. An oldie but a goodie from the late, great Richard John Neuhaus at
First Things

...Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Christian. Despite all. As we are all, in the final analysis, Christians despite all. Many of his biographers, and the public school texts, tend to downplay that. Much is made of his having been enlightened by reading Gandhi, and he is frequently depicted as a forerunner of New Ageish spirituality. But King was emphatic in asserting, “This business of passive resistance and nonviolence is the gospel of Jesus. I went to Gandhi through Jesus.” Frady and others have recounted his telling of the time in Montgomery when he was first receiving death threats and wanted out. Frady tells it this way:

He was overwhelmed with woe over his own unworthiness, his life of bourgeois privilege even during this ordeal into which he had led the city’s black community, and finally about the superficiality of his “inherited” call into the ministry, although he “had never felt an experience with God in the way that you must . . . if you’re going to walk the lonely paths of this life.” As he later recalled that late night hour of desolation, “I couldn’t take it any longer” and “tried to think of a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward.” Dropping his head into his hands, he suddenly realized he was praying aloud in the midnight hush of the kitchen: “Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. . . . But Lord, I’m faltering, I’m losing my courage. And I can’t let the people see me like this. . . . But I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone.” And at that moment, as King would tell it, he seemed to hear “an inner voice . . . the voice of Jesus,” answering him: “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness, stand up for justice, stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you, even until the end of the world.” That voice of Jesus, King recounted, “promised never to leave me, no, never to leave me alone.”...

...Marshall Frady and others are right: If everything was known then that is known now, Dr. King would early have been brought to public ruin, and there would almost certainly be no national holiday in his honor. But God writes straight with crooked lines, and he used his most unworthy servant Martin to create in our public life a luminous moment of moral truth about what Gunnar Myrdal rightly called “the America dilemma,” racial justice. It seems a long time ago now, but there is no decline in the frequency of my thanking God for his witness and for having been touched, however briefly, by his friendship, praying that he may rest in peace, and that his cause may yet be vindicated. (more)

Facilitating Dreams of Stormy Portent

From Beetlebabee:

Martin Luther King had a dream…..but not all dreams aim as high as his did. Some aim a little closer to home:

“I had a dream. In it I saw HATEFUL actions, but of course I would NEVER advocate any of them.
In my dream the LDS Temple, as well as Catholic and Christian Right churches were vandalized daily since gays decided they all have WAY TOO MUCH MONEY if they can purchase H8 and demonize gays; businesses who supported PROP 8 were also vandalized for the same reason.
White powder shows up in tithing envelopes.
People spray-painted HATE or H8 on the sidewalks outside with arrows pointing towards gay-hating church doors.
Death threats and bomb scares disrupted H8 church services every Sunday across the USA.
I am NOT advocating these measures…..but they would not surprise me either.”

These are the words of one deranged and slightly off-kilter commenter who frequents this site and who obviously has some fairly intense emotional build-up over the passage of proposition 8.
Now, imagine this guy knew you, not personally, but imagine he knew you donated money to the p8 political campaign and decided you had deeply and personally offended him? Imagine he decided to make it personal in return? Imagine he knew where you lived, had your street address, including how to get there— and imagine all this information was freely provided on the internet for no other purpose than to harass you?
Welcome to where we provide the h8 maps for you to vent your hate! Welcome every crazy, loony whack-job and thrill seeker! If you don’t like how the election turned out, take your frustration out on your good neighbors who voted for it!
Sounds pretty American doesn’t it? (more)


Chilling possibilites from Doctor Bulldog:

Breaking: This is just starting to hit the wires and the number of dead may already double what the NY Post is reporting. A few things are missing from the article and it needs to be looked into.
Was the AQIM fooling around with a bio weapon? It sounds to me like they experimented with a modified plague and planned to use a human vector as a delivery method. They lost control and killed themselves. The reports I just read claimed the infected people died within hours. Now I am not a doctor but I did not know any disease could do that. It is a little early to predict a pandemic but this could be serious.
19 January 2009,
NY Post
The United States has an unexpected ally in the war on terror - the black plague. The disease, which devastated Europe in the Middle Ages has struck down at least 20 al Qaeda fanatics training in a secret camp in Algeria, the London Sun reports. (more) original article here

Quote of the Day

From Paladin for Christ Blog:

"Above all, you must remember that you are made for God, and that it is your duty to live for Him, because He has created, redeemed, and called you; whence it follows that you must abstain not only from every bad action, but also from indifferent or useless ones. [...] You must zealously strive to let every interior or exterior act proceed from virtue, so that you may draw ever nearer to God."
-St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591);
patron of this blog

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What Really Happened in the Mid-East

Good stuff
What Really Happened In The Middle East - Terrorism Awareness Project

Cleaning Up The Internet

From Zenit:

ROME, JAN. 18, 2009 ( Governments in a number of countries are raising concerns over the way in which the Internet is allowing unlimited access to all sorts of pornography....

...In Canada a local magazine, Macleans, put the problem of pornography and the Internet on its front cover in the June 18 issue last year. The accompanying editorial noted the incongruence of having ratings systems to protect children and teens from violent or pornographic content in cinemas and for the sale of DVDs, and also for television broadcasters, but no controls over Internet content.... (read the whole thing here)

On a wing and a prayer

A number of good discussion points over at GetReligion, from how the religious talk of most journalists seems to "vanish into thin air" later on in the story to discussion of miracle talk is founded vis BeliefNet...

...Even the earliest interviews with survivors mentioned how many passengers prayed as they prepared for their water crash. This New York Times story about the heroism and comedy of the rescue operation led with that angle:
Some passengers screamed, others tucked their heads between their knees, and several prayed over and over, “Lord, forgive me for my sins.” But a man named Josh who was sitting in the exit row did exactly what everyone is supposed to but few ever do: He pulled out the safety card and read the instructions on how to open the exit door.
There are a few things that are interesting with this lede. The first is the juxtaposition — the use of the word “but” to set apart the people who screamed (something
disputed by other reports) and prayed from the person who did what he was supposed to do. I have no idea if the two writers of the story intended to oppose people who pray from people who do what they are supposed to do, but it’s somewhat humorous to read. I mean, I think praying is precisely what people are supposed to do in event of a crash landing of a plane, but I see no conflict between asking God to forgive our sins and being familiar with how to get out of a plane in an emergency.
I would quote from the rest of the story, which sums up various survivors’ stories, to show you how the religious angle in the lede was fleshed out except that it was in no way explored outside of the beginning of the story.
I noticed this a bit with other stories, too. Every time I read a
lede with a religion angle, it would just vanish into thin air....
...This story in the Fayetteville Observer didn’t begin with religion. Instead, it ended with it. The reporter interviewed the parents of one survivor via e-mail and included their religious views at the end of the story:
But the Grays, who are active in outreach ministries at Village Baptist Church, believe that Sullenberger was co-piloting the plane when it hit the water.
“As thankful as we are for the … pilot’s skills to be able to land a plane in the water with no casualties, we know who the real pilot was during that time,” Mary Gray wrote.
“We give God the glory, praise and thanks for looking after our boy, his sweet fiancee and all the others on that flight.”
And on the other hand, Patton Dodd over at Beliefnet says journalists should tread a bit more carefully with
the miracle language. ...(more)

1 in 3 'Christians' says 'Jesus sinned'

Half of Americans who call themselves "Christian" don't believe Satan exists and fully one-third are confident that Jesus sinned while on Earth, according to a new Barna Group poll.

Another 40 percent say they do not have a responsibility to share their Christian faith with others, and 25 percent "dismiss the idea that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches," the organization reports.

Pollster George Barna said the results have huge implications. "Americans are increasingly comfortable picking and choosing what they deem to be helpful and accurate theological views and have become comfortable discarding the rest of the teachings in the Bible," he said.

"Growing numbers of people now serve as their own theologian-in-residence," he continued. "One consequence is that Americans are embracing an unpredictable and contradictory body of beliefs."